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And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain;
And that she nurs'd him in a cave;
His dying words—but when I reach'd
All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrill'd my guileless Genevieve;
The music and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve;
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
She wept with pity and delight,
She blush'd with love and virgin shame
And like the murmur of a dream,
Her bosom heav'd-she stept aside,
She half enclos'd me in her arms,
She press'd me with a meek embrace: And bending back her head, look'd up, And gazed upon my face.
'Twas partly love and partly fear,
I calm'd her fears, and she was calm,
And so I won my Genevieve,
My own, my beauteous bride!
I can hardly say a word upon this poem for very admiration. I must observe, however, that one of the charms of it consists in the numerous repetitions and revolvings of the words, one on the other, as if taking delight in their own beauty.
SUGGESTED TO THE AUTHOR BY A PASSAGE IN PURCHAS'S PILGRIMAGE.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan1
A stately pleasure-dome decree,
So twice five miles of fertile ground
And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
But oh, that deep romantic chasm which slanted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Where was heard the mingled measure
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome, with caves of ice!
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she play'd,
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 't would win me,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
1 “ In Xanadu.”—I think I recollect a variation of this stanza,
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-house ordain,
The nice-eared poet probably thought there were too many ns in these rhymes; and man and main are certainly not the best neighbors: yet there is such an open, sounding, and stately intonation in the words pleasure-house ordain, and it is so superior to pleasure-dome decree, that I am not sure I would not give up the correctness of the other terminations to retain it.
But what a grand flood is this, flowing down through measureless caverns to a sea without a sun! I know no other sea equal
to it, except Keats's, in his Ode to a Nightingale; and none can surpass that.
2 "Ancestral voices prophesying war."-Was ever anything more wild, and remote, and majestic, than this fiction of the "ancestral voices ?" Methinks I hear them, out of the blackness of the past.
YOUTH AND AGE.
Verse, a breeze 'mid blossoms straying,
When I was young!
When I was young? Ah, woful when!
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Naught cared this body for wind or weather,
Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like :
O the joys that came down shower-like,
Ere I was old? Ah, woful ere!
I'll think it but a fond deceit
It cannot be that thou art gone!
And thou wert aye a masker bold !
Life is but thought; so think I will,
This is one of the most perfect poems, for style, feeling, and everything, that ever were written.
THE HEATHEN DIVINITIES MERGED INTO ASTROLOGY.
FROM THE TRANSLATION OF SCHILLER'S PICCOLOMINI.
-Fable is Love's world, his home, his birthplace:
Delightedly dwells he 'mong fays and talismans,
Divinities, being himself divine.
The intelligible forms of ancient poets,
The power, the beauty, and the majesty,
That had her haunts in dale, or piny mountain,
Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly spring,
Or chasms and wat'ry depths; all these have vanish'd,
They live no longer in the faith of reason;
But still the heart doth need a language; still
And to yon starry world they now are gone,