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VOWS

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Dread opener of the mysterious doors What it might mean. Perhaps, thought Leading to universal knowledge--see,

I, Morpheus, Great son of Dryope,

In passing here, his owlet pinious shook; The many that are come to pay their Or, it may be, ere matron Night uptook

Her ebon urn, young Mercury, by stealth, With leaves about their brows!

Had dipt his rod in it : such garland

wealth Be still the unimaginable lodge

Came not by common growth. Thus on For solitary thinkings; such as dodge

I thought, Conception to the very bourne of Until my head was dizzy and distraught. heaven,

Moreover, through the dancing poppies Then leave the naked brain : be still

stole the leaven,

A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul ; That spreading in this dull and clodded And shaping visions all about my sight earth

Of colors, wings, and bursts of spangly Gives it a touch ethereal--a new birth :

light; Be still a symbol of immensity;

The which became more strange, and A firmament reflected in a sea ;

strange, and dim, An element filling the space between ; And then were gulf'd in a tumultuous An unknown-but no more: we humbly

swim :

And then I fell asleep. Ah, can I tell With uplift hands our foreheads, lowly The enchantment that afterwards befell? bending,

Yet it was but a dream : yet such a dream And giving out a shout most heaven- That never tongue, although it overtet m rending,

With mellow utterance, like a cavern Conjure thee to receive our humble spring, Pæan,

Could figure out and to conception bring Upon thy Mount Lycean!

All I beheld and felt. Methought I lay

Watching the zenith, where the milky THE COMING OF DIAN

way

Among the stars in virgin splendor (Endymion speaks, to his Sister Peona.]

pours;

And travelling my eye, until the doors “ This river does not see the naked sky, Of heaven appeared to open for my flight, Till it begins to progress silverly

I became loth and fearful to alight Around the western border of the wood, From such lighı soaring by a downward Whence, from a certain spot, its winding

glance : flood

So kept me stedfast in that airy trance, Seems at the distance like a crescent Spreading imaginary pinions wide. moon;

When, presently, the stars began to glide, And in that nook, the very pride of June, And faint away, before my eager view: Had I been used to pass my weary eves ;

At which I sighid that I could not pursue, There rather for the sun unwilling leaves And dropped my vision to the horizon's So dear a picture of his sovereign power,

verge ;

[emerge And I could witness his most kingly hour, And lo! from opening clouds, I saw When he doth lighten up the golden The loveliest moon, that ever silver do'er reins,

A shell for Neptune's goblet : she did And paces leisurely down amber plains His snorting four. Now when his chariot So passionately bright, my dazzled soul last

Commingling with her argent spheres Its beams against the zodiac-lion cast,

did roll There blossom'd suddenly a magic bed Through clear and cloudy, even when Of sacred ditamy, and poppies red :

she went At which I wondered greatly, knowing At last into a dark and vapory tentwell

Whereat, methought, the lidless-eyed That but one night had wrought this

train flowery spell ;

Of planets all were in the blue again. And, sitting down close by, began to To commune with those orbs, once more

I rais'd

soar

muse

My sight right upward : but it was quite

dazed By a bright something, sailing down

apace. Making me quickly veil my eyes and

face: Again I look'd, and, O ye deities, Who from Olympus watch our destinies ! Whence that completed form of all com:

pleteness ? Whence came that high perfection of all

sweetness ? Speak. stubborn earth, and tell me

where, O where Hast thou a symbol of her golden hair? Not oat-sheaves drooping in the western sun ;

[shun Not-thy soft hand, fair sister ! let me Such follying before thee-yet, she had, Indeed, locks bright enough to make me

mad; And they were simply gordian'd up and

braided, Leaving, in naked comeliness, unshaded, Her pearl round ears, white neck, and

orbed brow ; The which were blended in, I know not

how, With such a paradise of lips and eyes, Blush-tinted cheeks, half smiles, and

faintest sighs, That, when I think thereon, my spirit

clings And plays about its fancy, till the stings Of human neighborhood en venom all. Unto what awful power shall I call ? To what high fane?--Ah! see her hover

ing feet, More bluely vein'd, more soft, more

whitely sweet Than those of sea-born Venus, when she From out her cradle shell. The wind

ont-blows Her scarf into a fluttering pavilion ; 'Tis blue, and over-spangled with a mil

lion Of little eyes, as though thou wert to

shed, Over the darkest, lushest blue-bell bed, Handfuls of daisies.”—“ Endymion, how

strange! Dream within dream!”-“She took an

airy range, And then, towards me, like a very maid, Came blushing, waning, willing, and

afraid, And press'd me by the hand : Ah! 'twas

too much;

Methought I fainted at the charmed

touch, Yet held my recollection, even as one Who dives three fathoms where the

waters run Gurgling in beds of coral : for anon, I felt upmounted in that region Where falling stars dart their artillery

forth, And eagles struggle with the buffeting

north That balances the heavy meteor-stone ;Felt too, I was not fearful, nor alone, But lapp'd and lull'd along the danger

ous sky. Soon, as it seem'd, we left our journey.

ing high, And straightway into frightful eddies

swoop'd ; Such as aye muster where gray time has

scoop'd Huge dens and caverns in a mountain's

side : Their hollow sounds arous'd me, and I

sigh'd To faint once more by looking on my

bliss I was distracted; madly did I kiss The wooing arms which held me, and My eyes at once to death : but 'twas to

live, To take in draughts of life from the gold

fount Of kind and passionate looks ; to count,

and count The moments, by some greedy help that seem'd

[deem's A second self, that each might be reAnd plunder'd of its load of blessedness. Ali, desperate mortal! I ev'n dard to

press Her very cheek against my crowned lip, And, at that moment, felt my body dip Into a warmer air : a moment more, Our feet were soft in flowers. There

was store Of newest joys upon that alp. Some

times A scent of violets, and blossoming limes, Loiterl around us ; then of honey cells, Made delicate from all white-flower

bells; And once, above the edges of our nest, An arch face peep'd, -an Oread as I

guess'd. “Why did I dream that sleep o'er

power'd me

did give

rose

FROM BOOK II

INVOCATION TO THE POWER OF LOVE

In midst of all this heaven? Why not

see, Far off, the shadows of his pinions dark, And stare them from me ? But no, like

a spark That needs must die, although its little

beam Reflects upon a diamond, my sweet dream Fell into nothing-into stupid sleep. And so it was, until a gentle creep, A careful moving caught my waking

ears, And up I started : Ah! my sighs, my

tears, My clenched hands ;--for lo ! the poppies hung

[slug Dew-dabbled on their stalks, the ouzel A heavy ditty, and the sullen day Had chidden herald Hesperus away, With leaden looks : the solitary breeze Bluster'd, and slept, and its wild self did

teaze With wayward melancholy; and I

thought. Mark me, Peona ! that sometimes it

brought, Faint fare-thee-wells, and sigh-shrilled

adieus ! Away I wanderd-all the pleasant hues Of heaven and earth had faded : deepest

shades Were deepest dungeons ; heaths and

sunny glades Were full of pestilent light; our taintless

rills Seem'd sooty, and o'er-spread with up

turn'd gills Of dying fish : the vermeil rose had blown In frightful scarlet, and its thorns out

grown Like spiked aloe. If an innocent bird Before my heedless footsteps stirr'd, and

stirr'd In little journeys, I beheld in it A disguis'd demon, missioned to kuit My soul with under darkness ; to entice My stumblings down some monstrous

precipice : Therefore I eager followed, and did curse The disappointment. Time, that aged

nurse, Rock'd me to patience. Now, thank

gentle heaven! These things, with all their comfortings,

are given To my down-sunken hours, and with

thee, Sweet sister, help to stem the ebbing sea Of weary life.”

O SOVEREIGN power of love! O grief !

O balm ! All records, saving thine, come cool, and

calm, And shadowy, through the mist of

passed years : For others, good or bad, hatred and tears Have become indolent; but touching

thine, One sigh doth echo, one poor sob doth

pine, One kiss brings honey-dew from buried?

days. The woes of Troy, towers smothering

o'er their blaze, Stiff-holden shields, far-piercing spears,

keen blades, Struggling, and blood, and shrieks--all

dimly fades Into some backward corner of the brain ; Yet, in our very souls, we feel amain The close of Troilus and Cressid sweet. Hence, pageant history ! hence, gilded

cheat! Swart planet in the universe of deeds! Wide sea, that one continuous murmur

breeds Along the pebbled shore of memory! Many old rotten-tinaber'd boats there be Upon thy vaporous bosom, magnified To goodly vessels ; many a sail of pride, And golden keeld, is left unlaunch'd

and dry. But wherefore this? What care, though

owl did fly About the great Athenian admiral's

mast ? What care, though striding Alexander

past The Indus with his Macedonian numbers ? Though old Ulysses tortured from his

slumbers The glutted Cyclops, what care?-Juliet

leaning Amid her window-flowers,--sighing,

weaning Tenderly her fancy from its maiden snow,

[flow Doth more avail than these: the silver Of Hero's tears, the swoon of Imogen, Fair Pastorella in the bandit's den, Are things to brood on with more ardency Than the death-day of empires. Fearfully Must such conviction come upon his

head,

But cheerly, cheerly,

She loves me dearly ; She is so constant to me, and so kind :

I would deceive her

And so leave her, But ah ! she is so constant and so kind.

Who, thus far, discontent, has dared to

tread, Without one muse's smile, or kind be

hest, The path of love and poesy. But rest, In chafing restlessness, is yet more

drear Than to be crush'd, in striving to uprear Love's standard on the battlements of

song. So once more days and nights aid me

along, Like legion'd soldiers.

FROM BOOK IV

ROUNDELAY

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“O Sorrow,

Why dost borrow
The natural hue of health, from vermeil

lips ?
To give maiden blushes

To the white rose bushes ?
Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips?

“O Sorrow,

Why dost borrow The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye ?

To give the glow-worm light?

Or, on a moonless night, To tinge, on siren shores, the salt sea

spray?

• Beneath my palm trees, by the river

side, I sat a-weeping : in the whole world wide There was no one to ask me why I wept,

And so I kept Brimming the water-lily cups with tears

Cold as my fears. “Beneath my palm trees, by the river'

side, I sat a-weeping: what enamor'd bride, Cheated by shadowy wooer from the

clouds,

But hides and shrouds Beneath dark palm trees by a river side ? “ And as I sat, over the light blue hills There came a noise of revellers : the rills Into the wide stream came of purple

hue

'Twas Bacchus and his crew! The earnest trumpet spake, and silver

thrills From kissing cymbals made a merry

din

'Twas Bacchus and his kin ! Like to a moving vintage down they

came, Crown’d with green leaves, and faces all

on flame ; All madly dancing through the pleasant

valley,

To scare thee, Melancholy ! ( then, 0 then, thou wast a simple

name! And I forgot thee, as the berried holly By shepherds, is forgotten, when, in

June, Tall chestnuts keep away the sun and

moon:

I rush'd into the folly! “Within his car, aloft, young Bacchus

stood, Trifling his ivy-dart, in dancing mood,

With sidelong laughing; And little rills of crimson wine imbrued His plump white arms, and shoulders,

enough white

For Venus' pearly bite;
And near him rode Silenus on his ass,
Pelted with flowers as he on did pass

Tipsily quaffing.

" Sorrow,

Why dost borrow
The mellow ditties from a mourning

tongue?-
To give at evening pale

Unto the nightingale,
That thou mayst listen the cold dews

among ?

“O Sorrow,

Why dost borrow
Heart's lightness from the merriment of

May ?
A lover would not tread

A cowslip on the head,
Though he should dance from eve till

peep of day-
Nor any drooping flower

Held sacred for thy bower, Wherever he may sport himself and play.

"To Sorrow,

I bade good-morrow, And thought to leave her far away be.

hind ;

" Whence

came ye, merry Damsels!

whence came ye ! So many, and so many, and such glee ? Why have ye left your bowers desolate,

Your lutes, and gentler fate?We follow Bacchus ! Bacchus on the

wing,

A conquering! Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill be

tide, We dance before him thorough kingdoms

wide :Come hither, lady fair, and joined be

To our wild minstrelsy!'

" I saw Osirian Egypt kneel adown

Before the vine-wreath crown! I saw parch'd Abyssinia rouse and sing

To the silver cymbals' ring! I saw the whelming vintage hotly pierce

Old Tartary the fierce! The kings of Inde their jewel-sceptres

vail,

And from their treasures scatter pearled

hail;

Great Brahma from his mystic heaven

groans,

And all his priesthood moans, Before young Bacchus'eye-winkturning

pale. Into these regions came I following

him, Sick-hearted, weary--so I took a whim To stray away into these forests drear

Alone, without a peer : And I have told thee all thou mayest

hear.

“Young stranger!

I've been a ranger
In search of pleasure throughout every

clime :
Alas! 'tis not for me!

Bewitch'd I sure must be,
To lose in grieving all my maiden prime,

“Whence came ye, jolly Satyrs ! whence

came ye ! So many, and so many, and such glee? Why have ye left your forest haunts,

why left

Your nuts in oak-tree cleft? • For wine, for wine we left our kernel

tree; For wine we left our heath, and yellow

brooms,

And cold mushrooms; For wine we follow Bacchus through the

earth; Great God of breathless cups and chirp

ing mirih ! Come hither, lady fair, and joined be To our mad minstrelsy !! “Over wide streams and mountains great we went,

(tent, And, save when Bacchus kept his ivy Onward the tiger and the leopard pants,

With Asian elephants : Onward these myriads-with song and

dance, With zebras striped, and sleek Arabians'

prance, Web- ted alligators, crocodiles, Bearing upon their scaly backs, in files, Plump infant laughers mimicking the

coil Of seamen, and stout galley-rower's toil : With toying oars and silken sails they

glide,
Nor care for wind and tide.

“ Come then. Sorrow!

Sweetest Sorrow !
Like an own babe I nurse thee on my

breast :
I thought to leave thee

And deceive thee,
But now of all the world I love thee best

" There is not one,

No, no, not one But thee to comfort a poor lonely maid ;

Thou art her mother,

And her brother, Her playmate, and her wower in the

shade."

THE FEAST OF DIAN

WHO, who from Dian's feast. would be

away? For all the golden bowers of the day Are empty left? Who, who away would

be From Cynthia's wedding and festivity ? Not Hesperus : lo! upon his silver

wings He leans away for highest heaven an:)

sings,

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