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Towards her lover's distant home.
Ah, no bridge from yonder region
O'er the sea with safe arch lay;
From the shore no vessel ventures,
Yet can love discern its way.
Love, with safely-warning thread, From the labyrinth has led; Love can make the timid dare, Taine the beasts of wildest ire, Bind the bulls, though breathing fire, To the plough with diamond share. E'en o'er Styx bold love hath ventured, Where its ninefold circles flowed; And with fearless arm the loved one Raised from Pluto's dark abode.
Thus, the god, whose strong desire E'en in floods preserves its fire, Courage to Leander gave; And when day's last beams grew dim, Led by love, he dared to swim O'er the Pontus' sombre wave. With strong arm the stream dividing, See, he toils the shore to gain, Where, on highest turret burning, Shines the beacon o’er the main.
And in safe affection's arm,
There the happy youth grew warm,
When the chilling course was o'er ;
There he gains the guerdon high,
Reads his welcome in love's eye,
And is blest for all he bore :
Till his joys and blissful visions
At Aurora's coming flee;
Then he turns from love's soft bosom,
Plunging in the chilly sea.
And thus flew the thirtieth day,
Mid concealed delights away,
Swiftly for the happy pair,
Swift as marriage revelry,
Such a gods with envy see,
Gods forever young and fair.
Happiness ye ne'er have tasted,
Ye, who ne'er on danger's brink
Plucked the heavenly fruit, and feared not
In the gulf of death to sink.
Now the sea, in darkness swelling,
Foams and menaces afar;
And the near approaching tempest
Shrouds the light of every star.
O’er the Hellespont's wide plain
Night descends, and streams of rain
Gusb from every sweeping cloud;
Thunder peals; the wild wind raves ;
Bursting from their rocky caves
Storms break loose and roar aloud.
In the troubled waste of waters
Hideous eddies hurl and hiss
}; Like the opening jaws of Oreus Widely yawns the sea's abyss.
Then she cried, " great Jove relent!
Calm the raging element;
Ah, what have I dared implore?
If the gods have heard my prayer,
If amidst the storm he dare
Plunge to gain the distant shore !
See, the strongest sea-birds gather,
And for refuge haste away;
E’en the ships that ride the tempest,
Fly to gain the sheltered bay.
And the fearless will not shun
Still to do what he hath done,
By his strong affection led;
This he swore by love's own oath,
And at parting pledged his troth;
He will venture, or he's dead.
Now, perchance, e'en now he's wrestling
With the wildness of the storm,
And the angry flood uplifted
Now entombs his noble form.
Faithless Pontus, thou did'st smile
Fair as mercy's self awhile;
Like a mirror smooth and pure;
Calmly spread thy waters lay,
But more surely to betray,
And within thy realms allure.
Now, when struggling with thy current,
Hope discerns no saving shore,
On the youth, whose heart could trust thee,
All thy horrors thou dost pour.
And the tempest louder yells;
High the mountain billow swells ;
On the shore the breakers dash,
Beat the cliffs with mighty stroke;
Hark! the ships, whose ribs are oak,
Perish with a fearful crash.
And the storm hath quenched the beacon
Kindled by love's guiding hand;
Horror broods above the waters,
Horror rests upon
She to Venus lifts her prayer ;
« Bid the hurricane forbear;
Calm the waves, the strong winds hold."
In distress her hands she wrings,
Vows the winds rich offerings,
Bullocks decked with horns of gold.
All the goddesses of ocean,
All the gods, in heaven that dwell,
She invokes, the ternpest's fury
With mild words of peace to quell.
Hear! the voice of sorrow calls ;
Hear, and rise from thy green halls,
Thou, Leucothea, thrice blest!
Whom the seaman oft has found,
When the storms were gathering round,
Kind to rescue the distrest.
Lend, oh lend the sacred garment,
Woven by thy secret care;
Sent from thee that garment safely
Yet from death the yoath may bear.
And the wild winds had repose;
Bright on heaven's far skirt uprose
Morning's steeds o'er hill and lea;
And the waters peaceful pour
In their ancient course once more;
Cheerly smile the land and sea.