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LADY. Oh! would that I could claim exemption From all the bitterness of that sweet name. I loved, I love, and when I love no more Let joys and grief perish, and leave despair 50 To ring the knell of youth. He stood beside me, The embodied vision of the brightest dream, Which like a dawn heralds the day of life; The shadow of his presence made my world A paradise. All familiar things he touched, All common words he spoke, became to me Like forms and sounds of a diviner world. He was as is the sun in his fierce youth, As terrible and lovely as a tempest; He came, and went, and left me what I am. 60 Alas! Why must I think how oft we two Have sate together near the river-springs, Under the green pavilion which the willow Spreads on the floor of the unbroken fountain, Strewn by the nurslings that linger there? Over that islet paved with flowers and moss, While the musk-rose. leaves, like flakes of
crimson snow, Showered on us, and the dove mourned in the
pine, Sad prophetess of sorrows not her own, The crane returned to her unfrozen haunt, 70 And the false cuckoo bade the Spring good
morn; And on a wintry bough the widowed bird, Hid in the deepest night of ivy-leaves, Renewed the vigils of a sleepless sorrow. I, left like her, and leaving one like her, Alike abandoned and abandoning (Oh! unlike her in this !) the gentlest youth, Whose love had made my sorrows dear to him, Even as my sorrow made his love to me!
God of heaven! From such an islet, such a river-spring. ..! I dare not ask her if there stood upon it 90 A pleasure-dome surmounted by a crescent, With steps to the blue water. (Aloud) It
may be That Nature masks in life several copies Of the same lot, so that the sufferers May feel another's sorrow as their own, And find in friendship what they lost in love. That cannot be: yet it is strange that we, From the same scene, by the same path to this Realm of abandonment . . . But speak! your
breathYour breath is like soft music, your words are The echoes of a voice which on my heart 101 Sleeps like a melody of early days. But as you said
1 This combination of words is sufficiently marked to be recorded as another reminiscence of Coleridge's Kubla Khan :
A lofty pleasure-dome with caves of ice.-ED.
He was so awful, yet
Such a one 120
Panting forth light among the leaves and
flowers, As if it lived, and was outworn with speed; Or that it loved, and passion made the pulse Of its bright life throb like an anxious heart, Till it diffused itself, and all the chamber And walls seemed melted into emerald fire That burned not; in the midst of which ap- .
peared A spirit like a child, and laughed aloud A thrilling peal of such sweet merriment As made the blood tingle in my warm feet: 140 Then bent over a vase, and murmuring Low, unintelligible melodies, Placed something in the mould like melon
seeds, And slowly faded, and in place of it A soft hand issued from the veil of fire, Holding a cup like a magnolia flower, And poured upon the earth within the vase The element with which it overflowed, Brighter than morning light, and purer than The water of the springs of Himalah. 150
You waked not ?
Not until my dream became Like a child's legend on the tideless sand, Which the first foam erases half, and half Leaves legible. At length I rose, and went : Visiting my flowers from pot to pot, and
Lifting the light mould at their birth, and then
190 And crept abroad into the moonlight air, And loosened all its limbs, as, noon by noon, The sun averted less his oblique beam.