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Like waves above the living waves below.---
I have sent books and music there, and all
Those instruments with which high spirits call
The future from its cradle, and the past
Out of its grave, and make the present last
In thoughts and joys which sleep, but cannot die,
Folded within their own eternity.
Our simple life wants little, and true taste
Hires not the pale drudge Luxury, to waste
The sceve it would adorn, and therefore still,
Nature with all her children, haunts the hill.
The riny-dove, in the embowering ivy, yet
Keeps up her love-lament, and the owls flit
Round the evening tower, and the young stars glance
Between the quick bats in their twilight dance;
The spotted deer bask in the fresh moon-light
Before our gate, and the slow, silent night
Is measured by the pants of their calm sleep.
Be this our home in life, and when years heap
Their withered hours, like leaves, on our decay,
Let us become the over-hanging day,
The living soul of this Elysian isle,
Conscious, inseparable, one. Meanwhile
We two will rise, and sit, and walk together,
Under the roof of blue Ionian weather,
And wander in the meadows, or ascend
The mossy mountains, where the blue heavens bend
With lightest winds, to touch their paramour;
Or linger, where the pebble-paven shore,
Under the quick, faint kisses of the sea
Trembles and sparkles as with ecstasy,---
Possessing and possest by all that is
Within that calm circumference of bliss,
And by each other, till to love and live
Be one: or, at the noontide hour, ve
Where soine old cavern hoar seems yet to keep
The moonlight of the expired night asleep,
Through which the awakened day can never peep;
A veil for our seclusion, close as Night's,
Where secure sleep may kill thine innocent lights;
Sleep, the fresh dew of languid love, the rain
Whose drops quench kisses till they burn again.
And we will talk, until thought's melody
Become too sweet for utterance, and it die
In words, to live again in looks, which dart
With thrilling tone into the voiceless heart,
Harmonizing silence without a sound.
Our breath shall intermix, our bosoms bound,
And our veins beat together; and our lips
With other eloquence than words, eclipse
The soul that burns between them, and the wells
Which boil under our being's innost cells,
The fountains of our deepest life, shall be
Confused in passion's golden purity,
As mountain-springs under the morning Sun.
We shall become the same, we shall be one
Spirit within two frames, oh! wherefore two ?
One passion in twin-hearts, which grows and grew,
Till like two meteors of expanding flame,
Those spheres instinct with it become the same,
Touch, mingle, are transfigured; ever still
Burning, yet ever inconsumable:
In one another's substance finding food,
Like flames too pure and light and unimbued
To nourish their bright lives with baser prey,
Which point to Heaven and cannot pass away:
One hope within two wills, one will beneath
Two overshadowing minds, one life, one death,
One Heaven, one Hell, one immortality,
And one annihilation. Woe is me!
The winged words on which my soul would pierce
Into the height of love's rare Universe,
Are chains of lead around its flight of fire. ---
I pant, I sink, I tremble, I expire !
Weak Verses, go, kneel at your Sovereign's feet,
And say :-“We are the masters of thy slave;
“ What wouldest thou with us and ours and thine ?
Then call your sisters from Oblivion's cave,
All singing loud: "Love's very pain is sweet.
· But its reward is in the world divine
“ Which, if not here, it builds beyond the grave."
So shall ye live when I am there. Then haste
Over the hearts of men, until ye meet
Marina, Vanna, Primus, and the rest,
bid them love ach ot and be blest: And leave the troop which errs, and which reproves, And come and be my guest, for I am Love's.
STUDIES FOR EPIPSYCHIDION, AND CANCELLED
Here, my dear friend, is a new book for you ;
I have already dedicated two
To other friends, one female and one male,-
What you are, is a thing that I must veil;
What can this be to those who praise or rail ?
I never was attached to that great sect
Whose doctrine is that each one should select
Out of the world a mistress or a friend,
And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
To cold oblivion—though 'tis in the code
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread
Who travel to their home among the dead
By the broad highway of the world-and so
With one sad friend, and many a jealous foe,
The dreariest and the longest journey go.
Free love has this, different from gold and clay,
That to divide is not to take away.
Like ocean, which the general north wind breaks
Into ten thousand waves, and each one makes
A mirror of the moon-like some great glass,
Which did distort whatever form might pass,
Dashed into fragments by a playful child,
Which then reflects its eyes and forehead mild;
Giving for one, which it could ne'er express,
A thousand images of loveliness.
If I were one whom the loud world held wise, I should disdain to quote authorities
In commendation of this kind of love :
... Why there is first the God in heaven above,
Who wrote a book called Nature, 'tis to be
Reviewed, I hear, in the next Quarterly;
And Socrates, the Jesus Christ of Greece,
And Jesus Christ himself did never cease
To urge all living things to love each other,
And to forgive their mutual faults, and smother
The Devil of disunion in their souls.
I love you !-Listen, O embodied Ray
Of the great Brightness; I must pass away
While you remain, and these light words must be
Tokens by which you may remember me.
Start not—the thing you are is unbetrayed,
If you are human, and if but the shade
• Of some sublimer spirit.
And as to friend or mistress, 'tis a form;
Perhaps I wish you were one. Some declare
You a familiar spirit, as you are ;
Others with a more inhuman
Hint that, though not my wife, you are a woman,
What is the colour of your eyes and hair ?
Why, if you were a lady, it were fair
The world should know—but, as I am afraid,
The Quarterly would bait you if betrayed;
And if, as it will be sport to see them stumble
Over all sorts of scandals, hear them mumble
Their litany of curses—some gness right,
And others swear you're a Hermaphrodite;
Like that sweet marble monster of both sexes,
With looks so sweet and gentle that it vexes
The very soul that the soul is gone
Which lifted from her limbs the veil of stone.
It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm, A happy and auspicious bird of calm,
Which rides o'er life's ever tumultuous Ocean; A God that broods o'er chaos in commotion; A flower which fresh as Lapland roses are, • Lifts its bold head into the world's frore air, And blooms most radiantly when others die, Health, hope, and youth, and brief prosperity; And with the light and odour of its bloom, Shining within the dungeon and the tomb; Whose coming is as light and music are 'Mid dissonance and gloom-a star Which moves not 'mid the moving heavens aloneA smile among dark frowns-a gentle tone Among rude voices, a beloved light, A solitude, a refuge, a delight. If I had but a friend! Why, I have three Even by my own confession; there may be Some more, for what I know, for 'tis my mind To call my friends all who are wise and kind, And these, Heaven knows, at best are very few; But none can ever be more dear than you. Why should they be? My muse has lost her wings, Or like a dying swan who soars and sings, I should describe you in heroic style, But as it is, are you not void of guile ? A lovely soul, formed to be blest and bless : A well of sealed and secret happiness; A lute which those whom Love has taught to play Make music on to cheer the roughest day, And enchant sadness till it sleeps ?
To the oblivion whither I and thou,
All loving and all lovely, hasten now
With steps, ah, too unequal! may we neet
In one Elysium or one winding sheet !
If any should be curious to discover
• Whether to you I am a friend or lover,
Let then read Shakspeare's sonnets, taking thence
whetstone for their dull intelligence That tears and will not cut, or let them guess