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ADDRESSED TO H. FUSELI, ESQ. R. A.
On seeing Engravings from his Designs.
MIGHTY magician! who on Torneo's brow,
When sullen tempests wrap the throne of night,
Art wont to sit and catch the gleam of light,
That shoots athwart the gloom opaque below;
And listen to the distant death-shriek long
From lonely mariner foundering in the deep,
Which rises slowly up the rocky steep,
While the weird sisters weave the horrid song:
Or when along the liquid sky
Serenely chaunt the orbs on high,
Dost love to sit in musing trance,
And mark the northern meteor's dance,
(While far below the fitful oar
Flings its faint pauses on the steepy shore,)
And list the music of the breeze,
That sweeps by fits the bending seas;
And often bears with sudden swell
The shipwreck'd sailor's funeral knell,
By the spirits sung, who keep
Their night-watch on the treacherous deep,
And guide the wakeful helms-man's eye
To Helicé in northern sky;
And there upon the rock inclin'd
With mighty visions fill'st the mind,
Such as bound in magic spell
Him* who grasp'd the gates of Hell,
And bursting Pluto's dark domain,
Held to the day the terrors of his reign.
Genius of Horror and romantic awe,
Whose eye explores the secrets of the deep, Whose power can bid the rebel fluids creep, Can force the inmost soul to own its law; Who shall now, sublimest spirit, Who shall now thy wand inherit, From him thy darling child who best Thy shuddering images exprest? Sullen of soul and stern and proud, His gloomy spirit spurn'd the crowd, And now he lays his aching head In the dark mansion of the silent dead.
Mighty magician! long thy wand has lain
Buried beneath the unfathomable deep ;*
And oh! for ever must its efforts sleep,
May none the mystic sceptre e'er regain?
Oh yes, 'tis his!-Thy other son!
He throws thy dark-wrought tunic on,
Fuesslin waves thy wand,-again they rise, Again thy wildering forms salute our ravish'd eyes. Him didst thou cradle on the dizzy steep,
Where round his head the volley'd lightnings flung,
And the loud winds that round his pillow rung,
Wooed the stern infant to the arms of sleep.
Or on the highest \top of Teneriffe
Seated the fearless boy, and bade him look,
Where far below the weather-beaten skiff
On the gulph bottom of the ocean strook.
Thou mark'dst him drink with ruthless ear
The death-sob, and, disdaining rest,
Thou saw'st how danger fir'd his breast,
And in his young hand couch'd the visionary spear.
Then, Superstition, at thy call,
She bore the boy to Odin's Hall,
And set before, his awe-struck sight
The savage feast and spectred fight;
And summon'd from his mountain tomb
The ghastly warrior son of gloom,
His fabled Runic rhymes to sing,
While fierce Hresvelger flapp'd his wing;
Thou shew'dst the trains the shepherd sees,
Laid on the storiny Hebrides,
Which on the mists of evening gleam,
Or crowd the foaming desert stream ; ⠀
Lastly her storied hand she waves,
And lays him in Florentian caves;
There milder fables, lovelier themes,
Enwrap his soul in heavenly dreams,
There Pity's lute arrests his ear,
And draws the half-reluctant tear;
And now at noon of night he roves
Along the embowering moonlight groves,
And as from many a cavern'd dell
The hollow wind is heard to swell,
He thinks some troubled spirit sighs,
And as upon the turf he lies,
Where sleeps the silent beam of night,
He sees below the gliding sprite,
And hears in Fancy's organs sound
Aerial music warbling round.
Taste lastly comes and smooths the whole,
And breathes her polish o'er his soul;
Glowing with wild, yet chasten'd heat,
The wonderous work is now complete.
The Poet dreams :-The shadow flies,
And fainting fast its image dies.
But lo! the Painter's magic force
Arrests the phantom's fleeting course;
It lives-it lives-the canvass glows,
And tenfold vigour o'er it flows.
The Bard beholds the work achiev'd,
And as he sees the shadow rise,
Sublime before his wondering eyes,
Starts at the image his own mind conceiv'd.