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Dissonant arms; and Art which cannot die,
With divine want traced on our earthly home Fit imagery to pave heaven's everlasting dome.
Thou huntress swifter than the Moon ! thou terror Of the world's wolves ! thou bearer of the
quiver, Whose sun-like shafts pierce tempest-winged
Error, As light may pierce the clouds when they dis
In the calm regions of the orient day!
Luther caught thy wakening glance:
Like lightning from his leaden lance Reflected, it dissolved the visions of the trance In which, as in a tomb, the nations lay; And England's prophets hailed thee as their
queen, In songs
whose music cannot pass away, Though it must flow for ever : not unseen Before the spirit-sighted countenance
Of Milton didst thou pass, from the sad scene Beyond whose night he saw, with a dejected
The eager hours and unreluctant years
As on a dawn-illumined mountain stood, Trampling to silence their loud hopes and fears,
Darkening each other with their multitude,
And cried aloud, Liberty! Indignation
Answered Pity from her cave;
Death grew pale within the grave, And desolation howled to the destroyer, Save ! When, like heaven's sun, girt by the exhalation
Of its own glorious light, thou didst arise, Chasing thy foes from nation unto nation Like shadows: as if day had cloven the
skies At dreaming midnight o'er the western wave,
Men started, staggering with a glad surprise, Under the lightnings of thine unfamiliar eyes.
Thou heaven of earth! what spells could pall thee
then, In ominous eclipse? A thousand years, Bred from the slime of deep oppression's den,
Dyed all thy liquid light with blood and tears, Till thy sweet stars could weep the stain away;
How like Bacchanals of blood
Round France, the ghastly vintage, stood Destruction's sceptered slaves, and Folly's mitred
brood ! When one, like them, but mightier far than
they, The Anarch of thine own bewildered powers, Rose: armies mingled in obscure array Like clouds with clouds, darkening the sa
Of serene heaven. He, by the past pursued,
Rests with those dead but unforgotten hours, Whose ghosts scare victor kings in their an
England yet sleeps : was she not called of old ?
Spain calls her now, as with its thrilling thunder Vesuvius wakens Ætna, and the cold
Snow-crags by its reply are cloven in sunder: O'er the lit waves every Æolian isle
From Pithecusa to Pelorus
Howls, and leaps, and glares in chorus: They cry, Be dim, ye lamps of heaven suspended
o'er us. Her chains are threads of gold, she need but smile
[of steel, And they dissolve; but Spain's were links Till bit to dust by virtue's keenest file.
Twins of a single destiny! appeal
In the dim West; impress us from a seal,
Tomb of Arminius ! render up thy dead
Till, like a standard from a watch-tower's staff, His soul may stream over the tyrant's head !
Thy victory shall be his epitaph,
Wild Bacchanal of truth's mysterious wine.
His dead spirit lives in thee. Why do we fear or hope? thou art already free!
And thou, lost Paradise of this divine
And glorious world! thou flowery wilderness ! Thou island of eternity! thou shrine
Where desolation, clothed with loveliness, Worships the thing thou wert! O Italy,
Gather thy blood into thy heart; repress The beasts who make their dens thy sacred
O that the free would stamp the impious name
Of **** into the dust; or write there,
of fame Were as a serpent's path, which the light air Erases, and the flat sands close behind !
Ye the oracle have heard :
Lift the victory-flashing sword,
Into a mass, irrefragably firm,
The sound has poison in it, 'tis the sperm Of what makes life foul, cankerous, and abhorred;
Disdain not thou, at thine appointed term,
O that the wise from their bright minds would ,
kindle Such lamps within the dome of this dim world, That the pale name of Priest might shrink and
dwindle Into the hell from which it first was hurled, A scoff of impious pride from fiends impure,
Till human thoughts might kneel alone,
Each before the judgment-throne Of its own aweless soul, or of the power unknown! O that the words which make the thoughts
obscure From which they spring, as clouds of glim
mering dew From a white lake blot heaven's blue portraiture, Were stript of their thin masks and various
hue, And frowns and smiles and splendours not their
own, Till in the nakedness of false and true They stand before their Lord, each to receive
He who taught man to vanquish whatsoever
Can be between the cradle and the grave, Crowned him the King of Life. O vain endea
vour! If on his own high will a willing slave, He has enthroned the oppression and the op