Page:The Hundred Best Poems (lyrical) in the English language - second series.djvu/128

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"I was cut off from hope in that sad place,
 Which men called Aulis in those iron years:
My father held his hand upon his face;
 I, blinded with my tears,

"Still strove to speak: my voice was thick with sighs
 As in a dream. Dimly I could descry
The stern black-bearded kings with wolfish eyes,
 Waiting to see me die.

"The high masts flicker'd as they lay afloat;
 The crowds, the temples, waver'd, and the shore;
The bright death quiver' d at the victim's throat;
 Touch'd; and I knew no more."

Whereto the other with a downward brow:
 "I would the white cold heavy-plunging foam,
Whirl'd by the wind, had roll'd me deep below,
 Then when I left my home."

Her slow full words sank thro' the silence drear,
 As thunder-drops fall on a sleeping sea:
Sudden I heard a voice that cried, "Come here,
 That I may look on thee."

I turning saw, throned on a flowery rise,
 One sitting on a crimson scarf unroll'd;
A queen, with swarthy cheeks and bold black eyes,
 Brow-bound with burning gold.

She, flashing forth a haughty smile, began:
 "I govern'd men by change, and so I sway'd