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EPODE I. a.

I STOOD within the city disinterred:+
And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls
Of spirits passing through the streets; and heard
The Mountain's slumberous voice an intervals
Thrill through those roofless halls;
The oracular thunder penetrating shook

The listening soul in my suspended blood;
I felt that Earth out of her deep heart spoke-
I felt, but heard not:-through white columns glowed
The isle-sustaining Ocean-flood,

A plane of light between two Heavens of azure :
Around me gleamed many a bright sepulchre
Of whose pure beauty, Time, as if his pleasure
Were to spare Death, had never made erasure;
But every living lineament was clear

As in the sculptor's thought; and there
The wreaths of stony myrtle, ivy, and pine,
Like winter leaves o'ergrown by moulded snow,
Seemed only not to move and grow

Because the crystal silence of the air

Weighed on their life; even as the Power divine

Which then lulled all things, brooded upon mine.

The Author has connected many recollections of his visit to Pompeii and Baie with the enthusiasm excited by the intelligence of the proclamation of a Constitutional Government at Naples. This has gi ven a tinge of picturesque and descriptive imagery to the introductory Epodes which depicture these scenes, and some of the majestic feelings permanently connected with the scene of this animating event.Author's Note.

+ Pompeii.

EPODE II. a.

Then gentle winds arose

With many a mingled close

Of wild Eolian sound and mountain odour keen;
And where the Baian ocean

Welters with airlike motion

Within, above, around its bowers of starry green,
Moving the sea flowers in those purple caves
Even as the ever stormless atmosphere
Floats o'er the Elysian realm,

It bore me like an Angel o'er the waves
Of sunlight, whose swift pinnace of dewy air
No storm can overwhelin ;
I sailed, where ever flows
Under the caim Serene

A spirit of deep emotion
From the unknown graves

Of the dead kings of Melody.*

Shadowy Aornos darkened o'er the helm
The horizontal æther; heaven stript bare
Its depths over Elysium, where the prow
Made the invisible water white as snow;
From that Typhæan mount, Inarime

There streamed a sunlike vapour, like the standard
Of some ethereal host;

Whilst from all the coast,

Louder and louder, gathering round, there wandered Over the oracular woods and divine sea

Prophesyings which grew articulate

They seize me-I must speak them-be they fate!

Homer and Virgil.

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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;
Sweet lips! he who hath

On my desolate path

Cast the darkness of absence, worse than death!

Indian. And if my grief should still be dearer tom? Than all the pleasure in the world beside,

Why would you lighten it ?—

Lady.

I offer only

That which I seek, some human sympathy

In this mysterious island.

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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,
And
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?

Lady.

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;
He 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 ar

The echoes of a voice which on my heart

Sleeps like a melody of early days.

But as you said

Lady.

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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