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"Who made this earth their charnel. Others, more

Humble, like falcons, sat upon the fist
Of common men, and round their heads did soar;

"Or, like small gnats and flies as thick as mist
On evening marshes, thronged about the brow
Of lawyer, statesman, priest, and theorist;—

"And others, like discoloured flakes of snow,

On fairest bosoms and the sunniest hair Fell, and were melted by the youthful glow

"Which they extinguished; and, like tears, they were A veil to those from whose faint lids they rained In drops of sorrow. I became aware

"Of whence those forms proceeded which thus stained

The track in which we moved. After brief space, From every form the beauty slowly waned;

"From every firmest limb and fairest face The strength and freshness fell like dust, and left The action and the shape without the grace

"Of life. The marble brow of youth was cleft

With care; and, in those eyes where once hope shone, Desire, like a lioness bereft

"Of her last cub, glared ere it died. Each one Of that great crowd sent forth incessantly These shadows, numerous as the dead leaves blown

"In autumn evening from a poplar tree.

Each like himself, and each like other, were At first. But some distorted seemed to be,—

"Obscure clouds moulded by the casual air; And of this stuff the car's creative ray Wrapped all the busy phantoms that were there,

"As the sun shapes the clouds. Thus on the way

Mask after mask fell from the countenance And form of all. And, long before the day

"Was old, the joy which waked like heaven's glance The sleepers in the oblivious valley died; And some grew weary of the ghastly dance,

"And fell, as I have fallen, by the way-side;—

Those soonest from whose forms most shadows passed,

And least of strength and beauty did abide.
"' Then, what is life?' I cried."—

P. 303.

And so his griff remainedlet it remainuntold. The author was pursuing a fuller development of the ideal character of Athanase when it struck him that, in an attempt at extreme refinement and analysis, his conceptions might be betrayed into the assuming a morbid character. The reader will judge whether he is a loser or gainer by this difference.




Sing, Muse, the son of Maia and of Jove,

The Herald-child, King of Arcadia
And all its pastoral hills, whom, in sweet love

Having been interwoven, modest May
Bore Heaven's dread Supreme. An antique grove

Shadowed the cavern where the lovers lay
In the deep night, unseen by Gods or men,
And white-armed Juno slumbered sweetly then.


Now, when the joy of Jove had its fulfilling,

And Heaven's tenth moon chronicled her relief,
She gave to light a babe all babes excelling,

A schemer subtle beyond all belief,
A shepherd of thin dreams, a cow-stealing,

A night-watching, and door-waylaying thief,
Who 'mongst the Gods was soon about to thieve,

And other glorious actions to achieve.

iII. The babe was born at the first peepof day;

He began playing on the lyre at noon; And the same evening did he steal away

Apollo's herds. The fourth day of the moon
On which him bore the venerable May,

From her immortal limbs he leaped full soon,
Nor long could in that sacred cradle keep,
But out to seek Apollo's herds would creep.


Out of the lofty cavern wandering,

He found a tortoise, and cried out " A treasure!" (For Mercury first made the tortoise sing).

The beast before the portal at his leisure
The flowery herbage was depasturing,

Moving his feet in a deliberate measure
Over the turf. Jove's profitable son
Eyeing him laughed, and laughing thus begun :—

'' A useful godsend are you to me now,

King of the dance, companion of the feast, Lovely in all your nature! Welcome, you

Excellent plaything! Where, sweet mountain beast, Got you that speckled shell? Thus much I know,

You must come home with me and be my guest;
You will give joy to me, and I will do
All that is in my power to honour you.

"Better to be at home than out of door,

So come with me; and, though it has been said That you alive defend from magic power,

I know you will sing sweetly when you're dead."
Thus having spoken, the quaint infant bore,

Lifting it from the grass on which it fed,
And grasping it in his delighted hold,
His treasured prize into the cavern old.


Then, scooping with a chisel of grey steel,
He bored the life and soul out of the beast.

Not swifter a swift thought of woe or weal
Darts through the tumult of a human breast

Which thronging cares annoy—not swifter wheel

The flashes of its torture and unrest Out of the dizzy eyes—than Maia's son All that he did devise hath featly done.


And through the tortoise's hard stony skin

At proper distances small holes he made;
And fastened the cut stems of reeds within;

And with a piece of leather overlaid
The open space; and fixed the cubits in,
Fitting the bridge to both; and stretched o'er all
Symphonious chords of sheep-gut rhythmical.


When he had wrought the lovely instrument,

He tried the chords, and made division meet, Preluding with the plectrum; and there went

Up from beneath his hand a tumult sweet
Of mighty sounds, and from his lips he sent

A strain of unpremeditated wit,
Joyous and wild and wanton—such you may
Hear among revellers on a holiday.

He sung how Jove and May of the bright sandal

Dallied in love not quite legitimate;
And his own birth, still scoffing at the scandal,

And naming his own name, did celebrate;
His mother's cave and servant-maids he planned all

In plastic verse, her household stuff and state,
Perennial pot, trippet, and brazen pan :—
But singing he conceived another plan.


Seized with a sudden fancy for fresh meat,

He in his sacred crib deposited
The hollow lyre, and from the caver n sweet

Rushed with great leaps up to the mountain's head,—
Revolving in his mind some subtle feat
Of thievish craft, such as a swindler might
Devise in the lone season of dun night.


Lo! the great Sun under the ocean's bed has
Driven steeps and chariots. The child meanwhile strode

O'er the Pierian mountains clothed in shadows,

Where the immortal oxen of the God
Are pastured in the flowering unmown meadows,

And safely stalled in a remote abode.
The archer Argicide, elate and proud,
Drove fifty from the herd, lowing aloud.


He drove them wandering o'er the sandy way;

But, being ever mindful of his craft, Backward and forward drove he them astray,

So that the tracks, which seemed before, were aft. His sandals then he threw to the ocean spray;

And for each foot he wrought a kind of raft
Of tamarisk, and tamarisk-like sprigs,
And bound them in a lump with withy twigs.


And on his feet he tied these sandals light,

The trail of whose wide leaves might not betray His track; and then, a self-sufficing wight,

Like a man hastening on some distant way, He from Pieria's mountain bent his flight. But an old man perceived the infant pass Down green Onchestus, heaped like beds with grass.

xv. The old man stood dressing his sunny vine.

"Halloo! old fellow with the crooked shoulder! You grub those stumps? Before they will bear wine

Methinks even you must grow a little older. Attend, I pray, to this advice of mine,

As you would 'scape what might appall a bolder—
Seeing, see not; and, hearing, hear not; and,
If you have understanding, understand."

So saying, Hermes roused the oxen vast.

O'er shadowy mountain, and resounding dell,
And flower-paven plains, great Hermes passed;

Till the black night divine, which favouring fell
Around his steps, grew grey, and morning fast

Wakened the world to work, and from her cell,
Sea-strewn, the Pallantean Moon sublime
Into her watch-tower just began to climb.

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