Billeder på siden

And I forgot my home, my birth,

Profaned my spirit, sunk my brow, And revell’d in gross joys of earth,

Till I became—what I am now!

The Spirit bow'd his head in shame ;

A shame that of itself would tell-
Were there not even those breaks of flame,
Celestial, through his clouded frame-

How grand the height from which he fell!
That holy Shame which ne'er forgets

What clear renown it used to wear;
Whose blush remains, when Virtue sets,

To show her sunshine has been there.
Once only, while the tale he told,
Were his eyes lifted to behold
That happy stainless star, where she
Dwelt in her bower of purity!
One minute did he look, and then

As though he felt some deadly pain

From its sweet light through heart and brainShrunk back, and never look'd again.

The kindlings of disdain and ire, Short was the fitful glare they threwLike the last flashes, fierce but few,

Seen through some noble pile on fire! Such was the Angel who now broke

The silence that had come o'er all, When he, the Spirit that last spoke,

Closed the sad history of his fall; And, while a sacred lustre, flown

For many a day, relum'd his cheek, And not those sky-tuned lips alone, But his eyes, brows, and tresses, roll'd

Like sunset waves, all seem'd to speak Thus his eventful story told :


Who was the Second Spirit ?—he

With the proud front and piercing glance

Who seem'd, when viewing heaven's expanse, As though his far-sent eye could see On, on into the Immensity Behind the veils of that blue sky, Where God's sublimest secrets lie ?His wings the while, though day was gone,

Flashing with many a various hue Of light they from themselves alone,

Instinct with Eden's brightness, drewA breathing forth of beams at will,

Of living beams, which, though no more They kept their early lustre, still

Were such, when glittering out all o'er,

As mortal eyelids wink'd before. Twas Rubi—once among the prime

And flower of those bright creatures, named Spirits of Knowledge,' who o'er Time

And Space and Thought an empire claim'd, Second alone to Him, whose lightWas, even to theirs, as day to night'Twixt whom and them was distance far

And wide, as would the journey be
To reach from any island star

The vague shores of infinity!
'T was Rubi, in whose mournful eye
Slept the dim light of days gone by;
Whose voice, though sweet, fell on the ear

Like echoes in some silent place,
When first awaked for many a year :

And when he smiled-if o'er his face

Smile ever shone—'t was like the grace
Of moonlight rainbows, fair, but wan,
The sunny life, the glory gone.
Even o'er his pride, though still the same,
A softening shade from sorrow came;
And though at times his spirit knew

You both remember well the day

When unto Eden's new-made bowers, He, whom all living things obey,

Summon'd his chief angelic powers, To witness the one wonder yet,

Beyond man, angel, star, or sun, He must achieve, ere he could set

His seal upon the world as done To see that last perfection rise,

That crowning of creation's birth, When, ʼmid the worship and surprise Of circling angels, Woman's eyes

First open'd upon heaven and earth ; And from their lids a thrill was sent,

That through each living spirit went, Like first light through the firmament ! Can you forget how gradual stole The fresh awaken'd breath of soul Throughout her perfect form—which seem'd To grow transparent, as there beam'd That dawn of mind within, and caught New loveliness from each new thought ? Slow as o'er summer seas we trace

The progress of the noon-tide air, Dimpling its bright and silent face Each minute into some new grace,

And varying heaven's reflections thereOr, like the light of evening, stealing

O'er some fair temple, which all day
Hath slept in shadow, slow revealing

Its several beauties, ray by ray,
Till it shines out, a thing to bless,
All full of light and loveliness.
Can you forget her blush, when round
Through Eden's lone enchanted ground
She look'd—and at the sea—the skies-

And heard the rush of many a wing,

By God's command then vanishing,
And saw the last few angel eyes,
Still lingering—mine among the rest,-
Reluctant leaving scene so blest ?
From that miraculous hour, the fate

of this new glorious Being dwelt For ever, with a spell-like weight, Upon my spirit-early, late,

Whate'er I did, or dream'd, or felt.


1 The Cherubim.-See Note.

The thought of what might yet befall
That splendid creature mix'd with all.--
Nor she alone, but her whole race

Through ages yet to come--whate'er

Of feminine, and fond, and fair,
Should spring from that pure mind and face,

All waked my soul's intensest care :
Their forms, souls, feelings, still to me
God's most disturbing mystery!
It was my doom—even from the first,

When summon'd with my cherub peers,
To witness the young vernal burst

Of nature through those blooming spheres,
Those flowers of light, that sprung beneath
The first touch of the Eternal's breath-
It was my doom still to be haunted

By some new wonder, some sublime

And matchless work, that, for the time,
Held all my soul enchain'd, enchanted,
And left me not a thought, a dream,
A word, but on that only theme !
The wish to know—that endless thirst,

Which even by quenching, is awaked,
And which becomes or bless'd or cursed,

As is the fount whereat 't is slakedStill urged me onward, with desire Insatiate, to explore, inquireWhate'er the wondrous things might be, That waked each new idolatryTheir cause, aim, source from whence they

sprung, Their inmost powers, as though for me

Existence on that knowledge hung. Oh what a vision were the stars,

When first I saw them burn on high,
Rolling along like living cars

Of light, for gods to journey by!
They were my heart's first passion-days
And nights, unwearied, in their rays
Have I hung floating, till each sense
Seem'd full of their bright influence.
Innocent joy! alas, how much

Of misery had I shunn'd below,
Could I have still lived blest with such ;

Nor, proud and restless, burn'd to know

The knowledge that brings guilt and woe!
Often-so much I loved to trace
The secrets of this starry race-
Have I at morn and evening run
Along the lines of radiance spun,
Like webs, between them and the sun,
Untwisting all the tangled ties
of light into their different dyes
Then fleetly wing'd I off, in quest
Of those, the farthest, loneliest,
That watch, like winking sentinels,
The void, beyond which Chaos dwells,
And there, with noiseless plume, pursued
Their track through that grand solitude,
Asking intently all and each

What soul within their radiance dwelt,
And wishing their sweet light were speech,

That they might tell me all they felt.

Nay, oft so passionate my chase
Of these resplendent heirs of space,
Oft did I follow-lest a ray

Should ’scape me in the farthest night-
Some pilgrim Comet, on his way

To visit distant shrines of light,
And well remember how I sung

Exulting out, when on my sight
New worlds of stars, all fresh and young,
As if just born of darkness, sprung!
Such was my pure ambition then,

My sinless transport, night and morn;
Ere this still newer world of men,

And that most fair of stars was born,
Which I, in fatal hour, saw rise
Among the flowers of Paradise !
Thenceforth my nature all was changed,

My heart, soul, senses turn'd below;
And he, who but so lately ranged

Yon wonderful expanse, where glow Worlds upon worlds, yet found his mind Even in that luminous range confined, Now blest the humblest, meanest

sod Of the dark earth where Woman trod! In vain my former idols glisten'd

From their far thrones; in vain these ears To the once thrilling music listen'd,

That hymn'd around my favourite spheresTo earth, to earth each thought was given,

That in this half-lost soul had birth; Like some high mount, whose head's in heaven,

While its whole shadow rests on earth!
Nor was it Love, even yet, that thrall’a

My spirit in his burning ties;
And less, still less could it be call'd
That grosser flame, round which Love flies

Nearer and nearer, till he dies--
No, it was wonder, such as thrill'd

At all God's works my dazzled sense ;
The same rapt wonder, only fill'd

With passion, more profound, intense,-
A vehement, but wandering fire,
Which, though nor love, nor yet desire,
Though through all womankind it took

Its range, as vague as lightnings run,
Yet wanted but a touch, a look,

To fix it burning upon One.
Then, too, the ever-restless zeal,

The insatiate curiosity
To know what shapes, so fair, must feel-
To look, but once, beneath the seal

Of so much loveliness, and see
What souls belong'd to those bright eyes-

Whether, as sun-beams find their way
Into the gem that hidden lies,

Those looks could inward turn their ray,

To make the soul as bright as they !
All this impellid my anxious chase,

And still the more I saw and knew
Of Woman's fond, weak, conquering race,
The intenser still my wonder grew.

I had beheld their First, their Eve,

Born in that splendid Paradise,


Which God made solely to receive

The first light of her waking eyes. I had seen purest angels lean

In worship o'er her from above; And man-oh yes, had envying seen

Proud man possess'd of all her love.

As strong to charm, as weak to err,

As sure of man through praise and blame,

Whate'er they brought him, pride or shame, Their still unreasoning worshipper

And, wheresoe'er they smiled, the same

Enchantresses of soul and frame, Into whose hands, from first to last,

This world, with all its destinies, Devotedly by Heaven seems cast,

To save or damn it as they please!
Oh, 't is not to be told how long,

How restlessly I sigh'd to find
Some one, from out that shining throng,

Some abstract of the form and mind
Of the whole matchless sex, from which,

In my own arms beheld, possessid,
I might learn all the powers to witch,
To warm, and (if my fate unbless'd

Would have it) ruin, of the rest!
Into whose inward soul and sense

I might descend, as doth the bee
Into the flower's deep heart, and thence

Rifle, in all its purity,
The prime, the quintessence, the whole
Of wondrous Woman's frame and soul !


I saw their happiness, so brief,

So exquisite-her error, too, That easy trust, that prompt belief

In what the warm heart wishes true; That faith in words, when kindly said, By which the whole fond sex is ledMingled with (what I durst not blame,

For 't is my own) that wish to know,

Sad, fatal zeal, so sure of woe;
Which, though from Heaven all pure it came,
Yet stain'd, misused, brought sin and shame

On her, on me, on all below!
I had seen this; had seen Man-arm'd

As his soul is with strength and sense-
By her first words to ruin charm'd;

His vaunted reason's cold defence,
Like an ice-barrier in the ray
Of melting summer, smiled away!
Nay—stranger yet-spite of all this,

Though by her counsels taught to err,

Though driven from Paradise for her (And with her-that, at least, was bliss,) Had I not heard him, ere he cross'd

The threshold of that earthly heaven,
Which by her wildering smile he lost-

So quickly was the wrong forgiven-
Had I not heard him, as he press'd
The frail fond trembler, to a breast
Which she had doom'd to sin and strife,
Call her—think what-his Life! his Life !!
Yes—such the love-taught name—the first

That ruin'd Man to Woman gave,
Even in his out-cast hour, when curst,
By her fond witchery, with that worst

And earliest boon of love—the grave ! She, who brought death into the world,

There stood before him, with the light

Of their lost Paradise still bright
Upon those sunny locks, that curl'a
Down her white shoulders to her feet-
So beautiful in form, so sweet
In heart and voice, as to redeem

The loss, the death of all things dear,
Except herself—and make it seem

Life, endless life, while she was near! Could I help wondering at a creature,

Enchanted round with spells so strongOne, to whose every thought, word, feature,

In joy and woe, through right and wrong, Such sweet omnipotence Heaven gave, To bless or ruin, curse or save ? Nor did the marvel cease with her

New Eves in all her daughters came,

There was a maid, of all who move

Like visions o'er this orb, most fit To be a bright young angel's love, Herself so bright, so exquisite ! The pride, too, of her step, as light

Along the unconscious earth she went,
Seem'd that of one, born with a right

To walk some heavenlier element,
And tread in places where her feet
A star at every step should meet.
”T was not alone that loveliness

By which the wilder'd sense is caught-
Of lips, whose very breath could bless-

Of playful blushes, that seem'd nought

But luminous escapes of thought-
Of eyes that, when by anger stirr'd,
Were fire itself, but, at a word

Of tenderness, all soft became
As though they could, like the sun's bird,

Dissolve away in their own flame-
Of form, as pliant as the shoots

Of a young tree, in vernal flower ; Yet round and glowing as the fruits

That drop from it in summer's hour'T was not alone this loveliness

That falls to loveliest woman's share,

Though, even here, her form could spare From its own beauty's rich excess

Enough to make all others fairBut 't was the Mind, sparkling about Through her whole frame-the soul, brought out

1 Chavah, the name by which Adam called the woman after their transgression, means “Life."--See Note.

To light each charm, yet independent

It was in dreams that first I stole
Of what it lighted, as the sun,

With gentle mastery o'er her mind-
That shines on flowers, would be resplendent In that rich twilight of the soul,
Were there no flowers to shine upon-

When Reason's beam, half hid behind 'Twas this, all this, in one combined,

The clouds of sense, obscurely gilds The unnumber'd looks and arts that form Each shadowy shape that Fancy builds The glory of young woman-kind

'T was then, by that soft light, I brought Taken in their first fusion, warm,

Vague, glimmering visions to her viewEre time had chilld a single charm,

Catches of radiance, lost when caught, And stamp'd with such a seal of Mind,

Bright labyrinths, that led to nought, As gave to beauties, that might be

And vistas with a void seen throughToo sensual else, too unrefined,

Dwellings of bliss, that opening shone, The impress of divinity!

Then closed, dissolved, and left no trace ’T was this—a union, which the hand

All that, in short, could tempt Hope on, Of Nature kept for her alone,

But give her wing no resting-place; Of every thing most playful, bland,

Myself the while, with brow, as yet, Voluptuotis, spiritual, grand,

Pure as the young moon's coronet, In angel-natures and her own

Through every dream still in her sight, Oh this it was that drew me nigh

The enchanter of each mocking scene, One, who seem'd kin to Heaven as I,

Who gave the hope, then brought the blight, My bright twin sister of the sky,

Who said " Behold yon world of light,” One, in whose love, I felt, were given

Then sudden dropp'd a veil between! The mixed delights of either sphere,

At length, when I perceived each thought, All that the spirit seeks in heaven, And all the senses burn for here!

Waking or sleeping, fix'd on nought

But these illusive scenes, and me, Had we—but hold-hear every part

The phantom, who thus came and went, Of our sad tale-spite of the pain

In half revealments, only meant Remembrance gives, when the fixed dart

To madden curiosityIs stirr'd thus in the wound again

When by such various arts I found Hear every step, s full of bliss,

Her fancy to its utmost wound, And yet so ruinous litt led

One night-t’ was in a holy spot, Down to the fast duek precipice,

Which she for prayer had chosen—a grof Where perish'd both the fall'n, the dead! of purest marble, built below From the first hour she caught my sight,

Her garden beds, through which a glow

From lamps invisible then stole,
I never left her-day and night
Hovering unseen around her way,

Brightly pervading all the place-
And ’mid her loneliest musings near,

Like that mysterious light, the soul, I soon could track each thought that lay,

Itself unseen, sheds through the face

There, at her altar while she knelt,
Gleaming within her heart, as clear
As pebbles within brooks appear;

And all that woman ever felt,

When God and man both claim'd her sighs And there, among the countless things

Every warm thought that ever dwelt, That keep young hearts for ever glowing,

Like summer clouds, twixt earth and skies, Vague wishes, fond imaginings, Love-dreams, as yet no object knowing

Too pure to fall, too gross to rise, Light, winged hopes, that come when bid,

Spoke in her gestures, tones, and eyes, And rainbow joys that end in weeping,

Thus, by the tender light, which lay

Dissolving round, as if its ray
And passions, among pure thoughts hid,
Like serpents under flow'rets sleeping-

Was breathed from her, I heard her say: 'Mong all these feelings—felt where'er

“Oh, idol of my dreams! whate'er Young hearts are beating—I saw there

Thy nature bem-human, divine, Proud thoughts, aspirings high-beyond

Or but half heavenly--still too fair,
Whate'er yet dwelt in soul so fond-

Too heavenly to be ever mine!
Glimpses of glory, far away
Into the bright vague future given,

“Wonderful Spirit, who dost make And fancies, free and grand, whose play

Slumber so lovely that it seems Like that of eaglets, is near heaven!

No longer life to live awake, With this, too—what a soul and heart

Since heaven itself descends in dreams. To fall beneath the tempter's art !

“Why do I ever lose thee ?—whyA zeal for knowledge, such as ne'er

When on thy realms and thee I gaze-
Enshrined itself in form so fair,

Still drops that veil, which I could die,
Since that first fatal hour, when Eve,
With every fruit of Eden bless'd,

Oh gladly, but one hour to raise ?
Save only one, rather than leave

“Long ere such miracles as thou That one unknown, lost all the rest

And thine came o'er my thoughts, a thirst


For light was in this soul, which now

Thy looks have into passion nursed. u There's nothing bright above, below,

In sky-earth-ocean, that this breast Doth not intensely wurn to know,

And thee, thee, thee, o'er all the rest ! “Then come, oh Spirit, from behind

The curtains of thy radiant home, Whether thou wouldst as God be shrined,

Or loved and class'd as mortal, come! "Bring all thy dazzling wonders here,

That I may waking know and seeOr waft me hence to thy own sphere,

Thy heaven or—ay, even that with thee! "Demon or God, who hold'st the book

Of knowledge spread beneath thine eye, Give me, with thee, but one bright look

Into its leaves, and let me die! "By those ethereal wings, whose way

Lies through an element, so fraught With floating Mind, that, as they play,

Their every movement is a thought! “ By that most precious hair, between

Whose golden clusters the sweet wind Of Paradise so late hath been,

And left its fragrant soul behind ! " By those impassion'd eyes, that melt

Their light into the inmost heart, Like sunset in the waters, felt

As molten fire through every part, "I do implore thee, oh most bright

And worshipp'd Spirit, shine but o'er
My waking wondering eyes this night,

This one bless'd night-I ask no more!
Exhausted, breathless, as she said
These burning words, her languid head
Upon the altar's steps she cast,
As if that brain-throb were its last-
Till, startled by the breathing, nigh,
Of lips, that echoed back her sigh,
Sudden her brow again she raised,

And there, just lighted on the shrine,
Beheld me-not as I had blazed

Around her, full of light divine,
In her late dreams, but soften'd down
Into more mortal grace—my crown
Of lowers, too radiant for this world,

Left hanging on yon starry steep;
My wings shut up, like banners furl'd,
When Peace hath put their pomp to sleep;

Or like autumnal clouds, that keep Their lightnings sheathed, rather than mar The dawning hour of some young starAnd nothing left but what beseem'd

The accessible, though glorious mate Of mortal woman—whose eyes bearn'd

Back upon her's, as passionate : Whose ready heart brought flame for flame,

Whose sin, whose madness was the same,

And whose soul lost, in that one hour,

For her and for her love-oh more Of Heaven's light than even the power

Of Heaven itself could now restore ! And yet the hour!

The Spirit here Stopped in his utterance, as if words Gave way beneath the wild career

Of his then rushing thoughts-bke chords, Midway in some enthusiast's song, Breaking beneath a touch too strong While the clench'd hand upon the brow Told how remembrance throbb’d there now! But soon 't was o'er-that casual blaze From the sunk fire of other days, That relic of the flame, whose burning

Had been too fierce to be relumed, Soon pass'd away, and the youth, turning

To his bright listeners, thus resumed :Days, months elapsed, and, though what most

On earth I sigh'd for was mine, all, Yet-was I happy? God, thou know'st Howe'er they smile, and feign, and boast,

What happiness is theirs, who fall! "T was bitterest anguish-made more keen

Even by the love, the bliss, between Whose throbs it came, like gleams of hell

In agonizing cross-light given Athwart the glimpses they who dwell

In purgatory catch of heaven! The only feeling that to me

Seem'd joy, or rather my sole rest From aching misery, was to see

My young, proud, blooming Luis bless'd She, the fair fountain of all ill

To my lost soul-whom yet its thirst
Fervidly panted after still,

And found the charm fresh as at first
To see her happy-to reflect

Whatever beams still round me play'd Of former pride, of glory wreck'd,

On her, my Moon, whose light I made,

And whose soul worshipp'd even my shadeThis was, I own, enjoyment—this My sole, last lingering glimpse of bliss. And proud she was, bright creature)-proud,

Beyond what even most queenly stirs
In woman's heart, nor would have bow'd

That beautiful young brow of hers
To aught beneath the First above,
So high she deem'd her Cherub's love!
Then, too, that passion, hourly growing

Stronger and stronger—to which even
Her love, at times, gave way-of knowing

Every thing strange in earth and heaven ;
Not only what God loves to show,
But all that He hath seal'd below
In darkness for man not to know-
Even this desire, alas, ill-starr'd

And fatal as it was, I sought
To feed each minute, and unbarr'd

Such realms of wonder on her thought,

« ForrigeFortsæt »