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“Protesiláus, lo! thy guide is gone!
pray, the vision with thy voice:
This is our palace, yonder is thy throne;
Speak, and the floor thou tread'st on will rejoice.
Not to appal me have the Gods bestow'd
This precious boon; and blest a sad abode.'.
“Great Jove, Laodamía! doth not leave
His gifts imperfect :-Spectre though I be,
I am not sent to scare thee or deceive;
But in reward of thy fidelity.
And something also did my worth obtain;
For fearless virtue bringetb boundless gain.
Thou knowest, the Delphic oracle foretold
That the first Greek who touch'd the Trojan strand
Should die; but me the threat could not withhold: 45
A generous cause a victim did demand;
And forth I leapt upon the sandy plain;
A self-devoted chief-by Hector slain."
“Supreme of Heroes-bravest, noblest, best! Thy matchless courage I bewail no more,
50 Which then, when tens of thousands were deprest By doubt, propell’d thee to the fatal shore; Thou found'st—and I forgive thee-here thou artA nobler counsellor than my poor heart. But thou, though capable of sternest deed, 55 Wert kind as resolute, and good as brave; And he, whose power restores thee, hath decreed Thou shouldst elude the malice of the grave: Redundant are thy locks, thy lips as fair As when their breath enrich'd Thessalian air. 60
No Spectre greets me,-no vain Shadow this;
Come, blooming Hero, place thee by my side!
Give, on this well-known couch, one nuptial kiss
me, this day, a second time thy bride !" Jove frown'd in heaven: the conscious Parcæ threw Upon those roseate lips a Stygian hue.
66 « This visage tells thee that my doom is past: Nor should the change be mourn’d, ev'n if the joys Of sense were able to return as fast And surely as they vanish. Earth destroys 70 Those raptures duly-Erebus disdains : Calm pleasures there abide-majestic pains.
Be taught, O faithful Consort, to control
Rebellious passion: for the Gods approve
The depth, and not the tumult, of the soul;
A fervent, not ungovernable love.
Thy transports moderate; and meekly mourn
When I depart, for brief is my sojourn"
“Ah, wherefore ?-did not Hercules by force
Wrest from the guardian Monster of the tomb
Alcestis, a reanimated corse,
Given back to dwell on earth in vernal bloom ?
Medea's spells dispersed the weight of years,
And Æson stood a youth ’mid youthful peers.
The Gods to us are merciful—and they
85 Yet further may relent: for mightier far Than strength of nerve and sinew, or the sway Of magic potent over sun and star, Is love, though oft to agony distrest,
89 And though his favourite seat be feeble woman's breasts
But ir thou goest, I follow" 6 Peace!” he said, -
She look'd upon him and was calm’d and cheer'd;
The ghastly colour from his lips had fled;
In his deportment, shape and mien, appear'd
Elysian beauty, melancholy grace,
Brought from a pensive though a happy place:
He spake of love, such love as Spirits feel
In worlds whose course is equable and pure;
No fears to beat away–no strife to heal -
The past unsigh'd for, and the future sure;
100 Spake of heroic arts in graver mood Revived, with finer harmony pursued ; Of all that is most beauteous—imaged there In happier beauty; more pellucid streams, An ampler ether, a diviner air,
105 And fields invested with purpureal gleams; Climes which the sun, who sheds the brightest day Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey. Yet there the Soul shall enter which hath earn'd That privilege by virtue.-—"T,” said he, 110 “The end of man's existence I discern'd, Who from ignoble games and revelry Could draw, when we had parted, vain delight, While tears were thy best pastime, day and night; And while my youthful peers before my eyes
115 (Each hero following his peculiar bent) Prepared themselves for glorious enterprise By martial sports,-or, seated in the tent, Chieftains and kings in council were detain'd; What time the fleet at Aulis lay enchain'd. 120
The wish'd-for wind was given :- I then revolved
The oracle, upon the silent sea;
And, if no worthier led the way, resolved
That, of a thousand vessels, mine should be
The foremost prow in pressing to the strand,
125 Mine the first blood that tinged the Trojan sand.
Yet bitter, oft-times bitter, was the pang
When of thy loss I thought, beloved Wife !
On thee too fondly did my memory hang,
And on the joys we shared in mortal life,
The paths which we had trod—these fountains, flowers;
My new-plann'd cities, and unfinish'd towers.
But should suspense permit the Foe to cry,
• Behold they tremble !-haughty their array,
Yet of their number no one dares to die!' 135
In soul I swept the indignity away:
Old frailties then recurr'd:-but lofty thought,
In act embodied, my deliverance wrought.
And Thou, though strong in love, art all too weak
In reason, in self-government too slow;
140 I counsel thee by fortitude to seek Our blest re-union in the shades below. The invisible world with thee hath sympathised; Be thy affections raised and solemnised. Learn by a mortal yearning to ascend
145 Seeking a higher object. Love was given, Encouraged, sanction'd, chiefly for that end; For this the passion to excess was drivenTriat self might be annull’d: her bondage prove The fetters of a dream, opposed to love."
Aloud she shriek’d! for Hermes re-appears !
Round the dear Shade she would have clung—'tis vain
The hours are past—too brief had they been years ;
And him no mortal effort can detain:
Swift, towards the realms that know not earthly day,
He through the portal takes his silent way, 156
And on the palace-floor, a lifeless corse She lay.
Thus, all in vain exhorted and reproved,
She perish'd; and, as for a wilful crime,
By the just Gods whom no weak pity moved, 160
Was doom'd to wear out her appointed time,
Apart from happy Ghosts—that gather flowers
Of blissful quiet 'mid unfading bowers.
-Yet tears to human suffering are due;
And mortal hopes defeated and o'erthrown 165
Are mourn’d by man, and not by man alone,
As fondly he believes.—Upon the side
Of Hellespont (such faith was entertain'd)
A knot of spiry trees for ages grew
From out the tomb of him for whom she died; 170
And ever, when such stature they had gain'd
That Ilium's walls were subject to their view,
The trees' tall summits wither'd at the sight;
A constant interchange of growth and blight!