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Her handmaids tended, but she heeded not;
Her father watch'd, she turn’d her eyes away;
She recognized no being, and no spot,

However dear or cherish'd in their day;
They changed from room to room, but all forgot:
Gentle, but without memory, she lay;

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,
Like mountain mists at length dissolved in rain.


Short solace, vain relief!-thought came too quick,
And whirl'd her brain to madness; she arose,
As one who ne'er had dwelt among the sick,
And flew at all she met, as on her foes;

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,
Without a groan, or sigh, or glance, to show
A parting pang, the spirit from her past :

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
Through years or moons the inner weight to bear,
Which colder hearts endure till they are laid
By age in earth; her days and pleasures were

Brief but delightful—such as had not stay'd
Long with her destiny; but she sleeps well
By the sea-shore, whereon she loved to dwell.


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.


(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,
Worship the word which strikes their ear, and deem
Evil or good what is proclaimed to them
In their abasement. I will have none such:
Worship or worship not, thou shalt behold
The worlds beyond thy little world, nor be
Amerced for doubts beyond thy little life,
With torture of my dooming. There will come
An hour, when, toss'd upon some water-drops,
A man shall say to a man, "Believe in me,
And walk the waters"; and the man shall walk
The billows and be safe. I will not say,
Believe in me, as a conditional creed
To save thee; but fly with me o'er the gulf
Of space an equal flight, and I will show



What thou dar'st not deny-the history
Of past, and present, and of future worlds.
Cain. Oh, god, or demon, or whate'er thou art,
Is yon our earth?


Dost thou not recognize The dust which formed your father?


Can it be?

Yon small blue circle, swinging in far ether,
With an inferior circlet near it still,

Which looks like that which lit our earthly night?
Is this our Paradise? Where are its walls,
And they who guard them?


Of Paradise.

Point me out the site


How should I? As we move
Like sunbeams onward, it grows small and smaller,
And as it waxes little, and then less,
Gathers a halo round it, like the light
Which shone the roundest of the stars, when I
Beheld them from the skirts of Paradise:
Methinks they both, as we recede from them,
Appear to join the innumerable stars
Which are around us; and, as we move on,
Increase their myriads.

And if there should be
Worlds greater than thine own, inhabited
By greater things, and they themselves far more
In number than the dust of thy dull earth,
Though multiplied to animated atoms,
All living, and all doom'd to death, and wretched,
What wouldst thou think?


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
Knowing such things, aspiring to such things,
And science still beyond them, were chain'd down


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