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the law of Asychis, the grandson of able testimonial of nobility like the Cheops, in imitation of which, ac- statues of the Roman patricians; and cording to Mr. Gifford, the supposed to pledge these, was to give a man law of Europe has been introduced, an actual security for the money, I confess I am but a novice in the which was advanced expressly upon Antiquities of Egypt compared with that pledge, and apportioned to the that gentleman; but I should submit natural value of it. But this was a to him, that the imitation is very re- stipulated pledge by the son, not an mote and improbable, and the copy ordinary execution on the body of at best very unlike the original. the father; and, however odious it Like all copies, if it ever existed, it may now appear in the spendthrift would be a copy without the spirit heir, was more reasonable than the of its prototype. It was customary pledge which the law is supposed in Egypt to embalm the bodies of the to give of the dead body of the debtor, deceased, or to make mummies of which must necessarily impose upon them; and it is probable he who the creditor, who was to keep it unpossessed the most of these precious buried, the task of reviving, not the remains was most honoured for his dead body, but the long lost art of high birth. The mummy was then embalming, which is nearly as hopea moveable piece of goods, a valu. less an experiment.
I had a dream of Orpheus. The veil'd bed
Open'd as 'twere a cloud, and light was shed,
Bathing the midnight darkness in mild gold:
The walls receded: space its depth unroll’d
Far vanishing in distance: gleams of day
Broke o'er brown forests: torrents toss'd their spray
Like smoke; and mountains heaved on heaven, where caves,
That darken'd inward, sent the knell of waves
In deaf and hollow clang on the far air:
A sunless cataract stream was prison'd there,
Plunging and writhing on its stony rack
Where old volcanic flames had burn'd their track,
And shagg’d the hollow'd sides with azure spires,-
The tinge of those old thunder-volleying fires
That gasp'd themselves away, and left the surge
To dash with tyrannous foam the hissing verge.
My visual sense was soul; and like a beam
It pierced the cavern's mouth, and saw the stream
In its ungovernable plunges, dark
As ebony, yet with a lightning spark
Upon its chafing waters; o'er their bed
Droop'd yellow crystals: the bow'd rocks were clung
With weeds that iced in shattery stone-work hung:
The toad, the bat, gleam'd cold, to marble grown,
And stiffening salamanders froze in stone:
The hardening surges, showering chilly spray,
Changed earth to iron as they wound their way;
I saw them tumbling o'er their shelvy ledge
Where night unfathom'd lay beyond the edge ;
Till fancy totter'd, and I dared not trace
The deeper mysteries of that solemn place :
But, in my bodiless swift presence, turn'd
Where dazzling day without the mountain burn'd,
On snowy ridges toppling from on high,
And azure-billowing hills, that lowlier lie;
Woods and emerging plains that seem'd almost
Endless, roek, sand, and herbage, till a coast
Opposed its marble barrier, and the surge
of the blue ocean lean'd against the verge.
High on the buoyant air there seem'd to spring
The fowls of heaven that rush on broader wing ;
The vulture cross'd the azure with his shade,
And eagles from the cliffs the sun survey'd
With fix'd irradiate eye: and from those hills
I saw the lion stooping toward the rills
That boil'd in clefts of rocks, and tigers slow
Stole from the brake, or crouching gazed below
On some aerial antelope, anon
Starting, as 'twere a leaf, scarce seen, and gone.
Thus ruminating, on my ear there came
A sound, a thrill, which was no more the same:
The wild bird's cry, the forest's mutter'd roar,
The dash of rock-pent streams, the sea-wave hoar
Were blended still; but clearer than them all
An echo smote me with its swell and fall
Liquid, but not of waters; for it hung
In tremors, like the nightingale's sweet tongue,
And yet with more of sound and varied art
Melted itself into the brain and heart:
That my chain'd spirit struggled to get free
And lose itself in that wild harmony;
And, with a thought, my airy presence stood
Before a mountain grotto; where a wood
Shook with green aspens, and did high o'er-reach
The rock's tall summit with gigantic beech,
And oak and cedar. Nymphs with vine-leaves crown'd
Sate group'd upon the moss; their hair unbound,
And like those grape-tipp'd tendrils crisply twined,
Waved down their falling backs and kiss'd the wind.
The panther's mottled velvet half conceald
Their dazzling rounded forms, and part reveald.
Stags with their antlers peep'd ; and the streak'd pard
Couch'd harmless ; for before them leau'd a bard
Against the lichen'd rock; within his grasp
A seven-string'd shell: a coil'd and trampled asp
Beneath his foot, the fang still dripping gore :
This was the sound I heard; it breathed no more:
Still the throng'd air was dark with feather'd sails
Of hovering birds; and many nightingales
Lay panting on the grass beneath the trees;
As they had rung their descant on the breeze
In rivalry, and with their vain intent
Exhausted, flutter'd voiceless, breathless, spent.
But on my ravish'd sense arose a strain
From all those fair-shaped strangers, that again
The air shrilld musical, and 'twere to die
If I should lose that love-breathed symphony.
SONG OF THE BACCHANTS.
Alas, Eurydice !-and where was he,
Within whose arm thy head had folded been?
When through the boundless wood's untrodden scene
Thou didst roam forth in thy simplicity?
Within his cavern-fane he sate
Unconscious of thy perilous flight;
His God on whom he fix'd his dazzled sight,
Could not his boasted God reveal thy fate?
Had she with us adored that better shrine,
Blest to the blooming Godhead of the vine,
And toss'd her wreathed locks and held
The spear that had her ravisher repell’d,
Thou wouldst not, priest deluded ! prophet vain !
Now wake the mountains with thy dirge-like strain,
Alas, Eurydice ! she trod,
Relying on her solar God,
The unfrequented shade;
The shepherd Aristæus came
With eyes that shot unholy flame,
And started from the glade :
From his extended arms she flew,
And back her glance abhorrent threw,
Her shrieks no timely succour drew,
For Bacchus was her scorn:
And pines their thronging branches spread
Above the fugitive's lorn head,
As if to shroud her, while she fled
From him who gilds the morn;
Hot the pursuit and swift the flight,
And keen the pantings of affright.
Alas, Eurydice thy God indeed
Saved thee from one more terrible than death;
But wherefore did he see thee bleed,
And to a gnawing reptile yield thy breath?
Was it that he we serve, the God,
Who walks on dragons, in his fury trod,
And part assented to thy Godhead's prayer,
And part dispersed in air?
Did not his wand arouse the snake,
That slumber'd in that rustling brake,
To wound thy snowy foot and tame
Thy husband's soul to tremble at his name?
Alas, Eurydice !-thy spouse we love,
And loved thee for his sake and for thiné own : These hands have well avenged thee, for the grove,
Where lurk'd the shepherd, we have overthrown:
Bow'd are the oaks witħin whose murmuring cell
His bees, his life, were wont to dwell:
Rifled and trampled are the bowers
That breathed the luxury of trailing flowers.
The God, who calls thy Orpheus, did relent
And us his votaries thy avengers sent :
The shepherd saw our blazing eyes,
He heard the shouts, the raving cries ;
He saw the ivy-shrouded javelin glare
As brandish'd in the whirling air ;
The woods in shiver'd fragments fell,
He fled, and Echo mock'd his frantic yell.
Alas! Eurydice lift up thy head
Oh, youth ! in error wise ! oh, beauteous priest!
And dry the tears thine eyes for ever shed ;
She is from mortal pain releast :
But others live who love as well;
Again awake thy vocal shell,
But hail the God, whom thou must serve and fear;
Turn from thy lifeless widowhood ;
Chuse midst the Dryads of the wood ; Chuse not departed joy, but find it here !
A Dream of Orpheus.
* There was a pause ; a silence fearful, deep,
As though the wilderness were hush'd in sleep ;
The youth had grasp'd with agonizing hands
His robe of snowy fleece, while propp'd he stands
Against the granite rock: his frame is shook
With ague thrills; a fire is in his look;
And his wild locks seem curling from his head,
And his cheeks flush with hectic stains of red;
His hand is on his harp; and hark the clash-
Shrill, loud, and sudden as the thunder flash!
I fix my eyes upon thee, mighty sun !
That hearst what these have witness'd, and beholdst
The mockery of their pity! Thou art he!
The God whom they blaspheme is their own God,
Whom they in base and mortal shape would seek
Amidst their tangled haunts; when they might stand
Upon the mountain which thy glory gilds,
And see thee in thy naked majesty,
God of the vine they worship. Hear me now!
Celestial Bacchus ! radiant Hercules !
That run'st thy race of strength around the stars ;
Thou Jove, thou Juno of the azure air !
Thou Neptune ! brother of thyself, that rulest
The tempest-toiling element of sea;
Thou ! who årt both the sign and source of all;
The world of earth and waters and deep skies;
Hear me !-I ask a token that these wild
And impious revellers, who crush the grape
In the delirium of infuriate sense,
And while their lips blush nectar grudge thee praise ;
Who rend thee from thyself and part thee forth
In thousand rivals of thy name throughout
Air, sea, and land, -I ask from thee a sign,
That they may turn from phantoms, and discern,
Through these thy names and powers, thyself alone!
Sole energy !-great spirit !-universe!
At thy blest bidding I forsook the wild
Of snowy Thrace, and from her mountains brought
Into the haunts of savage men the lore
Ineffable, the mystery of the One:
Temperance and justice and connubial love.
Be this thy token !-give me to possess
The bride again in life, whose ravisher
May read his warning in the mangled asp
That writhes beneath my foot. Eurydice !-
Give me to repossess Eurydice !
Bride of my youth! my blooming prophetess !
Upon whose tongue thy mysteries dwelt in music;
Whose eyes gave back the image of thyself;
Who was the priestess of thy shrine; and sate,
Pupil at once and teacher of the good
And beautiful !-restore Eurydice !
She is among the shadows of the land
Where dwell the dead, but thou art also there!
There is no cavern of the rounded globe
Where thy pervading glory pierceth not:
And the gold ripens and the ruby burns
In rocks, that never saw the eye of heaven,
But own thy fostering warmth within their veins.
Thy light is in the grave: the thought that breathed
In human forms survives the smouldering pyre,
And feels thy vital spark, and clothes itself
In a bright shadow of its mortal nature:
And I should know her, my Eurydice,
And thou couldst re-illume her scarce-cold limbs
With their extinguish'd fire, and plant again
That rose upon her cheek whose purple tinge
Was thine. I will conjure thee where thou sittst
In the recesses of the cavern'd earth,
With hymnic rhapsodies, which thou hast loved,
When on the Thracian rock I lay supine,
And felt thy ardours beaming on my breast.
Expect me for I come-behold! I seek thee!
There was a crash of branches, for the beech
That tower'd above the cliff to his strong reach
Bent; his elastic limbs he upward swung
And on the topmost bough suspended hung,
Rock'd giddily and fearfully in air;
His weight the reeling branch could scarcely bear
nerved grasp the trunk embraced he held And to and fro tumultuously impella The toppling tree; till when it bending swept The verdure-tufted crag, at once he leapt Sheer from the branch, and felt beneath his feet Heights, which no footstep but the deer’s had beat : And bounding where the eagle builds, from sight He faded upwards into dizzy light. Then javelins shook and clash'd : a long shrill yell Was sent through every woodland, cave, and dell: The hawk flew screaming from his rock: and o’er The forest growľd remote a mutter'd mingled roar.
My sprite was with the bard : I follow'd him To other mountains, where the sight grew dim If backward turn'd below: one arm the lyre Clasp'd close: the sun had touch'd a pine with fire; He snatch'd a branchy torch: I heard the wave Dash loud and long and shrill: a yawning cave Received him, and I enter'd: the cleft sides Foam'd with the rush and roar of cataract tides : The vaults shot light from crystals, and the walls, That flash'd with gleams of darkling waterfalls, Show'd the green tints volcanic fires had left When flames and waters hiss'd within the cleft. It was the cavern my far-gifted sight Had partly fathom'd: now a deeper night Hung o'er my sliding path, by fits illumed With glancing meteor flashes; as entomb’d I stood within th' eternal mountains: deep And deeper the descending chasm's ridged steep Open'd, and wide and wider that immense And endless cavern, to my sleeping sense, Struck its far vistas in the pillar'd stone, By the bard's waving pine-torch gleaming shown With all their spars of diamond, veins of gold : Gates of red brass upon their hinges rollid Deafening the cataract's thunder: the pine's light, Now flashing keener flame, disclosed to sight The space beyond : the river rush'd between Those clanging valves: a rocky ledge was seen