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Out of their mossy cells for ever burst; The guidance of that wonder-winged Nor felt the breeze which from the

team ; forest told

The shapes which drew it in thick Of grassy paths and wood-lawns inter

lightnings spersed

Were lost :-I heard alone on the air's

soft stream With overarching elms and caverns cold, And violet banks where sweet dreams | The music of their ever-moving wings. brood, but they

All the four faces of that charioteer Pursued their serious folly as of old. Had their eyes banded ; little profit And as I gazed, methought that in the

brings way

Speed in the van and blindness in the The throng grew wilder, as the woods

rear, of June

Nor then avail the beams that quench When the south wind shakes the extin

the sun guished day,

Or that with banded eyes could pierce And a cold glare, intenser than the

the sphere noon, But icy cold, obscured with blinding So ill was the car guided--but it past

Of all that is, has been or will be done ; light

With solemn speed majestically on. The sun, as he the stars. Like the young moon

The crowd gave way, and I arose aghast, When on the sunlit limits of the night

Or seemed to rise, so mighty was the Her white shell trembles amid crimson

trance, air,

And saw, like clouds upon the thunder And whilst the sleeping tempest gathers

blast, might

The million with fierce song and maniac

dance Doth, as the herald of its coming, bear The ghost of its dead mother, whose Raging around—such seemed the jubilee dim form

As when to greet some conqueror's Bends in dark ether from her infant's

advance chair,

Imperial Rome poured forth her living So came a chariot on the silent storm Of its own rushing splendour, and a

From senate - house, and forum, and Shape

theatre, So sate within, as

one whom


years deform,

Had bound a yoke, which soon they Beneath a dusky hood and double cape,

stooped to bear. Crouching within the shadow of a tomb; Nor wanted here the just similitude And o'er what seemed the head a cloud- of a triumphal pageant, for where'er

The chariot rolled, a captive multitude Was bent, a dun and faint ethereal gloom Was driven ;—all those who had grown Tempering the light. Upon the chariot

old in power beam

Or misery,—all who had their age subA Janus-visaged Shadow did assume



upon the free

like crape

the sun,



By action or by suffering, and whose Throw back their heads and loose their hour

streaming hair; Was drained to its last sand in weal or And in their dance round her who dims

woe, So that the trunk survived both fruit and Aower ;

Maidens and youths fling their wild

arms in air All those whose fame or infamy must As their feet twinkle; they recede, and grow

now Till the great winter lay the form and Bending within each other's atmosphere, Of this green earth with them for ever Kindle invisibly—and as they glow, low ;

Like moths by light attracted and All but the sacred few who could not


Oft to their bright destruction come and tame Their spirits to the conquerors—but as

go, As they had touched the world with Till like two clouds into one vale im

pelled, living flame,

That shake the mountains when their Fled back like eagles to their native lightnings mingle noon,

And die in rain--the fiery band which Or those who put aside the diadem

held Of earthly thrones or gems ...

Their natures, snaps—while the shock Were there, of Athens or Jerusalem,

still may tingle ; Were neither 'mid the mighty captives One falls and then another in the path seen,

Senseless-nor is the desolation single, Nor 'mid the ribald crowd that followed them,

Yet ere I can say where the chariot

hath Nor those who went before fierce and Past over them—nor other trace I find obscene.

But as of foam after the ocean's wrath The wild dance maddens in the van,

and those Who lead it-ficet as shadows on the old men and women foully disarrayed,

Is spent upon the desert shore ;-behind, green,

Shake their gray hairs in the insulting

wind, Outspeed the chariot, and without repose Mix with each other in tempestuous and follow in the dance, with limbs

decayed, To savage music, wilder as it


Seeking to reach the light which leaves They, tortured by their agonising

them still pleasure,

Farther behind and deeper in the shade. Convulsed and on the rapid whirlwinds

But not the less with impotence of will spun Of that fierce spirit, whose unholy leisure They wheel, though ghastly shadows

interpose Was soothed by mischief since the Round them and round each other, and world begun,




which grew

Their work, and in the dust from whence He paused ; and ere he could resume, they rose

I cried :
Sink, and corruption veils them as they “ First, who art thou ? ".

“Before thy lie,

memory, And past in these performs what in those.

“I feared, loved, hated, suffered, did

and died, Struck to the heart by this sad page. And if the spark with which IIeaven lit antry,

my spirit Half to myself I said-And what is Had been with purer nutriment supplied,

this? Whose shape is that within the car ? “Corruption would not now thus much. And why

Of what was once Rousseau, -1

-nor this I would have added -- is all here amiss ?

disguise But a voice answered—“ Life !”-I Stain that which ought to have disdained turned, and knew

to wear it; (0 Heaven, have mercy

such wretchedness!)

“If I have been extinguished, yet there

rise That what I thought was an old root A thousand beacons from the spark I

bore " To strange distortion out of the hillside,

“ And who are those chained to the Was indeed one of those deluded crew,


“ The wise, And that the grass, which methought

“ The great, the unforgotten, — they hung so wide

who wore And white, was but his thin discoloured Mitres and helms and crowns, hair,

wreaths of light, And that the holes he vainly sought to Signs of thought's empire over thought hide,

-their lore Were or had been eyes :- -“ If thou

Taught them not this, to know themcanst, forbear

selves ; their might To join the dance, which I had well Could not repress the mystery within, forborne !"

And for the morn of truth they feigned, Said the grim Feature (of my thought

deep night aware).

.“ Who “I will unfold that which to this deep “Caught them ere evening."

is he with chin Led me and my companions, and relate

Upon his breast, and hands croston

his chain ?” The progress of the pageant since the

"The child of a fierce hour ; he sought

to win " If thirst of knowledge shall not then abate,

“The world, and lost all that it did Follow it thou even to the night, but I

contain Am weary.” — Then like one who with Of greatness, in its hope destroyed; and the weight

Of fame and peace than virtue's self can Of his own words is staggered, wearily gain





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“ Without the opportunity which bore "As the old faded."- Figures ever Him on its eagle pinions to the peak From which a thousand climbers have Rise on the bubble, paint them as you before

may; “Fallen, as Napoleon fell.”—I felt my

We have but thrown, as those before us cheek

threw, Alter, to see the shadow pass away, “Our shadows on it as it past away. Whose grasp had left the giant world But mark how chained to the triumphal so weak,

chair That every pigmy kicked it as it lay;

The mighty phantoms of an elder day; And much I grieved to think how power “ All that is mortal of great Plato there and will

Expiates the joy and woe his master In opposition rule our mortal day,

knew not ; And why God made irreconcilable

The star that ruled his doom was far too Good and the means of good; and for

fair, despair

“ And life, where long that flower of I half disdained mine eyes' desire to fill Heaven grew not, With the spent vision of the times that Conquered that heart by love, which

gold, or pain, And scarce have ceased to be.—“Dost Or age, or sloth, or slavery could subdue thou behold,”

not. Said my guide, “those spoilers spoiled, “ And near him walk the twain, Voltaire,

The tutor and his pupil, whom Do“ Frederick, and Paul, Catherine, and minion Leopold,

Followed as tame as vulture in a chain. And hoary anarchs, demagogues, and

“ The world was darkened beneath sage

either pinion names which the world thinks of him whom from the flock of conquerors always old,

Fame singled out for her thunder-bear“ For in the battle Life and they did ing minion;

wage, She remained conqueror.

I was over

“ The other long outlived both woes By my own heart alone, which neither Throned in the thoughts of men, and

still had kept age,

The jealous key of truth's eternal doors, “Nor tears, nor infamy, nor now the tomb

“If Bacon's eagle spirit had not leapt Could temper to object.”—“Let Like lightning out of darkness—he them pass,"

compelled I cried, “the world and its mysterious The Proteus shape of Nature as it slept doom

“To wake, and lead him to the caves “Is not so much more glorious than it

that held was,

The treasure of the secrets of its reign. That I desire to worship those who drew See the great bards of elder time, who New figures on its salse and fragile glass quelled

and wars,


“The passions which they sung, as by “ And how and by what paths I have their strain

been brought May well be known: their living melody To this dread pass, methinks even thou Tempers its own contagion to the vein

mayst guess ;

Why this should be, my mind can comOf those who are infected with it-I Have suffered what I wrote, or viler

pass not; pain!

“ Whither the conqueror hurries me And so my words have seeds of misery

still less;

But follow thou, and from spectator turn “ Even as the deeds of others, not as

Actor or victim in this wretchedness, theirs." And then he pointed to a company, • And what thou wouldst be taught I 'Midst whom I quickly recognised the

then may learn heirs

From thee. Now listen :--In the April Of Cæsar's crime, from him to Constan. prime, tine;

When all the forest tips began to burn The anarch chiefs, whose force and murderous snares

“With kindling green, touched by the

azure clime Had founded many a sceptre-bearing of the young season, I was laid asleep line,

Under a mountain, which from unknown And spread the plague of gold and blood time

abroad: And Gregory and John, and men divine, “Had yawned into a cavern, high and

deep; Who rose like shadows between man And from it came a gentle rivulet, and God;

Whose water, like clear air, in its calm Till that eclipse, still hanging over sweep

heaven, Was worshipped by the world o'er which “ Bent the soft grass, and kept for ever they strode,


The stems of the sweet flowers, and For the true sun it quenched—“Their

filled the grove power was given

With sounds, which whoso hears must But to destroy,” replied the leader :

needs forget “I Am one of those who have created, even

“All pleasure and all pain, all hate and “: If it be but a world of agony.”

love, Whence camest thou ? and whither which they had known before that hour

of rest; How did thy course begin ?” I said, A sleeping mother then would dream

not of “and why? “Mine eyes are sick of this perpetual “ Her only child who died upon the flow

breast of people, and my heart sick of one At eventide-a king would mourn no

sad thoughtSpeak !”_"Whence I am, I partly The crown of which his brows were seem to know,

goest thou ?



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