Изображения страниц


Here the earth's breath is pestilence, and few But things whose nature is at war with life — Snakes and ill worms - endure its mortal dew.

The trophies of the clime's victorious strifeWhite bones, and locks of dun and yellow hair, And ringed horns which buffaloes did wear


stood there

And at the utmost point

The relics of a weed-inwoven cot,

Thatched with broad flags. An outlawed mur


Had lived seven days there; the pursuit was hot When he was cold. The birds that were his grave Fell dead upon their feast in Vado's wave.


There must have lived within Marenghi's heart

That fire, more warm and bright than life or hope,

[ocr errors]

(Which to the martyr makes his dungeon
More joyous than the heaven's majestic cope
To his oppressor), warring with decay,
Or he could ne'er have lived years, day by day.


[ocr errors]

Nor was his state so lone as you might think.
He had tamed every newt and snake and toad,
And every seagull which sailed down to drink
ere the death-mist went abroad.


And each one, with peculiar talk and play,
Wiled, not untaught, his silent time away.


And the marsh-meteors, like tame beasts, at night
Came licking with blue tongues his veinèd feet;
And he would watch them, as, like spirits bright,
In many entangled figures quaint and sweet
To some enchanted music they would dance-
Until they vanished at the first moon-glance.


He mocked the stars by grouping on each weed
The summer dewdrops in the golden dawn;
And, ere the hoarfrost vanished, he could read
Its pictured footprints, as on spots of lawn
Its delicate brief touch in silence weaves
The likeness of the wood's remembered leaves.


And many a fresh Spring morn would he awaken, While yet the unrisen sun made glow, like iron Quivering in crimson fire, the peaks unshaken

Of mountains and blue isles which did environ With air-clad crags that plain of land and sea, — And feel liberty.


And in the moonless nights, when the dim ocean Heaved underneath the heaven,

[merged small][ocr errors]

Communed with the immeasurable world; And felt his life beyond his limbs dilated,

Till his mind grew like that it contemplated.


His food was the wild fig and strawberry ;

The milky pine-nuts which the autumnal blast Shakes into the tall grass; and such small fry

As from the sea by winter-storms are cast; And the coarse bulbs of iris flowers he found Knotted in clumps under the spongy ground.


And so were kindled powers and thoughts which made

His solitude less dark. When memory came (For years gone by leave each a deepening shade), His spirit basked in its internal flame,As, when the black storm hurries round at night The fisher basks beside his red firelight.


Yet human hopes and cares and faiths and errors, Like billows unawakened by the wind,

Slept in Marenghi still; but that all terrors,

Weakness, and doubt, had withered in his mind. His couch


And, when he saw beneath the sunset's planet
A black ship walk over the crimson ocean,
Its pennons streaming on the blasts that fan it,
Its sails and ropes all tense and without motion,
Like the dark ghost of the unburied even
Striding across the orange-colored heaven,


The thought of his own kind who made the soul

Which sped that wingèd shape through night

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Look on the west, how beautiful it is

Vaulted with radiant vapors! The deep bliss
Of that unutterable light has made

The edges of that cloud


Into a hue, like some harmonious thought,
Wasting itself on that which it had wrought,

Till it dies

and between

The light hues of the tender, pure, serene,
And infinite tranquillity of heaven.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Perhaps the only comfort which remains
Is the unheeded clanking of my chains,
The which I make, and call it melody.

Lines written for Julian and Maddalo. Published by Garnett,


As a violet's gentle eye

Gazes on the azure sky,

Until its hue grows like what it beholds;

As a gray and empty mist
Lies like solid amethyst

Over the western mountain it enfolds,
When the sunset sleeps

Upon its snow;

As a strain of sweetest sound
Wraps itself the wind around,
Until the voiceless wind be music too;
As aught dark, vain and dull,
Basking in what is beautiful,
Is full of light and love.


THERE is a voice, not understood by all,
Sent from these desert-caves. It is the roar
Of the rent ice-cliff which the sunbeams call,
Plunging into the vale - it is the blast
Descending on the pines - the torrents pour.

Lines written for Prometheus Unbound. Published by Mrs. Shelley, 18391.

Lines written for Mont Blanc. Published by Garnett, 1862.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »