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PHAETON. Nor did he cease repeating to himself, “How worthless is the boon if this be all ! Broad is the way; the steeds are tame enough.” Till, hungered with hot zeal, he seized the thong; Then whirled it, curling it beneath the flank Of the two vanward ; thence with sharp recoil Crossing the arched necks of the hindmost two. And lo! the sudden insult dug like steel Into the one heart of the fiery four. They in a moment knew the vulgar hands That held them ; and their lordly eyes wept fire For anger at the ungenerous pilotage ; And each dilated nostril panted fire, And the sides, heaving through their sleek expanse, Stared with a noble horror, foaming fire; While, raving up the causeway, hoof and wheel, With screams and anvil-thunder, a deafening din, Rained earthward and to heaven a storm of fire. So to the summit, from whose brows the team, Thrice-maddening, prone adown the diamond arc Swept, and a triple whirlwind of white fire, Blown skyward, sloped upon the charioteer ; Whom yet the chrism preserved invulnerable. Nor even his eyelids faltered in white fire ; But as a sick man stares, who, from some wound Smit with red fever and delirious dream, Thinks himself bound upon a wheel of fire, Whirling, whirling for ever, and passes through Cycles of anguish ere his eye can winkSo, with like fascination, in the eyes Of Phaeton was fixed a straining stare, Yea, one to be remembered afterwards By any that had seen it, man or god. And though his brain shook, yet he could not wink; And though his brain reeled, yet he could not fall. Fixed were his feet, and o'er the ebbing reins Drooped the spent fingers from the nerveless wrist, Yet motionless and with no quivering drooped,

He standing like a statue of pale Fear;
While louder and more loud the affrighted stars
Cried from their burning vault, or seemed to cry,
Doom in his ears, and anger and fell revenge.



Men must die—one dies by day, and near him moans

his mother, They dig his grave, and tread it down, and go from it

full loth; And one dies about midnight, and the wind moans and

no other, And the snows give him a burial—and God loves them

both. The first hath no advantage-it shall not soothe his

slumber That a lock of his brown hair his father


shall keep; For the last, he nothing grudgeth, it shall nought his

quiet cumber That in a golden mesh of his the callow eaglets sleep.



If I'd an orchard full of fruit,

(But this is quite between us)
With Paris I would follow suit,

And give the fruit to Venus.
Juno might promise wealth and power,

A sceptre and a throne too,
But who would hesitate an hour,

If single and alone too ?
Minerva, first of female sages,

Might swear in vain my mind
To fill with wit and lore of ages,

And leave out-womankind.
Then honour to the shepherd boy,

Who taught the world we dwell in
How man should risk another Troy,

To win a second Helen.



No mighty deluge can extinguish love,
Nor rivers drown it. He that thinks to prove
The power of gold to purchase love, shall end,
Though all the treasures of his house he spend,
By finding wealth is wasted upon naught;
Shame and confusion all that he bath bought.



Sunshine is ever strong.
No blast can break or bend one singie ray ;
In sevenfold strength it faces wave and wind;
Heedless of their opposing turbulence,
It passes through them in its quiet power
Unruffled, and unbroken, and unbent.
No might of armies, and no rage of storms
Can turn aside one sunbeam from its path,
Or bate its speed, or force it back again
To the far fountain-head from whence it came.


How tranquil and soft is that slumber,
As if dreaming of glories divine !
How few of all earth's mighty number,
May hope for repose such as thine!
On thy lip there still lingers a smile
Of farewell to the world and its woes ;
Death's hand must have falter'd awhile
And could only thine eyelids half close.
Their loss, in thy prime, those are weeping
On thine innocent childhood who smild;
Yet angels a vigil are keeping
To receive their still innocent child.



A little boat put out to sea ;
Its helm was set, its sails were free,
And wooed the wind right lovingly.
Within the boat twelve revellers were
Devoid of sorrow, thought, or care,
For all were young-a portion fair.
So sailed they forth-that joyous throng,
With merry jest, and shout, and song,
And peals of laughter loud and long.
The boatman watched them 'neath his land,
And shouted cautions from the land,
Which none car'd now to understand.
The thirsty keel the cool spray drank,
The vessel in the distance shrank
A patch, a blot, a speck, a blank.
Then sped the pleasant hours away,
As will they not if hearts be gay,
And heaven bestows a sunny day.
Evening approached with glowing sky,
And golden bars upraised on high
To let the weary sun pass by.
Then followed that uncertain light
Which hesitates 'twixt day and night
But still no boat appeared in sight.
Darker and darker now it grew,
Strange! there should be no trace nor clue,
Of the long-missing jocund crew.
And now the sea which late had kept
Unbroken calm as though it slept
In sudden fury, straight upleapt.
Against the rocks it blindly dashed,
The shore with maddened fury lashed,
Then fled, half angry, half abashed.
Athwart the heavens the thunder broke,
The lightning darted with fell stroke,
And winds in threat'ning murmurs spoke.

The boatman from his ingle chair,
Listens, and marks the lurid glare,
And wonders how the laughers fare.
Friends, brothers, parents, watch and wait
By open door or garden gate,
Then hasten forth to question fate.
With restless steps, these pace the beach
In silence ; each conceals from each
The fears they dare not trust to speech.
One listened-hush! was that a cry ?
One pierced the dun with curious eye,
A sail ? Ah, no, a phantasy.
Thus passed that fearful night away,
How long, how wretched, let him say
Who sleepless lies, and prays for day.
Then morning broke with pleasant gleam,
Making the night's afflictions seem
The mere creations of a dream.
The boatman comes along the strand,
His eyes are bent


the sand,
He starts, he shouts, he lifts his hand.
All hasten there, what to behold?
A batter'd hull, whereon was scrolled
The vessel's name—the tale was told.
Nought else did o'er the sea restore,
The hapless Twelve who left that shore,
Departed, to return no more.

We steer by stars, which fail us in our need,
To lands we never dreamt of when we sailed.
O miserable uncertainty, to toil
And see the painful labour of a life
Outraged by use unworthy; see the shaft
We pointed to a hair's breadth, miss the mark
Caught by a passing breath; the sword we forged
Turn its ungrateful edge against our cause.


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