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Rending the veil of space and time asunder! One ocean feeds the clouds, and streams, and dew;
One sun illumines heaven; one spirit vast
Then Rome was, and from thy deep bosom fairest,
By thy sweet love was sanctified;
And gold profaned thy Capitolian throne,
Faint echoes of Ionian song; that tone
From what Hyrcanian glen or frozen hill,
Didst thou lament the ruin of thy reign,
Of that sublimest lore which man had dared unlearn?
For neither didst thou watch the wizard flocks Of the Scald's dreams, nor haunt the Druid's sleep.
What if the tears rained through thy shattered locks
Were quickly dried? for thou didst groan, not weep,
When from its sea of death, to kill and burn,
And made thy world an undistinguishable heap.
A thousand years the Earth cried, Where art thou?
And then the shadow of thy coming fell
Like rocks which fire lifts out of the flat deep,
Frowning o'er the tempestuous sea
Of kings, and priests, and slaves, in tower-crowned majesty ;
That multitudinous anarchy did sweep
And burst around their walls, like idle foam, Whilst from the human spirit's deepest deep, Strange melody with love and awe struck
dumb Dissonant arms; and Art, which cannot die,
With divine wand traced on our earthly home Fit imagery to pave heaven's everlasting dome.
Thou huntress swifter than the Moon! thou terror Of the world's wolves! thou bearer of the quiver,
Whose sun-like shafts pierce tempest-wingèd Error,
As light may pierce the clouds when they dis
In the calm regions of the orient day!
Luther caught thy wakening glance; Like lightning, from his leaden lance Reflected, it dissolved the visions of the trance In which, as in a tomb, the nations lay; And England's prophets hailed thee as their queen,
songs whose music cannot pass away, Though it must flow forever; not unseen Before the spirit-sighted countenance
Of Milton didst thou pass, from the sad scene Beyond whose night he saw, with a dejected mien.
The eager hours and unreluctant years
Chasing thy foes from nation unto nation
Like shadows: as if day had cloven the skies At dreaming midnight o'er the western wave, Men started, staggering with a glad surprise, Under the lightnings of thine unfamiliar eyes.
Thou heaven of earth! what spells could pall thee then,
In ominous eclipse? a thousand years, Bred from the slime of deep oppression's den, Dyed all thy liquid light with blood and tears, Till thy sweet stars could weep the stain away; How like Bacchanals of blood
Round France, the ghastly vintage, stood Destruction's sceptred slaves, and Folly's mitred
When one, like them, but mightier far than they,
The Anarch of thine own bewildered powers, Rose; armies mingled in obscure array,
Like clouds with clouds, darkening the sacred bowers
Of serene heaven. He, by the past pursued,
England yet sleeps: was she not called of old?
Spain calls her now, as with its thrilling thunder Vesuvius wakens Etna, and the cold
Snow-crags by its reply are cloven in sunder; O'er the lit waves every Æolian isle
From Pithecusa to Pelorus
Howls, and leaps, and glares in chorus;
They cry, Be dim, ye lamps of heaven suspended o'er us!
Her chains are threads of gold, she need but smile
And they dissolve; but Spain's were links of steel,
Till bit to dust by virtue's keenest file.
To the eternal years enthroned before us
Tomb of Arminius! render up thy dead
Till, like a standard from a watch-tower's staff, His soul may stream over the tyrant's head; Thy victory shall be his epitaph, Wild Bacchanal of truth's mysterious wine, King-deluded Germany,
His dead spirit lives in thee.
Why do we fear or hope? thou art already free! And thou, lost Paradise of this divine
And glorious world! thou flowery wilderness ! Thou island of eternity! thou shrine
Where desolation clothed with loveliness
Gather thy blood into thy heart; repress
xiii. 14 us | as, Forman conj.