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HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY.
THE awful shadow of some unseen Power
It visits with inconstant glance
Each human heart and countenance;
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
Like aught that for its grace may be
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 Heaven,
Remain the records of their vain endeavor;
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
Thou messenger of sympathies
'That wax and wane in lovers' eyes;
Thou, that to human thought art nourishment,
Like life and fear, a dark reality.
While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
I was not heard, I saw them not;
When musing deeply on the lot
Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
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?
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 illumèd my brow,
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.
LINES WRITTEN IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.
THE everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Thus thou, Ravine of Arve-dark, deep Ravine-
Of lightning through the tempest;-thou dost lie,
Thine earthly rainbows stretched across the sweep
Robes some unsculptured image; the strange
Which, when the voices of the desert fail,