« AnteriorContinuar »
Violet, amaracus, and asphodel, 95 “Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. Lotos and lilies; and a wind arose,
She ceased, and Paris held the costly fruit And overhead the wandering ivy and vine, Out at arm's-length, so much the thought This way and that, in many a wild fes of power toon
Flattered his spirit; but Pallas where she Ran riot, garlanding the gnarlèd boughs I stood
135 With bunch and berry and flower through Somewhat apart, her clear and barèd limbs and through.
O’erthwarted with the brazen-headed spear
Upon her pearly shoulder leaning cold, “O mother Ida, harken ere I die. The while, above, her full and earnest eye On the tree-tops a crested peacock lit, | Over her snow-cold breast and angry cheek And o'er him fowed a golden cloud, and Kept, watch, waiting decision, made leaned
reply: Upon him, slowly dropping fragrant dew. 'Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control, Then first I heard the voice of her to whom These three alone lead life to sovereign Coming through heaven, like a light that power. grows
106 | Yet not for power (power of herself Larger and clearer, with one mind the Would come uncalled for) but to live by Gods
law, Rise up for reverence. She to Paris made Acting the law we live by without fear; Proffer of royal power, ample rule
And, because right is right, to follow right Unquestioned, overflowing revenue 110 Were wisdom in the scorn of consequence.' Wherewith to embellish state, ‘from many a vale
“Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. And river-sundered champaign clothed Again she said: 'I woo thee not with gifts. with corn,
Sequel of guerdon could not alter me 151 Or labored mine undrainable of ore. To fairer. Judge thou me by what I am, Honor,' she said, “and homage, tax and So shalt thou find me fairest. toll,
Yet, indeed, From many an inland town and haven | If gazing on divinity disrobed large,
115 | Thy mortal eyes are frail to judge of fair, Mast-thronged beneath her shadowing | Unbiased by self-profit, O, rest thee sure citadel
That I shall love thee well and cleave to In glassy bays among her tallest towers.'
So that my vigor, wedded to thy blood, “O mother Ida, harken ere I die. Shall strike within thy pulses, like a Still she spake on and still she spake of God's, power,
To push thee forward through a life of 'Which in all action is the end of all; 120 shocks,
160 Power fitted to the season; wisdom-bred | Dangers, and deeds, until endurance grow And throned of wisdom-from all neighbor | Sinewed with action, and the full-grown crowns
will, Alliance and allegiance, till thy hand Circled through all experiences, pure law, Fail from the sceptre-staff. Such boon Commeasure perfect freedom.' from me,
Here she ceased, From me, heaven's queen, Paris, to thee And Paris pondered and I cried, “O Paris, king-born,
Give it to Pallas!' but he heard me not, 166 A shepherd all thy life but yet king-born, Or hearing would not hear me, woe is me! Should come most welcome, seeing men, in power
“O mother Ida, many-fountained Ida, Only, are likest Gods, who have attained Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. Rest in a happy place and quiet seats Idalian Aphrodite beautiful,
170 Above the thunder, with undying bliss 130 | Fresh as the foam, new-bathed in Paphian In knowledge of their own supremacy. I wells,
With rosy slender fingers backward drew Fostered the callow eaglet-from beneath From her warm brows and bosom her Whose thick mysterious boughs in the dark deep hair
morn Ambrosial, golden round her lucid throat | The panther's roar came muffled, while I And shoulder; from the violets her light 1 sat
175 | Low in the valley. Never, never more Shone rosy-white, and o'er her rounded Shall lone Enone see the morning mist form
Sweep through them; never see them overBetween the shadows of the vine-bunches laid Floated the glowing sunlights, as she With narrow moonlit slips of silver cloud, moved.
Between the loud stream and the trembling stars.
215. “Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. She with a subtle smile in her mild eyes, | “O mother, hear me yet before I die. The herald of her triumph, drawing nigh I wish that somewhere in the ruined folds, Half-whispered in his ear, 'I promise Among the fragments tumbled from the thee
182 glens, The fairest and most loving wife in Greece.' | Or the dry thickets, I could meet with her She spoke and laughed; I shut my sight The Abominable, that uninvited came 220 for fear;
Into the fair Pelesan banquet-hall, But when I looked, Paris had raised his And cast the golden fruit upon the board, arm,
185 And bred this change; that I might speak And I beheld great Here's angry eyes,
my mind, As she withdrew into the golden cloud, And tell her to her face how much I hate And I was left alone within the bower; Her presence, hated both of Gods and And from that time to this I am alone,
225 And I shall be alone until I die. 190
“O mother, hear me yet before I die. “Yet, mother Ida, harken ere I die. Hath he not sworn his love a thousand Fairest—why fairest wife? am I not fair? times, My love hath told me so a thousand times. In this green valley, under this green hill, Methinks I must be fair, for yesterday, Even on this hand, and sitting on this When I passed by, a wild and wanton stone? pard,
Sealed it with kisses? watered it with Eyed like the evening star, with playful tears? tail
O happy tears, and how unlike to these! Crouched fawning in the weed. Most O happy heaven, how canst thou see my loving is she?
face? Ah me, my mountain shepherd, that my happy earth, how canst thou bear my arms
weight? Were wound about thee, and my hot lips O death, death, death, thou ever-floating pressed
cloud, Close, close to thine in that quick-falling There are enough unhappy on this earth, dew
200 Pass by the happy souls, that love to live; Of fruitful kisses, thick as autumn rains I pray thee, pass before my light of life, Flash in the pools of whirling Simois! And shadow all my soul, that I may die.
Thou weighest heavy on the heart within, “O mother, hear me yet before I die. Weigh heavy on my eyelids; let me die. 240 They came, they cut away my tallest pines, My tall dark pines, that plumed the craggy “O mother, hear me yet before I die. ledge
205 | I will not die alone, for fiery thoughts High over the blue gorge, and all between Do shape themselves within me, more and The snowy peak and snow-white cataract more, I leopard.
| Whereof I catch the issue, as I hear
Dead sounds at night come from the in- Three silent pinnacles of aged snow, most hills,
245 Stood sunset-flushed; and, dewed with Like footsteps upon wool. I dimly see showery drops, My far-off doubtful purpose, as a mother Up-clomb the shadowy pine above the Conjectures of the features of her child woven copse. Ere it is born. Her child !-a shudder comes :
The charmèd sunset lingered low adown Across me: never child be born of me 250 In the red West; through mountain clefts Unblest, to vex me with his father's eyes! the dale
Was seen far inland, and the yellow down “O mother, hear me yet before I die. | Bordered with palm, and many a winding Hear me, O earth. I will not die alone, I vale Lest their shrill happy laughter come to me And meadow, set with slender galingale;' Walking the cold and starless road of death | A land where all things always seemed Uncomforted, leaving my ancient love 256 the same! With the Greek woman. I will rise and go And round about the keel with faces Down into Troy, and ere the stars come pale,
Dark faces pale against that rosy flame, Talk with the wild Cassandra, for she says The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters A fire dances before her, and a sound 260
came. Rings ever in her ears of armed men. What this may be I know not, but I know Branches they bore of that enchanted That, whereso'er I am by night and day, stem, All earth and air seem only burning fire.” Laden with flower and fruit, whereof they
To each, but whoso did receive of them 30 THE LOTOS-EATERS
And taste, to him the gushing of the
wave “Courage!” he said, and pointed toward | Far far away did seem to mourn and the land,
rave “This mounting wave will roll us shore- On alien shores; and if his fellow spake, ward soon.”
His voice was thin, as voices from the In the afternoon they came unto a land grave; In which it seemèd always afternoon. And deep-asleep he seemed, yet all awake, All round the coast the languid air did And music in his ears his beating heart swoon,
36 Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
They sat them down upon the yellow Full-faced above the valley stood the sand, moon;
Between the sun and moon upon the shore; And, like a downward smoke, the slender And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland, stream
Of child, and wife, and slave; but everAlong the cliff to fall and pause and fall more did seem.
Most weary seemed the sea, weary the
oar, A land of streams! some, like a downward Weary the wandering fields of barren smoke,
10 foam. Slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn, did go; Then some one said, “We will return no And some through wavering lights and more;" shadows broke,
And all at once they sang, “Our island Rolling a slumbrous sheet of foam below. home They saw the gleaming river seaward flow Is far beyond the wave; we will no From the inner land; far off, three moun longer roam." tain-tops,
1 reeds, sedge.
Squadrons and squares of men in brazen A DREAM OF FAIR WOMEN
Scaffolds, still sheets of water, divers I read, before my eyelids dropped their
Ranges of glimmering vaults with iron “The Legend of Good Women,” long
And hushed seraglios. Sung by the morning-star of song, who made
| So shape chased shape as swift as, when to His music heard below;
land Dan Chaucer, the first warbler, whose
Bluster the winds and tides the self-same · sweet breath
way, Preluded those melodious bursts that fill
Crisp foam-flakes scud along the level sand The spacious times of great Elizabeth
Torn from the fringe of spray. 40 With sounds that echo still.
I started once, or seemed to start in pain, And, for a while, the knowledge of his art Resolved on noble things, and strove to Held me above the subject, as strong speak, gales
| As when a great thought strikes along the Hold swollen clouds from raining, though brain, my heart,
And flushes all the cheek. Brimful of those wild tales,
And once my arm was lifted to hew down 45 Charged both mine eyes with tears. In
A cavalier from off his saddle-bow, every land
That bore a lady from a leaguered town; I saw, wherever light illumineth,
And then, I know not how,
All those sharp fancies, by down-lapsing
Streamed onward, lost their edges, and stars,
did creep And I heard sounds of insult, shame, and Rolled on each other, rounded, smoo wrong,
51 And trumpets blown for wars; 20 Into the gulfs of sleep. And clattering flints battered with clang- | At last methought that I had wandered far ing hoofs;
In an old wood: fresh-washed in coolest And I saw crowds in columned sanc dew tuaries;
The maiden splendors of the morning star 55 And forms that passed at windows and on
Shook in the steadfast blue. roofs Of marble palaces;
Enormous elm-tree-boles did stoop and Corpses across the threshold; heroes tall 25 Dislodging pinnacle and parapet
Upon the dusky brushwood underneath Upon the tortoise creeping to the wall;
Their broad curved branches, fledged with Lances in ambush set;
60 And high shrine-doors burst through with heated blasts
The dim red morn had died, her journey That run before the futtering tongues done, of fire;
And with dead lips smiled at the twiWhite surf wind-scattered over sails and light plain, masts,
Half-fallen across the threshold of the sun, And ever climbing higher;
Never to rise again.
There was no motion in the dumb dead “No marvel, sovereign lady: in fair field
65 | Myself for such a face had boldly died," Not any song of bird or sound of rill; I answered free; and turning I appealed Gross darkness of the inner sepulchre
To one that stood beside.
100 Is not so deadly still
But she, with sick and scornful looks As that wide forest. Growths of jasmine averse, turned
To her full height her stately stature Their humid arms festooning tree to draws; tree,
“My youth,” she said, "was blasted with And at the root through lush green grasses a curse: burned
This woman was the cause. The red anemone.
“I was cut off from hope in that sad I knew the flowers, I knew the leaves, I place knew
Which men called Aulis in those iron The tearful glimmer of the languid years; dawn
My father held his hand upon his face; On those long, rank, dark wood-walks | I, blinded with my tears, drenched in dew,
75 Leading from lawn to lawn.
“Still strove to speak: my voice was thick
with sighs The smell of violets, hidden in the green, | As in a dream. Dimly I could descry 110 Poured back into my empty soul and The stern black-bearded kings with wolfish frame
eyes, The times when I remember to have been Waiting to see me die. Joyful and free from blame.
“The high masts flickered as they lay And from within me a clear undertone
afloat; Thrilled through mine ears in that un- | The crowds, the temples, wavered, and blissful clime,
the shore; “Pass freely through: the wood is all thine The bright death quivered at the victim's own,
throatUntil the end of time.”
Touched-and I knew no more.”
At length I saw a lady within call, 85 Whereto the other with a downward brow: Stiller than chiselled marble, standing “I would the white cold heavy-plunging there;
foam, A daughter of the gods, divinely tall, Whirled by the wind, had rolled me deep And most divinely fair.
Then when I left my home.” 120 Her loveliness with shame and with surprise
Her slow full words sank through the Froze my swift speech: she, turning on silence drear, my face
90 As thunder-drops fall on a sleeping sea: The star-like sorrows of immortal eyes, Sudden I heard a voice that cried, “Come Spoke slowly in her place:
That I may look on thee.” “I had great beauty: ask thou not my name:
I turning saw, throned on a flowery rise,125 No one can be more wise than destiny. One sitting on a crimson scarf unrolled; Many drew swords and died. Where'er | A queen, with swarthy cheeks and bold I came
black eyes, I brought calamity.”
Brow-bound with burning gold.