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Afoot he viewed a silver lake
And took himself to take a drink-
Then beauty moved his thirsting soul,
As there he bent above the brink.


No mortal flesh this seemed to he
Who marveled at its dear design-
Behold, a face beheld him back,
Whose symmetry was pure divine!


Handsome was the heav’nly sight
That rip’ling lay within the clear;
He touched his finger to its cheek
And wavelets had it disappear.


When agitation placid came
He dared- from love- new love embrace;
But wading through the wat’ry void
Disturbed the beauty of its face.


Again it came, again he touch’d;
Again the figure fluctuates.
Lamenting there aside that bank
He cursed himself and all the Fates:


“What awful light is cast below
That tells me what I see is I:
The boy within the shimm’ring gleam,
‘Tis me, O wretch’d me- but why?”


Then Nemesis who linger’d there,
With fatal judgment in her vest,
Remorseless cast the final lot
Which grew despairing in his breast.


Bereft of love’s requited touch
He pounded moans upon his chest,
And stagg’ring ‘mongst the wind’d reeds
There came by Nyx eternal rest.


His deathbed there’s a thing of woe,
A cautionary tale some fear:
The Naiads, Dryads- all the Nymphs,
Warn self-love grows a flower there.