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Oh ye! who have your eye-balls vexed and tired,
Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea;
Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude,
Or fed too much with cloying melody,Sit ye near some old cavern's mouth, and brood
Until ye start, as if the sea-nymphs quired! August, 1817. 1848.
WHEN I HAVE FEARS THAT I MAY CEASE TO BE
WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high piléd books, in charact'ry, Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain ;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that I may never live to trace Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink. 1817. 1848.
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead; All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink, Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.
Nor do we merely feel these essences For one short hour; no, even as the trees That whisper round a temple become
Dear as the temple's self, so does the
The passion poesy, glories infinite, Haunt us till they become a cheering
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast. That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast,
They alway must be with us, or we die.
Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
And run in mazes of the youngest hue About old forests; while the willow trails Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly
My little boat, for many quiet hours, With streams that deepen freshly inte bowers.
[Endymion speaks, to his Sister Peona.]
"This river does not see the naked sky, Till it begins to progress silverly Around the western border of the wood, Whence, from a certain spot, its winding flood
Seems at the distance like a crescent moon;
And in that nook, the very pride of June, Had I been used to pass my weary eves; There rather for the sun unwilling leaves So dear a picture of his sovereign power, And I could witness his most kingly hour, When he doth lighten up the golden reins,
And paces leisurely down amber plains His snorting four. Now when his chariot
Its beams against the zodiac-lion cast,
That but one night had wrought this flowery spell;
And, sitting down close by, began to
What it might mean. Perhaps, thought
In passing here, his owlet pinions shook: Or, it may be, ere matron Night uptook Her ebon urn, young Mercury, by stealth, Had dipt his rod in it: such garland wealth
Came not by common growth. Thus on I thought,
Until my head was dizzy and distraught. Moreover, through the dancing poppies stole
A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul; And shaping visions all about my sight Of colors, wings, and bursts of spangly light;
The which became more strange, and strange, and dim,
And then were gulf'd in a tumultuous swim:
And then I fell asleep. Ah, can I tell The enchantment that afterwards befell? Yet it was but a dream: yet such a dream That never tongue, although it overte m With mellow utterance, like a cavern spring,
Could figure out and to conception bring All I beheld and felt. Methought I lay Watching the zenith, where the milky
Methought I fainted at the charmed
Yet held my recollection, even as one Who dives three fathoms where the waters run
Gurgling in beds of coral: for anon,
And eagles struggle with the buffeting north
That balances the heavy meteor-stone ;Felt too, I was not fearful, nor alone, But lapp'd and lull'd along the dangerous sky.
Soon, as it seem'd, we left our journeying high,
And straightway into frightful eddies swoop'd;
Such as aye muster where gray time has scoop'd
Huge dens and caverns in a mountain's side:
Their hollow sounds arous'd me, and I sigh'd
To faint once more by looking on my bliss
I was distracted; madly did I kiss The wooing arms which held me, and did give
My eyes at once to death: but 'twas to live,
To take in draughts of life from the gold fount
Of kind and passionate looks; to count, and count
The moments, by some greedy help that seem'd •[deem'd A second self, that each might be reAnd plunder'd of its load of blessedness. Ah, desperate mortal! I ev'n dar'd to
Her very cheek against my crowned lip, And, at that moment, felt my body dip Into a warmer air: a moment more, Our feet were soft in flowers. There was store
Of newest joys upon that alp. Sometimes
A scent of violets, and blossoming limes, Loiter'd around us; then of honey cells, Made delicate from all white-flower
And once, above the edges of our nest, An arch face peep'd,-an Oread as I guess'd.
"Why did I dream that sleep o'er power'd me
Sweet sister, help to stem the ebbing sea Of weary life."
FROM BOOK II
INVOCATION TO THE POWER OF LOVE
O SOVEREIGN power of love! O grief! O balm!
All records, saving thine, come cool, and calm,
And shadowy, through the mist of passed years:
For others, good or bad, hatred and tears Have become indolent; but touching thine,
One sigh doth echo, one poor sob doth pine,
One kiss brings honey-dew from buried days.
The woes of Troy, towers smothering o'er their blaze,
Stiff-holden shields, far-piercing spears, keen blades,
Struggling, and blood, and shrieks-all dimly fades
Into some backward corner of the brain; Yet, in our very souls, we feel amain The close of Troilus and Cressid sweet. Hence, pageant history! hence, gilded cheat!
Swart planet in the universe of deeds! Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds
Along the pebbled shore of memory!
But wherefore this? What care, though owl did fly
About the great Athenian admiral's mast?
What care, though striding Alexander