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ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

Does she vouchsafe a thought of me?
Sometimes I think she does; and then
I'm forced to grope in doubt again,
Which seems my normal state to be.

Why don't I ask, and asking know?
I grant perhaps it might be wise;
But when I look into her eyes,
And hear her voice which thrills me so,

I think that on the whole I won't;

I'd rather doubt than know she don't.

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

I am dying, Egypt, dying!

Ebbs the crimson life-tide fast,
And the dark Plutonian shadows
Gather on the evening blast.
Let thine arm, O Queen, support me;
Hush thy sobs and bow thine ear!
Hearken to the great heart secrets

Thou, and thou alone, must hear.

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Though my scarred and veteran legions
Rear their eagles high no more,
And my wrecked and scattered galleys
Strew dark Actium's fatal shore;

Though no glittering guards surround me,
Prompt to do their master's will,
I must perish like a Roman-
Die the great Triumvir still!

Let not Cæsar's servile minions Mock the lion thus laid low: 'Twas no foeman's arm that felled him; "Twas his own that dealt the blowHis, who pillowed on thy bosom,

Turned aside from glory's ray— His, who drunk with thy caresses, Madly threw a world away—

Should the base plebeian rabble

Dare assail my fame in Rome, Where my noble spouse, Octavia,

Weeps within her widowed home, Seek her! Say the gods have told meAltars, augurs, circling wings— That her blood with mine commingled Yet shall mount the throne of kings!

As for thee, star-eyed Egyptian!

Glorious sorceress of the Nile! Light the path to Stygian horrors

With the splendors of thy smile. Give to Cæsar crowns and arches, Let his brow the laurel twine,

CLEOPATRA TO ANTONY.

I can scorn the Senate's triumphs,
Triumphing in love like thine.

I am dying, Egypt, dying!
Hark! the insulting foeman's cry!
They are coming! Quick, my falchion!
Let me front them ere I die.
Ah! no more amid the battle
Shall my heart exulting swell;
Isis and Osiris guard thee-
Cleopatra-Rome-farewell.

GEN. WILLIAM H. LYTTLE.

CLEOPATRA TO ANTONY.

Spread a feast with choicest viands-
Friends, 'twill be my very last;
Bring the rarest flowers to grace it—
Haste, my sands of life flow fast;
Place an asp beneath the lotus

That shall light me to the grave
With its starry petals' splendor;

Weep not, let your hearts be brave.

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Speed, Octavia, with thy minions

Fire thy heart with deadly hate! Thou wilt miss the royal victim— Cleopatra rules her fate!

She defies Rome's conquering legions!
Let them triumph in her fall!
What is earthly pomp or greatness?—
Love, thy love outweighs it all!

Thrones and scepters are but trifles
To my spirit's yearning pain;
What were fortune's gifts without thee
I would lose the world to gain?
Let no base heart tell our story;

Ages, speak, when time unurns
These dull ashes, say to Ages,

Soul to soul their love still burns.

Fatal asp, thy sleep's not endless,
That the morrow's dawn will prove;
I shall reign in lands elysian,
Antony's proud Queen of Love!
Isis and Osiris, hear me !

Hear me, gods of boundless power! Ye have tasted deathless passion! Ye will guide me to his bower!

Pardon, mighty ones, the error

If Octavia I have wronged, Judged by higher laws supernal; Ah! how earthly passions thronged, Overpowering heart and reason,

Nature, answering Nature's call,

CLEOPATRA TO ANTONY.

Rushed as cloud responsive rushes
On to cloud, to meet and-fall.

Antony, my love, I'm dying!

Curdles fast life's crimson tide,
But no dark Plutonian shadows
Fall between us to divide.
Hark! the Stygian waters swelling,
Call me, love, with thee to rest,-
Death I fear not since thou braved it,
Pillowed on my aching breast.
Strange emotions fill my bosom

As I near the vast unknown;
Yet my heart still throbs in dying,
Antony, for thee alone,
Oh! "I feel immortal longings,"-
I can brave stern Pluto's frown,-
Robe me in my regal garments,

Deck with jewels, scepter, crown.

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183

Antony, I'm coming! coming!

Open, open wide thine arms! Ah! the blissful hope of union

Robs the grave of its alarms. See the glorious heroes beckon

O'er the Stygian water's swell, I shall have immortal crowning! Egypt-dear old Nile !-farewell. SARAH DOUDNEY.

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