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ASPASIA.

THE

GRECIAN GIRL'S DREAM

OF THE BLESSED ISLANDS.

'Twas in the fair Aspasia's bower,
That Love and Learning, many an hour,
In dalliance met; and Learning smiled
With pleasure on the playful child,
Who often stole, to find a nest
Within the folds of Learning's vest.

TO HER LOVER.

There, as the list'ning statesman yung
In transport on Aspasia's tongue,
The destinies of Athens took
Their color from Aspasia's look.
Oh happy time, when laws of state,
When all that ruled the country's fate,
Its glory, quiet, or alarms,
Was plann'd between two snow-white arms!

ήχι τε καλος
Πυθαγορης, οσσοι τε χορον στηριξαν ερωτος.
AROM WY TEPI IIAwtivov. Oracul. Metric, a Joan.

Opsop. collecta.
Was it the moon, or was it morning's ray,
That call'd thee, dearest, from these arms away?
Scarce hadst thou left me, when a dream of night
Came o'er my spirit so distinct and bright,
That, while I yet can vividly recall
Its witching wonders, thou shalt hear them all.
Methought I saw, upon the lunar beam,

I
Two winged boys, such as thy muse might dream,
Descending from above, at that still hour,
And gliding, with smooth step, into my bower.
Fair as the beauteous spirits that, all day,
In Amatha's warm founts imprison'd stay,
But rise at midnight, from th' enchanted rill,
To cool their plumes upon some moonlight hill.

Blest times ! they could not always last-
And yet, ev'n now, they are not past.
Though we have lost the giant mould,
In which their men were cast of old,
Woman, dear woman, still the same,
While beauty breathes through soul or frame,
While man possesses heart or eyes,
Woman's bright empire never dies!

No, Fanny, love, they ne'er shall say,
That beauty's charm hath pass'd away;
Give but the universe a soul
Attuned to woman's soft control,
And Fanny hath the charm, the skill,
To wield a universe at will.

At once I knew their mission ;-'twas to bear
My spirit upward, through the paths of air,
To that elysian realm, from whence stray beams
So oft, in sleep, had visited my dreams.
Swift at their touch dissolved the ties, that clung
All earthly round me, and aloft I sprung ;
While, heav'nward guides, the little genii flew
Thro' paths of light, refresh'd by heaven's own dew,
And fann’d by airs still fragrant with the breath
Of cloudless climes and worlds that know not death.

Thou know'st, that, far beyond our nether sky,
And shown but dimly to man's erring eye,
A mighty ocean of blue ether rolls,
Gemm'd with bright islands, where the chosen souls,
Who've pass’d in lore and love their earthly hours,
Repose forever in unfadıng bowers.

1 It was imagined by some of the ancients that there is an nomine Amatha, ubi calidæ aquæ erumpunt."-Geograpk. ethereal ocean above us, and that the sun and moon are two Antiq. lib. iii. cap. 13. floating, luminous islands, in which the spirits of the blest This belief of an occan in the heavens, or "waters above reside. Accordingly we find that the word Sklavos was some- the firinament," was one of the many physical errors in which times synonymous with anp, and death was not unfrequent- the early fathers bewildered themselves. Le P. Baltus, in ly called Sweavoto popos, or "the passage of the ocean." his “ Defense des Saints Pères accusés de Platonisme," taking

? Eunapius, in his life of lamblichus, tells us of two beau- it for granted that the ancients were more correct in their tiful little spirits or loves, which lanıblichus raised by en- notions, (which by no means appears from what I have alchantment from the warm springs at Gadara ; " dicens astan- ready quoted,) adduces the obstinacy of the fathers, in this tibus (says the author of the Dii Fatidici, p. 160) illos whimsical opinion, as a proof of their repugnance to even esse loci Genios :" which words, however, are not in Euna- truth from the hands of the philosophers. This is a strange pius.

way of defending the fathers, and attributes much more than I find from Cellarius, that Amatha, in the neighborhood of they deserve to the pluilosophers. For an abstract of this Gadara, was also celebrated for its warm springs, and I have work of Baltus, (the opposer of Fontenelle, Van Dale, &c., preferred it as a more poetic name than Gadara. Cellarius in the famous Oracle controversy,) see “ Bibliothèque des quotes Hieronymus, " Est et alla villa in vicinia Gadara Auteurs Ecclésiast. du 189 Siècle," part. 1, tom. ii.

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That very moon, whose solitary light

My fancy's eye beheld a form recline, So often guides thee to my bower at night,

Of lunar race, but so resembling thine Is no chill planet, but an isle of love,

That, oh! 'twas but fidelity in me,
Floating in splendor through those seas abovo, To fly, to clasp, and worship it for thee.
And peopled with bright forms, aërial grown,

No aid of words the unbodied soul requires,
Nor knowing aught of earth but love alone. To waft a wish or embassy desires;
Thither, I thought, we wing'd our airy way :- But by a power, to spirits only given,
Mild o'er its valleys stream'd a silvery day, A deep, mute impulse, only felt in heaven,
While, all around, on lily beds of rest,

Swifter than meteor shaft through summer skies, Reclined the spirits of the immortal Blest."

From soul to soul the glanced idea flies.
Oh! there I met those few congenial maids,
Whom love hath warm'd, in pluilosophic shades ;

Oh, my beloved, how divinely sweet
There still Leontium, on her sage's breast,

Is the pure joy, when kindred spirits meet ! Found lore and love, was tutor'd and caress'd;

Like him, the river-god," whose waters flow, And there the clasp of Pythia's' gentle arms

With love their only light, through caves below, Repaid the zeal which deified her charms.

Wafting in triumph all the flowery braids, The Attic Master," in Aspasia's eyes,

And festal rings, with which Olympic maids

Have deck'd his current, as an offering meet
Forgot the yoke of less endearing ties,
While fair Theano, innocently fair,

To lay at Arethusa's shining feet.
Wreathed playfully her Samian's flowing hair,

Think, when he meets at last his fountain-bride, Whose soul now fix'd, its transmigrations past,

What perfect love must thrill the blended tide! Found in those arms a resting-place, at last ;

Each lost in each, till, mingling into one,

Their lot the same for shadow or for sun,
And smiling own'd, whate'er his dreamy thought
In mystic numbers long had vainly sought,

A type of true love, to the deep they run.

'Twas thusThe One that's form'd of Two whom love hath bound,

But, Theon, 'tis an endless theme, Is the best number gods or men e'er found.

And thou grow'st weary of my half-told dream

Oh would, my love, we were together now, But think, my Theon, with what joy I thrillid, And I would woo sweet patience to thy brow, When near a fount, which through the valley And inake thee smile at all the magic tales rillid,

Of starlight bowers and planetary vales, 1 There were various opinions among the ancients with re- home with Xantippe. For an account of this extraordinary spect to their lanar establishment; some made it an elysium, creature, Aspasia, and her school of erudite luxury at and others a pargatory ;'while some supposed it to be a kind Athens, see L'Histoire de l'Académie, &c. tom. xxxi. p. 69. of entrepát between heaven and earth, where souls which had Ségur rather fails on the inspiring subject of Aspasia.left their bodies, and those that were on their way to join "Les Femmes," tom. i. p. 122. them, were deposited in the valley of Hecate, and renained The author of the “Voyage du Monde de Descartes" has til! further orders. Τοις περι σεληνην αερι λεγειν αυτας κατοι- also placed these philosophers in the moon, and has allotted ειν, και απ' αυτης κατω χωρειν εις την περιγειον γενεσιν.- seigneuries to them, as well as to the astronomers, (part ii. Stob. lib. i. Eelog. Physic.

p. 143 ;) but he ought not to have forgotten their wives and * The papil and mistress of Epicurus, who called her hiss mistresses; "curæ non ipsâ in morte relinquunt." * dear little Leoptinm," (Acortaprov,) as appears by a frag- 6 There are some sensible letters extant under the name of bent of one of his letters in Laertius. This Leontium was a this fair Pythagorean. They are addressed to her female woman of talent; "she had the impudence (says Cicero) to friends upon the education of children, the treatment of serwrite against Theophrastus ;" and Cicero, at the same time, vants, &c. One, in particular, 10 Nicostrata, whose husband gires her a name which is neither polite nor translatable. had given her reasons for jealousy, contains such truly con* Meretricala etiam Leontium contra Theophrastum scribere siderate and rational advice, ihat it ought to be translated for ausa est."-De Natur. Deor. She left a daughter called the edification of all married ladies. See Gale's Opuscul. Danae, who was just as rigid an Epicurean as her mother; Myth. Phys. p. 741. something like Wieland's Danae in Agathon.

6 Pythagoras was remarkable for fine hair, and Doctor It would sound much better, I think, if the name were Thiers (in his Histoiie des Perrugues) secnis to take for Leontia, as it occurs the first time in Laertius; but M. M&- granted it was all his own; as he has not mentioned him nace will not hear of this reading.

among those ancients who were obliged to have recourse Pythia was a woman whom Aristotle loved, and to whom to the "coma apposititia." L'Uistoire des Perruques, chapiafter her death he paid divine honors, solemnizing her mem- tre i. ory by the same sacrifices which the Athenians offered to 7 The river Alpheus, which flowed by Pisa or Olympia, the Goddess Ceres. For this impious gallantry the philoso- and into which it was customary to throw offerings of difpber was, of course, censured; but it would be well if cer- ferent kinds, during the celebration of the Olympic games. tin of our modem Stagyriies showed a little of this super- In the pretty romance of Clitophon and Leucippe, the river stition about the memory of their mistresses.

is supposed to carry these offerings as bridal gifts to the foun* Socrates, who used to console himself in the society of tain Arethusa. Και επι την Αρεθουσαν ούτω των Αλφειον Aspasia for those “less endearing ties” which he found at vuppoutudet. Orav ovv ń Twv odvjftwv coprn,k. 7. d. Lib. i

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