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As grows a flower, thus quietly she grew,
And kept her heart serene within its zone. There was awe in the homage which she drew;
Her spirit seemed as seated on a throne Apart from the surrounding world, and strong In its own strength-most strange in one so young!
The castled crag of Drachenfels
For I have cherished them as dear,
THE DREAM OF SARDANAPALUS.
Sar. (awaking) Not so—although ye multiplied And gave them to me as a realm to share [the stars, From you and with you! I would not so purchase The empire of eternity: Hence-henceOld hunter of the earliest brutes! and ye, Who hunted fellow-creatures as if brutes ! Once bloody mortals and now bloodier idols, If your priests lie not! And thou, ghastly beldame ! Dripping with dusky gore, and trampling on The carcases of Inde_away ! away! Where am I? Where the spectres ? Where-NoIs no false phantom : I should know it 'midst [that All that the dead dare gloomily raise up From their black gulf to daunt the living! Myrrha !
Myr. Alas! thou art pale, and on thy brow the drops
Gather like night dew. My beloved, hush
Thy hand-s0~'tis thy hand;
At least know me
Sar. I know it now. I know this life again. Ah, Myrrha ! I have been where we shall be.
Myr. My lord !
Sar. I've been i’ the grave where worms are lords, And kings are
But I did not deem it so ;
So it is; except
Oh, Myrrha ! if
Myr. I know no evil death can show, which life Has not already shown to those who live Embodied longest. If there be indeed A shore, where mind survives, 'twill be as mind, All unincorporate; or, if there flits A shadow of this cumbrous clog of clay, Which stalks, methinks, between our souls and heaven, And fetters us to earth—at least the phantom, Whate'er it have to fear, will not fear death.
Sar. I fear it not; but I have felt-have seenA legion of the dead. Myr.
And so have I. The dust we tread upon was once alive, And wretched. But proceed : what hast thou seen ?
Speak it, 'twill lighten thy dimmed mind.
hausted ; all
Not now I would not
Myr. I can bear all things : dreams of life or death,
And this look'd real,
Myr. Say on.
saw, that is, I dream'd myself Here-here-even where we are, guests as we were, Myself a host that deem'd himself but guest, Willing to equal all in social freedom; But on my right hand and my left, instead Of thee and Zames, and our 'custom'd meeting, Was ranged on my left hand a haughty, dark, And deadly face.--I could not recognize it, Yet I had seen it, though I knew not where; The features were a giant's, and the eye Was still, yet lighted ; his long locks curl'd down On his vast bust, whence a huge quiver rose With shaft-heads feather’d from the eagle's wing, That peep'd up bristling through his serpent hair. I invited him to fill the cup which stood Between us, but he answer'd not-I fill'd it He took it not, but stared upon me, till I trembled at the fixed glare of his eye:
I frown'd upon him as a king should frown
[He pauses. Myr.
What instead ? Sar. In thine own chair--thine own place in the
banquet, I sought thy sweet face in the circle-but Instead a grey-hair’d, wither’d, bloody-eyed, And bloody-handed, ghastly, ghostly thing, Female in garb, and crown'd upon the brow, Furrow'd with years, yet sneering with the passion Of vengeance, leering too with that of lust, Sate :--my veins curdled. Myr.
Is this all ? Sar.
Upon Her right hand-her lank, bird-like right-hand-stood A goblet, bubbling o'er with blood ; and on Her left, another, fill'd with what I saw not, But turned from it and her. But all along The table sate a range of crowned wretches, Of various aspects, but of one expression.
Myr. And felt you not this a mere vision ?