SCENE.—BEFORE THE CAVERN OF THE INDIAN ENCHANTRESS.
THE ENCHANTRESS COMES FORTH.
He came like a dream in the dawn of life,
He fled like a shadow before its noon;
He is gone, and my peace is turned to strife,
And I wander and wane like the weary moon.
O, sweet Echo, wake, 5
And for my sake
Make answer the while my heart shall break!
But my heart has a music which Echo’s lips,
Though tender and true, yet can answer not,
And the shadow that moves in the soul’s eclipse 10
Can return not the kiss by his now forgot;
Sweet lips! he who hath
On my desolate path
Cast the darkness of absence, worse than death!
8 my omitted 1824.
[THE ENCHANTRESS MAKES HER SPELL: SHE IS ANSWERED BY A SPIRIT.]
Within the silent centre of the earth 15
My mansion is; where I have lived insphered
From the beginning, and around my sleep
Have woven all the wondrous imagery
Of this dim spot, which mortals call the world;
Infinite depths of unknown elements 20
Massed into one impenetrable mask;
Sheets of immeasurable fire, and veins
Of gold and stone, and adamantine iron.
And as a veil in which I walk through Heaven
I have wrought mountains, seas, and waves, and clouds, 25
And lastly light, whose interfusion dawns
In the dark space of interstellar air.
15-27 Within...air. 1839; omitted 1824.
See these lines in “Posthumous Poems”, 1824, page 209: “Song of a Spirit”.
16 have 1839; omitted 1824, page 209.
25 seas, and waves 1824, page 209; seas, waves 1839.
[A good Spirit, who watches over the Pirate’s fate, leads, in a mysterious manner, the lady of his love to the Enchanted Isle. She is accompanied by a Youth, who loves the lady, but whose passion she returns only with a sisterly affection. The ensuing scene takes place between them on their arrival at the Isle. [MRS. SHELLEY’S NOTE, 1839.]]
INDIAN YOUTH AND LADY.
And, if my grief should still be dearer to me
Than all the pleasures in the world beside,
Why would you lighten it?—
29 pleasures]pleasure 1824.
I offer only 30
That which I seek, some human sympathy
In this mysterious island.
Oh! my friend,
My sister, my beloved!—What do I say?
My brain is dizzy, and I scarce know whether
I speak to thee or her.
Peace, perturbed heart! 35
I am to thee only as thou to mine,
The passing wind which heals the brow at noon,
And may strike cold into the breast at night,
Yet cannot linger where it soothes the most,
Or long soothe could it linger.