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Sway'd by the summer air; my streams will flow Whispering without from tree to tree, and birds,
Where we will sit and talk of time and change, The floating bark of the light-laden moon
As the world ebbs and flows, ourselves unchanged With that white star, its sightless pilot's crest, What can hide man from mutability ? Borne down the rapid sunset's ebbing sea ; And if ye sigh, then I will smile; and thou, Tracking their path no more by blood and groans, lone, shalt chant fragments of sea-music, And desolation, and the mingled voice
Until I weep, when ye shall smile away
Strange combinations out of common things,
And we will search, with looks and words of love And I shall gaze not on the deeds which make
For hidden thoughts, each lovelier than the last, My mind obscure with sorrow, as eclipse
Our unexhausted spirits; and like lules Darkens the sphere I guide ; but list, I hear
Touch'd by the skill of the enamor'd wind, The small, clear, silver lute of the young Spirit
Weave harmonies divine, yet ever new, That sits on the morning star.
From difference sweet where discord cannot be ;
And hither come, sped on the charmed winds,
Which meet from all the points of Heaven, as bees
The echoes of the human world, which tell Which stand for ever full beside my throne. of the low voice of love, almost unheard, Behold the Nereids under the green sea,
And dove-eyed pity's murmur'd pain, and music, Their wavering limbs borne on the wind-like stream, Itself the echo of the heart, and all Their white arms lifted o'er their streaming hair That tempers or improves man's life, now free; With garlands pied and starry sea-flower crowns, And lovely apparitions, dim at first, Hastening to grace their mighty sister's joy. Then radiant, as the mind, arising bright
(A sound of waves is heard. From the embrace of beauty, whence the forms It is the unpastured sea hungering for calm. Of which these are the phantoms, casts on them Peace, monster; I come now. Farewell.
The gather'd rays which are reality,
Of Painting, Sculpture, and wrapt Poesy,
And arts, though unimagined, yet to be.
Of all that man becomes, the mediators
Of that best worship love, by him and us
grow the SPIRIT OF THE HOUR.
More fair and soft as man grows wise and kind,
And veil by veil, evil and error fall : HERCULES unbinds PROMETHEUS, who descends.
Such virtue has the cave and place around.
[Turning to the SPIRIT OF THE HOUR Most glorious among spirits ! thus doth strength
For thee, fair Spirit, one toil remains. Ione, To wisdom, courage, and long-suffering love,
Give her that curved shell, which Proteus old And thee, who art the form they animate,
Made Asia's nuptial boon, breathing within it Minister like a slave.
A voice to be accomplish'd, and which thou
Didst hide in grass under the hollow rock.
Than all thy sisters, this is the mystic shell;
See the pale azure fading into silver
Lining it with a soft yet glowing light:
It seems in truth the fairest shell of Ocean:
And as thy chariot cleaves the kindling air,
Thou breathe into the many-folded shell,
And through their veined leaves and amber stenis Loosening its mighty music; it shall be
The flowers whose purple and translucid bowls As thunder mingled with clear echoes: then Stand ever mantling with aërial dew, Return; and thou shalt dwell beside our cave. The drink of spirits : and it circles round, And thou, O, Mother Earth !
Like the soft waving wings of noonday dreams,
Inspiring calm and happy thoughts, like mine,
Now thou art thus restored. This cave is thine.
I hear, I feel; Arise! Appear! Thy lips are on me, and thy touch runs down
[A Spirit rises in the likeness of a winged child Even to the adamantine central gloom
This is my torch-bearer; Along these marble nerves; 'tis life, 'tis joy,
Who let his lamp out in old time with gazing And through my wither'd, old, and icy frame
On eyes from which he kindled it anew The warmth of an immortal youth shoots down
With love, which is as fire, sweet daughter mine, Circling. Henceforth the many children fair
For such is that within thine own. Run, wayward, Folded in my sustaining arms; all plants,
And guide this company beyond the peak
of Bacchic Nysa, Månad-haunted mountain, Which drew disease and pain from my wan bosom, Trampling the torrent streams and glassy lakes Draining the poison of despair, shall take
With feet unwet, unwearied, undelaying, And interchange sweet nutriment; to me
And up the green ravine, across the vale, Shall they become like sister-antelopes
Beside the windless and crystalline pool, By one fair dam, snow-white and swift as wind,
Where ever lies, on unerasing waves, Nursed among lilies near a brimming stream.
The image of a temple, built above, The dew-mists of my sunless sleep shall float
Distinct with column, arch, and architrave, Under the stars like balm: night-folded flowers
And palm-like capital, and over-wrought, Shall suck unwitting hues in their repose :
And populous most with living imagery, And men and beasts in happy dreams shall gather
Praxitelean shapes, whose marble smiles Strength for the coming day, and all its joy:
Fill the hush'd air with everlasting love. And death shall be the last embrace of her
It is deserted now, but once it bore Who takes the life she gave, even as a mother
Thy name, Prometheus; there the emulous youths Folding her child, says, “ Leave me not again.”
Bore to thy honor through the divine gloom
Who bear the untransmitted torch of hope
To this far goal of Time. Depart, farewell.
Beside that temple is the destined cave.
Asia, PANTHEA, Ione, and the SPIRIT OF THE With rainbow-skirted showers, and odorous winds, EARTH. And long blue meteors cleansing the dull night, And the life-kindling shafts of the keen sun's All-piercing bow, and the dew-mingled rain
Sister, it is not earthly: how it glides of the calm moonbeams, a sost influence mild,
Under the leaves! how on its head there burns Shall clothe the forests and the fields, ay, even
A light, like a green star, whose emerald beams The crag-built deserts of the barren deep,
Are twined with its fair hair! how, as it moves, With ever-living leaves, and fruits, and flowers.
The splendor drops in flakes upon the grass ! And thou! There is a cavern where my spirit
Knowest thou it? Was panted forth in anguish whilst thy pain
PANTHEA. Made my heart mad, and those that did inhale it
It is the delicate spirit Became mad too, and built a temple there, That guides the earth through Heaven. From afar And spoke, and were oracular, and lured
The populous constellations call that light
The loveliest of the planets; and sometimes
Or walks through fields or cities while men sleep, With a serener light and crimson air
Or o'er the mountain-tops, or down the rivers, Intense, yet soft, the rocks and woods around; Or through the green waste wilderness, as now It feeds the quick growth of the serpent vine, Wondering at all it sees. Before Jove reign'd, And the dark-link'd ivy tangling wild,
It loved our sister Asia, and it came
SPIRIT OF THE EARTH.
SPIRIT OF THE HOUR.
All it had kuown or seen, for it saw much, And thinning one bright bunch of amber berries,
So with my thoughts full of these happy changes,
We meet again, the happiest change of all. THE SPIRIT OF THE EARTH (running to Asia).
Mother, dearest mother ; May I then talk with thee as I was wont?
And never will we part, till thy chaste sister May I then hide my eyes in thy soft arms,
Who guides the frozen and inconstant moon After thy looks have made them tired of joy?
Will look on thy more warm and equal light May I then play beside thee the long noons,
Till her heart thaw like flakes of April snow When work is none in the bright silent air ?
And love thee.
SPIRIT OF THE EARTH.
What! as Asia loves Prometheus I love thee, gentlest being! and henceforth Can cherish thee unenvied: speak, I pray :
Peace, wanton: thou art yet not old enough.
Think ye by gazing on each other's eyes
To multiply your lovely selves, and fill
With sphered fires the interlunar air?
Nay, mother, while my sister trims her lamp,
worms, And venomous and malicious beasts, and boughs That bore ill berries in the woods, were ever
Listen ; look! A hindrance to my walks o'er the green world :
The SPIRIT OF THE HOur enters. And thal, among the haunts of human-kind,
PROMETHEUS. Hard-featured men, or with proud, angry looks,
We feel what thou hast heard and seen: yet speak. Or cold, staid gait, or false and hollow smiles, Or the dull speer of self-loved ignorance, Or other such foul masks, with which ill thoughts Soon as the sound had ceased whose thunder fill'd Hide that fair being whom we spirits call man; The abysses of the sky and the wide earth, And women too, ugliest of all things evil
There was a change: the impalpable thin air (Though fair, even in a world where thou art fair, And the all-circling sunlight vere transform’d, When good and kind, free and sincere like thee), As if the sense of love dissolved in them When false or frowning made me sick at heart Had folded itself round the sphered world. To pass them, though they slept, and I unseen. My vision then grew clear, and I could see Well, my path lately lay through a great city Into the mysteries of the universe : Into the woody hills surrounding it :
Dizzy as with delight I floated down, A sentinel was sleeping at the gate :
Winnowing the lightsome air with languid plumes When there was heard a sound, so loud, it shook My coursers sought their birth-place in the sun, The towers amid the moonlight, yet more sweet Where they henceforth will live exempt from toil Than any voice but thine, sweetest of all; Pasturing flowers of vegetable fire. A long, long sound, as it would never end :
And where my moonlike car will stand within And all the inhabitants leapt suddenly
A temple, gazed upon by Phidian forms Out of their rest, and gather'd in the streets, Of thee, and Asia, and the Earth, and me, Looking in wonder up to Heaven, whilo yet And you fair nymphs looking the love we feel; The music peal'd along. I hid myself
In memory of the tidings it has borne ; Within a fountain in the public square,
Beneath a dome fretled with graven flowers, Where I lay like the reflex of the moon
Poised on twelve columns of resplendent stone, Seen in a wave under green leaves : and soon And open to the bright and liquid sky. Those ugly human shapes and visages
Yoked to it by an amphisbenic snake, I of which I spoke as having wrought me pain, The likeness of those winged steeds will mock Past floating through the air, and fading still The light from which they find repose. Alas, Into the winds that scatler'd them; and those Whither has wander'd now my partial tongue From whom they past seem'd mild and lovely forms When all remains untold which ye would hear ? After some foul disguise had fallen, and all
As I have said, I foaied to the earth : Were somewhat changed, and after brief surprise It was, as it is still, the pain of bliss And greetings of delighted wonder, all
To move, 10 breathe, 10 be ; I wandering went Went to their sleep again ; and when the dawn Among the haunts and dwellings of mankind, Came, wouldst thou think that toads, and snakes, and And first was disappointed not to see efts,
Such mighty change as I had felt within Could e'er be beautiful ? yet so they were, Express'd in outward things; but soon I look'd, And that with little change of shape or hue: And bebold, thrones were kingless, and men walk'd All things had put their evil nature off :
One with the other even as spirits do. I cannot tell my joy, when o'er a lake
None fawn'd, none trampled; hate, disdain, or fear, Upon a drooping bough with nightshade twined, Self-love or self-contempl, on human brows I saw two azure halcyons clinging downward No more inscribed, as o'er the gate of hell,
VOICE OF UNSEEN SPIRITS.
“ All hope abandon ye who enter herc;"
From chance, and death, and mutability, None frown'd, none trembled, none with eager fear The clogs of that which else might oversoar Gazed on another's eye of cold command,
The loftiest star of unascended heaven,
Pinnacled dim in the intense inane.
SCENE-A part of the Forest near the Cave of ProThe sparks of love and hope till there remain'd
PANTHEA and lone are sleeping ; they Those bitler ashes, a soul self-consumed,
awaken gradually during the first Song.
The pale stars are gone!
For the sun, their swift shepherd, Yet question that unmeant hypocrisy
To their fold them compelling, With such a self-ristrust as has no name.
In the depths of the dawn, And women, too, frank, beautiful, and kind
Hastes, in meteor-eclipsing array, and they flee As the free heaven which rains fresh light and dew
Beyond his blue dwelling, On the wide earth, past; gentle, radiant forms,
As fawns flee the leopard, From custom's evil taint exempt and pure;
But where are ye? Speaking the wisdom once they could not think, Looking emotions once they fear'd to feel, A Train of dark Forms and Shadows passes by conAnd changed to all which once they dared not be,
fusedly, singing Yet being now, made earth like heaven; nor pride, Nor jealousy, nor envy, nor ill shame,
Here, oh! here: The bitterest of those drops of treasured gall,
We bear the bier Spoilt the sweet taste of the nepenthe, love.
Of the Father of many a cancelled year!
Of the dead Hours be,
We bear Time to his tomb in eternity.
Strew, oh! strew
Hair, not yew! Were like those monstrous and barbaric shapes.
Wet the dusky pall with tean, not dew! The ghosts of a no more remember'd fame
Be the faded flowers
Of Death's bare bowers
Spread on the corpse of the King of Hours ! round
Haste, oh, haste! Those imaged to the pride of kings and priests,
As shades are chased, A dark yet mighty faith, a power as wide
Trembling, by day, from Heaven's blue waste. As is the world it wasted, and are now
We melt away, But an astonishment; even so the tools
Like dissolving spray, And emblems of its last captivity,
From the children of a diviner day, Amid the dwellings of the peopled earth,
With the lullaby Stand, not o'erthrown, but unregarded now.
Of winds that die
On the bosom of their own harmony!
What dark forms were they ?
The past Hours weak and gray,
From the conquest but One could foil
Have they past ?
They have past ;
They outspeeded the blast,
While 't is said, they are fled :
Whither, oh! whither?
Where are their chariots ?
SEMICHORUS OF HOURS. The voice of the Spirits of Air and of Earth Has drawn back the figured curtain of sleep Which cover'd our being and darken'd our birth In the deep.
In the deep?
Oh! below tne deep.
A hundred ages we had been kept
SEMICHORUS II. Worse than his visions were !
CHORUS OF SPIRITS.
Now 'tis an ocean
Of clear emotion,
From that deep abyss
Of wonder and bliss, Whose caverns are crystal palaces
From those skiey towers
Where Thought's crowned powers Sit watching your dance, ye happy Hours !
From the dim recesses
Of woven caresses,
From the azure isles
Where sweet Wisdom smiles, Delaying your ships with her syren wiles.
From the temples high
Of Man's ear and eye, Roof'd over Sculpture and Poesy ;
From the murmurings
Of the unseal'd springs
Years after years,
Through blood, and tears, And a thick hell of hatreds, and hopes, and fears,
We waded and flew,
And the islets were few Where the bud-blighted flowers of happiness grew
Our feet now, every palm,
Are sandall'd with calm,
And, beyond our eyes,
The human love lies
SEMICHORUS I. We have heard the lute of Hope in sleep; We have known the voice of Love in dreams, We have felt the wand of Power, and leap
SEMICHORUS II. As the billows leap in the morning beams !
CHORUS. Weave the dance on the floor of the breeze,
Pierce with song heaven's silent light, Enchant the day that 100 swiftly flees,
To check its flight ere the cave of night.
Once the hungry Hours were hounds
Which chased the day like a bleeding deer, And it limp'd and stumbled with many wounds
Through the nightly dells of the desert year.