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And fragrant oils with ceremony meet
Soft went the music the soft air along, While fluent Greek a voweld under-song Kept up among the guests, discoursing low At first, for scarcely was the wine at flow; But when the happy vintage touch'd their brains, Louder they talk, and louder come the strains Of powerful instruments : the gorgeous dyes, The space, the splendour of the draperies, The roof of awful richness, nectarous cheer, Beautiful slaves, and Lamia's self, appear, Now, when the wine has done its rosy deed, And every soul from human trammels freed, No more so strange ; for merry wine, sweet wine, Will make Elysian shades not too fair, too divine. Soon was God Bacchus at meridian height; Flush'd were their cheeks, and bright eyes double
bright: Garlands of every green, and every scent From vales deflowerd, or forest-trees branch-rent, In baskets of bright osier'd gold were brought High as the handles heap'd, to suit the thought Of
every guest : that each, as he did please, Might fancy-fit his brows, silk-pillow'd at his ease.
What wreath for Lamia ? What for Lycius ?
Let spear-grass and the spiteful thistle wage
By her glad Lycius sitting, in chief place, Scarce saw in all the room another face, Till, checking his love trance, a cup he took Full brimm'd, and opposite sent forth a look 'Cross the broad table, to beseech a glance From his old teacher's wrinkled countenance, And pledge him. The bald-head philosopher Had fix'd his eye, without a twinkle or a stir, Full on the alarmed beauty of the bride, Brow-beating her fair form, and troubling her sweet
Lycius then press'd her hand, with devout touch,
start? Know'st thou that man ?" Poor Lamia answer'd
He gazed into her eyes, and not a jot
The many heard, and the loud revelry
round Supported him no pulse or breath they found, And, in its marriage robe, the heavy body wound.* ISABELLA, OR THE POT OF BASIL;
* “ Philostratus, in his fourth book, de Vita Apollonii, hath a memorable instance in this kind, which I may not omit, of one Menippus Lycius, a young man twenty-five years of age, that, going betwixt Cenchreas and Corinth, met such a phantasm in the habit of a fair gentlewoman, which, taking him by the hand, carried him home to her house, in the suburbs of Corinth, and told him she was a Phoenician by birth, and if he would tarry with her, he should hear her sing and play, and drink such wine as never any drank, and no man should molest him ; but she, being fair and lovely, would die with him, that was fair and lovely to behold. The young man, a philosopher, otherwise staid and discreet, able to moderate his passions, though not this of love, tarried with her awhile to his great content, and at last married her, to whose wedding, amongst other guests, came Apollonius; who, by some probable conjectures, found her out to be a serpent, a lamia; and that all her furniture was, like Tantalus' gold, described by Homer, no substance, but mere illusions.
When she saw herself descried, she wept, and desired Apollonius to be silent, but he would not be moved, and thereupon she, plate, house, and all that was in it, vanished in an instant; many thousands took notice of this fact, for it was done in the midst of Greece." -- BURTON'S Anatomy of Melancholy, Part 3, Sect. 2, Memb. I. Subs. I.
A STORY, FROM BOCCACCIO.
AIR ISABEL, poor simple Isabel !
Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love's eye! They could not in the self-same mansion dwell
Without some stir of heart, some malady ; They could not sit at meals but feel how well
It soothed each to be the other by ; They could not, sure, beneath the same roof sleep, But to each other dream, and nightly weep.
With every morn their love grew tenderer,
With every eve deeper and tenderer still; He might not in house, field, or garden stir,
But her full shape would all his seeing fill;
To her, than noise of trees or hidden rill;
He knew whose gentle hand was at the latch,
Before the door had given her to his eyes ; And from her chamber-window he would catch
Her beauty farther than the falcon spies;