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Her handmaids tended, but she heeded not;
Her father watch'd, she turn'd her eyes away;
However dear or cherish'd in their day;
Gentle, but without memory, she lay;
And then a slave bethought her of a harp;
The harper came and tuned his instrument. At the first notes, irregular and sharp,
On him her flashing eyes a moment bent, Then to the wall she turn'd, as if to warp
Her thoughts from sorrow through her heart re-sent; And he begun a long low island song Of ancient days, ere tyranny grew strong.
Anon her thin wan fingers beat the wall
And sung of love; the fierce name struck through all
Of what she was, and is, if ye could call
The tears rush'd forth from her o'erclouded brain.
Like mountain mists at length dissolved in rain.
Short solace, vain relief!—thought came ioo quick,
As one who ne'er had dwelt among the sick,
But no one ever heard her speak or shriek,
Although her paroxysm drew towards its close ;— Hers was a frenzy which disdain'd to rave, Even when they smote her, in the hope to save.
Yet she betray'd at times a gleam of sense;
Nothing could make her meet her father's face, Though on all other things with looks intense
She gazed, but none she ever could retrace. Food she refused, and raiment; no pretence
Avail'd for either; neither change of place, Nor time, nor skill, nor remedy, could give her Senses to sleep—the power seem'd gone forever.
Twelve days and nights she wither'd thus; at last,
A parting pang, the spirit from her past:
The very instant, till the change that cast
Glazed o'er her eyes—the beautiful, the black—
Oh ! to possess such lustre—and then lack!
She died, but not alone: she held within A second principle of life, which might
Thus lived—thus died she; never more on her Shall sorrow light, or shame. She was not made
Through years or moons the inner weight to bear,
By age in earth; her days and pleasures were
Long with her destiny; but she sleeps well
By the sea-shore, whereon she loved to dwell.
That isle is now all desolate and bare,
Its dwellings down, its tenants pass'd away:
None but her own and father's grave is there,
Ye could not know where lies a thing so fair, No stone is there to show, no tongue to say What was: no dirge, except the hollow sea's,
Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades.
But many a Greek maid in a loving song
With her sire's story makes the night less long.
If she loved rashly, her life paid for wrong—
In some shape; let none think to fly the danger,
For soon or late Love is his own avenger.
CAIN AND LUCIFER IN THE ABYSS OF SPACE
(act II., Scene I., Of 'cain,' 1821)
Cain. I tread on air, and sink not; yet I fear To sink.
Lucifer. Have faith in me, and thou shalt be Borne on the air, of which I am the prince. Cain. Can I do so without impiety?Lucifer. Believe—and sink not! doubt—and perish!thus
Would run the edict of the other God, Who names me demon to his angels; they Echo the sound to miserable things, Which, knowing nought beyond their shallow senses, Worship the word which strikes their ear, and deem 10 Evil or good what is proclaimed to them In their abasement. I will have none such:Worship or worship not, thou shalt behold The worlds beyond thy little world, nor be Amerced for doubts beyond thy little life, With torture of my dooming. There will come An hour, when, toss'd upon some water-drops, A man shall say to a man, " Believe in me, And walk the waters "; and the man shall walk The billows and be safe. / will not say, 20
Believe in me, as a conditional creed To save thee; but fly with me o'er the gulf Of space an equal flight, and I will show
What thou dar'st not deny—the history
Cain. Oh, god, or demon, or whate'er thou art
Lucifer. Dost thou not recognize
The dust which formed your father?
Cain. Can it be?
Yon small blue circle, swinging in far ether,
Lucifer. Point me out the site
Cain. How should I? As we move Like sunbeams onward, it grows small and smaller, And as it waxes little, and then less, Gathers a halo round it, like the light Which shone the roundest of the stars, when I Beheld them from the skirts of Paradise: Methinks they both, as we recede from them, 40 Appear to join the innumerable stars Which are around us; and, as we move on, Increase their myriads.
Lucifer. And if there should be
Worlds greater than thine own, inhabited
Cain. I should be proud of thought
Which knew such things.
Lucifer. But if that high thought were 50
Link'd to a servile mass of matter, and