On fancy's wing, in slumber's regions borne,
My soul, enrapt, the other ocean cleft,
Roving at will. No clog its flight restrained,
Or its swift progress stayed. No earthly tie,
Or rough impediment, the grand ascent
Debarred, nor effort caused it pause.
Eager, and full of bliss my spirit sped
On--on through the clear empyrean waste,
With joy of liberty sublimely filled.
All sense of pain, and fear of death extinct!
Methought the feat was natural, not strange,
Familiar to its spiritual life;
Innate, as by some law original
Inspired; and so by calm assurance held,
It sailed the azure vault, gliding through
The clear and unalloyed immensity,
Not with intellectual pow'rs impaired,
But filled with keen perceptions all awake,
And peering out into the deep profound,
With curious longings for celestial things,
As if on voyage of discov'ry bound,
And eager set to sight some unknown land.
Soon new climes of pleasant temperature
I reached, genial with heav'nly balm;
Fair, golden vistas opened to my view,
And the sweet breath of fragrant air,
A soft inspiring effluence exhaled,
Filling my mortal nature with new sense,
And heav'nly aspirations, strongly blent.
Ere I could pause, or pondering, divine
Solution of such change, a wondrous isle,
Bright as that glorious and radiant scene,
Imagination paints as Fairyland,
Appeared in view, solid as adamant,
Yet in its hues and lustre not unlike
To gold enamelled, rich with sparkling gems.
This, as I approached, fair shape assumed,
Shining with dazzling splendour, all ignite,
It seemed, with flame and fiery glare;
Yet so subdued, that soft and tempered gleams
Shot from its mingled tints with charming glow,
Producing perfect harmony and grace,
Gorgeous in hues as the chameleon dyes
That paint the leaden vapours of the west,
When autumn's sun retires, and they assume
The orange and the crimson livery,
Of his celestial state; as royal guards
In massive suits of burnished mail arrayed,
Crowding the highways of his palace gates,
And far around their gleaming lances wave,
Ere he vacates his grand and kingly throne.
Surprise and admiration held me mute!
But suddenly the crystal rocks I touched,
Nor feared, nor difficulty met to land;
But in a moment reached the giant cliffs,
And gazed with rapture on the beauteous scene
That, with such bright refulgence met my sight.
Long vistas of supernal excellence,
As if artistically plann'd and shaped,
And coloured with the tint of rose subdued,
In rival beauty tempted my approach,
As though the avenues to fairy grots,
Or palaces of gods! The graceful trees
Bowed with delicious fruits, and lovingly,
Amid their clusters hung bright gleaming flow'rs,
As if in nuptial harmony and love.
Nor silent was the grove, for trilling songs
From hidden minstrels ravished all my sense,
Causing emotion of extreme delight,
And pleasing ecstasy, through all my frame!
The primal passion was now strong in me,
And I essayed to pluck, and eat, to taste
The sav'ry flavour, that, with such odour,
The passing gale so delicately fed,
And raised such eager longings in my soul.
But all in vain! my limbs refused to move,
My voice to shout! My powers of locomotion,
As by enchantment held, were fixed and bound,
In fetters strong as brass; and the fair flowers,
So late the objects of my wondering gaze,
No longer charming seemed; but, changed, and dull,
With drooping petals furled; their lovely heads,
In pallid masses hung dejectedly,
And sought no more their burdened props to climb.
Thick darkness, felt and seen, now gathered round,
Whose presence stifling seemed. Amidst its gloom
The lurid lightnings flashed and gleamed with ire,
While echoing thunder filled my heart with dread,
Shaking my feeble courage from its seat.
Above the din, loud shrieks and muffled groans,
In horrid chorus rose, and I could see,
With shapes but ill defined, pale faces fixed,
That grinn'd and mowed at me in fiendish glee,
Joying to witness my despair. Suddenly
(Oh! height of horror insupportable!)
One seized me by the hand, and forcibly
Dragg'd me to the brink of a huge pit
That yawn'd below our feet; a bottomless
Abyss it seemed, hideous, and loathsome.
Oh moment of intense despair and dread!
Oh terror, strange and indefinable!
With wild and frantic effort for release,
My soul now sought escape, and heaved, and writhed,
With the vain struggle for its liberty,
And break the spell that so benumbed its pow'rs,
And loose the voice in fatal silence bound.
My spirit now no farther could endure.
But sank, insensible, upon the ground;
When suddenly I woke, and, grateful, hailed
The bliss of life! Sweet reason filled its throne;
And tranquil thought, and gentle peace,
Resumed their sway, stilling the bounding heart.
The morning beams were shining on my face,
And all the city bells and Tower guns
Were loud in the proclaim of victory,
For England, now, another wreath had won,
And all her banners waved to glory's call.