Last Days of Pompeii eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 565 pages of information about Last Days of Pompeii.

Farewell!  O soul departed! 
Farewell!  O sacred urn! 
Bereaved and broken-hearted,
To earth the mourners turn. 
To the dim and dreary shore,
Thou art gone our steps before! 
But thither the swift Hours lead us,
And thou dost but a while precede us,
Loved urn, and thou solemn cell,
Mute ashes!—­farewell, farewell! 


Ilicet—­ire licet—­
Ah, vainly would we part! 
Thy tomb is the faithful heart. 
About evermore we bear thee;
For who from the heart can tear thee? 
Vainly we sprinkle o’er us
The drops of the cleansing stream;
And vainly bright before us
The lustral fire shall beam. 
For where is the charm expelling
Thy thought from its sacred dwelling? 
Our griefs are thy funeral feast,
And Memory thy mourning priest. 


Ilicet—­ire licet! 
The spark from the hearth is gone
Wherever the air shall bear it;
The elements take their own—­
The shadows receive thy spirit. 
It will soothe thee to feel our grief,
As thou glid’st by the Gloomy River! 
If love may in life be brief,
In death it is fixed for ever. 
In the hall which our feasts illume,
The rose for an hour may bloom;
But the cypress that decks the tomb—­
The cypress is green for ever! 

Chapter IX

In which an Adventure happens to Ione.

While some stayed behind to share with the priests the funeral banquet, Ione and her handmaids took homeward their melancholy way.  And now (the last duties to her brother performed) her mind awoke from its absorption, and she thought of her allianced, and the dread charge against him.  Not—­as we have before said—­attaching even a momentary belief to the unnatural accusation, but nursing the darkest suspicion against Arbaces, she felt that justice to her lover and to her murdered relative demanded her to seek the praetor, and communicate her impression, unsupported as it might be.  Questioning her maidens, who had hitherto—­kindly anxious, as I have said, to save her the additional agony—­refrained from informing her of the state of Glaucus, she learned that he had been dangerously ill:  that he was in custody, under the roof of Sallust; that the day of his trial was appointed.

‘Averting gods,’ she exclaimed; ’and have I been so long forgetful of him?  Have I seemed to shun him?  O! let me hasten to do him justice—­to show that I, the nearest relative of the dead, believe him innocent of the charge.  Quick! quick! let us fly.  Let me soothe—­tend—­cheer him! and if they will not believe me; if they will not lead to my conviction; if they sentence him to exile or to death, let me share the sentence with him!’

Project Gutenberg
Last Days of Pompeii from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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