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HERC. I still know naught. Thy teaching is not clear.
ADM. Know'st not the fate, with which she needs must meet?
Herc. I know she undertook to die for thee,
Adm. How can she live then, if she promised this?
HERC. Hold-mourn not for her till her end is come. 590
ADM. Death and the point of death are all the same.
HERC. Not so are deemed “to be” and “not to be.”
Adm. Thy judgment differs, Hercules, from mine.
HERC. Why then dost weep? who of thy friends is dead ?
Adm. A lady: we did speak of one but now.
HERC. Was she allied by birth? or strange to thee?
Adm. Strange, and yet bound by many ties to us.
HERC. How was it then, that in thy halls she died ?
ADM. Her father died. She lived an orphan here,
HERC. Alas! that I should find thee thus in grief. 600
Adm. With what intent, I pray, dost frame thy speech?
HERC. Some other host and hearth I fain would seek.
ADM. Not so, good sir! such evil, Gods, avert!
HERC. Guests add but trouble to a mourning home.
ADM. The dead are dead. I bid thee to our halis.
HERC. 'Twere surely base to feast with weeping friends.
ADM. A chamber parts our guests from scenes of death.
Herc. Nay! let me go, ten thousand thanks are thine.

Adm. No other hearth of mortal shalt thou seek.
Lead on. Throw wide the palace guest-chamber :

610 It stands apart : and let my stewards see That there be store of meats. Take care they close The mid-hall doors, I would not feasting friends Should hear our wailing, and be sad perforce.

Chor. What dost thou? bast thou heart to welcome guests When sorrow clings thee? art thou mad, my liege?

Adm. How! bad I closed my palace, and our walls
On this my guest, say, hadst thou praised me more?
Not so! the act would prove a sorry host,
And have no power to make my sorrow less.

620
Yea, to my woes this other men would join,
And brand my dwellings as the “guest-hating.”
Besides : I find this guest a noble friend,
When I to thirsting Argos bend my steps.

Chor. How didst conceal, I pray, thy present fate,
Wben, as thou sayest, an ancient friend arrived ?

Adm. Had he but known the least of these my woes,
He ne'er had crossed the threshold of my house.
To some, no doubt, I seem herein to err,
And they will blame: yet still my palace gates

630 Know not the art to spurn, or frown on, guests.

CHORUS. Ye balls of one so far renowned

For hospitality:
Where erst a rest Apollo found,

And deigned a serf to be:
Apollo, master of the lyre,

Was fain near you to feed
The bleating flocks, and ne'er would tire

O'er sloping hills to lead
His fleecy charge : with frequent song
Whiling his toilsome road along,

And piping shepherd's strain;
Whilst spotted lynxes to his lay
Would throng: and oft with lambkins play,

Nor gentler mood disdain.

640

650

Thy forest, Othrys, saw the troop

Of savage lions roam,
To mingle with the various group

Far from their silvan home.
Around thy cithern, Phoebus, then

The dappled fawn would sport,
With light foot leave the tall pine glen,

And seek the glad resort;
Delighting in the tuneful sound,
Which echoes all the greenwood round;-

Hence doth the God bestow
Upon my lord a home which teems
With rich flocks, where thy gentle streams,

O lake of Beebe, flow.

660

And therefore the Molossian clime

A limit sets and bound,
Where stalled at darksome even-time

Sol's thirsting steeds are found,
Unto our monarchs wide domain,

The tillage of his fields,
And wheresoe'er the utmost plain

Its grassy produce yields.
But on the east he holds his sway
As far as to the watery way,

And e'en the portless shore,
On which the heights of Pelion look,
And scarce the blue Ægean brook,

They frown so darkly o’er.

670

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His flowing tresses spread the ground:
Whilst thus reposing he was found;
Three lovely nymphs unconscious strayed

Close to the spot where he was laid :
January, 1849.-VOL. LIV.—NO. CCXIII.

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In those strange old times, when fantastic dreams and madmen's reveries were realized among the actual circumstances of life, two persons met together at an appointed hour and place. One was a lady, graceful in form and fair of feature, though pale and troubled, and smitten with an untimely blight in what should have been the fullest bloom of her years : the other was an ancient and meanly dressed woman, of ill-favored aspect, and so withered, shrunken and decrepit, that even the space since she began to decay must have exceeded the ordinary term

of human existence. In the spot where they encountered, no mortal could observe them. Three little hills stood near each other, and down in the midst of them sunk a hollow basin, almost mathematically circular, two or three hundred feet in breadth, and of such depth that a stately cedar might but just be visible above the sides. Dwarf pines were numerous upon the hills, and partly fringed the outer verge of the intermediate hollow; within which there was nothing but the brown grass of October, and here and there a tree-trunk, that had fallen long ago, and lay mouldering with no green successor from its roots. One of these masses of decaying wood, formerly a majestic oak, rested close beside a pool of green and sluggish water at the bottom of the basin. Such scenes as this ( so gray tradition tells ) were once the resort of a Power of Evil and his plighted subjects; and here, at midnight or on the dim verge of evening, they were said to stand round the mantling pool, disturbing its putrid waters in the performance of an impious baptismal rite. The chill beauty of an autumnal sunset was now gilding the three hilltops, whence a paler tint stole down their sides into the hollow.

“Here is our pleasant meeting come to pass,” said the aged crone, “ according as thou hast desired. Say quickly what thou would'st have of me, for there is but a short hour that we may tarry here.

As the old withered woman spoke, a smile glimmered on her countenance, lıke lamplight on the wall of a sepulchre. The lady trembled, and cast her eyes upward to the verge of the basin, as if meditating to return with her purpose unaccomplished. But it was not so ordained.

“I am a stranger in this land, as you know," said she at length. “Whence I come it matters not; but I have left those behind me with whom my fate was intimately bound, and from whom I am cut off for ever. There is a weight in my bosom that I cannot away with, and I have come hither to inquire of their welfare."

5 And who is there by this green pool, that can bring thee news from the ends of the earth ?” cried the old woman, peering into the lady's face. “Not from my lips mayest thou hear these tidings; yet, be thou bold, and the daylight shall not pass away from yonder hill-top, before thy wish be granted.

“I will do your bidding, though I die,” replied the lady, desperately.

The old woman seated herself on the trunk of a fallen tree, threw aside the hood that shrouded her gray locks, and beckoned her companion to draw near.

“ Kneel down,” she said, “and lay your forehead on my knees."

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