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All shapes look glorious which thou gazest

on! Ay, even the dim words which obscure

thee now Flash, lightning-like, with unaccustomed

glow; I pray thee that thou blot from this sad

song All of its much mortality and wrong, With those clear drops, which start like

sacred dew From the twin lights thy sweet soul

darkens through, Weeping, till sorrow becomes ecstacy: Then smile on it, so that it may not

die. I never thought before my death to see Youth's vision thus made perfect. Emily, I love thee; though the world by no thin

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Will hide that love, from its unvalued

shame. Would we two had been twins of the same

mother! Or that the name my heart lent to

other Could be a sister's bond for her and thee, Blending two beams of one eternity! Yet were one lawful and the other true, These names, though dear, could paint

not, as is due, How beyond refuge I am thine. Ah me! I am not thine — I am a part of thee. Sweet Lamp! my moth-like Muse has

burnt its wings; Or, like a dying swan who soars and

sings, Young Love should teach Time, in his

own gray style, All that thou art. Art thou not void of

guile, • A lovely soul formed to be blest and

bless? A well of sealed and secret happiness, Whose waters like blithe light and music

are, Vanquishing dissonance and gloom? a

She met me, Stranger, upon life's rough

way, And lured me towards sweet death; as

Night by Day, Winter by Spring, or Sorrow by swift

Hope, Led into light, life, peace. An antelope, 75 In the suspended impulse of its lightness, Were less ethereally light. The bright

ness Of her divinest presence trembles through Her limbs, as underneath a cloud of dew Embodied in the windless heaven of

June, Amid the splendor-winged stars, the Moon Burns, inextinguishably beautiful. And from her lips, as from a hyacinth full Of honey-dew, a liquid murmur drops, Killing the sense with passion, - sweet as

stops Of planetary music heard in trance. In her mild lights the starry spirits dance, The sunbeams of those wells which ever

leap Under the lightnings of the soul — too

deep For the brief fathom-line of thought or




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The glory of her being, issuing thence,


Stains the dead, blank, cold air with a

warm shade Of unentangled intermixture, made By Love, of light and motion: one intense Diffusion, one serene Omnipresence, Whose Aowing outlines mingle in their

flowing, Around her cheeks and utmost fingers

glowing, With the unintermitted blood, which

there Quivers (as in a fleece of snow-like air The crimson pulse of living morning

quiver), Continuously prolonged, and ending never Till they are lost and in that Beauty

furled Which penetrates and clasps and fills the

world, Scarce visible from extreme loveliness. Warm fragrance seems to fall from her

light dress And her loose hair; and where some heavy

Ah, woe is me! What have I dared ? where am I lifted?

how Shall I descend, and perish not? I know

125 That Love makes all things equal: I have

heard By mine own heart this joyous truth

averred: The spirit of the worm beneath the sod, In love and worship, blends itself with







Spouse! Sister! Angel! Pilot of the

Fate Whose course has been so starless! Oh

too late Beloved! oh too soon adored, by me! For in the fields of immortality My spirit should at first have worshipped

thine, A divine presence in a place divine; Or should have moved beside it on this

earth, A shadow of that substance, from its

birth; But not as now. I love thee; yes, I feel That on the fountain of my heart a seal

to keep its bright For thee, since in those tears thou hast

delight. We - a we not formed, as notes of

music are, For one another, though dissimilar, Such difference without discord as

make Those sweetest sounds in which all spirits

shake As trembling leaves in a continuous air?

Is set,


pure and




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The air of her own speed has disentwined, The sweetness seems to satiate the faint

wind; And in the soul a wild odor is felt, Beyond the sense, like fiery dews that

melt Into the bosom of a frozen bud. See where she stands! a mortal shape

indued With love and life and light and deity, And motion which may change but cannot

die; An image of some bright Eternity; A shadow of some golden dream; a

Splendor Leaving the third sphere pilotless; a

tender Reflection of the eternal Moon of Love, Under whose motions life's dull billows

move; A metaphor of Spring and Youth and

Morning: A vision like incarnate April, warning, With smiles and tears, Frost the Anatomy Into his summer grave.




Thy wisdom speaks in me, and bids me

dare Beacon the rocks on which high hearts are

wrecked. I never was attached to that great sect Whose doctrine is, that each one should

select Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend,






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And all the rest, though fair and wise, How much, while any yet remains uncommend

shared, To cold oblivion; though it is in the code Of pleasure may be gained, of sorrow Of modern morals, and the beaten road

spared. Which those poor slaves with weary foot This truth is that deep well whence sages steps tread,

draw Who travel to their home among the dead The unenvied light of hope; the eternal By the broad highway of the world, and


By which those live, to whom this world With one chained friend, perhaps a jealous

of life foe

Is as a garden ravaged, and whose strife The dreariest and the longest journey go. Tills for the promise of a later birth

The wilderness of this Elysian earth. True Love in this differs from gold and clay,

There was

a Being whom my spirit That to divide is not to take away.

oft Love is like understanding that grows Met on its visioned wanderings, far aloft, bright

In the clear golden prime of my youth's Gazing on many truths; 'tis like thy

dawn, light,

Upon the fairy isles of sunny lawn, Imagination! which from earth and sky, Amid the enchanted mountains, and the And from the depths of human phantasy,

Of divine sleep, and the air-like As from a thousand prisms and mirrors, fills

Of wonder-level dream, whose tremulous The Universe with glorious beams, and

floor kills

Paved her light steps. On an imagined Error, the worm, with many a sun-like


Under the gray beak of some promontory, Of its reverberated lightning. Narrow She met me, robed in such exceeding glory The heart that loves, the brain that con- That I beheld her not. In solitudes 200 templates,

Her voice came to me through the whisThe life that wears, the spirit that creates

pering woods; One object, and one form, and builds And from the fountains; and the odors thereby

deep A sepulchre for its eternity.

Of flowers, which, like lips murmuring in

their sleep Mind from its object differs most in Of the sweet kisses which had lulled them this;

there, Evil from good; misery from happiness; 175 Breathed but of her to the enamored air; The baser from the nobler; the impure And from the breezes whether low or And frail, from what is clear and must

loud, endure:

And from the rain of every passing cloud; If you divide suffering and dross, you may And from the singing of the summer Diminish till it is consumed away ;

rds, If you divide pleasure and love and And from all sounds, all silence. In the thought,

words Each part exceeds the whole; and Of antique verse and high romance, – in know not









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Then, from the caverns of my dreamy

youth I sprang, as one sandalled with plumes of




And towards the lodestar of my one de

sire, I Aitted, like a dizzy moth, whose fight 220 Is as a dead leaf's in the owlet light, When it would seek in Hesper's setting

sphere A radiant death, a fiery sepulchre, As if it were a lamp of earthly flame. But She, whom prayers or tears then could

not tame, Passed, — like a God throned on a winged

planet, Whose burning plumes to tenfold swiftness

fan it, Into the dreary cone of our life's shade; And as a man with mighty loss dismayed, I would have followed, though the grave

between Yawned like a gulf whose spectres are

But neither prayer nor verse could dissi

pate The night which closed on her; nor un

create That world within this Chaos, mine and

me, Of which she was the veiled Divinity, The world, I say, of thoughts that wor

shipped her. And therefore I went forth, — with hope

and fear, And every gentle passion sick to death, Feeding my

with expectation's breath, Into the wintry forest of our life; And struggling through its error with vain

strife, And stumbling in my weakness and my

haste, And half bewildered by new forms, I

passed Seeking among those untaught foresters If I could find one form resembling hers, In which she might have masked herself

from me. There, - One whose voice was venomed

melody Sate by a well, under blue nightshade

bowers; The breath of her false mouth was like

faint Aowers; Her touch was as electric poison. Flame Out of her looks into my vitals came; And from her living cheeks and bosom

flew A killing air, which pierced like honey

dew Into the core of my green heart, and lay Upon its leaves, until, as hair grown gray O’er a young brow, they hid its unblown

prime With ruins of unseasonable time.








When a voice said, “O Thou of hearts the

weakest, The phantom is beside thee whom thou

seekest." Then I, "Where?” — the world's echo

answered "Where!” And in that silence, and in my despair, I questioned every tongueless wind that

flew Over my tower of mourning, if it knew Whither 'twas fled, this soul out of my

soul; And murmured names and spells which

have control Over the sightless tyrants of our fate. 240

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