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ORPHAN bours, the year is dead,
Come and sigh, come and weep!
Merry hours, smile instead,
For the year is but asleep.
See, it smiles as it is sleeping,
Mocking your untimely weeping.
As an earthquake rocks a corse
In its coffin in the clay,
So White Winter, that rough nurse,
Rocks the dead-cold year to-day;
Solemn hours! wait aloud
For your mother in her shroud.
As the wild air stirs and sways
The tree-swung cradle of a child,
So the breath of these rude days
Rocks the year:-be calm and mild,
Trembling hours; she will arise
With new love within her eyes.
January grey is here,
Like a sexton by lier grave;
February bears the bier,
March with grief doth howl and rave,
And April weeps—but, О ye hours,
Follow with May's fairest flowers. January 1st, 1821.
Ye basten to the dead! What seek ye there,
Ye restless thoughts and busy purposes
Of the idle brain, which the world's livery wear ?
O thou quick Heart, which pantest to possess
All that anticipation feigneth fair!
Thou vainly curious mind which wouldest guess
Whence thou didst come, and whither thou may'st go,
And that which never yet was known wouldst koow-
Oh, whither basten ye that thus ye press
With such swift feet life's green and pleasant path,
Seeking alike from happiness and woe
A refuge in the cavern of grey death?
O heart, aud mind, and thoughts ! What thing do you
Hope to inherit in the grave below ?
Nor happiness, nor majesty, nor fame,
Nor peace, nor strength, nor skill in arms or arts,
Shepherd those herds whom tyranny makes tame;
Verse echoes not one beating of their hearts,
History is but the shadow of their shame,
Art veils her glass, or from the pageant starts
As to oblivion their blind millions fieet,
Staining that Heaven with obscene imagery
Of their own likeness. What are nuinbers knit
By force or custom? Man who man would be,
Must rule the empire of himself; in it
Must be supreme, establishing his throne
On vanquished will, quelling the anarchy
Of hopes and fears, being himself alone.
ve world's diversos pantest to postane th fair! hich wouldest nd whither there as knowo weeks
Alas! good friend, what profit can you see
In haring such a hateless thing as me?
There is no sport in hate where all the rage
Is on one side. In vain would you assuage
Your frowns upon an unresisting smile,
In which not even contempt lurks, to beguile
Your heart, by some faint syinpathy of hate.
Oh conquer what you cannot satiate !
For to your passion J am far more coy
Than ever yet was coldest maid or boy
In winter noon. Of your antipathy
If I am the Narcissus, you are free
To pine into a sound with hating me.
eir hearts shame,
Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life : though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread:-behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin destinies; who ever weave
The shadows, which the world calls substance, there.
I knew one who had lifted it-he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve,
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
Wild, pale, and wonder-stricken, even as one
Who staggers forth into the air and sun
From the dark chamber of a inortal fever,
Bewildered, and incapable, and ever
Fancying strange comments in her dizzy brain
Of usual shapes, till the familiar train
Of objects and of persons passed like things
Strange as a dreamer's mad imaginings,
Ginevra froin the nuptial altar went;
The vows to which her lips had sworn assent
Rung in her brain still with a jarriog din,
Deafening the lost intelligence within.
And so she moved under the bridal veil.
Wliich made the paleness of her cheek more pale,
* This fragment is part of a poem which Mr. Shelley intended te write, founded on a story to be found in the first volume of a book en. citled “ L'Osservatore Fiorentino."
And deepened the faint criinson of her mouth,
And darkened her dark locks, as moonlight doth,
And of the gold and jewels glittering there
She scarce felt conscious, - but the weary glare
Lay like a chaos of unwelcome light,
Vexing the sense with gorgeous undelight.
A moonbeam in the shadow of a cloud
Was less heavenly fair-her face was bowed,
And as she passed, the diamonds in her hair
Were mirrored in the polished marble stair
Which led from the cathedral to the street;
And even as she weut her light fair feet
Erased these images,
The bride-maidens who round her thronging came, Some with a sense of self-rebuke and shame, Envying the unenviable ; and others Making the joy which should have been another's Their own by gentle sympathy; and some Sighing to think of an unhappy home; Some few admiring what can ever lure Maidens to leave the heaven serene and pure Of parents' smiles for life's great cheat ; a thing Bitter to taste, sweet in imagining !
But they are all dispersed—and lo! she stands
Looking in idle grief on her white hands,
Alone within the garden now her own;
And through the sunny air, with jangling tone,
The music of the inerry marriage bells,
Killing the azure silence, sinks and swells;-
Absorbed like one within a dream who dream
That he is dreaming, until slumber seems
A mockery of itself— when suddenly