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VI

snare

IX

Which says

Thus power and hope were strength- Although I trod the paths of high ened more and more

intent, Within me, till there came upon my I journeyed now: mind

panionless, A sense of loneliness, a thirst with Where solitude is like despair, I which I pined.

went. There is the wisdom of a stern

content Alas that love should be a blight and When Poverty can blight the just and

good, To those who seek all sympathies When Infamy dares mock the in one !

innocent, Such once I sought in vain; then And cherished friends turn with the black despair,

multitude The shadow of a starless night, To trample : this was ours, and we unwas thrown

shaken stood ! Over the world in which I moved

alone : Yet never found I one not false to me, Now has descended a serener hour, Hard hearts, and cold, like weights And, with inconstant fortune, of icy stone

friends return; Which crushed and withered mine, Though suffering leaves the knowthat could not be

ledge and the power Aught but a lifeless clog, until revived

" Let scorn be not by thee.

repaid with scorn.

And from thy side two gentle babes VII

are born Thou Friend, whose presence on my

To fill our home with smiles, and wintry heart

thus are we Fell, like bright Spring upon some

Most fortunate beneath life's beamherbless plain,

ing morn : llow beautiful and calm and free thou And these delights, and thou, have wert

been to me In thy young wisdom, when the The parents of the Song I consecrate to mortal chain

thee. Of Custom thou didst burst and

rend in twain, And walk as free as light the clouds Is it that now my inexperienced among,

fingers Which many an envious slave then But strike the prelude of a loftier breathed in vain

strain ? From his dim dungeon, and my spirit Or must the lyre on which my spirit sprung

lingers To meet thee from the woes which had Soon pause in silence, ne'er to begirt it long!

sound again,

Though it might shake the Anarch VIII

Custom's reign, No more alone through the world's And charm the minds of men to wilderness, ·

Truth's own sway,

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for their prey.

XI

XIV

Holier than was Amphion's ? I And the tumultuous world stood mute would fain

to hear it, Reply in hope— but I am worn away,

As some lone man who in a desert And Death and Love are yet contending hears

The music of his home :-unwonted

fears Fell on the pale oppressors of our

race, And what art thou? I know, but

And Faith and Custom and low. dare not speak :

thoughted cares, Time may interpret to his silent

Like thunder-stricken dragons, for a years. Yet in the paleness of thy thoughtsul

space cheek,

Left the torn human heart, their food

and dwelling-place. And in the light thine ample fore

head wears, And in thy sweetest smiles, and in

Truth's deathless voice pauses among thy tears,

mankind ! And in thy gentle speech, a prophecy

If there must be no response to Is whispered, to subdue my fondest fears :

my cryAnd, through thine eyes, even in thy

If men must rise and stamp, with

fury blind, soul I see

On his pure name who loves them, A lamp of vestal fire burning internally.

---thou and I, Sweet friend ! can look from our

tranquillity They say that thou wert lovely from

Like lamps into the world's temthy birth,

pestuous night,Of glorious parents, thou aspiring

Two tranquil stars, while clouds Child.

are passing by I wonder not — for One then left this

Which wrap them from the founderearth

ing seaman's sight,
Whose life was like a setting planet That burn from year to year with
mild,

unextinguished light.
Which clothed thee in the radiance
undefiled

CANTO I
Of its departing glory ; still her fame
Shines on thee, through the tempests
dark and wild

When the last hope of trampled Which shake these latter days; and

France had failed thou canst claim

Like a brief dream of unremaining The shelter, from thy Sire, of an im

glory, mortal name.

From visions of despair I rose,

and scaled

The peak of an aërial promontory, One voice came forth from many a Whose caverned base with the mighty spirit

vext surge was hoary ; Which was the echo of three- And saw the golden dawn break furth, thousand years ;

and waken

XII

1

XIU

Woven

II

V

did keep

Each cloud and every wave :- -but That fearful darkness, the blue transitory

sky was seen The calm : for sudden the firm earth Fretted with many a fair cloud inter

was shaken, As if by the last wreck its frame were Most delicately, and the ocean overtaken.

green, Beneath that opening spot of blue

serene, So as I stood, one blast of muttering

Quivered like burning emerald : calm thunder

was spread Burst in far peals along the wave- On all below; but far on high, less deep,

between When, gathering fast, around, above,

Earth and the upper air, the vast and under,

clouds fled, Long trains of tremulous mist Countless and swift as leaves on autumn's began to creep,

tempest shed. Until their complicating lines did

steep The orient sun in shadow:-- not a sound

For ever, as the war became more Was heard ; one horrible repose

fierce

Between the whirlwinds and the The forests and the floods, and all

rack on high, around

That spot grew more serene ;

blue Darkness more dread than night was light did pierce poured upon the ground.

The woof of those white clouds,

which seem to lie

Far, deep, and motionless ; while Hark! 'tis the rushing of a wind through the sky

The pallid semicircle of the moon Earth and the ocean. See! the Passed on, in slow and moving lightnings yawn

majesty ; Deluging Heaven with fire, and the Its upper horn arrayed in mists, which

lashed deeps Glitter and boil beneath : it rages But slowly fled, like dew beneath the on,

beams of noon. One mighty stream, whirlwind and

waves upthrown, Lightning and hail, and darkness eddying by.

I could not choose but gaze ; a There is a pause - the sea - birds,

fascination that were gone

Dwelt in that moon and sky and Into their caves to shriek, come forth,

clouds, which drew

My fancy thither, and in expectation What calm has fallen on earth, what

Of what, I knew not, I remained : light is in the sky.

the hue of the white moon, amid that

heaven so blue, For, where the irresistible storm had Suddenly stained with shadow did cloven

appear ;

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A speck, a cloud, shape, And every golden seather gleamed approaching grew,

thereinLike a great ship in the sun's sinking Feather and scale inextricably blended. sphere

The Serpent's mailed and many. Beheld afar at sea, and swift it came coloured skin

Shone through the plumes its

coils were twined within

By many a swoln and knotted fold, Even like a bark, which from a chasm

and high of mountains,

And far the neck, receding lithe Dark, vast, and overhanging, on a

and thin, river

Sustained a crested head, which warily Which there collects the strength of Shisted and glanced before the Eagle's all its fountains,

steadfast eye.
Comes forth, whilst with the speed

its frame doth quiver,
Sails, oars, and stream, tending to

Around, around, in ceaseless circles one endeavour ;

wheeling So, from that chasm of light a winged

With clang of wings and scream, Form,

the Eagle sailed On all the winds of heaven

Incessantly--sometimes on high conapproaching ever,

cealing Floated, dilating as it came : the

Its lessening orbs, sometimes, as if

it failed, storm Pursued it with fierce blasts, and light

Drooped through the air ; and still

it shrieked and wailed, nings swift and warm.

And, casting back its eager head,

with beak

And talon unremittingly assailed A course precipitous, of dizzy speed,

The wreathed Serpent, who did ever Suspending thought and breath ;

seek a monstrous sight!

Upon his enemy's heart a mortal wound For in the air do I behold indeed

to wreak, An Eagle and a Serpent wreathed

in fight : And now, relaxing its impetuous

What lise, what power, was kindled flight

and arose Before the aërial rock on which I

Within the sphere of that appalling stood,

fray! The Eagle, hovering, wheeled to

For, from the encounter of those left and right,

wondrous foes, And hung with lingering wings over

A vapour like the sea's suspended the flood,

spray And startled with its yells the wide air's

Ilung gathered : in the void air, solitude.

Floated the shattered plumes : bright

scales did leap, A shaft of light upon its wings Where'er the Eagle's talons made

descended,

VIII

XI

far away,

IX

their way,

the sea

Like sparks into the darkness ;-as Thus long, but unprevailing : :- the they sweep,

event Blood stains the snowy foam of the of that portentous fight appeared at tumultuous deep.

length :

Until the lamp of day was almost XII

spent Swift chances in that combat - many

It had endured, when liseless, a check,

stark, and rent, And many a change, a dark and Hung high that mighty Serpent, and wild turmoil ;

at last Sometimes the Snake around his

Fell to the sea, — while o'er the enemy's neck

continent, Locked in stiff rings his adamantine

With clang of wings and scream, the coil,

Eagle past, Until the Eagle, faint with pain Heavily borne away on the exhausted and toil,

blast.

XV Remitted his strong flight, and near

And with it fled the tempest, so that Languidly fluttered, hopeless so to

ocean foil

And earth and sky shone through Ilis adversary, who then reared on the atmospherehigh

Only, 'twas strange to see the red His red and burning crest, radiant with commotion victory.

Of waves like mountains o'er the

sinking sphere

Of sunset sweep, and their fierce Then on the white edge of the burst

roar to hear ing surge,

Amid the calm :-down the steep Where they had sunk together,

path I wound would the Snake

To the sea-shore- the evening was Relax his suffocating grasp, and

most clear

And beautiful; and there the sea I scourge The wind with his wild writhings;

found for, to break

Calm as a cradled child in dreamless That chain of torment, the vast

slumber bound. bird would shake The strength of his unconquerable There was a Woman, beautiful as wings

morning, As in despair, and with his sinewy Sitting beneath the rocks upon the neck

sand Dissolve in sudden shock those linked

of the waste sea- fair as one flower rings,

adorning Then soar-as swift as smoke from a

An icy wilderness--each delicate volcano springs.

hand

Lay crossed upon her bosom, and XIV

the band Wile baffled wile, and strength en- Of her dark hair had fall'n, and so

countered strength,

XIII

XVI

she sate,

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