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John Armstrong (Джон Армстронг)

Progne’s Dream

Darkly expressive of some past Events 
that were soon to be revealed to her.

Last night I dreamt,
Whate'er it may forebode it moves me strangely,
That I was rapt into the raving deep;
An old and reverend sire conducted me:
He plung'd into the bosom of the main,
And bade me not to sear but follow him.
I followed; with impetuous speed we div'd,
And heard the dashing thunder o'er our heads.
Many a slippery fathom down we sunk,
Beneath all plummets' sound, and reached the bottom.
When there, I ask'd my venerable guide
If he could tell me where my fister was;
He told me that she lay not far from thence
Within the bosom of a flinty rock,
Where Neptune kept her for his paramour
Hid from the jealous Amphitrite's sight;
And said he could conduct me to the place.
I beg'd he wou'd. Through dreadful ways we past,
'Twixt rocks that frightfully lower'd on either side,
Whence here and there the branching coral sprung;
O'er dead men's bones we walk'd, o'er heaps of gold and gems,
Into a hideous kind of wilderness,
Where stood a stern and prison--looking rock,
Dawb'd with a mossy verdure all around,
The mockery of paint. As we drew near
Out sprung a hydra from a den below,
A speckl'd fury; fearfully it hiss'd,
And roll'd its sea--green eyes so angrily
As it wou'd kill with looking. My old guide
Against its sharp head hurl'd a rugged stone--
The curling monster raised a brazen shriek,
Wallow'd and died in fitful agonies.
We gain'd the cave. Thro' woven adamant
I look'd, and saw my sifter all alone.
Employ'd she seem'd in writing something sad,
So sad she looked: Her cheek was wond'rous wan,
Her mournful locks like weary sedges hung.
I call'd--she turning, started when she saw me,
And threw her head aside as if asham'd;
She wept, but would not speak--I call'd again;
Still she was mute.--Then madly I addrest,
With all the lion--sinews of despair,
To break the flinty ribs that held me out;
And with the struggling wak'd—

John Armstrong's other poems:
  1. Lincoln Fens
  2. Taste: An Epistle to a Young Critic
  3. Of Benevolence: An Epistle to Eumenes
  4. Full Many a Fiend Did Haunt This House of Rest
  5. Now Summer with Her Wanton Court Is Gone

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