[blocks in formation]

Hang rich in flowers, and far below them roars The long brook falling thro' the clov'n ravine In cataract after cataract to the sea. Behind the valley topmost Gargarus Stands up and takes the morning: but in front The gorges, opening wide apart, reveal Troas and Ilion's column'd citadel, The crown of Troas. Hither came at noon Mournful (Enone, wandering forlorn Of Paris, once her playmate on the hills. Her cheek had lost the rose, and round her neck Floated her hair or seem'd to float in rest. She, leaning on a fragment twined with vine, Sang to the stillness, till the mountainshade Sloped downward to her seat from the upper cliff.

“O mother Ida, many-fountain'd Ida, Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. For now the noonday quiet holds the hill: The grasshopper is silent in the grass: The lizard, with his shadow on the stone, Rests like a shadow, and the winds are dead. The purple flower droops: the golden bee Is lily-cradled: I alone awake. My eyes are full of tears, my heart of love, My heart is breaking, and my eyes are dim, And I am all aweary of my life.

“O mother Ida, many-fountain’d Ida, Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. Hear me, O Earth, hear me, O Hills, O Caves That house the cold crown'd snake O mountain brooks, I am the daughter of a River-God, Hear me, for I will speak, and build up all My sorrow with my song, as yonder walls Rose slowly to a music slowly breathed, A cloud that gather'd shape: for it may be That, while I speak of it, a little while My heart may wander from its deeper WQe.

[blocks in formation]

Or labour'd mine undrainable of ore. Honour,” she said, “and homage, tax

and toll, From many an inland town and haven large, Mast-throng'd beneath her shadowing citadel

In glassy bays among her tallest towers.”

“O mother Ida, harken ere I die. Still she spake on and still she spake of power, “Which in all action is the end of all; Power fitted to the season; wisdombred And throned of wisdom — from all neighbour crowns Alliance and allegiance, till thy hand Fail from the sceptre-staff. Such boon from me, From me, Heaven's Queen, Paris, to thee king-born, A shepherd all thy life but yet king-born, Should come most welcome, seeing men, in power Only, are likest gods, who have attain'd Rest in a happy place and quiet seats Above the thunder, with undying bliss In knowledge of their own supremacy.”

“Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. She ceased, and Paris held the costly

fruit Out at arm's length, so much the thought of power Flatter'd his spirit; but Pallas where she stood Somewhat apart, her clear and bared limbs O'erthwarted with the brazen-headed spear

Upon her pearly shoulder leaning cold, The while, above, her full and earnest

eye Over her snow-cold breast and angry

cheek Kept watch, waiting decision, made reply.

“Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self. control, These three alone lead life to sovereign power. Yet not for power (power of herself

Would come uncall'd for) but to live by law, Acting the law we live by without fear; And because right is right, to follow right Were wisdom in the scorn of consequence.”

“Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. Again she said: “I woo thee not with gifts. Sequel of guerdon could not alter me To fairer. Judge thou me by what I

am, So shalt thou find me fairest. Yet, indeed If gazing on divinity disrobed Thy mortal eyes are frail to judge of fair, Unbias'd by self-profit, oh! rest the sure, That I shall love thee well and cleave to thee, So that my vigour, wedded to thy blood, Shall strike within thy pulses like a God’s, To push thee forward thro' a life of shocks, Dangers, and deeds, until endurance grow Sinew’d with action, and the full-grown will, Circled thro' all experiences, pure law, Commeasure perfect freedom.” “Here she ceas'd, And Paris ponder'd, and I cried, “O Paris, Give it to Pallas !” but he heard me not, Or hearing would not hear me, woe is me !

“O mother Ida, many-fountain'd Ida, Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. Idalian Aphrodite beautiful, Fresh as the foam, new-bathed in Paphian wells, With rosy slender fingers backward drew From her warm brows and bosom her deep hair Ambrosial, golden round her lucid throat And shoulder: from the violets her light foot Shone rosy-white, and o'er her rounded form Between the shadows of the vine-bunches Floated the glowing sunlights, as she moved.

“Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. She with a subtle smile in her mild eyes, The herald of her triumph, drawing nigh Half-whisper'd in his ear, “I promise thee The fairest and most loving wife in Greece.” She spoke and laugh'd : I shut my sight for fear: But when I look'd, Paris had raised his arm, And I beheld great Here's angry eyes, As she withdrew into the golden cloud, And I was left alone within the bower; And from that time to this I am alone, And I shall be alone until I die.

“Yet, mother Ida, harken ere I die. Fairest — why fairest wife? am I not fair? My love hath told me so a thousand times. Methinks I must be fair, for yesterday, When H past by, a wild and wanton pard, Eyed like the evening star, with playful tail Crouch'd fawning in the weed. Most loving is she? Ah me, my mountain shepherd, that my arms Were wound about thee, and my hot lips prest Close, close to thine in that quick-falling dew Of fruitful kisses, thick as Autumn rains Flash in the pools of whirling Simois.

“O mother, hear me yet before I die. They came, they cut away my tallest pines, My tall dark pines, that plumed the craggy ledge High over the blue gorge, and all between The snowy peak and snow-white cataract Foster'd the callow eaglet — from beneath Whose thick mysterious boughs in the dark morn The panther's roar came muffled, while I sat Low in the valley. Never, never more Shall lone (Enone see the morning mist Sweep thro' them; never see them overlaid

With narrow moon-lit slips of silver cloud, Between the loud stream and the trembling stars.

“O mother, hear me yet before I die. I wish that somewhere in the ruin’d folds, Among the fragments tumbled from the

glens, Or the dry thickets, I could meet with her The Abominable, that uninvited came Into the fair Peleian banquet-hall, And cast the golden fruit upon the board, And bred this change; that I might speak my mind, And tell her to her face how much I hate Her presence, hated both of Gods and Inen.

“O mother, hear me yet before I die. Hath he not sworn his love a thousand times, In this green valley, under this green hill, Ev’n on this hand, and sitting on this stone? Seal’d it with kisses? water'd it with tears? O happy tears, and how unlike to these ! O happy Heaven, how canst thou see my face? O happy earth, how canst thou bear my weight? O death, death, death, thou ever-floating cloud, There are enough unhappy on this earth; Pass by the happy souls, that love to live: I pray thee, pass before my light of life, And shadow all my soul, that I may die. Thou weighest heavy on the heart within, Weigh heavy on my eyelids: let me die.

“O mother, hear me yet before I die. I will not die alone, for fiery thoughts Do shape themselves within me, more and more, Whereof I catch the issue, as I hear Dead sounds at night come from the inmost hills, Like footsteps upon wool. I dimly see My far-off doubtful purpose, as a mother Conjectures of the features of her child Ere it is born : her child ! — a shudder connes

Across me: never child be born of me, Unblest, to vex me with his father's eyes!

“O mother, hear me yet before I die. Hear me, O earth. I will not die alone, Lest their shrill happy laughter come to

me Walking the cold and starless road of Death Uncomforted, leaving my ancient love With the Greek woman. I will rise and

go Down into Troy, and ere the stars come forth Talk with the wild Cassandra, for she says A fire dances before her, and a sound Rings ever in her ears of armed men. What this may be I know not, but I know That, wheresoe'er I am by night and day, All earth and air seem only burning fire.'


WE were two daughters of one race:
She was the fairest in the face:
The wind is blowing in turret and tree.
They were together, and she fell;
Therefore revenge became me well.
O the Earl was fair to see .

She died: she went to burning flame:
She mix’d her ancient blood with shame.
The wind is howling in turret and tree.
Whole weeks and months, and early and
To win his love I lay in wait:
O the Earl was fair to see :

I made a feast; I bade him come;
I won his love, I brought him home.
The wind is roaring in turret and tree.
And after supper, on a bed,
Upon my lap he laid his head:
O the Earl was fair to see .

I kissed his eyelids into rest:
His ruddy cheek upon my breast.
The wind is raging in turret and tree.
I hated him with the hate of hell,
But I loved his beauty passing well.
O the Earl was fair to see :

I rose up in the silent night:
I made my dagger sharp and bright.
The wind is raving in turret and tree.
As half-asleep his breath he drew,
Three times I stabb'd him thro' and thro’.
O the Earl was fair to see :

I curl’d and comb'd his comely head,
He look'd so grand when he was dead.
The wind is blowing in turret and
I wrapt his body in the sheet,
And laid him at his mother's feet.
O the Earl was fair to see :


I SEND you here a sort of allegory,
(For you will understand it) of a soul,
A sinful soul possess'd of many gifts,
A spacious garden full of flowering weeds,
A glorious Devil, large in heart and brain,
That did love Beauty only (Beauty seen
In all varieties of mould and mind),
And Knowledge for its beauty;
Good only for its beauty, seeing not
That Beauty, Good, and Knowledge are
three sisters
That dote upon each other, friends to
Living together under the same roof,
And never can be sunder'd without tears.
And he that shuts Love out, in turn shall
Shut out from Love, and on her threshold
Howling in outer darkness. Not for this
Was common clay ta'en from the common
Moulded by God, and temper'd with the
Of angels to the perfect shape of man.

[ocr errors]


I BUILT my soul a lordly pleasure-house,
Wherein at ease for aye to dwell.
I said, “O Soul, make merry and carouse,
Dear soul, for all is well.'

« ElőzőTovább »