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With sunset and its gorgeous ministers,
And solemn midnight's tingling silentness ;
If autumn's hollow sighs in the sere wood,
And winter robing with pure snow and crowns
Of starry ice the grey grass and bare boughs ;
If spring's voluptuous pantings when she breathes
Her first sweet kisses, have been dear to me;
If no bright bird, insect, or gentle beast
I consciously have injured, but still loved
And cherish'd these
kindred : then forgive This boast, beloved brethren, and withdraw No portion of your wonted favour now!
Mother of this unfathomable world ! solemn song,
for I have loved
and thee only ; I have watch'd
Thy shadow, and the darkness of thy steps,
And my heart ever gazes on the depth
Of thy deep mysteries. I have made my
In charnels and on coffins, where black death
Keeps record of the trophies won from thee,
Hoping to still these obstinate questionings
Of thee and thine, by forcing some lone ghost
Thy messenger, to render up the tale
Of what we are.
In lone and silent hours,
When night makes a weird sound of its own stillness,
Like an inspired and desperate alchymist
Staking his very life on some dark hope,
Have I mix'd awful talk and asking looks
most innocent love, until strange tears Uniting with those breathless kisses, made Such magic as compels the charmèd night To render up thy charge ; . . . and, though ne'er yet Thou hast unveil'd thy inmost sanctuary, Enough from incommunicable dream, And twilight phantasms, and deep noon-day thought,
Has shone within me, that serenely now
And moveless, as a long-forgotten lyre
Suspended in the solitary dome
Of some mysterious and deserted fane,
I wait thy breath, Great Parent, that my strain
May modulate with murmurs of the air,
And motions of the forests and the sea,
And voice of living beings, and woven hymns
Of night and day, and the deep heart of man.
To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer Full in the smile of the blue firmament. Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment ?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,-an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by :
E’en like the passage of an angel's tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.
From Childe Harold, iv. 178.
THERE is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar :
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean-roll !
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain ;
Man marks the earth with ruin-his control
Stops with the shore ;-upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
W out a grave, unknell’d, uncoffin'd, and unknown.
His steps are not upon thy paths,--thy fields
Are not a spoil for him,—thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray
And howling, to his Gods, where haply lies
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth :—there let him lay.
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war;
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy fake,
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Alike the Armada's pride or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee-
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they ?
Thy waters wash'd them power while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts :—not so thou-
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play-
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow-
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests ; in all time,
Calm or convulsed—in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving ;-boundless, endless, and sublime-
The image of Eternity--the throne
Of the Invisible ; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made ; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward : from a boy
I wanton'd with thy breakers—they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror—'twas a pleasing fear,
For I was as it were a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane-as I do here.
85* The Gleaming Sea
WHEN winds that move not its calm surface sweep
The azure sea, I love the land no more ;
The smiles of the serene and tranquil deep
Tempt my unquiet mind. But when the roar
Of Ocean's gray abyss resounds, and foam
the sea, and vast waves burst, I turn from the drear aspect to the home Of Earth and its deep woods, where, interspersed, When winds blow loud, pines make sweet melody. Whose house is some lone bark, whose toil the sea, Whose prey the wandering fish, an evil lot Has chosen.-But I my languid limbs will fling Beneath the plane, where the brook's murmuring Moves the calm spirit, but disturbs it not.
It keeps eternal whisperings around
Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell
Gluts twice ten thousand Caverns, till the spell Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound. Often 'tis in such gentle temper found,
That scarcely will the very smallest shell
Be moved for days from where it sometime fell,
When last the winds of Heaven were unbound.
Oh ye! who have your eye-balls vex'd and tired,
Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea ;
Oh ye ! whose ears are dinn'd with uproar rude, Or fed too much with cloying melody
Sit ye near some old Cavern's Mouth, and brood Until ye start, as if the sea-nymphs quired !
'Twas at the season when the Earth upsprings From slumber; as a sphered angel's child, Shadowing its eyes with green and golden wings,
Stands up before its mother bright and mild,