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POEMS WRITTEN IN 1816.
THERE late was One, within whose subtle being, As light and wind within some delicate cloud That fades amid the blue noon's burning sky, Genius and death contended. None may
know The sweetness of the joy which made his breath Fail, like the trances of the summer air, When, with the Lady of his love, who then First knew the unreserve of mingled being, He walked along the pathway of a field, Which to the east a hoar wood shadowed o'er, But to the west was open to the sky. There now the sun had sunk, but lines of gold Hung on the ashen clouds, and on the points Of the far level grass and nodding flowers, And the old dandelion's hoary beard, And, mingled with the shades of twilight, lay On the brown massy woods—and in the east The broad and burning moon lingeringly rose Between the black trunks of the crowded trees, While the faint stars were gathering orerhead. “ Is it not strange, Isabel,” said the youth, “ I never saw the sun ? We will walk here “ To-morrow; thou shalt look on it with me.”
That night the youth and lady mingled lay
pale; Her hands were thin, and through their wandering
veins And weak articulations might be seen Day's ruddy light. The tomb of thy dead self Which one vexed ghost inhabits, night and day, Is all, lost child, that now remains of thee!
“ Inheritor of more than earth can give, Passionless calm, and silence unreproved, Whether the dead find, O, not sleep! but rest, And are the uncomplaining things they seem, Or live, or drop in the deep sea of Love; O, that like thine, mine epitaph were -Peace!” This was the only moan she ever made.
HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY.
The awful stadow of some unseen Power à
Floats tho' unseen among us; visiting
This various world with as inconstant wingt As summer winds that creep from flower to flower. Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain
C Like hues and harmonies of evening,
b Like clouds in starlight widely spread, Like memory of music fled,
I Like aught that for its grace may be Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.- 1 Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate
With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
Of human thought or form, where art thou gone?Why dost thou pass away and leave our state, This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate ?
Ask why the sunlight not for ever
Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain river ;Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown;
Why fear and dream and death and birth
Such gloom ; why man has such a scope For love and hate, despondency and hope.
No voice from some sublimer world hath ever
To sage or poet these responses given; Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and
Doubt, chance, and mutability.
Or music by the night wind sent
Or moonlight on a midnight stream,
Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds, depart
And come, for some uncertain moments lent.
Man were immortal and omnipotent,
That wax and wane in lovers' eyes ;
Like darkness to a dying flame!
Depart not, lest the grave should be,
While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
Thro' many a listening chamber, cave, and ruin,
And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
When musing deeply on the lot
All vital things that wake to bring
Sudden, thy shadow fell on me ;
I vowed that I would dedicate my powers
To thee and thine : have I not kept the vow ? With beating heart and streaming eyes, even
I call the phantoms of a thousand hours
Outwatched with me the envious night :
Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free
awful LOVELINESS, Wouldst give whate'er these words cannot express.
The day becomes more solemn and serene