Dark, passionate, though beautiful, the eye
Was as the lightning of the stormy sky
Flashing through darkness; light and shadow blent
Workings of the mind's troubled element:
You did not mark the features, could not trace
What hue, what outline, was upon that face;
Even while present, indistinct it seem'd,
Like that of which we have but only dream'd.
You saw a hurried hand fling back the hair
Like tempest clouds roll'd back upon the air.
Still midnight was beneath, that haughty brow
Darken'd with thoughts to which it would not bow—
Midnight, albeit a starry one, the light
Meteor or planet still was that of night.
She had a dangerous gift, though genius be
All this earth boasts of immortality.
It is too heavenly to suit that earth,
The spirit perishes with its fatal birth;
This mingling fire and water, soul and clay,
The one must make the other one its prey.
Her heart sufficed not to itself, such mind
Will shrink such utter loneliness to find,
As it must in its range of burning thought,
Will sigh above the ruins it has wrought,
False fancies, prejudice, affections vain,
Until it seeks to wear again the chain
Itself has broken, so that it could be
Less desolate, although no longer free.
She loved! again her ardent soul was buoy'd
On Hope's bright wings, above life's dreary void
Again its fond illusions were received,
Centred in one the dearest yet believed;
It ended as illusions ever must,
The shining temple prostrate dust to dust.
Look on that brow, is it not stamp'd with pride?
How might it brook the grief it could not hide!
Look on that lip, it has a sad sweet smile,
How may it brook to feel alone the while!
Overhead was the storm, beneath the sea,
And Love and Genius found their destiny—
Despair and Death.