« AnteriorContinuar »
How fair these air-born shapes! and yet I feel
Hast thou forgotten one who watches thee
The cold dark night, and never sleeps but when
The shadow of thy spirit falls on her!
X said all hope was vain but love: thou lovest.
Deeply in truth; but the eastern star looks white.
END OF THE FIRST ACT.
I feci, I see Those eyes which burn through smiles that fade
in tears, Like stars half-quenched in mists of silver dew. Beloved and most beautiful, who wearest The shadow of that soul by which I live, How late thou art! the sphered sun had climbed The sea; my heart was sick with hope, before The priutless air felt thy belated plumes.
Pardon, great Sister! but my wings were faint
As are the noon-tide plumes of summer winds
Lift up thine eyes, And let me read thy dream.
As I have said, With our sea-sister at his feet I slept. The mountain mists, condensing at our voice Under the moon, had spread their snowy flakes, From the keen ice shielding our linked sleep. Then two dreams came. One, I remember not. But in the other his pale wound-worn limbs Fell from Prometheus, and the azure night Grew radiant with the glory of that form Which lives unchanged within, and his voice fell Like music which makes giddy the dim brain. Faint with intoxication of keen joy: "Sister of her whose footsteps pave the world With loveliness—more fair than aught but her, Whose shadow thou art—lift thine eyes on me." I lifted them: the overpowering light Of that immortal shape was shadowed o'er By love; which, from his soft and flowing limbs, And passion-parted lips, and keen, faint eyes, Steamed forth like vaporous fire; an atmosphere Which wrapped me in its all-dissolving power As the warm ether of the morning sun
AVraps ere it drinks some cloud of wandering dew'
I saw not, heard not, moved not, only felt
H is presence flow and mingle through my blood
Till it became his life, and his grew mine,
And I was thus absorbed, until it passed,
And like the vapours when the sun sinks down,
Gathering again in drops upon the pines,
And tremulous as they, in the deep night
My being was condensed; and as the rays
Of thought were slowly gathered, I could hear
His voice, whose accents lingered ere they died
Like footsteps of weak melody: thy name
Among the many sounds alone I heard
Of what might be articulate; though still
I listened through the night when sound was none.
lone wakened then, and said to me:
"Canst thou divine what troubles me to-night 1
1 always knew what I desired before,
Nor ever found delight to wish in vain.
But now I cannot tell thee what I seek;
I know not; something sweet, since it is sweet
Even to desire; it is thy sport, false sister;
Thou hast discovered some enchantment old,
Whose spells have stolen my spirit as I slept
And mingled it with thine: for when just now
We kissed, I felt within thy parted lips
The sweet air that sustained me, and the warmth
Of the life-blood, for loss of which I faint,
Quivered between our intertwining arms."
I answered not, for the Eastern star grew pale,
But fled to thee.
Thou speakest, but thy words
I lift them, though they droop beneath the load Of that they would express: what canst thou see But thine own fairest shadow imaged there!
Thine eyes are like tne deep, blue, boundless heaven
Why lookest thou as if a spirit passed!
There is a change; beyond their inmost depth
I see a shade, a shape: 'tis He, arrayed
In the soft light of his own smiles, which spread
Like radiance from the cloud-surrounded morn.
Prometheus, it is thine! depart not yet!
Say not those smiles that we shall meet again
Within that bright pavilion which their beams
Shall build on the waste world? The dream is told.
What shape is that between us! Its rude hair
Roughens the wind that lifts it, its regard
Is wild and quick, yet 'tis a thing of air,
For through its grey robe gleams the golden dew
Whose stars the noon has quenched not.
It is mine other dream.
| It passes now into my mind. Methought
0, FOLLOW, FOLLOW!
As you speak, your words Fill, pause by pause, my own forgotten sleep With shapes. Methoughtamong the lawns together We wandered, underneath the young grey dawn, And multitudes of dense white fleecy clouds Were wandering in thick flocks along the mountains Shepherded by the slow, unwilling wind; And the white dew on the new-bladed grass, Just piercing the dark earth, hung silently; And there was more which I remember not: But on the shadows of the morning clouds, Athwart the purple mountain slope, was written Follow, O, Follow! As they vanished by, And on each herb, from which Heaven's dew had
fallen, The like was stamped, as with a withering fire, A wind arose among the pines; it shook The clinging music from their boughs, and then Low, sweet, faint sounds, like the farewell of ghosts, Were heard: Oh, Follow, Follow, Follow Me! And then I said, " Panthea, look on me." But in the depth of those beloved eyes Still I saw, Follow, Follow 1
The crags, this clear spring morning, mock our As they were spirit-tongued. [voices,
It is some being Around the crags. What fine clear sounds! O, list!
Hark I Spirits, speak. The liquid responses Of their aerial tongues yet sound.
As our voice recedeth
Through the noon-tide darkness deep,
Shall we pursue the sound! It grows more faint And distant.
List! the strain floats nearer now.
In the world unknown
How the notes sink upon the ebbing wind I
0, follow, follow!
Through the caverns hollow,
Come, sweet Panthea, link thy hand in mine, And follow, ere the voices fade away.
A Forest, intermingled with Rocks and Caverns. Asia and Pawthka pass into it. Two young Fauns are sitting on a Rock, listening.
SEMICHORCS I. OF SPIRITS.
The path through which that lovely twain
Hangs each a pearl in the pale flowers
There the voluptuous nightingales,
Are awake through all the broad noon-day. When one with bliss or sadness fails,
And through the windless ivy-boughs,
Watching to catch the languid close
The song, and all the woods ore mute;
Like many a lake-surrounded flute,
As inland boats are driven to Ocean
Believe their own swift wings and feet
Until, still sweet, but loud and strong,
Canst thou imagine where those spirits live
Tis hard to tell. I have heard those more skilled in spirits say, The bubbles, which enchantment of the sun Sucks from the pale faint water-flowers that pave The oozy bottom of clear lakes and pools, Are the pavilions where such dwell and float Under the green and golden atmosphere Which noon-tide kindles through the woven leaves; And when these burst, and the thin fiery air, The which they breathed within those lucent domes. Ascends to flow like meteors through the night, They ride on them, and rein their headlong speed. And bow their burning crests, and glide in fire Under the waters of the earth again.
If such live thus, have others other lives,
Of meadow flowers, or folded violets deep, Or on their dying odours, when they die, Or on the sunlight of the sphered dew!
Ay, many more which we may well divine.
A Pinnaelto/Rock among Mountains. Asia and Pantbia.
Panthea. Hither the sound has borne us—to the realm Of Demogorgon, and the mighty portal, Like a volcano's meteor-breathing chasm, Whence the oracular vapour is hurled up Which lonely men drink wandering in their youth, And call truth, virtue, love, genius, or joy, That maddening wine of life, whose dregs they drain To deep intoxication ; and uplift, Like Maenads who cry loud, Evoe 1 Evoe! The voice which is contagion to the world.
Look how the gusty sea of mist is breaking
Fit throne for such a Power! Magnificent!
The fragments of the cloud are scattered up; The wind that lifts them disentwines my hair; Its billows now sweep o'er mine eyes ; my brain 'Grows dizzy; I see shapes within the mist.
SONG. OF SPIRITS.
While the sound whirls around,
Through the grey, void abysm,
Down, down 1
In the depth of the deep
We have bound thee, we guide thee;
By that alone. [throne
What veiled form sits on that ebon throne!
The veil has fallen.
I see a mighty darkness Filling the seat of power, and rays of gloom Dart round, as light from the meridian sun, Ungazed upon and shapeless ; neither limb, Nor form, nor outline ; yet we feel it is A living spirit.
Ask what thou wouldst know.
What canst thou tell!
All things thou dar'st demand.
Who made the living world!
Who made all That it contains! thought, passion, reason, will, Imagination?
God: Almighty God.
Who made that sense which, when the winds of
In rarest visitation, or the voice [spring
Of one beloved heard in youth alone,
Fills the faint eyes with falling tears which dim
The radiant looks of unbewailing flowers,
And leaves this peopled earth a solitude
When it returns no more I
And who made terror, madness, crime, remorse,
Who reigns! There was the Heaven and Earth at
first, And Light and Love; then Saturn, from whose throne Time fell, an envious shadow: such the stale Of the earth's primal spirits beneath his sway. As the calm joy of flowers and living leaves Before the wind or sun has withered them And semi-vital worms ; but he refused The birthright of their being, knowledge, power, The skill which wields the elements, the thought Which pierces this dim universe like light, Self-empire, and the majesty of love; Forthirstof which they fainted. Then Prometheus Gave wisdom, which is strength, to Jupiter, And with this law alone," Let man be free," Clothed him with the dominion of wide Heaven. To know nor faith, nor love, nor law ; to be Omnipotent but friendless is to reign; And Jove now reigned; for on the race of man First famine, and then toil, and then disease, Strife, wounds, and ghastly death unseen before, Fell; and the unseasonable seasons drove, With alternating shafts of frost and fire, Their shelterless, pale tribes to mountain caves: And in their desert hearts fierce wants he sent, And mad disquietudes, and shadows idle Of unreal good, which levied mutual war, So ruining the lair wherein they raged. Prometheus saw, and waked the legioned hopes Which sleep within folded Elysian flowers, Nepenthe, Moly, Amaranth, fadeless blooms, That they might hide with thin and rainbow wings The shape of Death ; and Love he sent to bind The disunited tendrils of that vine Which bears the wine of life, the human heart; And he tamed fire which, like some beast of prey, Most terrible, but lovely, played beneath The frown of man ; and tortured to his will Iron and gold, the slaves and signs of power, And gems and poisons, and all subtlest forms Hidden beneath the mountains and the waves. He gave man speech, and speech created thought, Which is the measure of the universe; And Science struck the thrones of earth and heaven, Which shook, but fell not; and the harmonious mind Poured itself forth in all-prophetic song; And music lifted up the listening spirit Until it walked, exempt from mortal care, Godlike, o'er the clear billows of sweet sound; And human hands first mimicked and then mocked, With moulded limbs more lovely than its own, The human form, till marble grew divine, And mothers, gazing, drank the love men see Reflected in their race, behold, and perish. He told the hidden power of herbs and springs, And Disease drank and slept. Death grew like sleep. He taught the implicated orbits woven Of the wide-wandering stars; and how the son Changes his lair, and by what secret spell The pale moon is transformed, when her broad eye Gazes not on the interlunar sea: He taught to rule, as life directs the limbs, The tempest-winged chariots of the Ocean, And the Celt knew the Indian. Cities then Were built, and through their snow-like columns The warm winds,and the azure (ether shone, [flowed And the blue sea and shadowy hills were seen. Such, the alleviations of his state,