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النشر الإلكتروني

XOV.

JUDITII.

THERE was a gleam of jewels in the tent

Which one dim cresset lit—a baleful gleam

And from his scattered armour seemed to stream A dusky evil light that came and went. But from her eyes, as over him she bent,

Watching the surface of his drunken dream,

There shot a deadlier ray, a darker beam,
A look in which her life's one lust found vent.
There was a hissing through her tightened teeth,

As with her scimetar she crouched above
His dark, doomed head, and held her perilous breath,

While ever and anon she saw him move IIis red lascivious lips, and sniile beneath

His curled and scented beard, and inutter love.

XOVI.

IDLE CHARON.

Tule shores of Styx are lone for evermore,

And not one shadowy form upon the steep

Looms through the dusk, far as the eye can sweep, To call the ferry over as of yore ; But tintless rushes all about the shore

Have hemmed the old boat in, where, locked in sleep,

Hoar-bearded Charon lies ; while pale weeds creep With tightening grasp all round the unused oar. For in the world of Life strange rumours run

That now the soul departs not with the breath, But that the Body and the Soul are one ;

And in the loved one's mouth, now, after death, The widow puts no obol, nor the son,

To pay the ferry in the world beneath,

XCVII.

LETHE.

I HAD a dream of Lethe, of the brink

Of leaden waters, whither many bore

Dead, pallid loves, while others, old and sore, Brought but their tottering selves, in haste to drink. And, having drunk, they plunged, and seemed to sink

Their load of love or guilt for evermore,

Reaching with radiant brow the sunny shore
That lay beyond, no more to think and think.

Oh, who will give me, chained to Thought's dull

strand,
A draught of Lethe, salt with final tears,
Were it no more than fills the hollow hand ?

Oh, who will rid me of the wasted years,
The thought of Life's fair structure vainly planned,

And each false hope, that mocking re-appears ?'

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XCVIII.

SUNKEN GOLD,

In dim green depths rot ingot-laden ships,
While gold doubloons that from the drowned hand

fell Lie nestled in the ocean-flower's bell With Love's gemmed rings once kissed by now dead

lips And round some wrought-gold cup the sea-grass whips

And hides lost pearls, near pearls still in their shell,

Where sea-weed forests fill each ocean dell, And seek dim sunlight with their countless tips.

So lie the wasted gifts, the long-lost hopes,

Beneath the now hushed surface of myself, In lonelier depths than where the diver gropes.

They lie deep, deep; but I at times behold In doubtful glimpses, on some reefy sbelf,

The gleam of irrecoverable gold.

XIX.

TO DEATH.

(ON HEARING OF THE ILLNESS OF E. DE V.)

Hast thou then wrapped us in thy shadow, Death !
Already in the very dawn of joy?
And in cold triumph dreamest to destroy
The last and dearest hope which lingereth
Within my desolated heart ? to blast
The young unfolding bud? and dash away,
As in some desert-demon's cruel play,
The cup my parch'd lips had begun to taste ?

O Impotent ! O very Phantom I know,
Bounds are there to thy ravage even here;
Sanctuaries inaccessible to fear
Are in the heart of man while yet below :
Love, not of sense, can wake such communings
As are among the Soul's eternal things.

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