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Those clouds of aëry gold,
That slept in glittering billows

Beneath the azure canopy,
With the ethereal footsteps trembled not;

While slight and odorous mists
Floated to strains of thrilling melody
Through the vast columns and the pearly shrines.

The Dæmon and the Spirit
Approached the overhanging battlement.
Below lay stretched the boundless universe !

There, far as the remotest line
That limits swift imagination's flight,
Unending orbs mingled in mazy motion,

Immutably fulfilling
Eternal Nature's law.
Above, below, around,
The circling systems formed
A wilderness of harmony

Each with undeviating aim
In eloquent silence through the depths of space

Pursued its wondrous way.

Awhile the Spirit paused in ecstasy.
Yet soon she saw, as the vast spheres swept by,
Strange things within their belted orbs appear.
Like animated frenzies, dimly moved
Shadows, and skeletons, and fiendly shapes,
Thronging round human graves, and o’er the dead
Sculpturing records for each memory
In verse, such as malignant gods pronounce,
Blasting the hopes of men, when heaven and hell
Confounded burst in ruin o’er the world ;

And they did build vast trophies, instruments
Of murder, human bones, barbaric gold,
Skins torn from living men, and towers of skulls
With sightless holes gazing on blinder heaven,
Mitres, and crowns, and brazen chariots stained
With blood, and scrolls of mystic wickedness,
The sanguine codes of venerable crime.
The likeness of a thronèd king came by,
When these had passed, bearing upon his brow
A threefold crown ; his countenance was calm,
His eye severe and cold ; but his right band
Was charged with bloody coin, and he did gnaw
By fits, with secret smiles, a human heart
Concealed beneath his robe; and motley shapes,
A multitudinous throng, around him knelt,
With bosoms bare, and bowed heads, and false

looks
Of true submission, as the sphere rolled by,
Brooking no eye to witness their foul shame,
Which human hearts must feel, while human

tongues Tremble to speak; they did rage horribly, Breathing in self-contempt fierce blasphemies Against the Dæmon of the World, and high Hurling their armed hands where the pure Spirit, Serene and inaccessibly secure, Stood on an isolated pinnacle, The flood of ages combating below, The depth of the unbounded universe

Above, and all around Necessity's unchanging harmony.

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THE DÆMON OF THE WORLD

II

O HAPPY Earth! reality of Heaven!
To which those restless powers that ceaselessly
Throng through the human universe aspire !
Thou consummation of all mortal hope!
Thou glorious prize of blindly-working will,
Whose rays, diffused throughout all space and time,
Verge to one point and blend forever there!
Of purest spirits thou pure dwelling-place,
Where care and sorrow, impotence and crime,
Languor, disease, and ignorance dare not come!
O happy Earth, reality of Heaven!

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Genius has seen thee in her passionate dreams, And dim forebodings of thy loveliness Haunting the human heart have there entwined Those rooted hopes, that the proud Power of Evil Shall not forever on this fairest world Shake pestilence and war, or that his slaves With blasphemy for prayer, and human blood For sacrifice, before his shrine forever In adoration bend, or Erebus With all its banded fiends shall not uprise To overwhelm in envy and revenge

The Dæmon of the World. II. Published by Forman, 1876.
15 Power | God, MS. cancelled.
20-22 or ...
revenge ||

Or that its jaws
Conspiring Hell shall gape to swallow all

MS. cancelled.

The dauntless and the good, who dare to hurl
Defiance at his throne, girt though it be
With Death's omnipotence. Thou hast beheld
His empire, o'er the present and the past ;
It was a desolate sight now gaze on mine,
Futurity. Thou hòary giant Time,
Render thou up thy half-devoured babes,
And from the cradles of eternity,
Where millions lie lulled to their portioned sleep
By the deep murmuring stream of passing things,
Tear thou that gloomy shroud! Spirit, behold
Thy glorious destiny !

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The Spirit saw The vast frame of the renovated world Smile in the lap of Chaos, and the sense Of hope through her fine texture did suffuse Such varying glow, as summer evening casts On undulating clouds and deepening lakes. Like the vague sighings of a wind at even, That wakes the wavelets of the slumbering sea And dies on the creation of its breath, And sinks and rises, fails and swells by fits, Was the sweet stream of thought that with mild

motion Flowed o'er the Spirit's human sympathies. The mighty tide of thought had paused awhile, Which from the Dæmon now like Ocean's stream Again began to pour. — 33 saw || felt, MS. cancelled. 36 through || on, MS cancelled.

46 The mighty stream of thought had calmly flowed, MS. cancelled.

43 pour || flow, MS. cancelled.

“ To me is given The wonders of the human world to keep Space, matter, time and mind — let the sight Renew and strengthen all thy failing hope. All things are recreated, and the flame Of consentaneous love inspires all life; The fertile bosom of the earth gives suck To myriads, who still grow beneath her care, Rewarding her with their pure perfectness ; The balmy breathings of the wind inhale Her virtues, and diffuse them all abroad ; Health floats amid the gentle atmosphero, Glows in the fruits, an l mantles on the stream ; No storms deform the beaming brow of heaven, Nor scatter in the freshness of its pride The foliage of the undecaying trees; But fruits are ever ripe, flowers ever fair, And Autumn proudly bears her matron grace, Kindling a flush on the fair cheek of Spring, Whose virgin bloom beneath the ruddy fruit Reflect; its tint and blushes into love.

The habitable earth is full of bliss; Those wastes of frozen billows that were hurled By everlasting snowstorms round the poles, Where matter dared nor vegetate nor live, But ceaseless frost round the vast solitude Bound its broad zone of stillness, are unloosed ; And fragrant zephyrs there from spicy isles Ruffle the placid ocean-deep, that rolls

50–51 let hope ||

Futurity
Exposes all the treasures to thy sight.

MS. cancelled.

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