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Seems our obscure and rotting eyes to steep
A chain I cannot break-I am possest With thoughts too swift and strong for one lone human breast.
Darkness and death, if death be true, must be
XXXV. Alas, our thoughts flow on with stream, whose waters Return not to their fountain-Earth and Heaven, The Ocean and the Sun, the clouds their daughters, Winter, and Spring, and Morn, and Noon, and Even, All that we are or know, is darkly driven Towards one gulph-Lo! what a change is come Since I first spake—but time shall be forgiven,
Tho'it change all but thee!”—She ceased, night's gloom Meanwhile had fallen on earth from the sky's sunless dome.
Tho' she had ceased, her countenance uplifted To Heaven, still spake, with solemn glory bright; Her dark deep eyes, her lips, whose motions gifted The air they breathed with love, her locks undight; “Fair star of life and love,” I cried, “my soul's delight, Why lookest thou on the crystalline skies? 0, that my spirit were yon Heaven of night, Which gazes on thee with its thousand eyes!” She turned to me and smiled—that smile was Paradise !
Was there a human spirit in the steed, That thus with his proud voice, ere night was gone, He broke our linked rest? or do indeed All living things a common nature own, And thought erect an universal throne, Where many shapes one tribute ever bear? And Earth, their mutual mother, does she groan To see her sons contend? and makes she bare Her breast, that all in peace its drainless stores may share ?
II. I have heard friendly sounds from many a tongue, Which was not human-the lone Nightingale Has answered me with her most soothing song, Out of her ivy bower, when I sate pale With grief, and sighed beneath; from many a dale The Antelopes who flocked for food have spoken With happy sounds, and motions, that avail Like man's own speech; and such was now the token Of waning night, whose calm by that proud neigh was broken.
The dead in horrid truce: their throngs did make Behind the steed, a chasm like waves in a ship's wake.
Trembled, as with a zone of ruin bound,
V. From every nation of the earth they came, The multitude of moving heartless things, Whom slaves call men: obediently they came, Like sheep whom from the fold the shepherd brings To the stall, red with blood; their many kings Led them, thus erring, from their native land; Tartar and Frank, and millions whom the wings
Of Indian breezes lull, and many a band
And savage sympathy: those slaves impure,
For traitorously did that foul Tyrant robe
Like wolves and serpents, to their mutual wars
Be brought, and fire, and pincers, and the hook,
“But first, go slay the rebels-why return
"For we were slaying still without remorse, And now that dreadful chief beneath my hand Defenceless lay, when, on a hell-black horse, An Angel bright as day, waving a brand Which flashed among the stars, past.”—“Dost thou stand Parleying with me, thou wretch ?” the king replied; "Slaves, bind him to the wheel; and of this band,
Whoso will drag that woman to his side That scared him thus, may burn his dearest foe beside;
“And gold and glory shall be his.—Go forth !"
Stream thro' the city; on the seventh, the dew
XII. Peace in the desart fields and villages, Between the glutted beasts and mangled dead ! Peace in the silent streets! save when the cries Of victims to their fiery judgment led, Made pale their voiceless lips who seemed to dread Even in their dearest kindred, lest some tongue Be faithless to the fear yet unbetrayed;
Peace in the Tyrant's palace, where the throng
All moisture, and a rotting vapour past
XIV. First Want, then Plague came on the beasts; their food Failed, and they drew the breath of its decay. Millions on millions, whom the scent of blood Had lured, or who, from regions far away, Had tracked the hosts in festival array, From their dark desarts; gaunt and wasting now, Stalked like fell shades among their perished prey;
In their green eyes a strange disease did glow, They sank in hideous spasm, or pains severe and slow.