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Meanwhile, as thus with him it fared, If she is prest by want of food,
They for the voyage were prepared, She from her dwelling in the wood
And went to the sea-shore ; Repairs to a road-side;
Bo when they thither came, the Youth And there she begs at one steep place
Deserted his poor Bride, and Ruth Where up and down with easy pace
Could never find him more. The horsemen-travellers ride.
"God help thee, Ruth !”—Such pains she had That oaten Pipe of hers is mute,
That she in a half a year was mad, Or thrown away; but with a flute
And in a prison housed; Her loneliness she cheers:
And there she sang tumultuous songs, This flute, made of a hemlock stalk,
By recollection of her wrongs At evening in his homeward walk
To fearful passion roused The Quantock Woodman hears.
Yet sometimes milder. hours she knew, I, too, have passed her on the hills
Nor wanted sun, nor rain, nor dew, Setting her little water-mills
Nor pastimes of the May, By spouts and fountains wild —
—They all were with her in her cell; Such small machinery as she turned
And a wild brook with cheerful knell Ere she had wept, ere she had mourned
I'd cer the pebbles play. A young and happy Child !
When Ruth three scasons thus had lain, Farewell! and when thy days are told,
There came a respite to her pain; Ill-fated Ruth ! in hallowed mould
Soe from her prison fled; Thy corpse shall buried be ;
But of the Vagrant none took thought; For thee a funeral bell shall ring,
An; where it liked her best she sought And all the congregation sing
Her shelter and her bread. A Christian psalm for thee.
Among the fields she breathed again:
The master-current of her brain
Run permanent and free; -
And, coming to the banks of Tone", o LA O D A MIA.
There did she rest; and dwell alone 2^ “W - - -
---> Ith sacrifice before the rising morn
Trier the greenwood tree. -> *x
Vows have I made by fruitless hope inspired;
And from the infernal Gods, mid shades forlorn
Of night, my slaughtered Lord have I required :
Celestial pity I again implore;—
Restore him to my sight — great Jove, restore s”
So speaking, and by fervent love endowed
With faith, the Suppliant heavenward lifts her hands,
While, like the Sun emerging from a Cloud,
Her countenance brightens—and her eye expands;
Her bosom heaves and spreads, her stature grows;
And she expects the issue in repose.
O terror! what hath she perceived? – O joy!
What doth she look on 1 — whom doth she behold?
Her hero slain upon the beach of Troy 4
His vital presence — his corporeal mould :
It is — if sense deceive her not—'tis He
And a God leads him – winged Mercury:
Mild Hermes spake — and touched her with his wand
That calms all fear, “Such grace hath crowned thy prayer,
Laodamia! that at Jove's command
Thy Husband walks the paths of upper air:
“Appear! — obey my lyre's command
Come, like the Graces, hand in hand
For ye, though not by birth allied,
Are Sisters in the bond of love;
And not the boldest tongue of envious pride
In you those interweavings could reprove
Which They, the progeny of Jove,
Learnt from the tuneful spheres that glide
In endless union earth and sea above."—
— I speak in vain, – the pines have hushed their
A peerless Youth expectant at my side,
Breathless as they, with unabated craving
Looks to the earth, and to the vacant air;
And, with a wandering eye that seems to chide,
Asks of the clouds what Occupants they hide: –
But why solicit more than sight could bear,
By casting on a moment all we dare :
Invoke we those bright Beings one by one,
And what was boldly promised, truly shall be done.
“Fear not this constraining measure!
Drawn by a poetic spell,
Lucida! from domes of pleasure,
Or from cottage-sprinkled dell,
• For the account of these long-lived trees, see Pliny's Natural History, lib. xvi. cap. 44.; and for the features in the charac ter of Protesilaus, see the Iphigenia in Aulis of Euripides. Virgil places the Shade of Laodamia in a mournful region, among * happy Lovers, —— His Laodamia It Connes. –
Come to regions solitary, Where the eagle builds her aery, Above the hermit's long-forsaken cell ?” — She comes – behold . That Figure, like a ship with silver sail : Nearer she draws—a breeze uplifts her veil — Upon her coming wait As pure a sunshine and as soft a gale As e'er on herbage covering earthly mould, Tempted the bird of Juno to unfold His richest splendour, when his veering gait And every motion of his starry train Seem governed by a strain Of music, audible to him alone. — O Lady, worthy of earth's proudest throne! Nor less, by excellence of nature, fit Beside an unambitious hearth to sit Domestic queen, where grandeur is unknown; What living man could fear The worst of Fortune's malice, wert thou near, Humbling that lily stem, thy sceptre meek, That its fair flowers may brush from off his cheek The too, too happy tear? Queen and handmaid lowly Whose skill can speed the day with lively cares, And banish melancholy By all that mind invents or hand prepares; O thou, against whose lip, without its smile, And in its silence even, no heart is proof; Whose goodness sinking deep, would reconcile The softest Nursling of a gorgeous palace To the bare life beneath the hawthorn roof Of Sherwood's archer, or in caves of Wallace — Who that hath seen thy beauty could content His soul with but a glimpse of heavenly day ! Who that hath loved thee, but would lay His strong hand on the wind, if it were bent To take thee in thy majesty away? – Pass onward (even the glancing deer Till we depart intrude not here;) That mossy slope, o'er which the woodbine throws A canopy, is smoothed for thy repose!
Glad moment is it when the throng
Of warblers in full concert strong
Strive, and not vainly strive, to rout -
The lagging shower, and force coy Phoebus out,
Met by the rainbow's form divine,
Issuing from her cloudy shrine; –
So may the thrillings of the lyre
Prevail to further our desire,
While to these shades a Nymph I call,
The youngest of the lovely Three.—
“Come, if the notes thine ear may pierce,
Submissive to the might of verse,
By none more deeply felt than thee!"
– I sang; and lo! from pastimes virginal
She hastens to the tents
Of nature, and the lonely elements.
Air sparkles round her with a dazzling sheen,
And mark her glowing cheek, her vesture green
And, as if wishful to disarm
Or to repay the potent charm,
She bears the stringed lute of old romance,
That cheered the trellised arbour's privacy,
And soothed war-wearied knights in rastered hall,
How light her air! how delicate her glee!
So tripped the Muse, inventress of the dance;
So, truant in waste woods, the blithe Euphrosyne'
But the ringlets of that head
Why are they ungarlanded !
Why bedeck her temples less
Than the simplest shepherdess?
Is it not a brow inviting
Choicest flowers that ever breathed,
Which the myrtle would delight in
With Idalian rose enwreathed 4
But her humility is well content
With one wild floweret (call it not forlorn)
FloweR of the winds, beneath her bosom worm,
Yet is it more for love than ornament.
Open, ye thickets: let her fly,
Swift as a Thracian Nyinph o'er field and height!
For She, to all but those who love Her shy,
Would gladly vanish from a Stranger's sight;
Though where she is beloved, and loves, as fee
As bird that rifles blossoms on a tree,
Turning them inside out with arch audacity.
Alas! how little can a moment show
Of an eye where feeling plays
In ten thousand dewy rays;
A face o'er which a thousand shadows go!
— She stops—is fastened to that rivulet's side;
And there (while, with sedater mien,
O'er timid waters that have scarcely left
Their birth-place in the rocky cleft
She bends) at leisure may be seen
Features to old ideal grace allied,
Amid their smiles and dimples dignified-
Fit countenance for the soul of primal truth.
The bland composure of eternal youth!
What more changeful than the sea!
But over his great tides
And this light-hearted Maiden constant is a ""
High is her aim as heaven above,
And wide as ether her good-will,
And, like the lowly reed, her love
Can drink its nurture from the scanties to
Insight as keen as frosty star
Is to her charity no bar,
Nor interrupts her frolic graces
When she is, far from these wild places,
Encircled by familiar faces.
0 the charm that manners draw,
Nature, from thy genuine law!
If from what her hand would do,
Her voice would utter, there ensue
Aught untoward or unfit,
She, in benign affections pure,
In self.sorgetfulness secure,
She's round the transient harm or vague mischance
A light unknown to tutored elegance:
Her’s is not a cheek shame-stricken, ,
But her blushes are joy-flushes —
And the fault (if fault it be)
Only ministers to quicken
And kindle sportive wit–
Leaving this Daughter of the mountains frce
As if she knew that Oberon king of Faery
Hilorsed her purpose with some quaint vagary,
And heard his viewless bands
0 or their mirthfill triumph clapping hands.
With all their fragrance, all their glistening,
Call to the heart for inward listening;
And though for bridal wreaths and tokens true
Welcomed wisely—though a growth
Which the careless shepherd sleeps on,
As fitly spring from turf the mourner weeps on,
And without wrong are cropped the marble tomb to
The charm is over; the mute phantoms gone,
Nor will return — but droop not, favoured Youth,
The apparition that before thee shone
Obeyed a summons covetous of truth.
From these wild rocks thy footsteps I will guide:
To bowers in which thy fortune may be tried,
And one of the bright Three become thy happy Bride!
LYRE though such power do in thy magic live
As might from India's farthest plain
Recal the most unwilling maid,
Assist me to detain
The lovely fugitive:
Check with thy notes the impulse which, betrayed
By her sweet farewell looks, I longed to aid.
Here let me gaze enwrapt upon that eye,
The impregnable and awe-inspiring fort
Of contemplation, the calm port
By reason fenced from winds that sigh
Among the restless sails of vanity.
But if no wish be hers that we should part,
A humbler bliss would satisfy my heart.
Where all things are so fair,
Enough by her dear side to breathe the air
Of this Elysian weather;
And, on or in, or near, the brook, espy
Shade upon the sunshine lying
Faint and somewhat pensively;
And downward image gaily vying
With its upright living tree
Mid silver clouds, and openings of blue sky
As soft almost and deep as her cerulean eye.
Nor less the joy with many a glance
Cast up the stream or down at her beseeching,
To mark its eddying foam-balls prettily distrest
By ever-changing shape and want of rest;
Or watch, with mutual teaching,
The current as it plays
In flashing leaps and stealthy creeps
Adown a rocky maze;
Or note (translucent summer's happiest chance!)
In the slope-channel floored with pebbles bright,
Stones of all hues, gem emulous of gem,
So vivid that they take from keenest sight
The liquid veil that seeks not to hide them.