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The Tempest
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--- QUOTES [3 / 3 - 342 / 342] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



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1:Nothing of him that doth fadeBut doth suffer a sea-changeInto something rich and strange. ~ William Shakespeare, The Tempest ,
2:Then if the tempest be loud and the thunderbolt leaping incessantShatters the roof, if the lintels flame at last and each corniceShrieks with the pain of the blast, if the very pillars totter,Keep yet your faith in Zeus, hold fast to the word of ~ Sri Aurobindo, Collected Poems 5.1.01 - Ilion,
3:And for the same reason, because that which we are seeking through beauty is in the end that which we are seeking through religion, the Absolute, the Divine. The search for beauty is only in its beginning a satisfaction in the beauty of form, the beauty which appeals to the physical senses and the vital impressions, impulsions, desires. It is only in the middle a satisfaction in the beauty of the ideas seized, the emotions aroused, the perception of perfect process and harmonious combination. Behind them the soul of beauty in us desires the contact, the revelation, the uplifting delight of an absolute beauty in all things which it feels to be present, but which neither the senses and instincts by themselves can give, though they may be its channels, - for it is suprasensuous, - nor the reason and intelligence, though they too are a channel, - for it is suprarational, supra-intellectual, - but to which through all these veils the soul itself seeks to arrive. When it can get the touch of this universal, absolute beauty, this soul of beauty, this sense of its revelation in any slightest or greatest thing, the beauty of a flower, a form, the beauty and power of a character, an action, an event, a human life, an idea, a stroke of the brush or the chisel or a scintillation of the mind, the colours of a sunset or the grandeur of the tempest, it is then that the sense of beauty in us is really, powerfully, entirely satisfied. It is in truth seeking, as in religion, for the Divine, the All-Beautiful in man, in nature, in life, in thought, in art; for God is Beauty and Delight hidden in the variation of his masks and forms. When, fulfilled in our growing sense and knowledge of beauty and delight in beauty and our power for beauty, we are able to identify ourselves in soul with this Absolute and Divine in all the forms and activities of the world and shape an image of our inner and our outer life in the highest image we can perceive and embody of the All-Beautiful, then the aesthetic being in us who was born for this end, has fulfilled himself and risen to his divine consummation. To find highest beauty is to find God; to reveal, to embody, to create, as we say, highest beauty is to bring out of our souls the living image and power of God. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle 144,

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:play The Tempest, ~ Harold Schechter
2:The tree the tempest with a crash of wood ~ Robert Frost
3:What is past is prologue.' - Shakespeare (The Tempest) ~ William Shakespeare
4:Day and night, their frail and crippled ships defy the tempest. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
5:The tempests of youth are mingled with days of brilliant sunshine. ~ Luc de Clapiers
6:Character is constructed amidst the tempests of the World ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
7:This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine. ~ Prospero [The Tempest] William Shakespeare
8:The tempest threatens before it comes; houses creak before they fall. ~ Seneca the Younger
9:Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty. ~ Thomas Jefferson
10:Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. ~ Thomas Jefferson
11:Hell is empty,
All the devils are here. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, THE TEMPEST ~ Victoria Schwab
12:For the helmsman is recognized in the tempest; in the warfare the soldier is proved. ~ Cyprian
13:Hell is empty And all the devils are here. —William Shakespeare, The Tempest ~ Matthew FitzSimmons
14:An horrible stillness first invades our ear, And in that silence we the tempest fear. ~ John Dryden
15:If its danger you seek, come on over. I covet tranquility but beget the tempest storm. ~ Donna Lynn Hope
16:The willow which bends to the tempest often escapes better than the oak which resists it. ~ Walter Scott
17:Innovation opportunities do not come with the tempest but with the rustling of the breeze. ~ Peter Drucker
18:I was caught up in the tempest of this woman and I was in no hurry to get myself free of her. ~ Jay Crownover
19:How sharp the point of this remembrance is! ~ William Shakespeare, The Tempest, c. 1610-11, Act V, scene 1, line 137.
20:Marriage makes a man more vulnerable by doubling the expanse of sail exposed to the tempests of social life. ~ Andre Maurois
21:Do not give dalliance Too much the rein; the strongest oaths are straw To the fire i’the blood. The Tempest     As ~ Stendhal
22:On me the tempest falls. It does not make me tremble. O holy Mother Earth, O air and sun, behold me. I am wronged. ~ Aeschylus
23:Both the teardrop and the tempest are made of water, making it the most yielding and most destructive force on Earth. ~ Fiona Paul
24:Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange. ~ William Shakespeare, The Tempest,
25:The characters [of The Tempest] have always been favorites of mine. It is one of his meditations on art - what it does. ~ Margaret Atwood
26:And deeper than did ever plummet sound,  I'll drown my book. ~ William Shakespeare, The Tempest (c. 1610-1612), Act V, scene 1, line 56.
27:As long as the firmament of the You is spread over me, the tempests of causality cower at my heels, and whirl of doom congeals. ~ Martin Buber
28:Not in the flight of ideas, but only in action is freedom. Make up your mind and come out into the tempest of the living. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
29:The shackles and the chains, the violence and aggression, the pettiness and scorn, the jealousy and hatred, the tempest and discord. ~ Joe Walsh
30:Darcy’s got the tempestuous masculinity and brooding looks, but Knightley is a kinder, softer man with no pretense or dissimilation. ~ Katherine Reay
31:Even as the high mountain-chains remain immobile in the midst of the tempest, so the true sage remains unshaken amidst praise and blame. ~ Dhammapada
32:How fleet is a glance of the mind! Compared with the speed of its flight, The tempest itself lags behind, And the swift-winged arrows of light. ~ William Cowper
33:It's hard to think that say Shakespeare could have written "The Tempest" when he was young. It seems to be reflective work or retrospective work. ~ Edward Hirsch
34:Jesus is in the tempest. His love wraps the night about itself as a mantle, but to the eye of faith the sable robe is scarce a disguise. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
35:I’ll break my staff, Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, And deeper than did ever plummet sound I’ll drown my book. —William Shakespeare, The Tempest ~ Anonymous
36:He implores the expanse, the waves, the seaweed, the reef; they are deaf. He beseeches the tempest; the imperturbable tempest obeys only the infinite. ~ Victor Hugo
37:I’ll break my staff, Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, And deeper than did ever plummet sound I’ll drown my book. —William Shakespeare, The Tempest ~ Lev Grossman
38:Shakespeare's last play was called The Tempest. It wasn't called just plain Tempest. The name of my record is just plain Tempest. It's two different titles. ~ Bob Dylan
39:Whence, it may be asked, had come that plaything of the tempest? From what part of the world did it rise? It surely could not have started during the storm. ~ Jules Verne
40:Go back to bed so that, when the tempest comes, you'll be strong enough to deal with it. And the tempest is coming, dear one. Very soon. But not tonight. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
41:My home...It is my retreat and resting place from wars, I try to keep this corner as a haven against the tempest outside, as I do another corner in my soul. ~ Michel de Montaigne
42:The tempest unleashes an alphabetletters fall through the apertures of crazy anglesto spell out the futureuprooting the course of inventionand enslaving the masters ~ Nancy Peters
43:All the fears and doubts surrounding her grief and regrets were swept up into the tempest of the music, poising here in the centre of the moment, a clear vessel of joy. ~ Alison Croggon
44:Ignorance and prejudice are the ballast of our ship of state - however, ships without ballast are not seaworthy and cannot sail in the tempests, nor reach a safe harbor. ~ George Orwell
45:The tree the tempest with a crash of wood
Throws down in front of us is not to bar
Our passage to our journey's end for good,
But just to ask us who we think we are ~ Robert Frost
46:Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnished me  From mine own library with volumes that  I prize above my dukedom. ~ William Shakespeare, The Tempest (c. 1610-1612), Act I, scene 2, line 165.
47:Re-Edified
Lord of the tempest, pray refrain
From leveling this church again.
Now in its doom, as so you've willed it,
We acquiesce. But _you'll_ rebuild it.
~ Ambrose Bierce
48:A marriage is a solemn affair. The tempest of emotions and the myriad of arrangements are giddying, and when one is faced with these, clothing seems to be the last of one's priorities. ~ Daphne Guinness
49:The government has more data at its disposal and more ways of talking and listening to citizens—but only one-quarter as many people find it trustworthy as did in the tempestuous 1960s. ~ Anand Giridharadas
50:Hush! Still as death, The tempest holds his breath As from a sudden will; The rain stops short, but from the eaves You see it drop, and hear it from the leaves, All is so bodingly still. ~ James Russell Lowell
51:The Poet is like the prince of the clouds, who haunts the tempest and laughs at the archer. Exiled on the ground in the midst of the jeering crowd, his giant's wings keep him from walking. ~ Charles Baudelaire
52:In the broad light of day, I could not give his tale nearly so much credence as I had granted it when sitting rapt before a midnight fireplace whilst the tempest without erased the natural world. ~ Lyndsay Faye
53:Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek so pale? How chance the roses there do fade so fast?

Her. Belike for want of rain, which I could well beteem them from the tempest of my eyes. ~ William Shakespeare
54:I saw all of the films [based on The Tempest] available, including the one with Helen Mirren in which Prospero is Prospera - you wonder, "Would it work?" But it does, because anything she does works. ~ Margaret Atwood
55:The poet resembles this prince of cloud and sky Who frequents the tempest and laughs at the bowman; When exiled on the earth, the butt of hoots and jeers, His giant wings prevent him from walking. ~ Charles Baudelaire
56:To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict God says, "Be still, and know that I am God," and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence. ~ A W Tozer
57:I said, “O that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.” Psalm 55: 6–8 ~ Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
58:He had no idea that I could be a female devil with an innocent face who was trying to suppress the tempests of lust boiling up inside her, a woman who remained distant from everybody else as she waited to be discovered. ~ Cezmi Ers z
59:In this snug, over-safe corner of the world… we may realize that our comfortable routine is no eternal necessity of things, but merely a little space of calm in the midst of the tempestuous, untamed and streaming world. ~ George F Will
60:Jesu, lover of my soul, Let me to thy bosom fly, While the nearer waters roll, While the tempest still is high; Hide me,O my Saviour, hide, Till the storm of life is past; Safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last. ~ Charles Wesley
61:The tempestuous stretch of river below that dam, however, represents something no less central to the national ethos: the fact that another aspect of our character as a people derives from an extended encounter with wilderness. ~ Kevin Fedarko
62:When we read Othello, we only behold the tempest of the passions and the wreck of a great soul; but when we see Othello, we are affronted by the color of the Moor's skin, and we are brought face to face with the vulgarities of the bolster! ~ Ouida
63:Stephen Hopkins was making his second trip to America. Eleven years earlier in 1609 he had sailed on the Sea Venture for Virginia, only to become shipwrecked in Bermudaan incident that became the basis for Shakespeare’s The Tempest. ~ Nathaniel Philbrick
64:We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God. If at times we are somewhat stunned by the tempest, never fear. Let us take breath, and go on afresh. ~ Saint Francis de Sales
65:The willow which bends to the tempest, often escapes better than the oak which resists it; and so in great calamities, it sometimes happens that light and frivolous spirits recover their elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character. ~ Albert Schweitzer
66:Other than along certain emotional tangents there was little in the book that felt as if it had actually been lived. It was a fiction produced by someone who knew only fictions, The Tempest as written by isolate Miranda, raised on the romances in her father's library. ~ Michael Chabon
67:Power exhibits itself under two distinct forms,--strength and force,--each possessing peculiar qualities, and each perfect in its own sphere. Strength is typified by the oak, the rock, the mountain. Force embodies itself in the cataract, the tempest, and the thunder-bolt. ~ James A Garfield
68:Then if the tempest be loud and the thunderbolt leaping incessant
Shatters the roof, if the lintels flame at last and each cornice
Shrieks with the pain of the blast, if the very pillars totter,
Keep yet your faith in Zeus, hold fast to the word of ~ Sri Aurobindo, Collected Poems, Ilion,
69:Fear and trembling penetrate me, and I am enveloped with horror. And I said, "If only I had wings like the dove! I would fly off and find rest. Behold, I would wander afar, and lodge in the wilderness forever. I would hurry to find shelter for myself from the stormy wind, from the tempest. ~ Anonymous
70:The ever-new passions which consumed her gave to her life the appearance of those clouds which float in the heavens, reflecting sometimes azure, sometimes fire, sometimes the opaque blackness of the tempest, and which leave no traces upon the earth behind them but devastation and death. ~ Alexandre Dumas
71:In this snug, oversafe corner of the world we need it, that we may realize that our comfortable routine is no eternal necessity of things, but merely a little space of calm in the midst of the tempestuous untamed streaming of the world, and in order that we may be ready for danger. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr
72:do not let our princes accuse fortune for the loss of their principalities after so many years’ possession, but rather their own sloth, because in quiet times they never thought there could be a change (it is a common defect in man not to make any provision in the calm against the tempest), and ~ Niccol Machiavelli
73:After searching for it uselessly in the taste of the earth, in the perfumed letters from Pietro Crespi, in the tempestuous bed of her husband, she had found peace in that house where memories materialized through the strength of implacable evocation and walked like human beings through the cloistered rooms. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez
74:To blame or praise men on account of the result, is almost like praising or blaming figures on account of the sum total. Whatever is to happen, happens; whatever is to blow, blows. The eternal serenity does not suffer from these north winds. Above Revolutions, Truth and Justice reign, as the starry heavens above the tempest. ~ Victor Hugo
75:In a world of discouragement, sorrow, and overmuch sin, in times when fear and despair seem to prevail, when humanity is feverish with no worldly physicians in sigh, I too say, Trust Jesus. Let Him still the tempest and ride upon the storm. Believe that He can lift mankind from its bed of affliction, in time and in eternity. ~ Jeffrey R Holland
76:As children, we had access to all the open space imaginable. We would set up camps in rural Utah where the Tempest Company was at work laying pipe. We spent time around the West in Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, and Colorado. Wild beautiful places. Now, many of these natural places have disappeared under the press of development. ~ Terry Tempest Williams
77:And will you love me for a day? A year? A lifetime?" She knew the answer but wanted to hear him say it in that beautiful, shattered voice.
"Beyond that," he whispered, eyes shining with the tempest of emotion he'd held in check until now. "Beyond the reign of false gods and meddlesome priests. Beyond al Zafira when her bright stars fade. ~ Grace Draven
78:As long as the firmament of the You is spread over me, the tempests of causality cower at my heels, and the whirl of doom congeals.

The human being to whom I say You I do not experience. But i stand in relation to him, in the sacred basic word. Only when I step out of this do I experience him again. Experience is remoteness from You. ~ Martin Buber
79:. . . For that he was a spirit too delicate
To act their earthy and abhorr’d commands,
Refusing their grand hests, they did confine him
By help of their most potent ministers,
And in their most unmitigable rage,
Into a cloven pine; within which rift
Imprisoned, he didst painfully remain. . . . Shakespeare. The Tempest. ~ Madeleine L Engle
80:Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity, and bluster make a man dear to God. But we may take heart. To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict, God says, Be still, and know that I am God, and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence. It ~ A W Tozer
81:You mean we're going chronological order within each author?" he gasped. "But no one even knows for sure when Shakespeare wrote his plays!"
"Well," I blustered, "we know he wrote Romeo and Juliet before The Tempest. I'd like to see that reflected on our shelves."
George says that was one of the few times he has seriously contemplated divorce. ~ Anne Fadiman
82:One could think of American society as Bishop Warburton thought of the English Church, that like the ark of Noah it “is worth saving, not for the sake of the unclean beasts that almost filled it and probably made most noise and clamour in it, but for the little corner of rationality that was as much distressed by the stink within as by the tempest without.” Nevertheless, ~ Albert Jay Nock
83:He, at this very moment, issues invitations by the millions. He whispers through the kindness of a grandparent, shouts through the tempest of a tsunami. Through the funeral he cautions, “Life is fragile.” Through a sickness he reminds, “Days are numbered.” God may speak through nature or nurture, majesty or mishap. But through all and to all he invites: “Come, enjoy me forever. ~ Max Lucado
84:Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore. ~ Edgar Allan Poe
85:Do and dare what is right, not swayed by the whim of the moment. Bravely take hold of the real, not dallying now with what might be. Not in the flight of ideas but only in action is freedom. Make up your mind and come out into the tempest of living. God’s command is enough and your faith in him to sustain you. Then at last freedom will welcome your spirit amid great rejoicing. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
86:We, the Sworn Sisterhood, do solemnly vow to take back Acadia from those who are responsible for the scourge of the dragon and the tempests. We will fight them with our hands and our weapons. We will fight them with the power of our conviction. We will face the enemy without fear. We will take the enemy down and bring the enemy to justice and there is nothing that can stand in our way. ~ Mercedes Lackey
87:Art is enchantment and artists have the right of spells. ... The success of later Shakespeare is the success of spells, where every element, however uneven, however incredible, is fastened to the next with perfect authority. The enchanted world shimmers but does not waver. A Midsummer Night's Dream is the first of his plays to accomplish this, The Tempest is enchantment's apotheosis. ~ Jeanette Winterson
88:If we are encouraged to read high fantasies like The Tempest and urged to “enjoy a magic island and ‘believe’ in an Ariel and a Caliban,” then why should we not also “suspend our disbelief” and enjoy the invented world of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings? Why not enter in and believe also in the magic of barrow-wights and orc-blades, Hobbiton, Tom Bombadil, and the tree-top city of Lothlórien? ~ Diana Pavlac Glyer
89:From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to give up; I wanted to give up on living. There was no denying that tomorrow would come, and the day after tomorrow, and so next week, too. I never thought it would be this hard, but I would go on living in the midst of a glomy depression, and that made me feel sick to the depths of my soul. In spite of the tempest raging within me, I walked the night path calmly. ~ Banana Yoshimoto
90:I.
When a lover clasps his fairest,
Then be our dread sport the rarest.
Their caresses were like the chaff
In the tempest, and be our laugh
His despairher epitaph!

II.
When a mother clasps her child,
Watch till dusty Death has piled
His cold ashes on the clay;
She has loved it many a day--
She remains,it fades away.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, When A Lover Clasps His Fairest

91:If in some cases a bit of a nautical Murat in setting forth his person ashore, the Handsome Sailor of the period in question evinced nothing of the dandified Billy-be-Dam, an amusing character all but extinct now, but occasionally to be encountered, and in a form yet more amusing than the original, at the tiller of the boats on the tempestuous Erie Canal or, more likely, vaporing in the groggeries along the towpath. ~ Herman Melville
92:Now on the hills I hear the thunder mutter... Nearer and nearer rolls the thunder-clap, - You can hear the quick heart of the tempest beat.... Look! look! that livid flash! And instantly follows the rattling thunder, As if some cloud-crag, split asunder, Fell, splintering with a ruinous crash, On the Earth, which crouches in silence under; And now a solid gray wall of rain Shuts off the landscape, mile by mile. ~ James Russell Lowell
93:The feel of a canoe gunnel at the thigh, the splash of flying spray in the face, the rhythm of the snowshoe trail, the beckoning of far-off hills and valleys, the majesty of the tempest, the calm and silent presence of the trees that seem to muse and ponder in their silence; the trust and confidence of small living creatures, the company of simple men; these have been my inspiration and my guide. Without them I am nothing. ~ Grey Owl
94:When the tumult of war shall cease, and the tempest of present passions be succeeded by calm reflection, or when those, who, surviving its fury, shall inherit from you a legacy of debts and misfortunes, when the yearly revenue scarcely be able to discharge the interest of the one, and no possible remedy be left for the other, ideas far different from the present will arise, and embitter the remembrance of former follies. ~ Thomas Paine
95:it is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble the foe;—and if you were to rear an oak sapling in a hothouse, tending it carefully night and day, and shielding it from every breath of wind, you could not expect it to become a hardy tree, like that which has grown up on the mountain-side, exposed to all the action of the elements, and not even sheltered from the shock of the tempest.' 'Granted;—but ~ Anne Bront
96:For when the grace of God cometh to a man, then he becometh able to do all things, and when it departeth then he will be poor and weak and given up unto troubles. In these thou art not to be cast down nor to despair, but to rest with calm mind on the will of God, and to bear all things which come upon thee unto the praise of Jesus Christ; for after winter cometh summer, after night returneth day, after the tempest a great calm. ~ Thomas Kempis
97:Typhoons are a sort of violent whirlwinds. Before these whirlwinds come on... there appears a heavy cloud to the northeast which is very black near the horizon, but toward the upper part is a dull reddish color. The tempest came with great violence, but after a while, the winds ceased all at once and a calm succeeded. This lasted... an hour, more or less, then the gales were turned around, blowing with great fury from the southwest. ~ William Dampier
98:The machine which at first blush seems a means of isolating man from the great problems of nature, actually plunges him more deeply into them. As for the peasant so for the pilot, dawn and twilight become events of consequence. His essential problems are set him by the mountain, the sea, the wind. Alone before the vast tribunal of the tempestuous sky, the pilot defends his mails and debates on terms of equality with those three elemental divinities. ~ Antoine de Saint Exup ry
99:We picture the world as thick with conquering and elate humanity, but here, with the bugles of the tempest peeling, it was hard to imagine a peopled earth. One viewed the existence of man then as a marvel, and conceded a glamour of wonder to these lice which were caused to cling to a whirling, fire-smitten, ice-locked, disease-stricken, space-lost bulb. The conceit of man was explained by this storm to be the very engine of life. One was a coxcomb not to die in it. ~ Stephen Crane
100:If you see the fury and hear the howling of the tempest, or read of shipwrecks, think of the storm of human passions causing daily groans and disturbance in the hearts of men, wrecking the spiritual ship of the soul or the ship of human society; and pray fervently to the Lord that He may subdue the tempest of sins, as He once subdued the tempest at sea by His word, and that He may root our passions from our hearts, and re-establish in them unceasing tranquility. ~ John of Kronstadt
101:I stand still for a long time, holding the note, and let it all sink in. Her leaving is almost palpable like a gale-force wind that’s rolled into my life in the span of a single evening and left behind all this incalculable destruction, both inside and out. Yes, the tempest has passed, but the air around me feels different. I can hardly breathe. Nothing is the same without her. As the lone survivor of her particular storm, I begin to wonder just exactly what I’m supposed to do now. ~ Katherine Owen
102:Fasting is, as much as lies in us, an imitation of the angels, a contemning of things present, a school of prayer, a nourishment of the soul, a bridle of the mouth, an abatement of concupiscence: it mollifies rage, it appeases anger, it calms the tempests of nature, it excites reason, it clears the mind, it disburdens the flesh, it chases away night-pollutions, it frees from head-ache. By fasting, a man gets composed behaviour, free utterance of his tongue, right apprehensions of hismind. ~ John Piper
103:Go back to bed, said this omniscient interior voice, because you don’t need to know the final answer right now, at three o’clock in the morning on a Thursday in November. Go back to bed, because I love you. Go back to bed, because the only thing you need to do for now is get some rest and take good care of yourself until you do know the answer. Go back to bed so that, when the tempest comes, you’ll be strong enough to deal with it. And the tempest is coming, dear one. Very soon. But not tonight ~ Anonymous
104:The tempest was terrible and separated me from my [other] vessels that night, putting every one of them in desperate straits, with nothing to look forward to but death. Each was certain the others had been destroyed. What man ever born, not excepting Job, who would not have died of despair, when in such weather seeking safety for my son, my brother, shipmates, and myself, we were forbidden [access to] the land and the harbors which I, by God's will and sweating blood, had won for Spain? ~ Christopher Columbus
105:The Elements respect their Maker's seal!
Still Like the scathed pine tree's height,
Braving the tempests of the night
Have I 'scaped the flickering flame.
Like the scathed pine, which a monument stands
Of faded grandeur, which the brands
Of the tempest-shaken air
Have riven on the desolate heath;
Yet it stands majestic even in death,
And rears its wild form there.
Published as Shelley's by Medwin, 'Life of Shelley', 1847, 1 page 56
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Fragment From The Wandering Jew

106:At the happy ending of the Tempest, Prospero brings the kind back togeter with his son, and finds Miranda's true love and punishes the bad duke and frees Ariel and becomes a duke himself again. Everyone - except Caliban - is happy, and everyone is forgiven, and everyone is fine, and they all sail away on calm seas. Happy endings.
That's how it is in Shakespeare.
But Shakespeare was wrong.
Sometimes there isn't a Prospero to make everything fine again.
And sometimes the quality of mercy is strained. ~ Gary D Schmidt
107:Very often, when tides start turning, great gears start shifting, and gusting winds start blowing at the onset of a really wonderful dream's alignment with your present life, there is commotion, unpredictability, even turmoil.

So, hey, let's always assume that's the case whenever you experience commotion, unpredictability, even turmoil. K?

Let not your senses deceive, for even as the tempest may howl, just beyond it lies a serenity that could not otherwise find you. The storm before the calm, if you will. ~ Mike Dooley
108:A Poet’s Thought
TELL me, what is a poet’s thought?
Is it on the sudden born?
Is it from the starlight caught?
Is it by the tempest taught,
Or by whispering morn?
Was it cradled in the brain?
Chain’d awhile, or nurs’d in night?
Was it wrought with toil and pain?
Did it bloom and fade again,
Ere it burst to light?
No more question of its birth:
Rather love its better part!
’T is a thing of sky and earth,
Gathering all its golden worth
From the Poet’s heart.
~ Barry Cornwall
109:I tensed, waiting for the fury - both his and mine - but it was only quiet and calm in the darkness of his room. I could almost taste the sweetness of reunion in the air, a separate fragrance from the perfume of his breath; the emptiness when we were apart left its own bitter aftertaste, something I didn't consciously notice until it was removed. There was no friction in the space between us. The stillness was peaceful - not like the calm before the tempest, but like a clear night untouched by even the dream of a storm. ~ Stephenie Meyer
110:This is definitely not the hour when men take kindly to an exhortation to listen, for listening is not today a part of popular religion. We are at the opposite end of the pole from there. Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God. But we may take heart. To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict God says, "Be still, and know that I am God," and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence. ~ A W Tozer
111:The sacrificial part of the Greek religion had to do with submitting to the wild chaotic world beyond one’s own will; getting used to the idea that your rational plans will be knocked around by larger forces. The ecstatic-ritual part of ancient Greek religion was a kind of throwing oneself into the chaos, not pitting your rationality against the tempestuous world, but rather leaving your rationality on the shore, letting the waves toss you about, and coming to identify with the waves, with the storm, with the weather. ~ Jennifer Michael Hecht
112:Those of us who know not the secret of properly regulating our own existence on this tumultuous sea of foolish troubles we call life are constantly in a state of misery while vainly trying to appear happy and contented. We stagger in the attempt to keep our moral equilibrium and see forerunners
of the tempest in every cloud that floats on the horizon. Yet there is joy and beauty in the roll of the billows as they sweep outward toward eternity. Why not enter into their spirit, or, like Liethse, ride upon the hurricane itself? ~ Kakuz Okakura
113:I tensed, waiting for the fury - both his and mine - but it was only quiet and calm in the darkness of his room. I could almost taste the sweetness of reunion in the air, a separate fragrance from the perfume of his breath; the emptiness when we were apart left its own bitter aftertaste, something I didn't consciously notice until it was removed.

There was no friction in the space between us. The stillness was peaceful - not like the calm before the tempest, but like a clear night untouched by even the dream of a storm. ~ Stephenie Meyer
114:The whirlwind of life
It was true. Sometimes life was like that, a wonderful whirlwind that fills us with joy, like a ride on a merry-go-round when we are children. A whirlwind of love and drunkenness when you sleep in someones arms, in a tiny bed, getting up for breakfast at midday because you've spent the morning making love. But sometimes a whirlwind destroys things, like a violent typhoon that tries to drag us down, when we have been caught by the storm, when we realize that we have to face the tempest alone. And we are afraid. ~ Guillaume Musso
115:Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. 2. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. 3. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. 4. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. 5. The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. ~ Anonymous
116:It is of no use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no rough winds pass over us. Those old gnarlings on the root of the oak tree, and those strange twistings of the branches, all tell of the many storms that have swept over it, and they are also indicators of the depth into which the roots have forced their way. So the Christian is made strong, and firmly rooted by all the trials and storms of life. Shrink not then from the tempestuous winds of trial, but take comfort, believing that by their rough discipline God is fulfilling this benediction to you. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
117:Whoever will listen will hear the speaking Heaven. This is definitely not the hour when men take kindly to an exhortation to listen, for listening is not today a part of popular religion. We are at the opposite end of the pole from there. Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God. But we may take heart. To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict God says, "Be still, and know that I am God," and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence. ~ A W Tozer
118:Huge clouds were already careering in the skies, and distant flashes announced a tempest. About ten o'clock, the storm burst forth; and Milady found some consolation in seeing Nature partake of the commotion within her. The thunder bellowed in the air like the angry passions in her soul; and it seemed to her as if the passing gusts disturbed her brow, as they did the trees of which they bent down the branches and sept off the leaves. She howled like the tempest, but her voice was unheard Amidst the vast voice of Nature, which also appeared to be herself groaning in despair. ~ Alexandre Dumas
119:There was, I thought, something calling to me from out in the dark.
It came from out in the tempest, even from the lights of the fishing boats a mile out at sea. You can be called to a last effort, a final heroic statement, because I doubt you call yourself to leave comforts and certainties for an open road. But the call is inside your own head. It's a sad summons from the depths of your own wasted past. You could call it the imperative to go out with full-tilt trumpets and gunshots instead of the quietly desperate sound of the hospital ventilator. Victory instead of defeat. ~ Lawrence Osborne
120:1103
Through Lane It Lay—through Bramble
Through lane it lay—through bramble—
Through clearing and through wood—
Banditti often passed us
Upon the lonely road.
The wolf came peering curious—
The owl looked puzzled down—
The serpent's satin figure
Glid stealthily along—
The tempests touched our garments—
The lightning's poinards gleamed—
Fierce from the Crag above us
The hungry Vulture screamed—
The satyr's fingers beckoned—
The valley murmured "Come"—
These were the mates—
This was the road
Those children fluttered home.
~ Emily Dickinson
121:True Love
Her love is like the hardy flower
That blooms amid the Alpine snows;
Deep-rooted in an icy bower,
No blast can chill its sweet repose;
But fresh as is the tropic rose,
Drenched in mellowest sunny beams,
It has as sweet delicious dreams
As any flower that grows.
And though an avalanche came down
And robbed it of the light of day,
That which withstood the tempest's frown
In grief would never pine away.
Hope might withhold her feeblest ray,
Within her bosom's snowy tomb
Love still would wear its everbloom,
The gayest of the gay.
~ Charles Sangster
122:The Golden Mean. Who founded firm and sure Would ever live secure, In spite of storm and blast Immovable and fast; Whoso would fain deride The ocean's threatening tide;— His dwelling should not seek On sands or mountain-peak. Upon the mountain's height The storm-winds wreak their spite: The shifting sands disdain Their burden to sustain. Do thou these perils flee, Fair though the prospect be, And fix thy resting-place On some low rock's sure base. Then, though the tempests roar, Seas thunder on the shore, Thou in thy stronghold blest And undisturbed shalt rest; Live all thy days serene, And mock the heavens' spleen. ~ Anonymous
123:Compare with such a one the common rabble of mankind, stupid and mean-spirited, servile, instable, and continually floating with the tempest of various passions, that tosses and tumbles them to and fro, and all depending upon others, and you will find a greater distance than betwixt heaven and earth; and yet the blindness of common usage is such that we make little or no account of it; whereas if we consider a peasant and a king, a nobleman and a vassal, a magistrate and a private man, a rich man and a poor, there appears a vast disparity, though they differ no more, as a man may say, than in their breeches. ~ Michel de Montaigne
124:But for the man who watches the leaves trembling in the wind’s breath, the rivers meandering through the meadows, life twisting and turning and swirling through things, men living, doing good and evil, the sea rolling its waves and the sky with its expanse of lights, and who asks himself why these leaves are there, why the water flows, why life itself is such a terrible torrent plunging towards the boundless ocean of death in which it will lose itself, why men walk about, labor like ants, why the tempest, why the sky so pure and the earth so foul – these questions lead to a darkness from which there is no way out. ~ Gustave Flaubert
125:In our modern world, black magic finds a fertile breeding ground in man's desires. Age after age, the wants of man destroy him. In ignorance he plays with fire; in thoughtlessness he ignores the immutable laws of nature, and then wonders why the tempests break about his head, why lava and ash bury his cities, why wars lay waste his lands and mighty upheavals of the earth cause continents and nations to vanish in a single day. He neither obeys the laws of force, nor recognizes that cause and effect rule all things; that day after day, he reaps misery as the harvest of thoughtlessness. ~ Manly P Hall, Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics
126:With favoring winds, o'er sunlit seas,
We sailed for the Hesperides,
The land where golden apples grow;
But that, ah! that was long ago.

How far, since then, the ocean streams
Have swept us from that land of dreams,
That land of fiction and of truth,
The lost Atlantis of our youth!

Whither, ah, whither? Are not these
The tempest-haunted Orcades,
Where sea-gulls scream, and breakers roar,
And wreck and sea-weed line the shore?

Ultima Thule! Utmost Isle!
Here in thy harbors for a while
We lower our sails; a while we rest
From the unending, endless quest. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
127:The poet must always, in every instance, have the vibrant word... that by it's trenchancy can so wound my soul that it whimpers.... One must know and recognize not merely the direct but the secret power of the word; one must be able to give one's writing unexpected effects. It must have a hectic, anguished vehemence, so that it rushes past like a gust of air, and it must have a latent, roistering tenderness so that it creeps and steals one's mind; it must be able to ring out like a sea-shanty in a tremendous hour, in the time of the tempest, and it must be able to sigh like one who, in tearful mood, sobs in his inmost heart. ~ Knut Hamsun
128:The coming of the sun was hailed with joy; the time of its departure was viewed as a period to be set aside for sorrow and unhappiness. This glorious, radiant orb of day, the true light "which lighteth every man who cometh into the world," the supreme benefactor, who raised all things from the dead, who fed the hungry multitudes, who stilled the tempest, who after dying rose again and restored all things to life--this Supreme Spirit of humanitarianism and philanthropy is known to Christendom as Christ, the Redeemer of worlds, the Only Begotten of The Father, the Word made Flesh, and the Hope of Glory. ~ Manly P Hall, The Secret Teachings of all Ages
129:I looked at the things again. Screwdriver, purple toothbrush, map. I thought about how Leo had helped me get a job and how he let us watch Times of Our Seasons at his house every day and how he listened whenever I talked about Ben and my dad but also didn’t expect me to talk about Ben or my dad and how Leo always shared the lollipops from the bank with me. (And now I’d given him one back.) How he’d shown me The Tempest with Lisette Chamberlain as Miranda. How he’d completely understood when I’d cried after I’d seen it.
And a thought came to my mind. Even though I’d only known him for part of a summer.
Leo Bishop might be the best friend I’d ever had. ~ Ally Condie
130:I.
My faint spirit was sitting in the light
Of thy looks, my love;
It panted for thee like the hind at noon
For the brooks, my love.
Thy barb whose hoofs outspeed the tempest's flight
Bore thee far from me;
My heart, for my weak feet were weary soon,
Did companion thee.

II.
Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed
Or the death they bear,
The heart which tender thought clothes like a dove
With the wings of care;
In the battle, in the darkness, in the need,
Shall mine cling to thee,
Nor claim one smile for all the comfort, love,
It may bring to thee.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, From The Arabic - An Imitation

131:Phaedra
NOT that on me the Cyprian fury fell,
Last martyr of my love-ensanguined race;
Not that my children drop the averted face
When my name shames the silence; not that hell
Holds me where nevermore his glance shall dwell
Nightlong between my lids, my pulses race
Through flying pines the tempest of the chase,
Nor my heart rest with him beside the well.
Not that he hates me; not, O baffled gods Not that I slew him! - yet, because your goal
Is always reached, nor your rejoicing rods
Fell ever yet upon insensate clods,
Know, the one pang that makes your triumph whole
Is, that he knows the baseness of my soul.
~ Edith Wharton
132:elsewhere and leave me here alone with a whole plantation and two hundred woolly cannibals on my hands.  Therefore you stay, and I stay.  It is very simple.  Also, it is adventure.  And furthermore, you needn’t worry for yourself.  I am not matrimonially inclined.  I came to the Solomons for a plantation, not a husband.” Sheldon flushed, but remained silent. “I know what you are thinking,” she laughed gaily.  “That if I were a man you’d wring my neck for me.  And I deserve it, too.  I’m so sorry.  I ought not to keep on hurting your feelings.” “I’m afraid I rather invite it,” he said, relieved by the signs of the tempest subsiding. “I have it,” she announced.  “Lend me a ~ Jack London
133:It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy. If they exhibit occasional calms, these only serve as short-lived contrast to the furious storms that are to succeed. If now and then intervals of felicity open to view, we behold them with a mixture of regret, arising from the reflection that the pleasing scenes before us are soon to be overwhelmed by the tempestuous waves of sedition and party rage. ~ Alexander Hamilton
134:MY faint spirit was sitting in the light
Of thy looks, my love;
It panted for thee like the hind at noon
For the brooks, my love.
Thy barb, whose hoofs outspeed the tempest's flight,
Bore thee far from me;
My heart, for my weak feet were weary soon,
Did companion thee.

Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed,
Or the death they bear,
The heart which tender thought clothes like a dove
With the wings of care;
In the battle, in the darkness, in the need,
Shall mine cling to thee,
Nor claim one smile for all the comfort, love,
It may bring to thee.


~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, From the Arabic, an Imitation

135:As our ship tumbled, free-falling through the eye of a saltwater cyclone, the nine giant maidens spiraled around us, weaving in and out of the tempest so they appeared to drown over and over again. Their faces contorted in anger and glee.
Their long hair lashed us with icy spray. Each time they emerged, they wailed and shrieked, but it wasn’t just random noise. Their screams had a tonal quality, like a chorus of whale songs played through heavy feedback. I even caught snippets of lyrics: boiling mead...wave daughters...death for you! It reminded me of the first time Halfborn Gunderson played Norwegian black metal for me.
After a few bars, it dawned on me...Oh, wait. That’s supposed to be music! ~ Rick Riordan
136:Fragment I
I round the threshold wandering here,
Vainly the tempest and the rain invoke,
That they may keep my lady prisoner.
And yet the wind was howling in the woods,
The roving thunder bellowing in the clouds,
Before the dawn had risen in the sky.
O ye dear clouds! O heaven! O earth! O trees!
My lady goes! Have mercy, if on earth
Unhappy lovers ever mercy find!
Awake, ye whirlwinds! storm-charged clouds, awake,
O'erwhelm me with your floods, until the sun
To other lands brings back the light of day!
Heaven opens; the wind falls; the grass, the leaves
Are motionless, around; the dazzling sun
In my tear-laden eyes remorseless shines.
~ Count Giacomo Leopardi
137:Sonnet Lxvii: On Passing Over A Dreary Tract
Swift fleet the billowy clouds along the sky,
Earth seems to shudder at the storm aghast;
While only beings as forlorn as I,
Court the chill horrors of the howling blast.
Even round yon crumbling walls, in search of food,
The ravenous Owl foregoes his evening flight,
And in his cave, within the deepest wood,
The Fox eludes the tempest of the night.
But to my heart congenial is the gloom
Which hides me from a World I wish to shun;
That scene where Ruin saps the mouldering tomb,
Suits with the sadness of a wretch undone.
Nor is the deepest shade, the keenest air,
Black as my fate, or cold as my despair.
~ Charlotte Smith
138:Sonnet Xlvi: Parted Love
What shall be said of this embattled day
And armèd occupation of this night
By all thy foes beleaguered,—now when sight
Nor sound denotes the loved one far away?
Of these thy vanquished hours what shalt thou say,—
As every sense to which she dealt delight
Now labours lonely o'er the stark noon-height
To reach the sunset's desolate disarray?
Stand still, fond fettered wretch! while Memory's art
Parades the Past before thy face, and lures
Thy spirit to her passionate portraitures:
Till the tempestuous tide-gates flung apart
Flood with wild will the hollows of thy heart,
And thy heart rends thee, and thy body endures.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti
139:Sonnets Of The Empire: Hawk
Great sea dog, fighter in the great old way!
What though thy ships were tinder, and the pest
Rotted thy ruffian crews that need had prest,
And all thy keels were clogged with foul decay,
Yet through the roaring months thy squadron lay
A watch-dog eager at the throat of Brest
While all the ocean smote her from the West
And all the tempests tore her in their play.
Thy soul was of the whirlwind, and thy cry
Still leaps from out the crash of guns and waves
To hurl us headlong on the foeman’s van,
As in the Bay of Death, ’mid breakers high
And felon reefs whereo’er the Atlantic raves,
Thy flagship foremost into glory ran.
~ Archibald Thomas Strong
140:Ii
But only three in all God's universe
Have heard this word thou hast said,--Himself, beside
Thee speaking, and me listening ! and replied
One of us . . . that was God, . . . and laid the curse
So darkly on my eyelids, as to amerce
My sight from seeing thee,--that if I had died,
The deathweights, placed there, would have signified
Less absolute exclusion. 'Nay' is worse
From God than from all others, O my friend !
Men could not part us with their worldly jars,
Nor the seas change us, nor the tempests bend;
Our hands would touch for all the mountain-bars:
And, heaven being rolled between us at the end,
We should but vow the faster for the stars.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
141:Sonnet Ii
But only three in all God's universe
Have heard this word thou hast said,--Himself, beside
Thee speaking, and me listening ! and replied
One of us . . . that was God, . . . and laid the curse
So darkly on my eyelids, as to amerce
My sight from seeing thee,--that if I had died,
The deathweights, placed there, would have signified
Less absolute exclusion. 'Nay' is worse
From God than from all others, O my friend !
Men could not part us with their worldly jars,
Nor the seas change us, nor the tempests bend;
Our hands would touch for all the mountain-bars:
And, heaven being rolled between us at the end,
We should but vow the faster for the stars.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
142:My perfect storm was nothing permanent. But of course it's far from the last storm I'll face. There will be many more. The key is building fires where you can. Warm yourself up as you wait for the tempest to pass. These fires, the routines, habits, relationships, and coping mechanisms you built, help you to look at the rain and see fertilizer instead of a flood. If you want the lushest green of life and you do, the grey is part of the natural cycle. You are not flawed. You're a human. You have gifts to share with the world and when the darkness comes, when you're fighting the demons, just remember. I'm right there fighting with you. You're not alone. The gems I found were forged in the struggle.

Never, ever give up. ~ Timothy Ferriss
143:Sonnet Xxiii. By The Same. To The North Star.
TO thy bright beams I turn my swimming eyes,
Fair, favourite planet, which in happier days
Saw my young hopes, ah, faithless hopes!--arise,
And on my passion shed propitious rays.
Now nightly wandering 'mid the tempests drear
That howl the woods and rocky steeps among,
I love to see thy sudden light appear
Through the swift clouds--driven by the wind along:
Or in the turbid water, rude and dark,
O'er whose wild stream the gust of Winter raves,
Thy trembling light with pleasure still I mark,
Gleam in faint radiance on the foaming waves!
So o'er my soul short rays of reason fly,
Then fade:--and leave me to despair and die.
~ Charlotte Smith
144:The Sleeping Giant (Thunder Bay, Lake Superior)
When did you sink to your dreamless sleep
Out there in your thunder bed?
Where the tempests sweep,
And the waters leap,
And the storms rage overhead.
Were you lying there on your couch alone
Ere Egypt and Rome were born?
Ere the Age of Stone,
Or the world had known
The Man with the Crown of Thorn.
The winds screech down from the open west,
And the thunders beat and break
On the amethyst
Of your rugged breast,-But you never arise or wake.
You have locked your past, and you keep the key
In your heart 'neath the westing sun,
Where the mighty sea
And its shores will be
Storm-swept till the world is done.
~ Emily Pauline Johnson
145:The Tempest
The sails in shreds, the helm all smashed, the roar
Of waves through blasting storm, and fearful cries
As pumps are manned. From sailors' hands last ropes
Have slipped. The sun in blood sinks down: hope's gone.
Triumphantly the tempest howls; from sea's
Abyss, on watery mountains, death's own genius
Tramples on the ship like soldier who,
Once walls are breached, on rampart sets his foot.
Some sprawl half-dead, some wring their hands; one throws
Himself into protective arms' god speed;
Another, faced with death, prays mercy quick.
A traveller stood silent and apart,
Imbued with thought: Happy whose feeling lasts
His strength, who prays and who can bid good speed!
~ Adam Mickiewicz
146:Feuilles D'Automne
Gather the leaves from the forest
And blow them over the world,
The wind of winter follows
The wind of autumn furled.
Only the beech tree cherishes
A leaf or two for ruth,
Their stems too tough for the tempest,
Like thoughts of love and of youth.
You may sit by the fire and ponder
While darkness veils the pane,
And fear that your memories are rushing away
In the wind and the rain.
But you'll find them in the quiet
When the clouds race with the moon,
Making the tender silver sound
Of a beech in the month of June.
For you cannot rob the memory
Of the leaves it loves the best;
The wind of time may harry them,
It rushes away with the rest.
~ Duncan Campbell Scott
147:Sonnet Ii: But Only Three In All God's Universe
But only three in all God's universe
Have heard this word thou has said,--Himself, beside
Thee speaking, and me listening! and replied
One of us...that was God,...and laid the curse
So darkly on my eyelids, as to amerce
My sight from seeing thee,--that if I had died,
The deathweights, placed there, would have signified
Less absolute exclusion. Nay is worse
From God than from all others, O my friend!
Men could not part us with their worldly jars,
Nor the seas change us, nor the tempests bend;
Our hands would touch for all the mountain-bars:
And, heaven being rolled between us at the end,
We should but vow the faster for the stars.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
148:I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days. And when God has seemed most cruel to me he has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless him more than for anything else it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things the richest tenderest love has been manifested to me. Our Father's wagons rumble most heavily when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of his grace. Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes. The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy. Fear not the storm. It brings healing in its wings and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
149:Can it be that he has only seen her in seductive visions, and that this passion has been nothing but a dream? Surely they must have spent years hand in hand together—alone the two of them, casting off all the world and each uniting his or her life with the other’s? Surely when the hour of parting came she must have lain sobbing and grieving on his bosom, heedless of the tempest raging under the sullen sky, heedless of the wind which snatches and bears away the tears from her black eyelashes? Can all of that have been a dream—and that garden, dejected, forsaken, run wild, with its little moss-grown paths, solitary, gloomy, where they used to walk so happily together, where they hoped, grieved, loved, loved each other so long, “so long and so fondly? ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
150:Pain's Proof
I think men's great capacity for pain
Proves his immortal birthright. I am sure
No merely human mind could bear the strain
Of some tremendous sorrows we endure.
Art's most ingenious breastworks fail at length,
Beat by the mighty billows of the sea;
Only the God-formed shores possess the strength
To stand before their onslaughts, and not flee.
The structure that we build with careful toil,
The tempest lays in ruins in an hour;
While some grand tree that springs forth from the soil
Is bended but not broken by its power.
Unless our souls had root in soil divine
We could not bear earth's overwhelming strife.
The fiercest pain that racks this heart of mine,
Convinces me of everlasting life.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
151:Sonnet 02 - But Only Three In All God's Universe
II
But only three in all God's universe
Have heard this word thou hast said,—Himself, beside
Thee speaking, and me listening! and replied
One of us . . . that was God, . . . and laid the curse
So darkly on my eyelids, as to amerce
My sight from seeing thee,—that if I had died,
The deathweights, placed there, would have signified
Less absolute exclusion. 'Nay' is worse
From God than from all others, O my friend!
Men could not part us with their worldly jars,
Nor the seas change us, nor the tempests bend;
Our hands would touch for all the mountain-bars:
And, heaven being rolled between us at the end,
We should but vow the faster for the stars.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
152:Destiny has chosen me for the Wind,” he said in resonant tones as he swept out his hands in a showman’s gesture, even while he winked at her. “Atmospheres, temperature, air, these are mine to beckon.” And he did, sweeping a breeze through the room just strong enough to make Legna’s gown ruffle. Suddenly, without even a flash of light or warning, Elijah’s form dissipated into thin air, becoming the air. His voice swirled all around her as he playfully lifted her hair up from her shoulders, drawing it into a banner that fluttered high above her head, making her laugh. “The weather sways to my will, the tempests and pressures of it mine to manipulate. I can infuse a place with life-giving oxygen or remove it completely. The Wind is the breath of life, and She breathes through me. ~ Jacquelyn Frank
153:Angelus Novus
<i>After Walter Benjamin </i>
The angry wind has shorn the feathers
off his wings.
He levitates on a fixed spot
by the highway. Is the wind
caused by the flood
of the speeding vehicles
or indeed hurled
by the rabid gods of heaven?
The angel can't tell. He watches
the atoms of his wings' debris
twirl in the tempest. Why
with such affection? A longing
for what? For the ruins
no doubt; for what's been crushed
by the onslaught of the divine
tragedy. Can he save any of it
from irretrievable erasure?
Will his suitcase have room
enough for the volume
of such immeasurable loss?
He can't tell
as yet. He floats, resists
being swallowed by the storm
and doesn't hitch a lift.
~ Ali Alizadeh
154:1010
The Women Of The Sailors
The women of the sailors, unto them, O God, be kind!
They never hear the breaking waves, they never hear the wind
But that their hearts are anguish-tossed-, and every thought's a fear,
For the women of the sailors it's a bitter time of year.
The women of the sailors, unto them, O God, be good!
'Tis they who know and understand how frail are steel and wood;
'Tis they who never see the spray upon a rock-bound coast
But what they breathe a prayer to Thee for those that love them most.
The women of the sailors, unto them, O God, be nigh!
They never hear the hurricane but that it means a sigh;
They never hear the tempest but that they pray to
Thee For the safety of their loved ones who are battling with the sea.
~ Edgar Albert Guest
155:She could see the tempest in his eyes, swarming in the blue of them with a kind of primal violence that made the breath catch in her throat and her pulse pound in response.

"I need you." His fingers dived into her hair, dragging it back from her face, fisting again. "You can't know what kind of need is in me for you. There are times, do you understand me, I don't want it. I don't want this raging inside me. It won't stop."

His mouth crushed down on hers, and she tasted that need, the fierce and focused intensity of it. And the greed, the desperation of it.

She gave herself over to it without hesitation. Because he was wrong, as he was very rarely wrong. She understood the need, and she understood the frustration of knowing it wouldn't be controlled.

The same war waged in her. ~ J D Robb
156:A Lancashire Doxology
"PRAISE God from whom all blessings flow."
Praise Him who sendeth joy and woe.
The Lord who takes, -- the Lord who gives, -O praise Him, all that dies, and lives.
He opens and He shuts his hand,
But why, we cannot understand:
Pours and dries up his mercies' flood,
And yet is still All-perfect Good.
We fathom not the mighty plan,
The mystery of God and man;
We women, when afflictions come,
We only suffer and are dumb.
And when, the tempest passing by,
He gleams out, sun-like, through our sky,
We look up, and through black clouds riven,
We recognize the smile of Heaven.
Ours is not wisdom of the wise,
We have no deep philosophies:
Childlike we take both kiss and rod,
For he who loveth knoweth God.
~ Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
157:Rain
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.
~ Edward Thomas
158:We claim no glory. If the tempest rolls
About us we have fear, and then
Having so small a stake grow bold again.
We know not definitely even this
But 'cause some vague half knowing half doth miss
Our consciousness and leaves us feeling
That somehow all is well, that sober, reeling
From the last carouse, or in what measure
Of so called right or so damned wrong our leisure
Runs out uncounted sand beneath the sun,
That, spite your carping, still the thing is done
With some deep sanction, that, we know not how,
Sans thought gives us this feeling; you allow
That this not need we know our every thought
Or see the work shop where each mask is wrought
Wherefrom we view the world of box and pit,
Careless of wear, just so the mask shall fit
And serve our jape's turn for a night or two. ~ Ezra Pound
159:Sonnet Lix.
Written Sept. 1791, during a remarkable thunder
storm, in which the moon was perfectly clear, while
the tempest gathered in various directions near the
earth.
WHAT awful pageants crowd the evening sky!
The low horizon gathering vapours shroud,
Sudden, from many a deep-embattled cloud
Terrific thunders burst and lightnings fly-While in serenest azure, beaming high,
Night's regent, of her calm pavilion proud,
Gilds the dark shadows that beneath her lie,
Unvex'd by all their conflicts fierce and loud.
--So, in unsullied dignity elate,
A spirit conscious of superior worth,
In placid elevation firmly great,
Scorns the vain cares that give Contention birth;
And blest with peace above the shocks of Fate,
Smiles at the tumult of the troubled earth.
~ Charlotte Smith
160:Bird Of Hope
Soar not too high, O bird of Hope!
Because the skies are fair;
The tempest may come on apace
And overcome thee there.
When far above the mountain tops
Thou soarest, over all –
If, then, the storm should press thee back,
How great would be thy fall!
And thou wouldst lie here at my feet,
A poor and lifeless thing, A torn and bleeding birdling,
With limp and broken wing.
Sing not too loud, O bird of Hope!
Because the day is bright;
The sunshine cannot always last –
The morn precedes the night.
And if thy song is of the day,
Then when the day grows dim,
Forlorn and voiceless thou wouldst sit
Among the shadows grim.
Oh! I would have thee soar and sing,
But not too high, or loud,
Remembering that day meets night –
The brilliant sun the cloud.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
161:When the tumult of war shall cease, and the tempest of present passions be succeeded by calm reflection, or when those, who, surviving its fury, shall inherit from you a legacy of debts and misfortunes, when the yearly revenue scarcely be able to discharge the interest of the one, and no possible remedy be left for the other, ideas far different from the present will arise, and embitter the remembrance of former follies. A mind disarmed of its rage feels no pleasure in contemplating a frantic quarrel. Sickness of thought, the sure consequence of conduct like yours, leaves no ability for enjoyment, no relish for resentment; and though, like a man in a fit, you feel not the injury of the struggle, nor distinguish between strength and disease, the weakness will nevertheless be proportioned to the violence, and the sense of pain increase with the recovery. ~ Thomas Paine
162:The Flight Of Peace
TRUST and Treachery, Wisdom, Folly,
Madness, Mirth and Melancholy,
Love and Hatred, Thrift and Pillage,
All are housed in one small village.
And if such be Life’s mix’d being,
Where may Peace from ruin fleeing,
Find a shelter and inherit
All the calm of her own merit?
In a bark of gentle motion
Sailing on the summer ocean?
There worst war the tempest wages
And the whirlpool’s hunger rages.
In some lonely new-world bower,
Hidden like a forest flower?
There too, there, to irk the stranger,
Stalks the wild-eyed spirit Danger!
Vainly would she build by roving
Or in hoping or in loving,
Or in solitary spaces,
Having in all times and places,
Or in none a home of beauty
In the fearless heart of Duty,
Dwelling there and seeing
God’s right hand all things decreeing.
~ Charles Harpur
163:From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to give up; I wanted to give up on living. There was no denying that tomorrow would come, and the day after tomorrow, and so next week, too. I never thought it would be this hard, but I would go on living in the midst of a gloomy depression, and that made me feel sick to the depths of my soul. In spite of the tempest raging within me, I walked the night path
calmly.”

"Bất chợt, từ sâu trong cõi lòng, tôi muốn quẳng đi tất cả, cả việc bước đi và việc phải sống tiếp. Chắc chắn rồi ngày mai sẽ tới, rồi ngày kia sẽ tới, và rất chóng, rồi tuần sau sẽ tới. Chưa bao giờ tôi cảm thấy điều ấy lại phiền lụy đến thế như lúc này. Tôi thực sự sợ khi phải nghĩ rằng, cả những lúc đó, tôi cũng sẽ phải sống trong đau buồn và u uẩn. Bão tố đang quần đảo trong lòng, vậy mà tôi vẫn bước đi bình thản, tôi bỗng thấy hình ảnh của mình khi ấy sao mà ảm đạm. ~ Banana Yoshimoto
164:The Sea-Maiden
Like summer waves on sands of snow,
Soft ringlets clasp her neck and brow,
And wandering breezes kiss away
A threaded light of glimmering spray,
That drifts and floats and softly flies
In a golden mist about her eyes.
Her laugh is fresh as foam that springs
Through tumbling shells and shining things,
And where the gleaming margin dries
Is heard the music of her sighs.
Her gentle bosom ebbs and swells
With the tide of life that deeply wells
From a throbbing heart that loves to break
In the tempest of love for love's sweet sake.
O, the fragrance of earth, and the song of the sea,
And the light of the heavens, are only three
Of the thousand glories that Love can trace,
In her life, and her soul, and her beautiful face.
This tangled weed of poesy,
Torn from the heart of a stormy sea,
I fling upon the love divine
Of her, who fills this heart of mine.
~ Dowell O'Reilly
165:1074
Until She Died
Until she died we never knew
The beauty of our faith in God.
We'd seen the summer roses nod
And wither as the tempests blew,
Through many a spring we'd lived to see
The buds returning to the tree.
We had not felt the touch of woe;
What cares had come, had lightly flown;
Our burdens we had borne alone—
The need of God we did not know.
It seemed sufficient through the days
To think and act in worldly ways.
And then she closed her eyes in sleep;
She left us for a little while;
No more our lives would know her smile.
And oh, the hurt of it went deep!
It seemed to us that we must fall
Before the anguish of it all.
Our faith, which had not known the test,
Then blossomed with its comfort sweet,
Promised that some day we should meet
And whispered to us: 'He knows best.'
And when our bitter tears were dried,
We found our faith was glorified.
~ Edgar Albert Guest
166:More precisely, it is a question of dissolving contradictions in the fires of love and desire and of demolishing the walls of death. Magic rites, primitive or naïve civilizations, alchemy, the language of flowers, fire, or sleepless nights, are so many miraculous stages on the way to unity and the philosophers’ stone. If surrealism did not change the world, it furnished it with a few strange myths which partly justified Nietzsche’s announcement of the return of the Greeks. Only partly, because he was referring to unenlightened Greece, the Greece of mysteries and dark gods. Finally, just as Nietzsche’s experience culminated in the acceptance of the light of day, surrealist experience culminates in the exaltation of the darkness of night, the agonized and obstinate cult of the tempest. Breton, according to his own statements, understood that, despite everything, life was a gift. But his compliance could never shed the full light of day, the light that all of us need. ~ Albert Camus
167:Though gay men have begun to understand it is something in themselves these upright men so fear, too many of us have internalized their self-hatred as shame. That the flesh and the spirit are one in love is none of the business of the celibate men of God, especially those who believe they rule the province of love. But the mission of the homophobe is more pernicious even than his morality. He wants every one of us to be all alone, never to find the beloved friend.
A man ought to be free to find his reason. Not that freedom alone will serve it up: it requires the gods’ own fury of luck to get two people to meet. But when it finally happens, two men in love can’t rejoice out loud—joy of the very thing everyone burns for—without bracing for the rant of prophets, the schoolyard bully, and Rome’s “intrinsic evil.” I try to remember that we fight as a ragged people to outlast the calamity so that others can sleep as safe as my friend and I, like a raft in the tempest. ~ Paul Monette
168:It may take a decade or two before the extent of Shakespeare's collaboration passes from the graduate seminar to the undergraduate lecture, and finally to popular biography, by which time it will be one of those things about Shakespeare that we thought we knew all along. Right now, though, for those who teach the plays and write about his life, it hasn't been easy abandoning old habits of mind. I know that I am not alone in struggling to come to terms with how profoundly it alters one's sense of how Shakespeare wrote, especially toward the end of his career when he coauthored half of his last ten plays. For intermixed with five that he wrote alone, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline, and The Tempest, are Timon of Athens (written with Thomas Middleton), Pericles (written with George Wilkins), and Henry the Eighth, the lost Cardenio, and The Two Noble Kinsmen (all written with John Fletcher). ~ James Shapiro
169:At that time, I well remember whatever could excite - certain accidents of the weather, for instance, were almost dreaded by me, because they woke the being I was always lulling, and stirred up a craving cry I could not satisfy. One night a thunder-storm broke; a sort of hurricane shook us in our beds: the Catholics rose in panic and prayed to their saints. As for me, the tempest took hold of me with tyranny: I was roughly roused and obliged to live. I got up and dressed myself, and creeping outside the basement close by my bed, sat on its ledge, with my feet on the roof of a lower adjoining building. It was wet, it was wild, it was pitch dark. Within the dormitory they gathered round the night-lamp in consternation, praying loud. I could not go in: too resistless was the delight of staying with the wild hour, black and full of thunder, pealing out such an ode as language never delivered to man - too terribly glorious, the spectacle of clouds, split and pierced by white and blinding bolts. ~ Charlotte Bront
170:in my voyages, when I was a man and commanded other men, I have seen the heavens overcast, the sea rage and foam, the storm arise, and, like a monstrous bird, beating the two horizons with its wings. Then I felt that my vessel was a vain refuge, that trembled and shook before the tempest. Soon the fury of the waves and the sight of the sharp rocks announced the approach of death, and death then terrified me, and I used all my skill and intelligence as a man and a sailor to struggle against the wrath of God. But I did so because I was happy, because I had not courted death, because to be cast upon a bed of rocks and seaweed seemed terrible, because I was unwilling that I, a creature made for the service of God, should serve for food to the gulls and ravens. But now it is different; I have lost all that bound me to life, death smiles and invites me to repose; I die after my own manner, I die exhausted and broken-spirited, as I fall asleep when I have paced three thousand times round my cell. ~ Alexandre Dumas
171:I.
Ghosts of the dead! have I not heard your yelling
Rise on the night-rolling breath of the blast,
When oer the dark aether the tempest is swelling,
And on eddying whirlwind the thunder-peal passed?

II.
For oft have I stood on the dark height of Jura
Which frowns on the valley that opens beneath;
Oft have I braved the chill night-tempest's fury,
Whilst around me, I thought, echoed murmurs of death.

III.
And now, whilst the winds of the mountain are howling,
O father! thy voice seems to strike on mine ear;
In air whilst the tide of the night-storm is rolling,
It breaks on the pause of the elements' jar.

IV.
On the wing of the whirlwind which roars o'er the mountain
Perhaps rides the ghost of my sire who is dead:
On the mist of the tempest which hangs o'er the fountain,
Whilst a wreath of dark vapour encircles his head.
On the Dark, etc.: without title, 1811; The Fathers Spectre, Rossetti, 1870.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, On The Dark Height of Jura

172:The Byronic
hero, incapable of love, or capable only of an impossible love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid,
his condition exhausts him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible exaltation of a brief and
destructive action. To love someone whom one will never see again is to give a cry of exultation as one
perishes in the flames of passion. One lives only in and for the moment, in order to achieve "the brief and
vivid union of a tempestuous heart united to the tempest" (lermontov). The threat of mortality which
hangs over us makes everything abortive. Only the cry of anguish can bring us to life; exaltation takes the
place of truth. To this extent the apocalypse becomes an absolute value in which everything is
confounded—love and death, conscience and culpability. In a chaotic universe no other life exists but that
of the abyss where, according to Alfred Le Poittevin, human beings come "trembling with rage and
exulting in
their crimes" to curse the Creator. ~ Albert Camus
173:I.
The fiery mountains answer each other;
Their thunderings are echoed from zone to zone;
The tempestuous oceans awake one another,
And the ice-rocks are shaken round Winter's throne,
When the clarion of the Typhoon is blown.

II.
From a single cloud the lightening flashes,
Whilst a thousand isles are illumined around,
Earthquake is trampling one city to ashes,
An hundred are shuddering and tottering; the sound
Is bellowing underground.

III.
But keener thy gaze than the lightenings glare,
And swifter thy step than the earthquakes tramp;
Thou deafenest the rage of the ocean; thy stare
Makes blind the volcanoes; the suns bright lamp
To thine is a fen-fire damp.

IV.
From billow and mountain and exhalation
The sunlight is darted through vapour and blast;
From spirit to spirit, from nation to nation,
From city to hamlet thy dawning is cast,--
And tyrants and slaves are like shadows of night
In the van of the morning light.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Liberty

174:Everything’s fine.”
“Except that Cecily’s pregnant,” Matt Holden offered, grinning at Tate’s exasperated glare and Leta’s shocked gasp.
“What do you mean, Cecily’s pregnant?” Leta burst out. She hit her son’s arm with her open hand. She hit him again. “You hooligan, how could you! How could you?”
Tate defended himself with both arms. “How do you know it was me?” he teased.
“Who else could it be?” Leta raged. “Do you think my baby would let another man touch her? Would she jump into bed with any other man in the world except you? Are you crazy?”
Tate actually looked sheepish, and there was a new light in his eyes. Matt, after contemplating the two of them for a minute, sauntered off into the general direction of the kitchen, leaving mother and son alone together for the first time since the tempest had started.
Tate stuck his hands into his pockets and stared down at his pretty little mother. “If you haven’t finished hitting me, I think there’s a spot or two you missed,” he pointed out, touching his arm and grimacing. ~ Diana Palmer
175:'Twas dead of the night when I sate in my dwelling,
One glimmering lamp was expiring and low,--
Around the dark tide of the tempest was swelling,
Along the wild mountains night-ravens were yelling,
They bodingly presaged destruction and woe!

'Twas then that I started, the wild storm was howling,
Nought was seen, save the lightning that danced on the sky,
Above me the crash of the thunder was rolling,
And low, chilling murmurs the blast wafted by.--

My heart sank within me, unheeded the jar
Of the battling clouds on the mountain-tops broke,
Unheeded the thunder-peal crashed in mine ear,
This heart hard as iron was stranger to fear,
But conscience in low noiseless whispering spoke.
Twas then that her form on the whirlwind uprearing,
The dark ghost of the murdered Victoria strode,
Her right hand a blood reeking dagger was bearing,
She swiftly advanced to my lonesome abode.--
I wildly then called on the tempest to bear me!
...
...

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Fragment, Or The Triumph Of Conscience

176:XXVIII For, looking up, aware I somehow grew, ’Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place All round to mountains—with such name to grace Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view. How thus they had surprised me—solve it, you! How to get from them was no clearer case. XXIX Yet half I seemed to recognise some trick Of mischief happened to me, God knows when— In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then Progress this way. When, in the very nick Of giving up, one time more, came a click As when a trap shuts—you’re inside the den. XXX Burningly it came on me all at once, This was the place! those two hills on the right, Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight; While to the left a tall scalped mountain . . . Dunce, Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce, After a life spent training for the sight! XXXI What in the midst lay but the Tower itself? The round squat turret, blind as the fool’s heart, Built of brown stone, without a counterpart In the whole world. The tempest’s mocking elf Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf He strikes on, only when the timbers start. ~ Stephen King
177:It is not that I am a genius or exceptionally gifted, not by any means. Quite the contrary. What Happened (I shall try to explain it) is that every mind is shaped by its own experiences and memories and knowledge, and what makes it unique is the grand total and extremely personal nature of the collection of all the data that have made it what it is. Each person possesses a mind with powers that are, whether great or small, always unique, powers that belong to them alone. This renders them capable of carrying out a feat, whether grandiose or banal, that only they could have carried out. In this case, all others had failed because they had counted on the simple quantitative progression of intelligence and ingenuity, when what was required was an unspecified quantity, but of the appropriate quality, of both. My own intelligence is quite minimal, a fact that I have ascertained at great cost to myself. It has been just barely adequate to keep me afloat in the tempestuous waters of life. Yet, its quality is unique; not because I decided it would be, but rather because that is how it must be. ~ C sar Aira
178:Years and years ago, there was a production of The Tempest, out of doors, at an Oxford college on a lawn, which was the stage, and the lawn went back towards the lake in the grounds of the college, and the play began in natural light. But as it developed, and as it became time for Ariel to say his farewell to the world of The Tempest, the evening had started to close in and there was some artificial lighting coming on. And as Ariel uttered his last speech, he turned and he ran across the grass, and he got to the edge of the lake and he just kept running across the top of the water — the producer having thoughtfully provided a kind of walkway an inch beneath the water. And you could see and you could hear the plish, plash as he ran away from you across the top of the lake, until the gloom enveloped him and he disappeared from your view.
And as he did so, from the further shore, a firework rocket was ignited, and it went whoosh into the air, and high up there it burst into lots of sparks, and all the sparks went out, and he had gone.

When you look up the stage directions, it says, ‘Exit Ariel. ~ Tom Stoppard
179:You've circled the globe to find yourself in the Globe,milady." Bill sketched a little bow.
"The Globe Theatre?" Luce ducked as the woman in front of her discarded a gnawed-on turkey leg by tossing it over her shoulder. "You mean, like, Shakespeare?"
"Well, he claims to be retired. You know those artist types. So moody." Bill swooped down near the ground, tugging at the hem of her dress and humming to himself.
"Othello happened here," Luce said, taking a moment to let it all sink in. "The Tempest. Romeo and Juliet. We're practically standing in the center of all the greatest love stories ever written."
"Actually,you're standing in walnut shells."
"Why do you have to be so glib about everything? This is amazing!"
"Sorry,I didn't realize we'd need a moment of bardolatry." His words came out lisped because of the needle clipped between his jagged teeth. "Now stand still."
"Ouch!" Luce yelped as he jabbed sharply into her kneecap. "What are you doing?"
"Un-Anachronizing you.These folks'll pay good money for a freak show, but they're expecting it to stay onstage. ~ Lauren Kate
180:The Bee's Winter Retreat
Go, while the summer suns are bright,
Take at large thy wandering flight,
Go, and load thy tiny feet
With every rich and various sweet;
Cling around the flowering thorn,
Dive in the woodbine's honey'd horn,
Seek the wild rose that shades the dell,
Explore the foxglove's freckled bell;
Or in the heath-flower's fairy cup,
Drink the fragrant spirit up,
But when the meadows shall be mown,
And summer's garlands overblown,
Then come, thou little busy bee,
And let thy homestead be with me:There, shelter'd by the straw-built hive,
In my garden thou shalt live,
And that garden shall supply
Thy delicious alchymy;There, for thee, in autumn, blows
The Indian pink and latest rose,
The mignonette perfumes the air,
And stocks, unfading flowers, are there.
Yet fear not when the tempests come,
And drive thee to thy waxen home,
That I shall then, most treacherously,
For thy honey murder thee:Oh, no! -throughout the winter drear
I'll feed thee, that another year
Thou may'st renew thy industry
Among the flowers, thou busy bee.
~ Charlotte Smith
181:Aspens
All day and night, save winter, every weather,
Above the inn, the smithy and the shop,
The aspens at the cross-roads talk together
Of rain, until their last leaves fall from the top.
Out of the blacksmith's cavern comes the ringing
Of hammer, shoe and anvil; out of the inn
The clink, the hum, the roar, the random singing The sounds that for these fifty years have been.
The whisper of the aspens is not drowned,
And over lightless pane and footless road,
Empty as sky, with every other sound
No ceasing, calls their ghosts from their abode,
A silent smithy, a silent inn, nor fails
In the bare moonlight or the thick-furred gloom,
In the tempest or the night of nightingales,
To turn the cross-roads to a ghostly room.
And it would be the same were no house near.
Over all sorts of weather, men, and times,
Aspens must shake their leaves and men may hear
But need not listen, more than to my rhymes.
Whatever wind blows, while they and I have leaves
We cannot other than an aspen be
That ceaselessly, unreasonably grieves,
Or so men think who like a different tree.
~ Edward Thomas
182:Squire Norton's Song
The child and the old man sat alone
In the quiet, peaceful shade
Of the old green boughs, that had richly grown
In the deep, thick forest glade.
It was a soft and pleasant sound,
That rustling of the oak;
And the gentle breeze played lightly round
As thus the fair boy spoke:'Dear father, what can honor be,
Of which I hear men rave?
Field, cell and cloister, land and sea,
The tempest and the grave:It lives in all, 'tis sought in each,
'Tis never heard or seen:
Now tell me, father, I beseech,
What can this honor mean?'
'It is a name - a name, my child It lived in other days,
When men were rude, their passions wild,
Their sport, thick battle-frays.
When, in armor bright, the warrior bold
Knelt to his lady's eyes:
Beneath the abbey pavement old
That warrior's dust now lies.
'The iron hearts of that old day
Have mouldered in the grave;
And chivalry has passed away,
With knights so true and brave;
The honor, which to them was life,
Throbs in no bosom now;
It only gilds the gambler's strife,
Or decks the worthless vow.'
~ Charles Dickens
183:The Carol Of Three
Three kings came a-riding
Through tempest and through cold;
Their coats were of the silken thread,
Their crowns were beaten gold.
A star shone in the sky before,
The storm it rolled behind,
And as they rode their cloaks drew out
Like clouds along the wind.
Three shepherds left their shivering flocks,
Came stumbling through the night;
The song of angels drowned their ears,
Their eyes were blind with light.
They groped along the courtyard wall,
Unpinned the stable door,
Then halted all with steaming breath
To stare upon the floor.
Three strangers lodged within the barn
That night of frost and storm,
With ox and ass for company
And straw to keep them warm.
One stranger stood with hand on stall,
One knelt in folds of blue,
And one there lay in shadowed sleep
As mortal children do.
The halted shepherds bowed the head,
The kings they bent the knee,
And marvelling they worshipped there
I silence, three by three.
The tempest fell; a cock crowed thrice;
The shepherds’ task was done.
The kings re-mounted in a dream
And rode towards the sun.
~ Clive Sansom
184:Forbidden Speech
The passion you forbade my lips to utter
Will not be silenced. You must hear it in
The sullen thunders when they roll and mutter:
And when the tempest nears, with wail and din,
I know your calm forgetfulness is broken,
And to your heart you whisper, 'He has spoken.'
All nature understands and sympathises
With human passion. When the restless sea
Turns in its futile search for peace, and rises
To plead and to pursue, it pleads for me.
And with each desperate billow's anguished fretting.
Your heart must tell you, 'He is not forgetting.'
When unseen hands in lightning strokes are writing
Mysterious words upon a cloudy scroll,
Know that my pent-up passion is inditing
A cypher message for your woman's soul;
And when the lawless winds rush by you shrieking,
Let your heart say, 'Now his despair is speaking.'
Love comes, nor goes, at beck or call of reason,
Nor is love silent, though it says no word;
By day or night, in any clime or season,
A dominating passion must be heard.
So shall you hear, through Junes and through Decembers,
The voice of Nature saying, 'He remembers.'
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
185:Amid the desolation of a city,
Which was the cradle, and is now the grave
Of an extinguished people,so that Pity

Weeps oer the shipwrecks of Oblivions wave,
There stands the Tower of Famine. It is built
Upon some prison-homes, whose dwellers rave

For bread, and gold, and blood: Pain, linked to Guilt,
Agitates the light flame of their hours,
Until its vital oil is spent or spilt.

There stands the pile, a tower amid the towers
And sacred domes; each marble-ribbed roof,
The brazen-gated temples, and the bowers

Of solitary wealth,--the tempest-proof
Pavilions of the dark Italian air,--
Are by its presence dimmed--they stand aloof,

And are withdrawnso that the world is bare;
As if a spectre wrapped in shapeless terror
Amid a company of ladies fair

Should glide and glow, till it became a mirror
Of all their beauty, and their hair and hue,
The life of their sweet eyes, with all its error,
Should be absorbed, till they to marble grew.
Published by Mrs. Shelley in The Keepsake, 1829. Mr. C.W. Frederickson of Brooklyn possesses a transcript in Mrs. Shelleys handwriting.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Tower Of Famine

186:The Home Of Peace
Trust and treachery, wisdom, folly,
Madness, mirth and melancholy,
Love and hatred, thrift and pillage,
All are housed in every village.
And in such a world’s mixed being,
Where may peace, from ruin fleeing,
Find fit shelter and inherit
All the calm of her own merit?
In a bark of gentle motion
Sailing on the summer ocean?
There worst war the tempest wages,
And the hungry whirlpool rages.
In some lonely new-world bower
Hidden like a forest flower?
There, too, there, to fray the stranger
Stalks the wild-eyed savage, danger!
In some Alpine cot, by fountains
Flowing from snow-shining mountains?
There the avalanches thunder,
Crushing all that lieth under!
In some hermit-tent, pitched lowly
Mid the tombs of prophets holy?
There to harry and annoy her
Roams the infidel destroyer.
In palatial chambers gilded,
Guarded round with towers high-builded?
Change may enter these to-morrow,
And with change may enter sorrow.
Find, O peace, thy home of beauty
In the steadfast heart of duty,
Dwelling ever there, and seeing
God through every phase of being
184
~ Charles Harpur
187:The fairy tale is accused of giving children a false impression of the world they live in. But I think no literature that children could read gives them less of a false impression. I think what profess to be realistic stories for children are far more likely to deceive them. I never expected the real world to be like the fairy tales. I think that I did expect school to be like the school stories. The fantasies did not deceive me: the school stories did. All stories in which children have adventures and successes which are possible, in the sense that they do not break the laws of nature, but almost infinitely improbable, are in more danger than the fairy tales of raising false expectations…

This distinction holds for adult reading too. The dangerous fantasy is always superficially realistic. The real victim of wishful reverie does not batten on the Odyssey, The Tempest, or The Worm Ouroboros: he (or she) prefers stories about millionaires, irresistible beauties, posh hotels, palm beaches and bedroom scenes—things that really might happen, that ought to happen, that would have happened if the reader had had a fair chance. For, as I say, there are two kinds of longing. The one is an askesis, a spiritual exercise, and the other is a disease. ~ C S Lewis
188:The Sandpiper
Across the lonely beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I,
And fast I gather, but by bit,
The scattered drift-wood, bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I.
Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud, black and swift, across the sky:
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white light-houses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit along the beach,
One little sandpiper and I.
I watch him as he skims along,
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
He starts not at my fitful song,
Nor flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong,
He scans me with a fearless eye;
Stanch friends are we, well tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.
Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My drift-wood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky;
For are we not God's children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I?
~ Celia Thaxter
189:Nothing on the horizon; nothing in heaven.

He implores the expanse, the waves, the seaweed, the reef; they are deaf. He beseeches the tempest; the imperturbable tempest obeys only the infinite.

Around him darkness, fog, solitude, the stormy and non- sentient tumult, the undefined curling of those wild waters. In him horror and fatigue. Beneath him the depths. Not a point of support. He thinks of the gloomy adventures of the corpse in the limitless shadow. The bottomless cold paralyzes him. His hands contract convulsively; they close, and grasp nothingness. Winds, clouds, whirlwinds, gusts, useless stars! What is to be done? The desperate man gives up; he is weary, he chooses the alternative of death; he resists not; he lets himself go; he abandons his grip; and then he tosses forevermore in the lugubrious dreary depths of engulfment.

Oh, implacable march of human societies! Oh, losses of men and of souls on the way! Ocean into which falls all that the law lets slip! Disastrous absence of help! Oh, moral death!

The sea is the inexorable social night into which the penal laws fling their condemned. The sea is the immensity of wretchedness.

The soul, going down stream in this gulf, may become a corpse. Who shall resuscitate it? ~ Victor Hugo
190:September 15 “And a man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest.” Isaiah 32:2 WHO this man is we all know. Who could he be but the Second Man, the Lord from Heaven, the Man of sorrows, the Son of man? What a hiding-place he has been to his people! He bears the full force of the wind himself, and so he shelters those who hide themselves in him. We have thus escaped the wrath of God, and we shall thus escape the anger of men, the cares of this life, and the dread of death. Why do we stand in the wind when we may so readily and so surely get out of it by hiding behind our Lord? Let us this day run to him, and be at peace. Often the common wind of trouble rises in its force and becomes a tempest, sweeping everything before it. Things which looked firm and stable rock in the blast, and many and great are the falls among our carnal confidences. Our Lord Jesus, the glorious Man, is a covert which is never blown down. In him we mark the tempest sweeping by, but we ourselves rest in delightful serenity. This day let us just stow ourselves away in our hiding-place, and sit and sing under the protection of our covert. Blessed Jesus! Blessed Jesus! How we love thee! Well we may, for thou art to us a shelter in the time of storm. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
191:Dirge
Pure spirit! O where art thou now!
O whisper to my soul!
O let some soothing thought of thee,
The bitter grief control!
'Tis not for thee the tears I shed,
Thy sufferings now are o'er;
The sea is calm, the tempest past,
On that eternal shore.
No more the storms that wrecked thy peace
Shall tear that gentle breast;
Nor Summer's rage, nor Winter's cold,
Thy poor, poor frame molest.
Thy peace is sealed, thy rest is sure,
My sorrows are to come;
Awhile I weep and linger here,
Then follow to the tomb.
And is the awful veil withdrawn,
That shrouds from mortal eyes,
In deep impenetrable gloom,
The secrets of the skies?
O, in some dream of visioned bliss,
Some trance of rapture, show
Where, on the bosom of thy God,
Thou rest'st from human woe!
Thence may thy pure devotion's flame
On me, on me descend;
To me thy strong aspiring hopes,
They faith, thy fervours lend.
Let these my lonely path illume,
And teach my weakened mind
To welcome all that's left of good,
To all that's lost resigned.
Farewell! With honour, peace, and love,
Be thy dear memory blest!
Thou hast no tears for me to shed,
When I too am at rest.
~ Anna Laetitia Barbauld
192:And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold, they did last for about the space of athree bhours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours—and then behold, there was cdarkness upon the face of the land. 20 And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could afeel the bvapor of darkness; 21 And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all; 22 And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land. 23 And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning and ahowling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them. ~ The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints
193:The Chestnut Casts His Flambeaux
The chestnut casts his flambeaux, and the flowers
Stream from the hawthorn on the wind away,
The doors clap to, the pane is blind with showers.
Pass me the can, lad; there's an end of May.
There's one spoilt spring to scant our mortal lot,
One season ruined of your little store.
May will be fine next year as like as not:
But ay, but then we shall be twenty-four.
We for a certainty are not the first
Have sat in taverns while the tempest hurled
Their hopeful plans to emptiness, and cursed
Whatever brute and blackguard made the world.
It is in truth iniquity on high
To cheat our sentenced souls of aught they crave,
And mar the merriment as you and I
Fare on our long fool's-errand to the grave.
Iniquity it is; but pass the can.
My lad, no pair of kings our mothers bore;
Our only portion is the estate of man:
We want the moon, but we shall get no more.
If here to-day the cloud of thunder lours
To-morrow it will hie on far behests;
The flesh will grieve on other bones than ours
Soon, and the soul will mourn in other breasts.
The troubles of our proud and angry dust
Are from eternity, and shall not fail.
Bear them we can, and if we can we must.
Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.
~ Alfred Edward Housman
194:Well Hast Thou Spoke
Well hast thou spoken, and yet not taught
A feeling strange or new;
Thou hast but roused a latent thought,
A cloud-closed beam of sunshine brought
To gleam in open view.
Deep down, concealed within my soul,
That light lies hid from men;
Yet glows unquenched--though shadows roll,
Its gentle ray cannot control-About the sullen den.
Was I not vexed, in these gloomy ways
To walk alone so long?
Around me, wretches uttering praise,
Or howling o'er their hopeless days,
And each with Frenzy's tongue;-A brotherhood of misery,
Their smiles as sad as sighs;
Whose madness daily maddened me,
Distorting into agony
The bliss before my eyes!
So stood I, in Heaven's glorious sun,
And in the glare of Hell;
My spirit drank a mingled tone,
Of seraph's song, and demon's moan;
What my soul bore, my soul alone
Within itself may tell!
Like a soft, air above a sea,
Tossed by the tempest's stir;
A thaw-wind, melting quietly
The snow-drift on some wintry lea;
No: what sweet thing resembles thee,
My thoughtful Comforter?
And yet a little longer speak,
115
Calm this resentful mood;
And while the savage heart grows meek,
For other token do not seek,
But let the tear upon my cheek
Evince my gratitude!
~ Emily Jane Brontë
195:My Comforter
Well hast thou spoken, and yet, not taught
A feeling strange or new;
Thou hast but roused a latent thought,
A cloud-closed beam of sunshine, brought
To gleam in open view.
Deep down, concealed within my soul,
That light lies hid from men;
Yet, glows unquenched - though shadows roll,
Its gentle ray cannot control,
About the sullen den.
Was I not vexed, in these gloomy ways
To walk alone so long?
Around me, wretches uttering praise,
Or howling o'er their hopeless days,
And each with Frenzy's tongue; A brotherhood of misery,
Their smiles as sad as sighs;
Whose madness daily maddened me,
Distorting into agony
The bliss before my eyes!
So stood I, in Heaven's glorious sun,
And in the glare of Hell;
My spirit drank a mingled tone,
Of seraph's song, and demon's moan;
What my soul bore, my soul alone
Within itself may tell!
Like a soft air, above a sea,
Tossed by the tempest's stir;
A thaw-wind, melting quietly
The snow-drift, on some wintry lea;
No: what sweet thing resembles thee,
My thoughtful Comforter?
And yet a little longer speak,
54
Calm this resentful mood;
And while the savage heart grows meek,
For other token do not seek,
But let the tear upon my cheek
Evince my gratitude!
~ Emily Jane Brontë
196:Fairy-Land
Dim vales- and shadowy floodsAnd cloudy-looking woods,
Whose forms we can't discover
For the tears that drip all over!
Huge moons there wax and waneAgain- again- againEvery moment of the nightForever changing placesAnd they put out the star-light
With the breath from their pale faces.
About twelve by the moon-dial,
One more filmy than the rest
(A kind which, upon trial,
They have found to be the best)
Comes down- still down- and down,
With its centre on the crown
Of a mountain's eminence,
While its wide circumference
In easy drapery falls
Over hamlets, over halls,
Wherever they may beO'er the strange woods- o'er the seaOver spirits on the wingOver every drowsy thingAnd buries them up quite
In a labyrinth of lightAnd then, how deep!- O, deep!
Is the passion of their sleep.
In the morning they arise,
And their moony covering
Is soaring in the skies,
With the tempests as they toss,
Like- almost anythingOr a yellow Albatross.
They use that moon no more
For the same end as beforeVidelicet, a tentWhich I think extravagant:
Its atomies, however,
41
Into a shower dissever,
Of which those butterflies
Of Earth, who seek the skies,
And so come down again,
(Never-contented things!)
Have brought a specimen
Upon their quivering wings.
~ Edgar Allan Poe
197:I.
Ah! faint are her limbs, and her footstep is weary,
Yet far must the desolate wanderer roam;
Though the tempest is stern, and the mountain is dreary,
She must quit at deep midnight her pitiless home.
I see her swift foot dash the dew from the whortle,
As she rapidly hastes to the green grove of myrtle;
And I hear, as she wraps round her figure the kirtle,
'Stay thy boat on the lake,--dearest Henry, I come.'

II.
High swelled in her bosom the throb of affection,
As lightly her form bounded over the lea,
And arose in her mind every dear recollection;
'I come, dearest Henry, and wait but for thee.'
How sad, when dear hope every sorrow is soothing,
When sympathy's swell the soft bosom is moving,
And the mind the mild joys of affection is proving,
Is the stern voice of fate that bids happiness flee!

III.
Oh! dark lowered the clouds on that horrible eve,
And the moon dimly gleamed through the tempested air;
Oh! how could fond visions such softness deceive?
Oh! how could false hope rend, a bosom so fair?
Thy love's pallid corse the wild surges are laving,
O'er his form the fierce swell of the tempest is raving;
But, fear not, parting spirit; thy goodness is saving,
In eternity's bowers, a seat for thee there.
The Drowned Lover: Song. 1811; The Lake-Storm, Rossetti, 1870.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Drowned Lover

198:Ballade Of True Wisdom
While others are asking for beauty or fame,
Or praying to know that for which they should pray,
Or courting Queen Venus, that affable dame,
Or chasing the Muses the weary and grey,
The sage has found out a more excellent way To Pan and to Pallas his incense he showers,
And his humble petition puts up day by day,
For a house full of books, and a garden of flowers.
Inventors may bow to the God that is lame,
And crave from the fire on his stithy a ray;
Philosophers kneel to the God without name,
Like the people of Athens, agnostics are they;
The hunter a fawn to Diana will slay,
The maiden wild roses will wreathe for the Hours;
But the wise man will ask, ere libation he pay,
For a house full of books, and a garden of flowers.
Oh! grant me a life without pleasure or blame
(As mortals count pleasure who rush through their day
With a speed to which that of the tempest is tame)!
O grant me a house by the beach of a bay,
Where the waves can be surly in winter, and play
With the sea-weed in summer, ye bountiful powers!
And I'd leave all the hurry, the noise, and the fray,
For a house full of books, and a garden of flowers.
ENVOY.
Gods, grant or withhold it; your 'yea' and your 'nay'
Are immutable, heedless of outcry of ours:
But life IS worth living, and here we would stay
For a house full of books, and a garden of flowers.
~ Andrew Lang
199:The Rainbow
After the tempest in the sky
How sweet yon rainbow to the eye!
Come, my Matilda, now while some
Few drops of rain are yet to come,
In this honeysuckle bower
Safely sheltered from the shower,
We may count the colours o'er.Seven there are, there are no more;
Each in each so finely blended,
Where they begin, or where are ended,
The finest eye can scarcely see.
A fixed thing it seems to be;
But, while we speak, see how it glides
Away, and now observe it hides
Half of its perfect arch-now we
Scarce any part of it can see.
What is colour? If I were
A natural philosopher,
I would tell you what does make
This meteor every colour take:
But an unlearned eye may view
Nature's rare sights, and love them too.
Whenever I a rainbow see,
Each precious tint is dear to me;
For every colour find I there,
Which flowers, which fields, which ladies wear:
My favourite green, the grass's hue,
And the fine deep violet-blue,
And the pretty pale blue-bell,
And the rose I love so well,
All the wondrous variations
Of the tulips, pinks, carnations,
This woodbine here both flower and leaf.
'Tis a truth that's past belief,
That every flower and every tree,
And every living thing we see,
Every face which we espy,
Every cheek and every eye,
In all their tints, in every shade,
166
Are from the rainbow's colours made.
~ Charles Lamb
200:The Wind-Child
MY FOLK’S the wind-folk, it’s there I belong,
I tread the earth below them, and the earth does me wrong,
Before my spirit knew itself, before this frame unfurled,
I was a little wandering breeze and blew about the world.
The winds of the morning that breathe against my cheek
Are kisses of comfort from a love too great to speak;
The whimpering airs that cry by night and never find their rest
Are sobbing to be taken in and soothed upon my breast.
The storm through the mountains, the tempest from the sea,
That ride their cloudy horses and take no thought of me,
They are my noble brothers that hasten to the fight,
They fill my heart with singing, they fill my eyes with light,
They’re a shield upon my shoulder, a sword by my side,
A battle cry for weariness,—and a plume of pride.
But sometimes in the moonlight, when the moon is in the west,
Young and strange and virginal and dropping to her rest,
There comes a wind from out the south, a little chill and thin,
And draws me from the human warmth that houses it within.
My soul streams forth to follow a soul that lures it on,
The sleepy flesh calls kin to it, and murmurs to be gone;
Across the dreaming dewy flowers and through the shadowy trees
The sweet insistent whisper comes, and I am ill at ease.
How, they have not told me, and where, I do not know,
But the wind-folk is my folk, and some day I’ll go.
~ Enid Derham
201:Behold Lucius I am come, thy weeping and prayers hath mooved mee to succour thee. I am she that is the naturall mother of all things, mistresse and governesse of all the Elements, the initiall progeny of worlds, chiefe of powers divine, Queene of heaven! the principall of the Gods celestiall, the light of the goddesses: at my will the planets of the ayre, the wholesome winds of the Seas, and the silences of hell be diposed; my name, my divinity is adored throughout all the world in divers manners, in variable customes and in many names, for the Phrygians call me the mother of the Gods: the Athenians, Minerva: the Cyprians, Venus: the Candians, Diana: the Sicilians Proserpina: the Eleusians, Ceres: some Juno, other Bellona, other Hecate: and principally the Aethiopians which dwell in the Orient, and the Aegyptians which are excellent in all kind of ancient doctrine, and by their proper ceremonies accustome to worship mee, doe call mee Queene Isis. Behold I am come to take pitty of thy fortune and tribulation, behold I am present to favour and ayd thee, leave off thy weeping and lamentation, put away all thy sorrow, for behold the healthfull day which is ordained by my providence, therefore be ready to attend to my commandement. This day which shall come after this night, is dedicated to my service, by an eternall religion, my Priests and Ministers doe accustome after the tempests of the Sea, be ceased, to offer in my name a new ship as a first fruit of my Navigation. ~ Apuleius
202:Just as maniacs, who never enjoy tranquility, so also he who is resentful and retains an enemy will never have the enjoyment of any peace; incessantly raging and daily increasing the tempest of his thoughts calling to mind his words and acts, and detesting the very name of him who has aggrieved him. Do you but mention his enemy, he becomes furious at once, and sustains much inward anguish; and should he chance to get only a bare sight of him, he fears and trembles, as if encountering the worst evils, Indeed, if he perceives any of his relations, if but his garment, or his dwelling, or street, he is tormented by the sight of them. For as in the case of those who are beloved, their faces, their garments, their sandals, their houses, or streets, excite us, the instant we behold them; so also should we observe a servant, or friend, or house, or street, or any thing else belonging to those We hate and hold our enemies, we are stung by all these things; and the strokes we endure from the sight of each one of them are frequent and continual. What is the need then of sustaining such a siege, such torment and such punishment? For if hell did not threaten the resentful, yet for the very torment resulting from the thing itself we ought to forgive the offences of those who have aggrieved us. But when deathless punishments remain behind, what can be more senseless than the man, who both here and there brings punishment upon himself, while he thinks to be revenged upon his enemy!
Homilies on the Statues, Homily XX ~ John Chrysostom
203:Just as maniacs, who never enjoy tranquility, so also he who is resentful and retains an enemy will never have the enjoyment of any peace; incessantly raging and daily increasing the tempest of his thoughts calling to mind his words and acts, and detesting the very name of him who has aggrieved him. Do you but mention his enemy, he becomes furious at once, and sustains much inward anguish; and should he chance to get only a bare sight of him, he fears and trembles, as if encountering the worst evils, Indeed, if he perceives any of his relations, if but his garment, or his dwelling, or street, he is tormented by the sight of them. For as in the case of those who are beloved, their faces, their garments, their sandals, their houses, or streets, excite us, the instant we behold them; so also should we observe a servant, or friend, or house, or street, or any thing else belonging to those We hate and hold our enemies, we are stung by all these things; and the strokes we endure from the sight of each one of them are frequent and continual. What is the need then of sustaining such a siege, such torment and such punishment? For if hell did not threaten the resentful, yet for the very torment resulting from the thing itself we ought to forgive the offences of those who have aggrieved us. But when deathless punishments remain behind, what can be more senseless than the man, who both here and there brings punishment upon himself, while he thinks to be revenged upon his enemy!
Homilies on the Statues, Homily XX ~ Saint John Chrysostom
204:Yes! all is past--swift time has fled away,
Yet its swell pauses on my sickening mind;
How long will horror nerve this frame of clay?
Im dead, and lingers yet my soul behind.
Oh! powerful Fate, revoke thy deadly spell,
And yet that may not ever, ever be,
Heaven will not smile upon the work of Hell;
Ah! no, for Heaven cannot smile on me;
Fate, envious Fate, has sealed my wayward destiny.

I sought the cold brink of the midnight surge,
I sighed beneath its wave to hide my woes,
The rising tempest sung a funeral dirge,
And on the blast a frightful yell arose.
Wild flew the meteors o'er the maddened main,
Wilder did grief athwart my bosom glare;
Stilled was the unearthly howling, and a strain,
Swelled mid the tumult of the battling air,
'Twas like a spirit's song, but yet more soft and fair.

I met a maniaclike he was to me,
I said--'Poor victim, wherefore dost thou roam?
And canst thou not contend with agony,
That thus at midnight thou dost quit thine home?'
'Ah there she sleeps: cold is her bloodless form,
And I will go to slumber in her grave;
And then our ghosts, whilst raves the maddened storm,
Will sweep at midnight oer the wildered wave;
Wilt thou our lowly beds with tears of pity lave?'

'Ah! no, I cannot shed the pitying tear,
This breast is cold, this heart can feel no more--
But I can rest me on thy chilling bier,
Can shriek in horror to the tempest's roar.'

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Fragment - Yes! All Is Past

205:The Requital
LOUD roared the tempest,
Fast fell the sleet;
A little Child Angel
Passed down the street,
With trailing pinions
And weary feet.
The moon was hidden;
No stars were bright;
So she could not shelter
In heaven that night,
For the Angels’ ladders
Are rays of light.
She beat her wings
At each windowpane,
And pleaded for shelter,
But all in vain;—
“Listen,” they said,
“To the pelting rain!”
She sobb’d, as the laughter
And mirth grew higher,
“Give me rest and shelter
Beside your fire,
And I will give you
Your heart’s desire.”
The dreamer sat watching
His embers gleam,
While his heart was floating
Down hope’s bright stream;
…So he wove her wailing
Into his dream.
The worker toil’d on,
For his time was brief;
The mourner was nursing
Her own pale grief;
12
They heard not the promise
That brought relief.
But fiercer the tempest
Rose than before,
When the Angel paus’d
At a humble door,
And ask’d for shelter
And help once more.
A weary woman,
Pale, worn, and thin,
With the brand upon her
Of want and sin,
Heard the Child Angel
And took her in:
Took her in gently,
And did her best
To dry her pinions;
And made her rest
With tender pity
Upon her breast.
When the eastern morning
Grew bright and red,
Up the first sunbeam
The Angel fled;
Having kiss’d the woman
And left her—dead.
~ Adelaide Anne Procter
206:Through the tempest of their passions, through the wild turbulent ride, Sarah was conscious only of sensation. It buffeted her, overwhelmed her mind, etched itself on her awareness. So that despite the heat and the delirious pleasure of his body moving over hers, despite the powerful thrusts that physically rocked her, despite the impossible clamoring urgency that had her tilting her hips to take him yet more deeply, that had her scoring his back urging him desperately to ride her yet more forcefully, the one element that shone through the raging veil was his hunger for her. It was every bit as deep and powerful and demanding as her hunger for him.
No- more.
For him, in him, that hunger was so potent, so deeply ingrained that she had no doubt he would give every last gasp to sate it- to consummate it, to give it life, here with her in their bed. It drove him, and controlled him, and drew her into the maelstrom, too, until she was as passionate as he in finding the way to appease it, to sate it, to discover the way into its temple and sacrifice herself at its altar.
And at the last, in the final mind-shattering moment when she clung by her fingernails over the sensual void, the veils ripped apart and she saw that hungry power clearly- saw, felt, with her own senses knew what it was.
Unquestionably, beyond doubt.
Then he thrust one last time and with a cry she shattered; with a sob she lost her grip on reality and fell. Weightless for that moment, that briefest of journeys, falling from heavenly pleasure into satiation's soothing sea. ~ Stephanie Laurens
207:Autumn
A FRAGMENT
Farewell the softer hours, Spring's opening blush
And Summer's deeper glow, the shepherd's pipe
Tuned to the murmurs of a weeping spring,
And song of birds, and gay enameled fields,—
Farewell! 'T is now the sickness of the year,
Not to be medicined by the skillful hand.
Pale suns arise that like weak kings behold
Their predecessor's empire moulder from them;
While swift-increasing spreads the black domain
Of melancholy Night;—no more content
With equal sway, her stretching shadows gain
On the bright morn, and cloud the evening sky.
Farewell the careless lingering walk at eve,
Sweet with the breath of kine and new-spread hay;
And slumber on a bank, where the lulled youth,
His head on flowers, delicious languor feels
Creep in the blood. A different season now
Invites a different song. The naked trees
Admit the tempest; rent is Nature's robe;
Fast, fast, the blush of Summer fades away
From her wan cheek, and scarce a flower remains
To deck her bosom; Winter follows close,
Pressing impatient on, and with rude breath
Fans her discoloured tresses. Yet not all
Of grace and beauty from the falling year
Is torn ungenial. Still the taper fir
Lifts its green spire, and the dark holly edged
With gold, and many a strong perennial plant,
Yet cheer the waste: nor does yon knot of oaks
Resign its honours to the infant blast.
This is the time, and these the solemn walks,
When inspiration rushes o'er the soul
Sudden, as through the grove the rustling breeze.
~ Anna Laetitia Barbauld
208:
THERE was a wooer blithe and gay,

A son of France was he,--
Who in his arms for many a day,

As though his bride were she,
A poor young maiden had caress'd,
And fondly kiss'd, and fondly press'd,

And then at length deserted.

When this was told the nut-brown maid,

Her senses straightway fled;
She laugh'd and wept, and vow'd and pray'd,

And presently was dead.
The hour her soul its farewell took,
The boy was sad, with terror shook,

Then sprang upon his charger.

He drove his spurs into his side,

And scour'd the country round;
But wheresoever he might ride,

No rest for him was found.
For seven long days and nights he rode,
It storm'd, the waters overflow'd,

It bluster'd, lighten'd, thunder'd.

On rode he through the tempest's din,

Till he a building spied;
In search of shelter crept he in,

When he his steed had tied.
And as he groped his doubtful way,
The ground began to rock and sway,--

He fell a hundred fathoms.

When he recover'd from the blow,

He saw three lights pass by;
He sought in their pursuit to go,

The lights appear'd to fly.
They led his footsteps all astray,
Up, down, through many a narrow way

Through ruin'd desert cellars.

When lo! he stood within a hall,

With hollow eyes. and grinning all;
They bade him taste the fare.

A hundred guests sat there.
He saw his sweetheart 'midst the throng,
Wrapp'd up in grave-clothes white and long;

She turn'd, and----

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Faithless Boy

209:A STRANGE thing surely that my Heart, when love had come unsought
Upon the Norman upland or in that poplar shade,
Should find no burden but itself and yet should be worn out.
It could not bear that burden and therefore it went mad.












The south wind brought it longing, and the east wind
despair,
The west wind made it pitiful, and the north wind
afraid.
It feared to give its love a hurt with all the tempest
there;
It feared the hurt that she could give and therefore it
went mad.
I can exchange opinion with any neighbouring mind,
I have as healthy flesh and blood as any rhymer's had,
But O! my Heart could bear no more when the upland
caught the wind;
I ran, I ran, from my love's side because my Heart went
mad.
HDR II
The Heart behind its rib laughed out. "You have called me mad,' it said,
"Because I made you turn away and run from that young child;
How could she mate with fifty years that was so wildly bred?
Let the cage bird and the cage bird mate and the wild
bird mate in the wild.'
"You but imagine lies all day, O murderer,' I replied.
"And all those lies have but one end, poor wretches to betray;
I did not find in any cage the woman at my side.
O but her heart would break to learn my thoughts are far away.'
'Speak all your mind,' my Heart sang out, "speak all your mind; who cares,
Now that your tongue cannot persuade the child till she mistake
Her childish gratitude for love and match your fifty years?
O let her choose a young man now and all for his wild sake.'

~ William Butler Yeats, Owen Aherne And His Dancers

210:The Monument
Have they destroyed your memorial minaret?
Don't you fear, comrade,
We are still here
A family of ten million, alert and wide awake.
The base that no emperor
Could ever crush
At whose feet
The diamond crown, the blue proclamation,
The naked sabre and the tempestuous cavalry
Have crumbled into dust.
We are that simple hero, that unique crowd,
We who work in fields,
Row on rivers,
Labour in factories!
Have they destroyed your brick minaret?
Well, let them. Don't you fear, comrade,
We a family of ten million
Are alert and wide awake.
What kind of a death is this?
Has anyone seen such a death
Where no one weeps at the head
Of the departed?
Where all sorrow and pain from the Himalayas to the sea
Only come together and blossom
Into the colour of a single flag?
What kind of a death is this?
Has anyone seen such a death
Where no one laments aloud
Where only the sitar turns into the
Gorgeous stream of a mighty waterfall,
Where the season of many words
Leads the pen on to an era of Poetry?
Have they destroyed your brick minaret?
Well, let them. We forty million masons
Have built a minaret with a violin's tune
And the bright colours of our purple heart.
The lives of the martyrs float like islands
In the dark deep eyes of
Rainbows and palash flowers
We have etched for you their names
Through the ages
In the foamy stones of love.
That is why, comrad,
On the granite peak of ou
thousand fistsıShines lik
the sun
The sun of a mighty pledge.
[Translated by Kabir Chowdhury]
~ Alauddin Al Azad
211:From 'The Hills Of Life'
ERE yet the dawn
Pushed rosy fingers up the arch of day
And smiled its promise to the voiceless prime,
Love sat and patterns wove at life's great loom.
He flung the suns into the soundless arch,
Appointed them their courses in the deep,
To keep His great time-harmonies, and blaze
As beacons in the ebon fields of night.
Love balanced them and held them firm and true,
Poised 'twixt attractive and repulsive drift
Amid the throngs of heaven. What though this power
Was ever known to us as gravity,
Its first and last celestial name is Love.
Love spake the word omnipotent, and lo!
Upon the distant and mid deep, the earth
Was flung, robed in blue skies and summer lands,
Green-garlanded with leaves and bright with flowers,
While songsters fluttered in the rosy skies.
But sometimes, moaning through the dark-leaved pines,
Or sobbing down the lonely shores of time,
Or wailing in the tempest-arch of night,
Love moved unresting and unsatisfied.
The faces of the hills in beauty smiled,
The night's deep vault blazed with configured stars,
Fair nature throbbed through all her frame of light,
And everywhere was Love's fine energy;
But fields and forests, flowers and firmaments
Had not attained to understand the throb
And thrill of life, so Love made human hearts
That mightily could feel and understand;
Made them his constant home, centre and sweep,
Channel and instrument of life and truth,
The word of God on earth, Love's other self,
The high ambassadors of truth and light;
And Love was free where Life was wholly true.
~ Albert Durrant Watson
212:And canst thou mock mine agony, thus calm
In cloudless radiance, Queen of silver night?
Can you, ye flow'rets, spread your perfumed balm
Mid pearly gems of dew that shine so bright?
And you wild winds, thus can you sleep so still
Whilst throbs the tempest of my breast so high?
Can the fierce night-fiends rest on yonder hill,
And, in the eternal mansions of the sky,
Can the directors of the storm in powerless silence lie?

Hark! I hear music on the zephyrs wing,
Louder it floats along the unruffled sky;
Some fairy sure has touched the viewless string--
Now faint in distant air the murmurs die.
Awhile it stills the tide of agony.
Now--now it loftier swells--again stern woe
Arises with the awakening melody.
Again fierce torments, such as demons know,
In bitterer, feller tide, on this torn bosom flow.

Arise ye sightless spirits of the storm,
Ye unseen minstrels of the aereal song,
Pour the fierce tide around this lonely form,
And roll the tempest's wildest swell along.
Dart the red lightning, wing the forked flash,
Pour from thy cloud-formed hills the thunders roar;
Arouse the whirlwind--and let ocean dash
In fiercest tumult on the rocking shore,--
Destroy this life or let earth's fabric be no more.

Yes! every tie that links me here is dead;
Mysterious Fate, thy mandate I obey,
Since hope and peace, and joy, for aye are fled,
I come, terrific power, I come away.
Then o'er this ruined soul let spirits of Hell,
In triumph, laughing wildly, mock its pain;
And though with direst pangs mine heart-strings swell,
Ill echo back their deadly yells again,
Cursing the power that neer made aught in vain.


  
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Despair

213:A Dedication
They are rhymes rudely strung with intent less
Of sound than of words,
In lands where bright blossoms are scentless,
And songless bright birds;
Where, with fire and fierce drought on her tresses,
Insatiable Summer oppresses
Sere woodlands and sad wildernesses,
And faint flocks and herds.
Where in drieariest days, when all dews end,
And all winds are warm,
Wild Winter's large floodgates are loosen'd,
And floods, freed by storm;
From broken-up fountain heads, dash on
Dry deserts with long pent up passion-Here rhyme was first framed without fashion,
Song shaped without form.
Whence gather'd?--The locust's glad chirrup
May furnish a stave;
The ring os rowel and stirrup,
The wash of a wave.
The chauntof a marsh frog in rushes
That chimes through the pauses and hushes
Of nightfall, the torrent that gushes,
The tempests that rave.
In the deep'ning of dawn, when it dapples
The dusk of the sky,
With streaks like the redd'ning of apples,
The ripening of rye.
To eastward, when cluster by cluster,
Dim stars and dull planets, that muster,
Wax wan in a world of white lustre
That spreads far and high.
In the gathering of night gloom o'er head, in
The still silent change,
All fire-flush'd when forest trees redden
On slopes of the range.
When the gnarl'd knotted trunks Eucalyptian
Seemed carved like weird columns Egyptian
With curious device--quaint inscription,
And heiroglyph strange.
In the Spring, when the wattle gold trembles
'Twixt shadow and shine,
When each dew-laden air draught resembles
A long draught of wine;
When the skyline's blue burnished resistance
Makes deeper the dreamiest distance,
Some song in all hearts hath existence,-Such songs have been mine.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon
214:THE WRATH TO COME. — MATTHEW 3:7 I t is pleasant to pass over a country after a storm has spent itself—to smell the freshness of the herbs after the rain has passed away, and to note the drops while they glisten like purest diamonds in the sunlight. That is the position of a Christian. He is going through a land where the storm has spent itself upon His Savior’s head, and if there be a few drops of sorrow falling, they distill from clouds of mercy, and Jesus cheers him by the assurance that they are not for his destruction. But how terrible it is to witness the approach of a tempest—to note the forewarnings of the storm; to mark the birds of heaven as they droop their wings; to see the cattle as they lay their heads low in terror; to discern the face of the sky as it grows black, and to find the sun obscured, and the heavens angry and frowning! How terrible to await the dread advance of a hurricane, to wait in terrible apprehension till the wind rushes forth in fury, tearing up trees from their roots, forcing rocks from their pedestals, and hurling down all the dwelling-places of man! And yet, sinner, this is your present position. No hot drops have fallen as yet, but a shower of fire is coming. No terrible winds howl around you, but God’s tempest is gathering its dread artillery. So far the water-floods are dammed up by mercy, but the floodgates will soon be opened: The thunderbolts of God are still in His storehouse, the tempest is coming, and how awful will that moment be when God, robed in vengeance, shall march forth in fury! Where, where, where, O sinner, will you hide your head, or where will you run to? May the hand of mercy lead you now to Christ! He is freely set before you in the Gospel: His pierced side is the place of shelter. You know your need of Him; believe in Him, cast yourself upon Him, and then the fury shall be past forever. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
215:I.
It lieth, gazing on the midnight sky,
Upon the cloudy mountain-peak supine;
Below, far lands are seen tremblingly;
Its horror and its beauty are divine.
Upon its lips and eyelids seems to lie
Loveliness like a shadow, from which shine,
Fiery and lurid, struggling underneath,
The agonies of anguish and of death.

II.
Yet it is less the horror than the grace
Which turns the gazer's spirit into stone,
Whereon the lineaments of that dead face
Are graven, till the characters be grown
Into itself, and thought no more can trace;
Tis the melodious hue of beauty thrown
Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain,
Which humanize and harmonize the strain.

III.
And from its head as from one body grow,
As grass out of a watery rock,
Hairs which are vipers, and they curl and flow
And their long tangles in each other lock,
And with unending involutions show
Their mailed radiance, as it were to mock
The torture and the death within, and saw
The solid air with many a ragged jaw.

IV.
And, from a stone beside, a poisonous eft
Peeps idly into those Gorgonian eyes;
Whilst in the air a ghastly bat, bereft
Of sense, has flitted with a mad surprise
Out of the cave this hideous light had cleft,
And he comes hastening like a moth that hies
After a taper; and the midnight sky
Flares, a light more dread than obscurity.

V.
'Tis the tempestuous loveliness of terror;
For from the serpents gleams a brazen glare
Kindled by that inextricable error,
Which makes a thrilling vapour of the air
Become a and ever-shifting mirror
Of all the beauty and the terror there--
A womans countenance, with serpent-locks,
Gazing in death on Heaven from those wet rocks.
Published by Mrs. Shelley, Posthumous Poems, 1824.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, On The Medusa Of Leonardo da Vinci In The Florentine Gallery

216:The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams, ocean, and all the living things that dwell within the daedal earth; lightning, and rain, earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane, the torpor of the year when feeble dreams visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep holds every future leaf and flower; the bound with which from that detested trance they leap; the works and ways of man, their death and birth, and that of him and all that his may be; all things that move and breathe with toil and sound are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell. Power dwells apart in its tranquillity, remote, serene, and inaccessible: and this, the naked countenance of earth, on which I gaze, even these primeval mountains teach the adverting mind. The glaciers creep like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains, slow rolling on; there, many a precipice frost and the sun in scorn of mortal power have pil'd: dome, pyramid, and pinnacle, a city of death, distinct with many a tower and wall impregnable of beaming ice. Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin is there, that from the boundaries of the sky rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing its destin'd path, or in the mangled soil branchless and shatter'd stand; the rocks, drawn down from yon remotest waste, have overthrown the limits of the dead and living world, never to be reclaim'd. The dwelling-place of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil; their food and their retreat for ever gone, so much of life and joy is lost. The race of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream, and their place is not known. Below, vast caves shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam, which from those secret chasms in tumult welling meet in the vale, and one majestic river, the breath and blood of distant lands, for ever rolls its loud waters to the ocean-waves, breathes its swift vapours to the circling air. ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
217:March 4 MORNING “My grace is sufficient for thee.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9 IF none of God’s saints were poor and tried, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace. When we find the wanderer who has not where to lay his head, who yet can say, “Still will I trust in the Lord;” when we see the pauper starving on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction, and yet having faith in Christ, oh! what honour it reflects on the gospel. God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring — that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily, or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as He is pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace. There is a lighthouse out at sea: it is a calm night — I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm; the tempest must rage about it, and then I shall know whether it will stand. So with the Spirit’s work: if it were not on many occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we should not know that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it, we should not know how firm and secure it was. The master-works of God are those men who stand in the midst of difficulties, stedfast, unmoveable, — “Calm mid the bewildering cry, Confident of victory.” He who would glorify his God must set his account upon meeting with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts be many. If then, yours be a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will the better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream of it — hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
218:February 25 MORNING “The wrath to come.” — Matthew 3:7 IT is pleasant to pass over a country after a storm has spent itself; to smell the freshness of the herbs after the rain has passed away, and to note the drops while they glisten like purest diamonds in the sunlight. That is the position of a Christian. He is going through a land where the storm has spent itself upon His Saviour’s head, and if there be a few drops of sorrow falling, they distil from clouds of mercy, and Jesus cheers him by the assurance that they are not for his destruction. But how terrible it is to witness the approach of a tempest: to note the forewarnings of the storm; to mark the birds of heaven as they droop their wings; to see the cattle as they lay their heads low in terror; to discern the face of the sky as it groweth black, and look to the sun which shineth not, and the heavens which are angry and frowning! How terrible to await the dread advance of a hurricane — such as occurs, sometimes, in the tropics — to wait in terrible apprehension till the wind shall rush forth in fury, tearing up trees from their roots, forcing rocks from their pedestals, and hurling down all the dwelling-places of man! And yet, sinner, this is your present position. No hot drops have as yet fallen, but a shower of fire is coming. No terrible winds howl around you, but God’s tempest is gathering its dread artillery. As yet the water-floods are dammed up by mercy, but the flood-gates shall soon be opened: the thunderbolts of God are yet in His storehouse, but lo! the tempest hastens, and how awful shall that moment be when God, robed in vengeance, shall march forth in fury! Where, where, where, O sinner, wilt thou hide thy head, or whither wilt thou flee? O that the hand of mercy may now lead you to Christ! He is freely set before you in the gospel: His riven side is the rock of shelter. Thou knowest thy need of Him; believe in Him, cast thyself upon Him, and then the fury shall be overpast for ever. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
219:Eh? How 'bout that?" Bill nudged her. "Did I promise to show you love or did I promise to show you love?"
"Sure,they seem like they're in love." Luce shrugged. "But-"
"But what?Do you have any idea how painful that is? Look at that guy. He makes getting inked look like being caressed by a soft breeze."
Luce squirmed on the branch. "Is that the lesson here? Pain equals love?"
"You tell me," Bill said. "It may surprise you to hear this,but the ladies aren't exactly banging down Bill's door."
"I mean,if I tattooed Daniel's same on my body would that mean I loved him more than I already do?"
"It's a symbol,Luce." Bill let out a raspy sigh. "You're being too literal. Think about it this way: Daniel is the first good-looking boy LuLu has ever seen. Until he washed ashore a few months ago, this girl's whole world was her father and a few fat natives."
"She's Miranda," Luce said, remembering the love story from The Tempest, which she'd read in her tenth-grade Shakespeare seminar.
"How very civilized of you!" Bill pursed his lips with approval. "They are liek Ferdinand and Miranda: The handsome foreigner shipwrecks on her shores-"
"So,of course it was love at first sight for LuLu," Luce murmured. This was what she was afraid of: the same thoughtless,automatic love that had bothered her in Helston.
"Right," Bill said. "She didn't have a choice but to fall for him.But what's interesting here is Daniel. You see, he didn't have to teach her to craft a woven sail, or gain her father's trust by producing a season's worth of fish to cure,or exhibit C"-Bill pointed at the lovers on the beach-"agree to tattoo his whole body according to her local custom.It would have been enough if Daniel had just shown up.LuLu would have loved him anyway."
"He's doing it because-" Luce thought aloud. "Because he wants to earn her love.Because otherwise,he would just be taking advantage of their curse. Because no matter what kind of cycle they're bound to,his love for her is...true. ~ Lauren Kate
220:February 12 MORNING “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 1:5 HERE is a blessed proportion. The Ruler of Providence bears a pair of scales — in this side He puts His people’s trials, and in that He puts their consolations. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy. When the black clouds gather most, the light is the more brightly revealed to us. When the night lowers and the tempest is coming on, the Heavenly Captain is always closest to His crew. It is a blessed thing, that when we are most cast down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit. One reason is, because trials make more room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. God comes into our heart — He finds it full — He begins to break our comforts and to make it empty; then there is more room for grace. The humbler a man lies, the more comfort he will always have, because he will be more fitted to receive it. Another reason why we are often most happy in our troubles, is this — then we have the closest dealings with God. When the barn is full, man can live without God: when the purse is bursting with gold, we try to do without so much prayer. But once take our gourds away, and we want our God; once cleanse the idols out of the house, then we are compelled to honour Jehovah. “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.” There is no cry so good as that which comes from the bottom of the mountains; no prayer half so hearty as that which comes up from the depths of the soul, through deep trials and afflictions. Hence they bring us to God, and we are happier; for nearness to God is happiness. Come, troubled believer, fret not over your heavy troubles, for they are the heralds of weighty mercies. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
221:MANY a day and night my bark stood ready laden;
Waiting fav'ring winds, I sat with true friends round me,
Pledging me to patience and to courage,
In the haven.

And they spoke thus with impatience twofold:
"Gladly pray we for thy rapid passage,
Gladly for thy happy voyage; fortune
In the distant world is waiting for thee,
In our arms thoult find thy prize, and love too,
When returning."

And when morning came, arose an uproar,
And the sailors' joyous shouts awoke us;
All was stirring, all was living, moving,
Bent on sailing with the first kind zephyr.

And the sails soon in the breeze are swelling,
And the sun with fiery love invites us;
Fill'd the sails are, clouds on high are floating,
On the shore each friend exulting raises
Songs of hope, in giddy joy expecting
Joy the voyage through, as on the morn of sailing,
And the earliest starry nights so radiant.

But by God-sent changing winds ere long he's driven
Sideways from the course he had intended,
And he feigns as though he would surrender,
While he gently striveth to outwit them,

To his goal, e'en when thus press'd, still faithful.
But from out the damp grey distance rising,
Softly now the storm proclaims its advent,
Presseth down each bird upon the waters,
Presseth down the throbbing hearts of mortals.
And it cometh. At its stubborn fury,
Wisely ev'ry sail the seaman striketh;
With the anguish-laden ball are sporting
Wind and water.

And on yonder shore are gather'd standing,
Friends and lovers, trembling for the bold one:
"Why, alas, remain'd he here not with us!
Ah, the tempest! Cast away by fortune!
Must the good one perish in this fashion?
Might not he perchance.... Ye great immortals!"

Yet he, like a man, stands by his rudder;
With the bark are sporting wind and water,
Wind and water sport not with his bosom:
On the fierce deep looks he, as a master,--
In his gods, or shipwreck'd, or safe landed,
Trusting ever.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sea-Voyage

222:A Mother's Wail
The sweet young Spring walks over the earth,
It flushes and glows on moor and lea;
The birds are singing in careless mirth,
The brook flows cheerily on to the sea;
And I know that the flowers are blooming now
Over my beautiful darling's brow:
Blooming and blowing in perfume now
Over my poor lost darling's brow.
The breath of the passionate Summer turns
The green of the hills to a deeper dye;
The wind from the south land blows and burns,
The sun grows red in the brazen sky;
And I know that the long, dank grasses wave
Over my beautiful darling's grave:
Rise and fall, and lift and wave
Over my darling's narrow grave.
The days flow on, and the summer dies,
And glorious Autumn takes the crown;
And toward the south the robin flies,
And the green of the hills grows dull and brown;
And the leaves, all purple, and gold, and red,
Drift over my precious darling's bed:
Drift and flutter, all gold and red,
Over my darling's lowly bed.
The Winter comes with its chilling snows,
And wraps the world in a spotless shroud;
And cold from the north the wild wind blows,
And the tempest rages fierce and loud;
It shrieks, and sobs, and sighs, and weeps
Over the mound where my darling sleeps:
In pity, it sobs, and sighs, and weeps
Over the mound where my lost one sleeps.
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He was so young, and fair, and brave:
The pride of my bosom-my heart's best joy;
And he lieth now in a drunkard's grave;
My beautiful darling, my only boy:
But down in my heart of hearts, I know
He has gone where his tempters never can go:
To heaven his soul has gone, I know,
Where the soul of his tempters never can go.
They charmed him into their licensed hell,
They gave him rum, and his eye grew wild;
And lower and lower down he fell,
Till they made a fiend of my precious child:
May the curses of God fall on the soul
Who gave my darling the poison bowl!
Ay, curses dark and deep on the soul
Who tempted my darling to lift the bowl!
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
223:The Cathedral Tombs
THEY lie, with upraised hands, and feet
Stretched like dead feet that walk no more,
And stony masks oft human sweet,
As if the olden look each wore,
Familiar curves of lip and eye,
Were wrought by some fond memory.
All waiting: the new-coffined dead,
The handful of mere dust that lies
Sarcophagused in stone and lead
Under the weight of centuries:
Knight, cardinal, bishop, abbess mild,
With last week's buried year-old child.
After the tempest cometh peace,
After long travail sweet repose;
These folded palms, these feet that cease
From any motion, are but shows
Of--what? What rest? How rest they? Where?
The generations naught declare.
Dark grave, unto whose brink we come,
Drawn nearer by all nights and days;
Each after each, thy solemn gloom
We pierce with momentary gaze,
Then go, unwilling or content,
The way that all our fathers went.
Is there no voice or guiding hand
Arising from the awful void,
To say, 'Fear not the silent land;
Would He make aught to be destroyed?
Would He? or can He? What know we
Of Him who is Infinity?
Strong Love, which taught us human love,
Helped us to follow through all spheres
Some soul that did sweet dead lips move,
Lived in dear eyes in smiles and tears,
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Love--once so near our flesh allied,
That 'Jesus wept' when Lazarus died;-Eagle-eyed Faith that can see God,
In worlds without and heart within;
In sorrow by the smart o' the rod,
In guilt by the anguish of the sin;
In everything pure, holy, fair,
God saying to man's soul, 'I am there';-These only, twin-archangels, stand
Above the abyss of common doom,
These only stretch the tender hand
To us descending to the tomb,
Thus making it a bed of rest
With spices and with odors drest.
So, like one weary and worn, who sinks
To sleep beneath long faithful eyes,
Who asks no word of love, but drinks
The silence which is paradise-We only cry--'Keep angelward,
And give us good rest, O good Lord!'
~ Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
224:She squirmed with delight, making him groan. Her wriggling must test him. Some devil made her move again.
"Jesus, Grace," he gritted out. "You try my limits."
"I hope so," she purred. He felt so wonderful inside her. As if he supplied part of her that she only realized now she'd lacked. She bent her knees and tilted her hips so he went deeper. She ran her hands down the tense muscles of his back. He flexed under her touch.
"That felt good," she said breathlessly. "Do it again."
"If I start, I won't stop." his voice was rough.
"Start." She shifted again and felt him shudder.
"Grace," he grated out. He withdrew, then plunged into her. Her nails sank into his back and her womb clenched in welcome.
With deliberate slowness, he set the familiar rhythm.
Except none of this was familiar. Every time he settled in her body, he forged an emotional connection that nothing could sever.
On and on he went. Possession. Release. Possession. Release. Every thrust another link in the chain that bound her to him.
Eventually his inhuman control fractured and he drove into her faster, more wildly. With every thrust, her excitement built. It echoed how she'd felt when he kissed her between the legs. That had been wonderful, astounding.But this was more powerful.
Because he was with her.
He pounded into her as though he meant to crush her. She didn't care. She never wanted this spiraling feeling to end. The storm swirled her higher and higher.
Ecstasy poised her on a knife edge. She cried out and rose to meet him. He changed the angle of his penetration and went even deeper. The pleasure edged close to pain. She tensed as he pressed hard inside her. Then her womb opened and she took all of him. Her inner muscles convulsed into spasms of delight and she screamed.
Violent rapture flung her against the doors of heaven itself. She was lost in a hot, dark world where nothing existed except Matthew. All she could do was hold him and prayed she survived.
Through the tempest that blasted her, he reached his climax. He groaned and convulsed in her arms. For this moment, he was unequivocally hers and she reveled in the possession. ~ Anna Campbell
225:Cold, cold is the blast when December is howling,
Cold are the damps on a dying man's brow,--
Stern are the seas when the wild waves are rolling,
And sad is the grave where a loved one lies low;
But colder is scorn from the being who loved thee,
More stern is the sneer from the friend who has proved thee,
More sad are the tears when their sorrows have moved thee,
Which mixed with groans anguish and wild madness flow--

And ah! poor has felt all this horror,
Full long the fallen victim contended with fate:
Till a destitute outcast abandoned to sorrow,
She sought her babe's food at her ruiner's gate--
Another had charmed the remorseless betrayer,
He turned laughing aside from her moans and her prayer,
She said nothing, but wringing the wet from her hair,
Crossed the dark mountain side, though the hour it was late.
'Twas on the wild height of the dark Penmanmawr,
That the form of the wasted -- reclined;
She shrieked to the ravens that croaked from afar,
And she sighed to the gusts of the wild sweeping wind.--
I call not yon rocks where the thunder peals rattle,
I call not yon clouds where the elements battle,
But thee, cruel -- I call thee unkind!'--

Then she wreathed in her hair the wild flowers of the mountain,
And deliriously laughing, a garland entwined,
She bedewed it with tears, then she hung o'er the fountain,
And leaving it, cast it a prey to the wind.
'Ah! go,' she exclaimed, 'when the tempest is yelling,
'Tis unkind to be cast on the sea that is swelling,
But I left, a pitiless outcast, my dwelling,
My garments are torn, so they say is my mind--'

Not long lived --, but over her grave
Waved the desolate form of a storm-blasted yew,
Around it no demons or ghosts dare to rave,
But spirits of peace steep her slumbers in dew.
Then stay thy swift steps mid the dark mountain heather,
Though chill blow the wind and severe is the weather,
For perfidy, traveller! cannot bereave her,
Of the tears, to the tombs of the innocent due.--

JULY, 1810.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Song. Cold, Cold Is The Blast When December Is Howling

226:The Lost Colonel
''Tis a woeful yarn,' said the sailor man bold
Who had sailed the northern-lakes
'No woefuler one has ever been told
Exceptin' them called 'fakes.''
'Go on, thou son of the wind and fog,
For I burn to know the worst!'
But his silent lip in a glass of grog
Was dreamily immersed.
Then he wiped it on his sleeve and said:
'It's never like that I drinks
But what of the gallant gent that's dead
I truly mournful thinks.
'He was a soldier chap-leastways
As 'Colonel' he was knew;
An' he hailed from some'rs where they raise
A grass that's heavenly blue.
'He sailed as a passenger aboard
The schooner 'Henery Jo.'
O wild the waves and galeses roared,
Like taggers in a show!
'But he sat at table that calm an' mild
As if he never had let
His sperit know that the waves was wild
An' everlastin' wet!'Jest set with a bottle afore his nose,
As was labeled 'Total Eclipse'
(The bottle was) an' he frequent rose
A glass o' the same to his lips.
'An' he says to me (for the steward slick
Of the 'Henery Jo' was I):
'This sailor life's the very old Nick
On the lakes it's powerful dry!'
507
'I says: 'Aye, aye, sir, it beats the Dutch.
I hopes you'll outlast the trip.'
But if I'd been him-an' I said as much
I'd 'a' took a faster ship.
'His laughture, loud an' long an' free,
Rang out o'er the tempest's roar.
'You're an elegant reasoner,' says he,
'But it's powerful dry ashore!''
'O mariner man, why pause and don
A look of so deep concern?
Have another glass-go on, go on,
For to know the worst I burn.'
'One day he was leanin' over the rail,
When his footing some way slipped,
An' (this is the woefulest part o' my tale),
He was accidental unshipped!
'The empty boats was overboard hove,
As he swum in the 'Henery's wake';
But 'fore we had 'bouted ship he had drove
From sight on the ragin' lake!'
'And so the poor gentleman was drowned
And now I'm apprised of the worst.'
'What! him? 'Twas an hour afore he was found
In the yawl-stone dead o' thirst!'
~ Ambrose Bierce
227:Hawker, The Standard Bearer
The grey gull sat on a floating whale,
On a floating whale sat he,
And he told his tale of the storm and the gale,
And the ships that he saw with steam and sail,
As he flew by the Northern Sea.
"I have seen a sign that is strange and new,
That I never before did see:
A flying ship that roared as it flew,
The storm and the tempest driving through,
It carried a flag and it carried a crew,
Now what would that be?" said he.
"And the flag was a Jack with stars displayed,
A flag that is new to me;
For it does not ply in the Northern trade,
But it drove through the storm-wrack unafraid,
Now, what is that flag?" said he.
"I have seen that flag that is starred with white,"
Said a southern gull, said he,
"And saw it fly in a bloody fight,
When the raider Emden turned in flight,
And crashed on the Cocos lee."
"And who are these folk whose flag is first
Of all the flags that fly
To dare the storm and the fog accurst,
Of the great North Sea where the bergs are nursed,
And the Northern Lights ride high?"
"The Australian folk," said a lone sea-mew,
"The Australian flag," said he.
"It is strange that a folk that is far and few
Should fly their flag where there never flew
Another flag!" said he.
"I have followed their flag in the fields of France,
With its white stars flying free,
And no misfortune and no mischance
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Could turn them back from their line of advance,
Or the line that they held," said he.
"Whenever there's ever rule to break,
Wherever they oughtn't to be,
With a death to dare and a risk to take,
A track to find or a way to make,
You will find them there," said he.
"They come from a land that is parched with thirst,
An inland land," said he,
"On risk and danger their breed is nursed,
And thus it happens their flag is first
To fly in the Northern Sea."
"Though Hawker perished, he overcame
The risks of the storm and the sea,
And his name shall be written in stars of flame,
On the topmost walls of the Temple of Fame,
For the rest of the world to see."
~ Banjo Paterson
228:During the boisterous years of my youth nothing used to damp my wild spirits so much as to think that I was born at a time when the world had manifestly decided not to erect any more temples of fame except in honour of business people and State officials. The tempest of historical achievements
seemed to have permanently subsided, so much so that the future appeared to be irrevocably delivered over to what was called peaceful competition between the nations. This simply meant a system of mutual exploitation by fraudulent means, the principle of resorting to the use of force in self-defence being formally excluded. Individual countries increasingly assumed the appearance of commercial undertakings, grabbing territory and clients and concessions from each other under any and every kind of pretext. And it was all staged to an accompaniment of loud but innocuous shouting. This trend of affairs seemed destined to develop steadily and permanently. Having the support of public approbation, it seemed bound eventually to transform the world into a mammoth department store. In the vestibule of this emporium there would be rows of monumental busts which would confer immortality on those profiteers who had proved themselves the shrewdest at their trade and those administrative officials who had shown themselves the most innocuous. The salesmen could be represented by the English and the administrative functionaries by the Germans; whereas the Jews would be sacrificed to the unprofitable calling of proprietorship, for they are constantly avowing that they make no profits and are always being called upon to 'pay out'. Moreover they have the advantage of being versed in the foreign languages.

Why could I not have been born a hundred years ago? I used to ask myself. Somewhere about the time of the Wars of Liberation, when a man was still of some value even though he had no 'business'.

Thus I used to think it an ill-deserved stroke of bad luck that I had arrived too late on this terrestrial globe, and I felt chagrined at the idea that my life would have to run its course along peaceful and orderly lines. As a boy I was anything but a pacifist and all attempts to make me so turned out futile. ~ Adolf Hitler
229:Thora
Come under my cloak, my darling!
Thou little Norwegian main!
Nor wind, nor rain, nor rolling sea
Shall chill or make thee afraid.
Come close, little blue-eyed maiden,
Nestle within my arm;
Thought the lightning leaps and the thunder peals,
We shall be safe from harm.
Swift from the dim horizon
The dark sails scud for the land.
Look, how the rain-cloud drops its fringe
About us on either hand!
And high from our plunging bowsprit
Dashes the cold white spray,
And storm and tumult fill the air
And trouble the summer day.
But thou fearest nothing, darling,
Thought the tempest mutter and brood,
Though the wild wind tosses they bright brown locks,
And flutters thy grass-green snood.
I kiss they wise wide forehead,
While the thunder rolls so grand;
And I hold the curve of they lovely cheek
In the hollow of my hand;
And I watch the sky and the ocean,
And I study they gentle face -Its lines of sweetness and power,
Thy type of they strong Norse race.
And I wonder what thy life will be,
Thou dear and charming child,
Who hast drifted so far across the world
To a home so lone and wild.
37
Rude and rough and sad, perhaps;
Anxious and full of toil;
But I think no sorrow or hardship
Thine inner peace can spoil.
For better than kingly fortunes
Is the wealth that thou dost hold -A nature perfectly balanced,
A beauty of heart untold.
Thou wilt open the door of patience,
When sorry shall come and knock;
But to every evil, unworthy thing
Wilt thou the gates fast lock.
So shall thy day be blessed,
Whatever may be thy lot.
But what I am silently pondering
Thou understandest not,
And liftest to me thy steadfast eyes,
Calm as if heaven looked through.
Do all the maidens in Norway
Have eyes so clear and blue?
See, darling, where, in the distance,
The cloud breaks up in the sky,
And lets a ray of sunshine fall
Where our far-off islands lie!
White they gleam, and the sea grows bright
And silver shines the foam.
A little space, and our anchor drops
In the haven of Love and Home!
~ Celia Thaxter
230:Lily fought like a lynx caught in a steel trap. She scratched and bit and kicked with a force that took Connell by surprise. Her teeth sank into the sensitive flesh of his palm and forced him to let go. “Calm down, Lily. It’s just me, Connell.” The beginning of her scream died away, and she spun on him, her eyes flashing with fury. “Why did you sneak up on me like that?” “I didn’t mean to.” He brought his smarting hand to his mouth and sucked at the blood she’d drawn. “When you didn’t hear me approach, I thought I might startle you. And I didn’t want you to scream—a sure way to get every shanty boy in the camp to come running.” The tempest in her eyes turned into a low gale. He glanced at the teeth marks she’d left in his hand. “You sure know how to greet a fellow.” “And you sure know how to scare a girl half to death.” “Why exactly were you so scared?” “Because I thought you were someone else.” “And what if I had been someone else?” She paused, her pretty lips stalled around the shape of her next word. “Any number of the rough men from this camp could have followed you out here.” He’d seen the way the men were looking at her, how they hadn’t been able to take their eyes off her from the moment she’d arrived. “What would you have done then?” When she’d run off into the woods after the stupid cat, he’d had to yell at several of the men to stop them from chasing after her. “I would have screamed.” She pulled herself up to her full height, which he estimated to be five feet six inches. “Since apparently I’d get lots of attention that way.” “I’m serious,” he started. But then at the glimpse of the twinkle in her eyes, his ready lecture stalled. He stuck his aching hand into his pocket and pressed his wound against the scratchy wool. “I appreciate your concern,” she offered with the hint of a smile. “But I’m a much stronger woman than you realize.” She’d be no match for any of his strong shanty boys. “You were reckless to wander off by yourself.” He tried to soften his accusation, but he wanted her to realize the constant danger she was in simply by being an attractive woman in a place populated by lusty men. “I strongly suggest you refrain from doing so again—especially if you hope to avoid any further run-ins. ~ Jody Hedlund
231:And for the same reason, because that which we are seeking through beauty is in the end that which we are seeking through religion, the Absolute, the Divine. The search for beauty is only in its beginning a satisfaction in the beauty of form, the beauty which appeals to the physical senses and the vital impressions, impulsions, desires. It is only in the middle a satisfaction in the beauty of the ideas seized, the emotions aroused, the perception of perfect process and harmonious combination. Behind them the soul of beauty in us desires the contact, the revelation, the uplifting delight of an absolute beauty in all things which it feels to be present, but which neither the senses and instincts by themselves can give, though they may be its channels, - for it is suprasensuous, - nor the reason and intelligence, though they too are a channel, - for it is suprarational, supra-intellectual, - but to which through all these veils the soul itself seeks to arrive. When it can get the touch of this universal, absolute beauty, this soul of beauty, this sense of its revelation in any slightest or greatest thing, the beauty of a flower, a form, the beauty and power of a character, an action, an event, a human life, an idea, a stroke of the brush or the chisel or a scintillation of the mind, the colours of a sunset or the grandeur of the tempest, it is then that the sense of beauty in us is really, powerfully, entirely satisfied. It is in truth seeking, as in religion, for the Divine, the All-Beautiful in man, in nature, in life, in thought, in art; for God is Beauty and Delight hidden in the variation of his masks and forms. When, fulfilled in our growing sense and knowledge of beauty and delight in beauty and our power for beauty, we are able to identify ourselves in soul with this Absolute and Divine in all the forms and activities of the world and shape an image of our inner and our outer life in the highest image we can perceive and embody of the All-Beautiful, then the aesthetic being in us who was born for this end, has fulfilled himself and risen to his divine consummation. To find highest beauty is to find God; to reveal, to embody, to create, as we say, highest beauty is to bring out of our souls the living image and power of God. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle, 144,
232:Oh, Gray, she said. Oh, gray, indeed. As in, oh Gray what the holy hell has come over you and what the devil do you intend to do about it?
He took the coward’s way out. He looked away.
“I thought you were painting a portrait. Of me.”
She turned her head, following his gaze to her easel. A vast seascape overflowed the small canvas. Towering thunderclouds and a violent, frothy sea. And slightly off center, a tiny ship cresting a massive wave.
“I am painting you.”
“What, am I on the little boat, then?” It was a relief to joke.
The relief was short-lived.
“No,” she said softly, turning back to look at him. “I’m on the little boat. You’re the storm. And the ocean. You’re…Gray, you’re everything.”
And that was when things went from “very bad” to “worse.”
“I can’t take credit for the composition. It’s inspired by a painting I once saw, in a gallery on Queen Anne Street. By a Mr. Turner.”
“Turner. Yes, I know his work. No relation, I suppose?”
“No.” She looked back at the canvas. “When I saw it that day, so brash and wild…I could feel the tempest churning in my blood. I just knew then and there, that I had something inside me-a passion too bold, too grand to keep squeezed inside a drawing room. First I tried to deny it, and then I tried to run from it…and then I met you, and I saw you have it, too. Don’t deny it, Gray. Don’t run from it and leave me alone.”
She sat up, still rubbing his cheek with her thumb. Grasping his other hand, she drew it to her naked breast. Oh, God. She was every bit as soft as he’d dreamed. Softer. And there went his hand now. Trembling.
“Touch me, Gray.” She leaned forward, until her lips paused a mere inch away from his. “Kiss me.”
Perhaps that dagger had missed his heart after all, because the damned thing was hammering away inside his chest. And oh, he could taste her sweet breath mingling with his. Her lips were so close, so inviting.
So dangerous.
Panic-that’s what had his knees trembling and his heart hammering and his lips spouting foolishness. It had to be panic. Because something told Gray that he could see her mostly naked, and watch her toes curl as she reached her climax, and even cup her dream-soft breast in his palm-but somehow, if he touched his lips to hers, he would be lost.
“Please,” she whispered. “Kiss me. ~ Tessa Dare
233:FIRST SPIRIT:
O thou, who plumed with strong desire
Wouldst float above the earth, beware!
A Shadow tracks thy flight of fire--
Night is coming!
Bright are the regions of the air,
And among the winds and beams
It were delight to wander there--
Night is coming!

SECOND SPIRIT:
The deathless stars are bright above;
If I would cross the shade of night,
Within my heart is the lamp of love,
And that is day!
And the moon will smile with gentle light
On my golden plumes whereer they move;
The meteors will linger round my flight,
And make night day.

FIRST SPIRIT:
But if the whirlwinds of darkness waken
Hail, and lightning, and stormy rain;
See, the bounds of the air are shaken--
Night is coming!
The red swift clouds of the hurricane
Yon declining sun have overtaken,
The clash of the hail sweeps over the plain--
Night is coming!

SECOND SPIRIT:
I see the light, and I hear the sound; 25
Ill sail on the flood of the tempest dark
With the calm within and the light around
Which makes night day:
And thou, when the gloom is deep and stark,
Look from thy dull earth, slumber-bound,
My moon-like flight thou then mayst mark
On high, far away.

...

Some say there is a precipice
Where one vast pine is frozen to ruin
Oer piles of snow and chasms of ice
Mid Alpine mountains;
And that the languid storm pursuing
That winged shape, for ever flies
Round those hoar branches, aye renewing
Its aery fountains.

Some say when nights are dry and clear,
And the death-dews sleep on the morass,
Sweet whispers are heard by the traveller,
Which make night day:
And a silver shape like his early love doth pass
Upborne by her wild and glittering hair,
And when he awakes on the fragrant grass,
He finds night day.
Assigned to 1820 by Mary Shelley, the poet's wife. A notebook draft, whose many variants are of doubtful authority for establishing Shelley's final intention,
survives. Two important variants are listed (from the Julian edition) in the notes below.

25.
Light. MS. reads "glare."

41.
Nights are. MS. starts to change this to the singular, correcting "are"
to "is," but not going on to correct the subject.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Two Spirits - An Allegory

234:The Seven Old Men
À Victor Hugo
Ant-like city, city full of dreams,
where the passer-by, at dawn, meets the spectre!
Mysteries everywhere are the sap that streams
through the narrow veins of this great ogre.
One morning, when, on the dreary street,
the buildings all seemed heightened, cold
a swollen river’s banks carved out to greet,
(their stage-set mirroring an actor’s soul),
the dirty yellow fog that flooded space,
arguing with my already weary soul,
steeling my nerves like a hero, I paced
suburbs shaken by the carts’ drum-roll.
Suddenly, an old man in rags, their yellow
mirroring the colour of the rain-filled sky,
whose looks alone prompted alms to flow,
except for the evil glittering of his eye,
appeared. You’d have thought his eyeballs
steeped in gall: his gaze intensified the cold,
and his long beard, as rigid as a sword,
was jutting out like Judas’s of old.
He was not bent but broken, his spine
made a sharp right angle with his legs,
so that the stick, perfecting his line,
gave him the awkward shape and step
of three-legged usurer, or sick quadruped.
Wading through snow and mud he went
as if, under his feet, he crushed the dead,
hostile to the world, not just indifferent.
Then his double: beard, eyes, rags, stick, back,
no trait distinguished his centenarian twin:
they marched in step, two ghosts of the Baroque,
sprung from one hell, towards some unknown end.
Was I the butt of some infamous game,
some evil chance, aimed at humiliation?
Since minute by minute, I counted seven,
of that sinister old man’s multiplication!
Whoever smiles at my anxiety,
and balks at shivering, the un-fraternal,
470
consider then, despite their senility,
those seven vile monsters looked eternal!
Could I have lived to see an eighth: yet one
more ironic, fatal, inexorable replication,
loathsome Phoenix, his own father and son?
- I turned my back on that hell-bent procession.
Exasperated, a drunk that sees things doubled,
I stumbled home, slammed the door, terrified,
sick, depressed, mind feverish and troubled,
wounded by mystery, the absurd, outside!
In vain my reason tried to take command,
its efforts useless in the tempest’s roar,
my soul, a mastless barge, danced, and danced,
over some monstrous sea without a shore!
~ Charles Baudelaire
235:Thy trivial harp will never please
Or fill my craving ear;
Its chords should ring as blows the breeze,
Free, peremptory, clear.
No jingling serenader's art,
Nor tinkle of piano strings,
Can make the wild blood start
In its mystic springs.
The kingly bard
Must smite the chords rudely and hard,
As with hammer or with mace,
That they may render back
Artful thunder that conveys
Secrets of the solar track,
Sparks of the supersolar blaze.
Merlin's blows are strokes of fate,
Chiming with the forest-tone,
When boughs buffet boughs in the wood;
Chiming with the gasp and moan
Of the ice-imprisoned flood;
With the pulse of manly hearts,
With the voice of orators,
With the din of city arts,
With the cannonade of wars.
With the marches of the brave,
And prayers of might from martyrs' cave.

Great is the art,
Great be the manners of the bard!
He shall not his brain encumber
With the coil of rhythm and number,
But, leaving rule and pale forethought,
He shall aye climb
For his rhyme:
Pass in, pass in, the angels say,
In to the upper doors;
Nor count compartments of the floors,
But mount to Paradise
By the stairway of surprise.

Blameless master of the games,
King of sport that never shames;
He shall daily joy dispense
Hid in song's sweet influence.
Things more cheerly live and go,
What time the subtle mind
Plays aloud the tune whereto
Their pulses beat,
And march their feet,
And their members are combined.

By Sybarites beguiled
He shall no task decline;
Merlin's mighty line,
Extremes of nature reconciled,
Bereaved a tyrant of his will,
And made the lion mild.
Songs can the tempest still,
Scattered on the stormy air,
Mould the year to fair increase,
And bring in poetic peace.

He shall not seek to weave,
In weak unhappy times,
Efficacious rhymes;
Wait his returning strength,
Bird, that from the nadir's floor,
To the zenith's top could soar,
The soaring orbit of the muse exceeds that journey's length!

Nor, profane, affect to hit
Or compass that by meddling wit,
Which only the propitious mind
Publishes when 'tis inclined.
There are open hours
When the god's will sallies free,
And the dull idiot might see
The flowing fortunes of a thousand years;
Sudden, at unawares,
Self-moved fly-to the doors,
Nor sword of angels could reveal
What they conceal.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Merlin I

236:A New-Year Hymn
Sunlight of the heavenly day,
Mighty to revive and cheer,
Bless our yet untrodden way,
Lead us through the entered year.
Where the shades of death we see,
Let Thy living brightness be —
Let it speed our lingering feet —
Let it shine on all we meet.
While before our chastened gaze
Earthly pleasures fade and fail,
Thou, the light of all our days —
Thou, our steadfast glory, hail!
Forward, though the path be hid;
Though we pass the lurking foe;
Though the sound of war forbid,
Girt with gladness, let its go.
Bold in Thy protecting care,
Strong to prove Thee faithful there
Through the desert or the sea,
On, to reign in life with Thee.
Ah, with more than fearless heart,
Homeward be our faces set;
Show us in our present part
Wealth we have not measured yet.
Open Thou beneath our tread
Springs the distance could not show;
From the holy Fountain–head,
Let them rise where'er we go.
Rather give us eyes to see —
Love awake to love in Thee —
Hearts that, trusting in Thy care,
Find its traces everywhere.
Teach us, as we pass along,
In the shining of Thy face,
Many a sweet thanksgiving–song,
Even in a dreary place.
While with firm, unyielding will
For the victor's crown we strive,
Gracious Savior, keep us still
To Thy gentlest signs alive —
Where the stormy wind is heard,
Quick to every tender word,
And for all our journey's length,
Armed with meekness more than strength.
In the shadow of Thy hand
We can brave the uprooting gale,
And a little child may stand
Where the soldier's heart would fail
Oft a desolating blast
Bears the seed of comfort too,
And the patient soul at last
Finds a garden where it blew;
So, where nothing cheers our sight,
Germs of love may spring to light,
Bright 'mid earth's oppressive shades,
Fresh beside the leaf that fades.
Let the precious seed abound —
Make the tempest strong to bless,
Strong to claim our thorny ground
For the fruits of holiness.
Lord of All! we cannot know
What our paths may yet unfold;
But the part that love would show —
Wise to save us — Thou hast told.
By our heart's unmeasured price —
By Thy life–long sacrifice —
By Thy death to set us free,
Lead us on to joy in Thee.
On, to greet the perfect day,
Blessed End of time and strife, —
On, throngh all the shinlng way,
Brightness of our human life.
~ Anna Laetitia Waring
237:The Pilot Of The Plains
``False,' they said, ``thy Pale-face lover, from the land of waking morn ;
Rise and wed thy Redskin wooer, nobler warrior ne'er was born ;
Cease thy watching, cease thy dreaming,
Show the white thine Indian scorn.'
Thus they taunted her, declaring, ``He remembers naught of thee :
Likely some white maid he wooeth, far beyond the inland sea.'
But she answered ever kindly,
``He will come again to me,'
Till the dusk of Indian summer crept athwart the western skies ;
But a deeper dusk was burning in her dark and dreaming eyes,
As she scanned the rolling prairie,
Where the foothills fall, and rise.
Till the autumn came and vanished, till the season of the rains,
Till the western world lay fettered in midwinter's crystal chains,
Still she listened for his coming,
Still she watched the distant plains.
Then a night with nor'land tempest, nor'land snows a-swirling fast,
Out upon the pathless prairie came the Pale-face through the blast,
Calling, calling, ``Yakonwita,
I am coming, love, at last.'
Hovered night above, about him, dark its wings and cold and dread ;
Never unto trail or tepee were his straying footsteps led ;
Till benumbed, he sank, and pillowed
On the drifting snows his head,
Saying, ``O! my Yakonwita call me, call me, be my guide
To the lodge beyond the prairie-for I vowed ere winter died
I would come again, belovèd ;
I would claim my Indian bride.'
``Yakonwita, Yakonwita! ' Oh, the dreariness that strains
Through the voice that calling, quivers, till a whisper but remains,
``Yakonwita, Yakonwita,
I am lost upon the plains.'
But the Silent Spirit hushed him, lulled him as he cried anew,
``Save me, save me! O! beloved, I am Pale but I am true.
Yakonwita, Yakonwita
I am dying, love, for you.'
Leagues afar, across the prairie, she had risen from her bed,
Roused her kinsmen from their slumber : ``He has come to-night,' she said.
``I can hear him calling, calling ;
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But his voice is as the dead.
``Listen! ' and they sate all silent, while the tempest louder grew,
And a spirit-voice called faintly, ``I am dying, love, for you.'
Then they wailed, ``O! Yakonwita.
He was Pale, but he was true.'
Wrapped she then her ermine round her, stepped without the tepee door,
Saying, ``I must follow, follow, though he call for evermore,
Yakonwita, Yakonwita ; '
And they never saw her more.
Late at night, say Indian hunters, when the starlight clouds or wanes,
Far away they see a maiden, misty as the autumn rains,
Guiding with her lamp of moonlight
Hunters lost upon the plains.
~ Emily Pauline Johnson
238:What are we doing here?” Burnes said, almost to himself. “That, Burnes, I cannot tell you. I do not know why anyone leaves his house, to travel ten thousand miles, when all the poetry that has ever been written, all the poetry since the beginning of the world all tells us the single lesson that we would be happiest in our own homes, since that is where happiness is born, and where it lives. What poetry cannot answer is the question that follows from that, whether we men actually want to be happy, or whether we would prefer to be restless. In your case—in the English, excuse me, the British case—I would say that when you have gone home, when you are all old and thinking about what this adventure, this whole centuries-long adventure meant, what it meant to you . . . well, things do not always mean something, but perhaps your adventure, perhaps it meant something. You will sit at home and look into your fires and draw your Cashmire shawls about you, and think that you came here for one reason. Of course, now, you tell yourself all sorts of fairy stories—you are here to sell us your wonderful English goods, you want to set us free, you want us to grow up, you want to educate us and make us worship three gods instead of forty thousand—” “Only one God.” “I stand corrected, Burnes-ji, and I am sure your one God is much more sensible than ours, who are quaint, who have the heads of elephants and monkeys and have blue skin. They are all very good reasons to tell yourself at the time, but they are not, at the bottom, the real reason you came here. You came here not to make yourselves rich, not to make us better and Christian and clean and dressed in Bradford cotton. You believe all this, I know. But when you are old and tired and sleeping in a thousand years’ time, you will start to realize that you came here and took possession of what was not yours for one reason. To surrender it, to give it up. That is the only reason. Do you not know your Shakespeare, Burnes? Have you never seen The Tempest in your London theatres? Do you not think it strange that, so very long ago, before your English kings owned anything at all, your English poet was dreaming of giving it all up, of surrendering what was not yet yours? Of what never would truly be yours? You are not adventurers; you are all Prosperos, waiting for the day you can give it up, drown your book, and return nobly. We endure your presence, because we see that when you look at us, you know that we will take it all back one day. And you want us to. That desire is so strong in you, it makes you build an empire; because if you never had an empire, you would not have one so nobly to surrender. That, Burnes, is what you are doing here. You asked me, and you did not think that I had an answer. But I have an answer, and that is what you are doing here. And now you are tired, and I shall leave you. ~ Philip Hensher
239:Well, Mr Markham, you that maintain that a boy should not be shielded from evil, but sent out to battle against it, alone and unassisted - not taught to avoid the snares of life, but boldly to rush into them, or over them, as he may - to seek danger rather than shun it, and feed his virtue by temptation - would you-'
'I beg your pardon, Mrs Graham - but you get on too fast. I have not yet said that a boy should be taught to rush into the snares of life - or even wilfully to seek temptation for the sake of exercising his virtue by overcoming it - I only say that it is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble the foe; and if you were to rear an oak sapling in a hot-house, tending it carefully night and day, and shielding it from every breath of wind, you could not expect it to become a hardy tree, like that which has grown up on the mountain-side, exposed to all the action of the elements, and not even sheltered form the shock of the tempest.'
'Granted; but would you use the same arguments with regard to a girl?'
'Certainly not.'
'No; you would have her to be tenderly and delicately nurtured, like a hot-house plant - taught to cling to others for direction and support, and guarded, as much as possible, from the very knowledge of evil. But will you be so good as to inform me why you make this distinction? Is it that you think she has no virtue?'
'Assuredly not.'
'Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith. It must be, either, that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded that she cannot withstand temptation - and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin, is at once to make her a sinner, and the greater her knowledge, the wider her liberty, the deeper will be her depravity - whereas, in the nobler sex, there is a natural tendency to goodness, guarded by a superior fortitude, which, the more it is exercised by trials and dangers, it is only further developed-'
'Heaven forbid that I should think so!' I interrupted her at last.
'Well then, it must be that you think they are both weak and prone to err, and the slightest error, the nearest shadow of pollution, will ruin the one, while the character of the other will be strengthened and embellished - his education properly finished by a little practical acquaintance with forbidden things. Such experience, to him (to use a trite simile), will be like the storm to the oak, which, though it may scatter the leaves, and snap the smaller branches, serves but to rivet the roots, and to harden and condense the fibres of the tree. You would have us encourage our sons to prove all things by their own experience, while our daughters must not even profit by the experience of others. ~ Anne Bront
240:I.
Now the last day of many days,
All beautiful and bright as thou,
The loveliest and the last, is dead,
Rise, Memory, and write its praise!
Up,--to thy wonted work! come, trace
The epitaph of glory fled,--
For now the Earth has changed its face,
A frown is on the Heavens brow.

II.
We wandered to the Pine Forest
That skirts the Oceans foam,
The lightest wind was in its nest,
The tempest in its home.
The whispering waves were half asleep,
The clouds were gone to play,
And on the bosom of the deep
The smile of Heaven lay;
It seemed as if the hour were one
Sent from beyond the skies,
Which scattered from above the sun
A light of Paradise.

III.
We paused amid the pines that stood
The giants of the waste,
Tortured by storms to shapes as rude
As serpents interlaced;
And, soothed by every azure breath,
That under Heaven is blown,
To harmonies and hues beneath,
As tender as its own,
Now all the tree-tops lay asleep,
Like green waves on the sea,
As still as in the silent deep
The ocean woods may be.

IV.
How calm it was!the silence there
By such a chain was bound
That even the busy woodpecker
Made stiller by her sound
The inviolable quietness;
The breath of peace we drew
With its soft motion made not less
The calm that round us grew.
There seemed from the remotest seat
Of the white mountain waste,
To the soft flower beneath our feet,
A magic circle traced,--
A spirit interfused around
A thrilling, silent life,--
To momentary peace it bound
Our mortal natures strife;
And still I felt the centre of
The magic circle there
Was one fair form that filled with love
The lifeless atmosphere.

V.
We paused beside the pools that lie
Under the forest bough,--
Each seemed as twere a little sky
Gulfed in a world below;
A firmament of purple light
Which in the dark earth lay,
More boundless than the depth of night,
And purer than the day--
In which the lovely forests grew,
As in the upper air,
More perfect both in shape and hue
Than any spreading there.
There lay the glade and neighbouring lawn,
And through the dark green wood
The white sun twinkling like the dawn
Out of a speckled cloud.
Sweet views which in our world above
Can never well be seen,
Were imaged by the waters love
Of that fair forest green.
And all was interfused beneath
With an Elysian glow,
An atmosphere without a breath,
A softer day below.
Like one beloved the scene had lent
To the dark waters breast,
Its every leaf and lineament
With more than truth expressed;
Until an envious wind crept by,
Like an unwelcome thought,
Which from the minds too faithful eye
Blots one dear image out.
Though thou art ever fair and kind,
The forests ever green,
Less oft is peace in Shelleys mind,
Than calm in waters, seen.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, To Jane - The Recollection

241:What was the shriek that struck Fancy's ear
As it sate on the ruins of time that is past?
Hark! it floats on the fitful blast of the wind,
And breathes to the pale moon a funeral sigh.
It is the Benshie's moan on the storm,
Or a shivering fiend that thirsting for sin,
Seeks murder and guilt when virtue sleeps,
Winged with the power of some ruthless king,
And sweeps o'er the breast of the prostrate plain.
It was not a fiend from the regions of Hell
That poured its low moan on the stillness of night:
It was not a ghost of the guilty dead,
Nor a yelling vampire reeking with gore;
But aye at the close of seven years' end,
That voice is mixed with the swell of the storm,
And aye at the close of seven years' end,
A shapeless shadow that sleeps on the hill
Awakens and floats on the mist of the heath.
It is not the shade of a murdered man,
Who has rushed uncalled to the throne of his God,
And howls in the pause of the eddying storm.
This voice is low, cold, hollow, and chill,
'Tis not heard by the ear, but is felt in the soul.
'Tis more frightful far than the death-daemon's scream,
Or the laughter of fiends when they howl oer the corpse
Of a man who has sold his soul to Hell.
It tells the approach of a mystic form,
A white courser bears the shadowy sprite;
More thin they are than the mists of the mountain,
When the clear moonlight sleeps on the waveless lake.
More pale HIS cheek than the snows of Nithona,
When winter rides on the northern blast,
And howls in the midst of the leafless wood.
Yet when the fierce swell of the tempest is raving,
And the whirlwinds howl in the caves of Inisfallen,
Still secure mid the wildest war of the sky,
The phantom courser scours the waste,
And his rider howls in the thunder's roar.
O'er him the fierce bolts of avenging Heaven
Pause, as in fear, to strike his head.
The meteors of midnight recoil from his figure,
Yet the 'wildered peasant, that oft passes by,
With wonder beholds the blue flash through his form:
And his voice, though faint as the sighs of the dead,
The startled passenger shudders to hear,
More distinct than the thunder's wildest roar.
Then does the dragon, who, chained in the caverns
To eternity, curses the champion of Erin,
Moan and yell loud at the lone hour of midnight,
And twine his vast wreaths round the forms of the daemons;
Then in agony roll his death-swimming eyeballs,
Though 'wildered by death, yet never to die!
Then he shakes from his skeleton folds the nightmares,
Who, shrieking in agony, seek the couch
Of some fevered wretch who courts sleep in vain;
Then the tombless ghosts of the guilty dead
In horror pause on the fitful gale.
They float on the swell of the eddying tempest,
And scared seek the caves of gigantic...
Where their thin forms pour unearthly sounds
On the blast that sweets the breast of the lake,
And mingles its swell with the moonlight air.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Spectral Horseman

242:. "I Can love thee well, believe me,
    As a sister true;
  Other love, Sir Knight, would grieve me,
    Sore my heart would rue.
  Calmly would I see thee going,
    Calmly, too, appear;
  For those tears in silence flowing
    Find no answer here."

  Thus she speaks,he hears her sadly,
    How his heartstrings bleed!
  In his arms he clasps her madly,
    Then he mounts his steed.
  From the Switzer land collects he
    All his warriors brave;
  Cross on breast, their course directs he
    To the Holy Grave.

  In triumphant march advancing,
    Onward moves the host,
  While their morion plumes are dancing
    Where the foes are most.
  Mortal terror strikes the Paynim
    At the chieftain's name;
  But the knight's sad thoughts enchain him
    Grief consumes his frame.

  Twelve long months, with courage daring,
    Peace he strives to find;
  Then, at last, of rest despairing,
    Leaves the host behind;
  Sees a ship, whose sails are swelling,
    Lie on Joppa's strand;
  Ships him homeward for her dwelling,
    In his own loved land.

  Now behold the pilgrim weary
    At her castle gate!
  But alas! these accents dreary
    Seal his mournful fate:
  "She thou seek'st her troth hath plighted
    To all-gracious heaven;
  To her God she was united
    Yesterday at even!"

  To his father's home forever
    Bids he now adieu;
  Sees no more his arms and beaver,
    Nor his steed so true.
  Then descends he, sadly, slowly,
    None suspect the sight,
  For a garb of penance lowly
    Wears the noble knight.

  Soon he now, the tempest braving,
    Builds an humble shed,
  Where o'er the lime-trees darkly waving,
    Peeps the convent's head.
  From the orb of day's first gleaming,
    Till his race has run,
  Hope in every feature beaming,
    There he sits alone.

  Toward the convent straining ever
    His unwearied eyes,
  From her casement looking never
    Till it open flies,
  Till the loved one, soft advancing,
    Shows her gentle face,
  O'er the vale her sweet eye glancing,
    Full of angel-grace.

  Then he seeks his bed of rushes,
    Stilled all grief and pain,
  Slumbering calm, till morning's blushes
    Waken life again.
  Days and years fleet on, yet never
    Breathes he plaint or sighs,
  On her casement gazing ever
    Till it open flies.

  Till the loved one, soft advancing,
    Shows her gentle face,
  O'er the vale her sweet eyes glancing,
    Full of angel-grace.
  But at length, the morn returning
    Finds him dead and chill;
  Pale and wan, his gaze, with yearning,
    Seeks her casement still.
    
~ Friedrich Schiller, The Knight Of Toggenburg

243:To The Queen
O loyal to the royal in thyself,
And loyal to thy land, as this to thee-Bear witness, that rememberable day,
When, pale as yet, and fever-worn, the Prince
Who scarce had plucked his flickering life again
From halfway down the shadow of the grave,
Past with thee through thy people and their love,
And London rolled one tide of joy through all
Her trebled millions, and loud leagues of man
And welcome! witness, too, the silent cry,
The prayer of many a race and creed, and clime-Thunderless lightnings striking under sea
From sunset and sunrise of all thy realm,
And that true North, whereof we lately heard
A strain to shame us 'keep you to yourselves;
So loyal is too costly! friends--your love
Is but a burthen: loose the bond, and go.'
Is this the tone of empire? here the faith
That made us rulers? this, indeed, her voice
And meaning, whom the roar of Hougoumont
Left mightiest of all peoples under heaven?
What shock has fooled her since, that she should speak
So feebly? wealthier--wealthier--hour by hour!
The voice of Britain, or a sinking land,
Some third-rate isle half-lost among her seas?
THERE rang her voice, when the full city pealed
Thee and thy Prince! The loyal to their crown
Are loyal to their own far sons, who love
Our ocean-empire with her boundless homes
For ever-broadening England, and her throne
In our vast Orient, and one isle, one isle,
That knows not her own greatness: if she knows
And dreads it we are fallen. --But thou, my Queen,
Not for itself, but through thy living love
For one to whom I made it o'er his grave
Sacred, accept this old imperfect tale,
New-old, and shadowing Sense at war with Soul,
Ideal manhood closed in real man,
Rather than that gray king, whose name, a ghost,
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Streams like a cloud, man-shaped, from mountain peak,
And cleaves to cairn and cromlech still; or him
Of Geoffrey's book, or him of Malleor's, one
Touched by the adulterous finger of a time
That hovered between war and wantonness,
And crownings and dethronements: take withal
Thy poet's blessing, and his trust that Heaven
Will blow the tempest in the distance back
From thine and ours: for some are sacred, who mark,
Or wisely or unwisely, signs of storm,
Waverings of every vane with every wind,
And wordy trucklings to the transient hour,
And fierce or careless looseners of the faith,
And Softness breeding scorn of simple life,
Or Cowardice, the child of lust for gold,
Or Labour, with a groan and not a voice,
Or Art with poisonous honey stolen from France,
And that which knows, but careful for itself,
And that which knows not, ruling that which knows
To its own harm: the goal of this great world
Lies beyond sight: yet--if our slowly-grown
And crowned Republic's crowning common-sense,
That saved her many times, not fail--their fears
Are morning shadows huger than the shapes
That cast them, not those gloomier which forego
The darkness of that battle in the West,
Where all of high and holy dies away.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
244:Sir Galahad
MY good blade carves the casques of men,
My tough lance thrusteth sure,
My strength is as the strength of ten,
Because my heart is pure.
The shattering trumpet shrilleth high,
The hard brands shiver on the steel,
The splinter'd spear-shafts crack and fly,
The horse and rider reel:
They reel, they roll in clanging lists,
And when the tide of combat stands,
Perfume and flowers fall in showers,
That lightly rain from ladies' hands.
How sweet are looks that ladies bend
On whom their favours fall !
For them I battle till the end,
To save from shame and thrall:
But all my heart is drawn above,
My knees are bow'd in crypt and shrine:
I never felt the kiss of love,
Nor maiden's hand in mine.
More bounteous aspects on me beam,
Me mightier transports move and thrill;
So keep I fair thro' faith and prayer
A virgin heart in work and will.
When down the stormy crescent goes,
A light before me swims,
Between dark stems the forest glows,
I hear a noise of hymns:
Then by some secret shrine I ride;
I hear a voice but none are there;
The stalls are void, the doors are wide,
The tapers burning fair.
Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth,
The silver vessels sparkle clean,
The shrill bell rings, the censer swings,
And solemn chaunts resound between.
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Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres
I find a magic bark;
I leap on board: no helmsman steers:
I float till all is dark.
A gentle sound, an awful light !
Three arngels bear the holy Grail:
With folded feet, in stoles of white,
On sleeping wings they sail.
Ah, blessed vision! blood of God!
My spirit beats her mortal bars,
As down dark tides the glory slides,
And star-like mingles with the stars.
When on my goodly charger borne
Thro' dreaming towns I go,
The cock crows ere the Christmas morn,
The streets are dumb with snow.
The tempest crackles on the leads,
And, ringing, springs from brand and mail;
But o'er the dark a glory spreads,
And gilds the driving hail.
I leave the plain, I climb the height;
No branchy thicket shelter yields;
But blessed forms in whistling storms
Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields.
A maiden knight--to me is given
Such hope, I know not fear;
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven
That often meet me here.
I muse on joy that will not cease,
Pure spaces clothed in living beams,
Pure lilies of eternal peace,
Whose odours haunt my dreams;
And, stricken by an angel's hand,
This mortal armour that I wear,
This weight and size, this heart and eyes,
Are touch'd, are turn'd to finest air.
The clouds are broken in the sky,
And thro' the mountain-walls
A rolling organ-harmony
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Swells up, and shakes and falls.
Then move the trees, the copses nod,
Wings flutter, voices hover clear:
'O just and faithful knight of God!
Ride on ! the prize is near.'
So pass I hostel, hall, and grange;
By bridge and ford, by park and pale,
All-arm'd I ride, whate'er betide,
Until I find the holy Grail.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
245:XXIV.
And more than that - a furlong on - why, there!
What bad use was that engine for, that wheel,
Or brake, not wheel - that harrow fit to reel
Men's bodies out like silk? With all the air
Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware
Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steel.

XXV.
Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood,
Next a marsh it would seem, and now mere earth
Desperate and done with; (so a fool finds mirth,
Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood
Changes and off he goes!) within a rood -
Bog, clay and rubble, sand, and stark black dearth.

XXVI.
Now blotches rankling, coloured gay and grim,
Now patches where some leanness of the soil's
Broke into moss, or substances like boils;
Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him
Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim
Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils.

XXVII.
And just as far as ever from the end!
Naught in the distance but the evening, naught
To point my footstep further! At the thought,
A great black bird, Apollyon's bosom friend,
Sailed past, not best his wide wing dragon-penned
That brushed my cap - perchance the guide I sought.

XXVIII.
For, looking up, aware I somehow grew,
Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place
All round to mountains - with such name to grace
Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view.
How thus they had surprised me - solve it, you!
How to get from them was no clearer case.

XXIX.
Yet half I seemed to recognise some trick
Of mischief happened to me, God knows when -
In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then
Progress this way. When, in the very nick
Of giving up, one time more, came a click
As when a trap shuts - you're inside the den.

XXX.
Burningly it came on me all at once,
This was the place! those two hills on the right,
Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight;
While to the left a tall scalped mountain ... Dunce,
Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce,
After a life spent training for the sight!

XXXI.
What in the midst lay but the Tower itself?
The round squat turret, blind as the fool's heart,
Built of brown stone, without a counterpart
In the whole world. The tempest's mocking elf
Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf
He strikes on, only when the timbers start.

XXXII.
Not see? because of night perhaps? - why day
Came back again for that! before it left
The dying sunset kindled through a cleft:
The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay,
Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay, -
Now stab and end the creature - to the heft!'

XXXIII.
Not hear? When noise was everywhere! it tolled
Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears
Of all the lost adventurers, my peers -
How such a one was strong, and such was bold,
And such was fortunate, yet each of old
Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.

XXXIV.
There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met
To view the last of me, a living frame
For one more picture! In a sheet of flame
I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
And blew. 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came. ~ Robert Browning
246:Elegy
'DARK gathering clouds involve the threatening skies,
The sea heaves conscious of the impending gloom,
Deep, hollow murmurs from the cliffs arise;
They come--the Spirits of the Tempest come!
'Oh! may such terrors mark the approaching night
As reign'd on that these streaming eyes deplore!
Flash, ye red fires of heaven, with fatal light,
And with conflicting winds ye waters roar!
'Loud and more loud, ye foaming billows, burst!
Ye warring elements, more fiercely rave!
Till the wide waves o'erwhelm the spot accurst
'Where ruthless Avarice finds a quiet grave!' '
Thus with clasp'd hands, wild looks, and streaming hair,
While shrieks of horror broke her trembling speech,
A wretched maid--the victim of despair,
Survey'd the threatening storm and desert beech.
Then to the tomb where now the father slept
Whose rugged nature bade her sorrows flow,
Frantic she turn'd--and beat her breast and wept,
Invoking vengeance on the dust below.
'Lo! rising there above each humbler heap,
Yon cypher'd stones his name and wealth relate,
Who gave his son--remorseless--to the deep,
While I, his living victim, curse my fate.
'Oh, my lost love! no tomb is placed for thee,
That may to strangers' eyes thy worth impart;
Thou hast no grave but in the stormy sea,
And no memorial but this breaking heart.
'Forth to the world, a widow'd wanderer driven,
I pour to winds and waves the unheeded tear,
Try with vain effort to submit to Heaven,
And fruitless call on him--'who cannot hear.'
'Oh! might I fondly clasp him once again,
While o'er my head the infuriate billows pour,
Forget in death this agonizing pain,
And feel his father's cruelty no more!
'Part, raging waters! part, and show beneath,
In your dread caves, his pale and mangled form;
37
Now, while the demons of despair and death
Ride on the blast, and urge the howling storm:
'Lo! by the lightning's momentary blaze,
I see him rise the whitening waves above,
No longer such as when in happier days
He gave the enchanted hours--to me and love.
'Such, as when daring the enchafed sea,
And courting dangerous toil, he often said
That every peril, one soft smile from me,
One sigh of speechless tenderness o'erpaid.
'But dead, disfigured, while between the roar
Of the loud waves his accents pierce mine ear,
And seem to say--Ah, wretch! delay no more,
But come, unhappy mourner--meet me here.
'Yet, powerful Fancy, bid the phantom stay,
Still let me hear him!--'Tis already past;
Along the waves his shadow glides away,
I lose his voice amid the deafening blast.
'Ah, wild delusion, born of frantic pain!
He hears not, comes not from his watery bed;
My tears, my anguish, my despair are vain,
The insatiate ocean gives not up its dead.
' 'Tis not his voice! Hark! the deep thunders roll;
Upheaves the ground; the rocky barriers fail;
Approach, ye horrors that delight my soul,
Despair, and Death, and Desolation, hail!'
The Ocean hears--The embodied waters come-Rise o'er the land, and with resistless sweep
Tear from its base the proud aggressor's tomb,
And bear the injured to eternal sleep.
~ Charlotte Smith
247:Ballad Of The Old Cypress
In front of the temple of Chu-ko Liang there is an old cypress. Its branches
are like green bronze; its roots like rocks; around its great girth of forty
spans its rimy bark withstands the washing of the rain. Its jet-colored top
rises two thousand feet to greet the sky. Prince and statesman have long since
paid their debt to time; but the tree continues to be cherished among men. When
the clouds come, continuous vapors link it with the mists of the long Wu
Gorge; and when the moon appears, the cypress tree shares the chill of the
Snowy Mountains' whiteness.
I remember a year or so ago, where the road wound east round my Brocade
River pavilion, the First Ruler and Chu-ko Liang shared the same shrine. There,
too, were towering cypresses, on the ancient plain outside the city. The paintwork of the temple's dark interior gleamed dully through derelict doors and
windows. But this cypress here, though it holds its ground well, clinging with
wide-encompassing, snake-like hold, yet, because of its lonely height rising
into the gloom of the sky, meets much of the wind's fierce blast. Nothing but
the power of Divine Providence could have kept it standing for so long; its
straightness must be the work of the Creator himself! If a great hall had
collapsed and beams for it were needed, ten thousand oxen might turn their
heads inquiringly to look at such a mountain of a load. But it is already
marvel enough to astonish the world, without any need to undergo a craftsman's
embellishing. It has never refused the axe: there is simply no one who could
carry it away if it were felled. Its bitter heart has not escaped the ants; but
there are always phoenixes roosting in its scented leaves. Men of ambition, and
you who dwell unseen, do not cry out in despair! From of old the really great
has never been found a use for.
Another Translation:
In front of K'ung-ming Shrine
stands an old cypress,
With branches like green bronze
and roots like granite;
Its hoary bark, far round,
glistens with raindrops,
And blueblack hues, high up,
blend in with Heaven's:
Long ago Statesman, King
21
kept Time's appointment,
But still this standing tree has men's devotion;
United with the mists
of ghostly gorges,
Through which the moon brings cold
from snowy mountains.
(I recall near my hut
on Brocade River
Another Shrine is shared by
King and Statesman
On civil, ancient plains
with stately cypress:
The paint there now is dim,
windows shutterless. . .)
Wide, wide though writhing roots
maintain its station,
Far, far in lonely heights,
many's the tempest
When its hold is the strength
of Divine Wisdom
And straightness by the work of the Creator. . .
Yet if a crumbling Hall
needed a rooftree, Yoked herds would, turning heads,
balk at this mountain:
By art still unexposed all have admired it;
But axe though not refused,
who could transport it?
How can its bitter core deny ants lodging,
All the while scented boughs
give Phoenix housing?
Oh, ambitious unknowns,
sigh no more sadly:
Using timber as big
22
was never easy!
~ Du Fu
248:The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated by these four points:
▪ When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked awareness?
Well, that is what Rigpa is!
▪ Yet it doesn’t stay in that state forever, because another thought suddenly arises, doesn’t it?
This is the self-radiance of that Rigpa.
▪ However, if you do not recognize this thought for what it really is, the very instant it arises, then it will turn into just another ordinary thought, as before. This is called the “chain of delusion,” and is the root of samsara.
▪ If you are able to recognize the true nature of the thought as soon as it arises, and leave it alone without any follow-up, then whatever thoughts arise all automatically dissolve back into the vast expanse of Rigpa and are liberated.
Clearly this takes a lifetime of practice to understand and realize the full richness and majesty of these four profound yet simple points, and here I can only give you a taste of the vastness of what is meditation in Dzogchen.

Dzogchen meditation is subtly powerful in dealing with the arisings of the mind, and has a unique perspective on them. All the risings are seen in their true nature, not as separate from Rigpa, and not as antagonistic to it, but actually as none other–and this is very important–than its “self-radiance,” the manifestation of its very energy.
Say you find yourself in a deep state of stillness; often it does not last very long and a thought or a movement always arises, like a wave in the ocean.  Don’t reject the movement or particulary embrace the stillness, but continue the flow of your pure presence. The pervasive, peaceful state of your meditation is the Rigpa itself, and all risings are none other than this Rigpa’s self-radiance. This is the heart and the basis of Dzogchen practice. One way to imagine this is as if you were riding on the sun’s rays back to the sun: ….
Of couse there are rough as well as gentle waves in the ocean; strong emotions come, like anger, desire, jealousy. The real practitioner recognizes them not as a disturbance or obstacle, but as a great opportunity. The fact that you react to arisings such as these with habitual tendencies of attachment and aversion is a sign not only that you are distracted, but also that you do not have the recognition and have lost the ground of Rigpa. To react to emotions in this way empowers them and binds us even tighter in the chains of delusion. The great secret of Dzogchen is to see right through them as soon as they arise, to what they really are: the vivid and electric manifestation of the energy of Rigpa itself. As you gradually learn to do this, even the most turbulent emotions fail to seize hold of you and dissolve, as wild waves rise and rear and sink back into the calm of the ocean.
The practitioner discovers–and this is a revolutionary insight, whose subtlety and power cannot be overestimated–that not only do violent emotions not necessarily sweep you away and drag you back into the whirlpools of your own neuroses, they can actually be used to deepen, embolden, invigorate, and strengthen the Rigpa. The tempestuous energy becomes raw food of the awakened energy of Rigpa. The stronger and more flaming the emotion, the more Rigpa is strengthened. ~ Sogyal Rinpoche
249:The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated by these four points:
▪ When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked awareness?
Well, that is what Rigpa is!
▪ Yet it doesn’t stay in that state forever, because another thought suddenly arises, doesn’t it?
This is the self-radiance of that Rigpa.
▪ However, if you do not recognize this thought for what it really is, the very instant it arises, then it will turn into just another ordinary thought, as before. This is called the “chain of delusion,” and is the root of samsara.
▪ If you are able to recognize the true nature of the thought as soon as it arises, and leave it alone without any follow-up, then whatever thoughts arise all automatically dissolve back into the vast expanse of Rigpa and are liberated.
Clearly this takes a lifetime of practice to understand and realize the full richness and majesty of these four profound yet simple points, and here I can only give you a taste of the vastness of what is meditation in Dzogchen.

Dzogchen meditation is subtly powerful in dealing with the arisings of the mind, and has a unique perspective on them. All the risings are seen in their true nature, not as separate from Rigpa, and not as antagonistic to it, but actually as none other–and this is very important–than its “self-radiance,” the manifestation of its very energy.
Say you find yourself in a deep state of stillness; often it does not last very long and a thought or a movement always arises, like a wave in the ocean.  Don’t reject the movement or particulary embrace the stillness, but continue the flow of your pure presence. The pervasive, peaceful state of your meditation is the Rigpa itself, and all risings are none other than this Rigpa’s self-radiance. This is the heart and the basis of Dzogchen practice. One way to imagine this is as if you were riding on the sun’s rays back to the sun: ….
Of couse there are rough as well as gentle waves in the ocean; strong emotions come, like anger, desire, jealousy. The real practitioner recognizes them not as a disturbance or obstacle, but as a great opportunity. The fact that you react to arisings such as these with habitual tendencies of attachment and aversion is a sign not only that you are distracted, but also that you do not have the recognition and have lost the ground of Rigpa. To react to emotions in this way empowers them and binds us even tighter in the chains of delusion. The great secret of Dzogchen is to see right through them as soon as they arise, to what they really are: the vivid and electric manifestation of the energy of Rigpa itself. As you gradually learn to do this, even the most turbulent emotions fail to seize hold of you and dissolve, as wild waves rise and rear and sink back into the calm of the ocean.
The practitioner discovers–and this is a revolutionary insight, whose subtlety and power cannot be overestimated–that not only do violent emotions not necessarily sweep you away and drag you back into the whirlpools of your own neuroses, they can actually be used to deepen, embolden, invigorate, and strengthen the Rigpa. The tempestuous energy becomes raw food of the awakened energy of Rigpa. The stronger and more flaming the emotion, the more Rigpa is strengthened. ~ Sogyal Rinpoche
250:The Ocean
... Oceanward I am ever yearning,
Where far it rolls in its calm and grandeur,
The weight of mountain-like fogbanks bearing,
Forever wandering and returning.
The skies may lower, the land may call it,
It knows no resting and knows no yielding.
In nights of summer, in storms of winter,
Its surges murmur the self-same longing.
Yes, oceanward I am ever yearning,
Where far is lifted its broad, cold forehead!
Thereon the world throws its deepest shadow
And mirrors whispering all its anguish.
Though warm and blithesome the bright sun stroke it
With joyous message, that life is gladness,
Yet ice-cold, changelessly melancholy,
It drowns the sorrow and drowns the solace.
The full moon pulling, the tempest lifting,
Must loose their hold on the flowing water.
Down whirling lowlands and crumbling mountains
It to eternity tireless washes.
What forth it draws must the one way wander.
What once is sunken arises never.
No message comes thence, no cry is heard thence;
Its voice, its silence, can none interpret.
Yes, toward the ocean, far out toward ocean,
That knows no hour of self-atonement!
For all that suffer release it offers,
But trails forever its own enigma.
A strange alliance with Death unites it,
That all it give Him,--itself excepting!
I feel, vast Ocean, thy solemn sadness,
To thee abandon my weak devices,
To thee let fly all my anxious longings:
May thy cool breath to my heart bring healing!
Let Death now follow, his booty seeking:
169
The moves are many before the checkmate!
Awhile I'll harass thy love of plunder,
As on I scud 'neath thy angry eyebrows;
Thou only fillest my swelling mainsail,
Though Death ride fast on thy howling tempest;
Thy billows raging shall bear the faster
My little vessel to quiet waters.
Ah! Thus alone at the helm in darkness,
By all forsaken, by Death forgotten,
When sails unknown far away are wafted
And some swift-coursing by night are passing,
To note the ground-swell's resistless current,
The sighing heart of the breathing ocean -Or small waves plashing along the planking,
Its quiet pastime amid its sadness.
Then glide my lingering longings over
Into the ocean-deep grief of nature,
The night's, the water's united coldness
Prepares my spirit for death's dark dwelling.
Then comes day's dawning! My soul bounds upward
On beams of light to the vault of heaven;
My ship-steed sniffing its flank is laving
With buoyant zest in the cooling billow.
With song the sailor to masthead clambers
To clear the sail that shall swell more freely,
And thoughts are flying like birds aweary
Round mast and yard-arm, but find no refuge. ...
Yes, toward the ocean! To follow Vikar!
To sail like him and to sink as he did,
For great King Olaf the prow defending!
With keel unswerving the cold thought cleaving,
But hope deriving from lightest breezes!
Death's eager fingers so near the rudder,
While heaven's clearness the way illumines!
And then at last in the final hour
To feel the bolts and the nails are yielding
And Death is pressing the seams asunder,
That in may stream the absolving water!
Wet winding-sheets shall be folded round me,
170
And I descend to eternal silence,
While rolling billows my name bear shoreward
In spacious nights 'neath the cloudless moonlight!
~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson
251:Occasional Address
Written for the benefit of a distressed Player, detained
at Brighthelmstone for Debt, November 1792.
WHEN in a thousand swarms, the summer o'er,
The birds of passage quit our English shore,
By various routs the feather'd myriad moves;
The Becca-Fica seeks Italian groves,
No more a Wheat-ear ; while the soaring files
Of sea-fowl gather round the Hebrid isles.
But if by bird-lime touch'd, unplumed, confined,
Some poor ill-fated straggler stays behind,
Driven from his transient perch, beneath your eaves
On his unshelter'd head the tempest raves,
While drooping round, redoubling every pain,
His mate and nestlings ask his help in vain.
So we, the buskin and the sock who wear,
And 'strut and fret,' our little season here,
Dismiss'd at length, as fortune bids divide-Some (lucky rogues!) sit down on Thames's side;
Others to Liffy's western banks proceed,
And some--driven far a-field, across the Tweed:
But, pinion'd here, alas! I cannot fly:
The hapless, unplumed, lingering straggler I!
Unless the healing pity you bestow,
Shall imp my shatter'd wings, and let me go.
Hard is his fate, whom evil stars have led
To seek in scenic art precarious bread,
While still, through wild vicissitudes afloat,
A hero now, and now a Sans Culotte!
That eleemosynary bread he gains
Mingling, with real distresses, mimic pains.
See in our group, a pale, lank Falstaff stare!
Much needs he stuffing:--while young Ammon there
Rehearses--in a garret--ten feet square!
And as his soft Statira sighs consent,
Roxana comes not--but a dun for rent!
Here shiv'ring Edgar, in his blanket roll'd,
Exclaims--with too much reason, 'Tom's a-cold! '
And vainly tries his sorrows to divert,
55
While Goneril or Regan --wash his shirt!
Lo! fresh from Calais, Edward, mighty king!
Revolves--a mutton chop upon a string!
And Hotspur, plucking 'honour from the moon,'
Feeds a sick infant with a pewter spoon!
More bless'd the fisher, who undaunted braves
In his small bark, the impetuous winds and waves;
For though he plough the sea when others sleep,
He draws, like Glendower, spirits from the deep.
And while the storm howls round, amidst his trouble,
Bright moonshine still illuminates the cobble.
Pale with her fears for him, some fair Poissarde ,
Watches his nearing boat; with fond regard
Smiles when she sees his little canvass handing,
And clasps her dripping lover on his landing.
More bless'd the peasant , who, with nervous toil
Hews the rough oak, or breaks the stubborn soil:
Weary, indeed, he sees the evening come,
But then, the rude, yet tranquil hut, his home,
Receives its rustic inmate; then are his,
Secure repose, and dear domestic bliss.
The orchard's blushing fruit, the garden's store,
The pendant hop, that mantles round the door,
Are his:--and while cheerful faggots burn,
'His lisping children hail their site's return.'
But wandering Players, 'unhousel'd, unanneal'd,'
And unappointed, scour life's common field,
A flying squadron!--disappointments cross 'em,
And the campaign concludes, perhaps, at Horsham.
Oh! ye, whose timely bounty deigns to shed
Compassion's balm upon my luckless head,
Benevolence, with warm and glowing breast,
And soft, celestial mercy, doubly bless'd!
Smile on the generous act!--where means are given,
To aid the wretched--is to merit heaven.
~ Charlotte Smith
252:Primroses
Latest, earliest of the year,
Primroses that still were here,
Snugly nestling round the boles
Of the cut-down chestnut poles,
When December's tottering tread
Rustled 'mong the deep leaves dead,
And with confident young faces
Peeped from out the sheltered places
When pale January lay
In its cradle day by day,
Dead or living, hard to say;
Now that mid-March blows and blusters,
Out you steal in tufts and clusters,
Making leafless lane and wood
Vernal with your hardihood.
Other lovely things are rare,
You are prodigal as fair.
First you come by ones and ones,
Lastly in battalions,
Skirmish along hedge and bank,
Turn old Winter's wavering flank,
Round his flying footsteps hover,
Seize on hollow, ridge, and cover,
Leave nor slope nor hill unharried,
Till, his snowy trenches carried,
O'er his sepulchre you laugh,
Winter's joyous epitaph.
II
This, too, be your glory great,
Primroses, you do not wait,
As the other flowers do,
For the Spring to smile on you,
But with coming are content,
Asking no encouragement.
Ere the hardy crocus cleaves
Sunny border 'neath the eaves,
Ere the thrush his song rehearse,
378
Sweeter than all poets' verse,
Ere the early bleating lambs
Cling like shadows to their dams,
Ere the blackthorn breaks to white,
Snowy-hooded anchorite;
Out from every hedge you look,
You are bright by every brook,
Wearing for your sole defence
Fearlessness of innocence.
While the daffodils still waver,
Ere the jonquil gets its savour,
While the linnets yet but pair,
You are fledged, and everywhere.
Nought can daunt you, nought distress,
Neither cold nor sunlessness.
You, when Lent sleet flies apace,
Look the tempest in the face;
As descend the flakes more slow,
From your eyelids shake the snow,
And when all the clouds have flown,
Meet the sun's smile with your own.
Nothing ever makes you less
Gracious to ungraciousness.
March may bluster up and down,
Pettish April sulk and frown;
Closer to their skirts you cling,
Coaxing Winter to be Spring.
III
Then when your sweet task is done,
And the wild-flowers, one by one,
Here, there, everywhere do blow,
Primroses, you haste to go,
Satisfied with what you bring,
Fading morning-stars of Spring.
You have brightened doubtful days,
You have sweetened long delays,
Fooling our enchanted reason
To miscalculate the season.
But when doubt and fear are fled,
When the kine leave wintry shed,
And 'mid grasses green and tall
379
Find their fodder, make their stall;
When the wintering swallow flies
Homeward back from southern skies,
To the dear old cottage thatch
Where it loves to build and hatch,
That its young may understand,
Nor forget, this English land;
When the cuckoo, mocking rover,
Laughs that April loves are over;
When the hawthorn, all ablow,
Mimics the defeated snow;
Then you give one last look round,
Stir the sleepers underground,
Call the campion to awake,
Tell the speedwell courage take,
Bid the eyebright have no fear,
Whisper in the bluebell's ear
Time has come for it to flood
With its blue waves all the wood,
Mind the stichwort of its pledge
To replace you in the hedge,
Bid the ladysmocks good-bye,
Close your bonnie lids and die;
And, without one look of blame,
Go as gently as you came.
~ Alfred Austin
253:The Death Of Shelley
Fit winding-sheet for thee
Was the upheaving eternal sea,
Fit dirge the tempest’s slave-alarming roll
For yokeless as the waves alway
Thy thoughts went sounding forth, as they
Were marshalling to the trumpet of the universal soul.
Yet tell me, spirit bright,
Did nature sorrow not for thee?
That day, veiled not the sun his light
When rolling over Italy?
Paled not the stricken moon, that night,
When gazing down upon the doomful sea?
Yet tell me, for from under them
Was never reft away before a richer, purer gem
Than was thy being, wherein love did dwell
With joy and natural piety as well,—
Inraying it with a deep life,
So sweetly deep, so wildly bright,
Such as no words may tell!
And never in their day and night
Did ruin, with the beautiful at strife,
Compass before so horrible a spite!
Never trod down at once so much of musical delight.
Whom the gods love die young;
Flowers wither where rank weeds still thrive apace;
Nor is the battle always to the strong,
Nor to the swift for ever sure the race.
Yet if the odours of the flowers remain,
Are they not, even to regret,
A sweet consolatory gain?
Nor vainly forth was the lost battle set,
Nor the race urged in vain,
Whence flow inspiriting examples yet.
Yet, poetry and passion’s darling son!
Though thou didst walk the world as one
Proscribed by stars inimical to mankind,
166
While mitred persecution, dread
And deadly, raged in mortal hate behind,
With ignorance, her dull slave abhorred;
And these, in mercy as they said,
With many a madly mystic word,
And vengeful, hot, God-wounding glance upthrown,
Implored the heavens to thunder down
Their Christian wrath on thy devoted head;
And yet, O good and kind!
This was for thee the meet memorial crown
By the great Spirit of all good designed,
That men, to nobler motions born,
And more to a large charity inclined,
Should well reverse their bigot fathers’scorn,
And, yearning o’er thy story,
Shall learn therefrom how gnomelike are spirits freedom-blind,
And live glorying in the glory
Of thy love-illumined mind.
All then was well—yea, very well;
Though brief, too brief, here on the earth thy stay.
Thy name is with us for a strengthening spell
To all who, banding against wrong’s bad brood,
Would do the unwilling world some good,
Nor idly pass away,
A vapour, nothing more—a cloudlet grey
By every wind transformed and driven
A dull and wasting stain in the blue dome of heaven!
And though the heart and brain be food
For hungry death, where erst the sisterhood
Of thy bright dreams (a seraph choir) did dwell,
What light around us these remaining fling!
For lovelier splendours never fell
In star-showers from Urania’s wing,
And freedom in her golden age
Shall constellate her spheres with glories from thy page.
But hark! Yet from her ghostly cell
Built on the dubious brink of the Unknown,
Cowled Superstition’s sullen bell
Tolls thee to her deepest hell!
167
Blind Fury! She alone
Can darkly dare to think
A soul like thine, though in its earthly shell
Bedimmed by error,
Should at her bidding sink
Lossward-down, in penal terror!
Enough! Wherever love may soar
Beyond that mound which mortals blench to see—
That last low mound on time’s change-beaten shore—
There is thy spirit now, fire-wing’d and free,
And there a shining dweller shall it be
For evermore
~ Charles Harpur
254:The Break
It was also my violent heart that broke,
falling down the front hall stairs.
It was also a message I never spoke,
calling, riser after riser, who cares
about you, who cares, splintering up
the hip that was merely made of crystal,
the post of it and also the cup.
I exploded in the hallway like a pistol.
So I fell apart. So I came all undone.
Yes. I was like a box of dog bones.
But now they've wrapped me in like a nun.
Burst like firecrackers! Held like stones!
What a feat sailing queerly like Icarus
until the tempest undid me and I broke.
The ambulance drivers made such a fuss.
But when I cried, 'Wait for my courage!' they smoked
and then they placed me, tied me up on their plate,
and wheeled me out to their coffin, my nest.
Slowly the siren slowly the hearse, sedate
as a dowager. At the E. W. they cut off my dress.
I cried, 'Oh Jesus, help me! Oh Jesus Christ!'
and the nurse replied, 'Wrong name. My name
is Barbara,' and hung me in an odd device,
a buck's extension and a Balkan overhead frame.
The orthopedic man declared,
'You'll be down for a year.' His scoop. His news.
He opened the skin. He scraped. He pared
and drilled through bone for his four-inch screws.
That takes brute strength like pushing a cow
up hill. I tell you, it takes skill
and bedside charm and all that know how.
The body is a damn hard thing to kill.
208
But please don't touch or jiggle my bed.
I'm Ethan Frome's wife. I'll move when I'm able.
The T. V. hangs from the wall like a moose head.
I hide a pint of bourbon in my bedside table.
A bird full of bones, now I'm held by a sand bag.
The fracture was twice. The fracture was double.
The days are horizontal. The days are a drag.
All of the skeleton in me is in trouble.
Across the hall is the bedpan station.
The urine and stools pass hourly by my head
in silver bowls. They flush in unison
in the autoclave. My one dozen roses are dead.
The have ceased to menstruate. They hang
there like little dried up blood clots.
And the heart too, that cripple, how it sang
once. How it thought it could call the shots!
Understand what happened the day I fell.
My heart had stammered and hungered at
a marriage feast until the angel of hell
turned me into the punisher, the acrobat.
My bones are loose as clothespins,
as abandoned as dolls in a toy shop
and my heart, old hunger motor, with its sins
revved up like an engine that would not stop.
And now I spend all day taking care
of my body, that baby. Its cargo is scarred.
I anoint the bedpan. I brush my hair,
waiting in the pain machine for my bones to get hard,
for the soft, soft bones that were laid apart
and were screwed together. They will knit.
And the other corpse, the fractured heart,
I feed it piecemeal, little chalice. I'm good to it.
Yet lie a fire alarm it waits to be known.
209
It is wired. In it many colors are stored.
While my body's in prison, heart cells alone
have multiplied. My bones are merely bored
with all this waiting around. But the heart,
this child of myself that resides in the flesh,
this ultimate signature of the me, the start
of my blindness and sleep, builds a death crèche.
The figures are placed at the grave of my bones.
All figures knowing it is the other death
they came for. Each figure standing alone.
The heart burst with love and lost its breath.
This little town, this little country is real
and thus it is so of the post and the cup
and thus of the violent heart. The zeal
of my house doth eat me up.
~ Anne Sexton
255:I beg your pardon, Mrs. Graham - but you get on too fast. I have not yet said that a boy should be taught to rush into the snares of life, - or even wilfully to seek temptation for the sake of exercising his virtue by overcoming it; - I only say that it is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble the foe; - and if you were to rear an oak sapling in a hothouse, tending it carefully night and day, and shielding it from every breath of wind, you could not expect it to become a hardy tree, like that which has grown up on the mountain-side, exposed to all the action of the elements, and not even sheltered from the shock of the tempest.'

'Granted; - but would you use the same argument with regard to a girl?'

'Certainly not.'

'No; you would have her to be tenderly and delicately nurtured, like a hot-house plant - taught to cling to others for direction and support, and guarded, as much as possible, from the very knowledge of evil. But will you be so good as to inform me why you make this distinction? Is it that you think she has no virtue?'

'Assuredly not.'

'Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; - and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith. It must be either that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded, that she cannot withstand temptation, - and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin is at once to make her a sinner, and the greater her knowledge, the wider her liberty, the deeper will be her depravity, - whereas, in the nobler sex, there is a natural tendency to goodness, guarded by a superior fortitude, which, the more it is exercised by trials and dangers, is only the further developed - '

'Heaven forbid that I should think so!' I interrupted her at last."

'Well, then, it must be that you think they are both weak and prone to err, and the slightest error, the merest shadow of pollution, will ruin the one, while the character of the other will be strengthened and embellished - his education properly finished by a little practical acquaintance with forbidden things. Such experience, to him (to use a trite simile), will be like the storm to the oak, which, though it may scatter the leaves, and snap the smaller branches, serves but to rivet the roots, and to harden and condense the fibres of the tree. You would have us encourage our sons to prove all things by their own experience, while our daughters must not even profit by the experience of others. Now I would have both so to benefit by the experience of others, and the precepts of a higher authority, that they should know beforehand to refuse the evil and choose the good, and require no experimental proofs to teach them the evil of transgression. I would not send a poor girl into the world, unarmed against her foes, and ignorant of the snares that beset her path; nor would I watch and guard her, till, deprived of self-respect and self-reliance, she lost the power or the will to watch and guard herself; - and as for my son - if I thought he would grow up to be what you call a man of the world - one that has "seen life," and glories in his experience, even though he should so far profit by it as to sober down, at length, into a useful and respected member of society - I would rather that he died to-morrow! - rather a thousand times!' she earnestly repeated, pressing her darling to her side and kissing his forehead with intense affection. He had already left his new companion, and been standing for some time beside his mother's knee, looking up into her face, and listening in silent wonder to her incomprehensible discourse.

Anne Bronte, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (24,25) ~ Anne Bront
256:To The Lacedemonians
An old soldier on the night before the veterans
reunion talks partly to himself, partly to imaginary comrades:
The people—people of my kind, my own
People but strange with a white light
In the face: the streets hard with motion
And the hard eyes that look one way.
Listen! the high whining tone
Of the motors, I hear the dull commotion:
I am come, a child in an old play.
I am here with a secret in the night;
Because I am here the dead wear gray.
It is a privilege to be dead; for you
Cannot know what absence is nor seize
The ordour of pure distance until
From you, slowly dying in the head,
All sights and sounds of the moment, all
The life of sweet intimacy shall fall
Like a swift at dusk.
Sheer time! Stroke of the heart
Towards retirement. . . .
Gentlemen, my secret is
Damnation: where have they, the citizens, all
Come from? They were not born in my father's
House, nor in their fathers': on a street corner
By motion sired, not born; by rest dismayed.
The tempest will unwind-the hurricane
Consider, knowing its end, the headlong pace?
I have watched it and endured it, I have delayed
Judgment: it warn't in my time, by God, so
That the mere breed absorbed the generation!
Yet I, hollow head, do see but little;
Old man: no memory: aimless distractions.
116
I was a boy, I never knew cessation
Of the bright course of blood along the vein;
Moved, an old dog by me, to field and stream
In the speaking ease of the fall rain;
When I was a boy the light on the hills
Was there because I could see it, not because
Some special gift of God had put it there.
Men expect too much, do too little,
Put the contraption before the accomplishment,
Lack skill of the interior mind
To fashion dignity with shapes of air.
Luxury, yes-but not elegance!
Where have they come from?
Go you tell them
That we their servants, well-trained, gray-coated
And haired (both foot and horse) or in
The grave, them obey . . . obey them,
What commands?
My father said
That everything but kin was less than kind.
The young men like swine argue for a rind,
A flimsy shell to put their weakness in;
Will-less, ruled by what they cannot see;
Hunched like savages in a rotten tree
They wait for the thunder to speak: Union!
That joins their separate fear.
I fought
But did not care; a leg shot off at Bethel,
Given up for dead; but knew neither shell-shock
Nor any self-indulgence. Well may war be
Terrible to those who have nothing to gain
For the illumination of the sense:
When the peace is a trade route, figures
For the budget, reduction of population,
Life grown sullen and immense
Lusts after immunity to pain.
There is no civilization without death;
There is now the wind for breath.
117
Waken, lords and ladies gay, we cried,
And marched to Cedar Run and Malvern Hill,
Kinsmen and friends from Texas to the TideVain chivalry of the personal will!
Waken, we shouted, lords and ladies gay,
We go to win the precincts of the light,
Unshadowing restriction of our day. . . .
Regard now, in the seventy years of night,
Them, the young men who watch us from the curbs:
They hold the glaze of wonder in their stareOur crooked backs, hands fetid as old herbs,
The tallow eyes, wax face, the foreign hair!
Soldiers, march! we shall not fight again
The Yankees with our guns well-aimed and rammedAll are born Yankees of the race of men
And this, too, now the country of the damned:
Poor bodies crowding round us! The white face
Eyeless with eyesight only, the modern powerHuddled sublimities of time and space,
They are the echoes of a raging tower
That reared its moment upon a gone land,
Pouring a long cold wrath into the mindDamned souls, running the way of sand
Into the destination of the wind!
~ Allen Tate
257:The Woodcutter's Hut
Far up in the wild and wintery hills in the heart of the cliff-broken
woods,
Where the mounded drifts lie soft and deep in the noiseless solitudes,
The hut of the lonely woodcutter stands, a few rough beams that show
A blunted peak and a low black line, from the glittering waste of snow.
In the frost-still dawn from his roof goes up in the windless,
motionless air,
The thin, pink curl of leisurely smoke; through the forest white and
bare
The woodcutter follows his narrow trail, and the morning rings and
cracks
With the rhythmic jet of his sharp-blown breath and the echoing shout of
his axe.
Only the waft of the wind besides, or the stir of some hardy bird-The call of the friendly chickadee, or the pat of the nuthatch--is
heard;
Or a rustle comes from a dusky clump, where the busy siskins feed,
And scatter the dimpled sheet of the snow with the shells of the
cedar-seed.
Day after day the woodcutter toils untiring with axe and wedge,
Till the jingling teams come up from the road that runs by the valley's
edge,
With plunging of horses, and hurling of snow, and many a shouted word,
And carry away the keen-scented fruit of his cutting, cord upon cord.
Not the sound of a living foot comes else, not a moving visitant there,
Save the delicate step of some halting doe, or the sniff of a prowling
bear.
And only the stars are above him at night, and the trees that creak and
groan,
And the frozen, hard-swept mountain-crests with their silent fronts of
stone,
As he watches the sinking glow of his fire and the wavering flames
upcaught,
Cleaning his rifle or mending his moccasins, sleepy and slow of
thought.
Or when the fierce snow comes, with the rising wind, from the grey
north-east,
He lies through the leaguering hours in his bunk like a winter-hidden
beast,
237
Or sits on the hard-packed earth, and smokes by his draught-blown
guttering fire,
Without thought or remembrance, hardly awake, and waits for the storm
to tire.
Scarcely he hears from the rock-rimmed heights to the wild ravines
below,
Near and far-off, the limitless wings of the tempest hurl and go
In roaring gusts that plunge through the cracking forest, and lull,
and lift,
All day without stint and all night long with the sweep of the hissing
drift.
But winter shall pass ere long with its hills of snow and its fettered
dreams,
And the forest shall glimmer with living gold, and chime with the
gushing of streams;
Millions of little points of plants shall prick through its matted
floor,
And the wind-flower lift and uncurl her silken buds by the woodman's
door;
The sparrow shall see and exult; but lo! as the spring draws gaily on,
The woodcutter's hut is empty and bare, and the master that made it is
gone.
He is gone where the gathering of valley men another labour yields,
To handle the plough, and the harrow, and scythe, in the heat of the
summer fields.
He is gone with his corded arms, and his ruddy face, and his moccasined
feet,
The animal man in his warmth and vigour, sound, and hard, and complete.
And all summer long, round the lonely hut, the black earth burgeons and
breeds,
Till the spaces are filled with the tall-plumed ferns and the triumphing
forest-weeds;
The thick wild raspberries hem its walls, and, stretching on either
hand,
The red-ribbed stems and the giant-leaves of the sovereign spikenard
stand.
So lonely and silent it is, so withered and warped with the sun and
snow,
You would think it the fruit of some dead man's toil a hundred years
ago;
And he who finds it suddenly there, as he wanders far and alone,
Is touched with a sweet and beautiful sense of something tender and
238
gone,
The sense of a struggling life in the waste, and the mark of a soul's
command,
The going and coming of vanished feet, the touch of a human hand.
~ Archibald Lampman
258:The Parisian Orgy
O cowards! There she is!
Pile out into the stations!
The sun with its fiery lungs blew clear
the boulevards that, one evening,
the Barbarians filled.
Here is the holy City, seated in the West! Come!
We'll stave off the return of the fires;
here are the quays, here are the boulevards,
here are the houses against the pale,
radiant blue-starred, one evening,
by the red flashes of bombs!
Hide the dead places with forests of planks!
Affrighted, the dying daylight freshens your looks.
Look at the red-headed troop of the wrigglers of hips:
be mad, you'll be comical, being haggard!
Pack of bitches on heat, eating poultices:
the cry from the houses of gold calls you!
Plunder! Eat! See the night of joy and deep twitchings
coming down on the street.
O desolate drinkers, Drink! When the light comes,
intense and crazed, to ransack round you the rustling luxuries,
you're not going to dribbe into your glasses
without motion or sound, with your eyes lost in white distances?
Knock it back: to the Queen whose buttocks cascade in folds!
Listen to the working of stupid tearing hiccups!
Listen to them leaping n the fiery night:
the panting idiots, the aged, the nonentities, the lackeys!
O hearts of filth, appalling mouths;
work harder, mouths of foul stenches!
Wine for these ignoble torpors, at these tables…
Your bellies are melting with shame, O Conquerors!
Open your nostrils to these superb nauseas!
188
Steep the tendons of your necks in strong poisons!
Laying his crossed hands on the napes of your childish necks,
the Poet says to you: 'O cowards! Be mad!
Because you are ransacking the guts of Woman,
you fear another convulsion from her, crying out,
and stifling your infamous perching on her breast with a horrible pressure.
Syphilitics, madmen, kings, puppets, ventriloquists!
What can you matter to Paris the whore?
Your souls or your bodies, your poisons or your rags?
She'll shake you off, you pox-rotten snarlers!
And when you are down, whimpering on your bellies,
your sides wrung, clamouring for your money back, distracted,
the red harlot with her breasts swelling
with battles will clench her hard fists,
far removed from your stupor!'
When your feet, Paris, danced so hard in anger!
When you had so many knife wounds; when you lay helpless,
still retaining in your clear eyes a little of the goodness
of the tawny spring; O city in pain;
O city almost dead, with your face and your two breasts
pointing towards the Future
which opens to your pallor its thousand million gates;
city whom the dark Past could bless:
Body galvanized back to life to suffer tremendous pains,
you are drinking in dreadful life once more!
You feel he ghastly pale worms flooding back in your veins,
the icy fingers prowling on your unclouded love!
And it does you no harm.
The worms, the pale worms, will obstruct your breath of Progress no more
than the Stryx could extinguish the eyes of the Caryatides,
from whose blue sills fell tears of sidereal gold.
Although it is frightful to see you again
covered in this fashion; although no city was ever made
into a more foul-smelling ulcer
on the face of green Nature, the Poet says to you:
'Your beauty is Marvelous!' The tempest sealed you in supreme poetry;
the huge stirring of strength comes to your aid;
your work comes to the boil, death groans, O chosen City!
Hoard in your heart the stridors of the ominous trumpet.
The Poet will take the sobs of the Infamous
the hate of the Galley-slaves, the clamour of the Damned;
189
and the beams of his love will scourge Womankind.
His verses will leap out: There's for you! There! Villains! -Society,
and everything, is restored: - the orgies are weeping
with dry sobs in the old brothels:
and on the reddened walls the gaslights in frenzy flare
balefully upwards to the wan blue skies!
~ Arthur Rimbaud
259:"Throughout these infinite orbs of mingling light,
Of which yon earth is one, is wide diffus'd
A Spirit of activity and life,
That knows no term, cessation, or decay;
That fades not when the lamp of earthly life,
Extinguish'd in the dampness of the grave,
Awhile there slumbers, more than when the babe
In the dim newness of its being feels
The impulses of sublunary things,
And all is wonder to unpractis'd sense:
But, active, steadfast and eternal, still
Guides the fierce whirlwind, in the tempest roars,
Cheers in the day, breathes in the balmy groves,
Strengthens in health, and poisons in disease;
And in the storm of change, that ceaselessly
Rolls round the eternal universe and shakes
Its undecaying battlement, presides,
Apportioning with irresistible law
The place each spring of its machine shall fill;
So that when waves on waves tumultuous heap
Confusion to the clouds, and fiercely driven
Heaven's lightnings scorch the uprooted ocean-fords,
Whilst, to the eye of shipwreck'd mariner,
Lone sitting on the bare and shuddering rock,
All seems unlink'd contingency and chance,
No atom of this turbulence fulfils
A vague and unnecessitated task,
Or acts but as it must and ought to act.
Even the minutest molecule of light,
That in an April sunbeam's fleeting glow
Fulfils its destin'd, though invisible work,
The universal Spirit guides; nor less,
When merciless ambition, or mad zeal,
Has led two hosts of dupes to battlefield,
That, blind, they there may dig each other's graves,
And call the sad work glory, does it rule
All passions: not a thought, a will, an act,
No working of the tyrant's moody mind,
Nor one misgiving of the slaves who boast
Their servitude to hide the shame they feel,
Nor the events enchaining every will,
That from the depths of unrecorded time
Have drawn all-influencing virtue, pass
Unrecogniz'd or unforeseen by thee,
Soul of the Universe! eternal spring
Of life and death, of happiness and woe,
Of all that chequers the phantasmal scene
That floats before our eyes in wavering light,
Which gleams but on the darkness of our prison,
Whose chains and massy walls
We feel, but cannot see.
"Spirit of Nature! all-sufficing Power,
Necessity! thou mother of the world!
Unlike the God of human error, thou
Requir'st no prayers or praises; the caprice
Of man's weak will belongs no more to thee
Than do the changeful passions of his breast
To thy unvarying harmony: the slave,
Whose horrible lusts spread misery o'er the world,
And the good man, who lifts with virtuous pride
His being in the sight of happiness
That springs from his own works; the poison-tree,
Beneath whose shade all life is wither'd up,
And the fair oak, whose leafy dome affords
A temple where the vows of happy love
Are register'd, are equal in thy sight:
No love, no hate thou cherishest; revenge
And favouritism, and worst desire of fame
Thou know'st not: all that the wide world contains
Are but thy passive instruments, and thou
Regard'st them all with an impartial eye,
Whose joy or pain thy nature cannot feel,
Because thou hast not human sense,
Because thou art not human mind.
"Yes! when the sweeping storm of time
Has sung its death-dirge o'er the ruin'd fanes
And broken altars of the almighty Fiend
Whose name usurps thy honours, and the blood
Through centuries clotted there has floated down
The tainted flood of ages, shalt thou live
Unchangeable! A shrine is rais'd to thee,
Which, nor the tempest-breath of time,
Nor the interminable flood
Over earth's slight pageant rolling,
Availeth to destroy--
The sensitive extension of the world.
That wondrous and eternal fane,
Where pain and pleasure, good and evil join,
To do the will of strong necessity,
And life, in multitudinous shapes,
Still pressing forward where no term can be,
Like hungry and unresting flame
Curls round the eternal columns of its strength."

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab - Part Vi (Excerpts)

260:Dearest, best and brightest,
Come away,
To the woods and to the fields!
Dearer than this fairest day
Which, like thee to those in sorrow,
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow
To the rough Year just awake
In its cradle in the brake.
The eldest of the Hours of Spring,
Into the Winter wandering,
Looks upon the leafless wood,
And the banks all bare and rude;
Found, it seems, this halcyon Morn
In Februarys bosom born,
Bending from Heaven, in azure mirth,
Kissed the cold forehead of the Earth,
And smiled upon the silent sea,
And bade the frozen streams be free;
And waked to music all the fountains,
And breathed upon the rigid mountains,
And made the wintry world appear
Like one on whom thou smilest, Dear.

Radiant Sister of the Day,
Awake! arise! and come away!
To the wild woods and the plains,
To the pools where winter rains
Image all the roof of leaves,
Where the pine its garland weaves
Sapless, gray, and ivy dun
Round stems that never kiss the sun--
To the sandhills of the sea,
Where the earliest violets be.

Now the last day of many days,
All beautiful and bright as thou,
The loveliest and the last, is dead,
Rise, Memory, and write its praise!
And do thy wonted work and trace
The epitaph of glory fled;
For now the Earth has changed its face,
A frown is on the Heavens brow.

We wandered to the Pine Forest
That skirts the Ocean's foam,
The lightest wind was in its nest,
The tempest in its home.

The whispering waves were half asleep,
The clouds were gone to play,
And on the woods, and on the deep
The smile of Heaven lay.

It seemed as if the day were one
Sent from beyond the skies,
Which shed to earth above the sun
A light of Paradise.

We paused amid the pines that stood,
The giants of the waste,
Tortured by storms to shapes as rude
With stems like serpents interlaced.

How calm it was--the silence there
By such a chain was bound,
That even the busy woodpecker
Made stiller by her sound

The inviolable quietness;
The breath of peace we drew
With its soft motion made not less
The calm that round us grew.

It seemed that from the remotest seat
Of the white mountain's waste
To the bright flower beneath our feet,
A magic circle traced;--

A spirit interfused around,
A thinking, silent life;
To momentary peace it bound
Our mortal natures strife;--

And still, it seemed, the centre of
The magic circle there,
Was one whose being filled with love
The breathless atmosphere.

Were not the crocuses that grew
Under that ilex-tree
As beautiful in scent and hue
As ever fed the bee?

We stood beneath the pools that lie
Under the forest bough,
And each seemed like a sky
Gulfed in a world below;

A purple firmament of light
Which in the dark earth lay,
More boundless than the depth of night,
And clearer than the day

In which the massy forests grew
As in the upper air,
More perfect both in shape and hue
Than any waving there.

Like one beloved the scene had lent
To the dark water's breast
Its every leaf and lineament
With that clear truth expressed;

There lay far glades and neighbouring lawn,
And through the dark green crowd
The white sun twinkling like the dawn
Under a speckled cloud.

Sweet views, which in our world above
Can never well be seen,
Were imaged by the water's love
Of that fair forest green.

And all was interfused beneath
With an Elysian air,
An atmosphere without a breath,
A silence sleeping there.

Until a wandering wind crept by,
Like an unwelcome thought,
Which from my mind's too faithful eye
Blots thy bright image out.

For thou art good and dear and kind,
The forest ever green,
But less of peace in S---'s mind,
Than calm in waters, seen.
This, the first draft of To Jane: The Invitation, The Recollection, was published by Mrs. Shelley, Posthumous Poems, 1824, and reprinted, Poetical Works, 1839, 1st edition. See Editors Prefatory Note to The Invitation, above
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Pine Forest Of The Cascine Near Pisa

261:On An Old Sepuchral Bas-Relief
WHERE IS SEEN A YOUNG MAIDEN, DEAD, IN THE ACT OF DEPARTING,
TAKING LEAVE OF HER FAMILY.
Where goest thou? Who calls
Thee from my dear ones far away?
Most lovely maiden, say!
Alone, a wanderer, dost thou leave
Thy father's roof so soon?
Wilt thou unto its threshold e'er return?
Wilt thou make glad one day,
Those, who now round thee, weeping, mourn?
Fearless thine eye, and spirited thy act;
And yet thou, too, art sad.
If pleasant or unpleasant be the road,
If gay or gloomy be the new abode,
To which thou journeyest, indeed,
In that grave face, how difficult to read!
Ah, hard to me the problem still hath seemed;
Not hath the world, perhaps, yet understood,
If thou beloved, or hated by the gods,
If happy, or unhappy shouldst be deemed.
Death calls thee; in thy morn of life,
Its latest breath. Unto the nest
Thou leavest, thou wilt ne'er return; wilt ne'er
The faces of thy kindred more behold;
And under ground,
The place to which thou goest will be found;
And for all time will be thy sojourn there.
Happy, perhaps, thou art: but he must sigh
Who, thoughtful, contemplates thy destiny.
Ne'er to have seen the light, e'en at the time,
I think; but, born, e'en at the time,
When regal beauty all her charms displays,
Alike in form and face,
And at her feet the admiring world
53
Its distant homage pays;
When every hope is in its flower,
Long, long ere dreary winter flash
His baleful gleams against the joyous brow;
Like vapor gathered in the summer cloud,
That melting in the evening sky is seen
To disappear, as if one ne'er had been;
And to exchange the brilliant days to come,
For the dark silence of the tomb;
The intellect, indeed,
May call this, happiness; but still
It may the stoutest breasts with pity fill.
Thou mother, dreaded and deplored
From birth, by all the world that lives,
Nature, ungracious miracle,
That bringest forth and nourishest, to kill,
If death untimely be an evil thing,
Why on these innocent heads
Wilt thou that evil bring?
If good, why, why,
Beyond all other misery,
To him who goes, to him who must remain,
Hast thou such parting crowned with hopeless pain?
Wretched, where'er we look,
Whichever way we turn,
Thy suffering children are!
Thee it hath pleased, that youthful hope
Should ever be by life beguiled;
The current of our years with woes be filled,
And death against all ills the only shield:
And this inevitable seal,
And this immutable decree,
Hast thou assigned to human destiny,
Why, after such a painful race,
Should not the goal, at least,
Present to us a cheerful face?
Why that, which we in constant view,
Must, while we live, forever bear,
Sole comfort in our hour of need,
Thus dress in weeds of woe,
54
And gird with shadows so,
And make the friendly port to us appear
More frightful than the tempest drear?
If death, indeed, be a calamity,
Which thou intendest for us all,
Whom thou, against our knowledge and our will,
Hast forced to draw this mortal breath,
Then, surely, he who dies,
A lot more enviable hath
Then he who feels his loved one's death.
But, if the truth it be,
As I most firmly think,
That life is the calamity,
And death the boon, alas! who ever _could_,
What yet he _should_,
Desire the dying day of those so dear,
That he may linger here,
Of his best self deprived,
May see across his threshold borne,
The form beloved of her,
With whom so many years he lived,
And say to her farewell,
Without the hope of meeting here again;
And then alone on earth to dwell,
And, looking round, the hours and places all,
Of lost companionship recall?
Ah, Nature! how, how _couldst_ thou have the heart,
From the friend's arms the friend to tear,
The brother from the brother part,
The father from the child,
The lover from his love,
And, killing one, the other keep alive?
What dire necessity
Compels such misery
That lover should the loved one e'er survive?
But Nature in her cruel dealings still,
Pays little heed unto our good or ill.
~ Count Giacomo Leopardi
262:To Stang
May Seventeenth in Eidsvold's church united,
To hallow after fifty years the day
When they who there our charter free indited,
Together for our land were met to pray,We both were there with thanks to those great men,
With thanks to God, who to our people then
In days of danger courage gave unbounded.
And when so mighty through the church now sounded
'Praise ye the Lord!' lifting our pallid prayer
To fellowship with all her sons, our brothers,
I saw you, child-like, weep in secret there
Upon the breast we love, our common mother's.
Then I remembered that from boyhood's hour
With all your strength to serve her you have striven,
Your youthful fire, your counsel cool have given,
And till it waned, your manhood's wealth of power.
With blessing then and praise of you I thought
In thankful prayer, as one of those who fought
To shield our land from storms of fate's hard weather,
Till 'neath the roof in peace we sat together.
Of you I thought;-but so think few and fewer.
Your manhood's fame ere you yourself has crumbled,
And you, alas, will not find justice truer,
Till you and yours one day have fallen, humbled.
For see, the roads you drew o'er hill and plain
For all our people's onward-pressing longing,
You dare not travel with the joyous train,
That greater grows while towards its future thronging.
You knew not what it was your labor wrought,
When steam and powder, bursting every barrier,
Gave new-born cravings each its speedy carrier
And to the people's spirit power brought.
The new day's work, as 't were the tempest's welter,
In din about you seemed a dream, a fable,
And with your like you built in fear a shelter
207
From soul-unrest, a looming tower of Babel.
While now you wait for the impending fight,
With gentle eye and stately head all hoary,
And o'er the mountains gleams the morning's glory,Your foes half hid amid the mists of night,As from an outpost in the wooded wild,
These words I send, of peace a token mild.
You fear the people? 'Tis your own that rally,
And like the fog arisen from the valley.
You think them rebels, void of sense and oneness?
Yes, spring's full floods obey no rule precise;
Storm-squalls and slush render the roads less nice,
The snow's pure white is partly soiled to dunness.
But spring is born! The man of genius free,
Prophetic, heeds its holy harmony;
For genius shares the soul of what shall be.
This you have not and never had an hour,
And so you shrink before the people's power.
You were a foreman with the gift of leading,
When pioneers cleared up a pathless tract;
Your lucid thinking and your gracious tact
Oft helped them over obstacles impeding.
But what new growths the ancient fields have filled,
From western seed to feed our land's wants tilled,
And what new light shines through your window-pane,
Longing for truth beneath religion's reign,
And what new things but whispering we say,And what foretells the dawning reckoning-day,You fail to understand and find but madness
In our young nation's fairest growth and gladness.
You answer: Poet's deeming is but dreaming,
And in the statesman's art most unbeseeming.
I answer: None has might men's life to sway,
If impotent the worth of dreams to weigh.
From cravings, powers that seek their form, ascending,
They fill the air; their right to be defending,
Till all men wakened to one goal are tending.
His nation's dreams are all the statesman's life,
208
Create his might, direct his aim in strife,
And if he this forgets, the next dreams blooming
Bring forth another, unto death him dooming.
The tempest-clouds that mount afresh and thicken
Cannot so dense before the morn's light hover
That we may not through cloud-rifts clear discover
Great thoughts that new-born victories shall quicken.
Such thoughts are radiant over me to-day,
And to my heart the warmer blood is streaming,
And all we live for, all that we are dreaming,
Its summons sends and strengthens for the fray.
The war-horns soon beneath the woods shall bray,
Through dewy night th' assailing columns dash,
Amid the sudden gleams of shot and slash
The fog dissolve before our new-born day.
Soon, though you threaten, will the heights be taken
For future ages, and our nation's soul
Can thence o'erlook the land in might unshaken,
With even hand and right to rule the whole.
It soon shall roll war's billows on to battle,
While from the clouds the fathers' weapons rattle!
O aged man, look round you where you stand,
For soon you have against you all our land.
But when you fall defeated on the field,
Then shall we say by your inverted shield:
He stood against us, since he knew not better,
A noble knight and never honor's debtor.
~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson
263:L'Albatros (The Albatross)
Souvent, pour s'amuser, les hommes d'équipage
Prennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers,
Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage,
Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers.
À peine les ont-ils déposés sur les planches,
Que ces rois de l'azur, maladroits et honteux,
Laissent piteusement leurs grandes ailes blanches
Comme des avirons traîner à côté d'eux.
Ce voyageur ailé, comme il est gauche et veule!
Lui, naguère si beau, qu'il est comique et laid!
L'un agace son bec avec un brûle-gueule,
L'autre mime, en boitant, l'infirme qui volait!
Le Poète est semblable au prince des nuées
Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l'archer;
Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées,
Ses ailes de géant l'empêchent de marcher.
The Albatross
Often, to amuse themselves, the men of a crew
Catch albatrosses, those vast sea birds
That indolently follow a ship
As it glides over the deep, briny sea.
Scarcely have they placed them on the deck
Than these kings of the sky, clumsy, ashamed,
Pathetically let their great white wings
Drag beside them like oars.
That winged voyager, how weak and gauche he is,
So beautiful before, now comic and ugly!
One man worries his beak with a stubby clay pipe;
Another limps, mimics the cripple who once flew!
The poet resembles this prince of cloud and sky
257
Who frequents the tempest and laughs at the bowman;
When exiled on the earth, the butt of hoots and jeers,
His giant wings prevent him from walking.
— Translated by William Aggeler
The Albatross
Sometimes for sport the men of loafing crews
Snare the great albatrosses of the deep,
The indolent companions of their cruise
As through the bitter vastitudes they sweep.
Scarce have they fished aboard these airy kings
When helpless on such unaccustomed floors,
They piteously droop their huge white wings
And trail them at their sides like drifting oars.
How comical, how ugly, and how meek
Appears this soarer of celestial snows!
One, with his pipe, teases the golden beak,
One, limping, mocks the cripple as he goes.
The Poet, like this monarch of the clouds,
Despising archers, rides the storm elate.
But, stranded on the earth to jeering crowds,
The great wings of the giant baulk his gait.
— Translated by Roy Campbell
The Albatross
Sometimes, to entertain themselves, the men of the crew
Lure upon deck an unlucky albatross, one of those vast
Birds of the sea that follow unwearied the voyage through,
Flying in slow and elegant circles above the mast.
No sooner have they disentangled him from their nets
Than this aerial colossus, shorn of his pride,
258
Goes hobbling pitiably across the planks and lets
His great wings hang like heavy, useless oars at his side.
How droll is the poor floundering creature, how limp and weak —
He, but a moment past so lordly, flying in state!
They tease him: One of them tries to stick a pipe in his beak;
Another mimics with laughter his odd lurching gait.
The Poet is like that wild inheritor of the cloud,
A rider of storms, above the range of arrows and slings;
Exiled on earth, at bay amid the jeering crowd,
He cannot walk for his unmanageable wings.
— Translated by George Dillon
Albatrosses
Often our sailors, for
Catch albatrosses on
Through which these
As it skims down the
an hour of fun,
the after breeze
trail the ship from sun to sun
deep and briny seas.
Scarce have these birds been set upon the poop,
Than, awkward now, they, the sky's emperors,
Piteous and shamed, let their great white wings droop
Beside them like a pair of idle oars.
These wingèd voyagers, how gauche their gait!
Once noble, now how ludicrous to view!
One sailor bums them with his pipe, his mate
Limps, mimicking these cripples who once flew.
Poets are like these lords of sky and cloud,
Who ride the storm and mock the bow's taut strings,
Exiled on earth amid a jeering crowd,
Prisoned and palsied by their giant wings.
— Translated by Jacques LeClercq
259
The Albatross
Often, to amuse themselves, the men of the crew
Catch those great birds of the seas, the albatrosses,
lazy companions of the voyage, who follow
The ship that slips through bitter gulfs.
Hardly have they put them on the deck,
Than these kings of the skies, awkward and ashamed,
Piteously let their great white wings
Draggle like oars beside them.
This winged traveler, how weak he becomes and slack!
He who of late was so beautiful, how comical and ugly!
Someone teases his beak with a branding iron,
Another mimics, limping, the crippled flyer!
The Poet is like the prince of the clouds,
Haunting the tempest and laughing at the archer;
Exiled on earth amongst the shouting people,
His giant's wings hinder him from walking.
— Translated by Geoffrey Wagner
~ Charles Baudelaire
264:Song Of America
And now, when poets are singing
Their songs of olden days,
And now, when the land is ringing
With sweet Centennial lays,
My muse goes wandering backward,
To the groundwork of all these,
To the time when our Pilgrim Fathers
Came over the winter seas.
The sons of a mighty kingdom,
Of a cultured folk were they;
Born amidst pomp and splendor,
Bred in it day by day.
Children of bloom and beauty,
Reared under skies serene,
Where the daisy and hawthorne blossomed,
And the ivy was always green.
And yet, for the sake of freedom,
For a free religious faith,
They turned from home and people,
And stood face to face with death.
They turned from a tyrant ruler,
And stood on the new world's shore,
With a waste of waters behind them,
And a waste of land before.
O, men of a great Republic;
Of a land of untold worth;
Of a nation that has no equal
Upon God's round green earth:
I hear you sighing and crying
Of the hard, close times at hand;
What think you of those old heroes,
On the rock 'twixt sea and land?
The bells of a million churches
Go ringing out to-night,
And the glitter of palace windows
Fills all the land with light;
And there is the home and college,
And here is the feast and ball,
And the angels of peace and freedom
515
Are hovering over all.
They had no church, no college,
No banks, no mining stock;
They had but the waste before them,
The sea, and Plymouth Rock.
But there in the night and tempest,
With gloom on every hand,
They laid the first foundation
Of a nation great and grand.
There were no weak repinings,
No shrinking from what might be,
But with their brows to the tempest,
And with their backs to the sea,
They planned out a noble future,
And planted the corner stone
Of the grandest, greatest republic,
The world has ever known.
O women in homes of splendor,
O lily-buds frail and fair,
With fortunes upon your fingers,
And milk-white pearls in your hair:
I hear you longing and sighing
For some new, fresh delight;
But what of those Pilgrim mothers
On that December night?
I hear you talking of hardships,
I hear you moaning of loss;
Each has her fancied sorrow,
Each bears her self-made cross.
But they, they had only their husbands,
The rain, the rock, and the sea,
Yet, they looked up to God and blessed Him,
And were glad because they were free.
O grand old Pilgrim heroes,
O souls that were tried and true,
With all of our proud possessions
We are humbled at thought of you:
Men of such might and muscle,
Women so brave and strong,
Whose faith was fixed as the mountain,
Through a night so dark and long.
We know of your grim, grave errors,
516
As husbands and as wives;
Of the rigid bleak ideas
That starved your daily lives;
Of pent-up, curbed emotions,
Of feelings crushed, suppressed,
That God with the heart created
In every human breast;
We know of that little remnant
Of British tyranny,
When you hunted Quakers and witches,
And swumg them from a tree;
Yet back to a holy motive,
To live in the fear of God,
To a purpose, high, exalted,
To walk where martyrs trod,
We can trace your gravest errors;
Your aim was fixed and sure,
And e'en if your acts were fanatic,
We know your hearts were pure.
You lived so near to heaven,
You over-reached your trust,
And deemed yourselves creators,
Forgetting you were but dust.
But we with our broader visions,
With our wider realm of thought,
I often think would be better
If we lived as our fathers taught.
Their lives seemed bleak and rigid,
Narrow, and void of bloom;
Our minds have too much freedom,
And conscience too much room.
They over-reached in duty,
They starved their hearts for the right;
We live too much in the senses,
We bask too long in the light.
They proved by their clinging to Him
The image of God in man;
And we, by our love of license,
Strengthen a Darwin's plan.
But bigotry reached its limit,
And license must have its sway,
And both shall result in profit
517
To those of a latter day.
With the fetters of slavery broken,
And freedom's flag unfurled,
Our nation strides onward and upward,
And stands the peer of the world.
Spires and domes and steeples,
Glitter from shore to shore;
The waters are white with commerce,
The earth is studded with ore;
Peace is sitting above us,
And Plenty with laden hand,
Wedded to sturdy Labor,
Goes singing through the land.
Then let each child of the nation,
Who glories in being free,
Remember the Pilgrim Fathers
Who stood on the rock by the sea;
For there in the rain and tempest
Of a night long passed away,
They sowed the seeds of a harvest
We gather in sheaves to-day.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
265:Our boat is asleep on Serchio's stream,
Its sails are folded like thoughts in a dream,
The helm sways idly, hither and thither;
Dominic, the boatman, has brought the mast,
And the oars, and the sails; but tis sleeping fast,
Like a beast, unconscious of its tether.

The stars burnt out in the pale blue air,
And the thin white moon lay withering there;
To tower, and cavern, and rift, and tree,
The owl and the bat fled drowsily.
Day had kindled the dewy woods,
And the rocks above and the stream below,
And the vapours in their multitudes,
And the Apennines shroud of summer snow,
And clothed with light of aery gold
The mists in their eastern caves uprolled.

Day had awakened all things that be,
The lark and the thrush and the swallow free,
And the milkmaids song and the mowers scythe
And the matin-bell and the mountain bee:
Fireflies were quenched on the dewy corn,
Glow-worms went out on the rivers brim,
Like lamps which a student forgets to trim:
The beetle forgot to wind his horn,
The crickets were still in the meadow and hill:
Like a flock of rooks at a farmers gun
Nights dreams and terrors, every one,
Fled from the brains which are their prey
From the lamps death to the morning ray.

All rose to do the task He set to each,
Who shaped us to His ends and not our own;
The million rose to learn, and one to teach
What none yet ever knew or can be known.
And many rose
Whose woe was such that fear became desire;--
Melchior and Lionel were not among those;
They from the throng of men had stepped aside,
And made their home under the green hill-side.
It was that hill, whose intervening brow
Screens Lucca from the Pisans envious eye,
Which the circumfluous plain waving below,
Like a wide lake of green fertility,
With streams and fields and marshes bare,
Divides from the far Apennineswhich lie
Islanded in the immeasurable air.

What think you, as she lies in her green cove,
Our little sleeping boat is dreaming of?
If morning dreams are true, why I should guess
That she was dreaming of our idleness,
And of the miles of watery way
We should have led her by this time of day.--

Never mind, said Lionel,
Give care to the winds, they can bear it well
About yon poplar-tops; and see
The white clouds are driving merrily,
And the stars we miss this morn will light
More willingly our return to-night.--
How it whistles, Dominics long black hair!
List, my dear fellow; the breeze blows fair:
Hear how it sings into the air--

--Of us and of our lazy motions,
Impatiently said Melchior,
If I can guess a boats emotions;
And how we ought, two hours before,
To have been the devil knows where.
And then, in such transalpine Tuscan
As would have killed a Della-Cruscan,

...

So, Lionel according to his art
Weaving his idle words, Melchior said:
She dreams that we are not yet out of bed;
Well put a soul into her, and a heart
Which like a dove chased by a dove shall beat.

...

Ay, heave the ballast overboard,
And stow the eatables in the aft locker.
Would not this keg be best a little lowered?
No, now alls right. Those bottles of warm tea--
(Give me some straw)must be stowed tenderly;
Such as we used, in summer after six,
To cram in greatcoat pockets, and to mix
Hard eggs and radishes and rolls at Eton,
And, couched on stolen hay in those green harbours
Farmers called gaps, and we schoolboys called arbours,
Would feast till eight.

...

With a bottle in one hand,
As if his very soul were at a stand
Lionel stoodwhen Melchior brought him steady:--
Sit at the helmfasten this sheet--all ready!

The chain is loosed, the sails are spread,
The living breath is fresh behind,
As with dews and sunrise fed,
Comes the laughing morning wind;--
The sails are full, the boat makes head
Against the Serchios torrent fierce,
Then flags with intermitting course,
And hangs upon the wave, and stems
The tempest of the...
Which fervid from its mountain source
Shallow, smooth and strong doth come,--
Swift as fire, tempestuously
It sweeps into the affrighted sea;
In mornings smile its eddies coil,
Its billows sparkle, toss and boil,
Torturing all its quiet light
Into columns fierce and bright.

The Serchio, twisting forth
Between the marble barriers which it clove
At Ripafratta, leads through the dread chasm
The wave that died the death which lovers love,
Living in what it sought; as if this spasm
Had not yet passed, the toppling mountains cling,
But the clear stream in full enthusiasm
Pours itself on the plain, then wandering
Down one clear path of effluence crystalline
Sends its superfluous waves, that they may fling
At Arnos feet tribute of corn and wine;
Then, through the pestilential deserts wild
Of tangled marsh and woods of stunted pine,
It rushes to the Ocean.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Boat On The Serchio

266:Studies By The Sea
AH ! wherefore do the incurious say,
That this stupendous ocean wide,
No change presents from day to day,
Save only the alternate tide;
Or save when gales of summer glide
Across the lightly crisped wave;
Or, when against the cliff's rough side,
As equinoctial tempests rave,
It wildly bursts; o'erwhelms the deluged strand,
Tears down its bounds, and desolates the land ?
He who with more enquiring eyes
Doth this extensive scene survey,
Beholds innumerous changes rise,
As various winds its surface sway;
Now o'er its heaving bosom play
Small sparkling waves of silver gleam,
And as they lightly glide away
Illume with fluctuating beam
The deepening surge; green as the dewy corn
That undulates in April's breezy morn.
The far off waters then assume
A glowing amethystine shade,
That changing like the peacock's plume
Seems in celestial blue to fade;
Or paler, colder hues of lead,
As lurid vapours float on high,
Along the ruffling billows spread,
While darkly lours the threatening sky;
And the small scatter'd barks with outspread shrouds,
Catch the long gleams, that fall between the clouds.
Then day's bright star with blunted rays
Seems struggling thro' the sea-fog pale,
And doubtful in the heavy haze,
Is dimly seen the nearing sail;
'Till from the land a fresher gale
Disperses the white mist, and clear,
As melts away the gauzy veil,
148
The sun-reflecting waves appear;
So, brighter genuine virtue seems to rise
From envy's dark invidious calumnies.
What glories on the sun attend,
When the full tides of evening flow,
Where in still changing beauty, blend
With amber light, the opal's glow;
While in the east the diamond bow
Rises in virgin lustre bright,
And from the horizon seems to throw,
A partial line of trembling light
To the hush'd shore; and all the tranquil deep
Beneath the modest moon, is sooth'd to sleep.
Forgotten then, the thundering break
Of waves, that in the tempest rise,
The falling cliff, the shatter'd wreck,
The howling blast, the sufferer's cries;
For soft the breeze of evening sighs,
And murmuring seems in Fancy's ear
To whisper fairy lullabies,
That tributary waters bear
From precipices, dark with piny woods,
And inland rocks, and heathy solitudes.
The vast encircling seas within,
What endless swarms of creatures hide ,
Of burnish'd scale, and spiny fin !
These providential instincts guide,
And bid them know the annual tide,
When, from unfathom'd waves that swell,
Beyond Fuego's stormy side,
They come, to cheer the tribes that dwell
In Boreal climes; and thro' his half year's night
Give to the Lapland savage, food and light.
From cliffs, that pierce the northern sky;
Where eagles rear their sanguine brood,
With long awaiting patient eye,
Baffled by many a sailing cloud,
The Highland native marks the flood,
Till bright the quickening billows roll,
149
And hosts of sea-birds, clamouring loud,
Track with wild wing the welcome shoal,
Swift o'er the animated current sweep,
And bear their silver captives from the deep.
Sons of the North ! your streamy vales
With no rich sheaves rejoice and sing;
Her flowery robe no fruit conceals,
Tho' sweetly smile your tardy spring;
Yet every mountain, clothed with ling,
Doth from its purple brow survey
Your busy sails, that ceaseless bring
To the broad frith, and sheltering bay,
Riches, by Heaven's parental power supplied,­
The harvest of the far embracing tide.
And, where those fractur'd mountains lift
O'er the blue wave their towering crest,
Each salient ledge and hollow cleft
To sea-fowl give a rugged nest.
But with instinctive love is drest
The Eider's downy cradle; where
The mother-bird, her glossy breast
Devotes, and with maternal care,
And plumeless bosom, stems the toiling seas,
That foam round the tempestuous Orcades.
From heights, whence shuddering sense recoils,
And cloud-capped headlands, steep and bare,
Sons of the North ! your venturous toils
Collect your poor and scanty fare.
Urged by imperious Want, you dare
Scale the loose cliff, where Gannets hide,
Or scarce suspended, in the air
Hang perilous; and thus provide
The soft voluptuous couch, which not secures
To Luxury's pamper'd minions, sleep like yours.
Revolving still, the waves that now
Just ripple on the level shore,
Have borne perchance the Indian's prow,
Or half congeal'd, 'mid ice rocks hoar,
Raved to the Walrus' hollow roar;
150
Or have by currents swift convey'd
To the cold coast of Labrador,
The relics of the tropic shade;
And to the wondering Esquimaux have shown
Leaves of strange shape, and fruits unlike their own.
No more then, let the incurious say,
No change this world of water shows,
But as the tides the moon obey,
Or tempests rave, or calms repose.­
Shew them, its bounteous breast bestows
On myriads life; and bid them see
In every wave that circling flows,
Beauty and use, and harmony­
Works of the Power Supreme, who poured the flood,
Round the green peopled earth, and call'd it good !
~ Charlotte Smith
267:A:
Not far from hence. From yonder pointed hill,
Crowned with a ring of oaks, you may behold
A dark and barren field, through which there flows,
Sluggish and black, a deep but narrow stream,
Which the wind ripples not, and the fair moon
Gazes in vain, and finds no mirror there.
Follow the herbless banks of that strange brook
Until you pause beside a darksome pond,
The fountain of this rivulet, whose gush
Cannot be seen, hid by a rayless night
That lives beneath the overhanging rock
That shades the poolan endless spring of gloom,
Upon whose edge hovers the tender light,
Trembling to mingle with its paramour,--
But, as Syrinx fled Pan, so night flies day,
Or, with most sullen and regardless hate,
Refuses stern her heaven-born embrace.
On one side of this jagged and shapeless hill
There is a cave, from which there eddies up
A pale mist, like aereal gossamer,
Whose breath destroys all life--awhile it veils
The rockthen, scattered by the wind, it flies
Along the stream, or lingers on the clefts,
Killing the sleepy worms, if aught bide there.
Upon the beetling edge of that dark rock
There stands a group of cypresses; not such
As, with a graceful spire and stirring life,
Pierce the pure heaven of your native vale,
Whose branches the air plays among, but not
Disturbs, fearing to spoil their solemn grace;
But blasted and all wearily they stand,
One to another clinging; their weak boughs
Sigh as the wind buffets them, and they shake
Beneath its blastsa weatherbeaten crew!

CHORUS:

What wondrous sound is that, mournful and faint,
But more melodious than the murmuring wind
Which through the columns of a temple glides?

A:

It is the wandering voice of Orpheus lyre,
Borne by the winds, who sigh that their rude king
Hurries them fast from these air-feeding notes;
But in their speed they bear along with them
The waning sound, scattering it like dew
Upon the startled sense.

CHORUS:

Does he still sing?
Methought he rashly cast away his harp
When he had lost Eurydice.

A:

Ah, no!
Awhile he paused. As a poor hunted stag
A moment shudders on the fearful brink
Of a swift streamthe cruel hounds press on
With deafening yell, the arrows glance and wound,--
He plunges in: so Orpheus, seized and torn
By the sharp fangs of an insatiate grief,
Maenad-like waved his lyre in the bright air,
And wildly shrieked Where she is, it is dark!
And then he struck from forth the strings a sound
Of deep and fearful melody. Alas!
In times long past, when fair Eurydice
With her bright eyes sat listening by his side,
He gently sang of high and heavenly themes.
As in a brook, fretted with little waves
By the light airs of springeach riplet makes
A many-sided mirror for the sun,
While it flows musically through green banks,
Ceaseless and pauseless, ever clear and fresh,
So flowed his song, reflecting the deep joy
And tender love that fed those sweetest notes,
The heavenly offspring of ambrosial food.
But that is past. Returning from drear Hell,
He chose a lonely seat of unhewn stone,
Blackened with lichens, on a herbless plain.
Then from the deep and overflowing spring
Of his eternal ever-moving grief
There rose to Heaven a sound of angry song.
Tis as a mighty cataract that parts
Two sister rocks with waters swift and strong,
And casts itself with horrid roar and din
Adown a steep; from a perennial source
It ever flows and falls, and breaks the air
With loud and fierce, but most harmonious roar,
And as it falls casts up a vaporous spray
Which the sun clothes in hues of Iris light.
Thus the tempestuous torrent of his grief
Is clothed in sweetest sounds and varying words
Of poesy. Unlike all human works,
It never slackens, and through every change
Wisdom and beauty and the power divine
Of mighty poesy together dwell,
Mingling in sweet accord. As I have seen
A fierce south blast tear through the darkened sky,
Driving along a rack of winged clouds,
Which may not pause, but ever hurry on,
As their wild shepherd wills them, while the stars,
Twinkling and dim, peep from between the plumes.
Anon the sky is cleared, and the high dome
Of serene Heaven, starred with fiery flowers,
Shuts in the shaken earth; or the still moon
Swiftly, yet gracefully, begins her walk,
Rising all bright behind the eastern hills.
I talk of moon, and wind, and stars, and not
Of song; but, would I echo his high song,
Nature must lend me words neer used before,
Or I must borrow from her perfect works,
To picture forth his perfect attributes.
He does no longer sit upon his throne
Of rock upon a desert herbless plain,
For the evergreen and knotted ilexes,
And cypresses that seldom wave their boughs,
And sea-green olives with their grateful fruit,
And elms dragging along the twisted vines,
Which drop their berries as they follow fast,
And blackthorn bushes with their infant race
Of blushing rose-blooms; beeches, to lovers dear,
And weeping willow trees; all swift or slow,
As their huge boughs or lighter dress permit,
Have circled in his throne, and Earth herself
Has sent from her maternal breast a growth
Of starlike flowers and herbs of odour sweet,
To pave the temple that his poesy
Has framed, while near his feet grim lions couch,
And kids, fearless from love, creep near his lair.
Even the blind worms seem to feel the sound.
The birds are silent, hanging down their heads,
Perched on the lowest branches of the trees;
Not even the nightingale intrudes a note
In rivalry, but all entranced she listens.
Published by Dr. Garnett, Relics of Shelley, 1862; revised and enlarged by Rossetti, Complete Poetical Works of P. B. S., 1870.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Orpheus

268:To Johan Sverdrup
When now my song selects and praises
Your forceful name, think not it raises
The rallying-flag for battle near;
The street-fight shall not reach us here.
If sacred poetry's fair hill
Lies open to assassination,Is
this
the newer revelation,
Then I withdraw and hold me still.
Then I the words of Einar borrow,
When southern change of kings brought sorrow,
And Harald's hosts their ravage spread:
I follow rather Magnus dead
Than Harald living thus,-and then
I sail away with ships and men.
Nor therefore do I lift anew
The flag of song just now for you,
Because my spirit's deepest yearning
To you for new light now is turning.
No, where the
greatest
questions started,
Just there it is our ways were partedFrom where the deepest thought can reach,
To plan and goal of daily speech.
My childhood's faith unshaken stands,
And thence our equal rights deriving,
I for a people free am striving
And brotherhood in kindred lands.
Though both of us are
Christian
men,
So wide a gulf between us lies;
Though both are true
Norwegian
men,
We Norway see with different eyes.
If but to-day we victory gain,
195
We must to-morrow fight amain.
But now I honor you in singing,
Because what ought just now to be
With strongest will you clearly see,
And foremost to the fight are springing.
When sinks the land 'neath heavy fogs
And no fair prospect cheers the eye,
The thickening air our breathing clogs,
Yes, all things dull in torpor lie,Then
mounts your mind with freest motion,
Its thunder-wings the mist-banks driving,
Its lightning-talons cloud-walls riving,
Till sunlight spreads o'er land and ocean.
You
are the freshening shower clean
Upon our sluggish day's routine.
You are the salt sea-current poured
Into each close and sultry fjord.
Your speech a mine-shaft is, deep-going
To where the veins of ore are showing.
And by your flashing eyes far-sighted
The past is for our future lighted.
So long as Sverre's sword you wield,
So long as you our hosts are heading,
We know we'll win on every field;
Foes flee, your battle trumpet dreading.
We see their struggling ranks soon rifted,
We see them set so many a snare:
Your head unharmed in thought's pure air
Above the waves of war is lifted.
We love you for this courage good,
That e'er
before
the banner stood,
We love the strength you boldly stored
In your self-forged and tempered sword.
Your vigilance we love and prize,
That sickness, slander, loss defies,
We love you, that at duty's call
196
You gave your peace, your future, all,
We love you still-hate cannot cleave!Because you dared in us believe.
How can they hope that backward here
Our land shall go? No, year by year,
Forward in freedom and in song,
Forward the truly Norse disclosing.
What might can now avail, opposing
The travail of the centuries long?
People and power no more divided;
In peace to save or war to kill,
Our freedom with
one
guard provided,
One
nation only and
one
will.
The spirit of our nation's morn,
The unity of free gods dreaming,
And all things great to be great deeming,
Forever must the spurious scorn.
The spirit that impelled the viking
'Gainst kingly power for freedom striking,That, threatened, sailed to Iceland strong
With hero-fame and hero-song,
And further on through all the ages,That spirit never dwells in cages.
The spirit that at Hjörung broke
For thousand years the foreign yoke,
By might of king ne'er made to cower,
Defying e'en the papal power,The spirit that, to weakness worn,
Held free our soil with rights unshorn,
Held free, with tongue and hand combined,
'Gainst foreign host and foreign mind,By which our Holberg's wit was whetted,
And Wessel's sword and Wessel's pen,
And to whose silent forge indebted
The thoughts that armed our Eidsvold-men,The spirit that in faith so high
197
Through Odin could to God draw nigh,
As bridge the myth of Balder threw,
And almost found the free way new
To truth's fair home in radiant Gimle,
When this was closed and warded grimly
By monkish lies and papal speech,That threw a second bridge to reach
On freedom's lightly soaring arches
To heights whereon the free soul marches,So, when for Luther blood was shed,
The North but razed a fence instead,
-The spirit that, when men were deeming
True faith in all the world were dead,
Brun, Hauge, and their lineage spread,
From soul-springs in our nation streaming,Though pietism's fog now thickens,
Still guards the altar lights and quickens;Can
this
they make the fashion better,
By modern bishop-synod's letter?
Is
this
by politics provided,
When into 'Chambers' 't is divided?
Can
this
into a box be juggled
And o'er the boundary be smuggled?
And that just now when beacons lighted
On all the mountain-tops are sighted,
And when our folk-high-school's young day
The Norse heart kindles with its ray,
Renewing mem'ries, courage bringing,
While they are hearing, trusting, singing;Just when the deep in billows surges,
Responsive to the tempest's might,
And over it the Northern Light
Of Youth's refulgent hope emerges;Just when the spirit everywhere,
While walls lie low as trumpets blare,
198
Is breaking from the ancient forms,
And will of youth the heights now storms.
A battle-age,-and we are in it!
The greatest thing on earth: to be
Where powers that are bursting free,
Self-shaping seek their place and win it;Our fusing passion all to give,
To cast the statue that shall live,
To press the mold of our own form
On what shall be the future's norm,
Into the age's soul thus breathed
The spirit God to us bequeathed.
'T was this that now I wished to say
To you, who late and early, aye
Within time's workshop great are going,
What is, what shall be, ever knowing;To you, who all our people's might
Have roused for freedom new to fight;To whom our people gave this power,
And sorrow, its eternal dower.
~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson
269:The Forest Boy
THE trees have now hid at the edge of the hurst
The spot where the ruins decay
Of the cottage, where Will of the Woodland was nursed,
And lived so beloved, till the moment accursed
When he went from the woodland away.
Among all the lads of the plough or the fold;
Best esteem'd by the sober and good,
Was Will of the Woodlands; and often the old
Would tell of his frolics, for active and bold
Was William the boy of the wood.
Yet gentle was he, as the breath of the May,
And when sick and declining was laid
The woodman his father, young William away
Would go to the forest to labour all day,
And perform his hard task in his stead.
And when his poor father the forester died,
And his mother was sad, and alone,
He toil'd from the dawn, and at evening he hied
In storm or in snow, or whate'er might betide,
To supply all her wants from the town.
One neighbour they had on the heath to the west,
And no other the cottage was near,
But she would send Phoebe, the child she loved best,
To stay with the widow, thus sad and distress'd,
Her hours of dejection to cheer.
As the buds of wild roses, the cheeks of the maid
Were just tinted with youth's lovely hue,
Her form, like the aspen, wild graces display'd,
And the eyes, over which her luxuriant locks stray'd,
As the skies of the summer were blue.
Still labouring to live, yet reflecting the while,
Young William consider'd his lot;
'Twas hard, yet 'twas honest; and one tender smile
From Phoebe at night overpaid ev'ry toil,
And then all his fatigues were forgot.
By the brook where it glides through the copse of Arbeal,
When to eat his cold fare he reclined,
Then soft from her home his sweet Phoebe would steal,
178
And bring him wood-strawberries to finish his meal,
And would sit by his side while he dined.
And though when employed in the deep forest glade,
His days have seem'd slowly to move,
Yet Phoebe going home, through the wood-walk has stray'd
To bid him good night!--and whatever she said
Was more sweet than the voice of the dove.
Fair Hope, that the lover so fondly believes,
Then repeated each soul-soothing speech,
And touch'd with illusion, that often deceives
The future with light; as the sun through the leaves
Illumines the boughs of the beech.
But once more the tempests of chill winter blow,
To depress and disfigure the earth;
And now ere the dawn, the young woodman must go
To his work in the forest, half buried in snow,
And at night bring home wood for the hearth.
The bridge on the heath by the flood was wash'd down,
And fast fell the sleet and the rain,
The stream to a wild rapid river was grown,
And long might the widow sit sighing alone
Ere sweet Phoebe could see her again.
At the town was a market--and now for supplies,
Such as needed her humble abode,
Young William went forth; and his mother with sighs
Watch'd long at the window, with tears in her eyes,
Till he turn'd through the fields to the road.
Then darkness came on; and she heard with affright
The wind every moment more high;
She look'd from the door; not a star lent its light,
But the tempest redoubled the gloom of the night,
And the rain pour'd in sheets from the sky.
The clock in her cottage now mournfully told
The hours that went heavily on;
'Twas midnight: her spirits sank hopeless and cold,
And it seem'd as each blast of wind fearfully told
That long, long would her William be gone.
Then heart-sick and cold to her sad bed she crept,
Yet first made up the fire in the room
To guide his dark steps; but she listen'd and wept,
Or if for a moment forgetful she slept,
179
Soon she started!--and thought he was come.
'Twas morn; and the wind with a hoarse sullen moan
Now seem'd dying away in the wood,
When the poor wretched mother still drooping, alone,
Beheld on the threshold a figure unknown,
In gorgeous apparel who stood.
'Your son is a soldier,' abruptly cried he,
'And a place in our corps has obtain'd,
Nay, be not cast down; you perhaps may soon see
Your William a captain, he now sends by me
The purse he already has gain'd.'
So William entrapp'd 'twixt persuasion and force,
Is embark'd for the isles of the West,
But he seem'd to begin with ill omens his course,
And felt recollection, regret, and remorse
Continually weigh on his breast.
With useless repentance he eagerly eyed
The high coast as it faded from view,
And saw the green hills, on whose northernmost side
Was his own silvan home: and he falter'd, and cried,
'Adieu! ah! for ever adieu!
'Who now, my poor mother, thy life shall sustain,
Since thy son has thus left thee forlorn?
Ah! canst thou forgive me? And not in the pain
Of this cruel desertion, of William complain,
And lament that he ever was born?
'Sweet Phoebe!--if ever thy lover was dear,
Now forsake not the cottage of woe,
But comfort my mother; and quiet her fear,
And help her to dry up the vain fruitless tear,
That too long for my absence will flow.
'Yet what if my Phoebe another should wed,
And lament her lost William no more?'
The thought was too cruel; and anguish now sped
The dart of disease--With the brave numerous dead
He has fall'n on the plague-tainted shore.
In the lone village church-yard, the chancel-wall near,
High grass now waves over the spot,
Where the mother of William, unable to bear
His loss, who to her widow'd heart was so dear,
Has both him and her sorrows forgot.
180
By the brook where it winds through the wood of Arbeal,
Or amid the deep forest, to moan,
The poor wandering Phoebe will silently steal;
The pain of her bosom no reason can heal,
And she loves to indulge it alone.
Her senses are injured; her eyes dim with tears;
She sits by the river and weaves
Reed garlands, against her dear William appears,
Then breathlessly listens, and fancies she hears
His step in the half wither'd leaves.
Ah! such are the miseries to which ye give birth,
Ye statesmen! ne'er dreading a scar;
Who from pictured saloon, or the bright sculptured hearth
Disperse desolation and death through the earth,
When ye let loose the demons of war.
~ Charlotte Smith
270:The Raven
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
''Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber doorOnly this, and nothing more.'
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost LenoreFor the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name LenoreNameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
''Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber doorSome late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;This it is, and nothing more.'
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
'Sir,' said I, 'or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you'- here I opened wide the door;Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, 'Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, 'Lenore!'Merely this, and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice:
93
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery exploreLet my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;'Tis the wind and nothing more.'
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and
flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed
he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber doorPerched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber doorPerched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
'Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no
craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shoreTell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber doorBird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as 'Nevermore.'
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he flutteredTill I scarcely more than muttered, 'other friends have flown
beforeOn the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, 'Nevermore.'
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
'Doubtless,' said I, 'what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden boreTill the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never- nevermore'.'
94
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and
door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yoreWhat this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking 'Nevermore.'
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
'Wretch,' I cried, 'thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he
hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or
devil!Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchantedOn this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I imploreIs there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or
devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adoreTell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name LenoreClasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.'
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
'Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,' I shrieked,
upstarting-
95
'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my
door!'
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the
floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!
~ Edgar Allan Poe
271:The Height Of Land
Here is the height of land:
The watershed on either hand
Goes down to Hudson Bay
Or Lake Superior;
The stars are up, and far away
The wind sounds in the wood, wearier
Than the long Ojibwa cadence
In which Potàn the Wise
Declares the ills of life
And Chees-que-ne-ne makes a mournful sound
Of acquiescence. The fires burn low
With just sufficient glow
To light the flakes of ash that play
At being moths, and flutter away
To fall in the dark and die as ashes:
Here there is peace in the lofty air,
And Something comes by flashes
Deeper than peace: -The spruces have retired a little space
And left a field of sky in violet shadow
With stars like marigolds in a water-meadow.
Now the Indian guides are dead asleep;
There is no sound unless the soul can hear
The gathering of the waters in their sources.
We have come up through the spreading lakes
From level to level, -Pitching our tents sometimes over a revel
Of roses that nodded all night,
Dreaming within our dreams,
To wake at dawn and find that they were captured
With no dew on their leaves;
Sometimes mid sheaves
Of bracken and dwarf-cornel, and again
On a wide blueberry plain
Brushed with the shimmer of a bluebird's wing;
A rocky islet followed
With one lone poplar and a single nest
Of white-throat-sparrows that took no rest
116
But sang in dreams or woke to sing, -To the last portage and the height of land --:
Upon one hand
The lonely north enlaced with lakes and streams,
And the enormous targe of Hudson Bay,
Glimmering all night
In the cold arctic light;
On the other hand
The crowded southern land
With all the welter of the lives of men.
But here is peace, and again
That Something comes by flashes
Deeper than peace, -- a spell
Golden and inappellable
That gives the inarticulate part
Of our strange being one moment of release
That seems more native than the touch of time,
And we must answer in chime;
Though yet no man may tell
The secret of that spell
Golden and inappellable.
Now are there sounds walking in the wood,
And all the spruces shiver and tremble,
And the stars move a little in their courses.
The ancient disturber of solitude
Breathes a pervasive sigh,
And the soul seems to hear
The gathering of the waters at their sources;
Then quiet ensues and pure starlight and dark;
The region-spirit murmurs in meditation,
The heart replies in exaltation
And echoes faintly like an inland shell
Ghost tremors of the spell;
Thought reawakens and is linked again
With all the welter of the lives of men.
Here on the uplands where the air is clear
We think of life as of a stormy scene, -Of tempest, of revolt and desperate shock;
And here, where we can think, on the brights uplands
Where the air is clear, we deeply brood on life
Until the tempest parts, and it appears
117
As simple as to the shepherd seems his flock:
A Something to be guided by ideals -That in themselves are simple and serene -Of noble deed to foster noble thought,
And noble thought to image noble deed,
Till deed and thought shall interpenetrate,
Making life lovelier, till we come to doubt
Whether the perfect beauty that escapes
Is beauty of deed or thought or some high thing
Mingled of both, a greater boon than either:
Thus we have seen in the retreating tempest
The victor-sunlight merge with the ruined rain,
And from the rain and sunlight spring the rainbow.
The ancient disturber of solitude
Stirs his ancestral potion in the gloom,
And the dark wood
Is stifled with the pungent fume
Of charred earth burnt to the bone
That takes the place of air.
Then sudden I remember when and where, -The last weird lakelet foul with weedy growths
And slimy viscid things the spirit loathes,
Skin of vile water over viler mud
Where the paddle stirred unutterable stenches,
And the canoes seemed heavy with fear,
Not to be urged toward the fatal shore
Where a bush fire, smouldering, with sudden roar
Leaped on a cedar and smothered it with light
And terror. It had left the portage-height
A tangle of slanted spruces burned to the roots,
Covered still with patches of bright fire
Smoking with incense of the fragment resin
That even then began to thin and lessen
Into the gloom and glimmer of ruin.
'Tis overpast. How strange the stars have grown;
The presage of extinction glows on their crests
And they are beautied with impermanence;
They shall be after the race of men
And mourn for them who snared their fiery pinions,
Entangled in the meshes of bright words.
118
A lemming stirs the fern and in the mosses
Eft-minded things feel the air change, and dawn
Tolls out from the dark belfries of the spruces.
How often in the autumn of the world
Shall the crystal shrine of dawning be rebuilt
With deeper meaning! Shall the poet then,
Wrapped in his mantle on the height of land,
Brood on the welter of the lives of men
And dream of his ideal hope and promise
In the blush sunrise? Shall he base his flight
Upon a more compelling law than Love
As Life's atonement; shall the vision
Of noble deed and noble thought immingled
Seem as uncouth to him as the pictograph
Scratched on the cave side by the cave-dweller
To us of the Christ-time? Shall he stand
With deeper joy, with more complex emotion,
In closer commune with divinity,
With the deep fathomed, with the firmament charted,
With life as simple as a sheep-boy's song,
What lies beyond a romaunt that was read
Once on a morn of storm and laid aside
Memorious with strange immortal memories?
Or shall he see the sunrise as I see it
In shoals of misty fire the deluge-light
Dashes upon and whelms with purer radiance,
And feel the lulled earth, older in pulse and motion,
Turn the rich lands and inundant oceans
To the flushed color, and hear as now I hear
The thrill of life beat up the planet's margin
And break in the clear susurrus of deep joy
That echoes and reëchoes in my being?
O Life is intuition the measure of knowledge
And do I stand with heart entranced and burning
At the zenith of our wisdom when I feel
The long light flow, the long wind pause, the deep
Influx of spirit, of which no man may tell
The Secret, golden and inappellable?
~ Duncan Campbell Scott
272:The Character Of Holland
Holland, that scarce deserves the name of Land,
As but th'Off-scouring of the Brittish Sand;
And so much Earth as was contributed
By English Pilots when they heav'd the Lead;
Or what by th' Oceans slow alluvion fell,
Of shipwrackt Cockle and the Muscle-shell;
This indigested vomit of the Sea
Fell to the Dutch by just Propriety.
Glad then, as Miners that have found the Oar,
They with mad labour fish'd the Land to Shoar;
And div'd as desperately for each piece
Of Earth, as if't had been of Ambergreece;
Collecting anxiously small Loads of Clay,
Less then what building Swallows bear away;
Transfursing into them their Dunghil Soul.
How did they rivet, with Gigantick Piles,
Thorough the Center their new-catched Miles;
And to the stake a strugling Country bound,
Where barking Waves still bait the forced Ground;
Building their watry Babel far more high
To reach the Sea, then those to scale the Sky.
Yet still his claim the Injur'd Ocean laid,
And oft at Leap-frog ore their Steeples plaid:
As if on purpose it on Land had come
To shew them what's their Mare Liberum.
A daily deluge over them does boyl;
The Earth and Water play at Level-coyl;
The Fish oft-times the Burger dispossest,
And sat not as a Meat but as a Guest;
And oft the Tritons and the Sea-Nymphs saw
Whole sholes of Dutch serv'd up for Cabillan;
Or as they over the new Level rang'd
For pickled Herring, pickled Heeren chang'd.
Nature, it seem'd, asham'd of her mistake,
Would throw their land away at Duck and Drake.
Therefore Necessity, that first made Kings,
Something like Government among them brings.
For as with Pygmees who best kills the Crane,
Among the hungry he that treasures Grain,
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Among the blind the one-ey'd blinkard reigns,
So rules among the drowned he that draines.
Not who first see the rising Sun commands,
But who could first discern the rising Lands.
Who best could know to pump an Earth so leak
Him they their Lord and Country's Father speak.
To make a Bank was a great Plot of State;
Invent a Shov'l and be a Magistrate.
Hence some small Dyke-grave unperceiv'd invades
The Pow'r, and grows as 'twere a King of Spades.
But for less envy some Joynt States endures,
Who look like a Commission of the Sewers.
For these Half-anders, half wet, and half dry,
Nor bear strict service, nor pure Liberty.
'Tis probable Religion after this
Came next in order; which they could not miss.
How could the Dutch but be converted, when
Th' Apostles were so many Fishermen?
Besides the Waters of themselves did rise,
And, as their Land, so them did re-baptise.
Though Herring for their God few voices mist,
And Poor-John to have been th' Evangelist.
Faith, that could never Twins conceive before,
Never so fertile, spawn'd upon this shore:
More pregnant then their Marg'ret, that laid down
For Hans-in-Kelder of a whole Hans-Town.
Sure when Religion did it self imbark,
And from the east would Westward steer its Ark,
It struck, and splitting on this unknown ground,
Each one thence pillag'd the first piece he found:
Hence Amsterdam, Turk-Christian-Pagan-Jew,
Staple of Sects and Mint of Schisme grew;
That Bank of Conscience, where not one so strange
Opinion but finds Credit, and Exchange.
In vain for Catholicks our selves we bear;
The Universal Church is onely there.
Nor can Civility there want for Tillage,
Where wisely for their Court they chose a Village.
How fit a Title clothes their Governours,
Themselves the Hogs as all their Subjects Bores
Let it suffice to give their Country Fame
That it had one Civilis call'd by Name,
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Some Fifteen hundred and more years ago,
But surely never any that was so.
See but their Mairmaids with their Tails of Fish,
Reeking at Church over the Chafing-Dish.
A vestal Turf enshrin'd in Earthen Ware
Fumes through the loop-holes of wooden Square.
Each to the Temple with these Altars tend,
But still does place it at her Western End:
While the fat steam of Female Sacrifice
Fills the Priests Nostrils and puts out his Eyes.
Or what a Spectacle the Skipper gross,
A Water-Hercules Butter-Coloss,
Tunn'd up with all their sev'ral Towns of Beer;
When Stagg'ring upon some Land, Snick and Sneer,
They try, like Statuaries, if they can,
Cut out each others Athos to a Man:
And carve in their large Bodies, where they please,
The Armes of the United Provinces.
But when such Amity at home is show'd;
What then are their confederacies abroad?
Let this one court'sie witness all the rest;
When their hole Navy they together prest,
Not Christian Captives to redeem from Bands:
Or intercept the Western golden Sands:
No, but all ancient Rights and Leagues must vail,
Rather then to the English strike their sail;
to whom their weather-beaten Province ows
It self, when as some greater Vessal tows
A Cock-boat tost with the same wind and fate;
We buoy'd so often up their Sinking State.
Was this Jus Belli & Pacis; could this be
Cause why their Burgomaster of the Sea
Ram'd with Gun-powder, flaming with Brand wine,
Should raging hold his Linstock to the Mine?
While, with feign'd Treaties, they invade by stealth
Our sore new circumcised Common wealth.
Yet of his vain Attempt no more he sees
Then of Case-Butter shot and Bullet-Cheese.
And the torn Navy stagger'd with him home,
While the Sea laught it self into a foam,
'Tis true since that (as fortune kindly sports,)
A wholesome Danger drove us to our ports.
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While half their banish'd keels the Tempest tost,
Half bound at home in Prison to the frost:
That ours mean time at leisure might careen,
In a calm Winter, under Skies Serene.
As the obsequious Air and waters rest,
Till the dear Halcyon hatch out all its nest.
The Common wealth doth by its losses grow;
And, like its own Seas, only Ebbs to flow.
Besides that very Agitation laves,
And purges out the corruptible waves.
And now again our armed Bucentore
Doth yearly their Sea-Nuptials restore.
And how the Hydra of seaven Provinces
Is strangled by our Infant Hercules.
Their Tortoise wants its vainly stretched neck;
Their Navy all our Conquest or our Wreck:
Or, what is left, their Carthage overcome
Would render fain unto our better Rome.
Unless our Senate, lest their Youth disuse,
The War, (but who would) Peace if begg'd refuse.
For now of nothing may our State despair,
Darling of Heaven, and of Men the Care;
Provided that they be what they have been,
Watchful abroad, and honest still within.
For while our Neptune doth a Trident shake, Blake,
Steel'd with those piercing Heads, Dean, Monck and
And while Jove governs in the highest Sphere,
Vainly in Hell let Pluto domineer.
~ Andrew Marvell
273:A Storm In The Mountains
A lonely boy, far venturing from home
Out on the half-wild herd’s faint tracks I roam;
Mid rock-browned mountains, which with stony frown
Glare into haggard chasms deep adown;
A rude and craggy world, the prospect lies
Bounded in circuit by the bending skies.
Now at some clear pool scooped out by the shocks
Of rain-floods plunging from the upper rocks
Whose liquid disc in its undimpled rest
Glows like a mighty gem brooching the mountain’s breast,
I drink and must, or mark the wide-spread herd,
Or list the thinking of the dingle-bird;
And now towards some wild-hanging shade I stray,
To shun the bright oppression of the day;
For round each crag, and o’er each bosky swell,
The fierce refracted heat flares visible,
Lambently restless, like the dazzling hem
Of some else viewless veil held trembling over them.
Why congregate the swallows in the air,
And northward then in rapid flight repair?
With sudden swelling din, remote yet harsh,
Why roar the bull-frogs in the tea-tree marsh?
Why cease the locusts to throng up in flight
And clap their gay wings in the fervent light?
Why climb they, bodingly demure, instead
The tallest spear-grass to the bending head?
Instinctively, along the sultry sky,
I turn a listless, yet inquiring, eye;
And mark that now with a slow gradual pace
A solemn trance creams northward o’er its face;
Yon clouds that late were labouring past the sun,
Reached by its sure arrest, one after one,
Come to a heavy halt; the airs that played
About the rugged mountains all are laid:
While drawing nearer far-off heights appear,
As in a dream’s wild prospect, strangely near!
Till into wood resolves their robe of blue,
And the grey crags rise bluffly on the view.
Such are the signs and tokens that presage
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A summer hurricane’s forthcoming rage.
At length the south sends out her cloudy heaps
And up the glens at noontide dimness creeps;
The birds, late warbling in the hanging green
Off steep-set brakes, seek now some safer screen;
The herd, in doubt, no longer wanders wide,
But fast ingathering throngs yon mountain’s side,
Whose echoes, surging to its tramp, might seem
The muttered troubles of some Titan’s dream.
Fast the dim legions of the muttering storm
Throng denser, or protruding columns form;
While splashing forward from their cloudy lair,
Convolving flames, like scouting dragons, glare:
Low thunders follow, labouring up the sky;
And as fore-running blasts go blaring by,
At once the forest, with a mighty stir,
Bows, as in homage to the thunderer!
Hark! From the dingoes blood-polluted dens
In the gloom-hidden chasms of the glens,
Long fitful howls wail up; and in the blast
Strange hissing whispers seem to huddle past;
As if the dread stir had aroused from sleep
Weird spirits, cloistered in yon cavy steep
(On which, in the grim past, some Cain’s offence
Hath haply outraged heaven!) Who rising thence
Wrapped in the boding vapours, laughed again
To wanton in the wild-willed hurricane.
See in the storm’s front, sailing dark and dread,
A wide-winged eagle like a black flag spread!
The clouds aloft flash doom! Short stops his flight!
He seems to shrivel in the blasting light!
The air is shattered with a crashing sound,
And he falls stonelike, lifeless, to the ground.
Now, like a shadow at great nature’s heart,
The turmoil grows. Now wonder, with a start,
Marks where right overhead the storm careers,
Girt with black horrors and wide-flaming fears!
Arriving thunders, mustering on his path,
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Swell more and more the roarings of his wrath,
As out in widening circles they extend,
And then—at once—in utter silence end.
Portentous silence! Time keeps breathing past,
Yet it continues! May this marvel last?
This wild weird silence in the midst of gloom
So manifestly big with coming doom?
Tingles the boding ear; and up the glens
Instinctive dread comes howling from the wild-dogs dens.
Terrific vision! Heaven’s great ceiling splits,
And a vast globe of writhing fire emits,
Which pouring down in one continuous stream,
Spans the black concave like a burning beam,
A moment;—then from end to end it shakes
With a quick motion—and in thunder breaks!
Peal rolled on peal! While heralding the sound,
As each concussion thrills the solid ground,
Fierce glares coil, snake-like, round the rocky wens
Of the red hills, or hiss into the glens,
Or thick through heaven like flaming falchions swarm,
Cleaving the teeming cisterns of the storm,
From which rain-torrents, searching every gash,
Split by the blast come sheeting with a dash.
On yon grey peak, from rock-encrusted roots,
The mighty patriarch of the wood upshoots,
In whose proud-spreading top’s imperial height,
The mountain-eagle loveth most to light:
Now dimly seen through the tempestuous air,
His form seems harrowed by a mad despair,
As with his ponderous arms uplifted high,
He wrestles with the storm and threshes at the sky!
A swift bolt hurtles through the lurid air,
Another thundering crash! The peak is bare!
Huge hurrying fragments all around are cast,
The wild-winged, mad-limbed monsters of the blast.
The darkness thickens! With despairing cry
From shattering boughs the rain-drenched parrtos fly;
Loose rocks roll rumbling from the mountains round,
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And half the forest strews the smoking ground;
To the bared crags the blasts now wilder moan,
And the caves labour with a ghostlier groan.
Wide raging torrents down the gorges flow
Swift bearing with them to the vale below
Those sylvan wrecks that littered late the path
Of the loud hurricane s all-trampling wrath.
The storm is past. Yet booming on afar
Is heard the rattling of the thunder-car,
And that low muffled moaning, as of grief,
Which follows with a wood-sigh wide and brief.
The clouds break up; the sun s forth-bursting rays
Clothe the wet landscape with a dazzling blaze;
The birds begin to sing a lively strain,
And merry echoes ring it o’er again;
The clustered herd is spreading out to graze,
Though lessening torrents still a hundred ways
Flash downward, and from many a rock ledge
A mantling gush comes quick and shining o er the edge.
’Tis evening; and the torrent’s furious flow
Runs gentlier now into the lake below,
O’er all the freshened scene no sound is heard,
Save the short twitter of some busied bird,
Or a faint rustle made amongst the trees
By wasting fragments of a broken breeze.
Along the wild and wreck-strewed paths I wind,
Watching earth’s happiness with quiet mind,
And see a beauty all unmarked till now
Flushing each flowery nook and sunny brow;
Wished peace returning like a bird of calm,
Brings to the wounded world its blessed healing balm.
On nerveless, tuneless lines how sadly
Ringing rhymes may wasted be,
While blank verse oft is mere prose madly
Striving to be poetry:
While prose that’s craggy as a mountain
May Apollo’s sun-robe don,
Or hold the well-spring of a fountain
Bright as that in Helicon.
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~ Charles Harpur
274:"What knight or what vassal will be so bold
As to plunge in the gulf below?
See! I hurl in its depths a goblet of gold,
Already the waters over it flow.
The man who can bring back the goblet to me,
May keep it henceforward,his own it shall be."

Thus speaks the king, and he hurls from the height
Of the cliffs that, rugged and steep,
Hang over the boundless sea, with strong might,
The goblet afar, in the bellowing deep.
"And who'll be so daring,I ask it once more,
As to plunge in these billows that wildly roar?"

And the vassals and knights of high degree
Hear his words, but silent remain.
They cast their eyes on the raging sea,
And none will attempt the goblet to gain.
And a third time the question is asked by the king:
"Is there none that will dare in the gulf now to spring?"

Yet all as before in silence stand,
When a page, with a modest pride,
Steps out of the timorous squirely band,
And his girdle and mantle soon throws aside,
And all the knights, and the ladies too,
The noble stripling with wonderment view.

And when he draws nigh to the rocky brow,
And looks in the gulf so black,
The waters that she had swallowed but now,
The howling Charybdis is giving back;
And, with the distant thunder's dull sound.
From her gloomy womb they all-foaming rebound.

And it boils and it roars, and it hisses and seethes,
As when water and fire first blend;
To the sky spurts the foam in steam-laden wreaths,
And wave presses hard upon wave without end.
And the ocean will never exhausted be,
As if striving to bring forth another sea.

But at length the wild tumult seems pacified,
And blackly amid the white swell
A gaping chasm its jaws opens wide,
As if leading down to the depths of hell:
And the howling billows are seen by each eye
Down the whirling funnel all madly to fly.

Then quickly, before the breakers rebound,
The stripling commends him to Heaven,
Anda scream of horror is heard around,
And now by the whirlpool away he is driven,
And secretly over the swimmer brave
Close the jaws, and he vanishes 'neath the dark wave.

O'er the watery gulf dread silence now lies,
But the deep sends up a dull yell,
And from mouth to mouth thus trembling it flies:
"Courageous stripling, oh, fare thee well!"
And duller and duller the howls recommence,
While they pause in anxious and fearful suspense.

"If even thy crown in the gulf thou shouldst fling,
And shouldst say, 'He who brings it to me
Shall wear it henceforward, and be the king,'
Thou couldst tempt me not e'en with that precious foe;
What under the howling deep is concealed
To no happy living soul is revealed!"

Full many a ship, by the whirlpool held fast,
Shoots straightway beneath the mad wave,
And, dashed to pieces, the hull and the mast
Emerge from the all-devouring grave,
And the roaring approaches still nearer and nearer,
Like the howl of the tempest, still clearer and clearer.

And it boils and it roars, and it hisses and seethes,
As when water and fire first blend;
To the sky spurts the foam in steam-laden wreaths,
And wave passes hard upon wave without end.
And, with the distant thunder's dull sound,
From the ocean-womb they all-bellowing bound.

And lo! from the darkly flowing tide
Comes a vision white as a swan,
And an arm and a glistening neck are descried,
With might and with active zeal steering on;
And 'tis he, and behold! his left hand on high
Waves the goblet, while beaming with joy is his eye.

Then breathes he deeply, then breathes he long,
And blesses the light of the day;
While gladly exclaim to each other the throng:
"He lives! he is here! he is not the sea's prey!
From the tomb, from the eddying waters' control,
The brave one has rescued his living soul!"

And he comes, and they joyously round him stand;
At the feet of the monarch he falls,
The goblet he, kneeling, puts in his hand,
And the king to his beauteous daughter calls,
Who fills it with sparkling wine to the brim;
The youth turns to the monarch, and speaks thus to him:

"Long life to the king! Let all those be glad
Who breathe in the light of the sky!
For below all is fearful, of moment sad;
Let not man to tempt the immortals e'er try,
Let him never desire the thing to see
That with terror and night they veil graciously."

"I was torn below with the speed of light,
When out of a cavern of rock
Rushed towards me a spring with furious might;
I was seized by the twofold torrent's wild shock,
And like a top, with a whirl and a bound,
Despite all resistance, was whirled around."

"Then God pointed out,for to Him I cried
In that terrible moment of need,
A craggy reef in the gulf's dark side;
I seized it in haste, and from death was then freed.
And there, on sharp corals, was hanging the cup,
The fathomless pit had else swallowed it up."

"For under me lay it, still mountain-deep,
In a darkness of purple-tinged dye,
And though to the ear all might seem then asleep
With shuddering awe 'twas seen by the eye
How the salamanders' and dragons' dread forms
Filled those terrible jaws of hell with their swarms."

"There crowded, in union fearful and black,
In a horrible mass entwined,
The rock-fish, the ray with the thorny back,
And the hammer-fish's misshapen kind,
And the shark, the hyena dread of the sea,
With his angry teeth, grinned fiercely on me."

"There hung I, by fulness of terror possessed,
Where all human aid was unknown,
Amongst phantoms, the only sensitive breast,
In that fearful solitude all alone,
Where the voice of mankind could not reach to mine ear,
'Mid the monsters foul of that wilderness drear."

"Thus shuddering methoughtwhen a something crawled near,
And a hundred limbs it out-flung,
And at me it snapped;in my mortal fear,
I left hold of the coral to which I had clung;
Then the whirlpool seized on me with maddened roar,
Yet 'twas well, for it brought me to light once more."

The story in wonderment hears the king,
And he says, "The cup is thine own,
And I purpose also to give thee this ring,
Adorned with a costly, a priceless stone,
If thou'lt try once again, and bring word to me
What thou saw'st in the nethermost depths of the sea."

His daughter hears this with emotions soft,
And with flattering accent prays she:
"That fearful sport, father, attempt not too oft!
What none other would dare, he hath ventured for thee;
If thy heart's wild longings thou canst not tame,
Let the knights, if they can, put the squire to shame."

The king then seizes the goblet in haste,
In the gulf he hurls it with might:
"When the goblet once more in my hands thou hast placed,
Thou shalt rank at my court as the noblest knight,
And her as a bride thou shalt clasp e'en to-day,
Who for thee with tender compassion doth pray."

Then a force, as from Heaven, descends on him there,
And lightning gleams in his eye,
And blushes he sees on her features so fair,
And he sees her turn pale, and swooning lie;
Then eager the precious guerdon to win,
For life or for death, lo! he plunges him in!

The breakers they hear, and the breakers return,
Proclaimed by a thundering sound;
They bend o'er the gulf with glances that yearn,
And the waters are pouring in fast around;
Though upwards and downwards they rush and they rave,
The youth is brought back by no kindly wave.
~ Friedrich Schiller, The Driver

275:The Three Guides
Spirit of earth! thy hand is chill.
I've felt its icy clasp;
And shuddering I remember still
That stony-hearted grasp.
Thine eye bids love and joy depart,
O turn its gaze from me!
It presses down my sinking heart; -I will not walk with thee!
'Wisdom is mine,' I've heard thee say,
'Beneath my searching eye,
All mist and darkness melt away,
Phantoms and fables fly.
Before me, truth can stand alone,
The naked, solid truth:
And man matured my worth will own,
If I am shunned by youth.
'Firm is my tread, and sure, though slow:
My footsteps never slide:
And he that follows me shall know
I am the surest guide.'
Thy boast is vain: but were it true
That thou couldst safely steer
Life's rough and devious pathway through
Such guidance I should fear.
How could I bear to walk for aye,
With eyes to earthward prone,
O'er trampled weeds, and miry clay,
And sand, and flinty stone.
Never the glorious view to greet
Of hill and dale and sky,
To see that Nature's charms are sweet
Or feel that Heaven is nigh?
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5
If, in my heart arose a spring -A gush of thought divine,
At once stagnation thou wouldst bring
With that cold touch of thine!
If glancing up, I sought to snatch
But one glimpse of the sky,
My baffled gaze would only catch
Thy heartless, cold grey eye.
If, to the breezes wandering near,
I listened eagerly,
And deemed an angel's tongue to hear
That whispered hope to me,
That heavenly music would be drowned
In thy harsh, droning voice,
Nor inward thought, nor sight, nor sound
Might my sad soul rejoice.
Dull is thine ear; unheard by thee
The still small voice of Heaven.
Thine eyes are dim, and cannot see
The helps that God has given.
There is a bridge, o'er every flood,
Which thou canst not perceive,
A path, through every tangled wood;
But thou will not believe.
Striving to make thy way by force,
Toil-spent and bramble torn,
Thou'lt fell the tree that stops thy course,
And burst through briar and thorn;
And pausing by the river's side,
Poor reasoner, thou wilt deem,
By casting pebbles in its tide
To cross the swelling stream.
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Right through the flinty rock thou'lt try
Thy toilsome way to bore,
Regardless of the pathway nigh
That would conduct thee o'er.
Not only are thou, then, unkind,
And freezing cold to me,
But unbelieving, deaf, and blind -I will not walk with thee!
10
Spirit of Pride! thy wings are strong;
Thine eyes like lightning shine;
Ecstatic joys to thee belong
And powers almost divine.
But 'tis a false destructive blaze,
Within those eyes I see,
Turn hence their fascinating gaze -I will not follow thee!
11
'Coward and fool!' thou mayst reply;
'Walk on the common sod;
Go trace, with timid foot and eye,
The steps by others trod.
'Tis best the beaten path to keep,
The ancient faith to hold,
To pasture with thy fellow sheep,
And lie within the fold.
12
'Cling to the earth, poor grovelling worm,
'Tis not for thee to soar
Against the fury of the storm,
Amid the thunder's roar.
There's glory in that daring strife
Unknown, undreamt by thee;
There's speechless rapture in the life
Of those who follow me!'
13
Yes; I have seen thy votaries oft,
Upheld by thee their guide,
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In strength and courage mount aloft
The steepy mountain-side;
I've seen them stand against the sky,
And gazing from below
Beheld thy lightning in their eye,
Thy triumph on their brow.
14
Oh! I have felt what glory then -What transport must be theirs'
So far above their fellow men,
Above their toils and cares,
Inhaling nature's purest breath,
Her riches round them spread,
The wide expanse of earth beneath,
Heaven's glories overhead!
15
But -- I have seen them downwards dashed,
Down to a bloody grave;
And still thy ruthless eye has flashed,
Thy strong hand did not save!
I've seen some o'er the mountain's brow
Sustained a while by thee,
O'er rocks of ice and hills of snow
Bound fearless, wild, and free.
16
Bold and exultant was their mien
While thou didst cheer them on;
But evening fell -- and then, I ween,
Their faithless guide was gone.
Alas! how fared thy favourites then -Lone, helpless, weary, cold -Did ever wanderer find again
The path he left of old?
17
Where is their glory, where the pride
That swelled their hearts before;
Where now the courage that defied
The mightiest tempest's roar?
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What shall they do when night grows black,
When angry storms arise?
Who now will lead them to the track
Thou taught'st them to despise?
18
Spirit of Pride! it needs not this
To make me shun thy wiles,
Renounce thy triumph and thy bliss,
Thy honours and thy smiles.
Bright as thou art, and bold, and strong,
That fierce glance wins not me,
And I abhor thy scoffing tongue -I will not walk with thee!
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Spirit of Faith! be thou my guide,
O, clasp my hand in thine,
And let me never quit thy side:
Thy comforts are divine!
Earth calls thee 'blind misguided one',
But who can show like thee
Past things that have been seen and done,
And things that are to be?
20
Secrets concealed from Nature's ken,
Who like thee can declare;
Or who like thee to erring men
God's holy will can bear?
Pride scorns thee for thy lowly mien;
But who like thee can rise
Above this restless, clouded scene, -Beyond the holy skies?
21
Meek is thine eye and soft thy voice
But wondrous is thy might
To make the wretched soul rejoice,
To give the simple light.
And still to all that seek thy way,
Such magic power is given --
125
E'en while their footsteps press the clay
Their souls ascend to heaven.
22
Danger surrounds them, pain and woe
Their portion here must be;
But only they that trust thee know
What comfort dwells with thee,
Strength to sustain their drooping powers
And vigour to defend.
Thou pole-star of my darkest hours,
Affliction's firmest friend!
23
Day does not always mark our way;
Night's terrors oft appal,
But lead me, and I cannot stray;
Hold me: I shall not fall;
Sustain me, I shall never faint,
How rough soe'er may be
My upward road, -- nor moan nor plaint
Shall mar my trust in thee.
24
Narrow the path by which we go;
And oft it turns aside,
From pleasant meads where roses blow
And murmuring waters glide;
Where flowery turf lies green and soft,
And gentle gales are sweet,
To where dark mountains frown aloft,
Hard rocks distress the feet.
25
Deserts beyond lie bleak and bare,
And keen winds round us blow;
But if thy hand conducts me there,
The way is right, I know.
I have no wish to turn away:
My spirit does not quail.
How can it while I hear thee say,
'Press forward -- and prevail.'?
126
26
Even above the tempest's swell,
I hear thy voice of love.
Of hope and peace I hear thee tell,
And that blest home above.
Through pain and death, I can rejoice,
If but thy strength be mine.
Earth hath no music like thy voice;
Life owns no joy like thine!
27
Spirit of Faith! I'll go with thee:
Thou, if I hold thee fast,
Wilt guide, defend, and strengthen me,
And bring me home at last.
By thy help, all things I can do;
In thy strength all things bear.
Teach me, for thou art just and true,
Smile on me, -- thou art fair!
~ Anne Brontë
276:Hark! the owlet flaps her wing,
In the pathless dell beneath,
Hark! night ravens loudly sing,
Tidings of despair and death.--

Horror covers all the sky,
Clouds of darkness blot the moon,
Prepare! for mortal thou must die,
Prepare to yield thy soul up soon--

Fierce the tempest raves around,
Fierce the volleyed lightnings fly,
Crashing thunder shakes the ground,
Fire and tumult fill the sky.

Hark! the tolling village bell,
Tells the hour of midnight come,
Now can blast the powers of Hell,
Fiend-like goblins now can roam--

See! his crest all stained with rain,
A warrior hastening speeds his way,
He starts, looks round him, starts again,
And sighs for the approach of day.

See! his frantic steed he reins,
See! he lifts his hands on high,
Implores a respite to his pains,
From the powers of the sky.--

He seeks an Inn, for faint from toil,
Fatigue had bent his lofty form,
To rest his wearied limbs awhile,
Fatigued with wandering and the storm.

...
...

Slow the door is opened wide--
With trackless tread a stranger came,
His form Majestic, slow his stride,
He sate, nor spake,--nor told his name--

Terror blanched the warrior's cheek,
Cold sweat from his forehead ran,
In vain his tongue essayed to speak,--
At last the stranger thus began:

'Mortal! thou that saw'st the sprite,
Tell me what I wish to know,
Or come with me before 'tis light,
Where cypress trees and mandrakes grow.

'Fierce the avenging Demon's ire,
Fiercer than the wintry blast,
Fiercer than the lightning's fire,
When the hour of twilight's past'--

The warrior raised his sunken eye.
It met the stranger's sullen scowl,
'Mortal! Mortal! thou must die,'
In burning letters chilled his soul.

WARRIOR:
Stranger! whoso'er you are,
I feel impelled my tale to tell--
Horrors stranger shalt thou hear,
Horrors drear as those of Hell.

O'er my Castle silence reigned,
Late the night and drear the hour,
When on the terrace I observed,
A fleeting shadowy mist to lower.--

Light the cloud as summer fog,
Which transient shuns the morning beam;
Fleeting as the cloud on bog,
That hangs or on the mountain stream.--

Horror seized my shuddering brain,
Horror dimmed my starting eye.
In vain I tried to speak,--In vain
My limbs essayed the spot to fly--

At last the thin and shadowy form,
With noiseless, trackless footsteps came,--
Its light robe floated on the storm,
Its head was bound with lambent flame.

In chilling voice drear as the breeze
Which sweeps along th' autumnal ground,
Which wanders through the leafless trees,
Or the mandrake's groan which floats around.

'Thou art mine and I am thine,
'Till the sinking of the world,
I am thine and thou art mine,
'Till in ruin death is hurled--

'Strong the power and dire the fate,
Which drags me from the depths of Hell,
Breaks the tomb's eternal gate,
Where fiendish shapes and dead men yell,

'Haply I might ne'er have shrank
From flames that rack the guilty dead,
Haply I might ne'er have sank
On pleasure's flowery, thorny bed--

--'But stay! no more I dare disclose,
Of the tale I wish to tell,
On Earth relentless were my woes,
But fiercer are my pangs in Hell--

'Now I claim thee as my love,
Lay aside all chilling fear,
My affection will I prove,
Where sheeted ghosts and spectres are!

'For thou art mine, and I am thine,
'Till the dreaded judgement day,
I am thine, and thou art mine--
Night is past--I must away.'

Still I gazed, and still the form
Pressed upon my aching sight,
Still I braved the howling storm,
When the ghost dissolved in night.--

Restless, sleepless fled the night,
Sleepless as a sick mans bed,
When he sighs for morning light,
When he turns his aching head,--

Slow and painful passed the day.
Melancholy seized my brain,
Lingering fled the hours away,
Lingering to a wretch in pain.--

At last came night, ah! horrid hour,
Ah! chilling time that wakes the dead,
When demons ride the clouds that lower,
--The phantom sat upon my bed.

In hollow voice, low as the sound
Which in some charnel makes its moan,
What floats along the burying ground,
The phantom claimed me as her own.

Her chilling finger on my head,
With coldest touch congealed my soul--
Cold as the finger of the dead,
Or damps which round a tombstone roll--

Months are passed in lingering round,
Every night the spectre comes,
With thrilling step it shakes the ground,
With thrilling step it round me roams--

Stranger! I have told to thee,
All the tale I have to tell--
Stranger! canst thou tell to me,
How to scape the powers of Hell?--

STRANGER:
Warrior! I can ease thy woes,
Wilt thou, wilt thou, come with me--
Warrior! I can all disclose,
Follow, follow, follow me.

Yet the tempest's duskiest wing,
Its mantle stretches o'er the sky,
Yet the midnight ravens sing,
'Mortal! Mortal! thou must die.'

At last they saw a river clear,
That crossed the heathy path they trod,
The Strangers look was wild and drear,
The firm Earth shook beneath his nod--

He raised a wand above his head,
He traced a circle on the plain,
In a wild verse he called the dead,
The dead with silent footsteps came.

A burning brilliance on his head,
Flaming filled the stormy air,
In a wild verse he called the dead,
The dead in motley crowd were there.--

'Ghasta! Ghasta! come along,
Bring thy fiendish crowd with thee,
Quickly raise th' avenging Song,
Ghasta! Ghasta! come to me.'

Horrid shapes in mantles gray,
Flit athwart the stormy night,
'Ghasta! Ghasta! come away,
Come away before 'tis light.'

See! the sheeted Ghost they bring,
Yelling dreadful oer the heath,
Hark! the deadly verse they sing,
Tidings of despair and death!

The yelling Ghost before him stands,
See! she rolls her eyes around,
Now she lifts her bony hands,
Now her footsteps shake the ground.

STRANGER:
Phantom of Theresa say,
Why to earth again you came,
Quickly speak, I must away!
Or you must bleach for aye in flame,--

PHANTOM:
Mighty one I know thee now,
Mightiest power of the sky,
Know thee by thy flaming brow,
Know thee by thy sparkling eye.

That fire is scorching! Oh! I came,
From the caverned depth of Hell,
My fleeting false Rodolph to claim,
Mighty one! I know thee well.--

STRANGER:
Ghasta! seize yon wandering sprite,
Drag her to the depth beneath,
Take her swift, before 'tis light,
Take her to the cells of death!

Thou that heardst the trackless dead,
In the mouldering tomb must lie,
Mortal! look upon my head,
Mortal! Mortal! thou must die.

Of glowing flame a cross was there,
Which threw a light around his form,
Whilst his lank and raven hair,
Floated wild upon the storm.--

The warrior upwards turned his eyes,
Gazed upon the cross of fire,
There sat horror and surprise,
There sat Gods eternal ire.--

A shivering through the Warrior flew,
Colder than the nightly blast,
Colder than the evening dew,
When the hour of twilights past.--

Thunder shakes th' expansive sky,
Shakes the bosom of the heath,
'Mortal! Mortal! thou must die'--
The warrior sank convulsed in death.

JANUARY, 1810.
The idea of the following tale was taken from a few unconnected German Stanzas.--The principal Character is evidently the Wandering Jew, and although not mentioned by name, the burning Cross on his forehead undoubtedly alludes to that superstition, so prevalent in the part of Germany called the Black Forest, where this scene is supposed to lie.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ghasta Or, The Avenging Demon!!!

277:Look Seaward, Sentinel!
Look seaward, Sentinel, and tell the land
What you behold.
Sentinel
I see the deep-ploughed furrows of the main
Bristling with harvest; funnel, and keel, and shroud,
Heaving and hurrying hither through gale and cloud,
Winged by their burdens; argosies of grain,
Flocks of strange breed and herds of southern strain,
Fantastic stuffs and fruits of tropic bloom,
Antarctic fleece and equatorial spice,
Cargoes of cotton, and flax, and silk, and rice,
Food for the hearth and staples for the loom:
Huge vats of sugar, casks of wine and oil,
Summoned from every sea to one sole shore
By Empire's sceptre; the converging store
Of Trade's pacific universal spoil.
And heaving and hurrying hitherward to bring
Tribute from every zone, they lift their voices,
And, as a strong man revels and rejoices,
They loudly and lustily chant, and this the song they sing.
Chorus of Home-coming Ships
From the uttermost bound
Of the wind and the foam,
From creek and from sound,
We are hastening home.
We are laden with treasure
From ransacked seas,
To charm your leisure,
To grace your ease.
We have trodden the billows,
And tracked the ford,
To soften your pillows,
To heap your board.
The hills have been shattered,
The forests scattered,
Our white sails tattered,
333
To swell your hoard.
Is it blossom, or fruit, or
Seed, you crave?
The land is your suitor,
The sea your slave.
We have raced with the swallows,
And threaded the floes
Where the walrus wallows
Mid melting snows;
Sought regions torrid,
And realms of sleet,
To gem your forehead,
To swathe your feet.
And behold, now we tender,
With pennons unfurled,
For your comfort and splendour,
The wealth of the world.
II
Look landward, Sentinel, and tell the sea
What you behold.
Sentinel
I see a land of liberty and peace,
Ancient in glory and strength, but young in mien,
Like immemorial forest Spring makes green,
And whose boughs broaden as the years increase:
Where ruminating hide and grazing fleece
Dapple lush meadows diapered with flowers,
Lambs bleat, birds carol, rosy children roam,
The glad hind whistles as he wendeth home,
And red roofs nestle under gray church-towers:
Whose sons have in their fearless eyes the light
Of centuries of fame and battles won
And Empire ranging roundward with the sun;
Whose fair frank daughters gleam upon the sight
Fresh as the dawn and florid as the Spring;
And, as from lowly porch and lordly dwelling
They sally forth and meet, with voices swelling
Harmoniously they chant, and this the song they sing.
Chorus of Islanders
334
Blest be the cliffs and the crags that girdle
Our island home,
And blest, thrice blest, the tempests that scourge and curdle
The sea into foam.
For the nations over the wave eat, sleep, and labour,
In doubt and dread;
The spear is the child at their threshold, the naked sabre
The bride by their bed.
But we behind bulwarks of brine and rampart of breakers,
Year after year,
Drop the seed in the drill and the furrow, and harvest our acres,
And feel no fear.
While they wattle their flocks, and remember the past, and shudder,
And finger the sword,
Our lambs go safe to the ewes, our calves to the udder,
Our fruits to the board.
Welcome the sleet that blinds and the blasts that buffet,
And welcome the roar
Of the storms that swoop on the sea and rend and rough it
Around our shore.
For in safety the yearling fattens, the heifer browses,
The herds increase;
In safety we fondle our babes, in safety our spouses,
In safety, freedom, and peace.
III
Look again seaward, but beyond the sea,
And say what you behold.
Sentinel
I see weeping and wailing, and the bridegroom ruthlessly torn
From the clinging arms of the bride, and I see and I hear
Clanking of steel and clarions clamouring clear,
And suckling mothers, wedded but forlorn,
Cradling their babes amid the half-cut corn;
Whose fathers, as the homely days grew ripe
When fruits are plucked and mellow harvest stored,
Felt the soft curving sickle from their gripe
Timelessly wrenched, and in its place a sword.
And I see the nations, like to restless waves,
Surging against each other, withal afraid
To close and clash, lest blade prove strong as blade,
335
And even the victor win but worthless graves.
And, wearying of the days and nights that bring
No respite nor reward, they moan and murmur
Under their breath, until with accents firmer
They sadly and surlily chant, and this the song they sing.
Chorus of Armed Nations
How long shall we, we only, bear the burden
And sweat beneath the strain
Of iron Peace, while others gain the guerdon,
And prosper on our pain?
Lo! in their fancied fortress girt with waters
That neither fall nor fail,
They hear of rapine and they read of slaughters,
As of some touching tale.
No more they care to subjugate the billow,
Or dominate the blast;
Supine they lie on the luxurious pillow
Of their resplendent Past.
Lulled into arrogant languor by the glories
Of their adventurous sires,
They tell each other old heroic stories
By comfortable fires.
Why should they pile up wealth who do not labour?
Why, sowing not, should reap?
Let us steal out, and with unslumbering sabre
Assassinate their sleep.
IV
Look again landward, Sentinel, and say
What there you now behold.
Sentinel
I see the sports deserted on the green,
And song and revel hushed within the hall;
And I hear strong voices to strong voices call
To muster round the shore in martial sheen.
And north of Trent and south of Thames are seen
Furnace and forge and factory vomiting fire,
While swarthy faces, labouring through the night,
On giant anvils giant hammers smite,
336
From molten metal moulding hoop and tire.
In port and arsenal rhythmic thunders ring,
And through their gateways laden tumbrils rattle;
And England's sinewy striplings, trim for battle,
In unison cheer and chant, and this the song they sing.
Chorus of Islanders
Sweet are the ways of peace, and sweet
The gales that fan the foam
That sports with silvery-twinkling feet
Around our island home.
But, should the winds of battle shrill,
And the billows crisp their mane,
Down to the shore, from vale, from hill,
From hamlet, town, and plain!
The ocean our forefathers trod
In many a forest keel,
Shall feel our feet once more, but shod
With ligaments of steel.
Ours is the Sea, to rule, to keep,
Our realm, and, if ye would
Challenge dominion of the deep,
Then make that challenge good.
But ware ye lest your vauntings proud
Be coffined in the surge,
Our breakers be for you a shroud,
Our battle-song your dirge.
Peaceful within our peaceful home
We ply the loom and share,
Peaceful above the peaceful foam
Our pennons float and fare;
Bearing, for other peaceful lands,
Through sunshine, storm, and snow,
The harvest of industrious hands
Peacefully to and fro.
But, so ye will it, then our sails
The blasts of war shall swell,
And hold and hulk, now choked with bales,
Be crammed with shot and shell.
The waves impregnably shall bear
Our bulwarks on their breast,
And eyes of steel unsleeping glare
337
Across each billowy crest;
Along the trenches of the deep
Unflinching faces shine,
And Britain's stalwart sailors keep
The bastions of the brine.
Ocean itself, from strand to strand,
Our citadel shall be,
And, though the world together band,
Not all the legions of the land
Shall ever wrest from England's hand
The Sceptre of the Sea.
~ Alfred Austin
278:Winter-Store
Subtly conscious, all awake,
Let us clear our eyes, and break
Through the cloudy chrysalis,
See the wonder as it is.
Down a narrow alley, blind,
Touch and vision, heart and mind,
Turned sharply inward, still we plod,
Till the calmly smiling god
Leaves us, and our spirits grow
More thin, more acrid, as we go.
Creeping by the sullen wall,
We forego the power to see,
The threads that bind us to the All,
God or the Immensity;
Whereof on the eternal road
Man is but a passing mode.
Too blind we are, too little see
Of the magic pageantry,
Every minute, every hour,
From the cloudflake to the flower,
Forever old, forever strange,
Issuing in perpetual change
From the rainbow gates of Time.
But he who through this common air
Surely knows the great and fair,
What is lovely, what sublime,
Becomes in an increasing span,
One with earth and one with man,
One, despite these mortal scars,
With the planets and the stars;
And Nature from her holy place,
Bending with unveiled face,
Fills him in her divine employ
With her own majestic joy.
Up the fielded slopes at morn,
Where light wefts of shadow pass,
278
Films upon the bending corn,
I shall sweep the purple grass.
Sun-crowned heights and mossy woods,
And the outer solitudes,
Mountain-valleys, dim with pine,
Shall be home and haunt of mine.
I shall search in crannied hollows,
Where the sunlight scarcely follows,
And the secret forest brook
Murmurs, and from nook to nook
Forever downward curls and cools,
Frothing in the bouldered pools.
Many a noon shall find me laid
In the pungent balsam shade,
Where sharp breezes spring and shiver
On some deep rough-coasted river,
And the plangent waters come,
Amber-hued and streaked with foam;
Where beneath the sunburnt hills
All day long the crowded mills
With remorseless champ and scream
Overlord the sluicing stream,
And the rapids' iron roar
Hammers at the forest's core;
Where corded rafts creep slowly on,
Glittering in the noonday sun,
And the tawny river-dogs,
Shepherding the branded logs,
Bind and heave with cadenced cry;
Where the blackened tugs go by,
Panting hard and straining slow,
Laboring at the weighty tow,
Flat-nosed barges all in trim,
Creeping in long cumbrous line,
Loaded to the water's brim
With the clean, cool-scented pine.
Perhaps in some low meadow-land,
Stretching wide on either hand,
I shall see the belted bees
Rocking with the tricksy breeze
279
In the spired meadow-sweet,
Or with eager trampling feet
Burrowing in the boneset blooms,
Treading out the dry perfumes.
Where sun-hot hay-fields newly mown
Climb the hillside ruddy brown,
I shall see the haymakers,
While the noonday scarcely stirs,
Brown of neck and booted gray,
Tossing up the rustling hay,
While the hay-racks bend and rock,
As they take each scented cock,
Jolting over dip and rise;
And the wavering butterflies
O'er the spaces brown and bare
Light and wander here and there.
I shall stray by many a stream,
Where the half-shut lilies gleam,
Napping out the sultry days
In the quiet secluded bays;
Where the tasseled rushes tower,
O'er the purple pickerel-flower,
And the floating dragon-flyAzure glint and crystal gleamWatches o'er the burnished stream
With his eye of ebony;
Where the bull-frog lolls at rest
On his float of lily-leaves,
That the swaying water weaves,
And distends his yellow breast,
Lowing out from shore to shore
With a hollow vibrant roar;
Where the softest wind that blows,
As it lightly comes and goes,
O'er the jungled river meads,
Stirs a whisper in the reeds,
And wakes the crowded bull-rushes
From their stately reveries,
Flashing through their long-leaved hordes
Like a brandishing of swords;
There, too, the frost-like arrow-flowers
280
Tremble to the golden core,
Children of enchanted hours,
Whom the rustling river bore
In the night's bewildered noon,
Woven of water and the moon.
I shall hear the grasshoppers
From the parched grass rehearse,
And with drowsy note prolong
Evermore the same thin song.
I shall hear the crickets tell
Stories by the humming well,
And mark the locust, with quaint eyes,
Caper in his cloak of gray
Like a jester in disguise
Rattling by the dusty way.
I shall dream by upland fences,
Where the season's wealth condenses
Over many a weedy wreck,
Wild, uncared-for, desert places,
That sovereign Beauty loves to deck
With her softest, dearest graces.
There the long year dreams in quiet,
And the summer's strength runs riot.
Shall I not remember these,
Deep in winter reveries?
Berried brier and thistle-bloom,
And milkweed with its dense perfume;
Slender vervain towering up
In a many-branched cup,
Like a candlestick, each spire
Kindled with a violet fire;
Matted creepers and wild cherries,
Purple-bunched elderberries,
And on scanty plots of sod
Groves of branchy goldenrod.
What though autumn mornings now,
Winterward with glittering brow,
Stiffen in the silver grass;
And what though robins flock and pass,
281
With subdued and sober call,
To the old year's funeral;
Though October's crimson leaves
Rustle at the gusty door,
And the tempest round the eaves
Alternate with pipe and roar;
I sit, as erst, unharmed, secure,
Conscious that my store is sure,
Whatsoe'er the fenced fields,
Or the untilled forest yields
Of unhurt remembrances,
Or thoughts, far-glimpsed, half-followed, these
I have reaped and laid away,
A treasure of unwinnowed grain,
To the garner packed and gray
Gathered without toil or strain.
And when the darker days shall come,
And the fields are white and dumb;
When our fires are half in vain,
And the crystal starlight weaves
Mockeries of summer leaves,
Pictured on the icy pane;
When the high aurora gleams
Far above the Arctic streams
Like a line of shifting spears,
And the broad pine-circled meres,
Glimmering in that spectral light,
Thunder through the northern night;
Then within the bolted door
I shall con my summer store;
Though the fences scarcely show
Black above the drifted snow,
Though the icy sweeping wind
Whistle in the empty tree,
Safe within the sheltered mind,
I shall feed on memory.
Yet across the windy night
Comes upon its wings a cry;
Fashioned forms and modes take flight,
And a vision sad and high
282
Of the laboring world down there,
Where the lights burn red and warm,
Pricks my soul with sudden stare,
Glowing through the veils of storm.
In the city yonder sleep
Those who smile and those who weep,
Those whose lips are set with care,
Those whose brows are smooth and fair;
Mourners whom the dawning light
Shall grapple with an old distress;
Lovers folded at midnight
In their bridal happiness;
Pale watchers by beloved beds,
Fallen a-drowse with nodding heads,
Whom sleep captured by surprise,
With the circles round their eyes;
Maidens with quiet-taken breath,
Dreaming of enchanted bowers;
Old men with the mask of death;
Little children soft as flowers;
Those who wake wild-eyed and start
In some madness of the heart;
Those whose lips and brows of stone
Evil thoughts have graven upon,
Shade by shade and line by line,
Refashioning what was once divine.
All these sleep, and through the night,
Comes a passion and a cry,
With a blind sorrow and a might,
I know not whence, I know not why,
A something I cannot control,
A nameless hunger of the soul.
It holds me fast. In vain, in vain,
I remember how of old
I saw the ruddy race of men,
Through the glittering world outrolled,
A gay-smiling multitude,
All immortal, all divine,
Treading in a wreathed line
By a pathway through a wood.
283
~ Archibald Lampman
279:Dedication
To Churchill's Sermons.
The manuscript of this unfinished poem was found among the few papers
Churchill left behind him.
Health to great Glo'ster!--from a man unknown,
Who holds thy health as dearly as his own,
Accept this greeting--nor let modest fear
Call up one maiden blush--I mean not here
To wound with flattery; 'tis a villain's art,
And suits not with the frankness of my heart.
Truth best becomes an orthodox divine,
And, spite of Hell, that character is mine:
To speak e'en bitter truths I cannot fear;
But truth, my lord, is panegyric here.
Health to great Glo'ster!--nor, through love of ease,
Which all priests love, let this address displease.
I ask no favour, not one _note_ I crave,
And when this busy brain rests in the grave,
(For till that time it never can have rest)
I will not trouble you with one bequest.
Some humbler friend, my mortal journey done,
More near in blood, a nephew or a son,
In that dread hour executor I'll leave,
For I, alas! have many to receive;
To give, but little.--To great Glo'ster health!
Nor let thy true and proper love of wealth
Here take a false alarm--in purse though poor,
In spirit I'm right proud, nor can endure
The mention of a bribe--thy pocket's free:
I, though a dedicator, scorn a fee.
Let thy own offspring all thy fortunes share;
I would not Allen rob, nor Allen's heir.
Think not,--a thought unworthy thy great soul,
Which pomps of this world never could control,
Which never offer'd up at Power's vain shrine,-Think not that pomp and power can work on mine.
'Tis not thy name, though that indeed is great,
'Tis not the tinsel trumpery of state,
20
'Tis not thy title, Doctor though thou art,
'Tis not thy mitre, which hath won my heart.
State is a farce; names are but empty things,
Degrees are bought, and, by mistaken kings,
Titles are oft misplaced; mitres, which shine
So bright in other eyes, are dull in mine,
Unless set off by virtue; who deceives
Under the sacred sanction of lawn sleeves
Enhances guilt, commits a double sin;
So fair without, and yet so foul within.
'Tis not thy outward form, thy easy mien,
Thy sweet complacency, thy brow serene,
Thy open front, thy love-commanding eye,
Where fifty Cupids, as in ambush, lie,
Which can from sixty to sixteen impart
The force of Love, and point his blunted dart;
'Tis not thy face, though that by Nature's made
An index to thy soul; though there display'd
We see thy mind at large, and through thy skin
Peeps out that courtesy which dwells within;
'Tis not thy birth, for that is low as mine,
Around our heads no lineal glories shine-But what is birth,--when, to delight mankind,
Heralds can make those arms they cannot find,
When thou art to thyself, thy sire unknown,
A whole Welsh genealogy alone?
No; 'tis thy inward man, thy proper worth,
Thy right just estimation here on earth,
Thy life and doctrine uniformly join'd,
And flowing from that wholesome source, thy mind;
Thy known contempt of Persecution's rod,
Thy charity for man, thy love of God,
Thy faith in Christ, so well approved 'mongst men,
Which now give life and utterance to my pen.
Thy virtue, not thy rank, demands my lays;
'Tis not the Bishop, but the Saint, I praise:
Raised by that theme, I soar on wings more strong,
And burst forth into praise withheld too long.
Much did I wish, e'en whilst I kept those sheep
Which, for my curse, I was ordain'd to keep,-Ordain'd, alas! to keep, through need, not choice,
Those sheep which never heard their shepherd's voice,
21
Which did not know, yet would not learn their way,
Which stray'd themselves, yet grieved that I should stray;
Those sheep which my good father (on his bier
Let filial duty drop the pious tear)
Kept well, yet starved himself, e'en at that time
Whilst I was pure and innocent of rhyme,
Whilst, sacred Dulness ever in my view,
Sleep at my bidding crept from pew to pew,-Much did I wish, though little could I hope,
A friend in him who was the friend of Pope.
His hand, said I, my youthful steps shall guide,
And lead me safe where thousands fall beside;
His temper, his experience, shall control,
And hush to peace the tempest of my soul;
His judgment teach me, from the critic school,
How not to err, and how to err by rule;
Instruct me, mingle profit with delight,
Where Pope was wrong, where Shakspeare was not right;
Where they are justly praised, and where, through whim,
How little's due to them, how much to him.
Raised 'bove the slavery of common rules,
Of common-sense, of modern, ancient schools,
Those feelings banish'd which mislead us all,
Fools as we are, and which we Nature call,
He by his great example might impart
A better something, and baptize it Art;
He, all the feelings of my youth forgot,
Might show me what is taste by what is not;
By him supported, with a proper pride,
I might hold all mankind as fools beside;
He (should a world, perverse and peevish grown,
Explode his maxims and assert their own)
Might teach me, like himself, to be content,
And let their folly be their punishment;
Might, like himself, teach his adopted son,
'Gainst all the world, to quote a Warburton.
Fool that I was! could I so much deceive
My soul with lying hopes? could I believe
That he, the servant of his Maker sworn,
The servant of his Saviour, would be torn
From their embrace, and leave that dear employ,
The cure of souls, his duty and his joy,
22
For toys like mine, and waste his precious time,
On which so much depended, for a rhyme?
Should he forsake the task he undertook,
Desert his flock, and break his pastoral crook?
Should he (forbid it, Heaven!) so high in place,
So rich in knowledge, quit the work of grace,
And, idly wandering o'er the Muses' hill,
Let the salvation of mankind stand still?
Far, far be that from thee--yes, far from thee
Be such revolt from grace, and far from me
The will to think it--guilt is in the thought-Not so, not so, hath Warburton been taught,
Not so learn'd Christ. Recall that day, well known,
When (to maintain God's honour, and his own)
He call'd blasphemers forth; methinks I now
See stern Rebuke enthroned on his brow,
And arm'd with tenfold terrors--from his tongue,
Where fiery zeal and Christian fury hung,
Methinks I hear the deep-toned thunders roll,
And chill with horror every sinner's soul,
In vain they strive to fly--flight cannot save.
And Potter trembles even in his grave-With all the conscious pride of innocence,
Methinks I hear him, in his own defence,
Bear witness to himself, whilst all men knew,
By gospel rules his witness to be true.
O glorious man! thy zeal I must commend,
Though it deprived me of my dearest friend;
The real motives of thy anger known,
Wilkes must the justice of that anger own;
And, could thy bosom have been bared to view,
Pitied himself, in turn had pitied you.
Bred to the law, you wisely took the gown,
Which I, like Demas, foolishly laid down;
Hence double strength our Holy Mother drew,
Me she got rid of, and made prize of you.
I, like an idle truant fond of play,
Doting on toys, and throwing gems away,
Grasping at shadows, let the substance slip;
But you, my lord, renounced attorneyship
With better purpose, and more noble aim,
And wisely played a more substantial game:
23
Nor did Law mourn, bless'd in her younger son,
For Mansfield does what Glo'ster would have done.
Doctor! Dean! Bishop! Glo'ster! and My Lord!
If haply these high titles may accord
With thy meek spirit; if the barren sound
Of pride delights thee, to the topmost round
Of Fortune's ladder got, despise not one
For want of smooth hypocrisy undone,
Who, far below, turns up his wondering eye,
And, without envy, sees thee placed so high:
Let not thy brain (as brains less potent might)
Dizzy, confounded, giddy with the height,
Turn round, and lose distinction, lose her skill
And wonted powers of knowing good from ill,
Of sifting truth from falsehood, friends from foes;
Let Glo'ster well remember how he rose,
Nor turn his back on men who made him great;
Let him not, gorged with power, and drunk with state,
Forget what once he was, though now so high,
How low, how mean, and full as poor as I.
~ Charles Churchill
280:'Tis the terror of tempest. The rags of the sail
Are flickering in ribbons within the fierce gale:
From the stark night of vapours the dim rain is driven,
And when lightning is loosed, like a deluge from Heaven,
She sees the black trunks of the waterspouts spin
And bend, as if Heaven was ruining in,
Which they seemed to sustain with their terrible mass
As if ocean had sunk from beneath them: they pass
To their graves in the deep with an earthquake of sound,
And the waves and the thunders, made silent around,
Leave the wind to its echo. The vessel, now tossed
Through the low-trailing rack of the tempest, is lost
In the skirts of the thunder-cloud: now down the sweep
Of the wind-cloven wave to the chasm of the deep
It sinks, and the walls of the watery vale
Whose depths of dread calm are unmoved by the gale,
Dim mirrors of ruin, hang gleaming about;
While the surf, like a chaos of stars, like a rout
Of death-flames, like whirlpools of fire-flowing iron,
With splendour and terror the black ship environ,
Or like sulphur-flakes hurled from a mine of pale fire
In fountains spout oer it. In many a spire
The pyramid-billows with white points of brine
In the cope of the lightning inconstantly shine,
As piercing the sky from the floor of the sea.
The great ship seems splitting! it cracks as a tree,
While an earthquake is splintering its root, ere the blast
Of the whirlwind that stripped it of branches has passed.
The intense thunder-balls which are raining from Heaven
Have shattered its mast, and it stands black and riven.
The chinks suck destruction. The heavy dead hulk
On the living sea rolls an inanimate bulk,
Like a corpse on the clay which is hungering to fold
Its corruption around it. Meanwhile, from the hold,
One deck is burst up by the waters below,
And it splits like the ice when the thaw-breezes blow
Oer the lakes of the desert! Who sit on the other?
Is that all the crew that lie burying each other,
Like the dead in a breach, round the foremast? Are those
Twin tigers, who burst, when the waters arose,
In the agony of terror, their chains in the hold;
(What now makes them tame, is what then made them bold);
Who crouch, side by side, and have driven, like a crank,
The deep grip of their claws through the vibrating plank
Are these all? Nine weeks the tall vessel had lain
On the windless expanse of the watery plain,
Where the death-darting sun cast no shadow at noon,
And there seemed to be fire in the beams of the moon,
Till a lead-coloured fog gathered up from the deep,
Whose breath was quick pestilence; then, the cold sleep
Crept, like blight through the ears of a thick field of corn,
Oer the populous vessel. And even and morn,
With their hammocks for coffins the seamen aghast
Like dead men the dead limbs of their comrades cast
Down the deep, which closed on them above and around,
And the sharks and the dogfish their grave-clothes unbound,
And were glutted like Jews with this manna rained down
From God on their wilderness. One after one
The mariners died; on the eve of this day,
When the tempest was gathering in cloudy array,
But seven remained. Six the thunder has smitten,
And they lie black as mummies on which Time has written
His scorn of the embalmer; the seventh, from the deck
An oak-splinter pierced through his breast and his back,
And hung out to the tempest, a wreck on the wreck.
No more? At the helm sits a woman more fair
Than Heaven, when, unbinding its star-braided hair,
It sinks with the sun on the earth and the sea.
She clasps a bright child on her upgathered knee;
It laughs at the lightning, it mocks the mixed thunder
Of the air and the sea, with desire and with wonder
It is beckoning the tigers to rise and come near,
It would play with those eyes where the radiance of fear
Is outshining the meteors; its bosom beats high,
The heart-fire of pleasure has kindled its eye,
While its mothers is lustreless. Smile not, my child,
But sleep deeply and sweetly, and so be beguiled
Of the pang that awaits us, whatever that be,
So dreadful since thou must divide it with me!
Dream, sleep! This pale bosom, thy cradle and bed,
Will it rock thee not, infant? Tis beating with dread!
Alas! what is life, what is death, what are we,
That when the ship sinks we no longer may be?
What! to see thee no more, and to feel thee no more?
To be after life what we have been before?
Not to touch those sweet hands? Not to look on those eyes,
Those lips, and that hair,all the smiling disguise
Thou yet wearest, sweet Spirit, which I, day by day,
Have so long called my child, but which now fades away
Like a rainbow, and I the fallen shower?Lo! the ship
Is settling, it topples, the leeward ports dip;
The tigers leap up when they feel the slow brine
Crawling inch by inch on them; hair, ears, limbs, and eyne,
Stand rigid with horror; a loud, long, hoarse cry
Bursts at once from their vitals tremendously,
And tis borne down the mountainous vale of the wave,
Rebounding, like thunder, from crag to cave,
Mixed with the clash of the lashing rain,
Hurried on by the might of the hurricane:
The hurricane came from the west, and passed on
By the path of the gate of the eastern sun,
Transversely dividing the stream of the storm;
As an arrowy serpent, pursuing the form
Of an elephant, bursts through the brakes of the waste.
Black as a cormorant the screaming blast,
Between Ocean and Heaven, like an ocean, passed,
Till it came to the clouds on the verge of the world
Which, based on the sea and to Heaven upcurled,
Like columns and walls did surround and sustain
The dome of the tempest; it rent them in twain,
As a flood rends its barriers of mountainous crag:
And the dense clouds in many a ruin and rag,
Like the stones of a temple ere earthquake has passed,
Like the dust of its fall. on the whirlwind are cast;
They are scattered like foam on the torrent; and where
The wind has burst out through the chasm, from the air
Of clear morning the beams of the sunrise flow in,
Unimpeded, keen, golden, and crystalline,
Banded armies of light and of air; at one gate
They encounter, but interpenetrate.
And that breach in the tempest is widening away,
And the caverns of cloud are torn up by the day,
And the fierce winds are sinking with weary wings,
Lulled by the motion and murmurings
And the long glassy heave of the rocking sea,
And overhead glorious, but dreadful to see,
The wrecks of the tempest, like vapours of gold,
Are consuming in sunrise. The heaped waves behold
The deep calm of blue Heaven dilating above,
And, like passions made still by the presence of Love,
Beneath the clear surface reflecting it slide
Tremulous with soft influence; extending its tide
From the Andes to Atlas, round mountain and isle,
Round sea-birds and wrecks, paved with Heavens azure smile,
The wide world of waters is vibrating. Where
Is the ship? On the verge of the wave where it lay
One tiger is mingled in ghastly affray
With a sea-snake. The foam and the smoke of the battle
Stain the clear air with sunbows; the jar, and the rattle
Of solid bones crushed by the infinite stress
Of the snakes adamantine voluminousness;
And the hum of the hot blood that spouts and rains
Where the gripe of the tiger has wounded the veins
Swollen with rage, strength, and effort; the whirl and the splash
As of some hideous engine whose brazen teeth smash
The thin winds and soft waves into thunder; the screams
And hissings crawl fast o'er the smooth ocean-streams,
Each sound like a centipede. Near this commotion,
A blue shark is hanging within the blue ocean,
The fin-winged tomb of the victor. The other
Is winning his way from the fate of his brother
To his own with the speed of despair. Lo! a boat
Advances; twelve rowers with the impulse of thought
Urge on the keen keel,the brine foams. At the stern
Three marksmen stand levelling. Hot bullets burn
In the breast of the tiger, which yet bears him on
To his refuge and ruin. One fragment alone,--
Tis dwindling and sinking, tis now almost gone,--
Of the wreck of the vessel peers out of the sea.
With her left hand she grasps it impetuously.
With her right she sustains her fair infant. Death, Fear,
Love, Beauty, are mixed in the atmosphere,
Which trembles and burns with the fervour of dread
Around her wild eyes, her bright hand, and her head,
Like a meteor of light oer the waters! her child
Is yet smiling, and playing, and murmuring; so smiled
The false deep ere the storm. Like a sister and brother
The child and the ocean still smile on each other,
Whilst
Composed at Pisa early in 1820, and published with Prometheus Unbound in the same year. A transcript in Mrs. Shelleys handwriting is included in the Harvard manuscript book, where it is dated 'April, 1820.'
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Vision Of The Sea

281:I.
  The everlasting universe of things
  Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
  Now darknow glittering--now reflecting gloom--
  Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
  The source of human thought its tribute brings
  Of waters--with a sound but half its own,
  Such as a feeble brook will oft assume,
  In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
  Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.

II.
Thus thou, Ravine of Arvedark, deep Ravine--
Thou many-colour'd, many-voiced vale,
Over whose pines, and crags, and caverns sail
Fast cloud-shadows and sunbeams: awful scene,
Where Power in likeness of the Arve comes down
From the ice-gulfs that gird his secret throne,
Bursting through these dark mountains like the flame
Of lightning through the tempest;--thou dost lie,
Thy giant brood of pines around thee clinging,
Children of elder time, in whose devotion
The chainless winds still come and ever came
To drink their odours, and their mighty swinging
To hearan old and solemn harmony;
Thine earthly rainbows stretch'd across the sweep
Of the aethereal waterfall, whose veil
Robes some unsculptur'd image; the strange sleep
Which when the voices of the desert fail
Wraps all in its own deep eternity;
Thy caverns echoing to the Arve's commotion,
A loud, lone sound no other sound can tame;
Thou art pervaded with that ceaseless motion,
Thou art the path of that unresting sound
Dizzy Ravine! and when I gaze on thee
I seem as in a trance sublime and strange
To muse on my own separate fantasy,
My own, my human mind, which passively
Now renders and receives fast influencings,
Holding an unremitting interchange
With the clear universe of things around;
One legion of wild thoughts, whose wandering wings
Now float above thy darkness, and now rest
Where that or thou art no unbidden guest,
In the still cave of the witch Poesy,
Seeking among the shadows that pass by
Ghosts of all things that are, some shade of thee,
Some phantom, some faint image; till the breast
From which they fled recalls them, thou art there!

III.
Some say that gleams of a remoter world
Visit the soul in sleep, that death is slumber,
And that its shapes the busy thoughts outnumber
Of those who wake and live.I look on high;
Has some unknown omnipotence unfurl'd
The veil of life and death? or do I lie
In dream, and does the mightier world of sleep
Spread far around and inaccessibly
Its circles? For the very spirit fails,
Driven like a homeless cloud from steep to steep
That vanishes among the viewless gales!
  Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky,
Mont Blanc appearsstill, snowy, and serene;
Its subject mountains their unearthly forms
Pile around it, ice and rock; broad vales between
Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps,
Blue as the overhanging heaven, that spread
And wind among the accumulated steeps;
A desert peopled by the storms alone,
Save when the eagle brings some hunter's bone,
And the wolf tracks her there--how hideously
Its shapes are heap'd around! rude, bare, and high,
Ghastly, and scarr'd, and riven. --Is this the scene
Where the old Earthquake-daemon taught her young
Ruin? Were these their toys? or did a sea
Of fire envelop once this silent snow?
None can reply -- all seems eternal now.
The wilderness has a mysterious tongue
Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild,
So solemn, so serene, that man may be,
But for such faith, with Nature reconcil'd;
Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal
Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood
By all, but which the wise, and great, and good
Interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel.

IV.
The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams,
Ocean, and all the living things that dwell
Within the daedal earth; lightning, and rain,
Earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane,
The torpor of the year when feeble dreams
Visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep
Holds every future leaf and flower; the bound
With which from that detested trance they leap;
The works and ways of man, their death and birth,
And that of him and all that his may be;
All things that move and breathe with toil and sound
Are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell.
Power dwells apart in its tranquillity,
Remote, serene, and inaccessible:
And this, the naked countenance of earth,
On which I gaze, even these primeval mountains
Teach the adverting mind. The glaciers creep
Like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains,
Slow rolling on; there, many a precipice
Frost and the Sun in scorn of mortal power
Have pil'd: dome, pyramid, and pinnacle,
A city of death, distinct with many a tower
And wall impregnable of beaming ice.
Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin
Is there, that from the boundaries of the sky
Rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing
Its destin'd path, or in the mangled soil
Branchless and shatter'd stand; the rocks, drawn down
From yon remotest waste, have overthrown
The limits of the dead and living world,
Never to be reclaim'd. The dwelling-place
Of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil;
Their food and their retreat for ever gone,
So much of life and joy is lost. The race
Of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling
Vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream,
And their place is not known. Below, vast caves
Shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam,
Which from those secret chasms in tumult welling
Meet in the vale, and one majestic River,
The breath and blood of distant lands, for ever
Rolls its loud waters to the ocean-waves,
Breathes its swift vapours to the circling air.

V.
Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:--the power is there,
The still and solemn power of many sights,
And many sounds, and much of life and death.
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights,
In the lone glare of day, the snows descend
Upon that Mountain; none beholds them there,
Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun,
Or the star-beams dart through them. Winds contend
Silently there, and heap the snow with breath
Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home
The voiceless lightning in these solitudes
Keeps innocently, and like vapour broods
Over the snow. The secret Strength of things
Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome
Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee!
And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea,
If to the human mind's imaginings
Silence and solitude were vacancy?
Composed in Switzerland, July, 1816 (see date below). Printed at the end of the History of a Six Weeks' Tour published by Shelley in 1817, and reprinted with Posthumous Poems, 1824. Amongst the Boscombe manuscripts is a draft of this Ode, mainly in pencil, which has been collated by Dr. Garnett.

1.
In the preface of Mary Shelley's History of a Six Weeks Tour
(1817), Shelley writes: "the poem was composed under the immediate impression of the deep and powerful feelings excited by the objects which it attempts to describe\; and, as an undisciplined overflowing of the soul, rests its claim to approbation on an attempt to imitate the untamable
wildness and inaccessible solemnity from which those feelings sprang."
Shelley's prose account of his reaction to the first sight of Mont Blanc is in
a letter written on July 24 to T. L. Peacock.

1-2.
For a prose exposition of what Shelley calls "the intellectual philosophy,"
see his essay On Life: "I confess that I am one of those who am unable
to refuse my assent to the conclusions of those philosophers who assert that
nothing exists but as it is perceived .... The difference is merely nominal
between those two classes of thought which are vulgarly distinguished by
the names of ideas and of external objects. ... The existence of distinct
individual minds ... is likewise found to be a delusion. The words, I,
you, they, are ... merely marks employed to denote the different
modifications of the one mind. ... By the word things is to be
understood any object of thought. ... The relations of things remain
unchanged [in the intellectual philosophy]\; and such is the material of our
knowledge."

53.
Unfurl'd. "Rolled back" or merely "furled" is the meaning required by the
sense of the passage. "Upfurled" has been suggested as the word Shelley intended.

76-83.
For a related argument see Queen Mab, VI, 197-219.

79.
But for such faith. A surviving pencil draft of the poem reads "in such
a faith," which confirms the likelihood that this phrase is intended to mean
"even with such faith alone," rather than "except for such faith."


~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mont Blanc - Lines Written In The Vale of Chamouni

282:See you the towers, that, gray and old,
Frown through the sunlight's liquid gold,
Steep sternly fronting steep?
The Hellespont beneath them swells,
And roaring cleaves the Dardanelles,
The rock-gates of the deep!
Hear you the sea, whose stormy wave,
From Asia, Europe clove in thunder?
That sea which rent a world, cannot
Rend love from love asunder!

In Hero's, in Leander's heart,
Thrills the sweet anguish of the dart
Whose feather flies from love.
All Hebe's bloom in Hero's cheek
And his the hunter's steps that seek
Delight, the hills above!
Between their sires the rival feud
Forbids their plighted hearts to meet;
Love's fruits hang over danger's gulf,
By danger made more sweet.

Alone on Sestos' rocky tower,
Where upward sent in stormy shower,
The whirling waters foam,
Alone the maiden sits, and eyes
The cliffs of fair Abydos rise
Afarher lover's home.
Oh, safely thrown from strand to strand,
No bridge can love to love convey;
No boatman shoots from yonder shore,
Yet Love has found the way.

That love, which could the labyrinth pierce
Which nerves the weak, and curbs the fierce,
And wings with wit the dull;
That love which o'er the furrowed land
Bowedtame beneath young Jason's hand
The fiery-snorting bull!
Yes, Styx itself, that ninefold flows,
Has love, the fearless, ventured o'er,
And back to daylight borne the bride,
From Pluto's dreary shore!

What marvel then that wind and wave,
Leander doth but burn to brave,
When love, that goads him, guides!
Still when the day, with fainter glimmer,
Wanes palehe leaps, the daring swimmer,
Amid the darkening tides;
With lusty arms he cleaves the waves,
And strikes for that dear strand afar;
Where high from Hero's lonely tower
Lone streams the beacon-star.

In vain his blood the wave may chill,
These tender arms can warm it still
And, weary if the way,
By many a sweet embrace, above
All earthly boonscan liberal love
The lover's toil repay,
Until Aurora breaks the dream,
And warns the loiterer to depart
Back to the ocean's icy bed,
Scared from that loving heart.

So thirty suns have sped their flight
Still in that theft of sweet delight
Exult the happy pair;
Caress will never pall caress,
And joys that gods might envy, bless
The single bride-night there.
Ah! never he has rapture known,
Who has not, where the waves are driven
Upon the fearful shores of hell,
Plucked fruits that taste of heaven!

Now changing in their season are,
The morning and the Hesper star;
Nor see those happy eyes
The leaves that withering droop and fall,
Nor hear, when, from its northern hall,
The neighboring winter sighs;
Or, if they see, the shortening days
But seem to them to close in kindness;
For longer joys, in lengthening nights,
They thank the heaven in blindness.

It is the time, when night and day,
In equal scales contend for sway
Lone, on her rocky steep,
Lingers the girl with wistful eyes
That watch the sun-steeds down the skies,
Careering towards the deep.
Lulled lay the smooth and silent sea,
A mirror in translucent calm,
The breeze, along that crystal realm,
Unmurmuring, died in balm.

In wanton swarms and blithe array,
The merry dolphins glide and play
Amid the silver waves.
In gray and dusky troops are seen,
The hosts that serve the ocean-queen,
Upborne from coral caves:
Theyonly theyhave witnessed love
To rapture steal its secret way:
And Hecate [36] seals the only lips
That could the tale betray!

She marks in joy the lulled water,
And Sestos, thus thy tender daughter,
Soft-flattering, woos the sea!
"Fair godand canst thou then betray?
No! falsehood dwells with them that say
That falsehood dwells with thee!
Ah! faithless is the race of man,
And harsh a father's heart can prove;
But thee, the gentle and the mild,
The grief of love can move!"

"Within these hated walls of stone,
Should I, repining, mourn alone,
And fade in ceaseless care,
But thou, though o'er thy giant tide,
Nor bridge may span, nor boat may glide,
Dost safe my lover bear.
And darksome is thy solemn deep,
And fearful is thy roaring wave;
But wave and deep are won by love
Thou smilest on the brave!"

"Nor vainly, sovereign of the sea,
Did Eros send his shafts to thee
What time the rain of gold,
Bright Helle, with her brother bore,
How stirred the waves she wandered o'er,
How stirred thy deeps of old!
Swift, by the maiden's charms subdued,
Thou cam'st from out the gloomy waves,
And in thy mighty arms, she sank
Into thy bridal caves."

"A goddess with a god, to keep
In endless youth, beneath the deep,
Her solemn ocean-court!
And still she smooths thine angry tides,
Tames thy wild heart, and favoring guides
The sailor to the port!
Beautiful Helle, bright one, hear
Thy lone adoring suppliant pray!
And guide, O goddessguide my love
Along the wonted way!"

Now twilight dims the waters' flow,
And from the tower, the beacon's glow
Waves flickering o'er the main.
Ah, where athwart the dismal stream,
Shall shine the beacon's faithful beam
The lover's eyes shall strain!
Hark! sounds moan threatening from afar
From heaven the blessed stars are gone
More darkly swells the rising sea
The tempest labors on!

Along the ocean's boundless plains
Lies nightin torrents rush the rains
From the dark-bosomed cloud
Red lightning skirs the panting air,
And, loosed from out their rocky lair,
Sweep all the storms abroad.
Huge wave on huge wave tumbling o'er,
The yawning gulf is rent asunder,
And shows, as through an opening pall,
Grim earththe ocean under!

Poor maiden! bootless wail or vow
"Have mercy, Jovebe gracious, thou!
Dread prayer was mine before!"
What if the gods have heardand he,
Lone victim of the stormy sea,
Now struggles to the shore!
There's not a sea-bird on the wave
Their hurrying wings the shelter seek;
The stoutest ship the storms have proved,
Takes refuge in the creek.

"Ah, still that heart, which oft has braved
The danger where the daring saved,
Love lureth o'er the sea;
For many a vow at parting morn,
That naught but death should bar return,
Breathed those dear lips to me;
And whirled around, the while I weep,
Amid the storm that rides the wave,
The giant gulf is grasping down
The rash one to the grave!

"False Pontus! and the calm I hailed,
The awaiting murder darkly veiled
The lulled pellucid flow,
The smiles in which thou wert arrayed,
Were but the snares that love betrayed
To thy false realm below!
Now in the midway of the main,
Return relentlessly forbidden,
Thou loosenest on the path beyond
The horrors thou hadst hidden."

Loud and more loud the tempest raves
In thunder break the mountain waves,
White-foaming on the rock
No ship that ever swept the deep
Its ribs of gnarled oak could keep
Unshattered by the shock.
Dies in the blast the guiding torch
To light the struggler to the strand;
'Tis death to battle with the wave,
And death no less to land!

On Venus, daughter of the seas,
She calls the tempest to appease
To each wild-shrieking wind
Along the ocean-desert borne,
She vows a steer with golden horn
Vain vowrelentless wind!
On every goddess of the deep,
On all the gods in heaven that be,
She callsto soothe in calm, awhile
The tempest-laden sea!

"Hearken the anguish of my cries!
From thy green halls, arisearise,
Leucothoe the divine!
Who, in the barren main afar,
Oft on the storm-beat mariner
Dost gently-saving shine.
Oh,reach to him thy mystic veil,
To which the drowning clasp may cling,
And safely from that roaring grave,
To shore my lover bring!"

And now the savage winds are hushing.
And o'er the arched horizon, blushing,
Day's chariot gleams on high!
Back to their wonted channels rolled,
In crystal calm the waves behold
One smile on sea and sky!
All softly breaks the rippling tide,
Low-murmuring on the rocky land,
And playful wavelets gently float
A corpse upon the strand!

'Tis he!who even in death would still
Not fail the sweet vow to fulfil;
She looksseesknows him there!
From her pale lips no sorrow speaks,
No tears glide down her hueless cheeks;
Cold-numbed in her despair
She looked along the silent deep,
She looked upon the brightening heaven,
Till to the marble face the soul
Its light sublime had given!

"Ye solemn powers men shrink to name,
Your might is here, your rights ye claim
Yet think not I repine
Soon closed my course; yet I can bless
The life that brought me happiness
The fairest lot was mine!
Living have I thy temple served,
Thy consecrated priestess been
My last glad offering now receive
Venus, thou mightiest queen!"

Flashed the white robe along the air,
And from the tower that beetled there
She sprang into the wave;
Roused from his throne beneath the waste,
Those holy forms the god embraced
A god himself their grave!
Pleased with his prey, he glides along
More blithe the murmured music seems,
A gush from unexhausted urns
His everlasting streams!

~ Friedrich Schiller, Hero And Leander

283:Corsica
--- A manly race
Of unsubmitting spirit, wise and brave;
Who still through bleeding ages struggled hard
To hold a generous undiminished state;
Too much in vain!
Thomson
Hail, generous Corsica! unconquered isle!
The fort of freedom; that amidst the waves
Stands like a rock of adamant, and dares
The wildest fury of the beating storm.
And are there yet, in this late sickly age,
Unkindly to the towering growths of virtue,
Such bold exalted spirits? Men whose deeds,
To the bright annals of old Greece opposed,
Would throw in shades her yet unrivaled name,
And dim the lustre of her fairest page!
And glows the flame of Liberty so strong
In this lone speck of earth! this spot obscure,
Shaggy with woods, and crusted o'er with rock,
By slaves surrounded, and by slaves oppressed!
What then should Britons feel?—should they not catch
The warm contagion of heroic ardour,
And kindle at a fire so like their own?
Such were the working thoughts which swelled the breast
Of generous Boswel; when with nobler aim
And views beyond the narrow beaten track
By trivial fancy trod, he turned his course
From polished Gallia's soft delicious vales,
From the grey reliques of imperial Rome,
From her long galleries of laureled stone,
Her chiseled heroes and her marble gods,
Whose dumb majestic pomp yet awes the world,
To animated forms of patriot zeal;
Warm in the living majesty of virtue;
Elate with fearless spirit; firm; resolved;
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By fortune nor subdued, nor awed by power.
How raptured fancy burns, while warm in thought
I trace the pictured landscape; while I kiss
With pilgrim lips devout the sacred soil
Stained with the blood of heroes. Cyrnus, hail!
Hail to thy rocky, deep indented shores,
And pointed cliffs, which hear the chafing deep
Incessant foaming round their shaggy sides.
Hail to thy winding bays, thy sheltering ports
And ample harbours, which inviting stretch
Their hospitable arms to every sail:
Thy numerous streams, that bursting from the cliffs
Down the steep channeled rock impetuous pour
With grateful murmur: on the fearful edge
Of the rude precipice, thy hamlets brown
And straw-roofed cots, which from the level vale
Scarce seen, amongst the craggy hanging cliffs
Seem like an eagle's nest aerial built.
Thy swelling mountains, brown with solemn shade
Of various trees, that wave their giant arms
O'er the rough sons of freedom; lofty pines,
And hardy fir, and ilex ever green,
And spreading chesnut, with each humbler plant,
And shrub of fragrant leaf, that clothes their sides
With living verdure; whence the clustering bee
Extracts her golden dews: the shining box,
And sweet-leaved myrtle, aromatic thyme,
The prickly juniper, and the green leaf
Which feeds the spinning worm; while glowing bright
Beneath the various foliage, wildly spreads
The arbutus, and rears his scarlet fruit
Luxuriant, mantling o'er the craggy steeps;
And thy own native laurel crowns the scene.
Hail to thy savage forests, awful, deep;
Thy tangled thickets, and thy crowded woods,
The haunt of herds untamed; which sullen bound
From rock to rock with fierce unsocial air,
And wilder gaze, as conscious of the power
That loves to reign amid the lonely scenes
Of unquelled nature: precipices huge,
And tumbling torrents; trackless deserts, plains
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Fenced in with guardian rocks, whose quarries teem
With shining steel, that to the cultured fields
And sunny hills which wave with bearded grain
Defends their homely produce. Liberty,
The mountain Goddess, loves to range at large
Amid such scenes, and on the iron soil
Prints her majestic step. For these she scorns
The green enameled vales, the velvet lap
Of smooth savannahs, where the pillowed head
Of Luxury reposes; balmy gales,
And bowers that breathe of bliss. For these, when first
This isle emerging like a beauteous gem
From the dark bosom of the Tyrrhene main
Reared its fair front, she marked it for her own,
And with her spirit warmed. Her genuine sons,
A broken remnant, from the generous stock
Of ancient Greece, from Sparta's sad remains,
True to their high descent, preserved unquenched
The sacred fire through many a barbarous age:
Whom, nor the iron rod of cruel Carthage,
Nor the dread sceptre of imperial Rome,
Nor bloody Goth, nor grisly Saracen,
Nor the long galling yoke of proud Liguria,
Could crush into subjection. Still unquelled
They rose superior, bursting from their chains,
And claimed man's dearest birthright, liberty:
And long, through many a hard unequal strife
Maintained the glorious conflict; long withstood,
With single arm, the whole collected force
Of haughty Genoa, and ambitious Gaul.
And shall withstand it—Trust the faithful Muse!
It is not in the force of mortal arm,
Scarcely in fate, to bind the struggling soul
That galled by wanton power, indignant swells
Against oppression; breathing great revenge,
Careless of life, determined to be free.
And favouring Heaven approves: for see the Man,
Born to exalt his own, and give mankind
A glimpse of higher natures: just, as great;
The soul of council, and the nerve of war;
Of high unshaken spirit, tempered sweet
With soft urbanity, and polished grace,
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And attic wit, and gay unstudied smiles:
Whom Heaven in some propitious hour endowed
With every purer virtue: gave him all
That lifts the hero, or adorns the man.
Gave him the eye sublime; the searching glance,
Keen, scanning deep, that smites the guilty soul
As with a beam from heaven; on his brow
Serene, and spacious front, set the broad seal
Of dignity and rule; then smiled benign
On this fair pattern of a God below,
High wrought, and breathed into his swelling breast
The large ambitious wish to save his country.
O beauteous title to immortal fame!
The man devoted to the public, stands
In the bright records of superior worth
A step below the skies: if he succeed,
The first fair lot which earth affords, is his;
And if he falls, he falls above a throne.
When such their leader, can the brave despair?
Freedom the cause, and Paoli the chief!
Success to your fair hopes! A British Muse,
Though weak and powerless, lifts her fervent voice,
And breathes a prayer for your success. O could
She scatter blessings as the morn sheds dews,
To drop upon your heads! But patient hope
Must wait the appointed hour; secure of this,
That never with the indolent and weak
Will Freedom deign to dwell; she must be seized
By that bold arm that wrestles for the blessing:
'Tis Heaven's best prize, and must be bought with blood.
When the storm thickens, when the combat burns,
And pain and death in every horrid shape
That can appal the feeble, prowl around,
Then Virtue triumphs; then her towering form
Dilates with kindling majesty; her mien
Breathes a diviner spirit, and enlarged
Each spreading feature, with an ampler port
And bolder tone, exulting, rides the storm,
And joys amidst the tempest. Then she reaps
Her golden harvest; fruits of nobler growth
And higher relish than meridian suns
40
Can ever ripen; fair, heroic deeds,
And godlike action. 'Tis not meats and drinks,
And balmy airs, and vernal suns and showers,
That feed and ripen minds; 'tis toil and danger;
And wrestling with the stubborn gripe of fate;
And war, and sharp distress, and paths obscure
And dubious. The bold swimmer joys not so
To feel the proud waves under him, and beat
With strong repelling arm the billowy surge;
The generous courser does not so exult
To toss his floating mane against the wind,
And neigh amidst the thunder of the war,
As Virtue to oppose her swelling breast
Like a firm shield against the darts of fate.
And when her sons in that rough school have learned
To smile at danger, then the hand that raised
Shall hush the storm, and lead the shining train
Of peaceful years in bright procession on.
Then shall the shepherd's pipe, the Muse's lyre,
On Cyrnus' shores be heard: her grateful sons
With loud acclaim and hymns of cordial praise
Shall hail their high deliverers; every name
To Virtue dear be from oblivion snatched
And placed among the stars: but chiefly thine,
Thine, Paoli, with sweetest sound shall dwell
On their applauding lips; thy sacred name,
Endeared to long posterity, some Muse,
More worthy of the theme, shall consecrate
To after-ages, and applauding worlds
Shall bless the godlike man who saved his country.
So vainly wished, so fondly hoped the Muse:
Too fondly hoped. The iron fates prevail,
And Cyrnus is no more. Her generous sons,
Less vanquished than o'erwhelmed, by numbers crushed,
Admired, unaided fell. So strives the moon
In dubious battle with the gathering clouds,
And strikes a splendour through them; till at length
Storms rolled on storms involve the face of heaven
And quench her struggling fires. Forgive the zeal
That, too presumptuous, whispered better things,
And read the book of destiny amiss.
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Not with the purple colouring of success
Is virtue best adorned: the attempt is praise.
There yet remains a freedom, nobler far
Than kings or senates can destroy or give;
Beyond the proud oppressor's cruel grasp
Seated secure, uninjured, undestroyed;
Worthy of Gods:….the freedom of the mind.
~ Anna Laetitia Barbauld
284:The Coming Of The Rauparaha
BLUE, the wreaths of smoke, like drooping banners
From the flaming battlements of sunset
Hung suspended; and within his whare
Hipe, last of Ngatiraukawa's chieftains,
Lay a-dying! Ringed about his death-bed,
Like a palisade of carven figures,
Stood the silent people of the village—
Warriors and women of his hapu—
Waiting. Then a sudden spilth of sunlight
Splashed upon the mountain-peak above them,
And it blossomed redly like a rata.
With his people and the twilight pausing;
Withering to death in regal patience,
Taciturn and grim, lay Hipe dying.
Shuddering and green, a little lizard
Made a ripple through the whare's darkness,
Writhing close to Hipe! Then a whisper
On the women's dry lips hesitated
As the ring of figures fluttered backwards;
“ 'T is the Spirit-Thing that comes to carry
Hipe's tardy soul across the waters
To the world of stars!” And Hipe, grimly,
Felt its hungry eyes a-glitter on him;
Then he knew the spirit-world had called him;
Knew the lizard-messenger must hasten,
And would carry back a soul for answer.
Twenty days in silence he had listened,
Dumb with thoughts of death, and sorely troubled
For his tribe left leaderless and lonely.
Now like sullen thunder from the blackness
Of the whare swept a voice untinctured
With a stain of sickness; and the women,
Breaking backwards, shrieked in sudden terror,
“ 'T is the weird Thing's voice, the greenish lizard,
All-impatient for the soul of Hipe!”
But the warriors in the shadow straightened
Drooping shoulders, gripped their greenstone meres,
And the rhythmic tumult of the war-dance
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Swept the great pah with its throbbing thunder:
While their glad throats chanted, “E, 't is Hipe!
Hipe's voice that led us in the battle;
Hipe, young, come back to lead us ever!”
“Warriors and women of my hapu,”
Whirled the voice of Hipe from the darkness,
“I have had communion with the spirits;
Listen while I chant the song they taught me!
“I have seen the coming end of all things,
Seen the Maori shattered 'neath the onrush
Of the white-faced strangers. Like the flashing
Of the Sun-God through the ranks of darkness,
Like the Fire-God rippling through the forest,
Like the winter's silent blight of snowflakes—
Lo, the strange outbreak of pallid blossoms!—
Sweeps this surging wave of stranger-faces,
Frothing irresistibly upon us.
“Lo, the Pakeha shall come and conquer;
We have failed; the Gods are angry with us.
See, the withered autumn of our greatness!
“Old ancestral myths and sacred legends
That we deemed immortal—(priest and wizard
Died, and yet their stories, like a river,
Through the long years ran on, ever changeless!)—
Shall be buried; and the names long given
To each hill, and stream, and path and gully,
Shall be like a yesterday forgotten,
Blown like trembling froth before the sea-breeze.
“And the gods that people all our islands—
This great sea of presences immortal,
Living, real, alert for charm or evil,
Hurrying in every breeze, and haunting,
Heavy-winged, the vistas of the forest,
Deluging the daylight with their presence,
Teeming, flooding, brimming in the shadows—
Shall be banished to their spirit-regions,
And the world be lorn of gods and lonely.
“And the Maori shall no long time linger
Ere, a tardy exile, he shall journey
To the under-world. Yet he shall never
Break before this influx, but shall fight on
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Till, a mangled thing, the tide o'erwhelm him.
And my tribe, the mighty Ngatiraukawa,
Had they left one worthy chieftain only
Who could lead my people on to victory,
Who could follow where my feet have trodden,
Might yet rear their name into a pillar
Carved with fame, until their stubborn story
From the mists of legend broke tremendous.
Flaming through the chilly years to follow
With a sunset-splendour, huge, heroic!
“Yes, the time is yours to rear a nation
From one conquering tribe, the Ngatiraukawa;
But my pah is leaderless and lonely;
I am left, the last of Maori chieftains;
And the gods have called me now to lead them
In their mighty battles! There is no one
Worthy now to wield my dying mana!”
So he ceased, and tremulous the silence
Sighed to voice in one long wail of sorrow.
So; it was the truth that Hipe taught them:
None was left to lead them on to victory;
None could follow where his feet had trodden.
Then by name old Hipe called the chieftains—
Weakling sons of that gaunt wrinkled giant,
Stunted saplings blanching in the shadow
Of the old tree's overarching greatness.
One by one he called them, and they shivered,
For they knew no answer to his question,
“Can you lead my people on to victory?
Can you follow where my feet have trodden?”
One by one a great hope burned within them,
And their feeble hearts beat fast and proudly;
One by one a chill of terror took them,
And the challenge on their lips was frozen.
Then the old chief in his anger chaunted
Frenziedly a song of scorn of all things,
And the frightened people of the village—
Warriors and women of his hapu—
Quavered into murmurs 'neath the whirlwind
Of his lashing words; and then he fretted
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Into gusts of anger; and the lizard
Made a greenish ripple in the darkness,
Shuddering closer to him. And the people
Bending heard a whisper pass above them,
“Is there none to lead you on to victory,
None to follow where my feet have trodden?”
Lo, a sudden rumour from the edges
Of the silent concourse, where the humblest
Of the village crouched in utter baseness—
There among the outcasts one leapt upright,
Clean-limbed, straight and comely as a sunbeam.
Eager muscles clad in tawny velvet,
Eyes aflash with prescience of his power,
Yet a boy, untried in warriors' warfare,
Virgin to the battle! And untroubled
Rang a daring voice across the darkness,
“Yes, my people, one there is to lead you;
I dare point you on to fame and victory,
I dare tread where Hipe's feet have trodden.
Yea,” and prouder sang the voice above them,
“I can promise mightier fame unending;
I shall lead where Hipe dared not tempt you;
I shall make new footprints through the future—
I, the youth Te Rauparaha, have spoken!”
On the boy who braved them stormed the people,
Swept with fear and anger, and they clamoured,
“Who so proudly speaks, though not a chieftain?
Rank and name and fame he has none; how then
Dare he lead when sons of chieftains falter?”
But the boy leapt forward to the whare,
Clean-limbed, straight and comely as a sunbeam,
Eager muscles clad in tawny velvet,
Eyes aflash with prescience of his power,
Swinging high the mere he had fashioned
Out of wood, and carven like a chieftain's—
Aye, and with the toy had slain a foeman!
Flinging fiery speech out like a hailstorm,
“If ye choose me chieftain I shall lead you
Down to meet the white one on the sea-coast,
Where his hordes shall break like scattered billows
From our wall of meres. Him o'erwhelming,
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I shall wrest his flaming weapons from him,
Fortify for pah the rugged island
Kapiti; then like a black-hawk swooping
I shall whirl upon the Southern Island,
Sweep it with my name as with a tempest,
Overrun it like the play of sunlight,
Sigh across it like a flame, till Terror
Runs before me shrieking! And our pathway
Shall be sullen red with flames and bloodshed,
And shall moan with massacre and battle!
“Quenching every foe, beneath my mana
Tribe shall stand with tribe, till all my nation
Like a harsh impassive wall of forest
Imperturbably shall front the strangers;
And with frown inscrutable shall wither
All this buzz and stir of stinging insects
That persist about us; then our islands
Garlanded with peace are ours for ever!
“Then the name of me, Te Rauparaha,
And the tribe I lead, the Ngatitoa,
Shall be shrined in sacred myth and legend
With the glamour of our oft-told prowess
Wreathed about them! Think, we shall be saviours
Of a race, a nation! And this island
We have sown so thick with names—each hillock,
Glen and gully, stream and tribal limit—
Shall for ever blossom like a garden
With the liquid softness of their music!
And the flute shall still across the evening
Lilt and waver, brimming with love's yearning!
And the exiled gods and banished spirits
Shall steal back to people all our islands
With their sea of presences immortal,
Living, real, alert for charm or evil,
Hurrying in every breeze and haunting,
Heavy-winged, the vistas of the forest,
Deluging the daylight with their presence,
Teeming, flooding, brimming in the shadows,
Till the world, a tawny world of gladness,
Shall no more of gods be lorn and lonely!
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I, the youth Te Rauparaha, have spoken!”
Hipe heard, and, dying, cried in triumph,
“Warriors and women of my hapu,
He shall lead you, he, Te Rauparaha!
He shall do the things that he has promised.
He may fail; but think how grand his failure!
He alone can lift against the tempest
That proud head of his, and hugely daring,
God-like, hugely fail, or hugely conquer!”
Still he spoke, but suddenly the lizard
Made a greenish ripple through the darkness,
And was gone! Upon the long lone journey
To Te Reinga and the world of spirits
It had started with the soul of Hipe!
Then the plaintive wailing of the women
Quavered through the darkness, and a shudder
Took the slaves that in a horror waited
For the mercy of the blow to send them—
Ah! the sombre, slowly-stepping phalanx—
To the twilight world with Hipe's spirit.
~ Arthur Henry Adams
285:From House To House
The first was like a dream through summer heat,
The second like a tedious numbing swoon,
While the half-frozen pulses lagged to beat
Beneath a winter moon.
'But,' says my friend, 'what was this thing and where?'
It was a pleasure-place within my soul;
An earthly paradise supremely fair
That lured me from the goal.
The first part was a tissue of hugged lies;
The second was its ruin fraught with pain:
Why raise the fair delusion to the skies
But to be dashed again?
My castle stood of white transparent glass
Glittering and frail with many a fretted spire,
But when the summer sunset came to pass
It kindled into fire.
My pleasaunce was an undulating green,
Stately with trees whose shadows slept below,
With glimpses of smooth garden-beds between
Like flame or sky or snow.
Swift squirrels on the pastures took their ease,
With leaping lambs safe from the unfeared knife;
All singing-birds rejoicing in those trees
Fulfilled their careless life.
Woodpigeons cooed there, stockdoves nestled there;
My trees were full of songs and flowers and fruit,
Their branches spread a city to the air
And mice lodged in their root.
My heath lay farther off, where lizards lived
In strange metallic mail, just spied and gone;
Like darted lightnings here and there perceived
But nowhere dwelt upon.
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Frogs and fat toads were there to hop or plod
And propagate in peace, an uncouth crew,
Where velvet-headed rushes rustling nod
And spill the morning dew.
All caterpillars throve beneath my rule,
With snails and slugs in corners out of sight;
I never marred the curious sudden stool
That perfects in a night.
Safe in his excavated gallery
The burrowing mole groped on from year to year;
No harmless hedgehog curled because of me
His prickly back for fear.
Oft times one like an angel walked with me,
With spirit-discerning eyes like flames of fire,
But deep as the unfathomed endless sea,
Fulfilling my desire:
And sometimes like a snowdrift he was fair,
And sometimes like a sunset glorious red,
And sometimes he had wings to scale the air
With aureole round his head.
We sang our songs together by the way,
Calls and recalls and echoes of delight;
So communed we together all the day,
And so in dreams by night.
I have no words to tell what way we walked.
What unforgotten path now closed and sealed;
I have no words to tell all things we talked,
All things that he revealed:
This only can I tell: that hour by hour
I waxed more feastful, lifted up and glad;
I felt no thorn-prick when I plucked a flower,
Felt not my friend was sad.
'To-morrow,' once I said to him with smiles:
159
'To-night,' he answered gravely and was dumb,
But pointed out the stones that numbered miles
And miles to come.
'Not so,' I said: 'to-morrow shall be sweet;
To-night is not so sweet as coming days.'
Then first I saw that he had turned his feet,
Had turned from me his face:
Running and flying miles and miles he went,
But once looked back to beckon with his hand
And cry: 'Come home, O love, from banishment:
Come to the distant land.'
That night destroyed me like an avalanche;
One night turned all my summer back to snow:
Next morning not a bird upon my branch,
Not a lamb woke below,—
No bird, no lamb, no living breathing thing;
No squirrel scampered on my breezy lawn,
No mouse lodged by his hoard: all joys took wing
And fled before that dawn.
Azure and sun were starved from heaven above,
No dew had fallen, but biting frost lay hoar:
O love, I knew that I should meet my love,
Should find my love no more.
'My love no more,' I muttered stunned with pain:
I shed no tear, I wrung no passionate hand,
Till something whispered: 'You shall meet again,
Meet in a distant land.'
Then with a cry like famine I arose,
I lit my candle, searched from room to room,
Searched up and down; a war of winds that froze
Swept through the blank of gloom.
I searched day after day, night after night;
Scant change there came to me of night or day:
'No more,' I wailed, 'no more:' and trimmed my light,
160
And gnashed but did not pray,
Until my heart broke and my spirit broke:
Upon the frost-bound floor I stumbled, fell,
And moaned: 'It is enough: withhold the stroke.
Farewell, O love, farewell.'
Then life swooned from me. And I heard the song
Of spheres and spirits rejoicing over me:
One cried: 'Our sister, she hath suffered long.'—
One answered: 'Make her see.'—
One cried: 'Oh blessed she who no more pain,
Who no more disappointment shall receive.'—
One answered: 'Not so: she must live again;
Strengthen thou her to live.'
So while I lay entranced a curtain seemed
To shrivel with crackling from before my face;
Across mine eyes a waxing radiance beamed
And showed a certain place.
I saw a vision of a woman, where
Night and new morning strive for domination;
Incomparably pale, and almost fair,
And sad beyond expression.
Her eyes were like some fire-enshrining gem,
Were stately like the stars, and yet were tender;
Her figure charmed me like a windy stem
Quivering and drooped and slender.
I stood upon the outer barren ground,
She stood on inner ground that budded flowers;
While circling in their never-slackening round
Danced by the mystic hours.
But every flower was lifted on a thorn,
And every thorn shot upright from its sands
To gall her feet; hoarse laughter pealed in scorn
With cruel clapping hands.
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She bled and wept, yet did not shrink; her strength
Was strung up until daybreak of delight:
She measured measureless sorrow toward its length,
And breadth, and depth, and height.
Then marked I how a chain sustained her form,
A chain of living links not made nor riven:
It stretched sheer up through lighting, wind, and storm,
And anchored fast in heaven.
One cried: 'How long? yet founded on the Rock
She shall do battle, suffer, and attain.'—
One answered: 'Faith quakes in the tempest shock:
Strengthen her soul again.'
I saw a cup sent down and come to her
Brimfull of loathing and of bitterness:
She drank with livid lips that seemed to stir
The depth, not make it less.
But as she drank I spied a hand distil
New wine and virgin honey; making it
First bitter-sweet, then sweet indeed, until
She tasted only sweet.
Her lips and cheeks waxed rosy-fresh and young;
Drinking she sang: 'My soul shall nothing want;'
And drank anew: while soft a song was sung,
A mystical slow chant.
One cried: 'The wounds are faithful of a friend:
The wilderness shall blossom as a rose.'—
One answered: 'Rend the veil, declare the end,
Strengthen her ere she goes.'
Then earth and heaven were rolled up like a scroll;
Time and space, change and death, had passed away;
Weight, number, measure, each had reached its whole;
The day had come, that day.
Multitudes—multitudes—stood up in bliss,
Made equal to the angels, glorious, fair;
162
With harps, palms, wedding-garments, kiss of peace
And crowned and haloed hair.
They sang a song, a new song in the height,
Harping with harps to Him Who is Strong and True:
They drank new wine, their eyes saw with new light,
Lo, all things were made new.
Tier beyond tier they rose and rose and rose
So high that it was dreadful, flames with flames:
No man could number them, no tongue disclose
Their secret sacred names.
As though one pulse stirred all, one rush of blood
Fed all, one breath swept through them myriad-voiced,
They struck their harps, cast down their crowns, they stood
And worshipped and rejoiced.
Each face looked one way like a moon new-lit,
Each face looked one way towards its Sun of Love;
Drank love and bathed in love and mirrored it
And knew no end thereof.
Glory touched glory on each blessed head,
Hands locked dear hands never to sunder more:
These were the new-begotten from the dead
Whom the great birthday bore.
Heart answered heart, soul answered soul at rest,
Double against each other, filled, sufficed:
All loving, loved of all; but loving best
And best beloved of Christ.
I saw that one who lost her love in pain,
Who trod on thorns, who drank the loathsome cup;
The lost in night, in day was found again;
The fallen was lifted up.
They stood together in the blessed noon,
They sang together through the length of days;
Each loving face bent Sunwards like a moon
New-lit with love and praise.
163
Therefore, O friend, I would not if I might
Rebuild my house of lies, wherein I joyed
One time to dwell: my soul shall walk in white,
Cast down but not destroyed.
Therefore in patience I possess my soul;
Yea, therefore as a flint I set my face,
To pluck down, to build up again the whole—
But in a distant place.
These thorns are sharp, yet I can tread on them;
This cup is loathsome, yet He makes it sweet:
My face is steadfast toward Jerusalem,
My heart remembers it.
I lift the hanging hands, the feeble knees—
I, precious more than seven times molten gold—
Until the day when from his storehouses
God shall bring new and old;
Beauty for ashes, oil of joy for grief,
Garment of praise for spirit of heaviness:
Although to-day I fade as doth a leaf,
I languish and grow less.
Although to-day He prunes my twigs with pain,
Yet doth His blood nourish and warm my root:
To-morrow I shall put forth buds again
And clothe myself with fruit.
Although to-day I walk in tedious ways,
To-day His staff is turned into a rod,
Yet will I wait for Him the appointed days
And stay upon my God.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti
286:I.

My first thought was, he lied in every word,
That hoary cripple, with malicious eye
Askance to watch the working of his lie
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored
Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby.

II.

What else should he be set for, with his staff?
What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare
All travellers who might find him posted there,
And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh
Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph
For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare,

III.

If at his counsel I should turn aside
Into that ominous tract which, all agree,
Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly
I did turn as he pointed: neither pride
Nor hope rekindling at the end descried,
So much as gladness that some end might be.

IV.

For, what with my whole world-wide wandering,
What with my search drawn out thro' years, my hope
Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope
With that obstreperous joy success would bring,
I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring
My heart made, finding failure in its scope.

V.

As when a sick man very near to death
Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end
The tears and takes the farewell of each friend,
And hears one bid the other go, draw breath
Freelier outside, (``since all is o'er,'' he saith,
``And the blow falIen no grieving can amend;'')

VI.

While some discuss if near the other graves
Be room enough for this, and when a day
Suits best for carrying the corpse away,
With care about the banners, scarves and staves:
And still the man hears all, and only craves
He may not shame such tender love and stay.

VII.

Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest,
Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ
So many times among ``The Band''-to wit,
The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed
Their steps-that just to fail as they, seemed best,
And all the doubt was now-should I be fit?

VIII.

So, quiet as despair, I turned from him,
That hateful cripple, out of his highway
Into the path he pointed. All the day
Had been a dreary one at best, and dim
Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim
Red leer to see the plain catch its estray.

IX.

For mark! no sooner was I fairly found
Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two,
Than, pausing to throw backward a last view
O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round:
Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound.
I might go on; nought else remained to do.

X.

So, on I went. I think I never saw
Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve:
For flowers-as well expect a cedar grove!
But cockle, spurge, according to their law
Might propagate their kind, with none to awe,
You'd think; a burr had been a treasure-trove.

XI.

No! penury, inertness and grimace,
In some strange sort, were the land's portion. ``See
``Or shut your eyes,'' said nature peevishly,
``It nothing skills: I cannot help my case:
``'Tis the Last judgment's fire must cure this place,
``Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.''

XII.

If there pushed any ragged thistle-stalk
Above its mates, the head was chopped; the bents
Were jealous else. What made those holes and rents
In the dock's harsh swarth leaves, bruised as to baulk
All hope of greenness?'tis a brute must walk
Pashing their life out, with a brute's intents.

XIII.

As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair
In leprosy; thin dry blades pricked the mud
Which underneath looked kneaded up with blood.
One stiff blind horse, his every bone a-stare,
Stood stupefied, however he came there:
Thrust out past service from the devil's stud!

XIV.

Alive? he might be dead for aught I know,
With that red gaunt and colloped neck a-strain,
And shut eyes underneath the rusty mane;
Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woe;
I never saw a brute I hated so;
He must be wicked to deserve such pain.

XV.

I shut my eyes and turned them on my heart.
As a man calls for wine before he fights,
I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights,
Ere fitly I could hope to play my part.
Think first, fight afterwards-the soldier's art:
One taste of the old time sets all to rights.

XVI.

Not it! I fancied Cuthbert's reddening face
Beneath its garniture of curly gold,
Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold
An arm in mine to fix me to the place,
That way he used. Alas, one night's disgrace!
Out went my heart's new fire and left it cold.

XVII.

Giles then, the soul of honour-there he stands
Frank as ten years ago when knighted first.
What honest man should dare (he said) he durst.
Good-but the scene shifts-faugh! what hangman hands
Pin to his breast a parchment? His own bands
Read it. Poor traitor, spit upon and curst!

XVIII.

Better this present than a past like that;
Back therefore to my darkening path again!
No sound, no sight as far as eye could strain.
Will the night send a howlet or a bat?
I asked: when something on the dismal flat
Came to arrest my thoughts and change their train.

XIX.

A sudden little river crossed my path
As unexpected as a serpent comes.
No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms;
This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath
For the fiend's glowing hoof-to see the wrath
Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes.

XX.

So petty yet so spiteful! All along,
Low scrubby alders kneeled down over it;
Drenched willows flung them headlong in a fit
Of route despair, a suicidal throng:
The river which had done them all the wrong,
Whate'er that was, rolled by, deterred no whit.

XXI.

Which, while I forded,-good saints, how I feared
To set my foot upon a dead man's cheek,
Each step, or feel the spear I thrust to seek
For hollows, tangled in his hair or beard!
-It may have been a water-rat I speared,
But, ugh! it sounded like a baby's shriek.

XXII.

Glad was I when I reached the other bank.
Now for a better country. Vain presage!
Who were the strugglers, what war did they wage,
Whose savage trample thus could pad the dank
Soil to a plash? Toads in a poisoned tank,
Or wild cats in a red-hot iron cage-

XXIII.

The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirque.
What penned them there, with all the plain to choose?
No foot-print leading to that horrid mews,
None out of it. Mad brewage set to work
Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves the Turk
Pits for his pastime, Christians against Jews.

XXIV.

And more than that-a furlong on-why, there!
What bad use was that engine for, that wheel,
Or brake, not wheel-that harrow fit to reel
Men's bodies out like silk? with all the air
Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware,
Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steel.

XXV.

Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood,
Next a marsh, it would seem, and now mere earth
Desperate and done with; (so a fool finds mirth,
Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood
Changes and off he goes!) within a rood-
Bog, clay and rubble, sand and stark black dearth.

XXVI.

Now blotches rankling, coloured gay and grim,
Now patches where some leanness of the soil's
Broke into moss or substances like boils;
Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him
Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim
Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils.

XXVII.

And just as far as ever from the end!
Nought in the distance but the evening, nought
To point my footstep further! At the thought,
great black bird, Apollyon's bosom-friend,
Sailed past, nor beat his wide wing dragon-penned
That brushed my cap-perchance the guide I sought.

XXVIII.

For, looking up, aware I somehow grew,
'Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place
All round to mountains-with such name to grace
Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view.
How thus they had surprised me,-solve it, you!
How to get from them was no clearer case.

XXIX.

Yet half I seemed to recognize some trick
Of mischief happened to me, God knows when-
In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then,
Progress this way. When, in the very nick
Of giving up, one time more, came a click
As when a trap shuts-you're inside the den!

XXX.

Burningly it came on me all at once,
This was the place! those two hills on the right,
Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight;
While to the left, a tall scalped mountain Dunce,
Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce,
After a life spent training for the sight!

XXXI.

What in the midst lay but the Tower itself?
The round squat turret, blind as the fool's heart,
Built of brown stone, without a counter-part
In the whole world. The tempest's mocking elf
Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf
He strikes on, only when the timbers start.

XXXII.

Not see? because of night perhaps?-why, day
Came back again for that! before it left,
The dying sunset kindled through a cleft:
The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay,
Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay,-
``Now stab and end the creature-to the heft!''

XXXIII.

Not hear? when noise was everywhere! it tolled
Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears
Of all the lost adventurers my peers,-
How such a one was strong, and such was bold,
And such was fortunate, yet, each of old
Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.

XXXIV.

There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
To view the last of me, a living frame
For one more picture! in a sheet of flame
I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
And blew. ``Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.''


~ Robert Browning, Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came

287:PIANO DI SORRENTO

Fort, Fort, my beloved one,
Sit here by my side,
On my knees put up both little feet!
I was sure, if I tried,
I could make you laugh spite of Scirocco.
Now, open your eyes,
Let me keep you amused till he vanish
In black from the skies,
With telling my memories over
As you tell your beads;
All the Plain saw me gather, I garland
-The flowers or the weeds.

Time for rain! for your long hot dry Autumn
Had net-worked with brown
The white skin of each grape on the bunches,
Marked like a quail's crown,
Those creatures you make such account of,
Whose heads,-speckled white
Over brown like a great spider's back,
As I told you last night,-
Your mother bites off for her supper.
Red-ripe as could be,
Pomegranates were chapping and splitting
In halves on the tree:
And betwixt the loose walls of great flint-stone,
Or in the thick dust
On the path, or straight out of the rock-side,
Wherever could thrust
Some burnt sprig of bold hardy rock-flower
Its yellow face up,
For the prize were great butterflies fighting,
Some five for one cup.
So, I guessed, ere I got up this morning,
What change was in store,
By the quick rustle-down of the quail-nets
Which woke me before
I could open my shutter, made fast
With a bough and a stone,
And look thro' the twisted dead vine-twigs,
Sole lattice that's known.
Quick and sharp rang the rings down the net-poles,
While, busy beneath,
Your priest and his brother tugged at them,
The rain in their teeth.
And out upon all the flat house-roofs
Where split figs lay drying,
The girls took the frails under cover:
Nor use seemed in trying
To get out the boats and go fishing,
For, under the cliff,
Fierce the black water frothed o'er the blind-rock.
No seeing our skiff
Arrive about noon from Amalfi,
-Our fisher arrive
And pitch down his basket before us,
All trembling alive
With pink and grey jellies, your sea-fruit;
You touch the strange lumps,
And mouths gape there, eyes open, all manner
Of horns and of humps,
Which only the fisher looks grave at,
While round him like imps
Cling screaming the children as naked
And brown as his shrimps;
Himself too as bare to the middle
-You see round his neck
The string and its brass coin suspended,
That saves him from wreck.
But to-day not a bout reached Salerno,
So back, to a man,
Came our friends, with whose help in the vineyards
Grape-harvest began.
In the vat, halfway up in our house-side,
Like blood the juice spins,
While your brother all bare-legged is dancing
Till breathless he grins
Dead-beaten in effort on effort
To keep the grapes under,
Since still when he seems all but master,
In pours the fresh plunder
From girls who keep coming and going
With basket on shoulder,
And eyes shut against the rain's driving;
Your girls that are older,-
For under the hedges of aloe,
And where, on its bed
Of the orchard's black mould, the love-apple
Lies pulpy and red,
All the young ones are kneeling and filling
Their laps with the snails
Tempted out by this first rainy weather,-
Your best of regales,
As to-night will be proved to my sorrow,
When, supping in state,
We shall feast our grape-gleaners (two dozen,
Three over one plate)
With lasagne so tempting to swallow
In slippery ropes,
And gourds fried in great purple slices,
That colour of popes.
Meantime, see the grape bunch they've brought you:
The rain-water slips
O'er the heavy blue bloom on each globe
Which the wasp to your lips
Still follows with fretful persistence:
Nay, taste, while awake,
This half of a curd-white smooth cheese-ball
That peels, flake by flake,
Like an onion, each smoother and whiter;
Next, sip this weak wine
From the thin green glass flask, with its stopper,
A leaf of the vine;
And end with the prickly-pear's red flesh
That leaves thro' its juice
The stony black seeds on your pearl-teeth.
Scirocco is loose!
Hark, the quick, whistling pelt of the olives
Which, thick in one's track,
Tempt the stranger to pick up and bite them,
Tho' not yet half black!
How the old twisted olive trunks shudder,
The medlars let fall
Their hard fruit, and the brittle great fig-trees
Snap off, figs and all,
For here comes the whole of the tempest!
No refuge, but creep
Back again to my side and my shoulder,
And listen or sleep.
O how will your country show next week,
When all the vine-boughs
Have been stripped of their foliage to pasture
The mules and the cows?
Last eve, I rode over the mountains;
Your brother, my guide,
Soon left me, to feast on the myrtles
That offered, each side,
Their fruit-balls, black, glossy and luscious,-
Or strip from the sorbs
A treasure, or, rosy and wondrous,
Those hairy gold orbs!
But my mule picked his sure sober path out,
Just stopping to neigh
When he recognized down in the valley
His mates on their way
With the ****s and barrels of water;
And soon we emerged
From the plain, where the woods could scarce follow;
And still as we urged
Our way, the woods wondered, and left us,
As up still we trudged
Though the wild path grew wilder each instant,
And place was e'en grudged
'Mid the rock-chasms and piles of loose stones
Like the loose broken teeth
Of some monster which climbed there to die
From the ocean beneath-
Place was grudged to the silver-grey fume-weed
That clung to the path,
And dark rosemary ever a-dying
That, 'spite the wind's wrath,
So loves the salt rock's face to seaward,
And lentisks
as staunch
To the stone where they root and bear berries,
And what shows a branch
Coral-coloured, transparent, with circlets
Of pale seagreen leaves;
Over all trod my mule with the caution
Of gleaners o'er sheaves,
Still, foot after foot like a lady,
Till, round after round,
He climbed to the top of Calvano,
And God's own profound
Was above me, and round me the mountains,
And under, the sea,
And within me my heart to bear witness
What was and shall be.
Oh, heaven and the terrible crystal!
No rampart excludes
Your eye from the life to be lived
In the blue solitudes.
Oh, those mountains, their infinite movement!
Still moving with you;
For, ever some new head and breast of them
Thrusts into view
To observe the intruder; you see it
If quickly you turn
And before they escape you surprise them.
They grudge you should learn
How the soft plains they look on, lean over
And love (they pretend)
-Cower beneath them, the flat sea-pine crouches,
The wild fruit-trees bend,
E'en the myrtle-leaves curl, shrink and shut:
All is silent and grave:
'Tis a sensual and timorous beauty,
How fair! but a slave.
So, I turned to the sea; and there slumbered
As greenly as ever
Those isles of the siren, your Galli;
No ages can sever
The Three, nor enable their sister
To join them,-halfway
On the voyage, she looked at Ulysses-
No farther to-day,
Tho' the small one, just launched in the wave,
Watches breast-high and steady
From under the rock, her bold sister
Swum halfway already.
Fort, shall we sail there together
And see from the sides
Quite new rocks show their faces, new haunts
Where the siren abides?
Shall we sail round and round them, close over
The rocks, tho' unseen,
That ruffle the grey glassy water
To glorious green?
Then scramble from splinter to splinter,
Reach land and explore,
On the largest, the strange square black turret
With never a door,
Just a loop to admit the quick lizards;
Then, stand there and hear
The birds' quiet singing, that tells us
What life is, so clear?
-The secret they sang to Ulysses
When, ages ago,
He heard and he knew this life's secret
I hear and I know.

Ah, see! The sun breaks o'er Calvano;
He strikes the great gloom
And flutters it o'er the mount's summit
In airy gold fume.
All is over. Look out, see the gipsy,
Our tinker and smith,
Has arrived, set up bellows and forge,
And down-squatted forthwith
To his hammering, under the wall there;
One eye keeps aloof
The urchins that itch to be putting
His jews'-harps to proof,
While the other, thro' locks of curled wire,
Is watching how sleek
Shines the hog, come to share in the windfall
-Chew, abbot's own cheek!
All is over. Wake up and come out now,
And down let us go,
And see the fine things got in order
At church for the show
Of the Sacrament, set forth this evening.
To-morrow's the Feast
Of the Rosary's Virgin, by no means
Of Virgins the least,
As you'll hear in the off-hand discourse
Which (all nature, no art)
The Dominican brother, these three weeks,
Was getting by heart.
Not a pillar nor post but is dizened
With red and blue papers;
All the roof waves with ribbons, each altar
A-blaze with long tapers;
But the great masterpiece is the scaffold
Rigged glorious to hold
All the fiddlers and fifers and drummers
And trumpeters bold,
Not afraid of Bellini nor Auber,
Who, when the priest's hoarse,
Will strike us up something that's brisk
For the feast's second course.
And then will the flaxen-wigged Image
Be carried in pomp
Thro' the plain, while in gallant procession
The priests mean to stomp.
All round the glad church lie old bottles
With gunpowder stopped,
Which will be, when the Image re-enters,
Religiously popped;
And at night from the crest of Calvano
Great bonfires will hang,
On the plain will the trumpets join chorus,
And more poppers bang.
At all events, come-to the garden
As far as the wall;
See me tap with a hoe on the plaster
Till out there shall fall
A scorpion with wide angry nippers!

-``Such trifles!'' you say?
Fort, in my England at home,
Men meet gravely to-day
And debate, if abolishing Corn-laws
Be righteous and wise
-If 'twere proper, Scirocco should vanish
In black from the skies!
The mastic tree (resinous).

~ Robert Browning, The Englishman In Italy

288:The south-wind brings
Life, sunshine, and desire,
And on every mount and meadow
Breathes aromatic fire,
But over the dead he has no power,
The lost, the lost he cannot restore,
And, looking over the hills, I mourn
The darling who shall not return.

I see my empty house,
I see my trees repair their boughs,
And he, the wondrous child,
Whose silver warble wild
Outvalued every pulsing sound
Within the air's cerulean round,
The hyacinthine boy, for whom
Morn well might break, and April bloom,
The gracious boy, who did adorn
The world whereinto he was born,
And by his countenance repay
The favor of the loving Day,
Has disappeared from the Day's eye;
Far and wide she cannot find him,
My hopes pursue, they cannot bind him.
Returned this day the south-wind searches
And finds young pines and budding birches,
But finds not the budding man;
Nature who lost him, cannot remake him;
Fate let him fall, Fate can't retake him;
Nature, Fate, men, him seek in vain.

And whither now, my truant wise and sweet,
Oh, whither tend thy feet?
I had the right, few days ago,
Thy steps to watch, thy place to know;
How have I forfeited the right?
Hast thou forgot me in a new delight?
I hearken for thy household cheer,
O eloquent child!
Whose voice, an equal messenger,
Conveyed thy meaning mild.
What though the pains and joys
Whereof it spoke were toys
Fitting his age and ken;
Yet fairest dames and bearded men,
Who heard the sweet request
So gentle, wise, and grave,
Bended with joy to his behest,
And let the world's affairs go by,
Awhile to share his cordial game,
Or mend his wicker wagon frame,
Still plotting how their hungry ear
That winsome voice again might hear,
For his lips could well pronounce
Words that were persuasions.

Gentlest guardians marked serene
His early hope, his liberal mien,
Took counsel from his guiding eyes
To make this wisdom earthly wise.
Ah! vainly do these eyes recall
The school-march, each day's festival,
When every morn my bosom glowed
To watch the convoy on the road;
The babe in willow wagon closed,
With rolling eyes and face composed,
With children forward and behind,
Like Cupids studiously inclined,
And he, the Chieftain, paced beside,
The centre of the troop allied,
With sunny face of sweet repose,
To guard the babe from fancied foes,
The little Captain innocent
Took the eye with him as he went,
Each village senior paused to scan
And speak the lovely caravan.

From the window I look out
To mark thy beautiful parade
Stately marching in cap and coat
To some tune by fairies played;
A music heard by thee alone
To works as noble led thee on.
Now love and pride, alas, in vain,
Up and down their glances strain.
The painted sled stands where it stood,
The kennel by the corded wood,
The gathered sticks to stanch the wall
Of the snow-tower, when snow should fall,
The ominous hole he dug in the sand,
And childhood's castles built or planned.
His daily haunts I well discern,
The poultry yard, the shed, the barn,
And every inch of garden ground
Paced by the blessed feet around,
From the road-side to the brook;
Whereinto he loved to look.
Step the meek birds where erst they ranged,
The wintry garden lies unchanged,
The brook into the stream runs on,
But the deep-eyed Boy is gone.

On that shaded day,
Dark with more clouds than tempests are,
When thou didst yield thy innocent breath
In bird-like heavings unto death,
Night came, and Nature had not thee,
I said, we are mates in misery.
The morrow dawned with needless glow,
Each snow-bird chirped, each fowl must crow,
Each tramper started, but the feet
Of the most beautiful and sweet
Of human youth had left the hill
And garden,they were bound and still,
There's not a sparrow or a wren,
There's not a blade of autumn grain,
Which the four seasons do not tend,
And tides of life and increase lend,
And every chick of every bird,
And weed and rock-moss is preferred.
O ostriches' forgetfulness!
O loss of larger in the less!
Was there no star that could be sent,
No watcher in the firmament,
No angel from the countless host,
That loiters round the crystal coast,
Could stoop to heal that only child,
Nature's sweet marvel undefiled,
And keep the blossom of the earth,
Which all her harvests were not worth?
Not mine, I never called thee mine,
But nature's heir, if I repine,
And, seeing rashly torn and moved,
Not what I made, but what I loved.
Grow early old with grief that then
Must to the wastes of nature go,
'Tis because a general hope
Was quenched, and all must doubt and grope
For flattering planets seemed to say,
This child should ills of ages stay,
By wondrous tongue and guided pen
Bring the flown muses back to men.
Perchance, not he, but nature ailed,
The world, and not the infant failed,
It was not ripe yet, to sustain
A genius of so fine a strain,
Who gazed upon the sun and moon
As if he came unto his own,
And pregnant with his grander thought,
Brought the old order into doubt.
Awhile his beauty their beauty tried,
They could not feed him, and he died,
And wandered backward as in scorn
To wait an on to be born.
Ill day which made this beauty waste;
Plight broken, this high face defaced!
Some went and came about the dead,
And some in books of solace read,
Some to their friends the tidings say,
Some went to write, some went to pray,
One tarried here, there hurried one,
But their heart abode with none.
Covetous death bereaved us all
To aggrandize one funeral.
The eager Fate which carried thee
Took the largest part of me.
For this losing is true dying,
This is lordly man's down-lying,
This is slow but sure reclining,
Star by star his world resigning.

O child of Paradise!
Boy who made dear his father's home
In whose deep eyes
Men read the welfare of the times to come;
I am too much bereft;
The world dishonored thou hast left;
O truths and natures costly lie;
O trusted, broken prophecy!
O richest fortune sourly crossed;
Born for the future, to the future lost!

The deep Heart answered, Weepest thou?
Worthier cause for passion wild,
If I had not taken the child.
And deemest thou as those who pore
With aged eyes short way before?
Think'st Beauty vanished from the coast
Of matter, and thy darling lost?
Taught he not thee, the man of eld,
Whose eyes within his eyes beheld
Heaven's numerous hierarchy span
The mystic gulf from God to man?
To be alone wilt thou begin,
When worlds of lovers hem thee in?
To-morrow, when the masks shall fall
That dizen nature's carnival,
The pure shall see, by their own will,
Which overflowing love shall fill,
'Tis not within the force of Fate
The fate-conjoined to separate.
But thou, my votary, weepest thou?
I gave thee sight, where is it now?
I taught thy heart beyond the reach
Of ritual, Bible, or of speech;
Wrote in thy mind's transparent table
As far as the incommunicable;
Taught thee each private sign to raise
Lit by the supersolar blaze.
Past utterance and past belief,
And past the blasphemy of grief,
The mysteries of nature's heart,
And though no muse can these impart,
Throb thine with nature's throbbing breast,
And all is clear from east to west.

I came to thee as to a friend,
Dearest, to thee I did not send
Tutors, but a joyful eye,
Innocence that matched the sky,
Lovely locks a form of wonder,
Laughter rich as woodland thunder;
That thou might'st entertain apart
The richest flowering of all art;
And, as the great all-loving Day
Through smallest chambers takes its way,
That thou might'st break thy daily bread
With Prophet, Saviour, and head;
That thou might'st cherish for thine own
The riches of sweet Mary's Son,
Boy-Rabbi, Israel's Paragon:
And thoughtest thou such guest
Would in thy hall take up his rest?
Would rushing life forget its laws,
Fate's glowing revolution pause?
High omens ask diviner guess,
Not to be conned to tediousness.
And know, my higher gifts unbind
The zone that girds the incarnate mind,
When the scanty shores are full
With Thought's perilous whirling pool,
When frail Nature can no more,
Then the spirit strikes the hour,
My servant Death with solving rite
Pours finite into infinite.
Wilt thou freeze love's tidal flow,
Whose streams through nature circling go?
Nail the star struggling to its track
On the half-climbed Zodiack?
Light is light which radiates,
Blood is blood which circulates,
Life is life which generates,
And many-seeming life is one,
Wilt thou transfix and make it none,
Its onward stream too starkly pent
In figure, bone, and lineament?

Wilt thou uncalled interrogate
Talker! the unreplying fate?
Nor see the Genius of the whole
Ascendant in the private soul,
Beckon it when to go and come,
Self-announced its hour of doom.
Fair the soul's recess and shrine,
Magic-built, to last a season,
Masterpiece of love benign!
Fairer than expansive reason
Whose omen 'tis, and sign.
Wilt thou not ope this heart to know
What rainbows teach and sunsets show,
Verdict which accumulates
From lengthened scroll of human fates,
Voice of earth to earth returned,
Prayers of heart that inly burned;
Saying, what is excellent,
As God lives, is permanent
Hearts are dust, hearts' loves remain,
Heart's love will meet thee again.
Revere the Maker; fetch thine eye
Up to His style, and manners of the sky.
Not of adamant and gold
Built He heaven stark and cold,
No, but a nest of bending reeds,
Flowering grass and scented weeds,
Or like a traveller's fleeting tent,
Or bow above the tempest pent,
Built of tears and sacred flames,
And virtue reaching to its aims;
Built of furtherance and pursuing,
Not of spent deeds, but of doing.
Silent rushes the swift Lord
Through ruined systems still restored,
Broad-sowing, bleak and void to bless,
Plants with worlds the wilderness,
Waters with tears of ancient sorrow
Apples of Eden ripe to-morrow;
House and tenant go to ground,
Lost in God, in Godhead found.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Threnody

289:Ocean: An Ode. Concluding With A Wish.*
I.
Sweet rural scene!
Of flocks and green!
At careless ease my limbs are spread;
All nature still
But yonder rill;
And listening pines not o'er my head:
II
In prospect wide,
The boundless tide!
Waves cease to foam, and winds to roar;
Without a breeze,
The curling seas
Dance on, in measure, to the shore.
III
Who sings the source
Of wealth and force?
Vast field of commerce and big war:
Where wonders dwell!
Where terrors swell!
And Neptune thunders from his car?
IV
Where? where are they,
Whom Pean's ray
Has touch'd, and bid divinely rave?
What, none aspire?
I snatch the lyre,
And plunge into the foaming wave.
The wave resounds!
The rock rebounds!
The Nereids to my song reply!
I lead the choir,
And they conspire
With voice and shell to lift it high;
VI
They spread in air
Their bosoms fair;
Their verdant tresses pour behind.
36
The billows beat
With nimble feet,
With notes triumphant swell the wind.
VII
Who love the shore,
And they conspire
With voice and shell to lift it high;
Let those adore
The God Apollo, and his Nine,
Parnassus' hill,
And Orpheus' skill;
But let Arion's harp be mine.
VIII
The main! the main!
Is Britain's reign;
Her strength, her glory, is her fleet;
The main! the main!
Be Briton's strain;
As Triton's strong, as Syren's sweet.
IX
Through nature wide,
Is nought descry'd
So rich in pleasure, or surprize;
When all-serene
How sweet the scene!
How dreadful, when the billows rise.
And storms deface
The fluid glass
In which ere-while Britannia fair
Look'd down with pride,
Like Ocean's bride,
Adjusting her majestic air.
XI
When tempests cease,
And hush'd in peace
The flatten'd surges smoothly spread
Deep silence keep,
And seem to sleep
Recumbent on their oozy bed;
XII
With what a trance
37
The level glance,
Unbroken, shoots along the seas!
Whichtempt from shore
the painted oar;
And every canvas courts the breeze!
XIII
When rushes forth
The frowning North
On blackening billows, with what dread
My shuddering soul
Beholds them roll,
And hears their roarings o'er my head!
XIV
With terror mark
Yon flying bark!
Now, center-deep descend the brave;
Now, toss'd on high
It takes the sky,
A feather on the towering wave!
XV
Now, spins around
In whirls profound;
Now, whelm'd; now, pendant near the clouds;
Now, stunn'd, it reels
Midst thunder's peals;
And, now, fierce lightening fires the shrouds.
XVI
All aether burns!
Chaos returns!
And blends once more the seas and skies;
No space between
Thy bosom green,
O Deep! and the blue concave, lies.
XVII
The northern blast,
The shatter'd mast,
The fyrt, the whirlpool, and the rock,
The breaking spout,
the stars gone out,
The boiling sreight, the monsters shock.
XVIII
Let others fear;
38
To Britain dear
What'er promotes her daring claim;
Those terrors charm,
Which keep her warm
In chace of honest gain or fame.
XIX
The stars are bright
To chear the night,
And shed, through shadows, temper'd fire;
And Phoebus flames
With burnish'd beams,
Which some adore, and all admire.
XX
Are then the seas
Outshone by these?
Bright Thetys! thou art not outshone;
With kinder beams
And softer gleams,
Thy bosom wears them as thy own
XXI
There, set in green,
Gold-stars are seen,
A mantle rich! thy charms to wrap;
And when the sun
His race has run
He falls enamour'd in thy lap.
XXII
Those clouds, whose dyes
Adorn the skies,
That silver snow, that pearly rain;
Has Phoebus stole
To grace the pole,
The plunder of th' invaded main!
XXIII
The gaudy bow,
Whose colours glow,
Whose arch with so much skill is bent,
To Phoebus' ray
Which paints so gay,
By thee the watery woof was lent.
XXIV
In chambers deep,
39
Where waters sleep,
What unknown treasures pave the floor!
The pearl in rows
Pale lustre throws;
The wealth immense, which storms devour.
XXV
From Indian mines,
With proud designs,
the merchant, swoin, digs golden ore.
The tempests rise,
And seize the prize,
And toss him breathless on the shore.
XXVI
His son complains
In pious strains
"Ah! cruel thirst of gold!" he cries;
Then ploughs the main,
In zeal for gain,
The tears yet swelling in his eyes.
XXVII
Thou watery vast!
What mounds are cast
To bar thy dreadful flowings-o'er?
Thy proudest foam
Must know its home;
But rage of gold disdains a shore.
XXVIII
Gold Pleasure buys;
But Pleasure dies,
Too soon the tross fruition cloys:
Though raptures court,
The sense is short;
But Virtue kindles living joys;
XXIX
Joys felt alone!
Joys ask'd of none!
Which Time's and Fortune's arrows miss;
Joys that subsist,
Though Fates resist,
And unprecarious endless bliss!
XXX
The soul refin'd
40
Is most inclin'd
To every moral excellence;
All Vice is dull,
A knave's a fool;
And Virtue is the child of Sense
XXXI
The virtuous mind
Nor wave, nor wind,
Nor civil rage, nor tyrant's frown,
The shaken ball
Nor planets fall,
From its firm basis can dethrone.
XXXII
This Britain knows,
And therefore glows
With generous passions, and expends
Her wealth and zeal
On public weal,
And brightens both by godlike ends.
XXXIII
What end so great,
As that which late
Awoke the Genius of the main,
Which towering rose
With George to close,
And rival great Eliza's reign?
XXXIV
A voice has flown
From Britain's throne
To reinflame a grand design;
That voice shall rear
Yon fabrick fair,1
As Nature's rose at the divine.
XXXV
When nature sprung,
Blest angels sung,
And shouted o'er the rising balll;
For strains as high
As main's can fly,
These sea-devoted honours call.
XXXVI
From boisterous seas,
41
The lap of ease
Receives our wounded and our old;
High domes ascend!
Stretc'd arches bend!
Proud columns swell! wide gates unfold!
XXXVII
So sleeps the grain,
In fostering rain,
And vital beams, till Jove descend;
Then bursts the root!
the verdures shoot!
And earth enrich, adorn, defend!
XXXVIII
Here, soft-reclin'd
From wave, from wind,
And Fortune's tempest safe ashore,
To cheat their care,
Of former war
They talk the pleasing shadows o'er.
XXXIX
In lengthen'd tales,
Our fleet prevails;
In tales the lenitives of age!
And, o'er the bowl,
They fire the soul
Of listening youth, to martial rage.
XL
The story done,
Their setting sun,
Serenely smiling down the West,
In soft decay,
They drop away;
And Honour leads them to their rest.
XLI
Unhappy they!
And falsely gay!
Who bask for ever in success;
A constant feast
Quite palls the taste,
And long enjoyment is distress.
XLII
What charms us most,
42
Our joy, our boast,
Familiar, loses all its bloss;
And gold refin'd
The fated mind
Fastidious turns to perfect dross.
XLIII
When, after toil,
His native soil
The panting mariner regains
What transport flows
From bare repose!
We reap our pleasure from our pains.
XLIV
Ye warlike slain!
Beneath the main,
Wrapt in a watery winding sheet;
Who bought with blood
Your country's good,
Your country's full-blown glorys greet.
XLV
What powerful charm
Can death disarm?
Your long, your iron slumbers break?
By Jove, by Fame,
By George's name,
Awake! awake! awake!
XLVI
Our joy so proud,
Our shout so loud,
Without a charm the dead might hear:
And see, they rouze!
Their awful brows,
Deep-scar'd, froomm oozy pillows rear!
XLVII
With spiral shell,
Full-blasted, tell
That all your watery realms should sing;
Your pearl-alcoves,
Your coral-groves,
Should echo theirs, and Britain's king.
XLVIII
As long as stars
43
Guide mariners,
As Carolina's virtues please,
Or suns invite
The ravish'd sight,
The British flag shall sweep the seas.
XLIX
Pecular both!
Our soil's strong growth,
And our bold natives hardy mind;
Sure Heaven bespoke
Our hearts, and oak,
To give a master to minkind.
That noblest birth
Of teaming earth,
Of forests fair that daughter proud,
To foreign coasts
Our grandeur boasts
And Britain's pleasure speaks aloud.
LI
Now big with war
Sends Fate from far,
If rebel realms their Fate demand;
Now, sumptuous spoils
Of foreign soils
Pours in the bottom of our land.
LII
Hence, Britain lays
In scales, and weighs
The fates of kingdoms and of kings;
And as she frowns
Or smiles, on crown
A night or day of glory springs.
LIII
Thus Ocean swells
The streams and rills,
And to their borders lifts them high;
Or else withdraws
The mighty cause,
And leaves their famish'd channels dry.
LIV
How mixt, how frail,
44
How sure to fail,
Is every pleasure of mankind!
A damp destroys
My blooming joys,
While Britain's glory fires my mind.
LV
For who can gaze
On restless seas,
Unstruck with life's more restless state?
Where all are toss'd,
And most are lost
By tides of passion, blasts of fate?
LVI
The world's the main,
How vext! how vain!
Ambition swells, and Anger foams;
May good men find,
Beneath the wind,
A noiseless shore, unruffled homes!
LVII
The public scene
Of harden'd men
Teach me, O teach me to despise!
The world few know
But to their woe,
Our crimes with our experience rise;
LVIII
All tender sense
Is banish'd thence,.
All maiden nature's first alarms;
What shock'd before
Disgusts no more,
And what disgusted has its charms
LIX
In landskips green
True Bliss is seen,
With Innocence, in shades, the sports;
In wealthy towns
Proud labour frowns,
And painted Sorrow smiles in courts.
LX
These scenes untry'd
45
Seduc'd my pride,
To Fortune's arrows bar'd my breast;
Till Wisdom came,
A hoary dame!
And told me pleasure was in rest.
LXI
"O may I steal
"Along the vale
"Of humble life, secure from foes!
"My friend sincere!
"My judgment clear!
"And gentle business my repose!
~ Edward Young
290:THE FAIRY
'The present and the past thou hast beheld.
It was a desolate sight. Now, Spirit, learn,
  The secrets of the future--Time!
Unfold the brooding pinion of thy gloom,
Render thou up thy half-devoured babes,
And from the cradles of eternity,
Where millions lie lulled to their portioned sleep
By the deep murmuring stream of passing things,
Tear thou that gloomy shroud--Spirit, behold
   Thy glorious destiny!'

   Joy to the Spirit came.
Through the wide rent in Time's eternal veil,
Hope was seen beaming through the mists of fear;
   Earth was no longer hell;
   Love, freedom, health had given
Their ripeness to the manhood of its prime,
   And all its pulses beat
Symphonious to the planetary spheres;
   Then dulcet music swelled
Concordant with the life-strings of the soul;
It throbbed in sweet and languid beatings there,
Catching new life from transitory death;
Like the vague sighings of a wind at even
That wakes the wavelets of the slumbering sea
And dies on the creation of its breath,
And sinks and rises, falls and swells by fits,
  Was the pure stream of feeling
  That sprung from these sweet notes,
And o'er the Spirit's human sympathies
With mild and gentle motion calmly flowed.

   Joy to the Spirit came--
  Such joy as when a lover sees
The chosen of his soul in happiness
   And witnesses her peace
Whose woe to him were bitterer than death;
   Sees her unfaded cheek
Glow mantling in first luxury of health,
   Thrills with her lovely eyes,
Which like two stars amid the heaving main
   Sparkle through liquid bliss.

Then in her triumph spoke the Fairy Queen:
'I will not call the ghost of ages gone
To unfold the frightful secrets of its lore;
   The present now is past,
And those events that desolate the earth
Have faded from the memory of Time,
Who dares not give reality to that
Whose being I annul. To me is given
The wonders of the human world to keep,
Space, matter, time and mind. Futurity
Exposes now its treasure; let the sight
Renew and strengthen all thy failing hope.
O human Spirit! spur thee to the goal
Where virtue fixes universal peace,
And, 'midst the ebb and flow of human things,
Show somewhat stable, somewhat certain still,
A light-house o'er the wild of dreary waves.

  'The habitable earth is full of bliss;
Those wastes of frozen billows that were hurled
By everlasting snow-storms round the poles,
Where matter dared not vegetate or live,
But ceaseless frost round the vast solitude
Bound its broad zone of stillness, are unloosed;
And fragrant zephyrs there from spicy isles
Ruffle the placid ocean-deep, that rolls
Its broad, bright surges to the sloping sand,
Whose roar is wakened into echoings sweet
To murmur through the heaven-breathing groves
And melodize with man's blest nature there.

'Those deserts of immeasurable sand,
Whose age-collected fervors scarce allowed
A bird to live, a blade of grass to spring,
Where the shrill chirp of the green lizard's love
Broke on the sultry silentness alone,
Now teem with countless rills and shady woods,
Cornfields and pastures and white cottages;
And where the startled wilderness beheld
A savage conqueror stained in kindred blood,
A tigress sating with the flesh of lambs
The unnatural famine of her toothless cubs,
Whilst shouts and howlings through the desert rang--
Sloping and smooth the daisy-spangled lawn,
Offering sweet incense to the sunrise, smiles
To see a babe before his mother's door,
   Sharing his morning's meal
  With the green and golden basilisk
   That comes to lick his feet.

'Those trackless deeps, where many a weary sail
Has seen above the illimitable plain
Morning on night and night on morning rise,
Whilst still no land to greet the wanderer spread
Its shadowy mountains on the sun-bright sea,
Where the loud roarings of the tempest-waves
So long have mingled with the gusty wind
In melancholy loneliness, and swept
The desert of those ocean solitudes
But vocal to the sea-bird's harrowing shriek,
The bellowing monster, and the rushing storm;
Now to the sweet and many-mingling sounds
Of kindliest human impulses respond.
Those lonely realms bright garden-isles begem,
With lightsome clouds and shining seas between,
And fertile valleys, resonant with bliss,
Whilst green woods overcanopy the wave,
Which like a toil-worn laborer leaps to shore
To meet the kisses of the flowrets there.

'All things are recreated, and the flame
Of consentaneous love inspires all life.
The fertile bosom of the earth gives suck
To myriads, who still grow beneath her care,
Rewarding her with their pure perfectness;
The balmy breathings of the wind inhale
Her virtues and diffuse them all abroad;
Health floats amid the gentle atmosphere,
Glows in the fruits and mantles on the stream;
No storms deform the beaming brow of heaven,
Nor scatter in the freshness of its pride
The foliage of the ever-verdant trees;
But fruits are ever ripe, flowers ever fair,
And autumn proudly bears her matron grace,
Kindling a flush on the fair cheek of spring,
Whose virgin bloom beneath the ruddy fruit
Reflects its tint and blushes into love.

'The lion now forgets to thirst for blood;
There might you see him sporting in the sun
Beside the dreadless kid; his claws are sheathed,
His teeth are harmless, custom's force has made
His nature as the nature of a lamb.
Like passion's fruit, the nightshade's tempting bane
Poisons no more the pleasure it bestows;
All bitterness is past; the cup of joy
Unmingled mantles to the goblet's brim
And courts the thirsty lips it fled before.

  But chief, ambiguous man, he that can know
More misery, and dream more joy than all;
Whose keen sensations thrill within his breast
To mingle with a loftier instinct there,
Lending their power to pleasure and to pain,
Yet raising, sharpening, and refining each;
Who stands amid the ever-varying world,
The burden or the glory of the earth;
He chief perceives the change; his being notes
The gradual renovation and defines
Each movement of its progress on his mind.

'Man, where the gloom of the long polar night
Lowers o'er the snow-clad rocks and frozen soil,
Where scarce the hardiest herb that braves the frost
Basks in the moonlight's ineffectual glow,
Shrank with the plants, and darkened with the night;
His chilled and narrow energies, his heart
Insensible to courage, truth or love,
His stunted stature and imbecile frame,
Marked him for some abortion of the earth,
Fit compeer of the bears that roamed around,
Whose habits and enjoyments were his own;
His life a feverish dream of stagnant woe,
Whose meagre wants, but scantily fulfilled,
Apprised him ever of the joyless length
Which his short being's wretchedness had reached;
His death a pang which famine, cold and toil
Long on the mind, whilst yet the vital spark
Clung to the body stubbornly, had brought:
All was inflicted here that earth's revenge
Could wreak on the infringers of her law;
One curse alone was sparedthe name of God.

'Nor, where the tropics bound the realms of day
With a broad belt of mingling cloud and flame,
Where blue mists through the unmoving atmosphere
Scattered the seeds of pestilence and fed
Unnatural vegetation, where the land
Teemed with all earthquake, tempest and disease,
Was man a nobler being; slavery
Had crushed him to his country's blood-stained dust;
Or he was bartered for the fame of power,
Which, all internal impulses destroying,
Makes human will an article of trade;
Or he was changed with Christians for their gold
And dragged to distant isles, where to the sound
Of the flesh-mangling scourge he does the work
Of all-polluting luxury and wealth,
Which doubly visits on the tyrants' heads
The long-protracted fulness of their woe;
Or he was led to legal butchery,
To turn to worms beneath that burning sun
Where kings first leagued against the rights of men
And priests first traded with the name of God.

'Even where the milder zone afforded man
A seeming shelter, yet contagion there,
Blighting his being with unnumbered ills,
Spread like a quenchless fire; nor truth till late
Availed to arrest its progress or create
That peace which first in bloodless victory waved
Her snowy standard o'er this favored clime;
There man was long the train-bearer of slaves,
The mimic of surrounding misery,
The jackal of ambition's lion-rage,
The bloodhound of religion's hungry zeal.

'Here now the human being stands adorning
This loveliest earth with taintless body and mind;
Blest from his birth with all bland impulses,
Which gently in his noble bosom wake
All kindly passions and all pure desires.
Him, still from hope to hope the bliss pursuing
Which from the exhaustless store of human weal
Draws on the virtuous mind, the thoughts that rise
In time-destroying infiniteness gift
With self-enshrined eternity, that mocks
The unprevailing hoariness of age;
And man, once fleeting o'er the transient scene
Swift as an unremembered vision, stands
Immortal upon earth; no longer now
He slays the lamb that looks him in the face,
And horribly devours his mangled flesh,
Which, still avenging Nature's broken law,
Kindled all putrid humors in his frame,
All evil passions and all vain belief,
Hatred, despair and loathing in his mind,
The germs of misery, death, disease and crime.
No longer now the winged habitants,
That in the woods their sweet lives sing away,
Flee from the form of man; but gather round,
And prune their sunny feathers on the hands
Which little children stretch in friendly sport
Towards these dreadless partners of their play.
All things are void of terror; man has lost
His terrible prerogative, and stands
An equal amidst equals; happiness
And science dawn, though late, upon the earth;
Peace cheers the mind, health renovates the frame;
Disease and pleasure cease to mingle here,
Reason and passion cease to combat there;
Whilst each unfettered o'er the earth extend
Their all-subduing energies, and wield
The sceptre of a vast dominion there;
Whilst every shape and mode of matter lends
Its force to the omnipotence of mind,
Which from its dark mine drags the gem of truth
To decorate its paradise of peace.'

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab - Part VIII.

291:Hail to thee, mountain beloved, with thy glittering purple-dyed summit!
Hail to thee also, fair sun, looking so lovingly on!
Thee, too, I hail, thou smiling plain, and ye murmuring lindens,
Ay, and the chorus so glad, cradled on yonder high boughs;
Thee, too, peaceably azure, in infinite measure extending
Round the dusky-hued mount, over the forest so green,
Round about me, who now from my chamber's confinement escaping,
And from vain frivolous talk, gladly seek refuge with thee.
Through me to quicken me runs the balsamic stream of thy breezes,
While the energetical light freshens the gaze as it thirsts.
Bright o'er the blooming meadow the changeable colors are gleaming,
But the strife, full of charms, in its own grace melts away
Freely the plain receives me,with carpet far away reaching,
Over its friendly green wanders the pathway along.
Round me is humming the busy bee, and with pinion uncertain
Hovers the butterfly gay over the trefoil's red flower.
Fiercely the darts of the sun fall on me,the zephyr is silent,
Only the song of the lark echoes athwart the clear air.
Now from the neighboring copse comes a roar, and the tops of the alders
Bend low down,in the wind dances the silvery grass;
Night ambrosial circles me round; in the coolness so fragrant
Greets me a beauteous roof, formed by the beeches' sweet shade.
In the depths of the wood the landscape suddenly leaves me
And a serpentine path guides up my footsteps on high.
Only by stealth can the light through the leafy trellis of branches
Sparingly pierce, and the blue smilingly peeps through the boughs,
But in a moment the veil is rent, and the opening forest
Suddenly gives back the day's glittering brightness to me!
Boundlessly seems the distance before my gaze to be stretching,
And in a purple-tinged hill terminates sweetly the world.

Deep at the foot of the mountain, that under me falls away steeply,
Wanders the greenish-hued stream, looking like glass as it flows.
Endlessly under me see I the ether, and endlessly o'er
Giddily look I above, shudderingly look I below,
But between the infinite height and the infinite hollow
Safely the wanderer moves over a well-guarded path.
Smilingly past me are flying the banks all teeming with riches,
And the valley so bright boasts of its industry glad.
See how yonder hedgerows that sever the farmer's possessions
Have by Demeter been worked into the tapestried plain!
Kindly decree of the law, of the Deity mortal-sustaining,
Since from the brazen world love vanished forever away.
But in freer windings the measured pastures are traversed
(Now swallowed up in the wood, now climbing up to the hills)
By a glimmering streak, the highway that knits lands together;
Over the smooth-flowing stream, quietly glide on the rafts.

Ofttimes resound the bells of the flocks in the fields that seem living,
And the shepherd's lone song wakens the echo again.
Joyous villages crown the stream, in the copse others vanish,
While from the back of the mount, others plunge wildly below.
Man still lives with the land in neighborly friendship united,
And round his sheltering roof calmly repose still his fields;
Trustingly climbs the vine high over the low-reaching window,
While round the cottage the tree circles its far-stretching boughs.
Happy race of the plain! Not yet awakened to freedom,
Thou and thy pastures with joy share in the limited law;
Bounded thy wishes all are by the harvest's peaceable circuit,
And thy lifetime is spent e'en as the task of the day!

But what suddenly hides the beauteous view? A strange spirit
Over the still-stranger plain spreads itself quickly afar
Coyly separates now, what scarce had lovingly mingled,
And 'tis the like that alone joins itself on to the like.
Orders I see depicted; the haughty tribes of the poplars
Marshalled in regular pomp, stately and beauteous appear.
All gives token of rule and choice, and all has its meaning,
'Tis this uniform plan points out the Ruler to me.
Brightly the glittering domes in far-away distance proclaim him.
Out of the kernel of rocks rises the city's high wall.
Into the desert without, the fauns of the forest are driven,
But by devotion is lent life more sublime to the stone.
Man is brought into nearer union with man, and around him
Closer, more actively wakes, swifter moves in him the world.
See! the emulous forces in fiery conflict are kindled,
Much, they effect when they strive, more they effect when they join.
Thousands of hands by one spirit are moved, yet in thousands of bosoms
Beats one heart all alone, by but one feeling inspired
Beats for their native land, and glows for their ancestors' precepts;
Here on the well-beloved spot, rest now time-honored bones.

Down from the heavens descends the blessed troop of immortals,
In the bright circle divine making their festal abode;
Granting glorious gifts, they appear: and first of all, Ceres
Offers the gift of the plough, Hermes the anchor brings next,
Bacchus the grape, and Minerva the verdant olive-tree's branches,
Even his charger of war brings there Poseidon as well.
Mother Cybele yokes to the pole of her chariot the lions,
And through the wide-open door comes as a citizen in.
Sacred stones! 'Tis from ye that proceed humanity's founders,
Morals and arts ye sent forth, e'en to the ocean's far isles.
'Twas at these friendly gates that the law was spoken by sages;
In their Penates' defence, heroes rushed out to the fray.
On the high walls appeared the mothers, embracing their infants,
Looking after the march, till the distance 'twas lost.
Then in prayer they threw themselves down at the deities' altars,
Praying for triumph and fame, praying for your safe return.
Honor and triumph were yours, but naught returned save your glory,
And by a heart-touching stone, told are your valorous deeds.
"Traveller! when thou com'st to Sparta, proclaim to the people
That thou hast seen us lie here, as by the law we were bid."
Slumber calmly, ye loved ones! for sprinkled o'er by your life-blood,
Flourish the olive-trees there, joyously sprouts the good seed.
In its possessions exulting, industry gladly is kindled.
And from the sedge of the stream smilingly signs the blue god.
Crushingly falls the axe on the tree, the Dryad sighs sadly;
Down from the crest of the mount plunges the thundering load.
Winged by the lever, the stone from the rocky crevice is loosened;
Into the mountain's abyss boldly the miner descends.
Mulciber's anvil resounds with the measured stroke of the hammer;
Under the fist's nervous blow, spurt out the sparks of the steel.
Brilliantly twines the golden flax round the swift-whirling spindles,
Through the strings of the yarn whizzes the shuttle away.

Far in the roads the pilot calls, and the vessels are waiting,
That to the foreigner's land carry the produce of home;
Others gladly approach with the treasures of far-distant regions,
High on the mast's lofty head flutters the garland of mirth.
See how yon markets, those centres of life and of gladness, are swarming!
Strange confusion of tongues sounds in the wondering ear.
On to the pile the wealth of the earth is heaped by the merchant,
All that the sun's scorching rays bring forth on Africa's soil,
All that Arabia prepares, that the uttermost Thule produces,
High with heart-gladdening stores fills Amalthea her horn.
Fortune wedded to talent gives birth there to children immortal,
Suckled in liberty's arms, flourish the arts there of joy.
With the image of life the eyes by the sculptor are ravished,
And by the chisel inspired, speaks e'en the sensitive stone.
Skies artificial repose on slender Ionian columns,
And a Pantheon includes all that Olympus contains.
Light as the rainbow's spring through the air, as the dart from the bowstring,
Leaps the yoke of the bridge over the boisterous stream.

But in his silent chamber the thoughtful sage is projecting
Magical circles, and steals e'en on the spirit that forms,
Proves the force of matter, the hatreds and loves of the magnet,
Follows the tune through the air, follows through ether the ray,
Seeks the familiar law in chance's miracles dreaded,
Looks for the ne'er-changing pole in the phenomena's flight.
Bodies and voices are lent by writing to thought ever silent,
Over the centuries' stream bears it the eloquent page.
Then to the wondering gaze dissolves the cloud of the fancy,
And the vain phantoms of night yield to the dawning of day.
Man now breaks through his fetters, the happy one! Oh, let him never
Break from the bridle of shame, when from fear's fetters he breaks
Freedom! is reason's cry,ay, freedom! The wild raging passions
Eagerly cast off the bonds Nature divine had imposed.

Ah! in the tempest the anchors break loose, that warningly held him
On to the shore, and the stream tears him along in its flood,
Into infinity whirls him,the coasts soon vanish before him,
High on the mountainous waves rocks all-dismasted the bark;
Under the clouds are hid the steadfast stars of the chariot,
Naught now remains,in the breast even the god goes astray.
Truth disappears from language, from life all faith and all honor
Vanish, and even the oath is but a lie on the lips.
Into the heart's most trusty bond, and into love's secrets,
Presses the sycophant base, tearing the friend from the friend.
Treason on innocence leers, with looks that seek to devour,
And the fell slanderer's tooth kills with its poisonous bite.
In the dishonored bosom, thought is now venal, and love, too,
Scatters abroad to the winds, feelings once god-like and free.
All thy holy symbols, O truth, deceit has adopted,
And has e'en dared to pollute Nature's own voices so fair,
That the craving heart in the tumult of gladness discovers;
True sensations are now mute and can scarcely be heard.
Justice boasts at the tribune, and harmony vaunts in the cottage,
While the ghost of the law stands at the throne of the king.
Years together, ay, centuries long, may the mummy continue,
And the deception endure, apeing the fulness of life.
Until Nature awakes, and with hands all-brazen and heavy
'Gainst the hollow-formed pile time and necessity strikes.
Like a tigress, who, bursting the massive grating iron,
Of her Numidian wood suddenly, fearfully thinks,
So with the fury of crime and anguish, humanity rises
Hoping nature, long-lost in the town's ashes, to find.
Oh then open, ye walls, and set the captive at freedom
To the long desolate plains let him in safety return!

But where am I? The path is now hid, declivities rugged
Bar, with their wide-yawning gulfs, progress before and behind.
Now far behind me is left the gardens' and hedges' sure escort,
Every trace of man's hand also remains far behind.
Only the matter I see piled up, whence life has its issue,
And the raw mass of basalt waits for a fashioning hand.
Down through its channel of rock the torrent roaringly rushes,
Angrily forcing a path under the roots of the trees.
All is here wild and fearfully desolate. Naught but the eagle
Hangs in the lone realms of air, knitting the world to the clouds.
Not one zephyr on soaring pinion conveys to my hearing
Echoes, however remote, marking man's pleasures and pains.
Am I in truth, then, alone? Within thine arms, on thy bosom,
Nature, I lie once again!Ah, and 'twas only a dream
That assailed me with horrors so fearful; with life's dreaded phantom,
And with the down-rushing vale, vanished the gloomy one too.
Purer my life I receive again from thine altar unsullied,
Purer receive the bright glow felt by my youth's hopeful days.
Ever the will is changing its aim and its rule, while forever,
In a still varying form, actions revolve round themselves.
But in enduring youth, in beauty ever renewing.
Kindly Nature, with grace thou dost revere the old law!
Ever the same, for the man in thy faithful hands thou preservest
That which the child in its sport, that which the youth lent to thee;
At the same breast thou dost suckle the ceaselessly-varying ages;
Under the same azure vault, over the same verdant earth,
Races, near and remote, in harmony wander together,
See, even Homer's own sun looks on us, too, with a smile!

~ Friedrich Schiller, The Walk

292:Many a green isle needs must be
In the deep wide sea of Misery,
Or the mariner, worn and wan,
Never thus could voyage on -
Day and night, and night and day,
Drifting on his dreary way,
With the solid darkness black
Closing round his vessel's track:
Whilst above the sunless sky,
Big with clouds, hangs heavily,
And behind the tempest fleet
Hurries on with lightning feet,

He is ever drifted on
O'er the unreposing wave
To the haven of the grave.
What, if there no friends will greet;
What, if there no heart will meet
His with love's impatient beat;
Wander wheresoe'er he may,
Can he dream before that day
To find refuge from distress
In friendship's smile, in love's caress?
Then 'twill wreak him little woe
Whether such there be or no:
Senseless is the breast, and cold,
Which relenting love would fold;
Bloodless are the veins and chill
Which the pulse of pain did fill;
Every little living nerve
That from bitter words did swerve
Round the tortured lips and brow,
Are like sapless leaflets now
Frozen upon December's bough.

On the beach of a northern sea
Which tempests shake eternally,
As once the wretch there lay to sleep,
Lies a solitary heap,
One white skull and seven dry bones,
On the margin of the stones,
Where a few grey rushes stand,
Boundaries of the sea and land:
Nor is heard one voice of wail
But the sea-mews, as they sail
O'er the billows of the gale;
Or the whirlwind up and down
Howling, like a slaughtered town,
When a king in glory rides
Through the pomp and fratricides:
Those unburied bones around
There is many a mournful sound;
There is no lament for him,
Like a sunless vapour, dim,
Who once clothed with life and thought
What now moves nor murmurs not.

Ay, many flowering islands lie
In the waters of wide Agony:
To such a one this morn was led,
My bark by soft winds piloted:
'Mid the mountains Euganean
I stood listening to the paean
With which the legioned rooks did hail
The sun's uprise majestical;
Gathering round with wings all hoar,
Through the dewy mist they soar
Like gray shades, till the eastern heaven
Bursts, and then, as clouds of even,
Flecked with fire and azure, lie
In the unfathomable sky,
So their plumes of purple grain,
Starred with drops of golden rain,
Gleam above the sunlight woods,
As in silent multitudes
On the morning's fitful gale
Through the broken mist they sail,
And the vapours cloven and gleaming
Follow, down the dark steep streaming,
Till all is bright, and clear, and still,
Round the solitary hill.

Beneath is spread like a green sea
The waveless plain of Lombardy,
Bounded by the vaporous air,
Islanded by cities fair;
Underneath Day's azure eyes
Ocean's nursling, Venice, lies,
A peopled labyrinth of walls,
Amphitrite's destined halls,
Which her hoary sire now paves
With his blue and beaming waves.
Lo! the sun upsprings behind,
Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined
On the level quivering line
Of the waters crystalline;
And before that chasm of light,
As within a furnace bright,
Column, tower, and dome, and spire,
Shine like obelisks of fire,
Pointing with inconstant motion
From the altar of dark ocean
To the sapphire-tinted skies;
As the flames of sacrifice
From the marble shrines did rise,
As to pierce the dome of gold
Where Apollo spoke of old.

Sea-girt City, thou hast been
Ocean's child, and then his queen;
Now is come a darker day,
And thou soon must be his prey,
If the power that raised thee here
Hallow so thy watery bier.
A less drear ruin then than now,
With thy conquest-branded brow
Stooping to the slave of slaves
From thy throne, among the waves
Wilt thou be, when the sea-mew
Flies, as once before it flew,
O'er thine isles depopulate,
And all is in its ancient state,
Save where many a palace gate
With green sea-flowers overgrown
Like a rock of Ocean's own,
Topples o'er the abandoned sea
As the tides change sullenly.
The fisher on his watery way,
Wandering at the close of day,
Will spread his sail and seize his oar
Till he pass the gloomy shore,
Lest thy dead should, from their sleep
Bursting o'er the starlight deep,
Lead a rapid masque of death
O'er the waters of his path.

Those who alone thy towers behold
Quivering through aereal gold,
As I now behold them here,
Would imagine not they were
Sepulchres, where human forms,
Like pollution-nourished worms,
To the corpse of greatness cling,
Murdered, and now mouldering:
But if Freedom should awake
In her omnipotence and shake
From the Celtic Anarch's hold
All the keys of dungeons cold,
Where a hundred cities lie
Chained like thee, ingloriously,
Thou and all thy sister band
Might adorn this sunny land,
Twining memories of old time
With new virtues more sublime;
If not, perish thou ldering:
But if Freedom should awake
In her omnipotence and shake
From the Celtic Anarch's hold
All the keys of dungeons cold,
Where a hundred cities lie
Chained like thee, ingloriously,
Thou and all thy sister band
Might adorn this sunny land,
Twining memories of old time
With new virtues more sublime;
If not, perish thou and they! -
Clouds which stain truth's rising day
By her sun consumed away -
Earth can spare ye; while like flowers,
In the waste of years and hours,
From your dust new nations spring
With more kindly blossoming.

Perish -let there only be
Floating o'er thy heartless sea
As the garment of thy sky
Clothes the world immortally,
One remembrance, more sublime
Than the tattered pall of time,
Which scarce hides thy visage wan; -
That a tempest-cleaving Swan
Of the sons of Albion,
Driven from his ancestral streams
By the might of evil dreams,
Found a nest in thee; and Ocean
Welcomed him with such emotion
That its joy grew his, and sprung
From his lips like music flung
O'er a mighty thunder-fit,
Chastening terror: -what though yet
Poesy's unfailing River,
Which through Albion winds forever
Lashing with melodious wave
Many a sacred Poet's grave,
Mourn its latest nursling fled?
What though thou with all thy dead
Scarce can for this fame repay
Aught thine own? oh, rather say
Though thy sins and slaveries foul
Overcloud a sunlike soul?
As the ghost of Homer clings
Round Scamander's wasting springs;
As divinest Shakespeare's might
Fills Avon and the world with light
Like omniscient power which he
Imaged 'mid mortality;
As the love from Petrarch's urn,
Yet amid yon hills doth burn,
A quenchless lamp by which the heart
Sees things unearthly; -so thou art,
Mighty spirit -so shall be
The City that did refuge thee.

Lo, the sun floats up the sky
Like thought-winged Liberty,
Till the universal light
Seems to level plain and height;
From the sea a mist has spread,
And the beams of morn lie dead
On the towers of Venice now,
Like its glory long ago.
By the skirts of that gray cloud
Many-domed Padua proud
Stands, a peopled solitude,
'Mid the harvest-shining plain,
Where the peasant heaps his grain
In the garner of his foe,
And the milk-white oxen slow
With the purple vintage strain,
Heaped upon the creaking wain,
That the brutal Celt may swill
Drunken sleep with savage will;
And the sickle to the sword
Lies unchanged, though many a lord,
Like a weed whose shade is poison,
Overgrows this region's foison,
Sheaves of whom are ripe to come
To destruction's harvest-home:
Men must reap the things they sow,
Force from force must ever flow,
Or worse; but 'tis a bitter woe
That love or reason cannot change
The despot's rage, the slave's revenge.

Padua, thou within whose walls
Those mute guests at festivals,
Son and Mother, Death and Sin,
Played at dice for Ezzelin,
Till Death cried, "I win, I win!"
And Sin cursed to lose the wager,
But Death promised, to assuage her,
That he would petition for
Her to be made Vice-Emperor,
When the destined years were o'er,
Over all between the Po
And the eastern Alpine snow,
Under the mighty Austrian.
She smiled so as Sin only can,
And since that time, ay, long before,
Both have ruled from shore to shore, -
That incestuous pair, who follow
Tyrants as the sun the swallow,
As Repentance follows Crime,
And as changes follow Time.

In thine halls the lamp of learning,
Padua, now no more is burning;
Like a meteor, whose wild way
Is lost over the grave of day,
It gleams betrayed and to betray:
Once remotest nations came
To adore that sacred flame,
When it lit not many a hearth
On this cold and gloomy earth:
Now new fires from antique light
Spring beneath the wide world's might;
But their spark lies dead in thee,
Trampled out by Tyranny.
As the Norway woodman quells,
In the depth of piny dells,
One light flame among the brakes,
While the boundless forest shakes,
And its mighty trunks are torn
By the fire thus lowly born:
The spark beneath his feet is dead,
He starts to see the flames it fed
Howling through the darkened sky
With a myriad tongues victoriously,
And sinks down in fear: so thou,
O Tyranny, beholdest now
Light around thee, and thou hearest
The loud flames ascend, and fearest:
Grovel on the earth; ay, hide
In the dust thy purple pride!

Noon descends around me now:
'Tis the noon of autumn's glow,
When a soft and purple mist
Like a vapourous amethyst,
Or an air-dissolved star
Mingling light and fragrance, far
From the curved horizon's bound
To the point of Heaven's profound,
Fills the overflowing sky;
And the plains that silent lie
Underneath the leaves unsodden
Where the infant Frost has trodden
With his morning-winged feet,
Whose bright print is gleaming yet;
And the red and golden vines,
Piercing with their trellised lines
The rough, dark-skirted wilderness;
The dun and bladed grass no less,
Pointing from this hoary tower
In the windless air; the flower
Glimmering at my feet; the line
Of the olive-sandalled Apennine
In the south dimly islanded;
And the Alps, whose snows are spread
High between the clouds and sun;
And of living things each one;
And my spirit which so long
Darkened this swift stream of song, -
Interpenetrated lie
By the glory of the sky:
Be it love, light, harmony,
Odour, or the soul of all
Which from Heaven like dew doth fall,
Or the mind which feeds this verse
Peopling the lone universe.

Noon descends, and after noon
Autumn's evening meets me soon,
Leading the infantine moon,
And that one star, which to her
Almost seems to minister
Half the crimson light she brings
From the sunset's radiant springs:
And the soft dreams of the morn
(Which like winged winds had borne
To that silent isle, which lies
Mid remembered agonies,
The frail bark of this lone being)
Pass, to other sufferers fleeing,
And its ancient pilot, Pain,
Sits beside the helm again.

Other flowering isles must be
In the sea of Life and Agony:
Other spirits float and flee
O'er that gulf: even now, perhaps,
On some rock the wild wave wraps,
With folded wings they waiting sit
For my bark, to pilot it
To some calm and blooming cove,
Where for me, and those I love,
May a windless bower be built,
Far from passion, pain, and guilt,
In a dell mid lawny hills,
Which the wild sea-murmur fills,
And soft sunshine, and the sound
Of old forests echoing round,
And the light and smell divine
Of all flowers that breathe and shine:
We may live so happy there,
That the Spirits of the Air,
Envying us, may even entice
To our healing Paradise
The polluting multitude;
But their rage would be subdued
By that clime divine and calm,
And the winds whose wings rain balm
On the uplifted soul, and leaves
Under which the bright sea heaves;
While each breathless interval
In their whisperings musical
The inspired soul supplies
With its own deep melodies;
And the love which heals all strife
Circling, like the breath of life,
All things in that sweet abode
With its own mild brotherhood:
They, not it, would change; and soon
Every sprite beneath the moon
Would repent its envy vain,
And the earth grow young again.
Composed at Este, October, 1818. Published with Rosalind and Helen, 1819. Amongst the late Mr. Fredk. Locker-Lampsons collections at Rowfant there is a manuscript of the lines (167-205) on Byron, interpolated after the completion of the poem.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lines Written Among The Euganean Hills

293:Custer: Book Third
As in the long dead days marauding hosts
Of Indians came from far Siberian coasts,
And drove the peaceful Aztecs from their grounds,
Despoiled their homes (but left their tell-tale mounds),
So has the white man with the Indians done.
Now with their backs against the setting sun
The remnants of a dying nation stand
And view the lost domain, once their beloved land.
II
Upon the vast Atlantic's leagues of shore
The happy red man's tent is seen no more;
And from the deep blue lakes which mirror heaven
His bounding bark canoe was long since driven.
The mighty woods, those temples where his God
Spoke to his soul, are leveled to the sod;
And in their place tall church spires point above,
While priests proclaim the law of Christ, the King of Love.
III
The avaricious and encroaching rail
Seized the wide fields which knew the Indians' trail.
Back to the reservations in the West
The native owners of the land were pressed,
And selfish cities, harbingers of want,
Shut from their vision each accustomed haunt.
Yet hungry Progress, never satisfied,
Gazed on the western plains, and gazing, longed and sighed.
IV
As some strange bullock in a pasture field
Compels the herds to fear him, and to yield
The juicy grass plots and the cooling shade
Until, despite their greater strength, afraid,
200
They huddle in some corner spot and cower
Before the monarch's all controlling power,
So has the white man driven from its place
By his aggressive greed, Columbia's native race.
Yet when the bull pursues the herds at bay,
Incensed they turn, and dare dispute his sway.
And so the Indians turned, when men forgot
Their sacred word, and trespassed on the spot,
The lonely little spot of all their lands,
The reservation of the peaceful bands.
But lust for gold all conscience kills in man,
'Gold in the Black Hills, gold!' the cry arose and ran
VI
From lip to lip, as flames from tree to tree
Leap till the forest is one fiery sea,
And through the country surged that hot unrest
Which thirst for riches wakens in the breast.
In mighty throngs the fortune hunters came,
Despoiled the red man's lands and slew his game,
Broke solemn treaties and defied the law.
And all these ruthless acts the Nation knew and saw.
VII
Man is the only animal that kills
Just for the wanton love of slaughter; spills
The blood of lesser things to see it flow;
Lures like a friend, to murder like a foe
The trusting bird and beast; and, coward like,
Deals covert blows he dare not boldly strike.
The brutes have finer souls, and only slay
When torn by hunger's pangs, or when to fear a prey.
VIII
The pale-faced hunter, insolent and bold,
Pursued the bison while he sought for gold.
201
And on the hungry red man's own domains
He left the rotting and unused remains
To foul with sickening stench each passing wind
And rouse the demon in the savage mind,
Save in the heart where virtues dominate
Injustice always breeds its natural offspring-hate.
IX
The chieftain of the Sioux, great Sitting Bull,
Mused o'er their wrongs, and felt his heart swell full
Of bitter vengeance. Torn with hate's unrest
He called a council and his braves addressed.
'From fair Wisconsin's shimmering lakes of blue
Long years ago the white man drove the Sioux.
Made bold by conquest, and inflamed by greed,
He still pursues our tribes, and still our ranks recede.
'Fair are the White Chief's promises and words,
But dark his deeds who robs us of our herds.
He talks of treaties, asks the right to buy,
Then takes by force, not waiting our reply.
He grants us lands for pastures and abodes
To devastate them by his iron roads.
But now from happy Spirit Lands, a friend
Draws near the hunted Sioux, to strengthen and defend.
XI
'While walking in the fields I saw a star;
Unconsciously I followed it afarIt led me on to valleys filled with light,
Where danced our noble chieftains slain in fight.
Black Kettle, first of all that host I knew,
He whom the strong armed Custer foully slew.
And then a spirit took me by the hand,
The Great Messiah King who comes to free the land.
XII
202
'Suns were his eyes, a speaking tear his voice,
Whose rainbow sounds made listening hearts rejoice
And thus he spake: 'The red man's hour draws near
When all his lost domains shall reappear.
The elk, the deer, the bounding antelope,
Shall here return to grace each grassy slope.'
He waved his hand above the fields, and lo!
Down through the valleys came a herd of buffalo.
XIII
'The wondrous vision vanished, but I knew
That Sitting Bull must make the promise true.
Great Spirits plan what mortal man achieves,
The hand works magic when the heart believes.
Arouse, ye braves! let not the foe advance.
Arm for the battle and begin the danceThe sacred dance in honor of our slain,
Who will return to earth, ere many moons shall wane.'
XIV
Thus Sitting Bull, the chief of wily knaves,
Worked on the superstitions of his braves.
Mixed truth with lies; and stirred to mad unrest
The warlike instinct in each savage breast.
A curious product of unhappy times,
The natural offspring of unnumbered crimes,
He used low cunning and dramatic arts
To startle and surprise those crude untutored hearts.
XV
Out from the lodges pour a motley throng,
Slow measures chanting of a dirge-like song.
In one great circle dizzily they swing,
A squaw and chief alternate in the ring.
Coarse raven locks stream over robes of white,
Their deep set orbs emit a lurid light,
And as through pine trees moan the winds refrains,
So swells and dies away, the ghostly graveyard strains.
203
XVI
Like worded wine is music to the ear,
And long indulged makes mad the hearts that hear.
The dancers, drunken with the monotone
Of oft repeated notes, now shriek and groan
And pierce their ruddy flesh with sharpened spears;
Still more excited when the blood appears,
With warlike yells, high in the air they bound,
Then in a deathlike trance fall prostrate on the ground.
XVII
They wake to tell weird stories of the dead,
While fresh performers to the ring are led.
The sacred nature of the dance is lost,
War is their cry, red war, at any cost.
Insane for blood they wait for no command,
But plunge marauding through the frightened land.
Their demon hearts on devils' pleasures bent,
For each new foe surprised, new torturing deaths invent.
XVIII
Staked to the earth one helpless creature lies,
Flames at his feet and splinters in his eyes.
Another groans with coals upon his breast,
While 'round the pyre the Indians dance and jest.
A crying child is brained upon a tree,
The swooning mother saved from death, to be
The slave and plaything of a filthy knave,
Whose sins would startle hell, whose clay defile a grave.
XIX
Their cause was right, their methods all were wrong.
Pity and censure both to them belong.
Their woes were many, but their crimes were more.
The soulless Satan holds not in his store
Such awful tortures as the Indians' wrath
Keeps for the hapless victim in his path.
And if the last lone remnants of that race
204
Were by the white man swept from off the earth's fair face,
XX
Were every red man slaughtered in a day,
Still would that sacrifice but poorly pay
For one insulted woman captive's woes.
Again great Custer in his strength arose,
More daring, more intrepid than of old.
The passing years had touched and turned to gold
The ever widening aureole of fame
That shone upon his brow, and glorified his name.
XXI
Wise men make laws, then turn their eyes away,
While fools and knaves ignore them day by day;
And unmolested, fools and knaves at length
Induce long wars which sap a country's strength.
The sloth of leaders, ruling but in name,
Has dragged full many a nation down to shame.
A word unspoken by the rightful lips
Has dyed the land with blood, and blocked the sea with ships.
XXII
The word withheld, when Indians asked for aid,
Came when the red man started on his raid.
What Justice with a gesture might have done
Was left for noisy war with bellowing gun.
And who save Custer and his gallant men
Could calm the tempest into peace again?
What other hero in the land could hope
With Sitting Bull, the fierce and lawless one to cope?
XXIII
What other warrior skilled enough to dare
Surprise that human tiger in his lair?
Sure of his strength, unconscious of his fame
Out from the quiet of the camp he came;
205
And stately as Diana at his side
Elizabeth, his wife and alway bride,
And Margaret, his sister, rode apace;
Love's clinging arms he left to meet death's cold embrace.
XXIV
As the bright column wound along its course,
The smiling leader turned upon his horse
To gaze with pride on that superb command.
Twelve hundred men, the picked of all the land,
Innured to hardship and made strong by strife
Their lithe limbed bodies breathed of out-door life;
While on their faces, resolute and brave,
Hope stamped its shining seal, although their thoughts were grave.
XXV
The sad eyed women halted in the dawn,
And waved farewell to dear ones riding on.
The modest mist picked up her robes and ran
Before the Sun god's swift pursuing van.
And suddenly there burst on startled eyes,
The sight of soldiers, marching in the skies;
That phantom host, a phantom Custer led;
Mirage of dire portent, forecasting days ahead.
XXVI
The soldiers' children, flaunting mimic flags,
Played by the roadside, striding sticks for nags.
Their mothers wept, indifferent to the crowd
Who saw their tears and heard them sob aloud.
Old Indian men and squaws crooned forth a rhyme
Sung by their tribes from immemorial time;
And over all the drums' incessant beat
Mixed with the scout's weird rune, and tramp of myriad feet.
XXVII
So flawless was the union of each part
The mighty column (moved as by one heart)
206
Pulsed through the air, like some sad song well sung,
Which gives delight, although the soul is wrung.
Farther and fainter to the sight and sound
The beautiful embodied poem wound;
Till like a ribbon, stretched across the land
Seemed the long narrow line of that receding band.
XXVIII
The lot of those who in the silence wait
Is harder than the fighting soldiers' fate.
Back to the lonely post two women passed,
With unaccustomed sorrow overcast.
Two sad for sighs, too desolate for tears,
The dark forebodings of long widowed years
In preparation for the awful blow
Hung on the door of hope the sable badge of woe.
XXIX
Unhappy Muse! for thee no song remains,
Save the sad miséréré of the plains.
Yet though defeat, not triumph, ends the tale,
Great victors sometimes are the souls that fail.
All glory lies not in the goals we reach,
But in the lessons which our actions teach.
And he who, conquered, to the end believes
In God and in himself, though vanquished, still achieves.
XXX
Ah, grand as rash was that last fatal raid
The little group of daring heroes made.
Two hundred and two score intrepid men
Rode out to war; not one came back again.
Like fiends incarnate from the depths of hell
Five thousand foemen rose with deafening yell,
And swept that vale as with a simoon's breath,
But like the gods of old, each martyr met his death.
XXXI
207
Like gods they battled and like gods they died.
Hour following hour that little band defied
The hordes of red men swarming o'er the plain,
Till scarce a score stood upright 'mid the slain.
Then in the lull of battle, creeping near,
A scout breathed low in Custer's listening ear:
'Death lies before, dear life remains behind
Mount thy sure-footed steed, and hasten with the wind.'
XXXII
A second's silence. Custer dropped his head,
His lips slow moving as when prayers are saidTwo words he breathed-'God and Elizabeth,'
Then shook his long locks in the face of death,
And with a final gesture turned away
To join that fated few who stood at bay.
Ah! deeds like that the Christ in man reveal
Let Fame descend her throne at Custer's shrine to kneel.
XXXIII
Too late to rescue, but in time to weep,
His tardy comrades came. As if asleep
He lay, so fair, that even hellish hate
Withheld its hand and dared not mutilate.
By fiends who knew not honor, honored still,
He smiled and slept on that far western hill.
Cast down thy lyre, oh Muse! thy song is done!
Let tears complete the tale of him who failed, yet won.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
294:All touch, all eye, all ear,
The Spirit felt the Fairy's burning speech.
   O'er the thin texture of its frame
The varying periods painted changing glows,
     As on a summer even,
When soul-enfolding music floats around,
   The stainless mirror of the lake
   Re-images the eastern gloom,
Mingling convulsively its purple hues
     With sunset's burnished gold.
     Then thus the Spirit spoke:
'It is a wild and miserable world!
     Thorny, and full of care,
Which every fiend can make his prey at will!
   O Fairy! in the lapse of years,
     Is there no hope in store?
     Will yon vast suns roll on
   Interminably, still illuming
   The night of so many wretched souls,
     And see no hope for them?
Will not the universal Spirit e'er
Revivify this withered limb of Heaven?'

     The Fairy calmly smiled
In comfort, and a kindling gleam of hope
Suffused the Spirit's lineaments.
'Oh! rest thee tranquil; chase those fearful doubts
Which ne'er could rack an everlasting soul
That sees the chains which bind it to its doom.
Yes! crime and misery are in yonder earth,
     Falsehood, mistake and lust;
     But the eternal world
Contains at once the evil and the cure.
Some eminent in virtue shall start up,
     Even in perversest time;
The truths of their pure lips, that never die,
Shall bind the scorpion falsehood with a wreath
     Of ever-living flame,
Until the monster sting itself to death.

  'How sweet a scene will earth become!
Of purest spirits a pure dwelling-place,
Symphonious with the planetary spheres;
When man, with changeless Nature coalescing,
Will undertake regeneration's work,
When its ungenial poles no longer point
     To the red and baleful sun
     That faintly twinkles there!

     'Spirit, on yonder earth,
  Falsehood now triumphs; deadly power
Has fixed its seal upon the lip of truth!
   Madness and misery are there!
The happiest is most wretched! Yet confide
Until pure health-drops from the cup of joy
Fall like a dew of balm upon the world.
Now, to the scene I show, in silence turn,
And read the blood-stained charter of all woe,
Which Nature soon with recreating hand
Will blot in mercy from the book of earth.
How bold the flight of passion's wandering wing,
How swift the step of reason's firmer tread,
How calm and sweet the victories of life,
How terrorless the triumph of the grave!
How powerless were the mightiest monarch's arm,
Vain his loud threat, and impotent his frown!
How ludicrous the priest's dogmatic roar!
The weight of his exterminating curse
How light! and his affected charity,
To suit the pressure of the changing times,
What palpable deceit!but for thy aid,
Religion! but for thee, prolific fiend,
Who peoplest earth with demons, hell with men,
And heaven with slaves!

'Thou taintest all thou lookest upon!the stars,
Which on thy cradle beamed so brightly sweet,
Were gods to the distempered playfulness
Of thy untutored infancy; the trees,
The grass, the clouds, the mountains and the sea,
All living things that walk, swim, creep or fly,
Were gods; the sun had homage, and the moon
Her worshipper. Then thou becamest, a boy,
More daring in thy frenzies; every shape,
Monstrous or vast, or beautifully wild,
Which from sensation's relics fancy culls;
The spirits of the air, the shuddering ghost,
The genii of the elements, the powers
That give a shape to Nature's varied works,
Had life and place in the corrupt belief
Of thy blind heart; yet still thy youthful hands
Were pure of human blood. Then manhood gave
Its strength and ardor to thy frenzied brain;
Thine eager gaze scanned the stupendous scene,
Whose wonders mocked the knowledge of thy pride;
Their everlasting and unchanging laws
Reproached thine ignorance. Awhile thou stood'st
Baffled and gloomy; then thou didst sum up
The elements of all that thou didst know;
The changing seasons, winter's leafless reign,
The budding of the heaven-breathing trees,
The eternal orbs that beautify the night,
The sunrise, and the setting of the moon,
Earthquakes and wars, and poisons and disease,
And all their causes, to an abstract point
Converging thou didst bend, and called it God!
The self-sufficing, the omnipotent,
The merciful, and the avenging God!
Who, prototype of human misrule, sits
High in heaven's realm, upon a golden throne,
Even like an earthly king; and whose dread work,
Hell, gapes forever for the unhappy slaves
Of fate, whom he created in his sport
To triumph in their torments when they fell!
Earth heard the name; earth trembled as the smoke
Of his revenge ascended up to heaven,
Blotting the constellations; and the cries
Of millions butchered in sweet confidence
And unsuspecting peace, even when the bonds
Of safety were confirmed by wordy oaths
Sworn in his dreadful name, rung through the land;
Whilst innocent babes writhed on thy stubborn spear,
And thou didst laugh to hear the mother's shriek
Of maniac gladness, as the sacred steel
Felt cold in her torn entrails!

'Religion! thou wert then in manhood's prime;
But age crept on; one God would not suffice
For senile puerility; thou framedst
A tale to suit thy dotage and to glut
Thy misery-thirsting soul, that the mad fiend
Thy wickedness had pictured might afford
A plea for sating the unnatural thirst
For murder, rapine, violence and crime,
That still consumed thy being, even when
Thou heard'st the step of fate; that flames might light
Thy funeral scene; and the shrill horrent shrieks
Of parents dying on the pile that burned
To light their children to thy paths, the roar
Of the encircling flames, the exulting cries
Of thine apostles loud commingling there,
    Might sate thine hungry ear
    Even on the bed of death!

'But now contempt is mocking thy gray hairs;
Thou art descending to the darksome grave,
Unhonored and unpitied but by those
Whose pride is passing by like thine, and sheds,
Like thine, a glare that fades before the sun
Of truth, and shines but in the dreadful night
That long has lowered above the ruined world.

'Throughout these infinite orbs of mingling light
Of which yon earth is one, is wide diffused
A Spirit of activity and life,
That knows no term, cessation or decay;
That fades not when the lamp of earthly life,
Extinguished in the dampness of the grave,
Awhile there slumbers, more than when the babe
In the dim newness of its being feels
The impulses of sublunary things,
And all is wonder to unpractised sense;
But, active, steadfast and eternal, still
Guides the fierce whirlwind, in the tempest roars,
Cheers in the day, breathes in the balmy groves,
Strengthens in health, and poisons in disease;
And in the storm of change, that ceaselessly
Rolls round the eternal universe and shakes
Its undecaying battlement, presides,
Apportioning with irresistible law
The place each spring of its machine shall fill;
So that, when waves on waves tumultuous heap
Confusion to the clouds, and fiercely driven
Heaven's lightnings scorch the uprooted ocean-fords
Whilst, to the eye of shipwrecked mariner,
Lone sitting on the bare and shuddering rock,
All seems unlinked contingency and chance
No atom of this turbulence fulfils
A vague and unnecessitated task
Or acts but as it must and ought to act.
Even the minutest molecule of light,
That in an April sunbeam's fleeting glow
Fulfils its destined though invisible work,
The universal Spirit guides; nor less
When merciless ambition, or mad zeal,
Has led two hosts of dupes to battle-field,
That, blind, they there may dig each other's graves
And call the sad work glory, does it rule
All passions; not a thought, a will, an act,
No working of the tyrant's moody mind,
Nor one misgiving of the slaves who boast
Their servitude to hide the shame they feel,
Nor the events enchaining every will,
That from the depths of unrecorded time
Have drawn all-influencing virtue, pass
Unrecognized or unforeseen by thee,
Soul of the Universe! eternal spring
Of life and death, of happiness and woe,
Of all that chequers the phantasmal scene
That floats before our eyes in wavering light,
Which gleams but on the darkness of our prison
   Whose chains and massy walls
   We feel but cannot see.

'Spirit of Nature! all-sufficing Power,
Necessity! thou mother of the world!
Unlike the God of human error, thou
Requirest no prayers or praises; the caprice
Of man's weak will belongs no more to thee
Than do the changeful passions of his breast
To thy unvarying harmony; the slave,
Whose horrible lusts spread misery o'er the world,
And the good man, who lifts with virtuous pride
His being in the sight of happiness
That springs from his own works; the poison-tree,
Beneath whose shade all life is withered up,
And the fair oak, whose leafy dome affords
A temple where the vows of happy love
Are registered, are equal in thy sight;
No love, no hate thou cherishest; revenge
And favoritism, and worst desire of fame
Thou knowest not; all that the wide world contains
Are but thy passive instruments, and thou
Regard'st them all with an impartial eye,
Whose joy or pain thy nature cannot feel,
  Because thou hast not human sense,
  Because thou art not human mind.

'Yes! when the sweeping storm of time
Has sung its death-dirge o'er the ruined fanes
And broken altars of the almighty fiend,
Whose name usurps thy honors, and the blood
Through centuries clotted there has floated down
The tainted flood of ages, shalt thou live
Unchangeable! A shrine is raised to thee,
  Which nor the tempest breath of time,
  Nor the interminable flood
  Over earth's slight pageant rolling,
    Availeth to destroy,
The sensitive extension of the world;
  That wondrous and eternal fane,
Where pain and pleasure, good and evil join,
To do the will of strong necessity,
  And life, in multitudinous shapes,
Still pressing forward where no term can be,
  Like hungry and unresting flame
Curls round the eternal columns of its strength.'
198.
Necessity! thou mother of the world! Shelley annotates this line (in part)
as follows: "He who asserts the doctrine of Necessity means that, contemplating the events which compose the moral and material universe, he beholds only an immense and uninterrupted chain of causes and effects, no one of which could occupy any other place than it does occupy, or act in any other place than it does act. The idea of necessity is obtained by our experience of the connection between objects, the uniformity of the operations of nature, the constant conjunction of similar events, and the consequent inference of one from the other. Mankind are therefore agreed in the admission of necessity, if they admit that these two circumstances take place in voluntary action. Motive is to voluntary action in the human mind what cause is to effect in the material universe. The word liberty, as applied to mind, is analogous to the word chance as applied to matter: they spring from an ignorance of the certainty of the conjunction of antecedents and consequents. ... Religion is the perception of the relation in which we stand to the principle of the universe. But if the principle of the universe be not an organic being, the model and prototype of man, the relation between it and human beings is absolutely none. Without some insight into its will respecting our actions religion is nugatory and vain. But will is only a mode of animal mind; moral qualities are also such as only a human being can possess; to attribute them to the principle of the universe is to annex to it properties incompatible with any possible definition of its nature. It is probable
that the word God was originally only an expression denoting the unknown
cause of the known events which men perceived in the universe. By the vulgar
mistake of a metaphor for a real being, of a word for a thing, it became a man, endowed with human qualities and governing the universe as an earthly
monarch governs his kingdom. Their addresses to this imaginary being, indeed,
are much in the same style as those of subjects to a king. They acknowledge
his benevolence, deprecate his anger and supplicate his favour."
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab - Part VI.

295:Yet, Freedom, yet, thy banner, torn but flying,
Streams like a thunder-storm against the wind.--BYRON.

I.
A glorious people vibrated again
The lightning of the nations: Liberty
From heart to heart, from tower to tower, o'er Spain,
Scattering contagious fire into the sky,
Gleamed. My soul spurned the chains of its dismay,
And in the rapid plumes of song
Clothed itself, sublime and strong;
As a young eagle soars the morning clouds among,
Hovering inverse o'er its accustomed prey;
Till from its station in the Heaven of fame
The Spirit's whirlwind rapped it, and the ray
Of the remotest sphere of living flame
Which paves the void was from behind it flung,
As foam from a ship's swiftness, when there came
A voice out of the deep: I will record the same.

II.
The Sun and the serenest Moon sprang forth:
The burning stars of the abyss were hurled
Into the depths of Heaven. The daedal earth,
That island in the ocean of the world,
Hung in its cloud of all-sustaining air:
But this divinest universe
Was yet a chaos and a curse,
For thou wert not: but, power from worst producing worse,
The spirit of the beasts was kindled there,
And of the birds, and of the watery forms,
And there was war among them, and despair
Within them, raging without truce or terms:
The bosom of their violated nurse
Groaned, for beasts warred on beasts, and worms on worms,
And men on men; each heart was as a hell of storms.

III.
Man, the imperial shape, then multiplied
His generations under the pavilion
Of the Suns throne: palace and pyramid,
Temple and prison, to many a swarming million
Were, as to mountain-wolves their ragged caves.
This human living multitude
Was savage, cunning, blind, and rude,
For thou wert not; but oer the populous solitude,
Like one fierce cloud over a waste of waves,
Hung Tyranny; beneath, sate deified
The sister-pest, congregator of slaves;
Into the shadow of her pinions wide
Anarchs and priests, who feed on gold and blood
Till with the stain their inmost souls are dyed,
Drove the astonished herds of men from every side.

IV.
The nodding promontories, and blue isles,
And cloud-like mountains, and dividuous waves
Of Greece, basked glorious in the open smiles
Of favouring Heaven: from their enchanted caves
Prophetic echoes flung dim melody.
On the unapprehensive wild
The vine, the corn, the olive mild,
Grew savage yet, to human use unreconciled;
And, like unfolded flowers beneath the sea,
Like the mans thought dark in the infants brain,
Like aught that is which wraps what is to be,
Arts deathless dreams lay veiled by many a vein
Of Parian stone; and, yet a speechless child,
Verse murmured, and Philosophy did strain
Her lidless eyes for thee; when oer the Aegean main.

V.
Athens arose: a city such as vision
Builds from the purple crags and silver towers
Of battlemented cloud, as in derision
Of kingliest masonry: the ocean-floors
Pave it; the evening sky pavilions it;
Its portals are inhabited
By thunder-zoned winds, each head
Within its cloudy wings with sun-fire garlanded,--
A divine work! Athens, diviner yet,
Gleamed with its crest of columns, on the will
Of man, as on a mount of diamond, set;
For thou wert, and thine all-creative skill
Peopled, with forms that mock the eternal dead
In marble immortality, that hill
Which was thine earliest throne and latest oracle.

VI.
Within the surface of Times fleeting river
Its wrinkled image lies, as then it lay
Immovably unquiet, and for ever
It trembles, but it cannot pass away!
The voices of thy bards and sages thunder
With an earth-awakening blast
Through the caverns of the past:
(Religion veils her eyes; Oppression shrinks aghast):
A winged sound of joy, and love, and wonder,
Which soars where Expectation never flew,
Rending the veil of space and time asunder!
One ocean feeds the clouds, and streams, and dew;
One Sun illumines Heaven; one Spirit vast
With life and love makes chaos ever new,
As Athens doth the world with thy delight renew.

VII.
Then Rome was, and from thy deep bosom fairest,
Like a wolf-cub from a Cadmaean Maenad,
She drew the milk of greatness, though thy dearest
From that Elysian food was yet unweaned;
And many a deed of terrible uprightness
By thy sweet love was sanctified;
And in thy smile, and by thy side,
Saintly Camillus lived, and firm Atilius died.
But when tears stained thy robe of vestal-whiteness,
And gold profaned thy Capitolian throne, 100
Thou didst desert, with spirit-winged lightness,
The senate of the tyrants: they sunk prone
Slaves of one tyrant: Palatinus sighed
Faint echoes of Ionian song; that tone
Thou didst delay to hear, lamenting to disown

VIII.
From what Hyrcanian glen or frozen hill,
Or piny promontory of the Arctic main,
Or utmost islet inaccessible,
Didst thou lament the ruin of thy reign,
Teaching the woods and waves, and desert rocks,
And every Naiads ice-cold urn,
To talk in echoes sad and stern
Of that sublimest lore which man had dared unlearn?
For neither didst thou watch the wizard flocks
Of the Scald's dreams, nor haunt the Druid's sleep.
What if the tears rained through thy shattered locks
Were quickly dried? for thou didst groan, not weep,
When from its sea of death, to kill and burn,
The Galilean serpent forth did creep,
And made thy world an undistinguishable heap.

IX.
A thousand years the Earth cried, 'Where art thou?'
And then the shadow of thy coming fell
On Saxon Alfreds olive-cinctured brow:
And many a warrior-peopled citadel.
Like rocks which fire lifts out of the flat deep,
Arose in sacred Italy,
Frowning o'er the tempestuous sea
Of kings, and priests, and slaves, in tower-crowned majesty;
That multitudinous anarchy did sweep
And burst around their walls, like idle foam,
Whilst from the human spirits deepest deep
Strange melody with love and awe struck dumb
Dissonant arms; and Art, which cannot die,
With divine wand traced on our earthly home
Fit imagery to pave Heavens everlasting dome.

X.
Thou huntress swifter than the Moon! thou terror
Of the worlds wolves! thou bearer of the quiver,
Whose sunlike shafts pierce tempest-winged Error,
As light may pierce the clouds when they dissever
In the calm regions of the orient day!
Luther caught thy wakening glance;
Like lightning, from his leaden lance
Reflected, it dissolved the visions of the trance
In which, as in a tomb, the nations lay;
And Englands prophets hailed thee as their queen,
In songs whose music cannot pass away,
Though it must flow forever: not unseen
Before the spirit-sighted countenance
Of Milton didst thou pass, from the sad scene
Beyond whose night he saw, with a dejected mien.

XI.
The eager hours and unreluctant years
As on a dawn-illumined mountain stood.
Trampling to silence their loud hopes and fears,
Darkening each other with their multitude,
And cried aloud, 'Liberty!' Indignation
Answered Pity from her cave;
Death grew pale within the grave,
And Desolation howled to the destroyer, Save!
When like Heavens Sun girt by the exhalation
Of its own glorious light, thou didst arise.
Chasing thy foes from nation unto nation
Like shadows: as if day had cloven the skies
At dreaming midnight oer the western wave,
Men started, staggering with a glad surprise,
Under the lightnings of thine unfamiliar eyes.

XII.
Thou Heaven of earth! what spells could pall thee then
In ominous eclipse? a thousand years
Bred from the slime of deep Oppressions den.
Dyed all thy liquid light with blood and tears.
Till thy sweet stars could weep the stain away;
How like Bacchanals of blood
Round France, the ghastly vintage, stood
Destruction's sceptred slaves, and Follys mitred brood!
When one, like them, but mightier far than they,
The Anarch of thine own bewildered powers,
Rose: armies mingled in obscure array,
Like clouds with clouds, darkening the sacred bowers
Of serene Heaven. He, by the past pursued,
Rests with those dead, but unforgotten hours,
Whose ghosts scare victor kings in their ancestral towers.

XIII.
England yet sleeps: was she not called of old?
Spain calls her now, as with its thrilling thunder
Vesuvius wakens Aetna, and the cold
Snow-crags by its reply are cloven in sunder:
Oer the lit waves every Aeolian isle 185
From Pithecusa to Pelorus
Howls, and leaps, and glares in chorus:
They cry, 'Be dim; ye lamps of Heaven suspended o'er us!'
Her chains are threads of gold, she need but smile
And they dissolve; but Spains were links of steel,
Till bit to dust by virtues keenest file.
Twins of a single destiny! appeal
To the eternal years enthroned before us
In the dim West; impress us from a seal,
All ye have thought and done! Time cannot dare conceal.

XIV.
Tomb of Arminius! render up thy dead
Till, like a standard from a watch-towers staff,
His soul may stream over the tyrants head;
Thy victory shall be his epitaph,
Wild Bacchanal of truths mysterious wine,
King-deluded Germany,
His dead spirit lives in thee.
Why do we fear or hope? thou art already free!
And thou, lost Paradise of this divine
And glorious world! thou flowery wilderness!
Thou island of eternity! thou shrine
Where Desolation, clothed with loveliness,
Worships the thing thou wert! O Italy,
Gather thy blood into thy heart; repress
The beasts who make their dens thy sacred palaces.

XV.
Oh, that the free would stamp the impious name
Of KING into the dust! or write it there,
So that this blot upon the page of fame
Were as a serpents path, which the light air
Erases, and the flat sands close behind!
Ye the oracle have heard:
Lift the victory-flashing sword.
And cut the snaky knots of this foul gordian word,
Which, weak itself as stubble, yet can bind
Into a mass, irrefragably firm,
The axes and the rods which awe mankind;
The sound has poison in it, tis the sperm
Of what makes life foul, cankerous, and abhorred;
Disdain not thou, at thine appointed term,
To set thine armed heel on this reluctant worm.

XVI.
Oh, that the wise from their bright minds would kindle
Such lamps within the dome of this dim world,
That the pale name of PRIEST might shrink and dwindle
Into the hell from which it first was hurled,
A scoff of impious pride from fiends impure;
Till human thoughts might kneel alone,
Each before the judgement-throne
Of its own aweless soul, or of the Power unknown!
Oh, that the words which make the thoughts obscure
From which they spring, as clouds of glimmering dew
From a white lake blot Heavens blue portraiture,
Were stripped of their thin masks and various hue
And frowns and smiles and splendours not their own,
Till in the nakedness of false and true
They stand before their Lord, each to receive its due!

XVII.
He who taught man to vanquish whatsoever
Can be between the cradle and the grave
Crowned him the King of Life. Oh, vain endeavour!
If on his own high will, a willing slave,
He has enthroned the oppression and the oppressor
What if earth can clothe and feed
Amplest millions at their need,
And power in thought be as the tree within the seed?
Or what if Art, an ardent intercessor,
Driving on fiery wings to Natures throne,
Checks the great mother stooping to caress her,
And cries: Give me, thy child, dominion
Over all height and depth? if Life can breed
New wants, and wealth from those who toil and groan,
Rend of thy gifts and hers a thousandfold for one!

XVIII.
Come thou, but lead out of the inmost cave
Of mans deep spirit, as the morning-star
Beckons the Sun from the Eoan wave,
Wisdom. I hear the pennons of her car
Self-moving, like cloud charioted by flame;
Comes she not, and come ye not,
Rulers of eternal thought,
To judge, with solemn truth, lifes ill-apportioned lot?
Blind Love, and equal Justice, and the Fame
Of what has been, the Hope of what will be?
O Liberty! if such could be thy name
Wert thou disjoined from these, or they from thee:
If thine or theirs were treasures to be bought
By blood or tears, have not the wise and free
Wept tears, and blood like tears?The solemn harmony

XIX.
Paused, and the Spirit of that mighty singing
To its abyss was suddenly withdrawn;
Then, as a wild swan, when sublimely winging
Its path athwart the thunder-smoke of dawn,
Sinks headlong through the aereal golden light
On the heavy-sounding plain,
When the bolt has pierced its brain;
As summer clouds dissolve, unburthened of their rain;
As a far taper fades with fading night,
As a brief insect dies with dying day,--
My song, its pinions disarrayed of might,
Drooped; oer it closed the echoes far away
Of the great voice which did its flight sustain,
As waves which lately paved his watery way
Hiss round a drowners head in their tempestuous play.
Composed early in 1820, and published, with Prometheus Unbound, in the same year. A transcript in Shelley's hand of lines 1-21 is included in the Harvard manuscript book, and amongst the Boscombe manuscripts there is a fragment of a rough draft (Garnett).
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode To Liberty

296:WRITTEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE MASSACRE AT MANCHESTER

I.
As I lay asleep in Italy
There came a voice from over the Sea,
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visions of Poesy.

II.
I met Murder on the way
He had a mask like Castlereagh
Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
Seven blood-hounds followed him:

III.
All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed them human hearts to chew
Which from his wide cloak he drew.

IV.
Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Eldon, an ermined gown;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell.

V.
And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.

VI.
Clothed with the Bible, as with light,
And the shadows of the night,
Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy
On a crocodile rode by.

VII.
And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.

VIII.
Last came Anarchy: he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

IX.
And he wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
On his brow this mark I saw
'I am God, and King, and Law!'

X.
With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he passed,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude.

XI.
And a mighty troop around,
With their trampling shook the ground,
Waving each a bloody sword,
For the service of their Lord.

XII.
And with glorious triumph, they
Rode through England proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication
Of the wine of desolation.

XIII.
O'er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Passed the Pageant swift and free,
Tearing up, and trampling down;
Till they came to London town.

XIV.
And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken
Hearing the tempestuous cry
Of the triumph of Anarchy.

XV.
For with pomp to meet him came,
Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
The hired murderers, who did sing
'Thou art God, and Law, and King.

XVI.
'We have waited, weak and lone
For thy coming, Mighty One!
Our purses are empty, our swords are cold,
Give us glory, and blood, and gold.'

XVII.
Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,
To the earth their pale brows bowed;
Like a bad prayer not over loud,
Whispering'Thou art Law and God.'

XVIII.
Then all cried with one accord,
'Thou art King, and God, and Lord;
Anarchy, to thee we bow,
Be thy name made holy now!'

XIX.
And Anarchy, the Skeleton,
Bowed and grinned to every one,
As well as if his education
Had cost ten millions to the nation.

XX.
For he knew the Palaces
Of our Kings were rightly his;
His the sceptre, crown, and globe,
And the gold-inwoven robe.

XXI.
So he sent his slaves before
To seize upon the Bank and Tower,
And was proceeding with intent
To meet his pensioned Parliament

XXII.
When one fled past, a maniac maid,
And her name was Hope, she said:
But she looked more like Despair,
And she cried out in the air:

XXIII.
'My father Time is weak and gray
With waiting for a better day;
See how idiot-like he stands,
Fumbling with his palsied hands!

XXIV.
'He has had child after child,
And the dust of death is piled
Over every one but me
Misery, oh, Misery!'

XXV.
Then she lay down in the street,
Right before the horses' feet,
Expecting, with a patient eye,
Murder, Fraud, and Anarchy.

XXVI.
When between her and her foes
A mist, a light, an image rose,
Small at first, and weak, and frail
Like the vapour of a vale:

XXVII.
Till as clouds grow on the blast,
Like tower-crowned giants striding fast,
And glare with lightnings as they fly,
And speak in thunder to the sky,

XXVIII.
It grewa Shape arrayed in mail
Brighter than the viper's scale,
And upborne on wings whose grain
Was as the light of sunny rain.

XXIX.
On its helm, seen far away,
A planet, like the Morning's, lay;
And those plumes its light rained through
Like a shower of crimson dew.

XXX.
With step as soft as wind it passed
O'er the heads of menso fast
That they knew the presence there,
And looked,but all was empty air.

XXXI.
As flowers beneath May's footstep waken,
As stars from Night's loose hair are shaken,
As waves arise when loud winds call,
Thoughts sprung where'er that step did fall.

XXXII.
And the prostrate multitude
Looked-and ankle-deep in blood,
Hope, that maiden most serene,
Was walking with a quiet mien:

XXXIII.
And Anarchy, the ghastly birth,
Lay dead earth upon the earth;
The Horse of Death tameless as wind
Fled, and with his hoofs did grind
To dust the murderers thronged behind.

XXXIV.
A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
A sense awakening and yet tender
Was heard and feltand at its close
These words of joy and fear arose

XXXV.
As if their own indignant Earth
Which gave the sons of England birth
Had felt their blood upon her brow,
And shuddering with a mother's throe

XXXVI.
Had turnd every drop of blood
By which her face had been bedewed
To an accent unwithstood,
As if her heart had cried aloud:

XXXVII.
'Men of England, heirs of Glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
Hopes of her, and one another;

XXXVIII.
'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you
Ye are manythey are few.

XXXIX.
'What is Freedom?ye can tell
That which slavery is, too well
For its very name has grown
To an echo of your own.

XL.
''Tis to work and have such pay
As just keeps life from day to day
In your limbs, as in a cell
For the tyrants' use to dwell,

XLI.
'So that ye for them are made
Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
With or without your own will bent
To their defence and nourishment.

XLII.
''Tis to see your children weak
With their mothers pine and peak,
When the winter winds are bleak,
They are dying whilst I speak.

XLIII.
''Tis to hunger for such diet
As the rich man in his riot
Casts to the fat dogs that lie
Surfeiting beneath his eye;

XLIV.
''Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
Take from Toil a thousandfold
More than e'er its substance could
In the tyrannies of old.

XLV.
'Paper cointhat forgery
Of the title-deeds, which ye
Hold to something of the worth
Of the inheritance of Earth.

XLVI.
''Tis to be a slave in soul
And to hold no strong control
Over your own wills, but be
All that others make of ye.

XLVII.
'And at length when ye complain
With a murmur weak and vain
'Tis to see the Tyrant's crew
Ride over your wives and you
Blood is on the grass like dew.

XLVIII.
'Then it is to feel revenge
Fiercely thirsting to exchange
Blood for bloodand wrong for wrong
Do not thus when ye are strong.

XLIX.
'Birds find rest, in narrow nest
When weary of their wingd quest;
Beasts find fare, in woody lair
When storm and snow are in the air[1].

L.
'Asses, swine, have litter spread
And with fitting food are fed;
All things have a home but one
Thou, Oh, Englishman, hast none!

LI.
'This is Slaverysavage men,
Or wild beasts within a den
Would endure not as ye do
But such ills they never knew.

LII.
'What art thou Freedom? O! could slaves
Answer from their living graves
This demandtyrants would flee
Like a dream's dim imagery:

LIII.
'Thou art not, as impostors say,
A shadow soon to pass away,
A superstition, and a name
Echoing from the cave of Fame.

LIV.
'For the labourer thou art bread,
And a comely table spread
From his daily labour come
In a neat and happy home.

LV.
'Thou art clothes, and fire, and food
For the trampled multitude
Noin countries that are free
Such starvation cannot be
As in England now we see.

LVI.
'To the rich thou art a check,
When his foot is on the neck
Of his victim, thou dost make
That he treads upon a snake.

LVII.
'Thou art Justicene'er for gold
May thy righteous laws be sold
As laws are in Englandthou
Shield'st alike the high and low.

LVIII.
'Thou art WisdomFreemen never
Dream that God will damn for ever
All who think those things untrue
Of which Priests make such ado.

LIX.
'Thou art Peacenever by thee
Would blood and treasure wasted be
As tyrants wasted them, when all
Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul.

LX.
'What if English toil and blood
Was poured forth, even as a flood?
It availed, Oh, Liberty,
To dim, but not extinguish thee.

LXI.
'Thou art Lovethe rich have kissed
Thy feet, and like him following Christ,
Give their substance to the free
And through the rough world follow thee,

LXII.
'Or turn their wealth to arms, and make
War for thy belovd sake
On wealth, and war, and fraudwhence they
Drew the power which is their prey.

LXIII.
'Science, Poetry, and Thought
Are thy lamps; they make the lot
Of the dwellers in a cot
So serene, they curse it not.

LXIV.
'Spirit, Patience, Gentleness,
All that can adorn and bless
Art thoulet deeds, not words, express
Thine exceeding loveliness.

LXV.
'Let a great Assembly be
Of the fearless and the free
On some spot of English ground
Where the plains stretch wide around.

LXVI.
'Let the blue sky overhead,
The green earth on which ye tread,
All that must eternal be
Witness the solemnity.

LXVII.
'From the corners uttermost
Of the bounds of English coast;
From every hut, village, and town
Where those who live and suffer moan
For others' misery or their own[2],

LXVIII.
'From the workhouse and the prison
Where pale as corpses newly risen,
Women, children, young and old
Groan for pain, and weep for cold

LXIX.
'From the haunts of daily life
Where is waged the daily strife
With common wants and common cares
Which sows the human heart with tares

LXX.
'Lastly from the palaces
Where the murmur of distress
Echoes, like the distant sound
Of a wind alive around

LXXI.
'Those prison halls of wealth and fashion,
Where some few feel such compassion
For those who groan, and toil, and wail
As must make their brethren pale

LXXII.
'Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold

LXXIII.
'Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free

LXXIV.
'Be your strong and simple words
Keen to wound as sharpened swords,
And wide as targes let them be,
With their shade to cover ye.

LXXV.
'Let the tyrants pour around
With a quick and startling sound,
Like the loosening of a sea,
Troops of armed emblazonry.

LXXVI.
'Let the charged artillery drive
Till the dead air seems alive
With the clash of clanging wheels,
And the tramp of horses' heels.

LXXVII.
'Let the fixd bayonet
Gleam with sharp desire to wet
Its bright point in English blood
Looking keen as one for food.

LXXVIII.
'Let the horsemen's scimitars
Wheel and flash, like sphereless stars
Thirsting to eclipse their burning
In a sea of death and mourning.

LXXIX.
'Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,

LXXX.
'And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armd steeds
Pass, a disregarded shade
Through your phalanx undismayed.

LXXXI.
'Let the laws of your own land,
Good or ill, between ye stand
Hand to hand, and foot to foot,
Arbiters of the dispute,

LXXXII.
'The old laws of Englandthey
Whose reverend heads with age are gray,
Children of a wiser day;
And whose solemn voice must be
Thine own echoLiberty!

LXXXIII.
'On those who first should violate
Such sacred heralds in their state
Rest the blood that must ensue,
And it will not rest on you.

LXXXIV.
'And if then the tyrants dare
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew,
What they like, that let them do.

LXXXV.
'With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away.

LXXXVI.
'Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.

LXXXVII.
'Every woman in the land
Will point at them as they stand
They will hardly dare to greet
Their acquaintance in the street.

LXXXVIII.
'And the bold, true warriors
Who have hugged Danger in wars
Will turn to those who would be free,
Ashamed of such base company.
'And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.

LXXXIX.
'And these words shall then become
Like Oppression's thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard againagainagain

XC.
'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you
Ye are manythey are few.'
''Composed at the Villa Valsovano near Leghorn -- or possibly later, during Shelley's sojourn at Florence -- in the autumn of 1819, shortly after the Peterloo riot at Manchester, August 16; edited with Preface by Leigh Hunt, and published under the poet's name by Edward Moxon, 1832 (Bradbury & Evans, printers). Two MSS. are extant: a transcript by Mrs. Shelley with Shelley's autograph corrections, known as the 'Hunt MS.'; and an earlier draft, not quite complete, in the poet's handwriting, presented by Mrs. Shelley to (Sir) John Bowring in 1826, and now in the possession of Mr. Thomas J. Wise (the 'Wise MS.').'' this note taken from the Oxford Edition, Hutchinson's Poetical Works of Percy Shelley, 1905.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Mask Of Anarchy

297:Gracious Ganapati! with Thy hand bless me, that I may make this marital garland of letters worthy of Sri Arunachala, the Bridegroom! REFRAIN Arunachala Shiva! Arunachala Shiva! Arunachala Shiva! Arunachala! Arunachala Shiva! Arunachala Shiva! Arunachala Shiva! Arunachala! 1. Arunachala! Thou dost root out the ego of those who meditate on Thee in the heart, Oh Arunachala! Arunachala! Thou dost root out the ego of those who dwell on their identity with Thee, Oh Arunachala! 2. May Thou and I be one and inseparable like Alagu and Sundara, Oh Arunachala! 3. Entering my home and luring me to Thine, why didst Thou keep me prisoner in Thy heart's cavern, Oh Arunachala? 4. Was it for Thy pleasure or for my sake Thou didst win me? If now Thou turn me away, the world will blame Thee, Oh Arunachala! 5. Escape this blame! Why didst Thou then recall Thyself to me? How can I leave Thee now, Oh Arunachala? 6. Kinder far art Thou than one's own mother. Is this then Thy all-kindness, Oh Arunachala? Kinder indeed art Thou than one's own mother, such is Thy Love, Oh Arunachala! 7. Sit firmly in my mind lest it elude Thee, Oh Arunachala! Change not Thy nature and flee, but hold fast in my mind, Oh Arunachala! Be watchful in my mind, lest it change even Thee into me and rush away, Oh Arunachala! 8. Display Thy beauty, for the fickle mind to see Thee for ever and to rest, Oh Arunachala! The strumpet mind will cease to walk the streets if only she find Thee. Disclose Thy Beauty then and hold her bound, Oh Arunachala! The mind by her unsteadiness prevents my seeking Thee and finding peace; grant me the vision of Thy Beauty, Oh Arunachala! 9. After abducting me if now Thou dost not embrace me, where is Thy chivalry, Oh Arunachala? 10. Does it become Thee thus to sleep when I am outraged by others, Oh Arunachala? 11. Even when the thieves of the five senses break in upon me, art Thou not still in my heart, Oh Arunachala! 12. One art Thou without a second; who then could dare elude Thee and come in? This is only Thy jugglery, Oh Arunachala! 13. Significance of OM unrivalled -- unsurpassed! Who can comprehend Thee, Oh Arunachala? 14. As Universal Mother, it is Thy duty to dispense Thy Grace and save me, Oh Arunachala! 15. Who can ever find Thee? The Eye of the eye art Thou, and without eyes Thou seest, Oh Arunachala! Being the sight of the eye, even without eyes find me out Thyself. Who but Thyself can find out Thee, Oh Arunachala? 16. As a lode-stone attracts iron, magnetizing it and holding it fast, so do Thou to me, Oh Arunachala! 17. Unmoving Hill, melting into a Sea of Grace, have mercy I pray, Oh Arunachala! 18. Fiery Gem, shining in all directions, do Thou burn up my dross, Oh Arunachala! 19. Shine as my Guru, making me free from faults and worthy of Thy Grace, Oh Arunachala! 20. Save me from the cruel snares of fascinating women and honour me with union with Thyself, Oh Arunachala! 21. Though I beg, Thou art callous and dost not condescend. I pray Thee! say to me 'Fear not!' Oh Arunachala! 22. Unasked Thou givest; this is Thy imperishable fame. Do not belie Thy name, Oh Arunachala! 23. Sweet fruit within my hands, let me be mad with ecstasy, drunk with the Bliss of Thy Essence, Oh Arunachala! 24. Blazoned as the Devourer of Thy votaries, how can I survive who have embraced Thee, Oh Arunachala? 25. Thou, unruffled by anger! What crime has marked me off for Thy wrath, Oh Arunachala? Thou, unruffled by anger! What austerities left incomplete have won me Thy special favour, Oh Arunachala? 26. Glorious Mountain of Love, celebrated by Gautama, rule me with Thy gracious glance, Oh Arunachala! 27. Dazzling Sun that swallowest up all the universe in Thy rays, in Thy Light open the lotus of my heart I pray, Oh Arunachala! 28. Let me, Thy prey, surrender unto Thee and be consumed, and so have Peace, Oh Arunachala! I came to feed on Thee, but Thou has fed on me; now there is Peace, Oh Arunachala! 29. O Moon of Grace, with Thy cool rays as hands, open within me the ambrosial orifice and let my heart rejoice, Arunachala! 30. Tear off these robes, expose me naked, then robe me with Thy Love, Oh Arunachala! 31. There in the heart rest quiet! Let the sea of joy surge, speech and feeling cease, Oh Arunachala! 32. Do not continue to deceive and prove me; disclose instead Thy Transcendental Self, Oh Arunachala! 33. Vouchsafe the knowledge of Eternal Life that I may learn the glorious Primal Wisdom, and shun the delusion of this world, Oh Arunachala! 34. Unless Thou embrace me, I shall melt away in tears of anguish, Oh Arunachala! 35. If spurned by Thee, alas! what rests for me but the torment of my prarabdha? What hope is left for me, Arunachala? 36. In silence Thou saidst, 'Stay silent!' and Thyself stood silent, Oh Arunachala! 37. Happiness lies in peaceful repose enjoyed when resting in the Self. Beyond speech indeed is This my State, Oh Arunachala! 38. Thou didst display Thy prowess once, and, the perils ended, return to Thy repose, Oh Arunachala! Sun! Thou didst sally forth and illusion was ended. Then didst Thou shine motionless, Oh Arunachala! 39. A dog can scent out its master; am I then worse than a dog? Steadfastly will I seek Thee and regain Thee, Oh Arunachala! Worse than a dog for want of a scent, how can I track Thee, Oh Arunachala? 40. Grant me wisdom, I beseech Thee, so that I may not pine for love of Thee in ignorance, Oh Arunachala! 41. Not finding the flower open, Thou didst stay, no better than a bee trapped in the bud of my mind, Oh Arunachala! In sunlight the lotus blossoms, how then couldst Thou, the Sun of suns, hover before me like a flower bee, saying 'Thou art not yet in blossom,' Oh Arunachala? 42. 'Thou hast realized the Self even without knowing that it was the Truth. It is the Truth Itself!' Speak thus if it be so, Oh Arunachala! Thou art the subject of most diverse views yet art Thou not this only, Oh Arunachala? Not known to the tattvas, though Thou art their being! What does this mean, Oh Arunachala? 43. That each one is Reality Itself, Thou wilt of Thy Nature show, Oh Arunachala! Reveal Thyself! Thou only art Reality, Oh Arunachala! 'Reality is nothing but the Self;' is this not all Thy message, Oh Arunachala? 44. 'Look within, ever seeking the Self with the inner eye, then will It be found.' Thus didst Thou direct me, beloved Arunachala! 45. Seeking Thee within but weakly, I came back unrewarded. Aid me, Oh Arunachala! Weak though my effort was, by Thy Grace I gained the Self, Oh Arunachala! Seeking Thee in the Infinite Self, I regained my own Self, Oh Arunachala! 46. What value has the birth without Knowledge born of realization? It is not even worth speaking about, Oh Arunachala! 47. Let me dive into the true Self, wherein merge only the pure in mind and speech, Oh Arunachala! I, by Thy Grace, am sunk in Thy Self, wherein merge only those divested of their minds and thus made pure, Oh Arunachala! 48. When I took shelter under Thee as my One God, Thou didst destroy me altogether, Oh Arunachala! 49. Treasure of benign and holy Grace, found without seeking, steady my wandering mind, Oh Arunachala! 50. On seeking Thy Real Self with courage, my raft capsized and the waters came over me. Have mercy on me Arunachala! 51. Unless Thou extend Thy hand of Grace in mercy and embrace me, I am lost, Oh Arunachala! Enfold me body to body, limb to limb, or I am lost, Oh Arunachala! 52. O Undefiled, abide Thou in my heart so that there may be everlasting joy, Arunachala! 53. Mock me not, who seek Thy protection! Adorn me with Thy Grace and then regard me, Oh Arunachala! Smile with Grace and not with scorn on me, who come Thee, Oh Arunachala! 54. When I approached, Thou didst not bend; Thou stoodst unmoved, at one with me, Oh Arunachala! Does it not shame Thee to stand there like a post, leaving me to find Thee by myself, Oh Arunachala? 55. Rain Thy Mercy on me ere Thy Knowledge burn me to ashes, Oh Arunachala! 56. Unite with me to destroy Thou and me, and bless me with the state of ever-vibrant joy, Oh Arunachala! 57. When shall I become like the ether and reach Thee, subtle of being, that the tempest of thoughts may end, Oh Arunachala? When will waves of thought cease to rise? When shall I reach Thee, subtler than the subtlest ether, Oh Arunachala! 58. I am a simpleton devoid of learning. Do Thou dispel illusion, Oh Arunachala! Destroy Thou my wrong knowledge, I beseech Thee, for I lack the knowledge which the Scriptures lead to, Oh Arunachala! 59. When I melted away and entered Thee, my Refuge, I found Thee standing naked, Oh Arunachala! 60. In my unloving self Thou didst create a passion for Thee, therefore forsake me not, Oh Arunachala! 61. Fruit shriveled and spoilt is worthless; take and enjoy it ripe, Oh Arunachala! I am not a fruit which is overripe and spoilt; draw me, then, into the inmost recess and fix me in Eternity, Oh Arunachala! 62. Hast Thou not bartered cunningly Thyself for me? Oh, Thou art death to me, Arunachala! Hast Thou not bartered happily Thyself for me, giving all and taking nothing? Art Thou not blind, Oh Arunachala? 63. Regard me! Take thought of me! Touch me! Mature me! Make me one with Thee, Oh Arunachala! 64. Grant me Thy Grace ere the poison of delusion grips me and, rising to my head, kills me, Oh Arunachala! 65. Thyself regard me and dispel illusion! Unless Thou do so who can intercede with Grace Itself made manifest, Oh Arunachala? 66. With madness for Thee hast Thou freed me of madness; grant me now the cure of all madness, Oh Arunachala! 67. Fearless I seek Thee, Fearlessness Itself! How canst Thou fear to take me, Oh Arunachala? 68. Where is ignorance or Wisdom, if I am blessed with union to Thee, Oh Arunachala? 69. My mind has blossomed, scent it with Thy fragrance and perfect it. Oh Arunachala! Espouse me, I beseech Thee, and let this mind, now wedded to the world, be wedded to Perfection, Oh Arunachala! 70. Mere thought of Thee has drawn me to Thee, and who can gauge Thy Glory, Oh Arunachala? 71. Thou hast possessed me, unexorcizable Spirit! and made me mad for Thee, that I may cease to be a ghost wandering the world, Oh Arunachala! 72. Be Thou my stay and my support lest I droop helpless like a tender creeper, Oh Arunachala! 73. Thou didst benumb my faculties with stupefying powder, then rob me of my understanding and reveal the Knowledge of Thy Self, Oh Arunachala! 74. Show me the warfare of Thy Grace, in the Open Field where there is no coming and going. Oh Arunachala! 75. Unattached to the physical frame composed of the elements, let me for ever repose happy in the sight of Thy Splendour, Oh Arunachala! 76. Thou hast administered the medicine of confusion to me, so must I be confounded! Shine Thou as Grace, the cure of all confusion, Oh Arunachala! 77. Shine Thou selfless, sapping the pride of those who boast of their free will, Oh Arunachala! 78. I am a fool who prays only when overwhelmed, yet disappoint me not, Oh Arunachala! 79. Guard me lest I flounder storm-tossed like a ship without a helmsman, Oh Arunachala! 80. Thou hast cut the knot which hid the vision of Thy Head and Foot. Motherlike, shouldst Thou not complete Thy task, Oh Arunachala? 81. Be not like a mirror held up to a noseless man, but raise me and embrace me, Oh Arunachala! 82. Let us embrace upon the bed of tender flowers, which is the mind, within the room of the body, Oh Arunachala! 83. How is it that Thou hast become famous from Thy constant union with the poor and humble, Oh Arunachala? 84. Thou hast removed the blindness of ignorance with the unguent of Thy Grace, and made me truly Thine, Oh Arunachala! 85. Thou didst shave clean my head; then Thou didst show Thyself dancing in Transcendent Space, Oh Arunachala! 86. Though Thou hast loosed me from the mists of error and made me mad for Thee, why hast Thou not yet freed me from illusion, Oh Arunachala? Though Thou hast detached me from the world and made me cleave to Thee, Thy passion for me has not cooled, Oh Arunachala! 87. Is it true Silence to rest like a stone, inert and unexpansive, Oh Arunachala? 88. Who was it that threw mud to me for food and robbed me of my livelihood, Oh Arunachala? 89. Unknown to all, stupefying me, Who was it that ravished my soul, Oh Arunachala? 90. I spoke thus to Thee, because Thou art my Lord; be not offended but come and give me happiness, Oh Arunachala! 91. Let us enjoy one another in the House of Open Space, where there is neither night nor day, Oh Arunachala! 92. Thou didst take aim at me with darts of Love and then devoured me alive, Oh Arunachala! 93. Thou art the Primal Being, whereas I count not in this nor in the other world. What didst Thou gain then by my worthless self, Oh Arunachala? 94. Didst Thou not call me in? I have come in. Now measure out for me, my maintenance is now Thy burden. Hard is Thy lot, Oh Arunachala! 95. The moment Thou didst welcome me, didst enter into me and grant me Thy divine life, I lost my individuality, Oh Arunachala! 96. Bless me that I may die without losing hold of Thee, or miserable is my fate, Oh Arunachala! 97. From my home Thou didst entice me, then stealing into my heart didst draw me gently into Thine, such is Thy Grace, Oh Arunachala! 98. I have betrayed Thy secret workings. Be not offended! Show me Thy Grace now openly and save me, Oh Arunachala! 99. Grant me the essence of the Vedas, which shine in the Vedanta, One without a second, Oh Arunachala! 100. Even my slanders, treat as praise and guard me for ever as Thine own, I pray, Oh Arunachala! Let even slander be as praise to me, and guard me for ever as Thine own, I pray, Oh Arunachala! Place Thy hand upon my head! make me partaker of Thy Grace! do not abandon me, I pray, Oh Arunachala! 101. As snow in water, let me melt as Love in Thee, who art Love itself, Oh Arunachala! 102. I had but thought of Thee as Aruna, and lo! I was caught in the trap of Thy Grace! Can the net of Thy Grace ever fail, Oh Arunachala? 103. Watching like a spider to trap me in the web of Thy Grace, Thou didst entwine me and when imprisoned feed upon me, Oh Arunachala! 104. Let me be the votary of the votaries of those who hear Thy name with love, Oh Arunachala! 105. Shine Thou for ever as the loving Saviour of helpless suppliants like myself, Oh Arunachala! 106. Familiar to Thine ears are the sweet songs of votaries who melt to the very bones with love for Thee, yet let my poor strains also be acceptable, Oh Arunachala! 107. Hill of Patience, bear with my foolish words, as hymns of joy or as Thou please, Oh Arunachala! 108. Oh Arunachala! my Loving Lord! Throw Thy garland about my shoulders, wearing Thyself this one strung by me, Arunachala! Blessed be Arunachala! blessed be His devotees! Blessed be this Marital Garland of Letters! [1468.jpg] -- from The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi, Edited by Arthur Osborne

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, The Marital Garland of Letters

298:Eighteen Hundred And Eleven
Still the loud death drum, thundering from afar,
O'er the vext nations pours the storm of war:
To the stern call still Britain bends her ear,
Feeds the fierce strife, the' alternate hope and fear;
Bravely, though vainly, dares to strive with Fate,
And seeks by turns to prop each sinking state.
Colossal power with overwhelming force
Bears down each fort of Freedom in its course;
Prostrate she lies beneath the Despot's sway,
While the hushed nations curse him—and obey.
Bounteous in vain, with frantic man at strife,
Glad Nature pours the means—the joys of life;
In vain with orange-blossoms scents the gale,
The hills with olives clothes, with corn the vale;
Man calls to Famine, nor invokes in vain,
Disease and Rapine follow in her train;
The tramp of marching hosts disturbs the plough,
The sword, not sickle, reaps the harvest now,
And where the soldier gleans the scant supply,
The helpless peasant but retires to die;
No laws his hut from licensed outrage shield,
And war's least horror is the' ensanguined field.
Fruitful in vain, the matron counts with pride
The blooming youths that grace her honoured side;
No son returns to press her widowed hand,
Her fallen blossoms strew a foreign strand.
—Fruitful in vain, she boasts her virgin race,
Whom cultured arts adorn and gentlest grace;
Defrauded of its homage, Beauty mourns,
And the rose withers on its virgin thorns.
Frequent, some stream obscure, some uncouth name,
By deeds of blood is lifted into fame;
Oft o'er the daily page some soft one bends
To learn the fate of husband, brothers, friends,
Or the spread map with anxious eye explores,
Its dotted boundaries and penciled shores,
48
Asks where the spot that wrecked her bliss is found,
And learns its name but to detest the sound.
And think'st thou, Britain, still to sit at ease,
An island queen amidst thy subject seas,
While the vext billows, in their distant roar,
But soothe thy slumbers, and but kiss thy shore?
To sport in wars, while danger keeps aloof,
Thy grassy turf unbruised by hostile hoof?
So sing thy flatterers;—but, Britain, know,
Thou who hast shared the guilt must share the woe.
Nor distant is the hour; low murmurs spread,
And whispered fears, creating what they dread;
Ruin, as with an earthquake shock, is here,
There, the heart-witherings of unuttered fear,
And that sad death, whence most affection bleeds,
Which sickness, only of the soul, precedes.
Thy baseless wealth dissolves in air away,
Like mists that melt before the morning ray:
No more on crowded mart or busy street
Friends, meeting friends, with cheerful hurry greet;
Sad, on the ground thy princely merchants bend
Their altered looks, and evil days portend,
And fold their arms, and watch with anxious breast
The tempest blackening in the distant West.
Yes, thou must droop; thy Midas dream is o'er;
The golden tide of Commerce leaves thy shore,
Leaves thee to prove the' alternate ills that haunt
Enfeebling Luxury and ghastly Want;
Leaves thee, perhaps, to visit distant lands,
And deal the gifts of Heaven with equal hands.
Yet, O my Country, name beloved, revered,
By every tie that binds the soul endeared,
Whose image to my infant senses came
Mixt with Religion's light and Freedom's holy flame!
If prayers may not avert, if 'tis thy fate
To rank amongst the names that once were great,
Not like the dim, cold Crescent shalt thou fade,
Thy debt to Science and the Muse unpaid;
49
Thine are the laws surrounding states revere,
Thine the full harvest of the mental year,
Thine the bright stars in Glory's sky that shine,
And arts that make it life to live are thine.
If westward streams the light that leaves thy shores,
Still from thy lamp the streaming radiance pours.
Wide spreads thy race from Ganges to the pole,
O'er half the western world thy accents roll:
Nations beyond the Apalachian hills
Thy hand has planted and thy spirit fills:
Soon as their gradual progress shall impart
The finer sense of morals and of art,
Thy stores of knowledge the new states shall know,
And think thy thoughts, and with thy fancy glow;
Thy Lockes, thy Paleys shall instruct their youth,
Thy leading star direct their search for truth;
Beneath the spreading platan's tent-like shade,
Or by Missouri's rushing waters laid,
“Old father Thames” shall be the poet's theme,
Of Hagley's woods the' enamoured virgin dream,
And Milton's tones the raptured ear enthrall,
Mixt with the roaring of Niagara's fall;
In Thomson's glass the' ingenuous youth shall learn
A fairer face of Nature to discern;
Nor of the bards that swept the British lyre
Shall fade one laurel, or one note expire.
Then, loved Joanna, to admiring eyes
Thy storied groups in scenic pomp shall rise;
Their high-souled strains and Shakespear's noble rage
Shall with alternate passion shake the stage.
Some youthful Basil from thy moral lay
With stricter hand his fond desires shall sway;
Some Ethwald, as the fleeting shadows pass,
Start at his likeness in the mystic glass;
The tragic Muse resume her just controul,
With pity and with terror purge the soul,
While wide o'er transatlantic realms thy name
Shall live in light, and gather all its fame.
Where wanders Fancy down the lapse of years
Shedding o'er imaged woes untimely tears?
50
Fond moody power! as hopes—as fears prevail,
She longs, or dreads, to lift the awful veil,
On visions of delight now loves to dwell,
Now hears the shriek of woe or Freedom's knell:
Perhaps, she says, long ages past away,
And set in western waves our closing day,
Night, Gothic night, again may shade the plains
Where Power is seated, and where Science reigns;
England, the seat of arts, be only known
By the grey ruin and the mouldering stone;
That Time may tear the garland from her brow,
And Europe sit in dust, as Asia now.
Yet then the' ingenuous youth whom Fancy fires
With pictured glories of illustrious sires,
With duteous zeal their pilgrimage shall take
From the Blue Mountains, or Ontario's lake,
With fond adoring steps to press the sod
By statesmen, sages, poets, heroes trod;
On Isis' banks to draw inspiring air,
From Runnymede to send the patriot's prayer;
In pensive thought, where Cam's slow waters wind,
To meet those shades that ruled the realms of mind;
In silent halls to sculptured marbles bow,
And hang fresh wreaths round Newton's awful brow.
Oft shall they seek some peasant's homely shed,
Who toils, unconscious of the mighty dead,
To ask where Avon's winding waters stray,
And thence a knot of wild flowers bear away;
Anxious inquire where Clarkson, friend of man,
Or all-accomplished Jones his race began;
If of the modest mansion aught remains
Where Heaven and Nature prompted Cowper's strains;
Where Roscoe, to whose patriot breast belong
The Roman virtue and the Tuscan song,
Led Ceres to the black and barren moor
Where Ceres never gained a wreath before:
With curious search their pilgrim steps shall rove
By many a ruined tower and proud alcove,
Shall listen for those strains that soothed of yore
Thy rock, stern Skiddaw, and thy fall, Lodore;
Feast with Dun Edin's classic brow their sight,
51
And “visit Melross by the pale moonlight.”
But who their mingled feelings shall pursue
When London's faded glories rise to view?
The mighty city, which by every road,
In floods of people poured itself abroad;
Ungirt by walls, irregularly great,
No jealous drawbridge, and no closing gate;
Whose merchants (such the state which commerce brings)
Sent forth their mandates to dependent kings;
Streets, where the turban'd Moslem, bearded Jew,
And woolly Afric, met the brown Hindu;
Where through each vein spontaneous plenty flowed,
Where Wealth enjoyed, and Charity bestowed.
Pensive and thoughtful shall the wanderers greet
Each splendid square, and still, untrodden street;
Or of some crumbling turret, mined by time,
The broken stairs with perilous step shall climb,
Thence stretch their view the wide horizon round,
By scattered hamlets trace its ancient bound,
And, choked no more with fleets, fair Thames survey
Through reeds and sedge pursue his idle way.
With throbbing bosoms shall the wanderers tread
The hallowed mansions of the silent dead,
Shall enter the long isle and vaulted dome
Where Genius and where Valour find a home;
Awe-struck, midst chill sepulchral marbles breathe,
Where all above is still, as all beneath;
Bend at each antique shrine, and frequent turn
To clasp with fond delight some sculptured urn,
The ponderous mass of Johnson's form to greet,
Or breathe the prayer at Howard's sainted feet.
Perhaps some Briton, in whose musing mind
Those ages live which Time has cast behind,
To every spot shall lead his wondering guests
On whose known site the beam of glory rests:
Here Chatham's eloquence in thunder broke,
Here Fox persuaded, or here Garrick spoke;
Shall boast how Nelson, fame and death in view,
52
To wonted victory led his ardent crew,
In England's name enforced, with loftiest tone,
Their duty,—and too well fulfilled his own:
How gallant Moore,
as ebbing life dissolved,
But hoped his country had his fame absolved.
Or call up sages whose capacious mind
Left in its course a track of light behind;
Point where mute crowds on Davy's lips reposed,
And Nature's coyest secrets were disclosed;
Join with their Franklin, Priestley's injured name,
Whom, then, each continent shall proudly claim.
Oft shall the strangers turn their eager feet
The rich remains of ancient art to greet,
The pictured walls with critic eye explore,
And Reynolds be what Raphael was before.
On spoils from every clime their eyes shall gaze,
Egyptian granites and the' Etruscan vase;
And when midst fallen London, they survey
The stone where Alexander's ashes lay,
Shall own with humbled pride the lesson just
By Time's slow finger written in the dust.
There walks a Spirit o'er the peopled earth,
Secret his progress is, unknown his birth;
Moody and viewless as the changing wind,
No force arrests his foot, no chains can bind;
Where'er he turns, the human brute awakes,
And, roused to better life, his sordid hut forsakes:
He thinks, he reasons, glows with purer fires,
Feels finer wants, and burns with new desires:
Obedient Nature follows where he leads;
The steaming marsh is changed to fruitful meads;
The beasts retire from man's asserted reign,
And prove his kingdom was not given in vain.
Then from its bed is drawn the ponderous ore,
Then Commerce pours her gifts on every shore,
Then Babel's towers and terraced gardens rise,
And pointed obelisks invade the skies;
The prince commands, in Tyrian purple drest,
53
And Egypt's virgins weave the linen vest.
Then spans the graceful arch the roaring tide,
And stricter bounds the cultured fields divide.
Then kindles Fancy, then expands the heart,
Then blow the flowers of Genius and of Art;
Saints, heroes, sages, who the land adorn,
Seem rather to descend than to be born;
Whilst History, midst the rolls consigned to fame,
With pen of adamant inscribes their name.
The Genius now forsakes the favoured shore,
And hates, capricious, what he loved before;
Then empires fall to dust, then arts decay,
And wasted realms enfeebled despots sway;
Even Nature's changed; without his fostering smile
Ophir no gold, no plenty yields the Nile;
The thirsty sand absorbs the useless rill,
And spotted plagues from putrid fens distill.
In desert solitudes then Tadmor sleeps,
Stern Marius then o'er fallen Carthage weeps;
Then with enthusiast love the pilgrim roves
To seek his footsteps in forsaken groves,
Explores the fractured arch, the ruined tower,
Those limbs disjointed of gigantic power;
Still at each step he dreads the adder's sting,
The Arab's javelin, or the tiger's spring;
With doubtful caution treads the echoing ground,
And asks where Troy or Babylon is found.
And now the vagrant Power no more detains
The vale of Tempe, or Ausonian plains;
Northward he throws the animating ray,
O'er Celtic nations bursts the mental day:
And, as some playful child the mirror turns,
Now here now there the moving lustre burns;
Now o'er his changeful fancy more prevail
Batavia's dykes than Arno's purple vale,
And stinted suns, and rivers bound with frost,
Than Enna's plains or Baia's viny coast;
Venice the Adriatic weds in vain,
And Death sits brooding o'er Campania's plain;
O'er Baltic shores and through Hercynian groves,
54
Stirring the soul, the mighty impulse moves;
Art plies his tools, and Commerce spreads her sail,
And wealth is wafted in each shifting gale.
The sons of Odin tread on Persian looms,
And Odin's daughters breathe distilled perfumes
Loud minstrel bards, in Gothic halls, rehearse
The Runic rhyme, and “build the lofty verse:”
The Muse, whose liquid notes were wont to swell
To the soft breathings of the' Æolian shell,
Submits, reluctant, to the harsher tone,
And scarce believes the altered voice her own.
And now, where Cæsar saw with proud disdain
The wattled hut and skin of azure stain,
Corinthian columns rear their graceful forms,
And light varandas brave the wintry storms,
While British tongues the fading fame prolong
Of Tully's eloquence and Maro's song.
Where once Bonduca whirled the scythed car,
And the fierce matrons raised the shriek of war,
Light forms beneath transparent muslins float,
And tutored voices swell the artful note.
Light-leaved acacias and the shady plane
And spreading cedar grace the woodland reign;
While crystal walls the tenderer plants confine,
The fragrant orange and the nectared pine;
The Syrian grape there hangs her rich festoons,
Nor asks for purer air, or brighter noons:
Science and Art urge on the useful toil,
New mould a climate and create the soil,
Subdue the rigour of the northern Bear,
O'er polar climes shed aromatic air,
On yielding Nature urge their new demands,
And ask not gifts but tribute at her hands.
London exults:—on London Art bestows
Her summer ices and her winter rose;
Gems of the East her mural crown adorn,
And Plenty at her feet pours forth her horn;
While even the exiles her just laws disclaim,
People a continent, and build a name:
August she sits, and with extended hands
Holds forth the book of life to distant lands.
55
But fairest flowers expand but to decay;
The worm is in thy core, thy glories pass away;
Arts, arms and wealth destroy the fruits they bring;
Commerce, like beauty, knows no second spring.
Crime walks thy streets, Fraud earns her unblest bread,
O'er want and woe thy gorgeous robe is spread,
And angel charities in vain oppose:
With grandeur's growth the mass of misery grows.
For see,—to other climes the Genius soars,
He turns from Europe's desolated shores;
And lo, even now, midst mountains wrapt in storm,
On Andes' heights he shrouds his awful form;
On Chimborazo's summits treads sublime,
Measuring in lofty thought the march of Time;
Sudden he calls:—“'Tis now the hour!” he cries,
Spreads his broad hand, and bids the nations rise.
La Plata hears amidst her torrents' roar;
Potosi hears it, as she digs the ore:
Ardent, the Genius fans the noble strife,
And pours through feeble souls a higher life,
Shouts to the mingled tribes from sea to sea,
And swears—Thy world, Columbus, shall be free.
~ Anna Laetitia Barbauld
299:"Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself."
   (David, Psalms 50.21)
['Will sprawl, now that the heat of day is best,
Flat on his belly in the pit's much mire,
With elbows wide, fists clenched to prop his chin.
And, while he kicks both feet in the cool slush,
And feels about his spine small eft-things course,
Run in and out each arm, and make him laugh:
And while above his head a pompion-plant,
Coating the cave-top as a brow its eye,
Creeps down to touch and tickle hair and beard,
And now a flower drops with a bee inside,
And now a fruit to snap at, catch and crunch,
He looks out o'er yon sea which sunbeams cross
And recross till they weave a spider-web
(Meshes of fire, some great fish breaks at times)
And talks to his own self, howe'er he please,
Touching that other, whom his dam called God.
Because to talk about Him, vexesha,
Could He but know! and time to vex is now,
When talk is safer than in winter-time.
Moreover Prosper and Miranda sleep
In confidence he drudges at their task,
And it is good to cheat the pair, and gibe,
Letting the rank tongue blossom into speech.]

Setebos, Setebos, and Setebos!
'Thinketh, He dwelleth i' the cold o' the moon.

'Thinketh He made it, with the sun to match,
But not the stars; the stars came otherwise;
Only made clouds, winds, meteors, such as that:
Also this isle, what lives and grows thereon,
And snaky sea which rounds and ends the same.

'Thinketh, it came of being ill at ease:
He hated that He cannot change His cold,
Nor cure its ache. 'Hath spied an icy fish
That longed to 'scape the rock-stream where she lived,
And thaw herself within the lukewarm brine
O' the lazy sea her stream thrusts far amid,
A crystal spike 'twixt two warm walls of wave;
Only, she ever sickened, found repulse
At the other kind of water, not her life,
(Green-dense and dim-delicious, bred o' the sun)
Flounced back from bliss she was not born to breathe,
And in her old bounds buried her despair,
Hating and loving warmth alike: so He.

'Thinketh, He made thereat the sun, this isle,
Trees and the fowls here, beast and creeping thing.
Yon otter, sleek-wet, black, lithe as a leech;
Yon auk, one fire-eye in a ball of foam,
That floats and feeds; a certain badger brown
He hath watched hunt with that slant white-wedge eye
By moonlight; and the pie with the long tongue
That pricks deep into oak warts for a worm,
And says a plain word when she finds her prize,
But will not eat the ants; the ants themselves
That build a wall of seeds and settled stalks
About their holeHe made all these and more,
Made all we see, and us, in spite: how else?
He could not, Himself, make a second self
To be His mate; as well have made Himself:
He would not make what He mislikes or slights,
An eyesore to Him, or not worth His pains:
But did, in envy, listlessness or sport,
Make what Himself would fain, in a manner, be
Weaker in most points, stronger in a few,
Worthy, and yet mere playthings all the while,
Things He admires and mocks too,that is it.
Because, so brave, so better though they be,
It nothing skills if He begin to plague.
Look, now, I melt a gourd-fruit into mash,
Add honeycomb and pods, I have perceived,
Which bite like finches when they bill and kiss,
Then, when froth rises bladdery, drink up all,
Quick, quick, till maggots scamper through my brain;
Last, throw me on my back i' the seeded thyme,
And wanton, wishing I were born a bird.
Put case, unable to be what I wish,
I yet could make a live bird out of clay:
Would not I take clay, pinch my Caliban
Able to fly?for, there, see, he hath wings,
And great comb like the hoopoe's to admire,
And there, a sting to do his foes offence,
There, and I will that he begin to live,
Fly to yon rock-top, nip me off the horns
Of grigs high up that make the merry din,
Saucy through their veined wings, and mind me not.
In which feat, if his leg snapped, brittle clay,
And he lay stupid-like,why, I should laugh;
And if he, spying me, should fall to weep,
Beseech me to be good, repair his wrong,
Bid his poor leg smart less or grow again,
Well, as the chance were, this might take or else
Not take my fancy: I might hear his cry,
And give the mankin three sound legs for one,
Or pluck the other off, leave him like an egg
And lessoned he was mine and merely clay.
Were this no pleasure, lying in the thyme,
Drinking the mash, with brain become alive,
Making and marring clay at will? So He.

'Thinketh, such shows nor right nor wrong in Him,
Nor kind, nor cruel: He is strong and Lord.
'Am strong myself compared to yonder crabs
That march now from the mountain to the sea;
'Let twenty pass, and stone the twenty-first,
Loving not, hating not, just choosing so.
'Say, the first straggler that boasts purple spots
Shall join the file, one pincer twisted off;
'Say, this bruised fellow shall receive a worm,
And two worms he whose nippers end in red;
As it likes me each time, I do: so He.
Well then, 'supposeth He is good i' the main,
Placable if His mind and ways were guessed,
But rougher than His handiwork, be sure!
Oh, He hath made things worthier than Himself,
And envieth that, so helped, such things do more
Than He who made them! What consoles but this?
That they, unless through Him, do nought at all,
And must submit: what other use in things?
'Hath cut a pipe of pithless elder-joint
That, blown through, gives exact the scream o' the jay
When from her wing you twitch the feathers blue:
Sound this, and little birds that hate the jay
Flock within stone's throw, glad their foe is hurt:
Put case such pipe could prattle and boast forsooth
"I catch the birds, I am the crafty thing,
I make the cry my maker cannot make
With his great round mouth; he must blow through mine!'
Would not I smash it with my foot? So He.
But wherefore rough, why cold and ill at ease?
Aha, that is a question! Ask, for that,
What knows,the something over Setebos
That made Him, or He, may be, found and fought,
Worsted, drove off and did to nothing, perchance.
There may be something quiet o'er His head,
Out of His reach, that feels nor joy nor grief,
Since both derive from weakness in some way.
I joy because the quails come; would not joy
Could I bring quails here when I have a mind:
This Quiet, all it hath a mind to, doth.
'Esteemeth stars the outposts of its couch,
But never spends much thought nor care that way.
It may look up, work up,the worse for those
It works on! 'Careth but for Setebos
The many-handed as a cuttle-fish,
Who, making Himself feared through what He does,
Looks up, first, and perceives he cannot soar
To what is quiet and hath happy life;
Next looks down here, and out of very spite
Makes this a bauble-world to ape yon real,
These good things to match those as hips do grapes.
'Tis solace making baubles, ay, and sport.
Himself peeped late, eyed Prosper at his books
Careless and lofty, lord now of the isle:
Vexed, 'stitched a book of broad leaves, arrow-shaped,
Wrote thereon, he knows what, prodigious words;
Has peeled a wand and called it by a name;
Weareth at whiles for an enchanter's robe
The eyed skin of a supple oncelot;
And hath an ounce sleeker than youngling mole,
A four-legged serpent he makes cower and couch,
Now snarl, now hold its breath and mind his eye,
And saith she is Miranda and my wife:
'Keeps for his Ariel a tall pouch-bill crane
He bids go wade for fish and straight disgorge;
Also a sea-beast, lumpish, which he snared,
Blinded the eyes of, and brought somewhat tame,
And split its toe-webs, and now pens the drudge
In a hole o' the rock and calls him Caliban;
A bitter heart that bides its time and bites.
'Plays thus at being Prosper in a way,
Taketh his mirth with make-believes: so He.
His dam held that the Quiet made all things
Which Setebos vexed only: 'holds not so.
Who made them weak, meant weakness He might vex.
Had He meant other, while His hand was in,
Why not make horny eyes no thorn could prick,
Or plate my scalp with bone against the snow,
Or overscale my flesh 'neath joint and joint
Like an orc's armour? Ay,so spoil His sport!
He is the One now: only He doth all.
'Saith, He may like, perchance, what profits Him.
Ay, himself loves what does him good; but why?
'Gets good no otherwise. This blinded beast
Loves whoso places flesh-meat on his nose,
But, had he eyes, would want no help, but hate
Or love, just as it liked him: He hath eyes.
Also it pleaseth Setebos to work,
Use all His hands, and exercise much craft,
By no means for the love of what is worked.
'Tasteth, himself, no finer good i' the world
When all goes right, in this safe summer-time,
And he wants little, hungers, aches not much,
Than trying what to do with wit and strength.
'Falls to make something: 'piled yon pile of turfs,
And squared and stuck there squares of soft white chalk,
And, with a fish-tooth, scratched a moon on each,
And set up endwise certain spikes of tree,
And crowned the whole with a sloth's skull a-top,
Found dead i' the woods, too hard for one to kill.
No use at all i' the work, for work's sole sake;
'Shall some day knock it down again: so He.
'Saith He is terrible: watch His feats in proof!
One hurricane will spoil six good months' hope.
He hath a spite against me, that I know,
Just as He favours Prosper, who knows why?
So it is, all the same, as well I find.
'Wove wattles half the winter, fenced them firm
With stone and stake to stop she-tortoises
Crawling to lay their eggs here: well, one wave,
Feeling the foot of Him upon its neck,
Gaped as a snake does, lolled out its large tongue,
And licked the whole labour flat: so much for spite.
'Saw a ball flame down late (yonder it lies)
Where, half an hour before, I slept i' the shade:
Often they scatter sparkles: there is force!
'Dug up a newt He may have envied once
And turned to stone, shut up Inside a stone.
Please Him and hinder this?What Prosper does?
Aha, if He would tell me how! Not He!
There is the sport: discover how or die!
All need not die, for of the things o' the isle
Some flee afar, some dive, some run up trees;
Those at His mercy,why, they please Him most
When . . . when . . . well, never try the same way twice!
Repeat what act has pleased, He may grow wroth.
You must not know His ways, and play Him off,
Sure of the issue. 'Doth the like himself:
'Spareth a squirrel that it nothing fears
But steals the nut from underneath my thumb,
And when I threat, bites stoutly in defence:
'Spareth an urchin that contrariwise,
Curls up into a ball, pretending death
For fright at my approach: the two ways please.
But what would move my choler more than this,
That either creature counted on its life
To-morrow and next day and all days to come,
Saying, forsooth, in the inmost of its heart,
"Because he did so yesterday with me,
And otherwise with such another brute,
So must he do henceforth and always."Ay?
Would teach the reasoning couple what "must" means!
'Doth as he likes, or wherefore Lord? So He.
'Conceiveth all things will continue thus,
And we shall have to live in fear of Him
So long as He lives, keeps His strength: no change,
If He have done His best, make no new world
To please Him more, so leave off watching this,
If He surprise not even the Quiet's self
Some strange day,or, suppose, grow into it
As grubs grow butterflies: else, here are we,
And there is He, and nowhere help at all.
'Believeth with the life, the pain shall stop.
His dam held different, that after death
He both plagued enemies and feasted friends:
Idly! He doth His worst in this our life,
Giving just respite lest we die through pain,
Saving last pain for worst,with which, an end.
Meanwhile, the best way to escape His ire
Is, not to seem too happy. 'Sees, himself,
Yonder two flies, with purple films and pink,
Bask on the pompion-bell above: kills both.
'Sees two black painful beetles roll their ball
On head and tail as if to save their lives:
Moves them the stick away they strive to clear.
Even so, 'would have Him misconceive, suppose
This Caliban strives hard and ails no less,
And always, above all else, envies Him;
Wherefore he mainly dances on dark nights,
Moans in the sun, gets under holes to laugh,
And never speaks his mind save housed as now:
Outside, 'groans, curses. If He caught me here,
O'erheard this speech, and asked "What chucklest at?"
'Would, to appease Him, cut a finger off,
Or of my three kid yearlings burn the best,
Or let the toothsome apples rot on tree,
Or push my tame beast for the orc to taste:
While myself lit a fire, and made a song
And sung it, "What I hate, be consecrate
To celebrate Thee and Thy state, no mate
For Thee; what see for envy in poor me?"
Hoping the while, since evils sometimes mend,
Warts rub away and sores are cured with slime,
That some strange day, will either the Quiet catch
And conquer Setebos, or likelier He
Decrepit may doze, doze, as good as die.
NOTES



Form:
unrhyming

1.
The motto is from Psalms 1: 21. For the title character,
see The Tempest, I, ii. The subtitle and the motto
indicate much of Browning's intention in the poem. "Natural
theology" is distinguished from (and here opposed to)
"revealed theology"\; natural theology being that system
of thought about God which man arrives at through the
unaided use of his natural reason. To the Victorian secularists,
all theology was "natural theology"--that is, man-made.
Their favourite theory was that all religion was a projection
by man of his own qualities. This is the theory which the
text chosen as motto condemns, and which Caliban's musings
illustrate. Throughout he looks at his own characteristics,
and then ascribes them to his god, Setebos: "So he." What is
conspicuous in the poem is that there is no glimpse of what
to Browning is true theology: the theology of a God of Love.
This comes to man (as to David in Saul) by revelation.
The highest conception Caliban can achieve by natural reason
is of the Quiet--an indifferent, absentee, Epicurean God. His
Setebos is merely a God of arbitrary and jealous power. It is
also noteworthy that Browning includes in Caliban's theology
not merely most of the doctrines of primitive religions, but also
some elements associated with branches of Christianity,
particularly the narrower kind of Calvinist sect. He is by implication
rejecting these elements as part of his own definition of true
Christianity in terms of a God of Love. The passages in brackets
at the beginning and end of the poem represent Caliban's silent
thoughts. The main part of the poem is spoken aloud, and
presents his attempt at a system. He is very much the "natural"
man, but Browning gives him not only a quick and vivid
imagination, but a mind that follows the general systematic
pattern of thought used by writers on natural religion. He
starts with the relation of his god to the universe, and the
problem of cosmology, and then moves systematically to
consider his god's attributes, and to try to evolve rules for
worship and service. Caliban throughout speaks of himself
in the third person, usually without the pronoun. Browning
indicates the omission of the pronoun by an apostrophe.


~ Robert Browning, Caliban upon Setebos or, Natural Theology in the Island

300:Fled foam underneath us, and round us, a wandering and milky smoke,
High as the Saddle-girth, covering away from our glances the tide;
And those that fled, and that followed, from the foam-pale distance broke;
The immortal desire of Immortals we saw in their faces, and sighed.

I mused on the chase with the Fenians, and Bran, Sceolan, Lomair,
And never a song sang Niamh, and over my finger-tips
Came now the sliding of tears and sweeping of mist-cold hair,
And now the warmth of sighs, and after the quiver of lips.

Were we days long or hours long in riding, when, rolled in a grisly peace,
An isle lay level before us, with dripping hazel and oak?
And we stood on a sea's edge we saw not; for whiter than new-washed fleece
Fled foam underneath us, and round us, a wandering and milky smoke.

And we rode on the plains of the sea's edge; the sea's edge barren and grey,
Grey sand on the green of the grasses and over the dripping trees,
Dripping and doubling landward, as though they would hasten away,
Like an army of old men longing for rest from the moan of the seas.

But the trees grew taller and closer, immense in their wrinkling bark;
Dropping; a murmurous dropping; old silence and that one sound;
For no live creatures lived there, no weasels moved in the dark:
Long sighs arose in our spirits, beneath us bubbled the ground.

And the ears of the horse went sinking away in the hollow night,
For, as drift from a sailor slow drowning the gleams of the world and the sun,
Ceased on our hands and our faces, on hazel and oak leaf, the light,
And the stars were blotted above us, and the whole of the world was one.

Till the horse gave a whinny; for, cumbrous with stems of the hazel and oak,
A valley flowed down from his hoofs, and there in the long grass lay,
Under the starlight and shadow, a monstrous slumbering folk,
Their naked and gleaming bodies poured out and heaped in the way.

And by them were arrow and war-axe, arrow and shield and blade;
And dew-blanched horns, in whose hollow a child of three years old
Could sleep on a couch of rushes, and all inwrought and inlaid,
And more comely than man can make them with bronze and silver and gold.

And each of the huge white creatures was huger than fourscore men;
The tops of their ears were feathered, their hands were the claws of birds,
And, shaking the plumes of the grasses and the leaves of the mural glen,
The breathing came from those bodies, long warless, grown whiter than curds.

The wood was so Spacious above them, that He who has stars for His flocks
Could fondle the leaves with His fingers, nor go from His dew-cumbered skies;
So long were they sleeping, the owls had builded their nests in their locks,
Filling the fibrous dimness with long generations of eyes.

And over the limbs and the valley the slow owls wandered and came,
Now in a place of star-fire, and now in a shadow-place wide;
And the chief of the huge white creatures, his knees in the soft star-flame,
Lay loose in a place of shadow: we drew the reins by his side.

Golden the nails of his bird-clawS, flung loosely along the dim ground;
In one was a branch soft-shining with bells more many than sighs
In midst of an old man's bosom; owls ruffling and pacing around
Sidled their bodies against him, filling the shade with their eyes.

And my gaze was thronged with the sleepers; no, not since the world began,
In realms where the handsome were many, nor in glamours by demons flung,
Have faces alive with such beauty been known to the salt eye of man,
Yet weary with passions that faded when the sevenfold seas were young.

And I gazed on the bell-branch, sleep's forebear, far sung by the Sennachies.
I saw how those slumbererS, grown weary, there camping in grasses deep,
Of wars with the wide world and pacing the shores of the wandering seas,
Laid hands on the bell-branch and swayed it, and fed of unhuman sleep.

Snatching the horn of Niamh, I blew a long lingering note.
Came sound from those monstrous sleepers, a sound like the stirring of flies.
He, shaking the fold of his lips, and heaving the pillar of his throat,
Watched me with mournful wonder out of the wells of his eyes.

I cried, 'Come out of the shadow, king of the nails of gold!
And tell of your goodly household and the goodly works of your hands,
That we may muse in the starlight and talk of the battles of old;
Your questioner, Oisin, is worthy, he comes from the Fenian lands.'

Half open his eyes were, and held me, dull with the smoke of their dreams;
His lips moved slowly in answer, no answer out of them came;
Then he swayed in his fingers the bell-branch, slow dropping a sound in faint streams
Softer than snow-flakes in April and piercing the marrow like flame.

Wrapt in the wave of that music, with weariness more than of earth,
The moil of my centuries filled me; and gone like a sea-covered stone
Were the memories of the whole of my sorrow and the memories of the whole of my mirth,
And a softness came from the starlight and filled me full to the bone.

In the roots of the grasses, the sorrels, I laid my body as low;
And the pearl-pale Niamh lay by me, her brow on the midst of my breast;
And the horse was gone in the distance, and years after years 'gan flow;
Square leaves of the ivy moved over us, binding us down to our rest.

And, man of the many white croziers, a century there I forgot
How the fetlocks drip blood in the battle, when the fallen on fallen lie rolled;
How the falconer follows the falcon in the weeds of the heron's plot,
And the name of the demon whose hammer made Conchubar's sword-blade of old.

And, man of the many white croziers, a century there I forgot
That the spear-shaft is made out of ashwood, the shield out of osier and hide;
How the hammers spring on the anvil, on the spearhead's burning spot;
How the slow, blue-eyed oxen of Finn low sadly at evening tide.

But in dreams, mild man of the croziers, driving the dust with their throngs,
Moved round me, of seamen or landsmen, all who are winter tales;
Came by me the kings of the Red Branch, with roaring of laughter and songs,
Or moved as they moved once, love-making or piercing the tempest with sails.

Came Blanid, Mac Nessa, tall Fergus who feastward of old time slunk,
Cook Barach, the traitor; and warward, the spittle on his beard never dry,
Dark Balor, as old as a forest, car-borne, his mighty head sunk
Helpless, men lifting the lids of his weary and death making eye.

And by me, in soft red raiment, the Fenians moved in loud streams,
And Grania, walking and smiling, sewed with her needle of bone.
So lived I and lived not, so wrought I and wrought not, with creatures of dreams,
In a long iron sleep, as a fish in the water goes dumb as a stone.

At times our slumber was lightened. When the sun was on silver or gold;
When brushed with the wings of the owls, in the dimness they love going by;
When a glow-worm was green on a grass-leaf, lured from his lair in the mould;
Half wakening, we lifted our eyelids, and gazed on the grass with a sigh.

So watched I when, man of the croziers, at the heel of a century fell,
Weak, in the midst of the meadow, from his miles in the midst of the air,
A starling like them that forgathered 'neath a moon waking white as a shell
When the Fenians made foray at morning with Bran, Sceolan, Lomair.

I awoke: the strange horse without summons out of the distance ran,
Thrusting his nose to my shoulder; he knew in his bosom deep
That once more moved in my bosom the ancient sadness of man,
And that I would leave the Immortals, their dimness, their dews dropping sleep.

O, had you seen beautiful Niamh grow white as the waters are white,
Lord of the croziers, you even had lifted your hands and wept:
But, the bird in my fingers, I mounted, remembering alone that delight
Of twilight and slumber were gone, and that hoofs impatiently stept.

I died, 'O Niamh! O white one! if only a twelve-houred day,
I must gaze on the beard of Finn, and move where the old men and young
In the Fenians' dwellings of wattle lean on the chessboards and play,
Ah, sweet to me now were even bald Conan's slanderous tongue!

'Like me were some galley forsaken far off in Meridian isle,
Remembering its long-oared companions, sails turning to threadbare rags;
No more to crawl on the seas with long oars mile after mile,
But to be amid shooting of flies and flowering of rushes and flags.'

Their motionless eyeballs of spirits grown mild with mysterious thought,
Watched her those seamless faces from the valley's glimmering girth;
As she murmured, 'O wandering Oisin, the strength of the bell-branch is naught,
For there moves alive in your fingers the fluttering sadness of earth.

'Then go through the lands in the saddle and see what the mortals do,
And softly come to your Niamh over the tops of the tide;
But weep for your Niamh, O Oisin, weep; for if only your shoe
Brush lightly as haymouse earth's pebbles, you will come no more to my side.

'O flaming lion of the world, O when will you turn to your rest?'
I saw from a distant saddle; from the earth she made her moan:
'I would die like a small withered leaf in the autumn, for breast unto breast
We shall mingle no more, nor our gazes empty their sweetness lone

'In the isles of the farthest seas where only the spirits come.
Were the winds less soft than the breath of a pigeon who sleeps on her nest,
Nor lost in the star-fires and odours the sound of the sea's vague drum?
O flaming lion of the world, O when will you turn to your rest?'

The wailing grew distant; I rode by the woods of the wrinkling bark,
Where ever is murmurous dropping, old silence and that one sound;
For no live creatures live there, no weasels move in the dark:
In a reverie forgetful of all things, over the bubbling' ground.

And I rode by the plains of the sea's edge, where all is barren and grey,
Grey sand on the green of the grasses and over the dripping trees,
Dripping and doubling landward, as though they would hasten away',
Like an army of old men longing for rest from the moan of the seas.

And the winds made the sands on the sea's edge turning and turning go,
As my mind made the names of the Fenians. Far from the hazel and oak,
I rode away on the surges, where, high aS the saddle-bow,
Fled foam underneath me, and round me, a wandering and milky smoke.

Long fled the foam-flakes around me, the winds fled out of the vast,
Snatching the bird in secret; nor knew I, embosomed apart,
When they froze the cloth on my body like armour riveted fast,
For Remembrance, lifting her leanness, keened in the gates of my heart.

Till, fattening the winds of the morning, an odour of new-mown hay
Came, and my forehead fell low, and my tears like berries fell down;
Later a sound came, half lost in the sound of a shore far away,
From the great grass-barnacle calling, and later the shore-weeds brown.

If I were as I once was, the strong hoofs crushing the sand and the shells,
Coming out of the sea as the dawn comes, a chaunt of love on my lips,
Not coughing, my head on my knees, and praying, and wroth with the bells,
I would leave no saint's head on his body from Rachlin to Bera of ships.

Making way from the kindling surges, I rode on a bridle-path
Much wondering to see upon all hands, of wattles and woodwork made,
Your bell-mounted churches, and guardless the sacred cairn and the rath,
And a small and a feeble populace stooping with mattock and spade,

Or weeding or ploughing with faces a-shining with much-toil wet;
While in this place and that place, with bodies unglorious, their chieftains stood,
Awaiting in patience the straw-death, croziered one, caught in your net:
Went the laughter of scorn from my mouth like the roaring of wind in a wood.

And before I went by them so huge and so speedy with eyes so bright,
Came after the hard gaze of youth, or an old man lifted his head:
And I rode and I rode, and I cried out, 'The Fenians hunt wolves in the night,
So sleep thee by daytime.' A voice cried, 'The Fenians a long time are dead.'

A whitebeard stood hushed on the pathway, the flesh of his face as dried grass,
And in folds round his eyes and his mouth, he sad as a child without milk-
And the dreams of the islands were gone, and I knew how men sorrow and pass,
And their hound, and their horse, and their love, and their eyes that glimmer like silk.

And wrapping my face in my hair, I murmured, 'In old age they ceased';
And my tears were larger than berries, and I murmured, 'Where white clouds lie spread
On Crevroe or broad Knockfefin, with many of old they feast
On the floors of the gods.' He cried, 'No, the gods a long time are dead.'

And lonely and longing for Niamh, I shivered and turned me about,
The heart in me longing to leap like a grasshopper into her heart;
I turned and rode to the westward, and followed the sea's old shout
Till I saw where Maeve lies sleeping till starlight and midnight part.

And there at the foot of the mountain, two carried a sack full of sand,
They bore it with staggering and sweating, but fell with their burden at length.
Leaning down from the gem-studded saddle, I flung it five yards with my hand,
With a sob for men waxing so weakly, a sob for the Fenians' old strength.

The rest you have heard of, O croziered man; how, when divided the girth,
I fell on the path, and the horse went away like a summer fly;
And my years three hundred fell on me, and I rose, and walked on the earth,
A creeping old man, full of sleep, with the spittle on his beard never dry'.

How the men of the sand-sack showed me a church with its belfry in air;
Sorry place, where for swing of the war-axe in my dim eyes the crozier gleams;
What place have Caoilte and Conan, and Bran, Sceolan, Lomair?
Speak, you too are old with your memories, an old man surrounded with dreams.

S. Patrick. Where the flesh of the footsole clingeth on the burning stones is their place;
Where the demons whip them with wires on the burning stones of wide Hell,
Watching the blessed ones move far off, and the smile on God's face,
Between them a gateway of brass, and the howl of the angels who fell.

Oisin. Put the staff in my hands; for I go to the Fenians, O cleric, to chaunt
The war-songs that roused them of old; they will rise, making clouds with their Breath,
Innumerable, singing, exultant; the clay underneath them shall pant,
And demons be broken in pieces, and trampled beneath them in death.

And demons afraid in their darkness; deep horror of eyes and of wings,
Afraid, their ears on the earth laid, shall listen and rise up and weep;
Hearing the shaking of shields and the quiver of stretched bowstrings,
Hearing Hell loud with a murmur, as shouting and mocking we sweep.

We will tear out the flaming stones, and batter the gateway of brass
And enter, and none sayeth 'No' when there enters the strongly armed guest;
Make clean as a broom cleans, and march on as oxen move over young grass;
Then feast, making converse of wars, and of old wounds, and turn to our rest.

S. Patrick. On the flaming stones, without refuge, the limbs of the Fenians are lost;
None war on the masters of Hell, who could break up the world in their rage;
But kneel and wear out the flags and pray for your soul that is lost
Through the demon love of its youth and its godless and passionate age.

Oisin. Ah me! to be Shaken with coughing and broken with old age and pain,
Without laughter, a show unto children, alone with remembrance and fear;
All emptied of purple hours as a beggar's cloak in the rain,
As a hay-cock out on the flood, or a wolf sucked under a weir.

It were sad to gaze on the blessed and no man I loved of old there;
I throw down the chain of small stones! when life in my body has ceased,
I will go to Caoilte, and Conan, and Bran, Sceolan, Lomair,
And dwell in the house of the Fenians, be they in flames or at feast.

~ William Butler Yeats, The Wanderings Of Oisin - Book III

301:I
WHEN the pine tosses its cones
To the song of its waterfall tones,
Who speeds to the woodland walks?
To birds and trees who talks?
Csar of his leafy Rome,
There the poet is at home.
He goes to the river-side,
Not hook nor line hath he;
He stands in the meadows wide,
Nor gun nor scythe to see.
Sure some god his eye enchants:
What he knows nobody wants.
In the wood he travels glad,
Without better fortune had,
Melancholy without bad.
Knowledge this man prizes best
Seems fantastic to the rest:
Pondering shadows, colors, clouds,
Grass-buds and caterpillar-shrouds,
Boughs on which the wild bees settle,
Tints that spot the violet's petal,
Why Nature loves the number five,
And why the star-form she repeats:
Lover of all things alive,
Wonderer at all he meets,
Wonderer chiefly at himself,
Who can tell him what he is?
Or how meet in human elf
Coming and past eternities?

2
And such I knew, a forest seer,
A minstrel of the natural year,
Foreteller of the vernal ides,
Wise harbinger of spheres and tides,
A lover true, who knew by heart
Each joy the mountain dales impart;
It seemed that Nature could not raise
A plant in any secret place,
In quaking bog, on snowy hill,
Beneath the grass that shades the rill,
Under the snow, between the rocks,
In damp fields known to bird and fox.
But he would come in the very hour
It opened in its virgin bower,
As if a sunbeam showed the place,
And tell its long-descended race.
It seemed as if the breezes brought him,
It seemed as if the sparrows taught him;
As if by secret sight he knew
Where, in far fields, the orchis grew.
Many haps fall in the field
Seldom seen by wishful eyes,
But all her shows did Nature yield,
To please and win this pilgrim wise.
He saw the partridge drum in the woods;
He heard the woodcock's evening hymn;
He found the tawny thrushes' broods;
And the shy hawk did wait for him;
What others did at distance hear,
And guessed within the thicket's gloom,
Was shown to this philosopher,
And at his bidding seemed to come.

3
In unploughed Maine he sought the lumberers' gang
Where from a hundred lakes young rivers sprang;
He trod the unplanted forest floor, whereon
The all-seeing sun for ages hath not shone;
Where feeds the moose, and walks the surly bear,
And up the tall mast runs the woodpecker.
He saw beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds,
The slight Linna hang its twin-born heads,
And blessed the monument of the man of flowers,
Which breathes his sweet fame'through the northern bowers.
He heard, when in the grove, at intervals,
With sudden roar the aged pine-tree falls,
One crash, the death-hymn of the perfect tree,
Declares the close of its green century.

Low lies the plant to whose creation went
Sweet influence from every element;
Whose living towers the years conspired to build,
Whose giddy top the morning loved to gild.
Through these green tents, by eldest Nature dressed,
He roamed, content alike with man and beast.
Where darkness found him he lay glad at night;
There the red morning touched him with its light.
Three moons his great heart him a hermit made,
So long he roved at will the boundless shade.
The timid it concerns to ask their way,
And fear what foe in caves and swamps can stray,
To make no step until the event is known,
And ills to come as evils past bemoan.
Not so the wise; no coward watch he keeps
To spy what danger on his pathway creeps;
Go where he will, the wise man is at home,
His hearth the earth,his hall the azure dome;
Where his clear spirit leads him, there's his road
By God's own light illumined and foreshowed.

4
'T was one of the charmd days
When the genius of God doth flow;
The wind may alter twenty ways,
A tempest cannot blow;
It may blow north, it still is warm;
Or south, it still is clear;
Or east, it smells like a clover-farm;
Or west, no thunder fear.
The musing peasant, lowly great,
Beside the forest water sate;
The rope-like pine-roots crosswise grown
Composed the network of his throne;
The wide lake, edged with sand and grass,
Was burnished to a floor of glass,
Painted with shadows green and proud
Of the tree and of the cloud.
He was the heart of all the scene;
On him the sun looked more serene;
To hill and cloud his face was known,
It seemed the likeness of their own;
They knew by secret sympathy
The public child of earth and sky.
'You ask,' he said,'what guide
Me through trackless thickets led,
Through thick-stemmed woodlands rough and wide.
I found the water's bed.
The watercourses were my guide;
I travelled grateful by their side,
Or through their channel dry;
They led me through the thicket damp,
Through brake and fern, the beavers' camp,
Through beds of granite cut my road,
And their resistless friendship showed.
The falling waters led me,
The foodful waters fed me,
And brought me to the lowest land

Unerring to the ocean sand.
The moss upon the forest bark
Was pole-star when the night was dark;
The purple berries in the wood
Supplied me necessary food;
For Nature ever faithful is
To such as trust her faithfulness.
When the forest shall mislead me,
When the night and morning lie,
When sea and land refuse to feed me,
'T will be time enough to die;
Then will yet my mother yield
A pillow in her greenest field,
Nor the June flowers scorn to cover
The clay of their departed lover.'

II
As sunbeams stream through liberal space
And nothing jostle or displace,
So waved the pine-tree through my thought
And fanned the dreams it never brought.
'Whether is better, the gift or the donor?
Come to me,'
Quoth the pine-tree,
'I am the giver of honor.

My garden is the cloven rock,
And my manure the snow;
And drifting sand-heaps feed my stock,
In summer's scorching glow.
He is great who can live by me:
The rough and bearded forester
Is better than the lord;
God fills the scrip and canister,
Sin piles the loaded board.
The lord is the peasant that was,
The peasant the lord that shall be;
The lord is hay, the peasant grass,
One dry, and one the living tree.
Who liveth by the ragged pine
Foundeth a heroic line;
Who liveth in the palace hall
Waneth fast and spendeth all.
He goes to my savage haunts,
With his chariot and his care;
My twilight realm he disenchants,
And finds his prison there.
'What prizes the town and the tower?
Only what the pine-tree yields;
Sinew that subdued the fields;
The wild-eyed boy, who in the woods
Chants his hymn to hills and floods,
Whom the city's poisoning spleen
Made not pale, or fat, or lean;
Whom the rain and the wind purgeth,
Whom the dawn and the day-star urgeth,
In whose cheek the rose-leaf blusheth,
In whose feet the lion rusheth,
Iron arms, and iron mould,
That know not fear, fatigue, or cold.
I give my rafters to his boat,
My billets to his boiler's throat,
And I will swim the ancient sea
To float my child to victory,
And grant to dwellers with the pine
Dominion o'er the palm and vine.
Who leaves the pine-tree, leaves his friend,
Unnerves his strength, invites his end.
Cut a bough from my parent stem,
And dip it in thy porcelain vase;
A little while each russet gem
Will swell and rise with wonted grace;
But when it seeks enlarged supplies,
The orphan of the forest dies.
Whoso walks in solitude
And inhabiteth the wood,
Choosing light, wave, rock and bird,
Before the money-loving herd,
Into that forester shall pass,
From these companions, power and grace.
Clean shall he be, without, within,
From the old adhering sin,
All ill dissolving in the light
Of his triumphant piercing sight:
Not vain, sour, nor frivolous;
Not mad, athirst, nor garrulous;
Grave, chaste, contented, though retired,
And of all other men desired.
On him the light of star and moon
Shall fall with purer radiance down;
All constellations of the sky
Shed their virtue through his eye.
Him Nature giveth for defence
His formidable innocence;
The mounting sap, the shells, the sea,
All spheres, all stones, his helpers be;
He shall meet the speeding year,
Without wailing, without fear;
He shall be happy in his love,
Like to like shall joyful prove;
He shall be happy whilst he wooes,
Muse-born, a daughter of the Muse.
But if with gold she bind her hair,
And deck her breast with diamond,
Take off thine eyes, thy heart forbear,
Though thou lie alone on the ground.
' Heed the old oracles,
Ponder my spells;
Song wakes in my pinnacles
When the wind swells.
Soundeth the prophetic wind,
The shadows shake on the rock behind,
And the countless leaves of the pine are strings
Tuned to the lay the wood-god sings.
Hearken! Hearken!
If thou wouldst know the mystic song
Chanted when the sphere was young.
Aloft, abroad, the pan swells;
O wise man! hear'st thou half it tells?
O wise man! hear'st thou the least part?
'T is the chronicle of art.
To the open ear it sings
Sweet the genesis of things,
Of tendency through endless ages,
Of star-dust, and star-pilgrimages,
Of rounded worlds, of space and time,
Of the old flood's subsiding slime,
Of chemic matter, force and form,
Of poles and powers, cold, wet, and warm:
The rushing metamorphosis
Dissolving all that fixture is,
Melts things that be to things that seem,
And solid nature to a dream.
O, listen to the undersong,
The ever old, the ever young;
And, far within those cadent pauses,
The chorus of the ancient Causes!
Delights the dreadful Destiny
To fling his voice into the tree,
And shock thy weak ear with a note
Breathed from the everlasting throat.
In music he repeats the pang
Whence the fair flock of Nature sprang.
O mortal! thy ears are stones;
These echoes are laden with tones
Which only the pure can hear;
Thou canst not catch what they recite
Of Fate and Will, of Want and Right,
Of man to come, of human life,
Of Death and Fortune, Growth and Strife.'
Once again the pine-tree sung:
' Speak not thy speech my boughs among:
Put off thy years, wash in the breeze;
My hours are peaceful centuries.
Talk no more with feeble tongue;
No more the fool of space and time,
Come weave with mine a nobler rhyme.
Only thy Americans
Can read thy line, can meet thy glance,
But the runes that I rehearse
Understands the universe;
The least breath my boughs which tossed
Brings again the Pentecost;
To every soul resounding clear
In a voice of solemn cheer,
"Am I not thine? Are not these thine?"
And they reply, "Forever mine!"
My branches speak Italian,
English, German, Basque, Castilian,
Mountain speech to Highlanders,
Ocean tongues to islanders,
To Fin and Lap and swart Malay,
To each his bosom-secret say.
'Come learn with me the fatal song
Which knits the world in music strong,
Come lift thine eyes to lofty rhymes,
Of things with things, of times with times,
Primal chimes of sun and shade,
Of sound and echo, man and maid,
The land reflected in the flood,
Body with shadow still pursued.
For Nature beats in perfect tune,
And rounds with rhyme her every rune,
Whether she work in land or sea,
Or hide underground her alchemy.
Thou canst not wave thy staff in air,
Or dip thy paddle in the lake,
But it carves the bow of beauty there,
And the ripples in rhymes the oar forsake.
The wood is wiser far than thou;
The wood and wave each other know
Not unrelated, unaffied,
But to each thought and thing allied,
Is perfect Nature's every part,
Rooted in the mighty Heart.
But thou, poor child! unbound, unrhymed,
Whence camest thou, misplaced, mistimed,
Whence, O thou orphan and defrauded?
Is thy land peeled, thy realm marauded?
Who thee divorced, deceived and left?
Thee of thy faith who hath bereft,
And torn the ensigns from thy brow,
And sunk the immortal eye so low?
Thy cheek too white, thy form too slender,
Thy gait too slow, thy habits tender
For royal man;they thee confess
An exile from the wilderness,
The hills where health with health agrees,
And the wise soul expels disease.
Hark! in thy ear I will tell the sign
By which thy hurt thou may'st divine.
'When thou shalt climb the mountain cliff,
Or see the wide shore from thy skiff,
To thee the horizon shall express
But emptiness on emptiness;
There lives no man of Nature's worth
In the circle of the earth;
And to thine eye the vast skies fall,
Dire and satirical,
On clucking hens and prating fools,
On thieves, on drudges and on dolls.
And thou shalt say to the Most High,
"Godhead! all this astronomy,
And fate and practice and invention,
Strong art and beautiful pretension,
This radiant pomp of sun and star,
Throes that were, and worlds that are,
Behold! were in vain and in vain;
It cannot be,I will look again.
Surely now will the curtain rise,
And earth's fit tenant me surprise;
But the curtain doth not rise,
And Nature has miscarried wholly
Into failure, into folly."
'Alas! thine is the bankruptcy,
Blessed Nature so to see.
Come, lay thee in my soothing shade,
And heal the hurts which sin has made.
I see thee in the crowd alone;
I will be thy companion.
Quit thy friends as the dead in doom,
And build to them a final tomb;
Let the starred shade that nightly falls
Still celebrate their funerals,
And the bell of beetle and of bee
Knell their melodious memory.
Behind thee leave thy merchandise,
Thy churches and thy charities;
And leave thy peacock wit behind;
Enough for thee the primal mind
That flows in streams, that breathes in wind:
Leave all thy pedant lore apart;
God hid the whole world in thy heart.
Love shuns the sage, the child it crowns,
Gives all to them who all renounce.
The rain comes when the wind calls;
The river knows the way to the sea;
Without a pilot it runs and falls,
Blessing all lands with its charity;
The sea tosses and foams to find
Its way up to the cloud and wind;
The shadow sits close to the flying ball;
The date fails not on the palm-tree tall;
And thou,go burn thy wormy pages,
Shalt outsee seers, and outwit sages.
Oft didst thou thread the woods in vain
To find what bird had piped the strain:
Seek not, and the little eremite
Flies gayly forth and sings in sight.
'Hearken once more!
I will tell thee the mundane lore.
Older am I than thy numbers wot,
Change I may, but I pass not.
Hitherto all things fast abide,
And anchored in the tempest ride.
Trenchant time behoves to hurry
All to yean and all to bury:
All the forms are fugitive,
But the substances survive.
Ever fresh the broad creation,
A divine improvisation,
From the heart of God proceeds,
A single will, a million deeds.
Once slept the world an egg of stone,
And pulse, and sound, and light was none;
And God said, "Throb!" and there was motion
And the vast mass became vast ocean.
Onward and on, the eternal Pan,
Who layeth the world's incessant plan,
Halteth never in one shape,
But forever doth escape,
Like wave or flame, into new forms
Of gem, and air, of plants, and worms.
I, that to-day am a pine,
Yesterday was a bundle of grass.
He is free and libertine,
Pouring of his power the wine
To every age, to every race;.
Unto every race and age
He emptieth the beverage;
Unto each, and unto all,
Maker and original.
The world is the ring of his spells,
And the play of his miracles.
As he giveth to all to drink,
Thus or thus they are and think.
With one drop sheds form and feature;
With the next a special nature;
The third adds heat's indulgent spark;
The fourth gives light which eats the dark;
Into the fifth himself he flings,
And conscious Law is King of kings.
As the bee through the garden ranges,
From world to world the godhead changes;
As the sheep go feeding in the waste,
From form to form He maketh haste;
This vault which glows immense with light
Is the inn where he lodges for a night.
What reeks such Traveller if the bowers
Which bloom and fade like meadow flowers
A bunch of fragrant lilies be,
Or the stars of eternity?
Alike to him the better, the worse,
The glowing angel, the outcast corse.
Thou metest him by centuries,
And lo! he passes like the breeze;
Thou seek'st in globe and galaxy,
He hides in pure transparency;
Thou askest in fountains and in fires,
He is the essence that inquires.
He is the axis of the star;
He is the sparkle of the spar;
He is the heart of every creature;
He is the meaning of each feature;
And his mind is the sky.
Than all it holds more deep, more high.'
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Woodnotes

302:The Emigrants: Book I
Scene, on the Cliffs to the Eastward of the Town of
Brighthelmstone in Sussex. Time, a Morning in November, 1792.
Slow in the Wintry Morn, the struggling light
Throws a faint gleam upon the troubled waves;
Their foaming tops, as they approach the shore
And the broad surf that never ceasing breaks
On the innumerous pebbles, catch the beams
Of the pale Sun, that with reluctance gives
To this cold northern Isle, its shorten'd day.
Alas! how few the morning wakes to joy!
How many murmur at oblivious night
For leaving them so soon; for bearing thus
Their fancied bliss (the only bliss they taste!) ,
On her black wings away! - Changing the dreams
That sooth'd their sorrows, for calamities
(And every day brings its own sad proportion)
For doubts, diseases, abject dread of Death,
And faithless friends, and fame and fortune lost;
Fancied or real wants; and wounded pride,
That views the day star, but to curse his beams.
Yet He, whose Spirit into being call'd
This wond'rous World of Waters; He who bids
The wild wind lift them till they dash the clouds,
And speaks to them in thunder; or whose breath,
Low murmuring, o'er the gently heaving tides,
When the fair Moon, in summer night serene,
Irradiates with long trembling lines of light
Their undulating surface; that great Power,
Who, governing the Planets, also knows
If but a Sea-Mew falls, whose nest is hid
In these incumbent cliffs; He surely means
To us, his reasoning Creatures, whom He bids
Acknowledge and revere his awful hand,
Nothing but good: Yet Man, misguided Man,
Mars the fair work that he was bid enjoy,
And makes himself the evil he deplores.
How often, when my weary soul recoils
154
From proud oppression, and from legal crimes
(For such are in this Land, where the vain boast
Of equal Law is mockery, while the cost
Of seeking for redress is sure to plunge
Th' already injur'd to more certain ruin
And the wretch starves, before his Counsel pleads)
How often do I half abjure Society,
And sigh for some lone Cottage, deep embower'd
In the green woods, that these steep chalky Hills
Guard from the strong South West; where round their base
The Beach wide flourishes, and the light Ash
With slender leaf half hides the thymy turf! There do I wish to hide me; well content
If on the short grass, strewn with fairy flowers,
I might repose thus shelter'd; or when Eve
In Orient crimson lingers in the west,
Gain the high mound, and mark these waves remote
(Lucid tho' distant) , blushing with the rays
Of the far-flaming Orb, that sinks beneath them;
For I have thought, that I should then behold
The beauteous works of God, unspoil'd by Man
And less affected then, by human woes
I witness'd not; might better learn to bear
Those that injustice, and duplicity
And faithlessness and folly, fix on me:
For never yet could I derive relief,
When my swol'n heart was bursting with its sorrows,
From the sad thought, that others like myself
Live but to swell affliction's countless tribes!
- Tranquil seclusion I have vainly sought;
Peace, who delights solitary shade,
No more will spread for me her downy wings,
But, like the fabled Danaïds- or the wretch,
Who ceaseless, up the steep acclivity,
Was doom'd to heave the still rebounding rock,
Onward I labour; as the baffled wave,
Which yon rough beach repulses, that returns
With the next breath of wind, to fail again.Ah! Mourner- cease these wailings: cease and learn,
That not the Cot sequester'd, where the briar
And wood-bine wild, embrace the mossy thatch,
(Scarce seen amid the forest gloom obscure!)
155
Or more substantial farm, well fenced and warm,
Where the full barn, and cattle fodder'd round
Speak rustic plenty; nor the statelier dome
By dark firs shaded, or the aspiring pine,
Close by the village Church (with care conceal'd
By verdant foliage, lest the poor man's grave
Should mar the smiling prospect of his Lord) ,
Where offices well rang'd, or dove-cote stock'd,
Declare manorial residence; not these
Or any of the buildings, new and trim
With windows circling towards the restless Sea,
Which ranged in rows, now terminate my walk,
Can shut out for an hour the spectre Care,
That from the dawn of reason, follows still
Unhappy Mortals, 'till the friendly grave
(Our sole secure asylum) 'ends the chace 1.'
Behold, in witness of this mournful truth,
A group approach me, whose dejected looks,
Sad Heralds of distress! proclaim them Men
Banish'd for ever and for conscience sake
From their distracted Country, whence the name
Of Freedom misapplied, and much abus'd
By lawless Anarchy, has driven them far
To wander; with the prejudice they learn'd
From Bigotry (the Tut'ress of the blind) ,
Thro' the wide World unshelter'd; their sole hope,
That German spoilers, thro' that pleasant land
May carry wide the desolating scourge
Of War and Vengeance; yet unhappy Men,
Whate'er your errors, I lament your fate:
And, as disconsolate and sad ye hang
Upon the barrier of the rock, and seem
To murmur your despondence, waiting long
Some fortunate reverse that never comes;
Methinks in each expressive face, I see
Discriminated anguish; there droops one,
Who in a moping cloister long consum'd
This life inactive, to obtain a better,
And thought that meagre abstinence, to wake
From his hard pallet with the midnight bell,
To live on eleemosynary bread,
And to renounce God's works, would please that God.
156
And now the poor pale wretch receives, amaz'd,
The pity, strangers give to his distress,
Because these Strangers are, by his dark creed,
Condemn'd as Heretics- and with sick heart
Regrets 2 his pious prison, and his beads.Another, of more haughty port, declines
The aid he needs not; while in mute despair
His high indignant thoughts go back to France,
Dwelling on all he lost- the Gothic dome,
That vied with splendid palaces 3; the beds
Of silk and down, the silver chalices,
Vestments with gold enwrought for blazing altars;
Where, amid clouds of incense, he held forth
To kneeling crowds the imaginary bones
Of Saints suppos'd, in pearl and gold enchas'd,
And still with more than living Monarchs' pomp
Surrounded; was believ'd by mumbling bigots
To hold the keys of Heaven, and to admit
Whom he thought good to share it- Now alas!
He, to whose daring soul and high ambition
The World seem'd circumscrib'd; who, wont to dream,
Of Fleuri, Richelieu, Alberoni, men
Who trod on Empire, and whose politics
Were not beyond the grasp of his vast mind,
Is, in a Land once hostile, still prophan'd
By disbelief, and rites un-orthodox,
The object of compassion- At his side,
Lighter of heart than these, but heavier far
Than he was wont, another victim comes,
An Abbé- who with less contracted brow
Still smiles and flatters, and still talks of Hope;
Which, sanguine as he is, he does not feel,
And so he cheats the sad and weighty pressure
Of evils present; - - Still, as Men misled
By early prejudice (so hard to break) ,
I mourn your sorrows; for I too have known
Involuntary exile; and while yet
England had charms for me, have felt how sad
It is to look across the dim cold sea,
That melancholy rolls its refluent tides
Between us and the dear regretted land
We call our own- as now ye pensive wait
157
On this bleak morning, gazing on the waves
That seem to leave your shore; from whence the wind
Is loaded to your ears, with the deep groans
Of martyr'd Saints and suffering Royalty,
While to your eyes the avenging power of Heaven
Appears in aweful anger to prepare
The storm of vengeance, fraught with plagues and death.
Even he of milder heart, who was indeed
The simple shepherd in a rustic scene,
And, 'mid the vine-clad hills of Languedoc,
Taught to the bare-foot peasant, whose hard hands
Produc'd 4 the nectar he could seldom taste,
Submission to the Lord for whom he toil'd;
He, or his brethren, who to Neustria's sons
Enforc'd religious patience, when, at times,
On their indignant hearts Power's iron hand
Too strongly struck; eliciting some sparks
Of the bold spirit of their native North;
Even these Parochial Priests, these humbled men;
Whose lowly undistinguish'd cottages
Witness'd a life of purest piety,
While the meek tenants were, perhaps, unknown
Each to the haughty Lord of his domain,
Who mark'd them not; the Noble scorning still
The poor and pious Priest, as with slow pace
He glided thro' the dim arch'd avenue
Which to the Castle led; hoping to cheer
The last sad hour of some laborious life
That hasten'd to its close- even such a Man
Becomes an exile; staying not to try
By temperate zeal to check his madd'ning flock,
Who, at the novel sound of Liberty
(Ah! most intoxicating sound to slaves!) ,
Start into licence- Lo! dejected now,
The wandering Pastor mourns, with bleeding heart,
His erring people, weeps and prays for them,
And trembles for the account that he must give
To Heaven for souls entrusted to his care.Where the cliff, hollow'd by the wintry storm,
Affords a seat with matted sea-weed strewn,
A softer form reclines; around her run,
On the rough shingles, or the chalky bourn,
158
Her gay unconscious children, soon amus'd;
Who pick the fretted stone, or glossy shell,
Or crimson plant marine: or they contrive
The fairy vessel, with its ribband sail
And gilded paper pennant: in the pool,
Left by the salt wave on the yielding sands,
They launch the mimic navy- Happy age!
Unmindful of the miseries of Man! Alas! too long a victim to distress,
Their Mother, lost in melancholy thought,
Lull'd for a moment by the murmurs low
Of sullen billows, wearied by the task
Of having here, with swol'n and aching eyes
Fix'd on the grey horizon, since the dawn
Solicitously watch'd the weekly sail
From her dear native land, now yields awhile
To kind forgetfulness, while Fancy brings,
In waking dreams, that native land again!
Versailles appears- its painted galleries,
And rooms of regal splendour, rich with gold,
Where, by long mirrors multiply'd, the crowd
Paid willing homage- and, united there,
Beauty gave charms to empire- Ah! too soon
From the gay visionary pageant rous'd,
See the sad mourner start! - and, drooping, look
With tearful eyes and heaving bosom round
On drear reality- where dark'ning waves,
Urg'd by the rising wind, unheeded foam
Near her cold rugged seat:- To call her thence
A fellow-sufferer comes: dejection deep
Checks, but conceals not quite, the martial air,
And that high consciousness of noble blood,
Which he has learn'd from infancy to think
Exalts him o'er the race of common men:
Nurs'd in the velvet lap of luxury,
And fed by adulation- could he learn,
That worth alone is true Nobility?
And that the peasant who, 'amid 5 the sons
'Of Reason, Valour, Liberty, and Virtue,
'Displays distinguish'd merit, is a Noble
'Of Nature's own creation! '- If even here,
If in this land of highly vaunted Freedom,
159
Even Britons controvert the unwelcome truth,
Can it be relish'd by the sons of France?
Men, who derive their boasted ancestry
From the fierce leaders of religious wars,
The first in Chivalry's emblazon'd page;
Who reckon Gueslin, Bayard, or De Foix,
Among their brave Progenitors? Their eyes,
Accustom'd to regard the splendid trophies
Of Heraldry (that with fantastic hand
Mingles, like images in feverish dreams,
'Gorgons and Hydras, and Chimeras dire,'
With painted puns, and visionary shapes ;) ,
See not the simple dignity of Virtue,
But hold all base, whom honours such as these
Exalt not from the crowd 6 - As one, who long
Has dwelt amid the artificial scenes
Of populous City, deems that splendid shows,
The Theatre, and pageant pomp of Courts,
Are only worth regard; forgets all taste
For Nature's genuine beauty; in the lapse
Of gushing waters hears no soothing sound,
Nor listens with delight to sighing winds,
That, on their fragrant pinions, waft the notes
Of birds rejoicing in the trangled copse;
Nor gazes pleas'd on Ocean's silver breast,
While lightly o'er it sails the summer clouds
Reflected in the wave, that, hardly heard,
Flows on the yellow sands: so to his mind,
That long has liv'd where Despotism hides
His features harsh, beneath the diadem
Of worldly grandeur, abject Slavery seems,
If by that power impos'd, slavery no more:
For luxury wreathes with silk the iron bonds,
And hides the ugly rivets with her flowers,
Till the degenerate triflers, while they love
The glitter of the chains, forget their weight.
But more the Men, whose ill acquir'd wealth
Was wrung from plunder'd myriads, by the means
Too often legaliz'd by power abus'd,
Feel all the horrors of the fatal change,
When their ephemeral greatness, marr'd at once
(As a vain toy that Fortune's childish hand
160
Equally joy'd to fashion or to crush) ,
Leaves them expos'd to universal scorn
For having nothing else; not even the claim
To honour, which respect for Heroes past
Allows to ancient titles; Men, like these,
Sink even beneath the level, whence base arts
Alone had rais'd them; - unlamented sink,
And know that they deserve the woes they feel.
Poor wand'ring wretches! whosoe'er ye are,
That hopeless, houseless, friendless, travel wide
O'er these bleak russet downs; where, dimly seen,
The solitary Shepherd shiv'ring tends
His dun discolour'd flock (Shepherd, unlike
Him, whom in song the Poet's fancy crowns
With garlands, and his crook with vi'lets binds):
Poor vagrant wretches! outcasts of the world!
Whom no abode receives, no parish owns;
Roving, like Nature's commoners, the land
That boasts such general plenty: if the sight
Of wide-extended misery softens yours
Awhile, suspend your murmurs! - here behold
The strange vicissitudes of fate- while thus
The exil'd Nobles, from their country driven,
Whose richest luxuries were their's, must feel
More poignant anguish, than the lowest poor,
Who, born to indigence, have learn'd to brave
Rigid Adversity's depressing breath! Ah! rather Fortune's worthless favourites!
Who feed on England's vitals- Pensioners
Of base corruption, who, in quick ascent
To opulence unmerited, become
Giddy with pride, and as ye rise, forgetting
The dust ye lately left, with scorn look down
On those beneath ye (tho' your equals once
In fortune, and in worth superior still,
They view the eminence, on which ye stand,
With wonder, not with envy; for they know
The means, by which ye reach'd it, have been such
As, in all honest eyes, degrade ye far
Beneath the poor dependent, whose sad heart
Reluctant pleads for what your pride denies):
Ye venal, worthless hirelings of a Court!
161
Ye pamper'd Parasites! whom Britons pay
For forging fetters for them; rather here
Study a lesson that concerns ye much;
And, trembling, learn, that if oppress'd too long,
The raging multitude, to madness stung,
Will turn on their oppressors; and, no more
By sounding titles and parading forms
Bound like tame victims, will redress themselves!
Then swept away by the resistless torrent,
Not only all your pomp may disappear,
But, in the tempest lost, fair Order sink
Her decent head, and lawless Anarchy
O'erturn celestial Freedom's radiant throne; As now in Gallia; where Confusion, born
Of party rage and selfish love of rule,
Sully the noblest cause that ever warm'd
The heart of Patriot Virtue 8 - There arise
The infernal passions; Vengeance, seeking blood,
And Avarice; and Envy's harpy fangs
Pollute the immortal shrine of Liberty,
Dismay her votaries, and disgrace her name.
Respect is due to principle; and they,
Who suffer for their conscience, have a claim,
Whate'er that principle may be, to praise.
These ill-starr'd Exiles then, who, bound by ties,
To them the bonds of honour; who resign'd
Their country to preserve them, and now seek
In England an asylum- well deserve
To find that (every prejudice forgot,
Which pride and ignorance teaches) , we for them
Feel as our brethren; and that English hearts,
Of just compassion ever own the sway,
As truly as our element, the deep,
Obeys the mild dominion of the MoonThis they have found; and may they find it still!
Thus may'st thou, Britain, triumph! - May thy foes,
By Reason's gen'rous potency subdued,
Learn, that the God thou worshippest, delights
In acts of pure humanity! - May thine
Be still such bloodless laurels! nobler far
Than those acquir'd at Cressy or Poictiers,
Or of more recent growth, those well bestow'd
162
On him who stood on Calpe's blazing height
Amid the thunder of a warring world,
Illustrious rather from the crowds he sav'd
From flood and fire, than from the ranks who fell
Beneath his valour! - Actions such as these,
Like incense rising to the Throne of Heaven,
Far better justify the pride, that swells
In British bosoms, than the deafening roar
Of Victory from a thousand brazen throats,
That tell with what success wide-wasting War
Has by our brave Compatriots thinned the world.
~ Charlotte Smith
303: XXI - WALPURGIS-NIGHT

THE HARTZ MOUNTAINS.

District of Schierke and Elend.

FAUST MEPHISTOPHELES

MEPHISTOPHELES

DOST thou not wish a broomstick-steed's assistance?
The sturdiest he-goat I would gladly see:
The way we take, our goal is yet some distance.

FAUST

So long as in my legs I feel the fresh existence.
This knotted staff suffices me.
What need to shorten so the way?
Along this labyrinth of vales to wander,
Then climb the rocky ramparts yonder,
Wherefrom the fountain flings eternal spray,
Is such delight, my steps would fain delay.
The spring-time stirs within the fragrant birches,
And even the fir-tree feels it now:
Should then our limbs escape its gentle searches?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I notice no such thing, I vow!
'Tis winter still within my body:
Upon my path I wish for frost and snow.
How sadly rises, incomplete and ruddy,
The moon's lone disk, with its belated glow,
And lights so dimly, that, as one advances,
At every step one strikes a rock or tree!
Let us, then, use a Jack-o'-lantern's glances:
I see one yonder, burning merrily.
Ho, there! my friend! I'll levy thine attendance:
Why waste so vainly thy resplendence?
Be kind enough to light us up the steep!

WILL-O'-THE-WISP

My reverence, I hope, will me enable
To curb my temperament unstable;
For zigzag courses we are wont to keep.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Indeed? he'd like mankind to imitate!
Now, in the Devil's name, go straight,
Or I'll blow out his being's flickering spark!

WILL-O'-THE-WISP

You are the master of the house, I mark,
And I shall try to serve you nicely.
But then, reflect: the mountain's magic-mad to-day,
And if a will-o'-the-wisp must guide you on the way,
You mustn't take things too precisely.

FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES, WILL-O'-THE-WISP

(in alternating song)

We, it seems, have entered newly
In the sphere of dreams enchanted.
Do thy bidding, guide us truly,
That our feet be forwards planted
In the vast, the desert spaces!
See them swiftly changing places,
Trees on trees beside us trooping,
And the crags above us stooping,
And the rocky snouts, outgrowing,
Hear them snoring, hear them blowing!
O'er the stones, the grasses, flowing
Stream and streamlet seek the hollow.
Hear I noises? songs that follow?
Hear I tender love-petitions?
Voices of those heavenly visions?
Sounds of hope, of love undying!
And the echoes, like traditions
Of old days, come faint and hollow.

Hoo-hoo! Shoo-hoo! Nearer hover
Jay and screech-owl, and the plover,
Are they all awake and crying?
Is't the salamander pushes,
Bloated-bellied, through the bushes?
And the roots, like serpents twisted,
Through the sand and boulders toiling,
Fright us, weirdest links uncoiling
To entrap us, unresisted:
Living knots and gnarls uncanny
Feel with polypus-antennae
For the wanderer. Mice are flying,
Thousand-colored, herd-wise hieing
Through the moss and through the heather!

And the fire-flies wink and darkle,
Crowded swarms that soar and sparkle,
And in wildering escort gather!

Tell me, if we still are standing,
Or if further we're ascending?
All is turning, whirling, blending,
Trees and rocks with grinning faces,
Wandering lights that spin in mazes,
Still increasing and expanding!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Grasp my skirt with heart undaunted!
Here a middle-peak is planted,
Whence one seeth, with amaze,
Mammon in the mountain blaze.

FAUST

How strangely glimmers through the hollows
A dreary light, like that of dawn!
Its exhalation tracks and follows
The deepest gorges, faint and wan.
Here steam, there rolling vapor sweepeth;
Here burns the glow through film and haze:
Now like a tender thread it creepeth,
Now like a fountain leaps and plays.
Here winds away, and in a hundred
Divided veins the valley braids:
There, in a corner pressed and sundered,
Itself detaches, spreads and fades.
Here gush the sparkles incandescent
Like scattered showers of golden sand;
But, see! in all their height, at present,
The rocky ramparts blazing stand.
Under the old ribs of the rock retreating
Under the old ribs of the rock retreating

MEPHISTOPHELES

Has not Sir Mammon grandly lighted
His palace for this festal night?
'Tis lucky thou hast seen the sight;
The boisterous guests approach that were invited.

FAUST

How raves the tempest through the air!
With what fierce blows upon my neck 'tis beating!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Under the old ribs of the rock retreating,
Hold fast, lest thou be hurled down the abysses there!
The night with the mist is black;
Hark! how the forests grind and crack!
Frightened, the owlets are scattered:
Hearken! the pillars are shattered.
The evergreen palaces shaking!
Boughs are groaning and breaking,
The tree-trunks terribly thunder,
The roots are twisting asunder!
In frightfully intricate crashing
Each on the other is dashing,
And over the wreck-strewn gorges
The tempest whistles and surges!
Hear'st thou voices higher ringing?
Far away, or nearer singing?
Yes, the mountain's side along,
Sweeps an infuriate glamouring song!

WITCHES (in chorus)

The witches ride to the Brocken's top,
The stubble is yellow, and green the crop.
There gathers the crowd for carnival:
Sir Urian sits over all.

And so they go over stone and stock;
The witch she-s, and-s the buck.

A VOICE

Alone, old Baubo's coming now;
She rides upon a farrow-sow.

CHORUS

Then honor to whom the honor is due!
Dame Baubo first, to lead the crew!
A tough old sow and the mother thereon,
Then follow the witches, every one.

A VOICE

Which way com'st thou hither?

VOICE

O'er the Ilsen-stone.
I peeped at the owl in her nest alone:
How she stared and glared!

VOICE

Betake thee to Hell!
Why so fast and so fell?

VOICE

She has scored and has flayed me:
See the wounds she has made me!

WITCHES (chorus)

The way is wide, the way is long:
See, what a wild and crazy throng!
The broom it scratches, the fork it thrusts,
The child is stifled, the mother bursts.

WIZARDS (semichorus)

As doth the snail in shell, we crawl:
Before us go the women all.
When towards the Devil's House we tread,
Woman's a thousand steps ahead.

OTHER SEMICHORUS

We do not measure with such care:
Woman in thousand steps is theft.
But howsoe'er she hasten may,
Man in one leap has cleared the way.

VOICE (from above)

Come on, come on, from Rocky Lake!

VOICE (from below)

Aloft we'd fain ourselves betake.
We've washed, and are bright as ever you will,
Yet we're eternally sterile still.

BOTH CHORUSES

The wind is hushed, the star shoots by.
The dreary moon forsakes the sky;
The magic notes, like spark on spark,
Drizzle, whistling through the dark.

VOICE (from below)

Halt, there! Ho, there!

VOICE (from above)

Who calls from the rocky cleft below there?

VOICE (below)

Take me, too! take me, too!
I'm climbing now three hundred years,
And yet the summit cannot see:
Among my equals I would be.

BOTH CHORUSES

Bears the broom and bears the stock,
Bears the fork and bears the buck:
Who cannot raise himself to-night
Is evermore a ruined wight.

HALF-WITCH (below)

So long I stumble, ill bestead,
And the others are now so far ahead!
At home I've neither rest nor cheer,
And yet I cannot gain them here.

CHORUS OF WITCHES

To cheer the witch will salve avail;
A rag will answer for a sail;
Each trough a goodly ship supplies;
He ne'er will fly, who now not flies.

BOTH CHORUSES

When round the summit whirls our flight,
Then lower, and on the ground alight;
And far and wide the heather press
With witchhood's swarms of wantonness!

(They settle down.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

They crowd and push, they roar and clatter!
They whirl and whistle, pull and chatter!
They shine, and spirt, and stink, and burn!
The true witch-element we learn.
Keep close! or we are parted, in our turn,
Where art thou?

FAUST (in the distance)

Here!

MEPHISTOPHELES

What! whirled so far astray?
Then house-right I must use, and clear the way.
Make room! Squire Voland comes! Room, gentle rabble,
room!

Here, Doctor, hold to me: in one jump we'll resume
An easier space, and from the crowd be free:
It's too much, even for the like of me.
Yonder, with special light, there's something shining clearer
Within those bushes; I've a mind to see.
Come on! we'll slip a little nearer.

FAUST

Spirit of Contradiction! On! I'll follow straight.
'Tis planned most wisely, if I judge aright:
We climb the Brocken's top in the Walpurgis-Night,
That arbitrarily, here, ourselves we isolate.

MEPHISTOPHELES

But see, what motley flames among the heather!
There is a lively club together:
In smaller circles one is not alone.

FAUST

Better the summit, I must own:
There fire and whirling smoke I see.
They seek the Evil One in wild confusion:
Many enigmas there might find solution.

MEPHISTOPHELES

But there enigmas also knotted be.
Leave to the multitude their riot!
Here will we house ourselves in quiet.
It is an old, transmitted trade,
That in the greater world the little worlds are made.
I see stark-nude young witches congregate,
And old ones, veiled and hidden shrewdly:
On my account be kind, nor treat them rudely!
The trouble's small, the fun is great.
I hear the noise of instruments attuning,
Vile din! yet one must learn to bear the crooning.
Come, come along! It must be, I declare!
I'll go ahead and introduce thee there,
Thine obligation newly earning.
That is no little space: what say'st thou, friend?
Look yonder! thou canst scarcely see the end:
A hundred fires along the ranks are burning.
They dance, they chat, they cook, they drink, they court:
Now where, just tell me, is there better sport?

FAUST

Wilt thou, to introduce us to the revel,
Assume the part of wizard or of devil?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I'm mostly used, 'tis true, to go incognito,
But on a gala-day one may his orders show.
The Garter does not deck my suit,
But honored and at home is here the cloven foot.
Perceiv'st thou yonder snail? It cometh, slow and steady;
So delicately its feelers pry,
That it hath scented me already:
I cannot here disguise me, if I try.
But come! we'll go from this fire to a newer:
I am the go-between, and thou the wooer.

(To some, who are sitting around dying embers:)

Old gentlemen, why at the outskirts? Enter!
I'd praise you if I found you snugly in the centre,
With youth and revel round you like a zone:
You each, at home, are quite enough alone.

GENERAL

Say, who would put his trust in nations,
Howe'er for them one may have worked and planned?
For with the people, as with women,
Youth always has the upper hand.

MINISTER

They're now too far from what is just and sage.
I praise the old ones, not unduly:
When we were all-in-all, then, truly,
Then was the real golden age.

PARVENU

We also were not stupid, either,
And what we should not, often did;
But now all things have from their bases slid,
Just as we meant to hold them fast together.

AUTHOR

Who, now, a work of moderate sense will read?
Such works are held as antiquate and mossy;
And as regards the younger folk, indeed,
They never yet have been so pert and saucy.

MEPHISTOPHELES

(who all at once appears very old)

I feel that men are ripe for Judgment-Day,
Now for the last time I've the witches'-hill ascended:
Since to the lees my cask is drained away,
The world's, as well, must soon be ended.

HUCKSTER-WITCH

Ye gentlemen, don't pass me thus!
Let not the chance neglected be!
Behold my wares attentively:
The stock is rare and various.
And yet, there's nothing I've collected
No shop, on earth, like this you'll find!
Which has not, once, sore hurt inflicted
Upon the world, and on mankind.
No dagger's here, that set not blood to flowing;
No cup, that hath not once, within a healthy frame
Poured speedy death, in poison glowing:
No gems, that have not brought a maid to shame;
No sword, but severed ties for the unwary,
Or from behind struck down the adversary.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Gossip! the times thou badly comprehendest:
What's done has happedwhat haps, is done!
'Twere better if for novelties thou sendest:
By such alone can we be won.

FAUST

Let me not lose myself in all this pother!
This is a fair, as never was another!

MEPHISTOPHELES

The whirlpool swirls to get above:
Thou'rt shoved thyself, imagining to shove.

FAUST

But who is that?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Note her especially,
Tis Lilith.

FAUST

Who?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Adam's first wife is she.
Beware the lure within her lovely tresses,
The splendid sole adornment of her hair!
When she succeeds therewith a youth to snare,
Not soon again she frees him from her jesses.

FAUST

Those two, the old one with the young one sitting,
They've danced already more than fitting.

MEPHISTOPHELES

No rest to-night for young or old!
They start another dance: come now, let us take hold!

FAUST (dancing with the young witch)

A lovely dream once came to me;
I then beheld an apple-tree,
And there two fairest apples shone:
They lured me so, I climbed thereon.

THE FAIR ONE

Apples have been desired by you,
Since first in Paradise they grew;
And I am moved with joy, to know
That such within my garden grow.

MEPHISTOPHELES (dancing with the old one)

A dissolute dream once came to me:
Therein I saw a cloven tree,
Which had a;
Yet,as 'twas, I fancied it.

THE OLD ONE

I offer here my best salute
Unto the knight with cloven foot!
Let him aprepare,
If himdoes not scare.

PROKTOPHANTASMIST

Accursd folk! How dare you venture thus?
Had you not, long since, demonstration
That ghosts can't stand on ordinary foundation?
And now you even dance, like one of us!

THE FAIR ONE (dancing)

Why does he come, then, to our ball?

FAUST (dancing)

O, everywhere on him you fall!
When others dance, he weighs the matter:
If he can't every step bechatter,
Then 'tis the same as were the step not made;
But if you forwards go, his ire is most displayed.
If you would whirl in regular gyration
As he does in his dull old mill,
He'd show, at any rate, good-will,
Especially if you heard and heeded his hortation.

PROKTOPHANTASMIST

You still are here? Nay, 'tis a thing unheard!
Vanish, at once! We've said the enlightening word.
The pack of devils by no rules is daunted:
We are so wise, and yet is Tegel haunted.
To clear the folly out, how have I swept and stirred!
Twill ne'er be clean: why, 'tis a thing unheard!

THE FAIR ONE

Then cease to bore us at our ball!

PROKTOPHANTASMIST

I tell you, spirits, to your face,
I give to spirit-despotism no place;
My spirit cannot practise it at all.

(The dance continues)

Naught will succeed, I see, amid such revels;
Yet something from a tour I always save,
And hope, before my last step to the grave,
To overcome the poets and the devils.

MEPHISTOPHELES

He now will seat him in the nearest puddle;
The solace this, whereof he's most assured:
And when upon his rump the leeches hang and fuddle,
He'll be of spirits and of Spirit cured.

(To FAUST, who has left the dance:)

Wherefore forsakest thou the lovely maiden,
That in the dance so sweetly sang?

FAUST

Ah! in the midst of it there sprang
A red mouse from her mouthsufficient reason.

MEPHISTOPHELES

That's nothing! One must not so squeamish be;
So the mouse was not gray, enough for thee.
Who'd think of that in love's selected season?

FAUST

Then saw I.

MEPHISTOPHELES

What?

FAUST

Mephisto, seest thou there,
Alone and far, a girl most pale and fair?
She falters on, her way scarce knowing,
As if with fettered feet that stay her going.
I must confess, it seems to me
As if my kindly Margaret were she.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Let the thing be! All thence have evil drawn:
It is a magic shape, a lifeless eidolon.
Such to encounter is not good:
Their blank, set stare benumbs the human blood,
And one is almost turned to stone.
Medusa's tale to thee is known.

FAUST

Forsooth, the eyes they are of one whom, dying,
No hand with loving pressure closed;
That is the breast whereon I once was lying,
The body sweet, beside which I reposed!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Tis magic all, thou fool, seduced so easily!
Unto each man his love she seems to be.

FAUST

The woe, the rapture, so ensnare me,
That from her gaze I cannot tear me!
And, strange! around her fairest throat
A single scarlet band is gleaming,
No broader than a knife-blade seeming!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Quite right! The mark I also note.
Her head beneath her arm she'll sometimes carry;
Twas Perseus lopped it, her old adversary.
Thou crav'st the same illusion still!
Come, let us mount this little hill;
The Prater shows no livelier stir,
And, if they've not bewitched my sense,
I verily see a theatre.
What's going on?

SERVIBILIS

'Twill shortly recommence:
A new performance'tis the last of seven.
To give that number is the custom here:
'Twas by a Dilettante written,
And Dilettanti in the parts appear.
That now I vanish, pardon, I entreat you!
As Dilettante I the curtain raise.

MEPHISTOPHELES

When I upon the Blocksberg meet you,
I find it good: for that's your proper place.
Faust

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, WALPURGIS-NIGHT

304:He gazed and gazed and gazed and gazed,
Amazed, amazed, amazed, amazed.

Like (7) 2
Saul
I.

Said Abner, ``At last thou art come! Ere I tell, ere thou speak,
``Kiss my cheek, wish me well!'' Then I wished it, and did kiss his cheek.
And he, ``Since the King, O my friend, for thy countenance sent,
``Neither drunken nor eaten have we; nor until from his tent
``Thou return with the joyful assurance the King liveth yet,
``Shall our lip with the honey be bright, with the water be wet.
``For out of the black mid-tent's silence, a space of three days,
``Not a sound hath escaped to thy servants, of prayer nor of praise,
``To betoken that Saul and the Spirit have ended their strife,
``And that, faint in his triumph, the monarch sinks back upon life.

II.

``Yet now my heart leaps, O beloved! God's child with his dew
``On thy gracious gold hair, and those lilies still living and blue
``Just broken to twine round thy harp-strings, as if no wild beat
``Were now raging to torture the desert!''

III.

                     Then I, as was meet,
Knelt down to the God of my fathers, and rose on my feet,
And ran o'er the sand burnt to powder. The tent was unlooped;
I pulled up the spear that obstructed, and under I stooped
Hands and knees on the slippery grass-patch, all withered and gone,
That extends to the second enclosure, I groped my way on
Till I felt where the foldskirts fly open. Then once more I prayed,
And opened the foldskirts and entered, and was not afraid
But spoke, ``Here is David, thy servant!'' And no voice replied.
At the first I saw nought but the blackness but soon I descried
A something more black than the blackness-the vast, the upright
Main prop which sustains the pavilion: and slow into sight
Grew a figure against it, gigantic and blackest of all.
Then a sunbeam, that burst thro' the tent-roof, showed Saul.

IV.

He stood as erect as that tent-prop, both arms stretched out wide
On the great cross-support in the centre, that goes to each side;
He relaxed not a muscle, but hung there as, caught in his pangs
And waiting his change, the king-serpent all heavily hangs,
Far away from his kind, in the pine, till deliverance come
With the spring-time,-so agonized Saul, drear and stark, blind and dumb.

V.

Then I tuned my harp,-took off the lilies we twine round its chords
Lest they snap 'neath the stress of the noon-tide-those sunbeams like swords!
And I first played the tune all our sheep know, as, one after one,
So docile they come to the pen-door till folding be done.
They are white and untorn by the bushes, for lo, they have fed
Where the long grasses stifle the water within the stream's bed;
And now one after one seeks its lodging, as star follows star
Into eve and the blue far above us,-so blue and so far!

VI.

-Then the tune, for which quails on the cornland will each leave his mate
To fly after the player; then, what makes the crickets elate
Till for boldness they fight one another: and then, what has weight
To set the quick jerboa amusing outside his sand house-
There are none such as he for a wonder, half bird and half mouse!
God made all the creatures and gave them our love and our fear,
To give sign, we and they are his children, one family here.
VII.

Then I played the help-tune of our reapers, their wine-song, when hand
Grasps at hand, eye lights eye in good friendship, and great hearts expand
And grow one in the sense of this world's life.-And then, the last song
When the dead man is praised on his journey-``Bear, bear him along
``With his few faults shut up like dead flowerets! Are balm-seeds not here
``To console us? The land has none left such as he on the bier.
``Oh, would we might keep thee, my brother!''-And then, the glad chaunt
Of the marriage,-first go the young maidens, next, she whom we vaunt
As the beauty, the pride of our dwelling.-And then, the great march
Wherein man runs to man to assist him and buttress an arch
Nought can break; who shall harm them, our friends?-Then, the chorus intoned
As the Levites go up to the altar in glory enthroned.
But I stopped here: for here in the darkness Saul groaned.

VIII.

And I paused, held my breath in such silence, and listened apart;
And the tent shook, for mighty Saul shuddered: and sparkles 'gan dart
From the jewels that woke in his turban, at once with a start,
All its lordly male-sapphires, and rubies courageous at heart.
So the head: but the body still moved not, still hung there erect.
And I bent once again to my playing, pursued it unchecked,
As I sang,-

IX.

     ``Oh, our manhood's prime vigour! No spirit feels waste,
``Not a muscle is stopped in its playing nor sinew unbraced.
``Oh, the wild joys of living! the leaping from rock up to rock,
``The strong rending of boughs from the fir-tree, the cool silver shock
``Of the plunge in a pool's living water, the hunt of the bear,
``And the sultriness showing the lion is couched in his lair.
``And the meal, the rich dates yellowed over with gold dust divine,
``And the locust-flesh steeped in the pitcher, the full draught of wine,
``And the sleep in the dried river-channel where bulrushes tell
``That the water was wont to go warbling so softly and well.
``How good is man's life, the mere living! how fit to employ
``All the heart and the soul and the senses for ever in joy!
``Hast thou loved the white locks of thy father, whose sword thou didst guard
``When he trusted thee forth with the armies, for glorious reward?
``Didst thou see the thin hands of thy mother, held up as men sung
``The low song of the nearly-departed, and bear her faint tongue
``Joining in while it could to the witness, `Let one more attest,
`` `I have lived, seen God's hand thro'a lifetime, and all was for best'?
``Then they sung thro' their tears in strong triumph, not much, but the rest.
``And thy brothers, the help and the contest, the working whence grew
``Such result as, from seething grape-bundles, the spirit strained true:
``And the friends of thy boyhood-that boyhood of wonder and hope,
``Present promise and wealth of the future beyond the eye's scope,-
``Till lo, thou art grown to a monarch; a people is thine;
``And all gifts, which the world offers singly, on one head combine!
``On one head, all the beauty and strength, love and rage (like the throe
``That, a-work in the rock, helps its labour and lets the gold go)
``High ambition and deeds which surpass it, fame crowning them,-all
``Brought to blaze on the head of one creature-King Saul!''

X.

And lo, with that leap of my spirit,-heart, hand, harp and voice,
Each lifting Saul's name out of sorrow, each bidding rejoice
Saul's fame in the light it was made for-as when, dare I say,
The Lord's army, in rapture of service, strains through its array,
And up soareth the cherubim-chariot-``Saul!'' cried I, and stopped,
And waited the thing that should follow. Then Saul, who hung propped
By the tent's cross-support in the centre, was struck by his name.
Have ye seen when Spring's arrowy summons goes right to the aim,
And some mountain, the last to withstand her, that held (he alone,
While the vale laughed in freedom and flowers) on a broad bust of stone
A year's snow bound about for a breastplate,-leaves grasp of the sheet?
Fold on fold all at once it crowds thunderously down to his feet,
And there fronts you, stark, black, but alive yet, your mountain of old,
With his rents, the successive bequeathings of ages untold-
Yea, each harm got in fighting your battles, each furrow and scar
Of his head thrust 'twixt you and the tempest-all hail, there they are!
-Now again to be softened with verdure, again hold the nest
Of the dove, tempt the goat and its young to the green on his crest
For their food in the ardours of summer. One long shudder thrilled
All the tent till the very air tingled, then sank and was stilled
At the King's self left standing before me, released and aware.
What was gone, what remained? All to traverse, 'twixt hope and despair;
Death was past, life not come: so he waited. Awhile his right hand
Held the brow, helped the eyes left too vacant forthwith to remand
To their place what new objects should enter: 'twas Saul as before.
I looked up and dared gaze at those eyes, nor was hurt any more
Than by slow pallid sunsets in autumn, ye watch from the shore,
At their sad level gaze o'er the ocean-a sun's slow decline
Over hills which, resolved in stern silence, o'erlap and entwine
Base with base to knit strength more intensely: so, arm folded arm
O'er the chest whose slow heavings subsided.

XI.

                     What spell or what charm,
(For, awhile there was trouble within me) what next should I urge
To sustain him where song had restored him?-Song filled to the verge
His cup with the wine of this life, pressing all that it yields
Of mere fruitage, the strength and the beauty: beyond, on what fields,
Glean a vintage more potent and perfect to brighten the eye
And bring blood to the lip, and commend them the cup they put by?
He saith, ``It is good;'' still he drinks not: he lets me praise life,
Gives assent, yet would die for his own part.

XII.

                      Then fancies grew rife
Which had come long ago on the pasture, when round me the sheep
Fed in silence-above, the one eagle wheeled slow as in sleep;
And I lay in my hollow and mused on the world that might lie
'Neath his ken, though I saw but the strip 'twixt the hill and the sky:
And I laughed-``Since my days are ordained to be passed with my flocks,
``Let me people at least, with my fancies, the plains and the rocks,
``Dream the life I am never to mix with, and image the show
``Of mankind as they live in those fashions I hardly shall know!
``Schemes of life, its best rules and right uses, the courage that gains,
``And the prudence that keeps what men strive for.'' And now these old trains
Of vague thought came again; I grew surer; so, once more the string
Of my harp made response to my spirit, as thus-

XIII.

                        ``Yea, my King,''
I began-``thou dost well in rejecting mere comforts that spring
``From the mere mortal life held in common by man and by brute:
``In our flesh grows the branch of this life, in our soul it bears fruit.
``Thou hast marked the slow rise of the tree,-how its stem trembled first
``Till it passed the kid's lip, the stag's antler then safely outburst
``The fan-branches all round; and thou mindest when these too, in turn
``Broke a-bloom and the palm-tree seemed perfect: yet more was to learn,
``E'en the good that comes in with the palm-fruit. Our dates shall we slight,
``When their juice brings a cure for all sorrow? or care for the plight
``Of the palm's self whose slow growth produced them? Not so! stem and branch
``Shall decay, nor be known in their place, while the palm-wine shall staunch
``Every wound of man's spirit in winter. I pour thee such wine.
``Leave the flesh to the fate it was fit for! the spirit be thine!
``By the spirit, when age shall o'ercome thee, thou still shalt enjoy
``More indeed, than at first when inconscious, the life of a boy.
``Crush that life, and behold its wine running! Each deed thou hast done
``Dies, revives, goes to work in the world; until e'en as the sun
``Looking down on the earth, though clouds spoil him, though tempests efface,
``Can find nothing his own deed produced not, must everywhere trace
``The results of his past summer-prime'-so, each ray of thy will,
``Every flash of thy passion and prowess, long over, shall thrill
``Thy whole people, the countless, with ardour, till they too give forth
``A like cheer to their sons, who in turn, fill the South and the North
``With the radiance thy deed was the germ of. Carouse in the past!
``But the license of age has its limit; thou diest at last:
``As the lion when age dims his eyeball, the rose at her height
``So with man-so his power and his beauty for ever take flight.
``No! Again a long draught of my soul-wine! Look forth o'er the years!
``Thou hast done now with eyes for the actual; begin with the seer's!
``Is Saul dead? In the depth of the vale make his tomb-bid arise
``A grey mountain of marble heaped four-square, till, built to the skies,
``Let it mark where the great First King slumbers: whose fame would ye know?
``Up above see the rock's naked face, where the record shall go
``In great characters cut by the scribe,-Such was Saul, so he did;
``With the sages directing the work, by the populace chid,-
``For not half, they'll affirm, is comprised there! Which fault to amend,
``In the grove with his kind grows the cedar, whereon they shall spend
``(See, in tablets 'tis level before them) their praise, and record
``With the gold of the graver, Saul's story,-the statesman's great word
``Side by side with the poet's sweet comment. The river's a-wave
``With smooth paper-reeds grazing each other when prophet-winds rave:
``So the pen gives unborn generations their due and their part
``In thy being! Then, first of the mighty, thank God that thou art!''

XIV.

And behold while I sang but O Thou who didst grant me that day,
And before it not seldom hast granted thy help to essay,
Carry on and complete an adventure,-my shield and my sword
In that act where my soul was thy servant, thy word was my word,-
Still be with me, who then at the summit of human endeavour
And scaling the highest, man's thought could, gazed hopeless as ever
On the new stretch of heaven above me-till, mighty to save,
Just one lift of thy hand cleared that distance-God's throne from man's grave!
Let me tell out my tale to its ending-my voice to my heart
Which can scarce dare believe in what marvels last night I took part,
As this morning I gather the fragments, alone with my sheep,
And still fear lest the terrible glory evanish like sleep!
For I wake in the grey dewy covert, while Hebron upheaves
The dawn struggling with night on his shoulder, and Kidron retrieves
Slow the damage of yesterday's sunshine.

XV.

                   I say then,-my song
While I sang thus, assuring the monarch, and ever more strong
Made a proffer of good to console him-he slowly resumed
His old motions and habitudes kingly. The right-hand replumed
His black locks to their wonted composure, adjusted the swathes
Of his turban, and see-the huge sweat that his countenance bathes,
He wipes off with the robe; and he girds now his loins as of yore,
And feels slow for the armlets of price, with the clasp set before.
He is Saul, ye remember in glory,-ere error had bent
The broad brow from the daily communion; and still, though much spent
Be the life and the bearing that front you, the same, God did choose,
To receive what a man may waste, desecrate, never quite lose.
So sank he along by the tent-prop till, stayed by the pile
Of his armour and war-cloak and garments, he leaned there awhile,
And sat out my singing,-one arm round the tent-prop, to raise
His bent head, and the other hung slack-till I touched on the praise
I foresaw from all men in all time, to the man patient there;
And thus ended, the harp falling forward. Then first I was 'ware
That he sat, as I say, with my head just above his vast knees
Which were thrust out on each side around me, like oak-roots which please
To encircle a lamb when it slumbers. I looked up to know
If the best I could do had brought solace: he spoke not, but slow
Lifted up the hand slack at his side, till he laid it with care
Soft and grave, but in mild settled will, on my brow: thro' my hair
The large fingers were pushed, and he bent back my bead, with kind power-
All my face back, intent to peruse it, as men do a flower.
Thus held he me there with his great eyes that scrutinized mine-
And oh, all my heart how it loved him! but where was the sign?
I yearned-``Could I help thee, my father, inventing a bliss,
``I would add, to that life of the past, both the future and this;
``I would give thee new life altogether, as good, ages hence,
``As this moment,-had love but the warrant, love's heart to dispense!''

XVI.

Then the truth came upon me. No harp more-no song more! outbroke-

XVII.

``I have gone the whole round of creation: I saw and I spoke:
``I, a work of God's hand for that purpose, received in my brain
``And pronounced on the rest of his hand-work-returned him again
``His creation's approval or censure: I spoke as I saw:
``I report, as a man may of God's work-all's love, yet all's law.
``Now I lay down the judgeship he lent me. Each faculty tasked
``To perceive him, has gained an abyss, where a dewdrop was asked.
``Have I knowledge? confounded it shrivels at Wisdom laid bare.
``Have I forethought? how purblind, how blank, to the Infinite Care!
``Do I task any faculty highest, to image success?
``I but open my eyes,-and perfection, no more and no less,
``In the kind I imagined, full-fronts me, and God is seen God
``In the star, in the stone, in the flesh, in the soul and the clod.
``And thus looking within and around me, I ever renew
``(With that stoop of the soul which in bending upraises it too)
``The submission of man's nothing-perfect to God's all-complete,
``As by each new obeisance in spirit, I climb to his feet.
``Yet with all this abounding experience, this deity known,
``I shall dare to discover some province, some gift of my own.
``There's a faculty pleasant to exercise, hard to hoodwink,
``I am fain to keep still in abeyance, (I laugh as I think)
``Lest, insisting to claim and parade in it, wot ye, I worst
``E'en the Giver in one gift.-Behold, I could love if I durst!
``But I sink the pretension as fearing a man may o'ertake
``God's own speed in the one way of love: I abstain for love's sake.
``-What, my soul? see thus far and no farther? when doors great and small,
``Nine-and-ninety flew ope at our touch, should the hundredth appal?
``In the least things have faith, yet distrust in the greatest of all?
``Do I find love so full in my nature, God's ultimate gift,
``That I doubt his own love can compete with it? Here, the parts shift?
``Here, the creature surpass the Creator,-the end, what Began?
``Would I fain in my impotent yearning do all for this man,
``And dare doubt he alone shall not help him, who yet alone can?
``Would it ever have entered my mind, the bare will, much less power,
``To bestow on this Saul what I sang of, the marvellous dower
``Of the life he was gifted and filled with? to make such a soul,
``Such a body, and then such an earth for insphering the whole?
``And doth it not enter my mind (as my warm tears attest)
``These good things being given, to go on, and give one more, the best?
``Ay, to save and redeem and restore him, maintain at the height
``This perfection,-succeed with life's day-spring, death's minute of night?
``Interpose at the difficult minute, snatch Saul the mistake,
``Saul the failure, the ruin he seems now,-and bid him awake
``From the dream, the probation, the prelude, to find himself set
``Clear and safe in new light and new life,-a new harmony yet
``To be run, and continued, and ended-who knows?-or endure!
``The man taught enough, by life's dream, of the rest to make sure;
``By the pain-throb, triumphantly winning intensified bliss,
``And the next world's reward and repose, by the struggles in this.

XVIII.

``I believe it! 'Tis thou, God, that givest, 'tis I who receive:
``In the first is the last, in thy will is my power to believe.
``All's one gift: thou canst grant it moreover, as prompt to my prayer
``As I breathe out this breath, as I open these arms to the air.
``From thy will, stream the worlds, life and nature, thy dread Sabaoth:
``I will?-the mere atoms despise me! Why am I not loth
``To look that, even that in the face too? Why is it I dare
``Think but lightly of such impuissance? What stops my despair?
``This;-'tis not what man Does which exalts him, but what man Would do!
``See the King-I would help him but cannot, the wishes fall through.
``Could I wrestle to raise him from sorrow, grow poor to enrich,
``To fill up his life, starve my own out, I would-knowing which,
``I know that my service is perfect. Oh, speak through me now!
``Would I suffer for him that I love? So wouldst thou-so wilt thou!
``So shall crown thee the topmost, ineffablest, uttermost crown-
``And thy love fill infinitude wholly, nor leave up nor down
``One spot for the creature to stand in! It is by no breath,
``Turn of eye, wave of hand, that salvation joins issue with death!
``As thy Love is discovered almighty, almighty be proved
``Thy power, that exists with and for it, of being Beloved!
``He who did most, shall bear most; the strongest shall stand the most weak.
``'Tis the weakness in strength, that I cry for! my flesh, that I seek
``In the Godhead! I seek and I find it. O Saul, it shall be
``A Face like my face that receives thee; a Man like to me,
``Thou shalt love and be loved by, for ever: a Hand like this hand
``Shall throw open the gates of new life to thee! See the Christ stand!''

XIX.

I know not too well how I found my way home in the night.
There were witnesses, cohorts about me, to left and to right,
Angels, powers, the unuttered, unseen, the alive, the aware:
I repressed, I got through them as hardly, as strugglingly there,
As a runner beset by the populace famished for news-
Life or death. The whole earth was awakened, hell loosed with her crews;
And the stars of night beat with emotion, and tingled and shot
Out in fire the strong pain of pent knowledge: but I fainted not,
For the Hand still impelled me at once and supported, suppressed
All the tumult, and quenched it with quiet, and holy behest,
Till the rapture was shut in itself, and the earth sank to rest.
Anon at the dawn, all that trouble had withered from earth-
Not so much, but I saw it die out in the day's tender birth;
In the gathered intensity brought to the grey of the hills;
In the shuddering forests' held breath; in the sudden wind-thrills;
In the startled wild beasts that bore off, each with eye sidling still
Though averted with wonder and dread; in the birds stiff and chill
That rose heavily, as I approached them, made stupid with awe:
E'en the serpent that slid away silent,-he felt the new law.
The same stared in the white humid faces upturned by the flowers;
The same worked in the heart of the cedar and moved the vine-bowers:
And the little brooks witnessing murmured, persistent and low,
With their obstinate, all but hushed voices-``E'en so, it is so!''
The jumping hare.

One of the three cities of Refuge.
*
A brook in Jerusalem.


~ Robert Browning, Rhyme for a Child Viewing a Naked Venus in a Painting of 'The Judgement of Paris'

305:The Botanic Garden (Part V)
THE LOVES OF THE PLANTS.
CANTO I.
Descend, ye hovering Sylphs! aerial Quires,
And sweep with little hands your silver lyres;
With fairy footsteps print your grassy rings,
Ye Gnomes! accordant to the tinkling strings;
While in soft notes I tune to oaten reed
Gay hopes, and amorous sorrows of the mead.From giant Oaks, that wave their branches dark,
To the dwarf Moss, that clings upon their bark,
What Beaux and Beauties crowd the gaudy groves,
And woo and win their vegetable Loves.
How Snowdrops cold, and blue-eyed Harebels blend
Their tender tears, as o'er the stream they bend;
The lovesick Violet, and the Primrose pale
Bow their sweet heads, and whisper to the gale;
With secret sighs the Virgin Lily droops,
And jealous Cowslips hang their tawny cups.
How the young Rose in beauty's damask pride
Drinks the warm blushes of his bashful bride;
With honey'd lips enamour'd Woodbines meet,
Clasp with fond arms, and mix their kisses sweet.Stay thy soft-murmuring waters, gentle Rill;
Hush, whispering Winds, ye ruflling Leaves, be still;
Rest, silver Butterflies, your quivering wings;
Alight, ye Beetles, from your airy rings;
Ye painted Moths, your gold-eyed plumage furl,
Bow your wide horns, your spiral trunks uncurl;
Glitter, ye Glow-worms, on your mossy beds;
Descend, ye Spiders, on your lengthen'd threads;
Slide here, ye horned Snails, with varnish'd shells;
Ye Bee-nymphs, listen in your waxen cells!BOTANIC MUSE! who in this latter age
Led by your airy hand the Swedish sage,
Bad his keen eye your secret haunts explore
On dewy dell, high wood, and winding shore;
Say on each leaf how tiny Graces dwell;
27
How laugh the Pleasures in a blossom's bell;
How insect Loves arise on cobweb wings,
Aim their light shafts, and point their little stings.
First the tall CANNA lifts his curled brow
Erect to heaven, and plights his nuptial vow;
The virtuous pair, in milder regions born,
Dread the rude blast of Autumn's icy morn;
Round the chill fair he folds his crimson vest,
And clasps the timorous beauty to his breast.
Thy love, CALLITRICHE,
two
Virgins share,
Smit with thy starry eye and radiant hair;On the green margin sits the youth, and laves
His floating train of tresses in the waves;
Sees his fair features paint the streams that pass,
And bends for ever o'er the watery glass.
Two
brother swains, of COLLIN'S gentle name,
The same their features, and their forms the same,
With rival love for fair COLLINIA sigh,
Knit the dark brow, and roll the unsteady eye.
With sweet concern the pitying beauty mourns,
And sooths with smiles the jealous pair by turns.
Sweet blooms GENISTA in the myrtle shade,
And
ten
fond brothers woo the haughty maid.
Two
knights before thy fragrant altar bend,
Adored MELISSA! and
two
squires attend.
MEADIA'S soft chains
five
suppliant beaux confess,
And hand in hand the laughing belle address;
Alike to all, she bows with wanton air,
Rolls her dark eye, and waves her golden hair.
Woo'd with long care, CURCUMA cold and shy
28
Meets her fond husband with averted eye:
Four
beardless youths the obdurate beauty move
With soft attentions of Platonic love.
With vain desires the pensive ALCEA burns,
And, like sad ELOISA, loves and mourns.
The freckled IRIS owns a fiercer flame,
And
three
unjealous husbands wed the dame.
CUPRESSUS dark disdains his dusky bride,
One
dome contains them, but
two
beds divide.
The proud OSYRIS flies his angry fair,
Two
houses hold the fashionable pair.
With strange deformity PLANTAGO treads,
A Monster-birth! and lifts his hundred heads;
Yet with soft love a gentle belle he charms,
And clasps the beauty in his hundred arms.
So hapless DESDEMONA, fair and young,
Won by OTHELLO'S captivating tongue,
Sigh'd o'er each strange and piteous tale, distress'd,
And sunk enamour'd on his sooty breast.
Two
gentle shepherds and their sister-wives
With thee, ANTHOXA! lead ambrosial lives;
Where the wide heath in purple pride extends,
And scatter'd furze its golden lustre blends,
Closed in a green recess, unenvy'd lot!
The blue smoak rises from their turf-built cot;
Bosom'd in fragrance blush their infant train,
Eye the warm sun, or drink the silver rain.
The fair OSMUNDA seeks the silent dell,
The ivy canopy, and dripping cell;
There hid in shades
29
clandestine
rites approves,
Till the green progeny betrays her loves.
With charms despotic fair CHONDRILLA reigns
O'er the soft hearts of
five
fraternal swains;
If sighs the changeful nymph, alike they mourn;
And, if she smiles, with rival raptures burn.
So, tun'd in unison, Eolian Lyre!
Sounds in sweet symphony thy kindred wire;
Now, gently swept by Zephyr's vernal wings,
Sink in soft cadences the love-sick strings;
And now with mingling chords, and voices higher,
Peal the full anthems of the aerial choir.
Five
sister-nymphs to join Diana's train
With thee, fair LYCHNIS! vow,-but vow in vain;
Beneath one roof resides the virgin band,
Flies the fond swain, and scorns his offer'd hand;
But when soft hours on breezy pinions move,
And smiling May attunes her lute to love,
Each wanton beauty, trick'd in all her grace,
Shakes the bright dew-drops from her blushing face;
In gay undress displays her rival charms,
And calls her wondering lovers to her arms.
When the young Hours amid her tangled hair
Wove the fresh rose-bud, and the lily fair,
Proud GLORIOSA led
three
chosen swains,
The blushing captives of her virgin chains.-When Time's rude hand a bark of wrinkles spread
Round her weak limbs, and silver'd o'er her head,
Three
other youths her riper years engage,
The flatter'd victims of her wily age.
So, in her wane of beauty, NINON won
With fatal smiles her gay unconscious son.Clasp'd in his arms she own'd a mother's name,-
30
'Desist, rash youth! restrain your impious flame,
'First on that bed your infant-form was press'd,
'Born by my throes, and nurtured at my breast.'Back as from death he sprung, with wild amaze
Fierce on the fair he fix'd his ardent gaze;
Dropp'd on one knee, his frantic arms outspread,
And stole a guilty glance toward the bed;
Then breath'd from quivering lips a whisper'd vow,
And bent on heaven his pale repentant brow;
'Thus, thus!' he cried, and plung'd the furious dart,
And life and love gush'd mingled from his heart.
The fell SILENE and her sisters fair,
Skill'd in destruction, spread the viscous snare.
The harlot-band
ten
lofty bravoes screen,
And frowning guard the magic nets unseen.Haste, glittering nations, tenants of the air,
Oh, steer from hence your viewless course afar!
If with soft words, sweet blushes, nods, and smiles,
The
three
dread Syrens lure you to their toils,
Limed by their art in vain you point your stings,
In vain the efforts of your whirring wings!Go, seek your gilded mates and infant hives,
Nor taste the honey purchas'd with your lives!
When heaven's high vault condensing clouds deform,
Fair AMARYLLIS flies the incumbent storm,
Seeks with unsteady step the shelter'd vale,
And turns her blushing beauties from the gale.Six
rival youths, with soft concern impress'd,
Calm all her fears, and charm her cares to rest.So shines at eve the sun-illumin'd fane,
Lifts its bright cross, and waves its golden vane;
From every breeze the polish'd axle turns,
And high in air the dancing meteor burns.
Four
of the giant brood with ILEX stand,
31
Each grasps a thousand arrows in his hand;
A thousand steely points on every scale
Form the bright terrors of his bristly male.So arm'd, immortal Moore uncharm'd the spell,
And slew the wily dragon of the well.Sudden with rage their
injur'd
bosoms burn,
Retort the insult, or the wound return;
Unwrong'd
, as gentle as the breeze that sweeps
The unbending harvests or undimpled deeps,
They guard, the Kings of Needwood's wide domains,
Their sister-wives and fair infantine trains;
Lead the lone pilgrim through the trackless glade,
Or guide in leafy wilds the wand'ring maid.
So WRIGHT's bold pencil from Vesuvio's hight
Hurls his red lavas to the troubled night;
From Calpè starts the intolerable flash,
Skies burst in flames, and blazing oceans dash;Or bids in sweet repose his shades recede,
Winds the still vale, and slopes the velvet mead;
On the pale stream expiring Zephyrs sink,
And Moonlight sleeps upon its hoary brink.
Gigantic Nymph! the fair KLEINHOVIA reigns,
The grace and terror of Orixa's plains;
O'er her warm cheek the blush of beauty swims,
And nerves Herculean bend her sinewy limbs;
With frolic eye she views the affrighted throng,
And shakes the meadows, as she towers along,
With playful violence displays her charms,
And bears her trembling lovers in her arms.
So fair THALESTRIS shook her plumy crest,
And bound in rigid mail her jutting breast;
Poised her long lance amid the walks of war,
And Beauty thunder'd from Bellona's car;
Greece arm'd in vain, her captive heroes wove
The chains of conquest with the wreaths of love.
When o'er the cultured lawns and dreary wastes
Retiring Autumn flings her howling blasts,
Bends in tumultuous waves the struggling woods,
32
And showers their leafy honours on the floods,
In withering heaps collects the flowery spoil,
And each chill insect sinks beneath the soil;
Quick flies fair TULIPA the loud alarms,
And folds her infant closer in her arms;
In some lone cave, secure pavilion, lies,
And waits the courtship of serener skies.So, six cold moons, the Dormouse charm'd to rest,
Indulgent Sleep! beneath thy eider breast,
In fields of Fancy climbs the kernel'd groves,
Or shares the golden harvest with his loves.But bright from earth amid the troubled air
Ascends fair COLCHICA with radiant hair,
Warms the cold bosom of the hoary year,
And lights with Beauty's blaze the dusky sphere.
Three
blushing Maids the intrepid Nymph attend,
And
six
gay Youths, enamour'd train! defend.
So shines with silver guards the Georgian star,
And drives on Night's blue arch his glittering car;
Hangs o'er the billowy clouds his lucid form,
Wades through the mist, and dances in the storm.
GREAT HELIANTHUS guides o'er twilight plains
In gay solemnity his Dervise-trains;
Marshall'd in
fives
each gaudy band proceeds,
Each gaudy band a plumed Lady leads;
With zealous step he climbs the upland lawn,
And bows in homage to the rising dawn;
Imbibes with eagle-eye the golden ray,
And watches, as it moves, the orb of day.
Queen of the marsh, imperial DROSERA treads
Rush-fringed banks, and moss-embroider'd beds;
Redundant folds of glossy silk surround
Her slender waist, and trail upon the ground;
Five
sister-nymphs collect with graceful ease,
33
Or spread the floating purple to the breeze;
And
five
fair youths with duteous love comply
With each soft mandate of her moving eye.
As with sweet grace her snowy neck she bows,
A zone of diamonds trembles round her brows;
Bright shines the silver halo, as she turns;
And, as she steps, the living lustre burns.
Fair LONICERA prints the dewy lawn,
And decks with brighter blush the vermil dawn;
Winds round the shadowy rocks, and pansied vales,
And scents with sweeter breath the summer-gales;
With artless grace and native ease she charms,
And bears the Horn of Plenty in her arms.
Five
rival Swains their tender cares unfold,
And watch with eye askance the treasured gold.
Where rears huge Tenerif his azure crest,
Aspiring DRABA builds her eagle nest;
Her pendant eyry icy caves surround,
Where erst Volcanos min'd the rocky ground.
Pleased round the Fair
four
rival Lords ascend
The shaggy steeps,
two
menial youths attend.
High in the setting ray the beauty stands,
And her tall shadow waves on distant lands.
Stay, bright inhabitant of air, alight,
Ambitious VISCA, from thy eagle-flight!--Scorning the sordid soil, aloft she springs,
Shakes her white plume, and claps her golden wings;
High o'er the fields of boundless ether roves,
And seeks amid the clouds her soaring loves!
Stretch'd on her mossy couch, in trackless deeps,
Queen of the coral groves, ZOSTERA sleeps;
The silvery sea-weed matted round her bed,
And distant surges murmuring o'er her head.High in the flood her azure dome ascends,
34
The crystal arch on crystal columns bends;
Roof'd with translucent shell the turrets blaze,
And far in ocean dart their colour'd rays;
O'er the white floor successive shadows move,
As rise and break the ruffled waves above.Around the nymph her mermaid-trains repair,
And weave with orient pearl her radiant hair;
With rapid fins she cleaves the watery way,
Shoots like a diver meteor up to day;
Sounds a loud conch, convokes a scaly band,
Her sea-born lovers, and ascends the strand.
E'en round the pole the flames of Love aspire,
And icy bosoms feel the
secret
fire!Cradled in snow and fann'd by arctic air
Shines, gentle BAROMETZ! thy golden hair;
Rooted in earth each cloven hoof descends,
And round and round her flexile neck she bends;
Crops the grey coral moss, and hoary thyme,
Or laps with rosy tongue the melting rime;
Eyes with mute tenderness her distant dam,
Or seems to bleat, a
Vegetable Lamb
-So, warm and buoyant in his oily mail,
Gambols on seas of ice the unwieldy Whale;
Wide-waving fins round floating islands urge
His bulk gigantic through the troubled surge;
With hideous yawn the flying shoals He seeks,
Or clasps with fringe of horn his massy cheeks;
Lifts o'er the tossing wave his nostrils bare,
And spouts pellucid columns into air;
The silvery arches catch the setting beams,
And transient rainbows tremble o'er the streams.
Weak with nice sense, the chaste MIMOSA stands,
From each rude touch withdraws her timid hands;
Oft as light clouds o'er-pass the Summer-glade,
Alarm'd she trembles at the moving shade;
And feels, alive through all her tender form,
The whisper'd murmurs of the gathering storm;
Shuts her sweet eye-lids to approaching night;
35
And hails with freshen'd charms the rising light.
Veil'd, with gay decency and modest pride,
Slow to the mosque she moves, an eastern bride;
There her soft vows unceasing love record,
Queen of the bright seraglio of her Lord.So sinks or rises with the changeful hour
The liquid silver in its glassy tower.
So turns the needle to the pole it loves,
With fine librations quivering as it moves.
All wan and shivering in the leafless glade
The sad ANEMONE reclined her head;
Grief on her cheeks had paled the roseate hue,
And her sweet eye-lids dropp'd with pearly dew.
-'See, from bright regions, borne on odorous gales
The Swallow, herald of the summer, sails;
'Breathe, gentle AIR! from cherub-lips impart
Thy balmy influence to my anguish'd heart;
Thou, whose soft voice calls forth the tender blooms,
Whose pencil paints them, and whose breath perfumes;
O chase the Fiend of Frost, with leaden mace
Who seals in death-like sleep my hapless race;
Melt his hard heart, release his iron hand,
And give my ivory petals to expand.
So may each bud, that decks the brow of spring,
Shed all its incense on thy wafting wing!'To her fond prayer propitious Zephyr yields,
Sweeps on his sliding shell through azure fields,
O'er her fair mansion waves his whispering wand,
And gives her ivory petals to expand;
Gives with new life her filial train to rise,
And hail with kindling smiles the genial skies.
So shines the Nymph in beauty's blushing pride,
When Zephyr wafts her deep calash aside;
Tears with rude kiss her bosom's gauzy veil,
And flings the fluttering kerchief to the gale.
So bright, the folding canopy undrawn,
Glides the gilt Landau o'er the velvet lawn,
Of beaux and belles displays the glittering throng;
And soft airs fan them, as they roll along.
Where frowning Snowden bends his dizzy brow
O'er Conway, listening to the surge below;
Retiring LICHEN climbs the topmost stone,
36
And 'mid the airy ocean dwells alone.Bright shine the stars unnumber'd
o'er her head
And the cold moon-beam gilds her flinty bed;
While round the rifted rocks hoarse whirlwinds breathe,
And dark with thunder sail the clouds
beneath
.The steepy path her plighted swain pursues,
And tracks her light step o'er th' imprinted dews,
Delighted Hymen gives his torch to blaze,
Winds round the craggs, and lights the mazy ways;
Sheds o'er their
secret
vows his influence chaste,
And decks with roses the admiring waste.
High in the front of heaven when Sirius glares,
And o'er Britannia shakes his fiery hairs;
When no soft shower descends, no dew distills,
Her wave-worn channels dry, and mute her rills;
When droops the sickening herb, the blossom fades,
And parch'd earth gapes beneath the withering glades.
-With languid step fair DYPSACA retreats;
'Fall gentle dews!' the fainting nymph repeats;
Seeks the low dell, and in the sultry shade
Invokes in vain the Naiads to her aid.Four
silvan youths in crystal goblets bear
The untasted treasure to the grateful fair;
Pleased from their hands with modest grace she sips,
And the cool wave reflects her coral lips.
With nice selection modest RUBIA blends,
Her vermil dyes, and o'er the cauldron bends;
Warm 'mid the rising steam the Beauty glows,
As blushes in a mist the dewy rose.
With chemic art
four
favour'd youths aloof
Stain the white fleece, or stretch the tinted woof;
O'er Age's cheek the warmth of youth diffuse,
37
Or deck the pale-eyed nymph in roseate hues.
So when MEDEA to exulting Greece
From plunder'd COLCHIS bore the golden fleece;
On the loud shore a magic pile she rais'd,
The cauldron bubbled, and the faggots blaz'd;-Pleased on the boiling wave old ÆSON swims,
And feels new vigour stretch his swelling limbs;
Through his thrill'd nerves forgotten ardors dart,
And warmer eddies circle round his heart;
With softer fires his kindling eye-balls glow,
And darker tresses wanton round his brow.
As dash the waves on India's breezy strand,
Her flush'd cheek press'd upon her lily hand,
VALLISNER sits, up-turns her tearful eyes,
Calls her lost lover, and upbraids the skies;
For him she breathes the silent sigh, forlorn,
Each setting-day; for him each rising morn.'Bright orbs, that light yon high etherial plain,
Or bathe your radiant tresses in the main;
Pale moon, that silver'st o'er night's sable brow;For ye were witness to his parting vow!Ye shelving rocks, dark waves, and sounding shore,Ye echoed sweet the tender words he swore!Can stars or seas the sails of love retain?
O guide my wanderer to my arms again!'Her buoyant skiff intrepid ULVA guides,
And seeks her Lord amid the trackless tides;
Her
secret
vows the Cyprian Queen approves,
And hovering halcyons guard her infant-loves;
Each in his floating cradle round they throng,
And dimpling Ocean bears the fleet along.Thus o'er the waves, which gently bend and swell,
Fair GALATEA steers her silver shell;
Her playful Dolphins stretch the silken rein,
Hear her sweet voice, and glide along the main.
As round the wild meandering coast she moves
By gushing rills, rude cliffs, and nodding groves;
Each by her pine the Wood-nymphs wave their locks,
And wondering Naiads peep amid the rocks;
Pleased trains of Mermaids rise from coral cells,
38
Admiring Tritons sound their twisted shells;
Charm'd o'er the car pursuing Cupids sweep,
Their snow-white pinions twinkling in the deep;
And, as the lustre of her eye she turns,
Soft sighs the Gale, and amorous Ocean burns.
On DOVE'S green brink the fair TREMELLA stood,
And view'd her playful image in the flood;
To each rude rock, lone dell, and echoing grove
Sung the sweet sorrows of her
secret
love.
'Oh, stay!-return!'-along the sounding shore
Cry'd the sad Naiads,-she return'd no more!Now girt with clouds the sullen Evening frown'd,
And withering Eurus swept along the ground;
The misty moon withdrew her horned light,
And sunk with Hesper in the skirt of night;
No dim electric streams, (the northern dawn,)
With meek effulgence quiver'd o'er the lawn;
No star benignant shot one transient ray
To guide or light the wanderer on her way.
Round the dark craggs the murmuring whirlwinds blow,
Woods groan above, and waters roar below;
As o'er the steeps with pausing foot she moves,
The pitying Dryads shriek amid their groves;
She flies,-she stops,-she pants-she looks behind,
And hears a demon howl in every wind.
-As the bleak blast unfurls her fluttering vest,
Cold beats the snow upon her shuddering breast;
Through her numb'd limbs the chill sensations dart,
And the keen ice bolt trembles at her heart.
'I sink, I fall! oh, help me, help!' she cries,
Her stiffening tongue the unfinish'd sound denies;
Tear after tear adown her cheek succeeds,
And pearls of ice bestrew the glittering meads;
Congealing snows her lingering feet surround,
Arrest her flight, and root her to the ground;
With suppliant arms she pours the silent prayer;
Her suppliant arms hang crystal in the air;
Pellucid films her shivering neck o'erspread,
Seal her mute lips, and silver o'er her head,
Veil her pale bosom, glaze her lifted hands,
39
And shrined in ice the beauteous statue stands.
-DOVE'S azure nymphs on each revolving year
For fair TREMELLA shed the tender tear;
With rush-wove crowns in sad procession move,
And sound the sorrowing shell to hapless love.'
Here paused the MUSE,-across the darken'd pole
Sail the dim clouds, the echoing thunders roll;
The trembling Wood-nymphs, as the tempest lowers,
Lead the gay Goddess to their inmost bowers;
Hang the mute lyre the laurel shade beneath,
And round her temples bind the myrtle wreath.
-Now the light swallow with her airy brood
Skims the green meadow, and the dimpled flood;
Loud shrieks the lone thrush from his leafless thorn,
Th' alarmed beetle sounds his bugle horn;
Each pendant spider winds with fingers fine
His ravel'd clue, and climbs along the line;
Gay Gnomes in glittering circles stand aloof
Beneath a spreading mushroom's fretted roof;
Swift bees returning seek their waxen cells,
And Sylphs cling quivering in the lily's bells.
Through the still air descend the genials showers,
And pearly rain-drops deck the laughing flowers.
~ Erasmus Darwin
306:Resignation Pt 1
The days how few, how short the years
Of man's too rapid race!
Each leaving, as it swiftly flies,
A shorter in its place.
They who the longest lease enjoy,
Have told us with a sigh,
That to be born seems little more
Than to begin to die.
Numbers there are who feel this truth
With fears alarm'd; and yet,
In life's delusions lull'd asleep,
This weighty truth forget:
And am not I to these akin?
Age slumbers o'er the quill;
Its honour blots, whate'er it writes,
And am I writing still?
Conscious of nature in decline,
And languor in my thoughts;
To soften censure, and abate
Its rigour on my faults
Permit me, madam! ere to you
The promis'd verse I pay,
To touch on felt infirmity,
Sad sister of decay.
One world deceas'd, another born,
Like Noah they behold,
O'er whose white hairs, and furrow'd brows,
Too many suns have roll'd:
Happy the patriarch! he rejoic'd
His second world to see:
My second world, though gay the scene,
Can boast no charms for me.
48
To me this brilliant age appears
With desolation spread;
Near all with whom I liv'd, and smil'd,
Whilst life was life, are dead;
And with them died my joys; the grave
Has broken nature's laws;
And clos'd, against this feeble frame,
Its partial cruel jaws;
Cruel to spare! condemn'd to life!
A cloud impairs my sight;
My weak hand disobeys my will,
And trembles as I write.
What shall I write? Thalia, tell;
Say, long abandon'd muse!
What field of fancy shall I range?
What subject shall I choose?
A choice of moment high inspire,
And rescue me from shame,
For doting on thy charms so late,
By grandeur in my theme.
Beyond
Which
Beyond
Bright
the themes, which most admire,
dazzle, or amaze,
renown'd exploits of war,
charms, or empire's blaze,
Are themes, which, in a world of woe
Can best appease our pain;
And, in an age of gaudy guilt,
Gay folly's flood restrain;
Amidst the storms of life support
A calm, unshaken mind;
And with unfading laurels crown
The brow of the resign'd.
O resignation! yet unsung,
49
Untouch'd by former strains;
Though claiming every muse's smile,
And every poet's pains,
Beneath life's evening, solemn shade,
I dedicate my page
To thee, thou safest guard of youth!
Thou sole support of age!
All other duties crescents are
Of virtue faintly bright,
The glorious consummation, thou!
Which fills her orb with light:
How rarely fill'd! the love divine
In evils to discern,
This the first lesson which we want,
The latest, which we learn;
A melancholy truth! for know,
Could our proud hearts resign,
The distance greatly would decrease
'Twixt human and divine.
But though full noble is my theme,
Full urgent is my call
To soften sorrow, and forbid
The bursting tear to fall:
The task I dread; dare I to leave
Of humble prose the shore,
And put to sea? a dangerous sea?
What throngs have sunk before!
How proud the poet's billow swells!
The God! the God! his boast:
A boast how vain! What wrecks abound!
Dead bards stench every coast.
What then am I? Shall I presume,
On such a moulten wing,
Above the general wreck to rise,
50
And in my winter, sing;
When nightingales, when sweetest bards
Confine their charming song
To summer's animating heats,
Content to warble young?
Yet write I must; a lady(49) sues;
How shameful her request!
My brain in labour for dull rhyme!
Hers teeming with the best!
But you a stranger will excuse,
Nor scorn his feeble strain;
To you a stranger, but, through fate,
No stranger to your pain.
The ghost of grief deceas'd ascends,
His old wound bleeds anew;
His sorrows are recall'd to life
By those he sees in you;
Too well he knows the twisting strings
Of ardent hearts combin'd
When rent asunder, how they bleed,
How hard to be resign'd:
Those tears you pour, his eyes have shed;
The pang you feel, he felt;
Thus nature, loud as virtue, bids
His heart at yours to melt.
But what can heart, or head, suggest?
What sad experience say?
Through truths austere, to peace we work
Our rugged, gloomy way:
What are we? whence? for what? and whither?
Who know not, needs must mourn;
But thought, bright daughter of the skies!
Can tears to triumph turn.
51
Thought is our armour, 'tis the mind's
Impenetrable shield,
When, sent by fate, we meet our foes,
In sore affliction's field;
It plucks the frightful mask from ills,
Forbids pale fear to hide,
Beneath that dark disguise, a friend,
Which turns affection's tide.
Affection frail! train'd up by sense,
From reason's channel strays:
And whilst it blindly points at peace,
Our peace to pain betrays.
Thought winds its fond, erroneous stream
From daily dying flowers,
To nourish rich immortal blooms,
In amaranthine bowers;
Whence throngs, in ecstasy, look down
On what once shock'd their sight;
And thank the terrors of the past
For ages of delight.
All withers here; who most possess
Are losers by their gain,
Stung by full proof, that, bad at best,
Life's idle all is vain:
Vain, in its course, life's murmuring stream;
Did not its course offend,
But murmur cease; life, then, would seem
Still vainer, from its end.
How wretched! who, through cruel fate,
Have nothing to lament!
With the poor alms this world affords
Deplorably content!
Had not the Greek his world mistook,
His wish had been most wise;
52
To be content with but one world,
Like him, we should despise.
Of earth's revenue would you state
A full account and fair?
We hope; and hope; and hope; then cast
The total up--_Despair._
Since vain all here, all future, vast,
Embrace the lot assign'd;
Heaven wounds to heal; its frowns are friends;
Its stroke severe, most kind.
But in laps'd nature rooted deep,
Blind error domineers;
And on fools' errands, in the dark,
Sends out our hopes and fears;
Bids us for ever pains deplore,
Our pleasures overprize;
These oft persuade us to be weak;
Those urge us to be wise.
From virtue's rugged path to right
By pleasure are we brought,
To flowery fields of wrong, and there
Pain chides us for our fault:
Yet whilst it chides, it speaks of peace
If folly is withstood;
And says, time pays an easy price,
For our eternal good.
In earth's dark cot, and in an hour,
And in delusion great,
What an economist is man
To spend his whole estate,
And beggar an eternity!
For which as he was born,
More worlds than one against it weigh'd,
53
As feathers he should scorn.
Say not, your loss in triumph leads
Religion's feeble strife;
Joys future amply reimburse
Joys bankrupts of this life.
But not deferr'd your joy so long,
It bears an early date;
Affliction's ready pay in hand,
Befriends our present state;
What are the tears, which trickle down
Her melancholy face,
Like liquid pearl? Like pearls of price,
They purchase lasting peace.
Grief softens hearts, and curbs the will,
Impetuous passion tames,
And keeps insatiate, keen desire
From launching in extremes.
Through time's dark womb, our judgment right,
If our dim eye was thrown,
Clear should we see, the will divine
Has but forestall'd our own;
At variance with our future wish,
Self-sever'd we complain;
If so, the wounded, not the wound,
Must answer for the pain:
The day shall come, and swift of wing,
Though you may think it slow,
When, in the list of fortune's smiles,
You'll enter frowns of woe.
For mark the path of Providence;
This course it has pursued'Pain is the parent, woe the womb,
Of sound, important good:'
54
Our hearts are fasten'd to this world
By strong and endless ties:
And every sorrow cuts a string,
And urges us to rise:
'Twill sound severe-Yet rest assur'd
I'm studious of your peace;
Though I should dare to give you joyYes, joy of his decease:
An hour shall come, (you question this,)
An hour, when you shall bless,
Beyond the brightest beams of life,
Dark days of your distress.
Hear then without surprise a truth,
A daughter truth to this,
Swift turns of fortune often tie
A bleeding heart to bliss:
Esteem you this a paradox?
My sacred motto read;
A glorious truth! divinely sung
By one, whose heart had bled;
To resignation swift he flew,
In her a friend he found,
A friend, which bless'd him with a smile
When gasping with his wound.
On earth nought precious is obtain'd
But what is painful too;
By travel, and to travel born,
Our sabbaths are but few:
To real joy we work our way,
Encountering many a shock,
Ere found what truly charms; as found
A Venus in the block.
In some disaster, some severe
Appointment for our sins,
55
That mother blessing, (not so call'd,)
True happiness, begins.
No martyr e'er defied the flames,
By stings of life unvext;
First rose some quarrel with this world,
Then passion for the next.
You see, then, pangs are parent pangs,
The pangs of happy birth;
Pangs, by which only can be born
True happiness on earth.
The peopled earth look all around,
Or through time's records run!
And say, what is a man unstruck?
It is a man undone.
This moment, am I deeply stungMy bold pretence is tried;
When vain man boasts, heaven puts to proof
The vauntings of his pride;
Now need I, madam! your support.How exquisite the smart;
How critically tim'd the news(50)
Which strikes me to the heart!
The pangs of which I spoke, I feel:
If worth like thine is born,
O long-belov'd! I bless the blow,
And triumph, whilst I mourn.
Nor mourn I long; by grief subdued,
By reason's empire shown;
Deep anguish comes by heaven's decree,
Continues by our own;
And when continued past its point,
Indulg'd in length of time,
Grief is disgrac'd, and, what was fate,
Corrupts into a crime:
56
And shall I, criminally mean,
Myself and subject wrong?
No; my example shall support
The subject of my song.
Madam! I grant your loss is great;
Nor little is your gain?
Let that be weigh'd; when weigh'd aright,
It richly pays your pain:
When heaven would kindly set us free,
And earth's enchantment end;
It takes the most effectual means,
And robs us of a friend.
But such a friend! and sigh no more?
'Tis prudent; but severe:
Heaven aid my weakness, and I drop
All sorrow-with this tear.
Perhaps your settled grief to soothe,
I should not vainly strive,
But with soft balm your pain assuage,
Had he been still alive;
Whose frequent aid brought kind relief,
In my distress of thought,
Ting'd with his beams my cloudy page,
And beautified a fault:
To touch our passions' secret springs
Was his peculiar care;
And deep his happy genius div'd
In bosoms of the fair;
Nature, which favours to the few,
All art beyond, imparts,
To him presented, at his birth,
The key of human hearts.
But not to me by him bequeath'd
57
His gentle, smooth address;
His tender hand to touch the wound
In throbbing of distress;
Howe'er, proceed I must, unbless'd
With Esculapian art:
Know, love sometimes, mistaken love!
Plays disaffection's part:
Nor lands, nor seas, nor suns, nor stars,
Can soul from soul divide;
They correspond from distant worlds,
Though transports are denied:
Are you not, then, unkindly kind?
Is not your love severe?
O! stop that crystal source of woe;
Nor wound him with a tear.
As those above from human bliss
Receive increase of joy;
May not a stroke from human woe,
In part, their peace destroy?
He lives in those he left;-to what?
Your, now, paternal care,
Clear from its cloud your brighten'd eye,
It will discern him there;
In features, not of form alone,
But those, I trust, of mind;
Auspicious to the public weal,
And to their fate resign'd.
Think on the tempests he sustain'd;
Revolve his battles won;
And let those prophesy your joy
From such a father's son:
Is consolation what you seek?
Fan, then, his martial fire:
And animate to flame the sparks
58
Bequeath'd him by his sire:
As nothing great is born in haste,
Wise nature's time allow;
His father's laurels may descend,
And flourish on his brow.
Nor, madam! be surpris'd to hear
That laurels may be due
Not more to heroes of the field,
(Proud boasters!) than to you:
Tender as is the female frame,
Like that brave man you mourn,
You are a soldier, and to fight
Superior battles born;
Beneath a banner nobler far
Than ever was unfurl'd
In fields of blood; a banner bright!
High wav'd o'er all the world.
It, like a streaming meteor, casts
A universal light;
Sheds day, sheds more, eternal day
On nations whelm'd in night.
Beneath that banner, what exploit
Can mount our glory higher,
Than to sustain the dreadful blow,
When those we love expire?
Go forth a moral Amazon;
Arm'd with undaunted thought;
The battle won, though costing dear,
You'll think it cheaply bought:
The passive hero, who sits down
Unactive, and can smile
Beneath affliction's galling load,
Out-acts a Caesar's toil:
59
The billows stain'd by slaughter'd foes
Inferior praise afford;
Reason's a bloodless conqueror,
More glorious than the sword.
Nor can the thunders of huzzas,
From shouting nations, cause
Such sweet delight, as from your heart
Soft whispers of applause:
The dear deceas'd so fam'd in arms,
With what delight he'll view
His triumphs on the main outdone,
Thus conquer'd, twice, by you.
Share his delight; take heed to shun
Of bosoms most diseas'd
That odd distemper, an absurd
Reluctance to be pleas'd:
Some seem in love with sorrow's charms,
And that foul fiend embrace:
This temper let me justly brand,
And stamp it with disgrace:
Sorrow! of horrid parentage!
Thou second-born of hell!
Against heaven's endless mercies pour'd
How dar'st thou to rebel?
From black and noxious vapours bred,
And nurs'd by want of thought,
And to the door of phrensy's self
By perseverance brought,
Thy most inglorious, coward tears
From brutal eyes have ran:
Smiles, incommunicable smiles!
Are radiant marks of man;
They cast a sudden glory round
Th' illumin'd human face;
60
And light in sons of honest joy
Some beams of Moses' face:
Is resignation's lesson hard?
Examine, we shall find
That duty gives up little more
Than anguish of the mind;
Resign; and all the load of life
That moment you remove,
Its heavy tax, ten thousand cares
Devolve on one above;
Who bids us lay our burthen down
On his almighty hand,
Softens our duty to relief,
To blessing a command.
For joy what cause! how every sense
Is courted from above
The year around, with presents rich,
The growth of endless love!
But most o'erlook the blessings pour'd,
Forget the wonders done,
And terminate, wrapp'd up in sense,
Their prospect at the sun;
From that, their final point of view,
From that their radiant goal,
On travel infinite of thought,
Sets out the nobler soul,
Broke loose from time's tenacious ties,
And earth's involving gloom,
To range at last its vast domain,
And talk with worlds to come:
They let unmark'd, and unemploy'd,
Life's idle moments run;
And doing nothing for themselves,
Imagine nothing done;
61
Fatal mistake! their fate goes on,
Their dread account proceeds,
And their not doing is set down
Amongst their darkest deeds;
Though man sits still, and takes his ease;
God is at work on man;
No means, no moment unemployed,
To bless him, if he can.
But man consents not, boldly bent
To fashion his own fate;
Man, a mere bungler in the trade,
Repents his crime too late;
Hence loud laments: let me thy cause,
Indulgent father! plead;
Of all the wretches we deplore,
Not one by thee was made.
What is thy whole creation fair?
Of love divine the child;
Love brought it forth; and, from its birth,
Has o'er it fondly smil'd:
Now, and through periods distant far,
Long ere the world began,
Heaven is, and has in travail been,
Its birth the good of man;
Man holds in constant service bound
The blustering winds and seas;
Nor suns disdain to travel hard
Their master, man, to please:
To final good the worst events
Through secret channels run;
Finish for man their destin'd course,
As 'twas for man begun.
One point (observ'd, perhaps, by few)
62
Has often smote, and smites
My mind, as demonstration strong;
That heaven in man delights:
What's known to man of things unseen,
Of future worlds, or fates?
So much, nor more, than what to man's
Sublime affairs relates;
What's revelation then? a list,
An inventory just
Of that poor insect's goods, so late
Call'd out of night and dust.
What various motives to rejoice!
To render joy sincere,
Has this no weight? our joy is felt
Beyond this narrow sphere:
Would we in heaven new heaven create,
And double its delight?
A smiling world, when heaven looks down,
How pleasing in its sight!
Angels stoop forward from their thrones
To hear its joyful lays;
As incense sweet enjoy, and join,
Its aromatic praise:
Have we no cause to fear the stroke
Of heaven's avenging rod,
When we presume to counteract
A sympathetic God?
If we resign, our patience makes
His rod an armless wand;
If not, it darts a serpent's sting,
Like that in Moses' hand;
Like that, it swallows up whate'er
Earth's vain magicians bring,
Whose baffled arts would boast below
63
Of joys a rival spring.
Consummate love! the list how large
Of blessings from thy hand!
To banish sorrow, and be blest,
Is thy supreme command.
Are such commands but ill obey'd?
Of bliss, shall we complain?
The man, who dares to be a wretch,
Deserves still greater pain.
Joy is our duty, glory, health;
The sunshine of the soul;
Our best encomium on the power
Who sweetly plans the whole:
Joy is our Eden still possess'd:
Begone, ignoble grief!
'Tis joy makes gods, and men exalts,
Their nature, our relief;
Relief, for man to that must stoop,
And his due distance know;
Transport's the language of the sides,
Content the style below.
Content is joy, and joy in pain
Is joy and virtue too;
Thus, whilst good present we possess,
More precious we pursue:
Of joy the more we have in hand,
The more have we to come;
Joy, like our money, interest bears,
Which daily swells the sum.
'But how to smile; to stem the tide
Of nature in our veins;
Is it not hard to weep in joy?
What then to smile in pains?'
64
Victorious joy! which breaks the clouds,
And struggles through a storm;
Proclaims the mind as great, as good
And bids it doubly charm:
If doubly charming in our sex,
A sex, by nature, bold;
What then in yours? 'tis diamond there
Triumphant o'er our gold.
And should not this complaint repress,
And check the rising sigh?
Yet farther opiate to your pain
I labour to supply.
Since spirits greatly damp'd distort
Ideas of delight,
Look through the medium of a friend,
To set your notions right:
As tears the sight, grief dims the soul;
Its object dark appears;
True friendship, like a rising sun,
The soul's horizon clears.
A friend's an optic to the mind
With sorrow clouded o'er;
And gives it strength of sight to see
Redress unseen before.
Reason is somewhat rough in man;
Extremely smooth and fair,
When she, to grace her manly strength,
Assumes a female air:
A friend(51) you have, and I the same,
Whose prudent, soft address
Will bring to life those healing thoughts
Which died in your distress;
That friend, the spirit of my theme
Extracting for your ease,
65
Will leave to me the dreg, in thoughts
Too common; such as these:
Let those lament to whom full bowls
Of sparkling joys are given;
That triple bane inebriates life,
Imbitters death, and hazards heaven:
Woe to the soul at perfect ease!
'Tis brewing perfect pains;
Lull'd reason sleeps, the pulse is king;
Despotic body reigns;
Have you(52) ne'er pitied joy's gay scenes,
And deem'd their glory dark?
Alas! poor envy! she's stone-blind,
And quite mistakes her mark:
Her mark lies hid in sorrow's shades,
But sorrow well subdu'd;
And in proud fortune's frown defied
By meek, unborrow'd good.
By resignation; all in that
A double friend may find,
A wing to heaven, and, while on earth,
The pillow of mankind:
On pillows void of down, for rest
Our restless hopes we place;
When hopes of heaven lie warm at heart,
Our hearts repose in peace:
The peace, which resignation yields,
Who feel alone can guess;
'Tis disbeliev'd by murmuring minds,
They must conclude it less:
The loss, or gain, of that alone
Have we to hope or fear;
That fate controls, and can invert
The seasons of the year:
66
O! the dark days, the year around,
Of an impatient mind!
Thro' clouds, and storms, a summer breaks,
To shine on the resign'd:
While man by that of every grace,
And virtue, is possess'd;
Foul vice her pandaemonium builds
In the rebellious breast;
By resignation we defeat
The worst that can annoy;
And suffer, with far more repose,
Than worldlings can enjoy.
From small experience this I speak;
O! grant to those I love
Experience fuller far, ye powers,
Who form our fates above!
My love were due, if not to those
Who, leaving grandeur, came
To shine on age in mean recess,
And light me to my theme!
A theme themselves! A theme, how rare!
The charms, which they display,
To triumph over captive heads,
Are set in bright array:
With his own arms proud man's o'ercome,
His boasted laurels die:
Learning and genius, wiser grown,
To female bosoms fly.
This revolution, fix'd by fate,
In fable was foretold;
The dark prediction puzzled wits,
Nor could the learn'd unfold:
But as those ladies'(53) works I read,
67
They darted such a ray,
The latent sense burst out at once,
And shone in open day:
So burst, full ripe, distended fruits,
When strongly strikes the sun;
And from the purple grape unpress'd
Spontaneous nectars run.
Pallas, ('tis said,) when Jove grew dull,
Forsook his drowsy brain;
And sprightly leap'd into the throne
Of wisdom's brighter reign;
Her helmet took; that is, shot rays
Of formidable wit;
And lance,-or, genius most acute,
Which lines immortal writ;
And gorgon shield,-or, power to fright
Man's folly, dreadful shone,
And many a blockhead (easy change!)
Turn'd, instantly, to stone.
Our authors male, as, then, did Jove,
Now scratch a damag'd head,
And call for what once quarter'd there,
But find the goddess fled.
The fruit of knowledge, golden fruit!
That once forbidden tree,
Hedg'd-in by surly man, is now
To Britain's daughters free:
In Eve (we know) of fruit so fair
The noble thirst began;
And they, like her, have caus'd a fall,
A fall of fame in man:
And since of genius in our sex,
O Addison! with thee
The sun is set; how I rejoice
68
This sister lamp to see!
It sheds, like Cynthia, silver beams
On man's nocturnal state;
His lessen'd light, and languid powers,
I show, whilst I relate.
~ Edward Young
307:I.
I weep for Adonais -he is dead!
O, weep for Adonais! though our tears
Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head!
And thou, sad Hour, selected from all years
To mourn our loss, rouse thy obscure compeers,
And teach them thine own sorrow, say: "With me
Died Adonais; till the Future dares
Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be
An echo and a light unto eternity!"

II.
Where wert thou, mighty Mother, when he lay,
When thy Son lay, pierced by the shaft which flies
In darkness? where was lorn Urania
When Adonais died? With veiled eyes,
Mid listening Echoes, in her Paradise
She sate, while one, with soft enamoured breath,
Rekindled all the fading melodies
With which, like flowers that mock the corse beneath,
He had adorned and hid the coming bulk of death.

III.
O, weep for Adonais -he is dead!
Wake, melancholy Mother, wake and weep!
Yet wherefore? Quench within their burning bed
Thy fiery tears, and let thy loud heart keep
Like his, a mute and uncomplaining sleep;
For he is gone, where all things wise and fair
Descend; -oh, dream not that the amorous Deep
Will yet restore him to the vital air;
Death feeds on his mute voice, and laughs at our despair.

IV.
Most musical of mourners, weep again!
Lament anew, Urania! -He died,
Who was the Sire of an immortal strain,
Blind, old, and lonely, when his country's pride,
The priest, the slave, and the liberticide
Trampled and mocked with many a loathed rite
Of lust and blood; he went, unterrified,
Into the gulf of death; but his clear Sprite
Yet reigns o'er earth; the third among the sons of light.

V.
Most musical of mourners, weep anew!
Not all to that bright station dared to climb;
And happier they their happiness who knew,
Whose tapers yet burn through that night of time
In which suns perished; others more sublime,
Struck by the envious wrath of man or god,
Have sunk, extinct in their refulgent prime;
And some yet live, treading the thorny road
Which leads, through toil and hate, to Fame's serene abode.

VI.
But now, thy youngest, dearest one, has perished -
The nursling of thy widowhood, who grew,
Like a pale flower by some sad maiden cherished,
And fed with true-love tears, instead of dew;
Most musical of mourners, weep anew!
Thy extreme hope, the loveliest and the last,
The bloom, whose petals nipped before they blew
Died on the promise of the fruit, is waste;
The broken lily lies -the storm is overpast.

VII.
To that high Capital, where kingly Death
Keeps his pale court in beauty and decay,
He came; and bought, with price of purest breath,
A grave among the eternal. -Come away!
Haste, while the vault of blue Italian day
Is yet his fitting charnel-roof! while still
He lies, as if in dewy sleep he lay;
Awake him not! surely he takes his fill
Of deep and liquid rest, forgetful of all ill.

VIII.
He will awake no more, oh, never more! -
Within the twilight chamber spreads apace
The shadow of white Death, and at the door
Invisible Corruption waits to trace
His extreme way to her dim dwelling-place;
The eternal Hunger sits, but pity and awe
Soothe her pale rage, nor dares she to deface
So fair a prey, till darkness, and the law
Of change, shall o'er his sleep the mortal curtain draw.

IX.
O, weep for Adonais! -The quick Dreams,
The passion-winged Ministers of thought,
Who were his flocks, whom near the living streams
Of his young spirit he fed, and whom he taught
The love which was its music, wander not, -
Wander no more, from kindling brain to brain,
But droop there, whence they sprung; and mourn their lot
Round the cold heart, where, after their sweet pain,
They ne'er will gather strength, or find a home again.

X.
And one with trembling hands clasps his cold head,
And fans him with her moonlight wings, and cries,
"Our love, our hope, our sorrow, is not dead;
See, on the silken fringe of his faint eyes,
Like dew upon a sleeping flower, there lies
A tear some Dream has loosened from his brain."
Lost Angel of a ruined Paradise!
She knew not 'twas her own; as with no stain
She faded, like a cloud which had outwept its rain.

XI.
One from a lucid urn of starry dew
Washed his light limbs as if embalming them;
Another clipped her profuse locks, and threw
The wreath upon him, like an anadem,
Which frozen tears instead of pearls begem;
Another in her wilful grief would break
Her bow and winged reeds, as if to stem
A greater loss with one which was more weak;
And dull the barbed fire against his frozen cheek.

XII.
Another Splendour on his mouth alit,
That mouth, whence it was wont to draw the breath
Which gave it strength to pierce the guarded wit,
And pass into the panting heart beneath
With lightning and with music: the damp death
Quenched its caress upon his icy lips;
And, as a dying meteor stains a wreath
Of moonlight vapour, which the cold night clips,
It flushed through his pale limbs, and passed to its eclipse.

XIII.
And others came Desires and Adorations,
Winged Persuasions and veiled Destinies,
Splendours, and Glooms, and glimmering Incarnations
Of hopes and fears, and twilight Phantasies;
And Sorrow, with her family of Sighs,
And Pleasure, blind with tears, led by the gleam
Of her own dying smile instead of eyes,
Came in slow pomp; -the moving pomp might seem
Like pageantry of mist on an autumnal stream.

XIV.
All he had loved, and moulded into thought,
From shape, and hue, and odour, and sweet sound,
Lamented Adonais. Morning sought
Her eastern watch-tower, and her hair unbound,
Wet with the tears which should adorn the ground,
Dimmed the aereal eyes that kindle day;
Afar the melancholy thunder moaned,
Pale Ocean in unquiet slumber lay,
And the wild Winds flew round, sobbing in their dismay.

XV.
Lost Echo sits amid the voiceless mountains,
And feeds her grief with his remembered lay,
And will no more reply to winds or fountains,
Or amorous birds perched on the young green spray,
Or herdsman's horn, or bell at closing day;
Since she can mimic not his lips, more dear
Than those for whose disdain she pined away
Into a shadow of all sounds: -a drear
Murmur, between their songs, is all the woodmen hear.

XVI.
Grief made the young Spring wild, and she threw down
Her kindling buds, as if she Autumn were,
Or they dead leaves; since her delight is flown,
For whom should she have waked the sullen year?
To Phoebus was not Hyacinth so dear
Nor to himself Narcissus, as to both
Thou, Adonais: wan they stand and sere
Amid the faint companions of their youth,
With dew all turned to tears; odour, to sighing ruth.

XVII.
Thy spirit's sister, the lorn nightingale
Mourns not her mate with such melodious pain;
Not so the eagle, who like thee could scale
Heaven, and could nourish in the sun's domain
Her mighty youth with morning, doth complain,
Soaring and screaming round her empty nest,
As Albion wails for thee: the curse of Cain
Light on his head who pierced thy innocent breast,
And scared the angel soul that was its earthly guest!

XVIII.
Ah, woe is me! Winter is come and gone,
But grief returns with the revolving year;
The airs and streams renew their joyous tone;
The ants, the bees, the swallows reappear;
Fresh leaves and flowers deck the dead Season's bier;
The amorous birds now pair in every brake,
And build their mossy homes in field and brere;
And the green lizard, and the golden snake,
Like unimprisoned flames, out of their trance awake.

XIX.
Through wood and stream and field and hill and Ocean
A quickening life from the Earth's heart has burst
As it has ever done, with change and motion,
From the great morning of the world when first
God dawned on Chaos; in its stream immersed,
The lamps of Heaven flash with a softer light;
All baser things pant with life's sacred thirst;
Diffuse themselves; and spend in love's delight
The beauty and the joy of their renewed might.

XX.
The leprous corpse, touched by this spirit tender,
Exhales itself in flowers of gentle breath;
Like incarnations of the stars, when splendour
Is changed to fragrance, they illumine death
And mock the merry worm that wakes beneath;
Nought we know, dies. Shall that alone which knows
Be as a sword consumed before the sheath
By sightless lightning? -the intense atom glows
A moment, then is quenched in a most cold repose.

XXI.
Alas! that all we loved of him should be,
But for our grief, as if it had not been,
And grief itself be mortal! Woe is me!
Whence are we, and why are we? of what scene
The actors or spectators? Great and mean
Meet massed in death, who lends what life must borrow.
As long as skies are blue, and fields are green,
Evening must usher night, night urge the morrow,
Month follow month with woe, and year wake year to sorrow.

XXII.
He will awake no more, oh, never more!
"Wake thou," cried Misery, "childless Mother, rise
Out of thy sleep, and slake, in thy heart's core,
A wound more fierce than his with tears and sighs."
And all the Dreams that watched Urania's eyes,
And all the Echoes whom their sister's song
Had held in holy silence, cried: "Arise!"
Swift as a Thought by the snake Memory stung,
From her ambrosial rest the fading Splendour sprung.

XXIII.
She rose like an autumnal Night, that springs
Our of the East, and follows wild and drear
The golden Day, which, on eternal wings,
Even as a ghost abandoning a bier,
Had left the Earth a corpse. Sorrow and fear
So struck, so roused, so rapt Urania;
So saddened round her like an atmosphere
Of stormy mist; so swept her on her way
Even to the mournful place where Adonais lay.

XXIV.
Our of her secret Paradise she sped,
Through camps and cities rough with stone, and steel,
And human hearts, which to her aery tread
Yielding not, wounded the invisible
Palms of her tender feet where'er they fell:
And barbed tongues, and thoughts more sharp than they,
Rent the soft Form they never could repel,
Whose sacred blood, like the young tears of May,
Paved with eternal flowers that undeserving way.

XXV.
In the death-chamber for a moment Death,
Shamed by the presence of that living Might,
Blushed to annihilation, and the breath
Revisited those lips, and Life's pale light
Flashed through those limbs, so late her dear delight.
"Leave me not wild and drear and comfortless,
As silent lightning leaves the starless night!
Leave me not!" cried Urania: her distress
Roused Death: Death rose and smiled, and met her vain caress.

XXVI.
"'Stay yet awhile! speak to me once again;
Kiss me, so long but as a kiss may live;
And in my heartless breast and burning brain
That word, that kiss, shall all thoughts else survive,
With food of saddest memory kept alive,
Now thou art dead, as if it were a part
Of thee, my Adonais! I would give
All that I am to be as thou now art!
But I am chained to Time, and cannot thence depart!

XXVII.
"O gentle child, beautiful as thou wert,
Why didst thou leave the trodden paths of men
Too soon, and with weak hands though mighty heart
Dare the unpastured dragon in his den?
Defenceless as thou wert, oh, where was then
Wisdom the mirrored shield, or scorn the spear?
Or hadst thou waited the full cycle, when
Thy spirit should have filled its crescent sphere,
The monsters of life's waste had fled from thee like deer.

XXVIII.
"The herded wolves, bold only to pursue;
The obscene ravens, clamorous o'er the dead;
The vultures to the conqueror's banner true
Who feed where Desolation first has fed,
And whose wings rain contagion; -how they fled,
When, like Apollo, from his golden bow
The Pythian of the age one arrow sped
And smiled! -The spoilers tempt no second blow,
They fawn on the proud feet that spurn them lying low.

XXIX.
"The sun comes forth, and many reptiles spawn;
He sets, and each ephemeral insect then
Is gathered into death without a dawn,
And the immortal stars awake again;
So is it in the world of living men:
A godlike mind soars forth, in its delight
Making earth bare and veiling heaven, and when
It sinks, the swarms that dimmed or shared its light
Leave to its kindred lamps the spirit's awful night."

XXX.
Thus ceased she: and the mountain shepherds came,
Their garlands sere, their magic mantles rent;
The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame
Over his living head like Heaven is bent,
An early but enduring monument,
Came, veiling all the lightnings of his song
In sorrow; from her wilds Irene sent
The sweetest lyrist of her saddest wrong,
And Love taught Grief to fall like music from his tongue.

XXXI.
Midst others of less note, came one frail Form,
A phantom among men; companionless
As the last cloud of an expiring storm
Whose thunder is its knell; he, as I guess,
Had gazed on Nature's naked loveliness,
Actaeon-like, and now he fled astray
With feeble steps o'er the world's wilderness,
And his own thoughts, along that rugged way,
Pursued, like raging hounds, their father and their prey.

XXXII.
A pardlike Spirit beautiful and swift -
A Love in desolation masked; -a Power
Girt round with weakness; -it can scarce uplift
The weight of the superincumbent hour;
It is a dying lamp, a falling shower,
A breaking billow; -even whilst we speak
Is it not broken? On the withering flower
The killing sun smiles brightly: on a cheek
The life can burn in blood, even while the heart may break.

XXXIII.
His head was bound with pansies overblown,
And faded violets, white, and pied, and blue;
And a light spear topped with a cypress cone,
Round whose rude shaft dark ivy-tresses grew
Yet dripping with the forest's noonday dew,
Vibrated, as the ever-beating heart
Shook the weak hand that grasped it; of that crew
He came the last, neglected and apart;
A herd-abandoned deer struck by the hunter's dart.

XXXIV.
All stood aloof, and at his partial moan
Smiled through their tears; well knew that gentle band
Who in another's fate now wept his own,
As in the accents of an unknown land
He sung new sorrow; sad Urania scanned
The Stranger's mien, and murmured: "Who art thou?"
He answered not, but with a sudden hand
Made bare his branded and ensanguined brow,
Which was like Cain's or Christ's -oh! that it should be so!

XXXV.
What softer voice is hushed over the dead?
Athwart what brow is that dark mantle thrown?
What form leans sadly o'er the white death-bed,
In mockery of monumental stone,
The heavy heart heaving without a moan?
If it be He, who, gentlest of the wise,
Taught, soothed, loved, honoured the departed one,
Let me not vex, with inharmonious sighs,
The silence of that heart's accepted sacrifice.

XXXVI.
Our Adonais has drunk poison -oh!
What deaf and viperous murderer could crown
Life's early cup with such a draught of woe?
The nameless worm would now itself disown:
It felt, yet could escape, the magic tone
Whose prelude held all envy, hate, and wrong,
But what was howling in one breast alone,
Silent with expectation of the song,
Whose master's hand is cold, whose silver lyre unstrung.

XXXVII.
Live thou, whose infamy is not thy fame!
Live! fear no heavier chastisement from me,
Thou noteless blot on a remembered name!
But be thyself, and know thyself to be!
And ever at thy season be thou free
To spill the venom when thy fangs o'erflow:
Remorse and Self-contempt shall cling to thee;
Hot Shame shall burn upon thy secret brow,
And like a beaten hound tremble thou shalt -as now.

XXXVIII.
Nor let us weep that our delight is fled
Far from these carrion kites that scream below;
He wakes or sleeps with the enduring dead;
Thou canst not soar where he is sitting now -
Dust to the dust! but the pure spirit shall flow
Back to the burning fountain whence it came,
A portion of the Eternal, which must glow
Through time and change, unquenchably the same,
Whilst thy cold embers choke the sordid hearth of shame.

XXXIX.
Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep -
He hath awakened from the dream of life -
'Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit's knife
Invulnerable nothings. -We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.

XL.
He has outsoared the shadow of our night;
Envy and calumny and hate and pain,
And that unrest which men miscall delight,
Can touch him not and torture not again;
From the contagion of the world's slow stain
He is secure, and now can never mourn
A heart grown cold, a head grown grey in vain;
Nor, when the spirit's self has ceased to burn,
With sparkless ashes load an unlamented urn.

XLI.
He lives, he wakes -'tis Death is dead, not he;
Mourn not for Adonais. -Thou young Dawn,
Turn all thy dew to splendour, for from thee
The spirit thou lamentest is not gone;
Ye caverns and ye forests, cease to moan!
Cease, ye faint flowers and fountains, and thou Air
Which like a mourning veil thy scarf hadst thrown
O'er the abandoned Earth, now leave it bare
Even to the joyous stars which smile on its despair!

XLII.
He is made one with Nature: there is heard
His voice in all her music, from the moan
Of thunder, to the song of night's sweet bird;
He is a presence to be felt and known
In darkness and in light, from herb and stone,
Spreading itself where'er that Power may move
Which has withdrawn his being to its own;
Which wields the world with never-wearied love,
Sustains it from beneath, and kindles it above.

XLIII.
He is a portion of the loveliness
Which once he made more lovely: he doth bear
His part, while the one Spirit's plastic stress
Sweeps through the dull dense world, compelling there
All new successions to the forms they wear;
Torturing th' unwilling dross that checks its flight
To its own likeness, as each mass may bear;
And bursting in its beauty and its might
From trees and beasts and men into the Heavens' light.

XLIV.
The splendours of the firmament of time
May be eclipsed, but are extinguished not;
Like stars to their appointed height they climb,
And death is a low mist which cannot blot
The brightness it may veil. When lofty thought
Lifts a young heart above its mortal lair,
And love and life contend in it, for what
Shall be its earthly doom, the dead live there
And move like winds of light on dark and stormy air.

XLV.
The inheritors of unfulfilled renown
Rose from their thrones, built beyond mortal thought,
Far in the Unapparent. Chatterton
Rose pale, -his solemn agony had not
Yet faded from him; Sidney, as he fought
And as he fell and as he lived and loved
Sublimely mild, a Spirit without spot,
Arose; and Lucan, by his death approved:
Oblivion as they rose shrank like a thing reproved.

XLVI.
And many more, whose names on Earth are dark,
But whose transmitted effluence cannot die
So long as fire outlives the parent spark,
Rose, robed in dazzling immortality.
"Thou art become as one of us," they cry,
"It was for thee yon kingless sphere has long
Swung blind in unascended majesty,
Silent alone amid an Heaven of Song.
Assume thy winged throne, thou Vesper of our throng!"

XLVII.
Who mourns for Adonais? Oh, come forth,
Fond wretch! and know thyself and him aright.
Clasp with thy panting soul the pendulous Earth;
As from a centre, dart thy spirit's light
Beyond all worlds, until its spacious might
Satiate the void circumference: then shrink
Even to a point within our day and night;
And keep thy heart light lest it make thee sink
When hope has kindled hope, and lured thee to the brink.

XLVIII.
Or go to Rome, which is the sepulchre,
Oh, not of him, but of our joy: 'tis nought
That ages, empires, and religions there
Lie buried in the ravage they have wrought;
For such as he can lend, -they borrow not
Glory from those who made the world their prey;
And he is gathered to the kings of thought
Who waged contention with their time's decay,
And of the past are all that cannot pass away.

XLIX.
Go thou to Rome, -at once the Paradise,
The grave, the city, and the wilderness;
And where its wrecks like shattered mountains rise,
And flowering weeds, and fragrant copses dress
The bones of Desolation's nakedness
Pass, till the spirit of the spot shall lead
Thy footsteps to a slope of green access
Where, like an infant's smile, over the dead
A light of laughing flowers along the grass is spread;

L.
And grey walls moulder round, on which dull Time
Feeds, like slow fire upon a hoary brand;
And one keen pyramid with wedge sublime,
Pavilioning the dust of him who planned
This refuge for his memory, doth stand
Like flame transformed to marble; and beneath,
A field is spread, on which a newer band
Have pitched in Heaven's smile their camp of death,
Welcoming him we lose with scarce extinguished breath.

LI.
Here pause: these graves are all too young as yet
To have outgrown the sorrow which consigned
Its charge to each; and if the seal is set,
Here, on one fountain of a mourning mind,
Break it not thou! too surely shalt thou find
Thine own well full, if thou returnest home,
Of tears and gall. From the world's bitter wind
Seek shelter in the shadow of the tomb.
What Adonais is, why fear we to become?

LII.
The One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments. -Die,
If thou wouldst be with that which thou dost seek!
Follow where all is fled! -Rome's azure sky,
Flowers, ruins, statues, music, words, are weak
The glory they transfuse with fitting truth to speak.

LIII.
Why linger, why turn back, why shrink, my Heart?
Thy hopes are gone before: from all things here
They have departed; thou shouldst now depart!
A light is passed from the revolving year,
And man, and woman; and what still is dear
Attracts to crush, repels to make thee wither.
The soft sky smiles, -the low wind whispers near:
'Tis Adonais calls! oh, hasten thither,
No more let Life divide what Death can join together.

LIV.
That Light whose smile kindles the Universe,
That Beauty in which all things work and move,
That Benediction which the eclipsing Curse
Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love
Which through the web of being blindly wove
By man and beast and earth and air and sea,
Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of
The fire for which all thirst, now beams on me,
Consuming the last clouds of cold mortality.

LV.
The breath whose might I have invoked in song
Descends on me; my spirit's bark is driven
Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng
Whose sails were never to the tempest given;
The massy earth and sphered skies are riven!
I am borne darkly, fearfully, afar;
Whilst, burning through the inmost veil of Heaven,
The soul of Adonais, like a star,
Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are.

Adonais was composed at Pisa during the early days of June, 1821, and printed, with the author's name, at Pisa, 'with the types of Didot,'by July 13, 1821. Part of the impression was sent to the brothers Ollier for sale in London. An exact reprint of this Pisa edition (a few typographical errors only being corrected) was issued in 1829 by Gee & Bridges, Cambridge, at the instance of Arthur Hallan and Richard Monckton Milnes (Lord Houghton). The poem was included in Galignani's edition of Coleridge, Shelley and Keats, Paris, 1829, and by Mrs. Shelley in the Poetical Works of 1839.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adonais - An elegy on the Death of John Keats

308:The Drunken Boat
As I drifted on a river I could not control,
No longer guided by the bargemen's ropes.
They were captured by howling Indians
Who nailed them naked to coloured posts.
I cared no more for other boats or cargoes:
Flemish wheat or English cottons, all were gone
When my bargemen could no longer haul me
I forgot about everything and drifted on.
Amid the fury of the loudly chopping tides
Last winter, deaf as a child's dark night,
Ah, how I raced! And the drifting Peninsulas
Have never known such conquering delight.
Lighter than cork, I revolved upon waves
That roll the dead forever in the deep,
Ten days, beyond the blinking eyes of land!
Lulled by storms, I drifted seaward from sleep.
Sweeter than apples to a child its pungent edge;
The wash of green water on my shell of pine.
Anchor and rudder went drifting away,
Washed in vomit and stained with blue wine.
Now I drift through the poem of the sea;
This gruel of stars mirrors the milky sky,
Devours green azures; ecstatic flotsam,
Drowned men, pale and thoughtful, sometimes drift by.
Staining the sudden blueness, the slow sounds,
Deliriums that streak the glowing sky,
Stronger than drink and the songs we sing,
It is boiling, bitter, red; it is love!
I know how lightening split the sky apart,
I know the surf and waterspouts and evening's fall,
I've seen the dawn arisen like a flock of doves;
I've seen what men have only dreamed they saw!
166
I saw the sun with mystic horrors darken
And shimmer through a violet haze;
With a shiver of shutters the waves fell
Like actors in ancient, forgotten plays!
I dreamed of green nights and glittering snow,
Slow kisses rising in the eyes of the sea,
Unknown liquids flowing, the blue and yellow
Stirring of phosphorescent melody!
For months I watched the surge of the sea,
Hysterical herds attacking the reefs;
I never thought the bright feet of Mary
Could muzzle up the heavy-breathing waves!
I have jostled - you know? - unbelievable Floridas
And seen among the flowers the wild eyes
Of panthers in the skins of men! Rainbows
Birdling blind flocks beneath the horizons!
In stinking swamps I have seen great hulks:
A Leviathan that rotted in the reeds!
Water crumbling in the midst of calm
And distances that shatter into foam.
Glaciers, silver suns, waves of pearl, fiery skies,
Giant serpents stranded where lice consume
Them, falling in the depths of dark gulfs
From contorted trees, bathed in black perfume!
I wanted to show children these fishes shining
In the blue wave, the golden fish that sing A froth of flowers cradled my wandering
And delicate winds tossed me on their wings.
Sometimes, a martyr of poles and latitudes,
The sea rocked me softly in sighing air,
And brought me dark blooms with yellow stems I remained there like a woman on her knees.
Almost an island, I balanced on my boat's sides
167
Rapacious blond-eyed birds, their dung, their screams.
I drifted on through fragile tangled lines
Drowned men, still staring up, sank down to sleep.
Now I, a little lost boat, in swirling debris,
Tossed by the storm into the birdless upper air
- All the Hansa Merchants and Monitors
Could not fish up my body drunk with the sea;
Free, smoking, touched the violet haze above,
I, who the lurid heavens breached like some rare wall
Which boasts - confection that the poets love Lichens of sunlight, and snots of bright blue sky;
Lost branch spinning in a herd of hippocamps,
Covered over with electric animals,
An everlasting July battering
The glittering sky and its fiery funnels;
Shaking at the sound of monsters roaring,
Rutting Behemoths in thick whirlpools,
Eternal weaver of unmoving blues,
I thought of Europe and its ancient walls!
I have seen archipelagos in the stars,
Feverish skies where I was free to roam!
Are these bottomless nights your exiled nests,
Swarm of golden birds, O Strength to come?
True, I've cried too much; I am heartsick at dawn.
The moon is bitter and the sun is sour…
Love burns me; I am swollen and slow.
Let my keel break! Oh, let me sink in the sea!
If I long for a shore in Europe,
It's a small pond, dark, cold, remote,
The odour of evening, and a child full of sorrow
Who stoops to launch a crumpled paper boat.
Washed in your languors, sea, I cannot trace
The wake of tankers foaming through the cold,
Nor assault the pride of pennants and flags,
168
Nor endure the slave ship's stinking hold.
____________________________________________________
Translation by Rebecca Seiferle:
As I descended impassible Rivers,
I felt no longer steered by bargemen;
they were captured by howling Redskins,
nailed as targets, naked, to painted stakes.
What did I care for cargo or crews,
bearers of English cotton or Flemish grain—
having left behind the bargemen and racket,
the Rivers let me descend where I wished.
In the furious splashing of the waves,
I — that other winter, deafer than the minds
of children — ran! And the unanchored Peninsulas
never knew a more triumphant brouhaha.
The tempest blessed my sea awakening.
Lighter than cork, I danced the waves
scrolling out the eternal roll of the dead—
ten nights, without longing for the lantern's silly eye.
Sweeter than the flesh of tart apples to children,
the green water penetrated my pine hull
and purged me of vomit and the stain of blue wines—
my rudder and grappling hooks drifting away.
Since then, I have bathed in the Poem
of the Sea, a milky way, infused with stars,
devouring the azure greens where, flotsam-pale
and ravished, drowned and pensive men float by.
Where, suddenly staining the blues, delirious
and slow rhythms under the glowing red of day,
stronger than alcohol, vaster than our lyrics,
ferment the red bitters of love!
I know heavens pierced by lightning, the waterspouts
169
and undertows and currents: I know night,
Dawn rising like a nation of doves,
and I've seen, sometimes, what men only dreamed they saw!
I've seen the sun, low, a blot of mystic dread,
illuminating with far-reaching violet coagulations,
like actors in antique tragedies,
the waves rolling away in a shiver of shutters.
I've dreamed a green night to dazzling snows,
kisses slowly rising to the eyelids of the sea,
unknown saps flowing, and the yellow and blue
rising of phosphorescent songs.
For months, I've followed the swells assaulting
the reefs like hysterical herds, without ever thinking
that the luminous feet of some Mary
could muzzle the panting Deep.
I've touched, you know, incredible Floridas
where, inside flowers, the eyes of panthers mingle
with the skins of men! And rainbows bridle
glaucous flocks beneath the rim of the sea!
I've seen fermenting— enormous marshes, nets
where a whole Leviathan rots in the rushes!
Such a ruin of water in the midst of calm,
and the distant horizon worming into whirlpools!
Glaciers, silver suns, pearly tides, ember skies!
Hideous wrecks at the bottom of muddy gulfs
where giant serpents, devoured by lice,
drop with black perfume out of twisted trees!
I wanted to show children these dorados
of the blue wave, these golden, singing fish.
A froth of flowers has cradled my vagrancies,
and ineffable winds have winged me on.
Sometimes like a martyr, tired of poles and zones,
the sea has rolled me softly in her sigh
and held out to me the yellow cups of shadow flowers,
170
and I've remained there, like a woman, kneeling . . .
Almost an island, balancing the quarrels,
the dung, the cries of blond-eyed birds on the gunnels
of my boat, I sailed on, and through my frail lines,
drowned men, falling backwards, sank to sleep.
Now, I, a boat lost in the hair of the coves,
tossed by hurricane into the birdless air,
me, whom all the Monitors and Hansa sailing ships
could not salvage, my carcass drunk with sea;
free, rising like smoke, riding violet mists,
I who pierced the sky turning red like a wall,
who bore the exquisite jam of all good poets,
lichens of sun and snots of azure,
who, spotted with electric crescents, ran on,
a foolish plank escorted by black hippocamps,
when the Julys brought down with a single blow
the ultramarine sky with its burning funnels;
I who tremble, feeling the moan fifty leagues away
of the Behemoth rutting and the dull Maelstrom,
eternal weaver of the unmovable blue—
I grieve for Europe with its ancient breastworks!
I've seen thunderstruck archipelagos! and islands
that open delirious skies for wanderers:
Are these bottomless nights your nest of exile,
O millions of gold birds, O Force to come?
True, I've cried too much! Dawns are harrowing.
All moons are cruel and all suns, bitter:
acrid love puffs me up with drunken slowness.
Let my keel burst! Give me to the sea!
If I desire any of the waters of Europe, it's the pond
black and cold, in the odor of evening,
where a child full of sorrow gets down on his knees
to launch a paperboat as frail as a May butterfly.
171
Bathed in your languors, o waves, I can no longer
wash away the wake of ships bearing cotton,
nor penetrate the arrogance of pennants and flags,
nor swim past the dreadful eyes of slave ships.
______________________________________________________
As I was floating down impassive Rivers,
I no longer felt myself steered by the haulers:
gaudy Redskins had taken them for targets,
nailing them naked to coloured stakes.
I cared nothing for all my crews,
carrying Flemish wheat or English cotton.
When, along with my haulers, those uproars stopped,
the Rivers let me sail downstream where I pleased.
Into the ferocious tide-rips, last winter,
more absorbed than the minds of children, I ran!
And the unmoored Peninsulas never
endured more triumphant clamourings.
The storm made bliss of my sea-borne awakenings.
Lighter than a cork, I danced on the waves
which men call the eternal rollers of victims,
for ten nights, without once missing the foolish eye of the harbor lights!
Sweeter than the flesh of sour apples to children,
the green water penetrated my pinewood hull
and washed me clean of the bluish wine-stains
and the splashes of vomit, carrying away both rudder and anchor.
And from that time on I bathed in the Poem
of the Sea, star-infused and churned into milk,
devouring the green azures where, entranced
in pallid flotsam, a dreaming drowned man sometimes goes down;
where, suddenly dyeing the blueness,
deliriums and slow rhythms under the gleams of the daylight,
stronger than alcohol, vaster than music,
ferment the bitter rednesses of love!
172
I have come to know the skies splitting with lightning,
and the waterspouts, and the breakers and currents;
I know the evening, and dawn rising up like a flock of doves,
and sometimes I have seen what men have imagined they saw!
I have seen the low-hanging sun speckled with mystic horrors
lighting up long violet coagulations
like the performers in antique dramas;
waves rolling back into the distances their shiverings of venetian blinds!
I have dreamed of the green night of the dazzled snows,
the kiss rising slowly to the eyes of the seas,
the circulation of undreamed-of saps,
and the yellow-blue awakenings of singing phosphorus!
I have followed, for whole months on end,
the swells battering the reefs like hysterical herds of cows,
never dreaming that the luminous feet of the Marys
could muzzle by force the snorting Oceans!
I have struck, do you realize, incredible Floridas,
where mingle with flowers the eyes of panthers in human skins!
Rainbows stretched like bridles
under the sea's horizon to glaucous herds!
I have seen the enormous swamps seething,
traps where a whole leviathan rots in the reeds!
Downfalls of waters in the midst of the calm,
and distances cataracting down into abysses!
Glaciers, suns of silver, waves of pearl, skies of red-hot coals!
Hideous wrecks at the bottom of brown gulfs
where the giant snakes, devoured by vermin,
fall from the twisted trees with black odours!
I should have liked to show to children those dolphins
of the blue wave, those golden, those singing fish. -Foam of flowers rocked my driftings,
and at times ineffable winds would lend me wings.
Sometimes, a martyr weary of poles and zones,
the sea whose sobs sweetened my rollings
173
lifted my shadow-flowers with their yellow sucking disks toward me,
and I hung there like a kneeling woman...
Resembling an island, tossing on my sides the brawls
and droppings of pale-eyed, clamouring birds.
And I was scudding along when across my frayed ropes
drowned men sank backwards into sleep!...
But now I, a boat lost under the hair of coves,
hurled by the hurricane into the birdless ether;
I, whose wreck, dead-drunk and sodden with water,
neither Monitor nor Hanseatic ships would have fished up;
free, smoking, risen from violet fogs,
I who bored through the wall of the reddening sky which bears
a sweetmeat good poets find delicious:
lichens of sunlight mixed with azure snot;
who ran, speckled with tiny electric moons,
a crazy plank with black sea-horses for escort,
when Julys were crushing with cudgel blows
skies of ultramarine into burning funnels;
I who trembled to feel at fifty leagues off
the groans of Behemoths rutting, and the dense Maelstroms;
eternal spinner of blue immobilities,
I long for Europe with it's age-old parapets!
I have seen archipelagos of stars! and islands
whose delirious skies are open to sea wanderers: -Do you sleep, are you exiled in those bottomless nights,
O million golden birds, Life Force of the future?
But, truly, I have wept too much! Dawns are heartbreaking.
Every moon is atrocious and every sun bitter:
sharp love has swollen me up with intoxicating torpor.
O let my keel split! O let me sink to the bottom!
If there is one water in Europe I want, it is the black
cold pool where into the scented twilight
a child squatting full of sadness launches
a boat as fragile as a butterfly in May.
174
I can no more, bathed in your langours, O waves,
sail in the wake of the carriers of cottons;
nor undergo the pride of the flags and pennants;
nor pull past the horrible eyes of prison hulks.
_____________________________________________________
Translation by Wallace Fowlie:
As I was going down impassive rivers,
I no longer felt myself guided by haulers!
Yelping redskins had taken them as targets,
And had nailed them naked to colored stakes.
I was indifferent to all crews,
The bearer of Flemish wheat or English cottons,
When with my haulers this uproar stopped,
The Rivers let me go where I wanted.
Into the furious lashing of the tides,
More heedless than children's brains, the other winter
I ran! And loosened peninsulas
Have not undergone a more triumphant hubbub.
The storm blessed my sea vigils.
Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves
That are called eternal rollers of victims,
Ten nights, without missing the stupid eye of the lighthouses!
Sweeter than the flesh of hard apples is to children,
The green water penetrated my hull of fir
And washed me of spots of blue wine
And vomit, scattering rudder and grappling-hook.
And from then on I bathed in the Poem
Of the Sea, infused with stars and lactescent,
Devouring the green azure where, like a pale elated
Piece of flotsam, a pensive drowned figure sometimes sinks;
Where, suddenly dyeing the blueness, delirium
And slow rhythms under the streaking of daylight,
Stronger than alcohol, vaster than our lyres,
175
The bitter redness of love ferments!
I know the skies bursting with lighting, and the waterspouts
And the surf and the currents; I know the evening,
And dawn as exhalted as a flock of doves,
And at times I have seen what man thought he saw!
I have seen the low sun spotted with mystic horrors,
Lighting up, with long violet clots,
Resembling actors of very ancient dramas,
The waves rolling far off their quivering of shutters!
I have dreamed of the green night with dazzled snows,
A kiss slowly rising to the eyes of the sea,
The circulation of unknown saps,
And the yellow and blue awakening of singing phosphorous!
I followed during pregnant months the swell,
Like hysterical cows, in its assault on the reefs,
Without dreaming that the luminous feet of the Marys
Could restrain the snout of the wheezing Oceans!
I struck against, you know, unbelievable Floridas
Mingling with flowers panthers' eyes and human
Skin! Rainbows stretched like bridal reins
Under the horizon of the seas to greenish herds!
I have seen enormous swamps ferment, fish-traps
Where a whole Leviathan rots in the rushes!
Avalanches of water in the midst of a calm,
And the distances cataracting toward the abyss!
Glaciers, suns of silver, nacreous waves, skies of embers!
Hideous strands at the end of brown gulfs
Where giant serpents devoured by bedbugs
Fall down from gnarled tress with black scent!
I should have liked to show children those sunfish
Of the blue wave, the fish of gold, the singing fish.
--Foam of flowers rocked my drifting
And ineffable winds winged me at times.
176
At times a martyr weary of poles and zones,
The sea, whose sob created my gentle roll,
Brought up to me her dark flowers with yellow suckers
And I remained like a woman on her knees...
Resembling an island tossing on my sides the quarrels
And droppings of noisy birds with yellow eyes.
And I sailed on, when through my fragile ropes
Drowned men sank backward to sleep!
Now I, a boat lost in the foliage of caves,
Thrown by the storm into the birdless air,
I whose water-drunk carcass would not have been rescued
By the Monitors and the Hanseatic sailboats;
Free, smoking, topped with violet fog,
I who pierced the reddening sky like a wall
Bearing--delicious jam for good poets-Lichens of sunlight and mucus of azure;
Who ran, spotted with small electric moons,
A wild plank, escorted by black seahorses,
When Julys beat down with blows of cudgels
The ultramarine skies with burning funnels;
I, who trembled, hearing at fifty leagues off
The moaning of the Behemoths in heat and the thick Maelstroms,
I, eternal spinner of the blue immobility,
Miss Europe with its ancient parapets!
I have seen sidereal archipelagos! and islands
Whose delirious skies are open to the sea-wanderer:
--Is it in these bottomless nights that you sleep and exile yourself,
Million golden birds, O future Vigor?
But, in truth, I have wept too much! Dawns are heartbreaking.
Every moon is atrocious and every sun bitter.
Acrid love has swollen me with intoxicating torpor.
O let my keel burst! O let me go into the sea!
If I want a water of Europe, it is the black
Cold puddle where in the sweet-smelling twilight
177
A squatting child full of sadness releases
A boat as fragile as a May butterfly.
No longer can I, bathed in your languor, O waves,
Follow in the wake of the cotton boats,
Nor cross through the pride of flags and flames,
Nor swim under the terrible eyes of prison ships.
______________________________________________________
Translation by A. S. Kline
As I floated down impassive Rivers,
I felt myself no longer pulled by ropes:
The Redskins took my hauliers for targets,
And nailed them naked to their painted posts.
Carrying Flemish wheat or English cotton,
I was indifferent to all my crews.
The Rivers let me float down as I wished,
When the victims and the sounds were through.
Into the furious breakers of the sea,
Deafer than the ears of a child, last winter,
I ran! And the Peninsulas sliding by me
Never heard a more triumphant clamour.
The tempest blessed my sea-borne arousals.
Lighter than a cork I danced those waves
They call the eternal churners of victims,
Ten nights, without regret for the lighted bays!
Sweeter than sour apples to the children
The green ooze spurting through my hull’s pine,
Washed me of vomit and the blue of wine,
Carried away my rudder and my anchor.
Then I bathed in the Poem of the Sea,
Infused with stars, the milk-white spume blends,
Grazing green azures: where ravished, bleached
Flotsam, a drowned man in dream descends.
Where, staining the blue, sudden deliriums
178
And slow tremors under the gleams of fire,
Stronger than alcohol, vaster than our rhythms,
Ferment the bitter reds of our desire!
I knew the skies split apart by lightning,
Waterspouts, breakers, tides: I knew the night,
The Dawn exalted like a crowd of doves,
I saw what men think they’ve seen in the light!
I saw the low sun, stained with mystic terrors,
Illuminate long violet coagulations,
Like actors in a play, a play that’s ancient,
Waves rolling back their trembling of shutters!
I dreamt the green night of blinded snows,
A kiss lifted slow to the eyes of seas,
The circulation of unheard-of flows,
Sung phosphorus’s blue-yellow awakenings!
For months on end, I’ve followed the swell
That batters at the reefs like terrified cattle,
Not dreaming the Three Marys’ shining feet
Could muzzle with their force the Ocean’s hell!
I’ve struck Floridas, you know, beyond belief,
Where eyes of panthers in human skins,
Merge with the flowers! Rainbow bridles, beneath
the seas’ horizon, stretched out to shadowy fins!
I’ve seen the great swamps boil, and the hiss
Where a whole whale rots among the reeds!
Downfalls of water among tranquilities,
Distances showering into the abyss.
Nacrous waves, silver suns, glaciers, ember skies!
Gaunt wrecks deep in the brown vacuities
Where the giant eels riddled with parasites
Fall, with dark perfumes, from the twisted trees!
I would have liked to show children dolphins
Of the blue wave, the golden singing fish.
– Flowering foams rocked me in my drift,
179
At times unutterable winds gave me wings.
Sometimes, a martyr tired of poles and zones,
The sea whose sobs made my roilings sweet
Showed me its shadow flowers with yellow mouths
And I rested like a woman on her knees…
Almost an isle, blowing across my sands, quarrels
And droppings of pale-eyed clamorous gulls,
And I scudded on while, over my frayed lines,
Drowned men sank back in sleep beneath my hull!…
Now I, a boat lost in the hair of bays,
Hurled by the hurricane through bird-less ether,
I, whose carcass, sodden with salt-sea water,
No Monitor or Hanseatic vessel could recover:
Freed, in smoke, risen from the violet fog,
I, who pierced the red skies like a wall,
Bearing the sweets that delight true poets,
Lichens of sunlight, gobbets of azure:
Who ran, stained with electric moonlets,
A crazed plank, companied by black sea-horses,
When Julys were crushing with cudgel blows
Skies of ultramarine in burning funnels:
I, who trembled to hear those agonies
Of rutting Behemoths and dark Maelstroms,
Eternal spinner of blue immobilities,
I regret the ancient parapets of Europe!
I’ve seen archipelagos of stars! And isles
Whose maddened skies open for the sailor:
– Is it in depths of night you sleep, exiled,
Million birds of gold, O future Vigour? –
But, truly, I’ve wept too much! The Dawns
Are heartbreaking, each moon hell, each sun bitter:
Fierce love has swallowed me in drunken torpors.
O let my keel break! Tides draw me down!
180
If I want one pool in Europe, it’s the cold
Black pond where into the scented night
A child squatting filled with sadness launches
A boat as frail as a May butterfly.
Bathed in your languor, waves, I can no longer
Cut across the wakes of cotton ships,
Or sail against the pride of flags, ensigns,
Or swim the dreadful gaze of prison ships.
~ Arthur Rimbaud
309:SCENE 1.PROLOGUE IN HEAVEN. THE LORD AND THE HOST OF HEAVEN. ENTER THREE ARCHANGELS.

RAPHAEL:
The sun makes music as of old
Amid the rival spheres of Heaven,
On its predestined circle rolled
With thunder speed: the Angels even
Draw strength from gazing on its glance,
Though none its meaning fathom may:--
The worlds unwithered countenance
Is bright as at Creations day.

GABRIEL:
And swift and swift, with rapid lightness,
The adorned Earth spins silently,
Alternating Elysian brightness
With deep and dreadful night; the sea
Foams in broad billows from the deep
Up to the rocks, and rocks and Ocean,
Onward, with spheres which never sleep,
Are hurried in eternal motion.

MICHAEL:
And tempests in contention roar
From land to sea, from sea to land;
And, raging, weave a chain of power,
Which girds the earth, as with a band.--
A flashing desolation there,
Flames before the thunders way;
But Thy servants, Lord, revere
The gentle changes of Thy day.

CHORUS OF THE THREE:
The Angels draw strength from Thy glance,
Though no one comprehend Thee may;--
Thy worlds unwithered countenance
Is bright as on Creation's day.
The sun sounds, according to ancient custom,
In the song of emulation of his brother-spheres.
And its fore-written circle
Fulfils with a step of thunder.
Its countenance gives the Angels strength
Though no one can fathom it.
The incredible high works
Are excellent as at the first day.

GABRIEL:
And swift, and inconceivably swift
The adornment of earth winds itself round,
And exchanges Paradise--clearness
With deep dreadful night.
The sea foams in broad waves
From its deep bottom, up to the rocks,
And rocks and sea are torn on together
In the eternal swift course of the spheres.

MICHAEL:
And storms roar in emulation
From sea to land, from land to sea,
And make, raging, a chain
Of deepest operation round about.
There flames a flashing destruction
Before the path of the thunderbolt.
But Thy servants, Lord, revere
The gentle alternations of Thy day.

CHORUS:
Thy countenance gives the Angels strength,
Though none can comprehend Thee:
And all Thy lofty works
Are excellent as at the first day.

[ENTER MEPHISTOPHELES.]

MEPHISTOPHELES:
As thou, O Lord, once more art kind enough
To interest Thyself in our affairs,
And ask, How goes it with you there below?
And as indulgently at other times
Thou tookest not my visits in ill part,
Thou seest me here once more among Thy household.
Though I should scandalize this company,
You will excuse me if I do not talk
In the high style which they think fashionable;
My pathos certainly would make You laugh too,
Had You not long since given over laughing.
Nothing know I to say of suns and worlds;
I observe only how men plague themselves;--
The little god o the world keeps the same stamp,
As wonderful as on creations day:--
A little better would he live, hadst Thou
Not given him a glimpse of Heavens light
Which he calls reason, and employs it only
To live more beastlily than any beast.
With reverence to Your Lordship be it spoken,
Hes like one of those long-legged grasshoppers,
Who flits and jumps about, and sings for ever
The same old song i the grass. There let him lie,
Burying his nose in every heap of dung.

THE LORD:
Have you no more to say? Do you come here
Always to scold, and cavil, and complain?
Seems nothing ever right to you on earth?

MEPHISTOPHELES:
No, Lord! I find all there, as ever, bad at best.
Even I am sorry for mans days of sorrow;
I could myself almost give up the pleasure
Of plaguing the poor things.

THE LORD:
Knowest thou Faust?

MEPHISTOPHELES:
The Doctor?

THE LORD:
Ay; My servant Faust.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
In truth
He serves You in a fashion quite his own;
And the fools meat and drink are not of earth.
His aspirations bear him on so far
That he is half aware of his own folly,
For he demands from Heaven its fairest star,
And from the earth the highest joy it bears,
Yet all things far, and all things near, are vain
To calm the deep emotions of his breast.

THE LORD:
Though he now serves Me in a cloud of error,
I will soon lead him forth to the clear day.
When trees look green, full well the gardener knows
That fruits and blooms will deck the coming year.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
What will You bet?--now am sure of winning--
Only, observe You give me full permission
To lead him softly on my path.

THE LORD:
As long
As he shall live upon the earth, so long
Is nothing unto thee forbiddenMan
Must err till he has ceased to struggle.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Thanks.
And that is all I ask; for willingly
I never make acquaintance with the dead.
The full fresh cheeks of youth are food for me,
And if a corpse knocks, I am not at home.
For I am like a cat--I like to play
A little with the mouse before I eat it.

THE LORD:
Well, well! it is permitted thee. Draw thou
His spirit from its springs; as thou findst power
Seize him and lead him on thy downward path;
And stand ashamed when failure teaches thee
That a good man, even in his darkest longings,
Is well aware of the right way.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Well and good.
I am not in much doubt about my bet,
And if I lose, then tis Your turn to crow;
Enjoy Your triumph then with a full breast.
Ay; dust shall he devour, and that with pleasure,
Like my old paramour, the famous Snake.

THE LORD:
Pray come here when it suits you; for I never
Had much dislike for people of your sort.
And, among all the Spirits who rebelled,
The knave was ever the least tedious to Me.
The active spirit of man soon sleeps, and soon 100
He seeks unbroken quiet; therefore I
Have given him the Devil for a companion,
Who may provoke him to some sort of work,
And must create forever.--But ye, pure
Children of God, enjoy eternal beauty;--
Let that which ever operates and lives
Clasp you within the limits of its love;
And seize with sweet and melancholy thoughts
The floating phantoms of its loveliness.

[HEAVEN CLOSES; THE ARCHANGELS EXEUNT.]

MEPHISTOPHELES:
From time to time I visit the old fellow,
And I take care to keep on good terms with Him.
Civil enough is the same God Almighty,
To talk so freely with the Devil himself.

SCENE 2.MAY-DAY NIGHT. THE HARTZ MOUNTAIN, A DESOLATE COUNTRY. FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Would you not like a broomstick? As for me
I wish I had a good stout ram to ride;
For we are still far from the appointed place.

FAUST:
This knotted staff is help enough for me,
Whilst I feel fresh upon my legs. What good
Is there in making short a pleasant way?
To creep along the labyrinths of the vales,
And climb those rocks, where ever-babbling springs,
Precipitate themselves in waterfalls,
Is the true sport that seasons such a path.
Already Spring kindles the birchen spray,
And the hoar pines already feel her breath:
Shall she not work also within our limbs?

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Nothing of such an influence do I feel.
My body is all wintry, and I wish
The flowers upon our path were frost and snow.
But see how melancholy rises now,
Dimly uplifting her belated beam,
The blank unwelcome round of the red moon,
And gives so bad a light, that every step
One stumbles gainst some crag. With your permission,
Ill call on Ignis-fatuus to our aid:
I see one yonder burning jollily.
Halloo, my friend! may I request that you
Would favour us with your bright company?
Why should you blaze away there to no purpose?
Pray be so good as light us up this way.

IGNIS-FATUUS:
With reverence be it spoken, I will try
To overcome the lightness of my nature;
Our course, you know, is generally zigzag.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Ha, ha! your worship thinks you have to deal
With men. Go straight on, in the Devils name,
Or I shall puff your flickering life out.

IGNIS-FATUUS:
Well,
I see you are the master of the house;
I will accommodate myself to you.
Only consider that to-night this mountain
Is all enchanted, and if Jack-a-lantern
Shows you his way, though you should miss your own,
You ought not to be too exact with him.

FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES, AND IGNIS-FATUUS, IN ALTERNATE CHORUS:
The limits of the sphere of dream,
The bounds of true and false, are past.
Lead us on, thou wandering Gleam,
Lead us onward, far and fast,
To the wide, the desert waste.

But see, how swift advance and shift
Trees behind trees, row by row,--
How, clift by clift, rocks bend and lift
Their frowning foreheads as we go.
The giant-snouted crags, ho! ho!
How they snort, and how they blow!

Through the mossy sods and stones,
Stream and streamlet hurry down
A rushing throng! A sound of song
Beneath the vault of Heaven is blown!
Sweet notes of love, the speaking tones
Of this bright day, sent down to say
That Paradise on Earth is known,
Resound around, beneath, above.
All we hope and all we love
Finds a voice in this blithe strain,
Which wakens hill and wood and rill,
And vibrates far oer field and vale,
And which Echo, like the tale
Of old times, repeats again.

To-whoo! to-whoo! near, nearer now
The sound of song, the rushing throng!
Are the screech, the lapwing, and the jay,
All awake as if twere day?
See, with long legs and belly wide,
A salamander in the brake!
Every root is like a snake,
And along the loose hillside,
With strange contortions through the night,
Curls, to seize or to affright;
And, animated, strong, and many,
They dart forth polypus-antennae,
To blister with their poison spume
The wanderer. Through the dazzling gloom
The many-coloured mice, that thread
The dewy turf beneath our tread,
In troops each others motions cross,
Through the heath and through the moss;
And, in legions intertangled,
The fire-flies flit, and swarm, and throng,
Till all the mountain depths are spangled.

Tell me, shall we go or stay?
Shall we onward? Come along!
Everything around is swept
Forward, onward, far away!
Trees and masses intercept
The sight, and wisps on every side
Are puffed up and multiplied.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Now vigorously seize my skirt, and gain
This pinnacle of isolated crag.
One may observe with wonder from this point,
How Mammon glows among the mountains.

FAUST:
Ay--
And strangely through the solid depth below
A melancholy light, like the red dawn,
Shoots from the lowest gorge of the abyss
Of mountains, lightning hitherward: there rise
Pillars of smoke, here clouds float gently by;
Here the light burns soft as the enkindled air,
Or the illumined dust of golden flowers;
And now it glides like tender colours spreading;
And now bursts forth in fountains from the earth;
And now it winds, one torrent of broad light,
Through the far valley with a hundred veins;
And now once more within that narrow corner
Masses itself into intensest splendour.
And near us, see, sparks spring out of the ground,
Like golden sand scattered upon the darkness;
The pinnacles of that black wall of mountains
That hems us in are kindled.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Rare: in faith!
Does not Sir Mammon gloriously illuminate
His palace for this festival?--it is
A pleasure which you had not known before.
I spy the boisterous guests already.

FAUST:
How
The children of the wind rage in the air!
With what fierce strokes they fall upon my neck!

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Cling tightly to the old ribs of the crag.
Beware! for if with them thou warrest
In their fierce flight towards the wilderness,
Their breath will sweep thee into dust, and drag
Thy body to a grave in the abyss.
A cloud thickens the night.
Hark! how the tempest crashes through the forest!
The owls fly out in strange affright;
The columns of the evergreen palaces
Are split and shattered;
The roots creak, and stretch, and groan;
And ruinously overthrown,
The trunks are crushed and shattered
By the fierce blasts unconquerable stress.
Over each other crack and crash they all
In terrible and intertangled fall;
And through the ruins of the shaken mountain
The airs hiss and howl--
It is not the voice of the fountain,
Nor the wolf in his midnight prowl.
Dost thou not hear?
Strange accents are ringing
Aloft, afar, anear?
The witches are singing!
The torrent of a raging wizard song
Streams the whole mountain along.

CHORUS OF WITCHES:
The stubble is yellow, the corn is green,
Now to the Brocken the witches go;
The mighty multitude here may be seen
Gathering, wizard and witch, below.
Sir Urian is sitting aloft in the air;
Hey over stock! and hey over stone!
'Twixt witches and incubi, what shall be done?
Tell it who dare! tell it who dare!

A VOICE:
Upon a sow-swine, whose farrows were nine,
Old Baubo rideth alone.

CHORUS:
Honour her, to whom honour is due,
Old mother Baubo, honour to you!
An able sow, with old Baubo upon her,
Is worthy of glory, and worthy of honour!
The legion of witches is coming behind,
Darkening the night, and outspeeding the wind--

A VOICE:
Which way comest thou?

A VOICE:
Over Ilsenstein;
The owl was awake in the white moonshine;
I saw her at rest in her downy nest,
And she stared at me with her broad, bright eyne.

VOICES:
And you may now as well take your course on to Hell,
Since you ride by so fast on the headlong blast.

A VOICE:
She dropped poison upon me as I passed.
Here are the wounds--

CHORUS OF WITCHES:
Come away! come along!
The way is wide, the way is long,
But what is that for a Bedlam throng?
Stick with the prong, and scratch with the broom.
The child in the cradle lies strangled at home,
And the mother is clapping her hands.--

SEMICHORUS OF WIZARDS 1:
We glide in
Like snails when the women are all away;
And from a house once given over to sin
Woman has a thousand steps to stray.

SEMICHORUS 2:
A thousand steps must a woman take,
Where a man but a single spring will make.

VOICES ABOVE:
Come with us, come with us, from Felsensee.

VOICES BELOW:
With what joy would we fly through the upper sky!
We are washed, we are nointed, stark naked are we;
But our toil and our pain are forever in vain.

BOTH CHORUSES:
The wind is still, the stars are fled,
The melancholy moon is dead;
The magic notes, like spark on spark,
Drizzle, whistling through the dark. Come away!

VOICES BELOW:
Stay, Oh, stay!

VOICES ABOVE:
Out of the crannies of the rocks
Who calls?

VOICES BELOW:
Oh, let me join your flocks!
I, three hundred years have striven
To catch your skirt and mount to Heaven,--
And still in vain. Oh, might I be
With company akin to me!

BOTH CHORUSES:
Some on a ram and some on a prong,
On poles and on broomsticks we flutter along;
Forlorn is the wight who can rise not to-night.

A HALF-WITCH BELOW:
I have been tripping this many an hour:
Are the others already so far before?
No quiet at home, and no peace abroad!
And less methinks is found by the road.

CHORUS OF WITCHES:
Come onward, away! aroint thee, aroint!
A witch to be strong must anoint--anoint--
Then every trough will be boat enough;
With a rag for a sail we can sweep through the sky,
Who flies not to-night, when means he to fly?

BOTH CHORUSES:
We cling to the skirt, and we strike on the ground;
Witch-legions thicken around and around;
Wizard-swarms cover the heath all over.

[THEY DESCEND.]

MEPHISTOPHELES:
What thronging, dashing, raging, rustling;
What whispering, babbling, hissing, bustling;
What glimmering, spurting, stinking, burning,
As Heaven and Earth were overturning.
There is a true witch element about us;
Take hold on me, or we shall be divided:--
Where are you?

FAUST [FROM A DISTANCE]:
Here!

MEPHISTOPHELES:
What!
I must exert my authority in the house.
Place for young Voland! pray make way, good people.
Take hold on me, doctor, an with one step
Let us escape from this unpleasant crowd:
They are too mad for people of my sort.
Just there shines a peculiar kind of light--
Something attracts me in those bushes. Come
This way: we shall slip down there in a minute.

FAUST:
Spirit of Contradiction! Well, lead on--
Twere a wise feat indeed to wander out
Into the Brocken upon May-day night,
And then to isolate oneself in scorn,
Disgusted with the humours of the time.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
See yonder, round a many-coloured flame
A merry club is huddled altogether:
Even with such little people as sit there
One would not be alone.

FAUST:
Would that I were
Up yonder in the glow and whirling smoke,
Where the blind million rush impetuously
To meet the evil ones; there might I solve
Many a riddle that torments me.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Yet
Many a riddle there is tied anew
Inextricably. Let the great world rage!
We will stay here safe in the quiet dwellings.
Tis an old custom. Men have ever built
Their own small world in the great world of all.
I see young witches naked there, and old ones
Wisely attired with greater decency.
Be guided now by me, and you shall buy
A pound of pleasure with a dram of trouble.
I hear them tune their instruments--one must
Get used to this damned scraping. Come, Ill lead you
Among them; and what there you do and see,
As a fresh compact twixt us two shall be.
How say you now? this space is wide enough--
Look forth, you cannot see the end of it--
An hundred bonfires burn in rows, and they
Who throng around them seem innumerable:
Dancing and drinking, jabbering, making love,
And cooking, are at work. Now tell me, friend,
What is there better in the world than this?

FAUST:
In introducing us, do you assume
The character of Wizard or of Devil?

MEPHISTOPHELES:
In truth, I generally go about
In strict incognito; and yet one likes
To wear ones orders upon gala days.
I have no ribbon at my knee; but here
At home, the cloven foot is honourable.
See you that snail there?she comes creeping up,
And with her feeling eyes hath smelt out something.
I could not, if I would, mask myself here.
Come now, well go about from fire to fire:
Ill be the Pimp, and you shall be the Lover.
[TO SOME OLD WOMEN, WHO ARE SITTING ROUND A HEAP OF GLIMMERING COALS.]
Old gentlewomen, what do you do out here?
You ought to be with the young rioters
Right in the thickest of the revelry--
But every one is best content at home.

General.
Who dare confide in right or a just claim?
So much as I had done for them! and now--
With women and the people tis the same,
Youth will stand foremost ever,--age may go
To the dark grave unhonoured.

MINISTER:
Nowadays
People assert their rights: they go too far; 280
But as for me, the good old times I praise;
Then we were all in all--twas something worth
Ones while to be in place and wear a star;
That was indeed the golden age on earth.

PARVENU:
We too are active, and we did and do
What we ought not, perhaps; and yet we now
Will seize, whilst all things are whirled round and round,
A spoke of Fortunes wheel, and keep our ground.

AUTHOR:
Who now can taste a treatise of deep sense
And ponderous volume? tis impertinence
To write what none will read, therefore will I
To please the young and thoughtless people try.
MEPHISTOPHELES [WHO AT ONCE APPEARS TO HAVE GROWN VERY OLD]:
I find the people ripe for the last day,
Since I last came up to the wizard mountain;
And as my little cask runs turbid now,
So is the world drained to the dregs.

PEDLAR-WITCH:
Look here,
Gentlemen; do not hurry on so fast;
And lose the chance of a good pennyworth.
I have a pack full of the choicest wares
Of every sort, and yet in all my bundle
Is nothing like what may be found on earth;
Nothing that in a moment will make rich
Men and the world with fine malicious mischief--
There is no dagger drunk with blood; no bowl
From which consuming poison may be drained
By innocent and healthy lips; no jewel,
The price of an abandoned maidens shame;
No sword which cuts the bond it cannot loose,
Or stabs the wearers enemy in the back;
No--

MEPHISTOPHELES:

Gossip, you know little of these times.
What has been, has been; what is done, is past,
They shape themselves into the innovations
They breed, and innovation drags us with it.
The torrent of the crowd sweeps over us:
You think to impel, and are yourself impelled.

FAUST:
What is that yonder?

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Mark her well. It is
Lilith.

FAUST:
Who?

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Lilith, the first wife of Adam.
Beware of her fair hair, for she excels
All women in the magic of her locks;
And when she winds them round a young mans neck,
She will not ever set him free again.

FAUST:
There sit a girl and an old woman--they
Seem to be tired with pleasure and with play.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
There is no rest to-night for any one:
When one dance ends another is begun;
Come, let us to it. We shall have rare fun.

[FAUST DANCES AND SINGS WITH A GIRL, AND MEPHISTOPHELES WITH AN OLD WOMAN.]

FAUST:
I had once a lovely dream
In which I saw an apple-tree,
Where two fair apples with their gleam
To climb and taste attracted me.

THE GIRL:
She with apples you desired
From Paradise came long ago:
With you I feel that if required,
Such still within my garden grow.
...

PROCTO-PHANTASMIST:
What is this cursed multitude about?
Have we not long since proved to demonstration
That ghosts move not on ordinary feet?
But these are dancing just like men and women.

THE GIRL:
What does he want then at our ball?

FAUST:
Oh! he
Is far above us all in his conceit:
Whilst we enjoy, he reasons of enjoyment;
And any step which in our dance we tread,
If it be left out of his reckoning,
Is not to be considered as a step.
There are few things that scandalize him not:
And when you whirl round in the circle now,
As he went round the wheel in his old mill,
He says that you go wrong in all respects,
Especially if you congratulate him
Upon the strength of the resemblance.

PROCTO-PHANTASMIST:
Fly!
Vanish! Unheard-of impudence! What, still there!
In this enlightened age too, since you have been
Proved not to exist!--But this infernal brood
Will hear no reason and endure no rule.
Are we so wise, and is the POND still haunted?
How long have I been sweeping out this rubbish
Of superstition, and the world will not
Come clean with all my pains!--it is a case
Unheard of!

THE GIRL:
Then leave off teasing us so.

PROCTO-PHANTASMIST:
I tell you, spirits, to your faces now,
That I should not regret this despotism
Of spirits, but that mine can wield it not.
To-night I shall make poor work of it,
Yet I will take a round with you, and hope
Before my last step in the living dance
To beat the poet and the devil together.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
At last he will sit down in some foul puddle;
That is his way of solacing himself;
Until some leech, diverted with his gravity,
Cures him of spirits and the spirit together.
[TO FAUST, WHO HAS SECEDED FROM THE DANCE.]
Why do you let that fair girl pass from you,
Who sung so sweetly to you in the dance?

FAUST:
A red mouse in the middle of her singing
Sprung from her mouth.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
That was all right, my friend:
Be it enough that the mouse was not gray.
Do not disturb your hour of happiness
With close consideration of such trifles.

FAUST:
Then saw I--

MEPHISTOPHELES:
What?

FAUST:
Seest thou not a pale,
Fair girl, standing alone, far, far away?
She drags herself now forward with slow steps,
And seems as if she moved with shackled feet:
I cannot overcome the thought that she
Is like poor Margaret.

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Let it be--pass on--
No good can come of it--it is not well
To meet itit is an enchanted phantom,
A lifeless idol; with its numbing look,
It freezes up the blood of man; and they
Who meet its ghastly stare are turned to stone,
Like those who saw Medusa.

FAUST:
Oh, too true!
Her eyes are like the eyes of a fresh corpse
Which no beloved hand has closed, alas!
That is the breast which Margaret yielded to me--
Those are the lovely limbs which I enjoyed!

MEPHISTOPHELES:
It is all magic, poor deluded fool!
She looks to every one like his first love.

FAUST:
Oh, what delight! what woe! I cannot turn
My looks from her sweet piteous countenance.
How strangely does a single blood-red line,
Not broader than the sharp edge of a knife,
Adorn her lovely neck!

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Ay, she can carry
Her head under her arm upon occasion;
Perseus has cut it off for her. These pleasures
End in delusion.Gain this rising ground,
It is as airy here as in a...
And if I am not mightily deceived,
I see a theatre.What may this mean?

ATTENDANT:
Quite a new piece, the last of seven, for tis
The custom now to represent that number.
Tis written by a Dilettante, and
The actors who perform are Dilettanti;
Excuse me, gentlemen; but I must vanish.
I am a Dilettante curtain-lifter.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Scenes From The Faust Of Goethe

310:A FRAGMENT

PART I

Nec tantum prodere vati,
Quantum scire licet. Venit aetas omnis in unam
Congeriem, miserumque premunt tot saecula pectus.
Lucan, Phars. v. 176.

How wonderful is Death,
Death and his brother Sleep!
One pale as yonder wan and hornd moon,
With lips of lurid blue,
The other glowing like the vital morn,
When throned on ocean's wave
It breathes over the world:
Yet both so passing strange and wonderful!
Hath then the iron-sceptred Skeleton,
Whose reign is in the tainted sepulchres,
To the hell dogs that couch beneath his throne
Cast that fair prey? Must that divinest form,
Which love and admiration cannot view
Without a beating heart, whose azure veins
Steal like dark streams along a field of snow,
Whose outline is as fair as marble clothed
In light of some sublimest mind, decay?
Nor putrefaction's breath
Leave aught of this pure spectacle
But loathsomeness and ruin?
Spare aught but a dark theme,
On which the lightest heart might moralize?
Or is it but that downy-wingd slumbers
Have charmed their nurse coy Silence near her lids
To watch their own repose?
Will they, when morning's beam
Flows through those wells of light,
Seek far from noise and day some western cave,
Where woods and streams with soft and pausing winds
A lulling murmur weave?
Ianthe doth not sleep
The dreamless sleep of death:
Nor in her moonlight chamber silently
Doth Henry hear her regular pulses throb,
Or mark her delicate cheek
With interchange of hues mock the broad moon.
Outwatching weary night,
Without assured reward.
Her dewy eyes are closed;
On their translucent lids, whose texture fine
Scarce hides the dark blue orbs that burn below
With unapparent fire,
The baby Sleep is pillowed:
Her golden tresses shade
The bosom's stainless pride,
Twining like tendrils of the parasite
Around a marble column.
Hark! whence that rushing sound?
'Tis like a wondrous strain that sweeps
Around a lonely ruin
When west winds sigh and evening waves respond
In whispers from the shore:
'Tis wilder than the unmeasured notes
Which from the unseen lyres of dells and groves
The genii of the breezes sweep.
Floating on waves of music and of light,
The chariot of the Daemon of the World
Descends in silent power:
Its shape reposed within: slight as some cloud
That catches but the palest tinge of day
When evening yields to night,
Bright as that fibrous woof when stars indue
Its transitory robe.
Four shapeless shadows bright and beautiful
Draw that strange car of glory, reins of light
Check their unearthly speed; they stop and fold
Their wings of braided air:
The Daemon leaning from the ethereal car
Gazed on the slumbering maid.
Human eye hath ne'er beheld
A shape so wild, so bright, so beautiful,
As that which o'er the maiden's charmd sleep
Waving a starry wand,
Hung like a mist of light.
Such sounds as breathed around like odorous winds
Of wakening spring arose,
Filling the chamber and the moonlight sky.
Maiden, the world's supremest spirit
Beneath the shadow of her wings
Folds all thy memory doth inherit
From ruin of divinest things,
Feelings that lure thee to betray,
And light of thoughts that pass away.
For thou hast earned a mighty boon,
The truths which wisest poets see
Dimly, thy mind may make its own,
Rewarding its own majesty,
Entranced in some diviner mood
Of self-oblivious solitude.
Custom, and Faith, and Power thou spurnest;
From hate and awe thy heart is free;
Ardent and pure as day thou burnest,
For dark and cold mortality
A living light, to cheer it long,
The watch-fires of the world among.
Therefore from nature's inner shrine,
Where gods and fiends in worship bend,
Majestic spirit, be it thine
The flame to seize, the veil to rend,
Where the vast snake Eternity
In charmd sleep doth ever lie.
All that inspires thy voice of love,
Or speaks in thy unclosing eyes,
Or through thy frame doth burn or move,
Or think or feel, awake, arise!
Spirit, leave for mine and me
Earth's unsubstantial mimicry!
It ceased, and from the mute and moveless frame
A radiant spirit arose,
All beautiful in naked purity.
Robed in its human hues it did ascend,
Disparting as it went the silver clouds,
It moved towards the car, and took its seat
Beside the Daemon shape.
Obedient to the sweep of ary song,
The mighty ministers
Unfurled their prismy wings.
The magic car moved on;
The night was fair, innumerable stars
Studded heaven's dark blue vault;
The eastern wave grew pale
With the first smile of morn.
The magic car moved on.
From the swift sweep of wings
The atmosphere in flaming sparkles flew;
And where the burning wheels
Eddied above the mountain's loftiest peak
Was traced a line of lightning.
Now far above a rock the utmost verge
Of the wide earth it flew,
The rival of the Andes, whose dark brow
Frowned o'er the silver sea.
Far, far below the chariot's stormy path,
Calm as a slumbering babe,
Tremendous ocean lay.
Its broad and silent mirror gave to view
The pale and waning stars,
The chariot's fiery track,
And the grey light of morn
Tingeing those fleecy clouds
That cradled in their folds the infant dawn.
The chariot seemed to fly
Through the abyss of an immense concave,
Radiant with million constellations, tinged
With shades of infinite colour,
And semicircled with a belt
Flashing incessant meteors.
As they approached their goal,
The wingd shadows seemed to gather speed.
The sea no longer was distinguished; earth
Appeared a vast and shadowy sphere, suspended
In the black concave of heaven
With the sun's cloudless orb,
Whose rays of rapid light
Parted around the chariot's swifter course,
And fell like ocean's feathery spray
Dashed from the boiling surge
Before a vessel's prow.
The magic car moved on.
Earth's distant orb appeared
The smallest light that twinkles in the heavens,
Whilst round the chariot's way
Innumerable systems widely rolled,
And countless spheres diffused
An ever varying glory.
It was a sight of wonder! Some were horned.
And like the moon's argentine crescent hung
In the dark dome of heaven; some did shed
A clear mild beam like Hesperus, while the sea
Yet glows with fading sunlight; others dashed
Athwart the night with trains of bickering fire,
Like spherd worlds to death and ruin driven;
Some shone like stars, and as the chariot passed
Bedimmed all other light.
Spirit of Nature! here
In this interminable wilderness
Of worlds, at whose involved immensity
Even soaring fancy staggers,
Here is thy fitting temple.
Yet not the lightest leaf
That quivers to the passing breeze
Is less instinct with thee,
Yet not the meanest worm,
That lurks in graves and fattens on the dead,
Less shares thy eternal breath.
Spirit of Nature! thou
Imperishable as this glorious scene,
Here is thy fitting temple.
If solitude hath ever led thy steps
To the shore of the immeasurable sea,
And thou hast lingered there
Until the sun's broad orb
Seemed resting on the fiery line of ocean,
Thou must have marked the braided webs of gold
That without motion hang
Over the sinking sphere:
Thou must have marked the billowy mountain clouds,
Edged with intolerable radiancy,
Towering like rocks of jet
Above the burning deep:
And yet there is a moment
When the sun's highest point
Peers like a star o'er ocean's western edge,
When those far clouds of feathery purple gleam
Like fairy lands girt by some heavenly sea:
Then has thy rapt imagination soared
Where in the midst of all existing things
The temple of the mightiest Daemon stands.
Yet not the golden islands
That gleam amid yon flood of purple light,
Nor the feathery curtains
That canopy the sun's resplendent couch,
Nor the burnished ocean waves
Paving that gorgeous dome,
So fair, so wonderful a sight
As the eternal temple could afford.
The elements of all that human thought
Can frame of lovely or sublime, did join
To rear the fabric of the fane, nor aught
Of earth may image forth its majesty.
Yet likest evening's vault that fary hall,
As heaven low resting on the wave it spread
Its floors of flashing light,
Its vast and azure dome;
And on the verge of that obscure abyss
Where crystal battlements o'erhang the gulf
Of the dark world, ten thousand spheres diffuse
Their lustre through its adamantine gates.
The magic car no longer moved;
The Daemon and the Spirit
Entered the eternal gates.
Those clouds of ary gold
That slept in glittering billows
Beneath the azure canopy,
With the ethereal footsteps trembled not;
While slight and odorous mists
Floated to strains of thrilling melody
Through the vast columns and the pearly shrines.
The Daemon and the Spirit
Approached the overhanging battlement,
Below lay stretched the boundless universe!
There, far as the remotest line
That limits swift imagination's flight,
Unending orbs mingled in mazy motion,
Immutably fulfilling
Eternal Nature's law.
Above, below, around,
The circling systems formed
A wilderness of harmony,
Each with undeviating aim
In eloquent silence through the depths of space
Pursued its wondrous way.
Awhile the Spirit paused in ecstasy.
Yet soon she saw, as the vast spheres swept by,
Strange things within their belted orbs appear.
Like animated frenzies, dimly moved
Shadows, and skeletons, and fiendly shapes,
Thronging round human graves, and o'er the dead
Sculpturing records for each memory
In verse, such as malignant gods pronounce,
Blasting the hopes of men, when heaven and hell
Confounded burst in ruin o'er the world:
And they did build vast trophies, instruments
Of murder, human bones, barbaric gold,
Skins torn from living men, and towers of skulls
With sightless holes gazing on blinder heaven,
Mitres, and crowns, and brazen chariots stained
With blood, and scrolls of mystic wickedness,
The sanguine codes of venerable crime.
The likeness of a thrond king came by,
When these had passed, bearing upon his brow
A threefold crown; his countenance was calm,
His eye severe and cold; but his right hand
Was charged with bloody coin, and he did gnaw
By fits, with secret smiles, a human heart
Concealed beneath his robe; and motley shapes,
A multitudinous throng, around him knelt,
With bosoms bare, and bowed heads, and false looks
Of true submission, as the sphere rolled by.
Brooking no eye to witness their foul shame,
Which human hearts must feel, while human tongues
Tremble to speak, they did rage horribly,
Breathing in self-contempt fierce blasphemies
Against the Daemon of the World, and high
Hurling their armd hands where the pure Spirit,
Serene and inaccessibly secure,
Stood on an isolated pinnacle,
The flood of ages combating below,
The depth of the unbounded universe
Above, and all around
Necessity's unchanging harmony.
PART II
O happy Earth! reality of Heaven!
To which those restless powers that ceaselessly
Throng through the human universe aspire;
Thou consummation of all mortal hope!
Thou glorious prize of blindly-working will!
Whose rays, diffused throughout all space and time,
Verge to one point and blend for ever there:
Of purest spirits thou pure dwelling-place!
Where care and sorrow, impotence and crime,
Languor, disease, and ignorance dare not come:
O happy Earth, reality of Heaven!
Genius has seen thee in her passionate dreams,
And dim forebodings of thy loveliness,
Haunting the human heart, have there entwined
Those rooted hopes, that the proud Power of Evil
Shall not for ever on this fairest world
Shake pestilence and war, or that his slaves
With blasphemy for prayer, and human blood
For sacrifice, before his shrine for ever
In adoration bend, or Erebus
With all its banded fiends shall not uprise
To overwhelm in envy and revenge
The dauntless and the good, who dare to hurl
Defiance at his throne, girt tho' it be
With Death's omnipotence. Thou hast beheld
His empire, o'er the present and the past;
It was a desolate sightnow gaze on mine,
Futurity. Thou hoary giant Time,
Render thou up thy half-devoured babes,
And from the cradles of eternity,
Where millions lie lulled to their portioned sleep
By the deep murmuring stream of passing things,
Tear thou that gloomy shroud.Spirit, behold
Thy glorious destiny!
           The Spirit saw
The vast frame of the renovated world
Smile in the lap of Chaos, and the sense
Of hope thro' her fine texture did suffuse
Such varying glow, as summer evening casts
On undulating clouds and deepening lakes.
Like the vague sighings of a wind at even,
That wakes the wavelets of the slumbering sea
And dies on the creation of its breath,
And sinks and rises, fails and swells by fits,
Was the sweet stream of thought that with wild motion
Flowed o'er the Spirit's human sympathies.
The mighty tide of thought had paused awhile,
Which from the Daemon now like Ocean's stream
Again began to pour.
           To me is given
The wonders of the human world to keep
Space, matter, time and mindlet the sight
Renew and strengthen all thy failing hope.
All things are recreated, and the flame
Of consentaneous love inspires all life:
The fertile bosom of the earth gives suck
To myriads, who still grow beneath her care,
Rewarding her with their pure perfectness:
The balmy breathings of the wind inhale
Her virtues, and diffuse them all abroad:
Health floats amid the gentle atmosphere,
Glows in the fruits, and mantles on the stream;
No storms deform the beaming brow of heaven,
Nor scatter in the freshness of its pride
The foliage of the undecaying trees;
But fruits are ever ripe, flowers ever fair,
And Autumn proudly bears her matron grace,
Kindling a flush on the fair cheek of Spring,
Whose virgin bloom beneath the ruddy fruit
Reflects its tint and blushes into love.
The habitable earth is full of bliss;
Those wastes of frozen billows that were hurled
By everlasting snow-storms round the poles,
Where matter dared not vegetate nor live,
But ceaseless frost round the vast solitude
Bound its broad zone of stillness, are unloosed;
And fragrant zephyrs there from spicy isles
Ruffle the placid ocean-deep, that rolls
Its broad, bright surges to the sloping sand,
Whose roar is wakened into echoings sweet
To murmur through the heaven-breathing groves
And melodise with man's blest nature there.
The vast tract of the parched and sandy waste
Now teems with countless rills and shady woods,
Corn-fields and pastures and white cottages;
And where the startled wilderness did hear
A savage conqueror stained in kindred blood,
Hymning his victory, or the milder snake
Crushing the bones of some frail antelope
Within his brazen foldsthe dewy lawn,
Offering sweet incense to the sunrise, smiles
To see a babe before his mother's door,
Share with the green and golden basilisk
That comes to lick his feet, his morning's meal.
Those trackless deeps, where many a weary sail
Has seen, above the illimitable plain,
Morning on night and night on morning rise,
Whilst still no land to greet the wanderer spread
Its shadowy mountains on the sunbright sea,
Where the loud roarings of the tempest-waves
So long have mingled with the gusty wind
In melancholy loneliness, and swept
The desert of those ocean solitudes,
But vocal to the sea-bird's harrowing shriek,
The bellowing monster, and the rushing storm.
Now to the sweet and many-mingling sounds
Of kindliest human impulses respond:
Those lonely realms bright garden-isles begem,
With lightsome clouds and shining seas between,
And fertile valleys, resonant with bliss,
Whilst green woods overcanopy the wave,
Which like a toil-worn labourer leaps to shore,
To meet the kisses of the flowerets there.
Man chief perceives the change, his being notes
The gradual renovation, and defines
Each movement of its progress on his mind.
Man, where the gloom of the long polar night
Lowered o'er the snow-clad rocks and frozen soil,
Where scarce the hardiest herb that braves the frost
Basked in the moonlight's ineffectual glow,
Shrank with the plants, and darkened with the night:
Nor where the tropics bound the realms of day
With a broad belt of mingling cloud and flame,
Where blue mists through the unmoving atmosphere
Scattered the seeds of pestilence, and fed
Unnatural vegetation, where the land
Teemed with all earthquake, tempest and disease,
Was man a nobler being; slavery
Had crushed him to his country's blood-stained dust.
Even where the milder zone afforded man
A seeming shelter, yet contagion there,
Blighting his being with unnumbered ills,
Spread like a quenchless fire; nor truth availed
Till late to arrest its progress, or create
That peace which first in bloodless victory waved
Her snowy standard o'er this favoured clime:
There man was long the train-bearer of slaves,
The mimic of surrounding misery,
The jackal of ambition's lion-rage,
The bloodhound of religion's hungry zeal.
Here now the human being stands adorning
This loveliest earth with taintless body and mind:
Blest from his birth with all bland impulses,
Which gently in his noble bosom wake
All kindly passions and all pure desires.
Him, still from hope to hope the bliss pursuing,
Which from the exhaustless lore of human weal
Dawns on the virtuous mind, the thoughts that rise
In time-destroying infiniteness gift
With self-enshrined eternity, that mocks
The unprevailing hoariness of age,
And man, once fleeting o'er the transient scene
Swift as an unremembered vision, stands
Immortal upon earth: no longer now
He slays the beast that sports around his dwelling
And horribly devours its mangled flesh,
Or drinks its vital blood, which like a stream
Of poison thro' his fevered veins did flow
Feeding a plague that secretly consumed
His feeble frame, and kindling in his mind
Hatred, despair, and fear and vain belief,
The germs of misery, death, disease, and crime.
No longer now the wingd habitants,
That in the woods their sweet lives sing away,
Flee from the form of man; but gather round,
And prune their sunny feathers on the hands
Which little children stretch in friendly sport
Towards these dreadless partners of their play.
All things are void of terror: man has lost
His desolating privilege, and stands
An equal amidst equals: happiness
And science dawn though late upon the earth;
Peace cheers the mind, health renovates the frame;
Disease and pleasure cease to mingle here,
Reason and passion cease to combat there;
Whilst mind unfettered o'er the earth extends
Its all-subduing energies, and wields
The sceptre of a vast dominion there.
Mild is the slow necessity of death:
The tranquil spirit fails beneath its grasp,
Without a groan, almost without a fear,
Resigned in peace to the necessity,
Calm as a voyager to some distant land,
And full of wonder, full of hope as he.
The deadly germs of languor and disease
Waste in the human frame, and Nature gifts
With choicest boons her human worshippers.
How vigorous now the athletic form of age!
How clear its open and unwrinkled brow!
Where neither avarice, cunning, pride, or care,
Had stamped the seal of grey deformity
On all the mingling lineaments of time.
How lovely the intrepid front of youth!
How sweet the smiles of taintless infancy.
Within the massy prison's mouldering courts,
Fearless and free the ruddy children play,
Weaving gay chaplets for their innocent brows
With the green ivy and the red wall-flower,
That mock the dungeon's unavailing gloom;
The ponderous chains, and gratings of strong iron,
There rust amid the accumulated ruins
Now mingling slowly with their native earth:
There the broad beam of day, which feebly once
Lighted the cheek of lean captivity
With a pale and sickly glare, now freely shines
On the pure smiles of infant playfulness:
No more the shuddering voice of hoarse despair
Peals through the echoing vaults, but soothing notes
Of ivy-fingered winds and gladsome birds
And merriment are resonant around.
The fanes of Fear and Falsehood hear no more
The voice that once waked multitudes to war
Thundering thro' all their aisles: but now respond
To the death dirge of the melancholy wind:
It were a sight of awfulness to see
The works of faith and slavery, so vast,
So sumptuous, yet withal so perishing!
Even as the corpse that rests beneath their wall.
A thousand mourners deck the pomp of death
To-day, the breathing marble glows above
To decorate its memory, and tongues
Are busy of its life: to-morrow, worms
In silence and in darkness seize their prey.
These ruins soon leave not a wreck behind:
Their elements, wide-scattered o'er the globe,
To happier shapes are moulded, and become
Ministrant to all blissful impulses:
Thus human things are perfected, and earth,
Even as a child beneath its mother's love,
Is strengthened in all excellence, and grows
Fairer and nobler with each passing year.
Now Time his dusky pennons o'er the scene
Closes in steadfast darkness, and the past
Fades from our charmd sight. My task is done:
Thy lore is learned. Earth's wonders are thine own.
With all the fear and all the hope they bring.
My spells are past: the present now recurs.
Ah me! a pathless wilderness remains
Yet unsubdued by man's reclaiming hand.
Yet, human Spirit, bravely hold thy course,
Let virtue teach thee firmly to pursue
The gradual paths of an aspiring change:
For birth and life and death, and that strange state
Before the naked powers that thro' the world
Wander like winds have found a human home,
All tend to perfect happiness, and urge
The restless wheels of being on their way,
Whose flashing spokes, instinct with infinite life,
Bicker and burn to gain their destined goal:
For birth but wakes the universal mind
Whose mighty streams might else in silence flow
Thro' the vast world, to individual sense
Of outward shows, whose unexperienced shape
New modes of passion to its frame may lend;
Life is its state of action, and the store
Of all events is aggregated there
That variegate the eternal universe;
Death is a gate of dreariness and gloom,
That leads to azure isles and beaming skies
And happy regions of eternal hope.
Therefore, O Spirit! fearlessly bear on:
Though storms may break the primrose on its stalk,
Though frosts may blight the freshness of its bloom,
Yet spring's awakening breath will woo the earth,
To feed with kindliest dews its favourite flower,
That blooms in mossy banks and darksome glens,
Lighting the green wood with its sunny smile.
Fear not then, Spirit, death's disrobing hand,
So welcome when the tyrant is awake,
So welcome when the bigot's hell-torch flares;
'Tis but the voyage of a darksome hour,
The transient gulf-dream of a startling sleep.
For what thou art shall perish utterly,
But what is thine may never cease to be;
Death is no foe to virtue: earth has seen
Love's brightest roses on the scaffold bloom,
Mingling with freedom's fadeless laurels there,
And presaging the truth of visioned bliss.
Are there not hopes within thee, which this scene
Of linked and gradual being has confirmed?
Hopes that not vainly thou, and living fires
Of mind as radiant and as pure as thou,
Have shone upon the paths of menreturn,
Surpassing Spirit, to that world, where thou
Art destined an eternal war to wage
With tyranny and falsehood, and uproot
The germs of misery from the human heart.
Thine is the hand whose piety would soothe
The thorny pillow of unhappy crime,
Whose impotence an easy pardon gains,
Watching its wanderings as a friend's disease:
Thine is the brow whose mildness would defy
Its fiercest rage, and brave its sternest will,
When fenced by power and master of the world.
Thou art sincere and good; of resolute mind,
Free from heart-withering custom's cold control,
Of passion lofty, pure and unsubdued.
Earth's pride and meanness could not vanquish thee.
And therefore art thou worthy of the boon
Which thou hast now received: virtue shall keep
Thy footsteps in the path that thou hast trod,
And many days of beaming hope shall bless
Thy spotless life of sweet and sacred love.
Go, happy one, and give that bosom joy
Whose sleepless spirit waits to catch
Light, life and rapture from thy smile.
The Daemon called its wingd ministers.
Speechless with bliss the Spirit mounts the car,
That rolled beside the crystal battlement,
Bending her beamy eyes in thankfulness.
The burning wheels inflame
The steep descent of Heaven's untrodden way.
Fast and far the chariot flew:
The mighty globes that rolled
Around the gate of the Eternal Fane
Lessened by slow degrees, and soon appeared
Such tiny twinklers as the planet orbs
That ministering on the solar power
With borrowed light pursued their narrower way.
Earth floated then below:
The chariot paused a moment;
The Spirit then descended:
And from the earth departing
The shadows with swift wings
Speeded like thought upon the light of Heaven.
The Body and the Soul united then,
A gentle start convulsed Ianthe's frame:
Her veiny eyelids quietly unclosed;
Moveless awhile the dark blue orbs remained:
She looked around in wonder and beheld
Henry, who kneeled in silence by her couch,
Watching her sleep with looks of speechless love,
And the bright beaming stars
That through the casement shone.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Daemon Of The World

311:The Teares Of The Muses
Rehearse to me ye sacred Sisters nine:
The golden brood of great Apolloes wit,
Those piteous plaints and sorrowful sad tine,
Which late ye powred forth as ye did sit
Beside the siluer Springs of Helicone,
Making your musick of hart-breaking mone.
For since the time that Phoebus foolish sonne
Ythundered through Ioues auengefull wrath,
For trauersing the charret of the Sunne
Beyond the compasse of his pointed path,
Of you his mournfull Sisters was lamented,
Such mournfull tunes were neuer since inuented.
Nor since that faire Calliope did lose
Her loued Twinnes, the dearlings of her ioy,
Her Palici, whom her vnkindly foes
The fatall Sisters, did for spight destroy,
Whom all the Muses did bewaile long space;
Was euer heard such wayling in this place.
For all their groues, which with the heauenly noyses,
Of their sweete instruments were wont to sound,
And th' hollow hills, from which their siluer voyces
Were wont redoubled Echoes to rebound,
Did now rebound with nought but rufull cries,
And yelling shrieks throwne vp into the skies.
The trembling streames, which wont in chanels cleare
To romble gently downe with murmur soft,
And were by them right tunefull taught to beare
A Bases part amongst their consorts oft;
Now forst to ouerflowe with brackish teares,
With troublous noyse did dull their daintie eares.
The ioyous Nymphes and lightfoote Faeries
Which thether came to heare their musick sweet,
And to the measure of their melodies
Did learne to moue their nimble shifting feete;
Now hearing them so heauily lament,
412
Like heauily lamenting from them went.
And all that els was wont to worke delight
Through the diuine infusion of their skill,
And all that els seemd faire and fresh in sight,
So made by nature for to serue their will,
Was turned now to dismall heauinesse,
Was turned now to dreadfull vglinesse.
Ay me, what thing on earth that all thing breeds,
Might be the cause of so impatient plight?
What furie, or what feend with felon deeds
Hath stirred vp so mischieuous despight?
Can griefe then enter into heauenly harts,
And pierce immortall breasts with mortall smarts?
Vouchsafe ye then, whom onely it concernes,
To me those secret causes to display;
For none but you, or who of you it learnes
Can rightfully aread so dolefull lay.
Begin thou eldest Sister of the crew,
And let the rest in order thee ensew.
Clio.
HEARE thou great Father of the Gods on hie
That most art dreaded for thy thunder darts
And thou our Syre that raignst in Castalie
And mount Parnasse, the God of goodly Arts:
Heare and behold the miserable state
Of vs thy daughters, dolefull desolate.
Behold the fowle reproach and open shame,
The which is day by day vnto vs wrought
By such as hate the honour of our name,
The foes of learning, and each gentle thought;
They not contented vs themselues to scorne,
Doo seeke to make vs of the world forlorne.
Ne onely they that dwell in lowly dust,
The sonnes of darknes and of ignoraunce;
But they whom thou, great Iove, by doome vniust
413
Didst to the type of honour earst aduaunce;
They now puft vp with sdeignfull insolence,
Despite the brood of blessed Sapience.
The sectaries of my celestiall skill,
That wont to be the worlds cheife ornament,
And learned Impes that wont to shoot vp still,
And grow to hight of kingdomes gouernment
They vnderkeep, and with their spredding armes
Do beat their buds, that perish through their harmes.
It most behoues the honorable race
Of mightie Peeres, true wisedome to sustaine,
And with their noble countenaunce to grace
The learned forheads, without gifts or gaine:
Or rather learnd themselues behooues to bee;
That is the girlond of Nobilitie.
But (ah) all otherwise they doo esteeme
Of th'heauenly gift of wisedomes influence,
And to be learned it a base thing deeme;
Base minded they that want intelligence:
For God himselfe for wisedome most is praised,
And men to God thereby are nighest raised.
But they doo onely striue themselues to raise
Through pompous pride, and foolish vanitie;
In th'eyes of people they put all their praise,
And onely boast of Armes and Auncestrie:
But vertuous deeds, which did those Armes first giue
To their Grandsyres, they care not to atchiue.
So I, that doo all noble feates professe,
To register, and sound in trump of gold;
Through their bad dooings, or base slothfulnesse,
Finde nothing worthie to be writ, or told:
For better farre it were to hide their names,
Than telling them to blazon out their blames.
So shall succeeding ages haue no light
Of things forepast, nor moniments of time,
And all that in this world is worthie hight
414
Shall die in darknesse, and lie hid in slime:
Therefore I mourne with deep harts sorrowing,
Because I nothing noble haue to sing.
With that she raynd such store of streaming teares,
That could haue made a stonie heart to weep,
And all her Sisters rent their golden heares,
And their faire faces with salt humour steep.
So ended shee: and then the next [in rew],
Began her greiuous plaint as doth ensew.
Melpomene
O WHO shall powre into my swollen eyes
A sea of teares that neuer may be dryde,
A brasen voice that many with shrilling cryes
Pierce the dull heauens and fill the ayer wide,
And yron sides that sighing may endure,
To waile the wretchednes of world impure?
Ah, wretched world the den of wickednesse,
Deformd with filth and fowle iniquitie;
Ah wretched world the house of heauinesse,
Fild with the wreaks of mortall miserie:
Ah wretched world, and all that is therein,
The vassals of Gods wrath, amd slaues of sin.
Most miserable creature vnder sky
Man without vnderstanding doth appeare;
For all this worlds affliction he thereby,
And Fortunes freakes is wisely taught to beare:
Of wretched life the onely ioy shee is,
And th'only comfort in calamities.
She armes the brest with constant patience
Against the bitter throwes of dolours darts,
She solaceth with rules of Sapience
The gentle minds, in midst of worldlie smarts:
When he is sad, shee seeks to make him merie,
And doth refresh his sprights when they be werie.
But he that is of reasons skill bereft,
415
And wants the staffe of wisedome him to stay,
Is like a ship in midst of tempest left
Withouten helme or Pilot her to sway,
Full sad and dreadfull is that ships euent:
So is the man that wants intendiment.
Whie then doo foolish men so much despize
The precious store of this celestiall riches?
Why doo they banish vs, that patronize
The name of learning? Most vnhappie wretches,
The which lie drowned in deep wretchednes,
Yet doo not see their owne vnhappines.
My part it is and my professed skill
The Stage with Tragick buskin to adorne,
And fill the Scene with plaint, and outcries shrill
Of wretched persons, to misfortune borne:
But none more tragick matter I can finde
Then this, of men depriu'd of sense and minde.
For all mans life me seemes a Tragedy,
Full of sad sights and sore Catastrophees;
First comming to the world with weeping eye,
Where all his dayes like dolorous Trophees,
Are heapt with spyles of fortune and of feare,
And he at last laid forth on balefull beare.
So all with rufull spectacles is fild,
Fit for Megara or Persephone;
But I, that in true Tragedies am skild,
The flowre of wit, finde nought to busie me:
Therefore I mourne, and pitifully mone,
Because that mourning matter I haue none.
Then gan she wofully to waile, and wring
Her wretched hands in lamentable wise:
And all her Sisters thereto answering,
Threw forth lowd shrieks and drerie dolefull cries.
So rested she: and then the next in rew,
Began her grieuous plaint as doth ensew.
416
Thalia.
WHERE be the sweete delights of learnings treasure,
That wont with Comick sock to beautefie
The painted Theaters, and fill with pleasure
The listners eyes, and eares with melodie;
In which I late was wont to raine as Queene,
And maske in mirth with Graces well beseene?
O all is gone, and all that goodly glee,
Which wont to be the glorie of gay wits,
Is layd abed, and no where now to see;
And in her roome vnseemly Sorrow sits,
With hollow browes and greisly countenaunce,
Marring my ioyous gentle dalliaunce.
And him beside sits ugly Barbarisme,
And brutish Ignorance, ycrept of late
Out of dredd darknes of the deepe Abysme,
Where being bredd, he light and heauen does hate:
They in the mindes of men now tyrannize,
And the faire Scene with rudenes foule disguize.
All places they with follie haue possest,
And with vaine toyes the vulgare entertaine;
But me haue banished, with all the rest
That whilome wont to wait vpon my traine,
Fine Counterfesaunce, and vnhurtfull Sport,
Delight, and Laughter deckt in seemly sort.
All these and all that els the Comick Stage
With season'd wit and goodly pleasance graced;
By which mans life in his likest image
Was limned forth, are wholly now defaced;
And those sweete wits which wont the like to frame,
Are now despizd, and made a laughing game.
And he the man, whom Nature selfe had made
To mock her selfe, and Truth to imitate,
With kindly counter vnder Mimick shade,
Our pleasant Willy, ah is dead of late:
With whom all ioy and iolly meriment
Is also deaded, and in dolour drent.
417
In stead thereof scoffing Scurrilitie,
And scornfull Follie with Contempt is crept,
Rolling in rymes of shameles ribaudrie
Without regard, or due Decorum kept,
Each idle wit at will presumes to make,
And doth the Learneds taske vpon him take.
But that same gentle Spirit, from whose pen
Large streames of honnie and sweete Nectar flowe,
Scorning the boldnes of such base-borne men,
Which dare their follies forth so rashlie throwe;
Doth rather choose to sit in idle Cell,
Than so himselfe to mockerie to sell.
So am I made the seruant of the manie,
And laughing stocke of all that list to scorne,
Not honored nor cared for of anie;
But loath'd of losels as a thing forlorne:
Therefore I mourne and sorrow with the rest,
Vntill my cause of sorrow be redrest.
There with she lowdly did lament and shrike,
Pouring forth stremes of teares abundantly,
And all her Sisters with compassion like,
The breaches of her singul[t]s did supply.
So rested she: and then the next in rew
Began her grieuous plaint, as doth ensew.
Euterpe.
LIKE as the Dearling of the Summers pryde,
Faire Philomele, when winters stormie wrath
The goodly fields, that earst so gay were dyde
In colours diuers, quite despoyled hath,
All comfortlesse doth hide her chearlesse head
During the time of that her widowhead:
So we, that earst were wont in sweet accord
All places with our pleasant notes to fill,
Whilest fauourable times did vs afford
Free libertie to chaunt our charmes at will:
418
All comfortlesse vpon the bared bow,
Like wofull Culuers doo sit wayling now.
For far more bitter storme than winters stowre
The beautie of the world hath lately wasted,
And those fresh buds, which wont so faire to flowre,
Hath marred quite, and all their blossoms blasted:
And those yong plants, which wont with fruit t' abound,
Now without fruite or leaues are to be found.
A stonie coldnesse hath benumbd the sence
And liuelie spirits of each liuing wight,
And dimd with darknesse their intelligence,
Darknesse more than Cymerians daylie night?
And monstrous error flying in the ayre,
Hath mard the face of all that semed fayre.
Image of hellish horrour Ignorance,
Borne in the bosome of the black Abysse,
And fed with furies milke, for sustenaunce
Of his weake infancie, begot amisse
By yawning Sloth on his owne mother Night;
So hee his sonnes both Syre and brother hight.
Her armd with blindnesse and with boldnes stout,
(For blind is bold) hath our fayre light defaced;
And, gathering vnto him a ragged rout
Of Faunes and Satyres, hath our dwellings raced
And our chast bowers, in which all vertue rained,
With brutishnesse and beastlie filth hath stained.
The sacred springs of horsefoot Helicon,
So oft bedeawed with our learned layes,
And speaking streames of pure Castalion,
The famous witnesse of our wonted praise,
They trampled haue their fowle footings trade,
And like to troubled puddles haue them made.
Our pleasant groues, which planted were with paines,
That with our musick wont so oft to ring,
And arbors sweet, in which the Shepheards swaines
Were wont so oft their Pastoralls to sing,
419
They haue cut downe, and all their pleasaunce mard,
That now no pastorall is to bee hard.
In stead of them fowle Goblins and Shreikowles
With fearfull howling do all places fill;
And feeble Eccho now laments and howles,
The dreadfull accents of their outcries shrill.
So all is turned into wildernesse,
Whilest Ignorance the Muses doth oppresse.
And I whose ioy was earst with Spirit full
To teach the warbling pipe to sound aloft,
My spirits now dismayd with sorrow dull,
Doo mone my miserie with silence soft.
Therefore I mourne and waile incessantly,
Till please the heauens afford me remedy.
Therewith she wayled with exceeding woe,
And piteous lamentation did make,
And all her sisters seeing her doo soe,
With equall plaints her sorrowe did partake.
So rested shee: and then the next in rew,
Began her grieuous plaint, as doth ensew.
Terpsichore.
WHO so hath in the lap of soft delight
Beene long time luld, and fed with pleasures sweet,
Feareles through his owne fault or Fortunes spight,
To tumble into sorrow and regreet,
Yf chaunce him fall into calamitie,
Finds greater burthen of his miserie.
So wee that earst in ioyance did abound
And in the bosome of all blis did sit,
Like virgin Queenes with laurell garlands cround
For vertues meed and ornament of wit,
Sith ignorance our kingdome did confound,
Bee now become most wretched wightes on ground:
And in our royall thrones which lately stood
In th' hearts of men to rule them carefully,
420
He now hath placed his accursed brood,
By him begotten of fowle infamy;
Blind Error, scornefull Follie, and base Spight,
Who hold by wrong, that wee should haue by right.
They to the vulgar sort now pipe and sing,
And make them merrie with their fooleries,
They cherelie chaunt and rymes at randon fling,
The fruitfull spawne of their ranke fantasies:
They feede the eares of fooles with flattery,
And good men blame, and losels magnify:
All places they doo with their toyes possesse,
And raigne in liking of the multitude,
The schooles they fill with fond new fanglenesse,
And sway in Court with pride and rashnes rude;
Mongst simple shepheards they do boast their skill,
And say their musicke matches Phoebus quill.
The noble hearts to pleasures they allure,
And tell their Prince that learning is but vaine,
Faire Ladies loues they spot with thoughts impure,
And gentle mindes with lewd delights distaine:
Clerks they to loathly idlenes entice,
And fill their bookes with discipline of vice.
So euery where they rule and tyrannize,
For their vsurped kingdomes maintenaunce,
The whiles we silly Maides, whom they dispize,
And with reproachfull scorne discountenance,
From our owne natiue heritage exilde,
Walk through the world of euery one reuilde.
Nor anie one doth care to call vs in,
Or once vouchsafeth vs to entertaine,
Vnlesse some one perhaps of gentle kin,
For pitties sake compassion our paine:
And yeeld vs some reliefe in this distresse:
Yet to be so relieu'd is wretchednesse.
So wander we all carefull comfortlesse,
Yet none doth care to comfort vs at all;
421
So seeke we helpe our sorrow to redresse,
Yet none vouchsafes to answere to our call:
Therefore we mourne and pittilesse complaine,
Because none liuing pittieth our paine.
With that she wept and wofullie waymented,
That naught on earth her griefe might pacifie;
And all the rest her dolefull din augmented
With shrikes and goanes and grieuous agonie.
So ended shee: and then the next in rew,
Began her piteous plaint as doth ensew.
Erato.
YE gentle Spirits breathing from aboue,
Where ye in Venus siluer bowre were bred,
Thoughts halfe deuine, full of the fire of loue,
With beawtie kindled and with pleasure fed,
Which ye now in securitie possesse,
Forgetfull of your former heauinesse:
Now change the tenor of your ioyous layes,
With which ye vse your loues to deifie,
And blazon foorth an earthlie beauties praise,
Aboue the compasse of the arched skie:
Now change your praises into piteous cries,
And Eulogies turne into Elegies:
Such as ye wont whenas those bitter stounds
Of raging loue first gan you to torment,
And launch your hearts with lamentable wounds
Of secret sorrow and sad languishment,
Before your Loues did take you vnto grace;
Those now renew as fitter for this place.
For I that rule in measure moderate
The tempest of that stormie passion,
And vse to paint in rimes the troublous state
Of Louers life in likest fashion,
Am put from practise of my kindlie skill,
Banisht by those that Loue with leawdnes fill.
422
Loue wont to be schoolmaster of my skill,
And the sweet deuicefull matter of my song;
Sweete Loue deuoyd of villanie or ill,
But pure and spotles, as at first he sprong
Out of th'Almighties bosome, where he nests;
From thence infused into mortall brests.
Such high conceipt of that celstiall fire,
The base-borne brood of blindnes cannot gesse,
Ne euer dare their dunghill thoughts aspire
Vnto so loftie pitch of perfectnesse,
But rime at riot, and doo rage in loue;
Yet little wot what doth thereto behoue.
Faire Cytheree the Mother of delight,
And Queene of beautie, now thou maist go pack;
For lo thy Kingdome is defaced quight,
Thy scepter rent, and power put to wrack;
And thy gay Sonne, that winged God of Loue,
May now goe prune his plumes like ruffed Doue.
And ye three Twins to light by Venus brought,
The sweete companions of the Muses late,
From whom what euer thing is goodly thought
Doth borrow grace, the fancie to aggrate;
Go beg with vs, and be companions still
As heretofore of good, so now of ill.
For neither you nor we shall anie more
Find entertainment, or in Court or Schoole:
For that which was accounted heretofore
The learneds meed, is now lent to the foole,
He sings of loue, and maketh louing layes,
And they him heare, and they him highly prayse.
With that she powred foorth a brackish flood
Of bitter teares, and made exceeding mone;
And all her Sisters seeing her sad mood,
With lowd laments her answered all at one.
So ended she: and then the next in rew
Began her grieuous plaint, as doth ensew.
423
Calliope.
TO whom shall I my euill case complaine,
Or tell the anguish of my inward smart,
Sith none is left to remedie my paine,
Or deignes to pitie a perplexed hart;
But rather seekes my sorrow to augment
With fowle reproach, and cruell banishment.
For they, to whom I vsed to applie
The faithfull seruice of my learned skill,
The goodly off-spring of Ioues progenie,
That wont the world with famous acts to fill;
Whose liuing praises in heroick style,
It is my cheife posession to compyle.
They, all corrupted through the rust of time,
That doth all fairest things on earth deface,
Or through vnnoble sloth, or sinfull crime,
That doth degenerate the noble race;
Haue both desire of worthie deeds forlorne,
And name of learning vtterly doo scorne.
Ne doo they care to haue the auncestrie
Of th' old Heroës memorizde anew,
Ne doo they care that late posteritie
Should know their names, or speak their praises dew:
But die forgot from whence at first they sprong,
As they themselues shalbe forgot ere long.
What bootes it then to come from glorious
Forefathers, or to haue been nobly bredd?
What oddes twixt Irus and old Inachus,
Twixt best and worst, when both alike are dedd;
If none of neither mention should make,
Nor out of dust their memories awake?
Or who would euer care to doo braue deed,
Or striue in vertue others to excell;
If none should yeeld him his deserued meed,
Due praise, that is the spur of dooing well?
For if good were not praised more than ill,
424
None would choose goodnes of his owne freewill.
Therefore the nurse of vertue I am hight,
And golden Trompet of eternitie,
That lowly thoughts lift vp to heauens hight,
And mortall men haue powre to deifie:
Bacchus and Hercules I raisd to heauen,
And Charlemaine, amongst the Starris seauen.
But now I will my golden Clarion rend,
And will henceforth immortalize no more:
Sith I no more find worthie to commend
For prize of value, or for learned lore:
For noble Peeres whom I was wont to raise,
Now onely seeke for pleasure, nought for praise.
Their great reuenues all in sumptuous pride
They spend, that nought to learning they may spare;
And the rich fee which Poets wont diuide,
Now Parasites and Sycophants doo share:
Therefore I mourne and endlesse sorrow make,
Both for my selfe and for my Sisters sake.
With that she lowdly gan to waile and shrike,
And from her eyes a sea of teares did powre,
And all her sisters with compassion like,
Did more increase the sharpnes of her showre.
So ended she: and then the next in rew
Began her plaint, as doth herein ensew.
Urania.
What wrath of Gods, or wicked influence
Of Starres conspiring wretched men t' afflict,
Hath powrd on earth this noyous pestilence,
That mortall mindes doth inwardly infect
With loue of blindnesse and of ignorance,
To dwell in darknesse without souerance?
What difference twixt man and beast is left,
When th' heauenlie light of knowledge is put out,
425
And th' ornaments of wisdome are bereft?
Then wandreth he in error and in doubt,
Vnweeting of the danger hee is in,
Through fleshes frailtie, and deceit of sin.
In this wide world in which they wretches stray,
It is the onelie comfort which they haue,
It is their light, their loadstarre and their day;
But hell, and darknesse and the grislie graue,
Is ignorance, the enemie of grace,
That mindes of men borne heauenlie doth debace.
Through knowledge we behold the worlds creation,
How in his cradle first he fostred was:
And iudge of Natures cunning operation,
How things she formed of a formlesse mas:
By knowledge wee doo learne our selues to knowe,
And what to man, and what to God wee owe.
From hence wee mount aloft vnto the skie,
And looke into the Christall firmament,
There we behold the heauens great Hierarchie,
The Starres pure light, the Spheres swift mouement,
The Spirites and Intelligences fayre,
And Angels waighting on th' Almighties chayre.
And there with humble minde and high insight,
Th'eternall Makers maiestie wee viewe,
His loue, his truth, his glorie, and his might,
And mercie more than mortall men can vew.
O soueraigne Lord, ô soueraigne happinesse
To see thee, and thy mercie measurelesse:
Such happiness haue they, that do embrace
The precepts of my heauenlie discipline;
But shame and sorrow and accursed case
Haue they, that scorne the schoole of arts diuine,
And banish me, which do professe the skill
To make men heauenly wise, through humbled will.
How euer yet they mee despise and spight,
I feede on sweet contentment of my thought,
426
And please my selfe with mine owne selfe-delight,
In contemplation of things heauenlie wrought:
So loathing earth, I looke vp to the sky,
And being driuen hence I thether fly.
Thence I behold the miserie of men,
Which want the blis that wisedom would them breed,
And like brute beasts doo lie in loathsome den,
Of ghostly darkenes, and of gastlie dreed:
For whom I mourne and for my selfe complaine,
And for my Sisters eake whom they disdaine.
With that shee wept and waild so pityouslie,
As if her eyes had been two springing wells:
And all the rest her sorrow to supplie,
Did throw forth shrieks and cries and dreery yells.
So ended shee, and then the next in rew,
Began her mournfull plaint as doth ensew.
Polyhymnia.
A DOLEFULL case desires a dolefull song,
Without vaine art or curious complements,
And squallid Fortune into basenes flong,
Doth scorne the pride of wonted ornaments.
Then fittest are these ragged rimes for mee,
To tell my sorrowes that exceeding bee:
For the sweet numbers and melodious measures,
With which I wont the winged words to tie,
And make a tuneful Diapase of pleasures,
Now being let to runne at libertie
By those which haue no skill to rule them right,
Haue now quite lost their naturall delight.
Heapes of huge words vphoorded hideously,
With horrid sound though hauing little sence,
They thinke to be chiefe praise of Poëtry:
And thereby wanting due intelligence,
Haue mard the face of goodly Poësie,
And made a monster of their fantasie:
427
Whilom in ages past none might professe
But Princes and high Priests that secret skill,
The sacred lawes therein they wont expresse,
And with deepe Oracles their verses fill:
Then was shee held in soueraigne dignitie,
And made the noursling of Nobilitie.
But now nor Prince nor Priest doth her maintayne,
But suffer her prophaned for to bee
Of the base vulgar, that with hands vncleane
Dares to pollute her hidden mysterie,
And treadeth vnder foote hir holie things,
Which was the care of Kesars and of Kings.
One onelie liues, her ages ornament,
And myrrour of her Makers maiestie;
That with rich bountie and deare cherishment,
Supports the praise of noble Poësie:
Ne onelie fauours them which it professe,
But is herselfe a peereles Poëtresse.
Most peereles Prince, most peereles Poëtresse,
The true Pandora of all heauenly graces,
Diuine Elisa, sacred Emperesse:
Liue she for euer, and her royall P'laces
Be fild with praises of diuinest wits,
That her eternize with their heauenlie writs.
Some few beside, this sacred skill esteme,
Admirers of her glorious excellence,
Which being lightned with her beawties beme,
Are thereby fild with happie influence:
And lifted vp aboue the worldes gaze,
To sing with Angels her immortall praize.
But all the rest as borne of saluage brood,
And hauing beene with Acorns alwaies fed;
Can no whit fauour this celestiall food,
But with base thoughts are into blindnesse led,
And kept from looking on the lightsome day:
For whome I waile and weepe all that I may.
428
Eftsoones such store of teares she forth did powre,
As if shee all to water would haue gone;
And all her sisters seeing her sad stowre,
Did weep and waile and make exceeding mone,
And all their learned instruments did breake:
The rest vntold no louing tongue can speake.
~ Edmund Spenser
312:The Ancient Banner
In boundless mercy, the Redeemer left,
The bosom of his Father, and assumed
A servant's form, though he had reigned a king,
In realms of glory, ere the worlds were made,
Or the creating words, 'Let there be light'
In heaven were uttered. But though veiled in flesh,
His Deity and his Omnipotence,
Were manifest in miracles. Disease
Fled at his bidding, and the buried dead
Rose from the sepulchre, reanimate,
At his command, or, on the passing bier
Sat upright, when he touched it. But he came,
Not for this only, but to introduce
A glorious dispensation, in the place
Of types and shadows of the Jewish code.
Upon the mount, and round Jerusalem,
He taught a purer, and a holier law,—
His everlasting Gospel, which is yet
To fill the earth with gladness; for all climes
Shall feel its influence, and shall own its power.
He came to suffer, as a sacrifice
Acceptable to God. The sins of all
Were laid upon Him, when in agony
He bowed upon the cross. The temple's veil
Was rent asunder, and the mighty rocks,
Trembled, as the incarnate Deity,
By his atoning blood, opened that door,
Through which the soul, can have communion with
Its great Creator; and when purified,
From all defilements, find acceptance too,
Where it can finally partake of all
The joys of His salvation.
But the pure Church he planted,—the pure Church
Which his apostles watered,—and for which,
The blood of countless martyrs freely flowed,
In Roman Amphitheatres,—on racks,—
And in the dungeon's gloom,—this blessed Church,
Which grew in suffering, when it overspread
Surrounding nations, lost its purity.
278
Its truth was hidden, and its light obscured
By gross corruption, and idolatry.
As things of worship, it had images,
And even painted canvas was adored.
It had a head and bishop, but this head
Was not the Saviour, but the Pope of Rome.
Religion was a traffic. Men defiled,
Professed to pardon sin, and even sell,
The joys of heaven for money,—and to raise
Souls out of darkness to eternal light,
For paltry silver lavished upon them.
And thus thick darkness, overspread the Church
As with a mantle.
At length the midnight of apostacy
Passed by, and in the horizon appeared,
Day dawning upon Christendom. The light,
Grew stronger, as the Reformation spread.
For Luther, and Melancthon, could not be
Silenced by papal bulls, nor by decrees
Of excommunication thundered forth
Out of the Vatican. And yet the light,
Of Luther's reformation, never reached
Beyond the morning's dawn. The noontide blaze
Of Truth's unclouded day, he never saw.
Yet after him, its rising sun displayed
More and more light upon the horizon.
Though thus enlightened, the professing Church,
Was far from many of the precious truths
Of the Redeemer's gospel; and as yet,
Owned not his Spirit's government therein.
But now the time approached, when he would pour
A larger measure of his light below;
And as he chose unlearned fishermen
To spread his gospel when first introduced,
So now he passed mere