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Upon our side, we who were strong in love!
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven !-Oh! times,
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance !
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights,
When most intent on making of herself
A prime Enchantress—to assist the work,
Which then was going forward in her name !
Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth,
The beauty wore of promise, that which sets
(As at some moment might not be unfelt
Among the bowers of paradise itself)
The budding rose above the rose full blown.
What temper at the prospect did not wake
To happiness unthought of? The inert
Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!
They who had fed their childhood upon dreams,
The playfellows of fancy, who had made
All powers of swiftness, subtilty, and strength
Their ministers,—who in lordly wise had stirred
Among the grandest objects of the sense,
And dealt with whatsoever they found there
As if they had within some lurking right
To wield it;-they, too, who, of gentle mood,
Had watched all gentle motions, and to these
Had fitted their own thoughts, schemers more mild,
And in the region of their peaceful selves ;-
Now was it that both found, the meek and lofty
Did both find, helpers to their heart's desire,
And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish ;
Were called upon to exercise their skill,
Not in Utopia, subterranean fields,
Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where !
But in the very world, which is the world
Of all of us,—the place where in the end
We find our happiness, or not at all!

TO A SKY-LARK.

ETHEREAL minstrel! pilgrim of the sky! Dost thou despise the earth where cares above. Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground! Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will

, Those quivering wings composed, that

still!

Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flee?
Of harmony, with instinct more divine ;
Type of the wise who soar, but never roan;
True to the kindred points of Heaven and Hs

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() terror! what hath she perceived ?-0 joy!
What doth she look on whom doth she behold?
Her Hero slain upon the beach of Troy?
His vital presence? his corporeal mould ?
It is-if sense deceive her not-'tis He!
And a God leads him, winged Mercury !

But thou, though capable of sternest deed,
Wert kind as resolute, and good as brave ;
And he, whose power restores thee, hath decreed
Thou should'st elude the malice of the grave :
Redundant are thy locks, thy lips as fair
As when their breath enriched Thessalian air.

thy prayer,

Mild Hermes spake--and touched her with his No Spectre greets me,-no vain Shadow this ; wand

Come, blooming Hero, place thee by my side ! That calms all fear ; “Such grace hath crowned Give, on this well known couch, one nuptial kiss

To me, this day, a second time thy bride ! ” Laodamia ! that at Jove's command

Jove frowned in heaven : the conscious Parcæ Thy Husband walks the paths of upper air :

threw He comes to tarry with thee three hours' space ; Upon those roseate lips a Stygian hue. Accept the gift, behold him face to face !”

“ This visage tells thee that my doom is past : Forth sprang the impassioned Queen her Lord to Nor should the change be mourned, even if the clasp ;

joys Again that consummation she essayed ;

Of sense were able to return as fast But unsubstantial Form eludes her grasp

And surely as they vanish. Earth destroys
As often as that eager grasp was made.

Those raptures duly - Erebus disdains :
The Phantom parts—but parts to re-unite, Calm pleasures there abide-majestic pains.
Ind re-assume his place before her sight.

Be taught, O faithful Consort, to control
Protesiláus, lo! thy guide is gone !

Rebellious passion : for the Gods approve onfirm, I pray, the vision with thy voice : The depth, and not the tumult, of the soul ; his is our palace,--yonder is thy throne; A fervent, not ungovernable, love. eak, and the floor thou tread'st on will rejoice. Thy transports moderate ; and meekly mourn ot to appal me have the gods bestowed

When I depart, for brief is my sojourn” is precious boon; and blest a sad abode.”

“ Ah, wherefore ?–Did not Hercules by force reat Jove, Laodamia ! doth not leave

Wrest from the guardian Monster of the tomb gifts imperfect :-Spectre though I be, Alcestis, a reanimated corse, a not sent to scare thee or deceive ;

Given back to dwell on earth in vernal bloom ? in reward of thy fidelity.

Medea's spells dispersed the weight of years, something also did my worth obtain ; And Æson stood a youth ʼmid youthful peers. fearless virtue bringeth boundless gain.

The Gods to us are merciful and they knowest, the Delphic oracle foretold Yet further may relent : for mightier far the first Greek who touched the Trojan strand | Than strength of nerve and sinew, or the sway d die ; but me the threat could not withhold: Of magic potent over sun and star, erous cause a victim did demand ;

Is love, though oft to agony distrest, orth I leapt upon the sandy plain ;

And though his favourite seat be feeble woman's -devoted chief-by Hector slain.”

breast.

eme of Heroes-bravest, noblest, best ! But if thou goest, I follow—” “Peace!” he said, atchless courage I bewail no more, She looked upon him and was calmed and cheered; then, when tens of thousands were deprest The ghastly colour from his lips had fled; ht, propelled thee to the fatal shore ; In his deportment, shape, and mien, appeared und'st-and I forgive thee-here thou art, Elysian beauty, melancholy grace, r counsellor than my poor heart.

Brought from a pensive though a happy place.

M 2

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Of all that is most beauteous—imaged there

Learn, by a mortal yearning, to ascendIn happier beauty; more pellucid streams,

Seeking a higher object. Love was given, An ampler ether, a diviner air,

Encouraged, sanctioned, chiefly for that end ; And fields invested with purpureal gleams;

For this the passion to excess was drivenClimes which the sun, who sheds the brightest day

That self might be annulled : her bondage prove Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey.

The fetters of a dream, opposed to love.”

Aloud she shrieked! for Hermes re-appears !
Yet there the Soul shall enter which hath earned
That privilege by virtue.—“ III,” said he,

Round the dear Shade she would have clung—'tis

vain : “ The end of man's existence I discerned,

The hours are past—too brief had they been years;
Who from ignoble games and revelry

And him no mortal effort can detain :
Could draw, when we had parted, vain delight,
While tears were thy best pastime, day and night; Swift

, toward the realms that know not earthly day,
He through the portal takes his silent way,

And on the palace-floor a lifeless corse She lay. And while my youthful peers before my eyes (Each hero following his peculiar bent)

Thus, all in vain exhorted and reproved,
Prepared themselves for glorious enterprise

She perished ; and, as for a wilful crime,
By martial sports,-or, seated in the tent,
Chieftains and kings in council were detained ;

By the just Gods whom no weak pity moved,

Was doomed to wear out her appointed time, What time the fleet at Aulis lay enchained.

Apart from happy Ghosts, that gather flowers

Of blissful quiet 'mid unfading bowers.
The wished-for wind was given :- I then revolved
The oracle, upon the silent sea ;
And, if no worthier led the way, resolved

-Yet tears to human suffering are due;
That, of a thousand vessels, mine should be And mortal hopes defeated and o'erthrown
The foremost prow in pressing to the strand,

Are mourned by man, and not by man alone, Mine the first blood that tinged the Trojan sand. As fondly he believes.-Upon the side

Of Hellespont (such faith was entertained)

A knot of spiry trees for ages grew Yet bitter, oft-times bitter, was the pang

From out the tomb of him for whom she died; When of thy loss I thought, beloved Wife !

And ever, when such stature they had gained On thee too fondly did my memory hang,

That Ilium's walls were subject to their view, And on the joys we shared in mortal life,

The trees' tall summits withered at the sight; The paths which we had trod—these fountains

A constant interchange of growth and blight !. flowers ; My new-planned cities, and unfinished towers.

1814.

But should suspense permit the Foe to cry,
* Behold they tremble !-haughty their array,
Yet of their number no one dares to die?'
In soul I swept the indignity away :
Old frailties then recurred :--but lofty thought,
In act embodied, my deliverance wrought.

* For the account of these long-lived trees, see Pliny's Natural History, lib. xvi. cap. 44. ; and for the features in the character of Protesilaus see the Iphigenia in Aulis of Euripides. Virgil places the Shade of Laodamia in a mournful region, among unhappy Lovers,

His Laodamia
It Comes

XXXII.

1.

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Mourn, and lament for him whose spirit dreads
Your once sweet memory, studious walks and

shades!
DION.

For him who to divinity aspired, (SEE PLUTARCH).

Not on the breath of popular applause,

But through dependence on the sacred laws SERENE, and fitted to embrace,

Framed in the schools where Wisdom dwelt retired, Where'er he turned, a swan-like grace

Intent to trace the ideal path of right Of haughtiness without pretence,

(More fair than heaven's broad causeway paved And to unfold a still magnificence,

with stars) Was princely Dion, in the power

Which Dion learned to measure with sublime And beauty of his happier hour.

delight;And what pure homage then did wait

But He hath overleaped the eternal bars ; On Dion's virtues, while the lunar beam

And, following guides whose craft holds no consent Of Plato's genius, from its lofty sphere,

With aught that breathes the ethereal element, Fell round him in the grove of Academe,

Hath stained the robes of civil power with blood, Softening their inbred dignity austere

Unjustly shed, though for the public good. That he, not too elate

Whence doubts that came too late, and wishes vain, With self-sufficing solitude,

Hollow excuses, and triumphant pain; But with majestic lowliness endued,

And oft his cogitations sink as low Might in the universal bosom reign,

As, through the abysses of a joyless heart, And from affectionate observance gain

The heaviest plummet of despair can goHelp, under every change of adverse fate. But whence that sudden check? that fearful start !

He hears an uncouth sound

Anon his lifted eyes Five thousand warriors- the rapturous day! Saw, at a long-drawn gallery’s dusky bound, Each crowned with flowers, and armed with spear A Shape of more than mortal size and shield,

And hideous aspect, stalking round and round ! Or ruder weapon which their course might yield,

A woman's garb the Phantom wore, To Syracuse advance in bright array.

And fiercely swept the marble floor,Who leads them on?— The anxious people see

Like Auster whirling to and fro, Long-exiled Dion marching at their head,

His force on Caspian foam to try;
He also crowned with flowers of Sicily,

Or Boreas when he scours the snow
And in a white, far-beaming, corslet clad ! That skins the plains of Thessaly,
Pure transport undisturbed by doubt or fear Or when aloft on Mænalus he stops
The gazers feel; and, rushing to the plain, His flight, ʼmid eddying pine-tree tops !
Salute those strangers as a holy train
Or blest procession (to the Immortals dear)

That brought their precious liberty again.
| Lo! when the gates are entered, on each hand,
Down the long street, rich goblets filled with wine So, but from toil less sign of profit reaping,
In seemly order stand,

The sullen Spectre to her purpose bowed,
On tables set, as if for rites divine ;-

Sweeping-vehemently sweepingAnd, as the great Deliverer marches by,

No pause admitted, no design avowed ! He looks on festal ground with fruits bestrown; “ Avaunt, inexplicable Guest !—avaunt," And flowers are on his person thrown

Exclaimed the Chieftain—“let me rather see In boundless prodigality;

The coronal that coiling vipers make; Nor doth the general voice abstain from prayer, The torch that flames with many a lurid flake, lovoking Dion's tutelary care,

And the long train of doleful pageantry
As if a very Deity he were !

Which they behold, whom vengeful Furies haunt;
Who, while they struggle from the scourge to flee,

Move where the blasted soil is not unworn,
Mourn, hills and groves of Attica! and mourn And, in their anguish, bear what other minds have
Ilissus, bending o'er thy classic urn!

IV.

borne !"

III.

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Mockery—or model roughly hewni,
And left as if by earthquake strewn,
Or from the Flood escaped :
Altars for Druid service fit ;
(But where no fire was ever lit,
Unless the glow-worm to the skies
Thence offer nightly sacrifice)
Wrinkled Egyptian monument ;
Green moss-grown tower ; or hoary tent ;
Tents of a camp that never shall be raised
On which four thousand years have gazed!

II.

VI.

Ill-fated Chief! there are whose hopes are built
Upon the ruins of thy glorious name;
Who, through the portal of one moment's guilt,
Pursue thee with their deadly aim !
O matchless perfidy! portentous lust
Of monstrous crime !--that horror-striking blade,
Drawn in defiance of the Gods, hath laid
The noble Syracusan low in dust!
Shudder'd the walls—the marble city wept-
And sylvan places heaved a pensive sigh ;
But in calm peace the appointed Victim slept,
As he had fallen in magnanimity;
Of spirit too capacious to require
That Destiny her course should change; too just
To his own native greatness to desire
That wretched boon, days lengthened by mistrust.
So were the hopeless troubles, that involved
The soul of Dion, instantly dissolved.
Released from life and cares of princely state,
He left this moral grafted on his Fate;
• Him only pleasure leads, and peace attends,
Him, only him, the shield of Jove defends,
Whose means are fair and spotless as his ends.'

Ye plough-shares sparkling on the slopes !
Ye snow-white lambs that trip
Imprisoned ’mid the formal props
Of restless ownership !
Ye trees, that may to-morrow fall
To feed the insatiate Prodigal !
Lawns, houses, chattels, groves, and fields

,
All that the fertile valley shields ;
Wages of folly-baits of crime,
Of life's uneasy game the stake,
Playthings that keep the eyes awake
Of drowsy, dotard Time;-
O care ! O guilt !-O vales and plains,
Here, 'mid his own unvexed domains,
A Genius dwells, that can subdue
At once all memory of You -
Most potent when mists veil the sky,
Mists that distort and magnify;
While the coarse rushes, to the sweeping kort
Sigh forth their ancient melodies !

1.

1816.

XXXIII.

THE PASS OF KIRKSTONE.

List to those shriller notes !-that marche
Perchance was on the blast,
When, through this Height's inverted are
Rome's earliest legion passed !
- They saw, adventurously impelled,
And older eyes than theirs beheld,
This block-and yon, whose church-like
Gives to this savage Pass its name.
Aspiring Road ! that lov'st to hide
Thy daring in a vapoury bourn,
Not seldom may the hour return
When thou shalt be my guide :
And I (as all men may find cause,
When life is at a weary pause,
And they have panted up the hill
Of duty with reluctant will)
Be thankful, even though tired and fais:
For the rich bounties of constraint ;
Whence oft invigorating transports flow
That choice lacked courage to bestow !

I.

WITHIN the mind strong fancies work,
A deep delight the bosom thrills,
Oft as I pass along the fork
Of these fraternal hills :
Where, save the rugged road, we find
No appanage of human kind,
Nor hint of man ; if stone or rock
Seem not his handy-work to mock
By something cognizably shaped ;

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