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All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,

From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed. 39

What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower: 15

Like a glow-worm golden

In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the



Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflowered,

Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged

thieves :


Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,

Rain-awakened flowers,

All that ever was
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass:


Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine:
I have never heard

Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.


Chorus Hymenæal,

Or triumphal chaunt,
Matched with thine would be all

But an empty vaunt,
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.


What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain ?
What fields, or waves, or mountains ?

What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain ? 15

With thy clear keen joyance

Languor cannot be :
Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee:
Thou lovest; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.


Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream ? 81

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. so

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Yet if we could scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground !


Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

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Yet, Freedom, yet thy banner torn but flying
Streams like a thunder-storm against the wind.


A GLORIOUS people vibrated again

The lightning of the nations: Liberty
From heart to heart, from tower to tower, o'er Spain,

Scattering contagious fire into the sky,
Gleamed. My soul spurned the chains of its dismay,

And, in the rapid plumes of song,

Clothed itself, sublime and strong;
As a young eagle soars the morning clouds among,
Hovering in verse o'er its accustomed prey;

Till from its station in the heaven of fame
The Spirit's whirlwind rapt it, and the ray

Of the remotest sphere of living flame
Which paves the void was from behind it flung,

As foam from a ship's swiftness, when there came
A voice out of the deep: I will record the same.

The Sun and the serenest Moon sprang forth:

The burning stars of the abyss were hurled
Into the depths of heaven. The dædal earth,

That island in the ocean of the world, Hung in its cloud of all-sustaining air:

But this divinest universe

Was yet a chaos and a curse, For thou wert not: but power from worst producing worse, The spirit of the beasts was kindled there,

And of the birds, and of the watery forms, And there was war among them, and despair

Within them, raging without truce or terms: The bosom of their violated nurse

Groaned, for beasts warred on beasts, and worms on worms, And men on men; each heart was as a hell of storms.

Man, the imperial shape, then multiplied

His generations under the pavilion
Of the Sun's throne: palace and pyramid,

Temple and prison, to many a swarming million,
Were, as to mountain-wolves their ragged caves.

This human living multitude

Was savage, cunning, blind, and rude,
For thou wert not; but o'er the populous solitude,
Like one fierce cloud over a waste of waves

Hung Tyranny; beneath, sate deified
The sister-pest, congregator of slaves;

Into the shadow of her pinions wide
Anarchs and priests who feed on gold and blood,

Till with the stain their inmost souls are dyed,
Drove the astonished herds of men from every side,

The nodding promontories, and blue isles,

And cloud-like mountains, and dividuous waves
Of Greece, basked glorious in the open smiles

Of favouring heaven: from their enchanted caves Prophetic echoes flung dim melody.


On the unapprehensive wild

The vine, the corn, the olive mild, Grew savage yet, to human use unreconciled; And, like unfolded flowers beneath the sea,

Like the man's thought dark in the infant's brain, Like aught that is which wraps what is to be,

Art's deathless dreams lay veiled by many a vein
Of Parian stone; and yet a speechless child,

Verse murmured, and Philosophy did strain
Her lidless eyes for thee; when o'er the Ægean main

V. Athens arose: a city such as vision

Builds from the purple crags and silver towers Of battlemented cloud, as in derision

Of kingliest masonry: the ocean-floors Pave it; the evening sky pavilions it;

Its portals are inhabited

By thunder-zonèd winds, each head Within its cloudy wings with sunfire garlanded, A divine work! Athens diviner yet

Gleamed with its crest of columns, on the will Of man, as on a mount of diamond, set;

For thou wert, and thine all-creative skill
Peopled with forms that mock the eternal dead

In marble immortality, that hill
Which was thine earliest throne and latest oracle.


Within the surface of Time's fleeting river

Its wrinkled inage lies, as then it lay Immovably unquiet, and for ever

It trembles, but it cannot pass away! The voices of thy bards and sages thunder

With an earth-awakening blast

Through the caverns of the past;
Religion veils her eyes; Oppression shrinks aghast:
A winged sound of joy, and love, and wonder,

Which soars where Expectation never flew,

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