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- Old Spookses' Pass - 6/37 -


XLII.

Heard the far pipes mad and sweet. All the ruddy hazes thrill: Heard the loud beam crash and beat, In the red vat on the hill.

XLIII.

Wide his nostrils as a stag's Drew the hot wind's fiery bliss; Red his lips as river flags, From the strong, Caecuban kiss.

XLIV.

On his swarthy temples grew, Purple veins like cluster'd grapes; Past his rolling pupils blew, Wine-born, fierce, lascivious shapes.

XLV.

Cold the haughty Spartan smiled-- His the power to knit that day, Bacchic fires, insensate, wild, To the grand Achean clay.

XLVI.

His the might--hence his the right! Who should bid him pause? nor Fate Warning pass'd before his sight, Dark-robed and articulate.

XLVII.

No black omens on his eyes, Sinistre--God-sent, darkly broke; Nor from ruddy earth nor skies, Portends to him mutely spoke.

XLVIII.

"Lo," he said, "he maddens now! "Flames divine do scathe the clod; "Round his reeling Helot brow "Stings the garland of the God."

XLIX.

"Mark, my Hermos--turn to steel The soft tendons of thy soul! Watch the God beneath the heel Of the strong brute swooning roll!

L.

"Shame, my Hermos! honey-dew Breeds not on the Spartan spear; Steel thy mother-eyes of blue, Blush to death that weakling tear.

LI.

"Nay, behold! breed Spartan scorn Of the red lust of the wine; Watch the God himself down-borne By the brutish rush of swine!

LII.

"Lo, the magic of the drink! At the nimble wine's pursuit, See the man-half'd satyr sink All the human in the brute!

LIII.

"Lo, the magic of the cup! Watch the frothing Helot rave! As great buildings labour up From the corpse of slaughter'd slave,

LIV.

"Build the Spartan virtue high From the Helot's wine-dead soul; Scorn the wild, hot flames that fly From the purple-hearted bowl!

LV.

"Helot clay! Gods! what its worth, Balanc'd with proud Sparta's rock? Ours--its force to till the earth; Ours--its soul to gyve and mock!

LVI.

"Ours, its sullen might. Ye Gods! Vastly build the Achean clay; Iron-breast our slavish clods-- _Ours_ their Helot souls to slay!

LVII.

"Knit great thews--smite sinews vast Into steel--build Helot bones Iron-marrowed:--such will last Ground by ruthless Sparta's stones.

LVIII.

"Crown the strong brute satyr wise! Narrow-wall his Helot brain; Dash the soul from breast and eyes, Lash him toward the earth again.

LIX.

"Make a giant for our need, Weak to feel and strong to toil; Dully-wise to dig or bleed On proud Sparta's alien soil!

LX.

"Gods! recall thy spark at birth, Lit his soul with high desire; Blend him, grind him with the earth, Tread out old Achea's fire!

LXI.

"Lo, my Hermos! laugh and mark, See the swift mock of the wine; Faints the primal, God-born spark, Trodden by the rush of swine!

LXII.

"Gods! ye love our Sparta--ye Gave with vine that leaps and runs O'er her slopes, these slaves to be Mocks and warnings to her sons!"

LXIII.

Cold the haughty Spartan smil'd. Madd'ning from the purple hills Sang the far pipes, sweet and wild. Red as sun-pierc'd daffodils

LXIV.

Neck-curv'd, serpent, silent, scaled With lock'd rainbows, stole the sea; On the sleek, long beaches; wail'd Doves from column and from tree.

LXV.

Reel'd the mote swarm'd haze, and thick Beat the hot pulse of the air; In the Helot, fierce and quick, All his soul sprang from its lair.

LXVI.

As the drowzing tiger, deep In the dim cell, hears the shout From the arena--from his sleep Launches to its thunders out--


Old Spookses' Pass - 6/37

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