SO on his Nightmare through the evening fog
Flits the squab Fiend o'er fen, and lake, and bog;
Seeks some love-wildered maid with sleep oppressed,
Alights, and grinning sits upon her breast.
---Such as of late amid the murky sky
Was marked by Fuseli's poetic eye,
Whose daring tints, with Shakespeare's happiest grace,
Gave to the airy phantom form and place.---
Back o'er her pillow sinks her blushing head,
Her snow-white limbs hang helpless from the bed, 10
While with quick sighs, and suffocative breath,
Her interrupted heart-pulse swims in death.
---Then shrieks of captured towns, and widows' tears,
Pale lovers stretched upon their blood-stained biers,
The headlong precipice that thwarts her flight,
The trackless desert, the cold starless night,
And stern-eyed murderer with his knife behind,
In dread succession agonize her mind.
O'er her fair limbs convulsive tremors fleet,
Start in her hands, and struggle in her feet; 20
In vain to scream with quivering lips she tries,
And strains in palsied lids her tremulous eyes;
In vain she wills to run, fly, swim, walk, creep;
The will presides not in the bower of Sleep.
---On her fair bosom sits the Demon-Ape
Erect, and balances his bloated shape;
Rolls in their marble orbs his Gorgon-eyes,
And drinks with leathern ears her tender cries.
(ii) "Steam Power"
THE Giant-Power from earth's remotest caves
Lifts with strong arm her dark reluctant waves,
Each caverned rock and hidden den explores,
Drags her dark coals, and digs her shining ores.---
Next, in close cells of ribbèd oak confined,
Gale after gale, he crowds the struggling wind;
The imprisoned storms through brazen nostrils roar,
Fan the white flame, and fuse the sparkling ore.
Here high in air the rising stream he pours
To clay-built cisterns or to lead-lined towers; 10
Fresh through a thousand pipes the wave distils,
And thirsty cities drink the exuberant rills.---
There the vast millstone with inebriate whirl
On trembling floors his forceful fingers twirl,
Whose flinty teeth the golden harvests grind,
Feast without blood! and nourish human-kind.
Now his hard hands on Mona's rifted crest,
Bosomed in rock, her azure ores arrest;
With iron lips his rapid rollers seize
The lengthening bars, in thin expansion squeeze; 20
Descending screws with ponderous fly-wheels wound
The tawny plates, the new medallions round;
Hard dyes of steel the cupreous circles cramp,
And with quick fall his massy hammers stamp.
The Harp, the Lily and the Lion join,
And George and Britain guard the sterling coin.
Soon shall thy arm, unconquered Steam! afar
Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car;
Or on wide-waving wings expanded bear
The flying-chariot through the fields of air. 30
---Fair crews triumphant, leaning from above,
Shall wave their fluttering kerchiefs as they move;
Or warrior-bands alarm the gaping crowd,
And armies shrink beneath the shadowy cloud.