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CLEOPATRA ON THE CYDNUS.
And an echo-like the desert's call,—
And the amber breezes float,
Like thoughts to be dreamed of but never told,
She has stepped on the burning sand;
And the thousand tongues are mute :
And the Syrian strikes, with a trembling hand,
And the Æthiop's heart throbs loud and high,
And the Lybian kneels, as he meets her eye,
Like the flash of an Eastern star !
The gales may not be heard,
Yet the silken streamers quiver,
And the vessel shoots-like a bright-plumed bird—
Away by the lofty mount!
And away by the lonely shore !
And away by the gushing of many a fount-
O for some warning vision there,
Some voice that should have spoken
And hope and beauty blasted !— That scenes so fair and hearts so gay Should be so early wasted!
A dream of other days!
That land is a desert now!
And grief grew up to dim the blaze
The whirlwind's burning wing hath cast
For like her fervid clime that bred
Her heart-like Indian widows-fed
Not such the song her minstrels sing-
Cleopatra at Actium.
THOMAS K. HERVEY.
HE banners of the world are met upon that wild blue
The sun hath risen that shall set upon an empire's grave; From tongues of many a land bursts forth the war-shout to the breeze,
And half the crowns of all the earth are played for on the seas!
The ocean hath a tinge of blood,-a sound of woe the air; Death swims his pale steed through the flood-O what doth woman there?
The shout of nations, in their strife, rings far along the lea, And what doth Egypt's dark-eyed queen upon that battle-sea?
CLEOPATRA AT ACTIUM.
The Cydnus, hath it not the same bright wave and gentle flow
With which it stole to Tarsus, in those happy years ago, When music haunted all the shores by which its waters rolled, And she came down the river in her galley of the gold?
Her oars were of the silver then, and to her purple sails,
Oh, the old city! and alas! the young and blessed dream
And love has launched this battle-bark that steered that golden boat.
And she is yet, to one high heart, through all this cloud of
As in that city of the sea, its own and only star—
The cynosure that shines as bright, across that place of
As first it rose upon his soul from o'er the Cydnus' waves.
O, love, that is so bold to dare, should be more strong to do, Or what, O what doth Egypt there, with that soft, silken crew?
And she should have a firmer soul who treads the battle-deck; And passion, where it fails to save, is, oh, too sure to wreck!
And her's is still the spendthrift heart, that, when a wayward girl,
In passion's hour to pleasure's bowl cast in a priceless pearl; But oh, her wealth of hoarded gems were all too poor to pay The one rich pearl, in this wild hour her fears have flung away!
The princely pearl to whom her brow, though dark, seemed, oh, how fair!
And crowns were only precious things, when in her raven hair;
Who paid her smiles with diadems,—and bought, at empire's cost,
The love which he must lose to-day,—when all beside is lost!
She hath risen like a queen !and now
-a pause—a moment's pause !
One word hath torn the golden badge from off her royal brow!
The prows are turned to Egypt, and the flying sails unfurled, And the western breeze hath borne from him the fortunes of the world!
THOMAS K. HERVEY.
Charge of the Light Brigade.
HALF a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.