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Lowly she droop'd upon the harp
First came murmurs, slow and fitful,
Rapt, and controll'd, the minstrel woke
She ceased—the founts of weeping fill'd
The rock is tipp'd with light: night's clouds depart,
'Twas erst, "What chase to-day shall I pursue?"
All days I give to Him, the Only Wise,
What is 't they mean ?—I have almost forgot!
Oh! when a thought from Heaven's bright radiance
glances, It lessens distance! as the soul advances, How beam the thoughts 'lumed by one ray of light! Bright day less differs from the shades of night, The west is nearer to the eastern skies, Than is the soul that from Thee flies, From his that on Thy Love relies.
Since I the busy haunts Of men forsook,
Their heart's-food have I never ta'en I trow,
My hair is greyer than the aged oak;
My days are writ in wrinkles on my brow,
And years but add fresh links unto my chain.
Bowing my wasted limbs with weight and pain.
How oft the earth hath breathed the breath of spring
Lent her from Heaven—I've lost all reckoning.
How oft since I this rock have made my bed,
To him whose Ohe desire is bound in Thee
By silence and long solitude,
My senses are grown dull and rude;
My ears unskill'd in human sounds remain;
To frame its tones my mouth essays in Tain.
My body flex'd in prayer,
As senseless to the cold or heat
As e'en these flint stones are,
Here trodden by my naked feet.
And yet the soul of prayer is vaster grown,
WINE OF CYPRUS. A brilliant joyous poem, by Elizaneth Barrett Brownwg.
If old Bacchus were the speaker
He would tell you with a sigh,
I am sipping like a fly,—
At the hour of goblet pledge,
Full white arm-sweep, from the edge!
Sooth, the drinking should be ampler,
When the drink is so divine!
Would become your Cyprian wine!
While his one eye over-leer'd—
Drinking rivers down his beard.
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 1 my friend! the antique drinkers
Crown'd the cup, and crown'd 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, crown'd with roses,
May strike scarlet down the cheek?
Do not mock me! with my mortal,
Suits no wreath again, indeed! 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
Make their honey, not so sweet.
Very copious are my praises,
Though I sip it like a fly !—
Change before me suddenly—
Drew the ghosts from every part, So your Cyprian 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 flow'd 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 all and «'i!
Then what golden hours were for u»!
While we sat together there, How the white vests of the chorus
Seem'd to wave up a live air! How the Cothurns trod majestic
Down the deep Iambic lines! And the rolling anapeestic
Curl'd, like vapour over shrines!
Oh! our jEschylus, the thundrous!
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 place— And 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!