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ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
I AM dying, Egypt, dying,
Ebbs the crimson life-tide fast,
Gather on the evening blast;
Hush thy sobs and bow thine ear;
Thou, and thou alone, inust hear.
Though my scarr'd and veteran legions
wreck’d and scatter'd 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 fell’d him.
'Twas his own that struck the blow: His who, pillow'd on thy bosom,
Turn'd aside from glory's ray, His who, drunk with thy caresses,
Madly threw a world away.
Should the base Plebeian rabble
Dare assail my name at Rome,
spouse, Octavia, Weeps within her widow'd home,
Seek her; say the gods bear witness
Altars, 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.
Let his brow the laurel twine;
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!
WILLIAM HAINES Lytle,
HERE, Charmian, take
my bracelets, The bar with a purple stain My arms; turn over my pillows
They are hot where I have lain: Open the lattice wider,
A gauze on my bosom throw,
And let me inhale the odors
That over the garden blow.
I dreamed I was with my Antony,
And in his arms I lay ;
The music has died away.
As this spiced aromatic pastille
Is now but an ashy hill.
Scatter upon me rose-leaves,
They cool me after my sleep, And with sandal odors fan me
Till into my veins they creep :
A melancholy tune,
And the slumbering afternoon.
There, drowsing in golden sunlight,
Loiters the slow smooth Nile,
The wary crocodile.
And opens its heart of gold,
Never a ripple is rolled.
Those feathery palms to wave,
little cloud is as motionless As a stone above a grave.
Ah, me! this lifeless nature
Oppresses my heart and brain ! Oh! for a storm and thunder
For lightning and wild fierce rain ! Fling down that lute--I hate it!
Take rather his buckler and sword, And crash them and clash them together
Till this sleeping world is stirred.
Hark! to my Indian beauty
My cockatoo, creamy white,
That flashes across the light.
To his hoop of gold he clings,
And shrieks as he madly swings! Oh, cockatoo, shriek for Antony !
Cry, “Come, my love, come home!” Shriek, “ Antony! Antony! Antony!”
Till he hears you even in Rome.
There—leave me, and take from my chamber
That stupid little gazelle,
And its silly tinkling bell !
The thing without blood or brain,