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Is Thea, softest-natured of our brood.”
I mark'd the Goddess, in fair statuary
Surpassing wan Moneta by the head,
And in her sorrow nearer woman's tears.'
[There was a list’ning fear in her regard,
As if calamity had but begun;
As if the venom'd clouds of evil days
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear
Was with its stored thunder labouring up.
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot 320
Where beats the human heart, as if just there,
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain;
The other upon Saturn's bended neck
She laid, and to the level of his ear
Leaning, with parted lips some words she spoke
In solemn tenour and deep organ-tone;
Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue
Would come in this like accenting ;? how frail
To that large utterance of the early gods !
“Saturn, look up! and for what, poor lost
I have no comfort for thee; no, not one;
I cannot say, wherefore thus sleepest thou ?
For Heaven is parted from thee, and the Earth
Knows thee not, sos afflicted, for a god.
The Ocean, too, with all its solemn noise,
Has from thy sceptre pass'd; and all the air
Is emptied of thy hoary majesty.
Thy thunder, captious at the new command,
She was a goddess of the infant world, &c.
2 In these like accents.
3 Though wherefore, poor old king?
40! wherefore sleepest thou ?
6 Conscious of the command.
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house ;
And thy sharp lightning, in unpractised hands,
Scourges and burns our once serene domain. 341
With such remorseless speed still come new
That unbelief has not a space to breathe.
Saturn ! sleep on: me thoughtless," why should I
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude ?
Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes ?
Saturn ! sleep on, while at thy feet I weep.”
As when upon a tranced summer-night 3 Forests, branch-charmed by the earnest stars, Dream, and so dream all night without a noise,- 350 Save from one gradual solitary gust Swelling upon the silence, dying off, As if the ebbing air had but one wave, So came these words and went; the while in tears She prest her fair large forehead to the earth, Just where her fallen hair might spread in curls A soft and silken net for Saturn's feet.] Long, long these two were postured motionless, Like sculpture builded-up upon the grave Of their own power. A long awful time 360 I look'd upon them: still they were the same; The frozen God still bending to the earth, And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet; Moneta silent. Without stay or prop
10 aching time! O mo- 4 Stir. ments big as years, &c.
5 Which comes upon the si0, thoughtless, why did I. lence and dies off. 3 Add,
But my own weak mortality, I bore
The load of this eternal quietude,
The unchanging gloom and the three fixed shapes
Ponderous upon my senses, a whole moon;
For by my burning brain I measured sure
Her silver seasons shedded on the night, 370
And every day by day methought I grew
More gaunt and ghostly. Oftentimes I pray'd
Intense, that death would take me from the vale
And all its burthens; gasping with despair
Of change, hour after hour I cursed myself,
Until old Saturn raised his faded eyes,
And look'd around and saw his kingdom gone,
And all the gloom and sorrow of the place,
And that fair kneeling Goddess at his feet.
As the moist scent of flowers, and grass, and
Fills forest-dells with a pervading air,
Known to the woodland nostril, so the words
Of Saturn fill'd the mossy glooms around,
Even to the hollows of time-eaten oaks,
And to the windings of the foxes' hole,
With sad, low tones, while thus he spoke, and sent
Strange moanings to the solitary Pan.
“Moan, brethren, moan, for we are swallow'd up
And buried from all godlike exercise
[Of influence benign on planets pale, 390
And peaceful sway upon man's harvesting,
And all those acts which Deity supreme
Doth ease its heart of love in.'] Moan and wail ;
* One moon, with alternations slow, had shed
Her silver seasons four upon the night, &c. VOL. III.
Moan, brethren, moan; for lo, the rebel spheres
Spin round; the stars their ancient courses keep;
Clouds still with shadowy moisture haunt the earth,
Still suck their fill of light from sun and moon;
Still buds the tree, and still the seashores murmur;
There is no death in all the universe,
No smell of death.-There shall be death. Moan,
400 Moan, Cybele, moan; for thy pernicious babes Have changed a god into an aching palsy. Moan, brethren, moan, for I have no strength left; Weak as the reed, weak, feeble as my voice. Oh! oh! the pain, the pain of feebleness; Moan, moan, for still I thaw; or give me help; Throw down those imps, and give me victory. Let me hear other groans (and trumpets blown Of triumph calm, and hymns of festival,] From the gold peaks of heaven's high-piled
clouds; (Voices of soft proclaim, and silver stir Of strings in hollow shells; and there shall be Beautiful things made new, for the surprise Of the sky-children."] So he feebly ceased, With such a poor and sickly-sounding pause, Methought I heard some old man of the earth Bewailing earthly loss; nor could my eyes And ears act with that unison of sense Which marries sweet sound with the grace of form, And dolorous accent from a tragic harp 420 With large-limb'd visions. More I scrutinized. Still fixt he sat beneath the sable trees,
arms spread straggling in wild serpent forms,
Upon the gold clouds metropolitan,
With leaves all hush'd; his awful presence there
(Now all was silent) gave a deadly lie
To what I erewhile heard: only his lips
Trembled amid the white curls of his beard;
They told the truth, though round the snowy locks
Hung nobly, as upon the face of heaven
A mid-day fleece of clouds. Thea arose, 430
And 'stretcht her white arm through the hollow dark,
Pointing some whither : whereat he too rose,
Like a vast giant, seen by men at sea
To grow pale from the waves at dull midnight.
They melted from my sight into the woods;
Ere I could turn, Moneta cried, “These twain
Are speeding to the families of grief,
Where, rooft in by black rocks, they waste (wait?]
And darkness, for no hope." And she spake on,
As ye may read who can unwearied pass 440
Onward from the antechamber of this dream,
Where, even at the open doors, awhile
I must delay, and glean my memory
Of her high phrase - perhaps no further dare.
ORTAL, that thou mayst understand
I humanize my sayings to thine ear,
Making comparisons of earthly things;
Or thou mightst better listen to the wind,