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'Twas at this season that Prince Athanase Passed the white Alps ; those eagle-baffling moun

tains Slept in their shrouds of snow; beside the ways

The waterfalls were voiceless, for their fountains Were changed to mines of sunless crystal now; Or, by the curdling winds, like brazen wings

Which clanged along the mountain's marble brow,
Warped into adamantine fretwork, hung.
And filled with frozen light the chasm below.

Thou art the wine whose drunkenness is all
We can desire, O Love! and happy souls,
Ere from thy vine the leaves of autumn fall,

Catch thee, and feed from their o'erflowing bowls Thousands who thirst for thy ambrosial dew! Thou art the radiance which where ocean rolls

Investest it; and when the heavens are blue
Thou fillest them; and when the earth is fair
The shadow of thy moving wings imbue

Its deserts and its mountains, till they wear
Beauty like some bright robe; thou ever soar-

Among the towers of men, and as soft air

142 Invests it: and when heavens are blue, Mrs. Shelley, 1824. Investeth, Rossetti.

144 Shadows, Rossetti.

In spring, which moves the unawakened forest, Clothing with leaves its branches bare and bleak, Thou floatest among men, and aye implorest

That which from thee they should implore; the

weak Alone kneel to thee, offering up the hearts The strong have broken ; yet where shall any seek

A garment whom thou clothest not?

Her hair was brown, her spherèd eyes were brown,
And in their dark and liquid moisture swam,
Like the dim orb of the eclipsèd moon;

Yet when the spirit flashed beneath, there came
The light from them, as when tears of delight
Double the western planet's serene flame.


A WOODMAN, whose rough heart was out of tune (I think such hearts yet never came to good), Hated to hear, under the stars or moon,

One nightingale in an interfluous wood
Satiate the hungry dark with melody ; -
And as a vale is watered by a flood,

180 flame, Boscombe MS. II frame, Mrs. Shelley, 18392.

The Woodman and the Nightingale. Published, 1-67, by Mrs. Shelley, 1824, and, 68–70, by Garnett, 1862. Dated, 1818.

Or as the moonlight fills the open sky
Struggling with darkness, as a tuberose
Peoples some Indian dell with scents which lie

Like clouds above the flower from which they


The singing of that happy nightingale
In this sweet forest, from the golden close

Of evening till the star of dawn may fail,
Was interfused


the silentness. The folded roses and the violets pale

Heard her within their slumbers, the abyss
Of heaven with all its planets; the dull ear
Of the night-cradled earth; the loneliness

Of the circumfluous waters; every sphere
And every flower and beam and cloud and

And every wind of the mute atmosphere,

And every beast stretched in its rugged cave,
And every bird lulled on its mossy bough,
And every silver moth fresh from the grave

Which is its cradle ; — ever from below
Aspiring like one who loves too fair, too far,
To be consumed within the purest glow

Of one serene and unapproached star,
As if it were a lamp of earthly light,
Unconscious as some human lovers are

Itself how low, how high beyond all height
The heaven where it would perish! -- and every

That worshipped in the temple of the night

Was awed into delight, and by the charm
Girt as with an interminable zone,
Whilst that sweet bird, whose music was a storm

Of sound, shook forth the dull oblivion
Out of their dreams ; harmony became love

soul but one.

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And so this man returned with axe and saw
At evening close from killing the tall treen,
The soul of whom by nature's gentle law

Was each a wood-nymph, and kept ever green
The pavement and the roof of the wild copse,
Checkering the sunlight of the blue serene

With jagged leaves, and from the forest tops
Singing the winds to sleep, or weeping oft
Fast showers of aërial water drops

Into their mother's bosom, sweet and soft,
Nature's pure tears which have no bitterness ;
Around the cradles of the birds aloft

They spread themselves into the loveliness
Of fan-like leaves, and over pallid flowers
Hang like moist clouds; or, where high branches

49 their || her, Rossetti.

Make a green space among the silent bowers,
Like a vast fane in a metropolis,
Surrounded by the columns and the towers

All overwrought with branch-like traceries
In which there is religion — and the mute
Persuasion of unkindled melodies,

Odors and gleams and murmurs, which the lute
Of the blind pilot-spirit of the blast
Stirs as it sails, now grave and now acute,

Wakening the leaves and waves ere it has passed
To such brief unison as on the brain
One tone, which never can recur, has cast,

One accent never to return again.

The world is full of Woodmen who expel
Love's gentle Dryads from the haunt of life,
And vex the nightingales in every dell.



Thou wert not, Cassius, and thou couldst not be,

Last of the Romans, though thy memory claim From Brutus his own glory, and on thee

Rests the full splendor of his sacred fame;

Otho. Published, i., ii., by Mrs. Shelley, 18391, iii., by Garnett, 1862. Composed, 1817.

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