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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 5.djvu/652

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[CANTO II.
THE ISLAND.

Their clock the Sun, in his unbounded tower;
They reckoned not, whose day was but an hour;
The nightingale, their only vesper-bell,
Sung sweetly to the rose the day's farewell;[1]
The broad Sun set, but not with lingering sweep,360
As in the North he mellows o'er the deep;
But fiery, full, and fierce, as if he left
The World for ever, earth of light bereft,
Plunged with red forehead down along the wave,
As dives a hero headlong to his grave.
Then rose they, looking first along the skies,
And then for light into each other's eyes,
Wondering that Summer showed so brief a sun,
And asking if indeed the day were done.


XVI.

And let not this seem strange: the devotee370
Lives not in earth, but in his ecstasy;
Around him days and worlds are heedless driven,
His Soul is gone before his dust to Heaven.
Is Love less potent? No—his path is trod,
Alike uplifted gloriously to God;
Or linked to all we know of Heaven below,
The other better self, whose joy or woe
Is more than ours; the all-absorbing flame
Which, kindled by another, grows the same,[2]
Wrapt in one blaze; the pure, yet funeral pile,380
Where gentle hearts, like Bramins, sit and smile.
How often we forget all time, when lone,
Admiring Nature's universal throne,
Her woods—her wilds—her waters—the intense
Reply of hers to our intelligence!
Live not the Stars and Mountains? Are the Waves
Without a spirit? Are the dropping caves

Without a feeling in their silent tears?[3]
  1. The now well-known story of the loves of the nightingale and rose need not be more than alluded to, being sufficiently familiar to the Western as to the Eastern reader. [Compare Werner, act iv. sc. 1, lines 380-382; and The Giaour, lines 21, 33.]
  2. Which kindled by another's——.—[MS. D.]
  3. [Compare Childe Harold, Canto III. stanzas lxxii., lxxv. Once