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Her handmaids tended, but she heeded not;
However dear or cherish'd in their day;
At length those eyes, which they would fain be weaning Back to old thoughts, wax'd full of fearful meaning.
And then a slave bethought her of a harp;
The harper came and tuned his instrument. At the first notes, irregular and sharp,
On him her flashing eyes a moment bent, Then to the wall she turn'd, as if to warp
Her thoughts from sorrow through her heart re-sent; And he begun a long low island song
Of ancient days, ere tyranny grew strong.
Anon her thin wan fingers beat the wall
In time to his old tune: he changed the theme, And sung of love; the fierce name struck through all Her recollection; on her flash'd the dream
Of what she was, and is, if ye could call
To be so, being: in a gushing stream
The tears rush'd forth from her o'erclouded brain,
Short solace, vain relief!-thought came too quick,
But no one ever heard her speak or shriek,
Although her paroxysm drew towards its close ;Hers was a frenzy which disdain'd to rave, Even when they smote her, in the hope to save.
Yet she betray'd at times a gleam of sense;
Nothing could make her meet her father's face, Though on all other things with looks intense
She gazed, but none she ever could retrace. Food she refused, and raiment; no pretence
Avail'd for either; neither change of place, Nor time, nor skill, nor remedy, could give her Senses to sleep-the power seem'd gone forever.
Twelve days and nights she wither'd thus; at last,
And they who watch'd her nearest could not know The very instant, till the change that cast
Her sweet face into shadow, dull and slow, Glazed o'er her eyes—the beautiful, the blackOh! to possess such lustre-and then lack!
She died, but not alone: she held within
A second principle of life, which might Have dawn'd a fair and sinless child of sin;
But closed its little being without light, And went down to the grave unborn, wherein
Blossom and bough lie wither'd with one blight: In vain the dews of heaven descend above The bleeding flower and blasted fruit of love.
Thus lived-thus died she; never more on her
Shall sorrow light, or shame. She was not made
Brief but delightful—such as had not stay'd
That isle is now all desolate and bare,
Its dwellings down, its tenants pass'd away: None but her own and father's grave is there,
And nothing outward tells of human clay: Ye could not know where lies a thing so fair,
No stone is there to show, no tongue to say What was: no dirge, except the hollow sea's, Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades.
But many a Greek maid in a loving song
Sighs o'er her name; and many an islander With her sire's story makes the night less long. Valour was his, and beauty dwelt with her: If she loved rashly, her life paid for wrong—
A heavy price must all pay who thus err, In some shape; let none think to fly the danger, For soon or late Love is his own avenger.
CAIN AND LUCIFER IN THE ABYSS OF SPACE
(ACT II., SCENE I., OF 'CAIN,' 1821) Cain. I tread on air, and sink not; yet I fear To sink.
Lucifer. Have faith in me, and thou shalt be Borne on the air, of which I am the prince. Cain. Can I do so without impiety?
Lucifer. Believe-and sink not! doubt-and perish!
Would run the edict of the other God,
Who names me demon to his angels; they
Echo the sound to miserable things,
Which, knowing nought beyond their shallow senses,
What thou dar'st not deny-the history
Dost thou not recognize The dust which formed your father?
Can it be?
Yon small blue circle, swinging in far ether,
Which looks like that which lit our earthly night?
Point me out the site
How should I? As we move
Which knew such things.
I should be proud of thought
But if that high thought were 50
Link'd to a servile mass of matter, and