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Medicine for Melancholy

Cast: Wyatt Cenac, Tracey Heggins, Elizabeth Acker, Melissa Bisagni, DeMorge Brown

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I Saw It Myself (Short Verse Drama)

Dramatis Personae: Adrian, his wife Ester, his sisters Rebecca and Johanna, his mother Elizabeth, the high priest Chiapas, the disciple Simon Peter, the disciple John, Mary Magdalene, worshipers, priests, two angels and Jesus Christ.

Act I

Scene I.- Adrian’s house in Jerusalem. Adrian has just returned home after a business journey in Galilee, in time to attend the Passover feast. He sits at the table with his wife Ester and his sisters, Rebecca and Johanna. It’s just before sunset on the Friday afternoon.

Adrian. (Somewhat puzzled) Strange things are happening,
some say demons dwell upon the earth,
others angelic beings, miracles take place
and all of this when they had put a man to death,
had crucified a criminal. Everybody knows
the cross is used for degenerates only!

Rebecca. (With a pleasant voice) Such harsh words used,
for a good, a great man brother?
They say that without charge
he healed the sick, brought back sight,
cured leprosy, even made some more food,
from a few fishes and loafs of bread…

Adrian. (Somewhat harsh) They say many things!
That he rode into Jerusalem
to be crowned as the new king,
was a rebel against the state,
even claimed to be
the very Son of God,
now that is blasphemy
if there is no truth to it!

Johanna. I met him once.
He’s not the man
that you make him, brother.
There was a strange tranquilly to Him.
Some would say a divine presence,
while He spoke of love that is selfless,
visited the sick, the poor
and even the destitute, even harlots.

Adrian. (Looks up) There you have it!
Harlots! Tax collecting thieves!
A man is know by his friends,
or so they say and probably
there is some truth to it.

Ester. Husband, do not be so quick to judge.
I have seen Him myself, have seen
Roman soldiers marching Him to the hill
to take His life, with a angry crowd
following and mocking Him.

[...] Read more

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Buried Alive!

The air was thin as I breathed it in,
It scarcely filled my throat,
I thrashed about and I tried to shout
But all I could do was croak,
I couldn't move for the lid above
And the sides just hemmed me in,
When a tap-tap-tap beneath my back
Broke in on my nightmare dream.

'Elizabeth! Elizabeth! ' I croaked,
As the torment grew,
'Elizabeth! Elizabeth! Oh Lord,
Please Lord, not you! '
The sweat broke out on my fevered brow,
The terror grew within,
For hell was there in my bleak despair
As the rattle of death chimed in!

My wife then slapped me about the face,
'Wake up - it's only a dream! '
I filled my lungs with a rush of air,
And fought the desire to scream.
'And who's this woman, Elizabeth? '
She said in a sombre tone,
'If ever I thought I'd caught you out
You'd be coming on home, alone.'

I shook my head in confusion then,
'Not true! There's only you!
The dream is simply an awful scene
Night terrors put me through.'
'You'd better get to a Shrink, ' she said,
'I've had enough of this,
For every night it's the same, you fight
For a woman you seem to miss.'

I went to a Psych, with no result,
I went to a Naturopath,
I tried to sweat out the evil in
The salts of a cleansing bath,
I even sat in a séance, tried
To find if a spirit cared,
When the spirit of one, Elizabeth, said:
'Remember the love we shared! '

'I know of no Elizabeth! '
I said, with my conscience clear,
It's only a dream that returns to me
Whenever the stars appear! '
It pushed the planchette back and forth,

[...] Read more

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The Ballad Of Go-go Brown

If thats why they call him go-go brown
Hed say (? )
If thats why some people put him down
Hed say it costs his name as go-go brown
All the girls in town
Used to follow him around
Go-go brown
Go-go brown
All the boys would sing
Were gonna make this go-go king
Go-go brown
Go-go brown
Go-go brown is the smartest guy by far
A brand new girlfriend and a brand new car
The girls all thought that he was heaven-sent
one day this boy will be a president
All the church bells ring
When that go-go used to sing
Go-go brown
Go-go brown
Here the people say
hes gonna be someone someday
Go-go brown
Go-go brown
Then one day some bad men came to call
And go-go knew its time to take a fall
Hes been smoking since the age of ten
He took some crack, he sold some smack
And now hes in the pen
All the girls in town
Used to follow him around
Go-go brown
Go-go brown
All the boys would sing
Were gonna make this go-go king
Go-go brown
Go-go brown
He raised them all
Yes he do
He faced the wall
Yes he did
He stood tall
Yes he do
Who did he let down
Just one man thats go-go brown (? )
All the church bells ring
When that go-go used to sing
Go-go brown
Go-go brown
Here the people say

[...] Read more

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The Gathering of the Brown-Eyed

The brown eyes came from Asia, where all mystery is true,
Ere the masters of Soul Secrets dreamed of hazel, grey, and blue;
And the Brown Eyes came to Egypt, which is called the gypsies’ home,
And the Brown Eyes went from Egypt and Jerusalem to Rome.

There was strife amongst the Brown Eyes for the false things and the true;
There was war amongst the Brown Eyes for the old gods and the new;
But the old gods live for ever, and their goddesses are bright
In the temples of Old Passions with the Brown Eyes of the White.

The Brown Eyes east, by Africa, they saw and conquered Spain,
And the Brown Eyes marched as Christians till a Brown Eye met a Dane,
The Dane had Brown-Eyed children who in blue eyes took delight—
And a son of blue-eyed sailors, brown-eyed, reads the stars to-night.

Oh, Knowledge from Old Deserts, where the great stars rocked the world!
Oh, courage from grim seaboards, where the Viking ships were hurled!
The clear skin of the Norseman, and the desert strength and sight,
The power to fathom mankind, and the glorious gift to write!

We can look in souls of women, aye! and let them know we do;
We can fix the false eyes earthward; we can meet and match the true;
We can startle Voice from Silence, and from Darkness flash the Light—
And the eyes to fathom Asia are the Brown Eyes of the White.

There’s a legend in the nations that all Brown Eyes once were true,
But were taught in love and warfare by the sinful shades of blue;
There’s a story amongst sinners that all Brown Eyes once were kind,
Till the Steel-Blue struck the Red-Fire in a hatred that was blind.

But the Brown Eyes are the saddest at the death of Love and Truth.
And the Brown Eyes are the grandest and the dreamiest of Youth.
They have risen in rebellion unto leadership sublime—
And the grey-eyed queens of women loved, and love them for all time!

Brown Eyes never married Brown Eyes but unhappiness held sway,
For the real mates of the Brown Eyes have for ever been the grey.
But though Brown Eyes quarrel hotly, though their very souls be wrenched,
Never Blue-Eye wronged a Brown-Eye but the Brown-Eye was avenged!

Through the breadth of wide Australia, waiting desert-like and vast,
We have sent our Brown-Eyed children, who are multiplying fast.
Patriots, picture-writers, sages, fill the Brown-Eyed rolls to-night—
’Tis the gathering from all ages of the Brown-Eyed of the White.

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Sweet Bonnie Brown

Sweet bonnie brown, looking like a baby
Coming down all over me
She looked real good, like a real nice lady
Coming down all over me
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Oh, roll me over, like Im coming home
Well, she looked really like another ...
Coming down all over me
She looked real good, like a real low lady
Coming down all over me, yeah
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
She looked real good, like I know she would
Ive been loving mary-ann so long
Do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do
And every time I see her, you know, I go too long
Do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do
Well, I aint lying, baby, I aint crying
Ive been this way for a long, long time, wow, wow ...
Sweet bonnie brown, looking like a baby
Coming down all over me
She looked real good, just like a real low lady
Coming down all over me
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
She looked real good, like I know she would
Oh, wow, Im up on a pony, spending all my money
Dont you come on after me
Oh, she looked real good, just like a real low lady
Coming down all over me, oh
Sweet bonnie brown
Oh, sweet bonnie brown
Oh, sweet bonnie brown
She looked real good, like I know she would, oh, oh
Oh, Ive been loving mary-lou, but so long
Do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do
Everytime I know her I ....
Do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do
Well I like baby, I aint crying
Ive been this way for a long, long, long this time, oh
Wow, wow, oh, baby ...

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Sweet Bonnie Brown

Sweet bonnie brown, looking like a baby
Coming down all over me
She looked real good, like a real nice lady
Coming down all over me
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Oh, roll me over, like Im coming home
Well, she looked really like another ...
Coming down all over me
She looked real good, like a real low lady
Coming down all over me, yeah
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
She looked real good, like I know she would
Ive been loving mary-ann so long
Do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do
And every time I see her, you know, I go too long
Do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do
Well, I aint lying, baby, I aint crying
Ive been this way for a long, long time, wow, wow ...
Sweet bonnie brown, looking like a baby
Coming down all over me
She looked real good, just like a real low lady
Coming down all over me
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
Sweet bonnie brown (sweet bonnie brown)
She looked real good, like I know she would
Oh, wow, Im up on a pony, spending all my money
Dont you come on after me
Oh, she looked real good, just like a real low lady
Coming down all over me, oh
Sweet bonnie brown
Oh, sweet bonnie brown
Oh, sweet bonnie brown
She looked real good, like I know she would, oh, oh
Oh, Ive been loving mary-lou, but so long
Do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do
Everytime I know her I ....
Do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do
Well I like baby, I aint crying
Ive been this way for a long, long, long this time, oh
Wow, wow, oh, baby ...

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Elizabeth

_May 1, 1891_.

I.

Elizabeth! Elizabeth!
The first May-morning whispereth
Thy gentle name in every breeze
That lispeth through the young-leaved trees,
New raimented in white and green
Of bloom and leaf to crown thee queen;--
And, as in odorous chorus, all
The orchard-blossoms sweetly call
Even as a singing voice that saith
Elizabeth! Elizabeth!

II.

Elizabeth! Lo, lily-fair,
In deep, cool shadows of thy hair,
Thy face maintaineth its repose.--
Is it, O sister of the rose,
So better, sweeter, blooming thus
Than in this briery world with us?--
Where frost o'ertaketh, and the breath
Of biting winter harrieth
With sleeted rains and blighting snows
All fairest blooms--Elizabeth!

III.

Nay, then!--So reign, Elizabeth,
Crowned, in thy May-day realm of death!
Put forth the scepter of thy love
In every star-tipped blossom of
The grassy dais of thy throne!
Sadder are we, thus left alone,
But gladder they that thrill to see
Thy mother's rapture, greeting thee.
Bereaved are we by life--not death--
Elizabeth! Elizabeth!

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Swr For The Love Of Sir Walter Raleigh

Elizabeth intelligent forthright
courageous won passionate;
risk love of Sir Walter Raleigh
eleven years her senior at least?

Elizabeth fell in love soon pregnant
spicy summer love won two heart’s;
without permission a marriage secret
birth to love baby boy Damerei born.

Elizabeth immediately returned
to royal court child named;
for claimed Sir Walter's ancestors
child of cursed plague died;

aged but babe six months
marriage ruin discovered;
in May 1592 ruinously was
reaped rage consequences.

Queen required her royal ladies
-in-waiting to get her permission;
to marry had Raleigh arrested
immediately jailed imprisoned;

in infamous Tower of London
Elizabeth expelled from court;
was also in tower imprisoned
Elizabeth obtained disfavoured;

quarters near her husband
at Tower where their child;
probably cell plagued died
to broken hearted distress.

Queen love couple expected
to sue for her royal pardon;
but both grief mourn refused
Raleigh disgrace fell five years.

Twas prize Spanish gold allowed
Raleigh bold release from prison;
to divide spoils from won captured
Spanish ship taken Madre de Dios.

During Raleigh's later absences
in search of El Dorado legends;
gold subsequent imprisonments
Elizabeth managed his business.

[...] Read more

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Brown Skin

Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin
I cant tell where yours begins, I cant tell where mine ends
Brown skin, up against my brown skin
Need some every now and thenoh hey
Where are your people from? maybe mississippi or an island
Apparently your skin has been kissed by the sun
You make me want a hersheys kiss, your licorice
Every time I see your lips, it makes me think of honey-coated chocolate
Your kisses are worth more than gold to me
Ill be your almond joy, youll be my sugar daddy
Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin
I cant tell where yours begins, I cant tell where mine ends
Brown skin, up against my brown skin
Need some every now and thenoh hey
Every time you come around, something magnetic pulls me and I cant get out
Disoriented, I cant tell my up from down
All I know is that I wanna lay you down
Every time I let you in, abracadabra magic happens as we swim
Higher and higher finally we reach heaven
Come back to earth and then we do it all again
Yeah..
Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin
I cant tell where yours begins, I cant tell where mine ends
Brown skin, up against my brown skin
Need some every now and thenoh hey
Skin so brown, lips so round
Baby how can I be down?
Beautiful mahogany, you make me feel like a queen
Tell me whats that thing you do that makes me wanna get next to you, yeah
Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin
I cant tell where yours begins, I cant tell where mine ends
Brown skin, up against my brown skin
Need some every now and thenoh hey
Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin
I cant tell where yours begins, I cant tell where mine ends
Brown skin, up against my brown skin
Need some every now and thenoh hey

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The Princess (part 2)

At break of day the College Portress came:
She brought us Academic silks, in hue
The lilac, with a silken hood to each,
And zoned with gold; and now when these were on,
And we as rich as moths from dusk cocoons,
She, curtseying her obeisance, let us know
The Princess Ida waited: out we paced,
I first, and following through the porch that sang
All round with laurel, issued in a court
Compact of lucid marbles, bossed with lengths
Of classic frieze, with ample awnings gay
Betwixt the pillars, and with great urns of flowers.
The Muses and the Graces, grouped in threes,
Enringed a billowing fountain in the midst;
And here and there on lattice edges lay
Or book or lute; but hastily we past,
And up a flight of stairs into the hall.

There at a board by tome and paper sat,
With two tame leopards couched beside her throne,
All beauty compassed in a female form,
The Princess; liker to the inhabitant
Of some clear planet close upon the Sun,
Than our man's earth; such eyes were in her head,
And so much grace and power, breathing down
From over her arched brows, with every turn
Lived through her to the tips of her long hands,
And to her feet. She rose her height, and said:

'We give you welcome: not without redound
Of use and glory to yourselves ye come,
The first-fruits of the stranger: aftertime,
And that full voice which circles round the grave,
Will rank you nobly, mingled up with me.
What! are the ladies of your land so tall?'
'We of the court' said Cyril. 'From the court'
She answered, 'then ye know the Prince?' and he:
'The climax of his age! as though there were
One rose in all the world, your Highness that,
He worships your ideal:' she replied:
'We scarcely thought in our own hall to hear
This barren verbiage, current among men,
Light coin, the tinsel clink of compliment.
Your flight from out your bookless wilds would seem
As arguing love of knowledge and of power;
Your language proves you still the child. Indeed,
We dream not of him: when we set our hand
To this great work, we purposed with ourself
Never to wed. You likewise will do well,
Ladies, in entering here, to cast and fling

[...] Read more

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Elizabeth, I Love You

Written and composed by michael jackson
Welcome to hollywood
Thats what they told you
A child star in hollywood
Thats what they sold you
Grace with beauty, charme and talent
You would do what you were told
But they robbed you of childhood
Took your youth and sold it for gold
[chorus]
Elizabeth, I love you
Youre every star that shines in the world to me
Elizabeth cant you see that its true
Elizabeth, I love you
Youre more than just a star to me
Lovely elizabeth
You have surpassed them all
My friend elizabeth
Learned to outlast them all
Many started back when you did
Lost their way and now theyre gone
But look at you, a true survivor
Full of life and carrying on
This is your life
You seem to have it all
You reached your peak
They wanted you to fall
Its very sad, this world can be so bad
But though all the heartaches
When they put you down
You know you were the victor
And you earned the crown
Its like walking through the fire
Determinded to win
You were beating lifes battles
Again and again
Elizabeth, I love you
Youre every star that shines in the world to me
Elizabeth cant you see that its true
Remember the time I was alone
You stood by my side and said:
Lets be strong
You did all these tings
That only a true friend can do
Elizabeth, I love you
The world knows your work now
I pray one day Ill be just like... you.

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Melissa (live)

Melissa" is an Allman Brothers Band song from 1972. A live IG
version appears on "Shades of Indigo."
Melissa.
Crossroads seem to come and go
The gypsy flies from coast to coast
Knowing many, loving none
Bearing sorrow, having fun
But back home he'll always run
To sweet Melissa.
Freight train, each car looks the same - all the same
No one knows the gypsy's name
No one hears his lonely sighs
There are no blankets where he lies
In all his deepest dreams the gypsy flies
With sweet Melissa.
Again the morning's come
Again he's on the run
Sunbeams shining through his hair
Appearing not to have a care
Pick up your gear, and, gypsy, roll on, roll on
Crossroads, will you ever let him go?
Will you hide the dead man's ghost?
Will he lie beneath the clay?
Will his spirit float away?
But I know that he won't stay
Without Melissa
Yes, I know that he won't stay
Without Melissa

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Orlando Furioso Canto 3

ARGUMENT
Restored to sense, the beauteous Bradamant
Finds sage Melissa in the vaulted tomb,
And hears from her of many a famous plant
And warrior, who shall issue from her womb.
Next, to release Rogero from the haunt
Of old Atlantes, learns how from the groom,
Brunello hight, his virtuous ring to take;
And thus the knight's and others' fetters break.


I
Who will vouchsafe me voice that shall ascend
As high as I would raise my noble theme?
Who will afford befitting words, and lend
Wings to my verse, to soar the pitch I scheme?
Since fiercer fire for such illustrious end,
Than what was wont, may well my song beseem.
For this fair portion to my lord is due
Which sings the sires from whom his lineage grew.

II
Than whose fair line, 'mid those by heavenly grace
Chosen to minister this earth below,
You see not, Phoebus, in your daily race,
One that in peace or war doth fairer show;
Nor lineage that hath longer kept its place;
And still shall keep it, if the lights which glow
Within me, but aright inspire my soul,
While the blue heaven shall turn about the pole.

III
But should I seek at full its worth to blaze,
Not mine were needful, but that noble lyre
Which sounded at your touch the thunderer's praise,
What time the giants sank in penal fire.
Yet should you instruments, more fit to raise
The votive work, bestow, as I desire,
All labour and all thought will I combine,
To shape and shadow forth the great design.

IV
Till when, this chisel may suffice to scale
The stone, and give my lines a right direction;
And haply future study may avail,
To bring the stubborn labour to perfection.
Return we now to him, to whom the mail
Of hawberk, shield, and helm, were small protection:
I speak of Pinabel the Maganzeze,
Who hopes the damsel's death, whose fall he sees.

[...] Read more

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Oh! Lisa With These Lovely Eyes

Lisa with the dark brown eyes
So please tell my soul to sympathize,
We shall cry forever in overcast skies
Lisa with the dark brown eyes,

Lisa with the dark brown eyes
Heartbroken heart spoken, not taken back
To change a mind so is lifes dream
Lisa with the dark brown eyed

Lisa with the dark brown eyes
That blends your butter scotch face insight
Smiles which brings sparkles to my mind
Lisa with the dark brown eyes

Lisa with the dark brown eyes
Many pre thoughts of your strays hypnotize
French, African, English culture dies
Lisa with the dark brown eyes

Lisa with the dark brown eyes
She dabbles her life in fiction trash
her soul with curious follies
Lisa with the dark brown eyes

Lisa with the dark brown eyes
Loneliness, has come far a sad. sad day
Emptiness in your mind and heart pay
Lisa with the dark brown eyes

Lisa with the dark, dark, brown eyes
You walk the world in beauty forgotten
They speak about you something forbidden
Lisa with the dark, dark, brown eyes

Lisa with the dark, dark, brown eyes
Your body your mind so whole same so
Your gave birth and I wish I could understand, understand
Lisa with the dark dark raven eyes

Lisa with the dark dark brown eyes
Curiosity is so special time flies, my sighs
Persuaded a fool to be wise, so wise how wise
Lisa with the dark dark brown eyes.

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What Smith Knew About Farming

There wasn't two purtier farms in the state
Than the couple of which I'm about to relate;--
Jinin' each other--belongin' to Brown,
And jest at the edge of a flourishin' town.
Brown was a man, as I understand,
That allus had handled a good 'eal o' land,
And was sharp as a tack in drivin' a trade--
For that's the way most of his money was made.
And all the grounds and the orchards about
His two pet farms was all tricked out
With poppies and posies
And sweet-smellin' rosies;
And hundreds o' kinds
Of all sorts o' vines,
To tickle the most horticultural minds
And little dwarf trees not as thick as your wrist
With ripe apples on 'em as big as your fist:
And peaches,--Siberian crabs and pears,
And quinces--Well! ANY fruit ANY tree bears;
And th purtiest stream--jest a-swimmin' with fish,
And--JEST O'MOST EVERYTHING HEART COULD WISH!
The purtiest orch'rds--I wish you could see
How purty they was, fer I know it 'ud be
A regular treat!--but I'll go ahead with
My story! A man by the name o' Smith--
(A bad name to rhyme,
But I reckon that I'm
Not goin' back on a Smith! nary time!)
'At hadn't a soul of kin nor kith,
And more money than he knowed what to do with,--
So he comes a-ridin' along one day,
And HE says to Brown, in his offhand way--
Who was trainin' some newfangled vines round a bay-
Winder--'Howdy-do--look-a-here--say:
W hat'll you take fer this property here?--
I'm talkin' o' leavin' the city this year,
And I want to be
Where the air is free,
And I'll BUY this place, if it ain't too dear!'--
Well--they grumbled and jawed aroun'--
'I don't like to part with the place,' says Brown;
'Well,' says Smith, a-jerkin' his head,
'That house yonder--bricks painted red--
Jest like this'n--a PURTIER VIEW--
Who is it owns it?' 'That's mine too,'
Says Brown, as he winked at a hole in his shoe,
'But I'll tell you right here jest what I KIN do:--
If you'll pay the figgers I'll sell IT to you.,'
Smith went over and looked at the place--
Badgered with Brown, and argied the case--

[...] Read more

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The Princess (part 3)

Morn in the wake of the morning star
Came furrowing all the orient into gold.
We rose, and each by other drest with care
Descended to the court that lay three parts
In shadow, but the Muses' heads were touched
Above the darkness from their native East.

There while we stood beside the fount, and watched
Or seemed to watch the dancing bubble, approached
Melissa, tinged with wan from lack of sleep,
Or grief, and glowing round her dewy eyes
The circled Iris of a night of tears;
'And fly,' she cried, 'O fly, while yet you may!
My mother knows:' and when I asked her 'how,'
'My fault' she wept 'my fault! and yet not mine;
Yet mine in part. O hear me, pardon me.
My mother, 'tis her wont from night to night
To rail at Lady Psyche and her side.
She says the Princess should have been the Head,
Herself and Lady Psyche the two arms;
And so it was agreed when first they came;
But Lady Psyche was the right hand now,
And the left, or not, or seldom used;
Hers more than half the students, all the love.
And so last night she fell to canvass you:
~Her~ countrywomen! she did not envy her.
"Who ever saw such wild barbarians?
Girls?--more like men!" and at these words the snake,
My secret, seemed to stir within my breast;
And oh, Sirs, could I help it, but my cheek
Began to burn and burn, and her lynx eye
To fix and make me hotter, till she laughed:
"O marvellously modest maiden, you!
Men! girls, like men! why, if they had been men
You need not set your thoughts in rubric thus
For wholesale comment." Pardon, I am shamed
That I must needs repeat for my excuse
What looks so little graceful: "men" (for still
My mother went revolving on the word)
"And so they are,--very like men indeed--
And with that woman closeted for hours!"
Then came these dreadful words out one by one,
"Why--these--~are~--men:" I shuddered: "and you know it."
"O ask me nothing," I said: "And she knows too,
And she conceals it." So my mother clutched
The truth at once, but with no word from me;
And now thus early risen she goes to inform
The Princess: Lady Psyche will be crushed;
But you may yet be saved, and therefore fly;
But heal me with your pardon ere you go.'

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The Princess (part 4)

'There sinks the nebulous star we call the Sun,
If that hypothesis of theirs be sound'
Said Ida; 'let us down and rest;' and we
Down from the lean and wrinkled precipices,
By every coppice-feathered chasm and cleft,
Dropt through the ambrosial gloom to where below
No bigger than a glow-worm shone the tent
Lamp-lit from the inner. Once she leaned on me,
Descending; once or twice she lent her hand,
And blissful palpitations in the blood,
Stirring a sudden transport rose and fell.

But when we planted level feet, and dipt
Beneath the satin dome and entered in,
There leaning deep in broidered down we sank
Our elbows: on a tripod in the midst
A fragrant flame rose, and before us glowed
Fruit, blossom, viand, amber wine, and gold.

Then she, 'Let some one sing to us: lightlier move
The minutes fledged with music:' and a maid,
Of those beside her, smote her harp, and sang.


'Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

'Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

'Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

'Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.'


She ended with such passion that the tear,

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Orlando Furioso canto 13

ARGUMENT
The Count Orlando of the damsel bland
Who loves Zerbino, hears the piteous woes.
Next puts to death the felons with his hand
Who pent her there. Duke Aymon's daughter goes,
Seeking Rogero, where so large a band
The old Atlantes' magic walls enclose.
Her he impounds, deceived by fictions new.
Agramant ranks his army for review.

I
Those ancient cavaliers right happy were,
Born in an age, when, in the gloomy wood,
In valley, and in cave, wherein the bear,
Serpent, or lion, hid their savage brood,
They could find that, which now in palace rare
Is hardly found by judges proved and good;
Women, to wit, who in their freshest days
Of beauty worthily deserve the praise.

II
Above I told you how a gentle maid
Orlando had discovered under ground,
And asked, by whom she thither was conveyed?
Pursuing now my tale, I tell, how drowned
In grief (her speech by many a sob delayed),
The damsel fair, in sweet and softest sound,
Summing them with what brevity she might,
Her ills recounted to Anglantes' knight.

III
'Though I am sure,' she said, 'O cavalier,
To suffer punishment for what I say;
Because I know, to him who pens me here,
This woman quickly will the fact display;
I would not but thou shouldst the story hear.
- And let my wretched life the forfeit pay!
For what can wait me better than that he,
My gaoler, should one day my death decree?

IV
'Lo! I am Isabel, who once was styled
The daughter of Gallicia's hapless king:
I said aright who was; but now the child
(No longer his) of care and suffering:
The fault of Love, by whom I was beguiled;
For against him alone this charge I bring.
Who sweetly, at the first, our wish applauds,
And weaves in secret but deceit and frauds.

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Orlando Furioso Canto 7

ARGUMENT
Rogero, as directed by the pair,
The giantess Eriphila o'erthrows.
That done, he to Alcina's labyrinth, where
More than one knight is tied and prisoned, goes.
To him Melissa sage the secret snare,
And remedy for that grave evil shows.
Whence he, by her advised, with downcast eye,
And full of shame forthwith resolves to fly.

I
The traveller, he, whom sea or mountain sunder
From his own country, sees things strange and new;
That the misjudging vulgar, which lies under
The mist of ignorance, esteems untrue:
Rejecting whatsoever is a wonder,
Unless 'tis palpable and plain to view:
Hence inexperience, as I know full well,
Will yield small credence to the tale I tell.

II
But this be great or small, I know not why
The rabble's silly judgement I should fear,
Convinced you will not think the tale a lie,
In whom the light of reason shines so clear.
And hence to you it is I only try
The fruit of my fatigues to render dear.
I ended where Eriphila in guard
Of bridge and stream was seen, the passage barred.

III
Of finest metal was her armour bright,
With gems of many colours overspread,
The tawny jacinth, yellow chyrsolite,
The emerald green of hue, and ruby red.
Mounted, but not on palfrey, for the fight:
In place of that, she on a wolf had sped,
Sped on a wolf towards the pass; and rode
On sell, that rich beyond all custom showed.

IV
No larger wolf, I ween, Apulia roams;
More huge than bull, unguided by her hand;
Although upon no bit the monster foams,
Docile, I know not why, to her command.
The accursed Plague, arrayed in surcoat, comes
Above her arms, in colour like the sand;
That, saving in its dye, was of the sort
Which bishops and which prelates wear at court.

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Orlando Furioso Canto 8

ARGUMENT
Rogero flies; Astolpho with the rest,
To their true shape Melissa does restore;
Rinaldo levies knights and squadrons, pressed
In aid of Charles assaulted by the Moor:
Angelica, by ruffians found at rest,
Is offered to a monster on the shore.
Orlando, warned in visions of his ill,
Departs from Paris sore against his will.

I
How many enchantresses among us! oh,
How many enchanters are there, though unknown!
Who for their love make man or woman glow,
Changing them into figures not their own.
Nor this by help of spirits from below,
Nor observation of the stars is done:
But these on hearts with fraud and falsehood plot,
Binding them with indissoluble knot.

II
Who with Angelica's, or rather who
Were fortified with Reason's ring, would see
Each countenance, exposed to open view,
Unchanged by art or by hypocrisy.
This now seems fair and good, whose borrowed hue
Removed, would haply foul and evil be.
Well was it for Rogero that he wore
The virtuous ring which served the truth to explore!

III
Rogero, still dissembling, as I said,
Armed, to the gate on Rabican did ride;
Found the guard unprepared, not let his blade,
Amid that crowd, hang idle at his side:
He passed the bridge, and broke the palisade,
Some slain, some maimed; then t'wards the forest hied;
But on that road small space had measured yet,
When he a servant of the fairy met.

IV
He on his fist a ravening falcon bore,
Which he made fly for pastime every day;
Now on the champaign, now upon the shore
Of neighbouring pool, which teemed with certain prey;
And rode a hack which simple housings wore,
His faithful dog, companion of his way.
He, marking well the haste with which he hies,
Conjectures truly what Rogero flies.

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