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Their wasting dust, wildly he wandered | Of putrid marshes. A strong impulse
Day after day, a weary waste of hours,
Sered by the autumn of strange suffering
Sung dirges in the wind; his listless
High over the immeasurable main.
Hung like dead bone within its withered His eyes pursued its flight.-"Thou hast a home,
Life, and the lustre that consumed it, Beautiful bird; thou voyagest to thine shone
As in a furnace burning secretly
Who ministered with human charity
Their fleeting visitant. The mountaineer,
By nature, would interpret half the woe That wasted him, would call him with false names
Brother, and friend, would press his pallid hand
His steps to the sea-shore. A swan was there,
Beside a sluggish stream among the reeds.
It rose as he approached, and with strong wings
Scaling the upward sky, bent its bright
Encountering on some dizzy precipice
With lightning eyes, and eager breath,
Disturbing not the drifted snow, had
In its career: the infant would conceal
For sleep, he knew, kept most relent
Of after-times; but youthful maidens, taught
At parting, and watch, dim through tears, the path
Of his departure from their father's door.
At length upon the lone Chorasmian shore He paused, a wide and melancholy waste
Where thy sweet mate will twine her downy neck
With thine, and welcome thy return with eyes
Bright in the lustre of their own fond joy.
With voice far sweeter than thy dying
To beauty, wasting these surpassing
In the deaf air, to the blind earth, and heaven
That echoes not my thoughts?" A gloomy smile
Its precious charge, and silent death
With doubtful smile mocking its own
Startled by his own thoughts he looked around.
There was no fair fiend near him, not a sight
Or sound of awe but in his own deep mind.
Still fled before the storm; still fled, like foam
Down the steep cataract of a wintry river;
Now pausing on the edge of the riven
As one that in a silver vision floats
The waves arose.
Of Caucasus, whose icy summits shone Like serpents struggling in a vulture's Among the stars like sunlight, and grasp.
Calm and rejoicing in the fearful war Of wave ruining on wave, and blast on blast
Whose caverned base the whirlpools and the waves Bursting and eddying irresistibly Descending, and black flood on whirl- | Rage and resound for ever. --Who shall pool driven
Now leaving far behind the bursting
That fell, convulsing ocean. Safely fled
As if that frail and wasted human form,
The boat fled on,-the boiling torrent Seized by the sway of the ascending drove,
The crags closed round with black and With dizzy swiftness, round, and round, jagged arms, and round, The shattered mountain overhung the Ridge after ridge the straining boat
Till on the verge of the extremest curve, Where, through an opening of the rocky bank, The little boat was driven. A cavern The waters overflow, and a smooth spot there Of glassy quiet mid those battling tides Yawned, and amid its slant and wind- Is left, the boat paused shuddering.ing depths Shall it sink The boat
Down the abyss? Shall the reverting
Ingulphed the rushing sea. fled on
And faster still, beyond all human speed,
With unrelaxing speed.
- Vision and Of that resistless gulph embosom it? Now shall it fall?-A wandering stream of wind,
The Poet cried aloud, 'I have beheld
The path of thy departure.
Shall not divide us long!'
The boat pursued The windings of the cavern. Daylight shone
At length upon that gloomy river's flow;
Is calm, on the unfathomable stream The boat moved slowly. Where the mountain, riven,
Exposed those black depths to the azure
Ere yet the flood's enormous volume fell
Breathed from the west, has caught the expanded sail,
And, lo! with gentle motion, between banks
Of mossy slope, and on a placid stream, Beneath a woven grove it sails, and, hark!
The ghastly torrent mingles its far roar, With the breeze murmuring in the musical woods.
Where the embowering trees recede, and leave
A little space of green expanse, the cove
For ever gaze on their own drooping eyes,
Of the boat's motion marred their pensive task,
Filled with one whirlpool all that ample chasm;
Which nought but vagrant bird, or
Stair above stair the eddying waters rose,
Or falling spear-grass, or their own
In darkness over it. I' the midst was To deck with their bright hues his
But on his heart its solitude returned,
In those flushed cheeks, bent eyes, and These twine their tendrils with the shadowy frame
Uniting their close union; the woven leaves
Had yet performed its ministry: it hung
Make net-work of the dark blue light of day,
And the night's noontide clearness, mutable
The noonday sun Now shone upon the forest, one vast
As shapes in the weird clouds. Soft mossy lawns
Of mingling shade, whose brown mag- Beneath these canopies extend their nificence
A narrow vale embosoms.
Mocking its moans, respond and roar for ever.
There, huge Fragrant with perfumed herbs, and eyed with blooms Scooped in the dark base of their aëry|| Minute yet beautiful. One darkest glen rocks Sends from its woods of musk-rose, twined with jasmine, A soul-dissolving odour, to invite The meeting boughs and implicated To some more lovely mystery. Through leaves
Wove twilight o'er the Poet's path, as led
He sought in Nature's dearest haunt,
Her cradle, and his sepulchre. More dark
And dark the shades accumulate. The oak,
Expanding its immense and knotty arms,
mids Of the tall cedar overarching frame Most solemn domes within, and far below,
Of azure sky, darting between their
Nor aught else in the liquid mirror laves
Like clouds suspended in an emerald Between one foliaged lattice twinkling fair,
Or painted bird, sleeping beneath the
The ash and the acacia floating hang Tremulous and pale. Like restless serpents, clothed
In rainbow and in fire, the parasites, Starred with ten thousand blossoms, flow around
Silence and Twilight here, twin-sisters, keep
Their noonday watch, and sail among the shades,
Like vaporous shapes half seen; beyond, a well,
Dark, gleaming, and of most translucent
Images all the woven boughs above, And each depending leaf, and every speck
The gray trunks, and, as gamesome infants' eyes,
With gentle meanings, and most innocent wiles,
Or gorgeous insect floating motionless,
Hither the Poet came.
Their own wan light through the re
Fold their beams round the hearts of Of his thin hair, distinct in the dark those that love,
Of that still fountain; as the human Then through the plain in tranquil heart,
Reflecting every herb and drooping bud
The motion of the leaves, the grass that Whither do thy mysterious waters tend? Thou imagest my life. Thy darksome stillness,
Gazing in dreams over the gloomy grave,
Startled and glanced and trembled even to feel
An unaccustomed presence, and the sound
Of the sweet brook that from the secret springs
Of that dark fountain rose. A Spirit seemed
To stand beside him-clothed in no bright robes
Of shadowy silver or enshrining light, Borrowed from aught the visible world affords
Of grace, or majesty, or mystery ;-
Held commune with him, as if he and it
Was raised by intense pensiveness,
Beside the grassy shore when Of the small stream he went; he did impress
.. On the green moss his tremulous step, that caught
Two starry eyes, hung in the gloom of Strong shuddering from his burning limbs. As one
And seemed with their serene and azure Roused by some joyous madness from smiles To beckon him.
Thy dazzling waves, thy loud and hollow gulphs,
Thy searchless fountain, and invisible
Have each their type in me: and the wide sky,
And measureless ocean may declare as
Obedient to the light That shone within his soul, he went, pursuing
What oozy cavern or what wandering cloud
Contains thy waters, as the universe Tell where these living thoughts reside, when stretched
Upon thy flowers my bloodless limbs shall waste
I' the passing wind !'
Of fever, he did move; yet not like him
Of his frail exultation shall be spent,
The windings of the dell.-The rivulet Wanton and wild, through many a green ravine
he went Beneath the shade of trees, beside the flow
Beneath the forest flowed. Sometimes Of the wild babbling rivulet; and now it fell The forest's solemn canopies were changed
Among the moss with hollow harmony Dark and profound. Now on the For the uniform and lightsome evening polished stones
It danced; like childhood laughing as Gray rocks did peep from the spare moss, and stemmed
it went :