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No more delight-I bid adieu to all.
From kissing cymbals made a merry dinDidst thou not after other climates call,
'Twas Bacchus and his kin! And murmur about Indian streams ?”—Then she, Like to a moving vintage down they came, Sitting beneath the midmost forest tree,
Crown'd with green leaves, and faces all on flame; For pity sang this roundelay—
All madly dancing through the pleasant valley,
To scare thee, Melancholy! “O Sorrow!
O then, O then, thou wast a simple name!
And I forgot thee, as the berried holly
By shepherds is forgotten, when in June,
Tall chestnuts keep away the sun and moon :-
I rush'd into the folly! Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips ?
“ Within his car, aloft, young Bacchus stood,
Trifling his ivy-dart, in dancing mood,
With sidelong laughing;
And little rills of crimson wine imbrued
His plump white arms, and shoulders, enough white
For Venus' pearly bite;
And near him rode Silenus on his ass,
Pelted with flowers as he on did pass
* Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye, The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue ?
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your bowers desolate,
Your lutes, and gentler fate?
• We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing,
Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide,
We dance before him thorough kingdoms wide :-
To our wild minstrelsy!'
So many, and so many, and such glee ?
Why have ye left your forest haunts, why left Wherever he may sport himself and play.
Your nuts in oak-tree cleft ?
For wine, for wine we left our kernel tree: " To Sorrow
For wine we left our heath, and yellow brooms, I bade good morrow,
And cold mushrooms; And thought to leave her far away behind;
For wine we follow Bacchus through the earth ; But cheerly, cheerly,
Great god of breathless cups and chirping mirth She loves me dearly;
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be
To our mad minstrelsy!'
“Over wide streams and mountains great we went, But ah! she is so constant and so kind.
And, save when Bacchus kept his ivy tent,
With Asian elephants :
Onward these myriads—with song and dance, I sat a-weeping: in the whole world wide
With zebras striped, and sleek Arabians' prance, There was no one to ask me why I wept.
Web-footed alligators, crocodiles,
Bearing upon their scaly backs, in files,
Plump infant laughters mimicking the coil
Of seamen, and stout galley-rowers' toil :
With toying oars and silken sails they glide, * Beneath my palm-trees, by the river-side,
Nor care for wind and tide.
From rear to van they scour about the plains ;
A three days' journey in a moment done;
And always, at the rising of the sun, “And as I sat, over the light-blue hills
About the wilds they hunt with spear and horn, There came a noise of revellers: the rills
On spleenful unicorn. Into the wide stream came of purple hue'T was Bacchus and his crew!
" I saw Osirian Egypt kneel adown The earnest trumpet spake, and silver thrills
Before the vine-wreath crown.
I saw parch'd Abyssinia rouse and sing
To the silver cymbals' ring!
Old Tartary the fierce!
And all his priesthood moans,
Alone, without a peer:
“ Young stranger!
I've been a ranger In search of pleasure throughout every clime;
Alas! 't is not for me :
Bewitch'd I sure must be,
“Come then, Sorrow,
Sweetest Sorrow! Like an own babe I nurse thee on my breast:
I thought to leave thee,
And deceive thee,
Wow! WOE TO THAT ENDYMION! WHERE 3 HE-
High as the eagles. Like two drops of dew Exhaled to Phæbus' lips, away they are gone, Far from the earth away—unseen, alone,
Among cool clouds and winds, but that the free, The buoyant life of song can floating be
Above their heads, and follow them untired.
There is a sleepy dusk, an odorous shade
“There is not one,
No, no, not one
Thou art her mother,
And her brother, Her playmate, and her wooer in the shade.”
O what a sight she gave in finishing, And look, quite dead to every worldly thing ! Endymion could not speak, but gazed on her: And listen'd to the wind that now did stir About the crisped oaks full drearily, Yet with as sweet a softness as might be Remember'd from its velvet summer song. At last he said : “ Poor lady, how thus long Have I been able to endure that voice? Fair Melody! kind Syren! I've no choice; I must be thy sad servant evermore : I cannot choose but kneel here and adore. Alas, I must not think-by Phæbe, no! Let me not think, soft Angel ! shall it be so ? Say, beautifullest, shall I never think? O thou couldst foster me beyond the brink Of recollection! make my watchful care Close up its bloodshot eyes, nor see despair ! Do gently murder half my soul, and I Shall feel the other half so utterly ! I'm giddy at that cheek so fair and smooth ; O let it blush so ever: let it soothe My madness! let it mantle rosy-warm With the tinge of love, panting in safe alarm. This cannot be thy hand, and yet it is; And this is sure thine other softling--this Thine own fair bosom, and I am so near! Wilt fall asleep? O let me sip that tear! And whisper one sweet word that I may know This is the world-sweet dewy blossom!"-WoE!
There curl'd a purple mist around them; 8000, It seem'd as when around the pale new moon Sad Zephyr droops the clouds like weeping willow 'T was Sleep slow joumeying with head on pillow For the first time, since he came nigh dead-born From the old womb of night, his cave forlorn
Had he left more forlorn ; for the first time,
Ere a lean bat could plump its wintery skin,
An immortality, and how espouse
His litter of smooth semilucent mist,
Awhile forgetful of all beauty save Diversely tinged with rose and amethyst,
Young Phæbe's, golden-hair'd; and so 'gan crave Puzzled those eyes that for the centre sought; Forgiveness : yet he tum'd once more to look And scarcely for one moment could be caught At the sweet sleeper,--all his soul was shook, His sluggish form reposing motionless.
She press'd his hand in slumber; so once more Those two on winged steeds, with all the stress He could not help but kiss her and adore. Of vision search'd for him, as one would look At this the shadow wept, melting away. Athwart the sallows of a river nook
The Latmian started up: “ Bright goddess, stay! To catch a glance at silver-throated eels -
Search my most hidden breast! By truth's own tongue, Or from old Skiddaw's top, when fog conceals I have no dædal heart: why is it wrung His rugged forehead in a mantle pale,
To desperation? Is there naught for me, With an eye-guess towards some pleasant vale, Upon the bourn of bliss, but misery?” Descry a favorite hamlet faint and far.
These words awoke the stranger of dark tresses: These raven horses, though they foster'd are
Her dawning love-look rapt Endymion blesses Of earth's splenetic fire, dully drop
With 'havior soft. Sleep yawn'd from underneath. Their full-vein'd ears, nostrils blood wide, and stop ; la
Thou swan of Ganges, let us no more breathe Upon the spiritless mist have they outspread Their ample feathers, are in slumber dead,
This murky phantasm! thou contented seem'st And on those pinions, level in mid-air,
Pillow'd in lovely idleness, nor dream'st
What horrors may discomfort thee and me. Endymion sleepeth and the lady fair.
Ah, shouldst thou die from my heart-treachery
Yet did she merely weep-her gentle soul
In tenderness, would I were whole in love!
Can I prize thee, fair maid, all price above,
Even when I feel as true as innocence ?
I do, I do.—What is this soul then ? Whence
Came it? It does not seem my own, and I
Have no self-passion or identity.
Some fearful end must be ; where, where is it?
By Nemesis! I see my spirit flit
Alone about the dark-Forgive me, sweet!
Shall we away?" He roused the steeds; they beat
Their wings chivalrous into the clear air,
Leaving old Sleep within his vapory lair.
The good-night blush of eve was waning slow,
In the dusk heavens silvery, when they Join dance with shadowy Hours; while still the blast, Thus sprang direct towards the Galaxy. In swells unmitigated, still doth last
Nor did speed hinder converse soft and strangeTo sway their floating morris. Whose is this? Eternal oaths and vows they interchange, Whose bugle?” he inquires : they smile-"O Dis ! In such wise, in such temper, so aloof Why is this mortal here? Dost thou not know Up in the winds, beneath a starry roof, Its mistress' lips ? Not thou ?-'Tis Dian's: lo! So witless of their doom, that verily She rises crescented!" He looks, 't is she,
'Tis well-nigh past man's search their hearts to see ; His very goddess : good-bye earth, and sea,
Whether they wept, or laugh d, or grieved, or toy'da And air, and pains, and care, and suffering ; Most like with joy gone mad, with sorrow cloy'd. Good-bye to all but love! Then doth he spring Towards her, and awakes-and, strange, o'erhead, Of those same fragrant exhalations bred,
Full facing their swift night, from ebon streak, Beheld awake his very dream: the Gods
The moon put forth a little diamond peak,
Bright signal that she only stoop'd to tie
Her silver sandals, ere deliciously Of his delicious lady. He who died
She bow'd into the heavens her timid head. For soaring too audacious in the sun,
Slowly she rose, as though she would have fled Where that same treacherous wax began to While to his lady meek the Carian turn'd, Felt not more tongue-tied than Endymion.
To mark if her dark eyes had yet discern'd His heart leapt up as to its rightful throne, This beauty in its birth—Despair! despair! To that fair-shadow'd passion pulsed its way- He saw her body fading gaunt and spare Ah, what perplexity! Ah, well-a-day!
In the cold moonshine. Straight he seized her wrist; So fond, so beauteous was his bed-fellow,
It melted from his grasp; her hand he kiss'd, He could not help but kiss her: then he grew And, horror! kiss'd his own he was alone.
Her steed a little higher soar'd, and then Dropt hawkwise to the earth.
There lies a den, Beyond the seeming confines of the space Made for the soul to wander in and trace Its own existence, of remotest glooms. Dark regions are around it, where the tombs Of buried griefs the spirit sees, but scarce One hour doth linger weeping, for the pierce Of new-born woe it feels more inly smart : And in these regions many a venom'd dart At random flies; they are the proper home Of every ill : the man is yet to come Who hath not journey'd in this native hell. But few have ever felt how calm and well Sleep may be had in that deep den of all. There anguish does not sting, nor pleasure pall ; Woe-hurricanes beat ever at the gate, Yet all is still within and desolate. Beset with plainful gusts, within ye hear No sound so loud as when on curtain'd bier The death-watch tick is stilled. Enter none Who strive therefor: on the sudden it is won. Just when the sufferer begins to burn, Then it is free to him; and from an urn, Still fed by melting ice, he takes a draughtYoung Semele such richness never quatt In her maternal longing. Happy gloom! Dark Paradise! where pale becomes the bloom Of health by due; where silence dreariest Is most articulate; where hopes infest; Where those eyes are the brightest far that keep Their ljds shui longest in a dreamless sleep. O happy spirit-home! O wondrous soul! Pregnant with such a den to save the whole In thine own depth. Hail, gentle Carian! For, never since thy griefs and woes began, Hast thou felt so content: a grievous feud Hath led thee to this Cave of Quietude. Aye, his lull'd soul was there, although upborne With dangerous speed : and so he did not mourn Because he knew not whither he was going. So happy was he, not the aerial blowing Of trumpets at clear parley from the east Could rouse froin that fine relish, that high feast. They stung the feather d horse; with fierce alarm He flapp'd towards the sound. Alas! no charm Could lift Endymion's head, or he had view'd A skyey mask, a pinion'd multitude And silvery was its passing : voices sweet Warbling the while as if to Jull and greet The wanderer in his path. Thus warbled they, While past the vision went in bright array.
Your baskets high
Away! fly, fly!
For Dian play:
Show cold through watery pinions; make more bright
Haste, haste away!
The ramping Centaur!
They all are going.
Thy tears are flowing.-
More Endymion heard not: down his steed him bore, Prone to the green head of a misty hill.
" Who, who from Dian's feast would be away? For all the golden bowers of the day Are empty left? Who, who away would be From Cynthia's wedding and festivity? Not Hesperus : lo! upon his silver wings He leans away for highest heaven and sings, Snapping his lucid fingers merrily ! Ah, Zephyrus! art here, and Flora too! Ye tender bibbers of the rain and dew, Young playmates of the rose and daffodil, Be careful, ere ye enter in, to fill
His first touch of the earth went nigh to kil. Alas!” said he, “ were I but always home Through dangerous winds, had but my footsteps HOTA A path in hell, for ever would I bless Horrors which nourish an uneasiness For my own sullen conquering ; to him Who lives beyond earth's boundary, grief is dimi, Sorrow is but a shadow: now I see The grass; I feel the solid ground-Ah, me! It is thy voice-divinest! Where ?- who? who Left thee so quiet on this bed of dew! Behold upon this happy earth we are; Let us aye love each other; let us fare On forest-fruits, and never, never go Among the abodes of mortals here below, Or be by phantoms duped. O destiny! Into a labyrinth now my soul would fly, But with thy beauty will I deaden it. Where didst thou melt too? By thee will I sit For ever: let our fate stop here-a kid I on this spot will offer: Pan will bid
Us live in peace, in love and peace among | His forest wildernesses. I have clung
To nothing, loved a nothing, nothing seen
That I may see thy beauty through the night; Or felt but a great dream! Oh, I have been To Flora, and a nightingale shall light Presumptuous against love, against the sky, Tame on thy finger; to the River-gods, Against all elements, against the tie
And they shall bring thee taper fishing-rods Of mortals each to each, against the blooms Of gold, and lines of Naiad's long bright tress. Of flowers, rush of rivers, and the tombs
Heaven shield thee for thine utter loveliness! Of Heroes gone! Against his proper glory
Thy mossy footstool shall the altar be Has my own soul conspired : so my story
'Fore which I'll bend, bending, dear love, to thee : Will I to children utter, and repent.
Those lips shall be my Delphos, and shall speak There never lived a mortal man, who bent Laws to my footsteps, color to my cheek, His appetite beyond his natural sphere,
Trembling or stedfastness to this same voice, But starved and died. My sweetest Indian, here, And of three sweetest pleasurings the choice : Here will I kneel, for thou redeemed hast
And that affectionate light, those diamond things, My life from too thin breathing: gone and past Those eyes, those passions, those supreme pearl Are cloudy phantasms. Caverns lone, farewell!
springs, And air of visions, and the monstrous swell Shall be my grief, or twinkle me to pleasure. Of visionary seas! No, never more
Say, is not bliss within our perfect seizure ?
O that I could not doubt?"
Thus strove by fancies vain and crude to clear On earth I may not love thee; and therefore
His brier'd path to some tranquillity. Doves will I offer up, and sweetest store
It All through the teeming year : so thou wilt shine,
gave bright gladness to his lady's eye, On me, and on this damsel fair of mine,
And yet the tears she wept were tears of sorrow; And bless our simple lives. My Indian bliss !
Answering thus, just as the golden morrow
Beam'd upward from the valleys of the east : My river-lily bud! one human kiss!
“O that the flutter of this heart had ceased, One sigh of real breath-one gentle squeeze, Warm as a dove's nest among summer trees,
Or the sweet name of love had pass'd away! And warm with dews that ooze from living blood !
Young feather'd tyrant! by a swift decay Whither didst melt? Ah, what of that ?-all good
Wilt thou devote this body to the earth : We'll talk about—no more of dreaming.-Now,
And I do think that at my very birth Where shall our dwelling be? Under the brow
I lisp'd thy blooming titles inwardly;
For at the first, first dawn and thought of thee, Of some steep mossy hill, where ivy dun Would hide us up, although spring leaves were none; Art thou not cruel? Ever have I striven
With uplift hands I blest the stars of heaven. And where dark yew-trees, as we rustle through,
To think thee kind, but ah, it will not do! Will drop their scarlet-berry cups of dew?
When yet a child, I heard that kisses drew O thou wouldst joy to live in such a place!
Favor from thee, and so I kisses gave Dusk for our loves, yet light enough to grace
To the void air, bidding them find out love : Those gentle limbs on mossy bed reclined :
But when I came to feel how far above For by one step the blue sky shouldst thou find,
All fancy, pride, and fickle maidenhood, And by another, in deep dell below,
All earthly pleasure, all imagined good, See, through the trees, a little river go
Was the warm tremble of a devout kiss, All in its mid-day gold and glimmering.
Even then, that moment, at the thought of this, Honey from out the gnarled hive I'll bring,
Fainting I fell into a bed of flowers, And apples, wan with sweetness, gather thee,
And languish'd there three days. Ye milder powers, Cresses that grow where no man may them see, And sorrel untorn by the dew-claw'd stag:
Am I not cruelly wrong'd ? Believe, believe
Me, dear Endymion, were I to weave Pipes will I fashion of the syrinx flag,
With my own fancies garlands of sweet life, That thou mayst always know whither I roam,
Thou shouldst be one of all. Ah, bitter strife! When it shall please thee in our quiet home
I To listen and think of love. Still let me speak;
may not be thy love: I am forbidden
Indeed I am—thwarted, affrighted, chidden,
By things I trembled at, and gorgon wrath.
Twice hast thou ask'd whither I went: henceforth Thou haply mayst delight in, will I fill With fairy fishes from the mountain tarn,
Ask me no more! I may not utter it, And thou shalt feed them from the squirrel's barn.
Nor may I be thy love. We might commit
Ourselves at once to vengeance; we might die ; Its bottom will I strew with amber shells,
We might embrace and die : voluptuous thought And pebbles blue from deep enchanted wells.
Enlarge not to my hunger, or I'm caught Its sides I'll plant with dew-sweet eglantine,
In trammels of perverse deliciousness.
No, no, that shall not be: thee will I bless,
And bid a long adieu."
No word return'd both lovelorn, silent, wan,