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XIX

For it was filled with sculptures rarest,
Of forms most beautiful and strange,
Like nothing human, but the fairest

Of winged shapes, whose legions range
Throughout the sleep of those that are,
Like this same Lady, good and fair.

XX

And as she looked, still lovelier grew
Those marble forms; the sculptor sure
Was a strong spirit, and the hue

Of his own mind did there endure,
After the touch, whose power had braided
Such grace, was in some sad change faded.

XXI

She looked, the flames were dim, the flood Grew tranquil as a woodland river Winding through hills in solitude;

Those marble shapes then seemed to quiver, And their fair limbs to float in motion, Like weeds unfolding in the ocean;

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XXII

And their lips moved; one seemed to speak,
When suddenly the mountains cracked,
And through the chasm the flood did break
With an earth-uplifting cataract;
The statues gave a joyous scream,
And on its wings the pale thin dream
Lifted the Lady from the stream.

XXIII

The dizzy flight of that phantom pale
Waked the fair Lady from her sleep,
And she arose, while from the veil

Of her dark eyes the dream did creep;
And she walked about as one who knew
That sleep has sights as clear and true
As any waking eyes can view.

TO CONSTANTIA

SINGING

I

THUS to be lost and thus to sink and die, Perchance were death indeed! - Constantia, turn!

In thy dark eyes a power like light doth lie, Even though the sounds which were thy voice, which burn

Between thy lips, are laid to sleep;

Within thy breath, and on thy hair, like odor it is yet,

And from thy touch like fire doth leap.

Even while I write, my burning cheeks are

wet

Alas, that the torn heart can bleed, but not forget!

II

A breathless awe, like the swift change
Unseen but felt in youthful slumbers,

To Constantia. Published by Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

Wild, sweet, but uncommunicably strange,

Thou breathest now in fast ascending numbers.
The cope
of heaven seems rent and cloven
By the enchantment of thy strain ;
And on my shoulders wings are woven
To follow its sublime career

Beyond the mighty moons that wane
Upon the verge of Nature's utmost sphere,

Till the world's shadowy walls are passed and disappear.

III

Her voice is hovering o'er my soul-it lingers O'ershadowing it with soft and lulling wings; The blood and life within those snowy fingers

Teach witchcraft to the instrumental strings.
My brain is wild, my breath comes quick-
The blood is listening in my frame,
And thronging shadows, fast and thick,
Fall on my overflowing eyes;

My heart is quivering like a flame;

As morning dew, that in the sunbeam dies,
I am dissolved in these consuming ecstasies.

IV

I have no life, Constantia, now, but thee,

Whilst, like the world-surrounding air, thy song Flows on, and fills all things with melody.

Now is thy voice a tempest swift and strong, On which, like one in trance upborne,

Secure o'er rocks and waves I sweep, Rejoicing like a cloud of morn;

Now 'tis the breath of summer night, Which, when the starry waters sleep,

Round western isles, with incense-blossoms bright, Lingering, suspends my soul in its voluptuous flight.

TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR

I

THY Country's curse is on thee, darkest crest
Of that foul, knotted, many-headed worm
Which rends our Mother's bosom! - Priestly Pest!
Masked Resurrection of a buried Form!

II

Thy country's curse is on thee! Justice sold, Truth trampled, Nature's landmarks overthrown, And heaps of fraud-accumulated gold,

Plead, loud as thunder, at Destruction's throne.

III

And, whilst that sure slow Angel, which aye stands Watching the beck of Mutability,

Delays to execute her high commands,

And, though a nation weeps, spares thine and thee,

IV

Oh, let a father's curse be on thy soul,

And let a daughter's hope be on thy tomb;

To the Lord Chancellor. Published without title by Mrs. Shelley, v.-ix. and xiv., 18391, and with title, i.-xvi., 18392. The authorities enumerated below support the text except in cases noted.

iii. 1 sure slow, Harvard MS., Mrs. Shelley, transcripts (Forman, Frederickson1) || slow sure, Mrs. Shelley, transcripts (Forman, Frederickson2), 18392.

iii. 1 Angel, which aye || cancelled, by Shelley, for Fate which ever, Frederickson1.

Be both, on thy gray head, a leaden cowl

To weigh thee down to thine approaching doom!

V

I curse thee! By a parent's outraged love,

By hopes long cherished and too lately lost, By gentle feelings thou couldst never prove, By griefs which thy stern nature never crossed;

VI

By those infantine smiles of happy light,

Which were a fire within a stranger's hearth, Quenched even when kindled, in untimely

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night,

Hiding the promise of a lovely birth ;

VIII

VII

By those unpractised accents of young speech,
Which he who is a father thought to frame
To gentlest lore, such as the wisest teach —
Thou strike the lyre of mind! —oh, grief and
shame!

By all the happy see in children's growth,
That undeveloped flower of budding years -
Sweetness and sadness interwoven both,

Source of the sweetest hopes and saddest fears

iv. 3 Be || And, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Forman) 18392.
4 thine | thy, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Forman).
vi. 4 promises of lovely, Mrs. Shelley, 18391.

vii. 3 lore || love, Mrs. Shelley, transcripts (Frederickson1,2). viii. 3 intermingled, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson2). 4 the saddest, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson1).

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