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I met, far gone in liquor, that old man,
That vile impostor Hum,-

So far so well, -
For we have proved the Mago never fell
Down stairs on Crafticanto's evidence;
And therefore duly shall proceed to tell,

Plain in our own original mood and tense, The sequel of this day, though labour 'tis immense!”

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PON a time, before the faery broods
Drove Nymph and Satyr from the prosper-

ous woods,
Before King Oberon's bright diadem,
Sceptre, and mantle, clasp'd with dewy gem,
Frighted away the Dryads and the Fauns
From rushes green, and brakes, and cowslipp'dlawns,
The ever-smitten Hermes empty left
His golden throne, bent warm on amorous theft:
From high Olympus had he stolen light,
On this side of Jove's clouds, to escape the sight
Of his great summoner, and made retreat
Into a forest on the shores of Crete.
For somewhere in that sacred island dwelt
A nymph to whom all hoofed Satyrs knelt;
At whose white feet the languid Tritons pour'd

1" This tragedy (King Ste- with great care, after much phen) gave place to Lamia, a study of Dryden's composiPoem, which had been in hand tion.”- Charles BROWN. for some months. He wrote it

Pearls, while on land they wither'd and adored. Fast by the springs where she to bathe was wont, And those meads where sometimes she might

haunt, Were strewn rich gifts, unknown to any Muse, Though Fancy's casket were unlock'd to choose. Ah, what a world of love was at her feet! So Hermes thought, and a celestial heat Burn'd from his winged heels to either ear, That, from a whiteness as the lily clear, Blush'd into roses 'mid his golden hair, Fallen in jealous curls about his shoulders bare. From vale to vale, from wood to wood, he flew, Breathing upon the flowers his passion new, And wound with many a river to its head, To find where this sweet nymph prepared her secret

bed. In vain; the sweet nymph might nowhere be found And so he rested on the lonely ground, Pensive, and full of painful jealousies Of the Wood-Gods, and even the very trees. There as he stood he heard a mournful voice, Such as, once heard, in gentle heart destroys All pain but pity; thus the lone voice spake : "When from this wreathed tomb shall I awake ? When move in a sweet body fit for life, And love, and pleasure, and the ruddy strife Of hearts and lips? Ah, miserable me!" The God, dove-footed, glided silently Round bush and tree, soft-brushing in his speed The taller grasses and full-flowering weed, Until he found a palpitating snake, Bright and cirque-couchant, in a dusky brake.

She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue, Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue; Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard, Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barr'd; And full of silver moons, that, as she breathed, Dissolved, or brighter shone, or interwreathed Their lustres with the gloomier tapestriesSo rainbow-sided, touch'd with miseries, She seem'd at once, some penanced lady elf, Some demon's mistress, or the demon's self. Upon her crest she wore a wannish fire Sprinkled with stars, like Ariadne's tiar: Her head was serpent, but ah, bitter-sweet! She had a woman's mouth with all its pearls complete; And for her eyes — what could such eyes do there But weep and weep, that they were born so fair, As Proserpine still weeps for her Sicilian air? Her throat was serpent, but the words she spake Came, as through bubbling honey, for Love's sake, And thus, while Hermes on his pinions lay, Like a stoop'd falcon ere he takes his prey:

“ Fair Hermes! crown'd with feathers, fluttering

light, I had a splendid dream of thee last night! I saw thee sitting, on a throne of gold, Among the Gods, upon Olympus old, The only sad one; for thou didst not hear The soft lute-finger'd Muses chanting clear, Nor even Apollo when he sang alone, Deaf to his throbbing throat's long, long melodious

moan. I dreamt I saw thee, robed in purple flakes, Vol. III.

30

Break amorous through the clouds, as morning

breaks, And swiftly as a bright Phæbean dart Strike for the Cretan isle ; and here thou art ! Too gentle Hermes, hast thou found the maid?" Whereat the star of Lethe not delay'd His rosy eloquence, and thus inquired : “ Thou smooth-lipp'd serpent, surely high-inspired ! Thou beauteous wreath, with melancholy eyes, Possess whatever bliss thou canst devise, Telling me only where my nymph is fled Where she doth breathe ! " " Bright planet, thou

hast said," Return'd the snake, “but seal with oaths, fair God!” “I swear,” said Hermes, “ by my serpent rod, And by thine eyes, and by thy starry crown!" Light flew his earnest words, among the blossoms

blown. Then thus again the brilliance feminine : “ Too frail of heart! for this lost nymph of thine, Free as the air, invisibly she strays About these thornless wilds; her pleasant days She tastes unseen; unseen her nimble feet Leave traces in the grass and flowers sweet : From weary tendrils and bow'd branches green She plucks the fruit unseen, she bathes unseen: And by my power is her beauty veil'd To keep it unaffronted, unassail'd By the love-glances of unlovely eyes, Of Satyrs, Fauns, and blear'd Silenus' sighs. Pale grew her immortality, for woe Of all these lovers, and she grieved so I took compassion on her, bade her steep

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