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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
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 star
Which moves not in the moving Heavens, alone?
A smile amid dark frowns? a gentle tone
Amid rude voices? a beloved light?
A solitude, a refuge, a delight?
A lute, which those whom love has taught to play
Make music on, to soothe the roughest day
And lull fond grief asleep? a buried treasure?
A cradle of young thoughts of wingless pleasure?
A violet-shrouded grave of woe ?—I measure
The world of fancies, seeking one like thee,
And find-alas! mine own infirmity.
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,-
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. [dress,
Warm fragrance seems to fall from her light
And her loose hair; and where some heavy tress
The air of her own speed has disentwined,
The sweetness seems to satiate the faint wind;
And in the soul a wild odour 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.
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,
In love and worship, blends itself with God.
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 the code *
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
* Former reading, in the code.
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps
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