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She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
And she forgave me that I gazed
Too fondly on her face.
But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely knight,
And that he cross'd the mountain woods,
Nor rested day nor night;
That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade,
There came and look'd him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a fiend,
This miserable knight!
And that, unknowing what he did,
He leap'd amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
The lady of the land ! And how she wept, and clasp'd his knees; And how she tended him in vain, And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain.
And that she nursed him in a cave;
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest-leaves
A dying man he lay.
His dying words—but when I reach'd
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faltering voice and pausing harp
Disturb'd her soul with pity!
All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrill'd my guiltless Genevieve;
The music, and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve;
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherish'd long!
She wept with pity and delight,
She blush'd with love and virgin shame;
And, like the murmur of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name.
Her bosom heaved-she stepp'd aside,
As conscious of my look she stepp'd
Then suddenly, with timorous eye,
She fled to me and wept.
She half enclosed me with her arms,
She press'd me with a meek embrace ;
And, bending back her head, look'd up,
And gazed upon my face.
'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful art,
That I might rather feel than see
The swelling of her heart.
I calm'd her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride ;
And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous bride.
Oh! it is pleasant, with a heart at ease,
Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies, To make the shifting clouds be what you please,
Or let the easily persuaded eyes Own each quaint likeness issuing from the mould
Of a friend's fancy; or, with head bent low And cheek aslant, see rivers flow of gold
'Twixt crimson banks; and then, a traveller, go
From mount to mount through Cloudland, gorgeous
Or, list’ning to the tide with closed sight, (land! Be that blind bard who, on the Chian strand, By those deep sounds possess'd, with inward light Beheld the Iliad and the Odyssey Rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea.
Oh! never rudely will I blame his faith
In the might of stars and angels! 'Tis not merely
The human being's pride that peoples space
With life and mystical predominance :
Since likewise for the stricken heart of love,
This visible nature and this common world
Are all too narrow: yea a deeper import
Lurks in the legend told my infant years
Than lies upon that truth we live to learn.
For fable is Love's world, his home, his birthplace;
Delightedly dwells he 'mong fays, and talismans,
And spirits; and delightedly believes
Divinities, being himself divine.
The intelligible forms of ancient poets,
The fair humanities of old religion,
The power, the beauty, and the majesty,
That had her haunts in dale, or piny mountain,
Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly spring,
Or chasms and wat’ry depths; all these have vanish'd.
They live no longer in the faith of reason!
But still the heart doth need a language ; still
Doth the old instinct bring back the old names;
And to yon starry world they now are gone,
Spirits or gods, that used to share this earth
With man as with their friend ; and to the lover
Yonder they move, from yonder visible sky
Shoot influence down: and even at this day
'Tis Jupiter who brings whate'er is great,
And Venus who brings everything that's fair!
And if this be the science of the stars,
I too, with glad and zealous industry,
Will learn acquaintance with this cheerful faith.
It is a gentle and affectionate thought,
That in immeasurable heights above us,
At our first birth, the wreath of love was woven,
With sparkling stars for flowers.
Oh, my mother isle ! Needs must thou prove a name most dear and holy To me, a son, a brother, and a friend, A husband, and a father! who revere All bonds of natural love, and find them all Within the limits of thy rocky shores. Oh, native Britain! Oh, my mother isle! How shouldst thou prove aught else but dear and holy To me, who, from thy lakes and mountain-hills, Thy clouds, thy quiet dales, thy rocks and seas, Have drunk in all my intellectual life, All sweet sensations, all ennobling thoughts, All adoration of the God in nature, All lovely and all honourable things, Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel The joy and greatness of its future being ? There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul Unborrow'd from my country. Oh divine And beauteous island! thou hast been my sole And most magnificent temple, in the which I walk with awe, and sing my stately songs, Loving the God that made me !
KUBLA KHAN, OR A VISION IN A DREAM.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man,
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills, Where blossom'd many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Infolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast, thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced :
Amid whose swift, half intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
And mid these dancing rocks, at once and ever,
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles, meandering with a mazy motion, Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, Then reach'd the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean: And mid this tumult Kubla heard from far Ancestral voices phrophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves ;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.