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The weary sound and the heavy breath.
The dark grass, and the flowers among the grass,
The garden, once fair, became cold and foul,
Swift summer into the autumn flowed,
The rose-leaves, like flakes of crimson snow,
And Indian plants, of scent and hue
And the leaves, brown, yellow, and grey, and red,
And the gusty winds waked the winged seeds
The water-blooms under the rivulet
Then the rain came down, and the broken stalks
Between the time of the wind and the snow,
All loathliest weeds began to grow,
Whose coarse leaves were splashed with many a speck.
Like the water-snake's belly and the toad's back.
And thistles, and nettles, and darnels rank,
And plants, at whose names the verse feels loath,
And agarics and fungi, with mildew and mould,
Spawn, weeds, and filth, a leprous scum,
Made the running rivulet thick and dumb.
And at its outlet, flags huge as stakes
Dammed it up with roots knotted like water-snake*.
And hour by hour, when the air was still,
And unctuous meteors from spray to spray
The Sensitive Plant, like one forbid,
For the leaves soon fell, and the branches soon
For Winter came: the wind was his whip;
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,
The Sensitive Plant was a leafless wreck;
But the mandrakes, and toadstools, and docks, and darnels,
Rose like the dead from their ruined charnels.
Whether the Sensitive Plant, or that
Whether that lady's gentle mind,
I dare not guess; but in this life
It is a modest creed, and yet
That garden sweet, that lady fair.
For love, and beauty, and delight,
A VISION OF THE SEA.
'Tis the terror of tempest . The rags of the sail
Are nickering in ribbons within the fierce gale:
From the stark night of vapours the dim rain is driven.
And when lightning is loosed like a deluge from heaven,
She sees the black trunks of the water-spouts spin,
And bend, as if heaven was ruining in,
Which they seemed to sustain with their terrible mass
As if ocean had sunk from beneath them: they pass
To their graves in the deep with an earthquake of sound,
And the waves and the thunders, made silent around,
Leave the wind to its echo. The vessel, now tossed
Through the low trailing rack of the tempest, is lost
In the skirts of the thunder-cloud: now down the sweep
Of the wind-cloven wave to the chasm of the deep
It sinks, and the walls of the watery vale
Whose depths of dread calm are unmoved by the gale,
Dim mirrors of ruin, hang gleaming about;
While the surf, like a chaos of stars, like a rout
Of death flames, like whirlpools of fire flowing iron,
With splendour and terror the black ship environ;
Or like sulphur-flakes hurled from a mine of pale fire,
In fountains spout o'er it. In many a spire
The pyramid-billows, with white points of brine,
In the cope of the lightning inconstantly shine,
As piercing the sky from the floor of the sea.
The great ship seems splitting ! it cracks as a tree,
The intense thunder-balls which are raining from heaven
Have shattered its ma»t. ind it stands black and riven.
The chinks suck destruction. The heavy dead hulk
On the living sea rolls an inanimate bulk,
Like a corpse on the day which is hung'ring to fold
Its corruption ar^vnd it. Meanwhile, from the hold,
One deck is burst up from the waters below,
And it splits like the ice when the thaw-breezes blow
O'er the lakes of the desert I Who sit on the other?
Is that all the crew that lie burying each other,
Like tne dead in a breach, round the foremast? Are those
"?win tigers, who burst, when the waters arose,
In the agony of terror, their chains in the hold
(What now makes them tame, is what then made them bold)
Who crouch, side by side, and have driven, like a crank,
The deep grip of their claws through the vibrating plauk?
Are these all?
Nine weeks the tall vessel had lain On the windless expanse of the watery plain, Where the death-darting sun cast no shadow at noon, And there seemed to be fire in the beams of the moon, Till a lead-coloured fog gathered up from the deep, Whose breath was quick pestilence; then, the cold sleep Crept, like blight through the ears of a thick field of corn, O'er the populous vessel. And even and morn, With their hammocks for coffins the seamen aghast Like dead men the dead limbs of their comrades cast Down the deep, which closed on them above and around, And the sharks and the dog-fish their grave-clothes unbound. And were glutted like Jews with this manna rained down From God on their wilderness. One after one The mariners died; on the eve of this day, When the tempest was gathering in cloudy array, But seven remained. Six the thunder had smitten, And they lie black as mummies on which Time has written His scorn of the embalmer; the seventh, from the deck An oak splinter pierced through his breast and his back, And hung out to the tempest, a wreck on the wreck.
No more? At the helm sits n woman more fair
Than heaven, when, unbinding its star braided hair,
It sinks with the sun on the earth and the sea.
She clasps a bright child on her up-gathered knee,
It laughs at the lightning, it mocks the mixed thundnr
Of the air and the sea, with desire and with wonder
It is beckening the tigers to rise and come near,
It would play with those eyes where the radiance of tsar
Is outshining the meteors; its bosom beats high,
The heart-fire of pleasure has kindled its eye;
Whilst its mother's is lustreless. "Smile not, my child,