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As the waves of a thousand streams rush by
We'll pass the eyes
Of the starry skies | Into the hoar deep to colonize: | Death, Chaos, and Night, From the sound of our flight, Shall flee, like mist from a tempest's might.
And Earth, Air, and Light,
And our singing shall build
chorus or hours. Break the dance, and scatter the song; Let some depart, and some remain.
semichorus I. We, beyond heaven, are driven along :
semichorus II. Us the enchantments of earth retain :
chorus of hourts AND spirits.
chorus of spirits AND hourts. PANTHEA.
From the past sweetness?
Listen too, -
A guiding power directs the chariot's prow
PANTheA. And from the other opening in the wood Rushes, with loud and whirlwind harmony, A sphere, which is as many thousand spheres, Solid as crystal, yet through all its mass Flow, as through empty space, music and light: Ten thousand orbs involving and involved, Purple and azure, white, green and golden, Sphere within sphere; and every space between Peopled with unimaginable shapes, Such as ghosts dream dwell in the lampless deep, Yet each inter-transpicuous, and they whirl Over each other with a thousand motions, Upon a thousand sightless axles spinning, And with the force of self-destroying swiftness, Intensely, slowly, solemnly, roll on, Kindling with mingled sounds, and many tones, Intelligible words and music wild. With mighty whirl the multitudinous orb Grinds the bright brook into an azure mist Of elemental subtlety, like light; And the wild odour of the forest flowers, The music of the living grass and air, The emerald light of leaf-entangled beams Round its intense yet self-conflicting speed, Seem kneaded into one ačrial mass Which drowns the sense. Within the orb itself, Pillowed upon its alabaster arms, Like to a child o'erwearied with sweet toil, On its own folded wings, and wavy hair, The Spirit of the Earth is laid asleep, And you can see its little lips are moving, Amid the changing light of their own smiles, Like one who talks of what he loves in dream.
iONE. 'Tis only mocking the orb's harmony.
PANThe A. And from a star upon its forehead, shoot, Like swords of azure fire, or golden spears With tyrant-quelling myrtle overtwined, Embleming heaven and earth united now, Vast beams like spokes of some invisible wheel Which whirl as the orb whirls, swifter than thought, Filling the abyss with sun-like lightnings, And perpendicular now, and now transverse, Pierce the dark soil, and as they pierce and pass, Make bare the secrets of the earth's deep heart; Infinite mine of adamant and gold, Valueless stones, and unimagined gems, And caverns on crystalline columns poised With vegetable silver overspread ; Wells of unfathomed fire, and water springs Whence the great sea, even as a child is fed, [tops Whose vapours clothe earth's monarch mountainWith kingly, ermine snow. The beams flash on And make appear the melancholy ruins Of cancelled cycles; anchors, beaks of ships; Planks turned to marble; quivers, helms, and spears, And gorgon-headed targes, and the wheels Of scythed chariots, and the emblazonry Of trophies, standards, and armorial beasts, Round which death laughed, sepulchred emblems Of dead destruction, ruin within ruin The wrecks beside of many a city vast,
I, a most enamoured maiden,
Until its hue grows like what it beholds,
Athwart the western mountain it enfolds
Upon its snow.
O gentle Moon, the voice of thy delight
Through isles for ever calm;
Made wounds which need thy balm.
PANth EA. I rise as from a bath of sparkling water, A bath of azure light, among dark rocks, Out of the stream of sound.
IONE. Ah me ! sweet sister, The stream of sound has ebbed away from us, And you pretend te rise out of its wave, Because your words fall like the clear soft dew Shaken from a bathing wood-nymph's limbs and hair. PANTHEA. Peace, peace! a mighty Power, whichisasdarkness, Is rising out of Earth, and from the sky Is showered like night, and from within the air Bursts, like eclipse which had been gathered up Into the pores of sunlight: the bright visions, Wherein the singing spirits rode and shone, Gleam like pale meteors through a watery night.
iONE. There is a sense of words upon mine ear.
PANTHEA. A universal sound like words: Oh, list
DEMOGORGON. Thou, Earth, calm empire of a happy soul, Sphere of divinest shapes and harmonies, Beautiful orb gathering as thou dost roll The love which paves thy path along the skies:
The earth. I hear: I am as a drop of dew that dies.
DEMOGORGON. Thou Moon, which gazest on the nightly Earth With wonder, as it gazes upon thee; Whilst each to men, and beasts, and the swift birth Of birds, is beauty, love, calm, harmony:
The Moon. I hear: I am a leaf shaken by thee!
DeMoo-orgoN. Ye kings of suns and stars Daemons and Gods, AEtherial Dominations ! who possess Elysian, windless, fortunate abodes Beyond Heaven's constellated wilderness:
A WOICE from ABOVE. Our great Republic hears; we are blest and bless.
DEMOGORGON. Ye happy dead ' whom beams of brightest verse Are clouds to hide, not colours to portray, Whether your nature is that universe Which once ye saw and suffered—
A VOICE FROM beneath. Or as they Whom we have left, we change and pass away.
DeMOGORGON. Ye elemental Genii, who have homes From man's high mind even to the central stone Of sullen lead; from Heaven's star-fretted domes To the dull weed some sea-worm battens on:
A confused Voice. We hear: thy words waken Oblivion.
Spirits! whose homes are flesh: ye beasts and birds, Ye worms and fish ; ye living leaves and buds;
Lightning and wind; and ye untameable herds, Meteors and mists, i throng air's solitudes.
A Voice. Thy voice to us is wind among still woods.
DeMOGORGON. Man, who wert once a despot and a slave; A dupe and a deceiver; a decay; A traveller from the cradle to the grave Through the dim night of this immortal day:
ALL. Speak thy strong words may never pass away.
DEMOGORGON. This the day, which down the void abysm At the Earth-born's spell yawns for Heaven's despotism, And Conquest is dragged captive through the deep; Love, from its awful throne of patient power In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour Of dread endurance, from the slippery, steep, And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs And folds over the world its healing wings.
Gentleness, Virtue, Wisdom, and Endurance, These are the seals of that most firm assurance
Which bars the pit over Destruction's strength; And if, with infirm hand, Eternity, Mother of many acts and hours, should free
The .." that would clasp her with his
These are the spells by which to re-assume
To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
NOTE ON THE PROMETHEUS UNBOUND.
BY The EDITOR.
On the 12th of March, 1818, Shelley quitted
England, never to return. His principal motive was the hope that his health would be improved by a milder climate; he suffered very much during the winter previous to his emigration, and this decided his vacillating purpose. In December, 1817, he had written from Marlow to a friend, saying:—
“My health has been materially worse. My feelings at intervals are of a deadly and torpid kind, or awakened to such a state of unnatural and keen excitement, that only to instance the organ of sight, I find the very blades of grass and the boughs of distant trees present themselves to me with microscopic distinctness. Towards evening I sink into a state of lethargy and inanimation, and
often remain for hours on the sofa between sleep
and waking, a prey to the most painful irritability of thought. Such, with little intermission, is my | condition. The hours devoted to study are selected with vigilant caution from among these periods of endurance. It is not for this that I think of travelling to Italy, even if I knew that Italy would relieve me. But I have experienced a decisive pulmonary attack, and although at present it has passed away without any considerable vestige of its existence, yet this symptom sufficiently shows the true nature of my disease to be consumptive. It is to my advantage that this malady is in its nature slow, and, if one is sufficiently alive to its advances, is susceptible of cure from a warm climate. In the event of its assuming any decided shape, it would be my duty to go to Italy without delay. It is not mere health, but life, that I should seek, and that not for my own sake; I feel
I am capable of trampling on all such weakness— but for the sake of those to whom my life may be a source of happiness, utility, security, and honour —and to some of whom my death might be all that is the reverse.” In almost every respect his journey to Italy was advantageous. He left behind friends to whom he was attached, but cares of a thousand kinds, many springing from his lavish generosity, crowded round him in his native country: and, except the society of one or two friends, he had no compensation. The climate caused him to consume half his existence in helpless suffering. His dearest pleasure, the free enjoyment of the scenes of nature, was marred by the same circumstance. He went direct to Italy, avoiding even Paris, and did not make any pause till he arrived at Milan. The first aspect of Italy enchanted Shelley; it seemed a garden of delight placed beneath a clearer and brighter heaven than any he had lived under before. He wrote long descriptive letters during the first year of his residence in Italy, which, as compositions, are the most beautiful in the world, and show how truly he appreciated and studied the wonders of nature and art in that divine land. The poetical spirit within him speedily revived with all the power and with more than all the beauty of his first attempts. He meditated three subjects as the groundwork for lyrical Dramas. One was the story of Tasso; of this a slight fragment of a song of Tasso remains. The other was one founded on the book of Job, which he never abandoned in idea, but of which no trace remains among his papers. The third was the “Prometheus