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CLVI.

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Thou movest, but increasing with the advance,
Like climbing some great Alp, which still doth rise,
Deceived by its gigantic elegance ;
Vastness which grows, but grows to harmonise
All musical in its immensities;
Rich marbles, richer painting—shrines where flame
The lamps of gold-and haughty dome which vies

In air with Earth's chief structures, though their frame
Sits on the firm-set ground, and this the clouds must

claim.

CLVII.

Thou seest not all ; but piecemeal thou must break,
To separate contemplation, the great whole ;
And as the ocean many bays will make
That ask the eye-so here condense thy soul
To more immediate objects, and control
Thy thoughts until thy mind hath got by heart
Its eloquent proportions, and unroll

In mighty graduations, part by part,
The glory which at once upon thee did not dart,

CLVIII.

Not by its fault—but thine : Our outward sense
Is but of gradual grasp—and as it is
That what we have of feeling most intense
Outstrips our faint expression; even so this
Outshining and o’erwhelming edifice
Fools our fond gaze, and greatest of the great
Defies at first our Nature's littleness,

Till, growing with its growth, we thus dilate
Our spirits to the size of that they contemplate.

CLIX.

Then pause, and be enlighten'd; there is more
In such a survey than the sating gaze
Of wonder pleased, or awe which would adore
The worship of the place, or the mere praise
Of art and its great masters, who could raise
What former time, nor skill, nor thought could plan ;
The fountain of sublimity displays

Its depth, and thence may draw the mind of man
Its golden sands, and learn what great conceptions can.

CLX.

Or, turning to the Vatican, go see
Laocoon's torture dignifying pain-
A father's love and mortal's agony
With an immortal's patience blending: Vain
The struggle; vain, against the coiling strain
And gripe, and deepening of the dragon's grasp,
The old man's clench; the long envenom'd chain

Rivets the living links,--the enormous asp
Enforces pang on pang, and stifles gasp on gasp.

CLXI.

Or view the Lord of the unerring bow,
The God of life, and poesy, and light-
The Sun in human limbs array'd, and brow
All radiant from his triumph in the fight;
The shaft hath just been shot—the arrow bright
With an immortal's vengeance; in his eye
And nostril beautiful disdain, and might

And majesty, flash their full lightnings by,
Developing in that one glance the Deity.

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CLXII.

But in his delicate form-a dream of Love,
Shaped by some solitary nymph, whose breast
Long’d for a deathless lover from above,
And madden'd in that vision-are exprést
All that ideal beauty ever bless'd
The mind with in its most unearthly mood,
When each conception was a heavenly guest-

A ray of immortality-and stood,
Starlike, around, until they gather'd to a god!

CLXIII.

And if it be Prometheus stole from Heaven
The fire which we endure, it was repaid
By him to whom the energy was given
Which this poetic marble hath array'd
With an eternal glory—which, if made
By human hands, is not of human thought;
And Time himself hath hallow'd it, nor laid

One ringlet in the dust-nor hath it caught
A tinge of years, but breathes the flame with which

'twas wrought.

CLXIV.

But where is he, the Pilgrim of my song,
The being who upheld it through the past ?
Methinks he cometh late and tarries long.
He is no more—these breathings are his last ;
His wanderings done, his visions ebbing fast,
And he himself as nothing :if he was
Aught but a phantasy, and could be class'd

With forms which live and suffer—let that passHis shadow fades away into Destruction's mass,

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