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"A baby's or an idiot's brow, and made

Their nests in it. The old anatomies

Sate hatching their bare broods under the shade

"Or demon wings, and laughed from their dead eyes To reassume the delegated power,

Array'd in which those worms did monarchize,

"Who made this earth their charnel.

Humble, like falcons, sate upon the fist

Others more

Of common men, and round their heads did soar;

"Or like small gnats and flies, as thick as mist On evening marshes, thronged about the brow Of lawyers, statesmen, priest, and theorist ;

"And others, like discoloured flakes of snow
On fairest bosoms and the sunniest hair,
Fell, and were melted by the youthful glow

"Which they extinguished; and, like tears, they were A veil to those from whose faint lids they rained

In drops of sorrow.

I became aware

"Of whence those forms proceeded which thus stained The track in which we moved. After brief space, From every form the beauty slowly waned;

"From every firmest limb and fairest face
The strength and freshness fell like dust, and left
The action and the shape without the grace

"Of life. The marble brow of youth was cleft With care; and in those eyes where once hope shone, Desire, like a lioness bereft

"Of her last cub, glared ere it died; each one Of that great crowd sent forth incessantly These shadows, numerous as the dead leaves blown

"In autumn evening from a polar tree, Each like himself and like each other were At first; but some distorted seemed to be

"Obscure clouds, moulded by the casual air; And of this stuff the car's creative ray

Wrapt all the busy phantoms that were there,

"As the sun shapes the clouds; thus on the way Mask after mask fell from the countenance

And form of all; and long before the day

"Was old, the joy which waked like heaven's glance The sleepers in the oblivious valley, died;

And some grew weary of the ghastly dance,

"And fell, as I have fallen, by the way side;Those soonest from whose forms most shadows past, And least of strength and beauty did abide.

"Then, what is life? I cried."


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HE came like a dream in the dawn of life,
He fled like a shadow before its noon;
He is gone, and my peace is turned to strife,
And I wander and wane like the weary moon.
O sweet Echo, wake,

And for my sake

Make answer the while my heart shall break!

But heart has a music which Echo's lips,

Though tender and true, yet can answer not, And the shadow that moves in the soul's eclipse Can return not the kiss by his now forgot; Sweat lips! he who hath

On my desolate path

Cast the darkness of absence, worse than death!


And if my grief should still be dearer to me Than all the pleasure in the world beside, Why would you lighten it ?—


I offer only

That which I seek, some human sympathy

In this mysterious island.

The Indian. Oh my friend,

My sister, my beloved!

What do I say?

My brain is dizzy, and I scarce know whether

I speak to thee or her. Peace, perturbed heart!
I am to thee only as thou to mine.

The passing wind which heals the brow at noon,
may strike cold into the breast at night,
Yet cannot linger where it soothes the most,

Or long soothe could it linger. But you said
You also loved?


Loved! Oh, I love. Methinks

This word of love is fit for all the world,

And that for gentle hearts another name

Would speak of gentler thoughts than the world owns.
I have loved.

The Indian. And thou lovest not? If so
Young as thou art, thou canst afford to weep.
Lady. Oh! would that I could claim exemption
From all the bitterness of that sweet name.
I loved, I love, and when I love no more
Let joys and grief perish, and leave despair
To ring the knell of youth. He stood beside me,
The embodied vision of the brightest dream,
Which like a dawn heralds the day of life;
The shadow of his presence made my world
A paradise. All familiar things he touched,
All common words he spoke, became to me
Like forms and sounds of a diviner world.
He was as is the sun in his fierce youth,
As terrible and lovely as a tempest;

came, , and went, and left me what I am.
Alas! Why must I think how oft we two
Have sate together near the river springs,
Under the green pavilion which the willow
Spreads on the floor of the unbroken fountain,
Strewn by the nurslings that linger there,
Over that islet paved with flowers and moss,
While the musk-rose leaves, like flakes of crimson snow,

Showered on us, and the dove mourned in the pine,

Sad prophetess of sorrows not our own.

Indian. Your breath is like soft music, your words are

The echoes of a voice which on my heart

Sleeps like a melody of early days.

But as you said


He was so awful, yet

So beautiful in mystery and terror,

Calming me as the loveliness of heaven

Soothes the unquiet sea :-and yet not so,
For he seemed stormy, and would often seem
A quenchless sun masked in portentous clouds ;
For such his thoughts, and even his actions were;
But he was not of them, nor they of him,
But as they hid his splendour from the earth.
Some said he was a man of blood and peril,
And steeped in bitter infamy to the lips.
More need was there I should be innocent,
More need that I should be most true and kind,

And much more need that there should be found one

To share remorse, and scorn, and solitude,

And all the ills that wait on those who do

The tasks of ruin in the world of life.

He fled, and I have followed him.

February, 1822.

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