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THE STONY HEART
HENCE comes my love?-O heart, disclose!
'twas from her cheeks that shame the rose;
from lips that spoil the ruby's praise,
from eyes that mock the diamond's blaze:
whence comes my woe, as freely own;
ah me! 'twas from a heart like stone.
The blushing cheek speaks modest mind,
the lips befitting words most kind:
the eye does témpt to love's desire,
and seems to say, 'tis Cupid's fire:
yet all so fair but speak my moan,
sith nought doth say the heart of stone.
Why thus, my love, so kindly speak
sweet eye, sweet lip, sweet blushing cheek,
yet not a heart to save my pain?
O Venus! take thy gifts again:
make not so fair to cause our moan,
or make a heart that's like your own.
THE ADOPTED CHILD
HY wouldst thou leave me, O gentle child?
thy home on the mountain is bleak and wild,
a straw-roofed cabin with lowly wall-
mine is a fair and a pillared hall,
where many an image of marble gleams,
and the sunshine of pictures for ever streams.'
'Oh! green is the turf where my brothers play
through the long bright hours of the summer-day;
they find the red cup-moss where they climb,
and they chase the bee o'er the scented thyme:
and the rocks where the heath-flower blooms they know-
Lady, kind Lady, oh! let me go!'
'Content thee, boy, in my bower to dwell,
here are sweet sounds which thou lovešt well;
flutes on the air in the stilly noon,
harps which the wandering breezes tune,
and the silver wood-note of many a bird
whose voice was ne'er in thy mountains heard.'
HYMN OF APOLLO THE "HE sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
deceit, that loves the night and fears the day; all men, who do or even imagine ill
fly me, and from the glory of my ray good minds and open actions take new might, until diminished by the reign of night. I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers,
with their ethereal colours; the moon's globe
and the pure stars in their eternal bowers
are cinctured with my power as with a robe;
whatever lamps on earth or heaven may shine
are portions of one power, which is mine.
I am the eye with which the Universe
behofds itself and knows itself divine ;
all harmony of instrument or verse,
all prophecy, all medicine are mine,
all light of art or nature ;-to my song
victory and praise in their own right belong.
P. B. SHELLEY
551 SUNSET VIEWED FROM THE PIRAEUS
LOW sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
along Morea's hills the setting sun; not as in northern climes obscurely bright, but one unclouded blaze of living light: o'er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws, gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows. On old Ægina's rock and Idra's isle the god of gladness sheds his parting smile; o'er his own regions lingering, loves to shine, though there his altars are no more divine. Descending fast the mountain shadows kiss thy glorious gulf, unconquered Salamis ! their azure arches through the long expanse more deeply purpled meet his mellowing glance, and tenderest tints, along their summits driven, mark his gay course and own the hues of heaven ; till, darkly shaded from the land and deep, behind his Delphian cliff he sinks to sleep.
552 THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL
ITAL spark of heavenly flame,
quit, О quit this mortal frame ! trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,
oh the pain, the bliss of dying !
cease, fond nature, cease thy strife,
and let me languish into life!
Hark, they whisper; angels say
“Sister spirit, come away!'
what is this absorbs me quite,
steals my senses, shuts my sight,
drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
tell me, my soul, can this be death?
The world recedes; it disappears!
heaven opens on my eyes! my ears
with sounds seraphic ring:
lend, lend your wings ! I mount! I fly!
O Grave, where is thy victory?
O Death, where is thy sting?
A DROP OF DEW
EE how the orient dew,
shed from the bosom of the morn
into the blowing roses,
yet careless of its mansion new,
for the clear region where 'twas born,
round in itself incloses
and in its little globe's extent
frames, as it can, its native element.
How it the purple flower does slight,
scarce touching where it lies;
but gazing back upon the skies
shines with a mournful light:
like its own tear,
because so long divided from the sphere.
Restless it rolls and unsecure,
trembling lest it grow impure;
till the warm sun pities its pain,
and to the skies exhales it back again. 534 So the soul, that drop, that ray,
of the clear fountain of eternal day,
could it within the human flower be seen,
remembering still its former height,
shuns the sweet leaves and blossoms green;
and, recollecting its own light,
does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express
the greater heaven in a heaven less.
In how coy a figure wound,
every way it turns away,
so the world excluding round,
yet receiving in the day;
dark beneath, but bright above,
here disdaining, there in love.
How loose and easy hence to go,
how girt and ready to ascend :
moving but on a point below,
it all about does upward bend.
Such did the manna’s sacred dew distil,
white and entire, although congealed and chill ;
congealed on earth; but does, dissolving, run
into the glories of the almighty sun.
THE FISHERMEN'S SONG
O fish stir in our heaving net,
the sky is dark and the night is wet,
and we must ply the lusty oar,
for the tide is ebbing from the shore :
and sad are they whose faggots burn,
so kindly stored for our return.
Our boat is small, and the tempest raves;
and nought is heard but the lashing waves,
and the sullen roar of the angry sea,
and the wild winds piping drearily:
yet sea and tempest rise in vain,
we'll bless our blazing hearths again.
Push bravely, mates; our guiding star
now from its turret streameth far:
and now along the nearing strand
see swiftly move yon flaming brand:
before the midnight hour is past,
we'll quaff our bowl and mock the blast.
TITH sacrifice before the rising morn
vows have I made by fruitless hope inspired ; and from the infernal gods, 'mid shades forlorn of night, my slaughtered lord have I required: celestial pity I again implore;restore him to my sight-great Jove, restore!'
So speaking, and by fervent love endowed
with faith, the Suppliant heavenward lifts her hands;
while, like the sun emerging from a cloud,
her countenance brightens—and her eye expands;
her bosom heaves and spreads, her stature grows;
and she expects the issue in repose.
O terror! what hath she perceived?-0 joy!
what doth she look on?-whom doth she behold?
her hero slain upon the beach of Troy?
his vital presence? his corporeal mould?
It is-if sense deceive her not-'tis He!
and a god leads him, winged Mercury!
557 Mild Hermes spake--and touched her with his wand
that calms all fear; ‘Such grace hath crowned thy prayer,
Laodamia, that at Jove's command
thy husband walks the paths of upper air:
he comes to tarry with thee three hours' space;
accept the gift, behold him face to face!'
Forth sprang the impassioned Queen her Lord to clasp;
again that consummation she essayed;
but unsubstantial Form eludes her grasp
as often as that eager grasp was made.
The Phantom parts—but parts to reunite,
and reassume his place before her sight.
“Protesilaus, lo! thy guide is gone!
confirm, I pray, the vision with thy voice :
this is our palace, yonder is thy throne ;
speak, and the floor thou tread'st on will rejoice.
Not to appal me have the Gods bestowed
this precious boon and blest a sad abode.'