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ful and the merely fanciful lyric; and we listen with a far profounder interest to the outpourings of a great and suffering soul, as it were the wail of the chained Prometheus on his midnight Caucasus, uttering his proudly sustained agonies to the stars above him. In the poem which we here quote is found the great dogma of his philosophy
Sighs, sad sighs, they are the element
In whose bosom breathes the Demiurgus.
Look around thee, what makes glad thy spirit ?
Does thy heart throb with a stronger impulse ?
Does the rosy tint of joy empurple
Thy cheeks' pallor only for a moment?
Say what was it ?—But a sigh of sadness,
Which forth flowing from the fount of being
Was bewildered in time's endless mazes.
Twofold laws direct the life of mortals;
Twofold powers divide whate'er existeth
'Neath the moon's for ever-changing empire.
Hear, O mortal! Ever seeking, yearning,
Is the first law. Forceful separation
Is the second. Diverse though in heaven,
These two laws are ever undivided
In the land where ruleth Achamot,*
And in fixed duality and oneness
Appear they in the mystery of sighs.
'Twixt of life and death the sigh of sorrow
Is the human heart for ever wavering,
And each breath it draws announces only
Its destination in the world of thought.
Lo the sea ! Its waves are flowing inland,
And will clasp with arms of earnest longing,
* Materiality ;-original sin ;—the mother of Demiurgus. VOL. II.
'Neath the bridal torches of the heavens,
To its breast the earth enwreathed with lilies,
See it cometh! How its heart is throbbing
With fierce yearning! How its arms are stretched forth
All in vain! No wishes are accomplished
'Neath the moon ; even the fair moon's waxing
Hastens its waning. Disappointed longings
Depress the sea, and all its mighty billows
Leave the shore with endless, endless sighing.
List the wind ! how softly sweet it floateth,
'Mong the lofty poplars of the woodlands.
Hark! it sighs, and ever, ever sigheth
Like a fainting lover, and desireth
Spousal with the Flora of the summer.
Yet already die away the voices.
On the leaves' Eolian harp are sounded
Swan-like songs which fade away and perish.
What is spring ? sighs from the green earth’s bosom
Rising upward, and from Heaven demanding
When again begins the May of Eden ?
What the butterfly in all his splendour ?
What the lark that greets the light of morning ?
What the nightingale beloved of shadows ?
Only sighs in different forms of beauty.
Mortal! wilt thou learn of life the wisdom,
Oh, then listen! Twofold laws have guidance
Of this our life! Seeking, yearning ever
Is the first law. Forceful separation
Is the second. Consecrate to freedom
This compulsion, and thus reconciléd,
Dedicated thus, beyond the spheres,
The gates of honour will to thee be opened !
The same doctrine pervades the following stanzas, but accoinpanied by the Scripture one, that “the whole creation groaneth together for the manifestation of the sons of God.”
THE SIGHS OF THE CREATURES.
What sighs the hill ?
What the North wind through the pine-wood that blows ?
What whispers the rill,
Whilst through the valley so softly it flows ?
Golden mists born in ?
What the night's moon all heaven adorning,
Silently gazing on valleys below ?
What thinks the red rose ? what the narcisse ?
Or the stern precipice,
Gloomy and threatening, what does it know?
We know, and we think, and we sigh, and we speak!
O man, from the trance of thy stupor awake,
up to the primal-life's region go back !
If thou wilt ascend to the true world ideal ;
Into light will transform all the gloomy, the real,
We also, transfigured, shall follow thy track.
Thou, thyself art in bonds to material powers.
Alas! the same terrible bondage is ours,
For lead where thou wilt we must still follow thee!
One law, that is common to both, we lie under :
Unfetter the creatures—thy bonds burst asunder ;
Unfetter thyself, and thou them settest free!
Still more clearly come forth his gnostic views, in the following dialogue. It is like a painting from a preRaphaelite School, Italian, German, or Byzantine, with its devotional figures and golden backgrounds. Who does not see the lustrous angel, and the sorrowful soul presenting her flowers at the grating between this world and the next? They are like two figures, quaint and in white-flowing garments in the emblems of Quarles.
Come nearer the grating, O nun full of sorrow,
That I may give to thee the trembling narcissus,
The tearful white lilies, the peonies crimson,
Which Christ sendeth to thee, the King of the Aons,*
From the fair fields of heaven.
How blissful thy seeming, O youth full of beauty!
Thy eye brightly beameth with radiance Olympian;
Thy countenance gloweth with health and with goodness,
And gracefully circle thy snowy white forehead
The rich curling tresses. Methinks I aforetime
Have heard of thy voice the low musical cadence;
Methinks I aforetime with rapture have gazed on
Thy countenance beaming ; yet know I not where !
Thou hast seen me full oft in the All-father's kingdom ;
In the region of beauty, of spring-time eternal,
The land of Elysium ; by the eye of the godhead
With love all eradiate, on golden clouds borne up
In the halls of perfection thou builded thy throne.
'Mid murmuring forests of palm-trees and laurel,
Engirdled with azure of crystalline waters
Thy kingdom, all nature, in the light of the May sun
Lay under thy feet. From the gates of the morning
To shadowy sunset, when slumbers the evening
’Mid fragrance of violets ; from the home of the North star
To the Cloud+ which engarlands with tremulous star-sheen
The Pole of the South, thy yearning eye turned'st thou,
* The great intelligent powers placed by God, according to Gnostic philosophy, over the different regions of the universe. Christ, the divine Aon Logos, was over them all.
+ The Great and Little Cloud; two constellations in the Southern hemisphere near the Pole.
Thy eye brightly beaming, celestially filled with
The All-father's love, with the Unity's worship,
That infinite vastness of life universal.
Then came I with flowers from heaven descending
To the soul in its prison. Then came I with flowers
From the low banks of Jordan, an angel of sacrifice
Unto the soul.
How live the blessed, the hosts of immortals
Up yonder in ether? Ah ! heavy my brain is
With vapours of earth. Scarce casteth one memory
Of days quickly vanished, its pale moonlight glimmer
Through thought's dreary night. Doth Maria* encircle
With solemn star-splendour her bright golden tresses ?
Say, is not Christ thronéd the King of the Aons,
'Mid spirits beatified, suns flashing lightning,
In the purple of love, the tiara of power ?
Does the Great One remember the kiss of the soul ?
Say, has He forgotten his sad, yearning bride ?
For ever, Maria with stars brightly gleaming
Encircles her shining ambrosial tresses.
He is thronéd for ever, the King of the Aons,
In the purple of love, the tiara of power.
Thousands unnumbered, the spirits of women,
Are crowned in His presence with roses of spring-time,
Are clothed in the beautiful garments of purity,
Dazzlingly snow-white. Yet doth He forget not
His first, early loved one, and ever He hopeth
The soul is returning in splendour of sunlight,
More glorious and reconciled to Him again.
Come nearer the grating, thou youth full of beauty!
That I may endeavour between the bars chilly,
Between the thick bars of the damp brazen grating,
To give thee a kiss !