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Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,
Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
Of some fierce Mænad, even from the dim verge
Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: Oh hear!
Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,
Beside a pumice isle in Baia's bay,
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,
All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear,
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
The impulse of thy strength, only less free.
The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
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, even as the forest is
Will take from 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
Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O wind,
CAMELEONS feed on light and air:
Poets' food is love and fame :
If in this wide world of care
Poets could but find the same
With as little toil as they,
Would they ever change their hue
Twenty times a-day?
Poets are on this cold earth,
As cameleons might be,
In a cave beneath the sea;
Where light is, cameleons change!
Where love is not, poets do:
Fame is love disguised if few
Yet dare not stain with wealth or power
THE MEDUSA OF LEONARDO DA VINCI,
IN THE FLORENTINE GALLERY.
Ir lieth, gazing on the midnight sky,
Yet it is less the horror than the grace
Into itself, and thought no more can trace;
"Tis the melodious hues of beauty thrown Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain, Which humanize and harmonize the strain.
And from its head as from one body grow,
Their mailed radiance, as it were to mock
And from a stone beside, a poisonous eft
Of sense, has flitted with a mad surprise
Flares, a light more dread than obscurity.
'Tis the tempestuous loveliness of terror;
For from the serpents gleams a brazen glare Kindled by that inextricable error,
Which makes a thrilling vapour of the air Become a [ ] and ever-shifting mirror
Of all the beauty and the terror thereA woman's countenance, with serpent locks, Gazing in death on heaven from those wet rocks.