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The mighty serpent, in his ire,
Slides on with glittering, deadly trail.
No torch the Ghebers need so well
They know each mystery of the dell,
So oft have, in their wanderings,
Crossed the wild race that round them dwell,
The very tigers from their delves
Look out, and let them pass, as things
Untamed and fearless as themselves !
THIS WORLD IS ALL A FLEETING Show
This world is all a fleeting show,
For man's illusion given;
The smiles of joy, the tears of woe,
Deceitful shine, deceitful flow-
There's nothing true but heaven!
And false the light on glory's plume,
As fading hues of even;
And Love, and Hope, and Beauty's bloom
Are blossoms gathered for the tomb,
There's nothing bright but heaven!
Poor wanderers of a stormy day,
From wave to wave we 're driven, And fancy's flash, and Reason's ray, Serve but to light the troubled way –
There's nothing calm but heaven!
THERE is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean - roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain ;
Man marks the earth with ruin - his control
Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan Without a grave, unknelled, unconffined, and unknown
His steps are not upon thy paths -- thy fields
Are not a spoil for him thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray,
And howling, to his gods, where haply lies
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth: there let him lay.
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war:
These are thy toys, d, as the snowy flake,
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts : not so thou;
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play.
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow: Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convulsed — in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving; boundless, endless, and sublime -
The image of Eternity - the throne
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wantoned with thy breakers -- they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror -- 't was a pleasing fear;
For I was as it were a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane - as I do here.
I see before me the gladiator lie: -
He leans upon his hand; his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his drooped head sinks gradually low:
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now
The arena swims around him; he is gone,
Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch
He heard it, but he heeded not; his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away:
He recked not of the life he lost nor prize,
But where his rude but by the Danube lay;
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother-he, their sire,
Butchered to make a Roman holiday.
All this rushed with his blood. Shall he expire,
And unavenged ? Arise, ye Goths, and glut your ire!
There were two fathers in this ghastly crew,
And with them their two sons, of whom the one Was more robust and hardy to the view;
But he died early: and when he was gone, His nearest messmate told his sire, who threw
One glance on him, and said, “Heaven's will be done! I can do nothing;" and he saw him thrown Into the deep without a tear or groan.
The other father had a weaklier child,
Of a soft cheek, and aspect delicate ; But the boy bore up long, and with a mild
And patient spirit held aloof his fate;
Little he said, and now and then he smiled,
As if to win a part from off the weight
He saw increasing on his father's heart,
With the deep deadly thought that they must part.
And o'er him bent his sire, and never raised
His eyes from off his face, but wiped the foam From his pale lips, and ever on him gazed:
And when the wished-for shower at length was come, And the boy's eyes, which the dull film half glazed,