Slike strani


THE awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats tho' unseen among us; visiting

This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower.
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain

It visits with inconstant glance

Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,

Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
Like memory of music fled,

Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.—

Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate

With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon Of human thought or form, where art thou gone? Why dost thou pass away and leave our state, This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate Ask why the sunlight not for ever

Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain river; Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown Why fear and dream and death and birth Cast on the daylight of this earth

Such gloom; why man has such a scope For love and hate, despondency and hope.

No voice from some sublimer world hath ever
To sage or poet these responses given;
Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and

Remain the records of their vain endeavor;
Frail spells, whose uttered charm might not avail

to sever,

From all we hear and all we see,

Doubt, chance, and mutability.

Thy light alone, like mist o'er mountains driven,
Or music by the night wind sent

Through strings of some still instrument,
Or moonlight on a midnight stream,

Gives grace and truth to life's unquiet dream.

Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds, depart And come, for some uncertain moments lent. Man were immortal and omnipotent,

Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou art,

Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart.

Thou messenger of sympathies

That wax and wane in lovers' eyes;
Thou, that to human thought art nourishment,

Like darkness to a dying flame!

Depart not as thy shadow came;

Depart not, lest the grave should be,

Like life and fear, a dark reality.

While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
Thro' many a listening chamber, cave, and ruin,
And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead;
I called on poisonous names with which our youth
is fed.

I was not heard, I saw them not;

When musing deeply on the lot

Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
All vital things that wake to bring
News of birds and blossoming,

Sudden, thy shadow fell on me ;

I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy!

I vowed that I would dedicate my powers

To thee and thine: have I not kept the vow? With beating heart and streaming eyes, even


I call the phantoms of a thousand hours

Each from his voiceless grave: they have in visioned bowers

Of studious zeal or love's delight Outwatched with me the envious night: They know that never joy illumed my brow, Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free This world from its dark slavery,

That thou, O awful LOVELINESS,

Wouldst give whate'er these words cannot express

The day becomes more solemn and serene

When noon is past: there is a harmony

In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,

Which thro' the summer is not heard nor seen,

As if it could not be, as if it had not been !

Thus let thy power, which like the truth Of nature on my passive youth Descended, to my onward life supply

Its calm, to one who worships thee, And every form containing thee, Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did bind To fear himself, and love all human kind.




THE everlasting universe of things

Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark, now glittering-now reflecting gloom-
Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters, with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume

In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap forever,

Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.


Thus thou, Ravine of Arve-dark, deep RavineThou many-coloured, many-voiced vale,

Over whose pines and crags and caverns sail Fast clouds, shadows, and sunbeams; awful scene, Where power in likeness of the Arve comes down From the ice-gulfs that gird his secret throne, Bursting through these dark mountains like the flame

Of lightning through the tempest;-thou dost lie,
The giant brood of pines around thee clinging,
Children of elder time, in whose devotion,

The chainless winds still come and ever came
To drink their odours, and their mighty swinging
To hear an old and solemn harmony:

Thine earthly rainbows stretched across the

Of the ethereal waterfall, whose veil


Robes some unsculptured image; the strange sleep

Which, when the voices of the desert fail,
Wraps all in its own deep eternity ;—
Thy caverns echoing to the Arve's commotion
A loud, lone sound, no other sound can tame:
Thou art pervaded with that ceaseless motion,
Thou art the path of that unresting sound,
Dizzy Ravine! and when I gaze on thee,
I seem as in a trance sublime and strange
To muse on my own separate fantasy,
My own, my human mind, which passively
Now renders and receives fast influencings,

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