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EARLY YEARS OF THE REIGN
CLOSE OF SOUTHEY'S LAUREATESHIP: 1837-43
Accession of Victoria R., June 20, 1837
EARLY YEARS OF THE REIGN
DISTINCTIVE POETS AND DRAMATISTS
Walter Savage Landor
FROM "THRASYMEDES AND EUNOË"
WHO will away to Athens with me? who Loves choral songs and maidens crown'd with flowers,
Unenvious? mount the pinnace; hoist the sail.
I promise ye, as many as are here,
With no vile figures of loose languid boors, But such as gods have liv'd with and have led.
RHAICOS was born amid the hills wherefrom
Guidos the light of Caria is discern'd, And small are the white-crested that play near,
And smaller onward are the purple waves. Thence festal choirs were visible, all crown'd With rose and myrtle if they were inborn; If from Pandion sprang they, on the coast Where stern Athenè rais'd her citadel,
Then olive was entwin'd with violets
The sword from Ares, thunderbolt from Zeus,
And whom in his chill caves the mutable
To turn in pity the averted cheek
To give her daily more and sweeter flowers
At the long trains that hasten'd to the town From all the valleys, like bright rivulets Gurgling with gladness, wave outrunning
And thought it hard he might not also go And offer up one prayer, and press one hand,
He knew not whose. The father call'd him in
And said, "Son Rhaicos! those are idle games;
Long enough I have liv'd to find them so." And ere he ended, sigh'd; as old men do Always, to think how idle such games are.
That sad old man!" said she. The old man went
Without a warning from his master's son, Glad to escape, for sorely he now fear'd, And the axe shone behind him in their eyes. Hamad. And wouldst thou too shed the most innocent
Of blood? No vow demands it; no god wills
The oak to bleed.
Rhaicos. Who art thou? whence? why here?
And whither wouldst thou go? Among the rob'd
In white or saffron, or the hue that most
Like moss to stones adhering, leaves to trees,
Yet lets thy bosom rise and fall in turn,
Of graceful platan by the river-side ?
I love it, well I love it, yet would leave
Won in my race last spring from Eutychos. Hamad. Bethink thee what it is to leave a home
Thou never yet hast left, one night, one day. Rhaicos. No, 't is not hard to leave it: 't is not hard
To leave, O maiden, that paternal home
Rhaicos. I have seen lovers and have
Hamad. But wilt thou spare the tree?
Are very soft; I will not come too nigh;
Hamad. I seat me; be thou seated, and content.
Rhaicos. O sight for gods! ye men below! adore
The Aphroditè! Is she there below?
The Hellespont, and brought his kindred
Hamad. Reverence the higher Powers; nor deem amiss
Of her who pleads to thee, and would re
Ask not how much - but very much. Rise
No, Rhaicos, no! Without the nuptial vow
Rhaicos. Hearken, all gods above! O Aphrodité ! 0 Here! Let my vow be ratified! But wilt thou come into my father's house?
Hamad. Nay: and of mine I cannot give thee part.
Rhaicos. Where is it?
In this oak.
Rhaicos. Ay; now begins The tale of Hamadryad: tell it through. Hamad. Pray of thy father never to cut down
My tree; and promise him, as well thou mayst,
That every year he shall receive from me More honey than will buy him nine fat sheep, More wax than he will burn to all the gods. Why fallest thou upon thy face? Some thorn