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ARETHUSA.

I.

5

ARETHUSA arose

From her couch of snows
In the Acroceraunian mountains,

From cloud and from crag,

With many a jag, Shepherding her bright fountains.

She leapt down the rocks,

With her rainbow locks Streaming among the streams;

Her steps paved with green

The downward ravine
Which slopes to the western gleams:

And gliding and springing

She went, ever singing, In murmurs as soft as sleep;

The Earth seemed to love her,

And Heaven smiled above her, As she lingered towards the deep.

IO

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II.

20

Then Alpheus bold,

On his glacier cold,
With his trident the mountains strook

And opened a chasm
In the rocks;

with the spasm All Erymanthus shook.

And the black south wind

It concealed behind
The urns of the silent snow,

And earthquake and thunder
Did rend in sunder

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Oh, save me! Oh, guide me !

And bid the deep hide me,
For he grasps me now by the hair !”

The loud Ocean heard,

To its blue depth stirred, And divided at her prayer ;

And under the water

The Earth's white daughter Fled like a sunny beam;

Behind her descended

Her billows, unblended
With the brackish Dorian stream:

Like a gloomy stain

On the emerald main Alpheus rushed behind,

As an eagle pursuing

A dove to its ruin
Down the streams of the cloudy winder

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IV.

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Under the bowers

Where the Ocean Powers
Sit on their pearlèd thrones,

Through the coral woods
Of the weltering floods,

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Over heaps of unvalued stones;

Through the dim beams

Which amid the streams
Weave a net-work of coloured light;

And under the caves,

Where the shadowy waves Are as green as the forest's night :

Outspeeding the shark

And the sword-fish dark, Under the ocean foam,

And up through the rifts

Of the mountain clifts
They passed to their Dorian home.

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V.

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And now from their fountains

In Enna's mountains,
Down one vale where the morning basks,

Like friends once parted

Grown single-hearted, They ply their watery tasks.

At sunrise they leap

From their cradles steep
In the cave of the shelving hill;

At noon-tide they flow

Through the woods below And the meadows of Asphodel;

And at night they sleep

In the rocking deep Beneath the Ortygian shore;

Like spirits that lie

In the azure sky
When they love but live no more.

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I DREAMED that, as I wandered by the way,

Bare winter suddenly was changed to spring, And gentle odours led my steps astray,

Mixed with a sound of waters murmuring Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay

Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling Its green arms round the bosom of the stream, But kissed it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream.

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II.

10

There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,

Daisies, those pearled Arcturi of the earth, The constellated flower that never sets ;

Faint oxlips ; tender bluebells, at whose birth The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets

(Like a child, half in tenderness and mirth)

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Its mother's face with heaven's collected tears,
When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears.

III.

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And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine,

Green cowbind and the moonlight-coloured May, And cherry-blossoms, and white cups, whose wine

Was the bright dew, yet drained not by the day; And wild roses, and ivy serpentine,

With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray;
And flowers azure, black, and streaked with gold,
Fairer than

any
wakened

eyes

behold.

IV.

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And nearer to the river's trembling edge
There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prankt with

white,
And starry river-buds among the sedge,

And floating water-lilies, broad and bright,
Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge

With moonlight beams of their own watery light;
And bulrushes and reeds of such deep green
As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.

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V.

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Methought that of these visionary flowers

I made a nosegay, bound in such a way
That the same hues, which in their natural bowers

Were mingled or opposed, the like array
Kept these imprisoned children of the Hours

Within my hand, — and then, elate and gay,
I hastened to the spot whence I had come,
That I might there present it! — oh! to whom ?

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