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CASSANDRA. CASSANDRA

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i.

Upon yon hill the cresset gleams,
From peak to peak its ruddy beams

Float on the twilight shade;
Along the sky it glances far,
First dimly seen like distant star,
Till fiercer blazing on the sight,

It tells to matron and to maid,
Who watch with anxious eye its quiv'ring light,
That, safe returning from the din of arms,
A son, a lover soon shall bless their arms.

II.

Upon Mycenae's highest tow'r

The sleepless virgin wakes and sighs; Impatient of the tardy hour,

She turns her gaze to Eastern skies; Close o'er her throbbing breast Her folded arms are prest, Her veil floats loosely on the passing breeze, And ever on her lips these fait'ring accents rest * O, Night, along the gloomy seas 'Your fading shadows move; 'And thou, Morn's earliest ray, * Trembling before the car of day, 6 Arise, and give me back my love.'

III.

Her pray'r is heard—along the plain
Steeds, cars, and men, a warlike train,
With waving spear and nodding plume
Emerging from the twilight gloom,
In lengthen'd file appear;

And ey'ry virgin marks the painted shield, Of him by absence made more dear,

Bright gleaming in the dusty field.

Swift as the torrent's tide

Rolls headlong down the mountain's side, Dashing far its pearly dew,

So from Mycenae's heights each maid,

In lightest vest array'd,
To clasp her lover flew;

As curls the stream in foaming wreath

The gloomy rock beneath,

So twin'd each snowy arm and veil

Around the hero's dusky mail.

IV.

'Twas sweet to view the joyous scene,
When o'er the warrior's rugged mien

A smile of recollection stole;
And thoughts of days long pass'd away,
When life was young, and hope was gay,

Came rushing on his soul:

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