Page:Aurora Leigh a Poem.djvu/43

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34
AURORA LEIGH.


To keep the mouths of all the godheads moist
For everlasting laughters,—I, myself,
Half drunk across the beaker, with their eyes!
How those gods look!
 Enough so, Ganymede.
We shall not bear above a round or two—
We drop the golden cup at Heré’s foot
And swoon back to the earth,—and find ourselves
Face-down among the pine-cones, cold with dew,
While the dogs bark, and many a shepherd scoffs,
‘What’s come now to the youth?’ Such ups and downs
Have poets.
 Am I such indeed? The name
Is royal, and to sign it like a queen,
Is what I dare not,—though some royal blood
Would seem to tingle in me now and then,
With sense of power and ache,—with imposthumes
And manias usual to the race. Howbeit
I dare not: ’tis too easy to go mad,
And ape a Bourbon in a crown of straws;
The thing’s too common.
 Many fervent souls
Strike rhyme on rhyme, who would strike steel on steel
If steel had offered, in a restless heat
Of doing something. Many tender souls
Have strung their losses on a rhyming thread,
As children, cowslips:—the more pains they take,
The work more withers. Young men, ay, and maids,
Too often sow their wild oats in tame verse,
Before they sit down under their own vine