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One from a lucid urn of starry dew Washed his light limbs, as if embalming them; Another clipt her profuse locks, and threw, The wreath upon him, like an anadem, Which frozen tears instead of pearls begem; Another in her wilful grief would break Her bow and winged reeds, as if to stem A greater loss with one which was more weak; And dull the barbed fire against his frozen cheek.
Another Splendour on his mouth alit,
That mouth whence it was wont to drawthe breath
Which gave it strength to pierce the guarded wit,
And pass into the panting heart beneath
With lightning and with music: the damp death
Quenched its caress upon its icy lips;
And, as a dying meteor stains a wreath
Of moonlight vapour, which the cold night clips,
It flushed 11irough his pale limbs, and passed to its eclipse.
«n. And others came,—Desires and Adorations, Winged Persuasions, and veiled Destinies, Splendours, and Glooms, and glimmering Incarnations Of hopes and fears, and twilight Phantasies; And Sorrow, with her family of Sighs, And Pleasure, blind with tears, led by the gleam Of her own dying smile instead of eyes, Came in slow pomp;—the moving pomp might seem
Like pageantry of mist on an autumnal stream.
All he had loved, and moulded into thought
And the wild winds flew around, sobbing in their dismay.
xv. Lost Echo sits amid the voiceless mountains, And feeds her grief with his remembered lay, And will no more reply to winds or fountains, Or amorous birds perched on the young green
spray, Or herdsman's horn, or bell at closing day; Since she can mimic not his lips, more dear Than those for whose disdain they pined away Into a shadow of all sounds :—a drear
Murmur, between their songs, is all the woodmen hear.
Grief made the young Spring wild, and she threw Her kindling buds, as if she Autumn were, [down Or they dead leaves ; since her delight is flown, For whom should she have waked the sullen year! To Phoebus was not Hyacinth so dear, Nor to himself Narcissus, as to both Thou Adonais ; wan they stand and sere Amid the faint companions of their youth, With dew all turned to tears; odour, to sighing ruth.
Thy spirit's sister, the lorn nightingale, Mourns not her mate with such melodious pain; Not so the eagle, who like thee could scale Heaven, and could nourish in the sun's domain Her mighty youth, with morning doth complain, Soaring and screaming round her empty nest, As Albion wails for thee: the curse of Cain Light on his head who pierced thy innocent breast. And scared the angel soul that was its earthly guest!
Ah woe is me! Winter is come and gone, But grief returns with the revolving year; The airs and streams renew their joyous tone; The ants, the bees, the swallows, re-appear; Fresh leaves and flowers deck the dead Seasons' The amorous birds nowpair in every brake, [bier; And build their mossy homes in Held and brere; And the green lizard, and the golden snake. Like unimprisoned flames, out of theirtrance awake.
Through wood and stream and field and hill and
Ocean, A quickening life from the Earth's heart has burst, As it has ever done, with change and motion. From the great morning of the world when first God dawned on Chaos; in its stream immersed, The lamps of Heaven flash with a softer light; All baser things pant with life's sacred thirst; Diffuse themselves; and spend in love's delight, The beauty and the joy of their renewed might.
The leprous corpse touched by this spirit tender, Exhales itself in flowers of gentle breath; Like incarnations of the stars, when splendour Is changed to fragrance, they illumine death. And mock the merry worm that wakes beneath; Nought we know die3. Shall thatalone which knovs Be as a sword consumed before the sheath By sightless lightning? th' intense atom glows A moment, then is quenched in a most cold repoae.
Alas! that all we loved of him should be,
He will awake no more, oh, never more! "Wakethou," cried Miscry,"childlessMothcr,rise Out of thy sleep, and slake, in thy heart's core, A wound more fierce than his tears and sighs." And all the Dreams that watched Urania's eyes, And all the echoes whom their sister's song Had held in holy silence, cried, " Arise!" Swift as a Thought by the snake Memory stunjr. From her ambrosial rest the fading Splendour sprung.
She rose like an autumnal Night, that springs Out of the East, and follows wild and drear The golden Day, which, on eternal wings, Even as a ghost abandoning a bier, lias left the Earth a corpse. Sorrow and fear So struck, so roused, so rapt, Urania, So saddened round her like an atmosphere Of stormy mist; Bo swept her on her way, Even to the mournful place where Adonais lay.
Out of her secret Paradise she sped, [steel,
Through camps and cities rough with stone, and And human hearts, which to her aery tread Yielding not, wounded the invisible Palms of her tender feet where'er they fell; And barbed tongues, and thoughts more sharp than Rent the soft Form they never could repel, [they Whose sacred blood, like the young tears of May, Paved with eternal flowers that undeserving way.
In the death-chamber for a moment Death, Shamed by the presence of that living Might, Blushed to annihilation, and the breath Revisited those lips, and life's pale light [delight. Flashed through those limbs, so late her dear "Leave me not wild and drear and comfortless, As silent lightning leaves the starless night! Leave me not!" cried Urania: her distress Roused Death: Death rose and smiled, and met her vain caress.
"Stay yet awhile! speak to me once again;
But lam chained toTime,and cannot thence depart!
"O gentle child, beautiful as thou wert,
The monsters of life's waste had fled from thee like deer.
"The herded wolves, bold only to pursue;
They fawn on the proud feet that spurn them lying low.
"The sun comes forth, and many reptiles spawn; He sets, and each ephemeral insect then Is gathered into death without a dawn, And the immortal stars awake again; So it is in the world of living men: A godlike mind soars forth, in its delight Making earth bare and veiling heaven, and when It sinks, the swarms that dimmed or shared its light Leave to its kindred lamps the spirit's awful night."
Thus ceased shc:and the mountain shepherds came, Their garlands sere, their magic mantles rent; The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame Over his living head like Heaven is bent, An early but enduring monument, Came, veiling all the lightnings of his song In sorrow ; from her wilds Ierne sent The sweetest lyrist of her saddest wrong, And love taught grief to fall like music from his tongue.
'Midst others of less note, came one frail Form, A phantom among men, companionless As the last cloud of an expiring storm, Whose thunder is its knell; he, as I guess, Had gazed on Nature's naked loveliness, Actaeon-like, and now he fled astray With feeble steps o'er the world's wilderness, And his own thoughts, along that rugged way, Pursued, like raging hounds,their father and their prey.
A pard-Hke Spirit beautiful and swift— A love in desolation masked ;—a Power Girt round with weakness ;—it can scarce uplift The weight of the superincumbent hour; It is a dying lamp, a falling shower, A breaking billow ;—even whilst we speak Is it not broken! On the withering flower The killing sun smiles brightly: on a cheek The life can burn in blood, even while the heart may break.
xxxm. His head was bound with pansies over-blown, And faded violets, white, and pied, and blue; And a light spear topped with a cypress cone, Round whose rude shaft dark ivy-tresses grew Yet dripping with the forest's noon-day dew, Vibrated, as the ever-beating heart Shook the weak hand that grasped it; of that crew He came the last, neglected and apart; A herd-abandoned deer,struckbythe hunter's dart.
All stood aloof, and at his partial moan Smiled through their tears; well knew that gentle Who in another's fate now wept his own; [band As in the accents of an unknown land He sang new sorrow ; sad Urania scanned The Stranger's mien, and murmured: "Who art He answered not, but with a sudden hand [thou!" Made bare his branded and ensanguined brow, Which was like Cain's or Christ's. Oh ! that it should be so!
What softer voice is hushed over the dead! Athwart what brow is that dark mantle thrown? What form leans sadly o'er the white death-bed, In mockery of monumental stone, The heavy heart heaving without a moan? If it be he, who, gentlest of the wise, Taught, soothed, loved, honoured the departed one; Let me not vex, with inharmonious sighs, The silence of that heart's accepted sacrifice.
xxxvi. Our Adonais has drunk poison—oh! What deaf and viperous murderer could crown Life's early cup with such a draught of woe? The nameless worm would now itself disown: It felt, yet could escape the magic tone Whose prelude held all envy, hate and wrong, But what was howling in one breast alone, Silent with expectation of the song, Whose master's hand is cold, whose silver lyre unstrung.
xxxvn. Live thou, whose infamy is not thy fame! Live! fear no heavier chastisement from me, Thou noteless blot on a remembered name! But be thyself, and know thyself to be! And ever at thy season be thou free To spill the venom when thy fangs o'erflow: Remorse and Self-contempt shall cling to thee; Hot Shame shall burn upon thy secret brow, And like a beaten hound tremble thou shalt—as now.
Nor let us weep that our delight is fled Far from these carrion-kites that scream below; He wakes or sleeps with the enduring dead; Thou canst not soar where he is sitting now. Dust to the dust! but the pure spirit shall flow Back to the burning fountain whence it came, A portion of the Eternal, which must glow Through timeandchange.unquenchably thesame, Whilst thy cold embers choke the Bordid hearth of shame.
Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep— He hath awakened from the dream of life— 'Tis we, who, lost in stormy visions, keep With phantoms an unprofitable strife, And in mad trance strike with our spirit's knife Invulnerable nothings—We decay Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief Convulse us and consume us day by day, And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.
xt.. He has outsoared the shadow of our night; Envy and calumny, and hate and pain, And that unrest which men miscall delight, Can touch him not and torture not again; From the contagion of the world's slow stain He is secure, and now can never mourn A heart grown cold, a head grown grey in vain; Nor, when the spirit's self has ceased to burn, With sparklcss ashec load an unlamented urn.
He lives, lie wakes—'tis Death is dead, not ho; Mourn not for Adonais.—Thou young Dawn, Turn all thy dew to splendour, for from thee The spirit thou lamentest is not gone; Ye caverns and ye forests, cease to moan! Cease ye faint flowers and fountains, and thon Air Which like a morning veil thy scarf hadst thrown O'er the abandoned Earth, now leave it bare Even to the j oy ous stars which smile on its despair!
He is made one with Nature: there is heard His voice in all her music, from the moan Of thunder, to the song of night's sweet bird; He is a presence to be felt and known In darkness and in light, from herb and stone. Spreading itself where'er that Power may move Which has withdrawn his being to its own; Which wields the world with never wearied love, Sustains it from beneath, and kindles it above.
He is a portion of the loveliness Which once he made more lovely: he doth bear His part, while the one Spirit's plastic stress Sweeps through the dull dense world, compelling All new successions to the forms they wear [there Torturing th'unwilling dross tliat checks its flight To its own likeness, as each mass may bear; And bursting in its beauty and its might From trees and beasts and men into the Heavens' light.
The splendours of the firmament of time May be eclipsed, but are extinguished not: Like stars to their appointed height they climb, And death is a low mist which cannot blot The brightness it may veil. When lofty thonght Lifts a young heart above its mortal lair, And love and life contend in it, for what Shall be its earthly doom, the dead live there, And move like windsof lighton dark and stormy air.
The inheritors of unfulfilled renown Rose from their thrones, built beyond mortal Far in the unapparcnt. Chatterton [thought, Rose pale, his solemn agony had not Yet faded from him; Sidney, as he fought And as he fell and as he lived and loved, Sublimely mild, a Spirit without spot, Arose; and Lucan, by his death approved; Oblivion as they rose shrank like a thing reproved.
And many more, whose names on Earth are dark. But whose transmitted effluence cannot die So long as fire outlives the parent spark, Rose, robed in dazzling immortality. "Thou art become as one of us," they cry; "It was for thee yon kingless sphere has long Swung blind in unascended majesty, Silent alone amid a Heaven of song. Assume thy winged throne, thou Vesper of our throng!"
Who mourns for Adonais? oh come forth,
When hope has kindled hope, and lured thee to the brink.
Xlvui. Or go to Rome, which is the sepulchre, Oh, not of him, hut of our joy: 'tis nought That ages, empires, and religions, there Lie buried in the ravage they have wrought; For such as he can lend,—they borrow not Glory from those who made the world their prey; And he is gathered to the kings of thought Who waged contention with their times' decay,
And of the past are all that cannot pass away.
Go thou to Rome,—at once the Paradise, The grave, the city, and the wilderness: And where its wrecks like shattered mountains rise, And flowering weeds, and fragrant copses dress The bones of Desolation's nakedness Pass, till the Spirit of the spot shall lead Thy footsteps to a slope of green access, Where, like an infant s smile, over the dead A light of laughing flowers along the grass is spread,
And grey walls moulder round, on which dull Time
Here pause: these graves are all too young as yet
Break it not thou! too surely shalt thou find Thine own well full, if thou returnest home, Of tears and gall. From the world's bitter wind Seek shelter in the shadow of the tomb. What Adonais is, why fear we to become *
The One remains, the many change and pass;
Why linger, why turn back, why shrink, my
Heart? Thy hopes are gone before: from all things here They have departed; thou shouldst now depart! A light is past from the revolving year, And man, and woman; and what still is dear Attracts to crush, repels to make thee wither. The soft sky smiles,—the low wind whispers near: 'Tis Adonais calls! oh, hasten thither, No more let Life divide what Death can join together.
That light whose smile kindles the Universe,
The breath whose might I have invoked in song Descends on me; my spirit's bark is driven Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng Whose sails were never to the tempest given; The massy earth and sphered skies are riven! I am borne darkly, fearfully afar; Whilst burning through the inmost veil of Heaven, The soul of Adonais, like a star, Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are.
Madonna, wherefore hast thou sent to me
Sweet-basil and mignionette? Embleming love and health, which never yet In the same wreath might be. Alas, and they are wet! Is it with thy kisses or thy tears!
For never rain or dew
Such fragrance drew From plant or flower—the very doubt endears
My sadness ever new, The sighs I breathe, the tears I shed for thee.
Unfathomable Sea! whose waves are years,
Are brackish with the salt of human tears!
Claspest the limits of mortality!
And sick of prey, yet howling on for more,
Vomitest thy wrecks on its inhospitable shore;
Treacherous in calm, and terrible in storm,
FROM THE ARABIC.
Mt faint spirit was sitting in the light
Of thy looks, my love;
For the brooks, my love.
Bore theo far from me;
Did companion thee.
Ah ! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed,
Or the death they bear,
With the wings of care;
Shall mine cling to thee,
It may bring to thee.
Swiftlt walk over the western wave,
Spirit of Night!
Swift be thy flight 1
Wrap thy form in a mantle grey,
When I arose and saw the dawn,
I sighed for thee; When light rode high, and the dew was gow. And noon lay heavy on flower and tree, And the weary Day turned to his rest, Lingering like an unloved guest,
I sighed for thee.
Thy brother Death came, and cried,
Wouldst thou me!
Murmured like a noon-tide bee,
No, not thee!
Death will come when thou art dead,
Soon, too soon—
Come soon, soon!
Music, when soft voices die,
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,