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Hang rich in flowers, and far below them
The long brook falling thro' the clov'n ravine
In cataract after cataract to the sea.
The gorges, opening wide apart, reveal
Hither came at noon
Floated her hair or seem'd to float in rest. She, leaning on a fragment twined with vine,
Sang to the stillness, till the mountainshade
Sloped downward to her seat from the upper cliff.
'O mother Ida, many-fountain'd Ida, Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. For now the noonday quiet holds the hill: The grasshopper is silent in the grass: The lizard, with his shadow on the stone, Rests like a shadow, and the winds are dead.
The purple flower droops: the golden
Is lily-cradled: I alone awake.
My eyes are full of tears, my heart of love, My heart is breaking, and my eyes are dim,
And I am all aweary of my life.
'O mother Ida, many-fountain'd Ida, Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. Hear me, O Earth, hear me, O Hills, O
That house the cold crown'd snake! O mountain brooks,
I am the daughter of a River-God,
'O mother Ida, many-fountain'd Ida, Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. I waited underneath the dawning hills, Aloft the mountain lawn was dewy-dark, And dewy-dark aloft the mountain pine: Beautiful Paris, evil-hearted Paris, Leading a jet-black goat white-horn'd, white-hooved,
Came up from reedy Simois all alone.
'O mother Ida, harken ere I die. Far-off the torrent call'd me from the cleft: Far up the solitary morning smote The streaks of virgin snow. With down
I sat alone: white-breasted like a star Fronting the dawn he moved; a leopard skin
Droop'd from his shoulder, but his sunny hair
Cluster'd about his temples like a God's: And his cheek brighten'd as the foam-bow brightens
When the wind blows the foam, and all
Went forth to embrace him coming ere he came.
'Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. He smiled, and opening out his milkwhite palm
Disclosed a fruit of pure Hesperian gold, That smelt ambrosially, and while I look'd And listen'd, the full-flowing river of speech
Came down upon my heart.
6.66 My own Enone, Beautiful-brow'd Enone, my own soul, Behold this fruit, whose gleaming rind ingrav'n
For the most fair,' would seem to award it thine,
As lovelier than whatever Oread haunt The knolls of Ida, loveliest in all grace Of movement, and the charm of married brows."
Or labour'd mine undrainable of ore. Honour," she said, "and homage, tax and toll,
From many an inland town and haven large,
Mast-throng'd beneath her shadowing citadel
In glassy bays among her tallest towers."
O mother Ida, harken ere I die. Still she spake on and still she spake of power,
"Which in all action is the end of all; Power fitted to the season; wisdombred
And throned of wisdom from all neighbour crowns
Alliance and allegiance, till thy hand Fail from the sceptre-staff. Such boon from me,
From me, Heaven's Queen, Paris, to
A shepherd all thy life but yet king-born, Should come most welcome, seeing men,
Only, are likest gods, who have attain'd
'Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. She ceased, and Paris held, the costly fruit
Out at arm's length, so much the thought of power
Flatter'd his spirit; but Pallas where she stood
Somewhat apart, her clear and bared limbs
O'erthwarted with the brazen-headed spear
Upon her pearly shoulder leaning cold, the while, above, her full and earnest
Would come uncall'd for) but to live by
Acting the law we live by without fear; And because right is right, to follow right
Were wisdom in the scorn of consequence."
'Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. Again she said: "I woo thee not with gifts.
Sequel of guerdon could not alter me
So shalt thou find me fairest.
If gazing on divinity disrobed
So that my vigour, wedded to thy blood,
To push thee forward thro' a life of shocks,
Dangers, and deeds, until endurance grow Sinew'd with action, and the full-grown will,
Circled thro' all experiences, pure law, Commeasure perfect freedom."
'Here she ceas'd, And Paris ponder'd, and I cried, "O Paris,
Give it to Pallas!" but he heard me not, Or hearing would not hear me, woe is me!
Seal'd it with kisses? water'd it with tears?
O happy tears, and how unlike to these! O happy Heaven, how canst thou see my face?
O happy earth, how canst thou bear my weight?
O death, death, death, thou ever-floating cloud,
There are enough unhappy on this earth; Pass by the happy souls, that love to live: I pray thee, pass before my light of life, And shadow all my soul, that I may die. Thou weighest heavy on the heart within, Weigh heavy on my eyelids: let me die.
'O mother, hear me yet before I die. I will not die alone, for fiery thoughts Do shape themselves within me, more and
Whereof I catch the issue, as I hear Dead sounds at night come from the inmost hills,
Like footsteps upon wool. I dimly see My far-off doubtful purpose, as a mother Conjectures of the features of her child Ere it is born: her child! -a shudder