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CLVI. Thou movest - but increasing with the advance, Like climbing some great Alp, which still doth rise, Deceived by its gigantic elegance ; Vastness which grows -- but grows to harmonize All musical in its immensities; Rich marbles — richer painting - shrines where
flame The lamps of gold — and haughty dome which vies In air with Earth's chief structures, though their
frame. Sits on the firm - set ground--and this the clouds
CLVII. Thou seest not all; but piecemeal thou must break, To separate contemplation, the great whole; And as the ocean many bays will make, That ask the eye — so here condense thy soul To more immediate objects, and control Thy thoughts until thy mind hath got by heart Its eloquent proportions, and unroll In mighty graduations, part by part, The glory which at once upon thee did not dart,
CLVIII. Not by its favlt- but thine: Our outward sense Is, but of gradual grasp—and as it is That what we have of feeling most intense Outstrips, our faint expression; even so this Outshining and o’erwhelming edifice Fools our fond gaze, and greatest of the great Defies at first our Nature's littleness, Till, growing with its growth, we thus dilate Our spirits to the size of that they contemplate.
CLIX. Then pause, and be englighten'd; there is more In such a survey than the sating gaze Of wonder pleased, or awe which would adore The worship of the place, or the mere praise Of art and its great masters, who could raise What former time, nor skill, nor thought could • plan; The fountain of sublimity displays Its depth, and thence may draw the mind of man Its golden sands; and learn what great conceptions CLX. Or, turning to the Vatican, go see Laocoon's torture dignifying pain A father's love and mortal's agony With an immortal's patience blending: - Vain The struggle; vain, against the coiling strain And gripe, and deepening of the dragon's grasp, The old man's clench; the long envenom'd chain Rivets the living links, – the enormous asp Enforces pang on pang, and stifles gasp on gasp.
Or view the Lord of the unerring bow,
CLXII. But in his delicate form — a dream of Love Shaped by some solitary nymph, whose breast, Long’d for a deathless lover from above, And madden'd in that vision' - are exprest All that ideal beauty ever bless'd is The mind with in its most unearthly mood : When each conception was a heavenly guest
A ray of immortality and stood, . Starlike, around, until they gather'd to a god!
CLXIII. And if it be Prometheus stole from Heaven The fine which we endure, it was repaid By him to whom the energy was given Which this poetic marble hath array'd With an eternal glory -- which, if made By human hands, is not of human thought; And Time himself hath hallow'd it, nor laid One riøglet in the dust - nor hath it caught A tinge of years, but breathes the flame with which
•'twas wrought. '
CLXIV. But where is he, the Pilgrim of my song, The being who upheld it through the past? Methings he cometh late and tarries long. He is no more-these breathings are his last; His wanderings done, his visions ebbing fast, And he himself as nothing: if he was Aught but a phantasy, and could be class'd With forms which live and suffer- let that pass His shadow fades away into Destruction's mass,
To hover on the verge of darkness; rays