Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

sire :

tire

The eastern soft wind, and his galley now Alone they can drink up the morning rain: Grated the quay-stones with her brazen Though a descended Pleiad, will not one prow

Of thine harmonious sisters keep in tune In port Cenchreas, from Egina isle

Thy spheres, and as thy silver proxy shine ? Fresh anchor'd; whither he had been So sweetly to these ravish'd ears of mine awhile

Came thy sweet greeting, that if thou To sacrifice to Jove, whose temple there

shouldst fade, Waits with high marble doors for blood Thy memory will waste me to a shade: and incense rare.

For pity do not melt!' — If I should Jove heard his vows, and better'd his de

stay,'

271

Said Lamia, "here, upon this floor of clay, For by some freakful chance he made re And pain my steps upon these flowers too

230

rough, From his companions, and set forth to walk, What canst thou say or do of charm enough Perhaps grown wearied of their Corinth To dull the nice remembrance of my home ? talk:

Thou canst not ask me with thee here to Over the solitary hills he fared,

roam Thoughtless at first, but ere eve's star ap Over these hills and vales, where no joy pear'd

is, His phantasy was lost, where reason fades, Empty of immortality and bliss! In the calm'd twilight of Platonic shades. | Thou art a scholar, Lycius, and must know Lamia beheld him coming, near, more That finer spirits cannot breathe below 280 near

In human climes, and live: Alas! poor Close to her passing, in indifference drear,

yonth, His silent sandals swept the mossy green; What taste of purer air hast thou to soothe So neighbour'd to him, and yet so unseen 240 My essence? What serener palaces, She stood: he pass'd, shut up in mysteries, Where I may all my many senses please, His mind wrapp'd like his mantle, while her And by mysterious sleights a hundred thirsts eyes

appease ? Follow'd his steps, and her neck regal white It cannot be — Adieu!' So said, she rose Turn'd — syllabling thus, 'Ah, Lycius Tiptoe with white arms spread. He, sick to bright!

lose And will you leave me on the hills alone ? The amorous promise of her lone complain, Lycius, look back! and be some pity shown.' | Swoon'd murmuring of love, and pale with He did; not with cold wonder fearingly,

pain. But Orphens-like at an Eurydice;

The cruel lady, without any show 290 For so delicious were the words she sung, Of sorrow for her tender favourite's woe, It seein'd he had loved them a whole sum Bit rather, if her eyes could brighter be, mer long:

250

With brighter eyes and slow amenity, And soon his eyes bad drunk her beauty up, Put her new lips to his, and gave afresh Leaving no drop in the bewildering cup, The life she had so tangled in her mesh: And still the cup was full,- while he, afraid And as he from one trance was wakening Lest she should vanish ere his lips had paid Into another, she began to sing, Due adoration, thus began to adore;

Happy in beauty, life, and love, and every Her soft look growing coy, she saw his

thing, chain so sure:

A song of love, too sweet for earthly lyres, • Leave thee alone! Look back! Ah, God While, like held breath, the stars drew in dess, see

their panting fires. Whether my eyes can ever turn from thee! | And then she whisper'd in such trembling For pity do not this sad heart belie

tone, Even as thou vanishest so I shall die. 260 As those who, safe together met alone Stay! though a Naiad of the rivers, stay! For the first time through many anguish'd To thy far wishes will thy streams obey:

days, Stay! though the greenest woods be thy | Use other speech than looks; bidding bim domain,

raise

300

320

His drooping head, and clear his soul of Made, by a spell, the triple league decrease doubt,

To a few paces; not at all surmised For that she was a woman, and without By blinded Lycius, so in her comprised: Any more subtle fluid in her veins

They pass'd the city gates, he knew not Than throbbing blood, and that the self

how, same pains

So noiseless, and he never thought to know. Inhabited her frail-strung heart as his. And next she wonder'd how his eyes could As men talk in a dream, so Corinth all, 350 miss

310 Throughout her palaces imperial, Her face so long in Corinth, where, she | And all her populous streets and temples said,

lewd, She dwelt but half retired, and there had Mutter'd, like tempest in the distance led

brew'd, Days happy as the gold coin could inveut | To the wide-spreaded night above her Without the aid of love; yet in content

towers. Till she saw bim, as once she pass'd him by, Men, women, rich and poor, in the cool Where 'gainst a column he leant thonght

hours, fully

Shuffled their sandals o'er the pavement At Venus' temple porch, 'mid baskets white, heap'd

Companion'd or alone; while many a light Of amorous herbs and flowers, newly reap'd Flared, here and there, from wealthy festiLate on that eve, as 't was the night before

vals, The Adonian feast; whereof she saw no And threw their moving shadows on the more,

walls, But wept alone those days, for why should Or found them cluster'd in the corniced she adore ?

shade

360 Lycius from death awoke into amaze, Of some arch'd temple door, or dusky To see her still, and singing so sweet lays;

colonnade. Then from amaze into delight he fell To hear her whisper woman's lore so well; | Muffling his face, of greeting friends in And every word she spake enticed him on

fear, To unperplex'd delight and pleasure known. Her fingers be press'd hard, as one came Let the mad poets say whate'er they please Of the sweets of Fairies, Peris, Goddesses, With curl'd gray beard, sharp eyes, and There is not such a treat among them

smooth bald crown, all,

330 Slow-stepp'd, and robed in philosophic Haunters of cavern, lake, and waterfall,

gown: As a real woman, lineal indeed

Lycins shrank closer, as they met and past, From Pyrrha's pebbles or old Adam's seed. Into his mantle, adding wings to haste, Thus gentle Lamia judged, and judged

While hurried Lamia trembled: "Ah,' said aright, That Lycius could not love in half a fright, Why do you shudder, love, so ruefully? So threw the goddess off, and won his heart Why does your tender palm dissolve in More pleasantly by playing woman's part,

dew?With no more awe than what her beauty | I'm wearied,' said fair Lamia: 'tell me gave,

who That, while it smote, still guaranteed to Is that old man ? I cannot bring to mind save.

His features: - Lycius ! wherefore did you Lycius to all made eloquent reply, 340

blind Marrying to every word a twin-born sigh: | Yourself from his quick eyes ?' Lycins And last, pointing to Corinth, ask'd her

replied, sweet,

« 'Tis Apollonius sage, my trusty guide If 't was too far that night for her soft And good instructor; but to-night he seems feet.

The ghost of folly haunting my sweet The way was short, for Lamia's eagerness

dreams.'

near

he,

370

[ocr errors]

in

While yet he spake they had arrived | Above the lintel of their chamber door, before

And down the passage cast a glow upon A pillar'd porch, with lofty portal door, .

the floor. Where hung a silver lamp, whose phosphor glow

380

For all this came a ruin: side by side Reflected in the slabbed steps below, They were enthroned, in the even tide, Mild as a star in water; for so new

Upon a couch, near to a curtaining And so unsullied was the marble hue, Whose airy texture, from a golden string, So through the crystal polish, liquid fine, Floated into the room, and let appear 20 Ran the dark veins, that none but feet Unveil'd the summer heaven, blue and clear, divine

Betwixt two marble shafts:— there they Could e'er have touch'd there. Sounds

reposed, folian

Where use had made it sweet, with eyelids Breathed from the hinges, as the ample closed, span

Saving a tithe which love still open kept, Of the wide doors disclosed a place un That they might see each other while they known

almost slept; Some time to any, but those two alone, When from the slope side of a suburb hill, And a few Persian mutes, who that same Deafening the swallow's twitter, came a year

390

thrill Were seen about the markets: none knew Of trumpets – Lycius started — the sounds where

fled, They could inbabit; the most curious But left a thought, a buzzing in his head. Were foil'd, who watch'd to trace them to For the first time, since first he harbour'd their house:

30 And but the flitter-winged verse must tell, That purple-lined palace of sweet sin, For truth's sake, what woe afterwards His spirit pass'd beyond its golden bourn befell,

Into the noisy world almost forsworn. 'T would humour many a heart to leave The lady, ever watchful, penetrant, them thus,

Saw this with pain, so arguing a want Shut from the busy world of more incredu Of something more, more than her empery lous.

Of joys; and she began to moan and sigh
Because he mused beyond her, knowing well

That but a moment's thought is passion's
PART II

passing bell.

• Why do yon sigh, fair creature?' whisLove in a hut, with water and a crust,

per'd he:

40 Is — Love, forgive us ! - cinders, ashes, Why do you think?' return'd she ten

derly: Love in a palace is perhaps at last

•You have deserted me; — where am I More grievous torment than a hermit's

now? fast:

Not in your heart while care weighs on That is a doubtful tale from faery land,

your brow: Hard for the non-elect to understand. No, no, you have dismiss'd me; and I go Had Lycius lived to hand his story down, From your breast houseless: aye, it must be He might have given the moral a fresh

60. frown,

He answer'd, bending to her open eyes, Or clench'd it quite: but too short was Where he was mirror'd small in paradise, their bliss

My silver planet, both of eve and morn! To breed distrust and hate, that make the | Why will you plead yourself so sad forlorn, soft voice biss.

10

While I am striving how to fill my heart 50 Besides, there, nightly, with terrific glare, With deeper crimson, and a double smart? Love, jealous grown of so complete a pair, How to entangle, trammel up and snare Hover'd and buzz'd his wings, with fearful Your soul in mine, and labyrinth you there, roar,

| Like the bid scent in an unbudded rose?

dust;

day,

stung,

Aye, a sweet kiss — you see your mighty My presence in wide Corinth hardly known: woes.

My parents' bones are in their dusty urns My thoughts! shall I unveil them? Listen Sepulchred, where no kindled incense then!

burns, What mortal hath a prize, that other men Seeing all their luckless race are dead, May be confounded and abash'd withal,

save me, But lets it sometimes pace abroad majes And I neglect the holy rite for thee. tical,

Even as you list invite your many guests; And triumph, as iu thee I should rejoice 60 But if, as now it seems, your vision rests Amid the hoarse alarm of Corinth's voice. With any pleasure on me, do not bid 100 Let my foes choke, and my friends shout Old Apollonius — from him keep me hid.' afar,

Lycius, perplex'd at words so blind and While through the thronged streets your blank, bridal car

Made close inquiry; from whose touch she Wheels round its dazzling spokes.' – The

shrank, lady's cheek

Feigning a sleep; and he to the dull shade Trembled; she nothing said, but, pale and Of deep sleep in a moment was betray'd.

meek, Arose and knelt before him, wept a rain It was the custom then to bring away Of sorrows at his words; at last with pain | The bride from home at blushing shut of Beseeching him, the while his band she wrung,

Veild, in a chariot, heralded along To change his purpose. He thereat was By strewn flowers, torches, and a marriage

song, Perverse, with stronger fancy to reclaim 70 With other pageants: but this fair unHer wild and timid nature to his aim;

known

110 Besides, for all his love, in self despite, Had not a friend. So being left alone, Against his better self, be took delight (Lycius was gone to summon all his kin,) Luxurious in her sorrows, soft and new. And knowing surely she could never win His passion, cruel grown, took on a hue His foolish heart from its mad pompousFierce and sanguineous as 't was possible

ness, In one whose brow had no dark veins to She set herself, high-thoughted, how to swell.

dress Fine was the mitigated fury, like

The misery in fit magnificence. Apollo's presence when in act to strike She did so, but 't is doubtful how and whence The serpent - Ha! the serpent! certes, Came, and who were her subtle servitors. she

80 About the balls, and to and from the doors, Was none. She burnt, she loved the There was a noise of wings, till in short tyranny,

space

120 And, all subdued, consented to the hour The glowing banquet - room shone with When to the bridal he should lead his par

wide-arched grace. amour.

A haunting music, sole perhaps and lone Whispering in midnight silence, said the Supportress of the faery-roof, made moan youth,

Throughont, as fearful the whole charm 'Sure some sweet name thou hast, though, might fade. by my truth,

Fresh carved cedar, mimicking a glade I have not ask'd it, ever thinking thee Of palm and plantain, met from either side, Not mortal, but of heavenly progeny, High in the midst, in honour of the bride: As still I do. Hast any mortal naine,

Two palms and then two plantains, and Fit appellation for this dazzling frame? Or friends or kinsfolk on the citied earth, From either side their stems branch'd one To share our marriage feast and nuptial

to one mirth?'

91 All down the aisled place; and beneath all I have no friends,' said Lamia, no, not There ran a stream of lamps straight on one;

from wall to wall.

so on,

131

[ocr errors]

first,

181

So canopied, lay an untasted feast

Lycius,' said he, "for uninvited guest Teeming with odonrs. Lamia, regal drest, To force himself upon you, and infest Silently paced about, and as she went, With an unbidden presence the bright In pale contented sort of discontent,

throng Mission'd her viewless servants to enrich Of younger friends; yet must I do this The fretted splendour of each nook and

wrong, niche.

And you forgive me.' Lycius blush'd, and Between the tree-stems, marbled plain at

The old man through the inner doors broadCame jasper panels; then, anon, there burst

spread;

170 Forth creeping imagery of slighter trees, 140 With reconciling words and courteous mien And with the larger wove in small intrica- | Turning into sweet milk the sophist's cies.

spleen. Approving all, she faded at self-will, And shut the chamber up, close, hush'd Of wealthy lustre was the banquet-room, and still,

Fill'd with pervading brilliance and perComplete and ready for the revels rude,

fume: When dreadful guests would come to spoil Before each lucid panel fuming stood her solitude.

A censer fed with myrrh and spiced wood,

Each by a sacred tripod held aloft, The day appear'd, and all the gossip | Whose slender feet wide-swerved upon the rout.

soft O senseless Lycius! Madman! wherefore Wool - woofed carpets: fifty wreaths of flout

smoke The silent-blessing fate, warm cloister'd From fifty censers their light voyage took hours,

To the high roof, still mimick'd as they And show to common eyes these secret

rose bowers ?

Along the mirror'd walls by twin-clouds The herd approach'd; each guest, with busy

odorous. brain,

Twelve sphered tables, by silk seats inArriving at the portal, gazed amain,

spher'd, And enter'd marvelling: for they knew the High as the level of a man's breast rear'd street,

On libbard's paws, upheld the heavy gold Remember'd it from childhood all com Of cups and goblets, and the store thrice. plete

told Without a gap, yet ne'er before had seen Of Ceres' horn, and, in huge vessels, wine That royal porch, that high-built fair de- | Came from the gloomy tun with merry mesne;

shine. So in they hurried all, mazed, curious and Thus loaded with a feast the tables stood, keen:

Each shrining in the midst the image of a Save one, who look’d thereon with eye se

God. vere, And with calm-planted steps walk'd in aus- | When in an antechamber every guest tere:

Had felt the cold full sponge to pleasure 'T was Apollonius : something too he press'd, laugh'd,

By ministering slaves, upon his hands and As though some knotty problem, that had feet, daft

160 And fragrant oils with ceremony meet His patient thought, had now begun to Pour'd on his hair, they all moved to the thaw,

feast And solve and melt: – 't was just as he In white robes, and themselves in order foresaw.

placed

| Around the silken couches, wondering He met within the murmurous vestibule Whence all this mighty cost and blaze of His young disciple. "'Tis no common rule,

wealth could spring.

150

190

« AnteriorContinuar »