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Fade Away

Let me Fade
But not stray
From the gains I made
Let not those dreams away
Just make me live
to live for other days
keep my hope and dreams alive
thus so doing, let me strive

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The Dream

It was the morning; through the shutters closed,
Along the balcony, the earliest rays
Of sunlight my dark room were entering;
When, at the time that sleep upon our eyes
Its softest and most grateful shadows casts,
There stood beside me, looking in my face,
The image dear of her, who taught me first
To love, then left me to lament her loss.
To me she seemed not dead, but sad, with such
A countenance as the unhappy wear.
Her right hand near my head she sighing placed;
'Dost thou still live,' she said to me, 'and dost
Thou still remember what we _were_ and are?'
And I replied: 'Whence comest thou, and how,
Beloved and beautiful? Oh how, how I
Have grieved, still grieve for thee! Nor did I think
Thou e'er couldst know it more; and oh, that thought
My sorrow rendered more disconsolate!
But art thou now again to leave me?
I fear so. Say, what hath befallen thee?
Art thou the same? What preys upon thee thus?'
'Oblivion weighs upon thy thoughts, and sleep
Envelops them,' she answered; 'I am dead,
And many months have passed, since last we met.'
What grief oppressed me, as these words I heard!
And she continued: 'In the flower of youth
Cut off, when life is sweetest, and before
The heart that lesson sad and sure hath learnt,
The utter vanity of human hope!
The sick man may e'en covet, as a boon,
That which withdraws him from all suffering;
But to the young, Death comes, disconsolate;
And hard the fate of hope, that in the grave
Is quenched! And yet, how vain that knowledge is,
That Nature from the inexperienced hides!
And a blind sorrow is to be preferred
To wisdom premature!'--'Hush, hush!' I cried,
'Unhappy one, and dear! My heart is crushed
With these thy words! And art thou dead, indeed,
O my beloved? and am I still alive?
And was it, then, in heaven decreed, that this,
Thy tender body the last damps of death
Should feel, and my poor, wretched frame remain
Unharmed? Oh, often, often as I think
That thou no longer livest, and that I
Shall never see thee on the earth again,
Incredible it seems! Alas, alas!
What _is_ this thing, that they call death? Oh, would
That I, this day, the mystery could solve,
And my defenceless head withdraw from Fate's
Relentless hate! I still am young, and still
Feel all the blight and misery of age,
Which I so dread; and distant far it seems;
But, ah, how little different from age,
The flower of my years!'--'We both were born,'
She said, 'to weep; unhappy were our lives,
And heaven took pleasure in our sufferings.'
'Oh if my eyes with tears,' I added, 'then,
My face with pallor veiled thou seest, for loss
Of thee, and anguish weighing on my heart;
Tell me, was any spark of pity or of love
For the poor lover kindled in thy heart,
While thou didst live? I, then, between my hope
And my despair, passed weary nights and days;
And now, my mind is with vain doubts oppressed.
Oh if but once compassion smote thee for
My darkened life, conceal it not from me,
I pray thee; let the memory console me,
Since of their future our young days were robbed!'
And she: 'Be comforted, unhappy one!
I was not churlish of my pity whilst
I lived, and am not now, myself so wretched!
Oh, do not chide this most unhappy child!'
'By all our sufferings, and by the love
Which preys upon me,' I exclaimed, 'and by
Our youth, and by the hope that faded from
Our lives, O let me, dearest, touch thy hand!'
And sweetly, sadly, she extended it.
And while I covered it with kisses, while
With sorrow and with rapture quivering,
I to my panting bosom fondly pressed it,
With fervent passion glowed my face and breast,
My trembling voice refused its utterance,
And all things swam before my sight; when she,
Her eyes fixed tenderly on mine, replied:
'And dost thou, then, forget, dear friend, that I
Am of my beauty utterly deprived?
And vainly thou, unhappy one, dost yield
To passion's transports. Now, a last farewell!
Our wretched minds, our feeble bodies, too,
Eternally are parted. Thou to me
No longer livest, nevermore shall live.
Fate hath annulled the faith that thou hast sworn.'
Then, in my anguish as I seemed to cry
Aloud, convulsed, my eyes o'erflowing with
The tears of utter, helpless misery,
I started from my sleep. The image still
Was seen, and in the sun's uncertain light
Above my couch she seemed to linger still.

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Jumping To The Other Side Of The Fence

i always love the thought of jumping
to the other side of the fence
where the grass is greener
and the air is fresher

my heart beats for all the excitement
when i will be there
on the other side with you

i ask if you will walk beside me
when i am there finally
but you did not say a word

i know i am not welcome
but i still dream of going there
for other possibilities of loving
and be loved without any condition

at all, not necessarily you,
i am a fast learner, you know.

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140

jumping to the other side of the fence

i always love the thought of jumping
to the other side of the fence
where the grass is greener
and the air is fresher

my heart beats for all the excitement
when i will be there
on the other side with you

i ask if you will walk beside me
when i am there finally
but you did not say a word

i know i am not welcome
but i still dream of going there
for other possibilities of loving
and be loved without any condition

at all, not necessarily you,
i am a fast learner, you know.

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Let Not

let not the tears in your eyes
be of my death my love ones
but of words left unsaid
stuff left undone
and love left unportraied

let not those simple i love you's
go to waste cause life is short
and allow not the brewing war
to put a damp on your smile
but may it spark a revolution
for a growing civilization

let not the scars on the body
be the wounds on your heart
for it what hurt the soul we should
worry about as the pysical wound
heal with time as the mental scars
last a life time

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The Aeneid of Virgil: Book 2

ALL were attentive to the godlike man,
When from his lofty couch he thus began:
“Great queen, what you command me to relate
Renews the sad remembrance of our fate:
An empire from its old foundations rent, 5
And ev’ry woe the Trojans underwent;
A peopled city made a desart place;
All that I saw, and part of which I was:
Not ev’n the hardest of our foes could hear,
Nor stern Ulysses tell without a tear. 10
And now the latter watch of wasting night,
And setting stars, to kindly rest invite;
But, since you take such int’rest in our woe,
And Troy’s disastrous end desire to know,
I will restrain my tears, and briefly tell 15
What in our last and fatal night befell.
“By destiny compell’d, and in despair,
The Greeks grew weary of the tedious war,
And by Minerva’s aid a fabric rear’d,
Which like a steed of monstrous height appear’d: 20
The sides were plank’d with pine; they feign’d it made
For their return, and this the vow they paid.
Thus they pretend, but in the hollow side
Selected numbers of their soldiers hide:
With inward arms the dire machine they load, 25
And iron bowels stuff the dark abode.
In sight of Troy lies Tenedos, an isle
(While Fortune did on Priam’s empire smile)
Renown’d for wealth; but, since, a faithless bay,
Where ships expos’d to wind and weather lay. 30
There was their fleet conceal’d. We thought, for Greece
Their sails were hoisted, and our fears release.
The Trojans, coop’d within their walls so long,
Unbar their gates, and issue in a throng,
Like swarming bees, and with delight survey 35
The camp deserted, where the Grecians lay:
The quarters of the sev’ral chiefs they show’d;
Here Phœnix, here Achilles, made abode;
Here join’d the battles; there the navy rode.
Part on the pile their wond’ring eyes employ: 40
The pile by Pallas rais’d to ruin Troy.
Thymoetes first (’t is doubtful whether hir’d,
Or so the Trojan destiny requir’d)
Mov’d that the ramparts might be broken down,
To lodge the monster fabric in the town. 45
But Capys, and the rest of sounder mind,
The fatal present to the flames designed,
Or to the wat’ry deep; at least to bore
The hollow sides, and hidden frauds explore.
The giddy vulgar, as their fancies guide, 50
With noise say nothing, and in parts divide.
Laocoon, follow’d by a num’rous crowd,
Ran from the fort, and cried, from far, aloud:
‘O wretched countrymen! what fury reigns?
What more than madness has possess’d your brains? 55
Think you the Grecians from your coasts are gone?
And are Ulysses’ arts no better known?
This hollow fabric either must inclose,
Within its blind recess, our secret foes;
Or ’t is an engine rais’d above the town, 60
T’ o’erlook the walls, and then to batter down.
Somewhat is sure design’d, by fraud or force:
Trust not their presents, nor admit the horse.’
Thus having said, against the steed he threw
His forceful spear, which, hissing as it flew, 65
Pierc’d thro’ the yielding planks of jointed wood,
And trembling in the hollow belly stood.
The sides, transpierc’d, return a rattling sound,
And groans of Greeks inclos’d come issuing thro’ the wound.
And, had not Heav’n the fall of Troy design’d, 70
Or had not men been fated to be blind,
Enough was said and done t’ inspire a better mind.
Then had our lances pierc’d the treach’rous wood,
And Ilian tow’rs and Priam’s empire stood.
Meantime, with shouts, the Trojan shepherds bring 75
A captive Greek, in bands, before the king;
Taken to take; who made himself their prey,
T’ impose on their belief, and Troy betray;
Fix’d on his aim, and obstinately bent
To die undaunted, or to circumvent. 80
About the captive, tides of Trojans flow;
All press to see, and some insult the foe.
Now hear how well the Greeks their wiles disguis’d;
Behold a nation in a man compris’d.
Trembling the miscreant stood, unarm’d and bound; 85
He star’d, and roll’d his haggard eyes around,
Then said: ‘Alas! what earth remains, what sea
Is open to receive unhappy me?
What fate a wretched fugitive attends,
Scorn’d by my foes, abandon’d by my friends?’ 90
He said, and sigh’d, and cast a rueful eye:
Our pity kindles, and our passions die.
We cheer the youth to make his own defense,
And freely tell us what he was, and whence:
What news he could impart, we long to know, 95
And what to credit from a captive foe.
“His fear at length dismiss’d, he said: ‘Whate’er
My fate ordains, my words shall be sincere:
I neither can nor dare my birth disclaim;
Greece is my country, Sinon is my name. 100
Tho’ plung’d by Fortune’s pow’r in misery,
’T is not in Fortune’s pow’r to make me lie.
If any chance has hither brought the name
Of Palamedes, not unknown to fame,
Who suffer’d from the malice of the times, 105
Accus’d and sentenc’d for pretended crimes,
Because these fatal wars he would prevent;
Whose death the wretched Greeks too late lament—
Me, then a boy, my father, poor and bare
Of other means, committed to his care, 110
His kinsman and companion in the war.
While Fortune favor’d, while his arms support
The cause, and rul’d the counsels, of the court,
I made some figure there; nor was my name
Obscure, nor I without my share of fame. 115
But when Ulysses, with fallacious arts,
Had made impression in the people’s hearts,
And forg’d a treason in my patron’s name
(I speak of things too far divulg’d by fame),
My kinsman fell. Then I, without support, 120
In private mourn’d his loss, and left the court.
Mad as I was, I could not bear his fate
With silent grief, but loudly blam’d the state,
And curs’d the direful author of my woes.
’T was told again; and hence my ruin rose. 125
I threaten’d, if indulgent Heav’n once more
Would land me safely on my native shore,
His death with double vengeance to restore.
This mov’d the murderer’s hate; and soon ensued
Th’ effects of malice from a man so proud. 130
Ambiguous rumors thro’ the camp he spread,
And sought, by treason, my devoted head;
New crimes invented; left unturn’d no stone,
To make my guilt appear, and hide his own;
Till Calchas was by force and threat’ning wrought— 135
But why—why dwell I on that anxious thought?
If on my nation just revenge you seek,
And ’t is t’ appear a foe, t’ appear a Greek;
Already you my name and country know;
Assuage your thirst of blood, and strike the blow: 140
My death will both the kingly brothers please,
And set insatiate Ithacus at ease.’
This fair unfinish’d tale, these broken starts,
Rais’d expectations in our longing hearts:
Unknowing as we were in Grecian arts. 145
His former trembling once again renew’d,
With acted fear, the villain thus pursued:
“’Long had the Grecians (tir’d with fruitless care,
And wearied with an unsuccessful war)
Resolv’d to raise the siege, and leave the town; 150
And, had the gods permitted, they had gone;
But oft the wintry seas and southern winds
Withstood their passage home, and chang’d their minds.
Portents and prodigies their souls amaz’d;
But most, when this stupendous pile was rais’d: 155
Then flaming meteors, hung in air, were seen,
And thunders rattled thro’ a sky serene.
Dismay’d, and fearful of some dire event,
Eurypylus t’ enquire their fate was sent.
He from the gods this dreadful answer brought: 160
“O Grecians, when the Trojan shores you sought,
Your passage with a virgin’s blood was bought:
So must your safe return be bought again,
And Grecian blood once more atone the main.”
The spreading rumor round the people ran; 165
All fear’d, and each believ’d himself the man.
Ulysses took th’ advantage of their fright;
Call’d Calchas, and produc’d in open sight:
Then bade him name the wretch, ordain’d by fate
The public victim, to redeem the state. 170
Already some presag’d the dire event,
And saw what sacrifice Ulysses meant.
For twice five days the good old seer withstood
Th’ intended treason, and was dumb to blood,
Till, tir’d, with endless clamors and pursuit 175
Of Ithacus, he stood no longer mute;
But, as it was agreed, pronounc’d that I
Was destin’d by the wrathful gods to die.
All prais’d the sentence, pleas’d the storm should fall
On one alone, whose fury threaten’d all. 180
The dismal day was come; the priests prepare
Their leaven’d cakes, and fillets for my hair.
I follow’d nature’s laws, and must avow
I broke my bonds and fled the fatal blow.
Hid in a weedy lake all night I lay, 185
Secure of safety when they sail’d away.
But now what further hopes for me remain,
To see my friends, or native soil, again;
My tender infants, or my careful sire,
Whom they returning will to death require; 190
Will perpetrate on them their first design,
And take the forfeit of their heads for mine?
Which, O! if pity mortal minds can move,
If there be faith below, or gods above,
If innocence and truth can claim desert, 195
Ye Trojans, from an injur’d wretch avert.’
“False tears true pity move; the king commands
To loose his fetters, and unbind his hands:
Then adds these friendly words: ‘Dismiss thy fears;
Forget the Greeks; be mine as thou wert theirs. 200
But truly tell, was it for force or guile,
Or some religious end, you rais’d the pile?’
Thus said the king. He, full of fraudful arts,
This well-invented tale for truth imparts:
‘Ye lamps of heav’n!’ he said, and lifted high 205
His hands now free, ‘thou venerable sky!
Inviolable pow’rs, ador’d with dread!
Ye fatal fillets, that once bound this head!
Ye sacred altars, from whose flames I fled!
Be all of you adjur’d; and grant I may, 210
Without a crime, th’ ungrateful Greeks betray,
Reveal the secrets of the guilty state,
And justly punish whom I justly hate!
But you, O king, preserve the faith you gave,
If I, to save myself, your empire save. 215
The Grecian hopes, and all th’ attempts they made,
Were only founded on Minerva’s aid.
But from the time when impious Diomede,
And false Ulysses, that inventive head,
Her fatal image from the temple drew, 220
The sleeping guardians of the castle slew,
Her virgin statue with their bloody hands
Polluted, and profan’d her holy bands;
From thence the tide of fortune left their shore,
And ebb’d much faster than it flow’d before: 225
Their courage languish’d, as their hopes decay’d;
And Pallas, now averse, refus’d her aid.
Nor did the goddess doubtfully declare
Her alter’d mind and alienated care.
When first her fatal image touch’d the ground, 230
She sternly cast her glaring eyes around,
That sparkled as they roll’d, and seem’d to threat:
Her heav’nly limbs distill’d a briny sweat.
Thrice from the ground she leap’d, was seen to wield
Her brandish’d lance, and shake her horrid shield. 235
Then Calchas bade our host for flight prepare,
And hope no conquest from the tedious war,
Till first they sail’d for Greece; with pray’rs besought
Her injur’d pow’r, and better omens brought.
And now their navy plows the wat’ry main, 240
Yet soon expect it on your shores again,
With Pallas pleas’d; as Calchas did ordain.
But first, to reconcile the blue-ey’d maid
For her stol’n statue and her tow’r betray’d,
Warn’d by the seer, to her offended name 245
We rais’d and dedicate this wondrous frame,
So lofty, lest thro’ your forbidden gates
It pass, and intercept our better fates:
For, once admitted there, our hopes are lost;
And Troy may then a new Palladium boast; 250
For so religion and the gods ordain,
That, if you violate with hands profane
Minerva’s gift, your town in flames shall burn,
(Which omen, O ye gods, on Græcia turn!)
But if it climb, with your assisting hands, 255
The Trojan walls, and in the city stands;
Then Troy shall Argos and Mycenæ burn,
And the reverse of fate on us return.’
“With such deceits he gain’d their easy hearts,
Too prone to credit his perfidious arts. 260
What Diomede, nor Thetis’ greater son,
A thousand ships, nor ten years’ siege, had done—
False tears and fawning words the city won.
“A greater omen, and of worse portent,
Did our unwary minds with fear torment, 265
Concurring to produce the dire event.
Laocoon, Neptune’s priest by lot that year,
With solemn pomp then sacrific’d a steer;
When, dreadful to behold, from sea we spied
Two serpents, rank’d abreast, the seas divide, 270
And smoothly sweep along the swelling tide.
Their flaming crests above the waves they show;
Their bellies seem to burn the seas below;
Their speckled tails advance to steer their course,
And on the sounding shore the flying billows force. 275
And now the strand, and now the plain they held;
Their ardent eyes with bloody streaks were fill’d;
Their nimble tongues they brandish’d as they came,
And lick’d their hissing jaws, that sputter’d flame.
We fled amaz’d; their destin’d way they take, 280
And to Laocoon and his children make;
And first around the tender boys they wind,
Then with their sharpen’d fangs their limbs and bodies grind
The wretched father, running to their aid
With pious haste, but vain, they next invade; 285
Twice round his waist their winding volumes roll’d;
And twice about his gasping throat they fold.
The priest thus doubly chok’d, their crests divide,
And tow’ring o’er his head in triumph ride.
With both his hands he labors at the knots; 290
His holy fillets the blue venom blots;
His roaring fills the flitting air around.
Thus, when an ox receives a glancing wound,
He breaks his bands, the fatal altar flies,
And with loud bellowings breaks the yielding skies. 295
Their tasks perform’d, the serpents quit their prey,
And to the tow’r of Pallas make their way:
Couch’d at her feet, they lie protected there
By her large buckler and protended spear.
Amazement seizes all; the gen’ral cry 300
Proclaims Laocoon justly doom’d to die,
Whose hand the will of Pallas had withstood,
And dared to violate the sacred wood.
All vote t’ admit the steed, that vows be paid
And incense offer’d to th’ offended maid. 305
A spacious breach is made; the town lies bare;
Some hoisting-levers, some the wheels prepare
And fasten to the horse’s feet; the rest
With cables haul along th’ unwieldly beast.
Each on his fellow for assistance calls; 310
At length the fatal fabric mounts the walls,
Big with destruction. Boys with chaplets crown’d,
And choirs of virgins, sing and dance around.
Thus rais’d aloft, and then descending down,
It enters o’er our heads, and threats the town. 315
O sacred city, built by hands divine!
O valiant heroes of the Trojan line!
Four times he struck: as oft the clashing sound
Of arms was heard, and inward groans rebound.
Yet, mad with zeal, and blinded with our fate, 320
We haul along the horse in solemn state;
Then place the dire portent within the tow’r.
Cassandra cried, and curs’d th’ unhappy hour;
Foretold our fate; but, by the god’s decree,
All heard, and none believ’d the prophecy. 325
With branches we the fanes adorn, and waste,
In jollity, the day ordain’d to be the last.
Meantime the rapid heav’ns roll’d down the light,
And on the shaded ocean rush’d the night;
Our men, secure, nor guards nor sentries held, 330
But easy sleep their weary limbs compell’d.
The Grecians had embark’d their naval pow’rs
From Tenedos, and sought our well-known shores,
Safe under covert of the silent night,
And guided by th’ imperial galley’s light; 335
When Sinon, favor’d by the partial gods,
Unlock’d the horse, and op’d his dark abodes;
Restor’d to vital air our hidden foes,
Who joyful from their long confinement rose.
Tysander bold, and Sthenelus their guide, 340
And dire Ulysses down the cable slide:
Then Thoas, Athamas, and Pyrrhus haste;
Nor was the Podalirian hero last,
Nor injur’d Menelaus, nor the fam’d
Epeus, who the fatal engine fram’d. 345
A nameless crowd succeed; their forces join
T’ invade the town, oppress’d with sleep and wine.
Those few they find awake first meet their fate;
Then to their fellows they unbar the gate.
“’T was in the dead of night, when sleep repairs 350
Our bodies worn with toils, our minds with cares,
When Hector’s ghost before my sight appears:
A bloody shroud he seem’d, and bath’d in tears;
Such as he was, when, by Pelides slain,
Thessalian coursers dragg’d him o’er the plain. 355
Swoln were his feet, as when the thongs were thrust
Thro’ the bor’d holes; his body black with dust;
Unlike that Hector who return’d from toils
Of war, triumphant, in Æacian spoils,
Or him who made the fainting Greeks retire, 360
And launch’d against their navy Phrygian fire.
His hair and beard stood stiffen’d with his gore;
And all the wounds he for his country bore
Now stream’d afresh, and with new purple ran.
I wept to see the visionary man, 365
And, while my trance continued, thus began:
‘O light of Trojans, and support of Troy,
Thy father’s champion, and thy country’s joy!
O, long expected by thy friends! from whence
Art thou so late return’d for our defense? 370
Do we behold thee, wearied as we are
With length of labors, and with toils of war?
After so many fun’rals of thy own
Art thou restor’d to thy declining town?
But say, what wounds are these? What new disgrace 375
Deforms the manly features of thy face?’
To this the specter no reply did frame,
But answer’d to the cause for which he came,
And, groaning from the bottom of his breast,
This warning in these mournful words express’d: 380
‘O goddess-born! escape, by timely flight,
The flames and horrors of this fatal night.
The foes already have possess’d the wall;
Troy nods from high, and totters to her fall.
Enough is paid to Priam’s royal name, 385
More than enough to duty and to fame.
If by a mortal hand my father’s throne
Could be defended, ’t was by mine alone.
Now Troy to thee commends her future state,
And gives her gods companions of thy fate: 390
From their assistance happier walls expect,
Which, wand’ring long, at last thou shalt erect.’
He said, and brought me, from their blest abodes,
The venerable statues of the gods,
With ancient Vesta from the sacred choir, 395
The wreaths and relics of th’ immortal fire.
“Now peals of shouts come thund’ring from afar,
Cries, threats, and loud laments, and mingled war:
The noise approaches, tho’ our palace stood
Aloof from streets, encompass’d with a wood. 400
Louder, and yet more loud, I hear th’ alarms
Of human cries distinct, and clashing arms.
Fear broke my slumbers; I no longer stay,
But mount the terrace, thence the town survey,
And hearken what the frightful sounds convey. 405
Thus, when a flood of fire by wind is borne,
Crackling it rolls, and mows the standing corn;
Or deluges, descending on the plains,
Sweep o’er the yellow year, destroy the pains
Of lab’ring oxen and the peasant’s gains; 410
Unroot the forest oaks, and bear away
Flocks, folds, and trees, an undistinguish’d prey:
The shepherd climbs the cliff, and sees from far
The wasteful ravage of the wat’ry war.
Then Hector’s faith was manifestly clear’d, 415
And Grecian frauds in open light appear’d.
The palace of Deiphobus ascends
In smoky flames, and catches on his friends.
Ucalegon burns next: the seas are bright
With splendor not their own, and shine with Trojan light. 420
New clamors and new clangors now arise,
The sound of trumpets mix’d with fighting cries.
With frenzy seiz’d, I run to meet th’ alarms,
Resolv’d on death, resolv’d to die in arms,
But first to gather friends, with them t’ oppose 425
(If fortune favor’d) and repel the foes;
Spurr’d by my courage, by my country fir’d,
With sense of honor and revenge inspir’d.
“Pantheus, Apollo’s priest, a sacred name,
Had scap’d the Grecian swords, and pass’d the flame: 430
With relics loaden, to my doors he fled,
And by the hand his tender grandson led.
‘What hope, O Pantheus? whither can we run?
Where make a stand? and what may yet be done?’
Scarce had I said, when Pantheus, with a groan: 435
‘Troy is no more, and Ilium was a town!
The fatal day, th’ appointed hour, is come,
When wrathful Jove’s irrevocable doom
Transfers the Trojan state to Grecian hands.
The fire consumes the town, the foe commands; 440
And armed hosts, an unexpected force,
Break from the bowels of the fatal horse.
Within the gates, proud Sinon throws about
The flames; and foes for entrance press without,
With thousand others, whom I fear to name, 445
More than from Argos or Mycenæ came.
To sev’ral posts their parties they divide;
Some block the narrow streets, some scour the wide:
The bold they kill, th’ unwary they surprise;
Who fights finds death, and death finds him who flies. 450
The warders of the gate but scarce maintain
Th’ unequal combat, and resist in vain.’
I heard; and Heav’n, that well-born souls inspires,
Prompts me thro’ lifted swords and rising fires
To run where clashing arms and clamor calls, 455
And rush undaunted to defend the walls.
Ripheus and Iph’itus by my side engage,
For valor one renown’d, and one for age.
Dymas and Hypanis by moonlight knew
My motions and my mien, and to my party drew; 460
With young Coroebus, who by love was led
To win renown and fair Cassandra’s bed,
And lately brought his troops to Priam’s aid,
Forewarn’d in vain by the prophetic maid.
Whom when I saw resolv’d in arms to fall, 465
And that one spirit animated all:
‘Brave souls!’ said I,—’but brave, alas! in vain—
Come, finish what our cruel fates ordain.
You see the desp’rate state of our affairs,
And heav’n’s protecting pow’rs are deaf to pray’rs. 470
The passive gods behold the Greeks defile
Their temples, and abandon to the spoil
Their own abodes: we, feeble few, conspire
To save a sinking town, involv’d in fire.
Then let us fall, but fall amidst our foes: 475
Despair of life the means of living shows.’
So bold a speech incourag’d their desire
Of death, and added fuel to their fire.
“As hungry wolves, with raging appetite,
Scour thro’ the fields, nor fear the stormy night— 480
Their whelps at home expect the promis’d food,
And long to temper their dry chaps in blood—
So rush’d we forth at once; resolv’d to die,
Resolv’d, in death, the last extremes to try.
We leave the narrow lanes behind, and dare 485
Th’ unequal combat in the public square:
Night was our friend; our leader was despair.
What tongue can tell the slaughter of that night?
What eyes can weep the sorrows and affright?
An ancient and imperial city falls: 490
The streets are fill’d with frequent funerals;
Houses and holy temples float in blood,
And hostile nations make a common flood.
Not only Trojans fall; but, in their turn,
The vanquish’d triumph, and the victors mourn. 495
Ours take new courage from despair and night:
Confus’d the fortune is, confus’d the fight.
All parts resound with tumults, plaints, and fears;
And grisly Death in sundry shapes appears.
Androgeos fell among us, with his band, 500
Who thought us Grecians newly come to land.
From whence,’ said he, ‘my friends, this long delay?
You loiter, while the spoils are borne away:
Our ships are laden with the Trojan store;
And you, like truants, come too late ashore.’ 505
He said, but soon corrected his mistake,
Found, by the doubtful answers which we make:
Amaz’d, he would have shunn’d th’ unequal fight;
But we, more num’rous, intercept his flight.
As when some peasant, in a bushy brake, 510
Has with unwary footing press’d a snake;
He starts aside, astonish’d, when he spies
His rising crest, blue neck, and rolling eyes;
So from our arms surpris’d Androgeos flies.
In vain; for him and his we compass’d round, 515
Possess’d with fear, unknowing of the ground,
And of their lives an easy conquest found.
Thus Fortune on our first endeavor smil’d.
Coroebus then, with youthful hopes beguil’d,
Swoln with success, and of a daring mind, 520
This new invention fatally design’d.
My friends,’ said he, ‘since Fortune shows the way,
’T is fit we should th’ auspicious guide obey.
For what has she these Grecian arms bestow’d,
But their destruction, and the Trojans’ good? 525
Then change we shields, and their devices bear:
Let fraud supply the want of force in war.
They find us arms.’ This said, himself he dress’d
In dead Androgeos’ spoils, his upper vest,
His painted buckler, and his plumy crest. 530
Thus Ripheus, Dymas, all the Trojan train,
Lay down their own attire, and strip the slain.
Mix’d with the Greeks, we go with ill presage,
Flatter’d with hopes to glut our greedy rage;
Unknown, assaulting whom we blindly meet, 535
And strew with Grecian carcasses the street.
Thus while their straggling parties we defeat,
Some to the shore and safer ships retreat;
And some, oppress’d with more ignoble fear,
Remount the hollow horse, and pant in secret there. 540
But, ah! what use of valor can be made,
When heav’n’s propitious pow’rs refuse their aid!
Behold the royal prophetess, the fair
Cassandra, dragg’d by her dishevel’d hair,
Whom not Minerva’s shrine, nor sacred bands, 545
In safety could protect from sacrilegious hands:
On heav’n she cast her eyes, she sigh’d, she cried—
’T was all she could—her tender arms were tied.
So sad a sight Coroebus could not bear;
But, fir’d with rage, distracted with despair, 550
Amid the barb’rous ravishers he flew:
Our leader’s rash example we pursue.
But storms of stones, from the proud temple’s height,
Pour down, and on our batter’d helms alight:
We from our friends receiv’d this fatal blow, 555
Who thought us Grecians, as we seem’d in show.
They aim at the mistaken crests, from high;
And ours beneath the pond’rous ruin lie.
Then, mov’d with anger and disdain, to see
Their troops dispers’d, the royal virgin free, 560
The Grecians rally, and their pow’rs unite,
With fury charge us, and renew the fight.
The brother kings with Ajax join their force,
And the whole squadron of Thessalian horse.
Thus, when the rival winds their quarrel try, 565
Contending for the kingdom of the sky,
South, east, and west, on airy coursers borne;
The whirlwind gathers, and the woods are torn:
Then Nereus strikes the deep; the billows rise,
And, mix’d with ooze and sand, pollute the skies. 570
The troops we squander’d first again appear
From several quarters, and enclose the rear.
They first observe, and to the rest betray,
Our diff’rent speech; our borrow’d arms survey.
Oppress’d with odds, we fall; Coroebus first, 575
At Pallas’ altar, by Peneleus pierc’d.
Then Ripheus follow’d, in th’ unequal fight;
Just of his word, observant of the right:
Heav’n thought not so. Dymas their fate attends,
With Hypanis, mistaken by their friends. 580
Nor, Pantheus, thee, thy miter, nor the bands
Of awful Phœbus, sav’d from impious hands.
Ye Trojan flames, your testimony bear,
What I perform’d, and what I suffer’d there;
No sword avoiding in the fatal strife, 585
Expos’d to death, and prodigal of life;
Witness, ye heavens! I live not by my fault:
I strove to have deserv’d the death I sought.
But, when I could not fight, and would have died,
Borne off to distance by the growing tide, 590
Old Iphitus and I were hurried thence,
With Pelias wounded, and without defense.
New clamors from th’ invested palace ring:
We run to die, or disengage the king.
So hot th’ assault, so high the tumult rose, 595
While ours defend, and while the Greeks oppose
As all the Dardan and Argolic race
Had been contracted in that narrow space;
Or as all Ilium else were void of fear,
And tumult, war, and slaughter, only there. 600
Their targets in a tortoise cast, the foes,
Secure advancing, to the turrets rose:
Some mount the scaling ladders; some, more bold,
Swerve upwards, and by posts and pillars hold;
Their left hand gripes their bucklers in th’ ascent, 605
While with their right they seize the battlement.
From their demolish’d tow’rs the Trojans throw
Huge heaps of stones, that, falling, crush the foe;
And heavy beams and rafters from the sides
(Such arms their last necessity provides) 610
And gilded roofs, come tumbling from on high,
The marks of state and ancient royalty.
The guards below, fix’d in the pass, attend
The charge undaunted, and the gate defend.
Renew’d in courage with recover’d breath, 615
A second time we ran to tempt our death,
To clear the palace from the foe, succeed
The weary living, and revenge the dead.
“A postern door, yet unobserv’d and free,
Join’d by the length of a blind gallery, 620
To the king’s closet led: a way well known
To Hector’s wife, while Priam held the throne,
Thro’ which she brought Astyanax, unseen,
To cheer his grandsire and his grandsire’s queen.
Thro’ this we pass, and mount the tow’r, from whence 625
With unavailing arms the Trojans make defense.
From this the trembling king had oft descried
The Grecian camp, and saw their navy ride.
Beams from its lofty height with swords we hew,
Then, wrenching with our hands, th’ assault renew; 630
And, where the rafters on the columns meet,
We push them headlong with our arms and feet.
The lightning flies not swifter than the fall,
Nor thunder louder than the ruin’d wall:
Down goes the top at once; the Greeks beneath 635
Are piecemeal torn, or pounded into death.
Yet more succeed, and more to death are sent;
We cease not from above, nor they below relent.
Before the gate stood Pyrrhus, threat’ning loud,
With glitt’ring arms conspicuous in the crowd. 640
So shines, renew’d in youth, the crested snake,
Who slept the winter in a thorny brake,
And, casting off his slough when spring returns,
Now looks aloft, and with new glory burns;
Restor’d with pois’nous herbs, his ardent sides 645
Reflect the sun; and rais’d on spires he rides;
High o’er the grass, hissing he rolls along,
And brandishes by fits his forky tongue.
Proud Periphas, and fierce Automedon,
His father’s charioteer, together run 650
To force the gate; the Scyrian infantry
Rush on in crowds, and the barr’d passage free.
Ent’ring the court, with shouts the skies they rend;
And flaming firebrands to the roofs ascend.
Himself, among the foremost, deals his blows, 655
And with his ax repeated strokes bestows
On the strong doors; then all their shoulders ply,
Till from the posts the brazen hinges fly.
He hews apace; the double bars at length
Yield to his ax and unresisted strength. 660
A mighty breach is made: the rooms conceal’d
Appear, and all the palace is reveal’d;
The halls of audience, and of public state,
And where the lonely queen in secret sate.
Arm’d soldiers now by trembling maids are seen, 665
With not a door, and scarce a space, between.
The house is fill’d with loud laments and cries,
And shrieks of women rend the vaulted skies;
The fearful matrons run from place to place,
And kiss the thresholds, and the posts embrace. 670
The fatal work inhuman Pyrrhus plies,
And all his father sparkles in his eyes;
Nor bars, nor fighting guards, his force sustain:
The bars are broken, and the guards are slain.
In rush the Greeks, and all the apartments fill; 675
Those few defendants whom they find, they kill.
Not with so fierce a rage the foaming flood
Roars, when he finds his rapid course withstood;
Bears down the dams with unresisted sway,
And sweeps the cattle and the cots away. 680
These eyes beheld him when he march’d between
The brother kings: I saw th’ unhappy queen,
The hundred wives, and where old Priam stood,
To stain his hallow’d altar with his brood.
The fifty nuptial beds (such hopes had he, 685
So large a promise, of a progeny),
The posts, of plated gold, and hung with spoils,
Fell the reward of the proud victor’s toils.
Where’er the raging fire had left a space,
The Grecians enter and possess the place. 690
“Perhaps you may of Priam’s fate enquire.
He, when he saw his regal town on fire,
His ruin’d palace, and his ent’ring foes,
On ev’ry side inevitable woes,
In arms, disus’d, invests his limbs, decay’d, 695
Like them, with age; a late and useless aid.
His feeble shoulders scarce the weight sustain;
Loaded, not arm’d, he creeps along with pain,
Despairing of success, ambitious to be slain!
Uncover’d but by heav’n, there stood in view 700
An altar; near the hearth a laurel grew,
Dodder’d with age, whose boughs encompass round
The household gods, and shade the holy ground.
Here Hecuba, with all her helpless train
Of dames, for shelter sought, but sought in vain. 705
Driv’n like a flock of doves along the sky,
Their images they hug, and to their altars fly.
The Queen, when she beheld her trembling lord,
And hanging by his side a heavy sword,
‘What rage,’ she cried, ‘has seiz’d my husband’s mind? 710
What arms are these, and to what use design’d?
These times want other aids! Were Hector here,
Ev’n Hector now in vain, like Priam, would appear.
With us, one common shelter thou shalt find,
Or in one common fate with us be join’d.’ 715
She said, and with a last salute embrac’d
The poor old man, and by the laurel plac’d.
Behold! Polites, one of Priam’s sons,
Pursued by Pyrrhus, there for safety runs.
Thro’ swords and foes, amaz’d and hurt, he flies 720
Thro’ empty courts and open galleries.
Him Pyrrhus, urging with his lance, pursues,
And often reaches, and his thrusts renews.
The youth, transfix’d, with lamentable cries,
Expires before his wretched parent’s eyes: 725
Whom gasping at his feet when Priam saw,
The fear of death gave place to nature’s law;
And, shaking more with anger than with age,
The gods,’ said he, ‘requite thy brutal rage!
As sure they will, barbarian, sure they must, 730
If there be gods in heav’n, and gods be just
Who tak’st in wrongs an insolent delight;
With a son’s death t’ infect a father’s sight.
Not he, whom thou and lying fame conspire
To call thee his—not he, thy vaunted sire, 735
Thus us’d my wretched age: the gods he fear’d,
The laws of nature and of nations heard.
He cheer’d my sorrows, and, for sums of gold,
The bloodless carcass of my Hector sold;
Pitied the woes a parent underwent, 740
And sent me back in safety from his tent.’
“This said, his feeble hand a javelin threw,
Which, flutt’ring, seem’d to loiter as it flew:
Just, and but barely, to the mark it held,
And faintly tinkled on the brazen shield. 745
“Then Pyrrhus thus: ‘Go thou from me to fate,
And to my father my foul deeds relate.
Now die!’ With that he dragg’d the trembling sire,
Slidd’ring thro’ clotter’d blood and holy mire,
(The mingled paste his murder’d son had made,) 750
Haul’d from beneath the violated shade,
And on the sacred pile the royal victim laid.
His right hand held his bloody falchion bare,
His left he twisted in his hoary hair;
Then, with a speeding thrust, his heart he found: 755
The lukewarm blood came rushing thro’ the wound,
And sanguine streams distain’d the sacred ground.
Thus Priam fell, and shar’d one common fate
With Troy in ashes, and his ruin’d state:
He, who the scepter of all Asia sway’d, 760
Whom monarchs like domestic slaves obey’d.
On the bleak shore now lies th’ abandon’d king,
A headless carcass, and a nameless thing.
“Then, not before, I felt my cruddled blood
Congeal with fear, my hair with horror stood: 765
My father’s image fill’d my pious mind,
Lest equal years might equal fortune find.
Again I thought on my forsaken wife,
And trembled for my son’s abandon’d life.
I look’d about, but found myself alone, 770
Deserted at my need! My friends were gone.
Some spent with toil, some with despair oppress’d,
Leap’d headlong from the heights; the flames consum’d the rest.
Thus, wand’ring in my way, without a guide,
The graceless Helen in the porch I spied 775
Of Vesta’s temple; there she lurk’d alone;
Muffled she sate, and, what she could, unknown:
But, by the flames that cast their blaze around,
That common bane of Greece and Troy I found.
For Ilium burnt, she dreads the Trojan sword; 780
More dreads the vengeance of her injur’d lord;
Ev’n by those gods who refug’d her abhorr’d.
Trembling with rage, the strumpet I regard,
Resolv’d to give her guilt the due reward:
‘Shall she triumphant sail before the wind, 785
And leave in flames unhappy Troy behind?
Shall she her kingdom and her friends review,
In state attended with a captive crew,
While unreveng’d the good old Priam falls,
And Grecian fires consume the Trojan walls? 790
For this the Phrygian fields and Xanthian flood
Were swell’d with bodies, and were drunk with blood?
’T is true, a soldier can small honor gain,
And boast no conquest, from a woman slain:
Yet shall the fact not pass without applause, 795
Of vengeance taken in so just a cause;
The punish’d crime shall set my soul at ease,
And murm’ring manes of my friends appease.’
Thus while I rave, a gleam of pleasing light
Spread o’er the place; and, shining heav’nly bright, 800
My mother stood reveal’d before my sight
Never so radiant did her eyes appear;
Not her own star confess’d a light so clear:
Great in her charms, as when on gods above
She looks, and breathes herself into their love. 805
She held my hand, the destin’d blow to break;
Then from her rosy lips began to speak:
My son, from whence this madness, this neglect
Of my commands, and those whom I protect?
Why this unmanly rage? Recall to mind 810
Whom you forsake, what pledges leave behind.
Look if your helpless father yet survive,
Or if Ascanius or Creusa live.
Around your house the greedy Grecians err;
And these had perish’d in the nightly war, 815
But for my presence and protecting care.
Not Helen’s face, nor Paris, was in fault;
But by the gods was this destruction brought.
Now cast your eyes around, while I dissolve
The mists and films that mortal eyes involve, 820
Purge from your sight the dross, and make you see
The shape of each avenging deity.
Enlighten’d thus, my just commands fulfil,
Nor fear obedience to your mother’s will.
Where yon disorder’d heap of ruin lies, 825
Stones rent from stones; where clouds of dust arise—
Amid that smother Neptune holds his place,
Below the wall’s foundation drives his mace,
And heaves the building from the solid base.
Look where, in arms, imperial Juno stands 830
Full in the Scæan gate, with loud commands,
Urging on shore the tardy Grecian bands.
See! Pallas, of her snaky buckler proud,
Bestrides the tow’r, refulgent thro’ the cloud:
See! Jove new courage to the foe supplies, 835
And arms against the town the partial deities.
Haste hence, my son; this fruitless labor end:
Haste, where your trembling spouse and sire attend:
Haste; and a mother’s care your passage shall befriend.’
She said, and swiftly vanish’d from my sight, 840
Obscure in clouds and gloomy shades of night.
I look’d, I listen’d; dreadful sounds I hear;
And the dire forms of hostile gods appear.
Troy sunk in flames I saw (nor could prevent),
And Ilium from its old foundations rent; 845
Rent like a mountain ash, which dar’d the winds,
And stood the sturdy strokes of lab’ring hinds.
About the roots the cruel ax resounds;
The stumps are pierc’d with oft-repeated wounds:
The war is felt on high; the nodding crown 850
Now threats a fall, and throws the leafy honors down.
To their united force it yields, tho’ late,
And mourns with mortal groans th’ approaching fate:
The roots no more their upper load sustain;
But down she falls, and spreads a ruin thro’ the plain. 855
“Descending thence, I scape thro’ foes and fire:
Before the goddess, foes and flames retire.
Arriv’d at home, he, for whose only sake,
Or most for his, such toils I undertake,
The good Anchises, whom, by timely flight, 860
I purpos’d to secure on Ida’s height,
Refus’d the journey, resolute to die
And add his fun’rals to the fate of Troy,
Rather than exile and old age sustain.
‘Go you, whose blood runs warm in ev’ry vein. 865
Had Heav’n decreed that I should life enjoy,
Heav’n had decreed to save unhappy Troy.
’T is, sure, enough, if not too much, for one,
Twice to have seen our Ilium overthrown.
Make haste to save the poor remaining crew, 870
And give this useless corpse a long adieu.
These weak old hands suffice to stop my breath;
At least the pitying foes will aid my death,
To take my spoils, and leave my body bare:
As for my sepulcher, let Heav’n take care. 875
’T is long since I, for my celestial wife
Loath’d by the gods, have dragg’d a ling’ring life;
Since ev’ry hour and moment I expire,
Blasted from heav’n by Jove’s avenging fire.’
This oft repeated, he stood fix’d to die: 880
Myself, my wife, my son, my family,
Intreat, pray, beg, and raise a doleful cry—
‘What, will he still persist, on death resolve,
And in his ruin all his house involve!’
He still persists his reasons to maintain; 885
Our pray’rs, our tears, our loud laments, are vain.
“Urg’d by despair, again I go to try
The fate of arms, resolv’d in fight to die:
‘What hope remains, but what my death must give?
Can I, without so dear a father, live? 890
You term it prudence, what I baseness call:
Could such a word from such a parent fall?
If Fortune please, and so the gods ordain,
That nothing should of ruin’d Troy remain,
And you conspire with Fortune to be slain, 895
The way to death is wide, th’ approaches near:
For soon relentless Pyrrhus will appear,
Reeking with Priam’s blood—the wretch who slew
The son (inhuman) in the father’s view,
And then the sire himself to the dire altar drew. 900
O goddess mother, give me back to Fate;
Your gift was undesir’d, and came too late!
Did you, for this, unhappy me convey
Thro’ foes and fires, to see my house a prey?
Shall I my father, wife, and son behold, 905
Welt’ring in blood, each other’s arms infold?
Haste! gird my sword, tho’ spent and overcome:
’T is the last summons to receive our doom.
I hear thee, Fate; and I obey thy call!
Not unreveng’d the foe shall see my fall. 910
Restore me to the yet unfinish’d fight:
My death is wanting to conclude the night.’
Arm’d once again, my glitt’ring sword I wield,
While th’ other hand sustains my weighty shield,
And forth I rush to seek th’ abandon’d field. 915
I went; but sad Creusa stopp’d my way,
And cross the threshold in my passage lay,
Embrac’d my knees, and, when I would have gone,
Shew’d me my feeble sire and tender son:
‘If death be your design, at least,’ said she, 920
‘Take us along to share your destiny.
If any farther hopes in arms remain,
This place, these pledges of your love, maintain.
To whom do you expose your father’s life,
Your son’s, and mine, your now forgotten wife!’ 925
While thus she fills the house with clam’rous cries,
Our hearing is diverted by our eyes:
For, while I held my son, in the short space
Betwixt our kisses and our last embrace;
Strange to relate, from young Iulus’ head 930
A lambent flame arose, which gently spread
Around his brows, and on his temples fed.
Amaz’d, with running water we prepare
To quench the sacred fire, and slake his hair;
But old Anchises, vers’d in omens, rear’d 935
His hands to heav’n, and this request preferr’d:
‘If any vows, almighty Jove, can bend
Thy will; if piety can pray’rs commend,
Confirm the glad presage which thou art pleas’d to send.’
Scarce had he said, when, on our left, we hear 940
A peal of rattling thunder roll in air:
There shot a streaming lamp along the sky,
Which on the winged lightning seem’d to fly;
From o’er the roof the blaze began to move,
And, trailing, vanish’d in th’ Idæan grove. 945
It swept a path in heav’n, and shone a guide,
Then in a steaming stench of sulphur died.
The good old man with suppliant hands implor’d
The gods’ protection, and their star ador’d.
‘Now, now,’ said he, ‘my son, no more delay! 950
I yield, I follow where Heav’n shews the way.
Keep, O my country gods, our dwelling place,
And guard this relic of the Trojan race,
This tender child! These omens are your own,
And you can yet restore the ruin’d town. 955
At least accomplish what your signs foreshow:
I stand resign’d, and am prepar’d to go.’
“He said. The crackling flames appear on high.
And driving sparkles dance along the sky.
With Vulcan’s rage the rising winds conspire, 960
And near our palace roll the flood of fire.
‘Haste, my dear father, (’t is no time to wait,)
And load my shoulders with a willing freight.
Whate’er befalls, your life shall be my care;
One death, or one deliv’rance, we will share. 965
My hand shall lead our little son; and you,
My faithful consort, shall our steps pursue.
Next, you, my servants, heed my strict commands:
Without the walls a ruin’d temple stands,
To Ceres hallow’d once; a cypress nigh 970
Shoots up her venerable head on high,
By long religion kept; there bend your feet,
And in divided parties let us meet.
Our country gods, the relics, and the bands,
Hold you, my father, in your guiltless hands: 975
In me ’t is impious holy things to bear,
Red as I am with slaughter, new from war,
Till in some living stream I cleanse the guilt
Of dire debate, and blood in battle spilt.’
Thus, ord’ring all that prudence could provide, 980
I clothe my shoulders with a lion’s hide
And yellow spoils; then, on my bending back,
The welcome load of my dear father take;
While on my better hand Ascanius hung,
And with unequal paces tripp’d along. 985
Creusa kept behind; by choice we stray
Thro’ ev’ry dark and ev’ry devious way.
I, who so bold and dauntless, just before,
The Grecian darts and shock of lances bore,
At ev’ry shadow now am seiz’d with fear, 990
Not for myself, but for the charge I bear;
Till, near the ruin’d gate arriv’d at last,
Secure, and deeming all the danger past,
A frightful noise of trampling feet we hear.
My father, looking thro’ the shades, with fear, 995
Cried out: ‘Haste, haste, my son, the foes are nigh;
Their swords and shining armor I descry.’
Some hostile god, for some unknown offense,
Had sure bereft my mind of better sense;
For, while thro’ winding ways I took my flight, 1000
And sought the shelter of the gloomy night,
Alas! I lost Creusa: hard to tell
If by her fatal destiny she fell,
Or weary sate, or wander’d with affright;
But she was lost for ever to my sight. 1005
I knew not, or reflected, till I meet
My friends, at Ceres’ now deserted seat.
We met: not one was wanting; only she
Deceiv’d her friends, her son, and wretched me.
“What mad expressions did my tongue refuse! 1010
Whom did I not, of gods or men, accuse!
This was the fatal blow, that pain’d me more
Than all I felt from ruin’d Troy before.
Stung with my loss, and raving with despair,
Abandoning my now forgotten care, 1015
Of counsel, comfort, and of hope bereft,
My sire, my son, my country gods I left.
In shining armor once again I sheathe
My limbs, not feeling wounds, nor fearing death.
Then headlong to the burning walls I run, 1020
And seek the danger I was forc’d to shun.
I tread my former tracks; thro’ night explore
Each passage, ev’ry street I cross’d before.
All things were full of horror and affright,
And dreadful ev’n the silence of the night. 1025
Then to my father’s house I make repair,
With some small glimpse of hope to find her there.
Instead of her, the cruel Greeks I met;
The house was fill’d with foes, with flames beset.
Driv’n on the wings of winds, whole sheets of fire, 1030
Thro’ air transported, to the roofs aspire.
From thence to Priam’s palace I resort,
And search the citadel and desart court.
Then, unobserv’d, I pass by Juno’s church:
A guard of Grecians had possess’d the porch; 1035
There Phœnix and Ulysses watch the prey,
And thither all the wealth of Troy convey:
The spoils which they from ransack’d houses brought,
And golden bowls from burning altars caught,
The tables of the gods, the purple vests, 1040
The people’s treasure, and the pomp of priests.
A rank of wretched youths, with pinion’d hands,
And captive matrons, in long order stands.
Then, with ungovern’d madness, I proclaim,
Thro’ all the silent street, Creusa’s name: 1045
Creusa still I call; at length she hears,
And sudden thro’ the shades of night appears—
Appears, no more Creusa, nor my wife,
But a pale specter, larger than the life.
Aghast, astonish’d, and struck dumb with fear, 1050
I stood; like bristles rose my stiffen’d hair.
Then thus the ghost began to soothe my grief
‘Nor tears, nor cries, can give the dead relief.
Desist, my much-lov’d lord, ’t indulge your pain;
You bear no more than what the gods ordain. 1055
My fates permit me not from hence to fly;
Nor he, the great controller of the sky.
Long wand’ring ways for you the pow’rs decree;
On land hard labors, and a length of sea.
Then, after many painful years are past, 1060
On Latium’s happy shore you shall be cast,
Where gentle Tiber from his bed beholds
The flow’ry meadows, and the feeding folds.
There end your toils; and there your fates provide
A quiet kingdom, and a royal bride: 1065
There fortune shall the Trojan line restore,
And you for lost Creusa weep no more.
Fear not that I shall watch, with servile shame,
Th’ imperious looks of some proud Grecian dame;
Or, stooping to the victor’s lust, disgrace 1070
My goddess mother, or my royal race.
And now, farewell! The parent of the gods
Restrains my fleeting soul in her abodes:
I trust our common issue to your care.’
She said, and gliding pass’d unseen in air. 1075
I strove to speak: but horror tied my tongue;
And thrice about her neck my arms I flung,
And, thrice deceiv’d, on vain embraces hung.
Light as an empty dream at break of day,
Or as a blast of wind, she rush’d away. 1080
Thus having pass’d the night in fruitless pain,
I to my longing friends return again,
Amaz’d th’ augmented number to behold,
Of men and matrons mix’d, of young and old;
A wretched exil’d crew together brought, 1085
With arms appointed, and with treasure fraught,
Resolv’d, and willing, under my command,
To run all hazards both of sea and land.
The Morn began, from Ida, to display
Her rosy cheeks; and Phosphor led the day: 1090
Before the gates the Grecians took their post,
And all pretense of late relief was lost.
I yield to Fate, unwillingly retire,
And, loaded, up the hill convey my sire.”

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Isn't That The Reason

Why should you undo what has been done?
And if you could...
Why would you?
Who learned from the experience?
Did the process make any sense?
And if it did not...
A thought upon a mind was dropped,
To be not forgotten!
And isn't that the reason,
Someone had to do something?
If it had not been you...
Would you have been left wishing,
For more or less understanding?
And who would be there to fully comprehend?
As long as the action was taken...
Let time clarify the motive.

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Let me sing

Let me sing
let me sing a song
to make you smile

Let me smear your soul
with my song

Let me sing a song
for elegance of your heart

I don't sing to persuade yo
but I want to see smile
on your lips

So you smile like the flowers
you scream like the gale
you smile like the moonlit night

Scrimpness in your smile
will make me squint
to realise your happiness

So, smile, smile and smile

See! the moonlit night
which is ever smiling

See! the blooming flower
smiling throughout life

See! the waves of ocean
screaming days and night

If you do not smile or scream
it will not adore

smile on your face
embellish you more than any ornament
then I will think
my song is made for you

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God And The Gas Pumps...........[religion; creation; short]

Now I'll bet God never pumped gas into a car, nor did He check the oil.
It's hard to believe He ever worked at any gas station doing manual toil.
And yet I've thought of a link that binds gas pumps and the Man Above.
The same Guy who sent the flood to Noah. Noah's the one who sent out a dove.

It matters not whether you believe the Earth is billions of years or only thousands of years old.
In church, as a boy, I learned God made all things. That's what I was told.
He was all-powerful according to the minister. He didn't need long to make stuff.
He could have put pools of oil underground and waited patiently, sitting on His duff, .......(take any dictionary definition of "duff" you please) ...to see how long it would take for parrots, or wolves, or men to pump it out.
Or he could have let Nature form petroleum from decayed fragile grasses and trees most stout.

So remember...., your electricity at home may come from wind or solar power or coal.....,
but most of your cars run with gas created SOME HOW by God, the Guy who gave YOU a soul.

(Nov.2012)

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Don't Let Go

Oooh, yeah
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Hey, yeah, hey, yeah
1-What's it gonna be?
'Cause I can't pretend
Don't you wanna be more than friends?
Hold me tight and don't let go
Don't let go
You have the right to lose control
Don't let go
I often tell myself
That we could be more than just friends
I know you think that if we move too soon
It would all end
I live in misery when you're not around
And I won't be satisfied
Till we've taken those vows
2-There'll be some lovemaking
Heart breaking, soul shaking
Love ooh aah
Lovemaking, heart breaking
Soul shaking
(repeat 1)
I often fantasize the stars above, oh, a chill
They know my heart and speak to yours
Like only lovers do
If I could wear your clothes
I'd pretend I was you, and lose control
(rpt 2, 1)
Running in and out my life
Has got me so confused
You gotta make the sacrifice
Somebody's gotta chose
We can make it if we try
For the sake of you and I
Together we can make it right
What's it going to be?
Can't keep running in and out of my life
Out of my life
More than friends, oh, oh, oh
Hold me tight and don't let me go
You've got the right
I said you've got the right to lose control
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Don't break up 'cause I can't take it
(rpt 1

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Not Even the Obvious Shelters Can Protect Those Afraid

It is not easy,
Being the one deceived.
Or having that done,
By more than one.
But once that is known...
The flight from it,
Can bring one a happiness.
When it is realized,
How many have accepted it.
Without comprehending...
The participants and the depth of it!

It is not easy,
Discovering the truth.
When so many deny that it exists.
Afterall...
Aren't beliefs based on non-fiction?
How can so many,
Live addicted to fiction?
But it has been done!
And to awaken from delusions,
Can stun anyone!

And this stunning when it comes...
Many will attempt to shun!
However...
This is 'reality'.
There regardless...
Who decides from it to run!

And those who were taunted,
By those who flaunted lives of lies...
Are not the ones trying to disguise,
The gloom that appears in their eyes!
A consciousness that has arrived,
Is there openly to see.
And not stunted behind masquerades...
By those in fear,
Seeking somewhere to hide!
Or somewhere to cloak,
Unspoken feelings felt inside.

These are the days,
Bare neccesities are craved.
And yet egos in self praise...
Are the ones finding the most discomfort.

But truth never hides,
Or provides charades!
Not even the obvious shelters,
Can protect those afraid!

'This is the dawning of the Age of Reality.
The Age of Re-al-ity.
Ree-al-ity!
Harmony and understanding...
And so forth and so on it goes!
And where it stops?
Nobody knows! '

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Don't Let Go Love

What's it gonna be 'cuz I can't pretend
Don't you want to be more than friends
Only time and don't let go
Don't let go
You have the right to lose control
Don't let go
I often told myself that we could be more than just friends
I know you think that we move to soon it would all end
I live in misery when you're not around
And I won't be satisfied till we're taken both vows
There'll be some love maken, heart breaken, soul shaken love
Love maken, heart breaken, soul shaken.....
What's it gonna be 'cuz I can't pretend
Don't you want to be more than friends
Only time and don't let go
Don't let go
You have the right to lose control
Don't let go
I often fanticised the stars above are watchen
They know my heart to speak to you as like only lovers do
If I could wear your clothes I'd pretend I was you and I lose control
There'll be some love maken, heart breaken, soul shaken love
Love maken, heart breaken, soul shaken.....
What's it gonna be 'cuz I can't pretend
Don't you want to be more than friends
Only time and don't let go
Don't let go
You have the right to lose control
Don't let go
Run a minute
I'm alive
Has got me so confused
You gotta make the sacrifice
Somebody's gotta chose
Will we make it if we try
For the sake of you and I
Together we can make it right
(Can't keep a running)
(I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive)
(You've got the right, you've got the right,)
(I said you've got the right to lose control)
What's it gonna be 'cuz I can't pretend
Don't you want to be more than friends
Only time and don't let go
Don't let go
You have the right to lose control
Don't let go
Don't let go
Don't let go
What's it gonna be 'cuz I can't pretend
Don't you want to be more than friends
Only time and don't let go
Don't let go
You have the right to lose control
Don't let go
What's it gonna be (don't let go)
Don't you want to be (don't let go)
Only time and don't let go (don't let go

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The Hitter

Come to the door ma and unlock the chain.
Well I was just passin through and got caught in the rain.
Theres nothing that I want, nothin that you need say.
Just let me lie down a while and Ill be on my way.
I was no more than a kid when you put me on the southern queen.
With the police on my back I fled to new orleans.
Well I fought in the dockyards for the the money that I made.
And the fight was my home and any blood was my trade.
Baton rouge, ______, and lafayette town.
They payed me the moon, ma, to knock the man down.
Well I did what I did, yeah it come easily.
For as know ma, restraint and mercy were always strangers to me.
I fought champion jack thompson in a field full of mud.
Rain poured through the tent canvas and mixed with our blood.
In the twelfth, slipped my tounge over my broken jaw.
And I pounded his body into the floor.
Well the bell rang and rang and still I kept on.
til I felt my glove leather slip tween his skin and bone.
And the women and the money came fast and the days I lost track.
The women red, the money green, but the numbers were black.
I fought for the men in their silk suits to lay down their bets.
Well I took my good share, ma, I have no regrets.
I took the fixed staid hombre with big diamond don. (? ? ? )
Well from high in the rafters I watched myself fall.
He raised his arms, stomach twisted, and the sky it went black. (? ? ? )
I stuffed my bag with their good money, ma, and never looked back.
Understand me and my, every man plays the game.
Well if you know anyone different then speak out his name.
My life, my face, now you dont recognize.
Well just open the door and look into your dark eyes.
I ask of you nothin, not a kiss not a smile.
Just open the door and let me lie down for a while.
Now the gray rain is fallin and my ring fightins done.
So in the work fields and alleys, I take them wholl come.
If youre a better man than me then just step to the line.
Show me your money and speak out your crime.
Theres nothin I want, ma, nuthin that you need say.
Just let me lie for a while and Ill be on my way.
Well tonight in stockyard, a man draws a circle in the dirt.
I move to the center and take off my shirt.
I study him for the cuts, the scars, the pain, no time can erase.
I move hard to the left and I strike to the face.

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The Feast Of The Gael

St. Patrick’s Day

I.
WHAT a onion of hearts is the love of a mother
When races of men in her name unite!
For love of Old Erin, and love of each other,
The boards of the Gael are full to-night!
Their millions of men have one toast and one topic—
Their feuds laid aside and their envies removed;
From the pines of the Pole to the palms of the Tropic,
They drink: 'The dear Land we have prayed for and loved!'
They are One by the bond of a time-honored fashion;
Though strangers may see but the lights of their feast,
Beneath lies the symbol of faith and of passion
Alike of the Pagan and Christian priest!


II.
When native laws by native kings
At Tara were decreed,
The grand old Gheber worship
Was the form of Erin's creed.
The Sun, Life-giver, was God on high;
Men worshipped the Power they saw;
And they kept the faith as the ages rolled
By the solemn Beltane law.
Each year, on the Holy Day, was quenched
The household fires of the land;
And the Druid priest, at the midnight hour,
Brought forth the flaming brand,—
The living spark for the Nation's hearths,—
From the Monarch's hand it came,
Whose fire at Tara spread the sign—
And the people were One by the flame!
And Baal was God! till Patrick came,
By the Holy Name inspired;
On the Beltane night, in great Tara's sight,
His pile at Slane was fired.
And the deed that was death was the Nation's life,
And the doom of the Pagan bane;
For Erin still keeps Beltane night,
But lights her lamp at Slane!
Though fourteen centuries pile their dust
On the mound of the Druid's grave,
To-night is The Beltane! Bright the fire
That Holy Patrick gave!
To-night is The Beltane! Let him heed
Who studieth creed and race:
Old times and gods are dead, and we
Are far from the ancient place;
The waves of centuries, war, and waste,
Of famine, gallows, and goal,
Have swept our land; but the world to-night
Sees the Beltane Fire of the Gael!


III.
O land of sad fate! like a desolate queen,
Who remembers in sorrow the crown of her glory,
The love of thy children not strangely is seen—
For humanity weeps at thy heart-touching story.
Strong heart in affliction! that draweth thy foes
Till they love thee more dear than thine own generation:
Thy strength is increased as thy life-current flows,—
What were death to another is Ireland's salvation!
God scatters her sons like the seed on the lea,
And they root where they fall, be it mountain or furrow;
They come to remain and remember; and she
In their growth will rejoice in a blissful to-morrow!

They sing in strange lands the sweet songs of their home,
Their emerald Zion enthroned in the billows;
To work, not to weep by the rivers they come:
Their harps are not hanged in despair on the willows.
The hope of the mother beats youthful and strong,
Responsive and true to her children's pulsations,
No petrified heart has she saved from the wrong—
Our Niobe lives for her place 'mong the nations!

Then drink, all her sons—be they Keltic or Danish,
Or Norman or Saxon—one mantle was o'er us;
Let race lines, and creed lines, and every line, vanish—
We drink as the Gael: 'To the Mother that bore us! '

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Patrick White

Rain At Five In The Morning. Can't Sleep

Rain at five in the morning. Can't sleep.
Too many shards of broken mirrors
of the way things are in my mind.
Not enough windows to look through
for a star or two between the clouds.
No one on the streets. And the doorways
keeping their thoughts to themselves.
The pipes of the gas furnace creak
like an octopus with arthritis
and the aquarium filter leaks
like a mindstream on the rocks
not the lyrics of a fountain with a dolphin's mouth.

My eyes observe the protocols of seeing
into the sturm and drang of my awareness
like a lighthouse, but the dragon's awake
scalding my heart until my blood seethes
like the toxic glands of a cold-hearted reptile
in a cauldron of volcanic mistakes
reversing the spin of the spells I cast
that had more of an air of forgiveness about them
than is seemly for a curse but still too much
the smouldering of the Druidic glais
dedicated to the ashes of the Burning Man
to be a blessing in the eyes of the beholder
who sees his own features in it, good or bad,
depending on how raw or cooked he is.

My subconscious mind surfaces
like the dorsal fin of a sundial
to circle the lifeboat I'm in
like a prophet in the belly of a killer whale
trying to knock a seal off an ice floe.
I've disciplined my karma like a martial art
but my heart is a miasma of provisional compassion.
Dead dog's dream self snarls like a junkyard
of bad performance poetry behind an electric fence
I wove out of the optic fibres
of a discarded dreamcatcher
hanging from a rearview mirror
in the middle of a windshield
swimming against the flow of things
like a salmon up the mountain
in the slipstream of its own wake.

I keep my rage on a chain and a muzzle.
I keep my sorrow to myself like a child
I never wanted to grow up to be me.
I can be a heretic devoted to the freedom
of my own creative apostasy
as a decultified mode of poetic disobedience
but there's a gleeful buoyancy
in the experience that bubbles up
within me like a tar pit liberated from itself
that says touch even this lightly
in your passage through here.
Listen to the wind in the trees
with your nose as well as your ears
but follow the stars like a shepherd of wolves
hunting in the same high fields
their fires graze upon themselves,
not the wheeling of the world's wavelengths
in these earthbound coils of renewal and extinction
crushing the life out of me like a beached Leviathan
suffocating under its own weight, or oracular pythons
with their tails in their mouths like the last word
of anything left to say on their deathbeds.

My despair is still contaminated with hope
and the lucky long shots that ricochet off chaos
but still hit the target like the master stroke
of a random God particle, haven't done anything
to improve the aim of my hadron collider.
The secret of life is confided only to those
discrete enough not to tell it to anyone else.
They wear it on their sleeves like silence.
Their tongues are not candles in the niches of their mouths
they keep blowing out with every breath they take
looking for emergency exits in the fire traps of their shrines.
And woe to the hypocrite that tries
to love me unconditionally as if I didn't have
a mind and a heart of my own to see
what a ploy it is to climb a burning ladder
up to heaven, only to let people down conditionally
like a fire-escape in a cheap hotel
that stops half way to the ground.

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Jinny the Just

Releas'd from the noise of the butcher and baker
Who, my old friends be thanked, did seldom forsake her,
And from the soft duns of my landlord the Quaker,

From chiding the footmen and watching the lasses,
From Nell that burn'd milk, and Tom that broke glasses
(Sad mischiefs thro' which a good housekeeper passes!)

From some real care but more fancied vexation,
From a life parti-colour'd half reason half passion,
Here lies after all the best wench in the nation.

From the Rhine to the Po, from the Thames to the Rhone,
Joanna or Janneton, Jinny or Joan,
'Twas all one to her by what name she was known.

For the idiom of words very little she heeded,
Provided the matter she drove at succeeded,
She took and gave languages just as she needed.

So for kitchen and market, for bargain and sale,
She paid English or Dutch or French down on the nail,
But in telling a story she sometimes did fail;

Then begging excuse as she happen'd to stammer,
With respect to her betters but none to her grammar,
Her blush helped her out and her jargon became her.

Her habit and mien she endeavor'd to frame
To the different gout of the place where she came;
Her outside still chang'd, but her inside the same:

At the Hague in her slippers and hair as the mode is,
At Paris all falbalow'd fine as a goddess,
And at censuring London in smock sleeves and bodice.

She order'd affairs that few people could tell
In what part about her that mixture did dwell
Of Frow, or Mistress, or Mademoiselle.

For her surname and race let the herald's e'en answer;
Her own proper worth was enough to advance her,
And he who liked her, little value her grandsire.

But from what house so ever her lineage may come
I wish my own Jinny but out of her tomb,
Tho' all her relations were there in her room.

Of such terrible beauty she never could boast
As with absolute sway o'er all hearts rules the roast
When J___ bawls out to the chair for a toast;

But of good household features her person was made,
Nor by faction cried up nor of censure afraid,
And her beauty was rather for use than parade.

Her blood so well mix't and flesh so well pasted
That, tho' her youth faded, her comeliness lasted;
The blue was wore off, but the plum was well tasted.

Less smooth than her skin and less white than her breast
Was this polished stone beneath which she lies pressed:
Stop, reader, and sigh while thou thinkst on the rest.

With a just trim of virtue her soul was endued,
Not affectedly pious nor secretly lewd
She cut even between the coquette and the prude.

Her will with her duty so equally stood
That, seldom oppos'd, she was commonly good,
And did pretty well, doing just what she would.

Declining all power she found means to persuade,
Was then most regarded when most she obey'd,
The mistress in truth when she seem'd but the maid.

Such care of her own proper actions she took
That on other folk's lives she had not time to look,
So censure and praise were struck out of her book.

Her thought still confin'd to its own little sphere,
She minded not who did excel or did err
But just as the matter related to her.

Then too when her private tribunal was rear'd
Her mercy so mix'd with her judgment appear'd
That her foes were condemn'd and her friends always clear'd.

Her religion so well with her learning did suit
That in practice sincere, and in controverse mute,
She showed she knew better to live than dispute.

Some parts of the Bible by heart she recited,
And much in historical chapters delighted,
But in points about Faith she was something short sighted;

So notions and modes she refer'd to the schools,
And in matters of conscience adher'd to two rules,
To advise with no bigots, and jest with no fools.

And scrupling but little, enough she believ'd,
By charity ample small sins she retriev'd,
And when she had new clothes she always receiv'd.

Thus still whilst her morning unseen fled away
In ord'ring the linen and making the tea
That scarce could have time for the psalms of the day;

And while after dinner the night came so soon
That half she propos'd very seldom was done;
With twenty God bless me's, how this day is gone! --

While she read and accounted and paid and abated,
Eat and drank, play'd and work'd, laugh'd and cried, lov'd and hated,
As answer'd the end of her being created:

In the midst of her age came a cruel disease
Which neither her juleps nor receipts could appease;
So down dropp'd her clay -- may her Soul be at peace!

Retire from this sepulchre all the profane,
You that love for debauch, or that marry for gain,
Retire lest ye trouble the Manes of J___.

But thou that know'st love above int'rest or lust,
Strew the myrle and rose on this once belov'd dust,
And shed one pious tear upon Jinny the Just.

Tread soft on her grave, and do right to her honor,
Let neither rude hand nor ill tongue light upon her,
Do all the small favors that now can be done her.

And when what thou lik'd shall return to her clay,
For so I'm persuaded she must do one day
-- Whatever fantastic John Asgill may say --

When as I have done now, thou shalt set up a stone
For something however distinguished or known,
May some pious friend the misfortune bemoan,
And make thy concern by reflexion his own.

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The Break Away

Your daisies have come
on the day of my divorce:
the courtroom a cement box,
a gas chamber for the infectious Jew in me
and a perhaps land, a possibly promised land
for the Jew in me,
but still a betrayal room for the till-death-do-us—
and yet a death, as in the unlocking of scissors
that makes the now separate parts useless,
even to cut each other up as we did yearly
under the crayoned-in sun.
The courtroom keeps squashing our lives as they break
into two cans ready for recycling,
flattened tin humans
and a tin law,
even for my twenty-five years of hanging on
by my teeth as I once saw at Ringling Brothers.
The gray room:
Judge, lawyer, witness
and me and invisible Skeezix,
and all the other torn
enduring the bewilderments
of their division.

Your daisies have come
on the day of my divorce.
They arrive like round yellow fish,
sucking with love at the coral of our love.
Yet they wait,
in their short time,
like little utero half-borns,
half killed, thin and bone soft.
They breathe the air that stands
for twenty-five illicit days,
the sun crawling inside the sheets,
the moon spinning like a tornado
in the washbowl,
and we orchestrated them both,
calling ourselves TWO CAMP DIRECTORS.
There was a song, our song on your cassette,
that played over and over
and baptised the prodigals.
It spoke the unspeakable,
as the rain will on an attic roof,
letting the animal join its soul
as we kneeled before a miracle-
forgetting its knife.

The daisies confer
in the old-married kitchen
papered with blue and green chefs
who call out pies, cookies, yummy,
at the charcoal and cigarette smoke
they wear like a yellowy salve.
The daisies absorb it all-
the twenty-five-year-old sanctioned love
(If one could call such handfuls of fists
and immobile arms that!)
and on this day my world rips itself up
while the country unfastens along
with its perjuring king and his court.
It unfastens into an abortion of belief,
as in me-
the legal rift-
as on might do with the daisies
but does not
for they stand for a love
undergoihng open heart surgery
that might take
if one prayed tough enough.
And yet I demand,
even in prayer,
that I am not a thief,
a mugger of need,
and that your heart survive
on its own,
belonging only to itself,
whole, entirely whole,
and workable
in its dark cavern under your ribs.

I pray it will know truth,
if truth catches in its cup
and yet I pray, as a child would,
that the surgery take.

I dream it is taking.
Next I dream the love is swallowing itself.
Next I dream the love is made of glass,
glass coming through the telephone
that is breaking slowly,
day by day, into my ear.
Next I dream that I put on the love
like a lifejacket and we float,
jacket and I,
we bounce on that priest-blue.
We are as light as a cat's ear
and it is safe,
safe far too long!
And I awaken quickly and go to the opposite window
and peer down at the moon in the pond
and know that beauty has walked over my head,
into this bedroom and out,
flowing out through the window screen,
dropping deep into the water
to hide.

I will observe the daisies
fade and dry up
wuntil they become flour,
snowing themselves onto the table
beside the drone of the refrigerator,
beside the radio playing Frankie
(as often as FM will allow)
snowing lightly, a tremor sinking from the ceiling-
as twenty-five years split from my side
like a growth that I sliced off like a melanoma.

It is six P.M. as I water these tiny weeds
and their little half-life,
their numbered days
that raged like a secret radio,
recalling love that I picked up innocently,
yet guiltily,
as my five-year-old daughter
picked gum off the sidewalk
and it became suddenly an elastic miracle.

For me it was love found
like a diamond
where carrots grow-
the glint of diamond on a plane wing,
meaning: DANGER! THICK ICE!
but the good crunch of that orange,
the diamond, the carrot,
both with four million years of resurrecting dirt,
and the love,
although Adam did not know the word,
the love of Adam
obeying his sudden gift.

You, who sought me for nine years,
in stories made up in front of your naked mirror
or walking through rooms of fog women,
you trying to forget the mother
who built guilt with the lumber of a locked door
as she sobbed her soured mild and fed you loss
through the keyhole,
you who wrote out your own birth
and built it with your own poems,
your own lumber, your own keyhole,
into the trunk and leaves of your manhood,
you, who fell into my words, years
before you fell into me (the other,
both the Camp Director and the camper),
you who baited your hook with wide-awake dreams,
and calls and letters and once a luncheon,
and twice a reading by me for you.
But I wouldn't!

Yet this year,
yanking off all past years,
I took the bait
and was pulled upward, upward,
into the sky and was held by the sun-
the quick wonder of its yellow lap-
and became a woman who learned her own shin
and dug into her soul and found it full,
and you became a man who learned his won skin
and dug into his manhood, his humanhood
and found you were as real as a baker
or a seer
and we became a home,
up into the elbows of each other's soul,
without knowing-
an invisible purchase-
that inhabits our house forever.

We were
blessed by the House-Die
by the altar of the color T.V.
and somehow managed to make a tiny marriage,
a tiny marriage
called belief,
as in the child's belief in the tooth fairy,
so close to absolute,
so daft within a year or two.
The daisies have come
for the last time.
And I who have,
each year of my life,
spoken to the tooth fairy,
believing in her,
even when I was her,
am helpless to stop your daisies from dying,
although your voice cries into the telephone:
Marry me! Marry me!
and my voice speaks onto these keys tonight:
The love is in dark trouble!
The love is starting to die,
right now-
we are in the process of it.
The empty process of it.

I see two deaths,
and the two men plod toward the mortuary of my heart,
and though I willed one away in court today
and I whisper dreams and birthdays into the other,
they both die like waves breaking over me
and I am drowning a little,
but always swimming
among the pillows and stones of the breakwater.
And though your daisies are an unwanted death,
I wade through the smell of their cancer
and recognize the prognosis,
its cartful of loss-

I say now,
you gave what you could.
It was quite a ferris wheel to spin on!
and the dead city of my marriage
seems less important
than the fact that the daisies came weekly,
over and over,
likes kisses that can't stop themselves.

There sit two deaths on November 5th, 1973.
Let one be forgotten-
Bury it! Wall it up!
But let me not forget the man
of my child-like flowers
though he sinks into the fog of Lake Superior,
he remains, his fingers the marvel
of fourth of July sparklers,
his furious ice cream cones of licking,
remains to cool my forehead with a washcloth
when I sweat into the bathtub of his being.

For the rest that is left:
name it gentle,
as gentle as radishes inhabiting
their short life in the earth,
name it gentle,
gentle as old friends waving so long at the window,
or in the drive,
name it gentle as maple wings singing
themselves upon the pond outside,
as sensuous as the mother-yellow in the pond,
that night that it was ours,
when our bodies floated and bumped
in moon water and the cicadas
called out like tongues.

Let such as this
be resurrected in all men
whenever they mold their days and nights
as when for twenty-five days and nights you molded mine
and planted the seed that dives into my God
and will do so forever
no matter how often I sweep the floor.

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The Woefull Lamentation Of Jane Shore

The woefull lamentation of Jane Shore, a goldsmith's wife in London, sometime king Edward IV. his concubine. To the tune of 'Live with me,' &c.

If Rosamonde, that was so faire,
Had cause her sorrowes to declare,
Then let Jane Shore with sorrowe sing,
That was beloved of a king.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

In maiden yeares my beautye bright
Was loved dear of lord and knight;
But yet the love that they requir'd,
It was not as my friends desir'd.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

My parents they, for thirst of gaine,
A husband for me did obtaine;
And I, their pleasure to fulfille,
Was forc'd to wedd against my wille.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

To Matthew Shore I was a wife,
Till lust brought ruine to my life;
And then my life I lewdlye spent,
Which makes my soul for to lament.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

In Lombard-street I once did dwelle,
As London yet can witness welle;
Where many gallants did beholde
My beautye in a shop of golde.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

I spred my plumes, as wantons doe,
Some sweet and secret friende to wooe,
Because chast love I did not finde
Agreeing to my wanton minde.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

At last my name in court did ring
Into the eares of Englandes king,
Who came and lik'd, and love requir'd,
But I made coye what he desir'd.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Yet Mistress Blague, a neighbour neare,
Whose friendship I esteemed deare,
Did saye, 'It was a gallant thing
To be beloved of a king.'
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

By her persuasions I was led,
For to defile my marriage-bed
And to wronge my wedded husband Shore,
Whom I had married yeares before.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

In heart and mind I did rejoyce,
That I had made so sweet a choice;
And therefore did my state resigne,
To be King Edward's concubine.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

From city then to court I went,
To reape the pleasures of content;
There had the joyes that love could bring,
And knew the secrets of a king.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

When I was thus advanc'd on highe,
Commanding Edward with mine eye,
For Mrs. Blague I in short space
Obtainde a livinge from his Grace.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

No friende I had, but in short time
I made unto promotion climbe;
But yet for all this costlye pride,
My husbande could not mee abide.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

His bed, though wronged by a king,
His heart with deadlye griefe did sting;
From England then he goes away
To end his life beyond the sea.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

He could not live to see his name
Impaired by my wanton shame;
Although a prince of peerlesse might
Did reape the pleasure of his right.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Long time I lived in the courte,
With lords and ladies of great sorte;
And when I smil'd, all men were glad,
But when I frown'd, my prince grewe sad.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

But yet a gentle minde I bore
To helpless people, that were poore;
I still redrest the orphans crye,
And sav'd their lives condemnd to dye.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

I still had ruth on widowes tears,
I succour'd babes of tender yeares;
And never look'd for other gaine
But love and thankes, for all my paine.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

At last my royall king did dye,
And then my dayes of woe grew nighe;
When crook-back Richard got the crowne,
King Edwards friends were soon put downe.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

I then was punisht for my sin,
That I so long had lived in;
Yea, every one that was his friend
This tyrant brought to shameful end.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Then for my lewd and wanton life,
That made a strumpet of a wife,
I penance did in Lombard-street,
In shamefull manner in a sheet:
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Where many thousands did me viewe,
Who late in court my credit knewe;
Which made the teares run down my face,
To think upon my foul disgrace.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Not thus content, they took from mee
My goodes, my livings, and my fee,
And charg'd that none should me relieve,
Nor any succour to me give.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Then unto Mrs. Blague I went,
To whom my jewels I had sent,
In hope therebye to ease my want,
When riches fail'd, and love grew scant.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

But she denyed to me the same,
When in my need for them I came;
To recompense my former love,
Out of her doores shee did me shove.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

So love did vanish with my state,
Which now my soul repents too late;
Therefore example take by mee,
For friendship parts in povertie.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

But yet one friend among the rest,
Whom I before had seen distrest,
And sav'd his life, condemn'd to die,
Did give me food to succour me:
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

For which, by lawe, it was decreed
That he was hanged for that deed;
His death did grieve me so much more,
Than had I dyed myself therefore.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Then those to whom I had done good
Durst not afford mee any food;
Whereby I begged all the day,
And still in streets by night I lay.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

My gowns beset with pearl and gold,
Were turn'd to simple garments old;
My chains and gems and golden rings,
To filthy rags and loathsome things.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Thus was I scorn'd of maid and wife,
For leading such a wicked life;
Both sucking babes and children small,
Did make their pastime at my fall.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

I could not get one bit of bread,
Whereby my hunger might be fed:
Nor drink, but such as channels yield,
Or stinking ditches in the field.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Thus, weary of my life, at lengthe
I yielded up my vital strength
Within a ditch of loathsome scent,
Where carrion dogs did much frequent:
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

The which now since my dying daye,
Is Shoreditch call'd, as writers saye;
Which is a witness of my sinne,
For being concubine to a king.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

You wanton wives, that fall to lust,
Be you assur'd that God is just;
Whoredome shall not escape his hand,
Nor pride unpunish'd in this land.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

If God to me such shame did bring,
That yielded only to a king,
How shall they scape that daily run
To practise sin with every one?
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

You husbands, match not but for love
Lest some disliking after prove;
Women, be warn'd when you are wives,
What plagues are due to sinful lives:
Then, maids and wives, in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

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Master Valluvan, The Long-Misunderstood Tamil Mentor

'The Kurral owes much of its popularity to its exquisite poetic form. A kurral is a couplet containing a complete and striking idea expressed in a refined and intricate metre. No translation can convey an idea of its charming effect. […] The brevity rendered necessary by the form [composed in the Venpa metre] gives an oracular effect to the utterances of the great Tamil ‘Master of the sentences.' They are the choicest of moral epigrams. […] Tiruvalluvar is generally very simple, and his commentators very profound.'
Rev. G.U. Pope, Former Fellow of Madras University

[Pardon these futile measly words from your great Potiya height: they can hardly belittle your true worth.]

Under what leaky hutment roof by stamped-mud floors
trembling clair-oscuro straw-wick kuttuvilakku
on the stark anvil of crisp phrase and sparse syntax
by the raging nama-nir rhyming brine
at Mayilapur's S.Thomé sandy doors
while peacocks danced to your innate pulsating chimes
have you chipped away at uncut gems

Those the Yavanas brought with the monsoons
or such as your sea-daring captain friend Elela-Cinkan's
Even those the Christian missionaries preached
in daredevil enticement
after St.Thomas fell to a vel stuck in his bosom
or of
those like you who were stamped underfoot

Caste in cast-iron strictures
Priest only to the proclaimer paraiyar drum-beaters
The warp and woof of intricately woven venpa verse
elevating your weaving clan to fresh artistic heights

YET
in the humbled ways of your birth
on whose steps have you pitched your ears
whose wisdom have you had to pilfer
filter
whose ways have you had to ape
whose mere thoughts have you then had to set aright
ennoble
and remould into inextinguishable lines

Or had you tread the ahimsa path of gentle-foot Jains
Treading gently the earth for fear of loping boot pains

SEVEN STARK WORDS
Seven alliterative blockbuster words struck so
they rhymed initially in juxta-positioning lineal parallels
pausing but in the fourth
to resume breath in the fifth
Leaving the interstitial morphemes in resonating ellipses

The economy of your parsing has wreaked havoc down the ages
in all trans-explicatory tongues
Tough-minded men come from afar
with other gods to serve
and sacrifices to make in the name of their Lords
bent your versification to limp rhyme
and left meaning a hung pursuit
in the hands of plagiarists professors preachers
who
not knowing nor divining the reason for your craftsman's
concatenation of weighted phonemes
advanced theories for your elastic pregnant mind
strung myriads of pages in exegeses
(much perhaps to your amusement now)
each staking a claim to posterity
the villainous hanging on your lips

In a time devoid of papered learning for the poor
When to be born a Sudra or Pariah was a sin
When masters were those top-heavy manically-mantric Brahmin
priests
Preying on the duped loyal sycophantic Vaishyas
wishing to earn karmic merit with their agricultural gain at their altar
feet
such servant-financers as they by legions now lay their souls down
as even the long-gone royally leisure-dispensing Kshaktriyas

how would he who sought the spread of knowledge
not seek to encapsulate learning in mnemonic couplets
arranged according to rigid design
for those who could not count either

Ten fingers in the hand so
Ten the number of facets of a thought
a subject
a theme
even if theme subject thought were stretched too thin

Whether or not relations with the uncultured enamour
Do not seek to succour what should sour

What does it matter if you gain or lose inferiors
Who feather their own nests and leave you in a mess

Those who look to the benefit that accrues from friendship
And those who covet largesse are thick as thieves

Better be content to walk alone than surround yourself
With friends who'd ditch you like wild stallions in battle

It's better to sever than solder vile ties
With the petty-minded who'd fail you in need

By far it'd serve you better to be snubbed by the wise
Than be warmed by the company of narrow-minded fools

It's infinitely more useful to bear your enemies' scorn
Than court raucous revellers who'd warm you up with guffaws

Friends who'd proffer help remonstrate and find fault
Might as well shun them with scarcely a farewell

Friends who please by word and yet act otherwise
Crop up as a rude shock even in dreams

Turn away from the friend who snuggles up in private
While he seeks to denounce you in a public place

[Tirukkural, Chapter 82: 'Evil Friendship']

No-one contests your calligraphic diamond cutter's skills
Nor your codifier rôle of existing customs beliefs
of kingly comportment
of the wife's place
of manner of securing friendships
of the obtention and dispensation of education
of the seductions in the dainty maiden's coyness
Nor of your infinite wisdom of the times
Nor of your observation of the passing of life about you
Nor alas! of your inveterate nay obsessive need to pontificate
in what is evident to even the half-baked

PERHAPS

What mattered was to get the lesson through
even one in ten was well worth the while
if remembered by the unfortunate by birth
who never traversed the threshold of class and caste
who never even buckled exceeding numbers on their toes

To you the ten-by-tens by one-hundred-and-thirty
perhaps you planned a florilège
in old age
by weeding out for posterity's privileged classes
the few quoted over and over

katka kasatara karka karrapin
nitka atatkut taka

vilampu suttapun arum arate
navinal sutta vatu

and you might never have thought
the mighty today are like those trodden poor of your day
who
at least were shackled to ignorance by force by godly fear
a racially discriminating Overlord

now the privileged in blindness give you lip-service
and a lot of money
hoping by this gesture to earn your merit
not earn YOU merit
and the society's accolade

You remain abused still
by the undistinguishing crowd
who upon the mention of your name
rise to feel proud
of what then
than
in their shored-up selves
of belonging in
the self-same pigment and tongue

None of your real worth passes into them
Nor the reason for your epigrammatic lines

Pray
Should I then beg forgiveness for this affront

Some apart
much remains redundant
obvious
inapt by way of pointing to fresher vistas
and these that follow the rarity of your verse
imbibe nothing else from this age's handy cornucopia
of instant wisdom

Your lines served an eminent purpose in your time
now we bed our minds down by encyclopaedic libraries
we live on another planet
Your chain-ganged lines served to teach the meek
the lame of mind
the dislocated of your time

Yes some still wallow in the same myth
today
not from want of will
but from the fear of rebirth
imprisoned in conditioned belief

and the essor of Dravidian identity
only defering to the feigned purity of Aryanising blood
reverts to the same mythic belief
some kind of imagined power of breed

History is in the past
It cannot help the present to liberate itself
If one has not understood the difference
If one has not disowned and let fall meaningless myths

If you dear Valuvan lived in these times
Would you not have disowned your own lines

well perhaps some or more
not all finding their way into a florilège of your choice

for you know how love in the third part changed with moeurs
changing with the times
so has the art of governance
and the unconscionable ways and practices of the artha classes
other precautions more pressing than mere friendship
would have compelled you to jettison many a couplet

Who knows even your first ten would have found their way
into a bin
ethical lines of advice
would turn sour in today's ear

No child would heed to the letter your admonitions of behaviour
Nor no wife take her place in the humiliating role of kitchen-helper
No king will base his reign on your strict plans of concern for etiquette
No youth seek virtue in the puritanical preachment of bygone
observances

One singular contention
No peasant revolution
No women's liberation
No religious reformation
grace your pages
the establishment the status quo the traditional hierarchy the Almighty
All find mindful foundation
in your ardent didacticism
and extend licence to those who cry sacrilege
in the coming dismantling of the clans of castial power

Is poetry only meant for teaching what is time-honoured
what is authorised
what seeks not to rock the ship of fate

Helas! My universally-renowned peerless ancestor!
I'd like to think
You'd be the first to have recognized the always changing world
The first to have accepted the parting of ways
For your intelligence your foresight and hindsight
Your immensely powerful quill
would have sought other remedies
other means to convince
a wayward world
a world far too gone and worldly-wise
to hatch the nuances of your admonishing word
all afresh

N'empêche your name is a comet
hurtling down the ages

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John Keats

Otho The Great - Act III

SCENE I.
The Country.
Enter ALBERT.
Albert. O that the earth were empty, as when Cain
Had no perplexity to hide his head!
Or that the sword of some brave enemy
Had put a sudden stop to my hot breath,
And hurl'd me down the illimitable gulph
Of times past, unremember'd! Better so
Than thus fast-limed in a cursed snare,
The white limbs of a wanton. This the end
Of an aspiring life! My boyhood past
In feud with wolves and bears, when no eye saw
The solitary warfare, fought for love
Of honour 'mid the growling wilderness.
My sturdier youth, maturing to the sword,
Won by the syren-trumpets, and the ring
Of shields upon the pavement, when bright-mail'd
Henry the Fowler pass'd the streets of Prague,
Was't to this end I louted and became
The menial of Mars, and held a spear
Sway'd by command, as corn is by the wind?
Is it for this, I now am lifted up
By Europe's throned Emperor, to see
My honour be my executioner,
My love of fame, my prided honesty
Put to the torture for confessional?
Then the damn'd crime of blurting to the world
A woman's secret! Though a fiend she be,
Too tender of my ignominious life;
But then to wrong the generous Emperor
In such a searching point, were to give up
My soul for foot-ball at Hell's holiday!
I must confess, and cut my throat, to-day?
To-morrow? Ho! some wine!
Enter SIGIFRED.
Sigifred. A fine humour
Albert. Who goes there? Count Sigifred? Ha! Ha!
Sigifred. What, man, do you mistake the hollow sky
For a throng 'd tavern, and these stubbed trees
For old serge hangings, me, your humble friend,
For a poor waiter? Why, man, how you stare!
What gipsies have you been carousing with?
No, no more wine; methinks you've had enough.
Albert. You well may laugh and banter. What a fool
An injury may make of a staid man!
You shall know all anon.
Sigifred. Some tavern brawl?
Albert. 'Twas with some people out of common reach;
Revenge is difficult.
Sigifred. I am your friend;
We meet again to-day, and can confer
Upon it. For the present I'm in haste.
Albert. Whither?
Sigifred. To fetch King Gersa to the feast.
The Emperor on this marriage is so hot,
Pray Heaven it end not in apoplexy!
The very porters, as I pass'd the doors,
Heard his loud laugh, and answer 'd in full choir.
I marvel, Albert, you delay so long
From those bright revelries; go, show yourself,
You may be made a duke.
Albert. Aye, very like:
Pray, what day has his Highness fix'd upon?
Sigifred. For what?
Albert. The marriage. What else can I mean?
Sigifred. To-day! O, I forgot, you could not know;
The news is scarce a minute old with me.
Albert. Married to-day! To-day! You did not say so?
Sigifred. Now, while I speak to you, their comely heads
Are bow'd before the mitre.
Albert. O! Monstrous!
Sigifred. What is this?
Albert. Nothing, Sigifred. Farewell!
We'll meet upon our subject. Farewell, count!
[Exit.
Sigifred. Is this clear-headed Albert? He brain-turned!
‘Tis as portentous as a meteor. [Exit.

SCENE II. An Apartment in the Castle.
Enter, as from the Marriage, OTHO, LUDOLPH, AURANTHE, CONRAD,
Nobles, Knights, Ladies, &c. Music.
Otho. Now, Ludolph! Now, Auranthe! Daughter fair!
What can I find to grace your nuptial day
More than my love, and these wide realms in fee?
Ludolph. I have too much.
Auranthe. And I, my liege, by far.
Ludolph. Auranthe! I have! O, my bride, my love!
Not all the gaze upon us can restrain
My eyes, too long poor exiles from thy face,
From adoration, and my foolish tongue
From uttering soft responses to the love
I see in thy mute beauty beaming forth!
Fair creature, bless me with a single word!
All mine!
Auranthe. Spare, spare me, my Lord! I swoon else.
Ludolph. Soft beauty! by to-morrow I should die,
Wert thou not mine. [They talk apart,
First Lady. How deep she has bewitch'd him!
First Knight. Ask you for her recipe for love philtres.
Second Lady. They hold the Emperor in admiration,
Otho. If ever king was happy, that am I!
What are the cities 'yond the Alps to me,
The provinces about the Danube's mouth,
The promise of fair soil beyond the Rhone;
Or routing out of Hyperborean hordes,
To those fair children, stars of a new age?
Unless perchance I might rejoice to win
This little ball of earth, and chuck it them
To play with!
Auranthe. Nay, my Lord, I do not know.
Ludolph. Let me not famish.
Otho (to Conrad). Good Franconia,
You heard what oath I sware, as the sun rose,
That unless Heaven would send me back my son,
My Arab, no soft music should enrich
The cool wine, kiss'd off with a soldier's smack;
Now all my empire, barter 'd for one feast,
Seems poverty.
Conrad. Upon the neighbour-plain
The heralds have prepar'd a royal lists;
Your knights, found war-proof in the bloody field,
Speed to the game.
Otho. Well, Ludolph, what say you?
Ludolph. My lord!
Otho. A tourney?
Conrad. Or, if't please you best
Ludolph. I want no morel
First Lady. He soars!
Second Lady. Past all reason.
Ludolph. Though heaven's choir
Should in a vast circumference descend
And sing for my delight, I'd stop my ears!
Though bright Apollo's car stood burning here,
And he put out an arm to bid me mount,
His touch an immortality, not I!
This earth, this palace, this room, Auranthe!
Otho. This is a little painful; just too much.
Conrad, if he flames longer in this wise,
I shall believe in wizard-woven loves
And old romances; but I'll break the spell.
Ludolph!
Conrad. He will be calm, anon.
Ludolph. You call'd?
Yes, yes, yes, I offend. You must forgive me;
Not being quite recover'd from the stun
Of your large bounties. A tourney, is it not?
{A senet heard faintly.
Conrad. The trumpets reach us.
Ethelbert (without). On your peril, sirs,
Detain us!
First Voice (without). Let not the abbot pass.
Second Voice (without). No,
On your lives!
First Voice (without). Holy Father, you must not.
Ethelbert (without). Otho!
Otho. Who calls on Otho?
Ethelhert (without). Ethelbert!
Otho. Let him come in.
Enter ETHELBERT leading in ERMINIA.
Thou cursed abbot, why
Hast brought pollution to our holy rites?
Hast thou no fear of hangman, or the faggot?
Ludolph. What portent what strange prodigy is this?
Conrad. Away!
Ethelbert. You, Duke?
Ermmia. Albert has surely fail'd me!
Look at the Emperor's brow upon me bent!
Ethelbert. A sad delay!
Conrad. Away, thou guilty thing!
Ethelbert. You again, Duke? Justice, most mighty Otho!
You go to your sister there and plot again,
A quick plot, swift as thought to save your heads;
For lo! the toils are spread around your den,
The word is all agape to see dragg'd forth
Two ugly monsters.
Ludolph. What means he, my lord?
Conrad. I cannot guess.
Ethelbert. Best ask your lady sister,
Whether the riddle puzzles her beyond
The power of utterance.
Conrad. Foul barbarian, cease;
The Princess faints!
Ludolph. Stab him! , sweetest wife!
[Attendants bear off AURANTHE,
Erminia. Alas!
Ethelbert. Your wife?
Ludolph. Aye, Satan! does that yerk ye?
Ethelbert. Wife! so soon!
Ludolph. Aye, wife! Oh, impudence!
Thou bitter mischief! Venomous mad priest!
How dar'st thou lift those beetle brows at me?
Me the prince Ludolph, in this presence here,
Upon my marriage-day, and scandalize
My joys with such opprobrious surprise? SO
Wife! Why dost linger on that syllable,
As if it were some demon's name pronounc'd
To summon harmful lightning, and make roar
The sleepy thunder? Hast no sense of fear?
No ounce of man in thy mortality?
Tremble! for, at my nod, the sharpen'd axe
Will make thy bold tongue quiver to the roots,
Those grey lids wink, and thou not know it more!
Ethelbert. O, poor deceived Prince! I pity thee!
Great Otho! I claim justice
Ludolph. Thou shalt hav 't!
Thine arms from forth a pulpit of hot fire
Shall sprawl distracted! O that that dull cowl
Were some most sensitive portion of thy life,
That I might give it to my hounds to tear!
Thy girdle some fine zealous-pained nerve
To girth my saddle! And those devil's beads
Each one a life, that I might, every day,
Crush one with Vulcan's hammer!
Otho. Peace, my son;
You far outstrip my spleen in this affair.
Let us be calm, and hear the abbot's plea
For this intrusion.
Ludolph. I am silent, sire.
Otho. Conrad, see all depart not wanted here.
[Exeunt Knights, Ladies, &c.
Ludolph, be calm. Ethelbert, peace awhile.
This mystery demands an audience
Of a just judge, and that will Otho be.
Ludolph. Why has he time to breathe another word?
Otho. Ludolph, old Ethelbert, be sure, comes not
To beard us for no cause ; he's not the man
To cry himself up an ambassador
Without credentials.
Ludolph. I’ll chain up myself.
Otho. Old Abbot, stand here forth. Lady Erminia,
Sit. And now, Abbot! what have you to say?
Our ear is open. First we here denounce
Hard penalties against thee, if 't be found
The cause for which you have disturb 'd us here,
Making our bright hours muddy, be a thing
Of little moment.
Ethelbert. See this innocent!
Otho! thou father of the people call'd,
Is her life nothing? Her fair honour nothing?
Her tears from matins until even-song
Nothing? Her burst heart nothing? Emperor!
Is this your gentle niece the simplest flower
Of the world's herbal this fair lilly blanch 'd
Still with the dews of piety, this meek lady
Here sitting like an angel newly-shent,
Who veils its snowy wings and grows all pale,
Is she nothing?
Otho. What more to the purpose, abbot?
Ludolph. Whither is he winding?
Conrad. No clue yet!
Ethelbert. You have heard, my Liege, and so, no
doubt, all here,
Foul, poisonous, malignant whisperings;
Nay open speech, rude mockery grown common,
Against the spotless nature and clear fame
Of the princess Erminia, your niece.
I have intruded here thus suddenly,
Because I hold those base weeds, with tight hand,
Which now disfigure her fair growing stem,
Waiting but for your sign to pull them up
By the dark roots, and leave her palpable,
To all men's sight, a Lady, innocent.
The ignominy of that whisper'd tale
About a midnight gallant, seen to climb
A window to her chamber neighboured near,
I will from her turn off, and put the load
On the right shoulders; on that wretch's head,
Who, by close stratagems, did save herself,
Chiefly by shifting to this lady's room
A rope-ladder for false witness.
Ludolph. Most atrocious!
Otho. Ethelbert, proceed.
Ethelbert. With sad lips I shall:
For in the healing of one wound, I fear
To make a greater. His young highness here
To-day was married.
Ludolph. Good.
Ethelbert. Would it were good!
Yet why do I delay to spread abroad
The names of those two vipers, from whose jaws
A deadly breath went forth to taint and blast
This guileless lady?
Otho. Abbot, speak their names.
Ethelbert. A minute first. It cannot be but may
I ask, great judge, if you to-day have put
A letter by unread?
Otho. Does 'tend in this?
Conrad. Out with their names!
Ethelbert. Bold sinner, say you so?
Ludolph. Out, tedious monk!
Otho. Confess, or by the wheel
Ethelbert. My evidence cannot be far away;
And, though it never come, be on my head
The crime of passing an attaint upon
The slanderers of this virgin.
Ludolph. Speak aloud!
Ethelbert. Auranthe, and her brother there.
Conrad. Amaze!
Ludolph. Throw them from the windows!
Otho. Do what you will!
Ludolph. What shall I do with them?
Something of quick dispatch, for should she hear,
My soft Auranthe, her sweet mercy would
Prevail against my fury. Damned priest!

What swift death wilt thou die? As to the lady
I touch her not.
Ethelbert. Illustrious Otho, stay!
An ample store of misery thou hast,
Choak not the granary of thy noble mind
With more bad bitter grain, too difficult
A cud for the repentance of a man
Grey-growing. To thee only I appeal,
Not to thy noble son, whose yeasting youth
Will clear itself, and crystal turn again.
A young man's heart, by Heaven's blessing, is
A wide world, where a thousand new-born hopes
Empurple fresh the melancholy blood;
But an old man's is narrow, tenantless
Of hopes, and stuff’d with many memories,
Which, being pleasant, ease the heavy pulse
Painful, clog up and stagnate. Weigh this matter
Even as a miser balances his coin ;
And, in the name of mercy, give command
That your knight Albert be brought here before you.
He will expound this riddle ; he will show
A noon-day proof of bad Auranthe's guilt.
Otho. Let Albert straight be summon 'd.
[Exit one of the Nobles.
Ludolph. Impossible !
I cannot doubt I will not no to doubt
Is to be ashes! wither 'd up to death!
Otho. My gentle Ludolph, harbour not a fear;
You do yourself much wrong.
Ludolph. O, wretched dolt!
Now, when my foot is almost on thy neck,
Wilt thou infuriate me? Proof! thou fool!
Why wilt thou teaze impossibility
With such a thick-skull'd persevering suit?
Fanatic obstinacy! Prodigy!
Monster of folly! Ghost of a turn'd brain!
You puzzle me, you haunt me, when I dream
Of you my brain will split! Bald sorcerer!
Juggler! May I come near you? On my soul
I know not whether to pity, curse, or laugh.
Enter ALBERT, and the Nobleman.
Here, Albert, this old phantom wants a proof!
Give him his proof! A camel's load of proofs!
Otho. Albert, I speak to you as to a man
Whose words once utter 'd pass like current gold;
And therefore fit to calmly put a close
To this brief tempest. Do you stand possess 'd
Of any proof against the honourableness
Of Lady Auranthe, our new-spoused daughter?
Albert. You chill me with astonishment. How's this?
My Liege, what proof should I have 'gainst a fame
Impossible of slur? [Otho rises.
Erminia. O wickedness!
Ethelbert. Deluded monarch, 'tis a cruel lie.
Otho. Peace, rebel-priest!
Conrad. Insult beyond credence!
Erminia. Almost a dream!
Ludolph. We have awaken'd from
A foolish dream that from my brow hath wrung
A wrathful dew. O folly! why did I
So act the lion with this silly gnat?
Let them depart. Lady Erminia!
I ever griev'd for you, as who did not?
But now you have, with such a brazen front,
So most maliciously, so madly striven
To dazzle the soft moon, when tenderest clouds
Should be unloop'd around to curtain her;
I leave you to the desert of the world
Almost with pleasure. Let them be set free
For me! I take no personal revenge
More than against a nightmare, which a man
forgets in the new dawn.
[Exit LUDOLPH.
Otho. Still in extremes! No, they must not be loose.
Ethelbert. Albert, I must suspect thee of a crime
So fiendish
Otho. Fear'st thou not my fury, monk?
Conrad, be they in your sure custody
Till we determine some fit punishment.
It is so mad a deed, I must reflect
And question them in private ; for perhaps,
By patient scrutiny, we may discover
Whether they merit death, or should be placed
In care of the physicians.
[Exeunt OTHO and Nobles, ALBERT following.
Conrad. My guards, ho!
Erminia. Albert, wilt thou follow there?
Wilt thou creep dastardly behind his back,
And slink away from a weak woman's eye?
Turn, thou court-Janus! thou forget'st thyself;
Here is the Duke, waiting with open arms,
[Enter Guards.
To thank thee; here congratulate each other;
Wring hands; embrace; and swear how lucky 'twas
That I, by happy chance, hit the right man
Of all the world to trust in.
Albert. Trust! to me!
Conrad (aside). He is the sole one in this mystery.
Erminia. Well, I give up, and save my prayers for Heaven!
You, who could do this deed, would ne'er relent,
Though, at my words, the hollow prison-vaults
Would groan for pity.
Conrad. Manacle them both!
Ethelbert. I know it—it must be I see it all!
Albert, thou art the minion!
Erminia. Ah ! too plain
Conrad. Silence! Gag up their mouths! I cannot bear
More of this brawling. That the Emperor
Had plac'd you in some other custody!
Bring them away.
[Exeunt all but ALBERT.
Albert. Though my name perish from the book of honour,
Almost before the recent ink is dry,
And be no more remember'd after death,
Than any drummer's in the muster-roll;
Yet shall I season high my sudden fall
With triumph o'er that evil-witted duke!
He shall feel what it is to have the hand
Of a man drowning, on his hateful throat.
Enter GERSA and SIGIFRED.
Gersa. What discord is at ferment in this house?
Sigifred. We are without conjecture; not a soul
We met could answer any certainty.
Gersa. Young Ludolph, like a fiery arrow, shot
By us.
Sigifred. The Emperor, with cross'd arms, in thought.
Gersa. In one room music, in another sadness,
Perplexity every where!
Albert. A trifle more!
Follow; your presences will much avail
To tune our jarred spirits. I'll explain. [Exeunt.

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The Borough. Letter XXII: Peter Grimes

Old Peter Grimes made fishing his employ,
His wife he cabin'd with him and his boy,
And seem'd that life laborious to enjoy:
To town came quiet Peter with his fish,
And had of all a civil word and wish.
He left his trade upon the sabbath-day,
And took young Peter in his hand to pray:
But soon the stubborn boy from care broke loose,
At first refused, then added his abuse:
His father's love he scorn'd, his power defied,
But being drunk, wept sorely when he died.

Yes! then he wept, and to his mind there came
Much of his conduct, and he felt the shame,--
How he had oft the good old man reviled,
And never paid the duty of a child;
How, when the father in his Bible read,
He in contempt and anger left the shed:
"It is the word of life," the parent cried;
--"This is the life itself," the boy replied;
And while old Peter in amazement stood,
Gave the hot spirit to his boiling blood:--
How he, with oath and furious speech, began
To prove his freedom and assert the man;
And when the parent check'd his impious rage,
How he had cursed the tyranny of age,--
Nay, once had dealt the sacrilegious blow
On his bare head, and laid his parent low;
The father groan'd--"If thou art old," said he,
"And hast a son--thou wilt remember me:
Thy mother left me in a happy time,
Thou kill'dst not her--Heav'n spares the double-crime."

On an inn-settle, in his maudlin grief,
This he revolved, and drank for his relief.

Now lived the youth in freedom, but debarr'd
From constant pleasure, and he thought it hard;
Hard that he could not every wish obey,
But must awhile relinquish ale and play;
Hard! that he could not to his cards attend,
But must acquire the money he would spend.

With greedy eye he look'd on all he saw,
He knew not justice, and he laugh'd at law;
On all he mark'd he stretch'd his ready hand;
He fish'd by water, and he filch'd by land:
Oft in the night has Peter dropp'd his oar,
Fled from his boat and sought for prey on shore;
Oft up the hedge-row glided, on his back
Bearing the orchard's produce in a sack,
Or farm-yard load, tugg'd fiercely from the stack;
And as these wrongs to greater numbers rose,
The more he look'd on all men as his foes.

He built a mud-wall'd hovel, where he kept
His various wealth, and there he oft-times slept;
But no success could please his cruel soul,
He wish'd for one to trouble and control;
He wanted some obedient boy to stand
And bear the blow of his outrageous hand;
And hoped to find in some propitious hour
A feeling creature subject to his power.

Peter had heard there were in London then,--
Still have they being!--workhouse clearing men,
Who, undisturb'd by feelings just or kind,
Would parish-boys to needy tradesmen bind:
They in their want a trifling sum would take,
And toiling slaves of piteous orphans make.

Such Peter sought, and when a lad was found,
The sum was dealt him, and the slave was bound.
Some few in town observed in Peter's trap
A boy, with jacket blue and woollen cap;
But none inquired how Peter used the rope,
Or what the bruise, that made the stripling stoop;
None could the ridges on his back behold,
None sought his shiv'ring in the winter's cold;
None put the question,--"Peter, dost thou give
The boy his food?--What, man! the lad must live:
Consider, Peter, let the child have bread,
He'll serve thee better if he's stroked and fed."
None reason'd thus--and some, on hearing cries,
Said calmly, "Grimes is at his exercise."

Pinn'd, beaten, cold, pinch'd, threaten'd, and abused--
His efforts punish'd and his food refused,--
Awake tormented,--soon aroused from sleep,--
Struck if he wept, and yet compell'd to weep,
The trembling boy dropp'd down and strove to pray,
Received a blow, and trembling turn'd away,
Or sobb'd and hid his piteous face;--while he,
The savage master, grinn'd in horrid glee:
He'd now the power he ever loved to show,
A feeling being subject to his blow.

Thus lived the lad, in hunger, peril, pain,
His tears despised, his supplications vain:
Compell'd by fear to lie, by need to steal,
His bed uneasy and unbless'd his meal,
For three sad years the boy his tortures bore,
And then his pains and trials were no more.

"How died he, Peter?" when the people said,
He growl'd--"I found him lifeless in his bed;"
Then tried for softer tone, and sigh'd, "Poor Sam is dead."
Yet murmurs were there, and some questions ask'd,--
How he was fed, how punish'd, and how task'd?
Much they suspected, but they little proved,
And Peter pass'd untroubled and unmoved.

Another boy with equal ease was found,
The money granted, and the victim bound;
And what his fate?--One night it chanced he fell
From the boat's mast and perish'd in her well.
Where fish were living kept, and where the boy
(So reason'd men) could not himself destroy:--

"Yes! so it was," said Peter, "in his play,
(For he was idle both by night and day,)
He climb'd the main-mast and then fell below;"--
Then show'd his corpse and pointed to the blow:
"What said the jury?"--they were long in doubt,
But sturdy Peter faced the matter out:
So they dismiss'd him, saying at the time,
"Keep fast your hatchway when you've boys who climb."
This hit the conscience, and he colour'd more
Than for the closest questions put before.

Thus all his fears the verdict set aside,
And at the slave-shop Peter still applied.

Then came a boy, of manners soft and mild,--
Our seamen's wives with grief beheld the child;
All thought (the poor themselves) that he was one
Of gentle blood, some noble sinner's son,
Who had, belike, deceived some humble maid,
Whom he had first seduced and then betray'd:
However this, he seem'd a gracious lad,
In grief submissive and with patience sad.

Passive he labour'd, till his slender frame
Bent with his loads, and he at length was lame:
Strange that a frame so weak could bear so long
The grossest insult and the foulest wrong;
But there were causes--in the town they gave
Fire, food, and comfort, to the gentle slave;
And though stern Peter, with a cruel hand,
And knotted rope, enforced the rude command,
Yet he considered what he'd lately felt,
And his vile blows with selfish pity dealt.

One day such draughts the cruel fisher made,
He could not vend them in his borough-trade,
But sail'd for London-mart: the boy was ill,
But ever humbled to his master's will;
And on the river, where they smoothly sail'd,
He strove with terror and awhile prevail'd;
But new to danger on the angry sea,
He clung affrighten'd to his master's knee:
The boat grew leaky and the wind was strong,
Rough was the passage and the time was long;
His liquor fail'd, and Peter's wrath arose,--
No more is known--the rest we must suppose,
Or learn of Peter;--Peter says, he "spied
The stripling's danger and for harbour tried;
Meantime the fish, and then th' apprentice died."

The pitying women raised a clamour round,
And weeping said, "Thou hast thy 'prentice drown'd."

Now the stern man was summon'd to the hall,
To tell his tale before the burghers all:
He gave th' account; profess'd the lad he loved,
And kept his brazen features all unmoved.

The mayor himself with tone severe replied,
"Henceforth with thee shall never boy abide;
Hire thee a freeman, whom thou durst not beat,
But who, in thy despite, will sleep and eat:
Free thou art now!--again shouldst thou appear,
Thou'lt find thy sentence, like thy soul, severe."

Alas! for Peter not a helping hand,
So was he hated, could he now command;
Alone he row'd his boat, alone he cast
His nets beside, or made his anchor fast;
To hold a rope or hear a curse was none,--
He toil'd and rail'd; he groan'd and swore alone.

Thus by himself compell'd to live each day,
To wait for certain hours the tide's delay;
At the same times the same dull views to see,
The bounding marsh-bank and the blighted tree;
The water only, when the tides were high,
When low, the mud half-cover'd and half-dry;
The sun-burnt tar that blisters on the planks,
And bank-side stakes in their uneven ranks;
Heaps of entangled weeds that slowly float,
As the tide rolls by the impeded boat.

When tides were neap, and, in the sultry day,
Through the tall bounding mud-banks made their way,
Which on each side rose swelling, and below
The dark warm flood ran silently and slow;
There anchoring, Peter chose from man to hide,
There hang his head, and view the lazy tide
In its hot slimy channel slowly glide;
Where the small eels that left the deeper way
For the warm shore, within the shallows play;
Where gaping mussels, left upon the mud,
Slope their slow passage to the fallen flood;--
Here dull and hopeless he'd lie down and trace
How sidelong crabs had scrawl'd their crooked race;
Or sadly listen to the tuneless cry
Of fishing gull or clanging golden-eye;
What time the sea-birds to the marsh would come,
And the loud bittern, from the bulrush home,
Gave from the salt-ditch side the bellowing boom:
He nursed the feelings these dull scenes produce,
And loved to stop beside the opening sluice;
Where the small stream, confined in narrow bound,
Ran with a dull, unvaried, sadd'ning sound;
Where all, presented to the eye or ear,
Oppress'd the soul with misery, grief, and fear.

Besides these objects, there were places three,
Which Peter seem'd with certain dread to see;
When he drew near them he would turn from each,
And loudly whistle till he pass'd the reach.

A change of scene to him brought no relief;
In town, 'twas plain, men took him for a thief:
The sailors' wives would stop him in the street,
And say, "Now, Peter, thou'st no boy to beat":
Infants at play, when they perceived him, ran,
Warning each other--"That's the wicked man":
He growl'd an oath, and in an angry tone
Cursed the whole place and wish'd to be alone.

Alone he was, the same dull scenes in view,
And still more gloomy in his sight they grew:
Though man he hated, yet employ'd alone
At bootless labour, he would swear and groan,
Cursing the shoals that glided by the spot,
And gulls that caught them when his arts could not.

Cold nervous tremblings shook his sturdy frame,
And strange disease--he couldn't say the name;
Wild were his dreams, and oft he rose in fright,
Waked by his view of horrors in the night,--
Horrors that would the sternest minds amaze,
Horrors that demons might be proud to raise:
And though he felt forsaken, grieved at heart,
To think he lived from all mankind apart;
Yet, if a man approach'd, in terrors he would start.

A winter pass'd since Peter saw the town,
And summer-lodgers were again come down;
These, idly curious, with their glasses spied
The ships in bay as anchor'd for the tide,--
The river's craft,--the bustle of the quay,--
And sea-port views, which landmen love to see.

One, up the river, had a man and boat
Seen day by day, now anchor'd, now afloat;
Fisher he seemed, yet used no net nor hook;
Of sea-fowl swimming by no heed he took,
But on the gliding waves still fix'd his lazy look:
At certain stations he would view the stream,
As if he stood bewilder'd in a dream,
Or that some power had chain'd him for a time,
To feel a curse or meditate on crime.

This known, some curious, some in pity went,
And others question'd--"Wretch, dost thou repent?"
He heard, he trembled, and in fear resign'd
His boat: new terror fill'd his restless mind;
Furious he grew, and up the country ran,
And there they seized him--a distemper'd man:--
Him we received, and to a parish-bed,
Follow'd and curs'd, the groaning man was led.

Here when they saw him, whom they used to shun,
A lost, lone man, so harass'd and undone;
Our gentle females, ever prompt to feel,
Perceived compassion on their anger steal;
His crimes they could not from their memories blot,
But they were grieved, and trembled at his lot.

A priest too came, to whom his words are told
And all the signs they shudder'd to behold.

"Look! look!" they cried; "his limbs with horror shake.
And as he grinds his teeth, what noise they make!
How glare his angry eyes, and yet he's not awake:
See! what cold drops upon his forehead stand,
And how he clenches that broad bony hand."

The priest attending, found he spoke at times
As one alluding to his fears and crimes:
"It was the fall," he mutter'd, "I can show
The manner how--I never struck a blow":--
And then aloud--"Unhand me, free my chain;
An oath, he fell--it struck him to the brain:--
Why ask my father?--that old man will swear
Against my life; besides, he wasn't there:--
What, all agreed?--Am I to die to-day?--
My Lord, in mercy, give me time to pray."

Then, as they watch'd him, calmer he became,
And grew so weak he couldn't move his frame,
But murmuring spake,--while they could see and hear
The start of terror and the groan of fear;
See the large dew-beads on his forehead rise,
And the cold death-drop glaze his sunken eyes;
Nor yet he died, but with unwonted force
Seem'd with some fancied being to discourse:
He knew not us, or with accustom'd art
He hid the knowledge, yet exposed his heart;
'Twas part confession, and the rest defence,
A madman's tale, with gleams of waking sense.

"I'll tell you all," he said, "the very day
When the old man first placed them in my way:
My father's spirit--he who always tried
To give me trouble, when he lived and died--
When he was gone, he could not be content
To see my days in painful labour spent,
But would appoint his meetings, and he made
Me watch at these, and so neglect my trade.

"'Twas one hot noon, all silent, still, serene,
No living being had I lately seen;
I paddled up and down and dipp'd my net,
But (such his pleasure) I could nothing get,--
A father's pleasure, when his toil was done,
To plague and torture thus an only son!
And so I sat and look'd upon the stream,
How it ran on, and felt as in a dream:
But dream it was not: no!--I fix'd my eyes
On the mid stream and saw the spirits rise,
I saw my father on the water stand,
And hold a thin pale boy in either hand;
And there they glided ghastly on the top
Of the salt flood, and never touch'd a drop:
I would have struck them, but they knew th' intent,
And smiled upon the oar, and down they went.

"Now, from that day, whenever I began
To dip my net, there stood the hard old man--
He and those boys: I humbled me and pray'd
They would be gone;--they heeded not, but stay'd;
Nor could I turn, nor would the boat go by,
But gazing on the spirits, there was I:
They bade me leap to death, but I was loth to die:
And every day, as sure as day arose,
Would these three spirits meet me ere the close;
To hear and mark them daily was my doom,
And 'Come' they said, with weak, sad voices, 'come'.
To row away with all my strength I tried,
But there were they, hard by me in the tide,
The three unbodied forms--and 'Come', still 'come', they cried.

"Fathers should pity--but this old man shook
His hoary locks, and froze me by a look:
Thrice, when I struck them, through the water came
A hollow groan, that weaken'd all my frame:
'Father!' said I, 'have mercy':--He replied,
I know not what--the angry spirit lied,--
'Didst thou not draw thy knife?' said he:--'Twas true,
But I had pity and my arm withdrew:
He cried for mercy which I kindly gave,
But he has no compassion in his grave.

"There were three places, where they ever rose,--
The whole long river has not such as those,--
Places accursed, where, if a man remain,
He'll see the things which strike him to the brain;
And there they made me on my paddle lean,
And look at them for hours;--accursed scene!
When they would glide to that smooth eddy-space,
Then bid me leap and join them in the place;
And at my groans each little villain sprite
Enjoy'd my pains and vanish'd in delight.

"In one fierce summer-day, when my poor brain
Was burning hot, and cruel was my pain,
Then came this father-foe, and there he stood
With his two boys again upon the flood;
There was more mischief in their eyes, more glee
In their pale faces when they glared at me:
Still did they force me on the oar to rest,
And when they saw me fainting and oppress'd,
He, with his hand, the old man, scoop'd the flood,
And there came flame about him mix'd with blood;
He bade me stoop and look upon the place,
Then flung the hot-red liquor in my face;
Burning it blazed, and then I roar'd for pain,
I thought the demons would have turn'd my brain.

"Still there they stood, and forced me to behold
A place of horrors--they cannot be told--
Where the flood open'd, there I heard the shriek
Of tortured guilt--no earthly tongue can speak:
'All days alike! for ever!' did they say,
'And unremitted torments every day'--
Yes, so they said":--But here he ceased and gazed
On all around, affrighten'd and amazed;
And still he tried to speak, and look'd in dread
Of frighten'd females gathering round his bed;
Then dropp'd exhausted, and appear'd at rest,
Till the strong foe the vital powers possess'd:
Then with an inward, broken voice he cried,
"Again they come," and mutter'd as he died.

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