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Thus, pulling hard to fasten it, she spake, And, rushing at me, closed: I thrill'd throughout
And seem'd to lessen and shrink up with cold.
Again with violent impulse gushed my blood,
And hearing nought external, thus absorb'd,
I heard it, rushing through each turbid vein,
Shake my unsteady swimming sight in air.
Yet with unyielding though uncertain
I clung around her neck; the vest beneath
Rustled against our slippery limbs entwined:
Often mine springing with eluded force Started aside and trembled till replaced: And when I most succeeded, as I thought, My bosom and my throat felt so compressed
That life was almost quivering on my lips,
Yet nothing was there painful these are signs
Of secret arts and not of human might; What arts I cannot tell; I only know My eyes grew dizzy and my strength decay'd;
I was indeed o'ercome . . . with what regret,
And more, with what confusion, when I reached
The fold, and yielding up the sheep, she cried,
"This pays a shepherd to a conquering maid."
She smiled, and more of pleasure than disdain
Was in her dimpled chin and liberal lip, And eyes that languished, lengthening, just like love.
She went away; I on the wicker gate Leant, and could follow with my eyes alone.
The sheep she carried easy as a cloak; But when I heard its bleating, as I did, And saw, she hastening on, its hinder feet [slip, Struggle, and from her snowy shoulder One shoulder its poor efforts had un veil'd, [tears; Then all my passions mingling fell in Restless then ran I to the highest ground To watch her; she was gone; gone down the tide ;
WE are what suns and winds and waters
But where the land is dim from tyranny,
The heart is hardest in the softest climes,
That sittest afar off and helpest not,
From where thy tombstone, where thy cradle, stood,
Twice twenty self-devoted Greeks assail'd
The naval host of Asia, at one blow 1 Scattered it into air.. and Greece was free ..
And ere these glories beam'd, thy day
Let all that Elis ever saw, give way,
The Marathonian columns never told
In the warm streamlet of the strait below. Goddess! altho' thy brow was never rear'd [sail'd Among the powers that guarded or as
1 Alluding to the victory of Canaris over the Turkish fleet. Compare the poem of Victor Hugo on the same battle, in Les Orientales
She threw herself upon her couch and wept : On this side hung her head, and over that Listlessly she let fall the faithless brass That made the men as faithless. But when you Found them, or fancied them, and would not hear
That they were only vestiges of smiles, Or the impression of some amorous hair Astray from cloistered curls and roseate band, [perhaps Which had been lying there all night Upon a skin so soft, No, no," you said, Sure, they are coming, yes, are come, are here:
Warmed by the eye intent on its pursuit ; I saw the foot that, altho' half-erect From its gray slipper, could not lift her up To what she wanted: I held down a branch
And gather'd her some blossoms; since their hour
Was come, and bees had wounded them, and flies
Of harder wing were working their way thro' And scattering them in fragments underfoot.
So crisp were some, they rattled unevolved,
Others, ere broken off, fell into shells, For such appear the petals when detached Unbending, brittle, lucid, white like snow, [sun: And like snow not seen thro', by eye or
Yet every one her gown received from
Was fairer than the first. I thought not
But so she praised them to reward my
I said, "You find the largest." "This indeed," Cried she," is large and sweet." She held one forth,
Whether for me to look at or to take She knew not, nor did I; but taking it Would best have solved (and this she felt) her doubt.
I dared not touch it; for it seemed a part
Of her own self; fresh, full, the most mature
Of blossoms, yet a blossom; with a touch To fall, and yet unfallen. She drew back The boon she tender'd, and then, finding not
The ribbon at her waist to fix it in, Dropped it, as loth to drop it, on the rest. 1831.
FOR AN EPITAPH AT FIESOLE Lo! where the four mimosas blend their shade
In calm repose at last is Landor laid,
By her his soul had ever held most dear, And he had lived enough when he had dried her tear. 1831.
UPON A SWEET-BRIAR
My briar that smelledst sweet
Ran through thy quiet veins,-
What! hath no poet's lyre O'er thee, sweet-breathing briar, Hung fondly, ill or well? And yet methinks with thee A poet's sympathy, Whether in weal or woe, in life or death, might dwell.
Hard usage both must bear,