. And sleepless on my couch of woe,
. I sip this beverage, which I owe
To Geyser’s depths and Hecla’s hill,
. And lava hardens o’er the whole—
. And the Circle of the Arctic Pole
Looks forth on snow-crags ever bare—
. Through many a meteor-lighted night,
. ‘Mid springs that foam in boiling might,
These blandly-bitter lichens grew.
. From thousand smoke-enveloped cones,
. Colossal blocks of red-hot stones
Are night by night uphurled in air—
. While o’er the immeasurable snows
. A sea of burning resin flows
Bubbling like molten metal ore—
. The dimmed eye turns from smoke to steam
. Only to track some sulphur-stream
That seethes along the blasted land—
. And all night long the lone Seal moans
. As, one by one, the mighty stones
Fall echoing down on far-off isles—
. And storms for ever lash the sea,
. There sprang this bitter moss for me,
Thence this astringent potion came.
. My blood begins to dance along:
. I now feel strong—Oh, more than strong!
I feel transformed I know not how!
. I see through smoke the Desolate Shore—
. The raging Torrent sweeps once more
From Hecla’s crater o’er the plain.
. Beneath apparent ice are stirred—
. My thoughts are each a Saga-bird,
With tongues of livid flame for wings!
. The Chalice of my future Life—
. If now, as in yon Isle, the strife
Of Snow and Fire be born in me!
. The lava-flood in every vein!
. Be mine the Will that conquers Pain—
The heart of rock—the nerves of steel!
. Within me wax until they glow,
That in few years shall strew my head!
. Flung up to heaven through fiery rain,
. Descend like thunderbolts again
Upon the distant Faroëse,
. Cast from the cauldron of my breast
. Again fall flashing down, and rest
On human hearts in farthest climes!
SHEPPARD’S BUST OF MANGAN, STEPHEN’S GREEN, DUBLIN