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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
Here represent their shadowy presences,
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!
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
His heart beat awfully against his side;
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 !
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.
The little sweet doth kill much bitterness ;
And Isabella's was a great distress,
Was not embalm'd, this truth is not the less
Shall move on soberly, as it is meet;
To make old prose in modern rhyme more sweet :
To honor thee, and thy gone spirit greet;
Enriched from ancestral merchandise,
In torched mines and noisy factories,
In blood from stinging whip;-with hollow eyes
What love Lorenzo for their sister had,
His bitter thoughts to other, well-nigh mad
Should in their sister's love be blithe and glad,
And times they bit their lips alone,
To make the youngster for his crime atone;
Cut Mercy with a sharp knife to the bone;
And went all naked to the hungry shark;
The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark
A thousand men in troubles wide and dark •
Gush'd with more pride than do a wretch's tears ? - Into the sunrise o'er the balustrade
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
“ 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
Fair Isabella in her downy nest?
A straying from his toil? Hot Egypt's pest
How could these money-bags see east and west-
Each third step did he pause, and listen'd oft
Or the light whisper of her footstep soft ;
He heard a laugh full musical aloft;
Of thee we now should ask forgiving boon,
And of thy roses amorous of the moon,
Now they can no more hear thy ghittern's tune,
Lest I should miss to bid theo a good-morrow.
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.
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.
It was a vision. In the drowsy gloom,
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
Had made a miry channel for his tears.
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,
Red whortle-berries droop above my head,
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 it shall comfort me within the tomb.
“ 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.
“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."
The atom darkness in a slow turmoil;
Thinking on rugged hours and fruitless toil,
And see the spangly gloom froth up and boil :
I thought the worst was simple misery;
Portion d us-happy days, or else to die;
Sweet Spirit, thou hast school'd my infancy:
Until her heart felt pity to the core
And so she kneeled, with her locks all hoar,
Three hours they labor'd at this travail sore ;
Why linger at the yawning tomb so long?
The simple plaining of a minstrel's song!
For here, in truth, it doth not well belong
They cut away no formless monster's head,
With death, as life. The ancient harps have said
If Love impersonale was ever dead, Pale Isabella kiss'd it, and low moan'd. 'T was love; cold,—dead indeed, but not dethroned.
How she might secret to the forest hie ;
And sing to it one latest lullaby ;
While she the inmost of the dream would try.
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:
Then in a silken scarf,—sweet with the dews
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.
And she forgot the stars, the moon, and sun,
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
And so she ever fed it with thin lears.
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