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To rail at Lady Psyche and her side.
An eagle clang an eagle to the sphere. She says the Princess should have been the Head, My princess, O my princess! true she errs, Herself and Lady Psyche the two arms;
But in her own grand way; being herself And so it was agreed when first they came;
Three times more noble than three-score of men, But Lady Psyche was the right hand now,
She sees herself in every woman else, And she the left, or not, or seldom used;
And so she wears her error like a crown Hers more than half the students, all the love. To blind the truth and me: for her, and her, And so last night she fell to canvass you:
Hebes are they to hand ambrosia, mix * Her countrywomen! she did not envy her.
The nectar; but-ah she--whene'er she moves Who ever saw such wild barbarians ?
The Samian Herè rises and she speaks
So saying, from the court we paced, and gain'd And 0, Sirs, could I help it, but my cheek
The terrace ranged along the Northeru front, Began to burn and burn, and her lynx eye
And leaning there on those balusters, high To fix and make me hotter, till she laugh'd: Above the empurpled champaign, drauk the gate "O marvellously modest maiden, you !
That blown about the foliage underneath, Men! girls, like men! why, if they had been men And sated with the innumerable rose, You need not set your thoughts in rubric thus Beat balm upon our eyelids. Hither came For wholesale comment.' Pardon, I am shamed Cyril, and yawning "O hard task," he cried: That I must needs repeat for my excuse
“No fighting shadows here! I forced a way What looks so little graceful: 'men' (for still Thro' solid opposition crabb'd and gnarl'd. My mother went revolving on the word)
Better to clear prime forests, heave and thump "And so they are,-very like men indeed
A league of street in summer solstice down, And with that woman closeted for hours !
Than hammer at this reverend gentlewoman. "Why-these--are - men:' I shudder'd: .and you I knock'd and, bidden, enter'd ; found her there know it.'
At point to move, and settled in her eyes
But, your example pilot, told her all.
But when I dwelt upon your old affiance,
She answer'd sharply that I talk'd astray. “What pardon, sweet Melissa, for a blush ?"
I urged the fierce inscription on the gate, Said Cyril: "Pale one, blush again: than wear
And our three lives. True-we had limed ourselves, Those lilies, better blush our lives away.
With open eyes, and we must take the chance. Yet let us breatbe for one hour more in Heaven,"
But such extremes, I told her, well might harm He added, "lest some classic Angel speak
The woman's cause. * Not more than now,' 8D9 In scorn of us, they mounted, Ganymedes,
said, To tumble, Vulcans, on the second morn.'
"So puddled as it is with favoritism.' But I will melt this marble into wax
I tried the mother's heart. Shame might befall To yield us farther furlough:” and he went.
Melissa, knowing, saying not she knew : Melissa shook her doubtful curls, and thought
Her answer was, “Leave me to deal with that.' He scarce would prosper. “Tell us," Florian ask'd,
I spoke of war to come and many deaths, " How grew this fend betwixt the right and left."
And she replied, her duty was to speak, “O long ago," she said, “betwixt these two
And duty duty, clear of consequences. Division smoulders bidden: 't is my mother,
I grew discouraged, Sir, but since I knew
No rock so hard but that a little wave
May beat admission in a thousand years,
I recommenced: Decide not ere you pause. I never knew my father, but she says (God help her) she was wedded to a fool;
I find you here but in the second place, And still she rail'd against the state of things.
Some say the third-the authentic foundress you. She had the care of Lady Ida's youth,
I offer boldly: we will seat yoti highest : And from the Queen's decease she brought her up.
Wink at our advent: help my prince to gain But when your sister came she won the heart
His rightful bride, and here I promise you or Ida: they were still together, grew
Some palace in our land, where you shail reign (For so they said themselves) inosculated ;
The head and heart of all our fair she-world, Consonant chords that shiver to one note :
And your great name flow on with broadening time One mind in all things: yet my mother still
Forever.' Well, she balanced this a little, Affirms your Psyche thieved her theories,
And told me she would answer us to-day, And angled with them for her pupil's love:
Meantime be mute: thus much, nor more I gain'd.“ She calls her plagiarist; I know not what : But I must go : I dare not tarry," and light,
He ceasing, came a message from the Head.
" That afternoon the Princess rode to take As flies the shadow of a bird, she fed.
The dip of certain strata to the North. Then murmurid Florian, gazing after her:
Would we go with her ? we should find the land “An open-hearted maiden, true and pure.
Worth seeing ; and the river made a fall
Beyond the thick-leaved platans of the vale.
Its range of duties to the appointed hour. “The crane," I said, “may chatter of the crane, Then summon'd to the porch we went. She stood The dove may murmur of the dove, but I
Among her maidens, higher by the head,
Her back against a pillar, her foot on one
Like field-flowers everywhere! we like them well: of those tame leoparde. Kittenlike he roll'd But children die; and let me tell you, girl, And paw'd about her sandal. I drew near :
Howe'er you babble, great deeds cannot die: I gazed. On a sudden my strange seizure came They with the sun and moon renew their light Upon me, the weird vision of our house:
Forever, blessing those that look on them. The Princess Ida seem'd a hollow show,
Children—that men may pluck them from our hearts Her gay-furr'd cats a painted fantasy,
Kill us with pity, break us with ourselves.Her college and her maidens, empty masks,
0-children—there is nothing upon earth And I myself the shadow of a dream,
More miserable than she that has a son For all things were and were not. Yet I felt
And sees him err: nor would we work for fame; My heart beat thick with passion and with awe; Tho' she perhaps might reap the applause of Great, Then from my breast the involuntary sigh
Who learns the one POU STO whence afterhands Brake, as she smote me with the light of eyes May move the world, tho' she herself effect That lent my knee desire to kneel, and shook But little : wherefore up and act, nor shrink My pulses, till to horse we got, and so
For fear our solid aim be dissipated Went forth in long retinne following up
By frail successors. Would, indeed, we had been, The river as it narrow'd to the hills.
In lieu of many mortal flies, a race
Of giants living, each, a thousand years, I rode beside her and to me she said:
That we might see our own work out, and watch "O friend, we trust that you esteem'd us not
The saudy footprint harden into stone."
I answer'd nothing, doubtful in myself
“No doubt we seem a kind of monster to you;
We are used to that: for women, up till this I stammer'd that I knew him-could have wish'd-Cramp'd under worse than South-sea-isle taboo, “Our king expects—was there no precontract ? Dwarfs of the gynæceum, fail so far There is no truer-hearted-ah, you seem
In high desire, they know not, cannot guess All he pretigured, and he could not see
How much their welfare is a passion to us. The bird of passage flying south but long'd
If we could give them surer, quicker proof-
O if our end were less achievable
Of immolation, any phase of death,
We were as prompt to spring against the piker "Poor boy," she said, “can he not read no Or down the fiery gulf as talk of it, books?
To compass our dear sisters' liberties."
She bow'd as if to veil a noble tear;
And up we came to where the river sloped Methinks he seems no better than a girl;
To plunge in cataract, shattering on black blocks As girls were once, as we ourself have been ;
A breath of thunder. O'er it shook the woods, We had our dreams-perhaps he mixt with them: And danced the color, and, below, stuck out We touch on our dead self, nor shun to do it, The bones of some vast bulk that lived and roar'd Being other-since we learnt our meaning here,
Before man was. She gazed awhile and said, To lift the woman's fall’n divinity,
“As these rude bones to us, are we to her Upon an even pedestal with man.
That will be." * Dare we dream of that," I ask'a,
" Which wrought us, as the workman and his worh, She paused, and added with a haughtier smile: That practice betters?" "How," she cried, "you love "And as to precontracts, we move, my friend, The metaphysics! read and earn our prize, At no man's beck, but know ourself and thee, A golden broach: beneath an emerald plane O Vashti, noble Vashti ! Summon'd out
Sits Diotima, teaching him that died She kept her state, and left the drunken king Of hemlock; our device: wrought to the life; To brawl at Shushan underneath the palms." She rapt upon her subject, he on her :
For there are schools for all." “And yet," I said, “Alas your Highness breathes full East," I said, “Methinks I have not found among them all " On that which leans to you. I know the Prince, One anatomic." Nay, we thought of that," I prize his truth: and then how vast a work She answer'd, “but it pleased is not: in truth To assail this gray pre-eminence of man!
We shudder but to dream our maids should ape You grant me license; might I use it? think, Those monstrous males that carve the living hound, Ere half be done perchance your life may fail; And cram him with the fragments of the grave, Then comes the feebler heiress of your plan, Or in the dark dissolving human heart, And takes and ruins all; and thus your pains And holy secrets of this microcosm, May only make that footprint upon sand
Dabbling a shameless hand with shameful jest, Which old-recurring waves of prejudice
Encarnalize their spirits: yet we know Reymooth to nothing: might I dread that you, Knowledge is knowledge, and this matter hangs: With only Fame for spouse and your great deeds Howbeit ourself, foreseeing casualty, For issue, yet may live in vain, and miss,
Nor willing men should come among us, learnt, Meanwhile, what every woman counts her due, For many weary moons before we came, Love, children, happiness ?”
This craft of healing. Were you sick, oursell And she exclaim'd, Would tend upon you.
To your question now,
For was, and is, and will be, are but is;
As parts, can see but parts, now this, now that, There leaning deep in broider'd down we sank And live, perforce, from thought to thought, and Our elbows: on a tripod in the midst make
A fragrant flame rose, and before us glow'd
Fruit, blossom, viand, amber wine, and gold.
Then she, “Let some one sing to us: lightlier The woman to the fuller day.”
move She spake
The minutes fledged with music:" and a maid, With kindled eyes: we rode a league beyovd, Of those beside her, smote her harp, and sang. And, o'er a bridge of pinewood crossing, came On flowery levels underneath the crag,
"Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean, Full of all beauty. "O how sweet," I said,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair (For I was half-oblivious of my mask,)
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes, * To linger here with one that loved us." “Yea," In looking on the happy Antumn-fields, She answer'd, " or with fair philosophies
And thinking of the days that aie no mora.
“Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail, Where paced the Demigods of old, and saw That brings our friends up from the underworld, The soft white vapor streak the crowned towers Sad as the last which reddens over one Built to the Sun :" then, turning to her maids, That sinks with all we love below the verge: ** Pitch our pavilion here upon the sward;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
“Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawna With fair Coriona's triumph ; here she stood, The earliest pipe of half-awaken'd birds Engirt with many a florid maiden-cheek,
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes The woman-conqueror: woman-conquer'd there The casement slowly grows a glimmering square; The bearded Victor of ten-thousand hymns,
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more. And all the men mourn'd at his side: but we Set forth to climb; then, climbing, Cyril kept
"Dear as remember'd kisses after death, With Psyche, with Melissa Florian, I
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feign'd With mine afflauced. Many a little hand
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
O Death in Life, the days that are no more."
She ended with such passion that the tear,
Answer'd the Princess : “If indeed there haunt Grew broader toward his death and fell, and all About the moulder'd lodges of the Past The rosy heights came out above the lawns. So sweet a voice and vague, fatal to men,
Well needs it we should cram our ears with wo01
And so pace by: but thine are fancies hatch'd The splendor falls on castle walls
In silken-folded idleness ; nor is it
Wiser to weep a true occasion lost,
Blit trim our sails, and let old bygones be,
While down the streams that float us each and all Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
To the issue, goes, like glittering bergs of ice, Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.
Throne after throne, and molten on the waste
Becomes a cloud: for all things serve their time O hark, o hear! how thin and clear,
Toward that great year of equal mights and rights And thinner, clearer, farther going !
Nor would I fight with iron laws, in the end
Found golden: let the past be past ; let be
Their cancell'd Babels: tho' the rough kex break Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying :
The starr'd mosaic, and the wild goat hang Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying. Upon the shaft, and the wild tig-tree split
Their monstrous idols, care not while we hear O love, they die in yon rich sky,
A trumpet in the distance pealing news They faint on hill or field or river:
Of better, and Hope, a poising eagle, burns Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
Above the unrisen morrow :" then to me, And grow forever and forever,
“Know you no song of your own land," she said, Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes Aying,
“Not such as moans about the retrospect, And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.
But deals with the other distance and the hnes
Of promise ; not a death's-head at the wine."
What time I watch'd the swallow winging south Said Ida; “let us down and rest:" and we
From mine own land, part made long since, and Down from the lean and wrinkled precipices,
part By every coppice-feather'd chasm and cleft,
Now while I sang, and maidenlike as far
And tell her, tell her what I tell to thee.
"O tell her, Swallow, thou that knowest each, But when we planted level feet, and dipt
That bright and fierce and fickle is the Sonth, Beneath the satin dome and enter'd in,
And dark and true and tender is the North.
“O Swallow, Swallow, if I could follow and light | A troop of snowy doves athwart the dusk, Upon her lattice, I would pipe and trill,
When some one batters at the dovecote doors, And cheep and twitter twenty million loves. Disorderly the women. Alone I stood
With Florian, cursing Cyril, vext at heart, "O) were I thou that she might take me in, In the pavilion : there like parting hopes And lay me on her bosom, and her heart
I heard them passing from me: hoof by hoof, Would rock the snowy cradle till I died.
And every hoof a knell to my desires,
Clang'd on the bridge; and then another shriek, “Why lingereth she to clothe her heart with love, "The Head, the Head, the Princess, O the Head !" Delaying as the tender ash delays
For blind with rage she miss'd the plank, and roll'a To clothe herself, when all the woods are green? In the river. Out I sprang from glow to gloom:
There whirl'd her white robe like a blossom'd branch “O tell her, Swallow, that thy brood is flown : Rapt to the horrible fall: a glance I gave, Say to her, I do but wanton in the South,
No more ; but woman-vested as I was
; But in the North long since my nest is made. Plunged; and the flood drew; yet I caught her:
then “O tell her, brief is life, but love is long,
Oaring one arm, and bearing in my left And brief the sun of summer in the North,
The weight of all the hopes of half the world, And brief the moon of beauty in the South.
Strove to buffet to land in vain. A tree
Was half-disrooted from his place and stoop'd “O Swallow, flying from the golden woods, To drench his dark locks in the gurgling wave Fly to her, and pipe and woo her, and make her Mid-channel. Right on this we drove and caught, mine,
And grasping down the boughs I gaind the shore. And tell her, tell her, that I follow thee."
There stood her maidens glimmeringly group'd I ceased, and all the ladies, each at each,
In the hollow bank. One reaching forward drew Like the Ithacensian suitors in old time,
My burthen from mine arms; they cried, “She Stared with great eyes, and laugh'd with alien lips, lives!" And knew not what they meant; for still my voice They bore her back into the tent; but I, Rang false : but smiling, “Not for thee," she said, So much a kind of shame within me wrought, “O Bulbul, any rose of Gulistan
Not yet endured to meet her opening eyes, Shall burst her veil: marsh-divers, rather, maid, Nor found my friends; but push'd alone on foot Shall croak thee sister, or the meadow-crake
(For since her horse was lost I left her mine) Grate her harsh kindred in the grass : and this Across the woods, and less from Indian craft A mere love poem! O for such, my friend,
Than beelike instinct hiveward, found at length We hold them slight: they mind us of the time The garden portals. Two great statues, Art When we made bricks in Egypt. Knaves are men, And Science, Caryatids, lifted up That lute and flute fantastic tenderness,
A weight of eniblem, and betwixt were valves And dress the victim to the offering up,
of open-work in which the hunter rued And paint the gates of Hell with Paradise,
His rash intrusion, manlike, but his brows And play the slave to gain the tyranny.
Had sprouted, and the branches thereupon Poor soul! I had a maid of honor once ;
Spread out at top, and grimly spiked the gates. She wept her true eyes blind for such a one, A rogue of canzonets and serenades.
A little space was left between the horns, I loved her. Peace be with her. She is dead. Thro' which I clamber'd o'er at top with pain, So they blaspheme the muse! but great is soug Dropt on the sward, and up the linden walks, Used to great ends : ourself have often tried And, tost on thoughts that changed from hue to hue Valkyrian hymns, or into rhythm have dash'd Now poring on the glow-worm, now the star, The passion of the prophetess; for song
I paced the terrace till the bear had wheel'd
Thro' a great arc his seven slow suus.
Than female, moving thro' the uncertain gloom, Till all men grew to rate us at our worth,
Disturb'd me with the doubt “is this were she," Not vassals to be beat, nor pretty babes
But it was Florian. “Hist, О hist,” he said, To be dandled, no, but living wills, and sphered “They seek us: out so late is out of rules. Whole in ourselves and owed to none. Enough! Moreover • Seize the strangers' is the cry. But now to leaven play with profit, you,
How came you here?" I told him: “I,” said he, Know you no song, the true growth of yonr soil, " Last of the train, a moral leper, I, That gives the manners of your countrywomen!” To whom none spake, half-sick at heart, return'd,
Arriving all confused among the rest She spoke and turn'd her sumptuous head with With hooded brows I crept into the hall, eyes
And, couch'd behind a Judith, underneath
The head of Holoferues peep'd and saw.
Melissa : trust me, Sir, I pitied her.
She, question'd if she knew us men, at first Of Moll and Meg, and strange experiences
Was silent; closer prest, denied it not: Unmeet for ladies. Florian nodded at him,
And then, demanded if her mother knew, I frowning ; Psyche flush'd and wann'd and shook ; Or Psyche, she affirm'd not, or denied: The lilylike Melissa droop'd her brows;
From whence the Royal mind, familiar with her, “Forbear,” the Princess cried : “Forbear, Sir," I; Easily gather'd either guilt. She sent And heated thro' and thro' with wrath and love, For Psyche, but she was not there; she callid I smote him on the breast; he started up;
For Psyche's child to cast it from the doors : There rose a shriek as of a city sack'd:
She sent for Blanche to accnse her face to face, Melissa clamor'd, “Flee the death ;” “To horse,” And I slipt out: but whither will you now? Said ¡da : "home! to horse !" and fled, as flies And where are Psyche, Cyril ? both are fled :
What, if together? that were not so well.
You stood in your own light and darken'd mine. Would rather we had never come! I dread What student camne but that you planed her path His wildness, anů the chances of the dark.”
To Lady Psyche, younger, not so wise,
A foreigner, and I your countrywoman, " And yet,” I said, "you wrong him more than I I your old friend and tried, she new in all ? That struck him: this is proper to the clown, But still her lists were swellid and mine were lean; Tho' smock'd, or furr'd and purpled, still the clown, Yet I bore up in hope she would be known: To harm the thing that trusts him, and to shame Then came these wolves: they knew her: they en. That which he says he loves : for Cyril, howe'er
dured, He deal in frolic, as to-night-the song
Long-closeted with her the yester-morn, Might have been worse and sinn'd in grosser lips To tell her what they were, and she to hear: Beyond all pardon—as it is, I hold
And me none told: not less to an eye like mina, These flashes on the surface are not he.
A lidless watcher of the public weal, He has a solid base of temperament:
Last night, their mask was patent, and my foot But as the water-lily starts and slides
Was to you: but I thought again: I fear'd Upon the level in little puffs of wind,
To meet a cold We thank you, we shall hear of 10 Tho' anchor'd to the bottom, such is he.”
From Lady Psyche:' you had gone to her,
She told, perforce; and winning easy grace, Scarce had I ceased when from a tamarisk pear No doubt, for slight delay, remain'd among us Two Proctors leapt upon us, crying, “Names," In our young nursery still unknown, the stem He, standing still, was clutch'd; but I began
Less grain than touchwood, while my honest heat To thrid the musky-circled mazes, wind
Were all miscounted as malignant haste And double in and out the boles, and race
To push my rival out of place and power. By all the fountains: fleet I was of foot:
But public use required she should be known; Before me shower'd the rose in flakes; behind And since my oath was ta'en for public use, I heard the puff’d pursuer ; at mine ear
I broke the letter of it to keep the sense. Bubbled the nightingale and heeded not,
I spoke not then at first, but watch'd them well, And secret laughter tickled all my soul.
Saw that they kept apart, no mischief done ; At last I hook'd my ankle in a vine,
And yet this day (tho' you should hate me for it) That claspt the feet of a Mnemosyne,
came to tell you: found that you had gone, And falling on my face was caught and known. Ridd'n to the hills, she likewise : now, I thought,
That surely she will speak; if not, then I: They haled us to the Princess where she sat Did she! These monsters blazon'd what they were, High in the hall: above her droop'd a lamp, According to the coarseness of their kind, And made the single jewel on her brow
For thus I hear; and known at last (my work) Burn like the mystic fire on a mast-head,
And full of cowardice and guilty shame, Prophet of storm : a handmaid on each side I grant in her some sense of shame, she flies : Bowd toward her, combing out her long black hair And I remain on whom to wreak your rage, Damp from the river; and close behind her stood I, that have lent my life to build up yours, Eight daughters of the plough, stronger than men, I that have wasted here health, wealth, and time, Huge women blowzed with health, and wind, and And talents, I–you know it-I will not boast • rain,
Dismiss me, and I prophesy your plan, And labor. Each was like a Druid rock;
Divorced from my experience, will be chaff Or like a spire of land that stands apart
For every gust of chance, and men will say Cleft from the main, and wail'd about with mews. We did not know the real light, but chased
The wisp that flickers where no foot can tread." Then, as we came, the crowd dividing clove An advent to the throne; and there-beside,
She ceased: the Princess answer'd coldly "Good : Half-naked, as if caught at once from bed
Your oath is broken: we dismiss you: go. And tumbled on the purple footcloth, lay
For this lost lamb (she pointed to the child) The lily-shining child; and on the left,
Our mind is changed: we take it to ourself." Bow'd on her palms and folded up from wrong, Her round white shoulder shaken with her sobs, Thereat the Lady stretch'd & vulture throat, Melissa knelt; but Lady Blanche erect
And shot from crooked lips a haggard smile. Stood up and spake, an afluent orator.
“The plan was mine. I built the nest," she said,
"To hatch the cuckoo. Rise !" and stoop'd to updrag “It was not thus, O Princess, in old days: Melissa: she, half on her mother propt, You prized my counsel, lived upon my lips : Half-drooping from her, turn'd her face, and cast I led you then to all the Castalies ;
A liquid look on Ida, full of prayer, I fed you with the milk of every Muse ;
Which melted Florian's fancy as she hung, I loved you like this kneeler, and you me
A Nioboan daughter, one arm out, Your second mother: those were gracious times. Appealing to the bolts of Heaven ; and while Then came your new friend: you began to change. We gazed upon her came a little stir I saw it and grieved-to slacken and to cool; About the doors, and on a sudden rush'd Till taken with her seeming openness
Amoug us, out of breath, as one pursued, You turned your warmer currents all to her, A woman-post in flying raiment. Fear To me you froze: this was my meed for all. Stared in her eyes, and chalk'd her face, and wing'd Yet I bore up in part from ancient love,
Her transit to the throne, whereby she fell And partly that I hoped to win you back,
Delivering seal'd despatches which the Head And partly conscions of my own deserts,
Took ball-amazed, and in her lion's mood And partly that you were my civil head,
Tore open, silent we with blind surmise And chiefly you were born for something great, Regarding, while she read, till over brow In which I might your fellow-worker be,
And cheek and bosom brake the wrathful bloom When time should serve; and thus a noble scheme As of some fire against a stormy cloud, Grew up from seed we two long since had sown; When the wild peasant rights himself, the rick !n as true growth, in her a Jonah's gourd,
Flames, and his anger reddens in the heavens: Cp in one night and due to sudden sun:
For anger most it seem'd, while now her breast, We took this palace; but even from the first Beaten with some great passion at her heart,