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For softness, and their weak faint sounds, so, talking on the tower,
These seniors of the people sat; who, when they saw the power
Of beauty, in the queen, ascend, even those coldspirited peers,
Those wise and almost wither'd men, found this heat in their years,
That they were forced (through whispering) to say: "What man can blame
The Greeks and Trojans to endure, for so admired a dame,
So many miseries and so long? In her sweet countenance shine
Looks like the Godesses. And yet (though never so divine)
Before we boast, unjustly still, of her enforced prize, And justly suffer for her sake, with all our progenies,
Labor and ruin, let her go; the profit of our land Must pass the beauty." Thus, though these could bear so fit a hand
On their affections, yet, when all their gravest powers were used,
They could not choose but welcome her, and rather they accused
LIKE as the rising morning shows a grateful lightening,
When sacred night is past and winter now lets loose the spring,
So glittering Helen shined among the maids, lusty and tall.
As is the furrow in a field that far outstretcheth all,
Nor in a diverse colored web a woof of greater skill
songs and lays
Unto her dainty harp, in Dian's and Minerva's
As Helen hath, in whose bright eyes all loves and graces be.
O, fair, O, lovely maid! A matron now is made of thee;
But we will every spring unto the leaves in meadows go
To gather garlands sweet, and there, not with a
Will often think of thee, O, Helen, as the sucking lambs
Desire the strouting bags and presence of their tender dams.
We all betimes for thee a wreath of Melitoe will knit,
And on a shady plane for thee will safely fasten it, And all betimes for thee, under a shady plane below,
Out of a silver box the sweetest ointment will bestow;
And letters shall be written in the bark that men may see
And read, Do humble reverence, for I am Helen's tree. SIR EDWARD DYER.
-From the "Sixe Idillia."
HELEN OF TROY.
HELEN, Helen, white-armed Helen,
From the shadows come again. Leap from death and dust to being, Tread again the paths of men! Let me see thee, sweet enchanter, From that life come back to this. Clasp me closely to thy bosom, Which a god would gladly kiss.
Trojan Helen, if thy spirit
Still for love can yearn and burn,
Aught of thought if thou canst give, Grant that hate at last may perish And that love alone may live.
Star-eyed Helen, thou whose beauty
Could charm even gods and Greeks; Thou whose passion was perfection; Thou whose spirit even speaks! Grant that, when beyond the shadow Of each earthly grief and joy,
I may see thee, bright and beauteous, As thou wast of old in Troy.
Trojan Helen, at thy story,
All my love burns bright and free; If a god enthroned in glory,
I would leave a heaven for thee! Won by Greece's fairest woman,
Dare we deem such love defiled? He whose eyes had gazed on Venus
Looked into thine own and smiled.
Trojan Helen, queenly Helen !
Fools have called thee "fond and frail," But thy beauty, soft and silent,
Could bid mightiest monarchs quail. Stern Achilles from his anger
Would have rested, and his arms
From his hands had fallen idle,
Had he gazed upon thy charms.
Stately Helen, fairer, fonder
Than all Greek and Trojan dames, Though for thee long years were wasted Ere proud Ilium fell in flames; Though thy "fatal gift of beauty”
Caused brave blood to flow like wine, Thou art still the first and fairest In the "tale of Troy divine."
Ever turning and returning,
In which thine may be allayed.
Trojan Helen, through the ages
Come thy stately form and brow; In the dawn of history's morning Thou wast not more fair than now. I seem with thee in the spirit, Seem to feel thy burning breath. All the ages are as nothingLove can conquer Time and Death.
Side by side with golden Venus
On a dazzling diamond throne, Thou dost rule the realms of beauty As if death were all unknown. Of thee still, oh, stately Helen!
Life must claim the greater part, For thy soul was all affection, All thy thoughts were of the heart.
Thou dost greet the growing passion
Every gift that love would give,
And thy life is thus united
Unto all that love and live.
FRED SHELLEY RYMAN.
BALLADE OF QUEEN CLYTIE.
THE ladye leans on the dial's rim (Clytie's flowers are gold and brown), Faint winds sigh, and the skies are dim (Ways grow dark as the sun goes down).
"Yesternight as I slept," she said
(Sound the sweet, shut daisies sleep), "Gold wings rustled around my bed
(Golden dreams for a slumber deep).
"Strange and sweet was my dream," saith she (Red-gold rays for a bridal crown); "Soon (be sure) he will come for me," (Shining towers to my true-love's town). Knights and nobles from every land (Ways are wide, and the sea spreads far) Seek her service and crave her hand
(Cold and fair is the morning-star).
Comes a king from the far North-lands,
Next, a suitor of scanty speed,
The king of South-lands, ambles slow,
Half asleep on a yellow steed,
Crowned with hyacinths all ablow.
Speeds a king from the fierce East-land,
Rides a king from the purple West,
Each one seeks her for Queen and bride; Swift she lifteth her eyes to them, Slow and silent she turns aside,
Veils her face with her mantle's hem.
"Where is he that should come," saith she, "Where is the youth of my goodly dream? None but him may I wed, pardie
(Gold that dazzles and locks that gleam).
"Gold rays stole through his shining hair (Clytie's flowers are gold and brown);
O for the light of his face most fair! (Ways grow dark as the sun goes down).
"Fair and sweet is my garden-space
(Tall, white poppies and gold-buds blown): Still I watch for my true-love's face."
(Wan, gray moss on the dial-stone).
Each one sighs as he bends him low (Every king for his own countriè!). "Fortune favor the ways ye go"
(Pleasant and fair is courtesiè!). Rose-leaves fall to the bare, brown groundFaint and fall as the long days die, Still she watches the hours creep round (Dear the gleam of a golden sky!).
Winds moan shrill in the garden-space
(Wet, dead leaves on a leaded pane).
Make her grave so it face the west
(Clytie's flowers are gold and brown), Close her eyes for the sweet night's rest (Ways grow dark as the sun goes down). GRAHAM R. TOMSON.
TO HIM WHO WAITS.
MANY a castle I've built in Spain,
With turrets and domes that were passing fair, But the first wild storm of wind and rain
Has proved me my castles were made of air.
Many a fleet I've sent to sea,
Freighted with hopes and ambitions bright; Never a ship has come back to me,
Though I have watched for them long by day and night.
But I sometimes think there will come a day
And I look to see the sunset's glow,
As it reddens the ocean miles on miles, Shine on the ships that sailed long agoMy ships coming back from the Fortunate Isles. EDITH SESSIONS TUPPER.
SWEET the song of the thrush at dawning,
And the dreams that die are the soul of song.
The fairest hope is the one which faded,
The brightest leaf is the leaf that fell; The song that leaped from the lips of sirens Dies away in an old sea shell. Far to the heights of viewless fancy
The soul's swift flight like a swallow goes, For the note unheard is the bird's best carol, And the bud unblown is the reddest rose. Deepest thoughts are the ones unspoken, That only the heart-sense, listening, hears; Most great joys bring a touch of silence, Greatest grief is in unshed tears. What we hear is the fleetest echo;
A song dies out, but a dream lives on; The rose-red tints of the rarest morning Are lingering yet in a distant dawn.
Somewhere, dim in the days to follow,
The spirit chant of the soul set free.
THE FATED BRIDE.
Down by the river bank, green and shady, Through the valley ride court and king, Serf and sycophant, lord and lady, Quaffing the breath of the scented spring. Coy birds lurk in the tangled bushes,
Daisies peep from the verdant mold, Delicate May blossoms hide their blushes Under the leaves that the sun turns gold.
And gayly the glittering pageant passes,
Under the blue of the cloudless skies.
The bluebird's call and the finch's song.
Only the king, with sad eyes drooping,
Bride, my bride, whom I seek in vain,
"I shall know you, dear, by your golden tresses,
In the glad sweet south you have wandered o'er?
Yet who is this by the wayside sitting,
Where waters murmur and green boughs meet, Where bees are humming and birds are flitting, And the scent of a hundred flowers is sweet! A girl's lithe form that the leaves half cover, A wavy shimmer of shining hair That rolls, and ripples, and mantles over
The slender arms that are brown and bare.
A scant gown, tattered and torn, and frayed in Long leagues of travel by mount and plain; And the courtiers smile at the beggar maiden,
Who shrinks abashed from the dazzling train; But the king leaps down from his charger lightly, With glad cheeks glowing and eyes on fire; Though her lot be lowly, her garb unsightly, He knows the face of his soul's desire.
"My love!" he whispers. O, blest the wooing
"My wife!" he cries, when her voice grows firmer, And straight she answers, "My king, my lord!" WALTER CRANE.
"OH! who will scale the belfry tower
And cut that banner down?
All broken is the Austrian power;
They gallop from the town;
And surely 'tis an idle taunt,
With this day's victory gained, To let your painted falsehood flauntThe very sky seems stained!"
So spoke the Duke. Around he glanced
The shattered belfry timbers shake;
The highest spire of all,
Beneath a dove's weight might it break, And seven-score feet down-fall.
Each thought: "Cut down by hand that flag? Foolhardy were the deed,
When one three-pounder snaps its staff
As breaks a withered reed!"
She courtesied, gave a hasty glance
"You, child?" he mocked. "By Mars, you come To school the veterans grim!
And your reward?" "Those two fair plumes
Loud rang his laugh: "So be it! Climb!
The church-door clashes at her back;
And now she slips up to the leads;
Oh, shattered joist and splintered beam,
And now she grasps the slender staff;
The flag begins to sink. Good cord,
Do thy work faithfully!
The pulley turns-the rope runs smooth
Down, down, the gay folds glide
Along the quivering pole, until
They hang her hand beside.
Close gathered, look! she cuts their bond,
Then lightly pushed from where she clings,
They see her clamber down and safe
Oh, then, what shoutings came from all,
Up the old street at the Duke's side
She rides his pacing steed,
Her homespun apron filled with crowns,
The Duke's plumes in her hair; What man shall say a little maid
Can never do and dare?
EDWARD IRENEUS STEVENSON.
I MEET upon the woodland ways
At morn a lady fair;
Adown her slender shoulders strays Her raven hair;
And none who looks into her eyes
But I, who meet her oft about The woods in morning song, I see behind her far stretch out A ghostly throng:
A priest, a prince, a lord, a maid,
A high-born lady and a jade,
Two lines of ghosts in masquerade,
She sings, she weeps, she smiles, she sighs,
The features of her fathers rise
As if it were the wind that swayed
Upon her face they masquerade
And work their will.
FREDERICK K. PETERSON.
TOILING across the Mer de Glace,
My foe, undreamed of, at my side
THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH.
TIME AND ETERNITY.
"O, MIGHTY weariness of yellow sands! O, surging ocean of Eternity!
I bow abjectly at the thought of thee. My tiny span is naught. My aged hands Quiver, impatient of divine commands And of this petty hour-glass misery. Unwearied one! Thine æons yet to be!
O, scythe of pain! Alas! the low marsh lands!" So spake poor Father Time, and bowed his head, Spurning in bitterness the race of men; A solemn figure on that solemn shore, Gathering sand, scorning Earth's quick and dead; A bad mistake! For these beyond his ken Shall wed him to the æons evermore. CAROLINE D. SWAN. -The Traveler's Record, January, 1890.
THE SUN CUP.
THE earth is the cup of the sun,
That he filleth at morning with wine, With the strong warm wine of his might, From the vintage of gold and of light, Fills it and makes it divine.
And at night, when his journey is done, At the gate of his radiant hall
He setteth his lips to the brim, With a long last look of his eye, And tilts it, and draineth it dry, Drains till he leaveth it all
Hollow, and empty, and dim.