Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

When in the silence of all spirits there

Laone's voice was felt, and thro' the air
Her thrilling gestures spoke, most eloquently fair.

1.
"Calm art thou as yon sunset! swift and strong
As new-fledged Eagles, beautiful and young,
That float among the blinding beams of morning;
And underneath thy feet writhe Faith, and Folly,
Custom, and Hell, and mortal Melancholy-
Hark! the Earth starts to hear the mighty warning

Of thy voice sublime and holy;
Its free spirits here assembled,
See thee, feel thee, know thee now,
To thy voice their hearts have trembled
Like ten thousands clouds which flow

With one wide wind as it flies !
Wisdom! thy irresistible children rise

To hail thee, and the elements they chain
And their own will to swell the glory of thy train.

2.
“O Spirit vast and deep as Night and Heaven !
Mother and soul of all to which is given
The light of life, the loveliness of being,
Lo! thou dost re-ascend the human heart,
Thy throne of power, almighty as thou wert,
In dreams of Poets old grown pale by seeing

The shade of thee:-now, millions start
To feel thy lightnings thro' them burning:
Nature, or God, or Love, or Pleasure,
Or Sympathy the sad tears turning
To mutual smiles, a drainless treasure,

Descends amidst us ;-Scorn, and Hate,
Revenge and Selfishness are desolate-

A hundred nations swear that there shall be
Pity and Peace and Love, among the good and free!

[ocr errors]

3.

“Eldest of things, divine Equality!
Wisdom and Love are but the slaves of thee,
The Angels of thy sway, who pour around thee
Treasures from all the cells of human thought,

And from the Stars, and from the Ocean brought,
And the last living heart whose beatings bound thee:

The powerful and the wise had sought
Thy coming, thou in light descending
O'er the wide land which is thine own
Like the spring whose breath is blending
All blasts of fragrance into one,

Comest upon the paths of men !-
Earth bares her general bosom to thy ken,

And all her children here in glory meet
To feed upon thy smiles, and clasp thy sacred feet.

4.

“My brethren, we are free! the plains and mountains,
The grey sea shore, the forests and the fountains,
Are haunts of happiest dwellers ;-man and woman,
Their common bondage burst, may freely borrow
From lawless love a solace for their sorrow;
For oft we still must weep, since we are human.

A stormy night's serenest morrow,
Whose showers are pity's gentle tears,
Whose clouds are smiles of those that die
Like infants without hopes or fears,
And whose beams are joys that lie

In blended hearts, now holds dominion;
The dawn of mind, which upwards on a pinion

Borne, swift as sun-rise, far illumines space, And clasps this barren world in its own bright embrace!

5. “My brethren, we are free! the fruits are glowing Beneath the stars, and the night winds are flowing O'er the ripe corn, the birds and beasts are dreamingNever again may blood of bird or beast Stain with its venomous stream a human feast, To the pure skies in accusation steaming.

Avenging poisons shall have ceased
To feed disease and fear and madness,
The dwellers of the earth and air
Shall throng around our steps in gladness

Seeking their food or refuge there.
Our toil from thought all glorious forms shall cull,

To make this Earth, our home, more beautiful,

And Science, and her sister Poesy,
Shall clothe in light the fields and cities of the free!

6. “Victory, Victory to the prostrate nations! Bear witness Night, and ye mute Constellations Who gaze on us from your crystalline cars ! Thoughts have gone forth whose powers can sleep no more ! Victory! Victory! Earth's remotest shore, Regions which groan beneath the Antarctic stars,

The green lands cradled in the roar
Of western waves, and wildernesses
Peopled and vast, which skirt the oceans
Where morning dyes her golden tresses,
Shall soon partake our high emotions :

Kings shall turn pale! Almighty Fear
The Fiend-God, when our charmèd name he hear,

Shall fade like shadow from his thousand fanes,
While Truth with Joy enthroned o'er his lost empire reigns!"

LII.
Ere she had ceased, the mists of night intwining
Their dim woof, floated o'er the infinite throng;
She, like a spirit thro' the darkness shining,
In tones whose sweetness silence did prolong,
As if to lingering winds they did belong,
Poured forth her inmost soul: a passionate speech
With wild and thrilling pauses woven among,

Which whoso heard, was mute, for it could teach
Το
rapture like her own all listening hearts to reach.

LIII.
Her voice was as a mountain stream which sweeps
The withered leaves of Autumn to the lake,
And in some deep and narrow bay then sleeps
In the shadow of the shores; as dead leaves wake
Under the wave, in flowers and herbs which make
Those green depths beautiful when skies are blue,
The multitude so moveless did partake

Such living change, and kindling murmurs flew
As o'er that speechless calm delight and wonder grew.

LIV.
Over the plain the throngs were scattered then
In groups around the fires, which from the sea
Even to the gorge of the first mountain glen
Blazed wide and far: the banquet of the free
Was spread beneath many a dark cypress tree,
Beneath whose spires, which swayed in the red light,
Reclining as they ate, of Liberty,

And Hope, and Justice, and Laone's name,
Earth's children did a woof of happy converse frame.

LV.
Their feast was such as Earth, the general mother,
Pours from her fairest bosom, when she smiles
In the embrace of Autumn;—to each other
As when some parent fondly reconciles
Her warring children, she their wrath beguiles
With her own sustenance; they relenting weep:
Such was this Festival, which from their isles

And continents, and winds, and oceans deep,
All shapes might throng to share, that fly, or walk, or creep.

LVI.
Might share in peace and innocence, for gore
Or poison none this festal did pollute,
But piled on high, an overflowing store
Of pomegranates, and citrons, fairest fruit,
Melons, and dates, and figs, and many a root
Sweet and sustaining, and bright grapes ere yet
Accursèd fire their mild juice could transmute

Into a mortal bane, and brown corn set
In baskets; with pure streams their thirsting lips they wet.

LVII.
Laone had descended from the shrine,
And every deepest look and holiest mind
Fed on her form, though now those tones divine
Were silent as she past; she did unwind
Her veil, as with the crowds of her own kind
She mixed; some impulse made my heart refrain
From seeking her that night, so I reclined

Amidst a group, where on the utmost plain
A festal watchfire burned beside the dusky main.

LVIII.
And joyous was our feast; pathetic talk,
And wit, and harmony of choral strains,
While far Orion o'er the waves did walk
That flow among the isles, held us in chains
Of sweet captivity, which none disdains
Who feels : but when his zone grew dim in mist
Which clothes the Ocean's bosom, o'er the plains

The multitudes went homeward, to their rest,
Which that delightful day with its own shadow blest.

Canto Sirth.

I.

BESIDE the dimness of the glimmering sea,
Weaving swift language from impassioned themes,
With that dear friend I lingered, who to me
So late had been restored, beneath the gleams
Of the silver stars; and ever in soft dreams
Of future love and peace sweet converse lapt
Our willing fancies, till the pallid beams

Of the last watchfire fell, and darkness wrapt
The waves, and each bright chain of floating fire was snapt,

II.
And till we came even to the City's wall
And the great gate, then, none knew whence or why,
Disquiet on the multitudes did fall:
And first, one pale and breathless past us by,
And stared and spoke not;—then with piercing cry
A troop of wild-eyed women, by the shrieks
Of their own terror driven,--tumultuously

Hither and thither Inurrying with pale cheeks,
Each one from fear unknown a sudden refuge secks-

VOL. I.

1

« PredošláPokračovať »