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Of their own dissolution, while they die—
Adorning then the dwellings of the sky.
A dome, by linked light from heaven let down,
Sat gently on these columns as a crown;
A window of one circular diamond, there,
Look'd out above into the purple air;
And rays from God shot down that meteor chain,
And hallow'd all the beauty twice again,—
Save when, between th'Empyrean and that ring,
Some eager spirit flapp'd his dusky wing.
But on the pillars seraph eyes have seen
The dimness of this world: that greyish green
That Nature loves the best for Beauty's grave
Lurk'd in each cornice, round each architrave,
And every sculptured cherub thereabout
That from his marble dwelling peered out,
Seem'd earthly in the shadow of his niche—
Achaian statues in a world so rich?
Friezes from Tadmore and Persepolis,*
From Balbec, and the stilly, clear abyss
Of beautiful Gomorrah! Oh, the wavef
Is now upon thee—but too late to save!
* Voltaire, in speaking of Persepolis, says, "Je connois bien l'admiration qu'inspirent ces ruines, mais un palais erige au pied d'une chaine des rochers sterils, peut il etre un chef-d'ceuvre des arts!"
+ " Oh, the wave!" Ula Deguisi is the Turkish appellation; but on its own shores it is called JSahar Loth, or Almotanah. There were undoubtedly more than two cities
Sound loves to revel in a summer night: Witness the murmur of the grey twilight That stole upon the ear, in Eyraco,* Of many a wild star-gazer long ago, That stealeth ever on the ear of him Who, musing, gazeth on the distance dim, And sees the darkness coming as a cloud— Is not its form—its voice—most palpable and loud at
But what is this ?—it cometh—and it brings A music with it: 'tis the rush of wings! A pause—and then a sweeping, falling strain, And Nesace is in her halls again. From the wild energy of wanton haste
Her cheeks were flushing, and her lips apart;
engulphed in the Dead Sea. In the valley of Siddim were five: Adrah, Zeboin, Zoar, Sodom, and Gomorrah. Stephen of Byzantium mentions eight, and Strabo thirteen (engulphed); but the last is out of all reason.
It is said (Tacitus, Strabo, Josephus, Daniel of St. Saba, Nau, Maundrell, Troilo, D'Arvieux] that, after an excessive drought, the vestiges of columns, walls, &C., are seen above the surface. At any season, such remains may be discovered by looking down into the transparent lake, and at such distances as would argue the existence of many settlements in the space now usurped by the "Asphaltites."
f I have often thought I could distinctly hear the sound of the darkness as it stole over the horizon.
And zone that clung around her gentle waist
Had burst beneath the heaving of her heart. Within the centre of that hall to breathe She paused and panted, Zanthe! all beneath, The fairy light that kiss'd her golden hair And long'd to rest, yet could but sparkle there!
Young flowers were whispering in melody*
"'Neath blue-bell or streamer,
* Fairies use flowers for their charactery.—Merry Wives of Windsor.
1 In Scripture is this passage,—" The sun shall not harm thee by day, nor the moon by night." It is, perhaps, not generally known, that the moon, in Egypt, has the effect of producing blindness to those who sleep with the face exposed to its rays, to which circumstance the passage evidently alludes.
Bright beings! that ponder,
With half-closing eyes,
Hath drawn from the skies,
Come down to your brow, Like — eyes of the maiden
Who calls on you now. Arise! from your dreaming
In violet bowers, To duty beseeming
These star-litten hours; And shake from your tresses,
Encumber'd with dew, The breath of those kisses
That cumber them too (Oh, how without you, Love I
Could angels be blest ?)—
That lull'd ye to rest!
Oh, leave them apart!
But lead on the heart.