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For scenes like this : an empire stern hast thou;

And it hath furrow'd that large front: yet now,

As newly come of heaven, dost thou sit

To blend and interknit

Subdued majesty with this glad time.

O shell-born King sublime!

We lay our hearts before thee evermore—

We sing, and we adore!

"Breathe softly, flutes; Be tender of your strings, ye soothing lutes; Nor be the trumpet heard! O vain, O vain! Not flowers budding in an April rain, Nor breath of sleeping dove, nor river's flow— No, nor the ^Eolian twang of Love's own bow, Can mingle music fit for the soft ear Of goddess Cytherea!

Yet deign, white Queen of Beauty, thy fair eyes
On our souls' sacrifice.

"Bright-winged Child!
Who has another care when thou hast smiled?
Unfortunates on earth, we see at last
All death-shadows, and glooms that overcast
Our spirits, fann'd away by thy light pinions.
O sweetest essence ! sweetest of all minions!
God of warm pulses, and dishevell'd hair,
And panting bosoms bare!
Dear unseen light in darkness! eclipser
Of light in light! delicious poisoner!
Thy venom'd goblet will we quaff until
We fill—we fill!
And by thy Mother's lips"

Was heard no more
For clamour, when the golden palace-door
Open'd again, and from without, in shone
A new magnificence. On oozy throne
Smooth-moving came Oceanus the old,
To take a latest glimpse at his sheep-fold,
Before he went into his quiet cave
To muse for ever—Then a lucid wave,
Scoop'd from its trembling sisters of mid-sea,
Afloat, and pillowing up the majesty

Of Doris, and the Aegean seer, her spouse—
Next, on a dolphin, clad in laurel boughs,
Theban Amphion leaning on his lute:
His fingers went across it—All were mute
To gaze on Amphitrite, queen of pearls,
And Thetis pearly too.—

The palace whirls
Around giddy Endymion; seeing he
Was there far strayed from mortality.
He could not bear it—shut his eyes in vain;
Imagination gave a dizzier pain.
"OI shall die! sweet Venus, be my stay!
Where is my lovely mistress ? Well-away!
I die—I hear her voice—I feel my wing—"
At Neptune's feet he sank. A sudden ring
Of Nereids were about him, in kind strife
To usher back his spirit into life:
But still he slept. At last they interwove
Their cradling arms, and purposed to convey
Towards a crystal bower far away.

Lo! while slow carried through the pitying crowd,
To his inward senses these words spake aloud;
Written in star-light on the dark above:
"Dearest Endymion ! my entire love!
How have I dwelt in fear of fate ; 't is done—
Immortal bliss for me too hast thou won.
Arise then! for the hen-dove shall not hatch
Her ready eggs, before I 'll kissing snatch
Thee into endless heaven. Awake! awake!"

The youth at once arose: a placid lake
Came quiet to his eyes ; and forest green,
Cooler than all the wonder he had seen,
Lull'd with its simple song his fluttering breast.
How happy once again in grassy nest!

BOOK IV.

Muse of my native land! loftiest Muse!

O first-born on the mountains! By the hues
Of heaven on the spiritual air begot:

Long didst thou sit alone in northern pot,

While yet our England was a wolfish den;

Before our forests heard the talk of men;

Before the first of Druids was a child ;—

Long didst thou sit amid our regions wild,

Rapt in a deep prophetic solitude.

There came an eastern voice of solemn mood :—

Yet wast thou patient. Then sang forth the Nine,

Apollo's garland :—yet didst thou divine

Such home-bred glory, that they cried in vain,

"Come hither, Sister of the Island!" Plain

Spake fair Ausonia ; and once more she spake

A higher summons :—still didst thou betake

Thee to thy native hopes. O thou hast won

A full accomplishment ! The thing is done,

Which undone, these our latter days had risen

On barren souls. Great Muse, thou know'st what prison

Of flesh and bone, curbs, and confines, and frets

Our spirits' wings: despondency besets

Our pillows ; and the fresh to-morrow morn

Seems to give forth its light in very scorn

Of our dull, uninspired, snail-paced lives.

Long have I said, how happy he who shrives

To thee! But then I thought on poets gone,

And could not pray :—nor can I now—so on

I move to the end in lowliness of heart.

"Ah, woe is me ! that I should fondly part
From my dear native land! Ah, foolish maid!
Glad was the hour, when, with thee, myriads bade
Adieu to Ganges and their pleasant fields!
To one so friendless the clear freshet yields
A bitter coolness ; the ripe grape is sour:
Yet I would have, great gods ! but one short hour
Of native air—let me but die at home."

Endymion to heaven's airy dome
Was offering up a hecatomb of vows,
When these words reached him. Whereupon he bows
His head through thorny-green entanglement
Of underwood, and to the sound is bent,
Anxious as hind towards her hidden fawn.

"Is no one near to help me? No fair dawn
Of life from charitable voice? No sweet saying
To set my dull and sadden'd spirit playing!
No hand to toy with mine? No lips so sweet
That I may worship them? No eyelids meet
To twinkle on my bosom? No one dies
Before me, till from these enslaving eyes
Redemption sparkles !—I am sad and lost."

Thou, Carian lord, hadst better have been tost
Into a whirlpool. Vanish into air,
Warm mountaineer! for canst thou only bear
A woman's sigh alone and in distress?
See not her charms! Is Phoebe passionless?
Phoebe is fairer far—O gaze no more :—
Yet if thou wilt behold all beauty's store,
Behold her panting in the forest grass!
Do not those curls of glossy jet surpass
For tenderness the arms so idly lain
Amongst them? Feelest not a kindred pain,
To see such lovely eyes in swimming search
After some warm delight, that seems to perch
Dovelike in the dim cell lying beyond
Their upper lids ?—Hist!

"O for Hermes' wand,
To touch this flower into human shape!
That woodland Hyacinthus could escape
From his green prison, and here kneeling down
Call me his queen, his second life's fair crown!
Ah me, how I could love !—My soul doth melt
For the unhappy youth—Love! I have felt
So faint a kindness, such a meek surrender
To what my own full thoughts had made too tender,
That but for tears my life had fled away !—
Ye deaf and senseless minutes of the day,

And thou, old forest, hold ye this for true,
There is no lightning, no authentic dew
But in the eye of love : there's not a sound,
Melodious howsoever, can confound
The heavens and earth in one to such B death
As doth the voice of love: there's not a breath
Will mingle kindly with the meadow air,
Till it has panted round, and stolen a share
of passion from the heart!"—

Upon a bough
He leant, wretched. He surely cannot now
Thirst for another love: O impious,
That he can even dream upon it thus!
Thought he, " Why am I not as are the dead,
Since to a woe like this I have been led
Through the dark earth, and through the wondrous sea X
Goddess ! I love thee not the less : from thee
By Juno's smile I turn not—no, no, no—
While the great waters are at ebb and flow,—
I have a triple soul ! O fond pretence—
For both, for both my love is so immense,
I feel my heart is cut in twain for them."

And so he groan'd, as one by beauty slain.
The lady's heart beat quick, and he could see
Her gentle bosom heave tumultuously.
He sprang from his green covert: there she lay,
Sweet as a musk-rose upon new-made hay;
With all her limbs on tremble, and her eyes
Shut softly up alive. To speak he tries:
"Fair damsel, pity me ! forgive me that I
Thus violate thy bower's sanctity!

O pardon me, for I am full of grief—

Grief born of thee, young angel ! fairest thief!
Who stolen hast away the wings wherewith

I was to top the heavens. Dear maid, sith
Thou art my executioner, and I feel
Loving and hatred, misery and weal,

Will in a few short hours be nothing to me,
And all my story that much passion slew me;
Do smile upon the evening of my days;
And, for my tortured brain begins to craze,

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