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SHELLEY.

165

ARETHUSA.

ARETHUSA arose

From her couch of snows
In the Acroceraunian mountains;

From cloud and from crag,

With many a jag, Shepherding her bright fountains.

She leapt down the rocks

With her rainbow locks Streaming among the streams;

Her steps paved with green

The downward ravine Which slopes to the western gleams;

And gliding and springing,

She went, ever singing, In murmurs as soft as sleep;

The earth seemed to love her,

And heaven smiled above her, As she lingered towards the deep.

Under the bowers

Where the Ocean Powers Sit on their pearlèd thrones,

Through the coral woods

Of the weltering floods, Over heaps of unvalued stones;

Through the dim beams

Which amid the strean Weave a network of coloured light;

And under the caves

Where the shadowy waves Are as green as the forest's night;

Outspeeding the shark,

And the swordfish dark, Under the ocean

And up through the rists

Of the mountain clifts They passed to their Dorian home.

Then Alpheus bold,

On his glacier cold, With his trident the mountains strook ;

And opened a chasm

In the rocks; with the spasm All Erymanthus shook.

And the black south wind

It concealed behind
The urns of the silent snow,

And earthquake and thunder

Did rend in sunder
The bars of the springs below.

The beard and the hair

Of the river-god were
Seen through the torrent's sweep,

As he followed the light

Of the fleet nymph's fight To the brink of the Dorian deep.

And now from their fountains

In Enna's mountains. Down one vale where the morning basks,

Like friends once parted

Grown single-hearted, They ply their watery tasks.

At sunrise they leap

From their cradles steep
In the cave of the shelving hill ;

At noontide they flow

Through the woods below And the meadows of Asphodel;

And at night they sleep

In the rocking deep Beneath the Ortygian shore;

Like spirits that lie

In the azure sky,
When they love but live no more.

THE QUESTION.

“Oh, save me! Oh, guide me!

And bid the deep hide me,
For he grasps me now by the hair!"

The loud ocean heard,

To its blue depth stirred, And divided at her prayer;

And under the water

The Earth's white daughter Fled like a sunny beam,

Behind her descended,

Her billows unblended
With the brackish Dorian stream:

Like a gloomy stain

On the emerald main, Alpheus rushed behind,

As an eagle pursuing

A dove to its ruin Down the streams of the cloudy wind.

| I DREAMED that, as I wandered by the way, Bare winter suddenly was changed to

spring, And gentle odours led my steps astray,

Mixed with a sound of waters murmuring Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay

Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling Its green arms round the bosom of the stream,

[est in dream. But kissed it and then fled, as thou might

There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,

Daisies, those pearlèd Arcturi of the earth, The constellated flower that never sets; Faint oxlips ; tender bluebells, at whose

birth

The sod scarce heaved ; and that tall power

that wets Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears,

[it hears. When the low wind, its playmate's voice, And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine, Green cow - bind and the moonlight

coloured May, (whose wine And cherry blossoms, and white cups, Was the bright dew yet drained not by

the day; And wild roses, and ivy serpentine, With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray;

[gold, And flowers azure, black, and streaked with Fairer than any wakened eyes behold.

So speaking, and by fervent love endowed With faith, the suppliant heavenward lifts

her hands; While, like the sun emerging from a cloud, Her countenance brightens, and her eye expands;

[grows; Her bosom heaves and spreads, her stature And she expects the issue in repose. Oh, lerror! what hath she perceived ?--Oh,

[behold? What doth she look on ?-whom doth she Her hero slain upon the beach of Troy? His vital presence-his corporeal mould? It is—if sense deceive her not-'tis he! And a god leads him-winged Mercury !

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And nearer to the river's trembling edge There grew broad flag-flowers, purple

prankt with white, And starry river buds among the sedge, And floating water - lilies, broad and

bright, Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge With moonlight beams of their own watery light;

(green And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.

Mild Hermes spake, and touched her with

his wand That calms all fear: “Such grace hath

crowned thy prayer, Laodamia: that at love's command Thy husband walks the paths of upper air: He comes to tarry with thee three hours'

space: Accept the gift-behold him face to face!'

Forth sprang the impassioned queen her

lord to clasp ! Again that consummation she essayed ; But unsubstantial form eludes her grasp As often as that eager grasp was made. The phantom parts—but parts to re-unite, And re-assume his place before her sight.

Methought that of these visionary flowers

I made a nosegay, bound in such a wizy That the same hues which in their natural

bowers Were mingled or opposed, the like array Kept these imprisoned children of the Hours

[gay, Within my hand, -and then, elate and I hastened to the spot whence I had come, That I might there present it, -Oh! to

whom?

“Protesilàus, lo! thy guide is gone! Confirm, I pray, the vision with thy voice: This is our palace, -yonder is thy throne: Speak, and the floor thou tread'st on will

rejoice. Not to appal me have the gods bestowed This precious boon, and blest a sad abode."

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“Supreme of heroes-bravest, noblest, best! “But if thou goest I follow.” “Peace!" Thy matchless courage I bewail no more, he said.

scheered. Which then, when tens of thousands were She looked upon him, and was calmed and deprest

The ghastly colour from his lips had fled; By doubt, propelled thee to the fatal shore; In his deportment, shape, and mien apThou found'st-and I forgive thee-here

peared thou art

Elysian beauty, melancholy grace, (place. A nobler counsellor than my poor heart. Brought from a pensive though a happy "But thou, though capable of sternest deed, He spake of love, such love as spirits feel Wert kind as resolute, and good as brave; In worlds whose courseis equable and pure; And he, whose power restores thee, hath No fears to beat away, no strife to heal, decreed

(the grave; The past unsighed for, and the future sure; That thou shouldst cheat the malice of Spake of heroic arts in graver mood Redundant are thy locks, thy lips as fair Revived, with finer harmony pursued: As when their breath enriched Thessalian air.

Of all that is most beauteous, imaged there

In happier beauty; more pellucid streams, “No spectre greets me, no vain shadow this: An ampler ether, a diviner air, Come, blooming hero, place thee by my side! And fields invested with purpureal gleams; Give, on this well-known couch, one nuptial | Climes which the sun, who sheds the kiss

brightest day To me, this day, a second time thy bride!" | Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey. Jove frowned in heaven; the conscious Parcæ threw

Yet there the soul shall enter which hath Upon those roseate lips a Stygian hue.

earned

That privilege by virtue. — “III," said he, “This visage tells thee that my doom is past: “The end of man's existence I discerned, Know, virtue were not virtue if the joys Who from ignoble games and revelry Of sense were able to return as fast

Could draw, when we had parted, vain And svrely as they vanish.-Earth destroys delight,

[and night; Those raptures duly-Erebus disdains: While tears were thy best pastime,-day Calm pleasures there abide, majestic pains.

“And while my youthful peers, before my “Be taught, O faithful consort, to control eyes Rebellious passion; for the gods approve (Each hero following his peculiar bent), The depth, and not the tumult, of the soul; Prepared themselves for glorious enterprise A fervent, not ungovernable love. [mourn

By martial sports: or. seated in the tent. Thy transports moderate ; and meekly Chieftains and kings in council were deWhen I depart, for brief is my sojourn." tained,

What time the fleet at Aulis lay enchained. "Ah,wherefore? Did not Hercules by force Wrest from the guardian monster of the “The wished-for wind was given: I then tomb

revolved Alcestis, a reanimated corse, [bloom ? | The oracle upon the silent sea; Given back to dwell on earth in vernal And, if no worthier led the way, resolved Medea's spells dispersed the weight of years, That, of a thousand vessels, mine should be And Æson stood a youth 'mid youthful The foremost prow in pressing to the peers.

strand,

sand.

Mine the first blood that tinged the Trojan “The gods to us are merciful, and they Yet further may relent; for mightier far “Yet bitter, ofttimes bitter, was the pang Than strength of nerve and sinew, or the | When of thy loss I thought, beloved wife! sway

On thee too fondly did my memory hang, Of magic potent over sun and star,

And on the joys we shared in mortal life, Is love, though oft to agony distrest, The paths which we had trod, these founAnd though his favourite 'seat be feeble tains, flowers,

[towers. woman's breast.

My new-planned cities, and unfinished

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