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And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
It ardours of rest and 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 orbed maiden, with white fire laden,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
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,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone,
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
Sun-beam 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,
Is the million-coloured bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove,
While the moist earth was laughing below.
I am the daughter of earth and water,
And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
For, after the rain, when, with never a stain,
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 unbuild it again.
LINES WRITTEN IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.
THE fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams,
All things that move and breathe, with toil and sound,
Are born and die, revolve, subside, and swell.
Remote, serene, and inaccessible:
And this, the naked countenance of earth,
On which I gaze, even these primeval mountains,
Frost and the sun, in scorn of mortal power,
Is there, that, from the boundaries of the sky,
Branchless and shattered stand; the rocks drawn down
Of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil;
So much of life and joy is lost. The race
Of man flies far in dread: his work and dwelling
Rolls its loud waters to the ocean waves,
Breathes its swift vapour to the circling air.
Mont Blanc yet gleams on high :-the power is there,
The still and solemn power of many sights
And many sounds, and much of life and death.
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights,
In the lone glare of day, the snows descend
Or the star-beams dart through them :-winds contend
And what wert thou, and earth, and stars, and sea,
Silence and solitude were vacancy?
HAIL to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,
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 over singest
In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are bright'ning,
Thou dost float and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.
The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
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,
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.
All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,
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,