Animal poems/ page 7 of 37 /
WHAT sounds are those, Helvellyn, that are heard
Up to thy summit, through the depth of air
Once on a time, some centuries ago,
In the hot sunshine two Franciscan friars
What tho' first,
In years unseason'd, I attuned the lay
To idle passion and unreal woe?
Yet serious truth her empire o'er my song
If nobody smiled and nobody cheered and nobody helped us along,
If each every minute looked after himself and good things all went to the
If nobody cared just a little for you, and nobody thought about me,
And we stood all alone to the battle of life, what a dreary old world it
See! There he stands; not brave, but with an air
Of sullen stupor. Mark him well! Is he
Not more like brute than man? Look in his eye!
No light is there; none, save the glint that shines
In the now glaring, and now shifting orbs
Of some wild animal caught in the hunter's trap.
FROM AN UNROLLED MANUSCRIPT OF APOLLONIUS CURIUS
(The Argument: Lycus, detained by Circe in her magical dominion, is beloved by a Water Nymph, who, desiring to render him immortal, has recourse to the Sorceress. Circe gives her an incantation to pronounce, which should turn Lycus into a horse; but the horrible effect of the charm causing her to break off in the midst, he becomes a Centaur).