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It gleams betrayed and to betray.
Once remotest nations came
To adore that sacred flame,
When it lit not many a hearth
On this cold and gloomy earth;
Now new fires from antique light
Spring beneath the wide world's might,—
But their spark lies dead in thee,
Trampled out by Tyranny.
As the Norway woodman quells,
In the depth of piny dells,
One light flame among the brakes,
While the boundless forest shakes,
And its mighty trunks are torn
By the fire thus lowly born ;-
The spark beneath his feet is dead;
He starts to see the flames it fed
Howling through the darkened sky
With myriad tongues victoriously,
And sinks down in fear;-so thou,
O Tyranny! beholdest now
Light around thee, and thou hearest
The loud flames ascend, and fearest.
Grovel on the earth! ay, hide
In the dust thy purple pride!

Noon descends around me now.
'Tis the noon of autumn's glow;
When a soft and purple mist,
Like a vaporous amethyst,
Or an air-dissolved star

Mingling light and fragrance, far
From the curved horizon's bound
To the point of heaven's profound
Fills the overflowing sky.
And the plains that silent lie
Underneath; the leaves unsodden

Where the infant Frost has trodden

With his morning-winged feet
Whose bright print is gleaming yet ;
And the red and golden vines,
Piercing with their trellised lines

The rough dark-skirted wilderness;
The dun and bladed grass no less,
Pointing from this hoary tower
In the windless air; the flower
Glimmering at my feet; the line
Of the olive-sandalled Apennine
In the south dimly islanded;
And the Alps, whose snows are spread
High between the clouds and sun;
And of living things each one;
And my spirit, which so long
Darkened this swift stream of song,-
Interpenetrated lie

By the glory of the sky :
Be it love, light, harmony,
Odour, or the soul of all

Which from heaven like dew doth fall,
Or the mind which feeds this verse
Peopling the lone universe.

Noon descends; and after noon
Autumn's evening meets me soon,
Leading the infantine moon,
And that one star which to her
Almost seems to minister

Half the crimson light she brings
From the sunset's radiant springs,
And the soft dreams of the morn
(Which like winged winds had borne,

To that silent isle which lies

'Mid remembered agonies,

The frail bark of this lone being)

Pass, to other sufferers fleeing;

And its ancient pilot, Pain,
Sits beside the helm again.

Other flowering isles must be
In the sea of Life and Agony:
Other spirits float and flee
O'er that gulf. Even now perhaps
On some rock the wild wave wraps,
With folded wings, they waiting sit
For my bark, to pilot it

To some calm and blooming cove;
Where for me and those I love
May a windless bower be built,
Far from passion, pain, and guilt,
In a dell 'mid lawny hills
Which the wild sea-murmur fills,

And soft sunshine, and the sound
Of old forests echoing round,

And the light and smell divine

Of all flowers that breathe and shine.
We may live so happy there
That the Spirits of the Air,
Envying us, may even entice
To our healing paradise
The polluting multitude.

But their rage would be subdued

By that clime divine and calm,

And the winds whose wings rain balm

On the uplifted soul, and leaves

Under which the bright sea heaves;

While each breathless interval

In their whisperings musical

The inspired soul supplies

With its own deep melodies,

And the love which heals all strife,
Circling, like the breath of life,

All things in that sweet abode

With its own mild brotherhood.

They, not it, would change; and soon

Every sprite beneath the moon

Would repent its envy vain,

And the earth grow young again.

October 1818.




THE sun is warm, the sky is clear,

The waves are dancing fast and bright;

Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
The purple noon's transparent might ;

The breath of the moist earth is light Around its unexpanded buds ;

Like many a voice of one delight,

The winds', the birds', the ocean floods', The city's voice itself, is soft like Solitude's.


I see the deep's untrampled floor

With green and purple sea-weeds strown ;

I see the waves upon the shore,

Like light dissolved, in star-showers thrown.
I sit upon the sands alone.

The lightning of the noontide ocean

Is flashing round me, and a tone

Arises from its measured motion,

How sweet, did any heart now share in my emotion!


Alas! I have nor hope nor health,
Nor peace within nor calm around;
Nor that content, surpassing wealth,
The sage in meditation found,

And walked with inward glory crowned;
Nor fame nor power nor love nor leisure.
Others I see whom these surround-

Smiling they live, and call life pleasure;— To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.


Yet now despair itself is mild,

Even as the winds and waters are;

I could lie down like a tired child,

And weep away the life of care

Which I have borne and yet must bear,— Till death like sleep might steal on me,

And I might feel in the warm air

My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.


Some might lament that I were cold,

As I when this sweet day is gone, Which my lost heart, too soon grown old, Insults with this untimely moan.

They might lament-for I am one
Whom men love not, and yet regret ;

Unlike this day, which, when the sun

Shall on its stainless glory set,

Will linger, though enjoyed, like joy in memory yet.

December 1818.



COME, be happy,-sit near me,
Shadow-vested Misery:

Coy, unwilling, silent bride,
Mourning in thy robe of pride,
Desolation deified!


Come, be happy,-sit near me :
Sad as I may seem to thee,
I am happier far than thou,
Lady whose imperial brow
Is endiademed with woe.


Misery! we have known each other,
Like a sister and a brother

Living in the same lone home,

Many years: we must live some

Hours or ages yet to come.


'Tis an evil lot, and yet

Let us make the best of it;

If love can live when pleasure dies,
We two will love, till in our eyes
This heart's hell seem paradise.


Come, be happy,-lie thee down
On the fresh grass newly mown,
Where the grasshopper doth sing
Merrily-one joyous thing
In a world of sorrowing.

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