Imatges de pàgina
PDF

They led on first, bent to her meek surprise,
Through portal columns of a giant size
into the vaulted, boundless cinerald.
Joyous all follow'd, as the leader call'd,
Down marble steps; pouring as easily
As hour-glass sand,-and fast, as you might see
Swallows obeying the south summer's call,
Or swans upon a gentle waterfall.

Thus went that beautiful multitude, nor far, Ere from among some rocks of glittering spar, Just within ken, they saw descending thick Another multitude. Whereat more quick \loved either host. On a wide sand they met, And of those numbers every eye was wet; For each their old love found. A murmuring rose, Like what was never heard in all the throes Of wind and waters: "t is past human wit To tell; t is dizziness to think of it.

This mighty consummation made, the host Moved on for many a league; and gain'd, and lost Huge sea-marks; vanward swelling in array, And from the rear diminishing away,+ Till a faint dawn surprised them. Glaucus cried, . Behold! behold, the palace of his pride! God Neptune's palaces!. With noice increased, They shoulder'd on towards that brightening east. At every onward step proud domes arose In prospect, diamond gleams and golden glows Of amber 'gainst their faces levelling. Jovous, and many as the leaves in spring, Still onward; still the splendour gradual swell’d. Rich opal domes where seen, on high upheld By jasper pillars, letting through their shafts A blush of coral. Copious wonder-draughts Each gazer drank; and deeper drank more near: For what poor mortals fragment up, as mere As marble was there lavish, to the vast Of one fair palace, that far far surpass'd, Even for common bulk, those olden three, Memphis, and Babylon, and Nineveh.

As large, as bright, as colour'd as the bow Of Iris, when unfading it doth show Beyond a silvery shower, was the arch Through which this Paphian army took its march, Into the outer courts of Neptune's state: Whence could be seen, direct, a golden gate, To which the leaders sped; but not half raught Ere it burst open swift as fairy thought, And made those dazzled thousands veil their eyes Like callow eagles at the first sunrise. Soon with an eagle nativeness their gaze Ripe from hue-golden swoons took all the blaze, And then, behold large Neptune on his throne Of emerald deep; yet not exalt alone; At his right hand stood winged Love, and on Ilis left sat suiling Beauty's paragon.

Far as the mariner on highest mast Can see all round upon the calmed vast, So wide was Neptune's hall; and as the blue Doth vault the waters, so the waters drew Their doming curtaius, high, magnificent, Awed from time throne aloof;-and when storm-rent

Disclosed the thunder-gloomings in Jove's air,
But soothed as now, flash'd sudden everywhere.
Noiseless, sub-marine cloudleis, glittering
Death to a human eye: for there did spring
From natural west, and cast, and south, and wo
A light as of four sunsets, blazing forth
A gold-green zenith 'bove the Sea-God's hel
Of lucid depth the floor, and far outspread
As breezeless lake, on which the slim canoe
Of feather'd Indian darts about, as through
The delicatest air; air verily,
But for the portraiture of clouds and sky.
This palace floor breath-air, but for the amo
Of deep-seen wonders motionless—and blue
Of the dome pomp, reflected in extremes,
Globing a golden sphere.

They stood in dram Till Triton blew his horn. The palace rano; The Nereids danced; the Syrens faintly sing: And the great Sea-King bow'd his dripping o' Then Love took wing, and from his pinion, so On all the multitude a nectarous dew. The ooze-born Goddess beckon'd and drew Fair Scylla and her guides to conference; And when they reach'd the throned eminono She kist the sea-nymph's cheek, -who sto o A toying with the doves. Then,_. Molto" And sceptre of this kingdom!. Venus said, • Thy vows were on a time to Nais paid Behold '--Two copious tear drops instan fell From the God's large eyes; he smiled ddeo And over Glaucus held his blessing hands• Endymion : Ah! still wandering in the bato Of love? Now this is cruel. Since the hour I met thee in earth's bosom, all my power Have I put forth to serve thee, What, no!" Escaped from dull mortality's harsh net! A little patience, youth !'t will not belong, Or I am skilless quite: an idic tongue, A humid eye, and steps luxurious, Where these are new and strange, are omin" Ave I have seen these signs in one of leave". When others were all blind; and were it." To utter secrets, haply I might say Some pleasant words: but Love will have he in So wait awhile expectant. Prythcc soon, Even in the passing of thine honey-moon, Visit my Cytherea: thou will find Cupid well-natured, my Adonis kind; And pray persuade with thee—Ah, I have * All blisses be upon thee, my sweet son!-Thus the fair goddess: while Endymion Knelt to receive those accents halcyon.

[ocr errors]

And strove who should be smother'd deepest in Fresh crush of leaves.

O't is a very sin For one so weak to venture his poor verse In such a place as this. O do not curse, High Muses! let him hurry to the ending.

All suddenly were silent. A soft blending Of dulcet instruments came charmingly; And then a hymn.

* King of the stormy sea! Brother of Jove, and co-inheritor of elements! Eternally before Thee the waves awful bow. Fast, stubborn rock, At thy fear'd trident shrinking, doth unlock Its deep foundations, hissing into foam. All mountain-rivers lost, in the wide home Of thy capacious bosom ever slow. Thou frownest, and old Eolus thy foe Skulks to his cavern, 'mid the gruff complaint Of all his rebel tempests. Dark clouds faint When, from thy diadem, a silver gleam Slants over blue dominion. Thy bright team Gulfs in the morning light, and scuds along To bring thee nearer to that golden song Apollo singeth, while his chariot Waits at the doors of heaven. Thou art not For scenes like this: an empire stern hast thou; And it hath furrow'd that large front : yet now, As newly come of heaven, dost thou sit To blend and interknit Subdued majesty with this glad time. O shell-borne King sublime ! we lay our hearts before thee evermore— We sing, and we adore!

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Was heard no more Spake fair Ausonia; and once more she spake

A higher summons :—still didst thou betake

[graphic]

Thee to thy native hopes. O thou hast won
A full accomplishinent! The thing is done,
Which undone, these our latter days had risen
On barren souls. Great Muse, thou know'st what prison,
Of flesh and bone, curbs, and confines, and frets
Our spirit's wings: despondency besets
Our pillows; and the fresh to-morrow morn
Seems to give forth its light in very scorn
Of our dull, uninspired, snail-paced lives.
Long have I said, how happy he who shrives
To thee! But then I thought on poets gone,
And could not pray:-nor can I now—so on
I move to the end in lowliness of heart.——

• Ah, woe is me! that I should fondly part From my dear native land! Ah, foolish maid! Glad was the hour, when, with thee, myriads bade Adieu to Ganges and their pleasant fields! To one so friendless the clear freshet yields A bitter coolness; the ripe grape is sour: Yet I would have, great gods' but one short hour Of native air—let me but die at home."

Endymion to heaven's airy dome was offering up a hecatomb of vows, When these words reach'd him. Whereupon he bows His head through thorny-green entanglement Of underwood, and to the sound is bent, Anxious as hind towards her hidden fawn.

* Is no one near to help me? No fair dawn Of life from charitable voice? No sweet saying To set my dull and sadden'd spirit playing? No hand to toy with mine? No lips so sweet That I may worship them? No eyelids meet To twinkle on my bosom No one dies Before me, till from these enslaving eyes Redemption sparkles!—I am sad and lost."

Thou, Carian lord, hadst better have been tost Into a whirlpool. Vanish into air, Warm mountaineer! for const thou only bear A woman's sigh alone and in distress? See not her charms! Is Phoebe passionless? Phoebe is fairer far–O gaze no more:– Yet if thou wilt behold all beauty's store, Behold Her panting in the forest grass! Do not those curls of glossy jet surpass For tenderness the arms so idly lain Amongst them 1 Feelest not a kindred pain, To see such lovely eves in swimming search After some warm delight, that seems to perch Dovelike in the dim cell lying beyond Their upper lids?—llist!

[blocks in formation]

And thou, old forest, hold ye this for true,
There is no lightning, no authentic dew
But in the eye of love: there's not a sound,
Melodious howsoever, can confound
The heavens and earth in one to such a death
As doth the voice of love: there's not a breath
Will mingle kindly with the meadow air,
Till it has panted round, and stolen a share
Of passion from the heart!"—

Upon a bough He leant, wretched. He surely cannot now Thirst for another love: O impious, That he can even dream upon it thus!— Thought he, . Why an I not as are the dead. Since to a woe like this I have been led Through the dark earth, and through the wondro Goddess! I love thee not the less: from ther By Juno's smile I turn not—no, no, noWhile the great waters are at chb and flowI have a triple soul! 0 fond pretence— For both, for both my love is so immense, I feel my heart is cut in twain for them.”

[blocks in formation]

Sweet as a musk-rose upon new-made hay;
With all her limbs on tremble, and her eyes
Shut softly up alive. To speak he tries:
• Fair damsel, pity me! forgive me that I
Thus violate thy bower's sanctity!
O pardon me, for I am full of grief—
Grief born of thee, young angel! fairest thirf
Who stolen hast away the wings wherewith
I was to top the heavens. Dear maid, sith
Thou art my executioner, and I feel
Loving and hatred, misery and weal,
Will in a few short hours be nothing to me,
And all my story that much passion slew me:
Do smile upon the evening of my days:
And, for my tortured brain begins to crane,
Be thou my nurse; and let me undersland
Ilow dying I shall kiss that lily hand.—
Dost weep for me? Then should I be content
Scowl on, ye fates' until the firmament
Outblackens Erebus, and the full-cavern'd eart"
Crumbles into itself. By the cloud Firth
Of Jove, those tears have given me a thirst
To meet oblivion.w-As her heart would buro
The maiden sobb d awhile, and then replied
• Why must such desolution bettle
As that thou speakest of 1 Are not these greato
Empty of all misfortune? Do the brooks
Utter a gorgon voice Does wonder thrush.
Schooling its half-fledged little ones to brush
About the dewy forest, whisper tiles – -
Speak not of grief, young stranger, or cold snails
Will slime the rose to-night. Though it do" wilt,
Methinks 't would be a guilt—a very full-
Not to companion thee, and oth away -
The light—the du-k—the dark—till break of day."
* Dear lady," said Endymion, a 'tis past:
I love thee! and my days can never last.
That I may pass in patience still speak:
Let me have music dying, and I sock

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

I saw parch’d Abyssinia rouse and sing
To the silver cymbals' ring:
I saw the whelming vintage hotly pierce
Old Tartary the fierce!
The kings of Ind their jewel-sceptres vail,
And from their treasures scatter pearled hail;
Great Brahma from his mystic heaven groans,
And all his priesthood moans,
Before young Bacchus' eye-wink turning pale.
Into these regions came 1, following him,
Sick-hearted, weary—so I took a whim
To stray away into these forests drear,
Alone, without a peer:
And I have told thee all thou mayest hear.

• Young stranger!

I ve been a ranger In search of pleasure throughout every clime;

Alas! t is not for me:

Bewitch'd I sure must be,
To lose in grieving all my maiden prime.

• Come then, Sorrow, Sweetest Sorrow! Like an own babel nurse thee on my breast: I thought to leave thee, And deceive thee, | But now of all the world I love thee best.

• There is not one,

No, no, not one
But thee to comfort a poor lonely maid;

Thou art her mother,

And her brother, IIer playmate, and her wooer in the shade.

O what a sigh she gave in finishing, And look, quite dead to every worldly thing! Endymion could not speak, but gazed on her: And listen’d to the wind that now did stir About the crisped oaks full drearily, Yet with as sweet a softness as might be Remember'd from its velvet summer song. At last he said: « Poor lady, how thus long Have I been able to endure that voice? Fair Melody! kind Syren: I've no choice; I must be thy sad servant evermore : I cannot chuse but kneel here and adore. Alas, I must not think—by Phoebe, no! Let me not think, soft Angel' shall it be so? Say, beautifullest, shall I never think? O thou couldst foster me beyond the brink Of recollection make my watchful care Close up its bloodshot eyes, nor see despair! Do gently murder half my soul, and I Shall feel the other half so utterly 1– I'm giddy at that cheek so fair and smooth; O let it blush so ever: let it soothe My madness! let it mantle rosy-warm With the tinge of love, panting in safe alarm. This cannot be thy hand, and yet it is; And this is sure thine other softling—this Tiline own fair bosom, and I am so near ! Wilt fall asleep? O let me sip that tear! And whisper one sweet word that I may know This is this world—sweet dewy blossom --Woe!

[merged small][ocr errors]

forth Their timid necks and tremble; so these both Leant to each other trembling, and sat so Waiting for some destruction—when lo! Foot-feather'd Mercury appeard sublime Beyond the tall tree tops; and in less time Than shoots the slanted hail-storm, down he droot Towards the ground; but rested not, nor stopt One moment from his home; only the sward He with his wand light touch'd, and heavenward Swifter than sight was gone—even before The teeming earth a sudden witness bore Of his swift magic. Diving swans appear Above the crystal circlings white and clear; And catch the cheated eye in wild surprise, How they can dive in sight and unseen rise— So from the turf outsprang two steeds jet-black, Each with large dark blue wings upon his backThe youth of Caria placed the lovely dame On one, and felt himself in spleen to tame The other's fierceness. Through the air they tier, High as the eagles. Like two drops of dew Exhaled to Phoebus' lips, away they are gone. Far from the earth away—unseen, alone, Among cool clouds and winds, but that the free, The buoyant life of song can floating be Above their heads, and follow them untired. Muse of my native land! an I inspired? This is the giddy air, and I must spread Wide pinions to keep here; nor do I dread Or height, or depth, or width, or any chance Precipitous: I have beneath my glance Those towering horses and their mournful freight Could I thus sail, and see, and thus await Fearless for power of thought, without thine aid :There is a sleepy dusk, an odorous shade From some approaching wonder, and behold Those winged steeds, with snorting nostrils bold Snuff at its faint extreme, and seem to tire, Dying to embers from their native fire!

There curl’d a purple mist around them : soon. It seem'd as when around the pale new moon Sad Zephyr droops the clouds like weeping willow : 'Twas Sleep slow journeying with head on pillow. For the first time, since he came nigh dead-born From the old womb of night, his cave forlorn Had he left more forlorn ; for the first time, He felt aloof the day and morning's prime— Because into his depth Cimmerian There came a dream, showing how a young man. Ere a lean bat could plump its wintery skin. Would at high Jove's empyreal footstool win An immortality, and how espouse Jove's daughter, and be reckon'd of his house. Now was he slumbering towards heaven's gate. That he might at the threshold one hour wait To hear the marriage melodies, and then Sink downward to his dusky cave again.

« AnteriorContinua »