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Hung Tyranny; beneath, sate dei-
The sister-pest, congregator of slaves; Into the shadow of her pinions wide Anarchs and priests who fled on gold and blood,
Till with the stain their inmost souls are dyed,
Drove the astonished herds of men from every side.
The nodding promontories, and blue isles,
And cloud-like mountains, and dividu
Of Greece, basked glorious in the open smiles
Of favouring heaven: from their
Prophetic echoes flung dim melody.
Grew savage yet, to human use unreconciled;
And, like unfolded flowers beneath
Like the man's thought dark in the
Like aught that is which wraps what
Art's deathless dreams lay veiled
Of Parian stone; and yet a speechless
Her lidless eyes for thee; when o'er the Ægean main
Athens arose a city such as vision
Builds from the purple crags and silver towers
By thunder-zoned winds, each head Within its cloudy wings with sunfire garlanded,
A divine work! Athens diviner yet Gleamed with its crest of columns, on the will
Of man, as on a mount of diamond, set;
Of battlemented cloud, as in derision
For thou wert, and thine all-creative skill
Peopled with forms that mock the eternal dead
In marble immortality, that hill Which was thine earliest throne and latest oracle.
Within the surface of Time's fleeting
Rending the veil of space and time asunder!
One ocean feeds the clouds, and streams, and dew;
Verse murmured, and Philosophy did One sun illumines heaven; one spirit
With life and love makes chaos ever new,
As Athens doth the world with thy delight renew.
Then Rome was, and from thy deep bosom fairest,
Like a wolf-cub from a Cadmæan
1 See the Baccha of Euripides.
She drew the milk of greatness, though thy dearest
From that Elysian food was yet unweaned;
And many a deed of terrible uprightness
But when tears stained thy robe of
And gold profaned thy capitolian
Thou didst desert, with spirit-winged
The senate of the tyrants: they
Slaves of one tyrant : Palatinus sighed
From what Hyrcanian glen or frozen hill,
Or piny promontory of the Arctic main,
Were quickly dried? for thou didst groan, not weep When from its sea of death to kill and burn,
The Galilean serpent forth did creep, And made thy world an undistinguishable heap.
With divine wand traced on our earthly home
Fit imagery to pave heaven's everlasting dome.
Or utmost islet inaccessible,
Didst thou lament the ruin of thy
Teaching the woods and waves, and Thou huntress swifter than the Moon!
Of the world's wolves! thou bearer of the quiver,
And every Naiad's ice-cold urn, To talk in echoes sad and stern, Of that sublimest lore which man had dared unlearn?
Whose sunlike shafts pierce tempestwinged Error,
For neither didst thou watch the wizard flocks
As light may pierce the clouds when they dissever
Of the Scald's dreams, nor haunt In the calm regions of the orient day! the Druid's sleep.
What if the tears rained through thy
Luther caught thy wakening
lance Reflected, it dissolved the visions of the
In which, as in a tomb, the nations
And England's prophets hailed thee as their queen,
In songs whose music cannot pass
Round France, the ghastly vintage, stood
Though it must flow for ever: not Destruction's sceptred slaves, and Folly's
Before the spirit-sighted countenance
When one, like them, but mightier far than they,
The Anarch of thine own bewildered
Rose: armies mingled in obscure
The eager hours and unreluctant years
As on a dawn-illumined mountain Of serene heaven. He, by the past stood,
Beyond whose night he saw, with a dejected mien.
Trampling to silence their loud hopes and fears,
Darkening each other with their
And cried aloud, Liberty! Indignation
When like heaven's sun girt by the exhalation
Of its own glorious light, thou didst
Like shadows: as if day had cloven the skies At dreaming midnight o'er the western
Men started, staggering with a glad surprise,
Under the lightnings of thine unfamiliar eyes.
Rests with those dead, but unforgotten hours,
Spain calls her now, as with its thrilling thunder
Vesuvius wakens Ætna, and the cold Snow-crags by its reply are cloven in sunder:
Chasing thy foes from nation unto O'er the lit waves every Æolian isle nation From Pithecusa to Pelorus
Howls, and leaps, and glares in chorus:
They cry, Be dim; ye lamps of heaven suspended o'er us.
Her chains are threads of gold, she need but smile
And they dissolve; but Spain's were
Till bit to dust by virtue's keenest file.
Whose ghosts scare victor kings in their ancestral towers.
Dyed all thy liquid light with blood and tears,
England yet sleeps: was she not called of old?
Thou heaven of earth! what spells could To the eternal years enthroned before us, pall thee then, In the dim West; impress us from a seal,
In ominous eclipse? a thousand years Bred from the slime of deep oppression's
All ye have thought and done! Time cannot dare conceal.
Till thy sweet stars could weep the Tomb of Arminius! render up thy dead, Till, like a standard from a watchtower's staff,
How like Bacchanals of blood
His soul may stream over the tyrant's head;
Thy victory shall be his epitaph, Wild Bacchanal of truth's mysterious wine, King-deluded Germany, His dead spirit lives in thee. Why do we fear or hope? thou art already free!
And thou, lost Paradise of this divine A And glorious world! thou flowery wilderness!
Thou island of eternity! thou shrine Where desolation clothed with loveliness,
Worships the thing thou wert! O Italy, Gather thy blood into thy heart; repress
The beasts who make their dens thy sacred palaces.
Lift the victory-flashing sword,
And cut the snaky knots of this foul gordian word,
Which weak itself as stubble, yet can
Into a mass, irrefragably firm,
Oh, that the free would stamp the impious name
Of KING into the dust! or write it there,
So that this blot upon the page of fame
Were as a serpent's path, which the light air
Erases, and the flat sands close behind! He who taught man to vanquish whatYe the oracle have heard:
The sound has poison in it, 'tis the
Of what makes life foul, cankerous, and
Disdain not thou, at thine appointed term,
To set thine armèd heel on this reluctant worm.
Oh, that the wise from their bright minds would kindle
Such lamps within the dome of this dim world,
That the pale name of PRIEST might shrink and dwindle
Into the hell from which it first was hurled,
scoff of impious pride from fiends impure;
Till human thoughts might kneel alone
Each before the judgment-throne Of its own aweless soul, or of the power unknown!
Oh, that the words which make the thoughts obscure
From which they spring, as clouds of glimmering dew
From a white lake blot heaven's blue portraiture,
Were stript of their thin masks and various hue
And frowns and smiles and splendours not their own,
Till in the nakedness of false and true They stand before their Lord, each to receive its due!
Can be between the cradle and the
And cries: Give me, thy child,
When the bolt has pierced its
Over all height and depth? if Life can As summer clouds dissolve, unburthened breed
of their rain;
New wants, and wealth from those who toil and groan
As a far taper fades with fading night, As a brief insect dies with dying day,
My song, its pinions disarrayed of might,
Drooped; o'er it closed the echoes far away
Rend of thy gifts and hers a thousandfold for one.
Come Thou, but lead out of the inmost
Of man's deep spirit, as the morning
Beckons the Sun from the Eoan wave,
Of the great voice which did its flight sustain,