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That he makes in the wood.
I took the oars: the pilot's boy, He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
Who now doth crazy go, The Albatross's blood.
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro.
“ Ha! ha!" quoth he, “ full plain I see,
The devil knows how to row."
And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land! He loves to talk with marineres
The hermit stepped forth from the boat, That come from a far countree.
And scarcely he could stand. He kneels at morn, and noon and eve
« O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!" He hath a cushion plump:
The hermit cross'd his brow.
Say quick," quoth he, “ I bid thee say
What manner of man art thou ?" The Skiff-boat near'd: I heard them talk,
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd “Why this is strange, I trow!
With a woeful agony, Where are those lights so many and fair,
Which forced me to begin my tale; That signal made but now?".
And then it left me free. “Strange, by my faith!" the Hermit said
Since then at an uncertain hour, “And they answered not our cheer!
That agony returns ; The planks look warped! and see those sails,
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns,
I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech; The skeletons of leaves that lag
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.
What loud uproar bursts from that door! Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look
The wedding-guests are there ;
But in the garden-bower the bride (The pilot made reply)
And bride-maids singing are; I am a-feared-Push on, push on!
And hark the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!
O wedding-guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea:
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be.
O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me, It reach'd the ship, it split the bay; The ship went down like lead.
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company !-
To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray, My body lay afloat;
While each to his great Father bends, But swift as dreams, myself I found
Old men, and babes, and loving friends, Within the pilot's boat.
And youths and maidens gay! Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell The boat spun round and round;
To thee, thou wedding-guest! Aud all was still, save that the hill
He prayeth well, who loveth well Was telling of the sound.
Both man and bird and beast. I moved my lips--the pilot shrieked
He prayeth best, who loveth best And fell down in a fit;
All things both great and small; The holy hermit raised his eyes,
For the dear God who loveth us, And prayed where he did sit.
He made and loveth all,
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Manes of th’ unnumber'd slain! Whose beard with age is hoar,
Ye that gasp'd on Warsaw's plain! Is gone; and now the wedding-guest
Ye that erst at Ismail's tower, Turned from the bridegroom's door.
When human ruin choak'd the streams,
Fell in conquest's glutted hour, He went like one that hath been stunned,
Mid women's shrieks and infant's screams! And is of sense forlorn :
Spirits of the uncoffin'd slain, A sadder and a wiser man,
Sudden blasts of triumph swelling, He rose the morrow morn.
Oft, at night, in misty train,
Rush around her narrow dwelling! ODE TO THE DEPARTING YEAR.
The exterminating fiend is filed
(Foul her life, and dark her doom) 1.
Mighty armies of the dead, Spirit who sweepest the wild harp of time!
Dance like death-fires round her tomb! It is most hard, with an untroubled ear
Then with prophetic song relate, Thy dark inwoven harmonies to hear!
Each some tyrant-murderer's fate! Yet, mine eye fixt on Heaven's unchanging clime,
With inward stillness, and submitted mind; Departing Year! 'twas on no earthly shore
My soul beheld thy vision! where alone,
Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne, Starting from my silent sadness,
Aye Memory sits: thy robe inscrib'd with gore, Then with no unholy madness,
With many an unimaginable groan Ere yet the enter'd cloud foreclos'd my sight,
Thou storied'st thy sad hours! silence ensued, Irais'd th’impetuous song, and solemnized his flight. Deep silence o'er th'ethereal multitude,
Whose locks with wreaths, whose wreaths with II.
glories shone. Hither, from the recent tomb,
Then, his eye wild ardours glancing, From the prison's direr gloom,
From the choired Gods advancing, From distemper's midnight anguish;
The spirit of the earth made reverence meet, And thence, where poverty doth waste and languish;
And stood up, beautiful, before the cloudy seat. Or where, his two bright torches blending,
Throughout the blissful throng,
Hush'd were harp and song:
Till wheeling round the throne the Lampads seven, Ye woes! ye young-eyed joys! advance!
(The mystic words of Heaven) By time's wild harp, and by the hand
Permissive signal make;
(spake! Whose indefatigable sweep
The fervent spirit bow'd, then spread his wings and Raises it's fateful strings from sleep,
“ Thou in stormy blackness throning I bid you haste, a mixt tumultuous band !
Love and uncreated light,
By the earth's unsolaced groaning,
Seize thy terrors, arm of might!
By peace, with proffer'd insult scar’d, And with a loud and yet a louder voice,
Masked hate and envying scorn!
By years of havoc yet unborn!
And Hunger's bosom to the frost-winds bared! Still echoes the dread Name, that o'er the earth
But chief by Afric's wrongs, Let slip the storm, and woke the brood of hell.
Strange, horrible, and foul! And now advance in saintly jubilee
By what deep guilt belongs
For ever shall the thankless Island scowl,
Her quiver full, and with unbroken bow? I heard the mailed Monarch's troublous cry
Speak ! from thy storm-black Heaven Ospeak aloud! “Ah! wherefore does the Northern Conqueress stay?
And on the darkling foe Groans not her chariot on its onward way?"
Open thine eye of fire from some uncertain cloud ! Fly, mailed Monarch, fly!
O dart the flash! O rise and deal the blow! Stunned by Death's twice mortal mace,
The past to thee, to thee the future cries ! No more on Murder's lurid face
Hark! how wide Nature joins her groans below! Th’insatia te hag shall glote with drunken eye!
Rise, God of Nature ! rise."
Have wailed my country with a loud lament. The voice had ceased, the vision fled;
Now I recenter my immortal mind Yet still I gasp'd and reel'd with dread.
In the deep sabbath of meek self-content; And ever, when the dream of night
Cleans'd from the vaporous passions that bedim Renews the phantom to my sight,
God's image, sister of the Seraphim. Cold sweat-drops gather on my limbs;
My ears throb hot; my eye-balls start; My brain with horrid tumult swims;
FEARS IN SOLITUDE. Wild is the tempest of my heart;
WRITTEN IN 1798, DURING THE ALARM OF AN And my thick and struggling breath
INVASION. Imitates the toil of death!
A green and silent spot, amid the hills, No stranger agony confounds
A small and silent dell! O'er stiller place The soldier on the war-field spread,
No singing sky-lark ever pois’d himself. When all foredone with toil and wounds.
The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope, Death-like he dozes among heaps of dead! Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on, (The strife is o'er, the day-light fled,
All golden with the never-bloomless furze, And the night-wind clamours hoarse!
Which now blooms most profusely; but the dell, See! the starting wretch's head
Bath'd by the mist, is fresh and delicate
As vernal corn-field, or the unripe flax,
When, through its half-transparent stalks, at eve, Not yet enslav'd, not wholly vile,
The level sunshine glimmers with green light. O Albion! O my mother Isle!
Oh! 'tis a quiet spirit-healing nook! Thy vallies, fair as Eden's bowers,
Which all, methinks, would love; but chiefly he, Glitter green with sunny showers;
The humble man, who, in his youthful years, Thy grassy uplands' gentle swells
Knew just so much of folly, as had made Echo to the bleat of flocks;
His early manhood more securely wise! (Those grassy hills, those glittring dells
Here he might lie on fern or wither'd heath, Proudly ramparted with rocks)
While from the singing-lark (that sings unseen And Ocean mid his uproar wild
The minstrelsy that solitude loves best,) Speaks safety to his Island-child !
And from the sun, and from the breezy air, Hence, for many a fearless age,
Sweet influences trembled o'er his frame; Has social Quiet lov'd thy shore;
And he, with many feelings, many thoughts, Nor ever proud invader's rage
Made up a meditative joy, and found Or sack'd thy towers, or stain'd thy fields with gore.
Religious meanings in the forms of nature !
And so his senses gradually wrapt
In a half sleep, he dreams of better worlds,
My God! it is a melancholy thing
a And join'd the wild yelling of Famine and Blood!
For such a man, who would full fain preserve The nations curse thee, and with eager wond'ring
His soul in calmness, yet perforce must feel Shall hear Destruction, like a vulture, scream!
For all his human brethren-O my God! Strange-eyed Destruction! who with many a
It is indeed a melancholy thing, dream
And weighs upon the heart, that he must think Of central fires thro' nether seas upthund'ring
What uproar and what strife may now be stirring Soothes her fierce solitude; yet as she lies
way or that way o'er these silent hillsBy livid fount, or red volcanic stream,
Invasion, and the thunder and the shout, If ever to her lidless dragon-eyes,
And all the crash of onset; fear and rage, O Albion ! thy predestin'd ruins rise,
And undetermin'd conflict-even now, The fiend-hag on her perilous couch doth leap,
Even now, perchance, and in his native isle: Muttering distemper'd triumph in her charmed sleep.
Carnage and groans beneath this blessed sun!
We have offended, Oh! my countrymen!
We have offended very grievously,
And been most tyrannous. From east to west
Our brethren! like a cloud that travels on, I unpartaking of the evil thing,
Steam'd up from Cairo's swamps of pestilence, With daily prayer and daily toil
Ev'n so, my countrymen! have we gone forth Soliciting for food my scanty soil,
And borne to distant tribes slavery and pangs,
And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint Becomes a fluent phraseman, absolute
And technical in victories and deceit,
Terms which we trundle smoothly o’er our tongues Engulph'd in courts, comınittees, institutions, Like mere abstractions, empty sounds to which Associations and societies,
We join no feeling and attach no form! A vain, speech-mouthing, speech-reporting guild, As if the soldier died without a wound; One benefit-club for mutual flattery,
As if the fibres of this godlike frame We have drunk up, denure as at a grace,
Were gor’d without a pang ; as if the wretch, Pollutions from the brimming cup of wealth ; Who fell in battle, doing bloody deeds, Contemptuous of all honorable rule,
Pass'd off to Heaven, translated and not kill'd;Yet bartering freedom and the poor man's life As though he had no wife to pine for him, For gold, as at a market! The sweet words
No God to judge him! therefore, evil'days Of christian promise, words that even yet
Are coming on us, O my countrymen! Might stem destruction, were they wisely preach'd, And what if all-avenging Providence, Are mutter'd o'er by men, whose tones proclaim Strong and retributive, should make us know How flat and wearisome they feel their trade: The meaning of our words, force us to feel Rank scoffers some, but most too indolent
The desolation and the agony To deem them falsehoods or to know their truth.
Of our fierce doings? Oh ! blasphemous! the book of life is made
Spare us yet awhile, A superstitious instrument, on which We gabble o'er the oaths we mean to break;
Father and God! Oh! spare us yet awhile! For all must swear-all and in every place,
Oh! let not English women drag their flight
Fainting beneath the burden of their babes, College and wharf, council and justice-court;
Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday All, all must swear, the briber and the bribed,
Laugh'd at the breast! Sons, brothers, husbands, all Merchant and lawyer, senator and priest,
Who ever gaz'd with fondness on the forms The rich, the poor, the old man and the young;
Which grew up with you round the same fire-side, All, all make up one scheme of perjury,
And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells That faith doth reel; the very name of God
Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure ! Sounds like a juggler's charm; and, bold with joy, Stand forth! be men ! repel an impious foe, Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place,
Impious and false, a light yet cruel race, (Portentous sight!) the owlet, Atheism,
Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon,
With deeds of murder; and still promising Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close,
Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free, And hooting at the glorious sun in Heaven,
Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart Cries out, “ Where is it?"
Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes
And all that lifts the spirit! Stand we forth;
Render them back upon the insulted ocean, (Peace long preserv'd by fleets and perilous seas)
And let them toss as idly on it's waves Secure from actual warfare, we have lov'd
As the vile sea-weed, which some mountain-blast To swell the war-whoop, passionate for war!
Swept from our shores! and oh! may we return Alas! for ages ignorant of all
Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear, It's ghastlier workings, (famine or blue plague,
Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung Battle, or siege, or flight through wintry snows,)
So fierce a foe to frenzy!
I have told,
O Britons! O my brethren! I have told Spectators and not combatants! No guess
Most bitter truth, but without bitterness. Anticipative of a wrong unfelt,
Nor deem my zeal or factious or mis-tim'd; No speculation on contingency,
For never can true courage dwell with them, However dim and vague, too vague and dim
Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look To yield a justifying cause; and forth,
At their own vices. We have been too long (Stuffed out with big preamble, holy names,
Dupes of a deep delusion! Some, belike, And adjurations of the God in Heaven,)
Groaning with restless enmity, expect We send our mandates for the certain death All change from change of constituted power; Of thousands and ten thousands ! Boys and girls, As if a government had been a robe, And women, that would groan to see a child On which our vice and wretchedness were tagg'd Pull off an insect's leg, all read of war,
Like fancy-points and fringes, with the robe
Pullid off at pleasure. Fondly these attach
A WAR ECLOGUE,
From our own folly and rank wickedness,
And grateful, that by Nature's quietness
Love, and the thoughts that yearn for human kind.
FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER. Such have I been deem'd But, О dear Britain! O my Mother Isle! Needs must thou prove a name most dear and holy The Scene, a desolated Tract in La Vendee. FAXINE To me, a son, a brother, and a friend,
is discovered lying on the ground; to her enter A husband, and a father! who revere
FIRE and SLAUGHTER.
Sisters! sisters! who sent you here?
SLAUGHTER (to Fire.)
I will whisper it in her ear.
No! no! no!
Spirits hear what spirits tell: Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel
"Twill make an holiday in Hell.
No! no! no!
Myself, I nam'd him once below,
And all the souls, that damned be,
They no longer beeded me;
But laugh'd to hear Hell's burning rafters
Unwillingly re-echo laughters!
No! no! no!
Spirits hear what spirits tell: And menace of the vengeful enemy
'Twill make an holiday in Hell ! Pass like the gust, that roar'd and died away In the distant tree: which heard, and only heard
FAMINE. In this low dell, bow'd not the delicate grass.
Whisper it, sister! so and so!
In a dark hint, soft and slow.
Letters four do form his name-
And who sent you?
The same! the same!
He came by stealth, and unlock'd my den, In such a quiet and surrounded nook,
And I have drunk the blood since then
Of thrice three hundred thousand men.
Who bade you do't?
The same! the same!
He let me loose, and cried, Halloo!
Thanks, sister, thanks! the men have bled, Remembering thee, O green and silent dell!
Their wives and their children faint for bread.