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For all this came a ruin: side by side They were enthroned, in the even tide, Upon a couch, near to a curtaining Whose airy texture, from a golden string, Floated into the room, and let appear Unveild the summer heaven, blue and clear, Betwixt two marble shafts :— there they reposed, Where use had made it sweet, with eyelids closed, Saving a tithe which love still open kept, That they might see each other while they almost

slept ; When from the slope side of a suburb hill, Deafening the swallow's twitter, came a thrill Of trumpets Lycius started - the sounds fled, But left a thought, a buzzing in his head. For the first time, since first he harbour'd in That purple-lined palace of sweet sin, His spirit pass'd beyond its golden bourn Into the noisy world almost forsworn. The lady, ever watchful, penetrant, Saw this with pain, so arguing a want Of something inore, more than her empery Of joys; and she began to moan and sigh Because he mused beyond her, knowing well That but a moment's thought is passion's passing

bell. " Why do you sigh, fair creature ? ” whisper'il he:

Why, do you think ? " return'd she tenderly: “ You have deserted me; where am I now? Not in your heart while care weighs on your brow: No, no, you have dismiss'd me; and I go From your breast houseless : ay, it must be so.” He answer’d, bending to her open eyes, Where he was mirror'd small in paradise,

My silver planet, both of eve and morn! Why will you plead yourself so sad forlorn, While I am striving how to fill my heart With deeper crimson, and a double smart ?

How to entangle, trammel up and snare
Your soul in mine, and labyrinth you there,
Like the hid scent in an unbudded rose ?
Ay, a sweet kiss – you see your mighty woes.
My thoughts ! shall I unveil them? Listen then!
What mortal hath a prize, that other men
May be confounded and abash'd withal,
But lets it sometimes pace abroad majestical,
And triumph, as in thee I should rejoice
Amid the hoarse alarm of Corinth's voice.
Let my foes choke, and my friends shout afar,
While through the thronged streets your bridal car
Wheels round its dazzling spokes." -The lady's

Trembled ; she nothing said, but, pale and meek,
Arose and knelt before him, wept a rain
Of sorrows at his words; at last with pain
Beseeching him, the while his hand she wrung,
To change his purpose. He thereat was stung, ,
Perverse, with stronger fancy to reclaim
Her wild and timid nature to his aim ;
Besides, for all his love, in self despite,
Against his better self, he took delight
Luxurious in her sorrows, soft and new.
His passion, cruel grown, took on a hue
Fierce and sanguineous as 'twas possible
In one whose brow had no dark veins to swell.
Fine was the mitigated fury, like
Apollo's presence when in act to strike
The serpent —- Ha! the serpent ! certes, she
Was none. She burnt, she loved the tyranny,
And, all subdued, consented to the hour
When to the bridal he should lead his paramour.
Whispering in midnight silence, said the youth,
“ Sure some sweet name thou hast, though, by my

truth, I have not ask'd it, ever thinking thee Not mortal, but of heavenly progeny,

As still I do. Hast any mortal name,
Fit appellation for this dazzling frame ?
Or friends or kinsfolk on the citied earth,
To share our marriage feast and nuptial mirth ?”
" I have no friends," said Lamia, “ no, not one;
My presence in wide Corinth hardly known:
My parents' bones are in their dusty urns
Sepulchred, where no kindled incense burns,
Seeing all their luckless race are dead, save me,
And I neglect the holy rite for thee.
Even as you list invite your many guests;
But if, as now it seems, your vision rests
With any pleasure on me, do not bid
Old Apollonius – from him keep me hid.”
Lycius, perplex'd at words so blind and blank,
Made close inquiry ; from whose touch she sinrank,
Feigning a sleep ; and he to the dull shade
Of deep sleep in a moment was betray’d.

It was the custom then to bring away The bride from home at blushing shut of day, Veild, in a chariot, heralded along By strewn flowers, torches, and a marriage song, With other pageants: but this fair unknown Had not a friend. So being left alone, (Lycius was gone to summon all his kin,) And knowing surely she could never win His foolish heart from its mad pompousness, She set herself, high-thoughted, how to dress The misery in fit magnificence. She did so, but 'tis doubtful how and whence Came, and who were her subtle servitors. About the halls, and to and from the doors, There was a noise of wings, till in short

space The glowing banquet-room shone with wide-arched

grace. A haunting music, sole perhaps and lone Supportress of the faery-roof, made moan

Throughout, as fearful the whole charm might fade.
Fresh carved cedar, mimicking a glade
Of palm and plantain, met from either side,
High in the midst, in honour of the bride :
Two palms and then two plantains, and so on,
From either side their stems branch'd one to one
All down the aisled place; and beneath all
There ran a stream of lamps straight on from wall

to wall.
So canopied, lay an untasted feast
Teeming with odours. Lamia, regal drest,
Silently paced about, and as she went,
In pale contented sort of discontent,
Mission'd her viewless servants to enrich
The fretted splendour of each nook and niche.
Between the tree-stems marbled plain at first,
Came jasper panels; then, anon, there burst
Forth creeping imagery of slighter trees,
And with the larger wove in small intricacies.
Approving all, she faded at self-will,
And shut the chamber up, close, hush'd and still,
Complete and ready for the revels rude,
When dreadful guests would come to spoil her soli-


The day appear'd, and all the gossip rout. O senseless Lucius ! Madman! wherefore flout The silent-blessing fate, warm cloister'd hours, And show to common eyes these secret bowers ? The herd approach'd; each guest, with busy brain, Arriving at the portal, gazed amain, And enter'd marvelling: for they knew the street, Remember'd it from childhood all complete Without a gap, yet ne'er before had seen That royal porch, that high-built fair demesne ; So in they hurried all, mazed, curious and keen : Save one, who look’l thereon with eye severe, And with calm-planted steps walk'd in austere;

'Twas Apollonius : something too he laugh’d,
As though some knotty problem, that had daft
His patient thought, has now begun to thaw,
And solve and melt: - 'twas just as he foresaw.

He met within the murmurous vestibule His young disciple.

66 'Tis no common rule, Lycius,” said he," for uninvited guest To force himself upon you, and infest With an unbidden presence the bright throng Of younger friends; yet must I do this wrong, And you forgive me.” Lycius blush'd and led The old man through the inner doors broad-spread; With reconciling words and courteous mien Turning into sweet milk the sophist's spleen.

Of wealthy lustre was the banquet-room, Fill’d with pervading brilliance and perfume: Before each lucid panel fuming stood A censer fed with myrrh and spiced wood, Each by a sacred tripod held aloft, Whose slender feet wide-swerved upon the soft Wool-woofed carpets : fifty wreaths of smoke From fifty censers their light voyage took To the high roof, still mimick'd as they rose Along the mirror'd walls by twin-clouds odorous. Twelve sphered tables by silk seats insphered, High as the level of a man's breast reard On libbard's paws, upheld the heavy gold Of cups and goblets, and the store thrice told Of Ceres' horn, and, in huge vessels, wine Came from the gloomy tun with merry shine. Thus loaded with a feast the tables stood, Each shrining in the midst the image of a God.

When in an antechamber every guest Had felt the cold full sponge to pleasure press'd, By ministering slaves, upon his hands and feet,

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