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imagery rises! flown like a thought
haven'd-clasp'd like a missal in a land of Pagans :
that is to say, where Christian prayer-books must
not be seen, and are, therefore, doubly cherished for
the danger. And then, although nothing can sur-
pass the preciousness of this idea, is the idea of the
beautiful, crowning all-
Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.
Thus it is that poetry, in its intense sympathy with creation, may be said to create anew, rendering its words more impressive than the objects they speak of, and individually more lasting; the spiritual perpetuity putting them on a level (not to speak it profanely) with the fugitive compound.
14" Lucent syrups tinct with cinnamon.”. Here is delicate modulation, and super-refined epicurean nicety !
Lucent syrups tinct with cinnamon ;
make us read the line delicately, and at the tip-end, as it were, of one's tongue.
Beyond a mortal man."-Madeline is half awake, and Porphyro reassures her, with loving, kind looks, and an affectionate embrace.
16“ Heart-shap'd and vermeil-dyed.”—With what a pretty wilful conceit the costume of the poem is kept up in this line about the shield! The poet knew when to introduce apparent trifles forbidden to those
who are void of real passion, and who, feeling nothing intensely, can intensify nothing.
17" Carpets rose.”—This is a slip of the memory, for there were hardly carpets in those days. But the truth of the painting makes amends, as in the unchronological pictures of old masters.
That come a-swooning over hollow grounds,
And wither drearily on barren moors.
At this, with madden'd stare,
And lifted hands, and trembling lips he stood,
Like old Deucalion mountain'd o'er the flood,
Or blind Orion hungry for the morn.
And tyrannizing was the lady's look,
As over them a gnarlèd staff she shook.
Ofttimes upon the sudden she laugh'd out,
And from a basket emptied to the rout
Clusters of grapes, the which they raven'd quick
And roar'd for more, with many a hungry lick
About their shaggy jaws. Avenging, slow,
Anon she took a branch of misletoe,
And emptied on 't a black dull-gurgling phial:
Groan'd one and all, as if some piercing trial
Were sharpening for their pitiable bones.
She lifted up the charm: appealing groans
From their poor breasts went suing to her ear
In vain remorseless as an infant's bier,
She whisk'd against their eyes the sooty oil ;
Whereat was heard a noise of painful toil,
Increasing gradual to a tempest rage,
Shrieks, yells, and groans, of torture-pilgrimage.
A BETTER ENCHANTRESS IMPRISONED IN THE SHAPE
OF A SERPENT.
She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue,
Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue,
Striped like a zebra, speckled like a pard,
Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson-barr'd,
And full of silver moons, that as she breath'd
Dissolv'd or brighter shone, or interwreath'd
Their lustres with the gloomier tapestries.
So rainbow-sided, full of miseries,
She seem'd, at once, some penanc'd lady elf,
Some demon's mistress, or the demon's self.
Upon her crest she wore a wannish fire
Sprinkled with stars, like Ariadne's tiar;
Her head was serpent, but, ah, bitter sweet!
She had a woman's mouth, with all its pearls complete.
Deep in the shady sadness of a vale,
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat grey-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung about his head,
Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deaden'd more
By reason of his fallen divinity
Spreading a shade: the Naiad 'mid her reeds
Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.
Along the margin sand large footmarks went,
No further than to where his feet had stray'd,
And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed.
THE VOICE OF A MELANCHOLY GODDESS SPEAKING
As when upon a trancèd summer-night
Those green-robed senators of mighty woods,
Tail oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir,
Save from one gradual solitary gust,
Which comes upon the silence, and dies off,
As if the ebbing air had but one wave:
So came these words, and went.
The bright Titan, frenzied with new woes,
Unus'd to bend, by hard compulsion, bent
His spirit to the sorrow of the time;
And all along a dismal rack of clouds,
Upon the boundaries of day and night,
He stretch'd himself, in grief and radiance faint.
Scarce images of life, one here, one there,
Lay vast and edgeways; like a dismal cirque
Of Druid stones, upon a forlorn moor,
When the chill rain begins at shut of eve
In dull November, and their chancel vault,
The heaven itself, is blinded throughout night.
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk.
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,-
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beeches green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.