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LXVI.

She all those human figures breathing there

Beheld as living spirits—to her eyes The naked beauty of the soul lay bare,

And often through a rude and worn disguise She saw the inner form most bright and fair

And then she had a charm of strange device, Which, murmured on mute lips with tender tone, Could make that spirit mingle with her own,

LXVII. Alas! Aurora, what wouldst thou have given

For such a charm when Tithon became grey ? Or how much, Venus, of thy silver Heaven

Wouldst thou have yielded, ere Proserpina Had half (oh! why not all ?) the debt forgiven

Which dear Adonis had been doomed to pay, To any witch who would have taught you it ? The Heliad doth not know its value yet.

LXVIII. 'Tis said in after times her spirit free

Knew what love was, and felt itself aloneBut holy Dian could not chaster be,

Before she stooped to kiss Endymion, Than now this lady-like a sexless bee

Tasting all blossoms, and confined to none, Among those mortal forms, the wizard-maiden Passed with an eye serene and heart unladen.

LXIX.
To those she saw most beautiful, she gave

Strange panacea in a crystal bowl:-
They drank in their deep sleep of that sweet

wave, And lived thenceforward as if some control,

Mightier than life, were in them; and the grave

Of such, when death oppressed the weary soul, Was as a green and overarching bower Lit by the gems of many a starry flower.

LXX. For on the night when they were buried, she

Restored the embalmers' ruining, and shook The light out of the funeral lamps, to be

A mimic day within that deathy nook; And she unwound the woven imagery Of second childhood's swaddling bands, and

took The coffin, its last cradle, from its niche, And threw it with contempt into a ditch.

LXXI. And there the body lay, age after age, Mute, breathing, beating, warm and unde

caying, Like one asleep in a green hermitage,

With gentle smiles about its eyelids playing, And living in its dreams beyond the rage

Of death or life; while they were still arraying In liveries ever new the rapid, blind And fleeting generations of mankind.

LXXII, And she would write strange dreams upon the

brain Of those who were less beautiful, and make All harsh and crooked purposes more vain

Than in the desert is the serpent's wake Which the sand covers,—all his evil gain The miser in such dreams would rise and

shake Into a beggar's lap ;—the lying scribe Would his own lies betray without a bribe.

LXXIII.
The priests would write an explanation full,

Translating hieroglyphics into Greek,
How the god Apis really was a bull,

And nothing more; and bid the herald stick The same against the temple doors, and pull

The old cant down; they licensed all to speak Whate'er they thought of hawks, and cats, and

geese,

By pastoral letters to each diocese.

LXXIV. The king would dress an ape up in his crown

And robes, and seat him on his glorious seat, And on the right hand of the sunlike throne

Would place a gaudy mock-bird to repeat The chatterings of the monkey.-Every one

Of the prone courtiers crawled to kiss the feet Of their great Emperor, when the morning came, And kissed-alas, how many kiss the same!

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The soldiers dreamed that they were black

smiths, and Walked out of quarters in somnambulism; Round the red anvils you might see them stand

Like Cyclopses in Vulcan's sooty abysm, Beating their swords to ploughshares ;—in a

band The gaolers sent those of the liberal schism Free through the streets of Memphis, much, I

wis To the annoyance of king Amasis.

LXXVI.
And timid lovers who had been so coy

They hardly knew whether they loved or not

Would rise out of their rest, and take sweet joy,

To the fulfilment of their inmost thought; And when next day the maiden and the boy

Met one another, both, like sinners caught, Blushed at the thing which each believed was

done Only in fancy_till the tenth moon shone ;

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And then the Witch would let them take no ill:

Of many thousand schemes which lovers find, The Witch found one,-and so they took their

fill

Of happiness in marriage warm and kind. Friends who, by practice of some envious skill, Were torn apart,-a wide wound, mind from

mind !She did unite again with visions clear Of deep affection and of truth sincere.

LXXVIII. These were the pranks she played among the

cities Of mortal men, and what she did to sprites And Gods, entangling them in her sweet ditties

To do her will, and show their subtle slights, I will declare another time; for it is

A tale more fit for the weird winter nights, Than for these garish summer days, when we Scarcely believe much more than we can see.

FRAGMENTS OF AN UNFINISHED

DRAMA."

SCENE, before the Cavern of the Indian Enchantress. The ENCHANTRESS comes forth.

ENCHANTRESS.
He came like a dream in the dawn of life,

He fled like a shadow before its noon;
He is gone, and my peace is turned to strife,
And I wander and wane like the weary moon.

O sweet Echo, wake,

And for my sake Make answer the while my heart shall break!

i Mrs. Shelley records that the unfinished drama of which these are the fragments was undertaken for the amusement of their Pisa intimates of 1822. Trelawny's adventures, afterwards published to the world in his book, The Adventures of a Younger Son, must be reckoned among the sources of suggestion. The scheme of the drama is thus described by Mrs. Shelley :-“An Enchantress, living in one of the islands of the Indian Archipelago, saves the life of a Pirate, a man of savage but noble nature. She becomes enamoured of him ; and he, inconstant to his mortal love, for a while returns her passion : but at length, recalling the memory of her whom he left, and who laments his loss, he escapes from the enchanted island, and returns to his lady. His mode of life makes him again go to sea ; and the Enchantress seizes the opportunity to bring him, by a spiritbrewed tempest, back to her island." The first 27

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