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That the coming and going of the wind The sweet lips of the flowers, and harm Brought pleasure there and left passion not, did she behind.
Make her attendant angels be. And wherever her airy footstep trod, And many an antenatal tomb, Her trailing hair from the grassy sod Where butterflies dream of the life to Erased its light vestige, with shadowy
She left clinging round the smooth and Like a sunny storm o'er the dark green dark deep.
Edge of the odorous cedar bark. I doubt not the flowers of that garden This fairest creature from earliest spring sweet
Thus moved through the garden minisRejoiced in the sound of her gentle feet; I doubt not they felt the spirit that came all the sweet season of summer tide, From her glowing fingers thro' all their And ere the first leaf looked brown-she frame.
died ! She sprinkled bright water from the
PART THIRD stream On those that were faint with the sunny Three days the flowers of the garden fair, beam ;
Like stars when the moon is awakened, And out of the cups of the heavy flowers
were, She emptied the rain of the thunder Or the waves of Baiæ, ere luminous showers.
She floats up through the smoke of
Vesuvius. She listed their heads with her tender hands,
And on the fourth, the Sensitive Plant And sustained them with rods and osier Felt the sound of the funeral chaunt, bands;
And the steps of the bearers, heavy and If the flowers had been her own infants
And the sobs of the mourners deep and Could never have nursed them more tenderly.
The weary sound and the heavy breath, And all killing insects and gnawing And the silent motions of passing death, worms,
And the smell, cold, oppressive, and And things of obscene and unlovely dank, forms,
Sent through the pores of the coffin She bore in a basket of Indian woof,
plank ; Into the rough woods far aloof,
The dark grass, and the flowers among In a basket, of grasses and wild-lowers full,
Were bright with tears as the crowd did The freshest her gentle hands could pull
pass; For the poor banished insects, whose From their sighs the wind caught a intent,
mournful tone, Although they did ill, was innocent. And sate in the pines, and gave groan But the bee and the beamlike ephemeris Whose path is the lightning's, and soft The garden, once fair, became cold and moths that kiss
Like the corpse of her who had been its Were bent and tangled across the walks ; soul,
And the leafless network of parasite Which at first was lovely as if in sleep,
bowers Then slowly changed, till it grew a heap Massed into ruin ; and all sweet flowers. To make men tremble who never weep. Between the time of the wind and the Swift summer into the autumn flowed,
snow, And frost in the mist of the morning All loathliest weeds began to grow, rode,
Whose coarse leaves were splashed with Though the noonday sun looked clear many a speck, and bright,
Like the water-snake's belly and the Mocking the spoil of the secret night.
toad's back. The rose leaves, like flakes of crimson And thistles, and nettles, and darnels
rank, snow, Paved the turf and the moss below.
And the dock, and henbane, and hem
lock dank, The lilies were drooping, and white, and
Stretched out its long and hollow shank, Like the head and the skin of a dying And stifled the air till the dead wind
And plants, at whose names the verse And Indian plants, of scent and hue
feels loath, The sweetest that ever were fed on dew, Filled the place with a monstrous underLeaf by leaf, day after day, Were massed into the common clay.
Prickly, and pulpous, and blistering, And the leaves, brown, yellow, and gray,
and blue, and red,
Livid, and starred with a lurid dew. And white with the whiteness of what And agarics, and fungi, with mildew is dead,
and mould Like troops of ghosts on the dry wind Started like mist from the wet ground past ;
cold; Their whistling noise made the birds Pale, fleshy, as if the decaying dead aghast.
With a spirit of growth had been
animated ! And the gusty winds waked the winged seeds,
Spawn, weeds, and filth, a leprous scum, Out of their birthplace of ugly weeds, Made the running rivulet thick and Till they clung round many a sweet
dumb flower's stem,
And at its outlet flags huge as stakes Which rotted into the earth with them. Dammed it up with roots knotted like
water-snakes. The water-blooms under the rivulet Fell from the stalks on which they were
And hour by hour, when the air was
still, And the eddies drove them here and The vapours arose which have strength there,
to kill : As the winds did those of the upper air. At morn they were seen, at noon they
were felt, Then the rain came down, and the At night they were darkness no star broken stalks,
And unctuous meteors from spray to spray First there came down a thawing rain
Then there steamed up a freezing dew By a venomous blight was burned and which to the drops of the thaw-rain bit.
grew; The Sensitive Plant like one forbid And a northern whirlwind, wandering Wept, and the tears within each lid
about Of its folded leaves which together grew Like a wolf that had smelt a dead child Were changed to a blight of frozen
Shook the boughs thus laden, and heavy
and stiff, For the leaves soon fell, and the branches And snapped them off with his rigid
griff. By the heavy axe of the blast were hewn ; The sap shrank to the root through When winter had gone and spring came every pore
back As blood to a heart that will beat no The Sensitive Plant was a leafless wreck;
But the mandrakes, and toadstools, and
docks, and darnels, For Winter came : the wind was his Rose like the dead from their ruined whip :
charnels. One choppy finger was on his lip: He had torn the cataracts from the hills
CONCLUSION And they clanked at his girdle like manacles;
Whether the Sensitive Plant, or that
Which within its boughs like a spirit His breath was a chain which without a sound
Ere its outward form had known decay, The earth, and the air, and the water Now felt this change, I cannot say.
bound; Ile came, fiercely driven, in his chariot. Whether that lady's gentle mind, throne
No longer with the form combined By the tenfold blasts of the arctic zone.
Which scattered love, as stars do light,
Found sadness, where it lest delight, Then the weeds which were forms of
I dare not guess; but in this life living death Fled from the frost to the earth beneath. Where nothing is, but all things seem,
Of error, ignorance, and strise, Their decay and sudden flight from frost And we the shadows of the dream, Was but like the vanishing of a ghost !
It is a modest creed, and yet
To own that death itself must be,
And all sweet shapes and odours there, And were caught in the branches naked In truth have never past away: and bare.
'Tis we, 'tis ours, are changed; not they.
In many a
For love, and beauty, and delight, Dim mirrors of ruin hang gleaming There is no death nor change: their
While the surf, like a chaos of stars, like Exceeds our organs, which endure
a rout No light, being themselves obscure. Of death-flames, like whirlpools of fire
With splendour and terror the black ship CANCELLED PASSAGE
environ, Their moss rotted off them, flake by Or like sulphur-flakes hurled from flake,
mine of pale fire Till the thick stalk stuck like a mur. In fountains spout o'er it. derer's stake,
spire Where rags of loose flesh yet tremble The pyramid-billows with white points on high,
of brine Infecting the winds that wander by. In the cope of the lightning inconstantly
As piercing the sky from the floor of A VISION OF THE SEA 'Tis the terror of tempest. The rags of The great ship seems splitting! it cracks the sail
as a tree, Are flickering in ribbons within the While an earthquake is splintering its fierce gale:
root, ere the blast From the stark night of vapours the dim Of the whirlwind that stripped it of rain is driven,
branches has past. And when lightning is loosed, like a The intense thunder-balls which are rain. deluge from heaven,
ing from heaven She sees the black trunks of the water. Have shattered its mast, and it stands spouts spin,
black and riven. And bend, as if heaven was ruining in, The chinks suck destruction. The heavy Which they seemed to sustain with their
dead hulk terrible mass
On the living sea rolls an inanimate bulk, As if ocean had sunk from beneath them: Like a corpse on the clay which is they pass
hungering to fold To their graves in the deep with an Its corruption around it. Meanwhile, earthquake of sound,
from the hold, And the waves and the thunders made One deck is burst up by the waters silent around
below, Leave the wind to its echo. The vessel, And it splits like the ice when the thawnow tossed
breezes blow Through the low-trailing rack of the O'er the lakes of the desert! Who sit tempest, is lost
on the other ? In the skirts of the thunder-cloud: now Is that all the crew that lie burying each down the sweep
other, Of the wind-cloven wave to the chasm Like the dead in a breach, round the of the deep
foremast ? Are those It sinks, and the walls of the watery Twin tigers, who burst, when the waters vale
arose, Whose depths of dread calm are un. In the agony of terror, their chains in the moved by the gale,
(What now makes them tame, is what Than heaven, when, unbinding its starthen made them bold ;)
braided hair, Who crouch, side by side, and have It sinks with the sun on the earth and driven, like a crank,
the sea. The deep grip of their claws through the She clasps a bright child on her upvibrating plank.
gathered knee, Are these all? Nine weeks the tall It laughs at the lightning, it mocks the vessel had lain
mixed thunder On the windless expanse of the watery of the air and the sea, with desire and plain,
with wonder Where the death-darting sun cast no It is beckoning the tigers to rise and shadow at noon,
come near, And there seemed to be fire in the beams It would play with those eyes where the of the moon,
radiance of fear Till a lead-coloured fog gathered up from Is outshining the meteors ; its bosom the deep
beats high, Whose breath was quick pestilence; | The heart-fire of pleasure has kindled
then, the cold sleep Crept, like blight through the ears of a While its mother's is lustreless. “Smile thick field of corn,
not, my child, O'er the populous vessel. And even and But sleep deeply and sweetly, and so morn,
be beguiled With their hammocks for coffins the sea of the pang that awaits us, whatever men aghast
that be, Like dead men the dead limbs of their So dreadful since thou must divide it comrades cast
with me! Down the deep, which closed on them Dream, sleep! This pale bosom, thy above and around,
cradle and bed, And the sharks and the dog-fish their Will it rock thee not, infant ? 'Tis grave-clothes unbound,
beating with dread! And were glutted like Jews with this Alas! what is life, what is death, manna rained down
what are we, From God on their wilderness. One That when the ship sinks we no longer
after one The mariners died; on the eve of this day, What! to see thee no more, and to When the tempest was gathering in feel thee no more ? cloudy array,
To be alter life what we have been before? But seven remained. Six the thunder Vot to touch those sweet hands? Not has smitten,
to look on those eyes, And they lie black as mummies on which Those lips, and that hair, all the Time has written
smiling disguise Ilis scorn of the embalmer; the seventh, Thou yet wearest, sweet spirit, which from the deck
I, day by day, An oak-splinter pierced through his llave so long called my child, but breast and his back,
which now fades away And hung out to the tempest, a wreck Like a rainbow, and I the fallen on the wreck.
shower ?” Lo! the ship No more? At the helm sits a woman Is settling, it topples, the leeward ports more fair