Littell's Living Age/Volume 127/Issue 1645/A Song for Galatea

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1566364Littell's Living Age, Volume 127, Issue 1645 — A Song for GalateaJulian Russell Sturgis


A doubtful stir, a sound yet not a sound,
Again the stillness, now a whisper breathed
And lost in breathing — now a growing light
And laughter, laughter from the rosy east
With quickening air and music: on they drive.
Riot of nymph and triton — strange sea-beast —
Foam-flashed and shaken jewels: throned o'er all,
Queen of the pomp yet gentlier than a queen.
Fenced from rough sport yet tuned for merry play.
Rides Galatea, fairest maid that charms
The wild-eyed sea-birds, 'tween the sea and sky.

Galatea, here to thee.
Queen of mirth and jollity.
Raise we loud our jocund song.
Shouting with thy triton throng, —
Shouting, as their horns out ring
At the pleasant song we sing, —
Shouting, merry maid, to thee,
Queen of mirth and jollity.
Ay, perchance on yonder shore
Acis leads his flock once more,
Stares entranced across the wave,
Hopeful of thy pageant brave.
Ay, perchance — or Polypheme,
Where the mountain torrents stream,
Slow to think and slow to move,
Slowly feels the force of love
Rising through his monstrous frame,
Till his great lips shape thy name,
Galatea, hailing thee
Queen of mirth and jollity.

When young Raphael did stand
Lone on Adriatic strand,
Peering far across the brine.
What saw he save charms of thine?
Turned he from the virgin's face.
From her sweet religious grace,
From the chamber tapestried,
Turned as bridegroom to his bride.
Turned afire with sea-king's mood,
Laughed in glory where he stood
Shouting loud across the sea —
Galatea, fresh and free.
Maiden queen, I paint for thee!

I meseems am Acis now
For one moment's joy, as thou.
Tossing all thy tresses free
To the wild wind's revelry,
Look'st with wide and wayward eyes
Into mine. Before me rise
Pomps and pageants pure and bright.
Mete for Raphael's delight,
When he passed from cloister dim.
Saw thee all in sunshine swim,
Gave his loyal heart to thee.
Queen of light and liberty.

Queen, let me thy presence greet.
Let me plunge to kiss thy feet.
Roll amid thy jocund throng.
Winding shell or shouting song.
Where all day the clear green waves
High above thy shadowed caves
Toss their flying crests in glee.
And the brave breeze fitfully
Bears the goodly smell of brine;
Galatea, make me thine.
Singer of sweet songs to thee,
Queen of light and liberty.

J. R. S..
Blackwood's Magazine.