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Or as the moonlight fills the open sky
Struggling with darkness, as a tuberose

Peoples some Indian dell with scents which lie

Like clouds above the flower from which they


The singing of that happy nightingale

In this sweet forest, from the golden close

Of evening till the star of dawn may fail,
Was interfused upon the silentness.
The folded roses and the violets pale

Heard her within their slumbers, the abyss

Of heaven with all its planets; the dull ear
Of the night-cradled earth; the loneliness

Of the circumfluous waters; every sphere

And every flower and beam and cloud and


And every wind of the mute atmosphere,

And every beast stretched in its rugged cave,
And every bird lulled on its mossy bough,
And every silver moth fresh from the grave

Which is its cradle;
ever from below
Aspiring like one who loves too fair, too far,
To be consumed within the purest glow

Of one serene and unapproachèd star,
As if it were a lamp of earthly light,
Unconscious as some human lovers are

Itself how low, how high beyond all height

The heaven where it would perish! - and every


That worshipped in the temple of the night

Was awed into delight, and by the charm

Girt as with an interminable zone,

Whilst that sweet bird, whose music was a storm

Of sound, shook forth the dull oblivion
Out of their dreams; harmony became love
soul but one.



And so this man returned with axe and saw
At evening close from killing the tall treen,
The soul of whom by nature's gentle law

Was each a wood-nymph, and kept ever green
The pavement and the roof of the wild copse,
Checkering the sunlight of the blue serene

With jagged leaves, and from the forest tops
Singing the winds to sleep, or weeping oft
Fast showers of aërial water drops

Into their mother's bosom, sweet and soft,
Nature's pure tears which have no bitterness;
Around the cradles of the birds aloft

They spread themselves into the loveliness
Of fan-like leaves, and over pallid flowers
Hang like moist clouds; or, where high branches


49 their her, Rossetti.

Make a green space among the silent bowers,
Like a vast fane in a metropolis,
Surrounded by the columns and the towers

All overwrought with branch-like traceries
In which there is religion—and the mute
Persuasion of unkindled melodies,

Odors and gleams and murmurs, which the lute Of the blind pilot-spirit of the blast

Stirs as it sails, now grave and now acute,

Wakening the leaves and waves ere it has passed To such brief unison as on the brain

One tone, which never can recur, has cast,

One accent never to return again.

The world is full of Woodmen who expel
Love's gentle Dryads from the haunt of life,
And vex the nightingales in every dell.



THOU wert not, Cassius, and thou couldst not be, Last of the Romans, though thy memory claim

From Brutus his own glory, and on thee

Rests the full splendor of his sacred fame;

Otho. Published, i., ii., by Mrs. Shelley, 18391, iii., by Garnett, 1862. Composed, 1817.

Nor he who dared make the foul tyrant quail
Amid his cowering senate with thy name,
Though thou and he were great; it will avail
To thine own fame that Otho's should not fail.


"Twill wrong thee not-thou wouldst, if thou couldst feel,

Abjure such envious fame-great Otho died Like thee he sanctified his country's steel, At once the tyrant and tyrannicide,

In his own blood. A deed it was to bring

Tears from all men though full of gentle pride,

Such pride as from impetuous love may spring,
That will not be refused its offering.


Dark is the realm of grief: but human things Those may not know who cannot weep for them.

MADDALO, a Courtier.



PIGNA, a Minister.
ALBANO, an Usher.


No access to the Duke! You have not said

That the Count Maddalo would speak with him?

ii. 5 bring, Boscombe MS. || buy, Mrs. Shelley, 18391.
Tasso. Published by Garnett, 1862. Composed, 1818.


Did you inform his Grace that Signor Pigna
Waits with state papers for his signature?


The Lady Leonora cannot know

That I have written a sonnet to her fame,

In which I

Venus and Adonis.

You should not take my gold and serve me not.


In truth I told her, and she smiled and said, "If I am Venus, thou, coy Poesy,

Art the Adonis whom I love, and he

The Erymanthian boar that wounded him."

Oh, trust to me, Signor Malpiglio,

Those nods and smiles were favors worth the zechin.


The words are twisted in some double sense
That I reach not; the smiles fell not on me.


How are the Duke and Duchess occupied ?


Buried in some strange talk. The Duke was lean


His finger on his brow, his lips unclosed.
The Princess sate within the window-seat,
And so her face was hid; but on her knee
Her hands were clasped, veinèd, and pale as snow,
And quivering-young Tasso, too, was there.

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