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Heard her within their slumbers, the abyss
Of heaven with all its planets; the dull ear
Of the night-cradled earth; the loneliness
Of the circumfluous waters,-every sphere
And every flower and beam and cloud and wave,
And every wind of the mute atmosphere,
And every beast stretched in its rugged cave,
And every bird lulled on its mossy bough,
And every silver moth fresh from the grave,
Which is its cradle-ever from below
Aspiring like one who loves too fair, too far,
To be consumed within the purest glow
Of one serene and unapproachèd star,
As if it were a lamp of earthly light,
Unconscious, as some human lovers are,
Itself how low, how high beyond all height
The heaven where it would perish and every form.
That worshipped in the temple of the night
Was awed into delight, and by the charm
Girt as with an interminable zone,
Whilst that sweet bird, whose music was a storm
Of sound, shook forth the dull oblivion
Out of their dreams; harmony became love
In every soul but one.
And so this man returned with axe and saw
At evening close from killing the tall treen,
The soul of whom by nature's gentle law
Was each a wood-nymph, and kept ever green
The pavement and the roof of the wild copse,
Chequering the sunlight of the blue serene
With jagged leaves, and from the forest tops
Singing the winds to sleep-or weeping oft
Fast showers of aërial water drops
Into their mother's bosom, sweet and soft,
Nature's pure tears which have no bitterness;-
Around the cradles of the birds aloft
They spread themselves into the loveliness
Of fan-like leaves, and over pallid flowers
Hang like moist clouds:-or, where high branches kiss,
Make a green space among the silent bowers,
Like a vast fane in a metropolis,
Surrounded by the columns and the towers
All overwrought with branch-like traceries
In which there is religion-and the mute
Persuasion of unkindled melodies,
Odours and gleams and murmurs, which the lute
Of the blind pilot-spirit of the blast
Stirs as it sails, now grave and now acute,
Wakening the leaves and waves, ere it has past
To such brief unison as on the brain
One tone, which never can recur,
eur, has cast,
One accent never to return again.
The world is full of Woodmen who expel
Love's gentle Dryads from the haunts of life,
And vex the nightingales in every dell.
FRAGMENT OF AN ADDRESS TO BYRON.
O MIGHTY mind, in whose deep stream this age
Shakes like a reed in the unheeding storm,
Why dost thou curb not thine own sacred rage?
FRAGMENT TO SILENCE.
SILENCE! O well are Death and Sleep and Thou
Three brethren named, the guardians gloomy-winged
Of one abyss, where life, and truth, and joy
Are swallowed up-yet spare me, Spirit, pity me,
Until the sounds I hear become my soul,
And it has left these faint and weary limbs,
To track along the lapses of the air
This wandering melody until it rests
Among lone mountains in some
THE fierce beasts of the woods and wildernesses
Track not the steps of him who drinks of it;
For the light breezes, which for ever fleet
Around its margin, heap the sand thereon.
My head is wild with weeping for a grief
Which is the shadow of a gentle mind.
I walk into the air, (but no relief
To seek, or haply, if I sought, to find;
It came unsought);-to wonder that a chief
Among men's spirits should be cold and blind.
FLOURISHING vine, whose kindling clusters glow
Beneath the autumnal sun, none taste of thee;
For thou dost shroud a ruin, and below
The rotting bones of dead antiquity.
MADDALO, a Courtier.
MALPIGLIO, a Poet.
PIGNA, a Minister.
ALBANO, an Usher.
No access to the Duke! You have not said
That the Count Maddalo would speak with him?
Did you inform his Grace that Signor Pigna
Waits with state papers for his signature?
The Lady Leonora cannot know
That I have written a sonnet to her fame,
In which I
Venus and Adonis.
You should not take my gold and serve me not.
In truth I told her, and she smiled and said, "If I am Venus, thou, coy Poesy
Art the Adonis whom I love, and he
The Erymanthian boar that wounded him."
O trust to me, Signor Malpiglio,
Those nods and smiles were favours worth the zechin.
The words are twisted in some double sense
That I reach not: the smiles fell not on me.
How are the Duke and Duchess occupied?
Buried in some strange talk. The Duke was leaning,
His finger on his brow, his lips unclosed.
The Princess sate within the window-seat,
And so her face was hid; but on her knee
Her hands were clasped, veinèd, and pale as snow,
And quivering-young Tasso, too, was there.
I LOVED-alas! our life is love;
But when we cease to breathe and move
Thou seest on whom from thine own worshipped heaven Thou drawest down smiles-they did not rain on thee. MALPIGLIO.
Would they were parching lightnings for his sake 26 On whom they fell!
I do suppose love ceases too.
I thought, but not as now I do,
Keen thoughts and bright of linked lore,
Of all that men had thought before,
And all that nature shows, and more.
And still I love and still I think,
But strangely, for my heart can drink
The dregs of such despair, and live,
And if I think, my thoughts come fast,
I mix the present with the past,
And each seems uglier than the last.
Sometimes I see before me flee
A silver spirit's form, like thee,
O Leonora, and I sit
Still watching it,
Till by the grated casement's ledge
It fades, with such a sigh, as sedge
Breathes o'er the breezy streamlet's edge.
LET those who pine in pride or in revenge,
Or think that ill for ill should be repaid,
Or barter wrong for wrong, until the exchange
Ruins the merchants of such thriftless trade,
Visit the tower of Vado, and unlearn
Such bitter faith beside Marenghi's urn.
A massy tower yet overhangs the town,
A scattered group of ruined dwellings now.
Another scene ere wise Etruria knew
Its second ruin through internal strife,
And tyrants through the breach of discord threw
The chain which binds and kills. As death to life,