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CLXV. Which gathers sladow, substance, life, and all That we inherit in its mortal shroud, And spreads the dim and universal pall Through which all things grow phantoms; and
the cloud Between us sinks and all which ever glow'd, Till Glory's self is twilight, and displays A melancholy halo scarce allow'd
To hover on the verge of darkness; rays Sadder than saddest night, for they distract the gaze,
CLXVI. And send us prying into the abyss, To gather what we shall be when the frame Shall be resolved to something less tban this Its wretched essence; and to dream of fame, And wipe the dust from off the idle name We never more shall hear, - but never more, Oh, happier thought! can we be made the same: It is enough in sooth that once we bore These fardels of the heart - the heart whose sweat was gore.
CLXVII. Hark! forth from the abyss a voice proceeds, A long low distant murmur of dread sound, Such as arises when a nation bleeds With some deep and immedicable wound; Through storm and darkness yawns the rending
ground, The gulf is thick with phantoms, but the chief Seems royal still, though with her head discrown'd,
And pale, but lovely, with maternal grief
Scion of chiefs and monarchs, where art thou?
The present happiness and promised joy
Of sackcloth was thy wedding garment made;
Her and her hoped-for seed, whose promise seem'd Like stars to shepherds' eyes : 'twas but a me. teor bean'd.
CLXXI. Woe unto us, not her; for she sleeps well: The fickle reek of popular breath, the tongue Of hollow counsel, the false oracle, Which from the birth of monarchy hath rung Its knell in princely ears, till the o'erstung Nations have arm'd in madness, the strange fate 69) Which tumbles mightiest sovereigns, and hath
flung Against their blind omnipotence a weight Within the opposing scale, with crushes soon or
late, These might have been her destiny; but no, Our hearts deny it: and so young, so fair, Good without effort, great without a foe; But now a bride and mother — and now there! How many ties did that stern moment tear! From thy Sire's to his humblest subject's breast Is link'd the electric chain of that despair,
Whose shock was as an earthquake's, and opprest The land which loved thee so that none could love
CLXXIII. 70) Lo, Nemi! navelld in the woody hills So far, that the uprooting wind which tears The oak from his foundation, and which spills The ocean o'er its boundary, and bears Its foam against the skies, reluctant spares The oval mirror of thy glassy lake; And, calm as cherish'd hate, its surface wears
A deep cold settled aspect nought can shake, All coil'd into itself and round, as sleeps the snake.
CLXXIV. And near Albano's scarce divided waves Shine from a sister valley;- and afar The Tiber winds, and the broad ocean laves The Latian coast where sprang the Epic war, “Arms and the Man,» whose re-ascending star Rose o'er an empire:- but beneath thy right Tully reposed from Rome; - and where yon bar
Of girdling mountains intercepts the sight. The Sabine farm was tillid, the weary bard's delight. 71)
CLXXV. But I forget. – My pilgrim's shrine is won, And he and I must part,- so let it be, His task and mine alike are nearly done; Yet once more let us look upon the sea; The midland ocean breaks on him and me, And from the Alban Mount we now behold Our friend of youth, that ocean, which when we Beheld it last by Calpe's rock uufold Those waves, we follow'd on till the dark Euxine roll'd
And reap from earth, sea, joy almost as dear As if there were no man to trouble what is clear. CLXXVII. Oh! that the Desert were my dwelling-place, With one fair Spirit for my minister, That I might all forget the human race, And, hating no one, love but only her! Ye Elements !- in whose ennobling stir I feel myself exalted – Can ye not Accord me such a being? Do I err
In deeming such inhabit many a spot? Though with them to converse can realy be our lot,
CLXXVIII. There is a pleasnre 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 can not all conceal.
CLXXIX. 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 remaio 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,unknell’d, uncoffin'd, and unknown.
CLXXX. 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.
CLXXXI. 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 tops, and, as the snowy flake,
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.
CLXXXII. 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.
CLXXXIII. 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 sublimeThe 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.
CLXXXIV. 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 wanton'd with thy breakers - they to me Were a delight; and if the freshening sea Made them å terror — 'twas 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 name - as I do here.