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A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.
The Lady of his love was wed with One
Who did not love her better :-in her home,
A thousand leagues from his,—her native home,
She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy,
Daughters and sons of Beauty,--but behold!
Upon her face there was the tint of grief,
The settled shadow of an inward strife,
And an unquiet drooping of the eye
As if its lid were charged with unshed tears.
What could her grief be?-she had all she loved,
And he who had so loved her was not there
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
Or ill-repress'd affliction, her pure thoughts.
What could her grief be ?--she had loved him not,
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
141 Nor could he be a part of that which prey'd Upon her mind—a spectre of the past.
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.--
The Wanderer was return’d.--I saw him stand
Before an Altar--with a gentle bride ;
Her face was fair, but was not that which made
The Starlight of his Boyhood ;--
;--as he stood Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came The selfsame aspect, and the quivering shock
That in the antique Oratory shook
His bosom in its solitude ; and then-
As in that hour--a moment o'er his face
The tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced,--and then it faded as it came,
And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke
The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,
And all things reeld around him; he could see
Not that which was, nor that which should have been
But the old mansion, and the accustom'd hall, 160
And the remember'd chambers, and the place,
The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,
All things pertaining to that place and hour,
And her who was his destiny, came back
And thrust themselves between him and the light:
What business had they there at such a time?
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The lady of his love ;-Oh! she was changed
As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
Had wander'd from its dwelling, and her eyes
They had not their own lustre, but the look
Which is not of the earth; she was become
The queen of a fantastic realm ; her thoughts
Were combinations of disjointed things ;
And forms impalpable and unperceived
Of others' sight familiar were to hers.
And this the world calls phrensy; but the wise
Have a far deeper madness, and the glance
Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
What is it but the telescope of truth?
Which strips the distance of its phantasies,
And brings life near in utter nakedness,
Making the cold reality too real !
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.-
The Wanderer was alone as heretofore,
The beings which surrounded him were gone,
Or were at war with him; he was a mark
For blight and desolation, compass'd round
With Hatred and Contention ; Pain was mix'd
In all which was served up to him, until
Like to the Pontic monarch of old days, (11)
He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
But were a kind of nutriment; he lived
Through that which had been death to many men,
And made him friends of mountains : with the stars
And the quick Spirit of the Universe
He held his dialogues ; and they did teach
To him the magic of their mysteries;
To him the book of Night was open'd wide,
And voices from the deep abyss reveald
200 A marvel and a secret--Be it so.
IX. My dream was past; it had no further change. It was of a strange order, that the doom Of these two creatures should be thus traced out Almost like a reality-the one To end in madness—both in misery.
Titan! to whose immortal eyes
The sufferings of mortality,
Seen in their sad reality,
Were not as things that gods despise ;
What was thy pity's recompense?
· A silent suffering, and intense ;
The rock, the vulture, and the chain,
All that the proud can feel of pain,
The agony they do not show,
The suffocating sense of wo,
Which speaks but in its loneliness,
And then is jealous lest the sky
Should have a listener, nor will sigh
Until its voice is echoless.
Titan! to thee the strife was given
Between the suffering and the will,
Which torture where they cannot kill; And the inexorable Heaven, And the deaf tyranny of Fate, The ruling principle of Hate, Which for its pleasure doth create The things it may annihilate, Refused thee even the boon to die: The wretched gift eternity Was thine--and thou hast borne it well. All that the Thunderer wrung from thee Was but the menace which flung back On him the torments of thy rack; The fate thou didst so well foresee But would not to appease him tell; And in thy Silence was his Sentence, And in his Soul a vain repentance, And evil dread so ill dissembled That in his hand the lightnings trembled.
Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness, And strengthen Man with his own mind;