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This cave was surely shaped out for the greeting
Of an enamour'd Goddess, and the cell
Haunted by holy Love-the earliest oracle !
And didst thou not, thy breast to his replying ,
Blend a celestial with a human heart;
And Love, which dies as it was born , in sighing ,
Share with immortal transports ? could thine art
Make them indeed immortal, and impart
The purity of heaven to earthly joys,
Expel the venom and not blunt the dart-
The dull satiety which all destroys-
And root from out the soul , the deadly weed which cloys ?
Alas ! our young affections run to waste ,
Or water but the desart ; whence arise
But weeds of dark luxuriance, tares of haste,
Rank at the core , though tempting to the eyes,
Flowers whose odours breathe but agonies,
And trees whose gums are poison; such the plants
Which spring beneath her steps as Passion flies
O’er the world's wilderness, and vainly pants
For some celestial fruit, forbidden to our wants.
Oh Love ! no habitant of earth thou art-
An unseen seraph, we believe in thee,
A faith whose martyrs are the broken heart,
But never yet hath seen, nor e'er shall see
The naked eye, thy form, as it should be:
The mind has made thee, as it peopled heaven,
Even with its own desiring phantasy, .
And to a thought such shape and image given; .. As haunts the unquench'd soul--parch'd--wearied wrungand riven.
CXXI. . . Of its own beauty is the mind diseased, oliit And fevers into false creation :-where, '" Where are the forms the sculptor's soul hath seized ? In him alone. Can Nature shew so fair? Cinsi si Where are the charms and virtues which we dare . .5. Conceive in boyhood and pursue as men, " is The unreach'd Paradise of our despair, il viii. Which o'er-informs the pencil and the pen, bizi And overpowers the page, where it would bloom again?: .:
Who loves , raves--'tis youth's frenzy—but the cure ,
Is bitterer still; as charm by charm unwinds in 11
Which robed our idols, and we see too sure
Nor worth nor beauty dwells from out the mind': :
Ideal shape of such , yet still it hinds
The fatal spell, and still it draws us on, : ;
Reaping the whirlwind from the oft-sown winds ;
The stubborn heart , its alchemy begun,
Seems ever near the prize ,-wealthiest when most andone,
: CXXIV. We wither from our youth , we gasp away , i Sick-sick; unfound the boon-unslaked the thirst, . . Though to the last, in verge of our decay, Some phantom lures, such as we-sought at first... But all too late, so are we doubly curst. ru!! ; Love , fame, ambition, avarice--'tis the same, ...!!. Each idle—and all ill—and none the worst
For all are meteors with a different name, ." . . And Death the sable smoke, where vanishes the flame.. ..
CXXV. . .. ,6, Few-none-find what they love or could have loved,.....! Though accident, blind contact, and the stronges, i Necessity of loying, have removed Antipathies—but to recur, ere long, Envenomed with irrevocable wrong; . . And Gircumstance, that unspiritual god .. , And miscrealor, makes and helps along
Our coming evils with a crutch-like rod, .
Whose touch turns Hope to dust ,--the dust we all have trod
Our life is a false nature'tis not in
The harmony of things ,--this hard decree,
This un-eradicable taint of sin ,
This boundless' UPAS, this all-blasting tree,.' :
Whose root is earth , whose leaves and branches be
The skies which rain their plagues on men like dew-
Disease , death , bondage--all the woes we see-'i i '
And worse, the woes we see not--which throb througla
The immedicable soul, with heart-aches ever new.
Yet let us ponder boldly—'tis a base 53
Abandonment of reason to resign
Our right of thought-our last and only place
Of refuge : this, at least, shall still be mine:
Though from our birth the faculty divine . '
Is chain’d and tortured-cabin'd cribb’d, confined
And bred in darkness, lest the truth should shine'
Ton brightly on the unprepared mind,'. . . ..' The beam pours in, for time and skill will couch the blind. '
CXXVIII. Ni ! Arches on arches ! as it were that Rome. ... . . Collecting the chief trophies of her line,
i Would build up all her triumphs in one dome, i cili Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams shine As 'twere its natural torches, for divine Should be the light which streams here, to illume i This long-explored but still exhaustless mind :: ?... ? Of contemplation; and the azure gloom i s Of an Italian night , where the deep skies assume .'.'
CXXIX. . ... . Hues which have words, and speak to ye of heaven, Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monument,
And shadows forth its glory. There is given
Unto the things of earth , which time hath bent,
A spirit's feeling , and where he hath leant
His hand, but broke his scythe , there is a power
And magic in the ruined battlement,
For which the palace of the present hour
Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower.
Oh Time ! the beautifier of the dead ,
Adorner of the ruin , comforter
And only healer when the heart hath bled
Time! the corrector where our judgments err,
The test of truth, love, --sole philosopher,
For all beside are sophists, from thy thrift,
Which never loses though it doth defer
Time, the avenger! unto thee I lift
My hands, and eyes, and heart, and crave of thee a gift :
'Amidst this wreck, where thou hast made a shrine
And temple more divinely desolate,
Among thy mightier offerings here are mine,
Ruins of years—though few, yet full of fate :-
If thou hast ever seen me too elate ,
Hear me not ; but if calmly I have borne
Good, and reserved my pride against the hate
Which shall not whelm me, let me not have worn
This iron in my soul in vain--shall they not mourn?