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Piloted by the many-wandering blast,
And the rare Btars rush through them, dim and
fast. All this is beautiful in every land. But what see you beside? A shabby stand Of hackney-coaches—a brick house or wall Fencing some lonely court, white with the scrawl Of our unhappy politics ;—or worse— A wretched woman reeling by, whose curse Mixed with the watchman s, partner of her trade, You must accept in place of serenade — Or yellow-haired Pollonia murmuring To Henry, some unutterable thing.
I see a chaos of green leaves and fruit
Built round dark caverns, even to the root
Of the living stems who feed them; in whose
bowers There Bleep in their dark dew the folded flowers; Beyond, the surface of the unsickled corn Trembles not in the slumbering air, and borne In circles quaint, and ever-changing dance, Like winged stars the fire-flies flash and glance Pale in the open moonshine ; but each one Under the dark trees seems a little sun, A meteor tamed ; a fixed star gone astray From the silver regions of the Milky-way. Afar the Contadino's song is heard, Rude, but made sweet by distance ;—and a bird Which cannot be a nightingale, and yet I know none else that sings so sweet as it At this late hour ;—and then all is still:— Now Italy or London, which you will!
Next winter you must pass with me ; I'll have My house by that time turned into a grave Of dead despondence and low-thoughted care, And all tin; dreams which our tormentors are.
O that Hunt and were there,
With every thing belonging to them fair !—
We will have books; Spanish, Italian, Greek,
And ask one week to make another week
As like his father, as I'm unlike mine.
Though we eat little hVsh and drink no wine,
Yet let's be merry ; we'll have tea and toast;
Custards for supper, and an endless host
Of syllabubs and jellies and mince-pies,
And other such lady-like luxuries,—
Feasting on which we will philosophise.
And we'll have fires out of the Grand Duke's
wood, To thaw the six weeks' winter in our blood. And then we'll talk ;—what shall we talk about 1 Oh ! there are themes enough for many a bout Of thought-entangled descant; as to nerves— With cones and parallelograms and curves I've sworn to Btrangle them if once they dare To bother me,—when you are with me there. And they shall never more sip laudanum From Helicon or Himeros ;*—well, come, And in spite of * * * and of the devil, We'll make our friendly philosophic revel Outlast the leafless time ;—till buds and flowers Warn the obscure inevitable hours Sweet meeting by sad parting to renew:— "To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new."
* "ifitpos, from which the river Himera waa named, is, with some alight ahado of difference, a synonyme of Love.
THE WITCH OF ATLAS.
Before those cruel Twins, whom at one birth
Error and Truth, had hunted from the earth
And left us nothing to believe in, worth
A lady-witch there lived on Atlas' mountain
Within a cavern by a secret fountain.
Her mother was one of the Atlantides:
In his wide voyage o'er continents and seas
In the warm shadow of her loveliness ;—
He kissed her with his beams, and made all golden
The chamber of grey rock in which she lay—
She, in that dream of joy, dissolved away.
Tis said, she was first changed into a vapour,
Like splendour-winged moths about a taper,
And then into a meteor, such as caper
Then, into one of those mysterious stars
Which hide themselves between the Earth and Mars.
Ten times the Mother of the Months had bent
With that bright sign the billows to indent
At her command they ever came and went:—
Took shape and motion: with the living form
Of this embodied Power, the cave grew warm.
A lovely lady garmented in light
From her own beauty—deep her eyes, as are Two openings of unfathomable night
Seen through a tempest's cloven roof;—her hair Dark—the dim brain whirls dizzy with delight,
Picturing her form;—her soft smiles shone afar, And her low voice was heard like love, and drew AU living things towards this wonder new.
vr. And first the spotted camelopard came,
And then the wise and fearless elephant; Then the sly serpent, in the golden flame
Of his own volumes intervolved;—all gaunt And sanguine beasts her gentle looks made tame.
They drank before her at her sacred fount; And every beast of beating heart grew bold, Such gentleness and power even to behold.
The brinded lioness led forth her young,
That she might teach them how they should forego
Their inborn thirst of death; the pard unstrung His sinews at her feet, and sought to know
With looks whose motions spoke without a tongue How he might be as gentle as the doe.
The magic circle of her voice and eyes
All savage natures did imparadise.
And old Silenus, shaking a green stick
Came, blithe, as in the olive copses thick
And Driope and Faunus followed quick,
Teazing the God to sing them something new,
Till in this cave they found the lady lone,
Sitting upon a seat of emerald stone.
And universal Pan, 'tis said, was there,
And though none saw him,—through the adamant
Of the deep mountains, through the trackless air, And through those living spirits, like a want,
He passed out of his everlasting lair
Where the quick heart of the great world doth
And felt that wondrous lady all alone,— [pant,
And she felt him upon her emerald throne.
And every nymph of stream and spreading tree, And every shepherdess of Ocean's flocks,
Who drives her white waves over the green sea; And Ocean, with the brine on his grey locks,
And quaint Priapus with his company, [rocks All came, much wondering how the enwombed
Could have brought forth so beautiful a birth;—
Her love subdued their wonder and their mirth.
The herdsmen and the mountain maidens came,
Their spirits shook within them, as a flame
Pigmies, and Polyphemes, by many a name,
Wet clefts,—and lumps neither alive nor dead,
Dog-headed, bosom-eyed, and bird-footed.
For she was beautiful: her beauty made
Seemed like the fleeting image of a shade:
(Which to her looks had ever been betrayed,)
On any hope within the circling skies,
But on her form, and in her inmost eyes.
Which when the lady knew, she took her spindle And twined three threads of fleecy mist, and three
Long lines of light, such as the dawn may kindle Theclouds and waves and mountains with, and she
As many star-beams, ere their lamps could dwindle In the belated moon, wound skilfully;
And with these threads a subtle veil she wove—
A shadow for the splendour of her love.