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Thelustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam; Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies ; It seemed he never, never could redeem. From such a steadfast spell his lady's eyes, So mused awhile, entoiled in woofed phan
tasies. Awakening up, he took her hollow lute, Tumultuous, and, in chords that tenderest be,
[mute, He played an ancient ditty, long since In Provence called “La belle dame sans
mercy: Close to her ear touching the melody, Wherewith disturbed, she uttered a soft
moan; He ceased, she panted quick, and suddenly Her blue affrayèd eyes wide open shone: Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
The inviolable quietness;
The breath of peace we drew With its soft motion made not less
The calm that round us grew.
Of the wide mountain waste,
A magic circle traced :
A thrilling silent life,
Our mortal nature's strife ;
The magic circle there
The lifeless atmosphere.
Under the forest bough,
Gulfed in a world below:
Which in the dark earth lay,
And purer than the day-
As in the upper air,
Than any spreading there. [lawn, There lay the glade and neighbouring
And through the dark green wood The white sun twinkling like the dawn
Out of a speckled cloud.
Can never well be seen,
Of that fair forest green.
With an Elysian glow,
A softer day below.
To the dark water's breast
With more than truth exprest, Until an envious wind crept by,
Like an unwelcome thought, Which from the mind's too faithful eye
Blots one dear image out.
We wandered to the pine forest
That skirts the ocean foam, The lightest wind was in its nest,
The tempest in its home. The whispering waves were half asleep,
The clouds were gone to play,
The smile of heaven lay;
Sent from beyond the skies,
A light of Paradise. We paused amid the pines that stood
The giants of the waste,
As serpents interlaced.
That under heaven is blown,
As tender as its own.
Like green waves on the sea,
The ocean woods may be.
By such a chain was bound,
Made stiller by her sound
I REMEMBER Two miles on this side of the fort, the road Crosses a deep ravine; 'tis rough and
And winds with short turns down the
precipice; And in its depth there is a mighty rock, Which has, from unimaginable years, Sustained itself with terror and with toil Over a gulf, and with the agony [down; With which it clings seems slowly coming Even as a wretched soul, hour after hour, Clings to the mass of life; yet, clinging, leans,
[abyss And, leaning, makes more dark the dread In which it fears to fall. Beneath this crag, Huge as despair, as if in weariness The melancholy mountain yawns. Below You hear, but see not, the impetuous
torrent Raging among the caverns; and a bridge Crosses the chasm; and high above these
grow, With intersecting trunks, from crag to crag,
(tangled hair Cedars, and yews, and pines, whose Is matted in one solid roof of shade By the dark ivy's twine. At noonday here 'Tis twilight, and at sunset blackest night.
With gentle meanings and most innocent wiles,
[that love, Fold their beams round the heart of those These twine their tendrils with the wedded
boughs, Uniting their close union; the woven leaves Make network of the dark blue light of day, And the night's noontide clearness, mutable As shapes in the weird clouds. Soft mossy
lawns Beneath these canopies extend their swells, Fragrant with perfumed herbs, and eyed
with blooms Minute yet beautiful. One darkest glen Sends from its woods of musk-rose, twined
with jasmine, A soul-dissolving odour, to invite To some more lovely mystery. Through
the dell, Silence and Twilight here, twin-sisters, keep Their noonday watch, and sail among the shades
[a well, Like vaporous shapes half seen; beyond, Dark, gleaming, and of most translucent
wave, Images all the woven boughs above, And each depending leaf, and every speck Of azure sky, darting between their chasms; Nor aught else in the liquid mirror laves Its portraiture, but some inconstant star Between one foliaged lattice twinkling fair, Or painted bird, sleeping beneath the moon, Or gorgeous insect floating motionless, Unconscious of the day, ere yet his wings Have spread their glories to the gaze of
THE FOREST AT NOONDAY.
A MOUNTAIN SCENE.
THE noonday sun Now shone upon the forest, one vast mass Of mingling shade, whose brown magnificence
[caves, A narrow vale embosoms. There, huge Scooped in the dark base of those aëry rocks, Mocking its moans, respond and roar for
ever. The meeting boughs and implicated leaves Wove twilight o'er the Poet's path, as led By love, or dream, or god, or mightier Death,
[bank, He sought in Nature's dearest haunt, some Her cradle, and his sepulchre. More dark And dark the shades accumulate—the oak, Expanding its immeasurable arms, Embraces the light beech. The pyramids Of the tall cedar overarching, frame Most solemn domes within, and far below, Like clouds suspended in an emerald sky, The ash and the acacia floating hang Tremulous and pale. Like restless
serpents, clothed In rainbow and in fire, the parasites, Starred with ten thousand blossoms, flow
around The grey trunks, and as gamesome infants'
ON every side now rose Rocks, which in unimaginable forms Lifted their black and barren pinnacles In the light of evening, and its precipice Obscuring the ravine, disclosed above, 'Mid toppling stones, black gulfs, and yawning caves,
[tongues Whose windings gave ten thousand various To the loud stream. Lo! where the pass
expands Its stony jaws, the abrupt mountain breaks, And seems, with its accumulated crags, To overhang the world: for wide expand Beneath the wan stars and descending moon Islanded seas, blue mountains, mighty streams,
[gloom Dim tracts and vast, robed in the lustrous Of leaden-coloured even, and fiery hills
Tumultuous horror brooded o'er her van, Presaging wrath to Poland-and to man !
Warsaw's last champion from her height
surveyed, Wide o'er the fields, a waste of ruin laid, “O Heaven !" he cried, “my bleeding
country save! Is there no hand on high to shield the brave? Yet, though destruction sweep those lovely
-plains, Rise, fellow-men! our country yet remains ! By that dread name, we wave the sword on
high, And swear for her to live with her to die!"
Mingling their flames with twilight, on the
verge Of the remote horizon. The near scene, In naked and severe simplicity, Made contrast with the universe. A pine, Rock-rooted, stretchedathwart the vacancy Its swinging boughs, to each inconstant
blast Yielding one only response at each pause, In most familiar cadence, with the howl, The thunder, and the hiss of homeless
[river, Mingling its solemn song, whilst the broad Foaming and hurrying o'er its rugged path, Fell into that immeasurable void, Scattering its waters to the passing winds.
Yet the grey precipice, and solemn pine, And torrent, were not all: one silent nook Was there. Even on the edge of that vast
mountain, Upheld by knotty roots and fallen rocks, It overlooked in its serenity (stars. The dark earth, and the bending vault of It was a tranquil spot, that seemed to smile Even in the lap of horror. Ivy clasped The fissured stones with its entwining arms, And did embower with leaves for ever green, And berries dark, the smooth and even
space Of its inviolate floor; and here The children of the autumnal whirlwind bore,
(decay, In wanton sport, those bright leaves, whose Red, yellow, or ethereally pale, Rival the pride of summer. 'Tis the haunt Of every gentle wind, whose breath can
teach The wilds to love tranquillity.
In vain, alas ! in vain, ye gallant few! From rank to rank your volleyed thunder
flew :Oh, bloodiest picture in the book of Time, Sarmatia fell, unwept, without a crime; Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe, Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her woe! Dropped from her nerveless grasp the shattered spear,
career ;Closed her bright eye, and curbed her high Hope, for a season, bade the world farewell, And Freedom shrieked -- as Kosciusko
1777-1844. THE FALL OF POLAND.
O SACRED Truth ! thy triumph ceased awhile,
(smile, And Hope, thy sister, ceased with thee to When leagued Oppression poured to Northern wars
[hussars, Her whiskered pandoors and her fierce Waved her dread standard to the breeze
(trumpet horn; Pealed her loud drum, and twanged her
The sun went down, nor ceased the carnage there,
(air : Tumultuous murder shook the midnight On Prague's proud arch the fires of ruin glow,
[below; His blood-dyed waters murmuring far The storm prevails, the rampart yields a
way, Bursts the wide cry of horror and dismay! Hark! as the smouldering piles with
thunder fall, A thousand shrieks for hopeless mercy call! Earth shook-red meteors flashed along the
sky, And conscious Nature shuddered at the cry!
Orighteous Heaven! ere Freedom found
a grave, Why slept the sword omnipotent to save? Where was thine arm, O Vengeance! where
thy rod, That smote the foes of Zion and of God; That crushed proud Ammon, when his iron car
safar? Was yoked in wrath, and thundered from Where was the storm that slumbered till the host
[bling coast; Of blood-stained Pharaoh left their tremThen bade the deep in wild commotion flow, And heaved an ocean on their march below?
Departed spirits of the mighty dead! Ye that at Marathon and Leuctra bled ! Friends of the world ! restore your swords
to man, Fight in his sacred cause, and lead the van! Yet for Sarmatia's tears of blood atone, And make her arm puissant as your own! Oh! once again to Freedom's cause return The patriot Tell—the Bruce of Bannock
Yes! thy proud lords, unpitied land! shall see
[free! That man hath yet a soul-and dare be A little while, along thy saddening plains, The starless night of Desolation reigns; Truth shall restore the light by Nature given,
[heaven! And, like Prometheus, bring the fire of Prone to the dust Oppression shall be
hurled, Her name, her nature, withered from the
The convoy spread like wild swans in their
flight, The dullest sailer wearing bravely now, So gaily curl the waves before each dashing
prow. And oh, the little warlike world within ! The well-reeved guns, the netted canopy, * The hoarse command, the busy humming din,
[high: When, at a word, the tops are manned on Hark to the boatswain's call, the cheering cry,
(tackle glides ; While through the seaman's hand the Orschoolboy midshipman that, standing by, Strains his shrill pipe, as good or ill betides, And well the docile crew that skilful urchin
[guides. White is the glassy deck without a stain, Where on the watch the staid lieutenant
walks: Look on that part which sacred doth remain For the lone Chieftain, who majestic stalks Silent and feared by all: not oft he talks With aught beneath him, if he would pre
[baulks That strict restraint, which, broken, ever Conquest and Fame; but Britons rarely Swerve
[strength to nerve. From law, however stern, which tends their Blow, swiftly blow, thou keel-compelling gale,
[ray; Till the broad sun withdraws his lessening Then must the pennant-bearer slacken sail, That lagging barks maymake their lazyway, Ah! grievance sore, and listless dull delay, To waste on sluggish hulks the sweetest breeze !
[day, What leagues are lost before the dawn of Thus loitering pensive on the willing seas, The flapping sail hauled down to halt for
logs like these! The moon is up; by Heaven, a lovely eve ! Long streams of light o'er dancing waves expand;
[believe; Now lads on shore may sigh, and maids Such be our fate when we return to land ! Meantime some rude Arion's restless hand Wakes the brisk harmony that sailors love: A circle there of merry listeners stand, Or to some well-known measure featly move Thoughtless, as if on shore they still were
free to rove.
GEORGE GORDON LORD
1788 1824. THE MAN-OF-WAR. From "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage."
He that has sailed upon the dark blue sea, Has viewed at times, I ween, a full fair
sight; When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may
be, The white sails set, the gallant frigate tight, Masts, spires, and strand retiring to the
right, The glorious main expanding o'er the bow,
* To prevent blocks or splinters from falling on
deck during action.
'Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel We have once loved, though love is at an
end: The heart, lone mourner of its baffled zeal, Though friendless now, will dream it had a friend.
(to bend, Who with the weight of years would wish When Youth itself survives young Love
and joy? Alas! when mingling souls forget to blend, Death hath but little left him to destroy! Ah, happy years ! once more who would
not be a boy? Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side, To gaze on Dian's wave-reflected sphere, The soul forgets her schemes of Hope and Pride,
[year. And flies unconscious o'er each backward None are so desolate but something dear, Dearer than self, possesses or possessed A thought, and claims the homage of a tear; A flashing pang! of which the weary breast Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart
Of glory streams along the Alpine height
[the blest ! Floats through the azure air—an island of A single Star is at her side, and reigns With hero'er half the lovely heaven; but still Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains Rolled o'er the peak of the far Rhætian hill, As Day and Night contending were, until Nature reclaimed her order; gently flows The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues
instii The odorous purple of a new-born rose, Which streams upon her stream and
glassed within it glows. Filled with the face of heaven, which from
afar Comes down upon the waters; all its hues, From the rich sunset to the rising star, Their magical variety diffuse. And now they change; a paler shadow
strews Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day Dies like a dolphin, whom each pang
imbues With a new colour as it gasps away The last still loveliest; till—'tis gone-and
all is gay.
To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell, To slowly trace the forest's shady scene, Where things thatown not man's dominion
dwell, And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been; To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
[fold; With the wild flock that never needs a Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean: This is not solitude ; 'tis but to hold Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled.
[of men, But, 'midst the crowd, the hum, the shock To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess, And roam along, the world's tired denizen, With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
[tress! Minions of splendour shrinking from disNone that, with kindred consciousness
endued, If we were not, would seem to smile the less Of all that flattered, followed, sought, and
sued : This is to be alone; this, this is solitude !
It is the hush of night, and all between Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet
clear, Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen, Save darkened Jura, whose capped heights
appear Precipitously steep; and drawing near, There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,
(ear Of flowers yet fresh with childhood ; on the Drops the light drip of the suspended oar, Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night
carol more ;
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
The moon is up, and yet it is not night; Sunset divides the sky with her: a sea