POEMS OF THE SECOND PERIOD
POEMS OF THE SECOND PERIOD
Hymn to Joy
The Invincible Armada
The Gods of Greece
The Celebrated Woman
Written in a Young Lady's Album
HYMN TO JOY.
Joy thou goddess fair immortal
Offspring of Elysium
Mad with rapture to the portal
Of thy holy fame we come!
Fashion's laws indeed may sever
But thy magic joins again;
All mankind are brethren ever
'Neath thy mild and gentle reign.
Welcome all ye myriad creatures!
Brethren take the kiss of love!
Yes the starry realms above
Hide a Father's smiling features!
He that noble prize possessing--
He that boasts a friend that's true
He whom woman's love is blessing
Let him join the chorus too!
Aye and he who but one spirit
On this earth can call his own!
He who no such bliss can merit
Let him mourn his fate alone!
All who Nature's tribes are swelling
Homage pay to sympathy;
For she guides us up on high
Where the unknown has his dwelling.
From the breasts of kindly Nature
All of joy imbibe the dew;
Good and bad alike each creature
Would her roseate path pursue.
'Tis through her the wine-cup maddens
Love and friends to man she gives!
Bliss the meanest reptile gladdens--
Near God's throne the cherub lives!
Bow before him all creation!
Mortals own the God of love!
Seek him high the stars above--
Yonder is his habitation!
Joy in Nature's wide dominion
Mightiest cause of all is found;
And 'tis joy that moves the pinion
When the wheel of time goes round;
From the bud she lures the flower--
Suns from out their orbs of light;
Distant spheres obey her power
Far beyond all mortal sight.
As through heaven's expanse so glorious
In their orbits suns roll on
Brethren thus your proud race run
Glad as warriors all-victorious!
Joy from truth's own glass of fire
Sweetly on the searcher smiles;
Lest on virtue's steeps he tire
Joy the tedious path beguiles.
High on faith's bright hill before us
See her banner proudly wave!
Joy too swells the angels' chorus--
Bursts the bondage of the grave!
Mortals meekly wait for heaven
Suffer on in patient love!
In the starry realms above
Bright rewards by God are given.
To the Gods we ne'er can render
Praise for every good they grant;
Let us with devotion tender
Minister to grief and want.
Quenched be hate and wrath forever
Pardoned be our mortal foe--
May our tears upbraid him never
No repentance bring him low!
Sense of wrongs forget to treasure--
Brethren live in perfect love!
In the starry realms above
God will mete as we may measure.
Joy within the goblet flushes
For the golden nectar wine
Every fierce emotion hushes--
Fills the breast with fire divine.
Brethren thus in rapture meeting
Send ye round the brimming cup--
Yonder kindly spirit greeting
While the foam to heaven mounts up!
He whom seraphs worship ever;
Whom the stars praise as they roll
Yes to him now drain the bowl
Mortal eye can see him never!
Courage ne'er by sorrow broken!
Aid where tears of virtue flow;
Faith to keep each promise spoken!
Truth alike to friend and foe!
'Neath kings' frowns a manly spirit!--
Brethren noble is the prize--
Honor due to every merit!
Death to all the brood of lies!
Draw the sacred circle closer!
By this bright wine plight your troth
To be faithful to your oath!
Swear it by the Star-Disposer!
Safety from the tyrant's power! 
Mercy e'en to traitors base!
Hope in death's last solemn hour!
Pardon when before His face!
Lo the dead shall rise to heaven!
Brethren hail the blest decree;
Every sin shall be forgiven
Hell forever cease to be!
When the golden bowl is broken
Gentle sleep within the tomb!
Brethren may a gracious doom
By the Judge of man be spoken!
THE INVINCIBLE ARMADA.
She comes she comes--the burden of the deeps!
Beneath her wails the universal sea!
With clanking chains and a new god she sweeps
And with a thousand thunders unto thee!
The ocean-castles and the floating hosts--
Ne'er on their like looked the wild water!--Well
May man the monster name "Invincible."
O'er shuddering waves she gathers to thy coasts!
The horror that she spreads can claim
Just title to her haughty name.
The trembling Neptune quails
Under the silent and majestic forms;
The doom of worlds in those dark sails;--
Near and more near they sweep! and slumber all the storms!
Before thee the array
Blest island empress of the sea!
The sea-born squadrons threaten thee
And thy great heart Britannia!
Woe to thy people of their freedom proud--
She rests a thunder heavy in its cloud!
Who to thy hand the orb and sceptre gave
That thou should'st be the sovereign of the nations?
To tyrant kings thou wert thyself the slave
Till freedom dug from law its deep foundations;
The mighty Chart the citizens made kings
And kings to citizens sublimely bowed!
And thou thyself upon thy realm of water
Hast thou not rendered millions up to slaughter
When thy ships brought upon their sailing wings
The sceptre--and the shroud?
What should'st thou thank?--Blush earth to hear and feel
What should'st thou thank?--Thy genius and thy steel!
Behold the hidden and the giant fires!
Behold thy glory trembling to its fall!
Thy coming doom the round earth shall appal
And all the hearts of freemen beat for thee
And all free souls their fate in thine foresee--
Theirs is thy glory's fall!
One look below the Almighty gave
Where streamed the lion-flags of thy proud foe;
And near and wider yawned the horrent grave.
"And who" saith He "shall lay mine England low--
The stem that blooms with hero-deeds--
The rock when man from wrong a refuge needs--
The stronghold where the tyrant comes in vain?
Who shall bid England vanish from the main?
Ne'er be this only Eden freedom knew
Man's stout defence from power to fate consigned."
God the Almighty blew
And the Armada went to every wind!
THE GODS OF GREECE.
Ye in the age gone by
Who ruled the world--a world how lovely then!--
And guided still the steps of happy men
In the light leading-strings of careless joy!
Ah flourished then your service of delight!
How different oh how different in the day
When thy sweet fanes with many a wreath were bright
O Venus Amathusia!
Then through a veil of dreams
Woven by song truth's youthful beauty glowed
And life's redundant and rejoicing streams
Gave to the soulless soul--where'r they flowed
Man gifted nature with divinity
To lift and link her to the breast of love;
All things betrayed to the initiate eye
The track of gods above!
Where lifeless--fixed afar
A flaming ball to our dull sense is given
Phoebus Apollo in his golden car
In silent glory swept the fields of heaven!
On yonder hill the Oread was adored
In yonder tree the Dryad held her home;
And from her urn the gentle Naiad poured
The wavelet's silver foam.
Yon bay chaste Daphne wreathed
Yon stone was mournful Niobe's mute cell
Low through yon sedges pastoral Syrinx breathed
And through those groves wailed the sweet Philomel
The tears of Ceres swelled in yonder rill--
Tears shed for Proserpine to Hades borne;
And for her lost Adonis yonder hill
Heard Cytherea mourn!--
Heaven's shapes were charmed unto
The mortal race of old Deucalion;
Pyrrha's fair daughter humanly to woo
Came down in shepherd-guise Latona's son
Between men heroes gods harmonious then
Love wove sweet links and sympathies divine;
Blest Amathusia heroes gods and men
Equals before thy shrine!
Not to that culture gay
Stern self-denial or sharp penance wan!
Well might each heart be happy in that day--
For gods the happy ones were kin to man!
The beautiful alone the holy there!
No pleasure shamed the gods of that young race;
So that the chaste Camoenae favoring were
And the subduing grace!
A palace every shrine;
Your sports heroic;--yours the crown
Of contests hallowed to a power divine
As rushed the chariots thundering to renown.
Fair round the altar where the incense breathed
Moved your melodious dance inspired; and fair
Above victorious brows the garland wreathed
Sweet leaves round odorous hair!
The lively Thyrsus-swinger
And the wild car the exulting panthers bore
Announced the presence of the rapture-bringer--
Bounded the Satyr and blithe Faun before;
And Maenads as the frenzy stung the soul
Hymned in their maddening dance the glorious wine--
As ever beckoned to the lusty bowl
The ruddy host divine!
Before the bed of death
No ghastly spectre stood--but from the porch
Of life the lip--one kiss inhaled the breath
And the mute graceful genius lowered a torch.
The judgment-balance of the realms below
A judge himself of mortal lineage held;
The very furies at the Thracian's woe
Were moved and music-spelled.
In the Elysian grove
The shades renewed the pleasures life held dear:
The faithful spouse rejoined remembered love
And rushed along the meads the charioteer;
There Linus poured the old accustomed strain;
Admetus there Alcestis still could greet; his
Friend there once more Orestes could regain
More glorious than the meeds
That in their strife with labor nerved the brave
To the great doer of renowned deeds
The Hebe and the heaven the Thunderer gave.
Before the rescued rescuer  of the dead
Bowed down the silent and immortal host;
And the twain stars  their guiding lustre shed
On the bark tempest-tossed!
Art thou fair world no more?
Return thou virgin-bloom on Nature's face;
Ah only on the minstrel's magic shore
Can we the footstep of sweet fable trace!
The meadows mourn for the old hallowing life;
Vainly we search the earth of gods bereft;
Where once the warm and living shapes were rife
Shadows alone are left!
Cold from the north has gone
Over the flowers the blast that killed their May;
And to enrich the worship of the one
A universe of gods must pass away!
Mourning I search on yonder starry steeps
But thee no more Selene there I see!
And through the woods I call and o'er the deeps
And--Echo answers me!
Deaf to the joys she gives--
Blind to the pomp of which she is possessed--
Unconscious of the spiritual power that lives
Around and rules her--by our bliss unblessed--
Dull to the art that colors or creates
Like the dead timepiece godless nature creeps
Her plodding round and by the leaden weights
The slavish motion keeps.
To-morrow to receive
New life she digs her proper grave to-day;
And icy moons with weary sameness weave
From their own light their fulness and decay.
Home to the poet's land the gods are flown
Light use in them that later world discerns
Which the diviner leading-strings outgrown
On its own axle turns.
Home! and with them are gone
The hues they gazed on and the tones they heard;
Life's beauty and life's melody:--alone
Broods o'er the desolate void the lifeless word;
Yet rescued from time's deluge still they throng
Unseen the Pindus they were wont to cherish:
All that which gains immortal life in song
To mortal life must perish!
Yes! even I was in Arcadia born
And in mine infant ears
A vow of rapture was by Nature sworn;--
Yes! even I was in Arcadia born
And yet my short spring gave me only--tears!
Once blooms and only once life's youthful May;
For me its bloom hath gone.
The silent God--O brethren weep to-day--
The silent God hath quenched my torch's ray
And the vain dream hath flown.
Upon thy darksome bridge Eternity
I stand e'en now dread thought!
Take then these joy-credentials back from me!
Unopened I return them now to thee
Of happiness alas know naught!
Before Thy throne my mournful cries I vent
Thou Judge concealed from view!
To yonder star a joyous saying went
With judgment's scales to rule us thou art sent
And call'st thyself Requiter too!
Here--say they--terrors on the bad alight
And joys to greet the virtuous spring.
The bosom's windings thou'lt expose to sight
Riddle of Providence wilt solve aright
And reckon with the suffering!
Here to the exile be a home outspread
Here end the meek man's thorny path of strife!
A godlike child whose name was Truth they said
Known but to few from whom the many fled
Restrained the ardent bridle of my life.
"It shall be thine another life to live--
Thy youth to me surrender!
To thee this surety only can I give"--
I took the surety in that life to live;
And gave to her each youthful joy so tender.
"Give me the woman precious to thy heart
Give up to me thy Laura!
Beyond the grave will usury pay the smart."--
I wept aloud and from my bleeding heart
With resignation tore her.
"The obligation's drawn upon the dead!"
Thus laughed the world in scorn;
"The lying one in league with despots dread
For truth a phantom palmed on thee instead
Thou'lt be no more when once this dream has gone!"
Shamelessly scoffed the mockers' serpent-band
"A dream that but prescription can admit
Dost dread? Where now thy God's protecting hand
(The sick world's Saviour with such cunning planned)
Borrowed by human need of human wit?"
"What future is't that graves to us reveal?
What the eternity of thy discourse?
Honored because dark veils its form conceal
The giant-shadows of the awe we feel
Viewed in the hollow mirror of remorse!"
"An image false of shapes of living mould
(Time's very mummy she!)
Whom only Hope's sweet balm hath power to hold
Within the chambers of the grave so cold--
Thy fever calls this immortality!"
"For empty hopes--corruption gives the lie--
Didst thou exchange what thou hadst surely done?
Six thousand years sped death in silence by--
His corpse from out the grave e'er mounted high
That mention made of the Requiting One?"