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THE SUPPLIANT ZEUS.
Ζευς ικέτης. Ζευς τα πάντα, χώτι τώνδ' υπέρτερον. O, opulent man of the earth! I am dust trodden under your feet; With a still small voice I speak in your heart's obscure retreat: With mine angels, my stars, I sing; the sun and the rain and the dew Are the kisses I drop on my meadows ; closed blossom, what have I for Though the thunder is mine, unto thee I am but a whisper of speech, For I tremble for very love, and for yearning thy love to beseech. Is it because unto man I seem inaccessibly high, Because I am deemed to dwell on ineffable summit of sky, Unchangeably fixed in the heavens, that move not for bitterest moan, With the wants and the wailings below, that stir not the calm of the
throne ? In that almighty I am, and because I have not a flaw, In that my wisdom is sure, and for ever and ever my law,Am I thus made a monstrous dread, till the doubting heart closes its
door? Shall man learn that God's Wisdom is great, and not know that His
Love is yet more ? If Suppliant Love be refused, if man crush me out of his soul, As the sun groweth dark under cloud, over me must a blackness roll; With hatred should all cast me forth, I bleed in the veins of my heart, And a burden of undying death is the bearing my infinite part. Were my plants all aweary of dew, and the sands grown sick of the sea, Joy's torch burnt out to the end, and man finding surfeit in me, Then life as a bubble doth burst-to the nothing returning the allAnd orb upon orb down unknown abysses of ruin must fall. If Love be frustrate at last, and no soul and no star and no flower Will have thirst any more of my life, then cometh my uttermost hour ; For nought but a giver am I;-if no child ask the Father for bread, Then I die indeed and am death, for Love if it move not is dead. When no whit I withhold of myself, with my utmost eternally spent, If the heart of my child should respond but with secret discontent, If there be not a grace in my gifts, spontaneous joy of the soul, Life is a boonless boon, and my love must undo the whole. If the flax be withdrawn from the air, by no oil may it kindle again, And with love that is ever unloved, Love's heart may no longer strain ; Of my gifts the measure is need, on my strength if the meanest call, My inexhaustible heart to the cry is eternally thrall.
As my life with my love outwells, for the law of my heart it is so,
Are there souls with wistful eyes by the light of my heart beguiled ?
child? Are there arms that ache for great deeds, and lungs that pant to be
drawn Into expansion divine, as a sky that is opened by dawn?
Then the word is sure: If I seem to sleep, the first cry will awake, If I dwell all remote and afar, as thy servant thy message I take; Though absorbed I be without end, thereby am I made free the more, If
my secretest seas I roam, only call, and I stand on thy shore. If ye draw from me, yea draw, I bend to the parching tongue, And the cup that I bear overflows, and he that fills it is young.
Hast thou feared, O soul sorely hid, that thee I would cease to feed,
of I gave you infinite birth with motherly infinite pains : Ye are fortressed in self that were babe in the hollow palm of my hand; To your pride ye resort for strength, and love's entry are free to
withstand. The mighty takes meat of his choice, but his soul is forlorn at length If it bar out the only way of all renewal of strength. If ye have not me, there is none, if me ye find not to love, There is nothing else save void, in the regions below or above. Ye are nobly born, your sire is Wisdom, and Love is his wife, Who lifted you up like a mist from the uttermost bowels of life, And moulded a plastic form where ye learned the firstness of things, As away from the nestling dream ye were banished to find your wings. Fret and confusion and sorrow, struggle and anger and fight, Yea, the form of man's life is as seas that rave in the darkness of
night; Fear and deadness and doubt in the outermost borders from me, Yet his birthright's place is my heart, and his glory to come back
Humbled for stress of love, and emptied of self and repute,
Love with what giving ye can, 'tis me ye rejoice unseen,
green, To the little child heart that was lured by your smile from its loneliness, And the sweet soft silence you made when a word would have brought
Glowing glory of life will appear, and the bridal of heaven will shine, When the thread of communion tells that your hearts are at one with
mine. As your eyes of their cloud grow free, when your soul shall open its
door, Yea, you shall know me then as you could not know before; Though you find not my place without, within will I vanquish your hate, For hatred ceases by love, and I stand in the portal and wait. Grow with your growth of earth, when the limbs are old and oppressed, The weariest father shall find in the Father of youth his rest.
BY AN OLD CONTRIBUTOR.
Upon a balcony, in the moonlight, scarcely in keeping with the dreamy two men stood talking, one sum- metaphysics they had drifted into. mer's night.
He was about to end the conver“ To me,” said one, “ all this sation by moving back into the wonderful appearance of things room, when he perceived that in which you call the real, is an ap- the window, close beside her huspearance only. Behind or within it band, stood Hartley's wife. all, moving it, making its life, lies “I wonder so much,” she said, what we can but call the spiri- in a voice musical as rippling tual.”
waters, “I wonder so much what “ Yet," said the other, “there all these phrases of yours mean. are things, and not only things, Tell me what is purely physical," but persons, that impress one as she asked, leaning towards Hartley being merely physical. Surely you and gazing up into his face. have felt that, Hartley, in your Hartley looked back into the varied life. There are beings who marvellous blue
that may indeed be angels or demons fixed inquiringly upon his. He clothed in flesh; but are there not looked and looked as though some also beings who seem but shadows fascination held him, while his on the wall-mere flesh and blood, friend wondered at the strange aband no more ?"
straction that seemed to have come “Yes," said Hartley, and was upon him, and was about to break silent for a moment. Then he the silence by making some light spoke, quickly, “But," said he, “as answer himself, when it was broken in looking on a mass of stone I per- by Hartley : ceive a bulky, though inert appear- “ You are, my child.” ance, which seems to me to be pre- The words seemed to have come sented by an undeveloped and from him involuntarily, or to rehardly conscious spiritual exist- present a thought scarcely or but ence-yet still an existence; so I newly realised; for he started, and conceive it possible that in these with a sudden action, as if to discreatures of flesh and blood of tract attention from his own speech, whom you speak the animating he gently pushed his wife back into spirit may be so slightly developed the room, and they mingled at once as to be hardly conscious. But I with others who were talking and am quite unable to imagine any laughing gaily within. material existence that is what you
But his friend-startled, amazed, call purely physical.”
shocked at the revelation which had He spoke with an earnestness in come to him-lingered alone awhile his voice which his friend felt to be in the moonlight.
This, then, was the reason of Is it to be her task to convince him Hartley's exaggerated earnestness that animate matter may exist un. of manner. This, possibly, ac- vitalised by spirit ? " counted for a certain change in “ Are you still out in the moon. Hartley of late—an abstracted light, Mr. Egerton ?” said Elena, moodiness, which had troubled his approaching the window; “Will friend.
you not sing to us?” He turned his back upon the “Not to-night,” he answered, glorious moonlit scene without, and advancing from his retreat; “I looked into the lighted room. have no heart to sing. I-I am
Hartley was talking in the midst tired. Good night!” of a group of gentlemen, with what
And looking into the fair face seemed to the observant friend a with wondering eyes, he passed her gaiety of manner that was hardly by and quietly left the room. natural, or in accordance with his Escaping from the house, he recent mood. He noticed that ever breathed more easily. “ Poor and anon Hartley would turn and Hartley !” he exclaimed ; “what a look at his wife.
pity he loves her so entirely as he She was a lovely woman, with does !” And he hurried home, to fair smooth forehead, and eyes
of relieve himself by turning his blue shaded by dark lashes; a thoughts upon other matters. mouth that could smile deliciously, But to Hartley himself his own an aureole of burnished gold hair, words had been a revelation also. and that peculiar complexion which He realised more bitterly a truth is the natural accompaniment of which had been thrusting itself true golden hair.
continually in his way for a long Most people considered Elena while. Hartley a positively glorious wo- He called his wife “My child," man; only a few were over-critical
and aptly so. enough to complain of a certain Elena was no child in intellect. want of warmth in the lovely blue She was equal, if not superior, to eyes. Does not Shelley somewhere the average woman in brain power, speak of the depths beyond depths and her mind had been developed which are the peculiar character- by intelligent education. istic of the English woman's eyes? But that mind was unstimulated Just that characteristic Elena's eyes by aspiration or inspiration. He lacked; or, at least, so some people had long felt that, by his side, fancied.
Elena was but a child in soul. And “He is right," thought Hartley's now, as he penetrated yet further friend, as he lingered on the bal- into her nature, he almost began in cony, looking into the bright room; his doubt to wonder whether a “he is right, though his words soul existed at all within that went terribly far. There is no most exquisitely wrought casket, mystery in that face; its loveliness her physical frame. Had the is all apparent. I can well believe Creator forgotten (after forming so that nothing is hidden for her finished a case) to place the jewel husband. I never believed she within ? possessed Browning's two soul- Not so, surely! Hartley chesides : one to face the world with- rished the idea that the voluptuous one to show the man whom truly material development indicated an loves she. But now Hartley goes undeveloped spiritual state. The further. Will she make him a spirit within had not by its growth materialist, this seeming angel? preyed upon the casket, but had