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Though the red sun for hours hath burn'd,
And now, in his mid course, hath met The peak of that eternal pile
He pauses still at noon to bless, Standing beneath his downward smile,
Like a great Spirit, shadowless !Nor yet she comes — while here, alone,
Saunt'ring through this death-peopled place,
By turns I watch, and rest, and trace
Dost thou remember, in that Isle
Of our own Sea, where thou and I Linger'd so long, so happy a while,
'Till all the summer flowers went by How gay it was, when sunset brought
To the cool Well our favourite maids Some we had won, and some we sought
To dance within the fragrant shades, And, till the stars went down attune Their Fountain Hymns to the young moon ?
There standing, beautiful, alone,
With nought to guard her, but her charms. Yet did I, then - did even a breath
From my parch'd lips, too parch'd to move, Disturb a scene where thus, beneath Earth's silent covering, Youth and Death
Held converse through undying love? No--smile and taunt me as thou wilt
Though but to gaze thus was delight, Yet seem'd it like a wrong, a guilt,
To win by stealth so pure a sight: And rather than a look profane
Should then have met those thoughtful eyes, Or voice or whisper broke the chain
That link'd her spirit with the skies, I would have gladly, in that place, From which I watch'd her heavenward face, Let my heart break, without one beat That could disturb a prayer so sweet. Gently, as if on every tread,
My life, my more than life, depended,
To this blest scene I now ascended,
The marble hills of Araby,
His beams into that living sea.
Newly put on- as if for pride
To his own Isis, his young bride,
At once from this entangling net-
Of every sense, that night forget. But vain the effort-spell-bound still, I linger'd, without power or will
To turn my eyes from that dark door, Which now enclos'a her 'mong the dead ;
Oft fancying, through the boughs, that o'er The sunny pile their flickering shed, 'Twas her light form again I saw
Starting to earth — still pure and bright, But wakening, as I hop'd, less awe,
Thus seen by morning's natural light,
Than in that strange, dim cell at night. But no, alas-she ne'er return'd:
Nor yet—though still I watch - nor yet,
That time, too-oh, 'tis like a dream
When from Scamander's holy tide I sprung as Genius of the Stream,
And bore away that blooming bride, Who thither came, to yield her charms
(As Phrygian maids are wont, ere wed) Into the cold Scamander's arms,
But met, and welcom'd mine, instead Wondering, as on my neck she fell, How river-gods could love so well ! Who would have thought that he, who rov'd
Like the first bees of summer then,
But the free hearts, that lov'd again,
Yet so it is—and the same thirst
For something high and pure, above This withering world, which, from the first,
Made me drink deep of woman's love
| These songs of the Well, as they were called by the ancients, are still common in the Greek isles.
As the one joy, to heaven most near
Farewell ; whatever may befall —
And, 'stead of haunting the trim Garden's school-
FROM ORCUS, HIGH PRIEST OF MEMPHIS, TO Still less should they presume, weak wits, that DECIUS, THE PRÆTORIAN PREFECT.
Alone despise the craft of us who pray ;REJOICE, my friend, rejoice:— the youthful Chief Still less their creedless vanity deceive Of that light Sect which mocks at all belief, With the fond thought, that we who pray believe. And, gay and godless, makes the present hour Believe !- Apis forbid — forbid it, all Its only heaven, is now within our power. Ye monster Gods, before whose shrines we fall — Smooth, impious school !—not all the weapons aim'd Deities, fram'd in jest, as if to try At priestly creeds, since first a creed was fram'd, How far gross Man can vulgarise the sky; E’er struck so deep as that sly dart they wield, How far the same low fancy that combines The Bacchant's pointed spear in laughing flowers Into a drove of brutes yon zodiac's signs, conceal'd.
And turns that Heaven itself into a place And oh, 'twere victory to this heart, as sweet Of sainted sin and deified disgrace, As any thou canst boast —even when the feet Can bring Olympus even to shame more deep, Of thy proud war-steed wade through Christian Stock it with things that earth itself holds cheap, blood,
Fish, flesh, and fowl, the kitchen's sacred brood, To wrap this scoffer in Faith's blinding hood, Which Egypt keeps for worship, not for food And bring him, tam'd and prostrate, to implore All, worthy idols of a Faith that sees The vilest gods even Egypt's saints adore. In dogs, cats, owls, and apes, divinities ! What! - do these sages think, to them alone The key of this world's happiness is known ? Believe ! -oh, Decius, thou, who feel'st do care That none but they, who make such proud parade For things divine, beyond the soldier's share, Of Pleasure's smiling favours, win the maid, Who takes on trust the faith for which he bleeds, Or that Religion keeps no secret place,
A good, fierce God to swear by, all he needsNo niche, in her dark fanes, for Love to grace ? Little canst thou, whose creed around thee hangs Fools ! --- did they know how keen the zest that's Loose as thy summer war-cloak, guess the pangs given
Of loathing and self-scorn with which a heart, To earthly joy, when season'd well with heaven ; Stubborn as mine is, acts the zealot's part How Piety's grave mask improves the hue The deep and dire disgust with which I wade Of Pleasure's laughing features, half seen through, Through the foul juggling of this holy tradeAnd how the Priest, set aptly within reach This mud profound of mystery, where the feet, Of two rich worlds, traffics for bliss with each,
At every step, sink deeper in deceit. Would they not, Decius—thou, whom the’ ancient Oh! many a time, when, ʼmid the Temple's blaze, tie
O’er prostrate fools the sacred cist I raise, Twixt Sword and Altar makes our best ally- Did I not keep still proudly in my mind Would they not change their creed, their craft, for The power this priestcraft gives me o'er mankindours ?
A lever, of more might, in skilful hand, Leave the gross daylight joys that, in their bowers, To move this world, than Archimede e'er plann'd, Languish with too much sun, like o'erblown I should, in vengeance of the shame I feel flowers,
At my own mockery, crush the slaves that kneel For the veil'd loves, the blisses undisplay'd Besotted round ; and like that kindred breed That slily lurk within the Temple's shade ? Of reverend, well-drest crocodiles they feed,
At fam'd Arsinoë 1- make my keepers bless, And howl sad dirges to the answering breeze, With their last throb, my sharp-fang'd Holiness. O'er their dead Gods, their mortal Deities
Amphibious, hybrid things, that died as men, Say, is it to be borne, that scoffers, vain
Drown'd, hang'd, empal'd, to rise, as gods, again ;Of their own freedom from the altar's chain, Ask them, what mighty secret lurks below Should mock thus all that thou thy blood hast sold, This seven-fold mystery - can they tell thee ? No; And I my truth, pride, freedom, to uphold ? Gravely they keep that only secret, well It must not be :— think'st thou that Christian sect, And fairly kept - that they have none to tell; Whose followers, quick as broken waves, erect And, dup'd themselves, console their humbled pride Their crests anew and swell into a tide,
By duping thenceforth all mankind beside. That threats to sweep away our shrines of pride – Think'st thou, with all their wondrous spells, even And such the advance in fraud since Orpheus' they
timeWould triumph thus, had not the constant play That earliest master of our craft sublime Of Wit's resistless archery clear'd their way?- So many minor Mysteries, imps of fraud, That mocking spirit, worst of all the foes, From the great Orphic Egg have wing'd abroad, Our solemn fraud, our mystic mummery knows, That, still to' uphold our Temple's ancient boast, Whose wounding flash thus ever ʼmong the signs And seem most holy, we must cheat the most ; Of a fast-falling creed, prelusive shines,
Work the best miracles, wrap nonsense round Threat'ning such change as do the awful freaks In pomp and darkness, till it seems profound; Of summer lightning, ere the tempest breaks. Play on the hopes, the terrors of mankind,
With changeful skill; and make the human mind But, tò my point-- a youth of this vain school, Like our own Sanctuary, where no ray, But one, whom Doubt itself hath fail'd to cool But by the Priest's permission, wins its rayDown to that freezing point where Priests despair Where through the gloom as wave our wizard-rods, Of any spark from the altar catching there — Monsters, at will, are conjur'd into Gods; Hath, some nights since—it was, methinks, the night While Reason, like a grave-fac'd mummy, stands, That follow'd the full Moon's great annual rite— With her arms swath'd in hieroglyphic bands. Through the dark, winding ducts, that downward But chiefly in that skill with which we use stray
Man's wildest passions for Religion's views, To these earth-hidden temples, track'd his way, Yoking them to her car like fiery steeds, Just at that hour when, round the Shrine, and me, Lies the main art in which our craft succeeds. The choir of blooming nymphs thou long'st to see, And oh ! be blest, ye men of yore, whose toil Sing their last night-hymn in the Sanctuary. Hath, for her use, scoop'd out from Egypt's soil The clangour of the marvellous Gate, that stands This hidden Paradise, this mine of fanes, At the Well's lowest depth — which none but hands Gardens, and palaces, where Pleasure reigns Of new, untaught adventurers, from above, In a rich, sunless empire of her own, Who know not the safe path, e'er dare to move- With all earth's luxuries lighting up her throne ;Gave signal that a foot profane was nigh :- A realm for mystery made, which undermines 'Twas the Greek youth, who, by that morning's sky, The Nile itself, and, 'neath the Twelve Great Shrines Had been observd, curiously wand'ring round That keep Initiation's holy rite, The mighty fanes of our sepulchral ground. Spreads its long labyrinths of unearthly light,
A light that knows no change- its brooks that run Instant, the' Initiate's Trials were prepar’d, - Too deep for day, its gardens without sun, The Fire, Air, Water ; all that Orpheus dar'd, Where soul and sense, by turns, are charm’d, surThat Plato, that the bright-hair'd Samian pass'd, pris'd, With trembling hope, to come to — what, at last ? And all that bard or prophet e’er devis'd Go, ask the dupes of Priestcraft! question him For man's Elysium, priests have realis'd. Who, 'mid terrific sounds and spectres dim, Walks at Eleusis ; ask of those, who brave Here, at this moment—all his trials past, The dazzling miracles of Mithra's Cave, And heart and nerve unshrinking to the last — With its seven starry gates; ask all who keep Our new Initiate roves-as yet left free Those terrible night-mysteries, where they weep
To wander through this realm of mystery;
| For the trinkets with which the sacred Crocodiles were ornamented, see the Epicurean, chap. x.
Feeding on such illusions as prepare
Till, if our Sage be not tam'd down, at length, The soul, like mist o'er waterfalls, to wear His wit, his wisdom, shorn of all their strength, All shapes and hues, at Fancy's varying will, Like Phrygian priests, in honour of the shrine Through every shifting aspect, vapour still ;- If he become not absolutely mine, Vague glimpses of the Future, vistas shown, Body and soul, and, like the tame decoy By scenic skill, into that world unknown, Which wary hunters of wild doves employ, Which saints and sinners claim alike their own; Draw converts also, lure his brother wits And all those other witching, wildering arts, To the dark cage where his own spirit flits, Illusions, terrors, that make human hearts, And give us, if not saints, good hypocrites — Ay, even the wisest and the hardiest, quail If I effect not this, then be it said To any goblin thron'd behind a veil.
The ancient spirit of our craft hath fled,
Gone with that serpent-god the Cross hath chas'd Yes --- such the spells shall haunt his eye, his ear, To hiss its soul out in the Theban waste. Mix with his night-dreams, form his atmosphere ;
gyrics in the Anthologia on Anacreon, | Aspasia, 88.
Aspen-tree, the, 387.
As vanquish'd Erin wept, 208.
And doth not a meeting like this make Atalantis, Island of, 613.
Athens, and the Sectaries of the Garden,
And hast thou mark'd the pensive shade, 606, 607. Alciphron, 647. 668_680.
Pyrrho, 143. et. seq. The mother of
(Ode xvii. Anacreon), 17.
Athol, Duke of, 493, n.
hierarchy of the primæval Syrians, from Bermuda to, 118. Tribute to his
At the mid hour of night, 188.
11. n., 19. n.
their flight (Anthologia), 48.
Attar Gul, or (vulgarly) Otto of Roses,
Augustine to his Sister, 246.
of some Epigrams of, 46. 48. Songs from 317. 385.
Austrians, their entry into Naples, 463.
Autumn and Spring, 240.
Avenging and bright fall the swift sword
of Erin, 187.
Awake, arise, thy light is come, 248.
LX. Anacreon), 40.
Arab, the tyrant, Al Hassan, (vide Anacreon), 35.
worshippers), 360. et seq.
Awhile I bloom'd a happy flower (Ode
LXXII. Anacreon), 44.
Azim, vi. 24. See Lalla Rookh.
Arabian shepherd, his camel, 272. n. Azor, idols of, 396.
Azrael, the angel of death, 465.
Azure of the Chinese painting of porce-
lain, 396. n.
Ball and Gala described, 258. Allusion to
sim. The Romaika, 265.
Ballads, miscellaneous, 289–310.
Ballads, occasional, passim.
492. Notes, 493.
As by the shore, at break of day, 267. Bard, the Wandering, 211.
As down in the sunless retreats, 245. Bards, of, 8. 180. 236. 299. 306. et pas-
(Ode vi. Anacreon), 10.
Battle, before the, 181.
Remarks, 3. Additional lyrics attri- As o'er her loom the Lesbian maid, 264. Battle, the parting before the, 288.