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Forth sprang the impassioned Queen her Lord to clasp:
Again that consummation she essayed:
But unsubstantial Form eludes her grasp
As often as that eager grasp was made.
The Phantom parts—but parts to reunite,
And reassume his place before her sight.
'Protesilaus, lo! thy guide is gone!
'Great Jove, Laodamfa! doth not leave
Thou knowest, the Delphic oracle foretold
That the first Greek who touched the Trojan strand
Should die; but me the threat could not withhold:
A generous cause a victim did demand;
And forth I leapt upon the sandy plain;
A self-devoted chief—by Hector slain.'
'Supreme of Heroes—bravest, noblest, best!
But thou, though capable of sternest deed,
No Spectre greets me,—no vain Shadow this:
'This visage tells thee that my doom is past:
Nor should the change be mourned even if the joys
Of sense were able to return as fast
And surely as they vanish. Earth destroys
Those raptures duly—Erebus disdains:
Calm pleasures there abide—majestic pains.
Be taught, O faithful Consort, to control
'Ah, wherefore?—Did not Hercules by force
The Gods to us are merciful—and they
Yet further may relent: for mightier far
Than strength of nerve and sinew,, or the sway
Of magic potent over sun and star,
Is love, though oft to agony distrest,
And though his favourite seat be feeble woman's breast
But if thou goest, I follow ''Peace!' he said,—
She looked upon him and was calmed and cheered;
The ghastly colour from his lips had fled;
In his deportment, shape, and mien, appeared
Elysian beauty—melancholy grace—
Brought from a pensive though a happy place.
He spake of love, such love as Spirits feel
Of all that is most beauteous—imaged there
In happier beauty; more pellucid streams,
An ampler ether, a diviner air,
And fields invested with purpureal gleams;
Climes which the sun, who sheds the brightest day
Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey.
Yet there the Soul shall enter which hath earned
That privilege by virtue.—' I11,' said he,
'The end of man's existence I discerned,
Who from ignoble games and revelry
Could draw, when we had parted, vain delight,
While tears were thy best pastime, day and night:
'And while my youthful peers before my eyes
'The wish'd-for wind was given :—I then revolved
'Yet bitter, oft-times bitter, was the pang
When of thy loss I thought, beloved Wife!
On thee too fondly did my memory hang,
And on the joys we shared in mortal life,—
The paths which we had trod—these fountains, flowers;
My new-planned cities, and unfinished towers.
'But should Suspense permit the Foe to cry,
'And Thou, though strong in love, art all too weak
In reason, in self-government too slow;
I counsel thee by fortitude to seek
Oux blest re-union in the shades below.
The invisible world with thee hath sympathised:
Be thy affections raised and solemnised.
'Learn, by a mortal yearning, to ascend—
Aloud she shrieked! for Hermes reappears!
Round the dear Shade she would have clung—'tis vain.
The hours are past—too brief had they been years;
And him no mortal effort can detain:
Swift, toward the realms that know not earthly day,
He through the portal takes his silent way,
And on the palace-floor a lifeless corse she lay.
By no weak pity might the Gods be moved;
—Yet tears to human suffering are due;
Of Hellespont (such faith was entertained)
To [Miss Blackett], On Her First Ascent To
The Summit Of Helvellyn.
Inmate of a mountain-dwelling,
Potent was the spell that bound thee
Lo! the dwindled woods and meadows;
And a record of commotion
Maiden! now take flight;—inherit