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With the sound of a strained cord breaking,
A something snapped in the gloom.
'Twas a string of his violoncello,
And they heard him stir in his bed :— "Make room for a tired little fellow,
Kind God!" was the last that he said.
A CASE OF CAMEOS.
(The Power of Love.)
FIRST, in an Agate vein, a Centaur strong,
With square man-breasts and hide of dapple dun,
For, on his back, by some strange power of art,
To this was writ " World-victor on the rim.
(The Fall of the Giants.)
NEXT was a Cornaline, in strange wise riven,
As when the sun comes leaping through a cloud. From the mid space, Jove thundered out of heaven,
With full-hand sheaf, upon the headlong crowd
Of huge and wild-limbed Titans,-levin-cowed.
For lo, distort amid the crash of pine
Typhoëus,-Rhœtus, rolled ambiguous;
Mirnas was blinded of the bolt divine;
And, like a mountain, fell Enceladus.
(The Box of Pandora.)
To this there followed a green Jasper stone,
Not less, to Earth, of woes the harbinger.
But now, a moment-space, did Jove defer
His fatefull boon; for, curious as a child,
By shifting light or shaken toy beguiled,
Pandora knelt where all those ills were hid ;
Yet, ere she loosed them, looking upward, smiled,
E'en with a finger, tremulous, at the lid.
(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 was rating Mercury.
Who stood with downcast eyes, and feigned distress,
As daring not, for utter guiltiness,
To meet that angry voice and aspect joined.
His very heel-wings drooped; but yet, not less,
His backward hand the Sun-God's shafts purloined.