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The Wanderer: A Vision: Canto IV

Still o'er my mind wild Fancy holds her sway,
Still on strange visionary land I stray.
Now scenes crowd thick! now indistinct appear!
Swift glide the months, and turn the varying year!

Near the Bull's horn light's rising monarch draws;
Now on its back the Pleiades he thaws
From vernal heat pale winter forc'd to fly,
Northward retires, yet turns a wat'ry eye:
Then with an aguish breath nips infant blooms,
Deprives unfolding spring of rich perfumes,
Shakes the slow-circling blood of human race,
And in sharp, livid looks contracts the face.
Now o'er Norwegian hills he strides away:
Such slipp'ry paths Ambition's steps betray.
Turning, with sighs, far spiral firs he sees,
Which bow obedient to the southern breeze.
Now from yon Zemblan rock his crest he shrouds,
Like Fame's, obscur'd amid the whitening clouds;
Thence his lost empire is with tears deplor'd:
Such tyrants shed o'er liberty restor'd.
Beneath his eye (that throws malignant light
Ten times the measur'd round of mortal sight)
A waste, pale-glimm'ring, like a moon, that wanes
A wild expanse of frozen sea contains.
It cracks! vast floating mountains beat the shore;
Far off he hears those icy ruins roar,
And from the hideous crash distracted flies,
Like one who feels his dying infant's cries.
Near, and more near the rushing torrents sound,
And one great rift runs thro' the vast profound,
Swift as a shooting meteor; groaning loud,
Like deep-roll'd thunder thro' a rending cloud.
The late-dark Pole now feels unsetting day;
In hurricanes of wrath he whirls his way;
O'er many a polar Alp to Frost he goes,
O'er crackling vales, embrown'd with melting snows;
Here bears stalk tenants of the barren space,
Few men! unsocial those!-a barb'rous race!
At length the cave appears! the race is run:
Now he recounts vast conquests lost, and won,
And taleful in th' embrace of Frost remains,
Barr'd from our climes, and bound in icy chains.

Meanwhile the sun his beams on Cancer throws,
Which now beneath his warmest influence glows.
From glowing Cancer fall'n, the King of day,
Red thro' the kindling Lion shoots his ray.

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