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For whose path the Atlantic's level powers
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: Oh hear!
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear; If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee; A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
The impulse of thy strength, only less free Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even I were as in my boyhood, and could be The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne'er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee; tameless, and swift, and proud.
Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is: What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone, Be thou,
Sweet though in sadness. spirit fierce, My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened earth
Three thousand years of sleep-unsheltered hours,
And moments aye divided by keen pangs Till they seemed years, torture and solitude,
these are mine
Scorn and despair,
More glorious far than that which thou
Almighty, had I deigned to share the shame
Of thine ill tyranny, and hung not here Nailed to this wall of eagle-baffling mountain,
Black, wintry, dead, unmeasured; without herb,
Insect, or beast, or shape or sound of life.
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, for ever! No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt ?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun, Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm, Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony? Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, for ever!
The crawling glaciers pierce me with the spears Of their moon-freezing crystals, the bright chains
Eat with their burning cold into my bones, Heaven's winged hound, polluting from thy lips
His beak in poison not his own, tears up My heart; and shapeless sights come wandering by,
The ghastly people of the realm of dream, Mocking me and the Earthquake-fiends are charged
To wrench the rivets from my quivering wounds
When the rocks split and close again behind:
While from their loud abysses howling throng
The genii of the storm, urging the rage Of whirlwind, and afflict me with keen hail.
And yet to me welcome is day and night,