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And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome, with caves of ice!
In a vision once I saw :
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she play'd,
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 't would win me,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
1 “In Xanadu.”—I think I recollect a variation of this stanza, as follows:
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-house ordain,
The nice-eared poet probably thought there were too many ns in these rhymes; and man and main are certainly not the best neighbors: yet there is such an open, sounding, and stately intonation in the words pleasure-house ordain, and it is so superior to pleasure-dome decree, that I am not sure I would not give up the correctness of the other terminations to retain it.
But what a grand flood is this, flowing down through measureless caverns to a sea without a sun! I know no other sea equal
to it, except Keats's, in his Ode to a Nightingale; and none can surpass that.
2" Ancestral voices prophesying war."-Was ever anything more wild, and remote, and majestic, than this fiction of the “ancestral voices?" Methinks I hear them, out of the blackness of the past.
YOUTH AND AGE.
Verse, a breeze 'mid blossoms straying,
When I was young? Ah, woful when!
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Naught cared this body for wind or weather,
Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like:
O the joys that came down shower-like,
Ere I was old? Ah, woful ere!
It cannot be that thou art gone!
And thou wert aye a masker bold !
Life is but thought; so think I will,
That Youth and I are house-mates still.
This is one of the most perfect poems, for style, feeling, and everything, that ever were written.
THE HEATHEN DIVINITIES MERGED INTO ASTROLOGY.
FROM THE TRANSLATION OF SCHILLER'S PICCOLOMINI.
-Fable is Love's world, his home, his birthplace:
Delightedly dwells he 'mong fays and talismans,
Divinities, being himself divine.
The intelligible forms of ancient poets,
The power, the beauty, and the majesty,
That had her haunts in dale, or piny mountain,
Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly spring,
Or chasms and wat'ry depths; all these have vanish'd,
But still the heart doth need a language; still
WORK WITHOUT HOPE.
LINES COMPOSED 21ST FEBRUARY, 1827.
All Nature seems at work. Stags leave their lair-
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
Nor honey make, nor paìr, nor build, nor sìng.
And hope without an object cannot live.
I insert this poem on account of the exquisite imaginative picture in the third and fourth lines, and the terseness and melody of the whole. Here we have a specimen of a perfect style,unsuperfluous, straightforward, suggestive, impulsive, and seBut how the writer of such verses could talk of "work
without hope," I cannot say. What work had he better to do than to write more? and what hope but to write more still, and delight himself and the world? But the truth is, his mind was too active and self-involved to need the diversion of work; and his body, the case that contained it, too sluggish with sedentary living to like it; and so he persuaded himself that if his writings did not sell, they were of no use. Are we to disrespect these self-delusions in such a man? No; but to draw from them salutary cautions for ourselves,-his inferiors.
BORN, 1792,-DIED, 1822.
AMONG the many reasons which his friends had to deplore the premature death of this splendid poet and noble-hearted man, the greatest was his not being able to repeat, to a more attentive public, his own protest, not only against some of his earlier effusions (which he did in the newspapers), but against all which he had written in a wailing and angry, instead of an invariably calm, loving, and therefore thoroughly helping spirit. His works, in justice to himself, require either to be winnowed from what he disliked, or to be read with the remembrance of that dislike. He had sensibility almost unique, seemingly fitter for a planet of a different sort, or in more final condition, than ours: he has said of himself,—so delicate was his organization,—that he could
The weight of the superincumbent hour;"
and the impatience which he vented for some years against that rough working towards good, called evil, and which he carried out into conduct too hasty, subjected one of the most naturally· pious of men to charges which hurt his name, and thwarted his philanthropy. Had he lived, he would have done away all mistake on these points, and made everybody know him for what he was,—a man idolized by his friends,-studious, temperate, of the gentlest life and conversation, and willing to have died to do the world a service. For my part, I never can mention his name without a transport of love and gratitude. I rejoice to have partaken of his cares, and to be both suffering and benefiting from him at this moment; and whenever I think of a future state, and of the great and good Spirit that must