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Not hapless doomed to loathe the forms we bear,
Become blind motions of a powerless will
But make us men again, for that thou may'st!
O'er whom thy face yet kindly shall remain,
Make thou us men again,-if men but groping
Better,-yea better far all these than bow
So they in speech unsyllabled. But She,
Not knowing, they, that even at the door Divine Odysseus stood, -as Hermes told of yore.
A CASE OF CAMEOS.
(The Power of Love.) FIRST, in an Agate-stone, a Centaur strong,
With square man-breasts and hide of dapple dun, His brown arms bound behind him with a thong, On strained croup strove to free himself from one,A bolder rider than Bellerophon. For, on his back, by some strange power of art, There sat a laughing Boy with bow and dart, Who drove him where he would, and driving him, With that barbed toy would make him rear and start. To this was writ “ World-victor" on the rim,
(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,
(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 list 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!