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The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,

And his burning plumes outspread, Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,

When the morning-star shines dead. As on the jag of a mountain crag,

Which an earthquake rocks and swings, An eagle alit one moment may sit

In the light of its golden wings. And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,

Its ardours of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall

From the depth of heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine airy nest,

As still as a brooding dove.

That orbed maiden, with white fire laden,

Whom mortals call the moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleecelike floor,

By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,

Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,

The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,

Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,

Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,

Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone,

And the moon's with a girdle of pearl; The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim, When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.

From cape to cape, with a bridgelike shape,

Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam proof, I hang like a roof,

The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march

With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the powers of the air are chain'd to my chair,

Is the million-colour'd bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove,

While the moist earth .was laughing below.

I am the daughter of earth and water,

And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;

I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain, when with never a stain,

The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams,

Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,

And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,

I arise and unbuild it again.


CHAMELEONS feed on light and air;

Poets' food is love and fame:
If in this wide world of care

Poets could but find the same
With as little toil as they,

Would they ever change their hue
As the light chameleons do,

Suiting it to every ray
Twenty times a-day?

Poets are on this cold earth,

As chameleons might be,
Hidden from their early birth

In a cave beneath the sea.
Where light is, chameleons change ;

Where love is not, poets do ;

Fame is love disguised—if few Find either, never think it strange That poets range.

Yet dare not stain with wealth or power

A poet's free and heavenly mind : If bright chameleons should devour

Any food but beams and wind, They would grow as earthly soon

As their brother lizards are.

Children of a sunnier star, Spirits from beyond the moon, O, refuse the boon!


The flower that smiles to-day

To-morrow dies;
All that we wish to stay,

Tempts and then flies:
What is this world's delight?
Lightning that mocks the night,
Brief even as bright.

Virtue, how frail it is !

Friendship too rare !
Love, how it sells poor bliss

For proud despair!
But we, though soon they fall,
Survive their joy and all
Which ours we call.

Whilst skies are blue and bright,

Whilst flowers are gay,
Whilst eyes that change ere night,

Make glad the day;
Whilst yet the calm hours creep,
Dream thou—and from thy sleep
Then wake to weep.


SWIFTLY walk over the western wave,

Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear,
Which make thee terrible and dear,-

Swift be thy flight!

Wrap thy form in a mantle gray,

Star inwrought! Blind with thine hair the eyes of day, Kiss her until she be wearied out, Then wander o'er city, and sea, and land, Touching all with thine opiate wand,

Come, long sought!

When I arose and saw the dawn,

I sighed for thee; When light rode high, and the dew was gone, And noon lay heavy on flower and tree, And the weary day turned to his rest, Lingering like an unloved guest,

I sighed for thee !

Thy brother, Death, came, and cried,

Wouldst thou me ?
Thy sweet child, Sleep, thy filmy-eyed,
Murdered like a noontide bee,
Shall I nestle near thy side ?
Wouldst thou me?-And I replied,

No, not thee!

Death will come when thou art dead,

Soon, too soon!
Sleep will come when thou art fled;
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, beloved Night;
Swift be thine approaching flight,

Come soon, soon!


Hail to thee, blithe spirit !

Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,

Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

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