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Of Alpine heights thou playest with, borne

on

And am beginning to opine
Those girls are only half-divine
Whose waists yon wicked boys entwine

In giddy waltz.

Beyond Sorrento and Amalfi, where
The Siren waits them, singing song for

song.

I fear that arm above that shoulder; 25
I wish them wiser, graver, older,
Sedater, and no harm if colder

And panting less.
Ah! people were not half so wild
In former days, when, starchly mild, 30
Upon her high-heeled Essex smiled

The brave Queen Bess.

HOW MANY VOICES

(1846)

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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.

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TO ROBERT BROWNING

(1846)

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nest?”

more:

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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)

flowers

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

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ere I

am

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saw

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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)

games;

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

about,

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are.

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axe:

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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

eyes.

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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

house? Rhaicos.

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

she

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To say

woe.

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VOW

to

me that

none

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Will love for ever too.

which Acorn may do.

Here's none.

Another word,

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

content.

130 We at the moment think she would in Rhaicos. O sight for gods! Ye men deed.

105

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?

110

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.
Tell me some tale about them.

May I
Rhaicos.

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,

mayst, doubt.

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

thorn

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nor

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me

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