They make us what we were not—what they will,
And shake us with the vision that's gone by,
The dread of vanish'd shadows—Are they so?
Is not the past all shadow? What are they?
Creations of the mind ?—The mind can make
Substance, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dreamt
Perchance in sleep—for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.


I saw two beings in the hues of youth

Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,

Green and of mild declivity, the last

As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such,

Save that there was no sea to lave its base,

But a most living landscape, and the wave

Of woods and cornfields, and the abodes of men

Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke

Arising from such rustic roofs;—the hill

Was crown'd with a peculiar diadem

Of trees, in circular array, so fix'd,

Not by the sport of nature, but of man:

These two, a maiden and a youth, were there

Gazing—the one on all that was beneath 40

Fair as herself—but the boy gazed on her;

And both were young, and one was beautiful:

And both were young—yet not alike in youth.

As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge

The maid was on the eve of womanhood;

The boy had fewer summers, but his heart

Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye

There was but one beloved face on earth,

And that was shining on him; he had looked

Upon it till it could not pass away; 50

He had no breath, no being, but in her's;

She was his voice; he did not speak to her,

But trembled on her words; she was his sight,

For his eye followed her's, and saw with her's,

Which coloured all his objects:—he had ceased

To live within himself; she was his life,

The ocean to the river of his thoughts,

Which terminated all: upon a tone,

A touch of tier's, his blood would ebb and flow,

And his cheek change tempestuously—his heart GO

Unknowing of its cause of agony.

But she in these fond feelings had no share:

Her sighs were not for him; to her he was

Even as a brother—but no more; 'twas much,

For brotherless she was, save in the name

Her infant friendship had bestowed on him;

Herself the solitary scion left

Of a time-honoured race.—It was a name

Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not—and why?

Time taught him a deep answer—when she loved 70

Another; even now she loved another,

And on the summit of that hill she stood

Looking afar if yet her lover's steed

Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew.


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
There was an ancient mansion, and before

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Its walls there was a steed caparisoned:

Within an antique Oratory stood

The Boy of whom I spake;—he was alone,

And pale, and pacing to and fro; anon 80

He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced

Words which I could not guess of; then he lean'd

His bow'd head on his hands, and shook as 'twere

With a convulsion—then arose again,

And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear

What he had written, but he shed no tears.

And he did calm himself, and fix his brow

Into a kind of quiet; as he paused,

The Lady of his love re-entered there,

She was serene and smiling then, and yet 90

She knew she was by him beloved,—she knew,

For quickly comes such knowledge, that his heart

Was darken'd with her shadow, and she saw

That he was wretched, but she saw not all.

He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp

He took her hand; a moment o'er his face

A tablet of unutterable thoughts

Was traced, and then it faded, as it came;

He dropped the hand he held, and with slow steps
Retired, but not as bidding her adieu, 100
for they did part with mutual smiles; he pass'd
From out the massy gate of that old Hall,
And mounting on his steed he went his way;
And ne'er repassed that hoary threshold more.


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.

The Boy was sprung to manhood: in the wilds

Of fiery climes he made himself a home,

And his Soul drank their sunbeams; he was girt

With strange and dusky aspects; he was not

Himself like what he had been; on the sea 110

And on the shore he was a wanderer;

There was a mass of many images

Crowded like waves upon me, but he was

A part of all; and in the last he lay

Reposing from the noon-tide sultriness,

Couched among fallen columns, in the shade

Of ruin'd walls that had survived the names

Of those who rear'd them; by his sleeping side

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