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When France her front deep-scarred and gory
Her arm made mockery of the warrior's tramp;
Domestic Treason, crushed beneath her fatal stamp, Writhed like a wounded dragon in his gore;
Then I reproached my fears that would not flee; 'And soon,' I said, 'shall Wisdom teach her lore In the low huts of them that toil and groan !
And, conquering by her happiness alone,
Shall France compel the nations to be free,
Till Love and Joy look round, and call the earth their own.'
Forgive me, Freedom! O forgive those dreams!
I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament,
With bleeding wounds; forgive me, that I cherished 70 One thought that ever blessed your cruel foes!
To scatter rage and traitorous guilt,
Where Peace her jealous home had built;
A patriot-race to disinherit
Of all that made their stormy wilds so dear;
And with inexpiable spirit
To taint the bloodless freedom of the mountaineer-
Are these thy boasts, Champion of human kind?
To' insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils
From freemen torn? to tempt and to betray?
The Sensual and the Dark rebel in vain,
Of Freedom, graven on a heavier chain!
But thou nor swell'st the victor's strain, nor ever
The guide of homeless winds, and playmate of the waves! And there I felt thee!-on that sea-cliff's verge,
Whose pines, scarce travelled by the breeze above, 100 Had made one murmur with the distant surge! Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare, And shot my being through earth, sea, and air, Possessing all things with intensest love, O Liberty! my spirit felt thee there.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
ODE TO THE WEST WIND.
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion, 15
Of some fierce Mænad, ev'n from the dim verge
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: O hear!
Thou who didst waken from his summer-dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
I were as in my boyhood, and could be
The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
As then, when to outstrip the skyey speed
Scarce seemed a vision, I would ne'er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
O lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.
Make me thy lyre, ev'n as the forest is:
Will take from both a deep autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth;
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Percy Bysshe Shelley.
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,-
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
And leaden-eyed despairs ;
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. 40 ̊