« AnteriorContinuar »
Fear not: 'tis but some passing spasm,
The Titan is unvanquished still.
Of yon forked and snowy hill
With golden-sandalled feet, that glow
A Shape comes now,
Pi NTH El.
Tis Jove's world-wandering herald, Mercury.
And who are those with hydra tresses
Whom the frowning God represses
Clanging loud, an endless crowd—
These are Jove's tempest-walking hounds, Whom he gluts with groans and blood, When charioted on sulphurous cloud
He bursts Heaven's bounds.
Are they now led, from the thin dead
The Titan looks as ever, firm, not proud.
Ha t I scent life!
Let me but look into his eyes!
Back to your towers of iron, And gnash beside the streams of fire, and wail Your foodless teeth. Geryon, arise! and Gorgon, Chimaera, and thou Sphinx, subtlest of fiends, Who ministered to Thebes Heaven's poisoned wine, Unnatural love, and more unnatural hate: These shall perform your task.
Oh, mercy! mercy! We die with our desire: drive us not back!
Crouch then in silence.
Awful Sufferer; To thee unwilling, most unwillingly I come, by the Great Father's will driven down, To execute a doom of new revenge. Alas! I pity thee, and hate myself That I can do no more; aye from thy sight Returning, for a season, heaven seems hell,
So thy worn form pursues me night and day,
Evil minds Change good to their own nature. I gave all He has; and in return he chains me here Years, ages, night and day ; whether the Sun Split my parched skin, or in the moony night The crystal-winged snow cling round my hair: Whilst my beloved race is trampled down By his thought-executing ministers. Such is the tyrant's recompense: 'tis just: He who is evil can receive no good; And for a world bestowed, or a friend lost, He can feel hate, fear, shame ; not gratitude: He but requites me for his own misdeed. Kindness to such is keen reproach, which breaks With bitter stings the light sleep of Revenge. Submission, thou dost know I cannot try; For what submission but that fatal word, The death-Beal of mankind's captivity, Like the Sicilian's hair-suspended sword, Which trembles o'er his crown, would he accept, Or could I yield! Which yet I will not yield. Let others flatter Crime, where it sits throned In brief Omnipotence; secure are they: For Justice, when triumphant, will weep down Pity, not punishment, on her own wrongs, Too much avenged by those who err. I wait, Enduring thus, the retributive hour Which since we spake is even nearer now. But hark, the hell-hounds clamour. Fear delay 1 Behold I Heaven lowers under thy Father's frown.
Oh, that we might be spared: I to inflict,
I know but this, that it must come.
Alas! Thou canst not count thy years to come of pain t
They last while Jove must reign; nor more, nor less Do I desire or fear.
Yet pause, and plunge Into Eternity, where recorded time, Even all that we imagine, age on age, Seems but a point, and the reluctant mind Flags, wearily in its unending flight Till it sink, dizzy, blind, lost, shelterless; Perchance it has not numbered the slow years Which thou must spend in torture, unreprieved?
Perchance no thought can count them,yet they pass.
If thou might'st dwell among the Gods the while, Lapped in voluptuous joy '.
I would not quit This bleak ravine, these unrepentant pains.
Alas! I wonder at, yet pity thee.
Pity the self-despising slaves of Heaven,
O, sister, look! White fire Has cloven to the roots yon huge snow-loaded cedar; How fearfully God's thunder nowls behind!
I must obey his words and thine: alas!
See where the child of Heaven, with winged feet, Runs down the slanted sunlight of the dawn.
Dear sister, close thy plumes over thine eyes
Champion of Heaven's slaves!
He whom some dreadful voice invokes is here,
We are the ministers of pain and fear,
Oh! many fearful natures in one name,
We knew not that: Sisters, rejoice, rejoice!
Can aught exult in its deformity!
The beauty of delight makes lovers glad,
Gazing on one another: so are we.
As from the rose which the pale priestess kneels
To gather for her festal crown of flowers
The aerial crimson falls, flushing her cheek,
So from our victim's destined agony
The shade which is our form invests us round,
Else we are shapeless as our mother Night
I laugh your power, and his who sent you here, To lowest scorn. Pour forth the cup of pain.
Thou thinkest we will rend thee bone from bone, And nerve from nerve, working like fire within!
Pain is my element, as hate is thine;
Dost imagine We will but laugh into thy lidless eyes t
I weigh not what ye do, but what ye suffer,
Thou think'st we will live through thee, one by one,
Why, ye are thus now; Yet am I king over myself, and rule The torturing and conflicting throngs within, As Jove rules you when Hell grows mutinous.
CHORUS OF FURIES.
From the ends of the earth, from the ends of the
earth, Where the night has its grave and the morning its
Come, come, come! Oh, ye who shake hills with the scream of your mirth, When cities sink howling in ruin; and ye Who with wingless footsteps trample the sea, And close upon Shipwreck and Famine's track, Sit chattering with joy on the foodless wreck;
Come, come, come!
Fire is left for future burning:
When ye stir it, soon returning:
Misery's yet unkindled fuel: _^/
To the maniac dreamer: cruel
Is he with fear.
Come, come, come! We are steaming up from Hell's wide gate, And we burthen the blasts of the atmosphere, But vainly we toil till ye come here.
Sister, I hear the thunder of new wings.
These solid mountains quiver with the sound
From wide cities, famine-wasted;
Groans half heard, and blood untasted;
Kingly conclaves, stern and cold,
Where blood with gold is bought and sold;
From the furnace, white and hot,
Speak not; whisper not:
The stern of thought;
Tear the veil!
It is torn.
CHORUS. The pale stars of the morn Shine on a misery, dire to be borne. Dost thou faint, mighty Titan! We laugh thee to
scorn. Dost thou boast the clear knowledge thou waken'dst
for man! Then was kindled within him a thirst which outran Those perishing waters; a thirst of fierce fever, Hope, love, doubt, desire, which consume him for ever.
One came forth of gentle worth,
His words outlived him, like swift poison
Withering up truth, peace, and pity.
Many a million-peopled city
Wailing for the faith he kindled:
To a glow-worm's lamp have dwindled:
Fast ages crowd on thee, but each one remembers;
Drops of bloody agony flow
From his white and quivering brow.
Grant a little respite now:
See a disenchanted nation
Springs like day from desolation;
To truth its state is dedicate,
And Freedom leads it forth, her mate;
A legioned band of linked brothers,
Whom Love calls children
'Tis another's. See how kindred murder kin! 'Tis the vintage-time for death and sin. Blood, like new wine, bubbles within: Till Despair smothers The struggling world, which slaves and tyrants win. [All tht Funira vaniih, except one.
Hark, sister! what a low yet dreadful groan
Alas! I looked forth twice, but will no more.
What didst thou see 1
A woful sight: a youth With patient looks nailed to a crucifix.
IONE. What next 1
The heaven around, the earth below Was peopled with thick shapes of human death, All horrible, and wrought by human hands, And some appeared the work of human hearts, For men were slowly killed by frowns and smiles: And other sights too foul to speak and live Were wandering by. Let us not tempt worse fear By looking forth: those groans are grief enough.
Behold an emblem: those who do endure
Deep wrongs for man, and scorn, and chains, but
Thousandfold torment on themselves and him.
Remit the anguish of that lighted stare;
Blood thou canst see, and fire; and canst hear groans: Worse things unheard, unseen, remain behind.
In each human heart terror survives The ravin it has gorged: the loftiest fear All that they would disdain to think were true: Hypocrisy and custom make their minds The fanes of many a worship, now outworn. They dare not devise good for man's estate, And yet they know not that they do not dare. The good want power, but to weep barren tears. The powerful goodness want: worse need for them. The wise want love; and those who love want AndaUbestthingsarethusconfusedtoill. [wisdom; Many are strong and rich, and would be just, But live among their suffering fellow-men As if none felt: they know not what they do.
Thy words are like a cloud of winged snakes;
Ah woe! Ah woe! Alas! pain, pain ever, for ever 1 I close my tearless eyes, but see more clear Thy works within my woe-illumined mind, Thou subtle tyrant! Peace is in the grave. The grave hides all things beautiful and good: I am a God and cannot find it there, Nor would I seek it: for, though dread revenge, This is defeat, fierce king! not victory. The sights with which thou torturest gird my soul With new endurance, till the hour arrives When they shall be no types of things which arc.
Alas! what sawest thou!
There are two woes: To speak and to behold; thou spare me one. Names are there, Nature'ssacred watch-words, they Were borne aloft in bright emblazonry;
The nations thronged around, and cried aJuud,
I felt thy torture, son, with such mixed joy
Look, sister, where a troop of spirits gather,
And see! more come, Like fountain, vapours when the winds are dumb, That climb up the ravine in scattered lines. And hark! is it the music of the pines f Is it the lake 1 Is it the waterfall!
'Tis something sadder, sweeter far than all.
CHORUS OF SPIRITS.
Be it bright as all between
Silent, liquid, and serene;
As the fish within the wave,
Float through all above the grave:
More yet come, one by one: the air around them Looks radiant as the air around a star.
On a battle-trumpet's blast
A rainbow's arch stood on tbe sea,
I sate beside a sage's bed,
And the lamp was burning red
Near the book where he had fed,
When a Dream with plumes of flame,
To his pillow hovering came,
And I knew it was the same
Which had kindled long ago
Pity, eloquence, and woe;
And the world awhile below
Wore the shade its lustre made.
It has borne me here as fleet
As Desire's lightning feet:
I must ride it back ere morrow,
Or the sage will wake in sorrow.
On a poet's lips I slept
Dreaming like a love-adept
In the sound his breathing kept;
Nor seeks nor finds he mortal busses,
But feeds on the aerial kisses
Of shapes that haunt thought's wildernesses.
He will watch from dawn to gloom
The lake-reflected sun illume
The yellow bees in the ivy-bloom,
Nor heed nor see, what things they be;
But from these create he can
Forms more real than living man,
Nurslings of immortality 1
One of these awakened me,
And I sped to succour thee.
Ione. Behold'st thou not two shapes from the east and
west Come, as two doves to one beloved nest, Twin nurslings of the all-sustaining air, On swift still wings glide down the atmosphere! And, hark ! their sweet sad voices! 'tis despair Mingled with love and then dissolved in sound.
Canst thou speak, sister! all my words are drowned.
IONE. Their beauty gives me voice. See how they float On their sustaining wings of skiey grain, Orange and azure deepening into gold: Their soft smiles light the air like a star's fire.
CHORUS OF SPIRITS.
Hast thou beheld tho form of Love t
As over wide dominions I sped, like some swift cloud that wings the wide
air's wildernesses, That planet-crested shape swept by on lightningbraided pinions, Scattering the liquid joy of life from his ambrosial
tresses: His footsteps paved the world with light; but as I
past 'twas fading, And hollow Ruin yawned behind: great sages bound
in madness, And headless patriots, and pale youths who perished,
unupbraiding, Gleamed in the night. I wandered o'er, till thou,
0 King of sadness, Turned by thy smile the worst I saw to recollected
An, sister! Desolation is a delicate thing:
It walks not on the earth, it floats not on the air,
But treads with silent footstep, and fans with silent
wing The tender hopes which in their hearts the best
and gentlest bear; Who, soothed to false repose by the fanning plumes
above, And tbe music-stirring motion of its soft and
busy feet, Dream visions of aerial joy, and call the monster,
Love, And wake, and find the shadow Pain, as he whom
now we greet.
Though Ruin now Love's shadow be,
On Death's white and winged steed,
Trampling down both flower and weed,
Spirits! how know ye this shall be!
In the atmosphere we breathe,
From spring gathering up beneath,
Where are the Spirits fled!
Only a sense Remains of them, like the omnipotence Of music, when the inspired voice and lute Languish, ere yet the responses are mute, Which through the deep and labyrinthine soul, Like echoes through long caverns, wind and roll.