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While hurried Lamia trembled : “Ah,” said he, For the first time, since first he harbor'd in
Why do you shudder, love, so ruefully?

That purple-lined palace of sweet sin,
Why does your tender palm dissolve in dew?" His spirit pass'd beyond its golden bourn
“ I'm wearied," said fair Lamia : “ tell me who Into the noisy world almost forsworn.
Is that old man? I cannot bring to mind

The lady, ever watchful, penetrant,
His features : Lycius! wherefore did you blind Saw this with pain, so arguing a want
Yourself from his quick eyes ?" Lycius replied, Of something more, more than her empery
'Tis Apollonius sage, my trusty guide

Of joys; and she began to moan and sigh
And good instructor; but to-night he seems Because he mused beyond her, knowing well
The ghost of folly haunting my sweet dreams." That but a moment's thought is passion's passing-bell.

Why do you sigh, fair creature?" whisper'd he: While yet he spake they had arrived before Why do you think?" return'd she tenderly : A pillar'd porch, with lotty portal door,

You have deserted me; where am I now? Where hung a silver lamp, whose phosphor glow Not in your heart while care weighs on your brow: Reflected in the slabbed steps below,

No, no, you have dismiss'd me; and I go Mild as a star in water; for so new,

breast houseless : ay, it must be so." And so unsullied was the marble hue,

He answer'd, bending to her open eyes,
So through the crystal polish, liquid fine,

Where he was mirror'd small in paradise,
Ran the dark veins, that none but feet divine My silver planet, both of eve and morn!
Could e'er have touch'd there. Sounds Eolian Why will you plead yourself so sad forlorn,
Breathed from the hinges, as the ample span While I am striving how to fill my heart
of the wide doors disclosed a place unknown With deeper crimson, and a double smart?
Some time to any, but those two alone,

How to entangle, trammel up and snare
And a few Persian mutes, who that same year

Your soul in mine, and labyrinth you there, Were seen about the markets: none knew where Like the hid scent in an unbudded rose ? They could inhabit; the most curious

Ay, a sweet kiss--you see your mighty woes. Were foil'd, who watch'd to trace them to their house : My thoughts ! shall I unveil them? Listen then! And but the flitter-winged verse must tell,

What mortal hath a prize, that other men
For truth's sake, what woe afterwards befell, May be confounded and abash'd withal,
"T would humor many a heart to leave them thus, But lets it sometimes pace abroad majestical,
Shut from the busy world of more incredulous. And triumph, as in thee I should rejoice

Amid the hoarse alarm of Corinth's voice.

Let my foes choke, and my friends shout afar,

While through the thronged streets your bridal car

Wheels round its dazzling spokes."— The lady's cheek Love in a hut, with water and a crust,

Trembled ; she nothing said, but, pale and meek, Is--Love, forgive us !--cinders, ashes, dust ;

Arose and knelt before him, wept a rain Love in a palace is perhaps at last

Of sorrows at his words; at last with pain More grievous torment than a hermit's fast : Beseeching him, the while his hand she wrung, That is a doubtful tale from fairy-land,

To change his purpose.

He thereat was stung, Hard for the non-elect to understand.

Perverse, with stronger fancy to reclaim Had Lycius lived to hand his story down,

Her wild and timid nature to his aim ; He might have given the moral a fresh frown,

Besides, for all his love, in self-despite, Or clench'd it quite: but too short was their bliss

Against his better self, he took delight To breed distrust and hate, that make the soft voice Luxurious in her sorrows, soft and new hiss.

Ilis passion, cruel grown, took on a hue Besides, there, nightly, with terrific glare,

Fierce and sanguineous as 't was possible Love, jealous grown of so complete a pair,

In one whose brow had no dark veins to swell Hover'd and buzz'd his wings, with fearful roar,

Fine was the mitigated fury, like Above the lintel of their chamber-door,

Apollo's presence when in act to strike
And down the passage cast a glow upon the Noor.

The serpent--Ha, the serpent! certes, she
Was none.

She burnt, she loved the tyranny, For all this came a ruin : side by side

And, all-subdued, consented to the hour They were enthroned, in the eventide,

When to the bridal he should lead his paramour. Upon a couch, near to a curtaining

Whispering in midnight silence, said the youth, Whose airy texture, from a golden string,

Sure some sweet name thou hast, though, by my Floated into the room, and let appear

Unveil'd the summer heaven, blue and clear, I have not ask'd it, ever thinking thee
Betwixt two marble shalts :--there they reposed, Not mortal, but of heavenly progeny,
Where use had made it sweet, with eyelids closed, As still I do. Hast any mortal name,
Saving a lythe which love still open kept,

Fit appellation for this dazzling frame? That they might see each other while they almost Or friends or kinsfolk on the citied earth, slept ;

To share our marriage-feast and nuptial mirth?” When from the slope side of a suburb hill,

* I have no friends," said Lamia, “no, not one ; Deafening the swallow's twitter, came a thrill My presence in wide Corinth hardly known : Of trumpets Lycius started—the sounds fled, My parents' bones are in their dusty urns But left a thought, a buzzing in his head.

Sepulchred, where no kindled incense burns,

Seeing all their luckless race are dead, save me, "T was Apollonius : something too he laugh'd,
And I neglect the holy rite for thee.

As though some knotty problem, that had daft
Even as you list invite your many guests :

His patient thought, had now begun to thaw,
But if, as now it seems, your vision rests

And solve and melt: 'twas just as he foresaw
With any pleasure on me, do not bid
Old Apollonius-from him keep me hid.”

He met within the murmurous vestibule
Lycius, perplex'd at words so blind and blank,

His young disciple. "Tis no common rule, Made close inquiry; from whose touch she shrank, Lycius,” said he, “ for uninvited guest Feigning a sleep; and he to the dull shade

To force himself upon you, and infest of deep sleep in a moment was betray'd.

With an unbidden presence the bright throng

Of younger friends; yet must I do this wrong, It was the custom then to bring away

And you forgive me." Lycius blush'd, and led The bride from home at blushing shut of day, The old man through the inner doors broad spread : Veild, in a chariot, heralded along

With reconciling words and courteous mien
By strewn flowers, torches, and a marriage song, Turning into sweet milk the sophist's spleen
With other pageants; but this fair unknown
Had not a friend. So being left alone

Of wealthy lustre was the banquet-room, (Lycius was gone to summon all his kin),

Fill'd with pervading brilliance and perfume :
And knowing surely she could never win
His foolish heart from its mad pompousness,

Before each lucid panel fuming stood

A censer fed with myrrh and spiced wood, She set herself, high-thoughted, how to dress

Each by a sacred tripod held aloft, The misery in fit magnificence.

Whose slender feet wide-swerved upon the soft She did so, but 'tis doubtful how and whence

Wool-woofed carpets : fifly wreaths of smoke Came, and who were her subtle servitors.

From fifty censers their light voyage took About the halls, and to and from the doors,

To the high roof, sull mimickd as they rose There was a noise of wings, till in short space The glowing banquet-room shone with wide-arched Along the mirror'd walls by twin-clouds odorous

Twelve sphered tables, by silk seats insphered, grace. A haunting music, sole perhaps and lone

High as the level of a man's breast rear'd

On libbard's paws, upheld the heavy gold
Supportress of the fairy-roof, made moan
Throughout, as fearful the whole charm might fade. Of cups and goblets, and the store thrice told
Fresh carved cedar, mimicking a glade

of Ceres' horn, and, in huge vessels, wine Of palm and plantain, met from either side,

Came from the gloomy tun with merry shine

Thus loaded with a feast, the tables stood, High in the midst, in honor of the bride :

Each shrining in the midst the image of a God. Two palms and then two plantains, and so on, From either side their sterns branch'd one to one All down the aisled palace; and beneath all

When in an antechamber every guest There ran a stream of lamps straight on from wall Had felt the cold full sponge to pleasure presa'd. to wall.

By minist'ring slaves, upon his hands and feet, So canopied, lay an untasted feast

And fragrant oils with ceremony meet Teeming with odors. Lamia, regal drest,

Pour'd on his hair, they all moved to the feast Silently paced about, and as she went,

In white robes, and themselves in order placed In pale contented sort of discontent,

Around the silken couches, wondering Mission'd her viewless servants to enrich

Whence all this mighty cost and blaze of wealth The fretted splendor of each nook and niche.

could spring. Between the tree-stems, marbled plain at first, Came jasper panels; then, anon, there burst

Soft went the music that soft air along, Forth creeping imagery of slighter trees,

While fluent Greek a vowell under-song And with the larger wove in small intricacies. Kept up among the guests discoursing low Approving all, she faded at self-will,

At first, for scarcely was the wine at flow; And shut the chamber up, close, hush'd and still, But when the happy vintage touch'd their brains, Complete and ready for the revels rude,

Louder they talk, and louder come the strains When dreaded guests would come to spoil her solitude. Of powerful instruments :-the gorgeous dyes,

The space, the splendor of the draperies, The day appear'd, and all the gossip rout. The roof of awful richness, nectarous cheer, O senseless Lycius! Madman! wherefore fout Beautiful slaves, and Lamia's self, appear, The silent-blessing fate, warm cloister'd hours, Now, when the wine has done its rosy deed, And show to common eyes these secret bowers? And every soul from human trammels freed, The herd approach'd ; each guest, with busy brain, No more so strange : for merry wine, sweet wine. Arriving at the portal, gazed amain,

Will make Elysian shades not too fair, too divine. And enter'd marvelling : for they knew the street, Soon was God Bacchus at meridian height; Remember'd it from childhood all complete Flush'd were their cheeks, and bright eyes double Without a gap, yet ne'er before had seen

bright: That royal porch, that high-built fair demesne ; Garlands of every green, and every scent So in they hurried all, mazed, curious and keen: From vales deflower'd, or forest trees, branch-reat, Save one, who look'd thereon with eye severe, In baskets of bright osier'd gold were brought And with calm-planted steps walk'd in austere ; High as the handles heap'd, to suit the thought

Of every guest ; that each, as he did please, Wander'd on fair-spaced temples; no soft bloom Might fancy-fit his brows, silk-pillow'd at his ease. Misted the cheek; no passion to illume

The deep-recessed vision :-all was blight;

Lamia, no longer fair, there sat a deadly white. What wreath for Lamia? What for Lycius?

“Shut, shut those juggling eyes, thou ruthless man! What for the sage, old Apollonius ?

Turn them aside, wretch! or the righteous ban Upon her aching forehead be there hung

Of all the Gods, whose dreadful images
The leaves of willow and of adder's tongue;

Here represent their shadowy presences,
And for the youth, quick, let us strip for him May pierce them on the sudden with the thorn
The thyrsus, that his watching eyes may swim of painful blindness; leaving thee forlorn,
Into forgetfulness; and, for the sage,

In trembling dotage to the feeblest fright
Let spear-grass and the spiteful thistle wage

Of conscience, for their long-offended might, War on his temples. Do not all charms fly

For all thine impious proud-heart sophistries, At the mere touch of cold philosophy?

Unlawful magic, and enticing lies. There was an awful rainbow once in heaven: Corinthians ! look upon that gray-beard wretch! We know her woof, her texture; she is given

Mark how, possess'd, his lashless eyelids stretch In the dull catalogue of common things.

Around his demon eyes ! Corinthians, see! Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,

My sweet bride withers at their potency." Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,

· Fool!" said the sophist, in an under-tone Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine Gruff with contempt ; which a death-nighing moan Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made

From Lycius answer'd, as heart-struck and lost, The tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade. He sank supine beside the ach ghost.

“ Fool! Fool!" repeated he, while his eyes still

Relented not, nor moved ; “ from every ill By her glad Lycius sitting, in chief place,

Of life have I preserved thee to this day,

And shall I see thee made a serpent's prey?" Scarce saw in all the room another face,

Then Lamia breathed death-breath ; the sophist's eye, Till, checking his love trance, a cup he took Full-brimm'd, and opposite sent forth a look

Like a sharp spear, went through her utterly, 'Cross the broad table, to beseech a glance

Keen, cruel, perceant, stinging : she, as well From his old teacher's wrinkled countenance,

As her weak hand could any meaning tell,

Motion'd him to be silent; vainly so,
And pledge him. The bald-head philosopher
Had fix'd his eye, without a twinkle or stir

He look'd and look'd again a level-No!
Full on the alarmed beauty of the bride,

“A Serpent!" echoed he; no sooner said, Browbeating her fair form, and troubling her sweet

Than with a frightful scream she vanished: pride.

And Lycius' arms were empty of delight, Lycius then press'd her hand, with devout touch,

As were his limbs of life, from that same night. As pale it lay upon the

On the high couch he lay-his friends came roundcouch:

rosy "T was icy, and the cold ran through his veins ;

Supported him-no pulse, or breath they found, Then sudden it grew hot, and all the pains

And, in its marriage robe, the heavy body wound.* Of an unnatural heat shot to his heart. ** Lamia, what means this? Wherefore dost thou start? Philostratus, in his fourth book de Vita Apollonii, Know'st thou that man?” Poor Lamia answer'd not. omit, of one Menippus Lycius, a young man twenty-five

hath a memorable instance in this kind, which I may not He gazed into her eyes, and not a jot

years of age, that going betwixt Cenchreas and Corinth, Ownd they the lovelorn piteous appeal :

met such a phantasın in the habit of a fair gentlewoman,

which taking him by the hand, carried him home to her More, more he gazed : his human senses reel :

house, in the suburbs of Corinth, and told him she was a Sorne angry spell that loveliness absorbs ;

Phænician by birth, and if he would tarry with her, he There was no recognition in those orbs.

should hear her sing and play, and drink such wine as “ Lamia!” he cried-and no soft-toned reply.

never any drank, and no man should molest him; but she,

being fair and lovely, would die with him, that was fair The many heard, and the loud revelry

and lovely to behold. The young man, a philosopher, Grew hush ; the stately music no more breathes; otherwise staid and discreet, able to moderate his passions, The myrtle sicken'd in a thousand wreaths.

though not this of love, tarried with her a while to his

great content, and at last married her, to whose wedding, By faint degrees, voice, lute, and pleasure ceased;

amongst other guests, came Apollonius; who, by some A deadly silence step by step increased,

probable conjectures, found her out to be a serpent, a Until it secm'd a horrid presence there,

lamia; and that all her furniture was, like Tantalus' gold,

described by Horner, no substance but mere illusions, And not a man but felt the terror in his hair.

When she saw herself descried, she wept, and desired “ Lamia !” he shriek’d: and nothing but the shriek Apollonius to be silent, but he would not be moved, and With its sad echo did the silence break.

thereupon she, plate, house, and all that was in it, van. “ Begone, foul dream!” he cried, gazing again

ished in an instant: many thousands took notice of this

fact, for it was done in the midst of Greece."-BURTON'S In the bride's face, where now no azure vein

Anatomy of Melancholy, Part 3, Sect. 2. Memb. I, Subs. I.


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Grant thou a pardon here, and then the tale

Shall move on soberly, as it is meet;
There is no other crime, no mad assail

To make old prose in modern rhyme more sweet :
But it is done--succeed the verse or fail -

To honor thee, and thy gone spirit greet;
To stead thee as a verse in English tongue,
An echo of thee in the north-wind sung.

But, for the general award of love,

The little sweet doth kill much bitterness;
Though Dido silent is in under-grove,

And Isabella's was a great distress,
Though young Lorenzo in warm Indian clove

Was not embalm'd, this truth is not the less-
Even bees, the little almsmen of spring-bowers,
Know there is richest juice in poison-llowers.

With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt,

Enriched from ancestral merchandise,
. And for them many a weary hand did swelt

In torched mines and noisy factories,
And many once proud-quiver'd loins did melt

In blood from stinging whip;—with hollow eyes
Many all day in dazzling river stood,
To take the rich-ored driftings of the flood.

These brethren having found by many signs

What love Lorenzo for their sister had,
And how she loved him too, each unconfines

His bitter thoughts to other, well-nigh mad
That he, the servant of their trade designs,

Should in their sister's love be blithe and glad,
When 't was their plan to coax her by degrees
To some high noble and his olive-trees.


For them the Ceylon diver held his breath, And many a jealous conference had they,
And went all naked to the hungry shark ;

And many times they bit their lips alone,
For them his ears gush'd blood ; for them in death Before they fix'd upon a surest way
The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark

To make the youngster for his crime atone;
Lay full of darts; for them alone did seethe And at the last, these men of cruel clay

A thousand men in troubles wide and dark: Cut Mercy with a sharp knife to the bone; Half-ignorant, they turnd an easy wheel,

For they resolved in some forest dim
That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel. To kill Lorenzo, and there bury him.

Why were they proud ? Because their marble founts So on a pleasant morning, as he leant

Gush'd with more pride than do a wretch's tears ? Into the sunrise o'er the balustrade
Why were they proud ? Because fair orange-

mounts of the garden-terrace, towards him they bent Were of more soft ascent than lazar-stairs ?

Their footing through the dews; and to him said, Why were they proud ? Because red-lined accounts “You seem there in the quiet of content,

Were richer than the songs of Grecian years ? Lorenzo, and we are most loth to invade
Why were they proud ? again we ask aloud, Calm speculation; but if you are wise,
Why in the name of Glory were they proud ? Bestride your steed while cold is in the skies.

Yet were these Florentines as self-retired

“ To-day we purpose, ay, this hour we mount In hungry pride and gainful cowardice,

To spur three leagues towards the Apennine; As two close Hebrews in that land inspired, Come down, we pray thee, ere the hot sun count

Paled in and vineyarded from beggar-spies; His dewy rosary on the eglantine." The hawks of ship-mast forests—the untired Lorenzo, courteously as he was wont,

And pannier'd mules for ducats and old lies Bow'd a fair greeting to these serpents' whine ; Quick cat’s-paws on the generous stray-away,— And went in haste, to get in readiness, Great wits in Spanish, Tuscan, and Malay.

With belt, and spur, and bracing huntsman's dress.

How was it these same leger-men could spy

Fair Isabella in her downy nest?
How could they find out in Lorenzo's eye

A straying from his toil? Hot Egypt's pest
Into their vision covetous and sly!

How could these money-bags see east and west?-
Yet so they did--and every dealer fair
Must see behind, as doth the hunted hare.

And as he to the court-yard pass'd along,

Each third step did he pause, and listen'd oft
If he could hear his lady's matin-song,

Or the light whisper of her footstep soft ;
And as he thus over his passion hung,

He heard a laugh full musical alosi;
When, looking up, he saw her features bright
Smile through an in-door lattice, all delight.

O eloquent and famed Boccaccio!

Of thee we now should ask forgiving boon,
And of thy spicy myrtles as they blow,

And of thy roses amorous of the moon,
And of thy lilies, that do paler grow

Now they can no more hear thy ghittern's tune,
For venturing syllables that ill beseem
The quiet glooms of such a piteous theme.

" Love, Isabel!” said he, “I was in pain

Lest I should miss to bid thee a good-morrow :
Ah! what if I should lose thee, when so fain

I am to stifle all the heavy sorrow
Of a poor three hours' absence ? but we 'll gain

Out of the amorous dark what day doth borrow.
Good-bye! I'll soon be back."—“Good-bye!" said she.
And as he went she chanted merrily.

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