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As if some living thing had made its lair

A doubt which would not flee, a Even in the fountains of my life:-a

tenderness long

Of questioning grief, a source of And wondrous vision, wrought

thronging tears: from my despair,

Which having passed, as one whom Then grew, like sweet reality among

sobs oppress Dim visionary woes, an unreposing

She spoke: “Yes, in the wilderthrong.

ness of years

Her memory aye like a green

home appears; “Methought I was about to be a

She sucked her fill even at this breast, mother

sweet love, Month after month went by, and

For many months. I had still I dreamed

mortal fears; That we should soon be all to one

Methought I felt her lips and breath another, I and my child; and still new It was a human thing which to my

approve pulses seemed

bosom clove. To beat beside my heart, and still

I deemed There was a babe within-and, when “I watched the dawn of her first the rain

smiles, and soon, Of winter through the risted cavern When zenith-stars were trembling streamed,

on the wave, Methought, after a lapse of lingering Or when the beams of the invisible

pain, I saw that lovely shape which near my

Or sun from many a prism within heart had lain.

the cave

Their gem - born shadows to the

water gave, “ It was a babe, beautiful from its

Her looks would hunt them, and birth,

with outspread hand, It was like thee, dear love, its

From the swift lights which might eyes were thine,

that fountain pave, Its brow, its lips, and so upon the She would mark one, and laughi earth

when, that command It laid its fingers as now rest on Slighting, it lingered there, and could mine

not understand. Thine own, beloved !- 'twas

dream divine; Even to remember how it fled, how “Methought her looks began to talk swift,

with me: How utterly, might make the heart And no articulate sounds but somerepine,

thing sweet Though 'twas dream.”

Then Her lips would frame,- So sweet it
Cythna did uplift

could not be Her looks on mine, as if some doubt That it was meaningless; her touch she sought to shift:

would meet







Mine, and our pulses calmly flow Vexed the inconstant waves with my and beat

perpetual moan. In response while we slept; and, on

XXIV a day When I was happiest in that “I was no longer mad, and yet mestrange retreat,

thought With heaps of golden shells we two My breasts

swoln and did play,

changed :-in every vein Both infants weaving wings for time's The blood stood still one moment, perpetual way.

while that thought Was passing with

a gush of XXII

sickening pain

It ebbed even to its withered “Ere night, methought, her waning

springs again : eyes were grown

When my wan eyes in stern resolve I Weary with joy, and, tired with

turned our delight,

From that most strange delusion, We on the earth like sister twins lay

which would fain down

Have waked the dream for which my On one fair mother's bosom :

spirit yearned from that night

With more than human love,-then lest She fled ;-like those illusions clear

it unreturned.
and bright
Which dwell in lakes when the red

moon on high
Pause ere it wakens tempest ;-

So, now my reason was restored to

me, and her fight,

I struggled with that dream, which, Though 'twas the death of brainless

like a beast fantasy,

Most fierce and beauteous, in my Yet smote my lonesome heart more than

memory all misery.

Had made its lair, and on my heart

did feast; XXIII

But all that cave and all its shapes, * It seemed that, in the dreary night,

possest the diver

By thoughts which could not fade, Who brought me thither came renewed each one again, and bore

Some smile, some look, some gesMy child away. I saw the waters

ture, which had blest quiver

Me heretofore; I, sitting there alone, When he so swiftly sunk, as once Vexed the inconstant waves with my before:

perpetual moan. Then morning came-it shone

even as of yore, But I was changed — the very life “ Time passed, I know not whether was gone

months or years ; Out of my heart-I wasted more For day nor night nor change of and more

seasons made Day after day, and, sitting there Its note, but thoughts and unavailing alone,


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And I became at last even as a Like mind while yet it mocks the allshade,

devouring grave. A smoke, a cloud on which the

winds have preyed Till it be thin as air; until, one even, “ And where was Laon? might my A Nautilus upon the fountain

heart be dead played,

While that far dearer heart could Spreading his azure sail where breath

move and be ? of Heaven

Or whilst over the earth the pall was Descended not, among the waves and spread whirlpools driven.

Which I had sworn to rend? I

might be free, XXVII

Could I but win that friendly bird

to me “And, when the Eagle came, that lovely thing,

To bring me ropes ; and long in vain Oaring with rosy feet its silver

I sought, boat,

By intercourse of mutual imagery Fled near as for shelter ; on

Of objects, if such aid he could be slow wing

taught ; The Eagle hovering o'er his prey

But fruit and flowers and boughs, yet did float;

never ropes, he brought. But, when he saw that I with fear

did note His purpose, proffering my own food “We live in our own world, and mine to him,

was made The eager plumes subsided on his From glorious fantasies of hope throat

departed : He came where that bright child of Ay, we are darkened with their floatsea did swim,

ing shade, And o'er it cast in peace his shadow Or cast a lustre on them -- time broad and dim.


Such power to me I became fearXXVIII

less-hearted, " This wakened me, it gave me human

My eye and voice grew firm, calm strength;

was my mind, And hope, I know not whence or

And piercing, like the morn now

it has darted wherefore, rose, But I resumed my ancient powers at

Its lustre on all hidden things behind length;

Yon dim and fading clouds which load
My spirit felt again like one of

the weary wind.
Like thine, whose fate it is to make
the woes

My mind became the book through Of humankind their prey-what was

which I grew this cave?

Wise in all human wisdom, and its Its deep foundation no firm purpose

cave, knows,

Which like a mine I rifled through Immutable, resistless, strong to save,

and through,


that are,

thus I grew

To me the keeping of its secrets Equal and pure and wise, in wisdom's

One mind, the type of all, the
moveless wave

Whose calm reflects all moving things “For to my will my fancies were as

slaves Necessity and love and life, the

To do their sweet and subtile grave

ministries; And sympathy, fountains of hope and

And oft from that bright fountain's fear,

shadowy waves Justice and truth and time and the

They would make human throngs world's natural sphere.

gather and rise

To combat with my overflowing XXXII

eyes “ And on the sand would I make

And voice made deep with passion--signs to range These woofs, as they were woven,

Familiar with the shock and the of my thought;

surprise Clear elemental shapes, whose smallest And war of earthly minds, from which change

I drew
A subtler language within language


power which has been mine to wrought :

frame their thoughts anew.
The key of truths which once were
dimly taught

In old Crotona ;-and sweet melodies “And thus my prison was the popu-
Of love in that lorn solitude I

lous earthcaught

Where I

as misery From mine own voice in dream, when

dreams of morn thy dear eyes

Before the east has given its glory Shone through my sleep, and did that

birthutterance harmonise.

Religion's pomp made desolate by

the scorn XXXIII

Of Wisdom's faintest smile, and

thrones uptorn, • Thy songs were winds whereon I fled at will,

And dwellings of mild people interAs in a wingèd chariot, o'er the

With undivided fields of ripening plain

corn, Of crystal youth ; and thou wert there

And love made free, to fill

-a hope which

we have nurst
My heart with joy, and there we
sate again

Even with our blood and tears, -until
On the gray margin of the glimmer-

its glory burst. ing main,

XXXVI Happy as then, but wiser far, for we Smiled on the flowery grave in " All is not lost! There is some which were lain

recompense Fear, Faith, and Slavery ; and man- For hope whose fountain can be kind was free,

thus profound,

saw — even




sea :


cherish yet

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Even throned Evil's splendid im- Was ebbing round and my bright potence

abode Girt by its hell of power, the secret Before me yawned-a chasm desert and sound

bare and broad. Of hymns to truth and freedom

the dread bound Of life and death passed fearlessly

Above me was the sky, beneath the and well, Dungeons wherein the high resolve

I stood upon a point of shattered is found,

stone, Racks which degraded woman's great- And heard loose rocks rushing tumulness tell,

tuously And what may else be good and irresist

With splash and shock into the

All ceased, and there was silence

wide and lone. “ Such are the thoughts which, like

I felt that I was free! The oceanthe fires that flare

spray In storm - encompassed isles, we Quivered beneath my feet, the

broad Heaven shone In this dark ruin--such were mine Around, and in my hair the winds did even there;

play, As in its sleep some odorous violet, Lingering, as they pursued their unimWhile yet its leaves with nightly

peded way.
dews are wet,
Breathes in prophetic dreams of day's

• My spirit moved upon the sea like
Or as, ere Scythian frost in fear wind,
has met

Which round some thymy cape will
Spring's messengers descending from

lag and hover, the skies,

Though it can wake the still cloud, The buds foreknow their life--this hope

and unbind must ever rise.

The strength of tempest: day

was almost over, XXXVIII

When through the fading light I
“So years had passed, when sudden could discover
earthquake rent

A ship approaching—its white sails
The depth of ocean, and the cavern

were fed

With the north wind—its moving With sound as if the world's wide

shade did cover

The twilight deep ;--the mariners in
Had fallen in universal ruin wrackt:

And through the cleft streamed in Cast anchor when they saw new rocks
one cataract

around them spread. The stifling waters.-- When I woke,

the flood,
Whose banded waves that crystal “ And, when they saw one sitting on



cave had sacked,

a crag,

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