Untitled [you Mustn'T Swim Till You'Re Six Weeks Old]

You mustn't swim till you're six weeks old,
Or your head will be sunk by your heels;
And summer gales and Killer Whales
Are bad for baby seals.
Are bad for baby seals, dear rat,
As bad as bad can be.
But splash and grow strong,
And you can't be wrong,
Child of the Open Sea!

by Rudyard Kipling.

Song of the Paddlers [excerpt]

Dip, dip, in the brine our paddles dip,
Dip, dip, the fins of our swimming ship!
How the waters part,
As on we dart;
Our sharp prows fly,
And curl on high,
As the upright fin of the rushing shark,
Rushing fast and far on his flying mark!
Like him we prey;
Like him we slay;
Swim on the foe,
Our prow a blow!

by Herman Melville.

Farewell, Life! My Senses Swim

Farewell, Life! My senses swim,
And the world is growing dim;
Thronging shadows cloud the light,
Like the advent of the night,—
Colder, colder, colder still,
Upward steals a vapor chill—
Strong the earthy odor grows—
I smell the mould above the rose!

Welcome, Life! the Spirit strives!
Strength returns, and hope revives;
Cloudy fears and shapes forlorn
Fly like shadows at the morn,—
O'er the earth there comes a bloom—
Sunny light for sullen gloom,
Warm perfume for vapor cold—
I smell the rose above the mould!

by Thomas Hood.

FAIR as the night—when all the astral fires
Of heaven are burning in the clear expanse,
My love is; and her eyes like star-depths glance
Lustrous with glowing thoughts and pure desires,
And that mysterious pathos which inspires
All moods divine in mortal passion’s trance—
All that its earthly music doth enhance
As with the rapture of seraphic lyres!
I gaze upon her till the atmosphere
Sweetens intensely, and to my charmed sight
All fair associated forms appear
Swimming in joy, as swim yon orbs in light—
And all sweet sounds, though common to mine ear,
Chime up like silver-wingèd dreams in flight.


by Charles Harpur.

Written After Swimming From Sestos To Abydos

If, in the month of dark December,
Leander, who was nightly wont
(What maid will not the tale remember?)
To cross thy stream, broad Hellespont!

If, when the wintry tempest roar'd,
He sped to Hero, nothing loth,
And thus of old thy current pour'd,
Fair Venus! how I pity both!

For me, degenerate modern wretch,
Though in the genial month of May,
My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,
And think I've done a feat today.

But since he cross'd the rapid tide,
According to the doubtful story,
To woo, -- and -- Lord knows what beside,
And swam for Love, as I for Glory;

'Twere hard to say who fared the best:
Sad mortals! thus the gods still plague you!
He lost his labour, I my jest;
For he was drown'd, and I've the ague.

by George Gordon Byron.

The Days When We Went Swimming

The breezes waved the silver grass,
Waist-high along the siding,
And to the creek we ne'er could pass
Three boys on bare-back riding;
Beneath the sheoaks in the bend
The waterhole was brimming -
Do you remember yet, old friend,
The times we 'went in swimming'?

The days we 'played the wag' from school -
Joys shared - and paid for singly -
The air was hot, the water cool -
And naked boys are kingly!
With mud for soap the sun to dry -
A well planned lie to stay us,
And dust well rubbed on neck and face
Lest cleanliness betray us.

And you'll remember farmer Kutz -
Though scarcely for his bounty -
He leased a forty-acre block,
And thought he owned the county;
A farmer of the old world school,
That grew men hard and grim in,
He drew his water from the pool
That we preferred to swim in.

And do you mind when down the creek
His angry way he wended,
A green-hide cartwhip in his hand
For our young backs intended?
Three naked boys upon the sand -
Half buried and half sunning -
Three startled boys without their clothes
Across the paddocks running.

We've had some scares, but we looked blank
When, resting there and chumming,
One glanced by chance upon the bank
And saw the farmer coming!
And home inmpressions linger yet
Of cups of sorrow brimming;
I hardly think that we'll forget
The last day we went swimming.

by Henry Lawson.

The Ballad Of The Oysterman

IT was a tall young oysterman lived by the river-side,
His shop was just upon the bank, his boat was on the tide;
The daughter of a fisherman, that was so straight and slim,
Lived over on the other bank, right opposite to him.

It was the pensive oysterman that saw a lovely maid,
Upon a moonlight evening, a sitting in the shade;
He saw her wave her handkerchief, as much as if to say,
'I 'm wide awake, young oysterman, and all the folks away.'

Then up arose the oysterman, and to himself said he,
'I guess I 'll leave the skiff at home, for fear that folks should see
I read it in the story-book, that, for to kiss his dear,
Leander swam the Hellespont,--and I will swim this here.'

And he has leaped into the waves, and crossed the shining stream,
And he has clambered up the bank, all in the moonlight gleam;
Oh there were kisses sweet as dew, and words as soft as rain,--
But they have heard her father's step, and in he leaps again!

Out spoke the ancient fisherman,--'Oh, what was that, my daughter?'
''T was nothing but a pebble, sir, I threw into the water.'
'And what is that, pray tell me, love, that paddles off so fast?'
'It's nothing but a porpoise, sir, that 's been a swimming past.'

Out spoke the ancient fisherman,--'Now bring me my harpoon!
I'll get into my fishing-boat, and fix the fellow soon.'
Down fell that pretty innocent, as falls a snow-white lamb,
Her hair drooped round her pallid cheeks, like sea-weed on a clam.

Alas for those two loving ones! she waked not from her swound,
And he was taken with the cramp, and in the waves was drowned;
But Fate has metamorphosed them, in pity of their woe,
And now they keep an oyster-shop for mermaids down below.

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Merrily swim we, the moon shines bright,
Both current and ripple are dancing in light.
We have roused the night raven, I heard him croak
As we plashed along beneath the oak
That flings its broad branches so far and so wide,
Their shadows are dancing in the midst of the tide.
'Who wakens my nestlings,' the raven he said,
'My beak shall ere morn in his blood be red,
For a blue-swollen corpse is a dainty meal,
And I’ll have my share with the pike and the eel.'

II.
Merrily swim we, the moon shines bright,
There's a golden gleam on the distant height;
There's a silver shadow on the alders dank,
And the drooping willows that wave on the bank.
I see the Abbey, both turret and tower,
It is all astir for the vesper hour;
The monks for the chapel are leaving each cell,
But where’s Father Philip, should toll the bell?

III.
Merrily swim we, the moon shines bright,
Downward we drift through shadow and light.
Under yon rock the eddies sleep,
Calm and silent, dark and deep.
The Kelpy has risen from the fathomless pool,
He hath lighted his candle of death and of dool:
Look, Father, look, and you’ll laugh to see
How he gapes and he glares with his eyes on thee!

IV.
Good luck to your fishing, whom watch ye to night?
A man of mean or a man of might?
Is it layman or priest that must float in your cove,
Or lover who crosses to visit his love?
Hark! heard ye the Kelpy reply as we passed,-—
'God's blessing on the warder, he lock'd the bridge fast!
All that come to my cove are sunk,
Priest or layman, lover or monk.'

Landed—landed! the black book hath won,
Else had you seen Berwick with morning sun!
Sain ye, and save ye, and blithe mot ye be,
For seldom they land that go swimming with me.

by Sir Walter Scott.

The Story Of Mongrel Grey

This is the story the stockman told
On the cattle-camp, when the stars were bright;
The moon rose up like a globe of gold
And flooded the plain with her mellow light.
We watched the cattle till dawn of day
And he told me the story of Mongrel Grey.
He was a knock-about station hack,
Spurred and walloped, and banged and beat;
Ridden all day with a sore on his back,
Left all night with nothing to eat.
That was a matter of everyday
Normal occurrence with Mongrel Grey.

We might have sold him, but someone heard
He was bred out back on a flooded run,
Where he learnt to swim like a waterbird;
Midnight or midday were all as one --
In the flooded ground he would find his way;
Nothing could puzzle old Mongrel Grey.

'Tis a trick, no doubt, that some horses learn;
When the floods are out they will splash along
In girth-deep water, and twist and turn
From hidden channel and billabong,
Never mistaking the road to go;
for a man may guess -- but the horses know.

I was camping out with my youngest son --
Bit of a nipper, just learnt to speak --
In an empty hut on the lower run,
Shooting and fishing in Conroy's Creek.
The youngster toddled about all day
And there with our horses was Mongrel Grey.

All of a sudden a flood came down,
At first a freshet of mountain rain,
Roaring and eddying, rank and brown,
Over the flats and across the plain.
Rising and rising -- at fall of night
Nothing but water appeared in sight!

'Tis a nasty place when the floods are out,
Even in daylight; for all around
Channels and billabongs twist about,
Stretching for miles in the flooded ground.
And to move seemed a hopeless thing to try
In the dark with the storm-water racing by.

I had to risk it. I heard a roar
As the wind swept down and the driving rain;
And the water rose till it reached the floor
Of our highest room; and 'twas very plain --
The way the torrent was sweeping down --
We must make for the highlands at once, or drown.

Off to the stable I splashed, and found
The horses shaking with cold and fright;
I led them down to the lower ground,
But never a yard would they swim that night!
They reared and snorted and turned away,
And none would face it but Mongrel Grey.

I bound the child on the horse's back,
And we started off, with a prayer to heaven,
Through the rain and the wind and the pitchy black
For I knew that the instinct God has given
To prompt His creatures by night and day
Would guide the footsteps of Mongrel Grey.

He struck deep water at once and swam --
I swam beside him and held his mane --
Till we touched the bank of the broken dam
In shallow water; then off again,
Swimming in darkness across the flood,
Rank with the smell of the drifting mud.

He turned and twisted across and back,
Choosing the places to wade or swim,
Picking the safest and shortest track --
The blackest darkness was clear to him.
Did he strike the crossing by sight or smell?
The Lord that held him alone could tell!

He dodged the timber whene'er he could,
But timber brought us to grief at last;
I was partly stunned by a log of wood
That struck my head as it drifted past;
Then lost my grip of the brave old grey,
And in half a second he swept away.

I reached a tree, where I had to stay,
And did a perish for two days' hard;
And lived on water -- but Mongrel Grey,
He walked right into the homestead yard
At dawn next morning, and grazed around,
With the child strapped on to him safe and sound.

We keep him now for the wife to ride,
Nothing too good for him now, of course;
Never a whip on his fat old hide,
For she owes the child to that brave grey horse.
And not Old Tyson himself could pay
The purchase money of Mongrel Grey.

by Banjo Paterson.

From Pent-Up Aching Rivers


FROM pent-up, aching rivers;
From that of myself, without which I were nothing;
From what I am determin'd to make illustrious, even if I stand sole
among men;
From my own voice resonant--singing the phallus,
Singing the song of procreation,
Singing the need of superb children, and therein superb grown people,
Singing the muscular urge and the blending,
Singing the bedfellow's song, (O resistless yearning!
O for any and each, the body correlative attracting!
O for you, whoever you are, your correlative body! O it, more than
all else, you delighting!) 10
--From the hungry gnaw that eats me night and day;
From native moments--from bashful pains--singing them;
Singing something yet unfound, though I have diligently sought it,
many a long year;
Singing the true song of the Soul, fitful, at random;
Singing what, to the Soul, entirely redeem'd her, the faithful one,
even the prostitute, who detain'd me when I went to the city;
Singing the song of prostitutes;
Renascent with grossest Nature, or among animals;
Of that--of them, and what goes with them, my poems informing;
Of the smell of apples and lemons--of the pairing of birds,
Of the wet of woods--of the lapping of waves, 20
Of the mad pushes of waves upon the land--I them chanting;
The overture lightly sounding--the strain anticipating;
The welcome nearness--the sight of the perfect body;
The swimmer swimming naked in the bath, or motionless on his back
lying and floating;
The female form approaching--I, pensive, love-flesh tremulous,
aching;
The divine list, for myself or you, or for any one, making;
The face--the limbs--the index from head to foot, and what it
arouses;
The mystic deliria--the madness amorous--the utter abandonment;
(Hark close, and still, what I now whisper to you,
I love you---O you entirely possess me, 30
O I wish that you and I escape from the rest, and go utterly off--O
free and lawless,
Two hawks in the air--two fishes swimming in the sea not more lawless
than we;)
--The furious storm through me careering--I passionately trembling;
The oath of the inseparableness of two together--of the woman that
loves me, and whom I love more than my life--that oath
swearing;
(O I willingly stake all, for you!
O let me be lost, if it must be so!
O you and I--what is it to us what the rest do or think?
What is all else to us? only that we enjoy each other, and exhaust
each other, if it must be so:)
--From the master--the pilot I yield the vessel to;
The general commanding me, commanding all--from him permission
taking; 40
From time the programme hastening, (I have loiter'd too long, as it
is;)
From sex--From the warp and from the woof;
(To talk to the perfect girl who understands me,
To waft to her these from my own lips--to effuse them from my own
body;)
From privacy--from frequent repinings alone;
From plenty of persons near, and yet the right person not near;
From the soft sliding of hands over me, and thrusting of fingers
through my hair and beard;
From the long sustain'd kiss upon the mouth or bosom;
From the close pressure that makes me or any man drunk, fainting with
excess;
From what the divine husband knows--from the work of fatherhood; 50
From exultation, victory, and relief--from the bedfellow's embrace in
the night;
From the act-poems of eyes, hands, hips, and bosoms,
From the cling of the trembling arm,
From the bending curve and the clinch,
From side by side, the pliant coverlid off-throwing,
From the one so unwilling to have me leave--and me just as unwilling
to leave,
(Yet a moment, O tender waiter, and I return;)
--From the hour of shining stars and dropping dews,
From the night, a moment, I, emerging, flitting out,
Celebrate you, act divine--and you, children prepared for, 60
And you, stalwart loins.

by Walt Whitman.

THE dawn hangs heavy on the distant hill,
The darkness shudders slowly into light;
And from the weary bosom of the night
The pent winds sigh, then sink with horror still.
Naked and grey, the guillotine stands square
Upon the hill, while from its base the crowd
Surges out far, and waits, to silence cowed,
Impatient for the thing to happen there.
Listen! The bells within the tower toll
Five naked notes; and down within his cell
The prisoner hears and mutters, “It is well,”
Though like that other knife each cuts his soul.
His sick nerves from the probing echoes shrink,
“This is the end,” he says; “let me be strong;
Let me be brave till then—‘t is not for long:
I must not think of it—I must not think!”
See, through the courtyard, guarded, comes the slight
Thin figure of the anarchist. Amazed,
He sees the thousand faces swiftly raised—
The billows of the crowd break into white!
One narrow, alien glance below, and then
The scene fades dimly from his film-glazed eyes;
And shuddering he sees his past arise—
The cycle of his life begins again.

And as misshapen memories crowd fast
Upon him, jostling in a sudden strife,
Athwart the dull, drab level of his life
Stand sharply out the blood-stains of his past:
His youth, before he knew he had it, lost;
His father's body by an accident
'Neath the rich man's remorseless mill-wheels pent—
A corpse; and sister, mother, brother tossed
Out to the mercy of the merciless.
His mother stricken next; her humble niche
Was needed by the reckless and the rich,
And death was easier than life's loneliness.
His sister, she had fortune in her face,
And won it, too, till Vice's fingers tore
The freshness from her figure, and no more
In idleness she flaunted her disgrace.
He lost her, stifled in the world's wide smother,
For years; till one night on the street they met.
She seized him—he can feel that hot thrill yet!—
She spoke him—knowing not he was her brother!
Wrong reeking of the rich incessantly!
Oppression and oppression o'er again!
Till from the smouldering hate within his brain
Mad fever fired the fuse of Anarchy.

Then plot and cunning, weak, futile and mean,
The maddened one against the many; thus
He strove to strangle Order's octopus—
And gained the goal at last—the guillotine!
It waits him grim and grey; he sees it not,
Nor hears the rising murmur ripple out
To the crowd's edge, and, turning, die in doubt.
The vague, uncertain future threatens—what?
So…shall he speak, fling out his last reply
Why waste the time in trivialities?
One throbbing thought now holds him; and there is
No room for sign or speech—he has to die.
Only a murmur wavers up and shakes
The sullen air, then hesitates and dies;
And the grim hush of horror stifled lies,
Suspended like a billow ere it breaks.
One bitter prayer, half-curse, he mutters when
The knife hangs high above, and the world waits.
But ere it swoops an age it hesitates:
The word is given, breaths are drawn, and then…
With eyes and soul close shut—be swift, relief!—
The prisoner waits the end that does not come.
For hark! that heavy, low, tumultuous hum
That surges, surges till it shouts “ Reprieve! ”

“ Reprieved and pardoned! ” All his senses swim
In a rose-mist! As Sleep's soft hand that soothes
The terse, strained limbs of fevered Day and smoothes
Life's knotted nerves—so comes relief to him.
And when he woke again his soul, set free,
Had wandered far, within a moment's space,
And seen the sadness of God's silent face—
The mighty calm of immortality.
How like a triumph his home-coming! Then
The glorious news that met him, how that Right
Had routed Wrong, for ever faction's fight
Was finished, and the world was one again.
Then swiftly through his swimming, mist-dimmed eyes
He sees the good and great upright again;
And Reason rings the knell of grief and pain;
The gladdened new world lapped in sunlight lies.
Long life was his with honour. On Fame's breath
His name was borne, until in perfect peace—
Glad like a mellow fruit to fall and cease—
His long life ripened richly into death.
Yet none knew this but he . The crowd still waits;
Shoots swift the lightning of the knife, and loud
Roars the hoarse thunder from the sated crowd
And justice has been done. God compensates.

by Arthur Henry Adams.

With short, sharp violent lights made vivid,
To the southward far as the sight can roam,
Only the swirl of the surges livid,
The seas that climb and the surfs that comb,
Only the crag and the cliff to nor'ward,
And rocks receding, and reefs flung forward,
And waifs wreck'd seaward and wasted shoreward
On shallows sheeted with flaming foam.

A grim grey coast and a seaboard ghastly,
And shores trod seldom by feet of men --
Where the batter'd hull and the broken mast lie
They have lain embedded these long years ten.
Love! when we wander'd here together,
Hand in hand through the sparkling weather,
From the heights and hollows of fern and heather,
God surely loved us a little then.

Then skies were fairer and shores were firmer --
The blue sea over the bright sand roll'd;
Babble and prattle, and ripple and murmur,
Sheen of silver and glamour of gold --
And the sunset bath'd in the gulf to lend her
A garland of pinks and of purples tender,
A tinge of the sun-god's rosy splendour,
A tithe of his glories manifold.

Man's works are craven, cunning, and skillful
On earth where his tabernacles are;
But the sea is wanton, the sea is wilful,
And who shall mend her and who shall mar?
Shall we carve success or record disaster
On her bosom of heaving alabaster?
Will her purple pulse beat fainter or faster
For fallen sparrow or fallen star?

I would that with sleepy soft embraces
The sea would fold me -- would find me rest
In luminous shades of her secret places,
In depths where her marvels are manifest,
So the earth beneath her should not discover
My hidden couch -- nor the heaven above her --
As a strong love shielding a weary lover,
I would have her shield me with shining breast.

When light in the realms of space lay hidden,
When life was yet in the womb of time,
Ere flesh was fettered to fruits forbidden,
And souls were wedded to care and crime,
Was the course foreshaped for the future spirit --
A burden of folly, a void of merit --
That would fain the wisdom of stars inherit,
And cannot fathom the seas sublime?

Under the sea or the soil (what matter?
The sea and the soil are under the sun),
As in the former days in the latter
The sleeping or waking is known of none,
Surely the sleeper shall not awaken
To griefs forgotten or joys forsaken,
For the price of all things given and taken,
The sum of all things done and undone.

Shall we count offences or coin excuses,
Or weigh with scales the soul of a man,
Whom a strong hand binds and a sure hand looses,
Whose light is a spark and his life a span?
The seed he sowed or the soil he cumber'd,
The time he served or the space he slumber'd,
Will it profit a man when his days are number'd,
Or his deeds since the days of his life began?

One, glad because of the light, saith, "Shall not
The righteous judges of all the earth do right,
For behold the sparrows on the house-tops fall not
Save as seemeth to Him good in His sight?"
And this man's joy shall have no abiding
Through lights departing and lives dividing,
He is soon as one in the darkness hiding,
One loving darkness rather than light.

A little season of love and laughter,
Of light and life, and pleasure and pain,
And a horror of outer darkness after,
And dust returneth to dust again;
Then the lesser life shall be as the greater,
And the lover of light shall join the hater,
And the one thing cometh sooner or later,
And no one knoweth the loss or gain.

Love of my life! we had lights in season --
Hard to part with, harder to keep --
We had strength to labour and souls to reason,
And seed to scatter and fruits to reap.
Though time estranges and fate disperses,
We have had our loves and loving mercies.
Though the gifts of the light in the end are curses,
Yet bides the gift of darkness -- sleep!

See! girt with tempest and wing'd with thunder,
And clad with lightning and shod with sleet,
The strong winds treading the swift waves sunder
The flying rollers with frothy feet.
One gleam like a bloodshot swordblade swims on
The skyline, staining the green gulf crimson
A death stroke fiercely dealt by a dim sun
That strikes through his stormy winding sheet.

Oh, brave white horses! you gather and gallop,
The storm sprite loosens the gusty reins;
Now the stoutest ship were the frailest shallop
In your hollow backs, or your high arch'd manes.
I would ride as never a man has ridden
In your sleepy swirling surges hidden,
To gulfs foreshadow'd, through straits forbidden,
Where no light wearies and no love wanes.

by Adam Lindsay Gordon.

Three Day's Ride

'From Belton Castle to Solway side,
Hard by the bridge, is three days' ride.'

We had fled full fast from her father's keep,
And the time was come that we must sleep.

The first day was an ecstasy,
A golden mist, a burgeoning tree;
We rode like gods through a world new-made,
The hawthorn scented hill and glade,
A faint, still sweetness in the air--
And, oh, her face and the wind in her hair!
And the steady beat of our good steeds' hooves,
Bearing us northward, strong and fast,
To my high black tower, stark to the blast,
Like a swimmer stripped where the Solway moves.

And ever, riding, we chanted a song,
Challenging Fortune, loud and long,
'From Belton Castle to Solway side,
Strive as you may, is three days' ride!'

She slept for an hour, wrapped in my cloak,
And I watched her till the morning broke;
The second day--and a harsher land,
And grey bare hills on either hand;
A surly land and a sullen folk,
And a fog that came like bitter smoke.

The road wound on like a twisted snake,
And our horses sobbed as they topped the brake.
Till we sprang to earth at Wyvern Fen,
Where fresh steeds stamped, and were off again.

Weary and sleepless, bruised and worn,
We still had strength for laughter and scorn;
Love held us up through the mire and mist,
Love fed us, while we clasped and kissed,
And still we sang as the night closed in,
Stealthy and slow as a hidden sin,
'From Belton Castle to Solway side,
Ride how you will, is three days' ride.'

My love drooped low on the black mare's back,
Drowned in her hair . . . the reins went slack . . .
Yet she could not sleep, save to dream bad dreams
And wake all trembling, till at last
Her golden head lay on my breast.

At last we saw the first faint gleams
Of day. Dawn broke. A sickly light
Came from the withered sun--a blight
Was on the land, and poisonous mist
Shrouded the rotting trees, unkissed
By any wind, and the black crags glared
Like sightless, awful faces, spared
From death to live accursed for aye.

Dragging slow chains the hours went by.
We rode on, drunk and drugged with sleep,
Too deadly weary now to say
Whether our horses kept the way
Or no--like slaves stretched on a heap
Of poisoned arrows. Every limb
Shot with sharp pain; pain seemed to swim
Like a red cloud before our eyes. . . .

The mist broke, and a moment showed,
Sharp as the Devil's oxen-goad,
The spear-points where the hot chase rode.

Idly I watched them dance and rise
Till white wreaths wiped them out again . . .
My love jerked at the bridle rein;
The black mare, dying, broke her heart
In one swift gallop; for my part
I dozed; and ever in my brain,
Four hoofs of fire beat out refrain,
A dirge to light us down to death,
A silly rhyme that saith and saith,
'From Belton Castle to Solway side,
Though great hearts break, is three days' ride!'
The black mare staggered, reeled and fell,
Bearing my love down . . . a great bell
Began to toll . . . and sudden fire
Flared at me from the road, a pyre
It seemed, to burn our bodies in . . .
And I fell down, far down, within
The pit's mouth . . . and my brain went blind. . . .

I woke--a cold sun rose behind
Black evil hills--my love knelt near
Beside a stream, her golden hair
Streaming across the grass--below
The Solway eddied to and fro,
White with fierce whirlpools . . . my love turned. . . .
Thank God, some hours of joy are burned
Into the mind, and will remain,
Fierce-blazing still, in spite of pain!

They came behind us as we kissed,
Stealthily from the dripping mist,
Her brothers and their evil band.
They bound me fast and made me stand.
They forced her down upon her knees.
She did not strive or cry or call,
But knelt there dumb before them all--
I could not turn away my eyes--
There was no fear upon her face,
Although they slew her in that place.
The daggers rent and tore her breast
Like dogs that snarl above a kill,
Her proud face gazed above them still,
Seeking rest--Oh, seeking rest!
The blood swept like a crimson dress
Over her bosom's nakedness,
A curtain for her weary eyes,
A muffling-cloth to stop her sighs . . .

And she was gone--and a red thing lay
Silent on the trampled clay.

Beneath my horse my feet are bound,
My hands are bound behind my back,
I feel the sinews start to crack--
And ever to the hoof-beats' sound,
As we draw near the gallows-tree,
Where I shall hang right speedily,
A crazy tune rings in my brain,
Four hoofs of fire tramp the refrain,
Crashing clear o'er the roaring crowd,
Steadily galloping, strong and loud,
'From Belton Castle to Solway side,
Hard by the bridge, is three days' ride!'

by Stephen Vincent Benet.

A Swimmer's Dream

Somno mollior unda

I
Dawn is dim on the dark soft water,
Soft and passionate, dark and sweet.
Love's own self was the deep sea's daughter,
Fair and flawless from face to feet,
Hailed of all when the world was golden,
Loved of lovers whose names beholden
Thrill men's eyes as with light of olden
Days more glad than their flight was fleet.

So they sang: but for men that love her,
Souls that hear not her word in vain,
Earth beside her and heaven above her
Seem but shadows that wax and wane.
Softer than sleep's are the sea's caresses,
Kinder than love's that betrays and blesses,
Blither than spring's when her flowerful tresses
Shake forth sunlight and shine with rain.

All the strength of the waves that perish
Swells beneath me and laughs and sighs,
Sighs for love of the life they cherish,
Laughs to know that it lives and dies,
Dies for joy of its life, and lives
Thrilled with joy that its brief death gives -
Death whose laugh or whose breath forgives
Change that bids it subside and rise.

II
Hard and heavy, remote but nearing,
Sunless hangs the severe sky's weight,
Cloud on cloud, though the wind be veering
Heaped on high to the sundawn's gate.
Dawn and even and noon are one,
Veiled with vapour and void of sun;
Nought in sight or in fancied hearing
Now less mighty than time or fate.

The grey sky gleams and the grey seas glimmer,
Pale and sweet as a dream's delight,
As a dream's where darkness and light seem dimmer,
Touched by dawn or subdued by night.
The dark wind, stern and sublime and sad,
Swings the rollers to westward, clad
With lustrous shadow that lures the swimmer,
Lures and lulls him with dreams of light.

Light, and sleep, and delight, and wonder,
Change, and rest, and a charm of cloud,
Fill the world of the skies whereunder
Heaves and quivers and pants aloud
All the world of the waters, hoary
Now, but clothed with its own live glory,
That mates the lightning and mocks the thunder
With light more living and word more proud.

III
Far off westward, whither sets the sounding strife,
Strife more sweet than peace, of shoreless waves whose glee
Scorns the shore and loves the wind that leaves them free,
Strange as sleep and pale as death and fair as life,
Shifts the moonlight-coloured sunshine on the sea.

Toward the sunset's goal the sunless waters crowd,
Fast as autumn days toward winter: yet it seems
Here that autumn wanes not, here that woods and streams
Lose not heart and change not likeness, chilled and bowed,
Warped and wrinkled: here the days are fair as dreams.

IV
O russet-robed November,
What ails thee so to smile?
Chill August, pale September,
Endured a woful while,
And fell as falls an ember
From forth a flameless pile:
But golden-girt November
Bids all she looks on smile.

The lustrous foliage, waning
As wanes the morning moon,
Here falling, here refraining,
Outbraves the pride of June
With statelier semblance, feigning
No fear lest death be soon:
As though the woods thus waning
Should wax to meet the moon.

As though, when fields lie stricken
By grey December's breath,
These lordlier growths that sicken
And die for fear of death
Should feel the sense requicken
That hears what springtide saith
And thrills for love, spring-stricken
And pierced with April's breath.

The keen white-winged north-easter
That stings and spurs thy sea
Doth yet but feed and feast her
With glowing sense of glee:
Calm chained her, storm released her,
And storm's glad voice was he:
South-wester or north-easter,
Thy winds rejoice the sea.

V
A dream, a dream is it all - the season,
The sky, the water, the wind, the shore?
A day-born dream of divine unreason,
A marvel moulded of sleep - no more?
For the cloudlike wave that my limbs while cleaving
Feel as in slumber beneath them heaving
Soothes the sense as to slumber, leaving
Sense of nought that was known of yore.

A purer passion, a lordlier leisure,
A peace more happy than lives on land,
Fulfils with pulse of diviner pleasure
The dreaming head and the steering hand.
I lean my cheek to the cold grey pillow,
The deep soft swell of the full broad billow,
And close mine eyes for delight past measure,
And wish the wheel of the world would stand.

The wild-winged hour that we fain would capture
Falls as from heaven that its light feet clomb,
So brief, so soft, and so full the rapture
Was felt that soothed me with sense of home.
To sleep, to swim, and to dream, for ever -
Such joy the vision of man saw never;
For here too soon will a dark day sever
The sea-bird's wing from the sea-wave's foam.

A dream, and more than a dream, and dimmer
At once and brighter than dreams that flee,
The moment's joy of the seaward swimmer
Abides, remembered as truth may be.
Not all the joy and not all the glory
Must fade as leaves when the woods wax hoary;
For there the downs and the sea-banks glimmer,
And here to south of them swells the sea.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne.

The Cavern By The Sea

The tropical islands of Tonga
In the Southern Pacific sea lie
Like fragments of cool rainbow color
Dropped down from the melting blue sky.

They are gardens of clustering palm trees
Of creepers and tall waving fronds,
Flowers, colored by sunshine and sea-breeze,
Fruits, painted by tropical dawns.

In these beautiful islands of Tonga
Dwelt a chieftain, young, stalwart and brave,
Who dived like a fish in the ocean
And rose with the foam on the wave.

One morning while swimming and diving
He ventured so deep by the shore
That he rose in a wonderful cavern
Which had never been heard of before.

A cavern that no one could enter
But by diving deep down in the sea,
And stalactites hung from the center
And sides of its arched canopy.

No sunbeam illumined its arches,
No moonbeam lay on its stone floor,
Its pale pensive light was reflected
From the depths of its watery door.

Bright sea-shells and fragments of coral
And seaweed in chaplet and spray
Cast up by the waves' angry quarrel
In ledges and crevices lay.

The chieftain, transfixed in his wonder,
Gazed long with his dark eager eyes,
Like a warrior rejoiced o'er his plunder
He spoke to his wonderful prize.

'Thou art mine, O my beautiful palace!
No other my secret shall know,
My refuge from envy and malice,
I tell not my friend of my foe;

For a secret revealed to a brother
That hour is a secret no more,
One wave whispers low to another
And the surges speak loud on the shore.'

There was silence once more in the cavern
Then a splashing of sea-foam and wave
And the daring young chief of the Tonga
Rose up from his submarine cave.

Time passed and a ryler tyrannic
Reigned over the peaceful domain,
So cruel was he that a panic
Spread over the isles in his reign.

One chief planned a great insurrection
And well were his secret plans laid
When the news spread in every direction
That the deeply laid scheme was betrayed.

And he who had planned insurrection
And all of his family with him
Were sentenced to speedy destruction
By the dreadful, tyrannical king.

This chief had a beautiful daughter
Betrothed to a chief of high rank,
Like a great stone cast into the water
At the dread news her happy heart sank.

The youth who discovered the cavern
Had long loved the damsel in vain,
So he brought her the news of her danger
Which inspired him with hope once again.

He begged her to trust him to save her,
Though his terrible peril he knew
Naught but hope of their safety he gave her
As they fled in their little canoe.

On the way he described the lone cavern,
The place of their hasty retreat,
'Till he paused where the rocks towerd above them
And told her to lay at her feet.

With warcries the island resounded
'Till the birds hushed their songs in affright
Then a yell as of victory sounded;
Had the dread king discovered their flight?

Dim forms on the shore became clearer,
Then the splashing of heavy canoes
Just behind sounded nearer and nearer,
They had not a moment to lose.

These women can swim like the mermaids
And dive like the fish in the sea;
So the young chief sprang into the water
'Follow me.'

Down, down through the shadowy water,
With her hair streaming out on the tide,
Sank the great chieftain's beautiful daughter
With the young island chief at her side.

A splashing of waves and then silence,
By the gray rock an empty canoe;
And they rose in the wonderful cavern
That none but the young chieftain knew.

It was fifty feet high at the center
And the widest part, fifty feet wide;
What foeman could ever there enter
To harm the young maid or her guide?

And here the chief hid his brave lady
'Till the angry king gave up the chase
In the great cavern, silent and shady,
Lit but by the sea and her face.

And here to her palace he carried
Costly clothing, food, mats and perfume,
And none knew what treasure was buried
In the great cavern's silence and gloom.

And here by his kindness and daring
His love to the maiden he proved
And won for his bride the fair damsel
Whom long without hope he had wooed.

Meanwhile he prepared for a voyage
With all of his tribe to depart
From the land of a cruel oppressor,
The islands still dear to his heart.

At last they embarked all in safety
Unknown to the treacherous king,
He told them to wait in the shadow
And his bride from the sea he would bring.

He dived at the foot of the boulder,
His wondering tribe waited amazed
And half (each astonished beholder)
Believed that the chieftain was crazed.

Alarmed at his long disappearance
His people began to deplore,
O, surely the young chief had perished!
And they waited in fear by the shore.

A sound like the rushing of water,
A sparkling of foam from the tide
And the gallant young chief of the Tongas
Rose up from the sea with his bride.

Her dark hair streamed over the water,
Her eyes shone like stars in the blue;
And the dead chieftain's beautiful daughter
Was safe in her waiting canoe.

In a far distant kingdom they rested
'Till the cruel oppressor was dead,
Then returned to their homes unmolested
Where a better king reigned in his stead.

And long in their palm islands, shady
Dwelt the chieftain, so noble and brave,
With his tribe, and his beautiful lady
Whom he hid in the deep ocean cave.

by Martha Lavinia Hoffman.

La Géante (The Giantess)

Du temps que la Nature en sa verve puissante
Concevait chaque jour des enfants monstrueux,
J'eusse aimé vivre auprès d'une jeune géante,
Comme aux pieds d'une reine un chat voluptueux.

J'eusse aimé voir son corps fleurir avec son âme
Et grandir librement dans ses terribles jeux;
Deviner si son coeur couve une sombre flamme
Aux humides brouillards qui nagent dans ses yeux;

Parcourir à loisir ses magnifiques formes;
Ramper sur le versant de ses genoux énormes,
Et parfois en été, quand les soleils malsains,

Lasse, la font s'étendre à travers la campagne,
Dormir nonchalamment à l'ombre de ses seins,
Comme un hameau paisible au pied d'une montagne.

The Giantess

At the time when Nature with a lusty spirit
Was conceiving monstrous children each day,
I should have liked to live near a young giantess,
Like a voluptuous cat at the feet of a queen.

I should have liked to see her soul and body thrive
And grow without restraint in her terrible games;
To divine by the mist swimming within her eyes
If her heart harbored a smoldering flame;

To explore leisurely her magnificent form;
To crawl upon the slopes of her enormous knees,
And sometimes in summer, when the unhealthy sun

Makes her stretch out, weary, across the countryside,
To sleep nonchalantly in the shade of her breasts,
Like a peaceful hamlet below a mountainside.


— Translated by William Aggeler

The Giantess

Of old when Nature, in her verve defiant,
Conceived each day some birth of monstrous mien,
I would have lived near some young female giant
Like a voluptuous cat beside a queen;

To see her body flowering with her soul
Freely develop in her mighty games,
And in the mists that through her gaze would roll
Guess that her heart was hatching sombre flames;

To roam her mighty contours as I please,
Ramp on the cliff of her tremendous knees,
And in the solstice, when the suns that kill

Make her stretch out across the land and rest,
To sleep beneath the shadow of her breast
Like a hushed village underneath a hill.


— Translated by Roy Campbell

The Giantess

In times of old when Nature in her glad excess
Brought forth such living marvels as no more are seen,
I should have loved to dwell with a young giantess,
Like a voluptuous cat about the feet of a queen;

To run and laugh beside her in her terrible games,
And see her grow each day to a more fearful size,
And see the flowering of her soul, and the first flames
Of passionate longing in the misty depths of her eyes;

To scale the slopes of her huge knees, explore at will
The hollows and the heights of her — and when, oppressed
By the long afternoons of summer, cloudless and still,

She would stretch out across the countryside to rest,
I should have loved to sleep in the shadow of her breast,
Quietly as a village nestling under a hill.


— Translated by George Dillon

The Giantess

In times when Nature, lusty to excess,
Bred monstrous children, would that I had been
Living beside a youthful giantess,
Like a voluptuous cat beside a queen;
To see her soul and body gain full size
Blossoming freely in her fearsome games,
And by the damp mists swimming in her eyes
To watch her heart nursing what somber flames!

To roam her mighty form at my sweet ease,
To crawl along the slopes of her vast knees,
And, summers, when the sun's unhealthy heats
Made her sprawl, tired, across the countryside
To sleep at leisure, shaded by her teats,
Like a calm hamlet by the mountainside.


— Translated by Jacques LeClercq

Giantess

When Nature once in lustful hot undress
Conceived gargantuan offspring, then would I
Have loved to live near a young giantess,
Like a voluptuous cat at a queen's feet.

To see her body flower with her desire
And freely spread out in its dreadful play,
Guess if her heart concealed some heavy fire
Whose humid smokes would swim upon her eye.

To feel at leisure her stupendous shapes,
Crawl on the cliffs of her enormous knees,
And, when in summer the unhealthy suns

Have stretched her out across the plains, fatigued,
Sleep in the shadows of her breasts at ease
Like a small hamlet at a mountain's base.


— Translated by Karl Shapiro

La Géante

From the time when Nature in her furious fancy
Conceived each day monstrosities obscene,
I had loved to live near a young Giantess of Necromancy,
Like a voluptuous cat before the knees of a Queen.

I had loved to see her body mix with her Soul's shame
And greaten in these terrible games of Vice,
And to divine if in her heart brooded a somber flame,
Before the moist sea-mists which swarm in her great eyes;

To wander over her huge forms — nature deforms us —
And to crawl over the slopes of her knees enormous,
And in summer when the unwholesome suns from the West's

Winds, weary, made her slumber hard by a fountain,
To sleep listlessly in the shadow of her superb breasts,
Like an hamlet that slumbers at the foot of a mountain.


— Translated by Arthur Symons

The Giantess

In those times when Nature in powerful zest
Conceived each day monstrous children,
I would have loved to live near a young giantess,
A voluptuous cat at the feet of a queen.

I would have loved to see her body flower with her soul,
To grow up freely in her prodigious play;
To find if her heart bred some dark flame
Amongst the humid mists swimming in her eyes;

To run leisurely over her marvelous lines;
To creep along the slopes of her enormous knees,
And sometimes in summer, when impure suns

Made her wearily stretch out across the countryside,
To sleep carelessly in the shadow of her breasts,
Like a peaceful village at the foot of a mountain.


--Translated by Geoffrey Wagner

by Charles Baudelaire.

’TWAS night—and where a watery sound
Came moaning up the Flat,
Six rude and bearded stockmen round
Their blazing hut-fire sat,
And laughed as on some starting hound
The cracking fuel spat.

And merrier still the log-fire cracks
As night the darker falls,
While not a noisy tongue there lacks
To tell of drunken brawls,
But most of battle with the Blacks
Some bloody tale appals.

Amongst them then Ned Connor spoke,
And up his form he drew:—
What is there in an open stroke
To boast of? You but slew
Those who’d have done, each hell-black one,
The same or worse to you.

But lost among the hills, one day,
Which then was well nigh shut,
I met a Black upon my way,
And thus the matter put
Unto him:—“See! this knife’s for thee,
Come, guide me to my hut.”

His savage eyes grew huge with joy
As on the prize they bent,
And leading, even like a boy
He capered as he went:
But think you, men, to give the toy
Ned Connor ever meant?

An hour had brought us many a mile
And then, as closed the day,
The savage pointed with a smile,
To where my Station lay:
“There! give to me the knife,” said he,
“And let me go my way.”

I never meant that he should touch
The thing, as I have said,
And when he stretched his hand to clutch,
A thought came in my head:
I raised my gun, as though in fun—
I fired —— and he was dead!

The ruffian laughed in his pitiless mood
When ended thus his tale,
But all the rest though men of blood,
With horror seemed to quail,
And saw though he stood boastfully
That Connor too was pale:

For through the moaning of the trees
He seemed to hear the sound
Of his own laughter in the breeze
Keep roaming out till drowned
In wild and bitter mockeries
Up-answering from the ground.

Now what to hear had made them fear,
Had also made them dry:
But strange! the water-pail that late
Brimm’d in the corner nigh
Was empty! In amazement great
There’s not a drop, they cry!

Their thirst grew bitter and they said
Come, this will never do!
It is your turn for water, Ned,
Then why not go? He drew
Full hard his breath and from his head
There dripped a sudden dew.

But shaming to be taxed with fear,
He seized the pail and said
What care I? Though the night be drear,
Who ever saw the dead?
And if I fail to fill this pail,
The devil shall, instead.

He sallied forth. A sudden blast
Went sobbing by the door,
Through which they heard his footsteps fast
Recede—and when no more
They heard them, round the fire aghast
They gathered as before.

“I would not go alone to-night
The way that he is gone,”
Said one, “for all the gold my sight
Hath ever fallen upon:
To slay that creature was not right,
I’d say’t were he my son!”

And now impatient all and wild
They wondered at his stay,
Till one outspake: “A weanling child
Could not make more delay:
If longer slack in coming back,
He’ll bring with him the day.”

But while they thus were wondering—hark!
They hear a frantic shriek,
Then nearing footsteps through the dark,
Come waywardly and weak:
And as the dogs did howl and bark,
They stared but feared to speak.

Against the door, that to had swung,
One rushed then and ’twas split;
’Twas Connor! who amid them sprung
And fell into a fit:
And long that night in ghastly plight,
He struggled there in it.

And when his sense returned—again
The sun was rising bright,
But shuddering as in mental pain
He turned him from the light,
And pointing, said—“To bed! to bed!
For Death is in my sight!”

They bore him to his bed straightway,
Those horror-stricken men,
And questioned him as there he lay,
Of what had met his ken:
Within himself he seemed to pray,
And thus bespake them then:—

“I went (you heard), with impious boast
For water to the brook,
But when the threshold I had crost,
All strength my heart forsook;
Each forward step seemed fate—but most
I feared behind to look.

Long murky clouds were hurrying fast
Across the starless sky,
Strange sounds came drowning up the blast
That piped by fits so high:
A winding gleam, and lo! the stream
Went wildly moaning by.

I knew not why, but it struck mine eye
With a dull damp sense of awe,
And bankward densely crawling by,
Crude Shapes methought I saw!
But I must not back, I said, alack!
But down at once and draw.

Now standing at the water’s edge,
Mine eyes thereon I threw,
And, lo! distinctly through the sedge,
What is it there I view?—
Not mine own shadow from the ledge,
But him!—the Black I slew!

’Twas no delusion! There he stood
Within the gleaming brook,
The same as when I shed his blood,
His stature and his look,
Even to the dread accusing shade
His dying aspect took!

With backward bound I started round
And up the bank did flee,
But, ah! as swiftly in my track
Bare footfalls seemed to be!
Step, step, for mine, close at my back
I heard, but nought could see!

It was a horrible thing to hear
Behind me still the sound
I could not bear to have it there,
And desperate, faced me round,
When through the dark a sudden spark
Shot upward from the ground!

Staggered as with a stunning stroke
I could not turn again,
But saw whence came the spark, a smoke
Arise—I saw it plain,
And from it an earthy odour broke
That bit me to the brain!

At first I saw it bloating out
In size not o’er a span,
Then as it slowly wreathed about
To heighten it began,
Until it took in bulk and look
The stature of a man!

No stir was near—I might but hear
The beating of my blood
And there within my reach almost,
The horrid Phantom stood!
I stared till fear in fear was lost
So awful was my mood.

I spoke—I know not what—and lo!
The diabolic birth
’Gan wildly writhing to and fro
As if in ghostly mirth
And then against me rushing so,
It dashed me to the earth!

Mine eyes flashed out with sputtering flame—
The ground kept swimming fast—
And roaming round about there came
Wild laughter in the blast!
A moment—and then all was tame,
Forgotten, painless, past.

At length my brain began to swim
As consciousness regrew,
But when with eyeballs strained and dim,
I looked again—I knew
A form stood o’er me, it was him,—
The savage that I slew!

I shrieked, and bounding to my feet,
I fled, but as before,
Bare footsteps tracked me beat for beat
With mine, even to the door:
What then befel I cannot tell—
I know of nothing more!”

He ceased and turning in his bed,
Aloud for mercy cried,
And for three days and nights, ’tis said,
He uttered nought beside;
When raving out with sudden dread,
The haunted Murderer died.

The fearful men around him then,
Each one of them did say,
It was a damn’ed wrong in Ned,
The savage so to slay,
And where he said he saw the dead,
They buried him next day.

by Charles Harpur.

Forest And Field

I
GREEN, watery jets of light let through
The rippling foliage drenched with dew;
And golden glimmers, warm and dim,
That in the vistaed distance swim;
Where, 'round the wood-spring's oozy urn,
The limp, loose fronds of forest fern
Trail like the tresses, green and wet,
A wood-nymph binds with violet.
O'er rocks that bulge and roots that knot
The emerald-amber mosses clot;
From matted walls of brier and brush
The eider nods its plumes of plush;
And, Argus-eyed with many a bloom,
The wild-rose breathes its wild perfume;
May-apples, ripening yellow, lean
With oblong fruit, a lemon-green,
Near Indian-turnips, long of stem,
That bear an acorn-oval gem,
As if some woodland Bacchus there,—
While braiding locks of hyacinth hair
With ivy-tod,—had idly tost
His thyrsus down and so had lost:
And blood-root, that from scarlet wombs
Puts forth, in spring, its milk-white blooms,
That then like starry footsteps shine
Of April under beech and pine;
At which the gnarled eyes of trees
Stare, big as Fauns' at Dryades,
That bend above a fountain's spar
As white and naked as a star.
The stagnant stream flows sleepily
Thick with its lily-pads; the bee,—
All honey-drunk, a Bassarid,—
Booms past the mottled toad, that, hid
In calamus-plants and blue-eyed grass,
Beside the water's pooling glass,
Silenus-like, eyes stolidly
The Mænad-glittering dragonfly.
And pennyroyal and peppermint
Pour dry-hot odours without stint
From fields and banks of many streams;
And in their scent one almost seems
To see Demeter pass, her breath
Sweet with her triumph over death.—
A haze of floating saffron; sound
Of shy, crisp creepings o'er the ground;
The dip and stir of twig and leaf;
Tempestuous gusts of spices brief
Borne over bosks of sassafras
By winds that foot it on the grass;
Sharp, sudden songs and whisperings,
That hint at untold hidden things—
Pan and Sylvanus who of old
Kept sacred each wild wood and wold.
A wily light beneath the trees
Quivers and dusks with every breeze—
A Hamadryad, haply, who,—
Culling her morning meal of dew
From frail, accustomed cups of flowers,—
Now sees some Satyr in the bowers,
Or hears his goat-hoof snapping press
Some brittle branch, and in distress
Shrinks back; her dark, dishevelled hair
Veiling her limbs one instant there.

II
Down precipices of the dawn
The rivers of the day are drawn,
The soundless torrents, free and far,
Of gold that deluge every star.
There is a sound of brooks and wings
That fills the woods with carollings;
And, dashed on moss and flow'r and fern,
And leaves, that quiver, breathe and burn,
Rose-radiance smites the solitudes,
The dew-drenched hills, the dripping woods,
That twitter as with canticles
Of shade and light; and wind, that smells
Of flowers, and buds, and boisterous bees,
Delirious honey, and wet trees.—
Through briers that trip them, one by one,
With swinging pails, that take the sun,
A troop of girls comes—berriers,
Whose bare feet glitter where they pass
Through dewdrop-trembling tufts of grass.
And, oh! their laughter and their cheers
Wake Echo 'mid her shrubby rocks
Who, answering, from her mountain mocks
With rapid fairy horns; as if
Each mossy vale and weedy cliff
Had its imperial Oberon,
Who, seeking his Titania, hid
In coverts caverned from the sun,
In kingly wrath had called and chid.
Cloud-feathers, oozing orange light,
Make rich the Indian locks of night;
Her dusky waist with sultry gold
Girdled and buckled fold on fold.
One star. A sound of bleating flocks.
Great shadows stretched along the rocks,
Like giant curses overthrown
By some Arthurian champion.
Soft-swimming sorceries of mist
That streak blue glens with amethyst.
And, tinkling in the clover dells,
The twilight sound of cattle-bells.
And where the marsh in reed and grass
Burns, angry as a shattered glass,
The flies make golden blurs, that shine
Like drops of amber-scattered wine
Spun high by reeling Bacchanals,
When Bacchus wreathes his curling hair
With vine-leaves, and from every lair
His worshippers around him calls.
They come, they come, a happy throng,
The berriers with gibe and song;
Their pails brimmed black to tin-bright eaves
With luscious fruit, kept cool with leaves
Of aromatic sassafras;
'Twixt which some sparkling berry slips,
Like laughter, from the purple mass,
Wine-swollen as Silenus' lips.

III
The tanned and tired noon climbs high
Up burning reaches of the sky;
Below the drowsy belts of pines
The rock-ledged river foams and shines;
And over rainless hill and dell
Is blown the harvest's sultry smell:
While, in the fields, one sees and hears
The brawny-throated harvesters,—
Their red brows beaded with the heat,—
By twos and threes among the wheat
Flash their hot scythes; behind them press
The binders—men and maids that sing
Like some mad troop of piping Pan;—
While all the hillsides swoon and ring
Such sounds of Ariel airiness
As haunted freckled Caliban.
'O ho! O ho! 'tis noon I say.
The roses blow.
Away, away, above the hay,
To the tune o' the bees the roses sway;
The love-songs that they hum all day,
So low! So low!
The roses' Minnesingers they.'
Up velvet lawns of lilac skies
The tawny moon begins to rise
Behind low, blue-black hills of trees,—
As rises up, in Siren seas,
To rock in purple deeps, hip-hid,
A virgin-bosomed Oceanid.—
Gaunt shadows crouch by tree and scaur,
Like shaggy Satyrs waiting for
The moonbeam Nymphs, the Dryads white,
That take with loveliness the night,
And glorify it with their love.
The sweet, far notes I hear, I hear,
Beyond dim pines and mellow ways,
The song of some fair harvester,
The lovely Limnad of the grove,
Whose singing charms me while it slays.
'O deep! O deep! the earth and air
Are sunk in sleep.
Adieu to care! Now everywhere
Is rest; and by the old oak there
The maiden with the nut-brown hair
Doth keep, doth keep
Tryst with her lover the young and fair.'

IV
Like Atalanta's spheres of gold,
Within the orchard, apples rolled
From sudden hands of boughs that lay
Their leaves, like palms, against the day;
And near them pears of rusty brown
Lay bruised; and peaches, pink with down,
And furry as the ears of Pan,
Or, like Diana's cheeks, a tan
Beneath which burnt a tender fire;
Or wan as Psyche's with desire.
And down the orchard vistas,—young,
A hickory basket by him swung,
A straw-hat, 'gainst the sloping sun
Drawn brim-broad o'er his face,—he strode;
As if he looked to find some one,
His eyes far-fixed beyond the road.
Before him, like a living burr,
Rattled the noisy grasshopper.
And where the cows' melodious bells
Trailed music up and down the dells,
Beside the spring, that o'er the ground
Went whimpering like a fretful hound,
He saw her waiting, fair and slim,
Her pail forgotten there, for him.
Yellow as sunset skies and pale
As fairy clouds that stay or sail
Through azure vaults of summer, blue
As summer heavens, the wildflowers grew;
And blossoms on which spurts of light
Fell laughing, like the lips one might
Feign for a Hebe, or a girl
Whose mouth is laughter-lit with pearl.
Long ferns, in murmuring masses heaped;
And mosses. moist, in beryl steeped
And musk aromas of the wood
And silence of the solitude:
And everything that near her blew
The spring had showered thick with dew.—
Across the rambling fence she leaned,
Her fresh, round arms all white and bare;
Her artless beauty, bonnet-screened,
Rich-coloured with its auburn hair.
A wood-thrush gurgled in a vine—
Ah! 'tis his step, 'tis he she hears;
The wild-rose smelt like some rare wine—
He comes, ah, yes! 'tis he who nears.
And her brown eyes and all her face
Said welcome. And with rustic grace
He leant beside her; and they had
Some talk with youthful laughter glad:
I know not what; I know but this
Its final period was a kiss.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The Kalevala - Rune Vi

WAINAMOINEN'S HAPLESS JOURNEY.


Wainamoinen, old and truthful,
Now arranges for a journey
To the village of the Northland,
To the land of cruel winters,
To the land of little sunshine,
To the land of worthy women;
Takes his light-foot, royal racer,
Then adjusts the golden bridle,
Lays upon his back the saddle,
Silver-buckled, copper-stirruped,
Seats himself upon his courser,
And begins his journey northward;
Plunges onward, onward, onward,
Galloping along the highway,
In his saddle, gaily fashioned,
On his dappled steed of magic,
Plunging through Wainola's meadows,
O'er the plains of Kalevala.
Fast and far he galloped onward,
Galloped far beyond Wainola,
Bounded o'er the waste of waters,
Till he reached the blue-sea's margin,
Wetting not the hoofs in running.
But the evil Youkahainen
Nursed a grudge within his bosom,
In his heart the worm of envy,
Envy of this Wainamoinen,
Of this wonderful enchanter.
He prepares a cruel cross-bow,
Made of steel and other metals,
Paints the bow in many colors,
Molds the top-piece out or copper,
Trims his bow with snowy silver,
Gold he uses too in trimming,
Then he hunts for strongest sinews,
Finds them in the stag of Hisi,
Interweaves the flax of Lempo.
Ready is the cruel cross-bow,
String, and shaft, and ends are finished,
Beautiful the bow and mighty,
Surely cost it not a trifle;
On the back a painted courser,
On each end a colt of beauty,
Near the curve a maiden sleeping
Near the notch a hare is bounding,
Wonderful the bow thus fashioned;
Cuts some arrows for his quiver,
Covers them with finest feathers,
From the oak the shafts be fashions,
Makes the tips of keenest metal.
As the rods and points are finished,
Then he feathers well his arrows
From the plumage of the swallow,
From the wing-quills of the sparrow;
Hardens well his feathered arrows,
And imparts to each new virtues,
Steeps them in the blood of serpents,
In the virus of the adder.
Ready now are all his arrows,
Ready strung, his cruel cross-bow.
Waiting for wise Wainamoinen.
Youkahainen, Lapland's minstrel,
Waits a long time, is not weary,
Hopes to spy the ancient singer;
Spies at day-dawn, spies at evening,
Spies he ceaselessly at noontide,
Lies in wait for the magician,
Waits, and watches, as in envy;
Sits he at the open window,
Stands behind the hedge, and watches
In the foot-path waits, and listens,
Spies along the balks of meadows;
On his back he hangs his quiver,
In his quiver, feathered arrows
Dipped in virus of the viper,
On his arm the mighty cross-bow,
Waits, and watches, and unwearied,
Listens from the boat-house window,
Lingers at the end of Fog-point,
By the river flowing seaward,
Near the holy stream and whirlpool,
Near the sacred river's fire-fall.
Finally the Lapland minstrel,
Youkahainen of Pohyola,
At the breaking of the day-dawn,
At the early hour of morning,
Fixed his gaze upon the North-east,
Turned his eyes upon the sunrise,
Saw a black cloud on the ocean,
Something blue upon the waters,
And soliloquized as follows:
'Are those clouds on the horizon,
Or perchance the dawn of morning?
Neither clouds on the horizon,
Nor the dawning of the morning;
It is ancient Wainamoinen,
The renowned and wise enchanter,
Riding on his way to Northland;
On his steed, the royal racer,
Magic courser of Wainola.'
Quickly now young Youkahainen,
Lapland's vain and evil minstrel,
Filled with envy, grasps his cross-bow,
Makes his bow and arrows ready
For the death of Wainamoinen.
Quick his aged mother asked him,
Spake these words to Youkahainen:
'For whose slaughter is thy cross-bow,
For whose heart thy poisoned arrows?'
Youkahainen thus made answer:
'I have made this mighty cross-bow,
Fashioned bow and poisoned arrows
For the death of Wainamoinen,
Thus to slay the friend of waters;
I must shoot the old magician,
The eternal bard and hero,
Through the heart, and through the liver,
Through the head, and through the shoulders,
With this bow and feathered arrows
Thus destroy my rival minstrel.'
Then the aged mother answered,
Thus reproving, thus forbidding.
Do not slay good Wainamoinen,
Ancient hero of the Northland,
From a noble tribe descended,
He, my sister's son, my nephew.
If thou slayest Wainamoinen,
Ancient son of Kalevala,
Then alas! all joy will vanish,
Perish all our wondrous singing;
Better on the earth the gladness,
Better here the magic music,
Than within the nether regions,
In the kingdom of Tuoni,
In the realm of the departed,
In the land of the hereafter.'
Then the youthful Youkahainen
Thought awhile and well considered,
Ere he made a final answer.
With one hand he raised the cross-bow
But the other seemed to weaken,
As he drew the cruel bow-string.
Finally these words he uttered
As his bosom swelled with envy:
'Let all joy forever vanish,
Let earth's pleasures quickly perish,
Disappear earth's sweetest music,
Happiness depart forever;
Shoot I will this rival minstrel,
Little heeding what the end is.'
Quickly now he bends his fire-bow,
On his left knee rests the weapon,
With his right foot firmly planted,
Thus he strings his bow of envy;
Takes three arrows from his quiver,
Choosing well the best among them,
Carefully adjusts the bow-string,
Sets with care the feathered arrow,
To the flaxen string he lays it,
Holds the cross-bow to his shoulder,
Aiming well along the margin,
At the heart of Wainamoinen,
Waiting till he gallops nearer;
In the shadow of a thicket,
Speaks these words while he is waiting
'Be thou, flaxen string, elastic;
Swiftly fly, thou feathered ash-wood,
Swiftly speed, thou deadly missile,
Quick as light, thou poisoned arrow,
To the heart of Wainamoinen.
If my hand too low should hold thee,
May the gods direct thee higher;
If too high mine eye should aim thee,
May the gods direct thee lower.'
Steady now he pulls the trigger;
Like the lightning flies the arrow
O'er the head of Wainamoinen;
To the upper sky it darteth,
And the highest clouds it pierces,
Scatters all the flock of lamb-clouds,
On its rapid journey skyward.
Not discouraged, quick selecting,
Quick adjusting, Youkahainen,
Quickly aiming shoots a second.
Speeds the arrow swift as lightning;
Much too low he aimed the missile,
Into earth the arrow plunges,
Pierces to the lower regions,
Splits in two the old Sand Mountain.
Nothing daunted, Youkahainen,
Quick adjusting shoots a third one.
Swift as light it speeds its journey,
Strikes the steed of Wainamoinen,
Strikes the light-foot, ocean-swimmer,
Strikes him near his golden girdle,
Through the shoulder of the racer.
Thereupon wise Wainamoinen
Headlong fell upon the waters,
Plunged beneath the rolling billows,
From the saddle of the courser,
From his dappled steed of magic.
Then arose a mighty storm-wind,
Roaring wildly on the waters,
Bore away old Wainamoinen
Far from land upon the billows,
On the high and rolling billows,
On the broad sea's great expanses.
Boasted then young Youkahainen,
Thinking Waino dead and buried,
These the boastful words be uttered:
'Nevermore, old Wainamoinen,
Nevermore in all thy life-time,
While the golden moonlight glistens,
Nevermore wilt fix thy vision
On the meadows of Wainola,
On the plains of Kalevala;
Full six years must swim the ocean,
Tread the waves for seven summers,
Eight years ride the foamy billows,
In the broad expanse of water;
Six long autumns as a fir-tree,
Seven winters as a pebble;
Eight long summers as an aspen.'
Thereupon the Lapland minstrel
Hastened to his room delighting,
When his mother thus addressed him
'Hast thou slain good Wainamoinen,
Slain the son of Kalevala?'
Youkahainen thus made answer:
'I have slain old Wainamoinen,
Slain the son of Kalevala,
That he now may plow the ocean,
That he now may sweep the waters,
On the billows rock and slumber.
In the salt-sea plunged he headlong,
In the deep sank the magician,
Sidewise turned he to the sea-shore
On his back to rock forever,
Thus the boundless sea to travel,
Thus to ride the rolling billows.'
This the answer of the mother:
'Woe to earth for this thine action,
Gone forever, joy and singing,
Vanished is the wit of ages!
Thou hast slain good Wainamoinen.
Slain the ancient wisdom-singer,
Slain the pride of Suwantala,
Slain the hero of Wainola,
Slain the joy of Kalevala.'

by Elias Lönnrot.

The Strayed Reveller

The Youth

Faster, faster,
O Circe, Goddess,
Let the wild, thronging train
The bright procession
Of eddying forms,
Sweep through my soul!
Thou standest, smiling
Down on me! thy right arm,
Lean'd up against the column there,
Props thy soft cheek;
Thy left holds, hanging loosely,
The deep cup, ivy-cinctured,
I held but now.
Is it, then, evening
So soon? I see, the night-dews,
Cluster'd in thick beads, dim
The agate brooch-stones
On thy white shoulder;
The cool night-wind, too,
Blows through the portico,
Stirs thy hair, Goddess,
Waves thy white robe!


Circe.

Whence art thou, sleeper?


The Youth.

When the white dawn first
Through the rough fir-planks
Of my hut, by the chestnuts,
Up at the valley-head,
Came breaking, Goddess!
I sprang up, I threw round me
My dappled fawn-skin;
Passing out, from the wet turf,
Where they lay, by the hut door,
I snatch'd up my vine-crown, my fir-staff,
All drench'd in dew-
Came swift down to join
The rout early gather'd
In the town, round the temple,
Iacchus' white fane
On yonder hill.
Quick I pass'd, following
The wood-cutters' cart-track
Down the dark valley;-I saw
On my left, through the beeches,
Thy palace, Goddess,
Smokeless, empty!
Trembling, I enter'd; beheld
The court all silent,
The lions sleeping,
On the altar this bowl.
I drank, Goddess!
And sank down here, sleeping,
On the steps of thy portico.


Circe.

Foolish boy! Why tremblest thou?
Thou lovest it, then, my wine?
Wouldst more of it? See, how glows,
Through the delicate, flush'd marble,
The red, creaming liquor,
Strown with dark seeds!
Drink, thee! I chide thee not,
Deny thee not my bowl.
Come, stretch forth thy hand, thee-so!
Drink-drink again!


The Youth.

Thanks, gracious one!
Ah, the sweet fumes again!
More soft, ah me,
More subtle-winding
Than Pan's flute-music!
Faint-faint! Ah me,
Again the sweet sleep!


Circe.

Hist! Thou-within there!
Come forth, Ulysses!
Art tired with hunting?
While we range the woodland,
See what the day brings.


Ulysses.

Ever new magic!
Hast thou then lured hither,
Wonderful Goddess, by thy art,
The young, languid-eyed Ampelus,
Iacchus' darling-
Or some youth beloved of Pan,
Of Pan and the Nymphs?
That he sits, bending downward
His white, delicate neck
To the ivy-wreathed marge
Of thy cup; the bright, glancing vine-leaves
That crown his hair,
Falling forward, mingling
With the dark ivy-plants--
His fawn-skin, half untied,
Smear'd with red wine-stains? Who is he,
That he sits, overweigh'd
By fumes of wine and sleep,
So late, in thy portico?
What youth, Goddess,-what guest
Of Gods or mortals?


Circe.

Hist! he wakes!
I lured him not hither, Ulysses.
Nay, ask him!


The Youth.

Who speaks' Ah, who comes forth
To thy side, Goddess, from within?
How shall I name him?
This spare, dark-featured,
Quick-eyed stranger?
Ah, and I see too
His sailor's bonnet,
His short coat, travel-tarnish'd,
With one arm bare!--
Art thou not he, whom fame
This long time rumours
The favour'd guest of Circe, brought by the waves?
Art thou he, stranger?
The wise Ulysses,
Laertes' son?


Ulysses.

I am Ulysses.
And thou, too, sleeper?
Thy voice is sweet.
It may be thou hast follow'd
Through the islands some divine bard,
By age taught many things,
Age and the Muses;
And heard him delighting
The chiefs and people
In the banquet, and learn'd his songs.
Of Gods and Heroes,
Of war and arts,
And peopled cities,
Inland, or built
By the gray sea.-If so, then hail!
I honour and welcome thee.


The Youth.

The Gods are happy.
They turn on all sides
Their shining eyes,
And see below them
The earth and men.
They see Tiresias
Sitting, staff in hand,
On the warm, grassy
Asopus bank,
His robe drawn over
His old sightless head,
Revolving inly
The doom of Thebes.
They see the Centaurs
In the upper glens
Of Pelion, in the streams,
Where red-berried ashes fringe
The clear-brown shallow pools,
With streaming flanks, and heads
Rear'd proudly, snuffing
The mountain wind.
They see the Indian
Drifting, knife in hand,
His frail boat moor'd to
A floating isle thick-matted
With large-leaved, low-creeping melon-plants
And the dark cucumber.
He reaps, and stows them,
Drifting--drifting;--round him,
Round his green harvest-plot,
Flow the cool lake-waves,
The mountains ring them.
They see the Scythian
On the wide stepp, unharnessing
His wheel'd house at noon.
He tethers his beast down, and makes his meal--
Mares' milk, and bread
Baked on the embers;--all around
The boundless, waving grass-plains stretch, thick-starr'd
With saffron and the yellow hollyhock
And flag-leaved iris-flowers.
Sitting in his cart
He makes his meal; before him, for long miles,
Alive with bright green lizards,
And the springing bustard-fowl,
The track, a straight black line,
Furrows the rich soil; here and there
Cluster of lonely mounds
Topp'd with rough-hewn,
Gray, rain-blear'd statues, overpeer
The sunny waste.
They see the ferry
On the broad, clay-laden
Lone Chorasmian stream;--thereon,
With snort and strain,
Two horses, strongly swimming, tow
The ferry-boat, with woven ropes
To either bow
Firm harness'd by the mane; a chief
With shout and shaken spear,
Stands at the prow, and guides them; but astern
The cowering merchants, in long robes,
Sit pale beside their wealth
Of silk-bales and of balsam-drops,
Of gold and ivory,
Of turquoise-earth and amethyst,
Jasper and chalcedony,
And milk-barred onyx-stones.
The loaded boat swings groaning
In the yellow eddies;
The Gods behold him.
They see the Heroes
Sitting in the dark ship
On the foamless, long-heaving
Violet sea.
At sunset nearing
The Happy Islands.
These things, Ulysses,
The wise bards, also
Behold and sing.
But oh, what labour!
O prince, what pain!
They too can see
Tiresias;--but the Gods,
Who give them vision,
Added this law:
That they should bear too
His groping blindness,
His dark foreboding,
His scorn'd white hairs;
Bear Hera's anger
Through a life lengthen'd
To seven ages.
They see the Centaurs
On Pelion:--then they feel,
They too, the maddening wine
Swell their large veins to bursting; in wild pain
They feel the biting spears
Of the grim Lapithæ, and Theseus, drive,
Drive crashing through their bones; they feel
High on a jutting rock in the red stream
Alcmena's dreadful son
Ply his bow;--such a price
The Gods exact for song:
To become what we sing.
They see the Indian
On his mountain lake; but squalls
Make their skiff reel, and worms
In the unkind spring have gnawn
Their melon-harvest to the heart.--They see
The Scythian: but long frosts
Parch them in winter-time on the bare stepp,
Till they too fade like grass; they crawl
Like shadows forth in spring.
They see the merchants
On the Oxus stream;--but care
Must visit first them too, and make them pale.
Whether, through whirling sand,
A cloud of desert robber-horse have burst
Upon their caravan; or greedy kings,
In the wall'd cities the way passes through,
Crush'd them with tolls; or fever-airs,
On some great river's marge,
Mown them down, far from home.
They see the Heroes
Near harbour;--but they share
Their lives, and former violent toil in Thebes,
Seven-gated Thebes, or Troy;
Or where the echoing oars
Of Argo first
Startled the unknown sea.
The old Silenus
Came, lolling in the sunshine,
From the dewy forest-coverts,
This way at noon.
Sitting by me, while his Fauns
Down at the water-side
Sprinkled and smoothed
His drooping garland,
He told me these things.
But I, Ulysses,
Sitting on the warm steps,
Looking over the valley,
All day long, have seen,
Without pain, without labour,
Sometimes a wild-hair'd Mænad--
Sometimes a Faun with torches--
And sometimes, for a moment,
Passing through the dark stems
Flowing-robed, the beloved,
The desired, the divine,
Beloved Iacchus.
Ah, cool night-wind, tremulous stars!
Ah, glimmering water,
Fitful earth-murmur,
Dreaming woods!
Ah, golden-haired, strangely smiling Goddess,
And thou, proved, much enduring,
Wave-toss'd Wanderer!
Who can stand still?
Ye fade, ye swim, ye waver before me--
The cup again!
Faster, faster,
O Circe, Goddess.
Let the wild, thronging train,
The bright procession
Of eddying forms,
Sweep through my soul!

by Matthew Arnold.

I.
HOW beautiful doth the morning rise
O’er the hills, as from her bower a bride
Comes brightened—blushing with the shame-faced pride
Of love that now consummated supplies
All her full heart can wish, and to the eyes
Dear are the flowers then, in their green haunts spied,
Glist ning with dew: pleasant at noon the side
Of shadowy mountains ridging to the skies:
At eve ’tis sweet to hear the breeze advance
Through the responding forest dense and tall;
And sweeter in the moonlight is the dance
And natural music of the waterfall:
And yet we feel not the full charm of all,
Till love be near us with his magic glance.


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


II.
WHY tower my spirits, and what means this wild
Commotion at my heart—this dreamy chase
Of possible joys that glow like stars in space?
Now feel I even to all things reconciled,
As all were one in spirit. Rudely up-piled
Brown hills grow beautiful; a novel grace
Exalts the moorland’s once unmeaning face;
The river that, like a pure mind beguiled,
Grows purer for its errors, and the trees
That fringe its margin with a dusky shade,
Seem robed in fairy wonder; and are these
Exalted thus because with me surveyed
By one sweet sould whom well they seem to please
Here at my side—an almost stranger maid?


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


III.
NOW sunny, as the noontide heavens, are
The eyes of my sweet friend, and now serene
And chastely shadowy in their maiden mien;
Or dream-power, sparkling like a brilliant star
Fills all their blue depths, taking me afar
To where, in the rich past, through song is seen
Some sovereign beauty, knighthood’s mystic queen,
Pluming with love the iron brows of war!
Bright eyes before, with subtle lightning glance
Have kindled all my being into one
Wild tumult; but a charm thus to enhance
My heart’s love-loyalty till now had none!
And can this witchery be the work of chance?
I know not—I but know my rest is gone.


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


IV.
A VAST and shadowy hope breaks up my rest
Unspoken; nor dares even my pen to write
How my pent spirit pineth day and night
For one fair love with whom I might be blest!
And ever with vague jealousies possessed
The more I languish, feeling these may so
Oppress affection that for very woe
She longs at last to die deep buried in my breast!
O for a beaker of the wine of love,
Or a deep draught of the Lethèan wave!
The power a mutual passion to emove,
Or that repose which sealeth up the grave!
Yet these my bonds are blameless; one more wise
Had dreamt away his freedom, dreaming of her eyes.


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


V.
HER image haunts me! Lo! I muse at even,
And straight it gathers from the gloom, to make
My soul its mirror; which (as some still lake
Holds pictured in its depths the face of heaven)
Through the hushed night retains it: when ’tis given
To take a warmer presence and incline
A glowing cheek burning with love to mine,
Saying—“The heart for which thou long hast stiven
With looks so fancy-pale, I grant thee now;
And if for ruth, yet more for love’s sweet sake,
My lips shall seal this promise on thy brow. ”
Thus blest in sleep—oh! Who would care to wake,
When the cold real from his belief must shake
Such vows, like blossoms from a shattered bough?


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


VI.
SHE loves me! From her own bliss-breathing lips
The live confession came, like rich perfume
From crimson petals bursting into bloom!
And still my heart at the remembrance skips
Like a young lion, and my tongue too trips
As drunk with joy! While very object seen
In life’s diurnal round wears in its mien
A clear assurance that no doubts eclipse.
And if the common things of nature now
Are like old faces flushed with new delight,
Much more the consciousness of that rich vow
Deepens the beauteous, and refines the bright,
While throned I seem on love’s divinest height
Mid all the glories glowing round its brow.


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


VII.
FAIR as the day—a genial day serene
Of early summer, when the vital air
Breathes as ’twere God’s own breath, and blossoms rare
Fill many a bush, or nestle in between
The heapy folds of nature’s mantle green,
As they were happier for the joint joy there
Of birds and bees;—so genial, and so fair
And rich in pleasure, is my life’s sole queen.
My spirit in the sunshine of her grace
Glows with intenser being, and my veins
Fill as with nectar! In your pride of place
Ye mighty, boast! Ye rich, heap gold space!
I envy nor your grandeur nor your gains,
Thus gazing at the heaven of her face!


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


VIII.
FAIR as the night—when all the astral fires
Of heaven are burning in the clear expanse,
My love is, and her eyes like star-depths glance
Lustrous with glowing thoughts and pure desires,
And that mysterious pathos which inspires
All moods divine in mortal passion’s trance—
All that its earthly music doth enhance
As with the rapture of seraphic lyres!
I gaze upon her till the atmosphere
Sweetens intensely, and to my charmed sight
All fair associated forms appear
Swimming in joy, as swim yon orbs in light—
And all sweet sounds, though common, to mine ear
Chime up like silver-winged dreams in flight.


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


IX.
TO-DAY we part! I far away to dwell
From this the scene that saw our bud of love
Bloom into rosehood. The blue heavens above—
These hills and valleys, with each rocky dell,
Echo’s dim hold,—shall these retain no spell
Of foregone passion? Shall they speak no tale
Of grief they shrouded in this shaded vale?
Shall they of all our joy the story tell?
To-morrow—and the sun shall climb yon hill
Bright as before; all winged things shall wake
To song as glad as if we listened still;
The stream as mirthfully its wild way make.
But I, pursuing fortune’s wandering star,
Shall see and hear them not—from thee and them afar.


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


X.
ABSENCE
NIGHTLY I watch the moon with silvery sheen
Flaking the city house-tops—till I feel
Thy memory, dear one, like a presence steal
Down in her light; for always in her mien
Thy soul’s similitude my soul hath seen!
And as she seemeth now—a guardian seal
On heaven’s far bliss, upon my future weal
Even such thy truth is—radiantly serene.
But long my fancy may not entertain
These bright resemblances—for lo! A cloud
Blots her away! And in my breast the pain
Of absent love recurring pines aloud!
When shall I look in thy bright eyes again?
O my beloved with like sadness bowed!


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


XI.
THERE is a trying spirit in the drift
Of human life, apportioning the prize
(In that true quality wherein it lies)
That each one seeketh, to that seeker’s gift.
Hence must he suffer many a perilous shift
Who unto fame by martial deeds would rise;
Hence look at liberty with lion-eyes
Must he who’d make the march of man more swift:
Hence heaven’s best crown, more glorious than the sun,
Is only gained by dying for our kind;
And hence, too, true love’s highest meed is won
Only through agonies of heart and mind.
Such, dear one, is the fate (and therefore ours)
Of all whom love would crown with faith’s divinest flowers.


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


XII.
THE VOYAGE to that haven of true love
Was ever stormy since the world began,
Or story from its earliest fountain ran;
Teaching us truly that the gods approve,
In the superior destinies of man,
Only what most the noblest hearts shall move:
Hence was Leander’s life so brief a span,
Who, weltering a mortal while above
The bursting wave, sent on his soul to where
The Maid of Sestos from her watch-tower’s height
Looked for his coming through the troubled air,
Nor knew that he had died for her that night!
Hence Sappho’s fatal leap! (The cause the same)
Hence too was Petrarch’s heart the martyr of his flame!


------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------


XIII.
LOSS follows gain, and sadness waits on mirth,
And much is wasted where too much is given;
We cannot fully have our joy on earth
Without diminishing our joy in heaven.
Envy dogs merit; madness neighbours wit;
Stale is their gladness who were never sad;
And Dives in this fleshly life, ’tis writ,
Received his good things, Lazarus his bad.
Thus, dearest, o’er the waves of many things
My troubled mind, even like a ship, is tossed,
And from the quest this only inference brings:
That true love in its earthly course is crossed,
Lest by dull worldly usage it should be
Too worldly cramped to soar in large eternity.


by Charles Harpur.

O to make the most jubilant song!
Full of music-full of manhood, womanhood, infancy!
Full of common employments-full of grain and trees.

O for the voices of animals-O for the swiftness and balance of fishes!
O for the dropping of raindrops in a song!
O for the sunshine and motion of waves in a song!

O the joy of my spirit-it is uncaged-it darts like lightning!
It is not enough to have this globe or a certain time,
I will have thousands of globes and all time.

O the engineer's joys! to go with a locomotive!
To hear the hiss of steam, the merry shriek, the steam-whistle, the
laughing locomotive!
To push with resistless way and speed off in the distance.

O the gleesome saunter over fields and hillsides!
The leaves and flowers of the commonest weeds, the moist fresh
stillness of the woods,
The exquisite smell of the earth at daybreak, and all through the
forenoon.

O the horseman's and horsewoman's joys!
The saddle, the gallop, the pressure upon the seat, the cool
gurgling by the ears and hair.

O the fireman's joys!
I hear the alarm at dead of night,
I hear bells, shouts! I pass the crowd, I run!
The sight of the flames maddens me with pleasure.

O the joy of the strong-brawn'd fighter, towering in the arena in
perfect condition, conscious of power, thirsting to meet his
opponent.

O the joy of that vast elemental sympathy which only the human
soul is capable of generating and emitting in steady and
limitless floods.

O the mother's joys!
The watching, the endurance, the precious love, the anguish, the
patiently yielded life.

O the of increase, growth, recuperation,
The joy of soothing and pacifying, the joy of concord and harmony.

O to go back to the place where I was born,
To hear the birds sing once more,
To ramble about the house and barn and over the fields once more,
And through the orchard and along the old lanes once more.

O to have been brought up on bays, lagoons, creeks, or along the coast,
To continue and be employ'd there all my life,
The briny and damp smell, the shore, the salt weeds exposed at low water,
The work of fishermen, the work of the eel-fisher and clam-fisher;
I come with my clam-rake and spade, I come with my eel-spear,
Is the tide out? I Join the group of clam-diggers on the flats,
I laugh and work with them, I joke at my work like a mettlesome
young man;

In winter I take my eel-basket and eel-spear and travel out on foot
on the ice-I have a small axe to cut holes in the ice,
Behold me well-clothed going gayly or returning in the afternoon,
my brood of tough boys accompanying me,
My brood of grown and part-grown boys, who love to be with no
one else so well as they love to be with me,
By day to work with me, and by night to sleep with me.

Another time in warm weather out in a boat, to lift the lobster-pots
where they are sunk with heavy stones, (I know the buoys,)
O the sweetness of the Fifth-month morning upon the water as I row
just before sunrise toward the buoys,
I pull the wicker pots up slantingly, the dark green lobsters are
desperate with their claws as I take them out, I insert
wooden pegs in the ‘oints of their pincers,

I go to all the places one after another, and then row back to the
shore,
There in a huge kettle of boiling water the lobsters shall be boil'd
till their color becomes scarlet.

Another time mackerel-taking,
Voracious, mad for the hook, near the surface, they seem to fill the
water for miles;
Another time fishing for rock-fish in Chesapeake bay, I one of the
brown-faced crew;
Another time trailing for blue-fish off Paumanok, I stand with
braced body,
My left foot is on the gunwale, my right arm throws far out the
coils of slender rope,
In sight around me the quick veering and darting of fifty skiffs, my
companions.

O boating on the rivers,
The voyage down the St. Lawrence, the superb scenery, the steamers,
The ships sailing, the Thousand Islands, the occasional timber-raft
and the raftsmen with long-reaching sweep-oars,
The little huts on the rafts, and the stream of smoke when they cook
supper at evening.

(O something pernicious and dread!
Something far away from a puny and pious life!
Something unproved! something in a trance!
Something escaped from the anchorage and driving free.)

O to work in mines, or forging iron,
Foundry casting, the foundry itself, the rude high roof, the ample
and shadow'd space,
The furnace, the hot liquid pour'd out and running.

O to resume the joys of the soldier!
To feel the presence of a brave commanding officer-to feel his
sympathy!
To behold his calmness-to be warm'd in the rays of his smile!
To go to battle-to hear the bugles play and the drums beat!
To hear the crash of artillery-to see the glittering of the bayonets
and musket-barrels in the sun!

To see men fall and die and not complain!
To taste the savage taste of blood-to be so devilish!
To gloat so over the wounds and deaths of the enemy.

O the whaleman's joys! O I cruise my old cruise again!
I feel the ship's motion under me, I feel the Atlantic breezes
fanning me,
I hear the cry again sent down from the mast-head, There- she
blows!
Again I spring up the rigging to look with the rest- we descend,
wild with excitement,
I leap in the lower'd boat, we row toward our prey where he lies,
We approach stealthy and silent, I see the mountainous mass,
lethargic, basking,
I see the harpooneer standing up, I see the weapon dart from his
vigorous arm;
O swift again far out in the ocean the wounded whale, settling,
running to windward, tows me,
Again I see him rise to breathe, we row close again,
I see a lance driven through his side, press'd deep, turn'd in the
wound,
Again we back off, I see him settle again, the life is leaving him
fast,
As he rises he spouts blood, I see him swim in circles narrower and
narrower, swiftly cutting the water-I see him die,
He gives one convulsive leap in the centre of the circle, and then
falls flat and still in the bloody foam.

O the old manhood of me, my noblest joy of all!
My children and grand-children, my white hair and beard,
My largeness, calmness, majesty, out of the long stretch of my life.

O ripen'd joy of womanhood! O happiness at last!

I am more than eighty years of age, I am the most venerable mother,
How clear is my mind-how all people draw nigh to me!
What attractions are these beyond any before? what bloom more
than the bloom of youth?
What beauty is this that descends upon me and rises out of me?

O the orator's joys!
To inflate the chest, to roll the thunder of the voice out from the
ribs and throat,
To make the people rage, weep, hate, desire, with yourself,
To lead America-to quell America with a great tongue.

O the joy of my soul leaning pois'd on itself, receiving identity
through materials and loving them, observing characters
and absorbing them,
My soul vibrated back to me from them, from sight, hearing, touch,
reason, articulation, comparison, memory, and the like,
The real life of my senses and flesh transcending my senses and
flesh,
My body done with materials, my sight done with my material eyes,
Proved to me this day beyond cavil that it is not my material eyes
which finally see,
Nor my material body which finally loves, walks, laughs, shouts,
embraces, procreates.

O the farmer's joys!
Ohioan's, Illinoisian's, Wisconsinese', Kanadian's, Iowan's,
Kansian's, Missourian's, Oregonese' joys!
To rise at peep of day and pass forth nimbly to work,
To plough land in the fall for winter-sown crops,
To plough land in the spring for maize,
To train orchards, to graft the trees, to gather apples in the fall.

O to bathe in the swimming-bath, or in a good place along shore,
To splash the water! to walk ankle-deep, or race naked along the
shore.

O to realize space!
The plenteousness of all, that there are no bounds,
To emerge and be of the sky, of the sun and moon and flying
clouds, as one with them.

O the joy a manly self-hood!
To be servile to none, to defer to none, not to any tyrant known or
unknown,

To walk with erect carriage, a step springy and elastic,
To look with calm gaze or with a flashing eye,
To speak with a full and sonorous voice out of a broad chest,
To confront with your personality all the other personalities of the
earth.

Know'st thou the excellent joys of youth?
Joys of the dear companions and of the merry word and laughing
face?
Joy of the glad light-beaming day, joy of the wide-breath'd games?
Joy of sweet music, joy of the lighted ball-room and the dancers?
Joy of the plenteous dinner, strong carouse and drinking?

Yet O my soul supreme!
Know'st thou the joys of pensive thought?
Joys of the free and lonesome heart, the tender, gloomy heart?
Joys of the solitary walk, the spirit bow'd yet proud, the suffering
and the struggle?
The agonistic throes, the ecstasies, joys of the solemn musings day
or night?
Joys of the thought of Death, the great spheres Time and Space?
Prophetic joys of better, loftier love's ideals, the divine wife,
the sweet, eternal, perfect comrade?
Joys all thine own undying one, joys worthy thee O soul.

O while I live to be the ruler of life, not a slave,
To meet life as a powerful conqueror,
No fumes, no ennui, no more complaints or scornful criticisms,
To these proud laws of the air, the water and the ground, proving
my interior soul impregnable,
And nothing exterior shall ever take command of me.

For not life's joys alone I sing, repeating-the joy of death!
The beautiful touch of Death, soothing and benumbing a few moments,
for reasons,
Myself discharging my excrementitious body to be burn'd, or render'd
to powder, or buried,
My real body doubtless left to me for other spheres,
My voided body nothing more to me, returning to the purifications,
further offices, eternal uses of the earth.

O to attract by more than attraction!
How it is I know not-yet behold! the something which obeys none
of the rest,
It is offensive, never defensive-yet how magnetic it draws.

O to struggle against great odds, to meet enemies undaunted!
To be entirely alone with them, to find how much one can stand!
To look strife, torture, prison, popular odium, face to face!
To mount the scaffold, to advance to the muzzles of guns with
perfect nonchalance!
To be indeed a God!

O to sail to sea in a ship!
To leave this steady unendurable land,
To leave the tiresome sameness of the streets, the sidewalks and the
houses,
To leave you O you solid motionless land, and entering a ship,
To sail and sail and sail!

O to have life henceforth a poem of new joys!
To dance, clap hands, exult, shout, skip, leap, roll on, float on!
To be a sailor of the world bound for all ports,
A ship itself, (see indeed these sails I spread to the sun and air,)
A swift and swelling ship full of rich words, full of joys.

by Walt Whitman.

The Two Swans (A Fairy Tale)

I

Immortal Imogen, crown'd queen above
The lilies of thy sex, vouchsafe to hear
A fairy dream in honor of true love—
True above ills, and frailty, and all fear,—
Perchance a shadow of his own career
Whose youth was darkly prison'd and long-twined
By serpent-sorrow, till white Love drew near,
And sweetly sang him free, and round his mind
A bright horizon threw, wherein no grief may wind.


II

I saw a tower builded on a lake,
Mock'd by its inverse shadow, dark and deep—
That seem'd a still intenser night to make,
Wherein the quiet waters sank to sleep,—
And, whatso'er was prison'd in that keep,
A monstrous Snake was warden:—round and round
In sable ringlets I beheld him creep
Blackest amid black shadows to the ground,
Whilst his enormous head, the topmost turret crown'd.


III

From whence he shot fierce light against the stars,
Making the pale moon paler with affright;
And with his ruby eye out-threaten'd Mars—
That blaz'd in the mid-heavens, hot and bright—
Nor slept, nor wink'd, but with a steadfast spite
Watch'd their wan looks and tremblings in the skies;
And that he might not slumber in the night,
The curtain-lids were pluck'd from his large eyes,
So he might never drowse, but watch his secret prize.


IV

Prince or princess in dismal durance pent,
Victims of old Enchantment's love or hate,
Their lives must all in painful sighs be spent,
Watching the lonely waters soon and late,
And clouds that pass and leave them to their fate,
Or company their grief with heavy tears:—
Meanwhile that Hope can spy no golden gate
For sweet escapement, but in darksome fears
They weep and pine away as if immortal years.


V

No gentle bird with gold upon its wing
Will perch upon the grate—the gentle bird
Is safe in leafy dell, and will not bring
Freedom's sweet key-note and commission-word
Learn'd of a fairy's lips, for pity stirr'd—
Lest while he trembling sings, untimely guest!
Watch'd by that cruel Snake and darkly heard,
He leave a widow on her lonely nest,
To press in silent grief the darlings of her breast.


VI

No gallant knight, adventurous, in his bark,
Will seek the fruitful perils of the place,
To rouse with dipping oar the waters dark
That bear that serpent image on their face.
And Love, brave Love! though he attempt the base,
Nerved to his loyal death, he may not win
His captive lady from the strict embrace
Of that foul Serpent, clasping her within
His sable folds—like Eve enthrall'd by the old Sin.


VII

But there is none—no knight in panoply,
Nor Love, intrench'd in his strong steely coat:
No little speck—no sail—no helper nigh,
No sign—no whispering—no plash of boat:—
The distant shores show dimly and remote,
Made of a deeper mist,—serene and gray,—
And slow and mute the cloudy shadows float
Over the gloomy wave, and pass away,
Chased by the silver beams that on their marges play.


VIII

And bright and silvery the willows sleep
Over the shady verge—no mad winds tease
Their hoary heads; but quietly they weep
Their sprinkling leaves—half fountains and half trees:
Their lilies be—and fairer than all these,
A solitary Swan her breast of snow
Launches against the wave that seems to freeze
Into a chaste reflection, still below
Twin shadow of herself wherever she may go.


IX

And forth she paddles in the very noon
Of solemn midnight like an elfin thing,
Charm'd into being by the argent moon—
Whose silver light for love of her fair wing
Goes with her in the shade, still worshipping
Her dainty plumage:—all around her grew
A radiant circlet, like a fairy ring;
And all behind, a tiny little clue
Of light, to guide her back across the waters blue.


X

And sure she is no meaner than a fay,
Redeem'd from sleepy death, for beauty's sake,
By old ordainment:—silent as she lay,
Touched by a moonlight wand I saw her wake,
And cut her leafy slough, and so forsake
The verdant prison of her lily peers,
That slept amidst the stars upon the lake—
A breathing shape—restored to human fears,
And new-born love and grief—self-conscious of her tears.


XI

And now she clasps her wings around her heart,
And near that lonely isle begins to glide,
Pale as her fears, and oft-times with a start
Turns her impatient head from side to side
In universal terrors—all too wide
To watch; and often to that marble keep
Upturns her pearly eyes, as if she spied
Some foe, and crouches in the shadows steep
That in the gloomy wave go diving fathoms deep.


XII

And well she may, to spy that fearful thing
All down the dusky walls in circlets wound;
Alas! for what rare prize, with many a ring
Girding the marble casket round and round?
His folded tail, lost in the gloom profound,
Terribly darkeneth the rocky base;
But on the top his monstrous head is crown'd
With prickly spears, and on his doubtful face
Gleam his unwearied eyes, red watchers of the place.


XIII
Alas! of the hot fires that nightly fall,
No one will scorch him in those orbs of spite,
So he may never see beneath the wall
That timid little creature, all too bright,
That stretches her fair neck, slender and white,
Invoking the pale moon, and vainly tries
Her throbbing throat, as if to charm the night
With song—but, hush—it perishes in sighs,
And there will be no dirge sad-swelling, though she dies!


XIV

She droops—she sinks—she leans upon the lake,
Fainting again into a lifeless flower;
But soon the chilly springs anoint and wake
Her spirit from its death, and with new power
She sheds her stifled sorrows in a shower
Of tender song, timed to her falling tears—
That wins the shady summit of that tower,
And, trembling all the sweeter for its fears,
Fills with imploring moan that cruel monster's ears.


XV

And, lo! the scaly beast is all deprest,
Subdued like Argus by the might of sound—
What time Apollo his sweet lute addrest
To magic converse with the air, and bound
The many monster eyes, all slumber-drown'd:—
So on the turret-top that watchful Snake
Pillows his giant head, and lists profound,
As if his wrathful spite would never wake,
Charm'd into sudden sleep for Love and Beauty's sake!


XVI

His prickly crest lies prone upon his crown,
And thirsty lip from lip disparted flies,
To drink that dainty flood of music down—
His scaly throat is big with pent-up sighs—
And whilst his hollow ear entranced lies,
His looks for envy of the charmed sense
Are fain to listen, till his steadfast eyes,
Stung into pain by their own impotence,
Distil enormous tears into the lake immense.


XVII
Oh, tuneful Swan! oh, melancholy bird!
Sweet was that midnight miracle of song,
Rich with ripe sorrow, needful of no word
To tell of pain, and love, and love's deep wrong—
Hinting a piteous tale—perchance how long
Thy unknown tears were mingled with the lake,
What time disguised thy leafy mates among—
And no eye knew what human love and ache
Dwelt in those dewy leaves, and heart so nigh to break.


XVIII

Therefore no poet will ungently touch
The water-lily, on whose eyelids dew
Trembles like tears; but ever hold it such
As human pain may wander through and through,
Turning the pale leaf paler in its hue—
Wherein life dwells, transfigured, not entomb'd,
By magic spells. Alas! who ever knew
Sorrow in all its shapes, leafy and plumed,
Or in gross husks of brutes eternally inhumed?


XIX

And now the winged song has scaled the height
Of that dark dwelling, builded for despair,
And soon a little casement flashing bright
Widens self-open'd into the cool air—
That music like a bird may enter there
And soothe the captive in his stony cage;
For there is nought of grief, or painful care,
But plaintive song may happily engage
From sense of its own ill, and tenderly assuage.


XX

And forth into the light, small and remote,
A creature, like the fair son of a king,
Draws to the lattice in his jewell'd coat
Against the silver moonlight glistening,
And leans upon his white hand listening
To that sweet music that with tenderer tone
Salutes him, wondering what kindly thing
Is come to soothe him with so tuneful moan,
Singing beneath the walls as if for him alone!


XXI

And while he listens, the mysterious song,
Woven with timid particles of speech.
Twines into passionate words that grieve along
The melancholy notes, and softly teach
The secrets of true love,—that trembling reach
His earnest ear, and through the shadows dun
He missions like replies, and each to each
Their silver voices mingle into one,
Like blended streams that make one music as they run.


XXII

'Ah! Love, my hope is swooning in my heart,—'
'Ay, sweet, my cage is strong and hung full high—'
'Alas! our lips are held so far apart,
Thy words come faint,—they have so far to fly!—'
'If I may only shun that serpent-eye,—'
'Ah me! that serpent-eye doth never sleep;—'
'Then, nearer thee, Love's martyr, I will die!—'
'Alas, alas! that word has made me weep!
For pity's sake remain safe in thy marble keep!'


XXIII

'My marble keep! it is my marble tomb—'
'Nay, sweet! but thou hast there thy living breath—'
'Aye to expend in sighs for this hard doom;—'
'But I will come to thee and sing beneath,'
'And nightly so beguile this serpent wreath;—'
'Nay, I will find a path from these despairs.'
'Ah, needs then thou must tread the back of death,
Making his stony ribs thy stony stairs.—
Behold his ruby eye, how fearfully it glares!'


XXIV

Full sudden at these words, the princely youth
Leaps on the scaly back that slumbers, still
Unconscious of his foot, yet not for ruth,
But numb'd to dulness by the fairy skill
Of that sweet music (all more wild and shrill
For intense fear) that charm'd him as he lay—
Meanwhile the lover nerves his desperate will,
Held some short throbs by natural dismay,
Then down the serpent-track begins his darksome way.


XXV

Now dimly seen—now toiling out of sight,
Eclipsed and cover'd by the envious wall;
Now fair and spangled in the sudden light,
And clinging with wide arms for fear of fall;
Now dark and shelter'd by a kindly pall
Of dusky shadow from his wakeful foe;
Slowly he winds adown—dimly and small,
Watch'd by the gentle Swan that sings below,
Her hope increasing, still, the larger he doth grow.


XXVI

But nine times nine the serpent folds embrace
The marble walls about—which he must tread
Before his anxious foot may touch the base:
Long in the dreary path, and must be sped!
But Love, that holds the mastery of dread,
Braces his spirit, and with constant toil
He wins his way, and now, with arms outspread,
Impatient plunges from the last long coil;
So may all gentle Love ungentle Malice foil!


XXVII

The song is hush'd, the charm is all complete,
And two fair Swans are swimming on the lake:
But scarce their tender bills have time to meet,
When fiercely drops adown that cruel Snake—
His steely scales a fearful rustling make,
Like autumn leaves that tremble and foretell
The sable storm;—the plumy lovers quake—
And feel the troubled waters pant and swell,
Heaved by the giant bulk of their pursuer fell.


XXVIII

His jaws, wide yawning like the gates of Death,
Hiss horrible pursuit—his red eyes glare
The waters into blood—his eager breath
Grows hot upon their plumes:—now, minstrel fair!
She drops her ring into the waves, and there
It widens all around, a fairy ring
Wrought of the silver light—the fearful pair
Swim in the very midst, and pant and cling
The closer for their fears, and tremble wing to wing.


XXIX

Bending their course over the pale gray lake,
Against the pallid East, wherein light play'd
In tender flushes, still the baffled Snake
Circled them round continually, and bay'd
Hoarsely and loud, forbidden to invade
The sanctuary ring—his sable mail
Roll'd darkly through the flood, and writhed and made
A shining track over the waters pale,
Lash'd into boiling foam by his enormous tail.


XXX

And so they sail'd into the distance dim,
Into the very distance—small and white,
Like snowy blossoms of the spring that swim
Over the brooklets—follow'd by the spite
Of that huge Serpent, that with wild affright
Worried them on their course, and sore annoy,
Till on the grassy marge I saw them 'light,
And change, anon, a gentle girl and boy,
Lock'd in embrace of sweet unutterable joy!


XXXI

Then came the Morn, and with her pearly showers
Wept on them, like a mother, in whose eyes
Tears are no grief; and from his rosy bowers
The Oriental sun began to rise,
Chasing the darksome shadows from the skies;
Wherewith that sable Serpent far away
Fled, like a part of night—delicious sighs
From waking blossoms purified the day,
And little birds were singing sweetly from each spray.

by Thomas Hood.

The Kalevala - Rune Vii

WAINIOINEN'S RESCUE.


Wainamoinen, old and truthful,
Swam through all the deep-sea waters,
Floating like a branch of aspen,
Like a withered twig of willow;
Swam six days in summer weather,
Swam six nights in golden moonlight;
Still before him rose the billows,
And behind him sky and ocean.
Two days more he swam undaunted,
Two long nights be struggled onward.
On the evening of the eighth day,
Wainamoinen grew disheartened,
Felt a very great discomfort,
For his feet had lost their toe-nails,
And his fingers dead and dying.
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Sad and weary, spake as follows:
'Woe is me, my old life fated!
Woe is me, misfortune's offspring!
Fool was I when fortune, favored,
To forsake my home and kindred,
For a maiden fair and lovely,
Here beneath the starry heavens,
In this cruel waste of waters,
Days and nights to swim and wander,
Here to struggle with the storm-winds,
To be tossed by heaving billows,
In this broad sea's great expanses,
In this ocean vast and boundless.
'Cold my life and sad and dreary,
Painful too for me to linger
Evermore within these waters,
Thus to struggle for existence!
Cannot know how I can prosper,
How to find me food and shelter,
In these cold and lifeless waters,
In these days of dire misfortune.
Build I in the winds my dwelling?
It will find no sure foundation.
Build my home upon the billows?
Surely would the waves destroy it.'
Comes a bird from far Pohyola,
From the occident, an eagle,
Is not classed among the largest,
Nor belongs he to the smallest;
One wing touches on the waters,
While the other sweeps the heavens;
O'er the waves he wings his body,
Strikes his beak upon the sea-cliffs,
Flies about, then safely perches,
Looks before him, looks behind him,
There beholds brave Wainamoinen,
On the blue-back of the ocean,
And the eagle thus accosts him:
'Wherefore art thou, ancient hero,
Swimming in the deep-sea billows?
Thus the water-minstrel answered:
'I am ancient Wainamoinen,
Friend and fellow of the waters
I, the famous wisdom-singer;
Went to woo a Northland maiden,
Maiden from the dismal Darkland,
Quickly galloped on my journey,
Riding on the plain of ocean.
I arrived one morning early,
At the breaking of the day-dawn.
At the bay of Luotola,
Near Youkola's foaming river,
Where the evil Youkahainen
Slew my steed with bow and arrow,
Tried to slay me with his weapons.
On the waters fell I headlong,
Plunged beneath the salt-sea's surface,
From the saddle of the courser,
From my dappled steed of magic.
'Then arose a mighty storm-wind,
From the East and West a whirlwind,
Washed me seaward on the surges,
Seaward, seaward, further, further,
Where for many days I wandered,
Swam and rocked upon the billows,
Where as many nights I struggled,
In the dashing waves and sea-foam,
With the angry winds and waters.
'Woe is me, my life hard-fated!
Cannot solve this heavy problem,
How to live nor how to perish
In this cruel salt-sea water.
Build I in the winds my dwelling?
It will find no sure foundation.
Build my home upon the waters?
Surely will the waves destroy it.
Must I swim the sea forever,
Must I live, or must I perish?
What will happen if I perish,
If I sink below the billows,
Perish here from cold and hunger?'
Thus the bird of Ether answered
'Be not in the least disheartened,
Place thyself between my shoulders,
On my back be firmly seated,
I will lift thee from the waters,
Bear thee with my pinions upward,
Bear thee wheresoe'er thou willest.
Well do I the day remember
Where thou didst the eagle service,
When thou didst the birds a favor.
Thou didst leave the birch-tree standing,
When were cleared the Osmo-forests,
From the lands of Kalevala,
As a home for weary song-birds,
As a resting-place for eagles.'
Then arises Wainamoinen,
Lifts his head above the waters,
Boldly rises from the sea-waves,
Lifts his body from the billows,
Seats himself upon the eagle,
On the eagle's feathered shoulders.
Quick aloft the huge bird bears him,
Bears the ancient Wainamoinen,
Bears him on the path of zephyrs,
Floating on the vernal breezes,
To the distant shore of Northland,
To the dismal Sariola,
Where the eagle leaves his burden,
Flies away to join his fellows.
Wainamoinen, lone and weary,
Straightway fell to bitter weeping,
Wept and moaned in heavy accents,
On the border of the blue-sea.
On a cheerless promontory,
With a hundred wounds tormented,
Made by cruel winds and waters,
With his hair and beard dishevelled
By the surging of the billows.
Three long days he wept disheartened
Wept as many nights in anguish,
Did not know what way to journey,
Could not find a woodland foot-print,
That would point him to the highway,
To his home in Kalevala,
To his much-loved home and kindred.
Northland's young and slender maiden,
With complexion fair and lovely,
With the Sun had laid a wager,
With the Sun and Moon a wager,
Which should rise before the other,
On the morning of the morrow.
And the maiden rose in beauty,
Long before the Sun had risen,
Long before the Moon bad wakened,
From their beds beneath the ocean.
Ere the cock had crowed the day-break,
Ere the Sun had broken slumber
She had sheared six gentle lambkins,
Gathered from them six white fleeces,
Hence to make the rolls for spinning,
Hence to form the threads for weaving,
Hence to make the softest raiment,
Ere the morning dawn had broken,
Ere the sleeping Sun had risen.
When this task the maid had ended,
Then she scrubbed the birchen tables,
Sweeps the ground-floor of the stable,
With a broom of leaves and branches
From the birches of the Northland,
Scrapes the sweepings well together
On a shovel made of copper,
Carries them beyond the stable,
From the doorway to the meadow,
To the meadow's distant border,
Near the surges of the great-sea,
Listens there and looks about her,
Hears a wailing from the waters,
Hears a weeping from the sea-shore,
Hears a hero-voice lamenting.
Thereupon she hastens homeward,
Hastens to her mother's dwelling,
These the words the maiden utters:
'I have heard a wail from ocean,
Heard a weeping from the sea-coast,
On the shore some one lamenting.'
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Ancient, toothless dame of Northland,
Hastens from her door and court-yard,
Through the meadow to the sea-shore,
Listens well for sounds of weeping,
For the wail of one in sorrow;
Hears the voice of one in trouble,
Hears a hero-cry of anguish.
Thus the ancient Louhi answers:
'This is not the wail of children,
These are not the tears of women,
In this way weep bearded heroes;
This the hero-cry of anguish.'
Quick she pushed her boat to water,
To the floods her goodly vessel,
Straightway rows with lightning swiftness,
To the weeping Wainamoinen;
Gives the hero consolation,
Comfort gives she to the minstrel
Wailing in a grove of willows,
In his piteous condition,
Mid the alder-trees and aspens,
On the border of the salt-sea,
Visage trembling, locks dishevelled.
Ears, and eyes, and lips of sadness.
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Thus addresses Wainamoinen:
'Tell me what has been thy folly,
That thou art in this condition.'
Old and truthful Wainamoinen
Lifts aloft his bead and answers:
'Well I know that it is folly
That has brought me all this trouble,
Brought me to this land of strangers,
To these regions unbefitting
Happy was I with my kindred,
In my distant home and country,
There my name was named in honor.'
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Thus replied to Wainamoinen:
'I would gain the information,
Should I be allowed to ask thee,
Who thou art of ancient heroes,
Who of all the host of heroes?
This is Wainamoinen's answer:
'Formerly my name was mentioned,
Often was I heard and honored,
As a minstrel and magician,
In the long and dreary winters,
Called the 'Singer of the Northland,
In the valleys of Wainola,
On the plains of Kalevala;
No one thought that such misfortune
Could befall wise Wainamoinen.'
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Thus replied in cheering accents
'Rise, O hero, from discomfort,
From thy bed among the willows;
Enter now upon the new-way,
Come with me to yonder dwelling,
There relate thy strange adventures,
Tell the tale of thy misfortunes.'
Now she takes the hapless hero,
Lifts him from his bed of sorrow,
In her boat she safely seats him,
And begins at once her rowing,
Rows with steady hand and mighty
To her home upon the sea-shore,
To the dwellings of Pohyola.
There she feeds the starving hero,
Rests the ancient Wainamoinen,
Gives him warmth, and food, and shelter,
And the hero soon recovers.
Then the hostess of Pohyola
Questioned thus the ancient singer:
'Wherefore didst thou, Wainamoinen,
Friend and fellow of the waters,
Weep in sad and bitter accents,
On the border of the ocean,
Mid the aspens and the willows?'
This is Wainamoinen's answer:
Had good reason for my weeping,
Cause enough for all my sorrow;
Long indeed had I been swimming,
Had been buffeting the billows,
In the far outstretching waters.
This the reason for my weeping;
I have lived in toil and torture,
Since I left my home and country,
Left my native land and kindred,
Came to this the land of strangers,
To these unfamiliar portals.
All thy trees have thorns to wound me,
All thy branches, spines to pierce me,
Even birches give me trouble,
And the alders bring discomfort,
My companions, winds and waters,
Only does the Sun seem friendly,
In this cold and cruel country,
Near these unfamiliar portals.'
Louhi thereupon made answer,
Weep no longer, Wainamoinen,
Grieve no more, thou friend of waters,
Good for thee, that thou shouldst linger
At our friendly homes and firesides;
Thou shalt live with us and welcome,
Thou shalt sit at all our tables,
Eat the salmon from our platters,
Eat the sweetest of our bacon,
Eat the whiting from our waters.'
Answers thus old Wainamoinen,
Grateful for the invitation:
'Never do I court strange tables,
Though the food be rare and toothsome;
One's own country is the dearest,
One's own table is the sweetest,
One's own home, the most attractive.
Grant, kind Ukko, God above me,
Thou Creator, full of mercy,
Grant that I again may visit
My beloved home and country.
Better dwell in one's own country,
There to drink Its healthful waters
From the simple cups of birch-wood,
Than in foreign lands to wander,
There to drink the rarest liquors
From the golden bowls of strangers.'
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Thus replied to the magician:
'What reward wilt thou award me,
Should I take thee where thou willest,
To thy native land and kindred,
To thy much-loved home and fireside,
To the meadows of Wainola,
To the plains of Kalevala?'
These the words of Wainamoinen:
'What would be reward sufficient,
Shouldst thou take me to my people,
To my home and distant country,
To the borders of the Northland,
There to hear the cuckoo singing,
Hear the sacred cuckoo calling?
Shall I give thee golden treasures,
Fill thy cups with finest silver?'
This is Louhi's simple answer:
'O thou ancient Wainamoinen,
Only true and wise magician,
Never will I ask for riches,
Never ask for gold nor silver;
Gold is for the children's flowers,
Silver for the stallion's jewels.
Canst thou forge for me the Sampo,
Hammer me the lid in colors,
From the tips of white-swan feathers
From the milk of greatest virtue,
From a single grain of barley,
From the finest wool of lambkins?
'I will give thee too my daughter,
Will reward thee through the maiden,
Take thee to thy much-loved home-land,
To the borders of Wainola,
There to hear the cuckoo singing,
Hear the sacred cuckoo calling.'
Wainamoinen, much regretting,
Gave this answer to her question:
'Cannot forge for thee the Sampo,
Cannot make the lid in colors.
Take me to my distant country,
I will send thee Ilmarinen,
He will forge for thee the Sampo,
Hammer thee the lid in colors,
He may win thy lovely maiden;
Worthy smith is Ilmarinen,
In this art is first and master;
He, the one that forged the heavens.
Forged the air a hollow cover;
Nowhere see we hammer-traces,
Nowhere find a single tongs-mark.'
Thus replied the hostess, Louhi:
'Him alone I'll give my daughter,
Promise him my child in marriage,
Who for me will forge the Sampo,
Hammer me the lid in colors,
From the tips of white-swan feathers,
From the milk of greatest virtue,
From a single grain of barley,
From the finest wool of lambkins.'
Thereupon the hostess Louhi,
Harnessed quick a dappled courser,
Hitched him to her sledge of birch-wood,
Placed within it Wainamoinen,
Placed the hero on the cross-bench,
Made him ready for his journey;
Then addressed the ancient minstrel,
These the words that Louhi uttered:
'Do not raise thine eyes to heaven,
Look not upward on thy journey,
While thy steed is fresh and frisky,
While the day-star lights thy pathway,
Ere the evening star has risen;
If thine eyes be lifted upward,
While the day-star lights thy pathway,
Dire misfortune will befall thee,
Some sad fate will overtake thee.'
Then the ancient Wainamoinen
Fleetly drove upon his journey,
Merrily he hastened homeward,
Hastened homeward, happy-hearted
From the ever-darksome Northland
From the dismal Sariola.

by Elias Lönnrot.


O TO make the most jubilant poem!
Even to set off these, and merge with these, the carols of Death.
O full of music! full of manhood, womanhood, infancy!
Full of common employments! full of grain and trees.

O for the voices of animals! O for the swiftness and balance of
fishes!
O for the dropping of rain-drops in a poem!
O for the sunshine, and motion of waves in a poem.

O the joy of my spirit! it is uncaged! it darts like lightning!
It is not enough to have this globe, or a certain time--I will have
thousands of globes, and all time.


O the engineer's joys! 10
To go with a locomotive!
To hear the hiss of steam--the merry shriek--the steam-whistle--the
laughing locomotive!
To push with resistless way, and speed off in the distance.

O the gleesome saunter over fields and hill-sides!
The leaves and flowers of the commonest weeds--the moist fresh
stillness of the woods,
The exquisite smell of the earth at day-break, and all through the
forenoon.

O the horseman's and horsewoman's joys!
The saddle--the gallop--the pressure upon the seat--the cool gurgling
by the ears and hair.


O the fireman's joys!
I hear the alarm at dead of night, 20
I hear bells--shouts!--I pass the crowd--I run!
The sight of the flames maddens me with pleasure.

O the joy of the strong-brawn'd fighter, towering in the arena, in
perfect condition, conscious of power, thirsting to meet his
opponent.

O the joy of that vast elemental sympathy which only the human Soul
is capable of generating and emitting in steady and limitless
floods.


O the mother's joys!
The watching--the endurance--the precious love--the anguish--the
patiently yielded life.

O the joy of increase, growth, recuperation;
The joy of soothing and pacifying--the joy of concord and harmony.

O to go back to the place where I was born!
To hear the birds sing once more! 30
To ramble about the house and barn, and over the fields, once more,
And through the orchard and along the old lanes once more.


O male and female!
O the presence of women! (I swear there is nothing more exquisite to
me than the mere presence of women;)
O for the girl, my mate! O for the happiness with my mate!
O the young man as I pass! O I am sick after the friendship of him
who, I fear, is indifferent to me.

O the streets of cities!
The flitting faces--the expressions, eyes, feet, costumes! O I cannot
tell how welcome they are to me.


O to have been brought up on bays, lagoons, creeks, or along the
coast!
O to continue and be employ'd there all my life! 40
O the briny and damp smell--the shore--the salt weeds exposed at low
water,
The work of fishermen--the work of the eel-fisher and clam-fisher.

O it is I!
I come with my clam-rake and spade! I come with my eel-spear;
Is the tide out? I join the group of clam-diggers on the flats,
I laugh and work with them--I joke at my work, like a mettlesome
young man.

In winter I take my eel-basket and eel-spear and travel out on foot
on the ice--I have a small axe to cut holes in the ice;
Behold me, well-clothed, going gaily, or returning in the afternoon--
my brood of tough boys accompaning me,
My brood of grown and part-grown boys, who love to be with no one
else so well as they love to be with me,
By day to work with me, and by night to sleep with me. 50

Or, another time, in warm weather, out in a boat, to lift the
lobster-pots, where they are sunk with heavy stones, (I know
the buoys;)
O the sweetness of the Fifth-month morning upon the water, as I row,
just before sunrise, toward the buoys;
I pull the wicker pots up slantingly--the dark-green lobsters are
desperate with their claws, as I take them out--I insert wooden
pegs in the joints of their pincers,
I go to all the places, one after another, and then row back to the
shore,
There, in a huge kettle of boiling water, the lobsters shall be
boil'd till their color becomes scarlet.

Or, another time, mackerel-taking,
Voracious, mad for the hook, near the surface, they seem to fill the
water for miles:
Or, another time, fishing for rock-fish, in Chesapeake Bay--I one of
the brown-faced crew:
Or, another time, trailing for blue-fish off Paumanok, I stand with
braced body,
My left foot is on the gunwale--my right arm throws the coils of
slender rope, 60
In sight around me the quick veering and darting of fifty skiffs, my
companions.


O boating on the rivers!
The voyage down the Niagara, (the St. Lawrence,)--the superb
scenery--the steamers,
The ships sailing--the Thousand Islands--the occasional timber-raft,
and the raftsmen with long-reaching sweep-oars,
The little huts on the rafts, and the stream of smoke when they cook
their supper at evening.

O something pernicious and dread!
Something far away from a puny and pious life!
Something unproved! Something in a trance!
Something escaped from the anchorage, and driving free.

O to work in mines, or forging iron! 70
Foundry casting--the foundry itself--the rude high roof--the ample
and shadow'd space,
The furnace--the hot liquid pour'd out and running.


O to resume the joys of the soldier:
To feel the presence of a brave general! to feel his sympathy!
To behold his calmness! to be warm'd in the rays of his smile!
To go to battle! to hear the bugles play, and the drums beat!
To hear the crash of artillery! to see the glittering of the bayonets
and musket-barrels in the sun!
To see men fall and die, and not complain!
To taste the savage taste of blood! to be so devilish!
To gloat so over the wounds and deaths of the enemy. 80


O the whaleman's joys! O I cruise my old cruise again!
I feel the ship's motion under me--I feel the Atlantic breezes
fanning me,
I hear the cry again sent down from the mast-head--There--she blows!
--Again I spring up the rigging, to look with the rest--We see--we
descend, wild with excitement,
I leap in the lower'd boat--We row toward our prey, where he lies,
We approach, stealthy and silent--I see the mountainous mass,
lethargic, basking,
I see the harpooneer standing up--I see the weapon dart from his
vigorous arm:
O swift, again, now, far out in the ocean, the wounded whale,
settling, running to windward, tows me;
--Again I see him rise to breathe--We row close again,
I see a lance driven through his side, press'd deep, turn'd in the
wound, 90
Again we back off--I see him settle again--the life is leaving him
fast,
As he rises, he spouts blood--I see him swim in circles narrower and
narrower, swiftly cutting the water--I see him die;
He gives one convulsive leap in the centre of the circle, and then
falls flat and still in the bloody foam.


O the old manhood of me, my joy!
My children and grand-children--my white hair and beard,
My largeness, calmness, majesty, out of the long stretch of my life.

O the ripen'd joy of womanhood!
O perfect happiness at last!
I am more than eighty years of age--my hair, too, is pure white--I am
the most venerable mother;
How clear is my mind! how all people draw nigh to me! 100
What attractions are these, beyond any before? what bloom, more than
the bloom of youth?
What beauty is this that descends upon me, and rises out of me?

O the orator's joys!
To inflate the chest--to roll the thunder of the voice out from the
ribs and throat,
To make the people rage, weep, hate, desire, with yourself,
To lead America--to quell America with a great tongue.

O the joy of my soul leaning pois'd on itself--receiving identity
through materials, and loving them--observing characters, and
absorbing them;
O my soul, vibrated back to me, from them--from facts, sight,
hearing, touch, my phrenology, reason, articulation,
comparison, memory, and the like;
The real life of my senses and flesh, transcending my senses and
flesh;
My body, done with materials--my sight, done with my material
eyes; 110
Proved to me this day, beyond cavil, that it is not my material
eyes which finally see,
Nor my material body which finally loves, walks, laughs, shouts,
embraces, procreates.


O the farmer's joys!
Ohioan's, Illinoisian's, Wisconsinese', Kanadian's, Iowan's,
Kansian's, Missourian's, Oregonese' joys;
To rise at peep of day, and pass forth nimbly to work,
To plow land in the fall for winter-sown crops,
To plough land in the spring for maize,
To train orchards--to graft the trees--to gather apples in the fall.

O the pleasure with trees!
The orchard--the forest--the oak, cedar, pine, pekan-tree, 120
The honey-locust, black-walnut, cottonwood, and magnolia.


O Death! the voyage of Death!
The beautiful touch of Death, soothing and benumbing a few moments,
for reasons;
Myself, discharging my excrementitious body, to be burn'd, or
render'd to powder, or buried,
My real body doubtless left to me for other spheres,
My voided body, nothing more to me, returning to the purifications,
further offices, eternal uses of the earth.


O to bathe in the swimming-bath, or in a good place along shore!
To splash the water! to walk ankle-deep--to race naked along the
shore.

O to realize space!
The plenteousness of all--that there are no bounds; 130
To emerge, and be of the sky--of the sun and moon, and the flying
clouds, as one with them.

O the joy of a manly self-hood!
Personality--to be servile to none--to defer to none--not to any
tyrant, known or unknown,
To walk with erect carriage, a step springy and elastic,
To look with calm gaze, or with a flashing eye,
To speak with a full and sonorous voice, out of a broad chest,
To confront with your personality all the other personalities of the
earth.


Know'st thou the excellent joys of youth?
Joys of the dear companions, and of the merry word, and laughing
face?
Joys of the glad, light-beaming day--joy of the wide-breath'd
games? 140
Joy of sweet music--joy of the lighted ball-room, and the dancers?
Joy of the friendly, plenteous dinner--the strong carouse, and
drinking?


Yet, O my soul supreme!
Know'st thou the joys of pensive thought?
Joys of the free and lonesome heart--the tender, gloomy heart?
Joy of the solitary walk--the spirit bowed yet proud--the suffering
and the struggle?
The agonistic throes, the extasies--joys of the solemn musings, day
or night?
Joys of the thought of Death--the great spheres Time and Space?
Prophetic joys of better, loftier love's ideals--the Divine Wife--the
sweet, eternal, perfect Comrade?
Joys all thine own, undying one--joys worthy thee, O Soul. 150


O, while I live, to be the ruler of life--not a slave,
To meet life as a powerful conqueror,
No fumes--no ennui--no more complaints, or scornful criticisms.

O me repellent and ugly!
To these proud laws of the air, the water, and the ground, proving my
interior Soul impregnable,
And nothing exterior shall ever take command of me.

O to attract by more than attraction!
How it is I know not--yet behold! the something which obeys none of
the rest,
It is offensive, never defensive--yet how magnetic it draws.


O joy of suffering! 160
To struggle against great odds! to meet enemies undaunted!
To be entirely alone with them! to find how much one can stand!
To look strife, torture, prison, popular odium, death, face to face!
To mount the scaffold! to advance to the muzzles of guns with perfect
nonchalance!
To be indeed a God!


O, to sail to sea in a ship!
To leave this steady, unendurable land!
To leave the tiresome sameness of the streets, the sidewalks and the
houses;
To leave you, O you solid motionless land, and entering a ship,
To sail, and sail, and sail! 170


O to have my life henceforth a poem of new joys!
To dance, clap hands, exult, shout, skip, leap, roll on, float on,
To be a sailor of the world, bound for all ports,
A ship itself, (see indeed these sails I spread to the sun and air,)
A swift and swelling ship, full of rich words--full of joys.

by Walt Whitman.

I Sing The Body Electric


I SING the Body electric;
The armies of those I love engirth me, and I engirth them;
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the
Soul.

Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal
themselves;
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the
dead?
And if the body does not do as much as the Soul?
And if the body were not the Soul, what is the Soul?


The love of the Body of man or woman balks account--the body itself
balks account;
That of the male is perfect, and that of the female is perfect. 10

The expression of the face balks account;
But the expression of a well-made man appears not only in his face;
It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints of
his hips and wrists;
It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his waist
and knees--dress does not hide him;
The strong, sweet, supple quality he has, strikes through the cotton
and flannel;
To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, perhaps more;
You linger to see his back, and the back of his neck and shoulder-
side.

The sprawl and fulness of babes, the bosoms and heads of women, the
folds of their dress, their style as we pass in the street, the
contour of their shape downwards,
The swimmer naked in the swimming-bath, seen as he swims through the
transparent green-shine, or lies with his face up, and rolls
silently to and fro in the heave of the water,
The bending forward and backward of rowers in row-boats--the horseman
in his saddle, 20
Girls, mothers, house-keepers, in all their performances,
The group of laborers seated at noon-time with their open dinner-
kettles, and their wives waiting,
The female soothing a child--the farmer's daughter in the garden or
cow-yard,
The young fellow hoeing corn--the sleigh-driver guiding his six
horses through the crowd,
The wrestle of wrestlers, two apprentice-boys, quite grown, lusty,
good-natured, native-born, out on the vacant lot at sundown,
after work,
The coats and caps thrown down, the embrace of love and resistance,
The upper-hold and the under-hold, the hair rumpled over and blinding
the eyes;
The march of firemen in their own costumes, the play of masculine
muscle through clean-setting trowsers and waist-straps,
The slow return from the fire, the pause when the bell strikes
suddenly again, and the listening on the alert,
The natural, perfect, varied attitudes--the bent head, the curv'd
neck, and the counting; 30
Such-like I love--I loosen myself, pass freely, am at the mother's
breast with the little child,
Swim with the swimmers, wrestle with wrestlers, march in line with
the firemen, and pause, listen, and count.


I know a man, a common farmer--the father of five sons;
And in them were the fathers of sons--and in them were the fathers of
sons.

This man was of wonderful vigor, calmness, beauty of person;
The shape of his head, the pale yellow and white of his hair and
beard, and the immeasurable meaning of his black eyes--the
richness and breadth of his manners,
These I used to go and visit him to see--he was wise also;
He was six feet tall, he was over eighty years old--his sons were
massive, clean, bearded, tan-faced, handsome;
They and his daughters loved him--all who saw him loved him;
They did not love him by allowance--they loved him with personal
love; 40
He drank water only--the blood show'd like scarlet through the clear-
brown skin of his face;
He was a frequent gunner and fisher--he sail'd his boat himself--he
had a fine one presented to him by a ship-joiner--he had
fowling-pieces, presented to him by men that loved him;
When he went with his five sons and many grand-sons to hunt or fish,
you would pick him out as the most beautiful and vigorous of
the gang.

You would wish long and long to be with him--you would wish to sit by
him in the boat, that you and he might touch each other.


I have perceiv'd that to be with those I like is enough,
To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is
enough,
To pass among them, or touch any one, or rest my arm ever so lightly
round his or her neck for a moment--what is this, then?
I do not ask any more delight--I swim in it, as in a sea.

There is something in staying close to men and women, and looking on
them, and in the contact and odor of them, that pleases the
soul well; 50
All things please the soul--but these please the soul well.


This is the female form;
A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot;
It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction!
I am drawn by its breath as if I were no more than a helpless vapor--
all falls aside but myself and it;
Books, art, religion, time, the visible and solid earth, the
atmosphere and the clouds, and what was expected of heaven or
fear'd of hell, are now consumed;
Mad filaments, ungovernable shoots play out of it--the response
likewise ungovernable;
Hair, bosom, hips, bend of legs, negligent falling hands, all
diffused--mine too diffused;
Ebb stung by the flow, and flow stung by the ebb--love-flesh swelling
and deliciously aching;
Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of
love, white-blow and delirious juice; 60
Bridegroom night of love, working surely and softly into the
prostrate dawn;
Undulating into the willing and yielding day,
Lost in the cleave of the clasping and sweet-flesh'd day.

This is the nucleus--after the child is born of woman, the man is
born of woman;
This is the bath of birth--this is the merge of small and large, and
the outlet again.

Be not ashamed, women--your privilege encloses the rest, and is the
exit of the rest;
You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul.

The female contains all qualities, and tempers them--she is in her
place, and moves with perfect balance;
She is all things duly veil'd--she is both passive and active;
She is to conceive daughters as well as sons, and sons as well as
daughters. 70

As I see my soul reflected in nature;
As I see through a mist, one with inexpressible completeness and
beauty,
See the bent head, and arms folded over the breast--the female I see.


The male is not less the soul, nor more--he too is in his place;
He too is all qualities--he is action and power;
The flush of the known universe is in him;
Scorn becomes him well, and appetite and defiance become him well;
The wildest largest passions, bliss that is utmost, sorrow that is
utmost, become him well--pride is for him;
The full-spread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul;
Knowledge becomes him--he likes it always--he brings everything to
the test of himself; 80
Whatever the survey, whatever the sea and the sail, he strikes
soundings at last only here;
(Where else does he strike soundings, except here?)

The man's body is sacred, and the woman's body is sacred;
No matter who it is, it is sacred;
Is it a slave? Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on
the wharf?
Each belongs here or anywhere, just as much as the well-off--just as
much as you;
Each has his or her place in the procession.

(All is a procession;
The universe is a procession, with measured and beautiful motion.)

Do you know so much yourself, that you call the slave or the dull-
face ignorant? 90
Do you suppose you have a right to a good sight, and he or she has no
right to a sight?
Do you think matter has cohered together from its diffuse float--and
the soil is on the surface, and water runs, and vegetation
sprouts,
For you only, and not for him and her?


A man's Body at auction;
I help the auctioneer--the sloven does not half know his business.

Gentlemen, look on this wonder!
Whatever the bids of the bidders, they cannot be high enough for it;
For it the globe lay preparing quintillions of years, without one
animal or plant;
For it the revolving cycles truly and steadily roll'd.

In this head the all-baffling brain; 100
In it and below it, the makings of heroes.

Examine these limbs, red, black, or white--they are so cunning in
tendon and nerve;
They shall be stript, that you may see them.

Exquisite senses, life-lit eyes, pluck, volition,
Flakes of breast-muscle, pliant back-bone and neck, flesh not flabby,
good-sized arms and legs,
And wonders within there yet.

Within there runs blood,
The same old blood!
The same red-running blood!
There swells and jets a heart--there all passions, desires,
reachings, aspirations; 110
Do you think they are not there because they are not express'd in
parlors and lecture-rooms?

This is not only one man--this is the father of those who shall be
fathers in their turns;
In him the start of populous states and rich republics;
Of him countless immortal lives, with countless embodiments and
enjoyments.

How do you know who shall come from the offspring of his offspring
through the centuries?
Who might you find you have come from yourself, if you could trace
back through the centuries?


A woman's Body at auction!
She too is not only herself--she is the teeming mother of mothers;
She is the bearer of them that shall grow and be mates to the
mothers.

Have you ever loved the Body of a woman? 120
Have you ever loved the Body of a man?
Your father--where is your father?
Your mother--is she living? have you been much with her? and has she
been much with you?
--Do you not see that these are exactly the same to all, in all
nations and times, all over the earth?

If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred,
And the glory and sweet of a man, is the token of manhood untainted;
And in man or woman, a clean, strong, firm-fibred body, is beautiful
as the most beautiful face.

Have you seen the fool that corrupted his own live body? or the fool
that corrupted her own live body?
For they do not conceal themselves, and cannot conceal themselves.


O my Body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women,
nor the likes of the parts of you; 130
I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the
Soul, (and that they are the Soul;)
I believe the likes of you shall stand or fall with my poems--and
that they are poems,
Man's, woman's, child's, youth's, wife's, husband's, mother's,
father's, young man's, young woman's poems;
Head, neck, hair, ears, drop and tympan of the ears,
Eyes, eye-fringes, iris of the eye, eye-brows, and the waking or
sleeping of the lids,
Mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws, and the jaw-
hinges,
Nose, nostrils of the nose, and the partition,
Cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue,
Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders, and the ample
side-round of the chest.

Upper-arm, arm-pit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews,
arm-bones, 140
Wrist and wrist-joints, hand, palm, knuckles, thumb, fore-finger,
finger-balls, finger-joints, finger-nails,
Broad breast-front, curling hair of the breast, breast-bone, breast-
side,
Ribs, belly, back-bone, joints of the back-bone,
Hips, hip-sockets, hip-strength, inward and outward round, man-balls,
man-root,
Strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above,
Leg-fibres, knee, knee-pan, upper-leg, under leg,
Ankles, instep, foot-ball, toes, toe-joints, the heel;
All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your
body, or of any one's body, male or female,
The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean,
The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame, 150
Sympathies, heart-valves, palate-valves, sexuality, maternity,
Womanhood, and all that is a woman--and the man that comes from
woman,
The womb, the teats, nipples, breast-milk, tears, laughter, weeping,
love-looks, love-perturbations and risings,
The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud,
Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming,
Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and
tightening,
The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes,
The skin, the sun-burnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels, when feeling with the hand the naked
meat of the body,
The circling rivers, the breath, and breathing it in and out, 160
The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips, and thence downward
toward the knees,
The thin red jellies within you, or within me--the bones, and the
marrow in the bones,
The exquisite realization of health;
O I say, these are not the parts and poems of the Body only, but of
the Soul,
O I say now these are the Soul!

by Walt Whitman.

The Permian Beds of Texas

In Texas, where the Wichita
Enrodes a gash, both deep and raw,
Formed by a fault in this old earth,
Before humanity had birth,
Here Permian clays of Indian red,
And sandstones interlacing beds.
Time himself has bared the graves
Of Permian life, where mesquite waves
Its feathery leaflets in the air;
While short grass, with flowers so rare,
Carpets the red soil with its green,
Or rootlets, with their mesh, are seen
To circle bones in their embrace.
Or here and there an open space
Where grinning skull, or bones so white,
Lie helpless there, so sad their plight:
All that remains of giants who
In old lagoon or bayou grew,
Who once ruled over land and sea,
Leave speaking bones for you and me;
Who tell the story of the past,
Of victories won, at rest at last.
So God engraves in mouldering land
The works of His almighty hand.
Not Moses' tablets graved by God
Seem more wondrous than the word
He left recorded in the earth,
When rocky strata had their birth.

Yes! distant was the Permian time,
As man keeps record, line on line,
But through Jehovah's mighty reign,
Today and yesterday the same.
A day in His almighty sight
Is like a vision of the night,
Or like a shadow on the lake,
Or ruffled flood, in steamer's wake;
To man, who measures three score ten,
How few his years, how short his ken!
He ever feels the God within
Would be more God-like but for sin.
God gave us minds to see the past
Or on the future visions cast;
So with that God-like power He's given
That's less of earth and more of heaven.

I sail down on the Tide of Time,
My oar-boats keeping gentle rhyme;
I enter lakes with wooded shore,
And hear the trumpet sound once more,
As when, in childhood's happy day,
I went to see the circus play.
There in a lovely sheltered glade
A trunkéd throng stand in the shade;
While horses gallop on the sand,
And herds of swine root up the land.
Here birds of every color shine-
Make melody almost divine.
Their music flits on passing breeze
As graceful forms dart through the trees,
For beauty here is not a sin.
Their feathers are not used to trim
The headgear of a barbarous sex
With borrowed plumes, or some pretext,
They hope to rival sisters fair,
While pluméd heads toss in the air:
Man's will is not the master here,
No rifled guns have they to fear.
I pass great herds of buffalo,
No Winchester to lay them low;
The duck leads out upon the lake
With brood of ducklings in her wake.
The wild goat climbs the steepest hill,
The wolf laps water from the rill.
Full half the forms that grace our land
Here live in peace on every hand,
Save for the fight that all must wage
For daily bread, their arts engage.
But man's destructive power's not known,
None 'wade through blood to reach a throne.'

And now fresh scenes break on my sight,
That fill my soul with fresh delight:
Flora and fauna now are new,
And quickly break on eager view,
As through the jungled rush and reed
My faithful boat is gaining speed.
The Mastodon, with tusks below,
Tear lily pads, where dense they grow;
Rhinoceroses plow the mire,
While three-toed horses never tire
Of testing moss beneath their feet.
There is no need of limbs to fleet;
If they can reach the swampy brink
Or some deep pool, they'll safely drink,
Saber toothed tiger stands at bay
And fears to try the watery way.
From glades or parks as I ride past,
The timid llama's glance is cast;
They gaze in wonder as I float
Before them in my birch-bark boat.
The trees and flowers I notice, too,
Are not like those that Kansas grew
When last I saw her shining shore
And bent my sinews to the oar.
I'm in the middle dawn, I see,
Of mammals and of greenwood tree,
Called Miocene by savant grave.
The palm and fig trees gently wave
Their crowning branches in the air.
Ah, see that serpent hanging there!
His glistening coils let me beware.
This is the age when mammals reign,
They fill the land and salty main;
As bats they fly from darkened tree;
Great whales are spouting out at sea;
While dolphins, seals and walrus fierce,
And Norwal, with drawn sword to pierce
His enemies who dare to brave
In mortal combat on the wave.
All the rich life of this rich age
Is graven on the rocky page.
And still my boat glides swiftly down
To early dawn, where mammals crown
The thickening ranks of life that's past:
We've reached the Eocene at last.
And now strange forms come into view,
None living like them now, 'tis true.
Great, lumbering beasts on every hand,
Five mighty toes are pressed to land.
They're plantigrade, like bear or man;
At least a foot their footsteps span;
And when your tale of horns is done,
I'll point out Loxolophodon.
Watch him there, at any rate,
And see those horns that are so great.
Three pairs adorn his mighty head,
On the great meadows he is fed;
His well fed body fat and sleek;
His re-curved tusks are quite unique.
I saw the type in Cope's old home,
When from Montana I had come.
Now lemurs swing among the trees,
Their fur is ruffled by the breeze;
While others stem the rising flood
That winds among the neighboring wood.
They catch the fish that swim around,
While crocodiles bask on the ground
Along the shore, on either side,
With open jaws extended wide.
Countless turtles now appear
On every side; they have no fear.
How beautiful their sculptured shell,
Grooved there, or pitted, marked so well
With patterns rare of many a form!
Some look like beads so often worn
To ornament a lovely throat.
Watch them dive beside the boat.
But see, out in that open part,
A Phaenocodus swiftly dart!
He drags a lengthening tail behind,
And flies as on the wings of wind.
I wonder what has made him run.
I see- a huge Corophodon.
But ere they come to mortal fight,
My boat takes me far out of sight.
Most all the beasts I see on shore
Have five toes, behind, before.
But now comes one that walks on three,
Though rudimental ones I see,
Like dew-claws on a recent dog,
My bark-glides in the rising fog,
And when the flood and plain are clear,
I've left the mammals in the rear.

I cross the wondrous border line,
The greatest landmark left by Time,
Between the age of Mammals and
The one where Reptiles ruled the land:
They swam and floated in the air.
The puny mammals that were there
Were small and primitive, indeed;
To notice them there'll be no need.
I'm floating in a bayou wide,
With palmettos on either side,
While here and there a fig tree full
Of luscious fruit;- toward one I pull
And load my boat, whose gunwales sink
Quite closely to the water's brink.
But see that mass of foam so white!
A swimming Reptile heaves in sight,
While two strong arms the waters churn.
A duck-billed head, whose eyeballs burn,
A great, broad body like a boat,
In which air chambers help to float;
While mighty limbs, eight feet in length,
And fifteen feet of tail, show strength;
Vibrating like a mighty screw,
As through the waves our saurian flew.
On shore a troop comes down to drink,
On solid sand that reached the brink;
Their faces armed with three great horns,
Far larger than the unicorn's;
While monstrous head, seven feet in length,
Is a sure symbol of their strength.
On pillared limbs their weight is borne,
Deep footprints in the earth are worn.
But on we glide, while reptiles strange
On every side our thoughts engage.
While from this old Cretaceous shore
The Jura stretches out before.
Great plesiosaurs, of mighty limb,
Out in the ocean safely swim;
While ammonites, with painted sail,
Are wafted by the passing gale.

I've left fresh water in my wake,
My course through deep blue waters take.
But ere I leave the jungled shore,
I hear the earth resound once more
'Neath tread of thunder-lizard dread.
But on my boat has swiftly sped,
The flora changes on the land
And tree ferns lift their pillars grand.
Lepidodendrons' bushy crests
Wave back and forth, together pressed;
While sponge-moss hangs in festoons gay
Across the thickly planted way,
Or covers ground with carpets rare,
On which I trace my steps with care.
Yes! a landing I have made
Beside a lovely Permian glade.
A score of million years are fled
Since my imagination led
To go into my birch-bark boat,
And on Time's Tide to gently float
Far down the stream to Permian day,
And cast my anchor in the bay.
The Angiosperms have not appeared,
But rush and reed great trunks have reared;
Conifers, that are growing here,
Bring back my thoughts to recent year.
The reptiles are of lowly mien,
While salamanders large are seen,
And Cope himself gave one name:
Eryops now is known to fame.
He drags his form through mossy clay,
And toward the water makes his way,
For he can live in watery home
Or through the heated jungle roam;
For gills and lungs his heritage,
On water, land, his battles wage.
Amphibians, monarchs of the earth
They reigned, ere higher life had birth.
One leaves a deep trail in his wake,
Then plunges in the nearby lake.
See waters part, and a strange band
Now leave the flood to come on land;
Their heads shaped like a quarter moon,
While two great horns provide the room;
For while on shore their course they take,
A pathway through the moss they break
With their strong horns of solid bone,
Re-curving from their heads have grown.
Their eyes lie far down in the face-
A character of all their race;
While condyles placed behind,
With two on atlas, you will find.

See now along this mossy bank
Are hundreds of another rank.
A foot they span in length, or more;
I've seen these creatures oft before.
Their little heads could enter in
A woman's silver thimble's rim.
Their snake-like forms seem free of feet,
So slender, and so lithe and neat.
The time has come, so they will make
A nest in which to hibernate.
'Neath the bright moss in softest clay,
Slow and sure they cut their way,
And after much incessant toil,
In their small homes they quickly coil.
Alas! they never more will race
Along the shore's steep, mossy face;
I'll dig their bones in nodules round
Near Coffee Creak, in the red ground.
Batrachians, or Amphibians, strange
Have here attained their highest range.
I see these creatures everywhere,
And not to step on them use care.
In recent years they shun the light
And hide in caves or wells from sight.
But here, in densely wooded land,
Along the bayou's shining strand,
Or mossy swamps that spread around,
Or sullen streams that here abound,
These ancient forms rule everywhere:
A race now helpless, then would dare
To battle e'en with reptiles rare,
Who then began their great career,
And later on would know no fear.
I need not here in covert lie,
For no beast fears the human eye.
Through the bright wood's flowery face
A form breaks through- one of this race.
Now a strange reptile I will con,
It is Cope's great Dimetrodon.
His spines abnormally rise high
In crescent form- I wonder why.
In center they're three feet or more-
Have any seen such spines before?
He moves along with agile grace,
As he's engaged upon the chase
Of Labidosaurus;- what a race!
And though this reptile small may be,
He is a running mystery.
Broad archéd bones project behind,
And rounder eyes midway are found,
While muzzle pinched to narrowest space
Presents a most peculiar face.
Four shining teeth in front, so trim,
Give to the face a constant grin.
While jaws below, armed just the same,
Pass like two knives held in a frame,
And shear his food to finest shred,
When on rich mosses he has fed.

Alas! these scenes are fading fast.
I have returned to camp at last.
My tent is pitched at Willow Spring,
And here my labors will begin.
Some years ago, in ninety-two,
When Coffee Creak came into view,
Along the Vernon county road
Some cheerful farmers then abode.
Galyean, if I remember right,
With pleasant home and children bright,
Was settled just south of the bridge,
(While other homes were on the ridge.)
A little store before their door,
And post-office, brought all once more
In closer touch with the great world
Where stars and stripes lie all unfurled.
A schoolhouse, where the children, too,
Learned how to read, like me or you.
And where my humble tents now stand
Were the McBrides, another band
Who came to dress and till the land.
Through these farms the Chisolm trail
Gave echoes of the awful tale,
When countless feet of every age
Performed their fearful Pilgrimage.
This trail to them then had no end,
While further north their footsteps bend.
From furthest south to northern line,
From the great gulf's broad, watery brine,
From the warm air and sunny day,
Where rifted snow-bank coldly lay:
Shall I forget, on Kansas plain,
This trail baptized with blood and pain!
A mighty drove- I see it still;
No water since the Smoky Hill
Was crossed, some twenty miles behind.
A cloud of dust raised by the wind
And tread of countless weary feet.
Their ponies' sides the cowboys beat,
To reach the water on ahead
Before the cattle rile its bed.
With hats in hand, they hope to dip
Some water for their parching lip.
Too late! for the stampeded band
Force out the cowboys on the land,
And they, ere coveted drink can gain,
Forced out by others, just the same;
Last of the herd's sore-footed crew,
'Round precious stream their ranks they drew.
Along that trail I saw next day
Full forty calves that dying lay
From the hot sun or lack of food-
An awful death! Thy pity, Lord!
To man, dominion has been given
O'er all the beasts beneath Thy heaven;
Yet how unworthy of the trust!
They're sacrificed for money's lust.
And man is treated just the same:
When last to Permian brakes I came,
The farm McBride grubbed out with care
Shows not his labors anywhere,
Save, where his pleasant home had stood,
Foundation stones and rotting wood;
And where full twenty homes, or more,
Paid tribute to the little store,
Not one is left of all the score.
One cattleman has power to wield
O'er thousand sections in one field,
While Texas' countless farmless men
Give up their homes for cattle pen.
Hundreds of fossil forms I've found
In this rich field of Permian ground-
The ones I showed you in my dream,
While many others I have seen.
In 'Munich all thy banners wave'
Above the old red Permian grave;
On this side the Atlantic shore,
In 'Cope's Collection,' what a store!
American Museum's stately pile
These wondrous records keeps on file.

by Charles Hazelius Sternberg.


I WANDER all night in my vision,
Stepping with light feet, swiftly and noiselessly stepping and
stopping,
Bending with open eyes over the shut eyes of sleepers,
Wandering and confused, lost to myself, ill-assorted, contradictory,
Pausing, gazing, bending, and stopping.

How solemn they look there, stretch'd and still!
How quiet they breathe, the little children in their cradles!

The wretched features of ennuyés, the white features of
corpses, the livid faces of drunkards, the sick-gray faces of
onanists,
The gash'd bodies on battle-fields, the insane in their strong-door'd
rooms, the sacred idiots, the new-born emerging from gates, and
the dying emerging from gates,
The night pervades them and infolds them. 10

The married couple sleep calmly in their bed--he with his palm on the
hip of the wife, and she with her palm on the hip of the
husband,
The sisters sleep lovingly side by side in their bed,
The men sleep lovingly side by side in theirs,
And the mother sleeps, with her little child carefully wrapt.

The blind sleep, and the deaf and dumb sleep,
The prisoner sleeps well in the prison--the run-away son sleeps;
The murderer that is to be hung next day--how does he sleep?
And the murder'd person--how does he sleep?

The female that loves unrequited sleeps,
And the male that loves unrequited sleeps, 20
The head of the money-maker that plotted all day sleeps,
And the enraged and treacherous dispositions--all, all sleep.


I stand in the dark with drooping eyes by the worst-suffering and the
most restless,
I pass my hands soothingly to and fro a few inches from them,
The restless sink in their beds--they fitfully sleep.

Now I pierce the darkness--new beings appear,
The earth recedes from me into the night,
I saw that it was beautiful, and I see that what is not the earth is
beautiful.

I go from bedside to bedside--I sleep close with the other sleepers,
each in turn,
I dream in my dream all the dreams of the other dreamers, 30
And I become the other dreamers.


I am a dance--Play up, there! the fit is whirling me fast!

I am the ever-laughing--it is new moon and twilight,
I see the hiding of douceurs--I see nimble ghosts whichever way I
look,
Cache, and cache again, deep in the ground and sea, and where it is
neither ground or sea.

Well do they do their jobs, those journeymen divine,
Only from me can they hide nothing, and would not if they could,
I reckon I am their boss, and they make me a pet besides,
And surround me and lead me, and run ahead when I walk,
To lift their cunning covers, to signify me with stretch'd arms, and
resume the way; 40
Onward we move! a gay gang of blackguards! with mirth-shouting music,
and wild-flapping pennants of joy!


I am the actor, the actress, the voter, the politician;
The emigrant and the exile, the criminal that stood in the box,
He who has been famous, and he who shall be famous after to-day,
The stammerer, the well-form'd person, the wasted or feeble person.


I am she who adorn'd herself and folded her hair expectantly,
My truant lover has come, and it is dark.

Double yourself and receive me, darkness!
Receive me and my lover too--he will not let me go without him.

I roll myself upon you, as upon a bed--I resign myself to the
dusk. 50


He whom I call answers me, and takes the place of my lover,
He rises with me silently from the bed.

Darkness! you are gentler than my lover--his flesh was sweaty and
panting,
I feel the hot moisture yet that he left me.

My hands are spread forth, I pass them in all directions,
I would sound up the shadowy shore to which you are journeying.

Be careful, darkness! already, what was it touch'd me?
I thought my lover had gone, else darkness and he are one,
I hear the heart-beat--I follow, I fade away.


O hot-cheek'd and blushing! O foolish hectic! 60
O for pity's sake, no one must see me now! my clothes were stolen
while I was abed,
Now I am thrust forth, where shall I run?

Pier that I saw dimly last night, when I look'd from the windows!
Pier out from the main, let me catch myself with you, and stay--I
will not chafe you,
I feel ashamed to go naked about the world.

I am curious to know where my feet stand--and what this is flooding
me, childhood or manhood--and the hunger that crosses the
bridge between.


The cloth laps a first sweet eating and drinking,
Laps life-swelling yolks--laps ear of rose-corn, milky and just
ripen'd;
The white teeth stay, and the boss-tooth advances in darkness,
And liquor is spill'd on lips and bosoms by touching glasses, and the
best liquor afterward. 70


I descend my western course, my sinews are flaccid,
Perfume and youth course through me, and I am their wake.

It is my face yellow and wrinkled, instead of the old woman's,
I sit low in a straw-bottom chair, and carefully darn my grandson's
stockings.

It is I too, the sleepless widow, looking out on the winter midnight,
I see the sparkles of starshine on the icy and pallid earth.

A shroud I see, and I am the shroud--I wrap a body, and lie in the
coffin,
It is dark here under ground--it is not evil or pain here--it is
blank here, for reasons.

It seems to me that everything in the light and air ought to be
happy,
Whoever is not in his coffin and the dark grave, let him know he has
enough. 80


I see a beautiful gigantic swimmer, swimming naked through the eddies
of the sea,
His brown hair lies close and even to his head--he strikes out with
courageous arms--he urges himself with his legs,
I see his white body--I see his undaunted eyes,
I hate the swift-running eddies that would dash him head-foremost on
the rocks.

What are you doing, you ruffianly red-trickled waves?
Will you kill the courageous giant? Will you kill him in the prime of
his middle age?

Steady and long he struggles,
He is baffled, bang'd, bruis'd--he holds out while his strength holds
out,
The slapping eddies are spotted with his blood--they bear him away--
they roll him, swing him, turn him,
His beautiful body is borne in the circling eddies, it is continually
bruis'd on rocks, 90
Swiftly and out of sight is borne the brave corpse.


I turn, but do not extricate myself,
Confused, a past-reading, another, but with darkness yet.

The beach is cut by the razory ice-wind--the wreck-guns sound,
The tempest lulls--the moon comes floundering through the drifts.

I look where the ship helplessly heads end on--I hear the burst as
she strikes--I hear the howls of dismay--they grow fainter and
fainter.

I cannot aid with my wringing fingers,
I can but rush to the surf, and let it drench me and freeze upon me.

I search with the crowd--not one of the company is wash'd to us
alive;
In the morning I help pick up the dead and lay them in rows in a
barn. 100


Now of the older war-days, the defeat at Brooklyn,
Washington stands inside the lines--he stands on the intrench'd
hills, amid a crowd of officers,
His face is cold and damp--he cannot repress the weeping drops,
He lifts the glass perpetually to his eyes--the color is blanch'd
from his cheeks,
He sees the slaughter of the southern braves confided to him by their
parents.

The same, at last and at last, when peace is declared,
He stands in the room of the old tavern--the well-belov'd soldiers
all pass through,
The officers speechless and slow draw near in their turns,
The chief encircles their necks with his arm, and kisses them on the
cheek,
He kisses lightly the wet cheeks one after another--he shakes hands,
and bids good-by to the army. 110


Now I tell what my mother told me to-day as we sat at dinner
together,
Of when she was a nearly grown girl, living home with her parents on
the old homestead.

A red squaw came one breakfast time to the old homestead,
On her back she carried a bundle of rushes for rush-bottoming chairs,
Her hair, straight, shiny, coarse, black, profuse, half-envelop'd her
face,
Her step was free and elastic, and her voice sounded exquisitely as
she spoke.

My mother look'd in delight and amazement at the stranger,
She look'd at the freshness of her tall-borne face, and full and
pliant limbs,
The more she look'd upon her, she loved her,
Never before had she seen such wonderful beauty and purity, 120
She made her sit on a bench by the jamb of the fireplace--she cook'd
food for her,
She had no work to give her, but she gave her remembrance and
fondness.

The red squaw staid all the forenoon, and toward the middle of the
afternoon she went away,
O my mother was loth to have her go away!
All the week she thought of her--she watch'd for her many a month,
She remember'd her many a winter and many a summer,
But the red squaw never came, nor was heard of there again.


Now Lucifer was not dead--or if he was, I am his sorrowful terrible
heir;
I have been wrong'd--I am oppress'd--I hate him that oppresses me,
I will either destroy him, or he shall release me. 130

Damn him! how he does defile me!
How he informs against my brother and sister, and takes pay for their
blood!
How he laughs when I look down the bend, after the steamboat that
carries away my woman!

Now the vast dusk bulk that is the whale's bulk, it seems mine;
Warily, sportsman! though I lie so sleepy and sluggish, the tap of my
flukes is death.


A show of the summer softness! a contact of something unseen! an
amour of the light and air!
I am jealous, and overwhelm'd with friendliness,
And will go gallivant with the light and air myself,
And have an unseen something to be in contact with them also.

O love and summer! you are in the dreams, and in me! 140
Autumn and winter are in the dreams--the farmer goes with his thrift,
The droves and crops increase, and the barns are well-fill'd.


Elements merge in the night--ships make tacks in the dreams,
The sailor sails--the exile returns home,
The fugitive returns unharm'd--the immigrant is back beyond months
and years,
The poor Irishman lives in the simple house of his childhood, with
the well-known neighbors and faces,
They warmly welcome him--he is barefoot again, he forgets he is well
off;
The Dutchman voyages home, and the Scotchman and Welshman voyage
home, and the native of the Mediterranean voyages home,
To every port of England, France, Spain, enter well-fill'd ships,
The Swiss foots it toward his hills--the Prussian goes his way, the
Hungarian his way, and the Pole his way, 150
The Swede returns, and the Dane and Norwegian return.


The homeward bound, and the outward bound,
The beautiful lost swimmer, the ennuyé, the onanist, the
female that loves unrequited, the money-maker,
The actor and actress, those through with their parts, and those
waiting to commence,
The affectionate boy, the husband and wife, the voter, the nominee
that is chosen, and the nominee that has fail'd,
The great already known, and the great any time after to-day,
The stammerer, the sick, the perfect-form'd, the homely,
The criminal that stood in the box, the judge that sat and sentenced
him, the fluent lawyers, the jury, the audience,
The laugher and weeper, the dancer, the midnight widow, the red
squaw,
The consumptive, the erysipelite, the idiot, he that is wrong'd, 160
The antipodes, and every one between this and them in the dark,
I swear they are averaged now--one is no better than the other,
The night and sleep have liken'd them and restored them.

I swear they are all beautiful;
Every one that sleeps is beautiful--everything in the dim light is
beautiful,
The wildest and bloodiest is over, and all is peace.


Peace is always beautiful, The myth of heaven indicates peace and
night.

The myth of heaven indicates the Soul;
The Soul is always beautiful--it appears more or it appears less--it
comes, or it lags behind, 170
It comes from its embower'd garden, and looks pleasantly on itself,
and encloses the world,
Perfect and clean the genitals previously jetting, and perfect and
clean the womb cohering,
The head well-grown, proportion'd and plumb, and the bowels and
joints proportion'd and plumb.


The Soul is always beautiful,
The universe is duly in order, everything is in its place,
What has arrived is in its place, and what waits is in its place;
The twisted skull waits, the watery or rotten blood waits,
The child of the glutton or venerealee waits long, and the child of
the drunkard waits long, and the drunkard himself waits long,
The sleepers that lived and died wait--the far advanced are to go on
in their turns, and the far behind are to come on in their
turns,
The diverse shall be no less diverse, but they shall flow and unite--
they unite now. 180


The sleepers are very beautiful as they lie unclothed,
They flow hand in hand over the whole earth, from east to west, as
they lie unclothed,
The Asiatic and African are hand in hand--the European and American
are hand in hand,
Learn'd and unlearn'd are hand in hand, and male and female are hand
in hand,
The bare arm of the girl crosses the bare breast of her lover--they
press close without lust--his lips press her neck,
The father holds his grown or ungrown son in his arms with
measureless love, and the son holds the father in his arms with
measureless love,
The white hair of the mother shines on the white wrist of the
daughter,
The breath of the boy goes with the breath of the man, friend is
inarm'd by friend,
The scholar kisses the teacher, and the teacher kisses the scholar--
the wrong'd is made right,
The call of the slave is one with the master's call, and the master
salutes the slave, 190
The felon steps forth from the prison--the insane becomes sane--the
suffering of sick persons is reliev'd,
The sweatings and fevers stop--the throat that was unsound is sound--
the lungs of the consumptive are resumed--the poor distress'd
head is free,
The joints of the rheumatic move as smoothly as ever, and smoother
than ever,
Stiflings and passages open--the paralyzed become supple,
The swell'd and convuls'd and congested awake to themselves in
condition,
They pass the invigoration of the night, and the chemistry of the
night, and awake.


I too pass from the night,
I stay a while away, O night, but I return to you again, and love
you.

Why should I be afraid to trust myself to you?
I am not afraid--I have been well brought forward by you; 200
I love the rich running day, but I do not desert her in whom I lay so
long,
I know not how I came of you, and I know not where I go with you--but
I know I came well, and shall go well.

I will stop only a time with the night, and rise betimes;
I will duly pass the day, O my mother, and duly return to you.

by Walt Whitman.

The Kalevala - Rune Xiv

DEATH OF LEMMINKAINEN.


Lemminkainen, much disheartened,
Deeply thought and long considered,
What to do, what course to follow,
Whether best to leave the wild-moose
In the fastnesses of Hisi,
And return to Kalevala,
Or a third time hunt the ranger,
Hoping thus to bring him captive,
Thus return at last a victor
To the forest home of Louhi,
To the joy of all her daughters,
To the wood-nymph's happy fireside.
Taking courage Lemminkainen
Spake these words in supplication:
'Ukko, thou O God above me,
Thou Creator of the heavens,
Put my snow-shoes well in order,
And endow them both with swiftness,
That I rapidly may journey
Over marshes, over snow-fields,
Over lowlands, over highlands,
Through the realms of wicked Hisi,
Through the distant plains of Lapland,
Through the paths of Lempo's wild-moose,
To the forest hills of Juutas.
To the snow-fields shall I journey,
Leave the heroes to the woodlands,
On the way to Tapiola,
Into Tapio's wild dwellings.
'Greeting bring I to the mountains,
Greeting to the vales and uplands,
Greet ye, heights with forests covered,
Greet ye, ever-verdant fir-trees,
Greet ye, groves of whitened aspen,
Greetings bring to those that greet you,
Fields, and streams, and woods of Lapland.
Bring me favor, mountain-woodlands,
Lapland-deserts, show me kindness,
Mighty Tapio, be gracious,
Let me wander through thy forests,
Let me glide along thy rivers,
Let this hunter search thy snow-fields,
Where the wild-moose herds in numbers
Where the bounding reindeer lingers.
'O Nyrikki, mountain hero,
Son of Tapio of forests,
Hero with the scarlet head-gear,
Notches make along the pathway,
Landmarks upward to the mountains,
That this hunter may not wander,
May not fall, and falling perish
In the snow-fields of thy kingdom,
Hunting for the moose of Hisi,
Dowry for the pride of Northland.
'Mistress of the woods, Mielikki,
Forest-mother, formed in beauty,
Let thy gold flow out abundant,
Let thy silver onward wander,
For the hero that is seeking
For the wild-moose of thy kingdom;
Bring me here thy keys of silver,
From the golden girdle round thee;
Open Tapio's rich chambers,
And unlock the forest fortress,
While I here await the booty,
While I hunt the moose of Lempo.
'Should this service be too menial
Give the order to thy servants,
Send at once thy servant-maidens,
And command it to thy people.
Thou wilt never seem a hostess,
If thou hast not in thy service,
Maidens ready by the hundreds,
Thousands that await thy bidding,
Who thy herds may watch and nurture,
Tend the game of thy dominions.
'Tall and slender forest-virgin,
Tapio's beloved daughter,
Blow thou now thy honey flute-notes,
Play upon thy forest-whistle,
For the hearing of thy mistress,
For thy charming woodland-mistress,
Make her hear thy sweet-toned playing,
That she may arise from slumber.
Should thy mistress not awaken
At the calling of thy flute-notes,
Play again, and play unceasing,
Make the golden tongue re-echo.'
Wild and daring Lemminkainen
Steadfast prays upon his journey,
Calling on the gods for succor,
Hastens off through fields and moorlands,
Passes on through cruel brush-wood,
To the colliery of Hisi,
To the burning fields of Lempo;
Glided one day, then a second,
Glided all the next day onward,
Till he came to Big-stone mountain,
Climbed upon its rocky summit,
Turned his glances to the north-west,
Toward the Northland moors and marshes;
There appeared the Tapio-mansion.
All the doors were golden-colored,
Shining in the gleam of sunlight
Through the thickets on the mountains,
Through the distant fields of Northland.
Lemminkainen, much encouraged,
Hastens onward from his station
Through the lowlands, o'er the uplands,
Over snow-fields vast and vacant,
Under snow-robed firs and aspens,
Hastens forward, happy-hearted,
Quickly reaches Tapio's court-yards,
Halts without at Tapio's windows,
Slyly looks into her mansion,
Spies within some kindly women,
Forest-dames outstretched before him,
All are clad in scanty raiment,
Dressed in soiled and ragged linens.
Spake the stranger Lemminkainen:
'Wherefore sit ye, forest-mothers,
In your old and simple garments,
In your soiled and ragged linen?
Ye, forsooth! are too untidy,
Too unsightly your appearance
In your tattered gowns appareled.
When I lived within the forest,
There were then three mountain castles,
One of horn and one of ivory,
And the third of wood constructed;
In their walls were golden windows,
Six the windows in each castle,
Through these windows I discovered
All the host of Tapio's mansion,
Saw its fair and stately hostess;
Saw great Tapio's lovely daughter,
Saw Tellervo in her beauty,
With her train of charming maidens;
All were dressed in golden raiment,
Rustled all in gold and silver.
Then the forest's queenly hostess,
Still the hostess of these woodlands,
On her arms wore golden bracelets,
Golden rings upon her fingers,
In her hair were sparkling, jewels,
On her bead were golden fillets,
In her ears were golden ear-rings,
On her neck a pearly necklace,
And her braidlets, silver-tinselled.
'Lovely hostess of the forest,
Metsola's enchanting mistress,
Fling aside thine ugly straw-shoes,
Cast away the shoes of birch-bark,
Doff thy soiled and ragged linen,
Doff thy gown of shabby fabric,
Don the bright and festive raiment,
Don the gown of merry-making,
While I stay within thy borders,
While I seek my forest-booty,
Hunt the moose of evil Hisi.
Here my visit will be irksome,
Here thy guest will be ill-humored,
Waiting in thy fields and woodlands,
Hunting here the moose of Lempo,
Finding not the Hisi-ranger,
Shouldst thou give me no enjoyment,
Should I find no joy, nor respite.
Long the eve that gives no pleasure,
Long the day that brings no guerdon!
'Sable-bearded god of forests,
In thy hat and coat of ermine,
Robe thy trees in finest fibers,
Deck thy groves in richest fabrics,
Give the fir-trees shining silver,
Deck with gold the slender balsams,
Give the spruces copper belting,
And the pine-trees silver girdles,
Give the birches golden flowers,
Deck their stems with silver fret-work,
This their garb in former ages,
When the days and nights were brighter,
When the fir-trees shone like sunlight,
And the birches like the moonbeams;
Honey breathed throughout the forest,
Settled in the glens and highlands
Spices in the meadow-borders,
Oil out-pouring from the lowlands.
'Forest daughter, lovely virgin,
Golden maiden, fair Tulikki,
Second of the Tapio-daughters,
Drive the game within these borders,
To these far-extending snow-fields.
Should the reindeer be too sluggish,
Should the moose-deer move too slowly
Cut a birch-rod from the thicket,
Whip them hither in their beauty,
Drive the wild-moose to my hurdle,
Hither drive the long-sought booty
To the hunter who is watching,
Waiting in the Hisi-forests.
'When the game has started hither,
Keep them in the proper highway,
Hold thy magic hands before them,
Guard them well on either road-side,
That the elk may not escape thee,
May not dart adown some by-path.
Should, perchance, the moose-deer wander
Through some by-way of the forest,
Take him by the ears and antlers,
Hither lead the pride of Lempo.
'If the path be filled with brush-wood
Cast the brush-wood to the road-side;
If the branches cross his pathway,
Break the branches into fragments;
Should a fence of fir or alder
Cross the way that leads him hither.
Make an opening within it,
Open nine obstructing fences;
If the way be crossed by streamlets,
If the path be stopped by rivers,
Make a bridge of silken fabric,
Weaving webs of scarlet color,
Drive the deer-herd gently over,
Lead them gently o'er the waters,
O'er the rivers of thy forests,
O'er the streams of thy dominions.
'Thou, the host of Tapio's mansion,
Gracious host of Tapiola,
Sable-bearded god of woodlands,
Golden lord of Northland forests,
Thou, O Tapio's worthy hostess,
Queen of snowy woods, Mimerkki,
Ancient dame in sky-blue vesture,
Fenland-queen in scarlet ribbons,
Come I to exchange my silver,
To exchange my gold and silver;
Gold I have, as old as moonlight,
Silver of the age of sunshine,
In the first of years was gathered,
In the heat and pain of battle;
It will rust within my pouches,
Soon will wear away and perish,
If it be not used in trading.'
Long the hunter, Lemminkainen,
Glided through the fen and forest,
Sang his songs throughout the woodlands,
Through three mountain glens be sang them,
Sang the forest hostess friendly,
Sang he, also, Tapio friendly,
Friendly, all the forest virgins,
All of Metsola's fair daughters.
Now they start the herds of Lempo,
Start the wild-moose from his shelter,
In the realms of evil Hisi,
Tapio's highest mountain-region;
Now they drive the ranger homeward,
To the open courts of Piru,
To the hero that is waiting,
Hunting for the moose of Juutas.
When the herd had reached the castle,
Lemminkainen threw his lasso
O'er the antlers of the blue-moose,
Settled on the neck and shoulders
Of the mighty moose of Hisi.
Then the hunter, Kaukomieli,
Stroked his captive's neck in safety,
For the moose was well-imprisoned.
Thereupon gay Lemminkainen
Filled with joyance spake as follows:
'Pride of forests, queen of woodlands,
Metsola's enchanted hostess,
Lovely forest dame, Mielikki,
Mother-donor of the mountains,
Take the gold that I have promised,
Come and take away the silver;
Spread thy kerchief well before me,
Spread out here thy silken neck-wrap,
Underneath the golden treasure,
Underneath the shining silver,
that to earth it may not settle,
Scattered on the snows of winter.'
Then the hero went a victor
To the dwellings of Pohyola,
And addressed these words to Louhi:
'I have caught the moose of Hisi,
In the Metsola-dominions,
Give, O hostess, give thy daughter,
Give to me thy fairest virgin,
Bride of mine to be hereafter.'
Louhi, hostess of the Northland,
Gave this answer to the suitor:
'I will give to thee my daughter,
For thy wife my fairest maiden,
When for me thou'lt put a bridle
On the flaming horse of Hisi,
Rapid messenger of Lempo,
On the Hisi-plains and pastures.'
Nothing daunted, Lemminkainen
Hastened forward to accomplish
Louhi's second test of heroes,
On the cultivated lowlands,
On the sacred fields and forests.
Everywhere he sought the racer,
Sought the fire-expiring stallion,
Fire out-shooting from his nostrils.
Lemminkainen, fearless hunter,
Bearing in his belt his bridle,
On his shoulders, reins and halter,
Sought one day, and then a second,
Finally, upon the third day,
Went he to the Hisi-mountain,
Climbed, and struggled to the summit;
To the east he turned his glances,
Cast his eyes upon the sunrise,
There beheld the flaming courser,
On the heath among the far-trees.
Lempo's fire-expiring stallion
Fire and mingled smoke, out-shooting
From his mouth, and eyes, and nostrils.
Spake the daring Lemminkainen,
This the hero's supplication:
'Ukko, thou O God above me,
Thou that rulest all the storm-clouds,
Open thou the vault of heaven,
Open windows through the ether,
Let the icy rain come falling,
Lot the heavy hailstones shower
On the flaming horse of Hisi,
On the fire-expiring stallion.'
Ukko, the benign Creator,
Heard the prayer of Lemminkainen,
Broke apart the dome of heaven,
Rent the heights of heaven asunder,
Sent the iron-hail in showers,
Smaller than the heads of horses,
Larger than the heads of heroes,
On the flaming steed of Lempo,
On the fire-expiring stallion,
On the terror of the Northland.
Lemminkainen, drawing nearer,
Looked with care upon the courser,
Then he spake the words that follow:
'Wonder-steed of mighty Hisi,
Flaming horse of Lempo's mountain,
Bring thy mouth of gold, assenting,
Gently place thy head of silver
In this bright and golden halter,
In this silver-mounted bridle.
I shall never harshly treat thee,
Never make thee fly too fleetly,
On the way to Sariola,
On the tracks of long duration,
To the hostess of Pohyola,
To her magic courts and stables,
Will not lash thee on thy journey;
I shall lead thee gently forward,
Drive thee with the reins of kindness,
Cover thee with silken blankets.'
Then the fire-haired steed of Juutas,
Flaming horse of mighty Hisi,
Put his bead of shining silver,
In the bright and golden bead-stall,
In the silver-mounted bridle.
Thus the hero, Lemminkainen,
Easy bridles Lempo's stallion,
Flaming horse of evil Piru;
Lays the bits within his fire-mouth,
On his silver head, the halter,
Mounts the fire-expiring courser,
Brandishes his whip of willow,
Hastens forward on his journey,
Bounding o'er the hills and mountains,
Dashing through the valleys northward,
O'er the snow-capped hills of Lapland,
To the courts of Sariola.
Then the hero, quick dismounting,
Stepped within the court of Louhi,
Thus addressed the Northland hostess:
'I have bridled Lempo's fire-horse,
I have caught the Hisi-racer,
Caught the fire-expiring stallion,
In the Piru plains and pastures,
Ridden him within thy borders;
I have caught the moose of Lempo,
I have done what thou demandest;
Give, I pray thee, now thy daughter,
Give to me thy fairest maiden,
Bride of mine to be forever.'
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Made this answer to the suitor:
'I will only give my daughter,
Give to thee my fairest virgin,
Bride of thine to be forever,
When for me the swan thou killest
In the river of Tuoni,
Swimming in the black death-river,
In the sacred stream and whirlpool;
Thou canst try one cross-bow only,
But one arrow from thy quiver.'
Then the reckless Lemminkainen,
Handsome hero, Kaukomieli,
Braved the third test of the hero,
Started out to hunt the wild-swan,
Hunt the long-necked, graceful swimmer,
In Tuoni's coal-black river,
In Manala's lower regions.
Quick the daring hunter journeyed,
Hastened off with fearless footsteps,
To the river of Tuoni,
To the sacred stream and whirlpool,
With his bow upon his shoulder,
With his quiver and one arrow.
Nasshut, blind and crippled shepherd,
Wretched shepherd of Pohyola,
Stood beside the death-land river,
Near the sacred stream and whirlpool,
Guarding Tuonela's waters,
Waiting there for Lemminkainen,
Listening there for Kaukomieli,
Waiting long the hero's coming.
Finally he hears the footsteps
Of the hero on his journey,
Hears the tread of Lemminkainen,
As he journeys nearer, nearer,
To the river of Tuoni,
To the cataract of death-land,
To the sacred stream and whirlpool.
Quick the wretched shepherd, Nasshut,
From the death-stream sends a serpent,
Like an arrow from a cross-bow,
To the heart of Lemminkainen,
Through the vitals of the hero.
Lemminkainen, little conscious,
Hardly knew that be was injured,
Spake these measures as he perished.
'Ah! unworthy is my conduct,
Ah! unwisely have I acted,
That I did not heed my mother,
Did not take her goodly counsel,
Did not learn her words of magic.
Oh I for three words with my mother,
How to live, and bow to suffer,
In this time of dire misfortune,
How to bear the stings of serpents,
Tortures of the reed of waters,
From the stream of Tuonela!
'Ancient mother who hast borne me,
Who hast trained me from my childhood,
Learn, I pray thee, where I linger,
Where alas! thy son is lying,
Where thy reckless hero suffers.
Come, I pray thee, faithful mother,
Come thou quickly, thou art needed,
Come deliver me from torture,
From the death-jaws of Tuoni,
From the sacred stream and whirlpool.'
Northland's old and wretched shepherd,
Nasshut, the despised protector
Of the flocks of Sariola,
Throws the dying Lemminkainen,
Throws the hero of the islands,
Into Tuonela's river,
To the blackest stream of death-land,
To the worst of fatal whirlpools.
Lemminkainen, wild and daring,
Helpless falls upon the waters,
Floating down the coal-black current,
Through the cataract and rapids
To the tombs of Tuonela.
There the blood-stained son of death-land,
There Tuoni's son and hero,
Cuts in pieces Lemminkainen,
Chops him with his mighty hatchet,
Till the sharpened axe strikes flint-sparks
From the rocks within his chamber,
Chops the hero into fragments,
Into five unequal portions,
Throws each portion to Tuoni,
In Manala's lowest kingdom,
Speaks these words when he has ended:
'Swim thou there, wild Lemminkainen,
Flow thou onward in this river,
Hunt forever in these waters,
With thy cross-bow and thine arrow,
Shoot the swan within this empire,
Shoot our water-birds in welcome!'
Thus the hero, Lemminkainen,
Thus the handsome Kaukomieli,
The untiring suitor, dieth
In the river of Tuoni,
In the death-realm of Manala.

by Elias Lönnrot.

The Deserted Garden

I know a village in a far-off land
Where from a sunny, mountain-girdled plain
With tinted walls a space on either hand
And fed by many an olive-darkened lane
The high-road mounts, and thence a silver band
Through vineyard slopes above and rolling grain,
Winds off to that dim corner of the skies
Where behind sunset hills a stately city lies.

Here, among trees whose overhanging shade
Strews petals on the little droves below,
Pattering townward in the morning weighed
With greens from many an upland garden-row,
Runs an old wall; long centuries have frayed
Its scalloped edge, and passers to and fro
Heard never from beyond its crumbling height
Sweet laughter ring at noon or plaintive song at night.

But here where little lizards bask and blink
The tendrils of the trumpet-vine have run,
At whose red bells the humming bird to drink
Stops oft before his garden feast is done;
And rose-geraniums, with that tender pink
That cloud-banks borrow from the setting sun,
Have covered part of this old wall, entwined
With fair plumbago, blue as evening heavens behind.

And crowning other parts the wild white rose
Rivals the honey-suckle with the bees.
Above the old abandoned orchard shows
And all within beneath the dense-set trees,
Tall and luxuriant the rank grass grows,
That settled in its wavy depth one sees
Grass melt in leaves, the mossy trunks between,
Down fading avenues of implicated green;

Wherein no lack of flowers the verdurous night
With stars and pearly nebula o'erlay;
Azalea-boughs half rosy and half white
Shine through the green and clustering apple-spray,
Such as the fairy-queen before her knight
Waved in old story, luring him away
Where round lost isles Hesperian billows break
Or towers loom up beneath the clear, translucent lake;

And under the deep grass blue hare-bells hide,
And myrtle plots with dew-fall ever wet,
Gay tiger-lilies flammulate and pied,
Sometime on pathway borders neatly set,
Now blossom through the brake on either side,
Where heliotrope and weedy mignonette,
With vines in bloom and flower-bearing trees,
Mingle their incense all to swell the perfumed breeze,

That sprung like Hermes from his natal cave
In some blue rampart of the curving West,
Comes up the valleys where green cornfields wave,
Ravels the cloud about the mountain crest,
Breathes on the lake till gentle ripples pave
Its placid floor; at length a long-loved guest,
He steals across this plot of pleasant ground,
Waking the vocal leaves to a sweet vernal sound.

Here many a day right gladly have I sped,
Content amid the wavy plumes to lie,
And through the woven branches overhead
Watch the white, ever-wandering clouds go by,
And soaring birds make their dissolving bed
Far in the azure depths of summer sky,
Or nearer that small huntsman of the air,
The fly-catcher, dart nimbly from his leafy lair;

Pillowed at case to hear the merry tune
Of mating warblers in the boughs above
And shrill cicadas whom the hottest noon
Keeps not from drowsy song; the mourning dove
Pours down the murmuring grove his plaintive croon
That like the voice of visionary love
Oft have I risen to seek through this green maze
(Even as my feet thread now the great world's garden-ways);

And, parting tangled bushes as I passed
Down beechen allies beautiful and dim,
Perhaps by some deep-shaded pool at last
My feet would pause, where goldfish poise and swim,
And snowy callas' velvet cups are massed
Around the mossy, fern-encircled brim.
Here, then, that magic summoning would cease,
Or sound far off again among the orchard trees.

And here where the blanched lilies of the vale
And violets and yellow star-flowers teem,
And pink and purple hyacinths exhale
Their heavy fume, once more to drowse and dream
My head would sink, from many an olden tale
Drawing imagination's fervid theme,
Or haply peopling this enchanting spot
Only with fair creations of fantastic thought.

For oft I think, in years long since gone by,
That gentle hearts dwelt here and gentle hands
Stored all this bowery bliss to beautify
The paradise of some unsung romance;
Here, safe from all except the loved one's eye,
'Tis sweet to think white limbs were wont to glance,
Well pleased to wanton like the flowers and share
Their simple loveliness with the enamored air.

Thrice dear to them whose votive fingers decked
The altars of First Love were these green ways,
These lawns and verdurous brakes forever flecked
With the warm sunshine of midsummer days;
Oft where the long straight allies intersect
And marble seats surround the open space,
Where a tiled pool and sculptured fountain stand,
Hath Evening found them seated, silent, hand in hand.

When twilight deepened, in the gathering shade
Beneath that old titanic cypress row,
Whose sombre vault and towering colonnade
Dwarfed the enfolded forms that moved below,
Oft with close steps these happy lovers strayed,
Till down its darkening aisle the sunset glow
Grew less and patterning the garden floor
Faint flakes of filtering moonlight mantled more and more.

And the strange tempest that a touch imparts
Through the mid fibre of the molten frame,
When the sweet flesh in early youth asserts
Its heyday verve and little hints enflame,
Disturbed them as they walked; from their full hearts
Welled the soft word, and many a tender name
Strove on their lips as breast to breast they strained
And the deep joy they drank seemed never, never drained.

Love's soul that is the depth of starry skies
Set in the splendor of one upturned face
To beam adorably through half-closed eyes;
Love's body where the breadth of summer days
And all the beauty earth and air comprise
Come to the compass of an arm's embrace,
To burn a moment on impassioned lips
And yield intemperate joy to quivering finger-tips,

They knew; and here where morning-glories cling
Round carven forms of carefullest artifice,
They made a bower where every outward thing
Should comment on the cause of their own bliss;
With flowers of liveliest hue encompassing
That flower that the beloved body is
That rose that for the banquet of Love's bee
Has budded all the æons of past eternity.

But their choice seat was where the garden wall,
Crowning a little summit, far and near,
Looks over tufted treetops onto all
The pleasant outer country; rising here
From rustling foliage where cuckoos call
On summer evenings, stands a belvedere,
Buff-hued, of antique plaster, overrun
With flowering vines and weatherworn by rain and sun.

Still round the turrets of this antique tower
The bougainvillea hangs a crimson crown,
Wistaria-vines and clematis in flower,
Wreathing the lower surface further down,
Hide the old plaster in a very shower
Of motley blossoms like a broidered gown.
Outside, ascending from the garden grove,
A crumbling stairway winds to the one room above.

And whoso mounts by this dismantled stair
Finds the old pleasure-hall, long disarrayed,
Brick-tiled and raftered, and the walls foursquare
Ringed all about with a twofold arcade.
Backward dense branches intercept the glare
Of afternoon with eucalyptus shade;
Eastward the level valley-plains expand,
Sweet as a queen's survey of her own Fairyland.

For through that frame the ivied arches make,
Wide tracts of sunny midland charm the eye,
Frequent with hamlet grove, and lucent lake
Where the blue hills' inverted contours lie;
Far to the east where billowy mountains break
In surf of snow against a sapphire sky,
Huge thunderheads loom up behind the ranges,
Changing from gold to pink as deepening sunset changes;

And over plain and far sierra spread
The fulgent rays of fading afternoon,
Showing each utmost peak and watershed
All clarified, each tassel and festoon
Of floating cloud embroidered overhead,
Like lotus-leaves on bluest waters strewn,
Flushing with rose, while all breathes fresh and free
In peace and amplitude and bland tranquillity.

Dear were such evenings to this gentle pair;
Love's tide that launched on with a blast too strong
Sweeps toward the foaming reef, the hidden snare,
Baffling with fond illusion's siren-song,
Too faint, on idle shoals, to linger there
Far from Youth's glowing dream, bore them along,
With purple sail and steered by seraph hands
To isles resplendent in the sunset of romance.

And out of this old house a flowery fane,
A bridal bower, a pearly pleasure-dome,
They built, and furnished it with gold and grain,
And bade all spirits of beauty hither come,
And wingéd Love to enter with his train
And bless their pillow, and in this his home
Make them his priests as Hero was of yore
In her sweet girlhood by the blue Dardanian shore.

Tree-ferns, therefore, and potted palms they brought,
Tripods and urns in rare and curious taste,
Polychrome chests and cabinets inwrought
With pearl and ivory etched and interlaced;
Pendant brocades with massive braid were caught,
And chain-slung, oriental lamps so placed
To light the lounger on some low divan,
Sunken in swelling down and silks from Hindustan.

And there was spread, upon the ample floors,
Work of the Levantine's laborious loom,
Such as by Euxine or Ionian shores
Carpets the dim seraglio's scented gloom.
Each morn renewed, the garden's flowery stores
Blushed in fair vases, ochre and peach-bloom,
And little birds through wicker doors left wide
Flew in to trill a space from the green world outside.

And there was many a dainty attitude,
Bronze and eburnean. All but disarrayed,
Here in eternal doubt sweet Psyche stood
Fain of the bath's delight, yet still afraid
Lest aught in that palatial solitude
Lurked of most menace to a helpless maid.
Therefore forever faltering she stands,
Nor yet the last loose fold slips rippling from her hands.

Close by upon a beryl column, clad
In the fresh flower of adolescent grace,
They set the dear Bithynian shepherd lad,
The nude Antinous. That gentle face,
Forever beautiful, forever sad,
Shows but one aspect, moon-like, to our gaze,
Yet Fancy pictures how those lips could smile
At revelries in Rome, and banquets on the Nile.

And there were shapes of Beauty myriads more,
Clustering their rosy bridal bed around,
Whose scented breadth a silken fabric wore
Broidered with peacock hues on creamiest ground,
Fit to have graced the barge that Cydnus bore
Or Venus' bed in her enchanted mound,
While pillows swelled in stuffs of Orient dyes,
All broidered with strange fruits and birds of Paradise.

'Twas such a bower as Youth has visions of,
Thither with one fair spirit to retire,
Lie upon rose-leaves, sleep and wake with Love
And feast on kisses to the heart's desire;
Where by a casement opening on a grove,
Wide to the wood-winds and the sweet birds' choir,
A girl might stand and gaze into green boughs,
Like Credhe at the window of her golden house.

Or most like Vivien, the enchanting fay,
Where with her friend, in the strange tower they planned,
She lies and dreams eternity away,
Above the treetops in Broceliande,
Sometimes at twilight when the woods are gray
And wolf-packs howl far out across the lande,
Waking to love, while up behind the trees
The large midsummer moon lifts-even so loved these.

For here, their pleasure was to come and sit
Oft when the sun sloped midway to the west,
Watching with sweet enjoyment interknit
The long light slant across the green earth's breast,
And clouds upon the ranges opposite,
Rolled up into a gleaming thundercrest,
Topple and break and fall in purple rain,
And mist of summer showers trail out across the plain.

Whereon the shafts of ardent light, far-flung
Across the luminous azure overhead,
Ofttimes in arcs of transient beauty hung
The fragmentary rainbow's green and red.
Joy it was here to love and to be young,
To watch the sun sink to his western bed,
And streaming back out of their flaming core
The vesperal aurora's glorious banners soar.

Tinging each altitude of heaven in turn,
Those fiery rays would sweep. The cumuli
That peeped above the mountain-tops would burn
Carmine a space; the cirrus-whorls on high,
More delicate than sprays of maiden fern,
Streak with pale rose the peacock-breasted sky,
Then blanch. As water-lilies fold at night,
Sank back into themselves those plumes of fervid light.

And they would watch the first faint stars appear,
The blue East blend with the blue hills below,
As lovers when their shuddering bliss draws near
Into one pulse of fluid rapture grow.
New fragrance on the freshening atmosphere
Would steal with evening, and the sunset glow
Draw deeper down into the wondrous west
Round vales of Proserpine and islands of the blest.

So dusk would come and mingle lake and shore,
The snow-peaks fade to frosty, opaline,
To pearl the doméd clouds the mountains bore,
Where late the sun's effulgent fire had been
Showing as darkness deepened more and more
The incandescent lightnings flare within,
And Night that furls the lily in the glen
And twines impatient arms would fall, and then---and then . . .

Sometimes the peasant, coming late from town
With empty panniers on his little drove
Past the old lookout when the Northern Crown
Glittered with Cygnus through the scented grove,
Would hear soft noise of lute-strings wafted down
And voices singing through the leaves above
Those songs that well from the warm heart that woos
At balconies in Merida or Vera Cruz.

And he would pause under the garden wall,
Caught in the spell of that voluptuous strain,
With all the sultry South in it, and all
Its importunity of love and pain;
And he would wait till the last passionate fall
Died on the night, and all was still again.
Then to his upland village wander home,
Marvelling whence that flood of elfin song might come.

O lyre that Love's white holy hands caress,
Youth, from thy bosom welled their passionate lays
Sweet opportunity for happiness
So brief, so passing beautiful---O days,
When to the heart's divine indulgences
All earth in smiling ministration pays
Thine was the source whose plenitude, past over,
What prize shall rest to pluck, what secret to discover!

The wake of color that follows her when May
Walks on the hills loose-haired and daisy-crowned,
The deep horizons of a summer's day,
Fair cities, and the pleasures that abound
Where music calls, and crowds in bright array
Gather by night to find and to be found;
What were these worth or all delightful things
Without thine eyes to read their true interpretings!

For thee the mountains open glorious gates,
To thee white arms put out from orient skies,
Earth, like a jewelled bride for one she waits,
Decks but to be delicious in thine eyes,
Thou guest of honor for one day, whose fêtes
Eternity has travailed to devise;
Ah, grace them well in the brief hour they last!
Another's turn prepares, another follows fast.

Yet not without one fond memorial
Let my sun set who found the world so fair!
Frail verse, when Time the singer's coronal
Has rent, and stripped the rose-leaves from his hair,
Be thou my tablet on the temple wall!
Among the pious testimonials there,
Witness how sweetly on my heart as well
The miracles of dawn and starry evening fell!

Speak of one then who had the lust to feel,
And, from the hues that far horizons take,
And cloud and sunset, drank the wild appeal,
Too deep to live for aught but life's sweet sake,
Whose only motive was the will to kneel
Where Beauty's purest benediction spake,
Who only coveted what grove and field
And sunshine and green Earth and tender arms could yield---

A nympholept, through pleasant days and drear
Seeking his faultless adolescent dream,
A pilgrim down the paths that disappear
In mist and rainbows on the world's extreme,
A helpless voyager who all too near
The mouth of Life's fair flower-bordered stream,
Clutched at Love's single respite in his need
More than the drowning swimmer clutches at a reed---

That coming one whose feet in other days
Shall bleed like mine for ever having, more
Than any purpose, felt the need to praise
And seek the angelic image to adore,
In love with Love, its wonderful, sweet ways
Counting what most makes life worth living for,
That so some relic may be his to see
How I loved these things too and they were dear to me.

I sometimes think a conscious happiness
Mantles through all the rose's sentient vine
When summer winds with myriad calyces
Of bloom its clambering height incarnadine;
I sometimes think that cleaving lips, no less,
And limbs that crowned desires at length entwine
Are nerves through which that being drinks delight,
Whose frame is the green Earth robed round with day and night.

And such were theirs: the traveller without,
Pausing at night under the orchard trees,
Wondered and crossed himself in holy doubt,
For through their song and in the murmuring breeze
It seemed angelic choirs were all about
Mingling in universal harmonies,
As though, responsive to the chords they woke,
All Nature into sweet epithalamium broke.

And still they think a spirit haunts the place:
'Tis said, when Night has drawn her jewelled pall
And through the branches twinkling fireflies trace
Their mimic constellations, if it fall
That one should see the moon rise through the lace
Of blossomy boughs above the garden wall,
That surely would he take great ill thereof
And famish in a fit of unexpressive love.

But this I know not, for what time the wain
Was loosened and the lily's petal furled,
Then I would rise, climb the old wall again,
And pausing look forth on the sundown world,
Scan the wide reaches of the wondrous plain,
The hamlet sites where settling smoke lay curled,
The poplar-bordered roads, and far away
Fair snowpeaks colored with the sun's last ray.

Waves of faint sound would pulsate from afar
Faint song and preludes of the summer night;
Deep in the cloudless west the evening star
Hung 'twixt the orange and the emerald light;
From the dark vale where shades crepuscular
Dimmed the old grove-girt belfry glimmering white,
Throbbing, as gentlest breezes rose or fell,
Came the sweet invocation of the evening bell.

by Alan Seeger.

Dear exile from the hurrying crowd,
At work I muse to you aloud;
Thought on my anvil softens, glows,
And I forget our art has foes;
For life, the mother of beauty, seems
A joyous sleep with waking dreams.
Then the toy armoury of the brain
Opining, judging, looks as vain
As trowels silver gilt for use
Of mayors and kings, who have to lay
Foundation stones in hope they may
Be honoured for walls others build.
I, in amicable muse,
With fathomless wonder only filled,
Whisper over to your ear
Listening two hundred odd miles north,
And give thought chase that, were you here,
Our talk would never run to earth.

Man can answer no momentous question:
Whence comes his spirit? Has it lived before?
Reason fails; hot springs of feeling spout
Their snowy columns high in the dim land
Of his surmise — violent divine decisions
That often rule him: and at times he views
Portraits of places he has never been to,
Yet more minute and vivid than remembrance,
Of boyhood homes, sail between sleep and waking
Like some mirage, refuting all experience
With topsy-turvy ships,
That steals by in dead calms through tropic haze:
And many a man in his climacteric years,
Thoughts and remembered words have roused from sleep
With knowledge that he lacked on lying down:
And I, lapped in a trance of reverie, doubt
Some spore of episodes
Anterior far beyond this body's birth,
Dispersed like puffs of dust impalpable,
Wind-carried round this globe for centuries,
May, breathed with common air, yet swim the blood,
And striking root in this or that brain, raise
Imaginations unaccountable;
One such seems half-implied in all I am,
And many times re-pondered shapes like this:

A child myself I watched a woman loll
Like to a clot of seaweed thrown ashore;
Heavy and limp as cloth soaked in black dye,
She glooms the noontide dazzle where a bay
Bites into vineyarded flats close-fenced by hills,
Over whose tops lap forests of cork and fir
And reach in places half down their rough slopes.
Lower, some few cleared fields square on the thickets
Of junipers and longer thorns than furze
So clumped that they are trackless even for goats
I know two things about that woman: first
She is a slave and I am free, and next
As mothers need their sons' love she needs mine.
Longings to utter fond compassionate sounds
Stir through me, checked by knowing wiser folk
Reprobate such indulgence. Ill at ease,
Mute, yet her captive, I thrust brown toes through
Loose sand no daily large tides overwhelm
To cake and roll it firm and smooth and clean
As the Atlantic remakes shores, you know.
But there, like trailing skirts, long flaws of wind
Obliterate the prints feet during calms
Track over and over its always lonely stretch,
Till some will have, it ghosts must rove at night;
For folk by day are rare, yet a still week
Leaves hardly ten yards anywhere uncrossed;
Tempest spreads all revirginate like snow,
Half burying dead wood snapped off from tossed trees,
Since right along the foreshore, out of reach
Of furious driven waves, three hundred pines
Straggle the marches between sand and soil.
Like maps of stone-walled fields their branching roots
Hold the silt still so that thin grass grows there,
Its blades whitened with travelling powdery drift
The besom of the lightest breeze sets stirring.
That woman's gaze toils worn from remote years,
Yet forward yearns through the bright spacious noon,
Beyond the farthest isle, whose filmy shape
Floats faint on the sea-line.
I, scooping grains up with the frail half-shell
Pale green and white-lined of sea-urchin, knew
What her eyes sought as often children know
Of grief or sin they could not name or think of
Yet sooth or shrink from, so I saw and longed
To heal her tender wound and yet said naught.
The energy of bygone joy and pain
Had left her listless figure charged with magic
That caught and held my idleness near hers.
Resentful of her power, my spirit chafed
Against its own deep pity, as though it were
Raised ghost and she the witch had bid it haunt me.
What's more I knew this slave by rights should glean
And faggot drift-wood, not lounge there and waste
My father's food dreaming his time away.
For then as now the common-minded rich
Grudged ease to those whose toil brought them in means
For every waste of life. At length I spoke,
Insulting both my inarticulate soul
And her with acted anger: 'Lazy wretch,
Is it for eyes like yours to watch the sea
As though you waited for a homing ship?
My father might with reason spend his hours
Scanning the far horizon; for his Swan
Whose outward lading was full half a vintage
Is now months overdue.' She turned on me
Her languor knit and, through its homespun wrap,
Her muscular frame gave hints of rebel will,
While those great caves of night, her eyes, faced mine,
Dread with the silence of unuttered wrongs:
At last she spoke as one who must be heeded.
Truly I am not clear
Whether her meaning was conveyed in words
(She mingled accents of an eastern tongue
With deformed phrases of our native Latin)
Or whether thought from her gaze poured through mine.
The gravity of recollected life
Was hers, condensed and, like a vision, flashed
Suddenly on the guilty mind, a whole
Compact, no longer a mere tedious string
Of moments negligible, each so small
As they were lived, but stark like a slain man
Who would alive have been ourself with twice
The skill, the knowledge, the vitality
Actually ours. Yea, as a tree may view
With fingerless boughs and lorn pole impotent,
An elephant gorged upon its leaves depart,
Men often have reviewed an unwieldy past,
That like a feasted Mammoth, leisured and slow,
Turned its back on their warped bones. Even thus,
Momentous with reproach, her grave regard
Made me feel mean, cashiered of rank and right,
My limbs that twelve good years had nursed were numbed
And all their fidgety quicksilver grew stiff,
Novel and fevering hallucinations
Invaded my attention. So daylight
When shutters are thrown back spreads through a house;
As then the dreams and terrors of the night
Decamp, so from my mind were driven
All its own thoughts and feelings. Close she leant
Propped on a swarthy arm, while the other helped
With eloquent gesture potent as wizard wand,
Veil the world off as with an airy web,
Or flowing tent a-gleam with pictured folds.
These tauten and distend — one sea of wheat,
Islanded with black cities, borders now
The voluminous blue pavilion of day.
There-under to the nearest of those towns
This woman younger by ten years made haste
While at her side ran a small boy of six.
They neared the walls, half a huge double gate
Lay prostrate, though the other by stone hinges
Hung to its flanking tower. The path they followed
Threaded an old paved road whose flags were edged
With dry grass and dry weeds, even cactuses
Had pushed the stones up or found root in muck heaps:
The path struck up the slope of the fallen door,
Basalt like midnight, o'er which dusty feet
Had greyed a passage, for it rested on
Some débris fallen from the left-hand tower,
And from its upper edge rude blocks like steps
Led down into the straight main street, that ran
Past eyeless buildings mined as it were from coal,
And earthquake-raised to light. Palaces and
Roofless wide-flighted colonnaded temples,
The uncemented walls piled-plumb with blocks
Squared, polished, fitted with daemonic patience.
Each gaping threshold high again as need be
Waited a nine-foot lord to enter hall,
Where the least draughty corner sheltered now
Half-tented hut or improvised small home
For Arab, brown, light-footed and proud-necked
As was this woman with the compelling voice.
Their present hutched and hived within that past
As bees in the parchment chest of Samson's lion;
And all seem conscious that their life was sweet,
Like mice who clean their faces after meals
And have such grace of movement, when unscared,
As wins the admiration even of those
Whose stores they rob and soil. I saw her eyes
Young with contentment in her son
And smaller babe and in their handsome sire,
And knew that many a supper had been relished
With hearts as joyous as waited while she cooked
And served upon returning to their cot
In hall where once far other hearts caroused.
They and their tribe could never reap a tithe
Of the vast harvest rustling round those ruins,
And over which a half-moon soon set forth
From black hills mounded up both east and south,
While north-west her light played on distant summits;
All the huge interspace floored with standing corn
Which kings afar send soldiery to reap,
Who now, beside a long canal cut straight
In ancient days, have pitched their noisy camp
Which on that vast staid silence makes a bruise
Of blare and riot that its robust health
Will certainly heal in a brief lapse of time.

One night, re-thought on after ten whole years,
Is like the condor high above the Andes,
A speck with difficulty found again
Once the attention quits it. And I next
Descried our woman under breathless noon,
Bathing in a clear lane of gliding water
Whose banks seem lonely as the path of light
Crossing mid ocean south of Capricorn.
Her son steals warily after a butterfly
And is as hushed with hope to capture it
As are the birds with heat. An insect hum
Circles the spot as round a cymbal's rim,
Long after it has clanged, tingles a throb
Which in a dream forgets the parent sound,
Oppressed by this protracted and awe-filled pause,
She hardly dares to wade the stream and moves
As though in dread to wake some sleeping god,
Yet still she nears and nears the further bank
Where there is shade under a shumac's eaves.
The brilliant surface cut her right in two,
And the reflection of her bronzed torso
Hid all beneath the polished gliding mirror;
How her face listened to that sleep divine
Whose audible breath was tuned to dreams of bliss!

Sudden, as though the woof of heaven were torn,
A strident shout rang from some neighbour shrubs
Three Nubian soldiers ran upon her with
Delighted oily faces. Screaming first
Commands to her small son to make for home,
She laboured to recross the current as when
In nightmares the scared soul expects to die
Tortured by mutiny in limbs like lead,
But as the playful lion of the sea
Climbs the rock ledges hard by Fingal's cave
To throw himself down into deep green baths,
While others barking follow his vigorous lead,
The foremost Abyssinian threw his weight
Before her with a splash that hid them both,
As the explosion of light-filled liquid parcels
Shot forth in all directions. In his arms
She re-appeared, a tragic terrified face
Beside his coarse one laughing with success.
Squeezing her with a pantomime of love,
He turns to follow an arrow with his eyes
That his companion, still upon the bank,
Has aimed towards her son's small head that bobbed
Like a black cork across the basking corn.
But from the level of the sunk stream bed
Neither he nor she could see the target aimed at,
Yet in the pause they heard the poor child scream;
A second arrow, second scream; she fought,
But soon like bundle bound, hung o'er his shoulder,
Helpless as a mouse in cat's mouth carried off
In search of quiet, there to play with it.
Those arrows missed? — or did they not? The child
Shrieked twice, yet scarcely like a wounded thing
She thought and hoped and still but thinks and hopes.
Where is that boy? Where is her husband now?
While she submitted body to force and soul
To the great shuddering violence of despair
How had their life progressed in that far place?
Compassion fused my consciousness with hers
And second-sighted eloquence arose
To claim my mind for rostrum,
But obstinately tranced
My eyes clung to their vision;
For regions to explore allure the boy
No stretch of thought or sea of feeling tempts.
Entranced, the mind I then had, haunted
Those basalt ruins. High on sable towers
Some silky patriarchal goat appears
And ponders silent streets, or suddenly
Some nanny, her huge bag swollen with milk,
Trots out on galleries that unfenced run
Round vacant courts, there, stopped by plaintive kids,
Lets them complete their meal. While always, always,
Throughout, those mazed, sullen and sun-soaked walls,
The steady, healthy wind,
Which often blows for weeks without a lull
Across that upland plain,
Flutes staidly. Moaning
Continuously as seas
Or forests before storm,
And, gathering moment,
Articulated by her woe, begins
With second-sighted eloquence
To wail through me,
Nigh as unheeded,
As though it still had been
Meaningless wind.

For ah! the heart is cowed
And dares not use her strength,
Hears the kind impulse plead
Against the common avaricious fear,
Grants it but life, though sovereignty was due
Or doles it sway but one day out of seven
Or one a year.

So, so, and ever, so
In the close-curtained court
Those causes are deferred
Which most import;
These wait man's leisure.
These daily matters elbow;
Merely because
His panic meanness
Jibs blindly ere it hear
What wisdom has prepared,
Bolts headlong ere it see
Her face unfold its smile.
Man after man, race after race
Drops jaded by the iterancy
Of petty fear.
Even as horses on the green steppes grazing,
Hundreds scattered through lonely peacefulness,
If shadow of cloud or red fox breaking earth
Delude but one with dream of a stealthy foe,
All are stampeded.
Their frantic torrent draws in,
With dire attraction, cumulative force,
Stragglers grazing miles from where it started;
On it thunders quite devoid of meaning.
The tender private soul
Thus takes contagion from the sordid crowd,
And shying at mere dread of loss,
Loses the whole of life.
Thus, in the vortex of a base turmoil,
Those myriad million energies wear down
That might have raised mankind
To live the life of gods.
Had but my soul been his,
As his was mine,
Those wind-resembling accents
Had found fit auditor.
Their second-sighted eloquence,
Welcomed with acclamation,
Had fired action.
But that was ages since: he was not then
What now I am,
Who have no longer
The opportunity then mine, then missed, —
Who still am dazed and troubled
Surmising others mine, others missed.

Passionate, never-wearied voice,
Tombed in thy brittle shell,
This human heart
Thou croonest age on age,
'Give and ask not,
Help and blame not,'
Heeded less than large and mottled cowry
The which at least some child may hold to ear
All smiles to listen.

Thou findest parables;
With fond imagination
Adorning truth
For the successive
Unpersuaded
Generations.

This boy, myself that was,
Musing visions by that woman raised,
Watched that land she came from, towned with ruins
Send mile-long files of laden camels out
With grain to hostile cities, —
Knew too the blue entrancing plain of waters
Teemed with fresh shoals, buoyed up indifferently,
Fisher — trader — pirate bark, —
Even the straight thought whispered at his ear,
'Thy lips might join with hers as with some cousin's,
Here, now, at noon,
Hugging her bereavéd sadness close,
And still, to-night, with equal satisfaction,
Thy mother's blind contentment with her son.'
While half-seduced, half-chafed, his mind was shaken
As with conflicting gusts a choppy sea,
His eyes, still greedy of their visions,
Fastened a swarthy town enisled in wheat,
And to the ebon threshold of each house,
Conjured forth the man that each was planned for:
Great creatures smiling with his father's smile,
Muscular, wealthy and self-satisfied,
Wearing loud-coloured raiment, earrings, chains,
Armlet and buckle, all of clanking gold.
His spirit drank from theirs great draughts of pride
And read their minds more clearly than his own;
All, with one counsel like a chorus, dinned
His soul that then was mine,
With truths well-proved in action.
'Love is chaos,
For order's sake
Whatever must be, should be,'
Roared those bulls of Bashan.
Then their proud chant argued,
'How should this woman know
Her little lad again,
Who either now is bones
Under the fertile field,
Or well nigh a grown man?
Say they should cross at market
Both slaves would pass on, not a start the wiser.
What is she then to him
Or he to her
After these years?
To drag a life that might have been but is not
With toil of mind and heart,
Through dreary year on year,
Neglecting for its sake the life that is,
Spells folly and ingratitude to those
Who treat their slaves well.
Thy father's household and thyself should be
More to her now than those who may be dead,
The place she lives in dearer
Than any unattainable far land
Where she is more forgotten than old dreams.
Why make the day of evil worse
By dwelling on it after it has past?
Near things alone are real,
Now is the whole of time:
Places beyond the horizon are but pictures;
Memory cheats the eye with an illusion!'

'Your thoughts are sound, bold builders,
I am my father's son.
Behold this home-shore, these our hills, this bay,
And this our slave! —
Up, work, look sharp about it!'
Bounding a foot and fast retiring from her,
I stoop for stones strewn thick about the sand,
Aim them, fling them,
And, as my idle arm resumes the knack,
Score a hit and laugh
To see her stumble hurt, behind the pine trunks.
'Unless you work, I throw again,
To it and steady at it.
Mark me, drab, we Camilli
Mean what we say.'
Stone after stone still flies,
But aimed to knock chips from the pine-boles now;
For she is busy gathering sticks, increasing
Her distance as she may. The noon is sultry,
Heated and clammy, I,
Towards the live waves turning, slip my tunic,
Then run in naked.
Cooled and soothed by swimming,
Both mind and heart from their late tumult tuned
To placid acquiescent health,
I float, suspended in the limpid water,
Passive, rhythmically governed;
So tranced worlds travel the dark shoreless ether.

'Where should this stream of pictures tend?'
No, Bottomley, you will not ask;
To you I am quite free to send
The unexpected, unexplained,
You will not take me thus to task.

So they be painted well, they live;
If ill, they yet may cling to fame
Associated with your name.
In which case you, and not I, give
That we are both contented with.

by Thomas Sturge Moore.

The Kalevala - Rune Xix

ILMARINEN'S WOOING.


ILMARINEN, hero-blacksmith,
The eternal metal-worker,
Hastens forward to the court-room
Of the hostess of Pohyola,
Of the master of the Northland,
Hastens through the open portals
Into Louhi's home and presence.
Servants come with silver pitchers,
Filled with Northland's richest brewing;
Honey-drink is brought and offered
To the blacksmith of Wainola,
Ilmarinen thus replying:
'I shall not in all my life-time
Taste the drink that thou hast brought me,
Till I see the Maid of Beauty,
Fairy Maiden of the Rainbow;
I will drink with her in gladness,
For whose hand I journey hither.'
Spake the hostess of Pohyola:
'Trouble does the one selected
Give to him that wooes and watches;
Not yet are her feet in sandals,
Thine affianced is not ready.
Only canst thou woo my daughter,
Only canst thou win the maiden,
When thou hast by aid of magic
Plowed the serpent-field of Hisi,
Plowed the field of hissing vipers,
Touching neither beam nor handles.
Once this field was plowed by Piru,
Lempo furrowed it with horses,
With a plowshare made of copper,
With a beam of flaming iron;
Never since has any hero
Brought this field to cultivation.'
Ilmarinen of Wainola
Straightway hastens to the chamber
Of the Maiden of the Rainbow,
Speaks these words in hesitation:
'Thou of Night and Dawn the daughter,
Tell me, dost thou not remember
When for thee I forged the Sampo,
Hammered thee the lid in colors?
Thou didst swear by oath the strougest,
By the forge and by the anvil,
By the tongs and by the hammer,
In the ears of the Almighty,
And before omniscient Ukko,
Thou wouldst follow me hereafter,
Be my bride, my life-companion,
Be my honored wife forever.
Now thy mother is exacting,
Will not give to me her daughter,
Till by means of magic only,
I have plowed the field of serpents,
Plowed the hissing soil of Hisi.'
The affianced Bride of Beauty
Gives this answer to the suitor:
'O, thou blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
The eternal wonder-forger,
Forge thyself a golden plowshare,
Forge the beam of shining silver,
And of copper forge the handles;
Then with ease, by aid of magic,
Thou canst plow the field of serpents,
Plow the hissing soil of Hisi.'
Ilmarinen, welcome suitor,
Straightway builds a forge and smithy,
Places gold within the furnace,
In the forge he lays the silver,
Forges then a golden plowshare,
Forges, too, a beam of silver,
Forges handles out of copper,
Forges boots and gloves of iron,
Forges him a mail of metal,
For his limbs a safe protection,
Safe protection for his body.
Then a horse of fire selecting,
Harnesses the flaming stallion,
Goes to plow the field of serpents,
Plow the viper-lands of Hisi.
In the field were countless vipers,
Serpents there of every species,
Crawling, writhing, hissing, stinging,
Harmless all against the hero,
Thus he stills the snakes of Lempo:
'Vipers, ye by God created,
Neither best nor worst of creatures,
Ye whose wisdom comes from Ukko,
And whose venom comes from Hisi,
Ukko is your greater Master,
By His will your heads are lifted;
Get ye hence before my plowing,
Writ-he ye through the grass and stubble,
Crawl ye to the nearest thicket,
Keep your heads beneath the heather,
Hunt our holes to Mana's kingdom
If your poison-heads be lifted,
Then will mighty Ukko smite them
'With his iron-pointed arrows,
With the lightning of his anger.'
Thus the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Safely plows the field of serpents,
Lifts the vipers in his plowing,
Buries them beneath the furrow,
Harmless all against his magic.
When the task had been completed,
Ilmarinen, quick returning,
Thus addressed Pohyola's hostess:
'I have plowed the field of Hisi,
Plowed the field of hissing serpents,
Stilled and banished all the vipers;
Give me, ancient dame, thy daughter,
Fairest maiden of the Northland.
Spake the hostess of Pohyola:
'Shall not grant to thee my daughter,
Shall not give my lovely virgin,
Till Tuoni's bear is muzzled,
Till Manala's wolf is conquered,
In the forests of the Death-land,
In the boundaries of Mana.
Hundreds have been sent to hunt him,
So one yet has been successful,
All have perished in Manala.'
Thereupon young Ilmarinen
To the maiden's chamber hastens,
Thus addresses his affianced:
'Still another test demanded,
I must go to Tuonela,
Bridle there the bear of Mana,
Bring him from the Death-land forests,
From Tuoni's grove and empire!
This advice the maiden gives him:
'O thou artist, Ilmarinen,
The eternal metal-worker,
Forge of steel a magic bridle,
On a rock beneath the water,
In the foaming triple currents;
Make the straps of steel and copper,
Bridle then the bear of Mana,
Lead him from Tuoni's forests.'
Then the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Forged of steel a magic bridle,
On a rock beneath the water,
In the foam of triple currents;
Made the straps of steel and copper,
Straightway went the bear to muzzle,
In the forests of the Death-land,
Spake these words in supplication:
'Terhenetar, ether-maiden,
Daughter of the fog and snow-flake,
Sift the fog and let it settle
O'er the bills and lowland thickets,
Where the wild-bear feeds and lingers,
That he may not see my coming,
May not hear my stealthy footsteps!'
Terhenetar hears his praying,
Makes the fog and snow-flake settle
On the coverts of the wild-beasts;
Thus the bear he safely bridles,
Fetters him in chains of magic,
In the forests of Tuoni,
In the blue groves of Manala.
When this task had been completed,
Ilmarinen, quick returning,
Thus addressed the ancient Louhi:
'Give me, worthy dame, thy daughter,
Give me now my bride affianced,
I have brought the bear of Mana
From Tuoni's fields and forests.'
Spake the hostess of Pohyola
To the blacksmith, Ilmarinen:
'I will only give my daughter,
Give to thee the Maid of Beauty,
When the monster-pike thou catchest
In the river of Tuoni,
In Manala's fatal waters,
Using neither hooks, nor fish-nets,
Neither boat, nor fishing-tackle;
Hundreds have been sent to catch him,
No one yet has been successful,
All have perished in Manala.'
Much disheartened, Ilmarinen
Hastened to the maiden's chamber,
Thus addressed the rainbow-maiden:
'Now a third test is demanded,
Much more difficult than ever;
I must catch the pike of Mana,
In the river of Tuoni,
And without my fishing-tackle,
Hard the third test of the hero!
This advice the maiden gives him:
'O thou hero, Ilmarinen,
Never, never be discouraged:
In thy furnace, forge an eagle,
From the fire of ancient magic;
He will catch the pike of Mana,
Catch the monster-fish in safety,
From the death-stream of Tuoni,
From Manala's fatal waters.'
Then the suitor, Ilmarinen,
The eternal artist-forgeman,
In the furnace forged an eagle
From the fire of ancient wisdom;
For this giant bird of magic
Forged he talons out of iron,
And his beak of steel and copper;
Seats himself upon the eagle,
On his back between the wing-bones,
Thus addresses he his creature,
Gives the bird of fire, this order:
'Mighty eagle, bird of beauty,
Fly thou whither I direct thee,
To Tuoni's coal-black river,
To the blue deeps of the Death-stream,
Seize the mighty fish of Mana,
Catch for me this water-monster.'
Swiftly flies the magic eagle,
Giant-bird of worth and wonder,
To the river of Tuoni,
There to catch the pike of Mana;
One wing brushes on the waters,
While the other sweeps the heavens;
In the ocean dips his talons,
Whets his beak on mountain-ledges.
Safely landing, Ilmarinen,
The immortal artist-forger,
Hunts the monster of the Death-stream,
While the eagle hunts and fishes
In the waters of Manala.
From the river rose a monster,
Grasped the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Tried to drag him to his sea-cave;
Quick the eagle pounced upon him,
With his metal-beak he seized him,
Wrenched his head, and rent his body,
Hurled him back upon the bottom
Of the deep and fatal river,
Freed his master, Ilmarinen.
Then arose the pike of Mana,
Came the water-dog in silence,
Of the pikes was not the largest,
Nor belonged he to the smallest;
Tongue the length of double hatchets,
Teeth as long as fen-rake handles,
Mouth as broad as triple streamlets,
Back as wide as seven sea-boats,
Tried to snap the magic blacksmith,
Tried to swallow Ilmarinen.
Swiftly swoops the mighty eagle,
Of the birds was not the largest,
Nor belonged he to the smallest;
Mouth as wide as seven streamlets,
Tongue as long as seven javelins,
Like five crooked scythes his talons;
Swoops upon the pike of Mana.
Quick the giant fish endangered,
Darts and flounders in the river,
Dragging down the mighty eagle,
Lashing up the very bottom
To the surface of the river;
When the mighty bird uprising
Leaves the wounded pike in water,
Soars aloft on worsted pinions
To his home in upper ether;
Soars awhile, and sails, and circles,
Circles o'er the reddened waters,
Swoops again on lightning-pinions,
Strikes with mighty force his talons
Into the shoulder of his victim;
Strikes the second of his talons
On the flinty mountain-ledges,
On the rocks with iron hardened;
From the cliffs rebound his talons,
Slip the flinty rocks o'erhanging,
And the monster-pike resisting
Dives again beneath the surface
To the bottom of the river,
From the talons of the eagle;
Deep, the wounds upon the body
Of the monster of Tuoni.
Still a third time soars the eagle,
Soars, and sails, and quickly circles,
Swoops again upon the monster,
Fire out-shooting from his pinoins,
Both his eyeballs flashing lightning;
With his beak of steel and copper
Grasps again the pike of Mana
Firmly planted are his talons
In the rocks and in his victim,
Drags the monster from the river,
Lifts the pike above the waters,
From Tuoni's coal-black river,
From the blue-back of Manala.
Thus the third time does the eagle
Bring success from former failures;
Thus at last the eagle catches
Mana's pike, the worst of fishes,
Swiftest swimmer of the waters,
From the river of Tuoni;
None could see Manala's river,
For the myriad of fish-scales;
Hardly could one see through ether,
For the feathers of the eagle,
Relicts of the mighty contest.
Then the bird of copper talons
Took the pike, with scales of silver,
To the pine-tree's topmost branches,
To the fir-tree plumed with needles,
Tore the monster-fish in pieces,
Ate the body of his victim,
Left the head for Ilmarinen.
Spake the blacksmith to the eagle:
'O thou bird of evil nature,
What thy thought and what thy motive?
Thou hast eaten what I needed,
Evidence of my successes;
Thoughtless eagle, witless instinct,
Thus to mar the spoils of conquest!'
But the bird of metal talons
Hastened onward, soaring upward,
Rising higher into ether,
Rising, flying, soaring, sailing,
To the borders of the long-clouds,
Made the vault of ether tremble,
Split apart the dome of heaven,
Broke the colored bow of Ukko,
Tore the Moon-horns from their sockets,
Disappeared beyond the Sun-land,
To the home of the triumphant.
Then the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Took the pike-head to the hostess
Of the ever-dismal Northland,
Thus addressed the ancient Louhi:
'Let this head forever serve thee
As a guest-bench for thy dwelling,
Evidence of hero-triumphs;
I have caught the pike of Mana,
I have done as thou demandest,
Three my victories in Death-land,
Three the tests of magic heroes;
Wilt thou give me now thy daughter,
Give to me the Maid of Beauty?'
Spake the hostess of Pohyola:
'Badly is the test accomplished,
Thou has torn the pike in pieces,
From his neck the head is severed,
Of his body thou hast eaten,
Brought to me this worthless relic!
These the words of Ilmarinen:
'When the victory is greatest,
Do we suffer greatest losses!
From the river of Tuoni,
From the kingdom of Manala,
I have brought to thee this trophy,
Thus the third task is completed.
Tell me is the maiden ready,
Wilt thou give the bride affianced?
Spake the hostess of Pohyola:
'I will give to thee my daughter,
Will prepare my snow-white virgin,
For the suitor, Ilmarinen;
Thou hast won the Maid of Beauty,
Bride is she of thine hereafter,
Fit companion of thy fireside,
Help and joy of all thy lifetime.'
On the floor a child was sitting,
And the babe this tale related.
'There appeared within this dwelling,
Came a bird within the castle,
From the East came flying hither,
From the East, a monstrous eagle,
One wing touched the vault of heaven,
While the other swept the ocean;
With his tail upon the waters,
Reached his beak beyond the cloudlets,
Looked about, and eager watching,
Flew around, and sailing, soaring,
Flew away to hero-castle,
Knocked three times with beak of copper
On the castle-roof of iron;
But the eagle could not enter.
'Then the eagle, looking round him,
Flew again, and sailed, and circled,
Flew then to the mothers' castle,
Loudly rapped with heavy knocking
On the mothers' roof of copper;
But the eagle could not enter.
'Then the eagle, looking round him,
Flew a third time, sailing, soaring,
Flew then to the virgins' castle,
Knocked again with beak of copper,
On the virgins' roof of linen,
Easy for him there to enter;
Flew upon the castle-chimney,
Quick descending to the chamber,
Pulled the clapboards from the studding,
Tore the linen from the rafters,
Perched upon the chamber-window,
Near the walls of many colors,
On the cross-bars gaily-feathered,
Looked upon the curly-beaded,
Looked upon their golden ringlets,
Looked upon the snow-white virgins,
On the purest of the maidens,
On the fairest of the daughters,
On the maid with pearly necklace,
On the maiden wreathed in flowers;
Perched awhile, and looked, admiring,
Swooped upon the Maid of Beauty,
On the purest of the virgins,
On the whitest, on the fairest,
On the stateliest and grandest,
Swooped upon the rainbow-daughter
Of the dismal Sariola;
Grasped her in his mighty talons,
Bore away the Maid of Beauty,
Maid of fairest form and feature,
Maid adorned with pearly necklace,
Decked in feathers iridescent,
Fragrant flowers upon her bosom,
Scarlet band around her forehead,
Golden rings upon her fingers,
Fairest maiden of the Northland.'
Spake the hostess of Pohyola,
When the babe his tale had ended:
'Tell me bow, my child beloved,
Thou hast learned about the maiden,
Hast obtained the information,
How her flaxen ringlets nestled,
How the maiden's silver glistened,
How the virgin's gold was lauded.
Shone the silver Sun upon thee,
Did the moonbeams bring this knowledge?'
From the floor the child made answer:
'Thus I gained the information,
Moles of good-luck led me hither,
To the home, of the distinguished,
To the guest-room of the maiden,
Good-name bore her worthy father,
He that sailed the magic vessel;
Better-name enjoyed the mother,
She that baked the bread of barley,
She that kneaded wheaten biscuits,
Fed her many guests in Northland.
'Thus the information reached me,
Thus the distant stranger heard it,
Heard the virgin had arisen:
Once I walked within the court-yard,
Stepping near the virgin's chamber,
At an early hour of morning,
Ere the Sun had broken slumber
Whirling rose the soot in cloudlets,
Blackened wreaths of smoke came rising
From the chamber of the maiden,
From thy daughter's lofty chimney;
There the maid was busy grinding,
Moved the handles of the millstone
Making voices like the cuckoo,
Like the ducks the side-holes sounded,
And the sifter like the goldfinch,
Like the sea-pearls sang the grindstones.
'Then a second time I wandered
To the border of the meadow
In the forest was the maiden
Rocking on a fragrant hillock,
Dyeing red in iron vessels,
And in copper kettles, yellow.
'Then a third time did I wander
To the lovely maiden's window;
There I saw thy daughter weaving,
Heard the flying of her shuttle,
Heard the beating of her loom-lathe,
Heard the rattling of her treddles,
Heard the whirring of her yarn-reel.'
Spake the hostess of Pohyola:
'Now alas! beloved daughter,
I have often taught this lesson:
'Do not sing among the pine-trees,
Do not call adown the valleys,
Do not hang thy head in walking,
Do not bare thine arms, nor shoulders,
Keep the secrets of thy bosom,
Hide thy beauty and thy power.'
'This I told thee in the autumn,
Taught thee in the summer season,
Sang thee in the budding spring-time,
Sang thee when the snows were falling:
'Let us build a place for hiding,
Let us build the smallest windows,
Where may weave my fairest daughter,
Where my maid may ply her shuttle,
Where my joy may work unnoticed
By the heroes of the Northland,
By the suitors of Wainola.''
From the floor the child made answer,
Fourteen days the young child numbered;
'Easy 'tis to hide a war-horse
In the Northland fields and stables;
Hard indeed to hide a maiden,
Having lovely form and features!
Build of stone a distant castle
In the middle of the ocean,
Keep within thy lovely maiden,
Train thou there thy winsome daughter,
Not long hidden canst thou keep her.
Maidens will not grow and flourish,
Kept apart from men and heroes,
Will not live without their suitors,
Will not thrive without their wooers;
Thou canst never hide a maiden,
Neither on the land nor water.'
Now the ancient Wainamoinen,
Head down-bent and heavy-hearted,
Wanders to his native country,
To Wainola's peaceful meadows,
To the plains of Kalevala,
Chanting as he journeys homeward:
'I have passed the age for wooing,
Woe is me, rejected suitor,
Woe is me, a witless minstrel,
That I did not woo and marry,
When my face was young and winsome,
When my hand was warm and welcome!
Youth dethrones my age and station,
Wealth is nothing, wisdom worthless,
When a hero goes a-wooing
With a poor but younger brother.
Fatal error that a hero
Does not wed in early manhood,
In his youth does not be master
Of a worthy wife and household.'
Thus the ancient Wainamoinen
Sends the edict to his people:
'Old men must not go a-wooing,
Must not swim the sea of anger,
Must not row upon a wager,
Must not run a race for glory,
With the younger sons of Northland.'

by Elias Lönnrot.

Hero And Leander. The Third Sestiad

New light gives new directions, fortunes new,
To fashion our endeavours that ensue.
More harsh, at least more hard, more grave and high
Our subject runs, and our stern Muse must fly.
Love's edge is taken off, and that light flame,
Those thoughts, joys, longings, that before became
High unexperienc'd blood, and maids' sharp plights,
Must now grow staid, and censure the delights,
That, being enjoy'd, ask judgment; now we praise,
As having parted: evenings crown the days.
And now, ye wanton Loves, and young Desires,
Pied Vanity, the mint of strange attires,
Ye lisping Flatteries, and obsequious Glances,
Relentful Musics, and attractive Dances,
And you detested Charms constraining love!
Shun love's stoln sports by that these lovers prove.
By this, the sovereign of heaven's golden fires,
And young Leander, lord of his desires,
Together from their lovers' arms arose:
Leander into Hellespontus throws
His Hero-handled body, whose delight
Made him disdain each other epithite.
And as amidst th' enamour'd waves he swims,
The god of gold of purpose gilt his limbs,
That, this word _gilt_ including double sense,
The double guilt of his incontinence
Might be express'd, that had no stay t' employ
The treasure which the love-god let him joy
In his dear Hero, with such sacred thrift
As had beseem'd so sanctified a gift;
But, like a greedy vulgar prodigal,
Would on the stock dispend, and rudely fall,
Before his time, to that unblessed blessing
Which, for lust's plague, doth perish with possessing:
Joy graven in sense, like snow in water, wasts:
Without preserve of virtue, nothing lasts.
What man is he, that with a wealthy eye
Enjoys a beauty richer than the sky,
Through whose white skin, softer than soundest sleep,
With damask eyes the ruby blood doth peep,
And runs in branches through her azure veins,
Whose mixture and first fire his love attains;
Whose both hands limit both love's deities,
And sweeten human thoughts like Paradise;
Whose disposition silken is and kind,
Directed with an earth-exempted mind;--
Who thinks not heaven with such a love is given?
And who, like earth, would spend that dower of heaven,
With rank desire to joy it all at first?
What simply kills our hunger, quencheth thirst,
Clothes but our nakedness, and makes us live,
Praise doth not any of her favours give:
But what doth plentifully minister
Beauteous apparel and delicious cheer,
So order'd that it still excites desire,
And still gives pleasure freeness to aspire,
The palm of Bounty ever moist preserving;
To Love's sweet life this is the courtly carving.
Thus Time and all-states-ordering Ceremony
Had banish'd all offence: Time's golden thigh
Upholds the flowery body of the earth
In sacred harmony, and every birth
Of men and actions makes legitimate;
Being us'd aright, the use of time is fate.
Yet did the gentle flood transfer once more
This prize of love home to his father's shore;
Where he unlades himself on that false wealth
That makes few rich,--treasures compos'd by stealth;
And to his sister, kind Hermione
(Who on the shore kneel'd, praying to the sea
For his return), he all love's goods did show,
In Hero seis'd for him, in him for Hero.
His most kind sister all his secrets knew,
And to her, singing, like a shower, he flew,
Sprinkling the earth, that to their tombs took in
Streams dead for love, to leave his ivory shin,
Which yet a snowy foam did leave above,
As soul to the dead water that did love;
And from hence did the first white roses spring
(For love is sweet and fair in everything),
And all the sweeten'd shore, as he did go,
Was crown'd with odorous roses, white as snow.
Love-blest Leander was with love so fill'd,
That love to all that touch'd him he instill'd;
And as the colours of all things we see,
To our sight's powers communicated be,
So to all objects that in compass came
Of any sense he had, his senses' flame
Flow'd from his parts with force so virtual,
It fir'd with sense things mere insensual.
Now, with warm baths and odours comforted,
When he lay down, he kindly kiss'd his bed,
As consecrating it to Hero's right,
And vow'd thereafter, that whatever sight
Put him in mind of Hero or her bliss,
Should be her altar to prefer a kiss.
Then laid he forth his late-enriched arms,
In whose white circle Love writ all his charms,
And made his characters sweet Hero's limbs,
When on his breast's warm sea she sideling swims;
And as those arms, held up in circle, met,
He said, 'See, sister, Hero's carquenet!
Which she had rather wear about her neck,
Than all the jewels that do Juno deck.'
But, as he shook with passionate desire
To put in flame his other secret fire,
A music so divine did pierce his ear,
As never yet his ravish'd sense did hear;
When suddenly a light of twenty hues
Brake through the roof, and, like the rainbow, views,
Amaz'd Leander: in whose beams came down
The goddess Ceremony, with a crown
Of all the stars; and Heaven with her descended:
Her flaming hair to her bright feet extended,
By which hung all the bench of deities;
And in a chain, compact of ears and eyes,
She led Religion: all her body was
Clear and transparent as the purest glass,
For she was all presented to the sense:
Devotion, Order, State, and Reverence,
Her shadows were; Society, Memory;
All which her sight made live, her absence die.
A rich disparent pentacle she wears,
Drawn full of circles and strange characters.
Her face was changeable to every eye;
One way look'd ill, another graciously;
Which while men view'd, they cheerful were and holy,
But looking off, vicious and melancholy.
The snaky paths to each observed law
Did Policy in her broad bosom draw.
One hand a mathematic crystal sways,
Which, gathering in one line a thousand rays
From her bright eyes, Confusion burns to death,
And all estates of men distinguisheth:
By it Morality and Comeliness
Themselves in all their sightly figures dress.
Her other hand a laurel rod applies,
To beat back Barbarism and Avarice,
That follow'd, eating earth and excrement
And human limbs; and would make proud ascent
To seats of gods, were Ceremony slain.
The Hours and Graces bore her glorious train;
And all the sweets of our society
Were spher'd and treasur'd in her bounteous eye.
Thus she appear'd, and sharply did reprove
Leander's bluntness in his violent love;
Told him how poor was substance without rites,
Like bills unsign'd; desires without delights;
Like meats unseason'd; like rank corn that grows
On cottages, that none or reaps or sows;
Not being with civil forms confirm'd and bounded,
For human dignities and comforts founded;
But loose and secret all their glories hide;
Fear fills the chamber, Darkness decks the bride.
She vanish'd, leaving pierc'd Leander's heart
With sense of his unceremonious part,
In which, with plain neglect of nuptial rites,
He close and flatly fell to his delights:
And instantly he vow'd to celebrate
All rites pertaining to his married state.
So up he gets, and to his father goes,
To whose glad ears he doth his vows disclose.
The nuptials are resolv'd with utmost power;
And he at night would swim to Hero's tower,
From whence he meant to Sestos' forked bay
To bring her covertly, where ships must stay,
Sent by his father, throughly rigg'd and mann'd,
To waft her safely to Abydos' strand.
There leave we him; and with fresh wing pursue
Astonish'd Hero, whose most wished view
I thus long have foreborne, because I left her
So out of countenance, and her spirits bereft her:
To look on one abash'd is impudence,
When of slight faults he hath too deep a sense.
Her blushing het her chamber; she look'd out,
And all the air she purpled round about;
And after it a foul black day befell,
Which ever since a red morn doth foretell,
And still renews our woes for Hero's woe;
And foul it prov'd because it figur'd so
The next night's horror; which prepare to hear;
I fail, if it profane your daintiest ear.
Then, ho, most strangely-intellectual fire,
That, proper to my soul, hast power t' inspire
Her burning faculties, and with the wings
Of thy unsphered flame visit'st the springs
Of spirits immortal! Now (as swift as Time
Doth follow Motion) find th' eternal clime
Of his free soul, whose living subject stood
Up to the chin in the Pierian flood,
And drunk to me half this Musaean story,
Inscribing it to deathless memory:
Confer with it, and make my pledge as deep,
That neither's draught be consecrate to sleep;
Tell it how much his late desires I tender
(If yet it know not), and to light surrender
My soul's dark offspring, willing it should die
To loves, to passions, and society.
Sweet Hero, left upon her bed alone,
Her maidenhead, her vows, Leander gone,
And nothing with her but a violent crew
Of new-come thoughts, that yet she never knew,
Even to herself a stranger, was much like
Th' Iberian city that War's hand did strike
By English force in princely Essex' guide,
When Peace assur'd her towers had fortified,
And golden-finger'd India had bestow'd
Such wealth on her, that strength and empire flow'd
Into her turrets, and her virgin waist
The wealthy girdle of the sea embraced;
Till our Leander, that made Mars his Cupid,
For soft love-suits, with iron thunders chid;
Swum to her towers, dissolv'd her virgin zone;
Led in his power, and made Confusion
Run through her streets amaz'd, that she suppos'd
She had not been in her own walls enclos'd,
But rapt by wonder to some foreign state,
Seeing all her issue so disconsolate,
And all her peaceful mansions possess'd
With war's just spoil, and many a foreign guest
From every corner driving an enjoyer,
Supplying it with power of a destroyer.
So far'd fair Hero in th' expugned fort
Of her chaste bosom; and of every sort
Strange thoughts possess'd her, ransacking her breast
For that that was not there, her wonted rest.
She was a mother straight, and bore with pain
Thoughts that spake straight, and wish'd their mother slain;
She hates their lives, and they their own and hers:
Such strife still grows where sin the race prefers:
Love is a golden bubble, full of dreams,
That waking breaks, and fills us with extremes.
She mus'd how she could look upon her sire,
And not shew that without, that was intire;
For as a glass is an inanimate eye,
And outward forms embraceth inwardly,
So is the eye an animate glass, that shows
In-forms without us; and as Phoebus throws
His beams abroad, though he in clouds be clos'd,
Still glancing by them till he find oppos'd
A loose and rorid vapour that is fit
T' event his searching beams, and useth it
To form a tender twenty-colour'd eye,
Cast in a circle round about the sky;
So when our fiery soul, our body's star,
(That ever is in motion circular,)
Conceives a form, in seeking to display it
Through all our cloudy parts, it doth convey it
Forth at the eye, as the most pregnant place,
And that reflects it round about the face.
And this event, uncourtly Hero thought,
Her inward guilt would in her looks have wrought;
For yet the world's stale cunning she resisted,
To bear foul thoughts, yet forge what looks she listed,
And held it for a very silly sleight,
To make a perfect metal counterfeit,
Glad to disclaim herself, proud of an art
That makes the face a pandar to the heart.
Those be the painted moons, whose lights profane
Beauty's true Heaven, at full still in their wane;
Those be the lapwing-faces that still cry,
'Here 'tis!' when that they vow is nothing nigh:
Base fools! when every moorish fool can teach
That which men think the height of human reach.
But custom, that the apoplexy is
Of bed-rid nature and lives led amiss,
And takes away all feeling of offence,
Yet braz'd not Hero's brow with impudence;
And this she thought most hard to bring to pass,
To seem in countenance other than she was,
As if she had two souls, one for the face,
One for the heart, and that they shifted place
As either list to utter or conceal
What they conceiv'd, or as one soul did deal
With both affairs at once, keeps and ejects
Both at an instant contrary effects;
Retention and ejection in her powers
Being acts alike; for this one vice of ours,
That forms the thought, and sways the countenance,
Rules both our motion and our utterance.
These and more grave conceits toil'd Hero's spirits;
For, though the light of her discoursive wits
Perhaps might find some little hole to pass
Through all these worldly cinctures, yet, alas!
There was a heavenly flame encompass'd her,--
Her goddess, in whose fane she did prefer
Her virgin vows, from whose impulsive sight
She knew the black shield of the darkest night
Could not defend her, nor wit's subtlest art:
This was the point pierc'd Hero to the heart;
Who, heavy to the death, with a deep sigh,
And hand that languished, took a robe was nigh,
Exceeding large, and of black cypres made,
In which she sate, hid from the day in shade,
Even over head and face, down to her feet;
Her left hand made it at her bosom meet,
Her right hand lean'd on her heart-bowing knee,
Wrapp'd in unshapeful folds, 'twas death to see;
Her knee stay'd that, and that her falling face;
Each limb help'd other to put on disgrace:
No form was seen, where form held all her sight;
But like an embryon that saw never light,
Or like a scorched statue made a coal
With three-wing'd lightning, or a wretched soul
Muffled with endless darkness, she did sit:
The night had never such a heavy spirit.
Yet might a penetrating eye well see
How fast her clear tears melted on her knee
Through her black veil, and turn'd as black as it,
Mourning to be her tears. Then wrought her wit
With her broke vow, her goddess' wrath, her fame,--
All tools that enginous despair could frame:
Which made her strew the floor with her torn hair,
And spread her mantle piece-meal in the air.
Like Jove's son's club, strong passion struck her down,
And with a piteous shriek enforc'd her swoun:
Her shriek made with another shriek ascend
The frighted matron that on her did tend;
And as with her own cry her sense was slain,
So with the other it was called again.
She rose, and to her bed made forced way,
And laid her down even where Leander lay;
And all this while the red sea of her blood
Ebb'd with Leander: but now turn'd the flood,
And all her fleet of spirits came swelling in,
With child of sail, and did hot fight begin
With those severe conceits she too much marked:
And here Leander's beauties were embarked.
He came in swimming, painted all with joys,
Such as might sweeten hell: his thought destroys
All her destroying thoughts; she thought she felt
His heart in hers, with her contentions melt,
And chide her soul that it could so much err,
To check the true joys he deserved in her.
Her fresh-heat blood cast figures in her eyes,
And she suppos'd she saw in Neptune's skies
How her star wander'd, wash'd in smarting brine,
For her love's sake, that with immortal wine
Should be embath'd, and swim in more heart's-ease
Than there was water in the Sestian seas.
Then said her Cupid-prompted spirit, 'Shall I
Sing moans to such delightsome harmony?
Shall slick-tongu'd Fame, patch'd up with voices rude,
The drunken bastard of the multitude
(Begot when father Judgment is away,
And, gossip-like, says because others say,
Takes news as if it were too hot to eat,
And spits it slavering forth for dog-fees meat),
Make me, for forging a fantastic vow,
Presume to bear what makes grave matrons bow?
Good vows are never broken with good deeds,
For then good deeds were bad: vows are but seeds,
And good deeds fruits; even those good deeds that grow
From other stocks than from th' observed vow.
That is a good deed that prevents a bad:
Had I not yielded, slain myself I had.
Hero Leander is, Leander Hero;
Such virtue love hath to make one of two.
If, then, Leander did my maidenhead git,
Leander being myself, I still retain it:
We break chaste vows when we live loosely ever,
But bound as we are, we live loosely never:
Two constant lovers being join'd in one,
Yielding to one another, yield to none.
We know not how to vow till love unblind us,
And vows made ignorantly never bind us.
Too true it is, that, when 'tis gone, men hate
The joy as vain they took in love's estate:
But that's since they have lost the heavenly light
Should show them way to judge of all things right.
When life is gone, death must implant his terror:
As death is foe to life, so love to error.
Before we love, how range we through this sphere,
Searching the sundry fancies hunted here:
Now with desire of wealth transported quite
Beyond our free humanity's delight;
Now with ambition climbing falling towers,
Whose hope to scale, our fear to fall devours;
Now rapt with pastimes, pomp, all joys impure:
In things without us no delight is sure.
But love, with all joys crowned, within doth sit:
O goddess, pity love, and pardon it!'
Thus spake she weeping: but her goddess' ear
Burn'd with too stern a heat, and would not hear.
Ay me! hath heaven's strait fingers no more graces
For such as Hero than for homeliest faces?
Yet she hoped well, and in her sweet conceit
Weighing her arguments, she thought them weight,
And that the logic of Leander's beauty,
And them together, would bring proofs of duty;
And if her soul, that was a skilful glance
Of heaven's great essence, found such imperance
In her love's beauties, she had confidence
Jove loved him too, and pardoned her offence:
Beauty in heaven and earth this grace doth win,
It supples rigour, and it lessens sin.
Thus, her sharp wit, her love, her secrecy,
Trooping together, made her wonder why
She should not leave her bed, and to the temple;
Her health said she must live; her sex, dissemble.
She viewed Leander's place, and wished he were
Turned to his place, so his place were Leander.
'Ay me,' said she, 'that love's sweet life and sense
Should do it harm! my love had not gone hence
Had he been like his place: O blessed place,
Image of constancy! Thus my love's grace
Parts nowhere, but it leaves something behind
Worth observation: he renowns his kind:
His motion is, like heaven's, orbicular,
For where he once is, he is ever there.
This place was mine; Leander, now 'tis thine;
Thou being myself, then it is double mine,
Mine, and Leander's mine, Leander's mine.
O, see what wealth it yields me, nay, yields him!
For I am in it, he for me doth swim.
Rich, fruitful love, that, doubling self estates,
Elixir-like contracts, though separates!
Dear place, I kiss thee, and do welcome thee,
As from Leander ever sent to me.'

by George Chapman.

The Kalevala - Rune Iv

THE FATE OF AINO.


When the night had passed, the maiden,
Sister fair of Youkahainen,
Hastened early to the forest,
Birchen shoots for brooms to gather,
Went to gather birchen tassels;
Bound a bundle for her father,
Bound a birch-broom for her mother,
Silken tassels for her sister.
Straightway then she hastened homeward,
By a foot-path left the forest;
As she neared the woodland border,
Lo! the ancient Wainamoinen,
Quickly spying out the maiden,
As she left the birchen woodland,
Trimly dressed in costly raiment,
And the minstrel thus addressed her:
'Aino, beauty of the Northland,
Wear not, lovely maid, for others,
Only wear for me, sweet maiden,
Golden cross upon thy bosom,
Shining pearls upon thy shoulders;
Bind for me thine auburn tresses,
Wear for me thy golden braidlets.'
Thus the maiden quickly answered:
'Not for thee and not for others,
Hang I from my neck the crosslet,
Deck my hair with silken ribbons;
Need no more the many trinkets
Brought to me by ship or shallop;
Sooner wear the simplest raiment,
Feed upon the barley bread-crust,
Dwell forever with my mother
In the cabin with my father.'
Then she threw the gold cross from her,
Tore the jewels from her fingers,
Quickly loosed her shining necklace,
Quick untied her silken ribbons,
Cast them all away indignant
Into forest ferns and flowers.
Thereupon the maiden, Aino,
Hastened to her mother's cottage.
At the window sat her father
Whittling on an oaken ax-helve:
'Wherefore weepest, beauteous Aino,
Aino, my beloved daughter?
'Cause enough for weeping, father,
Good the reasons for my mourning,
This, the reason for my weeping,
This, the cause of all my sorrow:
From my breast I tore the crosslet,
From my belt, the clasp of copper,
From my waist, the belt of silver,
Golden was my pretty crosslet.'
Near the door-way sat her brother,
Carving out a birchen ox-bow:
'Why art weeping, lovely Aino,
Aino, my devoted sister?'
'Cause enough for weeping, brother,
Good the reasons for my mourning
Therefore come I as thou seest,
Rings no longer on my fingers,
On my neck no pretty necklace;
Golden were the rings thou gavest,
And the necklace, pearls and silver!'
On the threshold sat her sister,
Weaving her a golden girdle:
'Why art weeping, beauteous Aino,
Aino, my beloved sister?'
'Cause enough for weeping, sister,
Good the reasons for my sorrow:
Therefore come I as thou seest,
On my head no scarlet fillet,
In my hair no braids of silver,
On mine arms no purple ribbons,
Round my neck no shining necklace,
On my breast no golden crosslet,
In mine ears no golden ear-rings.'
Near the door-way of the dairy,
Skimming cream, sat Aino's mother.
'Why art weeping, lovely Aino,
Aino, my devoted daughter?'
Thus the sobbing maiden answered;
'Loving mother, all-forgiving,
Cause enough for this my weeping,
Good the reasons for my sorrow,
Therefore do I weep, dear mother:
I have been within the forest,
Brooms to bind and shoots to gather,
There to pluck some birchen tassels;
Bound a bundle for my father,
Bound a second for my mother,
Bound a third one for my brother,
For my sister silken tassels.
Straightway then I hastened homeward,
By a foot-path left the forest;
As I reached the woodland border
Spake Osmoinen from the cornfield,
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Wear not, beauteous maid, for others,
Only wear for me, sweet maiden,
On thy breast a golden crosslet,
Shining pearls upon thy shoulders,
Bind for me thine auburn tresses,
Weave for me thy silver braidlets.'
Then I threw the gold-cross from me,
Tore the jewels from my fingers,
Quickly loosed my shining necklace,
Quick untied my silken ribbons,
Cast them all away indignant,
Into forest ferns and flowers.
Then I thus addressed the singer:
'Not for thee and not for others,
Hang I from my neck the crosslet,
Deck my hair with silken ribbons;
Need no more the many trinkets,
Brought to me by ship and shallop;
Sooner wear the simplest raiment,
Feed upon the barley bread-crust,
Dwell forever with my mother
In the cabin with my father.''
Thus the gray-haired mother answered
Aino, her beloved daughter:
'Weep no more, my lovely maiden,
Waste no more of thy sweet young-life;
One year eat thou my sweet butter,
It will make thee strong and ruddy;
Eat another year fresh bacon,
It will make thee tall and queenly;
Eat a third year only dainties,
It will make thee fair and lovely.
Now make haste to yonder hill-top,
To the store-house on the mountain,
Open there the large compartment,
Thou will find it filled with boxes,
Chests and cases, trunks and boxes;
Open thou the box, the largest,
Lift away the gaudy cover,
Thou will find six golden girdles,
Seven rainbow-tinted dresses,
Woven by the Moon's fair daughters,
Fashioned by the Sun's sweet virgins.
In my young years once I wandered,
As a maiden on the mountains,
In the happy days of childhood,
Hunting berries in the coppice;
There by chance I heard the daughters
Of the Moon as they were weaving;
There I also heard the daughters
Of the Sun as they were spinning
On the red rims of the cloudlets,
O'er the blue edge of the forest,
On the border of the pine-wood,
On a high and distant mountain.
I approached them, drawing nearer,
Stole myself within their hearing,
Then began I to entreat them,
Thus besought them, gently pleading:
'Give thy silver, Moon's fair daughters,
To a poor, but worthy maiden;
Give thy gold, O Sun's sweet virgins,
To this maiden, young and needy.'
Thereupon the Moon's fair daughters
Gave me silver from their coffers;
And the Sun's sweet shining virgins
Gave me gold from their abundance,
Gold to deck my throbbing temples,
For my hair the shining silver.
Then I hastened joyful homeward,
Richly laden with my treasures,
Happy to my mother's cottage;
Wore them one day, than a second,
Then a third day also wore them,
Took the gold then from my temples,
From my hair I took the silver,
Careful laid them in their boxes,
Many seasons have they lain there,
Have not seen them since my childhood.
Deck thy brow with silken ribbon,
Trim with gold thy throbbing temples,
And thy neck with pearly necklace,
Hang the gold-cross on thy bosom,
Robe thyself in pure, white linen
Spun from flax of finest fiber;
Wear withal the richest short-frock,
Fasten it with golden girdle;
On thy feet, put silken stockings,
With the shoes of finest leather;
Deck thy hair with golden braidlets,
Bind it well with threads of silver;
Trim with rings thy fairy fingers,
And thy hands with dainty ruffles;
Come bedecked then to thy chamber,
Thus return to this thy household,
To the greeting of thy kindred,
To the joy of all that know thee,
Flushed thy cheeks as ruddy berries,
Coming as thy father's sunbeam,
Walking beautiful and queenly,
Far more beautiful than moonlight.'
Thus she spake to weeping Aino,
Thus the mother to her daughter;
But the maiden, little bearing,
Does not heed her mother's wishes;
Straightway hastens to the court-yard,
There to weep in bitter sorrow,
All alone to weep in anguish.
Waiting long the wailing Aino
Thus at last soliloquizes:
'Unto what can I now liken
Happy homes and joys of fortune?
Like the waters in the river,
Like the waves in yonder lakelet,
Like the crystal waters flowing.
Unto what, the biting sorrow
Of the child of cold misfortune?
Like the spirit of the sea-duck,
Like the icicle in winter,
Water in the well imprisoned.
Often roamed my mind in childhood,
When a maiden free and merry,
Happily through fen and fallow,
Gamboled on the meads with lambkins,
Lingered with the ferns and flowers,
Knowing neither pain nor trouble;
Now my mind is filled with sorrow,
Wanders though the bog and stubble,
Wanders weary through the brambles,
Roams throughout the dismal forest,
Till my life is filled with darkness,
And my spirit white with anguish.
Better had it been for Aino
Had she never seen the sunlight,
Or if born had died an infant,
Had not lived to be a maiden
In these days of sin and sorrow,
Underneath a star so luckless.
Better had it been for Aino,
Had she died upon the eighth day
After seven nights had vanished;
Needed then but little linen,
Needed but a little coffin,
And a grave of smallest measure;
Mother would have mourned a little,
Father too perhaps a trifle,
Sister would have wept the day through,
Brother might have shed a tear-drop,
Thus had ended all the mourning.'
Thus poor Aino wept and murmured,
Wept one day, and then a second,
Wept a third from morn till even,
When again her mother asked her:
'Why this weeping, fairest daughter,
Darling daughter, why this grieving?
Thus the tearful maiden answered:
Therefore do I weep and sorrow,
Wretched maiden all my life long,
Since poor Aino, thou hast given,
Since thy daughter thou hast promised
To the aged Wainamoinen,
Comfort to his years declining
Prop to stay him when he totters,
In the storm a roof above him,
In his home a cloak around him;
Better far if thou hadst sent me
Far below the salt-sea surges,
To become the whiting's sister,
And the friend of perch and salmon;
Better far to ride the billows,
Swim the sea-foam as a mermaid,
And the friend of nimble fishes,
Than to be an old man's solace,
Prop to stay him when be totters,
Hand to aid him when he trembles,
Arm to guide him when he falters,
Strength to give him when he weakens;
Better be the whiting's sister
And the friend of perch and salmon,
Than an old man's slave and darling.'
Ending thus she left her mother,
Straightway hastened to the mountain?
To the store-house on the summit,
Opened there the box the largest,
From the box six lids she lifted,
Found therein six golden girdles,
Silken dresses seven in number.
Choosing such as pleased her fancy,
She adorned herself as bidden,
Robed herself to look her fairest,
Gold upon her throbbing temples,
In her hair the shining silver,
On her shoulders purple ribbons,
Band of blue around her forehead,
Golden cross, and rings, and jewels,
Fitting ornaments to beauty.
Now she leaves her many treasures,
Leaves the store-house on the mountain,
Filled with gold and silver trinkets,
Wanders over field and meadow,
Over stone-fields waste and barren,
Wanders on through fen and forest,
Through the forest vast and cheerless,
Wanders hither, wanders thither,
Singing careless as she wanders,
This her mournful song and echo:
'Woe is me, my life hard-fated!
Woe to Aino, broken-hearted!
Torture racks my heart and temples,
Yet the sting would not be deeper,
Nor the pain and anguish greater,
If beneath this weight of sorrow,
In my saddened heart's dejection,
I should yield my life forever,
Now unhappy, I should perish!
Lo! the time has come for Aino
From this cruel world to hasten,
To the kingdom of Tuoni,
To the realm of the departed,
To the isle of the hereafter.
Weep no more for me, O Father,
Mother dear, withhold thy censure,
Lovely sister, dry thine eyelids,
Do not mourn me, dearest brother,
When I sink beneath the sea-foam,
Make my home in salmon-grottoes,
Make my bed in crystal waters,
Water-ferns my couch and pillow.'
All day long poor Aino wandered,
All the next day, sad and weary,
So the third from morn till evening,
Till the cruel night enwrapped her,
As she reached the sandy margin,
Reached the cold and dismal sea-shore,
Sat upon the rock of sorrow,
Sat alone in cold and darkness,
Listened only to the music
Of the winds and rolling billows,
Singing all the dirge of Aino.
All that night the weary maiden
Wept and wandered on the border
Through the sand and sea-washed pebbles.
As the day dawns, looking round her,
She beholds three water-maidens,
On a headland jutting seaward,
Water-maidens four in number,
Sitting on the wave-lashed ledges,
Swimming now upon the billows,
Now upon the rocks reposing.
Quick the weeping maiden, Aino,
Hastens there to join the mermaids,
Fairy maidens of the waters.
Weeping Aino, now disrobing,
Lays aside with care her garments,
Hangs her silk robes on the alders,
Drops her gold-cross on the sea-shore,
On the aspen hangs her ribbons,
On the rocks her silken stockings,
On the grass her shoes of deer-skin,
In the sand her shining necklace,
With her rings and other jewels.
Out at sea a goodly distance,
Stood a rock of rainbow colors,
Glittering in silver sunlight.
Toward it springs the hapless maiden,
Thither swims the lovely Aino,
Up the standing-stone has clambered,
Wishing there to rest a moment,
Rest upon the rock of beauty;
When upon a sudden swaying
To and fro among the billows,
With a crash and roar of waters
Falls the stone of many colors,
Falls upon the very bottom
Of the deep and boundless blue-sea.
With the stone of rainbow colors,
Falls the weeping maiden, Aino,
Clinging to its craggy edges,
Sinking far below the surface,
To the bottom of the blue-sea.
Thus the weeping maiden vanished.
Thus poor Aino sank and perished,
Singing as the stone descended,
Chanting thus as she departed:
Once to swim I sought the sea-side,
There to sport among the billows;
With the stone or many colors
Sank poor Aino to the bottom
Of the deep and boundless blue-sea,
Like a pretty son-bird. perished.
Never come a-fishing, father,
To the borders of these waters,
Never during all thy life-time,
As thou lovest daughter Aino.
'Mother dear, I sought the sea-side,
There to sport among the billows;
With the stone of many colors,
Sank poor Aino to the bottom
Of the deep and boundless blue-sea,
Like a pretty song-bird perished.
Never mix thy bread, dear mother,
With the blue-sea's foam and waters,
Never during all thy life-time,
As thou lovest daughter Aino.
Brother dear, I sought the sea-side,
There to sport among the billows;
With the stone of many colors
Sank poor Aino to the bottom
Of the deep and boundless blue-sea,
Like a pretty song-bird perished.
Never bring thy prancing war-horse,
Never bring thy royal racer,
Never bring thy steeds to water,
To the borders of the blue-sea,
Never during all thy life-time,
As thou lovest sister Aino.
'Sister dear, I sought the sea-side,
There to sport among the billows;
With the stone of many colors
Sank poor Aino to the bottom
Of the deep and boundless blue-sea,
Like a pretty song-bird perished.
Never come to lave thine eyelids
In this rolling wave and sea-foam,
Never during all thy life-time,
As thou lovest sister Aino.
All the waters in the blue-sea
Shall be blood of Aino's body;
All the fish that swim these waters
Shall be Aino's flesh forever;
All the willows on the sea-side
Shall be Aino's ribs hereafter;
All the sea-grass on the margin
Will have grown from Aino's tresses.'
Thus at last the maiden vanished,
Thus the lovely Aino perished.
Who will tell the cruel story,
Who will bear the evil tidings
To the cottage of her mother,
Once the home of lovely Aino?
Will the bear repeat the story,
Tell the tidings to her mother?
Nay, the bear must not be herald,
He would slay the herds of cattle.
Who then tell the cruel story,
Who will bear the evil tidings
To the cottage of her father,
Once the home of lovely Aino?
Shall the wolf repeat the story,
Tell the sad news to her father?
Nay, the wolf must not be herald,
He would eat the gentle lambkins.
Who then tell the cruel story,
Who will bear the evil tidings.
To the cottage of her sister?
'Will the fox repeat the story
Tell the tidings to her sister?
Nay, the fox must not be herald,
He would eat the ducks and chickens.
Who then tell the cruel story,
Who will bear the evil tidings
To the cottage of her brother,
Once the home of lovely Aino?
Shall the hare repeat the story,
Bear the sad news to her brother?
Yea, the hare shall be the herald,
Tell to all the cruel story.
Thus the harmless hare makes answer:
'I will bear the evil tidings
To the former home of Aino,
Tell the story to her kindred.'
Swiftly flew the long-eared herald,
Like the winds be hastened onward,
Galloped swift as flight of eagles;
Neck awry he bounded forward
Till he gained the wished-for cottage,
Once the home of lovely Aino.
Silent was the home, and vacant;
So he hastened to the bath-house,
Found therein a group of maidens,
Working each upon a birch-broom.
Sat the hare upon the threshold,
And the maidens thus addressed him:
'Hie e there, Long-legs, or we'll roast thee,
Hie there, Big-eye, or we'll stew thee,
Roast thee for our lady's breakfast,
Stew thee for our master's dinner,
Make of thee a meal for Aino,
And her brother, Youkahainen!
Better therefore thou shouldst gallop
To thy burrow in the mountains,
Than be roasted for our dinners.'
Then the haughty hare made answer,
Chanting thus the fate of Aino:
'Think ye not I journey hither,
To be roasted in the skillet,
To be stewed in yonder kettle
Let fell Lempo fill thy tables!
I have come with evil tidings,
Come to tell the cruel story
Of the flight and death of Aino,
Sister dear of Youkahainen.
With the stone of many colors
Sank poor Aino to the bottom
Of the deep and boundless waters,
Like a pretty song-bird perished;
Hung her ribbons on the aspen,
Left her gold-cross on the sea-shore,
Silken robes upon the alders,
On the rocks her silken stockings,
On the grass her shoes of deer-skin,
In the sand her shining necklace,
In the sand her rings and jewels;
In the waves, the lovely Aino,
Sleeping on the very bottom
Of the deep and boundless blue-sea,
In the caverns of the salmon,
There to be the whiting's sister
And the friend of nimble fishes.'
Sadly weeps the ancient mother
From her blue-eyes bitter tear-drops,
As in sad and wailing measures,
Broken-hearted thus she answers:
'Listen, all ye mothers, listen,
Learn from me a tale of wisdom:
Never urge unwilling daughters
From the dwellings of their fathers,
To the bridegrooms that they love not,
Not as I, inhuman mother,
Drove away my lovely Aino,
Fairest daughter of the Northland.'
Sadly weeps the gray-haired mother,
And the tears that fall are bitter,
Flowing down her wrinkled visage,
Till they trickle on her bosom;
Then across her heaving bosom,
Till they reach her garment's border;
Then adown her silken stockings,
Till they touch her shoes of deer-skin;
Then beneath her shoes of deer-skin,
Flowing on and flowing ever,
Part to earth as its possession,
Part to water as its portion.
As the tear-drops fall and mingle,
Form they streamlets three in number,
And their source, the mother's eyelids,
Streamlets formed from pearly tear-drops,
Flowing on like little rivers,
And each streamlet larger growing,
Soon becomes a rushing torrent
In each rushing, roaring torrent
There a cataract is foaming,
Foaming in the silver sunlight;
From the cataract's commotion
Rise three pillared rocks in grandeur;
From each rock, upon the summit,
Grow three hillocks clothed in verdure;
From each hillock, speckled birches,
Three in number, struggle skyward;
On the summit of each birch-tree
Sits a golden cuckoo calling,
And the three sing, all in concord:
'Love! O Love! the first one calleth;
Sings the second, Suitor! Suitor!
And the third one calls and echoes,
'Consolation! Consolation!'
He that 'Love! O Love!' is calling,
Calls three moons and calls unceasing,
For the love-rejecting maiden
Sleeping in the deep sea-castles.
He that 'Suitor! Suitor!' singeth,
Sings six moons and sings unceasing
For the suitor that forever
Sings and sues without a hearing.
He that sadly sings and echoes,
'Consolation! Consolation!'
Sings unceasing all his life long
For the broken-hearted mother
That must mourn and weep forever.
When the lone and wretched mother
Heard the sacred cuckoo singing,
Spake she thus, and sorely weeping:
'When I hear the cuckoo calling,
Then my heart is filled with sorrow;
Tears unlock my heavy eyelids,
Flow adown my, furrowed visage,
Tears as large as silver sea pearls;
Older grow my wearied elbows,
Weaker ply my aged fingers,
Wearily, in all its members,
Does my body shake in palsy,
When I hear the cuckoo singing,
Hear the sacred cuckoo calling.'

by Elias Lönnrot.

The Kalevala - Rune Xxix

THE ISLE OF REFUGE.


Lemminkainen, full of joyance,
Handsome hero, Kaukomieli,
Took provisions in abundance,
Fish and butter, bread and bacon,
Hastened to the Isle of Refuge,
Sailed away across the oceans,
Spake these measures on departing:
'Fare thee well, mine Island-dwelling,
I must sail to other borders,
To an island more protective,
Till the second summer passes;
Let the serpents keep the island,
Lynxes rest within the glen-wood,
Let the blue-moose roam the mountains,
Let the wild-geese cat the barley.
Fare thee well, my helpful mother!
When the warriors of the Northland,
From the dismal Sariola,
Come with swords, and spears, and cross-bows,
Asking for my head in vengeance,
Say that I have long departed,
Left my mother's Island-dwelling,
When the barley had been garnered.'
Then he launched his boat of copper,
Threw the vessel to the waters,
From the iron-banded rollers,
From the cylinders of oak-wood,
On the masts the sails he hoisted,
Spread the magic sails of linen,
In the stern the hero settled
And prepared to sail his vessel,
One hand resting on the rudder.
Then the sailor spake as follows,
These the words of Lemminkainen:
'Blow, ye winds, and drive me onward,
Blow ye steady, winds of heaven,
Toward the island in the ocean,
That my bark may fly in safety
To my father's place of refuge,
To the far and nameless island!'
Soon the winds arose as bidden,
Rocked the vessel o'er the billows,
O'er the blue-back of the waters,
O'er the vast expanse of ocean;
Blew two months and blew unceasing,
Blew a third month toward the island,
Toward his father's Isle of Refuge.
Sat some maidens on the seaside,
On the sandy beach of ocean,
Turned about in all directions,
Looking out upon the billows;
One was waiting for her brother,
And a second for her father,
And a third one, anxious, waited
For the, coming of her suitor;
There they spied young Lemminkainen,
There perceived the hero's vessel
Sailing o'er the bounding billows;
It was like a hanging cloudlet,
Hanging twixt the earth and heaven.
Thus the island-maidens wondered,
Thus they spake to one another:
'What this stranger on the ocean,
What is this upon the waters?
Art thou one of our sea-vessels?
Wert thou builded on this island?
Sail thou straightway to the harbor,
To the island-point of landing
That thy tribe may be discovered.'
Onward did the waves propel it,
Rocked his vessel o'er the billows,
Drove it to the magic island,
Safely landed Lemminkainen
On the sandy shore and harbor.
Spake he thus when he had landed,
These the words that Ahti uttered:
'Is there room upon this island,
Is there space within this harbor,
Where my bark may lie at anchor,
Where the sun may dry my vessel?'
This the answer of the virgins,
Dwellers on the Isle of Refuge:
'There is room within this harbor,
On this island, space abundant,
Where thy bark may lie at anchor,
Where the sun may dry thy vessel;
Lying ready are the rollers,
Cylinders adorned with copper;
If thou hadst a hundred vessels,
Shouldst thou come with boats a thousand,
We would give them room in welcome.'
Thereupon wild Lemminkainen
Rolled his vessel in the harbor,
On the cylinders of copper,
Spake these words when he had ended:
'Is there room upon this island,
Or a spot within these forests,
Where a hero may be hidden
From the coming din of battle,
From the play of spears and arrows?
Thus replied the Island-maidens:
'There are places on this island,
On these plains a spot befitting
Where to hide thyself in safety,
Hero-son of little valor.
Here are many, many castles,
Many courts upon this island;
Though there come a thousand heroes,
Though a thousand spearmen. follow,
Thou canst hide thyself in safety.'
Spake the hero, Lemminkainen:
'Is there room upon this island,
Where the birch-tree grows abundant,
Where this son may fell the forest,
And may cultivate the fallow? '
Answered thus the Island-maidens:
'There is not a spot befitting,
Not a place upon the island,
Where to rest thy wearied members,
Not the smallest patch of birch-wood,
Thou canst bring to cultivation.
All our fields have been divided,
All these woods have been apportioned,
Fields and forests have their owners.'
Lemminkainen asked this question,
These the words of Kaukomieli:
'Is there room upon this island,
Worthy spot in field or forest,
Where to Sing my songs of magic,
Chant my gathered store of wisdom,
Sing mine ancient songs and legends?'
Answered thus the Island-maidens:
'There is room upon this island,
Worthy place in these dominions,
Thou canst sing thy garnered wisdom,
Thou canst chant thine ancient legends,
Legends of the times primeval,
In the forest, in the castle,
On the island-plains and pastures.'
Then began the reckless minstrel
To intone his wizard-sayings;
Sang he alders to the waysides,
Sang the oaks upon the mountains,
On the oak-trees sang be branches,
On each branch he sang an acorn,
On the acorns, golden rollers,
On each roller, sang a cuckoo;
Then began the cuckoos, calling,
Gold from every throat came streaming,
Copper fell from every feather,
And each wing emitted silver,
Filled the isle with precious metals.
Sang again young Lemminkainen,
Conjured on, and sang, and chanted,
Sang to precious stones the sea-sands,
Sang the stones to pearls resplendent,
Robed the groves in iridescence,
Sang the island full of flowers,
Many-colored as the rainbow.
Sang again the magic minstrel,
In the court a well he conjured,
On the well a golden cover,
On the lid a silver dipper,
That the boys might drink the water,
That the maids might lave their eyelids.
On the plains he conjured lakelets,
Sang the duck upon the waters,
Golden-cheeked and silver-headed,
Sang the feet from shining copper;
And the Island-maidens wondered,
Stood entranced at Ahti's wisdom,
At the songs of Lemminkainen,
At the hero's magic power.
Spake the singer, Lemminkainen,
Handsome hero, Kaukomieli:
'I would sing a wondrous legend,
Sing in miracles of sweetness,
If within some hall or chamber,
I were seated at the table.
If I sing not in the castle,
In some spot by walls surrounded
Then I sing my songs to zephyrs,
Fling them to the fields and forests.'
Answered thus the Island-maidens:
'On this isle are castle-chambers,
Halls for use of magic singers,
Courts complete for chanting legends,
Where thy singing will be welcome,
Where thy songs will not be scattered
To the forests of the island,
Nor thy wisdom lost in ether.'
Straightway Lemminkainen journeyed
With the maidens to the castle;
There he sang and conjured pitchers
On the borders of the tables,
Sang and conjured golden goblets
Foaming with the beer of barley;
Sang he many well-filled vessels,
Bowls of honey-drink abundant,
Sweetest butter, toothsome biscuit,
Bacon, fish, and veal, and venison,
All the dainties of the Northland,
Wherewithal to still his hunger.
But the proud-heart, Lemminkainen,
Was not ready for the banquet,
Did not yet begin his feasting,
Waited for a knife of silver,
For a knife of golden handle;
Quick he sang the precious metals,
Sang a blade from purest silver,
To the blade a golden handle,
Straightway then began his feasting,
Quenched his thirst and stilled his hunger,
Charmed the maidens on the island.
Then the minstrel, Lemminkainen,
Roamed throughout the island-hamlets,
To the joy of all the virgins,
All the maids of braided tresses;
Wheresoe'er he turned his footsteps,
There appeared a maid to greet him;
When his hand was kindly offered,
There his band was kindly taken;
When he wandered out at evening,
Even in the darksome places,
There the maidens bade him welcome;
There was not an island-village
Where there were not seven castles,
In each castle seven daughters,
And the daughters stood in waiting,
Gave the hero joyful greetings,
Only one of all the maidens
Whom he did not greet with pleasure.
Thus the merry Lemminkainen
Spent three summers in the ocean,
Spent a merry time in refuge,
In the hamlets on the island,
To the pleasure of the maidens,
To the joy of all the daughters;
Only one was left neglected,
She a poor and graceless spinster,
On the isle's remotest border,
In the smallest of the hamlets.
'Then he thought about his journey
O'er the ocean to his mother,
To the cottage of his father.
There appeared the slighted spinster,
To the Northland son departing,
Spake these words to Lemminkainen:
'O, thou handsome Kaukomieli,
Wisdom-bard, and magic singer,
Since this maiden thou hast slighted,
May the winds destroy thy vessel,
Dash thy bark to countless fragments
On the ocean-rocks and ledges!'
Lemminkainen's thoughts were homeward,
Did not heed the maiden's murmurs,
Did not rise before the dawning
Of the morning on the island,
To the pleasure of the maiden
Of the much-neglected hamlet.
Finally at close of evening,
He resolved to leave the island,
He resolved to waken early,
Long before the dawn of morning;
Long before the time appointed,
He arose that he might wander
Through the hamlets of the island,
Bid adieu to all the maidens,
On the morn of his departure.
As he wandered hither, thither,
Walking through the village path-ways
To the last of all the hamlets;
Saw he none of all the castle-,
Where three dwellings were not standing;
Saw he none of all the dwellings
Where three heroes were not watching;
Saw he none of all the heroes,
Who was not engaged in grinding
Swords, and spears, and battle-axes,
For the death of Lemminkainen.
And these words the hero uttered:
'Now alas! the Sun arises
From his couch within the ocean,
On the frailest of the heroes,
On the saddest child of Northland;
On my neck the cloak of Lempo
Might protect me from all evil,
Though a hundred foes assail me,
Though a thousand archers follow.'
Then he left the maids ungreeted,
Left his longing for the daughters
Of the nameless Isle of Refuge,
With his farewell-words unspoken,
Hastened toward the island-harbor,
Toward his magic bark at anchor;
But he found it burned to ashes,
Sweet revenge had fired his vessel,
Lighted by the slighted spinster.
Then he saw the dawn of evil,
Saw misfortune hanging over,
Saw destruction round about him.
Straightway he began rebuilding
Him a magic sailing-vessel,
New and wondrous, full of beauty;
But the hero needed timber,
Boards, and planks, and beams, and braces,
Found the smallest bit of lumber,
Found of boards but seven fragments,
Of a spool he found three pieces,
Found six pieces of the distaff;
With these fragments builds his vessel,
Builds a ship of magic virtue,
Builds the bark with secret knowledge,
Through the will of the magician;
Strikes one blow, and builds the first part,
Strikes a second, builds the centre,
Strikes a third with wondrous power,
And the vessel is completed.
Thereupon the ship he launches,
Sings the vessel to the ocean,
And these words the hero utters:
'Like a bubble swim these waters,
Like a flower ride the billows;
Loan me of thy magic feathers,
Three, O eagle, four, O raven,
For protection to my vessel,
Lest it flounder in the ocean!'
Now the sailor, Lemminkainen,
Seats himself upon the bottom
Of the vessel he has builded,
Hastens on his journey homeward,
Head depressed and evil-humored,
Cap awry upon his forehead,
Mind dejected, heavy-hearted,
That he could not dwell forever
In the castles of the daughters
Of the nameless Isle of Refuge.
Spake the minstrel, Lemminkainen,
Handsome hero, Kaukomieli:
'Leave I must this merry island,
Leave her many joys and pleasures,
Leave her maids with braided tresses,
Leave her dances and her daughters,
To the joys of other heroes;
But I take this comfort with me:
All the maidens on the island,
Save the spinster who was slighted,
Will bemoan my loss for ages,
Will regret my quick departure;
They will miss me at the dances,
In the halls of mirth and joyance,
In the homes of merry maidens,
On my father's Isle of Refuge.'
Wept the maidens on the island,
Long lamenting, loudly calling
To the hero sailing homeward:
'Whither goest, Lemminkainen,
Why depart, thou best of heroes?
Dost thou leave from inattention,
Is there here a dearth of maidens,
Have our greetings been unworthy?'
Sang the magic Lemminkainen
To the maids as he was sailing,
This in answer to their calling:
'Leaving not for want of pleasure,
Do not go from dearth of women
Beautiful the island-maidens,
Countless as the sands their virtues.
This the reason of my going,
I am longing for my home-land,
Longing for my mother's cabins,
For the strawberries of Northland,
For the raspberries of Kalew,
For the maidens of my childhood,
For the children of my mother.'
Then the merry Lemminkainen
Bade farewell to all the island;
Winds arose and drove his vessel
On the blue-back of the ocean,
O'er the far-extending waters,
Toward the island of his mother.
On the shore were grouped the daughters
Of the magic Isle of Refuge,
On the rocks sat the forsaken,
Weeping stood the island-maidens,
Golden daughters, loud-lamenting.
Weep the maidens of the island
While the sail-yards greet their vision,
While the copper-beltings glisten;
Do not weep to lose the sail-yards,
Nor to lose the copper-beltings;
Weep they for the loss of Ahti,
For the fleeing Kaukomieli
Guiding the departing vessel.
Also weeps young Lemminkainen,
Sorely weeps, and loud-lamenting,
Weeps while he can see the island,
While the island hill-tops glisten;
Does not mourn the island-mountains,
Weeps he only for the maidens,
Left upon the Isle of Refuge.
Thereupon sailed Kaukomieli
On the blue-back of the ocean;
Sailed one day, and then a second,
But, alas! upon the third day,
There arose a mighty storm-wind,
And the sky was black with fury.
Blew the black winds from the north-west,
From the south-east came the whirlwind,
Tore away the ship's forecastle,
Tore away the vessel's rudder,
Dashed the wooden hull to pieces.
Thereupon wild Lemminkainen
Headlong fell upon the waters;
With his head he did the steering,
With his hands and feet, the rowing;
Swam whole days and nights unceasing,
Swam with hope and strength united,
Till at last appeared a cloudlet,
Growing cloudlet to the westward,
Changing to a promontory,
Into land within the ocean.
Swiftly to the shore swam Ahti,
Hastened to a magic castle,
Found therein a hostess baking,
And her daughters kneading barley,
And these words the hero uttered:
'O, thou hostess, filled with kindness,
Couldst thou know my pangs of hunger,
Couldst thou guess my name and station,
Thou wouldst hasten to the storehouse,
Bring me beer and foaming liquor,
Bring the best of thy provisions,
Bring me fish, and veal, and bacon,
Butter, bread, and honeyed biscuits,
Set for me a wholesome dinner,
Wherewithal to still my hunger,
Quench the thirst of Lemminkainen.
Days and nights have I been swimming,
Buffeting the waves of ocean,
Seemed as if the wind protected,
And the billows gave me shelter,'
Then the hostess, filled with kindness,
Hastened to the mountain storehouse,
Cut some butter, veal, and bacon,
Bread, and fish, and honeyed biscuit,
Brought the best of her provisions,
Brought the mead and beer of barley,
Set for him a toothsome dinner,
Wherewithal to still his hunger,
Quench the thirst of Lemminkainen.
When the hero's feast had ended,
Straightway was a magic vessel
Given by the kindly hostess
To the weary Kaukomieli,
Bark of beauty, new and hardy,
Wherewithal to aid the stranger
In his journey to his home-land,
To the cottage of his mother.
Quickly sailed wild Lemminkainen
On the blue-back of the ocean;
Sailed he days and nights unceasing,
Till at last he reached the borders
Of his own loved home and country;
There beheld he scenes familiar,
Saw the islands, capes, and rivers,
Saw his former shipping-stations,
Saw he many ancient landmarks,
Saw the mountains with their fir-trees,
Saw the pine-trees on the hill-tops,
Saw the willows in the lowlands;
Did not see his father's cottage,
Nor the dwellings of his mother.
Where a mansion once had risen,
There the alder-trees were growing,
Shrubs were growing on the homestead,
Junipers within the court-yard.
Spake the reckless Lemminkainen:
'In this glen I played and wandered,
On these stones I rocked for ages,
On this lawn I rolled and tumbled,
Frolicked on these woodland-borders,
When a child of little stature.
Where then is my mother's dwelling,
Where the castles of my father?
Fire, I fear, has found the hamlet,
And the winds dispersed the ashes.'
Then he fell to bitter weeping,
Wept one day and then a second,
Wept the third day without ceasing;
Did not mourn the ancient homestead,
Nor the dwellings of his father;
Wept he for his darling mother,
Wept he for the dear departed,
For the loved ones of the island.
Then he saw the bird of heaven,
Saw an eagle flying near him,
And he asked the bird this question:
'Mighty eagle, bird majestic,
Grant to me the information,
Where my mother may have wandered,
Whither I may go and find her!'
But the eagle knew but little,
Only knew that Ahti's people
Long ago together perished;
And the raven also answered
That his people had been scattered
By the, swords, and spears, and arrows,
Of his enemies from Pohya.
Spake the hero, Lemminkainen:
'Faithful mother, dear departed,
Thou who nursed me in my childhood,
Art thou dead and turned to ashes,
Didst thou perish for my follies,
O'er thy head are willows weeping,
Junipers above thy body,
Alders watching o'er thy slumbers?
This my punishment for evil,
This the recompense of folly!
Fool was I, a son unworthy,
That I measured swords in Northland
With the landlord of Pohyola,
To my tribe came fell destruction,
And the death of my dear mother,
Through my crimes and misdemeanors.'
Then the ministrel [sic] looked about him,
Anxious, looked in all directions,
And beheld some gentle foot-prints,
Saw a pathway lightly trodden
Where the heather had been beaten.
Quick as thought the path he followed,
Through the meadows, through the brambles,
O'er the hills, and through the valleys,
To a forest, vast and cheerless;
Travelled far and travelled farther,
Still a greater distance travelled,
To a dense and hidden glenwood,
In the middle of the island;
Found therein a sheltered cabin,
Found a small and darksome dwelling
Built between the rocky ledges,
In the midst of triple pine-trees;
And within he spied his mother,
Found his gray-haired mother weeping.
Lemminkainen loud rejoices,
Cries in tones of joyful greetings,
These the words that Ahti utters:
'Faithful mother, well-beloved,
Thou that gavest me existence,
Happy I, that thou art living,
That thou hast not yet departed
To the kingdom of Tuoni,
To the islands of the blessed,
I had thought that thou hadst perished,
Hadst been murdered by my foemen,
Hadst been slain with bows and arrows.
Heavy are mine eyes from weeping,
And my checks are white with sorrow,
Since I thought my mother slaughtered
For the sins I had committed!'
Lemminkainen's mother answered:
'Long, indeed, hast thou been absent,
Long, my son, hast thou been living
In thy father's Isle of Refuge,
Roaming on the secret island,
Living at the doors of strangers,
Living in a nameless country,
Refuge from the Northland foemen.'
Spake the, hero, Lemminkainen:
'Charming is that spot for living,
Beautiful the magic island,
Rainbow-colored was the forest,
Blue the glimmer of the meadows,
Silvered were, the pine-tree branches,
Golden were the heather-blossoms;
All the woodlands dripped with honey,
Eggs in every rock and crevice,
Honey flowed from birch and sorb-tree,
Milk in streams from fir and aspen,
Beer-foam dripping from the willows,
Charming there to live and linger,
All their edibles delicious.
This their only source of trouble:
Great the fear for all the maidens,
All the heroes filled with envy,
Feared the coming of the stranger;
Thought that all the island-maidens,
Thought that all the wives and daughters,
All the good, and all the evil,
Gave thy son too much attention;
Thought the stranger, Lemminkainen,
Saw the Island-maids too often;
Yet the virgins I avoided,
Shunned the good and shunned the evil,
Shunned the host of charming daughters,
As the black-wolf shuns the sheep-fold,
As the hawk neglects the chickens.'

by Elias Lönnrot.

The Odyssey: Book 5

And now, as Dawn rose from her couch beside Tithonus- harbinger of
light alike to mortals and immortals- the gods met in council and with
them, Jove the lord of thunder, who is their king. Thereon Minerva
began to tell them of the many sufferings of Ulysses, for she pitied
him away there in the house of the nymph Calypso.
"Father Jove," said she, "and all you other gods that live in
everlasting bliss, I hope there may never be such a thing as a kind
and well-disposed ruler any more, nor one who will govern equitably. I
hope they will be all henceforth cruel and unjust, for there is not
one of his subjects but has forgotten Ulysses, who ruled them as
though he were their father. There he is, lying in great pain in an
island where dwells the nymph Calypso, who will not let him go; and he
cannot get back to his own country, for he can find neither ships
nor sailors to take him over the sea. Furthermore, wicked people are
now trying to murder his only son Telemachus, who is coming home
from Pylos and Lacedaemon, where he has been to see if he can get news
of his father."
"What, my dear, are you talking about?" replied her father, "did you
not send him there yourself, because you thought it would help Ulysses
to get home and punish the suitors? Besides, you are perfectly able to
protect Telemachus, and to see him safely home again, while the
suitors have to come hurry-skurrying back without having killed him."
When he had thus spoken, he said to his son Mercury, "Mercury, you
are our messenger, go therefore and tell Calypso we have decreed
that poor Ulysses is to return home. He is to be convoyed neither by
gods nor men, but after a perilous voyage of twenty days upon a raft
he is to reach fertile Scheria, the land of the Phaeacians, who are
near of kin to the gods, and will honour him as though he were one
of ourselves. They will send him in a ship to his own country, and
will give him more bronze and gold and raiment than he would have
brought back from Troy, if he had had had all his prize money and
had got home without disaster. This is how we have settled that he
shall return to his country and his friends."
Thus he spoke, and Mercury, guide and guardian, slayer of Argus, did
as he was told. Forthwith he bound on his glittering golden sandals
with which he could fly like the wind over land and sea. He took the
wand with which he seals men's eyes in sleep or wakes them just as
he pleases, and flew holding it in his hand over Pieria; then he
swooped down through the firmament till he reached the level of the
sea, whose waves he skimmed like a cormorant that flies fishing
every hole and corner of the ocean, and drenching its thick plumage in
the spray. He flew and flew over many a weary wave, but when at last
he got to the island which was his journey's end, he left the sea
and went on by land till he came to the cave where the nymph Calypso
lived.
He found her at home. There was a large fire burning on the
hearth, and one could smell from far the fragrant reek of burning
cedar and sandal wood. As for herself, she was busy at her loom,
shooting her golden shuttle through the warp and singing
beautifully. Round her cave there was a thick wood of alder, poplar,
and sweet smelling cypress trees, wherein all kinds of great birds had
built their nests- owls, hawks, and chattering sea-crows that occupy
their business in the waters. A vine loaded with grapes was trained
and grew luxuriantly about the mouth of the cave; there were also four
running rills of water in channels cut pretty close together, and
turned hither and thither so as to irrigate the beds of violets and
luscious herbage over which they flowed. Even a god could not help
being charmed with such a lovely spot, so Mercury stood still and
looked at it; but when he had admired it sufficiently he went inside
the cave.
Calypso knew him at once- for the gods all know each other, no
matter how far they live from one another- but Ulysses was not within;
he was on the sea-shore as usual, looking out upon the barren ocean
with tears in his eyes, groaning and breaking his heart for sorrow.
Calypso gave Mercury a seat and said: "Why have you come to see me,
Mercury- honoured, and ever welcome- for you do not visit me often?
Say what you want; I will do it for be you at once if I can, and if it
can be done at all; but come inside, and let me set refreshment before
you.
As she spoke she drew a table loaded with ambrosia beside him and
mixed him some red nectar, so Mercury ate and drank till he had had
enough, and then said:
"We are speaking god and goddess to one another, one another, and
you ask me why I have come here, and I will tell you truly as you
would have me do. Jove sent me; it was no doing of mine; who could
possibly want to come all this way over the sea where there are no
cities full of people to offer me sacrifices or choice hecatombs?
Nevertheless I had to come, for none of us other gods can cross
Jove, nor transgress his orders. He says that you have here the most
ill-starred of alf those who fought nine years before the city of King
Priam and sailed home in the tenth year after having sacked it. On
their way home they sinned against Minerva, who raised both wind and
waves against them, so that all his brave companions perished, and
he alone was carried hither by wind and tide. Jove says that you are
to let this by man go at once, for it is decreed that he shall not
perish here, far from his own people, but shall return to his house
and country and see his friends again."
Calypso trembled with rage when she heard this, "You gods," she
exclaimed, to be ashamed of yourselves. You are always jealous and
hate seeing a goddess take a fancy to a mortal man, and live with
him in open matrimony. So when rosy-fingered Dawn made love to
Orion, you precious gods were all of you furious till Diana went and
killed him in Ortygia. So again when Ceres fell in love with Iasion,
and yielded to him in a thrice ploughed fallow field, Jove came to
hear of it before so long and killed Iasion with his thunder-bolts.
And now you are angry with me too because I have a man here. I found
the poor creature sitting all alone astride of a keel, for Jove had
struck his ship with lightning and sunk it in mid ocean, so that all
his crew were drowned, while he himself was driven by wind and waves
on to my island. I got fond of him and cherished him, and had set my
heart on making him immortal, so that he should never grow old all his
days; still I cannot cross Jove, nor bring his counsels to nothing;
therefore, if he insists upon it, let the man go beyond the seas
again; but I cannot send him anywhere myself for I have neither
ships nor men who can take him. Nevertheless I will readily give him
such advice, in all good faith, as will be likely to bring him
safely to his own country."
"Then send him away," said Mercury, "or Jove will be angry with
you and punish you"'
On this he took his leave, and Calypso went out to look for Ulysses,
for she had heard Jove's message. She found him sitting upon the beach
with his eyes ever filled with tears, and dying of sheer
home-sickness; for he had got tired of Calypso, and though he was
forced to sleep with her in the cave by night, it was she, not he,
that would have it so. As for the day time, he spent it on the rocks
and on the sea-shore, weeping, crying aloud for his despair, and
always looking out upon the sea. Calypso then went close up to him
said:
"My poor fellow, you shall not stay here grieving and fretting
your life out any longer. I am going to send you away of my own free
will; so go, cut some beams of wood, and make yourself a large raft
with an upper deck that it may carry you safely over the sea. I will
put bread, wine, and water on board to save you from starving. I
will also give you clothes, and will send you a fair wind to take
you home, if the gods in heaven so will it- for they know more about
these things, and can settle them better than I can."
Ulysses shuddered as he heard her. "Now goddess," he answered,
"there is something behind all this; you cannot be really meaning to
help me home when you bid me do such a dreadful thing as put to sea on
a raft. Not even a well-found ship with a fair wind could venture on
such a distant voyage: nothing that you can say or do shall mage me go
on board a raft unless you first solemnly swear that you mean me no
mischief."
Calypso smiled at this and caressed him with her hand: "You know a
great deal," said she, "but you are quite wrong here. May heaven above
and earth below be my witnesses, with the waters of the river Styx-
and this is the most solemn oath which a blessed god can take- that
I mean you no sort of harm, and am only advising you to do exactly
what I should do myself in your place. I am dealing with you quite
straightforwardly; my heart is not made of iron, and I am very sorry
for you."
When she had thus spoken she led the way rapidly before him, and
Ulysses followed in her steps; so the pair, goddess and man, went on
and on till they came to Calypso's cave, where Ulysses took the seat
that Mercury had just left. Calypso set meat and drink before him of
the food that mortals eat; but her maids brought ambrosia and nectar
for herself, and they laid their hands on the good things that were
before them. When they had satisfied themselves with meat and drink,
Calypso spoke, saying:
"Ulysses, noble son of Laertes, so you would start home to your
own land at once? Good luck go with you, but if you could only know
how much suffering is in store for you before you get back to your own
country, you would stay where you are, keep house along with me, and
let me make you immortal, no matter how anxious you may be to see this
wife of yours, of whom you are thinking all the time day after day;
yet I flatter myself that at am no whit less tall or well-looking than
she is, for it is not to be expected that a mortal woman should
compare in beauty with an immortal."
"Goddess," replied Ulysses, "do not be angry with me about this. I
am quite aware that my wife Penelope is nothing like so tall or so
beautiful as yourself. She is only a woman, whereas you are an
immortal. Nevertheless, I want to get home, and can think of nothing
else. If some god wrecks me when I am on the sea, I will bear it and
make the best of it. I have had infinite trouble both by land and
sea already, so let this go with the rest."
Presently the sun set and it became dark, whereon the pair retired
into the inner part of the cave and went to bed.
When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, Ulysses put
on his shirt and cloak, while the goddess wore a dress of a light
gossamer fabric, very fine and graceful, with a beautiful golden
girdle about her waist and a veil to cover her head. She at once set
herself to think how she could speed Ulysses on his way. So she gave
him a great bronze axe that suited his hands; it was sharpened on both
sides, and had a beautiful olive-wood handle fitted firmly on to it.
She also gave him a sharp adze, and then led the way to the far end of
the island where the largest trees grew- alder, poplar and pine,
that reached the sky- very dry and well seasoned, so as to sail
light for him in the water. Then, when she had shown him where the
best trees grew, Calypso went home, leaving him to cut them, which
he soon finished doing. He cut down twenty trees in all and adzed them
smooth, squaring them by rule in good workmanlike fashion. Meanwhile
Calypso came back with some augers, so he bored holes with them and
fitted the timbers together with bolts and rivets. He made the raft as
broad as a skilled shipwright makes the beam of a large vessel, and he
filed a deck on top of the ribs, and ran a gunwale all round it. He
also made a mast with a yard arm, and a rudder to steer with. He
fenced the raft all round with wicker hurdles as a protection
against the waves, and then he threw on a quantity of wood. By and
by Calypso brought him some linen to make the sails, and he made these
too, excellently, making them fast with braces and sheets. Last of
all, with the help of levers, he drew the raft down into the water.
In four days he had completed the whole work, and on the fifth
Calypso sent him from the island after washing him and giving him some
clean clothes. She gave him a goat skin full of black wine, and
another larger one of water; she also gave him a wallet full of
provisions, and found him in much good meat. Moreover, she made the
wind fair and warm for him, and gladly did Ulysses spread his sail
before it, while he sat and guided the raft skilfully by means of
the rudder. He never closed his eyes, but kept them fixed on the
Pleiads, on late-setting Bootes, and on the Bear- which men also
call the wain, and which turns round and round where it is, facing
Orion, and alone never dipping into the stream of Oceanus- for Calypso
had told him to keep this to his left. Days seven and ten did he
sail over the sea, and on the eighteenth the dim outlines of the
mountains on the nearest part of the Phaeacian coast appeared,
rising like a shield on the horizon.
But King Neptune, who was returning from the Ethiopians, caught
sight of Ulysses a long way off, from the mountains of the Solymi.
He could see him sailing upon the sea, and it made him very angry,
so he wagged his head and muttered to himself, saying, heavens, so the
gods have been changing their minds about Ulysses while I was away
in Ethiopia, and now he is close to the land of the Phaeacians,
where it is decreed that he shall escape from the calamities that have
befallen him. Still, he shall have plenty of hardship yet before he
has done with it."
Thereon he gathered his clouds together, grasped his trident,
stirred it round in the sea, and roused the rage of every wind that
blows till earth, sea, and sky were hidden in cloud, and night
sprang forth out of the heavens. Winds from East, South, North, and
West fell upon him all at the same time, and a tremendous sea got
up, so that Ulysses' heart began to fail him. "Alas," he said to
himself in his dismay, "what ever will become of me? I am afraid
Calypso was right when she said I should have trouble by sea before
I got back home. It is all coming true. How black is Jove making
heaven with his clouds, and what a sea the winds are raising from
every quarter at once. I am now safe to perish. Blest and thrice blest
were those Danaans who fell before Troy in the cause of the sons of
Atreus. Would that had been killed on the day when the Trojans were
pressing me so sorely about the dead body of Achilles, for then I
should have had due burial and the Achaeans would have honoured my
name; but now it seems that I shall come to a most pitiable end."
As he spoke a sea broke over him with such terrific fury that the
raft reeled again, and he was carried overboard a long way off. He let
go the helm, and the force of the hurricane was so great that it broke
the mast half way up, and both sail and yard went over into the sea.
For a long time Ulysses was under water, and it was all he could do to
rise to the surface again, for the clothes Calypso had given him
weighed him down; but at last he got his head above water and spat out
the bitter brine that was running down his face in streams. In spite
of all this, however, he did not lose sight of his raft, but swam as
fast as he could towards it, got hold of it, and climbed on board
again so as to escape drowning. The sea took the raft and tossed it
about as Autumn winds whirl thistledown round and round upon a road.
It was as though the South, North, East, and West winds were all
playing battledore and shuttlecock with it at once.
When he was in this plight, Ino daughter of Cadmus, also called
Leucothea, saw him. She had formerly been a mere mortal, but had
been since raised to the rank of a marine goddess. Seeing in what
great distress Ulysses now was, she had compassion upon him, and,
rising like a sea-gull from the waves, took her seat upon the raft.
"My poor good man," said she, "why is Neptune so furiously angry
with you? He is giving you a great deal of trouble, but for all his
bluster he will not kill you. You seem to be a sensible person, do
then as I bid you; strip, leave your raft to drive before the wind,
and swim to the Phaecian coast where better luck awaits you. And here,
take my veil and put it round your chest; it is enchanted, and you can
come to no harm so long as you wear it. As soon as you touch land take
it off, throw it back as far as you can into the sea, and then go away
again." With these words she took off her veil and gave it him. Then
she dived down again like a sea-gull and vanished beneath the dark
blue waters.
But Ulysses did not know what to think. "Alas," he said to himself
in his dismay, "this is only some one or other of the gods who is
luring me to ruin by advising me to will quit my raft. At any rate I
will not do so at present, for the land where she said I should be
quit of all troubles seemed to be still a good way off. I know what
I will do- I am sure it will be best- no matter what happens I will
stick to the raft as long as her timbers hold together, but when the
sea breaks her up I will swim for it; I do not see how I can do any
better than this."
While he was thus in two minds, Neptune sent a terrible great wave
that seemed to rear itself above his head till it broke right over the
raft, which then went to pieces as though it were a heap of dry
chaff tossed about by a whirlwind. Ulysses got astride of one plank
and rode upon it as if he were on horseback; he then took off the
clothes Calypso had given him, bound Ino's veil under his arms, and
plunged into the sea- meaning to swim on shore. King Neptune watched
him as he did so, and wagged his head, muttering to himself and
saying, "'There now, swim up and down as you best can till you fall in
with well-to-do people. I do not think you will be able to say that
I have let you off too lightly." On this he lashed his horses and
drove to Aegae where his palace is.
But Minerva resolved to help Ulysses, so she bound the ways of all
the winds except one, and made them lie quite still; but she roused
a good stiff breeze from the North that should lay the waters till
Ulysses reached the land of the Phaeacians where he would be safe.
Thereon he floated about for two nights and two days in the water,
with a heavy swell on the sea and death staring him in the face; but
when the third day broke, the wind fell and there was a dead calm
without so much as a breath of air stirring. As he rose on the swell
he looked eagerly ahead, and could see land quite near. Then, as
children rejoice when their dear father begins to get better after
having for a long time borne sore affliction sent him by some angry
spirit, but the gods deliver him from evil, so was Ulysses thankful
when he again saw land and trees, and swam on with all his strength
that he might once more set foot upon dry ground. When, however, he
got within earshot, he began to hear the surf thundering up against
the rocks, for the swell still broke against them with a terrific
roar. Everything was enveloped in spray; there were no harbours
where a ship might ride, nor shelter of any kind, but only
headlands, low-lying rocks, and mountain tops.
Ulysses' heart now began to fail him, and he said despairingly to
himself, "Alas, Jove has let me see land after swimming so far that
I had given up all hope, but I can find no landing place, for the
coast is rocky and surf-beaten, the rocks are smooth and rise sheer
from the sea, with deep water close under them so that I cannot
climb out for want of foothold. I am afraid some great wave will
lift me off my legs and dash me against the rocks as I leave the
water- which would give me a sorry landing. If, on the other hand, I
swim further in search of some shelving beach or harbour, a
hurricane may carry me out to sea again sorely against my will, or
heaven may send some great monster of the deep to attack me; for
Amphitrite breeds many such, and I know that Neptune is very angry
with me."
While he was thus in two minds a wave caught him and took him with
such force against the rocks that he would have been smashed and
torn to pieces if Minerva had not shown him what to do. He caught hold
of the rock with both hands and clung to it groaning with pain till
the wave retired, so he was saved that time; but presently the wave
came on again and carried him back with it far into the sea-tearing
his hands as the suckers of a polypus are torn when some one plucks it
from its bed, and the stones come up along with it even so did the
rocks tear the skin from his strong hands, and then the wave drew
him deep down under the water.
Here poor Ulysses would have certainly perished even in spite of his
own destiny, if Minerva had not helped him to keep his wits about him.
He swam seaward again, beyond reach of the surf that was beating
against the land, and at the same time he kept looking towards the
shore to see if he could find some haven, or a spit that should take
the waves aslant. By and by, as he swam on, he came to the mouth of
a river, and here he thought would be the best place, for there were
no rocks, and it afforded shelter from the wind. He felt that there
was a current, so he prayed inwardly and said:
"Hear me, O King, whoever you may be, and save me from the anger
of the sea-god Neptune, for I approach you prayerfully. Any one who
has lost his way has at all times a claim even upon the gods,
wherefore in my distress I draw near to your stream, and cling to
the knees of your riverhood. Have mercy upon me, O king, for I declare
myself your suppliant."
Then the god stayed his stream and stilled the waves, making all
calm before him, and bringing him safely into the mouth of the
river. Here at last Ulysses' knees and strong hands failed him, for
the sea had completely broken him. His body was all swollen, and his
mouth and nostrils ran down like a river with sea-water, so that he
could neither breathe nor speak, and lay swooning from sheer
exhaustion; presently, when he had got his breath and came to
himself again, he took off the scarf that Ino had given him and
threw it back into the salt stream of the river, whereon Ino
received it into her hands from the wave that bore it towards her.
Then he left the river, laid himself down among the rushes, and kissed
the bounteous earth.
"Alas," he cried to himself in his dismay, "what ever will become of
me, and how is it all to end? If I stay here upon the river bed
through the long watches of the night, I am so exhausted that the
bitter cold and damp may make an end of me- for towards sunrise
there will be a keen wind blowing from off the river. If, on the other
hand, I climb the hill side, find shelter in the woods, and sleep in
some thicket, I may escape the cold and have a good night's rest,
but some savage beast may take advantage of me and devour me."
In the end he deemed it best to take to the woods, and he found
one upon some high ground not far from the water. There he crept
beneath two shoots of olive that grew from a single stock- the one
an ungrafted sucker, while the other had been grafted. No wind,
however squally, could break through the cover they afforded, nor
could the sun's rays pierce them, nor the rain get through them, so
closely did they grow into one another. Ulysses crept under these
and began to make himself a bed to lie on, for there was a great
litter of dead leaves lying about- enough to make a covering for two
or three men even in hard winter weather. He was glad enough to see
this, so he laid himself down and heaped the leaves all round him.
Then, as one who lives alone in the country, far from any neighbor,
hides a brand as fire-seed in the ashes to save himself from having to
get a light elsewhere, even so did Ulysses cover himself up with
leaves; and Minerva shed a sweet sleep upon his eyes, closed his
eyelids, and made him lose all memories of his sorrows.


Translated by Samuel Butler

by Homer.

The Judgment Of Paris

1

Far in the depth of Ida's inmost grove,
A scene for love and solitude design'd;
Where flowery woodbines wild, by Nature wove,
Form'd the lone bower, the royal swain reclined.


2

All up the craggy cliffs, that tower'd to heaven,
Green waved the murmuring pines on every side;
Save where, fair opening to the beam of even,
A dale sloped gradual to the valley wide.


3

Echo'd the vale with many a cheerful note;
The lowing of the herds resounding long,
The shrilling pipe, and mellow horn remote,
And social clamours of the festive throng.


4

For now, low hovering o'er the western main,
Where amber clouds begirt his dazzling throne,
The Sun with ruddier verdure deck'd the plain;
And lakes and streams and spires triumphal shone.


5

And many a band of ardent youths were seen;
Some into rapture fired by glory's charms,
Or hurl'd the thundering car along the green,
Or march'd embattled on in glittering arms.


6

Others more mild, in happy leisure gay,
The darkening forest's lonely gloom explore,
Or by Scamander's flowery margin stray,
Or the blue Hellespont's resounding shore.


7

But chief the eye to Ilion's glories turn'd,
That gleam'd along the extended champaign far,
And bulwarks in terrific pomp adorn'd,
Where Peace sat smiling at the frowns of War.


8

Rich in the spoils of many a subject clime,
In pride luxurious blazed the imperial dome;
Tower'd 'mid the encircling grove the fane sublime,
And dread memorials mark'd the hero's tomb


9

Who from the black and bloody cavern led
The savage stern, and soothed his boisterous breast;
Who spoke, and Science rear'd her radiant head,
And brighten'd o'er the long benighted waste:


10

Or, greatly daring in his country's cause,
Whose heaven-taught soul the awful plan design'd,
Whence Power stood trembling at the voice of laws;
Whence soar'd on Freedom's wing the ethereal mind.


11

But not the pomp that royalty displays,
Nor all the imperial pride of lofty Troy,
Nor Virtue's triumph of immortal praise
Could rouse the langour of the lingering boy.


12

Abandon'd all to soft Enone's charms,
He to oblivion doom'd the listless day;
Inglorious lull'd in Love's dissolving arms,
While flutes lascivious breathed the enfeebling lay.


13

To trim the ringlets of his scented hair:
To aim, insidious, Love's bewitching glance;
Or cull fresh garlands for the gaudy fair,
Or wanton loose in the voluptuous dance:


14

These were his arts; these won Enone's love,
Nor sought his fetter'd soul a nobler aim.
Ah, why should beauty's smile those arts approve
Which taint with infamy the lover's flame?


15

Now laid at large beside a murmuring spring,
Melting he listen'd to the vernal song,
And Echo, listening, waved her airy wing,
While the deep winding dales the lays prolong;


16

When, slowly floating down the azure skies,
A crimson cloud flash'd on his startled sight,
Whose skirts gay-sparkling with unnumber'd dyes
Launch'd the long billowy trails of flickery light.


17

That instant, hush'd was all the vocal grove,
Hush'd was the gale, and every ruder sound;
And strains aërial, warbling far above,
Rung in the ear a magic peal profound.


18

Near and more near the swimming radiance roll'd;
Along the mountains stream the lingering fires;
Sublime the groves of Ida blaze with gold,
And all the Heaven resounds with louder lyres.


19

The trumpet breathed a note: and all in air,
The glories vanish'd from the dazzled eye;
And three ethereal forms, divinely fair,
Down the steep glade were seen advancing nigh.


20

The flowering glade fell level where they moved;
O'erarching high the clustering roses hung;
And gales from heaven on balmy pinion roved,
And hill and dale with gratulation rung.


21

The FIRST with slow and stately step drew near,
Fix'd was her lofty eye, erect her mien:
Sublime in grace, in majesty severe,
She look'd and moved a goddess and a queen.


22

Her robe along the gale profusely stream'd,
Light lean'd the sceptre on her bending arm;
And round her brow a starry circlet gleam'd,
Heightening the pride of each commanding charm.


23

Milder the NEXT came on with artless grace,
And on a javelin's quivering length reclined:
To exalt her mien she bade no splendour blaze,
Nor pomp of vesture fluctuate on the wind.


24

Serene, though awful, on her brow the light
Of heavenly wisdom shone; nor roved her eyes.
Save to the shadowy cliffs majestic height,
Or the blue concave of the involving skies.


25

Keen were her eyes to search the inmost soul:
Yet virtue triumph'd in their beams benign,
And impious Pride oft felt their dread control,
When in fierce lightning flash'd the wrath divine1.


26

With awe and wonder gazed the adoring swain;
His kindling cheeks great Virtue's power confess'd;
But soon 'twas o'er; for Virtue prompts in vain,
When Pleasure's influence numbs the nerveless breast.


27

And now advanced the QUEEN of melting JOY,
Smiling supreme in unresisted charms:
Ah, then, what transports fired the trembling boy!
How throbb'd his sickening frame with fierce alarms!


28

Her eyes in liquid light luxurious swim,
And languish with unutterable love.
Heaven's warm bloom glows along each brightening limb,
Where fluttering bland the veil's thin mantlings rove.


29

Quick, blushing as abash'd, she half withdrew:
One hand a bough of flowering myrtle waved.
One graceful spread, where, scarce conceal'd from view,
Soft through the parting robe her bosom heaved.


30

'Offspring of Jove supreme! beloved of Heaven!
Attend.' Thus spoke the Empress of the Skies.
'For know, to thee, high-fated prince, 'tis given
Through the bright realms of Fame sublime to rise,


31

Beyond man's boldest hope; if nor the wiles
Of Pallas triumph o'er the ennobling thought;
Nor Pleasure lure with artificial smiles
To quaff the poison of her luscious draught.


32

When Juno's charms the prize of beauty claim,
Shall aught on earth, shall aught in heaven contend?
Whom Juno calls to high triumphant fame,
Shall he to meaner sway inglorious bend?


33

Yet lingering comfortless in lonesome wild,
Where Echo sleeps 'mid cavern'd vales profound,
The pride of Troy, Dominion's darling child,
Pines while the slow hour stalks in sullen round.


34

Hear thou, of Heaven unconscious! From the blaze
Of glory, stream'd from Jove's eternal throne,
Thy soul, O mortal, caught the inspiring rays
That to a god exalt Earth's raptured son.


35

Hence the bold wish, on boundless pinion borne,
That fires, alarms, impels the maddening soul;
The hero's eye, hence, kindling into scorn,
Blasts the proud menace, and defies control.


36

But, unimproved, Heaven's noblest boons are vain,
No sun with plenty crowns the uncultured vale:
Where green lakes languish on the silent plain,
Death rides the billows of the western gale.


37

Deep in yon mountain's womb, where the dark cave
Howls to the torrent's everlasting roar,
Does the rich gem its flashy radiance wave?
Or flames with steady ray the imperial ore?


38

Toil deck'd with glittering domes yon champaign wide,
And wakes yon grove-embosom'd lawns to joy,
And rends the rough ore from the mountain's side,
Spangling with starry pomp the thrones of Troy.


39

Fly these soft scenes. Even now, with playful art,
Love wreathes the flowery ways with fatal snare;
And nurse the ethereal fire that warms thy heart,
That fire ethereal lives but by thy care.


40

Lo! hovering near on dark and dampy wing,
Sloth with stern patience waits the hour assign'd,
From her chill plume the deadly dews to fling,
That quench Heaven's beam, and freeze the cheerless mind.


41

Vain, then, the enlivening sound of Fame's alarms,
For Hope's exulting impulse prompts no more:
Vain even the joys that lure to Pleasure's arms,
The throb of transport is for ever o'er.


42

O who shall then to Fancy's darkening eyes
Recall the Elysian dreams of joy and light?
Dim through the gloom the formless visions rise,
Snatch'd instantaneous down the gulf of night.


43

Thou who, securely lull'd in youth's warm ray,
Mark'st not the desolations wrought by Time,
Be roused or perish. Ardent for its prey,
Speeds the fell hour that ravages thy prime.


44

And, 'midst the horrors shrined of midnight storm,
The fiend Oblivion eyes thee from afar,
Black with intolerable frowns her form,
Beckoning the embattled whirlwinds into war.


45

Fanes, bulwarks, mountains, worlds, their tempest whelms;
Yet glory braves unmoved the impetuous sweep.
Fly then, ere, hurl'd from life's delightful realms,
Thou sink to Oblivion's dark and boundless deep.


46

Fly, then, where Glory points the path sublime,
See her crown dazzling with eternal light!
'Tis Juno prompts thy daring steps to climb,
And girds thy bounding heart with matchless might.


47

Warm in the raptures of divine desire,
Burst the soft chain that curbs the aspiring mind;
And fly where Victory, borne on wings of fire,
Waves her red banner to the rattling wind.


48

Ascend the car: indulge the pride of arms,
Where clarions roll their kindling strains on high,
Where the eye maddens to the dread alarms,
And the long shout tumultuous rends the sky.


49

Plunged in the uproar of the thundering field,
I see thy lofty arm the tempest guide:
Fate scatters lightning from thy meteor-shield,
And Ruin spreads around the sanguine tide.


50

Go, urge the terrors of thy headlong car
On prostrate Pride, and Grandeur's spoils o'erthrown,
While all amazed even heroes shrink afar,
And hosts embattled vanish at thy frown.


51

When glory crowns thy godlike toils, and all
The triumph's lengthening pomp exalts thy soul,
When lowly at thy feet the mighty fall,
And tyrants tremble at thy stern control:


52

When conquering millions hail thy sovereign might,
And tribes unknown dread acclamation join;
How wilt thou spurn the forms of low delight!
For all the ecstasies of heaven are thine:


53

For thine the joys, that fear no length of days,
Whose wide effulgence scorns all mortal bound:
Fame's trump in thunder shall announce thy praise,
Nor bursting worlds her clarion's blast confound.'


54

The Goddess ceased, not dubious of the prize:
Elate she mark'd his wild and rolling eye,
Mark'd his lip quiver, and his bosom rise,
And his warm cheek suffused with crimson dye.


55

But Pallas now drew near. Sublime, serene,
In conscious dignity she view'd the swain:
Then, love and pity softening all her mien,
Thus breathed with accents mild the solemn strain:


56

'Let those whose arts to fatal paths betray,
The soul with passion's gloom tempestuous blind,
And snatch from Reason's ken the auspicious ray
Truth darts from heaven to guide the exploring mind.


57

'But Wisdom loves the calm and serious hour,
When heaven's pure emanation beams confess'd:
Rage, ecstasy, alike disclaim her power,
She woo's each gentler impulse of the breast.


58

Sincere the unalter'd bliss her charms impart,
Sedate the enlivening ardours they inspire:
She bids no transient rapture thrill the heart,
She wakes no feverish gust of fierce desire.


59

Unwise, who, tossing on the watery way,
All to the storm the unfetter'd sail devolve:
Man more unwise resigns the mental sway,
Borne headlong on by passion's keen resolve.


60

While storms remote but murmur on thine ear,
Nor waves in ruinous uproar round thee roll,
Yet, yet a moment check thy prone career,
And curb the keen resolve that prompts thy soul.


61

Explore thy heart, that, roused by Glory's name,
Pants all enraptured with the mighty charm—
And does Ambition quench each milder flame?
And is it conquest that alone can warm?


62

To indulge fell Rapine's desolating lust,
To drench the balmy lawn in streaming gore,
To spurn the hero's cold and silent dust—
Are these thy joys? Nor throbs thy heart for more?


63

Pleased canst thou listen to the patriot's groan,
And the wild wail of Innocence forlorn?
And hear the abandon'd maid's last frantic moan,
Her love for ever from her bosom torn?


64

Nor wilt thou shrink, when Virtue's fainting breath
Pours the dread curse of vengeance on thy head?
Nor when the pale ghost bursts the cave of death,
To glare distraction on thy midnight bed?


65

Was it for this, though born to regal power,
Kind Heaven to thee did nobler gifts consign,
Bade Fancy's influence gild thy natal hour,
And bade Philanthropy's applause be thine?


66

Theirs be the dreadful glory to destroy,
And theirs the pride of pomp, and praise suborn'd,
Whose eye ne'er lighten'd at the smile of Joy,
Whose cheek the tear of Pity ne'er adorn'd:


67

Whose soul, each finer sense instinctive quell'd,
The lyre's mellifluous ravishment defies:
Nor marks where Beauty roves the flowery field,
Or Grandeur's pinion sweeps the unbounded skies.


68

Hail to sweet Fancy's unexpressive charm!
Hail to the pure delights of social love!
Hail, pleasures mild, that fire not while ye warm,
Nor rack the exulting frame, but gently move!


69

But Fancy soothes no more, if stern remorse
With iron grasp the tortured bosom wring.
Ah then! even Fancy speeds the venom's course,
Even Fancy points with rage the maddening sting.


70

Her wrath a thousand gnashing fiends attend,
And roll the snakes, and toss the brands of hell;
The beam of Beauty blasts: dark heavens impend
Tottering: and Music thrills with startling yell.


71

What then avails, that with exhaustless store
Obsequious Luxury loads thy glittering shrine?
What then avails, that prostrate slaves adore,
And Fame proclaims thee matchless and divine?


72

What though bland Flattery all her arts apply?
Will these avail to calm the infuriate brain?
Or will the roaring surge, when heaved on high,
Headlong hang, hush'd, to hear the piping swain?


73

In health how fair, how ghastly in decay
Man's lofty form! how heavenly fair the mind
Sublimed by Virtue's sweet enlivening sway!
But ah! to guilt's outrageous rule resign'd.


74

How hideous and forlorn! when ruthless Care
With cankering tooth corrodes the seeds of life,
And deaf with passion's storms when pines Despair,
And howling furies rouse the eternal strife.


75

Oh, by thy hopes of joy that restless glow,
Pledges of Heaven! be taught by Wisdom's lore;
With anxious haste each doubtful path forego,
And life's wild ways with cautious fear explore.


76

Straight be thy course: nor tempt the maze that leads
Where fell Remorse his shapeless strength conceals,
And oft Ambition's dizzy cliff he treads,
And slumbers oft in Pleasure's flowery vales.


77

Nor linger unresolved: Heaven prompts the choice,
Save when Presumption shuts the ear of Pride:
With grateful awe attend to Nature's voice,
The voice of Nature Heaven ordain'd thy guide.


78

Warn'd by her voice the arduous path pursue,
That leads to Virtue's fane a hardy band:
What though no gaudy scenes decoy their view,
Nor clouds of fragrance roll along the land?


79

What though rude mountains heave the flinty way?
Yet there the soul drinks light and life divine,
And pure aërial gales of gladness play,
Brace every nerve, and every sense refine.


80

Go, prince, be virtuous and be blest. The throne
Rears not its state to swell the couch of Lust:
Nor dignify Corruption's daring son,
To o'erwhelm his humbler brethren of the dust.

81
But yield an ampler scene to Bounty's eye,
An ampler range to Mercy's ear expand:
And, 'midst admiring nations, set on high
Virtue's fair model, framed by Wisdom's hand.


82

Go then: the moan of Woe demands thine aid:
Pride's licensed outrage claims thy slumbering ire:
Pale Genius roams the bleak neglected shade,
And battening Avarice mocks his tuneless lyre.


83

Even Nature pines, by vilest chains oppress'd:
The astonish'd kingdoms crouch to Fashion's nod.
O ye pure inmates of the gentle breast,
Truth, Freedom, Love, O where is your abode?


84

O yet once more shall Peace from heaven return,
And young Simplicity with mortals dwell!
Nor Innocence the august pavilion scorn,
Nor meek Contentment fly the humble cell!


85

Wilt thou, my prince, the beauteous train implore
'Midst earth's forsaken scenes once more to bide?
Then shall the shepherd sing in every bower,
And Love with garlands wreathe the domes of Pride.


86

The bright tear starting in the impassion'd eyes
Of silent Gratitude: the smiling gaze
Of Gratulation, faltering while he tries
With voice of transport to proclaim thy praise:


87

The ethereal glow that stimulates thy frame,
When all the according powers harmonious move,
And wake to energy each social aim,
Attuned spontaneous to the will of Jove:


88

Be these, O man, the triumphs of thy soul;
And all the conqueror's dazzling glories slight,
That meteor-like o'er trembling nations roll,
To sink at once in deep and dreadful night.


89

Like thine, yon orb's stupendous glories burn
With genial beam; nor, at the approach of even,
In shades of horror leave the world to mourn,
But gild with lingering light the empurpled heaven.'


90

Thus while she spoke, her eye, sedately meek,
Look'd the pure fervour of maternal love.
No rival zeal intemperate flush'd her cheek—
Can Beauty's boast the soul of Wisdom move?


91

Worth's noble pride, can Envy's leer appal,
Or staring Folly's vain applauses soothe?
Can jealous Fear Truth's dauntless heart enthrall?
Suspicion lurks not in the heart of Truth.


92

And now the shepherd raised his pensive head:
Yet unresolved and fearful roved his eyes,
Scared at the glances of the awful maid;
For young unpractised Guilt distrusts the guise


93

Of shameless Arrogance.—His wavering breast,
Though warm'd by Wisdom, own'd no constant fire,
While lawless Fancy roam'd afar, unblest
Save in the oblivious lap of soft Desire.


94

When thus the queen of soul-dissolving smiles:
'Let gentler fate my darling prince attend,
Joyless and cruel are the warrior's spoils,
Dreary the path stern Virtue's sons ascend.


95

Of human joy full short is the career,
And the dread verge still gains upon your sight;
While idly gazing far beyond your sphere,
Ye scan the dream of unapproach'd delight:


96

Till every sprightly hour and blooming scene
Of life's gay morn unheeded glides away,
And clouds of tempests mount the blue serene,
And storms and ruin close the troublous day.


97

Then still exult to hail the present joy,
Thine be the boon that comes unearn'd by toil;
No forward vain desire thy bliss annoy,
No flattering hope thy longing hours beguile.


98

Ah! why should man pursue the charms of Fame,
For ever luring, yet for ever coy?
Light as the gaudy rainbow's pillar'd gleam,
That melts illusive from the wondering boy!


99

What though her throne irradiate many a clime,
If hung loose-tottering o'er the unfathom'd tomb?
What though her mighty clarion, rear'd sublime,
Display the imperial wreath and glittering plume?


100

Can glittering plume, or can the imperial wreath
Redeem from unrelenting fate the brave?
What note of triumph can her clarion breathe,
To alarm the eternal midnight of the grave?


101

That night draws on: nor will the vacant hour
Of expectation linger as it flies:
Nor fate one moment unenjoy'd restore:
Each moment's flight how precious to the wise!


102

O shun the annoyance of the bustling throng,
That haunt with zealous turbulence the great:
There coward Office boasts the unpunish'd wrong,
And sneaks secure in insolence of state.


103

O'er fancied injury Suspicion pines,
And in grim silence gnaws the festering wound:
Deceit the rage-embitter'd smile refines,
And Censure spreads the viperous hiss around.


104

Hope not, fond prince, though Wisdom guard thy throne,
Though Truth and Bounty prompt each generous aim,
Though thine the palm of peace, the victor's crown,
The Muse's rapture, and the patriot's flame:


105

Hope not, though all that captivates the wise,
All that endears the good exalt thy praise:
Hope not to taste repose: for Envy's eyes
At fairest worth still point their deadly rays.


106

Envy, stern tyrant of the flinty heart,
Can aught of Virtue, Truth, or Beauty charm?
Can soft Compassion thrill with pleasing smart,
Repentance melt, or Gratitude disarm?


107

Ah no. Where Winter Scythia's waste enchains,
And monstrous shapes roar to the ruthless storm,
Not Phoebus' smile can cheer the dreadful plains,
Or soil accursed with balmy life inform.


108

Then, Envy, then is thy triumphant hour,
When mourns Benevolence his baffled scheme:
When Insult mocks the clemency of Power,
And loud dissension's livid firebrands gleam:


109

When squint-eyed Slander plies the unhallow'd tongue,
From poison'd maw when Treason weaves his line,
And Muse apostate (infamy to song!)
Grovels, low muttering, at Sedition's shrine.


110

Let not my prince forego the peaceful shade,
The whispering grove, the fountain and the plain:
Power, with the oppressive weight of pomp array'd,
Pants for simplicity and ease in vain.


111

The yell of frantic Mirth may stun his ear,
But frantic Mirth soon leaves the heart forlorn;
And Pleasure flies that high tempestuous sphere:
Far different scenes her lucid paths adorn.


112

She loves to wander on the untrodden lawn,
Or the green bosom of reclining hill,
Soothed by the careless warbler of the dawn,
Or the lone plaint of ever-murmuring rill.


113

Or from the mountain glade's aërial brow,
While to her song a thousand echoes call,
Marks the wide woodland wave remote below,
Where shepherds pipe unseen, and waters fall.


114

Her influence oft the festive hamlet proves,
Where the high carol cheers the exulting ring;
And oft she roams the maze of wildering groves,
Listening the unnumber'd melodies of Spring.


115

Or to the long and lonely shore retires;
What time, loose-glimmering to the lunar beam,
Faint heaves the slumberous wave, and starry fires
Gild the blue deep with many a lengthening gleam.


116

Then to the balmy bower of Rapture borne,
While strings self-warbling breathe Elysian rest,
Melts in delicious vision, till the morn
Spangle with twinkling dew the flowery waste.


117

The frolic Moments, purple-pinion'd, dance
Around, and scatter roses as they play;
And the blithe Graces, hand in hand, advance,
Where, with her loved compeers, she deigns to stray;


118

Mild Solitude, in veil of rustic dye,
Her sylvan spear with moss-grown ivy bound;
And Indolence, with sweetly languid eye,
And zoneless robe that trails along the ground;


119

But chiefly Love—O thou, whose gentle mind
Each soft indulgence Nature framed to share;
Pomp, wealth, renown, dominion, all resign'd,
Oh, haste to Pleasure's bower, for Love is there.


120

Love, the desire of Gods! the feast of heaven!
Yet to Earth's favour'd offspring not denied!
Ah! let not thankless man the blessing given
Enslave to Fame, or sacrifice to Pride.


121

Nor I from Virtue's call decoy thine ear;
Friendly to Pleasure are her sacred laws:
Let Temperance' smile the cup of gladness cheer;
That cup is death, if he withhold applause.


122

Far from thy haunt be Envy's baneful sway,
And Hate, that works the harass'd soul to storm;
But woo Content to breathe her soothing lay,
And charm from Fancy's view each angry form.


123

No savage joy the harmonious hours profane!
Whom Love refines, can barbarous tumults please?
Shall rage of blood pollute the sylvan reign?
Shall Leisure wanton in the spoils of Peace?


124

Free let the feathery race indulge the song,
Inhale the liberal beam, and melt in love:
Free let the fleet hind bound her hills along,
And in pure streams the watery nations rove.


125

To joy in Nature's universal smile
Well suits, O man, thy pleasurable sphere;
But why should Virtue doom thy years to toil?
Ah! why should Virtue's laws be deem'd severe?


126

What meed, Beneficence, thy care repays?
What, Sympathy, thy still returning pang?
And why his generous arm should Justice raise,
To dare the vengeance of a tyrant's fang?


127

From thankless spite no bounty can secure;
Or froward wish of discontent fulfil,
That knows not to regret thy bounded power,
But blames with keen reproach thy partial will.


128

To check the impetuous all-involving tide
Of human woes, how impotent thy strife!
High o'er thy mounds devouring surges ride,
Nor reck thy baffled toils, or lavish'd life.


129

The bower of bliss, the smile of love be thine,
Unlabour'd ease, and leisure's careless dream.
Such be their joys who bend at Venus' shrine,
And own her charms beyond compare supreme.'


130

Warm'd as she spoke, all panting with delight,
Her kindling beauties breathed triumphant bloom;
And Cupids flutter'd round in circlets bright,
And Flora pour'd from all her stores perfume.


131

'Thine be the prize,' exclaim'd the enraptured youth,
'Queen of unrivall'd charms, and matchless joy.'—
O blind to fate, felicity, and truth!
But such are they whom Pleasure's snares decoy.


132

The Sun was sunk; the vision was no more;
Night downward rush'd tempestuous, at the frown
Of Jove's awaken'd wrath: deep thunders roar,
And forests howl afar, and mountains groan,


133

And sanguine meteors glare athwart the plain;
With horror's scream the Ilian towers resound,
Raves the hoarse storm along the bellowing main,
And the strong earthquake rends the shuddering ground.

by James Beattie.

The Botanic Garden( Part Ii)

The Economy Of Vegetation

Canto II



AND NOW THE GODDESS with attention sweet
Turns to the GNOMES, that circle round her feet;
Orb within orb approach the marshal'd trains,
And pigmy legions darken all the plains;
Thrice shout with silver tones the applauding bands,
Bow, ere She speaks, and clap their fairy hands.
So the tall grass, when noon-tide zephyr blows,
Bends it's green blades in undulating rows;
Wide o'er the fields the billowy tumult spreads,
And rustling harvests bow their golden heads.

I. 'GNOMES! YOUR bright forms, presiding at her birth,
Clung in fond squadrons round the new-born EARTH;
When high in ether, with explosion dire,
From the deep craters of his realms of fire,
The whirling Sun this ponderous planet hurl'd,
And gave the astonish'd void another world.
When from it's vaporous air, condensed by cold,
Descending torrents into oceans roll'd;
And fierce attraction with relentless force
Bent the reluctant wanderer to it's course.
'Where yet the Bull with diamond-eye adorns
The Spring's fair forehead, and with golden horns;
Where yet the Lion climbs the ethereal plain,
And shakes the Summer from his radiant mane;
Where Libra lifts her airy arm, and weighs,
Poised in her silver ballance, nights and days;
With paler lustres where Aquarius burns,
And showers the still snow from his hoary urns;
YOUR ardent troops pursued the flying sphere,
Circling the starry girdle of the year;
While sweet vicissitudes of day and clime
Mark'd the new annals of enascent Time.

II. 'You trod with printless step Earth's tender globe,
While Ocean wrap'd it in his azure robe;
Beneath his waves her hardening strata spread,
Raised her PRIMEVAL ISLANDS from his bed,
Stretch'd her wide lawns, and sunk her winding dells,
And deck'd her shores with corals, pearls, and shells.
'O'er those blest isles no ice-crown'd mountains tower'd,
No lightnings darted, and no tempests lower'd;
Soft fell the vesper-drops, condensed below,
Or bent in air the rain-refracted bow;
Sweet breathed the zephyrs, just perceiv'd and lost;
And brineless billows only kiss'd the coast;
Round the bright zodiac danced the vernal hours,
And Peace, the Cherub, dwelt in mortal bowers!
'So young DIONE, nursed beneath the waves,
And rock'd by Nereids in their coral caves,
Charm'd the blue sisterhood with playful wiles,
Lisp'd her sweet tones, and tried her tender smiles.
Then, on her beryl throne by Triton's borne,
Bright rose the Goddess like the Star of morn;
When with soft fires the milky dawn He leads,
And wakes to life and love the laughing meads;-
With rosy fingers, as uncurl'd they hung
Round her fair brow, her golden locks she wrung;
O'er the smooth surge on silver sandals flood,
And look'd enchantment on the dazzled flood.-
The bright drops, rolling from her lifted arms,
In slow meanders wander o'er her charms,
Seek round her snowy neck their lucid track,
Pearl her white shoulders, gem her ivory back,
Round her fine waist and swelling bosom swim,
And star with glittering brine each crystal limb.-
-The immortal form enamour'd Nature hail'd,
And Beauty blazed to heaven and earth, unvail'd.

III. 'You! who then, kindling after many an age,
Saw with new fires the first VOLCANO rage,
O'er smouldering heaps of livid sulphur swell
At Earth's firm centre, and distend her shell,
Saw at each opening cleft the furnace glow,
And seas rush headlong on the gulphs below.-
GNOMES! how you shriek'd! when through the troubled air
Roar'd the fierce din of elemental war;
When rose the continents, and sunk the main,
And Earth's huge sphere exploding burst in twain.-
GNOMES! how you gazed! when from her wounded side
Where now the South-Sea heaves its waste of tide,
Rose on swift wheels the MOON'S refulgent car,
Circling the solar orb; a sister-star,
Dimpled with vales, with shining hills emboss'd,
And roll'd round Earth her airless realms of frost.
'GNOMES! how you trembled! with the dreadful force
When Earth recoiling stagger'd from her course;
When, as her Line in slower circles spun,
And her shock'd axis nodded from the sun,
With dreadful march the accumulated main
Swept her vast wrecks of mountain, vale, and plain;
And, while new tides their shouting floods unite,
And hail their Queen, fair Regent of the night;
Chain'd to one centre whirl'd the kindred spheres,
And mark'd with lunar cycles solar years.

IV. 'GNOMES! you then bade dissolving SHELLS distil
From the loose summits of each shatter'd hill,
To each fine pore and dark interstice flow,
And fill with liquid chalk the mass below.
Whence sparry forms in dusky caverns gleam
With borrow'd light, and twice refract the beam;
While in white beds congealing rocks beneath
Court the nice chissel, and desire to breathe.-
'Hence wearied HERCULES in marble rears
His languid limbs, and rests a thousand years;
Still, as he leans, shall young ANTINOUS please
With careless grace, and unaffected ease;
Onward with loftier step APOLLO spring,
And launch the unerring arrow from the string;
In Beauty's bashful form, the veil unfurl'd,
Ideal VENUS win the gazing world.
Hence on ROUBILIAC'S tomb shall Fame sublime
Wave her triumphant wings, and conquer Time;
Long with soft touch shall DAMER'S chissel charm,
With grace delight us, and with beauty warm;
FOSTER'S fine form shall hearts unborn engage,
And MELBOURN's smile enchant another age.

V. GNOMES! you then taught transuding dews to pass
Through time-fall'n woods, and root-inwove morass
Age after age; and with filtration fine
Dispart, from earths and sulphurs, the saline.
1. 'HENCE with diffusive SALT old Ocean steeps
His emerald shallows, and his sapphire deeps.
Oft in wide lakes, around their warmer brim
In hollow pyramids the crystals swim;
Or, fused by earth-born fires, in cubic blocks
Shoot their white forms, and harden into rocks.
'Thus, cavern'd round in CRACOW'S mighty mines,
With crystal walls a gorgeous city shines;
Scoop'd in the briny rock long streets extend
Their hoary course, and glittering domes ascend;
Down the bright steeps, emerging into day,
Impetuous fountains burst their headlong way,
O'er milk-white vales in ivory channels spread,
And wondering seek their subterraneous bed.
Form'd in pellucid salt with chissel nice,
The pale lamp glimmering through the sculptured ice,
With wild reverted eyes fair LOTTA stands,
And spreads to Heaven, in vain, her glassy hands;
Cold dews condense upon her pearly breast,
And the big tear rolls lucid down her vest.
Far gleaming o'er the town transparent fanes
Rear their white towers, and wave their golden vanes;
Long lines of lustres pour their trembling rays,
And the bright vault returns the mingled blaze.
2. 'HENCE orient NITRE owes it's sparkling birth,
And with prismatic crystals gems the earth,
O'er tottering domes in filmy foliage crawls,
Or frosts with branching plumes the mouldering walls.
As woos Azotic Gas the virgin Air,
And veils in crimson clouds the yielding Fair,
Indignant Fire the treacherous courtship flies,
Waves his light wing, and mingles with the skies.
'So Beauty's GODDESS, warm with new desire,
Left, on her silver wheels, the GOD of Fire;
Her faithless charms to fiercer MARS resign'd,
Met with fond lips, with wanton arms intwin'd.
-Indignant VULCAN eyed the parting Fair,
And watch'd with jealous step the guilty pair;
O'er his broad neck a wiry net he flung,
Quick as he strode, the tinkling meshes rung;
Fine as the spider's flimsy thread He wove
The immortal toil to lime illicit love;
Steel were the knots, and steel the twisted thong,
Ring link'd in ring, indissolubly strong;
On viewless hooks along the fretted roof
He hung, unseen, the inextricable woof.-
-Quick start the springs, the webs pellucid spread,
And lock the embracing Lovers on their bed;
Fierce with loud taunts vindictive VULCAN springs,
Tries all the bolts, and tightens all the strings,
Shakes with incessant shouts the bright abodes,
Claps his rude hands, and calls the festive Gods.-
-With spreading palms the alarmed Goddess tries
To veil her beauties from celestial eyes,
Writhes her fair limbs, the slender ringlets strains,
And bids her Loves untie the obdurate chains;
Soft swells her panting bosom, as she turns,
And her flush'd cheek with brighter blushes burns.
Majestic grief the Queen of Heaven avows,
And chaste Minerva hides her helmed brows;
Attendant Nymphs with bashful eyes askance
Steal of intangled MARS a transient glance;
Surrounding Gods the circling nectar quaff,
Gaze on the Fair, and envy as they laugh.
3. 'HENCE dusky IRON sleeps in dark abodes,
And ferny foliage nestles in the nodes;
Till with wide lungs the panting bellows blow,
And waked by fire the glittering torrents flow;
-Quick whirls the wheel, the ponderous hammer falls,
Loud anvils ring amid the trembling walls,
Strokes follow strokes, the sparkling ingot shines,
Flows the red slag, the lengthening bar refines;
Cold waves, immersed, the glowing mass congeal,
And turn to adamant the hissing Steel.
'Last MICHELL'S hands with touch of potent charm
The polish'd rods with powers magnetic arm;
With points directed to the polar stars
In one long line extend the temper'd bars;
Then thrice and thrice with steady eye he guides,
And o'er the adhesive train the magnet slides;
The obedient Steel with living instinct moves,
And veers for ever to the pole it loves.
'Hail, adamantine STEEL! magnetic Lord!
King of the prow, the plowshare, and the sword!
True to the pole, by thee the pilot guides
His steady helm amid the struggling tides,
Braves with broad sail the immeasurable sea,
Cleaves the dark air, and asks no star but Thee.-
By thee the plowshare rends the matted plain,
Inhumes in level rows the living grain;
Intrusive forests quit the cultured ground,
And Ceres laughs with golden fillets crown'd.-
O'er restless realms when scowling Discord flings
Her snakes, and loud the din of battle rings;
Expiring Strength, and vanquish'd Courage feel
Thy arm resistless, adamantine STEEL!
4. 'HENCE in fine streams diffusive ACIDS flow,
Or wing'd with fire o'er Earth's fair bosom blow;
Transmute to glittering Flints her chalky lands,
Or sink on Ocean's bed in countless Sands.
Hence silvery Selenite her chrystal moulds,
And soft Asbestus smooths his silky folds;
His cubic forms phosphoric Fluor prints,
Or rays in spheres his amethystine tints.
Soft cobweb clouds transparent Onyx spreads,
And playful Agates weave their colour'd threads;
Gay pictured Mochoes glow with landscape-dyes,
And changeful Opals roll their lucid eyes;
Blue lambent light around the Sapphire plays,
Bright Rubies blush, and living Diamonds blaze.
'Thus, for attractive earth, inconstant JOVE
Mask'd in new shapes forsook his realms above.-
First her sweet eyes his Eagle-form beguiles,
And HEBE feeds him with ambrosial smiles;
Next the chang'd God a Cygnet's down assumes,
And playful LEDA smooths his glossy plumes;
Then glides a silver Serpent, treacherous guest!
And fair OLYMPIA folds him in her breast;
Now lows a milk-white Bull on Afric's strand,
And crops with dancing head the daisy'd land.-
With rosy wreathes EUROPA'S hand adorns
His fringed forehead, and his pearly horns;
Light on his back the sportive Damsel bounds,
And pleased he moves along the flowery grounds;
Bears with slow step his beauteous prize aloof,
Dips in the lucid flood his ivory hoof;
Then wets his velvet knees, and wading laves
His silky sides amid the dimpling waves.
While her fond train with beckoning hands deplore,
Strain their blue eyes, and shriek along the shore;
Beneath her robe she draws her snowy feet,
And, half-reclining on her ermine seat,
Round his raised neck her radiant arms she throws,
And rests her fair cheek on his curled brows;
Her yellow tresses wave on wanton gales,
And high in air her azure mantle sails.
-Onward He moves, applauding Cupids guide,
And skim on shooting wing the shining tide;
Emerging Triton's leave their coral caves,
Sound their loud conchs, and smooth the circling waves,
Surround the timorous Beauty, as she swims,
And gaze enamour'd on her silver limbs.
-Now Europe's shadowy shores with loud acclaim
Hail the fair fugitive, and shout her name;
Soft echoes warble, whispering forests nod,
And conscious Nature owns the present God.
-Changed from the Bull, the rapturous God assumes
Immortal youth, with glow celestial blooms,
With lenient words her virgin fears disarms,
And clasps the yielding Beauty in his arms;
Whence Kings and Heroes own illustrious birth,
Guards of mankind, and demigods on earth.

VI. 'GNOMES! as you pass'd beneath the labouring soil,
The guards and guides of Nature's chemic toil,
YOU saw, deep-sepulchred in dusky realms,
Which Earth's rock-ribbed ponderous vault o'erwhelms,
With self-born fires the mass fermenting glow,
And flame-wing'd sulphurs quit the earths below.
1. 'HENCE ductile CLAYS in wide expansion spread,
Soft as the Cygnet's down, their snow-white bed;
With yielding flakes successive forms reveal,
And change obedient to the whirling wheel.
-First CHINA'S sons, with early art elate,
Form'd the gay tea-pot, and the pictured plate;
Saw with illumin'd brow and dazzled eyes
In the red stove vitrescent colours rise;
Speck'd her tall beakers with enamel'd stars,
Her monster-josses, and gigantic jars;
Smear'd her huge dragons with metallic hues,
With golden purples, and cobaltic blues;
Bade on wide hills her porcelain castles glare,
And glazed Pagodas tremble in the air.
'ETRURIA! next beneath thy magic hands
Glides the quick wheel, the plaistic clay expands,
Nerved with fine touch, thy fingers (as it turns)
Mark the nice bounds of vases, ewers, and urns;
Round each fair form in lines immortal trace
Uncopied Beauty, and ideal Grace.
'GNOMES! as you now dissect with hammers fine
The granite-rock, the nodul'd flint calcine;
Grind with strong arm, the circling chertz betwixt,
Your pure Ka-o-lins and Pe-tun-tses mixt;
O'er each red saggars burning cave preside,
The keen-eyed Fire-Nymphs blazing by your side;
And pleased on WEDGWOOD ray your partial smile,
A new Etruria decks Britannia's isle.-
Charm'd by your touch, the flint liquescent pours
Through finer sieves, and falls in whiter showers;
Charm'd by your touch, the kneaded clay refines,
The biscuit hardens, the enamel shines;
Each nicer mould a softer feature drinks,
The bold Cameo speaks, the soft Intaglio thinks.
'To call the pearly drops from Pity's eye,
Or stay Despair's disanimating sigh,
Whether, O Friend of art! the gem you mould
Rich with new taste, with antient virtue bold;
Form the poor fetter'd SLAVE on bended knee
From Britain's sons imploring to be free;
Or with fair HOPE the brightening scenes improve,
And cheer the dreary wastes at Sydney-cove;
Or bid Mortality rejoice and mourn
O'er the fine forms on PORTLAND'S mystic urn.-
'
Here
by fall'n columns and disjoin'd arcades,
On mouldering stones, beneath deciduous shades,
Sits HUMANKIND in hieroglyphic state,
Serious, and pondering on their changeful state;
While with inverted torch, and swimming eyes,
Sinks the fair shade of MORTAL LIFE, and dies.

There
the pale GHOST through Death's wide portal bends
His timid feet, the dusky steep descends;
With smiles assuasive LOVE DIVINE invites,
Guides on broad wing, with torch uplifted lights;
IMMORTAL LIFE, her hand extending, courts
The lingering form, his tottering step supports;
Leads on to Pluto's realms the dreary way,
And gives him trembling to Elysian day.

Beneath
in sacred robes the PRIESTESS dress'd,
The coif close-hooded, and the fluttering vest,
With pointing finger guides the initiate youth,
Unweaves the many-colour'd veil of Truth,
Drives the profane from Mystery's bolted door,
And Silence guards the Eleusinian lore.-
'Whether, O Friend of Art! your gems derive
Fine forms from Greece, and fabled Gods revive;
Or bid from modern life the Portrait breathe,
And bind round Honour's brow the laurel wreath;
Buoyant shall sail, with Fame's historic page,
Each fair medallion o'er the wrecks of age;
Nor Time shall mar; nor steel, nor fire, nor rust
Touch the hard polish of the immortal bust.
2. 'HENCE sable COAL his massy couch extends,
And stars of gold the sparkling Pyrite blends;
Hence dull-eyed Naphtha pours his pitchy streams,
And Jet uncolour'd drinks the solar beams,
Bright Amber shines on his electric throne,
And adds ethereal lustres to his own.
-Led by the phosphor-light, with daring tread
Immortal FRANKLIN sought the fiery bed;
Where, nursed in night, incumbent Tempest shrouds
The seeds of Thunder in circumfluent clouds,
Besieged with iron points his airy cell,
And pierced the monster slumbering in the shell.
'So, born on sounding pinions to the WEST,
When Tyrant-Power had built his eagle nest;
While from his eyry shriek'd the famish'd brood,
Clenched their sharp claws, and champ'd their beaks for blood,
Immortal FRANKLIN watch'd the callow crew,
And stabb'd the struggling Vampires, ere they flew.
-The patriot-flame with quick contagion ran,
Hill lighted hill, and man electrised man;
Her heroes slain awhile COLUMBIA mourn'd,
And crown'd with laurels LIBERTY return'd.
'The Warrior, LIBERTY, with bending sails
Helm'd his bold course to fair HIBERNIA'S vales;-
Firm as he steps, along the shouting lands,
Lo! Truth and Virtue range their radiant bands;
Sad Superstition wails her empire torn,
Art plies his oar, and Commerce pours her horn.
'Long had the Giant-form on GALLIA'S plains
Inglorious slept, unconscious of his chains;
Round his large limbs were wound a thousand strings
By the weak hands of Confessors and Kings;
O'er his closed eyes a triple veil was bound,
And steely rivets lock'd him to the ground;
While stern Bastile with iron cage inthralls
His folded limbs, and hems in marble walls.
-Touch'd by the patriot-flame, he rent amazed
The flimsy bonds, and round and round him gazed;
Starts up from earth, above the admiring throng
Lifts his Colossal form, and towers along;
High o'er his foes his hundred arms He rears,
Plowshares his swords, and pruning hooks his spears;
Calls to the Good and Brave with voice, that rolls
Like Heaven's own thunder round the echoing poles;
Gives to the winds his banner broad unfurl'd,
And gathers in its shade the living world!

VII. 'GNOMES! YOU then taught volcanic airs to force
Through bubbling Lavas their resistless course,
O'er the broad walls of rifted Granite climb,
And pierce the rent roof of incumbent Lime,
Round sparry caves metallic lustres fling,
And bear phlogiston on their tepid wing.
'HENCE glows, refulgent Tin! thy chrystal grains,
And tawny Copper shoots her azure veins;
Zinc lines his fretted vault with sable ore,
And dull Galena tessellates the floor;
On vermil beds in Idria's mighty caves
The living Silver rolls its ponderous waves;
With gay refractions bright Platina shines,
And studs with squander'd stars his dusky mines;
Long threads of netted gold, and silvery darts,
Inlay the Lazuli, and pierce the Quartz;-
-Whence roof'd with silver beam'd PERU, of old,
And hapless MEXICO was paved with gold.
'Heavens! on my sight what sanguine colours blaze!
Spain's deathless shame! the crimes of modern days!
When Avarice, shrouded in Religion's robe,
Sail'd to the West, and slaughter'd half the globe;
While Superstition, stalking by his side,
Mock'd the loud groans, and lap'd the bloody tide;
For sacred truths announced her frenzied dreams,
And turn'd to night the sun's meridian beams.-
Hear, oh, BRITANNIA! potent Queen of isles,
On whom fair Art, and meek Religion smiles,
Now AFRIC'S coasts thy craftier sons invade
With murder, rapine, theft,-and call it Trade!
-The SLAVE, in chains, on supplicating knee,
Spreads his wide arms, and lifts his eyes to Thee;
With hunger pale, with wounds and toil oppress'd,
'ARE WE NOT BRETHREN?' sorrow choaks the rest;-
-AIR! bear to heaven upon thy azure flood
Their innocent cries!-EARTH! cover not their blood!

VIII. 'When Heaven's dread justice smites in crimes o'ergrown
The blood-nursed Tyrant on his purple throne,
GNOMES! YOUR bold forms unnumber'd arms outstretch,
And urge the vengeance o'er the guilty wretch.-
Thus when CAMBYSES led his barbarous hosts
From Persia's rocks to Egypt's trembling coasts,
Defiled each hallowed fane, and sacred wood,
And, drunk with fury, swell'd the Nile with blood;
Waved his proud banner o'er the Theban states,
And pour'd destruction through her hundred gates;
In dread divisions march'd the marshal'd bands,
And swarming armies blacken'd all the lands,
By Memphis these to ETHIOP'S sultry plains,
And those to HAMMON'S sand-incircled fanes.-
Slow as they pass'd, the indignant temples frown'd,
Low curses muttering from the vaulted ground;
Long ailes of Cypress waved their deepen'd glooms,
And quivering spectres grinn'd amid the tombs;
Prophetic whispers breathed from S
And MEMNON'S lyre with hollow murmurs rung;
Burst from each pyramid expiring groans,
And darker shadows stretch'd their lengthen'd cones.-
Day after day their deathful rout They steer,
Lust in the van, and rapine in the rear.
'GNOMES! as they march'd, You hid the gathered fruits,
The bladed grass, sweet grains, and mealy roots;
Scared the tired quails, that journey'd o'er their heads,
Retain'd the locusts in their earthy beds;
Bade on your sands no night-born dews distil,
Stay'd with vindictive hands the scanty rill.-
Loud o'er the camp the Fiend of Famine shrieks,
Calls all her brood, and champs her hundred beaks;
O'er ten square leagues her pennons broad expand,
And twilight swims upon the shuddering sand;
Perch'd on her crest the Griffin Discord clings,
And Giant Murder rides between her wings;
Blood from each clotted hair, and horny quill,
And showers of tears in blended streams distil;
High-poised in air her spiry neck she bends,
Rolls her keen eye, her Dragon-claws extends,
Darts from above, and tears at each fell swoop
With iron fangs the decimated troop.
'Now o'er their head the whizzing whirlwinds breathe,
And the live desert pants, and heaves beneath;
Tinged by the crimson sun, vast columns rise
Of eddying sands, and war amid the skies,
In red arcades the billowy plain surround,
And stalking turrets dance upon the ground.
-Long ranks in vain their shining blades extend,
To Demon-Gods their knees unhallow'd bend,
Wheel in wide circle, form in hollow square,
And now they front, and now they fly the war,
Pierce the deaf tempest with lamenting cries,
Press their parch'd lips, and close their blood-shot eyes.
-GNOMES! o'er the waste YOU led your myriad powers,
Climb'd on the whirls, and aim'd the flinty showers!-
Onward resistless rolls the infuriate surge,
Clouds follow clouds, and mountains mountains urge;
Wave over wave the driving desert swims,
Bursts o'er their heads, inhumes their struggling limbs;
Man mounts on man, on camels camels rush,
Hosts march o'er hosts, and nations nations crush,-
Wheeling in air the winged islands fall,
And one great earthy Ocean covers all!-
Then ceased the storm,-NIGHT bow'd his Ethiop brow
To earth, and listen'd to the groans below,-
Grim HORROR shook,-awhile the living hill
Heaved with convulsive throes,-and all was still!

IX. 'GNOMES! whose fine forms, impassive as the air,
Shrink with soft sympathy for human care;
Who glide unseen, on printless slippers borne,
Beneath the waving grass, and nodding corn;
Or lay your tiny limbs, when noon-tide warms,
Where shadowy cowslips stretch their golden arms,-
So mark'd on orreries in lucid signs,
Star'd with bright points the mimic zodiac shines;
Borne on fine wires amid the pictured skies
With ivory orbs the planets set and rise;
Round the dwarf earth the pearly moon is roll'd,
And the sun twinkling whirls his rays of gold.-
Call your bright myriads, march your mailed hosts,
With spears and helmets glittering round the coasts;
Thick as the hairs, which rear the Lion's mane,
Or fringe the Boar, that bays the hunter-train;
Watch, where proud Surges break their treacherous mounds,
And sweep resistless o'er the cultured grounds;
Such as erewhile, impell'd o'er Belgia's plain,
Roll'd her rich ruins to the insatiate main;
With piles and piers the ruffian waves engage,
And bid indignant Ocean stay his rage.
'Where, girt with clouds, the rifted mountain yawns,
And chills with length of shade the gelid lawns,
Climb the rude steeps, the granite-cliffs surround,
Pierce with steel points, with wooden wedges wound;
Break into clays the soft volcanic slaggs,
Or melt with acid airs the marble craggs;
Crown the green summits with adventurous flocks,
And charm with novel flowers the wondering rocks.
-So when proud Rome the Afric Warrior braved,
And high on Alps his crimson banner waved;
While rocks on rocks their beetling brows oppose
With piny forests, and unfathomed snows;
Onward he march'd, to Latium's velvet ground
With fires and acids burst the obdurate bound,
Wide o'er her weeping vales destruction hurl'd,
And shook the rising empire of the world.

X. 'Go, gentle GNOMES! resume your vernal toil,
Seek my chill tribes, which sleep beneath the soil;
On grey-moss banks, green meads, or furrow'd lands
Spread the dark mould, white lime, and crumbling sands;
Each bursting bud with healthier juices feed,
Emerging scion, or awaken'd seed.
So, in descending streams, the silver Chyle
Streaks with white clouds the golden floods of bile;
Through each nice valve the mingling currents glide,
Join their fine rills, and swell the sanguine tide;
Each countless cell, and viewless fibre seek,
Nerve the strong arm, and tinge the blushing cheek.
'Oh, watch, where bosom'd in the teeming earth,
Green swells the germ, impatient for its birth;
Guard from rapacious worms its tender shoots,
And drive the mining beetle from its roots;
With ceaseless efforts rend the obdurate clay,
And give my vegetable babes to day!
-Thus when an Angel-form, in light array'd,
Like HOWARD pierced the prison's noisome shade;
Where chain'd to earth, with eyes to heaven upturn'd,
The kneeling Saint in holy anguish mourn'd;-
Ray'd from his lucid vest, and halo'd brow
O'er the dark roof celestial lustres glow,
'PETER, arise!' with cheering voice He calls,
And sounds seraphic echo round the walls;
Locks, bolts, and chains his potent touch obey,
And pleased he leads the dazzled Sage to day.

XI. 'YOU! whose fine fingers fill the organic cells,
With virgin earth, of woods and bones and shells;
Mould with retractile glue their spongy beds,
And stretch and strengthen all their fibre-threads.-
Late when the mass obeys its changeful doom,
And sinks to earth, its cradle and its tomb,
GNOMES! with nice eye the slow solution watch,
With fostering hand the parting atoms catch,
Join in new forms, combine with life and sense,
And guide and guard the transmigrating Ens.
'So when on Lebanon's sequester'd hight
The fair ADONIS left the realms of light,
Bow'd his bright locks, and, fated from his birth
To change eternal, mingled with the earth;-
With darker horror shook the conscious wood,
Groan'd the sad gales, and rivers blush'd with blood;
On cypress-boughs the Loves their quivers hung,
Their arrows scatter'd, and their bows unstrung;
And BEAUTY'S GODDESS, bending o'er his bier,
Breathed the soft sigh, and pour'd the tender tear.-
Admiring PROSERPINE through dusky glades
Led the fair phantom to Elysian shades,
Clad with new form, with finer sense combined,
And lit with purer flame the ethereal mind.
-Erewhile, emerging from infernal night,
The bright Assurgent rises into light,
Leaves the drear chambers of the insatiate tomb,
And shines and charms with renovated bloom.-
While wondering Loves the bursting grave surround,
And edge with meeting wings the yawning ground,
Stretch their fair necks, and leaning o'er the brink
View the pale regions of the dead, and shrink;
Long with broad eyes ecstatic BEAUTY stands,
Heaves her white bosom, spreads her waxen hands;
Then with loud shriek the panting Youth alarms,
'My Life! my Love!' and springs into his arms.'
The GODDESS ceased,-the delegated throng
O'er the wide plains delighted rush along;
In dusky squadrons, and in shining groups,
Hosts follow hosts, and troops succeed to troops;
Scarce bears the bending grass the moving freight,
And nodding florets bow beneath their weight.
So when light clouds on airy pinions sail,
Flit the soft shadows o'er the waving vale;
Shade follows shade, as laughing Zephyrs drive,
And all the chequer'd landscape seems alive.

by Erasmus Darwin.

Atalanta's Race

Through thick Arcadian woods a hunter went,
Following the beasts upon a fresh spring day;
But since his horn-tipped bow but seldom bent,
Now at the noontide nought had happed to slay,
Within a vale he called his hounds away,
Hearkening the echoes of his lone voice cling
About the cliffs and through the beech-trees ring.

But when they ended, still awhile he stood,
And but the sweet familiar thrush could hear,
And all the day-long noises of the wood,
And o'er the dry leaves of the vanished year
His hounds' feet pattering as they drew anear,
And heavy breathing from their heads low hung,
To see the mighty corner bow unstrung.

Then smiling did he turn to leave the place,
But with his first step some new fleeting thought
A shadow cast across his sun-burnt face;
I think the golden net that April brought
From some warm world his wavering soul had caught;
For, sunk in vague sweet longing, did he go
Betwixt the trees with doubtful steps and slow.

Yet howsoever slow he went, at last
The trees grew sparser, and the wood was done;
Whereon one farewell backward look he cast,
Then, turning round to see what place was won,
With shaded eyes looked underneath the sun,
And o'er green meads and new-turned furrows brown
Beheld the gleaming of King Schœneus' town.

So thitherward he turned, and on each side
The folk were busy on the teeming land,
And man and maid from the brown furrows cried,
Or midst the newly blossomed vines did stand,
And as the rustic weapon pressed the hand
Thought of the nodding of the well-filled ear,
Or how the knife the heavy bunch should shear.

Merry it was: about him sung the birds,
The spring flowers bloomed along the firm dry road,
The sleek-skinned mothers of the sharp-horned herds
Now for the barefoot milking-maidens lowed;
While from the freshness of his blue abode,
Glad his death-bearing arrows to forget,
The broad sun blazed, nor scattered plagues as yet.

Through such fair things unto the gates he came,
And found them open, as though peace were there;
Wherethrough, unquestioned of his race or name,
He entered, and along the streets 'gan fare,
Which at the first of folk were well-nigh bare;
But pressing on, and going more hastily,

Men hurrying too he 'gan at last to see.
Following the last of these he still pressed on,
Until an open space he came unto,
Where wreaths of fame had oft been lost and won,
For feats of strength folks there were wont to do.
And now our hunter looked for something new,
Because the whole wide space was bare, and stilled
The high seats were, with eager people filled.

There with the others to a seat he gat,
Whence he beheld a broidered canopy,
'Neath which in fair array King Schœneus sat
Upon his throne with councillors thereby;
And underneath his well-wrought seat and high,
He saw a golden image of the sun,
A silver image of the Fleet-foot One.

A brazen altar stood beneath their feet
Whereon a thin flame flicker'd in the wind;
Nigh this a herald clad in raiment meet
Made ready even now his horn to wind,
By whom a huge man held a sword, entwin'd
With yellow flowers; these stood a little space
From off the altar, nigh the starting place.

And there two runners did the sign abide,
Foot set to foot,--a young man slim and fair,
Crisp-hair'd, well knit, with firm limbs often tried
In places where no man his strength may spare:
Dainty his thin coat was, and on his hair.
A golden circlet of renown he wore,
And in his hand an olive garland bore.

But on this day with whom shall he contend?
A maid stood by him like Diana clad
When in the woods she lists her bow to bend,
Too fair for one to look on and be glad,
Who scarcely yet has thirty summers had,
If he must still behold her from afar;
Too fair to let the world live free from war.

She seem'd all earthly matters to forget;
Of all tormenting lines her face was clear;
Her wide gray eyes upon the goal were set
Calm and unmov'd as though no soul were near.
But her foe trembled as a man in fear,
Nor from her loveliness one moment turn'd
His anxious face with fierce desire that burn'd.

Now through the hush there broke the trumpet's clang
Just as the setting sun made eventide.
Then from light feet a spurt of dust there sprang,
And swiftly were they running side by side;
But silent did the thronging folk abide
Until the turning-post was reach'd at last,
And round about it still abreast they passed.

But when the people saw how close they ran,
When half-way to the starting-point they were,
A cry of joy broke forth, whereat the man
Headed the white-foot runner, and drew near
Unto the very end of all his fear;
And scarce his straining feet the ground could feel,
And bliss unhop'd for o'er his heart 'gan steal.

But 'midst the loud victorious shouts he heard
Her footsteps drawing nearer, and the sound
Of fluttering raiment, and thereat afeard
His flush'd and eager face he turn'd around,
And even then he felt her past him bound
Fleet as the wind, but scarcely saw her there
Till on the goal she laid her fingers fair.

There stood she breathing like a little child
Amid some warlike clamour laid asleep,
For no victorious joy her red lips smil'd,
Her cheek its wonted freshness did but keep;
No glance lit up her clear gray eyes and deep,
Though some divine thought soften'd all her face
As once more rang the trumpet through the place.

But her late foe stopp'd short amidst his course,
One moment gaz'd upon her piteously.
Then with a groan his lingering feet did force
To leave the spot whence he her eyes could see;
And, changed like one who knows his time must be
But short and bitter, without any word
He knelt before the bearer of the sword;

Then high rose up the gleaming deadly blade,
Bar'd of its flowers, and through the crowded place
Was silence now, and midst of it the maid
Went by the poor wretch at a gentle pace,
And he to hers upturn'd his sad white face;
Nor did his eyes behold another sight
Ere on his soul there fell eternal light.

So was the pageant ended, and all folk
Talking of this and that familiar thing
In little groups from that sad concourse broke,
For now the shrill bats were upon the wing,
And soon dark night would slay the evening,
And in dark gardens sang the nightingale
Her little-heeded, oft-repeated tale.

And with the last of all the hunter went,
Who, wondering at the strange sight he had seen,
Prayed an old man to tell him what it meant,
Both why the vanquished man so slain had been,
And if the maiden were an earthly queen,
Or rather what much more she seemed to be,
No sharer in this world's mortality.

"Stranger," said he, "I pray she soon may die
Whose lovely youth has slain so many an one!
King Schœneus' daughter is she verily,
Who when her eyes first looked upon the sun
Was fain to end her life but new begun,
For he had vowed to leave but men alone
Sprung from his loins when he from earth was gone.

"Therefore he bade one leave her in the wood,
And let wild things deal with her as they might,
But this being done, some cruel god thought good
To save her beauty in the world's despite;
Folk say that her, so delicate and white
As now she is, a rough root-grubbing bear
Amidst her shapeless cubs at first did rear.

"In course of time the woodfolk slew her nurse,
And to their rude abode the youngling brought,
And reared her up to be a kingdom's curse;
Who grown a woman, of no kingdom thought,
But armed and swift, 'mid beasts destruction wrought,
Nor spared two shaggy centaur kings to slay
To whom her body seemed an easy prey.

"So to this city, led by fate, she came
Whom known by signs, whereof I cannot tell,
King Schœneus for his child at last did claim.
Nor otherwhere since that day doth she dwell
Sending too many a noble soul to hell--
What! shine eyes glisten! what then, thinkest thou
Her shining head unto the yoke to bow?

"Listen, my son, and love some other maid
For she the saffron gown will never wear,
And on no flower-strewn couch shall she be laid,
Nor shall her voice make glad a lover's ear:
Yet if of Death thou hast not any fear,
Yea, rather, if thou lov'st her utterly,
Thou still may'st woo her ere thou com'st to die,

"Like him that on this day thou sawest lie dead;
For fearing as I deem the sea-born one;
The maid has vowed e'en such a man to wed
As in the course her swift feet can outrun,
But whoso fails herein, his days are done:
He came the nighest that was slain to-day,
Although with him I deem she did but play.

"Behold, such mercy Atalanta gives
To those that long to win her loveliness;
Be wise! be sure that many a maid there lives
Gentler than she, of beauty little less,
Whose swimming eyes thy loving words shall bless,
When in some garden, knee set close to knee,
Thou sing'st the song that love may teach to thee."

So to the hunter spake that ancient man,
And left him for his own home presently:
But he turned round, and through the moonlight wan
Reached the thick wood, and there 'twixt tree and tree
Distraught he passed the long night feverishly,
'Twixt sleep and waking, and at dawn arose
To wage hot war against his speechless foes.

There to the hart's flank seemed his shaft to grow,
As panting down the broad green glades he flew,
There by his horn the Dryads well might know
His thrust against the bear's heart had been true,
And there Adonis' bane his javelin slew,
But still in vain through rough and smooth he went,
For none the more his restlessness was spent.

So wandering, he to Argive cities came,
And in the lists with valiant men he stood,
And by great deeds he won him praise and fame,
And heaps of wealth for little-valued blood;
But none of all these things, or life, seemed good
Unto his heart, where still unsatisfied
A ravenous longing warred with fear and pride.

Therefore it happed when but a month had gone
Since he had left King Schœneus' city old,
In hunting-gear again, again alone
The forest-bordered meads did he behold,
Where still mid thoughts of August's quivering gold
Folk hoed the wheat, and clipped the vine in trust
Of faint October's purple-foaming must.

And once again he passed the peaceful gate,
While to his beating heart his lips did lie,
That owning not victorious love and fate,
Said, half aloud, "And here too must I try,
To win of alien men the mastery,
And gather for my head fresh meed of fame
And cast new glory on my father's name."

In spite of that, how beat his heart, when first
Folk said to him, "And art thou come to see
That which still makes our city's name accurst
Among all mothers for its cruelty?
Then know indeed that fate is good to thee
Because to-morrow a new luckless one
Against the white-foot maid is pledged to run."

So on the morrow with no curious eyes
As once he did, that piteous sight he saw,
Nor did that wonder in his heart arise
As toward the goal the conquering maid 'gan draw,
Nor did he gaze upon her eyes with awe,
Too full the pain of longing filled his heart
For fear or wonder there to have a part.

But O, how long the night was ere it went!
How long it was before the dawn begun
Showed to the wakening birds the sun's intent
That not in darkness should the world be done!
And then, and then, how long before the sun
Bade silently the toilers of the earth
Get forth to fruitless cares or empty mirth!

And long it seemed that in the market-place
He stood and saw the chaffering folk go by,
Ere from the ivory throne King Schœneus' face
Looked down upon the murmur royally,
But then came trembling that the time was nigh
When he midst pitying looks his love must claim,
And jeering voices must salute his name.

But as the throng he pierced to gain the throne,
His alien face distraught and anxious told
What hopeless errand he was bound upon,
And, each to each, folk whispered to behold
His godlike limbs; nay, and one woman old
As he went by must pluck him by the sleeve
And pray him yet that wretched love to leave.

For sidling up she said, "Canst thou live twice,
Fair son? canst thou have joyful youth again,
That thus thou goest to the sacrifice
Thyself the victim? nay then, all in vain
Thy mother bore her longing and her pain,
And one more maiden on the earth must dwell
Hopeless of joy, nor fearing death and hell.

"O, fool, thou knowest not the compact then
That with the three-formed goddess she has made
To keep her from the loving lips of men,
And in no saffron gown to be arrayed,
And therewithal with glory to be paid,
And love of her the moonlit river sees
White 'gainst the shadow of the formless trees.

"Come back, and I myself will pray for thee
Unto the sea-born framer of delights,
To give thee her who on the earth may be
The fairest stirrer up to death and fights,
To quench with hopeful days and joyous nights
The flame that doth thy youthful heart consume:
Come back, nor give thy beauty to the tomb."

How should he listen to her earnest speech?
Words, such as he not once or twice had said
Unto himself, whose meaning scarce could reach
The firm abode of that sad hardihead--
He turned about, and through the marketstead
Swiftly he passed, until before the throne
In the cleared space he stood at last alone.

Then said the King, "Stranger, what dost thou here?
Have any of my folk done ill to thee?
Or art thou of the forest men in fear?
Or art thou of the sad fraternity
Who still will strive my daughter's mates to be,
Staking their lives to win an earthly bliss,
The lonely maid, the friend of Artemis?"

"O King," he said, "thou sayest the word indeed;
Nor will I quit the strife till I have won
My sweet delight, or death to end my need.
And know that I am called Milanion,
Of King Amphidamas the well-loved son:
So fear not that to thy old name, O King,
Much loss or shame my victory will bring."

"Nay, Prince," said Schœneus, "welcome to this land
Thou wert indeed, if thou wert here to try
Thy strength 'gainst some one mighty of his hand;
Nor would we grudge thee well-won mastery.
But now, why wilt thou come to me to die,
And at my door lay down thy luckless head,
Swelling the band of the unhappy dead,

"Whose curses even now my heart doth fear?
Lo, I am old, and know what life can be,
And what a bitter thing is death anear.
O, Son! be wise, and harken unto me,
And if no other can be dear to thee,
At least as now, yet is the world full wide,
And bliss in seeming hopeless hearts may hide:

"But if thou losest life, then all is lost."
"Nay, King," Milanion said, "thy words are vain.
Doubt not that I have counted well the cost.
But say, on what day wilt thou that I gain
Fulfilled delight, or death to end my pain.
Right glad were I if it could be to-day,
And all my doubts at rest for ever lay."

"Nay," said King Schœneus, "thus it shall not be,
But rather shalt thou let a month go by,
And weary with thy prayers for victory
What god thou know'st the kindest and most nigh.
So doing, still perchance thou shalt not die:
And with my goodwill wouldst thou have the maid,
For of the equal gods I grow afraid.

"And until then, O Prince, be thou my guest, .
And all these troublous things awhile forget."
"Nay," said he, "couldst thou give my soul good rest,
And on mine head a sleepy garland set,
Then had I 'scaped the meshes of the net,
Nor should thou hear from me another word;
But now, make sharp thy fearful heading-sword.

"Yet will I do what son of man may do,
And promise all the gods may most desire,
That to myself I may at least be true;
And on that day my heart and limbs so tire,
With utmost strain and measureless desire,
That, at the worst, I may but fall asleep
When in the sunlight round that sword shall sweep. "

He went therewith, nor anywhere would bide,
But unto Argos restlessly did wend;
And there, as one who lays all hope aside,
Because the leech has said his life must end,
Silent farewell he bade to foe and friend,
And took his way unto the restless sea,
For there he deemed his rest and help might be.

Upon the shore of Argolis there stands
A temple to the goddess that he sought,
That, turned unto the lion-bearing lands,
Fenced from the east, of cold winds hath no thought,
Though to no homestead there the sheaves are brought,
No groaning press torments the close-clipped murk,
Lonely the fane stands, far from all men's work.

Pass through a close, set thick with myrtle-trees,
Through the brass doors that guard the holy place,
And entering, hear the washing of the seas
That twice a-day rise high above the base,
And with the south-west urging them, embrace
The marble feet of her that standeth there
That shrink not, naked though they be and fair.

Small is the fane through which the sea-wind sings
About Queen Venus' well-wrought image white,
But hung around are many precious things,
The gifts of those who, longing for delight,
Have hung them there within the goddess' sight,
And in return have taken at her hands
The living treasures of the Grecian lands.

And thither now has come Milanion,
And showed unto the priests' wide open eyes
Gifts fairer than all those that there have shone,
Silk cloths, inwrought with Indian fantasies,
And bowls inscribed with sayings of the wise
Above the deeds of foolish living things;
And mirrors fit to be the gifts of kings.

And now before the Sea-born One he stands,
By the sweet veiling smoke made dim and soft,
And while the incense trickles from his hands,
And while the odorous smoke-wreaths hang aloft,
Thus doth he pray to her: "O Thou, who oft
Hast holpen man and maid in their distress
Despise me not for this my wretchedness!

"O goddess, among us who dwelt below,
Kings and great men, great for a little while,
Have pity on the lowly heads that bow,
Nor hate the hearts that love them without guile;
Wilt thou be worse than these, and is thy smile
A vain device of him who set thee here,
An empty dream of some artificer?

"O great one, some men love, and are ashamed;
Some men are weary of the bonds of love;
Yea, and by some men lightly art thou blamed,
That from thy toils their lives they cannot move,
And 'mid the ranks of men their manhood prove.
Alas! O goddess, if thou slayest me,
What new immortal can I serve but thee?

"Think then, will it bring honour to thy head
If folk say, 'Everything aside he cast
And to all fame and honour was he dead,
And to his one hope now is dead at last,
Since all unholpen he is gone and past;
Ah, the gods love not man, for certainly,
He to his helper did not cease to cry.'

"Nay, but thou wilt help; they who died before
Not single-hearted as I deem came here,
Therefore unthanked they laid their gifts before
Thy stainless feet, still shivering with their fear,
Lest in their eyes their true thought might appear,
Who sought to be the lords of that fair town,
Dreaded of men and winners of renown.

"O Queen, thou knowest I pray not for this:
O set us down together in some place
Where not a voice can break our heaven of bliss,
Where nought but rocks and I can see her face,
Softening beneath the marvel of thy grace,
Where not a foot our vanished steps can track--
The golden age, the golden age come back!

"O fairest, hear me now who do thy will,
Plead for thy rebel that she be not slain,
But live and love and be thy servant still;
Ah, give her joy and take away my pain,
And thus two long-enduring servants gain.
An easy thing this is to do for me,
What need of my vain words to weary thee.

"But none the less, this place will I not leave
Until I needs must go my death to meet,
Or at thy hands some happy sign receive
That in great joy we twain may one day greet
Thy presence here and kiss thy silver feet,
Such as we deem thee, fair beyond all words,
Victorious o'er our servants and our lords."

Then from the altar back a space he drew,
But from the Queen turned not his face away,
But 'gainst a pillar leaned, until the blue
That arched the sky, at ending of the day,
Was turned to ruddy gold and changing gray,
And clear, but low, the nigh-ebbed windless sea
In the still evening murmured ceaselessly.

And there he stood when all the sun was down,
Nor had he moved, when the dim golden light,
Like the fair lustre of a godlike town,
Had left the world to seeming hopeless night,
Nor would he move the more when wan moonlight
Streamed through the pillows for a little while,
And lighted up the white Queen's changeless smile.

Nought noted he the shallow-flowing sea
As step by step it set the wrack a-swim;
The yellow torchlight nothing noted he
Wherein with fluttering gown and half-bared limb
The temple damsels sung their midnight hymn;
And nought the doubled stillness of the fane
When they were gone and all was hushed again.

But when the waves had touched the marble base,
And steps the fish swim over twice a-day,
The dawn beheld him sunken in his place
Upon the floor; and sleeping there he lay,
Not heeding aught the little jets of spray
The roughened sea brought nigh, across him cast,
For as one dead all thought from him had passed.

Yet long before the sun had showed his head,
Long ere the varied hangings on the wall
Had gained once more their blue and green and red,
He rose as one some well-known sign doth call
When war upon the city's gates doth fall,
And scarce like one fresh risen out of sleep,
He 'gan again his broken watch to keep.

Then he turned round; not for the sea-gull's cry
That wheeled above the temple in his flight,
Not for the fresh south wind that lovingly
Breathed on the new-born day and dying night,
But some strange hope 'twixt fear and great delight
Drew round his face, now flushed, now pale and wan,
And still constrained his eyes the sea to scan.

Now a faint light lit up the southern sky,
Not sun or moon, for all the world was gray,
But this a bright cloud seemed, that drew anigh,
Lighting the dull waves that beneath it lay
As toward the temple still it took its way,
And still grew greater, till Milanion
Saw nought for dazzling light that round him shone.

But as he staggered with his arms outspread,
Delicious unnamed odours breathed around,
For languid happiness he bowed his head,
And with wet eyes sank down upon the ground,
Nor wished for aught, nor any dream he found
To give him reason for that happiness,
Or make him ask more knowledge of his bliss.

At last his eyes were cleared, and he could see
Through happy tears the goddess face to face
With that faint image of Divinity,
Whose well-wrought smile and dainty changeless grace
Until that morn so gladdened all the place;
Then, he unwitting cried aloud her name
And covered up his eyes for fear and shame.

But through the stillness he her voice could hear
Piercing his heart with joy scarce bearable,
That said, "Milanion, wherefore dost thou fear,
I am not hard to those who love me well;
List to what I a second time will tell,
And thou mayest hear perchance, and live to save
The cruel maiden from a loveless grave.

"See, by my feet three golden apples lie--
Such fruit among the heavy roses falls,
Such fruit my watchful damsels carefully
Store up within the best loved of my walls,
Ancient Damascus, where the lover calls
Above my unseen head, and faint and light
The rose-leaves flutter round me in the night.

"And note, that these are not alone most fair
With heavenly gold, but longing strange they bring
Unto the hearts of men, who will not care
Beholding these, for any once-loved thing
Till round the shining sides their fingers cling.
And thou shalt see thy well-girt swift-foot maid
By sight of these amidst her glory stayed.

"For bearing these within a scrip with thee,
When first she heads thee from the starting-place
Cast down the first one for her eyes to see,
And when she turns aside make on apace,
And if again she heads thee in the race
Spare not the other two to cast aside
If she not long enough behind will bide.

"Farewell, and when has come the happy time
That she Diana's raiment must unbind
And all the world seems blessed with Saturn's clime,
And thou with eager arms about her twined
Beholdest first her gray eyes growing kind,
Surely, O trembler, thou shalt scarcely then
Forget the Helper of unhappy men."

Milanion raised his head at this last word
For now so soft and kind she seemed to be
No longer of her Godhead was he feared;
Too late he looked; for nothing could he see
But the white image glimmering doubtfully
In the departing twilight cold and gray,
And those three apples on the step that lay.

These then he caught up quivering with delight,
Yet fearful lest it all might be a dream;
And though aweary with the watchful night,
And sleepless nights of longing, still did deem
He could not sleep; but yet the first sunbeam
That smote the fane across the heaving deep
Shone on him laid in calm, untroubled sleep.

But little ere the noontide did he rise,
And why he felt so happy scarce could tell
Until the gleaming apples met his eyes.
Then leaving the fair place where this befell
Oft he looked back as one who loved it well,
Then homeward to the haunts of men, 'gan wend
To bring all things unto a happy end.

Now has the lingering month at last gone by,
Again are all folk round the running place,
Nor other seems the dismal pageantry
Than heretofore, but that another face
Looks o'er the smooth course ready for the race,
For now, beheld of all, Milanion
Stands on the spot he twice has looked upon.

But yet--what change is this that holds the maid?
Does she indeed see in his glittering eye
More than disdain of the sharp shearing blade,
Some happy hope of help and victory?
The others seem'd to say, "We come to die;
Look down upon us for a little while,
That, dead, we may bethink us of thy smile."

But he--what look of mastery was this
He cast on her? why were his lips so red;
Why was his face so flush'd with happiness?
So looks not one who deems himself but dead,
E'en if to death he bows a willing head;
So rather looks a god well pleas'd to find
Some earthly damsel fashion'd to his mind,

Why must she drop her lids before his gaze,
And even as she casts adown her eyes
Redden to note his eager glance of praise,
And wish that she were clad in other guise?
Why must the memory to her heart arise
Of things unnoticed when they first were heard,
Some lover's song, some answering maiden's word?

What makes these longings, vague--without a name,
And this vain pity never felt before,
This sudden languor, this contempt of fame,
This tender sorrow for the time past o'er,
These doubts that grow each minute more and more?
Why does she tremble as the time grows near,
And weak defeat and woeful victory fear?

But while she seem'd to hear her beating heart,
Above their heads the trumpet blast rang out
And forth they sprang, and she must play her part;
Then flew her white feet, knowing not a doubt,
Though, slackening once, she turn'd her head about,
But then she cried aloud and faster fled
Than e'er before, and all men deemed him dead.

But with no sound he raised aloft his hand,
And thence what seemed a ray of light there flew
And past the maid rolled on along the sand;
Then trembling she her feet together drew
And in her heart a strong desire there grew
To have the toy, some god she thought had given
That gift to her, to make of earth a heaven.

Then from the course with eager steps she ran,
And in her odorous bosom laid the gold.
But when she turned again, the great-limbed man,
Now well ahead she failed not to behold,
And mindful of her glory waxing cold,
Sprang up and followed him in hot pursuit,
Though with one hand she touched the golden fruit.

Note, too, the bow that she was wont to bear
She laid aside to grasp the glittering prize,
And o'er her shoulder from the quiver fair
Three arrows fell and lay before her eyes
Unnoticed, as amidst the people's cries
She sprang to head the strong Milanion,
Who now the turning-post had well-nigh won.

But as he set his mighty hand on it
White fingers underneath his own were laid,
And white limbs from his dazzled eyes did flit,
Then he the second fruit cast by the maid:
She ran awhile, and then as one afraid
Wavered and stopped, and turned and made no stay,
Until the globe with its bright fellow lay.

Then, as a troubled glance she cast around,
Now far ahead the Argive could she see,
And in her garment's hem one hand she wound
To keep the double prize, and strenuously
Sped o'er the course, and little doubt had she
To win the day, though now but scanty space
Was left betwixt him and the winning place.

Short was the way unto such wingèd feet,
Quickly she gained upon him till at last
He turned about her eager eyes to meet
And from his hand the third fair apple cast.
She wavered not, but turned and ran so fast
After the prize that should her bliss fulfil,
That in her hand it lay ere it was still.

Nor did she rest, but turned about to win
Once more, an unblest woeful victory--
And yet--and yet--why does her breath begin
To fail her, and her feet drag heavily?
Why fails she now to see if far or nigh
The goal is? why do her gray eyes grow dim?
Why do these tremors run through every limb?

She spreads her arms abroad some stay to find
Else must she fall, indeed, and findeth this,
A strong man's arms about her body twined.
Nor may she shudder now to feel his kiss,
So wrapped she is in new unbroken bliss:
Made happy that the foe the prize hath won,
She weeps glad tears for all her glory done.

Shatter the trumpet, hew adown the posts!
Upon the brazen altar break the sword,
And scatter incense to appease the ghosts
Of those who died here by their own award.
Bring forth the image of the mighty Lord,
And her who unseen o'er the runners hung,
And did a deed for ever to be sung.

Here are the gathered folk; make no delay,
Open King Schœneus' well-filled treasury,
Bring out the gifts long hid from light of day,
The golden bowls o'erwrought with imagery,
Gold chains, and unguents brought from over sea,
The saffron gown the old Phœnician brought,
Within the temple of the Goddess wrought.

O ye, O damsels, who shall never see
Her, that Love's servant bringeth now to you,
Returning from another victory,
In some cool bower do all that now is due!
Since she in token of her service new
Shall give to Venus offerings rich enow,
Her maiden zone, her arrows and her bow.

by William Morris.

HE was a Grecian lad, who coming home
With pulpy figs and wine from Sicily
Stood at his galley's prow, and let the foam
Blow through his crisp brown curls unconsciously,
And holding wave and wind in boy's despite
Peered from his dripping seat across the wet and stormy night

Till with the dawn he saw a burnished spear
Like a thin thread of gold against the sky,
And hoisted sail, and strained the creaking gear,
And bade the pilot head her lustily
Against the nor'west gale, and all day long
Held on his way, and marked the rowers' time with measured song,

And when the faint Corinthian hills were red
Dropped anchor in a little sandy bay,
And with fresh boughs of olive crowned his head,
And brushed from cheek and throat the hoary spray,
And washed his limbs with oil, and from the hold
Brought out his linen tunic and his sandals brazen-soled,

And a rich robe stained with the fishes' juice
Which of some swarthy trader he had bought
Upon the sunny quay at Syracuse,
And was with Tyrian broideries inwrought,
And by the questioning merchants made his way
Up through the soft and silver woods, and when the labouring day

Had spun its tangled web of crimson cloud,
Clomb the high hill, and with swift silent feet
Crept to the fane unnoticed by the crowd
Of busy priests, and from some dark retreat
Watched the young swains his frolic playmates bring
The firstling of their little flock, and the shy shepherd fling

The crackling salt upon the flame, or hang
His studded crook against the temple wall
To Her who keeps away the ravenous fang
Of the base wolf from homestead and from stall;
And then the clear-voiced maidens 'gan to sing,
And to the altar each man brought some goodly offering,

A beechen cup brimming with milky foam,
A fair cloth wrought with cunning imagery
Of hounds in chase, a waxen honey-comb
Dripping with oozy gold which scarce the bee
Had ceased from building, a black skin of oil
Meet for the wrestlers, a great boar the fierce and white-tusked
spoil

Stolen from Artemis that jealous maid
To please Athena, and the dappled hide
Of a tall stag who in some mountain glade
Had met the shaft; and then the herald cried,
And from the pillared precinct one by one
Went the glad Greeks well pleased that they their simple vows had
done.

And the old priest put out the waning fires
Save that one lamp whose restless ruby glowed
For ever in the cell, and the shrill lyres
Came fainter on the wind, as down the road
In joyous dance these country folk did pass,
And with stout hands the warder closed the gates of polished brass.

Long time he lay and hardly dared to breathe,
And heard the cadenced drip of spilt-out wine,
And the rose-petals falling from the wreath
As the night breezes wandered through the shrine,
And seemed to be in some entrancèd swoon
Till through the open roof above the full and brimming moon

Flooded with sheeny waves the marble floor,
When from his nook upleapt the venturous lad,
And flinging wide the cedar-carven door
Beheld an awful image saffron-clad
And armed for battle! the gaunt Griffin glared
From the huge helm, and the long lance of wreck and ruin flared

Like a red rod of flame, stony and steeled
The Gorgon's head its leaden eyeballs rolled,
And writhed its snaky horrors through the shield,
And gaped aghast with bloodless lips and cold
In passion impotent, while with blind gaze
The blinking owl between the feet hooted in shrill amaze.

The lonely fisher as he trimmed his lamp
Far out at sea off Sunium, or cast
The net for tunnies, heard a brazen tramp
Of horses smite the waves, and a wild blast
Divide the folded curtains of the night,
And knelt upon the little poop, and prayed in holy fright.

And guilty lovers in their venery
Forgat a little while their stolen sweets,
Deeming they heard dread Dian's bitter cry;
And the grim watchmen on their lofty seats
Ran to their shields in haste precipitate,
Or strained black-bearded throats across the dusky parapet.

For round the temple rolled the clang of arms,
And the twelve Gods leapt up in marble fear,
And the air quaked with dissonant alarums
Till huge Poseidon shook his mighty spear,
And on the frieze the prancing horses neighed,
And the low tread of hurrying feet rang from the cavalcade.

Ready for death with parted lips he stood,
And well content at such a price to see
That calm wide brow, that terrible maidenhood,
The marvel of that pitiless chastity,
Ah! well content indeed, for never wight
Since Troy's young shepherd prince had seen so wonderful a sight.

Ready for death he stood, but lo! the air
Grew silent, and the horses ceased to neigh,
And off his brow he tossed the clustering hair,
And from his limbs he threw the cloak away,
For whom would not such love make desperate,
And nigher came, and touched her throat, and with hands violate

Undid the cuirass, and the crocus gown,
And bared the breasts of polished ivory,
Till from the waist the peplos falling down
Left visible the secret mystery
Which to no lover will Athena show,
The grand cool flanks, the crescent thighs, the bossy hills of snow.

Those who have never known a lover's sin
Let them not read my ditty, it will be
To their dull ears so musicless and thin
That they will have no joy of it, but ye
To whose wan cheeks now creeps the lingering smile,
Ye who have learned who Eros is,--O listen yet a-while.

A little space he let his greedy eyes
Rest on the burnished image, till mere sight
Half swooned for surfeit of such luxuries,
And then his lips in hungering delight
Fed on her lips, and round the towered neck
He flung his arms, nor cared at all his passion's will to check.

Never I ween did lover hold such tryst,
For all night long he murmured honeyed word,
And saw her sweet unravished limbs, and kissed
Her pale and argent body undisturbed,
And paddled with the polished throat, and pressed
His hot and beating heart upon her chill and icy breast.

It was as if Numidian javelins
Pierced through and through his wild and whirling brain,
And his nerves thrilled like throbbing violins
In exquisite pulsation, and the pain
Was such sweet anguish that he never drew
His lips from hers till overhead the lark of warning flew.

They who have never seen the daylight peer
Into a darkened room, and drawn the curtain,
And with dull eyes and wearied from some dear
And worshipped body risen, they for certain
Will never know of what I try to sing,
How long the last kiss was, how fond and late his lingering.

The moon was girdled with a crystal rim,
The sign which shipmen say is ominous
Of wrath in heaven, the wan stars were dim,
And the low lightening east was tremulous
With the faint fluttering wings of flying dawn,
Ere from the silent sombre shrine this lover had withdrawn.

Down the steep rock with hurried feet and fast
Clomb the brave lad, and reached the cave of Pan,
And heard the goat-foot snoring as he passed,
And leapt upon a grassy knoll and ran
Like a young fawn unto an olive wood
Which in a shady valley by the well-built city stood.

And sought a little stream, which well he knew,
For oftentimes with boyish careless shout
The green and crested grebe he would pursue,
Or snare in woven net the silver trout,
And down amid the startled reeds he lay
Panting in breathless sweet affright, and waited for the day.

On the green bank he lay, and let one hand
Dip in the cool dark eddies listlessly,
And soon the breath of morning came and fanned
His hot flushed cheeks, or lifted wantonly
The tangled curls from off his forehead, while
He on the running water gazed with strange and secret smile.

And soon the shepherd in rough woollen cloak
With his long crook undid the wattled cotes,
And from the stack a thin blue wreath of smoke
Curled through the air across the ripening oats,
And on the hill the yellow house-dog bayed
As through the crisp and rustling fern the heavy cattle strayed.

And when the light-foot mower went afield
Across the meadows laced with threaded dew,
And the sheep bleated on the misty weald,
And from its nest the waking corn-crake flew,
Some woodmen saw him lying by the stream
And marvelled much that any lad so beautiful could seem,

Nor deemed him born of mortals, and one said,
'It is young Hylas, that false runaway
Who with a Naiad now would make his bed
Forgetting Herakles,' but others, 'Nay,
It is Narcissus, his own paramour,
Those are the fond and crimson lips no woman can allure.'

And when they nearer came a third one cried,
'It is young Dionysos who has hid
His spear and fawnskin by the river side
Weary of hunting with the Bassarid,
And wise indeed were we away to fly
They live not long who on the gods immortal come to spy.'

So turned they back, and feared to look behind,
And told the timid swain how they had seen
Amid the reeds some woodland God reclined,
And no man dared to cross the open green,
And on that day no olive-tree was slain,
Nor rushes cut, but all deserted was the fair domain.

Save when the neat-herd's lad, his empty pail
Well slung upon his back, with leap and bound
Raced on the other side, and stopped to hail
Hoping that he some comrade new had found,
And gat no answer, and then half afraid
Passed on his simple way, or down the still and silent glade

A little girl ran laughing from the farm
Not thinking of love's secret mysteries,
And when she saw the white and gleaming arm
And all his manlihood, with longing eyes
Whose passion mocked her sweet virginity
Watched him a-while, and then stole back sadly and wearily.

Far off he heard the city's hum and noise,
And now and then the shriller laughter where
The passionate purity of brown-limbed boys
Wrestled or raced in the clear healthful air,
And now and then a little tinkling bell
As the shorn wether led the sheep down to the mossy well.

Through the grey willows danced the fretful gnat,
The grasshopper chirped idly from the tree,
In sleek and oily coat the water-rat
Breasting the little ripples manfully
Made for the wild-duck's nest, from bough to bough
Hopped the shy finch, and the huge tortoise crept across the slough.

On the faint wind floated the silky seeds,
As the bright scythe swept through the waving grass,
The ousel-cock splashed circles in the reeds
And flecked with silver whorls the forest's glass,
Which scarce had caught again its imagery
Ere from its bed the dusky tench leapt at the dragonfly.

But little care had he for any thing
Though up and down the beech the squirrel played,
And from the copse the linnet 'gan to sing
To her brown mate her sweetest serenade,
Ah! little care indeed, for he had seen
The breasts of Pallas and the naked wonder of the Queen.

But when the herdsman called his straggling goats
With whistling pipe across the rocky road,
And the shard-beetle with its trumpet-notes
Boomed through the darkening woods, and seemed to bode
Of coming storm, and the belated crane
Passed homeward like a shadow, and the dull big drops of rain

Fell on the pattering fig-leaves, up he rose,
And from the gloomy forest went his way
Past sombre homestead and wet orchard-close,
And came at last unto a little quay,
And called his mates a-board, and took his seat
On the high poop, and pushed from land, and loosed the dripping
sheet,

And steered across the bay, and when nine suns
Passed down the long and laddered way of gold,
And nine pale moons had breathed their orisons
To the chaste stars their confessors, or told
Their dearest secret to the downy moth
That will not fly at noonday, through the foam and surging froth

Came a great owl with yellow sulphurous eyes
And lit upon the ship, whose timbers creaked
As though the lading of three argosies
Were in the hold, and flapped its wings, and shrieked,
And darkness straightway stole across the deep,
Sheathed was Orion's sword, dread Mars himself fled down the steep,

And the moon hid behind a tawny mask
Of drifting cloud, and from the ocean's marge
Rose the red plume, the huge and hornèd casque,
The seven-cubit spear, the brazen targe!
And clad in bright and burnished panoply
Athena strode across the stretch of sick and shivering sea!

To the dull sailors' sight her loosened locks
Seemed like the jagged storm-rack, and her feet
Only the spume that floats on hidden rocks,
And marking how the rising waters beat
Against the rolling ship, the pilot cried
To the young helmsman at the stern to luff to windward side.

But he, the over-bold adulterer,
A dear profaner of great mysteries,
An ardent amorous idolater,
When he beheld those grand relentless eyes
Laughed loud for joy, and crying out 'I come'
Leapt from the lofty poop into the chill and churning foam.

Then fell from the high heaven one bright star,
One dancer left the circling galaxy,
And back to Athens on her clattering car
In all the pride of venged divinity
Pale Pallas swept with shrill and steely clank,
And a few gurgling bubbles rose where her boy lover sank.

And the mast shuddered as the gaunt owl flew
With mocking hoots after the wrathful Queen,
And the old pilot bade the trembling crew
Hoist the big sail, and told how he had seen
Close to the stern a dim and giant form,
And like a dipping swallow the stout ship dashed through the storm.

And no man dared to speak of Charmides
Deeming that he some evil thing had wrought,
And when they reached the strait Symplegades
They beached their galley on the shore, and sought
The toll-gate of the city hastily,
And in the market showed their brown and pictured pottery.

II.
But some good Triton-god had ruth, and bare
The boy's drowned body back to Grecian land,
And mermaids combed his dank and dripping hair
And smoothed his brow, and loosed his clenching hand,
Some brought sweet spices from far Araby,
And others bade the halcyon sing her softest lullaby.

And when he neared his old Athenian home,
A mighty billow rose up suddenly
Upon whose oily back the clotted foam
Lay diapered in some strange fantasy,
And clasping him unto its glassy breast,
Swept landward, like a white-maned steed upon a venturous quest!

Now where Colonos leans unto the sea
There lies a long and level stretch of lawn,
The rabbit knows it, and the mountain bee
For it deserts Hymettus, and the Faun
Is not afraid, for never through the day
Comes a cry ruder than the shout of shepherd lads at play.

But often from the thorny labyrinth
And tangled branches of the circling wood
The stealthy hunter sees young Hyacinth
Hurling the polished disk, and draws his hood
Over his guilty gaze, and creeps away,
Nor dares to wind his horn, or--else at the first break of day

The Dyrads come and throw the leathern ball
Along the reedy shore, and circumvent
Some goat-eared Pan to be their seneschal
For fear of bold Poseidon's ravishment,
And loose their girdles, with shy timorous eyes,
Lest from the surf his azure arms and purple beard should rise.

On this side and on that a rocky cave,
Hung with the yellow-bell'd laburnum, stands,
Smooth is the beach, save where some ebbing wave
Leaves its faint outline etched upon the sands,
As though it feared to be too soon forgot
By the green rush, its playfellow,--and yet, it is a spot

So small, that the inconstant butterfly
Could steal the hoarded honey from each flower
Ere it was noon, and still not satisfy
Its over-greedy love,--within an hour
A sailor boy, were he but rude enow
To land and pluck a garland for his galley's painted prow,

Would almost leave the little meadow bare,
For it knows nothing of great pageantry,
Only a few narcissi here and there
Stand separate in sweet austerity,
Dotting the unmown grass with silver stars,
And here and there a daffodil waves tiny scimetars.

Hither the billow brought him, and was glad
Of such dear servitude, and where the land
Was virgin of all waters laid the lad
Upon the golden margent of the strand,
And like a lingering lover oft returned
To kiss those pallid limbs which once with intense fire burned,

Ere the wet seas had quenched that holocaust,
That self-fed flame, that passionate lustihead,
Ere grisly death with chill and nipping frost
Had withered up those lilies white and red
Which, while the boy would through the forest range,
Answered each other in a sweet antiphonal counterchange.

And when at dawn the woodnymphs, hand-in-hand,
Threaded the bosky dell, their satyr spied
The boy's pale body stretched upon the sand,
And feared Poseidon's treachery, and cried,
And like bright sunbeams flitting through a glade,
Each startled Dryad sought some safe and leafy ambuscade.

Save one white girl, who deemed it would not be
So dread a thing to feel a sea-god's arms
Crushing her breasts in amorous tyranny,
And longed to listen to those subtle charms
Insidious lovers weave when they would win
Some fencèd fortress, and stole back again, nor thought it sin

To yield her treasure unto one so fair,
And lay beside him, thirsty with love's drouth,
Called him soft names, played with his tangled hair,
And with hot lips made havoc of his mouth
Afraid he might not wake, and then afraid
Lest he might wake too soon, fled back, and then, fond renegade,

Returned to fresh assault, and all day long
Sat at his side, and laughed at her new toy,
And held his hand, and sang her sweetest song,
Then frowned to see how froward was the boy
Who would not with her maidenhood entwine,
Nor knew that three days since his eyes had looked on Proserpine,

Nor knew what sacrilege his lips had done,
But said, 'He will awake, I know him well,
He will awake at evening when the sun
Hangs his red shield on Corinth's citadel,
This sleep is but a cruel treachery
To make me love him more, and in some cavern of the sea

Deeper than ever falls the fisher's line
Already a huge Triton blows his horn,
And weaves a garland from the crystalline
And drifting ocean-tendrils to adorn
The emerald pillars of our bridal bed,
For sphered in foaming silver, and with coral-crownèd head,

We two will sit upon a throne of pearl,
And a blue wave will be our canopy,
And at our feet the water-snakes will curl
In all their amethystine panoply
Of diamonded mail, and we will mark
The mullets swimming by the mast of some storm-foundered bark,

Vermilion-finned with eyes of bossy gold
Like flakes of crimson light, and the great deep
His glassy-portaled chamber will unfold,
And we will see the painted dolphins sleep
Cradled by murmuring halcyons on the rocks
Where Proteus in quaint suit of green pastures his monstrous flocks.

And tremulous opal-hued anemones
Will wave their purple fringes where we tread
Upon the mirrored floor, and argosies
Of fishes flecked with tawny scales will thread
The drifting cordage of the shattered wreck,
And honey-coloured amber beads our twining limbs will deck.'

But when that baffled Lord of War the Sun
With gaudy pennon flying passed away
Into his brazen House, and one by one
The little yellow stars began to stray
Across the field of heaven, ah! then indeed
She feared his lips upon her lips would never care to feed,

And cried, 'Awake, already the pale moon
Washes the trees with silver, and the wave
Creeps grey and chilly up this sandy dune,
The croaking frogs are out, and from the cave
The night-jar shrieks, the fluttering bats repass,
And the brown stoat with hollow flanks creeps through the dusky
grass.

Nay, though thou art a God, be not so coy,
For in yon stream there is a little reed
That often whispers how a lovely boy
Lay with her once upon a grassy mead,
Who when his cruel pleasure he had done
Spread wings of rustling gold and soared aloft into the sun.

Be not so coy, the laurel trembles still
With great Apollo's kisses, and the fir
Whose clustering sisters fringe the sea-ward hill
Hath many a tale of that bold ravisher
Whom men call Boreas, and I have seen
The mocking eyes of Hermes through the poplar's silvery sheen.

Even the jealous Naiads call me fair,
And every morn a young and ruddy swain
Wooes me with apples and with locks of hair,
And seeks to soothe my virginal disdain
By all the gifts the gentle wood-nymphs love;
But yesterday he brought to me an iris-plumaged dove

With little crimson feet, which with its store
Of seven spotted eggs the cruel lad
Had stolen from the lofty sycamore
At day-break, when her amorous comrade had
Flown off in search of berried juniper
Which most they love; the fretful wasp, that earliest vintager

Of the blue grapes, hath not persistency
So constant as this simple shepherd-boy
For my poor lips, his joyous purity
And laughing sunny eyes might well decoy
A Dryad from her oath to Artemis;
For very beautiful is he, his mouth was made to kiss,

His argent forehead, like a rising moon
Over the dusky hills of meeting brows,
Is crescent shaped, the hot and Tyrian noon
Leads from the myrtle-grove no goodlier spouse
For Cytheræa, the first silky down
Fringes his blushing cheeks, and his young limbs are strong and
brown:

And he is rich, and fat and fleecy herds
Of bleating sheep upon his meadows lie,
And many an earthen bowl of yellow curds
Is in his homestead for the thievish fly
To swim and drown in, the pink clover mead
Keeps its sweet store for him, and he can pipe on oaten reed.

And yet I love him not, it was for thee
I kept my love, I knew that thou would'st come
To rid me of this pallid chastity;
Thou fairest flower of the flowerless foam
Of all the wide Ægean, brightest star
Of ocean's azure heavens where the mirrored planets are!

I knew that thou would'st come, for when at first
The dry wood burgeoned, and the sap of Spring
Swelled in my green and tender bark or burst
To myriad multitudinous blossoming
Which mocked the midnight with its mimic moons
That did not dread the dawn, and first the thrushes' rapturous tunes

Startled the squirrel from its granary,
And cuckoo flowers fringed the narrow lane,
Through my young leaves a sensuous ecstasy
Crept like new wine, and every mossy vein
Throbbed with the fitful pulse of amorous blood,
And the wild winds of passion shook my slim stem's maidenhood.

The trooping fawns at evening came and laid
Their cool black noses on my lowest boughs
And on my topmost branch the blackbird made
A little nest of grasses for his spouse,
And now and then a twittering wren would light
On a thin twig which hardly bare the weigh of such delight.

I was the Attic shepherd's trysting place,
Beneath my shadow Amaryllis lay,
And round my trunk would laughing Daphnis chase
The timorous girl, till tired out with play
She felt his hot breath stir her tangled hair,
And turned, and looked, and fled no more from such delightful snare.

Then come away unto my ambuscade
Where clustering woodbine weaves a canopy
For amorous pleasaunce, and the rustling shade
Of Paphian myrtles seems to sanctify
The dearest rites of love, there in the cool
And green recesses of its farthest depth there is a pool,

The ouzel's haunt, the wild bee's pasturage,
For round its rim great creamy lilies float
Through their flat leaves in verdant anchorage,
Each cup a white-sailed golden-laden boat
Steered by a dragon-fly,--be not afraid
To leave this wan and wave-kissed shore, surely the place were made

For lovers such as we, the Cyprian Queen,
One arm around her boyish paramour,
Strays often there at eve, and I have seen
The moon strip off her misty vestiture
For young Endymion's eyes, be not afraid,
The panther feet of Dian never tread that secret glade.

Nay if thou wil'st, back to the beating brine,
Back to the boisterous billow let us go,
And walk all day beneath the hyaline
Huge vault of Neptune's watery portico,
And watch the purple monsters of the deep
Sport in ungainly play, and from his lair keen Xiphias leap.

For if my mistress find me lying here
She will not ruth or gentle pity show,
But lay her boar-spear down, and with austere
Relentless fingers string the cornel bow,
And draw the feathered notch against her breast,
And loose the archèd cord, ay, even now upon the quest

I hear her hurrying feet,--awake, awake,
Thou laggard in love's battle! once at least
Let me drink deep of passion's wine, and slake
My parchèd being with the nectarous feast
Which even Gods affect! O come Love come,
Still we have time to reach the cavern of thine azure home.'

Scarce had she spoken when the shuddering trees
Shook, and the leaves divided, and the air
Grew conscious of a God, and the grey seas
Crawled backward, and a long and dismal blare
Blew from some tasselled horn, a sleuth-hound bayed,
And like a flame a barbèd reed flew whizzing down the glade.

And where the little flowers of her breast
Just brake into their milky blossoming,
This murderous paramour, this unbidden guest,
Pierced and struck deep in horrid chambering,
And ploughed a bloody furrow with its dart,
And dug a long red road, and cleft with wingèd death her heart.

Sobbing her life out with a bitter cry
On the boy's body fell the Dryad maid,
Sobbing for incomplete virginity,
And raptures unenjoyed, and pleasures dead,
And all the pain of things unsatisfied,
And the bright drops of crimson youth crept down her throbbing
side.

Ah! pitiful it was to hear her moan,
And very pitiful to see her die
Ere she had yielded up her sweets, or known
The joy of passion, that dread mystery
Which not to know is not to live at all,
And yet to know is to be held in death's most deadly thrall.

But as it hapt the Queen of Cythere,
Who with Adonis all night long had lain
Within some shepherd's hut in Arcady,
On team of silver doves and gilded wane
Was journeying Paphos-ward, high up afar
From mortal ken between the mountains and the morning star,

And when low down she spied the hapless pair,
And heard the Oread's faint despairing cry,
Whose cadence seemed to play upon the air
As though it were a viol, hastily
She bade her pigeons fold each straining plume,
And dropt to earth, and reached the strand, and saw their dolorous
doom.

For as a gardener turning back his head
To catch the last notes of the linnet, mows
With careless scythe too near some flower bed,
And cuts the thorny pillar of the rose,
And with the flower's loosened loveliness
Strews the brown mould, or as some shepherd lad in wantonness

Driving his little flock along the mead
Treads down two daffodils which side by side
Have lured the lady-bird with yellow brede
And made the gaudy moth forget its pride,
Treads down their brimming golden chalices
Under light feet which were not made for such rude ravages,

Or as a schoolboy tired of his book
Flings himself down upon the reedy grass
And plucks two water-lilies from the brook,
And for a time forgets the hour glass,
Then wearies of their sweets, and goes his way,
And lets the hot sun kill them, even so these lovers lay.

And Venus cried, 'It is dread Artemis
Whose bitter hand hath wrought this cruelty,
Or else that mightier may whose care it is
To guard her strong and stainless majesty
Upon the hill Athenian,--alas!
That they who loved so well unloved into Death's house should pass.

So with soft hands she laid the boy and girl
In the great golden waggon tenderly,
Her white throat whiter than a moony pearl
Just threaded with a blue vein's tapestry
Had not yet ceased to throb, and still her breast
Swayed like a wind-stirred lily in ambiguous unrest.

And then each pigeon spread its milky van,
The bright car soared into the dawning sky,
And like a cloud the aerial caravan
Passed over the Ægean silently,
Till the faint air was troubled with the song
From the wan mouths that call on bleeding Thammuz all night long.

But when the doves had reached their wonted goal
Where the wide stair of orbèd marble dips
Its snows into the sea, her fluttering soul
Just shook the trembling petals of her lips
And passed into the void, and Venus knew
That one fair maid the less would walk amid her retinue,

And bade her servants carve a cedar chest
With all the wonder of this history,
Within whose scented womb their limbs should rest
Where olive-trees make tender the blue sky
On the low hills of Paphos, and the faun
Pipes in the noonday, and the nightingale sings on till dawn.

Nor failed they to obey her hest, and ere
The morning bee had stung the daffodil
With tiny fretful spear, or from its lair
The waking stag had leapt across the rill
And roused the ouzel, or the lizard crept
Athwart the sunny rock, beneath the grass their bodies slept.

And when day brake, within that silver shrine
Fed by the flames of cressets tremulous,
Queen Venus knelt and prayed to Proserpine
That she whose beauty made Death amorous
Should beg a guerdon from her pallid Lord,
And let Desire pass across dread Charon's icy ford.

III.
In melancholy moonless Acheron,
Far from the goodly earth and joyous day,
Where no spring ever buds, nor ripening sun
Weighs down the apple trees, nor flowery May
Chequers with chestnut blooms the grassy floor,
Where thrushes never sing, and piping linnets mate no more,

There by a dim and dark Lethæan well
Young Charmides was lying, wearily
He plucked the blossoms from the asphodel,
And with its little rifled treasury
Strewed the dull waters of the dusky stream,
And watched the white stars founder, and the land was like a
dream,

When as he gazed into the watery glass
And through his brown hair's curly tangles scanned
His own wan face, a shadow seemed to pass
Across the mirror, and a little hand
Stole into his, and warm lips timidly
Brushed his pale cheeks, and breathed their secret forth into a sigh.

Then turned he round his weary eyes and saw,
And ever nigher still their faces came,
And nigher ever did their young mouths draw
Until they seemed one perfect rose of flame,
And longing arms around her neck he cast,
And felt her throbbing bosom, and his breath came hot and fast,

And all his hoarded sweets were hers to kiss,
And all her maidenhood was his to slay,
And limb to limb in long and rapturous bliss
Their passion waxed and waned,--O why essay
To pipe again of love too venturous reed!
Enough, enough that Erôs laughed upon that flowerless mead.

Too venturous poesy O why essay
To pipe again of passion! fold thy wings
O'er daring Icarus and bid thy lay
Sleep hidden in the lyre's silent strings,
Till thou hast found the old Castalian rill,
Or from the Lesbian waters plucked drowned Sappho's golden quill!

Enough, enough that he whose life had been
A fiery pulse of sin, a splendid shame,
Could in the loveless land of Hades glean
One scorching harvest from those fields of flame
Where passion walks with naked unshod feet
And is not wounded,--ah! enough that once their lips could meet

In that wild throb when all existences
Seem narrowed to one single ecstasy
Which dies through its own sweetness and the stress
Of too much pleasure, ere Persephone
Had bade them serve her by the ebon throne
Of the pale God who in the fields of Enna loosed her zone.

by Oscar Wilde.