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´╗┐Title: The Daemon of the World
Author: Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Daemon of the World" ***

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THE DAEMON OF THE WORLD.

A FRAGMENT.


By Percy Bysshe Shelley



PART 1.

     Nec tantum prodere vati,
     Quantum scire licet. Venit aetas omnis in unam
     Congeriem, miserumque premunt tot saecula pectus.
     LUCAN, Phars. v. 176.

       How wonderful is Death,
       Death and his brother Sleep!
     One pale as yonder wan and horned moon,
       With lips of lurid blue,
     The other glowing like the vital morn,                        5
       When throned on ocean's wave
       It breathes over the world:
     Yet both so passing strange and wonderful!

     Hath then the iron-sceptred Skeleton,
     Whose reign is in the tainted sepulchres,                    10
     To the hell dogs that couch beneath his throne
     Cast that fair prey? Must that divinest form,
     Which love and admiration cannot view
     Without a beating heart, whose azure veins
     Steal like dark streams along a field of snow,               15
     Whose outline is as fair as marble clothed
     In light of some sublimest mind, decay?
       Nor putrefaction's breath
     Leave aught of this pure spectacle
       But loathsomeness and ruin?--                              20
       Spare aught but a dark theme,
     On which the lightest heart might moralize?
     Or is it but that downy-winged slumbers
     Have charmed their nurse coy Silence near her lids
       To watch their own repose?                                 25
       Will they, when morning's beam
       Flows through those wells of light,
     Seek far from noise and day some western cave,
     Where woods and streams with soft and pausing winds
       A lulling murmur weave?--                                  30
       Ianthe doth not sleep
       The dreamless sleep of death:
     Nor in her moonlight chamber silently
     Doth Henry hear her regular pulses throb,
     With interchange of hues mock the broad moon,
       Outwatching weary night,
       Without assured reward.
       Her dewy eyes are closed;
     On their translucent lids, whose texture fine                40
     Scarce hides the dark blue orbs that burn below
       With unapparent fire,
       The baby Sleep is pillowed:
       Her golden tresses shade
       The bosom's stainless pride,                               45
     Twining like tendrils of the parasite
       Around a marble column.

       Hark! whence that rushing sound?
       'Tis like a wondrous strain that sweeps
       Around a lonely ruin                                       50
     When west winds sigh and evening waves respond
       In whispers from the shore:
     'Tis wilder than the unmeasured notes
     Which from the unseen lyres of dells and groves
       The genii of the breezes sweep.                            55
     Floating on waves of music and of light,
     The chariot of the Daemon of the World
       Descends in silent power:
     Its shape reposed within: slight as some cloud
     That catches but the palest tinge of day                     60
       When evening yields to night,
     Bright as that fibrous woof when stars indue
       Its transitory robe.
     Four shapeless shadows bright and beautiful
     Draw that strange car of glory, reins of light               65
     Check their unearthly speed; they stop and fold
       Their wings of braided air:
     The Daemon leaning from the ethereal car
       Gazed on the slumbering maid.
     Human eye hath ne'er beheld                                  70
     A shape so wild, so bright, so beautiful,
     As that which o'er the maiden's charmed sleep
       Waving a starry wand,
       Hung like a mist of light.
     Such sounds as breathed around like odorous winds            75
       Of wakening spring arose,
     Filling the chamber and the moonlight sky.
     Maiden, the world's supremest spirit
       Beneath the shadow of her wings
     Folds all thy memory doth inherit                            80
       From ruin of divinest things,
       Feelings that lure thee to betray,
       And light of thoughts that pass away.
     For thou hast earned a mighty boon,
       The truths which wisest poets see                          85
     Dimly, thy mind may make its own,
       Rewarding its own majesty,
       Entranced in some diviner mood
       Of self-oblivious solitude.

     Custom, and Faith, and Power thou spurnest;                  90
       From hate and awe thy heart is free;
     Ardent and pure as day thou burnest,
       For dark and cold mortality
       A living light, to cheer it long,
       The watch-fires of the world among.                        95

     Therefore from nature's inner shrine,
       Where gods and fiends in worship bend,
     Majestic spirit, be it thine
       The flame to seize, the veil to rend,
       Where the vast snake Eternity                             100
       In charmed sleep doth ever lie.

     All that inspires thy voice of love,
       Or speaks in thy unclosing eyes,
     Or through thy frame doth burn or move,
       Or think or feel, awake, arise!                           105
       Spirit, leave for mine and me
       Earth's unsubstantial mimicry!

     It ceased, and from the mute and moveless frame
       A radiant spirit arose,
     All beautiful in naked purity.                              110
     Robed in its human hues it did ascend,
     Disparting as it went the silver clouds,
     It moved towards the car, and took its seat
       Beside the Daemon shape.

     Obedient to the sweep of aery song,                         115
       The mighty ministers
     Unfurled their prismy wings.
       The magic car moved on;
     The night was fair, innumerable stars
       Studded heaven's dark blue vault;                         120
       The eastern wave grew pale
       With the first smile of morn.
       The magic car moved on.
       From the swift sweep of wings
     The atmosphere in flaming sparkles flew;                    125
       And where the burning wheels
     Eddied above the mountain's loftiest peak
       Was traced a line of lightning.
     Now far above a rock the utmost verge
       Of the wide earth it flew,                                130
     The rival of the Andes, whose dark brow
       Frowned o'er the silver sea.
     Far, far below the chariot's stormy path,
       Calm as a slumbering babe,
       Tremendous ocean lay.                                     135
     Its broad and silent mirror gave to view
       The pale and waning stars,
       The chariot's fiery track,
       And the grey light of morn
       Tingeing those fleecy clouds                              140
     That cradled in their folds the infant dawn.
       The chariot seemed to fly
     Through the abyss of an immense concave,
     Radiant with million constellations, tinged
       With shades of infinite colour,                           145
       And semicircled with a belt
       Flashing incessant meteors.

       As they approached their goal,
     The winged shadows seemed to gather speed.
     The sea no longer was distinguished; earth                  150
     Appeared a vast and shadowy sphere, suspended
       In the black concave of heaven
       With the sun's cloudless orb,
       Whose rays of rapid light
     Parted around the chariot's swifter course,                 155
     And fell like ocean's feathery spray
       Dashed from the boiling surge
       Before a vessel's prow.

       The magic car moved on.
       Earth's distant orb appeared                              160
     The smallest light that twinkles in the heavens,
       Whilst round the chariot's way
     Innumerable systems widely rolled,
       And countless spheres diffused
       An ever varying glory.                                    165
     It was a sight of wonder! Some were horned,
     And like the moon's argentine crescent hung
     In the dark dome of heaven; some did shed
     A clear mild beam like Hesperus, while the sea
     Yet glows with fading sunlight; others dashed               170
     Athwart the night with trains of bickering fire,
     Like sphered worlds to death and ruin driven;
     Some shone like stars, and as the chariot passed
       Bedimmed all other light.

       Spirit of Nature! here                                    175
     In this interminable wilderness
     Of worlds, at whose involved immensity
       Even soaring fancy staggers,
       Here is thy fitting temple.
       Yet not the lightest leaf                                 180
     That quivers to the passing breeze
       Is less instinct with thee,--
       Yet not the meanest worm.
     That lurks in graves and fattens on the dead,
       Less shares thy eternal breath.                           185
       Spirit of Nature! thou
     Imperishable as this glorious scene,
       Here is thy fitting temple.

     If solitude hath ever led thy steps
     To the shore of the immeasurable sea,                       190
       And thou hast lingered there
       Until the sun's broad orb
     Seemed resting on the fiery line of ocean,
       Thou must have marked the braided webs of gold
       That without motion hang                                  195
       Over the sinking sphere:
     Thou must have marked the billowy mountain clouds,
     Edged with intolerable radiancy,
       Towering like rocks of jet
       Above the burning deep:                                   200
       And yet there is a moment
       When the sun's highest point
     Peers like a star o'er ocean's western edge,
     When those far clouds of feathery purple gleam
     Like fairy lands girt by some heavenly sea:                 205
     Then has thy rapt imagination soared
     Where in the midst of all existing things
     The temple of the mightiest Daemon stands.

       Yet not the golden islands
     That gleam amid yon flood of purple light,                  210
       Nor the feathery curtains
     That canopy the sun's resplendent couch,
       Nor the burnished ocean waves
       Paving that gorgeous dome,
       So fair, so wonderful a sight                             215
     As the eternal temple could afford.
     The elements of all that human thought
     Can frame of lovely or sublime, did join
     To rear the fabric of the fane, nor aught
     Of earth may image forth its majesty.                       220
     Yet likest evening's vault that faery hall,
     As heaven low resting on the wave it spread
       Its floors of flashing light,
       Its vast and azure dome;
     And on the verge of that obscure abyss                      225
     Where crystal battlements o'erhang the gulf
     Of the dark world, ten thousand spheres diffuse
     Their lustre through its adamantine gates.

       The magic car no longer moved;
       The Daemon and the Spirit                                 230
       Entered the eternal gates.
       Those clouds of aery gold
       That slept in glittering billows
       Beneath the azure canopy,
     With the ethereal footsteps trembled not;                   235
       While slight and odorous mists
     Floated to strains of thrilling melody
     Through the vast columns and the pearly shrines.

       The Daemon and the Spirit
     Approached the overhanging battlement,                      240
     Below lay stretched the boundless universe!
       There, far as the remotest line
     That limits swift imagination's flight.
     Unending orbs mingled in mazy motion,
       Immutably fulfilling                                      245
       Eternal Nature's law.
       Above, below, around,
       The circling systems formed
       A wilderness of harmony.
       Each with undeviating aim                                 250
     In eloquent silence through the depths of space
       Pursued its wondrous way.--

     Awhile the Spirit paused in ecstasy.
     Yet soon she saw, as the vast spheres swept by,
     Strange things within their belted orbs appear.             255
     Like animated frenzies, dimly moved
     Shadows, and skeletons, and fiendly shapes,
     Thronging round human graves, and o'er the dead
     Sculpturing records for each memory
     In verse, such as malignant gods pronounce,                 260
     Blasting the hopes of men, when heaven and hell
     Confounded burst in ruin o'er the world:
     And they did build vast trophies, instruments
     Of murder, human bones, barbaric gold,
     Skins torn from living men, and towers of skulls            265
     With sightless holes gazing on blinder heaven,
     Mitres, and crowns, and brazen chariots stained
     With blood, and scrolls of mystic wickedness,
     The sanguine codes of venerable crime.
     The likeness of a throned king came by.                     270
     When these had passed, bearing upon his brow
     A threefold crown; his countenance was calm.
     His eye severe and cold; but his right hand
     Was charged with bloody coin, and he did gnaw
     By fits, with secret smiles, a human heart                  275
     Concealed beneath his robe; and motley shapes,
     A multitudinous throng, around him knelt.
     With bosoms bare, and bowed heads, and false looks
     Of true submission, as the sphere rolled by.
     Brooking no eye to witness their foul shame,                280
     Which human hearts must feel, while human tongues
     Tremble to speak, they did rage horribly,
     Breathing in self-contempt fierce blasphemies
     Against the Daemon of the World, and high
     Hurling their armed hands where the pure Spirit,            285
     Serene and inaccessibly secure,
     Stood on an isolated pinnacle.
     The flood of ages combating below,
     The depth of the unbounded universe
       Above, and all around                                     290
     Necessity's unchanging harmony.



PART 2.

     O happy Earth! reality of Heaven!
     To which those restless powers that ceaselessly
     Throng through the human universe aspire;
     Thou consummation of all mortal hope!                       295
     Thou glorious prize of blindly-working will!
     Whose rays, diffused throughout all space and time,
     Verge to one point and blend for ever there:
     Of purest spirits thou pure dwelling-place!
     Where care and sorrow, impotence and crime,                 300
     Languor, disease, and ignorance dare not come:
     O happy Earth, reality of Heaven!

       Genius has seen thee in her passionate dreams,
     And dim forebodings of thy loveliness,
     Haunting the human heart, have there entwined               305
     Those rooted hopes, that the proud Power of Evil
     Shall not for ever on this fairest world
     Shake pestilence and war, or that his slaves
     With blasphemy for prayer, and human blood
     For sacrifice, before his shrine for ever                   310
     In adoration bend, or Erebus
     With all its banded fiends shall not uprise
     To overwhelm in envy and revenge
     The dauntless and the good, who dare to hurl
     Defiance at his throne, girt tho' it be                     315
     With Death's omnipotence. Thou hast beheld
     His empire, o'er the present and the past;
     It was a desolate sight--now gaze on mine,
     Futurity. Thou hoary giant Time,
     Render thou up thy half-devoured babes,--                   320
     And from the cradles of eternity,
     Where millions lie lulled to their portioned sleep
     By the deep murmuring stream of passing things,
     Tear thou that gloomy shroud.--Spirit, behold
     Thy glorious destiny!
       The Spirit saw                                            325
     The vast frame of the renovated world
     Smile in the lap of Chaos, and the sense
     Of hope thro' her fine texture did suffuse
     Such varying glow, as summer evening casts
     On undulating clouds and deepening lakes.                   330
     Like the vague sighings of a wind at even,
     That wakes the wavelets of the slumbering sea
     And dies on the creation of its breath,
     And sinks and rises, fails and swells by fits,
     Was the sweet stream of thought that with wild motion       335
     Flowed o'er the Spirit's human sympathies.
     The mighty tide of thought had paused awhile,
     Which from the Daemon now like Ocean's stream
     Again began to pour.--
       To me is given
     The wonders of the human world to keep--                    340
     Space, matter, time and mind--let the sight
     Renew and strengthen all thy failing hope.
     All things are recreated, and the flame
     Of consentaneous love inspires all life:
     The fertile bosom of the earth gives suck                   345
     To myriads, who still grow beneath her care,
     Rewarding her with their pure perfectness:
     The balmy breathings of the wind inhale
     Her virtues, and diffuse them all abroad:
     Health floats amid the gentle atmosphere,                   350
     Glows in the fruits, and mantles on the stream;
     No storms deform the beaming brow of heaven,
     Nor scatter in the freshness of its pride
     The foliage of the undecaying trees;
     But fruits are ever ripe, flowers ever fair,                355
     And Autumn proudly bears her matron grace,
     Kindling a flush on the fair cheek of Spring,
     Whose virgin bloom beneath the ruddy fruit
     Reflects its tint and blushes into love.

       The habitable earth is full of bliss;                     360
     Those wastes of frozen billows that were hurled
     By everlasting snow-storms round the poles,
     Where matter dared not vegetate nor live,
     But ceaseless frost round the vast solitude
     Bound its broad zone of stillness, are unloosed;            365
     And fragrant zephyrs there from spicy isles
     Ruffle the placid ocean-deep, that rolls
     Its broad, bright surges to the sloping sand,
     Whose roar is wakened into echoings sweet
     To murmur through the heaven-breathing groves               370
     And melodise with man's blest nature there.

       The vast tract of the parched and sandy waste
     Now teems with countless rills and shady woods,
     Corn-fields and pastures and white cottages;
     And where the startled wilderness did hear                  375
     A savage conqueror stained in kindred blood,
     Hymmng his victory, or the milder snake
     Crushing the bones of some frail antelope
     Within his brazen folds--the dewy lawn,
     Offering sweet incense to the sunrise, smiles               380
     To see a babe before his mother's door,
     Share with the green and golden basilisk
     That comes to lick his feet, his morning's meal.

       Those trackless deeps, where many a weary sail
     Has seen, above the illimitable plain,                      385
     Morning on night and night on morning rise,
     Whilst still no land to greet the wanderer spread
     Its shadowy mountains on the sunbright sea,
     Where the loud roarings of the tempest-waves
     So long have mingled with the gusty wind                    390
     In melancholy loneliness, and swept
     The desert of those ocean solitudes,
     But vocal to the sea-bird's harrowing shriek,
     The bellowing monster, and the rushing storm,
     Now to the sweet and many-mingling sounds                   395
     Of kindliest human impulses respond:
     Those lonely realms bright garden-isles begem,
     With lightsome clouds and shining seas between,
     And fertile valleys resonant with bliss,
     Whilst green woods overcanopy the wave,                     400
     Which like a toil-worn labourer leaps to shore,
     To meet the kisses of the flowerets there.

       Man chief perceives the change, his being notes
     The gradual renovation, and defines
     Each movement of its progress on his mind.                  405
     Man, where the gloom of the long polar night
     Lowered o'er the snow-clad rocks and frozen soil,
     Where scarce the hardiest herb that braves the frost
     Basked in the moonlight's ineffectual glow,
     Shrank with the plants, and darkened with the night;        410
     Nor where the tropics bound the realms of day
     With a broad belt of mingling cloud and flame,
     Where blue mists through the unmoving atmosphere
     Scattered the seeds of pestilence, and fed
     Unnatural vegetation, where the land                        415
     Teemed with all earthquake, tempest and disease,
     Was man a nobler being; slavery
     Had crushed him to his country's blood-stained dust.

       Even where the milder zone afforded man
     A seeming shelter, yet contagion there,                     420
     Blighting his being with unnumbered ills,
     Spread like a quenchless fire; nor truth availed
     Till late to arrest its progress, or create
     That peace which first in bloodless victory waved
     Her snowy standard o'er this favoured clime:                425
     There man was long the train-bearer of slaves,
     The mimic of surrounding misery,
     The jackal of ambition's lion-rage,
     The bloodhound of religion's hungry zeal.

       Here now the human being stands adorning                  430
     This loveliest earth with taintless body and mind;
     Blest from his birth with all bland impulses,
     Which gently in his noble bosom wake
     All kindly passions and all pure desires.
     Him, still from hope to hope the bliss pursuing,            435
     Which from the exhaustless lore of human weal
     Dawns on the virtuous mind, the thoughts that rise
     In time-destroying infiniteness gift
     With self-enshrined eternity, that mocks
     The unprevailing hoariness of age,                          440
     And man, once fleeting o'er the transient scene
     Swift as an unremembered vision, stands
     Immortal upon earth: no longer now
     He slays the beast that sports around his dwelling
     And horribly devours its mangled flesh,                     445
     Or drinks its vital blood, which like a stream
     Of poison thro' his fevered veins did flow
     Feeding a plague that secretly consumed
     His feeble frame, and kindling in his mind
     Hatred, despair, and fear and vain belief,                  450
     The germs of misery, death, disease and crime.
     No longer now the winged habitants,
     That in the woods their sweet lives sing away,
     Flee from the form of man; but gather round,
     And prune their sunny feathers on the hands                 455
     Which little children stretch in friendly sport
     Towards these dreadless partners of their play.
     All things are void of terror: man has lost
     His desolating privilege, and stands
     An equal amidst equals: happiness                           460
     And science dawn though late upon the earth;
     Peace cheers the mind, health renovates the frame;
     Disease and pleasure cease to mingle here,
     Reason and passion cease to combat there;
     Whilst mind unfettered o'er the earth extends               465
     Its all-subduing energies, and wields
     The sceptre of a vast dominion there.

       Mild is the slow necessity of death:
     The tranquil spirit fails beneath its grasp,
     Without a groan, almost without a fear,                     470
     Resigned in peace to the necessity,
     Calm as a voyager to some distant land,
     And full of wonder, full of hope as he.
     The deadly germs of languor and disease
     Waste in the human frame, and Nature gifts                  475
     With choicest boons her human worshippers.
     How vigorous now the athletic form of age!
     How clear its open and unwrinkled brow!
     Where neither avarice, cunning, pride, or care,
     Had stamped the seal of grey deformity                      480
     On all the mingling lineaments of time.
     How lovely the intrepid front of youth!
     How sweet the smiles of taintless infancy.

       Within the massy prison's mouldering courts,
     Fearless and free the ruddy children play,                  485
     Weaving gay chaplets for their innocent brows
     With the green ivy and the red wall-flower,
     That mock the dungeon's unavailing gloom;
     The ponderous chains, and gratings of strong iron,
     There rust amid the accumulated ruins                       490
     Now mingling slowly with their native earth:
     There the broad beam of day, which feebly once
     Lighted the cheek of lean captivity
     With a pale and sickly glare, now freely shines
     On the pure smiles of infant playfulness:                   495
     No more the shuddering voice of hoarse despair
     Peals through the echoing vaults, but soothing notes
     Of ivy-fingered winds and gladsome birds
     And merriment are resonant around.

       The fanes of Fear and Falsehood hear no more              500
     The voice that once waked multitudes to war
     Thundering thro' all their aisles: but now respond
     To the death dirge of the melancholy wind:
     It were a sight of awfulness to see
     The works of faith and slavery, so vast,                    505
     So sumptuous, yet withal so perishing!
     Even as the corpse that rests beneath their wall.
     A thousand mourners deck the pomp of death
     To-day, the breathing marble glows above
     To decorate its memory, and tongues                         510
     Are busy of its life: to-morrow, worms
     In silence and in darkness seize their prey.
     These ruins soon leave not a wreck behind:
     Their elements, wide-scattered o'er the globe,
     To happier shapes are moulded, and become                   515
     Ministrant to all blissful impulses:
     Thus human things are perfected, and earth,
     Even as a child beneath its mother's love,
     Is strengthened in all excellence, and grows
     Fairer and nobler with each passing year.                   520

       Now Time his dusky pennons o'er the scene
     Closes in steadfast darkness, and the past
     Fades from our charmed sight. My task is done:
     Thy lore is learned. Earth's wonders are thine own,
     With all the fear and all the hope they bring.              525
     My spells are past: the present now recurs.
     Ah me! a pathless wilderness remains
     Yet unsubdued by man's reclaiming hand.

       Yet, human Spirit, bravely hold thy course,
     Let virtue teach thee firmly to pursue                      530
     The gradual paths of an aspiring change:
     For birth and life and death, and that strange state
     Before the naked powers that thro' the world
     Wander like winds have found a human home,
     All tend to perfect happiness, and urge                     535
     The restless wheels of being on their way,
     Whose flashing spokes, instinct with infinite life,
     Bicker and burn to gain their destined goal:
     For birth but wakes the universal mind
     Whose mighty streams might else in silence flow             540
     Thro' the vast world, to individual sense
     Of outward shows, whose unexperienced shape
     New modes of passion to its frame may lend;
     Life is its state of action, and the store
     Of all events is aggregated there                           545
     That variegate the eternal universe;
     Death is a gate of dreariness and gloom,
     That leads to azure isles and beaming skies
     And happy regions of eternal hope.
     Therefore, O Spirit! fearlessly bear on:                    550
     Though storms may break the primrose on its stalk,
     Though frosts may blight the freshness of its bloom,
     Yet spring's awakening breath will woo the earth,
     To feed with kindliest dews its favourite flower,
     That blooms in mossy banks and darksome glens,              555
     Lighting the green wood with its sunny smile.

       Fear not then, Spirit, death's disrobing hand,
     So welcome when the tyrant is awake,
     So welcome when the bigot's hell-torch flares;
     'Tis but the voyage of a darksome hour,                     560
     The transient gulf-dream of a startling sleep.
     For what thou art shall perish utterly,
     But what is thine may never cease to be;
     Death is no foe to virtue: earth has seen
     Love's brightest roses on the scaffold bloom,               565
     Mingling with freedom's fadeless laurels there,
     And presaging the truth of visioned bliss.
     Are there not hopes within thee, which this scene
     Of linked and gradual being has confirmed?
     Hopes that not vainly thou, and living fires                570
     Of mind as radiant and as pure as thou,
     Have shone upon the paths of men--return,
     Surpassing Spirit, to that world, where thou
     Art destined an eternal war to wage
     With tyranny and falsehood, and uproot                      575
     The germs of misery from the human heart.
     Thine is the hand whose piety would soothe
     The thorny pillow of unhappy crime,
     Whose impotence an easy pardon gains,
     Watching its wanderings as a friend's disease:              580
     Thine is the brow whose mildness would defy
     Its fiercest rage, and brave its sternest will,
     When fenced by power and master of the world.
     Thou art sincere and good; of resolute mind,
     Free from heart-withering custom's cold control,            585
     Of passion lofty, pure and unsubdued.
     Earth's pride and meanness could not vanquish thee,
     And therefore art thou worthy of the boon
     Which thou hast now received: virtue shall keep
     Thy footsteps in the path that thou hast trod,              590
     And many days of beaming hope shall bless
     Thy spotless life of sweet and sacred love.
     Go, happy one, and give that bosom joy
       Whose sleepless spirit waits to catch
       Light, life and rapture from thy smile.                   595

       The Daemon called its winged ministers.
     Speechless with bliss the Spirit mounts the car,
     That rolled beside the crystal battlement,
     Bending her beamy eyes in thankfulness.
       The burning wheels inflame                                600
     The steep descent of Heaven's untrodden way.
       Fast and far the chariot flew:
       The mighty globes that rolled
     Around the gate of the Eternal Fane
     Lessened by slow degrees, and soon appeared                 605
     Such tiny twinklers as the planet orbs
     That ministering on the solar power
     With borrowed light pursued their narrower way.
       Earth floated then below:
       The chariot paused a moment;                              610
       The Spirit then descended:
       And from the earth departing
       The shadows with swift wings
     Speeded like thought upon the light of Heaven.

       The Body and the Soul united then,                        615
     A gentle start convulsed Ianthe's frame:
     Her veiny eyelids quietly unclosed;
     Moveless awhile the dark blue orbs remained:
     She looked around in wonder and beheld
     Henry, who kneeled in silence by her couch,                 620
     Watching her sleep with looks of speechless love,
       And the bright beaming stars
       That through the casement shone.





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