THE TWO SPIRITS: AN ALLEGORY - William Shakespeare Poems


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O thou, who plum'd with strong desire
      Wouldst float above the earth, beware!
A Shadow tracks thy flight of fire--
           Night is coming!
Bright are the regions of the air,
      And among the winds and beams
It were delight to wander there--
           Night is coming!

The deathless stars are bright above;
      If I would cross the shade of night,
Within my heart is the lamp of love,
           And that is day!
And the moon will smile with gentle light
      On my golden plumes where'er they move;
The meteors will linger round my flight,
           And make night day.

But if the whirlwinds of darkness waken
      Hail, and lightning, and stormy rain;
See, the bounds of the air are shaken--
           Night is coming!
The red swift clouds of the hurricane
      Yon declining sun have overtaken,
The clash of the hail sweeps over the plain--
           Night is coming!

I see the light, and I hear the sound;
      I'll sail on the flood of the tempest dark,
With the calm within and the light around
           Which makes night day:
And thou, when the gloom is deep and stark,
      Look from thy dull earth, slumber-bound,
My moon-like flight thou then mayst mark
           On high, far away.


Some say there is a precipice
      Where one vast pine is frozen to ruin
O'er piles of snow and chasms of ice
           Mid Alpine mountains;
And that the languid storm pursuing
      That winged shape, for ever flies
Round those hoar branches, aye renewing
           Its aëry fountains.

Some say when nights are dry and dear,
      And the death-dews sleep on the morass,
Sweet whispers are heard by the traveller,
           Which make night day:
And a silver shape like his early love doth pass
      Upborne by her wild and glittering hair,
And when he awakes on the fragrant grass,
           He finds night day.