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And when, at length, the mind shall be all free
And dust is as it should be, shall I not
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
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 thoughts, 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 damp, 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.
JTiis 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 perchanre 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 tnind Had grown Suspicion's sanctuary, and chose For its own cruel sacrifice, the kind, 'Gainst whom he raged with fury sti'finge and blind. But he was phrenzied,—wherefore, who may know? Since cause might be which skill could never find; But he was phrenzicd by disease or woe, To that worst pitch of all, which wears a reasoning show.
For then he was inspired, and from him came, 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 him and his compeers, Boused 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-CU'd, As heretofore, because ambition was self-wili'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?
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 forsake Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring. This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing To waft 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
He is an evening reveller, who makes
Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven! If in your bright leaves we would read the fate Of men and empires,—'tis to be forgiven, That in our aspirations to be great, Our destinies o'crleap 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, That fortune, fame, power, life, have named themselves a star.