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Even Love's; and others, white, green, grey, and black, And of all shapes :--and each was at her beck.
And odours in a kind of avïary
Of ever-blooming Eden-trees she kept, Clipped in a floating net a love-sick Fairy
Had woven from dew-beams while the moon yet slept. As bats at the wired window of a dairy,
They beat their vans; and each was an adept― When loosed and missioned, making wings of winds— To stir sweet thoughts or sad in destined minds.
And liquors clear and sweet, whose healthful might
And change eternal death into a night
Of glorious dreams-or, if eyes needs must weep,
Her cave was stored with scrolls of strange device,
Which taught the expiations at whose price
And which might quench the earth-consuming rage Of gold and blood, till men should live and move Harmonious as the sacred stars above :-
And how all things that seem untameable,
Time, earth, and fire, the ocean, and the wind,
And other scrolls whose writings did unbind The inmost lore of love-let the profane Tremble to ask what secrets they contain.
And wondrous works of substances unknown,
At first she lived alone in this wild home,
Or with the wind, or with the speed of fire,
Into her mind such power her mighty Sire Had girt them with, whether to fly or run Through all the regions which he shines upon.
The Ocean-nymphs and Hamadryades,
"This may not be," the Wizard Maid replied. "The fountains where the Naiades bedew Their shining hair at length are drained and dried ; The solid oaks forget their strength, and strew Their latest leaf upon the mountains wide;
The boundless ocean like a drop of dew Will be consumed; the stubborn centre must Be scattered like a cloud of summer dust.
"And ye, with them, will perish one by one. If I must sigh to think that this shall be,
If I must weep when the surviving Sun
Shall smile on your decay-oh ask not me To love you till your little race is run;
I cannot die as ye must.-Over me
Your leaves shall glance-the streams in which ye dwell Shall be my paths henceforth; and so farewell!"
She spoke and wept. The dark and azure well
Flung to the cavern-roof inconstant spheres
All day the Wizard Lady sat aloof;
Of some high tale upon her growing woof,
Which the sweet splendour of her smiles could dye
In hues outshining heaven-and ever she
Added some grace to the wrought poesy :
While on her hearth lay blazing many a piece]
Each flame of it is as a precious stone
The Witch beheld it not, for in her hand
This Lady never slept, but lay in trance
She saw the constellations reel and dance
And, when the whirlwinds and the clouds descended
Within the which she lay when the fierce war
O'er woods and lawns. The serpent heard it flicker In sleep, and, dreaming still, he crept afar.
And, when the windless snow descended thicker Than autumn leaves, she watched it as it came Melt on the surface of the level flame.
She had a boat which some say Vulcan wrought
And gave it to this daughter : from a car,
And others say that, when but three hours old,
Stole a strange seed, and wrapped it up in mould,
Watering it all the summer with sweet dew,
The plant grew strong and green-the snowy flower
To its own substance: woven tracery ran
The solid rind, like a leaf's veinèd fan,
Of which Love scooped this boat, and with soft motion Piloted it round the circumfluous ocean.
This boat she moored upon her fount, and lit
A living spirit within all its frame,
Couched on the fountain-like a panther tame
Then by strange art she kneaded fire and snow
Together, tempering the repugnant mass
Through which the harmony of love can pass;
A sexless thing it was, and in its growth
In gentleness and strength its limbs were decked ; The bosom lightly swelled with its full youth;
The countenance was such as might select Some artist that his skill should never die,
Imaging forth such perfect purity.