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No voice or hideous hum
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine, With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving. No nightly trance, or breathèd spell,
179 Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.
And the resounding shore,
From haunted spring, and dale
Edged with poplar pale,
Igo The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint;
In urns, and altars round,
A drear and dying sound Affrights the flamens at their service quaint ; And the chill marble seems to sweat, While each peculiar Power forgoes his wonted seat.
Forsake their temples dim,
And moonèd Ashtaroth,
Heaven's queen and mother both, Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine : The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn ; In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz
Hath left in shadows dread
In vain with cymbal's ring
They call the grisly king,
Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian grove or green, Trampling the unshowered grass with lowings loud;
Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest; Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud ; In vain, with timbreled anthems dark, The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshiped ark. 220
The dreaded Infant's hand;
Nor all the gods beside
Longer dare abide, Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine : Our Babe, to show his Godhead true, Can in his swaddling bands control the damnèd crew.
Curtained with cloudy red,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to the infernal jail,
Hath laid her Babe to rest.
EREWHILE of music, and ethereal mirth,
In wintry solstice like the shortened light
Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than so, Which he for us did freely undergo :
Most perfect Hero, tried in heaviest plight Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human wight !
Yet more : the stroke of death he must abide; 20 Then lies him meekly down fast by his brethren's side.
These latest scenes confine my roving verse;
Me softer airs befit, and softer strings
Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief !
The leaves should all be black whereon I write, And letters, where my tears have washed, a wannish
See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
My spirit some transporting cherub feels
There doth my soul in holy vision sit,
Mine eye hath found that sad sepulchral rock
For sure so well instructed are my tears
VIII. Or, should I thence, hurried on viewless wing, - 50 Take up a weeping on the mountains wild, The gentle neighbourhood of grove and spring Would soon unbosom all their echoes mild ; And I (for grief is easily beguiled)
Might think the infection of my sorrows loud Had got a race of mourners on some pregnant cloud. This Subject the Author finding to be above the years he had when he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was begun, left it unfinished.
SONG ON MAY MORNING.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire