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In the seas and fountains that shine with morn,
Glide on in your beauty, ye youthful spheres,
To the veil of whose brow your lamps are dim!
BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noon-day dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under; And then again I dissolve it in rain; And laugh as I pass in thunder.
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile,
The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
When the morning star shines dead. As, on the jag of a mountain crag
Which an earthquake rocks and swings, An eagle, alit, one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath, Its ardors of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of heaven above,
With wings folded I rest on mine airy nest,
That orbéd maiden with white fire laden,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
The stars peep behind her and peer:
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone,
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam proof, I hang like a roof,
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch, through which I march
When the powers of the air are chained to my chair,
The sphere-fire above, its soft colors wove,
While the moist earth was laughing below.
I am the daughter of earth and water,
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
For after the rain, when, with never a stain,
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams, with their convex gleams, Build up the blue dome of air
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain, Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb, I arise and upbuild it again.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
The Northern Lights.
'O claim the Arctic came the sun
To the Skylark.
HAIL to thee, blithe spirit !—
Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
Higher still and higher,
From the earth thou springest,
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are brightening,
Thou dost float and run;
Like an embodied joy whose race is just begun.
The pale, purple even
Like a star of heaven,
In the broad daylight
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight,
Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,
In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly sec, we feel that it is there.
All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.
What thou art we know not ;
What is most like thee?
From rainbow-clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.
Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:
Like a high-born maiden,
Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:
Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view: