A poem by William Lisle Bowles

O sovereign Master! who with lonely state
Dost rule as in some isle's enchanted land,
On whom soft airs and shadowy spirits wait,
Whilst scenes of "faerie" bloom at thy command,
On thy wild shores forgetful could I lie,
And list, till earth dissolved to thy sweet minstrelsy!

Called by thy magic from the hoary deep,
AĆ«rial forms should in bright troops ascend,
And then a wondrous masque before me sweep;
Whilst sounds, that the earth owned not, seem to blend
Their stealing melodies, that when the strain
Ceased, I should weep, and would so dream again!

The song hath ceased. Ah! who, pale shade, art thou,
Sad raving to the rude tempestuous night!
Sure thou hast had much wrong, so stern thy brow,
So piteous thou dost tear thy tresses white;
So wildly thou dost cry, Blow, bitter wind!
Ye elements, I call not you unkind![1]

Beneath the shade of nodding branches gray,
'Mid rude romantic woods, and glens forlorn,
The merry hunters wear the hours away;
Rings the deep forest to the joyous horn!
Joyous to all, but him,[2] who with sad look
Hangs idly musing by the brawling brook.

But mark the merry elves of fairy land![3]
To the high moon's gleamy glance,
They with shadowy morrice dance;
Soft music dies along the desert sand;
Soon at peep of cold-eyed day,
Soon the numerous lights decay;
Merrily, now merrily,
After the dewy moon they fly.

The charm is wrought: I see an aged form,
In white robes, on the winding sea-shore stand;
O'er the careering surge he waves his wand:
Hark! on the bleak rock bursts the swelling storm:
Now from bright opening clouds I hear a lay,
Come to these yellow sands, fair stranger,[4] come away!

Saw ye pass by the weird sisters pale![5]
Marked ye the lowering castle on the heath!
Hark, hark, is the deed done--the deed of death!
The deed is done:--Hail, king of Scotland, hail!
I see no more;--to many a fearful sound
The bloody cauldron sinks, and all is dark around.

Pity! touch the trembling strings,
A maid, a beauteous maniac, wildly sings:
They laid him in the ground so cold,[6]
Upon his breast the earth is thrown;
High is heaped the grassy mould,
Oh! he is dead and gone.
The winds of the winter blow o'er his cold breast,
But pleasant shall be his rest.

O sovereign Master! at whose sole command
We start with terror, or with pity weep;
Oh! where is now thy all-creating wand;
Buried ten thousand thousand fathoms deep!
The staff is broke, the powerful spell is fled,
And never earthly guest shall in thy circle tread.

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