Asia: From Prometheus Unbound

My soul is an enchanted boat,

Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float

Upon the silver waves of thy sweet singing;

And thine doth like an angel sit

Beside a helm conducting it,

Whilst all the winds with melody are ringing.

It seems to float ever, for ever,

Upon that many-winding river,

Between mountains, woods, abysses,

A paradise of wildernesses!

Till, like one in slumber bound,

Borne to the ocean, I float down, around,

Into a sea profound, of ever-spreading sound:



Meanwhile thy spirit lifts its pinions

In music's most serene dominions;

Catching the winds that fan that happy heaven.

And we sail on, away, afar,

Without a course, without a star,

But, by the instinct of sweet music driven;

Till through Elysian garden islets

By thee, most beautiful of pilots,

Where never mortal pinnace glided,

The boat of my desire is guided:

Realms where the air we breathe is love,

Which in the winds and on the waves doth move,

Harmonizing this earth with what we feel above.



We have past Age's icy caves,

And Manhood's dark and tossing waves,

And Youth's smooth ocean, smiling to betray:

Beyond the glassy gulfs we flee

Of shadow-peopled Infancy,

Through Death and Birth, to a diviner day;

A paradise of vaulted bowers,

Lit by downward-gazing flowers,

And watery paths that wind between

Wildernesses calm and green,

Peopled by shapes too bright to see,

And rest, having beheld; somewhat like thee;

Which walk upon the sea, and chant melodiously!

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