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Or thronging all one porch of Paradise
A group of Houris bow'd to see
That said, We wait for thee.
Or mythic Uther's deeply-wounded son
In some fair space of sloping greens Lay, dozing in the vale of Avalon,
Ana watch'd by weeping queens.
Or hollowing one hand against his ear,
To list a foot-fall, ere he saw The wood-nymph, stay'd the Ausonian king to hear
Of wisdom and of law.
Or over hills with peaky tops engraiļd,
And many a tract of palm and rice, The throne of Indian Cama slowly sail'd
A summer fann'd with spice.
Or sweet Europa's mantle blue unclasp d,
From off her shoulder backward borne : From one hand droop'd a crocus : one hand grasp'd
The mild bull's golden horn.
Or else flushed Ganymede, his rosy thigh
Half-buried in the Eagle's down, Sole as a flying star shot thro' the sky
Above the pillar'd town.
Nor these alone : but every legend fair
Which the supreme Caucasian mind Carved out of Nature for itself, was there,
Not less than life, design'd.
Then in the towers I placed great bells that swung:
Mov'd of themselves, with silver sound ; And with choice paintings of wise men I hung
The royal dais round.
For there was Milton like a seraph strong,
Beside him Shakespeare bland and mild ; And there the world-worn Dante grasp'd his song,
And somewhat grimly smiled.
And there the Ionian father of the rest ;
A million wrinkles carved his skin ;
From cheek and throat and chin.
Above, the fair hall-ceiling stately-set
Many an arch high up did lift,
With interchange of gift.
Below was all mosaic choicely plann'd
With cycles of the human tale
So wrought, they will not fail.
The people here, a beast of burden slow,
Toil'd onward, prick'd with goads and stings ; Here play'd, a tiger, rolling to and fro
The heads and crowns of kings;
Here rose, an athlete, strong to break or bind
All force in bonds that might endure, And here once more like some sick man declined,
And trusted any cure.
But over these she trod : and those great bells
Began to chime. She took her throne : She sat betwixt the shining Oriels,
To sing her songs alone.
And thro’ the topmost Oriels' coloured flame
Two godlike faces gazed below; Plato the wise, and large-brow'd Verulam, Saron
The first of those who know.
And all those names, that in their motion were
Full-welling fountain-heads of change, Betwixt the slender shafts were blazon'd fair
In diverse raiment strange :
Thro' which the lights, rose, amber, emerald, blue,
Flush'd in her temples and her eyes,
Rivers of melodies.
No nightingale delighteth to prolong
Her low preamble all alone,
Throb thro' the ribbed stone;
Singing and murmuring in her feastful mirth,
Joying to feel herself alive, | Lord over Nature, Lord of the visible earth,
Lord of the senses five;
Communing with herself: “All these are mine,
And let the world have peace or wars, *Tis one to me.” She-when young night divine
Crown'd dying day with stars,
Making sweet close of his delicious toils—
Lit light in wreaths and anadems, And pure quintessences of precious oils
In hollow'd moons of gems,
To mimic heaven ; and clapt her hands and cried,
“I marvel if my still delight In this great house so royal-rich, and wide,
Be flatter'd to the height.
“O all things fair to sate my various eyes !
O shapes and hues that please me well ! silent faces of the Great and Wise,
My Gods, with whom I dwell!
“O God-like isolation which art mine,
I can but count thee perfect gain, What time I watch the darkening droves of swine
That range on yonder plain.
“In filthy sloughs they roll a prurient skin,
They graze and wallow, breed and sleep; And oft some brainless devil enters in,
And drives them to the deep.”
Then of the moral instinct would she prate
And of the rising from the dead,
And at the last she said :
“ I take possession of man's mind and deed.
I care not what the sects may brawl. I sit as God holding no form of creed,
But contemplating all.”