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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Death of Altheëtor

By Maria Gowen Brooks (Maria del Occidente) (1794?–1845)

[Born about 1795, Medford, Mass. Died in Matanzas, Cuba, 1845. From Zóphiël; or, The Bride of Seven. By Maria del Occidente. 1833.—Edited by Zadel Barnes Gustafson. 1879.]

SHE hides her face upon her couch, that there

She may not see him die. No groan!—she springs,

Frantic between a hope-beam and despair,

And twines her long hair round him as he sings.

Then thus: “O being, who unseen but near

Art hovering now, behold and pity me!

For love, hope, beauty, music, all that’s dear,

Look—look on me, and spare my agony!

“Spirit! in mercy, make not me the cause,

The hateful cause, of this kind being’s death!

In pity kill me first! He lives! he draws—

Thou will not blast?—he draws his harmless breath!”

Still lives Altheëtor; still unguarded strays

One hand o’er his fallen lyre; but all his soul

Is lost,—given up: he fain would turn to gaze,

But cannot turn, so twined. Now all that stole

Through every vein, and thrilled each separate nerve,

Himself could not have told, all wound and clasped

In her white arms and hair. Ah! can they serve

To save him? “What a sea of sweets!” he gasped;

But ’twas delight: sound, fragrance, all were breathing.

Still swelled the transport: “Let me look—and thank,”

He sighs, celestial smiles his lip inwreathing:

“I die—but ask no more,” he said, and sank—

Still by her arms supported—lower—lower—

As by soft sleep oppressed: so calm, so fair,

He rested on the purple tapestried floor,

It seemed an angel lay reposing there.