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Not hapless doomed to loathe the forms we bear,
free, Become blind motions of a powerless will Through swine-like frames dispersed to swine-like issues still.
But make us men again, for that thou may'st!
D'er whom thy face yet kindly shall remain,
Make thou us men again,-if men but groping
faces to foul earth and yearn-as we do now !
So they in speech unsyllabled. But She,
Not knowing, they, that even at the door
-as Hermes told of yore.
A CASE OF CAMEOS.
(The Power of Love.)
With square man-breasts and hide of dapple dun,
(The Thefts of Mercury.) The next in legend bade “Beware of show !" 'Twas
graven this on pale Chalcedony. Here great Apollo, with unbended bow, His quiver hard by on a laurel tree, For some new theft were rating Mercury. Who stood with downcast eyes, and feigned distress,
As daring not, for utter guiltiness,
(The Song of Orpheus.) THEN, on a Sardonyx, the man of Thrace, The voice supreme that through Hell's portals stole, With carved white lyre and glorious song-lit face, (Too soon, alas ! on Hebrus' wave to roll !) Played to the beasts, from a great elm-tree bole. And lo! with half-shut eyes the leopard spread His lissome length; and deer with gentle tread Came through the trees; and, from a nearer spring, The prick-eared rabbit paused ; while overhead The stock-dove drifted downward, fluttering.
(The Crowning of Silenus.) Next came an Amethyst,—the grape in hue. On a mock throne, by fresh excess disgraced, With heavy head, and thyrsus held askew, The Youths, in scorn, had dull Silenus placed, And o'er him “King of Topers” they had traced. Yet but a King of Sleep he seemed at best,
With wine-bag cheeks that bulged upon his breast, And vat-like paunch distent from his carouse. Meanwhile, his ass, by no respect represt, Munched at the wreath upon her Master's brows.
(The Sirens.) LASTLY, with “Pleasure” was a Beryl graven, Clear-hued,-divine. Thereon the Sirens sung. What time, beneath, by rough rock-bases caven, And jaw-like rifts where many a green bone clung, The strong flood-tide, in-rushing, coiled and swung. Then,-in the offing,-on the lift of the sea, A tall ship drawing shoreward-helplessly. For, from the prow, e'en now the rowers leap Headlong, nor seek from that sweet fate to flee .. Ah me, those Women-witches of the Deep!