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And when, at length, the mind shall be all free
From what it hates in this degraded form,
Rest of its carnal life, save what shall be
Existent happier in the fly and worm,
When elements to elements conform,
And dust is as it should be, shall I not
Feel all I see, less dazzling, but more warm?
The bodiless thought? the spirit of each spot?
Of which, even now, I share at times the immortal lot ?
Are not the mountains, waves, and skies, a part
Of me and of my soul, as I of them?
Is not the love of these deep in my heart
With a pure passion? should I not contemn
All objects, if compared with these? and stem
A tide of suffering, rather than forego
Such feelings for the hard and worldly phlegm
Of those whose eyes are only turn'd below,
Gazing upon the ground, with thoughts which dare not glow?
But this is not my theme ; and I return
To that which is immediate, and require
Those who find contemplation in the urn,
To look on one, whose dust was once all fire,
A native of the land where I respire
The clear air for a while-a passing guest,
Where he became a being,—whose desire
Was to be glorious; 'twas a foolish quest,
The which to gain and keep, he sacrificed all rest.
Here the self-torturing. sophist, wild Rousseau,
The apostle of affliction, he who threw
Enchantment over passion, and from woe
Wrung overwhelming eloquence, first drew
The breath which made him wretched; yet he knew
How to make madness beautiful, and cast
O’er erring deeds and thougbts, a heavenly hue
Of words, like sunbeams, dazzling as they past
The eyes, which o'er them shed tears feelingly and fast.
His love was passion's essence as a tree
On fire by lightning; with ethereal flame
Kindled he was and blasted; for to be
Thus, and enamoured, were in him the same.
But his was not the love of living dame,
Nor of the dead who rise upon our dreams,
But of ideal beauty, which became
In him existence, and o’erflowing teems
Along his burning page, distempered though it seems.
This breathed itself to life in Julie, this
Invested her with all that's wild and sweet;
This hallowed, too, the memorable kiss
Which every morn his fevered lip would greet,
From hers, who but with friendship his would meet ;
But to that gentle touch, through brain and breast
Flash'd the thrill'd spirit's love-devouring heat;
In that absorbing sigh perchance more blest,
Than vulgar minds may be with all they seek possest.
His life was one long war with self-sought foes,
Or friends by him self-banish’d; for his mind
Had grown Suspicion's sanctuary, and chose
For its own cruel sacrifice, the kind,
'Gainst whom he raged with fury strange and blind.
But he was phrenzied, --wherefore, who may know?
Since cause might be which skill could never find;
But he was phrenzied by disease or woe, · To that worst pitch of all, which wears a reasoning show.
For then he was inspired, and from him ćame,
As from the Pythian's mystic cave of yore,
Those oracles which set the world in flame,
Nor ceased to burn till kingdoms were no more :
Did he not this for France? which lay before
Bowed to the inborn tyranny of years ?
Broken and trembling, to the yoke she bore,
Till by the voice of himn and his compeers,
Roused up to too much wrath which follows o’ergrown fears?
They made themselves a fearful monument!
The wreck of old opinions—things which grew
Breathed from the birth of time: the veil they rent,
And what behind it lay, all earth shall view.
But good with ill they also overthrew,
Leaving but ruins, wherewith to rebuild
Upon the same foundation, and renew
Dungeons and thrones , which the same hour re-Glld, As heretofore, because ambition was self-will’d.
But this will not endure, nor be endured!
Mankind have felt their strength, and made it felt.
They might have used it better, but, allured
By their new vigour, sternly have they dealt
On one another; pity ceased to melt
With her once natural charities. But they,
Who in oppression's darkness caved had dwelt,
They were not eagles, nourish'd with the day;
What marvel then, at times, if they mistook their prey ?
LXXXIV. What deep wounds ever closed without a scar? The hearts bleed longest, and but heal to wear That which disfigures it; and they who war With their own hopes, and have been vanquish’d, bear Silence, but not submission : in his lair Fix'd Passion holds his breath, until the hour Which shall atone for years; none need despair :
It came, it cometh, and will come the power To punish or forgive-in one we shall be slower.
Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
With the wide world I dwelt in, is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsako
Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
To wast me from distraction ; once I loved
Torn Ocean's roar, but thy soft murmuring
Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved,
That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.
It is the hush of night, and all between
Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
Save darken’d Jura, whose capt heights appear
Precipitously steep; and drawing near,
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,
Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol more ;
He is an evening reveller, who makes
His life an infancy, and sings his fill;
At intervals, some bird from out the brakes,
Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
There seems a floating whisper on the hill,
But that is fancy, for the starlight dews
All silently their tears of love instil,
Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.
Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven!
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
Of men and empires,-'lis to be forgiven, -
That in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o’erleap their mortal state,
And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
A beauty and a mystery, and create
In us such love and reverence from afar,
Tbat fortune, fame, power, life, have named themselves a star.