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THE CAR PAUSES WITHIN A CLOUD ON THE TOP OF A SNOWY Mocx.
TAIN. ASIA, PANTHEA, AND THE SPIRIT OF THE HOUR.
On the brink of the night and the morning
My coursers are wont to respire;
But the Earth has just whispered a warning
That their flight must be swifter than fire:
They shall drink the hot speed of desire !
Thou breathest on their nostrils, but my breath
Would give them swifter speed.
Alas! it could not.
Oh Spirit! pause, and tell whence is the light
Which fills the cloud ? the sun is yet unrisen.
The sun will rise not until noon. Apollo
Is held in heaven by wonder; and the light
Which fills this vapour, as the aërial hue
Of fountain-gazing roses fills the water,
Flows from thy mighty sister.
Yes, I feel
What is it with thee, sister? Thou art pale.
How thou art changed! I dare not look on thee;
I feel but see thee not. I scarce endure
The radiance of thy beauty. Some good change
Is working in the elements, which suffer
Thy presence thus unveiled. The Nereids tell
That on the day when the clear hyaline
Was loven at thy uprise, and thou didst stand
Within a veinéd shell, which floated on
Over the calm floor of the crystal sea,
Among the Ærean isles, and by the shores
Which bear thy name, love, like the atmosphere
Of the sun's fire filling the living world,
Burst from thee, and illumined earth and heaven
And the deep ocean and the sunless caves
And all that dwells within them; till grief cast
Eclipse upon the soul from which it came:
Such art thou now; nor is it I alone,
Thy sister, thy companion, thine own chosen one,
But the whole world which seeks thy sympathy.
Hear'st thou not sounds i' the air which speak the love 35
Of all articulate beings ? Feel’st thou not
The inanimate winds enamoured of thee? List! (Music.)
Thy words are sweeter than aught else but his
Whose echoes they are: yet all love is sweet,
Given or returned. Common as light is love,
And its familiar voice wearies not ever.
Like the wide heaven, the all-sustaining air,
It makes the reptile equal to the God:
They who inspire it most are fortunate,
As I am now; but those who feel it most
Are happier still, after long sufferings,
As I shall soon become.
List! Spirits speak.
VOICE IN THE AIR, SINGING.
Life of Life! thy lips enkindle
With their love the breath between them ;
And thy smiles before they dwindle
Make the cold air fire; then screen them
In those looks, where whoso gazes
Faints, entangled in their mazes.
Child of Light! thy limbs are burning
Thro’ the vest which seems to hide them;
As the radiant lines of morning
Thro' the clouds ere they divide them;
And this atmosphere divinest
Shrouds thee wheresoe'er thou shinest.
Fair are others; none beholds thee,
But thy voice sounds low and tender
Like the fairest, for it folds thee
From the sight, that liquid splendour,
And all feel, yet see thee never,
As I feel now, lost for ever!
Lamp of Earth! where'er thou movest
Its dim shapes are clad with brightness,
And the souls of whom thou lovest
Walk upon the winds with lightness,
Till they fail, as I am failing,
Dizzy, lost, yet unbewailing!
My soul is an enchanted boat,
Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float
Upon the silver waves of thy sweet singing;
And thine doth like an angel sit
Beside a helm conducting it,
Whilst all the winds with melody are ringing.
It seems to float ever, for ever,
Upon that many-winding river,
Between mountains, woods, abysses,
A paradise of wildernesses !
Till, like one in slumber bound,
Borne to the ocean, I float down, around,
Into a sea profound, of ever-spreading sound:
Meanwhile thy spirit lifts its pinions
In music's most serene dominions;
Catching the winds that fan that happy heaven.
And we sail on, away, afar,
Without a course, without a star,
But, by the instinct of sweet music driven;
Till through Elysian garden islets
By thee, most beautiful of pilots,
Where never mortal pinnace glided,
The boat of my desire is guided :
Realms where the air we breathe is love,
Which in the winds and on the waves doth move,
Harmonizing this earth with what we feel above.
We have past Age's icy caves,
And Manhood's dark and tossing waves,
And Youth's smooth ocean, smiling to betray:
Beyond the glassy gulphs we flee
Of shadow-peopled Infancy,
Through Death and Birth, to a diviner day;
A paradise .of vaulted bowers,
Lit by downward-gazing flowers,
And watery paths that wind between
Wildernesses calm and green,
Peopled by shapes too bright to see,
And rest, having beheld; somewhat like thee;
Which walk upon the sea, and chaunt melodiously!
HEAVEN. JUPITER ON HIS THRONE ; THETIS AND THE OTHER
JUPITER. Ye congregated powers of heaven, who share The glory and the strength of him ye serve, Rejoice! henceforth I am omnipotent. All else had been subdued to me; alone The soul of man, like unextinguished fire, Yet burns towards heaven with fierce reproach, and doubt, And lamentation, and reluctant prayer, Hurling up insurrection, which might make Our antique empire insecure, though built On eldest faith, and hell's coeval, fear; And tho' my curses thro' the pendulous air, Like snow on herbless peaks, fall flake by flake, And cling to it; tho under my wrath's might It climb the crags of life, step after step, Which wound it, as ice wounds unsandalled feet,
It yet remains supreme o'er misery,
Aspiring, unrepressed, yet soon to fall:
Even now have I begotten a strange wonder,
That fatal child, the terror of the earth,
Who waits but till the destined hour arrive,
Bearing from Demogorgon's vacant throne
The dreadful might of ever-living limbs
Which clothed that awful spirit unbeheld,
To redescend, and trample out the spark.
Pour forth heaven's wine, Idæan Ganymede,
And let it fill the Dædal cups like fire,
And from the flower-inwoven soil divine
Ye all-triumphant harmonies arise,
As dew from earth under the twilight stars:
Drink! be the nectar circling thro' your veins
The soul of joy, ye ever-living Gods,
Till exultation burst in one wide voice
Like music from Elysian winds.
Ascend beside me, veiled in the light
Of the desire which makes thee one with me,
Thetis, bright image of eternity!
When thou didst cry, “Insufferable might!
“God! Spare me! I sustain not the quick flames,
“The penetrating presence; all my being,
· Like him whom the Numidian seps did thaw
“Into a dew with poison, is dissolved,
“Sinking thro' its foundations:" even then
Two mighty spirits, mingling, made a third
Mightier than either, which, unbodied now,
Between us floats, felt, although unbeheld,
45 Waiting the incarnation, which ascends, (Hear ye the thunder of the fiery wheels Griding the winds ?) from Demogorgon's throne. Victory! victory! Feel'st thou not, O world, The earthquake of his chariot thundering up Olympus ?.. [The Car of the Hour arrives. DEMOGORGON descends, and
moves towards the Throne of JUPITER.