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which is rarely powerful save when it comes in the guise of love. The last edition of SHELLEY's writings, published by Mr. Moxon, was edited by his widow, the author of Frankenstein, a woman worthy to be the wife of such a man. Its notes, with the text, constitute the best biography of the poet. In our own country more justice has been done to SHELLEY’s genius, motives, and actions than they have received at home. I refer with pleasure for a more elaborate discussion

THE SENSITIVE PLANT.

PART I. A sensitive Plant in a garden grew, And the young winds fed it with silver dew, And it open'd its fan-like leaves to the light, And closed them beneath the kisses of night. And the spring arose on the garden fair, And the Spirit of Love felt everywhere; And each flower and herb on earth's dark breast Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest. But none ever trembled and panted with bliss In the garden, the field, or the wilderness, Like a doe in the noontide with love's sweet want, As the companionless Sensitive Plant. The snowdrop, and then the violet, Arose from the ground with warm rain wet, And their breath was mix'd with fresh odour, sent From the turf, like the voice and the instrument. Then the pied wind-flowers and the tulip tall, And narcissi, the fairest among them all, Who gaze on their eyes in the stream's recess, Till they die of their own dear loveliness; And the Naiad-like lily of the vale, Whom youth makes so fair and passion so pale, That the light of its tremulous bells is seen Through their pavilions of tender green; And the hyacinth purple, and white, and blue, Which flung from its bells a sweet peal anew Of music so delicate, soft, and intense, It was felt like an odour within the sense; And the rose like a nymph to the bath addrest, Which unveil'd the depth of her glowing breast, Till, fold after fold, to the fainting air The soul of her beauty and love lay bare: And the wand-like lily, which lifted up, As a Maenad, its moonlight-colour'd cup, Till the fiery star, which is its eye, Gazed through clear dew on the tender sky; And the jessamine faint, and the sweet tuberose, The sweetest flower for scent that blows; And all rare blossoms from every clime Grew in that garden in perfect prime. And on the stream whose inconstant bosom Was prankt under boughs of embowering blossom, With golden and green light, slanting through Their heaven of many a tangled hue, Broad water-lilies lay tremulously, | And starry river-buds glimmer'd by,

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of his claims than I can here present, to Rambles and Reveries, by my friend H. T. TuckerMAN: a volume which contains a series of essays on the modern English poets, by one of the most elegant and discriminating critics of the day. Shelley left but one child, a son, Percy Florence SHELLEy, who, by the death of the poet's father in the summer of 1844, has be- || come a baronet and succeeded to the family estates. Sir PERCY SHELLEY is now about twenty-five years of age.

And around them the soft stream did glide and dance
With a motion of sweet sound and radiance.
And the sinuous paths of lawn and of moss,
Which led through the garden along and across,
Some open at once to the sun and the breeze,
Some lost among the bowers of blossoming trees,
Were all paved with daisies and delicate bells
As fair as the fabulous asphodels;
And flowrets which drooping as day droop'd too,
Fell into pavilions, white, purple, and blue,
To roof the glow-worm from the evening dew.
And from this undefiled Paradise
The flowers (as an infant's awakening eyes
Smile on its mother, whose singing sweet
Can first lull, and at last must awaken it,)
When heaven's blithe winds had unfolded them,
As mine-lamps enkindle a hidden gem,
Shone smiling to heaven, and every one
Shared joy in the light of the gentle sun;
For each one was interpenetrated
With the light and the odour its neighbour shed,
Like young lovers whom youth and love make dear,
Wrapp'd and fill'd by their mutual atmosphere.
But the Sensitive Plant which could give small fruit |
Of the love which it felt from the leaf to the root,
Received more than all, it loved more than ever, |
Where none wanted but it, could belong to the giver;
For the Sensitive Plant has no bright flower;
Radiance and odour are not its dower;
It loves, even like love, its deep heart is full,
It desires what it has not, the beautiful!
The light winds which from unsustaining wings
Shed the music of many murmurings;
The beams which dart from many a star
Of the flowers whose hues they bear afar;
The plumed insects swift and free,
Like golden boats on a sunny sea,
Laden with light and odour, which pass
Over the gleam of the living grass;
The unseen clouds of the dew, which lie
Like fire in the flowers till the sun rides high,
Then wander like spirits among the spheres,
Each cloud faint with the fragrance it bears;
The quivering vapours of dim noontide,
Which, like a sea, o'er the warm earth glide, .
In which every sound, and odour, and beam,
Move, as reeds in a single stream;
Each and all like ministering angels were
For the Sensitive Plant sweet joy to bear,

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Whilst the lagging hours of the day went by In a basket, of grasses and wild flowers full,
Like windless clouds o'er a tender sky. The freshest her gentle hands could pull
And when evening descended from heaven above, For the poor banish'd insects, whose intent,
And the earth was all rest, and the air was all love, Although they did ill, was innocent.
And delight, though less bright, was far more deep, But the bee and the beamlike ephemeris, [kiss

And the day's veil fell from the world of sleep,
And the beasts, and the birds, and the insects were
drown'd
In an ocean of dreams without a sound; [press
Whose waves never mark, though they ever im-
The light sand which paves it, consciousness;
(Only over head the sweet nightingale
Ever sang more sweet as the day might fail,
And snatches of its Elysian chant
Were mix'd with the dreams of the SensitivePlant.)
The Sensitive Plant was the earliest
Up-gather'd into the bosom of rest;
A sweet child weary of its delight,
The feeblest and yet the favourite,
Cradled within the embrace of night.

PART II. The RE was a Power in this sweet place, An Eve in this Eden; a ruling grace Which to the flowers, did they waken or dream, Was as God is to the starry scheme. A lady, the wonder of her kind, Whose form was upborne by a lovely mind Which, dilating, had moulded her mien and motion Like a sea-flower unfolded beneath the ocean, Tended the garden from morn to even: And the meteors of that sublunar heaven, Like the lamps of the air when night walks forth, Laugh’d round her footsteps up from the earth! She had no companion of mortal race, But her tremulous breath and her flushing face Told, whilst the morn kiss'd the sleep from her eyes, That her dreams were less slumber than Paradise: As if some bright Spirit for her sweet sake Had deserted heaven while the stars were awake, As if yet around her he lingering were, Though the veil of daylight conceal’d him from her. Her step seem'd to pity the grass it prest; You might hear, by the heaving of her breast, That the coming and the going of the wind Brought pleasure there and left passion behind. And wherever her airy footstep trod, Her trailing hair from the grassy sod Erased its light vestige, with shadowy sweep, Like a sunny storm o'er the dark green deep. I doubt not the flowers of that garden sweet Rejoiced in the sound of her gentle feet; I doubt not they felt the spirit that came

From her glowing fingers through all their frame.

She sprinkled bright water from the stream
On those that were faint with the sunny beam;
And out of the cups of the heavy flowers
She emptied the rain of the thunder showers.
She lifted their heads with her tender hands,
And sustain'd them with rods and ozier bands;
If the flowers had been her own infants, she
Could never have nursed them more tenderly.
And all killing insects and gnawing worms,
And things of obscene and unlovely forms,
She bore in her basket of Indian woof,
Into the rough woods far aloof:

Whose path is the lightning's, and soft moths that
The sweet lips of the flowers, and harm not, did she
Make her attendant angels be.
And many an antenatal tomb,
Where butterflies dream of the life to come,
She left clinging round the smooth and dark
Edge of the odorous cedar bark.
This fairest creature from earliest spring
Thus moved through the garden ministering
All the sweet season of summer tide,
And ere the first leaf look'd brown—she died

PART III.

Tha EE days the flowers of the garden fair, Like stars when the moon is awaken'd, were, Or the waves of Baiae, ere luminous She floats up through the smoke of Vesuvius. And on the fourth, the Sensitive Plant Felt the sound of the funeral chant, And the steps of the bearers, heavy and slow, And the sobs of the mourners deep and low; The weary sound and the heavy breath, And the silent motions of passing death, And the smell, cold, oppressive, and dank, Sent through the pores of the coffin plank; The dark grass, and the flowers among the grass, Were bright with tears as the crowd did pass; From their sighs the wind caught a mournful tone, And sate in the pines and gave groan for groan. The garden, once fair, became cold and foul, Like the corpse of her who had been its soul; Which at first was lovely as if in sleep, Then slowly changed, till it grew a heap To make men tremble who never weep. Swift summer into the autumn flow'd, And frost in the mist of the morning rode, Though the noonday sun look'd clear and bright, Mocking the spoil of the secret night. The rose leaves, like flakes of crimson snow, Paved the turf and the moss below. The lilies were drooping, and white, and wan, Like the head and the skin of a dying man; And Indian plants, of scent and hue The sweetest that ever were fed on dew, Leaf after leaf, day by day, . Were mass'd into the common clay. And the leaves, brown, yellow, and gray, and red, And white with the whiteness of what is dead, Like troops of ghosts on the dry wind past; Their whistling noise made the birds aghast. And the gusty winds waked the winged seeds Out of their birth-place of ugly weeds, Till they clung round many a sweet flower's stem, Which rotted into the earth with them. The water-blooms under the rivulet Fell from the stalks on which they were set; And the eddies drove them here and there, As the winds did those of the upper air. Then the rain came down, and the broken stalks Were bent and tangled across the walks ; And the leafless net-work of parasite bowers

Mass'd into ruin, and all sweet flowers.
Between the time of the wind and the snow,
All loathliest weeds began to grow,
Whose coarse leaves were splash'd with many a
speck,
Like the water-snake's belly and the toad's back.
And thistles, and nettles, and darnels rank,
And the dock, and henbane, and hemlock dank,
Stretch'd out its long and hollow shank,
And stifled the air till the dead wind stank.
And plants, at whose names the verse feels loath,
Fill'd the place with a monstrous undergrowth,
Prickly, and pulpous, and blistering, and blue,
Livid, and starr'd with a lurid dew.
And agarics and fungi, with mildew and mould,
Started like mist from the wet ground cold;
Pale, fleshy, as if the decaying dead
With a spirit of growth had been animated:
Spawn, weeds, and filth, a leprous scum,
Made the running rivulet thick and dumb,
And at its outlet, flags huge as stakes
Dammed it up with roots knotted like water-
snakes.
And hour by hour, when the air was still,
The vapours arose which have strength to kill:
At morn they were seen, at noon they were felt,
At night they were darkness no star could melt.
And unctuous meteors from spray to spray
Crept and flitted in broad noonday
Unseen; every branch on which they alit
By a venomous blight was burn’d and bit.
The Sensitive Plant, like one forbid,
Wept, and the tears within each lid
Of its folded leaves, which together grew,
Were changed to a blight of frozen glue.
For the leaves soon fell, and the branches soon
By the heavy axe of the blast were hewn ;
The sap shrank to the root through every pore,
As blood to a heart that will beat no more.
For winter came : the wind was his whip :
One choppy finger was on his lip :
He had torn the cataracts from the hills,
And they clank'd at his girdle like manacles;
His breath was a chain which without a sound
The earth, and the air, and the water bound;
He came, fiercely driven in his chariot-throne
By the tenfold blasts of the arctic zone.
Then the weeds which were forms of living death
Fled from the frost to the earth beneath.
Their decay and sudden flight from frost
Was but like the vanishing of a ghost
And under the roots of the Sensitive Plant
The moles and the dormice died for want :
The birds dropp'd stiff from the frozen air,
And were caught in the branches naked and bare.
First there came down a thawing rain,
And its dull drops froze on the boughs again;
Then there steam'd up a freezing dew
Which to the drops of the thaw-rain grew ;
And a northern whirlwind, wandering about
Like a wolf that had smelt a dead child out,
Shook the boughs thus laden, and heavy and stiff,
And snapp'd them off with his rigid griff.
When winter had gone and spring came back,
The Sensitive Plant was a leafless wreck;

But the mandrakes, and toadstools, and docks, and darnels, Rose like the dead from their ruined charnels.

conclusion. Whether the Sensitive Plant, or that Which within its boughs like a spirit sat Ere its outward form had known decay, Now felt this change, I cannot say. Whether that lady's gentle mind, No longer with the form combined Which scattered love, as stars do light, Found sadness, where it left delight, I dare not guess; but in this life Of error, ignorance, and strife, Where nothing is, but all things seem, And we the shadows of the dream, It is a modest creed, and yet Pleasant, if one considers it, To own that death itself must be, Like all the rest, a mockery. That garden sweet, that lady fair, And all sweet shapes and odours there, In truth have never pass'd away: "Tis we, 'tis ours, are changed; not they. For love, and beauty, and delight, There is no death nor change: their might Exceeds our organs, which endure No light, being themselves obscure.

--

LOVE. Thou art the wine whose drunkenness is all We can desire, O Love' and happy souls, Ere from thy vine the leaves of autumn fall, Catch thee and feed from thine o'erflowing bowls, Thousands who thirst for thy ambrosial dew. Thou art the radiance which when ocean rolls Investeth it; and when the heavens are blue Thou fillest them: and when the earth is fair The shadows of thy moving wings imbue Its deserts, and its mountains; till they wear Beauty, like some bright robe. Thou ever soarest Among the towers of men; and as soft air In spring, which moves the unawakened forest, Clothing with leaves its branches bare and bleak, Thou floutest among men; and age implorest That which from thee they should implore:—the Alone kneel to thee, offering up the hearts [weak The strong have broken—yet where shall any seek A garment, whom thou clothest not

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There was a poet, whose untimely tomb
No human hands with pious reverence rear'd
But the charm'd eddies of autumnal winds
Built o'er his mouldering bones a pyramid
Of mouldering leaves in the waste wilderness;
A lovely youth, no mourning maiden deck'd
With weeping flowers, or white cypress wreath,
The lone couch of his everlasting sleep :—
Gentle and brave, and generous, no lorn bard
Breathed o'er his dark fate one melodious sigh:
He lived, he died, he sang, in solitude.
Strangers have wept to hear his passionate notes,
And virgins, as unknown he past, have pined
And wasted for fond love of his wild eyes.
The fire of those orbs has ceased to burn,
And silence, too enamour'd of that voice,
Locks its mute music in her rugged cell.
By solemn vision, and bright silver dream,
His infancy was nurtured. Every sight
And sound from the vast earth and ambient air
Sent to his heart its choicest impulses.
The fountains of divine philosophy
Fled not his thirsting lips, and all of great,
Or good, or lovely, which the sacred past
In truth, or fable consecrates, he felt
And knew. When early youth had past, he left
His cold fireside and alienated home
To seek strange truths in undiscover'd lands.
Many a wide waste and tangled wilderness
Has lured his fearful steps; and he has bought
With his sweet voice and eyes, from savage men,
His rest and food. Nature's most secret steps
He like a shadow has pursued, where'er
The red volcano over-canopies
Its fields of snow and pinnacles of ice
With burning smoke, or where bitumen lakes
On black bare pointed islets ever beat
With sluggish surge, or where the secret caves,
Rugged and dark, winding among the springs
Of fire and poison, inaccessible
To avarice or pride, their starry domes
Of diamond and of gold expand above
Numberless and immeasurable halls,

Frequent with crystal column, and clear shrines
Of pearl, and thrones radiant with chrysolite.
Nor had that scene of ampler majesty
Than gems or gold, the varying of heaven
And the green earth lost in his heart its claims
To love and wonder; he would linger long
In lonesome vales, making the wild his home,
Until the doves and squirrels would partake
From his innocuous hand his bloodless food,
Lured by the gentle meaning of his looks;
And the wild antelope, that starts whene'er
The dry leaf rustles in the brake, suspend
Her timid steps to gaze upon a form
More graceful than her own.
His wandering step,
Obedient to high thoughts, has visited
The awful ruins of the days of old :
Athens, and Tyre, and Balbec, and the waste
Where stood Jerusalem, the fallen towers
Qf Babylon, the eternal pyramids,

AMemphis and Thebes, and whatsoe'er of strange

Sculptured on alabaster obelisk,
Or jasper tomb, or mutilated sphynx,
Dark Ethiopia in her desert hills
Conceals. Among the ruined temples there,
Stupendous columns, and wild images
Of more than man, where marble demons watch
The Zodiac's brazen mystery, and dead men
Hang their mute thoughts on the mute walls around.
He linger'd, poring in memorials
Of the world's youth; through the long burning day
Gazed in those speechless shapes.nor, when the moon
Fill'd the mysterious halls with floating shades
Suspended he that task, but ever gazed
And gazed, till meaning on his vacant mind
Flash'd like strong inspiration, and he saw
The thrilling secrets of the birth of time.

–0– ALASTOR AND THE SWAN.

At length upon the lone Chorasmian shore He paused, a wide and melancholy waste Of putrid marshes. A strong impulse urged His steps to the sea-shore. A swan was there, Beside a sluggish stream among the reeds. It rose as he approach'd, and with strong wings Scaling the upward sky, bent its bright course High over the immeasurable main. His eyes pursued its flight.—“Thou hast a home, Beautiful bird' thou voyagest to thine home, Where thy sweet mate will twine her downy neck With thine, and welcome thy return with eyes Bright in the lustre of their own fond joy. And what am I that I should linger here, With voice far sweeter than thy dying notes, Spirit more vast than thine, frame more attuned To beauty, wasting these surpassing powers In the deaf air, to the blind earth, and heaven That echoes not my thoughts?” A gloomy smile Of desperate hope wrinkled his quivering lips. For sleep, he knew, kept most relentlessly Its precious charge, and silent death exposed, Faithless perhaps as sleep, a shadowy lure, With doubtful smilemocking its ownstrange charms.

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