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Then weave the web of the mystic measure;
From the depths of the sky and the ends of the earth,
Come, swift Spirits of might and of pleasure,
Fill the dance and the music of mirth,

As the waves of a thousand streams rush by
To an ocean of splendor and harmony!


Our spoil is won,

Our task is done,

We are free to dive, or soar, or run; Beyond and around,

Or within the bound

Which clips the world with darkness round.

We'll pass the eyes

Of the starry skies

Into the hoar deep to colonize :

Death, Chaos, and Night,

From the sound of our flight,

Shall flee, like mist from a tempest's might.

And Earth, Air, and Light,
And the Spirit of Might,

Which drives round the stars in their fiery flight;
And Love, Thought, and Breath,
The powers that quell Death,

Wherever we soar shall assemble beneath.

And our singing shall build
In the void's loose field

A world for the Spirit of Wisdom to wield ;
We will take our plan

From the new world of man,

And our work shall be call'd the Promethean.


Break the dance, and scatter the song; Let some depart, and some remain.


We, beyond heaven, are driven along.:


Us the enchantments of earth retain :


Ceaseless, and rapid, and fierce, and free,
With the Spirits which build a new earth and sea,
And a heaven where yet heaven could never be.


Solemn, and slow, and serene, and bright, Leading the Day and outspeeding the Night, With the powers of a world of perfect light.


We whirl, singing loud, round the gathering sphere. Till the trees, and the beasts, and the clouds appear From its chaos made calm by love, not fear.


We encircle the ocean and mountains of earth, And the happy forms of its death and birth Change to the music of our sweet mirth.

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But see where, through two openings in the forest
Which hanging branches over-canopy,

And where two runnels of a rivulet,
Between the close moss violet inwoven,
Have made their path of melody, like sisters
Who part with sighs that they may meet in smiles
Turning their dear disunion to an isle

Of lovely grief, a wood of sweet sad thoughts;
Two visions of strange radiance float upon
The ocean-like enchantment of strong sound,
Which flows intenser, keener, deeper yet
Under the ground and through the windless air.


I see a chariot like that thinnest boat
In which the mother of the months is borne
By ebbing night into her western cave,
When she upsprings from interlunar dreams,
O'er which is curved an orblike canopy
Of gentle darkness, and the hills and woods
Distinctly seen through that dusk airy veil,
Regard like shapes in an enchanter's glass;
Its wheels are solid clouds, azure and gold,
Such as the genii of the thunder-storm
Pile on the floor of the illumined sea
When the sun rushes under it; they roll
And move and grow as with an inward wind;
Within it sits a winged infant, white

Its countenance, like the whiteness of bright snow.
Its plumes are as feathers of sunny frost,
Its limbs gleam white, through the wind-flowing folds
Of its white robe, woof of ethereal pearl.
Its hair is white, the brightness of white light
Scatter'd in strings; yet its two eyes are heavens
Of liquid darkness, which the Deity

Within seems pouring, as a storm is pour'd
From jagged clouds, out of their arrowy lashes,
Tempering the cold and radiant air around,
With fire that is not brightness; in its hand
It sways a quivering moonbeam, from whose point
A guiding power directs the chariot's prow
Over its wheeled clouds, which as they roll
Over the grass, and flowers, and waves, wake sounds
Sweet as a singing rain of silver dew.


And from the other opening in the wood
Rushes, with loud and whirlwind harmony,
A sphere, which is as many thousand spheres,
Solid as crystal, yet through all its mass
Flow, as through empty space, music and light:
Ten thousand orbs involving and involved,
Purple and azure, white, green, and golden,
Sphere within sphere; and every space between
Peopled with unimaginable shapes,

Such as ghosts dream dwell in the lampless deep,
Yet each inter-transpicuous, and they whirl
Over each other with a thousand motions,
Upon a thousand sightless axles spinning,
And with the force of self-destroying swiftness,
Intensely, slowly, solemnly roll on,
Kindling with mingled sounds, and many tones,
Intelligible words and music wild.
With mighty whirl the multitudinous orb
Grinds the bright brook into an azure mist
Of elemental subtlety, like light;
And the wild odor of the forest flowers,
The music of the living grass and air,
The emerald light of leaf-entangled beams
Round its intense yet self-conflicting speed,
Seem kneaded into one aerial mass

Which drowns the sense. Within the orb itself,{
Pillow'd upon its alabaster arms,

Like to a child o'erwearied with sweet toil,
On its own folded wings, and wavy hair,
The Spirit of the Earth is laid asleep,
And you can see its little lips are moving,
Amid the changing light of their own smiles,
Like one who talks of what he loves in dream.


Tis only mocking the orb's harmony.


And from a star upon its forehead, shoot,
Like swords of azure fire, or golden spears
With tyrant-quelling myrtle overtwined,
Embleming heaven and earth united now,
Vast beams like spoke of some invisible wheel
Which whirl as the orb whirls, swifter than thought,
Filling the abyss with sunlike lightnings,
And perpendicular now, and now transverse,
Pierce the dark soil, and as they pierce and pass,
Make bare the secrets of the earth's deep heart;
Infinite mine of adamant and gold,
Valueless stones, and unimagined gems,
And caverns on crystalline columns poised
With vegetable silver overspread;

Wells of unfathom'd fire, and water springs
Whence the great sea, even as a child is fed,
Whose vapors clothe earth's monarch mountain-tops
With kingly, ermine snow. The beams flash on
And make appear the melancholy ruins
Of cancell'd cycles; anchors, beaks of ships;

Planks turn'd to marble; quivers, helms, and spears
And gorgon-headed targes, and the wheels
Of scythed chariots, and the emblazonry
Of trophies, standards, and armorial beasts,
Round which death laugh'd, sepulchred emblems
Of dread destruction, ruin within ruin!
The wrecks beside of many a city vast,
Whose population which the earth grew over
Was mortal, but not human; see, they lie
Their monstrous works, and uncouth skeletons,
Their statues, domes and fanes; prodigious shapes
Huddled in gray annihilation, split,
Jamm'd in the hard, black deep; and over these.
The anatomies of unknown winged things,
And fishes which were isles of living scale,
And serpents, bony chains, twisted around
The iron crags, or within heaps of dust
To which the torturous strength of their last pangs
Had crush'd the iron crags; and over these
The jagged alligator, and the might
Of earth-convulsing behemoth, which once
Were monarch beasts, and on the slimy shores,
And weed-overgrown continents of earth,
Increased and multiplied like summer worms
On an abandon'd corpse, till the blue globe
Wrapt deluge round it like a cloak, and they
Yell'd, gasp'd, and were abolish'd; or some God
Whose throne was in a comet, past, and cried,
Be not! And like my words they were no more.


The joy, the triumph, the delight, the madness!
The boundless, overflowing, bursting gladness,
The vaporous exultation not to be confined!
Ha ha! the animation of delight
Which wraps me, like an atmosphere of light,
And bears me as a cloud is borne by its own wind.


Brother mine, calm wanderer,
Happy globe of land and air,

Some Spirit is darted like a beam from thee,
Which penetrates my frozen frame,
And passes with the warmth of flame,
With love, and odor, and deep melody
Through me, through me!


Ha! ha! the caverns of my hollow mountains, My cloven fire-crags, sound-exulting fountains, Laugh with a vast and inextinguishable laughter.

The oceans, and the deserts, and the abysses. And the deep air's unmeasured wildernesses, Answer from all their clouds and billows, echoing after.

They cry aloud as I do. Sceptred curse, Who all our green and azure universe Threaten'dst to muffle round with black destruction, sending

A solid cloud to rain hot thunder-stones, And splinter and knead down my children's bones, All I bring forth, to one void mass battering and blending,

Until each crag-like tower, and storied column, Palace, and obelisk, and temple solemn

My imperial mountains crown'd with cloud, and snow, and fire;

My sea-like forests, every blade and blossom Which finds a grave or cradle in my bosom, Were stamp'd by thy strong hate into a lifeless mire.

How art thou sunk, withdrawn, cover'd, drunk up
By thirsty nothing, as the brackish cup
Drain'd by a desert troop, a little drop for all;

And from beneath, around, within, above,
Filling thy void annihilation, love

Bursts in like light on caves cloven by thunder-ball.


The snow upon my lifeless mountains
Is loosen'd into living fountains,

My solid oceans flow, and sing, and shine:
A spirit from my heart bursts forth,
It clothes with unexpected birth
My cold bare bosom: Oh! it must be thine
On mine, on mine!

Gazing on thee I feel, I know

Green stalks burst forth, and bright flowers

And living shapes upon my bosom move:
Music is in the sea and air,

Winged clouds soar here and there,
Dark with the rain new buds are dreaming of:
"Tis love, all love!


It interpenetrates my granite mass, Through tangled roots and trodden clay doth pass, Into the utmost leaves, and delicatest flowers;

Upon the winds, among the clouds 'tis spread, It wakes a life in the forgotten dead, They breathe a spirit up from their obscurest bowers,

And like a storm bursting its cloudy prison With thunder, and with whirlwind, has arisen Out of the lampless caves of unimagined being: With earthquake shock and swiftness making shiver

Thought's stagnant chaos, unremoved for ever, Till hate, and fear and pain, light-vanquish'd shadows, fleeing,

Leave man, who was a many-sided mirror, Which could distort to many a shape of error, This true fair world of things, a sea reflecting love; Which over all his kind, as the sun's heaven Gliding o'er ocean, smooth, serene, and even Darting from starry depths radiance and light, doth


Leave man, even as a leprous child is left, Who follows a sick beast to some warm cleft Of rocks, through which the might of healing springs is pour'd;

Then when it wanders home with rosy smile,
Unconscious, and its mother fears awhile

It is a spirit, then weeps on her child restored.

Man, oh, not men! a chain of linked thought,
Of love and might to be divided not,

Compelling the elements with adamantine stress;

As the sun rules, even with a tyrant's gaze,
The unquiet republic of the maze

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Of planets, struggling fierce towards heaven's free Which round his rest a watch of light and warmth

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Thou art speeding round the sun, Brightest world of many a one; Green and azure sphere which shinest With a light which is divinest Among all the lamps of Heaven To whom life and light is given; I, thy crystal paramour Borne beside thee by a power Like the polar Paradise, Magnet-like, of lovers' eyes; I, a most enamour'd maiden, Whose weak brain is overladen With the pleasure of her love, Maniac-like around thee move Gazing, an insatiate bride, On thy form from every side Like a Mænad, round the cup Which Agave lifted up In the weird Cadmæan forest. Brother, wheresoe'er thou soarest I must hurry, whirl and follow Through the Heavens wide and hollow, Shelter'd by the warm embrace Of thy soul from hungry space, Drinking from thy sense and sight Beauty, majesty, and might, As a lover or a cameleon

Grows like what it looks upon,

As a violet's gentle eye

Gazes on the azure sky

Until its hue grows like what it beholds, As a gray and watery mist


Glows like solid amethyst

Athwart the western mountain it infolds, When the sunset sleeps

Upon its snow.

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Because your words fall like the clear, soft dew Shaken from a bathing wood-nymph's limbs and hair


Peace! peace! A mighty Power, which is as darkness
Is rising out of Earth, and from the sky

Is shower'd like night, and from within the air
Bursts, like eclipse which had been gather'd up
Into the pores of sunlight: the bright visions,
Wherein the singing spirits rode and shone,
Gleam like pale meteors through a watery night


There is a sense of words upon mine ear.


A universal sound like words: Oh, list!


Thou, Earth, calm empire of a happy soul!
Sphere of divinest shapes and harmonies,
Beautiful orb! gathering as thou dost roll
The love which paves thy path along the skies:


I hear: I am as a drop of dew that dies.


Thou, Moon, which gazest on the nightly Earth
With wonder, as it gazes upon thee;
Whilst each to men, and beasts, and the swift birth
Of birds, is beauty, love, calm, harmony:


I hear: I am a leaf shaken by thee!


Ye kings of suns and stars! Demons and Gods, Ethereal Dominations! who possess

Elysian, windless, fortunate abodes

Beyond Heaven's constellated wilderness:


Our great Republic hears: we are blest, and bless


Ye happy dead! whom beams of brightest verse
Are clouds to hide, not colors to portray,
Whether your nature is that universe
Which once ye saw and suffer'd—


Or as they Whom we have left, we change and pass away


Ye elemental Genii, who have homes

From man's high mind even to the central stone Of sullen lead; from Heaven's star-fretted domes To the dull weed some sea-worm battens on


We hear: thy words waken Oblivion.


Spirits! whose homes are flesh; ye beasts and birds. Ye worms, and fish; ye living leaves and buds; Lightning and wind; and ye untamable herds, Meteors and mists, which throng air's solitudes:

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Hath then the gloomy Power

Whose reign is in the tainted sepulchres
Seized on her sinless soul?

Must then that peerless form

Which love and admiration cannot view
Without a beating heart, those azure veins

Which steal like streams along a field of snow,
That lovely outline, which is fair

As breathing marble, perish?
Must putrefaction's breath

Leave nothing of this heavenly sight
But lothesomeness and ruin?
Spare nothing but a gloomy theme,

On which the lightest heart might moralize?
Or is it only a sweet slumber

Stealing o'er sensation,

Which the breath of roseate morning
Chaseth into darkness?

Will Ianthe wake again,

And give that faithful bosom joy
Whose sleepless spirit waits to catch
Light, life and rapture from her smile?

Yes! she will wake again, Although her glowing limbs are motionless, And silent those sweet lips, Once breathing eloquence, That might have soothed a tiger's rage, Or thaw'd the cold heart of a conqueror.

Her dewy eyes are closed, And on their lids, whose texture fine Scarce hides the dark-blue orbs beneath, The baby Sleep is pillow'd:

Her golden tresses shade

The bosom's stainless pride,

Curling like tendrils of the parasite

Around a marble column.

Hark! whence that rushing sound?

"Tis like the wondrous strain

That round a lonely ruin swells,
Which, wandering on the echoing shore,
The enthusiast hears at evening:
"Tis softer than the west wind's sigh;
"Tis wilder than the unmeasured notes
Of that strange lyre whose strings
The genii of the breezes sweep:
Those lines of rainbow light

Are like the moonbeams when they fall
Through some cathedral window, but the teints
Are such as may not find
Comparison on earth.

Behold the chariot of the Fairy Queen!
Celestial coursers paw the unyielding air;
Their filmy pennons at her word they furl,
And stop obedient to the reins of light:
These the Queen of spells drew in,
She spread a charm around the spot,
And leaning graceful from the ethereal car,
Long did she gaze, and silently,
Upon the slumbering maid.

Oh! not the vision'd poet in his dreams,
When silvery clouds float through the wilder'd brain,
When every sight of lovely, wild and grand,
Astonishes, enraptures, elevates,
When fancy at a glance combines

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