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Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth,
and fill (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed
in air) With living hues and odors plain and
hill; 'Vild Spirit, which art moving every
where; Destroyer and preserver; hear, Oh hear!
For whose path the Atlantic's level
powers Cleave themselves into chasms, while
far below The sea-blooms and the cozy woods
which wear The sapless foliage of the ocean, know Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with
fear, And tremble and despoil themselves :
Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep
sky's commotion, Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves
are shed, Shook from the tangled boughs of
Heaven and Ocean, Angels of rain and lightning: there are
spread On the blue surface of thine airy surge, Like the bright hair uplifted from the
If I were a dead leafthou mightest bear; If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee; A wave to pant beneath thy power, and
share The impulse of thy strength, only less free Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even I were as in my boy hood, and could be The comrade of thy wanderings over
heaven, As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne'er
have striven As thus with thee in prayer in my sore
need. Oh lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud ! i fail upon the thorns of life! I bleed ! A heavy weight of hours has chained
and bowed One too like thee: tameless, and swift,
Of some fierce Mænad, even from the
dim verge Of the horizon to the zenith's height The locks of the approaching storm.
Thou dirge Of the dying year, to which this closing
night Will be the dome of a rast sepulchre, Vaulted with all thy congregated might
Of vapors, from whose solid atmosphere Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst:
Thou who didst waken from his sum
mer dreams The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, Lulled by the coil of his crystalline
streams, Beside a pumice isle in Baiæ's bay, And saw in sleep old palaces and towers Quivering within the wave's intenser
day, All overgrown with azure
moss and flowers So sweet, the sense faints picturing
Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is : What if my leaves are falling like its owul The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take froin both a deep, autumnal
tone, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou,
spirit fierce, My spirit ! Be thou me, impetuous one ! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe 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 ! Be through my lips to unawakened earth 299
The trumpet of a prophecy! O, wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Let thy love in kisses rain
THE INDIAN SERENADE
I ARISE from dreains of thee
The wandering airs they faint On the dark, the silent streamAnd the Champak odors fail Like sweet thoughts in a dream; The nightingale's complaint, It dies upon her heart ;As I must on thine, O! beloved as thou art !
The Fountains mingle with the River
And the Rivers with the Ocean, The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion ; Nothing in the world is single ;
All things by a law divine In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine ? See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another ;
If it disdained its brother,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea :
If thou kiss not me ? 1819. 1819.
Oh lift me from the grass ! I diel I faint! I fail !
Prometheus. Monarch of Gods and
Demons, and all Spirits But One, who throng those bright and
rolling worlds Which Thou and I alone of living things Behold with sleepless eyes ! regard this
Earth Made multitudinous with thy slaves,
whom thou Requitest for knee-worship, prayer, and
praise, And toil, and hecatombs of broken
hearts, With fear and self-contempt and barren
hope. Whilst me, who am thy foe, eyeless in
hate, Hast thou made reign and trium to
thy scorn O’er mine own misery and thy vain
Three thousand years of sleep-unshel- Whether one breaks the hoar frost of tered hours,
the morn, And moments aye divided by keen pangs Or starry, dim, and slow, the other Till they seemed years, torture and soli
The leaden-colored east ; for then they Scorn and despair, these are mine
The wingless, crawling hours, one among More glorious far than that which thou
-As some dark Priest hales the relucFrom thine unenvied throne, O, Mighty
Shall drag thee, cruel King, to kiss the Almighty, had I deigned to share the
From these pale feet, which then might Of thine ill tyranny, and hung not here trample thee Nailed to this wall of eagle-bafiling If they disdained not such a prostrate mountain,
slave. Black, wintry, dead, unmeasured ; with- Disdain! Ah no! I pity thee. What out herb,
ruin Insect, or beast, or shape or sound of Will hunt thee undefended thro' the life.
wide Heaven ! Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, for ever! How will thy soul, cloven to its depth
with terror, No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I Gape like a hell within ! I speak in endure.
grief, I ask the Earth, have not the mountains Not exultation, for I hate no more, felt ?
As then ere misery made me wise. The I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun, Has it not seen i The Sea, in storm or Once breathed on thee I would recall. calm,
Ye Mountains, Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread Whose many voiced Echoes, through the below,
mist Have its deaf waves not heard my agony? Of cataracts, flung the thunder of that Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, for ever! spell !
Ye icy Springs, stagnant with wrinkling The crawling glaciers pierce me with
frost, the spears
Which vibrated to hear me, and then of their moon-freezing crystals, the crept bright chains
Shuddering thro' India! Thou serenest Eat with their burning cold into my
Thro' which the Sun walks burning Heaven's winged hound, polluting from
without beams! thy lips
And ye swift Whirlwinds, who on poised His beak in poison not his own, tears up
wings My heart; and shapeless sights come Hung mute and moveless o'er yon wandering by,
hushed abyss, The ghastly people of the realm of As thunder, louder than your own, made dream,
rock Mocking me: and the Earthquake-fiends The orbéd world! If then my words are charged
had power, To wrench the rivets from my quivering Though I am changed so that aught evil wounds
wish When the rocks split and close again be- Is dead within ; although no memory be hind:
Of what is hate, let them not lose it now! While from their loud abysses howling What was that curse? for ye all heard throng
me speak. The gunii of the storm, urging the rage Of whirlwind, and afflict me with keen
First Voice (from the Mountains) hail. And yet to me welcome is day and night, Thrice three hundred thousand years
Second Voice (from the Springs) Thunderbolts had parched our water, We had been stained with bitter
blood, And had run mute, 'mid shrieks of
slaughter, Thro'a city and a solitude.
Third Voice (from the Air)
Its wastes in colors not their own,
Fourth Voice (from the Whirlwinds) We had soared beneath these moun
tains Unresting ages ; nor had thunder, Nor yon volcano's flaming fountains,
Nor any power above or under Ever made us mute with wonder.
Cried “Misery!” then; the hollow
Heaven replied, Misery!" and the Ocean's purple
waves, Climbing the land, howled to the lash.
ing winds, And the pale nations heard it," Misery!" Prometheus. I hear a sound of voices :
not the voice Which I gave forth. Mother, thy song
and thou Scorn him, without whose all-enduring
will Beneath the fierce omnipotence of Jove, Both they and thou had vanished, like
thin mist Unrolled on the morning wind. Know
ye not me, The Titan? He who made his agony The barrier to your else all-conquering
foe ? Oh, rock-embosomed lawns, and snow.
fed streams, Now seen athwart frore vapors, deep
below, Thro' whose o'ershadowing woods I
wandered once With Asia, drinking life from her loved
eyes ; Why scorns the spirit which informs ye, To commune with me? me alone, who
checked, As one who checks
a fiend-drawn charioteer, The falsehood and the force of him who
reigns Supreme, and with the groans of pining
slaves Fills your dim glens and liquid wilder
nesses: Why answer ye not, still? Brethren! The Earth.
They dare not. Prometheus. Who dares? for I would
hear that curse again. Ha, what an awful whisper rises up! "Tis scarce like sound ; it tingles thro
the frame As lightning tingles, hovering ere it
strike. Speak, Spirit! from thine inorganic
voice I only know that thou art moving near And love. How cursed I him?
The Earth. How canst thou hear Who knowest not the language of the
dead ? Prometheus. Thou art a living spirit.
speak as they.
First Voice But never bowed our snowy crest As at the voice of thine unrest.
Second Voice Never such a sound before To the Indian waves we bore. A pilot asleep on the howling sea Leaped up from the deck in agony, And heard, and cried, “Al, woe is me!" And died as mad as the wild waves be.
Third Voice By such dread words from Earth to
Heaven My still realm was never riven ; When its wound was closed, there stood Darkness o'er the day like blood.
Fourth Voice And we shrank back; for dreams of ruin To frozen caves our flight pursuing Made us keep silence--thus-and thusThough silence is a hell to us. The Earth. The tongueless Caverns
of the craggy hills
The Earth. I dare not speak like life,
lest Heaven's fell King Should hear, and link me to some wheel
of pain More torturing than the one whereon I
roll. Subtle thou art and good, and tho' the
Gods Hear not this voice, yet thou art more
than God Being wise and kind : earnestly hearken
now. Prometheus. Obscurely thro' my
brain, like shadows dim, Sweep awful thoughts, rapid and thick.
I feel Faint, like one mingled in entwining
love; Yet 'tis not pleasure.
The Earth. No, thou canst not hear ; Thou art immortal, and this tongue iz
known Only to those who die.
Prometheus. And what art thou, 0), melancholy Voice?
The Earth. I am the Earth, Thy mother; slie within whose stony
veins, To the last fibre of the loftiest tree Whose thin leaves trembled in the
frozen air, Joy ran, as blood within a living frame, When thou didst from lier bosom, like a
cloud, Of glory, arise, a spirit of keen joy! And at thy voice her pining sons uplifted Their prostrate brows from the polluting
dust. And our almighty Tyrant with fierce
dread Grew pale, until his thunder chained
thee here. Then, see those million worlds which
burn and roll Around us: their inhabitants beheld My sphered light wane in wide Heaven;
the sea Was lifted by strange tempest, avd new
fire From earthquake-risted mountains of
bright snow Shook its portentous hair beneath
Heaven's frown ; Lightning and Inundation vexed the
plains ; Blue thistles bloomed in cities; foodless
toads Within voluptuous chambers panting
cra vled :
When Plague had fallen on man, and
beast and worm, And Famine; and black blight on herb
and tree; And in the corn, and vines, and meadow
grass, Teemed ineradicable poisonous weeds Draining their growth, for my wan
breast was dry With grief; and the thin air, my breath,
was stained With the contagion of a mother's hate Breathed on her child's destroyer ; aye,
I heard Thy curse, the which, if thou remem
berest not, Yet my innumerable seas and streams, Mountains, and caves, and winds, and
yon wide air, And the inarticulate people of the
dead, Preserve, a treasured spell. We meditate In secret joy and hope those dreadful
words But dare not speak them.
Prometheus. Venerable motber! All else who live and suffer take from
thee Some comfort; flowers, and fruits, and
happy sounds, And love, though Aeeting; these may
not be mine. But mine own words, I pray, deny me
not. The Earth. They shall be told. Ere
Babylon was dust, The Magus Zoroaster, my dead child, Met his own image walking in the gar
den. That apparition, sole of men, he saw. For know there are two worlds of life
and death : One that which thou beholdest ; but the
other Is underneath the grave, where do in
habit The shadows of all forms that think
and live Till death unite them and they part
no more ; Dreams and the light imaginings of
And all that fate creates or love desires, Terrible, strange, sublime and beauteous
shapes. There thou art, and dost hang, a writh
ing shade, 'Mid whirlwind-peopled mountains; all