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Transversely dividing the stream of the storm ;
As an arrowy serpent, pursuing the form
Of an elephant, bursts through the brakes of the waste.
Black as a cormorant, the screaming blast
Between ocean and heaven like an ocean passed,
Till it came to the clouds on the verge of the world,
Which, based on the sea and to heaven upcurled,
Like columns and walls did surround and sustain
The dome of the tempest. It rent them in twain,
As a flood rends its barriers of mountainous crag ;
And the dense clouds in many a ruin and rag,
Like the stones of a temple ere earthquake has passed,
Like the dust of its fall, on the whirlwind are cast.
They are scattered like foam on the torrent; and, where
The wind has burst out through the chasm, from the air
Of clear morning, the beams of the sunrise flow in,
Unimpeded, keen, golden, and crystalline,
Banded armies of light and of air ; at one gate
They encounter, but interpenetrate.
And that breach in the tempest is widening away ;
And the caverns of cloud are torn up by the day;
And the fierce winds are sinking with weary wings,
Lulled by the motion and murmurings,
And the long glassy heave of the rocking sea ;
And overhead, glorious but dreadful to see,
The wrecks of the tempest, like vapours of gold,
Are consuming in sunrise. The heaped waves behold
The deep calm of blue heaven dilating above;
And, like passions made still by the presence of Love,
Beneath the clear surface, reflecting it, slide
Tremulous with soft influence. Extending its tide
From the Andes to Atlas, round mountain and isle,'
Round sea-birds and wrecks, paved with heaven's azure smile,
The wide world of waters is vibrating.
Where Is the ship? On the verge of the wave where it lay, One tiger is mingled in ghastly affray With a sea-snake. The foam and the smoke of the battle Stain the clear air with sunbows. The jar and the rattle Of solid bones crushed by the infinite stress Of the snake's adamantine voluminousness;
And the hum of the hot blood that spouts and rains
Where the gripe of the tiger has wounded the veins
Swoln with rage, strength, and effort; the whirl and the splash,
As of some hideous engine whose brazen teeth smash
The thin winds and soft waves into thunder; the screams
And hissings-crawl fast o'er the smooth ocean-streams,
Each sound like a centipede. Near this commotion,
A blue shark is hanging within the blue ocean,
The fin-winged tomb of the victor. The other
Is winning his way, from the fate of his brother,
To his own with the speed of despair.
Lo! a boat
Advances; twelve rowers with the impulse of thought
Urge on the keen keel, the brine foams. At the stern
Three marksmen stand levelling. Hot bullets burn
In the breast of the tiger, which yet bears him on
To his refuge and ruin. One fragment alone
('Tis dwindling and sinking, 'tis now almost gone)
Of the wreck of the vessel peers out of the sea.
With her left hand she grasps it impetuously,
With her right she sustains her fair infant. Death, fear,
Love, beauty, are mixed in the atmosphere,
Which trembles and burns with the fervour of dread
Around her wild eyes, her bright hand, and her head,
Like a meteor of light o'er the waters. Her child
Is yet smiling and playing and murmuring ; so smiled
The false deep ere the storm. Like a sister and brother,
The child and the ocean still smile on each other,
THE WANING MOON.
AND, like a dying lady lean and pale,
Who totters forth, wrapped in a gauzy veil,
Out of her chamber, led by the insane
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,
The moon arose up in the murky east
A white and shapeless mass.
DEATH is here, and death is there,
Death is busy everywhere ;
All around, within, beneath,
Above, is death-and we are death.
Death has set his mark and seal
On all we are and all we feel,
On all we know and all we fear,
First our pleasures die, and then
Our hopes, and then our fears : and, when
These are dead, the debt is due,
Dust claims dust--and we die too.
All things that we love and cherish,
Like ourselves, must fade and perish.
Such is our rude mortal lot:
| Love itself would, did they not.
THE WORLD'S WANDERERS.
Tell me, thou star, whose wings of light
Speed thee in thy fiery flight,
In what cavern of the night
Will thy pinions close now?
Tell me, moon, thou pale and grey
Pilgrim of heaven's homeless way,
In what depth of night or day
Seekest thou repose now?
Weary wind, who wanderest
Like the world's rejected guest,
Hast thou still some secret nest
On the tree or billow?
Not far from hence. From yonder pointed hill
Crowned with a ring of oaks, you may behold
A dark and barren field through which there flows,
Sluggish and black, a deep but narrow stream,
Which the wind ripples not, and the fair moon
Gazes in vain and finds no mirror there.
Follow the herbless banks of that strange brook
Until you pause beside a darksome pond,
The fountain of this rivulet, whose gush
Cannot be seen, hid by a rayless night
That lives beneath the overhanging rock
That shades the pool-an endless spring of gloom,
Upon whose edge hovers the tender light,
Trembling to mingle with its paramour,
But, as Syrinx fied Pan, so Night flies Day,
Or, with most sullen and regardless hate,
Refuses stern her heaven-born embrace.
On one side of this jagged and shapeless hill
There is a cave, from which there eddies up
A pale mist, like aërial gossamer,
Whose breath destroys all life: awhile it veils
The rock-then, scattered by the wind, it flies
Along the stream, or lingers on the clefts,
Killing the sleepy worms, if aught bide there.
Upon the beetling edge of that dark rock
There stands a group of cypresses; not such
As, with a graceful spire and stirring life,
Pierce the pure heaven of your native vale,
Whose branches the air plays among, but not
Disturbs, fearing to spoil their solemn grace;
But blasted and all wearily they stand,
One to another clinging; their weak boughs
Sigh as the wind buffets them, and they shake
Beneath its blasts-a weather-beaten crew.
CHORUS. What wondrous sound is that, mournful and faint, But more melodious than the murmuring wind Which through the columns of a temple glides?
It is the wandering voice of Orpheus' lyre,
Borne by the Winds, who sigh that their rude King
Hurries them fast from these air-feeding notes;
But in their speed they bear along with them
The waning sound, scattering it like dew
Upon the startled sense.
Does he still sing? Methought he rashly cast away his harp When he had lost Eurydice.
Ah no! Awhile he paused. As a poor hunted stag A moment shudders on the fearful brink Of a swift stream—the cruel hounds press on With deafening yell, the arrows glance and wound, He plunges in: so Orpheus, seized and torn By the sharp fangs of an insatiate grief, Mænad-like waved his lyre in the bright air, And wildly shrieked “Where she is, it is dark!” And then he struck from forth the strings a sound Of deep and fearful melody. Alas! In times long past, when fair Eurydice With her bright eyes sat listening by his side, He gently sang of high and heavenly themes. As, in a brook fretted with little waves By the light airs of Spring, each riplet makes A many-sided mirror for the sun, While it flows musically through green banks, Ceaseless and pauseless, ever clear and fresh; So flowed his song, reflecting the deep joy And tender love that fed those sweetest notes, The heavenly offspring of ambrosial food. But that is past. Returning from drear Hell, He chose a lonely seat of unhewn stone, Blackened with lichens, on a herbless plain. Then from the deep and overflowing spring Of his eternal ever-moving grief There rose to heaven a sound of angry song, 'Tis as a mighty cataract that parts