To Rhodocleia on her Melancholy Singing
[Rhodocleia was beloved by Rufinus, one of the late poets of the Greek Anthology.]
Still, Rhodocleia, brooding on the dead,
Still singing of the meads of asphodel,
Lands desolate of delight?
Say, hast thou dreamed of, or remembered,
The shores where shadows dwell,
Nor know the sun, nor see the stars of night?
There, 'midst thy music, doth thy spirit gaze
As a girl pines for home,
Looking along the way that she hath come,
Sick to return, and counts the weary days!
So wouldst thou flee
Back to the multitude whose days are done,
Wouldst taste the fruit that lured Persephone,
The sacrament of death; and die, and be
No more in the wind and sun!
Thou hast not dreamed it, but remembered
I know thou hast been there,
Hast seen the stately dwellings of the dead
Rise in the twilight air,
And crossed the shadowy bridge the spirits tread,
And climbed the golden stair!
Nay, by thy cloudy hair
And lips that were so fair,
Sad lips now mindful of some ancient smart,
And melancholy eyes, the haunt of Care,
I know thee who thou art!
That Rhodocleia, Glory of the Rose,
Of Hellas, ere her close,
That Rhodocleia who, when all was done
The golden time of Greece, and fallen her sun,
Swayed her last poet's heart.
With roses did he woo thee, and with song,
With thine own rose, and with the lily sweet,
The dark-eyed violet,
Garlands of wind-flowers wet,
And fragrant love-lamps that the whole night long
Burned till the dawn was burning in the skies,
Praising thy golden eyes,
And feet more silvery than Thetis' feet!
But thou didst die and flit
Among the tribes outworn,
The unavailing myriads of the past:
Oft he beheld thy face in dreams of morn,
And, waking, wept for it,
Till his own time came at last,
And then he sought thee in the dusky land!
Wide are the populous places of the dead
Where souls on earth once wed
May never meet, nor each take other's hand,
Each far from the other fled!
So all in vain he sought for thee, but thou
Didst never taste of the Lethaean stream,
Nor that forgetful fruit,
The mystic pom'granate;
But from the Mighty Warden fledst; and now,
The fugitive of Fate,
Thou farest in our life as in a dream,
Still wandering with thy lute,
Like that sweet paynim lady of old song,
Who sang and wandered long,
For love of her Aucassin, seeking him!
So with thy minstrelsy
Thou roamest, dreaming of the country dim,
Below the veiled sky!
There doth thy lover dwell,
Singing, and seeking still to find thy face
In that forgetful place:
Thou shalt not meet him here,
Not till thy singing clear
Through all the murmur of the streams of hell
Wins to the Maiden's ear!
May she, perchance, have pity on thee and call
Thine eager spirit to sit beside her feet,
Passing throughout the long unechoing hall
Up to the shadowy throne,
Where the lost lovers of the ages meet;
Till then thou art alone!
Sorry, no summary available yet.