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Sweet lamp! my moth-like muse has burnt its wings;
Whose waters like blithe light and music are,
Amid rude voices?—a beloved sight?
A Solitude, a Refuge, a Delight?
A lute, which those whom love has taught to play,
EXISTENCE IN SPACE.
Life, like a dome of many-colored glass,
One word is too often profaned
One feeling too falsely disdain'd
One hope is too like despair
And pity from thee more dear
I can give not what men call love;
The worship the heart lifts above,
And the Heaven's reject not? The desire of the moth for the star Of the night for the morrow; The devotion to something afar
From the sphere of our sorrow.
TO A LADY WITH A GUITAR.
Ariel to Miranda :-Take
This slave of music, for the sake
Of him who is the slave of thee;
And teach it all the harmony In which thou canst, and only thou, Make the delighted spirit glow, Till joy denies itself again, And, too intense, is turned to pain. For by permission and command Of thine own Prince Ferdinand, Poor Ariel sends this silent token Of more than ever can be spoken: Your guadian spirit, Ariel, who From life to life must still pursue Your happiness, for thus alone Can Ariel ever find his own : From Prospero's enchanted cell, As the mighty verses tell, To the throne of Naples he Lit you o'er the trackless sea, Flitting on, your prow before, Like a living meteor: When you die, the silent moon In her interlunar swoon,
Is not sadder in her cell
Than deserted Ariel:
Ariel guides you o'er the sea
Your course of love, and Ariel still
Has track'd your steps and serv'd your will.
Now in humbler, happier lot,
This is all remember d not;
And now, alas! the poor sprite is
Imprisoned for some fault of his
From you, he only dares to crave,
The artist who this idol wrought,
To live in happier form again :
From which, beneath Heaven's fairest star, The artist wrought this lov'd Guitar,
And taught it justly to reply
The murmuring of summer seas,
And airs of evening; and it knew
It talks according to the wit
This is a Catullian melody of the first water. The transformation of the dreaming wood of the tree into a guitar was probably suggested by Catullus's Dedication of the Galley,—a poem with which I know he was conversant, and which was particularly calculated to please him; for it records the consecration of a favorite old sea-boat to the Dioscuri. The modern poet's imagination beats the ancient; but Catullus equals him in graceful flow; and there is one very Shelleian passage in the original :
Ubi iste, post phaselus, antea fuit
For of old, what now you see
A galley, was a leafy tree
On the Cytorian heights, and there
MUSIC, MEMORY, AND LOVE.
Music, when soft voices die,1
1 "Music, when soft voices die."-This song is a great favorite with musicians: and no wonder. Beaumont and Fletcher never wrote anything of the kind more lovely.