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Iphigeneia. No, sweet father, no I could have answered that ; why ask
the Gods? Agamemnon. Iphigeneia ! 0 my
child! the Earth Has gendered crimes unheard of hereto
fore, And Nature, may have changed in her
last depths, Together with the Gods and all their
laws. Iphigeneia. Father! we must not let
you here condemn; Not, were the day less joyful: recollect We have no wicked here; no king to
judge. Poseidon, we have heard, with bitter
rage Lashes his foaming steeds against the
skies, And, laughing with loud yell at winged
fire, Innoxious to his fields and palaces Affrights the eagle from the sceptred
hand; While Pluto, gentlest brother of the
three And happiest in obedience, views sedate His tranquil realm, nor en vies theirs
above. No change have we, not even day for
night Nor spring for summer.
All things are serene, Serene too be your spirit! None on earth Ever was half so kindly in his house, And so compliant, even to a child. Never was snatch'd your robe away from me,
[man Though going to the council. The blind Knew his good king was leading him
indoors, Before he heard the voice that marshal'd
Proudest men themselves In others praise humility' and most Admire it in the sceptre and the sword. What then can make you speak thus
rapidly And briefly in your step thus hesitate ? Are you afraid to meet among the good Incestuous Helen here? Agamemnon.
O! gods of hell ! Iphigeneia. She hath not past the river.
We may walk With our hands link'd nor feel our
Agamemnon. Never mayst thou, Iphi
geneia, feel it ! Aulis had no sharp sword, thou wouldst
exclaim, Greece no avenger-I, her chief so late, Through Erebos, through Elysium,
writhe beneath it. Iphigeneia. Come, I have better dia
dems than those Of Argos and Mycenai : come away, And I will weave them for you on the
bank. You will not look so pale when you have
walk'd A little in the grove, and have told all Those sweet fond words the widow sent
her child. Agamemnon. O Earth! I suffered
less upon thy shores ! (Aside.) The bath that bubbled with
my blood, the blows That spilt it (0 worse torture !) must
she know? Ah! the first woman coming from My.
cenai Will pine to pour this poison in her ear, Taunting sad Charon for his slow ad
Iphigeneia. Why thus turn away? Calling me with such fondness! I am
here, Father! and where you are, will ever be. Agamemnon. Thou art my child ; yes,
yes, thou art my child. All was not once what all now is! ('ome
on, Idol of love and truth! my child! my
ever false! false was thy last Denunciation, as thy bridal vow; And yet even that found faith with me!
The dirk Which sever'd flesh from flesh, where
this band rests, Severs not, as thou boastedst in the
scoffs, Iphigeneia's love from Agamemnon: The wife's a spark may light, a straw
consume, The daughter's not her heart's whole
fount hath quench'd, 'Tis worthy of the Gods, and lives for
ever. Iphigeneia. What spake my father
to the Gods above ? Unworthy am I then to join in prayer? If, on the last, or any day before,
The Hours (Descending.) To each an urn we bring :
Earth's purest gold
Alone can hold
And must away to earth again. (Ascending.) Where thou art, thou
Of braided brow, Thou cullid too soon from Argive bowers, Where thy sweet voice is heard among The shades that thrill with choral song, None can regret the parted Hours.
(As the Hours depart, the shades of the Argive warriors who had fought at Troy approach and chaunt in chorus the praises of Agamemnon and his daughter.)
Of my brief course on earth, I did amiss,
Am I wild And wandering in my fondness?
We are shades ! Groan not thus deeply ; blight not thus
the season Of full-orb'd gladness! Shades we are
indeed, But mingled, let us feel it, with the
blessed. I knew it, but forgot it suddenly, Altho' I felt it all at your approach. Look on me; smile with me at my
illusion. You are so like what you have ever been (Except in sorrow !) I might well forget I could not win you as I used to do. It was the first embrace since my de
scent I ever aim'd at: those who love me live, Save one, who loves me most, and now
would chide me. Agamemnon. We want not, o Iphi
geneia, we Want not embrace, nor kiss that cools the heart
more With purity, nor words that more and Teach what we know, from those we
know, and sink Often most deeply where they fall most
light. Time was when for the faintest breath
of thine Kingdom and life were little, Iphigeneia.
Value them As little now. Agrimemnon. Were life and kingdom
all ! Iphigeneia. Ah! by our death many
are sad who loved us. The little fond Electra, and Orestes So childish and so bold ! O that mad
boy! They will be happy too.
Cheer! king of men ! (lieer! there are voices, songs-Cheer !
arms advance. Agamemnon. Come to me, soul of
peace! These, these alone, These are not false embraces. Iphigeneia.
Both are happy! Agamemnon. Freshness breathes
round me from some breeze above. What are ye, winged ones! with golden
Chorus of Argives Maiden! be thou the spirit that breathes
Triumph and joy into our song ! Wear and bestow these amaranth
hearts beat fast.
But hither we are come
Father of Argos ! king of men !
Our glory safe, our country free. Clash, clash the arms we bravely
bore Against Scamander's God-defended
Tydeus ! and worthy of thy son. 'Tis Ajax wears them now; for he Rules over Adria's stormy sea.
Semi-chorus Blessed art thou who hast repellid Battle's wild fury, Ocean's whelming
Blessed o'er all, to have beheld Wife, children. house avenged, and
He threw them to the friend who lost
THE DEATH OF ARTEMIDORA"
aged brow From sorrow for us we could not
protect. Nor, on the polished granite of the
well Folding our arms, of spoils and
perils tell, Nor lift the vase on the lov'd head
Semi-chorus What whirling wheels are those
behind ? What plumes come flaring through
the wind, Nearer and nearer? From his
“ ARTEMIDORA ! Gods invisible, While thou art lying faint along the
couch, Have tied the sandal to thy slender feet And stand beside thee, ready to convey Thy weary steps where other rivers flow Refreshing shades will waft thy weariAway, and voices like thy own come near And nearer, and solicit an embrace." Artemidora sigh’d, and would have
pressed The hand now pressing hers, but was too
weak. Iris stood over her dark hair unseen While thus Elpencr spake. He looked into Eyes that had given light and life ere
while To those above them, but now dim with
tears And wakefulness. Again he spake of joy Eternal. At that word, that sad word,
joy, Faithful and fond her bosom heav'u once
more: Her head fell back; and now a loud deep
sob Swelld thro' the darken'd chamber ;
'twas not hers.
He who defied the heaven-born
Powers of war Pelides springs ! Dust, dust are we To him, o king, who bends the knee, Proud only to be first in reverent praise
Other Semi-Chorus Clash, clash the arms! None other race Shall see such heroes face to face. We too have fought; and they have seen Nor sea-sand gray nor meadow green Where Dardans stood against their
men. Clash ! Io Paean ! clash again ! Repinings for lost days repress. The flames of Troy had cheer'd us less.
Chorus Hark! from afar more war-steeds neigh, Thousands o'er thousands rush this way. Ajax is yonder ! ay, behol The radiant arms of Lycian gold ! Arms from admiring valor won,
CORINNA TO TANAGRA, FROM
ATHENS TANAGRA ! think not I forget
Thy beautifully storied streets ; Be sure my memory bathes yet
In clear Thermodon, and yet greets The blithe and liberal shepherd-boy, i See Landor's own comment on this poem, P. 440.
2 1836, in Pericles and Aspasia. Slightly altered and included in the Hellenics, 1846, te, from which the present text is taken. See (olvin's comment on the poem, in his Life of Landor, pp. 193-4.
Ali yes! the very same art thou
TO HER FATHER, ON HER STATUE BEING
CALLED LIKE HER
FATHER! the little girl we see
When she came home, the other day,
Vhose sunny bosom swells with joy Vhen we accept his matted rusbes heav'd with sylvan fruit ; away he
bounds, and blushes. I gift I promise : one I see Which thou with transport wilt re
ceive, Che only proper gift for thee,
Of which no mortal shall bereave in later times thy mouldering walls, until the last old turret falls ; A crown, a crown from Athens won, crown no God can wear, beside La
tona's son. There may be cities who refuse
To their own child the honors due, And look ungently on the Muse ;
But ever shall those cities rue The dry, unyielding, niggard breast, Offering no nourishment, no rest, To that young head which soon shall
rise isdainfully, in might and glory, to the
skies. Sweetly where cavernd Dirce flows Do-white-arm'd maidens chant my
lay, Flapping the while with laurel-rose
The boney-gathering tribes away ; And sweetly, sweetly Attic tongues Lisp your Corinna's early songs; To her with feet more graceful come he verses that have dwelt in kindred
breasts at home.
STAND close around, ye Stygian set,
With Diree in one boat conveyed, Or Charon, seeing, may forget That he is oll, and sbe a shade.
CLEONE TO ASPASIA
O let thy children lean aslant
Against the tender mother's knee, And gaze into her face, and waut
To know what magic there can be In words that urge some eyes to dance, While others as in holy trance Look up to heaven : be such my praise ! Vhy linger? I must haste, or lose the Delphic bays.
We mind not how the sun in the mid
sky Is hastening on; but when the gollen
orb Strikes the extreme of earth, and when
the gulfs Of air and ocean open to receive him, Dampness and gloom invade us; then
we think Ah! thus is it with Youth. Too fast his
feet Run on for sight; hour follows hour;
fair maid Succeeds fair maid ; bright eyes bestar
his couch ; The cheerful horn awakens him ; the
feast, The revel, the entangling dance, allure, Aud voices mellower than the Muse's
SAPPHO TO HESPERUS
HAVE beheld thee in the morning hour I solitary star, with thankless eyes, Cngrateful as I am! who bade thiee rise When sleepall night had wandered from
Heave up his buoyant bosom on their
Wave. A little while, and then-Ah Youth !
Youth ! Youth! Listen not to my words--but stay with
me ! When thou art gone, Life may go too;
the sigh That rises is for thee, and not for Life.
Can it be true that thou art he
ON LUCRETIA BORGIA'S HAIR
BORGIA, thou once wert almost too
august And high for adoration; now thou'rt
dust; All that remains of thee these plaits
unfold, Calm hair meandering in pellucid gold.
Before he try if loam or sand
We both have run o'er half the space
Those who have laid the harp aside
And turn'd to idler things, From very restlessness have tried
The loose and dusty strings, And, catching back some favorite strain, Run with it o'er the chords again. But Memory is not a Muse,
O Wordsworth! though 'tis said
To haunt her fountain-head:
Of smoothing under hardened hand, With attic emery and oil,
The shining point for Wisdom's wand, Like those thou temperest 'mid the rills Descending from thy native hills. Without his governance, in vain,
Manhood is strong, and Youth is bold. If oftentimes the o'er-piled strain,
Clogs in the furnace and grows cold Beneath his pinions deep and frore, And swells and melts and flows no
more, That is because the heat beneath
Pants in its cavern poorly fed. Life springs not from the couch of
Death, Nor Muse nor Grace can raise the
dead; Unturn'd then let the mass remain, Intractable to sun or rain. A marsh, where only flat leaves lie, And showing but the broken sky, Too surely is the sweetest lay That wins the ear and wastes the day, Where youthful Fancy pouts alone And lets not Wisdom touch her zone. He who would build his fame up high, The rule and plummet must apply. Nor say, “ I'll do what I have planud,"
TO JOSEPH ABLETT
LORD of the ('eltic dells, Where Clwyd listens as his minstrel
tells Of Arthur, or Pendragon, or perchance
The plumes of flashy France, Or, in dark region far across the main. Far as Grenada in the world of Spain,
Warriors untold to Saxon ear, Until their steel-clad spirits reappear :
How happy were the hours that held Thy friend (long absent from his native
home) Amid thy scenes with thee! how wide
afield From all past cares and all to come! What hath Ambition's feverish grasp.
what hath Inconstant Fortune, panting Hope ; What Genius, that should cope