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Wondering at all it sees. Before Jove reigned
THE SPIRIT OF THE EARTH (running to Asia).
Mother, dearest mother; May I then talk with thee as I was wont! May I then hide my eyes in thy soft arms, After thy looks have made them tired of joy? May I then play beside thee the long noons, When work is none in the bright silent air 1
I love thee, gentlest being! and henceforth
Spirit Op The Earth.
I cannot tell my joy, when o'er a lake
Upon a drooping bough with nightshade twined,
I saw two azure halcyons clinging downward
And thinning one bright bunch of amber berries
With quick long beaks, and in the deep there lay
Thosc lovely forms imaged as in a sky;
So with my thoughts full of these happy changes,
We meet again, the happiest change of ail.
And never will we part, till thy chaste sister,
SPIRIT OF THE EARTH.
What! as Asia loves Prometheust
Peace, wanton ! thou art yet not old enough.
SPIRIT OF THE EARTH.
Nay, mother, while my sister trims her lamp
We feel what thou hast heard and seen: yet speak.
SPIRIT OF THE HOUR.
Soon as the sound had ceased whose thunder filled
None fawned, none trampled ; hate, disdain, or fear.
Self-love or self-contempt, on human brows
No more inscribed, as o'er the gate of hell,
■ All hope abandon ye who enter here;"
None frown'd, none trembled, none with eager fear
Gazed on another's eye of cold command,
Until the subject of a tyrant's will
Became, worse fate, the abject of his own,
Which spurred him, likeanoutspent horse,to death.
None wrought his lips in truth-entangling lines
Which smiled the lie his tongue disdained to speak;
None, with firm sneer, trod out in his own heart
The sparks of love and hope till there remained
Those bitter ashes, a soul self-consumed,
And the wretch crept a vampire among men,
Infecting all with his own hideous ill;
None talked that common, false, cold, hollow talk
Which makes the heart deny the yes it breathes,
Vet question that unmeant hypocrisy
With such a self-mistrust as has no name.
And women, too, frank, beautiful, and kind
As the free heaven which rains fresh light and dew
On the wide earth, past; gentle radiant forms,
From custom's evil taint exempt and pure;
Speaking the wisdom once they could not think,
Looking emotions once they feared to feel,
And changed to all which once they dared not be,
Yet being now, made earth like heaven; nor pride,
Nor jealousy, nor envy, nor ill-shame,
The bitterest of those drops of treasured gall,
Spoilt the sweet taste of the nepenthe, love.
Thrones, altars, judgment seats, and prisons;
wherein, And beside which, by wretched men were borne Sceptres, tiaras, swords, and chains, and tomes Of reasoned wrong, gluzed on by ignorance, Were like those monstrous and barbaric shapes,
The ghosts of a no more remembered fame,
END OF THE THIRD ACT.
tan,—A part of the Fortst near the Cafe of Pkombthkvs. PajtthBa and Ioxe are sUeping.- they awaken gradually during the first Song.
VOICE OP UNSEEN SPIRITS.
The pale stars are gone! For the sun, their swift Bhepherd To their folds them compelling, In the depths of the dawn, Hastes, in meteor-eclipsing array, and they flee Beyond his blue dwelling, As fawns flee the leopard, But where are ye 1
A Train etfdark Forms and Shadows passes by confusedly singing.
Here, oh! here:
We bear the bier
Of the dead Hours be,
Strew, oh ! strew
Wet the dusty pall with tears, not dew!
Be the faded flowers
Of Death's bare bowers Spread on the corpse of the King of Hours!
Haste, oh, haste!
As shades are chased, Trembling, by day, from heaven's blue waste.
Wo melt away,
Like dissolving spray,
With the lullaby
Of winds that dio
What dark forms were they!
The past Hours weak and grey,
Have they past!
They have past;
To the dark, to the past, to the dead.
VOICE OP UNSEEN SPIRITS.
Bright clouds float in heaven,
The pine boughs are singing
What charioteers are these!
Where are their chariots \
SEHICHORUS OF HOURS.
The voice of the Spirits of Air and of Earth Have drawn back the figured curtain of sleop, Which covered our being and darkened our birth In the deep.
In the deep 1
Oh! below the deep.
A hundred ages we had been kept
Worse than his visions were!
We have heard the lute of Hope in sleep;
As the billows leap in the morning beams!
Weave the dance on the floor of the breeze,
Enchant the day that too swiftly flees,
Once the hungry Hours were hounds
Which chased the day like a bleeding deer,
And it limped and stumbled with many wounds Through the nightly dells of the desert year.
But now, oh! weave the mystic measure
Let the Hours, and the spirits of might and
See, where the Spirits of the human mind Wrapt in sweet Bounds, as in bright veils, approach.
CHORUS OF SPIRITS.
We join the throng
Of the dance and the song,
As the flying-fish leap
From the Indian deep,
CHORUS OF HOURS.
Whence come ye, so wild and so fleet,
CHORUS OF SPIRITS.
We come from the mind
Of human kind, Which was late so dusk, and obscene, and blind;
Now 'tis an ocean
Of clear emotion,
From that deep abyss
From the dim recesses
Of woven caresses, Where lovers catch ye by your loose tresses;
From the azure isles,
Where sweet Wisdom smiles, Delaying your ships with her syren wiles.
From the temples high
Of Man's ear and eye,
From the murmurings
Of the unsealed springs
Years after years,
Through blood, and tears, And a thick hell of hatreds, and hopes, and fears;
We waded and flew,
And the islets were few Where the bud-blighted flowers of happiness grew.
Our feet now, every palm,
Are sandalled with calm, And the dew of our wings is a rain of balm;
And, beyond our eyes,
The human love lies,
C1IORIS OF SPIRITS AMD HOURS.
Then weave the web of the mystic measure; From the depths of the sky and the ends of the earth,
Come, swift Spirits of might and of pleasure, Mil the dance and the music of mirth,
As the waves of a thousand streams rush by
To an ocean of splendour and harmony!
CHORUS OF SPIRITS.
Our spoil is won,
Our task is done,
Beyond and around,
Or within the bound
Well pass the eyes
Of the starry skies
Death, Chaos, and Night,
From the sound of our flight,
And Earth, Air, and Light,
And the Spirit of Might, Which drives round the stars in their fiery flight;
And Love, Thought, and Breath,
The powers that quell Death,
And our singing shall build
CHOHUS OF HOURS.
Break the dance, and scatter the song;
Us the enchantments of earth retain:
Ceaseless, and rapid, and fierce, and free,
With the Spirits which build a new earth and sea,
And a heaven where yet heaven could never be.
Solemn, and slow, and serene, and bright,
We encircle the ocean and mountains of earth,
CHORUS OP HOURS AND SPIRITS.
Break the dance, and scatter the song,
Ha! they are gone!
Yet feel you no delight From the past sweetness i
As the bare green hill When some soft cloud vanishes into rain, Laughs with a thousand drops of sunny water To the unpavilioned sky 1
Even whilst we speak New notes arise. What is that awful sound!
'Tis the deep music of the rolling world,
Listen too, How every pause is filled with under-notes, Clear, silver, icy, keen awakening tones, Which pierce the sense, and live within the soul, As the sharp stars pierce winter's crystal air And gaze upon themselves within the sea.
But see where, through two openings in the forest
I see a chariot like that thinnest boat
In which the mother of the months is borne
By ebbing night into her western cave,
When she upsprings from interlunar dreams,
O'er which is curbed an orblike canopy
Of gentle darkness, and the hills and woods
Distinctly seen through that dusk airy veil,
Regard like shapes in an enchanter's glass;
Its wheels are solid clouds, azure and gold,
Such as the genii of the thunder-storm
Pile on the floor of the illumined sea
When the sun rushes under it; they roll
And move and grow as with an inward wind;
Within it sits a winged infant, white
Its countenance, like the whiteness of bright snow,
Its plumes are as feathers of sunny frost,
Its limbs gleam white, through the wind-flowing
folds Of its white robe, woof of cetherial pearl. Its hair is white, the brightness of white light Scattered in strings; yet its two eyes are heavens Of liquid darkness, which the Deity Within seems pouring, as a storm is poured From jagged clouds, out of their arrowy lashes, Tempering the cold and radiant air around, With fire that is not brightness ; in its hand It Bways a quivering moon-beam, from whose point
A guiding power directs the chariot's prow
And from the other opening in the wood
Rushes, with loud and whirlwind harmony,
A sphere, which is as many thousand spheres,
Solid as crystal, yet through all its mass
Flow, as through empty space, music and light:
Ten thousand orbs involving and involved,
Purple and azure, white, green and golden,
Sphere within sphere ; and every space between
Peopled with unimaginable shapes,
Such as ghosts dream dwell in the lampless deep,
Yet each inter-transpicuous, and they whirl
Over each other with a thousand motions,
Upon a thousand sightless axles spinning,
And with the force of self-destroying swiftness,
Intensely, slowly, solemnly, roll on,
Kindling with mingled sounds, and many tones,
Intelligible words and music wild.
With mighty whirl the multitudinous orb
Grinds the bright brook into an azure mist
Of elemental subtlety, like light;
And the wild odour of the forest flowers,
The music of the living grass and air,
The emerald light of leaf-entangled beams
Round its intense yet self-conflicting speed,
Seem kneaded into one aerial mass
Which drowns the sense. Within the orb itself,
Pillowed upon its alabaster arms,
Like to a child o'erwearied with sweet toil,
On its own folded wings, and wavy hair,
The Spirit of the Earth is laid asleep,
And you can see its little lips arc moving,
Amid the changing light of their own smiles,
Like one who talks of what he loves in dream.
'Tis only mocking the orb's harmony.
And from a star upon its forehead, shoot,
Whose population which the earth grew over
The joy, the triumph, the delight, the madness!
The boundless, overflowing, bursting gladness,
The vaporous exultation not to be confined!
And bears me as a cloud is borne by its own wind.
Brother mine, calm wanderer,
Happy globe of land and air,
Which penetrates my frozen frame,
And passes with the warmth of flame, With love, and odour, and deep melody
Through me, through me 1
Ha! ha ! the caverns of my hollow mountains, My cloven fire-crags, sound-exulting fountains, Laugh with a vast and inextinguishable laughter. The oceans, and the deserts, and the abysses, And the deep air's unmeasured wildernesses. Answer from all their clouds and billows, echoing after.
They cry aloud as I do. Sceptred curse, Who all our green and azure universe Threatenedst to muffle round with black destruction, sending A solid cloud to rain hot thunder-stones, And splinter and knead down my children's bones, All I bring forth, to one void mass battering and blending.
Until each crag-like tower, and storied column.
Palace, and obelisk, and temple solemn, My imperial mountains crowned with cloud, and snow, and fire;
My sea-like forests, every blade and blossom
Which finds a grave or cradle in my bosom. Were stamped by thy strong hate into a lifeless mire.
How art thou sunk,withdrawn,covered,drunk up By thirsty nothing, as the brackish cup
Drained by a desert-troop, a little drop for all; And from beneath, around, within, above, Filling thy void annihilation, love [ball.
Bursts in like light on caves cloven by the thunder- |