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Or as on Vesta's sceptre a swift flame--- Around their inland islets, and amid Or on blind Homer's heart a winged The panther - peopled forests, whose thought,--

shade cast In joyous expectation lay the boat. Darkness and odours, and a pleasure


In melancholy gloom, the pinnace past; Then by strange art she kneaded fire

By many a star-surrounded pyramid and snow

Of icy crag cleaving the purple sky, Together, tempering the repugnant. And caverns yawning round unfathom

ably. With liquid love-all things together

grow Through which the harmony of love The silver noon into that winding dell, can pass;

With slanted gleam athwart the forest And a fair Shape out of her hands did

tops, flow

Tempered like golden evening, feebly A living Image, which did far surpass In beauty that bright shape of vital stone A green and glowing light, like that Which drew the heart out of Pygmalion.

which drops From folded lilies in which glow-worms

dwell, A sexless thing it was, and in its growth When earth over her face night's It seemed to have developed no defect

mantle wraps; Of either sex, yet all the grace of both, Between the severed mountains lay on In gentleness and strength its limbs high, were decked;

Over the stream, a narrow rift of sky. The bosom swelled lightly with its full

youth, The countenance was such as might And ever as she went, the Image lay select

With folded wings and unawakened Some artist that his skill should never

eyes ; die,

And o'er its gentle countenance did play Imaging forth such perfect purity.

The busy dreams, as thick as summer

flies, From its smooth shoulders hung two Chasing the rapid smiles that would not rapid wings,

stay, Fit to have borne it to the seventh sphere

And drinking the warm tears, and the Tipt with the speed of liquid lightenings, Inhaling, which, with busy murmur vain,

sweet sighs Dyed in the ardours of the atmosphere: They had aroused from that full heart She led her creature to the boiling springs

and brain. Where the light boat was moored,

and said : “Sit here !" And pointed to the prow, and took her

And ever down the prone vale, like a Beside the rudder, with opposing feet.

cloud Upon a stream of wind, the pinnace

went : And down the streams which clove those Now lingering on the pools, in which mountains vast,










The calm and darkness of the deep With which frost paints the pines in

winter time. In which they paused; now o'er the shallow road

XLV Of white and dancing waters, all be. And then it winnowed the Elysian air sprent

Which ever hung about that lady With sand and polished pebbles :

bright, mortal boat

With its ethereal vans—and speeding In such a shallow rapid could not float.

there, Like a star up the torrent of the night,

Or a swift eagle in the morning glare And down the earthquaking cataracts

Breasting the whirlwind with impetuwhich shiver Their snow-like waters into golden air, The pinnace, oared by those enchanted

ous flight, Or under chasms unfathomable ever Sepulchre them, till in their rage they Clove the fierce streams towards their

wings, tear

upper springs. A subterranean portal for the river, It fled—the circling sunbows did up

XLVI bear Its fall down the hoar precipice of spray,

The water flashed like sunlight by the Lighting it far upon its lampless way.

prow Of a noon-wandering meteor flung to

Heaven; And when the wizard lady would ascend The still air seemed as if its waves did The labyrinths of some many-winding

flow vale,

In tempest down the mountains ; Which to the inmost mountain upward

loosely driven tend

The lady's radiant hair streamed to and She called “ Hermaphroditus !”—and

Beneath, the billows having vainly And heavy hue which slumber could

striven extend

Indignant and impetuous, roared to feel Over its lips and eyes, as on the gale The swift and steady motion of the keel. A rapid shadow from a slope of grass, Into the darkness of the stream did pass.

Or, when the weary moon was in the

wane, And it unfurled its heaven - coloured Or in the noon of interlunar night, pinions,

The lady-witch in visions could not With stars of fire spotting the stream

chain below;

Her spirit; but sailed forth under the And from above into the Sun's dominions light

Flinging a glory, like the golden glow of shooting stars, and bade extend In which Spring clothes her emerald

amain winged minions,

Its storm-outspeeding wings, the HerAll interwoven with fine feathery snow maphrodite ; And moonlight splendour of intensest She to the Austral waters took her way, rime,

Beyond the fabulous Thamondocana.


the pale




iest are,

XLVINI Where, like a meadow which no scythe On which that lady played her many has shaven,

pranks, Which rain could never bend, or

Circling the image of a shooting star, whirl-blast shake,

Even as a tiger on Hydaspes' banks With the Antarctic constellations paven,

Outspeeds the antelopes which speedCanopus and his crew, lay the Austral lake

In her light boat; and many quips and There she would build herself a wind

cranks less haven

She played upon the water, till the Out of the clouds whose moving turrets make

Of the late moon, like a sick matron The bastions of the storm, when through

wan, the sky

from the misty east began. The spirits of the tempest thundered by.


To journey




And then she called out of the hollow XLIX

turrets A haven beneath whose translucent

Of those high clouds, white, golden floor

and vermilion, The tremulous stars sparkled un. The armies of her ministering spiritsfathomably,

In mighty legions, million after And around which the solid vapours million, hoar,

They came, each troop emblazoning its Based on the level waters, to the sky

merits Listed their dreadful crags, and like a On meteor flags; and many a proud shore

pavilion Of wintry mountains, inaccessibly Of the intertexture of the atmosphere Hemmed in with rists and precipices They pitched upon the plain of the calm

gray, And hanging crags, many a cove and bay.

They framed the imperial tent of their

great Queen And whilst the outer lake beneath the

Of woven exhalations, underlaid lash

With lambent lightning-fire, as may be Of the wind's scourge, foamed like a wounded thing

A dome of thin and open ivory inlaid And the incessant hail with stony clash

With crimson silk — cressets from the Ploughed up the waters, and the flag. ging wing

Hung there, and the water for her Of the roused cormorant in the lightning

tread flash

A tapestry of fleece-like mist was strewn, Looked like the wreck of some wind- Dyed in the beams of the ascending wandering

LIV Fragment of inky thunder-smoke-this haven

And on a throne o'erlaid with starlight, Was as a gem to copy Heaven engraven. caught








Upon those wandering isles of aëry dew,

But her choice sport was, in the hours Which highest shoals of mountain ship

of sloep, wreck not,

To glide adown old Nilus, where he She sate, and heard all that had hap

threads pened new

Egypt and Æthiopia, from the steep Between the earth and moon, since they

Of utmost Axumè, until he spreads, had brought

Like a calm flock of silver-fleecèd sheep, The last intelligence- and now she

His waters on the plain : and crested grew

heads Pale as that moon, lost in the watery Of cities and proud temples gleam amid, night

And many a vapour-belted pyramid. And now she wept, and now she laughed outright.

By Mæris and the Mareotid lakes,

Strewn with faint blooms like bridal These were tame pleasures; she would

chamber floors, often climb The steepest ladder of the crudded Where naked boys bridling tame water

snakes, rack Up to some beaked cape of cloud sub- Had left on the sweet waters mighty

Or charioteering ghastly alligators, lime,

wakes And like Arion on the dolphin's back

of those huge forms - within the Ride singing through the shoreless air ;

brazen doors -oft-time

Of the great Labyrinth slept both boy Following the serpent lightning's

and beast, winding track, She ran upon the platforms of the

Tired with the pomp of their Osirian

feast. wind, And laughed to hear the fire-balls roar behind.

And where within the surface of the


The shadows of the massy temples And sometimes to those streams of upper lie, air

And never are erased--but tremble ever Which whirl the earth in its diurnal Like things which every cloud can round,

doom to die, She would ascend, and win the spirits Through lotus-paven canals, and where

there To let her join their chorus. Mortals The works of man pierced that found

serenest sky That on those days the sky was calm With tombs, and towers, and fanes, and fair,

'twas her delight And mystic snatches of harmonious | To wander in the shadow of the night.

sound Wandered upon the earth where'er she past,

With motion like the spirit of that wind And happy thoughts of hope, too sweet Whose soft step deepens slumber, her to last.

light feet







did weep;

did creep

less graves.


Past through the peopled haunts of O'er its wild surface to an unknown human kind,

goal : Scattering sweet visions from her pre- But she in the calm depths her way sence sweet,

could take, Through fane, and palace-court, and Where in bright bowers immortal forms labyrinth mined

abide With many a dark and subterranean Beneath the weltering of the restless tide.

street Under the Nile, through chambers high and deep

And she saw princes couched under the She past, observing mortals in their

glow sleep.

Of sunlike gems; and round each

temple-court A pleasure sweet doubtless it was to see

în dormitories ranged, row after row, Mortals subdued in all the shapes of

She saw the priests asleep-all of one


For all were educated to be so.-
Here lay two sister twins in infancy;
There, a lone youth who in his dreams

The peasants in their huts, and in the


The sailors she saw cradled on the Within, two lovers linked innocently In their loose locks which over both


And the dead lulled within their dreamLike ivy from one stem ;--and there lay

calm Old age with snow-bright hair and solded palm.

And all the forms in which those spirits

lay But other troubled forms of sleep she Veils, in which those sweet ladies ost

Were to her sight like the diaphanous saw, Not to be mirrored in a holy song

array Distortions foul of supernatural awe,

Their delicate limbs, who would con

ceal from us And pale imaginings of visioned

Only their scorn of all concealment: they wrong; And all the code of custom's lawless law

Move in the light of their own beauty

thus. Written upon the brows of old and

But these and all now lay with sleep young : “ This,” said the wizard maiden, is

upon them,

And little thought a Witch was looking the strife

on them. Which stirs the liquid surface of man's life.”

She, all those human figures breathing And little did the sight disturb her soul.-- there, We, the weak mariners of that wide Beheld as living spirits—to her eyes lake

The naked beauty of the soul lay bare, Where'er its shores extend or billows And often through a rude and worn roll,

disguise Our course unpiloted and starless She saw the inner form most bright and make





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