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Mine eyes with gazing ache, but still my heart
Insatiate craves to batten on her charms.
O! welcome Death! if to thy murky realm
Through Hero's couch of love the journey lay :
I'd envy not your Heav'n, ye gods above,
Had I but Hero mistress of mine house-
Yet if thy priestess may not share my heart,
Kind Venus grant me only such a bride."

Thus some spake out, while some concealed their wounds, And longed in secret for the lovely maid. But thou, ill-fated youth, Leander, thou, When through thine eyes her beauty reached thy soul, With secret pangs consumedst not away But, by the burning shaft struck unawares, Thy soul, apart from Hero, craved not life. Her radiant eyes had fired the brand of love, And in thy bosom blazed the quenchless flame. Yes, spotless woman's beauty deeper strikes Than winged arrows force the heart of manIn by the eyes the mischief makes its way, And gliding downward settles in the breast. Thus wonder, boldness, trembling, shame, by turns Possessed him; trembling seized his heart of hearts, And shame enchained him in her modest bonds.. Then as her beauty fixed his wondering gaze, Impassioned rapture hurried shame away; And he, with all the boldness love inspires, On tip-toe stole and stood beside the maid, And on her rolled askance those longing eyes Whose voiceless pleading won her soul to love. But she, when she perceived Leander's flame, Laughed in her heart at her own beauty's prideAnon she veiled the lustre of her brow, And from her covert many a burning glance Told the soft secret to Leander's eye, Ere yet she raised her veil how leapt his heart That she, the peerless, spurned him not away. While thus, enraptured, for the secret hour Leander waited, daylight calmly set, And high uprose the shadowy Star of Eve. Then stood he boldly by the virgin's side, When black-robed Darkness hovered in the air, And pressed her rosy fingers in his own, While from his bosom's depth broke out a sigh. Hero, in silence, and as though in wrath, Pleased, yet offended, drew away her handBut he perceived the maid irresolute, And by her dainty robe, with hand of strength, Half led, half forced her onward, till they reached The secret shadows of the inmost fane. With slow and faltering step young Hero went As one unwilling, and with girlish threats Leander's bearing thus did she upbraid: “ Begone, begone, Sir Stranger, art thou mad ? What ! force a virgin ?_fie, release my robeBrave not the mighty vengeance of our house 'Tis ill to tamper thus with Venus' priestA thousand dangers guard my virgin couch."

Thus did she threaten-but Leander felt In all the fury of her woman's wrath

The surest sign of yielding maidenhood
(For when at loving youths young virgins rave,
Their threats are Love's most certain harbingers).
And all beside himself with frantic love
He kissed her lily neck, and madly spake :-

- Thou second Venus ! Pallas' other self!
(To earthly beauties I compare thee not,
For Jove's own daughters only are thy peers) --
How blest thy sire ! thy mother too, how blest!
How trebly blest the womb that gave thee birth.
0! hear my vows, nor spurn my earnest love
By Venus' priest should Venus' work be done-
Then come enjoy her tender mysteries-
For maids to Venus minister but ill,
And Venus loves them not-her dearest rites
Are rapturous wedlock and the wreathed embrace.
If then thou hallow Venus in thine heart,
Spurn not the gentle soothing rites of love,
But look with pity on thy suppliant here-
Thy mate, if so it please thee, hunted down
And given a prey to thee by Love himself.
As Hermes erst to lovely Omphale
The bold Alcides brought, her willing slave,
So Venus now hath sent me here to thee-
Then think how selfish Atalanta fared,
Who shunned the ardour of Milanion's love,
Till angry Venus in her heart enthroned
His image whom before that heart had spurned ;
And O! beware, beware of Venus' wrath."

Thus did he win her coy and shrinking heart, And rouse her passion by his words of love. But she, in silence, and as though ashamed, To hide her blushes fixed her gaze on earth, And with her foot kept patting o'er the ground, While oft around her shoulders would she draw Her tightened robe-all these, as lovers know, Are signs of soft persuasion ; for a maid When wooed, to wiming silently consents. And Love now struck his sweet and bitter barb Deep into Hero's virgin heart, which burned And raged with transport at Leander's form. But while she fixed her eyes upon the ground, Mean while Leander fed his amorous sight, Nor wearied gazing on her tender neck. At length she raised her sweetly trembling voice, While tears of rapture gemmed her blushing cheek.

« Fair Sir, thy words would rouse a heart of stone! Whence came that soft seducing gift of thine ? Alas! who brought thee to my native land ? Vain, vain are all thy words, for how may'st thou, A wandering stranger, faithless, too, perhaps, Indulge thy passion for a maid like me ? In holy wedlock never may we joinFor never would my lordly sire consentNor wouldst thou dwell an alien in my land, Couldst thou retain the secret of our love. For men love scandal, and the closest deed In secret done is twitted in the streets. But tell me now, I pray, no longer hide

Thy name from me ; declare thy country too.
My name is Hero; in yon sea-girt tow'r,
Whose summit tops the clouds, one female slave
The sole companion of my home, I dwell,
Near Sestos city, on the wave-lashed shore,
The sea my neighbour_such my parents' will !
No maids of equal age, no cheerful youths
E'er come to visit me; but night and morn
The roaring wild sea thunders in mine ear."

She ceased, and buried in her mantle's folds Her rosy cheek, relapsing into shame, And blamed her tongue that spake such kindly words. But by Love's keenest dart Leander pierced Was thinking how to fight Love's tender fight. Now crafty Love strikes deep into the heart, But heals himself the wounds himself hath made ; For where he reigns, his all-subduing power With cunning counsel fills the captive mind. So to Leander now he lent his aid, Who thus at last with falt'ring accent spake :

“ Ah! gentle maid, I'll dare for love of thee The swelling storms, though waves of fire should boil, And bubbling check the passage of the seaSo I may gain thy bed, I dread nor wave, Nor angry ocean's deepest thunder tone ; But nightly borne, thy salt-sea love, to thee, I'll swim through all the streams of Hellespont; For in Abydos' neighbouring town I dwell. Thou through the darkness, from thy tower's height, Display a single torch, that I may be Thy boat of love ; thy torch my leading star; And gazing on it never will I heed Böotes setting, nor Orion rude, Nor in the north the Wain's unmoisten'd track, So I may reach the haven of thy land. But, О sweet love! beware the treacherous winds, Lest they the torch extinguish—and I die; For on its light depends my light of life. But if to learn my name be thy desireI am Leander-fair hair'd Hero's spouse.'

Thus to indulge them in their secret love
Did both consent, and that the torch's light
Should be the signal of their nightly bliss.
Its guiding beams she undertook to show,
And he to brave the dangers of the deep-
Then, having pass'd a night of sleepless love,

Torn from each other's heart, they went their way-
· She to her tower, through morning's twilight ; he,
No signal beacon now to guide his way,
To fair Abydos' well-built city swam.
Full oft would they, impatient for the bliss,
The night-long rapture of their secret love,
Bid darkness haste to spread the bridal couch.
And now, when black-robed Night had come at last,
And every mortal eye was bathed in sleep,
Leander kept his wakeful watch of love ;
And on the loud resounding wave-worn shore
Gazed for the shining signal of his joy,
Expectant panting for the torch’s gleam

That told from far his secret couch was laid.
Soon as she saw the sunless gloom of night
Then Hero lit the torch—and as it blazed,
Love's flame was kindled in Leander's heart,
Which burn'd in concert with the burning torch.
But as he stood beside the frantic sea,
And heard the bounding billows' rushing sound,
Then trembled he at first_but soon took heart,
And thus with thoughts of comfort soothed his soul :
“ Dreadful is love_implacable the sea-
Yet is the sea but water-while the fire,
The fire of love consumes mine inmost heart.
Take fire, my heart! fear not the watery surge--
Hie to thy love-what! heedest thou the waves ?
Know'st not that Venus out of Ocean sprung,
And rules the sea-and causes all my care?”

Then from his lovely limbs he doff''d his garb,
And, having tightly bound it on his head,
Leap'd from the shore, and dash'd into the wave.
Then steer'd he ever towards the light, himself
The pilot, crew, and vessel self-impelled.

Hero, mean while, upon her tower's height, When howling winds their blasts of terror blew, Oft with her robe would veil the flickering torch, Till onward toiling to the Sestian beach Leander came, and hied him to her tower. Then to the gate she rush'd, and twined around Her panting bridegroom's heart, too glad for speech ; And while adown him dripp'd the salt-sea drops, She to the bridal-chamber led him on, And dried his form, and with the soft perfume Of roseate oil subdued the ocean smell : Then laid him panting on her downy couch, And wreathed around his bosom sweetly spake : • Sore hast thou toil'd, my love—no toil so sore Hath ever loving bridegroom undergoneSore hast thou toil'd, my love! but now the waves Enough have toss'd thee on their foamy breast-Come, rest thy labours on this heart of mine.”

Thus did she speak; but he untied her zone, And link'd in Venus' blissful bonds they lay. Theirs was a wedding_but no pomp was there ; No nuptial hymns about their bed were sungFor them no bard kind Juno's favour soughtAround their couch no bridal torches shoneNo light foot twinkled in their wedding danceNo tender parents sung their marriage songBut while dumb silence laid the nuptial bed, And closed its curtains, Gloom attired the bride. Far from the sound of hymencal strains Night ranged the bridal_nor did early Dawn Surprise the bridegroom in his bed of love ; He'd to Abydos ta'en his watery way, Panting insatiate from his night of bliss With that dear nymph who baulk'd her parents' care, A maid by day, by night a loving bride. And many a time and oft would both implore The lingering day to hasten to his close,

So from all eyes their passion did they hide,
And lonely revelled in their secret love.
But ah! too swiftly fled their dream of life;
Too soon, alas! their toil-won bliss decayed,
For Winter now led on his icy train,
And from their slumber roused the frightful storms,
And sent his winds to drive the baseless gulfs
And wet foundations of the watery main,
Lashing the waves to madness; sailors now,
Dreading the faithless wintry ocean, strove
To lay their shattered vessels up on shore.
But to thy heart the storms no terror brought,
Too brave Leander! thee the ruthless torch,
Flashing the wonted signal of thy bliss,
Made spurn the fury of the rampant sea.
Ah! would to Heav'n, ill-fated Hero then,
While raged the stormy tempest, had resolved
From her Leander's love to fast awhile,
Nor light for him the deadly nuptial star!
But Love and Fate constrained her-and she fired
The brand of death-the torch of love no more.

'Twas night-that hour when most the blust'ring winds,
The winds in fury darting stormy blasts,
Rush down in masses on the breaking sea;
That hour Leander, longing for his bride,
Rode on the bosom of the roaring main ;
Wave rolled on wave-confusion ruled the deep-
And air and ocean mingled—while the roar
Of battling winds tumultuous filled the air.
Zephyr with Eurus fought—the north wind drove
His threat'ning blasts against th' opposing south ;
While loud the sea's resistless thunder boomed.
Then on the pitiless surge Leander toiled
And many a pray'r to sea-born Venus poured,
And many a pray'r to thee, great Ocean King ;
Nor failed he then rude Boreas to implore
By all the fondness of his Attic love*
But all in vain! Love bowed the knee to Fate.
Dashed to and fro upon the raving tide,
His feet fell pow'rless-his o'er-laboured hands
Lost all their strength and as the impetuous stream
Gushed down his throat, he drank the briny draught.
And now the deadliest blast of all rush'd by,
And quench'd the faithless torch-then perish'd, too,
In one dark death, Leander's life and love.

But when he came not, she, with aching eyes,
Kept watch, by worst forebodings inly racked-
And morning came to her-but He came not.
Then o'er the wide expanse she strain'd her gaze,
In hope that when the torch's light expired,
He'd lost his course, and she might guide him now.
But when beneath her, at her tower's base,
Dash'd on the rocks, she saw her lover's corse,
She rent her garments—tore her beauteous breast-
Rush'd like a torrent headlong from the height,
And on her lover's clay-cold bosom died.

Thus perish'd Hero with her stricken Spouse,
In death's extremest hour united still.

* Orithyia, daughter of Erectheus, King of Athens, carried off by Boreas. YOL, XLI. NO. CCLVI,

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