“Each small gleam was a voice,
A lantern voice —
In little songs of carmine, violet, green, gold.
A chorus of colours came over the water;
The wondrous leaf-shadow no longer wavered,
No pines crooned on the hills,
The blue night was elsewhere a silence,
When the chorus of colours came over the water,
Little songs of carmine, violet, green, gold.”
This note was written upon gilt-edged paper
With a neat little crow-quill, slight and new:
Her small white hand could hardly reach the taper,
It trembled as magnetic needles do,
And yet she did not let one tear escape her;
The seal a sun-flower; ‘Elle vous suit partout,’
The motto cut upon a white cornelian;
The wax was superfine, its hue vermilion.
The airy child of vapour and the sun,
Brought forth in purple, cradled in vermilion,
Baptized in molten gold, and swathed in dun,
Glittering like crescents o’er a Turk’s pavilion,
And blending every colour into one,
Just like a black eye in a recent scuffle
(For sometimes we must box without the muffle).
Or like an opiate, which brings troubled rest,”
Or none; or like- like nothing that I know
Except itself;- such is the human breast;
A thing, of which similitudes can show
No real likeness,- like the old Tyrian vest
Dyed purple, none at present can tell how,
If from a shell-fish or from cochineal.
So perish every tyrant’s robe piece-meal!
“Just as its twofold nature gives rise to various effects in the upper region, so here it causes two varieties of bodies. We maintain that there are two exhalations, one vaporous the other smoky, and there correspond two kinds of bodies that originate in the earth, ‘fossiles’ and metals. The heat of the dry exhalation is the cause of all ‘fossiles’. Such are the kinds of stones that cannot be melted, and realgar, and ochre, and ruddle, and sulphur, and the other things of that kind, most ‘fossiles’ being either coloured lye or, like cinnabar, a stone compounded of it. The vaporous exhalation is the cause of all metals, those bodies which are either fusible or malleable such as iron, copper, gold. All these originate from the imprisonment of the vaporous exhalation in the earth, and especially in stones. Their dryness compresses it, and it congeals just as dew or hoar-frost does when it has been separated off, though in the present case the metals are generated before that segregation occurs.”