Изображения страниц


Full of great rooms and small the palace stood,
All various, each a perfect whole au l'acta eh

and adangau From living Nature, fit for every mood

And change of my still soul.
For some were hung with arras green and blue,

Showing a gaudy summer-morn,
Where with puffd cheek the belted hunter blew

His wreathed bugle-horn.
One seem'd all dark and red-a tract of sand,

And some one pacing there alone,
Who paced for ever in a glimmering land,

Lit with a low large moon.
One show'd an iron coast and angry waves.

You seem'd to hear them climb and fall
And roar rock-thwarted under bellowing caves,

Beneath the windy wall.
And one, a full-fed river winding slow
By herds

upon an endless plain,
The ragged rims of thunder brooding low,

With shadow-streaks of rain.
And one, the reapers at their sultry toil.

In front they bound the sheaves. Behind
Were realms of upland, prodigal in oil,

And hoary to the wind.
And one, a foreground black with stones and slags,

Beyond, a line of heights, and higher
All barr'd with long white cloud the scornful crags,
And highest, snow and fire.

And one, an English home-gray twilight pour'd

On dewy pastures, dewy trees,
Softer than sleep-all things in order stored,

A haunt of ancient Peace.
Nor these alone, but every landscape fair,

As fit for every mood of mind,
Or gay, or grave, or sweet, or stern, was there,

Not less than truth design'd.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Beneath branch-work of costly sardonyx

Sat smiling, babe in arm. glanza Or in a clear-walld city on the sea,

Near gilded organ-pipes her hair
Wound with white roses, slept St. Cecily;

An angel look'd at her.
Or thronging all one porch of Paradise,

A group of Houris bow'd to see
The dying Islamite, with hands and eyes
That said, We wait for these dal com

bat dusina
Qr mythic Uther's deeply-wounded son
Juiel In some fair space of sloping greens
Lay, dozing in the yale, of Avalon,

And watch'd by weeping queens.
Or hollowing one hand against his ear,

To list a foot-fall, ere he saw me
The wood-nymph, stay'd the Ausonian king to hear

Of wisdom and of law.
Or over hills with peaky tops engrail'd,

And many a tract of palm and rice,
The throne of Indian Cama slowly sail'd
A summer fann'd with spice.ricá

Or sweet Europa's mantle blew unclasp'd,

From/off her shoulder backward borne :
From one hand droop'd a crocus: one hand grasp'd
The mild bull's golden horn.

A stonga
Or else flush'd Ganymede, his rosy thigh

Half-buried in the Eagle's down,
Sole as a flying star, shot thro' the sky

Above the pillar'd town.
Nor these alone : but every legend fair

Which the supreme Caucasian mind
Carved out of Nature for itself, was there,

Not less than life, design'd.

many a

[blocks in formation]

Then in the towers I placed great bells that swung,

Moved of themselves, with silver sound;
And with choice paintings of wise men I hung

The royal daïs round.

n father of the rest ;

For there was Milton like a seraph strong,

Beside him Shakespeare bland and mild ; And there the world-worn Dante grasp'd his song,

And somewhat grimly smiled.
And there the Ionian

A million wrinkles carved his skin;
A hundred winters snow'd upon his breast,

From cheek and throat and chin.
Above, the fair hall-ceiling stately-set

Many an arch high up did lift,
And angels rising and descending met

With interchange of gift.
Below was all mosaic choicely plann'd

With cycles of the human tale
Of this wide world, the times of every land

So wrought, they will not fail.
The people here, a beast of burden slow,

Toild onward, prick'd with goads and stings; Here play'd, a tiger, rolling to and fro

The heads and crowns of kings ;
Here rose, an athlete, strong to break or bind

All force in bonds that might endure,
And here once more like some sick man declined;

And trusted any cure.
But over these she trod : and those great bells

Began to chime. She took her throne :
She sat betwixt the shining Oriels,

To sing her songs alone.
And thro' the topmost Oriels' colour'd flame

Two godlike faces gazed below;
Plato the wise, and large-brow'd Verulam,

The first of those who know.
And all those names, that in their motion were

Full-welling fountain-heads of change,
Betwixt the slender shafts were blazon'd fair

In diverse raiment strange : Thro' which the lights, rose, amber, emerald, blue,

Flush'd in her temples and her eyes, And from her lips, as morn from Memnon, drew

Rivers of melodies.

[ocr errors]

No nightingale delighteth to prolong

Her low preamble all alone,
More than my soul to hear her echo'd song

Throb thro' the ribbed stone;
Singing and murmuring in her feastful mirth,

Joying to feel herself alive,
Lord over Nature, Lord of the visible earth,

Lord of the senses five;
Communing with herself: "All these are mine,

And let the world have peace or wars, 'Tis one to me." She—when young night divine

Crown'd dying day with stars,
Making sweet close of his delicious toils-

Lit light in wreaths and anadems,
And pure quintessences of precious oils

In hollow'd moons of gems, To mimic heaven; and clapt her hands and cried,

i "I marvel if my still delight In this great house so royal-rich, and wide,


flatter'd to the height. “O all things fair to sate my various eyes !

O shapes and hues that please me well! O silent faces of the Great and Wise,

My Gods, with whom I dwell! “O God-like isolation which art mine,

I can but count thee perfect gain, What time I watch the darkening droves of swine

That range on yonder plain. “In filthy sloughs they roll a prurient skin,

They graze and wallow, breed and sleep;
And oft some brainless devil enters in,

And drives them to the deep.”
Then of the moral instinct would she prate,

And of the rising from the dead,
As hers by right of full-accomplish'd Fate ;

And at the last she said:

"I take possession of man's mind and deed.

I care not what the sects may brawl.

I sit as God holding no form of creed,

But contemplating all.”

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Full oft the riddle of the painful earth

Flash'd thro' her as she sat alone,
Yet not the less held she her solemn mirth,

And intellectual throne.
And so she throve and prosper'd : so three years

She prosper'd: on the fourth she fell,
Like Herod, when the shout was in his ears,

Struck thro' with pangs of hell. Lest she should fail and perish utterly,

God, before whom ever lie bare The abysmal deeps of Personality,

Plagued her with sore despair. When she would think, where'er she turn'd her sight,

The airy hand confusion wrought,
Wrote “Mene, mene," and divided quite

The kingdom of her thought.
Deep dread and loathing of her solitude

Fell on her, from which mood was born
Scorn of herself; again, from out that mood

Laughter at her self-scorn. “What! is not this my place of strength,” she said,

“My spacious mansion built for me, Whereof the strong foundation-stones were laid

Since my first memory?”
But in dark corners of her palace stood

Uncertain shapes; and unawares
On white-eyed phantasms weeping tears of blood,

And horrible nightmares,
And hollow shades enclosing hearts of flame,

And, with dim fretted foreheads all,
On corpses three-months-old at noon she came,

That stood against the wall.
A spot of dull stagnation, without light

Or power of movement, seem'd my soul, 'Mid onward-sloping motions infinite

Making for one sure goal.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »