« ZurückWeiter »
The exterminating fiend is fled
(Foul her life, and dark her doom) Mighty armies of the dead
Dance, like death-fires, round her tomb!
Then with prophetic song relate,
Each some tyrant-murderer's fate!
Departing Year ! 'twas on no earthly shore
My soul beheld thy vision! Where alone,
Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne, Aye Memory sits : thy robe inscribed with gore, With many an unimaginable groan
Thou storied'st thy sad hours! Silence ensued,
Deep silence o'er the ethereal multitude, Whose locks with wreaths, whose wreaths with glories shone.
Then, his eye wild ardours glancing,
From the choired gods advancing,
The Spirit of the Earth made reverence meet,
And stood up, beautiful, before the cloudy seat.
Throughout the blissful throng,
Hushed were harp and song:
Till wheeling round the throne the Lampads seven,
(The mystic Words of Heaven)
Permissive signal make: The fervent Spirit bowed, then spread his wings and spake ! “ Thou in stormy blackness throning
Love and uncreated Light,
By the Earth's unsolaced groaning,
Seize thy terrors, Arm of might!
By peace with proffered insult scared,
Masked hate and envying scorn!
By years of havoc yet unborn!
And hunger's bosom to the frost-winds bared !
But chief by Afric's wrongs,
Strange, horrible, and foul !
By what deep guilt belongs
To the deaf Synod, ‘full of gifts and lies !'
By wealth's insensate laugh! by torture's howl!
Avenger, rise !
For ever shall the thankless Island scowl,
Her quiver full, and with unbroken bow ?
Speak! from thy storm-black Heaven O speak aloud ! ·
And on the darkling foe
Open thine eye of fire from some uncertain cloud!
O dart the flash ! O rise and deal the blow!
The Past to thee, to thee the Future cries!
Hark! how wide Nature joins her groans below!
Rise, God of Nature! rise."
The voice had ceased, the vision filed ;
Yet still I gasped and reeled with dread.
And ever, when the dream of night
Renews the phantom to my sight,
Cold sweat-drops gather on my limbs ;
My ears throb hot; my eye-balls start;
My brain with horrid tumult swims :
Wild is the tempest of my heart;
And my thick and struggling breath
Imitates the toil of death!
No stranger agony confounds
The soldier on the war-field spread,
When all foredone with toil and wounds,
Death-like he dozes among heaps of dead ! (The strife is o'er, the daylight fled,
And the night-wind clamours hoarse ! See! the starting wretch's head
Lies pillowed on a brother's corse !)
Not yet enslaved, not wholly vile,
O Albion! O my mother Isle !
Thy valleys, fair as Eden's bowers,
with sunny showers; Thy grassy uplands gentle swells
Echo to the bleat of flocks ; (Those grassy bills, those glittering dells
Proudly ramparted with rocks) And Ocean mid bis uproar wild Speaks safety to his island-child,
Hence for many a fearless age
Has social Quiet loved thy shore; Nor ever proud invader's rage Or sacked thy towers, or stained thy fields with gore.
Abandoned of Heaven! mad avarice thy guide,
At cowardly distance, yet kindling with pride-
Mid thy herds and thy corn-fields secure thou hast stood,
And joined the wild yelling of famine and blood !
The nations curse thee! They with eager wondering
Shall hear Destruction, like a vulture, scream!
Strange-eyed Destruction ! who with many a dream
Of central fires through nether seas upthundering
Soothes her fierce solitude ; yet as she lies
By livid fount, or red volcanic stream,
If ever to her lidless dragon-eyes,
O Albion ! thy predestined ruins rise,
The fiend-hag on her perilous couch doth leap,
Muttering distempered triumph in her charmed sleep.
Away, my soul, away!
In vain, in vain the birds of warning sing-
And hark ! I hear the famished brood of prey
Flap their lank pennons on the groaning wind !
Away, my soul, away!
I unpartaking of the evil thing,
With daily prayer and daily toil
Soliciting for food my scanty soil,
Have wailed my country with a loud Lament. Now I recentre my immortal mind
In the deep sabbath of meek self-content; Cleansed from the vaporous passions that bedim God's Image, sister of the Seraphim.
319. HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.
Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
In his steep course ? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc !
The Arve and Arveirou at thy base
Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form!
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
How silently! Around thee and above
Deep is the air, and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass : methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!
o dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer,
I worshipp'd the Invisible alone.
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought,
Yea, with my life, and life's own secret joy ;
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty vision passing—there,
As in her natural form, swellid vast to heaven.
Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.
Thou first and chief, sole Sovran of the Vale!
Oh struggling with the darkness all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky or when they sink :
Companion of the morning-star at dawn,
Thyself earth's ROSY STAR, and of the dawn
Co-herald! wake, oh wake, and utter praise !
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth ?
Who fill'd thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad !
Who call'd you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
For ever shatter'd, and the same for ever ?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder, and eternal foam ?
And who commanded (and the silence came)
Here let the billows stiffen and have rest?
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain-
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopp'd at once amid their maddest plunge!
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven
Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows ? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ?
God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God !
God! sing, ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice !
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God !
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost !
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest !
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds !
Ye signs and wonders of the element !
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise !
Thou too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene,
Into the depth of clouds that vail thy breast-
Thou too, again, stupendous mountain! thou,
That as I raise my head, awhile bow'd low
In adoration, upward from thy base
Slow-travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud,
To rise before me--rise, oh ever rise,
Rise like a cloud of incense from the earth!
Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven,
Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.
320. KUBLA KHAN : OR, A VISION IN A DREAM.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.