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Remain the records of their vain en

deavor, Frail spells-whose uttered charm might

not avail to sever,
From all we hear and all we see,

Doubt, chance, and mutability.
Thy light alone-like mist o'er moun-

tains driven, Or music by the night wind sent, Thro' strings of some still instru


Or moonlight on a midnight stream, Gives grace and truth to life's unquiet



Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds

depart And come, for

some uncertain moments lent. Man were immortal, and omnipotent, Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou

art, Keep with thy glorious train firm state

within his lieart.
Thou messenger of sympathies.

That wax and wane in lovers' eyes-Thou--that to human thought art

Like darkness to a dying flame !
Depart not as thy shadow came,

Depart not-lest the grave should be, 'ike life and fear, a dark reality.

With beating heart and streaming

eyes, even now I call the phantoms of a thousand hours Each from his voiceless grave : they

have in visioned bowers Of studious zeal or love's delight Outwatched with me the envious

nightThey know that never joy illumed my

Unlinked with hope that thou

wouldst free
This world from its dark slavery,

That thou-0 awful LOVELINESS, Wouldst give whate'er these words cannot express.

VII The day becomes more solemn and serene

When noon is past-there is a har


In autumn, and a lustre in its sky, Which thro' the summer is not heard or

seen, As if it could not be, as if it had not been !

Thus let thy power, which like the


Of nature on my passive youth
Descended, to my onward life supply

Its calm-to one who worships thee,
And every form containing thee,
Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did

bind To fear himself, and love all human kind

1816. 1817



While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and

sped Thro' many a listening chamber, cave

and ruin, And starlight wood, with fearful steps

pursuing Hopes of high talk with the departed

dead. I called on poisonous names with which

our youth is fed ;
I was not heard--I saw them not-

When musing deeply on the lot
Of life, at the sweet time when winds

are wooing All vital things that wake to bring News of birds and blossoming, -

Sudden, thy shadow fell on me; I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy!

VI I vowed that I would dedicate my powers To thee and thine-have I not kept the


CHAMOUNI THE everlasting universe of things Flows through the mind, and rolls its


rapid waves, 1 Mont Blanc was inspired by a view of that mountain and its surrounding peaks and val. leys, its he lingered on the Bridge of Arve on his way through the Valley of Chamouni. Shelley makes the following mention of this poem in his publication of the Ilistory of a Six Weeks' Tour, und Letters from Switzerland : “ The poem en. titled Mont Blanc is written by the author of the two letters from Chamouni and Vevai. It was composed under the immediate impression of the deep and powerful feelings excited by the objects which it attempts to describe ; and, as an undisciplined overflowing of the soul, rests its claim to approbation on an attempt to imitate the untaniable wildness and inaccessible solemnity froin which those feelings sprang." (From Mrs. Shelley's Note on the Poems of 1816.) Compare Coleridge's Hymn before Sunrise in



Now dark-now glittering—now reflect- Dizzy Ravine ! and when I gaze on thee ing gloom

I seem as in a trance sublime and strange Now lending splendor, where from secret To muse on my own separate phantasy, springs

My own, my human mind, which prise The source of human thought its tribute

sively brings

Now renders and receives fast influenc. Of waters, -with a sound but half its

ings, own,

Holding an unremitting interchange Such as a feeble brook will oft assume With the clear universe of things around; In the wild woods, among the mountains One legion of wild thoughts, whose lone,

wandering wings Where waterfalls around it leap for ever, Now float above thy darkness, and now Where woods and winds contend, and a

rest vast river

Where that or thou art no unbidden Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and

guest, In the still cave of the witch Poesy,

Seeking among the shadows that pass Thus thou, Ravipe of Arve-dark, deep

by Ravine

Ghosts of all things that are, some shade Thou many-colored, many-voicèd vale,

of thee, Over whose pines, and crags, and caverns Some phantom, some faint image ; till sail

the breast Fast cloud shadows and sunbeams : From which they fled recalls them, thou awful scene,

art there! Where Power in likeness of the Arve comes down

Some say that gleams of a remoter world From the ice gulfs that gird his secret Visit the soul in sleep,--that death is throne,

slumber, Bursting through these dark mountains And that its shapes the busy thoughts like the flame

outnumber Of lightning thro' the tempest ;-thou Of those who wake and live.--I look on dost lie,

high; Thy giant brood of pines around thee Has some unknown omnipotence unclinging,

furled Children of elder time, in whose devotion The veil of life and death? or do I lie The chainless winds still come and ever In dream, and does the mightier world came

of sleep To drink their odors, and their mighty Spread far around and inaccessibly swinging

Its circles ? For the very spirit fails, To hear-an old and solemn harmony ; Driven like a homeless cloud from steep Thine earthly rainbows stretched across

to steep the sweep

That vanishes among the viewless gales ! Of the ethereal waterfall, whose veil Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky, Robes some unsculptured image; the Mont Blanc appears,-still, snowy, and

strange sleep Which when the voices of the desert fail Its subject mountains their unearthly Wraps all in its own deep eternity ;

forms Thy caverns echoing to the Arve's com- Pile around it, ice and rock; broad vales motion,

between A loud, lone sound no other sound can Of frozen floods, umfathomable deeps, tame;

Blue as the overhanging heaven, that Thou art pervaded with that ceaseless spread motion,

And wind among the accumulated Thou art the path of that unresting

steeps ; sound

A desert peopled by the storms alone,

Save when the eagle brings some hunter's the Vale of Chamouni (p. 96). Coleridge had

bone, never been in the Vale of Chamouni, and drew

And the wolf tracks her there-how the suggestion and part of the substance of his Hymn from a poem by Frederike Brun.




a sea

Its shapes are heaped around! rude, Have piled : dome, pyramid, and pin. bare, and high,

nacle, Ghastly, and scarred, and riven.- Is this A city of death, distinct with many a the scene

tower "Vhere the old Earthquake-demon And wall impregnable of beaming ice. taught her young

Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin Ruin ? Were these their toys ? or did Is there, that from the boundaries of

the sky Of fire envelope once this silent snow? kolls its perpetual stream ; vast pines None can reply-all seems eternal now.

are strewing The wilderness has a mysterious tongue Its destined path, or in the mangled soil Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so Branchless and shattered stand ; the mild,

rocks, drawn down So solemn, so serene, that man may be From yon remotest waste, have over. But for such faith with nature re

thrown conciled ;

The limits of the dead and living world, Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to Never to be reclaimed. The dwellingrepeal

place Large codes of fraud and woe ; not

Of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes understood

its spoil ; By all, but which the wise, and great, Their food and their retreat for ever and good

gone, Interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel. So much of life and joy is lost. The race

Of man, flies far in dread; his work and The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the

dwelling streams,

Vanish, like smoke before the tempest's Ocean, and all the living things that

stream, dwell

And their place is not known. Below, Within the dædal earth ; lightning and

vast caves rain,

Shine in the rushing torrents' restless Earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurri.

gleam, cane,

Which from those secret chasms in The torpor of the year when feeble tumult welling dreams

Meet in the vale, and one majestic River, Visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep The breath and blood of distant lands, Holds every future leaf and flower;

for ever the bound

Rolls its loud waters to the ocean waves, With which from that detested trance Breathes its swift vapors to the circthey leap ;

ling air. The works and ways of man, their death and birth,

Mont Blanc yet gleams on high :--the And that of him and all that his may be ;

power is there, All things that move and breathe with The still and solemn power of many toil and sound

sights, Are born and die; revolve, subside and And many sounds, and much of life and swell.

death. Power dwells apart in its tranquillity In the calm darkness of the moonless Remote, serene, and inaccessible :

nights, And this, the naked countenance of In the lone glare of day, the snows earth,

descend On which I gaze, even these primeval Upon that Mountain; none beholds mountains

them there, Teach the adverting mind. The glaciers Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking creep

sun, Like snakes that watch their prey, from Or the star-beams dart through them: their far fountains,

-Winds contend Slow rolling on ; there, many a precipice, Silently there, and heap the snow with Frost and the Sun in scorn of mortal

breath power

Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home

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The voiceless lightning in these solitudes Keeps innocently, and like vapor broods Over the snow. The secret strength of

things Which governs thought, and to the in

finite dome Of heaven is as a law, inhabits thee ! And what were thou, and earth, and

stars, and sea, of to the human mind's imaginings Silence and solitude were vacancy?

July 23, 1816. 1817. TO MARY DEDICATION OF THE REVOLT OF ISLAM So now my summer task is ended, Mary, And I return to thee, mine own heart's

home; As to his Queen some victor Knight of

Earning bright spoils for her

chanted dome; Nor thou disdain that, ere my fame

become A star among the stars of mortal night,

If it indeed may cleave its natal gloom, Its doubtful promise thus I would unite With thy beloved name, thou Child of

love and light. The toil which stole from thee so many

an hour Is ended-and the fruit is at thy feet ! No longer where the woods to frame a

bower With interlaced branches mix and

meet, Or where, with sound like many voices

sweet, Waterfalls leap among wild islands

green Which framed for my lone boat a

lone retreat Of moss-grown trees and weeds, shall I

be seen: But beside thee, where still my heart

has ever been. Thoughts of great deeds were mine,

dear Friend, when first The clouds which wrap this world

from youth did pass. I do remember well the hour which

spirit's sleep : a fresh Maydawn it

was, When I walked forth upon the glitter

ing grass,

And from that hour did I with earnest

thought Heap knowledge from forbidden

mines of lore, Yet nothing that my tyrants knew or

taught I cared to learn, but from that secret

store Wrought linked armor for my soul,

before It might walk forth to war among man.

kind; Thus power and liope were strength

ened more and more Within me, till there came upon my

mind A sense of loneliness, a thirst with which

I pined. Alas that love should be a blight and

snare To those who seek all sympathies in

one ! Such once I sought in vain; then black

despair, The shadow of a starless night, was

tlurown Over the world in which I moved

alone: Yet never found I one not false to me, Hard hearts, and cold, like weights

of icy stone

Which crushed and withered mine,

that could not be Aught but a lifeless clog, until revived

by thee.

Thou Friend, whose presence on my

wintry heart Fell, like bright Spring upon some

herbless plain, How beautiful and calm and free thou

wert In thy young wisdom, when the

mortal chain Of Custom thou didst burst and rend

in twain, And walk as free as light the clouds

among, Which many an envious slave then

breathed in vain From his dim dungeon, and my spirit

sprung To meet thee from the woes which had

begirt it long!

Is it that now my inexperienced fingers But strike the prelude of a loftier

strain ? Or must the lyre on which my spirit

lingers Soon pause in silence, ne'er to sound

again, Though it might shake the Anarch

Custom's reign, And charm the minds of men to Truth's Holier than was Amphion's? I would

fain Reply in hope-but I am worn away, And Death and Love are yet contending

for their prey. And what art thou? I know, but dare

not speak : Time may interpret to his silent years. Yet in the paleness of thy thoughtful

cheek, And in the light thine ample fore

head wears, And in thy sweetest smiles, and in

thy tears, And in thy gentle speech, a prophecy Is whispered, to subdue my fon dest

fears : And, through thine eyes, even in thy

soul I see A lamp of vestal fire burning internally.

No more alone through the world's

wilderness, Although I trod the paths of high

intent, I journeyed row: no more companion

less, Where solitude is like despair, I

went.-There is the wisdom of a stern content When Poverty can blight the just and

good, When Infamy dares mock the in

nocent. And cherished friends turn with the

multitude To trample: this was ours, and we un

shaken stood !

They say that thou wert lovely from

thy birth, Of glorious parents, thou aspiring

Child. I wonder not-for One then left this

earth Whose life was like a setting planet

mild, Which clothed thee in the radiance

undefiled Of its departing glory ; still her fame Shines on thee, through the tempests

dark and wild Which shake these latter days; and

thou canst claim The shelter, from thy Sire, of an im.

mortal name.

Now has descended a serener hour,
And, with inconstant fortune, friends

return; Though suffering leaves the knowledge

and the power Which says " Let scorn be not repaid

with scorn." And from thy side two gentle babes

are born To fill our home with smiles, and thus

are we Most fortunate beneath life's beaming

morn: And these delights, and thou, have been

to me The parents of the Song I conserrate to


One voice came forth from many a

mighty spirit Which was the echo of three-thousand

years : And the tumultuous world stood mute

to hear it, As some lone man who in a desert


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