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XCV.

LINES.

1.
We meet not as we parted;

We feel more than all may see;
My bosom is heavy-hearted,

And thine full of doubt for me.

One moment has bound the free.

II.

That moment is gone for ever;

Like lightning that flashed and died,

Like a snowflake upon the river,
Like a sunbeam upon the tide,
Which the dark shadows hide.

III.

That moment from time was singled
As the first of a life of pain;

The cup of its joy was mingled
—Delusion too sweet though vain!
Too sweet to be mine again.

IV.

Sweet lips, could my heart have hidden
That its life was crushed by you,

Ye would not have then forbidden
The death which a heart so true
Sought in your briny dew.

v.
Methinks too little cost
For a moment so found, so lost!

XCVI.
Bright wanderer, fair coquette of heaven,
To whom alone it has been given
To change and be adored for ever,
Envy not this dim world, for never
But once within its shadow grew
One fair as

XCVII.
THE TRIUMPH OF LIFE.

SWIFT as a spirit hastening to his task

Of glory and of good, the Sun sprang forth Rejoicing in his splendour, and the mask

Of darkness fell from the awakened earth. The smokeless altars of the mountain snows Flamed above crimson clouds, and at the birth

Of light the ocean's orison arose,

To which the birds tempered their matin lay.
All flowers in field or forest which unclose

Their trembling eyelids to the kiss of day,
Swinging their censers in the element,
With orient incense lit by the new ray

Burned slow and inconsumably, and sent

Their odorous sighs up to the smiling air;
And, in succession due, did continent,

Isle, ocean, and all things that in them wear
The form and character of mortal mould,
Rise as the Sun their father rose, to bear

Their portion of the toil which he of old

Took as his own, and then imposed on them. But I, whom thoughts which must remain untold

Had kept as wakeful as the stars that gem The cone of night, now they were laid asleep Stretched my faint limbs beneath the hoary stem

Which an old chesnut flung athwart the steep

Of a green Apennine. Before me fled
The night; behind me rose the day; the deep

Was at my feet, and heaven above my head ;—
When a strange trance over my fancy grew,
Which was not slumber, for the shade it spread

Was so transparent that the scene came through

As clear as, when a veil of light is drawn O'er evening hills, they glimmer; and I knew That I had felt the freshness of that dawn

Bathe in the same cold dew my brow and hair,

And sate as thus upon that slope of lawn

Under the selfsame bough, and heard as there
The birds, the fountains, and the ocean, hold

Sweet talk in music through the enamoured air.
And then a vision on my brain was rolled.

As in that trance of wondrous thought I lay,

This was the tenour of my waking dream.— Methought I sate beside a public way

Thick strewn with summer dust; and a great stream Of people there was hurrying to and fro,

Numerous as gnats upon the evening gleam,—

All hastening onward, yet none seemed to know
Whither he went, or whence he came, or why
He made one of the multitude, and so

Was borne amid the crowd as through the sky
One of the million leaves of summer's bier.
Old age and youth, manhood and infancy,

Mixed in one mighty torrent did appear:

Some flying from the thing they feared, and some Seeking the object of another's fear.

And others, as with steps towards the tomb, Poured on the trodden worms that crawled beneath; And others mournfully within the gloom

Of their own shadow walked, and called it death;

And some fled from it as it were a ghost, Half fainting in the affliction of vain breath.

But more, with motions which each other crossed, — Pursued or spurned the shadows the clouds threw, Or birds within the noonday ether lost,

Upon that path where flowers never grew,—

And, weary with vain toil and faint for thirst,
Heard not the fountains whose melodious dew

Out of their mossy cells for ever burst,
Nor felt the breeze which from the forest told
Of grassy paths, and wood lawn-interspersed,

With overarching elms, and caverns cold,

And violet-banks where sweet dreams brood;—but they Pursued their serious folly as of old.

And, as I gazed, methought that in the way The throng grew wilder, as the woods of June

When the south wind shakes the extinguished day;

And a cold glare, intenser than the noon

But icy cold, obscured with blinding light
The sun, as he the stars. Like the young moon—

When on the sunlit limits of the night
Her white shell trembles amid crimson air,
And whilst the sleeping tempest gathers might—

Doth, as the herald of its coming, bear

The ghost of her dead mother, whose dim form
Bends in dark ether from her infant's chair:

So came a chariot on the silent storm
Of its own rushing splendour; and a Shape
So sate within, as one whom years deform,

Beneath a dusky hood and double cape,

Crouching within the shadow of a tomb.
And o'er what seemed the head a cloud-like crape

Was bent, a dun and faint ctherial gloom
Tempering the light. Upon the chariot beam
A Janus-visaged Shadow did assume

The guidance of that wonder-winged team.

The shapes which drew it in thick lightenings Were lost:—I heard alone on the air's soft stream

The music of their ever-moving wings. All the four faces of that Charioteer

Had their eyes banded. Little profit brings

Speed in the van and blindness in the rear,

Nor then avail the beams that quench the sun: Or that with banded eyes could pierce the sphere

Of all that is, has been, or will be, done. So ill was the car guided—but it passed With solemn speed majestically on.

The crowd gave way; and I arose aghast,

Or seemed to rise, so mighty was the trance,
And saw, like clouds upon the thunder's blast,

The million with fierce song and maniac dance
Raging around. Such seemed the jubilee
As when, to meet some conqueror's advance,

Imperial Rome poured forth her living sea

From senate-house and forum and theatre, When .... upon the free

Had bound a yoke which soon they stooped to bear. Nor wanted here the just similitude Of a triumphal pageant, for, where'er

The chariot rolled, a captive multitude

Was driven:—all those who had grown old in power Or misery; all who had their age subdued

By action or by suffexingrand whose hour Was drained to its last sand in weal or woe,

So that the trunk survived both fruit and flower;

All those whose fame or infamy must grow

Till the great winter lay the form and name Of this green earth with them for ever low;

All but the sacred few who could not tame Their spirits to the conquerors, but, as soon

As they had touched the world with living flame,

Fled back like eagles to their native noon,

Or those who put aside the diadem
Of earthly thrones or gems . . -

Were there, of Athens or Jerusalem,
Were neither mid the mighty captives seen,
Nor 'mid the ribald crowd that followed them,

Nor those who went before fierce and obscene.

The wild dance maddens in the van; and those Who lead it, fleet as shadows on the green,

Outspeed the chariot, and without repose Mix with each other in tempestuous measure To savage music, wilder as it grows.

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