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Unde prius nulli velarint tempora musæ. Primum quod magnis doceo de rebus; et arctis Religionum animos nodis exsolvere pergo:

Lucret. lib. iv.

Δος του στό, και κοσμον κινησω,


TO HARRIET * * * * *

WHOSE is the love that gleaming through

the world, Wards off the poisonous arrow of its

scorn? Whose is the warm and partial praise, Virtue's most sweet reward ?

How wondersul is Death,

Death and his brother Sleep!
One, pale as yonder waning moon

With lips of lurid blue;
The other, rosy as the morn

When throned on ocean's wave

It blushes o'er the world :
Yet both so passing wonderful !

Hath then the gloomy Power Whose reign is in the tainted sepulchres

Seized on her sinless soul ?

Must then that peerless form Which love and admiration cannot view Without a beating heart, those azure veins


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of snow,

Which steal like streams along a field Through some cathedral window, but

the teints That lovely outline, which is fair

Are such as may not find
As breathing marble, perish?

Comparison on earth.
Must putrefaction's breath

Behold the chariot of the Fairy Queen!
Leave nothing of this heavenly sight
But loathsomeness and ruin?

Celestial coursers paw the unyielding

air; Spare nothing but a gloomy theme, On which the lightest heart might

Their filmy pennons at her word they furl, moralise ?

And stop obedient to the reins of light:

These the Queen of spells drew in, Or is it only a sweet slumber Stealing o'er sensation,

She spread a charm around the spot, Which the breath of roseate morning And leaning graceful from the ethereal Chaseth into darkness?

car, Will lanthe wake again,

Long did she gaze, and silently, And give that faithful bosom joy

Upon the slumbering maid. Whose sleepless spirit waits to catch

Oh! not the visioned poet in his dreams, Light, life and rapture from her smile? When silvery clouds float through the

wildered brain, Yes! she will wake again,

When every sight of lovely, wild and Although her glowing limbs are motion


Astonishes, enraptures, elevates,
And silent those sweet lips,

When fancy at a glance combines
Once breathing eloquence,

The wondrous and the beautiful,That might have soothed a tiger's

So bright, so fair, so wild a shape rage,

Hath ever yet beheld, Or thawed the cold heart of a conqueror. As that which reined the coursers of the ller dewy eyes are closed,

air, And on their lids, whose texture fine

And poured the magic of her gaze Scarce hides the dark blue orbs be

Upon the maiden's sleep.
The baby Sleep is pillowed :

The broad and yellow moon
Her golden tresses shade

Shone dimly through her form-
The bosom’s stainless pride,

That form of faultless symmetry; Curling like tendrils of the parasite The pearly and pellucid car Around a marble column.

Moved not the moonlight's line:

'Twas not an earthly pageant : Hark! whence that rushing sound? Those who had looked upon the sight, 'Tis like the wondrous strain

Passing all human glory, That round a lonely ruin swells,

Saw not the yellow moon, Which, wandering on the echoing Saw not the mortal scene, shore,

Heard not the night-wind's rush, The enthusiast hears at evening: Heard not an earthly sound, 'Tis soster than the west wind's sigh; Saw but the fairy pageant, 'Tis wilder than the unmeasured notes Heard but the heavenly strains Or that strange lyre whose strings That filled the lonely dwelling. The genii of the breezes sweep: Those lines of rainbow light

The Fairy's frame was slight, yon Are like the moonbeams when they fall fibrous cloud,

That catches but the palest tinge of The day-stars of their age;- Soul of even,

Ianthe! And which the straining eye can

Awake! arise ! hardly seize

Sudden arose When melting into castern twilight's

Ianthe's Soul; it stood shadow,

All beautiful in naked purity, Were scarce so thin, so slight; but The perfect semblance of its bodily the fair star

frame. That gems the glittering coronet of Instinct with inexpressible beauty and morn,

grace, Sheds not a light so mild, so power

Each stain of earthliness ful,

Had passed away, it reassumed
As that which, bursting from the

Its native dignity, and stood
Fairy's form,

Immortal amid ruin.
Spread a purpurcal halo round the

Upon the couch the body lay
Yet with an undulating motion,

Wrapt in the depth of slumber :
Swayed to her outline gracefully.

Its features were fixed and meaning

From her celestial car

Yet animal life was there,
The Fairy Queen descended, And every organ yet performed
And thrice she waved her wand

Its natural functions: 'twas a sight
Circled with wreaths of amaranth : Of wonder to behold the body and soul.
Her thin and misty form

The self-same lineaments, the same
Moved with the moving air,

Marks of identity were there :
And the clear silver tones,

Yet, oh, how different! One aspires to
As thus she spoke, were such

As are unheard by all but gifted ear.

Pants for its sempiternal heritage,
And ever-changing, ever-rising still,

Wantons in endless being.

The other, for a time the unwilling sport
Stars ! your balmiest influence shed! Of circumstance and passion, struggles
Elements! your wrath suspend !

on; Sleep, Ocean, in the rocky bounds Fleets through its sad duration rapidly: That circle thy domain !

Then like an useless and worn-out Let not a breath be seen to stir

Around yon grass-grown ruin's height, Rots, perishes, and passes.
Let even the restless gossamer

Sleep on the moveless air !
Soul of Ianthe! thou,

Spirit! who hast dived so deep; Judged alone worthy of the envied boon, Spirit! who hast soared so high; That waits the good and the sincere; Thou the fearless, thou the mild, that waits

Accept the boon thy worth hath Those who have struggled, and with

earned, resolute will

Ascend the car with me. Vanquished earth's pride and meanness,

burst the chains, The icy chains of custom, and have Do I dream? Is this new feeling shone

But a visioned ghost of slumber?




If indeed I am a soul,

The Fairy and the Soul proceeded;
A free, a disembodied soul,

The silver clouds disparted;
Speak again to me.

And as the car of magic they ascended,

Again the speechless music swelled,

Again the coursers of the air
Unsurled their azure pennons, and the

I am the Fairy Mab: to me 'tis given

Shaking the beamy reins
The wonders of the human world to

Bade them pursue their way.
The secrets of the immeasurable past, The magic car moved on.
In the unfailing consciences of men, The night was fair, and countless

Those stern, unflattering chroniclers, I
find :

Studded heaven's dark blue vault,--
The future, from the causes which arise Just o'er the eastern wave
In each event, I gather: not the sting Pecped the first faint smile of morn:
Which retributive memory implants

The magic car moved on--
In the hard bosom of the selfish man;

From the celestial hoofs
Nor that ecstatic and exulting throb The atmosphere in flaming sparkles
Which virtue's votary feels when he

sums up

And where the burning wheels The thoughts and actions of a well-spent Eddied above the mountain's loftiest day

peak, Are unforescen, unregistered by me:

Was traced a line of lightning. And it is yet permitted me, to rend

Now it flew far above a rock, The veil of mortal frailty, that the spirit The utmost verge of earth, Clothed in its changeless purity, may

The rival of the Andes, whose dark know

brow How soonest to accomplish the great

Lowered o'er the silver sea. end

Far, far below the chariot's path, For which it hath its being, and may

Calm as a slumbering babe, taste

Tremendous Ocean lay. That peace, which in the end all life

The mirror of its stillness showed will share.

The pale and waning stars,
This is the meed of virtue; happy Soul,

The chariot's fiery track,
Ascend the car with me!

And the gray light of morn

Tinging those fleecy clouds
The chains of earth's immurement

That canopied the dawn.
Fell from Ianthe's spirit;

Seemed it, that the chariot's way They shrank and brake like bandages of Lay through the midst of an immense straw

concave, Beneath a wakened giant's strength. Radiant with million constellations, She knew her glorious change,

tinged And felt in apprehension uncontrolled

With shades of infinite colour,
New raptures opening round:

And semicircled with a belt
Each day-dream of her mortal lise,

Flashing incessant meteors.
Each frenzied vision of the slumbers
That closed each well-spent day,

The magic car moved on.
Seemed now to meet reality.

As they approached their goal

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The coursers seemed to gather speed;

II The sea no longer was distinguished; If solitude hath ever led thy steps earth

To the wild ocean's echoing shore, Appeared a vast and shadowy sphere; And thou hast lingered there, The sun's unclouded orb

Until the sun's broad orb
Rolled through the black con-

Seemed resting on the burnished

wave, Its rays of rapid light

Thou must have marked the lines Parted around the chariot's swifter

of purple gold, that motionless course,

Hung o'er the sinking sphere : And fell, like ocean's feathery spray Thou must have marked the billowy Dashed from the boiling surge

clouds Before a vessel's prow.

Edged with intolerable radiancy

Towering like rocks of jet
The magic car moved on.

Crowned with a diamond wreath.
Earth's distant orb appeared

And yet there is a moment, The smallest light that twinkles in the

When the sun's highest point heaven;

Peeps like a star o'er ocean's western Whilst round the chariot's way

edge, Innumerable systems rolled,

When those far clouds of feathery And countless spheres diffused

gold, An ever-varying glory.

Shaded with deepest purple, gleam It was a sight of wonder: some

Like islands on a dark blue sea; Were hornèd like the crescent moon; Then has thy fancy soared above the Some shed a mild and silver beam

earth, Like Hesperus o'er the western sea;

And furled its wearied wing Some dash'd athwart with trains of

Within the Fairy's fane. flame,

Yet not the golden islands Like worlds to death and ruin driven;

Gleaming in yon flood of light, Some shone like suns, and, as the chariot

Nor the feathery curtains passed,

Stretching o'er the sun's bright Eclipsed all other light.


Nor the burnished ocean waves Spirit of Nature ! here!

Paving that gorgeous dome, In this interminable wilderness

So fair, so wonderful a sight
Of worlds, at whose immensity As Mab's ethereal palace could assord.

Even soaring fancy staggers, Yet likest evening's vault, that faery
Ilere is thy fitting temple.

Yet not the lightest leaf As IIeaven, low resting on the wave, it
That quivers to the passing breeze
Is less instinct with thee:

Its floors of flashing light,
Yet not the meanest worm

Its vast and azure dome, That lurks in graves and fattens on Its fertile golden islands the dead

Floating on a silver sea;
Less shares thy eternal breath. Whilst suns their mingling beamings
Spirit of Nature ! thou !

Imperishable as this scene, Through clouds of circumambient dark.
Here is thy fitting temple.



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