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Their litany of curses some guess right,
And others swear you ’re a Hermaphrodite;
Like that sweet marble monster of both sexes,
With looks so sweet and gentle that it vexes
The very soul that the soul is gone
Which lifted from her limbs the veil of stone.

It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm, A happy and auspicious bird of calm, Which rides o'er life's ever tumultuous Ocean; A God that broods o'er chaos in commotion ; A flower which fresh as Lapland roses are, Lifts its bold head into the world's frore air, And blooms most radiantly when others die, Health, hope, and youth, and brief prosperity ; And with the light and odor of its bloom, Shining within the dungeon and the tomb; Whose coming is as light and music are 'Mid dissonance and gloom - a star Which moves not ’mid the moving heavens alone — A smile among dark frowns - a gentle tone Among rude voices, a beloved light, A solitude, a refuge, a delight. If I had but a friend! Why, I have three Even by my own confession ; there may be Some more, for what I know, for 'tis my mind To call my friends all who are wise and kind, And these, Heaven knows, at best are very few; But none can ever be more dear than you. Why should they be? My muse has lost her wings, Or like a dying swan who soars and sings,

67 frore, Rossetti || pure, Mrs. Shelley, 18392.

I should describe you in heroic style,
But as it is, are you not void of guile?
A lovely soul, formed to be blessed and bless;
A well of sealed and secret happiness;
A lute which those whom Love has taught to play
Make music on to cheer the roughest day,
And enchant sadness till it sleeps ?

To the oblivion whither I and thou,
All loving and all lovely, hasten now
With steps, ah, too unequall may we meet
In one Elysium or one winding sheet !
If any should be curious to discover
Whether to you I am a friend or lover,
Let them read Shakespeare's sonnets, taking thence
A whetstone for their dull intelligence
That tears and will not cut, or let them guess
How Diotima, the wise prophetess,
Instructed the instructor, and why he
Rebuked the infant spirit of melody
On Agathon's sweet lips, which as he spoke
Was as the lovely star when morn has broke
The roof of darkness, in the golden dawn,
Half-hidden, and yet beautiful.

I'll pawn

My hopes of Heaven - you know what they are

worth That the presumptuous pedagogues of Earth, If they could tell the riddle offered here Would scorn to be, or, being, to appear What now they seem and are - but let them chide, They have few pleasures in the world beside ;

Perhaps we should be dull were we not chidden; Paradise fruits are sweetest when forbidden. Folly can season Wisdom, Hatred Love.

Farewell, if it can be to say farewel
To those who –

I will not, as most dedicators do,
Assure myself and all the world and you,
you are faultless

would to God they were Who taunt me with


love! I then should wear These heavy chains of life with a light spirit, And would to God I were, or even as near it As you, dear heart. Alas! what are we? Clouds Driven by the wind in warring multitudes, Which rain into the bosom of the earth, And rise again, and in our death and birth, And through our restless life, take as from heaven Hues which are not our own, but which are given, And then withdrawn, and with inconstant glance Flash from the spirit to the countenance. There is a Power, a Love, a Joy, a God, Which makes in mortal hearts its brief abode, A Pythian exhalation, which inspires Love, only love — a wind which o'er the wires Of the soul's giant harp There is a mood which language faints beneath ; You feel it striding, as Almighty Death His bloodless steed.

And what is that most brief and bright delight Which rushes through the touch and through the


And stands before the spirit's inmost throne,
A naked Seraph ? None hath ever known.
Its birth is darkness, and its growth desire;
Untamable and fleet and fierce as fire,
Not to be touched but to be felt alone,
It fills the world with glory — and is gone.

It floats with rainbow pinions o'er the stream
Of life, which flows, like a dream
Into the light of morning, to the grave
As to an ocean.

What is that joy which serene infancy
Perceives not, as the hours content them by,
Each in a chain of blossoms, yet enjoys
The shapes of this new world, in giant toys
Wrought by the busy

ever new ? Remembrance borrows Fancy's glass, to show These forms more

sincere Than now they are, than then, perhaps, they were. When everything familiar seemed to be Wonderful, and the immortality Of this great world, which all things must inherit, Was felt as one with the awakening spirit, Unconscious of itself, and of the strange Distinctions which in its proceeding change It feels and knows, and mourns as if each were A desolation.

Were it not a sweet refuge, Emily,
For all those exiles from the dull insane
Who vex this pleasant world with pride and pain,
For all that band of sister-spirits known
To one another by a voiceless tone ?


And ever as he went he swept a lyre
Of unaccustomed shape, and strings
Now like the

of impetuous fire,
Which shakes the forest with its murmurings,
Now like the rush of the aërial wings
Of the enamoured wind among the treen,
Whispering unimaginable things,

And dying on the streams of dew serene, Which feed the unmown meads with ever-during


And the green Paradise which western waves
Embosom in their ever wailing sweep,
Talking of freedom to their tongueless caves,
Or to the spirits which within them keep
A record of the wrongs which, though they sleep,
Die not, but dream of retribution, heard
His hymns, and echoing them from steep to steep,

And then came one of sweet and earnest looks,
Whose soft smiles to his dark and night-like eyes
Were as the clear and ever living brooks
Are to the obscure fountains whence they rise,
Showing how pure they are : a Paradise
Of happy truth upon his forehead
Lay, making wisdom lovely, in the guise

Of earth-awakening morn upon the brow
Of star-deserted heaven, while ocean gleams below.

Lines written for Adonais. Published by Garnett, 1862.

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