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SONG OF PROSERPINE,

WHILE GATHERING FLOWERS ON THE PLAIN OF ENNA.

I.

SACRED Goddess, Mother Earth,

Thou from whose immortal bosom
Gods and men and beasts have birth,

Leaf and blade and bud and blossom,
Breathe thine influence most divine
On thine own child, Proserpine.

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If with mists of evening dew

Thou dost nourish these young flowers Till they grow, in scent and hue,

Fairest children of the hours, Breathe thine influence most divine On thine own child, Proserpine.

10

1820.

HYMN OF APOLLO.

I.

The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,

Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries, From the broad moonlight of the sky,

Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes, — Waken me when their Mother, the gray Dawn, Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.

5

II.

Then I arise, and climbing Heaven's blue dome,

I walk over the mountains and the waves, Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam ;

My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves 10 Are filled with my bright presence, and the air Leaves the green earth to my embraces bare.

III.

15

The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill

Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day;
All men who do or even imagine ill

Fly me, and from the glory of my ray
Good minds and open actions take new might,
Until diminished by the reign of night.

IV.

20

I feed the clouds, the rainbows and the flowers

With their ætherial colours; the Moon's globe And the pure stars in their eternal bowers

Are cinctured with my power as with a robe ; Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine, Are portions of one power, which is mine.

V.

25

I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven,

Then with unwilling steps I wander down
Into the clouds of the Atlantic even;

For grief that I depart they weep and frown:
What look is more delightful than the smile
With which I soothe them from the western isle ?

30 VI.

I am the eye with which the Universe

Beholds itself and knows itself divine ;
All harmony of instrument or verse,

All prophecy, all medicine are mine,
All light of art or nature; - to my song,
Victory and praise in their own right belong.

35

1820.

HYMN OF PAN.

I.

5

FROM the forests and highlands

We come, we come;
From the river-girt islands,
Where loud waves are dumb

Listening to my sweet pipings.
The wind in the reeds and the rushes,

The bees on the bells of thyme,
The birds on the myrtle bushes,
The cicale above in the lime,
And the lizards below in the grass,
Were as silent as ever old Tmolus was,

Listening to my sweet pipings.

10

II.

Liquid Peneus was flowing,

And all dark Tempe lay
In Pelion's shadow, outgrowing
The light of the dying day,

Speeded by my sweet pipings.

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20

The Sileni, and Sylvans, and Fauns,

And the Nymphs of the woods and waves,
To the edge of the moist river-lawns,

And the brink of the dewy caves,
And all that did then attend and follow
Were silent with love, as you now, Apollo,
With envy of my sweet pipings.

.

III.

25

30

I sang of the dancing stars,

I sang of the dædal Earth,
And of Heaven — and the giant wars,
And Love, and Death, and Birth,

And then I changed my pipings, -
Singing how down the vale of Menalus

I pursued a maiden and clasped a reed :
Gods and men, we are all deluded thus !

It breaks in our bosom and then we bleed:
All wept, as I think both ye now would,
If envy or age had not frozen your blood,

At the sorrow of my sweet pipings.

35

1820.

LETTER TO MARIA GISBORNE.

LEGHORN, July 1, 1820.
The spider spreads her webs, whether she be
In poet's tower, cellar, or barn, or tree;
The silk-worm in the dark green mulberry leaves
His winding sheet and cradle ever weaves;
So I, a thing whom moralists call worm,
Sit spinning still round this decaying form,

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10

From the fine threads of rare and subtle thought
No net of words in garish colours wrought
To catch the idle buzzers of the day-
But a soft cell, where when that fades

away,
Memory may clothe in wings my living name
And feed it with the asphodels of fame,
Which in those hearts which must remember me
Grow, making love an immortality.

20

Whoever should behold me now, I wist,

15 Would think I were a mighty mechanist, Bent with sublime Archimedean art To breathe a soul into the iron heart Of some machine portentous, or strange gin, Which by the force of figured spells might win Its way over the sea, and sport therein ; For round the walls are hung dread engines, such As Vulcan never wrought for Jove to clutch Ixion or the Titan: or the quick Wit of that man of God, St. Dominic,

25 To convince Atheist, Turk or Heretic, Or those in philanthropic council met, Who thought to pay some interest for the debt They owed to Jesus Christ for their salvation, By giving a faint foretaste of damnation

30 To Shakespeare, Sidney, Spenser and the rest Who made our land an island of the bless’d, When lamp-like Spain, who now relumes her fire On Freedom's hearth, grew dim with Empire: With thumbscrews, wheels, with tooth and spike and jag, 35 Which fishers found under the utmost crag Of Cornwall and the storm-encompassed isles, Where to the sky the rude sea rarely smiles Unless in treacherous wrath, as on the morn

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