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النشر الإلكتروني

LXXXV.

AGE.

I WILL not rail, or grieve when torpid eld

Frosts the slow-journeying blood, for I shall see

The lovelier leaves hang yellow on the tree, The nimbler brooks in icy fetters held. Methinks the aged eye that first bebeld

The fitful ravage of December wild,

Then knew himself indeed dear Nature's child, Seeing the common doom, that all compelled. No kindred we to her belovëd broods

If, dying these, we drew a selfish breath ; But one path travel all her multitudes,

And none dispute the solemn Voice that saith : ‘Sun to thy setting; to your autumn, woods ;

Stream to thy sea; and man unto thy death 1'

LXXXVI.

DANTE.

POET, whose unscarr'd feet have trodden Hell,

By what grim path and dread environing

Of fire couldst thou that dauntless footstep bring And plant it firm amid the dolorous cell Of darkness where perpetually dwell

The spirits cursed beyond imagining ?

Or else is thine a visionary wing,
And all thy terror but a tale to tell ?
Neither and both, thou seeker! I have been

No wilder path than thou thyself dost go,
Close mask'd in an impenetrable screen,

Which having rent I gaze around, and know What tragic wastes of gloom, before unseen,

Curtaiu the soul that strives and sins below.

LXXXVII.

FEBRUARY IN ROME.

WHEN Roman fields are red with cyclamen,

And in the palace-gardens you may find,

Under great leaves and sheltering briony-bind, Clusters of cream-white violets, O then The ruined city of immortal men

Must smile, a little to her fate resigned ;

And through her corridors the slow warm wind Gush harmonies beyond a mortal ken. Such soft favonian airs upon a flute,

Such shadowy censers burning live perfume,

Shall lead the mystic city to her tomb; Nor flowerless springs, nor autumns without fruit, Nor summer mornings when the winds are mute,

Trouble her soul till Rome be no more Rome.

LXXXVIII.

ON A LUTE FOUND IN A SARCOPHAGUS.

What curled and scented sun-girls, almond-eyed,

With lotus blossoms in their hands and hair,

Have made their swarthy lovers call them fair, With these spent strings, when brutes were deified, And Memnon in the sunrise sprang and cried,

And love-winds smote Bubastis, and the bare

Black breasts of carven Pasht received the prayer Of suppliants bearing gifts from far and wide ! This lute has outsung Egypt; all the lives

Of violent passion, and the vast calm art

That lasts in granite only, all lie dead ;
This little bird of song alone survives,

As fresh as when its fluting smote the heart
Last time the brown slave wore it garlanded.

LXXXIX,

ALCYONE.

(A Sonnet in Dialogue.)

Phoebus. WHAT voice is this that wails above the deep?
Alcyone. A wife's, that mourns her fate and loveless

days.
Phoebus. What love lies buried in these waterways ?
Alcyone. A husband's, hurried to eternal sleep.
Phoebus. Cease, O beloved, cease to wail and weep!
Alcyone. Wherefore ?
Phoebus.

The waters in a fiery blaze Proclaim the godhead of my healing rays. Alcyone. No god can sow where fate hath stood to reap. Phoebus. Hold, wringing hands ! cease, piteous tears,

to fall. Alcyone. But grief must rain and glut the passionate sea, Phoebus. Thou shall forget this ocean and thy wrong,

And I will bless the dead, though past recall. Alcyone. What can'st thou give to me or him in me? Phoebus. A name in story and a light in song.

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