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Could make their tears all wonder and delight—

She in her crystal vials did closely keep: If men could drink of thos& clear vials, 'tis said The living were not envied of the dead.


Her cave was stored with scrolls of strange device, The works of some Saturnian Archimage, Which taught the expiations at whose price Men from the Gods might win that happy age Too lightly lost, redeeming native vice;

And which might quench the Earth-consuming rage Of gold and blood—till men should live and

move Harmonious as the sacred stars above;


And how all things that seem untameable,
Not to be checked and not to be confined,

Obey the spells of wisdom's wizard skill;
Time, earth and fire—the ocean and the

And all their shapes—and man's imperial will; And other scrolls whose writings did unbind

The inmost lore of Love—let the profane

Tremble to ask what secrets they contain.


And wondrous works of substances unknown, To which the enchantment of her father's power Had changed those ragged blocks of savage stone, Were heaped in the recesses of her bower;

Carved lamps and chalices, and vials which

shone In their own golden beams—each like a

flower, Out of whose depth a fire-fly shakes his light Under a cypress in a starless night.


At first she lived alone in this wild home,
And her own thoughts were each a minister,

Clothing themselves, or with the ocean-foam,
Or with the wind, or with the speed of fire,

To work whatever purposes might come

Into her mind; such power her mighty Sire

Had girt them with, whether to fly or run,

Through all the regions which he shines upon.


The Ocean-nymphs and Hainadryades,

Oreads and Naiads, with long weedy locks,

Offered to do her bidding through the seas,
Under the earth, aud in the hollow rocks,

And far beneath the matted roots of trees,
And in the knarled heart of stubborn oaks,

So they might live for ever in the light

Of her sweet presence—each a satellite.


"This may not be," the wizard maid replied;

"The fountains where the Naiades bedew "Their shining hair, at length are drained and dried;

"The solid oaks forget their strength, and strew "Their latest leaf upon the mountains wide;

"The boundless ocean like a drop of dew "Will be consumed—the stubborn centre must "Be scattered, like a cloud of summer dust.


"And ye with them will perish, one by one;— "If I must sigh to think that this shall be,

"If I must weep when the surviving Sun

"Shall smile on your decay—Oh, ask not me / ^

"To love you till your little race is run; . »'v -'

"I cannot die as ye must—over me

"Your leaves shall glance—the streams in which ^.,^.>. ye dwell

"Shall be my paths henceforth, and so—farewell ! "—


She spoke and wept:—the dark and azure well Sparkled beneath the shower of her bright tears,

And every little circlet where they fell

Flung to the cavern-roof inconstant spheres

And intertangled lines of light:—a knell
Of sobbing voices came upon her ears

From those departing Forms, o'er the serene

Of the white streams and of the forest green.


All day the wizard lady sate aloof,

Spelling out scrolls of dread antiquity,
Under the cavern's fountain-lighted roof;

Or broidering the pictured poesy
Of some high tale upon her growing woof,

Which the sweet splendour of her smiles
could dye
In hues outshining Heaven—and ever she
Added some grace to the wrought poesy:


While on her hearth lay blazing many a piece
Of sandal wood, rare gums and cinuamon;

Men scarcely know how beautiful fire is—
Each flame of it is as a precious stone

Dissolved in ever-moving light, and this
Belongs to each and all who gaze upon.

The Witch beheld it not, for in her hand

She held a woof that dimmed the burning brand.


This lady never slept, but lay in trance
All night within the fountain—as in sleep.

Its emerald crags glowed in her beauty's glance; Through the green splendour of the water deep

She saw the constellations reel and dance
Like fire-flies—and withal did ever keep

The tenour of her contemplations calm,

With open eyes, closed feet and folded palm.


And when the whirlwinds and the clouds descended

From the white pinnacles of that cold hill, She passed at dewfall to a space extended,

Where in a lawn of flowering asphodel, Amid a wood of pines and cedars blended,

There yawned an inextinguishable well Of crimson fire—full even to the brim, And overflowing all the margin trim.


Within the which she lay when the fierce war Of wintry winds shook that innocuous liquor

In many a mimic moon and bearded star O'er woods and lawns ;—the serpent heard it flicker

In sleep, and dreaming still, he crept afar—

And when the windless snow descended thicker Than autumn leaves, she watched it as it came Melt on the surface of the level flame.


She had a Boat, which some say Vulcan wrought For Venus, as the chariot of her star;

But it was found too feeble to be fraught
With all the ardours in that sphere which

And so she sold it, and Apollo bought
And gave it to this daughter,—from a car

Changed to the fairest and the lightest boat

Which ever upon mortal stream did float.


And others say that, when but three hours old,

'The first-born Love out of his cradle leapt, And clove dun Chaos with his wings of gold,

And, like an horticultural adept, Stole a strange seed, and wrapped it up in mould,

And sowed it in his mother's star, and kept Watering it all the summer with sweet dew, And with his wings fanning it as it grew.


The plant grew strong and green, the snowy
Fell, and the long and gourd-like fruit began
To turn the light and dew by inward power
To its own substance; woven tracery ran,
Of light firm texture, ribbed and branching,
The solid rind, like a leaf's veined fan—

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