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VesperMMoore
16/Neither   

Poems

“Why did you melt your waxen man
          Sister Helen?
To-day is the third since you began.”
“The time was long, yet the time ran,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Three days to-day, between Hell and Heaven!)

“But if you have done your work aright,
          Sister Helen,
You’ll let me play, for you said I might.”
“Be very still in your play to-night,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Third night, to-night, between Hell and Heaven!)

“You said it must melt ere vesper-bell,
          Sister Helen;
If now it be molten, all is well.”
“Even so,—nay, peace! you cannot tell,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
O what is this, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh the waxen knave was plump to-day,
          Sister Helen;
How like dead folk he has dropp’d away!”
“Nay now, of the dead what can you say,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What of the dead, between Hell and Heaven?)

“See, see, the sunken pile of wood,
          Sister Helen,
Shines through the thinn’d wax red as blood!”
“Nay now, when look’d you yet on blood,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
How pale she is, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Now close your eyes, for they’re sick and sore,
          Sister Helen,
And I’ll play without the gallery door.”
“Aye, let me rest,—I’ll lie on the floor,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What rest to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Here high up in the balcony,
          Sister Helen,
The moon flies face to face with me.”
“Aye, look and say whatever you see,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What sight to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Outside it’s merry in the wind’s wake,
          Sister Helen;
In the shaken trees the chill stars shake.”
“Hush, heard you a horse-tread as you spake,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What sound to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)

“I hear a horse-tread, and I see,
          Sister Helen,
Three horsemen that ride terribly.”
“Little brother, whence come the three,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Whence should they come, between Hell and Heaven?)

“They come by the hill-verge from Boyne Bar,
          Sister Helen,
And one draws nigh, but two are afar.”
“Look, look, do you know them who they are,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Who should they be, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh, it’s Keith of Eastholm rides so fast,
          Sister Helen,
For I know the white mane on the blast.”
“The hour has come, has come at last,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Her hour at last, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He has made a sign and called Halloo!
          Sister Helen,
And he says that he would speak with you.”
“Oh tell him I fear the frozen dew,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Why laughs she thus, between Hell and Heaven?)

“The wind is loud, but I hear him cry,
          Sister Helen,
That Keith of Ewern’s like to die.”
“And he and thou, and thou and I,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
And they and we, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Three days ago, on his marriage-morn,
          Sister Helen,
He sicken’d, and lies since then forlorn.”
“For bridegroom’s side is the bride a thorn,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Cold bridal cheer, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Three days and nights he has lain abed,
          Sister Helen,
And he prays in torment to be dead.”
“The thing may chance, if he have pray’d,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
If he have pray’d, between Hell and Heaven!)

“But he has not ceas’d to cry to-day,
          Sister Helen,
That you should take your curse away.”
“My prayer was heard,—he need but pray,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Shall God not hear, between Hell and Heaven?)

“But he says, till you take back your ban,
          Sister Helen,
His soul would pass, yet never can.”
“Nay then, shall I slay a living man,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
A living soul, between Hell and Heaven!)

“But he calls for ever on your name,
          Sister Helen,
And says that he melts before a flame.”
“My heart for his pleasure far’d the same,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Fire at the heart, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Here’s Keith of Westholm riding fast,
          Sister Helen,
For I know the white plume on the blast.”
“The hour, the sweet hour I forecast,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Is the hour sweet, between Hell and Heaven?)

“He stops to speak, and he stills his horse,
          Sister Helen;
But his words are drown’d in the wind’s course.”
“Nay hear, nay hear, you must hear perforce,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What word now heard, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh he says that Keith of Ewern’s cry,
          Sister Helen,
Is ever to see you ere he die.”
“In all that his soul sees, there am I
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The soul’s one sight, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He sends a ring and a broken coin,
          Sister Helen,
And bids you mind the banks of Boyne.”
“What else he broke will he ever join,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
No, never join’d, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He yields you these and craves full fain,
          Sister Helen,
You pardon him in his mortal pain.”
“What else he took will he give again,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Not twice to give, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He calls your name in an agony,
          Sister Helen,
That even dead Love must weep to see.”
“Hate, born of Love, is blind as he,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Love turn’d to hate, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Oh it’s Keith of Keith now that rides fast,
          Sister Helen,
For I know the white hair on the blast.”
“The short short hour will soon be past,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Will soon be past, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He looks at me and he tries to speak,
          Sister Helen,
But oh! his voice is sad and weak!”
“What here should the mighty Baron seek,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Is this the end, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh his son still cries, if you forgive,
          Sister Helen,
The body dies but the soul shall live.”
“Fire shall forgive me as I forgive,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
As she forgives, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Oh he prays you, as his heart would rive,
          Sister Helen,
To save his dear son’s soul alive.”
“Fire cannot slay it, it shall thrive,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Alas, alas, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He cries to you, kneeling in the road,
          Sister Helen,
To go with him for the love of God!”
“The way is long to his son’s abode,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The way is long, between Hell and Heaven!)

“A lady’s here, by a dark steed brought,
          Sister Helen,
So darkly clad, I saw her not.”
“See her now or never see aught,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What more to see, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Her hood falls back, and the moon shines fair,
          Sister Helen,
On the Lady of Ewern’s golden hair.”
“Blest hour of my power and her despair,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Hour blest and bann’d, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Pale, pale her cheeks, that in pride did glow,
          Sister Helen,
’Neath the bridal-wreath three days ago.”
“One morn for pride and three days for woe,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Three days, three nights, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Her clasp’d hands stretch from her bending head,
          Sister Helen;
With the loud wind’s wail her sobs are wed.”
“What wedding-strains hath her bridal-bed,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What strain but death’s, between Hell and Heaven?)

“She may not speak, she sinks in a swoon,
          Sister Helen,—
She lifts her lips and gasps on the moon.”
“Oh! might I but hear her soul’s blithe tune,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Her woe’s dumb cry, between Hell and Heaven!)

“They’ve caught her to Westholm’s saddle-bow,
          Sister Helen,
And her moonlit hair gleams white in its flow.”
“Let it turn whiter than winter snow,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Woe-wither’d gold, between Hell and Heaven!)

“O Sister Helen, you heard the bell,
          Sister Helen!
More loud than the vesper-chime it fell.”
“No vesper-chime, but a dying knell,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
His dying knell, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Alas! but I fear the heavy sound,
          Sister Helen;
Is it in the sky or in the ground?”
“Say, have they turn’d their horses round,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What would she more, between Hell and Heaven?)

“They have rais’d the old man from his knee,
          Sister Helen,
And they ride in silence hastily.”
“More fast the naked soul doth flee,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The naked soul, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Flank to flank are the three steeds gone,
          Sister Helen,
But the lady’s dark steed goes alone.”
“And lonely her bridegroom’s soul hath flown,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The lonely ghost, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Oh the wind is sad in the iron chill,
          Sister Helen,
And weary sad they look by the hill.”
“But he and I are sadder still,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Most sad of all, between Hell and Heaven!)

“See, see, the wax has dropp’d from its place,
          Sister Helen,
And the flames are winning up apace!”
“Yet here they burn but for a space,
          Little brother! ”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Here for a space, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Ah! what white thing at the door has cross’d,
          Sister Helen?
Ah! what is this that sighs in the frost?”
“A soul that’s lost as mine is lost,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Lost, lost, all lost, between Hell and Heaven!)
Terry O'Leary  Feb 2014
The Stone
Terry O'Leary Feb 2014
The Tale below was carved one night
Upon the Stone, by candlelight
...most won’t believe, but some just might
.........most won’t believe, but some just might



                         Preface

Well James made Beth his lovely bride
(And angels smiled, though teary eyed)
...their bodies bound, their spirits tied
.........their bodies bound, their spirits tied

Upon her hand, a shimmer shone,
As bright as blood, a ruby Stone
...and brighter still, as love had grown
.........and brighter still, as love had grown

Soon James was sent to man a sail
So Beth removed her wedding veil
...her eyes were moist, her face was pale
.........her eyes were moist, her face was pale

“Well, I’ll be here when you return”
Said Beth to James, who kissed in turn
...a kiss that made her body burn
.........a kiss that made her body burn



                         BETH’S TALE

1.              The Dream

One night, within a dream deformed,
The cawing of a Crow informed
“...the Ship was struck where winter stormed
.........the Ship was struck where winter stormed

Midst winds and waves the thunder boomed
The Ship of Death was surely doomed
...the sea engulfed, the surf entombed
.........the sea engulfed, the surf entombed

Your James… deceived by Davy Jones!
With spirit freed, his flesh and bones
...now rest amongst the ashen Stones
.........now rest amongst the ashen Stones”



2.               The Quest

Awoken by the ebon Wight
And beckoned by the baneful bight
...I left before the morning light
.........I left before the morning light

Throughout the realm I rode a roan
Until, in time, I reached the Stone
...where shades in dreams of darkness groan
.........where shades in dreams of darkness groan

While skipping up and down the sky
A missing moonbeam mocked my eye
...enough to make a Swallow cry
.........enough to make a Swallow cry

For someone stole a star or two
And something else that fate withdrew -
...my jewel of joy, my James Bijou  
.........my jewel of joy, my James Bijou

The shadows of the evening swelled
Where demons of the dusk had dwelled
...and in the far, a vesper knelled
.........and in the far, a vesper knelled

The Stone, beneath the sky, stood cold -
Between the runes, a vapour strolled
...a cloak of fleecy fog consoled
.........a cloak of fleecy fog consoled

A Raven on a branch, enthroned,
Her wings waved once, a wail intoned
...beyond the bay, a banshee moaned
.........beyond the bay, a banshee moaned

I lay beside the Stone, his bride
I lay beside the Stone and cried
...but were it I, instead, that died
.........but were it I, instead, that died

The rainbow of the moon fell dim
A midnight Swan soon ceased to swim
...as if to hide all hint of him
.........as if to hide all hint of him

Between the willows in the swale
Bewailed a Bird, a Nightingale
...which left me faint, my body frail
.........which left me faint, my body frail



3.              Contact

I felt him breathe within a breeze  
Responding to my anguished pleas
...and leaves blew by abandoned trees
.........and leaves blew by abandoned trees

“Eternal love, my darling Beth”
Enshrined within a final breath
...re-echoed from the Ship of Death
.........re-echoed from the Ship of Death

The Stone lit up a ruby sheen
And clouds were kindled crystalline
...with consequences, unforeseen
.........with consequences, unforeseen

Above, a wretched Raven soared
To where the Ship of Death’d been moored
...below, the icy ocean roared
.........below, the icy ocean roared



4.               Release

I’m joined with James beneath the Stone,
Though to the Ship my spirit’s flown,
...for nevermore to be alone
.........for nevermore to be alone



                         Epilogue
That night the wayward winds were weird
The Ship of Death had disappeared
...coyotes called and mortals feared
.........coyotes called and mortals feared

At dusk, the craven shadows crawled
At dawn, the winds of mourning called
...upon the Stone two names were scrawled
.........upon the Stone two names were scrawled

The Raven sits, with wings outspread,
Atop the Stone which shades the dead
...it sometimes shimmers ruby red
.........it sometimes shimmers ruby red



                         Epitaph
Between the sounds, where silence seeps,
Their love lives on and never sleeps
...and yet, the weeping willow weeps
.........and yet, the weeping willow weeps
ENDYMION.

A Poetic Romance.

"THE STRETCHED METRE OF AN AN ANTIQUE SONG."
INSCRIBED TO THE MEMORY OF THOMAS CHATTERTON.

Book I

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

  Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast,
They alway must be with us, or we die.

  Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own vallies: so I will begin
Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
Now while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finished: but let Autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end.
And now at once, adventuresome, I send
My herald thought into a wilderness:
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
Easily onward, thorough flowers and ****.

  Upon the sides of Latmos was outspread
A mighty forest; for the moist earth fed
So plenteously all ****-hidden roots
Into o'er-hanging boughs, and precious fruits.
And it had gloomy shades, sequestered deep,
Where no man went; and if from shepherd's keep
A lamb strayed far a-down those inmost glens,
Never again saw he the happy pens
Whither his brethren, bleating with content,
Over the hills at every nightfall went.
Among the shepherds, 'twas believed ever,
That not one fleecy lamb which thus did sever
From the white flock, but pass'd unworried
By angry wolf, or pard with prying head,
Until it came to some unfooted plains
Where fed the herds of Pan: ay great his gains
Who thus one lamb did lose. Paths there were many,
Winding through palmy fern, and rushes fenny,
And ivy banks; all leading pleasantly
To a wide lawn, whence one could only see
Stems thronging all around between the swell
Of turf and slanting branches: who could tell
The freshness of the space of heaven above,
Edg'd round with dark tree tops? through which a dove
Would often beat its wings, and often too
A little cloud would move across the blue.

  Full in the middle of this pleasantness
There stood a marble altar, with a tress
Of flowers budded newly; and the dew
Had taken fairy phantasies to strew
Daisies upon the sacred sward last eve,
And so the dawned light in pomp receive.
For 'twas the morn: Apollo's upward fire
Made every eastern cloud a silvery pyre
Of brightness so unsullied, that therein
A melancholy spirit well might win
Oblivion, and melt out his essence fine
Into the winds: rain-scented eglantine
Gave temperate sweets to that well-wooing sun;
The lark was lost in him; cold springs had run
To warm their chilliest bubbles in the grass;
Man's voice was on the mountains; and the mass
Of nature's lives and wonders puls'd tenfold,
To feel this sun-rise and its glories old.

  Now while the silent workings of the dawn
Were busiest, into that self-same lawn
All suddenly, with joyful cries, there sped
A troop of little children garlanded;
Who gathering round the altar, seemed to pry
Earnestly round as wishing to espy
Some folk of holiday: nor had they waited
For many moments, ere their ears were sated
With a faint breath of music, which ev'n then
Fill'd out its voice, and died away again.
Within a little space again it gave
Its airy swellings, with a gentle wave,
To light-hung leaves, in smoothest echoes breaking
Through copse-clad vallies,--ere their death, oer-taking
The surgy murmurs of the lonely sea.

  And now, as deep into the wood as we
Might mark a lynx's eye, there glimmered light
Fair faces and a rush of garments white,
Plainer and plainer shewing, till at last
Into the widest alley they all past,
Making directly for the woodland altar.
O kindly muse! let not my weak tongue faulter
In telling of this goodly company,
Of their old piety, and of their glee:
But let a portion of ethereal dew
Fall on my head, and presently unmew
My soul; that I may dare, in wayfaring,
To stammer where old Chaucer used to sing.

  Leading the way, young damsels danced along,
Bearing the burden of a shepherd song;
Each having a white wicker over brimm'd
With April's tender younglings: next, well trimm'd,
A crowd of shepherds with as sunburnt looks
As may be read of in Arcadian books;
Such as sat listening round Apollo's pipe,
When the great deity, for earth too ripe,
Let his divinity o'er-flowing die
In music, through the vales of Thessaly:
Some idly trailed their sheep-hooks on the ground,
And some kept up a shrilly mellow sound
With ebon-tipped flutes: close after these,
Now coming from beneath the forest trees,
A venerable priest full soberly,
Begirt with ministring looks: alway his eye
Stedfast upon the matted turf he kept,
And after him his sacred vestments swept.
From his right hand there swung a vase, milk-white,
Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous light;
And in his left he held a basket full
Of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull:
Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still
Than Leda's love, and cresses from the rill.
His aged head, crowned with beechen wreath,
Seem'd like a poll of ivy in the teeth
Of winter ****. Then came another crowd
Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud
Their share of the ditty. After them appear'd,
Up-followed by a multitude that rear'd
Their voices to the clouds, a fair wrought car,
Easily rolling so as scarce to mar
The freedom of three steeds of dapple brown:
Who stood therein did seem of great renown
Among the throng. His youth was fully blown,
Shewing like Ganymede to manhood grown;
And, for those simple times, his garments were
A chieftain king's: beneath his breast, half bare,
Was hung a silver bugle, and between
His nervy knees there lay a boar-spear keen.
A smile was on his countenance; he seem'd,
To common lookers on, like one who dream'd
Of idleness in groves Elysian:
But there were some who feelingly could scan
A lurking trouble in his nether lip,
And see that oftentimes the reins would slip
Through his forgotten hands: then would they sigh,
And think of yellow leaves, of owlets cry,
Of logs piled solemnly.--Ah, well-a-day,
Why should our young Endymion pine away!

  Soon the assembly, in a circle rang'd,
Stood silent round the shrine: each look was chang'd
To sudden veneration: women meek
Beckon'd their sons to silence; while each cheek
Of ****** bloom paled gently for slight fear.
Endymion too, without a forest peer,
Stood, wan, and pale, and with an awed face,
Among his brothers of the mountain chase.
In midst of all, the venerable priest
Eyed them with joy from greatest to the least,
And, after lifting up his aged hands,
Thus spake he: "Men of Latmos! shepherd bands!
Whose care it is to guard a thousand flocks:
Whether descended from beneath the rocks
That overtop your mountains; whether come
From vallies where the pipe is never dumb;
Or from your swelling downs, where sweet air stirs
Blue hare-bells lightly, and where prickly furze
Buds lavish gold; or ye, whose precious charge
Nibble their fill at ocean's very marge,
Whose mellow reeds are touch'd with sounds forlorn
By the dim echoes of old Triton's horn:
Mothers and wives! who day by day prepare
The scrip, with needments, for the mountain air;
And all ye gentle girls who foster up
Udderless lambs, and in a little cup
Will put choice honey for a favoured youth:
Yea, every one attend! for in good truth
Our vows are wanting to our great god Pan.
Are not our lowing heifers sleeker than
Night-swollen mushrooms? Are not our wide plains
Speckled with countless fleeces? Have not rains
Green'd over April's lap? No howling sad
Sickens our fearful ewes; and we have had
Great bounty from Endymion our lord.
The earth is glad: the merry lark has pour'd
His early song against yon breezy sky,
That spreads so clear o'er our solemnity."

  Thus ending, on the shrine he heap'd a spire
Of teeming sweets, enkindling sacred fire;
Anon he stain'd the thick and spongy sod
With wine, in honour of the shepherd-god.
Now while the earth was drinking it, and while
Bay leaves were crackling in the fragrant pile,
And gummy frankincense was sparkling bright
'Neath smothering parsley, and a hazy light
Spread greyly eastward, thus a chorus sang:

  "O THOU, whose mighty palace roof doth hang
From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth
Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life, death
Of unseen flowers in heavy peacefulness;
Who lov'st to see the hamadryads dress
Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels darken;
And through whole solemn hours dost sit, and hearken
The dreary melody of bedded reeds--
In desolate places, where dank moisture breeds
The pipy hemlock to strange overgrowth;
Bethinking thee, how melancholy loth
Thou wast to lose fair Syrinx--do thou now,
By thy love's milky brow!
By all the trembling mazes that she ran,
Hear us, great Pan!

  "O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet, turtles
Passion their voices cooingly '**** myrtles,
What time thou wanderest at eventide
Through sunny meadows, that outskirt the side
Of thine enmossed realms: O thou, to whom
Broad leaved fig trees even now foredoom
Their ripen'd fruitage; yellow girted bees
Their golden honeycombs; our village leas
Their fairest-blossom'd beans and poppied corn;
The chuckling linnet its five young unborn,
To sing for thee; low creeping strawberries
Their summer coolness; pent up butterflies
Their freckled wings; yea, the fresh budding year
All its completions--be quickly near,
By every wind that nods the mountain pine,
O forester divine!

  "Thou, to whom every fawn and satyr flies
For willing service; whether to surprise
The squatted hare while in half sleeping fit;
Or upward ragged precipices flit
To save poor lambkins from the eagle's maw;
Or by mysterious enticement draw
Bewildered shepherds to their path again;
Or to tread breathless round the frothy main,
And gather up all fancifullest shells
For thee to tumble into Naiads' cells,
And, being hidden, laugh at their out-peeping;
Or to delight thee with fantastic leaping,
The while they pelt each other on the crown
With silvery oak apples, and fir cones brown--
By all the echoes that about thee ring,
Hear us, O satyr king!

  "O Hearkener to the loud clapping shears,
While ever and anon to his shorn peers
A ram goes bleating: Winder of the horn,
When snouted wild-boars routing tender corn
Anger our huntsman: Breather round our farms,
To keep off mildews, and all weather harms:
Strange ministrant of undescribed sounds,
That come a swooning over hollow grounds,
And wither drearily on barren moors:
Dread opener of the mysterious doors
Leading to universal knowledge--see,
Great son of Dryope,
The many that are come to pay their vows
With leaves about their brows!

  Be still the unimaginable lodge
For solitary thinkings; such as dodge
Conception to the very bourne of heaven,
Then leave the naked brain: be still the leaven,
That spreading in this dull and clodded earth
Gives it a touch ethereal--a new birth:
Be still a symbol of immensity;
A firmament reflected in a sea;
An element filling the space between;
An unknown--but no more: we humbly screen
With uplift hands our foreheads, lowly bending,
And giving out a shout most heaven rending,
Conjure thee to receive our humble Paean,
Upon thy Mount Lycean!

  Even while they brought the burden to a close,
A shout from the whole multitude arose,
That lingered in the air like dying rolls
Of abrupt thunder, when Ionian shoals
Of dolphins bob their noses through the brine.
Meantime, on shady levels, mossy fine,
Young companies nimbly began dancing
To the swift treble pipe, and humming string.
Aye, those fair living forms swam heavenly
To tunes forgotten--out of memory:
Fair creatures! whose young children's children bred
Thermopylæ its heroes--not yet dead,
But in old marbles ever beautiful.
High genitors, unconscious did they cull
Time's sweet first-fruits--they danc'd to weariness,
And then in quiet circles did they press
The hillock turf, and caught the latter end
Of some strange history, potent to send
A young mind from its ****** tenement.
Or they might watch the quoit-pitchers, intent
On either side; pitying the sad death
Of Hyacinthus, when the cruel breath
Of Zephyr slew him,--Zephyr penitent,
Who now, ere Phoebus mounts the firmament,
Fondles the flower amid the sobbing rain.
The archers too, upon a wider plain,
Beside the feathery whizzing of the shaft,
And the dull twanging bowstring, and the raft
Branch down sweeping from a tall ash top,
Call'd up a thousand thoughts to envelope
Those who would watch. Perhaps, the trembling knee
And frantic gape of lonely Niobe,
Poor, lonely Niobe! when her lovely young
Were dead and gone, and her caressing tongue
Lay a lost thing upon her paly lip,
And very, very deadliness did nip
Her motherly cheeks. Arous'd from this sad mood
By one, who at a distance loud halloo'd,
Uplifting his strong bow into the air,
Many might after brighter visions stare:
After the Argonauts, in blind amaze
Tossing about on Neptune's restless ways,
Until, from the horizon's vaulted side,
There shot a golden splendour far and wide,
Spangling those million poutings of the brine
With quivering ore: 'twas even an awful shine
From the exaltation of Apollo's bow;
A heavenly beacon in their dreary woe.
Who thus were ripe for high contemplating,
Might turn their steps towards the sober ring
Where sat Endymion and the aged priest
'**** shepherds gone in eld, whose looks increas'd
The silvery setting of their mortal star.
There they discours'd upon the fragile bar
That keeps us from our homes ethereal;
And what our duties there: to nightly call
Vesper, the beauty-crest of summer weather;
To summon all the downiest clouds together
For the sun's purple couch; to emulate
In ministring the potent rule of fate
With speed of fire-tailed exhalations;
To tint her pallid cheek with bloom, who cons
Sweet poesy by moonlight: besides these,
A world of other unguess'd offices.
Anon they wander'd, by divine converse,
Into Elysium; vieing to rehearse
Each one his own anticipated bliss.
One felt heart-certain that he could not miss
His quick gone love, among fair blossom'd boughs,
Where every zephyr-sigh pouts and endows
Her lips with music for the welcoming.
Another wish'd, mid that eternal spring,
To meet his rosy child, with feathery sails,
Sweeping, eye-earnestly, through almond vales:
Who, suddenly, should stoop through the smooth wind,
And with the balmiest leaves his temples bind;
And, ever after, through those regions be
His messenger, his little