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Until exhausted of the latest drop,
Bewitch'd me towards; and I soon was near So it will pleasure thee, and force thee stop A sight too fearful for the feel of fear; Here, that I too may live: but if beyond
In thicket hid I cursed the haggard sceneSuch cool and sorrowful offerings, thou art fond The banquet of my arms, my arbor queen, Of soothing warmth, of dalliance supreme; Seated upon an uptorn forest root ; If thou art ripe to taste a long love-dream; And all around her shapes, wizard and brute, If smiles, if dimples, tongues for ardor mute, Laughing, and wailing, grovelling, serpenting, Hang in thy vision like a tempting fruit,
Showing tooth, tusk, and venom-bag, and sting! O let me pluck it for thee.” Thus she link'd O such deformities! Old Charon's self, Her charming syllables, till indistinct
Should he give up awhile his penny pelf, Their music came to my o'er-sweeten'd soul ; And take a dream 'mong rushes Stygian, And then she hover'd over me, and stole
It could not be so fantasied. Fierce, wan, So near, that if no nearer it had been
And tyrannizing was the lady's look, This furrow'd visage thou hadst never seen. As over them a gnarled staff she shook.
Oft-times upon the sudden she laugh'd out, “ Young man of Latmos! thus particular And from a basket emptied to the rout Am I, that thou mayst plainly see how far
Clusters of grapes, the which they raven'd quick This fierce temptation went: and thou mayst not
And roar'd for more ; with many a hungry lick Exclaim, How then, was Scylla quite forgot?
About their shaggy jaws. Avenging, slow,
And emptied on't a black dull-gurgling phial : · Who could resist? Who in this universe ?
Groan'd one and all, as if some piercing trial She did so breathe ambrosia ; so immerse
Was sharpening for their pitiable bones. My fine existence in a golden clime.
She lifted up the charm : appealing groans She took me like a child of suckling time,
From their poor breasts went suing to her ear And cradled me in roses. Thus condemn’d,
In vain ; remorseless as an infant's bier, The current of my former life was stemm’d,
She whisk'd against their eyes the sooty oil. And to this arbitrary queen of sense
Whereat was heard a noise of painful toil, I bow'd a tranced vassal : nor would thence Have moved, even though Amphion's heart had woo'd Shrieks, yells, and groans of torture-pilgrimage ;
Increasing gradual to a tempest rage, Me back to Scylla o'er the billows rude.
Until their grieved bodies 'gan to bloat For as Apollo each eve doth devise
And puff from the tail's end to stifled throat: A new apparelling for western skies;
Then was appalling silence: then a sight So every eve, nay, every spendthrift hour
More wildering than all that hoarse affright; Shed balmy consciousness within that bower.
For the whole herd, as by a whirlwind writhen, And I was free of haunts umbrageous ;
Went through the dismal air like one huge Python Could wander in the mazy forest-house
Antagonizing Boreas,—and so vanish’d. Of squirrels, foxes sly, and antler'd deer,
Yet there was not a breath of wind : she banish'd And birds from coverts innermost and drear Warbling for very joy mellifluous sorrow
These phantoms with a nod. Lo! from the dark
Came waggish fauns, and nymphs, and satyrs stark, To me new-born delights!
With dancing and loud revelry, and went
Swifter than centaurs after rapine bent.
“Now let me borrow, Sighing an elephant appear’d and bow'd For moments few, a temperament as stern Before the fierce witch, speaking thus aloud As Pluto's sceptre, that my words not burn
In human accent: Potent goddess! chief These uttering lips, while I in calm speech tell
Of pains resistless! make my being brief,
Or give me to the air, or let me die!
My children fair, my lovely girls and boys !
Or be deliver'd from this cumbrous flesh,
From this gross, detestable, filthy mesh, Then came a conquering earth-thunder, and rumbled And merely given to the cold bleak air. That fierce complain to silence: while I stumbled Have mercy, Goddess ! Circe, feel my prayer!' Down a precipitous path, as if impellid, I came to a dark valley.-Groanings swell’d Poisonous about my ears, and louder grew,
“That curst magician's name fell icy numb The nearer I approach'd a flame's gaunt blue, Upon my wild conjecturing: truth had come That glared before me through a thorny brake. Naked and sabre-like against my heart. This fire, like the eye of gordian snake,
I saw a fury whetting a death-dart;
And my slain spirit, overwrought with fright, Because I loved her ?-Cold, O cold indeed
Were her fair limbs, and like a common weed
The sea-swell took her hair.
Dead as she was My waking must have been! disgust, and hate, I clung about her waist, nor ceased to pass And terrors manifold divided me
Fleet as an arrow through unfathom'd brine, A spoil amongst them. I prepared to flee
Until there shone a fabric crystalline, Into the dungeon core of that wild wood :
Ribb'd and inlaid with coral, pebble, and pearl. I fled three days—when lo! before me stood Headlong I darted ; at one eager swirl Glaring the angry witch, O Dis, even now,
Gain'd its bright portal, enter'd, and behold! A clammy dew is beading on my brow,
'Twas vast, and desolate, and icy-cold; At mere remembering her pale laugh, and curse.
And all around-But wherefore this to thee * Ha! ha! Sir Dainty! there must be a nurse
Who in few minutes more thyself shalt see ! Made of rose-leaves and thistle-down, express, I left poor Scylla in a niche and fied. To cradle thee, my sweet, and lull thee: yes, My fever'd parchings up, my scathing dread I am too flinty-hard for thy nice touch:
Met palsy half-way : soon these limbs became My tenderest squeeze is but a giant's clutch. Gaunt, wither'd, sapless, feeble, cramp'd, and lame. So, fairy-thing, it shall have lullabies Unheard of yet; and it shall still its cries
Now let me pass a cruel, cruel space, Upon some breast more lily-feminine.
Without one hope, without one faintest trace Oh, no,-it shall not pine, and pine, and pine
Of mitigation, or redeeming bubble More than one pretty, trifling thousand years;
Of color'd fantasy ; for I fear 't would trouble And then 't were pity, but fate's gentle shears
Thy brain to loss of reason; and next tell Cut short its immortality. Sea-flirt!
How a restoring chance came down to quell
One half of the witch in me.
« On a day, And must we part ? Ah, yes, it must be so.
Sitting upon a rock above the spray, Yet ere thou leavest me in utter woe,
I saw grow up from the horizon's brink Let me sob over thee my last adieus,
A gallant vessel : soon she seem'd to sink And speak a blessing : Mark me! Thou hast thews Away from me again, as though her course Immortal, for thou art of heavenly race:
Had been resumed in spite of hindering forceBut such a love is mine, that here I chase
So vanish'd : and not long, before arose Eternally away from thee all bloom
Dark clouds, and muttering of winds morose. Of youth, and destine thee towards a tomb.
Old Eolus would stifle his mad spleen, Hence shalt thou quickly to the watery vast ;
But could not: therefore all the billows green And there, ere many days be overpast,
Toss'd up the silver spume against the clouds. Disabled age shall seize thee ; and even then
The tem pest came: I saw that vessel's shrouds Thou shalt not go the way of aged men ;
In perilous bustle; while upon the deck But live and wither, cripple and still breathe
Stood trembling creatures. I beheld the wreck; Ten hundred years : which gone, I then bequeath
The final gulfing; the poor struggling souls: Thy fragile bones to unknown burial.
I heard their cries amid loud thunder-rolls. Adieu, sweet love, adieu !'--As shot stars fall,
O they had all been saved but crazed eld She fled ere I could groan for mercy. Stung
Annullid my vigorous cravings: and thus quell'a And poison'd was my spirit: despair sung
And curb'd, think on 't, O Latmian! did I sit A war-song of defiance 'gainst all hell.
Writhing with pity, and a cursing fit A hand was at my shoulder to compel
Against that hell-born Circe. The crew had gone, My sullen steps; another 'fore my eyes
By one and one, to pale oblivion; Moved on with pointed finger. In this guise
And I was gazing on the surges prone, Enforced, at the last by ocean's foam
With many a scalding tear and many a groan, I found me; by my fresh, my native home,
When at my feet emerged an old man's hand, Its tempering coolness, to my life akin,
Grasping this scroll, and this same slender wand. Came salutary as I waded in;
I knelt with pain-reach'd out my hand-had grasp'd And, with a blind voluptuous rage, I gave
These treasures-touch'd the knuckles--they unBattle to the swollen billow-ridge, and drave
claspidLarge froth before me, while there yet remain'd I caught a finger: but the downward weight Jale strength, nor from my bones all marrow drain’d. O'erpower'd me—it sank. Then 'gan abate
The storm, and through chill anguish, gloom outbursi
The comfortable sun. I was athirst
Strange matters did it treat of, and drew on pon a dead thing's face my hand I laid ;
My soul page after page, till well-nigh won look'd—'t was Scylla! Cursed, cursed Circe! Into forgetfulness; when, stupefied,
vulture-witch, hast never heard of mercy! I read these words, and read again, and tried ould not thy harshest vengeance be content, My eyes against the heavens, and read again at thou must nip this tender innocent
O what a load of misery and pain
Each Atlas-line bore off!-a shine of hope Began to tear his scroll in pieces small,
He tore it into pieces small as snow
And having done it, took his dark-blue cloak ** In the wide sea there lives a forlorn wretch, And bound it round Endymion : then struck Doom'd with enfeebled carcass to outstretch His wand against the empty air times nine.His lothed existence through ten centuries,
What more there is to do, young man, is thine : And then to die alone. who can devise
But first a little patience; first undo A total opposition ? No one. So
This tangled thread, and wind it to a clue. One million times ocean must ebb and flow, Ah, gentle! 'tis as weak as spider’s skein; And he oppress'd. Yet he shall not die,
And shouldst thou break it—What, is it done so clean ? These things accomplish'd :-If he utterly A power overshadows thee! Oh, brave! Scans all the depths of magic, and expounds The spite of hell is tumbling to its grave. The meanings of all motions, shapes, and sounds ; Here is a shell ; 't is pearly blank to me, If he explores all forms and substances
Nor mark'd with any sign or characteryStraight homeward to their symbol-essences ; Canst thou read aught? O read for pity's sake! He shall not die. Moreover, and in chief, Olympus ! we are safe! Now, Carian, break He must pursue this task of joy and grief, This wand against yon lyre on the pedestal.” Most piously ;-all lovers tempest-tost, And in the savage overwhelming lost,
'Twas done : and straight with sudden swell and He shall deposit side by side, until
fall Time's creeping shall the dreary space fulfil: Sweet music breathed her soul away, and sigh'd Which done, and all these labors ripened,
A lullaby to silence.—“ Youth! now strew A youth, by heavenly power beloved and led, These minced leaves on me, and passing through Shall stand before him ; whom he shall direct Those files of dead, scatter the same around, How to consummate all. The youth elect And thou wilt see the issue.”—'Mid the sound, Must do the thing, or both will be destroy'd.'”- Of flutes and viols, ravishing his heart,
Endymion from Glaucus stood apart,
And scatter'd in his face some fragments light. " Then,” cried the young Endymion, overjoy’d, How lightning-swift the change! a youthful wight “ We are twin brothers in this destiny !
Smiling beneath a coral diadem,
Appear'd, and, stepping to a beauteous corse,
The nymph arose : he left them to their joy, I told thee of, where lovely Scylla lies;
And onward went upon his high employ, And where I have enshrined piously
Showering those powerful fragments on the dead
Of gladness in the air—while many, who
They gazed upon Endymion. Enchantment These warrior thousands on the field supine : Grew drunken, and would have its head and bent. So in that crystal place, in silent rows,
Delicious symphonies, like airy flowers, Poor lovers lay at rest from joys and woes.- Budded, and swell’d, and, full-blown, shed full showThe stranger from the mountains, breathless, traced Such thousands of shut eyes in order placed ; Of light, soft, unseen leaves of sounds divine Such ranges of white feet, and patient lips The two deliverers tasted a pure wine All ruddy,—for here death no blossom nips. Of happiness, from fairy-press oozed out. He mark'd their brows and foreheads ; saw their hair Speechless they eyed each other, and about Put sleekly on one side with nicest care ;
The fair assembly wander'd to and fro, And each one's gentle wrists, with reverence, Distracted with the richest overflow Put cross wise to its heart.
of joy that ever pour'd from heaven.
“Away!” “ Let us commence Shouted the new-born god ; “ Follow, and pay (Whisper'd the guide, stuttering with joy) even now." Our piety to Neptunus supreme!”. He spake, and, trembling like an aspen-bough, Then Scylla, blushing sweetly from her dream,
They led on first, bent to her meek surprise, Disclosed the thunder-gloomings in Jove's air;
But soothed as now, flash'd sudden everywhere, Into the vaulted, boundless emerald.
Noiseless, submarine cloudlets, glittering Joyous all follow'd, as the leader call'd,
Death to a human eye: for there did spring Down marble steps; pouring as easily
From natural west, and east, and south, and north, As hour-glass sand,—and fast, as you might see A light as of four sunsets, blazing forth Swallows obeying the south summer's call, A gold-green zenith 'bove the Sea-God's head. Or swans upon a gentle waterfall.
Of lucid depth the floor, and far outspread
As breezeless lake, on which the slim canoe Thus went that beautiful multitude, not far,
Of feather'd Indian darts about, as through Ere from among some rocks of glittering spar,
The delicatest air: air verily, Just within ken, they saw descending thick
But for the portraiture of clouds and sky: Another multitude. Whereat more quick
This palace floor breath-air,—but for the amaze Moved either host. On a wide sand they met,
Of deep-seen wonders motionless,-and blaze And of those numbers every eye was wet;
Of the dome pomp, reflected in extremes, For each their old love found. A murmuring rose,
Globing a golden sphere. Like what was never heard in all the throes
They stood in dreams Of wind and waters : 'tis past human wit
Till Triton blew his horn. The palace rang; To tell ; 't is dizziness to think of it.
The Nereids danced; the Syrens faintly sang;
And the great Sea-King bow'd his dripping head. This mighty consummation made, the host
Then Love took wing, and from his pinions shed Moved on for many a league ; and gain'd, and lost
On all the multitude a neclarous dew.
Fair Scylla and her guides to conference;
And when they reach'd the throned eminence · Behold! behold, the palace of his pride!
She kist the sea-nymph's cheek.—who sat her down God Neptune's palace!” With noise increased,
A toying with the doves. Then,—* Mighty crown They shoulder'd on towards that brightening east.
And sceptre of this kingdom!” Venus said, At every onward step proud domes arose
• Thy vows were on a time to Nais paid : In prospect -diamond gleams and golden glows
Behold!"-Two copious tear-drops instant fell Of amber 'gainst their faces levelling.
From the God's large eyes; he smiled delectable, Joyous, and many as the leaves in spring,
And over Glaucus held his blessing hands.Still onward ; still the splendor gradual swell’d.
Endymion! Ah! still wandering in the bands Rich opal domes were seen, on high upheld Of love ? Now this is cruel. Since the hour By jasper pillars, letting through their shafts
I met thee in earth's bosom, all my power A blush of coral. Copious wonder-draughts
Have I put forth to serve thee. What, not yet Each gazer drank ; and deeper drank more near :
Escaped from dull mortality's harsh net ? For what poor mortals fragment up, as mere A little patience, youth! 't will not be long, As marble was there lavish, to the vast
Or I am skilless quite : an idle tongue, Of one fair palace, that far far surpass'd,
A humid eye, and steps luxurious, Even for common bulk, those olden three,
Where these are new and strange, are ominous. Memphis, and Babylon, and Nineveh.
Ay, I have seen these signs in one of heaven,
When others were all blind; and were 1 given As large, as bright, as color'd as the bow To utter secrets, haply I might say of Iris, when unfading it doth show
Some pleasant words; but Love will have his day, Beyond a silvery shower, was the arch
So wait awhile expectant. Prythee soon, Through which this Paphian army took its march, Even in the passing of thine honey-moon, Into the outer courts of Neptune's state :
Visit my Cytherea : thou wilt find Whence could be seen, direct, a golden gate, Cupid well-natured, my Adonis kind; To which the leaders sped; but not half raught And pray persuade with thee—Ah, I have done, Ere it burst open swift as fairy thought,
All blisses be upon thee, my sweet son!”.
Knelt to receive those accents halcyon.
In courteous fountains to all cups out-reach'd;
New growth about each shell and pendent lyre;
The which, in entangling for their fire, Far as the mariner on highest mast
Pull'd down fresh foliage and coverture Can see all round upon the calmed vast,
For dainty toy. Cupid, empire-sure, So wide was Neptune's hall; and as the blue Flutter'd and laugh'd, and oft-times through the throng Doth vault the waters, so the waters drew
Made a delighted way. Then dance, and song, Their doming curtains, high, magnificent,
And garlanding grew wild; and pleasure reign'd. Awed from the throne aloof ;-and when storm-rent In harmless tendril they each other chain d,
And strove who should be smother'd deepest in
O'tis a very sin For one so weak to venture his poor verse In such a place as this. O do not curse, High Muses ! let him hurry to the ending.
Open'd again, and from without, in shone
A new magnificence. On oozy throne
All suddenly were silent. A soft blending Of dulcet instruments came charmingly; And then a hymn.
“ King of the stormy sea! Brother of Jove, and co-inheritor or elements! Eternally before
Thee the waves awful bow. Fast, stubborn rock, * At thy feard trident shrinking, doth unlock
Its deep foundations, hissing into foam.
The palace whirls
Lo! while slow carried through the pitying crowd,
Written in starlight on the dark above :
How have I dwelt in fear of fate : 't is done-
The youth at once arose : a placid lake
Cooler than all the wonder he had seen,
« Breathe softly, flutes ;
“Bright-wing'd Child ! Who has another care when thou hast smiled ?
Muse of my native land! loftiest Muse ! Unfortunates on earth, we see at last
O first-born on the mountains! by the hues All death-shadows, and glooms that overcast
Of heaven on the spiritual air begot: Our spirits, fann'd away by thy light pinions.
Long didst thou sit alone in northern grot, O sweetest essence! sweetest of all minions !
While yet our England was a wolfish den; God of warm pulses, and dishevell'd hair,
Before our forests heard the talk of men; And panting bosoms bare !
Before the first of Druids was a child ;Dear unseen light in darkness ! eclipser
Long didst thou sit amid our regions wild, Of light in light! delicious poisoner!
Rapt in a deep prophetic solitude. Thy venom'd goblet will we quaff until
There came an eastern voice of solemn mood :We fill-we fill!
Yet wast thou patient. Then sang forth the Nine, And by thy Mother's lips
Apollo's garland :yet didst thou divine
“Come hither, Sister of the Island!” Plain
Was heard no more Spake fair Ausonia ; and once more she spake For clamor, when the golden palace-door | A higher summons :—still didst thou betake