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Of every guest; that each, as he did please, Wander'd on fair-spaced temples; no soft bloom Might fancy-fit his brows, silk-pillow'd at his ease. Misted the cheek; no passion to illume

The deep-recessed vision :-all was blight;

Lamia, no longer fair, there sat a deadly white. What wreath for Lamia? What for Lycius ? “ Shut, shut those juggling eyes, thou ruthless man! What for the sage, old Apollonius?

Turn them aside, wretch! or the righteous ban l'pon her aching forehead be there hung

Of all the Gods, whose dreadful images
The leaves of willow and of adder's tongue;

Here represent their shadowy presences,
And for the youth, quick, let us strip for him May pierce them on the sudden with the thorn
The thyrsus, that his watching eyes may swim

of painful blindness; leaving thee forlorn, Into forgetfulness; and, for the sage,

In trembling dotage to the feeblest fright Let spear-grass and the spiteful thistle wage

Of conscience, for their long-offended might, War on his temples. Do not all charms tly For all thine impious proud-heart sophistries, At the mere touch of cold philosophy?

Unlawful magic, and enticing lies. There was an awful rainbow once in heaven: Corinthians! look upon that gray-beard wretch! We know her woof, her texture; she is given Mark how, possess'd, his lashless eyelids stretch In the dull catalogue of common things.

Around his demon eyes! Corinthians, see! Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,

My sweet bride withers at their potency.” Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,

· Fool!” said the sophist, in an under-tone Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine Gruff with contempt ; which a death-nighing moan Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made

From Lycius answer'd, as heart-struck and lost, The tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade. He sank supine beside the aching ghost.

“ Fool! Fool!" repeated he, while his eyes still

Relented not, nor moved; “ from every ill By her glad Lycius sitting, in chief place,

Of life.have I preserved thee to this day, Scarce saw in all the room another face,

And shall I see thee made a serpent's prey ?" Till checking his love trance, a cup he took

Then Lamia breathed death-breath ; the sophist's eye, Full-brimm'd, and opposite sent forth a look

Like a sharp spear, went through her utterly, 'Cross the broad table, to beseech a glance

Keen, cruel, perceant, stinging: she, as well From his old teacher's wrinkled countenance,

As her weak hand could any meaning tell, And pledge him. The bald-head philosopher

Motion'd him to be silent; vainly so,

He look'd and look'd again a level-No!
Had fix'd his eye, without a twinkle or stir
Full on the alarmed beauty of the bride,

A Serpent!" echoed he; no sooner said, Brow beating her fair form, and troubling her sweet Than with a frightful scream she vanished: pride.

And Lycius' arms were empty of delight, Lycius then press'd her hand, with devont touch,

As were his limbs of life, from that same night. As pale it lay upon the rosy couch:

On the high couch he lay!-his friends came round'Twas icy, and the cold ran through his veins ;

Supported him-no pulse, or breath they found, Then sudden it grew hot, and all the pains

And, in its marriage robe, the heavy body wound. * Of an unnatural heat shot to his heart. “Lamia, what means this? Wherefore dost thou start?

*Philostratus, in his fourth book de Vila Apollonii, Know'st thou that man?" Poor Lamia answer'd not. omit, of one Menippus Lycius, a young man twenty five

hath a memorable instance in this kind, which I may not He gazed into her eyes, and not a jot

years of age, that going betwixt Cenchreas and Corinth, Own'd they the lovelorn piteous appeal :

met such a phantasm in the habit of a fair gentlewoman,

which taking him by the hand, carrier him home to hier More, more he gazed : his human senses reel :

house, in the suburbs of Corinth, and told himn she was a Some angry spell that loveliness absorbs;

Phænician by birth, and if he would tarry with her, he There was no recognition in those orbs.

should hear her sing and play, and drink such wine as “ Lamia!" he cried-and no soft-toned reply.

never any drank, and no man should molest hiin; but she,

being fair and lovely, would die with him, that was fair The many beard, and the loud revelry

and lovely to behold. The young man, a philosopher, Grew hush ; the stately music no more breathes ; otherwise staid and discreet, able to moderate his passions, The myrtle sicken'd in a thousand wreaths.

though not this of love, tarried with her a while to his

great content, and at last married her, to whose wedding, By faint degrees, voice, lute, and pleasure ceased ;

amongst other guests, came Apollonius; who, by some A deadly silence step by step increased,

probable conjectures, found her out to be a serpent, a Until it seem'd a horrid presence there,

lamia; and that all her furniture was like Tantaluis' gold, And not a man but felt the terror in his hair.

described by Homer, no substance but mere illusions.

When she saw herself descried, she wept, and desired Lamia!" he shriek'd : and nothing but the shriek Apollonius to be silent, but he would not be moved, and With its sad echo did the silence break.

therenpon she plate, house, and all that was in it, van. · Begone, foul dream!” he cried, gazing again

ished in an instant: many thousands took notice of this

fact, for it was done in the midst of Greece."- BURTON'S Iu the bride's face, where now no azure vein

Anatomy of Melancholy, Part 3, Sect. 2. Memb. I, Subs. I. 42

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VI.
So said he one fair morning, and all day

His heart beat awfully against his side;
And to his heart he inwardly did pray

For power to speak; but still the ruddy tide Stifled his voice, and pulsed resolve away

Fever'd his high conceit of such a bride, Yet brought him to the meekness of a child : Alas! when passion is both meek and wild !

XII.
Were they unhappy then ?-It cannot be-

Too many tears for lovers have been shed, |Тоо many sighs give we to them in fee,

Too much of pity after they are dead, Too many doleful stories do we see,

Whose matter in bright gold were best be read. Excepi in such a page where Theseus' spouse Over the pathless waves towards him bows.

XIII.
But, for the general award of love,

The little sweet doth kill much bitterness ;
Though Dido silent is in under-grove,

And Isabella's was a great distress,
Though young Lorenzo in warm Indian clove

Was not embalm'd, this truth is not the less
Even bees, the little almsren of spring-bowers,
Know there is richest juice in poison-flowers.

XX.
Grant thou a pardon here, and then the tale

Shall move on soberly, as it is meet;
There is no other crime, no mad assail

To make old prose in modern rhyme more sweet :
But it is done-succeed the verse or fail-

To honor thee, and thy gone spirit greet;
To stead thee as a verse in English tongue,
An echo of thee in the north-wind sung.

XIV.
With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt,

Enriched from ancestral merchandise,
And for them many a weary hand did swelt

In torched mines and noisy factories,
And many once proud-quiver'd loins did melt

In blood from stinging whip;-with hollow eyes
Many all day in dazzling river stood,
l'o take the rich-ored driftings of the flood.

XXI.
These brethren having found by many signs

What love Lorenzo for their sister had,
And how she loved him too, each unconfines

His bitter thoughts to other, well-nigh mad
That he, the servant of their trade designs,

Should in their sister's love be blithe and glad,
When 't was their plan to coax her by degrees
To some high noble and his olive-trees.

XXII.
And many a jealous conference had they,

And times they bit their lips alone,
Before they fix'd upon a surest way

To make the youngster for his crime atone;
And at the last, these men of cruel clay

Cut Mercy with a sharp knife to the bone;
For they resolved in some forest dim
To kill Lorenzo, and there bury him.

many

XV.
For them the Ceylon diver held his breath,

And went all naked to the hungry shark;
For them his ears gush'd blood ; for them in death

The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark
Lay full of darts; for them alone did seethe

A thousand men in troubles wide and dark •
Hall-ignorant, they turn'd an easy wheel,
That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel.

XVI.

XXIII.
Why were they proud ? Because their marble founts So on a pleasant morning, as he leant

Gush'd with more pride than do a wretch's tears ? - Into the sunrise o'er the balustrade
Why were they proud ? Because fair orange-mounts of the garden-lerrace, towards him they bent
Were of more soft ascent than lazar-stairs?

Their footing through the dews; and to him said Why were they proud ? Because red-lined accounts “ You seem there in the quiet of content,

Were richer than the songs of Grecian years? Lorenzo, and we are most loth to invade
Why were they proud ? again we ask aloud, Calm speculation; but if you are wise,
Why in the name of Glory were they proud ? Bestride your steed while cold is in the skies.
XVIL

XXIV.
Yet were these Florentines as self-retired

“ To-day we purpose, ay, this hour we mount In hungry pride and gainful cowardice,

To spur three leagues towards the Apennine; As two close Hebrews in that land inspired, Come down, we pray thee, ere the hot sun count

Paled in and vineyarded from beggar-spies; His dewy rosary on the eglantine.” The hawks of ship-mast forests--the untired Lorenzo, courteously as he was wont,

And pannier'd mules for ducats and old lies Bow'd a fair greeting to these serpents' whine ; Quick cal's-paws on the generous stray-away, And went in haste, to get in readiness, Great wits in Spanish, Tuscan, and Malay.

With belt, and spur, and bracing huntsman's dress

XVIII.
How was it these same leger-men could spy

Fair Isabella in her downy nest?
How could they find out in Lorenzo's eye

A straying from his toil? Hot Egypt's pest
Into their vision covetous and siy!

How could these money-bags see east and west-
Yet so they di--and every dealer fair
Must see behind, as doth the hunted hare.

XXV.
And as he to the court-yard pass'd along,

Each third step did he pause, and listen'd oft
If he could hear his lady's matin-song,

Or the light whisper of her footstep soft ;
And as he thus over his passion hung,

He heard a laugh full musical aloft;
When, looking up, he saw her features bright
Smile through an in-door lattice, all delight.

XIX.
O eloquent and famed Boccaccio!

Of thee we now should ask forgiving boon,
And of thy spicy myriles as they blow,

And of thy roses amorous of the moon,
And of thy lilies, that do paler grow

Now they can no more hear thy ghittern's tune,
For venturing syllables that ill beseem
The quiet glooms of such a piteous theme.

XXVI.
“Love, Isabel !” said he, “ I was in pain

Lest I should miss to bid theo a good-morrow.
Ah! what if I should lose thee, when so fain

I am to stifle all the heavy sorrow of a poor three hours' absence? but we'll gain

Out of the amorous dark what day doth borrow Good-bye! I'll soon be back.”—“Good-bye!" said sha' And as he went she chanted merrily.

XXVII.

XXXIV.
So the two brothers and their murder'd man And she had died in drowsy ignorance,

Rode past fair Florence, to where Arno's stream But for a thing more deadly dark than all ; Gurgles through straiten'd banks, and still doth fan It came like a fierce potion, drunk by chance,

Itself with dancing bulrush, and the bream Which saves a sick man from the featherd pali Keeps head against the freshets. Sick and wan For some few gasping moments ; like a lanet, The brothers' faces in the ford did seem,

Waking an Indian from his cloudy hall Lorenzo's flush with love.—They pass'd the water With cruel pierce, and bringing him again Into a forest quiet for the slaughter.

Sense of the gnawing fire at heart and brain. XXVIII.

XXXV.
There was Lorenzo slain and buried in,

It was a vision. In the drowsy gloom,
There in that forest did his great love cease ; The dull of midnight, at her couch's foot
Ah! when a soul doth thus its freedom win, Lorenzo stood, and wept: the forest tomb
It aches in loneliness—is ill at peace

Had marr'd his glossy hair which once could short As the break-covert blood-hounds of such sin : Lustre into the sun, and put cold doom

They dipp'd their swords in the water, and did tease Upon his lips, and taken the soft lute
Their horses homeward, with convulsed spur, From his lorn voice, and past his loamed ears
Each richer by his being a murderer.

Had made a miry channel for his tears.
XXIX.

XXXVI.
They told their sister how, with sudden speed, Strange sound it was, when the pale shadow spoke
Lorenzo had ta'en ship for foreign lands,

For there was striving, in its piteous tongue, Because of some great urgency and need

To speak as when on earth it was awake, In their affairs, requiring trusty hands.

And Isabella on its music hung : Poor girl! put on thy stifling widow's weed, Languor there was in it, and tremulous shake,

And 'scape at once from Hope's accursed bands; As in a palsied Druid's harp unstrung; Today thou wilt not see him, nor to-morrow, And through it moan'd a ghostly under-song, And the next day will be a day of sorrow. Like hoarse night-gusts sepulchral briers among. XXX.

XXXVII. She weeps alone for pleasures not to be ;

Its eyes, though wild, were still all dewy bright Sorely she wept until the night came on,

With love, and kept all phantom fear aloof And then, instead of love, O misery!

From the poor girl by magic of their light, She brooded o'er the luxury alone :

The while it did unthread the horrid woof His image in the dusk she seem'd to see,

of the late darken'd time,—the murderous spite And to the silence made a gentle moan,

of pride and avarice,—the dark pine roof Spreading her perfect arms upon the air,

In the forest,--and the sodden turfed dell,
And on her couch low murmuring, “Where? Owhere?” Where, without any word, from stabs he fell.
XXXI.

XXXVIII.
But Selfishness, Love's cousin, held not long Saying moreover, “ Isabel, my sweet!
Its fiery vigil in her single breast;

Red whortle-berries droop above my head,
She fretted for the golden hour, and hung

And a large fini-stone weighs upon my feet; Upon the time with feverish unrest

Around me beeches and high chestnuts shed Not long—for soon into her heart a throng

Their leaves and prickly nuts; a sheep-fold bleat Of higher occupants, a richer zest,

Comes from beyond the river to my bed : Came tragic; passion not to be subdued,

Go, shed one tear upon my heather-bloom,
And sorrow for her love in travels rude.

And it shall comfort me within the tomb.
XXXII.

XXXIX.
In the mid-days of autumn, on their eves

“ I am a shadow now, alas! alas! The breath of Winter comes from far away, Upon the skirts of human-nature dwelling And the sick west continually bereaves

Alone : I chant alone the holy mass, Of some gold tinge, and plays a roundelay While little sounds of life are round me knelling Of death among the bushes and the leaves, And glossy bees at noon do fieldward pass, To make all bare before he dares to stray

And many a chapel-bell the hour is telling, From his north cavern. So sweet Isabel

Paining me through: those sounds grow strange to me By gradual der ay from beauty fell,

And thou art distant in Humanity.
XXXIII.

XL
Because Lorenzo came not. Oftentimes

“I know what was, I feel full well what is, She ask'd her brothers, with an eye all pale, And I should rage, if spirits could go mad; Striving to be itself, what dungeon climes Though I forget the taste of earthly bliss,

Could keep him off so long? They spake a tale That paleness warms my grave, as though I had Time after time, to quiet her. Their crimes A Seraph chosen from the bright abyss

Came on them, like a smoke from Hinnom's vale ; To be my spouse: thy paleness makes me glad Av. every night in dreams they groan'd aloud, Thy beauty grows upon me, and I feel "To sec their sister in her snowy shroud.

A greater love through all my essence steal."

XLI.
The Spirit mournid “ Adieu!"-dissolved, and left

The atom darkness in a slow turmoil;
As when of healthful midnight sleep berest,

Thinking on rugged hours and fruitless toil,
We put our eyes into a pillowy cleft,

And see the spangly gloom froth up and boil :
't made sad Isabella's eyelids ache,
And in the dawn she started up awake;

XLII.
Ha! ha!” said she, “I knew not this hard life,

I thought the worst was simple misery;
I thought some Fate with pleasure or with strife

Portion d us-happy days, or else to die;
But there is crime-a brother's bloody knife!

Sweet Spirit, thou hast school'd my infancy:
I'll visit thee for this, and kiss thine eyes,
And greet thee morn and even in the skies."

XLVIII.
That old nurse stood beside her wondering,

Until her heart felt pity to the core
At sight of such a dismal laboring,

And so she kneeled, with her locks all hoar,
And put her lean hands to the horrid thing :

Three hours they labor'd at this travail sore ;
At last they felt the kernel of the grave,
And Isabella did not stamp and rave.

XLIX.
Ah! wherefore all this wormy circumstance?

Why linger at the yawning tomb so long?
O for the gentleness of old Romance,

The simple plaining of a minstrel's song!
Fair reader, at the old tale take a glance,

For here, in truth, it doth not well belong
To speak:-0 turn thee to the very tale,
And taste the music of that vision pale.

L.
With duller steel than the Perséan sword

They cut away no formless monster's head,
But one, whose gentleness did well accord

With death, as life. The ancient harps have said
Love never dies, but lives, immortal Lord :

If Love impersonale was ever dead, Pale Isabella kiss'd it, and low moan'd. 'T was love; cold,—dead indeed, but not dethroned.

XLIIT.
When the full morning came, she had devised

How she might secret to the forest hie ;
How she might find the clay, so dearly prized,

And sing to it one latest lullaby ;
How her short absence might be unsurmised,

While she the inmost of the dream would try.
Resolved, she took with her an aged nurse,
And went into that dismal forest-hearse.

XLIV.

LI. See, as they creep along the river-side

In anxious secrecy they took it home, How she doth whisper to that aged Dame,

And then the prize was all for Isabel : And, after looking round the champaign wide,

She calm'd its wild hair with a golden comb, Shows her a knife.-“ What severous hectic flame And all around each eye's sepulchral cell Burns in thee, child ?–What good can thee betide, Pointed each fringed lash; the smeared loam That thou shouldst smile again ?"-The evening With tears, as chilly as a dripping well, came,

She dreneh'd away :-and still she comb'd, and ker:
And they had found Lorenzo's earthy bed; Sighing all day-and still she kiss'd, and wept.
The flint was there, the berries at his head.

LII.
XLV.

Then in a silken scarf,—sweet with the dews
Who hath not loiter'd in a green church-yard,

of precious Powers pluck'd in Araby, And let his spirit, like a demon-mole,

And divine liquids come with odorous ooze Work through the clayey soil and gravel hard, Through the cold serpent-pipe refreshfully, To see skull, coffin'd bones, and funeral stole;

She wrapp'd it up; and for its tomb did choose Pitying each form that hungry Death hath marr'd,

A garden-spot, wherein sho laid ii by, And filling it once more with human soul ? And cover'd it with mould, and o'er it set Ah! this is holiday to what was felt

Sweet Basil, which her tears kept ever wel.
When Isabella by Lorenzo knelt.

LIII.
XLVI.

And she forgot the stars, the moon, and sun,
She gazed into the fresh-thrown mould, as though

And she forgot the blue above the trees, One glance did fully all its secrets tell;

And she forgot the dells where waters run, Clearly she saw, as other eyes would know

And she forgot the chilly autumn breeze ; Pale limbs at bottom of a crystal well;

She had no knowledge when the day was done, Upon the murderous spot she seem'd to grow,

And the new morn she saw not : but in peace Like to a native lily of the dell:

Hung over her sweet Basil evermore, Then with her knife, all sudden, she began

And moisten'd it with tears unto the cure
To dig more fervently than misers can.

LIV.
XLVII.

And so she ever fed it with thin lears.
Soon she turn'd up a soiled glove, whereon

Whence thick, and green, and beautiful it grew Her silk had play'd in purple phantasies; So that it smelt more balmy than 10s peers She kiss'd it with a lip more chill than stone,

Of Basil-lufts in Florence; fur it drew And put it in her bosom, where it dries

Nature besides, and life, from human fears, And freezes utterly unto the bone

From the fast-mouldering head there shut from Those dainties made to still an infant's cries :

view: Then 'gan she work again, nor stay'd her care, So that the jewel, safely casketed, But to throw back at times her veiling hair. Came forth, and in persumed leafits spread 42* 3N

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