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There Russia looms, or mist-wreaths cheat the eye,
Upon the horizon line of history;
And there, where yon white ship hath set her helm,
Are Persia's havens deep, the garden realm,
The clime where earth, their thoughtless earth, discloses
Nought to the Poet's soul but wine and roses.
These are the shadows bygone or to be
Which flit along thy coasts, dread Euxine Sea!


Now that the Strait, her seven fair bays unwinding,
Draws the caique through each blue snaky winding,
My heart is lighted on from cape to cape
By torchlike song or legendary shape,
While from the flowery Kandili there come
Cool odorous breaths to old Byzantium.
The sight of thee, dread Euxine ! calm and near,
Hath made thee not the less a thing to fear ;
Else why this troubled thrill that works in me
When I have seen and touched the Euxine Sea !


But lo! Stamboul! A thousand sunset fires
Are gilding tall ship-masts and cypress spires.
White palace roof and glittering Kiosk,
Old Latin tower, rude gate, and pillared mosque,
Trees, houses, fountains, ships-float off and rise,
Like clouds instinct with light, into the skies.
What shall Arabian prose or Persian verse
In after years to my dull ear rehearse,
When eye hath seen upon a May-day even
Stamboul by sunset lifted into heaven?


To day my thirsty spirit sought to drink
Of dreadful legends on the Black Sea's brink ;
This sunset is a trouble in my soul ;
Deep in my heart I heard the Euxine roll,
I felt it in me as a mighty thought,
The block whence forms of grandeur might be wrought:
But now 'twixt light and gloom my mind is tossed,
Bright thoughts in dark, and dark in bright, are lost;
Once more an untouched thing, outside of me,
I hear the murmur of the Euxine Sea!

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(From the same.)

There is a pulse in flowing streams,

A calmly throbbing motion,
A heart in the cold mountain-springs,

As true as that of ocean.

2. Sit by yon bay where Rothay comes

With merry sparkling fall To rest within the glassy pool

Beneath the fern-fringed Wall ;

3. And see how like a real tide,

Encroaching and retreating, Upon the polished gravel bed

The uneven stream is beating ;

As if, although 'twas flowing down,

Straight on it could not flow,
But it must stay to breathe in pools,

Like some poor hunted roe,

And at the river-head the lake

From its blue hollows ever,
A weary, tremulous, panting thing,

Is sighing forth the river.

6. And thus the breath of the huge hills,

Among wet mosses sobbing, Works alway through the upland springs

With momentary throbbing.

7. And on the drear autumnal days,

When o'er the naked heath he wind is riding, still it hath A palpitating breath.

8. And in the woods the evening air

A breathing spirit dwells, Still cooing like a turtle dove,

A shy voice in the dells.

Those dazzling things, the water-falls,

That leap with such a cry
In leafy clefts, sink down at times

Into a wood-land sigh.

Like one whose heart is in his mouth,

Swift echo on the heath
Speeds onward, shedding broken words,

A runner out of breath.

I speak not of the heaving sea,

But of the solemn earth,
I would thou shouldst believe there is

A heart in all her mirth,

12. The dashing rivers are her joy,

The pinewood plaint her sadness, The clamorous tempest is her rage,

The earthquake is her madness.

13. The past is in her,--the long past,

With all its light and gloom, What wonder then there should be throes,

In such a teeming womb ?

Her heart grows larger as each day

Sinks to it with a stir ;
It makes me grave to think of all

That hath gone into her.


Proud-minded kings and villain priests,

And, by the will of fate, Enough to make another earth Of love unfortunate.

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And things whereof my youth had dreamed,

Were given unto my eager sight, Some brighter than my thoughts had deemed,

And some that scarcely seemed so bright.

And now, for I was all alone,

My English heart was homeward turning, When by a gate of sculptured stone,

I sate me down one sunny morning.

It led into a garden bright

Within a roofless castle's bound,
Whose silent halls and towers of might

Girded a mossy terrace round.
And kings did from their niches look,

And I, their dwelling's lonely ranger,
The sadness of the scene partook

And felt me desolate and a stranger.

In such low mood it chanced I gazed,

Where o'er the arch a tablet saith How Frederic had that garden raised

For his young bride Elizabeth.

That name had sacred powers to wake

Such thoughts in me as could none other, If 'twere but for the honored sake

Of her and of her martyred brother.

For she was child of England's king,

And to her home beyond the water, A high-enduring soul did bring,

As might beseem a Stuart's daughter.

And many an uncomplaining year

She bore her heritage of woes; But 'twas more dear a memory yet

Which at that name's sweet bidding rose.

Thou gentle soul, so early gone !

'Twas thou didst look upon me then, And I was glad I was alone,

A wanderer among foreign men.


Thou wert the first of all I knew

To pass unto the dead,
And Paradise hath seemed more true,
And come down closer to my view,

Since there thy presence fled.

The whispers of thy gentle soul

At silent lonely hours,
Like some sweet saint-bell's distant toll
Come o'er the waters as they roll

Betwixt thy world and ours.

Oh! still my spirit clings to thee

And feels thee at my side,
Like a green ivy, when the tree
It's shoots had clasped so lovingly,

Within its arms hath died ;

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