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Let thy love in kisses rain
THOU art fair, and few are fairer,
Of the nymphs of earth or ocean.
They are robes that fit the wearer
Those soft limbs of thine, whose motion Ever falls and shifts and glances,
As the life within them dances.
Thy deep eyes, a double planet,
Gaze the wisest into madness
With soft clear fire. The winds that fan it Are those thoughts of gentle gladness Which, like zephyrs on the billow,
Make thy gentle soul their pillow.
If whatever face thou paintest
In those eyes grows pale with pleasure,
When it hears thy harp's wild measure,
As dew beneath the wind of morning,
As the birds at thunder's warning,
As aught mute but deeply shaken,
As one who feels an unseen spirit,
Is my heart when thine is near it.
Yet it i
ON THE MEDUSA OF LEONARDO DA VINCI,
IN THE FLORENTINE GALLERY.
Ir lieth, gazing on the midnight sky,
Its horror and its beauty are divine.
Yet it is less the horror than the grace
Which turns the gazer's spirit into stone;
"Tis the melodious hue of beauty thrown
And from its head as from one body grow,
Hairs which are vipers, and they curl and flow And their long tangles in each other lock, And with unending involutions shew
Their mailed radiance, as it were to mock The torture and the death within, and saw The solid air with many a ragged jaw.
And from a stone beside, a poisonous eft
Of sense, has flitted with a mad surprise
And he comes hastening like a moth that hies After a taper; and the midnight sky
Flares, a light more dread than obscurity.
'Tis the tempestuous loveliness of terror;
For from the serpents gleams a brazen glare Kindled by that inextricable error,
Which makes a thrilling vapour of the air
and ever-shifting mirror
Of all the beauty and the terror there —
A woman's countenance, with serpent locks,
Gazing in death on heaven from those wet rocks.
TO WILLIAM SHELLEY.
(With what truth I may say —
My lost William, thou in whom
Like thee can die, thy funeral shrine
Is thy mother's grief and mine.
Where art thou, my gentle child?
The love of living leaves and weeds, Among these tombs and ruins wild ;
Let me think that through low seeds Of the sweet flowers and sunny grass, Into their hues and scents may pass A portion