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Let the damsels sing him in,
sing aloud, that he may rise:
then holy feasts and hours begin,
and each hand bring a sacrifice.
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER
HOLY Night! from thee I learn to bear,
what man has borne before!
Thou lay'st thy finger on the lips of Care,
and they complain no more,
Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer!
descend with broad-wingd Aight, the welcome, the thrice-pray'd for, the most fair, the best-belovéd Night,
H. W. LONGFELLOW
E, who the sword of heaven will bear,
pattern in himself to know,
grace to stand, and virtue go;
more nor less to others paying,
than by self-offences weighing.
Shame to him, whose cruel striking
kills for faults of his own liking!
Death and his brother Sleep! one, pale as yonder waning moon,
with lips of lurid blue; the other, rosy as the morn
FIEND, I defy thee! with a calm fixed mind,
foul Tyrant both of Gods and Human-kind,
one only being shalt thou not subdue.
Rain then thy plagues upon me here,
ghastly disease and frenzying fear:
and let alternate frost and fire
eat into me and be thine ire
lightning, and cutting hail, and legioned forms
of furies, driving by upon the wounding storms. 1129 Ay, do thy worst. Thou art omnipotent.
O’er all things but thyself I gave thee power,
and my own will. Be thy swift mischiefs sent
to blast mankind, from yon ethereal tower.
Let thy malignant spirit move
in darkness over those I love:
on me and mine I imprecate
the utmost torture of thy hate;
and thus devote to sleepless agony
this undeclining head while thou must reign on high.
P. B. SHELLEY
ONE to death by slanderous tongues
was the Hero that here lies;
death, in guerdon of her wrongs,
gives her fame which never dies:
so the life that died with shame
lives in death with glorious fame.
Hang thou there upon the tomb,
praising her when I am dumb.
BELVIDERE TO SILVIO
‘EAR not, fear not: I'll be nigh:
cast thy trouble on my back:
art nor cunning shall not lack
to preserve thee, still to keep
what thy envious foemen seek.
Go boldly home, and let thy mind
no distrustful crosses find;
all shall happen for the best:
souls walk through sorrows that are blest.
MERCURY TO PROMETHEUS
EAR not: 'tis but some passing spasm,
the Titan is unvanquished still.
But see, where through the azure chasm
of yon forked and snowy hill
trampling the slant winds on high
with golden-sandalled feet, that glow
under plumes of purple dye,
like rose-ensanguined ivory,
a Shape comes now,
stretching on high from his right hand
a serpent-cinctured wand.
TOW on some twisted ivy-net,
now by some tinkling rivulet,
in mosses mixt with violet
her cream-white mule his pastern set:
and fleeter now she skimm'd the plains
than she whose elfin prancer springs
by night to eery warblings,
when all the glimmering moorland rings
with jingling bridle-reins.
SONG OF THE SPIRIT IN COMUS
OBLE Lord, and Lady bright,
here behold so goodly grown
three fair branches of your own.
Heaven hath timely tried their youth,
their faith, their patience, and their truth,
and sent them here through hard assays,
with a crown of deathless praise,
to triumph in victorious dance
o'er sensual folly and intemperance.
1135 ECHO MOURNING THE DEATH OF NARCISSUS
LOW, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt
yet, slower, yet, О faintly, gentle springs:
list to the heavy part the music bears,
woe weeps out her division when she sings.
Droop herbs and flowers;
fall grief in showers,
our beauties are not ours;
O, I could still
like melting snow upon some craggy hill,
drop, drop, drop, drop,
since nature's pride is now a withered daffodil.
B. JONSON 1136 CHORUS OF MESSENIAN MAIDENS-MEROPE . OT to thee only hath come
sorrow, O Queen, of mankind.
Had not Electra to haunt
a palace defiled by a death unavenged,
for years, in silence, devouring her heart ?
But her nursling, her hope came at last.
Thou, too, rearest in joy,
far 'mid Arcadian hills,
somewhere in safety a nursling, a light.
Yet, yet, shall Zeus bring him home!
Yet shall he dawn on this land ! 1137 Mer. Him in secret, in tears,
month after month, through the slow-dragging year,
longing, listening, I wait, I implore.
But he comes not. What dell,
O Erymanthus ! from sight
of his mother, which of thy glades,
O Lycæus ! conceals
the happy hunter ? He basks
in youth's pure morning, nor thinks
on the blood-stained home of his birth. 1138 Ch. Give not thy heart to despair.
No lamentation can loose
prisoners of death from the grave:
but Zeus, who accounteth thy quarrel his own,
still rules, still watches, and numbers the hours
till the sinner, the vengeance, be ripe.
Still by Acheron stream
terrible deities throned
sit, and make ready the serpent, the scourge.
Still, still the Dorian boy,
exiled, remembers his home. 1139 Mer. Him if high-ruling Zeus
bring to his mother, the rest I commit
willing, patient, to Zeus, to his care.
Blood I ask not. Enough
sated, and more than enough,
are mine eyes with blood. But if this,
O my comforters ! strays
amiss from Justice, the Gods
forgive my folly, and work
what they will !-but to me give my son !
E have been o'er land and sea
seeking lovely dreams for thee:
where is there we have not been,
gathering gifts for our sweet Queen ?
We are come with sound and sight
fit for fairy's sleep to-night ;
and around thy couch shall sweep
odours, such as roses weep,
when the earliest spring rain
calls them into life again.
L. E. LANDON