PROLOGUE. TO DAVID IN HEAVEN (pp. 1-14 in the 1863 edition).
The title is changed in the 1865 edition to ‘POET’S PROLOGUE. TO DAVID IN HEAVEN.’
v. 1, l. i: Lo! the slow moon foaming
v. 1, l. iii: Furrowing with pearly front the jewel-powder’d sky!
v. 1, l. ix: The foam-fringed moon above,—beneath, the river duskily flowing!
v. 2, l. iii: Float o’er us to the pine-wood dark from yonder blue corn-ridge;
v. 3, l. iv: Here of thee I ponder,
v. 3, l. vi: The pale streets seem to stir and breathe beneath the white moon’s rays.
v. 3, l. viii: By the dark hope bravéd,
v. 5, l. ix: Is your young soul enswathed, at last, in the singing robes you fought for?
v. 7, l. ii: Could your low voice reach me,
v. 9, l. vi: And lo, pale Fortune’s knife of gold swift-lifted up to slay!
v. 10, l. iii: The pallid moonlight trances me to utt’rance wild and weak;
v. 11, l. iii: With gentle hand I touch the leaves, but cannot find you there!
v. 12, l. iv: Pale promise, with sad sweetness
v. 12, l. viii: By the dark hope bravéd,
v. 13, l. vii: Ay, the pale moon beckons,
v. 17, l. ix: That such pure song as sweetens Death can sweeten the singer’s life too!
v. 18, l. vii: By the higher wisdom
Verses 19 to 22 omitted.
v. 19, l. i: But ah, that pale moon foaming
v. 19, l. iii: Furrowing with pearly front the jewel-powder’d sky,
Introductory verse (p.15):
l. i: O Fame, thou haunting upward-urging hope,
l. ii: That makest of the pale aspiring soul
l. vi: In the swift current of our human life,
l. viii: O Fame, teach thou this soul of mine to love
A shorter version of PROTEUS; OR, A PRELUDE, without the subtitle, appears as the final poem in the ‘Undertones’ sequence, before the Epilogue, in the 1863 edition.
ADES, KING OF HELL (pp.17-37).
The first and second verses are transposed.
v. 2, l. i: ORB’D in a rayless realm, alone,
v. 2, l. ii: Under the realm of sun and shower,
v. 3, l. vi: That made black thunder in the air:
v. 6, l. i: “Behold him—Dis!” the Father cried,
v. 6, l. ii: And the voice shook my throne forlorn:
v. 9, l. vii: Caught by the gnomes of earth and hurl’d down to my brazen seat.
v. 12, l. vii: Mirror’d beneath me wondrously, loom’d white and round and cold.
v. 13, l. vi: That faint sweet song of flowers and leaves,
v. 17, l. vii: And balmy breath that mildly blew her rose-leaf lips apart,—
v. 26, l. vii: What time cold ripples panted dark on queenly eyelids cold.
v. 32, l. vii: But when I touch’d her to the soul, she darkly rose her height.
v. 34, l. ii: Crouch’d groaning, but with glorious look
v. 34, l. iii: She strangely silenced him, and took
PAN (pp. 38-58).
Page 43, l. ii: Ay, hear me grumble—rouse, ye sleepers, rouse
Page 43, l. iii: Upon thick-carpeted Olympus’ top—
Page 43, line inserted after l. x:
Light dawn’d on chaos like the ghost of form,
Page 43, l. xi: When the Deep murmur’d, and Eternity
Page 44, line inserted after l. xv:
A muffled murmur as of numerous bees,
Page 44, l. xvi: A whisper such as low winds weave in June.
Page 44, line inserted after l. xviii:
Twinkling like dew-drops on a lion’s mane,
Page 44, l. xxi: Like a great butterfly above a snake,
Page 45, l. x: Brightening to the gurgling notes of birds;
Page 46, lines inserted after l. xi:
From the spilt chrism of the dawn I drank
Motion and thought and music unaware,
Page 46, l. xvii: Milky and fair-proportion’d, in a place
Page 47, l. xxi: That widen’d in the eyeball unto the light,
Page 48, l. v: By the grey comfort in the eyes of Zeus
Page 49, line inserted after l. vi:
New joy and stranger glory, day by day,
Page 49, l. xi: That rack me in the season of black winds—
Page 50, l. i: But earthquake-shaken hills, the courteous dales,
Page 50, l. ix: Blacken to coal or redden into sand,
Page 50, l. x: I, stirring in this specious dream of mine,
Page 50, l. xvii: In blue and oily lapse to the far sea.
Page 50, l. xxi: And, further, milky stalks of corn and flax,
Page 50, l. xxii: And, even further, on the smooth hill sides
Page 51, l. iii: A faint sweet picture of your bliss, O gods?—
Page 51, lines inserted after l. iii:
They thank’d me, those mild men, whose silken skins
Grew tough against the teeth of winds that crept
From dim frost-valleys far beyond the hills,
Keen winds that dying on my river’s marge,
Only lent coolness to the lily, and made
The apple in the mouth bite chill and sour—
Page 51, l. iv: They thank’d me, those meek shepherds, with the smoke
Page 51, l. ix: By some lorn stream my mournful ditties old,
Page 51, lines inserted after l. xvii:
Hideous to outward seeming, incomplete
As the vex’d earth who dips one balmy side
In sunshine, while the under side is dark
And ribb’d with ice unmelted,—quaintly shaped—
Page 51, lines inserted after l. xxi:
By Heré’s haughty jealous eyes, by him
Who glorified the lover in the god,
And came to Danäe’s bower in golden rain—
Page 52, l. v: A gleam of milky moonlight on her limbs;
Page 52, l. xiv: Startled with moonlight motion milky stalks
Page 52, line inserted after l. xix:
By Hermes’ pandar-wand, it was not well!—
Page 53, l. xxiii: Breathed fear like hoar-frost, echoing “Artemis”;
Page 56, l. iii: Wondrously woven about with mighty boughs—
Page 56, l. xvi: Drinking the pallid glamour of thy speed;
Page 56, l. xviii: Dwells a faint pallor enviably sweet,
Page 57, l. v: And you—you paused in tumult, cried aloud,
Page 57, l. xix: Trust me, I’d find for it a wit as keen
Page 58, l. i: A godlike sight conceived harmoniously,
Page 58, l. xix: That doze on high Olympus.
Page 58, l. xxii: Beauteous and mildly beauteous, ere my rain
Page 59, l. ix: Of some new wonder yet to come, I, Pan,
Page 59, l. xvi: Shall hurl ye from Olympus to the depths,
Page 59, line inserted after l. xx:
This hard integument of dark-brown skin,
Page 60, l. vii: To haunt the nervous regions of the air,
THE NAIAD (pp. 59-62).
v. 1, l. iv: That hive me in, the flowers
v. 2, l. ii: Creep thro’ green darkness in the eventide;
THE SATYR (pp. 63-83).
‘The Satyr’ was extensively revised for the second edition so the 1863 version is reprinted below:
THE trunk of this tree,
Is a pillow well suited
To a hybrid like me,
For the boughs of the glade
Meet above me, and throw
A cool pleasant shade
On the greenness below;
And yet, all the while,
Thro’ the boughs I can see
A star, with a smile,
Looking at me.
The frolic and fun
Of the day are done;
Not a sound
Breaks the wood’s repose,
Save the leaves that close,
Dusky and brown’d,
With a whisper around,
And hiving me neatly
In this calm place,
Where ’tis dark completely,
Leave one small space
Above—where the face
Of my star shines sweetly.
Full length I lie,
On this mossy tree-knot,
With face to the sky,
The vast blue I see not;
And I start in surprise
From my dim half-dream,
With the moist white gleam
Of the star in mine eyes:
So strange does it seem
That the star should beam
From her milky throne
On this forest nook
Of all others, and look
Upon me alone:
Ay, that yonder divine
On this one place;
And, when things so fair
Fill the earth and air,
Should choose to be,
Night after night,
The especial light
Of a monster like me!
Why, all day long,
I run about
Mid a madcap throng,
And laugh and shout;
I laugh and sing,
I tumble and roll,
Like a thing
Without a soul.—
My ears, and strides
On my shaggy hips,
And up and down
In an ivy crown
And when in a doze
His eyelids close,
Off he tumbles, and I
Can his wine-skin steal,
I drink—and feel
The grass roll—sea-high!
Then my courage swells
Into juicy fruit,
And with shouts and yells,
Down mossy dells,
Which reel underfoot,
I stagger after
The wood-nymphs fleet,
Who with mocking laughter
And smiles retreat
Upon glimmering feet;
And just as I clasp
A yielding waist,
With a cry embraced,
—Gush! it melts from my grasp
Into water cool,
I stumble and gasp
In some icy pool!
All suborn me,
Flout me, scorn me!
And cares are mine,
Romp and noise,
And the dregs of wine;
And whene’er in the night
Diana glides by
The spot where I lie,
With her maids green-dight,
I must turn my back
In a rude affright,
And blindly fly
From her shining track;
Or if only I hear
Her bright footstep draw near,
Fall with face to the grass,
Not breathing for fear
Till I feel her pass.
I know not what:
Neither what I am,
Nor what I am not—
I seem to have rollick’d,
In this wood for ay,
With a beast’s delight
Romping all day,
Dreaming all night!
Yet I seem
To remember awaking
Just here, and aching
With the last forsaking
Of a droll strange dream.—
When I lay at mine ease,
With a sense at my heart
Of being a part
Of the grass and trees
And the scented earth,
And of drinking the bright
With a leafy mirth:
Then behold, I could see
A wood-nymph peeping
Out of her tree,
And closer creeping,
Looking at me!
And still, so still,
I lay until
She trembled close to me,
Soft as a rose to me,
And I leapt with a thrill
And a shout, and threw
Arms around her, and press’d her,
Kiss’d her, caress’d her,—
Ere she scream’d, and flew.
Then I was ’ware
Of a power I had—
To drink the air,
Laugh and shout,
And be consciously glad—
So I follow’d the maiden
’Neath shady eaves,
Thro’ groves deep-laden
With fruit and leaves,
Till, drawing near
To a brooklet clear,
I shuddering fled
From the monstrous shape
Which seem’d to espy me,
And grin and gape,
And leap up high
In the air with a cry,
And fly me!
Whence I seem to have slowly
Grown conscious of being
A thing wild, unholy,
And foul to the seeing.—
But ere I knew aught
Of others like me,
I would lie, fancy-fraught,
In the greenness of thought,
Beneath a green tree;
And seem to be deep
In the scented earth-shade
’Neath the grass of the glade,
In a strange half-sleep:
When the wind seem’d to move me,
The cool rain to kiss,
The sunlight to love me,
The stars in their bliss
To tingle above me;
And I crept thro’ deep bowers
That were sparkling with showers
And sprouting for pleasure,
And I quicken’d the flowers
To a joy without measure—
Till my sense seem’d consuming
With warmth, and, upspringing,
I saw the flowers blooming,
And heard the birds singing!
Yet I seem,
In spite of the dream,
To have dwelt for ay
In a mad delight,
Romping all day,
Dozing all night—
My rude face roughen’d
By rain and breeze,
My dark skin toughen’d
Like the barks of trees,
My wild heart gushing
With dew-like fun,
My beast’s brain flushing
Like fruit in the sun!
Wherever I range,
Thro’ the greenery,
That vision strange,
Whatsoever it be,
Is a part of me
Which suffers not change.—
Of my blood and heart.—
The changes of earth,
Water, air, ever-stirring,
Disturb me, conferring
My sadness or mirth:
Wheresoever I run,
I drink strength from the sun;
The wind stirs my veins
With the leaves of the wood,
The dews and the rains
Mingle into my blood.
I stop short
In my sport,
Panting, and cower,
While the blue skies darken
With a sunny shower;
And I lie and hearken,
In a balmy pain
To the tinkling clatter,
Of the rain
On the leaves close to me,
And sweet thrills pass
Thro’ and thro’ me,
Till I tingle like grass.
When lightning with noise
Tears the wood’s green ceiling,
When the black sky’s voice
Is terribly pealing,
I hide me, hide me, hide me,
With wild averted face,
In some terror-stricken place,
While flowers and trees beside me,
And every streamlet near,
Darken whirl, and wonder,
Above, around, and under,
And murmur back the thunder
In a palpitating fear!
Ay; and when the earth turns
A soft bosom of balm
To the darkness that yearns
Above it, and grows
To dark, dewy, and calm
I, apart from rude riot,
Partake of the quiet
The night is bequeathing,
Lie, unseen and unheard,
In the greenness just stirr’d
By its own soft breathing—
And my heart then thrills
With a soft sensation
Like the purl of rills
Down moonlit hills
That loom afar,
With a sweet sensation
Like the palpitation
Of yonder star!
Ho, to climb
To that sublime
White light above me,
Who, of all the big sky
Chose that one place on high,
And seems to love me!
For all the night
My face I turn to her,
And softly yearn to her,
And meekly bright,
With faint flame stirring,
She thrills for delight
Of the bliss she’s conferring.
Thro’ yonder bough
Her white ray twinkles;
And on my brow
She silently sprinkles
A dewy rain,
That lulls my brain
To a dream of being
Under the ground,
Blind to seeing
Deaf to sound,
Drinking a dew
That drops from afar,
And feeling unto
The sweet pulse of a star,
Who is beckoning me
Though I cannot see!
And of suddenly blooming
Up into the air,
And, swooning, assuming
The shape I wear!
While all fair things
Fly night and day from me,
Wave bright wings,
And glimmer away from me!
If I must climb
To that light sublime,
And never reach her,—
But increase in self-fearing,
I beseech her
To resolve me anew
Into the dew
Of this wood-nest green—
Which (for aught I knew!)
I may have been—
Then, while I lie low,
Unconscious and dumb,
Exhale me slowly
To her bosom holy—
Whence (for aught I know!)
I may have come.
—She shines above me,
And heareth not,
Though she smiles on this spot
And seems to love me.
Here I lie aloof,
A monster, indeed,
From horns to hoof;
And the star burns clearly
With pearl-white gleam—
Have I merely
Dream’d a dream?
Am I nought,
In form or thought,
Save the monster I seem?
Have I dwelt for ever
In the wood with the rest,
A monster, at best?
’Tis a puzzle, to ponder
Soft light, changing not,
Will always be shining
Thro’ the intertwining
Boughs on this one spot?
The seasons change,
Leaves redden and fall—
Some influence strange
Is at work, over all:
Can a thing such as I
Remain while the fair
Shapes of earth, water, air,
Come and die?
And will the time come
When the star there will see
No fellow stretch’d dumb
On the trunk of this tree,
While his thoughts come and flee
And will she take flight,
When no more she can be
Of a monster like me?
—Did she hear me, I wonder?—
She trembles upon
Her throne—and is gone!
The boughs darken under,
Then thrill, and are stirr’d
By the notes of a bird.
The green grass brightens
With pearly dew,
And the whole wood whitens
As the dawn creeps thro’.—
Flung the echoes about
The boughs, like balls!
’Tis the noisy rout
Of my fellows upspringing
From sleep and dreaming,
To the birds’ shrill singing,
The day’s soft beaming:
While the whole wood moves
As the Sun-god dawns,
They are beating the lawns
With their noisy hooves;
And they madly go
To and fro,
Though o’ nights they are dumb.
I come! I come!
Hark!—to the cry
“Ha, there, ha!”
And startling afraid
At the cries,
In the depths of the glade
“Ho, there!”—“ho, there!”—
By the stream below there
The answer dies.
VENUS ON THE SUN-CAR (pp. 84-88)
Original title: VENUS CYTHEREA.
v. 1, l. xiv: Round the white silence of the world,
v. 2, l. iii: Like fairies darkly dozing—
v. 2, l. xii: Keen-pricking as we go by
v. 2, l. xiii: Sharp tiny rifts in ice and snow
v. 2, l. xiv: Where ice-drops roll and melting show
v. 2, l. xv: Shapes for flowers to grow by.
v. 2, l. xvii: Flutter above thee, hanging bright
v. 2, l. xx: Hideth in cloudy snows his fire,
v. 3, l. ii: Radiant-lock’d and glorious one,
v. 3, l. vii: Thou whose eternal brightness throws
v. 4, l. iii: Ice-sparkling pallid skies up,—
v. 4, l. xx: And, somewhat pale with your last kiss,
SELENE THE MOON (pp. 89-93).
v. 1, l. ix: As white as a star and as cold as a stone,
v. 2, l. xx: And the spell of a voice from Olympus shaken
v. 4, l. xiv: But Destiny sits on his cloud-shrouded throne,
IRIS THE RAINBOW (94-97).
v. 1, l. ii: Of Olympus I arise,
v. 1, l. xxii: A deep gleam of milky fire—
ORPHEUS THE MUSICIAN (pp. 98-102).
‘Orpheus The Musician’ was extensively revised for the second edition so the 1863 version is reprinted below:
ORPHEUS THE MUSICIAN.
I SAT of old beside a stream new-born
Out of the loamy loins of mountains cold,
And it was garrulous with dreams forlorn
And mystic legends old.
Wherefore the secrets of the peaks and caves
With the faint music in mine ears were blended;
And as the stream slid down to ocean-waves,
I heard and comprehended.
Into a moss-soft silence dim and deep
I sank with murmurous sighs and drowsy nods:
Then, opening eyes, like one who starts from sleep,
I sang the birth of gods.—
A gleaming shoulder cut the stream, and lo!
The Naiad rose to hear me melodise;
She, like a blue-vein’d lily white as snow,
Floated, with half-closed eyes.
And, ere my eyes were ’ware, the boughs around
Were populous with faces strange and glad,
That droopt pale under-lips and drank the sound,
And grew divinely sad.
Far down the glade where many shadows slept,
Stain’d purple with the swollen leaves of vine,
I saw Silenus:—liquid music crept
Into his blood, like wine:
Tiptoe, like one who fears to break a spell,
He crept to me, with eyeballs blank as glass—
Not drawing breath till, at my knees, he fell
Full length upon the grass:
Then, leaning his fork’d chin upon his hand,
He listen’d, dead to drunken joy and strife,
And lo! his face grew smooth and soft and bland
With some sublimer life.
Goat-footed fauns and satyrs one by one,
With limbs upon the sward at random thrown,
Gather’d, and darken’d round me in the sun
Like moveless shapes of stone:
And straight before me, o’er the green hillside,
Quaint shapes across the sunset linger’d bright,
Till the white eyes of heaven opening wide
Swam dewy, in delight.
The dusky twilight rustled o’er the place,
Full of sweet airs and odour and cool shade,
But music made a lamp of every face
In the swart forest-glade:
Then, in a pearly shower of cool moonbeams,
Upsprang Silené to her azure arc,
Scattering light and silence and sweet dreams
On weary eyelids dark:
The music sadden’d, the moist greenwood stirr’d
And sigh’d. the moonlight clothed us in its veil,
And stooping down the milky goddess heard
The music and grew pale:
For as they listen’d, satyrs, nymphs, and fauns
Grew credulous of their immortality—
Yea, the weird spirits of the woods and lawns,
Gross, weak, and vile to see—
Whence her pure light disturb’d them, and they strove
With wild scared looks to fright away the charm;
But the bright light grew brighter, from above
Shaken with pearly arm.
They could not fly, they could not move nor speak,
The music held them like a hand of strength—
They hid their faces, wild, abash’d, and weak,
And, list’ning, writhed full length.
The Naiad lifted up her dewy chin,
And heard, and knew, and saw the light with love,
Made peaceful by a purity akin
To that faint face above.
And countless beauteous spirits of the shade
Were conscious of themselves and felt no fear;
Far Echo, nestling in green silence, made
Answer that all could hear.
Till, when I ceased to sing, the satyrs rush’d
Back to their sports, to riot and carouse;
Self-fearful faces of the forest blush’d
And rustled into boughs;
Lastly, Silenus to his knees upcrept,
Rubb’d his blear’d eyelids puffy like the vine,
Stared blankly round him, vow’d that he had slept,
And bawl’d aloud for wine.
POLYPHEME’S PASSION (pp. 103-140)
Page 101, l. viii: With your beard of a goat and your eyes of a lamb?
[In the earlier version of the poem, ‘you’ and your’ etc. were mostly used throughout, instead of ‘thee’ and thine’. I have not bothered listing all such variations.]
Page 102, l. ix: Gushing like sunshine in your dry heart’s core,
Page 103, l. iv: Rounding its smooth mild waves into the creek,
Page 103, l. viii: My shoulder. Turn your face on mine, Silenus!
Page 109, lines inserted after l. xix:
Now, like a bright
Bird startling thro’
The rainy greenness of a shadowy glade,
And scattering the pearly drops of dew
With quick sharp fluttering light
That dying deepens the shade,
A fancy leaps up glad beyond control—
Then fades along their depths into the soul.
Page 110, lines inserted after l. ii:
As lightnings seem to wake the waves white-crested.
There’s nothing, nothing, nothing anywhere,
Humanely or divinely manifested,
That can with them compare;
And yet they seem to share
The glory of all things, palpably invested
With all the wonders of earth, ocean, air.
Page 110, l. xii: For she you worship is of that fair race
Page 111, l. iv: Cannot this eye peer to Olympus’ helm?
Page 112, l. i: On the broad wonder of my noble brow,
Page 114, line inserted after l. v:
Like a great cloud dark-sleeping in the sun,—
Page 116, l. ix: Cyclops! sweet Cyclops!—you appal me!
Page 119, l. xvi: Horrors thicken, demons swarm,
Page 119, l. xxi: Waves they hear not on the bier,
Page 126, lines inserted after l. ii:
Not beautiful, Silenus?
But I say
Most beautiful, and fearlessly I dare
Utter the truth. By him whose shoulders bear
The great round world, by Atlas’ self, I swear
Thou art most fair!
Page 127, l. xvii: Not to be lightly won or roughly gain’d.
Page 132, l. v: Clear is Galatea—dear is Galatea—
Page 132, l. ix: When the great sea wildly rise, there is terror in her eyes,
Page 132, l. xvi: Rare sits Galatea—fair sits Galatea—
Page 134, l. xiii: Fades Phœbus crimson-crested,
Page 136, l. vi: And—grasp the thing you pant for now in vain,
Page 136, l. vii: Ay, hold her fast, and if you choose intreat her—
Undertones - The 1863 Moxon Edition - continued