Leucippe.    Don’t keep your arm about my waist.

Alciphron.   Might you not stumble?

Leucippe.                           Well then, do.
                   But why are we in all this haste?

Alciphron.   To sing.

Leucippe.                    Alas! and not play too?

580   Dirce

STAND close around, ye Stygian set,
   With Dirce in one boat convey’d!
Or Charon, seeing, may forget
   That he is old and she a shade.

581   On Catullus

TELL me not what too well I know
   About the bard of Sirmio.
   Yes, in Thalia’s son
Such stains there are—as when a Grace
Sprinkles another’s laughing face
   With nectar, and runs on.

582   The Dragon-fly

LIFE (priest and poet say) is but a dream;
     I wish no happier one than to be laid
     Beneath a cool syringa’s scented shade,
Or wavy willow, by the running stream,
     Brimful of moral, where the dragon- fly,
     Wanders as careless and content as I.

Thanks for this fancy, insect king,
Of purple crest and filmy wing,
Who with indifference givest up
The water-lily’s golden cup,
To come again and overlook
What I am writing in my book.
Believe me, most who read the line
Will read with hornier eyes than thine;
And yet their souls shall live for ever,
And thine drop dead into the river!
God pardon them, O insect king,
Who fancy so unjust a thing!

583   Years

YEARS, many parti-colour’d years,
   Some have crept on, and some have flown
Since first before me fell those tears
   I never could see fall alone.

Years, not so many, are to come,
   Years not so varied, when from you
One more will fall: when, carried home,
   I see it not, nor hear Adieu.

584   Finis

I STROVE with none, for none was worth my strife.
Nature I loved and, next to Nature, Art:
I warm’d both hands before the fire of life;
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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