Obrázky na stránke

With squl-sustaining songs, and sweet debates
Of ancient lore there fed his lonely being.
“The mind becomes that which it contemplates,

And thus Zonoras, by forever seeing
Their bright creations, grew like wisest men ;
And when he heard the crash of nations fleeing

A bloodier power than ruled thy ruins then,
O sacred Hellas ! many weary years
He wandered, till the path of Laian's glen

Was grass-grown, and the unremembered tears
Were dry in Laian for their honored chief,
Who fell in Byzant, pierced by Moslem spears ;

And as the lady looked with faithful grief
From her high lattice o'er the rugged path,
Where she once saw that horseman toil, with


And blighting hope, who with the news of death Struck body and soul as with a mortal blight, She saw beneath the chestnuts, far beneath,

An old man toiling up, a weary wight;
And soon within her hospitable hall
She saw his white hairs glittering in the light

Of the wood-fire, and round his shoulders fall ;
And his wan visage and his withered mien
Yet calm and gentle and majestical.

And Athanase, her child, who must have been
Then three years old, sate opposite and gazed
In patient silence.

Such was Zonoras; and as daylight finds

; One amaranth glittering on the path of frost, When autumn nights have nipped all weaker


Thus through his age, dark, cold, and tempest

tossed, Shone truth upon Zonoras; and he filled From fountains pure, nigh overgrown and lost,

[ocr errors]

The spirit of Prince Athanase, a child,
With soul-sustaining songs of ancient lore
And philosophic wisdom, clear and mild.

And sweet and subtle talk they evermore,
The pupil and the master, shared ; until,
Sharing that undiminishable store,

The youth, as shadows on a grassy hill
Outrun the winds that chase them, soon outran
His teacher, and did teach with native skill

Strange truths and new to that experienced man ; Still they were friends, as few have ever been Who mark the extremes of life's discordant span.

41 One, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || An, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.
43 through, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || had, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.
49 they, Mrs. Shelley, 1824 || now, Mrs. Shelley, 18391.
51 that, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || the, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

So in the caverns of the forest green,
Or by the rocks of echoing ocean hoar,
Zonoras and Prince Athanase were seen

By summer woodmen ; and when winter's roar
Sounded o'er earth and sea its blast of war,
The Balearic fisher, driven from shore,

Hanging upon the peakèd wave afar,
Then saw their lamp from Laian's turret gleam,
Piercing the stormy darkness like a star

Which pours beyond the sea one steadfast beam,
Whilst all the constellations of the sky
Seemed reeling through the storm. They did but

[merged small][ocr errors]

For, lo! the wintry clouds are all gone by,
And bright Arcturus through yon pines is glow-

And far o'er southern waves, immovably

[ocr errors]

Belted Orion hangs — warm light is flowing From the young moon into the sunset's chasm. “O summer eve with power divine, bestowing

“ On thine own bird the sweet enthusiasm Which overflows in notes of liquid gladness, Filling the sky like light! How many a spasm

58 So, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || And, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || night, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

75 eve,

“Of fevered brains, oppressed with grief and mad

ness, Were lulled by thee, delightful nightingale ! And these soft waves, murmuring a gentle sadness,

“ And the far sighings of yon piny dale Made vocal by some wind we feel not here, I bear alone what nothing may avail

[ocr errors]

“ To lighten — a strange load !” — No human ear Heard this lament; but o'er the visage wan Of Athanase a ruffling atmosphere

Of dark emotion, a swift shadow, ran,
Like wind upon some forest-bosomed lake,
Glassy and dark. And that divine old man

Beheld his mystic friend's whole being shake,
Even where its inmost depths were gloomiest;
And with a calm and measured voice he spake,


And with a soft and equal pressure, pressed
That cold, lean hand:- 6. Dost thou remember yet,
When the curved moon, then lingering in the west,

“Paused in yon waves her mighty horns to wet, How in those beams we walked, half resting on

the sea ? 'Tis just one year sure thou dost not fo

get —

“ Then Plato's words of light in thee and me Lingered like moonlight in the moonless east; For we had just then read — thy memory

Is faithful now

the story of the feast; And Agathon and Diotima seemed From death and dark forgetfulness released.”

'Twas at the season when the Earth upsprings From slumber, as a spherèd angel's child, Shadowing its eyes with green and golden wings,

Stands up before its mother bright and mild,
Of whose soft voice the air expectant seems —
So stood before the sun, which shone and smiled

To see it rise thus joyous from its dreams,
The fresh and radiant Earth. The hoary grove
Waxed green, and flowers burst forth like starry


The grass in the warm sun did start and move,
And sea-buds burst beneath the waves serene.
How many a one, though none be near to love,

Loves then the shade of his own soul, half seen

any mirror, or the spring's young minions, The winged leaves amid the copses green !

How many a spirit then puts on the pinions
Of fancy, and outstrips the lagging blast,
And his own steps, and over wide dominions

Sweeps in his dream-drawn chariot, far and fast, More fleet than storms the wide world shrinks

below, When winter and despondency are passed !

116 beneath, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || under, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

« PredošláPokračovať »