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For Winter came: the wind was his whip;
His breath was a chain which without a sound
Then the weeds, which were forms of living death,
And under the roots of the Sensitive Plant
First there came down a thawing rain,
And a northern Whirlwind, wandering about
When Winter had gone, and Spring came back,
Whether the Sensitive Plant, or that
Where nothing is but all things seem,
For love, and beauty, and delight,
I Bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers
From the seas and the streams;
In their noonday dreams.
The sweet buds every one, When rocked to rest on their Mother's breast, As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under; And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.
And their great pines groan aghast;
While I sleep in the arms of the Blast.
Lightning my pilot sits";
It struggles and howls at fits.
This pilot is guiding me,
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the lakes and the plains,
The Spirit he loves remains;
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
And his burning plumes outspread,
When the morning star shines dead: As on the jag of a mountain crag
Which an earthquake rocks and swings An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings. And, when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardours of rest and of love,
From the depth of heaven above,
As still as a brooding dove.
That orbed maiden with white fire laden
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor
By the midnight breezes strewn;
Which only the angels hear,
The Stars peep behind her and peer.
Like a swarm of golden bees,
Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Are each paved with the moon and these.
And the Moon's with a girdle of pearl;
When the Whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
Over a torrent sea,
The mountains its columns be.
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
Is the million-coloured bow;
While the moist Earth was laughing below.
And the nursling of the Sky:
I change, but I cannot die.
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
Build up the blue dome of air,
And out of the caverns of rain,
I arise, and unbuild it again.
TO A SKYLARK.
Bird thou never wert—
From the earth thou springest:
Of the sunken sun,
The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
From one lonely cloud