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Oh, ye who shake hills with the scream of your mirth, Dost thou boast the clear knowledge thou waken'dst for
When cities sink howling in ruin; and ye
Who with wingless footsteps trample the sea,
And close upon Shipwreck and Famine's track,
Sit chattering with joy on the foodless wreck :
Come, come, come!

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Then was kindled within him a thirst which outran
Those perishing waters; a thirst of fierce fever,
Hope, love, doubt, desire, which consume him for ever.
One came forth of gentle worth,

Smiling on the sanguine earth;

His words outlived him, like swift poison
Withering up truth, peace, and pity.
Look! where round the wide horizon
Many a million-peopled city
Vomits smoke in the bright air.
Mark that outcry of despair!

"T is his mild and gentle ghost

Wailing for the faith he kindled :
Look again! the flames almost

To a glow-worm's lamp have dwindled :
The survivors round the embers

Gather in dread.

Joy, joy, joy!

Past ages crowd on thee, but each one remembers;
And the future is dark, and the present is spread
Like a pillow of thorns for thy slumberless head.


Drops of bloody agony flow

From his white and quivering brow.
Grant a little respite now:

See! a disenchanted nation

Springs like day from desolation;

To Truth its state is dedicate,

And Freedom leads it forth, her mate;

A legion'd band of linked brothers,
Whom Love calls children-


'T is another's:

See how kindred murder kin!

'Tis the vintage-time for death and sin.
Blood, like new wine, bubbles within:

Till Despair smothers

The struggling world, which slaves and tyrants win.
[All the FURIES vanish, except one.


Hark, sister! what a low yet dreadful groan
Quite unsuppress'd is tearing up the heart
Of the good Titan, as storms tear the deep,
And beasts hear the sea moan in inland caves.
Darest thou observe how the fiends torture him?


Alas! I look'd forth twice, but will no more.

What didst thou see?


A woful sight: a youth
With patient looks nail'd to a crucifix.

Tear the veil !


What next?



The heaven around, the earth below Was peopled with thick shapes of human death, All horrible, and wrought by human hands, And some appear'd the work of human hearts, For men were slowly kill'd by frowns and smiles: And other sights too foul to speak and live

Were wandering by. Let us not tempt worse fear By looking forth: those groans are grief enough.


Behold an emblem: those who do endure

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There are two woes;
To speak and to behold; thou spare me one.
Names are there, Nature's sacred watch-words, they

Deep wrongs for man, and scorn, and chains, but heap Were borne aloft in bright emblazonry;
Thousandfold torment on themselves and him.


Remit the anguish of that lighted stare;

Close those wan lips; let that thorn-wounded brow
Stream not with blood; it mingles with thy tears!
Fix, fix those tortured orbs in peace and death,
So thy sick throes shake not that crucifix,
So those pale fingers play not with thy gore.
O, horrible! Thy name I will not speak,
It hath become a curse. I see, I see
The wise, the mild, the lofty, and the just,
Whom thy slaves hate for being like to thee,
Some hunted by foul lies from their heart's home,
An early-chosen, late-lamented home;
As hooded ounces cling to the driven hind;
Some link'd to corpses in unwholesome cells:
Some-Hear I not the multitude laugh loud?—
Impaled in lingering fire: and mighty realms
Float by my feet, like sea-uprooted isles,

Whose sons are kneaded down in common blood
By the red light of their own burning homes.

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In each human heart terror survives The ruin it has gorged: the loftiest fear All that they would disdain to think were true: Hypocrisy and custom make their minds The fanes of many a worship, now outworn. They dare not devise good for man's estate, And yet they know not that they do not dare. The good want power, but to weep barren tears. The powerful goodness want: worse need for them. The wise want love; and those who love want wisdom; And all best things are thus confused to ill. Many are strong and rich, and would be just, But live among their suffering fellow-men

As if none felt they know not what they do.

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The nations throng'd around, and cried aloud,
As with one voice, Truth, liberty, and love!
Suddenly fierce confusion fell from heaven
Among them: there was strife, deceit, and fear:
Tyrants rush'd in, and did divide the spoil.
This was the shadow of the truth I saw.


I felt thy torture, son, with such mix'd joy
As pain and virtue give. To cheer thy state

I bid ascend those subtle and fair spirits,

Whose homes are the dim caves of human thought,
And who inhabit, as birds wing the wind,
Its world-surrounding ether: they behold
Beyond that twilight realm, as in a glass,
The future: may they speak comfort to thee!


Look, sister, where a troop of spirits gather,
Like flocks of clouds in spring's delightful weather,
Thronging in the blue air!


And see! more come, Like fountain vapours when the winds are dumb, That climb up the ravine in scatter'd lines. And, hark? is it the music of the pines? Is it the lake? Is it the waterfall?


"T is something sadder, sweeter far than all.


From unremember'd ages we
Gentle guides and guardians be
Of heaven-oppress'd mortality;
And we breathe, and sicken not,
The atmosphere of human thought:
Be it dim, and dank, and grey,
Like a storm-extinguish'd day,
Travell'd o'er by dying gleams;
Be it bright as all between
Cloudless skies and windless streams,

Silent, liquid, and serene;

As the birds within the wind,

As the fish within the wave, As the thoughts of man's own mind Float through all above the grave; We make these our liquid lair, Voyaging cloudlike and unpent Through the boundless element: Thence we bear the prophecy Which begins and ends in thee!


More yet come, one by one: the air around them Looks radiant as the air around a star.


On a battle-trumpet's blast
I fled hither, fast, fast, fast,
'Mid the darkness upward cast.
From the dust of creeds outworn,
From the tyrant's banner torn,
Gathering round me, onward borne,
There was mingled many a cry—
Freedom! Hope! Death! Victory!
Till they faded through the sky;
And one sound above, around,
One sound beneath, around, above,
Was moving; 't was the soul of love;
'T was the hope, the prophecy,
Which begins and ends in thee.


A rainbow's arch stood on the sea,
Which rock'd beneath, immoveably;
And the triumphant storm did flee,
Like a conqueror, swift and proud,
Between with many a captive cloud
A shapeless, dark and rapid crowd,
Each by lightning riven in half:
I heard the thunder hoarsely laugh :
Mighty fleets were strewn like chaff
And spread beneath a hell of death
O'er the white waters. I alit
On a great ship lightning-split,
And speeded hither on the sigh
Of one who gave an enemy

His plank, then plunged aside to die.


I sate beside a sage's bed,

And the lamp was burning red

Near the book where he had fed,

When a Dream with plumes of flame,

To his pillow hovering came,

And I knew it was the same
Which had kindled long ago
Pity, eloquence, and woe;
And the world awhile below
Wore the shade its lustre made.
It has borne me here as fleet
As Desire's lightning feet:

I must ride it back ere morrow,
Or the sage will wake in sorrow.


On a poet's lips I slept

Dreaming like a love-adept

In the sound his breathing kept;
Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses,
But feeds on the aërial kisses

Of shapes that haunt thought's wildernesses.
He will watch from dawn to gloom
The lake-reflected sun illume
The yellow bees in the ivy-bloom,

Nor heed nor see, what things they be;
But from these create he can
Forms more real than living man,
Nurslings of immortality!

One of these awaken'd me,

And I sped to succour thee.

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From spring gathering up beneath, Whose mild winds shake the elder brake, And the wandering herdsmen know That the white-thorn soon will blow: Wisdom, Justice, Love, and Peace, When they struggle to increase, Are to us as soft winds be To shepherd boys, the prophecy Which begins and ends in thee.


Where are the spirits fled?


Only a sense

Remains of them, like the omnipotence
Of music, when the inspired voice and lute
Languish, ere yet the responses are mute,
Which through the deep and labyrinthine soul,
Like echoes through long caverns, wind and roll.


How fair these air-born shapes! and yet I feel
Most vain all hope but love; and thou art far,
Asia! who, when my being overflow'd,
Wert like a golden chalice to bright wine
Which else had sunk into the thirsty dust.
All things are still: alas! how heavily
This quiet morning weighs upon my heart;
Though I should dream I could even sleep with grief,
If slumber were denied not. I would fain

Be what it is my destiny to be,

The saviour and the strength of suffering man,
Or sink into the original gulf of things:

There is no agony, and no solace left;
Earth can console, Heaven can torment no more.

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Which should have learnt repose: thou hast descended
Cradled in tempests; thou dost wake, O Spring!

O child of many winds! As suddenly
Thou comest as the memory of a dream,
Which now is sad because it hath been sweet;
Like genius, or like joy which riseth up

As from the earth, clothing with golden clouds
The desert of our life.

This is the season, this the day, the hour;
At sunrise thou shouldst come, sweet sister mine,
Too long desired, too long delaying, come!
How like death-worms the wingless moments crawl!
The point of one white star is quivering still
Deep in the orange light of widening morn
Beyond the purple mountains: through a chasm
Of wind-divided mist the darker lake

Reflects it: now it wanes: it gleams again

As the waves fade, and as the burning threads

Of woven cloud unravel in pale air:

'T is lost! and through yon peaks of cloudlike snow The roscate sun-light quivers: hear I not

The Eolian music of her sea-green plumes
Winnowing the crimson dawn?

PANTHEA enters.

I feel, I see

Those eyes which burn through smiles that fade in tears,
Like stars half quench'd in mists of silver dew.
Beloved and most beautiful, who wearest
The shadow of that soul by which I live,
How late thou art! the sphered sun had climb'd
The sea; my heart was sick with hope, before
The printless air felt thy belated plumes.


Pardon, great Sister! but my wings were faint
With the delight of a remember'd dream,
As are the noon-tide plumes of summer winds
Satiate with sweet flowers. I was wont to sleep
Peacefully, and awake refresh'd and calm
Before the sacred Titan's fall, and thy
Unhappy love, had made, through use and pity,
Both love and woe familiar to my heart
As they had grown to thine: erewhile I slept
Under the glaucous caverns of old OceanTM
Within dim bowers of green and purple moss,
Our young Ione's soft and milky arms
Lock'd then, as now, behind my dark, moist hair,
While my shut eyes and cheek were press'd within
The folded depth of her life-breathing bosom :
But not as now, since I am made the wind
Which fails beneath the music that I bear
Of thy most wordless converse; since dissolved
Into the sense with which love talks, my rest
Was troubled and yet sweet; my waking hours
Too full of care and pain.

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With our sea-sister at his feet I slept.
The mountain mists, condensing at our voice
Under the moon, had spread their snowy flakes,
From the keen ice shielding our linked sleep.
Then two dreams came. One, I remember not.
But in the other his pale wound-worn limbs

Fell from Prometheus, and the azure night
Grew radiant with the glory of that form
Which lives unchanged within, and his voice fell
Like music which makes giddy the dim brain,
Faint with intoxication of keen joy:

Sister of her whose footsteps pave the world With loveliness- more fair than aught but her, Whose shadow thou art-lift thine eyes on me.»> I lifted them: the overpowering light

Of that immortal shape was shadowed o'er
By love; which, from his soft and flowing limbs,
And passion-parted lips, and keen, faint eyes,
Steam'd forth like vaporous fire; an atmosphere
Which wrapt me in its all-dissolving power,
As the warm ether of the morning sun
Wraps ere it drinks some cloud of wandering dew.
I saw not, heard not, moved not, only felt
His presence flow and mingle through my blood
Till it became his life, and his grew mine,
And I was thus absorb'd, until it

And like the vapours when the sun sinks down,
Gathering again in drops upon the pines,
And tremulous as they, in the deep night
My being was condensed; and as the rays
Of thought were slowly gather'd, I could hear
His voice, whose accents linger'd ere they died
Like footsteps of weak melody: thy name
Among the many sounds alone I heard
Of what might be articulate; though still

I listen'd through the night when sound was none.
Jone waken'd then, and said to me:

. Canst thou divine what troubles me to-night?

I always knew what I desired before,
Nor ever found delight to wish in vain.
But now I cannot tell thee what I seek;

I know not; something sweet, since it is sweet
Even to desire; it is thy sport, false sister;
Thou hast discovered some enchantment old,
Whose spells have stolen my spirit as I slept
And mingled it with thine for when just now
We kiss'd, I felt within thy parted lips

The sweet air that sustain'd me, and the warmth
Of the life-blood, for loss of which I faint,
Quiver'd between our intertwining arms.

I answer'd not, for the Eastern star grew pale,
But fled to thee.


Thou speakest, but thy words Are as the air: I feel them not: Oh, lift Thine eyes, that I may read his written soul!


I lift them, though they droop beneath the load Of that they would express: what canst thou see But thine own fairest shadow imaged there?


Thine eyes are like the deep, blue, boundless heaven
Contracted to two circles underneath
Their long, fine lashes; dark, far, measureless,
Orb within orb, and line through line inwoven.


Why lookest thou as if a spirit past?


There is a change: beyond their inmost depth
I see a shade, a shape: 't is He, array'd
In the soft light of his own smiles, which spread
Like radiance from the cloud-surrounded morn.

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As you speak, your words Fill, pause by pause, my own forgotten sleep With shapes. Methought among the lawns together We wander'd, underneath the young grey dawn, And multitudes of dense white fleecy clouds Were wandering in thick flocks along the mountains Shepherded by the slow, unwilling wind; And the white dew on the new-bladed grass, Just piercing the dark earth, hung silently; And there was more which I remember not: But on the shadows of the morning clouds, Athwart the purple mountain slope, was written Follow, O, follow! As they vanished by,

And on each herb, from which Heaven's dew had fallen, The like was stamp'd, as with a withering fire,

A wind arose among the pines; it shook

The clinging music from their boughs, and then

Low, sweet, faint sounds, like the farewell of ghosts,
Were heard: Oh, follow, follow, follow me!
And then I said; Panthea, look on me..
But in the depth of those beloved eyes
Still I saw, follow, follow!

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