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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.


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And as we sailed, a strange and awful tale His spirit is their power, and they his slaves
That Woman told, like such mysterious dream In air, and light, and thought, and language dwell ;
As makes the slumberer's cheek with wonder pale! And keep their state from palaces to graves,
'Twas midnight, and around, a shoreless stream, In all resorts of men-invisible,
Wide ocean rolled, when that majestic theme But when, in ebon mirror, Nightmare fell,
Shrined in her heart found utterance, and she bent To tyrant or impostor bids them rise,
Her looks on mine ; those eyes a kindling beam Black winged demon forms—whom, from the hell,
Of love divine into my spirit sent,

His reign and dwelling beneath nether skies,
And, ere her lips could move, made the air eloquent. He loosens to their dark and blasting ministries.

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Speak not to me, but hear! much shalt thou learn,
Much must remain unthought, and more untold,
In the dark Future's ever-flowing urn:
Know then, that from the depth of ages old
Two Powers o’er mortal things dominion hold,
Ruling the world with a divided lot,
Immortal, all-pervading, manifold,
Twin Genii, equal Gods—when life and thought
Sprang forth, they burst the womb of inessential

The earliest dweller of the world alone
Stood on the verge of chaos : Lo! afar
O'er the wide wild abyss two meteors shone,
Sprung from the depth of its tempestuous jar:
A blood-red Comet and the Morning Star
Mingling their beams in combat- as he stood
All thoughts within his mind waged mutual war,
In dreadful sympathy—when to the Hood
That fair star fell, he turned and shed his brother's


In the world's youth his empire was as firm
As its foundations—soon the Spirit of Good,
Though in the likeness of a loathsome worm,
Sprang from the billows of the formless flood,
Which shrank and fled; and with that fiend of blood
Renewed the doubtful war-thrones then first

And earth's immense and trampled multitude,

In hope on their own powers began to look,
And Fear, the demon pale, his sanguine shrine



Then Greece arose, and to its bards and sages,
In dream, the golden-pinioned Genii came,
Even where they slept amid the night of ages
Steeping their hearts in the divinest flame
Which thy breath kindled, Power of holiest name!
And oft in cycles since, when darkness gave
New weapons to thy foe, their sunlike fame
Upon the combat shone-a light to save, [grave,
Like Paradise spread forth beyond the shadowy

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List, stranger, list! mine is a human form,[now! 'Twas like an eye which seemed to smile on me.
Like that thou wearest-touch me-shrink not I watched till, by the sun made pale, it sank
My hand thou feel’st is not a ghost's, but warm Under the billows of the heaving sea ;
With human blood.—'Twas many years ago,

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



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Thou fear'st not then the Serpent on thy heart? Ten thousand columns in that quivering light
Fear it! she said with brief and passionate cry, Distinct-between whose shafts wound far away
And spake no more: that silence made me start The long and labyrinthine aisles—more bright
I looked, and we were sailing pleasantly,

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


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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.

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Out of that Ocean's wrecks had Guilt and Woe
Framed a dark dwelling for their homeless

The star-light smile of children, the sweet looks And, starting at the ghosts which to and fro
Of women, the fair breast from which I fed, Glide o'er its dim and gloomy strand, had brought
The murmur of the unreposing brooks,

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
Of human life, and wept unwilling tears
Feeble historians of its shame and glory,
False disputants on all its hopes and fears,
Victims who worshipped ruin,-chroniclers
Of daily scorn, and slaves who loathed their state;
Yet flattering power had given its ministers
A throne of judgment in the grave --'twas fate,
That among such as these my youth should seek its


I heard, as all have heard, life's various story,
And in no careless heart transcribed the tale;
But, from the sneers of men who had grown hoary
In shame and scorn, from groans of crowds made
By famine, from a mother's desolate wail (pale
O'er her polluted child, from innocent blood
Poured on the earth, and brows anxious and pale
With the heart's warfare ; did I gather food
To feed my many thoughts :-a tameless multitude.

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