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HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY.
The awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats tho' unseen among us; visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing
Each human heart and countenance ;
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
Like aught that for its grace may be
Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate
With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
Of human thought or form, where art thou gone Why dost thou pass away and leave our state, This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate
Ask why the sunlight not for ever.
Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain river ; Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown
Why fear and dream and death and birth
Such gloom ; why man has such a scope For love and hate, despondency and hope.
No voice from some sublimer world hath ever
To sage or poet these responses given ;
Doubt, chance, and mutability.
Or music by the night wind sent
Or moonlight on a midnight stream,
Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds, depart
And come, for some uncertain moments lent.
Man were immortal and omnipotent,
That wax and wane in lovers' eyes ;
Like darkness to a dying flame!
Depart not, lest the grave should be,
While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
Thro' many a listening chamber, cave, and ruin,
And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
When musing deeply on the lot
All vital things that wake to bring
Sudden, thy shadow fell on me ;
I vowed that I would dedicate my powers.
To thee and thine : have I not kept the vow? With beating heart and streaming eyes, even
now I call the phantoms of a thousand hours Each from his voiceless grave: they have in
Outwatched with me the envious night :
Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free
That thou, O awful LOVELINESS,
The day becomes inore solemn and serene
When noon is past: there is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky, Which thro' the summer is not heard nor seen, As if it could not be, as if it had not been !
Thus let thy power, which like the truth
Of nature on my passive youth
Its calm, to one who worships thee,
Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did bind
LINES WRITTEN IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNL
The everlasting universe of things
II. Thus thou, Ravine of Arve--dark, deep Ravine Thou many-coloured, many-voiced vale, Over whose pines and crags and caverns sail Fast clouds, shadows, and sunbeams; awful scene, Where power in likeness of the Arve comes down From the ice-gulfs that gird his secret throne, Bursting through these dark mountains like the