« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Scattering contagious fire into the sky, Gleamed. My soul spurned the chains of its dismay, And in the rapid plumes of song Clothed itself, sublime and strong;
As a young eagle soars the morning clouds among, Hovering in verse o'er its accustomed prey;
Till from its station in the Heaven of fame The Spirit's whirlwind rapt it, and the ray Of the remotest sphere of living flame Which paves the void was from behind it flung, As foam from a ship's swiftness, when there came A voice out of the deep: I will record the same.
The Sun and the serenest Moon sprang forth;
Was yet a chaos and a curse,
For thou wert not; but power from worst producing worse,
The spirit of the beasts was kindled there,
And of the birds, and of the watery forms, And there was war among them, and despair
Within them, raging without truce or terms. The bosom of their violated nurse
Groaned, for beasts warred on beasts, and worms on worms,
And men on men; each heart was as a hell of
i. 4 unto, Harvard MS.
Man, the imperial shape, then multiplied
Temple and prison, to many a swarming million Were as to mountain wolves their ragged caves. This human living multitude
Was savage, cunning, blind, and rude, For thou wert not; but o'er the populous solitude, Like one fierce cloud over a waste of waves, Hung Tyranny; beneath, sate deified The sister-pest, congregator of slaves;
Into the shadow of her pinions wide Anarchs and priests who feed on gold and blood Till with the stain their inmost souls are dyed, Drove the astonished herds of men from every side.
The nodding promontories, and blue isles,
And cloud-like mountains, and dividuous waves Of Greece, basked glorious in the open smiles Of favoring heaven; from their enchanted caves Prophetic echoes flung dim melody.
On the unapprehensive wild
The vine, the corn, the olive mild, Grew savage yet, to human use unreconciled; And, like unfolded flowers beneath the sea, Like the man's thought dark in the infant's brain,
Like aught that is which wraps what is to be, Art's deathless dreams lay veiled by many a vein
Of Parian stone; and, yet a speechless child,
Athens arose; a city such as vision
Builds from the purple crags and silver towers Of battlemented cloud, as in derision
Of kingliest masonry: the ocean floors
By thunder-zonèd winds, each head Within its cloudy wings with sun-fire garlanded,A divine work! Athens, diviner yet,
Gleamed with its crest of columns, on the will Of man, as on a mount of diamond, set;
For thou wert, and thine all-creative skill Peopled, with forms that mock the eternal dead In marble immortality, that hill
Which was thine earliest throne and latest oracle.
Within the surface of Time's fleeting river
It trembles, but it cannot pass away!
Religion veils her eyes; Oppression shrinks
A winged sound of joy, and love, and wonder, Which soars where Expectation never flew,
Rending the veil of space and time asunder! One ocean feeds the clouds, and streams, and dew ;
One sun illumines heaven; one spirit vast
Then Rome was, and from thy deep bosom fairest,
By thy sweet love was sanctified;
And gold profaned thy Capitolian throne, Thou didst desert, with spirit-winged lightness, The senate of the tyrants: they sunk prone Slaves of one tyrant. Palatinus sighed
Faint echoes of Ionian song; that tone
From what Hyrcanian glen or frozen hill,
Didst thou lament the ruin of thy reign, Teaching the woods and waves, and desert rocks, And every Naiad's ice-cold urn, To talk in echoes sad and stern,
Of that sublimest lore which man had dared unlearn?
For neither didst thou watch the wizard flocks Of the Scald's dreams, nor haunt the Druid's sleep.
What if the tears rained through thy shattered locks
Were quickly dried? for thou didst groan, not weep,
When from its sea of death, to kill and burn,
And made thy world an undistinguishable heap.
A thousand years the Earth cried, Where art
And then the shadow of thy coming fell On Saxon Alfred's olive-cinctured brow;
And many a warrior-peopled citadel,
Like rocks which fire lifts out of the flat deep,
Frowning o'er the tempestuous sea
Of kings, and priests, and slaves, in tower-crowned majesty ;
That multitudinous anarchy did sweep
And burst around their walls, like idle foam, Whilst from the human spirit's deepest deep, Strange melody with love and awe struck dumb
Dissonant arms; and Art, which cannot die,
With divine wand traced on our earthly home Fit imagery to pave heaven's everlasting dome.