Imágenes de página
[blocks in formation]





That I might drink, and leave the world The coming musk-rose, full of dewy

unseen, And with thee fade away into the for The murmurous haunt of flies on sumest dim:

mer eves.

50 III Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget Darkling I listen; and, for many a time What thou among the leaves hast never I have been half in love with easeful known,

Death, The weariness, the fever, and the fret Calld him soft names in many a mused Here, where men sit and hear each other | rhyme, groan;

To take into the air my quiet breath; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray Now more than ever seems it rich to die, bairs,

To cease upon the midnight with no Where youth grows pale, and spectre

pain, thin, and dies;

While thou art pouring forth thy soul Where but to think is to be full of


In such an ecstasy!
And leaden-eyed despairs,

Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous

in vain eyes,

To thy high requiem become a sod. 60 Or new Love pine at them beyond tomorrow.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal IV

Bird ! Away! away! for I will fly to thee,

No hungry generations tread thee down; Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, | The voice I hear this passing night was But on the viewless wings of Poesy,

heard Though the dull brain perplexes and re In ancient days by emperor and clown: tards:

Perhaps the self-same song that found a Already with thee! tender is the night,

path And haply the Queen-Moon is on her Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, throne,

sick for home, Cluster'd around by all her starry She stood in tears amid the alien corn; Fays;

The same that oft-times hath
But here there is no light,

Charm'd magic casements, opening on Save what from heaven is with the breezes

the foam blown

Of perilous seas, in faery lands forThrough verdurous glooms and wind


70 ing mossy ways.


Forlorn! the very word is like a bell I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, To toll me back from thee to my sole Nor what soft incense hangs upon the

self! boughs,

Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well But, in embalmed darkness, guess each As she is famed to do, deceiving elf. sweet

Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades Wherewith the seasonable month endows Past the near meadows, over the still The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree

stream, wild;

Up the hill-side; and now 't is buried White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglan

deep tine;

In the next valley-glades: Fast fading violets cover'd up in Was it a vision, or a waking dream ? leaves;

Fled is that music:— do I wake or And mid-May's eldest child,





There as he stood, he beard a mournful

voice, [Publ. 1820)

Such as once heard, in gentle heart, de

stroys PART I

All pain but pity: thus the lone voice

spake: UPON a time, before the faery broods • When from this wreathed tomb shall I Drove Nymph and Satyr from the pros

awake! perous woods,

When move in a sweet body fit for life, Before King Oberon's bright diadem, And love, and pleasure, and the ruddy Sceptre, and mantle, clasp'd with dewy gem,

strife Frighted away the Dryads and the Fauns Of hearts and lips! Ah, miserable me!' From rushes green, and brakes, and cow The God, dove-footed, glided silently slipp'd lawns,

Round bush and tree, soft-brushing, in his The ever-smitten Hermes empty left

speed, His golden throne, bent warm on amorous The taller grasses and full-flowering weed, theft;

Until he found a palpitating snake, From high Olympus had he stolen light, Bright, and cirque-couchant in a dusky On this side of Jove's clouds, to escape the

brake. sight Of his great summoner, and made retreat | She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue, Into a forest on the shores of Crete.

Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue; For somewhere in that sacred island dwelt | Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard, A nymph, to whom all hoofed Satyrs knelt; Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barr'd; At whose white feet the languid Tritons And full of silver moons, that, as she poured


51 Pearls, while on land they wither'd and Dissolved, or brighter shone, or interadored.

wreathed Fast by the springs where she to bathe was Their lustres with the gloomier tapes. wont,

tries — And in those meads where sometimes she So rainbow-sided, touch'd with miseries, might baunt,

She seem'd, at once, some penanced lady Were strewn rich gifts, unknown to any

elf, Muse,

Some demon's mistress, or the demon's self. Though Fancy's casket were unlock'd to Upon her crest she wore a wannish fire choose.

20 Sprinkled with stars, like Ariadne's tiar: Ah, what a world of love was at her feet! Her head was serpent, but ah, bitter-sweet! So Hermes thought, and a celestial heat She had a woman's mouth with all its Burnt from his winged heels to either ear,

pearls complete: That from a whiteness, as the lily clear, And for her eyes — what could such eyes Blush'd into roses 'mid his golden hair,

do there Fallen in jealous curls about his shoulders But weep, and weep, that they were born bare.

so fair ?

As Proserpine still weeps for her Sicilian From vale to vale, from wood to wood,


air. he flew,

Her throat was serpent, but the words she Breathing upon the flowers his passion new,

spake And wound with many a river to its head, Came, as through bubbling honey, for To find where this sweet nymph prepared

Love's sake, her secret bed:


And thus; while Hermes on his pinions lay, In vain; the sweet nymph might nowhere Like a stoop'd falcon ere he takes his prey:

be found, And so he rested, on the lonely ground, ,Fair Hermes! crown'd with feathers, Pensive, and full of painful jealousies

fluttering light, Of the Wood-Gods, and even the very trees. I had a splendid dream of thee last night:


maid ?

[ocr errors]

I saw thee sitting, on a throne of gold, 70 Thou shalt behold her, Hermes, thou alone Among the Gods, upon Olympus old, If thou wilt, as thou swearest, grant my The only sad one; for thou didst not hear

boon !! The soft, lute-finger'd Muses chanting Then, once again, the charmed God began clear,

An oath, and through the serpent's ears it Nor even Apollo when he sang alone,

ran Deaf to his throbbing throat's long, long Warm, tremulons, devout, psalterian. melodious moan.

Ravish'd she lifted her Circean head, I dreamt I saw thee, robed in purple flakes, Blush'd a live damask, and swift-lisping Break amorous through the clouds, as

said, morning breaks,

• I was a woman, let me have once more And, swiftly as a bright Phæbean dart, A womau's shape, and charming as before. Strike for the Cretan isle; and here thou I love a youth of Corinth - 0 the bliss ! art!

Give me my woman's form, and place me Too gentle Hermes, hast thou found the

where he is.


Stoop, Hermes, let me breathe upon thy Whereat the star of Lethe not delay'd

brow, His rosy eloquence, and thus inquired: And thou shalt see thy sweet nymph even • Thou smooth-lipp'd serpent, surely high

now.' inspired !

The God on half-shut feathers sank serene, Thou beauteous wreath, with melancholy She breathed upon his eyes, and swift was eyes,

seen Possess whatever bliss thou canst devise, of both the guarded nymph near-smiling Telling me only where my nymph is fled,

on the green. Where she doth breathe! Bright planet, | It was no dream; or say a dream it was, thou hast said,"

Real are the dreams of Gods, and smoothly Return'd the snake, . but seal with oaths,

pass fair God !

Their pleasures in a long immortal dream. I swear,' said Hermes, by my serpent rod, One warm, flushd moment, hovering, it And by thine eyes, and by thy starry

might seem

Dash'd by the wood-nymph's beauty, so he Ligbt flew his earnest words, among the


130 blossoms blown.

Then, lighting on the printless verdure, Then thus again the brilliance feminine:

turn'd • Too frail of heart! for this lost nymph of To the swoon'd serpent, and with languid thine,

arm, Free as the air, invisibly, she strays Delicate, put to proof the lithe Caducean About these thornless wilds; her pleasant

charm. days

So done, upon the nymph his eyes he bent She tastes unseen; unseen her nimble feet Full of adoring tears and blandishment, Leave traces in the grass and flowers sweet; And towards her stept: she, like a moon in From weary tendrils, and bow'd branches

wane, green,

Faded before him, cower'd, nor could reShe plucks the fruit unseen, she bathes un

strain seen:

Her fearful sobs, self-folding like a flower And by my power is her beauty veild 100 That faints into itself at evening hour: To keep it unaffronted, unassail'd

But the God fostering her chilled hand, 140 By the love-glances of unlovely eyes, She felt the warmth, her eyelids open'd Of Satyrs, Fauns, and blear'd Silenus' sighs. bland, Pale grew her immortality, for woe

And, like new flowers at morning song of Of all these lovers, and she grieved so

bees, I took compassion on her, bade her steep Bloom'd, and gave up her honey to the Her hair in weird syrops, that would keep

lees. Her loveliness invisible, yet free

Into the green-recessed woods they flew; To wander as she loves, in liberty. I Nor grew they pale, as mortal lovers do.





Left to herself, the serpent now began Ab, happy Lycius !— for she was a maid To change; her elfin blood in madness ran, More beautiful than ever twisted braid, Her mouth foam'd, and the grass, there- Or sigh’d, or blusb’d, or on spring-flowered with besprent,

lea Wither'd at dew so sweet and virulent; Spread a green kirtle to the minstrelsy Her eyes in torture fix'd, and anguish A virgin purest lipp'd, yet in the lore drear,

Of love deep learned to the red heart's Hot, glazed, and wide, with lid-lashes all


Not one hour old, yet of sciential brain Flash'd phosphor and sharp sparks, without To unperplex bliss from its neighbour one cooling tear.

pain; The colours all inflamed throughout her Define their pettish limits, and estrange train,

Their points of contact, and swift counterShe writhed about, convulsed with scarlet

change ; pain:

Intrigue with the specious chaos, and disA deep volcanian yellow took the place

part Of all her milder-mooned body's grace; Its most ambiguous atoms with sure art; And, as the lava ravishes the mead,

As though in Cupid's college she had spent Spoilt all her silver mail, and golden brede: Sweet days a lovely graduate, still unshent. Made gloom of all her frecklings, streaks And kept his rosy terms in idle languishand bars,

ment. Eclipsed her crescents, and lick'd up her stars:

160 Why this fair creature chose so fairly So that, in moments few, she was undrest By the wayside to linger, we shall see; 201 Of all ber sapphires, greens, and amethyst, But first 't is fit to tell how she could muse And rubious-argent: of all these bereft, And dream, when in the serpent prison

house, Nothing but pain and ugliness were left. Of all she list, strange or magnificent: Still shone her crown ; that vanish'd, also How, ever, where she willid, her spirit she

went; Melted and disappear'd as suddenly; Whether to faint Elysium, or where And in the air, her new voice luting soft, Down through tress-lifting waves the NeCried, •Lycius! gentle Lycius !! - Borne I reids fair aloft

Wind into Thetis' bower by many a pearly With the bright mists about the mountains stair ; hoar

Or where God Bacchus drains his cups diThese words dissolved : Crete's forests

vine, heard no more.

170 Stretch'd out, at ease, beneath a glutinous

pine ; Whither Aled Lamia, now a lady bright, Or where in Pluto's gardens palative A full-born beauty new and exquisite? Mulciber's columns gleam in far piazzian She fled into that valley they pass o'er

line. Who go to Corinth from Cenchreas' shore: And sometimes into cities she would send And rested at the foot of those wild hills, Her dream, with feast and rioting to blend ; The rugged founts of the Peræan rills, And once, while among mortals dreaming And of that other ridge whose barren back

thus, Stretches, with all its mist and cloudy She saw the young Corinthian Lycius rack,

Charioting foremost in the envious race, South - westward to Cleone. There she Like a young Jove with calm uneager face,


And fell into a swooning love of him. 219 About a young bird's flutter from a wood, Now on the moth-time of that evening dim Fair, on a sloping green of mossy tread, He would return that way, as well she By a clear pool, wherein she passioned

knew, To see herself escaped from so sore ills, | To Corinth from the shore ; for freshly While her robes flaunted with the daffodils. I blew



« AnteriorContinuar »