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XVI.

I spoke to her of power and pride,

But mystically—in such guise That she might deem it nought beside

The moment's converse; in her eyes I read, perhaps too carelessly,

A mingled feeling with my own; The flush on her bright cheek, to me

Seem'd to become a queenly throne Too well that I should let it be

Light in the wilderness alone.

XVII.

I wrapp'd myself in grandeur then
And donn'd a visionary crown;
Yet it was not that Fantasy
Had thrown her mantle over me—
But that, among the rabble—men,

Lion ambition is chain'd down—
And crouches to a keeper's hand;
Not so in deserts where the grand,
The wild, the terrible conspire
With their own breath to fan his fire.

XVIII. Look round thee now on Samarcand! — ■ Is she not queen of Earth? her pride Above all cities? in her hand Their destinies? in all beside

Of glory which the world hath known,
Stands she not nobly and alone?
Falling, her veriest stepping-stone
Shall form the pedestal of a throne;
And who her sovereign? Timour!—he

Whom the astonished people saw
Striding o'er empires haughtily

A diadem'd outlaw!

XIX.

Oh, human love! thou spirit given
On Earth of all we hope in Heaven!
Which fall'st into the soul like rain
Upon the Siroc-wither'd plain,
And, failing in thy power to bless,
But leav'st the heart a wilderness!
Idea! which bindest life around
With music of so strange a sound
And beauty of so wild a birth —
Farewell! for I have won the Earth.

When Hope, the eagle that tower'd, could see

No cliff beyond him in the sky, His pinions were bent droopingly—

And homeward turn'd his soften'd eye. 'Twas sunset: when the sun will part There comes a sullenness of heart

To him who still would look upon

The glory of the summer sun.

That soul will hate the ev'ning mist

So often lovely, and will list

To the sound of the coming darkness (known

To those whose spirits hearken) as one

Who, in a dream of night would fly

But cannot from a danger nigh.

What though the moon—the white moon—
Shed all the splendour of her noon,
Her smile is chilly, and her beam,
In that time of dreariness, will seem
(So like you gather in your breath)
A portrait taken after death.
And boyhood is a summer sun
Whose waning is the dreariest one —
For all we live to know is known,
And all we seek to keep hath flown;
Let life, then, as the day-flower, fall
With the noon-day beauty—which is all.

XXII.

I reach'd my home—my home no more —
For all had flown who made it so.

I pass'd from out its mossy door,

And, though my tread was soft and low,

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A voice came from the threshold stone
Of one whom I had earlier known —
Oh, I defy thee, Hell, to show
On beds of fire that burn below,
An humbler heart—a deeper woe.

Father, I firmly do believe—

I know—for Death who comes for me From regions of the blest afar, Where there is nothing to deceive, Hath left his iron gate ajar,

And rays of truth you cannot see

Are flashing through Eternity,— I do believe that Eblis hath A snare in every human path— Else how, when in the holy grove I wander'd of the idol, Love, Who daily scents his snowy wings With incense of burnt-offerings From the most unpolluted things, Whose pleasant bowers are yet so riven Above with trellis'd rays from Heaven No mote may shun—no tiniest fly— The lightning of his eagle eye. How was it that Ambition crept,

Unseen, amid the revels there, Till growing bold, he laughed and leapt

In the tangles of Love's very hair?

TO THE RIVER

Fair river! in thy bright, clear flow

Of crystal, wandering water, Thou art an emblem of the glow

Of beauty, the unhidden heart— The playful maziness of art In old Alberto's daughter:

Ii.

But when within thy wave she looks,

Which glistens then, and trembles, Why, then, the prettiest of brooks

Her worshipper resembles;
For in his heart, as in thy stream,

Her image deeply lies—
His heart, which trembles at the beam

Of her soul-searching eyes.

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