1833

 

ENIGMA

  The noblest name in Allegory's page,
The hand that traced inexorable rage;
A pleasing moralist whose page refined,
Displays the deepest knowledge of the mind;
A tender poet of a foreign tongue,                
(Indited in the language that he sung.)
A bard of brilliant but unlicensed page
At once the shame and glory of our age,
The prince of harmony and stirling sense
The ancient dramatist of eminence,
The bard that paints imagination's powers,
And him whose song revives departed hours,
Once more an ancient tragic bard recall,
In boldness of design surpassing all.
These names when rightly read, a name [make] known
Which gathers all their glories in its own.


SERENADE


  So sweet the hour, so calm the time,
I feel it more than half a crime,
When Nature sleeps and stars are mute,
To mar the silence evn with lute.
At rest on oceans brilliant dyes
An image of Elysium lies:
Seven Pleiades entranced in Heaven,
Form in the deep another seven:
Endymon nodding from above
Sees in the sea a second love.
Within the valleys dim and brown,
And on the spectral mountains crown,
The wearied light is dying down,
And earth, and stars, and sea, and sky
Are redolent of sleep, as I
Am redolent of thee and thine
Enthralling love, my Adeline.
But list, O list, so soft and low
Thy lovers voice tonight shall flow,
That, scarce awake, thy soul shall deem
My words the music of a dream.
Thus, while no single sound too rude
Upon thy slumber shall intrude,
Our thoughts, our souls, O God above!
In every deed shall mingle, love.

 

[SONG OF TRIUMPH]

  Who is king but Epiphanes?
    Say do you know?
Who is God but Epiphanes?
    Say do you know?
There is none but Epiphanes
    No — there is none:
So tear down the temples
    And put out the sun!

 

TO ———

  Sleep on, sleep on, another hour —
    I would not break so calm a sleep,
To wake to sunshine and to show'r,
    To smile and weep.
Sleep on, sleep on, like sculptured thing,
    Majestic, beautiful art thou;
Sure seraph shields thee with his wing
    And fans thy brow —
We would not deem thee child of earth,
    For, O, angelic, is thy form !
But, that in heav'n thou had'st thy birth,
    Where comes no storm
To mar the bright, the perfect flow'r,
    But all is beautiful and still —
And golden sands proclaim the hour
    Which brings no ill.
Sleep on, sleep on, some fairy dream
    Perchance is woven in thy sleep —
But, O, thy spirit, calm, serene,
   Must wake to weep.

 

FANNY

 
The dying swan by northern lakes
      Sing's [Sings] its wild death song, sweet and clear,
And as the solemn music breaks
      O'er hill and glen dissolves in air;
Thus musical thy soft voice came,
Thus trembled on thy tongue my name.
Like sunburst through the ebon cloud,
      Which veils the solemn midnight sky,
Piercing cold evening's sable shroud,
  Thus came the first glance of that eye;
But like the adamantine rock,
     My spirit met and braved the shock.
 Let memory the boy recall
     Who laid his heart upon thy shrine,
When far away his footsteps fall,
    Think that he deem'd thy charms divine;
A victim on love's alter [altar] slain,
By witching eyes which looked disdain.

 

THE COLISEUM

 

Type of the antique Rome! Rich reliquary
Of lofty contemplation left to Time
By buried centuries of pomp and power!
At length at length after so many days
Of weary pilgrimage and burning thirst
(Thirst for the springs of lore that in thee lie),
I kneel, an altered and an humble man,
Amid thy shadows, and so drink within
My very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory!

Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!
Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
I feel ye now I feel ye in your strength
O spells more sure than eer Judaean king
Taught in the gardens of Gethsemane!
O charms more potent than the rapt Chaldee
Ever drew down from out the quiet stars!

Here, where a hero fell, a column falls!
Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,
A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat!
Here, where the dames of Rome their gilded hair
Waved to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle!
Here, where on golden throne the monarch lolled,
Glides, spectre‑like, unto his marble home,
Lit by the wan light of the hornéd moon,
The swift and silent lizard of the stones!

But stay! these walls these ivy‑clad arcades
These mouldering plinths these sad and blackened shafts
These vague entablatures this crumbling frieze
These shattered cornices this wreck this ruin
These stones alas! these gray stones are they all
All of the famed and the colossal left
By the corrosive Hours to Fate and me?

Not all the Echoes answer menot all!
Prophetic sounds and loud, arise forever
From us, and from all Ruin, unto the wise,
As melody from Memnon to the Sun.
We rule the hearts of mightiest men we rule
With a despotic sway all giant minds.
We are not impotent we pallid stones.
Not all our power is gone not all our fame
Not all the magic of our high renown
Not all the wonder that encircles us
Not all the mysteries that in us lie
Not all the memories that hang upon
And cling around about us as a garment,
Clothing us in a robe of more than glory