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WINE OF CYPRUS.

Road by which all might come and go that would,
And bear out freights of worth to foreign lands;
That this most famous stream in bogs and sands
Should perish, and to evil and to good
Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung
Armoury of the invincible knights of old :
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakspeare spake—the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held. In everything we're sprung
Of earth's first blood, have titles manifold.

ir
When I have borne in memory what has tamed
Great nations, how ennobling thoughts depart
When men change swords for ledgers, and desert
The student's bower for gold, some fears unnamed
I had, my country !-am I to be blamed ?
But when I think of thee, and what thou art,
Verily, in the bottom of my heart,
Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.
But dearly must we prize thee—we who find
In thee a bulwark of the cause of men;
And I, by my affection, was beguiled.
What wonder if a poet now and then,
Among the many movements of his mind,
Felt for thee as a lover or a child ?

Wordsworth.

WINE OF CYPRUS.
IF Old Bacchus were the speaker,

He would tell you, with a sigh,
Of the Cyprus in this beaker

I am sipping like a fly,
Like a fly or gnat on Ida,

At the hour of goblet-pledge,
By Queen Juno brushed aside, a

Full white arm-sweep, from the edge.

WINE OF CYPRUS

211

Sooth, the drinking should be ampler,

When the drink is so divine ;
And some deep-mouthed Greek exampler

Would become your Cyprus wine!
Cyclops' mouth might plunge aright in,

While his one eye over-leeredNor too large were mouth of Titan,

Drinking rivers down his beard.

Pan might dip his head so deep in,

That his ears alone pricked out, Fauns around him, pressing, leaping,

Each one pointing to his throat:
While the Naiads, like Bacchantes

Wild, with urns thrown out to waste,
Cry,—“O earth, that thou wouldst grant us

Springs to keep, of such a taste !"

But for me, I am not worthy

After gods and Greeks to drink; And my lips are pale and earthy

To go bathing from this brink. Since

you heard them speak the last time, They have faded from their blooms, And the laughter of my pastime

Has learnt silence at the tombs.

Ah, my friend! the antique drinkers

Crowned the cup, and crowned the brow. Can I answer the old thinkers

In the forms they thought of, now? Who will fetch from garden-closes

Some new garlands while I speak, That the forehead, crowned with roses,

May strike scarlet down the cheek?

Do not mock me! with my mortal,

Suits no wreath again, indeed !

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WINE OF CYPRUS.

I am sad-voiced as the turtle

Which Anacreon used to feed;
Yet as that same bird demurely

Wet her beak in cup of his,-
So, without a garland surely

I may touch the brim of this.

Go!-let others praise the Chian !

This is soft as Muses' string-
This is tawny as Rhea's lion,

This is rapid as its spring, —
Bright as Paphia's eyes e'er met us,

Light as ever trod her feet !
And the brown bees of Hymettus

Made their honey not so sweet.

Very copious are my praises,

Though I sip it like a fly! -
Ah-but, sipping,—times and places

Change before me suddenly;
As Ulysses' old libation

Drew the ghosts from every part,
So your Cyprus wine, dear Grecian,
Stirs the Hades of

my

heart.

And I think of those long mornings

Which my thought goes far to seek, When, betwixt the folio's turnings,

Solemn flowed the rhythmic Greek. Past the pane, the mountain spreading,

Swept the sheep-bell's tinkling noise, While a girlish voice was reading

Somewhat low for ai's and oi's.

Then what golden hours were for us !—

While we sate together there,
How the white vests of the chorus

Seemed to wave up a live air!

WINE OF CYPRUS.

213

How the cothurns trod majestic

Down the deep iambic lines; And the rolling anapæstic

Curled like vapour over shrines ! Oh, our Æschylus, the thunderous !

How he drove the bolted breath Through the cloud, to wedge it ponderous

In the gnarled oak beneath. Oh, our Sophocles, the royal,

Who was born to monarch's placeAnd who made the whole world loyal,

Less by kingly power than grace. Our Euripides, the human

With his droppings of warm tears; And his touches of things common,

Till they rose to touch the spheres ! Our Theocritus, our Bion,

And our Pindar's shining goals !These were cup-bearers undying

Of the wine that's meant for souls.

And my Plato, the divine one,

If men know the gods aright
By their motions, as they shine on

With a glorious trail of light ! -
And your noble Christian bishops,

Who mouthed grandly the last Greek; Though the sponges on their hyssops

Were distent with wine-too weak.

Yet, your Chrysostom, you praised him,

With his liberal mouth of gold; And your Basil, you upraised him

To the height of speakers old : And we both praised Heliodorus

For his secret of pure lies ;

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WINE OF CYPRUS.

Who forged first his linked stories

In the heat of ladies' eyes.
Do you mind that deed of Até

Which you bound me to so fast,
Reading "De Virginitate,"

From the first line to the last?
How I said at ending, solemn,

As I turned and looked at you,
That St. Simeon on the column

Had had somewhat less to do?

1

For we sometimes gently wrangled;

Very gently, be it said, -
Since our thoughts were disentangled

By no breaking of the thread!
And I charged you with extortions

On the nobler fames of old
Ay, and sometimes thought your Porsons

Stained the purple they would fold.

For the rest—a mystic moaning

Kept Cassandra at the gate,
With wild eyes the vision shone in-

And wild nostrils scenting fate.
And Prometheus, bound in passion

By brute force to the blind stone,
Showed us looks of invocation

Turned to ocean and the sun.

And Medea we saw burning

At her nature's-planted stake;
And proud Edipus fate-scorning

While the cloud came on to break
While the cloud came on slow-slower,

Till he stood discrowned, resigned !-
But the reader's voice dropped lower

When the poet called him BLIND!

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