classes ::: Han-shan, Zen, book,
children :::
branches ::: Cold Mountain
see also :::

Instances - Classes - See Also - Object in Names
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object:Cold Mountain
author class:Han-shan
subject class:Zen
class:book
translator:Red Pine

  Translator's Preface
  Introduction by John Blofeld
  The Poems of Cold Mountain (Han-shan)
  The Poems of Big Stick (Feng-kan)
  The Poems of Pickup (Shih-te)
  Findings List
  Bibliography



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CHAPTERS

The_Poems_of_Cold_Mountain

--- PRIMARY CLASS


book

--- SEE ALSO


--- SIMILAR TITLES [0]


1.hs - I settled at Cold Mountain long ago,
1.hs - The Road To Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain
The Poems of Cold Mountain
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--- DICTIONARIES (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



--- QUOTES [0 / 0 - 57 / 57] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



KEYS (10k)


NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   20 Hanshan

   6 Gary Snyder

   5 Charles Frazier

   3 Shih-te
   3 Han-shan
   2 Stephen King

   2 Bear Grylls

   2 Anthony Minghella


*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Men ask the way to Cold Mountain, Cold Mountain: there's no through trail. ~ Hanshan
2:Daddy asks me what do you see in him? I answer, a hot spring on top of a cold mountain. ~ Sister Souljah
3:I'm goin' where the wind don't blow so strange, maybe off on some high cold mountain chain. ~ Jerry Garcia
4:I was 46 when 'Cold Mountain' came out. I was settled. We had a nice house in Raleigh and a horse farm. ~ Charles Frazier
5:This happened in 1932, when the state penitentiary was still at Cold Mountain. And the electric chair was there, too, of course. ~ Stephen King
6:Cold Mountain cold Ice freezes rock Mountains are green Snow is white Sun shines bright Every thing melt Every thing warm Warms old man ~ Hanshan
7:If your house has Cold Mountain poems They are better for you than sutras Hang them up where you can see them Read them and read them again ~ Hanshan
8:He is so full of manure, that man, we could lay him in the dirt and grow another one just like him." Ruby about her dad in "Cold Mountain ~ Charles Frazier
9:Above Cold Mountain the moon shines alone
in a clear sky it illuminates nothing at all
precious heavenly priceless jewel
buried in the skandhas submerged in the body ~ Hanshan
10:Spring water is pure in an emerald stream
moonlight is white on Cold Mountain
silence thoughts and the spirit becomes clear
focus on emptiness and the world grows still ~ Hanshan
11:Oscar nominations came out today. Up for best actor, Sean Penn for 'Mystic River,' Jude Law for 'Cold Mountain,' and of course, George W. Bush for 'Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction.' ~ Jay Leno
12:Spring-water in the green creek is clear Moonlight on Cold Mountain is white Silent knowledge—the spirit is enlightened of itself Contemplate the void: this world exceeds stillness. ~ Gary Snyder
13:I brewed potions in a vain search for life everlasting, I read books, I sang songs of history, And today I've come home to Cold Mountain To pillow my head on the stream and wash my ears. ~ Hanshan
14:The wide corridor up the centre of E Block was floored with linoleum the colour of tired old limes, and so what was the Last Mile at other prisons was called the Green Mile at Cold Mountain. ~ Stephen King
15:Look at it this way: if you write the novel of 'Cold Mountain,' it costs exactly the same to produce and market as a novel set in a room. If you make the film, the disparity of costs is huge. ~ Anthony Minghella
16:No studio in Hollywood wanted 'Cold Mountain.' None. No one wanted 'Ripley,' no one wanted 'The English Patient.' That tells you there isn't really an appetite for ambitious movie-making out there. ~ Anthony Minghella
17:For me, my simple faith has so often brought light to a dark path, joy to a cold mountain and strength to a failing body.

And who better to have as a guide than the person who made the path or the mountain in the first place! ~ Bear Grylls
18:People ask the way to Cold Mountain Roads do not go through Summer arrives yet the ice has not melted Though the sun is out it's foggy and dim How did I arrive here? My mind and yours are not the same When our minds are one You will be here too ~ Hanshan
19:When men see Han-shan
They all say he's crazy
And not much to look at -
Dressed in rags and hides.
They don't get what I say
And I don't talk their language.
All I can say to those I meet:
"Try and make it to Cold Mountain. ~ Gary Snyder
20:How wonderful is Cold Mountain Climbers are all afraid The moon shines on clear water twinkle twinkle Wind rustles the tall grass Plum trees flower in the snow Bare twisted trees have clouds for foliage A touch of rain brings it all alive Unless you see clearly do not approach ~ Hanshan
21:Doesn't anyone see the turmoil in the Three Worlds is due to endless delusion once thoughts stop the mind becomes clear nothing comes or goes neither birth nor death [1489.jpg] -- from The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, Translated by Red Pine

~ Shih-te, Doesnt anyone see

22:Since I retired to Cold Mountain I've lived by eating mountain fruits What is there to worry about? Life passes according to karma The months pass like a flowing stream Days and nights like sparks from flint Heaven and earth endlessly change While I sit happily among these cliffs ~ Hanshan
23:There is a solitude, which each and every one of us has always carried with him, more inaccessible than the ice-cold mountains, more profound than the midnight sea; the solitude of self. Our inner being, which we call ourself, no eye nor touch of man or angel has ever pierced. ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton
24:If you're looking for a place to rest Cold Mountain is good for a long stay The breeze blowing through the dark pines Sounds better the closer you come And under the trees a white haired man Mumbles over his Taoist texts Ten years now he hasn't gone home He's even forgotten the road he came by ~ Hanshan
25:I wanted a good place to settle:
Cold Mountain would be safe.
Light wind in a hidden pine -
Listen close - the sound gets better.
Under it a gray haired man
Mumbles along reading Huang and Lao.
For ten years I havn't gone back home
I've even forgotten the way by which I came. ~ Gary Snyder
26:Poem by Cold Mountain

"Looking for a refuge
Cold Mountain will keep you safe
a faint wind stirs dark pines
come closer the sound gets better
below them sits a gray-haired man
chanting Taoist texts
ten years unable to return
he forgot the way he came"

Translated by Red Pine ~ Red Pine
27:Someone sits in a mountain vale A robe of clouds, rainbows for tassels The fragrant forest is the place to live The road has been long and difficult With a heart full of doubt and regret A life has passed and nothing has been accomplished Others call it failure I stand alone devoted to this Cold Mountain life ~ Hanshan
28:Cold Mountain is hidden in white clouds It's peaceful to be cut off from the busy world I use dry grass for cushions in my mountain home My only light is the round moon My bed is the rock beside the green pool Tigers and deer are my companions I delight in this happy peaceful life Forever beyond the world of men ~ Hanshan
29:If you want a peaceful place to dwell Cold Mountain is guaranteed forever A light wind blows softly in the pines The sound is good when you are close One old man sits beneath the trees Reading Lao Tzu and Huang Ti, mumbling I could not find the world if I searched ten years I've forgotten the road by which I came ~ Hanshan
30:I dreamed a place where I have come to dwell Cold Mountain says it all Monkeys scream, the valley fog is cold My door blends with the color of the peaks I gather leaves and thatch a hut among the pines Dig a pond and lead a trickle from the brook Long ago I left the world behind Eating ferns I pass the years in peace ~ Hanshan
31:Clambering up the Cold Mountain path, The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on: The long gorge choked with scree and boulders, The wide creek, the mist-blurred grass. The moss is slippery, though there's been no rain The pine sings, but there's no wind. Who can leap the world's ties And sit with me among the white clouds? ~ Gary Snyder
32:Where’s the trail to Cold Mountain?

Cold Mountain? There’s no clear way.

Ice, in summer, is still frozen.

Bright sun shines through thick fog.

You won’t get there following me.

Your heart and mine are not the same.

If your heart was like mine,

You’d have made it, and be there! ~ Hanshan
33:I have lived at Cold Mountain
These thirty long years.
Yesterday I called on friends and family:
More than half had gone to the Yellow Springs.
Slowly consumed, like fire down a candle;
Forever flowing, like a passing river.
Now, morning, I face my lone shadow:
Suddenly my eyes are bleared with tears. ~ Gary Snyder
34:Thanksgiving
I thank thee, Earth, for water good,
The sea's great bath of buoyant green
Or the cold mountain torrent's flood,
That I may keep this body clean.
I thank thee more for goodly wine,
That wise as Omar I may be,
Or Horace when he went to dine
With Lydia or with Lalage.
~ Bliss William Carman
35:People ask for the road to Cold Mountain,
but no road reaches Cold Mountain.
Summer sky-still ice wont melt.
The sun comes out but gets obscured by mist.
Imitating me, where does that get you?
My mind isnt like yours.
When your mind is like mine
you can enter here.

~ Han-shan, The Road To Cold Mountain

36:When Ada disappeared into the trees, it was like a part of the richness of the world had gone with her. He had been alone in the world and empty for so long. But she filled him full, and so he believed everything that had been taken out of him might have been for a purpose. To clear space for something better. -Cold Mountain ~ Charles Frazier
37:Clambering up the Cold Mountain path,
The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on:
The long gorge choked with scree and boulders,
The wide creek, the mist-blurred grass.
The moss is slippery, though there's been no rain
The pine sings, but there's no wind.
Who can leap the world's ties
And sit with me among the white clouds? ~ Gary Snyder
38:Climb the steep Cold Mountain way Roads to Cold Mountain are many and never ending The valleys are long and deep, the peaks piled high The streams are wide, the grass is thick The moss is slippery though there is no rain The pines sigh though there is no wind Who can escape the snares of the world And come to sit with me among the white clouds? ~ Hanshan
39:While writing Cold Mountain, I held maps of two geographies, two worlds, in my mind as I wrote. One was an early map of North Carolina. Overlaying it, though, was an imagined map of the landscape Jack travels in the southern Appalachian folktales. He's much the same Jack who climbs the beanstalk, vulnerable and clever and opportunistic. ~ Charles Frazier
40:Behold the glow of the moon illumine the world's four quarters perfect light in perfect space a radiance that purifies people say it waxes and wanes but I don't see it fade just like a magic pearl it shines both night and day [1489.jpg] -- from The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, Translated by Red Pine

~ Shih-te, Behold the glow of the moon

41:As for me, I delight in the every day Way Among mist-wrapped vines and rocky caves Here in the wilderness I am completely free With my friends, the white clouds, idling forever There are roads, but they do not reach the world Since I am mindless, who can rouse my thoughts On a bed of stone I sit, alone in the night While a round moon climbs up Cold Mountain ~ Hanshan
42:Cold Mountain Buddhas Han Shan  Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness be dancing. Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning. The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry, The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony Of death and birth. ~ T S Eliot
43:When you live on Cold Mountain long enough the autumns pass quickly When you live alone you have no worries When you leave the doors open no one bothers you The bubbling stream runs forever In the cave a clay pot boils over a fire on the ground A wandering breeze stirs the fragrant pines When hungry I eat one simple meal And lean against the rock in complete harmony ~ Hanshan
44:I settled at Cold Mountain long ago Already it seems like ages Wandering free I roam the woods and streams Lingering to watch things be themselves Men don't come this far into the mountains Where white clouds gather and billow Dry grass makes a comfortable mattress The blue sky is a fine quilt Happy to pillow my head on the rock I leave heaven and earth to endless change ~ Hanshan
45:I live in a place without limits surrounded by effortless truth sometimes I climb Nirvana Peak or play in Sandalwood Temple but most of the time I relax and speak of neither profit nor fame even if the sea became a mulberry grove it wouldn't mean much to me [1489.jpg] -- from The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, Translated by Red Pine

~ Shih-te, I live in a place without limits

46:Heres a message for the faithful
what is it that you cherish
to find the Way to see your nature
your nature is naturally so
what Heaven bestows is perfect
looking for proof leads you astray
leaving the trunk to search among the twigs
all you get is stupid

From The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, trans. Red Pine

~ Han-shan, Heres A Message for the Faithful

47:I settled at Cold Mountain long ago,
Already it seems like years and years.
Freely drifting, I prowl the woods and streams
And linger watching things themselves.
Men dont get this far into the mountains,
White clouds gather and billow.
Thin grass does for a mattress,
The blue sky makes a good quilt.
Happy with a stone under head
Let heaven and earth go about their changes.
~ Han-shan, I settled at Cold Mountain long ago,

48:Mountain Travel
Far on cold mountain stone path slant
White cloud live place be households
Stop carriage because love maple forest evening
Frost leaf red than second month flower
Far away on the cold mountain, a stone path slants upwards,
In the white clouds is a village, where people have their homes.
I stop the carriage, loving the maple wood in the evening,
The frosted leaves are redder than the second month's flowers.
~ Du Mu
49:What should he be like, this lost man? A romantic, a man with a dream, a man with brown skin and blue eyes, living in a hut on a snowy mountain top, chopping wood and catching fish and swimming in cold mountain streams; a rough, free man with a kind heart and a shaggy beard, a man who owed allegiance to no one, who gave a damn for money and politics, and cities and civilizations, who was his own master, who lived at one with nature knowing no fear. But that was not Major Roberts—that was the man I wanted to be. He was not a Frenchman or an Englishman, he was me, a dream of myself. ~ Ruskin Bond
50:I divined and chose a distant place to dwell
T'ien-t'ai; what more is there to say?

Monkeys cry where valley mists are cold,
My grass gate blends with the color of the crags,
I pick leaves to thatch a hut among the pines,
Scoop out a pond and lead a runnel from the spring.

By now I am used to doing without the world,
Picking ferns, I pass the years that are left.
The trail to Cold Mountain is faint
the banks of Cold Stream are a jungle

birds constantly chatter away
I hear no sound of people
gusts of wind lash my face

flurries of snow bury my body
day after day, no sun
year after year no spring. ~ Hanshan
51:Bleak as the scene was, though, there was growing joy in Inman's heart. He was nearing home; he could feel it in the touch of thin air on skin, in his longing to see the lead of hearth smoke from the houses of people he had known all his life. People he would not be called upon to hate or fear. He rose and took a wide stance on the rock and stood and pinched down his eyes to sharpen the view across the vast propect to one far mountain. It stood apart from the sky only as the stroke of a poorly inked pen, a line thin and quick and gestural. But the shape slowly grew plain and unmistakable. It was to Cold Mountain he looked. He had achieved a vista of what for him was homeland. ~ Charles Frazier
52:You know, I've never really known what to do. I just keep making these decisions or not, making right and wrong turns that are never really right or wrong. I had a job, then a different job, then I was jobless. I was poor or I wasn't. I was ill but got better, got worse again, got better. Someone died. Someone else died. Money changed hands. People changed. I changed.
And isn't that enough for us? And who put all this fear in us, this fear of changing when all we ever do is change? Why is it so many want to sleep through it all, sleepwalk, sleep-live, feel nothing, eyes shut? Haven't we slept enough? Can't we all wake up now, here, in this warm valley between cold mountains of sleep? ~ Catherine Lacey
53:He lifted his arm that had been resting on her shoulders and gazed at the words she had written on his hand. He had been branded as cattle are branded to show whom they belong to. The cold mountain air stung his lips. She was driving too fast on this road that had once been a forest. Early humans had lived in it. They studied fire and the movement of the sun. They read the clouds and the moon and tried to understand the human mind His father had tried to melt him into a Polish forest when he was five years old. He knew he must leave no trace or trail of his existence because he must never find his way home. That was what his father had told him. You cannot come home. This was not something possible to know but he had to know it all the same ~ Deborah Levy
54:In The Slight Ripple, The Mind Perceives The Heart
In the slight ripple, the fishes dart
Like fingers, centrifugal, like wishes
Wanton. And pleasures rise
as the eyes fall
Through the lucid water. The small pebble,
The clear clay bottom, the white shell
Are apparent, though superficial.
Who would ask more of the August afternoon?
Who would dig mines and follow shadows?
"I would," answers bored Heart, "Lounger, rise"
(Underlip trembling, face white with stony anger),
"The old error, the thought of sitting still,
"The senses drinking, by the summer river,
"On the tended lawn, below the traffic,
"As if time would pause,
and afternoon stay.
"No, night comes soon,
"With its cold mountains, with desolation,
unless Love build its city."
~ Delmore Schwartz
55:34. Find A Good Guide

When you pursue an exciting path through life, you are - inevitably - going to have moments of hardship, doubt, struggle and pain. It comes with the terrain of being a champion - in whatever field.

So accept that fact. But don’t despair, because the good news is that help is nearer at hand than you might imagine.

You see, if I am going to enter a difficult jungle or uncharted mountain range, I always make sure I have a good guide. Life is the same. Go it alone, by all means, but you make the journey that much harder. Trust me.

To give yourself the best shot of reaching your destination and achieving all you are meant to in your life, you need a great guide, someone who can lead you, inspire you, comfort and strengthen you - especially when the going gets tough, as it invariably will.

For me, my simple faith has so often brought light to a dark path, joy to a cold mountain and strength to a failing body.

And who better to have as a guide than the person who made the path or the mountain in the first place! ~ Bear Grylls
56:The Birth Of Love
I REMEMBER the first tiny cry that she gave
And my heart felt a thrill that it never had known,
And my face which a moment before had been grave
With the sunlight of love and of happiness shone;
And yet I am sure that I loved her before
She uttered the cry that delighted me so,
And I vow that the baby that romps on the floor
Was a part of my life in the long, long ago.
I remember the first gentle kiss I bestowed
On her little pink cheek, and recall that just then
That it seemed that my heart with its love overflowed,
A love I had known and was winning again;
That babe I am sure was no stranger to me,
For with her came love that no stranger could
bring, A love that's as deep as the depths of the sea,
As fresh and as pure as a cold mountain spring.
There she is on the floor with her cheeks all aglow,
With her eyes just as bright as the stars in the sky,
Has she, do you think, in my heart had to grow
To win me to love her? No, no, I reply!
I loved her the very first moment she came,
And looking back now I am certain also
That my heart with the love of her had been aflame
In the wonderful days of the long, long ago.
~ Edgar Albert Guest
57:ROSALIND, HELEN, and her Child.

SCENE. The Shore of the Lake of Como.

HELEN
   Come hither, my sweet Rosalind.
   'T is long since thou and I have met;
   And yet methinks it were unkind
   Those moments to forget.
   Come, sit by me. I see thee stand
   By this lone lake, in this far land,
   Thy loose hair in the light wind flying,
   Thy sweet voice to each tone of even
   United, and thine eyes replying
   To the hues of yon fair heaven.  
   Come, gentle friend! wilt sit by me?
   And be as thou wert wont to be
   Ere we were disunited?
   None doth behold us now; the power
   That led us forth at this lone hour
   Will be but ill requited
   If thou depart in scorn. Oh, come,
   And talk of our abandoned home!
   Remember, this is Italy,
   And we are exiles. Talk with me
   Of that our land, whose wilds and floods,
   Barren and dark although they be,
   Were dearer than these chestnut woods;
   Those heathy paths, that inland stream,
   And the blue mountains, shapes which seem
   Like wrecks of childhood's sunny dream;
   Which that we have abandoned now,
   Weighs on the heart like that remorse
   Which altered friendship leaves. I seek
   No more our youthful intercourse.
   That cannot be! Rosalind, speak,
   Speak to me! Leave me not! When morn did come,
   When evening fell upon our common home,
   When for one hour we parted,do not frown;
   I would not chide thee, though thy faith is broken;
   But turn to me. Oh! by this cherished token
   Of woven hair, which thou wilt not disown,
   Turn, as 't were but the memory of me,
   And not my scornd self who prayed to thee!

ROSALIND
   Is it a dream, or do I see  
   And hear frail Helen? I would flee
   Thy tainting touch; but former years
   Arise, and bring forbidden tears;
   And my o'erburdened memory
   Seeks yet its lost repose in thee.
   I share thy crime. I cannot choose
   But weep for thee; mine own strange grief
   But seldom stoops to such relief;
   Nor ever did I love thee less,
   Though mourning o'er thy wickedness
   Even with a sister's woe. I knew
   What to the evil world is due,
   And therefore sternly did refuse
   To link me with the infamy
   Of one so lost as Helen. Now,
   Bewildered by my dire despair,
   Wondering I blush, and weep that thou
   Shouldst love me stillthou only!There,
   Let us sit on that gray stone
   Till our mournful talk be done.

HELEN
   Alas! not there; I cannot bear
   The murmur of this lake to hear.
   A sound from there, Rosalind dear,
   Which never yet I heard elsewhere
   But in our native land, recurs,
   Even here where now we meet. It stirs
   Too much of suffocating sorrow!
   In the dell of yon dark chestnut wood
   Is a stone seat, a solitude
   Less like our own. The ghost of peace
   Will not desert this spot. To-morrow,
   If thy kind feelings should not cease,
   We may sit here.

ROSALIND
            Thou lead, my sweet,
   And I will follow.

HENRY
             'T is Fenici's seat
   Where you are going? This is not the way,
   Mamma; it leads behind those trees that grow
   Close to the little river.

HELEN
                 Yes, I know;
   I was bewildered. Kiss me and be gay,
   Dear boy; why do you sob?

HENRY
                I do not know;
   But it might break any one's heart to see  
   You and the lady cry so bitterly.

HELEN
   It is a gentle child, my friend. Go home,
   Henry, and play with Lilla till I come.
   We only cried with joy to see each other;
   We are quite merry now. Good night.

                     The boy
   Lifted a sudden look upon his mother,
   And, in the gleam of forced and hollow joy
   Which lightened o'er her face, laughed with the glee
   Of light and unsuspecting infancy,
   And whispered in her ear, 'Bring home with you
   That sweet strange lady-friend.' Then off he flew,
   But stopped, and beckoned with a meaning smile,
   Where the road turned. Pale Rosalind the while,
   Hiding her face, stood weeping silently.

   In silence then they took the way
   Beneath the forest's solitude.
   It was a vast and antique wood,
   Through which they took their way;
   And the gray shades of evening
   O'er that green wilderness did fling
   Still deeper solitude.
   Pursuing still the path that wound
   The vast and knotted trees around,
   Through which slow shades were wandering,
   To a deep lawny dell they came,
   To a stone seat beside a spring,
   O'er which the columned wood did frame
   A roofless temple, like the fane
   Where, ere new creeds could faith obtain,
   Man's early race once knelt beneath  
   The overhanging deity.
   O'er this fair fountain hung the sky,
   Now spangled with rare stars. The snake,
   The pale snake, that with eager breath
   Creeps here his noontide thirst to slake,
   Is beaming with many a mingled hue,
   Shed from yon dome's eternal blue,
   When he floats on that dark and lucid flood
   In the light of his own loveliness;
   And the birds, that in the fountain dip
   Their plumes, with fearless fellowship
   Above and round him wheel and hover.
   The fitful wind is heard to stir
   One solitary leaf on high;
   The chirping of the grasshopper
   Fills every pause. There is emotion
   In all that dwells at noontide here;
   Then through the intricate wild wood
   A maze of life and light and motion
   Is woven. But there is stillness now
   Gloom, and the trance of Nature now.
   The snake is in his cave asleep;
   The birds are on the branches dreaming;
   Only the shadows creep;
   Only the glow-worm is gleaming;
   Only the owls and the nightingales
   Wake in this dell when daylight fails,
   And gray shades gather in the woods;
   And the owls have all fled far away
   In a merrier glen to hoot and play,
   For the moon is veiled and sleeping now.
   The accustomed nightingale still broods
   On her accustomed bough,
   But she is mute; for her false mate
   Has fled and left her desolate.

   This silent spot tradition old
   Had peopled with the spectral dead.
   For the roots of the speaker's hair felt cold
   And stiff, as with tremulous lips he told
   That a hellish shape at midnight led
   The ghost of a youth with hoary hair,
   And sate on the seat beside him there,
   Till a naked child came wandering by,
   When the fiend would change to a lady fair!
   A fearful tale! the truth was worse;
   For here a sister and a brother
   Had solemnized a monstrous curse,
   Meeting in this fair solitude;
   For beneath yon very sky,
   Had they resigned to one another  
   Body and soul. The multitude,
   Tracking them to the secret wood,
   Tore limb from limb their innocent child,
   And stabbed and trampled on its mother;
   But the youth, for God's most holy grace,
   A priest saved to burn in the market-place.

   Duly at evening Helen came
   To this lone silent spot,
   From the wrecks of a tale of wilder sorrow
   So much of sympathy to borrow
   As soothed her own dark lot.
   Duly each evening from her home,
   With her fair child would Helen come
   To sit upon that antique seat,
   While the hues of day were pale;
   And the bright boy beside her feet
   Now lay, lifting at intervals
   His broad blue eyes on her;
   Now, where some sudden impulse calls,
   Following. He was a gentle boy
   And in all gentle sorts took joy.
   Oft in a dry leaf for a boat,
   With a small feather for a sail,
   His fancy on that spring would float,
   If some invisible breeze might stir
   Its marble calm; and Helen smiled
   Through tears of awe on the gay child,
   To think that a boy as fair as he,
   In years which never more may be,
   By that same fount, in that same wood,
   The like sweet fancies had pursued;
   And that a mother, lost like her,
   Had mournfully sate watching him.
   Then all the scene was wont to swim
   Through the mist of a burning tear.
   For many months had Helen known
   This scene; and now she thither turned
   Her footsteps, not alone.
   The friend whose falsehood she had mourned
   Sate with her on that seat of stone.
   Silent they sate; for evening,
   And the power its glimpses bring,
   Had with one awful shadow quelled
   The passion of their grief. They sate
   With linkd hands, for unrepelled
   Had Helen taken Rosalind's.
   Like the autumn wind, when it unbinds
   The tangled locks of the nightshade's hair
   Which is twined in the sultry summer air
   Round the walls of an outworn sepulchre,  
   Did the voice of Helen, sad and sweet,
   And the sound of her heart that ever beat
   As with sighs and words she breathed on her,
   Unbind the knots of her friend's despair,
   Till her thoughts were free to float and flow;
   And from her laboring bosom now,
   Like the bursting of a prisoned flame,
   The voice of a long-pent sorrow came.

ROSALIND
   I saw the dark earth fall upon
   The coffin; and I saw the stone
   Laid over him whom this cold breast
   Had pillowed to his nightly rest!
   Thou knowest not, thou canst not know
   My agony. Oh! I could not weep.
   The sources whence such blessings flow
   Were not to be approached by me!
   But I could smile, and I could sleep,
   Though with a self-accusing heart.
   In morning's light, in evening's gloom,
   I watchedand would not thence depart
   My husband's unlamented tomb.
   My children knew their sire was gone;
   But when I told them, 'He is dead,'
   They laughed aloud in frantic glee,
   They clapped their hands and leaped about,
   Answering each other's ecstasy
   With many a prank and merry shout.
   But I sate silent and alone,
   Wrapped in the mock of mourning weed.

   They laughed, for he was dead; but I
   Sate with a hard and tearless eye,
   And with a heart which would deny
   The secret joy it could not quell,
   Low muttering o'er his loathd name;
   Till from that self-contention came
   Remorse where sin was none; a hell
   Which in pure spirits should not dwell.

   I 'll tell thee truth. He was a man
   Hard, selfish, loving only gold,
   Yet full of guile; his pale eyes ran  
   With tears which each some falsehood told,
   And oft his smooth and bridled tongue
   Would give the lie to his flushing cheek;
   He was a coward to the strong;
   He was a tyrant to the weak,
   On whom his vengeance he would wreak;
   For scorn, whose arrows search the heart,
   From many a stranger's eye would dart,
   And on his memory cling, and follow
   His soul to its home so cold and hollow.
   He was a tyrant to the weak,
   And we were such, alas the day!
   Oft, when my little ones at play
   Were in youth's natural lightness gay,
   Or if they listened to some tale
   Of travellers, or of fairyland,
   When the light from the wood-fire's dying brand
   Flashed on their faces,if they heard
   Or thought they heard upon the stair
   His footstep, the suspended word
   Died on my lips; we all grew pale;
   The babe at my bosom was hushed with fear
   If it thought it heard its father near;
   And my two wild boys would near my knee
   Cling, cowed and cowering fearfully.

   I 'll tell thee truth: I loved another.
   His name in my ear was ever ringing,
   His form to my brain was ever clinging;
   Yet, if some stranger breathed that name,
   My lips turned white, and my heart beat fast.
   My nights were once haunted by dreams of flame,
   My days were dim in the shadow cast
   By the memory of the same!
   Day and night, day and night,
   He was my breath and life and light,
   For three short years, which soon were passed.
   On the fourth, my gentle mother
   Led me to the shrine, to be
   His sworn bride eternally.
   And now we stood on the altar stair,
   When my father came from a distant land,
   And with a loud and fearful cry
   Rushed between us suddenly.
   I saw the stream of his thin gray hair,
   I saw his lean and lifted hand,
   And heard his wordsand live! O God!
   Wherefore do I live?'Hold, hold!'
   He cried, 'I tell thee 't is her brother!
   Thy mother, boy, beneath the sod
   Of yon churchyard rests in her shroud so cold;
   I am now weak, and pale, and old;
   We were once dear to one another,
   I and that corpse! Thou art our child!'
   Then with a laugh both long and wild
   The youth upon the pavement fell.
   They found him dead! All looked on me,
   The spasms of my despair to see;
   But I was calm. I went away;
   I was clammy-cold like clay.
   I did not weep; I did not speak;
   But day by day, week after week,
   I walked about like a corpse alive.
   Alas! sweet friend, you must believe
   This heart is stoneit did not break.

   My father lived a little while,
   But all might see that he was dying,
   He smiled with such a woful smile.
   When he was in the churchyard lying
   Among the worms, we grew quite poor,
   So that no one would give us bread;  
   My mother looked at me, and said
   Faint words of cheer, which only meant
   That she could die and be content;
   So I went forth from the same church door
   To another husband's bed.
   And this was he who died at last,
   When weeks and months and years had passed,
   Through which I firmly did fulfil
   My duties, a devoted wife,
   With the stern step of vanquished will
   Walking beneath the night of life,
   Whose hours extinguished, like slow rain
   Falling forever, pain by pain,
   The very hope of death's dear rest;
   Which, since the heart within my breast
   Of natural life was dispossessed,
   Its strange sustainer there had been.

   When flowers were dead, and grass was green
   Upon my mother's gravethat mother
   Whom to outlive, and cheer, and make
   My wan eyes glitter for her sake,
   Was my vowed task, the single care
   Which once gave life to my despair
   When she was a thing that did not stir,
   And the crawling worms were cradling her
   To a sleep more deep and so more sweet
   Than a baby's rocked on its nurse's knee,
   I lived; a living pulse then beat
   Beneath my heart that awakened me.
   What was this pulse so warm and free?
   Alas! I knew it could not be
   My own dull blood. 'T was like a thought
   Of liquid love, that spread and wrought
   Under my bosom and in my brain,
   And crept with the blood through every vein,
   And hour by hour, day after day,
   The wonder could not charm away
   But laid in sleep my wakeful pain,
   Until I knew it was a child,
   And then I wept. For long, long years
   These frozen eyes had shed no tears;
   But now't was the season fair and mild
   When April has wept itself to May;
   I sate through the sweet sunny day
   By my window bowered round with leaves,
   And down my cheeks the quick tears ran
   Like twinkling rain-drops from the eaves,
   When warm spring showers are passing o'er.
   O Helen, none can ever tell
   The joy it was to weep once more!

   I wept to think how hard it were
   To kill my babe, and take from it
   The sense of light, and the warm air,
   And my own fond and tender care,
   And love and smiles; ere I knew yet
   That these for it might, as for me,
   Be the masks of a grinning mockery.
   And haply, I would dream, 't were sweet
   To feed it from my faded breast,
   Or mark my own heart's restless beat  
   And watch the growing soul beneath
   Dawn in faint smiles; and hear its breath,
   Half interrupted by calm sighs,
   And search the depth of its fair eyes
   For long departed memories!
   And so I lived till that sweet load
   Was lightened. Darkly forward flowed
   The stream of years, and on it bore
   Two shapes of gladness to my sight;
   Two other babes, delightful more,
   In my lost soul's abandoned night,
   Than their own country ships may be
   Sailing towards wrecked mariners
   Who cling to the rock of a wintry sea.
   For each, as it came, brought soothing tears;
   And a loosening warmth, as each one lay
   Sucking the sullen milk away,
   About my frozen heart did play,
   And weaned it, oh, how painfully
   As they themselves were weaned each one
   From that sweet foodeven from the thirst
   Of death, and nothingness, and rest,
   Strange inmate of a living breast,
   Which all that I had undergone
   Of grief and shame, since she who first
   The gates of that dark refuge closed
   Came to my sight, and almost burst
   The seal of that Lethean spring
   But these fair shadows interposed.
   For all delights are shadows now!
   And from my brain to my dull brow
   The heavy tears gather and flow.
   I cannot speakoh, let me weep!

   The tears which fell from her wan eyes
   Glimmered among the moonlight dew.
   Her deep hard sobs and heavy sighs
   Their echoes in the darkness threw.
   When she grew calm, she thus did keep
   The tenor of her tale:

                He died;  
   I know not how; he was not old,
   If age be numbered by its years;
   But he was bowed and bent with fears,
   Pale with the quenchless thirst of gold,
   Which, like fierce fever, left him weak;
   And his strait lip and bloated cheek
   Were warped in spasms by hollow sneers;
   And selfish cares with barren plough,
   Not age, had lined his narrow brow,
   And foul and cruel thoughts, which feed
   Upon the withering life within,
   Like vipers on some poisonous weed.
   Whether his ill were death or sin
   None knew, until he died indeed,
   And then men owned they were the same.

   Seven days within my chamber lay
   That corse, and my babes made holiday.
   At last, I told them what is death.
   The eldest, with a kind of shame,
   Came to my knees with silent breath,  
   And sate awe-stricken at my feet;
   And soon the others left their play,
   And sate there too. It is unmeet
   To shed on the brief flower of youth
   The withering knowledge of the grave.
   From me remorse then wrung that truth.
   I could not bear the joy which gave
   Too just a response to mine own.
   In vain. I dared not feign a groan;
   And in their artless looks I saw,  
   Between the mists of fear and awe,
   That my own thought was theirs; and they
   Expressed it not in words, but said,
   Each in its heart, how every day
   Will pass in happy work and play,
   Now he is dead and gone away!

   After the funeral all our kin
   Assembled, and the will was read.
   My friend, I tell thee, even the dead
   Have strength, their putrid shrouds within,
   To blast and torture. Those who live
   Still fear the living, but a corse
   Is merciless, and Power doth give
   To such pale tyrants half the spoil
   He rends from those who groan and toil,
   Because they blush not with remorse
   Among their crawling worms. Behold,
   I have no child! my tale grows old
   With grief, and staggers; let it reach
   The limits of my feeble speech,
   And languidly at length recline
   On the brink of its own grave and mine.

   Thou knowest what a thing is Poverty
   Among the fallen on evil days.
   'T is Crime, and Fear, and Infamy,
   And houseless Want in frozen ways
   Wandering ungarmented, and Pain,
   And, worse than all, that inward stain,
   Foul Self-contempt, which drowns in sneers
   Youth's starlight smile, and makes its tears
   First like hot gall, then dry forever!
   And well thou knowest a mother never
   Could doom her children to this ill,
   And well he knew the same. The will
   Imported that, if e'er again
   I sought my children to behold,
   Or in my birthplace did remain
   Beyond three days, whose hours were told,
   They should inherit nought; and he,
   To whom next came their patrimony,
   A sallow lawyer, cruel and cold,
   Aye watched me, as the will was read,
   With eyes askance, which sought to see
   The secrets of my agony;
   And with close lips and anxious brow
   Stood canvassing still to and fro
   The chance of my resolve, and all
   The dead man's caution just did call;
   For in that killing lie 't was said
   'She is adulterous, and doth hold
   In secret that the Christian creed
   Is false, and therefore is much need
   That I should have a care to save
   My children from eternal fire.'
   Friend, he was sheltered by the grave,
   And therefore dared to be a liar!
   In truth, the Indian on the pyre
   Of her dead husband, half consumed,
   As well might there be false as I
   To those abhorred embraces doomed,
   Far worse than fire's brief agony.
   As to the Christian creed, if true
   Or false, I never questioned it;
   I took it as the vulgar do;
   Nor my vexed soul had leisure yet
   To doubt the things men say, or deem
   That they are other than they seem.

   All present who those crimes did hear,
   In feigned or actual scorn and fear,
   Men, women, children, slunk away,
   Whispering with self-contented pride
   Which half suspects its own base lie.
   I spoke to none, nor did abide,
   But silently I went my way,
   Nor noticed I where joyously
   Sate my two younger babes at play
   In the courtyard through which I passed;
   But went with footsteps firm and fast
   Till I came to the brink of the ocean green,
   And there, a woman with gray hairs,
   Who had my mother's servant been,
   Kneeling, with many tears and prayers,
   Made me accept a purse of gold,
   Half of the earnings she had kept
   To refuge her when weak and old.
   With woe, which never sleeps or slept,
   I wander now. 'T is a vain thought
   But on yon Alp, whose snowy head
   'Mid the azure air is islanded,
   (We see ito'er the flood of cloud,
   Which sunrise from its eastern caves
   Drives, wrinkling into golden waves,
   Hung with its precipices proud
   From that gray stone where first we met)
   Therenow who knows the dead feel nought?
   Should be my grave; for he who yet
   Is my soul's soul once said: ''T were sweet
   'Mid stars and lightnings to abide,
   And winds, and lulling snows that beat
   With their soft flakes the mountain wide,
   Where weary meteor lamps repose,
   And languid storms their pinions close,
   And all things strong and bright and pure,
   And ever during, aye endure.
   Who knows, if one were buried there,
   But these things might our spirits make,
   Amid the all-surrounding air,
   Their own eternity partake?'
   Then 't was a wild and playful saying
   At which I laughed or seemed to laugh.
   They were his wordsnow heed my praying,
   And let them be my epitaph.
   Thy memory for a term may be
   My monument. Wilt remember me?
   I know thou wilt; and canst forgive,
   Whilst in this erring world to live
   My soul disdained not, that I thought
   Its lying forms were worthy aught,
   And much less thee.

HELEN
             Oh, speak not so!
   But come to me and pour thy woe
   Into this heart, full though it be,
   Aye overflowing with its own.
   I thought that grief had severed me
   From all beside who weep and groan,
   Its likeness upon earth to be
   Its express image; but thou art
   More wretched. Sweet, we will not part
   Henceforth, if death be not division;
   If so, the dead feel no contrition.
   But wilt thou hear, since last we parted,
   All that has left me broken-hearted?

ROSALIND
   Yes, speak. The faintest stars are scarcely shorn
   Of their thin beams by that delusive morn
   Which sinks again in darkness, like the light
   Of early love, soon lost in total night.

HELEN
   Alas! Italian winds are mild,
   But my bosom is coldwintry cold;
   When the warm air weaves, among the fresh leaves,
   Soft music, my poor brain is wild,
   And I am weak like a nursling child,
   Though my soul with grief is gray and old.

ROSALIND
   Weep not at thine own words, though they must make
   Me weep. What is thy tale?

HELEN
                 I fear 't will shake
   Thy gentle heart with tears. Thou well
   Rememberest when we met no more;
   And, though I dwelt with Lionel,
   That friendless caution pierced me sore
   With grief; a wound my spirit bore
   Indignantlybut when he died,
   With him lay dead both hope and pride.

   Alas! all hope is buried now.
   But then men dreamed the aged earth
   Was laboring in that mighty birth
   Which many a poet and a sage
   Has aye foreseenthe happy age
   When truth and love shall dwell below
   Among the works and ways of men;
   Which on this world not power but will
   Even now is wanting to fulfil.

   Among mankind what thence befell
   Of strife, how vain, is known too well;
   When Liberty's dear pan fell
   'Mid murderous howls. To Lionel,
   Though of great wealth and lineage high,
   Yet through those dungeon walls there came
   Thy thrilling light, O Liberty!
   And as the meteor's midnight flame
   Startles the dreamer, sun-like truth
   Flashed on his visionary youth,
   And filled him, not with love, but faith,
   And hope, and courage mute in death;
   For love and life in him were twins,
   Born at one birth. In every other
   First life, then love, its course begins,
   Though they be children of one mother;
   And so through this dark world they fleet
   Divided, till in death they meet;
   But he loved all things ever. Then
   He passed amid the strife of men,
   And stood at the throne of armd power
   Pleading for a world of woe.
   Secure as one on a rock-built tower
   O'er the wrecks which the surge trails to and fro,
   'Mid the passions wild of humankind
   He stood, like a spirit calming them;
   For, it was said, his words could bind
   Like music the lulled crowd, and stem
   That torrent of unquiet dream
   Which mortals truth and reason deem,
   But is revenge and fear and pride.
   Joyous he was; and hope and peace
   On all who heard him did abide,
   Raining like dew from his sweet talk,
   As where the evening star may walk
   Along the brink of the gloomy seas,
   Liquid mists of splendor quiver.
   His very gestures touched to tears
   The unpersuaded tyrant, never
   So moved before; his presence stung
   The torturers with their victim's pain,
   And none knew how; and through their ears
   The subtle witchcraft of his tongue
   Unlocked the hearts of those who keep
   Gold, the world's bond of slavery.
   Men wondered, and some sneered to see
   One sow what he could never reap;
   For he is rich, they said, and young,
   And might drink from the depths of luxury.
   If he seeks fame, fame never crowned
   The champion of a trampled creed;  
   If he seeks power, power is enthroned
   'Mid ancient rights and wrongs, to feed
   Which hungry wolves with praise and spoil
   Those who would sit near power must toil;
   And such, there sitting, all may see.
   What seeks he? All that others seek
   He casts away, like a vile weed
   Which the sea casts unreturningly.
   That poor and hungry men should break
   The laws which wreak them toil and scorn
   We understand; but Lionel,
   We know, is rich and nobly born.
   So wondered they; yet all men loved
   Young Lionel, though few approved;
   All but the priests, whose hatred fell
   Like the unseen blight of a smiling day,
   The withering honey-dew which clings
   Under the bright green buds of May
   Whilst they unfold their emerald wings;
   For he made verses wild and queer
   On the strange creeds priests hold so dear
   Because they bring them land and gold.
   Of devils and saints and all such gear
   He made tales which whoso heard or read
   Would laugh till he were almost dead.
   So this grew a proverb: 'Don't get old
   Till Lionel's Banquet in Hell you hear,
   And then you will laugh yourself young again.'
   So the priests hated him, and he
   Repaid their hate with cheerful glee.

   Ah, smiles and joyance quickly died,
   For public hope grew pale and dim
   In an altered time and tide,
   And in its wasting withered him,
   As a summer flower that blows too soon
   Droops in the smile of the waning moon,
   When it scatters through an April night
   The frozen dews of wrinkling blight.
   None now hoped more. Gray Power was seated
   Safely on her ancestral throne;
   And Faith, the Python, undefeated
   Even to its blood-stained steps dragged on
   Her foul and wounded train; and men
   Were trampled and deceived again,
   And words and shows again could bind
   The wailing tribes of humankind
   In scorn and famine. Fire and blood
   Raged round the raging multitude,
   To fields remote by tyrants sent
   To be the scornd instrument
   With which they drag from mines of gore
   The chains their slaves yet ever wore;
   And in the streets men met each other,
   And by old altars and in halls,
   And smiled again at festivals.
   But each man found in his heart's brother
   Cold cheer; for all, though half deceived,
   The outworn creeds again believed,
   And the same round anew began
   Which the weary world yet ever ran.

   Many then wept, not tears, but gall,
   Within their hearts, like drops which fall
   Wasting the fountain-stone away.
   And in that dark and evil day
   Did all desires and thoughts that claim
   Men's careambition, friendship, fame,
   Love, hope, though hope was now despair
   Indue the colors of this change,
   As from the all-surrounding air
   The earth takes hues obscure and strange,
   When storm and earthquake linger there.

   And so, my friend, it then befell
   To many,most to Lionel,
   Whose hope was like the life of youth
   Within him, and when dead became
   A spirit of unresting flame,
   Which goaded him in his distress
   Over the world's vast wilderness.
   Three years he left his native land,
   And on the fourth, when he returned,
   None knew him; he was stricken deep
   With some disease of mind, and turned
   Into aught unlike Lionel.
   On himon whom, did he pause in sleep,
   Serenest smiles were wont to keep,
   And, did he wake, a wingd band
   Of bright Persuasions, which had fed
   On his sweet lips and liquid eyes,
   Kept their swift pinions half outspread
   To do on men his least command
   On him, whom once 't was paradise
   Even to behold, now misery lay.
   In his own heart 't was merciless
   To all things else none may express
   Its innocence and tenderness.

   'T was said that he had refuge sought
   In love from his unquiet thought
   In distant lands, and been deceived
   By some strange show; for there were found,
   Blotted with tearsas those relieved
   By their own words are wont to do
   These mournful verses on the ground,
   By all who read them blotted too.

   'How am I changed! my hopes were once like fire;
    I loved, and I believed that life was love.
   How am I lost! on wings of swift desire
    Among Heaven's winds my spirit once did move.
   I slept, and silver dreams did aye inspire
    My liquid sleep; I woke, and did approve
   All Nature to my heart, and thought to make
   A paradise of earth for one sweet sake.

   'I love, but I believe in love no more.
    I feel desire, but hope not. Oh, from sleep
   Most vainly must my weary brain implore
    Its long lost flattery now! I wake to weep,
   And sit through the long day gnawing the core
    Of my bitter heart, and, like a miser, keep
   Since none in what I feel take pain or pleasure
   To my own soul its self-consuming treasure.'

   He dwelt beside me near the sea;
   And oft in evening did we meet,
   When the waves, beneath the starlight, flee
   O'er the yellow sands with silver feet,
   And talked. Our talk was sad and sweet,
   Till slowly from his mien there passed
   The desolation which it spoke;
   And smilesas when the lightning's blast
   Has parched some heaven-delighting oak,
   The next spring shows leaves pale and rare,
   But like flowers delicate and fair,
   On its rent boughsagain arrayed
   His countenance in tender light;
   His words grew subtle fire, which made
   The air his hearers breathed delight;
   His motions, like the winds, were free,
   Which bend the bright grass gracefully,
   Then fade away in circlets faint;
   And wingd Hopeon which upborne
   His soul seemed hovering in his eyes,
   Like some bright spirit newly born
   Floating amid the sunny skies
   Sprang forth from his rent heart anew.
   Yet o'er his talk, and looks, and mien,
   Tempering their loveliness too keen,
   Past woe its shadow backward threw;
   Till, like an exhalation spread
   From flowers half drunk with evening dew,
   They did become infectioussweet
   And subtle mists of sense and thought,
   Which wrapped us soon, when we might meet,
   Almost from our own looks and aught
   The wild world holds. And so his mind
   Was healed, while mine grew sick with fear;
   For ever now his health declined,
   Like some frail bark which cannot bear
   The impulse of an altered wind,
   Though prosperous; and my heart grew full,
   'Mid its new joy, of a new care;
   For his cheek became, not pale, but fair,
   As rose-o'ershadowed lilies are;
   And soon his deep and sunny hair,
   In this alone less beautiful,
   Like grass in tombs grew wild and rare.
   The blood in his translucent veins
   Beat, not like animal life, but love
   Seemed now its sullen springs to move,
   When life had failed, and all its pains;
   And sudden sleep would seize him oft
   Like death, so calm,but that a tear,
   His pointed eye-lashes between,
   Would gather in the light serene
   Of smiles whose lustre bright and soft
   Beneath lay undulating there.
   His breath was like inconstant flame
   As eagerly it went and came;
   And I hung o'er him in his sleep,
   Till, like an image in the lake
   Which rains disturb, my tears would break
   The shadow of that slumber deep.
   Then he would bid me not to weep,
   And say, with flattery false yet sweet,
   That death and he could never meet,
   If I would never part with him.
   And so we loved, and did unite
   All that in us was yet divided;
   For when he said, that many a rite,
   By men to bind but once provided,
   Could not be shared by him and me,
   Or they would kill him in their glee,
   I shuddered, and then laughing said
   'We will have rites our faith to bind,
   But our church shall be the starry night,
   Our altar the grassy earth outspread,
   And our priest the muttering wind.'

   'T was sunset as I spoke. One star
   Had scarce burst forth, when from afar
   The ministers of misrule sent
   Seized upon Lionel, and bore
   His chained limbs to a dreary tower,
   In the midst of a city vast and wide.
   For he, they said, from his mind had bent
   Against their gods keen blasphemy,
   For which, though his soul must roasted be
   In hell's red lakes immortally,
   Yet even on earth must he abide
   The vengeance of their slaves: a trial,
   I think, men call it. What avail
   Are prayers and tears, which chase denial
   From the fierce savage nursed in hate?
   What the knit soul that pleading and pale
   Makes wan the quivering cheek which late
   It painted with its own delight?
   We were divided. As I could,
   I stilled the tingling of my blood,
   And followed him in their despite,
   As a widow follows, pale and wild,
   The murderers and corse of her only child;
   And when we came to the prison door,
   And I prayed to share his dungeon floor
   With prayers which rarely have been spurned,
   And when men drove me forth, and I
   Stared with blank frenzy on the sky,
   A farewell look of love he turned,
   Half calming me; then gazed awhile,
   As if through that black and massy pile,
   And through the crowd around him there,
   And through the dense and murky air,
   And the thronged streets, he did espy
   What poets know and prophesy;
   And said, with voice that made them shiver
   And clung like music in my brain,
   And which the mute walls spoke again
   Prolonging it with deepened strain
   'Fear not the tyrants shall rule forever,
   Or the priests of the bloody faith;
   They stand on the brink of that mighty river,
   Whose waves they have tainted with death;
   It is fed from the depths of a thousand dells,
   Around them it foams, and rages, and swells,
   And their swords and their sceptres I floating see,
   Like wrecks, in the surge of eternity.'

   I dwelt beside the prison gate;
   And the strange crowd that out and in
   Passed, some, no doubt, with mine own fate,
   Might have fretted me with its ceaseless din,
   But the fever of care was louder within.
   Soon but too late, in penitence
   Or fear, his foes released him thence.
   I saw his thin and languid form,
   As leaning on the jailor's arm,
   Whose hardened eyes grew moist the while
   To meet his mute and faded smile
   And hear his words of kind farewell,
   He tottered forth from his damp cell.
   Many had never wept before,
   From whom fast tears then gushed and fell;
   Many will relent no more,
   Who sobbed like infants then; ay, all
   Who thronged the prison's stony hall,
   The rulers or the slaves of law,
   Felt with a new surprise and awe
   That they were human, till strong shame
   Made them again become the same.
   The prison bloodhounds, huge and grim,
   From human looks the infection caught,
   And fondly crouched and fawned on him;
   And men have heard the prisoners say,
   Who in their rotting dungeons lay,
   That from that hour, throughout one day,
   The fierce despair and hate which kept
   Their trampled bosoms almost slept,
   Where, like twin vultures, they hung feeding
   On each heart's wound, wide torn and bleeding,
   Because their jailors' rule, they thought,
   Grew merciful, like a parent's sway.

   I know not how, but we were free;
   And Lionel sate alone with me,
   As the carriage drove through the streets apace;
   And we looked upon each other's face;
   And the blood in our fingers intertwined  
   Ran like the thoughts of a single mind,
   As the swift emotions went and came
   Through the veins of each united frame.
   So through the long, long streets we passed
   Of the million-peopled City vast;
   Which is that desert, where each one
   Seeks his mate yet is alone,
   Beloved and sought and mourned of none;
   Until the clear blue sky was seen,
   And the grassy meadows bright and green.
   And then I sunk in his embrace
   Enclosing there a mighty space
   Of love; and so we travelled on
   By woods, and fields of yellow flowers,
   And towns, and villages, and towers,
   Day after day of happy hours.
   It was the azure time of June,
   When the skies are deep in the stainless noon,
   And the warm and fitful breezes shake
   The fresh green leaves of the hedge-row briar;
   And there were odors then to make
   The very breath we did respire
   A liquid element, whereon
   Our spirits, like delighted things
   That walk the air on subtle wings,
   Floated and mingled far away
   'Mid the warm winds of the sunny day.
   And when the evening star came forth
   Above the curve of the new bent moon,
   And light and sound ebbed from the earth,
   Like the tide of the full and the weary sea
   To the depths of its own tranquillity,
   Our natures to its own repose
   Did the earth's breathless sleep attune;
   Like flowers, which on each other close
   Their languid leaves when daylight's gone,
   We lay, till new emotions came,
   Which seemed to make each mortal frame
   One soul of interwoven flame,
   A life in life, a second birth
   In worlds diviner far than earth;
   Which, like two strains of harmony
   That mingle in the silent sky,
   Then slowly disunite, passed by
   And left the tenderness of tears,
   A soft oblivion of all fears,
   A sweet sleep:so we travelled on
   Till we came to the home of Lionel,
   Among the mountains wild and lone,
   Beside the hoary western sea,
   Which near the verge of the echoing shore
   The massy forest shadowed o'er.

   The ancient steward with hair all hoar,
   As we alighted, wept to see
   His master changed so fearfully;
   And the old man's sobs did waken me
   From my dream of unremaining gladness;
   The truth flashed o'er me like quick madness
   When I looked, and saw that there was death
   On Lionel. Yet day by day
   He lived, till fear grew hope and faith,
   And in my soul I dared to say,
   Nothing so bright can pass away;
   Death is dark, and foul, and dull,
   But he isoh, how beautiful!
   Yet day by day he grew more weak,
   And his sweet voice, when he might speak,
   Which ne'er was loud, became more low;
   And the light which flashed through his waxen cheek
   Grew faint, as the rose-like hues which flow
   From sunset o'er the Alpine snow;
   And death seemed not like death in him,
   For the spirit of life o'er every limb
   Lingered, a mist of sense and thought.
   When the summer wind faint odors brought
   From mountain flowers, even as it passed,
   His cheek would change, as the noonday sea
   Which the dying breeze sweeps fitfully.
   If but a cloud the sky o'ercast,
   You might see his color come and go,
   And the softest strain of music made
   Sweet smiles, yet sad, arise and fade
   Amid the dew of his tender eyes;
   And the breath, with intermitting flow,
   Made his pale lips quiver and part.
   You might hear the beatings of his heart,
   Quick but not strong; and with my tresses
   When oft he playfully would bind
   In the bowers of mossy lonelinesses
   His neck, and win me so to mingle  
   In the sweet depth of woven caresses,
   And our faint limbs were intertwined,
   Alas! the unquiet life did tingle
   From mine own heart through every vein,
   Like a captive in dreams of liberty,
   Who beats the walls of his stony cell.
   But his, it seemed already free,
   Like the shadow of fire surrounding me!
   On my faint eyes and limbs did dwell
   That spirit as it passed, till soon
   As a frail cloud wandering o'er the moon,
   Beneath its light invisible,
   Is seen when it folds its gray wings again
   To alight on midnight's dusky plain
   I lived and saw, and the gathering soul
   Passed from beneath that strong control,
   And I fell on a life which was sick with fear
   Of all the woe that now I bear.

   Amid a bloomless myrtle wood,
   On a green and sea-girt promontory
   Not far from where we dwelt, there stood,
   In record of a sweet sad story,
   An altar and a temple bright
   Circled by steps, and o'er the gate
   Was sculptured, 'To Fidelity;'
   And in the shrine an image sate
   All veiled; but there was seen the light
   Of smiles which faintly could express
   A mingled pain and tenderness
   Through that ethereal drapery.
   The left hand held the head, the right
   Beyond the veil, beneath the skin,
   You might see the nerves quivering within
   Was forcing the point of a barbd dart
   Into its side-convulsing heart.
   An unskilled hand, yet one informed
   With genius, had the marble warmed
   With that pathetic life. This tale
   It told: A dog had from the sea,
   When the tide was raging fearfully,  
   Dragged Lionel's mother, weak and pale,
   Then died beside her on the sand,
   And she that temple thence had planned;
   But it was Lionel's own hand
   Had wrought the image. Each new moon
   That lady did, in this lone fane,
   The rites of a religion sweet
   Whose god was in her heart and brain.
   The seasons' loveliest flowers were strewn
   On the marble floor beneath her feet,
   And she brought crowns of sea-buds white
   Whose odor is so sweet and faint,
   And weeds, like branching chrysolite,
   Woven in devices fine and quaint;
   And tears from her brown eyes did stain
   The altar; need but look upon
   That dying statue, fair and wan,
   If tears should cease, to weep again;
   And rare Arabian odors came,
   Through the myrtle copses, steaming thence
   From the hissing frankincense,
   Whose smoke, wool-white as ocean foam,
   Hung in dense flocks beneath the dome
   That ivory dome, whose azure night
   With golden stars, like heaven, was bright
   O'er the split cedar's pointed flame;
   And the lady's harp would kindle there
   The melody of an old air,
   Softer than sleep; the villagers
   Mixed their religion up with hers,
   And, as they listened round, shed tears.

   One eve he led me to this fane.
   Daylight on its last purple cloud
   Was lingering gray, and soon her strain
   The nightingale began; now loud,
   Climbing in circles the windless sky,
   Now dying music; suddenly
   'T is scattered in a thousand notes;
   And now to the hushed ear it floats
   Like field-smells known in infancy,
   Then, failing, soothes the air again.
   We sate within that temple lone,
   Pavilioned round with Parian stone;
   His mother's harp stood near, and oft
   I had awakened music soft
   Amid its wires; the nightingale
   Was pausing in her heaven-taught tale.
   'Now drain the cup,' said Lionel,
   'Which the poet-bird has crowned so well
   With the wine of her bright and liquid song!
   Heard'st thou not sweet words among
   That heaven-resounding minstrelsy?
   Heard'st thou not that those who die
   Awake in a world of ecstasy?
   That love, when limbs are interwoven,
   And sleep, when the night of life is cloven,
   And thought, to the world's dim boundaries clinging,
   And music, when one beloved is singing,
   Is death? Let us drain right joyously
   The cup which the sweet bird fills for me.'
   He paused, and to my lips he bent
   His own; like spirit his words went
   Through all my limbs with the speed of fire;
   And his keen eyes, glittering through mine,
   Filled me with the flame divine
   Which in their orbs was burning far,
   Like the light of an unmeasured star
   In the sky of midnight dark and deep;
   Yes, 't was his soul that did inspire
   Sounds which my skill could ne'er awaken;
   And first, I felt my fingers sweep
   The harp, and a long quivering cry
   Burst from my lips in symphony;
   The dusk and solid air was shaken,
   As swift and swifter the notes came
   From my touch, that wandered like quick flame,
   And from my bosom, laboring
   With some unutterable thing.
   The awful sound of my own voice made
   My faint lips tremble; in some mood  
   Of wordless thought Lionel stood
   So pale, that even beside his cheek
   The snowy column from its shade
   Caught whiteness; yet his countenance,
   Raised upward, burned with radiance
   Of spirit-piercing joy whose light,
   Like the moon struggling through the night
   Of whirlwind-rifted clouds, did break
   With beams that might not be confined.
   I paused, but soon his gestures kindled
   New power, as by the moving wind
   The waves are lifted; and my song
   To low soft notes now changed and dwindled,
   And, from the twinkling wires among,
   My languid fingers drew and flung
   Circles of life-dissolving sound,
   Yet faint; in ary rings they bound
   My Lionel, who, as every strain
   Grew fainter but more sweet, his mien
   Sunk with the sound relaxedly;  
   And slowly now he turned to me,
   As slowly faded from his face
   That awful joy; with look serene
   He was soon drawn to my embrace,
   And my wild song then died away
   In murmurs; words I dare not say
   We mixed, and on his lips mine fed
   Till they methought felt still and cold.
   'What is it with thee, love?' I said;
   No word, no look, no motion! yes,
   There was a change, but spare to guess,
   Nor let that moment's hope be told.
   I looked,and knew that he was dead;
   And fell, as the eagle on the plain
   Falls when life deserts her brain,
   And the mortal lightning is veiled again.

   Oh, that I were now dead! but such
   Did they not, love, demand too much,
   Those dying murmurs?he forbade.
   Oh, that I once again were mad!
   And yet, dear Rosalind, not so,
   For I would live to share thy woe.
   Sweet boy! did I forget thee too?
   Alas, we know not what we do
   When we speak words.

              No memory more
   Is in my mind of that sea-shore.
   Madness came on me, and a troop
   Of misty shapes did seem to sit
   Beside me, on a vessel's poop,
   And the clear north wind was driving it.
   Then I heard strange tongues, and saw strange flowers,
   And the stars methought grew unlike ours,
   And the azure sky and the stormless sea
   Made me believe that I had died
   And waked in a world which was to me
   Drear hell, though heaven to all beside.
   Then a dead sleep fell on my mind,
   Whilst animal life many long years
   Had rescued from a chasm of tears;
   And, when I woke, I wept to find    
   That the same lady, bright and wise,
   With silver locks and quick brown eyes,
   The mother of my Lionel,
   Had tended me in my distress,
   And died some months before. Nor less
   Wonder, but far more peace and joy,
   Brought in that hour my lovely boy.
   For through that trance my soul had well
   The impress of thy being kept;
   And if I waked or if I slept,
   No doubt, though memory faithless be,
   Thy image ever dwelt on me;
   And thus, O Lionel, like thee
   Is our sweet child. 'T is sure most strange
   I knew not of so great a change
   As that which gave him birth, who now
   Is all the solace of my woe.

   That Lionel great wealth had left
   By will to me, and that of all
   The ready lies of law bereft    
   My child and me,might well befall.
   But let me think not of the scorn
   Which from the meanest I have borne,
   When, for my child's belovd sake,
   I mixed with slaves, to vindicate
   The very laws themselves do make;
   Let me not say scorn is my fate,
   Lest I be proud, suffering the same
   With those who live in deathless fame.

   She ceased.'Lo, where red morning through the woods
   Is burning o'er the dew!' said Rosalind.
   And with these words they rose, and towards the flood
   Of the blue lake, beneath the leaves, now wind
   With equal steps and fingers intertwined.
   Thence to a lonely dwelling, where the shore
   Is shadowed with steep rocks, and cypresses
   Cleave with their dark green cones the silent skies
   And with their shadows the clear depths below,

   And where a little terrace from its bowers
   Of blooming myrtle and faint lemon flowers
   Scatters its sense-dissolving fragrance o'er
   The liquid marble of the windless lake;
   And where the aged forest's limbs look hoar
   Under the leaves which their green garments make,
   They come. 'T is Helen's home, and clean and white,
   Like one which tyrants spare on our own land
   In some such solitude; its casements bright
   Shone through their vine-leaves in the morning sun,
   And even within 't was scarce like Italy.
   And when she saw how all things there were planned
   As in an English home, dim memory
   Disturbed poor Rosalind; she stood as one
   Whose mind is where his body cannot be,
   Till Helen led her where her child yet slept,
   And said, 'Observe, that brow was Lionel's,
   Those lips were his, and so he ever kept
   One arm in sleep, pillowing his head with it.
   You cannot see his eyesthey are two wells
   Of liquid love. Let us not wake him yet.'
   But Rosalind could bear no more, and wept
   A shower of burning tears which fell upon
   His face, and so his opening lashes shone
   With tears unlike his own, as he did leap
   In sudden wonder from his innocent sleep.

   So Rosalind and Helen lived together
   Thenceforthchanged in all else, yet friends again,
   Such as they were, when o'er the mountain heather
   They wandered in their youth through sun and rain.
   And after many years, for human things
   Change even like the ocean and the wind,
   Her daughter was restored to Rosalind,
   And in their circle thence some visitings
   Of joy 'mid their new calm would intervene.
   A lovely child she was, of looks serene,
   And motions which o'er things indifferent shed
   The grace and gentleness from whence they came.
   And Helen's boy grew with her, and they fed
   From the same flowers of thought, until each mind
   Like springs which mingle in one flood became;
   And in their union soon their parents saw
   The shadow of the peace denied to them.
   And Rosalindfor when the living stem
   Is cankered in its heart, the tree must fall
   Died ere her time; and with deep grief and awe
   The pale survivors followed her remains
   Beyond the region of dissolving rains,
   Up the cold mountain she was wont to call
   Her tomb; and on Chiavenna's precipice
   They raised a pyramid of lasting ice,
   Whose polished sides, ere day had yet begun,
   Caught the first glow of the unrisen sun,
   The last, when it had sunk; and through the night
   The charioteers of Arctos wheeld round
   Its glittering point, as seen from Helen's home,
   Whose sad inhabitants each year would come,
   With willing steps climbing that rugged height,
   And hang long locks of hair, and garlands bound
   With amaranth flowers, which, in the clime's despite,
   Filled the frore air with unaccustomed light;
   Such flowers as in the wintry memory bloom
   Of one friend left adorned that frozen tomb.

   Helen, whose spirit was of softer mould,
   Whose sufferings too were less, death slowlier led
   Into the peace of his dominion cold.
   She died among her kindred, being old.
   And know, that if love die not in the dead
   As in the living, none of mortal kind
   Are blessed as now Helen and Rosalind.
Begun at Marlow, 1817 (summer); already in the press, March, 1818; finished at the Baths of Lucca, August, 1818; published with other poems, as the title-piece of a slender volume, by C. & J. Ollier, London, 1819 (spring).

Note by Mrs. Shelley: 'Rosalind and Helen was begun at Marlow, and thrown aside -- till I found it; and, at my request, it was completed. Shelley had no care for any of his poems that did not emanate from the depths of his mind and develop some high or abstruse truth. When he does touch on human life and the human heart, no pictures can be more faithful, more delicate, more subtle, or more pathetic. He never mentioned Love but he shed a grace borrowed from his own nature, that scarcely any other poet has bestowed, on that passion. When he spoke of it as the law of life, which inasmuch as we rebel against we err and injure ourselves and others, he promulgated that which he considered an irrefragable truth. In his eyes it was the essence of our being, and all woe and pain arose from the war made against it by selfishness, or insensibility, or mistake. By reverting in his mind to this first principle, he discovered the source of many emotions, and could disclose the secrets of all hearts; and his delineations of passion and emotion touch the finest chords of our nature.
Rosalind and Helen was finished during the summer of 1818, while we were at the baths of Lucca.'

  
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Rosalind and Helen - a Modern Eclogue


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https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Cold_Mountain_(film)
Cold Mountain (2003) ::: 7.2/10 -- R | 2h 34min | Adventure, Drama, History | 25 December 2003 (USA) -- In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart. Director: Anthony Minghella Writers:
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