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Away-away I rush'd ; but swift and high
The death-work was begun—I veild mine eyes, Yet stopp'd in spell-bound fear to catch the victims'
What heard I then ?-a ringing shriek of pain,
In the mid-battle—ay, to turn the flying ; Woman's—that might have sung of heaven beside
It was a fearful, yet a glorious thing
your victorious voices ! But the glow
On the hot air and lurid skies increased : Faint grew the sounds-more faint : I listen'd-they
I had ceased !
And thou indeed hadst perish'd, my soul's friend!
Who could give back my youth, my spirit free, Or be in aught again what thou hadst been to me?
And yet I wept thee not, thou true and brave !
crime ? No! had all earth decreed that death of shame,
I would have set, against all earth's decree, Th' inalienable trust of my firm soul in thee !
LXXIV. There are swift hours in life-strong, rushing
hours, That do the work of tempests in their might !
They shake down things that stood as rocks and
towers Unto th' undoubting mind; they pour in light Where it but startles—like a burst of day For which th’ uprooting of an oak makes way; They sweep the colouring mists from off our sight; They touch with fire thought's graven page, the
roll Stamp'd with past years—and lo! it shrivels as a
LXXV. And this was of such hours! The sudden flow Of my soul's tide seem'd whelming me; the glare Of the red flames, yet rocking to and fro, Scorch'd up my heart with breathless thirst for air, And solitude, and freedom. It had been Well with me then, in some vast desert scene, To pour my voice out, for the winds to bear
On with them, wildly questioning the sky, Fiercely the untroubled stars, of man's dim destiny.
I would have call’d, adjuring the dark cloud ; To the most ancient heavens I would have said“Speak to me! show me truth !"8—through night
aloud I would have cried to him, the newly dead, “Come back ! and show me truth !” My spirit
seem'd Gasping for some free burst, its darkness teem'd With such pent storms of thought! Again I fled,
I fled, a refuge from man's face to gain, Scarce conscious when I paused, entering a lonely
A mighty minster, dim, and proud, and vast !
Its white sepulchral forms of mail-clad men ;
More hush’d, far more !—for there the wind
sweeps by, Or the woods tremble to the stream's loud play ; Here a strange echo made my very sigh Seem for the place too much a sound of day ! Too much my footsteps broke the moonlight,
fading, Yet arch through arch in one soft flow pervading. And I stood still : prayer, chant had died away ;
Yet past me floated a funereal breath Of incense. I stood still—as before God and death.
For thick ye girt me round, ye long departed !' Dust-imaged forms—with cross, and shield, and
crest ; It seem'd as if your ashes would have started
Had a wild voice burst forth above your rest !
I could have pour'd out words, on that pale air, To make your proud tombs ring. No, no ! I could
Not midst those aisles, through which a thousand
years, Mutely as clouds, and reverently, had swept; Not by those shrines, which yet the trace of tears And kneeling votaries on their marble kept ! Ye were too mighty in your pomp of gloom And trophied age, 0 temple, altar, tomb ! And you, ye dead !—for in that faith ye slept,
Whose weight had grown a mountain's on my heart, Which could not there be loosed. I turn'd me to
I turn'd: what glimmer'd faintly on my sight-
night, Had waned, and down pour’d in-grey, shadowy,
And, soft and sad, that colouring gleam was thrown Where, pale, a pictured form above the altar shone.