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Choruses from HELLAS
Life may change, but it may fly not;
Another Athens shall arise,
And to remoter time
The splendor of its prime;
Shall burst, more bright and good Than all who fell, than One who rose, Than
many unsubdued : Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers, But votive tears and symbol Aowers. 1095 Ah, cease! must hate and death return?
Cease! must men kill and die?
Of bitter prophecy.
We paused beside the pools that lie
Under the forest-bough. Each seemed as 'twere a little sky 55
Gulfed in a world below: A firmament of purple light
Which in the dark earth lay,
And purer than the day, -
As in the upper air,
Than any spreading there:
lawn, And through the dark green wood The white sun twinkling like the dawn
Out of a speckled cloud.
Can never well be seen,
Of that fair forest green:
With an Elysian glow, -
A softer day below.
To the dark water's breast
With more than truth expressed: Until an envious wind crept by,
Like an unwelcome thought,
Blots one dear image out.
And forests ever green,
Than calm in water seen.
We paused amid the pines that stood
The giants of the waste,
As serpents interlaced,
That under heaven is blown,
As tender as its own.
Like green waves on the sea,
The ocean-woods may be.
How calm it was! — The silence there
By such a chain was bound That even the busy woodpecker 35
Made stiller with her sound
The breath of peace we drew
The calm that round us grew.
Of the white mountain-waste
A magic circle traced,
A thrilling silent life:
momentary peace it bound Our mortal nature's strife. And still, I felt, the centre of The magic circle there
fair form that filled with love The lifeless atmosphere.
The keen stars were twinkling, And the fair moon was rising among
Dear Jane. The guitar was tinkling, But the notes were not sweet till you sang them
As the moon's soft splendor
When you die, the silent Moon,
Is not sadder in her cell
10 Than deserted Ariel.
Like an unseen star of birth
Ariel guides you o'er the sea
Of life from your nativity. The stars will awaken,
Many changes have been run,
Since Ferdinand and you begun
Your course of love, and Ariel still No leaf will be shaken
Has tracked your steps, and served your Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
Now, in humbler, happier lot,
And now, alas! the poor sprite is
Imprisoned, for some fault of his, Sing again, with your dear voice reveal
In a body like a grave -
From you, he only dares to crave,
For his service and his sorrow,
The artist who this idol wrought
To echo all harmonious thought, WITH A GUITAR: TO JANE
Felled a tree, while on the steep (1822)
The woods were in their winter sleep,
Rocked in that repose divine Ariel to Miranda:- Take
On the wind-swept Apennine; This slave of Music, for the sake
And dreaming, some of Autumn past, Of him who is the slave of thee;
And some of Spring approaching fast, 50 And teach it all the harmony
And some of April buds and showers, In which thou canst, and only thou, And some of songs in July bowers, Make the delighted spirit glow, - And all of love. And so this tree Till joy denies itself again,
Oh that such our death may be! And, too intense, is turned to pain.
Died in sleep, and felt no pain, For by permission and command
To live in happier form again; Of thine own Prince Ferdinand,
From which, beneath Heaven's fairest Poor Ariel sends this silent token
star, Of more than ever can be spoken. –
The artist wrought this loved guitar, Your guardian spirit, Ariel, who,
And taught it justly to reply, From life to life, must still pursue
To all who question skilfully, Your happiness: for thus alone
In language gentle as thine own, Can Ariel ever find his own.
Whispering in enamored tone From Prospero's enchanted cell,
Sweet oracles of woods and dells, As the mighty verses tell,
And summer winds in sylvan cells. To the throne of Naples, he
For it had learnt all harmonies Lit you o'er the trackless sea,
Of the plains and of the skies, Flitting on, your prow before,
Of the forests and the mountains, Like a living meteor.
And the many-voiced fountains: