Endymion: A Poetic Romance BOOK III There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men With most prevailing tinsel who unpen Their baaing vanities, to browse away There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men With most prevailing tinsel who unpen Their baaing vanities, to browse away The comfortable green and juicy hay From human pastures; or, O torturing fact! Who, through an idiot blink, will see unpack'd Fire-branded foxes to sear up and singe Our gold and ripe-ear'd hopes. With not one tinge Of sanctuary splendour, not a sight Able to face an owl's, they still are dight By the blear-eyed nations in empurpled vests, And crowns, and turbans. With unladen breasts, Save of blown self-applause, they proudly mount To their spirit's perch, their being's high account, Their tiptop nothings, their dull skies, their thrones ‐ Amid the fierce intoxicating tones Of trumpets, shoutings, and belabour'd drums, And sudden cannon. Ah! how all this hums, In wakeful ears, like uproar past and gone ‐ Like thunder clouds that spake to Babylon, And set those old Chaldeans to their tasks. ‐ Are then regalities all gilded masks? No, there are throned seats unscalable But by a patient wing, a constant spell, Or by ethereal things that, unconfin'd, Can make a ladder of the eternal wind, And poise about in cloudy thunder-tents To watch the abysm-birth of elements. Aye, 'bove the withering of old-lipp'd Fate A thousand Powers keep religious state, In water, fiery realm, and airy bourne; And, silent as a consecrated urn, Hold sphery sessions for a season due. Yet few of these far majesties, ah, few! Have bared their operations to this globe ‐ Few, who with gorgeous pageantry enrobe Our piece of heaven ‐ whose benevolence Shakes hand with our own Ceres; every sense Filling with spiritual sweets to plenitude, As bees gorge full their cells. And, by the feud 'Twixt Nothing and Creation, I here swear, Eterne Apollo! that thy Sister fair Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest, When thy gold breath is misting in the west, She unobserved steals unto her throne, And there she sits most meek and most alone; As if she had not pomp subservient; As if thine eye, high Poet! was not bent Towards her with the Muses in thine heart; As if the ministring stars kept not apart, Waiting for silver-footed messages. O Moon! the oldest shades 'mong oldest trees Feel palpitations when thou lookest in O Moon! old boughs lisp forth a holier din The while they feel thine airy fellowship. Thou dost bless every where, with silver lip Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine, Couched in thy brightness, dream of fields divine Innumerable mountains rise, and rise, Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes; And yet thy benediction passeth not One obscure hiding-place, one little spot Where pleasure may be sent the nested wren Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken, And from beneath a sheltering ivy leaf Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps Within its pearly house. ‐ The mighty deeps, The monstrous sea is thine ‐ the myriad sea! O Moon! far-spooming Ocean bows to thee, And Tellus feels his forehead's cumbrous load. Cynthia! where art thou now? What far abode Of green or silvery bower doth enshrine Such utmost beauty? Alas, thou dost pine For one as sorrowful thy cheek is pale For one whose cheek is pale thou dost bewail His tears, who weeps for thee. Where dost thou sigh? Ah! surely that light peeps from Vesper's eye, Or what a thing is love! 'Tis She, but lo! How chang'd, how full of ache, how gone in woe! She dies at the thinnest cloud; her loveliness Is wan on Neptune's blue yet there's a stress Of love-spangles, just off yon cape of trees, Dancing upon the waves, as if to please The curly foam with amorous influence. O, not so idle for down-glancing thence She fathoms eddies, and runs wild about O'erwhelming water-courses; scaring out The thorny sharks from hiding-holes, and fright'ning Their savage eyes with unaccustomed lightning. Where will the spendour be content to reach? O love! how potent hast thou been to teach Strange journeyings! Wherever beauty dwells, In gulf or aerie, mountains or deep dells, In light, in gloom, in star or blazing sun, Thou pointest out the way, and straight 'tis won. Amid his toil thou gav'st Leander breath; Thou leddest Orpheus through the gleams of death; Thou madest Pluto bear thin element; And now, O winged Chieftain! thou hast sent A moon-beam to the deep, deep water-world, To find Endymion. On gold sand impearl'd With lily shells, and pebbles milky white, Poor Cynthia greeted him, and sooth'd her light Against his pallid face he felt the charm To breathlessness, and suddenly a warm Of his heart's blood 'twas very sweet; he stay'd His wandering steps, and half-entranced laid His head upon a tuft of straggling weeds, To taste the gentle moon, and freshening beads, Lashed from the crystal roof by fishes' tails. And so he kept, until the rosy veils Mantling the east, by Aurora's peering hand Were lifted from the water's breast, and fann'd Into sweet air; and sober'd morning came Meekly through billows ‐ when like taper-flame Left sudden by a dallying breath of air, He rose in silence, and once more 'gan fare Along his fated way. Far had he roam'd, With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd Above, around, and at his feet; save things More dead than Morpheus' imaginings; Old rusted anchors, helmets, breast-plates large Of gone sea-warriors; brazen beaks and targe; Rudders that for a hundred years had lost The sway of human hand; gold vase emboss'd With long-forgotten story, and wherein No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin But those of Saturn's vintage; mouldering scrolls, Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls Who first were on the earth; and sculptures rude In ponderous stone, developing the mood Of ancient Nox; ‐ then skeletons of man, Of beast, behemoth, and leviathan, And elephant, and eagle, and huge jaw Of nameless monster. A cold leaden awe These secrets struck into him; and unless Dian had chaced away that heaviness, He might have died but now, with cheered feel, He onward kept; wooing these thoughts to steal About the labyrinth in his soul of love. " What is there in thee, Moon! that thou shouldst move My heart so potently? When yet a child I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smil'd. Thou seem'dst my sister hand in hand we went From eve to morn across the firmament. No apples would I gather from the tree, Till thou hadst cool'd their cheeks deliciously No tumbling water ever spake romance, But when my eyes with thine thereon could dance No woods were green enough, no bower divine, Until thou liftedst up thine eyelids fine In sowing time ne'er would I dibble take, Or drop a seed, till thou wast wide awake; And, in the summer tide of blossoming, No one but thee hath heard me blithely sing And mesh my dewy flowers all the night. No melody was like a passing spright If it went not to solemnize thy reign. Yes, in my boyhood, every joy and pain By thee were fashion'd to the self-same end; And as I grew in years, still didst thou blend With all my ardours thou wast the deep glen; Thou wast the mountain-top ‐ the sage's pen ‐ The poet's harp ‐ the voice of friends ‐ the sun; Thou wast the river ‐ thou wast glory won; Thou wast my clarion's blast ‐ thou wast my steed ‐ My goblet full of wine ‐ my topmost deed ‐ Thou wast the charm of women, lovely Moon! O what a wild and harmonized tune My spirit struck from all the beautiful! On some bright essence could I lean, and lull Myself to immortality I prest Nature's soft pillow in a wakeful rest. But, gentle Orb! there came a nearer bliss ‐ My strange love came ‐ Felicity's abyss! She came, and thou didst fade, and fade away ‐ Yet not entirely; no, thy starry sway Has been an under-passion to this hour. Now I begin to feel thine orby power Is coming fresh upon me: O be kind, Keep back thine influence, and do not blind My sovereign vision. ‐ Dearest love, forgive That I can think away from thee and live! ‐ Pardon me, airy planet, that I prize One thought beyond thine argent luxuries! How far beyond! " At this a surpris'd start Frosted the springing verdure of his heart; For as he lifted up his eyes to swear How his own goddess was past all things fair, He saw far in the concave green of the sea An old man sitting calm and peacefully. Upon a weeded rock this old man sat, And his white hair was awful, and a mat Of weeds were cold beneath his cold thin feet; And, ample as the largest winding-sheet, A cloak of blue wrapp'd up his aged bones, O'erwrought with symbols by the deepest groans Of ambitious magic every ocean-form Was woven in with black distinctness; storm, And calm, and whispering, and hideous roar, Quicksand, and whirlpool, and deserted shore Were emblem'd in the woof; with every shape That skims, or dives, or sleeps, 'twixt cape and cape. The gulphing whale was like a dot in the spell, Yet look upon it, and 'twould size and swell To its huge self; and the minutest fish Would pass the very hardest gazer's wish, And shew his little eye's anatomy. Then there was pictur'd the regality Of Neptune; and the sea nymphs round his state, In beauteous vassalage, look up and wait. Beside this old man lay a pearly wand, And in his lap a book, the which he conn'd So stedfastly, that the new denizen Had time to keep him in amazed ken, To mark these shadowings, and stand in awe. The old man rais'd his hoary head and saw The wilder'd stranger ‐ seeming not to see, His features were so lifeless. Suddenly He woke as from a trance; his snow-white brows Went arching up, and like two magic ploughs Furrow'd deep wrinkles in his forehead large, Which kept as fixedly as rocky marge, Till round his wither'd lips had gone a smile. Then up he rose, like one whose tedious toil Had watch'd for years in forlorn hermitage, Who had not from mid-life to utmost age Eas'd in one accent his o'er-burden'd soul, Even to the trees. He rose he grasp'd his stole, With convuls'd clenches waving it abroad, And in a voice of solemn joy, that aw'd Echo into oblivion, he said ‐ " Thou art the man! Now shall I lay my head In peace upon my watery pillow now Sleep will come smoothly to my weary brow. O Jove! I shall be young again, be young! O shell-borne Neptune, I am pierc'd and stung With new-born life! What shall I do? Where go, When I have cast this serpent-skin of woe? ‐ I'll swim to the sirens, and one moment listen Their melodies, and see their long hair glisten; Anon upon that giant's arm I'll be, That writhes about the roots of Sicily To northern seas I'll in a twinkling sail, And mount upon the snortings of a whale To some black cloud; thence down I'll madly sweep On forked lightning, to the deepest deep, Where through some sucking pool I will be hurl'd With rapture to the other side of the world! O, I am full of gladness! Sisters three, I bow full hearted to your old decree! Yes, every god be thank'd, and power benign, For I no more shall wither, droop, and pine. Thou art the man! " Endymion started back Dismay'd; and, like a wretch from whom the rack Tortures hot breath, and speech of agony, Mutter'd " What lonely death am I to die In this cold region! Will he let me freeze, And float my brittle limbs o'er polar seas? Or will he touch me with his searing hand, And leave a black memorial on the sand? Or tear me piece-meal with a bony saw, And keep me as a chosen food to draw His magian fish through hated fire and flame? O misery of hell! resistless, tame, Am I to be burnt up? No, I will shout, Until the gods through heaven's blue look out! ‐ O Tartarus! but some few days agone Her soft arms were entwining me, and on Her voice I hung like fruit among green leaves Her lips were all my own, and ‐ ah, ripe sheaves Of happiness! ye on the stubble droop, But never may be garner'd. I must stoop My head, and kiss death's foot. Love! love, farewel! Is there no hope from thee? This horrid spell Would melt at thy sweet breath. ‐ By Dian's hind Feeding from her white fingers, on the wind I see the streaming hair! and now, by Pan, I care not for this old mysterious man! " He spake, and walking to that aged form, Look'd high defiance. Lo! his heart 'gan warm With pity, for the grey-hair'd creature wept. Had he then wrong'd a heart where sorrow kept? Had he, though blindly contumelious, brought Rheum to kind eyes, a sting to humane thought, Convulsion to a mouth of many years? He had in truth; and he was ripe for tears. The penitent shower fell, as down he knelt Before that care-worn sage, who trembling felt About his large dark locks, and faultering spake " Arise, good youth, for sacred Phoebus' sake! I know thine inmost bosom, and I feel A very brother's yearning for thee steal Into mine own for why? thou openest The prison gates that have so long opprest My weary watching. Though thou know'st it not, Thou art commission'd to this fated spot For great enfranchisement. O weep no more; I am a friend to love, to loves of yore Aye, hadst thou never lov'd an unknown power, I had been grieving at this joyous hour. But even now most miserable old, I saw thee, and my blood no longer cold Gave mighty pulses in this tottering case Grew a new heart, which at this moment plays As dancingly as thine. Be not afraid, For thou shalt hear this secret all display'd, Now as we speed towards our joyous task. " So saying, this young soul in age's mask Went forward with the Carian side by side Resuming quickly thus; while ocean's tide Hung swollen at their backs, and jewel'd sands Took silently their foot-prints. " My soul stands Now past the midway from mortality, And so I can prepare without a sigh To tell thee briefly all my joy and pain. I was a fisher once, upon this main, And my boat danc'd in every creek and bay; Rough billows were my home by night and day, ‐ The sea-gulls not more constant; for I had No housing from the storm and tempests mad, But hollow rocks, ‐ and they were palaces Of silent happiness, of slumberous ease Long years of misery have told me so. Aye, thus it was one thousand years ago. One thousand years! ‐ Is it then possible To look so plainly through them? to dispel A thousand years with backward glance sublime? To breathe away as 'twere all scummy slime From off a crystal pool, to see its deep, And one's own image from the bottom peep? Yes now I am no longer wretched thrall, My long captivity and moanings all Are but a slime, a thin-pervading scum, The which I breathe away, and thronging come Like things of yesterday my youthful pleasures. " I touch'd no lute, I sang not, trod no measures I was a lonely youth on desert shores. My sports were lonely, 'mid continuous roars, And craggy isles, and sea-mew's plaintive cry Plaining discrepant between sea and sky. Dolphins were still my playmates; shapes unseen Would let me feel their scales of gold and green, Nor be my desolation; and, full oft, When a dread waterspout had rear'd aloft Its hungry hugeness, seeming ready ripe To burst with hoarsest thunderings, and wipe My life away like a vast sponge of fate, Some friendly monster, pitying my sad state, Has dived to its foundations, gulph'd it down, And left me tossing safely. But the crown Of all my life was utmost quietude More did I love to lie in cavern rude, Keeping in wait whole days for Neptune's voice, And if it came at last, hark, and rejoice! There blush'd no summer eve but I would steer My skiff along green shelving coasts, to hear The shepherd's pipe coming clear from aery steep, Mingled with ceaseless bleatings of his sheep And never was a day of summer shine, But I beheld its birth upon the brine For I would watch all night to see unfold Heaven's gates, and Aethon snort his morning gold Wide o'er the swelling streams and constantly At brim of day-tide, on some grassy lea, My nets would be spread out, and I at rest. The poor folk of the sea-country I blest With daily boon of fish most delicate They knew not whence this bounty, and elate Would strew sweet flowers on a sterile beach. " Why was I not contented? wherefore reach At things which, but for thee, O Latmian! Had been my dreary death? Fool! I began To feel distemper'd longings to desire The utmost privilege that ocean's sire Could grant in benediction to be free Of all his kingdom. Long in misery I wasted, ere in one extremest fit I plung'd for life or death. To interknit One's senses with so dense a breathing stuff Might seem a work of pain; so not enough Can I admire how crystal-smooth it felt, And buoyant round my limbs. At first I dwelt Whole days and days in sheer astonishment; Forgetful utterly of self-intent; Moving but with the mighty ebb and flow. Then, like a new fledg'd bird that first doth shew His spreaded feathers to the morrow chill, I tried in fear the pinions of my will. 'Twas freedom! and at once I visited The ceaseless wonders of this ocean-bed. No need to tell thee of them, for I see That thou hast been a witness ‐ it must be ‐ For these I know thou canst not feel a drouth, By the melancholy corners of that mouth. So I will in my story straightway pass To more immediate matter. Woe, alas! That love should be my bane! ah, Scylla fair! Why did poor Glaucus ever ‐ ever dare To sue thee to his heart? Kind stranger-youth! I lov'd her to the very white of truth, And she would not conceive it. Timid thing! She fled me swift as sea-bird on the wing, Round every isle, and point, and promontory, From where large Hercules wound up his story Far as Egyptian Nile. My passion grew The more, the more I saw her dainty hue Gleam delicately through the azure clear Until 'twas too fierce agony to bear; And in that agony, across my grief It flash'd, that Circe might find some relief ‐ Cruel enchantress! So above the water I rear'd my head, and look'd for Phoebus' daughter. Aeaea's isle was wondering at the moon ‐ It seem'd to whirl around me, and a swoon Left me dead-drifting to that fatal power. " When I awoke, 'twas in a twilight bower; Just when the light of morn, with hum of bees, Stole through its verdurous matting of fresh trees. How sweet, and sweeter! for I heard a lyre, And over it a sighing voice expire. It ceased ‐ I caught light footsteps; and anon The fairest face that morn e'er look'd upon Push'd through a screen of roses. Starry Jove! With tears, and smiles, and honey-words she wove A net whose thraldom was more bliss than all The range of flower'd Elysium. Thus did fall The dew of her rich speech " Ah! Art awake? " O let me hear thee speak, for Cupid's sake! " I am so oppress'd with joy! why, I have shed " An urn of tears, as though thou wert cold dead; " And now I find thee living, I will pour " From these devoted eyes their silver store, " Until exhausted of the latest drop, " So it will pleasure thee, and force thee stop " Here, that I too may live but if beyond " Such cool and sorrowful offerings, thou art fond " Of soothing warmth, of dalliance supreme; " If thou art ripe to taste a long love dream; " If smiles, if dimples, tongues for ardour mute, " Hang in thy vision like a tempting fruit, " O let me pluck it for thee. " Thus she link'd Her charming syllables, till indistinct Their music came to my o'er-sweeten'd soul; And then she hover'd over me, and stole So near, that if no nearer it had been This furrow'd visage thou hadst never seen. " Young man of Latmos! thus particular Am I, that thou may'st plainly see how far This fierce temptation went and thou may'st not Exclaim, How then, was Scylla quite forgot? " Who could resist? Who in this universe? She did so breathe ambrosia; so immerse My fine existence in a golden clime. She took me like a child of suckling time, And cradled me in roses. Thus condemn'd, The current of my former life was stemm'd, And to this arbitrary queen of sense I bow'd a tranced vassal nor would thence Have mov'd, even though Amphion's harp had woo'd Me back to Scylla o'er the billows rude. For as Apollo each eve doth devise A new appareling for western skies; So every eve, nay every spendthrift hour Shed balmy consciousness within that bower. And I was free of haunts umbrageous; Could wander in the mazy forest-house Of squirrels, foxes shy, and antler'd deer, And birds from coverts innermost and drear Warbling for very joy mellifluous sorrow ‐ To me new born delights! " now let me borrow, For moments few, a temperament as stern As Pluto's sceptre, that my words not burn These uttering lips, while I in calm speech tell How specious heaven was changed to real hell. " One morn she left me sleeping half awake I sought for her smooth arms and lips, to slake My greedy thirst with nectarous camel-draughts; But she was gone. Whereat the barbed shafts Of disappointment stuck in me so sore, That out I ran and search'd the forest o'er. Wandering about in pine and cedar gloom Damp awe assail'd me; for there 'gan to boom A sound of moan, an agony of sound, Sepulchral from the distance all round Then came a conquering earth-thunder, and rumbled That fierce complain to silence while I stumbled Down a precipitous path, as if impell'd. I came to a dark valley. ‐ Groanings swell'd Poisonous about my ears, and louder grew, The nearer I approach'd a flame's gaunt blue, That glar'd before me through a thorny brake. This fire, like the eye of gordian snake, Bewitch'd me towards; and I soon was near A sight too fearful for the feel of fear In thicket hid I curs'd the haggard scene ‐ The banquet of my arms, my arbour queen, Seated upon an uptorn forest root; And all around her shapes, wizard and brute, Laughing, and wailing, groveling, serpenting, Shewing tooth, tusk, and venom-bag, and sting! O such deformities! Old Charon's self, Should he give up awhile his penny pelf, And take a dream 'mong rushes Stygian, It could not be so phantasied. Fierce, wan, And tyrannizing was the lady's look, As over them a gnarled staff she shook. Oft-times upon the sudden she laugh'd out, And from a basket emptied to the rout Clusters of grapes, the which they raven'd quick And roar'd for more; with many a hungry lick About their shaggy jaws. Avenging, slow, Anon she took a branch of mistletoe, And emptied on't a black dull-gurgling phial Groan'd one and all, as if some piercing trial Was sharpening for their pitiable bones. She lifted up the charm appealing groans From their poor breasts went sueing to her ear In vain; remorseless as an infant's bier She whisk'd against their eyes the sooty oil. Whereat was heard a noise of painful toil, Increasing gradual to a tempest rage, Shrieks, yells, and groans of torture-pilgrimage; Until their grieved bodies 'gan to bloat And puff from the tail's end to stifled throat Then was appalling silence then a sight More wildering than all that hoarse affright; For the whole herd, as by a whirlwind writhen, Went through the dismal air like one huge Python Antagonizing Boreas, ‐ and so vanish'd. Yet there was not a breath of wind she banish'd These phantoms with a nod. Lo! from the dark Came waggish fauns, and nymphs, and satyrs stark, With dancing and loud revelry, ‐ and went Swifter than centaurs after rapine bent. ‐ Sighing an elephant appear'd and bow'd Before the fierce witch, speaking thus aloud In human accent " Potent goddess! chief Of pains resistless! make my being brief, Or let me from this heavy prison fly Or give me to the air, or let me die! I sue not for my happy crown again; I sue not for my phalanx on the plain; I sue not for my lone, my widow'd wife; I sue not for my ruddy drops of life, My children fair, my lovely girls and boys I will forget them; I will pass these joys; Ask nought so heavenward, so too ‐ too high Only I pray, as fairest boon, to die, Or be deliver'd from this cumbrous flesh, From this gross, detestable, filthy mesh, And merely given to the cold bleak air. Have mercy, Goddess! Circe, feel my prayer! " " That curst magician's name fell icy numb Upon my wild conjecturing truth had come Naked and sabre-like against my heart. I saw a fury whetting a death-dart; And my slain spirit, overwrought with fright, Fainted away in that dark lair of night. Think, my deliverer, how desolate My waking must have been! disgust, and hate, And terrors manifold divided me A spoil amongst them. I prepar'd to flee Into the dungeon core of that wild wood I fled three days ‐ when lo! before me stood Glaring the angry witch. O Dis, even now, A clammy dew is beading on my brow, At mere remembering her pale laugh, and curse. " Ha! ha! Sir Dainty! there must be a nurse " Made of rose leaves and thistledown, express, " To cradle thee my sweet, and lull thee yes, " I am too flinty-hard for thy nice touch " My tenderest squeeze is but a giant's clutch. " So, fairy-thing, it shall have lullabies " Unheard of yet; and it shall still its cries " Upon some breast more lily-feminine. " More than one pretty, trifling thousand years; " Oh, no ‐ it shall not pine, and pine, and pine " More than one pretty, trifling thousand years; " And then 'twere pity, but fate's gentle shears " Cut short its immortality. Sea-flirt! " Young dove of the waters! truly I'll not hurt " One hair of thine see how I weep and sigh, " That our heart-broken parting is so nigh. " And must we part? Ah, yes, it must be so. " Yet ere thou leavest me in utter woe, " Let me sob over thee my last adieus, " And speak a blessing Mark me! Thou hast thews " Immortal, for thou art of heavenly race " But such a love is mine, that here I chase " Eternally away from thee all bloom " Of youth, and destine thee towards a tomb. " Hence shalt thou quickly to the watery vast; " And there, ere many days be overpast, " Disabled age shall seize thee; and even then " Thou shalt not go the way of aged men; " But live and wither, cripple and still breathe " Ten hundred years which gone, I then bequeath " Thy fragile bones to unknown burial. " Adieu, sweet love, adieu! " ‐ As shot stars fall, She fled ere I could groan for mercy. Stung And poisoned was my spirit despair sung A war-song of defiance 'gainst all hell. A hand was at my shoulder to compel My sullen steps; another 'fore my eyes Moved on with pointed finger. In this guise Enforced, at the last by ocean's foam I found me; by my fresh, my native home. Its tempering coolness, to my life akin, Came salutary as I waded in; And, with a blind voluptuous rage, I gave Battle to the swollen billow-ridge, and drave Large froth before me, while there yet remain'd Hale strength, nor from my bones all marrow drain'd. " Young lover, I must weep ‐ such hellish spite With dry cheek who can tell? While thus my might Proving upon this element, dismay'd, Upon a dead thing's face my hand I laid; I look'd ‐ 'twas Scylla! cursed, cursed Circe! O vulture-witch, hast never heard of mercy? Could not thy harshest vengeance be content, But thou must nip this tender innocent Because I lov'd her? ‐ Cold, O cold indeed Were her fair limbs, and like a common weed The sea-swell took her hair. Dead as she was I clung about her waist, nor ceas'd to pass Fleet as an arrow through unfathom'd brine, Until there shone a fabric crystalline, Ribb'd and inlaid with coral, pebble, and pearl. Headlong I darted; at one eager swirl Gain'd its bright portal, enter'd, and behold! 'Twas vast, and desolate, and icy-cold; And all around ‐ But wherefore this to thee Who in few minutes more thyself shalt see? ‐ I left poor Scylla in a niche and fled. My fever'd parchings up, my scathing dread Met palsy half way soon these limbs became Gaunt, wither'd, sapless, feeble, cramp'd, and lame. " Now let me pass a cruel, cruel space, Without one hope, without one faintest trace Of mitigation, or redeeming bubble Of colour'd phantasy; for I fear 'twould trouble Thy brain to loss of reason and next tell How a restoring chance came down to quell One half of the witch in me. " On a day, Sitting upon a rock above the spray, I saw grow up from the horizon's brink A gallant vessel soon she seem'd to sink Away from me again, as though her course Had been resum'd in spite of hindering force ‐ So vanish'd and not long, before arose Dark clouds, and mutterings of winds morose. Old Eolus would stifle his mad spleen, But could not therefore all the billows green Toss'd up the silver spume against the clouds. The tempest came I saw that vessel's shrouds In perilous bustle; while upon the deck Stood trembling creatures. I beheld the wreck; The final gulphing; the poor struggling souls I heard their cries amid loud thunder-rolls. O they had all been sav'd but crazed eld Annull'd my vigorous cravings and thus quell'd And curb'd, think on't, O Latmian! did I sit Writhing with pity, and a cursing fit Against that hell-born Circe. The crew had gone, By one and one, to pale oblivion; And I was gazing on the surges prone, With many a scalding tear and many a groan, When at my feet emerg'd an old man's hand, Grasping this scroll, and this same slender wand. I knelt with pain ‐ reached out my hand ‐ had grasp'd These treasures ‐ touch'd the knuckles ‐ they unclasp'd ‐ I caught a finger but the downward weight O'erpowered me ‐ it sank. Then 'gan abate The storm, and through chill aguish gloom outburst The comfortable sun. I was athirst To search the book, and in the warming air Parted its dripping leaves with eager care. Strange matters did it treat of, and drew on My soul page after page, till well-nigh won Into forgetfulness; when, stupefied, I read these words, and read again, and tried My eyes against the heavens, and read again. O what a load of misery and pain Each Atlas-line bore off! ‐ a shine of hope Came gold around me, cheering me to cope Strenuous with hellish tyranny. Attend! For thou hast brought their promise to an end. " In) the) wide) sea) there) lives) a) forlorn) wretch), Doom'd) with) enfeebled) carcase) to) outstretch) His) loath'd) existence) through) ten) centuries), And) then) to) die) alone). Who) can) devise) A) total) opposition)? No) one). So) One) million) times) ocean) must) ebb) and) flow), And) he) oppressed). Yet) he) shall) not) die), These) things) accomplish'd) ‐ If) he) utterly) Scans) all) the) depths) of) magic), and) expounds) The) meanings) of) all) motions), shapes), and) sounds); If) he) explores) all) forms) and) substances) Straight) homeward) to) their) symbol-essences); He) shall) not) die). Moreover), and) in) chief), He) must) pursue) this) task) of) joy) and) grief) Most) piously); ‐ all) lovers) tempest-tost), And) in) the) savage) overwhelming) lost), He) shall) deposit) side) by) side), until) Time's) creeping) shall) the) dreary) space) fulfil) Which) done), and) all) these) labours) ripened), A) youth), by) heavenly) power) lov'd) and) led), Shall) stand) before) him); whom) he) shall) direct) How) to) consummate) all). The) youth) elect) Must) do) the) thing), or) both) will) be) destroy'd). " ‐ " Then, " cried the young Endymion, overjoy'd, " We are twin brothers in this destiny! Say, I intreat thee, what achievement high Is, in this restless world, for me reserv'd. What! if from thee my wandering feet had swerv'd, Had we both perish'd? " ‐ " Look! " the sage replied, " Dost thou not mark a gleaming through the tide, Of diverse brilliances? 'tis the edifice I told thee of, where lovely Scylla lies; And where I have enshrined piously All lovers, whom fell storms have doom'd to die Throughout my bondage. " Thus discoursing, on They went till unobscur'd the porches shone; Which hurryingly they gain'd, and enter'd straight. Sure never since king Neptune held his state Was seen such wonder underneath the stars. Turn to some level plain where haughty Mars Has legion'd all his battle; and behold How every soldier, with firm foot, doth hold His even breast see, many steeled squares, And rigid ranks of iron ‐ whence who dares One step? Imagine further, line by line, These warrior thousands on the field supine ‐ So in that crystal place, in silent rows, Poor lovers lay at rest from joys and woes. ‐ The stranger from the mountains, breathless, trac'd Such thousands of shut eyes in order placed; Such ranges of white feet, and patient lips All ruddy, ‐ for here death no blossom nips. He mark'd their brows and foreheads; saw their hair Put sleekly on one side with nicest care; And each one's gentle wrists, with reverence, Put cross-wise to its heart. " Let us commence, " Whisper'd the guide, stuttering with joy, " even now. " He spake, and, trembling like an aspen-bough, Began to tear his scroll in pieces small, Uttering the while some mumblings funeral. He tore it into pieces small as snow That drifts unfeather'd when bleak northerns blow; And having done it, took his dark blue cloak And bound it round Endymion then stroke His wand against the empty air times nine. ‐ " What more there is to do, young man, is thine But first a little patience; first undo This tangled thread, and wind it to a clue. Ah, gentle! 'tis as weak as spider's skein; And shouldst thou break it ‐ What, is it done so clean? A power overshadows thee! Oh, brave! The spite of hell is tumbling to its grave. Here is a shell; 'tis pearly blank to me, Nor mark'd with any sign or charactery ‐ Canst thou read aught? O read for pity's sake! Olympus! we are safe! Now, Carian, break This wand against yon lyre on the pedestal. " 'Twas done and straight with sudden swell and fall Sweet music breath'd her soul away, and sigh'd A lullaby to silence. ‐ " Youth! now strew These minced leaves on me, and passing through Those files of dead, scatter the same around, And thou wilt see the issue. " ‐ 'Mid the sound Of flutes and viols, ravishing his heart, Endymion from Glaucus stood apart, And scatter'd in his face some fragments light. How lightning-swift the change! a youthful wight Smiling beneath a coral diadem, Out-sparkling sudden like an upturn'd gem, Appear'd, and, stepping to a beauteous corse, Kneel'd down beside it, and with tenderest force Press'd its cold hand, and wept ‐ and Scylla sigh'd! Endymion, with quick hand, the charm applied ‐ The nymph arose he left them to their joy, And onward went upon his high employ, Showering those powerful fragments on the dead. And, as he pass'd, each lifted up its head, As doth a flower at Apollo's touch. Death felt it to his inwards; 'twas too much Death fell a weeping in his charnel-house. The Latmian persever'd along, and thus All were re-animated. There arose A noise of harmony, pulses and throes Of gladness in the air ‐ while many, who Had died in mutual arms devout and true, Sprang to each other madly; and the rest Felt a high certainty of being blest. They gaz'd upon Endymion. Enchantment Grew drunken, and would have its head and bent. Delicious symphonies, like airy flowers, Budded, and swell'd, and, full-blown, shed full showers Of light, soft, unseen leaves of sounds divine. The two deliverers tasted a pure wine Of happiness, from fairy-press ooz'd out. Speechless they eyed each other, and about The fair assembly wander'd to and fro, Distracted with the richest overflow Of joy that ever pour'd from heaven. ‐ " Away! " Shouted the new born god; " Follow, and pay Our piety to Neptunus supreme! " ‐ Then Scylla, blushing sweetly from her dream, They led on first, bent to her meek surprise, Through portal columns of a giant size, Into the vaulted, boundless emerald. Joyous all follow'd, as the leader call'd, Down marble steps; pouring as easily As hour-glass sand ‐ and fast, as you might see Swallows obeying the south summer's call, Or swans upon a gentle waterfall. Thus went that beautiful multitude, nor far, Ere from among some rocks of glittering spar, Just within ken, they saw descending thick Another multitude. Whereat more quick Moved either host. On a wide sand they met, And of those numbers every eye was wet; For each their old love found. A murmuring rose, Like what was never heard in all the throes Of wind and waters 'tis past human wit To tell; 'tis dizziness to think of it. This mighty consummation made, the host Mov'd on for many a league; and gain'd, and lost Huge sea-marks; vanward swelling in array, And from the rear diminishing away, ‐ Till a faint dawn surpris'd them. Glaucus cried, " Behold! behold, the palace of his pride! God Neptune's palaces! " With noise increas'd, They shoulder'd on towards that brightening east. At every onward step proud domes arose In prospect, ‐ diamond gleams, and golden glows Of amber 'gainst their faces levelling. Joyous, and many as the leaves in spring, Still onward; still the splendour gradual swell'd. Rich opal domes were seen, on high upheld By jasper pillars, letting through their shafts A blush of coral. Copious wonder-draughts Each gazer drank; and deeper drank more near For what poor mortals fragment up, as mere As marble was there lavish, to the vast Of one fair palace, that far far surpass'd, Even for common bulk, those olden three, Memphis, and Babylon, and Nineveh. As large, as bright, as colour'd as the bow Of Iris, when unfading it doth shew Beyond a silvery shower, was the arch Through which this Paphian army took its march, Into the outer courts of Neptune's state Whence could be seen, direct, a golden gate, To which the leaders sped; but not half raught Ere it burst open swift as fairy thought, And made those dazzled thousands veil their eyes Like callow eagles at the first sunrise. Soon with an eagle nativeness their gaze Ripe from hue-golden swoons took all the blaze, And then, behold! large Neptune on his throne Of emerald deep yet not exalt alone; At his right hand stood winged Love, and on His left sat smiling Beauty's paragon. Far as the mariner on highest mast Can see all round upon the calmed vast, So wide was Neptune's hall and as the blue Doth vault the waters, so the waters drew Their doming curtains, high, magnificent, Aw'd from the throne aloof; ‐ and when storm-rent Disclos'd the thunder-gloomings in Jove's air; But sooth'd as now, flash'd sudden everywhere, Noiseless, sub-marine cloudlets, glittering Death to a human eye for there did spring From natural west, and east, and south, and north, A light as of four sunsets, blazing forth A gold-green zenith 'bove the Sea-God's- head. Of lucid depth the floor, and far outspread As breezeless lake, on which the slim canoe, Of feather'd Indian darts about, as through The delicatest air air verily, But for the portraiture of clouds and sky This palace floor breath-air, ‐ but for the amaze Of deep-seen wonders motionless, ‐ and blaze Of the dome pomp, reflected in extremes, Globing a golden sphere. They stood in dreams Till Triton blew his horn. The palace rang; The Nereids danc'd; the Syrens faintly sang; And the great Sea-King- bow'd his dripping head. Then Love took wing, and from his pinions shed On all the multitude a nectarous dew. The ooze-born Goddess beckoned and drew Fair Scylla and her guides to conference; And when they reach'd the throned eminence She kist the sea-nymph's cheek, ‐ who sat her down A toying with the doves. Then, ‐ " Mighty crown And sceptre of this kingdom! " Venus said, " Thy vows were on a time to Nais paid Behold! " ‐ Two copious tear-drops instant fell From the God's large eyes; he smil'd delectable, And over Glaucus held his blessing hands. ‐ " Endymion! Ah! still wandering in the bands Of Love? Now this is cruel. Since the hour I met thee in earth's bosom, all my power Have I put forth to serve thee. What, not yet Escap'd from dull mortality's harsh net? A little patience, youth! 'twill not be long, Or I am skilless quite an idle tongue, A humid eye, and steps luxurious, Where these are new and strange, are ominous. Aye, I have seen these signs in one of heaven, When others were all blind; and were I given To utter secrets, haply I might say Some pleasant words ‐ but love will have his day. So wait awhile expectant. Pr'ythee soon, Even in the passing of thine honey-moon, Visit thou my Cythera thou wilt find Cupid well-natured, my Adonis kind; And pray persuade with thee ‐ Ah, I have done, All blisses be upon thee, my sweet son! " ‐ Thus the fair goddess while Endymion Knelt to receive those accents halcyon. Meantime a glorious revelry began Before the Water-Monarch-. Nectar ran In courteous fountains to all cups outreach'd; And plunder'd vines, teeming exhaustless, pleach'd New growth about each shell and pendent lyre; The which, in disentangling for their fire, Pull'd down fresh foliage and coverture For dainty toying. Cupid, empire-sure, Flutter'd and laugh'd, and oft-times through the throng Made a delighted way. Then dance, and song, And garlanding grew wild; and pleasure reign'd. In harmless tendril they each other chain'd, And strove who should be smother'd deepest in Fresh crush of leaves. O 'tis a very sin For one so weak to venture his poor verse In such a place as this. O do not curse, High Muses! let him hurry to the ending. All suddenly were silent. A soft blending Of dulcet instruments came charmingly; And then a hymn. " King of the stormy sea! Brother of Jove, and co-inheritor Of elements! Eternally before Thee the waves awful bow. Fast, stubborn rock, At thy fear'd trident shrinking, doth unlock Its deep foundations, hissing into foam. All mountain-rivers lost in the wide home Of thy capacious bosom, ever flow. Thou frownest, and old Eolus thy foe Skulks to his cavern, 'mid the gruff complaint Of all his rebel tempests. Dark clouds faint When, from thy diadem, a silver gleam Slants over blue dominion. Thy bright team Gulphs in the morning light, and scuds along To bring thee nearer to that golden song Apollo singeth, while his chariot Waits at the doors of heaven. Thou art not For scenes like this an empire stern hast thou; And it hath furrow'd that large front yet now, As newly come of heaven, dost thou sit To blend and interknit Subdued majesty with this glad time. O shell-borne King sublime! We lay our hearts before thee evermore ‐ We sing, and we adore! " Breathe softly, flutes; Be tender of your strings, ye soothing lutes; Nor be the trumpet heard! O vain, O vain; Not flowers budding in an April rain, Nor breath of sleeping dove, nor river's flow, ‐ No, nor the Eolian twang of Love's own bow, Can mingle music fit for the soft ear Of goddess Cytherea! Yet deign, white Queen of Beauty, thy fair eyes On our souls' sacrifice. " Bright-winged Child! Who has another care when thou hast smil'd? Unfortunates on earth, we see at last All death-shadows, and glooms that overcast Our spirits, fann'd away by thy light pinions. O sweetest essence! sweetest of all minions! God of warm pulses, and dishevell'd hair, And panting bosoms bare! Dear unseen light in darkness! eclipser Of light in light! delicious poisoner Thy venom'd goblet will we quaff until We fill ‐ we fill! And by thy Mother's lips ‐ " was heard no more For clamour, when the golden palace door Opened again, and from without, in shone A new magnificence. On oozy throne Smooth-moving came Oceanus the old, To take a latest glimpse at his sheep-fold, Before he went into his quiet cave To muse for ever ‐ Then a lucid wave, Scoop'd from its trembling sisters of mid-sea, Afloat, and pillowing up the majesty Of Doris, and the Egean seer, her spouse ‐ Next, on a dolphin, clad in laurel boughs, Theban Amphion leaning on his lute His fingers went across it ‐ All were mute To gaze on Amphitrite, queen of pearls, And Thetis pearly too. ‐ The palace whirls Around giddy Endymion; seeing he Was there far strayed from mortality. He could not bear it ‐ shut his eyes in vain; Imagination gave a dizzier pain. " O I shall die! sweet Venus, be my stay! Where is my lovely mistress? Well-away! I die ‐ I hear her voice ‐ I feel my wing ‐ " At Neptune's feet he sank. A sudden ring Of Nereids were about him, in kind strife To usher back his spirit into life But still he slept. At last they interwove Their cradling arms, and purpos'd to convey Towards a crystal bower far away. Lo! while slow carried through the pitying crowd, To his inward senses these words spake aloud; Written in star-light on the dark above Dearest) Endymion)! my) entire) love)! How) have) i) dwelt) in) fear) of) fate) 'tis) done) ‐ Immortal) bliss) for) me) too) hast) thou) won). Arise) then)! for) the) hen-dove) shall) not) hatch) Her) ready) eggs), before) I'll) kissing) snatch) Thee) into) endless) heaven). Awake)! awake)! The youth at once arose a placid lake Came quiet to his eyes; and forest green, Cooler than all the wonders he had seen, Lull'd with its simple song his fluttering breast. How happy once again in grassy nest! Endymion: A Poetic Romance BOOK IV Muse of my native land! loftiest Muse! O first-born on the mountains! by the hues Of heaven on the spiritual air begot Long didst thou sit alone in northern grot, While yet our England was a wolfish den; Before our forests heard the talk of men; Before the first of Druids was a child; ‐ Long didst thou sit amid our regions wild Rapt in a deep prophetic solitude. There came an eastern voice of solemn mood ‐ Yet wast thou patient. Then sang forth the Nine, Apollo's garland ‐ yet didst thou divine Such home-bred glory, that they cry'd in vain, " Come hither, Sister of the Island! " Plain Spake fair Ausonia; and once more she spake A higher summons ‐ still didst thou betake Thee to thy native hopes. O thou hast won A full accomplishment! The thing is done, Which undone, these our latter days had risen On barren souls. Great Muse, thou know'st what prison Of flesh and bone curbs, and confines, and frets Our spirit's wings despondency besets Our pillows; and the fresh tomorrow-morn Seems to give forth its light in very scorn Of our dull, uninspired, snail-paced lives. Long have I said, how happy he who shrives To thee! But then I thought on poets gone, And could not pray ‐ nor can I now ‐ so on I move to the end in lowliness of heart. ‐ " Ah, woe is me! that I should fondly part From my dear native land! Ah, foolish maid! Glad was the hour, when, with thee, myriads bade Adieu to Ganges and their pleasant fields! To one so friendless the clear freshet yields A bitter coolness; the ripe grape is sour Yet I would have, great gods! but one short hour Of native air ‐ let me but die at home. " Endymion to heaven's airy dome Was offering up a hecatomb of vows, When these words reach'd him. Whereupon he bows His head through thorny-green entanglement Of underwood, and to the sound is bent, Anxious as hind towards her hidden fawn. " Is no one near to help me? No fair dawn Of life from charitable voice? No sweet saying To set my dull and sadden'd spirit playing? No hand to toy with mine? No lips so sweet That I may worship them? No eyelids meet To twinkle on my bosom? No one dies Before me, till from these enslaving eyes Redemption sparkles! ‐ I am sad and lost. " Thou, Carian lord, hadst better have been tost Into a whirlpool. Vanish into air, Warm mountaineer! for canst thou only bear A woman's sigh alone and in distress? See not her charms! Is Phoebe passionless? Phoebe is fairer far ‐ o gaze no more ‐ Yet if thou wilt behold all beauty's store, Behold her panting in the forest grass! Do not those curls of glossy jet surpass For tenderness the arms so idly lain Amongst them? Feelest not a kindred pain, To see such lovely eyes in swimming search After some warm delight, that seems to perch Dovelike in the dim cell lying beyond Their upper lids? ‐ Hist! " o for Hermes' wand, To touch this flower into human shape! That woodland Hyacinthus could escape From his green prison, and here kneeling down Call me his queen, his second life's fair crown! Ah me, how I could love! ‐ My soul doth melt For the unhappy youth ‐ Love! I have felt So faint a kindness, such a meek surrender To what my own full thoughts had made too tender, That but for tears my life had fled away! ‐ Ye deaf and senseless minutes of the day, And thou, old forest, hold ye this for true, There is no lightning, no authentic dew But in the eye of love there's not a sound, Melodious howsoever, can confound The heavens and earth in one to such a death As doth the voice of love there's not a breath Will mingle kindly with the meadow air, Till it has panted round, and stolen a share Of passion from the heart! " ‐ upon a bough He leant, wretched. He surely cannot now Thirst for another love: O impious, That he can even dream upon it thus! ‐ Thought he, " Why am I not as are the dead, Since to a woe like this I have been led Through the dark earth, and through the wondrous sea? Goddess! I love thee not the less from thee By Juno's smile I turn not ‐ no, no, no ‐ While the great waters are at ebb and flow. ‐ I have a triple soul! O fond pretence ‐ For both, for both my love is so immense, I fell my heart is cut for them in twain. " And so he groan'd, as one by beauty slain. The lady's heart beat quick, and he could see Her gentle bosom heave tumultuously. He sprang from his green covert there she lay, Sweet as a muskrose upon new-made hay; With all her limbs on tremble, and her eyes Shut softly up alive. To speak he tries. " Fair damsel, pity me! forgive that I Thus violate thy bower's sanctity! O pardon me, for I am full of grief ‐ Grief born of thee, young angel! fairest thief! Who stolen hast away the wings wherewith I was to top the heavens. Dear maid, sith Thou art my executioner, and I feel Loving and hatred, misery and weal, Will in a few short hours be nothing to me, And all my story that much passion slew me; Do smile upon the evening of my days And, for my tortur'd brain begins to craze, Be thou my nurse; and let me understand How dying I shall kiss that lily hand. ‐ Dost weep for me? Then should I be content. Scowl on, ye fates! until the firmament Outblackens Erebus, and the full-cavern'd earth Crumbles into itself. By the cloud girth Of Jove, those tears have given me a thirst To meet oblivion. " ‐ As her heart would burst The maiden sobb'd awhile, and then replied " Why must such desolation betide As that thou speak'st of? Are not these green nooks Empty of all misfortune? Do the brooks Utter a gorgon voice? Does yonder thrush, Schooling its half-fledg'd little ones to brush About the dewy forest, whisper tales? ‐ Speak not of grief, young stranger, or cold snails Will slime the rose to night. Though if thou wilt, Methinks 'twould be a guilt ‐ a very guilt ‐ Not to companion thee, and sigh away The light ‐ the dusk ‐ the dark ‐ till break of day! " " Dear lady, " said Endymion, " 'tis past I love thee! and my days can never last. That I may pass in patience still speak Let me have music dying, and I seek No more delight ‐ I bid adieu to all. Didst thou not after other climates call, And murmur about Indian streams? " ‐ Then she, Sitting beneath the midmost forest tree, For pity sang this roundelay ‐ " O Sorrow, Why dost borrow The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips? ‐ To give maiden blushes To the white rose bushes? Or is't thy dewy hand the daisy tips? " O Sorrow, Why dost borrow The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye? ‐ To give the glow-worm light? Or, on a moonless night, To tinge, on syren shores, the salt sea-spry? " O Sorrow, Why dost borrow The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue? ‐ To give at evening pale Unto the nightingale, That thou mayst listen the cold dews among? " O Sorrow, Why dost borrow Heart's lightness from the merriment of May? ‐ A lover would not tread A cowslip on the head, Though he should dance from eve till peep of day ‐ Nor any drooping flower Held sacred for thy bower, Wherever he may sport himself and play. " To Sorrow, I bade good-morrow, And thought to leave her far away behind; But cheerly, cheerly, She loves me dearly; She is so constant to me, and so kind I would deceive her And so leave her, But ah! she is so constant and so kind. " Beneath my palm trees, by the river side, I sat a weeping in the whole world wide There was no one to ask me why I wept, ‐ And so I kept Brimming the water-lily cups with tears Cold as my fears. " Beneath my palm trees, by the river side, I sat aweeping what enamour'd bride, Cheated by shadowy wooer from the clouds, But hides and shrouds Beneath dark palm trees by a river side? " And as I sat, over the light blue hills There came a noise of revellers the rills Into the wide stream came of purple hue ‐ 'Twas Bacchus and his crew! The earnest trumpet spake, and silver thrills From kissing cymbals made a merry din ‐ 'Twas Bacchus and his kin! Like to a moving vintage down they came, Crown'd with green leaves, and faces all on flame; All madly dancing through the pleasant valley, To scare thee, Melancholy! O then, o then, thou wast a simple name! And I forgot thee, as the berried holly By shepherds is forgotten, when, in June, Tall chesnuts keep away the sun and moon ‐ I rush'd into the folly! " Within his car, aloft, young Bacchus stood, Trifling his ivy-dart, in dancing mood, With sidelong laughing; And little rills of crimson wine imbrued His plump white arms, and shoulders, enough white For Venus' pearly bite And near him rode Silenus on his ass, Pelted with flowers as he on did pass Tipsily quaffing. " Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye! So many, and so many, and such glee? Why have ye left your bowers desolate, Your lutes, and gentler fate? ‐ We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing, A conquering! Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide, We dance before him thorough kingdoms wide ‐ Come hither, lady fair, and joined be To our wild minstrelsy! _ " Whence came ye, jolly Satyrs! whence came ye! So many, and so many, and such glee? Why have ye left your forest haunts, why left Your nuts in oak-tree cleft? ‐ For wine, for wine we left our kernel tree; For wine we left our heath, and yellow brooms, And cold mushrooms; For wine we follow Bacchus through the earth; Great God of breathless cups and chirping mirth! ‐ Come hither, lady fair, and joined be To our mad minstrelsy! _ " Over wide streams and mountains great we went, And, save when Bacchus kept his ivy tent, Onward the tiger and the leopard pants, With Asian elephants Onward these myriads ‐ with song and dance, With zebras striped, and sleek Arabians' prance, Web-footed alligators, crocodiles, Bearing upon their scaly backs, in files, Plump infant laughers mimicking the coil Of seamen, and stout galley-rowers' toil With toying oars and silken sails they glide, Nor care for wind and tide. " Mounted on panthers' furs and lions' manes, From rear to van they scour about the plains; A three days' journey in a moment done And always, at the rising of the sun, About the wilds they hunt with spear and horn, On spleenful unicorn. " I saw Osirian Egypt kneel adown Before the vine-wreath crown! I saw parch'd Abyssinia rouse and sing To the silver cymbals' ring! I saw the whelming vintage hotly pierce Old Tartary the fierce! The kings of Inde their jewel-sceptres vail, And from their treasures scatter pearled hail; Great Brahma from his mystic heaven groans, And all his priesthood moans; Before young Bacchus' eye-wink turning pale. ‐ Into these regions came I following him, Sick hearted, weary ‐ so I took a whim To stray away into these forests drear Alone, without a peer And I have told thee all thou mayest hear. " Young stranger! I've been a ranger In search of pleasure throughout every clime Alas! 'tis not for me! Bewitch'd I sure must be, To lose in grieving all my maiden prime. " Come then, Sorrow! Sweetest Sorrow! Like an own babe I nurse thee on my breast I thought to leave thee And deceive thee, But now of all the world I love thee best. " There is not one, No, no, not one u Thou art her mother, And her brother, Her playmate, and her wooer in the shade. " O what a sigh she gave in finishing, And look, quite dead to every worldly thing! Endymion could not speak, but gazed on her; And listened to the wind that now did stir About the crisped oaks full drearily, Yet with as sweet a softness as might be Remember'd from its velvet summer song. At last he said " Poor lady, how thus long Have I been able to endure that voice? Fair Melody! kind Syren! I've no choice; I must be thy sad servant evermore I cannot choose but kneel here and adore. Alas, I must not think ‐ by Phoebe, no! Let me not think, soft Angel! shall it be so? Say, beautifullest, shall I never think? O thou could'st foster me beyond the brink Of recollection! make my watchful care Close up its bloodshot eyes, nor see despair! Do gently murder half my soul, and I Shall feel the other half so utterly! ‐ I'm giddy at that cheek so fair and smooth; O let it blush so ever! let it soothe My madness! let it mantle rosy-warm With the tinge of love, panting in safe alarm. ‐ This cannot be thy hand, and yet it is; And this is sure thine other softling ‐ this Thine own fair bosom, and I am so near! Wilt fall asleep? O let me sip that tear! And whisper one sweet word that I may know This is this world ‐ sweet dewy blossom! " ‐ Woe)! Woe)! Woe) to) that) Endymion)! Where) is) he)? ‐ Even these words went echoing dismally Through the wide forest ‐ a most fearful tone, Like one repenting in his latest moan; And while it died away a shade pass'd by, As of a thunder cloud. When arrows fly Through the thick branches, poor ring-doves sleek forth Their timid necks and tremble; so these both Leant to each other trembling, and sat so Waiting for some destruction ‐ when lo, Foot-feather'd Mercury appear'd sublime Beyond the tall tree tops; and in less time Than shoots the slanted hail-storm, down he dropt Towards the ground; but rested not, nor stopt One moment from his home only the sward He with his wand light touch'd, and heavenward Swifter than sight was gone ‐ even before The teeming earth a sudden witness bore Of his swift magic. Diving swans appear Above the crystal circlings white and clear; And catch the cheated eye in wide surprise, How they can dive in sight and unseen rise ‐ So from the turf outsprang two steeds jet-black, Each with large dark blue wings upon his back. The youth of Caria plac'd the lovely dame On one, and felt himself in spleen to tame The other's fierceness. Through the air they flew, High as the eagles. Like two drops of dew Exhal'd to Phoebus' lips, away they are gone, Far from the earth away ‐ unseen, alone, Among cool clouds and winds, but that the free, The buoyant life of song can floating be Above their heads, and follow them untir'd. ‐ Muse of my native land, am I inspir'd? This is the giddy air, and I must spread Wide pinions to keep here; nor do I dread Or height, or depth, or width, or any chance Precipitous I have beneath my glance Those towering horses and their mournful freight. Could I thus sail, and see, and thus await Fearless for power of thought, without thine aid? ‐ There is a sleepy dusk, an odorous shade From some approaching wonder, and behold Those winged steeds, with snorting nostrils bold Snuff at its faint extreme, and seem to tire, Dying to embers from their native fire! There curl'd a purple mist around them; soon, It seem'd as when around the pale new moon Sad Zephyr droops the clouds like weeping willow 'Twas Sleep slow journeying with head on pillow. For the first time, since he came nigh dead born From the old womb of night, his cave forlorn Had he left more forlorn; for the first time, He felt aloof the day and morning's prime ‐ Because into his depth Cimmerian There came a dream, shewing how a young man, Ere a lean bat could plump its wintery skin, Would at high Jove's empyreal footstool win An immortality, and how espouse Jove's daughter, and be reckon'd of his house. Now was he slumbering towards heaven's gate, That he might at the threshold one hour wait To hear the marriage melodies, and then Sink downward to his dusky cave again. His litter of smooth semilucent mist, Diversely ting'd with rose and amethyst, Puzzled those eyes that for the centre sought; And scarcely for one moment could be caught His sluggish form reposing motionless. Those two on winged steeds, with all the stress Of vision search'd for him, as one would look Athwart the sallows of a river nook To catch a glance at silver throated eels, ‐ Or from old Skiddaw's top, when fog conceals His rugged forehead in a mantle pale, With an eye-guess towards some pleasant vale Descry a favourite hamlet faint and far. These raven horses, though they foster'd are Of earth's splenetic fire, dully drop Their full-veined ears, nostrils blood wide, and stop; Upon the spiritless mist have they outspread Their ample feathers, are in slumber dead, ‐ And on those pinions, level in mid air, Endymion sleepeth and the lady fair. Slowly they sail, slowly as icy isle Upon a calm sea drifting and meanwhile The mournful wanderer dreams. Behold! he walks On heaven's pavement; brotherly he talks To divine powers from his hand full fain Juno's proud birds are pecking pearly grain He tries the nerve of Phoebuts golden bow, And asketh where the golden apples grow Upon his arm he braces Pallas' shield, And strives in vain to unsettle and wield A Jovian thunderbolt arch Hebe brings A full-brimm'd goblet, dances lightly, sings And tantalizes long; at last he drinks, And lost in pleasure at her feet he sinks, Touching with dazzled lips her starlight hand. He blows a bugle, ‐ an ethereal band Are visible above the Seasons four, ‐ Green-kyrtled Spring, flush Summer, golden store In Autumn's sickle, Winter frosty-hoar, Join dance with shadowy Hours; while still the blast, In swells unmitigated, still doth last To sway their floating morris. " Whose is this? Whose bugle? " he inquires they smile ‐ " O Dis! Why is this mortal here? Dost thou not know Its mistress' lips? Not thou? ‐ 'Tis Dian's lo! She rises crescented! " He looks, 'tis she, His very goddess good-bye earth, and sea, And air, and pains, and care, and suffering; Good-bye to all but love! Then doth he spring Towards her, and awakes ‐ and, strange, o'erhead, Of those same fragrant exhalations bred, Beheld awake his very dream the gods Stood smiling; merry Hebe laughs and nods; And Phoebe bends towards him crescented. O state perplexing! On the pinion bed, Too well awake, he feels the panting side Of his delicious lady. He who died For soaring too audacious in the sun, When that same treacherous wax began to run, Felt not more tongue-tied than Endymion. His heart leapt up as to its rightful throne, To that fair shadow'd passion puls'd its way ‐ Ah, what perplexity! Ah, well a day! So fond, so beauteous was his bed-fellow, He could not help but kiss her then he grew Awhile forgetful of all beauty save Young Phoebe's, golden hair'd; and so 'gan crave Forgiveness yet he turn'd once more to look At the sweet sleeper, ‐ all his soul was shook, ‐ She press'd his hand in slumber; so once more He could not help but kiss her and adore. At this the shadow wept, melting away. The Latmian started up " Bright goddess, stay! Search my most hidden breast! By truth's own tongue, I have no daedale heart why is it wrung To desperation? is there nought for me, Upon the bourne of bliss, but misery? " These words awoke the stranger of dark tresses Her dawning love-look rapt Endymion blesses With 'haviour soft. Sleep yawned from underneath. " Thou swan of Ganges, let us no more breathe This murky phantasm! thou contented seem'st Pillow'd in lovely idleness, nor dream'st What horrors may discomfort thee and me. Ah, shouldst thou die from my heart-treachery! ‐ Yet did she merely weep ‐ her gentle soul Hath no revenge in it as it is whole In tenderness, would I were whole in love! Can I prize thee, fair maid, all price above, Even when I feel as true as innocence? I do, I do. ‐ What is this soul then? Whence Came it? It does not seem my own, and I Have no self-passion or identity. Some fearful end must be where, where is it? By Nemesis, I see my spirit flit Alone about the dark ‐ Forgive me, sweet Shall we away? " He rous'd the steeds they beat Their wings chivalrous into the clear air, Leaving old Sleep within his vapoury lair. The good-night blush of eve was waning slow, And Vesper, risen star, began to throe In the dusk heavens silverly, when they Thus sprang direct towards the Galaxy. Nor did speed hinder converse soft and strange ‐ Eternal oaths and vows they interchange, In such wise, in such temper, so aloof Up in the winds, beneath a starry roof, So witless of their doom, that verily 'Tis well nigh past man's search their hearts to see; Whether they wept, or laugh'd, or griev'd, or toy'd ‐ Most like with joy gone mad, with sorrow cloy'd. Full facing their swift flight, from ebon streak, The moon put forth a little diamond peak, No bigger than an unobserved star, Or tiny point of fairy scymitar; Bright signal that she only stoop'd to tie Her silver sandals, ere deliciously She bow'd into the heavens her timid head. Slowly she rose, as though she would have fled, While to his lady meek the Carian turn'd To mark if her dark eyes had yet discern'd This beauty in its birth ‐ Despair! despair! He saw her body fading gaunt and spare In the cold moonshine. Straight he seiz'd her wrist; It melted from his grasp her hand he kiss'd, And, horror! kiss'd his own ‐ he was alone. Her steed a little higher soar'd, and then Dropt hawkwise to the earth. There lies a den, Beyond the seeming confines of the space Made for the soul to wander in and trace Its own existence, of remotest glooms. Dark regions are around it, where the tombs Of buried griefs the spirit sees, but scarce One hour doth linger weeping, for the pierce Of new-born woe it feels more inly smart And in these regions many a venom'd dart At random flies; they are the proper home Of every ill the man is yet to come Who hath not journeyed in this native hell. But few have ever felt how calm and well Sleep may be had in that deep den of all. There anguish does not sting; nor pleasure pall Woe-hurricanes beat ever at the gate, Yet all is still within and desolate. Beset with painful gusts, within ye hear No sound so loud as when on curtain'd bier The death-watch tick is stifled. Enter none Who strive therefore on the sudden it is won. Just when the sufferer begins to burn, Then it is free to him; and from an urn, Still fed by melting ice, he takes a draught ‐ Young Semele such richness never quaft In her maternal longing! Happy gloom! Dark paradise! where pale becomes the bloom Of health by due; where silence dreariest Is most articulate; where hopes infest; Where those eyes are the brightest far that keep Their lids shut longest in a dreamless sleep. O happy spirit-home! O wondrous soul! Pregnant with such a den to save the whole In thine own depth. Hail, gentle Carian! For, never since thy griefs and woes began, Hast thou felt so content a grievous feud Hath led thee to this cave of Quietude. Aye, his lull'd soul was there, although upborne With dangerous speed and so he did not mourn Because he knew not whither he was going. So happy was he, not the aerial blowing Of trumpets at clear parley from the east Could rouse from that fine relish, that high feast. They stung the feather'd horse with fierce alarm He flapp'd towards the sound. Alas, no charm Could lift Endymion's head, or he had view'd A skyey masque, a pinion'd multitude, ‐ And silvery was its passing voices sweet Warbling the while as if to lull and greet The wanderer in his path. Thus warbled they, While past the vision went in bright array. " Who, who from Dian's feast would be away? For all the golden bowers of the day Are empty left? Who, who away would be From Cynthia's wedding and festivity? Not Hesperus lo! upon his silver wings He leans away for highest heaven and sings, Snapping his lucid fingers merrily! ‐ Ah, Zephyrus! art here, and Flora too! Ye tender bibbers of the rain and dew, Young playmates of the rose and daffodil, Be careful, ere ye enter in, to fill Your baskets high With fennel green, and balm, and golden pines, Savory, latter-mint, and columbines, Cool parsley, basil sweet, and sunny thyme; Yea, every flower and leaf of every clime, All gather'd in the dewy morning hie Away! fly, fly! ‐ Crystalline brother of the belt of heaven, Aquarius! to whom king Jove has given Two liquid pulse-streams 'stead of feather'd wings, Two fan-like fountains, ‐ thine illuminings For Dian play Dissolve the frozen purity of air; Let thy white shoulders silvery and bare Shew cold through watery pinions; make more bright The Star-Queen's- crescent on her marriage night Haste, haste away! ‐ Castor has tamed the planet Lion, see! And of the Bear has Pollux mastery A third is in the race! who is the third, Speeding away swift as the eagle bird? The ramping Centaur! The Lion's mane's on end the Bear how fierce! The Centaur's arrow ready seems to pierce Some enemy far forth his bow is bent Into the blue of heaven. He'll be shent, Pale unrelentor, When he shall hear the wedding lutes a playing. ‐ Andromeda! sweet woman! why delaying So timidly among the stars come hither! Join this bright throng, and nimbly follow whither They all are going. Danae's son, before Jove newly bow'd, Has wept for thee, calling to jove aloud. Thee, gentle lady, did he disenthral Ye shall for ever live and love, for all Thy tears are flowing. ‐ By Daphne's fright, behold Apollo! ‐ " More Endymion heard not down his steed him bore, Prone to the green head of a misty hill. His first touch of the earth went nigh to kill. " Alas! " said he, " were I but always borne Through dangerous winds, had but my footsteps worn A path in hell, for ever would I bless Horrors which nourish an uneasiness For my own sullen conquering to him Who lives beyond earth's boundary, grief is dim, Sorrow is but a shadow now I see The grass; I feel the solid ground ‐ Ah, me! It is thy voice ‐ divinest! Where? ‐ who? who Left thee so quiet on this bed of dew? Behold upon this happy earth we are; Let us aye love each other; let us fare On forest-fruits, and never, never go Among the abodes of mortals here below, Or be by phantoms duped. O destiny! Into a labyrinth now my soul would fly, But with thy beauty will I deaden it. Where didst thou melt to? by thee will I sit For ever let our fate stop here ‐ a kid I on this spot will offer pan will bid Us live in peace, in love and peace among His forest wildernesses. I have clung To nothing, lov'd a nothing, nothing seen Or felt but a great dream! O I have been Presumptuous against love, against the sky, Against all elements, against the tie Of mortals each to each, against the blooms Of flowers, rush of rivers, and the tombs Of heroes gone! Against his proper glory Has my own soul conspired so my story Will I to children utter, and repent. There never liv'd a mortal man, who bent His appetite beyond his natural sphere, But starv'd and died. My sweetest Indian, here, Here will I kneel, for thou redeemed hast My life from too thin breathing gone and past Are cloudy phantasms. Caverns lone, farewel! And air of visions, and the monstrous swell Of visionary seas! No, never more Shall airy voices cheat me to the shore Of tangled wonder, breathless and aghast. Adieu, my daintiest Dream! although so vast My love is still for thee. The hour may come When we shall meet in pure elysium. On earth I may not love thee; and therefore Doves will I offer up, and sweetest store All through the teeming year so thou wilt shine On me, and on this damsel fair of mine, And bless our simple lives. My Indian bliss! My river-lily bud! one human kiss! One sigh of real breath ‐ one gentle squeeze, Warm as a dove's nest among summer trees, And warm with dew at ooze from living blood! Whither didst melt? Ah, what of that! ‐ all good We'll talk about ‐ no more of dreaming. ‐ Now, Where shall our dwelling be? Under the brow Of some steep mossy hill, where ivy dun Would hide us up, although spring leaves were none; And where dark yew trees, as we rustle through, Will drop their scarlet berry cups of dew? O thou wouldst joy to live in such a place; Dusk for our loves, yet light enough to grace Those gentle limbs on mossy bed reclin'd For by one step the blue sky shouldst thou find, And by another, in deep dell below, See, through the trees, a little river go All in its mid-day gold and glimmering. Honey from out the gnarled hive I'll bring, And apples, wan with sweetness, gather thee, ‐ Cresses that grow where no man may them see, And sorrel untorn by the dew-claw'd stag Pipes will I fashion of the syrinx flag, That thou mayest always know whither I roam, When it shall please thee in our quiet home To listen and think of love. Still let me speak; Still let me dive into the joy I seek, ‐ For yet the past doth prison me. The rill, Thou haply mayst delight in, will I fill With fairy fishes from the mountain tarn, And thou shalt feed them from the squirrel's barn. Its bottom will I strew with amber shells, And pebbles blue from deep enchanted wells. Its sides I'll plant with dew-sweet eglantine, And honeysuckles full of clear bee-wine. I will entice this crystal rill to trace Love's silver name upon the meadow's face. I'll kneel to Vesta, for a flame of fire; And to god Phoebus, for a golden lyre; To Empress Dian, for a hunting spear; To Vesper, for a taper silver-clear, That I may see thy beauty through the night; To Flora, and a nightingale shall light Tame on thy finger; to the River-gods, And they shall bring thee taper fishing-rods Of gold, and lines of Naiads' long bright tress. Heaven shield thee for thine utter loveliness! Thy mossy footstool shall the altar be 'Fore which I'll bend, bending, dear love, to thee Those lips shall be my Delphos, and shall speak Laws to my footsteps, colour to my cheek, Trembling or stedfastness to this same voice, And of three sweetest pleasurings the choice And that affectionate light, those diamond things, Those eyes, those passions, those supreme pearl springs, Shall be my grief, or twinkle me to pleasure. Say, is not bliss within our perfect seisure? O that I could not doubt! " the mountaineer Thus strove by fancies vain and crude to clear His briar'd path to some tranquillity. It gave bright gladness to his lady's eye, And yet the tears she wept were tears of sorrow; Answering thus, just as the golden morrow Beam'd upward from the vallies of the east " O that the flutter of this heart had ceas'd, Or the sweet name of love had pass'd away. Young feather'd tyrant! by a swift decay Wilt thou devote this body to the earth And I do think that at my very birth I lisp'd thy blooming titles inwardly; For at the first, first dawn and thought of thee, With uplift hands I blest the stars of heaven. Art thou not cruel? Ever have I striven To think thee kind, but ah, it will not do! When yet a child, I heard that kisses drew Favour from thee, and so I kisses gave To the void air, bidding them find out love But when I came to feel how far above All fancy, pride, and fickle maidenhood, All earthly pleasure, all imagin'd good, Was the warm tremble of a devout kiss, ‐ Even then, that moment, at the thought of this, Fainting I fell into a bed of flowers, And languish'd there three days. Ye milder powers, Am I not cruelly wrong'd? Believe, believe Me, dear Endymion, were I to weave With my own fancies garlands of sweet life, Thou shouldst be one of all. Ah, bitter strife! I may not be thy love I am forbidden ‐ Indeed I am ‐ thwarted, affrighted, chidden, By things I trembled at, and gorgon wrath. Twice hast thou ask'd whither I went henceforth Ask me no more! I may not utter it, Nor may I be thy love. We might commit Ourselves at once to vengeance; we might die; We might embrace and die voluptuous thought! Enlarge not to my hunger, or I'm caught In trammels of perverse deliciousness. No, no, that shall not be thee will I bless, And bid a long adieu. " The Carian No word return'd both lovelorn, silent, wan, Into the vallies green together went. Far wandering, they were perforce content To sit beneath a fair lone beechen tree; Nor at each other gaz'd, but heavily Por'd on its hazle cirque of shedded leaves. Endymion! unhappy! it nigh grieves Me to behold thee thus in last extreme Ensky'd ere this, but truly that I deem Truth the best music in a first-born song. Thy lute-voic'd brother will I sing ere long, And thou shalt aid ‐ hast thou not aided me? Yes, moonlight Emperor! felicity Has been thy meed for many thousand years; Yet often have I, on the brink of tears, Mourn'd as if yet thou wert a forester; ‐ Forgetting the old tale. He did not stir His eyes from the dead leaves, or one small pulse Of joy he might have felt. The spirit culls Unfaded amaranth, when wild it strays Through the old garden-ground of boyish days. A little onward ran the very stream By which he took his first soft poppy dream; And on the very bark 'gainst which he leant A crescent he had carv'd, and round it spent His skill in little stars. The teeming tree Had swollen and green'd the pious charactery, But not ta'en out. Why, there was not a slope Up which he had not fear'd the antelope; And not a tree, beneath whose rooty shade He had not with his tamed leopards play'd. Nor could an arrow light, or javelin, Fly in the air where his had never been ‐ And yet he knew it not. O treachery! Why does his lady smile, pleasing her eye With all His sorrowing? He sees her not. But who so stares on him? his sister sure! Peona of the woods! ‐ Can she endure ‐ Impossible ‐ how dearly they embrace! His lady smiles; delight is in her face; It is no treachery. " Dear brother mine! Endymion, weep not so! Why shouldst thou pine When all great Latmos so exalt will be? Thank the great gods, and look not bitterly; And speak not one pale word, and sigh no more. Sure I will not believe thou hast such store Of grief, to last thee to my kiss again. Thou surely canst not bear a mind in pain, Come hand in hand with one so beautiful. Be happy both of you! for I will pull The flowers of autumn for your coronals. Pan's holy priest for young Endymion calls And when he is restor'd, thou, fairest dame, Shalt be our queen. Now, is it not a shame To see ye thus, ‐ not very, very sad? Perhaps ye are too happy to be glad O feel as if it were a common day; Free-voic'd as one who never was away. No tongue shall ask, whence come ye? but ye shall Be gods of your own rest imperial. Not even I, for one whole month, will pry Into the hours that have pass'd us by, Since in my arbour I did sing to thee. O Hermes! on this very night will be A hymning up to Cynthia, queen of light; For the soothsayers old saw yesternight Good visions in the air, ‐ whence will befal, As say these sages, health perpetual To shepherds and their flocks; and furthermore, In Dian's face they read the gentle lore Therefore for her these vesper-carols are. Our friends will all be there from nigh and far. Many upon thy death have ditties made; And many, even now, their foreheads shade With cypress, on a day of sacrifice. New singing for our maids shalt thou devise, And pluck the sorrow from our huntsmen's brows. Tell me, my lady-queen, how to espouse This wayward brother to his rightful joys! His eyes are on thee bent, as thou didst poise His fate most goddess-like. Help me, I pray, To lure ‐ Endymion! dear brother, say What ails thee? " He could bear no more, and so Bent his soul fiercely like a spiritual bow, And twang'd it inwardly, and calmly said " I would have thee my only friend, sweet maid! My only visitor! not ignorant though, That those deceptions which for pleasure go 'Mong men, are pleasures real as real may be But there are higher ones I may not see, If impiously an earthly realm I take. Since I saw thee, I have been wide awake Night after night, and day by day, until Of the empyrean I have drunk my fill. Let it content thee, sister, seeing me More happy than betides mortality. A hermit young, I'll live in mossy cave, Where thou alone shalt come to me, and lave Thy spirit in the wonders I shall tell. Through me the shepherd realm shall prosper well; For to thy tongue will I all health confide. And, for my sake, let this young maid abide With thee as a dear sister. Thou alone, Peona, mayst return to me. I own This may sound strangely but when, dearest girl, Thou seest it for my happiness, no pearl Will trespass down those cheeks. Companion fair! Wilt be content to dwell with her, to share This sister's love with me? " Like one resign'd And bent by circumstance, and thereby blind In self-commitment, thus that meek unknown " Aye, but a buzzing by my ears has flown, Of jubilee to Dian ‐ truth I heard? Well then, I see there is no little bird, Tender soever, but is Jove's own care. Long have I sought for rest, and, unaware, Behold I find it! so exalted too! So after my own heart! I knew, I knew There was a place untenanted in it In that same void white Chastity shall sit, And monitor me nightly to lone slumber. With sanest lips I vow me to the number Of Dian's sisterhood; and, kind lady, With thy good help, this very night shall see My future days to her fane consecrate. " As feels a dreamer what doth most create His own particular fright, so these three felt Or like one who, in after ages, knelt To Lucifer or Baal, when he'd pine After a little sleep or when in mine Far under-ground, a sleeper meets his friends Who know him not. Each diligently bends Towards common thoughts and things for very fear; Striving their ghastly malady to cheer, By thinking it a thing of yes and no, That housewives talk of. But the spirit-blow Was struck, and all were dreamers. At the last Endymion said " Are not our fates all cast? Why stand we here? Adieu, ye tender pair! Adieu! " Whereat those maidens, with wild stare, Walk'd dizzily away. Pained and hot His eyes went after them, until they got Near to a cypress grove, whose deadly maw, In one swift moment, would what then he saw Engulph for ever. " Stay! " he cried, " ah, stay! Turn, damsels! hist! one word I have to say Sweet Indian, I would see thee once again. It is a thing I dote on so I'd fain, Peona, ye should hand in hand repair Into those holy groves, that silent are Behind great Dian's temple. I'll be yon, At Vesper's earliest twinkle ‐ they are gone ‐ But once, once, once again ‐ " At this he press'd His hands against his face, and then did rest His head upon a mossy hillock green, And so remain'd as he a corpse had been All the long day; save when he scantly lifted His eyes abroad, to see how shadows shifted With the slow move of time, ‐ sluggish and weary Until the poplar tops, in journey dreary, Had reach'd the river's brim. Then up he rose, And, slowly as that very river flows, Walk'd towards the temple grove with this lament " Why such a golden eve? The breeze is sent Careful and soft, that not a leaf may fall Before the serene father of them all Bows down his summer head below the west. Now am I of breath, speech, and speed possest, But at the setting I must bid adieu To her for the last time. Night will strew On the damp grass myriads of lingering leaves, And with them shall I die; nor much it grieves To die, when summer dies on the cold sward. Why, I have been a butterfly, a lord Of flowers, garlands, love-knots, silly posies, Groves, meadows, melodies, and arbour roses; My kingdom's at its death, and just it is That I should die with it so in all this We miscall grief, bale, sorrow, heartbreak, woe, What is there to plain of? By Titan's foe I am but rightly serv'd. " So saying, he Tripp'd lightly on, in sort of deathful glee Laughing at the clear stream and setting sun, As though they jests had been nor had he done His laugh at nature's holy countenance, Until that grove appear'd, as if perchance, And then his tongue with sober seemlihed Gave utterance as he entered " Ha! I said, " King of the butterflies; but by this gloom, And by old Rhadamanthus' tongue of doom, This dusk religion, pomp of solitude, And the Promethean clay by thief endued, By old Saturnus' forelock, by his head Shook with eternal palsy, I did wed Myself to things of light from infancy; And thus to be cast out, thus lorn to die, Is sure enough to make a mortal man Grow impious. " So he inwardly began On things for which no wording can be found; Deeper and deeper sinking, until drown'd Beyond the reach of music for the choir Of Cynthia he heard not, though rough briar Nor muffling thicket interpos'd to dull The vesper hymn, far swollen, soft and full, Through the dark pillars of those sylvan aisles. He saw not the two maidens, nor their smiles, Wan as primroses gather'd at midnight By chilly finger'd spring. " Unhappy wight! Endymion! " said Peona, " we are here! What wouldst thou ere we all are laid on bier? " Then he embrac'd her, and his lady's hand Press'd, saying " Sister, I would have command, If it were heaven's will, on our sad fate. " At which that dark-eyed stranger stood elate And said, in a new voice, but sweet as love, To Endymion's amaze " By Cupid's dove, And so thou shalt! and by the lily truth Of my own breast thou shalt, beloved youth! " And as she spake, into her face there came Light, as reflected from a silver flame Her long black hair swell'd ampler, in display Full golden; in her eyes a brighter day Dawn'd blue and full of love. Aye, he beheld Phoebe, his passion! joyous she upheld Her lucid bow, continuing thus; " Drear, drear Has our delaying been; but foolish fear Withheld me first; and then decrees of fate; And then 'twas fit that from this mortal state Thou shouldst, my love, by some unlook'd for change Be spiritualiz'd. Peona, we shall range These forests, and to thee they safe shall be As was thy cradle; hither shalt thou flee To meet us many a time. " Next Cynthia bright Peona kiss'd, and bless'd with fair good night Her brother kiss'd her too, and knelt adown Before his goddess, in a blissful swoon. She gave her fair hands to him, and behold, Before three swiftest kisses he had told, They vanish'd far away! ‐ Peona went Home through the gloomy wood in wonderment. Normal End In Statement 52 Run Time-Msec 3030 Stmts Executed 39765 Mcsec / Stmt 76 Regenerations 11