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Thou huntress swifter than the Moon! thou terror Of the world's wolves! thou bearer of the


Whose sun-like shafts pierce tempest-winged Error,

As light may pierce the clouds when they dis


In the calm regions of the orient day!

Luther caught thy wakening glance;

Like lightning, from his leaden lance Reflected, it dissolved the visions of the trance In which, as in a tomb, the nations lay;


And England's prophets hailed thee as their


songs whose music cannot pass away, Though it must flow forever; not unseen

Before the spirit-sighted countenance

Of Milton didst thou pass, from the sad scene Beyond whose night he saw, with a dejected mien.


The eager hours and unreluctant years

As on a dawn-illumined mountain stood, Trampling to silence their loud hopes and fears, Darkening each other with their multitude, And cried aloud, Liberty! Indignation Answered Pity from her cave;

Death grew pale within the grave,

And Desolation howled to the destroyer, Save! When, like heaven's sun girt by the exhalation Of its own glorious light, thou didst arise,

Chasing thy foes from nation unto nation

Like shadows: as if day had cloven the skies At dreaming midnight o'er the western wave, Men started, staggering with a glad surprise, Under the lightnings of thine unfamiliar eyes.


Thou heaven of earth! what spells could pall thee then,

In ominous eclipse? a thousand years, Bred from the slime of deep oppression's den, Dyed all thy liquid light with blood and tears, Till thy sweet stars could weep the stain away; How like Bacchanals of blood

Round France, the ghastly vintage, stood Destruction's sceptred slaves, and Folly's mitred


When one, like them, but mightier far than they,

The Anarch of thine own bewildered powers, Rose; armies mingled in obscure array,

Like clouds with clouds, darkening the sacred

Of serene heaven. He, by the past pursued,
Rests with those dead but unforgotten hours,
Whose ghosts scare victor kings in their ances-
tral towers.


England yet sleeps: was she not called of old?

Spain calls her now, as with its thrilling thunder Vesuvius wakens Etna, and the cold

Snow-crags by its reply are cloven in sunder; O'er the lit waves every Æolian isle

From Pithecusa to Pelorus

Howls, and leaps, and glares in chorus ; They cry, Be dim, ye lamps of heaven suspended o'er us!

Her chains are threads of gold, she need but smile

And they dissolve; but Spain's were links of steel,

Till bit to dust by virtue's keenest file.

Twins of a single destiny! appeal

To the eternal years enthroned before us
In the dim West; impress us from a seal,

All ye have thought and done! Time cannot dare conceal.


Tomb of Arminius! render up thy dead

Till, like a standard from a watch-tower's staff, His soul may stream over the tyrant's head; Thy victory shall be his epitaph, Wild Bacchanal of truth's mysterious wine, King-deluded Germany,

His dead spirit lives in thee.

Why do we fear or hope? thou art already free! And thou, lost Paradise of this divine

And glorious world! thou flowery wilderness! Thou island of eternity! thou shrine

Where desolation clothed with loveliness

Worships the thing thou wert! O Italy,
Gather thy blood into thy heart; repress

The beasts who make their dens thy sacred palaces.

xiii. 14 us || as, Forman conj.


Oh, that the free would stamp the impious name
Of King into the dust! or write it there,
So that this blot upon the page of fame

Were as a serpent's path, which the light air
Erases, and the flat sands close behind!

Ye the oracle have heard.

Lift the victory-flashing sword,

And cut the snaky knots of this foul gordian word,

Which, weak itself as stubble, yet can bind
Into a mass, irrefragably firm,

The axes and the rods which awe mankind;
The sound has poison in it, 'tis the sperm
Of what makes life foul, cankerous, and abhorred;
Disdain not thou, at thine appointed term,

To set thine armèd heel on this reluctant worm.


Oh, that the wise from their bright minds would kindle

Such lamps within the dome of this dim world, That the pale name of Priest might shrink and


Into the hell from which it first was hurled, A scoff of impious pride from fiends impure; Till human thoughts might kneel alone, Each before the judgment-throne

Of its own aweless soul, or of the power unknown! Oh, that the words which make the thoughts


xv. 2 King, Boscombe MS. ||

Shelley, 1820.

From which they spring, as clouds of glimmering dew

From a white lake blot heaven's blue portraiture, Were stripped of their thin masks and various


And frowns and smiles and splendors not their


Till in the nakedness of false and true

They stand before their Lord, each to receive its due.


He who taught man to vanquish whatsoever

Can be between the cradle and the grave Crowned him the King of Life. Oh, vain endeavor! If on his own high will, a willing slave,

He has enthroned the oppression and the oppressor. What if earth can clothe and feed

Amplest millions at their need,

And power in thought be as the tree within the seed?

Oh, what if Art, an ardent intercessor,

Driving on fiery wings to Nature's throne, Checks the great mother stooping to caress her And cries: "Give me, thy child, dominion Over all height and depth?" if Life can breed New wants, and wealth from those who toil and


Rend of thy gifts and hers a thousandfold for



Come thou, but lead out of the inmost cave
Of man's deep spirit, as the morning-star

xvii. 9 Oh, Shelley, 1820 || Or, Mrs. Shelley, 18391.

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