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Like winds that bear sweet music, when they
breathe Through some dim, latticed chamber. He did place His pale, lean hand upon the rugged trunk Of the old pine. Upon an ivied stone Reclined his languid head; his limbs did rest, Diffused and motionless, on the smooth brink Of that obscurest chasm; and thus he lay, Surrendering to their final impulses The hovering powers of life. Hope and Despair, The torturers, slept : no mortal pain or fear Marr’d his repose; the influxes of sense, And his own being unalloy'd by pain, Yet feebler and more feeble, calmly fed The stream of thought, till he lay breathing there At peace, and faintly smiling : his last sight Was the great moon, which o'er the western line Of the wide world her mighty horn suspended, With whose dun beams inwoven darkness seem'd To mingle. Now upon the jagged hills It rests, and still, as the divided frame of the vast meteor sunk, the poet's blood, That ever beat in mystic sympathy With nature's ebb and flow, grew feebler still : And when two lessening points of light alone Gleam'd through the darkness, the alternate gasp Of his faint respiration scarce did stir The stagnate night : till the minutest ray Was quench'd, the pulse yet linger'd in his heart. It paused, it futter'd. But when heaven remain'd Uiterly black, the murky shades involved An image, silent, cold, and motionless, As their own voiceless earth and vacant air. Even as a vapour fed with golden beams That ministerd on sunlight, ere the west Eclipses it, was now that wondrous frameNo sense, no motion, no divinityA fragile lute, on whose harmonious strings The breath of heaven did wander-a bright stream
Once fed with many-voiced waves—a dream
Oh for Medea's wondrous alchymy, Which, wheresoe'er it fell, made the earth gleam With bright flowers, and the wintry boughs exhale From vernal blooms fresh fragrance! Oh that God, Profuse of poisons, would conceal the chalice Which but one living man has drain’d, who now, Vessel of deathless wrath, a slave that feels No proud exemption in the blighting curse He bears, over the world wanders for ever, Lone as incarnate death! Oh that the dream Of dark magician in his vision'd cave, Raking the cinders of a crucible For life and power, even when his feeble hand Shakes in its last decay, were the true law Of this so lovely world! But thou art Aed Like some frail exhalation, which the dawn Robes in its golden beams : ah! thou hast fled; The brave, the gentle, and the beautiful, The child of grace and genius. Heartless things Are done and said i' the world, and many worms, And beasts, and men live on, and mighty Earth From sea and mountain, city and wilderness, In vesper low or joyous orison, Lifts still its solemn voice : but thou art fled : Thou canst no longer know or love the shapes Of this phantasmal scene, who have to thee Been purest ministers; who are, alas! Now thou art not. Upon those pallid lips, So sweet even in their silence; on those eyes, That image sleep in death ; upon that form, Yet safe from the worm's outrage, let no tear Be shed, not even in thought. Nor, when those Are gone, and those divinest lineaments, [hues Worn by the senseless wind, shall live alone
In the frail pauses of this simple strain,
Away! the moor is dark beneath the moon,
even: Away! the gathering winds will call the darkness
soon, And profoundest midnight shroud the serene lights
of Heaven. Pause not! The time is past! Every voice cries
Away! Tempt not with one last glance thy friend's un
gentle mood : Thy lover's eye, so glazed and cold, dares not entreat
thy stay : Duty and dereliction guide thee back to solitude. Away, away! to thy sad and silent home;
Pour bitter tears on its desolated hearth; Watch the dim shades as like ghosts they go and
come, And complicate strange webs of melancholy mirth.
The leaves of wasted autumn woods shall float
around thy head; The blooms of dewy spring shall gleam beneath
thy feet : But thy soul or this world must fade in the frost that
binds the dead, Ere midnight's frown and morning's smile, ere
thou and peace may meet.
The cloud-shadows of midnight possess their own
repose, For the weary winds are silent, or the moon is in
the deep: Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean
knows; Whatever moves, or toils, or grieves, hath its ap
pointed sleep. Thou in the grave shalt rest : yet till the phantoms
flee Which that house, and heath, and garden made
dear to thee erewhile, Thy remembrance, and repentance, and deep mu
sings are not free From the music of two voices, and the light of one
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver, Streaking the darkness radiantly! yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost for ever;
Or, like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast, To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.
We rest: a dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise: one wandering thought pollutes the day; We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond wo, or cast our cares away :
It is the same! For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free :
Naught may endure but Mutability.
LINES TO AN INDIAN AIR.
I ARISE from dreams of thee
The wandering airs they faint
Oh lift me from the grass !