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Most delicate Ariel ! submissive thing,
Won by the mind's high magic to its hest,-
Invisible embassy, or secret guest,-
Weighing the light air on a lighter wing ;-
Whether into the midnight moon, to bring
Illuminate visions to the eye of rest, —
Or rich romances from the florid West, -
Or to the sea, for mystic whispering -
Still by thy charm'd allegiance to the will,
The fruitful wishes prosper in the brain,
As by the fingering of fairy skill,-
Moonlight, and waters, and soft music's strain,
Odors, and blooms, and my Miranda's smile,
Making this dull world an enchanted isle.
Young ardent soul, graced with fair Nature's truth, Spring warmth of heart, and fervency of mind, And still a large late love of all thy kind, Spine of the world's cold practice and Time's tooth, For all these gifts, I know not, in fair sooth, Whether to give thee joy, or bid thee blind Thine eyes with tears,—that thou hast not resign'd The passionate fire and fierceness of thy youth: For as the current of thy life shall flow, Gilded by shine of sun or shadow-stain'd, Through flow'ry valley or unwholesome fen, Thrice blessed in thy joy, or in thy woe Thrice cursed of thy race,-thou art ordain'd To share beyond the lot of common men.
It is not death, that sometime in a sigh
This eloquent breath shall take its speechless flight;
That sometime these bright stars, that now reply
In sunlight to the sun, shall set in night ;
That this warm conscious flesh shall perish quite,
And all life's ruddy springs forget to flow;
That thoughts shall cease, and the immortal spright
Be lapp'd in alien clay and laid below;
It is not death to know this,—but to know
That pious thoughts, which visit at new graves
In tender pilgrimage, will cease to go
So duly and so oft,—and when grass waves
Over the past-away, there may be then
No resurrection in the minds of men.
By ev'ry sweet tradition of true hearts,
Graven by Time, in love with his own lore;
By all old martyrdoms and antique smarts,
Wherein Love died to be alive the more ;
Yea, by the sad impression on the shore,
Left by the drown's Leander, to endear
That coast for ever, where the billow's roar
Moaneth for pity in the Poet's ear ;
By Hero's faith, and the foreboding tear
That quench'd her brand's last twinkle in its fall;
By Sappho's leap, and the low rustling fear
That sigh'd around her flight; I swear by all,
The world shall find such pattern in my act,
As if Love's great examples still were lack'd.
Look how the golden ocean shines above
Its pebbly stones, and magnifies their girth;
So does the bright and blessed light of love
Its own things glorify, and raise their worth.
As weeds seem flowers beneath the flattering brine,
And stones like gems, and gems as gems indeed,
Ev’n so our tokens shine ; nay, they outshine
Pebbles and pearls, and gems and coral weed ;
For where be ocean waves but half so clear,
So calmly constant, and so kindly warm,
As Love's most mild and glowing atmosphere,
That hath no dregs to be upturn’d by storm ?
Thus, sweet, thy gracious gifts are gifts of price,
And more than gold to doting Avarice.