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Then on the white edge of the bursting surge, She spake in language whose strange melody Where they had sunk together, would ihe Snake Might not belong to earth. I heard, alone, Relax his suffocating grasp, and scourge
What made its music more melodious be, The wind with his wild writhings; for to break The pity and the love of every tune; That chain of torment, the vast bird would shake But to the Snake those accents sweet were known, The strength of his unconquerable wings
His native tongue and hers: nor did he beat As in despair, and with his sinewy neck
The hoar spray idly then, but winding on Dissolve in sudden shock those linked rings, Through the green shadows of the waves that meet Then soar-as swift as smoke from a volcano Near to the shore, did pause beside her snowy feet.
And as we sailed, a strange and awful tale His spirit is their power, and they his slaves
His reign and dwelling beneath nether skies,
Speak not to me, but hear! much shalt thou learn,
In the world's youth his empire was as firm
In hope on their own powers began to look,
Then Greece arose, and to its bards and sages,
List, stranger, list! mine is a human form,[now! 'Twas like an eye which seemed to smile on me.
But from its beams deep love my spirit drank, Since first my thirsting soul aspired to know And to my brain the boundless world now shrank The secrets of this wondrous world, when deep Into one thought-one image-yea, for ever ! My heart was pierced with sympathy, for woe Even likethe day’s-spring, poured on vapours dank, Which could not be mine own and thought did keep The beams of that one star did shoot and quiver In dream, unnatural watch beside an infant's sleep. Through my benighted mind — and were extin
guished never. XXXVI. Woe could not be mine own, since far from men The day past thus: at night, methought in dream I dwelt, a free and happy orphan child,
A shape of speechless beauty did appear; By the sea-shore, in a deep mountain glen;
stood like light on a careering stream And near the waves, and through the forests wild, Of golden clouds which shook the atmosphere; I roamed, to storm and darkness reconciled, A winged youth, his radiant brow did wear For I was calm while tempest shook the sky: The Morning Star : a wild dissolving bliss But, when the breathless heavens in beauty smiled, Over my frame he breathed, approaching near, I wept sweet tears, yet too tumultuously
And bent his eyes of kindling tenderness For peace, and clasped my hands aloft in ecstacy. Near mine, and on my lips impressed a lingering
Thou fear'st not then the Serpent on thy heart? Ten thousand columns in that quivering light
With their own radiance than the Heaven of Day; Swift as a cloud between the sea and sky,
And on the jasper walls around, there lay Beneath the rising moon seen far away ;
Paintings, the poesy of mightiest thought, Mountains of ice, like sapphire piled on high Which did the Spirit's history display ; Hemming the horizon round, in silence lay A tale of passionate change, divinely taught, On the still waters,—these we did approach alway. Which, in their winged dance, unconscious Genii
It was a Temple, such as mortal hand
One seat was vacant in the midst, a throne, Has never built, nor ecstacy, or dream,
Reared on a pyramid like sculptured flame, Reared in the cities of enclianted land :
Distinct with circling steps which rested on 'Twas likest Heaven, ere yet day's purple streak Their own deep fire-soon as the woman came Ebbs o'er the western forest, while the gleam Into that hall, she shrieked the Spirit's name Of the unrisen moon among the clouds
And fell ; and vanished slowly from the sight. Is gathering—when with many a golden beam Darkness arose from her dissolving frame, The thronging constellations rush in crowds, Which gathering, filled that dome of woven light, Paving with fire the sky and the marmoreal floods. Blotting its sphered stars with supernatural night.
Out of that Ocean's wrecks had Guilt and Woe
The worship thence which they each other taught. And the green light which, shifting overhead, Well might men loathe their life, well might they Some tangled bower of vines around me shed,
turn The shells on the sea-sand, and the wild flowers, Even to the ills again from which they sought
The lamp-light through the rafterscheerly spread, Such refuge after death !-well might they learn And on the twining flax-in life's young hours To gaze on this fair world with hopeless unconThese sights and sounds did nurse my spirit's folded cern!
powers. In Argolis beside the echoing sea,
For they all pined in bondage ; body and soul, Such impulses within my mortal frame
Tyrant and slave, victim and torturer, bent Arose, and they were dear to memory,
Before one Power, to which supreme control Like tokens of the dead :_but others came
Over their will by their own weakness lent, Soon, in another shape: the wondrous fame Made all its many names omnipotent; Of the past world, the vital words and deeds All symbols of things evil, all divine ; Of minds whom neither time nor change can tame, And hymns of blood or mockery, which rent Traditions dark and old, whence evil creeds The air from all its fanes, did intertwine Start forth, and whose dim shade a stream of poison Imposture's impious tuils round each discordant feeds.
I heard, as all have heard, the various story
I heard, as all have heard, life's various story,