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Stood many a mountain pyramid,
Among whose everlasting walls
Two mighty cities shone, and ever
Through the red mist their domes did quiver.


On two dread mountains, from whose crest
Might seem the eagle for her brood
Would ne'er have hung her dizzy nest,
Those tower-encircled cities stood.
A vision strange such towers to see,
Sculptured and wrought so gorgeously,
Where human art could never be.


And columns framed of marble white,
And giant fanes, dome over dome
Piled, and triumphant gates, all bright

With workmanship which could not come

From touch of mortal instrument,

Shot o'er the vales, or lustre lent
From their own shapes magnificent.


But still the Lady heard that clang
Filling the wide air far away,
And still the mist whose light did hang

Among the mountains shook alway;

So that the Lady's heart beat fast,
As half in joy and half aghast

On those high domes her look she cast.


Sudden from out that city sprung

A light that made the earth grow red; Two flames that each with quivering tongue Licked its high domes, and overhead Among those mighty towers and fanes Dropped fire, as a volcano rains

Its sulphurous ruin on the plains.


And hark! a rush, as if the deep

Had burst its bonds! She looked behind,

And saw over the western steep

A raging flood descend, and wind

Through that wide vale. She felt no fear,
But said within herself, "Tis clear
These towers are Nature's own, and she
To save them has sent forth the sea.


And now those raging billows came
Where that fair Lady sate; and she
Was borne towards the showering flame
By the wild waves heaped tumultuously,
And, on a little plank, the flow
Of the whirpool bore her to and fro.


The flames were fiercely vomited
From every tower and every dome,
And dreary light did widely shed

O'er that vast flood's suspended foam,
Beneath the smoke which hung its night
On the stained cope of heaven's light.


The plank whereon that Lady sate

Was driven through the chasms, about and about, Between the peaks so desolate

Of the drowning mountains, in and out,

As the thistle-beard on a whirlwind sails-
While the flood was filling those hollow vales.


At last her plank an eddy crossed,

And bore her to the city's wall,

Which now the flood had reached almost;
It might the stoutest heart appall

To hear the fire roar and hiss

Through the domes of those mighty palaces.


The eddy whirled her round and round
Before a gorgeous gate which stood
Piercing the cloud of smoke which bound
Its aery arch with light like blood.



She looked on that gate of marble clear
With wonder that extinguished fear :-


For it was filled with sculptures rarest
Of forms most beautiful and strange,
Like nothing human, but the fairest

Of winged shapes whose legions range
Throughout the sleep of those that are,
Like this same Lady, good and fair.


And, as she looked, still lovelier grew
Those marble forms; the sculptor sure
Was a strong spirit, and the hue

Of his own mind did there endure

After the touch whose power had braided
Such grace was in some sad change faded.

She looked.


The flames were dim, the flood

Grew tranquil as a woodland river

Winding through hills in solitude;

Those marble shapes then seemed to quiver,

And their fair limbs to float in motion

Like weeds unfolding in the ocean.


And their lips moved,—one seemed to speak,—
When suddenly the mountain cracked,
And through the chasm the flood did break

With an earth-uplifting cataract.

The statues gave a joyous scream,

And on its wings the pale thin Dream
Lifted the Lady from the stream.


The dizzy flight of that phantom pale
Waked the fair Lady from her sleep;
And she arose, while from the veil

Of her dark eyes the Dream did creep.
And she walked about as one who knew
That sleep has sights as clear and true
As any waking eyes can view.



THEY die-the dead return not. Misery

Sits near an open grave, and calls them over,
A youth with hoary hair and haggard eye.

They are the names of kindred, friend, and lover,
Which he so feebly calls. They all are gone,

Fond wretch, all dead! Those vacant names alone,
This most familiar scene, my pain,

These tombs, -alone remain.

Misery, my sweetest friend, oh! weep no more!
Thou wilt not be consoled? I wonder not:
For I have seen thee from thy dwelling's door
Watch the calm sunset with them, and this spot
Was even as bright and calm but transitory,-
And now thy hopes are gone, thy hair is hoary.
This most familiar scene, my pain,
These tombs,-alone remain.



THUS to be lost and thus to sink and die

Perchance were death indeed!-Constantia, turn!

In thy dark eyes a power like light doth lie,

Even though the sounds which were thy voice, which burn
Between thy lips, are laid to sleep;

Within thy breath, and on thy hair, like odour, it is yet,
And from thy touch like fire doth leap.

Even while I write, my burning cheeks are wet;
Alas that the torn heart can bleed but not forget!


A breathless awe, like the swift change
Unseen but felt in youthful slumbers,

Wild, sweet, but uncommunicably strange,
Thou breathest now in fast-ascending numbers.

The cope of heaven seems rent and cloven
By the enchantment of thy strain,
And on my shoulders wings are woven,
To follow its sublime career

Beyond the mighty moons that wane

Upon the verge of Nature's utmost sphere, Till the world's shadowy walls are past and disappear.


Her voice is hovering o'er my soul-it lingers
O'ershadowing it with soft and lulling wings:
The blood and life within those snowy fingers
Teach witchcraft to the instrumental strings.
My brain is wild, my breath comes quick-
The blood is listening in my frame,
And thronging shadows, fast and thick,
Fall on my overflowing eyes;

My heart is quivering like a flame;
As morning dew that in the sunbeam dies,
I am dissolved in these consuming ecstasies.


I have no life, Constantia, now,

but thee,

Whilst, like the world-surrounding air, thy song

Flows on, and fills all things with melody.

Now is thy voice a tempest swift and strong,

On which, like one in trance upborne,
Secure o'er rocks and waves I sweep,

Rejoicing like a cloud of morn :
Now 'tis the breath of summer night,

Which, when the starry waters sleep,

Round western isles with incense-blossoms bright Lingering, suspends my soul in its voluptuous flight.


I MET a traveller from an antique land

Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

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