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Of yon Supernal Court, from whom may flow
O task sublime, to till the human soil
Fair Ellen was long the delight of the young,
No damsel could with her compare ; Her charms were the theme of the heart and the tongue, And bards without number in ecstasies sung
The beauties of Ellen the fair.
Yet cold was the maid; and though legions advanced,
All drilled by Ovidean art, And languished and ogled, protested and danced, Like shadows they came, and like shadows they glanced
From the hard, polished ice of her heart.
Yet still did the heart of fair Ellen implore
A something that could not be found; Like a sailor she seemed on a desolate shore, With nor house, nor a tree, nor a sound but the roar
Of breakers high-dashing around.
Fron object to object still, still would she veer,
Though nothing, alas! could she find; Like the moon, without atmosphere, brilliant and clear, Yet doomed, like the moon, with no being to cheer
The bright barren waste of her mind.
But, rather than sit like a statue so still
When the rain made her mansion a pound,
From the tiles of the roof to the ground.
One morn, as the maid from her casement inclined,
Passed a youth, with a frame in his hand. The casement she closed, - not the eye of her mind; For, do all she could, no, she could not be blind;
Still before her she saw the youth stand.
" Ah, what can he do?" said the languishing maid;
Ah, what with that frame can he do ?” And she knelt to the Goddess of Secrets and prayed, When the youth passed again, and again he displayed
The frame and a picture to view.
“ O beautiful picture!” the fair Ellen cried,
“ I must see thee again or I die.” Then under her white chin her bonnet she tied, And after the youth and the picture she hied,
When the youth, looking back, met her eye.
“ Fair damsel,” said he, (and he chuckled the while,)
“ This picture I see you admire : Then take it, I pray you; perhaps 't will beguile Some moments of sorrow, (nay, pardon my smile,)
Or, at least, keep you home by the fire.”
Then Ellen the gift with delight and surprise
From the cunning young stripling received.
'Twas a youth o'er the form of a statue inclined,
And the sculptor he seemed of the stone; Yet he languished as though for its beauty he pined, And gazed as the eyes of the statue so blind
Reflected the beams of his own.
’T was the tale of the sculptor Pygmalion of old;
Fair Ellen remembered and sighed: “ Ah, couldst thou but lift from that marble so cold, Thine eyes too imploring, thy arms should enfold
And press me this day as thy bride."
She said: when, behold, from the canvas arose
The youth, and he stepped from the frame; With a furious transport his arms did inclose The love-plighted Ellen; and, clasping, he froze The blood of the maid with his flame!
She turned, and beheld on each shoulder a wing.
“O Heaven!” cried she, “who art thou ?” From the roof to the ground did his fierce answer ring, As, frowning, he thundered, “ I am the Paint-King!
And mine, lovely maid, thou art now!"
Then high from the ground did the grim monster lift
The loud-screaming maid like a blast;
To the right and the left as he passed.
Now suddenly sloping his hurricane flight,
With an eddying whirl he descends ;
“I am here!” said the fiend, and he thundering knocked
At the gates of a mountainous cave;
Like an island of ice on the wave.
“ O, mercy!” cried Ellen, and swooned in his arms;
But the Paint-King, he scoffed at her pain. “ Prithee, love," said the monster, “what mean these
alarms?" She hears not, see sees not, the terrible charms
That wake her to horror again.