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branches ::: Elysium
see also :::

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object:Elysium
class:place
word class:noun


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--- OBJECT INSTANCES [0]




--- PRIMARY CLASS


place

--- SEE ALSO


--- SIMILAR TITLES [1]


1.fs - Elysium
Elysium
select ::: Being, God, injunctions, media, place, powers, subjects,
favorite ::: cwsa, everyday, grade, mcw, memcards (table), project, project 0001, Savitri, the Temple of Sages, three js, whiteboard,
temp ::: consecration, experiments, knowledge, meditation, psychometrics, remember, responsibility, temp, the Bad, the God object, the Good, the most important, the Ring, the source of inspirations, the Stack, the Tarot, the Word, top priority, whiteboard,

--- DICTIONARIES (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)


elysium ::: n. --> A dwelling place assigned to happy souls after death; the seat of future happiness; Paradise.
Hence, any delightful place.

elysiums ::: pl. --> of Elysium

elysium ::: n. --> A dwelling place assigned to happy souls after death; the seat of future happiness; Paradise.
Hence, any delightful place.

elysiums ::: pl. --> of Elysium


--- QUOTES [0 / 0 - 89 / 89] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



KEYS (10k)


NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   8 Friedrich Schiller
   6 Julie Kagawa

   5 Rick Riordan

   4 Poetical Works of John Keats
   4 Neill Blomkamp

   3 Percy Bysshe Shelley
   3 Mia Sheridan

   3 John Keats
   3 Emily Dickinson

   3 Charles Harpur

   2 William Shakespeare

   2 John Keats

   2 Ezra Pound

   2 Erik Johan Stagnelius

   2 Edward Bulwer Lytton

   2 Christopher Marlowe

   2 Charles Baudelaire

   2 Anthony Trollope


*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Elysium is as far as to ~ Emily Dickinson
2:Who, as they sung, would take the prison'd soul And lap it in Elysium. ~ John Milton
3:The sight of London to my exiled eyes
Is as Elysium to a new-come soul. ~ Christopher Marlowe
4:I'd tell you to say hello to Jason from me, but he'll be in Elysium. You . . . won't. ~ Rick Riordan
5:The man who has not loved before he was fourteen has missed a foretaste of Elysium. ~ James Weldon Johnson
6:Although there probably wouldn't be Coca-Cola in Elysium, and that was a truly depressing thought. ~ Mia Sheridan
7:Fit for kings, formal gardens afford an earthly Elysium and the odd impression that we mere men might actually control nature for a time. ~ Ezra Pound
8:If I have to live in Elysium for eternity with someone I don't love, I thought maybe a kiss from you, even just one, would make it bearable. ~ Mia Sheridan
9:I am yours. I've always been yours. I'll be yours here on earth, in Elysium. I'll fight the gods if I have to. I'll stand before them and declare ~ Mia Sheridan
10:But under the beaming, constant and almost vertical sun of Virginia, shade is our Elysium. In the absence of this no beauty of the eye can be enjoyed. ~ Thomas Jefferson
11:I think that 'Elysium' the movie is unrealistic, with the space station and everything. I think 'Elysium' the metaphor is completely realistic: it's exactly where we're going. ~ Neill Blomkamp
12:But I thought of how few people there were in Elysium, how tiny it was compared to the Fields of Asphodel or even the Fields of Punishment. So few people did good in their lives. It was depressing. ~ Rick Riordan
13:The Art of Elysium is a program I've volunteered with for close to ten years, and I work with Unicef and Young Storytellers. My passion is really working with children since they are the future. ~ Danielle Panabaker
14:We crept along, following the line of new arrivals that snaked from the main gates toward a black-tented pavilion with a banner that read:   JUDGMENTS FOR ELYSIUM AND ETERNAL DAMNATION Welcome, Newly Deceased! ~ Rick Riordan
15:There's a myth among amateurs, optimists and fools that beyond a certain level of achievement, famous artists retire to some kind of Elysium where criticism no longer wounds and work materializes without their effort. ~ Mark Matousek
16:Delivered helpless and amazed
From the womb of the All, I am
waiting dazed
For memory to be erased.

Then I shall know the Elysium
That lies outside the monstrous womb
Of time from out of which I come. ~ D H Lawrence
17:I am yours to command, my queen,” he whispered, making my heart clench in complete, helpless love. “I will obey, even if you order me to cut out my own heart. Even if you order me to the hell that is the Winter Court Elysium. ~ Julie Kagawa
18:Ah me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen, To follow half on which the eye dilates Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken. Than those whereof such things the bard relates, Who to the awe-struck world unlocked Elysium’s gates? ~ Lord Byron
19:Elysium is as far as to
The very nearest Room
If in that Room a Friend await
Felicity or doom.

What fortitude the soul contains
That it can so endure
The accent of a coming foot,
The opening of a door? ~ Emily Dickinson
20:When Cameron's Conservatives come to power it will be a golden age for cyclists and an Elysium of cycle lanes, bike racks, and sharia law for bike thieves. And I hope that cycling in London will become almost Chinese in its ubiquity. ~ Boris Johnson
21:How many Elysiums have you been to?"
"Three," I said immediately. "At least...this will be my third one."
"And how many Elysiums do you think I've been to?"
"Um. More than three?"
"I do appreciate your gift for the understatement. ~ Julie Kagawa
22:'District 9', 'Elysium' and 'Chappie' were all born out of some visual concept first. 'Chappie' is the imagery, because I think I'm a visual person first, of this ridiculous robot character. It's much more comedy based and in an unusual setting. ~ Neill Blomkamp
23:Elysium Is As Far As To
Elysium is as far as to
The very nearest Room
If in that Room a Friend await
Felicity or Doom-What fortitude the Soul contains
That it can so endure
The accent of a coming Foot-The opening of a Door-~ Emily Dickinson
24:'District 9' was a singular anti-Apartheid metaphor, and 'Elysium' is a more general metaphor about immigration and how the First World and Third World meet. But the thing that I like the most about the metaphor is that it can be scaled to suit almost any scenario. ~ Neill Blomkamp
25:That men, who might have tower'd in the van
Of all the congregated world, to fan
And winnow from the coming step of time
All chaff of custom, wipe away all slime
Left by men-slugs and human serpentry,
Have been content to let occasion die,
Whilst they did sleep in love's Elysium. ~ John Keats
26:Once people needed heaven and hell, Elysium and Faerie. They believed. Belief is the great creative force, the faith that moves mountains. If Someone had not believed in us, so they say, we would never have been born. I have spent my darkest hours wondering what kind of a Creator would have believed in me." Kal ~ Jan Siegel
27:There's no question that how Johannesburg operates is what made me interested in the idea of wealth discrepancy. 'Elysium' could be a metaphor for just Jo'burg, but it's also a metaphor for the Third World and the First World. And in science fiction, separation of wealth is a really interesting idea to mess with. ~ Neill Blomkamp
28:What thou lovest well remains, the rest is dross What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage Whose world, or mine or theirs or is it of none? First came the seen, then thus the palpable Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell. What thou lovest well is thy true heritage. ~ Ezra Pound
29:We can be honest. I can. Ignorance isn't bliss, it's ecstasy. And if I didn't have to get my siblings, I'd be lost in the same paradise as the rest of the students. The angels would reflect off of the light of the blue moon, through the stained glass windows, and hold me in euphoria and rapture all the way through to Elysium. ~ M U Riyadad
30:In imagination she sailed over storied seas that wash the distant shining shores of "faëry lands forlorn," where lost Atlantis and Elysium lie, with the evening star for pilot, to the land of Heart's Desire. And she was richer in those dreams than in realities; for things seen pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal. ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery
31:Artemis smiled. "You have done well, my lieutenant. You have made me proud, and all those Hunters who perished in my service will never be forgotten. They will achieve Elysium, I am sure." She glared pointedly at Hades. He shrugged. "Probably." Artemis glared at him some more. Okay," Hades grumbled. "I'll streamline their application process. ~ Rick Riordan
32:Artemis smiled. "You have done well, my lieutenant. You have made me proud, and all those Hunters who perished in my service will never be forgotten. They will achieve Elysium, I am sure."

She glared pointedly at Hades.

He shrugged. "Probably."

Artemis glared at him some more.

Okay," Hades grumbled. "I'll streamline their application process. ~ Rick Riordan
33:But after the war, when editors like Martin Durk came to prominence by trumpeting the timely death of the novel, Parish opted for a reflective silence. He stopped taking on projects and watched with quiet reserve as his authors died off one by one--at peace with the notion that he would join them soon enough in that circle of Elysium reserved for plot and substance and the judicious use of the semicolon. ~ Amor Towles
34:he who by attaining the first seat should achieve the right of snubbing all before him, whether friends or foes, he, according to the feelings of Sir Timothy, would have gained an Elysium of creaminess not to be found in any other position on the earth’s surface. No man was more warmly attached to parliamentary government than Sir Timothy Beeswax; but I do not think that he ever cared much for legislation. ~ Anthony Trollope
35:It's our first Elysium together, Ash. They'll be expecting us. Both of us."
He moaned and grabbed another pillow, covering his eyes.
"No playing hooky and insulting the Winter Queen. I'm not doing this by myself." I took the second pillow, tossing it on the floor, and mock-glared at him. "Up."
He regarded me with a wry smile. "You're awfully perky for someone who kept me up all night."
"Hey, you started it remember? ~ Julie Kagawa
36:If a man knows the law, find out, though he live in a pine shanty, and resort to him. And if a man can pipe or sing, so as to wrap the imprisoned soul in an elysium; or can paint a landscape, and convey into souls and ochres all the enchantments of Spring or Autumn; or can liberate and intoxicate all people who hear him with delicious songs and verses; it is certain that the secret cannot be kept; the first witness tells it to a second, and men go by fives and tens and fifties to his doors. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
37:It is easy to remove the mind from harping on the lost illusion of immortality. The disciplined intellect fears nothing and craves no sugar-plum at the day's end, but is content to accept life and serve society as best it may. Personally I would not care for immortality in the least. There is nothing better than oblivion, since in oblivion there is no wish unfulfilled. We had it before we were born, yet did not complain. Shall we whine because we know it will return? It is Elysium enough for me, at any rate. ~ H P Lovecraft
38:    Qui suis-je, moi qu’on accuse?  Un esclave de la Liberte, un     martyr vivant de la Republique.  — “Discours de Robespierre, 8 Thermidor.”       (Who am I, — I whom they accuse?  A slave of Liberty, — a living     martyr for the Republic.) It roars, — The River of Hell, whose first outbreak was chanted as the gush of a channel to Elysium. How burst into blossoming hopes fair hearts that had nourished themselves on the diamond dews of the rosy dawn, when Liberty came from the dark ocean, and the arms of decrepit Thraldom ~ Edward Bulwer Lytton
39:We walked in so pure and bright a light, gilding the withered grass and leaves, so softly and serenely bright, I thought I had never bathed in such a golden flood, without a ripple or a murmur to it. The west side of every wood and rising ground gleamed like the boundary of Elysium, and the sun on our backs seemed like a gentle herdsman driving us home at evening.
So we saunter toward the Holy Land, till one day the sun shall shine more brightly than ever he has done, shall perchance shine into our minds and hearts, and light up our whole lives with a great awakening light, as warm and serene and golden as on a bankside in autumn. ~ Henry David Thoreau
40:When I’d checked into the bathroom with Seymour’s diary under my arm, and had carefully secured the door behind me, I spotted a message almost immediately. It was not, however, in Seymour’s handwriting but, unmistakably, in my sister Boo Boo’s. With or without soap, her handwriting was always almost indecipherably minute, and she had easily managed to post the following message up on the mirror; 'Raise high the roof beam, carpenters. Like Ares comes the bridegroom, taller far than a tall man. Love, Irving Sappho, formerly under contract to Elysium Studios Ltd. Please be happy happy happy with your beautiful Muriel. This is an order. I outrank everybody on this block. ~ J D Salinger
41:Souls of poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host's Canary wine?”
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison? O generous food!
Drest though bold Robin Hood
Would, wit his maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can
“I have heard that on a day
Mine host's sign-board flew away,
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer's old quill
To a sheepskin gave the story,
Said he saw you in your glory,
Underneath a new old sign
Sipping beverage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac. ~ John Keats
42:Memory
O camp of flowers, with poplars girdled round,
The guardians of life's soft and purple bud!
O silver spring, beside whose brimming flood
My dreaming childhood its Elysium found!
O happy hours with love and fancy crowned,
Whose horn of plenty flatteringly subdued
My heart into a trance, whence, with a rude
And horrid blast, fate came my soul to hound:
Who was the goddess who empowered you all
Thus to bewitch me? Out of wasting snow
And lily-leaves her headdress should be made!
Weep, my poor lute! nor on Astræa call.
She will not smile, nor I, who mourn below,
Till I, a shade in heaven, clasp her, a shade.
~ Erik Johan Stagnelius
43:O Camp Of Flowers
O camp of flowers, with poplars girdled round,
Gray guardians of life's soft and purple bud!
O silver spring, beside whose brimming flood
My pensive childhood its Elysium found!
O happy hours by love and fancy crowned,
Whose horn of plenty flatteringly subdued
My heart into a trance, whence, with a rude
And horrid blast, fate came my soul to hound!
Who was the goddess that empowered you all
Thus to bewitch me? Out of wasting snow
And lily-leaves her head-dress should be made!
Weep, my poor lute! nor on Astraea call,
She will not smile, nor I, who mourn below,
Till I, a shade in heaven, clasp her, a shade.
~ Erik Johan Stagnelius
44:Then there is he who seeing the misfortune of that great one, tells himself that patriotism, judgment, industry, and eloquence will not suffice for him unless he himself can be loved. To do great things a man must have a great following, and to achieve that he must be popular. So he smiles and learns the necessary wiles. He is all for his country and his friends, — but for his friends first. He too must be eloquent and well instructed in the ways of Parliament, must be wise and diligent; but in all that he does and all that he says he must first study his party. It is well with him for a time; — but he has closed the door of his Elysium too rigidly. Those without gradually become stronger than his friends within, and so he falls. ~ Anthony Trollope
45:Sonnet Li.
FROM THE NOVEL OF CELESTINA.
Supposed to have been written in the Hebrides.
ON this lone island, whose unfruitful breast
Feeds but the summer-shepherd's little flock
With scanty herbage from the half-clothed rock,
Where osprays, cormorants, and sea-mews rest;
Even in a scene so desolate and rude
I could with thee for months and years be blest;
And of thy tenderness and love possest,
Find all my world in this wild solitude!
When Summer suns these Northern seas illume,
With thee admire the light's reflected charms,
And when drear Winter spreads his cheerless gloom,
Still find Elysium in thy shelt'ring arms:
For thou to me canst sovereign bliss impart,
Thy mind my empire--and my throne thy heart.
~ Charlotte Smith
46:As the Haitian proverb puts it: Behind mountains are more mountains. Elysium is a myth. One does not overcome an obstacle to enter the land of no obstacles. On the contrary, the more you accomplish, the more things will stand in your way. There are always more obstacles, bigger challenges. You’re always fighting uphill. Get used to it and train accordingly. Knowing that life is a marathon and not a sprint is important. Conserve your energy. Understand that each battle is only one of many and that you can use it to make the next one easier. More important, you must keep them all in real perspective. Passing one obstacle simply says you’re worthy of more. The world seems to keep throwing them at you once it knows you can take it. Which is good, because we get better with every attempt. ~ Ryan Holiday
47:Serenade
So sweet the hour, so calm the time,
I feel it more than half a crime,
When Nature sleeps and stars are mute,
To mar the silence ev'n with lute.
At rest on ocean's brilliant dyes
An image of Elysium lies:
Seven Pleiades entranced in Heaven,
Form in the deep another seven:
Endymion nodding from above
Sees in the sea a second love.
Within the valleys dim and brown,
And on the spectral mountain's crown,
The wearied light is dying down,
And earth, and stars, and sea, and sky
Are redolent of sleep, as I
Am redolent of thee and thine
Enthralling love, my Adeline.
But list, O list,- so soft and low
Thy lover's voice tonight shall flow,
That, scarce awake, thy soul shall deem
My words the music of a dream.
Thus, while no single sound too rude
Upon thy slumber shall intrude,
Our thoughts, our souls- O God above!
In every deed shall mingle, love.
~ Edgar Allan Poe
48:The audience, too, aware of his propensity, were quick to perceive the least deviation from the text; and if he wandered for a moment, which might also be detected by the eye as well as the ear, in some strange contortion of visage, and some ominous flourish of his bow, a gentle and admonitory murmur recalled the musician from his Elysium or his Tartarus to the sober regions of his desk. Then he would start as if from a dream, cast a hurried, frightened, apologetic glance around, and, with a crestfallen, humbled air, draw his rebellious instrument back to the beaten track of the glib monotony. But at home he would make himself amends for this reluctant drudgery. And there, grasping the unhappy violin with ferocious fingers, he would pour forth, often till the morning rose, strange, wild measures that would startle the early fisherman on the shore below with a superstitious awe, and make him cross himself as if mermaid or sprite had wailed no earthly music in his ear. ~ Edward Bulwer Lytton
49:So, what's the big emergency, princess? You and ice-boy look fine to me, and the Nevernever isn't crumbling around us. What's going on?"
"I'm pregnant, Puck," I said quietly, and watched his eyebrows shoot into his hair. Briefly,I explained what had happened at Elysium, the oracle's mysterious appearance and invitation, and Grimalkin's instruction to meet him at the Wishing Tree. By the time I was done, Puck was still staring at me openmouthed, struck mute for maybe the second time in his life, and I would've laughed if the situation wasn't so serious.
"Oh," he finally managed. "That's, uh... Wow. That's not something you hear every day. Not exactly what I was expecting, though the entire prophecy thing does get old after a while." He shook himself, seeming to regain his composure, and glanced at Ash. "So, it's the ever so popular Firstborn Child of Doom prophecy, huh, ice-boy? How very cliche. Why can't it be the third nephew twice removed who's fated to destroy the world? ~ Julie Kagawa
50:When the Creator banished from his sight
Frail man to dark mortality's abode,
And granted him a late return to light,
Only by treading reason's arduous road,—
When each immortal turned his face away,
She, the compassionate, alone
Took up her dwelling in that house of clay,
With the deserted, banished one.
With drooping wing she hovers here
Around her darling, near the senses' land,
And on his prison-walls so drear
Elysium paints with fond deceptive hand.

While soft humanity still lay at rest,
Within her tender arms extended,
No flame was stirred by bigots' murderous zest,
No guiltless blood on high ascended.
The heart that she in gentle fetters binds,
Views duty's slavish escort scornfully;
Her path of light, though fairer far it winds,
Sinks in the sun-track of morality.
Those who in her chaste service still remain,
No grovelling thought can tempt, no fate affright;
The spiritual life, so free from stain,
Freedom's sweet birthright, they receive again,
Under the mystic sway of holy might. ~ Friedrich Schiller
51:Memory's Genesis
HOW few through Memory’s dreamy scope,
However resolute of hope,
Can view the backward scene where first
Their youth rejoiced—for ever crost—
And not bewail as Adam erst
The Eden they have lost!
Nor feel, alas! with it compared,
The Present but a lengthening wild
Whereon young Passion never fared,
Young Beauty never smiled!
Yet ’tis a melancholy pleasure
To sit by moon-struck Memory’s side,
And hear her wild lyre oft remeasure
The story of our youthful pride!
Hours recalling, ah! how rife
With emotions lavished wide
Through the Garden of our Life
Ere all its spring-time roses died,
And (like day’s splendours when the sun
Remits in his decline from weaving
A robe of beauty for the Ev’ning)
Fancy’s Elysiums, one by one,
Had paled away as the long night came on!
Yes! ’tis a melancholy sweet,
And thus let Memory oft repeat
Life’s first tale, that to the core
Retempered by such generous lore,
Our hard’ning spirits, as ’tis meet,
May pity the cold world—the world we trust no more!
~ Charles Harpur
52:A Cure At Porlock
For whatever did it—the cider
at the Ship Inn, where the crowd
from the bar that night had overflowed
singing into Southey’s Corner, or
an early warning of appendicitis—
the remedy the chemist in the High Street
purveyed was still a dose of kaopectate
in morphine—the bane and the afflatus
of S.T.C. when Alph, the sacred river,
surfaced briefly in the unlikely
vicinity of Baker Farm, and as quickly
sank again, routed forever by the visitor
whose business, intent and disposition—
whether ill or well is just as immaterial—
long ago sunk Lethewards, a particle
of the unbottled ultimate solution.
I drank my dose, and after an afternoon
prostrate, between heaves, on the
coldly purgatorial tiles of the W.C.,
found it elysium simply to recline,
sipping flat ginger beer as though it were
honeydew, in that billowy bed,
under pink chenille, hearing you read
The Mystery of Edwin Drood! For whether
the opium was worth it for John Jasper,
from finding being with you, even sick
at Porlock, a rosily addictive picnic,
I left less likely ever to recover.
~ Amy Clampitt
53:Souls of Poets dead and gone,
  What Elysium have ye known,
  Happy field or mossy cavern,
  Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
  Have ye tippled drink more fine
  Than mine host's Canary wine?
  Or are fruits of Paradise
  Sweeter than those dainty pies
  Of venison? O generous food!
  Drest as though bold Robin Hood
  Would, with his maid Marian,
  Sup and bowse from horn and can.

    I have heard that on a day
  Mine host's sign-board flew away,
  Nobody knew whither, till
  An astrologer's old quill
  To a sheepskin gave the story,
  Said he saw you in your glory,
  Underneath a new old sign
  Sipping beverage divine,
  And pledging with contented smack
  The Mermaid in the Zodiac.

    Souls of Poets dead and gone,
  What Elysium have ye known,
  Happy field or mossy cavern,
  Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
'When Mr. Palgrave issued his beautiful Golden Treasury he felt it necessary to explain in connexion with this poem that "the Mermaid was the club-house of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and other choice spirits of that age."' ~ John Keats, Lines On The Mermaid Tavern

54:Ambition
Unless it was that day I never knew
Ambition. After a night of frost, before
The March sun brightened and the South-west blew,
Jackdaws began to shout and float and soar
Already, and one was racing straight and high
Alone, shouting like a black warrior
Challenges and menaces to the wide sky.
With loud long laughter then a woodpecker
Ridiculed the sadness of the owl's last cry.
And through the valley where all the folk astir
Made only plumes of pearly smoke to tower
Over dark trees and white meadows happier
Than was Elysium in that happy hour,
A train that roared along raised after it
And carried with it a motionless white bower
Of purest cloud, from end to end close-knit,
So fair it touched the roar with silence. Time
Was powerless while that lasted. I could sit
And think I had made the loveliness of prime,
Breathed its life into it and were its lord,
And no mind lived save this 'twixt clouds and rime.
Omnipotent was I, nor even deplored
That I did nothing. But the end fell like a bell:
The bower was scattered; far off the train roared.
But if this was ambition I cannot tell.
What 'twas ambition for I know not well.
~ Edward Thomas
55:Finer feeling, which we now wish to consider, is chiefly of two kinds: the feeling of the *sublime* and that of the *beautiful*. The stirring of each is pleasant, but in different ways. The sight of a mountain whose snow-covered peak rises above the clouds, the description of a raging storm, or Milton's portrayal of the infernal kingdom, arouse enjoyment but with horror; on the other hand, the sight of flower strewn meadows, valleys with winding brooks and covered with grazing flocks, the description of Elysium, or Homer's portrayal of the girdle of Venus, also occasion a pleasant sensation but one that is joyous and smiling. In order that the former impression could occur to us in due strength, we must have *a feeling of the sublime*, and, in order to enjoy the latter well, *a feeling of the beautiful*. Tall oaks and lonely shadows in a sacred grove are sublime; flower beds, low hedges and trees trimmed in figures are beautiful. Night is sublime; day is beautiful. Temperaments that possess a feeling for the sublime are drawn gradually, by the quiet stillness of a summer evening as the shimmering light of the stars breaks through the brown shadows of night and the lonely moon rises into view, into high feelings of friendship, of disdain for the world, of eternity. The shining day stimulates busy fervor and a feeling of gaiety. The sublime *moves*, the beautiful *charms*. ~ Immanuel Kant
56:Past the despairing wail
And the bright banquets of the Elysian vale
Melt every care away!
Delight, that breathes and moves forever,
Glides through sweet fields like some sweet river!
Elysian life survey!
There, fresh with youth, o'er jocund meads,
His merry west-winds blithely leads
The ever-blooming May!
Through gold-woven dreams goes the dance of the hours,
In space without bounds swell the soul and its powers,
And truth, with no veil, gives her face to the day.
And joy to-day and joy to-morrow,
But wafts the airy soul aloft;
The very name is lost to sorrow,
And pain is rapture tuned more exquisitely soft.

Here the pilgrim reposes the world-weary limb,
And forgets in the shadow, cool-breathing and dim,
The load he shall bear never more;
Here the mower, his sickle at rest, by the streams,
Lulled with harp-strings, reviews, in the calm of his dreams,
The fields, when the harvest is o'er.
Here, he, whose ears drank in the battle roar,
Whose banners streamed upon the startled wind
A thunder-storm,before whose thunder tread
The mountains trembled,in soft sleep reclined,
By the sweet brook that o'er its pebbly bed
In silver plays, and murmurs to the shore,
Hears the stern clangor of wild spears no more!
Here the true spouse the lost-beloved regains,
And on the enamelled couch of summer-plains
Mingles sweet kisses with the zephyr's breath.
Here, crowned at last, love never knows decay,
Living through ages its one bridal day,
Safe from the stroke of death!

~ Friedrich Schiller, Elysium

57:O Freunde, nicht diese Tone!
Sondern lasst uns angenehmere anstimmen
Und freudenvollere!      

Freude schoner Gotterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,    
Himmliche dein Heiligtum!    
Deine Zauber binden wieder,    
Was die Mode Streng geteilt;    
Alle Menschen werden Bruder,  
Wo dein sanfter Flugel weilt  

Wem der gross e Wurf gelungen,
Eines Freundes Freund zu sein,
Wer ein holdes Weib errungen,  
Mische seinen Jubel ein!
Ja, wer auch nur eine Seele    
Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund!  
Und wer's nie gekonnt, der stehle
Weinend sich aus diesem Bund  

Freude trinken alle Wesen
An den Bursten der Natur;    
Alle Guten, alle Bosen      
Folgen ihrer Rosenspur    
Kusse gab sie uns und Reben,  
Einen Freund, gepruft im Tod;  
Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben,  
Und der Cherub steht vor Gott!

Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen  
Durch des Himmels pracht'gen Plan,
Laufet, Bruder, eure Bahn,
Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen  

Seid umschlungen, Millionen  
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!  
Bruder! Uber'm Sternenzelt  
Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen  
Ihr sturzt nieder, Millionen?
Ahnest du den Schopfer, Welt?
Such' ihn uber'm Sternenzelt!
Uber Sternen muss er wohnen
http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/show/136617-Friedrich-von-Schiller-Ode-To-Joy------With-Translation
For the original version in both German and English

~ Friedrich Schiller, Ode an die Freude

58:Summer
See what delights in sylvan scenes appear!
Descending Gods have found Elysium here.
In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray'd,
And chaste Diana haunts the forest shade.
Come lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,
When swains from shearing seek their nightly bow'rs;
When weary reapers quit the sultry field,
And crown'd with corn, their thanks to Ceres yield.
This harmless grove no lurking viper hides,
But in my breast the serpent Love abides.
Here bees from blossoms sip the rosy dew,
But your Alexis knows no sweets but you.
Oh deign to visit our forsaken seats,
The mossy fountains, and the green retreats!
Where-e'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade,
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade,
Where-e'er you tread, the blushing flow'rs shall rise,
And all things flourish where you turn your eyes.
Oh! How I long with you to pass my days,
Invoke the muses, and resound your praise;
Your praise the birds shall chant in ev'ry grove,
And winds shall waft it to the pow'rs above.
But wou'd you sing, and rival Orpheus' strain,
The wond'ring forests soon shou'd dance again,
The moving mountains hear the pow'rful call,
And headlong streams hang list'ning in their fall!
But see, the shepherds shun the noon-day heat,
The lowing herds to murm'ring brooks retreat,
To closer shades the panting flocks remove,
Ye Gods! And is there no relief for Love?
But soon the sun with milder rays descends
To the cool ocean, where his journey ends;
On me Love's fiercer flames for ever prey,
By night he scorches, as he burns by day.
~ Alexander Pope
59:... What do you want, Ash?"
"Your head," Ash answered softly. "On a pike. But what I want doesn't matter this time." He pointed his sword at me. "I've come for her."
I gasped as my heart and stomach began careening around my chest. He's here for me, to kill me, like he promised at Elysium.
"Over my dead body." Puck smiled, as if this was a friendly conversation on the street, but I felt muscles coiling under his skin.
"This was part of the plan." The prince raised his sword, the icy blade wreathed in mist. "I will avenge her today, and put her memory to rest." For a moment, a shadow of anguish flitted across his face, and he closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were cold and glittered with malice. "Prepare yourself."
"Stay back, princess," Puck warned, pushing me out of the way. He reached into his boot and pullet out a dagger, the curved blade clear as glass. "This might get a little rough."
"Puck, no." I clutched at his sleeve. "Don't fight him. Someone could die."
"Duels to the death tend to end that way." Puck grinned, but it was a savage thing, grim and frightening. "But I'm touched that you care. One moment, princeling," he called to Ash, who inclined his head. Taking my wrist, Puck steered me behind the fountain and bent close, his breath warm on my face.
"I have to do this, princess," he said firmly. "Ash won't let us go without a fight, and this has been coming for a long time now." For a moment, a shadow of regret flickered across his face, but then it was gone.
"So," he murmured, grinning as he tilted my chin up, "before I march off to battle, how 'bout a kiss for luck?"
I hesitated, wondering why now, of all times, he would ask for a kiss. He certainly didn't think of me in that way... did he? ~ Julie Kagawa
60:The members of the board were very sage, deep, philosophical men; and when they came to turn their attention to the workhouse, they found out at once, what ordinary folk would never have discovered - the poor people like it! It was a regular place of public entertainment for the poorer classes; a tavern where there was nothing to pay; a public breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper all year round; a brick and mortar elysium where it was all play and no work. "Oho!" said the board, looking very knowing; "we are the fellows to set this to rights; we'll stop it all in no time." So, they established the rule, that all poor people should have the alternative (for they would compel nobody, not they) of being starved by a gradual process in the house, or a quick one out of it. With this view, they contracted with the waterworks to lay on an unlimited supply of water; and with a corn-factor to supply periodically small quantities of oatmeal; and issued three meals of thin gruel per day, with an onion twice a week, and half a roll on Sundays. They made a great many other wise and humane regulations, having reference to the ladies, which it is not necessary to repeat; undertook to divorce poor married people, in consequence of the great expense of a suit in Doctor's Commons; and, instead of compelling a man to support his family, as they had theretofore done, took his family away from him, and made him a bachelor! There is no saying how many applicants for relief under these two heads, might have started up in all classes of society, if it had not been coupled with the workhouse; but the board were long-headed men, and had provided for this difficulty. The relief was inseparable from the workhouse and the gruel; and that frightened people. For the first six months after Oliver Twist was removed, the system was in full operation. It was rather expensive at first, in consequence to the increase in the undertaker's bill, and the necessity of taking in the clothes of all the paupers, which fluttered loosely on their wasted, shrunken forms, after a week or two's gruel. ~ Charles Dickens
61:What infinite heart's-ease
Must kings neglect, that private men enjoy!
And what have kings, that privates have not too,
Save ceremony, save general ceremony?
And what art thou, thou idle ceremony?
What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st more
Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?
What are thy rents? what are thy comings in?
O ceremony, show me but thy worth!
What is thy soul of adoration?
Art thou aught else but place, degree and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men?
Wherein thou art less happy being fear'd
Than they in fearing.
What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
But poison'd flattery? O, be sick, great greatness,
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure!
Think'st thou the fiery fever will go out
With titles blown from adulation?
Will it give place to flexure and low bending?
Canst thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee,
Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,
That play'st so subtly with a king's repose;
I am a king that find thee, and I know
'Tis not the balm, the sceptre and the ball,
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,
The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,
The farced title running 'fore the king,
The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp
That beats upon the high shore of this world,
No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,
Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,
Who with a body fill'd and vacant mind
Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread;
Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,
But, like a lackey, from the rise to set
Sweats in the eye of Phoebus and all night
Sleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn,
Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse,
And follows so the ever-running year,
With profitable labour, to his grave:
And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,
Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep,
Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.
The slave, a member of the country's peace,
Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wots
What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,
Whose hours the peasant best advantages. ~ William Shakespeare
62:There was a soft chuckle beside me, and my heart stopped.
"So this is Oberon's famous half-blood," Ash mused as I whirled around. His eyes, cold and inhuman, glimmered with amusement. Up close, he was even more beautiful, with high cheekbones and dark tousled hair falling into his eyes. My traitor hands itched, longing to run my fingers through those bangs. Horrified, I clenched them in my lap, trying to concentrate on what Ash was saying. "And to think," the prince continued, smiling, "I lost you that day in the forest and didn't even know what I was chasing."
I shrank back, eyeing Oberon and Queen Mab. They were deep in conversation and did not notice me. I didn't want to interrupt them simply because a prince of the Unseelie Court was talking to me.
Besides, I was a faery princess now. Even if I didn't quite believe it, Ash certainly did. I took a deep breath, raised my chin, and looked him straight in the eye.
"I warn you," I said, pleased that my voice didn't tremble, "that if you try anything, my father will remove your head and stick it to a plaque on his wall."
He shrugged one lean shoulder. "There are worse things." At my horrified look, he offered a faint, self-derogatory smile. "Don't worry, princess, I won't break the rules of Elysium. I have no intention of facing Mab's wrath should I embarrass her. That's not why I'm here."
"Then what do you want?"
He bowed. "A dance."
"What!" I stared at him in disbelief. "You tried to kill me!"
"Technically, I was trying to kill Puck. You just happened to be there. But yes, if I'd had the shot, I would have taken it."
"Then why the hell would you think I'd dance with you?"
"That was then." He regarded me blandly. "This is now. And it's tradition in Elysium that a son and daughter of opposite territories dance with each other, to demonstrate the goodwill between the courts."
"Well, it's a stupid tradition." I crossed my arms and glared. "And you can forget it. I am not going anywhere with you."
He raised an eyebrow. "Would you insult my monarch, Queen Mab, by refusing? She would take it very personally, and blame Oberon for the offense. And Mab can hold a grudge for a very, very long time."
Oh, damn. I was stuck. ~ Julie Kagawa
63:Upon the King! Let us our lives, our souls,
Our debts, our careful wives,
Our children, and our sins, lay on the King!
We must bear all. O hard condition,
Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath
Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel
But his own wringing! What infinite heart's ease
Must kings neglect that private men enjoy!
And what have kings that privates have not too,
Save ceremony- save general ceremony?
And what art thou, thou idol Ceremony?
What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st more
Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?
What are thy rents? What are thy comings-in?
O Ceremony, show me but thy worth!
What is thy soul of adoration?
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men?
Wherein thou art less happy being fear'd
Than they in fearing.
What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
But poison'd flattery? O, be sick, great greatness,
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure!
Thinks thou the fiery fever will go out
With titles blown from adulation?
Will it give place to flexure and low bending?
Canst thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee,
Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,
That play'st so subtly with a king's repose.
I am a king that find thee; and I know
'Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball,
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,
The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,
The farced tide running fore the king,
The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp
That beats upon the high shore of this world-
No, not all these, thrice gorgeous ceremony,
Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave
Who, with a body fill'd and vacant mind,
Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread;
Never sees horrid night, the child of hell;
But, like a lackey, from the rise to set
Sweats in the eye of Pheebus, and all night
Sleeps in Elysium; next day, after dawn,
Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse;
And follows so the ever-running year
With profitable labour, to his grave.
And but for ceremony, such a wretch,
Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep,
Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.
The slave, a member of the country's peace,
Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wots
What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace
Whose hours the peasant best advantages. ~ William Shakespeare
64:Je Te Donne Ces Vers Afin Que Si Mon Nom (I Give
You These Verses So That If My Name)
Je te donne ces vers afin que si mon nom
Aborde heureusement aux époques lointaines,
Et fait rêver un soir les cervelles humaines,
Vaisseau favorisé par un grand aquilon,
Ta mémoire, pareille aux fables incertaines,
Fatigue le lecteur ainsi qu'un tympanon,
Et par un fraternel et mystique chaînon
Reste comme pendue à mes rimes hautaines;
Être maudit à qui, de l'abîme profond
Jusqu'au plus haut du ciel, rien, hors moi, ne répond!
— Ô toi qui, comme une ombre à la trace éphémère,
Foules d'un pied léger et d'un regard serein
Les stupides mortels qui t'ont jugée amère,
Statue aux yeux de jais, grand ange au front d'airain!
I Give You These Verses So That If My Name
I give you these verses so that if my name,
A vessel favored by a strong north wind,
Fortunately reaches the distant future's shore,
And some night sets the minds of men to dreaming,
Your memory, like fables shrouded in the past,
Will weary the reader like a dulcimer,
And by a mystical, brotherly bond
Remain suspended from my haughty verse;
Accurst being to whom, from the deep abysm
To the highest heaven, nothing responds, save me!
— O you who, like an ephemeral ghost,
Trample lightly and with a serene look
Upon the dull mortals who found you repugnant,
Jet eyed statue, tall angel with a brow of bronze!
210
— Translated by William Aggeler
For You This Poem: If My Name Should Reach
For you this poem: if my name should reach
Favoured by mighty gales, to far-off times,
Like a proud vessel sailing to the beach,
To stir the brains of humans with my rhymes —
Your memory, uncertain as a myth,
Will tire the reader like an endless gong,
And be a mystic, kindred chain wherewith
He'll hang suspended to my towering song:
Curs'd soul to whom (from the supernal sky
To hell's abysm) none responds but I!
O you, who like a fleeting shadow pass,
Spurn with light foot and with serenest gaze
The stupid mortals who have grudged you praise,
O jade-eyed statue, angel browed with brass!
— Translated by Roy Campbell
Je te donne ces vers afin que si mon nom
these lines to thee, that if my name should come
to some far harbour, on a favouring main,
and ride the gale to Time's Elysium,
with all its freight of dreams to fret the brain,
that thy report, like legends vague and vain,
may tire my reader as a mighty drum,
and linked in mystic union, may become
a symbol married to my haughty strain;
— accursèd one, to whom, from deepest skies
down to the Pit, naught, save my heart, replies!
— o thou who like a ghost impalpable
211
tramplest upon, serenely as a bonze
the stupid mortals who denied thy spell
— cold jet-eyed statue, angel cast in bronze!
— Translated by Lewis Piaget Shanks
~ Charles Baudelaire
65:The goblet is sparkling with purpled-tinged wine,
Bright glistens the eye of each guest,
When into the hall comes the Minstrel divine,
To the good he now brings what is best;
For when from Elysium is absent the lyre,
No joy can the banquet of nectar inspire.

He is blessed by the gods, with an intellect clear,
That mirrors the world as it glides;
He has seen all that ever has taken place here,
And all that the future still hides.
He sat in the god's secret councils of old
And heard the command for each thing to unfold.

He opens in splendor, with gladness and mirth,
That life which was hid from our eyes;
Adorns as a temple the dwelling of earth,
That the Muse has bestowed as his prize,
No roof is so humble, no hut is so low,
But he with divinities bids it o'erflow.

And as the inventive descendant of Zeus,
On the unadorned round of the shield,
With knowledge divine could, reflected, produce
Earth, sea, and the star's shining field,
So he, on the moments, as onward they roll,
The image can stamp of the infinite whole.

From the earliest age of the world he has come,
When nations rejoiced in their prime;
A wanderer glad, he has still found a home
With every race through all time.
Four ages of man in his lifetime have died,
And the place they once held by the fifth is supplied.

Saturnus first governed, with fatherly smile,
Each day then resembled the last;
Then flourished the shepherds, a race without guile
Their bliss by no care was o'ercast,
They loved,and no other employment they had,
And earth gave her treasures with willingness glad.

Then labor came next, and the conflict began
With monsters and beasts famed in song;
And heroes upstarted, as rulers of man,
And the weak sought the aid of the strong.
And strife o'er the field of Scamander now reigned,
But beauty the god of the world still remained.

At length from the conflict bright victory sprang,
And gentleness blossomed from might;
In heavenly chorus the Muses then sang,
And figures divine saw the light;
The age that acknowledged sweet phantasy's sway
Can never return, it has fleeted away.

The gods from their seats in the heavens were hurled,
And their pillars of glory o'erthrown;
And the Son of the Virgin appeared in the world
For the sins of mankind to atone.
The fugitive lusts of the sense were suppressed,
And man now first grappled with thought in his breast.

Each vain and voluptuous charm vanished now,
Wherein the young world took delight;
The monk and the nun made of penance a vow,
And the tourney was sought by the knight.
Though the aspect of life was now dreary and wild,
Yet love remained ever both lovely and mild.

An altar of holiness, free from all stain,
The Muses in silence upreared;
And all that was noble and worthy, again
In woman's chaste bosom appeared;
The bright flame of song was soon kindled anew
By the minstrel's soft lays, and his love pure and true.

And so, in a gentle and ne'er-changing band,
Let woman and minstrel unite;
They weave and they fashion, with hand joined to hand,
The girdle of beauty and right.
When love blends with music, in unison sweet,
The lustre of life's youthful days ne'er can fleet.

~ Friedrich Schiller, The Four Ages Of The World

66:For Louis Pasteur
How shall a generation know its story
If it will know no other? When, among
The scoffers at the Institute, Pasteur
Heard one deny the cause of child-birth fever,
Indignantly he drew upon the blackboard,
For all to see, the Streptococcus chain.
His mind was like Odysseus and Plato
Exploring a new cosmos in the old
As if he wrote a poem--his enemy
Suffering, disease, and death, the battleground
His introspection. "Science and peace," he said,
"Will win out over ignorance and war,"
But then, the virus mutant in his vein,
"Death to the Prussian!" and "revenge, revenge!"
How shall my generation tell its story?
Their fathers jobless, boys for the CCC
And NYA, the future like a stairwell
To floors without a window or a door,
And then the army: bayonet drill and foxhole;
Bombing to rubble cities with textbook names
Later to bulldoze streets for; their green bodies
Drowned in the greener surfs of rumored France.
My childhood friend, George Humphreys, whom I still see
Still ten years old, his uncombed hair and grin
Moment by moment in the Hürtgen dark
Until the one step full in the sniper's sight,
His pastor father emptied by the grief.
Clark Harrison, at nineteen a survivor,
Never to walk or have a child or be
A senator or governor. Herr Wegner,
Who led his little troop, their standards high
And sabers drawn, against a panzer corps,
Emerging from among the shades at Dachau
Stacked like firewood for someone else to burn;
And Gerd Radomski, listening to broadcasts
Of names, a yearlong babel of the missing,
To find his wife and children. Then they came home,
Near middle age at twenty-two, to find
18
A new reunion of the church and state,
Cynical Constantines who need no name,
Domestic tranquility beaten to a sword,
Sons wasted by another lie in Asia,
Or Strangeloves they had feared that August day;
And they like runners, stung, behind a flag,
Running within a circle, bereft of joy.
Hearing of the disaster at Sedan
And the retreat worse than the one from Moscow,
Their son among the missing or the dead,
Pasteur and his wife Mary hired a carriage
And, traveling to the east where he might try
His way to Paris, stopping to ask each youth
And comfort every orphan of the state's
Irascibility, found him at last
And, unsurprised, embraced and took him in.
Two wars later, the Prussian, once again
The son of Mars, in Paris, Joseph Meister-The first boy cured of rabies, now the keeper
Of Pasteur's mausoleum--when commanded
To open it for them, though over seventy,
Lest he betray the master, took his life.
I like to think of Pasteur in Elysium
Beneath the sunny pine of ripe Provence
Tenderly raising black sheep, butterflies,
Silkworms, and a new culture, for delight,
Teaching his daughter to use a microscope
And musing through a wonder--sacred passion,
Practice and metaphysic all the same.
And, each year, honor three births: Valéry,
Humbling his pride by trying to write well,
Mozart, who lives still, keeping my attention
Repeatedly outside the reach of pride,
And him whose mark I witness as a trust.
Others he saves but could not save himself-Socrates, Galen, Hippocrates--the spirit
Fastened by love upon the human cross.
~ Edgar Bowers
67:Joy, thou beauteous godly lightning,
Daughter of Elysium,
Fire drunken we are entring
Heavenly, thy holy home!
Thy enchantments bind together,
What did custom stern divide,
Every man becomes a brother,
Where thy gentle wings abide.

Chorus.
Be embracd, ye millions yonder!
Take this kiss throughout the world!
Brothersoer the stars unfurld
Must reside a loving Father.}

Who the noble prize achieveth,
Good friend of a friend to be;
Who a lovely wife attaineth,
Join us in his jubilee!
Yeshe too who but {one} being
On this earth can call {his} own!
He who neer was able, weeping
Stealeth from this league alone!

Chorus.
He who in the great ring dwelleth,
Homage pays to sympathy!
To the stars above leads she,
Where on high the {Unknown} reigneth.}

Joy is drunk by every being
From kind natures flowing breasts,
Every evil, every good thing
For her rosy footprint quests.
Gave she {us} both {vines} and kisses,
In the face of death a friend,
To the worm were given blisses
And the Cherubs God attend.

Chorus.
Fall before him, all ye millions?
{Knowst} thou the Creator, world?
Seek above the stars unfurld,
Yonder dwells He in the heavens.}

Joy commands the hardy mainspring
Of the universe eterne.
Joy, oh joy the wheel is driving
Which the worlds great clock doth turn.
Flowers from the buds she coaxes,
Suns from out the hyaline,
Spheres she rotates through expanses,
Which the seer cant divine.

Chorus.
As the suns are flying, happy
Through the heavens glorious plane,
Travel, brothers, down your lane,
Joyful as in heros victry.}

From the truths own fiery mirror
On the searcher {doth} she smile.
Up the steep incline of honor
Guideth {she} the suffrers mile.
High upon faiths sunlit mountains
One can see {her} banner flies,
Through the breach of opend coffins
{She} in angels choir doth rise.

Chorus.
Suffer on courageous millions!
Suffer for a better world!
Oer the tent of stars unfurld
God rewards you from the heavens.}

Gods can never be requited,
Beauteous tis, their like to be.
Grief and want shall be reported,
So to cheer with gaiety.
Hate and vengeance be forgotten,
Pardond be our mortal foe,
Not a teardrop shall him dampen,
No repentance bring him low.

Chorus.
Let our book of debts be cancelld!
Reconcile the total world!
Brothersoer the stars unfurld
God doth judge, as we have settld.}

Joy doth bubble from this rummer,
From the golden blood of grape
Cannibals imbibe good temper,
Weak of heart their courage take
Brothers, fly up from thy places,
When the brimming cup doth pass,
Let the foam shoot up in spaces:
To the goodly Soul this glass!

Chorus.
Whom the crown of stars doth honor,
Whom the hymns of Seraphs bless,
{To the goodly Soul this glass}
Oer the tent of stars up yonder!}

Courage firm in grievous trial,
Help, where innocence doth scream,
Oaths which sworn to are eternal,
Truth to friend and foe the same,
Manly pride fore kingly power
Brothers, cost it life and blood,
Honor to whom merits honor,
Ruin to the lying brood!

Chorus.
Closer draw the holy circle,
Swear it by this golden wine,
Faithful to the vow divine,
Swear it by the Judge celestial!}

Rescue from the tyrants fetters,
Mercy to the villain een,
Hope within the dying hours,
Pardon at the guillotine!
Een the dead shall live in heaven!
Brothers, drink and all agree,
Every sin shall be forgiven,
Hell forever cease to be.

Chorus.
A serene departing hour!
Pleasant sleep beneath the pall!
Brothersgentle words for all
Doth the Judge of mortals utter!}
~ Friedrich Schiller, Ode To Joy

68:Joy, thou goddess, fair, immortal,
Offspring of Elysium,
Mad with rapture, to the portal
Of thy holy fame we come!
Fashion's laws, indeed, may sever,
But thy magic joins again;
All mankind are brethren ever
'Neath thy mild and gentle reign.

CHORUS

Welcome, all ye myriad creatures!
Brethren, take the kiss of love!
Yes, the starry realms above
Hide a Father's smiling features!

He, that noble prize possessing
He that boasts a friend that's true,
He whom woman's love is blessing,
Let him join the chorus too!
Aye, and he who but one spirit
On this earth can call his own!
He who no such bliss can merit,
Let him mourn his fate alone!

CHORUS

All who Nature's tribes are swelling
Homage pay to sympathy;
For she guides us up on high,
Where the unknown has his dwelling.

From the breasts of kindly Nature
All of joy imbibe the dew;
Good and bad alike, each creature
Would her roseate path pursue.
'Tis through her the wine-cup maddens,
Love and friends to man she gives!
Bliss the meanest reptile gladdens,
Near God's throne the cherub lives!

CHORUS

Bow before him, all creation!
Mortals, own the God of love!
Seek him high the stars above,
Yonder is his habitation!

Joy, in Nature's wide dominion,
Mightiest cause of all is found;
And 'tis joy that moves the pinion,
When the wheel of time goes round;
From the bud she lures the flower
Suns from out their orbs of light;
Distant spheres obey her power,
Far beyond all mortal sight.

CHORUS

As through heaven's expanse so glorious
In their orbits suns roll on,
Brethren, thus your proud race run,
Glad as warriors all-victorious!

Joy from truth's own glass of fire
Sweetly on the searcher smiles;
Lest on virtue's steeps he tire,
Joy the tedious path beguiles.
High on faith's bright hill before us,
See her banner proudly wave!
Joy, too, swells the angels' chorus,
Bursts the bondage of the grave!

CHORUS

Mortals, meekly wait for heaven
Suffer on in patient love!
In the starry realms above,
Bright rewards by God are given.

To the Gods we ne'er can render
Praise for every good they grant;
Let us, with devotion tender,
Minister to grief and want.
Quenched be hate and wrath forever,
Pardoned be our mortal foe
May our tears upbraid him never,
No repentance bring him low!

CHORUS

Sense of wrongs forget to treasure
Brethren, live in perfect love!
In the starry realms above,
God will mete as we may measure.

Joy within the goblet flushes,
For the golden nectar, wine,
Every fierce emotion hushes,
Fills the breast with fire divine.
Brethren, thus in rapture meeting,
Send ye round the brimming cup,
Yonder kindly spirit greeting,
While the foam to heaven mounts up!

CHORUS

He whom seraphs worship ever;
Whom the stars praise as they roll,
Yes to him now drain the bowl
Mortal eye can see him never!

Courage, ne'er by sorrow broken!
Aid where tears of virtue flow;
Faith to keep each promise spoken!
Truth alike to friend and foe!
'Neath kings' frowns a manly spirit!
Brethren, noble is the prize
Honor due to every merit!
Death to all the brood of lies!

CHORUS

Draw the sacred circle closer!
By this bright wine plight your troth
To be faithful to your oath!
Swear it by the Star-Disposer!

Safety from the tyrant's power!
Mercy e'en to traitors base!
Hope in death's last solemn hour!
Pardon when before His face!
Lo, the dead shall rise to heaven!
Brethren hail the blest decree;
Every sin shall be forgiven,
Hell forever cease to be!

CHORUS

When the golden bowl is broken,
Gentle sleep within the tomb!
Brethren, may a gracious doom
By the Judge of man be spoken!
~ Friedrich Schiller, Hymn To Joy

69:. Pale, at its ghastly noon,
  Pauses above the death-still woodthe moon;
  The night-sprite, sighing, through the dim air stirs;
   The clouds descend in rain;
   Mourning, the wan stars wane,
  Flickering like dying lamps in sepulchres!
  Haggard as spectresvision-like and dumb,
   Dark with the pomp of death, and moving slow,
  Towards that sad lair the pale procession come
   Where the grave closes on the night below.

  With dim, deep-sunken eye,
  Crutched on his staff, who trembles tottering by?
  As wrung from out the shattered heart, one groan
  Breaks the deep hush alone!
  Crushed by the iron fate, he seems to gather
   All life's last strength to stagger to the bier,
  And hearkenDo these cold lips murmur "Father?"
   The sharp rain, drizzling through that place of fear,
  Pierces the bones gnawed fleshless by despair,
  And the heart's horror stirs the silver hair.

  Fresh bleed the fiery wounds
   Through all that agonizing heart undone
  Still on the voiceless lips "my Father" sounds,
   And still the childless Father murmurs "Son!"
  Ice-coldice-cold, in that white shroud he lies
   Thy sweet and golden dreams all vanished there
  The sweet and golden name of "Father" dies
  Into thy curse,ice-coldice-coldhe lies!
   Dead, what thy life's delight and Eden were!

  Mild, as when, fresh from the arms of Aurora,
   While the air like Elysium is smiling above,
  Steeped in rose-breathing odors, the darling of Flora
   Wantons over the blooms on his winglets of love.
  So gay, o'er the meads, went his footsteps in bliss,
   The silver wave mirrored the smile of his face;
  Delight, like a flame, kindled up at his kiss,
   And the heart of the maid was the prey of his chase.

  Boldly he sprang to the strife of the world,
   As a deer to the mountain-top carelessly springs;
  As an eagle whose plumes to the sun are unfurled,
   Swept his hope round the heaven on its limitless wings.
  Proud as a war-horse that chafes at the rein,
   That, kingly, exults in the storm of the brave;
  That throws to the wind the wild stream of its mane,
   Strode he forth by the prince and the slave!

  Life like a spring day, serene and divine,
   In the star of the morning went by as a trance;
  His murmurs he drowned in the gold of the wine,
   And his sorrows were borne on the wave of the dance.

  Worlds lay concealed in the hopes of his youth!
   When once he shall ripen to manhood and fame!
  Fond father exult!In the germs of his youth
   What harvests are destined for manhood and fame!

  Not to be was that manhood!The death-bell is knelling,
   The hinge of the death-vault creaks harsh on the ears
  How dismal, O Death, is the place of thy dwelling!
   Not to be was that manhood!Flow on, bitter tears!
  Go, beloved, thy path to the sun,
   Rise, world upon world, with the perfect to rest;
  Goquaff the delight which thy spirit has won,
   And escape from our grief in the Halls of the Blest.

  Again (in that thought what a healing is found!)
   To meet in the Eden to which thou art fled!
  Hark, the coffin sinks down with a dull, sullen sound,
   And the ropes rattle over the sleep of the dead.
  And we cling to each other!O Grave, he is thine!
   The eye tells the woe that is mute to the ears
  And we dare to resent what we grudge to resign,
   Till the heart's sinful murmur is choked in its tears.
  Pale at its ghastly noon,
  Pauses above the death-still woodthe moon!
  The night-sprite, sighing, through the dim air stirs:
   The clouds descend in rain;
   Mourning, the wan stars wane,
  Flickering like dying lamps in sepulchres.
  The dull clods swell into the sullen mound;
   Earth, one look yet upon the prey we gave!
  The grave locks up the treasure it has found;
  Higher and higher swells the sullen mound
   Never gives back the grave!
  
~ Friedrich Schiller, A Funeral Fantasie

70:An Epistle From Alexander To Hephaestion In His
Sickness
WITH such a Pulse, with such disorder'd Veins,
Such lab'ring Breath, as thy Disease constrains;
With failing Eyes, that scarce the Light endure,
(So long unclos'd, they've watch'd thy doubtful Cure)
To his Hephaestion Alexander writes,
To soothe thy Days, and wing thy sleepless Nights,
I send thee Love: Oh! that I could impart,
As well my vital Spirits to thy Heart!
That, when the fierce Distemper thine wou'd quell,
They might renew the Fight, and the cold Foe repel.
As on Arbela's Plains we turn'd the Day,
When Persians through our Troops had mow'd their way,
When the rough Scythians on the Plunder run,
And barb'rous Shouts proclaim'd the Conquest won,
'Till o'er my Head (to stop the swift Despair)
The Bird of Jove fans the supporting Air,
Above my Plume does his broad Wings display,
And follows wheresoe'er I force my way:
Whilst Aristander, in his Robe of White,
Shews to the wav'ring Host th' auspicious Sight;
New Courage it inspires in ev'ry Breast,
And wins at once the Empire of the East.
Cou'd He, but now, some kind Presage afford,
That Health might be again to Thee restor'd;
Thou to my Wishes, to my fond Embrace;
Thy Looks the same, the same Majestick Grace,
That round thee shone, when we together went
To chear the Royal Captives in their Tent,
Where Sysigambis, prostrate on the Floor,
Did Alexander in thy Form adore;
Above great Æsculapius shou'd he stand,
Or made immortal by Apelles Hand.
But no reviving Hope his Art allows,
And such cold Damps invade my anxious Brows,
As, when in Cydnus plung'd, I dar'd the Flood
T' o'er-match the Boilings of my youthful Blood.
But Philip to my Aid repair'd in haste;
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And whilst the proffer'd Draught I boldly taste,
As boldly He the dangerous Paper views,
Which of hid Treasons does his Fame accuse.
More thy Physician's Life on Thine depends,
And what he gives, his Own preserves, or ends.
If thou expir'st beneath his fruitless Care,
To Rhadamanthus shall the Wretch repair,
And give strict Answer for his Errors there.
Near thy Pavilion list'ning Princes wait,
Seeking from thine to learn their Monarch's State.
Submitting Kings, that post from Day to Day,
To keep those Crowns, which at my Feet they lay,
Forget th' ambitious Subject of their Speed,
And here arriv'd, only Thy Dangers heed.
The Beauties of the Clime, now Thou'rt away,
Droop, and retire, as if their God of Day
No more upon their early Pray'rs would shine,
Or take their Incense, at his late Decline.
Thy Parisatis whom I fear to name,
Lest to thy Heat it add redoubl'd Flame;
Thy lovely Wife, thy Parisatis weeps,
And in her Grief a solemn Silence keeps.
Stretch'd in her Tent, upon the Floor she lies,
So pale her Looks, so motionless her Eyes,
As when they gave thee leave at first to gaze
Upon the Charms of her unguarded Face;
When the beauteous Sisters lowly knelt,
And su'd to those, who more than Pity felt.
To chear her now Statira vainly proves,
And at thy Name alone she sighs, and moves.
But why these single Griefs shou'd I expose?
The World no Mirth, no War, no Bus'ness knows,
But, hush'd with Sorrow stands, to favour thy Repose.
Ev'n I my boasted Title now resign,
Not Ammon's Son, nor born of Race Divine,
But Mortal all, oppress'd with restless Fears,
Wild with my Cares, and Womanish in Tears.
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Tho' Tears, before, I for lost Clytus shed,
And wept more Drops, than the old Hero bled;
Ev'n now, methinks, I see him on the Ground,
Now my dire Arms the wretched Corpse surround,
Now the fled Soul I wooe, now rave upon the Wound.
Yet He, for whom this mighty Grief did spring,
Not Alexander valu'd, but the King.
Then think, how much that Passion must transcend,
Which not a Subject raises but a Friend:
An equal Partner in the vanquished Earth,
A Brother, not impos'd upon my Birth,
Too weak a Tye unequal Thoughts to bind,
But by the gen'rous Motions of the Mind.
My Love to thee for Empire was the Test,
Since him, who from Mankind cou'd chuse the best,
The Gods thought only fit for Monarch o'er the rest.
Live then, my Friend; but if that must not be,
Nor Fate will with my boundless Mind agree,
Affording, at one time, the World and Thee;
To the most Worthy I'll that Sway resign,
And in Elysium keep Hyphaestion mine.
~ Anne Kingsmill Finch
71:The Nymph Complaining For The Death Of Her Fawn
The wanton troopers riding by
Have shot my fawn, and it will die.
Ungentle men! They cannot thrive
To kill thee. Thou ne'er didst, alive,
Them any harm: alas nor could
Thy death yet do them any good.
I'm sure I never wished them ill,
Nor do I for all this; nor will:
But, if my simple pray'rs may yet
Prevail with Heaven to forget
Thy murder, I will join my tears
Rather than fail. But, O my fears!
It cannot die so. Heaven's King
Keeps register of every thing,
And nothing may we use in vain:
Ev'n beasts must be with justice slain,
Else men are made their deodands.
Though they should wash their guilty hands
In this warm life-blood, which doth part
From thine, and wound me to the heart,
Yet could they not be clean; their stain
Is dyed in such a purple grain.
There is not such another in
The world to offer for their sin.
Unconstant Sylvio, when yet
I had not found him counterfeit,
One morning (I remember well),
Tied in this silver chain and bell,
Gave it to me: nay and I know
What he said then -I'm sure I do.
Said he, "Look how your huntsman here
Hath taught a fawn to hunt his dear."
But Sylvio soon had me beguiled:
This waxed tame, while he grew wild,
And quite regardless of my smart,
Left me his fawn, but took his heart.
Thenceforth I set myself to play
My solitary time away,
With this: and very well content,
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Could so mine idle life have spent.
For it was full of sport, and light
Of foot and heart; and did invite
Me to its game: it seemed to bless
Itself to me. How could I less
Than love it? O I cannot be
Unkind t' a beast that loveth me.
Had it lived long, I do not know
Whether it too might have done so
As Sylvio did: his gifts might be
Perhaps as false or more than he.
But I am sure, for aught that I
Could in so short a time espy,
Thy love was far more better then
The love of false and cruel men.
With sweetest milk and sugar first
I it at mine own fingers nursed.
And as it grew, so every day
It waxed more white and sweet than they.
It had so sweet a breath! And oft
I blushed to see its foot more soft
And white (shall I say?) than my hand Nay, any lady's of the land!
It is a wond'rous thing how fleet
'Twas on those little silver feet;
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race;
And when 't had left me far away,
'Twould stay, and run again, and stay.
For it was nimbler much than hinds;
And trod as if on the four winds.
I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness;
And all the spring-time of the year
It only loved to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie,
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes;
For in the flaxen lilies' shade,
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It like a bank of lilies laid.
Upon the roses it would feed,
Until its lips ev'n seemed to bleed:
And then to me 'twould boldly trip,
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill,
And its pure virgin limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold.
Had it lived long, it would have been
Lilies without, roses within.
O help! O help! I see it faint
And die as calmly as a saint!
See how it weeps! The tears do come
Sad, slowly dropping like a gum.
So weeps the wounded balsam; so
The holy frankincense doth flow;
The brotherless Heliades
Melt in such amber tears as these.
I in a golden vial will
Keep these two crystal tears; and fill
It till it do o'erflow with mine,
Then place it in Diana's shrine.
Now my sweet fawn is vanished to
Whither the swans and turtles go:
In fair Elysium to endure,
With milk-white lambs and ermins pure.
O do not run too fast, for I
Will but bespeak thy grave, and die.
First, my unhappy statue shall
Be cut in marble; and withal
Let it be weeping too: but there
Th' engraver sure his art may spare;
For I so truly thee bemoan
That I shall weep though I be stone,
Until my tears, still dropping, wear
My breast, themselves engraving there.
There at my feet shalt thou be laid,
Of purest alabaster made;
For I would have thine image be
White as I can, though not as thee.
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~ Andrew Marvell
72:The Ideal
Spirit of Dreams! When many a toilsome height
Shut paradise from exiled Adam’s sight,
Two wedded powers were given thenceforth to stray
On either hand, companions of his way;
This Hope was named in heaven, whence he came,
And that of Melancholy bore the name;
Thy parents these—who clothed thee with a ray
Snatched from Perfection as she passed away,
And to their gentle child bequeathed the grace
Wherewith they once adorned unfallen nature’s face.
Queen-mother of Elysiums, and all fair
Hesperian gardens, hear thy suppliant’s prayer!
Lend me the hues with which the mortal eyes
Thou dost bring back the tints of paradise—
Hues drawn from all the splendours that there be
In this new world, from earth and sky and sea;
From nameless flowers, that wild in forests run,
Up to the glories of the setting sun—
From those white flickers that round fountains leap,
From the phosphoric lightenings of the deep,
From wave-wet sands that glisten on the shore,
From blazing diamonds and rich-beaming ore;
From these by thee with native art combined,
And interblended with the light of mind;
These hues now lend thy suppliant, for he
The brilliant steps would trace of thy whole ministry.
O for a golden lyre while first I sing
How thou dost lovelier make the loveliest thing!
Woman is beautiful!—no more—unless
Thou touch her beauty with thy soft caress;
Then sweeter sweets her form at once invest
Than breathe in gales of Araby the blest!
A thousand charms from thy fair soul are given,
And she outshines the very moon of heaven.
Lovely this prospect! Yet thy presence here
Doubles each glory of the golden year!
Breathes but thy influence o er a pasture plain,
And lo! ’tis flushed with Eden-glows again.
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This light, how glorious! A sun-woven robe
Wrapping in living warmth the fruitful globe:
But if thy touch lend vision to our eyes,
We see celestial radiance flood the skies;
The common light burns with diviner flame,
“It is the light of God!” Our awestruck souls exclaim.
O he whose wild heart leaps to thy wild call,
Hath yet some joy whatever may befall!
Hath yet some wealth where destitution reigns—
Nay, even some high inviolable gains
Where rapine sits enthroned, and slavery clanks her chains!
Still his possessions compass whatsoe er
Of good and beauteous nature treasures there!
Still the lone hill, wild vale, and pathless grove
Are his by the great solemn right of love;
For him what gold is in the morning’s hues!
What unbought jewels are the lucent dews!
What regal mansions are the brookside bowers!
What gay assemblies the balm-breathing flowers!
Then every bird that pipes a matin lay
Doth unto him unconscious tribute pay;
Yea, every grace of stream and wood and sky
Is vassal to his sovereign ear and eye.
And when the busy coils of Mammon’s brood
Fail like the voices of an ebbing flood,
And from the scenes that glared with her display
Pride-drunken fashion rolls fatigued away;
When from mild evening’s shadowy robe the breeze
Shakes cool delight and odorous messages;
And when no longer the sun’s beams fire-crest
The dusky hills, but round him in the west
Are gathered, even like a summoned host,
In gorgeous tents on the horizon’s coast,
Ere to the regions of a separate day
He rolls at length in purple pomp away;
Whilst yet—some moments yet—withdrawing gleams
Travel the air, and die along the streams;
A sumptuous festival that hour shall prove
To bathe his chosen soul with harmony and love!
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When up the unclouded heaven in starry sheen
Night walks like a gem-sprangled Ethiop queen,
And from her solemn curtains wide unfurled
Falls dense repose upon the drowsy world,
No sordid appetite, no passion mean,
Chains down thy votary to this mere terrene;
But following thee he freely soars afar
From moon to planet, and from star to star!
Yea, onward still he venturous may trace
Thy distant course through dimmest depths of space,
Till waxing bolder from the boundless flight,
He claim his kinship with the infinite.
And now, though mournful he thy servant’s theme,
A tale of hapless love, or faded dream
Of worth, of men, whose spirits once so bright
Like halcyons gemmed the rivers of delight,
But fled misfortune’s wintry floods before,
Never to show their shining plumage more;
Still thou, thy hope-tired follower ever near,
Sublim’st each sigh and hallowest every tear,
Till even despair thy handmaid grows to be,
Sending a lurid light by its intensity
Through awful spirit depths thy foes can never see.
Doth danger threaten, and doth terror scream?
O’er their wild fronts a reconciling gleam
Thy wings reflect! The storm that rends the sky
And ploughs the ocean can, if thou art nigh,
Give to the heart stern strength and lift the soul on high!
Thou throw’st fierce loveliness o’er ruin’s face,
And over death’s calm brow a mild entrancing grace.
Nay, be thy glance but turned where devils dwell,
And a sad glory lightens out of hell!
Spirit of dreams! Oh, let me grateful say
How thou hast brightened my lone earthly way!
When most beset by troubles stern and new,
When foes must triumphed, friends were most untrue,
My soul’s distractions thou hast all subdued
Through visions high of Love, and Liberty and Good.
Or stood I like a wizard, wild and lone,
On some great mountain’s cloud-frequented cone,
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Meet altar of a universal fane,
Where no fiend-rites had left their murder-strain,
Thou gav’st me faith’s prophetic power, to seize
High consolation out of mysteries—
Those mystic terrors that low-muttering roll
Through life’s dim tract, the storm-clouds of the soul.
O spirit! Thus attend me to the last!
Brighten the future as thou did st the past!
May never aught thy splendid dreams dispel,
Till the hard Real earn the heart’s applause as well.
~ Charles Harpur
73:Demeter And Persephone
Faint as a climate-changing bird that flies
All night across the darkness, and at dawn
Falls on the threshold of her native land,
And can no more, thou camest, O my child,
Led upward by the God of ghosts and dreams,
Who laid thee at Eleusis, dazed and dumb,
With passing thro' at once from state to state,
Until I brought thee hither, that the day,
When here thy hands let fall the gather'd flower,
Might break thro' clouded memories once again
On thy lost self. A sudden nightingale
Saw thee, and flash'd into a frolic of song
And welcome; and a gleam as of the moon,
When first she peers along the tremulous deep,
Fled wavering o'er thy face, and chased away
That shadow of a likeness to the king
Of shadows, thy dark mate. Persephone!
Queen of the dead no more -- my child! Thine eyes
Again were human-godlike, and the Sun
Burst from a swimming fleece of winter gray,
And robed thee in his day from head to feet -"Mother!" and I was folded in thine arms.
Child, those imperial, disimpassion'd eyes
Awed even me at first, thy mother -- eyes
That oft had seen the serpent-wanded power
Draw downward into Hades with his drift
Of fickering spectres, lighted from below
By the red race of fiery Phlegethon;
But when before have Gods or men beheld
The Life that had descended re-arise,
And lighted from above him by the Sun?
So mighty was the mother's childless cry,
A cry that ran thro' Hades, Earth, and Heaven!
So in this pleasant vale we stand again,
The field of Enna, now once more ablaze
With flowers that brighten as thy footstep falls,
All flowers -- but for one black blur of earth
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Left by that closing chasm, thro' which the car
Of dark Aidoneus rising rapt thee hence.
And here, my child, tho' folded in thine arms,
I feel the deathless heart of motherhood
Within me shudder, lest the naked glebe
Should yawn once more into the gulf, and thence
The shrilly whinnyings of the team of Hell,
Ascending, pierce the glad and songful air,
And all at once their arch'd necks, midnight-maned,
Jet upward thro' the mid-day blossom. No!
For, see, thy foot has touch'd it; all the space
Of blank earth-baldness clothes itself afresh,
And breaks into the crocus-purple hour
That saw thee vanish.
Child, when thou wert gone,
I envied human wives, and nested birds,
Yea, the cubb'd lioness; went in search of thee
Thro' many a palace, many a cot, and gave
Thy breast to ailing infants in the night,
And set the mother waking in amaze
To find her sick one whole; and forth again
Among the wail of midnight winds, and cried,
"Where is my loved one? Wherefore do ye wail?"
And out from all the night an answer shrill'd,
"We know not, and we know not why we wail."
I climb'd on all the cliffs of all the seas,
And ask'd the waves that moan about the world
"Where? do ye make your moaning for my child?"
And round from all the world the voices came
"We know not, and we know not why we moan."
"Where?" and I stared from every eagle-peak,
I thridded the black heart of all the woods,
I peer'd thro' tomb and cave, and in the storms
Of Autumn swept across the city, and heard
The murmur of their temples chanting me,
Me, me, the desolate Mother! "Where"? -- and turn'd,
And fled by many a waste, forlorn of man,
And grieved for man thro' all my grief for thee, -The jungle rooted in his shatter'd hearth,
The serpent coil'd about his broken shaft,
The scorpion crawling over naked skulls; --
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I saw the tiger in the ruin'd fane
Spring from his fallen God, but trace of thee
I saw not; and far on, and, following out
A league of labyrinthine darkness, came
On three gray heads beneath a gleaming rift.
"Where"? and I heard one voice from all the three
"We know not, for we spin the lives of men,
And not of Gods, and know not why we spin!
There is a Fate beyond us." Nothing knew.
Last as the likeness of a dying man,
Without his knowledge, from him flits to warn
A far-off friendship that he comes no more,
So he, the God of dreams, who heard my cry,
Drew from thyself the likeness of thyself
Without thy knowledge, and thy shadow past
Before me, crying "The Bright one in the highest
Is brother of the Dark one in the lowest,
And Bright and Dark have sworn that I, the child
Of thee, the great Earth-Mother, thee, the Power
That lifts her buried life from loom to bloom,
Should be for ever and for evermore
The Bride of Darkness."
So the Shadow wail'd.
Then I, Earth-Goddess, cursed the Gods of Heaven.
I would not mingle with their feasts; to me
Their nectar smack'd of hemlock on the lips,
Their rich ambrosia tasted aconite.
The man, that only lives and loves an hour,
Seem'd nobler than their hard Eternities.
My quick tears kill'd the flower, my ravings hush'd
The bird, and lost in utter grief I fail'd
To send my life thro' olive-yard and vine
And golden grain, my gift to helpless man.
Rain-rotten died the wheat, the barley-spears
Vere hollow-husk'd, the leaf fell, and the sun,
Pale at my grief, drew down before his time
Sickening, and tna kept her winter snow.
Then He, the brother of this Darkness, He
Who still is highest, glancing from his height
On earth a fruitless fallow, when he miss'd
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The wonted steam of sacrifice, the praise
And prayer of men, decreed that thou should'st dwell
For nine white moons of each whole year with me,
Three dark ones in the shadow with thy King.
Once more the reaper in the gleam of dawn
Will see me by the landmark far away,
Blessing his field, or seated in the dusk
Of even, by the lonely threshing-floor,
Rejoicing in the harvest and the grange.
Yet I, Earth-Goddess, am but ill-content
With them, who still are highest. Those gray heads,
What meant they by their "Fate beyond the Fates"
But younger kindlier Gods to bear us down,
As we bore down the Gods before us? Gods,
To quench, not hurl the thunderbolt, to stay,
Not spread the plague, the famine; Gods indeed,
To send the noon into the night and break
The sunless halls of Hades into Heaven?
Till thy dark lord accept and love the Sun,
And all the Shadow die into the Light,
When thou shalt dwell the whole bright year with me,
And souls of men, who grew beyond their race,
And made themselves as Gods against the fear
Of Death and Hell; and thou that hast from men,
As Queen of Death, that worship which is Fear,
Henceforth, as having risen from out the dead,
Shalt ever send thy life along with mine
From buried grain thro' springing blade, and bless
Their garner'd Autumn also, reap with me,
Earth-mother, in the harvest hymns of Earth
The worship which is Love, and see no more
The Stone, the Wheel, the dimly-glimmering lawns
Of that Elysium, all the hateful fires
Of torment, and the shadowy warrior glide
Along the silent field of Asphodel.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
74:To Joy
Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly, your sanctuary.
Your spells bind again
What the fashion sword shared
Beggars become prince brothers
Where your gentle wing rests.
Choir us

Be embraced, millions!
This kiss for the whole world!
Brothers - over the stars
Must a dear father live.
Who succeeded the big hit,
To be a friend's friend
Whoever has won a devoted wife,
Mix in his cheers!
Yes - whoever even has a soul
His names on the earth!
And if you never could, steal
Weeping from this covenant
Choir us

What inhabits the great ring,
Pay homage to sympathy!
She leads to the stars
Where the unknown is enthroned.

All beings drink joy
On the breasts of nature
All good, all bad,
Follow their rose trail.
She gave us kisses and vines
A friend tested in death
Pleasure was given to the worm,
And the cherub stands before God.
Choir us

Are you falling, millions?
Do you suspect the Creator, world?
Find him over the canopy of stars.
He must live above the stars.
The strong pen is called joy
In eternal nature.
Joy, joy, drives the wheels
In the great world clock.
She lures flowers from the bud,
Suns from the firmament,
She rolls spheres in the rooms,
Which the seer pipe does not know.
Choir us

Glad how its suns fly
By heaven's glorious plan
Run, brothers, your path,
Happy as a hero to victory.
From the truth, the mirror of fire
She smiles at the researcher.
To the virtue of a steep hill
Guide the path of the sufferer.
On the mountains of the sun of faith
If you see their flags waving
Through the crack of blasted saerge
You stand in the choir of angels.
Chorus

Endure courageously, millions!
Tolerate for the better world!
Up above the starry canopy
Will a great god reward.
Gods cannot be repaid
It's nice to be like them.
Sorrow and poverty should report,
Rejoice with the happy.
Resentment and vengeance be forgotten,
Pardon our mortal enemy,
No tear shall press him,
No regrets gnaw him.
Choir us

Our debt register be destroyed!
The whole world is paved!
Brothers, over the stars
Judge God as we judged.
Joy gushes in cups,
In the cluster of golden blood
Drink gentleness cannibals,
Despair heroism
Brothers, fly from your seats
When the full Roman circles
Let the foam rise to the sky:
This glass to the good spirit.
Choir us

Praise the vortex of the stars
Who praises the seraph's hymn,
This glass to the good spirit
Above the starry tent up there!
Strong courage in grave suffering
Help where innocence weeps
Eternal sworn oaths,
Truth against friend and foe,
Male pride in front of royal thrones
Brothers, there is good and blood. -
His crowns to merit,
Downfall of the brood of lies!
Choir us

Closes the sacred circle more closely
Swear by this golden wine:
To be faithful to the vow
Swear it to the judge of the stars!
Rescue from chains of tyrants,
Generosity even to the villain,
Hope in the deathbeds
Mercy on the high court!
Let the dead live too!
Brothers, drink and join in
Let all sinners forgive
And no longer be hell.
Choir us

A cheerful farewell hour!
Sweet sleep in the shroud!
Brothers - a gentle saying
From the mouth of the judge of the dead.

To Joy
Joy, beautiful spark of Gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter, fire-imbibed,
Heavenly, thy sanctuary.
Thy magic powers re-unite
What custom's sword has divided
Beggars become Princes' brothers
Where thy gentle wing abides.
Chorus

Be embraced, millions!
This kiss to the entire world!
Brothers - above the starry canopy
A loving father must dwell.
Whoever has had the great fortune,
To be a friend's friend,
Whoever has won the love of a devoted wife,
Add his to our jubilation!
Indeed, whoever can call even one soul
His own on this earth!
And whoever was never able to must creep
Tearfully away from this circle.
Chorus

Those who dwell in the great circle,
Pay homage to sympathy!
It leads to the stars,
Where the Unknown reigns.

Joy all creatures drink
At nature's bosoms;
All, Just and Unjust,
Follow her rose-petalled path.
Kisses she gave us, and Wine,
A friend, proven in death,
Pleasure was given (even) to the worm,
And the Cherub stands before God.
Chorus

You bow down, millions?
Can you sense the Creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy.
Above the stars He must dwell.
Joy is called the strong motivation
In eternal nature.
Joy, joy moves the wheels
In the universal time machine.
Flowers it calls forth from their buds,
Suns from the Firmament,
Spheres it moves far out in Space,
Where our telescopes cannot reach.
Chorus

Joyful, as His suns are flying,
Across the Firmament's splendid design,
Run, brothers, run your race,
Joyful, as a hero going to conquest.
As truth's fiery reflection
It smiles at the scientist.
To virtue's steep hill
It leads the sufferer on.
Atop faith's lofty summit
One sees its flags in the wind,
Through the cracks of burst-open coffins,
One sees it stand in the angels' chorus.
Chorus

Endure courageously, millions!
Endure for the better world!
Above the starry canopy
A great God will reward you.
Gods one cannot ever repay,
It is beautiful, though, to be like them.
Sorrow and Poverty, come forth
And rejoice with the joyful ones.
Anger and revenge be forgotten,
Our deadly enemy be forgiven,
Not one tear shall he shed anymore,
No feeling of remorse shall pain him.
Chorus

The account of our misdeeds be destroyed!
Reconciled the entire world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
God judges as we judged.
Joy is bubbling in the glasses,
Through the grapes' golden blood
Cannibals drink gentleness,
And despair drinks courage
Brothers, fly from your seats,
When the full rummer is going around,
Let the foam gush up to heaven *:
This glass to the good spirit.
Chorus

He whom star clusters adore,
He whom the Seraphs' hymn praises,
This glass to him, the good spirit,
Above the starry canopy!
Resolve and courage for great suffering,
Help there, where innocence weeps,
Eternally may last all sworn Oaths,
Truth towards friend and enemy,
Men's pride before Kings' thrones
Brothers, even it if meant our Life and blood,
Give the crowns to those who earn them,
Defeat to the pack of liars!
Chorus

Close the holy circle tighter,
Swear by this golden wine:
To remain true to the Oath,
Swear it by the Judge above the stars!
Delivery from tyrants' chains,
Generosity also towards the villain,
Hope on the deathbeds,
Mercy from the final judge!
Also the dead shall live!
Brothers, drink and chime in,
All sinners shall be forgiven,
And hell shall be no more.
Chorus

A serene hour of farewell!
Sweet rest in the shroud!
Brothers a mild sentence
From the mouth of the final judge!

Many thanks to Oldpoetry reader Vladimir for locating the original version. http://www.raptusassociation.org/
~ Friedrich Schiller, Ode To Joy - With Translation

75:EPODE 1a.
I stood within the City disinterred;
And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls
Of spirits passing through the streets; and heard
The Mountains slumberous voice at intervals
Thrill through those roofless halls;
The oracular thunder penetrating shook
The listening soul in my suspended blood;
I felt that Earth out of her deep heart spoke--
I felt, but heard not:through white columns glowed
The isle-sustaining ocean-flood,
A plane of light between two heavens of azure!
Around me gleamed many a bright sepulchre
Of whose pure beauty, Time, as if his pleasure
Were to spare Death, had never made erasure;
But every living lineament was clear
As in the sculptors thought; and there
The wreaths of stony myrtle, ivy, and pine,
Like winter leaves oergrown by moulded snow,
Seemed only not to move and grow
Because the crystal silence of the air
Weighed on their life; even as the Power divine
Which then lulled all things, brooded upon mine.

EPODE 2a.

Then gentle winds arose
With many a mingled close
Of wild Aeolian sound, and mountain-odours keen;
And where the Baian ocean
Welters with airlike motion,
Within, above, around its bowers of starry green,
Moving the sea-flowers in those purple caves,
Even as the ever stormless atmosphere
Floats oer the Elysian realm,
It bore me, like an Angel, oer the waves
Of sunlight, whose swift pinnace of dewy air
No storm can overwhelm.
I sailed, where ever flows
Under the calm Serene
A spirit of deep emotion
From the unknown graves
Of the dead Kings of Melody.
Shadowy Aornos darkened oer the helm
The horizontal aether; Heaven stripped bare
Its depth over Elysium, where the prow
Made the invisible water white as snow;
From that Typhaean mount, Inarime,
There streamed a sunbright vapour, like the standard
Of some aethereal host;
Whilst from all the coast,
Louder and louder, gathering round, there wandered
Over the oracular woods and divine sea
Prophesyings which grew articulate--
They seize meI must speak them!be they fate!

STROPHE 1.

Naples! thou Heart of men which ever pantest
Naked, beneath the lidless eye of Heaven!
Elysian City, which to calm enchantest
The mutinous air and sea! they round thee, even
As sleep round Love, are driven!
Metropolis of a ruined Paradise
Long lost, late won, and yet but half regained!
Bright Altar of the bloodless sacrifice
Which armed Victory offers up unstained
To Love, the flower-enchained!
Thou which wert once, and then didst cease to be,
Now art, and henceforth ever shalt be, free,
If Hope, and Truth, and Justice can avail,--
Hail, hail, all hail!

STROPHE 2.

Thou youngest giant birth
Which from the groaning earth
Leapst, clothed in armour of impenetrable scale!
Last of the Intercessors!
Who gainst the Crowned Transgressors
Pleadest before Gods love! Arrayed in Wisdoms mail,
Wave thy lightning lance in mirth
Nor let thy high heart fail,
Though from their hundred gates the leagued Oppressors
With hurried legions move!
Hail, hail, all hail!

ANTISTROPHE 1a.

What though Cimmerian Anarchs dare blaspheme
Freedom and thee? thy shield is as a mirror
To make their blind slaves see, and with fierce gleam
To turn his hungry sword upon the wearer;
A new Actaeons error
Shall theirs have beendevoured by their own hounds!
Be thou like the imperial Basilisk
Killing thy foe with unapparent wounds!
Gaze on Oppression, till at that dread risk
Aghast she pass from the Earths disk:
Fear not, but gazefor freemen mightier grow,
And slaves more feeble, gazing on their foe:--
If Hope, and Truth, and Justice may avail,
Thou shalt be greatAll hail!

ANTISTROPHE 2a.

From Freedoms form divine,
From Natures inmost shrine,
Strip every impious gawd, rend
Error veil by veil;
Oer Ruin desolate,
Oer Falsehoods fallen state,
Sit thou sublime, unawed; be the Destroyer pale!
And equal laws be thine,
And winged words let sail,
Freighted with truth even from the throne of God:
That wealth, surviving fate,
Be thine.All hail!

ANTISTROPHE 1b.

Didst thou not start to hear Spains thrilling paean
From land to land re-echoed solemnly,
Till silence became music? From the Aeaean
To the cold Alps, eternal Italy
Starts to hear thine! The Sea
Which paves the desert streets of Venice laughs
In light, and music; widowed Genoa wan
By moonlight spells ancestral epitaphs,
Murmuring, Where is Doria? fair Milan,
Within whose veins long ran
The vipers palsying venom, lifts her heel
To bruise his head. The signal and the seal
(If Hope and Truth and Justice can avail)
Art thou of all these hopes.--O hail!

ANTISTROPHE 2b.

Florence! beneath the sun,
Of cities fairest one,
Blushes within her bower for Freedoms expectation:
From eyes of quenchless hope
Rome tears the priestly cope,
As ruling once by power, so now by admiration,--
An athlete stripped to run
From a remoter station
For the high prize lost on Philippis shore:--
As then Hope, Truth, and Justice did avail,
So now may Fraud and Wrong! O hail!

EPODE 1b.

Hear ye the march as of the Earth-born Forms
Arrayed against the ever-living Gods?
The crash and darkness of a thousand storms
Bursting their inaccessible abodes
Of crags and thunder-clouds?
See ye the banners blazoned to the day,
Inwrought with emblems of barbaric pride?
Dissonant threats kill Silence far away,
The serene Heaven which wraps our Eden wide
With iron light is dyed;
The Anarchs of the North lead forth their legions
Like Chaos oer creation, uncreating;
An hundred tribes nourished on strange religions
And lawless slaveries,down the aereal regions
Of the white Alps, desolating,
Famished wolves that bide no waiting,
Blotting the glowing footsteps of old glory,
Trampling our columned cities into dust,
Their dull and savage lust
On Beautys corse to sickness satiating--
They come! The fields they tread look black and hoary
With firefrom their red feet the streams run gory!

EPODE 2b.

Great Spirit, deepest Love!
Which rulest and dost move
All things which live and are, within the Italian shore;
Who spreadest Heaven around it,
Whose woods, rocks, waves, surround it;
Who sittest in thy star, oer Oceans western floor;
Spirit of beauty! at whose soft command
The sunbeams and the showers distil its foison
From the Earths bosom chill;
Oh, bid those beams be each a blinding brand
Of lightning! bid those showers be dews of poison!
Bid the Earths plenty kill!
Bid thy bright Heaven above,
Whilst light and darkness bound it,
Be their tomb who planned
To make it ours and thine!
Or, with thine harmonizing ardours fill
And raise thy sons, as oer the prone horizon
Thy lamp feeds every twilight wave with fire--
Be mans high hope and unextinct desire
The instrument to work thy will divine!
Then clouds from sunbeams, antelopes from leopards,
And frowns and fears from thee,
Would not more swiftly flee
Than Celtic wolves from the Ausonian shepherds.--
Whatever, Spirit, from thy starry shrine
Thou yieldest or withholdest, oh, let be
This city of thy worship ever free!
The Author has connected many recollections of his visit to Pompeii and Baiae with the enthusiasm excited by the intelligence of the proclamation of a Constitutional Government at Naples. This has given a tinge of picturesque and descriptive imagery to the introductory Epodes which depicture these scenes, and some of the majestic feelings permanently connected with the scene of this animating event.SHELLEYS NOTE.

Composed at San Juliano di Pisa, August 17-25, 1820; published in Posthumous Poems, 1824. There is a copy, 'for the most part neat and legible,' amongst the Shelley manuscripts at the Bodleian Library
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode To Naples

76:Here, my dear friend, is a new book for you;
I have already dedicated two
To other friends, one female and one male,--
What you are, is a thing that I must veil;
What can this be to those who praise or rail?
I never was attached to that great sect
Whose doctrine is that each one should select
Out of the world a mistress or a friend,
And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
To cold oblivionthough 'tis in the code
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread
Who travel to their home among the dead
By the broad highway of the worldand so
With one sad friend, and many a jealous foe,
The dreariest and the longest journey go.
Free love has this, different from gold and clay,
That to divide is not to take away.
Like ocean, which the general north wind breaks
Into ten thousand waves, and each one makes
A mirror of the moon -- like some great glass,
Which did distort whatever form might pass,
Dashed into fragments by a playful child,
Which then reflects its eyes and forehead mild;
Giving for one, which it could ne'er express,
A thousand images of loveliness.
If I were one whom the loud world held wise,
I should disdain to quote authorities
In commendation of this kind of love:--
Why there is first the God in heaven above,
Who wrote a book called Nature, 'tis to be
Reviewed, I hear, in the next Quarterly;
And Socrates, the Jesus Christ of Greece,
And Jesus Christ Himself, did never cease
To urge all living things to love each other,
And to forgive their mutual faults, and smother
The Devil of disunion in their souls.
. . .

I love you!-- Listen, O embodied Ray
Of the great Brightness; I must pass away
While you remain, and these light words must be
Tokens by which you may remember me.
Start notthe thing you are is unbetrayed,
If you are human, and if but the shade
Of some sublimer spirit . . .
. . .

And as to friend or mistress, 'tis a form;
Perhaps I wish you were one. Some declare
You a familiar spirit, as you are;
Others with a . . . more inhuman
Hint that, though not my wife, you are a woman;
What is the colour of your eyes and hair?
Why, if you were a lady, it were fair
The world should knowbut, as I am afraid,
The Quarterly would bait you if betrayed;
And if, as it will be sport to see them stumble
Over all sorts of scandals, hear them mumble
Their litany of cursessome guess right,
And others swear you're a Hermaphrodite;
Like that sweet marble monster of both sexes,
Which looks so sweet and gentle that it vexes
The very soul that the soul is gone
Which lifted from her limbs the veil of stone.
. . .

It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm,
A happy and auspicious bird of calm,
Which rides o'er life's ever tumultuous Ocean;
A God that broods o'er chaos in commotion;
A flower which fresh as Lapland roses are,
Lifts its bold head into the world's frore air,
And blooms most radiantly when others die,
Health, hope, and youth, and brief prosperity;
And with the light and odour of its bloom,
Shining within the dungeon and the tomb;
Whose coming is as light and music are
'Mid dissonance and gloom -- a star
Which moves not 'mid the moving heavens alone--
A smile among dark frownsa gentle tone
Among rude voices, a belovd light,
A solitude, a refuge, a delight.
If I had but a friend! Why, I have three
Even by my own confession; there may be
Some more, for what I know, for 'tis my mind
To call my friends all who are wise and kind,--
And these, Heaven knows, at best are very few;
But none can ever be more dear than you.
Why should they be? My muse has lost her wings,
Or like a dying swan who soars and sings,
I should describe you in heroic style,
But as it is, are you not void of guile?
A lovely soul, formed to be blessed and bless:
A well of sealed and secret happiness;
A lute which those whom Love has taught to play
Make music on to cheer the roughest day,
And enchant sadness till it sleeps? . . .
. . .

To the oblivion whither I and thou,
All loving and all lovely, hasten now
With steps, ah, too unequal! may we meet
In one Elysium or one winding-sheet!
If any should be curious to discover
Whether to you I am a friend or lover,
Let them read Shakespeare's sonnets, taking thence
A whetstone for their dull intelligence
That tears and will not cut, or let them guess
How Diotima, the wise prophetess,
Instructed the instructor, and why he
Rebuked the infant spirit of melody
On Agathon's sweet lips, which as he spoke
Was as the lovely star when morn has broke
The roof of darkness, in the golden dawn,
Half-hidden, and yet beautiful.
                 I'll pawn
My hopes of Heavenyou know what they are worth--
That the presumptuous pedagogues of Earth,
If they could tell the riddle offered here
Would scorn to be, or being to appear
What now they seem and are -- but let them chide,
They have few pleasures in the world beside;
Perhaps we should be dull were we not chidden,
Paradise fruits are sweetest when forbidden.
Folly can season Wisdom, Hatred Love.
. . .

Farewell, if it can be to say farewell
To those who . . .
. . .

I will not, as most dedicators do,
Assure myself and all the world and you,
That you are faultless -- would to God they were
Who taunt me with your love! I then should wear
These heavy chains of life with a light spirit,
And would to God I were, or even as near it
As you, dear heart. Alas! what are we? Clouds
Driven by the wind in warring multitudes,
Which rain into the bosom of the earth,
And rise again, and in our death and birth,
And through our restless life, take as from heaven
Hues which are not our own, but which are given,
And then withdrawn, and with inconstant glance
Flash from the spirit to the countenance.
There is a Power, a Love, a Joy, a God
Which makes in mortal hearts its brief abode,
A Pythian exhalation, which inspires
Love, only love -- a wind which o'er the wires
Of the soul's giant harp
There is a mood which language faints beneath;
You feel it striding, as Almighty Death
His bloodless steed . . .
. . .

And what is that most brief and bright delight
Which rushes through the touch and through the sight,
And stands before the spirit's inmost throne,
A naked Seraph? None hath ever known.
Its birth is darkness, and its growth desire;
Untameable and fleet and fierce as fire,
Not to be touched but to be felt alone,
It fills the world with glory -- and is gone.
. . .

It floats with rainbow pinions o'er the stream
Of life, which flows, like a . . . dream
Into the light of morning, to the grave
As to an ocean . . .
. . .

What is that joy which serene infancy
Perceives not, as the hours content them by,
Each in a chain of blossoms, yet enjoys
The shapes of this new world, in giant toys
Wrought by the busy . . . ever new?
Remembrance borrows Fancy's glass, to show
These forms more . . . sincere
Than now they are, than then, perhaps, they were.
When everything familiar seemed to be
Wonderful, and the immortality
Of this great world, which all things must inherit,
Was felt as one with the awakening spirit,
Unconscious of itself, and of the strange
Distinctions which in its proceeding change
It feels and knows, and mourns as if each were
A desolation . . .
. . .

Were it not a sweet refuge, Emily,
For all those exiles from the dull insane
Who vex this pleasant world with pride and pain,
For all that band of sister-spirits known
To one another by a voiceless tone?
. . .

If day should part us night will mend division
And if sleep parts us -- we will meet in vision
And if life parts us -- we will mix in death
Yielding our mite [?] of unreluctant breath
Death cannot part us -- we must meet again
In all in nothing in delight in pain:
How, why or when or whereit matters not
So that we share an undivided lot . . .
. . .

And we will move possessing and possessed
Wherever beauty on the earth's bare [?] breast
Lies like the shadow of thy soul -- till we
Become one being with the world we see . . .

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Epipsychidion - Passages Of The Poem, Or Connected Therewith

77:Le Balcon (The Balcony)
Le Balcon
Mère des souvenirs, maîtresse des maîtresses,
Ô toi, tous mes plaisirs! ô toi, tous mes devoirs!
Tu te rappelleras la beauté des caresses,
La douceur du foyer et le charme des soirs,
Mère des souvenirs, maîtresse des maîtresses!
Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon,
Et les soirs au balcon, voilés de vapeurs roses.
Que ton sein m'était doux! que ton coeur m'était bon!
Nous avons dit souvent d'impérissables choses
Les soirs illumines par l'ardeur du charbon.
Que les soleils sont beaux dans les chaudes soirées!
Que l'espace est profond! que le coeur est puissant!
En me penchant vers toi, reine des adorées,
Je croyais respirer le parfum de ton sang.
Que les soleils sont beaux dans les chaudes soirées!
La nuit s'épaississait ainsi qu'une cloison,
Et mes yeux dans le noir devinaient tes prunelles,
Et je buvais ton souffle, ô douceur! ô poison!
Et tes pieds s'endormaient dans mes mains fraternelles.
La nuit s'épaississait ainsi qu'une cloison.
Je sais l'art d'évoquer les minutes heureuses,
Et revis mon passé blotti dans tes genoux.
Car à quoi bon chercher tes beautés langoureuses
Ailleurs qu'en ton cher corps et qu'en ton coeur si doux?
Je sais l'art d'évoquer les minutes heureuses!
Ces serments, ces parfums, ces baisers infinis,
Renaîtront-ils d'un gouffre interdit à nos sondes,
Comme montent au ciel les soleils rajeunis
Après s'être lavés au fond des mers profondes?
— Ô serments! ô parfums! ô baisers infinis!
The Balcony
266
Mother of memories, mistress of mistresses,
O you, all my pleasure, O you, all my duty!
You'll remember the sweetness of our caresses,
The peace of the fireside, the charm of the evenings.
Mother of memories, mistress of mistresses!
The evenings lighted by the glow of the coals,
The evenings on the balcony, veiled with rose mist;
How soft your breast was to me! how kind was your heart!
We often said imperishable things,
The evenings lighted by the glow of the coals.
How splendid the sunsets are on warm evenings!
How deep space is! how potent is the heart!
In bending over you, queen of adored women,
I thought I breathed the perfume in your blood.
How splendid the sunsets are on warm evenings!
The night was growing dense like an encircling wall,
My eyes in the darkness felt the fire of your gaze
And I drank in your breath, O sweetness, O poison!
And your feet nestled soft in my brotherly hands.
The night was growing dense like an encircling wall.
I know the art of evoking happy moments,
And live again our past, my head laid on your knees,
For what's the good of seeking your languid beauty
Elsewhere than in your dear body and gentle heart?
I know the art of evoking happy moments.
Those vows, those perfumes, those infinite kisses,
Will they be reborn from a gulf we may not sound,
As rejuvenated suns rise in the heavens
After being bathed in the depths of deep seas?
— O vows! O perfumes! O infinite kisses!
— Translated by William Aggeler
267
The Balcony
Mother of memories, queen of paramours,
Yourself are all my pleasure, all my duty;
You will recall caresses that were yours
And fireside evenings in their warmth and beauty.
Mother of memories, queen of paramours.
On eves illumined by the light of coal,
The balcony beneath a rose-veiled sky,
Your breast how soft! Your heart how good and whole!
We spoke eternal things that cannot die —
On eves illumined by the light of coal!
How splendid sets the sun of a warm evening!
How deep is space! the heart how full of power!
When, queen of the adored, towards you leaning,
I breathed the perfume of your blood in flower.
How splendid sets the sun of a warm evening!
The evening like an alcove seemed to thicken,
And as my eyes astrologised your own,
Drinking your breath, I felt sweet poisons quicken,
And in my hands your feet slept still as stone.
The evening like an alcove seemed to thicken.
I know how to resuscitate dead minutes.
I see my past, its face hid in your knees.
How can I seek your languorous charm save in its
Own source, your heart and body formed to please.
I know how to resuscitate dead minutes.
These vows, these perfumes, and these countless kisses,
Reborn from gulfs that we could never sound,
Will they, like suns, once bathed in those abysses,
Rejuvenated from the deep, rebound —
These vows, these perfumes, and these countless kisses?
— Translated by Roy Campbell
268
The Balcony
Inspirer of my youth, mistress beyond compare,
You who were all my pleasures, all my hopes and dreams!
Do you recall our cheerful room — our evenings there,
Quiet and passionate? Like yesterday, it seems,
Inspirer of my youth, mistress beyond compare!
The evenings lighted by the hushed flame of the coal,
The warm rose-misted twilights in the early springs,
The balcony! How I adored you, body and soul!
And, darling, we have said imperishable things
The evenings lighted by the hushed flame of the coal.
How splendid were the long slow summer sunsets, too!
How large the world appeared to us! How strong and good
Life ran then in our veins! When I leaned close to you
I thought that I could breathe the perfume of your blood.
How splendid were the long slow summer sunsets, too!
The night would close around us like a dim blue wall,
And your eyes flashed within the darkness, and the sweet
Drug of your breath came over me. Do you recall
How I would love to lie for hours holding your feet?
The night would close around us like a dim blue wall.
I can relive the ecstasy that Time has slain;
At moments I can feel myself between your thighs.
What use to hope for anything like that again
With someone else? What use to seek in any wise?
I can relive the ecstasy that Time has slain.
Those cries, those long embraces, that remembered scent:
Can they be lost for ever? Will they not come round
Like stars, like suns, to blaze upon the firmament
Of future worlds, from the abyss we cannot sound?
— O cries! O long embraces! O remembered scent!
— Translated by George Dillon
269
The Balcony
Mistress of mistresses, mother of memories,
O you my every pleasure, you my every duty!
You shall recall our blandishments and ecstasies,
The warm peace of our hearth, the evening's placid beauty.
Mistress of mistresses, mother of memories!
Evenings illumined by the glow of coals afire
Or on the balcony, veiled in a rosy mist.
How soft your breast, how kind your heart to my desire!
We said imperishable things the while we kissed,
Evenings illumined by the glow of coals afire.
How glorious the sunset on warm summer nights!
How deep space is! the human heart how competent!
As I bent over you, queen of my soul's delight,
I thought I breathed your blood with its suave acrid scent.
How glorious the sunset on warm summer nights!
The night grew dense, forming a wall to compass us,
Across the dark your eyes bound mine with golden bands,
I drank your breath in deep, O sweet, O poisonous!
Your slender feet slept softly in my gentle hands.
The night grew dense, forming a wall to compass us.
The resurrection of glad moments is an art
I know: I live anew, my head pressed to your knees,
For where, if not in your loved flesh and tender heart,
Can I seek out the wonder of your languidness?
The resurrection of glad moments is an art.
These vows, these fragrant scents, these kisses without end,
Shall they be born again out of infinity?
As suns rejuvenated in the skies ascend,
Having been laved in the unfathomable sea?
— O vows! O fragrant scents! — O kisses without end!
— Translated by Jacques LeClercq
270
Le Balcon
mother of memories, mistress of mistresses
— thou, all my pleasure, thou, my fealties all!
thou shalt recall each kiss how soft it is,
how warm our hearth, the night how magical,
mother of memories, mistress of mistresses!
long hours illumined by the glowing fire
long balcony-hours veiled with misty rose;
soft pillowing breast! heart warm to my desire!
and all the imperishable things we whispered, those
long hours illumined by the glowing fire
how softly shone the golden, shimmering sun!
how deep the skyey space! how rich love's power!
for bending toward thee, most belovèd one,
I seemed to breathe thy pulses like a flower.
how softly shone the golden, shimmering sun!
Night with her thickening wall imprisoned us,
eyes groped for widening eyes the black withheld,
I drank thy breath, o sweet, o poisonous!
thy feet slept in my hands fraternal held;
Night with her thickening wall imprisoned us.
my magic art evoked a rapture perished,
for in thy clasp I saw my youth afresh,
could others yield the languorous charm I cherished,
thy gentle heart, thy dear and lovely flesh?
my magic art evoked a rapture perished!
but — vows and fragrance, infinite desire —
shall they arise from gulfs too deep to plumb,
as morn by morn new suns of rosier fire
mount, laved in some dark sea Elysium?
o vows! o fragrance! infinite desire!
271
— Translated by Lewis Piaget Shanks
~ Charles Baudelaire
78:SCENE I. AURANTHE'S Apartment.
AURANTHE and CONRAD discovered.
Conrad. Well, well, I know what ugly jeopardy
We are cag'd in; you need not pester that
Into my ears. Prythee, let me be spared
A foolish tongue, that I may bethink me
Of remedies with some deliberation.
You cannot doubt but 'tis in Albert's power
To crush or save us?
Auranthe. No, I cannot doubt.
He has, assure yourself, by some strange means,
My secret ; which I ever hid from him,
Knowing his mawkish honesty.
Conrad. Curs'd slave!
Auranthe. Ay, I could almost curse him now myself.
Wretched impediment! Evil genius!
A glue upon my wings, that cannot spread,
When they should span the provinces! A snake,
A scorpion, sprawling on the first gold step,
Conducting to the throne, high canopied.
Conrad. You would not hear my council, when his life
Might have been trodden out, all sure and hush'd;
Now the dull animal forsooth must be
Intreated, managed! When can you contrive
The interview he demands?
Auranthe. As speedily
It must be done as my brib'd woman can
Unseen conduct him to me; but I fear
Twill be impossible, while the broad day
Comes through the panes with persecuting glare.
Methinks, if 't now were night I could intrigue
With darkness, bring the stars to second me,
And settle all this trouble.
Conrad. Nonsense! Child!
See him immediately; why not now?
Auranthe. Do you forget that even the senseless door-posts
Are on the watch and gape through all the house?
How many whispers there are about,
Hungry for evidence to ruin me ;
Men I have spurn 'd, and women I have taunted?
Besides, the foolish prince sends, minute whiles,
His pages so they tell me to enquire
After my health, entreating, if I please,
To see me.
Conrad. Well, suppose this Albert here;
What is your power with him?
Auranthe. He should be
My echo, my taught parrot! but I fear
He will be cur enough to bark at me ;
Have his own say ; read me some silly creed
'Bout shame and pity.
Conrad. What will you do then?
Auranthe. What I shall do, I know not: what L would
Cannot be done; for see, this chain her-floor
Will not yield to the pick-axe and the spade,
Here is no quiet depth of hollow ground.
Conrad. Sister, you have grown sensible and wise,
Seconding, ere I speak it, what is now,
I hope, resolv'd between us.
Auranthe. Say, what is 't?
Conrad. You need not be his sexton too: a man
May carry that with him shall make him die
Elsewhere, give that to him; pretend the while
You will to-morrow succumb to his wishes,
Be what they may, and send him from the Castle
On some fool's errand; let his latest groan
Frighten the wolves!
Auranthe. Alas! he must not die!
Conrad. Would you were both hears'd up in stifling lead!
Detested
Auranthe. Conrad, hold! I would not bear
The little thunder of your fretful tongue,
Tho; I alone were taken in these toils,
And you could free me; but remember, sir,
You live alone in my security:
So keep your wits at work, for your own sake,
Not mine, and be more mannerly.
Conrad. Thou wasp!
If my domains were emptied of these folk,
And I had thee to starve
Auranthe. O, marvellous!
But Conrad, now be gone; the Host is look'd for;
Cringe to the Emperor, entertain the Lords,
And, do ye mind, above all things, proclaim
My sickness, with a brother's sadden'd eye,
Condoling with Prince Ludolph. In fit time
Return to me.
Conrad. I leave you to your thoughts. [Exit.
Auranthe (sola) Down, down, proud temper! down,
Auranthe's pride!
Why do I anger him when I should kneel?
Conrad! Albert! help! help! What can I do?
wretched woman! lost, wreck'd, swallow'd up,
Accursed, blasted ! O, thou golden Crown,
Orbing along the serene firmament
Of a wide empire, like a glowing moon;
And thou, bright sceptre! lustrous in my eyes,
There as the fabled fair Hesperian tree,
Bearing a fruit more precious! graceful thing.
Delicate, godlike, magic! must I leave
Thee to melt in the visionary air,
Ere, by one grasp, this common hand is made
Imperial? I do not know the time
When I have wept for sorrow; but methinks
I could now sit upon the ground, and shed
Tears, tears of misery. O, the heavy day!
How shall I bear my life till Albert comes?
Ludolph! Erminia! Proofs! O heavy day!
Bring me some mourning weeds, that I may 'tire
Myself, as fits one wailing her own death:
Cut off these curls, and brand this lilly hand,
And throw these jewels from my loathing sight,
Fetch me a missal, and a string of beads,
A cup of bitter'd water, and a crust,
I will confess, O holy Abbot How!
What is this? Auranthe! thou fool, dolt,
Whimpering idiot! up! up! act and quell!
I am safe! Coward! why am I in fear?
Albert! he cannot stickle, chew the cud
In such a fine extreme, impossible!
Who knocks? [Goes to the Door, listens, and opens it.
Enter ALBERT.
Albert, I have been waiting for you here
With such an aching heart, such swooning throbs
On my poor brain, such cruel cruel sorrow,
That I should claim your pity! Art not well?
Albert. Yes, lady, well.
Auranthe. You look not so, alas!
But pale, as if you brought some heavy news.
Albert. You know full well what makes me look so pale.
Auranthe. No! Do I? Surely I am still to learn
Some horror; all I know, this present, is
I am near hustled to a dangerous gulph,
Which you can save me from, and therefore safe,
So trusting in thy love; that should not make
Thee pale, my Albert.
Albert. It doth make me freeze.
Auranthe. Why should it, love?
Albert. You should not ask me that,
But make your own heart monitor, and save
Me the great pain of telling. You must know.
Auranthe. Something has vexed you, Albert. There are times
When simplest things put on a sombre cast;
A melancholy mood will haunt a man,
Until most easy matters take the shape
Of unachievable tasks; small rivulets
Then seem impassable.
Albert. Do not cheat yourself
With hope that gloss of words, or suppliant action,
Or tears, or ravings, or self-threaten 'd death,
Can alter my resolve.
Auranthe. You make me tremble;

Not so much at your threats, as at your voice.
Untun'd. and harsh, and barren of all love.
Albert. You suffocate me! Stop this devil's parley,
And listen to me; know me once for all.
Auranthe. I thought I did. Alas! I am deceiv'd.
Albert. No, you are not deceiv'd. You took me for
A man detesting all inhuman crime;
And therefore kept from me your demon's plot
Against Erminia. Silent? Be so still;
For ever! Speak no more; but hear my words,
Thy fate. Your safety I have bought to-day
By blazoning a lie, which in the dawn
I expiate with truth.
Auranthe. O cruel traitor!
Albert. For I would not set eyes upon thy shame;
I would not see thee dragg'd to death by the hair,
Penanc'd, and taunted on a scaffolding!
To-night, upon the skirts of the blind wood
That blackens northward of these horrid towers,
I wait for you with horses. Choose your fate.
Farewell.
Auranthe. Albert, you jest; I'm sure you must.
You, an ambitious Soldier! I, a Queen,
One who could say, Here, rule these Provinces!
Take tribute from those cities for thyself!
Empty these armouries, these treasuries,
Muster thy warlike thousands at a nod !
Go! conquer Italy!
Albert. Auranthe, you have made
The whole world chaff to me. Your doom is fix'd.
Auranthe. Out, villain! dastard!
Albert. Look there to the door!
Who is it?
Auranthe. Conrad, traitor!
Albert. Let him in.
Enter CONRAD.
Do not affect amazement, hypocrite,
At seeing me in this chamber.
Conrad. Auranthe?
Albert. Talk not with eyes, but speak your curses out
Against me, who would sooner crush and grind
A brace of toads, than league with them to oppress
An innocent lady, gull an Emperor,
More generous to me than autumn's sun
To ripening harvests.
Auranthe. No more insult, sir!
Albert. Aye, clutch your scabbard; but, for prudence sake,
Draw not the sword; 'twould make an uproar, Duke,
You would not hear the end of. At nightfall
Your lady sister, if I guess aright,
Will leave this busy castle. You had best
Take farewell too of worldly vanities.
Conrad. Vassal!
Albert. To-morrow, when the Emperor sends
For loving Conrad, see you fawn on him.
Good even !
Auranthe. You'll be seen!
Albert. See the coast clear then.
Auranthe (as he goes). Remorseless Albert! Cruel,
cruel wretch!
[She lets him out.
Conrad. So, we must lick the dust?
Auranthe. I follow him.
Conrad. How? Where? The plan of your escape?
Auranthe. He waits
For me with horses by the forest-side,

Northward.
Conrad. Good, good! he dies. You go, say you?
Auranthe. Perforce.
Conrad. Be speedy, darkness! Till that comes,
Fiends keep you company! [Exit.
Auranthe. And you! And you!
And all men! Vanish!
[Retires to an inner Apartment.

SCENE II. An Apartment in the Castle.
Enter LUDOLPH and Page.
Page. Still very sick, my Lord; but now I went
Knowing my duty to so good a Prince;
And there her women in a mournful throng
Stood in the passage whispering: if any
Mov'd 'twas with careful steps and hush'd as death;
They bid me stop.
Ludolph. Good fellow, once again
Make soft enquiry; prythee be not stay'd
By any hindrance, but with gentlest force
Break through her weeping servants, till thou com'st
E'en to her chamber door, and there, fair boy,
If with thy mother's milk thou hast suck'd in
Any diviner eloquence ; woo her ears
With plaints for me more tender than the voice
Of dying Echo, echoed.
Page. Kindest master!
To know thee sad thus, will unloose my tongue
In mournful syllables. Let but my words reach
Her ears and she shall take them coupled with
Moans from my heart and sighs not counterfeit.
May I speed better! [Exit Page.
Ludolph. Auranthe! My Life!
Long have I lov'd thee, yet till now not lov'd:
Remembering, as I do, hard-hearted times
When I had heard even of thy death perhaps,
And thoughtless, suffered to pass alone
Into Elysium! now I follow thee
A substance or a shadow, wheresoe'er
Thou leadest me, whether thy white feet press,
With pleasant weight, the amorous-aching earth,
Or thro' the air thou pioneerest me,
A shade! Yet sadly I predestinate!
O unbenignest Love, why wilt thou let
Darkness steal out upon the sleepy world
So wearily; as if night's chariot wheels
Were clog'd in some thick cloud. O, changeful Love,
Let not her steeds with drowsy-footed pace
Pass the high stars, before sweet embassage
Comes from the pillow 'd beauty of that fair
Completion of all delicate nature's wit.
Pout her faint lips anew with rubious health
And with thine infant fingers lift the fringe
Of her sick eyelids ; that those eyes may glow
With wooing light upon me, ere the Morn
Peers with disrelish, grey, barren, and cold.
Enter GERSA and Courtiers.
Otho calls me his Lion should I blush
To be so tam'd, so
Gersa. Do me the courtesy
Gentlemen to pass on.
Courtier. We are your servants.
[Exeunt Courtiers.
Ludolph. It seems then, Sir, you have found out the man
You would confer with; me?
Gersa. If I break not
Too much upon your thoughtful mood, I will
Claim a brief while your patience.
Ludolph. For what cause
Soe'er I shall be honour 'd.
Gersa. I not less.
Ludolph. What may it be? No trifle can take place
Of such deliberate prologue, serious 'haviour.
But be it what it may I cannot fail
To listen with no common interest
For though so new your presence is to me,
I have a soldier's friendship for your fame
Please you explain.
Gersa. As thus for, pardon me,
I cannot in plain terms grossly assault
A noble nature ; and would faintly sketch
What your quick apprehension will fill up
So finely I esteem you.
Ludolph. I attend
Gersa. Your generous Father, most illustrious Otho,
Sits in the Banquet room among his chiefs
His wine is bitter, for you are not there
His eyes are fix'd still on the open doors,
And every passer in he frowns upon
Seeing no Ludolph comes.
Ludolph. I do neglect
Gersa. And for your absence, may I guess the cause?
Ludolph. Stay there! no guess? more princely you must be
Than to make guesses at me. Tis enough,
I'm sorry I can hear no more.
Gersa. And I
As griev'd to force it on you so abrupt;
Yet one day you must know a grief whose sting
Will sharpen more the longer 'tis concealed.
Ludolph. Say it at once, sir, dead, dead, is she dead?
Gersa. Mine is a cruel task : she is not dead
And would for your sake she were innocent
Ludolph. Thou liest! thou amazest me beyond
All scope of thought; convulsest my heart's blood
To deadly churning Gersa you are young
As I am ; let me observe you face to face ;
Not grey-brow'd like the poisonous Ethelbert,
No rheumed eyes, no furrowing of age,
No wrinkles where all vices nestle in
Like crannied vermin no, but fresh and young
And hopeful featured. Ha! by heaven you weep
Tears, human tears Do you repent you then
Of a curs'd torturer's office! Why shouldst join
Tell me, the league of Devils? Confess confess
The Lie.
Gersa. Lie!- but begone all ceremonious points
Of honour battailous. I could not turn
My wrath against thee for the orbed world.
Ludolph. Your wrath, weak boy? Tremble at mine unless
Retraction follow close upon the heels
Of that late stounding insult: why has my sword
Not done already a sheer judgment on thee?
Despair, or eat thy words. Why, thou wast nigh
Whimpering away my reason: hark ye, Sir,
It is no secret; that Erminia,
Erminia, Sir, was hidden in your tent;
O bless 'd asylum! comfortable home!
Begone, I pity thee, thou art a Gull
Erminia's last new puppet
Gersa. Furious fire!
Thou mak'st me boil as hot as thou canst flame!
And in thy teeth I give thee back the lie!
Thou liest! Thou, Auranthe's fool, a wittol
Ludolph. Look! look at this bright sword;
There is no part of it to the very hilt
But shall indulge itself about thine heart
Draw but remember thou must cower thy plumes,
As yesterday the Arab made thee stoop
Gersa. Patience! not here, I would not spill thy blood
Here underneath this roof where Otho breathes,
Thy father almost mine
Ludolph. O faltering coward
Re-enter PAGE.
Stay, stay, here is one I have half a word with
Well What ails thee child?
Page. My lord,
Ludolph. Good fellow
Page. They are fled!
Ludolph. They who?
Page. When anxiously
I hasten 'd back, your grieving messenger,
I found the stairs all dark, the lamps extinct,
And not a foot or whisper to be heard.
I thought her dead, and on the lowest step
Sat listening; when presently came by
Two muffled up, one sighing heavily,
The other cursing low, whose voice I knew
For the Duke Conrad's. Close I follow'd them
Thro' the dark ways they chose to the open air;
And, as I follow'd, heard my lady speak.
Ludolph. Thy life answers the truth!
Page. The chamber's empty!
Ludolph. As I will be of mercy! So, at last,
This nail is in my temples!
Gersa. Be calm in this.
Ludolph. I am.
Gersa. And Albert too has disappeared;
Ere I met you, I sought him everywhere ;
You would not hearken.
Ludolph. Which way went they, boy?
Gersa. I'll hunt with you.
Ludolph. No, no, no. My senses are
Still whole. I have surviv'd. My arm is strong
My appetite sharp for revenge! I'll no sharer
In my feast; my injury is all my own,
And so is my revenge, my lawful chattels!
Terrier, ferret them out! Burn burn the witch!
Trace me their footsteps! Away!
[Exeunt.
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~ John Keats, Otho The Great - Act IV

79:Fragments From 'Genius Lost'
Prelude
I SEE the boy-bard neath life’s morning skies,
While hope’s bright cohorts guess not of defeat,
And ardour lightens from his earnest eyes,
And faith’s cherubic wings around his being beat.
Loudly the echo of his soul repeats
Those deathless strains that witched the world of old;
While to the deeds, his high heart proudly beats,
Of names within them, treasured like heroic gold.
To love he lights the ode of vocal fire,
And yearns in song o’er freedom’s sacred throes,
Or pours a pious incense from his lyre,
Wherever o’er the grave a martyre-glory glows.
Or as he wanders waking dreams arise,
And paint new Edens on the future’s scroll,
While on the wings of rapture he outflies
The faltering mood that warns in his prophetic soul.
“All doubt away!” he cries in trustful mood;
“From Time’s unknown the perfect yet shall rise;
And this full heart attests how much of God
Might dwell with man beneath these purple-clouded skies!”
Thus holiest shapes inhabit his desire,
And love’s dream-turtles sing along his way;
Thus faith keeps mounting, like a skylark, higher,
As hope engoldens more the morning of his day.
But ah! Too high that harp-like heart is strung,
To bear the jar of this harsh world’s estate;
And ’tis betrayed by that too fervent tongue
How burns the fire within, that bodes a wayward fate.
Soon on the morning’s wings shall fancy flee,
And world-damps quench love’s spiritual flame,
And his wild powers, now as the wild waves free,
66
Be reef-bound by low wants and beaten down by shame.
Now mark him in the city’s weltering crowd
Haggard and pale; and yet, in his distress,
How quick to scorn the vile—defy the pround—
Grim, cold, and distant now—then seized with recklessness.
Yet oft what agony his pride assails,
When life’s first morning faith to thought appears
Lost in the shadowy past, and nought avails
Her calling to the lost—then blood is in his tears.
Henceforth must his sole comrade be despair,
Sole wanderer by his side in ways forlorn;
And as a root-wrenched vine no more may bear,
No more by this dry wood shall fruit be borne.
No more! And every care of life, in woe
And desperation, to the wind is hurled!
He thanks dull wondering pity with a blow,
And leaps, though into hell, out of the cruel world.
First Love
I, even when a child,
Had fondly brooded, with a glowing cheek
And asking heart, with lips apart, and breath
Hushed to such silence as the matron dove
Preserves while warming into life her young,
Over the secretely-disclosing hope
Of finding in the fulness of my youth
Some sweet, congenial one to love, to call
My own. And one has been whose soul
Felt to its depth the influence of mine,
Albeit between us the sweet name of Love
Passed never, to bring blooming to the check
Those rosy shames that burn it on the heart—
Symbol of heaven, sole synonym of God!—
Yet not the less a sympathy that heard,
Through many a whisper, Love’s sweet spirit-self,
Low breathing in the silence of our souls,
Knit us together with a still consent.
67
And she was beautiful in outward shape,
As lovely in her mind. Such eyes she had
As burn in the far depths of passionate thought,
While yet the visionary heart of youth
Is lonely in its hope! Cherries were ne’er
More ruby-rich, more delicately full,
Than were her lips; and, when her young heart would,
A smile, ineffably enchanting, played
The unwitting conqueress there.
Her light, round form
Had grace in every impulse, motions fair
As her life’s purity; her being all
Was as harmonious to the mind, as are
Most perfect strains of purest tones prolonged,
To music-loving ears.
But full of dole
Her mortal fate to me! Ere sixteen springs
Had bloomed about her being, a most fell
And secret malady did feel amid
The roses of her cheeks, her lips—but still,
Felon-like, shunned the lustre of her eyes,
That more replendent grew. And so, before
Those glowing orbs had turned their starry light
Upon one human face with other troth
Than a meek daughter or fond sister yields;
Ere her white arms and heaving bosom held
A nestling other than the weary head
Of sickness or a stranger babe, the grass
That whistled dry in the autumnal wind,
Was billowing round her grave.
And yet I live
Within a world that knoweth her no more.
’Tis well when misery’s harassed son
For shelter to the grave doth go,
As to his mountain-hold may run
The hunted roe.
68
Yet when, beneath benignant skies,
The angle Grace herself appears
But Death’s born bride, the stoniest eyes
Might break in tears.
Chorus of the Hours
Ah! That Death
Should ever, like a drear, untimely night,
Descent upon the loved, in Love’s despite!
Ah! That a little breath
Expiring from the world, should leave each scene,
Where its warm influence before hath been,
So empty to the heart in its despair
Of all but misery—misery everywhere!
Thus in the morning of my life have I
No happiness rooted in the earth, to hold
My spirit to the actual. All my hopes
Are blown away by adverse chilling winds,
Blown sheer away, out of the world, to seek
Such solace as may be derived from far
And lonely flights of faith. Yet even these
Only divert, not satisfy, my soul;
Still, when her wings refuse them, wearied out
By so wild-will’d an aeronaut as I,
Having no nearer comfort, even as now,
Their foregone influence do I meditate,
Tracing them upward in their heavenward track.
As through an ocean of uprolling mist
Amid the morning Alps, a morning bird
Keeps soaring, trustful of the risen sun—
Who then is turning all the mountain tops
To diamond islets washed by waves of gold,
That shatter as they surge—keeps soaring, till
It shoots at length into the cloudless light,
And gleams a bird of fire; so faith upmounts
Through the earth’s misty tribulations, up
Into the clear of the eternal world,
Unfainting, fervent, till, with happy wings
Outspreading full amid the rays of God
69
It glories, gleaming like the Alpine bird.
But wearying in her flight, even faith returns,
As does the bird—returns into the mist
That shutteth down all less adventurous life,
But stronger for the mighty vision left
And for the heavenly warmth upon her wings.
Once,—did I only stand in thought beside
The grave of one who had for freedom died,
Or on some spot made holy by the vow
Of tuneful love, though of an ancient day,—
My very life would thrill—and am I now
Journeying away
From that fraternal interest which cast
Around me then the feeling of the past?
I know not; but my heart no more will leap
Even to the trump of some Homeric lay:
Bad progress is it, if from that I keep
Journeying away!
Misery
As the moaning wild waves ever
Fret around some lonely isle,
There are griefs that no endeavour
Stilleth even for a while,
Beating at my heart for ever,
Beating at it now,
Beating at my heart—and aching
Upward to my brow.
Like the wild clouds flying over
High above all human reach,
There are joys that I their lover
Cannot even scale in speech;
Flying o’er my head for ever
Flying o’er it now;
Flying o’er my head—and shading
With despair my brow.
70
Chorus of the Hours
Alas! The veriest human clod
Is happier than he,
On whom the majesty,
And the mystery
Of thought, had fallen like the fire of God!
Ah! Those by nature gifted to pursue
The beautiful and true
Have chiefly in dishonour trod
The regions they redeemed—as even yet they do!
And where are they, to gods upgrown,
Shall drive this darksome doom?
Ye suffering sons of Genius, you
Must dissipate the gloom
That clouds you even as of old
In its mist so deadly cold!
With your own injuries, let stern thought
Of the most desolate deathless of those
Who with the power of darkness fought,
(Each in his age, whereon his spirit rose,
As rises some peculiar star of night
To burn eternally apart,)
Yea, let stern thought of those
Now nerve you to re-urge the lengthened fight;
And for those others,
Your future brothers,
Now follow victory with unflinching heart!
Looking Beyond
Yes, it is well, in this our cold grim earth
To steal an hour for meditation free;
To die in body, and with all the mind
Thus freed, to bridge with might beams of thought
The depth of the Eternal. Even on me
Such mood sometimes descends, the precious gift
Of pitying Urania, then I fly,
Even as a stork mid evening’s purple clouds
In mid-Elysiums—Paradises fair
71
Perhaps in stars consummated, whereon
The once earth-treading votaries of Truth
In soul reside, until a period when
Knowledge, advancing them from height to height,
And Love, grown perfect, shall have nurtured forth
Angelic wings for heaven.
But by these
I mean not such as with sour faces boast;
Blind moles of fear, who deem thy honour God
By offering up on outraged human hearts,
As upon blood-stained altars, every gay
And happy feeling, every rose wish
That sweetens human souls: and who, convened
In their dull tabernacles, all at once
Behowl the Diety as dogs the moon,
Or deprecate his wrath with grovelling rites,
And boisterous groans, that from stentorian lungs
Are grunted, swine-like, forth! Oh no! For such
The paradise of fools full wide extends
Her dismal gates!
I speak not thus in scorn;
Scorn is not sweet to me; but when the rights
Of man are trampled on; when villains sit
In the high places of the land, and sport
With what the just hold sacred; when mere wealth
Can win its Nestor’s favour, and the sleek
Regard even of its saints, and when religion
Itself is ever in a bad extreme—
A bloated pomp of mystery and show,
Or a most crude and coarse perversity,
Vile as a beggar’s raiment—then the scorn
Of indignation, then the brave disgust
Of righteous shame and honest hate, put forth
In tones like God’s own thunder burst aboard,
Are things the thin-souled scoundrel never feels.
Enough. The good I deem leave vain disputes
On things that are, and must be from their kind,
Mainly unknown, and still with faithful heed
Have care of those God gave them light to see
72
Strewn round their daily being: and of such
Rightfully choosing, and to fitting ends
Well shaping all, upbuild with honest hands
A true and simple life; and in the jars
Of national factions they alway, despite
Of frowning kings and banning priests afford
Their aid to freedom.
Yet will there come a day, though not to me,
When excellence of being shall be sought
Not only thus in vision, but within
The actual round of this diurnal world,—
A day whose light shall chase the clouds that veil
Upon the mountain tops of old repute
The imaginary gods of wrongful power,
And pierce thence downward to the vales of toil,
Healing and blessing all men—the great day
Of knowledge. Then the accident of birth—
That empty imposition! Or the claim
Of wealth—that earthly and most gnomish cheat!
Shall neither arrogate to any, proud
Distinctions as of right, nor qualify
Any by its sole influence for power
Over his fellows, but all men shall stand
Proudly beneath the fair wide roof of heaven,
As God-created equals, each the sire
Of his own worth, and the joint sanctioner
Of all political pertainment, all
Moral and social honour.
Yea, for such
Is Freedom’s charter traced upon the heart
Of our humanity, whene’er ’tis rid
Of the foul scroff of vice, and on the brain
Built godlike, when disclouded by God’s light
Of a too old distemper’s fatal rout,
Of boastful hell-suggested superstitions
And customs born of Error. And let none
Despair of such an advent; for, as when
Some solemn wood’s familiar cadences,
Deepening and deepening all around, portend
The salutary storm, even so the wide
73
Pervading instinct of a sure revolt
Against the ancient tyrannies of the earth
Roams on before it in the living stress
Of knowledge, omening the unborn change
By harshening still to the fine ear of thought
The daily jar of customary wrongs.
And let none fear that earthly power, or aught
Less than Omnipotence, can still or stay
The solemn prelude that for ever thus
Keeps deepening round and onward in the front
Of that great victory over wrong, which time
Shall witness—wrong and its abettors, all
Whom lust of sway unsanctioned by the truth
Shall to the last disnature; for the spirit
It first evokes—a mighty will to think—
Doth thenceforth charge it with oracular tones
That may not be mistaken.
Yea, great thoughts
With great thoughts coalescing through the world,
Into the future of all progress pour
Sun-prophecies, there quickening what were else
Nascent too long.
Chorus of the Hours
O why is not this beauteous earth
The Eden men imagine—the fair seat
Of fruitful peace, pure love, and sunny mirth?
And why are its prime souls, though so complete
In apprehension of a Godlike state,
The subjects ever of fraternal hate—
Oppressing or oppressed,
That so the portion is of all, deceit
And fear, and anger, sorrow, and unrest?
There’s not one bright enduring thing
In this great round of nature that appears—
No shining stars, no river murmuring,
No morn-crowned hill, no golden evening scene,
That hath not glimmered and distorted been
Through the dim mist of tears—
74
Tears not as blood from some wrung human brain,
Throbbing and aching with unpitied pain!
There is not one green mound, existent long
In any region, nor old wayside stone,
On which some weary child of social wrong
Hath sat not—there, alone,
To bite his pallid lip and heave the unheeded groan!
And such hath been the state of man
Since first the race’s recreancy began;
And thus his piety is scared away
From earth, its proper home,
To seek vague heavens above the source of day;
Or out beyond the gorgeous gloom
Wherewith dusk evening curtains up the west;
There flying, like the psalmist’s dove, to rest
In sinless gardens of perpetual bloom
And islands of the blest.
Ah! My heart
Is like a core of fire within my breast,
And by this agony is all my mind
Shaken away from its tenacious hold
Of time and sensuous things. Now come, thou meek
Religious trust, that sometime to my soul
Fliest friendly, like a heaven-descended dove,
With wings that whisper of the peace of God!
Come, and assure it now, that all thus seen
Of evil, by the patience of the One
Almighty Master of the Universe,
Is but allowed, to dash our vain repose
On Time’s foundations, and all mad belief
In human consequence; that, finally,
Amid the death of expectations fond,—
Discoveries diurnal that the pomps
And pleasures of the world are but bright mists
Concealing, mid its heights of pomp and shame,
Its depths of degradation,—that all weal,
Beauty, and peace, even in their permanence,
Are but the florid riches of a soil
75
That crusts the cone of some yet masked volcano,
Whose darling fires but wait the dread command:
“Up, to the work appointed! ”—we at length,
Even thus admonished, thus in hope and heart
Subdued and chastened, might be so constrained
To look between the thunder-bearing clouds
That darken over this mysterious ball s
Blind face, for surer, better things beyond
Its flying scenes of doubtful good, commixed
With evident evil: yea, conclude at last
That wereso in the universe of God
Our better home may be, it is not here;
Then here why build we?
O! Then, farewell,
Fancy and Hope, twin angels of the past!
Thee, Fancy, chiefly of my younger life
The spiritual spouse, farewell! With all
Thy pictured equipage: the shapes sublime
Of universal liberty and right,
Dethroning tyrants and investing worth
Alone with power and honour; and with these
Fair visions that come shining to the heart
Like evening stars from a serener air
Of generosity, in rapture high
At rival excellence; of charity
Living in secret for her own sweet sake;
Of mercy lifting up a fallen foe;
Of pity yearning o’er the child of shame;
Unselfish love, and resolute friendship—all,
Even to common trust—farewell! These lights
May never burn in the grey dome of time
or constellate for me the world again!
No more! No, never more.
The Cemetery
Here, only here
In the dark dwellings of this silent city
Is rest for the world-weary. Slander here,
Disease and poverty, forego their victim;
76
The fox of envy and the wolf of scorn
Snarl not within these gates. The enemy
Who comes to triumph o’er the powerless bones
That once he feared, still hates—even as he comes,
By the dismaying silence smitten, stops,
Listening for some far reproachful voice
Heard only through the mystery of his soul,
And, shuddering, asks forgiveness. Slept I here,
And should an enemy so plead, and might
My injured spirit, hovering over, hear—
The boon were granted. O that here, even now,
The sense were frozen to forgetfulness
That I, upon this populous star of God,
This earth that I was born to, and have loved,
Am utterly uncared-for and alone!
Whither?
Alas! These thoughts are storming all my soul
With madness—yea, the madness of despair!
And though my reason lifting up its strength
As desperately confronts them, just as well
Might the poor castaway, who helpless stands
On some bleak rock in the mid ocean, preach
Obedience to the breakers surging round
That perilous point, as I (in this wild gloom)
Strive to o’ercome them—And why should I strive?
No, rather let them howl like midnight wolves
Within my failing brain, and gnaw and tug
At my sick heart, their bitter food, for they
Will help me to my one desire—death.
Be his rest who sleeps below,
Done to death by toil and woe,
Sound and sweet.
So much in fortune did he lack,
So little meet
Of kindness, as with bleeding feet
He journeyed life’s most barren track,
That only hate in its deceit,
Not love, not pity, would entreat
77
To have him back.
But he sleeps well where many a bloom
That might not grace his living home
Pranks the raised sod:
Tokening, perhaps, that one who here
Missed the world’s smile, hath met elsewhere
The smile of God.
~ Charles Harpur
80:Upon a time, before the faery broods
Drove Nymph and Satyr from the prosperous woods,
Before King Oberon's bright diadem,
Sceptre, and mantle, clasp'd with dewy gem,
Frighted away the Dryads and the Fauns
From rushes green, and brakes, and cowslip'd lawns,
The ever-smitten Hermes empty left
His golden throne, bent warm on amorous theft:
From high Olympus had he stolen light,
On this side of Jove's clouds, to escape the sight
Of his great summoner, and made retreat
Into a forest on the shores of Crete.
For somewhere in that sacred island dwelt
A nymph, to whom all hoofed Satyrs knelt;
At whose white feet the languid Tritons poured
Pearls, while on land they witherd and adored.
Fast by the springs where she to bathe was wont,
And in those meads where sometime she might haunt,
Were strewn rich gifts, unknown to any Muse,
Though Fancys casket were unlockd to choose.
Ah, what a world of love was at her feet!
So Hermes thought, and a celestial heat
Burnt from his winged heels to either ear,
That from a whiteness, as the lily clear,
Blushd into roses mid his golden hair,
Fallen in jealous curls about his shoulders bare.
From vale to vale, from wood to wood, he flew,
Breathing upon the flowers his passion new,
And wound with many a river to its head,
To find where this sweet nymph prepard her secret bed:
In vain; the sweet nymph might nowhere be found,
And so he rested, on the lonely ground,
Pensive, and full of painful jealousies
Of the Wood-Gods, and even the very trees.
There as he stood, he heard a mournful voice,
Such as once heard, in gentle heart, destroys
All pain but pity: thus the lone voice spake:
When from this wreathed tomb shall I awake!
When move in a sweet body fit for life,
And love, and pleasure, and the ruddy strife
Of hearts and lips! Ah, miserable me!
The God, dove-footed, glided silently
Round bush and tree, soft-brushing, in his speed,
The taller grasses and full-flowering weed,
Until he found a palpitating snake,
Bright, and cirque-couchant in a dusky brake.

She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue,
Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue;
Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard,
Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barrd;
And full of silver moons, that, as she breathed,
Dissolvd, or brighter shone, or interwreathed
Their lustres with the gloomier tapestries
So rainbow-sided, touchd with miseries,
She seemd, at once, some penanced lady elf,
Some demons mistress, or the demons self.
Upon her crest she wore a wannish fire
Sprinkled with stars, like Ariadnes tiar:
Her head was serpent, but ah, bitter-sweet!
She had a womans mouth with all its pearls complete:
And for her eyes: what could such eyes do there
But weep, and weep, that they were born so fair?
As Proserpine still weeps for her Sicilian air.
Her throat was serpent, but the words she spake
Came, as through bubbling honey, for Loves sake,
And thus; while Hermes on his pinions lay,
Like a stoopd falcon ere he takes his prey.

Fair Hermes, crownd with feathers, fluttering light,
I had a splendid dream of thee last night:
I saw thee sitting, on a throne of gold,
Among the Gods, upon Olympus old,
The only sad one; for thou didst not hear
The soft, lute-fingerd Muses chaunting clear,
Nor even Apollo when he sang alone,
Deaf to his throbbing throats long, long melodious moan.
I dreamt I saw thee, robed in purple flakes,
Break amorous through the clouds, as morning breaks,
And, swiftly as a bright Phoebean dart,
Strike for the Cretan isle; and here thou art!
Too gentle Hermes, hast thou found the maid?
Whereat the star of Lethe not delayd
His rosy eloquence, and thus inquired:
Thou smooth-lippd serpent, surely high inspired!
Thou beauteous wreath, with melancholy eyes,
Possess whatever bliss thou canst devise,
Telling me only where my nymph is fled,
Where she doth breathe! Bright planet, thou hast said,
Returnd the snake, but seal with oaths, fair God!
I swear, said Hermes, by my serpent rod,
And by thine eyes, and by thy starry crown!
Light flew his earnest words, among the blossoms blown.
Then thus again the brilliance feminine:
Too frail of heart! for this lost nymph of thine,
Free as the air, invisibly, she strays
About these thornless wilds; her pleasant days
She tastes unseen; unseen her nimble feet
Leave traces in the grass and flowers sweet;
From weary tendrils, and bowd branches green,
She plucks the fruit unseen, she bathes unseen:
And by my power is her beauty veild
To keep it unaffronted, unassaild
By the love-glances of unlovely eyes,
Of Satyrs, Fauns, and bleard Silenus sighs.
Pale grew her immortality, for woe
Of all these lovers, and she grieved so
I took compassion on her, bade her steep
Her hair in weird syrops, that would keep
Her loveliness invisible, yet free
To wander as she loves, in liberty.
Thou shalt behold her, Hermes, thou alone,
If thou wilt, as thou swearest, grant my boon!
Then, once again, the charmed God began
An oath, and through the serpents ears it ran
Warm, tremulous, devout, psalterian.
Ravishd, she lifted her Circean head,
Blushd a live damask, and swift-lisping said,
I was a woman, let me have once more
A womans shape, and charming as before.
I love a youth of CorinthO the bliss!
Give me my womans form, and place me where he is.
Stoop, Hermes, let me breathe upon thy brow,
And thou shalt see thy sweet nymph even now.
The God on half-shut feathers sank serene,
She breathd upon his eyes, and swift was seen
Of both the guarded nymph near-smiling on the green.
It was no dream; or say a dream it was,
Real are the dreams of Gods, and smoothly pass
Their pleasures in a long immortal dream.
One warm, flushd moment, hovering, it might seem
Dashd by the wood-nymphs beauty, so he burnd;
Then, lighting on the printless verdure, turnd
To the swoond serpent, and with languid arm,
Delicate, put to proof the lythe Caducean charm.
So done, upon the nymph his eyes he bent,
Full of adoring tears and blandishment,
And towards her stept: she, like a moon in wane,
Faded before him, cowerd, nor could restrain
Her fearful sobs, self-folding like a flower
That faints into itself at evening hour:
But the God fostering her chilled hand,
She felt the warmth, her eyelids opend bland,
And, like new flowers at morning song of bees,
Bloomd, and gave up her honey to the lees.
Into the green-recessed woods they flew;
Nor grew they pale, as mortal lovers do.

Left to herself, the serpent now began
To change; her elfin blood in madness ran,
Her mouth foamd, and the grass, therewith besprent,
Witherd at dew so sweet and virulent;
Her eyes in torture fixd, and anguish drear,
Hot, glazd, and wide, with lid-lashes all sear,
Flashd phosphor and sharp sparks, without one cooling tear.
The colours all inflamd throughout her train,
She writhd about, convulsd with scarlet pain:
A deep volcanian yellow took the place
Of all her milder-mooned bodys grace;
And, as the lava ravishes the mead,
Spoilt all her silver mail, and golden brede;
Made gloom of all her frecklings, streaks and bars,
Eclipsd her crescents, and lickd up her stars:
So that, in moments few, she was undrest
Of all her sapphires, greens, and amethyst,
And rubious-argent: of all these bereft,
Nothing but pain and ugliness were left.
Still shone her crown; that vanishd, also she
Melted and disappeard as suddenly;
And in the air, her new voice luting soft,
Cried, Lycius! gentle Lycius!Borne aloft
With the bright mists about the mountains hoar
These words dissolvd: Cretes forests heard no more.

Whither fled Lamia, now a lady bright,
A full-born beauty new and exquisite?
She fled into that valley they pass oer
Who go to Corinth from Cenchreas shore;
And rested at the foot of those wild hills,
The rugged founts of the Peraean rills,
And of that other ridge whose barren back
Stretches, with all its mist and cloudy rack,
South-westward to Cleone. There she stood
About a young birds flutter from a wood,
Fair, on a sloping green of mossy tread,
By a clear pool, wherein she passioned
To see herself escapd from so sore ills,
While her robes flaunted with the daffodils.

Ah, happy Lycius!for she was a maid
More beautiful than ever twisted braid,
Or sighd, or blushd, or on spring-flowered lea
Spread a green kirtle to the minstrelsy:
A virgin purest lippd, yet in the lore
Of love deep learned to the red hearts core:
Not one hour old, yet of sciential brain
To unperplex bliss from its neighbour pain;
Define their pettish limits, and estrange
Their points of contact, and swift counterchange;
Intrigue with the specious chaos, and dispart
Its most ambiguous atoms with sure art;
As though in Cupids college she had spent
Sweet days a lovely graduate, still unshent,
And kept his rosy terms in idle languishment.

Why this fair creature chose so fairily
By the wayside to linger, we shall see;
But first tis fit to tell how she could muse
And dream, when in the serpent prison-house,
Of all she list, strange or magnificent:
How, ever, where she willd, her spirit went;
Whether to faint Elysium, or where
Down through tress-lifting waves the Nereids fair
Wind into Thetis bower by many a pearly stair;
Or where God Bacchus drains his cups divine,
Stretchd out, at ease, beneath a glutinous pine;
Or where in Plutos gardens palatine
Mulcibers columns gleam in far piazzian line.
And sometimes into cities she would send
Her dream, with feast and rioting to blend;
And once, while among mortals dreaming thus,
She saw the young Corinthian Lycius
Charioting foremost in the envious race,
Like a young Jove with calm uneager face,
And fell into a swooning love of him.
Now on the moth-time of that evening dim
He would return that way, as well she knew,
To Corinth from the shore; for freshly blew
The eastern soft wind, and his galley now
Grated the quaystones with her brazen prow
In port Cenchreas, from Egina isle
Fresh anchord; whither he had been awhile
To sacrifice to Jove, whose temple there
Waits with high marble doors for blood and incense rare.
Jove heard his vows, and betterd his desire;
For by some freakful chance he made retire
From his companions, and set forth to walk,
Perhaps grown wearied of their Corinth talk:
Over the solitary hills he fared,
Thoughtless at first, but ere eves star appeared
His phantasy was lost, where reason fades,
In the calmd twilight of Platonic shades.
Lamia beheld him coming, near, more near
Close to her passing, in indifference drear,
His silent sandals swept the mossy green;
So neighbourd to him, and yet so unseen
She stood: he passd, shut up in mysteries,
His mind wrappd like his mantle, while her eyes
Followd his steps, and her neck regal white
Turndsyllabling thus, Ah, Lycius bright,
And will you leave me on the hills alone?
Lycius, look back! and be some pity shown.
He did; not with cold wonder fearingly,
But Orpheus-like at an Eurydice;
For so delicious were the words she sung,
It seemd he had lovd them a whole summer long:
And soon his eyes had drunk her beauty up,
Leaving no drop in the bewildering cup,
And still the cup was full,while he afraid
Lest she should vanish ere his lip had paid
Due adoration, thus began to adore;
Her soft look growing coy, she saw his chain so sure:
Leave thee alone! Look back! Ah, Goddess, see
Whether my eyes can ever turn from thee!
For pity do not this sad heart belie
Even as thou vanishest so I shall die.
Stay! though a Naiad of the rivers, stay!
To thy far wishes will thy streams obey:
Stay! though the greenest woods be thy domain,
Alone they can drink up the morning rain:
Though a descended Pleiad, will not one
Of thine harmonious sisters keep in tune
Thy spheres, and as thy silver proxy shine?
So sweetly to these ravishd ears of mine
Came thy sweet greeting, that if thou shouldst fade
Thy memory will waste me to a shade:
For pity do not melt!If I should stay,
Said Lamia, here, upon this floor of clay,
And pain my steps upon these flowers too rough,
What canst thou say or do of charm enough
To dull the nice remembrance of my home?
Thou canst not ask me with thee here to roam
Over these hills and vales, where no joy is,
Empty of immortality and bliss!
Thou art a scholar, Lycius, and must know
That finer spirits cannot breathe below
In human climes, and live: Alas! poor youth,
What taste of purer air hast thou to soothe
My essence? What serener palaces,
Where I may all my many senses please,
And by mysterious sleights a hundred thirsts appease?
It cannot beAdieu! So said, she rose
Tiptoe with white arms spread. He, sick to lose
The amorous promise of her lone complain,
Swoond, murmuring of love, and pale with pain.
The cruel lady, without any show
Of sorrow for her tender favourites woe,
But rather, if her eyes could brighter be,
With brighter eyes and slow amenity,
Put her new lips to his, and gave afresh
The life she had so tangled in her mesh:
And as he from one trance was wakening
Into another, she began to sing,
Happy in beauty, life, and love, and every thing,
A song of love, too sweet for earthly lyres,
While, like held breath, the stars drew in their panting fires
And then she whisperd in such trembling tone,
As those who, safe together met alone
For the first time through many anguishd days,
Use other speech than looks; bidding him raise
His drooping head, and clear his soul of doubt,
For that she was a woman, and without
Any more subtle fluid in her veins
Than throbbing blood, and that the self-same pains
Inhabited her frail-strung heart as his.
And next she wonderd how his eyes could miss
Her face so long in Corinth, where, she said,
She dwelt but half retird, and there had led
Days happy as the gold coin could invent
Without the aid of love; yet in content
Till she saw him, as once she passd him by,
Where gainst a column he leant thoughtfully
At Venus temple porch, mid baskets heapd
Of amorous herbs and flowers, newly reapd
Late on that eve, as twas the night before
The Adonian feast; whereof she saw no more,
But wept alone those days, for why should she adore?
Lycius from death awoke into amaze,
To see her still, and singing so sweet lays;
Then from amaze into delight he fell
To hear her whisper womans lore so well;
And every word she spake enticd him on
To unperplexd delight and pleasure known.
Let the mad poets say whateer they please
Of the sweets of Fairies, Peris, Goddesses,
There is not such a treat among them all,
Haunters of cavern, lake, and waterfall,
As a real woman, lineal indeed
From Pyrrhas pebbles or old Adams seed.
Thus gentle Lamia judgd, and judgd aright,
That Lycius could not love in half a fright,
So threw the goddess off, and won his heart
More pleasantly by playing womans part,
With no more awe than what her beauty gave,
That, while it smote, still guaranteed to save.
Lycius to all made eloquent reply,
Marrying to every word a twinborn sigh;
And last, pointing to Corinth, askd her sweet,
If twas too far that night for her soft feet.
The way was short, for Lamias eagerness
Made, by a spell, the triple league decrease
To a few paces; not at all surmised
By blinded Lycius, so in her comprized.
They passd the city gates, he knew not how
So noiseless, and he never thought to know.

As men talk in a dream, so Corinth all,
Throughout her palaces imperial,
And all her populous streets and temples lewd,
Mutterd, like tempest in the distance brewd,
To the wide-spreaded night above her towers.
Men, women, rich and poor, in the cool hours,
Shuffled their sandals oer the pavement white,
Companiond or alone; while many a light
Flared, here and there, from wealthy festivals,
And threw their moving shadows on the walls,
Or found them clusterd in the corniced shade
Of some archd temple door, or dusky colonnade.

Muffling his face, of greeting friends in fear,
Her fingers he pressd hard, as one came near
With curld gray beard, sharp eyes, and smooth bald crown,
Slow-steppd, and robed in philosophic gown:
Lycius shrank closer, as they met and past,
Into his mantle, adding wings to haste,
While hurried Lamia trembled: Ah, said he,
Why do you shudder, love, so ruefully?
Why does your tender palm dissolve in dew?
Im wearied, said fair Lamia: tell me who
Is that old man? I cannot bring to mind
His features:Lycius! wherefore did you blind
Yourself from his quick eyes? Lycius replied,
Tis Apollonius sage, my trusty guide
And good instructor; but to-night he seems
The ghost of folly haunting my sweet dreams.

While yet he spake they had arrived before
A pillar'd porch, with lofty portal door,
Where hung a silver lamp, whose phosphor glow
Reflected in the slabbed steps below,
Mild as a star in water; for so new,
And so unsullied was the marble hue,
So through the crystal polish, liquid fine,
Ran the dark veins, that none but feet divine
Could e'er have touch'd there. Sounds Aeolian
Breath'd from the hinges, as the ample span
Of the wide doors disclos'd a place unknown
Some time to any, but those two alone,
And a few Persian mutes, who that same year
Were seen about the markets: none knew where
They could inhabit; the most curious
Were foil'd, who watch'd to trace them to their house:
And but the flitter-winged verse must tell,
For truth's sake, what woe afterwards befel,
'Twould humour many a heart to leave them thus,
Shut from the busy world of more incredulous.
(line 48): Originally, "Cerulean-spotted." Leigh Hunt says of this passage, "The admiration, pity, and horror, to be excited by humanity in a brute shape, were never perhaps called upon by a greater mixture of beauty and deformity than in the picture of this creature. Our pity and suspicions are begged by the first word: the profuse and vital beauties with which she is covered seem proportioned to her misery and natural rights; and lest we should lose sight of them in this gorgeousness, the 'woman's mouth' fills us at once with shuddering and compassion."

(line 158): The manuscript reads "vulcanian," the first edition "volcanian." It seems to me more likely that the manuscript accords with the poet's intention than that printed text does, for this old orthography is the more characteristic of the vocabulary of this particular poem, as introducing the more conspicuously the mythic personal origin of the common noun "volcano" or "vulcano."
~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, Lamia. Part I

81:How gracefully, O man, with thy palm-bough,
Upon the waning century standest thou,
In proud and noble manhood's prime,
With unlocked senses, with a spirit freed,
Of firmness mild,though silent, rich in deed,
The ripest son of Time,
Through meekness great, through precepts strong,
Through treasures rich, that time had long
Hid in thy bosom, and through reason free,
Master of Nature, who thy fetters loves,
And who thy strength in thousand conflicts proves,
And from the desert soared in pride with thee!

Flushed with the glow of victory,
Never forget to prize the hand
That found the weeping orphan child
Deserted on life's barren strand,
And left a prey to hazard wild,
That, ere thy spirit-honor saw the day,
Thy youthful heart watched over silently,
And from thy tender bosom turned away
Each thought that might have stained its purity;
That kind one ne'er forget who, as in sport,
Thy youth to noble aspirations trained,
And who to thee in easy riddles taught
The secret how each virtue might be gained;
Who, to receive him back more perfect still,
E'en into strangers' arms her favorite gave
Oh, may'st thou never with degenerate will,
Humble thyself to be her abject slave!
In industry, the bee the palm may bear;
In skill, the worm a lesson may impart;
With spirits blest thy knowledge thou dost share,
But thou, O man, alone hast art!

Only through beauty's morning gate
Didst thou the land of knowledge find.
To merit a more glorious fate,
In graces trains itself the mind.
What thrilled thee through with trembling blessed,
When erst the Muses swept the chord,
That power created in thy breast,
Which to the mighty spirit soared.

When first was seen by doting reason's ken,
When many a thousand years had passed away,
A symbol of the fair and great e'en then,
Before the childlike mind uncovered lay.
Its blessed form bade us honor virtue's cause,
The honest sense 'gainst vice put forth its powers,
Before a Solon had devised the laws
That slowly bring to light their languid flowers.
Before Eternity's vast scheme
Was to the thinker's mind revealed,
Was't not foreshadowed in his dream,
Whose eyes explored yon starry field?

Urania,the majestic dreaded one,
Who wears a glory of Orions twined
Around her brow, and who is seen by none
Save purest spirits, when, in splendor shrined,
She soars above the stars in pride,
Ascending to her sunny throne,
Her fiery chaplet lays aside,
And now, as beauty, stands alone;
While, with the Graces' girdle round her cast,
She seems a child, by children understood;
For we shall recognize as truth at last,
What here as beauty only we have viewed.

When the Creator banished from his sight
Frail man to dark mortality's abode,
And granted him a late return to light,
Only by treading reason's arduous road,
When each immortal turned his face away,
She, the compassionate, alone
Took up her dwelling in that house of clay,
With the deserted, banished one.
With drooping wing she hovers here
Around her darling, near the senses' land,
And on his prison-walls so drear
Elysium paints with fond deceptive hand.

While soft humanity still lay at rest,
Within her tender arms extended,
No flame was stirred by bigots' murderous zest,
No guiltless blood on high ascended.
The heart that she in gentle fetters binds,
Views duty's slavish escort scornfully;
Her path of light, though fairer far it winds,
Sinks in the sun-track of morality.
Those who in her chaste service still remain,
No grovelling thought can tempt, no fate affright;
The spiritual life, so free from stain,
Freedom's sweet birthright, they receive again,
Under the mystic sway of holy might.

The purest among millions, happy they
Whom to her service she has sanctified,
Whose mouths the mighty one's commands convey,
Within whose breasts she deigneth to abide;
Whom she ordained to feed her holy fire
Upon her altar's ever-flaming pyre,
Whose eyes alone her unveiled graces meet,
And whom she gathers round in union sweet
In the much-honored place be glad
Where noble order bade ye climb,
For in the spirit-world sublime,
Man's loftiest rank ye've ever had!

Ere to the world proportion ye revealed,
That every being joyfully obeys,
A boundless structure, in night's veil concealed,
Illumed by naught but faint and languid rays,
A band of phantoms, struggling ceaselessly,
Holding his mind in slavish fetters bound,
Unsociable and rude as be,
Assailing him on every side around,
Thus seemed to man creation in that day!
United to surrounding forms alone
By the blind chains the passions had put on,
Whilst Nature's beauteous spirit fled away
Unfelt, untasted, and unknown.

And, as it hovered o'er with parting ray,
Ye seized the shades so neighborly,
With silent hand, with feeling mind,
And taught how they might be combined
In one firm bond of harmony.
The gaze, light-soaring, felt uplifted then,
When first the cedar's slender trunk it viewed;
And pleasingly the ocean's crystal flood
Reflected back the dancing form again.
Could ye mistake the look, with beauty fraught,
That Nature gave to help ye on your way?
The image floating on the billows taught
The art the fleeting shadow to portray.

From her own being torn apart,
Her phantom, beauteous as a dream,
She plunged into the silvery stream,
Surrendering to her spoiler's art.
Creative power soon in your breast unfolded;
Too noble far, not idly to conceive,
The shadow's form in sand, in clay ye moulded,
And made it in the sketch its being leave.
The longing thirst for action then awoke,
And from your breast the first creation broke.

By contemplation captive made,
Ensnared by your discerning eye,
The friendly phantom's soon betrayed
The talisman that roused your ecstasy.
The laws of wonder-working might,
The stores by beauty brought to light,
Inventive reason in soft union planned
To blend together 'neath your forming hand.
The obelisk, the pyramid ascended,
The Hermes stood, the column sprang on high,
The reed poured forth the woodland melody,
Immortal song on victor's deeds attended.

The fairest flowers that decked the earth,
Into a nosegay, with wise choice combined,
Thus the first art from Nature had its birth;
Into a garland then were nosegays twined,
And from the works that mortal hands had made,
A second, nobler art was now displayed.
The child of beauty, self-sufficient now,
That issued from your hands to perfect day,
Loses the chaplet that adorned its brow,
Soon as reality asserts its sway.
The column, yielding to proportion's chains,
Must with its sisters join in friendly link,
The hero in the hero-band must sink,
The Muses' harp peals forth its tuneful strains.

The wondering savages soon came
To view the new creation's plan
"Behold!"the joyous crowds exclaim,
"Behold, all this is done by man!"
With jocund and more social aim
The minstrel's lyre their awe awoke,
Telling of Titans, and of giant's frays
And lion-slayers, turning, as he spoke,
Even into heroes those who heard his lays.
For the first time the soul feels joy,
By raptures blessed that calmer are,
That only greet it from afar,
That passions wild can ne'er destroy,
And that, when tasted, do not cloy.

And now the spirit, free and fair,
Awoke from out its sensual sleep;
By you unchained, the slave of care
Into the arms of joy could leap.
Each brutish barrier soon was set at naught,
Humanity first graced the cloudless brow,
And the majestic, noble stranger, thought,
From out the wondering brain sprang boldly now.
Man in his glory stood upright,
And showed the stars his kingly face;
His speaking glance the sun's bright light
Blessed in the realms sublime of space.
Upon the cheek now bloomed the smile,
The voice's soulful harmony
Expanded into song the while,
And feeling swam in the moist eye;
And from the mouth, with spirit teeming o'er,
Jest, sweetly linked with grace, began to pour.

Sunk in the instincts of the worm,
By naught but sensual lust possessed,
Ye recognized within his breast
Love-spiritual's noble germ;
And that this germ of love so blest
Escaped the senses' abject load,
To the first pastoral song he owed.
Raised to the dignity of thought,
Passions more calm to flow were taught
From the bard's mouth with melody.
The cheeks with dewy softness burned;
The longing that, though quenched, still yearned,
Proclaimed the spirit-harmony.

The wisest's wisdom, and the strongest's vigor,
The meekest's meekness, and the noblest's grace,
By you were knit together in one figure,
Wreathing a radiant glory round the place.
Man at the Unknown's sight must tremble,
Yet its refulgence needs must love;
That mighty Being to resemble,
Each glorious hero madly strove;
The prototype of beauty's earliest strain
Ye made resound through Nature's wide domain.

The passions' wild and headlong course,
The ever-varying plan of fate,
Duty and instinct's twofold force,
With proving mind and guidance straight
Ye then conducted to their ends.
What Nature, as she moves along,
Far from each other ever rends,
Become upon the stage, in song,
Members of order, firmly bound.
Awed by the Furies' chorus dread,
Murder draws down upon its head
The doom of death from their wild sound.
Long e'er the wise to give a verdict dared,
An Iliad had fate's mysteries declared
To early ages from afar;
While Providence in silence fared
Into the world from Thespis' car.
Yet into that world's current so sublime
Your symmetry was borne before its time,
When the dark hand of destiny
Failed in your sight to part by force.

What it had fashioned 'neath your eye,
In darkness life made haste to die,
Ere it fulfilled its beauteous course.
Then ye with bold and self-sufficient might
Led the arch further through the future's night:
Then, too, ye plunged, without a fear,
Into Avernus' ocean black,
And found the vanished life so dear
Beyond the urn, and brought it back.
A blooming Pollux-form appeared now soon,
On Castor leaning, and enshrined in light
The shadow that is seen upon the moon,
Ere she has filled her silvery circle bright!

Yet higher,higher still above the earth
Inventive genius never ceased to rise:
Creations from creations had their birth,
And harmonies from harmonies.
What here alone enchants the ravished sight,
A nobler beauty yonder must obey;
The graceful charms that in the nymph unite,
In the divine Athene melt away;
The strength with which the wrestler is endowed,
In the god's beauty we no longer find:
The wonder of his timeJove's image proud
In the Olympian temple is enshrined.

The world, transformed by industry's bold hand,
The human heart, by new-born instincts moved,
That have in burning fights been fully proved,
Your circle of creation now expand.
Advancing man bears on his soaring pinions,
In gratitude, art with him in his flight,
And out of Nature's now-enriched dominions
New worlds of beauty issue forth to light.
The barriers upon knowledge are o'erthrown;
The spirit that, with pleasure soon matured,
Has in your easy triumphs been inured
To hasten through an artist-whole of graces,
Nature's more distant columns duly places.
And overtakes her on her pathway lone.
He weighs her now with weights that human are,
Metes her with measures that she lent of old;
While in her beauty's rites more practised far,
She now must let his eye her form behold.
With youthful and self-pleasing bliss,
He lends the spheres his harmony,
And, if he praise earth's edifice,
'Tis for its wondrous symmetry.
In all that now around him breathes,
Proportion sweet is ever rife;
And beauty's golden girdle wreathes
With mildness round his path through life;
Perfection blest, triumphantly,
Before him in your works soars high;
Wherever boisterous rapture swells,
Wherever silent sorrow flees,
Where pensive contemplation dwells,
Where he the tears of anguish sees,
Where thousand terrors on him glare,
Harmonious streams are yet behind
He sees the Graces sporting there,
With feeling silent and refined.
Gentle as beauty's lines together linking,
As the appearances that round him play,
In tender outline in each other sinking,
The soft breath of his life thus fleets away.
His spirit melts in the harmonious sea,
That, rich in rapture, round his senses flows,
And the dissolving thought all silently
To omnipresent Cytherea grows.
Joining in lofty union with the Fates,
On Graces and on Muses calm relying,
With freely-offered bosom he awaits
The shaft that soon against him will be flying
From the soft bow necessity creates.

Favorites beloved of blissful harmony,
Welcome attendants on life's dreary road,
The noblest and the dearest far that she,
Who gave us life, to bless that life bestowed!
That unyoked man his duties bears in mind,
And loves the fetters that his motions bind,
That Chance with brazen sceptre rules him not,
For this eternity is now your lot,
Your heart has won a bright reward for this.
That round the cup where freedom flows,
Merrily sport the gods of bliss,
The beauteous dream its fragrance throws,
For this, receive a loving kiss!

The spirit, glorious and serene,
Who round necessity the graces trains,
Who bids his ether and his starry plains
Upon us wait with pleasing mien,
Who, 'mid his terrors, by his majesty gives joy,
And who is beauteous e'en when seeking to destroy,
Him imitate, the artist good!
As o'er the streamlet's crystal flood
The banks with checkered dances hover,
The flowery mead, the sunset's light,
Thus gleams, life's barren pathway over,
Poesy's shadowy world so bright.
In bridal dress ye led us on
Before the terrible Unknown,
Before the inexorable fate,
As in your urns the bones are laid,
With beauteous magic veil ye shade
The chorus dread that cares create.
Thousands of years I hastened through
The boundless realm of vanished time
How sad it seems when left by you
But where ye linger, how sublime!

She who, with fleeting wing, of yore
From your creating hand arose in might,
Within your arms was found once more,
When, vanquished by Time's silent flight,
Life's blossoms faded from the cheek,
And from the limbs all vigor went,
And mournfully, with footstep weak,
Upon his staff the gray-beard leant.
Then gave ye to the languishing,
Life's waters from a new-born spring;
Twice was the youth of time renewed,
Twice, from the seeds that ye had strewed.

When chased by fierce barbarian hordes away,
The last remaining votive brand ye tore
From Orient's altars, now pollution's prey,
And to these western lands in safety bore.
The fugitive from yonder eastern shore,
The youthful day, the West her dwelling made;
And on Hesperia's plains sprang up once more
Ionia's flowers, in pristine bloom arrayed.
Over the spirit fairer Nature shed,
With soft refulgence, a reflection bright,
And through the graceful soul with stately tread
Advanced the mighty Deity of light.
Millions of chains were burst asunder then,
And to the slave then human laws applied,
And mildly rose the younger race of men,
As brethren, gently wandering side by side,
With noble inward ecstasy,
The bliss imparted ye receive,
And in the veil of modesty,
With silent merit take your leave.
If on the paths of thought, so freely given,
The searcher now with daring fortune stands,
And, by triumphant Paeans onward driven,
Would seize upon the crown with dauntless hands
If he with grovelling hireling's pay
Thinks to dismiss his glorious guide
Or, with the first slave's-place array
Art near the throne his dream supplied
Forgive him!O'er your head to-day
Hovers perfection's crown in pride,
With you the earliest plant Spring had,
Soul-forming Nature first began;
With you, the harvest-chaplet glad,
Perfected Nature ends her plan.

The art creative, that all-modestly arose
From clay and stone, with silent triumph throws
Its arms around the spirit's vast domain.
What in the land of knowledge the discoverer knows,
He knows, discovers, only for your gain
The treasures that the thinker has amassed,
He will enjoy within your arms alone,
Soon as his knowledge, beauty-ripe at last.
To art ennobled shall have grown,
Soon as with you he scales a mountain-height,
And there, illumined by the setting sun,
The smiling valley bursts upon his sight.
The richer ye reward the eager gaze
The higher, fairer orders that the mind
May traverse with its magic rays,
Or compass with enjoyment unconfined
The wider thoughts and feelings open lie
To more luxuriant floods of harmony.
To beauty's richer, more majestic stream,
The fair members of the world's vast scheme,
That, maimed, disgrace on his creation bring,
He sees the lofty forms then perfecting

The fairer riddles come from out the night
The richer is the world his arms enclose,
The broader stream the sea with which he flows
The weaker, too, is destiny's blind might
The nobler instincts does he prove
The smaller he himself, the greater grows his love.
Thus is he led, in still and hidden race,
By poetry, who strews his path with flowers,
Through ever-purer forms, and purer powers,
Through ever higher heights, and fairer grace.
At length, arrived at the ripe goal of time,
Yet one more inspiration all-sublime,
Poetic outburst of man's latest youth,
Andhe will glide into the arms of truth!

Herself, the gentle Cypria,
Illumined by her fiery crown,
Then stands before her full-grown son
Unveiledas great Urania;
The sooner only by him caught,
The fairer he had fled away!
Thus stood, in wonder rapture-fraught,
Ulysses' noble son that day,
When the sage mentor who his youth beguiled;
Herself transfigured as Jove's glorious child!

Man's honor is confided to your hand,
There let it well protected be!
It sinks with you! with you it will expand!
Poesy's sacred sorcery
Obeys a world-plan wise and good;
In silence let it swell the flood
Of mighty-rolling harmony.

By her own time viewed with disdain,
Let solemn truth in song remain,
And let the Muses' band defend her!
In all the fullness of her splendor,
Let her survive in numbers glorious,
More dread, when veiled her charms appear,
And vengeance take, with strains victorious,
On her tormentor's ear!

The freest mother's children free,
With steadfast countenance then rise
To highest beauty's radiancy,
And every other crown despise!
The sisters who escaped you here,
Within your mother's arms ye'll meet;
What noble spirits may revere,
Must be deserving and complete.
High over your own course of time
Exalt yourselves with pinion bold,
And dimly let your glass sublime
The coming century unfold!
On thousand roads advancing fast
Of ever-rich variety,
With fond embraces meet at last
Before the throne of harmony!
As into seven mild rays we view
With softness break the glimmer white,
As rainbow-beams of sevenfold hue
Dissolve again in that soft light,
In clearness thousandfold thus throw
Your magic round the ravished gaze,
Into one stream of light thus flow,
One bond of truth that ne'er decays!

~ Friedrich Schiller, The Artists

82:                        

    What is more gentle than a wind in summer?
    What is more soothing than the pretty hummer
    That stays one moment in an open flower,
    And buzzes cheerily from bower to bower?
    What is more tranquil than a musk-rose blowing
    In a green island, far from all men's knowing?
    More healthful than the leafiness of dales?
    More secret than a nest of nightingales?
    More serene than Cordelia's countenance?
    More full of visions than a high romance?
    What, but thee Sleep? Soft closer of our eyes!
    Low murmurer of tender lullabies!
    Light hoverer around our happy pillows!
    Wreather of poppy buds, and weeping willows!
    Silent entangler of a beauty's tresses!
    Most happy listener! when the morning blesses
    Thee for enlivening all the cheerful eyes
    That glance so brightly at the new sun-rise.

    But what is higher beyond thought than thee?
    Fresher than berries of a mountain tree?
    More strange, more beautiful, more smooth, more regal,
    Than wings of swans, than doves, than dim-seen eagle?
    What is it? And to what shall I compare it?
    It has a glory, and naught else can share it:
    The thought thereof is awful, sweet, and holy,
    Chasing away all worldliness and folly;
    Coming sometimes like fearful claps of thunder,
    Or the low rumblings earth's regions under;
    And sometimes like a gentle whispering
    Of all the secrets of some wond'rous thing
    That breathes about us in the vacant air;
    So that we look around with prying stare,
    Perhaps to see shapes of light, aerial limning,
    And catch soft floatings from a faint-heard hymning;
    To see the laurel wreath, on high suspended,
    That is to crown our name when life is ended.
    Sometimes it gives a glory to the voice,
    And from the heart up-springs, rejoice! rejoice!
    Sounds which will reach the Framer of all things,
    And die away in ardent mutterings.

    No one who once the glorious sun has seen,
    And all the clouds, and felt his bosom clean
    For his great Maker's presence, but must know
    What 'tis I mean, and feel his being glow:
    Therefore no insult will I give his spirit,
    By telling what he sees from native merit.

    O Poesy! for thee I hold my pen
    That am not yet a glorious denizen
    Of thy wide heaven- Should I rather kneel
    Upon some mountain-top until I feel
    A glowing splendour round about me hung,
    And echo back the voice of thine own tongue?
    O Poesy! for thee I grasp my pen
    That am not yet a glorious denizen
    Of thy wide heaven; yet, to my ardent prayer,
    Yield from thy sanctuary some clear air,
    Smooth'd for intoxication by the breath
    Of flowering bays, that I may die a death
    Of luxury, and my young spirit follow
    The morning sun-beams to the great Apollo
    Like a fresh sacrifice; or, if I can bear
    The o'erwhelming sweets, 'twill bring to me the fair
    Visions of all places: a bowery nook
    Will be elysium- an eternal book
    Whence I may copy many a lovely saying
    About the leaves, and flowers- about the playing
    Of nymphs in woods, and fountains; and the shade
    Keeping a silence round a sleeping maid;
    And many a verse from so strange influence
    That we must ever wonder how, and whence
    It came. Also imaginings will hover
    Round my fire-side, and haply there discover
    Vistas of solemn beauty, where I'd wander
    In happy silence, like the clear Meander
    Through its lone vales; and where I found a spot
    Of awfuller shade, or an enchanted grot,
    Or a green hill o'erspread with chequer'd dress
    Of flowers, and fearful from its loveliness,
    Write on my tablets all that was permitted,
    All that was for our human senses fitted.
    Then the events of this wide world I'd seize
    Like a strong giant, and my spirit teaze
    Till at its shoulders it should proudly see
    Wings to find out an immortality.

    Stop and consider! life is but a day;
    A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way
    From a tree's summit; a poor Indian's sleep
    While his boat hastens to the monstrous steep
    Of Montmorenci. Why so sad a moan?
    Life is the rose's hope while yet unblown;
    The reading of an ever-changing tale;
    The light uplifting of a maiden's veil;
    A pigeon tumbling in clear summer air;
    A laughing school-boy, without grief or care,
    Riding the springy branches of an elm.

    O for ten years, that I may overwhelm
    Myself in poesy; so I may do the deed
    That my own soul has to itself decreed.
    Then will I pass the countries that I see
    In long perspective, and continually
    Taste their pure fountains. First the realm I'll pass
    Of Flora, and old Pan: sleep in the grass,
    Feed upon apples red, and strawberries,
    And choose each pleasure that my fancy sees;
    Catch the white-handed nymphs in shady places,
    To woo sweet kisses from averted faces,-
    Play with their fingers, touch their shoulders white
    Into a pretty shrinking with a bite
    As hard as lips can make it: till agreed,
    A lovely tale of human life we'll read.
    And one will teach a tame dove how it best
    May fan the cool air gently o'er my rest;
    Another, bending o'er her nimble tread,
    Will set a green robe floating round her head,
    And still will dance with ever varied ease,
    Smiling upon the flowers and the trees:
    Another will entice me on, and on
    Through almond blossoms and rich cinnamon;
    Till in the bosom of a leafy world
    We rest in silence, like two gems upcurl'd
    In the recesses of a pearly shell.

    And can I ever bid these joys farewell?
    Yes, I must pass them for a nobler life,
    Where I may find the agonies, the strife
    Of human hearts: for lo! I see afar,
    O'ersailing the blue cragginess, a car
    And steeds with streamy manes- the charioteer
    Looks out upon the winds with glorious fear:
    And now the numerous tramplings quiver lightly
    Along a huge cloud's ridge; and now with sprightly
    Wheel downward come they into fresher skies,
    Tipt round with silver from the sun's bright eyes.
    Still downward with capacious whirl they glide;
    And now I see them on the green-hill's side
    In breezy rest among the nodding stalks.
    The charioteer with wond'rous gesture talks
    To the trees and mountains; and there soon appear
    Shapes of delight, of mystery, and fear,
    Passing along before a dusky space
    Made by some mighty oaks: as they would chase
    Some ever- fleeting music on they sweep.
    Lo! how they murmur, laugh, and smile, and weep:
    Some with upholden hand and mouth severe;
    Some with their faces muffled to the ear
    Between their arms; some, clear in youthful bloom,
    Go glad and smilingly athwart the gloom;
    Some looking back, and some with upward gaze;
    Yes, thousands in a thousand different ways
    Flit onward- now a lovely wreath of girls
    Dancing their sleek hair into tangled curls;
    And now broad wings. Most awfully intent
    The driver of those steeds is forward bent,
    And seems to listen: O that I might know
    All that he writes with such a hurrying glow.

    The visions all are fled- the car is fled
    Into the light of heaven, and in their stead
    A sense of real things comes doubly strong,
    And, like a muddy stream, would bear along
    My soul to nothingness: but I will strive
    Against all doubtings, and will keep alive
    The thought of that same chariot, and the strange
    Journey it went.
               Is there so small a range
    In the present strength of manhood, that the high
    Imagination cannot freely fly
    As she was wont of old? prepare her steeds,
    Paw up against the light, and do strange deeds
    Upon the clouds? Has she not shown us all?
    From the clear space of ether, to the small
    Breath of new buds unfolding? From the meaning
    Of Jove's large eye-brow, to the tender greening
    Of April meadows? Here her altar shone,
    E'en in this isle; and who could paragon
    The fervid choir that lifted up a noise
    Of harmony, to where it aye will poise
    Its mighty self of convoluting sound,
    Huge as a planet, and like that roll round,
    Eternally around a dizzy void?
    Ay, in those days the Muses were nigh cloy'd
    With honors; nor had any other care
    Than to sing out and sooth their wavy hair.

    Could all this be forgotten? Yes, a schism
    Nurtured by foppery and barbarism,
    Made great Apollo blush for this his land.
    Men were thought wise who could not understand
    His glories: with a puling infant's force
    They sway'd about upon a rocking horse,
    And thought it Pegasus. Ah dismal soul'd!
    The winds of heaven blew, the ocean roll'd
    Its gathering waves- ye felt it not. The blue
    Bared its eternal bosom, and the dew
    Of summer nights collected still to make
    The morning precious: beauty was awake!
    Why were ye not awake? But ye were dead
    To things ye knew not of,- were closely wed
    To musty laws lined out with wretched rule
    And compass vile: so that ye taught a school
    Of dolts to smooth, inlay, and clip, and fit,
    Till, like the certain wands of Jacob's wit,
    Their verses tallied. Easy was the task:
    A thousand handicraftsmen wore the mask
    Of Poesy. Ill-fated, impious race!
    That blasphemed the bright Lyrist to his face,
    And did not know it,- no, they went about,
    Holding a poor, decrepid standard out
    Mark'd with most flimsy mottos, and in large
    The name of one Boileau!

                   O ye whose charge
    It is to hover round our pleasant hills!
    Whose congregated majesty so fills
    My boundly reverence, that I cannot trace
    Your hallowed names, in this unholy place,
    So near those common folk; did not their shames
    Affright you? Did our old lamenting Thames
    Delight you? Did ye never cluster round
    Delicious Avon, with a mournful sound,
    And weep? Or did ye wholly bid adieu
    To regions where no more the laurel grew?
    Or did ye stay to give a welcoming
    To some lone spirits who could proudly sing
    Their youth away, and die? 'Twas even so:
    But let me think away those times of woe:
    Now 'tis a fairer season; ye have breathed
    Rich benedictions o'er us; ye have wreathed
    Fresh garlands: for sweet music has been heard
    In many places;- some has been upstirr'd
    From out its crystal dwelling in a lake,
    By a swan's ebon bill; from a thick brake,
    Nested and quiet in a valley mild,
    Bubbles a pipe; fine sounds are floating wild
    About the earth: happy are ye and glad.

    These things are doubtless: yet in truth we've had
    Strange thunders from the potency of song;
    Mingled indeed with what is sweet and strong,
    From majesty: but in clear truth the themes
    Are ugly clubs, the Poets' Polyphemes
    Disturbing the grand sea. A drainless shower
    Of light is poesy; 'tis the supreme of power;
    'Tis might half slumb'ring on its own right arm.
    The very archings of her eye-lids charm
    A thousand willing agents to obey,
    And still she governs with the mildest sway:
    But strength alone though of the Muses born
    Is like a fallen angel: trees uptorn,
    Darkness, and worms, and shrouds, and sepulchres
    Delight it; for it feeds upon the burrs,
    And thorns of life; forgetting the great end
    Of poesy, that it should be a friend
    To sooth the cares, and lift the thoughts of man.

     Yet I rejoice: a myrtle fairer than
    E'er grew in Paphos, from the bitter weeds
    Lifts its sweet head into the air, and feeds
    A silent space with ever sprouting green.
    All tenderest birds there find a pleasant screen,
    Creep through the shade with jaunty fluttering,
    Nibble the little cupped flowers and sing.
    Then let us clear away the choking thorns
    From round its gentle stem; let the young fawns,
    Yeaned in after times, when we are flown,
    Find a fresh sward beneath it, overgrown
    With simple flowers: let there nothing be
    More boisterous than a lover's bended knee;
    Nought more ungentle than the placid look
    Of one who leans upon a closed book;
    Nought more untranquil than the grassy slopes
    Between two hills. All hail delightful hopes!
    As she was wont, th' imagination
    Into most lovely labyrinths will be gone,
    And they shall be accounted poet kings
    Who simply tell the most heart-easing things.
    O may these joys be ripe before I die.

    Will not some say that I presumptuously
    Have spoken? that from hastening disgrace
    'Twere better far to hide my foolish face?
    That whining boyhood should with reverence bow
    Ere the dread thunderbolt could reach? How!
    If I do hide myself, it sure shall be
    In the very fane, the light of Poesy:
    If I do fall, at least I will be laid
    Beneath the silence of a poplar shade;
    And over me the grass shall be smooth shaven;
    And there shall be a kind memorial graven.
    But off Despondence! miserable bane!
    They should not know thee, who athirst to gain
    A noble end, are thirsty every hour.
    What though I am not wealthy in the dower
    Of spanning wisdom; though I do not know
    The shiftings of the mighty winds that blow
    Hither and thither all the changing thoughts
    Of man: though no great minist'ring reason sorts
    Out the dark mysteries of human souls
    To clear conceiving: yet there ever rolls
    A vast idea before me, and I glean
    Therefrom my liberty; thence too I've seen
    The end and aim of Poesy. 'Tis clear
    As anything most true; as that the year
    Is made of the four seasons- manifest
    As a large cross, some old cathedral's crest,
    Lifted to the white clouds. Therefore should I
    Be but the essence of deformity,
    A coward, did my very eye-lids wink
    At speaking out what I have dared to think.
    Ah! rather let me like a madman run
    Over some precipice; let the hot sun
    Melt my Dedalian wings, and drive me down
    Convuls'd and headlong! Stay! an inward frown
    Of conscience bids me be more calm awhile.
    An ocean dim, sprinkled with many an isle,
    Spreads awfully before me. How much toil!
    How many days! what desperate turmoil!
    Ere I can have explored its widenesses.
    Ah, what a task! upon my bended knees,
    I could unsay those- no, impossible!
    Impossible!

           For sweet relief I'll dwell
    On humbler thoughts, and let this strange assay
    Begun in gentleness die so away.
    E'en now all tumult from my bosom fades:
    I turn full hearted to the friendly aids
    That smooth the path of honour; brotherhood,
    And friendliness the nurse of mutual good.
    The hearty grasp that sends a pleasant sonnet
    Into the brain ere one can think upon it;
    The silence when some rhymes are coming out;
    And when they're come, the very pleasant rout:
    The message certain to be done to-morrow.
    'Tis perhaps as well that it should be to borrow
    Some precious book from out its snug retreat,
    To cluster round it when we next shall meet.
    Scarce can I scribble on; for lovely airs
    Are fluttering round the room like doves in pairs;
    Many delights of that glad day recalling,
    When first my senses caught their tender falling.
    And with these airs come forms of elegance
    Stooping their shoulders o'er a horse's prance,
    Careless, and grand-fingers soft and round
    Parting luxuriant curls;- and the swift bound
    Of Bacchus from his chariot, when his eye
    Made Ariadne's cheek look blushingly.
    Thus I remember all the pleasant flow
    Of words at opening a portfolio.

    Things such as these are ever harbingers
    To trains of peaceful images: the stirs
    Of a swan's neck unseen among the rushes:
    A linnet starting all about the bushes:
    A butterfly, with golden wings broad parted,
    Nestling a rose, convuls'd as though it smarted
    With over pleasure- many, many more,
    Might I indulge at large in all my store
    Of luxuries: yet I must not forget
    Sleep, quiet with his poppy coronet:
    For what there may be worthy in these rhymes
    I partly owe to him: and thus, the chimes
    Of friendly voices had just given place
    To as sweet a silence, when I 'gan retrace
    The pleasant day, upon a couch at ease.
    It was a poet's house who keeps the keys
    Of pleasure's temple. Round about were hung
    The glorious features of the bards who sung
    In other ages- cold and sacred busts
    Smiled at each other. Happy he who trusts
    To clear Futurity his darling fame!
    Then there were fauns and satyrs taking aim
    At swelling apples with a frisky leap
    And reaching fingers, 'mid a luscious heap
    Of vine-leaves. Then there rose to view a fane
    Of liny marble, and thereto a train
    Of nymphs approaching fairly o'er the sward:
    One, loveliest, holding her white hand toward
    The dazzling sun-rise: two sisters sweet
    Bending their graceful figures till they meet
    Over the trippings of a little child:
    And some are hearing, eagerly, the wild
    Thrilling liquidity of dewy piping.
    See, in another picture, nymphs are wiping
    Cherishingly Diana's timorous limbs;-
    A fold of lawny mantle dabbling swims
    At the bath's edge, and keeps a gentle motion
    With the subsiding crystal: as when ocean
    Heaves calmly its broad swelling smoothness o'er
    Its rocky marge, and balances once more
    The patient weeds; that now unshent by foam
    Feel all about their undulating home.

    Sappho's meek head was there half smiling down
    At nothing; just as though the earnest frown
    Of over thinking had that moment gone
    From off her brow, and left her all alone.

    Great Alfred's too, with anxious, pitying eyes,
    As if he always listened to the sighs
    Of the goaded world; and Kosciusko's worn
    By horrid suffrance- mightily forlorn.
    Petrarch, outstepping from the shady green,
    Starts at the sight of Laura; nor can wean
    His eyes from her sweet face. Most happy they!
    For over them was seen a free display
    Of out-spread wings, and from between them shone
    The face of Poesy: from off her throne
    She overlook'd things that I scarce could tell.
    The very sense of where I was might well
    Keep Sleep aloof: but more than that there came
    Thought after thought to nourish up the flame
    Within my breast; so that the morning light
    Surprised me even from a sleepless night;
    And up I rose refresh'd, and glad, and gay,
    Resolving to begin that very day
    These lines; and howsoever they be done,
    I leave them as a father does his son.

            THE END
(lines 250-1): An idea, says Leigh Hunt... "of as lovely and powerful a nature in embodying an abstraction, as we ever remember to have seen put into words."

(line 354): Leigh Hunt's house: he says ... the poem "originated in sleeping in a room adorned with busts and pictures," -- "many a bust from Shout," as Shelley wrote to Mrs. Gisborne. In Hunt's Correspondence (Volume i, page 289) we read "Keats's Sleep and Poetry is a description of a parlour that was mine, no bigger than an old mansion's closet." Charles Cowden Clarke says (Gentleman's Magazine, February 1874) "It was in the library at Hunt's cottage, where an extemporary bed had been made up for him on the sofa." ~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ Chaucer

83:Hero And Leander: The First Sestiad
On Hellespont, guilty of true-love's blood,
In view and opposite two cities stood,
Sea-borderers, disjoined by Neptune's might;
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,
Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,
And offered as a dower his burning throne,
Where she should sit for men to gaze upon.
The outside of her garments were of lawn,
The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn;
Her wide sleeves green, and bordered with a grove,
Where Venus in her naked glory strove
To please the careless and disdainful eyes
Of proud Adonis, that before her lies.
Her kirtle blue, whereon was many a stain,
Made with the blood of wretched lovers slain.
Upon her head she ware a myrtle wreath,
From whence her veil reached to the ground beneath.
Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves
Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives.
Many would praise the sweet smell as she passed,
When 'twas the odour which her breath forth cast;
And there for honey bees have sought in vain,
And, beat from thence, have lighted there again.
About her neck hung chains of pebblestone,
Which, lightened by her neck, like diamonds shone.
She ware no gloves; for neither sun nor wind
Would burn or parch her hands, but to her mind,
Or warm or cool them, for they took delight
To play upon those hands, they were so white.
Buskins of shells, all silvered used she,
And branched with blushing coral to the knee;
Where sparrows perched of hollow pearl and gold,
Such as the world would wonder to behold.
Those with sweet water oft her handmaid fills,
Which, as she went, would chirrup through the bills.
Some say for her the fairest Cupid pined
And looking in her face was strooken blind.
But this is true: so like was one the other,
17
As he imagined Hero was his mother.
And oftentimes into her bosom flew,
About her naked neck his bare arms threw,
And laid his childish head upon her breast,
And, with still panting rocked, there took his rest.
So lovely fair was Hero, Venus' nun,
As Nature wept, thinking she was undone,
Because she took more from her than she left,
And of such wondrous beauty her bereft.
Therefore, in sign her treasure suffered wrack,
Since Hero's time hath half the world been black.
Amorous Leander, beautiful and young,
(whose tragedy divine Musaeus sung,)
Dwelt at Abydos; since him dwelt there none
For whom succeeding times make greater moan.
His dangling tresses, that were never shorn,
Had they been cut, and unto Colchos borne,
Would have allured the vent'rous youth of Greece
To hazard more than for the golden fleece.
Fair Cynthia wished his arms might be her sphere;
Grief makes her pale, because she moves not there.
His body was as straight as Circe's wand;
Jove might have sipped out nectar from his hand.
Even as delicious meat is to the taste,
So was his neck in touching, and surpassed
The white of Pelop's shoulder. I could tell ye
How smooth his breast was and how white his belly;
And whose immortal fingers did imprint
That heavenly path with many a curious dint
That runs along his back, but my rude pen
Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men,
Much less of powerful gods. Let it suffice
That my slack Muse sings of Leander's eyes,
Those orient cheeks and lips, exceeding his
That leaped into the water for a kiss
Of his own shadow and, despising many,
Died ere he could enjoy the love of any.
Had wild Hippolytus Leander seen
Enamoured of his beauty had he been.
His presence made the rudest peasant melt
That in the vast uplandish country dwelt.
The barbarous Thracian soldier, moved with nought,
18
Was moved with him and for his favour sought.
Some swore he was a maid in man's attire,
For in his looks were all that men desire,
A pleasant smiling cheek, a speaking eye,
A brow for love to banquet royally;
And such as knew he was a man, would say,
'Leander, thou art made for amorous play.
Why art thou not in love, and loved of all?
Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own thrall.'
The men of wealthy Sestos every year,
(For his sake whom their goddess held so dear,
Rose-cheeked Adonis) kept a solemn feast.
Thither resorted many a wandering guest
To meet their loves.
Such as had none at all,
Came lovers home from this great festival.
For every street like to a firmament
Glistered with breathing stars who, where they went,
Frighted the melancholy earth which deemed
Eternal heaven to burn, for so it seemed,
As if another Phaeton had got
The guidance of the sun's rich chariot.
But far above the loveliest Hero shined
And stole away th' enchanted gazer's mind,
For like sea nymphs' enveigling Harmony,
So was her beauty to the standers by.
Nor that night-wandering, pale, and wat'ry star
(When yawning dragons draw her thirling car
From Latmus' mount up to the gloomy sky
Where, crowned with blazing light and majesty,
She proudly sits) more overrules the flood
Than she the hearts of those that near her stood.
Even as, when gaudy nymphs pursue the chase,
Wretched Ixion's shaggy footed race,
Incensed with savage heat, gallop amain
From steep pine-bearing mountains to the plain.
So ran the people forth to gaze upon her,
And all that viewed her were enamoured on her.
And as in fury of a dreadful fight,
Their fellows being slain or put to flight,
Poor soldiers stand with fear of death dead strooken,
So at her presence all surprised and tooken,
19
Await the sentence of her scornful eyes.
He whom she favours lives, the other dies.
There might you see one sigh, another rage;
And some, (their violent passions to assuage)
Compile sharp satires, but alas too late,
For faithful love will never turn to hate.
And many seeing great princes were denied
Pin'd as they went, and thinking on her died.
On this feast day, O cursed day and hour,
Went Hero thorough Sestos from her tower
To Venus' temple, where unhappily
As after chanced, they did each other spy.
So fair a church as this had Venus none.
The walls were of discoloured jasper stone
Wherein was Proteus carved, and o'erhead
A lively vine of green sea agate spread,
Where by one hand lightheaded Bacchus hung,
And, with the other, wine from grapes out wrung.
Of crystal shining fair the pavement was.
The town of Sestos called it Venus' glass.
There might you see the gods in sundry shapes
Committing heady riots, incest, rapes.
For know, that underneath this radiant floor
Was Danae's statue in a brazen tower,
Jove slyly stealing from his sister's bed,
To dally with Idalian Ganymede,
And for his love Europa bellowing loud,
And tumbling with the Rainbow in a cloud;
Blood quaffing Mars heaving the iron net
Which limping Vulcan and his Cyclops set;
Love kindling fire to burn such towns as Troy;
Sylvanus weeping for the lovely boy
That now is turned into a cypress tree,
Under whose shade the wood gods love to be.
And in the midst a silver altar stood.
There Hero, sacrificing turtle's blood,
Vailed to the ground, vailing her eyelids close,
And modestly they opened as she rose.
Thence flew Love's arrow with the golden head,
And thus Leander was enamoured.
Stone still he stood, and evermore he gazed
Till with the fire that from his countenance blazed
20
Relenting Hero's gentle heart was strook.
Such force and virtue hath an amorous look.
It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin
We wish that one should lose, the other win.
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots like in each respect.
The reason no man knows; let it suffice
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?
He kneeled, but unto her devoutly prayed.
Chaste Hero to herself thus softly said,
'Were I the saint he worships, I would hear him; '
And, as she spake those words, came somewhat near him.
He started up, she blushed as one ashamed,
Wherewith Leander much more was inflamed.
He touched her hand; in touching it she trembled.
Love deeply grounded, hardly is dissembled.
These lovers parleyed by the touch of hands;
True love is mute, and oft amazed stands.
Thus while dumb signs their yielding hearts entangled,
The air with sparks of living fire was spangled,
And night, deep drenched in misty Acheron,
Heaved up her head, and half the world upon
Breathed darkness forth (dark night is Cupid's day) .
And now begins Leander to display
Love's holy fire, with words, with sighs, and tears,
Which like sweet music entered Hero's ears,
And yet at every word she turned aside,
And always cut him off as he replied.
At last, like to a bold sharp sophister,
With cheerful hope thus he accosted her.
'Fair creature, let me speak without offence.
I would my rude words had the influence
To lead thy thoughts as thy fair looks do mine,
Then shouldst thou be his prisoner, who is thine.
Be not unkind and fair; misshapen stuff
Are of behaviour boisterous and rough.
O shun me not, but hear me ere you go.
God knows I cannot force love as you do.
21
My words shall be as spotless as my youth,
Full of simplicity and naked truth.
This sacrifice, (whose sweet perfume descending
From Venus' altar, to your footsteps bending)
Doth testify that you exceed her far,
To whom you offer, and whose nun you are.
Why should you worship her? Her you surpass
As much as sparkling diamonds flaring glass.
A diamond set in lead his worth retains;
A heavenly nymph, beloved of human swains,
Receives no blemish, but ofttimes more grace;
Which makes me hope, although I am but base:
Base in respect of thee, divine and pure,
Dutiful service may thy love procure.
And I in duty will excel all other,
As thou in beauty dost exceed Love's mother.
Nor heaven, nor thou, were made to gaze upon,
As heaven preserves all things, so save thou one.
A stately builded ship, well rigged and tall,
The ocean maketh more majestical.
Why vowest thou then to live in Sestos here
Who on Love's seas more glorious wouldst appear?
Like untuned golden strings all women are,
Which long time lie untouched, will harshly jar.
Vessels of brass, oft handled, brightly shine.
What difference betwixt the richest mine
And basest mould, but use? For both, not used,
Are of like worth. Then treasure is abused
When misers keep it; being put to loan,
In time it will return us two for one.
Rich robes themselves and others do adorn;
Neither themselves nor others, if not worn.
Who builds a palace and rams up the gate
Shall see it ruinous and desolate.
Ah, simple Hero, learn thyself to cherish.
Lone women like to empty houses perish.
Less sins the poor rich man that starves himself
In heaping up a mass of drossy pelf,
Than such as you. His golden earth remains
Which, after his decease, some other gains.
But this fair gem, sweet in the loss alone,
When you fleet hence, can be bequeathed to none.
22
Or, if it could, down from th'enameled sky
All heaven would come to claim this legacy,
And with intestine broils the world destroy,
And quite confound nature's sweet harmony.
Well therefore by the gods decreed it is
We human creatures should enjoy that bliss.
One is no number; maids are nothing then
Without the sweet society of men.
Wilt thou live single still? One shalt thou be,
Though never singling Hymen couple thee.
Wild savages, that drink of running springs,
Think water far excels all earthly things,
But they that daily taste neat wine despise it.
Virginity, albeit some highly prize it,
Compared with marriage, had you tried them both,
Differs as much as wine and water doth.
Base bullion for the stamp's sake we allow;
Even so for men's impression do we you,
By which alone, our reverend fathers say,
Women receive perfection every way.
This idol which you term virginity
Is neither essence subject to the eye
No, nor to any one exterior sense,
Nor hath it any place of residence,
Nor is't of earth or mould celestial,
Or capable of any form at all.
Of that which hath no being do not boast;
Things that are not at all are never lost.
Men foolishly do call it virtuous;
What virtue is it that is born with us?
Much less can honour be ascribed thereto;
Honour is purchased by the deeds we do.
Believe me, Hero, honour is not won
Until some honourable deed be done.
Seek you for chastity, immortal fame,
And know that some have wronged Diana's name?
Whose name is it, if she be false or not
So she be fair, but some vile tongues will blot?
But you are fair, (ay me) so wondrous fair,
So young, so gentle, and so debonair,
As Greece will think if thus you live alone
Some one or other keeps you as his own.
23
Then, Hero, hate me not nor from me fly
To follow swiftly blasting infamy.
Perhaps thy sacred priesthood makes thee loath.
Tell me, to whom mad'st thou that heedless oath? '
'To Venus,' answered she and, as she spake,
Forth from those two tralucent cisterns brake
A stream of liquid pearl, which down her face
Made milk-white paths, whereon the gods might trace
To Jove's high court.
He thus replied: 'The rites
In which love's beauteous empress most delights
Are banquets, Doric music, midnight revel,
Plays, masks, and all that stern age counteth evil.
Thee as a holy idiot doth she scorn
For thou in vowing chastity hast sworn
To rob her name and honour, and thereby
Committ'st a sin far worse than perjury,
Even sacrilege against her deity,
Through regular and formal purity.
To expiate which sin, kiss and shake hands.
Such sacrifice as this Venus demands.'
Thereat she smiled and did deny him so,
As put thereby, yet might he hope for moe.
Which makes him quickly re-enforce his speech,
And her in humble manner thus beseech.
'Though neither gods nor men may thee deserve,
Yet for her sake, whom you have vowed to serve,
Abandon fruitless cold virginity,
The gentle queen of love's sole enemy.
Then shall you most resemble Venus' nun,
When Venus' sweet rites are performed and done.
Flint-breasted Pallas joys in single life,
But Pallas and your mistress are at strife.
Love, Hero, then, and be not tyrannous,
But heal the heart that thou hast wounded thus,
Nor stain thy youthful years with avarice.
Fair fools delight to be accounted nice.
The richest corn dies, if it be not reaped;
Beauty alone is lost, too warily kept.'
These arguments he used, and many more,
Wherewith she yielded, that was won before.
Hero's looks yielded but her words made war.
24
Women are won when they begin to jar.
Thus, having swallowed Cupid's golden hook,
The more she strived, the deeper was she strook.
Yet, evilly feigning anger, strove she still
And would be thought to grant against her will.
So having paused a while at last she said,
'Who taught thee rhetoric to deceive a maid?
Ay me, such words as these should I abhor
And yet I like them for the orator.'
With that Leander stooped to have embraced her
But from his spreading arms away she cast her,
And thus bespake him: 'Gentle youth, forbear
To touch the sacred garments which I wear.
Upon a rock and underneath a hill
Far from the town (where all is whist and still,
Save that the sea, playing on yellow sand,
Sends forth a rattling murmur to the land,
Whose sound allures the golden Morpheus
In silence of the night to visit us)
My turret stands and there, God knows, I play.
With Venus' swans and sparrows all the day.
A dwarfish beldam bears me company,
That hops about the chamber where I lie,
And spends the night (that might be better spent)
In vain discourse and apish merriment.
Come thither.' As she spake this, her tongue tripped,
For unawares 'come thither' from her slipped.
And suddenly her former colour changed,
And here and there her eyes through anger ranged.
And like a planet, moving several ways,
At one self instant she, poor soul, assays,
Loving, not to love at all, and every part
Strove to resist the motions of her heart.
And hands so pure, so innocent, nay, such
As might have made heaven stoop to have a touch,
Did she uphold to Venus, and again
Vowed spotless chastity, but all in vain.
Cupid beats down her prayers with his wings,
Her vows above the empty air he flings,
All deep enraged, his sinewy bow he bent,
And shot a shaft that burning from him went,
Wherewith she strooken, looked so dolefully,
25
As made love sigh to see his tyranny.
And as she wept her tears to pearl he turned,
And wound them on his arm and for her mourned.
Then towards the palace of the destinies
Laden with languishment and grief he flies,
And to those stern nymphs humbly made request
Both might enjoy each other, and be blest.
But with a ghastly dreadful countenance,
Threatening a thousand deaths at every glance,
They answered Love, nor would vouchsafe so much
As one poor word, their hate to him was such.
Hearken a while and I will tell you why.
Heaven's winged herald, Jove-borne Mercury,
The selfsame day that he asleep had laid
Enchanted Argus, spied a country maid
Whose careless hair instead of pearl t'adorn it
Glistered with dew, as one that seemed to scorn it;
Her breath as fragrant as the morning rose,
Her mind pure, and her tongue untaught to gloze.
Yet proud she was (for lofty pride that dwells
In towered courts is oft in shepherds' cells.)
And too too well the fair vermilion knew,
And silver tincture of her cheeks, that drew
The love of every swain. On her this god
Enamoured was, and with his snaky rod
Did charm her nimble feet, and made her stay,
The while upon a hillock down he lay
And sweetly on his pipe began to play,
And with smooth speech her fancy to assay,
Till in his twining arms he locked her fast
And then he wooed with kisses; and at last,
As shepherds do, her on the ground he laid
And, tumbling in the grass, he often strayed
Beyond the bounds of shame, in being bold
To eye those parts which no eye should behold.
And, like an insolent commanding lover
Boasting his parentage, would needs discover
The way to new Elysium, but she,
Whose only dower was her chastity,
Having striv'n in vain was now about to cry
And crave the help of shepherds that were nigh.
Herewith he stayed his fury, and began
26
To give her leave to rise. Away she ran;
After went Mercury who used such cunning
As she, to hear his tale, left off her running.
Maids are not won by brutish force and might,
But speeches full of pleasure, and delight.
And, knowing Hermes courted her, was glad
That she such loveliness and beauty had
As could provoke his liking, yet was mute
And neither would deny nor grant his suit.
Still vowed he love. She, wanting no excuse
To feed him with delays, as women use,
Or thirsting after immortality, All women are ambitious naturally Imposed upon her lover such a task
As he ought not perform nor yet she ask.
A draught of flowing nectar she requested,
Wherewith the king of gods and men is feasted.
He, ready to accomplish what she willed,
Stole some from Hebe (Hebe Jove's cup filled)
And gave it to his simple rustic love.
Which being known (as what is hid from Jove?)
He inly stormed and waxed more furious
Than for the fire filched by Prometheus,
And thrusts him down from heaven. He, wandering here,
In mournful terms, with sad and heavy cheer,
Complained to Cupid. Cupid for his sake,
To be revenged on Jove did undertake.
And those on whom heaven, earth, and hell relies,
I mean the adamantine Destinies,
He wounds with love, and forced them equally
To dote upon deceitful Mercury.
They offered him the deadly fatal knife
That shears the slender threads of human life.
At his fair feathered feet the engines laid
Which th' earth from ugly Chaos' den upweighed.
These he regarded not but did entreat
That Jove, usurper of his father's seat,
Might presently be banished into hell,
And aged Saturn in Olympus dwell.
They granted what he craved, and once again
Saturn and Ops began their golden reign.
Murder, rape, war, lust, and treachery,
27
Were with Jove closed in Stygian empery.
But long this blessed time continued not.
As soon as he his wished purpose got
He reckless of his promise did despise
The love of th' everlasting Destinies.
They seeing it both love and him abhorred
And Jupiter unto his place restored.
And but that Learning in despite of Fate
Will mount aloft and enter heaven gate
And to the seat of Jove itself advance,
Hermes had slept in hell with Ignorance.
Yet as a punishment they added this,
That he and Poverty should always kiss.
And to this day is every scholar poor;
Gross gold from them runs headlong to the boor.
Likewise the angry Sisters thus deluded,
To venge themselves on Hermes, have concluded
That Midas' brood shall sit in honour's chair,
To which the Muses' sons are only heir;
And fruitful wits, that in aspiring are,
Shall discontent run into regions far;
And few great lords in virtuous deeds shall joy
But be surprised with every garish toy,
And still enrich the lofty servile clown,
Who with encroaching guile keeps learning down.
Then Muse not Cupid's suit no better sped,
Seeing in their loves the Fates were injured.
~ Christopher Marlowe
84:A TRAGEDY IN TWO ACTS

Translated from the Original Doric

'Choose Reform or Civil War,
When through thy streets, instead of hare with dogs,
A Consort-Queen shall hunt a King with hogs,
Riding on the IONIAN MINOTAUR.'

DRAMATIS PERSONAE
Tyrant Swellfoot, King of Thebes.
Iona Taurina, his Queen.
Mammon, Arch-Priest of Famine.
Purganax Wizard, Minister of Swellfoot.
Dakry Wizard, Minister of Swellfoot.
Laoctonos Wizard, Minister of Swellfoot.
The Gadfly.
The Leech.
The Rat.
Moses, the Sow-gelder.
Solomon, the Porkman.
Zephaniah, Pig-butcher.
The Minotaur.
Chorus of the Swinish Multitude.
Guards, Attendants, Priests, etc., etc.

SCENE.--THEBES

ACT I.

Scene I.-- A magnificent Temple, built of thigh-bones and death's-heads, and tiled with scalps. Over the Altar the statue of Famine, veiled; a number of Boars, Sows, and Sucking-Pigs, crowned with thistle, shamrock, and oak, sitting on the steps, and clinging round the Altar of the Temple.
Enter Swellfoot, in his Royal robes, without perceiving the Pigs.
Swellfoot.
Thou supreme Goddess! by whose power divine
These graceful limbs are clothed in proud array [He contemplates himself with satisfaction.

Of gold and purple, and this kingly paunch
Swells like a sail before a favouring breeze,
And these most sacred nether promontories
Lie satisfied with layers of fat; and these
Boeotian cheeks, like Egypt's pyramid,
(Nor with less toil were their foundations laid)[1],
Sustain the cone of my untroubled brain,
That point, the emblem of a pointless nothing!
Thou to whom Kings and laurelled Emperors,
Radical-butchers, Paper-money-millers,
Bishops and Deacons, and the entire army
Of those fat martyrs to the persecution
Of stifling turtle-soup, and brandy-devils,
Offer their secret vows! Thou plenteous Ceres
Of their Eleusis, hail!
The Swine.
            Eigh! eigh! eigh! eigh!
            Swellfoot.
                         Ha! what are ye,
Who, crowned with leaves devoted to the Furies,
Cling round this sacred shrine?
Swine.
                 Aigh! aigh! aigh!
                 Swellfoot.
                          What! ye that are
The very beasts that, offered at her altar
With blood and groans, salt-cake, and fat, and inwards,
Ever propitiate her reluctant will
When taxes are withheld?
Swine.
             Ugh! ugh! ugh!
             Swellfoot.
                     What! ye who grub
With filthy snouts my red potatoes up
In Allan's rushy bog? Who eat the oats
Up, from my cavalry in the Hebrides?
Who swill the hog-wash soup my cooks digest
From bones, and rags, and scraps of shoe-leather,
Which should be given to cleaner Pigs than you?
The Swine.Semichorus I.
The same, alas! the same;
Though only now the name
Of Pig remains to me.
Semichorus II.
If 'twere your kingly will
Us wretched Swine to kill,
What should we yield to thee?
Swellfoot.
Why, skin and bones, and some few hairs for mortar.
Chorus of Swine.
I have heard your Laureate sing,
That pity was a royal thing;
Under your mighty ancestors, we Pigs
Were bless'd as nightingales on myrtle sprigs,
Or grasshoppers that live on noonday dew,
And sung, old annals tell, as sweetly too;
But now our sties are fallen in, we catch
The murrain and the mange, the scab and itch;
Sometimes your royal dogs tear down our thatch,
And then we seek the shelter of a ditch;
Hog-wash or grains, or ruta-baga, none
Has yet been ours since your reign begun.
First Sow.
My Pigs, 'tis in vain to tug.
Second Sow.
I could almost eat my litter.
First Pig.
I suck, but no milk will come from the dug.
Second Pig.
Our skin and our bones would be bitter.
The Boars.
We fight for this rag of greasy rug,
Though a trough of wash would be fitter.
Semichorus.
  Happier Swine were they than we,
  Drowned in the Gadarean sea
I wish that pity would drive out the devils,
Which in your royal bosom hold their revels,
And sink us in the waves of thy compassion!
Alas! the Pigs are an unhappy nation!
Now if your Majesty would have our bristles
To bind your mortar with, or fill our colons
With rich blood, or make brawn out of our gristles,
In policyask else your royal Solons
You ought to give us hog-wash and clean straw,
And sties well thatched; besides it is the law!
Swellfoot.
This is sedition, and rank blasphemy!
Ho! there, my guards!
Enter a Guard.
Guard.
           Your sacred Majesty.
           Swellfoot.
Call in the Jews, Solomon the court porkman,
Moses the sow-gelder, and Zephaniah
The hog-butcher.
Guard.
         They are in waiting, Sire.
         Enter Solomon, Moses, and Zephaniah.
Swellfoot.
Out with your knife, old Moses, and spay those Sows [The Pigs run about in consternation.

That load the earth with Pigs; cut close and deep.
Moral restraint I see has no effect,
Nor prostitution, nor our own example,
Starvation, typhus-fever, war, nor prison
This was the art which the arch-priest of Famine
Hinted at in his charge to the Theban clergy
Cut close and deep, good Moses.
Moses.
                 Let your Majesty
Keep the Boars quiet, else
Swellfoot.
               Zephaniah, cut
That fat Hog's throat, the brute seems overfed;
Seditious hunks! to whine for want of grains.
Zephaniah.
Your sacred Majesty, he has the dropsy;
We shall find pints of hydatids in's liver,
He has not half an inch of wholesome fat
Upon his carious ribs
Swellfoot.
            'Tis all the same,
He'll serve instead of riot money, when
Our murmuring troops bivouac in Thebes' streets;
And January winds, after a day
Of butchering, will make them relish carrion.
Now, Solomon, I'll sell you in a lump
The whole kit of them.
Solomon.
            Why, your Majesty,
I could not give
Swellfoot.
          Kill them out of the way,
That shall be price enough, and let me hear
Their everlasting grunts and whines no more!
[Exeunt, driving in the Swine.
Enter Mammon, the Arch-Priest; and Purganax, Chief of the Council of Wizards.
Purganax.
The future looks as black as death, a cloud,
Dark as the frown of Hell, hangs over it
The troops grow mutinousthe revenue fails
There's something rotten in usfor the level
Of the State slopes, its very bases topple,
The boldest turn their backs upon themselves!
Mammon.
Why what's the matter, my dear fellow, now?
Do the troops mutiny?decimate some regiments;
Does money fail?come to my mintcoin paper,
Till gold be at a discount, and ashamed
To show his bilious face, go purge himself,
In emulation of her vestal whiteness.
Purganax.
Oh, would that this were all! The oracle!!
Mammon.
Why it was I who spoke that oracle,
And whether I was dead drunk or inspired,
I cannot well remember; nor, in truth,
The oracle itself!
Purganax.
          The words went thus:
'Boeotia, choose reform or civil war!
When through the streets, instead of hare with dogs,
A Consort Queen shall hunt a King with Hogs,
Riding on the Ionian Minotaur.'
Mammon.
Now if the oracle had ne'er foretold
This sad alternative, it must arrive,
Or not, and so it must now that it has;
And whether I was urged by grace divine
Or Lesbian liquor to declare these words,
Which must, as all words must, be false or true,
It matters not: for the same Power made all,
Oracle, wine, and me and youor none
'Tis the same thing. If you knew as much
Of oracles as I do
Purganax.
           You arch-priests
Believe in nothing; if you were to dream
Of a particular number in the Lottery,
You would not buy the ticket?
Mammon.
                Yet our tickets
Are seldom blanks. But what steps have you taken?
For prophecies, when once they get abroad,
Like liars who tell the truth to serve their ends,
Or hypocrites who, from assuming virtue,
Do the same actions that the virtuous do,
Contrive their own fulfilment. This Iona
Wellyou know what the chaste Pasiphae did,
Wife to that most religious King of Crete,
And still how popular the tale is here;
And these dull Swine of Thebes boast their descent
From the free Minotaur. You know they still
Call themselves Bulls, though thus degenerate,
And everything relating to a Bull
Is popular and respectable in Thebes.
Their arms are seven Bulls in a field gules;
They think their strength consists in eating beef,
Now there were danger in the precedent
If Queen Iona
Purganax.
        I have taken good care
That shall not be. I struck the crust o' the earth
With this enchanted rod, and Hell lay bare!
And from a cavern full of ugly shapes
I chose a Leech, a Gadfly, and a Rat.
The Gadfly was the same which Juno sent
To agitate Io[2], and which Ezekiel[3] mentions
That the Lord whistled for out of the mountains
Of utmost Aethiopia, to torment
Mesopotamian Babylon. The beast
Has a loud trumpet like the scarabee,
His crookd tail is barbed with many stings,
Each able to make a thousand wounds, and each
Immedicable; from his convex eyes
He sees fair things in many hideous shapes,
And trumpets all his falsehood to the world.
Like other beetles he is fed on dung
He has eleven feet with which he crawls,
Trailing a blistering slime, and this foul beast
Has tracked Iona from the Theban limits,
From isle to isle, from city unto city,
Urging her flight from the far Chersonese
To fabulous Solyma, and the Aetnean Isle,
Ortygia, Melite, and Calypso's Rock,
And the swart tribes of Garamant and Fez,
Aeolia and Elysium, and thy shores,
Parthenope, which now, alas! are free!
And through the fortunate Saturnian land,
Into the darkness of the West.
Mammon.
                But if
This Gadfly should drive Iona hither?
Purganax.
Gods! what an if! but there is my gray Rat:
So thin with want, he can crawl in and out
Of any narrow chink and filthy hole,
And he shall creep into her dressing-room,
And
Mammon.
   My dear friend, where are your wits? as if
She does not always toast a piece of cheese
And bait the trap? and rats, when lean enough
To crawl through such chinks
Purganax.
                But my Leecha leech
Fit to suck blood, with lubricous round rings,
Capaciously expatiative, which make
His little body like a red balloon,
As full of blood as that of hydrogen,
Sucked from men's hearts; insatiably he sucks
And clings and pullsa horse-leech, whose deep maw
The plethoric King Swellfoot could not fill,
And who, till full, will cling for ever.
Mammon.
                      This
For Queen Iona would suffice, and less;
But 'tis the Swinish multitude I fear,
And in that fear I have
Purganax.
              Done what?
              Mammon.
                   Disinherited
My eldest son Chrysaor, because he
Attended public meetings, and would always
Stand prating there of commerce, public faith,
Economy, and unadulterate coin,
And other topics, ultra-radical;
And have entailed my estate, called the Fool's Paradise,
And funds in fairy-money, bonds, and bills,
Upon my accomplished daughter Banknotina,
And married her to the gallows[4].
Purganax.
                  A good match!
                  Mammon.
A high connexion, Purganax. The bridegroom
Is of a very ancient family,
Of Hounslow Heath, Tyburn, and the New Drop,
And has great influence in both Houses;oh!
He makes the fondest husband; nay, too fond,
New-married people should not kiss in public;
But the poor souls love one another so!
And then my little grandchildren, the gibbets,
Promising children as you ever saw,
The young playing at hanging, the elder learning
How to hold radicals. They are well taught too,
For every gibbet says its catechism
And reads a select chapter in the Bible
Before it goes to play.
[A most tremendous humming is heard.
Purganax.
            Ha! what do I hear?
            Enter the Gadfly.
Mammon.
Your Gadfly, as it seems, is tired of gadding.
Gadfly.
  Hum! hum! hum!
From the lakes of the Alps, and the cold gray scalps
Of the mountains, I come!
  Hum! hum! hum!
From Morocco and Fez, and the high palaces
Of golden Byzantium;
From the temples divine of old Palestine,
From Athens and Rome,
With a ha! and a hum!
I come! I come!
  All inn-doors and windows
  Were open to me:
I saw all that sin does,
  Which lamps hardly see
That burn in the night by the curtained bed,
The impudent lamps! for they blushed not red,
Dinging and singing,
From slumber I rung her,
Loud as the clank of an ironmonger;
   Hum! hum! hum!
    Far, far, far!
With the trump of my lips, and the sting at my hips,
I drove herafar!
Far, far, far!
From city to city, abandoned of pity,
A ship without needle or star;
Homeless she passed, like a cloud on the blast,
Seeking peace, finding war;
She is here in her car,
From afar, and afar;
  Hum! hum!
   I have stung her and wrung her,
  The venom is working;
And if you had hung her
  With canting and quirking,
She could not be deader than she will be soon;
I have driven her close to you, under the moon,
Night and day, hum! hum! ha!
I have hummed her and drummed her
From place to place, till at last I have dumbed her,
   Hum! hum! hum!
   Enter the Leech and the Rat.
Leech.
I will suck
Blood or muck!
The disease of the state is a plethory,
Who so fit to reduce it as I?
Rat.
I'll slily seize and
Let blood from her weasand,
Creeping through crevice, and chink, and cranny,
With my snaky tail, and my sides so scranny.
Purganax.
Aroint ye! thou unprofitable worm! [To the Leech.

And thou, dull beetle, get thee back to hell! [To the Gadfly.

To sting the ghosts of Babylonian kings,
And the ox-headed Io
Swine
(within).
            Ugh, ugh, ugh!
Hail! Iona the divine,
We will be no longer Swine,
But Bulls with horns and dewlaps.
Rat.
                  For,
You know, my lord, the Minotaur
Purganax
(fiercely).
Be silent! get to hell! or I will call
The cat out of the kitchen. Well, Lord Mammon,
This is a pretty business.
[Exit the Rat.
Mammon.
              I will go
And spell some scheme to make it ugly then.
[Exit.
Enter Swellfoot.
Swellfoot.
She is returned! Taurina is in Thebes,
When Swellfoot wishes that she were in hell!
Oh, Hymen, clothed in yellow jealousy,
And waving o'er the couch of wedded kings
The torch of Discord with its fiery hair;
This is thy work, thou patron saint of queens!
Swellfoot is wived! though parted by the sea,
The very name of wife had conjugal rights;
Her cursd image ate, drank, slept with me,
And in the arms of Adiposa oft
Her memory has received a husband's
[A loud tumult, and cries of 'Iona for ever!No Swellfoot!'!
                    Hark!
How the Swine cry Iona Taurina;
I suffer the real presence; Purganax,
Off with her head!
Purganax.
          But I must first impanel
A jury of the Pigs.
Swellfoot.
          Pack them then.
          Purganax.
Or fattening some few in two separate sties,
And giving them clean straw, tying some bits
Of ribbon round their legsgiving their Sows
Some tawdry lace, and bits of lustre glass,
And their young Boars white and red rags, and tails
Of cows, and jay feathers, and sticking cauliflowers
Between the ears of the old ones; and when
They are persuaded, that by the inherent virtue
Of these things, they are all imperial Pigs,
Good Lord! they'd rip each other's bellies up,
Not to say, help us in destroying her.
Swellfoot.
This plan might be tried too;where's General
Laoctonos?
Enter Laoctonos and Dakry.
     It is my royal pleasure
That you, Lord General, bring the head and body,
If separate it would please me better, hither
Of Queen Iona.
Laoctonos.
       That pleasure I well knew,
And made a charge with those battalions bold,
Called, from their dress and grin, the royal apes,
Upon the Swine, who in a hollow square
Enclosed her, and received the first attack
Like so many rhinoceroses, and then
Retreating in good order, with bare tusks
And wrinkled snouts presented to the foe,
Bore her in triumph to the public sty.
What is still worse, some Sows upon the ground
Have given the ape-guards apples, nuts, and gin,
And they all whisk their tails aloft, and cry,
'Long live Iona! down with Swellfoot!'
Purganax.
                     Hark!
                     The Swine
(without).
Long live Iona! down with Swellfoot!
Dakry.
                    I
Went to the garret of the swineherd's tower,
Which overlooks the sty, and made a long
Harangue (all words) to the assembled Swine,
Of delicacy, mercy, judgement, law,
Morals, and precedents, and purity,
Adultery, destitution, and divorce,
Piety, faith, and state necessity,
And how I loved the Queen!and then I wept
With the pathos of my own eloquence,
And every tear turned to a mill-stone, which
Brained many a gaping Pig, and there was made
A slough of blood and brains upon the place,
Greased with the pounded bacon; round and round
The mill-stones rolled, ploughing the pavement up,
And hurling Sucking-Pigs into the air,
With dust and stones.
Enter Mammon.
Mammon.
            I wonder that gray wizards
Like you should be so beardless in their schemes;
It had been but a point of policy
To keep Iona and the Swine apart.
Divide and rule! but ye have made a junction
Between two parties who will govern you
But for my art.Behold this BAG! it is
The poison BAG of that Green Spider huge,
On which our spies skulked in ovation through
The streets of Thebes, when they were paved with dead:
A bane so much the deadlier fills it now
As calumny is worse than death,for here
The Gadfly's venom, fifty times distilled,
Is mingled with the vomit of the Leech,
In due proportion, and black ratsbane, which
That very Rat, who, like the Pontic tyrant,
Nurtures himself on poison, dare not touch;
All is sealed up with the broad seal of Fraud,
Who is the Devil's Lord High Chancellor,
And over it the Primate of all Hell
Murmured this pious baptism:'Be thou called
The GREEN BAG; and this power and grace be thine:
That thy contents, on whomsoever poured,
Turn innocence to guilt, and gentlest looks
To savage, foul, and fierce deformity.
Let all baptized by thy infernal dew
Be called adulterer, drunkard, liar, wretch!
No name left out which orthodoxy loves,
Court Journal or legitimate Review!
Be they called tyrant, beast, fool, glutton, lover
Of other wives and husbands than their own
The heaviest sin on this side of the Alps!
Wither they to a ghastly caricature
Of what was human!let not man or beast
Behold their face with unaverted eyes!
Or hear their names with ears that tingle not
With blood of indignation, rage, and shame!'
This is a perilous liquor;good my Lords. [Swellfoot approaches to touch the GREEN BAG.

Beware! for God's sake, beware!if you should break
The seal, and touch the fatal liquor
Purganax.
                     There,
Give it to me. I have been used to handle
All sorts of poisons. His dread Majesty
Only desires to see the colour of it.
Mammon.
Now, with a little common sense, my Lords,
Only undoing all that has been done
(Yet so as it may seem we but confirm it),
Our victory is assured. We must entice
Her Majesty from the sty, and make the Pigs
Believe that the contents of the GREEN BAG
Are the true test of guilt or innocence.
And that, if she be guilty, 'twill transform her
To manifest deformity like guilt.
If innocent, she will become transfigured
Into an angel, such as they say she is;
And they will see her flying through the air,
So bright that she will dim the noonday sun;
Showering down blessings in the shape of comfits.
This, trust a priest, is just the sort of thing
Swine will believe. I'll wager you will see them
Climbing upon the thatch of their low sties,
With pieces of smoked glass, to watch her sail
Among the clouds, and some will hold the flaps
Of one another's ears between their teeth,
To catch the coming hail of comfits in.
You, Purganax, who have the gift o' the gab,
Make them a solemn speech to this effect:
I go to put in readiness the feast
Kept to the honour of our goddess Famine,
Where, for more glory, let the ceremony
Take place of the uglification of the Queen.
Dakry
(to Swellfoot).
I, as the keeper of your sacred conscience,
Humbly remind your Majesty that the care
Of your high office, as Man-milliner
To red Bellona, should not be deferred.
Purganax.
All part, in happier plight to meet again.
[Exeunt.
END OF THE FIRST ACT.

ACT II
Scene I.
The Public Sty. The Boars in full Assembly.
Enter Purganax.
Purganax.
Grant me your patience, Gentlemen and Boars,
Ye, by whose patience under public burthens
The glorious constitution of these sties
Subsists, and shall subsist. The Lean-Pig rates
Grow with the growing populace of Swine,
The taxes, that true source of Piggishness
(How can I find a more appropriate term
To include religion, morals, peace, and plenty,
And all that fit Boeotia as a nation
To teach the other nations how to live?),
Increase with Piggishness itself; and still
Does the revenue, that great spring of all
The patronage, and pensions, and by-payments,
Which free-born Pigs regard with jealous eyes,
Diminish, till at length, by glorious steps,
All the land's produce will be merged in taxes,
And the revenue will amount tonothing!
The failure of a foreign market for
Sausages, bristles, and blood-puddings,
And such home manufactures, is but partial;
And, that the population of the Pigs,
Instead of hog-wash, has been fed on straw
And water, is a fact which isyou know
That isit is a state-necessity
Temporary, of course. Those impious Pigs,
Who, by frequent squeaks, have dared impugn
The settled Swellfoot system, or to make
Irreverent mockery of the genuflexions
Inculcated by the arch-priest, have been whipped
Into a loyal and an orthodox whine.
Things being in this happy state, the Queen
Iona
[A loud cry from the Pigs.
   She is innocent! most innocent!
   Purganax.
That is the very thing that I was saying,
Gentlemen Swine; the Queen Iona being
Most innocent, no doubt, returns to Thebes,
And the lean Sows and Boars collect about her,
Wishing to make her think that we believe
(I mean those more substantial Pigs, who swill
Rich hog-wash, while the others mouth damp straw)
That she is guilty; thus, the Lean-Pig faction
Seeks to obtain that hog-wash, which has been
Your immemorial right, and which I will
Maintain you in to the last drop of
A Boar
(interrupting him).
                    What
Does any one accuse her of?
Purganax.
               Why, no one
Makes any positive accusation;but
There were hints dropped, and so the privy wizards
Conceived that it became them to advise
His Majesty to investigate their truth;
Not for his own sake; he could be content
To let his wife play any pranks she pleased,
If, by that sufferance, he could please the Pigs;
But then he fears the morals of the Swine,
The Sows especially, and what effect
It might produce upon the purity and
Religion of the rising generation
Of Sucking-Pigs, if it could be suspected
That Queen Iona
[A pause.
First Boar.
         Well, go on; we long
To hear what she can possibly have done.
Purganax.
Why, it is hinted, that a certain Bull
Thus much is known:the milk-white Bulls that feed
Beside Clitumnus and the crystal lakes
Of the Cisalpine mountains, in fresh dews
Of lotus-grass and blossoming asphodel
Sleeking their silken hair, and with sweet breath
Loading the morning winds until they faint
With living fragrance, are so beautiful!
Well, I say nothing;but Europa rode
On such a one from Asia into Crete,
And the enamoured sea grew calm beneath
His gliding beauty. And Pasiphae,
Iona's grandmother,but she is innocent!
And that both you and I, and all assert.
First Boar.
Most innocent!
Purganax.
       Behold this BAG; a bag
       Second Boar.
Oh! no GREEN BAGS!! Jealousy's eyes are green,
Scorpions are green, and water-snakes, and efts,
And verdigris, and
Purganax.
           Honourable Swine,
In Piggish souls can prepossessions reign?
Allow me to remind you, grass is green
All flesh is grass;no bacon but is flesh
Ye are but bacon. This divining BAG
(Which is not green, but only bacon colour)
Is filled with liquor, which if sprinkled o'er
A woman guilty ofwe all know what
Makes her so hideous, till she finds one blind
She never can commit the like again.
If innocent, she will turn into an angel,
And rain down blessings in the shape of comfits
As she flies up to heaven. Now, my proposal
Is to convert her sacred Majesty
Into an angel (as I am sure we shall do),
By pouring on her head this mystic water.[Showing the Bag.

I know that she is innocent; I wish
Only to prove her so to all the world.
First Boar.
Excellent, just, and noble Purganax.
Second Boar.
How glorious it will be to see her Majesty
Flying above our heads, her petticoats
Streaming likelikelike
Third Boar.
               Anything.
               Purganax.
                    Oh no!
But like a standard of an admiral's ship,
Or like the banner of a conquering host,
Or like a cloud dyed in the dying day,
Unravelled on the blast from a white mountain;
Or like a meteor, or a war-steed's mane,
Or waterfall from a dizzy precipice
Scattered upon the wind.
First Boar.
             Or a cow's tail.
             Second Boar.
Or anything, as the learned Boar observed.
Purganax.
Gentlemen Boars, I move a resolution,
That her most sacred Majesty should be
Invited to attend the feast of Famine,
And to receive upon her chaste white body
Dews of Apotheosis from this BAG.
[A great confusion is heard of the Pigs out of Doors, which communicates itself to those within. During the first Strophe, the doors of the Sty are staved in, and a number of exceedingly leanPigs and Sows and Boars rush in.
Semichorus I.
No! Yes!
Semichorus II.
Yes! No!
Semichorus I.
A law!
Semichorus II.
A flaw!
Semichorus I.
Porkers, we shall lose our wash,
Or must share it with the Lean-Pigs!
First Boar.
Order! order! be not rash!
Was there ever such a scene, Pigs!
An old Sow
(rushing in).
I never saw so fine a dash
Since I first began to wean Pigs.
Second Boar
(solemnly).
The Queen will be an angel time enough.
I vote, in form of an amendment, that
Purganax rub a little of that stuff
Upon his face.
Purganax
(his heart is seen to beat through his waistcoat).
         Gods! What would ye be at?
         Semichorus I.
Purganax has plainly shown a
Cloven foot and jackdaw feather.
Semichorus II.
I vote Swellfoot and Iona
Try the magic test together;
Whenever royal spouses bicker,
Both should try the magic liquor.
An old Boar
(aside).
A miserable state is that of Pigs,
For if their drivers would tear caps and wigs,
The Swine must bite each other's ear therefore.
An old Sow
(aside).
A wretched lot Jove has assigned to Swine,
Squabbling makes Pig-herds hungry, and they dine
On bacon, and whip Sucking-Pigs the more.
Chorus.
  Hog-wash has been ta'en away:
   If the Bull-Queen is divested,
  We shall be in every way
   Hunted, stripped, exposed, molested;
  Let us do whate'er we may,
   That she shall not be arrested.
Queen, we entrench you with walls of brawn,
And palisades of tusks, sharp as a bayonet:
Place your most sacred person here. We pawn
Our lives that none a finger dare to lay on it.
  Those who wrong you, wrong us;
  Those who hate you, hate us;
  Those who sting you, sting us;
  Those who bait you, bait us;
The oracle is now about to be
Fulfilled by circumvolving destiny;
Which says: 'Thebes, choose reform or civil war,
When through your streets, instead of hare with dogs,
A Consort Queen shall hunt a King with Hogs,
Riding upon the IONIAN MINOTAUR.'
Enter Iona Taurina.
Iona Taurina
(coming forward).
Gentlemen Swine, and gentle Lady-Pigs,
The tender heart of every Boar acquits
Their Queen, of any act incongruous
With native Piggishness, and she, reposing
With confidence upon the grunting nation,
Has thrown herself, her cause, her life, her all,
Her innocence, into their Hoggish arms;
Nor has the expectation been deceived
Of finding shelter there. Yet know, great Boars,
(For such whoever lives among you finds you,
And so do I), the innocent are proud!
I have accepted your protection only
In compliment of your kind love and care,
Not for necessity. The innocent
Are safest there where trials and dangers wait;
Innocent Queens o'er white-hot ploughshares tread
Unsinged, and ladies, Erin's laureate sings it[5],
Decked with rare gems, and beauty rarer still,
Walked from Killarney to the Giant's Causeway,
Through rebels, smugglers, troops of yeomanry,
White-boys and Orange-boys, and constables,
Tithe-proctors, and excise people, uninjured!
Thus I!
Lord Purganax, I do commit myself
Into your custody, and am prepared
To stand the test, whatever it may be!
Purganax.
This magnanimity in your sacred Majesty
Must please the Pigs. You cannot fail of being
A heavenly angel. Smoke your bits of glass,
Ye loyal Swine, or her transfiguration
Will blind your wondering eyes.
An old Boar
(aside).
                 Take care, my Lord,
They do not smoke you first.
Purganax.
               At the approaching feast
Of Famine, let the expiation be.
Swine.
Content! content!
Iona Taurina
(aside).
         I, most content of all,
Know that my foes even thus prepare their fall!
[Exeunt omnes.
Scene II.
The interior of the Temple of Famine. The statue of the Goddess, a skeleton clothed in parti-coloured rags, seated upon a heap of skulls and loaves intermingled. A number of exceedingly fat Priests in black garments arrayed on each side, with marrow-bones and cleavers in their hands. [Solomon, the Court Porkman.] A flourish of trumpets.
Enter Mammon as arch-priest, Swellfoot, Dakry, Purganax, Laoctonos, followed by Iona Taurina guarded. On the other side enter the Swine.
Chorus of Priests, accompanied by the Court Porkman on marrow-bones and cleavers.
  Goddess bare, and gaunt, and pale,
  Empress of the world, all hail!
  What though Cretans old called thee
  City-crested Cybele?
   We call thee Famine!
Goddess of fasts and feasts, starving and cramming!
Through thee, for emperors, kings, and priests and lords,
Who rule by viziers, sceptres, bank-notes, words,
The earth pours forth its plenteous fruits,
Corn, wool, linen, flesh, and roots
Those who consume these fruits through thee grow fat,
Those who produce these fruits through thee grow lean,
Whatever change takes place, oh, stick to that!
And let things be as they have ever been;
  At least while we remain thy priests,
  And proclaim thy fasts and feasts.
Through thee the sacred Swellfoot dynasty
Is based upon a rock amid that sea
Whose waves are Swineso let it ever be!
[Swellfoot, etc., seat themselves at a table magnificently covered at the upper end of the Temple. Attendants pass over the stage with hog-wash in pails. A number of Pigs, exceedingly lean, follow them licking up the wash.
Mammon.
I fear your sacred Majesty has lost
The appetite which you were used to have.
Allow me now to recommend this dish
A simple kickshaw by your Persian cook,
Such as is served at the great King's second table.
The price and pains which its ingredients cost
Might have maintained some dozen families
A winter or twonot moreso plain a dish
Could scarcely disagree.
Swellfoot.
              After the trial,
And these fastidious Pigs are gone, perhaps
I may recover my lost appetite,
I feel the gout flying about my stomach
Give me a glass of Maraschino punch.
Purganax
(filling his glass, and standing up).
The glorious Constitution of the Pigs!
All.
A toast! a toast! stand up, and three times three!
Dakry.
No heel-tapsdarken daylights!
Laoctonos.
                  Claret, somehow,
Puts me in mind of blood, and blood of claret!
Swellfoot.
Laoctonos is fishing for a compliment,
But 'tis his due. Yes, you have drunk more wine,
And shed more blood, than any man in Thebes. [To Purganax.

For God's sake stop the grunting of those Pigs!
Purganax.
We dare not, Sire, 'tis Famine's privilege.
Chorus of Swine.
Hail to thee, hail to thee, Famine!
Thy throne is on blood, and thy robe is of rags;
Thou devil which livest on damning;
Saint of new churches, and cant, and GREEN BAGS,
Till in pity and terror thou risest,
Confounding the schemes of the wisest;
When thou liftest thy skeleton form,
When the loaves and the skulls roll about,
We will greet theethe voice of a storm
Would be lost in our terrible shout!
Then hail to thee, hail to thee, Famine!
Hail to thee, Empress of Earth!
When thou risest, dividing possessions;
When thou risest, uprooting oppressions,
In the pride of thy ghastly mirth;
Over palaces, temples, and graves,
We will rush as thy minister-slaves,
Trampling behind in thy train,
Till all be made level again!
Mammon.
I hear a crackling of the giant bones
Of the dread image, and in the black pits
Which once were eyes, I see two livid flames.
These prodigies are oracular, and show
The presence of the unseen Deity.
Mighty events are hastening to their doom!
Swellfoot.
I only hear the lean and mutinous Swine
Grunting about the temple.
Dakry.
              In a crisis
Of such exceeding delicacy, I think
We ought to put her Majesty, the Queen,
Upon her trial without delay.
Mammon.
                THE BAG
Is here.
Purganax.
    I have rehearsed the entire scene
With an ox-bladder and some ditchwater,
On Lady P-; it cannot fail. (Taking up the Bag.)
Your Majesty [To Swellfoot.

In such a filthy business had better
Stand on one side, lest it should sprinkle you.
A spot or two on me would do no harm,
Nay, it might hide the blood, which the sad Genius
Of the Green Isle has fixed, as by a spell,
Upon my browwhich would stain all its seas,
But which those seas could never wash away!
Iona Taurina.
My Lord, I am readynay, I am impatient
To undergo the test.
[A graceful figure in a semi-transparent veil passes unnoticed through the Temple; the word LIBERTY is seen through the veil, as if it were written in fire upon its forehead. Its words are almost drowned in the furious grunting of the Pigs, and the business of the trial. She kneels on the steps of the Altar, and speaks in tones at first faint and low, but which ever become louder and louder.
  Mighty Empress! Death's white wife!
  Ghastly mother-in-law of Life!
  By the God who made thee such,
  By the magic of thy touch,
  By the starving and the cramming
Of fasts and feasts! by thy dread self, O Famine!
I charge thee! when thou wake the multitude,
Thou lead them not upon the paths of blood.
The earth did never mean her foison
For those who crown life's cup with poison
Of fanatic rage and meaningless revenge
But for those radiant spirits, who are still
The standard-bearers in the van of Change.
Be they th'appointed stewards, to fill
The lap of Pain, and Toil, and Age!
Remit, O Queen! thy accustomed rage!
Be what thou art not! In voice faint and low
Freedom calls Famine,her eternal foe,
To brief alliance, hollow truce.Rise now!
[Whilst the Veiled Figure has been chanting this strophe, Mammon, Dakry, Laoctonos, and Swellfoot, have surrounded Iona Taurina, who, with her hands folded on her breast, and her eyes lifted to Heaven, stands, as with saint-like resignation, to wait the issue of the business, in perfect confidence of her innocence.
[Purganax, after unsealing the Green Bag, is gravely about to pour the liquor upon her head, when suddenly the whole expression of her figure and countenance changes; she snatches it from his hand with a loud laugh of triumph, and empties it over Swellfoot and his whole Court, who are instantly changed into a number of filthy and ugly animals, and rush out of the Temple. The image of Famine then arises with a tremendous sound, the Pigs begin scrambling for the loaves, and are tripped up by the skulls; all those who eat the loaves are turned into Bulls, and arrange themselves quietly behind the altar. The image of Famine sinks through a chasm in the earth, and a Minotaur rises.
Minotaur.
I am the Ionian Minotaur, the mightiest
Of all Europa's taurine progeny
I am the old traditional Man-Bull;
And from my ancestors having been Ionian,
I am called Ion, which, by interpretation,
Is John; in plain Theban, that is to say,
My name's John Bull; I am a famous hunter,
And can leap any gate in all Boeotia,
Even the palings of the royal park,
Or double ditch about the new enclosures;
And if your Majesty will deign to mount me,
At least till you have hunted down your game,
I will not throw you.
Iona Taurina.
(During this speech she has been putting on boots and spurs, and a hunting-cap, buckishly cocked on one side, and tucking up her hair, she leaps nimbly on his back.)
           Hoa! hoa! tallyho! tallyho! ho! ho!
Come, let us hunt these ugly badgers down,
These stinking foxes, these devouring otters,
These hares, these wolves, these anything but men.
Hey, for a whipper-in! my loyal Pigs,
Now let your noses be as keen as beagles',
Your steps as swift as greyhounds', and your cries
More dulcet and symphonious than the bells
Of village-towers, on sunshine holiday;
Wake all the dewy woods with jangling music.
Give them no law (are they not beasts of blood?)
But such as they gave you. Tallyho! ho!
Through forest, furze, and bog, and den, and desert,
Pursue the ugly beasts! tallyho! ho!
Full Chorus of Iona and the Swine.
Tallyho! tallyho!
Through rain, hail, and snow,
Through brake, gorse, and briar,
Through fen, flood, and mire,
We go! we go!
  Tallyho! tallyho!
Through pond, ditch, and slough,
Wind them, and find them,
Like the Devil behind them,
Tallyho! tallyho!
[Exeunt, in full cry; Iona driving on the Swine, with the empty Green Bag.
THE END
'Begun at the Baths of San Giuliano, near Pisa, August 24, 1819; published anonymously by J. Johnston, Cheapside (imprint C. F. Seyfang,) 1820. On a threat of prosecution the publisher surrendered the whole impression, seven copies -- the total number sold -- excepted. Oedipus does not appear in the first edition of the Poetical Works, 1839, but it was included by Mrs. Shelley in the second edition of that year.' ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Oedipus Tyrannus or Swellfoot The Tyrant

85:Muse of my native land! loftiest Muse!
O first-born on the mountains! by the hues
Of heaven on the spiritual air begot:
Long didst thou sit alone in northern grot,
While yet our England was a wolfish den;
Before our forests heard the talk of men;
Before the first of Druids was a child;--
Long didst thou sit amid our regions wild
Rapt in a deep prophetic solitude.
There came an eastern voice of solemn mood:--
Yet wast thou patient. Then sang forth the Nine,
Apollo's garland:--yet didst thou divine
Such home-bred glory, that they cry'd in vain,
"Come hither, Sister of the Island!" Plain
Spake fair Ausonia; and once more she spake
A higher summons:--still didst thou betake
Thee to thy native hopes. O thou hast won
A full accomplishment! The thing is done,
Which undone, these our latter days had risen
On barren souls. Great Muse, thou know'st what prison
Of flesh and bone, curbs, and confines, and frets
Our spirit's wings: despondency besets
Our pillows; and the fresh to-morrow morn
Seems to give forth its light in very scorn
Of our dull, uninspired, snail-paced lives.
Long have I said, how happy he who shrives
To thee! But then I thought on poets gone,
And could not pray:nor can I now--so on
I move to the end in lowliness of heart.--

"Ah, woe is me! that I should fondly part
From my dear native land! Ah, foolish maid!
Glad was the hour, when, with thee, myriads bade
Adieu to Ganges and their pleasant fields!
To one so friendless the clear freshet yields
A bitter coolness, the ripe grape is sour:
Yet I would have, great gods! but one short hour
Of native airlet me but die at home."

Endymion to heaven's airy dome
Was offering up a hecatomb of vows,
When these words reach'd him. Whereupon he bows
His head through thorny-green entanglement
Of underwood, and to the sound is bent,
Anxious as hind towards her hidden fawn.

"Is no one near to help me? No fair dawn
Of life from charitable voice? No sweet saying
To set my dull and sadden'd spirit playing?
No hand to toy with mine? No lips so sweet
That I may worship them? No eyelids meet
To twinkle on my bosom? No one dies
Before me, till from these enslaving eyes
Redemption sparkles!I am sad and lost."

Thou, Carian lord, hadst better have been tost
Into a whirlpool. Vanish into air,
Warm mountaineer! for canst thou only bear
A woman's sigh alone and in distress?
See not her charms! Is Phoebe passionless?
Phoebe is fairer farO gaze no more:
Yet if thou wilt behold all beauty's store,
Behold her panting in the forest grass!
Do not those curls of glossy jet surpass
For tenderness the arms so idly lain
Amongst them? Feelest not a kindred pain,
To see such lovely eyes in swimming search
After some warm delight, that seems to perch
Dovelike in the dim cell lying beyond
Their upper lids?Hist!      "O for Hermes' wand
To touch this flower into human shape!
That woodland Hyacinthus could escape
From his green prison, and here kneeling down
Call me his queen, his second life's fair crown!
Ah me, how I could love!My soul doth melt
For the unhappy youthLove! I have felt
So faint a kindness, such a meek surrender
To what my own full thoughts had made too tender,
That but for tears my life had fled away!
Ye deaf and senseless minutes of the day,
And thou, old forest, hold ye this for true,
There is no lightning, no authentic dew
But in the eye of love: there's not a sound,
Melodious howsoever, can confound
The heavens and earth in one to such a death
As doth the voice of love: there's not a breath
Will mingle kindly with the meadow air,
Till it has panted round, and stolen a share
Of passion from the heart!"

               Upon a bough
He leant, wretched. He surely cannot now
Thirst for another love: O impious,
That he can even dream upon it thus!
Thought he, "Why am I not as are the dead,
Since to a woe like this I have been led
Through the dark earth, and through the wondrous sea?
Goddess! I love thee not the less: from thee
By Juno's smile I turn notno, no, no
While the great waters are at ebb and flow.
I have a triple soul! O fond pretence
For both, for both my love is so immense,
I feel my heart is cut in twain for them."

And so he groan'd, as one by beauty slain.
The lady's heart beat quick, and he could see
Her gentle bosom heave tumultuously.
He sprang from his green covert: there she lay,
Sweet as a muskrose upon new-made hay;
With all her limbs on tremble, and her eyes
Shut softly up alive. To speak he tries.
"Fair damsel, pity me! forgive that I
Thus violate thy bower's sanctity!
O pardon me, for I am full of grief
Grief born of thee, young angel! fairest thief!
Who stolen hast away the wings wherewith
I was to top the heavens. Dear maid, sith
Thou art my executioner, and I feel
Loving and hatred, misery and weal,
Will in a few short hours be nothing to me,
And all my story that much passion slew me;
Do smile upon the evening of my days:
And, for my tortur'd brain begins to craze,
Be thou my nurse; and let me understand
How dying I shall kiss that lily hand.
Dost weep for me? Then should I be content.
Scowl on, ye fates! until the firmament
Outblackens Erebus, and the full-cavern'd earth
Crumbles into itself. By the cloud girth
Of Jove, those tears have given me a thirst
To meet oblivion."As her heart would burst
The maiden sobb'd awhile, and then replied:
"Why must such desolation betide
As that thou speakest of? Are not these green nooks
Empty of all misfortune? Do the brooks
Utter a gorgon voice? Does yonder thrush,
Schooling its half-fledg'd little ones to brush
About the dewy forest, whisper tales?
Speak not of grief, young stranger, or cold snails
Will slime the rose to night. Though if thou wilt,
Methinks 'twould be a guilta very guilt
Not to companion thee, and sigh away
The lightthe duskthe darktill break of day!"
"Dear lady," said Endymion, "'tis past:
I love thee! and my days can never last.
That I may pass in patience still speak:
Let me have music dying, and I seek
No more delightI bid adieu to all.
Didst thou not after other climates call,
And murmur about Indian streams?"Then she,
Sitting beneath the midmost forest tree,
For pity sang this roundelay
     "O Sorrow,
     Why dost borrow
The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips?
     To give maiden blushes
     To the white rose bushes?
Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips?

     "O Sorrow,
     Why dost borrow
The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye?
     To give the glow-worm light?
     Or, on a moonless night,
To tinge, on syren shores, the salt sea-spry?

     "O Sorrow,
     Why dost borrow
The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue?
     To give at evening pale
     Unto the nightingale,
That thou mayst listen the cold dews among?

     "O Sorrow,
     Why dost borrow
Heart's lightness from the merriment of May?
     A lover would not tread
     A cowslip on the head,
Though he should dance from eve till peep of day
     Nor any drooping flower
     Held sacred for thy bower,
Wherever he may sport himself and play.

     "To Sorrow
     I bade good-morrow,
And thought to leave her far away behind;
     But cheerly, cheerly,
     She loves me dearly;
She is so constant to me, and so kind:
     I would deceive her
     And so leave her,
But ah! she is so constant and so kind.

"Beneath my palm trees, by the river side,
I sat a weeping: in the whole world wide
There was no one to ask me why I wept,
     And so I kept
Brimming the water-lily cups with tears
     Cold as my fears.

"Beneath my palm trees, by the river side,
I sat a weeping: what enamour'd bride,
Cheated by shadowy wooer from the clouds,
    But hides and shrouds
Beneath dark palm trees by a river side?

"And as I sat, over the light blue hills
There came a noise of revellers: the rills
Into the wide stream came of purple hue
    'Twas Bacchus and his crew!
The earnest trumpet spake, and silver thrills
From kissing cymbals made a merry din
    'Twas Bacchus and his kin!
Like to a moving vintage down they came,
Crown'd with green leaves, and faces all on flame;
All madly dancing through the pleasant valley,
    To scare thee, Melancholy!
O then, O then, thou wast a simple name!
And I forgot thee, as the berried holly
By shepherds is forgotten, when, in June,
Tall chesnuts keep away the sun and moon:
    I rush'd into the folly!

"Within his car, aloft, young Bacchus stood,
Trifling his ivy-dart, in dancing mood,
    With sidelong laughing;
And little rills of crimson wine imbrued
His plump white arms, and shoulders, enough white
    For Venus' pearly bite;
And near him rode Silenus on his ****,
Pelted with flowers as he on did pass
    Tipsily quaffing.

"Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye!
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your bowers desolate,
    Your lutes, and gentler fate?
We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing?
    A conquering!
Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide,
We dance before him thorough kingdoms wide:
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be
    To our wild minstrelsy!'

"Whence came ye, jolly Satyrs! whence came ye!
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your forest haunts, why left
    Your nuts in oak-tree cleft?
For wine, for wine we left our kernel tree;
For wine we left our heath, and yellow brooms,
    And cold mushrooms;
For wine we follow Bacchus through the earth;
Great God of breathless cups and chirping mirth!
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be
To our mad minstrelsy!'

"Over wide streams and mountains great we went,
And, save when Bacchus kept his ivy tent,
Onward the tiger and the leopard pants,
    With Asian elephants:
Onward these myriadswith song and dance,
With zebras striped, and sleek Arabians' prance,
Web-footed alligators, crocodiles,
Bearing upon their scaly backs, in files,
Plump infant laughers mimicking the coil
Of seamen, and stout galley-rowers' toil:
With toying oars and silken sails they glide,
    Nor care for wind and tide.

"Mounted on panthers' furs and lions' manes,
From rear to van they scour about the plains;
A three days' journey in a moment done:
And always, at the rising of the sun,
About the wilds they hunt with spear and horn,
    On spleenful unicorn.

"I saw Osirian Egypt kneel adown
    Before the vine-wreath crown!
I saw parch'd Abyssinia rouse and sing
    To the silver cymbals' ring!
I saw the whelming vintage hotly pierce
    Old Tartary the fierce!
The kings of Inde their jewel-sceptres vail,
And from their treasures scatter pearled hail;
Great Brahma from his mystic heaven groans,
    And all his priesthood moans;
Before young Bacchus' eye-wink turning pale.
Into these regions came I following him,
Sick hearted, wearyso I took a whim
To stray away into these forests drear
    Alone, without a peer:
And I have told thee all thou mayest hear.

     "Young stranger!
     I've been a ranger
In search of pleasure throughout every clime:
     Alas! 'tis not for me!
     Bewitch'd I sure must be,
To lose in grieving all my maiden prime.

     "Come then, Sorrow!
     Sweetest Sorrow!
Like an own babe I nurse thee on my breast:
     I thought to leave thee
     And deceive thee,
But now of all the world I love thee best.

     "There is not one,
     No, no, not one
But thee to comfort a poor lonely maid;
     Thou art her mother,
     And her brother,
Her playmate, and her wooer in the shade."

O what a sigh she gave in finishing,
And look, quite dead to every worldly thing!
Endymion could not speak, but gazed on her;
And listened to the wind that now did stir
About the crisped oaks full drearily,
Yet with as sweet a softness as might be
Remember'd from its velvet summer song.
At last he said: "Poor lady, how thus long
Have I been able to endure that voice?
Fair Melody! kind Syren! I've no choice;
I must be thy sad servant evermore:
I cannot choose but kneel here and adore.
Alas, I must not thinkby Phoebe, no!
Let me not think, soft Angel! shall it be so?
Say, beautifullest, shall I never think?
O thou could'st foster me beyond the brink
Of recollection! make my watchful care
Close up its bloodshot eyes, nor see despair!
Do gently murder half my soul, and I
Shall feel the other half so utterly!
I'm giddy at that cheek so fair and smooth;
O let it blush so ever! let it soothe
My madness! let it mantle rosy-warm
With the tinge of love, panting in safe alarm.
This cannot be thy hand, and yet it is;
And this is sure thine other softlingthis
Thine own fair bosom, and I am so near!
Wilt fall asleep? O let me sip that tear!
And whisper one sweet word that I may know
This is this worldsweet dewy blossom!"Woe!
Woe! Woe to that Endymion! Where is he?
Even these words went echoing dismally
Through the wide foresta most fearful tone,
Like one repenting in his latest moan;
And while it died away a shade pass'd by,
As of a thunder cloud. When arrows fly
Through the thick branches, poor ring-doves sleek forth
Their timid necks and tremble; so these both
Leant to each other trembling, and sat so
Waiting for some destructionwhen lo,
Foot-feather'd Mercury appear'd sublime
Beyond the tall tree tops; and in less time
Than shoots the slanted hail-storm, down he dropt
Towards the ground; but rested not, nor stopt
One moment from his home: only the sward
He with his wand light touch'd, and heavenward
Swifter than sight was goneeven before
The teeming earth a sudden witness bore
Of his swift magic. Diving swans appear
Above the crystal circlings white and clear;
And catch the cheated eye in wild surprise,
How they can dive in sight and unseen rise
So from the turf outsprang two steeds jet-black,
Each with large dark blue wings upon his back.
The youth of Caria plac'd the lovely dame
On one, and felt himself in spleen to tame
The other's fierceness. Through the air they flew,
High as the eagles. Like two drops of dew
Exhal'd to Phoebus' lips, away they are gone,
Far from the earth awayunseen, alone,
Among cool clouds and winds, but that the free,
The buoyant life of song can floating be
Above their heads, and follow them untir'd.
Muse of my native land, am I inspir'd?
This is the giddy air, and I must spread
Wide pinions to keep here; nor do I dread
Or height, or depth, or width, or any chance
Precipitous: I have beneath my glance
Those towering horses and their mournful freight.
Could I thus sail, and see, and thus await
Fearless for power of thought, without thine aid?
There is a sleepy dusk, an odorous shade
From some approaching wonder, and behold
Those winged steeds, with snorting nostrils bold
Snuff at its faint extreme, and seem to tire,
Dying to embers from their native fire!

There curl'd a purple mist around them; soon,
It seem'd as when around the pale new moon
Sad Zephyr droops the clouds like weeping willow:
'Twas Sleep slow journeying with head on pillow.
For the first time, since he came nigh dead born
From the old womb of night, his cave forlorn
Had he left more forlorn; for the first time,
He felt aloof the day and morning's prime
Because into his depth Cimmerian
There came a dream, shewing how a young man,
Ere a lean bat could plump its wintery skin,
Would at high Jove's empyreal footstool win
An immortality, and how espouse
Jove's daughter, and be reckon'd of his house.
Now was he slumbering towards heaven's gate,
That he might at the threshold one hour wait
To hear the marriage melodies, and then
Sink downward to his dusky cave again.
His litter of smooth semilucent mist,
Diversely ting'd with rose and amethyst,
Puzzled those eyes that for the centre sought;
And scarcely for one moment could be caught
His sluggish form reposing motionless.
Those two on winged steeds, with all the stress
Of vision search'd for him, as one would look
Athwart the sallows of a river nook
To catch a glance at silver throated eels,
Or from old Skiddaw's top, when fog conceals
His rugged forehead in a mantle pale,
With an eye-guess towards some pleasant vale
Descry a favourite hamlet faint and far.

These raven horses, though they foster'd are
Of earth's splenetic fire, dully drop
Their full-veined ears, nostrils blood wide, and stop;
Upon the spiritless mist have they outspread
Their ample feathers, are in slumber dead,
And on those pinions, level in mid air,
Endymion sleepeth and the lady fair.
Slowly they sail, slowly as icy isle
Upon a calm sea drifting: and meanwhile
The mournful wanderer dreams. Behold! he walks
On heaven's pavement; brotherly he talks
To divine powers: from his hand full fain
Juno's proud birds are pecking pearly grain:
He tries the nerve of Phoebus' golden bow,
And asketh where the golden apples grow:
Upon his arm he braces Pallas' shield,
And strives in vain to unsettle and wield
A Jovian thunderbolt: arch Hebe brings
A full-brimm'd goblet, dances lightly, sings
And tantalizes long; at last he drinks,
And lost in pleasure at her feet he sinks,
Touching with dazzled lips her starlight hand.
He blows a bugle,an ethereal band
Are visible above: the Seasons four,
Green-kyrtled Spring, flush Summer, golden store
In Autumn's sickle, Winter frosty hoar,
Join dance with shadowy Hours; while still the blast,
In swells unmitigated, still doth last
To sway their floating morris. "Whose is this?
Whose bugle?" he inquires: they smile"O Dis!
Why is this mortal here? Dost thou not know
Its mistress' lips? Not thou?'Tis Dian's: lo!
She rises crescented!" He looks, 'tis she,
His very goddess: good-bye earth, and sea,
And air, and pains, and care, and suffering;
Good-bye to all but love! Then doth he spring
Towards her, and awakesand, strange, o'erhead,
Of those same fragrant exhalations bred,
Beheld awake his very dream: the gods
Stood smiling; merry Hebe laughs and nods;
And Phoebe bends towards him crescented.
O state perplexing! On the pinion bed,
Too well awake, he feels the panting side
Of his delicious lady. He who died
For soaring too audacious in the sun,
Where that same treacherous wax began to run,
Felt not more tongue-tied than Endymion.
His heart leapt up as to its rightful throne,
To that fair shadow'd passion puls'd its way
Ah, what perplexity! Ah, well a day!
So fond, so beauteous was his bed-fellow,
He could not help but kiss her: then he grew
Awhile forgetful of all beauty save
Young Phoebe's, golden hair'd; and so 'gan crave
Forgiveness: yet he turn'd once more to look
At the sweet sleeper,all his soul was shook,
She press'd his hand in slumber; so once more
He could not help but kiss her and adore.
At this the shadow wept, melting away.
The Latmian started up: "Bright goddess, stay!
Search my most hidden breast! By truth's own tongue,
I have no ddale heart: why is it wrung
To desperation? Is there nought for me,
Upon the bourne of bliss, but misery?"

These words awoke the stranger of dark tresses:
Her dawning love-look rapt Endymion blesses
With 'haviour soft. Sleep yawned from underneath.
"Thou swan of Ganges, let us no more breathe
This murky phantasm! thou contented seem'st
Pillow'd in lovely idleness, nor dream'st
What horrors may discomfort thee and me.
Ah, shouldst thou die from my heart-treachery!
Yet did she merely weepher gentle soul
Hath no revenge in it: as it is whole
In tenderness, would I were whole in love!
Can I prize thee, fair maid, all price above,
Even when I feel as true as innocence?
I do, I do.What is this soul then? Whence
Came it? It does not seem my own, and I
Have no self-passion or identity.
Some fearful end must be: where, where is it?
By Nemesis, I see my spirit flit
Alone about the darkForgive me, sweet:
Shall we away?" He rous'd the steeds: they beat
Their wings chivalrous into the clear air,
Leaving old Sleep within his vapoury lair.

The good-night blush of eve was waning slow,
And Vesper, risen star, began to throe
In the dusk heavens silvery, when they
Thus sprang direct towards the Galaxy.
Nor did speed hinder converse soft and strange
Eternal oaths and vows they interchange,
In such wise, in such temper, so aloof
Up in the winds, beneath a starry roof,
So witless of their doom, that verily
'Tis well nigh past man's search their hearts to see;
Whether they wept, or laugh'd, or griev'd, or toy'd
Most like with joy gone mad, with sorrow cloy'd.

Full facing their swift flight, from ebon streak,
The moon put forth a little diamond peak,
No bigger than an unobserved star,
Or tiny point of fairy scymetar;
Bright signal that she only stoop'd to tie
Her silver sandals, ere deliciously
She bow'd into the heavens her timid head.
Slowly she rose, as though she would have fled,
While to his lady meek the Carian turn'd,
To mark if her dark eyes had yet discern'd
This beauty in its birthDespair! despair!
He saw her body fading gaunt and spare
In the cold moonshine. Straight he seiz'd her wrist;
It melted from his grasp: her hand he kiss'd,
And, horror! kiss'd his ownhe was alone.
Her steed a little higher soar'd, and then
Dropt hawkwise to the earth.    There lies a den,
Beyond the seeming confines of the space
Made for the soul to wander in and trace
Its own existence, of remotest glooms.
Dark regions are around it, where the tombs
Of buried griefs the spirit sees, but scarce
One hour doth linger weeping, for the pierce
Of new-born woe it feels more inly smart:
And in these regions many a venom'd dart
At random flies; they are the proper home
Of every ill: the man is yet to come
Who hath not journeyed in this native hell.
But few have ever felt how calm and well
Sleep may be had in that deep den of all.
There anguish does not sting; nor pleasure pall:
Woe-hurricanes beat ever at the gate,
Yet all is still within and desolate.
Beset with painful gusts, within ye hear
No sound so loud as when on curtain'd bier
The death-watch tick is stifled. Enter none
Who strive therefore: on the sudden it is won.
Just when the sufferer begins to burn,
Then it is free to him; and from an urn,
Still fed by melting ice, he takes a draught
Young Semele such richness never quaft
In her maternal longing. Happy gloom!
Dark Paradise! where pale becomes the bloom
Of health by due; where silence dreariest
Is most articulate; where hopes infest;
Where those eyes are the brightest far that keep
Their lids shut longest in a dreamless sleep.
O happy spirit-home! O wondrous soul!
Pregnant with such a den to save the whole
In thine own depth. Hail, gentle Carian!
For, never since thy griefs and woes began,
Hast thou felt so content: a grievous feud
Hath let thee to this Cave of Quietude.
Aye, his lull'd soul was there, although upborne
With dangerous speed: and so he did not mourn
Because he knew not whither he was going.
So happy was he, not the aerial blowing
Of trumpets at clear parley from the east
Could rouse from that fine relish, that high feast.
They stung the feather'd horse: with fierce alarm
He flapp'd towards the sound. Alas, no charm
Could lift Endymion's head, or he had view'd
A skyey mask, a pinion'd multitude,
And silvery was its passing: voices sweet
Warbling the while as if to lull and greet
The wanderer in his path. Thus warbled they,
While past the vision went in bright array.

"Who, who from Dian's feast would be away?
For all the golden bowers of the day
Are empty left? Who, who away would be
From Cynthia's wedding and festivity?
Not Hesperus: lo! upon his silver wings
He leans away for highest heaven and sings,
Snapping his lucid fingers merrily!
Ah, Zephyrus! art here, and Flora too!
Ye tender bibbers of the rain and dew,
Young playmates of the rose and daffodil,
Be careful, ere ye enter in, to fill
    Your baskets high
With fennel green, and balm, and golden pines,
Savory, latter-mint, and columbines,
Cool parsley, basil sweet, and sunny thyme;
Yea, every flower and leaf of every clime,
All gather'd in the dewy morning: hie
    Away! fly, fly!
Crystalline brother of the belt of heaven,
Aquarius! to whom king Jove has given
Two liquid pulse streams 'stead of feather'd wings,
Two fan-like fountains,thine illuminings
    For Dian play:
Dissolve the frozen purity of air;
Let thy white shoulders silvery and bare
Shew cold through watery pinions; make more bright
The Star-Queen's crescent on her marriage night:
    Haste, haste away!
Castor has tamed the planet Lion, see!
And of the Bear has Pollux mastery:
A third is in the race! who is the third,
Speeding away swift as the eagle bird?
    The ramping Centaur!
The Lion's mane's on end: the Bear how fierce!
The Centaur's arrow ready seems to pierce
Some enemy: far forth his bow is bent
Into the blue of heaven. He'll be shent,
    Pale unrelentor,
When he shall hear the wedding lutes a playing.
Andromeda! sweet woman! why delaying
So timidly among the stars: come hither!
Join this bright throng, and nimbly follow whither
    They all are going.
Danae's Son, before Jove newly bow'd,
Has wept for thee, calling to Jove aloud.
Thee, gentle lady, did he disenthral:
Ye shall for ever live and love, for all
    Thy tears are flowing.
By Daphne's fright, behold Apollo!"

                    More
Endymion heard not: down his steed him bore,
Prone to the green head of a misty hill.

His first touch of the earth went nigh to kill.
"Alas!" said he, "were I but always borne
Through dangerous winds, had but my footsteps worn
A path in hell, for ever would I bless
Horrors which nourish an uneasiness
For my own sullen conquering: to him
Who lives beyond earth's boundary, grief is dim,
Sorrow is but a shadow: now I see
The grass; I feel the solid groundAh, me!
It is thy voicedivinest! Where?who? who
Left thee so quiet on this bed of dew?
Behold upon this happy earth we are;
Let us ay love each other; let us fare
On forest-fruits, and never, never go
Among the abodes of mortals here below,
Or be by phantoms duped. O destiny!
Into a labyrinth now my soul would fly,
But with thy beauty will I deaden it.
Where didst thou melt too? By thee will I sit
For ever: let our fate stop herea kid
I on this spot will offer: Pan will bid
Us live in peace, in love and peace among
His forest wildernesses. I have clung
To nothing, lov'd a nothing, nothing seen
Or felt but a great dream! O I have been
Presumptuous against love, against the sky,
Against all elements, against the tie
Of mortals each to each, against the blooms
Of flowers, rush of rivers, and the tombs
Of heroes gone! Against his proper glory
Has my own soul conspired: so my story
Will I to children utter, and repent.
There never liv'd a mortal man, who bent
His appetite beyond his natural sphere,
But starv'd and died. My sweetest Indian, here,
Here will I kneel, for thou redeemed hast
My life from too thin breathing: gone and past
Are cloudy phantasms. Caverns lone, farewel!
And air of visions, and the monstrous swell
Of visionary seas! No, never more
Shall airy voices cheat me to the shore
Of tangled wonder, breathless and aghast.
Adieu, my daintiest Dream! although so vast
My love is still for thee. The hour may come
When we shall meet in pure elysium.
On earth I may not love thee; and therefore
Doves will I offer up, and sweetest store
All through the teeming year: so thou wilt shine
On me, and on this damsel fair of mine,
And bless our simple lives. My Indian bliss!
My river-lily bud! one human kiss!
One sigh of real breathone gentle squeeze,
Warm as a dove's nest among summer trees,
And warm with dew at ooze from living blood!
Whither didst melt? Ah, what of that!all good
We'll talk aboutno more of dreaming.Now,
Where shall our dwelling be? Under the brow
Of some steep mossy hill, where ivy dun
Would hide us up, although spring leaves were none;
And where dark yew trees, as we rustle through,
Will drop their scarlet berry cups of dew?
O thou wouldst joy to live in such a place;
Dusk for our loves, yet light enough to grace
Those gentle limbs on mossy bed reclin'd:
For by one step the blue sky shouldst thou find,
And by another, in deep dell below,
See, through the trees, a little river go
All in its mid-day gold and glimmering.
Honey from out the gnarled hive I'll bring,
And apples, wan with sweetness, gather thee,
Cresses that grow where no man may them see,
And sorrel untorn by the dew-claw'd stag:
Pipes will I fashion of the syrinx flag,
That thou mayst always know whither I roam,
When it shall please thee in our quiet home
To listen and think of love. Still let me speak;
Still let me dive into the joy I seek,
For yet the past doth prison me. The rill,
Thou haply mayst delight in, will I fill
With fairy fishes from the mountain tarn,
And thou shalt feed them from the squirrel's barn.
Its bottom will I strew with amber shells,
And pebbles blue from deep enchanted wells.
Its sides I'll plant with dew-sweet eglantine,
And honeysuckles full of clear bee-wine.
I will entice this crystal rill to trace
Love's silver name upon the meadow's face.
I'll kneel to Vesta, for a flame of fire;
And to god Phoebus, for a golden lyre;
To Empress Dian, for a hunting spear;
To Vesper, for a taper silver-clear,
That I may see thy beauty through the night;
To Flora, and a nightingale shall light
Tame on thy finger; to the River-gods,
And they shall bring thee taper fishing-rods
Of gold, and lines of Naiads' long bright tress.
Heaven shield thee for thine utter loveliness!
Thy mossy footstool shall the altar be
'Fore which I'll bend, bending, dear love, to thee:
Those lips shall be my Delphos, and shall speak
Laws to my footsteps, colour to my cheek,
Trembling or stedfastness to this same voice,
And of three sweetest pleasurings the choice:
And that affectionate light, those diamond things,
Those eyes, those passions, those supreme pearl springs,
Shall be my grief, or twinkle me to pleasure.
Say, is not bliss within our perfect seisure?
O that I could not doubt?"

               The mountaineer
Thus strove by fancies vain and crude to clear
His briar'd path to some tranquillity.
It gave bright gladness to his lady's eye,
And yet the tears she wept were tears of sorrow;
Answering thus, just as the golden morrow
Beam'd upward from the vallies of the east:
"O that the flutter of this heart had ceas'd,
Or the sweet name of love had pass'd away.
Young feather'd tyrant! by a swift decay
Wilt thou devote this body to the earth:
And I do think that at my very birth
I lisp'd thy blooming titles inwardly;
For at the first, first dawn and thought of thee,
With uplift hands I blest the stars of heaven.
Art thou not cruel? Ever have I striven
To think thee kind, but ah, it will not do!
When yet a child, I heard that kisses drew
Favour from thee, and so I kisses gave
To the void air, bidding them find out love:
But when I came to feel how far above
All fancy, pride, and fickle maidenhood,
All earthly pleasure, all imagin'd good,
Was the warm tremble of a devout kiss,
Even then, that moment, at the thought of this,
Fainting I fell into a bed of flowers,
And languish'd there three days. Ye milder powers,
Am I not cruelly wrong'd? Believe, believe
Me, dear Endymion, were I to weave
With my own fancies garlands of sweet life,
Thou shouldst be one of all. Ah, bitter strife!
I may not be thy love: I am forbidden
Indeed I amthwarted, affrighted, chidden,
By things I trembled at, and gorgon wrath.
Twice hast thou ask'd whither I went: henceforth
Ask me no more! I may not utter it,
Nor may I be thy love. We might commit
Ourselves at once to vengeance; we might die;
We might embrace and die: voluptuous thought!
Enlarge not to my hunger, or I'm caught
In trammels of perverse deliciousness.
No, no, that shall not be: thee will I bless,
And bid a long adieu."

             The Carian
No word return'd: both lovelorn, silent, wan,
Into the vallies green together went.
Far wandering, they were perforce content
To sit beneath a fair lone beechen tree;
Nor at each other gaz'd, but heavily
Por'd on its hazle cirque of shedded leaves.

Endymion! unhappy! it nigh grieves
Me to behold thee thus in last extreme:
Ensky'd ere this, but truly that I deem
Truth the best music in a first-born song.
Thy lute-voic'd brother will I sing ere long,
And thou shalt aidhast thou not aided me?
Yes, moonlight Emperor! felicity
Has been thy meed for many thousand years;
Yet often have I, on the brink of tears,
Mourn'd as if yet thou wert a forester,
Forgetting the old tale.

              He did not stir
His eyes from the dead leaves, or one small pulse
Of joy he might have felt. The spirit culls
Unfaded amaranth, when wild it strays
Through the old garden-ground of boyish days.
A little onward ran the very stream
By which he took his first soft poppy dream;
And on the very bark 'gainst which he leant
A crescent he had carv'd, and round it spent
His skill in little stars. The teeming tree
Had swollen and green'd the pious charactery,
But not ta'en out. Why, there was not a slope
Up which he had not fear'd the antelope;
And not a tree, beneath whose rooty shade
He had not with his tamed leopards play'd.
Nor could an arrow light, or javelin,
Fly in the air where his had never been
And yet he knew it not.

             O treachery!
Why does his lady smile, pleasing her eye
With all his sorrowing? He sees her not.
But who so stares on him? His sister sure!
Peona of the woods!Can she endure
Impossiblehow dearly they embrace!
His lady smiles; delight is in her face;
It is no treachery.

           "Dear brother mine!
Endymion, weep not so! Why shouldst thou pine
When all great Latmos so exalt wilt be?
Thank the great gods, and look not bitterly;
And speak not one pale word, and sigh no more.
Sure I will not believe thou hast such store
Of grief, to last thee to my kiss again.
Thou surely canst not bear a mind in pain,
Come hand in hand with one so beautiful.
Be happy both of you! for I will pull
The flowers of autumn for your coronals.
Pan's holy priest for young Endymion calls;
And when he is restor'd, thou, fairest dame,
Shalt be our queen. Now, is it not a shame
To see ye thus,not very, very sad?
Perhaps ye are too happy to be glad:
O feel as if it were a common day;
Free-voic'd as one who never was away.
No tongue shall ask, whence come ye? but ye shall
Be gods of your own rest imperial.
Not even I, for one whole month, will pry
Into the hours that have pass'd us by,
Since in my arbour I did sing to thee.
O Hermes! on this very night will be
A hymning up to Cynthia, queen of light;
For the soothsayers old saw yesternight
Good visions in the air,whence will befal,
As say these sages, health perpetual
To shepherds and their flocks; and furthermore,
In Dian's face they read the gentle lore:
Therefore for her these vesper-carols are.
Our friends will all be there from nigh and far.
Many upon thy death have ditties made;
And many, even now, their foreheads shade
With cypress, on a day of sacrifice.
New singing for our maids shalt thou devise,
And pluck the sorrow from our huntsmen's brows.
Tell me, my lady-queen, how to espouse
This wayward brother to his rightful joys!
His eyes are on thee bent, as thou didst poise
His fate most goddess-like. Help me, I pray,
To lureEndymion, dear brother, say
What ails thee?" He could bear no more, and so
Bent his soul fiercely like a spiritual bow,
And twang'd it inwardly, and calmly said:
"I would have thee my only friend, sweet maid!
My only visitor! not ignorant though,
That those deceptions which for pleasure go
'Mong men, are pleasures real as real may be:
But there are higher ones I may not see,
If impiously an earthly realm I take.
Since I saw thee, I have been wide awake
Night after night, and day by day, until
Of the empyrean I have drunk my fill.
Let it content thee, Sister, seeing me
More happy than betides mortality.
A hermit young, I'll live in mossy cave,
Where thou alone shalt come to me, and lave
Thy spirit in the wonders I shall tell.
Through me the shepherd realm shall prosper well;
For to thy tongue will I all health confide.
And, for my sake, let this young maid abide
With thee as a dear sister. Thou alone,
Peona, mayst return to me. I own
This may sound strangely: but when, dearest girl,
Thou seest it for my happiness, no pearl
Will trespass down those cheeks. Companion fair!
Wilt be content to dwell with her, to share
This sister's love with me?" Like one resign'd
And bent by circumstance, and thereby blind
In self-commitment, thus that meek unknown:
"Aye, but a buzzing by my ears has flown,
Of jubilee to Dian:truth I heard!
Well then, I see there is no little bird,
Tender soever, but is Jove's own care.
Long have I sought for rest, and, unaware,
Behold I find it! so exalted too!
So after my own heart! I knew, I knew
There was a place untenanted in it:
In that same void white Chastity shall sit,
And monitor me nightly to lone slumber.
With sanest lips I vow me to the number
Of Dian's sisterhood; and, kind lady,
With thy good help, this very night shall see
My future days to her fane consecrate."

As feels a dreamer what doth most create
His own particular fright, so these three felt:
Or like one who, in after ages, knelt
To Lucifer or Baal, when he'd pine
After a little sleep: or when in mine
Far under-ground, a sleeper meets his friends
Who know him not. Each diligently bends
Towards common thoughts and things for very fear;
Striving their ghastly malady to cheer,
By thinking it a thing of yes and no,
That housewives talk of. But the spirit-blow
Was struck, and all were dreamers. At the last
Endymion said: "Are not our fates all cast?
Why stand we here? Adieu, ye tender pair!
Adieu!" Whereat those maidens, with wild stare,
Walk'd dizzily away. Pained and hot
His eyes went after them, until they got
Near to a cypress grove, whose deadly maw,
In one swift moment, would what then he saw
Engulph for ever. "Stay!" he cried, "ah, stay!
Turn, damsels! hist! one word I have to say.
Sweet Indian, I would see thee once again.
It is a thing I dote on: so I'd fain,
Peona, ye should hand in hand repair
Into those holy groves, that silent are
Behind great Dian's temple. I'll be yon,
At vesper's earliest twinklethey are gone
But once, once, once again" At this he press'd
His hands against his face, and then did rest
His head upon a mossy hillock green,
And so remain'd as he a corpse had been
All the long day; save when he scantly lifted
His eyes abroad, to see how shadows shifted
With the slow move of time,sluggish and weary
Until the poplar tops, in journey dreary,
Had reach'd the river's brim. Then up he rose,
And, slowly as that very river flows,
Walk'd towards the temple grove with this lament:
"Why such a golden eve? The breeze is sent
Careful and soft, that not a leaf may fall
Before the serene father of them all
Bows down his summer head below the west.
Now am I of breath, speech, and speed possest,
But at the setting I must bid adieu
To her for the last time. Night will strew
On the damp grass myriads of lingering leaves,
And with them shall I die; nor much it grieves
To die, when summer dies on the cold sward.
Why, I have been a butterfly, a lord
Of flowers, garlands, love-knots, silly posies,
Groves, meadows, melodies, and arbour roses;
My kingdom's at its death, and just it is
That I should die with it: so in all this
We miscal grief, bale, sorrow, heartbreak, woe,
What is there to plain of? By Titan's foe
I am but rightly serv'd." So saying, he
Tripp'd lightly on, in sort of deathful glee;
Laughing at the clear stream and setting sun,
As though they jests had been: nor had he done
His laugh at nature's holy countenance,
Until that grove appear'd, as if perchance,
And then his tongue with sober seemlihed
Gave utterance as he entered: "Ha!" I said,
"King of the butterflies; but by this gloom,
And by old Rhadamanthus' tongue of doom,
This dusk religion, pomp of solitude,
And the Promethean clay by thief endued,
By old Saturnus' forelock, by his head
Shook with eternal palsy, I did wed
Myself to things of light from infancy;
And thus to be cast out, thus lorn to die,
Is sure enough to make a mortal man
Grow impious." So he inwardly began
On things for which no wording can be found;
Deeper and deeper sinking, until drown'd
Beyond the reach of music: for the choir
Of Cynthia he heard not, though rough briar
Nor muffling thicket interpos'd to dull
The vesper hymn, far swollen, soft and full,
Through the dark pillars of those sylvan aisles.
He saw not the two maidens, nor their smiles,
Wan as primroses gather'd at midnight
By chilly finger'd spring. "Unhappy wight!
Endymion!" said Peona, "we are here!
What wouldst thou ere we all are laid on bier?"
Then he embrac'd her, and his lady's hand
Press'd, saying:" Sister, I would have command,
If it were heaven's will, on our sad fate."
At which that dark-eyed stranger stood elate
And said, in a new voice, but sweet as love,
To Endymion's amaze: "By Cupid's dove,
And so thou shalt! and by the lily truth
Of my own breast thou shalt, beloved youth!"
And as she spake, into her face there came
Light, as reflected from a silver flame:
Her long black hair swell'd ampler, in display
Full golden; in her eyes a brighter day
Dawn'd blue and full of love. Aye, he beheld
Phoebe, his passion! joyous she upheld
Her lucid bow, continuing thus; "Drear, drear
Has our delaying been; but foolish fear
Withheld me first; and then decrees of fate;
And then 'twas fit that from this mortal state
Thou shouldst, my love, by some unlook'd for change
Be spiritualiz'd. Peona, we shall range
These forests, and to thee they safe shall be
As was thy cradle; hither shalt thou flee
To meet us many a time." Next Cynthia bright
Peona kiss'd, and bless'd with fair good night:
Her brother kiss'd her too, and knelt adown
Before his goddess, in a blissful swoon.
She gave her fair hands to him, and behold,
Before three swiftest kisses he had told,
They vanish'd far away!Peona went
Home through the gloomy wood in wonderment.

(line 2): This line originally began with 'O Mountain-born in the draft, where also 'while' stands cancelled in favour of 'by.'

(line 158): Keats has been supposed to have invented the variant 'spry' for 'spray' for convenience of rhyming, just as Shelley has been accused of inventing for like reasons the word 'uprest', for example, in Laon And Cythna, Canto III, Stanza xxi. Sandys, the translator of Ovid, may not be a very good authority; but he is not improbably Keats's authority for 'spry', and will certainly do in default of a better.

(line 273): The biblical dissyllabic form 'mayest' is clearly used by deliberate preference, for the line originally stood thus in the draft :
And I have told thee all that thou canst hear.

(line 298): Remember'd from its velvet summer song : The gentleness of summer wind seems to have been a cherished idea with Keats. Compare with Sleep And Poetry, line 1 --
'What is more gentle than a wind in summer?'

(line 585): This was originally a short line consisting of the words "Thine illuminings" alone. The whole stanza, ... was sent by Keats to his friend Baily for his "vote, pro or con," in a letter dated the 22nd of November 1817.

(line 668): An imagination in which Hunt would have found it difficult to discover the reality; but probably Keats had never seen the miserable platform of dry twigs that serves for "a dove's nest among summer trees."

(line 672): Endymion's imaginary home and employments as pictured in the next fifty lines may be compared with Shelley's AEgean island described so wonderfully in Epipsychidion. Both passages are thoroughly characteristic; and they show the divergence between the modes of thought and sentiment of the two men in a very marked way.

(line 885-86): A curious importation from Hebrew theology into a subject from Greek mythology. Compare St. Matthew, X, 29: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." Or, as made familiar to our childhood by the popular hymn-wright,---
'A little sparrow cannot fall,
Unnoticed, Lord, by Thee.'

In the finished manuscript the word "kist" occurs twice instead of "kiss'd" as in the first edition; but "bless'd" is not similarly transformed to "blest."

At the end of the draft Keats wrote "Burford Bridge Nov. 28, 1817--".

The imprint of Endymion is as follows:-- T. Miller, Printer, Noble Street, Cheapside. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, Endymion - Book IV

86:There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men
With most prevailing tinsel: who unpen
Their baaing vanities, to browse away
The comfortable green and juicy hay
From human pastures; or, O torturing fact!
Who, through an idiot blink, will see unpack'd
Fire-branded foxes to sear up and singe
Our gold and ripe-ear'd hopes. With not one tinge
Of sanctuary splendour, not a sight
Able to face an owl's, they still are dight
By the blear-eyed nations in empurpled vests,
And crowns, and turbans. With unladen breasts,
Save of blown self-applause, they proudly mount
To their spirit's perch, their being's high account,
Their tiptop nothings, their dull skies, their thrones
Amid the fierce intoxicating tones
Of trumpets, shoutings, and belabour'd drums,
And sudden cannon. Ah! how all this hums,
In wakeful ears, like uproar past and gone
Like thunder clouds that spake to Babylon,
And set those old Chaldeans to their tasks.
Are then regalities all gilded masks?
No, there are throned seats unscalable
But by a patient wing, a constant spell,
Or by ethereal things that, unconfin'd,
Can make a ladder of the eternal wind,
And poise about in cloudy thunder-tents
To watch the abysm-birth of elements.
Aye, 'bove the withering of old-lipp'd Fate
A thousand Powers keep religious state,
In water, fiery realm, and airy bourne;
And, silent as a consecrated urn,
Hold sphery sessions for a season due.
Yet few of these far majesties, ah, few!
Have bared their operations to this globe
Few, who with gorgeous pageantry enrobe
Our piece of heavenwhose benevolence
Shakes hand with our own Ceres; every sense
Filling with spiritual sweets to plenitude,
As bees gorge full their cells. And, by the feud
'Twixt Nothing and Creation, I here swear,
Eterne Apollo! that thy Sister fair
Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest.
When thy gold breath is misting in the west,
She unobserved steals unto her throne,
And there she sits most meek and most alone;
As if she had not pomp subservient;
As if thine eye, high Poet! was not bent
Towards her with the Muses in thine heart;
As if the ministring stars kept not apart,
Waiting for silver-footed messages.
O Moon! the oldest shades 'mong oldest trees
Feel palpitations when thou lookest in:
O Moon! old boughs lisp forth a holier din
The while they feel thine airy fellowship.
Thou dost bless every where, with silver lip
Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine,
Couched in thy brightness, dream of fields divine:
Innumerable mountains rise, and rise,
Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes;
And yet thy benediction passeth not
One obscure hiding-place, one little spot
Where pleasure may be sent: the nested wren
Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken,
And from beneath a sheltering ivy leaf
Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief
To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps
Within its pearly house.The mighty deeps,
The monstrous sea is thinethe myriad sea!
O Moon! far-spooming Ocean bows to thee,
And Tellus feels his forehead's cumbrous load.

Cynthia! where art thou now? What far abode
Of green or silvery bower doth enshrine
Such utmost beauty? Alas, thou dost pine
For one as sorrowful: thy cheek is pale
For one whose cheek is pale: thou dost bewail
His tears, who weeps for thee. Where dost thou sigh?
Ah! surely that light peeps from Vesper's eye,
Or what a thing is love! 'Tis She, but lo!
How chang'd, how full of ache, how gone in woe!
She dies at the thinnest cloud; her loveliness
Is wan on Neptune's blue: yet there's a stress
Of love-spangles, just off yon cape of trees,
Dancing upon the waves, as if to please
The curly foam with amorous influence.
O, not so idle: for down-glancing thence
She fathoms eddies, and runs wild about
O'erwhelming water-courses; scaring out
The thorny sharks from hiding-holes, and fright'ning
Their savage eyes with unaccustomed lightning.
Where will the splendor be content to reach?
O love! how potent hast thou been to teach
Strange journeyings! Wherever beauty dwells,
In gulf or aerie, mountains or deep dells,
In light, in gloom, in star or blazing sun,
Thou pointest out the way, and straight 'tis won.
Amid his toil thou gav'st Leander breath;
Thou leddest Orpheus through the gleams of death;
Thou madest Pluto bear thin element;
And now, O winged Chieftain! thou hast sent
A moon-beam to the deep, deep water-world,
To find Endymion.

         On gold sand impearl'd
With lily shells, and pebbles milky white,
Poor Cynthia greeted him, and sooth'd her light
Against his pallid face: he felt the charm
To breathlessness, and suddenly a warm
Of his heart's blood: 'twas very sweet; he stay'd
His wandering steps, and half-entranced laid
His head upon a tuft of straggling weeds,
To taste the gentle moon, and freshening beads,
Lashed from the crystal roof by fishes' tails.
And so he kept, until the rosy veils
Mantling the east, by Aurora's peering hand
Were lifted from the water's breast, and fann'd
Into sweet air; and sober'd morning came
Meekly through billows:when like taper-flame
Left sudden by a dallying breath of air,
He rose in silence, and once more 'gan fare
Along his fated way.

           Far had he roam'd,
With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd
Above, around, and at his feet; save things
More dead than Morpheus' imaginings:
Old rusted anchors, helmets, breast-plates large
Of gone sea-warriors; brazen beaks and targe;
Rudders that for a hundred years had lost
The sway of human hand; gold vase emboss'd
With long-forgotten story, and wherein
No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin
But those of Saturn's vintage; mouldering scrolls,
Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls
Who first were on the earth; and sculptures rude
In ponderous stone, developing the mood
Of ancient Nox;then skeletons of man,
Of beast, behemoth, and leviathan,
And elephant, and eagle, and huge jaw
Of nameless monster. A cold leaden awe
These secrets struck into him; and unless
Dian had chaced away that heaviness,
He might have died: but now, with cheered feel,
He onward kept; wooing these thoughts to steal
About the labyrinth in his soul of love.

"What is there in thee, Moon! that thou shouldst move
My heart so potently? When yet a child
I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smil'd.
Thou seem'dst my sister: hand in hand we went
From eve to morn across the firmament.
No apples would I gather from the tree,
Till thou hadst cool'd their cheeks deliciously:
No tumbling water ever spake romance,
But when my eyes with thine thereon could dance:
No woods were green enough, no bower divine,
Until thou liftedst up thine eyelids fine:
In sowing time ne'er would I dibble take,
Or drop a seed, till thou wast wide awake;
And, in the summer tide of blossoming,
No one but thee hath heard me blithly sing
And mesh my dewy flowers all the night.
No melody was like a passing spright
If it went not to solemnize thy reign.
Yes, in my boyhood, every joy and pain
By thee were fashion'd to the self-same end;
And as I grew in years, still didst thou blend
With all my ardours: thou wast the deep glen;
Thou wast the mountain-topthe sage's pen
The poet's harpthe voice of friendsthe sun;
Thou wast the riverthou wast glory won;
Thou wast my clarion's blastthou wast my steed
My goblet full of winemy topmost deed:
Thou wast the charm of women, lovely Moon!
O what a wild and harmonized tune
My spirit struck from all the beautiful!
On some bright essence could I lean, and lull
Myself to immortality: I prest
Nature's soft pillow in a wakeful rest.
But, gentle Orb! there came a nearer bliss
My strange love cameFelicity's abyss!
She came, and thou didst fade, and fade away
Yet not entirely; no, thy starry sway
Has been an under-passion to this hour.
Now I begin to feel thine orby power
Is coming fresh upon me: O be kind,
Keep back thine influence, and do not blind
My sovereign vision.Dearest love, forgive
That I can think away from thee and live!
Pardon me, airy planet, that I prize
One thought beyond thine argent luxuries!
How far beyond!" At this a surpris'd start
Frosted the springing verdure of his heart;
For as he lifted up his eyes to swear
How his own goddess was past all things fair,
He saw far in the concave green of the sea
An old man sitting calm and peacefully.
Upon a weeded rock this old man sat,
And his white hair was awful, and a mat
Of weeds were cold beneath his cold thin feet;
And, ample as the largest winding-sheet,
A cloak of blue wrapp'd up his aged bones,
O'erwrought with symbols by the deepest groans
Of ambitious magic: every ocean-form
Was woven in with black distinctness; storm,
And calm, and whispering, and hideous roar
Were emblem'd in the woof; with every shape
That skims, or dives, or sleeps, 'twixt cape and cape.
The gulphing whale was like a dot in the spell,
Yet look upon it, and 'twould size and swell
To its huge self; and the minutest fish
Would pass the very hardest gazer's wish,
And show his little eye's anatomy.
Then there was pictur'd the regality
Of Neptune; and the sea nymphs round his state,
In beauteous vassalage, look up and wait.
Beside this old man lay a pearly wand,
And in his lap a book, the which he conn'd
So stedfastly, that the new denizen
Had time to keep him in amazed ken,
To mark these shadowings, and stand in awe.

The old man rais'd his hoary head and saw
The wilder'd strangerseeming not to see,
His features were so lifeless. Suddenly
He woke as from a trance; his snow-white brows
Went arching up, and like two magic ploughs
Furrow'd deep wrinkles in his forehead large,
Which kept as fixedly as rocky marge,
Till round his wither'd lips had gone a smile.
Then up he rose, like one whose tedious toil
Had watch'd for years in forlorn hermitage,
Who had not from mid-life to utmost age
Eas'd in one accent his o'er-burden'd soul,
Even to the trees. He rose: he grasp'd his stole,
With convuls'd clenches waving it abroad,
And in a voice of solemn joy, that aw'd
Echo into oblivion, he said:

"Thou art the man! Now shall I lay my head
In peace upon my watery pillow: now
Sleep will come smoothly to my weary brow.
O Jove! I shall be young again, be young!
O shell-borne Neptune, I am pierc'd and stung
With new-born life! What shall I do? Where go,
When I have cast this serpent-skin of woe?
I'll swim to the syrens, and one moment listen
Their melodies, and see their long hair glisten;
Anon upon that giant's arm I'll be,
That writhes about the roots of Sicily:
To northern seas I'll in a twinkling sail,
And mount upon the snortings of a whale
To some black cloud; thence down I'll madly sweep
On forked lightning, to the deepest deep,
Where through some sucking pool I will be hurl'd
With rapture to the other side of the world!
O, I am full of gladness! Sisters three,
I bow full hearted to your old decree!
Yes, every god be thank'd, and power benign,
For I no more shall wither, droop, and pine.
Thou art the man!" Endymion started back
Dismay'd; and, like a wretch from whom the rack
Tortures hot breath, and speech of agony,
Mutter'd: "What lonely death am I to die
In this cold region? Will he let me freeze,
And float my brittle limbs o'er polar seas?
Or will he touch me with his searing hand,
And leave a black memorial on the sand?
Or tear me piece-meal with a bony saw,
And keep me as a chosen food to draw
His magian fish through hated fire and flame?
O misery of hell! resistless, tame,
Am I to be burnt up? No, I will shout,
Until the gods through heaven's blue look out!
O Tartarus! but some few days agone
Her soft arms were entwining me, and on
Her voice I hung like fruit among green leaves:
Her lips were all my own, andah, ripe sheaves
Of happiness! ye on the stubble droop,
But never may be garner'd. I must stoop
My head, and kiss death's foot. Love! love, farewel!
Is there no hope from thee? This horrid spell
Would melt at thy sweet breath.By Dian's hind
Feeding from her white fingers, on the wind
I see thy streaming hair! and now, by Pan,
I care not for this old mysterious man!"

He spake, and walking to that aged form,
Look'd high defiance. Lo! his heart 'gan warm
With pity, for the grey-hair'd creature wept.
Had he then wrong'd a heart where sorrow kept?
Had he, though blindly contumelious, brought
Rheum to kind eyes, a sting to human thought,
Convulsion to a mouth of many years?
He had in truth; and he was ripe for tears.
The penitent shower fell, as down he knelt
Before that care-worn sage, who trembling felt
About his large dark locks, and faultering spake:

"Arise, good youth, for sacred Phoebus' sake!
I know thine inmost bosom, and I feel
A very brother's yearning for thee steal
Into mine own: for why? thou openest
The prison gates that have so long opprest
My weary watching. Though thou know'st it not,
Thou art commission'd to this fated spot
For great enfranchisement. O weep no more;
I am a friend to love, to loves of yore:
Aye, hadst thou never lov'd an unknown power
I had been grieving at this joyous hour
But even now most miserable old,
I saw thee, and my blood no longer cold
Gave mighty pulses: in this tottering case
Grew a new heart, which at this moment plays
As dancingly as thine. Be not afraid,
For thou shalt hear this secret all display'd,
Now as we speed towards our joyous task."

So saying, this young soul in age's mask
Went forward with the Carian side by side:
Resuming quickly thus; while ocean's tide
Hung swollen at their backs, and jewel'd sands
Took silently their foot-prints. "My soul stands
Now past the midway from mortality,
And so I can prepare without a sigh
To tell thee briefly all my joy and pain.
I was a fisher once, upon this main,
And my boat danc'd in every creek and bay;
Rough billows were my home by night and day,
The sea-gulls not more constant; for I had
No housing from the storm and tempests mad,
But hollow rocks,and they were palaces
Of silent happiness, of slumberous ease:
Long years of misery have told me so.
Aye, thus it was one thousand years ago.
One thousand years!Is it then possible
To look so plainly through them? to dispel
A thousand years with backward glance sublime?
To breathe away as 'twere all scummy slime
From off a crystal pool, to see its deep,
And one's own image from the bottom peep?
Yes: now I am no longer wretched thrall,
My long captivity and moanings all
Are but a slime, a thin-pervading scum,
The which I breathe away, and thronging come
Like things of yesterday my youthful pleasures.

"I touch'd no lute, I sang not, trod no measures:
I was a lonely youth on desert shores.
My sports were lonely, 'mid continuous roars,
And craggy isles, and sea-mew's plaintive cry
Plaining discrepant between sea and sky.
Dolphins were still my playmates; shapes unseen
Would let me feel their scales of gold and green,
Nor be my desolation; and, full oft,
When a dread waterspout had rear'd aloft
Its hungry hugeness, seeming ready ripe
To burst with hoarsest thunderings, and wipe
My life away like a vast sponge of fate,
Some friendly monster, pitying my sad state,
Has dived to its foundations, gulph'd it down,
And left me tossing safely. But the crown
Of all my life was utmost quietude:
More did I love to lie in cavern rude,
Keeping in wait whole days for Neptune's voice,
And if it came at last, hark, and rejoice!
There blush'd no summer eve but I would steer
My skiff along green shelving coasts, to hear
The shepherd's pipe come clear from aery steep,
Mingled with ceaseless bleatings of his sheep:
And never was a day of summer shine,
But I beheld its birth upon the brine:
For I would watch all night to see unfold
Heaven's gates, and Aethon snort his morning gold
Wide o'er the swelling streams: and constantly
At brim of day-tide, on some grassy lea,
My nets would be spread out, and I at rest.
The poor folk of the sea-country I blest
With daily boon of fish most delicate:
They knew not whence this bounty, and elate
Would strew sweet flowers on a sterile beach.

"Why was I not contented? Wherefore reach
At things which, but for thee, O Latmian!
Had been my dreary death? Fool! I began
To feel distemper'd longings: to desire
The utmost privilege that ocean's sire
Could grant in benediction: to be free
Of all his kingdom. Long in misery
I wasted, ere in one extremest fit
I plung'd for life or death. To interknit
One's senses with so dense a breathing stuff
Might seem a work of pain; so not enough
Can I admire how crystal-smooth it felt,
And buoyant round my limbs. At first I dwelt
Whole days and days in sheer astonishment;
Forgetful utterly of self-intent;
Moving but with the mighty ebb and flow.
Then, like a new fledg'd bird that first doth shew
His spreaded feathers to the morrow chill,
I tried in fear the pinions of my will.
'Twas freedom! and at once I visited
The ceaseless wonders of this ocean-bed.
No need to tell thee of them, for I see
That thou hast been a witnessit must be
For these I know thou canst not feel a drouth,
By the melancholy corners of that mouth.
So I will in my story straightway pass
To more immediate matter. Woe, alas!
That love should be my bane! Ah, Scylla fair!
Why did poor Glaucus everever dare
To sue thee to his heart? Kind stranger-youth!
I lov'd her to the very white of truth,
And she would not conceive it. Timid thing!
She fled me swift as sea-bird on the wing,
Round every isle, and point, and promontory,
From where large Hercules wound up his story
Far as Egyptian Nile. My passion grew
The more, the more I saw her dainty hue
Gleam delicately through the azure clear:
Until 'twas too fierce agony to bear;
And in that agony, across my grief
It flash'd, that Circe might find some relief
Cruel enchantress! So above the water
I rear'd my head, and look'd for Phoebus' daughter.
Aeaea's isle was wondering at the moon:
It seem'd to whirl around me, and a swoon
Left me dead-drifting to that fatal power.

"When I awoke, 'twas in a twilight bower;
Just when the light of morn, with hum of bees,
Stole through its verdurous matting of fresh trees.
How sweet, and sweeter! for I heard a lyre,
And over it a sighing voice expire.
It ceasedI caught light footsteps; and anon
The fairest face that morn e'er look'd upon
Push'd through a screen of roses. Starry Jove!
With tears, and smiles, and honey-words she wove
A net whose thraldom was more bliss than all
The range of flower'd Elysium. Thus did fall
The dew of her rich speech: "Ah! Art awake?
O let me hear thee speak, for Cupid's sake!
I am so oppress'd with joy! Why, I have shed
An urn of tears, as though thou wert cold dead;
And now I find thee living, I will pour
From these devoted eyes their silver store,
Until exhausted of the latest drop,
So it will pleasure thee, and force thee stop
Here, that I too may live: but if beyond
Such cool and sorrowful offerings, thou art fond
Of soothing warmth, of dalliance supreme;
If thou art ripe to taste a long love dream;
If smiles, if dimples, tongues for ardour mute,
Hang in thy vision like a tempting fruit,
O let me pluck it for thee." Thus she link'd
Her charming syllables, till indistinct
Their music came to my o'er-sweeten'd soul;
And then she hover'd over me, and stole
So near, that if no nearer it had been
This furrow'd visage thou hadst never seen.

"Young man of Latmos! thus particular
Am I, that thou may'st plainly see how far
This fierce temptation went: and thou may'st not
Exclaim, How then, was Scylla quite forgot?

"Who could resist? Who in this universe?
She did so breathe ambrosia; so immerse
My fine existence in a golden clime.
She took me like a child of suckling time,
And cradled me in roses. Thus condemn'd,
The current of my former life was stemm'd,
And to this arbitrary queen of sense
I bow'd a tranced vassal: nor would thence
Have mov'd, even though Amphion's harp had woo'd
Me back to Scylla o'er the billows rude.
For as Apollo each eve doth devise
A new appareling for western skies;
So every eve, nay every spendthrift hour
Shed balmy consciousness within that bower.
And I was free of haunts umbrageous;
Could wander in the mazy forest-house
Of squirrels, foxes shy, and antler'd deer,
And birds from coverts innermost and drear
Warbling for very joy mellifluous sorrow
To me new born delights!

             "Now let me borrow,
For moments few, a temperament as stern
As Pluto's sceptre, that my words not burn
These uttering lips, while I in calm speech tell
How specious heaven was changed to real hell.

"One morn she left me sleeping: half awake
I sought for her smooth arms and lips, to slake
My greedy thirst with nectarous camel-draughts;
But she was gone. Whereat the barbed shafts
Of disappointment stuck in me so sore,
That out I ran and search'd the forest o'er.
Wandering about in pine and cedar gloom
Damp awe assail'd me; for there 'gan to boom
A sound of moan, an agony of sound,
Sepulchral from the distance all around.
Then came a conquering earth-thunder, and rumbled
That fierce complain to silence: while I stumbled
Down a precipitous path, as if impell'd.
I came to a dark valley.Groanings swell'd
Poisonous about my ears, and louder grew,
The nearer I approach'd a flame's gaunt blue,
That glar'd before me through a thorny brake.
This fire, like the eye of gordian snake,
Bewitch'd me towards; and I soon was near
A sight too fearful for the feel of fear:
In thicket hid I curs'd the haggard scene
The banquet of my arms, my arbour queen,
Seated upon an uptorn forest root;
And all around her shapes, wizard and brute,
Laughing, and wailing, groveling, serpenting,
Shewing tooth, tusk, and venom-bag, and sting!
O such deformities! Old Charon's self,
Should he give up awhile his penny pelf,
And take a dream 'mong rushes Stygian,
It could not be so phantasied. Fierce, wan,
And tyrannizing was the lady's look,
As over them a gnarled staff she shook.
Oft-times upon the sudden she laugh'd out,
And from a basket emptied to the rout
Clusters of grapes, the which they raven'd quick
And roar'd for more; with many a hungry lick
About their shaggy jaws. Avenging, slow,
Anon she took a branch of mistletoe,
And emptied on't a black dull-gurgling phial:
Groan'd one and all, as if some piercing trial
Was sharpening for their pitiable bones.
She lifted up the charm: appealing groans
From their poor breasts went sueing to her ear
In vain; remorseless as an infant's bier
She whisk'd against their eyes the sooty oil.
Whereat was heard a noise of painful toil,
Increasing gradual to a tempest rage,
Shrieks, yells, and groans of torture-pilgrimage;
Until their grieved bodies 'gan to bloat
And puff from the tail's end to stifled throat:
Then was appalling silence: then a sight
More wildering than all that hoarse affright;
For the whole herd, as by a whirlwind writhen,
Went through the dismal air like one huge Python
Antagonizing Boreas,and so vanish'd.
Yet there was not a breath of wind: she banish'd
These phantoms with a nod. Lo! from the dark
Came waggish fauns, and nymphs, and satyrs stark,
With dancing and loud revelry,and went
Swifter than centaurs after rapine bent.
Sighing an elephant appear'd and bow'd
Before the fierce witch, speaking thus aloud
In human accent: "Potent goddess! chief
Of pains resistless! make my being brief,
Or let me from this heavy prison fly:
Or give me to the air, or let me die!
I sue not for my happy crown again;
I sue not for my phalanx on the plain;
I sue not for my lone, my widow'd wife;
I sue not for my ruddy drops of life,
My children fair, my lovely girls and boys!
I will forget them; I will pass these joys;
Ask nought so heavenward, so tootoo high:
Only I pray, as fairest boon, to die,
Or be deliver'd from this cumbrous flesh,
From this gross, detestable, filthy mesh,
And merely given to the cold bleak air.
Have mercy, Goddess! Circe, feel my prayer!"

That curst magician's name fell icy numb
Upon my wild conjecturing: truth had come
Naked and sabre-like against my heart.
I saw a fury whetting a death-dart;
And my slain spirit, overwrought with fright,
Fainted away in that dark lair of night.
Think, my deliverer, how desolate
My waking must have been! disgust, and hate,
And terrors manifold divided me
A spoil amongst them. I prepar'd to flee
Into the dungeon core of that wild wood:
I fled three dayswhen lo! before me stood
Glaring the angry witch. O Dis, even now,
A clammy dew is beading on my brow,
At mere remembering her pale laugh, and curse.
"Ha! ha! Sir Dainty! there must be a nurse
Made of rose leaves and thistledown, express,
To cradle thee my sweet, and lull thee: yes,
I am too flinty-hard for thy nice touch:
My tenderest squeeze is but a giant's clutch.
So, fairy-thing, it shall have lullabies
Unheard of yet; and it shall still its cries
Upon some breast more lily-feminine.
Oh, noit shall not pine, and pine, and pine
More than one pretty, trifling thousand years;
And then 'twere pity, but fate's gentle shears
Cut short its immortality. Sea-flirt!
Young dove of the waters! truly I'll not hurt
One hair of thine: see how I weep and sigh,
That our heart-broken parting is so nigh.
And must we part? Ah, yes, it must be so.
Yet ere thou leavest me in utter woe,
Let me sob over thee my last adieus,
And speak a blessing: Mark me! thou hast thews
Immortal, for thou art of heavenly race:
But such a love is mine, that here I chase
Eternally away from thee all bloom
Of youth, and destine thee towards a tomb.
Hence shalt thou quickly to the watery vast;
And there, ere many days be overpast,
Disabled age shall seize thee; and even then
Thou shalt not go the way of aged men;
But live and wither, cripple and still breathe
Ten hundred years: which gone, I then bequeath
Thy fragile bones to unknown burial.
Adieu, sweet love, adieu!"As shot stars fall,
She fled ere I could groan for mercy. Stung
And poisoned was my spirit: despair sung
A war-song of defiance 'gainst all hell.
A hand was at my shoulder to compel
My sullen steps; another 'fore my eyes
Moved on with pointed finger. In this guise
Enforced, at the last by ocean's foam
I found me; by my fresh, my native home.
Its tempering coolness, to my life akin,
Came salutary as I waded in;
And, with a blind voluptuous rage, I gave
Battle to the swollen billow-ridge, and drave
Large froth before me, while there yet remain'd
Hale strength, nor from my bones all marrow drain'd.

"Young lover, I must weepsuch hellish spite
With dry cheek who can tell? While thus my might
Proving upon this element, dismay'd,
Upon a dead thing's face my hand I laid;
I look'd'twas Scylla! Cursed, cursed Circe!
O vulture-witch, hast never heard of mercy?
Could not thy harshest vengeance be content,
But thou must nip this tender innocent
Because I lov'd her?Cold, O cold indeed
Were her fair limbs, and like a common weed
The sea-swell took her hair. Dead as she was
I clung about her waist, nor ceas'd to pass
Fleet as an arrow through unfathom'd brine,
Until there shone a fabric crystalline,
Ribb'd and inlaid with coral, pebble, and pearl.
Headlong I darted; at one eager swirl
Gain'd its bright portal, enter'd, and behold!
'Twas vast, and desolate, and icy-cold;
And all aroundBut wherefore this to thee
Who in few minutes more thyself shalt see?
I left poor Scylla in a niche and fled.
My fever'd parchings up, my scathing dread
Met palsy half way: soon these limbs became
Gaunt, wither'd, sapless, feeble, cramp'd, and lame.

"Now let me pass a cruel, cruel space,
Without one hope, without one faintest trace
Of mitigation, or redeeming bubble
Of colour'd phantasy; for I fear 'twould trouble
Thy brain to loss of reason: and next tell
How a restoring chance came down to quell
One half of the witch in me.        On a day,
Sitting upon a rock above the spray,
I saw grow up from the horizon's brink
A gallant vessel: soon she seem'd to sink
Away from me again, as though her course
Had been resum'd in spite of hindering force
So vanish'd: and not long, before arose
Dark clouds, and muttering of winds morose.
Old Eolus would stifle his mad spleen,
But could not: therefore all the billows green
Toss'd up the silver spume against the clouds.
The tempest came: I saw that vessel's shrouds
In perilous bustle; while upon the deck
Stood trembling creatures. I beheld the wreck;
The final gulphing; the poor struggling souls:
I heard their cries amid loud thunder-rolls.
O they had all been sav'd but crazed eld
Annull'd my vigorous cravings: and thus quell'd
And curb'd, think on't, O Latmian! did I sit
Writhing with pity, and a cursing fit
Against that hell-born Circe. The crew had gone,
By one and one, to pale oblivion;
And I was gazing on the surges prone,
With many a scalding tear and many a groan,
When at my feet emerg'd an old man's hand,
Grasping this scroll, and this same slender wand.
I knelt with painreached out my handhad grasp'd
These treasurestouch'd the knucklesthey unclasp'd
I caught a finger: but the downward weight
O'erpowered meit sank. Then 'gan abate
The storm, and through chill aguish gloom outburst
The comfortable sun. I was athirst
To search the book, and in the warming air
Parted its dripping leaves with eager care.
Strange matters did it treat of, and drew on
My soul page after page, till well-nigh won
Into forgetfulness; when, stupefied,
I read these words, and read again, and tried
My eyes against the heavens, and read again.
O what a load of misery and pain
Each Atlas-line bore off!a shine of hope
Came gold around me, cheering me to cope
Strenuous with hellish tyranny. Attend!
For thou hast brought their promise to an end.

"In the wide sea there lives a forlorn wretch,
Doom'd with enfeebled carcase to outstretch
His loath'd existence through ten centuries,
And then to die alone. Who can devise
A total opposition? No one. So
One million times ocean must ebb and flow,
And he oppressed. Yet he shall not die,
These things accomplish'd:If he utterly
Scans all the depths of magic, and expounds
The meanings of all motions, shapes, and sounds;
If he explores all forms and substances
Straight homeward to their symbol-essences;
He shall not die. Moreover, and in chief,
He must pursue this task of joy and grief
Most piously;all lovers tempest-tost,
And in the savage overwhelming lost,
He shall deposit side by side, until
Time's creeping shall the dreary space fulfil:
Which done, and all these labours ripened,
A youth, by heavenly power lov'd and led,
Shall stand before him; whom he shall direct
How to consummate all. The youth elect
Must do the thing, or both will be destroy'd."

"Then," cried the young Endymion, overjoy'd,
"We are twin brothers in this destiny!
Say, I intreat thee, what achievement high
Is, in this restless world, for me reserv'd.
What! if from thee my wandering feet had swerv'd,
Had we both perish'd?""Look!" the sage replied,
"Dost thou not mark a gleaming through the tide,
Of divers brilliances? 'tis the edifice
I told thee of, where lovely Scylla lies;
And where I have enshrined piously
All lovers, whom fell storms have doom'd to die
Throughout my bondage." Thus discoursing, on
They went till unobscur'd the porches shone;
Which hurryingly they gain'd, and enter'd straight.
Sure never since king Neptune held his state
Was seen such wonder underneath the stars.
Turn to some level plain where haughty Mars
Has legion'd all his battle; and behold
How every soldier, with firm foot, doth hold
His even breast: see, many steeled squares,
And rigid ranks of ironwhence who dares
One step? Imagine further, line by line,
These warrior thousands on the field supine:
So in that crystal place, in silent rows,
Poor lovers lay at rest from joys and woes.
The stranger from the mountains, breathless, trac'd
Such thousands of shut eyes in order plac'd;
Such ranges of white feet, and patient lips
All ruddy,for here death no blossom nips.
He mark'd their brows and foreheads; saw their hair
Put sleekly on one side with nicest care;
And each one's gentle wrists, with reverence,
Put cross-wise to its heart.

               "Let us commence,
Whisper'd the guide, stuttering with joy, even now."
He spake, and, trembling like an aspen-bough,
Began to tear his scroll in pieces small,
Uttering the while some mumblings funeral.
He tore it into pieces small as snow
That drifts unfeather'd when bleak northerns blow;
And having done it, took his dark blue cloak
And bound it round Endymion: then struck
His wand against the empty air times nine.
"What more there is to do, young man, is thine:
But first a little patience; first undo
This tangled thread, and wind it to a clue.
Ah, gentle! 'tis as weak as spider's skein;
And shouldst thou break itWhat, is it done so clean?
A power overshadows thee! Oh, brave!
The spite of hell is tumbling to its grave.
Here is a shell; 'tis pearly blank to me,
Nor mark'd with any sign or charactery
Canst thou read aught? O read for pity's sake!
Olympus! we are safe! Now, Carian, break
This wand against yon lyre on the pedestal."

'Twas done: and straight with sudden swell and fall
Sweet music breath'd her soul away, and sigh'd
A lullaby to silence."Youth! now strew
These minced leaves on me, and passing through
Those files of dead, scatter the same around,
And thou wilt see the issue."'Mid the sound
Of flutes and viols, ravishing his heart,
Endymion from Glaucus stood apart,
And scatter'd in his face some fragments light.
How lightning-swift the change! a youthful wight
Smiling beneath a coral diadem,
Out-sparkling sudden like an upturn'd gem,
Appear'd, and, stepping to a beauteous corse,
Kneel'd down beside it, and with tenderest force
Press'd its cold hand, and weptand Scylla sigh'd!
Endymion, with quick hand, the charm applied
The nymph arose: he left them to their joy,
And onward went upon his high employ,
Showering those powerful fragments on the dead.
And, as he pass'd, each lifted up its head,
As doth a flower at Apollo's touch.
Death felt it to his inwards; 'twas too much:
Death fell a weeping in his charnel-house.
The Latmian persever'd along, and thus
All were re-animated. There arose
A noise of harmony, pulses and throes
Of gladness in the airwhile many, who
Had died in mutual arms devout and true,
Sprang to each other madly; and the rest
Felt a high certainty of being blest.
They gaz'd upon Endymion. Enchantment
Grew drunken, and would have its head and bent.
Delicious symphonies, like airy flowers,
Budded, and swell'd, and, full-blown, shed full showers
Of light, soft, unseen leaves of sounds divine.
The two deliverers tasted a pure wine
Of happiness, from fairy-press ooz'd out.
Speechless they eyed each other, and about
The fair assembly wander'd to and fro,
Distracted with the richest overflow
Of joy that ever pour'd from heaven.

                  "Away!"
Shouted the new-born god; "Follow, and pay
Our piety to Neptunus supreme!"
Then Scylla, blushing sweetly from her dream,
They led on first, bent to her meek surprise,
Through portal columns of a giant size,
Into the vaulted, boundless emerald.
Joyous all follow'd, as the leader call'd,
Down marble steps; pouring as easily
As hour-glass sandand fast, as you might see
Swallows obeying the south summer's call,
Or swans upon a gentle waterfall.

Thus went that beautiful multitude, nor far,
Ere from among some rocks of glittering spar,
Just within ken, they saw descending thick
Another multitude. Whereat more quick
Moved either host. On a wide sand they met,
And of those numbers every eye was wet;
For each their old love found. A murmuring rose,
Like what was never heard in all the throes
Of wind and waters: 'tis past human wit
To tell; 'tis dizziness to think of it.

This mighty consummation made, the host
Mov'd on for many a league; and gain'd, and lost
Huge sea-marks; vanward swelling in array,
And from the rear diminishing away,
Till a faint dawn surpris'd them. Glaucus cried,
"Behold! behold, the palace of his pride!
God Neptune's palaces!" With noise increas'd,
They shoulder'd on towards that brightening east.
At every onward step proud domes arose
In prospect,diamond gleams, and golden glows
Of amber 'gainst their faces levelling.
Joyous, and many as the leaves in spring,
Still onward; still the splendour gradual swell'd.
Rich opal domes were seen, on high upheld
By jasper pillars, letting through their shafts
A blush of coral. Copious wonder-draughts
Each gazer drank; and deeper drank more near:
For what poor mortals fragment up, as mere
As marble was there lavish, to the vast
Of one fair palace, that far far surpass'd,
Even for common bulk, those olden three,
Memphis, and Babylon, and Nineveh.

As large, as bright, as colour'd as the bow
Of Iris, when unfading it doth shew
Beyond a silvery shower, was the arch
Through which this Paphian army took its march,
Into the outer courts of Neptune's state:
Whence could be seen, direct, a golden gate,
To which the leaders sped; but not half raught
Ere it burst open swift as fairy thought,
And made those dazzled thousands veil their eyes
Like callow eagles at the first sunrise.
Soon with an eagle nativeness their gaze
Ripe from hue-golden swoons took all the blaze,
And then, behold! large Neptune on his throne
Of emerald deep: yet not exalt alone;
At his right hand stood winged Love, and on
His left sat smiling Beauty's paragon.

Far as the mariner on highest mast
Can see all round upon the calmed vast,
So wide was Neptune's hall: and as the blue
Doth vault the waters, so the waters drew
Their doming curtains, high, magnificent,
Aw'd from the throne aloof;and when storm-rent
Disclos'd the thunder-gloomings in Jove's air;
But sooth'd as now, flash'd sudden everywhere,
Noiseless, sub-marine cloudlets, glittering
Death to a human eye: for there did spring
From natural west, and east, and south, and north,
A light as of four sunsets, blazing forth
A gold-green zenith 'bove the Sea-God's head.
Of lucid depth the floor, and far outspread
As breezeless lake, on which the slim canoe
Of feather'd Indian darts about, as through
The delicatest air: air verily,
But for the portraiture of clouds and sky:
This palace floor breath-air,but for the amaze
Of deep-seen wonders motionless,and blaze
Of the dome pomp, reflected in extremes,
Globing a golden sphere.

             They stood in dreams
Till Triton blew his horn. The palace rang;
The Nereids danc'd; the Syrens faintly sang;
And the great Sea-King bow'd his dripping head.
Then Love took wing, and from his pinions shed
On all the multitude a nectarous dew.
The ooze-born Goddess beckoned and drew
Fair Scylla and her guides to conference;
And when they reach'd the throned eminence
She kist the sea-nymph's cheek,who sat her down
A toying with the doves. Then,"Mighty crown
And sceptre of this kingdom!" Venus said,
"Thy vows were on a time to Nais paid:
Behold!"Two copious tear-drops instant fell
From the God's large eyes; he smil'd delectable,
And over Glaucus held his blessing hands.
"Endymion! Ah! still wandering in the bands
Of love? Now this is cruel. Since the hour
I met thee in earth's bosom, all my power
Have I put forth to serve thee. What, not yet
Escap'd from dull mortality's harsh net?
A little patience, youth! 'twill not be long,
Or I am skilless quite: an idle tongue,
A humid eye, and steps luxurious,
Where these are new and strange, are ominous.
Aye, I have seen these signs in one of heaven,
When others were all blind; and were I given
To utter secrets, haply I might say
Some pleasant words:but Love will have his day.
So wait awhile expectant. Pr'ythee soon,
Even in the passing of thine honey-moon,
Visit my Cytherea: thou wilt find
Cupid well-natured, my Adonis kind;
And pray persuade with theeAh, I have done,
All blisses be upon thee, my sweet son!"
Thus the fair goddess: while Endymion
Knelt to receive those accents halcyon.

Meantime a glorious revelry began
Before the Water-Monarch. Nectar ran
In courteous fountains to all cups outreach'd;
And plunder'd vines, teeming exhaustless, pleach'd
New growth about each shell and pendent lyre;
The which, in disentangling for their fire,
Pull'd down fresh foliage and coverture
For dainty toying. Cupid, empire-sure,
Flutter'd and laugh'd, and oft-times through the throng
Made a delighted way. Then dance, and song,
And garlanding grew wild; and pleasure reign'd.
In harmless tendril they each other chain'd,
And strove who should be smother'd deepest in
Fresh crush of leaves.

             O 'tis a very sin
For one so weak to venture his poor verse
In such a place as this. O do not curse,
High Muses! let him hurry to the ending.

All suddenly were silent. A soft blending
Of dulcet instruments came charmingly;
And then a hymn.

          "KING of the stormy sea!
Brother of Jove, and co-inheritor
Of elements! Eternally before
Thee the waves awful bow. Fast, stubborn rock,
At thy fear'd trident shrinking, doth unlock
Its deep foundations, hissing into foam.
All mountain-rivers lost, in the wide home
Of thy capacious bosom ever flow.
Thou frownest, and old Eolus thy foe
Skulks to his cavern, 'mid the gruff complaint
Of all his rebel tempests. Dark clouds faint
When, from thy diadem, a silver gleam
Slants over blue dominion. Thy bright team
Gulphs in the morning light, and scuds along
To bring thee nearer to that golden song
Apollo singeth, while his chariot
Waits at the doors of heaven. Thou art not
For scenes like this: an empire stern hast thou;
And it hath furrow'd that large front: yet now,
As newly come of heaven, dost thou sit
To blend and interknit
Subdued majesty with this glad time.
O shell-borne King sublime!
We lay our hearts before thee evermore
We sing, and we adore!

"Breathe softly, flutes;
Be tender of your strings, ye soothing lutes;
Nor be the trumpet heard! O vain, O vain;
Not flowers budding in an April rain,
Nor breath of sleeping dove, nor river's flow,
No, nor the Eolian twang of Love's own bow,
Can mingle music fit for the soft ear
Of goddess Cytherea!
Yet deign, white Queen of Beauty, thy fair eyes
On our souls' sacrifice.

"Bright-winged Child!
Who has another care when thou hast smil'd?
Unfortunates on earth, we see at last
All death-shadows, and glooms that overcast
Our spirits, fann'd away by thy light pinions.
O sweetest essence! sweetest of all minions!
God of warm pulses, and dishevell'd hair,
And panting bosoms bare!
Dear unseen light in darkness! eclipser
Of light in light! delicious poisoner!
Thy venom'd goblet will we quaff until
We fillwe fill!
And by thy Mother's lips"
            Was heard no more
For clamour, when the golden palace door
Opened again, and from without, in shone
A new magnificence. On oozy throne
Smooth-moving came Oceanus the old,
To take a latest glimpse at his sheep-fold,
Before he went into his quiet cave
To muse for everThen a lucid wave,
Scoop'd from its trembling sisters of mid-sea,
Afloat, and pillowing up the majesty
Of Doris, and the Egean seer, her spouse
Next, on a dolphin, clad in laurel boughs,
Theban Amphion leaning on his lute:
His fingers went across itAll were mute
To gaze on Amphitrite, queen of pearls,
And Thetis pearly too.

             The palace whirls
Around giddy Endymion; seeing he
Was there far strayed from mortality.
He could not bear itshut his eyes in vain;
Imagination gave a dizzier pain.
"O I shall die! sweet Venus, be my stay!
Where is my lovely mistress? Well-away!
I dieI hear her voiceI feel my wing"
At Neptune's feet he sank. A sudden ring
Of Nereids were about him, in kind strife
To usher back his spirit into life:
But still he slept. At last they interwove
Their cradling arms, and purpos'd to convey
Towards a crystal bower far away.

Lo! while slow carried through the pitying crowd,
To his inward senses these words spake aloud;
Written in star-light on the dark above:
Dearest Endymion! my entire love!
How have I dwelt in fear of fate: 'tis done
Immortal bliss for me too hast thou won.
Arise then! for the hen-dove shall not hatch
Her ready eggs, before I'll kissing snatch
Thee into endless heaven. Awake! awake!

The youth at once arose: a placid lake
Came quiet to his eyes; and forest green,
Cooler than all the wonders he had seen,
Lull'd with its simple song his fluttering breast.
How happy once again in grassy nest!

(line 1): Woodhouse notes that "Keats said, with much simplicity, 'It will be easily seen what I think of the present ministers, by the beginning of the third Book.'"

(line 407): Whether the reference is to the Pillars of Hercules, the confluence of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, or to the scene of the Death of Hercules, is not very clear; but probably "wound up his story" refers rather to his last labour than to his death on Mount ta.

(lines 863-65): This simile must surely be a reminiscence of Perrin's Fables Amusantes or some similar book used in Mr. Clarke's School. I remember the Fable of the old eagle and her young stood first in the book I used at school. The draft gives line 860 thus -- 'But soon like eagles natively their gaze...'

At the end of this Book Keats wrote in the draft, "Oxf: Sept. 26."
~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, Endymion - Book III

87:O Sovereign power of love! O grief! O balm!
All records, saving thine, come cool, and calm,
And shadowy, through the mist of passed years:
For others, good or bad, hatred and tears
Have become indolent; but touching thine,
One sigh doth echo, one poor sob doth pine,
One kiss brings honey-dew from buried days.
The woes of Troy, towers smothering o'er their blaze,
Stiff-holden shields, far-piercing spears, keen blades,
Struggling, and blood, and shrieks--all dimly fades
Into some backward corner of the brain;
Yet, in our very souls, we feel amain
The close of Troilus and Cressid sweet.
Hence, pageant history! hence, gilded cheat!
Swart planet in the universe of deeds!
Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds
Along the pebbled shore of memory!
Many old rotten-timber'd boats there be
Upon thy vaporous bosom, magnified
To goodly vessels; many a sail of pride,
And golden keel'd, is left unlaunch'd and dry.
But wherefore this? What care, though owl did fly
About the great Athenian admiral's mast?
What care, though striding Alexander past
The Indus with his Macedonian numbers?
Though old Ulysses tortured from his slumbers
The glutted Cyclops, what care?--Juliet leaning
Amid her window-flowers,--sighing,weaning
Tenderly her fancy from its maiden snow,
Doth more avail than these: the silver flow
Of Hero's tears, the swoon of Imogen,
Fair Pastorella in the bandit's den,
Are things to brood on with more ardency
Than the death-day of empires. Fearfully
Must such conviction come upon his head,
Who, thus far, discontent, has dared to tread,
Without one muse's smile, or kind behest,
The path of love and poesy. But rest,
In chaffing restlessness, is yet more drear
Than to be crush'd, in striving to uprear
Love's standard on the battlements of song.
So once more days and nights aid me along,
Like legion'd soldiers.

            Brain-sick shepherd-prince,
What promise hast thou faithful guarded since
The day of sacrifice? Or, have new sorrows
Come with the constant dawn upon thy morrows?
Alas! 'tis his old grief. For many days,
Has he been wandering in uncertain ways:
Through wilderness, and woods of mossed oaks;
Counting his woe-worn minutes, by the strokes
Of the lone woodcutter; and listening still,
Hour after hour, to each lush-leav'd rill.
Now he is sitting by a shady spring,
And elbow-deep with feverous fingering
Stems the upbursting cold: a wild rose tree
Pavilions him in bloom, and he doth see
A bud which snares his fancy: lo! but now
He plucks it, dips its stalk in the water: how!
It swells, it buds, it flowers beneath his sight;
And, in the middle, there is softly pight
A golden butterfly; upon whose wings
There must be surely character'd strange things,
For with wide eye he wonders, and smiles oft.

Lightly this little herald flew aloft,
Follow'd by glad Endymion's clasped hands:
Onward it flies. From languor's sullen bands
His limbs are loos'd, and eager, on he hies
Dazzled to trace it in the sunny skies.
It seem'd he flew, the way so easy was;
And like a new-born spirit did he pass
Through the green evening quiet in the sun,
O'er many a heath, through many a woodland dun,
Through buried paths, where sleepy twilight dreams
The summer time away. One track unseams
A wooded cleft, and, far away, the blue
Of ocean fades upon him; then, anew,
He sinks adown a solitary glen,
Where there was never sound of mortal men,
Saving, perhaps, some snow-light cadences
Melting to silence, when upon the breeze
Some holy bark let forth an anthem sweet,
To cheer itself to Delphi. Still his feet
Went swift beneath the merry-winged guide,
Until it reached a splashing fountain's side
That, near a cavern's mouth, for ever pour'd
Unto the temperate air: then high it soar'd,
And, downward, suddenly began to dip,
As if, athirst with so much toil, 'twould sip
The crystal spout-head: so it did, with touch
Most delicate, as though afraid to smutch
Even with mealy gold the waters clear.
But, at that very touch, to disappear
So fairy-quick, was strange! Bewildered,
Endymion sought around, and shook each bed
Of covert flowers in vain; and then he flung
Himself along the grass. What gentle tongue,
What whisperer disturb'd his gloomy rest?
It was a nymph uprisen to the breast
In the fountain's pebbly margin, and she stood
'Mong lilies, like the youngest of the brood.
To him her dripping hand she softly kist,
And anxiously began to plait and twist
Her ringlets round her fingers, saying: "Youth!
Too long, alas, hast thou starv'd on the ruth,
The bitterness of love: too long indeed,
Seeing thou art so gentle. Could I weed
Thy soul of care, by heavens, I would offer
All the bright riches of my crystal coffer
To Amphitrite; all my clear-eyed fish,
Golden, or rainbow-sided, or purplish,
Vermilion-tail'd, or finn'd with silvery gauze;
Yea, or my veined pebble-floor, that draws
A virgin light to the deep; my grotto-sands
Tawny and gold, ooz'd slowly from far lands
By my diligent springs; my level lilies, shells,
My charming rod, my potent river spells;
Yes, every thing, even to the pearly cup
Meander gave me,for I bubbled up
To fainting creatures in a desert wild.
But woe is me, I am but as a child
To gladden thee; and all I dare to say,
Is, that I pity thee; that on this day
I've been thy guide; that thou must wander far
In other regions, past the scanty bar
To mortal steps, before thou cans't be ta'en
From every wasting sigh, from every pain,
Into the gentle bosom of thy love.
Why it is thus, one knows in heaven above:
But, a poor Naiad, I guess not. Farewel!
I have a ditty for my hollow cell."

Hereat, she vanished from Endymion's gaze,
Who brooded o'er the water in amaze:
The dashing fount pour'd on, and where its pool
Lay, half asleep, in grass and rushes cool,
Quick waterflies and gnats were sporting still,
And fish were dimpling, as if good nor ill
Had fallen out that hour. The wanderer,
Holding his forehead, to keep off the burr
Of smothering fancies, patiently sat down;
And, while beneath the evening's sleepy frown
Glow-worms began to trim their starry lamps,
Thus breath'd he to himself: "Whoso encamps
To take a fancied city of delight,
O what a wretch is he! and when 'tis his,
After long toil and travelling, to miss
The kernel of his hopes, how more than vile:
Yet, for him there's refreshment even in toil;
Another city doth he set about,
Free from the smallest pebble-bead of doubt
That he will seize on trickling honey-combs:
Alas, he finds them dry; and then he foams,
And onward to another city speeds.
But this is human life: the war, the deeds,
The disappointment, the anxiety,
Imagination's struggles, far and nigh,
All human; bearing in themselves this good,
That they are sill the air, the subtle food,
To make us feel existence, and to shew
How quiet death is. Where soil is men grow,
Whether to weeds or flowers; but for me,
There is no depth to strike in: I can see
Nought earthly worth my compassing; so stand
Upon a misty, jutting head of land
Alone? No, no; and by the Orphean lute,
When mad Eurydice is listening to 't;
I'd rather stand upon this misty peak,
With not a thing to sigh for, or to seek,
But the soft shadow of my thrice-seen love,
Than beI care not what. O meekest dove
Of heaven! O Cynthia, ten-times bright and fair!
From thy blue throne, now filling all the air,
Glance but one little beam of temper'd light
Into my bosom, that the dreadful might
And tyranny of love be somewhat scar'd!
Yet do not so, sweet queen; one torment spar'd,
Would give a pang to jealous misery,
Worse than the torment's self: but rather tie
Large wings upon my shoulders, and point out
My love's far dwelling. Though the playful rout
Of Cupids shun thee, too divine art thou,
Too keen in beauty, for thy silver prow
Not to have dipp'd in love's most gentle stream.
O be propitious, nor severely deem
My madness impious; for, by all the stars
That tend thy bidding, I do think the bars
That kept my spirit in are burstthat I
Am sailing with thee through the dizzy sky!
How beautiful thou art! The world how deep!
How tremulous-dazzlingly the wheels sweep
Around their axle! Then these gleaming reins,
How lithe! When this thy chariot attains
Is airy goal, haply some bower veils
Those twilight eyes? Those eyes!my spirit fails
Dear goddess, help! or the wide-gaping air
Will gulph mehelp!"At this with madden'd stare,
And lifted hands, and trembling lips he stood;
Like old Deucalion mountain'd o'er the flood,
Or blind Orion hungry for the morn.
And, but from the deep cavern there was borne
A voice, he had been froze to senseless stone;
Nor sigh of his, nor plaint, nor passion'd moan
Had more been heard. Thus swell'd it forth: "Descend,
Young mountaineer! descend where alleys bend
Into the sparry hollows of the world!
Oft hast thou seen bolts of the thunder hurl'd
As from thy threshold, day by day hast been
A little lower than the chilly sheen
Of icy pinnacles, and dipp'dst thine arms
Into the deadening ether that still charms
Their marble being: now, as deep profound
As those are high, descend! He ne'er is crown'd
With immortality, who fears to follow
Where airy voices lead: so through the hollow,
The silent mysteries of earth, descend!"

He heard but the last words, nor could contend
One moment in reflection: for he fled
Into the fearful deep, to hide his head
From the clear moon, the trees, and coming madness.

'Twas far too strange, and wonderful for sadness;
Sharpening, by degrees, his appetite
To dive into the deepest. Dark, nor light,
The region; nor bright, nor sombre wholly,
But mingled up; a gleaming melancholy;
A dusky empire and its diadems;
One faint eternal eventide of gems.
Aye, millions sparkled on a vein of gold,
Along whose track the prince quick footsteps told,
With all its lines abrupt and angular:
Out-shooting sometimes, like a meteor-star,
Through a vast antre; then the metal woof,
Like Vulcan's rainbow, with some monstrous roof
Curves hugely: now, far in the deep abyss,
It seems an angry lightning, and doth hiss
Fancy into belief: anon it leads
Through winding passages, where sameness breeds
Vexing conceptions of some sudden change;
Whether to silver grots, or giant range
Of sapphire columns, or fantastic bridge
Athwart a flood of crystal. On a ridge
Now fareth he, that o'er the vast beneath
Towers like an ocean-cliff, and whence he seeth
A hundred waterfalls, whose voices come
But as the murmuring surge. Chilly and numb
His bosom grew, when first he, far away,
Descried an orbed diamond, set to fray
Old darkness from his throne: 'twas like the sun
Uprisen o'er chaos: and with such a stun
Came the amazement, that, absorb'd in it,
He saw not fiercer wonderspast the wit
Of any spirit to tell, but one of those
Who, when this planet's sphering time doth close,
Will be its high remembrancers: who they?
The mighty ones who have made eternal day
For Greece and England. While astonishment
With deep-drawn sighs was quieting, he went
Into a marble gallery, passing through
A mimic temple, so complete and true
In sacred custom, that he well nigh fear'd
To search it inwards, whence far off appear'd,
Through a long pillar'd vista, a fair shrine,
And, just beyond, on light tiptoe divine,
A quiver'd Dian. Stepping awfully,
The youth approach'd; oft turning his veil'd eye
Down sidelong aisles, and into niches old.
And when, more near against the marble cold
He had touch'd his forehead, he began to thread
All courts and passages, where silence dead
Rous'd by his whispering footsteps murmured faint:
And long he travers'd to and fro, to acquaint
Himself with every mystery, and awe;
Till, weary, he sat down before the maw
Of a wide outlet, fathomless and dim
To wild uncertainty and shadows grim.
There, when new wonders ceas'd to float before,
And thoughts of self came on, how crude and sore
The journey homeward to habitual self!
A mad-pursuing of the fog-born elf,
Whose flitting lantern, through rude nettle-briar,
Cheats us into a swamp, into a fire,
Into the bosom of a hated thing.

What misery most drowningly doth sing
In lone Endymion's ear, now he has caught
The goal of consciousness? Ah, 'tis the thought,
The deadly feel of solitude: for lo!
He cannot see the heavens, nor the flow
Of rivers, nor hill-flowers running wild
In pink and purple chequer, nor, up-pil'd,
The cloudy rack slow journeying in the west,
Like herded elephants; nor felt, nor prest
Cool grass, nor tasted the fresh slumberous air;
But far from such companionship to wear
An unknown time, surcharg'd with grief, away,
Was now his lot. And must he patient stay,
Tracing fantastic figures with his spear?
"No!" exclaimed he, "why should I tarry here?"
No! loudly echoed times innumerable.
At which he straightway started, and 'gan tell
His paces back into the temple's chief;
Warming and glowing strong in the belief
Of help from Dian: so that when again
He caught her airy form, thus did he plain,
Moving more near the while. "O Haunter chaste
Of river sides, and woods, and heathy waste,
Where with thy silver bow and arrows keen
Art thou now forested? O woodland Queen,
What smoothest air thy smoother forehead woos?
Where dost thou listen to the wide halloos
Of thy disparted nymphs? Through what dark tree
Glimmers thy crescent? Wheresoe'er it be,
'Tis in the breath of heaven: thou dost taste
Freedom as none can taste it, nor dost waste
Thy loveliness in dismal elements;
But, finding in our green earth sweet contents,
There livest blissfully. Ah, if to thee
It feels Elysian, how rich to me,
An exil'd mortal, sounds its pleasant name!
Within my breast there lives a choking flame
O let me cool it among the zephyr-boughs!
A homeward fever parches up my tongue
O let me slake it at the running springs!
Upon my ear a noisy nothing rings
O let me once more hear the linnet's note!
Before mine eyes thick films and shadows float
O let me 'noint them with the heaven's light!
Dost thou now lave thy feet and ankles white?
O think how sweet to me the freshening sluice!
Dost thou now please thy thirst with berry-juice?
O think how this dry palate would rejoice!
If in soft slumber thou dost hear my voice,
Oh think how I should love a bed of flowers!
Young goddess! let me see my native bowers!
Deliver me from this rapacious deep!"

Thus ending loudly, as he would o'erleap
His destiny, alert he stood: but when
Obstinate silence came heavily again,
Feeling about for its old couch of space
And airy cradle, lowly bow'd his face
Desponding, o'er the marble floor's cold thrill.
But 'twas not long; for, sweeter than the rill
To its old channel, or a swollen tide
To margin sallows, were the leaves he spied,
And flowers, and wreaths, and ready myrtle crowns
Up heaping through the slab: refreshment drowns
Itself, and strives its own delights to hide
Nor in one spot alone; the floral pride
In a long whispering birth enchanted grew
Before his footsteps; as when heav'd anew
Old ocean rolls a lengthened wave to the shore,
Down whose green back the short-liv'd foam, all hoar,
Bursts gradual, with a wayward indolence.

Increasing still in heart, and pleasant sense,
Upon his fairy journey on he hastes;
So anxious for the end, he scarcely wastes
One moment with his hand among the sweets:
Onward he goeshe stopshis bosom beats
As plainly in his ear, as the faint charm
Of which the throbs were born. This still alarm,
This sleepy music, forc'd him walk tiptoe:
For it came more softly than the east could blow
Arion's magic to the Atlantic isles;
Or than the west, made jealous by the smiles
Of thron'd Apollo, could breathe back the lyre
To seas Ionian and Tyrian.

O did he ever live, that lonely man,
Who lov'dand music slew not? 'Tis the pest
Of love, that fairest joys give most unrest;
That things of delicate and tenderest worth
Are swallow'd all, and made a seared dearth,
By one consuming flame: it doth immerse
And suffocate true blessings in a curse.
Half-happy, by comparison of bliss,
Is miserable. 'Twas even so with this
Dew-dropping melody, in the Carian's ear;
First heaven, then hell, and then forgotten clear,
Vanish'd in elemental passion.

And down some swart abysm he had gone,
Had not a heavenly guide benignant led
To where thick myrtle branches, 'gainst his head
Brushing, awakened: then the sounds again
Went noiseless as a passing noontide rain
Over a bower, where little space he stood;
For as the sunset peeps into a wood
So saw he panting light, and towards it went
Through winding alleys; and lo, wonderment!
Upon soft verdure saw, one here, one there,
Cupids a slumbering on their pinions fair.

After a thousand mazes overgone,
At last, with sudden step, he came upon
A chamber, myrtle wall'd, embowered high,
Full of light, incense, tender minstrelsy,
And more of beautiful and strange beside:
For on a silken couch of rosy pride,
In midst of all, there lay a sleeping youth
Of fondest beauty; fonder, in fair sooth,
Than sighs could fathom, or contentment reach:
And coverlids gold-tinted like the peach,
Or ripe October's faded marigolds,
Fell sleek about him in a thousand folds
Not hiding up an Apollonian curve
Of neck and shoulder, nor the tenting swerve
Of knee from knee, nor ankles pointing light;
But rather, giving them to the filled sight
Officiously. Sideway his face repos'd
On one white arm, and tenderly unclos'd,
By tenderest pressure, a faint damask mouth
To slumbery pout; just as the morning south
Disparts a dew-lipp'd rose. Above his head,
Four lily stalks did their white honours wed
To make a coronal; and round him grew
All tendrils green, of every bloom and hue,
Together intertwin'd and trammel'd fresh:
The vine of glossy sprout; the ivy mesh,
Shading its Ethiop berries; and woodbine,
Of velvet leaves and bugle-blooms divine;
Convolvulus in streaked vases flush;
The creeper, mellowing for an autumn blush;
And virgin's bower, trailing airily;
With others of the sisterhood. Hard by,
Stood serene Cupids watching silently.
One, kneeling to a lyre, touch'd the strings,
Muffling to death the pathos with his wings;
And, ever and anon, uprose to look
At the youth's slumber; while another took
A willow-bough, distilling odorous dew,
And shook it on his hair; another flew
In through the woven roof, and fluttering-wise
Rain'd violets upon his sleeping eyes.

At these enchantments, and yet many more,
The breathless Latmian wonder'd o'er and o'er;
Until, impatient in embarrassment,
He forthright pass'd, and lightly treading went
To that same feather'd lyrist, who straightway,
Smiling, thus whisper'd: "Though from upper day
Thou art a wanderer, and thy presence here
Might seem unholy, be of happy cheer!
For 'tis the nicest touch of human honour,
When some ethereal and high-favouring donor
Presents immortal bowers to mortal sense;
As now 'tis done to thee, Endymion. Hence
Was I in no wise startled. So recline
Upon these living flowers. Here is wine,
Alive with sparklesnever, I aver,
Since Ariadne was a vintager,
So cool a purple: taste these juicy pears,
Sent me by sad Vertumnus, when his fears
Were high about Pomona: here is cream,
Deepening to richness from a snowy gleam;
Sweeter than that nurse Amalthea skimm'd
For the boy Jupiter: and here, undimm'd
By any touch, a bunch of blooming plums
Ready to melt between an infant's gums:
And here is manna pick'd from Syrian trees,
In starlight, by the three Hesperides.
Feast on, and meanwhile I will let thee know
Of all these things around us." He did so,
Still brooding o'er the cadence of his lyre;
And thus: "I need not any hearing tire
By telling how the sea-born goddess pin'd
For a mortal youth, and how she strove to bind
Him all in all unto her doting self.
Who would not be so prison'd? but, fond elf,
He was content to let her amorous plea
Faint through his careless arms; content to see
An unseiz'd heaven dying at his feet;
Content, O fool! to make a cold retreat,
When on the pleasant grass such love, lovelorn,
Lay sorrowing; when every tear was born
Of diverse passion; when her lips and eyes
Were clos'd in sullen moisture, and quick sighs
Came vex'd and pettish through her nostrils small.
Hush! no exclaimyet, justly mightst thou call
Curses upon his head.I was half glad,
But my poor mistress went distract and mad,
When the boar tusk'd him: so away she flew
To Jove's high throne, and by her plainings drew
Immortal tear-drops down the thunderer's beard;
Whereon, it was decreed he should be rear'd
Each summer time to life. Lo! this is he,
That same Adonis, safe in the privacy
Of this still region all his winter-sleep.
Aye, sleep; for when our love-sick queen did weep
Over his waned corse, the tremulous shower
Heal'd up the wound, and, with a balmy power,
Medicined death to a lengthened drowsiness:
The which she fills with visions, and doth dress
In all this quiet luxury; and hath set
Us young immortals, without any let,
To watch his slumber through. 'Tis well nigh pass'd,
Even to a moment's filling up, and fast
She scuds with summer breezes, to pant through
The first long kiss, warm firstling, to renew
Embower'd sports in Cytherea's isle.
Look! how those winged listeners all this while
Stand anxious: see! behold!"This clamant word
Broke through the careful silence; for they heard
A rustling noise of leaves, and out there flutter'd
Pigeons and doves: Adonis something mutter'd,
The while one hand, that erst upon his thigh
Lay dormant, mov'd convuls'd and gradually
Up to his forehead. Then there was a hum
Of sudden voices, echoing, "Come! come!
Arise! awake! Clear summer has forth walk'd
Unto the clover-sward, and she has talk'd
Full soothingly to every nested finch:
Rise, Cupids! or we'll give the blue-bell pinch
To your dimpled arms. Once more sweet life begin!"
At this, from every side they hurried in,
Rubbing their sleepy eyes with lazy wrists,
And doubling overhead their little fists
In backward yawns. But all were soon alive:
For as delicious wine doth, sparkling, dive
In nectar'd clouds and curls through water fair,
So from the arbour roof down swell'd an air
Odorous and enlivening; making all
To laugh, and play, and sing, and loudly call
For their sweet queen: when lo! the wreathed green
Disparted, and far upward could be seen
Blue heaven, and a silver car, air-borne,
Whose silent wheels, fresh wet from clouds of morn,
Spun off a drizzling dew,which falling chill
On soft Adonis' shoulders, made him still
Nestle and turn uneasily about.
Soon were the white doves plain, with necks stretch'd out,
And silken traces lighten'd in descent;
And soon, returning from love's banishment,
Queen Venus leaning downward open arm'd:
Her shadow fell upon his breast, and charm'd
A tumult to his heart, and a new life
Into his eyes. Ah, miserable strife,
But for her comforting! unhappy sight,
But meeting her blue orbs! Who, who can write
Of these first minutes? The unchariest muse
To embracements warm as theirs makes coy excuse.

O it has ruffled every spirit there,
Saving love's self, who stands superb to share
The general gladness: awfully he stands;
A sovereign quell is in his waving hands;
No sight can bear the lightning of his bow;
His quiver is mysterious, none can know
What themselves think of it; from forth his eyes
There darts strange light of varied hues and dyes:
A scowl is sometimes on his brow, but who
Look full upon it feel anon the blue
Of his fair eyes run liquid through their souls.
Endymion feels it, and no more controls
The burning prayer within him; so, bent low,
He had begun a plaining of his woe.
But Venus, bending forward, said: "My child,
Favour this gentle youth; his days are wild
With lovehebut alas! too well I see
Thou know'st the deepness of his misery.
Ah, smile not so, my son: I tell thee true,
That when through heavy hours I used to rue
The endless sleep of this new-born Adon',
This stranger ay I pitied. For upon
A dreary morning once I fled away
Into the breezy clouds, to weep and pray
For this my love: for vexing Mars had teaz'd
Me even to tears: thence, when a little eas'd,
Down-looking, vacant, through a hazy wood,
I saw this youth as he despairing stood:
Those same dark curls blown vagrant in the wind:
Those same full fringed lids a constant blind
Over his sullen eyes: I saw him throw
Himself on wither'd leaves, even as though
Death had come sudden; for no jot he mov'd,
Yet mutter'd wildly. I could hear he lov'd
Some fair immortal, and that his embrace
Had zoned her through the night. There is no trace
Of this in heaven: I have mark'd each cheek,
And find it is the vainest thing to seek;
And that of all things 'tis kept secretest.
Endymion! one day thou wilt be blest:
So still obey the guiding hand that fends
Thee safely through these wonders for sweet ends.
'Tis a concealment needful in extreme;
And if I guess'd not so, the sunny beam
Thou shouldst mount up to with me. Now adieu!
Here must we leave thee."At these words up flew
The impatient doves, up rose the floating car,
Up went the hum celestial. High afar
The Latmian saw them minish into nought;
And, when all were clear vanish'd, still he caught
A vivid lightning from that dreadful bow.
When all was darkened, with Etnean throe
The earth clos'dgave a solitary moan
And left him once again in twilight lone.

He did not rave, he did not stare aghast,
For all those visions were o'ergone, and past,
And he in loneliness: he felt assur'd
Of happy times, when all he had endur'd
Would seem a feather to the mighty prize.
So, with unusual gladness, on he hies
Through caves, and palaces of mottled ore,
Gold dome, and crystal wall, and turquois floor,
Black polish'd porticos of awful shade,
And, at the last, a diamond balustrade,
Leading afar past wild magnificence,
Spiral through ruggedest loopholes, and thence
Stretching across a void, then guiding o'er
Enormous chasms, where, all foam and roar,
Streams subterranean tease their granite beds;
Then heighten'd just above the silvery heads
Of a thousand fountains, so that he could dash
The waters with his spear; but at the splash,
Done heedlessly, those spouting columns rose
Sudden a poplar's height, and 'gan to enclose
His diamond path with fretwork, streaming round
Alive, and dazzling cool, and with a sound,
Haply, like dolphin tumults, when sweet shells
Welcome the float of Thetis. Long he dwells
On this delight; for, every minute's space,
The streams with changed magic interlace:
Sometimes like delicatest lattices,
Cover'd with crystal vines; then weeping trees,
Moving about as in a gentle wind,
Which, in a wink, to watery gauze refin'd,
Pour'd into shapes of curtain'd canopies,
Spangled, and rich with liquid broideries
Of flowers, peacocks, swans, and naiads fair.
Swifter than lightning went these wonders rare;
And then the water, into stubborn streams
Collecting, mimick'd the wrought oaken beams,
Pillars, and frieze, and high fantastic roof,
Of those dusk places in times far aloof
Cathedrals call'd. He bade a loth farewel
To these founts Protean, passing gulph, and dell,
And torrent, and ten thousand jutting shapes,
Half seen through deepest gloom, and griesly gapes,
Blackening on every side, and overhead
A vaulted dome like Heaven's, far bespread
With starlight gems: aye, all so huge and strange,
The solitary felt a hurried change
Working within him into something dreary,
Vex'd like a morning eagle, lost, and weary,
And purblind amid foggy, midnight wolds.
But he revives at once: for who beholds
New sudden things, nor casts his mental slough?
Forth from a rugged arch, in the dusk below,
Came mother Cybele! alonealone
In sombre chariot; dark foldings thrown
About her majesty, and front death-pale,
With turrets crown'd. Four maned lions hale
The sluggish wheels; solemn their toothed maws,
Their surly eyes brow-hidden, heavy paws
Uplifted drowsily, and nervy tails
Cowering their tawny brushes. Silent sails
This shadowy queen athwart, and faints away
In another gloomy arch.

             Wherefore delay,
Young traveller, in such a mournful place?
Art thou wayworn, or canst not further trace
The diamond path? And does it indeed end
Abrupt in middle air? Yet earthward bend
Thy forehead, and to Jupiter cloud-borne
Call ardently! He was indeed wayworn;
Abrupt, in middle air, his way was lost;
To cloud-borne Jove he bowed, and there crost
Towards him a large eagle, 'twixt whose wings,
Without one impious word, himself he flings,
Committed to the darkness and the gloom:
Down, down, uncertain to what pleasant doom,
Swift as a fathoming plummet down he fell
Through unknown things; till exhaled asphodel,
And rose, with spicy fannings interbreath'd,
Came swelling forth where little caves were wreath'd
So thick with leaves and mosses, that they seem'd
Large honey-combs of green, and freshly teem'd
With airs delicious. In the greenest nook
The eagle landed him, and farewel took.

It was a jasmine bower, all bestrown
With golden moss. His every sense had grown
Ethereal for pleasure; 'bove his head
Flew a delight half-graspable; his tread
Was Hesperan; to his capable ears
Silence was music from the holy spheres;
A dewy luxury was in his eyes;
The little flowers felt his pleasant sighs
And stirr'd them faintly. Verdant cave and cell
He wander'd through, oft wondering at such swell
Of sudden exaltation: but, "Alas!
Said he, "will all this gush of feeling pass
Away in solitude? And must they wane,
Like melodies upon a sandy plain,
Without an echo? Then shall I be left
So sad, so melancholy, so bereft!
Yet still I feel immortal! O my love,
My breath of life, where art thou? High above,
Dancing before the morning gates of heaven?
Or keeping watch among those starry seven,
Old Atlas' children? Art a maid of the waters,
One of shell-winding Triton's bright-hair'd daughters?
Or art, impossible! a nymph of Dian's,
Weaving a coronal of tender scions
For very idleness? Where'er thou art,
Methinks it now is at my will to start
Into thine arms; to scare Aurora's train,
And snatch thee from the morning; o'er the main
To scud like a wild bird, and take thee off
From thy sea-foamy cradle; or to doff
Thy shepherd vest, and woo thee mid fresh leaves.
No, no, too eagerly my soul deceives
Its powerless self: I know this cannot be.
O let me then by some sweet dreaming flee
To her entrancements: hither sleep awhile!
Hither most gentle sleep! and soothing foil
For some few hours the coming solitude."

Thus spake he, and that moment felt endued
With power to dream deliciously; so wound
Through a dim passage, searching till he found
The smoothest mossy bed and deepest, where
He threw himself, and just into the air
Stretching his indolent arms, he took, O bliss!
A naked waist: "Fair Cupid, whence is this?"
A well-known voice sigh'd, "Sweetest, here am I!"
At which soft ravishment, with doating cry
They trembled to each other.Helicon!
O fountain'd hill! Old Homer's Helicon!
That thou wouldst spout a little streamlet o'er
These sorry pages; then the verse would soar
And sing above this gentle pair, like lark
Over his nested young: but all is dark
Around thine aged top, and thy clear fount
Exhales in mists to heaven. Aye, the count
Of mighty Poets is made up; the scroll
Is folded by the Muses; the bright roll
Is in Apollo's hand: our dazed eyes
Have seen a new tinge in the western skies:
The world has done its duty. Yet, oh yet,
Although the sun of poesy is set,
These lovers did embrace, and we must weep
That there is no old power left to steep
A quill immortal in their joyous tears.
Long time in silence did their anxious fears
Question that thus it was; long time they lay
Fondling and kissing every doubt away;
Long time ere soft caressing sobs began
To mellow into words, and then there ran
Two bubbling springs of talk from their sweet lips.
"O known Unknown! from whom my being sips
Such darling essence, wherefore may I not
Be ever in these arms? in this sweet spot
Pillow my chin for ever? ever press
These toying hands and kiss their smooth excess?
Why not for ever and for ever feel
That breath about my eyes? Ah, thou wilt steal
Away from me again, indeed, indeed
Thou wilt be gone away, and wilt not heed
My lonely madness. Speak, my kindest fair!
Isis it to be so? No! Who will dare
To pluck thee from me? And, of thine own will,
Full well I feel thou wouldst not leave me. Still
Let me entwine thee surer, surernow
How can we part? Elysium! who art thou?
Who, that thou canst not be for ever here,
Or lift me with thee to some starry sphere?
Enchantress! tell me by this soft embrace,
By the most soft completion of thy face,
Those lips, O slippery blisses, twinkling eyes,
And by these tenderest, milky sovereignties
These tenderest, and by the nectar-wine,
The passion""O lov'd Ida the divine!
Endymion! dearest! Ah, unhappy me!
His soul will 'scape usO felicity!
How he does love me! His poor temples beat
To the very tune of lovehow sweet, sweet, sweet.
Revive, dear youth, or I shall faint and die;
Revive, or these soft hours will hurry by
In tranced dulness; speak, and let that spell
Affright this lethargy! I cannot quell
Its heavy pressure, and will press at least
My lips to thine, that they may richly feast
Until we taste the life of love again.
What! dost thou move? dost kiss? O bliss! O pain!
I love thee, youth, more than I can conceive;
And so long absence from thee doth bereave
My soul of any rest: yet must I hence:
Yet, can I not to starry eminence
Uplift thee; nor for very shame can own
Myself to thee. Ah, dearest, do not groan
Or thou wilt force me from this secrecy,
And I must blush in heaven. O that I
Had done it already; that the dreadful smiles
At my lost brightness, my impassion'd wiles,
Had waned from Olympus' solemn height,
And from all serious Gods; that our delight
Was quite forgotten, save of us alone!
And wherefore so ashamed? 'Tis but to atone
For endless pleasure, by some coward blushes:
Yet must I be a coward!Horror rushes
Too palpable before methe sad look
Of JoveMinerva's startno bosom shook
With awe of purityno Cupid pinion
In reverence veiledmy crystaline dominion
Half lost, and all old hymns made nullity!
But what is this to love? O I could fly
With thee into the ken of heavenly powers,
So thou wouldst thus, for many sequent hours,
Press me so sweetly. Now I swear at once
That I am wise, that Pallas is a dunce
Perhaps her love like mine is but unknown
O I do think that I have been alone
In chastity: yes, Pallas has been sighing,
While every eve saw me my hair uptying
With fingers cool as aspen leaves. Sweet love,
I was as vague as solitary dove,
Nor knew that nests were built. Now a soft kiss
Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss,
An immortality of passion's thine:
Ere long I will exalt thee to the shine
Of heaven ambrosial; and we will shade
Ourselves whole summers by a river glade;
And I will tell thee stories of the sky,
And breathe thee whispers of its minstrelsy.
My happy love will overwing all bounds!
O let me melt into thee; let the sounds
Of our close voices marry at their birth;
Let us entwine hoveringlyO dearth
Of human words! roughness of mortal speech!
Lispings empyrean will I sometime teach
Thine honied tonguelute-breathings, which I gasp
To have thee understand, now while I clasp
Thee thus, and weep for fondnessI am pain'd,
Endymion: woe! woe! is grief contain'd
In the very deeps of pleasure, my sole life?"
Hereat, with many sobs, her gentle strife
Melted into a languor. He return'd
Entranced vows and tears.

             Ye who have yearn'd
With too much passion, will here stay and pity,
For the mere sake of truth; as 'tis a ditty
Not of these days, but long ago 'twas told
By a cavern wind unto a forest old;
And then the forest told it in a dream
To a sleeping lake, whose cool and level gleam
A poet caught as he was journeying
To Phoebus' shrine; and in it he did fling
His weary limbs, bathing an hour's space,
And after, straight in that inspired place
He sang the story up into the air,
Giving it universal freedom. There
Has it been ever sounding for those ears
Whose tips are glowing hot. The legend cheers
Yon centinel stars; and he who listens to it
Must surely be self-doomed or he will rue it:
For quenchless burnings come upon the heart,
Made fiercer by a fear lest any part
Should be engulphed in the eddying wind.
As much as here is penn'd doth always find
A resting place, thus much comes clear and plain;
Anon the strange voice is upon the wane
And 'tis but echo'd from departing sound,
That the fair visitant at last unwound
Her gentle limbs, and left the youth asleep.
Thus the tradition of the gusty deep.

Now turn we to our former chroniclers.
Endymion awoke, that grief of hers
Sweet paining on his ear: he sickly guess'd
How lone he was once more, and sadly press'd
His empty arms together, hung his head,
And most forlorn upon that widow'd bed
Sat silently. Love's madness he had known:
Often with more than tortured lion's groan
Moanings had burst from him; but now that rage
Had pass'd away: no longer did he wage
A rough-voic'd war against the dooming stars.
No, he had felt too much for such harsh jars:
The lyre of his soul Eolian tun'd
Forgot all violence, and but commun'd
With melancholy thought: O he had swoon'd
Drunken from pleasure's nipple; and his love
Henceforth was dove-like.Loth was he to move
From the imprinted couch, and when he did,
'Twas with slow, languid paces, and face hid
In muffling hands. So temper'd, out he stray'd
Half seeing visions that might have dismay'd
Alecto's serpents; ravishments more keen
Than Hermes' pipe, when anxious he did lean
Over eclipsing eyes: and at the last
It was a sounding grotto, vaulted, vast,
O'er studded with a thousand, thousand pearls,
And crimson mouthed shells with stubborn curls,
Of every shape and size, even to the bulk
In which whales arbour close, to brood and sulk
Against an endless storm. Moreover too,
Fish-semblances, of green and azure hue,
Ready to snort their streams. In this cool wonder
Endymion sat down, and 'gan to ponder
On all his life: his youth, up to the day
When 'mid acclaim, and feasts, and garlands gay,
He stept upon his shepherd throne: the look
Of his white palace in wild forest nook,
And all the revels he had lorded there:
Each tender maiden whom he once thought fair,
With every friend and fellow-woodlander
Pass'd like a dream before him. Then the spur
Of the old bards to mighty deeds: his plans
To nurse the golden age 'mong shepherd clans:
That wondrous night: the great Pan-festival:
His sister's sorrow; and his wanderings all,
Until into the earth's deep maw he rush'd:
Then all its buried magic, till it flush'd
High with excessive love. "And now," thought he,
"How long must I remain in jeopardy
Of blank amazements that amaze no more?
Now I have tasted her sweet soul to the core
All other depths are shallow: essences,
Once spiritual, are like muddy lees,
Meant but to fertilize my earthly root,
And make my branches lift a golden fruit
Into the bloom of heaven: other light,
Though it be quick and sharp enough to blight
The Olympian eagle's vision, is dark,
Dark as the parentage of chaos. Hark!
My silent thoughts are echoing from these shells;
Or they are but the ghosts, the dying swells
Of noises far away?list!"Hereupon
He kept an anxious ear. The humming tone
Came louder, and behold, there as he lay,
On either side outgush'd, with misty spray,
A copious spring; and both together dash'd
Swift, mad, fantastic round the rocks, and lash'd
Among the conchs and shells of the lofty grot,
Leaving a trickling dew. At last they shot
Down from the ceiling's height, pouring a noise
As of some breathless racers whose hopes poize
Upon the last few steps, and with spent force
Along the ground they took a winding course.
Endymion follow'dfor it seem'd that one
Ever pursued, the other strove to shun
Follow'd their languid mazes, till well nigh
He had left thinking of the mystery,
And was now rapt in tender hoverings
Over the vanish'd bliss. Ah! what is it sings
His dream away? What melodies are these?
They sound as through the whispering of trees,
Not native in such barren vaults. Give ear!

"O Arethusa, peerless nymph! why fear
Such tenderness as mine? Great Dian, why,
Why didst thou hear her prayer? O that I
Were rippling round her dainty fairness now,
Circling about her waist, and striving how
To entice her to a dive! then stealing in
Between her luscious lips and eyelids thin.
O that her shining hair was in the sun,
And I distilling from it thence to run
In amorous rillets down her shrinking form!
To linger on her lily shoulders, warm
Between her kissing breasts, and every charm
Touch raptur'd!See how painfully I flow:
Fair maid, be pitiful to my great woe.
Stay, stay thy weary course, and let me lead,
A happy wooer, to the flowery mead
Where all that beauty snar'd me.""Cruel god,
Desist! or my offended mistress' nod
Will stagnate all thy fountains:tease me not
With syren wordsAh, have I really got
Such power to madden thee? And is it true
Away, away, or I shall dearly rue
My very thoughts: in mercy then away,
Kindest Alpheus for should I obey
My own dear will, 'twould be a deadly bane."
"O, Oread-Queen! would that thou hadst a pain
Like this of mine, then would I fearless turn
And be a criminal.""Alas, I burn,
I shuddergentle river, get thee hence.
Alpheus! thou enchanter! every sense
Of mine was once made perfect in these woods.
Fresh breezes, bowery lawns, and innocent floods,
Ripe fruits, and lonely couch, contentment gave;
But ever since I heedlessly did lave
In thy deceitful stream, a panting glow
Grew strong within me: wherefore serve me so,
And call it love? Alas, 'twas cruelty.
Not once more did I close my happy eyes
Amid the thrush's song. Away! Avaunt!
O 'twas a cruel thing.""Now thou dost taunt
So softly, Arethusa, that I think
If thou wast playing on my shady brink,
Thou wouldst bathe once again. Innocent maid!
Stifle thine heart no more;nor be afraid
Of angry powers: there are deities
Will shade us with their wings. Those fitful sighs
'Tis almost death to hear: O let me pour
A dewy balm upon them!fear no more,
Sweet Arethusa! Dian's self must feel
Sometimes these very pangs. Dear maiden, steal
Blushing into my soul, and let us fly
These dreary caverns for the open sky.
I will delight thee all my winding course,
From the green sea up to my hidden source
About Arcadian forests; and will shew
The channels where my coolest waters flow
Through mossy rocks; where, 'mid exuberant green,
I roam in pleasant darkness, more unseen
Than Saturn in his exile; where I brim
Round flowery islands, and take thence a skim
Of mealy sweets, which myriads of bees
Buzz from their honied wings: and thou shouldst please
Thyself to choose the richest, where we might
Be incense-pillow'd every summer night.
Doff all sad fears, thou white deliciousness,
And let us be thus comforted; unless
Thou couldst rejoice to see my hopeless stream
Hurry distracted from Sol's temperate beam,
And pour to death along some hungry sands."
"What can I do, Alpheus? Dian stands
Severe before me: persecuting fate!
Unhappy Arethusa! thou wast late
A huntress free in"At this, sudden fell
Those two sad streams adown a fearful dell.
The Latmian listen'd, but he heard no more,
Save echo, faint repeating o'er and o'er
The name of Arethusa. On the verge
Of that dark gulph he wept, and said: "I urge
Thee, gentle Goddess of my pilgrimage,
By our eternal hopes, to soothe, to assuage,
If thou art powerful, these lovers pains;
And make them happy in some happy plains.

He turn'dthere was a whelming soundhe stept,
There was a cooler light; and so he kept
Towards it by a sandy path, and lo!
More suddenly than doth a moment go,
The visions of the earth were gone and fled
He saw the giant sea above his head.

(line 31): The reference is of course not to the story of Hero and Leander but to the tears of Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, shed when she was falsely accused; and Imogen must, equally of course, be Shakespeare's heroine in Cymbeline, though she is not the only Imogen of fiction who has swooned. For Pastorella see Faerie Queene, Book VI, Canto II, stanza I. et seq.

(line 168): For the three occasions which Endymion had seen Diana, refer to the account given to Peona; beginning with line 540, Book I, -- to the passage about the well, line 896, Book I, -- and to the passage in which he hurried into the grotto, line 971, Book I.

(line 430): In the draft, Endymion was described as The mortal Latmian.

(line 434): It was a peculiarly happy piece of poetic realism to translate Ariadne's relations with Bacchus into her becoming a vintager; and I presume this was Keats's own thought, as well as the idea immediately following, that the God of Orchards conciliated Love with a gift of pears when paying his addresses to Pomona.

(line 676) Hesperan, I presume, not Hesprean as invariably accented by Milton. The precise value of 'capable' as used here is of course regulated by past and not by present custom. In this case it simply stands for receptive, able to receive, as in Hamlet (Act III, Scene IV).

(lines 689-92) Endymion conjectures whether his unknown love is one of the Hours, or one of the nymph Pleione's daughters by Atlas, transferred to heaven as the Pleiades.
~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, Endymion - Book II

88:A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast,
They alway must be with us, or we die.

Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own vallies: so I will begin
Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
Now while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finished: but let Autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end.
And now at once, adventuresome, I send
My herald thought into a wilderness:
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.

Upon the sides of Latmos was outspread
A mighty forest; for the moist earth fed
So plenteously all weed-hidden roots
Into o'er-hanging boughs, and precious fruits.
And it had gloomy shades, sequestered deep,
Where no man went; and if from shepherd's keep
A lamb strayed far a-down those inmost glens,
Never again saw he the happy pens
Whither his brethren, bleating with content,
Over the hills at every nightfall went.
Among the shepherds, 'twas believed ever,
That not one fleecy lamb which thus did sever
From the white flock, but pass'd unworried
By angry wolf, or pard with prying head,
Until it came to some unfooted plains
Where fed the herds of Pan: ay great his gains
Who thus one lamb did lose. Paths there were many,
Winding through palmy fern, and rushes fenny,
And ivy banks; all leading pleasantly
To a wide lawn, whence one could only see
Stems thronging all around between the swell
Of turf and slanting branches: who could tell
The freshness of the space of heaven above,
Edg'd round with dark tree tops? through which a dove
Would often beat its wings, and often too
A little cloud would move across the blue.

Full in the middle of this pleasantness
There stood a marble altar, with a tress
Of flowers budded newly; and the dew
Had taken fairy phantasies to strew
Daisies upon the sacred sward last eve,
And so the dawned light in pomp receive.
For 'twas the morn: Apollo's upward fire
Made every eastern cloud a silvery pyre
Of brightness so unsullied, that therein
A melancholy spirit well might win
Oblivion, and melt out his essence fine
Into the winds: rain-scented eglantine
Gave temperate sweets to that well-wooing sun;
The lark was lost in him; cold springs had run
To warm their chilliest bubbles in the grass;
Man's voice was on the mountains; and the mass
Of nature's lives and wonders puls'd tenfold,
To feel this sun-rise and its glories old.

Now while the silent workings of the dawn
Were busiest, into that self-same lawn
All suddenly, with joyful cries, there sped
A troop of little children garlanded;
Who gathering round the altar, seemed to pry
Earnestly round as wishing to espy
Some folk of holiday: nor had they waited
For many moments, ere their ears were sated
With a faint breath of music, which ev'n then
Fill'd out its voice, and died away again.
Within a little space again it gave
Its airy swellings, with a gentle wave,
To light-hung leaves, in smoothest echoes breaking
Through copse-clad vallies,ere their death, oer-taking
The surgy murmurs of the lonely sea.

And now, as deep into the wood as we
Might mark a lynx's eye, there glimmered light
Fair faces and a rush of garments white,
Plainer and plainer shewing, till at last
Into the widest alley they all past,
Making directly for the woodland altar.
O kindly muse! let not my weak tongue faulter
In telling of this goodly company,
Of their old piety, and of their glee:
But let a portion of ethereal dew
Fall on my head, and presently unmew
My soul; that I may dare, in wayfaring,
To stammer where old Chaucer used to sing.

Leading the way, young damsels danced along,
Bearing the burden of a shepherd song;
Each having a white wicker over brimm'd
With April's tender younglings: next, well trimm'd,
A crowd of shepherds with as sunburnt looks
As may be read of in Arcadian books;
Such as sat listening round Apollo's pipe,
When the great deity, for earth too ripe,
Let his divinity o'er-flowing die
In music, through the vales of Thessaly:
Some idly trailed their sheep-hooks on the ground,
And some kept up a shrilly mellow sound
With ebon-tipped flutes: close after these,
Now coming from beneath the forest trees,
A venerable priest full soberly,
Begirt with ministring looks: alway his eye
Stedfast upon the matted turf he kept,
And after him his sacred vestments swept.
From his right hand there swung a vase, milk-white,
Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous light;
And in his left he held a basket full
Of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull:
Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still
Than Leda's love, and cresses from the rill.
His aged head, crowned with beechen wreath,
Seem'd like a poll of ivy in the teeth
Of winter hoar. Then came another crowd
Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud
Their share of the ditty. After them appear'd,
Up-followed by a multitude that rear'd
Their voices to the clouds, a fair wrought car,
Easily rolling so as scarce to mar
The freedom of three steeds of dapple brown:
Who stood therein did seem of great renown
Among the throng. His youth was fully blown,
Shewing like Ganymede to manhood grown;
And, for those simple times, his garments were
A chieftain king's: beneath his breast, half bare,
Was hung a silver bugle, and between
His nervy knees there lay a boar-spear keen.
A smile was on his countenance; he seem'd,
To common lookers on, like one who dream'd
Of idleness in groves Elysian:
But there were some who feelingly could scan
A lurking trouble in his nether lip,
And see that oftentimes the reins would slip
Through his forgotten hands: then would they sigh,
And think of yellow leaves, of owlets cry,
Of logs piled solemnly.Ah, well-a-day,
Why should our young Endymion pine away!

Soon the assembly, in a circle rang'd,
Stood silent round the shrine: each look was chang'd
To sudden veneration: women meek
Beckon'd their sons to silence; while each cheek
Of virgin bloom paled gently for slight fear.
Endymion too, without a forest peer,
Stood, wan, and pale, and with an awed face,
Among his brothers of the mountain chase.
In midst of all, the venerable priest
Eyed them with joy from greatest to the least,
And, after lifting up his aged hands,
Thus spake he: "Men of Latmos! shepherd bands!
Whose care it is to guard a thousand flocks:
Whether descended from beneath the rocks
That overtop your mountains; whether come
From vallies where the pipe is never dumb;
Or from your swelling downs, where sweet air stirs
Blue hare-bells lightly, and where prickly furze
Buds lavish gold; or ye, whose precious charge
Nibble their fill at ocean's very marge,
Whose mellow reeds are touch'd with sounds forlorn
By the dim echoes of old Triton's horn:
Mothers and wives! who day by day prepare
The scrip, with needments, for the mountain air;
And all ye gentle girls who foster up
Udderless lambs, and in a little cup
Will put choice honey for a favoured youth:
Yea, every one attend! for in good truth
Our vows are wanting to our great god Pan.
Are not our lowing heifers sleeker than
Night-swollen mushrooms? Are not our wide plains
Speckled with countless fleeces? Have not rains
Green'd over April's lap? No howling sad
Sickens our fearful ewes; and we have had
Great bounty from Endymion our lord.
The earth is glad: the merry lark has pour'd
His early song against yon breezy sky,
That spreads so clear o'er our solemnity."

Thus ending, on the shrine he heap'd a spire
Of teeming sweets, enkindling sacred fire;
Anon he stain'd the thick and spongy sod
With wine, in honour of the shepherd-god.
Now while the earth was drinking it, and while
Bay leaves were crackling in the fragrant pile,
And gummy frankincense was sparkling bright
'Neath smothering parsley, and a hazy light
Spread greyly eastward, thus a chorus sang:

"O THOU, whose mighty palace roof doth hang
From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth
Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life, death
Of unseen flowers in heavy peacefulness;
Who lov'st to see the hamadryads dress
Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels darken;
And through whole solemn hours dost sit, and hearken
The dreary melody of bedded reeds
In desolate places, where dank moisture breeds
The pipy hemlock to strange overgrowth;
Bethinking thee, how melancholy loth
Thou wast to lose fair Syrinxdo thou now,
By thy love's milky brow!
By all the trembling mazes that she ran,
Hear us, great Pan!

"O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet, turtles
Passion their voices cooingly 'mong myrtles,
What time thou wanderest at eventide
Through sunny meadows, that outskirt the side
Of thine enmossed realms: O thou, to whom
Broad leaved fig trees even now foredoom
Their ripen'd fruitage; yellow girted bees
Their golden honeycombs; our village leas
Their fairest-blossom'd beans and poppied corn;
The chuckling linnet its five young unborn,
To sing for thee; low creeping strawberries
Their summer coolness; pent up butterflies
Their freckled wings; yea, the fresh budding year
All its completionsbe quickly near,
By every wind that nods the mountain pine,
O forester divine!

"Thou, to whom every fawn and satyr flies
For willing service; whether to surprise
The squatted hare while in half sleeping fit;
Or upward ragged precipices flit
To save poor lambkins from the eagle's maw;
Or by mysterious enticement draw
Bewildered shepherds to their path again;
Or to tread breathless round the frothy main,
And gather up all fancifullest shells
For thee to tumble into Naiads' cells,
And, being hidden, laugh at their out-peeping;
Or to delight thee with fantastic leaping,
The while they pelt each other on the crown
With silvery oak apples, and fir cones brown
By all the echoes that about thee ring,
Hear us, O satyr king!

"O Hearkener to the loud clapping shears,
While ever and anon to his shorn peers
A ram goes bleating: Winder of the horn,
When snouted wild-boars routing tender corn
Anger our huntsman: Breather round our farms,
To keep off mildews, and all weather harms:
Strange ministrant of undescribed sounds,
That come a swooning over hollow grounds,
And wither drearily on barren moors:
Dread opener of the mysterious doors
Leading to universal knowledgesee,
Great son of Dryope,
The many that are come to pay their vows
With leaves about their brows!

Be still the unimaginable lodge
For solitary thinkings; such as dodge
Conception to the very bourne of heaven,
Then leave the naked brain: be still the leaven,
That spreading in this dull and clodded earth
Gives it a touch ethereala new birth:
Be still a symbol of immensity;
A firmament reflected in a sea;
An element filling the space between;
An unknownbut no more: we humbly screen
With uplift hands our foreheads, lowly bending,
And giving out a shout most heaven rending,
Conjure thee to receive our humble Paean,
Upon thy Mount Lycean!

Even while they brought the burden to a close,
A shout from the whole multitude arose,
That lingered in the air like dying rolls
Of abrupt thunder, when Ionian shoals
Of dolphins bob their noses through the brine.
Meantime, on shady levels, mossy fine,
Young companies nimbly began dancing
To the swift treble pipe, and humming string.
Aye, those fair living forms swam heavenly
To tunes forgottenout of memory:
Fair creatures! whose young children's children bred
Thermopyl its heroesnot yet dead,
But in old marbles ever beautiful.
High genitors, unconscious did they cull
Time's sweet first-fruitsthey danc'd to weariness,
And then in quiet circles did they press
The hillock turf, and caught the latter end
Of some strange history, potent to send
A young mind from its bodily tenement.
Or they might watch the quoit-pitchers, intent
On either side; pitying the sad death
Of Hyacinthus, when the cruel breath
Of Zephyr slew him,Zephyr penitent,
Who now, ere Phoebus mounts the firmament,
Fondles the flower amid the sobbing rain.
The archers too, upon a wider plain,
Beside the feathery whizzing of the shaft,
And the dull twanging bowstring, and the raft
Branch down sweeping from a tall ash top,
Call'd up a thousand thoughts to envelope
Those who would watch. Perhaps, the trembling knee
And frantic gape of lonely Niobe,
Poor, lonely Niobe! when her lovely young
Were dead and gone, and her caressing tongue
Lay a lost thing upon her paly lip,
And very, very deadliness did nip
Her motherly cheeks. Arous'd from this sad mood
By one, who at a distance loud halloo'd,
Uplifting his strong bow into the air,
Many might after brighter visions stare:
After the Argonauts, in blind amaze
Tossing about on Neptune's restless ways,
Until, from the horizon's vaulted side,
There shot a golden splendour far and wide,
Spangling those million poutings of the brine
With quivering ore: 'twas even an awful shine
From the exaltation of Apollo's bow;
A heavenly beacon in their dreary woe.
Who thus were ripe for high contemplating,
Might turn their steps towards the sober ring
Where sat Endymion and the aged priest
'Mong shepherds gone in eld, whose looks increas'd
The silvery setting of their mortal star.
There they discours'd upon the fragile bar
That keeps us from our homes ethereal;
And what our duties there: to nightly call
Vesper, the beauty-crest of summer weather;
To summon all the downiest clouds together
For the sun's purple couch; to emulate
In ministring the potent rule of fate
With speed of fire-tailed exhalations;
To tint her pallid cheek with bloom, who cons
Sweet poesy by moonlight: besides these,
A world of other unguess'd offices.
Anon they wander'd, by divine converse,
Into Elysium; vieing to rehearse
Each one his own anticipated bliss.
One felt heart-certain that he could not miss
His quick gone love, among fair blossom'd boughs,
Where every zephyr-sigh pouts and endows
Her lips with music for the welcoming.
Another wish'd, mid that eternal spring,
To meet his rosy child, with feathery sails,
Sweeping, eye-earnestly, through almond vales:
Who, suddenly, should stoop through the smooth wind,
And with the balmiest leaves his temples bind;
And, ever after, through those regions be
His messenger, his little Mercury.
Some were athirst in soul to see again
Their fellow huntsmen o'er the wide champaign
In times long past; to sit with them, and talk
Of all the chances in their earthly walk;
Comparing, joyfully, their plenteous stores
Of happiness, to when upon the moors,
Benighted, close they huddled from the cold,
And shar'd their famish'd scrips. Thus all out-told
Their fond imaginations,saving him
Whose eyelids curtain'd up their jewels dim,
Endymion: yet hourly had he striven
To hide the cankering venom, that had riven
His fainting recollections. Now indeed
His senses had swoon'd off: he did not heed
The sudden silence, or the whispers low,
Or the old eyes dissolving at his woe,
Or anxious calls, or close of trembling palms,
Or maiden's sigh, that grief itself embalms:
But in the self-same fixed trance he kept,
Like one who on the earth had never stept.
Aye, even as dead-still as a marble man,
Frozen in that old tale Arabian.

Who whispers him so pantingly and close?
Peona, his sweet sister: of all those,
His friends, the dearest. Hushing signs she made,
And breath'd a sister's sorrow to persuade
A yielding up, a cradling on her care.
Her eloquence did breathe away the curse:
She led him, like some midnight spirit nurse
Of happy changes in emphatic dreams,
Along a path between two little streams,
Guarding his forehead, with her round elbow,
From low-grown branches, and his footsteps slow
From stumbling over stumps and hillocks small;
Until they came to where these streamlets fall,
With mingled bubblings and a gentle rush,
Into a river, clear, brimful, and flush
With crystal mocking of the trees and sky.
A little shallop, floating there hard by,
Pointed its beak over the fringed bank;
And soon it lightly dipt, and rose, and sank,
And dipt again, with the young couple's weight,
Peona guiding, through the water straight,
Towards a bowery island opposite;
Which gaining presently, she steered light
Into a shady, fresh, and ripply cove,
Where nested was an arbour, overwove
By many a summer's silent fingering;
To whose cool bosom she was used to bring
Her playmates, with their needle broidery,
And minstrel memories of times gone by.

So she was gently glad to see him laid
Under her favourite bower's quiet shade,
On her own couch, new made of flower leaves,
Dried carefully on the cooler side of sheaves
When last the sun his autumn tresses shook,
And the tann'd harvesters rich armfuls took.
Soon was he quieted to slumbrous rest:
But, ere it crept upon him, he had prest
Peona's busy hand against his lips,
And still, a sleeping, held her finger-tips
In tender pressure. And as a willow keeps
A patient watch over the stream that creeps
Windingly by it, so the quiet maid
Held her in peace: so that a whispering blade
Of grass, a wailful gnat, a bee bustling
Down in the blue-bells, or a wren light rustling
Among seer leaves and twigs, might all be heard.

O magic sleep! O comfortable bird,
That broodest o'er the troubled sea of the mind
Till it is hush'd and smooth! O unconfin'd
Restraint! imprisoned liberty! great key
To golden palaces, strange minstrelsy,
Fountains grotesque, new trees, bespangled caves,
Echoing grottos, full of tumbling waves
And moonlight; aye, to all the mazy world
Of silvery enchantment!who, upfurl'd
Beneath thy drowsy wing a triple hour,
But renovates and lives?Thus, in the bower,
Endymion was calm'd to life again.
Opening his eyelids with a healthier brain,
He said: "I feel this thine endearing love
All through my bosom: thou art as a dove
Trembling its closed eyes and sleeked wings
About me; and the pearliest dew not brings
Such morning incense from the fields of May,
As do those brighter drops that twinkling stray
From those kind eyes,the very home and haunt
Of sisterly affection. Can I want
Aught else, aught nearer heaven, than such tears?
Yet dry them up, in bidding hence all fears
That, any longer, I will pass my days
Alone and sad. No, I will once more raise
My voice upon the mountain-heights; once more
Make my horn parley from their foreheads hoar:
Again my trooping hounds their tongues shall loll
Around the breathed boar: again I'll poll
The fair-grown yew tree, for a chosen bow:
And, when the pleasant sun is getting low,
Again I'll linger in a sloping mead
To hear the speckled thrushes, and see feed
Our idle sheep. So be thou cheered sweet,
And, if thy lute is here, softly intreat
My soul to keep in its resolved course."

Hereat Peona, in their silver source,
Shut her pure sorrow drops with glad exclaim,
And took a lute, from which there pulsing came
A lively prelude, fashioning the way
In which her voice should wander. 'Twas a lay
More subtle cadenced, more forest wild
Than Dryope's lone lulling of her child;
And nothing since has floated in the air
So mournful strange. Surely some influence rare
Went, spiritual, through the damsel's hand;
For still, with Delphic emphasis, she spann'd
The quick invisible strings, even though she saw
Endymion's spirit melt away and thaw
Before the deep intoxication.
But soon she came, with sudden burst, upon
Her self-possessionswung the lute aside,
And earnestly said: "Brother, 'tis vain to hide
That thou dost know of things mysterious,
Immortal, starry; such alone could thus
Weigh down thy nature. Hast thou sinn'd in aught
Offensive to the heavenly powers? Caught
A Paphian dove upon a message sent?
Thy deathful bow against some deer-herd bent,
Sacred to Dian? Haply, thou hast seen
Her naked limbs among the alders green;
And that, alas! is death. No, I can trace
Something more high perplexing in thy face!"

Endymion look'd at her, and press'd her hand,
And said, "Art thou so pale, who wast so bland
And merry in our meadows? How is this?
Tell me thine ailment: tell me all amiss!
Ah! thou hast been unhappy at the change
Wrought suddenly in me. What indeed more strange?
Or more complete to overwhelm surmise?
Ambition is no sluggard: 'tis no prize,
That toiling years would put within my grasp,
That I have sigh'd for: with so deadly gasp
No man e'er panted for a mortal love.
So all have set my heavier grief above
These things which happen. Rightly have they done:
I, who still saw the horizontal sun
Heave his broad shoulder o'er the edge of the world,
Out-facing Lucifer, and then had hurl'd
My spear aloft, as signal for the chace
I, who, for very sport of heart, would race
With my own steed from Araby; pluck down
A vulture from his towery perching; frown
A lion into growling, loth retire
To lose, at once, all my toil breeding fire,
And sink thus low! but I will ease my breast
Of secret grief, here in this bowery nest.

"This river does not see the naked sky,
Till it begins to progress silverly
Around the western border of the wood,
Whence, from a certain spot, its winding flood
Seems at the distance like a crescent moon:
And in that nook, the very pride of June,
Had I been used to pass my weary eves;
The rather for the sun unwilling leaves
So dear a picture of his sovereign power,
And I could witness his most kingly hour,
When he doth lighten up the golden reins,
And paces leisurely down amber plains
His snorting four. Now when his chariot last
Its beams against the zodiac-lion cast,
There blossom'd suddenly a magic bed
Of sacred ditamy, and poppies red:
At which I wondered greatly, knowing well
That but one night had wrought this flowery spell;
And, sitting down close by, began to muse
What it might mean. Perhaps, thought I, Morpheus,
In passing here, his owlet pinions shook;
Or, it may be, ere matron Night uptook
Her ebon urn, young Mercury, by stealth,
Had dipt his rod in it: such garland wealth
Came not by common growth. Thus on I thought,
Until my head was dizzy and distraught.
Moreover, through the dancing poppies stole
A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul;
And shaping visions all about my sight
Of colours, wings, and bursts of spangly light;
The which became more strange, and strange, and dim,
And then were gulph'd in a tumultuous swim:
And then I fell asleep. Ah, can I tell
The enchantment that afterwards befel?
Yet it was but a dream: yet such a dream
That never tongue, although it overteem
With mellow utterance, like a cavern spring,
Could figure out and to conception bring
All I beheld and felt. Methought I lay
Watching the zenith, where the milky way
Among the stars in virgin splendour pours;
And travelling my eye, until the doors
Of heaven appear'd to open for my flight,
I became loth and fearful to alight
From such high soaring by a downward glance:
So kept me stedfast in that airy trance,
Spreading imaginary pinions wide.
When, presently, the stars began to glide,
And faint away, before my eager view:
At which I sigh'd that I could not pursue,
And dropt my vision to the horizon's verge;
And lo! from opening clouds, I saw emerge
The loveliest moon, that ever silver'd o'er
A shell for Neptune's goblet: she did soar
So passionately bright, my dazzled soul
Commingling with her argent spheres did roll
Through clear and cloudy, even when she went
At last into a dark and vapoury tent
Whereat, methought, the lidless-eyed train
Of planets all were in the blue again.
To commune with those orbs, once more I rais'd
My sight right upward: but it was quite dazed
By a bright something, sailing down apace,
Making me quickly veil my eyes and face:
Again I look'd, and, O ye deities,
Who from Olympus watch our destinies!
Whence that completed form of all completeness?
Whence came that high perfection of all sweetness?
Speak, stubborn earth, and tell me where, O Where
Hast thou a symbol of her golden hair?
Not oat-sheaves drooping in the western sun;
Notthy soft hand, fair sister! let me shun
Such follying before theeyet she had,
Indeed, locks bright enough to make me mad;
And they were simply gordian'd up and braided,
Leaving, in naked comeliness, unshaded,
Her pearl round ears, white neck, and orbed brow;
The which were blended in, I know not how,
With such a paradise of lips and eyes,
Blush-tinted cheeks, half smiles, and faintest sighs,
That, when I think thereon, my spirit clings
And plays about its fancy, till the stings
Of human neighbourhood envenom all.
Unto what awful power shall I call?
To what high fane?Ah! see her hovering feet,
More bluely vein'd, more soft, more whitely sweet
Than those of sea-born Venus, when she rose
From out her cradle shell. The wind out-blows
Her scarf into a fluttering pavilion;
'Tis blue, and over-spangled with a million
Of little eyes, as though thou wert to shed,
Over the darkest, lushest blue-bell bed,
Handfuls of daisies.""Endymion, how strange!
Dream within dream!""She took an airy range,
And then, towards me, like a very maid,
Came blushing, waning, willing, and afraid,
And press'd me by the hand: Ah! 'twas too much;
Methought I fainted at the charmed touch,
Yet held my recollection, even as one
Who dives three fathoms where the waters run
Gurgling in beds of coral: for anon,
I felt upmounted in that region
Where falling stars dart their artillery forth,
And eagles struggle with the buffeting north
That balances the heavy meteor-stone;
Felt too, I was not fearful, nor alone,
But lapp'd and lull'd along the dangerous sky.
Soon, as it seem'd, we left our journeying high,
And straightway into frightful eddies swoop'd;
Such as ay muster where grey time has scoop'd
Huge dens and caverns in a mountain's side:
There hollow sounds arous'd me, and I sigh'd
To faint once more by looking on my bliss
I was distracted; madly did I kiss
The wooing arms which held me, and did give
My eyes at once to death: but 'twas to live,
To take in draughts of life from the gold fount
Of kind and passionate looks; to count, and count
The moments, by some greedy help that seem'd
A second self, that each might be redeem'd
And plunder'd of its load of blessedness.
Ah, desperate mortal! I ev'n dar'd to press
Her very cheek against my crowned lip,
And, at that moment, felt my body dip
Into a warmer air: a moment more,
Our feet were soft in flowers. There was store
Of newest joys upon that alp. Sometimes
A scent of violets, and blossoming limes,
Loiter'd around us; then of honey cells,
Made delicate from all white-flower bells;
And once, above the edges of our nest,
An arch face peep'd,an Oread as I guess'd.

"Why did I dream that sleep o'er-power'd me
In midst of all this heaven? Why not see,
Far off, the shadows of his pinions dark,
And stare them from me? But no, like a spark
That needs must die, although its little beam
Reflects upon a diamond, my sweet dream
Fell into nothinginto stupid sleep.
And so it was, until a gentle creep,
A careful moving caught my waking ears,
And up I started: Ah! my sighs, my tears,
My clenched hands;for lo! the poppies hung
Dew-dabbled on their stalks, the ouzel sung
A heavy ditty, and the sullen day
Had chidden herald Hesperus away,
With leaden looks: the solitary breeze
Bluster'd, and slept, and its wild self did teaze
With wayward melancholy; and r thought,
Mark me, Peona! that sometimes it brought
Faint fare-thee-wells, and sigh-shrilled adieus!
Away I wander'dall the pleasant hues
Of heaven and earth had faded: deepest shades
Were deepest dungeons; heaths and sunny glades
Were full of pestilent light; our taintless rills
Seem'd sooty, and o'er-spread with upturn'd gills
Of dying fish; the vermeil rose had blown
In frightful scarlet, and its thorns out-grown
Like spiked aloe. If an innocent bird
Before my heedless footsteps stirr'd, and stirr'd
In little journeys, I beheld in it
A disguis'd demon, missioned to knit
My soul with under darkness; to entice
My stumblings down some monstrous precipice:
Therefore I eager followed, and did curse
The disappointment. Time, that aged nurse,
Rock'd me to patience. Now, thank gentle heaven!
These things, with all their comfortings, are given
To my down-sunken hours, and with thee,
Sweet sister, help to stem the ebbing sea
Of weary life."

         Thus ended he, and both
Sat silent: for the maid was very loth
To answer; feeling well that breathed words
Would all be lost, unheard, and vain as swords
Against the enchased crocodile, or leaps
Of grasshoppers against the sun. She weeps,
And wonders; struggles to devise some blame;
To put on such a look as would say, Shame
On this poor weakness! but, for all her strife,
She could as soon have crush'd away the life
From a sick dove. At length, to break the pause,
She said with trembling chance: "Is this the cause?
This all? Yet it is strange, and sad, alas!
That one who through this middle earth should pass
Most like a sojourning demi-god, and leave
His name upon the harp-string, should achieve
No higher bard than simple maidenhood,
Singing alone, and fearfully,how the blood
Left his young cheek; and how he used to stray
He knew not where; and how he would say, nay,
If any said 'twas love: and yet 'twas love;
What could it be but love? How a ring-dove
Let fall a sprig of yew tree in his path;
And how he died: and then, that love doth scathe,
The gentle heart, as northern blasts do roses;
And then the ballad of his sad life closes
With sighs, and an alas!Endymion!
Be rather in the trumpet's mouth,anon
Among the winds at largethat all may hearken!
Although, before the crystal heavens darken,
I watch and dote upon the silver lakes
Pictur'd in western cloudiness, that takes
The semblance of gold rocks and bright gold sands,
Islands, and creeks, and amber-fretted strands
With horses prancing o'er them, palaces
And towers of amethyst,would I so tease
My pleasant days, because I could not mount
Into those regions? The Morphean fount
Of that fine element that visions, dreams,
And fitful whims of sleep are made of, streams
Into its airy channels with so subtle,
So thin a breathing, not the spider's shuttle,
Circled a million times within the space
Of a swallow's nest-door, could delay a trace,
A tinting of its quality: how light
Must dreams themselves be; seeing they're more slight
Than the mere nothing that engenders them!
Then wherefore sully the entrusted gem
Of high and noble life with thoughts so sick?
Why pierce high-fronted honour to the quick
For nothing but a dream?" Hereat the youth
Look'd up: a conflicting of shame and ruth
Was in his plaited brow: yet his eyelids
Widened a little, as when Zephyr bids
A little breeze to creep between the fans
Of careless butterflies: amid his pains
He seem'd to taste a drop of manna-dew,
Full palatable; and a colour grew
Upon his cheek, while thus he lifeful spake.

"Peona! ever have I long'd to slake
My thirst for the world's praises: nothing base,
No merely slumberous phantasm, could unlace
The stubborn canvas for my voyage prepar'd
Though now 'tis tatter'd; leaving my bark bar'd
And sullenly drifting: yet my higher hope
Is of too wide, too rainbow-large a scope,
To fret at myriads of earthly wrecks.
Wherein lies happiness? In that which becks
Our ready minds to fellowship divine,
A fellowship with essence; till we shine,
Full alchemiz'd, and free of space. Behold
The clear religion of heaven! Fold
A rose leaf round thy finger's taperness,
And soothe thy lips: hist, when the airy stress
Of music's kiss impregnates the free winds,
And with a sympathetic touch unbinds
Eolian magic from their lucid wombs:
Then old songs waken from enclouded tombs;
Old ditties sigh above their father's grave;
Ghosts of melodious prophecyings rave
Round every spot where trod Apollo's foot;
Bronze clarions awake, and faintly bruit,
Where long ago a giant battle was;
And, from the turf, a lullaby doth pass
In every place where infant Orpheus slept.
Feel we these things?that moment have we stept
Into a sort of oneness, and our state
Is like a floating spirit's. But there are
Richer entanglements, enthralments far
More self-destroying, leading, by degrees,
To the chief intensity: the crown of these
Is made of love and friendship, and sits high
Upon the forehead of humanity.
All its more ponderous and bulky worth
Is friendship, whence there ever issues forth
A steady splendour; but at the tip-top,
There hangs by unseen film, an orbed drop
Of light, and that is love: its influence,
Thrown in our eyes, genders a novel sense,
At which we start and fret; till in the end,
Melting into its radiance, we blend,
Mingle, and so become a part of it,
Nor with aught else can our souls interknit
So wingedly: when we combine therewith,
Life's self is nourish'd by its proper pith,
And we are nurtured like a pelican brood.
Aye, so delicious is the unsating food,
That men, who might have tower'd in the van
Of all the congregated world, to fan
And winnow from the coming step of time
All chaff of custom, wipe away all slime
Left by men-slugs and human serpentry,
Have been content to let occasion die,
Whilst they did sleep in love's elysium.
And, truly, I would rather be struck dumb,
Than speak against this ardent listlessness:
For I have ever thought that it might bless
The world with benefits unknowingly;
As does the nightingale, upperched high,
And cloister'd among cool and bunched leaves
She sings but to her love, nor e'er conceives
How tiptoe Night holds back her dark-grey hood.
Just so may love, although 'tis understood
The mere commingling of passionate breath,
Produce more than our searching witnesseth:
What I know not: but who, of men, can tell
That flowers would bloom, or that green fruit would swell
To melting pulp, that fish would have bright mail,
The earth its dower of river, wood, and vale,
The meadows runnels, runnels pebble-stones,
The seed its harvest, or the lute its tones,
Tones ravishment, or ravishment its sweet,
If human souls did never kiss and greet?

"Now, if this earthly love has power to make
Men's being mortal, immortal; to shake
Ambition from their memories, and brim
Their measure of content; what merest whim,
Seems all this poor endeavour after fame,
To one, who keeps within his stedfast aim
A love immortal, an immortal too.
Look not so wilder'd; for these things are true,
And never can be born of atomies
That buzz about our slumbers, like brain-flies,
Leaving us fancy-sick. No, no, I'm sure,
My restless spirit never could endure
To brood so long upon one luxury,
Unless it did, though fearfully, espy
A hope beyond the shadow of a dream.
My sayings will the less obscured seem,
When I have told thee how my waking sight
Has made me scruple whether that same night
Was pass'd in dreaming. Hearken, sweet Peona!
Beyond the matron-temple of Latona,
Which we should see but for these darkening boughs,
Lies a deep hollow, from whose ragged brows
Bushes and trees do lean all round athwart,
And meet so nearly, that with wings outraught,
And spreaded tail, a vulture could not glide
Past them, but he must brush on every side.
Some moulder'd steps lead into this cool cell,
Far as the slabbed margin of a well,
Whose patient level peeps its crystal eye
Right upward, through the bushes, to the sky.
Oft have I brought thee flowers, on their stalks set
Like vestal primroses, but dark velvet
Edges them round, and they have golden pits:
'Twas there I got them, from the gaps and slits
In a mossy stone, that sometimes was my seat,
When all above was faint with mid-day heat.
And there in strife no burning thoughts to heed,
I'd bubble up the water through a reed;
So reaching back to boy-hood: make me ships
Of moulted feathers, touchwood, alder chips,
With leaves stuck in them; and the Neptune be
Of their petty ocean. Oftener, heavily,
When love-lorn hours had left me less a child,
I sat contemplating the figures wild
Of o'er-head clouds melting the mirror through.
Upon a day, while thus I watch'd, by flew
A cloudy Cupid, with his bow and quiver;
So plainly character'd, no breeze would shiver
The happy chance: so happy, I was fain
To follow it upon the open plain,
And, therefore, was just going; when, behold!
A wonder, fair as any I have told
The same bright face I tasted in my sleep,
Smiling in the clear well. My heart did leap
Through the cool depth.It moved as if to flee
I started up, when lo! refreshfully,
There came upon my face, in plenteous showers,
Dew-drops, and dewy buds, and leaves, and flowers,
Wrapping all objects from my smothered sight,
Bathing my spirit in a new delight.
Aye, such a breathless honey-feel of bliss
Alone preserved me from the drear abyss
Of death, for the fair form had gone again.
Pleasure is oft a visitant; but pain
Clings cruelly to us, like the gnawing sloth
On the deer's tender haunches: late, and loth,
'Tis scar'd away by slow returning pleasure.
How sickening, how dark the dreadful leisure
Of weary days, made deeper exquisite,
By a fore-knowledge of unslumbrous night!
Like sorrow came upon me, heavier still,
Than when I wander'd from the poppy hill:
And a whole age of lingering moments crept
Sluggishly by, ere more contentment swept
Away at once the deadly yellow spleen.
Yes, thrice have I this fair enchantment seen;
Once more been tortured with renewed life.
When last the wintry gusts gave over strife
With the conquering sun of spring, and left the skies
Warm and serene, but yet with moistened eyes
In pity of the shatter'd infant buds,
That time thou didst adorn, with amber studs,
My hunting cap, because I laugh'd and smil'd,
Chatted with thee, and many days exil'd
All torment from my breast;'twas even then,
Straying about, yet, coop'd up in the den
Of helpless discontent,hurling my lance
From place to place, and following at chance,
At last, by hap, through some young trees it struck,
And, plashing among bedded pebbles, stuck
In the middle of a brook,whose silver ramble
Down twenty little falls, through reeds and bramble,
Tracing along, it brought me to a cave,
Whence it ran brightly forth, and white did lave
The nether sides of mossy stones and rock,
'Mong which it gurgled blythe adieus, to mock
Its own sweet grief at parting. Overhead,
Hung a lush screen of drooping weeds, and spread
Thick, as to curtain up some wood-nymph's home.
"Ah! impious mortal, whither do I roam?"
Said I, low voic'd: "Ah whither! 'Tis the grot
Of Proserpine, when Hell, obscure and hot,
Doth her resign; and where her tender hands
She dabbles, on the cool and sluicy sands:
Or 'tis the cell of Echo, where she sits,
And babbles thorough silence, till her wits
Are gone in tender madness, and anon,
Faints into sleep, with many a dying tone
Of sadness. O that she would take my vows,
And breathe them sighingly among the boughs,
To sue her gentle ears for whose fair head,
Daily, I pluck sweet flowerets from their bed,
And weave them dyinglysend honey-whispers
Round every leaf, that all those gentle lispers
May sigh my love unto her pitying!
O charitable echo! hear, and sing
This ditty to her!tell her"so I stay'd
My foolish tongue, and listening, half afraid,
Stood stupefied with my own empty folly,
And blushing for the freaks of melancholy.
Salt tears were coming, when I heard my name
Most fondly lipp'd, and then these accents came:
Endymion! the cave is secreter
Than the isle of Delos. Echo hence shall stir
No sighs but sigh-warm kisses, or light noise
Of thy combing hand, the while it travelling cloys
And trembles through my labyrinthine hair."
At that oppress'd I hurried in.Ah! where
Are those swift moments? Whither are they fled?
I'll smile no more, Peona; nor will wed
Sorrow the way to death, but patiently
Bear up against it: so farewel, sad sigh;
And come instead demurest meditation,
To occupy me wholly, and to fashion
My pilgrimage for the world's dusky brink.
No more will I count over, link by link,
My chain of grief: no longer strive to find
A half-forgetfulness in mountain wind
Blustering about my ears: aye, thou shalt see,
Dearest of sisters, what my life shall be;
What a calm round of hours shall make my days.
There is a paly flame of hope that plays
Where'er I look: but yet, I'll say 'tis naught
And here I bid it die. Have not I caught,
Already, a more healthy countenance?
By this the sun is setting; we may chance
Meet some of our near-dwellers with my car."

This said, he rose, faint-smiling like a star
Through autumn mists, and took Peona's hand:
They stept into the boat, and launch'd from land.
ENDYMION.
A Romance.

"The stretched metre of an antique song." ~
Shakspeare's Sonnets.
INSCRIBED,
With Every Feeling Of Pride and Regret
and With "A Bowed Mind,"
To the Memory of
The Most English of Poets Except Shakspeare,
THOMAS CHATTERON.
------------------------

(line 144): A lovely allusion to the story of Apollo's nine years' sojourn on earth as the herdsman of Admetus, when banished from Olympus for killing the Cyclops who had forged the thunder-bolts wherewith AEsculapius had been slain.

(line 232): It was the Hymn to Pan beginning here that the young poet when engaged in the composition of Endymion was induced to recite in the presence of Wordsworth, on the 28th of December 1817, at Haydon's house. Leigh Hunt records that the elder poet pronounced it "a very pretty piece of paganism."

(line 319): Doubtless meant to refer specially to the Elgin marbles.

(line 347): The reference here is to the passage from the second Book of the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius, beginning at verse 674 ... which Shelley had in mind when (Prose Works, Vol. 3, p. 56) he alluded to the Apollo "so finely described by Apollonius Rhodius when the dazzling radiance of his beautiful limbs suddenly shone over the dark Euxine."

__ note found before the Preface of Endymion, in the Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895. ...,

'In Woodhouse's copy of Endymion there is a note against the passage "so I will begin" &c., line 39, Book I, to the effect that the poem was begun in the spring of 1817 and finished in the winter of 1817-18; and in the title-page he has inserted April before 1818. The statement corresponds with Keats's own record of May 1817, that he was busying himself at Margate with the commencement of Endymion.'

PREFACE.
Knowing within myself the manner in which this Poem has been produced, it is not without a feeling of regret that I make it public.
What manner I mean, will be quite clear to the reader, who must soon perceive great inexperience, immaturity, and every error denoting a feverish attempt, rather than a deed accomplished. The two first books, and indeed the two last, I feel sensible are not of such completion as to warrant their passing the press; nor should they if I thought a year's castigation would do them any good; -- it will not: the foundations are too sandy. It is just that this youngster should die away: a sad thought for me, if I had not some hope that while it is dwindling I may be plotting, and fitting myself for verses fit to live.
This may be speaking too presumptuously, and may deserve a punishment: but no feeling man will be forward to inflict it: he will leave me alone, with the conviction that there is not a fiercer hell than the failure in a great object. This is not written with the least atom of purpose to forestall criticisms of course, but from the desire I have to conciliate men who are competent to look, and who do look with a zealous eye, to the honor of English literature.
The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in a ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted: thence proceeds mawkishness, and all the thousand bitters which those men I speak of must necessarily taste in going over the following pages.
I hope I have not in too late a day touched the beautiful mythology of Greece, and dulled its brightness: for I wish to try once more, before I bid it farewell.
Teignmouth, April 10, 1818.
[footnote] Woodhouse notes -- "[for I wish to try once more,] This alluded to his then intention of writing a poem on the fall of Hyperion. He commenced this poem: but, thanks to the critics who fell foul of this work, he discontinued it. The fragment was published in 1820." by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, Endymion - Book I

89:

Book IV: The Book of Partings



Eagerly, spurred by Ares swift in their souls to the war-cry,
All now pressed to their homes for the food of their strength in the battle.
Ilion turned her thoughts in a proud expectancy seaward
Waiting to hear the sounds that she loved and the cry of the mellay.
Now to their citadel Priams sons returned with their father,
Now from the gates Talthybius issued grey in his chariot;
But in the halls of Anchises Aeneas not doffing his breastpiece
Hastily ate of the corn of his country, cakes of the millet
Doubled with wild-deers flesh, from the quiet hands of Cresa.
She, as he ate, with her calm eyes watching him smiled on her husband:
Ever thou hastest to battle, O warrior, ever thou fightest
Far in the front of the ranks and thou seekest out Locrian Ajax,
Turnest thy ear to the roar for the dangerous shout of Tydides;
There, once heard, leaving all thou drivest, O stark in thy courage.
Yet am I blest among women who tremble not, left in thy mansion,
Quiet at old Anchises feet when I see thee in vision
Sole with the shafts hissing round thee and say to my quivering spirit,
Now he is striking at Ajax, now he has met Diomedes.
Such are the mighty twain who are ever near to protect thee,
Phoebus, the Thunderers son, and thy mother, gold Aphrodite;
Such are the Fates that demand thee, O destined head of the future.
But though my thoughts for their own are not troubled, always, Aeneas,
Sore is my heart with pity for other Ilian women
Who in this battle are losing their children and well-loved husbands,
Brothers too dear, for the eyes that are wet, for the hearts that are silent.
Will not this war then end that thunders for ever round Troya?
But to Cresa the hero answered, the son of Anchises:
Surely the gods protect, yet is Death too always mighty.
Most in his shadowy envy he strikes at the brave and the lovely,
Grudging works to abridge their days and to widow the sunlight.
Most, disappointed, he rages against the beloved of Heaven;
Striking their lives through their hearts he mows down their loves and their pleasures.
Truly thou sayst, thou needst not to fear for my life in the battle;
Ever for thine I fear lest he find thee out in his anger,
Missing my head in the fight, when he comes here crossed in his godhead.
Yet shall Phoebus protect and my mother, gold Aphrodite.
But to Aeneas answered the tranquil lips of Cresa:
So may it be that I go before thee, seeing, Aeneas,
Over my dying eyes thy lips bend down for the parting.
Blissfullest end is this for a woman here mid earths sorrows;
Afterwards there we hope that the hands shall join which were parted.
So she spoke, not knowing the gods: but Aeneas departing
Clasped his fathers knees, the ancient mighty Anchises.
Bless me, my father; I go to the battle. Strong with thy blessing
Even today may I hurl down Ajax, slay Diomedes,
And on the morrow gaze on the empty beaches of Troas.
Troubled and joyless, nought replying to warlike Aeneas
Long Anchises sat unmoving, silent, sombre,
Gazing into his soul with eyes that were closed to the sunlight.
Prosper, Aeneas, slowly he answered him, son of a goddess,
Prosper, Aeneas; and if for Troy some doom is preparing,
Suffer always the will of the gods with a piety constant.
Only they will what Necessity fashions compelled by the Silence.
Labour and war she has given to man as the law of his transience.
Work; she shall give thee the crown of thy deeds or their ending appointed,
Whether glorious thou pass or in silent shadows forgotten.
But what thy mother commands perform ever, loading thy vessels.
Who can know what the gods have hid with the mist of our hopings?
Then from the house of his fathers Aeneas rapidly striding
Came to the city echoing now with the wheels of the chariots,
Clanging with arms and astream with the warlike tramp of her thousands.
Fast through the press he strode and men turning knew Aeneas,
Greatened in heart and went on with loftier thoughts towards battle.
He through the noise and the crowd to Antenors high-built mansion
Striding came, and he turned to its courts and the bronze of its threshold
Trod which had suffered the feet of so many princes departed.
But as he crossed its brazen square from the hall there came running,
Leaping up light to his feet and laughing with sudden pleasure,
Eurus the youngest son of Polydamas. Clasping the fatal
War-hardened hand with a palm that was smooth as a maidens or infants,
Well art thou come, Aeneas, he said, and good fortune has sent thee!
Now I shall go to the field; thou wilt speak with my grandsire Antenor
And he shall hear thee though chid by his heart reluctant. Rejoicing
I shall go forth in thy car or warring by Penthesilea,
Famous, give to her grasp the spear that shall smite down Achilles.
Smiling answered Aeneas, Surely will, Eurus, thy prowess
Carry thee far to the front; thou shalt fight with Epeus and slay him.
Who shall say that this hand was not chosen to pierce Menelaus?
But for a while with the ball should it rather strive, O hero,
Till in the play and the wrestle its softness is trained for the smiting.
Eagerly Eurus answered, But they have told me, Aeneas,
This is the last of our fights; for today will Penthesilea
Meet Achilles in battle and slay him ending the Argives.
Then shall I never have mixed in this war that is famous for ever.
What shall I say when my hairs are white like the aged Antenors?
Men will ask, And what were thy deeds in the warfare Titanic?
Whom didst thou slay of the Argives, son of Polydamas, venging
Bravely thy father? Then must I say, I lurked in the city.
I was too young and only ascending the Ilian ramparts
Saw the return or the flight, but never the deed and the triumph.
Friend, if you take me not forth, I shall die of grief ere the sunset.
Plucking the hand of Aeneas he drew him into the mansion
Vast; and over the floor of the spacious hall they hastened
Laughing, the gracious child and the mighty hero and statesman,
Flower of a present stock and the burdened star of the future.
Meanwhile girt by his sons and the sons of his sons in his chamber
Cried to the remnants left of his blood the aged Antenor.
Hearken you who are sprung from my loins and children, their offspring!
None shall again go forth to the fight who is kin to Antenor.
Weighed with my curse he shall go and the spear-points athirst of the Argives
Meet him wroth; he shall die in his sin and his name be forgotten.
Oft have I sent forth my blood to be spilled in vain in the battle
Fighting for Troy and her greatness earned by my toil and my fathers.
Now all the debt has been paid; she rejects us driven by the immortals.
Much do we owe to the mother who bore us, much to our country;
But at the last our life is ours and the gods and the futures.
Gather the gold of my house and our kin, O ye sons of Antenor.
Warned by a voice in my soul I will go forth tonight from this city
Fleeing the doom and bearing my treasures; the ships shall receive them
Gathered, new-keeled by my care and the gods, in the narrow Propontis.
Over Gods waters guided, treading the rage of Poseidon,
Bellying out with their sails let them cleave to the untravelled distance
Oceans crests and resign to their Fates the doomed and the evil.
So Antenor spoke and his children heard him in silence;
Awed by his voice and the dread of his curse they obeyed, though in sorrow.
Halamus only replied to his father: Dire are the white hairs
Reverend, loved, of a father, dreadful his curse to his children.
Yet in my heart there is one who cries, tis the voice of my country,
She for whose sake I would be in Tartarus tortured for ever.
Pardon me then, if thou wilt; if the gods can, then let them pardon.
For I will sleep in the dust of Troy embracing her ashes,
There where Polydamas sleeps and the many comrades I cherished.
So let me go to the darkness remembered or wholly forgotten,
Yet having fought for my country, true in my fall to my nation.
Then in his aged wrath to Halamus answered Antenor:
Go then and perish doomed with the doomed and the hated of heaven;
Nor shall the gods forgive thee dying nor shall thy father.
Out from the chamber Halamus strode with grief in his bosom
Wrestling with wrath and he went to his doom nor looked back at his dear ones.
Crossing the hall the son of Antenor and son of Anchises
Met in the paths of their fates where they knotted and crossed for the parting,
One with the curse of the gods and his sire fast wending to Hades,
Fortunate, blessed the other; yet equal their minds were and virtues.
Cypris son to the Antenorid: Thee I have sought and thy brothers,
Bough of Antenor; sore is our need today of thy counsels,
Endless our want of their arms that are strong and their hearts that recoil not
Meeting myriads stark with the spear in unequal battle.
Halamus answered him: I will go forth to the palace of Priam,
There where Troy yet lives and far from the halls of my fathers;
There will I speak, not here. For my kin they repose in the mansion
Sitting unarmed in their halls while their brothers fall in the battle.
Eurus eagerly answered the hero: Me rather, therefore,
Take to the fight with you; I will make war on the Greeks for my uncles;
One for all I will fill their place in the shock with the foemen.
But from his chamber-door Antenor heard and rebuked him:
Scamp of my heart, thou torment! in to thy chamber and rest there,
Bound with cords lest thou cease, thou flutter-brain, scourged into quiet;
So shall thy lust of the fight be healed and our mansion grow tranquil.
Chid by the old man Eurus slunk from the hall discontented,
Yet with a dubious smile like a moonbeam lighting his beauty.
But to Antenor the Dardanid born from the white Aphrodite:
Late the Antenorids learn to flinch from the spears of the Argives,
Even this boy of their blood has Polydamas heart and his valour.
Nor should a life that was honoured and noble be stained in its ending.
Nay, then, the mood of a child would shame a grey-headed wisdom,
If for the fault of the people virtue and Troy were forgotten.
For, though the people hear us not, yet are we bound to our nation:
Over the people the gods are; over a man is his country;
This is the deity first adored by the hearths of the noble.
For by our nations will we are ruled in the home and the battle
And for our nations weal we offer our lives and our childrens.
Not by their own wills led nor their passions men rise to their manhood,
Selfishly seeking their good, but the gods and the States and the fathers.
Wroth Antenor replied to the warlike son of Anchises:
Great is the soul in thee housed and stern is thy will, O Aeneas;
Onward it moves undismayed to its goal though a city be ruined.
They too guide thee who deepest see of the ageless immortals,
One with her heart and one in his spirit, Cypris and Phoebus.
Yet might a man not knowing this think as he watched thee, Aeneas,
Spurring Priams race to its fall he endangers this city,
Hoping to build a throne out of ruins sole in the Troad.
I too have gods who warn me and lead, Athene and Hera.
Not as the ways of other mortals are theirs who are guided,
They whose eyes are the gods and they walk by a light that is secret.
Coldly Aeneas made answer, stirred into wrath by the taunting:
High wert thou always, nurtured in wisdom, ancient Antenor.
Walk then favoured and led, yet watch lest passion and evil
Feign auguster names and mimic the gait of the deathless.
And with a smile on his lips but wrath in his bosom answered,
Wisest of men but with wisdom of mortals, aged Antenor:
Led or misled we are mortals and walk by a light that is given;
Most they err who deem themselves most from error excluded.
Nor shalt thou hear in this battle the shout of the men of my lineage
Holding the Greeks as once and driving back Fate from their country.
His alone will be heard for a space while the stern gods are patient
Even now who went forth a victim self-offered to Hades,
Last whom their wills have plucked from the fated house of Antenor.
They now with wrath in their bosoms sundered for ever and parted.
Forth from the halls of Antenor Aeneas rapidly striding
Passed once more through the city hurrying now with its car-wheels,
Filled with a mightier rumour of war and the march of its thousands,
Till at Troys upward curve he found the Antenorid crestward
Mounting the steep incline that climbed to the palace of Priam
White in her proud and armed citadel. Silent, ascending
Hardly their feet had attempted the hill when behind them they hearkened
Sweet-tongued a call and the patter and hurry of light-running sandals,
Turning they beheld with a flush on his cheeks and a light on his lashes
Challenging mutely and pleading the boyish beauty of Eurus.
Racer to mischief, said Halamus, couldst thou not sit in thy chamber?
Surely cords and the rod await thee, Eurus, returning.
Answered with laughter the child, I have broken through ranks of the fighters,
Dived under chariot-wheels to arrive here and I return not.
I too for counsel of battle have come to the palace of Priam.
Burdened with thought they mounted slowly the road of their fathers
Breasting the Ilian hill where Laomedons mansion was seated,
They from the crest down-gazing saw their countrys housetops
Under their feet and heard the murmur of Troya below them.
But in the palace of Priam coming and going of house-thralls
Filled all the corridors; smoke from the kitchens curled in its plenty
Rich with savour and breathed from the labouring lungs of Hephaestus.
Far in the halls and the chambers voices travelled and clustered,
Anklets jangling ran and sang back from doorway to doorway
Mocking with music of speed and its laughters the haste of the happy,
Sound came of arms, there was tread of the great, there were murmurs of women,
Voices glad of the doomed in Laomedons marvellous mansion.
Six were the halls of its splendour, a hundred and one were its chambers
Lifted on high upon columns that soared like the thoughts of its dwellers,
Thoughts that transcended the earth though they sank down at last into ashes;
So had Apollo dreamed to his lyre; and its tops were a grandeur
Domed, as if seeking to roof mens lives with a hint of the heavens;
Marble his columns rose and with marble his roofs were appointed,
Conquered wealth of the world in its largeness suffered, supporting
Purities of marble, glories of gold. Nor only of matter
Blazed there the brutal pomps, but images mystic or mighty
Crowded ceiling and wall, a work that the gods even admire
Hardly believing that forms like these were imagined by mortals
Here upon earth where sight is a blur and the soul lives encumbered.
Scrolls that remembered in gems the thoughts austere of the ancients
Bordered the lines of the stone and the forms of serpent and Naiad
Ran in relief on those walls of pride in the palace of Priam
Mingled with Dryads who tempted and fled and Satyrs who followed,
Sports of the nymphs in the sea and the woods and their meetings with mortals,
Sessions and battles of Trojan demigods, deaths that were famous,
Wars and loves of men and the deeds of the golden immortals.
Pillars sculptured with gods and with giants soared up from bases
Lion-carved or were seated on bulls and bore into grandeur
Amply those halls where they soared, or in lordliness slenderly fashioned,
Dressed in flowers and reeds like virgins standing on Ida,
Guarded the screens of stone and divided alcove and chamber.
Ivory carved and broidered robes and the riches of Indus
Cherished in sandalwood triumphed and teemed in the palace of Priam;
Doors that were carven and fragrant sheltered the joys of its princes.
Here in a chamber of luminous privacy Paris was arming.
Near him moved Helen, a whiteness divine, and intent on her labour
Fastened his cuirass, bound the greaves and settled the hauberk
Thrilling his limbs with her touch that was heaven to the yearning of mortals.
She with her hands of delight caressing the senseless metal
Pressed her lips to his brilliant armour; she bowed down, she whispered:
Cuirass, allowed by the gods, protect the beauty of Paris;
Keep for me that for which country was lost and my child and my brothers.
Yearning she bent to his feet, to the sandal-strings of her lover;
Then as she gazed up, changed grew her mood; for the Daemon within her
Rose that had banded Greece and was burning Troy into ashes.
Slowly a smile that was perfect and perilous over her beauty
Dawned like the sunlight on Paradise; strangely she looked on her lover.
So might a goddess have gazed as she played with the love of a mortal
Passing an hour on the earth ere she rose up white to Olympus.
So art thou winner, Paris, yet and thy spirit ascendant
Leads this Troy where thou wilt, O thou mighty one veiled in thy beauty.
First in the dance and the revel, first in the joy of the mellay,
Who would not leave for thy sake and repent it not country and homestead?
Winning thou reignest still over Troy, over Fate, over Helen.
Always so canst thou win? Has Death no claim on thy beauty,
Fate no scourge for thy sins? How the years have passed by in a glory,
Years of this heaven of the gods, O ravisher, since from my hearthstone
Seizing thou borest me compelled to thy ships and my joy on the waters.
Troy is enringed with the spears, her children fall and her glories,
Mighty souls of heroes have gone down prone to the darkness;
Thou and I abide! the mothers wail for our pleasure.
Wilt thou then keep me for ever, O son of Priam, in Troya?
Fate was my mother, they say, and Zeus for this hour begot me.
Art thou a god too, O hero, disguised in this robe of the mortal,
Brilliant, careless of death and of sin as if sure of thy rapture?
What then if Fate today were to lay her hands on thee, Paris?
Calmly he looked on the face of which Greece was enamoured, the body
For whose desire great Troy was a sacrifice, tranquil regarded
Lovely and dire on the lips he loved that smile of a goddess,
Saw the daughter of Zeus in the woman, yet was not shaken.
Temptress of Argos, he answered, thou snare for the world to be seized in,
Thou then hopst to escape! But the gods could not take thee, O Helen,
How then thy will that to mine is a captive, or how, though with battle,
He who has lost thee, unhappy, the Spartan, bright Menelaus?
All things yield to a man and Zeus is himself his accomplice
When like a god he wills without remorse or longing.
Thou on this earth art mine since I claimed thee beheld, not speaking,
But with thy lids that fell thou veiledst thy heart of compliance.
Then in whatever beyond I shall know how to take thee, O Helen,
Even as here upon earth I knew, in heaven as in Sparta;
I on Elysian fields will enjoy thee as now in the Troad.
Silent a moment she lingered like one who is lured by a music
Rapturous, heard by himself alone and his lover in heaven,
Then in her beauty compelling she rose up divine among women.
Yes, it is good, she cried, what the gods do and actions of mortals;
Good is this play of the world; it is good, the joy and the torture.
Praised be the hour of the gods when I wedded bright Menelaus!
Praised, more praised the keels that severed the seas towards Helen
Churning the senseless waves that knew not the bliss of their burden!
Praised to the end the hour when I passed through the doors of my husband
Laughing with joy in my heart for the arms that bore and enchained me!
Never can Death undo what life has done for us, Paris.
Nor, whatsoever betide, can the hour be unlived of our rapture.
This too is good that nations should meet in the shock of the battle,
Heroes be slain and a theme be made for the songs of the poets,
Songs that shall thrill with the name of Helen, the beauty of Paris.
Well is this also that empires should fall for the eyes of a woman;
Well that for Helen Hector ended, Memnon was slaughtered,
Strong Sarpedon fell and Troilus ceased in his boyhood.
Troy for Helen burning, her glory, her empire, her riches,
This is the sign of the gods and the type of things that are mortal.
Thou who art kin to the masters of heaven, unconstrained like thy kindred
High on this ancient stage of the Troad with gods for spectators
Play till the end thy part, O thou wondrous and beautiful actor:
Fight and slay the Greeks, my countrymen; victor returning
Take for reward of the play, thy delight of Argive Helen.
Force from my bosom a hint of the joy denied to the death-claimed,
Rob in the kiss of my lips a pang from the raptures of heaven.
Clasping him wholly her arms of desire were a girdle of madness,
Cestus divine of the dread Aphrodite. He with her kisses
Flushed like the gods with unearthly wine and rejoiced in his ruin.
Thus while they conversed now in this hour that was near to their parting
Last upon earth, a fleet-footed slavegirl came to the chamber:
Paris, thy father and mother desire thee; there in the strangers
Outer hall Aeneas and Halamus wait for thy coming.
So with the Argive he wended to Priams ample chamber
Far in Laomedons house where Troy looked upwards to Ida.
Priam and Hecuba there, the ancient grey-haired rulers,
Waiting him sat in their chairs of ivory calm in their greatness;
Hid in her robes at their feet lay Cassandra crouched from her visions.
Since, O my father, said Paris, thy thoughts have been with me, thy blessing
Surely shall help me today in my strife with the strength of Achilles.
Surely the gods shall obey in the end the might of our spirits,
Pallas and Hera, flame-sandalled Artemis, Zeus and Apollo.
Ever serve the immortal brightnesses man when he stands up
Firm with his will uplifted a steadfast flame towards the heavens,
Ares works in his heart and Hephaestus burns in his labour.
Priam replied to his son: Forewilled by the gods, Alexander,
All things happen on earth and yet we must strive who are mortals,
Knowing all vain, yet we strive; for our nature seizing us always
Drives like the flock that is herded and urged towards shambles or pasture.
So have the high gods fashioned these tools of their action and pleasure;
Failure and grief are their engines no less than the might of the victor;
They in the blow descend and resist in the sobs of the smitten.
Such are their goads that I too must walk in the paths that are common,
Even I who know must send for thee, moved by Cassandra.
Speak, O my child, since Apollo has willed it, once, and be silent.
But in her raiment hidden Cassandra answered her father:
No, for my heart has changed since I cried for him, vexed by Apollo.
Why should I speak? For who will believe me in Troy? who believed me
Ever in Troy or the world? Event and disaster approve me
Only, my comrades, not men in their thoughts, not my brothers and kinsmen.
All by their hopes are gladly deceived and grow wroth with the warner,
Half-blind prophets of hope entertained by the gods in the mortal!
Wiser blind, if nothing they saw or only the darkness.
I too once hoped when Apollo pursued me with love in his temple.
Round me already there gleamed the ray of the vision prophetic,
Thrill of that rapture I felt and the joy of the god in his seeing
Nor did I know that the knowledge of mortals is bound unto blindness.
Either only they walk mid the coloured dreams of the senses
Treading the greenness of earth and deeming the touch of things real,
Or if they see, by the curse of the gods their sight into falsehood
Easily turns and leads them more stumbling astray than the sightless.
So are we either blind in a darkness or dazzled by seeing.
Thus have the gods protected their purpose and baffled the sages;
Over the face of the Truth their shield of gold is extended.
But I deemed otherwise, urged by the Dreadful One, he who sits always
Veiled in us fighting the gods whom he uses. I cried to Apollo,
Give me thy vision sheer, not such as thou givst to thy prophets,
Troubled though luminous; clear be the vision and ruthless to error,
Far-darting god who art veiled by the sun and by death thou art shielded.
Then I shall know that thou lovest. He gave, alarmed and reluctant,
Driven by Fate and his heart; but I mocked him, I broke from my promise,
Courage fatal helping my heart to its ruin with laughter.
Always now I remember his face that grew tranquil and ruthless,
Hear the voice divine and implacable: Since thou deceivest
Even the gods and thou hast not feared to lie to Apollo,
Speak shalt thou henceforth only truth, but none shall believe thee:
Scorned in thy words, rejected yet more for their bitter fulfilment,
Scourged by the gods thou must speak though thy sick heart yearns to be silent.
For in this play thou hast dared to play with the masters of heaven,
Girl, it is thou who hast lost; thy voice is mine and thy bosom.
Since then all I foreknow; therefore anguish is mine for my portion:
Since then all whom I love must perish slain by my loving.
Even of that I denied him, violent force shall bereave me
Grasped mid the flames of my city and shouts of her merciless victors.
But to Cassandra answered gently the voice of her brother:
Sister of mine, afflicted and seized by the dreadful Apollo,
All whose eyes can pierce that curtain, gaze into dimness;
This they have glimpsed and that they imagine deceived by their natures
Seeing the forms in their hearts of dreadful things and of joyous;
As in the darkness our eyes are deceived by shadows uncertain,
Such is their sight who rend the veil that the dire gods have woven.
Busy our hearts are weaving thoughts and images always:
After their kind they see what here we call truth. So thy nature
Tender and loving, plagued by this war and its fears for thy loved ones,
Sees calamity everywhere; when the event like the vision
Seems, as in every war the beloved must fall and the cherished,
Then the heart cries, It has happened as all shall happen I mourn for.
All that was bright it misses and only seizes on sorrow.
Dear, on the brightness look and if thou must prophesy, tell us
Rather of great Pelides slain by my spear in the onset.
But with a voice of grief the sister answered her brother:
Yes, he shall fall and his slayer too perish and Troy with his slayer.
But in his spirit rejoicing Paris answered Cassandra:
Let but this word come true; for the rest, the gods shall avert it.
Look once more, O Cassandra, and comfort the heart of thy mother,
See, O seer, my safe return with the spoils of Achilles.
And with a voice of grief the sister answered her brother:
Thou shalt return for thy hour while Troy yet stands in the sunshine.
But in his spirit exultant Paris seizing the omen:
Hearst thou, my father, my mother? She who still prophesied evil
Now perceives of our night this dawning. Yet is it grievous,
Since through a heart that we love must be pierced the heart of Achilles.
Fate, with this evil satisfied, turn in the end from Troya.
Bless me, my father, and thou, O Hecuba, mother long-patient,
Still forgive that thy children have fallen for Helen and Paris.
Tenderly yearning his mother drew him towards her and murmured:
All for thy hyacinth curls was forgiven even from childhood
And for thy sunlit looks, O wonder of charm, O Paris.
Paris, my son, though Troy must fall, thy mother forgives thee,
Blessing the gods who have lent thee to me for a while in their sunshine.
Theirs are fate and result, but ours is the joy of our children;
Even the griefs are dear that come from their hands while they love us.
Fight and slay Achilles, the murderer dire of thy brothers;
Venging Hector return, my son, to the clasp of thy mother.
But in his calm august to Paris Priam the monarch:
Victor so mightst thou come, so gladden the heart of thy mother.
Then to the aged father of Paris Helen the Argive
Bright and immortal and sad like a star that grows near to the dawning
And on its pale companions looks who now fade from its vision:
Me too pardon and love, my parents, even Helen,
Cause of all bane and all death; but I came from the gods for this ruin
Born as a torch for the burning of empires, cursed with this beauty.
Nor have I known a fathers embrace, a mothers caresses,
But to the distant gods I was born and nursed as an alien
Here by earth from fear, not affection, compelled by the thunders.
Two are her monstrous births, from the Furies and from the immortals;
Either touching mortality suffers and bears not the contact.
I have been both, a monster of doom and a portent of beauty.
Slowly Priam the monarch answered to Argive Helen:
That which thou art the gods have made thee; thou couldst not be other:
That which thou didst, the gods have done; thou couldst not prevent them.
Who here shall blame or whom shall he pardon? Should not my people
Rail at me murmuring, Priam has lost what his fathers had gathered;
Cursed is this king by heaven and cursed who are born as his subjects?
Masked the high gods act; the doer is hid by his working.
Each of us bears his punishment, fruit of a seed thats forgotten;
Each of us curses his neighbour protecting his heart with illusions:
Therefore like children we blame each other and hate and are angry.
Take, my child, the joy of the sunshine won by thy beauty.
I who lodge on this earth as an alien bound by the body,
Wearing my sorrow even as I wear the imperial purple,
Praise yet the gods for my days that have seen thee at last in my ending.
Fitly Troy may cease having gazed on thy beauty, O Helen.
He became silent, he ceased from words. But Paris and Helen
Lightly went and gladly; pursuing their footsteps the mother,
Mother once of Troilus, mother once of Hector,
Stood at the door with her death in her eyes, nor returned from her yearning,
But as one after a vanishing sunbeam gazes in prison,
Gazed down the corridors after him, long who had passed from her vision.
Then in the silent chamber Cassandra seized by Apollo
Staggered erect and tossing her snow-white arms of affliction
Cried to the heavens in her pain; for the fierce god tortured her bosom:
Woe is me, woe for the guile and the bitter gift of Apollo!
Woe, thrice woe, for my birth in Troy and the lineage of Teucer!
So do you deal, O gods, with those who have served you and laboured,
Those who have borne for your sake the evil burden of greatness.
Blessed is he who holds mattock in hand or who bends oer the furrow
Taking no thought for the good of mankind, with no yearnings for knowledge.
Woe unto me for my wisdom which none shall value nor hearken!
Woe unto thee, O King, for thy strength which shall not deliver!
Better the eye that is sealed, more blest is the spirit thats feeble.
Vainly your hopes with iron Necessity struggle, O mortals.
Virtue shall lie in her pangs, for the gods have need of her torture;
Sin shall be scourged, though her deeds were compelled by the gods in their anger.
None shall avail in the end, the coward shall die and the hero.
Troy shall fall in her sin and her virtues shall not protect her;
Argos shall grow by her crimes till the gods shall destroy her for ever.
Now have I fruit of thy love, O Loxias, dreadful Apollo.
Woe is me, woe for the flame that approaches the house of my fathers!
Woe is me, woe for the hand of Ajax laid on my tresses!
Woe, thrice woe to him who shall ravish and him who shall cherish!
Woe for the ships that shall bound too swift oer the azure Aegean!
Woe for thy splendid shambles of hell, O Argive Mycenae!
Woe for the evil spouse and the house accursd of Atreus!
So with her voice of the swan she clanged out doom on the peoples,
Over the palace of Priam and over the armd nation
Marching resolved to the war in the pride of its centuries conquered,
Centuries slain by a single day of the anger of heaven.
Dim to the thoughts like a vision of Hades the luminous chamber
Grew; in his ivory chair King Priam sat like a shadow
Throned mid the ghosts of departed kings and forgotten empires.
But in his valiance careless and bli the the Priamid hastened
Seeking the pillared megaron wide where Deiphobus armoured
Waited his coming forth with the warlike chiefs of the Trojans.
Now as he passed by the halls of the women, the chambers that harboured
Daughters and wives of King Priam and wives of his sons and their playmates,
Niches of joy that were peopled with murmurs and sweet-tongued laughters,
Troubled like trees with their birds in a morning of sun and of shadow
Where in some garden of kings one walks with his heart in the sunshine,
Out from her door where she stood for him waiting Polyxena started,
Seized his hand and looked in his face and spoke to her brother.
Then not even the brilliant strength of Paris availed him;
Joyless he turned his face from her eyes of beauty and sorrow.
So it is come, the hour that I feared, and thou goest, O Paris,
Armed with the strength of Fate to strike at my heart in the battle;
For he is doomed and thou and I, a victim to Hades.
This thou preferrest and neither thy father could move nor thy mother
Burning with Troy in their palace, nor could thy country persuade thee,
Nor dost thou care for thy sisters happiness pierced by thy arrows.
Will she remember it all, my sister Helen, in Argos
Passing tranquil days with her husband, bright Menelaus,
Holding her child on her knees? But we shall lie joyless in Hades.
Paris replied: O sister Polyxena, blame me not wholly.
We by the gods are ensnared; for the pitiless white Aphrodite
Doing her will with us both compels this. Helpless our hearts are
And when she drives perforce must love, for death or for gladness:
Weighed in unequal scales she deals them to one or another.
Happy who holding his love can go down into bottomless Hades.
But to her brother replied in her anguish the daughter of Priam:
Evilly deal with my days the immortals happy in heaven;
Yes, I accuse the gods and I curse them who heed not our sorrow.
This they have done with me, forcing my heart to the love of a foeman,
One whose terrible hands have been stained with the blood of my brothers.
This now they do, they have taken the two whom I love beyond heaven,
Brother and husband, and drive to the fight to be slain by each other.
Nay, go thou forth; for thou canst not help it, nor I, nor can Helen.
Since I must die as a pageant to satisfy Zeus and his daughter,
Since now my heart must be borne as a victim bleeding to please them,
So let it be, let me deck myself and be bright for the altar.
Into her chamber she turned with her great eyes blind, unregarding;
He for a moment stood, then passed to the megaron slowly;
Dim was the light in his eyes and clouded his glorious beauty.
Meanwhile armed in the palace of Priam Penthesilea.
Near her her captains silent and mighty stood, from the Orient
Distant clouds of war, Surabdas and iron Surenas,
Pharatus planned like the hills, Somaranes, Valarus, Tauron,
High-crested Sumalus, Arithon, Sambus and Artavoruxes.
There too the princes of Phrygian Troya gathered for counsel
And with them Eurus came, Polydamas son, who most dearly
Loved was of all the Trojan boys by the glorious virgin.
She from her arming stayed to caress his curls and to chide him:
Eurus, forgotten of grace, dost thou gad like a stray in the city
Eager to mix with the armoured men and the chariots gliding?
High on the roofs wouldst thou watch the swaying speck that is battle?
Better to aim with the dart or seek with thy kind the palaestra;
So wilt thou sooner be part of this greatness rather than straining
Yearn from afar to the distance that veils the deeds of the mighty.
But with an anxious lure in his smile on her Eurus answered:
Not that remoteness to see have I come to the palace of Priam
Leaving the house of my fathers, but for the spear and the breastpiece.
Hast thou not promised me long I shall fight in thy car with Achilles?
Doubtful he eyed her, a lions cub at play in his beauty,
And mid the heroes who heard him laughter arose for a moment,
Yet with a sympathy stirred; they remembered the days of their childhood,
Thought of Troy still mighty, life in its rose-touched dawning
When they had longed for the clash of the fight and the burden of armour.
Glad, with the pride of the lioness watching her cub in the desert,
Couchant she lies with her paws before her and joys in his gambols,
Over the prey as he frisks and is careless, answered the virgin:
Younger than thou in my nation have mounted the steed and the war-car.
Eurus, arm; from under my shield thou shalt gaze at the Phthian,
Reaching my shafts for the cast from the rim of my car in the battle
Handle perhaps the spear that shall smite down the Phthian Achilles.
What sayst thou, Halamus? Were not such prowess a perfect beginning
Worthy Polydamas son and the warlike house of Antenor?
Halamus started and smiting his hand on the grief of his bosom,
Sombre replied and threatened with Fate the high-hearted virgin.
Virgin armipotent, wherefore mockst thou thy friend, though unwitting?
Nay, for the world will know at the end and my death cannot hide it,
Slain by a fathers curse we fight who are kin to Antenor.
Take not the boy in thy car, lest the Furies, Penthesilea,
Aim through the shield and the shielder to wreak the curse of the grandsire.
They will not turn nor repent for thy strength nor his delicate beauty.
Swiftly to Halamus answered the high-crested might of the virgin:
Curses leave lightly the lips when the soul of a man is in anger
Even as blessings easily crowd round the head that is cherished.
Yet have I never seen that a curse has sharpened a spear-point;
Never Death drew back from the doomed by the power of a blessing.
Valour and skill and chance are Fate and the gods and the Furies.
Give me the boy; a hero shall come back formed from the onset.
Do as thou wilt, replied Halamus; Fate shall guard or shall end him.
Then to the boy delighted and smiling-eyed and exultant
Cried with her voice like the call of heavens bugles waking the heroes,
Blown by the lips of gold-haired Valkyries, Penthesilea.
Go, find the spear, gird the sword, don the cuirass, child of the mighty.
Armed when thou standst on the plain of the Xanthus, field of thy fathers,
See that thou fight on this day like the comrade of Penthesilea.
Bud of a hero, gaze unalarmed in the eyes of Achilles.
Light as a hound released he ran to the hall of the armour
Where were the shields of the mighty, the arms of the mansion of Teucer;
There from the house-thralls he wrung the greaves and the cuirass and helmet
Troilus wore, the wonderful boy who, ere ripened his prowess,
Conquered the Greeks and drove to the ships and fought with Achilles.
These on his boyish limbs he donned and ran back exulting
Bearing spears and a sword and rejoiced in the clank on his armour.
Meanwhile Deiphobus, head of the mellay, moved by Aeneas
Opened the doors of their warlike debate to the strength of the virgin:
Well do I hope that our courage outwearying every opponent
Triumph shall lift to her ancient seat on the Pergaman turrets;
Clouds from Zeus come and pass; his sunshine eternal survives them.
Yet we are few in the fight and armoured nations besiege us.
Surging on Troy today a numberless foe well-captained
Hardly pushed back in shock after shock with the Myrmidon numbers
Swelled returns; they fight with a hope that broken refashion
Helpful skies and a man now leads them who conquers and slaughters,
One of the sons of the gods and armed by the gods for the struggle.
We unhelped save by Ares stern and the mystic Apollo
And but as mortals striving with stubborn mortal courage,
Hated and scorned and alone in the world, by the nations rejected,
Fight with the gods and mankind and Achilles and numbers against us
Keeping our country from death in this bitter hour of her fortunes.
Therefore have prudence and hardihood severed contending our counsels
Whether far out to fight on the seaward plain with the Argives
Or behind Xanthus the river impetuous friendly to Troya.
This my brother approves and the son of Antenor advises,
Prudent masters of war who prepare by defence their aggression.
But for myself from rashness I seek a more far-seeing wisdom,
Not behind vain defences choosing a tardy destruction,
Rather as Zeus with his spear of the lightning and chariot of tempest
Scatters and chases the heavy mass of the clouds through the heavens,
So would I hunt the Greeks through the plains to their lair by the Ocean,
Straight at the throat of my foeman so would I leap in the battle.
Swiftly to smite at the foe is prudence for armies outnumbered.
Then to the Dardanid answered the high-crested Penthesilea:
There where I find my foe I will fight him, whether by Xanthus
Or at the fosse of the ships where they crouch behind bulwarks for shelter,
Or if they dare by Scamander the higher marching on Troya.
Sternly approved her the Trojan, So should they fight who would triumph
Meeting the foe ere he move in his will to the clash of encounter.
But with his careless laughter the brilliant Priamid Paris:
Joy of the battle, joy of the tempest, joy of the gamble
Mated are in thy blood, O virgin, daughter of Ares.
Thou like the deathless wouldst have us combat, us who are human?
Come, let the gods do their will with us, Ares let lead and his daughter!
Always the blood is wiser and knows what is hid from the thinker.
Life and treasure and fame to cast on the wings of a moment,
Fiercer joy than this the gods have not given to mortals.
Highly to Paris the virgin armipotent Penthesilea,
Paris and Halamus, shafts of the war-god, fear not for Troya.
Not as a vaunt do I speak it, you gods who stern-thoughted watch us,
But in my vision of strength and the soul that is seated within me,
Not while I live and war shall the host of the Myrmidon fighters
Forcing the currents lave, as once they were wont, in Scamander
Vaunting their victor car-wheels red with the blood of the vanquished.
Then when I lie by some war-god slain on the fields of the Troad,
Fight again if you will behind high-banked fast-flowing Xanthus.
Halamus answered her, Never so by my will would I battle
Flinging Troy as a stake on the doubtful diceboard of Ares.
But you have willed it and so let it be; yet hearken my counsel.
Massed in the fight let us aim the storm of our spears at one greatness,
Mighty Pelides head who gives victory still to the Argives.
Easy the Greeks to destroy lay Achilles once slain on the Troad,
But if the Peleid lives the fire shall yet finish with Troya.
Join then Orestes speed to the stubborn might of Aeneas,
Paris fatal shafts and the missiles of Penthesilea.
Others meanwhile, a puissant screen of our bravest and strongest,
Fighting shall hold back Pylos and Argolis, Crete and the Locrian.
Thou, Deiphobus, front the bronze-clad stern Diomedes,
I with Polydamas spear will dare to restrain and discourage
Ajax feet though they yearn for pursuit and are hungry for swiftness.
Knot of retreat behind let some strong experienced captain
Stand with our younger levies guarding the fords of the Xanthus,
Fortify the wavering line and dawn as fresh strength on the wearied.
Then if the fierce gods prevail we shall perish not driven like cattle
Over the plains, but draw back sternly and slowly to Troya.
Answered the Priamid, Wise is thy counsel, branch of Antenor.
Chaff are the southern Achaians, only the hardihood Hellene,
Only the savage speed of the Locrian rescues their legions.
Marshal we so this field. Stand, Halamus, covering Xanthus,
Helping our need when the foe press hard on the Ilian fighters.
Paris, my brother, thou with our masses aid the Eoan.
I with Aeneas single spear am enough for the Argive.
Gladlier Halamus cried would I fight in the front with the Locrian!
This too let be as you will; for one is the glory and service
Fighting in front or guarding behind the fate of our country.
So in their thoughts they ordered battle. Meanwhile Eurus
Gleaming returned and the room grew glad with the light of his armour.
Glad were its conscious walls of that vision of boyhood and valour;
Gods of the household sighed and smiled at his courage and beauty,
They who had seen so many pass over their floors and return not
Hasting to battle, the fair and the mighty, the curled and the grizzled,
All of them treading one path like the conscious masks of one pageant
Winding past through the glare of a light to the shadows beyond them.
But on her captains proudly smiling Penthesilea
Seized him and cried aloud, her wild and warlike nature
Moved by the mothers heart that the woman loses not ever.
Who then shall fear for the fate of Troy when such are her children?
Verily, Eurus, yearning has seized me to meet thee in battle
Rather than Locrian Ajax, rather than Phthian Achilles.
There acquiring a deathless fame I would make thee my captive,
Greedy and glad who feel as a lioness eyeing her booty.
Nay, I can never leave thee behind, my delicate Trojan,
But, when this war ends, will bear thee away to the hills of my country
And, as a robber might, with my captive glad and unwilling
Bring thee a perfect gift to my sisters Ditis and Anna.
Eurus, there in my land thou shalt look on such hills as thy vision
Gazed not on yet, with their craggy tops besieging Cronion,
Sheeted in virgin white and chilling his feet with their vastness.
Thou shalt rejoice in our wooded peaks and our fruit-bearing valleys,
Lakes of Elysium dreaming and wide and rivers of wonder.
All day long thou shalt glide between mystic woodlands in silence
Broken only by call of the birds and the plashing of waters.
There shalt thou see, O Eurus, the childhood of Penthesilea.
Thou shalt repose in my fathers house and walk in the gardens
Green where I played at the ball with my sisters, Ditis and Anna.
Musing she ceased, but if any god had touched her with prescience
Bidding her think for the last time now of the haunts of her childhood,
Gaze in her soul with a parting love at the thought of her sisters
And of the lovely and distant land where she played through her summers,
Brief was the touch; for she changed at once and only of triumph
Dreamed and only yearned in her heart for the shock of Achilles.
So they passed from the halls of Priam fated and lofty,
Halls where the air seemed sobbing yet with the cry of Cassandra;
Clad in their brilliant armour, bright in their beauty and courage,
Sons of the passing demigods, they to their latest battle
Down the ancestral hill of the Pergamans moved to the gateway.
Loud with an endless march, with a tireless gliding to meet them,
All Troy streamed from her streets and her palaces armed for the combat.
Then to the voice of Deiphobus clanging high oer the rumour
Wide the portals swung that shall close on a blood-red evening,
Slow, foreboding, reluctant, and through the yawn of the gateway
Drove with a cry her steeds the virgin Penthesilea
Calling aloud, O steeds of my east, we drive to Achilles.
Bli the in the car behind her Eurus scouted around him
Scared with his eyes lest Antenor his grandsire should rise in the gateway,
Hardly believing his fate that led him safe through the portals.
After her trampled and crashed the ranks of her orient fighters.
Paris next with his hosts came brilliant, gold on his armour,
Gold on his helm; a mighty bow hung slack on his shoulder,
Propped oer his arm a spear, as he drove his car through the gateway.
Next Deiphobus drove and the hero strong Aeneas,
Leading their numbers on. Behind them Dus and Polites,
Helenus, Priams son, Thrasymachus, grizzled Aretes,
Came like the tempest his father, Adamas, son of the Northwind
Orus old in the fight and Eumachus, kin to Aeneas,
Who was Cresas brother and richest of men in the Troad
After Antenor only and Priam, Ilions monarch.
Halamus drove and Arintheus led on his Lycian levies.
Who were the last to speed out of Troya of all those legions
Doomed to the sword? for never again from the ancient city
Foot would march or chariots crash in their pride to the Xanthus.
Aetor the old and Tryas the conqueror known by the Oxus.
They in the portals met and their ancient eyes on each other
Looked amazed, admiring on age the harness of battle.
They in the turreted head of the gateway halted and conversed.
Twenty years have passed, O Tryas, chief of the Trojans,
Since in the battle thy car was seen and the arm of thy prowess
Age has wronged. Why now to the crowded ways of the battle
Move once more thy body infirm and thy eyes that are faded?
And to Antenors brother the Teucrian, Thou too, O Aetor,
Old and weary hast sat in thy halls and desisted from battle.
Now in Troys portals I meet thee driving forth to the mellay.
Aetor answered, Which then is better, to wretchedly perish
Crushed by the stones of my falling house or slain like a victim
Dragged through the blood of my kin on the sacred hearth of my fathers,
Or in the battle to cease mid the war-cry and hymn of the chariots
Knowing that Troy yet stands in her pride though doomed in her morrows?
So have the young men willed and the old like thee who age not,
Old are thy limbs, but thy heart is still young and hot for the war-din.
Tryas replied, To perish is better for man or for nation
Nobly in battle, nor end disgraced by disease or subjection.
So have I come here to offer this shoulder Laomedon leaned on,
Arms that have fought by the Oxus and conquered the Orients heroes
Famous in Priams wars, and a heart that is faithful to Troya.
These I will offer to death on his splendid altar of battle,
Tri bute from Ilion. If she must fall, I shall see not her ending.
Aetor replied to Tryas, Then let us perish together,
Joined by the love of our race who in life were divided in counsel.
All things embrace in death and the strife and the hatred are ended.
Silent together they drove for the last time through Ilions portals
Out with the rest to the fight towards the sea and the spears of the Argives.
Only once, as they drove, they gazed back silent on Troya
Lifting her marble pride in the golden joy of the morning.
So through the ripening morn the army, crossing Scamander,
Filling the heavens with the dust and the war-cry, marched on the Argives.
Far in front Troys plain spread wide to the echoing Ocean.
***
~ Sri Aurobindo, 4 - The Book of Partings


--- IN CHAPTERS (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



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   23 Poetry
   5 Fiction
   2 Integral Yoga


   8 John Keats
   8 Friedrich Schiller
   3 Percy Bysshe Shelley
   2 H P Lovecraft


   8 Schiller - Poems
   8 Keats - Poems
   3 Shelley - Poems


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