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" 'Where the first wave had more than half erased
The track of deer on desert Labrador;
Whilst the wolf, from which they fled amazed,

“Leaves his stamp visibly upon the shore,
Until the second bursts ;-so on my sight
Burst a new vision, never seen before,

"And the fair shaped waned in the coming light,
As veil by veil the silent splendour drops
From Lucifer, amid the chrysolite

"Of sun-rise, ere it tinge the mountain tops;
And as the presence of that fairest planet,
Although unseen, is felt by one who hopes

"That his day's path may end as he began it, In that star's smile, whose light is like the scent Of a jonquil when evening breezes fan it,

"Or the soft note in which his dear lament The Brescian shepherd breathes, or the caress That turn'd his weary slumber to content


"So knew I in that light's severe excess
The presence of that shape which on the stream
Moved, as I moved along the wilderness,

"More dimly than a day-appearing dream,
The ghost of a forgotten form of sleep;

A light of heaven, whose half-extinguish'd beam
"Through the sick day in which we wake to weep,
Glimmers, for ever sought, for ever lost;
So did that shape its obscure tenour keep

"Beside my path, as silent as a ghost;
But the new Vision, and the cold bright car,
With solemn speed and stunning music, crost

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"The forest, and as if from soine dread war
Triumphantly returning, the loud million
Fiercely extoll'd the fortune of her star.
"A moving arch of victory, the vermilion
And green and azure plumes of Iris had
Built high over her wind-wing'd pavilion,
"And underneath ethereal glory clad
The wilderness, and far before her flew
The tempest of the splendour, which forbade
"Shadow to fall from leaf and stone; the crew
Seem'd in that light, like atomies to dance
Within a sunbeam; some upon the new
"Embroidery of flowers, that did enhance
The grassy vesture of the desert, play'd,
Forgetful of the chariot's swift advance;
"Others stood gazing, till within the shade
Of the great mountain its light left them dim;
Others outspeeded it; and others made

"Circles around it, like the clouds that swim
Round the high moon in a bright sea of air;
And more did follow, with exulting hymn,
"The chariot and the captives fetter'd there :-
But all like bubbles on an eddying flood
Fell into the same track at last, and were


"Borne onward.-I among the multitude Was swept-me, sweetest flowers delay'd not long; Me, not the shadow nor the solitude;

"Me, not that falling stream's Lethean song;
Me, not the phantom of that early form,
Which moved upon its motion-but among

"The thickest billows of that living storm
I plunged, and bared my bosom to the clime
Of that cold light, whose airs too soon deform.

"Before the chariot had begun to climb The opposing steep of that mysterious dell, Behold a wonder worthy of the rhyme

"Of him who from the lowest depths of hell, Through every paradise and through all glory, Love led serene, and who return'd to tell

"The words of hate and care; the wondrous story How all things are transfigured except Love; For deaf as is a sea, which wrath makes hoary, "The world can hear not the sweet notes that move The sphere whose light is melody to loversA wonder worthy of his rhyme--the grove "Grew dense with shadows to its inmost covers, The earth was grey with phantoms, and the air Was peopled with dim forms, as when there hovers "A flock of vampire-bats before the glare Of the tropic sun, bringing, ere evening,

Strange night upon some Indian vale;-thus were "Phantoms diffused around; and some did fling Shadows of shadows, yet unlike themselves, Behind them; some like eaglets on the wing "Were lost in the white day; others like elves Danced in a thousand unimagined shapes Upon the sunny streams and grassy shelves; "And others sate chattering like restless apes On vulgar hands,

* * * * *

Some made a cradle of the ermined capes
"Of kingly mantles; some across the tire
Of pontiffs rode, like demons; others play'd
Under the crown which girt with empire

"A baby's or an idiot's brow, and made
Their nests in it. The old anatomies

Sate hatching their bare broods under the shade

"Of demon wings, and laugh'd from their dead eyes To reassume the delegated power,

Array'd in which those worms did monarchize,

"Who make this earth their charnel. Others more Humble, like falcons, sate upon the fist

Of common men, and round their heads did soar;
"Or like small gnats and flies, as thick as mist
On evening marshes, throng'd about the brow
Of lawyers, statesmen, priest and theorist ;—
"And others, like discolour'd flakes of snow
On fairest bosoms and the sunniest hair,
Fell, and were melted by the youthful glow

"Which they extinguish'd; and, like tears, they were
A veil to those from whose faint lids they rain'd
In drops of sorrow.

I became aware

"Of whence those forms proceeded which thus stain'd The track in which we moved. After brief space, From every form the beauty slowly waned;

"From every firmest limb and fairest face
The strength and freshness fell like dust, and left
The action and the shape without the grace

"Of life. The marble brow of youth was cleft
With care; and in those eyes where once hope shone,
Desire, like a lioness bereft

"Of her last cub, glared ere it died; each one

Of that great crowd sent forth incessantly

These shadows, numerous as the dead leaves blown “In autumn evening from a poplar tree. Each like himself and like each other were At first; but some distorted seem'd to be "Obscure clouds, moulded by the casual air; And of this stuff the car's creative ray

Wrapt all the busy phantoms that were there,


"As the sun shapes the clouds; thus on the Mask after mask fell from the countenance And form of all; and long before the day

"Was old, the joy which waked like heaven's glance The sleepers in the oblivious valley, died;

And some grew weary of the ghastly dance,

e ;

"And fell, as I have fall'n, by the way side Those soonest from whose forms most shadows past, And least of strength and beauty did abide. "Then, what is life?" I cried



E came like a dream in the dawn of life,
He fled like a shadow before its noon;

He is gone, and my peace is turn'd to strife,
And I wander and wane like the weary moon.
O sweet Echo, wake,

And for my sake

Make answer the while my heart shall break!

But heart has a music which Echo's lips,

Though tender and true, yet can answer not, And the shadow that moves in the soul's eclipse Can return not the kiss by his now forgot; Sweet lips he who hath

On my desolate path

Cast the darkness of absence worse than death

Indian. And if my grief should still be dearer to me Than all the pleasure in the world beside,

Why would you lighten it?—

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