Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Greece
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX.  1876–79.
 
Greece: Naxos, the Island
Theseus and Ariadne
Francis Beaumont (1586–1616) and John Fletcher (1579–1625)
 
(From The Maid’s Tragedy)

ASPATIA.  ’T is enough, my wench.
Show me the piece of needlework you wrought.
  ANTIPHILA.  Of Ariadne, madam?
  ASP.                            Yes, that piece.
This should be Theseus; he ’s a cozening face.
You meant him for a man?
  ANT.                    He was so, madam.
        5
  ASP.  Why, thus, ’t is well enough. Never look back,
You have a full wind and a false heart, Theseus.
Does not the story say his keel was split,
Or his masts spent, or some kind rock or other
Met with his vessel?
  ANT.                Not as I remember.
        10
  ASP.  It should have been so. Could the gods know this,
And not of all their number raise a storm?
But they are all as evil. This false smile
Was well expressed; just such another caught me.
You shall not go so.        15
Antiphila, in this place work a quicksand,
And over it a shallow smiling water,
And his ship ploughing it; and then a tear:
Do that tear bravely, wench.
  ANT.  ’T will wrong the story.        20
  ASP.  ’T will make the story, wronged by wanton poets,
Live long and be believed. But where ’s the lady?
  ANT.  There, madam.
  ASP.  Fie, you have missed it here, Antiphila;
You are much mistaken, wench:        25
These colors are not dull and pale enough
To show a soul so full of misery
As this sad lady’s was. Do it by me,
Do it again by me, the lost Aspatia;
And you shall find all true but the wild island.        30
Suppose I stand upon the sea-beach now,
Mine arms thus, and mine hair blown with the wind,
Wild as that desert; and let all about me
Tell that I am forsaken. Do my face
(If thou hadst ever feeling of a sorrow)        35
Thus, thus, Antiphila: strive to make me look
Like Sorrow’s monument; and the trees about me,
Let them be dry and leafless; let the rocks
Groan with continual surges; and behind me
Make all a desolation.        40
 
 
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