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And truly, they wondered the more to behold.
On which was written, in characters broad,
So they tied to the collar a golden chain,
As if he had lost his lordly will.
But now came the spring, when free-born love
Calls up nature in forest and grove,
And makes each thing leap forth, and be
Loving, and lovely, and blithe as he.
The panther he felt the thrill of the air,
And he gave a leap up, like that at his lair;
He felt the sharp sweetness more strengthen his
Ten times than ever the spicy rains,
And ere they're aware, he has burst his chains:
He has burst his chains, and ah, ha! he's gone,
And the links and the gazers are left alone,
And off to the mountains the panther's flown.
Now what made the panther a prisoner be?
Lo! 'twas the spices and luxury.
And what set that lordly panther free?
'Twas Love!-'twas Love !-'twas no one but he.*
*"What is said of that Taurus which is so called by us, extending beyond Armenia, (though this has been called in question), is now made apparent from the panthers, which I know have been taken in the spice-bearing part of Pamphylia; for they, delighting in odours, which they scent at a great distance, quit Armenia, and cross the mountains in search of the tears of the storax, at the time when the wind blows from that quarter, and the trees distil their gums. It is said a panther was once taken in Pamphylia, with a gold chain about its neck, on which was inscribed, in Armenian letters," Arsaces the king, to the Nysæan God." Arsaces was then king of Armenia, who is supposed to have given it its liberty on account of its magnitude, and in honour of Bacchus, who, amongst the Indians, is called Nysius, from Nysa, one of their towns: this, however, is an appellation which he bears among all the oriental nations. This panther became subject to man, and grew so tame, that it was patted and caressed by every one. But on the approach of spring, a season when panthers become susceptible of love, it felt the general passion, and rushed with fury into the mountains in quest of a mate, with the gold chain about its neck."—Life of Apollonius of Tyana, p. 68.
TO T. L. H.,
SIX YEARS OLD, DURING A SICKNESS.
SLEEP breathes at last from out thee,
My little, patient boy;
And balmy rest about thee
I sit me down, and think
Of all thy winning ways;
Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink,
That I had less to praise.
Thy sidelong pillowed meekness,
Thy heart, in pain and weakness,
Of fancied faults afraid;
The little trembling hand
That wipes thy quiet tears,
These, these are things that may demand Dread memories for years.
Sorrows I've had, severe ones,
I will not think of now;
And calmly, midst my dear ones,
But when thy fingers press
And pat my stooping head,
I cannot bear the gentleness,
The tears are in their bed..
Ah, first-born of thy mother,
When life and hope were new,
Kind playmate of thy brother,
Thy sister, father too;
My light, where'er I go,
My bird, when prison-bound,
My hand in hand companion,—no,
My prayers shall hold thee round.
"He has departed"—
"His voice"-"his face "-is gone;
To feel impatient-hearted,
Yet feel we must bear on;
Ah, I could not endure
To whisper of such woe,
Unless I felt this sleep ensure
That it will not be so.
Yes, still he's fixed, and sleeping!
This silence too the while
very hush and creeping
Seem whispering us a smile:
Something divine and dim
Seems going by one's ear,
Like parting wings of Cherubim,
Who say, "We've finished here."