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But soon in me shall loneliness renew 650 Nothing to loathe in Nature, save to be Thoughts hid, but not less cherished A link reluctant in a fleshly chain, 685 than of old,
Classed among creatures, when the soul Ere mingling with the herd had penned me can flee, in their fold.
And with the sky, the peak, the heav
ing plain To fly from, need not be to hate, mankind;
Of ocean, or the stars, mingle, and not in
vain. All are not fit with them to stir and toil, Nor is it discontent to keep the mind 655
And thus I am absorbed, and this is Deep in its fountain, lest it overboil
life: In the hot throng, where we become the
I look upon the peopled desert past, 690 spoil Of our infection, till too late and long
As on a place of agony and strife,
Where, for some sin, to sorrow I was We may deplore and struggle with the
cast, coil, In wretched interchange of wrong for
To act and suffer, but remount at last
With a fresh pinion; which I feel to wrong
660 'Midst a contentious world, striving
Though young, yet waxing vigorous as where none are strong.
695 There, in a moment, we may plunge our Which it would cope with, on delighted years
wing, In fatal penitence, and in the blight Spurning the clay-cold bonds which round Of our own soul turn all our blood to our being cling.
tears, And color things to come with hues of And when, at length, the mind shall be night:
665 all free The race of life becomes a hopeless From what it hates in this degraded flight
form, To those that walk in darkness; on the Reft of its carnal life, save what shall
700 The boldest steer but where their ports Existent happier in the fly and worm,invite,
When elements to elements conform, But there are wanderers o'er Eternity And dust is as it should be, shall I Whose bark drives on and on, and an- not chored ne'er shall be.
670 Feel all I see, less dazzling, but more
warm? Is it not better, then, to be alone,
The bodiless thought? the Spirit of each And love Earth only for its earthly sake? By the blue rushing of the arrowy of which, even now, I share at times the
immortal lot? Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake, Which feeds it as a mother who doth
Are not the mountains, waves, and make
675 A fair but froward infant her own care,
skies, a part
Of me and of my soul, as I of them? Kissing its cries away as these awake;
Is not the love of these deep in my Is it not better thus our lives to wear,
heart Than join the crushing crowd, doomed to
With a pure passion? should I not coninflict or bear?
710 I live not in myself, but I become 680 All objects, if compared with these and Portion of that around me: and to me,
stem High mountains are a feeling, but the A tide of suffering rather than forego hum
Such feelings for the hard and worldly Of human cities torture; I can see
Of those whose eyes are only turned
below, Gazing upon the ground, with thoughts which dare not glow?
Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven! If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
825 Of men and empires,—'tis to be for
given, That in our aspirations to be great, Our destinies o'erleap their mortal
state, And claim a kindred with you; for ye
Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
797 With the wild world I dwelt in, is a
thing Which warns me, with its stillness, to
forsake Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.
800 This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing To waft me from distraction; once I
loved Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft mur
muring Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice re
proved That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.
A beauty and a mystery, and create 830 In us such love and reverence from
afar, That fortune, fame, power, life, have
named themselves a star.
All heaven and earth are still—though
not in sleep, But breathless, as we grow when feeling
most; And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep
835 All heaven and earth are still: from the
high host Of stars, to the lulled lake and moun
tain-coast, All is concentered in a life intense, Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is
lost, But hath a part of being, and a sense 840 Of that which is of all Creator and De
It is the hush of night, and all between Thy margin and the mountains, dusk,
yet clear, Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly
seen, Save darkened Jura, whose capped
heights appear Precipitously steep; and drawing near, There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,
811 Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on
the ear Drops the light drip of the suspended
oar, Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night
He is an evening reveller, who makes 815
infuse Deep into Nature's, breast the spirit of
Not vainly did the early Persian make.
thus take A fit and unwalled temple, there to seek The Spirit, in whose honor shrines are weak,
The Scipios tomb contains no ashes now;
Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness? Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle her distress.
The Goth, the Christian, Time, War,
Flood, and Fire, Have dealt upon the seven-hilled city's
pride; She saw her glories star by star expire, And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
715 Where the car climbed the Capitol; far
and wide Temple and tower went down, nor left
a site: Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void,
O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light, And say, “Here was, or is,” where all is doubly night?
Arches on arches! as it were that Rome, Collecting the chief trophies of her line, Would build up all her triumphs in one dome,
1146 Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams
shine As 't were its natural torches, for divine Should be the light which streams here,
to illume This long-explored but still exhaustless mine
1150 Of contemplation; and the azure gloom Of an Italian night, where the deep skies
The double night of ages, and of her, Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath
wrapped and wrap All round us; we but feel our way to err: The ocean hath his chart, the stars their
map, And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap;
725 But Rome is as the desert, where we
steer Stumbling o'er recollections; now we clap Our hands, and cry “Eureka! it is
clear!”When but some false mirage of ruin rises
Hues which have words, and speak to ye
of heaven, Floats o'er this vast and wondrous
monument, And shadows forth its glory. There is given
1155 Unto the things of earth, which Time
hath bent, A spirit's feeling, and where he hath leant His hand, but broke his scythe, there is
a power And magic in the ruined battlement,
For which the palace of the present hour Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower.
Alas! the lofty city! and, alas,
730 The trebly hundred triumphs; and the
day When Brutus made the dagger's edge
surpass The Conqueror's sword in bearing fame
away! Alas, for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay, And Livy's pictured page;—but these shall be
735 Her resurrection; all beside decay.
Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was free!
And here the buzz of
ran, In murmured pity, or loud-roared ap
plause, As man was slaughtered by his fellow man. And wherefore slaughtered? wherefore, but because
1246 Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws, And the imperial pleasure.
Wherefore not? What matters where we fall to fill the
maws Of worms-on battle-plainsor listed spot? Both are but theaters where the chief actors rot.
see before me the Gladiator lie: He leans upon his hand-his manly brow Consents to death, but conquers agony, And his drooped head sinks gradually low
And through his side the last drops, ebb- But when the rising moon begins to ing slow
climb From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one, Its topmost arch, and gently pauses Like the first of a thunder-shower; and there;
When the stars twinkle through the The arena swims around him-he is gone, loops of time,
1290 Ere ceased the inhuman shout which And the low night-breeze waves along hailed the wretch who won.
1260 the air
The garland-forest which the gray walls He heard it, but he heeded not-his eyes
wear, Were with his heart, and that was far
Like laurels on the bald first Cæsar'shead; away;
When the light shines serene but doth He recked not of the life he lost nor prize, not glare, But where his rude hut by the Danubelay,
Then in this magic circle raise the dead: There were his young barbarians all at Heroes have trod this spot—'tis on their play,
1296 There was their Dacian mother-he, their sire,
“While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall Butchered to make a Roman holiday
stand; All this rushed with his blood-Shall he
When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall, expire
And when Rome falls—the World." And unavenged? Arise! ye Goths, and
From our own land glut your ire!
Thus spake the pilgrims o'er this mighty But here, where Murder breathed her wall
1300 bloody steam;
In Saxon times, which we are wont to
1270 And here, where buzzing nations choked call
Ancient; and these three mortal things And roared or murmured like a mountain stream
On their foundations, and unaltered all; Dashing or winding as its torrent strays;
Rome and her Ruin past Redemption's Here, where the Roman millions' blame skill, or praise
The world, the same wide den-of thieves, Was death or life, the playthings of a
1275 My voice sounds much-and fall the
NATURE stars' faint rays
Oh that the desert were my dwelling On the arena void-seats crushed-walls
With one fair spirit for my minister, And galleries, where my steps seem echoes
That I might all forget the human race, strangely loud.
And, hating no one, love but only her! A ruin-yet what ruin! from its mass
Ye Elements, in whose ennobling stir Walls, palaces, half-cities, have been I feel myself exalted, can ye not 1590 reared;
Accord me such a being? Do I err Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass,
In deeming such inhabit many a spot, And marvel where the spoil could have Though with them to converse can rarely appeared.
be our lot? Hath it indeed been plundered, or but cleared?
There is a pleasure in the pathless Alas! developed, opens the decay, 1284 woods,
1594 When the colossal fabric's form is neared: There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
It will not bear the brightness of the day, There is society where none intrudes, Which streams too much on all, years, By the deep sea, and music in its
man have reft away.