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—Winter's eternal palace, built by Time:
All human structures by his touch are borne
Down to the dust;-mountains themselves are worn
With his light footsteps; here for ever grows,
Amid the region of unmelting snows,
A monument; where every flake that falls
Gives adamantine firmness to the walls.
The sun beholds no mirror in his race,
That shews a brighter image of his face;
The stars, in their nocturnal vigils, rest
Like signal fires on its illumined crest;
The gliding moon around the ramparts wheels,
And all its magic lights and shades reveals;
Beneath, the tide with idle fury raves
To undermine it through a thousand caves;
Rent from its roof, though thundering fragments oft
Plunge to the gulph, immoveable aloft,
From age to age, in air, o'er sea, on land,
Its turrets heighten and its piers expand.
Midnight hath told his hour; the moon, yet young,
Hangs in the argent west her bow unstrung;
Larger and fairer, as her lustre fades,
Sparkle the stars amidst the deepening shades:
Jewels more rich than night's regalia gem
The distant Ice-Blink's spangled diadem;
Like a new morn from orient darkness, there
Phosphoric splendours kindle in mid air,
As though from heaven's self-opening portals came
Legions of spirits in an orb of flame,
—Flame, that from every point an arrow sends,
Far as the concave firmament extends:
Spun with the tissue of a million lines,
Glistening like gossamer the welkin shines:
The constellations in their pride look pale
Through the quick trembling brilliance of that veil:
Then suddenly converged, the meteors rush
O'er the wide south; one deep vermilion blush
O'erspreads Orion glaring on the flood,
And rabid Sirius foams through fire and blood;
Again the circuit of the pole they range,
Motion and figure every moment change,
Through all the colours of the rainbow run,
Or blaze like wrecks of a dissolving sun;
Wide ether burns with glory, conflict, flight,
And the glad ocean dances in the light.
Ages had seen the vigourous race, that sprung From Norway's stormy forelands, rock'd when young In ocean's cradle, hardening as they rose Like mountain-pines amidst perennial snows; -Ages had seen these sturdiest sons of Time Strike root and flourish in that ruffian clime, Commerce with lovelier lands and wealthier hold, Yet spurn the lures of luxury and gold; Beneath the umbrage of the Gallic vine, For moonlight snows and cavern-shelter pine; Turn from Campanian fields a lofty eye To gaze upon the glorious Alps, and sigh, Remembering Greenland; more and more endear'd, As far and farther from its shores they steer'd;
Greenland their world,—and all was strangeb->
Elsewhere they wander'd; here they lived and co-
At length a swarthy tribe, without a name.
Unknown the point of windward whence they ar.
The power by which stupendous gulphs they eros
Or compass'd wilds of everlasting frost,
Alike mysterious;–found their sudden way
To Greenland; pour'd along the western bay
Their straggling families; and seized the soil
For their domain, the ocean for their spoil.
Skraellings the Normans call'd these horde-in-con
That seem'd created on the spot-though born
In trans-Atlantic climes, and thither brought
By paths as covert as the birth of thought;
They were at once;—the swallow-tribes in spring
Thus daily multiply upon the wing, o
As if the air, their element of flight,
Brought forth new broods from darknessevery nigo
Slipt from the secret hand of Providence.
They come we see not how, nor know we whence
A stunted, stern, uncouth, amphibious stock.
Hewn from the living marble of the rock.
Or sprung from mermaids, and in ocean's bed,
With orcs and seals, in sunless caverns bred, -
They might have held, from unrecorded time,
Sole patrimony in that hideous clime,
So lithe their limbs, so fenced their frames to ber
The intensest rigours of the polar air;
Nimble, and muscular, and keen to run
The rein-deer down a circuit of the sun;
To climb the slippery cliffs, explore their cells,
And storm and sack the sea-birds' citadels;
In bands, through snows, the mother-bear tota-,
Slay with their darts the cubs in her embrace,
And while she lick'd their bleeding wounds.to
Her deadliest vengeance in her in most cave:
Train'd with inimitable skill to float,
Each, balanced in his bubble of a boat,
With dexterous paddle steering through the son,
With poised harpoon to strike his plunging press.
As though the skiff, the seaman, oar, and dart
Were one compacted body, by one heart
With instinct, motion, pulse empower'd to ride,
A human Nautilus upon the tide;
Or with a fleet of Kayaks to assail
The desperation of the stranded whale,
When wedged 'twixt jagged rocks he wriths to
In agony among the ebbing shoals, (*
Lashing the waves to foam; until the flood,
From wounds, like geysers, seems a bath of blood.
Echo all night dumb-pealing to his roar,
Till morn beholds him slain along the shore.
INCOGNITA. writteN AT LEAMINGroN, IN 1817, ox virwo The Picture of AN UNKNowN LADY. “She was a phantom of delight.”—Wordsworms.
Image of one, who lived of yore!
Hail to that lovely mien,
Once quick and conscious;-now no more
On land or ocean seen!
The permanent crags, tell here of Love,who sought
In them a refuge from the worldly shocks,
Which stir and sting the soul with hope that woos,
Clarens! by heavenly feet thy paths are trod,
Undying Love's, who here ascends a throne
To which the steps are mountains; where the god
Is a pervading life and light, so shewn
Not on those summits solely, nor alone
In the still cave and forest; o'er the flower
His eye is sparkling, and his breath hath blown,
His soft and summer breath, whose tender power
'asses the strength of storms in their most desolate
All things are here of him; from the black pines, Which are his shade on high, and the loud roar Of torrents, where he listeneth, to the vines Which slope his green path downward to the shore, Where the bow’d waters meet him, and adore, Kissing his feet with murmurs; and the wood, The covert of old trees, with trunks all hoar, But light leaves, young as joy, stands where it stood, Offering to him, and his, a populous solitude:
A populous solitude of bees and birds, And fairy—form'd and many-coloured things, Who worship him with notes more sweet than And innocently open their glad wings, [words, Fearless and full of life: the gush of springs, And fall of lofty fountains, and the bend Of stirring branches, and the bud which brings The swiftest thought of beauty, here extend, Mingling, and made by Love, unto one mighty end.
He who hath loved not, here would learn that lore, And make his heart a spirit; he who knows That tender mystery, will love the more, For this is Love's recess, where vain men's woes, And the world's waste, have driven him far from For ’tis his nature to advance or die; [those, He stands not still, but or decays or grows Into a boundless blessing, which may vie With the immortal lights in its eternity!
The winds are high on Helle's wave,
As on that night of stormy water
When Love, who sent, forgot to save
The young, the beautiful, the brave,
The lonely hope of Sestos' daughter.
Oh! when alone along the sky
Her turret-torch was blazing high,
Though rising gale, and breaking foam,
And shrieking sea-birds warn'd him home,
And clouds aloft, and tides below,
With signs and sounds, forbade to go,
He could not see, he would not hear
Or sound or sign foreboding fear;
His eye but saw that light of love,
The only star it hail'd above;
His ear but rang with Hero's song,
“Ye waves, divide not lovers long!”-
That tale is old, but love anew
May nerve young hearts to prove as true.
The winds are high, and Helle's tide Rolls darkly heaving to the main; And night's descending shadows hide That field with blood bedev'd in vain, The desert of old Priam's pride; The tombs, sole relics of his reign, All—save immortal dreams that could beguile The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle !
Oh! yet—for there my steps have been ;
These feet have press'd the sacred shore,
These limbs that buoyant wave hath borne—
Minstrell with thee to muse, to mourn,
To trace again those fields of yore,
Believing every hillock green
Contains no fabled hero's ashes,
And that around the undoubted scene
Thine own “broad Hellespont” still dashes,
Be long my lot! and cold were he
Who there could gaze denying thee!
The night had closed on Helle's stream,
Nor yet hath risen on Ida's hill
That moon, which shone on his high theme:
No warrior chides her peaceful beam,
But conscious shepherds bless it still.
Their flocks are grazing on the mound
Of him who felt the Dardan's arrow :
That mighty heap of gather'd ground
Which Ammon's son ran proudly round,
By nations raised, by monarchs crown'd,
Is now a lone and nameless barrow !
Within—thy dwelling-place how narrow!
Without—can only strangers breathe
The name of him that was beneath:
Dust long outlasts the storied stone;
But thou—thy very dust is gone!
LAMENT. Morn slowly rolls the clouds away; Few trophies of the fight are there: The shouts that shook the midnight-bay Are silent; but some signs of fray That strand of strife may bear, And fragments of each shiver'd brand; Steps stamp'd; and dash'd into the sand The print of many a struggling hand May there be mark’d; nor far remote A broken torch, an oarless boat; And tangled on the weeds that heap The beach where shelving to the deep There lies a white capote! 'Tis rent in twain—one dark-red stain The wave yet ripples o'er in vain: But where is he who wore?
Go, seek them where the surges sweep
Their burthen round Sigaeum's steep,
And cast on Lemnos' shore:
The sea-birds shriek above the prey,
O'er which their hungry beaks delay,
As shaken on his restless pillow,
His head heaves with the heaving billow;
That hand, whose motion is not life,
Yet feebly seems to menace strife,
Flung by the tossing tide on high,
Then levell'd with the wave—
What recks it, though that corse shall lie
Within a living grave?
The bird that tears that prostrate form
Hath only robb'd the meaner worm;
The only heart, the only eye,
Had bled or wept to see him die,
Had seen those scatter'd limbs composed,
And mourn’d above his turban-stone,
That heart hath burst—that eye was closed—
Yea—closed before his own!
By Helle's stream there is a voice of wail!
And woman's eye is wet—man's cheek is pale:
Zuleika! last of Giaffar's race,
Thy destined lord is come too late;
He sees not—ne'er shall see thy face!
Can he not hear
The loud Wul-wulleh warn his distant ear?
Thy handmaids weeping at the gate,
The Koran-chanters of the hymn of fate,
The silent slaves with folded arms that wait,
Sighs in the hall, and shrieks upon the gale,
Tell him thy tale!
Thou didst not view thy Selim fall!
That fearful moment when he left the cave
Thy heart grew chill:
He was thy hope—thy joy—thy love—thine all-
And that last thought on him thou could'st not
Sufficed to kill; [save
Burst forth in one wild cry—and all was still.
Peace to thy broken heart and virgin gravel
Ah! happy! but of life to lose the worst!
That grief—tho' deep—tho' fatal—was thy first!
Thrice happy! ne'er to feel nor fear the force
Of absence, shame, pride, hate, revenge, remorse!
And, oh! that pang where more than madness lies!
The worm that will not sleep—and never dies;
Thought of the gloomy day and ghastly night,
That dreads the darkness, and yet loathes the light,
That winds around, and tears the quivering heart!
Ah! wherefore not consume it—and depart!
Woe to thee, rash and unrelenting chief!
Vainly thou heap'st the dust upon thy head,
Vainly the sackcloth o'er thy limbs dost spread:
By that same hand Abdallah—Selim bled.
Now let it tear thy beard in idle grief:
Thy pride of heart, thy bride for Osman's bed,
She, whom thy sultan had but seen to wed,
Thy daughter's dead!
Hope of thine age, thy twilight's lonely beam,
The star hath set that shone on Helle's stream.
Within the place of thousand tombs
That shine beneath, while dark above
The sad but living cypress glooms
And withers not, though branch andleaf
Are stamp'd with an eternal grief,
Like early unrequited love,
One spot exists, which ever blooms,
Ev’n in that deadly grove—
A single rose is shedding there
Its lonely lustre, meek and pale:
It looks as planted by despair–
So white—so faint—the slightesgo
Might whirl the leaves on high;
And yet, though storms and blights,
And hands more rude than wintry so
May wring it from the stem—in who
To-morrow sees it bloom again!
The stalk some spirit gently rears,
And waters with celestial tears;
For well may maids of Helle deem
That this can be no earthly flower,
Which mocks the tempest's wither"; hour,
And buds unshelter'd by a bower;
Nor droops, though spring refuse her
Nor woos the summer beam:
To it the livelong night there sing
A bird unseen—but not remo”
Invisible his airy wings, . . .
But soft as harp that Houristring
His long entrancing note!
It were the Bulbul; but his thro' *:
Though mournful, pours" such a stralo
For they who listen cannot leave.
The spot, but linger there and grieve
As if they loved in vain!
And yet so sweet the tears to
'Tis sorrow so unmix'd with dread, k
They scarce can bear them"" brea
That melancholy spell,
And longer yet would wee; *
He sings so wild and well!
But when the o *
- t magic melody- -
. : who could **
(So fondly youthful dre" deceive,
Yet harsh be they that blame)
That note so piercing and o
Will shape and syllable its sous
Into Zuleika's name.
'Tis from her cypress'."
That melts in air the lio
ori, from her lowly virg"o.
That white rose takesi" o:
There late was laid a " wgone!
Eve saw it placed—tho morro
It was no mortal
That deep-fix'd pillar to t
For there, as Helle's