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My spirit moved upon the sea like wind
Which round some thymy cape will lag and hover,
<< What dream ye? Your own hands have built a home,
Cast anchor when they saw new rocks around them Dream ye some Power thus builds for man in solitude?
«To feel the peace of self-contentment's lot, To own all sympathies, and outrage none, And in the inmost bowers of sense and thought, Until life's sunny day is quite gone down, To sit and smile with Joy, or, not alone, To kiss salt tears from the worn cheek of Woe; To live, as if to love and live were one,This is not faith or law, nor those who bow. To thrones on Heaven or Earth, such destiny may know. XIII.
But children near their parents tremble now, Because they must obey-one rules another, And as one Power rules both high and low, So man is made the captive of his brother, And Hate is throned on high with Fear her mother, Above the Highest-and those fountain-cells, Whence love yet flow'd when faith had choked all other,
Are darkened-Woman, as the bond-slave, dwells Of man, a slave; and life is poisoned in its wells.
« Man seeks for gold in mines, that he may weave
He murders, for his chiefs delight in ruin;
May be his very blood; he is pursuing
O, blind and willing wretch! his own obscure undoing.
Woman!-she is his slave, she has become
A thing I weep to speak-the child of scorn,
Falsehood, and fear, and toil, like waves have worn
This need not be; ye might arise, and will That gold should lose its power, and thrones their glory; That love, which none may bind, be free to fill The world, like light; and evil faith, grown hoary With crime, be quench'd and die.--Yon promontory Even now eclipses the descending moon!Dungeons and palaces are transitoryHigh temples fade like vapour-Man alone Remains, whose will has power when all beside is gone.
«Let all be free and equal!-from your hearts
Which make immortal the disastrous fame
"For she must perish in the tyrant's hallAlas, alas!'-He ceased, and by the sail
Sate cowering-but his sobs were heard by all,
The ship fled fast till the stars 'gan to fail,
And round me gathered with mute countenance,
With toil, the Captain with grey locks, whose glance
Pass harmless, if they scorn'd to make their hearts his den. Met mine in restless awe-they stood as in a trance.
<«< Yes, it is Hate, that shapeless fiendly thing Of many names, all evil, some divine, Whom self-contempt arms with a mortal sting; Which, when the heart its snaky folds entwine Is wasted quite, and when it doth repine To gorge such bitter prey, on all beside It turns with ninefold rage, as with its twine When Amphisbæna some fair bird has tied, Soon o'er the putrid mass he threats on every side.
Reproach not thine own soul, but know thyself, Nor hate another's crime, nor loathe thine own. It is the dark idolatry of self,
Which, when our thoughts and actions once are gone, Demands that man should weep, and bleed, and groan; O vacant expiation! be at rest.—
The past is Death's, the future is thine own;
And love and joy can make the foulest breast
« Recede not! pause not now! thou art grown old,
Swear to be firm till death! they cried, 'We swear! we
<< The very darkness shook, as with a blast
A paradise of flowers, where peace might build her nest. Shrank as the inconstant torch upon her countenance
<< But one was mute, her cheeks and lips most fair, Changing their hue like lilies newly blown, Beneath a bright acacia's shadowy hair, Waved by the wind amid the sunny noon, Show'd that her soul was quivering; and full soon That Youth arose, and breathlessly did look On her and me, as for some speechless boon: I smiled, and both their hands in mine I took, And felt a soft delight from what their spirits shook.
«THAT night we anchor'd in a woody bay,
Of poplars and dark oaks, whose shade did cover
<<We reach'd the port-alas! from many spirits The wisdom which had waked that cry, was fled, Like the brief glory which dark Heaven inherits From the false dawn, which fades ere it is spread, Upon the night's devouring darkness shed: Yet soon bright day will burst-even like a chasm Of fire, to burn the shrouds outworn and dead, Which wrap the world; a wide enthusiasm, To cleanse the fever'd world as with an earthquake's spasm!
« I walked through the great City then, but free From shame or fear; those toil-worn Mariners And happy Maidens did encompass me; And like a subterranean wind that stirs Some forest among caves, the hopes and fears From every human soul, a murmur strange Made as I past; and many wept, with tears Of joy and awe, and winged thoughts did range, And half-extinguish'd words, which prophesied of change.
« For, with strong speech I tore the veil that hid
And trembled in the wind which from the morning flew. Thrice steeped in molten steel the unconquerable will.
«The joyous mariners, and each free maiden,
Doom'd to pursue those waves that cannot cease to smile.
«The many ships spotting the dark blue deep With snowy sails, fled fast as ours came nigh, In fear and wonder; and on every steep Thousands did gaze, they heard the startling cry, Like earth's own voice lifted unconquerably To all her children, the unbounded mirth, The glorious joy of thy name-Liberty! They heard!-As o'er the mountains of the earth From peak to peak leap on the beams of morning's birth:
So from that cry over the boundless hills,
A path through human hearts with stream which drown'd
Its struggling fears and cares, dark custom's brood, They knew not whence it came, but felt around A wide contagion pour'd-they call'd aloud On Liberty-that name lived on the sunny flood.
« Some said I was a maniac wild and lost; Some, that I scarce had risen from the grave The Prophet's virgin bride, a heavenly ghost :Some said, I was a fiend from my weird cave, Who had stolen human shape, and o'er the wave, The forest, and the mountain came;--some said I was the child of God, sent down to save Women from bonds and death, and on my head The burthen of their sins would frightfully be laid. IX.
« But soon my human words found sympathy In human hearts: the purest and the best, As friend with friend made common cause with me, And they were few, but resolute;—the rest, Ere yet success the enterprise had blest, Leagued with me in their hearts;-their meals, their slumber,
Their hourly occupations were possest
By hopes which I had arm'd to overnumber, Those hosts of meaner cares, which life's strong wings
But chiefly women, whom my voice did waken From their cold, careless, willing slavery, Sought me : one truth their dreary prison has shaken,They look'd around, and lo! they became free! Their many tyrants sitting desolately
In slave-deserted halls, could none restrain; For wrath's red fire had wither'd in the eye, Whose lightning once was death,-nor fear, nor gain Could tempt one captive now to lock another's chain.
Those who were sent to bind me, wept, and felt Their minds outsoar the bonds which clasp'd them
Even as a waxen shape may waste and melt
The sun, the wind, the ocean, and the earth,
Hung terrible, ere yet the lightnings have leapt forth.
« Like clouds inwoven in the silent sky,
By winds from distant regions meeting there,
By hopes which sprang from many a hidden lair;
Array'd, thine own wild songs which in the air
And gold was scatter'd through the streets, and wine
In vain! the steady towers in Heaven did shine
Who throng to kneel for food: nor fear nor shame, Nor faith, nor discord, dimm'd hope's newly kindled flame.
« For gold was as a god whose faith began
Gives shape, voice, name, to spectral Terror, knew
Its downfall, as the altars lonelier grew,
Till the Priests stood alone within the fane;
Of thee, and many a tongue which thou hadst dipp'd in The union of the free with discord's brand to stain. flame.
« The Tyrant knew his power was gone, but Fear,
« The rest thou knowest-Lo! we two are here-
I smile, though human love should make me weep.
For Earthquake, Plague, and Want, kneel in the public Its hues from chance or change, dark children of to
With which old times and men had quell'd the vain and Which rolls from stedfast truth an unreturning stream. free.
«And with the falsehood of their poisonous lips
Had armed, with strength and wrong against mankind,
That we were weak and sinful, frail and blind,
«For thus we might avoid the hell hereafter.'
«The blasts of autumn drive the winged seeds
«O Spring! of hope, and love, and youth, and gladness Wind-winged emblem! brightest, best and fairest! Whence comest thou, when, with dark winter's sadness The tears that fade in sunny smiles thou sharest? Sister of joy! thou art the child who wearest Thy mother's dying smile, tender and sweet; Thy mother Autumn, for whose grave thou bearest Fresh flowers, and beams like flowers, with gentle feet, And hence, the subject world to woman's will must bow; Disturbing not the leaves which are her winding-sheet.