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From her couch of snows In the Acroceraunian mountains,— From cloud and from crag,
With many a jag, Shepherding her bright fountains. She leapt down the rocks, With her rainbow locks Streaming among the streams;— Her steps paved with green The downward ravine
Which slopes to the western gleams: And gliding and springing
She went, ever singing,
In murmurs as soft as sleep;
The Earth seemed to love her, And Heaven smiled above her, As she lingered towards the deep.
Then Alpheus bold,
On his glacier cold,
With his trident the mountains strook And opened a chasm
In the rocks;-with the spasm
All Erymanthus shook.
And the black south wind
It concealed behind
The urns of the silent snow,
The bars of the springs below
Seen through the torrent's sweep,
"Oh, save me! Oh, guide me! And bid the deep hide me,
For he grasps me now by the hair!"
The loud Ocean heard, To its blue depth stirred, And divided at her prayer;
And under the water
The Earth's white daughter Fled like a sunny beam;
Behind her descended
Her billows, unblended With the brackish Dorian stream:Like a gloomy stain On the emerald main Alpheus rushed behind,As an eagle pursuing A dove to its ruin Down the streams of the cloudy wind.
Under the bowers
Where the Ocean Powers Sit on their pearled thrones, Through the coral woods Of the weltering floods, Over heaps of unvalued stones; Through the dim beams Which amid the streams Weave a network of coloured light; And under the caves,
Where the shadowy waves
Are as green as the forest's night :Outspeeding the shark,
And the sword-fish dark,
And up through the rifts
They past to their Dorian home.
And now from their fountains
In Enna's mountains,
Down one vale where the morning basks,
Like friends once parted
Curtained with star-inwoven tapes- I stand at noon upon the peak of
From the broad moonlight of the sky,
Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes,
Waken me when their Mother, the gray Dawn,
Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.
Then I arise, and climbing Heaven's
I walk over the mountains and the I am the eye with which the Universe
Beholds itself and knows itself divine;
Were silent with love, as you now, Its mother's face with heaven's collected Apollo,
With envy of my sweet pipings. When the low wind, its playmate's voice,
of the dancing stars,
I sang of the dædal Earth, And of Heaven-and the giant wars, And Love, and Death, and Birth,
And then I changed my pipings,Singing how down the vale of Menalus
I pursued a maiden and clasp'd a reed: Gods and men, we are all deluded thus! It breaks in our bosom and then we
And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep See, the bounds of the air are shaken
As soothed the dazzled eye with sober
Methought that of these visionary flowers
Were mingled or opposed, the like array
Night is coming!
The red swift clouds of the hurricane
Night is coming!
I see the light, and I hear the sound; I'll sail on the flood of the tempest dark,
Within my hand, and then, elate With the calm within and the light
I hastened to the spot whence I had
That I might there present it!--oh! to whom?
THE TWO SPIRITS: AN
O THOU, who plumed with strong desire
Bright are the regions of the air,
I STOOD within the city disinterred;2
And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls
The wreaths of stony myrtle, ivy, and pine,
Like winter leaves o'ergrown by moulded snow,
Seemed only not to move and grow Because the crystal silence of the air Weighed on their life; even as the Power divine
Which then lulled all things, brooded upon mine.
EPODE II a
Then gentle winds arose
With many a mingled close
Of wild Æolian sound and mountain
And where the Baian ocean Welters with airlike motion,
Of spirits passing through the streets; Within, above, around its bowers of
The Mountain's slumberous voice at
Thrill through those roofless halls; The oracular thunder penetrating shook The listening soul in my suspended blood;
I felt that Earth out of her deep heart spoke
I felt, but heard not:-through white columns glowed
The isle-sustaining Ocean-flood, A plane of light between two Heavens of azure:
Around me gleamed many a bright sepulchre
Of whose pure beauty, Time, as if his pleasure
Were to spare Death, had never made
But every living lineament was clear
1 The Author has connected many recollections of his visit to Pompeii and Baia with the enthusiasm excited by the intelligence of the proclamation of a Constitutional Government at Naples. This has given a tinge of picturesque and descriptive imagery to the introductory Epodes which depicture these scenes, and some
Moving the sea-flowers in those purple
Even as the ever stormless atmosphere
Floats o'er the Elysian realm, It bore me like an Angel, o'er the
Of sunlight, whose swift pinnace of
No storm can overwhelm;
Of the dead kings of Melody.3 Shadowy Aornos darkened o'er the helm The horizontal ether; heaven stript bare Its depths over Elysium, where the prow
Made the invisible water white as snow;
Of some ethereal host;
of the majestic feelings permanently connected Over the oracular woods and divine sea with the scene of this animating event.
3 Homer and Virgil.