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Each by a sacred tripod held aloft,
When in an antechamber every guest Had felt the cold full sponge to pleasure press'd By ministering slaves upon his hands and feet, And fragrant oils with ceremony meet Pour'd on his hair, they all moved to the feast In white robes, and themselves in order placed Around the silken couches, wondering Whence all this mighty cost and blaze of wealth
Sole fluent Gre the guests, wine at
Soft went the music the soft air along, While fluent Greek a vowel'd under-song Kept up among the guests, discoursing low At first, for scarcely was the wine at flow; But when the happy vintage touch'd their brains Louder they talk, and louder come the strains Of powerful instruments:— the gorgeous dyes, The space, the splendour of the draperies,
The roof of awful richness, nectarous cheer,
What wreath for Lamia ? What for Lycius ? What for the sage, old Apollonius ? Upon her aching forehead be there hung The leaves of willow and of adder's tongue; And for the youth, quick, let us strip for him The thyrsus, that his watching eyes may swim Into forgetfulness; and, for the sage, Let spear-grass and the spiteful thistle wage War on his temples. Do not all charms fly At the mere touch of cold philosophy ? There was an awful rainbow once in heaven : We know her woof, her texture; she is given In the dull catalogue of common things. Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings, Conquer all mysteries by rule and line, Empty the haunted air and gnomed mineUnweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made The tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade.
By her glad Lycius sitting, in chief place, Scarce saw in all the room another face, Till, checking his love trance, a cup he took Full brimm'd, and opposite sent forth a look 'Cross the broad table, to beseech a glance From his old teacher's wrinkled countenance, And pledge him. The bald-head philosopher Had fix'd his eye, without a twinkle or a stir, Full on the alarmed beauty of the bride, Brow-beating her fair form and troubling her sweet
pride. Lycius then press'd her hand, with devout touch, As pale it lay upon the rosy couch: 'Twas icy, and the cold ran through his veins; Then sudden it grew hot, and all the pains Of an unnatural heat shot to his heart. “Lamia, what means this? Wherefore dost thou start? Know'st thou that man?" Poor Lamia answer'd not. He gazed into her eyes, and not a jot Own'd they the lovelorn piteous appeal: More, more he gazed : his human senses reel: Some hungry spell that loveliness absorbs; There was no recognition in those orbs. “ Lamia!” he cried-and no soft-toned reply. The many heard, and the loud revelry Grew hush; the stately music no more breathes; The myrtle sicken'd in a thousand wreaths. By faint degrees, voice, lute, and pleasure ceased; A deadly silence step by step increased Until it seem'd a horrid presence there, And not a man but felt the terror in his hair. “ Lamia !” he shriek'd; and nothing but the shriek With its sad echo did the silence break.
“ Begone, foul dream !” he cried, gazing again
Motion'd him to be silent; vainly so;
I“ Philostratus, in his fourth though not this of love, tarbook, De Vita Apollonii, bath ried with her awhile to his a memorable instance in this great content, and at last markind, which I may not omit, ried her; to whose wedding, of one Menippus Lycius, a amongst other guests, came young man twenty-five years Apollonius, who, by some of age, that, going betwixt probable conjectures, found Cenchreas and Corinth, met her out to be a serpent, a lamia, such a phantasm in the habit and that all her furniture was, of a fair gentlewoman, which, like Tantalus' gold, described taking him by the hand, car. by Homer, no substance, but ried him home to her house, mere illusions. When she in the suburbs of Corinth, and saw herself descried she wept, told him she was a Phænician and desired Apollonius to be by birth, and if he would tarry silent, but he would not be with her he should hear her moved, and thereupon she, sing and play, and drink such plate, house, and all that was wine as never any drank, and in it, vanished in an instant. no man should molest him; Many thousands took notice but she, being fair and lovely, of this fact, for it was done in would die with him, that was the midst of Greece."- BURfair and lovely to behold. The TON'S Anatomy of Melancholy, young man, a philosopher, Part 3, Sect. 2, Memb. I. otherwise staid and discreet, Subs. I. able to moderate his passions,