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The sky is changed!-and such a change! O night,
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,
And this is in the night-most glorious night! Thou wert not sent for slumber! let me be A sharer in thy fierce and far delightA portion of the tempest and of thee! How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea, And the big rain comes dancing to the earth! And now again 'tis black-and now, the glee Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain-mirth, As if they did rejoice o'er the young earthquake's birth.
Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his way,
The brightest through these parted hills hath forked
His lightnings, as if he did understand,
That in such gaps as desolation worked,
There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein lurked.
Most glorious orb! that wert a worship, ere
Which gladdened, on their mountain tops, the hearts
Who chose thee for his shadow! Thou chief star
And hearts of all who walk within thy rays!
O! THAT the Desert were my dwelling-place,
That I might all forget the human race,
In deeming such inhabit many a spot?
Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet can not all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean-roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain ; Man marks the earth with ruin-his control Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain A shadow of man's ravage, save his own, When, for a moment, like a drop of rain, He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.
His steps are not upon thy paths-thy fields
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
And dashest him again to earth: there let him lay.
The armaments which thunder-strike the walls
And monarchs tremble in their capitals;
These are thy toys, and as the snowy flake,
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save theeAssyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they? Thy waters wasted them while they were free, And many a tyrant since; their shores obey The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay Has dried up realms to deserts: not so thou, Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' playTime writes no wrinkle on thy azure browSuch as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where th' Almighty's form
Of th' Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Were a delight; and if the fresh'ning sea
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane-as I do here.
THE EVE OF WATERLOO.
THERE was a sound of revelry by night,
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell !
Did ye not hear it?-no; 'twas but the wind,
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
Arm! arm! it is-it is-the cannon's opening roar!
Within a windowed niche of that high hall