Page images

Alas! our young affections run to waste,
Or water but the desart; whence arise
But weeds of dark luxuriance, lares of haste,
Rank at the core though tempting to the eyes,
Flowers whose wild odours breathe but agonies;
And trees whose gums are poison ; such plants
Which spring beneath her steps as Passion flies

O'er the world's wilderness, and vainly pants
For some celestial fruit forbidden to our wants.

Oh love! no habitant of earth thou art-
An unseen seraph, we believe in thee,
A faith whose martyrs are the broken heart,
But never yet hath seen, nor e'er shall see
The naked eye, the form, as it should be;
The mind hath made thee, as it peopled heaven,
Even with its own desiring phantasy,

And to a thought such shapes and image given
As haunts the unquench'd soul, parch'd wearied, wrung,

(and riveu. Of its own beauty is the mind diseased, And fevers into false creation :-where Where are the charms the sculptor's soul hath seized: In him alone. Can Nature shew so fair? Where are the charms and virtucs which we dare Conceive in boy-hood and pursue as men The unreach'd Paradise of our despair,

Which o'er-informs the pencil and the pen, And overpowers the page where it would bloom ag ain?

CXXIII. Who loves, raves-'tis youth's frenzy, but the cure Is bitterer still; as charm by charm unwinds Which robed our idols, and we see too sure Nor worth nor beauty dwells from out the mind's Ideal shape of such ; yet still it binds The fatal spell, and still it draws us on, Reaping the whirlwind from the oft-gown winds;

The stubborn heart, its alchemy begun Seems ever near the prize,-wealthiest when most u udorie

We wither from our youth, we gasp away
Sick-sick; unfound the boon--uuslaked the thirst,
Though to the last, in verge of our decay,
Some phantoms lure, such as we sought at first-
But all too late,--so are we doubly curst.
Love, fame, ambition, a varice, 'tis the same,
Each idle and all illand none the worst

For all are meteors with a different name,
And death the sabre smoke where yapishes the flame.

Few-none fiad what they love or could have loved,
Through accident, blind contract, and the strong
Necessity of loving, having removed
Antipathies-but to recur, ere long,
Envenomed with irrevocable wrong;
Apd Circumstance, that unspiritual god
And miscreator, makes and helps along
Our coming evils with a crutch-like rod, [trod.
Whose touch turns Hope to dust-the dust we all have

Our life is a false naturemotis not in
The harmony of things, this hard decree,
This uneradicable taint of sin,
This boundless upas, this all-blasting tree,
Whose root is earth, whose leaves and branches be
The skies which rain their plagues on men like dew
Disease, death, bondage all woes we see-
And worse, the woes we see not—which throb through
The immedicable soul, with heart-aches ever new.

Yet let us ponder boldly--'tis a base (53)
Abandonment of reason to resign
Our right of thought our last and only place
Of refuge; this, at least, sball still be mine.

Though from our birth the faculty divine
Is chaip'd and tortured-cabin'd cribb’d, confined,
And bred in darkness, lest the truth should shine
Too brightly on the unprepared mind,
The beams pours in, for time apd skill will couch the blind.

Arches on arches ! as it were that Rome,
Collecting the chief trophies of her line,
Would build up all her triumphs in one dome,
Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams shine
As 'twere its natural torches, for divine
Should be the light which streams here, illume
This long-explored but still exhaustless mine

Of contemplation ; and the azure gloom
Of an Italian night, where the deep skies assume

Hues which have words, and speak to ye of heaven,
Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monument,
And shadows forth its glory. There is given
Unto the things of earth, which time hath bent,
A spirit's frelings and where he hath leant
His bands, but broke his scythe, there is a power.
And magic in the ruined battlement,

For which the palace of the present boor
Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower.

Oh time ! the beautifier of the dead,
Adorner of the ruin, comforter
And only healer when the heart hath bled
Time! the corrector where our judgments err,
The test of truth, love,--sole philosopher,
For all beside are sophists, from thy thrift,
Which never loses though it doth defer-

Time, the avenger ! upto thee I lift
My hands, and eyes, and heart, and crave of thee a gift:

Amidst this wreck, where thou hast made a shrine
And temble more divinely desolate
Among thy mightier offerings here are mine,
Ruins of years--though few, yet full of fateam
Ifthou hast ever seen me too elate,
Hear me not ; but if calmly I have borne
Good, and reserved my pride against the haté

Which shall not whelin me, let me not have worn
This iron in my soul in vain--shall they not mourn?

And thou, who never get of human wrong
Lost the unbalanced scale, great Nemesis ! (54)
Here, where the ancient paid thee homage long-
Thou, who didst call the Furies from the abyss,
And rouud Orestes bade them howland hiss
For that unnatural retribution--just
Had it but been from hands less near--in this

Thy former realm, I call thee from the dust! (must. Dost thou not hear my heart!--Awake! thou shalt, and

It is not that I may not have incurr'd
For my ancestral faults or mine the wound
I bleed withal, and, had it been conferr'd
With a just weapon, it had flowed unbound;
But now my blood shall not sink in the ground;
To thee I do devote it-thou shalt take
The vengeance, which shall yet be sought and found,

Which if I have not taken for the sake-
But let that pass-I sleep, but thou shalt yet awake,

And if my voice break forth, 'tis not that now
1 shrink from what is suffered: let him speak
Who hath beheld decline upon my brow,
Or seen my mind's convulsion leave it weak;
But in this page a record will I seek.
Not in the air shall these my words disperse,
Though I be ashes; a far hour shall wreak

The deep prophetic fulness of this verse,
And pile on human heads the mountain of my curse!

That curse shall be Forgiveness. Have I not-
Hear me, my mother Earth! behold it, Heaven!-
Have I not had to wrestle with my lot?
Have I not suffered thiogs to be forgiven?
Have I not had my brain seared, my heart riven,
Hopes sapp'd, name blighted, Life's life lied away?
And only not to desperation driven,

Because pot altogether of such clay
As rots into the souls of those whom I survey.

From mighty wrongs to petty perfidy
Have I not seen what human things could do?
From the loud roar of foaming calumny
To the small whisper of the as paltry few,
And subtler venom of the reptile crew,
The Janus glance of whose significant eye
Learning to lie with silence, would seem true,

And without utterance, save the shrug or sigh,
Deal round to happy fools its speechless obloquy,

But I have lived, and have not lived in vain ;
My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire,
And my frame perish even in conquering pain,
But there is that within me which shall tire
Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire;
Something unearthly, which they deem not of,
Like the remembered tone of a mutelyre,

Shall on their softened spirits sink, and move
In hearts all rocky now the late remorse of love.

CXXXVIII. The seal is set-Now welcome, thou dread power! Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which here Walk'st in the shadow of the midnight hour With a deep awe, yet all distinct from fear; Thy haunts are ever where the dead walls roar Their ivy mantles, and the solemn scene Derives from thee a sense so deep and clear

That we become a part of what has been, And grow unto the spot, all-seeing but unseen.

CXXXIX. And here the buzz of eager nations ran, In murmured pity, or loud-roared applause, As man was slaughtered by his fellow man. And wherefore slaughtered? wherefore, but because Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws, And the imperial pleasure.- Wherefore not? What matters where we fall to fill the maws,

Of worms-on battle plains or listed spot ? Both are but theatres where the chief actors rot.


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »