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For Love goes lowly; – but Oppression's tall,
And with surpassing strides goes foremost still
Where Love indeed can hardly reach at all;
Like a poor dwarf o'erburthened with good will,
That labors to efface the tracks of ill.
“Man even strives with Man, but we eschew
The guilty feud, and all fierce strifes abhor ;
Nay, we are gentle as sweet heaven's dew,
Beside the red and horrid drops of war,
Weeping the cruel hates men battle for,
Which worldly bosoms nourish in our spite.
For in the gentle breast we ne'er withdraw,
But only when all love hath taken flight,
And youth's warm gracious heart is hardened quite.
“So are our gentle natures intertwined
With sweet humanities, and closely knit
In kindly sympathy with human kind.
Witness how we befriend, with elfin-wit,
All hopeless maids and lovers, — nor omit
Magical succors unto hearts forlorn :-
We charm man's life, and do not perish it ; —
So judge us by the helps we showed this morn
To one who held his wretched days in scorn.
"'T was nigh sweet Amwell;— for the Queen had tasked
Our skill to-day amidst the silver Lea,
Whereon the noontide sun had not yet basked ;
Wherefore some patient man we thought to see,
Planted in moss-grown rushes to the knee,
Beside the cloudy margin cold and dim;
Howbeit no patient fisherman was he
That cast his sudden shadow from the brim,
Making us leave our toils to gaze on him.

“His face was ashy pale, and leaden care
Had sunk the levelled arches of his brow,
Once bridges for his joyous thoughts to fare
Over those melancholy springs and slow,
That from his piteous eyes began to flow,
And fell anon into the chilly stream;
Which, as his mimicked image showed below,
Wrinkled his face with many a needless seam,
Making grief sadder in its own esteem.

“And, lo! upon the air we saw him stretch
His passionate arms; and, in a wayward strain,
He 'gan to elegize that fellow-wretch
That with mute gestures answered him again,
Saying, “Poor slave, how long wilt thou remain
Life's sad weak captive in a prison strong,
Hoping with tears to rust away thy chain,
In bitter servitude to worldly wrong?—
Thou wearest that mortal livery too long!'

“ This, with mere spleenful speeches and some tears,
When he had spent upon the imaged wave,
Speedily I convened my elfin peers
Under the lily-cups, that we might save
This woful mortal from a wilful grave
By shrewd diversions of his mind's regret,
Seeing he was mere Melancholy's slave,
That sank wherever a dark cloud he met,
And straight was tangled in her secret net. .

" Therefore, as still he watched the water's flow,
Daintily we transformed, and with bright fins
Came glancing through the gloom; some from below
Rose like dim fancies when a dream begins,

Snatching the light upon their purple skins;
Then under the broad leaves made slow retire :
One like a golden galley bravely wins
Its radiant course, — another glows like fire, —
Making that wayward man our pranks admire.
" And so he banished thought, and quite forgot
All contemplation of that wretched face ;
And so we wiled him from that lonely spot
Along the river's brink; till, by Heaven's grace,
He met a gentle haunter of the place,
Full of sweet wisdom gathered from the brooks,
Who there discussed his melancholy case .
With wholesome texts learned from kind Nature's books
Meanwhile he newly trimmed his lines and hooks."
Herewith the Fairy ceased. Quoth Ariel now -
“ Let me remember how I saved a man,
Whose fatal noose was fastened on a bough,
Intended to abridge his sad life's span;
For haply I was by when he began
His stern soliloquy in life’s dispraịse,
And overheard his melancholy plan,
How he had made a vow to end bis days,
And therefore followed him in all his ways,
“Through brake and tangled copse, for much he loathed
All populous haunts, and roamed in forests rude,
To hide himself from man. But I had clothed
My delicate limbs with plumes, and still pursued
Where only foxes and wild cats intrude,
Till we were come beside an ancient tree
Late blasted by a storm. Here he renewed
His loud complaints,— choosing that spot to be
The scene of his last horrid tragedy.

“ It was a wild and melancholy glen,
Made gloomy by tall firs and cypress dark,
Whose roots, like any bones of buried men,
Pushed through the rotten sod for fear's remark;
A hundred horrid stems, jagged and stark,
Wrestled with crooked arms in hideous fray,
Besides sleek ashes with their dappled bark,
Like crafty serpents climbing for a prey,
With many blasted oaks moss-grown and gray.
“But here upon this final desperate clause
Suddenly I pronounced so sweet a strain,
Like a panged nightingale it made him pause,
Till half the frenzy of his grief was slain,
The sad remainder oozing from his brain
In timely ecstasies of healing tears,
Which through his ardent eyes began to drain ; —
Meanwhile the deadly fates unclosed their shears :-
So pity me and all my fated peers !”
Thus Ariel ended, and was some time hushed :
When with the hoary shape a fresh tongue pleads,
And red as rose the gentle Fairy blushed
To read the record of her own good deeds :-
“It chanced,” quoth she, “in seeking through the meads.
For honeyed cowslips, sweetest in the morn,
Whilst yet the buds were hung with dewy beads,
And Echo answered to the huntsman's horn,
We found a babe left in the swarths forlorn
“A little, sorrowful, deserted thing,
Begot of love, and yet no love begetting;
Guiltless of shame, and yet for shame to wring;
And too soon banished from a mother's petting,

To churlish nurture and the wide world's fretting, For alien pity and unnatural care; — Alas! to see how the cold dew kept wetting His childish coats, and dabbled all his hair, Like gossamers across his forehead fair. “ His pretty pouting mouth, witless of speech, Lay half-way open like a rose-lipped shell ; And his young cheek was softer than a peach, Whereon his tears, for roundness, could not dwell, But quickly rolled themselves to pearls, and fell, Some on the grass, and some against his hand, Or haply wandered to the dimpled well, Which love beside his mouth had sweetly planned, Yet not for tears, but mirth and smilings bland. “Pity it was to see those frequent tears Falling regardless from his friendless eyes; There was such beauty in those twin blue spheres, As any mother's heart might leap to prize ; Blue were they, like the zenith of the skies Softened betwixt two clouds, both clear and mild ;Just touched with thought, and yet not over wise, They showed the gentle spirit of a child, Not yet by care or any craft defiled. “Pity it was to see the ardent sun Scorching his helpless limbs — it shone so warm; For kindly shade or shelter he had none, Nor mother’s gentle breast, come fair or storm. Meanwhile I bade my pitying mates transform Like grasshoppers, and then, with shrilly cries, All round the infant noisily we swarm, Haply some passing rustic to advise — Whilst providential Heaven our care espies

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