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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!
TO , FROM THE RHINE.
The castled crag of Drachenfels
Frowns'o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
Whose breast of waters broadly swells
Between the banks which bear the vine,
And hills all rich with blossom'd trees,
And fields which promise corn and wine,
And scatter'd cities crowning these,
Whose far white walls along them shine,
Have strew'd a scene, which I should see
With double joy wert thou with me!
And peasant girls, with deep blue eyes,
And hands which offer early flowers,
Walk smiling o'er this paradise ;
Above, the frequent feudal towers
Through green leaves lift their walls of grey,
And many a rock which steeply lours,
And noble arch in proud decay,
Look o'er this vale of vintage-bowers ;
But one thing want these banks of Rhine,
Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine!
I send the lilies given to me;
Though long before thy hand they touch
I know that they must wither'd be,
But yet reject them not as such;
For I have cherished them as dear,
Because they yet may meet thine eye,
And guide thy soul to mine even here,
When thou behold'st them drooping nigh,
And know'st them gacher'd by the Rhine,
And offer'd from my heart to thine !
The river nobly foams and flows,
The charm of this enchanted ground,
And all its thousand turns disclose
Some fresher beauty varying round;
The haughtiest breast its wish might bound
Through life to dwell delighted here ;
Nor could on earth a spot be found
To nature and to me so dear,
Could thy dear eyes in following minie,
Still sweeten more these banks of Rhine!
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 hence Old 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
Calm thee. Thy speech seems of another world,
And thou art loved of this. Be of good cheer;
All will go well.
Sar. Thy hand_50_'tis thy hand;
"Tis flesh; grasp_clasp-yet closer, till I feel
Myself that which I was.
At least know me
For what I am, and ever must be thine.
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;
I thought 'twas nothing.
So it is; except
Unto the timid, who anticipate
That which may never be.
Oh, Myrrha ! if
Sleep shows such things, what may not death disclose ?
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 seen
A legion of the dead.
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.
Myr. Yet pause, thou art tired-in pain_ex-
Which can impair both strength and spirit: seek
Rather to sleep again.
Not now I would not
Dream ; though I know it now to be a dream
What I have dreamt:-and canst thou bear to hear it?
Myr. I can bear all things : dreams of life or death,
Which I participate with you, in semblance
Or full reality.
Sar. And this look'd real,
I tell you : after that these eyes were open,
I saw them in their flight-for then they fled.
Myr. Say on.
I 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 frown'd not in his turn, but look”d upon me
With the same aspect, which appall’d me more
Because it changed not; and I turn'd for refuge
To milder guests, and sought them on the right,
Where thou wert wont to be. But ---
[He pauses. Myr.
What instead ? Sar. In thine own chair-thine own place in the
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.
Is this all ?
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 ?
It was so palpable, I could have touch'd them.
I turn'd from one face to another, in
The hope to find at last one which I knew
Ere I saw theirs : but no—all turn'd upon me,
And stared, but neither ate nor drank, but stared,
Till I grew stone, as they seem'd half to be,
Yet breathing stone, for I felt life in them,