Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
 
Song of the Stygian Naiades
By Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803–1849)
 
PROSERPINE may pull her flowers,
  Wet with dew or wet with tears,
  Red with anger, pale with fears,
Is it any fault of ours,
If Pluto be an amorous king,        5
  And comes home nightly, laden,
Underneath his broad bat-wing,
  With a gentle, mortal maiden?
Is it so, Wind, is it so?
All that you and I do know        10
Is, that we saw fly and fix
’Mongst the reeds and flowers of Styx,
          Yesterday,
Where the Furies made their hay
For a bed of tiger-cubs,        15
A great fly of Beelzebub’s,
The bee of hearts, whom mortals name
Cupid, Love, and Fie for shame.
 
Proserpine may weep in rage,
  But, ere you and I have done        20
  Kissing, bathing in the sun,
What I have in yonder cage,
Bird or serpent, wild or tame,
  She shall guess, and ask in vain;
  But, if Pluto does’t again,        25
It shall sing out loud his shame.
  What hast caught then? What hast caught?
Nothing but a poet’s thought,
Which so light did fall and fix
’Mongst the reeds and flowers of Styx,        30
          Yesterday,
Where the Furies made their hay
For a bed of tiger-cubs,—
A great fly of Beelzebub’s,
The bee of hearts, whom mortals name        35
Cupid, Love, and Fie for shame.
 
 
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