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“ Is faithful now the story of the feast ;
And Agathon and Diotima seemed
From death and dark forgetfulness released.”

'Twas at the season when the Earth upsprings From slumber, as a sphered angel's child, Shadowing its eyes with green and golden wings, ,

Stands up before its mother bright and mild,
Of whose soft voice the air expectant seems
So stood before the sun, which shone and smiled

To see it rise thus joyous from its dreams,
The fresh and radiant Earth. The hoary grove
Waxed green, and flowers burst forth like starry

beams;

The grass

in the warm sun did start and move, And sea-buds burst beneath the waves serene. How many a one, though none be near to love,

Loves then the shade of his own soul, half seen
In any mirror, or the spring's young minions,
The winged leaves amid the copses green!

How many a spirit then puts on the pinions
Of fancy, and outstrips the lagging blast,
And his own steps, and over wide dominions

Sweeps in his dream-drawn chariot, far and fast, More fleet than storms the wide world shrinks

below, When winter and despondency are passed !

116 beneath, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || under, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

'Twas at this season that Prince Athanase Passed the white Alps ; those eagle-baffling moun.

tains Slept in their shrouds of snow; beside the ways

The waterfalls were voiceless, for their fountains Were changed to mines of sunless crystal now; Or, by the curdling winds, like brazen wings

Which clanged along the mountain's marble brow,
Warped into adamantine fretwork, hung,
And filled with frozen light the chasm below.

Thou art the wine whose drunkenness is all
We can desire, O Love! and happy souls,
Ere from thy vine the leaves of autumn fall,

Catch thee, and feed from their o'erflowing bowls Thousands who thirst for thy ambrosial dew! Thou art the radiance which where ocean rolls

Investest it; and when the heavens are blue
Thou fillest them; and when the earth is fair
The shadow of thy moving wings imbue

Its deserts and its mountains, till they wear Beauty like some bright robe; thou ever soar

est Among the towers of men, and as soft air

142 Invests it : and when heavens are blue, Mrs. Shelley, 1824. Investeth, Rossetti.

144 Shadows, Rossetti.

In spring, which moves the unawakened forest, Clothing with leaves its branches bare and bleak, Thou floatest among men, and aye implorest

That which from thee they should implore; the

weak Alone kneel to thee, offering up the hearts The strong have broken ; yet where shall any seek

A garment whom thou clothest not?

Her hair was brown, her spherèd eyes were brown,
And in their dark and liquid moisture swam,
Like the dim orb of the eclipsed moon;

Yet when the spirit flashed beneath, there came
The light from them, as when tears of delight
Double the western planet's serene flame.

THE WOODMAN AND THE NIGHTINGALE

A WOODMAN, whose rough heart was out of tune (I think such hearts yet never came to good), Hated to hear, under the stars or moon,

One nightingale in an interfluous wood
Satiate the hungry dark with melody ; -
And as a vale is watered by a flood,

180 flame, Boscombe MS. II frame, Mrs. Shelley, 18392.

The Woodman and the Nightingale. Published, 1-67, by Mrs. Shelley, 1824, and, 68–70, by Garnett, 1862. Dated, 1818.

Or as the moonlight fills the open sky
Struggling with darkness, as a tuberose
Peoples some Indian dell with scents which lie

Like clouds above the flower from which they

rose, The singing of that happy nightingale In this sweet forest, from the golden close

Of evening till the star of dawn may fail,
Was interfused upon the silentness.
The folded roses and the violets pale

Heard her within their slumbers, the abyss
Of heaven with all its planets; the dull ear
Of the night-cradled earth; the loneliness

Of the circumfluous waters ; every sphere
And every flower and beam and cloud and

wave,
And every wind of the mute atmosphere,

And every beast stretched in its rugged cave,
And every bird lulled on its mossy bough,
And every silver moth fresh from the

grave

Which is its cradle; ever from below
Aspiring like one who loves too fair, too far,
To be consumed within the purest glow

Of one serene and unapproached star,
As if it were a lamp of earthly light,
Unconscious as some human lovers are

Itself how low, how high beyond all height
The heaven where it would perish! — and every

form
That worshipped in the temple of the night

Was awed into delight, and by the charm
Girt as with an interminable zone,
Whilst that sweet bird, whose music was a storm

Of sound, shook forth the dull oblivion
Out of their dreams ; harmony became love
In every soul but one.

And so this man returned with axe and saw
At evening close from killing the tall treen,
The soul of whom by nature's gentle law

Was each a wood-nymph, and kept ever green
The pavement and the roof of the wild copse,
Checkering the sunlight of the blue serene

With jagged leaves, and from the forest tops
Singing the winds to sleep, or weeping oft
Fast showers of aërial water drops

Into their mother's bosom, sweet and soft,
Nature's

pure

tears which have no bitterness ; Around the cradles of the birds aloft

They spread themselves into the loveliness
Of fan-like leaves, and over pallid flowers
Hang like moist clouds; or, where high branches
kiss,

49 their || her, Rossetti.

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