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Fit to have borne it to the seventh sphere,
Dyed in the ardours of the atmosphere. She led her creature to the boiling springs
Where the light boat was moored, and said “Sit here,” And pointed to the prow, and took her seat Beside the rudder with opposing feet.
Around their inland islets, and amid
Darkness and odours, and a pleasure hid
By many a star-surrounded pyramid
The silver moon into that winding dell,
With slanted gleam athwart the forest tops, Tempered like golden evening, feebly fell ;
A green and glowing light, like that which drops
When Earth over her face Night's mantle wraps ;
With folded wings and unawakened eyes;
The busy dreams, as thick as summer flies,
And drinking the warm tears, and the sweet sighs
Upon a stream of wind, the pinnace went :
Now lingering on the pools, in which abode
The calm and darkness of the deep content
Of white and dancing waters, all besprent
XLII. And down the earthquaking cataracts, which shiver
Their snow-like waters into golden air, Or under chasms unfathomable ever
Sepulchre them, till in their rage they tear A subterranean portal for the river,
It fled. The circling sunbows did upbear Its fall down the hoar precipice of spray, Lighting it far upon its lampless way.
The labyrinths of some many-winding vale
She called “Hermaphroditus !”—and the pale
Over its lips and eyes, as on the gale
With stars of fire spotting the stream below,
Flinging a glory like tlte golden glow
All interwoven with fine feathery snow,
Which ever hung about that Lady bright,
Like a star up the torrent of the night,
Or a swift eagle in the morning glare
Breasting the whirlwind with impetuous flight, The pinnace, oared by those enchanted wings, Clove the fierce streams towards their upper springs.
Of a noon-wandering meteor flung to heaven;
In tempest down the mountains ; loosely driven, The Lady's radiant hair streamed to and fro;
Beneath, the billows, having vainly striven
Or in the noon of interlunar night,
Her spirit ; but sailed forth under the light
His storm-outspeeding wings the Hermaphrodite ; She to the austral waters took her way, Beyond the fabulous Thamondocana.
XLVIII. Where, like a meadow which no scythe has shaven,
Which rain could never bend or whirlblast shake, With the antarctic constellations paven,
Canopus and his crew, lay the austral lakeThere she would build herself a windless haven,
Out of the clouds whose moving turrets make The bastions of the storm, when through the sky The spirits of the tempest thundered by :
The tremulous stars sparkled unfathomably;
Based on the level waters, to the sky
Of wintry mountains, inaccessibly
Hemmed in with rifts and precipices grey,
And, whilst the outer lake beneath the lash
Of the wind's scourge foamed like a wounded thing, And the incessant hail with stony clash
Ploughed up the waters, and the flagging wing
Looked like the wreck of some wind-wandering
Circling the image of a shooting star (Even as a tiger on Hydaspes' banks
Outspeeds the antelopes which speediest are) In her light boat; and many quips and cranks
She played upon the water ; till the car Of the late moon, like a sick matron wan, To journey from the misty east began.
Of those high clouds, white, golden, and vermilion, The armies of her ministering spirits.
In mighty legions million after million
On meteor flags ; and many a proud pavilion
Of woven exhalations, underlaid
A dome of thin and open ivory inlaid
Hung there, and on the water for her tread
Upon those wandering isles of aery dew
She sate, and heard all that had happened new Between the earth and moon since they had brought
The last intelligence : and now she grew Pale as that moon lost in the watery night, And now she wept, and now she laughed outright.
These were tame pleasures. She would often climb
The steepest ladder of the crudded rack Up to some beaked cape of cloud sublime,
And like Arion on the dolphin's back Ride singing through the shoreless air. Oft-time,
Following the serpent lightning's winding track, She ran upon the platforms of the wind, And laughed to hear the fireballs roar behind.
Which whirl the earth in its diurnal round
To let her join their chorus. Mortals found That on those days the sky was calm and fair,
And mystic snatches of harmonious sound Wandered upon the earth where'er she passed, And happy thoughts of hope, too sweet to last.
To glide adown old Nilus, when he threads
Of utmost Axumé until he spreads,
His waters on the plain,--and crested heads
Strewn with faint blooms like bridal-chamber floors,