Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse
  PREVIOUSNEXT  

CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · QUICK INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHIES
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · PORTRAITS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Ariel in the Cloven Pine
By Bayard Taylor (1825–1878)
 
NOW the frosty stars are gone:
I have watched them one by one,
Fading on the shores of Dawn.
Round and full the glorious sun
Walks with level step the spray,        5
Through his vestibule of Day,
While the wolves that late did howl
Slink to dens and coverts foul,
Guarded by the demon owl,
Who, last night, with mocking croon,        10
Wheeled athwart the chilly moon,
And with eyes that blankly glared
On my direful torment stared.
 
The lark is flickering in the light;
  Still the nightingale doth sing;—        15
  All the isle, alive with spring,
Lies, a jewel of delight,
On the blue sea’s heaving breast:
Not a breath from out the west,
  But some balmy smell doth bring        20
From the sprouting myrtle buds,
Or from meadowy vales that lie
Like a green inverted sky,
  Which the yellow cowslip stars,
And the bloomy almond woods,        25
  Cloud-like, cross with roseate bars.
All is life that I can spy,
To the farthest sea and sky,
And my own the only pain
Within this ring of Tyrrhene main.        30
 
In the gnarled and cloven pine
  Where that hell-born hag did chain me,
All this orb of cloudless shine,
    All this youth in Nature’s veins
Tingling with the season’s wine,        35
    With a sharper torment pain me.
    Pansies in soft April rains
Fill their stalks with honeyed sap
Drawn from Earth’s prolific lap;
But the sluggish blood she brings        40
To the tough pine’s hundred rings,
Closer locks their cruel hold,
  Closer draws the scaly bark
Round the crevice, damp and cold,
Where my useless wings I fold,—        45
  Sealing me in iron dark.
By this coarse and alien state
  Is my dainty essence wronged;
  Finer senses that belonged
To my freedom, chafe at Fate,        50
Till the happier elves I hate,
Who in moonlight dances turn
Underneath the palmy fern,
Or in light and twinkling bands
Follow on with linkèd hands        55
To the ocean’s yellow sands.
 
Primrose-eyes each morning ope
  In their cool deep beds of grass;
  Violets make the airs that pass
Telltales of their fragrant slope.        60
I can see them where they spring,
Never brushed by fairy wing.
All those corners I can spy
  In the island’s solitude,
Where the dew is never dry,        65
  Nor the miser bees intrude.
Cups of rarest hue are there,
  Full of perfumed wine undrained,—
  Mushroom banquets, ne’er profaned,
Canopied by maiden-hair.        70
 
Pearls I see upon the sands,
Never touched by other hands;
And the rainbow bubbles shine
On the ridged and frothy brine,
Tenantless of voyager        75
Till they burst in vacant air.
Oh, the songs that sung might be,
  And the mazy dances woven,
Had that witch ne’er crossed the sea
  And the pine been never cloven!        80
 
Many years my direst pain
Has made the wave-rocked isle complain.
Winds that from the Cyclades
  Came to blow in wanton riot
  Round its shore’s enchanted quiet,        85
Bore my wailings on the seas;
Sorrowing birds in Autumn went
Through the world with my lament.
Still the bitter fate is mine,
  All delight unshared to see,        90
Smarting in the cloven pine,
While I wait the tardy axe
  Which perchance shall set me free
From the damned witch Sycorax.
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.