The Two Shades. Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Along that gloomy river's brimA
Where Charon plies the ceaseless oarB
Two mighty Shadows dusk and dimA
Stood lingering on the dismal shoreB
Hoarse came the rugged Boatman's callC
While echoing caves enforced the cryD
And as they severed life's last thrallC
Each Spirit spoke one parting sighD
Farewell to earth I leave a nameE
Written in fire on field and floodF
Wide as the wind the voice of fameE
Hath borne my fearful tale of bloodF
And though across this leaden waveG
Returnless now my spirit hasteH
Napoleon's name shall know no graveG
His mighty deeds be ne'er erasedH
The rocky Alp where once was setI
My courser's hoof shall keep the sealJ
And ne'er the echo there forgetI
The clangor of my glorious steelJ
Marengo's hill sides flow with wineK
And summer there the olive weavesL
But busy memory e'er will twineK
The blood stained laurel with its leavesL
The Danube's rushing billows hasteH
With the black ocean wave to hideM
Yet is my startling story tracedH
In every murmur of its tideM
The pyramid on Giseh's plainN
Its founder's fame hath long forgotO
But from its memory time in vainN
Shall strive Napoleon's name to blotO
The bannered storm that floats the skyD
With God's red quiver in its foldP
O'er startled realms shall lowering flyD
A type of me till time is toldP
The storm a thing of weal and woeQ
Of life and death of peace and powerR
That lays the giant forest lowQ
Yet cheers the bent grass with its showerR
That in its trampled pathway leavesL
The uptorn roots to bud anewS
And where the past o'er ruin grievesL
Bids fresher beauty spring to viewS
The storm an emblem of my nameE
Shall keep my memory in the skiesT
Its flash wreathed wing a flag of flameE
Shall spread my glory as it fliesT
The Spirit passed and now aloneU
The darker Shadow trod the shoreB
Deep from his breast the parting toneU
Swept with the wind the landscape o'erR
Farewell I will not speak of deedsV
For these are written but in sandW
And as the furrow choked with weedsV
Fade from the memory of the landW
The war plumed chieftain cannot stayX
To guard the gore his blade hath shedY
Time sweeps the purple stain awayX
And throws a veil o'er glory's bedY
But though my form must fade from viewS
And Byron bow to fate resignedZ
Undying as the fabled JewS
Harold's dark spirit stays behindZ
And he who yet in after yearsA2
Shall tread the vine clad shores of RhineK
In Chillon's gloom shall pour his tearsB2
Or raptured see blue Leman shineK
He shall not cannot go aloneU
Harold unseen shall seek his sideM
Shall whisper in his ear a toneU
So seeming sweet he cannot chideM
He cannot chide although he feelJ
While listening to the magic verseC2
A serpent round his bosom stealJ
He still shall hug the coiling curseC2
Or if beneath Italian skiesT
The wanderer's feet delighted glideM
Harold in merry Juan's guiseT
Shall be his tutor and his guideM
One living essence God hath pouredD2
In every heart the love of swayX
And though he may not wield the swordD2
Each is a despot in his wayX
The infant rules by cries and tearsB2
The maiden with her sunny eyesT
The miser with the hoard of yearsA2
The monarch with his clanking tiesT
To me the will the power were givenE2
O'er plaything man to weave my spellF2
And if I bore him up to heavenE2
'Twas but to hurl him down to hellF2
And if I chose upon the rackG2
Of doubt to stretch the tortured mindZ
To turn Faith's heavenward footstep backG2
Her hope despoiled her vision blindZ
Or if on Virtue's holy browH2
A wreath of scorn I sought to twineK
And bade her minions mocking bowH2
With sweeter vows at pleasure's shrineK
Or if I mirrored to the thoughtI2
With glorious truth the charms of earthJ2
While yet the trusting fool I taughtI2
To scoff at Him who gave it birthJ2
Or if I filled the soul with lightK2
And bore its buoyant wing in airL2
To plunge it down in deeper nightK2
And mock its maniac wanderings thereL2
I did but wield the wand of powerR
That God intrusted to my claspM2
And not the tyrant of an hourR
Will I resign it to Death's graspM2
The despot with his iron chainN
In idle bonds the limbs may bindZ
He who would hold a sterner reignN
Must twine the links around the mindZ
Thus I have thrown upon my raceN2
A chain that ages cannot rendZ
And mocking Harold stays to traceN2
The slaves that to my sceptre bendZ

Samuel Griswold Goodrich


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