Here represent their shadowy presences,
May pierce them on the sudden with the thorn
Of painful blindness; leaving thee forlorn,
In trembling dotage to the feeblest fright
Of conscience, for their long-offended might,
For all thine impious proud-heart sophistries,
Unlawful magic, and enticing lies.
Corinthians! look upon that grey-beard wretch!
Mark how, possessd, his lashless eyelids stretch
Around his demon eyes! Corinthians, see!
My sweet bride withers at their potency.
Fool! said the sophist, in an under-tone,
Gruff with contempt; which a death-nighing moan
From Lycius answerd, as, heart-struck and lost,
He sank supine beside the aching ghost.
Fool! Fool! repeated he, while his eyes still
Relented not, nor moved; from every ill
Of life have I preserved thee to this day,
And shall I see thee made a serpents prey?
Then Lamia breathed death-breath; the sophists eye,
Like a sharp spear, went through her utterly,
Keen, cruel, perceant, stinging: she, as well
As her weak hand could any meaning tell,
Motiond him to be silent; vainly so;
He lookd and lookd again a levelNo!
A serpent! echoed he. No sooner said,
Than with a frightful scream she vanished;
And Lycius arms were empty of delight,
As were his limbs of life, from that same night.
On the high couch he layhis friends came round
Supported him; no pulse or breath they found,
And in its marriage robe the heavy body wound.1
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