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When the exulting elements in scorn
Satiated with destroyed destruction, lay
Sleeping in beauty on their mangled prey,
As panthers sleep; — and other strange and dread
Magical forms the brick floor overspread
Proteus transformed to metal did not make
More figures, or more strange; nor did he take
Such shapes of unintelligible brass,
Or heap himself in such a horrid mass
Of tin and iron not to be understood;
And forms of unimaginable wood,
To puzzle Tubal Cain and all his brood:
Great screws, and cones, and wheels, and grooved

The elements of what will stand the shocks
Of wave and wind and time. — Upon the table
More knacks and quips there be than I am able
To catalogize in this verse of mine:
A pretty bowl of wood not full of wine,
But quicksilver; that dew which the gnomes drink
When at their subterranean toil they swink,
Pledging the dæmons of the earthquake, who
Reply to them in lava -

cry halloo !
And call out to the cities o'er their head,
Roofs, towers and shrines, the dying and the dead,
Crash through the chinks of earth and then all

Another rouse, and hold their sides and laugh.
This quicksilver no gnome has drunk — within
The walnut bowl it lies, veinèd and thin,
In colour like the wake of light that stains
The Tuscan deep, when from the moist moon rains
The inmost shower of its white fire the breeze
Is still - blue heaven smiles over the pale seas.



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if so



that was


And in this bowl of quicksilver — for I
Yield to the impulse of an infancy
Outlasting manhood -- I have made to float
A rude idealism of a paper boat, -
A hollow screw with cogs -

Henry will know
The thing I mean and laugh at me,
He fears not I should do more mischief. Next
Lie bills and calculations much perplexed,
With steam-boats, frigates, and machinery quaint
Traced over them in blue and yellow paint.
Then comes a range of mathematical
Instruments, for plans nautical and statical;
A heap of rosin, a queer broken glass
With ink in it; china

What it will never be again, I think,
A thing from which sweet lips were wont to drink
The liquor doctors rail at and which I
Will quaff in spite of them and when we die
We 'll toss up who died first of drinking tea,
And cry out,

“heads or tails?” where'er we be.
Near that a dusty paint-box, some odd hooks,
A half-burnt match, an ivory block, three books,
Where conic sections, spherics, logarithms,
To great Laplace, from Saunderson and Sims,
Lie heaped in their harmonious disarray
Of figures, — disentangle them who may.
Baron de Tott's Memoirs beside them lie,
And some odd volumes of old chemistry.
Near those a most inexplicable thing,
With lead in the middle — I'm conjecturing
How to make Henry understand; but no
I 'll leave, as Spenser says, with many mo,
This secret in the pregnant womb of time,
Too vast a matter for so weak a rhyme.





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And here like some weird Archimage sit I,
Plotting dark spells, and devilish enginery,
The self-impelling steam-wheels of the mind
Which pump up oaths from clergymen, and grind
The gentle spirit of our meek reviews
Into a powdery foam of salt abuse,
Ruffling the ocean of their self-content;
I sit -- and smile or sigh as is my bent,
But not for them — Libeccio rushes round
With an inconstant and an idle sound;
I heed him more than them — the thunder-smoke
Is gathering on the mountains, like a cloke
Folded athwart their shoulders broad and bare;
The ripe corn under the undulating air
Undulates like an ocean; — and the vines
Are trembling wide in all their trellised lines —
The murmur of the awakening sea doth fill
The empty pauses of the blast; — the hill
Looks hoary through the white electric rain,
And from the glens beyond, in sullen strain,
The interrupted thunder howls; above
One chasm of heaven smiles, like the eye

of Love
On the unquiet world; — while such things are,
How could one worth your friendship heed the war
Of worms? the shriek of the world's carrion jays,
Their censure, or their wonder, or their praise ?

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You are not here! the quaint witch Memory sees
In vacant chairs, your absent images,
And points where once you sat, and now should be
But are not. - I demand if ever we
Shall meet as then we met; and she replies,
Veiling in awe her second-sighted eyes; -
“ I know the past alone — but summon home


"My sister Hope, - she speaks of all to come. ” But I, an old diviner, who knew well

140 Every false verse of that sweet oracle, Turned to the sad enchantress once again, And sought a respite from my gentle pain, In citing every passage o'er and o'er Of our communion how on the sea-shore

145 We watched the ocean and the sky together, Under the roof of blue Italian weather ; How I ran home through last year's thunder-storm, And felt the transverse lightning linger warm Upon my cheek — and how we often made 150 Feasts for each other, where good will outweighed The frugal luxury of our country cheer, As well it might, were it less firm and clear Than ours must ever be; - and how we spun A shroud of talk to hide us from the sun

155 Of this familiar life, which seems to be But is not, — or is but quaint mockery Of all we would believe, and sadly blame The jarring and inexplicable frame Of this wrong world : — and then anatomize 160 The purposes and thoughts of men whose eyes Were closed in distant years; or widely guess The issue of the earth's great business, When we shall be as we no longer are Like babbling gossips safe, who hear the war 165 Of winds, and sigh, but tremble not; - or how You listened to some interrupted flow Of visionary rhyme, - in joy and pain Struck from the inmost fountains of my brain, With little skill perhaps ; - or how we sought Those deepest wells of passion or of thought Wrought by wise poets in the waste of years,

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Staining their sacred waters with our tears;
Quenching a thirst ever to be renewed !
Or how I, wisest lady! then indued
The language of a land which now is free,
And, winged with thoughts of truth and majesty,
Flits round the tyrant's sceptre like a cloud,
And bursts the peopled prisons, and cries aloud,
“My name is Legion !” — that majestic tongue,
Which Calderon over the desert flung
Of ages and of nations; and which found
An echo in our hearts, and with the sound
Startled oblivion; thou wert then to me
As is a nurse - when inarticulately
A child would talk as its grown parents do.
If living winds the rapid clouds pursue,
If hawks chase doves through the ætherial way,
Huntsmen the innocent deer, and beasts their prey,
Why should not we rouse with the spirit's blast
Out of the forest of the pathless past
These recollected pleasures?

You are now
In London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow
At once is deaf and loud, and on the shore
Vomits its wrecks, and still howls on for more.
Yet in its depth what treasures ! You will see
That which was Godwin, - greater none than he
Though fallen - and fallen on evil times — to stand
Among the spirits of our age and land,
Before the dread tribunal of to-come
The foremost, – while Rebuke cowers pale and dumb.
You will see Coleridge — he who sits obscure
In the exceeding lustre and the pure
Intense irradiation of a mind
Which, with its own internal lightning blind,





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