Well hast thou spoken, and yet not taught
A feeling strange or new;
Thou hast but roused a latent thought,
A cloud—closed beam of sunshine brought
To gleam in open view.
 
Deep down, concealed within my soul,
That light lies hid from men;
Yet glows unquenched—though shadows roll,
Its gentle ray cannot control—
About the sullen den.
 
Was I not vexed, in these gloomy ways
To walk alone so long?
Around me, wretches uttering praise,
Or howling o’er their hopeless days,
And each with Frenzy’s tongue;—
 
A brotherhood of misery,
Their smiles as sad as sighs;
Whose madness daily maddened me,
Distorting into agony
The bliss before my eyes!
 
So stood I, in Heaven’s glorious sun,
And in the glare of Hell;
My spirit drank a mingled tone,
Of seraph’s song, and demon’s moan;
What my soul bore, my soul alone
Within itself may tell!
 
Like a soft, air above a sea,
Tossed by the tempest’s stir;
A thaw—wind, melting quietly
The snow—drift on some wintry lea;
No: what sweet thing resembles thee,
My thoughtful Comforter?
 
And yet a little longer speak,
Calm this resentful mood;
And while the savage heart grows meek,
For other token do not seek,
But let the tear upon my cheek
Evince my gratitude!

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