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And merely given to the cold, bleak air.
Have mercy, Goddess ! Circe, feel my prayer!'
"That curst magician's name fell icy numb
Upon my wild conjecturing : truth had come
Naked and sabre-like against my heart.
I saw a fury whetting a death-dart;
And iny slain spirit, overwrought with fright,
Fainted away in that dark lair of night.
Think, my deliverer, how desolate
My waking must have been ! disgust, and hate,
And terrors manifold divided me
A spoil amongst them. I prepared to flee
Into the dungeon core of that wild wood :
I fled three days—when lo ! before me stood,
Glaring, the angry witch. Dis, even now,
A clammy dew is beading on my brow,
At mere remembering her pale laugh and curse,
• Ha! ha! Sir Dainty ! there must be a nurse
Made of rose leaves and thistledown, express,
To cradle thee, my sweet, and lull thee: yes,
I am too flinty-hard for thy nice touch :
My tenderest squeeze is but a giant's clutch.
So, fairy-thing, it shall have lullabies
Unheard of yet ; and it shall still its cries
Upon some breast more lily-feminine.
Oh, no—it shall not pine, and pine, and pine
More than one pretty, trifling thousand years ;
And then 'twere pity, but fate's gentle shears
Cut short its immortality. Sea-flirt !
Young dove of the waters ! truly I'll not hurt
One hair of thine : see how I weep and sigh,
That our heart-broken parting is so nigh.
And must we part ? Ah, yes, it must be so,
Yet ere thou leavest me in utter woe,
Let me sob over thee my last adieus,
And speak a blessing : Mark me! Thou hast thews
Immortal, for thou art of heavenly race :
But such a love is mine, that here I chase
Eternally away from thee all bloom
Of youth, and destine thee towards a tomb.
Hence shalt thou quickly to the watery vast ;
And there, ere many days be overpast,
Disabled age shall seize thee! and even then
Thou shalt not go the way of aged men ;
But live and wither, cripple and still breathe,
Ten hundred years : which gone, I then bequeath
Thy fragile bones to unknown burial.
Adieu, sweet love, adieu !'-As shot stars fall,
She fled ere I could groan for mercy. Stung
And poisoned was my spirit : despair sung
A war-song of defiance 'gainst all hell.
A hand was at my shoulder to compel
My sullen steps ; another 'fore my eyes
Moved on with pointed finger. In this guise
Enforced, at the last by ocean's foam
I found me; by my fresh, my native home.
Its tempering coolness, to my life akin,
Came salutary as I waded in ;
And, with a blind voluptuous rage, I gave
Battle to the swollen billow-ridge, and drave
Large froth before me, while there yet remained
Hale strength, nor from my bones all marrow drained.
“Young lover, I must weep-such hellish spite
With dry cheek who can tell? While thus my might
Proving upon this element, dismayed,
Upon a dead thing's face my hand I laid ;
I looked—'twas Scylla! Cursed, cursed Circe !
O vulture-witch, hast never heard of mercy ?
Could not thy harshest vengeance be content,
But thou must nip this tender innocent
Because I loved her ?—Cold, O cold indeed
Were her fair limbs, and like a common weed
The sea-swell took her hair. Dead as she was
I clung about her waist, nor ceased to pass
Fleet as an arrow through unfathomed brine,
Until there shone a fabric crystalline,
Ribbed and inlaid with coral, pebble, and pearl.
Headlong I darted ; at one eager swirl
Gained its bright portal, entered, and behold !
'Twas vast, and desolate, and icy-cold ;
And all around-But wherefore this to thee
Who in few minutes more thyself shalt see 8
I left poor Scylla in a niche and fled.
My fevered parchings up, my scathing dread
Met palsy half way: soon these limbs became
Gaunt, withered, sapless, feeble, cramped, and lame.
“Now let me pass a cruel, cruel space,
Without one hope, without one faintest trace
Of mitigation, or redeeming bubble
Of coloured fantasy ; for I fear 'twould trouble
Thy brain to loss of reason : and next tell
How a restoring chance come down to quell
One half the witch in me.
Sitting upon a rock above the
I saw grow up from the horizon's brink
A gallant vessel : soon she seemed to sink
Away from me again, as though her course
Had been resumed in spite of hindering force-
So vanished : and not long before arose
Dark clouds, and muttering of winds morose.
Old Æolus would stifle his mad spleen,
But could not: therefore all the billows green
Tossed up the silver spume against the clouds.
The tempest came : I saw that vessel's shrouds
In perilous bustle : while upon the deck
Stood trembling creatures. I beheld the wreck ;
The final gulfing; the poor struggling souls :
I heard their cries amid loud thunder-rolls.
O they had all been saved but crazed eld
Annulled my vigorous cravings : and thus quelled
And curbed, think on't, O Latmian ! did I sit
Writhing with pity, and a cursing fit
Against that hell-born Circe. The crew had gone,
By one and one, to pale oblivion ;
And I was gazing on the surgeş prone,
With many a scalding tear and many a groan,
When at my feet emerged an old man's hand,
Grasping this scroll, and this same slender wand.
I knelt with pain-reached out my hand-had grasped
These treasures-touched the knuckles—they un.
I caught a finger : but the downward weight
O’erpowered memit sank. Then 'gan abate
The storm, and through chill aguish gloom outburst
The comfortable sun. I was athirst
To search the book, and in the warming air
Parted its dripping leaves with eager care.
Strange matters did it treat of, and drew on
My soul page after page, till well-nigh won
Into forgetfulness ; when, stupefied,
I read these words, and read again, and tried
My eyes against the heavens, and read again.
Owhat a load of misery and pain
Each Atlas-line bore off !-a shine of hope
Camo gold around me, cheering me to cope
Strenuous with hellish tyranny. Attend !
For thou hast brought their promise to an end.
60. In the wide sea there lives a forlorn wretch, Doomed with enfeebled carcass to outstretch His loathed existence through ten centuries, And then to die alone. Who can devise A total opposition ? No one. So One million times ocean must ebb and flow, And he oppressed.
Yet he shall not die, These things accomplished :-If he utterly Scans all the depths of magic, and expounds The meanings of all motions, shapes, and sounds : If he explores all forms and substances Straight homeward to their symbol-essences ; He shall not die. Moreover, and in chief, He must pursue this task of joy and grief Most piously; all lovers tempest-tost, And in the savage overwhelming lost, He shall deposit side by side, until Time's creeping shall the dreary space fulfil. Which done, and all these labours ripened, A youth, by heavenly power loved and led, Shall stand before him; whom he shall direct How to consummate all. The youth elect Must do the thing, or both will Be destroyed.'
“Then,” cried the young Endymion, overjoyed, "We are twin brothers in this destiny !