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"But if thou goest I follow-" "Peace!

he said-

She looked upon him and was calmed and cheered;

The ghastly colour from his lips had fled;

In his deportment, shape, and mien, appeared

Elysian beauty, melancholy grace,

Brought from a pensive, though a happy place.

He spake of love, such love as spirits feel
In worlds whose course is equable and pure;
No fears to beat away-no strife to heal—
The past unsighed for, and the future sure;
Spake of heroic arts in graver mood
Revived, with finer harmony pursued:

Of all that is most beauteous-imaged there
In happier beauty; more pellucid streams,
An ampler ether, a diviner air,

And fields invested with purpureal gleams;

Climes which the sun, who sheds the brightest

day

Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey.

Yet there the soul shall enter which hath earned

That privilege by virtue." Ill," said he,

"The end of man's existence I discerned,
Who from ignoble games and revelry

Could draw, when we had parted, vain delight,
While tears were thy best pastime, day and night:

"And while my youthful peers before my eyes

(Each hero following his peculiar bent)
Prepared themselves for glorious enterprise

By martial sports,—or, seated in the tent,
Chieftains and kings in council were detained;

What time the fleet at Aulis lay enchained.

"The wished-for wind was given :-I then revolved The oracle, upon the silent sea;

And, if no worthier led the way, resolved

That, of a thousand vessels, mine should be

The foremost prow in pressing to the strand,—
Mine the first blood that tinged the Trojan sand.

"Yet bitter, oft-times bitter, was the pang

When of thy loss I thought, beloved wife!

On thee too fondly did my memory hang,

And on the joys we shared in mortal life,-

The paths which we had trod-these fountains-flowers;

My new-planned cities, and unfinished towers.

"But should suspense permit the foe to cry,
'Behold, they tremble!-haughty their array,

Yet of their number no one dares to die!

In soul I swept the indignity away:

Old frailties then recurred:-but lofty thought,

In act embodied, my deliverance wrought.

"And thou, though strong in love, art all too weak

In reason, in self-government too slow;

I counsel thee by fortitude to seek

Our blest reunion in the shades below.

The invisible world with thee hath sympathised;

Be thy affections raised and solemnised.

66

Learn by a mortal yearning to ascend—

Seeking a higher object. Love was given,
Encouraged, sanctioned, chiefly for that end:
For this the passion to excess was driven
That self might be annulled: her bondage prove
The fetters of a dream, opposed to love."

Aloud she shrieked! for Hermes re-appears !

Round the dear shade she would have clung-'tis

vain :

The hours are past-too brief had they been

years;

And him no mortal effort can detain :

Swift, towards the realms that know not earthly

day,

He through the portal takes his silent way,

And on the palace floor a lifeless corse she lay.

Thus, all in vain exhorted and reproved,
She perished; and, as for a wilful crime,
By the just gods whom no weak pity moved,
Was doomed to wear out her appointed time,
Apart from happy ghosts, that gather flowers
Of blissful quiet 'mid unfading bowers.

Yet tears to human suffering are due;

And mortal hopes defeated and o'erthrown
Are mourned by man, and not by man alone,

As fondly he believes.-Upon the side
Of Hellespont (such faith was entertained)

A knot of spiry trees for ages grew

From out the tomb of him for whom she died;

And ever, when such stature they had gained
That Ilium's walls were subject to their view,
The trees' tall summits withered at the sight;
A constant interchange of growth and blight! *

1814.

TO A YOUNG LADY

WHO HAD BEEN REPROACHED FOR TAKING LONG WALKS IN THE COUNTRY.

[graphic]

EAR child of nature, let them

rail!

There is a nest in a green dale,

A harbour and a hold;

Where thou, a wife and friend,

shalt see

Thy own heart-stirring days, and be

A light to young and old.

* For the account of these long-lived trees, see Pliny's Natural History, lib. xvi. cap. 44; and for the features in the character of Protesilaus, see the "Iphigenia in Aulis" of Euripides. Virgil places the shade of Laodamia in a mournful region, among unhappy Lovers:

His Laodamia

It comes."

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