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Seemed now its sullen springs to move,

When life had failed, and all its pains;

And sodden sleep would seize him oft

Like death, so calm, but that a tear,

His pointed eye-lashes between,

Would gather in the light serene

Of smiles, whose lustre bright and soft

Beneath lay undulating there.

His breath was like inconstant flame,

As eagerly it went and came;

And I hung o'er him in his sleep,

Till, like an image in the lake

Which rains disturb, my tears would break

The shadow of that slumber deep;

Then he would bid me not to weep,

And say, with flattery false, yet sweet,

That death and he could never meet,

If I would never part with him.

And so we loved, and did unite

All that in us was yet divided:

For when he said, that many a rite,

By men to bind but once provided,

Could not be shared by him and me,

Or they would kill him in their glee,

I shuddered, and then laughing said,

"We will have rites our faith to bind,

But our church shall be the starry night,

Our altar the grassy earth outspread,

And our priest the muttering wind."

Twas sunset as I spoke: one star

Had scarce burst forth, when from afar

The ministers of misrule sent,

Seized upon Lionel, and bore

His chained limbs to a dreary tower,

In the midst of a city vast and wide.

For he, they said, from his mind had bent

Against their gods keen blasphemy,

For which, though his soul must roasted be

In hell's red lakes immortally,

Yet even on earth must he abide

The vengeance of their slaves—a trial,

I think, men call it. What avail

Are prayers and tears, which chase denial

From the fierce savage, nursed in hate 1

What the knit soul that pleading and pale

Makes wan the quivering cheek, which late

It painted with its own delight t

We were divided. As I could,

1 stilled the tingling of my blood,

And followed him in their despite,

As a widow follows, pale and wild,

The murderers and corse of her only child;

And when we came to the prison door,

And I prayed to share his dungeon floor

With prayers which rarely have been spurned,

And when men drove me forth and I

Stared with blank frenzy on the sky,

A farewell look of love he turned,

Half-calming me ; then gazed awhile,

As if through that black and massy pile,

And through the crowd around him there,

And through the dense and murky air,

And the thronged streets, he did espy

What poets knew and prophecy;

And said, with voice that made them shiver,

And clung like music in my brain,

And which the mute walls spoke again

Prolonging it with deepened strain—

"Fear not the tyrants shall rule for ever,

Or the priests of the bloody faith;
They stand on the brink of that mighty river,
Whose waves they have tainted with death:
It is fed from the depths of a thousand dells,
Around them it foams, and rages, and swells,
And their swords and their sceptres I floating see,
Like wrecks, in the surge of eternity."

I dwelt beside the prison gate,

And the strange crowd that out and in

Passed, some, no doubt, with mine own fate,

Might have fretted me with its ceaseless din,

But the fever of care was louder within.

Soon, but too late, in penitence

Or fear, his foes released him thence:

I saw his thin and languid form,

As leaning on the jailer's arm,

Whose hardened eyes grew moist the while,

To meet his mute and faded smile,

And hear his words of kind farewell,

He tottered forth from his damp cell.

Many had never wept before,

From whom fast tears then gushed and fell:

Many will relent no more,

Who sobbed like infants then; aye, all

Who thronged the prison's stony hall,

The rulers or the slaves of law

Felt with a new surprise and awe

That they were human, till strong shame

Made them again become the same.

The prison blood-hounds, huge and grim,

From human looks the infection caught,

And fondly crouched and fawned on him;

And men have heard the prisoners sav,

Who in their rotting dungeons lay,

That from that hour, throughout one day,

The fierce despair and hate, which kept

Their trampled bosoms, almost slept:

When, like twin vultures, they hung feeding

On each heart's wound, wide torn and bleeding,

Because their jailer's rule, they thought,

Grew merciful, like a parent's sway.

I know not how, but we were free:

And Lionel sate alone with me,

As the carriage drove through the streets apace;

And we looked upon each other's face;

And the blood in our fingers intertwined

Ran like the thoughts of a single mind,

As the swift emotions went and came

Through the veins of each united frame.

So through the long long streets we past

Of the million-peopled city vast;

Which is that desert, where each one

Seeks his mate yet is alone,

Beloved and sought and mourned of none;

Until the clear blue sky was seen,

And the grassy meadows bright and green,

And then I sunk in his embrace,

Enclosing there a mighty space

Of love: and so we travelled on

By woods, and fields of yellow flowers,

And towns, and villages, and towers,

Day after day of happy hours.

It was the azure time of June,

When the skies are deep in the stainless noon,

And the warm and fitful breezes shake

The fresh green leaves of the hedge-row brier;

And there were odours then to make

The very breath we did respire

A liquid element, whereon

Our spirits, like delighted things

That walk the air on subtle wings,

Floated and mingled far away,

'Mid the warm winds of the sunny day.

And when the evening star came forth

Above the curve of the new bent moon,

And light and sound ebbed from the earth,

Like the tide of the full and weary sea

To the depths of its own tranquillity,

Our natures to its own repose

Did the earth's breathless sleep attune:

Like flowers, which on each other close

Their languid leaves when day-light's gone,

We lay, till new emotions came,

Which seemed to make each mortal frame

One soul of interwoven flame,

A life in life, a second birth,

In worlds diviner far than earth,

Which, like two strains of harmony

That mingle in the silent sky,

Then slowly disunite, past by

And left the tenderness of tears,

A soft oblivion of all fears,

A sweet sleep: so we travelled on

Till we came to the home of Lionel,

Among the mountains wild and lone,

Beside the hoary western sea,

Which near the verge of the echoing shore

The massy forest shadowed o'er.

The ancient steward, with hair all hoar,

As we alighted, wept to see

His master changed so fearfully;

And the old man s sobs did waken me

From my dream of unremaining gladness;

The truth flashed o'er me like quick madness

When I looked, and saw that there was death

On Lionel: yet day by day

He lived, till fear grew hope and faith,

And in my soul I dared to say,

Nothing so bright can pass away:

Death is dark, and foul, and dull,

But he is—0 how beautiful!

Yet day by day he grew more weak,

And his sweet voice, when he might speak,

Which ne'er was loud, became more low;

And the light which flashed through his waxen cheek

Grew faint, as the rose-like hues which flow

From sunset o'er the Alpine snow:

And death seemed not like death in him,

For the spirit of life o'er every limb

Lingered, a mist of sense and thought.

When the summer wind faint odours brought

From mountain flowers, even as it passed,

His cheek would change, as the noon-day sea

Which the dying breeze sweeps fitfully.

If but a cloud the sky o'ercast,

You might see his colour come and go,

And the softest strain of music made

Sweet smiles, yet sad, arise and fade

Amid the dew of his tender eyes;

And the breath, with intermitting flow,

Made his pale lips quiver and part.

You might hear the beatings of his heart,

Quick, but not strong; and with my tresses

When oft he playfully would bind

In the bowers of mossy lonelinesses

His neck, and win me so to mingle

In the sweet depth of woven caresses,

And our faint limbs were intertwined,

Alas! the unquiet life did tingle

From mine own heart through every vein,

Like a captive in dreams of liberty,

Who beats the walls of his stony cell.

But his, it seemed already free,

Like the shadow of fire surrounding me'

On my faint eyes and limbs did dwell

That spirit as it passed, till soon,

As a frail cloud wandering o'er the moon,

Beneath its light invisible,

Is seen when it folds its grey wings again

To alight on midnight's dusky plain,

I lived and saw, and the gathering soul

Passed from beneath that strong control,

And I fell on a life which was sick with fear

Of all the woe that now I bear.

Amid a bloomless myrtle wood,

On a green and sea-girt promontory,

Not far from where we dwelt, there stood

In record of a sweet sad story,

An altar and a temple bright

Circled by steps, and o'er the gate

Was sculptured, « To Fidelity;"

And in the shrine an image sate,

All veiled: but there was seen the light

Of smiles, which faintly could express

A mingled pain and tenderness,

Through that ethereal drapery.

The left hand held the head, the right—

Beyond the veil, beneath the skin,

You might see the nerves quivering within—

Was forcing the point of a barbed dart

Into its side-convulsing heart.

An unskilled hand, yet one informed

With genius, had the marble warmed

With that pathetic life. This tale

It told: A dog had from the sea,

When the tide was raging fearfully,

Dragged Lionel's mother, weak and pale,

Then died beside her on the sand,

And she that temple thence had planned;

But it was Lionel's own hand

Had wrought the image. Each new moon

That lady did, in this lone fane,

The rites of a religion sweet,

Whose god was in her heart and brain:

The seasons' loveliest flowers were strewn

On the marble floor beneath her feet,

And she brought crowns of sea-buds white,

Whose odour is so sweet and faint,

And weeds, like branching chrysolite,

Woven in devices fine and quaint,

And tears from her brown eyes did stain

The altar: need but look upon

That dying statue, fair and wan,

If tears should cease, to weep again:

And rare Arabian odours came,

Through the myrtle copses, steaming thenro

From the hissing frankincense.

Whose smoke, wool-white as ocean foam,

Hung in dense flocks beneath the dome,

That ivory dome, whose azure night

With golden stars, like heaven, was bright

O'er the split cedars' pointed flame;

And the lady's harp would kindle there

The melody of an old air,

Softer than sleep; the villagers

Mixt their religion up with hers,

And as they listened round, shed tears.

One eve he led me to this fane:

Daylight on its last purple cloud

Was lingering grey, and soon her strain

The nightingale began; now loud,

Climbing in circles the windless sky,

Now dying music; suddenly

Tis scattered in a thousand notes,

And now to the bushed ear it floats

Like field-smells known in infancy,

Then failing, soothes the air again.

We sate within that temple lone,

Pavilioned round with Parian stone:

His mother's harp stood near, and oft

I had awakened music soft

Amid its wires: the nightingale

Was pausing in her heaven-taught tale:

"Now drain the cup," said Lionel,

"Which the poet-bird has crowned so well

With the wine of her bright and liquid song!

Heardst thou not sweet words among

That heaven-resounding minstrelsy!

Heardst thou not, that those who die

Awake in a world of ccstacy!

That love, when limbs are interwoven,

And sleep, when the night of life is cloven,

And thought, to the world's dim boundaries

And rausi?, when one beloved is singing,
Is death? Let us drain right joyously
The cup which the sweet bird fills for me."

He paused, and to my lips he bent

His own: like spirit his words went

Through all my limbs with the speed of fire;

And Ins keen eyes, glittering through mine,

Filled me with the flame divine,

Which in their orbs was burning far,

Like the light of an unmeasured star,

In the sky of midnight dark and deep:

Yes, 'twas his soul that did inspire

Sounds, which my skill could ne'er awaken;

And first, I felt my fingers sweep

The harp, and a long quivering cry

Burst from my lips in symphony:

The dusk and solid air was shaken,

As swift and swifter the notes came

From my touch, that wandered like quick flame,

And from my bosom, labouring

With some unutterable thing:

The awful sound of my own voice made

My faint lips tremble; in some mood

Of wordless thought Lionel stood

So pale, that even beside his cheek

The snowy column from its shade

Caught whiteness: yet his countenance

Raised upward, burned with radiance

Of spirit-piercing joy, whose light,

Like the moon struggling through the night

Of whirlwind-rifted clouds, did break

With beams that might not bo confined.

I paused, but soon his gestures kindled

New power, as by the moving wind

The waves are lifted, and my song

To low soft notes now changed and dwindled,

And from the twinkling wires among,

My languid fingers drew and flung

Circles of life-dissolving sound,

Yet faint: in aery rings they bound

My Lionel, who, as every strain

Grew fainter but more sweet, his mien

Sunk with the sound rclaxedly;
And slowly now he turned to me,
As slowly faded froni his face
That awful joy: with looks serene
He was soon drawn to my embrace,
And my wild song then died away
In murmurs: words, I dare not say,
We mixed, and on his lips mine fed
Till they methought felt still and cold:
"What is it with thee, love 1" I said;
No word, no look, no motion! yes,
There was a change, but spare to guess,
Nor let that moment's hope be told.
I looked, and knew that he was dead,
And fell, as the eagle on the plain
Falls when life deserts her brain,
And the mortal lightning is veiled again.
O that I were now dead 1 but such,
Did they not, love, demand too much,
Those dying murmurs? He forbad.

0 that I once again were mad!
And yet, dear Rosalind, not so,
For I would live to share thy woe.
Sweet boy! did I forget thee too!
Alas, we know not what we do
When we speak words.

No memory more
Is in my mind of that sea-shore.
Madness came on me, and a troop
Of misty shapes did seem to sit
Beside me, on a vessel's poop,
And the clear north-wind was driving it.
Then I heard strange tongues, and saw strange

And the stars methought grew unlike ours,
And the azure sky and the stormless sea
Made me believe that I had died,
And waked in a world, which was to me
Drear hell, though heaven to all beside.
Then a dead sleep fell on my mind,
Whilst animal life many long years
Had rescued from a chasm of tears;
And when I woke, I wept to find
That the same lady, bright and wise,
With silver locks and quick brown eyes,
The mother of my Lionel,
Had tended me in my distress,
And died some months before. Nor less
Wonder, but far more peace and joy,
Brought in that hour my lovely boy;
For through that trance my soul had well
The impress of thy being kept;
And if I waked, or if I slept,
No doubt, though memory faithless be,
Thy image ever dwelt on me;
And thus, O Lionel! like thee
Is our sweet child. 'Tis sure most strange

1 knew not of so great a change,

As that which gave him birth, who now
Is all the solace of my woe.

That Lionel great wealth had left
By will to mcyand that of all
The ready lies of law bereft,
My child and me might well befall.
But let me think not of the scorn,
Which from the meanest I have borne,
When, for my child's beloved sake,
I I mixed with slaves, to vindicate

The very laws themselves do make:
Let me not say scorn is my fate,
Lest I be proud, suffering the same
With those who live in deathless fame.

She ceased.—" Lo, where red morning thro' the

woods Is burning o'er the dew!" said Rosalind. And with these words they rose, and towards the

flood Of the blue lake, beneath the leaves now wind With equal steps and fingers intertwined: Thence to a lonely dwelling, where the shore Is shadowed with rocks, and cypresses Cleave with their dark green cones the silent

skies, And with their Bhadows the clear depths below, And where a little terrace from its bowers, Of blooming myrtle and faint lemon-flowers, Scatters its sense-dissolving fragrance o'er The liquid marble of the windless lake; And where the aged forest's limbs look hoar, Under the leaves which their green garments

make, They come: 'tis Helen's home, and clean and

white, Like one which tyrants spare on our own land In some such solitude, its casements bright Shone through their vine-leaves in the morning

sun, And even within 'twas scarce like Italy. And when she saw how all things there were

As in an English home, dim memory
Disturbed poor Rosalind: she stood as one
Whose mind is where his body cannot be,
Till Helen led her where her child yet slept,
And said, " Observe, that brow was Lionel's,
Those lips were his, and so he ever kept
One arm in sleep, pillowing his head with it.
You cannot sec his eyes, they are two wells
Of liquid love: let us not wake him yet."
But Rosalind could bear no more, and wept
A shower of burning tears, which fell upon
His face, and so his opening lashes shone
With tears unlike his own, as he did leap
In sudden wonder from his innocent sleep.

So Rosalind and Helen lived together
Thenceforth, changed in all else, yet friends again.
Such as they were, when o'erthe mountain heather
They wandered in their youth, through sun and

And after many years, for human things
Change even like the ocean and the wind,
Her daughter was restored to Rosalind,
And in their circle thence some visitings
Of joy 'mid their new calm would intervene:
A lovely child she was, of looks serene,
And motions which o'er things indifferent shed
The grace and gentleness from whence they came.
And Helen's boy grew with her, and they fed
From the same flowers of thought, until each mind
Like springs which mingle in one flood became,
And in their union soon their parents saw
The shadow of the peace denied to them.
And Rosalind,—for when the living stem
Is cankered in its heart, the tree must fall,—
Died ere her time ; and with deep grief and awe
The pale survivors followed her remains
Beyond the region of dissolving rains,
Up the cold mountain she was wont to call
Her tomb; and on Chiavenna's precipice
They raised a pyramid of lasting ice,
Whose polished sides, ere day had yet begun,
Caught the first glow of the unrisen sun,
The last, when it had sunk ; and through the night
The charioteers of Arctos wheeled round
Its glittering point, as seen from Helen's home.
Whose sad inhabitants each year would come,
With willing steps climbing that rugged height,
And hang long locks of hair, and garlands bound
With amaranth flowers, which, in the clime's

Filled the frore air with unaccustomed light:
Such flowers, as in the wintry memory bloom
Of one friend left, adorned that frozen tomb.

Helen, whose spirit was of softer mould,

Whose sufferings too were less, death slowlier led

Into the peace of his dominion cold:

She died among her kindred, being old;

And know, that if love die not in the dead

As in the living, none of mortal kind

Are blest, as now Helen and Rosalind.


Makt a green isle needs must be

In the deep wide sea of misery,

Or the mariner, worn and wan,

Never thus could voyage on

Day and night, and night and day,

Drifting on his dreary way,

With the solid darkness black

Closing round his vessel's track;

Whilst above, the sunless sky,

Big with clouds, hangs heavily,

And behind the tempest fleet

Hurries on with lightning feet,

Riving sail, and cord, and plank,

Till the ship has almost drank

Death from the o'er-brimming deep;

And sinks down, down, like that sleep

When the dreamer seems to be

Weltering through eternity;

And the dim low line before

Of a dark and distant shore

Still recedes, as ever still

Longing with divided will;

But no power to seek or shun,

He is ever drifted on

O'er the unreposing wave,

To the haven of the grave.

What, if there no friends will greet;

What, if there no heart will meet

His with love's impatient beat;

Wander wheresoe'er he may,

Can he dream before that day

To find refuge from distress

In friendship's smile, in love's caress!

Then 'twill wreak him little woe

Whether such there be or no:

Senseless is the breast, and cold,

Which relenting love would fold;

Bloodless are the veins and chill

Which the pulse of pain did fill:

Every little living nerve

That from bitter wordB did swerve

Round the tortured lips and brow,

Are like sapless leaflets now

Frozen upon December's bough.

On the beach of a northern sea
Which tempests shake eternally,
As once the wretch there lay to sleep,
Lies a solitary heap,
()ne white skull and seven dry bones,
On the margin of the stones,
Where a few grey rushes stand,
Boundaries of the sea and land:
Nor is heard one voice of wail
But the sea-mews, as they sail
O'er the billows of the gale;
Or the whirlwind up and down
Howling, like a slaughtered town,

When a king in glory rides
Through the pomp of fratricides:
Those unburied bones around
There is many a mournful sound;
There is no lament for him,
Like a sunless vapour, dim,
Who once clothed with life and thought
What now moves nor murmurs not.

Ay, many flowering islands lie

In the waters of wide Agony:

To such a one this morn was led

My bark, by soft winds piloted.

'Mid the mountains Eugancan,

I stood listening to the ptcan

With which the legioned rooks did hail

The sun's uprise raajestical;

Gathering round with wings all hoar,

Through the dewy mist they soar

Like grey shades, till the eastern heaven

Bursts, and then, as clouds of even,

Flecked with fire and azure, lie

In the unfathomable sky,

So their plumes of purple grain,

Starred with drops of golden rain,

Gleam above the sunlight woods,

As in silent multitudes

On the morning's fitful gale

Through the broken mist they sail;

And the vapours cloven and gleaming

Follow down the dark steep streaming,

Till all is bright, and clear, and still,

Round the solitary hill.

Beneath is spread like a green sea
The waveless plain of Lombardy,
Bounded by the vaporous air,
Islanded by cities fair;
Underneath day's azure eyes,
Ocean's nursling, Venice lies,—
A peopled labyrinth of walls,
Amphitrite's destined halls.
Which her hoary sire now paves
With his blue and beaming waves.
Lo! the sun upsprings behind,
Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined
On the level quivering line
Of the waters crystalline^
And before that chasm of light,
As within a furnace bright,
Column, tower, and dome, and spire,
Shine like obeliskB of fire,
Pointing with inconstant motion
From the altar of dark ocean
To the sapphire-tinted skies;'
As the flames of sacrifice
From the marble shrines did rise
As to pierce the dome of geld
Where Apollo npoke of old.

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