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Thou art the path of that unresting sound,
Dizzy Ravine! and when I gaze on thee,
I seem as in a trance sublime and strange
To muse on my own separate fantasy,
My own, my human mind, which passively
Now renders and receives fast influencings,
Holding an unremitting interchange
With the clear universe of things around ;
One legion of wild thoughts, whose wandering

wings
Now float above thy darkness, and now rest,
Where that or thou art no unbidden guest,
In the still cave of the witch Poesy,
Seeking among the shadows that pass by —
Ghosts of all things that are some shade of thee,
Some phantom, some faint image ; till the breast
From which they fled recalls them, thou art there!

III

Some say that gleams of a remoter world
Visit the soul in sleep, — that death is slumber,
And that its shapes the busy thoughts outnumber
Of those who wake and live. I look on high ;
Has some unknown Omnipotence unfurled
The veil of life and death ? or do I lie
In dream, and does the mightier world of sleep
Spread far around and inaccessibly
Its circles ? for the very spirit fails,
Driven like a homeless cloud from steep to steep
That vanishes among the viewless gales!
Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky,
Mont Blanc appears,

still, snowy and serene iii. 5 upfurled, James Thomson conj.

Its subject mountains their unearthly forms
Pile around it, ice and rock ; broad vales between
Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps,
Blue as the overhanging heaven, that spread
And wind among the accumulated steeps;
A desert peopled by the storms alone,
Save when the eagle brings some hunter's bone,
And the wolf tracks her there. How hideously
Its shapes are heaped around! rude, bare and high,
Ghastly, and scarred, and riven.— Is this the scene
Where the old Earthquake-dæmon taught her

young
Ruin? Were these their toys? or did a sea
Of fire envelop once this silent snow?
None can reply — all seems eternal now.
The wilderness has a mysterious tongue
Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild,
So solemn, so serene, that man may be
But for such faith with Nature reconciled;
Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal
Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood
By all, but which the wise, and great, and good,
Interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel.

IV

The fields, the lakes, the forests and the streams,
Ocean, and all the living things that dwell
Within the dædal earth, lightning, and rain,
Earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane,
The torpor of the year when feeble dreams

iii. 15 round, Rossetti conj.

21 tracks her there || watches her, Boscombe MS. 31 In such a faith, Boscombe MS.

Visit the hidden buds or dreamless sleep
Holds every future leaf and flower, the bound
With which from that detested trance they leap,
The works and ways of man, their death and birth,
And that of him and all that his may be,
All things that move and breathe with toil and

sound
Are born and die, revolve, subside and swell ;
Power dwells apart in its tranquillity,
Remote, serene, and inaccessible ;-
And this, the naked countenance of earth
On which I gaze, even these primeval mountains,
Teach the adverting mind. The glaciers creep,
Like snakes that watch their prey, from their far

fountains,
Slow rolling on ; there many a precipice
Frost and the Sun in scorn of mortal power
Have piled — dome, pyramid and pinnacle,
A city of death, distinct with many a tower
And wall impregnable of beaming ice;
Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin
Is there, that from the boundaries of the sky
Rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing
Its destined path, or in the mangled soil
Branchless and shattered stand ; the rocks, drawn

down
From yon remotest waste, have overthrown
The limits of the dead and living world,
Never to be reclaimed. The dwelling-place
Of insects, beasts and birds, becomes its spoil,
Their food and their retreat forever gone;
So much of life and joy is lost. The race

iv. 25 the boundary of the skies, Rossetti.

Of man flies far in dread ; his work and dwelling
Vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream,
And their place is not known. Below, vast caves
Shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam,
Which from those secret chasms in tumult welling
Meet in the Vale; and one majestic River,
The breath and blood of distant lands, forever
Rolls its loud waters to the ocean waves,
Breathes its swift vapors to the circling air.

V

Mont Blanc yet gleams on high: the power is

there, The still and solemn power of many sights And many sounds, and much of life and death. In the calm darkness of the moonless nights, In the lone glare of day, the snows descend Upon that Mountain; none beholds them there, Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun, Or the star-beams dart through them ; winds

contend Silently there, and heap the snow, with breath Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home The voiceless lightning in these solitudes Keeps innocently, and like vapor broods Over the snow. The secret strength of things, Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome Of heaven is as a law, inhabits thee! And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and

sea, If to the human mind's imaginings Silence and solitude were vacancy?

POEMS WRITTEN IN 1817

MARIANNE'S DREAM

I

A PALE dream came to a Lady fair,

And said, “ A boon, a boon, I pray ! I know the secrets of the air ;

And things are lost in the glare of day, Which I can make the sleeping see, If they will put their trust in me.

II

“ And thou shalt know of things unknown,

If thou wilt let me rest between The veiny lids whose fringe is thrown

Over thine eyes so dark and sheen.” And half in hope and half in fright The Lady closed her eyes so bright.

III

At first all deadly shapes were driven

Tumultuously across her sleep, And o'er the vast cope of bending heaven

All ghastly-visaged clouds did sweep; And the Lady ever looked to spy

If the golden sun shone forth on high.

Marianne's Dream. Published by Hunt in The Literary PocketBook, 1819. Composed at Marlow, 1817.

iü. 6 gold, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

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