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All with which Nature halloweth her daughters,
Tenderness, truth and purity and meekness, Piety, patience, faith and resignation, Love and devotement.
Ship of the Gods! how richly art thou laden! Proud of the charge, thou voyagest rejoicing.
Clouds float around to honour thee, and Evening
Lingers in heaven.
A Stream descends on Meru mountain; 37 None hath seen its secret fountain; It had its birth, so Sages say, Upon the memorable day When Parvatio presumed to lay, In wanton play, Her hands, too venturous Goddess, in her mirth, On Seeva's eyes, the light and life of Earth. Thereat the heart of the Universe stood still: 39 The Elements ceas'd their influences; the Hours Stopt on the Eternal round; Motion and Breath, Time, Change, and Life and Death, In sudden trance opprest, forgot their powers. A moment, and the dread eclipse was ended; But, at the thought of nature thus suspended, The sweat on Seeva's forehead stood, And Ganges thence upon the World descended, The Holy River, the Redeeming Flood.
None hath seen its secret fountain; But on the top of Meru mountain Which rises o'er the hills of earth, In light and clouds, it hath its mortal birth. Earth seems that pinnacle to rear Sublime above this worldly sphere, Its cradle, and its altar and its throne, And there the new-born River lies Outspread beneath its native skies, As if it there would love to dwell Alone and unapproachable. Soon flowing forward, and resign'd To the will of the Creating Mind, It springs at once, with sudden leap, Down from the immeasurable steep. From rock to rock, with shivering force rebounding, The mighty cataract rushes; Heaven around, Like thunder, with the incessant roar resounding, And Meru's summit shaking with the sound. Wide spreads the snowy foam, the sparkling spray Dances aloft; and ever there, at morning, The earliest sun-beams haste to wing their way, With rainbow-wreaths the holy flood adorning; And duly the adoring Moon at night Sheds her white glory there, And in the watery air Suspends her halo-crowns of silver light.
Towards this Lake, above the nether sphere, The living Bark, with angel eye, Directs its course along the obedient sky. Kehama hath not yet dominion here; And till the dreaded hour, When Indra by the Rajah shall be driven Dethron'd from Heaven, Here may Ladurlad rest beyond his power. The living Bark alights; the Glendoveer Then lays Ladurlad by the blessed Lake;— O happy Sire, and yet more happy Daughter! The etherial gales his agony aslake, His daughter's tears are on his cheek, His hand is in the water; The innocent man, the man opprest, Oh joy!—hath found a place of rest Beyond Kehama's sway, His curse extends not here; his pains have past away.
O happy Sire, and happy Daughter! Ye on the banks of that celestial water Your resting-place and sanctuary have found. What! hath not then their mortal taint defil'd The sacred solitary ground : Vain thought! the Holy Valley smild Receiving such a Sire and Child; Ganges, who seem'd asleep to lie, Beheld them with benignant eye, And rippled round melodiously, And roll d her little waves, to meet And welcome their beloved feet. The gales of Swerga thither fled, And heavenly odours there were shed About, below, and overhead; And Earth rejoicing in their tread, Hath built them up a blooming Bower, where every amaranthine flower Its deathless blossom interweaves With bright and undecaying leaves.
Three happy beings are there here, The Sire, the Maid, the Glendovecr; A fourth approaches, who is this That enters in the Bower of Iłliss? No form so fair might painter find Among the daughters of mankind; For death her beauties hath resin'd, And unto her a form hath given Fram'd of the elements of Heaven; Pure dwelling-place for perfect mind. She stood and gaz'd on Sire and Child; Her tongue not yet had power to speak, The tears were streaming down her cheek; And when those tears her sight beguil'd, And still her faultering accents fail'd, The Spirit, mute and motionless, Spread out her arms for the caress, Made still and silent with excess Of love and painful happiness. The Maid that lovely form survey'd ; Wistful she gaz'd; and knew her not; But Nature to her heart convey'd A sudden thrill, a startling thought, A feeling many a year forgot, Now like a dream anew recurring, As if again in every vein
322 SOUTHEY'S POETICAL WORKS.
Her mother's milk was stirring. With straining neck and earnest eye She stretch'd her hands imploringly, - As if she fain would have her migh, Yet fear'd to meet the wish'd embrace, At once with love and awe opprest. Not so Ladurlad; he could trace, Though brighten’d with angelic grace, His own Yedillian's earthly face; He ran and held her to his breast! Oh joy above all joys of Heaven, By Death alone to others given, This moment hath to him restor'd The early-lost, the long-deplord.
They sin who tell us Love can die. With life all other passions fly, All others are but vanity; In Heaven Ambition cannot dwell, Nor Avarice in the vaults of Hell: Earthly these passions of the Earth, They perish where they have their birth; But Love is indestructible: Its holy flame for ever burneth, From Heaven it came, to Heaven returneth. Too oft on Earth a troubled guest, At times deceiv'd, at times opprest, It here is tried and purified, Then hath in Heaven its perfect rest: It soweth here with toil and care, But the harvest-time of love is there. Oh' when a Mother meets on high The Babe she lost in infancy, Hath she not then, for pains and fears, The day of woe, the watchful night, For all her sorrow, all her tears, An over-payment of delight? A blessed family is this Assembled in the Bower of Bliss' Strange woe, Ladurlad, hath been thine, And pangs beyond all human measure, And thy reward is now divine, A foretaste of eternal pleasure. He knew indeed there was a day When all these joys would pass away, And he must quit this blest abode; And, taking up again the spell, Groan underueath the baleful load, And wander o'er the world again, Most wretched of the sons of men: Yet was this brief repose, as when A traveller in the Arabian sands, Half-fainting on his sultry road, Hath reach'd the water-place at last; And resting there beside the Well, Thinks of the perils he has past, And gazes o'er the unbounded plain, The plain which must be travers'd still, And drinks,—yet cannot drink his fill; Then girds his patient loins again. So to Ladurlad now was given New strength, and confidence in Heaven, And hope, and faith invincible. For often would Ercenia tell of what in elder days befell, When other Tyrants, in their might,
Usurp'd dominion o'er the earth; And Veeshmoo took a human birth, Deliverer of the Sons of men; And slew the huge Ermaceasen, And piece-meal rent, with lion force, Erremen's accursed corse, And humbled Baly in his pride; And when the Giant Ravanen Had borne triumphant, from his side, Sita, the earth-born God's beloved bride, Then, from his island-kingdom, laugh'd to scorn The insulted husband, and his power defied; How to revenge the wrong in wrath he hied, Bridging the sea before his dreadful way, And met the hundred-headed foe, And dealt him the unerring blow: By Brama's hand the righteous lance was given, And by that arm immortal driven, It laid the mighty Tyrant low; And Earth and Ocean, and high Heaven, Rejoiced to see his overthrow. Oh! doubt not thou, Yedillian cried, Such fate Kehama will betide; For there are Gods who look below, Seeva, the Avenger, is not blind, Nor Veeshnoo careless for mankind.
Thus was Ladurlad's soul imbued With hope and holy fortitude; And Child and Sire, with pious mind Alike resolv'd, alike resign'd, Look'd onward to the evil day : Faith was their comfort, Faith their stay : They trusted woe would pass away, And Tyranny would sink subdued, And Evil yield to Good. Lovely wert thou, O Flower of Earth! Above all flowers of mortal birth ; But foster'd in this blissful bower, From day to day, and hour to hour, Lovelier grew the lovely flower. O blessed, blessed company When men and heavenly spirits greet, And they whom Death had severed meet, And hold again communion sweet;0 blessed, blessed company' The Sun, careering round the sky, Beheld them with rejoicing eye, And bade his willing Charioteer Relax his speed as they drew near; Auroumin check'd the rainbow reins, The seven green coursers shook their manes, And brighter rays around them threw; The Car of Glory in their view More radiant, more resplendent grew ; And Surya, 4° through his veil of light, Beheld the Bower, and blest the sight. The Lord of Night, as he sail'd by, Stay'd his pearly boat on high; And, while around the blissful Bower, He bade the softest moonlight flow, Linger'd to see that earthly slower, Forgetful of his Dragon foe, 4' Who, mindful of their ancient feud, With open jaws of rage pursued.
There all good Spirits of the air, Surasia and Devetas repair, Aloft they love to hover there, And view the flower of mortal birth *Here, for her innocence and worth, Transplanted from the fields of earth;And him, who on the dreadful day When Heaven was fill'd with consternation, And Indra trembled with dismay, And, for the sounds of joy and mirth, Woe was heard and lamentation, Defied the Rajah in his pride, Though all in Heaven and Earth beside Stood mute in dolorous expectation; And, rushing forward in that hour, Saved the Swerga from his power. Grateful for this they hover nigh, And bless the blessed Company.
One God alone, with wanton eye, Beheld them in their Bower; O ye, he cried, who have defied The Rajah, will ye mock my power? T was Camdeo to riding on his lory, T was the immortal Youth of Love; If man below and Gods above, Subject alike, quoth he, have felt these darts, Shall ye alone, of all in story, Boast impenetrable hearts Hover here, my gentle lory, Gently hover, while I see To whom hath Fate decreed the glory, To the Glendoveer or me.
Then, in the dewy evening sky, The bird of gorgeous plumery Pois'd his wings and hover'd nigh. It chanced at that delightful hour Kailyal sate before the Bower, On the green bank with amaranth sweet, where Ganges warbled at her feet. Ereenia there, before the Maid, His sails of ocean blue displayed; And sportive in her sight, Mov'd slowly oer the lake with gliding flight; Anon, with sudden stroke and strong, In rapid course careering, swept along; Now shooting downward from his heavenly height, Plunged in the deep below, Then rising, soard again, And shook the sparkling waters off like rain, And hovering o'er the silver surface hung. At him young Camdeo bent the bow; with living bees the bow was strung, The fatal bow of sugar-cane, And flowers which would inflame the heart With their petals barb'd the dart.
The shaft, unerringly addrest, Unerring flew, and smote Ereenia's breast, Ah, Wanton cried the Glendoveer, Go aim at idler hearts, Thy skill is baffled here ! A deeper love I bear that Maid divine, Sprung from a higher will, A holier power than thiue !
A second shaft, while thus Ereenia cried, Had Camdeo aim'd at Kailyal's side, But, lo! the Bees which strung his bow Broke off, and took their flight. To that sweet Flower of earth they wing their way, Around her raven tresses play, And buzz about her with delight, As if with that melodious sound, They strove to pay their willing duty To mortal purity and beauty. Ah! Wanton cried the Glendoveer, No power hast thou for mischief here! Chuse thou some idler breast, For these are proof, by nobler thoughts possest. Go, to thy plains of Matra go, And string again thy broken bow ! Rightly Ereenia spake, and ill had thoughts Of earthly love beseem'd the sanctuary Where Kailyal had been wafted, that the Soul Of her dead Mother there might strengthen her, Feeding her with the milk of heavenly lore, And influxes of Heaven imbue her heart With hope and faith, and holy fortitude, Against the evil day. Here rest a while In peace, O Father! mark d for misery Above all sons of men; O daughter! doom'd For sufferings and for trials above all Of women;–yet both favourd, both beloved By all good Powers, here rest a while in peace.
when from the sword, by arm angelic driven, Foul Arvalan fled howling, wild in pain, His thin essential spirit, rent and riven With wounds, united soon and heal’d again; Backward the accursed turn'd his eye in flight, Remindful of revengeful thoughts even then, And saw where, gliding through the evening light, The Ship of Heaven sail'd upward through the sky, Then, like a meteor, vanish'd from his sight. where should he follow 1 vainly might he try To trace through trackless air its rapid course, Nor dar'd he that angelic arm defy, Still sore and writhing from its dreaded force.
Should he the lust of vengeance lay aside? Too long had Arvalan in ill been train'd; Nurst up in power and tyranny and pride, His soul the ignominious thought disdain'd. Or to his mighty Father should he go, Complaining of defeature twice sustain'd, And ask new powers to meet the immortal foe — Repulse he fear'd not, but he fear'd rebuke, And sham d to tell him of his overthrow. There dwelt a dread Enchantress in a nook Obscure; old help-mate she to him had been, Lending her aid in many a secret sin; And there, for counsel, now his way he took.
She was a woman whose unlovely youth, Even like a canker'd rose, which none will cull, 11ad wither'd on the stalk; her heart was full
Of passions which had found no natural scope, Feelings which there had grown but ripen'd not; Desires unsatisfied, abortive hope, Repinings which provoked vindictive thought, These restless elements for ever wrought, Fermenting in her with perpetual stir, And thus her spirit to all evil mov’d; She hated men because they lov’d not her, And hated women because they were lov’d. And thus, in wrath and hatred and despair, She tempted Hell to tempt her; and resign'd Her body to the Demons of the Air, Wicked and wanton fiends, who, where they will, Wander abroad, still seeking to do ill, And take whatever vacant form they find, Carcase of man or beast, that life hath left; Foul instrument for them of fouler mind. To these the Witch her wretched body gave, So they would wreak her vengeance on mankind, She thus at once their mistress and their slave; And they to do such service nothing loth, Obey'd her bidding, slaves and masters both.
So from this cursed intercourse she caught Contagious power of mischief, and was taught Such secrets as are damnable to guess. Is there a child whose little lovely ways Might win all hearts, on whom his parents gaze Till they shed tears of joy and tenderness? Oh! hide him from that Witch's withering sight! Oh! hide him from the eye of Lorrinite! Her look hath crippling in it, and her curse All plagues which on mortality can light; Death is his doom if she behold,—or worse, Diseases loathsome and incurable, And inward sufferings that no tongue can tell. Woe was to him, on whom that eye of hate Was bent; for, certain as the stroke of Fate, It did its mortal work; nor human arts Could save the unhappy wretch, her chosen prey For gazing, she consum'd his vital parts, Eating his very core of life away.ii The wine which from yon wounded palm on high Fills yonder gourd, as slowly it distills, Grows sour at once if Lorrinite pass by. The deadliest worm, from which all creatures fly, Fled from the deadlier venom of her eye; The babe unborn, within its mother's womb, Started and trembled when the Witch came nigh; And in the silent chambers of the tomb, Death shudder'd her unholy tread to hear, And from the dry and mouldering bones did fear
Force a cold sweat, when Lorrinite was near.
Power made her haughty: by ambition fired, Ere long to mightier mischiefs she aspired. The Calis,** who o'er Cities rule unseen, Each in her own domain a Demon Queen, And there ador'd with blood and human life, They knew her, and in their accurst employ She stirr'd up neighbouring states to mortal strife. Sami, the dreadful God, who rides abroad Upon the King of the Ravens,” to destroy The offending sons of men, when his four hands Were weary with their toil, would let her do His work of vengeance upon guilty lands;
And Lorrinite, at his commandment, knew
When the ripe earthquake should be loos'd, and where
To point its course. And in the baneful air The pregnant seeds of death he bade her strew, All deadly plagues and pestilence to brew. The Locusts were her army, and their bands, Where'er she turn'd her skinny finger, tiew; The floods in ruin roll'd at her commands; And when, in time of drought, the husbandman Beheld the gather'd rain about to fall, Her breath would drive it to the desert sands. While in the marshes parch'd and gaping soil, The rice-roots by the searching Sun were dried; And in lean groupes, assembled at the side Of the empty tauk, the cattle dropt and died, And Famine, at her bidding, wasted wide The wretched land, till, in the public way, Promiscuous where the dead and dying lay, Dogs fed on human boues in the open light of day.
Thence a cataract rushes down, Hung with many a rainbow crown; Light and clouds conceal its head, Below, a silver Lake is spread; Upon its shores a Bower I see, Fit home for blessed company, See they come forward, one, two, three,_ The last a Maiden, -it is she' The foremost shakes his wings of blue, 'T is he whose sword even yet I rue; And in that other one I know The visage of my deadliest foe. Mother, let thy magic might Arm me for the mortal fight; Helm and shield, and mail afford Proof against his dreaded sword. Then will I invade their seat, • Then shall vengeance be compliee.
loft it in ite. Spirits, who obey my will, Hear him, and his wish fulfill.
So spake the mighty one, nor farther spell Needed; anon a sound, like smother'd thunder, Was heard, slow rolling under; The solid pavement of the cell Quak'd, heav'd, and cleft asunder, And at the feet of Arvalan display'd, Helmet and mail, and shield and scymitar, were laid.
The Asuras, often put to flight, And scatter d in the fields of light, By their foes celestial might, Forged this enchanted armour for the fight. "Mid fires intense did they anneal, In mountain furnaces, the quivering steel, Till, trembling through each deepening hue, It settled in a midnight blue; Last they cast it, to aslake, In the penal icy lake. Then, they consign'd it to the Giant brood; And, while they forged the impenetrable arms, The Evil Powers, to oversee them, stood, And there imbued The work of Giant strength with magic charms. Foul Arvalan, with joy, survey'd The crescent sabre's cloudy blade, With deeper joy the impervious mail, The shield and helmet of avail. Soon did he himself array, And bade her speed him on his way.
Then she led him to the den, were her chariot, night and day, stood harness'd, ready for the way. Two Dragons, yok'd in adamant, convey The magic car; from either collar sprung An adamantine rib, which met in air, Oerarch'd, and crost and bent diverging there, And firmly in its are upbore, Upon their brazen necks, the seat of power. Arvalau mounts the car, and in his hand Receives the magic reins from Lorrinite; The dragons, long obedient to command, Their ample sails expand;
Like steeds well-broken to fair lady's hand,
Son of the Wicked, doth thy soul delight To think its hour of vengeance now is night Lo! where the far-off light Of Indra's palace flashes on his sight, And Meru's heavenly summit shines on high, With clouds of glory bright, Amid the dark-blue sky. Already, in his hope, doth he espy, Himself secure in mail of tenfold charms, Ereenia writhing from the magic blade, The Father sent to bear his Curse, the Maid Resisting vainly in his impious arms.
Ah, Sinner! whose anticipating soul Incurs the guilt even when the crime is spard! Joyous toward Meru's summit on he fard, While the twin Dragons, rising as he guides, With steady flight, steer northward for the pole. Amon, with irresistible controul, Force mightier far than his arrests their course; It wrought as though a Power unseen had caught Their adamantine yokes to drag them on. Straight on they bend their way, and now, in vain, Upward doth Arvalan direct the rein; The rein of magic might avails no more, Bootless its strength against that unscen Power That, in their mid career, Hath seiz'd the Chariot aud the Charioteer. With hands resisting, and down-pressing feet Upon their hold insisting, He struggles to maintain his difficult seat. Seeking in vain with that strange Power to vie, Their doubled speed the affrighted Dragons try. Forced in a stream from whence was no retreat, Strong as they are, behold them whirled along, Headlong, with useless pennons, through the sky.
What Power was that, which, with resistless might,