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Tinge not the moon's pure beam; yon castled steep,
Whose banner hangeth o'er the time-worn tower
So idly, that rapt fancy deemeth it
A metaphor of peace ;-all form a scene
Where musing solitude might love to lift
Her soul above this sphere of earthliness ;
Where silence undisturbed might watch alone,

So cold, so bright, so still. Let us also take “The Cloud” and “The Skylark,” which, for true poetry, stand unrivalled. It is seldom a poet is so happy in continuous conceptions as Shelley has been in both these poems. He thus speaks for the cloud :

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,

From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid

In their noon-day dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken

The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,

As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,

And whiten the green plains under;
And then again I dissolve it in rain,

And laugh as I pass in thunder.
I sift the snow on the mountains below,

And their great pines, groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,

While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,

Lightning my pilot sits ;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,

It struggles and howls by fits :
Over earth and ocean with gentle motion,

This pilot is guiding me;
Lured by the love of the genii that move

In the depths of the purple sea :
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,

Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,

The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile,

Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,

And his burning plumes outspread, Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,

When the morning star shines dead : As on the jag of a mountain crag,

Which an earthquake rocks and swings, An eagle alit one moment may sit

In the light of its golden wings. And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,

Its ardours of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall

From the depth of heaven above,
With wings folded I rest on mine airy nest,

As still as a brooding dove.
That orbéd maiden, with white fire laden,

Whom mortals call the moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,

By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,

Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,

The stars peep behind her and peer :
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,

Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,

Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,

Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the sun's throne with the burning zone,

And the moon's with a girdle of pearl ;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,

When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,

Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,

The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march

With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the powers of the air are chained to my chair,

In the million-coloured bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove,

While the moist earth was laughing below.

I am the daughter of earth and water,

And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the pores of ocean and shores;

I change, but I cannot die :
For after the rain, when with never a stain

The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams,

Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,

And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,

I arise and unbuild it again.
I conclude my selections from Shelley with
Skylark.”

Hail to thee, blythe Spirit !

Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,

Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

“The

Higher still, and higher,

From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;

The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are brightening,

Thou dost float and run ;
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even

Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven,

In the broad day-light
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

Keen as are the arrows

Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows

In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

Al the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,

From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.

What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wronght
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

Like a glow-worm golden

In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view :

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflowered,

Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves :

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awakened flowers,

All that ever was
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine;
I have never heard

Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus hymeneal,

Or triumphal chaunt,
Matched with thine would be all

But an empty vaunt, -
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain ?
What fields, or waves, or mountains ?

What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

With thy clear keen joyance,

Languor cannot be :
Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee:
Thou lovest-but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream;
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not :
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,-
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground !

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

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