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A presto

Methought I was the sovereign lord Sometimes within the cavern's depths
Of some new world above, . .

Strange wonders we beheld
Far in the starry sphere; and this In crystal cell, that but to tell
My destin'u þride and love.

My tongue it is withheld ;
But the visions reign within my brain,

Aud ne'er will be dispell’d.

One day, within a garden screen'd,

We sat, where on the ground
Little wot I how days sped on:

Dropp'd golden fruit, and fountains play'd
If perfect bliss there be,

Their music round and round
That bliss was mine; it did enshrine Blended above with vows of love
My soul, yet leave it free,

That melted in the sound.
Bound up in thoughts of gentlest love

“ Ab, me!" quoth she, “ that mortal ear And gentlest courtesie.

Must learn the coming ill,
Ever that fairest Queen and I

To mar the present happiness,
Our sweet communion beld .

As mar perchance it will!
In cou verse oft, as purest thought, :

We are not free from destiny;
Its eloquence impellid,

That we must aye fuitil.
And oft in looks more eloquent, “My destiny of life, and power,
When converse was withheld.

Aud love, must rest on one
There was a magic in her speech, ***

Of mortal men, whose chasten'd soul
A magic in her look,

In Virtue's course shall run,
A magic in her silent thought

Nor e'er obey wild passion's sway,
of more than speech partook-

Nor dangers ever shun.
O, would her speaking looks and words

O would thyself that mortal were
Were writ in golden book!

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,
Or pencil, e'er to paint super !

By signs themselves alone do know,
Her beauteous self-when fancy fails

. Of pure and duteous mind,
la colours, weak and faint? Dieu
Earth never knew one half so fair,

"They hither being ; and many a knight, Nor heaven a fairer saint. , ,

The bravest and the best,
Have here their days of trial pass'd,

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,
It was a wondrous thing

No evil thought be thine,
The chambers were so infinite,

Nor thou to anger, envy, pride,
And past imagining.

Nor wayward will incline,
No windows were, but lamps that did But keep thy heart most faithfully
Mysterious lustre fling

On duty's even line;
Around the walls of the sculptur'd halls, “If love, unblemish'd by a stain,
Where silver birds did sing.

Thy fancy truly guide
Gardens there were, with stately trees,

Even to the end, (it dra weth nigh,)
Such as were never seen;

Behold-dominion wide
Whose rustling boughs a music made

Is thine, an undecaying life,

And I thy Queen, thy bride.
In presence of their Queen.
Rivers that flow'd with pearl and gold, “ If great the fault, thou must it rue
And banks of precious green.

For aye, in iron chain;
There oft we sat by fountain's side

Jf slight, thou must from hence be cast,
That silver jets up threw,

To perils new, and pain;
And tinged the leaves of the golden trees

How hard to bear ! But virtue rare
All with a glistening hue;

Thy courage may sustain;
And fruits around hung to the ground,

And, ob ! be faithful love thy gaide,
That diamonds were to view.

Till thou the guerdon gain."
Here rubies were and emeralds green,
* Here pearl and topaz bright,
And bending stems were rich with gems,

And all cast forth a light,
And overspread, like stars, o'erhead, Her words sank to my inmost soul:
That gild the blue of night.

I would bare ma le reply


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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
A hoary sage there stood,

As from cathedral Hoor
Who gazed on me with a searching look, Up to the fretted roof; in 'midst
Nor boded his aspect good.

A column rose; it bore
I knew bim well, and many a time A brazen dragon, and fifty lamps
Had mark'd how strange his mood. Shew'd it was wet with gore,

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.
As he were boary seneschal,
Or one of like degree.

There, at the columu's base, I saw
But he never cast, from first to last,

Old Himri stand ; in book A pleasant look on me.

Of tiery character uncouth

He earnestly did look,
His brows hung o'er his small grey eyes, And to the dragon raised it up,
That look'd as in a trance,

And his brazen wings he shook.
Whene'er observed-at other time,

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.
Like some grim statue chari'd to life,

That scarcely felt its glow.
Then turning round, he raised his wand,

And moved with measured tread,
And to the spacious hall the way

One moment-all was still as death, All solemnly he led,

One moment and no more
Where, 'mid the blaze of myriad lamps, Then came a crash that the cavern rent,
The banquet rich was spread.

And its sides asunder tore;
And a bellowing rose from the yawning


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.
The feast it pass'd with mirth and glee,

But I was ill at rest,
I felt a wrath within me rise

That would not be suppress'd ;
And in my silent chamber still

I cannot tell or where I fell,
It rankled in my breast,

How long in swoon I lay;

But when I woke, in the self-same boat And sets the prize before the eyes,
I was gliding fast awas,

All perils for to dare.
And the liveried page still stood at the Above me was a dusky sky,

And dusky was the ground
And not a word did say.

On which I lay-'twas iron grey,
Narrow and dark the dismal holes

Nor herbage sprang around.
The bark went floating through,

And as I rose, at every tread
And at the bow was a carbuncle,

It rang an iron sound.
That shew'd the ghastly hue,
Where'er we went, of rock and rent,

It was all lonely dreariness,

Swept o'er by many a gust
More horrible to view.

Of every moaning wind, that whirld
Sometimes we cross'd a low-brow'd vault,

In air the parched dust,
Sometimes 'twas arched high-

That wither'd, dried, and cover'd all,
And iron chains hung down below,

As with an iron rust.
And rings wherein might lie

No boat-nopage! where, where are they?
The doom'd ;--and once methought I saw Nor echo answer'd where
The glistening of an eye

No object to send back the sound-
Through the dim space-methought I It was so bleak and bare.

No creature there could tind a hole,
A groan of agony,

Nor any beast a Jair.
And soon we reach'd a fearful pass,

In vain I sought, by frequent thought,
Where monstrous forms did clasp

What power had brought me there. The rock, as if each crag did live,

Perchance, said I, these scenes are fair
As if the stone did gasp

To every other eye;
With ire, and threw out horrid arms,

Perchance a spell of demon fell
That might my body grasp.

On every sepse doth lie.

And what is fair I may not see,
O, Love! can terror touch the heart

But all things ill descry.
That thou hast made to bear
The pangs of ruin'd hope_can death

No path was there, no way to choose,

No track of living thing;
The suffering spirit scare?
Death bath no bitter agony

Yet on I fared, regardless where,

Or what, mischance might bring.
To those that must despair.

Night over all her scowling shades
The very peril made me laugh,

Then sullenly did fling.
To think how I could mock

It was a wild, that evil spirits
The fell despight of demon-sprite

Might blast, as they should skim
And I could feel no shock.

Over the waste, in the sweeping clouds
Louder I laughed--the more the yells

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
O, sleep, it is a blessed thing!

Struggles forlorn with the grey of morn,
It steals the sting from woe,

The darkness with the light,
Lost hopes it back again doth bring,

When a gloomy castle rose to view,
And more than hope bestow.

With a watch-tower blazing bright.
I cannot tell if it be spell,
Or Nature wills it so.

Columns of smoke around it rose,
Amidst all frightful things to see,

Concealing all behind,

And curl'd, and roar'd, and hiss'd with a
All frightful things to hear,
Love brought despair to steel my heart,


As of a rushing wind;
And left me nought to fear-

And a blustering tide, as if bammers plied,
Then came with gentle sleep to bless,

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.
But oh, the waking pangs !-yet still

As I stood and gazed on it,
E'en here Love's inercies are ;

A grate withdrew, and to my view
For if the soul refresh'd can feel

These words in tire were writ:
More keenly-it can bear,
E'en with the very sirength; for Love,

for Love. “ If thou wouldst enier at this gate, With hope, still enters there,

Stranger, whoe'er thou art,

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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,
Or be thou wise-depart." ,

As upward still it rose,
And did an iron Hercules

With his massy club disclose-

And he stood awhile on his pedestal

In awful stern repose.'
I wandered through the castle hall,
That lofty was and wide,

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,
Such as in old cathedral aisle
We often see, of date

Most ancient, that in figures strange
Some saint doth celebrate :

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,
Around the thicker seem-

In characters of gold
''Twas held by one like angel seen

“Thou bast the tyrant Fire-god quell'dIn vision or in dream,

Herein thy sceptre hold.
That almost was invisible

“Here mayst thou choose dominion wide, Through the resplendent stream.

And vassals to thy throne.”
It seem'd as it were Grecian art;

“ Ambition is a fearful thing,"
But marble hath no flush

Said I, “and power unknown.
Of life; nor alabaster glows

Uncertain if for others' good,
With beauty's beaming blush.

I reign not for mine own."
So pure, its brightness did create

I waved my hand, I look'd again,
Around a holy hush.

The characters were gone;
Forwards he moved, and in his hand . And these were there—“Behold thy
He bore that shining thing-


I know not if 'twere earthly flame,

The golden gate-pass on."
Or stone of magic ring-

Then saw I straight a golden gate,
It did defy all scrutiny,

That bright before me shone.
Such lustre it did fling.

As I approached it open flew ;
Around him, as he onward moved,

So art bad it disposed,
The darkness seemed to fly,

That scarcely had I enter'd in,
The walls like vapour to recede,

When it behind me closed.
And open all to lie.

“Ope not," quoth 1, "'twixt tempting ill Before me, lo! a river flow'd,

And me thus interposed."
Above me was the sky.
My angel-guide-I knew not where,

I knew not how he sped ;
But he was gone. A city fair

O power and boundless tyranny!
Before my eyes was spread,

How much they lose who win!
With costly towers, reflected bright The more their mandates fly abroad,
In the deep river's bed.

More restless they within.
I look'd behind the castle-gate

What boots it to be Lord of all,
Was there—it open'd wide,

And yet the slave of sin ?
And straight the burning monster-man It was the city still_before
Forth from the portal hied.

My eyes above it rose
I stepp'd aside; and he, roaring, rush'd A bill whose flaming summit roar'd,
Into the hissing tide.

As heav'd by inward throes ;
The river hiss'd, the river roar'd,

As if ten thousand hammers plied
And boil'd like molten lead;

On anvils ringing blows.
And the fishes, far as eye could see, The sky was dark with falling dust,
Leap'd from their burning bed,

And the bill's smoking side
And lay in heaps on every side,

Red liquid pour'd, as when the tree
Where they fell all scorch'd and dead. Is pierced where gums do bide:
I paced along the river's side,

And through the city's central way
I cross'd the crowded mart,

Rolld on the burning tide.,
And many were that passed me by-

I question'd one that pass'd in haste,
Their presence made me start;

Who thus the mystery told :
They were so wither'd, parch'd, and dried, « This day in every year, from thence
It did an awe impart.

This golden stream is roll'd,
Like shrivell'd leather was their dress, And every track is cover'd o'er
Like leather was their skin;

With dust of finest gold.
They look'd not men, but human busks, Be rich, and gather all thou canst,
That hollow were within-

And find thee sacks to hold.”
Half shades, balf ghosts, that penance did,
And suffer'd for their sip.

The city streets as on I sped

In wild confusion Jay,
And oft they seem'd as they would speak, Homes undefended, goods despoil'd-
As to and fro they pass'd,

And thieves that prowl'd for prey.
But not a sound from their dry lips And still was heard more distant din
Came, but a moaning blast;

Of tumult and affray.
And their eyeballs had a fixed glare,

( what a sight it was to see
That made them look aghast.

Down at that central food!
Onward I went-a palace fair

Thousands in heaps confused there lay,
Before me I behold,

Choked in the yellow mud.



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