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No more 1 At the helm sits a woman more fair Than heaven, when, unbinding its star-braided
hair, It sinks with the sun on the earth and the sea. She clasps a bright child on her upgathered knee, It laughs at the lightning, it mocks the mixed
thunder Of the air and the sea, with desire and with wonder It is beckoning the tigers to rise and come near, It would play with those eyes where the radiance
of fear Is outshining the meteors; its bosom beats high, The heart-fire of pleasure has kindled its eye; Whilst its mother's is lustreless. "Smile not, my
child, But sleep deeply and sweetly, and so be beguiled Of the pang that awaits us, whatever that be, So dreadful since thou must divide it with me! Dream, sleep! This pale bosom, thy cradle and
bed, Will it rock thee not, infant? Tis beating with
dread! Alas! what is life, what is death, what are we, That when the ship sinks we no longer may be I What! to see thee no more, and to feel thee no
more! To be after life what we have been before? [eyes, Not to touch those sweet hands, not to look on those Those lips, and that hair, all that smiling disguise Thou yet wearest, sweet spirit, which I, day by
day, Have so long called my child, but which now fades
away Like a rainbow, and I the fallen shower 1"
Lo! the ship Is settling, it topples, the leeward ports dip; The tigers leap up when they feel the slow brine Crawling inch by inch on them; hair, ears, limbs,
and eyne, Stand rigid with horror; a loud, long, hoarse cry Burst at once from their vitals tremendously, And 'tis borne down the mountainous vale of the
wave, Rebounding, like thunder, from crag to cave, Mixed with the clash of the lashing rain, Hurried on by the might of the hurricane: The hurricane came from the west, and past on By the path of the gate of the eastern sun, Transversely dividing the stream of the storm; As an arrowy serpent, pursuing the form Of an elephant, bursts through the brakes of the
waste. Black as a cormorant the screaming blast, Between ocean and heaven, like an ocean, past, Till it came to the clouds on the verge of the
world Which, based on the sea and to heaven upcurled, Like columns and walls did surround and sustain The dome of the tempest; it rent them in twain, As a flood rends its barriers of mountainous
crag: And the dense clouds in many a ruin and rag, Like the stones of a temple ere earthquake has
past, Like the dust of its fall, on the whirlwind are cast; They are scattered like foam on the torrent; and
where The wind has burst out through the chasm, from
Of clear morning, the beams of the sunrise flow in,
behold, The deep calm of blue heaven dilating above, And, like passions made still by the presence of
Love, Beneath the clear surface reflecting it Blide Tremulous with soft influence; extending its tide From the Andes to Atlas, round mountain and isle. Round sea-birds and WTecks, paved with heaven's
azure smile, The wide world of waters is vibrating.
Where Is the ship! On the verge of the wave where it lay One tiger is mingled in ghastly affray [battle
With a sea-snake. The foam and the smoke of the Stain the clear air with sunbows; the jar, and tbe
rattle Of solid bones crushed by the infinite stress Of the snake's adamantine voluminousness; And the hum of the hot blood that spouts and rains Where the gripe of the tiger has wounded the
veins, Swollen with rage, strength, and effort; the whirl
and the splash As of some hideous engine whose brazen teeth smash The thin winds and soft waves into thunder ! the
screams And hissings crawl fast o'er the smooth oceanstreams, Each sound like a centipede. Near this commotion, A blue shark is hanging within the blue ocean, The fin-winged tomb of the victor. The other Is winning his way from the fate of his brother, To his own with the speed of despair. Lo! a boat Advances; twelve rowers with the impulse of
thought Urge on the keen keel, the brine foams. At the stern Three marksmen stand levelling. Hot bullets
burn In the breast of the tiger, which yet bears him on To his refuge and ruin. One fragment alone, 'Tis dwindling and sinking, 'tis now almost gone, Of the wreck of the vessel peers out of the sea. With her left hand she grasps it impetuously, With her right she sustains her fair infant. Death,
Fear, Love, Beauty, are mixed in the atmosphere, Which trembles and burns with the fervour of
dread Around her wild eyes, her bright hand, and her
head, Like a meteor of light o'er the waters! her child Is yet smiling, and playing, and murmuring: so
smiled The false deep ere the storm. Like a sister and
brother The child and the ocean still smile on each other, Whilst
I Brito fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
In their noon-day dreams.
The sweet buds every one,
As she dances about the sun.
And whiten the green plains under,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.
1 sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast; And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Lightning my pilot sits,
It struggles and howls at fits;
This pilot is guiding me,
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the lakes and the plains,
The Spirit he loves remains; And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread, Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead. As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings, An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings. And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardours of rest and of love,
From the depth of heaven above,
As still as a brooding dove.
That orbed maiden, with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the moon,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
Which only the angels hear,
The stars peep behind her and peer;
Like a swarm of golden bees,
Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the sun's throne with the burning zone,
And the moon's with a girdle of pearl; The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl. From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
.Over a torrent sea,
The mountains its columns be.
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
Is the million-coloured bow; [chair,
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove,
While tlie moist earth was laughing below.
I am the daughter of earth and water,
And the nursling of the sky:
I change, but I cannot die.
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
Build up the blue dome of air, [gleams,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain, Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the
I arise and unbuild it again. [tomb,
The fountains mingle with the river.
And the rivers with the ocean,
With a sweet emotion;
All things by a law divine
Why not I with thine!
See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
If it disdained its brother:
And the moonbeams kiss the sea ;-
If thou kiss not me!
I Fear thy kisses, gentle maiden,
My spirit is too deeply laden
I fear thy mien, thy tones, thy motion,
Innocent is the heart's devotion
Yet if we could scorn
Hate, and pride, and fear; If we were things born Not to shed a tear, I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.
Better than all measures
Of delightful sound, Better than all treasures That in "books are found, Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!
Teach me half the gladness . That thy brain must know, Such harmonious madness From my lips would flow, The world should listen then, as I am listening now.
ODE TO LIBERTY.
Yet freedom, yet, thy banner torn but flying.
A Glorious people vibrated again
The lightning of the nations: Liberty, From heart to heart, from tower to tower, o'er Spain, Scattering contagious fire into the sky, G learned. My soul spurned the chains of its dismay, And, in the rapid plumes of song, Clothed itself sublime and strong; As a young eagle soars the morning clouds among, Hovering in verse o'er its accustomed prey; Till from its station in the heaven of fame The Spirit's whirlwind rapt it, and the ray Of the remotest sphere of living flame Which paves the void, was from behind it flung, As foam from a ship's swiftness, when there came A voice out of the deep; I will record the
The Sun and the serenest Moon sprang forth;
The burning stars of the abyss were hurl'd
Into the depths of heaven. The daedal earth,
That island in the ocean of the world, Hung in its cloud of all-sustaining air: But this divinest universe Was yet a chaos and a curse, For thou wert not: but power from worst producing worse, The spirit of the beasts was kindled there, And of the birds, and of the watery forms, And there was war among them and despair
Within them, raging without truce or terms: The bosom of their violated nurse
Groaned, for beasts warred on beasts, and worms
on worms, [storms.
And men on men; each heart was as a hell of
Man, the imperial shape, then multiplied
His generations under the pavilion
Temple and prison, to many a swarming million,
Hung tyranny ; beneath, sate deified The sister-pest, congregator of slaves; Into the shadow of her pinions wide, Anarchs and priests who feed on gold and blood, Till with the stain their inmost souls are dyed, Drove the astonished herds of men from every side.
rv. The nodding promontories, and blue isles,
And cloud-like mountains, and dividuous waves Of Greece, basked glorious in the open smiles
Of favouring heaven: from their enchanted caves Prophetic echoes flung dim melody On the unapprehensive wild. The vine, the corn, the olive mild, Grew, savage yet, to human use unreconciled; And like unfolded flowers beneath the sea, Like the man's thought dark in the infant's brain, Like aught that is which wraps what is to be, Art's deathless dreams lay veiled by many a vein Of Parian stone ; and yet a speechless child, Verse murmured, and Philosophy did strain Her lidless eyes for thee ; when o'er the /Egcan
Athens arose: a city such as vision
Builds from the purple crags and silver towers Of battlemented cloud, as in derision
Of kingliest masonry: the ocean floors Pave it; the evening sky pavilions it; Its portals are inhabited By thunder-zoned winds, each head Within its cloudy wings with sun-fire garlanded, A divine work! Athens diviner yet
Gleamed with its crest of columns, on the will Of man, as on a mount of diamond, set; For thou wert, and thine all-creative skill Peopled, with forms that mock the eternal dead In marble immortality, that hill Which was thine earliest throne and latest oracle.
Within the surface of Time's fleeting river
Its wrinkled image lies, as then it lay Immoveably unquiet, and for ever
It trembles, but it cannot pass away! The voices of thy bards and sages thunder With an earth-awakening blast Through the caverns of the past; Religion veils her eyes; Oppression shrinks aghast: A winged sound of joy, and love, and wonder, Which soars where Expectation never flew, Rending the veil of space and time asunder! One ocean feeds the clouds, and streams, and dew; One sun illumines Heaven ; one spirit vast With life and love makes chaos ever new, As Athens doth the world with thy delight renew.
Then Rome was, and from thy deep bosom fairest,
Like a wolf-cub from a Cadrafean Mienad*, She drew the milk of greatness, though thy dearest
From that Elysian food was yet unweaned; And many a deed of terrible uprightness By thy sweet love was sanctified; And in thy smile, and by thy side, Saintly Caniillus lived, and firm Atilius died, [ness, But when tears stained thy robe of vestal white
And gold profaned thy capitoliau throne, Thou didst desert, with spirit-winged lightness, The senate of the tyrants: they sunk prone Slaves of one tyrant. Palatums sighed Faint echoes of Ionian song; that tone Thou didst delay to hear, lamenting to disown.
From what Hyrcanian glen or frozen hill,
Didst thou lament the ruin of thy reign,
What if the tears rained through thy shattered Were quickly dried! for thou didst groan, not When from its sea of death to kill and burn, [weep, The Galilean serpent forth did creep, And made thy world an undistinguishable heap.
A thousand years the Earth cried, Where art thou!
And then the shadow of thy coming fell On Saxon Alfred's olive-cinctured brow:
And many a warrior-peopled citadel, Like rocks, which fire lifts out of the flat deep, Arose in sacred Italy, Frowning o'er the tempestuous sea Of kings, and priests, and slaves, in tower-crowned That multitudinous anarchy did sweep, [majesty; And burst around their walls, like idle foam, Whilst from the human spirit's deepest deep, Strange melody with love and awe struck dumb Dissonant arms ; and Art which cannot die, With divine want traced on our earthly home Fit imagery to pave heaven's everlasting dome.
Thou huntress swifter tlian the Moon ! thou terror
Of the world's wolves! thou bearer of the quiver,
Whose sun-like shafts pierce tempest-winged Error,
As light may pierce the clouds when they dissever
In the calm regions of the orient day!
Luther caught thy wakening glance: Like lightning from his leaden lance Reflected, it dissolved the visions of the trance In which, as in a tomb, the nations lay;
And England's prophets hailed thee as their In songs whose music cannot pass away, [queen, Though it must flow for ever: not unseen Before the spirit-sighted countenance
Of Milton didst thou pass, from the sad scene Beyond whose night he saw, with a dejected mien.
* S» the Bacchar of Euripides.
The eager hours and unrelnctant years
As on a dawn-illumined mountain stood, Trampling to silence their loud hopes and fears,
Darkening each other with their multitude, And cried aloud, Liberty ! Indignation Answered Pity from her cave; Death grew pale within the grave, And desolation howled to the destroyer, Save! When, like heaven's sun, girt by the exhalation
Of its own glorious light, thou didst arise, Chasing thy foes from nation unto nation
Like shadows: as if day had cloven the skies At dreaming midnight o'er the western wave, Men started, staggering with a glad surprise, Under the lightnings of thine unfamiliar eyes.
Thou heaven of earth! what spells could pall thee In ominous eclipse) A thousand years, [then, Bred from the slime of deep oppression's den,
Dyed all thy liquid light with blood and tears, Till thy sweet stars could weep the stain away; How like Bacchanals of blood Round France, the ghastly vintage, stood Destruction's sceptered slaves, and Folly's mitred brood! When one, like them, but mightier far than they,'
The Anarch of thine own bewildered powers, Rose : armies mingled in obscure array,
Like clouds with clouds, darkening the sacred Of serene heaven. He,by the past pursued, [bowers Rests with those dead but unforgotten hours, Whose ghosts scare victor kings in their ancestral towers.
England yet sleeps: was she not called of old!
Spain calls her now, as with its thrilling thunder Vesuvius wakens yEtna, and the cold
Snow-crags by its reply are cloven in sunder: O'er the lit waves every /Eolian isle From Pithecusa to Pclorus Howls, and leaps, and glares in chorus: [m. They cry, Be dim, ye lamps of heaven suspended o'er I lerchains are threads of gold, she need but smile And they dissolve ; but Spain's were links of Till bit to dust, by virtue's keenest file, [steel, Twins of a single destiny ! appeal To the eternal years enthroned before us, In the dim West ; impress us from a seal. All ye have thought and done! Time cannot dare conceal.
Tomb of Arminius ! render up thy dead
Till, like a standard from a watch-tower's staff, His soul may stream over the tyrant's head 1
Thy victory shall be his epitaph.
And glorious world! thou flowery wilderness! Thou island of eternity I thou shrine
Where desolation, clothed with loveliness. Worships the thing thou weri ! O Italy, Gather thy blood into thy heart; rvprcM The beasts who make their dens thy sacred palaces.