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If any acorn of last year be left
Acorn may do. Here's none. Another day
Trust me; till then let me sit opposite. Hamad. I seat me; be thou seated, and content.
Rhaicos. O sight for gods! ye men below! adore
The Aphrodite. 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 repay
Ask not how much-but very much.
Without the nuptial
Love is unholy. Swear to me that none Of mortal maids shall ever taste thy kiss, Then take thou mine; then take it, not before.
Rhaicos. Hearken, all gods above! O Aphrodité !
O Here! Let my vow be ratified! But wilt thou come into my father's house?
Hamad. Nay and of mine I cannot
In this oak.
Ay; now begins The tale of Hamadryad; tell it through. Hamad. Pray of thy father never to 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
More wax than he will burn to all the gods.
Why fallest thou upon thy face? Some thorn
May scratch it, rash young man! Rise up; for shame!
Rhaicos. For shame I can not rise. O pity me!
I dare not sue for love.. but do not hate! Let me once more behold thee..not once more, [loved! But many days: let me love oǹ., un
Boy Rhaicos!" said the father. "That oak's bark
Must have been tough, with little sap between;
It ought to run; but it and I are old." Rhaicos, although each morsel of the bread Increased by chewing, and the meat grew cold
And tasteless to his palate, took a draught Of gold-bright wine, which, thirsty as he was,
He thought not of until his father fill'd
He thus fortified Said, not quite boldly, and not quite abashed, "Father, that oak is Zeus's own; that oak
The father said, "Echeion! thou must weigh, Carefully, and with steady hand, enough (Although no longer comes the store as once !) Of wax to burn all day and night upon That hollow stone where milk and honey lie :
So may the gods, so may the dead, be pleas'd!"
Thallinos bore it thither in the morn,
First of those Who visited upon this solemn day The Hamadryad's oak, were Rhodopé And Acon; of one age, one hope, one trust. Graceful was she as was the nymph whose fate
She sorrowed for: he slender, pale, and first Lapp'd by the flame of love: his father's lands [afar. Were fertile, herds lowed over them Now stood the two aside the hollow stone And look'd with steadfast eyes toward the oak
Shivered and black and bare.
"May never we Love as they loved!" said Acon. She at this
Opposite hers, when finger playfully Advanced and pushed back finger, on each side.
He did not think of this, as she would do
If she were there alone.
The day was hot; The moss invited him; it cool'd his cheek,
It cool'd his hands; he thrust them into it
And sank to slumber. Never was there dream
Divine as his. He saw the Hamadryad.
And, hiding under mint, chill drosera,
Her offspring round her, the soft strawberry;
The quivering spray of ruddy tamarisk,
The fragrance fill'd his breast with such
He stopped: the Hamadryad at his side Now stood between: then drew him farther off:
He went, compliant as before but soon Verdure had ceased: altho' the ground was smooth.
Nothing was there delightful. At this change He would have spoken, but his guide repressed
All questioning, and said,
"Weak youth! what brought Thy footstep to this wood, my native haunt, this bank,
My life-long residence?
I sate with him . . . the faithful (now I know, Too late!) the faithful Rhaicos. Haste thee home: [more Be happy, if thou canst; but come no