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dides and Herodotus, and Diogenes Laertius. In Latin, Petronius, Suetonius, some of the works of Cicero, a large proportion of those of Seneca and Livy. In English, Milton's Poems, Wordsworth's Excursion, Southey's Madoc and Thalaba, Locke on the Human Understanding, Bacon's Novum Organum. In Italian, Ariosto, Tasso, and Alfieri. In French, the Rêveries d'un Solitaire of Rousseau. To these may be added several modern books of travels. He read few novels.



THERE late was one within whose subtle being,
As light and wind within some delicate cloud
That fades amid the blue noon's burning sky,
Genius and death contended. None may know
The sweetness of the joy which made his breath
Fail like the trances of the summer air,
When, with the lady of his love, who then
First knew the unreserve of mingled being,
He walked along the pathway of a field,
Which to the east a hoar wood shadowed o'er,
But to the west was open to the sky.
There now the sun had sunk; but lines of gold
Hung on the ashen clouds, and on the points
Of the far level grass and nodding flowers,
And the old dandelion's hoary beard,
And, mingled with the shades of twilight, lay
On the brown massy woods-and in the east
The broad and burning moon lingeringly rose
Between the black trunks of the crowded trees,
While the faint stars were gathering overhead.-
"Is it not strange, Isabel," said the youth,
"I never saw the sun? We will walk here
To-morrow; thou shalt look on it with me."
That night the youth and lady mingled lay
In love and sleep-but when the morning came
The lady found her lover dead and cold.
Let none believe that God in mercy gave
That stroke.

The lady died not nor grew wild,

But year by year lived on :-in truth I think
Her gentleness and patience and sad smiles,
And that she did not die but lived to tend
Her aged father, were a kind of madness,
If madness 'tis to be unlike the world.
For but to see her were to read the tale

Woven by some subtlest bard, to make hard hearts
Dissolve away in wisdom-working grief ;—

Her eyelashes were torn away with tears,

Her lips and cheeks were like things dead-so pale;
Her hands were thin, and through their wandering veins
And weak articulations might be seen

Day's ruddy light. The tomb of thy dead self
Which one vexed ghost inhabits, night and day,
Is all, lost child, that now remains of thee!

"Inheritor of more than earth can give,
Passionless calm and silence unreproved,—
Whether the dead find-oh! not sleep-but rest,
And are the uncomplaining things they seem,
Or live, or drop in the deep sea of Love;
Oh! that, like thine, mine epitaph were-Peace!"
This was the only moan she ever made.

Bishopgate, Spring 1816.



THE awful shadow of some unseen Power

Floats, though unseen, among us; visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing

As summer winds that creep from flower to flower.
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,
It visits with inconstant glance

Each human heart and countenance;

Like hues and harmonies of evening,

Like clouds in starlight widely spread,

Like memory of music fled,

Like aught that for its grace may be

Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.


Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate

With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon

Of human thought or form, where art thou gone?
Why dost thou pass away, and leave our state,
This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate ?—
Ask why the sunlight not for ever

Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain river ;

Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown;
Why fear and dream and death and birth
Cast on the daylight of this earth

Such gloom; why man has such a scope
For love and hate, despondency and hope!


No voice from some sublimer world hath ever

To sage or poet these responses given :

Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and Heaven, Remain the records of their vain endeavour;

Frail spells, whose uttered charm might not avail to sever, From all we hear and all we see,

Doubt, chance, and mutability.

Thy light alone, like mist o'er mountains driven,
Or music by the night-wind sent

Through strings of some still instrument,

Or moonlight on a midnight stream, Gives grace and truth to life's unquiet dream.


Love, hope, and self-esteem, like clouds depart
And come, for some uncertain moments lent.
Man were immortal and omnipotent,

Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou art,

Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart.

Thou messenger of sympathies

That wax and wane in lovers' eyes!

Thou that to human thought art nourishment,

Like darkness to a dying flame!

Depart not as thy shadow came :

Depart not, lest the grave should be,

Like life and fear, a dark reality!


While yet a boy, I sought for ghosts, and sped
Through many a listening chamber, cave, and ruin,
And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.

I called on poisonous names with which our youth is fed.
I was not heard, I saw them not;

When, musing deeply on the lot

Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
All vital things that wake to bring

News of birds and blossoming,

Sudden thy shadow fell on me :

I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy!


I vowed that I would dedicate my powers

To thee and thine: have I not kept the vow?

With beating heart and streaming eyes, even now

I call the phantoms of a thousand hours

Each from his voiceless grave. They have in visioned bowers
Of studious zeal or love's delight

Outwatched with me the envious night:
They know that never joy illumed my brow,
Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free
This world from its dark slavery ;

That thou, O awful Loveliness,

Wouldst give whate'er these words cannot express.


The day becomes more solemn and serene
When noon is past: there is a harmony

In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,

Which through the summer is not heard nor seen,

As if it could not be, as if it had not been.

Thus let thy power, which like the truth
Of Nature on my passive youth
Descended, to my onward life supply
Its calm,-to one who worships thee,
And every form containing thee,
Whom, Spirit fair, thy spells did bind
To fear himself, and love all humankind.

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THE everlasting universe of Things

Flows through the Mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark-now glittering-now reflecting gloom-
Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters, with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume

In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,

Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.


Thus thou, Ravine of Arve-dark, deep Ravine-
Thou many-coloured many-voiced vale,

Over whose pines and crags and caverns sail
Fast cloud-shadows and sunbeams; awful scene,
Where Power in likeness of the Arve comes down
From the ice-gulfs that gird his secret throne,
Bursting through these dark mountains like the flame
Of lightning through the tempest ;-thou dost lie,—
Thy giant brood of pines around thee clinging,

Children of elder time, in whose devotion The chainless winds still come and ever came

To drink their odours, and their mighty swinging
To hear, an old and solemn harmony;

Thine earthly rainbows stretched across the sweep
Of the etherial waterfall, whose veil

Robes some unsculptured image; the strange sleep
Which when the voices of the desert fail,

Wraps all in its own deep eternity;

Thy caverns echoing to the Arve's commotion,

A loud lone sound no other sound can tame.

Thou art pervaded with that ceaseless motion,

Thou art the path of that unresting sound,
Dizzy Ravine! And, when I gaze on thee,

I seem, as in a trance sublime and strange,

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