The Earthly Paradise

A Poem

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Author: William Morris
Published: 1903
Language: English
Wordcount: 71,800 / 212 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 42
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 643
Added to site: 2009.10.25
mnybks.net#: 25637
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Poetry

A collection of stories, taken alternately from the Greek mythology and the legends of Northern Europe. To introduce and link together these stories, the poet has imagined a company of Norsemen to come, after long fruitless wandering in search of a Paradise on earth, to some unknown city of Greek origin, where they are kindly received and find the only Paradise possible on earth in a peaceful life brightened by these ancient glories of the imagination.

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ng flutes left off their tune,
In trembling arms the weeping, haggard King
Caught Psyche, who, like some half-lifeless thing,
Took all his kisses, and no word could say,
Until at last perforce he turned away;
Because the longest agony has end,
And homeward through the twilight did they wend.

But Psyche, now faint and bewildered,
Remembered little of her pain and dread;
Her doom drawn nigh took all her fear away,
And left her faint and weary; as they say
It haps to one who 'neath a lion lies,
Who stunned and helpless feels not ere he dies
The horror of the yellow fell, the red
Hot mouth, and white teeth gleaming o'er his head;
So Psyche felt, as sinking on the ground
She cast one weary vacant look around,
And at the ending of that wretched day
Swooning beneath the risen moon she lay.


Now backward must our story go awhile
And unto Cyprus the fair flowered isle,
Where hid away from every worshipper
Was Venus sittin

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