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INVITA MINERVA.

THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.

359

“Were yon stone alone in question, this A conjuring-spell to free the imprisoned would please me well,'

sound; Mahmood said ; “but, with the block At last his vainly wearied limbs he laid there, I my truth must sell. Beneath a sacred laurel's flickering shade,

And sleep about his brain her cobweb “ Wealth and rule slip down with For- wound.

tune, as her wheel turns round; He who keeps his faith, he only cannot Then strode the mighty Mother through be discrowned.

his dreams,

Saying: “The reeds along a thousand “ Little were a change of station, loss streams of life or crown,

Are mine, and who is he that plots and But the wreck were past retrieving if the schemes Man fell down."

To snare the melodies wherewith my

breath So his iron mace he lifted, smote with Sounds through the double pipes of Life night and main,

and Death, And the idol, on the pavement tumbling, Atoning what to men mad discord burst in twain.

seems?

the song:

Luck obeys the downright striker ; from “He seeks not me, but I seek oft in the hollow core,

vain Fifty times the Brahmins' offer deluged For him who shall my voiceful reeds all the floor.

constrain, And make them utter their melodious

pain; INVITA MINERVA.

He flies the immortal gift, for well he

knows The Barilling came where by a river His life of life must with its overflows grew

Flood the unthankful pipe, nor come The pennoned reeds, that, as the west

again. wind blew, Gleamed sighed plaintively, as if

“Thou fool, who dost my harmless they knew What music slept enchanted in each 'T is not the singer's wish that makes

subjects wrong, stem, Till Pan should choose some happy one The rhythmic beauty wanders dumb, of them,

how long,
And with wise lips enlife it through and
through

Nor stoops to any daintiest instrument,
Till, found its mated lips, their sweet

consent The Barilling thought, “ A pipe is all I Makes mortal breath than Time and need ;

Fate more strong." Once I have sought me out a clear,

smooth reed, And shaped it to my fancy, I proceed To breathe such strains as, yonder mid THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.

the rocks, The strange youth blows, that tends

Alimetus: flocks, And all the maideus shall to me pay 'Tis a woodland enchanted ! heed."

By no sadder spirit

Than black birds and thrushes, The summer day he spent in questful That whistle to cheer it round,

All day in the bushes, And many a reed he marred, but never This woodland is haunted : found

And in a small clearing,

I.

IV.

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Beyond sight or hearing

With lone cries that wander or human annoyance,

Now hither, now yonder, The little fount gushes,

Like souls doomed of old First smoothly, then dashes

To a mild purgatory; And gurgles and flashes,

But through noonlight and moonlight To the maples and ashes

The little fount tinkles Confiding its joyance ;

Its silver saints'-bells, Unconscious confiding,

That no sprite ill-boding Then, silent and glossy,

May make his abode in
Slips winding and hiding

Those innocent dells.
Through alder-stems mossy,
Through gossamer roots
Fine as nerves,
That tremble, as shoots

"T is a woodland enchanted ! Through their magnetized curves When the phebe scarce whistles The allurement delicious

Once an hour to his fellow, Of the water's capricious

And, where red lilies flaunted,
Thrills, gushes, and swerves.

Balloons from the thistles
Tell summer's disasters,

The butterflies yellow,
II.

As caught in an eddy 'Tis a woodland enchanted !

Of air's silent ocean, I am writing no fiction ;

Sink, waver, and steady And this fount, its sole daughter, O'er goats'-beard and asters, To the woodland was granted

Like souls of dead flowers, To pour holy water

With aimless emotion And win benediction ;

Still lingering unready In summer-noon flushes,

To leave their old bowers ; When all the wood hushes,

And the fount is no dumber, Blue dragon-Hies knitting

But still gleams and fashes, To and fro in the sun,

And gurgles and plashes, With sidelong jerk flitting

To the measure of summer ; Sink down on the rushes,

The butterflies hear it, And, motionless sitting,

And spell-bound are holden, Hear it bubble and run,

Still balancing near it
Hear its low inward singing,

O'er the goats'-beard so golden.
With level wings swinging
On green tasselled rushes,

V.
To dream in the sun.

'Tis a woodland enchanted!
A vast silver willow,

I know not how planted, 'T is a woodland enchanted !

(This wood is enchanted, The great August noonlight,

And full of surprises,). Through myriad rifts slanted,

Stands stemming a billow, Leaf and bole thickly sprinkles

A motionless billow With flickering gold ;

Of ankle-sleep mosses; There, in warm August gloaming, Two great roots it crosses With quick, silent brightenings, To make a round basin, From meadow-lands roaming,

And there the Fount rises; The firefly twinkles

Ah, too pure a mirror His titful heat-lightnings ;

For one sick of error There the magical moonlight

To see his sad face in ! With meek, saintly glory

No dew-drop is stiller Steeps summit and wold;

In its lupin-leaf setting There whippoorwills plain in the soli- Than this water moss-bounded; tudes hoary

But a tiny sand-pillar

III.

From the bottom keeps jetting,

It shapes as it pleases, Aud mermaid ne'er sounded

Unharmed by the breezes, Through the wreaths of a shell, Its fine hanging gardens? Down amid crimson dulses

Hast those in thy keeping, In some dell of the ocean,

And canst not uncover, A melody sweeter

Enchantedly sleeping, Than the delicate pulses,

The old shade of thy lover ? The soft, noiseless metre,

It is there! I have found it ! The pause and the swell

He wakes, the long sleeper ! Of that musical motion :

The pool is grown deeper, I recall it, not see it;

The sand dance is ending, Could vision be clearer ?

The white floor sinks, blending Half I 'm fain to draw nearer

With skies that below me Half tempted to flee it ;

Are deepening and bending, The sleeping Past wake not,

And a child's face alone Beware!

That seems not to know me, One forward step take not,

With hair that fades golden Ah ! break not

In the heaven-glow round it, That quietude rare !

Looks up at my own; By my step unaffrighted

Ah, glimpse through the portal A thrush hops before it,

That leads to the throne, And o'er it

That opes the child's olden A birch hangs delighted,

Regions Elysian ! Dipping, dipping, dipping its tremu. Ah, too holy vision lous hair ;

For thy skirts to be holden Pure as the fountain, once

By soiled hand of mortal ! I came to the place,

It wavers, it scatters, (How dare I draw nearer ?)

'T is gone past recalling! I bent o'er its mirror,

A tear's sudden falling And saw a child's face

The magic cup shatters, Mid locks of bright gold in it;

Breaks the spell of the waters, Yes, pure as this fountain once,

And the sand cone once more, Since, how much error !

With a ceaseless renewing, Too holy a mirror

Its dance is pursuing For the man to behold in it

On the silvery floor, His harsh, bearded countenance ! O’er and o'er,

With a noiseless and ceaseless renewing. VI.

VII. 'T is a woodland enchanted ! Ah, Ay unreturning!

'T is a woodland enchanted ! Yet stay ;

If you ask me, Where is it? 'T is a woodland enchanted,

I only can answer, Where wonderful chances

'T is past my disclosing; Have sway;

Not to choice is it granted Luck flees from the cold one

By sure paths to visit But leaps to the bold one

The still pool enclosing Half-way;

Its blithe little dancer;
Why should I be daunted ?

But in some day, the rarest
Still the smooth mirror glances, Of many Septembers,
Still the amber sand dances,

When the pulses of air rest,
One look,
- then away!

And all things lie dreaming O magical glass!

In drowsy haze steaming Canst keep in thy bosom

From the wood's glowing embers, Shades of leaf and of blossom

Then, sometimes, unheedling, When summer days pass,

And asking not whither, So that when thy wave hardens

By a sweet inward leading

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from me ;

My feet are drawn thither,

As one lamp lights another, nor grows And, looking with awe in the magical less, mirror,

So nobleness enkindleth nobleness.
I see through my tears,
Half doubtful of seeing,

That inward light the stranger's face The face unperverted,

made grand, The warm golden being

Which shines from all self-conquest; Of a child of five years ;

kneeling low, And spite of the mists and the error, He bowed his forehead upon Yussouf's And the days overcast,

hand, Can feel that I walk undeserted, Sobbing: “O Sheik, I cannot leave thee But forever attended By the glad heavens that bended I will repay thee; all this thou hast O'er the innocent past ;

done Towarul fancy or truth

Unto that Ibrahim who slew thy son!" Doth the sweet vision win ine? Dare I think that I cast

“Take thrice the gold," said Yussouf, In the fountain of youth

“ for with thee The fleeting reflection

Into the desert, never to return, Of some bygone perfection

My one black thought shall ride away That still lingers in me?

First-born, for whom by day and night

I yearn,
YUSSOUF.

Balanced and just are all of God's de.

crees ; A STRANGER came one night to Yus- Thou art avenged, my first-born, sleep souf's tent,

in peace ! Saying, “Behold one outcast and in

drea, Against whose life the bow of power is THE DARKENED MIND.

bent, Who flies, and hath not where to lay The fire is burning clear and blithely, his heail ;

Pleasantly whistles the winter wind; I come to thee for shelter and for food,

We are about thee, thy friends and kinTo Yussouf, called through all our tribes dred, “The Good."

On us all slickers the firelight kind ;

There thou sitt'st in thy wonted corner “This tent is mine," said Yussouf, “but Lone and awful in thy darkened mind. Than it is God's ; come in, and be at There thou sitt'st ; now and then thou peace;

moanest ; Freely shalt thou partake of all my Thou dost talk with what we cannot see, store

Lookest at us with an eye so loubtful, As I of His who buildeth over these It doth put us very far from ther; Our tents his glorious roof of night and There thou sittest; we would fain be day,

nigh thee, And at whose door none ever yet heard But we know that it can never be. Nay.”

We can touch thee, still we are no So Yussouf entertained his guest that nearer ; night,

Gather round thee, still thou art alone ; And, waking him ere day, said : “Here The wide chasm of reason is between us; is gold ;

Thou confutest kindness with a moan; My swiftest horse is saddled for thy We can speak to thee, and thou canst flight;

answer, Depart before the prying day grow Like two prisoners through a wall of bold."

stone.

no more

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