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Methought I was the sovereign lord Sometimes within the cavern's depths
Strange wonders we beheld
My tongue it is withheld ;
Aud ne'er will be dispell’d.
One day, within a garden screen'd,
We sat, where on the ground
Dropp'd golden fruit, and fountains play'd
Their music round and round
That melted in the sound.
“ Ab, me!" quoth she, “ that mortal ear And gentlest courtesie.
Must learn the coming ill,
To mar the present happiness,
As mar perchance it will!
We are not free from destiny;
That we must aye fuitil.
Aud love, must rest on one
Of mortal men, whose chasten'd soul
In Virtue's course shall run,
Nor e'er obey wild passion's sway,
Nor dangers ever shun.
O would thyself that mortal were
That now the meed were won!
“ Both far and near ny pages speer, Why should I try, with erriog pen
And whomsoe'er they find,
By signs themselves alone do know,
. Of pure and duteous mind,
"They hither being ; and many a knight, Nor heaven a fairer saint. , ,
The bravest and the best,
Yet none have borne the test.
But evil will hath work'd its ill,
The blot within the breast. i That palace deep within the rock
“If, for the destined space of time,
No evil thought be thine,
Nor thou to anger, envy, pride,
Nor wayward will incline,
On duty's even line;
Thy fancy truly guide
Even to the end, (it dra weth nigh,)
Is thine, an undecaying life,
And I thy Queen, thy bride.
For aye, in iron chain;
Jf slight, thou must from hence be cast,
To perils new, and pain;
How hard to bear ! But virtue rare
Thy courage may sustain;
And, ob ! be faithful love thy gaide,
Till thou the guerdon gain."
I would bare ma le reply
i VOL. XXXY. NO, CCXXI.
But a serpent rol'd round the fruit of I could not sleep, but rose and paced, gold,
The pavement to and fro, And hissing pass'd me by:
Nor there remained, I seized the lamp, And chilling the light of the garden And sought the stair below; bright,
Stair after stair, deep down, but where A shadow cross'd mine eye.
I sped, I did not know. . I looked down, I looked up,
I reach'd a cavern; vast it was
As from cathedral Hoor
A column rose; it bore
And the rocks did monstrous shapes asIt was old Himri, a crafty sage,
sume, And one of trust was he,
Where'er I could explore.
There, at the columu's base, I saw
Old Himri stand ; in book A pleasant look on me.
Of tiery character uncouth
He earnestly did look,
And his brazen wings he shook.
My name was thrice pronounced, and They had a corner glance,
that And through his beard his mouth ap- I could no longer brook. Compress'd in vigilance.
I rush'd, I seized him by the beard,
I smote him with the lamp ; Awhile he stood, to the Queen he bow'd, He reel'd, and, e'er he fell, he thrice Thrice bow'd him down full low,
Upon the ground did stamp. In reverend guise, and thrice again
Then on my inmost soul there came He raised himself as slow
A deep and deadly damp.
That scarcely felt its glow.
One moment-all was still as death, All solemnly he led,
One moment and no more
And its sides asunder tore;
That open'd large before,
As if ten thousand brazen bulls No pleasant sight touch'd Himri's eye,
From their brazen throats did roar; No music charm'd his ear;
Mix'd with the noise of cataracts, Amidst the mirth I could not choose,
That, now no longer pent, But note his look severe;
In fury the strong foundations shook, I felt an anger rise, that ill
And thunder'd through the rent, Accorded with the cheer.
And whirling down the dismal gulf, I look'd the old man in the face,
To black perdition went. He eyed me with a scowl
Another crashall, all gave wayAnd methought I heard the moaning I felt my body whirl'd wind
Round and round in the blackest night, Through distant caverns howl
And in roaring chaos hurl'd, And then an answering sound, as if
As if I were a wretch condemn'd, The stony rocks did growl.
Struck from this sunny world.
But I was ill at rest,
I cannot tell or where I fell,
How long in swoon I lay;
But when I woke, in the self-same boat And sets the prize before the eyes,
All perils for to dare.
And dusky was the ground
On which I lay-'twas iron grey,
Nor herbage sprang around.
And as I rose, at every tread
It rang an iron sound.
It was all lonely dreariness,
Swept o'er by many a gust
Of every moaning wind, that whirld
In air the parched dust,
That wither'd, dried, and cover'd all,
As with an iron rust.
No boat-nopage! where, where are they?
No object to send back the sound-
No creature there could tind a hole,
Nor any beast a Jair.
In vain I sought, by frequent thought,
What power had brought me there. The rock, as if each crag did live,
Perchance, said I, these scenes are fair
To every other eye;
Perchance a spell of demon fell
On every sepse doth lie.
And what is fair I may not see,
But all things ill descry.
No path was there, no way to choose,
No track of living thing;
Yet on I fared, regardless where,
Or what, mischance might bring.
Night over all her scowling shades
Then sullenly did fling.
It was a wild, that evil spirits
Might blast, as they should skim
Over the waste, in the sweeping clouds
That shaped them strange and grim. Ran round from rock to rock.
And if I looked at a peering star,
It instantly grew dim.
Onward I fared—it was the hour,
The chilling hour, when night
Struggles forlorn with the grey of morn,
The darkness with the light,
When a gloomy castle rose to view,
With a watch-tower blazing bright.
Columns of smoke around it rose,
Concealing all behind,
And curl'd, and roar'd, and hiss'd with a
As of a rushing wind;
And a blustering tide, as if bammers plied,
And thundering wheels did grind. With visions soft to cheer. 0, Love through darkness' self can make
make Soon reach'd I straight the castle gate, A pathway bright and clear !
Nor daunted was a whit;
A mace suspended hung thereat.
As I stood and gazed on it,
A grate withdrew, and to my view
These words in tire were writ:
for Love. “ If thou wouldst enier at this gate, With hope, still enters there,
Stranger, whoe'er thou art,
Serike with this mace the brazen floor, Shed from the glimmering lamp that did And he thou bold of heart.
Unearthly lustre throw. Strike, and an entrance opens wide;
I stepp'd aside, and upward gazed,
As upward still it rose,
With his massy club disclose-
And he stood awhile on his pedestal
In awful stern repose.'
And as I gazed, o'er all his form ? And through the chambers desolate,
There ran a sudden change, That echoed to my stride.
His swelling veins like melting chains Nor living wight there met my sight,
Over his limbs did range, Nor living thing to guide.
And wave and beat with a quivering heat,
And a motion wondrous strange. , Four-and-twenty statues stood, They were of iron all,
His colour changed, that was so dark, Monstrous, and large, of hideous form,
To a pale and livid hue Around the iron ball,
Then soon it turned to a dusky red And a dusky twilight solemnly
Then more intense it grew, On their huge limbs did fall;
Till it was white with a fiery lightAnd an iron frieze, with figures strange, And a fiery breath he drew. Went round the iron wall.
His eyeballs shot a fitful glare " Beyond a dusky curtain fell :
Of ever-moving flame, The sombre light did tinge
And a fiery flood, as it were blood, Its old mysterious tapestry,
Spread life throughout his frame, And edged the dropping fringe
He grasp'd his club with a firmer grasp, There was a door behind-it moved,
As for a deadly aim. And groan'd upon the hinge.
I gazed, and could not choose but laugh I enter'd, dark the passage was
So strange a sight to see ; And narrow deep it lay
Whereat he brandish'd high his clubIn silent blackness, as I felt,
His arm was lithe and freeUnknowing where, my way;
Then bad I stood in a fearful mood Till, from a distant chamber, shed
It had been ill for me. A lamp its feeble ray.
I stepp'd aside with a ready stride, I reach'd that chamber soon-nor large
And instantly raised my mace, It was, tho' vaulted high ;
And huri'd it with a dauntless arm A tablet bore a burning lamp,
Into his burning face. ('Twas lonely to desery,)
Then over the floor to the chamber door, Whose falling beam in quiet stream
Quickening well my pace, Did on the pavement lie.
Quoth I, “ With a foe of this fiery glow, And where the yellow lustre shone, 'Tis bootless to fight or race."
There was a brazen plate,
The passage long I wander'd through, Then thought I of the words of fire
Yet could no entrance find Writ on the iron gate..
To th' iron ball—at every step I struck it with the ponderous mace,
It further seem'd to wind. And stoutly dealt the blow
Before me was a glimmering gloom, Down, down it went with a rumbling
Still blacker gloom behind. noise
Yet onward still, with outspread arms, To central earth below
As one who feels his way, .. 1 And still more awful was the sound, I hasten'd on--a star there shone The fainter it did grow.
Before me-with soft ray Deep down into the blackest pit
Piercing the gloom, as in a tombo " I look'd-and from below
A lamp that shines alway. A moving form all indistinct
First seen, 'twas a sepulchral light; I saw, uprising slow;
But as I nearer came, First came an iron head, and then , It brighter shone, e'en as it were , Huge shoulders bronz'd with glosy
A diamond turn'd to fiaine.
So bright, it made the darkness all High o'er whose portal it was writ,
In characters of gold
“Thou bast the tyrant Fire-god quell'dIn vision or in dream,
Herein thy sceptre hold.
“Here mayst thou choose dominion wide, Through the resplendent stream.
And vassals to thy throne.”
“ Ambition is a fearful thing,"
Said I, “and power unknown.
Uncertain if for others' good,
I reign not for mine own."
I waved my hand, I look'd again,
The characters were gone;
The golden gate-pass on."
Then saw I straight a golden gate,
That bright before me shone.
As I approached it open flew ;
So art bad it disposed,
That scarcely had I enter'd in,
When it behind me closed.
“Ope not," quoth 1, "'twixt tempting ill Before me, lo! a river flow'd,
And me thus interposed."
O power and boundless tyranny!
How much they lose who win!
More restless they within.
What boots it to be Lord of all,
And yet the slave of sin ?
My eyes above it rose
As heav'd by inward throes ;
As if ten thousand hammers plied
On anvils ringing blows.
And the bill's smoking side
Red liquid pour'd, as when the tree
And through the city's central way
Rolld on the burning tide.,
I question'd one that pass'd in haste,
Who thus the mystery told :
This golden stream is roll'd,
With dust of finest gold.
And find thee sacks to hold.”
The city streets as on I sped
In wild confusion Jay,
And thieves that prowl'd for prey.
Of tumult and affray.
( what a sight it was to see
Down at that central food!
Thousands in heaps confused there lay,
Choked in the yellow mud.