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He took her hand; a moment o'er his face
A tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced, and then it faded, as it came ;
He dropp'd the hand he held, and with slow steps
Retired, but not as bidding her adieu,
For they did part with mutual smiles; he pass’d
From out the massy gate of that old Hall,

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And ne'er repass'd that hoary threshold more.

IV.

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream,
The Boy was sprung to manhood; in the wilds
Of fiery climes he made himself a home,
And his soul drank their sunbeams; he was girt
With strange and dusky aspects; he was not
Himself like what he had been ; on the sea
And on the shore he was a wanderer ;
There was a mass of many images
Crowded like waves upon me, but he was
A part of all; and in the last he lay
Reposing from the noontide sultriness,

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Of ruin'd walls that had survived the names
Of those who rear'd them; by his sleeping side
Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds
Were fasten'd near a fountain; and a man,
Clad in a flowing garb, did watch the while,
While many of his tribe slumber'd around:
And they were canopied by the blue sky,
So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,
That God alone was to be seen in heaven.

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A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Lady of his love was wed with One

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Who did not love her better :-in her home,
A thousand leagues from his-her native home,
She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy,
Daughters and sons of Beauty,--but behold!
Upon her face there was the tint of grief,
The settled shadow of an inward strife,
And an unquiet drooping of the eye,
As if its lid were charged with unshed tears.
What could her grief be?—she had all she loved ;
And he who had so loved her was not there
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
Or ill-repress'd affliction, her pure thoughts.
What could her grief be ?—she had loved him not,
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved ;
Nor could he be a part of that which prey'd
Upon her mind-a spectre of the past.

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VI.

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Wanderer was return'd.--I saw him stand
Before an altar--with a gentle bride ;
Her face was fair, but was not that which made
The starlight of his Boyhood. As he stood
Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came
The self-same aspect, and the quivering shock

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That in the antique Oratory shook
His bosom in its solitude; and then-
As in that hour--a moment o'er his face
The tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced,-and then it faded as it came,
And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke
The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,
And all things reel'd around him; he could see
Not that which was, nor that which should have been--
But the old mansion, and the accustom'd hall,
And the remember'd chambers, and the place,

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The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,
All things pertaining to that place and hour,
And her who was his destiny,-came back
And thrust themselves between him and the light;
What business had they there at such a time?

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VII.
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Lady of his love :-oh! she was changed
As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
Had wander'd from its dwelling, and her eyes,
They had not their own lustre, but the look
Which is not of the earth ; she was become
The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
Were combinations of disjointed things ;
And forms impalpable and unperceived
Of others' sight familiar were to hers.
And this the world calls frenzy ; but the wise
Have a far deeper madness, and the glance
Of melancholy is a fearful gift ;
What is it but the telescope of truth?
Which strips the distance of its fantasies,
And brings life near in utter nakedness,
Making the cold reality too real !

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VIII.

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Wanderer was alone as heretofore,
The beings which surrounded him were gone,
Or were at war with him; he was a mark
For blight and desolation, compass'd round
With Hatred and Contention; Pain was mix'd
In all which was served up to him, until,
Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,
He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
But were a kind of nutriment; he lived

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Through that which had been death to many men,
And made him friends of mountains : with the stars
And the quick Spirit of the Universe
He held his dialogues; and they did teach
To him the magic of their mysteries ;
To him the book of Night was open'd wide,
And voices from the deep abyss reveal'd
A marvel and a secret.-Be it so.

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My dream was past : it had no further change.
It was of a strange order, that the doom
Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
Almost like a reality—the one
To end in madness—both in misery.

DARKNESS

I HAD a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,

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Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; .
Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation ; and all hearts
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings—the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons ; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face ;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanoes, and their mountain-torch :
A fearful hope was all the world contained;
Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour
They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks
Extinguish'd with a crash-and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands and smiled ;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up

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