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Nor to himself Narcissus, as to both Thou Adonais: wan they stand and


Amid the faint companions of their youth,

With dew all turned to tears; odor, to sighing ruth.

Thy spirit's sister, the lorn nightingale, Mourns not her mate with such melodious pain;

Not so the eagle, who like thee could scale

Heaven, and could nourish in the sun's domain

Her mighty youth with morning, doth complain,

Soaring and screaming round her empty nest,

As Albion wails for thee; the curse of Cain

Light on his head who pierced thy innocent breast

And scared the angel soul that was its earthly guest!

Ah woe is me! Winter is come and gone,

But grief returns with the revolving

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Diffuse themselves; and spend in love's


The beauty and the joy of their renewed might.

The leprous corpse touched by this spirit tender

Exhales itself in flowers of gentle breath; Like incarnations of the stars, when splendor

Is changed to fragrance, they illumine death

And mock the merry worm that wakes beneath;

Nought we know, dies. Shall that alone which knows

Be as a sword consumed before the sheath

By sightless lightning?-th' intense atom glows

A moment, then is quenched in a most cold repose.

Alas! that all we loved of him should be But for our grief, as if it had not been, And grief itself be mortal! Woe is me! Whence are we, and why are we? of what scene

The actors or spectators? Great and

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All that I am to be as thou now art! But I am chained to Time, and cannot thence depart!

O gentle child, beautiful as thou wert, Why didst thou leave the trodden paths

of men

Too soon, and with weak hands though mighty heart

Dare the unpastured dragon in his den? Defenceless as thou wert, oh where was then

Wisdom the mirrored shield, or scorn the spear?

Or hadst thou waited the full cycle, when

Thy spirit should have filled its crescent sphere,

The monsters of life's waste had fled from thee like deer.

"The herded wolves, bold only to pursue;

The obscene ravens, clamorous o'er the dead;

The vultures to the conqueror's banner true

Who feed where Desolation first has fed, And whose wings rain contagion ;—how they fled,

When like Apollo, from his golden bow, The Pythian of the age one arrow sped And smiled!-The spoilers tempt no second blow,

They fawn on the proud feet that spurn them lying low.

"The sun comes forth, and many rep

tiles spawn;

He sets, and each ephemeral insect then
Is gathered into death without a dawn,
And the immortal stars awake again;
So is it in the world of living men:
A godlike mind soars forth, in its delight
Making earth bare and veiling heaven,
and when

It sinks, the swarms that dimmed or shared its light

Leave to its kindred lamps the spirit's awful night."

Thus ceased she: and the mountain shepherds came,

Their garlands sere, their magic mantles


The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame
Over his living head like Heaven is bent,
An early but enduring monument,
Came, veiling all the lightnings of his


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The Stranger's mien, and murmured: "Who art thou?"

He answered not, but with a sudden hand

Made bare his branded and ensanguined brow,

Which was like Cain's or Christ's-oh, that it should be so!

What softer voice is hushed over the dead?

Athwart what brow is that dark mantle thrown?

What form leans sadly o'er the white deathbed,

In mockery of monumental stone, The heavy heart heaving without a moan?

If it be He, who, gentlest of the wise, Taught, soothed, loved, honored the departed one;

Let me

not vex, with inharmonious

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But what was howling in one breast alone,

Silent with expectation of the song, Whose master's hand is cold, whose silver lyre unstrung.

Live thou, whose infamy is not thy fame!

Live! fear no heavier chastisement from me,

Thou noteless blot on a remembered name!

But be thyself, and know thyself to be!
And ever at thy season be thou free
To spill the venom when thy fangs o'er-

Remorse and Self-contempt shall cling to thee;

Hot Shame shall burn upon thy secret brow,

And like a beaten hound tremble thou shalt-as now.1

1 See the note on page 254.

Nor let us weep that our delight is fled Far from these carrion kites that scream below;

He wakes or sleeps with the enduring dead;

Thou canst not soar where he is sitting


Dust to the dust! but the pure spirit shall flow

Back to the burning fountain whence it came,

A portion of the Eternal, which must glow

Through time and change, unquenchably the same,

Whilst thy cold embers choke the sordid hearth of shame.

Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep

He hath awakened from the dream of life

"Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep With phantoms an unprofitable strife, And in mad trance, strike with our spirit's knife

Invulnerable nothings.-We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms with-
in our living clay.

He has outsoared the shadow of our night;

Envy and calumny and hate and pain, And that unrest which men miscall de


Can touch him not and torture not again; From the contagion of the world's slow stain

He is secure, and now can never mourn A heart grown cold, a head grown gray in vain ;

Nor, when the spirit's self has ceased to burn,

With sparkless ashes load an unlamented


He lives, he wakes-'tis Death is dead, not he;

Mourn not for Adonais,-Thou young Dawn [thee

Turn all thy dew to splendor, for from The spirit thou lamentest is not gone; Ye caverns and ye forests, cease to moan! Cease ye faint flowers and fountains, and thou Air

Which like a mourning veil thy scarf hadst thrown

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Rose pale, his solemn agony had not Yet faded from him; Sidney, as he fought

And as he fell and as he lived and loved Sublimely mild, a Spirit without spot, Arose; and Lucan, by his death approved:

Oblivion as they rose shrank like a thing reproved.

And many more, whose names on Earth are dark

But whose transmitted effluence cannot die

So long as fire outlives the parent spark, Rose, robed in dazzling immortality. "Thou art become as one of us," they cry,


'It was for thee yon kingless sphere has long

Swung blind in unascended majesty, Silent alone amid an Heaven of Song. Assume thy winged throne, thou Vesper of our throng!"

Who mourns for Adonais? Oh come forth

Fond wretch! and know thyself and him aright.

Clasp with thy panting soul the pendulous Earth;

As from a centre, dart thy spirit's light Beyond all worlds, until its spacious might

Satiate the void circumference: then shrink

Even to a point within our day and night;

And keep thy heart light lest it make thee sink

When hope has kindled hope and lured thee to the brink.

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Pavilioning the dust of him who planned This refuge for his memory, doth stand Like flame transformed to marble; and beneath,

A field is spread, on which a newer band Have pitched in Heaven's smile their camp of death

Welcoming him we lose with scarce extinguished breath.

Here pause these graves are all too young as yet

To have outgrown the sorrow which consigned

Its charge to each; and if the seal is set, Here, on one fountain of a mourning mind,

Break it not thou! too surely shalt thou find [home, Thine own well full, if thou returnest Of tears and gall. From the world's

bitter wind Seek shelter in the shadow of the tomb. What Adonais is, why fear we to become?

The One remains, the many change and

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