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Wov'n in circles : they that heard it sigh’d,
Panted hand in hand with faces pale,
Swung themselves, and in low tones replied ;
Till the fountain spouted, showering wide
Sleet of diamond-drift and pearly hail ;
Then the music touch'd the gates and died;
Rose again from where it seem'd to fail,
Storm'd in orbs of song, a growing gale ;
Till thronging in and in, to where they waited,
As 'twere a hundred-throated nightingale,
The strong tempestuous treble throbb’d and palpitated;
Ran into its giddiest whirl of sound,
Caught the sparkles, and in circles,
Purple gauzes, golden hazes, liquid mazes,
Flung the torrent rainbow round :
Then they started from their places,
Moved with violence, changed in hue,
Caught each other with wild grimaces,
Half-invisible to the view,
Wheeling with precipitate paces
To the melody, till they flew,
Hair, and eyes, and limbs, and faces,
Twisted hard in fierce embraces,
Like to Furies, like to Graces,
Dash'd together in blinding dew:
Till, kill'd with some luxurious agouy,
The nerve-dissolving melody
Flutter'd headlong from the sky.

And then I look'd up toward a mountain-tract,
That girt the region with high cliff and lawn :
I saw that every morning, far withdrawn
Beyond the darkness and the cataract,
God made himself an awful rose of dawn,
Unheeded : and detaching, fold by fold,
From those still heights, and, slowly drawing near,
A vapour heavy, hueless, formless, cold,
Came floating on for many a month and year,
Unheeded: and I thought I would have spoken,
And warn’d that madman ere it grew too late :
But, as in dreams, I could not. Mine was broken,
When that cold vapour touch'd the palace gate,
And link'd again. I saw within my head
A grey and gap-tooth'd man as lean as death,
Who slowly rode across a wither'd heath,
And lighted at a ruin'd inn, and said :

. 4.
“ Wrinkled ostler, grim and thin!

Here is custom come your way;
Take my brute, and lead him in,

Stuff his ribs with mouldy hay.
“ Bitter barmaid, waning fast !

See that sheets are on my bed ;
What! the flower of life is past :

It is long before you wed.

“Slip-shod waiter, lank and sour,

At the Dragon on the heath! Let us have a quiet hour,

Let us hob-and-nob with Death.

“I am old, but let me drink;

Bring me spices, bring me wine ; I remember, when I think,

That my youth was half divine.

“Wine is good for shrivelld lips,

When a blanket wraps the day, When the rotten woodland drips,

And the leaf is stamp'd in clay.

“ Sit thee down, and have no shame,

Cheek by jowl, and knee by knee : What care I for any name ?

What for order or degree ?

“ Let me screw thee up a peg:

Let me loose thy tongue with wine : Callest thou that thing a leg?

Which is thinnest ? thine or mine ?

“ Thou shalt not be saved by works :

Thou hast been a sinner too : Ruin'd trunks on wither'd forks,

Empty scarecrows, I and you !

“Fill the cup, and fill the can :

Have a rouse before the morn : Every moment dies a man,

Every moment one is born

• We are men of ruin'd blood ;

Therefore comes it we are wise. Fish are we that love the mud,

Rising to no fancy-Hies.

“Name and fame! to fly sublime

Tbro' the courts, the camps, the schools, Is to be the ball of Time,

Bandied by the hands of fools.

“Friendship !—to be two in one

Let the canting liar pack ! Well I know, when I am gone,

How she mouths behind my back.

“ Virtue !—to be good and just

Every heart, when sifted well, Is a clot of warmer dust,

Mix'd with cunning sparks of hell

: O! we two as well can look

Whited thought and cleanly life As the priest, above his book

Leering at his neighbour's wife.

“ Fill the cup, and fill the can :

Have a rouse before the morn : Every moment dies a man,

Every moment one is born.

“ Drink, and let the parties rave :

They are filld with idle spleen ; Rising, falling, like a wave,

For they know not what they mean.

“He that roars for liberty

Faster binds a tyrant's power ; And the tyrant's cruel glee

Forces on the freer hour.

“Fill the can, and fill the cup :

All the windy ways of men Are but dust that rises up,

And is lightly laid again.

“Greet her with applausive breath,

Freedom, gaily doth she tread ; In her right a civic wreath,

In her left a human head.

“No, I love not what is new;

She is of an ancient house : And I think we know the hue

Of that cap upon her brows.

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