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Of Alpine heights thou playest with, borne
And am beginning to opine
In giddy waltz.
Beyond Sorrento and Amalfi, where
I fear that arm above that shoulder; 25
And panting less.
The brave Queen Bess.
HOW MANY VOICES
How many voices gaily sing, "O happy morn, O happy spring Of life!” Meanwhile there comes o'er
ON "THE HELLENICS"
(1847) Come back, ye wandering Muses, come
back home, Ye seem to have forgotten where it lies. Come, let us walk upon the silent sands Of Simoïs, where deep footmarks show
long strides; Thence we may mount, perhaps, to higher
ground, Where Aphrodite from Athenè won The golden apple, and from Here too, And happy Ares shouted far below. Or would ye rather choose the grassy
vale Where flows Anapos through anemo
nes, Hyacinths, and narcissuses, that bend To show their rival beauty in the stream? Bring with you each her lyre, and each
in turn Temper a graver with a lighter song.
TO ROBERT BROWNING
Iris stood over her dark hair, unseen, “O father! sayst thou nothing? Hear'st While thus Elpenor spake. He looked thou not into
Me, whom thou ever hast, until this hour, Eyes that had given light and life ere Listened to fondly, and awakened me while
To hear my voice amid the voice of To those above them, those now dim with birds, tears
When it was inarticulate as theirs, And wakefulness. Again he spake of And the down deadened it within the
joy Eternal. At that word, that sad word He moved her gently from him, silent joy,
still, Faithful and fond her bosom heaved once And this, and this alone, brought tears
from her, Her head fell back; and now a loud deep Although she saw fate nearer. Then with sob
sighs: Swelled through the darkened chamber; “I thought to have laid down my
hair 'twas not hers.
before Benignant Artemis, and not have dimmed
Her polished altar with my virgin blood; IPHIGENEIA AND AGAMEMNON
I thought to have selected the white (From The Hellenics, 1846)
To please the nymphs, and to have asked Iphigeneia, when she heard her doom
of each At Aulis, and when all beside the King By name, and with no sorrowful regret, Had gone away, took his right hand, and Whether, since both my parents willed said,
the change, "O father! I am young and very happy. I might at Hymen's feet bend my clipped I do not think the pious Calchas heard
brow; Distinctly what the Goddess spake. Old- | And (after those who mind us girls the age
most) Obscures the senses.
If my nurse, who Adore our own Athena, that she would 35 knew
Regard me mildly with her azure eyes. My voice so well, sometimes misunder But father! to see you no more, and see stood
Your love, O father! go While I was resting on her knee both gone
And all your vows move not the gods To turn in pity the averted cheek above,
Of her he bore away, with promises, – When the knife strikes me there will be Nay, with loud oath before dread Styx one prayer
itself, The less to them; and purer can there be To give her daily more and sweeter Any, or more fervent than the daughter's flowers prayer
Than he made drop from her on Enna's For her dear father's safety and success ?” dell. A groan that shook him shook not his resolve.
Rhaicos was looking from his father's An aged man now entered, and without door One word, stepped slowly on, and took At the long trains that hastened to the the wrist
town Of the pale maiden. She looked up and From all the valleys, like bright rivu
lets The fillet of the priest and calm cold eyes. Gurgling with gladness, wave outrunning Then turned she where her parent stood, wave; and cried,
And thought it hard he might not also go "O father! grieve no more: the ships can And offer up one prayer, and press one sail.”
hand, He knew not whose. The father called
him in, THE HAMADRYAD
And said, "Son Rhaicos! those are idle (From The Hellenics, 1846)
Long enough I have lived to find them Rhaicos was born amid the hills wherefrom
And ere he ended sighed; as old men do Gnidos, the light of Caria, is discerned: Always, to think how idle such games And small are the white-crested that play near,
“I have not yet,” thought Rhaicos in his And smaller onward are the purple waves. heart, Thence festal choirs were visible, all And wanted proof. — "Suppose thou go crowned
and help With rose and myrtle if they were inborn; Echeion at the hill, to bark yon oak If from Pandion sprang they, on the coast And lop its branches off, before we delve Where stern Athenè raised her citadel, About the trunk and ply the root with Then olive was intwined with violets Clustered in bosses, regular and large. 10 This we may do in winter." Rhaicos For various men wore various coronals; went; But one
was their devotion. 'Twas to For thence he could see farther, and see her Whose laws all follow, her whose smile Of those who hurried to the city-gate. withdraws
Echeion he found there, with naked arm The sword from Ares, thunderbolt from Swart-haired, strong-sinewed, and his eyes Zeus;
intent And whom in his chill caves the mutable 15 Upon the place where first the axe should Of mind, Poseidon, the sea-king, reveres ;
fall: And whom his brother, stubborn Dis, hath He held it upright. “There are bees prayed
Or wasps, or hornets,” said the cautious
eld; “Look sharp, O son of Thallinos!” The
youth Inclined his ear, afar, and warily, And caverned in his hand. He heard a
buzz At first, and then the sound grew soft and clear,
50 And then divided into what seemed tune, And there were words upon it, plaintive
words. He turned, and said, “Echeion! do not
strike That tree: it must be hollow; for some
god Speaks from within. Come thyself near.” Again
55 Both turned toward it: and behold! there
sat Upon the moss below, with her two palms Pressing it, on each side, a maid in form. Downcast were her long eyelashes, and
pale Her cheek; but never mountain-ash dis
played Berries of color like her lip so pure; Nor were the anemones about her hair Soft, smooth, and wavering like the face
beneath. "What dost thou here?" Echeion, half
afraid, Half-angry, cried. She lifted up her
eyes, But nothing spake she. Rhaicos drew one
step Backward, for fear came likewise over
him, But not such fear: he panted, gasped,
drew in His breath, and would have turned it into
words, But could not into one. “O send away 70 That sad old man!” said she. The old
man went Without a warning from his master's son, Glad to escape, for sorely he now feared; And the axe shone behind him in their
Arrayed as thou art. What so beautiful As that gray robe which clings about thee
close, Like moss to stones adhering, leaves to
trees, Yet lets thy bosom rise and fall in turn, As, touched by zephyrs, fall and rise the
boughs Of graceful platan by the river-side? Hamad. Lovest thou well thy father's
Indeed I love it, well I love it, yet would leave For thine, where'er it be, my father's
house, With all the marks upon the door, that
show My growth at every birthday since the
third; And all the charms, o'erpowering evil
eyes, My mother nailed for me against my bed; And the Cydonian bow (which thou shalt
see) Won in my race last spring from Euty
chos. Hamad. Bethink thee what it is to
leave a home Thou never yet hast left, one night, one
day. Rhaicos. No, 'tis not hard to leave it:
'tis not hard To leave, O maiden, that paternal home, If there be one on earth whom we may
love First, last, for ever; one who says that
Will love for ever too.
which Acorn may do.
day Only to say it, surely is enough - Trust me; till then, let me sit opposite. It shows such kindness — if 'twere pos Hamad. I seat me; be thou seated, and sible
130 We at the moment think she would in Rhaicos. O sight for gods! Ye men deed.
below! adore Hamad. Who taught thee all this folly The Aphrodité. Is she there below? at thy age?
Or sits she here before me? as she sate Rhaicos. I have seen lovers and have Before the shepherd on those heights that learned to love.
shade Hamad. But wilt thou spare the tree? The Hellespont, and brought his kindred Rhaicos.
My father wants The bark; the tree may hold its place Hamad. Reverence the higher powers; awhile.
nor deem amiss Hamad. Awhile! Thy father numbers Of her who pleads to thee, and would then my days?
repay Rhaicos. Are there no others where Ask not how much but very much. the moss beneath
Rise not: Is quite as tufty? Who would send thee No, Rhaicos, no! Without the nuptial
forth Or ask thee why thou tarriest? Is thy Love is unholy. Swear
flock Anywhere near?
Of mortal maids shall ever taste thy kiss, Hamad. I have no Aock: I kill
Then take thou mine: then take it, not Nothing that breathes, that stirs, that before! feels the air,
Rhaicos. Hearken, all gods above! O The sun, the dew. Why should the beau Aphrodite ! tiful
O Here! Let my vow be ratified! (And thou art beautiful) disturb the But wilt thou come into my father's source
house? Whence springs all beauty? Hast thou Hamad. Nay; and of mine I cannot never heard
give thee part. Of hamadryads?
Rhaicos. Where is it? Rhaicos.
Heard of them I have: Hamad. In this oak.
Ay; now begins sit
The tale of hamadryad: tell it through. Beside thy feet? Art thou not tired ? Hamad. Pray of thy father never to The herbs
cut down Are very soft; I will not come too nigh; My tree; and promise him, as well thou Do but sit there, nor tremble so,
That every year he shall receive from Stay, stay an instant: let me first explore
More honey than will buy him nine fat If any acorn of last year be left
sheep, Within it; thy thin robe too ill pro More wax than he will burn to all the tects
gods. Thy dainty limbs against the harm one Why fallest thou upon thy face? Some small