The heavenly bay, ringed round with cliffs and moors, Storm-stained ravines, and crags that lawns inlay, Soothes as with love the rocks whose guard secures The heavenly bay. O friend, shall time take ever this away, This blessing given of beauty that endures, This glory shown us, not to pass but stay? Though sight be changed for memory, love ensures What memory, changed by love to sight, would say - The word that seals for ever mine and yours The heavenly bay. II. My mother sea, my fostress, what new strand, What new delight of waters, may this be, The fairest found since time's first breezes fanned My mother sea? Once more I give me body and soul to thee, Who hast my soul for ever: cliff and sand Recede, and heart to heart once more are we. My heart springs first and plunges, ere my hand Strike out from shore: more close it brings to me, More near and dear than seems my fatherland, My mother sea. III. Across and along, as the bay's breadth opens, and o'er us Wild autumn exults in the wind, swift rapture and strong Impels us, and broader the wide waves brighten before us Across and along. The whole world's heart is uplifted, and knows not wrong; The whole world's life is a chant to the sea-tide's chorus; Are we not as waves of the water, as notes of the song? Like children unworn of the passions and toils that wore us, We breast for a season the breadth of the seas that throng, Rejoicing as they, to be borne as of old they bore us Across and along. IV. On Dante's track by some funereal spell Drawn down through desperate ways that lead not back We seem to move, bound forth past flood and fell On Dante's track. The grey path ends: the gaunt rocks gape: the black Deep hollow tortuous night, a soundless shell, Glares darkness: are the fires of old grown slack? Nay, then, what flames are these that leap and swell As 'twere to show, where earth's foundations crack, The secrets of the sepulchres of hell On Dante's track? V. By mere men's hands the flame was lit, we know, From heaps of dry waste whin and casual brands: Yet, knowing, we scarce believe it kindled so By mere men's hands. Above, around, high-vaulted hell expands, Steep, dense, a labyrinth walled and roofed with woe, Whose mysteries even itself not understands. The scorn in Farinata's eyes aglow Seems visible in this flame: there Geryon stands: No stage of earth's is here, set forth to show By mere men's hands. VI. Night, in utmost noon forlorn and strong, with heart athirst and fasting, Hungers here, barred up for ever, whence as one whom dreams affright Day recoils before the low-browed lintel threatening doom and casting Night. All the reefs and islands, all the lawns and highlands, clothed with light, Laugh for love's sake in their sleep outside: but here the night speaks, blasting Day with silent speech and scorn of all things known from depth to height. Lower than dive the thoughts of spirit-stricken fear in souls forecasting Hell, the deep void seems to yawn beyond fear's reach, and higher than sight Rise the walls and roofs that compass it about with everlasting Night. VII. The house accurst, with cursing sealed and signed, Heeds not what storms about it burn and burst: No fear more fearful than its own may find The house accurst. Barren as crime, anhungered and athirst, Blank miles of moor sweep inland, sere and blind, Where summer's best rebukes not winter's worst. The low bleak tower with nought save wastes behind Stares down the abyss whereon chance reared and nursed This type and likeness of the accurst man's mind, The house accurst. VIII. Beloved and blest, lit warm with love and fame, The house that had the light of the earth for guest Hears for his name's sake all men hail its name Beloved and blest. This eyrie was the homeless eagle's nest When storm laid waste his eyrie: hence he came Again, when storm smote sore his mother's breast. Bow down men bade us, or be clothed with blame And mocked for madness: worst, they sware, was best: But grief shone here, while joy was one with shame, Beloved and blest.