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A BOUNDING satyr, golden in the beard,
That leaps with goat-feet high into the air,
And crushes from the thyme an odour rare, Keeps watch around the marble tomb revered Of Sophocles, the poet loved and feared,
Whose mighty voice once called out of her lair
The Dorian muse severe, with braided hair, Who loved the thyrsus and wild dances weird. Here all day long the pious bees can pour
Libations of their honey ; round this tomb
The Dionysiac ivy loves to roam ;
The satyr laughs; but He awakes no more,
Wrapped up in silence at the grave's cold core,
Nor sees the sun wheel round in the white dome.
SWEET MAVIS ! at this cool delicious hour
Of gloaming, when a pensive quietness
Hushes the odorous air,—with what a power
Of impulse unsubdued dost thou express
Thyself a spirit ! While the silver dew
Holy as manna on the meadow falls,
Thy song's impassioned clarity, trembling through
This omnipresent stillness, disenthrals
The soul to adoration. First I heard
A low thick lubric gurgle, soft as love,
Yet sad as niemory, through the silence poured
Like starlight. But the mood intenser grows,
Precipitate rapture quickens, move on move
Lucidly linked together, till the close.
Now, while the long delaying ash assumes
The delicate April green, and, loud and clear,
Through the cool, yellow, mellow twilight glooms,
The thrush's song enchants the captive ear ;
Now, while a shower is pleasant in the falling,
Stirring the still perfume that wakes around;
Now that doves mourn, and from the distance calling,
The cuckoo answers with a sovereign sound,
Come with thy native heart, O true and tried !
But leave all books ; for what with converse high,
Flavoured with Attic wit, the time shall glide
On smoothly, as a river floweth by,
Or, as on stately pinion, through the grey
Evening, the culver cuts his liquid way.
EVEN thus, methinks, a city reared should be,
Yea, an imperial city, that might hold
Five times an hundred noble towns in fee,
And either with their might of Babel old,
Or the rich Roman pomp
Might stand compare, highest in arts enrolled,
Highest in arms ; brave tenement for the free,
Who never crouch to thrones, or sin for gold.
Thus should her towers be raised—with vicinage
Of clear bold hills, that curve her very streets,
As if to vindicate 'mid choicest seats
Of art, abiding Nature's majesty ;
And the broad sea beyond, in calm or rage
Chainless alike, and teaching Liberty.
The hollow sea-shell which for years hath stood
On dusty shelves, when held against the ear
Proclaims its stormy parent; and we hear The faint far murmur of the breaking flood. We hear the sea. The sea ? It is the blood
In our own veins, impetuous and near,
And pulses keeping pace with hope and fear And with our feelings' ever shifting mood.
Lo ! in my heart I hear, as in a shell,
The murmur of a world beyond the grave,
Distinct, distinct, though faint and far it be.
Thou fool; this echo is a cheat as well,
The hum of earthly instincts; and we crave
A world unreal as the shell-heard sca.