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Thou found'st--and I forgive thee-here thou artA nobler counsellor than my poor heart.
“But thou, though capable of sternest deed,
Wert kind as resolute, and good as brave ;
And he, whose power restores thee, hath decreed
That thou shouldst cheat the malice of the grave !
Redundant are thy locks, thy lips as fair
As when their breath enriched Thessalian air.
"No spectre greets me,--no vain shadow this :
Come, blooming hero, place thee by my side !
Give, on this well-known couch, one nuptial kiss
this day a second time thy bride !" Jove frowned in heaven : the conscious Parcæ threw Upon those roseate lips a Stygian hue.
“This visage tells thee that my doom is past :
Know, virtue were not virtue if the joys
Of sense were able to return as fast
And surely as they vanish.—Earth destroys
Those raptures duly-Erebus disdains :
Calm pleasures there abide-majestic pains.
“Be taught, O faithful consort, to control
Rebellious passion ; for the gods approve
The depth, and not the tumult of the soul;
A fervent, not ungovernable love.
Thy transports moderate ; and meekly mourn
When I depart, for brief is my sojourn"
" Ah, wherefore ?–Did not Hercules by force Wrest from the guardian monster of the tomb
Alcestis, a reanimated corse,
Given back to dwell on earth in vernal bloom ?
Medea's spells dispersed the weight of years,
And Æson stood a youth 'mid youthful peers.
“The gods to us are merciful—and they
Yet further may relent : for mightier far
Than strength of nerve and sinew, or the sway
Of magic, potent over sun and star,
Is love-though oft to agony distres't ;
And though his favourite seat be feeble woman's breast.,
“But if thou goest, I follow" “Peace !” he said
She looked upon him and was calmed and cheered ;
The ghastly colour from his lips had fled ;
In his deportment, shape, and mien, appeared
Elysian beauty_melancholy grace-
Brought from a pensive though a happy place.
He spake of love, such love as spirits feel
In worlds whose course is equable and pure ;
No fears to beat away-no strise to heal -
The past unsighed for, and the future sure ;
Spake of heroic arts in graver mood
Revived, with finer harmony pursued :
Of all that is most beauteous-imaged there
In happier beauty; more pellucid streams,
An ampler ether, a diviner air,
And fields invested with purpureal gleams ;
Climes which the sun, who sheds the brightest day
Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey.
Yet there the soul shall enter which hath earned
That privilege by virtue. -_-" III," said he,
“The end of man's existence I discerned,
Who from ignoble games and revelry
Could draw, when we had parted, vain delight
While tears were thy best pastime,-day and night :
“And while my youthful peers, before my eyes
(Each hero following his peculiar bent)
Prepared themselves for glorious enterprise
By martial sports,-or, seated in the tent,
Chieftains and kings in council were detained ;
What time the fleet at Aulis lay enchained.
"The wished-for wind was given :-I then revolved
The oracle upon the silent sea ;
And, if no worthier led the way, resolved
That, of a thousand vessels, mine should be
The foremost prow in pressing to the strand, -
Mine the first blood that tinged the Trojan sand.
" Yet bitter, ofttimes bitter, was the pang
When of thy loss I thought, beloved wife;
On thee too fondly did my memory hang,
And on the joys we shared in mortal life,
The paths which we had trod-these fountains--flowers ;
My new-planned cities, and unfinished towers.
“ But should suspense permit the foe to cry,
• Behold, they tremble !-haughty their array,
Yet of their number no one dares to die?'
In soul I swept the indignity away :
Old frailties then recurred :--but lofty thought,
In act embodied, my deliverance wrought.
“And thou, though strong in love, art all too weak
In reason, in self-government too slow;
I counsel thee by fortitude to seek
Our blessed reunion in the shades below.
The invisible world with thee hath sympathised ;
Be thy affections raised and solemnised.
“Learn by a mortal yearning to ascend
Towards a higher object :-Love was given,
Encouraged, sanctioned chiefly for this end :
For this the passion to excess was driven-
That self might be annulled; her bondage prove
The fetters of a dream, opposed to love."
Aloud she shrieked-for Hermes reappears!
Round the dear shade she would have clung—'tis vain :
The hours are past,—too brief had they been years ;
And him no mortal effort can detain :
Swift toward the realms that know not earthly day,
He through the portal takes his silent way-
And on the palace floor a lifeless corse she lay.
Ah, judge her gently who so deeply loved !
Her, who, in reason's spite, yet without crime,
Was in a trance of passion thus removed !
Delivered from the galling yoke of time,
And these frail elements—to gather flowers
Of blissful quiet ’mid unfading bowers.
Yet tears to human suffering are due ;
And mortal hopes defeated and o'erthrown
Are mourn'd by man, and not by man alone
As fondly he believes.-Upon the side
Of Hellespont (such faith was entertain'd)
A knot of spiry trees for ages grew
From out the tomb of him for whom she died ;
And ever, when such stature they had gain'd
That Ilium's walls were subject to their view,
The trees' tall summits withered at the sight :
A constant interchange of growth and blight !