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All new succession 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 Heaven's light.
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.
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.
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 a Heaven of Song.
Assume thy winged throne, thou Vesper of our throng!"
Who mourns for Adonais? Oh come forth,
Fond wretch ! and know thyself and him aright .
Clasp with thy panting soul the pendulous Earth
Ab 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.
Or go to Rome, which is the sepulchre
Glory from those who made the world their prey;
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.
And gray 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.
Here, pause: these graves are all too young as yet
The one remains, the many change and pass:
Why linger, why turn back, why shrink, my Heart?
* Alas! Rome now also contains the ashes of him, who poured out this strain of lamentation more beautiful and passionate than ever poet uttered for the loss of another, jet not more beautiful and passionate than the dead deserved. The bewailer and bewailed now rest together!
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.
That Light whose smile kindles the Universe,
The breath whose might I have invoked in so ig
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.
P. B. Shellev.
Imitated from the Italian of Creicembini.
I Asked the Heavens;—" What foe to God hath done
This unexampled deed;—The Heavens exclaim,
'Twas Man;—and we in horror snatched the sun
From such a spectacle of guilt and shame."
I asked the Sea ;—the Sea in fury boiled,
And answered with his voice of storms—"'Twas Man,
My waves in panic at his crime recoiled,
Disclosed the abyss, and from the centre ran."
I asked the Earth ;—the Earth replied aghast,
"'Twas Man;—and such strange pangs my bosom rent,—
That still I groan and shudder at the past."—
To Man, gay smiling thoughtless Man, I went,
And asked him next:—He turned a scornful eye,
Shook his proud head, and deigned me no reply.
m „ James Mostoome»». THE SHEALING. *
An enormous thunder-cloud had lain all day over Ben-Nevis, shrouding its summit in thick darkness, blackening it sides and base, wherever they were beheld from the surrounding country, with masses of deep shadow, and especially flinging down a weight of gloom upon that magnificent glen that bears the same name with the mountain, till now the afternoon was like twilight, and the voice of all the streams was distinct in the breathlessness of the vast solitary hollow. The inhabitants of all the straths, vales, glens, and dells, round and about the monarch of Scottish mountains, had, during each successive hour, been expecting the roar of thunder and the deluge of rain; but the huge conglomeration of lowering clouds would not rend asunder, although it was certain that a calm blue sky could not be restored till all that dreadful assemblage had melted away into torrents, or been driven off by a strong wind from the sea. All the cattle on the hills, and on the hollows, stood still or lay down in their fear,—the wild deer sought in herds the shelter of the pine-covered cliffs—the raven hushed his hoarse croak in some grim cavern, and the eagle left the dreadful silence of the upper heavens. Now and then the shepherds looked from their huts, while the shadow of the thunder-clouds deepened the hues of their plaids and tartans; and at every creaking of the heavy branches of the pines or wide-armed oaks, in the solitude of their inaccessible birth-place, the hearts of the lonely dwellers quaked, and they lifted up their eyes to see the first wide flash—the disparting of the masses of darkness—and paused to hear the long loud rattle of heaven's artillery shaking the foundation of the everlasting mountains. But all was yet silent.
The peal came at last, and it seemed as if an earthquake had smote the silence. Not a tree—not a blade of grass moved, but the blow stunned, as it were, the heart of the solid globe. Then was there a low, wild, whispering, wailing voice, as of many spirits all joining together from every point of heaven,—it died away—and then the rushing of rain was heard through the darkness; and, in a few minutes, down came all the mountain torrents in their power, and the sides of all the steeps were suddenly sheeted, far and wide, with waterfalls. The element of water was let loose to run its rejoicing race— and that of fire lent it illumination, whether sweeping in floods along the great open straths, or tumbling in cataracts from cliffs overhanging the eagle's eyrie.
Great rivers were suddenly flooded—and the little mountain rivulets, a few minutes before only silver threads, and in whose fairy * From " Lights and Shadows of Scottish T.ife."
basins the minnow played, were now scarcely fordable to shepherds' feet. It was time for the strongest to take shelter, and none now would have liked to issue from it; for while there was real danger to life and limb in the many raging torrents, and in the lightning's flash, the imagination and the soul themselves were touched with awe in the long resounding glens, and beneath the savage scowl of the angry sky. It was such a storm as becomes an era among the mountains; and it was felt that before next morning there would be a loss of lives—not only among the beasts that perish, but among human beings overtaken by the wrath of that irresistible tempest
It was not a time to be abroad; yet all by herself was hastening down Glen-Nevis, from a Shealing far up the river, a little girl, not more than twelve years of age—in truth, a very child. Grief and fear, not for herself, but for another, bore her along as upon wings, through the storm; she crossed rivulets from which, on any other occasion, she would have turned back trembling; and she did not even hear many of the crashes of thunder that smote the smoking hills. Sometimes at a fiercer flash of lightning she just lifted her hand to her dazzled eyes, and then, unappalled, hurried on through the hot and sulphurous air. Had she been a maiden of that tender age from village or city, her course would soon have been fatally stopped short; but she had been born among the hills, had first learned to walk among the heather, holding by its blooming branches, and many and many a solitary mile had she tripped, young as she was, over moss and moor, glen and mountain, even like the roe that had its lair in the coppice beside her own beloved Shealing.
She had now reached the gateway of the beautiful hereditary mansion of the Camerons—and was passing by, when she was observed from the windows, and one of the shepherds, who had all come down from the mountain-heights, and were collected together, (not without a quech of the mountain dew, or water of life,) in a large shed, was sent out to bring the poor girl instantly into the house. She was brought back almost by force, and then it was seen that she wasin tears. Hersweet face was indeedalldripping with rain, but there was other moisture in her fair blue eyes, and when she was asked to tell her story, she could scarcely speak. At last she found voice to say, "That old Lewis Cameron, her grandfather, was dying—that he could scarcely speak when she left him in the Shealing—and that she had been running as fast she could to Fort William for the priest"—" Come, my good little Flora, with me into the parlourand one of the shepherds will go for Mr Macdonald—you would be drowned in trying to cross that part of the road where the Nevis swirls over it out of the Salmon Pool—come and I will put some dry clothes on you—you are just about the size of my own Lilias." The