But why have charms by me employ’d,
Less luck than her’s, Medea dread,
With which her rival she destroy’d,
Great Creon’s child, then proudly fled,
When the robe bane-imbued, her gift,
Enwrapp’d the new-wed bride in flame?
But neither herb, nor root from rift
Of lone rock ta’en, are here to blame;
In every harlot’s bed lies he
Anointed with oblivion;
Ah, ah, ’tis plain he walketh free
Protected by some mightier one.
But Varus! thou shalt suffer yet!
Thou shalt re-seek these longing arms,
And ne’er from me re-alienate
Thy mind, enthrall’d by Marsan charms.
A cup more powerful I for thee
Will soon prepare, disdainful wretch!
Ere shall the sky sink ’neath the sea,
And that shall o’er the earth out-stretch,
Than with my love thou shalt not burn,
Like pitch, which in these flames I throw.”
Not with mild words their bosoms stern
To melt, as erst, the boy sought now;
But madly reckless he began
The direst curses forth to rave:
“And do not think your sorceries can
Yourselves from retribution save:
Your curse I’ll prove; my deathless hate
By sacrifice ne’er sooth’d shall be;
But when I perish, bid by fate,
A night-ghost ye shall have in me.
With crook’d nails I’ll your faces tear,
For great is injur’d spirits might,
On your breasts seated, hard I’ll bear,
And banish sleep with ceaseless fright;
Ye through the streets with stones the crowd
To death shall pelt, ye hags obscene!
Your limbs, no sepulture allow’d,
The wolves shall tear and birds unclean.
My parents who, though grey and old,
Shall me survive, their youthful boy
When they that spectacle behold
Shall clap their hands and smile for joy.”
The French cavalier, etc.
From the Provencal.
The French cavalier shall have my praise,
And the dame of the Catalan;
Of the Genoese the honorable ways,
And a court on Castilian plan;
The gentle, gentle Provencal lays,
The dance of Trevisan;
The heart which the Aragonese displays,
And the pearl of Julian;
The hands and face of the English race,
And a youth of Tuscan clan.
ADDRESS TO SLEEP.
From the Italian of Vincenzio Filicaia.
Sweet death of sense, oblivion of ill,
Sleep! who from war, from time to time, dost bear
Poor, wretched mortals, and in peace dost still—
Compose the discords, which my bosom tear,
For a brief space, and kindly interpose
Thy soothing wings betwixt me and my care.
These eyes, which seem in love with weeping, close!
And make my senses for a time thy bower,
That whilst I sleep I may my sorrows lose.
I do not crave that thou the wand of power,
Three times in Lethe dipp’d, at me shouldst shake,
And all my senses sprinkle o’er and o’er;