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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, In the suspended impulse of its lightness, Were less ethereally light: the brightness Of her divinest presence trembles through Her limbs, as underneath a cloud of dew Embodied in the windless heaven of June, Amid the splendour-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 sense. 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 flowing 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,)
Ah! woe is me! What have I dared ? where am I lifted ? how Shall I descend, and perish not? I know 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,
Spouse! Sister! Angel! Pilot of the Fate Whose course has been so starless! O too late Beloved ! O 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 Is set, to keep its waters pure and bright For thee, since in those tears thou hast delight. We are we not formed, as notes of music
are, For one another, though dissimilar; Such difference without discord, as can make Those sweetest sounds, in which all spirits shake, As trembling leaves in a continuous air?
Thy wisdom speaks in me, and bids me dare Beacon the rocks on which high hearts are wreckt. 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, And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend To cold oblivion, though it is in the code Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps
tread, Who travel to their home among the dead By the broad highway of the world, and so With one chained friend, perhaps a jealous foe, The dreariest and the longest journey go.
True Love in this differs from gold and clay, That to divide is not to take away. Love is like understanding, that grows bright, Gazing on many truths ; 'tis like thy light, Imagination! which, from earth and sky, And from the depths of human phantasy, As from a thousand prisms and mirrors, fills The Universe with glorious beams, and kills Error, the worm, with many a sun-like arrow Of its reverberated lightning. Narrow The heart that loves, the brain that contemplates, The life that wears, the spirit that creates One object, and one form, and builds thereby A sepulchre for its eternity.
Mind from its object differs most in this: Evil from good; misery from happiness ; The baser from the nobler; the impure And frail, from what is clear and must endure. If you divide suffering and dross, you may Diminish till it is consumed away ; If you divide pleasure and love and thought, Each part exceeds the whole; and we know not VOL. III.
How much, while any yet remains unshared,
There was a Being whom my spirit oft Met on its visioned wanderings, far aloft, In the clear golden prime of my youth's dawn, Upon the fairy isles of sunny lawn, Amid the enchanted mountains, and the caves Of divine sleep, and on the air-like waves Of wonder-level dream, whose tremulous floor Paved her light steps ;-on an imagined shore, Under the gray beak of some promontory She met me, robed in such exceeding glory, That I beheld her not. In solitudes [ woods, Her voice came to me through the whispering And from the fountains, and the odours deep Of flowers, which, like lips murmuring in their
sleep Of the sweet kisses which had lulled them there, Breathed but of her to the enamoured air ; And from the breezes whether low or loud, And from the rain of every passing cloud, And from the singing of the summer-birds, And from all sounds, all silence. In the words