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His litter of smooth semilucent mist,
These raven horses, though they foster'd are Of earth's splenetic fire, dully drop Their full-vein'd ears, nostrils blood wide, and stop ; "pon the spiritless mist have they outspread Their ample feathers, are in slumber dead, And on those pinions, level in mid-air, Endymion sleepeth and the lady fair. Slowly they sail, slowly as icy isle Upon a calm sea drifting; and meanwhile The mournful wanderer dreams. Behold ! he walks On heaven's pavement, brotherly he talks To divine powers. from his hand full fain Juno's proud birds are pecking pearly grain : He tries the nerve of Phoebus' golden bow, And asketh where the golden apples grow: Upon his arm he braces Pal And strives in vain to unsettle and wield A Jovian thunderbolt: arch Ilebe brings A full-brimm'd goblet, dances lightly, sings And tantalizes long; at last he drinks, And lost in pleasure at her feet he sinks, Touching with dazzled lips her star-light hand, He blows a bugle, – an etherial band Are visible above: the Seasons four, Green-kyrtled Spring, flush Summer, golden store In Autumn's sickle, Winter frosty hoar, Join dance with shadowy Hours; while still the blast In swells unmitigated, still doth last To sway their floating morris. . Whose is this? Whose bugle "... he inquires : they smile—. O Dis: Whv is this nortal here Dost thou not know Its mistress' lips Not thou – T is Dan's: lo! She rises crescented ' . He looks, "t is she, His very goddess: good-bye earth, and sea, And air, and pains, and care, and suffering; Good-bye to all but love! Then doth he spring Towards her, and awakes—and, strange, o'erhead, of those same fragrant exhalations bred, Beheld awake his very dream: the gods Stood smiling, merry Hebe laughs and nods; And Phoebe bends towards him crescented. () state perplexing : On the pinion bed, Too well awoke, he feels the panting side of his delicious lady. He who died For soaring too audacious in the sun, Where that same treacherous wax began to run, Felt not more tongue-tied than Endymion. His heart leapt up as to its rightful throne, To that fair-shadow’d passion pulsed its way— Ah, what perplexity Ah, well-a-day ! So fond, so beauteous was his bed-fellow, o He could not help but kiss her then he grew
Awhile forgetful of all beauty save
These words awoke the stranger of dark tresses: Her dawning love-look rapt Endymion blesses With "haviour soft. Sleep yawn'd from underneath. • Thou swan of Ganges, let us no more breathe This murky phantasm' thou contented seem'st Pillow'd in lovely idleness, nor dream'st What horrors may discomfort thee and me. Ah, shouldst thou die from my heart-treachery'— Yet did she merely weep—her gentle soul Hath no revenge in it; as it is whole In tenderness, would l were whole in love Can I prize thee, fair maid, all price above, Fiven when I feel as true as innocence 1 I do, I do.—What is this soul then Whence Caine it? It does not seem my own, and I Have no self-passion or identity. Some fearful end must be; where, where is it? by Nemesis I see my spirit flit Alone about the dark—Forgive me, sweet! shall we away?. He roused the steeds; they beat Their wings chivalrous into the clear air, Leaving old Sleep within his vapoury lair.
The good-night blush of eve was waning slow, And Vesper, risen star, began to throe In the dusk heavens silvery, when they Thus sprang direct towards the Galaxy. Nor did speed hinder converse soft and strange— Eternal oaths and vows they interchange, In such wise, in such temper, so aloof top in the winds, beneath a starry roof, So withess of their doom, that verily 'T is well nigh past man's search their hearts to see; whether they wept, or laugh d, or grieved, or toy’d— Most like with joy gone inad, with sorrow cloyd.
Full facing their swift flight, from ebon streak, The moon put forth a little diamond peak, No bigger than an unobserved star, Or tiny point of fairy scimetar; Bright signal that she only stoopod to tie Her silver sandals, ere delicuousiv She bow'd into the heavens her timid head. Slowly she rose, as though she would have fled, w hile to his lady meek the Carian turn'd, To mark if her dark eves had wet discern'd This beauty an its birth—despair' despair' He saw her body fading gaunt and spare in the cold moonshine. Straight he scored her wrist; It melted from his grasp: her hand he kiss'd, And, horror! kiss d his own—he was alone.
Her steed a little higher soard, and then Dropt hawkwise to the earth.
There lies a den, Beyond the seeming confines of the space Made for the soul to wander in and trace Its own existence, of remotest glooms. Dark regions are around it, where the tombs Of buried griefs the spirit sees, but scarce One hour doth linger weeping, for the pierce of new-born woe it feels more inly smart: And in these regions many a venom'd dart At random flies; they are the proper home of every ill: the man is yet to come who hath not journev'd in this native hell. But few have ever felt how calm and well Sleep may be had in that deep den of all. There anguish does not sting, nor pleasure pall; Woe-hurricanes beat ever at the gate, Yet all is still within and desolate. Beset with plainful gusts, within ye hear No sound so loud as when on curtain'd bier The death-watch tick is stifled. Enter none Who strive therefore : on the sudden it is won. Just when the sufferer begins to burn, Then it is free to him; and from an urn, Still fed by melting ice, he takes a draught— Young Semele such richness never quaft In her maternal longing. Happy gloom! Dark Paradise! where pale becomes the bloom Of health by due ; where silence dreariest is most articulate; where hopes infest; Where those eyes are the brightest far that keep Their lids shut longest in a dreamless sleep. O happy spirit-home ! O wondrous soul! Pregnant with such a den to save the whole In thine own depth. Hail, gentle Carian : For, never since thy griefs and woes began, Host thou felt so content: a grievous feud Hath let thee to this Cave of Quietude. Aye, his lull'd soul was there, although upborne With dangerous speed : and so he did not mourn Because he knew not whither he was going. So happy was he, not the aerial blowing Of trumpets at clear parley from the east Could rouse from that fine relish, that high feast. They stung the feather'd horse; with fierce alarm He thapp'd towards the sound. Alas! no charm Could lift Endymion's head, or he had view'd A skyey mask, a pinion d multitude,And silvery was its passing: voices sweet Warbling the while as if to lull and greet The wanderer in his path. Thus warbled they, While past the vision went in bright array.
« Who, who from Dian's feast would be away? For all the golden bowers of the day Are empty left Who, who away would be From Cynthia's wedding and festivity? Not Hesperus: lo! upon his silver wings He leans away for highest heaven and sings, Snapping his lucid fingers merrily — Ah, Zephyrus' art here, and Flora too! Ye tender bibbers of the rain and dew, Young playmates of the rose and daffodil, Be careful, ere ye enter in, to fill
Your baskets high With fennel green, and balm, and golden Pines, Savory, latter-mint, and columbines, Cool parsley, basil sweet, and sunny thyme; Yea, every flower and leaf of every clime, All gather'd in the dewy morning : hie Away! fly, fly!— Crystalline brother of the belt of heaven, Aquarius' to whom king Jove has given Two liquid pulse streams 'stead of featherd winos, Two fan-like fountains,—thine illuminings For Dian play: Dissolve the frozen purity of air; Let thy white shoulders silvery and bare Show cold through watery pinions: make more brot: The Star-Queen's crescent on her marriage night: Haste, haste away! Castor has tamed the planet Lion, see! And of the Bear has Pollux mastery: A third is in the race' who is the third. Speeding away swift as the eagle bird * The ramping Centaur! The Lion's mane's on end the Bear how fierce" The Centaur's arrow ready seems to pierce Some enemy: far forth his bow is bent Into the blue of heaven. He 'll be shent, Pale unrelentor, When he shall hear the wedding lutes a playing.— Andromeda! sweet woman' why delaying So timidly among the stars: come hither: Join this bright throng, and nimbly follow whither They all are going. Danae's Son, before Jove newly bow'd, Haswept for thee, calling to Jove aloud. Thee, gentle lady, did he disenthral: Ye shall for ever live and love, for all Thy tears are flowing.— By Daphne's fright, behold Apollo!—e
To nothing, loved a nothing, nothing seen
- Doves will I offer up, and sweetest store
All through the teeming year: so thou wiltshine
To Empress Dian, for a hunting-spear;
Thus strove by fancies vain and crude to clear
The Carian No word return'd : both lovelorm, silent, wan,
Into the valleys green together went.
Endymion unhappy! it nigh grieves Me to behold thee thus in last extreme: Enskied ere this, but truly that I deem Truth the best music in a first-born song. Thy lute-voiced brother will I sing ere long, And thou shalt aid—hast thou not aided me? Yes, moonlight Emperor' felicity Has been thy meed for many thousand years; Yet often have I, on the brink of tears,. Mourn’d as if yet thou wert a forester;Forgetting the old tale.
He did not stir His eyes from the dead leaves, or one small pulse of joy he might have felt. The spirit culls Unfaded amaranth, when wild it strays Through the old garden-tround of boyish days. A little onward ran the very stream By which he took his first soft poppy dream; And on the very bark gainst which he leant A crescent he had carved, and round it spent ilis skill in little stars. The teeming tree Had swoll'n and green'd the pious charactery, But not ta'en out. Why, there was not a slope Up which he had not fear'd the antelope; And not a tree, beneath whose rooty shade He had not with his tamed leopards play d: Nor could an arrow light, or javelin, Fly in the air where his had never been— And yet he knew it not.
Endymion, weep not so! Why shouldst thou pine
No tongue shall ask, whence come ye; but ye shall
My future days to her fane consecrate.”
As feels a dreamer what doth most create tlis own particular fright, so these three felt: Or like one who, in after ages, knelt To Lucifer or Baal, when he'd pine After a little sleep: or when in mine Far under-ground, a sleeper meets his friends Who know him not. Each diligently bends Tow'rds common thoughts and things for very fear; Striving their ghastly malady to cheer, By thinking it a thing of yes and no, That housewives talk of. But the spirit-blow Was struck, and all wer” dreamers. At the last Endymion said: • Are not our fates all cast? Why stand we here? Adieu, ye tender pair! Adieu ! - Whereat those maidens, with will stare, walk'd dimily away. Pain’d and hot His eyes went after them, until they got Near to a cypress grove, whose deadly maw, In one swift moment, would what then he saw Engulf for ever. . Stay!" he cried, - ah, stay" Turn, damsels' hist! one word I have to say: Sweet Indian, I would see thee once again. It is a thing I dote on: so I'd fain, Peona, ye should hand in hand repair, Into those holy groves that silent are Behind great Dian's temple. I'll be yon, At vesper's earliest twinkle—they are gone— But once, once, once again— - At this he press'd His hands against his face, and then did rest His head upon a mossy hillock green And so remain’d as he a corpse had been All the long day; save when he scantly lifted His eyes abroad, to see how shadows shifted With the slow move of time, sluggish and weary Until the poplar tops, in journey dreary, had reach'd the river's brim. Then up he rose, . And, slowly as that very river flows, walk'd tow'rds the temple-trove with this lament: ... why such a golden even The breeze is sent Careful and soft, that not a leaf may fall Before the serene father of thern all Bows down his summer head below the west. Now am I of breath, speech, and speed possest, But at the setting I must bid adieu To her for the last time. Night will strew On the damp grass myriads of lingering leaves, And with them shall I die; nor much it grieves To die, when summer dies on the cold sward. why, I have been a butterfly, a lord Of flowers, garlands, love-knots, silly posies, Groves, meadows, melodies, and arbour-roses; My kingdom's at its death, and just it is That I should die with it: so in all this we miscal grief, bale, sorrow, heart-break, woe, what is there to plain of by Titan's foe I am but rightly served. So saying, he Tripp'd lightly on, in sort of deathful glee;
Laughing at the clear stream and setting sun,