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“ And underneath ætherial glory clad The wilderness, and far before her flew The tempest of the splendour, which forbade “Shadows to fall from leaf and stone; the

crew Seemed, in that light, like atomies to dance Within a sunbeam ;-—some upon the new

“Embroidery of flowers, that did enhance The grassy vesture of the desert, played, Forgetful of the chariot's swift advance;

450

“ Others stood gazing, till within the shade Of the great mountain its light left them dim; Others outspeeded it; and others made

“ Circles around it, like the clouds that swim Round the high moon in a bright sea of air; And more did follow, with exulting hymn,

“ The chariot and the captives fettered there: But all like bubbles on an eddying flood Fell into the same track at last, and were

“Borne onward. I among the multitude 460 Was swept-me, sweetest flowers delayed not

long; Me, not the shadow nor the solitude;

“Me, not that falling stream's Lethean song; Me, not the phantom of that early form, Which moved upon its motion—but among

“ The thickest billows of that living storm I plunged, and bared my bosom to the clime Of that cold light, whose airs too soon deform. “Before the chariot had begun to climb The opposing steep of that inysterious dell, 470 Behold a wonder worthy of the rhyme

Of him who[m] from the lowest depths of

hell, Through every paradise and through all glory, Love led serene, and who returned to tell

“The words of hate and awe; the wondrous

story How all things are transfigured except Love; For deaf as is a sea, which wrath makes hoary,

“The world can hear not the sweet notes that

move The sphere whose light is melody to loversA wonder worthy of his rhyme.-The grove 480

“Grew dense with shadows to its inmost covers, The earth was grey with phantoms, and the

air

Was peopled with dim forms, as when there

hovers

“ A flock of vampire bats before the glare Of the tropic sun, bringing, ere evening, Strange night upon some Indian isle;—thus

were

“ Phantoms diffused around; and some did fling Shadows of shadows, yet unlike themselves, Behind them; some like eaglets on the wing

“Were lost in the white day; others like elves Danced in a thousand unimagined shapes 491 Upon the sunny streams and grassy shelves;

And others sate chattering like restless apes On vulgar hands, .. Some made a cradle of the ermined capes

“Of kingly mantles; some across the tiar
Of pontiffs sate like vultures; others played
Under the crown which girt with empire

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A baby's or an idiot's brow, and made Their nests in it. The old anatomies Sate hatching their bare broods under the shade “Of dæmon wings, and laughed from their

dead eyes To re-assume the delegated power, Arrayed in which those worms did monarchize,

“ Who made this earth their charnel. Others

more Humble, like falcons, sate upon the fist Of common men, and round their heads did

soar; “ Or like small gnats and flies, as thick as mist On evening marshes, thronged about the brow Of lawyers, statesmen, priest and theorist;— 510

And others, like discoloured flakes of snow On fairest bosoms and the sunniest hair, Fell, and were melted by the youthful glow

“ Which they extinguished; and, like tears,

they were A veil to those from whose faint lids they rained In drops of sorrow. I became aware

“ Of whence those forms proceeded which thus

stained

The track in which we moved. After brief space, From every form the beauty slowly waned;

“From every firmest limb and fairest face 520 The strength and freshness fell like dust, and

left

The action and the shape without the grace

“Of life. The marble brow of youth was cleft With care; and in those eyes where once hope

shone, Desire, like a lioness bereft

“Of her last cub, glared ere it died; each one Of that great crowd sent forth incessantly These shadows, numerous as the dead leaves

blown

“In autumn evening from a poplar tree. Each like himself and like each other were 530 At first; but some distorted seemed to be

“ Obscure clouds, moulded by the casual air; And of this stuff the car's creative ray Wrought all the busy phantoms that were

there,

As the sun shapes the clouds; thus on the

way Mask after mask fell from the countenance And form of all; and long before the day

“Was old, the joy which waked like heaven's

glance - The sleepers in the oblivious valley, died; And some grew weary of the ghastly dance, 540

“And fell, as I have fallen, by the way-side ;Those soonest from whose forms most shadows

passed, And least of strength and beauty did abide.

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Out of the eastern shadow of the Earth,
Amid the clouds upon its margin grey
Scattered by Night to swathe in its bright birth

In gold and fleecy snow the infant Day,
The glorious Sun uprose: beneath his light,
The earth and all ....

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