« السابقةمتابعة »
When Madeline, St. Agnes' charmed maid,
With silver taper's light, and pious care,
To a safe level matting. Now prepare,
To spirits of the air, and visions wide :
No utter'd syllable, or, woe betide!
But to her heart, her heart was voluble,
Paining with eloquence her balmy side;
As are the tiger-moth's deep-damask'd wings;
And in the midst, 'mong thousand heraldries,
And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
A shielded scutcheon blush'd with blood of queens Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal or woe.
XXV. Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy,
Full on this casement shone the wintry moon, Even to Madeline's chamber, and there hide And threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast, Him in a closet, of such privacy
As down she knelt for heaven's grace and boon : That he might see her beauty unespied,
Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,
And on her hair a glory, like a saint:
Save wings, for heaven :-Porphyro grew faint: Since Merlin paid his Demon all the monstrous debt. She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint.
All cates and dainties shall be stored there Or all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees
Half-hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed, Wait here, my child, with patience; kneel in prayer Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,
The while : Ah! thou must needs the lady wed, In fancy, fair St. Agnes in her bed, Or may I never leave my grave among the dead.” But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled.
XXVII. So saying she hobbled off with busy fear.
Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest, The lover's endless minutes slowly pass'd; In sort of wakeful swoon, perplex'd she lay, The dame return'd, and whisper'd in his ear Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppress'd To follow her ; with aged eyes aghast
Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away; From fright of dim espial. Safe at last,
Flown, like a thought, until the morrow-day : Through many a dusky gallery, they gain
Blissfully haven'd both from joy and pain ;
Where Porphyro took covert, pleased amain. Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
XXXIV. Stol'n to this paradise, and so entranced,
Her eyes were open, but she still beheld, Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress,
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep : And listen’d to her breathing, if it chanced There was a painful change, that nigh expellid To wake into a slumberous tenderness ;
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep. Which when he heard, that minute did he bless, At which fair Madeline began to weep, And breathed himself: then from the closet crept, And moan forth witless words with many a sigh ; Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness,
While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep; And over the hush'd carpet, silent, stept,
Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye,
Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear,
How changed thou art! how pallid, chill, and drear! The boisterous, midnight, festive clarion,
Give me that voice again, my Porphyro, The kettle-drum, and far-heard clarionet,
Those looks immortal, those complainings dear! Affray his ears, though but in dying tone :
O leave me not in this eternal woe, The hall-door shuts again, and all the noise is gone. For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go." XXX.
XXXVI. And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
Beyond a mortal man impassion’d far In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender'd, At these voluptuous accents, he arose, While he from forth the closet brought a heap. Ethereal, flush’d, and like a throbbing star Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd ; Seen 'mid the sapphire heaven's deep repose ; With jellies soother than the creamy curd, Into her dream he melted, as the rose And lucid syrops, tinct with cinnamon ;
Blendeth its odor with the violet,Manna and dates, in argosy transferr'd
Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows From Fez; and spiced dainties, every one, Like Love's alarum pattering the sharp sleet From silken Samarcand to cedar'd Lebanon. Against the window-panes; St, Agnes' moon hath set.
XXXVII. These delicates he heap'd with glowing hand 'Tis dark : quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet : On golden dishes and in baskets bright
• This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline!” Of wreathed silver : sumptuous they stand 'Tis dark: the iced gusts still rave and beat : In the retired quiet of the night,
· No dream, alas! alas! and woe is mine! Filling the chilly room with perfume light.- Porphyro will leave me here to fade and pine.“And now, my love, my seraph fair, awake! Cruel! what traitor could thee hither bring? Thou art my heaven, and I thine eremite : I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine,
Open thine eyes, for meek St. Agnes' sake, Though thou forsakest a deceived thing ;-
· My Madeline! sweet dreamer! lovely bride! By the dusk curtains :—'t was a midnight charm
Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest ? Impossible to melt as iced stream:
Thy beauty's shield, heart-shaped and vermeil dyed? The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam;
Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies :
After so many hours of toil and quest,
A famish'd pilgrim,-saved by miracle. It seem'd he never, never could redeem
Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest From such a stedfast spell his lady's eyes ; So mused awhile, entoil'd in woofed phantasies.
Saving of thy sweet self; if thou think’st wel
To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel.”
The bloated wassailers will never hoed :
Drown'd all in Rhenish and the sleepy mead : Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured Awake! arise ! my love, and fearless be, stone.
For o'er the southern moors I have a home for thee.”
The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide She hurried at his words, beset with fears,
But his sagacious eye an inmate owns : For there were sleeping dragons all around, By one, and one, the bolts full easy slide :At glaring watch, perhaps, with ready spears
The chains lie silent on the foot-worn stones;
These lovers tied away into the storm.
And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form XLI.
Of witch, and demon, and large coflin-worm, They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall; Were long be-nightmared. Angela the old Like phantoms to the iron porch they glide, Died palsy-twitch'd, with meagre face deform, Where lay the Porter, in uneasy sprawl,
The Beadsman, after thousand aves told, With a huge empty flagon by his side :
For aye unsought-for slept among his ashes cold.
Or with a finger stay'd Ixion's wheel.
Pedestall'd haply in a palace-court,
When sages look'd to Egypt for their lore.
But oh! how unlike marble was that face:
How beautiful, if Sorrow had not made
Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self.
There was a listening fear in her regard, Still as the silence round about his lair;
As if calamity had but began; Forest on forest hung about his head
As if the vanward clouds of evil days Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear Not so much life as on a summer's day
Was with its stored thunder laboring up Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,
One hand she press d upon that aching spot But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
Where beats the human heart, as if just there, A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain : By reason of his fallen divinity
The other upon Saturn's bended neck Spreading a shade : the Naiad 'mid her reeds
She laid, and to the level of his ear Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.
Leaning with paried lips, some words she spake
In solemn tenor and deep organ-ione :
Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue
Would come in these like accents ; O how frail And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
To that large utterance of the early Gods!
" Saturn, look up!-though wherefore, poor old King! Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed;
I have no comfort for thee, no not one:
I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thon?
For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth It seem'd no force could wake him from his place ; And ocean too, with all its solemn noise,
Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God;
Ilas from thy sceptre passid ; and all the air With reverence, though to one who knew it not.
Is emptied of thine hoary majesty. She was a Goddess of the infant world;
Thy thunder, conscious of the new command,
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands
Scorches and burns our once serene domain. Achilles by the hair and bent his neck;
O aching time! O moments big as years!
All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth, * If any apology be thought necessary for the appear. That unbelief has not a space to breathe
And press it so upon our weary griefs ance of the infinished poem of HyPERION, the publishers beg to state that they alone are responsible, as it was print- Saturn, sleep on:-0 thoughtless, why did I ed at their particular request, and contrary to the wish of Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude ? the author. The poem was intended to have been of equal length with ENDYMION, but the reception given to Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes? that work discouraged the author from proceeding.
Saturn, sleep on while at thy feet i weep."
As when, upon a tranced summer-night,
His Druid locks to shake and ooze with sweat, Those green-robed senators of mighty woods, His eyes to sever out, his voice to cease. Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars, He stood, and heard not Thea's sobbing deep; Dream, and so dream all night without a stir, A liule time, and then again he snatch'd Save from one gradual solitary gust
Utterance thus :-“ But cannot I create ? Which comes upon the silence, and dies off, Cannot I form? Cannot I fashion forth As if the ebbing air had but one wave:
Another world, another universe, So came these words and went; the while in tears To overbear and crumble this to naught? She touch'd her fair large forehead to the ground, Where is another chaos? Where?"_That word Just where her falling hair might be outspread Found way unto Olympus, and made quake A soft and silken mat for Saturn's feet.
The rebel three. Thea was startled up, One moon, with alternation slow, had shed
And in her bearing was a sort of hope, Her silver seasons four upon the night,
As thus she quick-voiced spake, yet full of awe. And still these two were postured motionless, Like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern;
“This cheers our fallen house: come to our friends The frozen God still couchant on the earth, O Saturn! come away, and give them heart; And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet:
I know the covert, for thence came I hither." Unul at length old Saturn lifted up
Thus brief; then with beseeching eyes she went His faded eyes, and saw his kingdom gone,
With backward footing through the shade a space : And all the gloom and sorrow of the place, He follow'd, and she turn'd to lead the way And that fair kneeling Goddess; and then spake Through aged boughs, that yielded like the mist As with a palsied tongue, and while his beard Which eagles cleave, upmounting from their nest. Shook horrid with such aspen-malady: " () tender spouse of gold Hyperion,
Meanwhile in other realms big tears were shed, Thea, I feel thee ere I see thy face;
More sorrow like to this, and such like woe, Look up, and let me see our doom in it;
Too huge for mortal tongue or pen of scribe :
The Titans fierce, self-hid, or prison-bound,
But one of the whole mammoth-brood still kept
For as among us mortals omens drear And buried from all godlike exercise
Fright and perplex, so also shudder'd heof influence benign on planets pale,
Not at dog's howl, or gloom-bird's hated screech, Of admonitions to the winds and seas,
Or the familiar visiting of one
Or prophesyings of the midnight lamp;
But horrors, portion'd to a giant nerve, Away from my own bosom: I have left
Oft made Hyperion ache. His palace bright, My strong identity, my real self,
Bastion’d with pyramids of glowing gold, Somewhere between the throne, and where I sit And touch'd with shade of bronzed obelisks, Here on this spot of earth. Search, Thea, search! Glared a blood-red through all its thousand courts, Open thine eyes eterne, and sphere them round Arches, and domes, and fiery galleries; l'pon all space: space starr'd, and lorn of light: And all its curtains of Aurorian clouds Space region'd with life-air: and barren void; Flush'd angerly: while sometimes eagles' wings, Spaces of fire, and all the yawn of hell
Unseen before by Gods or wondering men, Search, Thea, search! and tell me, if thou seest Darken'd the place; and neighing steeds were heard, A certain shape or shadow, making way
Not heard before by Gods or wondering men.
Also, when he would taste the spicy wreaths
Savor of poisonous brass and metal sick: There must be Gods thrown down, and trumpets And so, when harbor'd in the sleepy west, blown
After the full completion of fair day, Of triumph calm, and hymns of festival
For rest divine upon exalted couch, Upon the gold clouds metropolitan,
And slumber in the arms of melody, Voices of soft proclaim, and silver stir
He paced away the pleasant hours of ease Of strings in hollow shells; and there shall be With stride colossal, on from hall to hall; Beautiful things made new, for the surprise
While far within each aisle and deep recess, Of the sky-children; I will give command: His winged minions in close clusters stood, Thea! Thea! where is Saturn ?"
Amazed and full of fear; like anxious men
Who on wide plains gather in panting troops, This passion lifted him upon his feet,
When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers. And made his hands to struggle in the air, Even now, while Saturn, roused from icy trance,
Went step for step with Thea through the woods, Clear'd them of heavy vapors, burst them wide
Suddenly on the ocean's chilly streams.
Circles, and arcs, and broad-belting colure, In fragrance soft, and coolness to the eye,
Glow'd through, and wrought upon the muffling dark That inlet to severe magnificence
Sweet-shaped lightnings from the nadir deep Stood full-blown, for the God to enter in.
Up to the zenith,—hieroglyphics old,
Which sages and keen-eyed astrologers He enter'd, but he enter'd full of wrath ; Then living on the earth, with laboring thought His flaming robes stream'd out beyond his heels, Won from the gaze of many centuries : And gave a roar, as if of earthly fire,
Now lost, save what we find on remnants huge That scared away the meek ethereal Hours Of stone, or marble swart; their import gone, And made their dove-wings tremble. On he flared, Their wisdom long since fled.-Two wings this orb From stately nave to nave, from vault to vault, Possess'd for glory, two fair argent wings, Through bowers of fragrant and enwreathed light, Ever exalted at the God's approach: And diamond-paved lustrous long arcades,
And now, from forth the gloom their plumes immense Until he reach'd the great main cupola ;
Rose, one by one, till all outspreaded were; There standing fierce beneath, he stamp'd his foot, While still ihe dazzling globe maintain'd eclipse, And from the basements deep to the high towers Awaiting for Hyperion's command. Jarr'd his own golden region; and before
Fain would he have commanded, fain took throne The quavering thunder thereupon had ceased, And bid the day begin, if but for change. His voice leapt out, despite of godlike curb, He might not :- No, though a primeval God: To this result: “O dreams of day and night! The sacred seasons might not be disturbid. O monstrous forms! O effigies of pain !
Therefore the operations of the dawn
Stay'd in their birth, even as here 'tis told,
Open'd upon the dusk demesnes of night
And the bright Titan, frenzied with new woes, Saturn is fallen, am I too to fall ?
Unused to bend, by hard compulsion bent Am I to leave this haven of my rest,
His spirit to the sorrow of the time; This cradle of my glory, this soft clime,
And all along a dismal rack of clouds, This calm luxuriance of blissful light,
Upon the boundaries of day and night, These crystalline pavilions, and pure fanes, He stretch'd himself in grief and radiance faint. Of all my lucent empire? It is left
There as he lay, the Heaven with its stars Deserted, void, nor any haunt of mine.
Look'd down on him with pily, and the voice The blaze, the splendor, and the symmetry,
or Cælus, from the universal space, I cannot see--but darkness, death and darkness. Thus whisper'd low and solemn in his ear. Even here, into my centre of repose,
“O brightest of my children dear, earth-born The shady visions come to domineer,
And sky-engender'd, Son of Mysteries! Insult, and blind, and stifle up my pomp
All unrevealed even to the powers Fall !-No, by Tellus and her briny robes !
Which met at thy creating! at whose joys Over the fiery frontier of my realms
And palpitations sweet, and pleasures soft, I will advance a terrible right arm
I, Caelus, wonder, how they came and whence; Shall scare that infant thunderer, rebel Jove, And at the fruits thereof what shapes they be, And bid old Saturn take his throne again."
Distinct, and visible; symbols divine,
Of these new-form'd art thou, oh brightest child!
To me his arms were spread, to me his voice At this, through all his bulk an agony
Found way from forth the thunders round his head! Crept gradual, from the feet into the crown, Pale wox I, and in rapors hid my face. Like a lithe serpent vast and muscular
Art thou, too, near such doom? vague fear there is: Making slow wa with head and neck convulsed For I have seen my sons most unlike Gods. From overstrained might. Released, he fled Divine ye were created, and divine To the eastern gates, and full six dewy hours In sad demeanor, solemn, undisturbid, Before the dawn in season due should blush, Unruffled, like high Gods, ye lived and ruled : He breathed fierce breath against the sleepy portals, Now I behold in you, fear, hope, and wrath;