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Voice the sweetest ever heard-
And your brow more . . .
Than the... sky

Of this azure Italy.

Mary dear, come to me soon!

I am not well whilst thou art far.
As sunset to the sphered moon,

As twilight to the western star,
Thou, beloved, art to me.

O Mary dear, that you were here!

The castle echo whispers "Here!"

Este, September 1818.



A WOODMAN, whose rough heart was out of tune
(I think such hearts yet never came to good),
Hated to hear, under the stars or moon,

One nightingale in an interfluous wood
Satiate the hungry dark with melody.
And as a vale is watered by a flood,

Or as the moonlight fills the open sky

Struggling with darkness-as a tuberose

Peoples some Indian dell with scents which lie

Like clouds above the flower from which they rose

The singing of that happy nightingale

In this sweet forest, from the golden close

Of evening till the star of dawn may fail,

Was interfused upon the silentness.

The folded roses and the violets pale

Heard her within their slumbers; the abyss
Of heaven with all its planets; the dull ear
Of the night-cradled Earth; the loneliness

Of the circumfluous waters. Every sphere,

And every flower and beam and cloud and wave,

And every wind of the mute atmosphere,

And every beast stretched in its rugged cave,
And every bird lulled on its mossy bough,
And every silver moth fresh from the grave

Which is its cradle (ever from below

Aspiring, like one who loves too fair, too far,
To be consumed within the purest glow

Of one serene and unapproachèd star,
As if it were a lamp of earthly light,—
Unconscious, as some human lovers are,
Itself how low, how high beyond all height

The heaven where it would perish), and every form That worshiped in the temple of the night,

Was awed into delight, and by the charm

Girt as with an interminable zone;

Whilst that sweet bird, whose music was a storm

Of sound, shook forth the dull oblivion

Out of their dreams. Harmony became love In every soul but one.

And so this man returned with axe and saw
At evening close from killing the tall treen;
The soul of whom, by Nature's gentle law,

Was each a Wood-nymph, and kept ever green
The pavement and the roof of the wild copse,
Chequering the sunlight of the blue serene
With jagged leaves, and from the forest tops
Singing the winds to sleep, or weeping oft
Fast showers of aërial water-drops

Into her mother's bosom sweet and soft,Nature's pure tears which have no bitterness. Around the cradles of the birds aloft

They spread themselves into the loveliness

Of fan-like leaves; and over pallid flowers

Hang like moist clouds; or, where high branches kiss, Make a green space among the silent bowers (Like a vast fane in a metropolis,

Surrounded by the columns and the towers

All overwrought with branch-like traceries);
In which there is religion, and the mute
Persuasion of unkindled melodies,


Odours, and gleams, and murmurs, which the lute Of the blind Pilot-Spirit of the blast

Stirs as it sails, now grave and now acute,

Wakening the leaves and waves, ere it has passed,
To such brief unison as on the brain
One tone which never can recur has cast,

One accent never to return again.

The world is full of Woodmen who expel
Love's gentle Dryads from the haunts of life,
And vex the nightingales in every dell.



O MIGHTY mind, in whose deep stream this age
Shakes like a reed in the unheeding storm,
Why dost thou curb not thine own sacred rage?



SILENCE! Oh well are Death and Sleep and Thou
Three brethren named, the guardians gloomy-winged
Of one abyss, where life and truth and joy

Are swallowed up. Yet spare me, Spirit, pity me!
Until the sounds I hear become my soul,
And it has left these faint and weary limbs,

To track along the lapses of the air

This wandering melody until it rests
Among lone mountains in some



THE fierce beasts of the woods and wildernesses
Track not the steps of him who drinks of it;
For the light breezes, which for ever fleet
Around its margin, heap the sand thereon.


My head is wild with weeping for a grief
Which is the shadow of a gentle mind.

I walk into the air, (but no relief

To seek,-or haply, if I sought, to find;
It came unsought);-to wonder that a chief
Among men's spirits should be cold and blind.



Flourishing vine, whose kindling clusters glow
Beneath the autumnal sun, none taste of thee;
For thou dost shroud a ruin, and below
The rotting bones of dead antiquity.

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Mad. No access to the Duke! You have not said

That the Count Maddalo would speak with him?

Pigna. Did you inform his Grace that Signor Pigna Waits with state papers for his signature?

Mal. The Lady Leonora cannot know That I have written a sonnet to her fame,

In which I . . . Venus and Adonis.

You should not take my gold, and serve me not.
Alb. In truth I told her; and she smiled and said,

"If I am Venus, thou, coy Poesy,

Art the Adonis whom I love, and he

The Erymanthian boar that wounded him."

Oh trust to me, Signor Malpiglio,

Those nods and smiles were favours worth the zechin.
Mal. The words are twisted in some double sense

That I reach not: the smiles fell not on me.

Pigna. How are the Duke and Duchess occupied ?
Alb. Buried in some strange talk. The Duke was leaning—

His finger on his brow, his lips unclosed.

The Princess sate within the window-seat,

And so her face was hid; but on her knee

Her hands were clasped, veinèd, and pale as snow,

And quivering. Young Tasso, too, was there.

Mad. Thou seest on whom from thine own worshiped heaven Thou draw'st down smiles--they did not rain on thee.

Mal. Would they were parching lightnings, for his sake On whom they fell!


I LOVED-alas! our life is love;

But, when we cease to breathe and move,

I do suppose love ceases too.

I thought (but not as now I do)

Keen thoughts and bright of linkèd lore,—
Of all that men had thought before,
And all that Nature shows, and more.

And still I love, and still I think,
But strangely, for my heart can drink
The dregs of such despair, and live,
And love.

And, if I think, my thoughts come fast;
I mix the present with the past,

And each seems uglier than the last.

Sometimes I see before me flee

A silver spirit's form, like thee,
O Leonora! and I sit

... still watching it,

Till by the grated casement's ledge
It fades, with such a sigh as sedge

Breathes o'er the breezy streamlet's edge.





LET those who pine in pride or in revenge,
Or think that ill for ill should be repaid,
Or barter wrong for wrong, until the exchange
Ruins the merchants of such thriftless trade,

Visit the tower of Vado, and unlearn

Such bitter faith beside Marenghi's urn.


A massy tower yet overhangs the town,

A scattered group of ruined dwellings now.

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