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Careful and soft, that not a leaf may fall
Before the serene father of them all
Bows down his summer head below the west.
Now am I of breath, speech, and speed possest,
But at the setting I must bid adieu
To her for the last time. Night will strew
On the damp grass myriads of lingering leaves,
And with them shall I die; nor much it grieves
To die, when summer dies on the cold sward.
Why, I have been a butterfly, a lord
Of flowers, garlands, love-knots, silly posies,
Groves, meadows, melodies, and arbour-roses ;
My kingdom's at its death, and just it is
That I should die with it: so in all this
We miscall grief, bale, sorrow, heart-break, woe,
What is there to plain of? By Titan's foe
I am but rightly served.” So saying, he
Tripp'd lightly on, in sort of deathful glee;
Laughing at the clear stream and setting sun,
As though they jests had been : nor had he done
His laugh at nature's holy countenance,
Until that grove appear'd, as if perchance,
And then his tongue with sober seemlihed
Gave utterance as he enter'd: “ Ha!” he said,

King of the butterflies; but by this gloom,
And by old Rhadamanthus' tongue of doom,
This dusk religion, pomp of solitude,
And the Promethean clay by thief endued,
By old Saturnus' forelock, by his head
Shook with eternal palsy, I did wed

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Myself to things of light from infancy ;
And thus to be cast out, thus lorn to die,
Is sure enough to make a mortal man
Grow impious.” So he inwardly began
On things for which no wording can be found;
Deeper and deeper sinking, until drown'd
Beyond the reach of music: for the choir
Of Cynthia he heard not, though rough brier
Nor muffling thicket interposed to dull
The Vesper hymn, far swollen, soft and full,
Through the dark pillars of those sylvan aisles.
He saw not the two maidens, nor their smiles,
Wan as primroses gather'd at midnight
By chilly-finger'd spring. Unhappy wight!
“ Endymion!” said Peona,“ we are here!
What wouldst thou ere we all are laid on bier ?”
Then he embraced her, and his lady's hand
Press’d, saying: “ Sister, I would have command,
If it were heaven's will, on our sad fate."
At which that dark-eyed stranger stood elate
And said, in a new voice, but sweet as love,
To Endymion's amaze : “ By Cupid's dove,
And so thou shalt ! and by the lily truth
Of my own breast thou shalt, beloved youth !”
And as she spake, into her face there came
Light, as reflected from a silver flame:
Her long black hair swell’d ampler, in display
Full golden ; in her eyes a brighter day
Dawn'd blue, and full of love. Aye, he beheld
Phæbe, his passion! joyous she upheld

Her lucid bow, continuing thus: “ Drear, drear Has our delaying been ; but foolish fear Withheld me first; and then decrees of fate ; And then 'twas fit that from this mortal state Thou shouldst, my love, by some unlook’d-for

change Be spiritualized. Peona, we shall range These forests, and to thee they safe shall be As was thy cradle ; hither shalt thou flee To meet us many a time.” Next Cynthia bright Peona kiss'd, and bless'd with fair good night: Her brother kiss'd her too, and knelt adown Before his goddess, in a blissful swoon. She gave her fair hands to him, and behold, Before three swiftest kisses he had told, They vanished far

!Peona went Home through the gloomy wood in wonderment.

away

.

L A MIA.

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