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And shut the chamber up, close, hushed And you forgive me." Lycius blushed, and still,

and led Complete and ready for the revels rude, The old man through the inner doors When dreadful guests would come to spoil broad-spread; her solitude.

145 With reconciling words and courteous

mien The day appeared, and all the gossip Turning into sweet milk the sophist's rout.

spleen. O senseless Lycius! Madman! wherefore flout

Of wealthy lustre was the banquetThe silent-blessing fate, warm cloistered room, hours,

Filled with pervading brilliance and perAnd show to common eyes

these secret fume. bowers?

Before each lucid panel fuming stood The herd approached. Each guest, with A censer fed with myrrh and spiced wood, busy brain,

Each by a sacred tripod held aloft, Arriving at the portal, gazed amain, Whose slender feet wide-swerved upon the And entered marvelling: for they knew soft the street,

Wool-woofèd carpets: fifty wreaths of Remembered it from childhood all com


179 plete

From fifty censers their light voyage took Without a gap, yet ne'er before had seen To the high roof, still mimicked as they That royal porch, that high-built fair de

Along the mirrored walls by twin-clouds So in they hurried all, mazed, curious and odorous. keen:

Twelve spherèd tables, by silk seats inSave one, who looked thereon with

eye sphered, severe,

High as the level of a man's breast reared And with calm-planted steps walked in On libbard's paws, upheld the heavy

gold 'Twas Apollonius. Something too he Of cups and goblets, and the store thrice laughed,

told As though some knotty problem, that had Of Ceres' horn; and, in huge vessels, wine daft

Came from the gloomy tun with merry His patient thought, had now begun to shine. thaw,

Thus loaded with a feast the tables stood, And solve and melt: - 'twas just as he Each shrining in the midst the image of a foresaw.











He met within the murmurous vesti

His young disciple. “ 'Tis no

Lycius," said he, "for uninvited guest
To force himself upon you, and infest
With an unbidden presence the bright

Of younger friends; yet must I do this


When in an antechamber every guest Had felt the cold full sponge to pleasure

pressed, By ministering slaves, upon his hands and

feet, And fragrant oils with ceremony meet Poured on his hair, they all moved to the feast

195 In white robes; and themselves in order


Around the silken couches, wondering Whence all this mighty cost and blaze of

wealth could spring.


The leaves of willow and of adder's

tongue; And for the youth, quick, let us strip for him

225 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? 230 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, 235 Empty the haunted air, and gnomèd

mine Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made The tender-personed Lamia melt into a




Soft went the music the soft air along, While Auent Greek a voweled under

song Kept up among the guests, discoursing low At first, for scarcely was the wine at flow; But when the happy vintage touched their

brains, Louder they talk, and louder come the

strains Of powerful instruments. The gorgeous

dyes, The space, the splendor of the draperies, The roof of awful richness, nectarous

cheer, Beautiful slaves, and Lamia's self, appear, Now, when the wine has done its rosy

deed, And every soul from human trammels

freed, No more so strange; for merry wine, sweet

wine, Will make Elysian shades not too fair, too

divine. Soon

God Bacchus at meridian height; Flushed were their cheeks, and bright eyes

double bright. Garlands of every green


every scent, From vales deflowered, or forest-trees

branch-rent, In baskets of bright osiered gold were

brought High as the handles heaped, to suit the

thought Of every guest; that each, as he did

please, Might fancy-fit his brows, silk-pillowed at

his ease.



By her glad Lycius sitting, in chief

place, Scarce saw in all the room another face; 240 Till, checking his love-trance, a cup he

took Full brimmed, and opposite sent forth a

look 'Cross the broad table, to beseech a glance From his old teacher's wrinkled counte

nance, And pledge him. The bald-head philoso

pher Had fixed his eye, without a twinkle or

stir, Full on the alarmèd beauty of the bride, Brow-beating her fair form, and troubling

her sweet pride. Lycius then pressed 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




What wreath for Lamia? What for

Lycius ? What for the sage, old Apollonius? Upon her aching forehead be there hung


Of an unnatural heat shot to his heart. “Lamia, what means this? Wherefore

dost thou start? Know'st thou that man?" Poor Lamia answered not.

255 He gazed into her eyes, and not a jot Owned they the loyelorn piteous appeal. More, more he gazed; his human senses

reel: Some hungry spell that loveliness absorbs: There was no recognition in those orbs. 260 “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

sickened in thousand wreaths. By faint degrees, voice, lute, and pleasure

ceased: A deadly silence step by step increased, Until it seemed a horrid presence there, And not a man but felt the terror in his


In trembling dotage to the feeblest fright Of conscience, for their long-offended

might For all thine impious proud-heart sophis

tries, Unlawful magic, and enticing lies. Corinthians! look upon that graybeard

wretch! Mark how, possessed, his lashless eyelids

stretch Around his demon eyes! Corinthians,

see! My sweet bride withers at their potency.”

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Prey ?”



“Lamia!” he shrieked; and nothing but

the shriek With its sad echo did the silence break. 270 "Begone, foul dream!” he cried, gazing

again In the bride's face, where now no azure

vein Wandered on fair-spaced temples; no soft

bloom Misted the cheek; no passion to illume The deep-recessed vision: - all

blight; Lamia, no longer fair, there sat a deadly

white. "Shut, shut those juggling eyes, thou ruth

less man! Turn them aside, wretch! or the righteous

ban Of all the gods, whose dreadful images Here represent their shadowy presences, May pierce them on the sudden with the

thorn Of painful blindness; leaving thee forlorn,


Then Lamia breathed death-breath; the

sophist's eye, Like a sharp spear, went through her

utterly, Keen, cruel, perceant, stinging. She, as

well As her weak hand could any meaning tell, Motioned him to be silent — vainly so: He looked, and looked again, a level No! “A serpent!" echoed he no sooner said Than with a frightful scream she vanished:

306 And Lycius' arms were empty of delight, As were his limbs of life, from that same

night. On the high couch he lay! — his friends

came roundSupported him no pulse or breath they

found, And, in its marriage robe, the heavy body










BRIGHT STAR! WOULD I WERE That to such countless worlds that mad'st ·STEADFAST AS THOU ART

us blind! (1820)

Why do we then shun death with anxious

strife Bright star! would I were steadfast as

If Light can thus deceive, wherefore not thou art

Not in lone splendor hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless eremite,

HARTLEY COLERIDGE The moving waters at their priestlike task


(1796-1849) Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,

WHITHER IS GONE THE Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask

WISDOM Of snow upon the mountains and the

(From Miscellaneous Sonnets, number

VIII, 1833) No: yet still steadfast, still unchangeable, Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening Whither is gone the wisdom and the power breast,

That ancient sages scattered with the notes To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,

Of thought-suggesting lyres? The music Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,

floats Still, still hear her tender-taken In the void air; e'en at this breathing hour, breath,

In every cell and every blooming bower 5 And so live ever or else swoon to death.

The sweetness of old lays is hovering still:

But the strong soul, the self-constraining BLANCO WHITE


The rugged root which bare the winsome (1775-1841)


Is weak and withered. Were we like the NIGHT AND DEATH

fays (1828)

That sweetly nestle in the foxglove bells, 10 Mysterious Night! when our first parent

Or lurk and murmur in the rose-lipped knew

shells Thee from report divine, and heard thy Which Neptune to the earth for quit-rent name,

pays, Did he not tremble for this lovely frame, Then might our pretty modern philomels This glorious canopy of light and blue? Sustain our spirits with their roundelays. But through a curtain of translucent dew,

5 Bathed in the rays of the great setting


(1799-1845) Hesperus with the host of heaven came, And lo! creation widened in man's view.

RUTH Who could have thought such darkness lay

(1827) concealed Within thy beams, O Sun! or who could She stood breast-high amid the corn, find,

Clasped by the golden light of morn, Whilst bud and flower and insect stood Like the sweetheart of the sun, revealed,

Who many a glowing kiss had won.


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