Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds

Were fasten'd near a fountain; and a man 120

Clad in a flowing garb did watch the while,

While many of his tribe slumber'd around:

And they were canopied by the blue sky,

So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,

That God alone was to be seen in Heaven.


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

The Lady of his love was wed with One

Who did not love her better;—in her home,

A thousand leagues from his,—her native home,

She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy, 130

Daughters and sons of Beauty,—but behold!

Upon her face there was the tint of grief,

The settled shadow of an inward strife,

And an unquiet drooping of the eye

As if its lid were charged with unshed tears.

What could her grief be ?—she had all she loved,

And he who had so loved her, was not there

To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,

Or ill-repress'd affliction, her pure thoughts.
What could her grief be ?—she had loved him not,
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved, 141
Nor could he be a part of that which prey'd
Upon her mind—a spectre of the past.


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

The Wanderer was return'd.—I saw him stand

Before an Altar—with a gentle bride;

Her face was fair, but was not that which made

The Starlight of his Boyhood;—as he stood

Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came

The selfsame aspect, and the quivering shock 150

That in the antique Oratory shook

His bosom in its solitude ; and then—

As in that hour—a moment o'er his face

The tablet of unutterable thoughts

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

And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke

The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,

And all things reel'd around him; he could see

Not that which was, nor that which should have been—

But the old mansion, and the accustom'd hall, 160

And the remembered chambers, and the place,

The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,

All things pertaining to that place and hour,

And her who was his destiny, came back

And thrust themselves between him and the light:

What business had they there at such a time?


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

The lady of his love;—Oh! she was changed

As by the sickness of the soul; her mind

Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes 170

They had not their own lustre, but the look

Which is not of the earth; she was become

The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts

Were combinations of disjointed things;

And forms impalpable and unperceived

Of others' sight familiar were to her's.

And this the world calls phrenzy; but the wise

Have a far deeper madness, and the glance

Of melancholy is a fearful gift;

What is it but the telescope of truth? 180

Which strips the distance of its phantasies,
And brings life near in utter nakedness,
Making the cold reality too real!


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

The Wanderer was alone as heretofore,

The beings which surrounded him were gone,

Or were at war with him; he was a mark

For blight and desolation, compass'd round

With Hatred and Contention; Pain was mix'd

In all which was served up to him, until 15)0

Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,6

He fed on poisons, and they had no power,

But were a kind of nutriment; he lived

Through that which had been death to many men,

And made him friends of mountains: with the stars

And the quick Spirit of the Universe

He held his dialogues; and they did teach

To him the magic of their mysteries;

To him the book of Night was opened wide,

And voices from the deep abyss reveal'd 200

A marvel and a secret—Be it so.


My dream was past; it had no further change.

It was of a strange order, that the doom

Of these two creatures should be thus traced out

Almost like a reality—the one

To end in madness—both in misery.

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