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In his hand he took the goblet: but a while the
draught forbore, Seeming doubtfully the purpose of the foeman to
explore. Well might then have paused the bravest - for,
around him, angry foes With a hedge of naked weapons did the lonely
The lords of Thule it did not please
• Willegis, bishop now by name,
“But what fearest thou P” cried the caliph ; "is it,
friend, a secret blow Fear it not ! our gallant Moslems no such treach
erous dealing know.
" Thou may'st quench thy thirst securely, for thou
shalt not die before Thou hast drunk that cup of water — this reprieve
is thine - no more !”
Quick the satrap dashed the goblet down to earth
with ready hand, And the liquid sank for ever, lost amid the burning
The lords of Thule were full of shame -
ANONYMOUS. (German.) Anonymous Translation.
“ Thou hast said that mine my life is, till the water
of that cup I have drained ; then bid thy servants that spilled
water gather up!”
For a moment stood the caliph as by doubtful pas
sions stirred Then exclaimed: “For ever sacred must remain a
Bring another cup, and straightway to the noble “Balder! brother! the divine has vanished — Persian give :
The eternal splendors all have fled;
The heroic and divine have vanished;
“Come thou back, my Balder- king and brothBalder.
Teach the hearts of men to love the gods ! BALDER, the white sun-god, has departed ! Come thou back, and comfort our great moth
Beautiful as summer dawn was he; Loved of gods and men — - the royal-hearted Come with truth and bravery, Balder, brother Balder, the white sun-god, has departed
Bring the godlike back to men's abodes!” Has gone home where all the brave ones be.
But the Nornas let him pray unheeded For the tears of the imperial mother,
Balder never was to come again. For a universe that weeps and prays,
Vainly, vainly young Hermoder pleaded — Rides Hermoder forth to seek his brother
Balder never was to come. Unheeded, Rides for love of that distressful mother,
Young Hermoder wept and prayed in vain. Through lead-colored glens and cross-blue ways.
Oh, the trueness of this ancient story!
Even now it is, as it was then.
Never comes the beautiful again.
Still the young Hermoder journeys bravely,
Through lead-colored glens and cross-blue ways; There he found the ancient portress standing - Still he calls his brother, pleading gravely – Vexer of the mind and of the heart:
Still to the death-kingdom ventures bravely“ Balder came this way,” to his demanding,
Calmly to the eternal terror prays. Cried aloud that ancient portress, standing " Balder came, but Balder did depart;
But the fates relent not; strong endeavor, “ Here he could not dwell. He is down yonder —
Courage, noble feeling, are in vain;
For the beautiful has gone for ever. Northward, further, in the death-realm he.”
Vain are courage, genius, strong endeavor -
Never comes the beautiful again.
Do you think I counsel weak despairing !
No! like young Hermoder I would ride;
With an humble, yet a gallant daring, Drops into the huge abyss below.
I would leap unquailing, undespairing,
Over the huge precipice's side.
Dead and gone is the old world's ideal, “O my Balder! have I, have I found thee
The old arts and old religion fled ; Balder, beautiful as summer morn 1
But I gladly live amid the real, O my sun-god! hearts of heroes crowned thee And I seek a worthier ideal. For their king; they lost, but now have found thee;
Courage, brothers, God is overhead ! Gods and men shall not be left forlorn.
AND thou hast walked about (how strange a
story!) In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago, When the Memnonium was in all its glory,
And time had not begun to overthrow Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous, Of which the very ruins are tremendous.
And the high gods took in hand
Fire and the falling of tears, And a measure of sliding sand
From under the feet of the years, And froth and drift of the sea,
And dust of the laboring earth, And bodies of things to be
In the houses of death and of birth, And wrought with weeping and laughter,
And fashioned with loathing and love,
And death beneath and above,
That his strength might endure for a span, With travail and heavy sorrow,
The holy spirit of man.
Speak! for thou long enough hast acted dummy; Thou hast a tongue
come- let us hear its tune; Thou 'rt standing on thy legs, above ground,
mummy! Revisiting the glimpses of the moon — Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures, But with thy bones, and flesh, and limbs, and
Tell us - for doubtless thou canst recollect
To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame 1 Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect
Of either pyramid that bears his name? Is Pompey's Pillar really a misnomer ? Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer
From the winds of the North and the South
They gathered as unto strife; They breathed up in his mouth,
They filled his body with life; Eyesight and speech they wrought
For the veils of the soul therein ; A time for labor and thought,
A time to serve and to sin; They gave him light in his ways,
And love, and a space for delight, And beauty and length of days,
And night, and sleep in the night. His speech is a burning fire ;
With his lips he travaileth; In his heart is a blind desire,
In his eyes foreknowledge of death.
Perhaps thou wert a Mason, and forbidden
By oath to tell the secrets of thy trade; Then say what secret melody was hidden
In Memnon's statue, which at sunrise played ? Perhaps thou wert a priest; if so, my struggles Are vain, for priestcraft never owns its juggles.
Perhaps that very hand, now pinioned flat,
Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass ; Or dropped a half-penny in Homer's hat;
Or doffed thine own to let Queen Dido pass;
I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,
Has any Roman soldier mauled and knuckled;
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled :
Statue of flesh - Immortal of the dead !
Imperishable type of evanescence !
ing, When the great trump shall thrill thee with its
Thou could'st develop — if that withered tongue
Might tell us what those sightless orbs have
How the world looked when it was fresh and Why should this worthless tegument endure, young,
If its undying guest be lost for ever And the great deluge still had left it green; Oh! let us keep the soul embalmed and pure Or was it then so old that history's pages
In living virtue - that when both must sever, Contained no record of its early ages ?
Although corruption may our frame consume,
The immortal spirit in the skies may bloom! Still silent! incommunicative elf!
Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house;
Ode to an Indian Bold Coin. beredWhat hast thou seen what strange adventures
SLAVE of the dark and dirty mine! numbered ?
What vanity has brought thee here?
How can I love to see thee shine Since first thy form was in this box extended
So bright, whom I have bought so dear? We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations:
The tent-ropes flapping lone I hear
For twilight converse, arm in arm; The Roman empire has begun and ended
The jackal's shriek bursts on mine ear
When mirth and music wont to charm.
Where cane-tufts shadow all the wild,
Sweet visions haunt my waking dreams When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses,
Of Teviot loved while still a child ; Marched armies o'er thy tomb with thundering
Of castled rocks stupendous piled tread
By Esk or Eden's classic wave, O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis;
Where loves of youth and friendships smiled And shook the pyramids with fear and wonder,
Uncursed by thee, vile yellow slave! When the gigantic Memnon fell asunder?
Fade, day-dreams sweet, from memory fade! If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed,
The perished bliss of youth's first prime, The nature of thy private life unfold :
That once so bright on fancy played, A heart has throbbed beneath that leathern breast, Revives no more in after-time.
And tears adown that dusty cheek have rolled ; Far from my sacred natal clime, Have children climbed those knees, and kissed that I haste to an untimely grave; face
The daring thoughts that soared sublime What was thy name and station, age and race ? Are sunk in ocean's southern wave.