« PrécédentContinuer »
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.
POEMS WRITTEN IN 1816.
THERE late was one within whose subtle being,
The lady died not nor grew wild,
But year by year lived on :-in truth I think
Woven by some subtlest bard, to make hard hearts
Her eyelashes were torn away with tears,
Her lips and cheeks were like things dead-so pale;
Day's ruddy light. The tomb of thy dead self
"Inheritor of more than earth can give,
Bishopgate, Spring 1816.
HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY.
THE awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats, though unseen, among us; visiting
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower.
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?
Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain river ;
Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown;
Such gloom; why man has such a scope
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,
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
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
I called on poisonous names with which our youth is fed.
When, musing deeply on the lot
Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
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
Outwatched with me the envious night:
That thou, O awful Loveliness,
Wouldst give whate'er these words cannot express.
The day becomes more solemn and serene
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
LINES WRITTEN IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.
THE everlasting universe of Things
Flows through the Mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Thus thou, Ravine of Arve-dark, deep Ravine-
Over whose pines and crags and caverns sail
Children of elder time, in whose devotion The chainless winds still come and ever came
To drink their odours, and their mighty swinging
Thine earthly rainbows stretched across the sweep
Robes some unsculptured image; the strange sleep
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,
I seem, as in a trance sublime and strange,