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"Depart in peace! and take great heaps of gold, For nevermore thy body will I fold

Within these arms. Let Gods wed Goddesses
And sea folk wed the women of the seas,

And men wed women; but thee, who can wed
And dwell with thee without consuming dread,
O wise kin of the dreadful sorceress !

And yet, perchance, thy beauty still may bless
Some man to whom the world seems small and poor,
And who already stands beside his door,
Armed for the conquest of all earthly things.

"Lo, such an one, the vanquisher of kings,
And equal to the Gods should be thy mate.
But me, who for a peaceful end but wait,
Desiring nought but love canst thou love me?
Or can I give my whole heart up to thee?

"I hear thee talk of old days thou didst know Are they not gone? — wilt thou not let them go, Nor to their shadows still cling desperately,

Longing for things that nevermore can be? . . .
The times are changed, with them is changed my heart,
Nor in my life canst thou have any part,

Nor can I live in joy and peace with thee,
Nor yet, for all thy words, canst thou love me.
"Yet, is the world so narrow for us twain
That all our life henceforth must be but vain?
Nay, for departing shalt thou be a queen
Of some great world, fairer than I have seen,
And wheresoe'er thou goest shalt thou fare
As one for whom the Gods have utmost care."

Yea, she knew all, yet when these words she read, She felt as though upon her bowed-down head

Had fallen a misery not known before,

And all seemed light that erst her crushed heart bore, For she was wrapped in uttermost despair,

And motionless within the chamber fair

She stood, as one struck dead and past all thought.
But as she stood, a sound to her was brought

Of children's voices, and she 'gan to wail
With tearless eyes, and, from writhed lips and pale,
Faint words of woe she muttered, meaningless,

But such as such lips utter none the less.
Then all at once thoughts of some dreadful thing
Back to her mind some memory seemed to bring,
As she beheld the casket gleaming fair,
Wherein was laid that she was wont to wear,

That in the philter lay that other morn,
And therewithal unto her heart was borne
The image of two lovers, side by side.

Then with a groan the fingers that did hide
Her tortured face slowly she drew away,
And going up to where her tablets lay,
Fit for the white hands of the Goddesses,
Therein she wrote such piteous words as these:

"Would God that Argo's brazen-banded mast "Twixt the blue clashing rocks had never passed Unto the Colchian land! Or would that I Had had such happy fortune as to die Then, when I saw thee standing by the Fleece, Safe on the long-desired shore of Greece!

Alas, O Jason! for thy cruel praise!

Alas, for all the kindness of past days!

That to thy heart seems but a story told
Which happed to other folk in times of old.
But unto me, indeed, its memory

Was bliss in happy hours, and now shall be
Such misery as never tongue can tell.

"Jason, I heed thy cruel message well,
Nor will I stay to vex thee, nor will stay
Until thy slaves thrust me thy love away.
Be happy! think that I have never been-
Forget these eyes, that none the less have seen
Thy hands take life at my hands, and thy heart
O'erflow in tears, when needs was we should part
But for a little; though, upon the day

When I for evermore must go away,
I think, indeed, thou wilt not weep for this;
Yea, if thou weepest then, some honeyed kiss
From other lips shall make thy gray eyes wet,
Betwixt the words that bid thee to forget
Thou ever hast loved aught but her alone.

"Yet of all times mayst thou remember one,
The second time that ever thou and I
Had met alone together. . . .
Thou knowest yet the whispered words I said
Upon that night-thou never canst forget
That happy night of all nights. Ah! and yet
Why make I these long words, that thou the more

Mayst hate me, who already hat'st me sore,
Since 'midst thy pleasure I am grown a pain.

Be happy! for thou shalt not hear again
My voice, and with one word this scroll is done-
Jason, I love thee, yea, love thee alone -

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God help me, therefore! - and would God that I
Such as thou sayst I am, were verily,

Then what a sea of troubles shouldst thou feel

Rise up against thy life, how shouldst thou steel

Thy heart to bear all, failing at the last,

Then wouldst thou raise thine head, o'erwhelmed, downcast, And round about once more shouldst look for me,

Who led thee o'er strange land and unknown sea.

"And not in vain, O dearest! not in vain! Would I not come and weep at all thy pain, That I myself had wrought? would I not raise Thy burdened head with hopes of happy days? Would I not draw thee forth from all thy woe? And fearless by thy side would I not go, As once I went, through many unknown lands When I had saved thee from my father's hands? "All would I do, that I have done erewhile, To have thy love once more, and feel thy smile, As freed from snow about the first spring days The meadows feel the young sun's fickle rays. "But I am weak, and past all, nor will I

Pray any more for kindly memory;

Yet shalt thou have one last gift more from me,
To give thy new love. . . .

When in godlike light
She shines, with all her beauty grown so bright,

That eyes of men can scarcely gaze thereon

Then, when thy new desire at last is won

Then, wilt thou not a little think of me,

Who saved thy life for this felicity?"

She ceased, and moaning to herself she said:"Ah! shall I, living underneath the sun,

I wonder, wish for anything again,

Or ever know what pleasure means, and pain?

And for these deeds I do; and thou the first,
O woman, whose young beauty has so cursed
My hapless life, at least I save thee this—
The slow descent to misery from bliss,
With bitter torment growing day by day,
And faint hope lessening till it fades away
Into dull waiting for the certain blow,

But thou, who nought of coming fate dost know,
One overwhelming fear, one agony,

And in a little minute shalt thou be

Where thou wouldst be in threescore years at most.
Kindly I deal with thee, mine enemy;

Since swift forgetfulness to thee I send.

But thou shalt die - his eyes shall see thine end—
Ah! if thy death alone could end it all!

"But ye
shall I behold you when leaves fall,
In some sad evening of the autumn tide?
Or shall I have you sitting by my side
Amidst the feast, so that folk stare and say,
'Sure the gray wolf has seen the queen to-day.'
What! when I kneel in temples of the Gods,
Must I bethink me of the upturned sods,
And hear a voice say: 'Mother, wilt thou come
And see us resting in our new-made home,
Since thou wert used to make us lie full soft,
Smoothing our pillows many a time and oft?
O mother, now no dainty food we need,

Whereof thou once wert wont to have such heed.
O mother, now we need no gown of gold,

Nor in the winter time do we grow cold;

Thy hands would bathe us when we were thine own,
Now doth the rain wash every shining bone.
No pedagogue we need, for surely heaven
Lies spread above us, with the planets seven,
To teach us all its lore.'

Ah! day by day

Would I have hearkened all the folk would say.
Ah! in the sweet beginning of your days.

Would I have garnered every word of praise.
'What fearless backers of the untamed steed,'

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'What matchless spears, what loyal friends at need,'
'What noble hearts, how bountiful and free,'
'How like their father on the troublous sea!'

"O sons, with what sweet counsels and what tears
Would I have hearkened to the hopes and fears
Of your first loves: what rapture had it been
Your dear returning footsteps to have seen
Amidst the happy warriors of the land;
But now but now this is a little hand
Too often kissed since love did first begin
To win such curses as it yet shall win,
When after all bad deeds there comes a worse;
Praise to the Gods! ye know not how to curse.

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"But when in some dim land we meet again
Will ye remember all the loss and pain?
Will ye the form of children keep for aye

With thoughts of men? and 'Mother,' will ye say,
Why didst thou slay us ere we came to know
That men die? hadst thou waited until now,
An easy thing it had been then to die,
For in the thought of immortality

Do children play about the flowery meads,
And win their heaven with a crown of weeds.'
"O children! that I would have died to save,
How fair a life of pleasure might ye have,
But for your mother: nay, for thee, for thee,
For thee who might'st have lived so happily;
For thee, O traitor! who didst bring them here
Into this cruel world, this lovely bier

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Of youth and love, and joy and happiness,
That unforeseeing happy fools still bless."

Amid these wild words had the evening come
Of the last day in that once happy home;
So, rising, did she take the casket fair,
And gave it to a faithful slave to bear,

With all those wailing words that she had writ

To Jason, her love once; then did she sit

Within that chamber, with her heavy head

Laid on her arms, and scarce more than the dead
She moved, for many hours, until at last

A stupor over her some kind God cast,

So that she slept, and had forgetfulness

A little while from fury and distress.

[The magic robe is put on by his new bride, who is turned to ashes as it takes fire.]

But what a waking unto him shall be!
And what a load of shameful misery
His life shall bear! His old love cast away,
His new love dead upon that fearful day,
Childless, dishonored, must his days go by.
For in another chamber did there lie
Two little helpless bodies side by side,
Smiling as though in sweet sleep they had died,
And feared no ill. And she who thus had slain
Those fruits of love, the folk saw not again,
Nor knew where she was gone; yet she died not,
But fleeing, somehow, from that fatal spot,
She came to Athens, and there long did dwell.

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