George Gordon, Lord Byron

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    Biographical information

  1. A Spirit Passed Before Me
  2. Adieu, Adieu! My Native Land
  3. 'All Is Vanity,' Saith The Preacher
  4. And Thou Art Dead, As Young And Fair
  5. And Wilt Thou Weep When I Am Low?
  6. By The Rivers Of Babylon We Sat Down And Wept
  7. Churchill's Grave
  8. Damжtas
  9. Darkness
  10. Epistle To Augusta
  11. Euthanasia
  12. Farewell To The Muse
  13. I Saw Thee Weep
  14. I Watched Thee
  15. I Would I Were A Careless Child
  16. I Would To Heaven That I Were So Much Clay
  17. It Is The Hour
  18. John Keats
  19. Lachin Y Gair
  20. Lara
  21. Lines Inscribed Upon A Cup Formed From A Skull
  22. Lines Written Beneath An Elm In The Churchyard Of Harrow
  23. Lines, On Hearing That Lady Byron Was Ill
  24. Love's Last Adieu
  25. Maid Of Athens, Ere We Part
  26. Mazeppa
  27. My Soul Is Dark
  28. Ode To Napoleon Bonaparte
  29. Oh! Snatched Away In Beauty's Bloom
  30. Oh! Weep For Those
  31. On A Distant View Of Harrow
  32. On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year
  33. Prometheus
  34. Remember Him, Whom Passion's Power
  35. Remind Me Not, Remind Me Not
  36. Reply To Some Verses Of J.M.B. Pigot
  37. Saul
  38. She Walks In Beauty
  39. So, We'll Go No more A Roving
  40. Solitude
  41. Song Of Saul Before His Last Battle
  42. Sonnet To Chillon
  43. Sonnet To Genevra
  44. Sonnet To Lake Leman
  45. Stanzas Composed During A Thunderstorm
  46. I speak not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name
  47. Stanzas For Music: There's Not A Joy The World Can Give
  48. Stanzas To A Lady, On Leaving England
  49. Stanzas To Augusta
  50. Stanzas To Jessy
  51. Stanzas To The Po
  52. Stanzas Written On The Road Between Florence And Pisa
  53. Sun Of The Sleepless!
  54. The Destruction Of Sennacherib
  55. The Dream
  56. The Giaour (A Fragment Of A Turkish Tale)
  57. The Isles Of Greece
  58. The Prisoner Of Chillon
  59. The Siege And Conquest Of Alhama
  60. The Tear
  61. There Be None Of Beauty's Daughters
  62. There Was A Time, I Need Not Name
  63. Thou Whose Spell Can Raise The Dead
  64. Thy Days Are Done
  65. To A Beautiful Quaker
  66. To A Lady
  67. To Caroline
  68. To Eliza
  69. To M.
  70. To Mary, On Receiving Her Picture
  71. To M.S.G.
  72. To Romance
  73. To Thomas Moore
  74. To Time
  75. When Coldness Wraps This Suffering Clay
  76. When We Two Parted
  77. Written After Swimming From Sestos To Abydos




    Biographical information

      Name: George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron
      Place and date of birth: Dover, Kent (England); January 22, 1788
      Place and date of death: Missolonghi, Aetolia-Acarnania (Greece); April 19, 1824 (aged 36)

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      A Spirit Passed Before Me

        (From Job)

        A spirit passed before me: I beheld
        The face of immortality unveiled—
        Deep sleep came down on every eye save mine—
        And there it stood,—all formless—but divine:
        Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake;
        And as my damp hair stiffened, thus it spake:

        "Is man more just than God? Is man more pure
        Than He who deems even Seraphs insecure?
        Creatures of clay—vain dwellers in the dust!
        The moth survives you, and are ye more just?
        Things of a day! you wither ere the night,
        Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted light!"

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      Adieu, Adieu! My Native Land

        Adieu, adieu! my native shore
        Fades o'ver the waters blue;
        The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,
        And shrieks the wild sea-mew.
        Yon sun that sets upon the sea
        We follow in his flight;
        Farewell awhile to him and thee,
        My native Land-Good Night!
        A few short hours, and he will rise
        To give the morrow birth;
        And I shall hail the main and skies,
        But not my mother earth.
        Deserted is my own good hall,
        Its hearth is desolate;
        Wild weeds are gathering on the wall;
        My dog howls at the gate.

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      'All Is Vanity,' Saith The Preacher

        Fame, wisdom, love, and power were mine,
        And health and youth possessed me;
        My goblets blushed from every vine,
        And lovely forms caressed me;
        I sunned my heart in beauty’ eyes,
        And felt my soul grow tender;
        All earth can give, or mortal prize,
        Was mine of regal splendour.

        I strive to number o’er what days
        Remembrance can discover,
        Which all that life or earth displays
        Would lure me to live over.
        There rose no day, there rolled no hour
        Of pleasure unembittered;
        And not a trapping decked my power
        That galled not while it glittered.

        The serpent of the field, by art
        And spells, is won from harming;
        But that which soils around the heart,
        Oh! who hath power of charming?
        It will not list to wisdom’s lore,
        Nor music’s voice can lure it;
        But there it stings for evermore
        The soul that must endure it.

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      And Thou Art Dead, As Young And Fair

        (To Thyrza)

        And thou art dead, as young and fair
        As aught of mortal birth;
        And form so soft, and charms so rare,
        Too soon return'd to Earth!
        Though Earth receiv'd them in her bed,
        And o'er the spot the crowd may tread
        In carelessness or mirth,
        There is an eye which could not brook
        A moment on that grave to look.

        I will not ask where thou liest low,
        Nor gaze upon the spot;
        There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
        So I behold them not:
        It is enough for me to prove
        That what I lov'd, and long must love,
        Like common earth can rot;
        To me there needs no stone to tell,
        'T is Nothing that I lov'd so well.

        Yet did I love thee to the last
        As fervently as thou,
        Who didst not change through all the past,
        And canst not alter now.
        The love where Death has set his seal,
        Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,
        Nor falsehood disavow:
        And, what were worse, thou canst not see
        Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.

        The better days of life were ours;
        The worst can be but mine:
        The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers,
        Shall never more be thine.
        The silence of that dreamless sleep
        I envy now too much to weep;
        Nor need I to repine
        That all those charms have pass'd away,
        I might have watch'd through long decay.

        The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd
        Must fall the earliest prey;
        Though by no hand untimely snatch'd,
        The leaves must drop away:
        And yet it were a greater grief
        To watch it withering, leaf by leaf,
        Than see it pluck'd to-day;
        Since earthly eye but ill can bear
        To trace the change to foul from fair.

        I know not if I could have borne
        To see thy beauties fade;
        The night that follow'd such a morn
        Had worn a deeper shade:
        Thy day without a cloud hath pass'd,
        And thou wert lovely to the last,
        Extinguish'd, not decay'd;
        As stars that shoot along the sky
        Shine brightest as they fall from high.

        As once I wept, if I could weep,
        My tears might well be shed,
        To think I was not near to keep
        One vigil o'er thy bed;
        To gaze, how fondly! on thy face,
        To fold thee in a faint embrace,
        Uphold thy drooping head;
        And show that love, however vain,
        Nor thou nor I can feel again.

        Yet how much less it were to gain,
        Though thou hast left me free,
        The loveliest things that still remain,
        Than thus remember thee!
        The all of thine that cannot die
        Through dark and dread Eternity
        Returns again to me,
        And more thy buried love endears
        Than aught except its living years.

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      And Wilt Thou Weep When I Am Low?

        And wilt thou weep when I am low?
        Sweet lady! speak those words again:
        Yet if they grieve thee, say not so---
        I would not give that bosom pain.

        My heart is sad, my hopes are gone,
        My blood runs coldly through my breast;
        And when I perish, thou alone
        Wilt sigh above my place of rest.

        And yet, methinks, a gleam of peace
        Doth through my cloud of anguish shine:
        And for a while my sorrows cease,
        To know thy heart hath felt for mine.

        Oh lady! blessd be that tear---
        It falls for one who cannot weep;
        Such precious drops are doubly dear
        To those whose eyes no tear may steep.

        Sweet lady! once my heart was warm
        With every feeling soft as thine;
        But Beauty's self hath ceased to charm
        A wretch created to repine.

        Yet wilt thou weep when I am low?
        Sweet lady! speak those words again:
        Yet if they grieve thee, say not so---
        I would not give that bosom pain.

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      By The Rivers Of Babylon We Sat Down And Wept

        We sat down and wept by the waters
        Of Babel, and thought of the day
        When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,
        Made Salem's high places his prey;
        And ye, oh her desolate daughters!
        Were scattered all weeping away.

        While sadly we gazed on the river
        Which rolled on in freedom below,
        They demanded the song; but, oh never
        That triumph the stranger shall know!
        May this right hand be withered for ever,
        Ere it string our high harp for the foe!

        On the willow that harp is suspended,
        Oh Salem! its sound should be free;
        And the hour when thy glories were
        ended
        But left me that token of thee:
        And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
        With the voice of the spoiler by me!

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      Churchill's Grave

        I stood beside the grave of him who blazed
        The comet of a season, and I saw
        The humblest of all sepulchres, and gazed
        With not the less of sorrow and of awe
        On that neglected turf and quiet stone,
        With name no clearer than the names unknown,
        Which lay unread around it; and asked
        The Gardener of that ground, why it might be
        That for this plant strangers his memory tasked
        Through the thick deaths of half a century;
        And thus he answered—"Well, I do not know
        Why frequent travellers turn to pilgrims so;
        He died before my day of sextonship,
        And I had not the digging of this grave."
        And is this all? I thought,—and do we rip
        The veil of Immortality? and crave
        I know not what of honour and of light
        Through unborn ages, to endure this blight?
        So soon, and so successless? As I said,
        The Architect of all on which we tread,
        For Earth is but a tombstone, did essay
        To extricate remembrance from the clay,
        Whose minglings might confuse a Newton's thought,
        Were it not that all life must end in one,
        Of which we are but dreamers;—as he caught
        As 'twere the twilight of a former Sun,
        Thus spoke he,—"I believe the man of whom
        You wot, who lies in this selected tomb,
        Was a most famous writer in his day,
        And therefore travellers step from out their way
        To pay him honour,—and myself whate'er
        Your honour pleases,"—then most pleased I shook
        From out my pocket's avaricious nook
        Some certain coins of silver, which as 'twere
        Perforce I gave this man, though I could spare
        So much but inconveniently:—Ye smile,
        I see ye, ye profane ones! all the while,
        Because my homely phrase the truth would tell.
        You are the fools, not I—for I did dwell
        With a deep thought, and with a softened eye,
        On that Old Sexton's natural homily,
        In which there was Obscurity and Fame,—
        The Glory and the Nothing of a Name.

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      Damжtas

        In law an infant, and in years a boy,
        In mind a slave to every vicious joy;
        From every sense of shame and virtue wean'd;
        In lies an adept, in deceit a fiend;
        Versed in hypocrisy, while yet a child;
        Fickle as wind, of inclinations wild;
        Women his dupe, his heedless friend a tool;
        Old in the world, though scarcely broke from school;
        Damжtas ran through all the maze of sin,
        And found the goal when others just begin:
        Even still conflicting passions shake his soul,
        And bid him drain the dregs of pleasure's bowl;
        But, pall'd with vice, he breaks his former chain,
        And what was once his bliss appears his bane.

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      Darkness

        I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
        The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
        Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
        Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
        Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
        Morn came, and went and came, and brought no day,
        And men forgot their passions in the dread
        Of this desolation; and all hearts
        Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
        And they did live by watchfires and the thrones,
        The palaces of crowned kings, the huts,
        The habitations of all things which dwell,
        Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
        And men were gathered round their blazing homes
        To look once more into each other's face;
        Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
        Of the volcanos, and their mountaintorch:
        A fearful hope was all the world contain'd;
        Forest were set on fire but hour by hour
        They fell and faded and the crackling trunks
        Extinguish'd with a crash and all was black.
        The brows of men by the despairing light
        Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
        The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
        And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
        Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled;
        And others hurried to and fro, and fed
        Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
        With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
        The pall of a past world; and then again
        With curses cast them down upon the dust,
        And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd,
        And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
        And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
        Came tame and tremolous; and vipers crawl'd
        And twined themselves among the multitude,
        Hissing, but stingless, they were slain for food:
        And War, which for a moment was no more,
        Did glut himself again; a meal was bought
        With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
        Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
        All earth was but one thought and that was death,
        Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
        Of famine fed upon all entrails men
        Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
        The meagre by the meagre were devoured,
        Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one,
        And he was faithful to a corpse, and kept
        The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay,
        Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
        Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
        But with a piteous and perpetual moan
        And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
        Which answered not with a caress, he died.
        The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two
        Of an enormous city did survive, And they were enemies;
        They met beside
        The dying embers of an altarplace
        Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things
        For an unholy usage; they raked up,
        And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands
        The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath

        Blew for a little life, and made a flame
        Wich was a mockery; then they lifted up
        Their eyes as it grew lighter, and
        Each other's aspects. saw, and shriek'd, and died, beheld
        Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
        Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
        Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
        The populous and the powerful was a lump,
        Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless,
        A lump of death, a chaos of hard clay.
        The rivers, lakes, and ocean stood still,
        And nothing stirred within their silent depths;
        Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
        And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropp'd
        They slept on the abyss without a surge
        The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
        The moon their mistress had expired before;
        The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
        And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
        Of aid from them. She was the universe.

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      Epistle To Augusta

        My sister! my sweet sister! if a name
        Dearer and purer were, it should be thine;
        Mountains and seas divide us, but I claim
        No tears, but tenderness to answer mine:
        Go where I will, to me thou art the same—
        A loved regret which I would not resign.
        There yet are two things in my destiny,—
        A world to roam through, and a home with thee.

        The first were nothing—had I still the last,
        It were the haven of my happiness;
        But other claims and other ties thou hast,
        And mine is not the wish to make them less.
        A strange doom is thy father's sons's, and past
        Recalling, as it lies beyond redress;
        Reversed for him our grandsire's fate of yore,—
        He had no rest at sea, nor I on shore.

        If my inheritance of storms hath been
        In other elements, and on the rocks
        Of perils, overlooked or unforeseen,
        I have sustained my share of worldly shocks,
        The fault was mine; nor do I seek to screen
        My errors with defensive paradox;
        I have been cunning in mine overthrow,
        The careful pilot of my proper woe.

        Mine were my faults, and mine be their reward,
        My whole life was a contest, since the day
        That gave me being, gave me that which marred
        The gift,—a fate, or will, that walked astray;
        And I at times have found the struggle hard,
        And thought of shaking off my bonds of clay:
        But now I fain would for a time survive,
        If but to see what next can well arrive.

        Kingdoms and empires in my little day
        I have outlived, and yet I am not old;
        And when I look on this, the petty spray
        Of my own years of trouble, which have rolled
        Like a wild bay of breakers, melts away:
        Something—I know not what—does still uphold
        A spirit of slight patience;—not in vain,
        Even for its own sake, do we purchase pain.

        Perhaps the workings of defiance stir
        Within me,—or perhaps of cold despair,
        Brought on when ills habitually recur,—
        Perhaps a kinder clime, or purer air,
        (For even to this may change of soul refer,
        And with light armour we may learn to bear,)
        Have taught me a strange quiet, which was not
        The chief companion of a calmer lot.

        I feel almost at times as I have felt
        In happy childhood; trees, and flowers, and brooks,
        Which do remember me of where I dwelt,
        Ere my young mind was sacrificed to books,
        Come as of yore upon me, and can melt
        My heart with recognition of their looks;
        And even at moments I could think I see
        Some living thing to love—but none like thee.

        Here are the Alpine landscapes which create
        A fund for contemplation;—to admire
        Is a brief feeling of a trivial date;
        But something worthier do such scenes inspire.
        Here to be lonely is not desolate,
        For much I view which I could most desire,
        And, above all, a lake I can behold
        Lovelier, not dearer, than our own of old.

        Oh that thou wert but with me!—but I grow
        The fool of my own wishes, and forget
        The solitude which I have vaunted so
        Has lost its praise is this but one regret;
        There may be others which I less may show,—
        I am not of the plaintive mood, and yet
        I feel an ebb in my philosophy,
        And the tide rising in my altered eye.

        I did remind thee of our own dear Lake,
        By the old Hall which may be mine no more.
        Leman's is fair; but think not I forsake
        The sweet remembrance of a dearer shore;
        Sad havoc Time must with my memory make,
        Ere that or thou can fade these eyes before;
        Though, like all things which I have loved, they are
        Resigned for ever, or divided far.

        The world is all before me; I but ask
        Of Nature that with which she will comply—
        It is but in her summer's sun to bask,
        To mingle with the quiet of her sky,
        To see her gentle face without a mask
        And never gaze on it with apathy.
        She was my early friend, and now shall be
        My sister—till I look again on thee.

        I can reduce all feelings but this one;
        And that I would not;—for at length I see
        Such scenes as those wherein my life begun.
        The earliest—even the only paths for me—
        Had I but sooner learnt the crowd to shun,
        I had been better than I now can be;
        The passions which have torn me would have slept:
        I had not suffered, and thou hadst not wept.

        With false Ambition what had I to do?
        Little with Love, and least of all with Fame!
        And yet they came unsought, and with me grew,
        And made me all which they can make—a name.
        Yet this was not the end I did pursue;
        Surely I once beheld a nobler aim.
        But all is over—I am one the more
        To baffled millions which have gone before.

        And for the future, this world's future may
        From me demand but little of my care;
        I have outlived myself by many a day:
        Having survived so many things that were;
        My years have been no slumber, but the prey
        Of ceaseless vigils; for I had the share
        Of life which might have filled a century,
        Before its fourth in time had passed me by.

        And for the remnant which may be to come,
        I am content; and for the past I feel
        Not thankless,—for within the crowded sum
        Of struggles, happiness at times would steal,
        And for the present, I would not benumb
        My feelings farther.—Nor shall I conceal
        That with all this I still can look around,
        And worship Nature with a thought profound.

        For thee, my own sweet sister, in thy heart
        I know myself secure, as thou in mine;
        We were and are—I am, even as thou art—
        Beings who ne'er each other can resign;
        It is the same, together or apart,
        From life's commencement to its slow decline
        We are entwined—let death come slow or fast,
        The tie which bound the first endures the last!

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      Euthanasia

        When Time, or soon or late, shall bring
        The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead,
        Oblivion! may thy languid wing
        Wave gently o'er my dying bed!

        No band of friends or heirs be there,
        To weep, or wish, the coming blow:
        No maiden, with dishevelled hair,
        To feel, or feign, decorous woe.

        But silent let me sink to earth,
        With no officious mourners near:
        I would not mar one hour of mirth,
        Nor startle friendship with a tear.

        Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
        Could nobly check its useless sighs,
        Might then exert its latest power
        In her who lives, and him who dies.

        'Twere sweet, my Psyche! to the last
        Thy features still serene to see:
        Forgetful of its struggles past,
        E’en Pain itself should smile on thee.

        But vain the wish?for Beauty still
        Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath;
        And women's tears, produced at will,
        Deceive in life, unman in death.

        Then lonely be my latest hour,
        Without regret, without a groan;
        For thousands Death hath ceas’d to lower,
        And pain been transient or unknown.

        `Ay, but to die, and go,' alas!
        Where all have gone, and all must go!
        To be the nothing that I was
        Ere born to life and living woe!

        Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen,
        Count o'er thy days from anguish free,
        And know, whatever thou hast been,
        'Tis something better not to be.

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      Farewell To The Muse

        Thou Power! who hast ruled me through Infancy's days,
        Young offspring of Fancy, 'tis time we should part;
        Then rise on the gale this the last of my lays,
        The coldest effusion which springs from my heart.

        This bosom, responsive to rapture no more,
        Shall hush thy wild notes, nor implore thee to sing;
        The feelings of childhood, which taught thee to soar,
        Are wafted far distant on Apathy's wing.

        Though simple the themes of my rude flowing Lyre,
        Yet even these themes are departed for ever;
        No more beam the eyes which my dream could inspire,
        My visions are flown, to return,---alas, never!

        When drain'd is the nectar which gladdens the bowl,
        How vain is the effort delight to prolong!
        When cold is the beauty which dwelt in my soul,
        What magic of Fancy can lengthen my song?

        Can the lips sing of Love in the desert alone,
        Of kisses and smiles which they now must resign ?
        Or dwell with delight on the hours that are flown ?
        Ah, no! for those hours can no longer be mine.

        Can they speak of the friends that I lived but to love?
        Ah, surely Affection ennobles the strain!
        But how can my numbers in sympathy move,
        When I scarcely can hope to behold them again?

        Can I sing of the deeds which my Fathers have done,
        And raise my loud harp to the fame of my Sires?
        For glories like theirs, oh, how faint is my tone!
        For Heroes' exploits how unequal my fires!

        Untouch'd, then, my Lyre shall reply to the blast---
        'Tis hush'd; and my feeble endeavors are o'er;
        And those who have heard it will pardon the past,
        When they know that its murmurs shall vibrate no more.

        And soon shall its wild erring notes be forgot,
        Since early affection and love is o'ercast:
        Oh! blest had my Fate been, and happy my lot,
        Had the first strain of love been the dearest, the last.

        Farewell, my young Muse! since we now can ne'er meet;
        If our songs have been languid, they surely are few:
        Let us hope that the present at least will be sweet---
        The present---which seals our eternal Adieu.

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      I Saw Thee Weep

        I saw thee weep---the big bright tear
        Came o'er that eye of blue;
        And then methought it did appear
        A violet dropping dew:
        I saw thee smile---the sapphire's blaze
        Beside thee ceased to shine;
        It could not match the living rays
        That filled that glance of thine.
        As clouds from yonder sun receive
        A deep and mellow dye,
        Which scarce the shade of coming eve
        Can banish from the sky,
        Those smiles unto the moodiest mind
        Their own pure joy impart;
        Their sunshine leaves a glow behind
        That lightens o'er the heart.

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      I Watched Thee

        I watched thee when the foe was at our side
        Ready to strike at him, or thee and me
        Were safety hopeless rather than divide
        Aught with one loved, save love and liberty.

        I watched thee in the breakers when the rock
        Received our prow and all was storm and fear
        And bade thee cling to me through every shock
        This arm would be thy bark or breast thy bier.

        I watched thee when the fever glazed thine eyes
        Yielding my couch, and stretched me on the ground
        When overworn with watching, ne'er to rise
        From thence, if thou an early grave hadst found.

        The Earthquake came and rocked the quivering wall
        And men and Nature reeled as if with wine
        Whom did I seek around the tottering Hall
        For thee, whose safety first provide for thine.

        And when convulsive throes denied my breath
        The faintest utterance to my fading thought
        To thee, to thee, even in the grasp of death
        My spirit turned. Ah! oftener than it ought.

        Thus much and more, and yet thou lov'st me not,
        And never wilt, Love dwells not in our will
        Nor can I blame thee, though it be my lot
        To strongly, wrongly, vainly, love thee still.

      Up

      I Would I Were A Careless Child

        I would I were a careless child,
        Still dwelling in my highland cave,
        Or roaming through the dusky wild,
        Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave;
        The cumbrous pomp of Saxon pride
        Accords not with the freeborn soul,
        Which loves the mountain's craggy side,
        And seeks the rocks where billows roll.

        Fortune! take back these cultured lands,
        Take back this name of splendid sound!
        I hate the touch of servile hands,
        I hate the slaves that cringe around.
        Place me among the rocks I love,
        Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar;
        I ask but this -- again to rove
        Through scenes my youth hath known before.

        Few are my years, and yet I feel
        The world was ne'er designed for me:
        Ah! why do dark'ning shades conceal
        The hour when man must cease to be?
        Once I beheld a splendid dream,
        A visionary scene of bliss:
        Truth! -- wherefore did thy hated beam
        Awake me to a world like this?

        I loved -- but those I loved are gone;
        Had friends -- my early friends are fled:
        How cheerless feels the heart alone
        When all its former hopes are dead!
        Though gay companions o'er the bowl
        Dispel awhile the sense of ill;
        Though pleasure stirs the maddening soul,
        The heart -- the heart -- is lonely still.

        How dull! to hear the voice of those
        Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power,
        Have made, though neither friends nor foes,
        Associates of the festive hour.
        Give me again a faithful few,
        In years and feelings still the same,
        And I will fly the midnight crew,
        Where boist'rous joy is but a name.

        And woman, lovely woman! thou,
        My hope, my comforter, my all!
        How cold must be my bosom now,
        When e'en thy smiles begin to pall!
        Without a sigh I would resign
        This busy scene of splendid woe,
        To make that calm contentment mine,
        Which virtue knows, or seems to know.

        Fain would I fly the haunts of men--
        I seek to shun, not hate mankind;
        My breast requires the sullen glen,
        Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind.
        Oh! that to me the wings were given
        Which bear the turtle to her nest!
        Then would I cleave the vault of heaven,
        To flee away and be at rest.

      Up

      I Would To Heaven That I Were So Much Clay

        I would to heaven that I were so much clay,
        As I am blood, bone, marrow, passion, feeling -
        Because at least the past were passed away -
        And for the future - (but I write this reeling,
        Having got drunk exceedingly today,
        So that I seem to stand upon the ceiling)
        I say - the future is a serious matter -
        And so - for God's sake - hock and soda water!

      Up

      It Is The Hour

        It is the hour when from the boughs
        The nightingale's high note is heard;
        It is the hour -- when lover's vows
        Seem sweet in every whisper'd word;
        And gentle winds and waters near,
        Make music to the lonely ear.
        Each flower the dews have lightly wet,
        And in the sky the stars are met,
        And on the wave is deeper blue,
        And on the leaf a browner hue,
        And in the Heaven that clear obscure
        So softly dark, and darkly pure,
        That follows the decline of day
        As twilight melts beneath the moon away.

      Up

      John Keats

        Who killed John Keats?
        'I,' says the Quarterly,
        So savage and Tartarly;
        ''Twas one of my feats.'

        Who shot the arrow?
        'The poet-priest Milman
        (So ready to kill man),
        Or Southey or Barrow.'

      Up

      Lachin Y Gair

        Away, ye gay landscapes, ye garden of roses!
        In you let the minions of luxury rove;
        Restore me to the rocks, where the snowflake reposes,
        Though still they are sacred to freedom and love:
        Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains,
        Round their white summits though elements war;
        Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains,
        I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.

        Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy wandered;
        My cap was teh bonnet, my cloak was the plaid;
        On chieftains long perished my memory pondered,
        As daily I strode through the pine-covered glade;
        I sought not my home till the day's dying glory
        Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star;
        For fancy was cheered by traditional story,
        Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.

        "Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices
        Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale?"
        Surely the soul of the hero rejoices,
        And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale.
        Rouch Loch na Garr while the stormy mist gathers,
        Winter presides in his cold icy car:
        Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers;
        They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr.

        "Ill-starred, though brave, did no visions foreboding
        Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause?"
        Ah! were you destined to die at Culloden,
        Victory crowned not your fall with applause:
        Still were you happy in death's earthy slumber,
        You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar;
        The pibroch resounds, to the piper's loud number,
        Your deeds on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr.

        Years have rolled on, Loch na Garr, since I left you,
        Years must elapse ere I tread you again:
        Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you,
        Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain.
        England! thy beauties are tame and domestic
        To one who has roved o'er the mountains afar:
        Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic!
        The steep frowning glories of the dark Loch na Garr.

      Up

      Lara

        LARA. [1]

        CANTO THE FIRST.

        I.

        The Serfs are glad through Lara's wide domain, [2]
        And slavery half forgets her feudal chain;
        He, their unhoped, but unforgotten lord —
        The long self-exiled chieftain is restored:
        There be bright faces in the busy hall,
        Bowls on the board, and banners on the wall;
        Far chequering o'er the pictured window, plays
        The unwonted fagots' hospitable blaze;
        And gay retainers gather round the hearth,
        With tongues all loudness, and with eyes all mirth.

        II.

        The chief of Lara is return'd again:
        And why had Lara cross'd the bounding main?
        Left by his sire, too young such loss to know,
        Lord of himself; — that heritage of woe,
        That fearful empire which the human breast
        But holds to rob the heart within of rest! —
        With none to check, and few to point in time
        The thousand paths that slope the way to crime;
        Then, when he most required commandment, then
        Had Lara's daring boyhood govern'd men.
        It skills not, boots not, step by step to trace
        His youth through all the mazes of its race;
        Short was the course his restlessness had run,
        But long enough to leave him half undone.

        III.

        And Lara left in youth his fatherland;
        But from the hour he waved his parting hand
        Each trace wax'd fainter of his course, till all
        Had nearly ceased his memory to recall.
        His sire was dust, his vassals could declare,
        'Twas all they knew, that Lara was not there;
        Nor sent, nor came he, till conjecture grew
        Cold in the many, anxious in the few.
        His hall scarce echoes with his wonted name,
        His portrait darkens in its fading frame,
        Another chief consoled his destined bride,
        The young forgot him, and the old had died;
        "Yet doth he live!" exclaims the impatient heir,
        And sighs for sables which he must not wear.
        A hundred scutcheons deck with gloomy grace
        The Laras' last and longest dwelling-place;
        But one is absent from the mouldering file,
        That now were welcome to that Gothic pile.

        IV.

        He comes at last in sudden loneliness,
        And whence they know not, why they need not guess;
        They more might marvel, when the greeting's o'er,
        Not that he came, but came not long before:
        No train is his beyond a single page,
        Of foreign aspect, and of tender age.
        Years had roll'd on, and fast they speed away
        To those that wander as to those that stay;
        But lack of tidings from another clime
        Had lent a flagging wing to weary Time.
        They see, they recognise, yet almost deem
        The present dubious, or the past a dream.

        He lives, nor yet is past his manhood's prime,
        Though sear'd by toil, and something touch'd by time;
        His faults, whate'er they were, if scarce forgot,
        Might be untaught him by his varied lot;
        Nor good nor ill of late were known, his name
        Might yet uphold his patrimonial fame.
        His soul in youth was haughty, but his sins
        No more than pleasure from the stripling wins;
        And such, if not yet harden'd in their course,
        Might be redeem'd, nor ask a long remorse.

        V.

        And they indeed were changed — 'tis quickly seen,
        Whate'er he be, 'twas not what he had been:
        That brow in furrow'd lines had fix'd at last,
        And spake of passions, but of passion past;
        The pride, but not the fire, of early days,
        Coldness of mien, and carelessness of praise;
        A high demeanour, and a glance that took
        Their thoughts from others by a single look;
        And that sarcastic levity of tongue,
        The stinging of a heart the world hath stung,
        That darts in seeming playfulness around,
        And makes those feel that will not own the wound:
        All these seem'd his, and something more beneath
        Than glance could well reveal, or accent breathe.
        Ambition, glory, love, the common aim
        That some can conquer, and that all would claim,
        Within his breast appear'd no more to strive,
        Yet seem'd as lately they had been alive;
        And some deep feeling it were vain to trace
        At moments lighten'd o'er his livid face.

        VI.

        Not much he loved long question of the past,
        Nor told of wondrous wilds, and deserts vast,
        In those far lands where he had wander'd lone,
        And — as himself would have it seem — unknown:
        Yet these in vain his eye could scarcely scan,
        Nor glean experience from his fellow-man;
        But what he had beheld he shunn'd to show,
        As hardly worth a stranger's care to know;
        If still more prying such inquiry grew,
        His brow fell darker, and his words more few.

        VII.

        Not unrejoiced to see him once again,
        Warm was his welcome to the haunts of men;
        Born of high lineage, link'd in high command,
        He mingled with the magnates of his land;
        Join'd the carousals of the great and gay,
        And saw them smile or sigh their hours away;
        But still he only saw, and did not share
        The common pleasure or the general care;
        He did not follow what they all pursued,
        With hope still baffled, still to be renew'd;
        Nor shadowy honour, nor substantial gain,
        Nor beauty's preference, and the rival's pain:
        Around him some mysterious circle thrown
        Repell'd approach, and showed him still alone;
        Upon his eye sate something of reproof,
        That kept at least frivolity aloof;
        And things more timid that beheld him near,
        In silence gazed, or whisper'd mutual fear;
        And they the wiser, friendlier few confess'd
        They deem'd him better than his air express'd.

        VIII.

        'Twas strange — in youth all action and all life,
        Burning for pleasure, not averse from strife;
        Woman — the field — the ocean — all that gave
        Promise of gladness, peril of a grave,
        In turn he tried — he ransack'd all below,
        And found his recompence in joy or woe,
        No tame, trite medium; for his feelings sought
        In that intenseness an escape from thought:
        The tempest of his heart in scorn had gazed
        On that the feebler elements hath raised;
        The rapture of his heart had look'd on high,
        And ask'd if greater dwelt beyond the sky:
        Chain'd to excess, the slave of each extreme,
        How woke he from the wildness of that dream?
        Alas! he told not — but he did awake
        To curse the wither'd heart that would not break.

        IX.

        Books, for his volume heretofore was Man,
        With eye more curious he appear'd to scan,
        And oft, in sudden mood, for many a day
        From all communion he would start away:
        And then, his rarely call'd attendants said,
        Through night's long hours would sound his hurried tread
        O'er the dark gallery, where his fathers frown'd
        In rude but antique portraiture around.
        They heard, but whisper'd — "/that/ must not be known —
        The sound of words less earthly than his own.
        Yes, they who chose might smile, but some had seen
        They scarce knew what, but more than should have been.
        Why gazed he so upon the ghastly head
        Which hands profane had gather'd from the dead,
        That still beside his open'd volume lay,
        As if to startle all save him away?
        Why slept he not when others were at rest?
        Why heard no music, and received no guest?
        All was not well, they deem'd — but where the wrong?
        Some knew perchance — but 'twere a tale too long;
        And such besides were too discreetly wise,
        To more than hint their knowledge in surmise;
        But if they would — they could" — around the board,
        Thus Lara's vassals prattled of their lord.

        X.

        It was the night — and Lara's glassy stream
        The stars are studding, each with imaged beam:
        So calm, the waters scarcely seem to stray,
        And yet they glide like happiness away;
        Reflecting far and fairy-like from high
        The immortal lights that live along the sky:
        Its banks are fringed with many a goodly tree,
        And flowers the fairest that may feast the bee;
        Such in her chaplet infant Dian wove,
        And Innocence would offer to her love.
        These deck the shore; the waves their channel make
        In windings bright and mazy like the snake.
        All was so still, so soft in earth and air,
        You scarce would start to meet a spirit there;
        Secure that nought of evil could delight
        To walk in such a scene, on such a night!
        It was a moment only for the good:
        So Lara deem'd, nor longer there he stood,
        But turn'd in silence to his castle-gate;
        Such scene his soul no more could contemplate.
        Such scene reminded him of other days,
        Of skies more cloudless, moons of purer blaze,
        Of nights more soft and frequent, hearts that now —
        No — no — the storm may beat upon his brow,
        Unfelt — unsparing — but a night like this,
        A night of beauty mock'd such breast as his.

        XI.

        He turn'd within his solitary hall,
        And his high shadow shot along the wall;
        There were the painted forms of other times,
        'Twas all they left of virtues or of crimes,
        Save vague tradition; and the gloomy vaults
        That hid their dust, their foibles, and their faults;
        And half a column of the pompous page,
        That speeds the specious tale from age to age:
        When history's pen its praise or blame supplies,
        And lies like truth, and still most truly lies.
        He wandering mused, and as the moonbeam shone
        Through the dim lattice o'er the floor of stone,
        And the high fretted roof, and saints, that there
        O'er Gothic windows knelt in pictured prayer,
        Reflected in fantastic figures grew,
        Like life, but not like mortal life, to view;
        His bristling locks of sable, brow of gloom,
        And the wide waving of his shaken plume,
        Glanced like a spectre's attributes, and gave
        His aspect all that terror gives the grave.

        XII.

        'Twas midnight — all was slumber; the lone light
        Dimm'd in the lamp, as loth to break the night.
        Hark! there be murmurs heard in Lara's hall —
        A sound — voice — a shriek — a fearful call!
        A long, loud shriek — and silence — did they hear
        That frantic echo burst the sleeping ear?
        They heard and rose, and tremulously brave
        Rush where the sound invoked their aid to save;
        They come with half-lit tapers in their hands,
        And snatch'd in startled haste unbelted brands.

        XIII.

        Cold as the marble where his length was laid,
        Pale as the beam that o'er his features play'd,
        Was Lara stretch'd; his half-drawn sabre near,
        Dropp'd it should seem in more than nature's fear;
        Yet he was firm, or had been firm till now,
        And still defiance knit his gather'd brow;
        Though mix'd with terror, senseless as he lay,
        There lived upon his lip the wish to slay;
        Some half-form'd threat in utterance there had died,
        Some imprecation of despairing pride;
        His eye was almost seal'd, but not forsook
        Even in its trance the gladiator's look,
        That oft awake his aspect could disclose,
        And now was fix'd in horrible repose.
        They raise him — bear him: hush! he breathes, he speaks!
        The swarthy blush recolours in his cheeks,
        His lip resumes its red, his eye, though dim,
        Rolls wide and wild, each slowly quivering limb
        Recalls its function, but his words are strung
        In terms that seem not of his native tongue;
        Distinct but strange, enough they understand
        To deem them accents of another land,
        And such they were, and meant to meet an ear
        That hears him not — alas! that cannot hear!

        XIV.

        His page approach'd, and he alone appear'd
        To know the import of the words they heard;
        And by the changes of his cheek and brow
        They were not such as Lara should avow,
        Nor he interpret, yet with less surprise
        Than those around their chieftain's state he eyes,
        But Lara's prostrate form he bent beside,
        And in that tongue which seem'd his own replied,
        And Lara heeds those tones that gently seem
        To soothe away the horrors of his dream;
        If dream it were, that thus could overthrow
        A breast that needed not ideal woe.

        XV.

        Whate'er his frenzy dream'd or eye beheld,
        If yet remember'd ne'er to be reveal'd,
        Rests at his heart: the custom'd morning came,
        And breathed new vigour in his shaking frame;
        And solace sought he none from priest nor leech,
        And soon the same in movement and in speech
        As heretofore he fill'd the passing hours,
        Nor less he smiles, nor more his forehead lours
        Than these were wont; and if the coming night
        Appear'd less welcome now to Lara's sight,
        He to his marvelling vassals shew'd it not,
        Whose shuddering proved /their/ fear was less forgot.
        In trembling pairs (alone they dared not) crawl
        The astonish'd slaves, and shun the fated hall;
        The waving banner, and the clapping door;
        The rustling tapestry, and the echoing floor;
        The long dim shadows of surrounding trees,
        The flapping bat, the night song of the breeze;
        Aught they behold or hear their thought appals
        As evening saddens o'er the dark gray walls.

        XVI.

        Vain thought! that hour of ne'er unravell'd gloom
        Came not again, or Lara could assume
        A seeming of forgetfulness that made
        His vassals more amazed nor less afraid —
        Had memory vanish'd then with sense restored?
        Since word, nor look, nor gesture of their lord
        Betray'd a feeling that recall'd to these
        That fever'd moment of his mind's disease.
        Was it a dream? was his the voice that spoke
        Those strange wild accents; his the cry that broke
        Their slumber? his the oppress'd o'er-labour'd heart
        That ceased to beat, the look that made them start?
        Could he who thus had suffer'd, so forget
        When such as saw that suffering shudder yet?
        Or did that silence prove his memory fix'd
        Too deep for words, indelible, unmix'd
        In that corroding secresy which gnaws
        The heart to shew the effect, but not the cause?
        Not so in him; his breast had buried both,
        Nor common gazers could discern the growth
        Of thoughts that mortal lips must leave half told;
        They choke the feeble words that would unfold.

        XVII.

        In him inexplicably mix'd appear'd
        Much to be loved and hated, sought and fear'd;
        Opinion varying o'er his hidden lot,
        In praise or railing ne'er his name forgot;
        His silence form'd a theme for others' prate —
        They guess'd — they gazed — they fain would know his fate.
        What had he been? what was he, thus unknown,
        Who walk'd their world, his lineage only known?
        A hater of his kind? yet some would say,
        With them he could seem gay amidst the gay;
        But own'd that smile, if oft observed and near,
        Waned in its mirth and wither'd to a sneer;
        That smile might reach his lip, but pass'd not by,
        None e'er could trace its laughter to his eye:
        Yet there was softness too in his regard,
        At times, a heart as not by nature hard,
        But once perceived, his spirit seem'd to chide
        Such weakness, as unworthy of its pride,
        And steel'd itself, as scorning to redeem
        One doubt from others' half withheld esteem;
        In self-inflicted penance of a breast
        Which tenderness might once have wrung from rest;
        In vigilance of grief that would compel
        The soul to hate for having loved too well.

        XVIII.

        There was in him a vital scorn of all:
        As if the worst had fall'n which could befall,
        He stood a stranger in this breathing world,
        An erring spirit from another hurled;
        A thing of dark imaginings, that shaped
        By choice the perils he by chance escaped;
        But 'scaped in vain, for in their memory yet
        His mind would half exult and half regret:
        With more capacity for love than earth
        Bestows on most of mortal mould and birth,
        His early dreams of good outstripp'd the truth,
        And troubled manhood follow'd baffled youth;
        With thought of years in phantom chase misspent,
        And wasted powers for better purpose lent;
        And fiery passions that had pour'd their wrath
        In hurried desolation o'er his path,
        And left the better feelings all at strife
        In wild reflection o'er his stormy life;
        But haughty still, and loth himself to blame,
        He call'd on Nature's self to share the shame,
        And charged all faults upon the fleshly form
        She gave to clog the soul, and feast the worm;
        'Till he at last confounded good and ill,
        And half mistook for fate the acts of will:
        Too high for common selfishness, he could
        At times resign his own for others' good,
        But not in pity, not because he ought,
        But in some strange perversity of thought,
        That sway'd him onward with a secret pride
        To do what few or none would do beside;
        And this same impulse would, in tempting time,
        Mislead his spirit equally to crime;
        So much he soar'd beyond, or sunk beneath
        The men with whom he felt condemn'd to breathe,
        And long'd by good or ill to separate
        Himself from all who shared his mortal state;
        His mind abhorring this had fix'd her throne
        Far from the world, in regions of her own;
        Thus coldly passing all that pass'd below,
        His blood in temperate seeming now would flow:
        Ah! happier if it ne'er with guilt had glow'd,
        But ever in that icy smoothness flow'd:
        'Tis true, with other men their path he walk'd,
        And like the rest in seeming did and talk'd,
        Nor outraged Reason's rules by flaw nor start,
        His madness was not of the head, but heart;
        And rarely wander'd in his speech, or drew
        His thoughts so forth as to offend the view.

        XIX.

        With all that chilling mystery of mien,
        And seeming gladness to remain unseen,
        He had (if 'twere not nature's boon) an art
        Of fixing memory on another's heart:
        It was not love, perchance — nor hate — nor aught
        That words can image to express the thought;
        But they who saw him did not see in vain,
        And once beheld, would ask of him again:
        And those to whom he spake remember'd well,
        And on the words, however light, would dwell.
        None knew nor how, nor why, but he entwined
        Himself perforce around the hearer's mind;
        There he was stamp'd, in liking, or in hate,
        If greeted once; however brief the date
        That friendship, pity, or aversion knew,
        Still there within the inmost thought he grew.
        You could not penetrate his soul, but found
        Despite your wonder, to your own he wound.
        His presence haunted still; and from the breast
        He forced an all-unwilling interest;
        Vain was the struggle in that mental net,
        His spirit seem'd to dare you to forget!

        XX.

        There is a festival, where knights and dames,
        And aught that wealth or lofty lineage claims,
        Appear — a high-born and a welcomed guest
        To Otho's hall came Lara with the rest.
        The long carousal shakes the illumined hall,
        Well speeds alike the banquet and the ball;
        And the gay dance of bounding Beauty's train
        Links grace and harmony in happiest chain:
        Blest are the early hearts and gentle hands
        That mingle there in well according bands;
        It is a sight the careful brow might smooth,
        And make Age smile, and dream itself to youth,
        And Youth forget such hour was pass'd on earth,
        So springs the exulting bosom to that mirth!

        XXI.

        And Lara gazed on these sedately glad,
        His brow belied him if his soul was sad,
        And his glance follow'd fast each fluttering fair,
        Whose steps of lightness woke no echo there:
        He lean'd against the lofty pillar nigh
        With folded arms and long attentive eye,
        Nor mark'd a glance so sternly fix'd on his,
        Ill brook'd high Lara scrutiny like this:
        At length he caught it, 'tis a face unknown,
        But seems as searching his, and his alone;
        Prying and dark, a stranger's by his mien,
        Who still till now had gazed on him unseen;
        At length encountering meets the mutual gaze
        Of keen inquiry, and of mute amaze;
        On Lara's glance emotion gathering grew,
        As if distrusting that the stranger threw;
        Along the stranger's aspect fix'd and stern
        Flash'd more than thence the vulgar eye could learn.

        XXII.

        "'Tis he!" the stranger cried, and those that heard
        Re-echo'd fast and far the whisper'd word.
        "'Tis he!" — "'Tis who?" they question far and near,
        Till louder accents rang on Lara's ear;
        So widely spread, few bosoms well could brook
        The general marvel, or that single look;
        But Lara stirr'd not, changed not, the surprise
        That sprung at first to his arrested eyes
        Seem'd now subsided, neither sunk nor raised
        Glanced his eye round, though still the stranger gazed;
        And drawing nigh, exclaim'd, with haughty sneer,
        "'Tis he! — how came he thence? — what doth he here?"

        XXIII.

        It were too much for Lara to pass by
        Such question, so repeated fierce and high;
        With look collected, but with accent cold,
        More mildly firm than petulantly bold,
        He turn'd, and met the inquisitorial tone —
        "My name is Lara! — when thine own is known,
        Doubt not my fitting answer to requite
        The unlook'd for courtesy of such a knight.
        'Tis Lara! — further wouldst thou mark or ask?
        I shun no question, and I wear no mask."
        "Thou shunn'st no question! Ponder — is there none
        Thy heart must answer, though thine ear would shun?
        And deem'st thou me unknown too? Gaze again!
        At least thy memory was not given in vain.
        Oh! never canst thou cancel half her debt,
        Eternity forbids thee to forget."
        With slow and searching glance upon his face
        Grew Lara's eyes, but nothing there could trace
        They knew, or chose to know — with dubious look
        He deign'd no answer, but his head he shook,
        And half contemptuous turn'd to pass away;
        But the stern stranger motion'd him to stay.
        "A word! — I charge thee stay, and answer here
        To one, who, wert thou noble, were thy peer,
        But as thou wast and art — nay, frown not, lord,
        If false, 'tis easy to disprove the word —
        But as thou wast and art, on thee looks down,
        Distrusts thy smiles, but shakes not at thy frown.
        Art thou not he? whose deeds — "

        "Whate'er I be,
        Words wild as these, accusers like to thee,
        I list no further; those with whom they weigh
        May hear the rest, nor venture to gainsay
        The wondrous tale no doubt thy tongue can tell,
        Which thus begins courteously and well.
        Let Otho cherish here his polish'd guest,
        To him my thanks and thoughts shall be express'd."
        And here their wondering host hath interposed —
        "Whate'er there be between you undisclosed,
        This is no time nor fitting place to mar
        The mirthful meeting with a wordy war.
        If thou, Sir Ezzelin, hast ought to show
        Which it befits Count Lara's ear to know,
        To-morrow, here, or elsewhere, as may best
        Beseem your mutual judgment, speak the rest;
        I pledge myself for thee, as not unknown,
        Though, like Count Lara, now return'd alone
        From other lands, almost a stranger grown;
        And if from Lara's blood and gentle birth
        I augur right of courage and of worth,
        He will not that untainted line belie,
        Nor aught that knighthood may accord deny."
        "To-morrow be it," Ezzelin replied,
        "And here our several worth and truth be tried:
        I gage my life, my falchion to attest
        My words, so may I mingle with the blest!"

        What answers Lara? to its centre shrunk
        His soul, in deep abstraction sudden sunk;
        The words of many, and the eyes of all
        That there were gather'd, seem'd on him to fall;
        But his were silent, his appear'd to stray
        In far forgetfulness away — away —
        Alas! that heedlessness of all around
        Bespoke remembrance only too profound.

        XXIV.

        "To-morrow! — ay, to-morrow!" — further word
        Than those repeated none from Lara heard;
        Upon his brow no outward passion spoke,
        From his large eye no flashing anger broke;
        Yet there was something fix'd in that low tone
        Which shew'd resolve, determined, though unknown.
        He seized his cloak — his head he slightly bow'd,
        And passing Ezzelin he left the crowd;
        And as he pass'd him, smiling met the frown
        With which that chieftain's brow would bear him down:
        It was nor smile of mirth, nor struggling pride
        That curbs to scorn the wrath it cannot hide;
        But that of one in his own heart secure
        Of all that he would do, or could endure.
        Could this mean peace? the calmness of the good?
        Or guilt grown old in desperate hardihood?
        Alas! too like in confidence are each
        For man to trust to mortal look or speech;
        From deeds, and deeds alone, may he discern
        Truths which it wrings the unpractised heart to learn.

        XXV.

        And Lara call'd his page, and went his way —
        Well could that stripling word or sign obey:
        His only follower from those climes afar
        Where the soul glows beneath a brighter star;
        For Lara left the shore from whence he sprung,
        In duty patient, and sedate though young;
        Silent as him he served, his fate appears
        Above his station, and beyond his years.
        Though not unknown the tongue of Lara's land,
        In such from him he rarely heard command;
        But fleet his step, and clear his tones would come,
        When Lara's lip breathed forth the words of home:
        Those accents, as his native mountains dear,
        Awake their absent echoes in his ear,
        Friends', kindreds', parents', wonted voice recall,
        Now lost, abjured, for one — his friend, his all:
        For him earth now disclosed no other guide;
        What marvel then he rarely left his side?

        XXVI.

        Light was his form, and darkly delicate
        That brow whereon his native sun had sate,
        But had not marr'd, though in his beams he grew,
        The cheek where oft the unbidden blush shone through;
        Yet not such blush as mounts when health would show
        All the heart's hue in that delighted glow;
        But 'twas a hectic tint of secret care
        That for a burning moment fever'd there;
        And the wild sparkle of his eye seem'd caught
        From high, and lighten'd with electric thought,
        Though its black orb those long low lashes' fringe
        Had temper'd with a melancholy tinge;
        Yet less of sorrow than of pride was there,
        Or, if 'twere grief, a grief that none should share:
        And pleased not him the sports that please his age,
        The tricks of youth, the frolics of the page;
        For hours on Lara he would fix his glance,
        As all-forgotten in that watchful trance;
        And from his chief withdrawn, he wander'd lone,
        Brief were his answers, and his questions none;
        His walk the wood, his sport some foreign book;
        His resting-place the bank that curbs the brook;
        He seem'd, like him he served, to live apart
        From all that lures the eye, and fills the heart;
        To know no brotherhood; and take from earth
        No gift beyond that bitter boon — our birth.

        XXVII.

        If aught he loved, 'twas Lara; but was shown
        His faith in reverence and in deeds alone;
        In mute attention; and his care, which guess'd
        Each wish, fulfill'd it ere the tongue express'd.
        Still there was haughtiness in all he did,
        A spirit deep that brook'd not to be chid;
        His zeal, though more than that of servile hands,
        In act alone obeys, his air commands;
        As if 'twas Lara's less than /his/ desire
        That thus he served, but surely not for hire.
        Slight were the tasks enjoin'd him by his lord,
        To hold the stirrup, or to bear the sword;
        To tune his lute, or, if he will'd it more,
        On tomes of other times and tongues to pore;
        But ne'er to mingle with the menial train,
        To whom he shew'd not deference nor disdain,
        But that well-worn reserve which proved he knew
        No sympathy with that familiar crew:
        His soul, whate'er his station or his stem,
        Could bow to Lara, not descend to them.
        Of higher birth he seem'd, and better days,
        Nor mark of vulgar toil that hand betrays,
        So femininely white it might bespeak
        Another sex, when match'd with that smooth cheek,
        But for his garb, and something in his gaze,
        More wild and high than woman's eye betrays;
        A latent fierceness that far more became
        His fiery climate than his tender frame:
        True, in his words it broke not from his breast,
        But from his aspect might be more than guess'd.
        Kaled his name, though rumour said he bore
        Another ere he left his mountain shore;
        For sometimes he would hear, however nigh,
        That name repeated loud without reply,
        As unfamiliar, or, if roused again,
        Start to the sound, as but remember'd then;
        Unless 'twas Lara's wonted voice that spake,
        For then, ear, eyes, and heart would all awake.

        XXVIII.

        He had look'd down upon the festive hall,
        And mark'd that sudden strife so mark'd of all;
        And when the crowd around and near him told
        Their wonder at the calmness of the bold,
        Their marvel how the high-born Lara bore
        Such insult from a stranger, doubly sore,
        The colour of young Kaled went and came,
        The lip of ashes, and the cheek of flame;
        And o'er his brow the dampening heart-drops threw
        The sickening iciness of that cold dew
        That rises as the busy bosom sinks
        With heavy thoughts from which reflection shrinks.
        Yes — there be things which we must dream and dare
        And execute ere thought be half aware:
        Whate'er might Kaled's be, it was enow
        To seal his lip, but agonise his brow.
        He gazed on Ezzelin till Lara cast
        That sidelong smile upon on the knight he pass'd;
        When Kaled saw that smile his visage fell,
        As if on something recognised right well;
        His memory read in such a meaning more
        Than Lara's aspect unto others wore.
        Forward he sprung — a moment, both were gone,
        And all within that hall seem'd left alone;
        Each had so fix'd his eye on Lara's mien,
        All had so mix'd their feelings with that scene,
        That when his long dark shadow through the porch
        No more relieves the glare of yon high torch,
        Each pulse beats quicker, and all bosoms seem
        To bound as doubting from too black a dream,
        Such as we know is false, yet dread in sooth,
        Because the worst is ever nearest truth.
        And they are gone — but Ezzelin is there,
        With thoughtful visage and imperious air;
        But long remain'd not; ere an hour expired
        He waved his hand to Otho, and retired.

        XXIX.

        The crowd are gone, the revellers at rest;
        The courteous host, and all-approving guest,
        Again to that accustom'd couch must creep
        Where joy subsides, and sorrow sighs to sleep,
        And man, o'erlabour'd with his being's strife,
        Shrinks to that sweet forgetfulness of life:
        There lie love's feverish hope. and cunning's guile,
        Hate's working brain and lull'd ambition's wile;
        O'er each vain eye oblivion's pinions wave,
        And quench'd existence crouches in a grave.
        What better name may slumber's bed become?
        Night's sepulchre, the universal home,
        Where weakness, strength, vice, virtue, sunk supine,
        Alike in naked helplessness recline;
        Glad for awhile to heave unconscious breath,
        Yet wake to wrestle with the dread of death,
        And shun, though day but dawn on ills increased,
        That sleep, the loveliest, since it dreams the least.

        ____________

        CANTO THE SECOND.

        I.

        Night wanes — the vapours round the mountains curl'd,
        Melt into morn, and Light awakes the world.
        Man has another day to swell the past,
        And lead him near to little, but his last;
        But mighty Nature bounds as from her birth,
        The sun is in the heavens, and life on earth;
        Flowers in the valley, splendour in the beam,
        Health on the gale, and freshness in the stream.
        Immortal man! behold her glories shine,
        And cry, exulting inly, "They are thine!"
        Gaze on, while yet thy gladden'd eye may see,
        A morrow comes when they are not for thee;
        And grieve what may above thy senseless bier,
        Nor earth nor sky will yield a single tear;
        Nor cloud shall gather more, nor leaf shall fall,
        Nor gale breathe forth one sigh for thee, for all;
        But creeping things shall revel in their spoil,
        And fit thy clay to fertilise the soil.

        II.

        'Tis morn — 'tis noon — assembled in the hall,
        The gather'd chieftains come to Otho's call:
        'Tis now the promised hour, that must proclaim
        The life or death of Lara's future fame;
        When Ezzelin his charge may here unfold,
        And whatsoe'er the tale, it must be told.
        His faith was pledged, and Lara's promise given,
        To meet it in the eye of man and Heaven.
        Why comes he not? Such truths to be divulged,
        Methinks the accuser's rest is long indulged.

        III.

        The hour is past, and Lara too is there,
        With self-confiding, coldly patient air;
        Why comes not Ezzelin? The hour is past,
        And murmurs rise, and Otho's brow's o'ercast,
        "I know my friend! his faith I cannot fear,
        If yet he be on earth, expect him here;
        The roof that held him in the valley stands
        Between my own and noble Lara's lands;
        My halls from such a guest had honour gain'd,
        Nor had Sir Ezzelin his host disdain'd,
        But that some previous proof forbade his stay,
        And urged him to prepare against to-day;
        The word I pledge for his I pledge again,
        Or will myself redeem his knighthood's stain."

        He ceased — and Lara answer'd, "I am here
        To lend at thy demand a listening ear,
        To tales of evil from a stranger's tongue,
        Whose words already might my heart have wrung,
        But that I deem'd him scarcely less than mad,
        Or, at the worst, a foe ignobly bad.
        I know him not — but me it seems he knew
        In lands where — but I must not trifle too:
        Produce this babbler — or redeem the pledge;
        Here in thy hold, and with thy falchion's edge."

        Proud Otho on the instant, reddening, threw
        His glove on earth, and forth his sabre flew.
        "The last alternative befits me best,
        And thus I answer for mine absent guest."

        With cheek unchanging from its sallow gloom,
        However near his own or other's tomb;
        With hand, whose almost careless coolness spoke
        Its grasp well-used to deal the sabre-stroke;
        With eye, though calm, determined not to spare,
        Did Lara too his willing weapon bare.
        In vain the circling chieftains round them closed,
        For Otho's frenzy would not be opposed;
        And from his lip those words of insult fell —
        His sword is good who can maintain them well.

        IV.

        Short was the conflict; furious, blindly rash,
        Vain Otho gave his bosom to the gash:
        He bled, and fell; but not with deadly wound,
        Stretch'd by a dextrous sleight along the ground.
        "Demand thy life!" He answer'd not: and then
        From that red floor he ne'er had risen again,
        For Lara's brow upon the moment grew
        Almost to blackness in its demon hue;
        And fiercer shook his angry falchion now
        Than when his foe's was levell'd at his brow;
        Then all was stern collectedness and art,
        Now rose the unleaven'd hatred of his heart;
        So little sparing to the foe he fell'd,
        That when the approaching crowd his arm withheld
        He almost turn'd the thirsty point on those
        Who thus for mercy dared to interpose;
        But to a moment's thought that purpose bent;
        Yet look'd he on him still with eye intent,
        As if he loathed the ineffectual strife
        That left a foe, howe'er o'erthrown, with life;
        As if to search how far the wound he gave
        Had sent its victim onward to his grave.

        V.

        They raised the bleeding Otho, and the Leech
        Forbade all present question, sign, and speech;
        The others met within a neighbouring hall,
        And he, incensed and heedless of them all,
        The cause and conqueror in this sudden fray,
        In haughty silence slowly strode away;
        He back'd his steed, his homeward path he took,
        Nor cast on Otho's tower a single look.

        VI.

        But where was he? that meteor of a night,
        Who menaced but to disappear with light.
        Where was this Ezzelin? who came and went
        To leave no other trace of his intent.
        He left the dome of Otho long ere morn,
        In darkness, yet so well the path was worn
        He could not miss it: near his dwelling lay;
        But there he was not, and with coming day
        Came fast inquiry, which unfolded nought
        Except the absence of the chief it sought.
        A chamber tenantless, a steed at rest,
        His host alarm'd, his murmuring squires distress'd:
        Their search extends along, around the path,
        In dread to met the marks of prowlers' wrath:
        But none are there, and not a brake hath borne
        Nor gout of blood, nor shred of mantle torn;
        Nor fall nor struggle hath defaced the grass,
        Which still retains a mark where murder was;
        Nor dabbling fingers left to tell the tale,
        The bitter print of each convulsive nail,
        When agonised hands that cease to guard,
        Wound in that pang the smoothness of the sward.
        Some such had been, if here a life was reft,
        But these were not; and doubting hope is left;
        And strange suspicion, whispering Lara's name,
        Now daily mutters o'er his blacken'd fame;
        Then sudden silent when his form appear'd,
        Awaits the absence of the thing it fear'd;
        Again its wonted wondering to renew,
        And dye conjecture with a darker hue.

        VII.

        Days roll along, and Otho's wounds are heal'd,
        But not his pride; and hate no more conceal'd:
        He was a man of power, and Lara's foe,
        The friend of all who sought to work him woe,
        And from his country's justice now demands
        Account of Ezzelin at Lara's hands.
        Who else than Lara could have cause to fear
        His presence? who had made him disappear,
        If not the man on whom his menaced charge
        Had sate too deeply were he left at large?
        The general rumour ignorantly loud,
        The mystery dearest to the curious crowd;
        The seeming friendlessness of him who strove
        To win no confidence, and wake no love;
        The sweeping fierceness which his soul betray'd,
        The skill with which he wielded his keen blade;
        Where had his arm unwarlike caught that art?
        Where had that fierceness grown upon his heart?
        For it was not the blind capricious rage
        A word can kindle and a word assuage;
        But the deep working of a soul unmix'd
        With aught of pity where its wrath had fix'd;
        Such as long power and overgorged success
        Concentrates into all that's merciless:
        These, link'd with that desire which ever sways
        Mankind, the rather to condemn than praise,
        'Gainst Lara gathering raised at length a storm,
        Such as himself might fear, and foes would form,
        And he must answer for the absent head
        Of one that haunts him still, alive or dead.

        VIII.

        Within that land was many a malcontent,
        Who cursed the tyranny to which he bent;
        That soil full many a wringing despot saw,
        Who work'd his wantonness in form of law;
        Long war without and frequent broil within
        Had made a path for blood and giant sin,
        That waited but a signal to begin
        New havoc, such as civil discord blends,
        Which knows no neuter, owns but foes or friends;
        Fix'd in his feudal fortress each was lord,
        In word and deed obey'd, in soul abhorr'd.
        Thus Lara had inherited his lands,
        And with them pining hearts and sluggish hands;
        But that long absence from his native clime
        Had left him stainless of oppression's crime,
        And now, diverted by his milder sway,
        All dread by slow degrees had worn away;
        The menials felt their usual awe alone,
        But more for him than them that fear was grown;
        They deem'd him now unhappy, though at first
        Their evil judgment augur'd of the worst,
        And each long restless night, and silent mood,
        Was traced to sickness, fed by solitude:
        And though his lonely habits threw of late
        Gloom o'er his chamber, cheerful was his gate;
        For thence the wretched ne'er unsoothed withdrew,
        For them, at least, his soul compassion knew.
        Cold to the great, contemptuous to the high,
        The humble pass'd not his unheeding eye;
        Much he would speak not, but beneath his roof
        They found asylum oft, and ne'er reproof.
        And they who watch'd might mark that, day by day,
        Some new retainers gather'd to his sway;
        But most of late, since Ezzelin was lost,
        He play'd the courteous lord and bounteous host:
        Perchance his strife with Otho made him dread
        Some snare prepared for his obnoxious head;
        Whate'er his view, his favour more obtains
        With these, the people, than his fellow thanes.
        If this were policy, so far 'twas sound,
        The million judged but of him as they found;
        From him by sterner chiefs to exile driven
        They but required a shelter, and 'twas given.
        By him no peasant mourn'd his rifled cot,
        And scarce the serf could murmur o'er his lot;
        With him old avarice found its hoard secure,
        With him contempt forbore to mock the poor;
        Youth present cheer and promised recompense
        Detain'd, till all too late to part from thence:
        To hate he offer'd, with the coming change,
        The deep reversion of delay'd revenge;
        To love, long baffled by the unequal match,
        The well-won charms success was sure to snatch.
        All now was ripe, he waits but to proclaim
        That slavery nothing which was still a name.
        The moment came, the hour when Otho thought
        Secure at last the vengeance which he sought
        His summons found the destined criminal
        Begirt by thousands in his swarming hall,
        Fresh from their feudal fetters newly riven,
        Defying earth, and confident of heaven.
        That morning he had freed the soil-bound slaves
        Who dig no land for tyrants but their graves!
        Such is their cry — some watchword for the fight
        Must vindicate the wrong, and warp the right;
        Religion — freedom — vengeance — what you will,
        A word's enough to raise mankind to kill;
        Some factious phrase by cunning caught and spread,
        That guilt may reign, and wolves and worms be fed!

        IX.

        Throughout that clime the feudal chiefs had gain'd
        Such sway, their infant monarch hardly reign'd;
        Now was the hour for faction's rebel growth,
        The serfs contemn'd the one, and hated both:
        They waited but a leader, and they found
        One to their cause inseparably bound;
        By circumstance compell'd to plunge again,
        In self-defence, amidst the strife of men.
        Cut off by some mysterious fate from those
        Whom birth and nature meant not for his foes,
        Had Lara from that night, to him accurst,
        Prepared to meet, but not alone, the worst:
        Some reason urged, whate'er it was, to shun
        Inquiry into deeds at distance done;
        By mingling with his own the cause of all,
        E'en if he fail'd, he still delay'd his fall.
        The sullen calm that long his bosom kept,
        The storm that once had spent itself and slept,
        Roused by events that seem'd foredoom'd to urge
        His gloomy fortunes to their utmost verge,
        Burst forth, and made him all he once had been,
        And is again; he only changed the scene.
        Light care had he for life, and less for fame,
        But not less fitted for the desperate game:
        He deem'd himself mark'd out for others' hate,
        And mock'd at ruin, so they shared his fate.
        What cared he for the freedom of the crowd?
        He raised the humble but to bend the proud.
        He had hoped quiet in his sullen lair,
        But man and destiny beset him there:
        Inured to hunters, he was found at bay;
        And they must kill, they cannot snare the prey.
        Stern, unambitious, silent he had been
        Henceforth a calm spectator of life's scene;
        But dragg'd again upon the arena, stood
        A leader not unequal to the feud;
        In voice — mien — gesture — savage nature spoke,
        And from his eye the gladiator broke.

        X.

        What boots the oft-repeated tale of strife,
        The feast of vultures, and the waste of life?
        The varying fortune of each separate field,
        The fierce that vanquish, and the faint that yield?
        The smoking ruin, and the crumbled wall?
        In this the struggle was the same with all;
        Save that distemper'd passions lent their force
        In bitterness that banish'd all remorse.
        None sued, for Mercy know her cry was vain,
        The captive died upon the battle-slain:
        In either cause, one rage alone possess'd
        The empire of the alternate victor's breast;
        And they that smote for freedom or for sway,
        Deem'd few were slain, while more remain'd to slay.
        It was too late to check the wasting brand,
        And Desolation reap'd the famish'd land;
        The torch was lighted, and the flame was spread,
        And Carnage smiled upon her daily bread.

        XI.

        Fresh with the nerve the new-born impulse strung,
        The first success to Lara's numbers clung:
        But that vain victory hath ruin'd all;
        They form no longer to their leader's call:
        In blind confusion on the foe they press,
        And think to snatch is to secure success.
        The lust of booty, and the thirst of hate,
        Lure on the broken brigands to their fate:
        In vain he doth whate'er a chief may do,
        To check the headlong fury of that crew,
        In vain their stubborn ardour he would tame,
        The hand that kindles cannot quench the flame.
        The wary foe alone hath turn'd their mood,
        And shewn their rashness to that erring brood:
        The feign'd retreat, the nightly ambuscade,
        The daily harass, and the fight delay'd,
        The long privation of the hoped supply,
        The tentless rest beneath the humid sky,
        The stubborn wall that mocks the leaguer's art,
        And palls the patience of his baffled heart,
        Of these they had not deem'd: the battle-day
        They could encounter as a veteran may;
        But more preferr'd the fury of the strife,
        And present death, to hourly suffering life:
        And famine wrings, and fever sweeps away
        His numbers melting fast from their array;
        Intemperate triumph fades to discontent,
        And Lara's soul alone seems still unbent:
        But few remain to aid his voice and hand,
        And thousands dwindled to a scanty band:
        Desperate, though few, the last and best remain'd
        To mourn the discipline they late disdain'd.
        One hope survives, the frontier is not far,
        And thence they may escape from native war;
        And bear within them to the neighbouring state
        An exile's sorrows, or an outlaw's hate:
        Hard is the task their fatherland to quit,
        But harder still to perish or submit.

        XII.

        It is resolved — they march — consenting Night
        Guides with her star their dim and torchless flight;
        Already they perceive its tranquil beam
        Sleep on the surface of the barrier stream;
        Already they descry — Is yon the bank?
        Away! 'tis lined with many a hostile rank.
        Return or fly! — What glitters in the rear?
        'Tis Otho's banner — the pursuer's spear!
        Are those the shepherds' fires upon the height?
        Alas! they blaze too widely for the flight:
        Cut off from hope, and compass'd in the toil,
        Less blood, perchance, hath bought a richer spoil!

        XIII.

        A moment's pause — 'tis but to breathe their band
        Or shall they onward press, or here withstand?
        It matters little — if they charge the foes
        Who by their border-stream their march oppose,
        Some few, perchance, may break and pass the line,
        However link'd to baffle such design.
        "The charge be ours! to wait for their assault
        Were fate well worthy of a coward's halt."
        Forth flies each sabre, rein'd is every steed,
        And the next word shall scarce outstrip the deed:
        In the next tone of Lara's gathering breath
        How many shall but hear the voice of death!

        XIV.

        His blade is bared — in him there is an air
        As deep, but far too tranquil for despair;
        A something of indifference more than then
        Becomes the bravest, if they feel for men.
        He turn'd his eye on Kaled, ever near,
        And still too faithful to betray one fear;
        Perchance 'twas but the moon's dim twilight threw
        Along his aspect an unwonted hue
        Of mournful paleness, whose deep tint express'd
        The truth, and not the terror of his breast.
        This Lara mark'd, and laid his hand on his:
        It trembled not in such an hour as this;
        His lip was silent, scarcely beat his heart,
        His eye alone proclaim'd —
        "We will not part!
        Thy band may perish, or thy friends may flee,
        Farewell to life, but not adieu to thee!"

        The word hath pass'd his lips, and onward driven,
        Pours the link'd band through ranks asunder riven;
        Well has each steed obey'd the armed heel,
        And flash the scimitars, and rings the steel;
        Outnumber'd, not outbraved, they still oppose
        Despair to daring, and a front to foes;
        And blood is mingled with the dashing stream,
        Which runs all redly till the morning beam.

        XV.

        Commanding, aiding, animating all,
        Where foe appear'd to press, or friend to fall,
        Cheers Lara's voice, and waves or strikes his steel,
        Inspiring hope himself had ceased to feel.
        None fled, for well they knew that flight were vain,
        But those that waver turn to smite again,
        While yet they find the firmest of the foe
        Recoil before their leader's look and blow;
        Now girt with numbers, now almost alone,
        He foils their ranks, or reunites his own;
        Himself he spared not — once they seem'd to fly —
        Now was the time, he waved his hand on high,
        And shook — Why sudden droops that plumed crest?
        The shaft is sped — the arrow's in his breast!
        That fatal gesture left the unguarded side,
        And Death hath stricken down yon arm of pride.
        The word of triumph fainted from his tongue;
        That hand, so raised, how droopingly it hung!
        But yet the sword instinctively retains,
        Though from its fellow shrink the falling reins;
        These Kaled snatches: dizzy with the blow,
        And senseless bending o'er his saddle-bow
        Perceives not Lara that his anxious page
        Beguiles his charger from the combat's rage:
        Meantime his followers charge and charge again;
        Too mix'd the slayers now to heed the slain!

        XVI.

        Day glimmers on the dying and the dead,
        The cloven cuirass, and the helmless head;
        The war-horse masterless is on the earth,
        And that last gasp hath burst his bloody girth:
        And near, yet quivering with what life remain'd,
        The heel that urged him, and the hand that rein'd:
        And some too near that rolling torrent lie,
        Whose waters mock the lip of those that die;
        That panting thirst which scorches in the breath
        Of those that die the soldier's fiery death,
        In vain impels the burning mouth to crave
        One drop — the last — to cool it for the grave;
        With feeble and convulsive effort swept
        Their limbs along the crimson'd turf have crept:
        The faint remains of life such struggles waste,
        But yet they reach the stream, and bend to taste:
        They feel its freshness, and almost partake —
        Why pause? — No further thirst have they to slake —
        It is unquench'd, and yet they feel it not —
        It was an agony — but now forgot!

        XVII.

        Beneath a lime, remoter from the scene,
        Where but for him that strife had never been,
        A breathing but devoted warrior lay:
        'Twas Lara bleeding fast from life away.
        His follower once, and now his only guide,
        Kneels Kaled watchful o'er his welling side,
        And with his scarf would stanch the tides that rush
        With each convulsion in a blacker gush;
        And then, as his faint breathing waxes low,
        In feebler, not less fatal tricklings flow:
        He scarce can speak, but motions him 'tis vain,
        And merely adds another throb to pain.
        He clasps the hand that pang which would assuage,
        And sadly smiles his thanks to that dark page,
        Who nothing fears, nor feels, nor heeds, nor sees,
        Save that damp brow which rests upon his knees;
        Save that pale aspect, where the eye, though dim,
        Held all the light that shone on earth for him.

        XVIII.

        The foe arrives, who long had search'd the field,
        Their triumph nought till Lara too should yield;
        They would remove him, but they see 'twere vain,
        And he regards them with a calm disdain,
        That rose to reconcile him with his fate,
        And that escape to death from living hate:
        And Otho comes, and leaping from his steed,
        Looks on the bleeding foe that made him bleed,
        And questions of his state; he answers not,
        Scarce glances on him as on one forgot,
        And turns to Kaled: — each remaining word,
        They understood not, if distinctly heard;
        His dying tones are in that other tongue,
        To which some strange remembrance wildly clung.
        They spake of other scenes, but what — is known
        To Kaled, whom their meaning reach'd alone;
        And he replied, though faintly, to their sound,
        While gazed the rest in dumb amazement round:
        They seem'd even then — that twain — unto the last
        To half forget the present in the past;
        To share between themselves some separate fate,
        Whose darkness none beside should penetrate.

        XIX.

        Their words though faint were many — from the tone
        Their import those who heard could judge alone;
        From this, you might have deem'd young Kaled's death
        More near than Lara's by his voice and breath,
        So sad, so deep, and hesitating broke
        The accents his scarce-moving pale lips spoke;
        But Lara's voice, though low, at first was clear
        And calm, till murmuring death gasp'd hoarsely near:
        But from his visage little could we guess,
        So unrepentant, dark, and passionless,
        Save that when struggling nearer to his last,
        Upon that page his eye was kindly cast;
        And once, as Kaled's answering accents ceased,
        Rose Lara's hand, and pointed to the East:
        Whether (as then the breaking sun from high
        Roll'd back the clouds) the morrow caught his eye,
        Or that 'twas chance, or some remember'd scene
        That raised his arm to point where such had been,
        Scarce Kaled seem'd to know, but turn'd away,
        As if his heart abhorr'd that coming day,
        And shrunk his glance before that morning light
        To look on Lara's brow — where all grew night.
        Yet sense seem'd left, though better were its loss;
        For when one near display'd the absolving cross,
        And proffer'd to his touch the holy bead,
        Of which his parting soul might own the need,
        He look'd upon it with an eye profane,
        And smiled — Heaven pardon! if 'twere with disdain;
        And Kaled, though he spoke not, nor withdrew
        From Lara's face his fix'd despairing view,
        With brow repulsive, and with gesture swift,
        Flung back the hand which held the sacred gift,
        As if such but disturb'd the expiring man,
        Nor seem'd to know his life but /then/ began,
        The life immortal infinite, secure,
        To all for whom that cross hath made it sure!

        XX.

        But gasping heaved the breath that Lara drew,
        And dull the film along his dim eye grew;
        His limbs stretch'd fluttering, and his head droop'd o'er
        The weak yet still untiring knee that bore:
        He press'd the hand he held upon his heart —
        It beats no more, but Kaled will not part
        With the cold grasp, but feels, and feels in vain,
        For that faint throb which answers not again.
        "It beats!" — Away, thou dreamer! he is gone —
        It once was Lara which thou look'st upon.

        XXI.

        He gazed, as if not yet had pass'd away
        The haughty spirit of that humble clay;
        And those around have roused him from his trance,
        But cannot tear from thence his fixed glance;
        And when in raising him from where he bore
        Within his arms the form that felt no more,
        He saw the head his breast would still sustain,
        Roll down like earth to earth upon the plain;
        He did not dash himself thereby, nor tear
        The glossy tendrils of his raven hair,
        But strove to stand and gaze, but reel'd and fell,
        Scarce breathing more than that he loved so well.
        Than that /he/ lov'd! Oh! never yet beneath
        The breast of man such trusty love may breathe!
        That trying moment hath at once reveal'd
        The secret long and yet but half conceal'd;
        In baring to revive that lifeless breast,
        Its grief seem'd ended, but the sex confess'd;
        And life return'd, and Kaled felt no shame —
        What now to her was Womanhood or Fame?

        XXII.

        And Lara sleeps not where his fathers sleep,
        But where he died his grave was dug as deep;
        Nor is his mortal slumber less profound,
        Though priest nor bless'd, nor marble deck'd the mound;
        And he was mourn'd by one whose quiet grief,
        Less loud, outlasts a people's for their chief.
        Vain was all question ask'd her of the past,
        And vain e'en menace — silent to the last;
        She told nor whence nor why she left behind
        Her all for one who seem'd but little kind.
        Why did she love him? Curious fool! — be still —
        Is human love the growth of human will?
        To her he might be gentleness; the stern
        Have deeper thoughts than your dull eyes discern,
        And when they love, your smilers guess not how
        Beats the strong heart, though less the lips avow.
        They were not common links that form'd the chain
        That bound to Lara Kaled's heart and brain;
        But that wild tale she brook'd not to unfold,
        And seal'd is now each lip that could have told.

        XXIII.

        They laid him in the earth, and on his breast,
        Besides the wound that sent his soul to rest,
        They found the scattered dints of many a scar
        Which were not planted there in recent war:
        Where'er had pass'd his summer years of life,
        It seems they vanish'd in a land of strife;
        But all unknown his glory or his guilt,
        These only told that somewhere blood was spilt.
        And Ezzelin, who might have spoke the past,
        Return'd no more — that night appear'd his last.

        XXIV.

        Upon that night (a peasant's is the tale)
        A Serf that cross'd the intervening vale,
        When Cynthia's light almost gave way to morn,
        And nearly veil'd in mist her waning horn;
        A Serf, that rose betimes to thread the wood,
        And hew the bough that bought his children's food,
        Pass'd by the river that divides the plain
        Of Otho's lands and Lara's broad domain:
        He heard a tramp — a horse and horseman broke
        From out the wood — before him was a cloak
        Wrapt round some burthen at his saddle-bow,
        Bent was his head, and hidden was his brow.
        Roused by the sudden sight at such a time,
        And some foreboding that it might be crime,
        Himself unheeded watch'd the stranger's course,
        Who reach'd the river, bounded from his horse,
        And lifting thence the burthen which he bore,
        Heaved up the bank, and dash'd it from the shore, [3]
        Then paused, and look'd, and turn'd, and seem'd to watch,
        And still another hurried glance would snatch,
        And follow with his step the stream that flow'd,
        As if even yet too much its surface show'd:
        At once he started, stoop'd, around him strewn
        The winter floods had scatter'd heaps of stone;
        Of these the heaviest thence he gather'd there,
        And slung them with a more than common care.
        Meantime the Serf had crept to where unseen
        Himself might safely mark what this might mean.
        He caught a glimpse, as of a floating breast,
        And something glitter'd starlike on the vest,
        But ere he well could mark the buoyant trunk,
        A massy fragment smote it, and it sunk:
        It rose again, but indistinct to view,
        And left the waters of a purple hue,
        Then deeply disappear'd: the horseman gazed
        Till ebb'd the latest eddy it had raised;
        Then turning, vaulted on his pawing steed,
        And instant spurr'd him into panting speed.
        His face was mask'd — the features of the dead,
        If dead it were, escaped the observer's dread;
        But if in sooth a star its bosom bore,
        Such is the badge that knighthood ever wore,
        And such 'tis known Sir Ezzelin had worn
        Upon the night that led to such a morn.
        If thus he perish'd, Heaven receive his soul!
        His undiscover'd limbs to ocean roll;
        And charity upon the hope would dwell
        It was not Lara's hand by which he fell.

        XXV.

        And Kaled — Lara — Ezzelin, are gone,
        Alike without their monumental stone!
        The first, all efforts vainly strove to wean
        From lingering where her chieftain's blood had been.
        Grief had so tamed a spirit once too proud,
        Her tears were few, her wailing never loud;
        But furious would you tear her from the spot
        Where yet she scarce believed that he was not,
        Her eye shot forth with all the living fire
        That haunts the tigress in her whelpless ire;
        But left to waste her weary moments there,
        She talk'd all idly unto shapes of air,
        Such as the busy brain of Sorrow paints,
        And woos to listen to her fond complaints;
        And she would sit beneath the very tree,
        Where lay his drooping head upon her knee;
        And in that posture where she saw him fall,
        His words, his looks, his dying grasp recall;
        And she had shorn, but saved her raven hair,
        And oft would snatch it from her bosom there,
        And fold and press it gently to the ground,
        As if she stanch'd anew some phantom's wound.
        Herself would question, and for him reply;
        Then rising, start, and beckon him to fly
        From some imagined spectre in pursuit;
        Then seat her down upon some linden's root,
        And hide her visage with her meagre hand,
        Or trace strange characters along the sand. —
        This could not last — she lies by him she loved;
        Her tale untold — her truth too dearly proved.

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      Lines Inscribed Upon A Cup Formed From A Skull

        Start not—nor deem my spirit fled:
        In me behold the only skull
        From which, unlike a living head,
        Whatever flows is never dull.

        I lived, I loved, I quaffed like thee;
        I died: let earth my bones resign:
        Fill up—thou canst not injure me;
        The worm hath fouler lips than thine.

        Better to hold the sparkling grape
        Than nurse the earthworm's slimy brood,
        And circle in the goblet's shape
        The drink of gods than reptile's food.

        Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone,
        In aid of others' let me shine;
        And when, alas! our brains are gone,
        What nobler substitute than wine?

        Quaff while thou canst; another race,
        When thou and thine like me are sped,
        May rescue thee from earth's embrace,
        And rhyme and revel with the dead.

        Why not—since through life's little day
        Our heads such sad effects produce?
        Redeemed from worms and wasting clay,
        This chance is theirs to be of use.

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      Lines Written Beneath An Elm In The Churchyard Of Harrow

        Spot of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh,
        Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky;
        Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod,
        With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod;
        With those who, scattered far, perchance deplore,
        Like me, the happy scenes they knew before:
        Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill,
        Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still,
        Thou drooping Elm! beneath whose boughs I lay,
        And frequent mused the twilight hours away;
        Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline,
        But ah! without the thoughts which then were mine.
        How do thy branches, moaning to the blast,
        Invite the bosom to recall the past,
        And seem to whisper, as the gently swell,
        "Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell!"

        When fate shall chill, at length, this fevered breast,
        And calm its cares and passions into rest,
        Oft have I thought, 'twould soothe my dying hour,—
        If aught may soothe when life resigns her power,—
        To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell,
        Would hide my bosom where it loved to dwell.
        With this fond dream, methinks, 'twere sweet to die—
        And here it lingered, here my heart might lie;
        Here might I sleep, where all my hopes arose,
        Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose;
        For ever stretched beneath this mantling shade,
        Pressed by the turf where once my childhood played;
        Wrapped by the soil that veils the spot I loved,
        Mixed with the earth o'er which my footsteps moved;
        Blest by the tongues that charmed my youthful ear,
        Mourned by the few my soul acknowledged here;
        Deplored by those in early days allied,
        And unremembered by the world beside.

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      Lines, On Hearing That Lady Byron Was Ill

        And thou wert sad—yet I was not with thee!
        And thou wert sick, and yet I was not near;
        Methought that joy and health alone could be
        Where I was not—and pain and sorrow here.
        And is it thus?—it is as I foretold,
        And shall be more so; for the mind recoils
        Upon itself, and the wrecked heart lies cold,
        While heaviness collects the shattered spoils.
        It is not in the storm nor in the strife
        We feel benumbed, and wish to be no more,
        But in the after-silence on the shore,
        When all is lost, except a little life.

        I am too well avenged!—but 'twas my right;
        Whate'er my sins might be, thou wert not sent
        To be the Nemesis who should requite—
        Nor did heaven choose so near an instrument.
        Mercy is for the merciful!—if thou
        Hast been of such, 'twill be accorded now.
        Thy nights are banished from the realms of sleep!—
        Yes! they may flatter thee, but thou shalt feel
        A hollow agony which will not heal,
        For thou art pillowed on a curse too deep;
        Thou hast sown in my sorrow, and must reap
        The bitter harvest in a woe as real!
        I have had many foes, but none like thee;
        For 'gainst the rest myself I could defend,
        And be avenged, or turn them into friend;
        But thou in safe implacability
        Hadst nought to dread—in thy own weakness shielded,
        And in my love which hath but too much yielded,
        And spared, for thy sake, some I should not spare—
        And thus upon the world—trust in thy truth—
        And the wild fame of my ungoverned youth—
        On things that were not, and on things that are—
        Even upon such a basis hast thou built
        A monument whose cement hath been guilt!
        The moral Clytemnestra of thy lord,
        And hewed down, with an unsuspected sword,
        Fame, peace, and hope—and all the better life
        Which, but for this cold treason of thy heart,
        Might still have risen from out the grave of strife,
        And found a nobler duty than to part.
        But of thy virtues didst thou make a vice,
        Trafficking with them in a purpose cold,
        For present anger, and for future gold—
        And buying other's grief at any price.
        And thus once entered into crooked ways,
        The early truth, which was thy proper praise,
        Did not still walk beside thee—but at times,
        And with a breast unknowing its own crimes,
        Deceit, averments incompatible,
        Equivocations, and the thoughts which dwell
        In Janus-spirits—the significant eye
        Which learns to lie with silence—the pretext
        Of Prudence, with advantages annexed—
        The acquiescence in all things which tend,
        No matter how, to the desired end—
        All found a place in thy philosophy.
        The means were worthy, and the end is won—
        I would not do by thee as thou hast done!

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      Love's Last Adieu

        The roses of Love glad the garden of life,
        Though nurtur'd 'mid weeds dropping pestilent dew,
        Till Time crops the leaves with unmerciful knife,
        Or prunes them for ever, in Love's last adieu!

        In vain, with endearments, we soothe the sad heart,
        In vain do we vow for an age to be true;
        The chance of an hour may command us to part,
        Or Death disunite us, in Love's last adieu!

        Still Hope, breathing peace, through the grief-swollen breast,
        Will whisper, ТOur meeting we yet may renew:У
        With this dream of deceit, half our sorrow's represt,
        Nor taste we the poison, of Love's last adieu!

        Oh! mark you yon pair, in the sunshine of youth,
        Love twin'd round their childhood his flow'rs as they grew;
        They flourish awhile, in the season of truth,
        Till chill'd by the winter of Love's last adieu!

        Sweet lady! why thus doth a tear steal its way,
        Down a cheek which outrivals thy bosom in hue?
        Yet why do I ask?---to distraction a prey,
        Thy reason has perish'd, with Love's last adieu!

        Oh! who is yon Misanthrope, shunning mankind?
        From cities to caves of the forest he flew:
        There, raving, he howls his complaint to the wind;
        The mountains reverberate Love's last adieu!

        Now Hate rules a heart which in Love's easy chains,
        Once Passion's tumultuous blandishments knew;
        Despair now inflames the dark tide of his veins,
        He ponders, in frenzy, on Love's last adieu!

        How he envies the wretch, with a soul wrapt in steel!
        His pleasures are scarce, yet his troubles are few,
        Who laughs at the pang that he never can feel,
        And dreads not the anguish of Love's last adieu!

        Youth flies, life decays, even hope is o'ercast;
        No more, with Love's former devotion, we sue:
        He spreads his young wing, he retires with the blast;
        The shroud of affection is Love's last adieu!

        In this life of probation, for rapture divine,
        Astrea declares that some penance is due;
        From him, who has worshipp'd at Love's gentle shrine,
        The atonement is ample, in Love's last adieu!

        Who kneels to the God, on his altar of light
        Must myrtle and cypress alternately strew:
        His myrtle, an emblem of purest delight,
        His cypress, the garland of Love's last adieu!

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      Maid Of Athens, Ere We Part

        Maid of Athens, ere we part,
        Give, oh, give back my heart!
        Or, since that has left my breast,
        Keep it now, and take the rest!
        Hear my vow before I go,
        Zoл mou sas agapo.

        By those tresses unconfined,
        Wooed by each Aegean wind;
        By those lids whose jetty fringe
        Kiss thy soft cheeks' blooming tinge;
        By those wild eyes like the roe,
        Zoл mou sas agapo.

        By that lip I long to taste;
        By that zone-encircled waist;
        By all the token-flowers that tell
        What words can never speak so well;
        By love's alternate joy and woe,
        Zoл mou sas agapo.

        Maid of Athens! I am gone:
        Think of me, sweet! when alone.
        Though I fly to Istambol,
        Athens holds my heart and soul:
        Can I cease to love thee? No!
        Zoл mou sas agapo.

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      Mazeppa

        'Twas after dread Pultowa's day,
        When fortune left the royal Swede -
        Around a slaughtered army lay,
        No more to combat and to bleed.
        The power and glory of the war,
        Faithless as their vain votaries, men,
        Had passed to the triumphant Czar,
        And Moscow’s walls were safe again -
        Until a day more dark and drear,
        And a more memorable year,
        Should give to slaughter and to shame
        A mightier host and haughtier name;
        A greater wreck, a deeper fall,
        A shock to one - a thunderbolt to all.

        II

        Such was the hazard Of the die;
        The wounded Charles was taught to fly
        By day and night through field and flood,
        Stained with his own and subjects' blood;
        For thousands fell that flight to aid:
        And not a voice was heard to upbraid
        Ambition in his humbled hour,
        When truth had nought to dread from power,
        His horse was slain, and Gieta gave
        His own - and died the Russians’ slave.
        This too sinks after many a league
        Of well sustained, but vain fatigue;
        And in the depth of forests darkling,
        The watch-fires in the distance sparkling -
        The beacons of surrounding foes -
        A king must lay his limbs at length.
        Are these the laurels and repose
        For which the nations strain their strength?
        They laid him by a savage tree,
        In outworn nature’s agony;
        His wounds were stiff, his limbs were stark,
        The heavy hour was chill and dark;
        The fever in his blood forbade
        A transient slumber's fitful aid:
        And thus it was; but yet through all,
        Kinglike the monarch bore his fall,
        And made, in this extreme of ill,
        His pangs the vassals of his will:
        All silent and subdued were they,
        As owe the nations round him lay.


        III

        A band of chiefs! - alas! how few,
        Since but the fleeting of a day
        Had thinned it; but this wreck was true
        And chivalrous: upon the clay
        Each sate him down, all sad and mute,
        Beside his monarch and his steed;
        For danger levels man and brute,
        And all are fellows in their need.
        Among the rest, Mazeppa made
        His pillow in an old oak's shade -
        Himself as rough, and scarce less old,
        The Ukraine's hetman, calm and bold:
        But first, outspent with this long course,
        The Cossack prince rubbed down his horse,
        And made for him a leafy bed,
        And smoothed his fetlocks and his mane,
        And slacked his girth, and stripped his rein,
        And joyed to see how well he fed;
        For until now he had the dread
        His wearied courser might refuse
        To browse beneath the midnight dews:
        But he was hardy as his lord,
        And little cared for bed and board;
        But spirited and docile too,
        Whate'er was to be done, would do.
        Shaggy and swift, and strong of limb,
        All Tartar-like he carried him;
        Obeyed his voice, and came to call,
        And knew him in the midst of all.
        Though thousands were around, - and night,
        Without a star, pursued her flight, -
        That steed from sunset until dawn
        His chief would follow like a fawn.

        IV

        This done, Mazeppa spread his cloak,
        And laid his lance beneath his oak,
        Felt if his arms in order good
        The long day's march had well withstood -
        If still the powder filled the pan,
        And flints unloosened kept their lock -
        His sabre's hilt and scabbard felt,
        And whether they had chafed his belt;
        And next the venerable man,
        From out his haversack and can,
        Prepared and spread his slender stock
        And to the monarch and his men
        The whole or portion offered then
        With far less of inquietude
        Than courtiers at a banquet would.
        And Charles of this his slender share
        With smiles partook a moment there,
        To force of cheer a greater show,
        And seem above both wounds and woe;-
        And then he said -'Of all our band,
        Though firm of heart and strong of hand,
        In skirmish, march, or forage, none
        Can less have said or more have done
        Than thee, Mazeppa! On the earth
        So fit a pair had never birth,
        Since Alexander's days till now,
        As thy Bucephalus and thou:
        All Scythia's fame to thine should yield
        For pricking on o'er flood and field.'
        Mazeppa answered - " Ill betide
        The school wherein I learned to ride!
        Quoth Charles -'Old Hetman, wherefore so,
        Since thou hast learned the art so well?
        Mazeppa said - "Twere long to tell;
        And we have many a league to go,
        With every now and then a blow,
        And ten to one at least the foe,
        Before our steeds may graze at ease,
        Beyond the swift Borysthenes:
        And, sire, your limbs have need of rest,
        And I will be the sentinel
        Of this your troop.' -'But I request,'
        Said Sweden's monarch, 'thou wilt tell
        This tale of thine, and I may reap,
        Perchance, from this the boon of sleep;
        For at this moment from my eyes
        The hope of present slumber flies.'
        'Well, sire, with such a hope, I'll track
        My seventy years of memory back:
        I think 'twas in my twentieth spring, -
        Ay, 'twas, - when Casimir was king -
        John Casimir, - I was his page
        Six summers, in my earlier age:
        A learned monarch, faith! was he,
        And most unlike your majesty:
        He made no wars, and did not gain
        New realms to lose them back again;
        And (save debates in Warsaw's diet)
        He reigned in most unseemly quiet;
        Not that he had no cares to vex,
        He loved the muses and the sex;
        And sometimes these so froward are,
        They made him wish himself at war;
        But soon his wrath being o'er, he took
        Another mistress - or new book;
        And then he gave prodigious fetes -
        All Warsaw gathered round his gates
        To gaze upon his splendid court,
        And dames, and chiefs, of princely port.
        He was the Polish Solomon,
        So sung his poets, all but one,
        Who, being unpensioned, made a satire,
        And boasted that he could not flatterI
        It was a court of jousts and mimes,
        Where every courtier tried at rhymes;
        Even I for once produced some verses,
        And signed my odes "Despairing Thyrsis."
        There was a certain Palatine,
        A Count of far and high descent,
        Rich as a salt or silver mine;
        And he was proud, ye may divine,
        As if from heaven he had been sent:
        He had such wealth in blood and ore
        As few could match beneath the throne;
        And he would gaze upon his store,
        And o'er his pedigree would pore,
        Until by some confusion led,
        Which almost looked like want of head,
        He thought their merits were his own.
        His wife was not of his opinion;
        His junior she by thirty years;
        Grew daily tired of his dominion;
        And, after wishes, hopes, and fears,
        To virtue a few farewell tears,
        A restless dream or two, some glances
        At Warsaw's youth, some songs, and dances,
        Awaited but the usual chances,
        Those happy accidents which render
        The coldest dames so very tender,
        To deck her Count with titles given,
        'Tis said, as passports into heaven;
        But, strange to say, they rarely boast
        Of these, who have deserved them most.

        V

        'I was a goodly stripling then;
        At seventy years I so may say,
        That there were few, or boys or men,
        Who, in my dawning time of day,
        Of vassal or of knight's degree,
        Could vie in vanities with me;
        For I had strength, youth, gaiety,
        A port, not like to this ye see,
        But smooth, as all is rugged now;
        For time, and care, and war, have ploughed
        My very soul from out my brow;
        And thus I should be disavowed
        By all my kind and kin, could they
        Compare my day and yesterday;
        This change was wrought, too, long ere age
        Had ta'en my features for his page:
        With years, ye know, have not declined
        My strength, my courage, or my mind,
        Or at this hour I should not be
        Telling old tales beneath a tree,
        With starless skies my canopy.
        But let me on: Theresa's form -
        Methinks it glides before me now,
        Between me and yon chestnut's bough,
        The memory is so quick and warm;
        And yet I find no words to tell
        The shape of her I loved so well:
        She had the Asiatic eye,
        Such as our, Turkish neighbourhood,
        Hath mingled with our Polish blood,
        Dark as above us is the sky;
        But through it stole a tender light,
        Like the first moonrise of midnight;
        Large, dark, and swimming in the stream,
        Which seemed to melt to its own beam;
        All love, half langour, and half fire,
        Like saints that at the stake expire,
        And lift their raptured looks on high,
        As though it were a joy to die.
        A brow like a midsummer lake,
        Transparent with the sun therein,
        When waves no murmur dare to make,
        And heaven beholds her face within.
        A cheek and lip - but why proceed?
        I loved her then - I love her still;
        And such as I am, love indeed
        In fierce extremes - in good and ill.
        But still we love even in our rage,
        And haunted to our very age
        With the vain shadow of the past,
        As is Mazeppa to the last

        VI

        'We met - we gazed - I saw, and sighed,
        She did not speak, and yet replied;
        There are ten thousand tones and signs
        We hear and see, but none defines -
        Involuntary sparks of thought,
        Which strike from out the heart o’erwrought,
        And form a strange intelligence,
        Alike mysterious and intense,
        Which link the burning chain that binds,
        Without their will, young hearts and minds
        Conveying, as the electric wire,
        We know not how, the absorbing fire.
        I saw, and sighed - in silence wept,
        And still reluctant distance kept,
        Until I was made known to her,
        And we might then and there confer
        Without suspicion - then, even then,
        I longed, and was resolved to speak;
        But on my lips they died again,
        The accents tremulous and weak,
        Until one hour. - There is a game,
        A frivolous and foolish play,
        Wherewith we while away the day;
        It is - I have forgot the name -
        And we to this, it seems, were set,
        By some strange chance, which I forget:
        I reck'd not if I won or lost,
        It was enough for me to be
        So near to hear, and oh! to see
        The being whom I loved the most. -
        I watched her as a sentinel,
        (May ours this dark night watch as well!)
        Until I saw, and thus it was,
        That she was pensive, nor perceived
        Her occupation, nor was grieved
        Nor glad to lose or gain; but still
        Played on for hours, as if her win
        Yet bound her to the place, though not
        That hers might be the winning lot.
        Then through my brain the thought did pass
        Even as a flash of lightning there,
        That there was something in her air
        Which would not doom me to despair;
        And on the thought my words broke forth,
        All incoherent as they were -
        Their eloquence was little worth,
        But yet she listened - 'tis enough -
        Who listens once will listen twice;
        Her heart, be sure, is not of ice,
        And one refusal no rebuff.

        VII

        I loved, and was beloved again -
        They tell me, Sire, you never knew
        Those gentle frailties; if 'tis true,
        I shorten all my joy or pain;
        To you 'twould seem absurd as vain
        But all men are not born to reign,
        Or o'er their passions, or as you
        Thus o'er themselves and nations too.
        I am - or rather was - a prince,
        A chief of thousands, and could lead
        Them on where each would foremost bleed;
        But could not o'er myself evince
        The like control - but to resume:
        I loved, and was beloved again;
        In sooth, it is a happy doom,
        But yet where happiest ends in pain. -
        We met in secret, and the hour
        Which led me to that lady's bower
        Was fiery expectation's dower.
        My days and nights were nothing - all
        Except that hour which doth recall
        In the long lapse from youth to age
        No other like itself - I'd give
        The Ukraine back again to live
        It o'er once more - and be a page,
        The happy page, who was the lord
        Of one soft heart, and his own sword,
        And had no other gem nor wealth
        Save nature's gift of youth and health.
        We met in secret - doubly sweet,
        Some say, they find it so to meet;
        I know not that - I would have given
        My life but to have called her mine
        In the full view of earth and heaven;
        For I did oft and long repine
        That we could only meet by stealth.

        VIII

        'For lovers there are many eyes,
        And such there were on us; the devil
        On such occasions should be civil -
        The devil! - I'm loth to do him wrong,
        It might be some untoward saint,
        Who would not be at rest too long,
        But to his pious bile gave vent -
        But one fair night, some lurking spies
        Surprised and seized us both.
        The Count was something more than wroth -
        I was unarmed; but if in steel,
        All cap from head to heel,
        What 'gainst their numbers could I do?
        'Twas near his castle, far away
        From city or from succour near,
        And almost on the break of day;
        I did not think to see another,
        My moments seemed reduced to few;
        And with one prayer to Mary Mother,
        And, it may be, a saint or two,
        As I resigned me to my fate,
        They led me to the castle gate:
        Tleresa's doom I never knew,
        Our lot was henceforth separate.
        An angry man, ye may opine,
        Was he, the proud Count Palatine;
        And he had reason good to be,
        But he was most enraged lest such
        An accident should chance to touch
        Upon his future pedigree;
        Nor less amazed, that such a blot
        His noble 'scutcheon should have got,
        While he was highest of his line
        Because unto himself he seemed
        The first of men, nor less he deemed
        In others' eyes, and most in mine.
        'Sdeath! with a page - perchance a king
        Had reconciled him to the thing;
        But with a stripling of a page -
        I felt - but cannot paint his rage.


        IX

        "'Bring forth the horse!" - the horse was brought;
        In truth, he was a noble steed,
        A Tartar of the Ukraine breed,
        Who looked as though the speed of thought
        Were in his limbs; but he was wild,
        Wild as the wild deer, and untaught,
        With spur and bridle undefiled -
        'Twas but a day he had been caught;
        And snorting, with erected mane,
        And struggling fiercely, but in vain,
        In the full foam of wrath and dread
        To me the desert-born was led:
        They bound me on, that menial throng,
        Upon his back with many a thong;
        They loosed him with a sudden lash -
        Away! - away! - and on we dash! -
        Torrents less rapid and less rash.


        X

        'Away! - away! - my breath was gone -
        I saw not where he hurried on:
        'Twas scarcely yet the break of day,
        And on he foamed - away! - away! -
        The last of human sounds which rose,
        As I was darted from my foes,
        Was the wild shout of savage laughter,
        Which on the wind came roaring after
        A moment from that rabble rout:
        With sudden wrath I wrenched my head,
        And snapped the cord, which to the mane
        Had bound my neck in lieu of rein,
        And, writhing half my form about,
        Howled back my curse; but 'midst the tread,
        The thunder of my courser's speed,
        Perchance they did not hear nor heed:
        It vexes me - for I would fain
        Have paid their insult back again.
        I paid it well in after days:
        There is not of that castle gate.
        Its drawbridge and portcullis' weight,
        Stone, bar, moat, bridge, or barrier left;
        Nor of its fields a blade of grass,
        Save what grows on a ridge of wall,
        Where stood the hearth-stone of the hall;
        And many a time ye there might pass,
        Nor dream that e'er the fortress was.
        I saw its turrets in a blaze,
        Their crackling battlements all cleft,
        And the hot lead pour down like rain
        From off the scorched and blackening roof,
        Whose thickness was not vengeance-proof.
        They little thought that day of pain,
        When launched, as on the lightning's flash,
        They bade me to destruction dash,
        That one day I should come again,
        With twice five thousand horse, to thank
        The Count for his uncourteous ride.
        They played me then a bitter prank,
        'When, with the wild horse for my guide,
        The bound me to his foaming flank:
        At length I played them one as frank -
        For time at last sets all things even -
        And if we do but watch the hour,
        There never yet was human power
        Which could evade, if unforgiven,
        The patient search and vigil long
        Of him who treasures up a wrong.

        XI

        'Away, away, my steed and I,
        Upon the pinions of the wind.
        All human dwellings left behind,
        We sped like meteors through the sky,
        When with its crackling sound the night
        Is chequered with the northern light:
        Town - village - none were on our track,
        But a wild plain of far extent,
        And bounded by a forest black;
        And, save the scarce seen battlement
        On distant heights of some strong hold,
        Against the Tartars built of old,
        No trace of man. The year before
        A Turkish army had marched o'er;
        And where the Spahi's hoof hath trod,
        The verdure flies the bloody sod: -
        The sky was dull, and dim, and grey,
        And a low breeze crept moaning by -
        I could have answered with a sigh -
        But fast we fled, away, away -
        And I could neither sigh nor pray -
        And my cold sweat-drops fell like rain
        Upon the courser's bristling mane;
        But, snorting still with rage and fear,
        He flew upon his far career:
        At times I almost thought, indeed,
        He must have slackened in his speed;
        But no - my bound and slender frame
        Was nothing to his angry might,
        And merely like a spur became:
        Each motion which I made to free
        My swoln limbs from their agony
        Increased his fury and affright:
        I tried my voice, - 'twas faint and low,
        But yet he swerved as from a blow;
        And, starting to each accent, sprang
        As from a sudden trumpet's clang:
        Meantime my cords were wet with gore,
        Which, oozing through my limbs, ran o'er;
        And in my tongue the thirst became
        A something fierier far than flame.

        XII

        'We neared the wild wood - 'twas so wide,
        I saw no bounds on either side;
        'Twas studded with old sturdy trees,
        That bent not to the roughest breeze
        Which howls down from Siberia's waste,
        And strips the forest in its haste, -
        But these were few and far between,
        Set thick with shrubs more young and green,
        Luxuriant with their annual leaves,
        Ere strown by those autumnal eves
        That nip the forest's foliage dead,
        Discoloured with a lifeless red,
        Which stands thereon like stiffened gore
        Upon the slain when battle's o'er,
        And some long winter's night hath shed
        Its frost o'er every tombless head,
        So cold and stark, the raven's beak
        May peck unpierced each frozen cheek:
        'Twas a wild waste of underwood,
        And here and there a chestnut stood,
        The strong oak, and the hardy pine;
        But far apart - and well it were,
        Or else a different lot were mine -
        The boughs gave way, and did not tear
        My limbs; and I found strength to bear
        My wounds, already scarred with cold -
        My bonds forbade to loose my hold.
        We rustled through the leaves like wind,
        Left shrubs, and trees, and wolves behind;
        By night I heard them on the track,
        Their troop came hard upon our back,
        With their long gallop, which can tire
        The hound's deep hate, and hunter's fire:
        Where'er we flew they followed on,
        Nor left us with the morning sun;
        Behind I saw them, scarce a rood,
        At day-break winding through the wood,
        And through the night had heard their feet
        Their stealing, rustling step repeat.
        Oh! how I wished for spear or sword,
        At least to die amidst the horde,
        And perish - if it must be so -
        At bay, destroying many a foe
        When first my courser's race begun,
        I wished the goal already won;
        But now I doubted strength and speed:
        Vain doubt! his swift and savage breed
        Had nerved him like the mountain-roe -
        Nor faster falls the blinding snow
        Which whelms the peasant near the door
        Whose threshold he shall cross no more,
        Bewildered with the dazzling blast,
        Than through the forest-paths he passed -
        Untired, untamed, and worse than wild;
        All furious as a favoured child
        Balked of its wish; or fiercer still
        A woman piqued - who has her will.

        XIII

        'The wood was passed; 'twas more than noon,
        But chill the air, although in June;
        Or it might be my veins ran cold -
        Prolonged endurance tames the bold;
        And I was then not what I seem,
        But headlong as a wintry stream,
        And wore my feelings out before
        I well could count their causes o'er:
        And what with fury, fear, and wrath,
        The tortures which beset my path,
        Cold, hunger, sorrow, shame, distress,
        Thus bound in nature's nakedness;
        Sprung from a race whose rising blood
        When stirred beyond its calmer mood,
        And trodden hard upon, is like
        The rattle-snake's, in act to strike -
        What marvel if this worn-out trunk
        Beneath its woes a moment sunk?
        The earth gave way, the skies rolled round,
        I seemed to sink upon the ground;
        But erred, for I was fastly bound.
        My heart turned sick, my brain grew sore,
        And throbbed awhile, then beat no more:
        The skies spun like a mighty wheel;
        I saw the trees like drunkards reel,
        And a slight flash sprang o'er my eyes,
        Which saw no farther. He who dies
        Can die no more than then I died;
        O’ertortured by that ghastly ride.
        I felt the blackness come and go,
        And strove to wake; but could not make
        My senses climb up from below:
        I felt as on a plank at sea,
        When all the waves that dash o'er thee,
        At the same time upheave and whelm,
        And hurl thee towards a desert realm.
        My undulating life was as
        The fancied lights that flitting pass
        Our shut eyes in deep midnight, when
        Fever begins upon the brain;
        But soon it passed, with little pain,
        But a confusion worse than such:
        I own that I should deem it much,
        Dying, to feel the same again;
        And yet I do suppose we must
        Feel far more ere we turn to dust:
        No matter; I have bared my brow
        Full in Death's face - before - and now.

        XIV

        'My thoughts came back; where was I? Cold,
        And numb, and giddy: pulse by pulse
        Life reassumed its lingering hold,
        And throb by throb - till grown a pang;
        Which for a moment would convulse,
        My blood reflowed, though thick and chill;
        My ear with uncouth noises rang,
        My heart began once more to thrill;
        My sight returned, though dim; alas!
        And thickened, as it were, with glass.
        Methought the dash of waves was nigh.,
        There was a gleam too of the sky
        Studded with stars; - it is no dream;
        The wild horse swims the wilder stream!
        The bright broad river's gushing tide
        Sweeps, winding onward, far and wide,
        And we are half-way, struggling o'er
        To yon unknown and silent shore.
        The waters broke my hollow trance,
        And with a temporary strength
        My stiffened limbs were rebaptized.
        My courser's broad breast proudly braves,
        And dashes off the ascending waves,
        And onward we advance
        We reach the slippery shore at length,
        A haven I but little prized,
        For all behind was dark and drear
        And all before was night and fear.
        How many hours of night or day
        In those suspended pangs I lay,
        I could not tell; I scarcely knew
        If this were human breath I drew.

        XV

        'With glossy skin, and dripping mane,
        And reeling limbs, and reeking flank,
        The wild steed's sinewy nerves still strain
        Up the repelling bank.
        We gain the top. a boundless plain
        Spreads through the shadow of the night,
        And onward, onward, onward, seems,
        Like precipices in our dreams,
        To stretch beyond the sight;
        And here and there a speck of white,
        Or scattered spot of dusky green,
        In masses broke into the light,
        As rose the moon upon my right:
        But nought distinctly seen
        In the dim waste would indicate
        The omen of a cottage gate;
        No twinkling taper from afar
        Stood like a hospitable star;'
        Not even an ignis-fatuus rose
        To make him merry with my woes:
        That very cheat had cheered me then!
        Although detected, welcome still,
        Reminding me, through every ill,
        Of the abodes of men.

        XVI

        'Onward we went - but slack and slow
        His savage force at length o'erspent,
        The drooping courser, faint and low,
        All feebly foaming went.
        A sickly infant had had power
        To guide him forward in that hour!
        But, useless all to me,
        His new-born tameness nought availed -
        My limbs were bound; my force had failed,
        Perchance, had they been free.
        With feeble effort still I tried
        To rend the bonds so starkly tied,
        But still it was in vain;
        My limbs were only wrung the more,
        And soon the idle strife gave o'er,
        Which but prolonged their pain:
        The dizzy race seemed almost done,
        Although no goal was nearly won.
        Some streaks announced the coming sun -
        How slow, alas! he came!
        Methought that mist of dawning grey
        Would never dapple into day;
        How heavily it rolled away -
        Before the eastern flame
        Rose crimson, and deposed the stars,
        And called the radiance from their cars,
        And filled the earth, from his deep throne,
        With lonely lustre, all his own.


        XVII

        'Up rose the sun; the mists were curled
        Back from the solitary world
        Which lay around - behind - before;
        What booted it to traverse o'er
        Plain, forest, river? Man nor brute,
        Nor dint of hoof, nor print of foot,
        Lay in the wild luxuriant soil;
        No sign of travel - none of toll;
        The very air was mute:
        And not an insect's shrill small horn,
        Nor matin bird's new voice was borne
        From herb nor thicket. Many a werst,
        Panting as if his heart would burst,
        The weary brute still staggered on;
        And still we were - or seemed - alone:
        At length, while reeling on our way,
        Methought I heard a courser neigh,
        From out yon tuft of blackening firs.
        Is it the wind those branches stirs?
        No, no! from out the forest prance
        A trampling troop; I see them come I
        In one vast squadron they advance!
        I strove to cry - my lips were dumb.
        The steeds rush on in plunging pride;
        But where are they the reins to guide?
        A thousand horse - and none to ride!
        With flowing tail, and flying mane,
        Wide nostrils never stretched by pain,
        Mouths bloodless to the bit or rein,
        And feet that iron never shod,
        And flanks unscarred by spur or rod,
        A thousand horse, the wild, the free,
        Like waves that follow o'er the sea,
        Came thickly thundering on,
        As if our faint approach to meet;
        The sight re-nerved my courser's feet,
        A moment staggering, feebly fleet,
        A moment, with a faint low neigh,
        He answered, and then fell!
        With gasps and glazing eyes he lay,
        And reeking limbs immoveable,
        His first and last career is done!
        On came the troop - they saw him stoop,
        They saw me strangely bound along
        His back with many a bloody thong.
        They stop - they start - they snuff the air,
        Gallop a moment here and there,
        Approach, retire, wheel round and round,
        Then plunging back with sudden bound,
        Headed by one black mighty steed,
        Who seemed the patriarch of his breed,
        Without a single speck or hair
        Of white upon his shaggy hide;
        They snort - they foam - neigh - swerve aside,
        And backward to the forest fly,
        By instinct, from a human eye.
        They left me there to my despair,
        Linked to the dead and stiffening wretch,
        Whose lifeless limbs beneath me stretch,
        Relieved from that unwonted weight,
        From whence I could not extricate
        Nor him nor me - and there we lay
        The dying on the dead!
        I little deemed another day
        Would see my houseless, helpless head.
        And there from morn till twilight bound,
        I felt the heavy hours toll round,
        With just enough of life to see
        My last of suns go down on me,
        In hopeless certainty of mind,
        That makes us feel at length resigned
        To that which our foreboding years
        Presents the worst and last of fears
        Inevitable - even a boon,
        Nor more unkind for coming soon,
        Yet shunned and dreaded with such care,
        As if it only were a snare
        That prudence might escape:
        At times both wished for and implored,
        At times sought with self-pointed sword,
        Yet still a dark and hideous close
        To even intolerable woes,
        And welcome in no shape.
        And, strange to say, the sons of pleasure,
        They who have revelled beyond measure
        In beauty, wassail, wine, and treasure,
        Die calm, or calmer, oft than he
        Whose heritage was misery.
        For he who hath in turn run through
        All that was beautiful and new,
        Hath nought to hope, and nought to leave;
        And, save the future, (which is viewed
        Not quite as men are base or good,
        But as their nerves may be endued,)
        With nought perhaps to grieve:
        The wretch still hopes his woes must end,
        And death, whom he should deem his friend,
        Appears, to his distempered eyes,
        Arrived to rob him of his prize,
        The tree of his new Paradise.
        Tomorrow would have given him all,
        Repaid his pangs, repaired his fall;
        Tomorrow would have been the first
        Of days no more deplored or curst,
        But bright, and long, and beckoning years,
        Seen dazzling through the mist of tears,
        Guerdon of many a painful hour;
        Tomorrow would have given him power
        To rule, to shine, to smite, to save -
        And must it dawn upon his grave?


        XVIII

        'The sun was sinking - still I lay
        Chained to the chill and stiffening steed,
        I thought to mingle there our clay;
        And my dim eyes of death had need,
        No hope arose of being freed.
        I cast my last looks up the sky,
        And there between me and the sun
        I saw the expecting raven fly,
        Who scarce would wait till both should die,
        Ere his repast begun;
        He flew, and perched, then flew once more,
        And each time nearer than before;
        I saw his wing through twilight flit,
        And once so near me he alit
        I could have smote, but lacked the strength;
        But the slight motion of my hand,
        And feeble scratching of the sand,
        The exerted throat's faint struggling noise,
        Which scarcely could be called a voice,
        Together scared him off at length.
        I know no more - my latest dream
        Is something of a lovely star
        Which fixed my dull eyes from afar,
        And went and came with wandering beam,
        And of the cold, dull, swimming, dense,
        Sensation of recurring sense,
        And then subsiding back to death,
        And then again a little breath,
        A little thrill, a short suspense,
        An icy sickness curdling o'er
        My heart, and sparks that crossed my brain
        A gasp, a throb, a start of pain,
        A sigh, and nothing more.

        XIX

        'I woke - where was I? - Do I see
        A human face look down on me?
        And doth a roof above me close?
        Do these limbs on a couch repose?
        Is this a chamber where I lie
        And is it mortal yon bright eye,
        That watches me with gentle glance?
        I closed my own again once more,
        As doubtful that the former trance
        Could not as yet be o'er.
        A slender girl, long-haired, and tall,
        Sate watching by the cottage wall.
        The sparkle of her eye I caught
        Even with my first return of thought;
        For ever and anon she threw
        A prying, pitying glance on me
        With her black eyes so wild and free:
        I gazed, and gazed, until I knew
        No vision it could be, -
        But that I lived, and was released
        From adding to the vulture's feast:
        And when the Cossack maid beheld
        My heavy eyes at length unsealed,
        She smiled - and I essayed to speak,
        But failed - and she approached, and made
        With lip and finger signs that said,
        I must not strive as yet to break
        The silence, till my strength should be
        Enough to leave my accents free;
        And then her hand on mine she laid,
        And smoothed the pillow for my head,
        And stole along on tiptoe tread,
        And gently oped the door, and spake
        In whispers - ne'er was voice so sweet!
        Even music followed her light feet.
        But those she called were not awake,
        And she went forth; but, ere she passed,
        Another look on me she cast,
        Another sign she made, to say,
        That I had nought to fear, that all
        Were near, at my command or call,
        And she would not delay
        Her due return:- while she was gone,
        Methought I felt too much alone.
        "She came with mother and with sire -
        What need of more? - I will not tire
        With long recital of the rest,
        Since I became the Cossack's guest.
        They found me senseless on the plain.
        They bore me to the nearest hut,
        They brought me into life again
        Me - one day o'er their realm to reign!
        Thus the vain fool who strove to glut
        His rage, refining on my pain,
        Sent me forth to the wilderness,
        Bound, naked, bleeding, and alone,
        To pass the desert to a throne, -
        What mortal his own doom may guess?
        Let none despond, let none despair!
        Tomorrow the Borysthenes
        May see our coursers graze at ease
        Upon his Turkish bank, - and never
        Had I such welcome for a river
        As I shall yield when safely there.
        Comrades good night!' - The Hetman threw
        His length beneath the oak-tree shade,
        With leafy couch already made,
        A bed nor comfortless nor new
        To him, who took his rest whene'er
        The hour arrived, no matter where:
        His eyes the hastening slumbers steep.
        And if ye marvel Charles forgot
        To thank his tale, he wondered not, -
        The king had been an hour asleep.

      Up

      My Soul Is Dark

        My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string
        The harp I yet can brook to hear;
        And let thy gentle fingers fling
        Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear.
        If in this heart a hope be dear,
        That sound shall charm it forth again:
        If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
        'Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.

        But bid the strain be wild and deep,
        Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
        I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
        Or else this heavy heart will burst;
        For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
        And ached in sleepless silence, long;
        And now 'tis doomed to know the worst,
        And break at once - or yield to song.

      Up

      Ode To Napoleon Bonaparte

        I
        'Tis done -- but yesterday a King!
        And arm'd with Kings to strive --
        And now thou art a nameless thing:
        So abject -- yet alive!
        Is this the man of thousand thrones,
        Who strew'd our earth with hostile bones,
        And can he thus survive?
        Since he, miscall'd the Morning Star,
        Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far.

        II
        Ill-minded man! why scourge thy kind
        Who bow'd so low the knee?
        By gazing on thyself grown blind,
        Thou taught'st the rest to see.
        With might unquestion'd, -- power to save, --
        Thine only gift hath been the grave,
        To those that worshipp'd thee;
        Nor till thy fall could mortals guess
        Ambition's less than littleness!

        III
        Thanks for that lesson -- It will teach
        To after-warriors more,
        Than high Philosophy can preach,
        And vainly preach'd before.
        That spell upon the minds of men
        Breaks never to unite again,
        That led them to adore
        Those Pagod things of sabre sway
        With fronts of brass, and feet of clay.

        IV
        The triumph and the vanity,
        The rapture of the strife --
        The earthquake voice of Victory,
        To thee the breath of life;
        The sword, the sceptre, and that sway
        Which man seem'd made but to obey,
        Wherewith renown was rife --
        All quell'd! -- Dark Spirit! what must be
        The madness of thy memory!

        V
        The Desolator desolate!
        The Victor overthrown!
        The Arbiter of others' fate
        A Suppliant for his own!
        Is it some yet imperial hope
        That with such change can calmly cope?
        Or dread of death alone?
        To die a prince -- or live a slave --
        Thy choice is most ignobly brave!

        VI
        He who of old would rend the oak,
        Dream'd not of the rebound:
        Chain'd by the trunk he vainly broke --
        Alone -- how look'd he round?
        Thou, in the sternness of thy strength,
        An equal deed hast done at length,
        And darker fate hast found:
        He fell, the forest prowler's prey;
        But thou must eat thy heart away!

        VII
        The Roman, when his burning heart
        Was slaked with blood of Rome,
        Threw down the dagger -- dared depart,
        In savage grandeur, home --
        He dared depart in utter scorn
        Of men that such a yoke had borne,
        Yet left him such a doom!
        His only glory was that hour
        Of self-upheld abandon'd power.

        VIII
        The Spaniard, when the lust of sway
        Had lost its quickening spell,
        Cast crowns for rosaries away,
        An empire for a cell;
        A strict accountant of his beads,
        A subtle disputant on creeds,
        His dotage trifled well:
        Yet better had he neither known
        A bigot's shrine, nor despot's throne.

        IX
        But thou -- from thy reluctant hand
        The thunderbolt is wrung --
        Too late thou leav'st the high command
        To which thy weakness clung;
        All Evil Spirit as thou art,
        It is enough to grieve the heart
        To see thine own unstrung;
        To think that God's fair world hath been
        The footstool of a thing so mean;
        X
        And Earth hath spilt her blood for him,
        Who thus can hoard his own!
        And Monarchs bow'd the trembling limb,
        And thank'd him for a throne!
        Fair Freedom! we may hold thee dear,
        When thus thy mightiest foes their fear
        In humblest guise have shown.
        Oh! ne'er may tyrant leave behind
        A brighter name to lure mankind!

        XI
        Thine evil deeds are writ in gore,
        Nor written thus in vain --
        Thy triumphs tell of fame no more,
        Or deepen every stain:
        If thou hadst died as honour dies,
        Some new Napoleon might arise,
        To shame the world again --
        But who would soar the solar height,
        To set in such a starless night?

        XII
        Weigh'd in the balance, hero dust
        Is vile as vulgar clay;
        Thy scales, Mortality! are just
        To all that pass away:
        But yet methought the living great
        Some higher sparks should animate,
        To dazzle and dismay:
        Nor deem'd Contempt could thus make mirth
        Of these, the Conquerors of the earth.

        XIII
        And she, proud Austria's mournful flower,
        Thy still imperial bride;
        How bears her breast the torturing hour?
        Still clings she to thy side?
        Must she too bend, must she too share
        Thy late repentance, long despair,
        Thou throneless Homicide?
        If still she loves thee, hoard that gem, --
        'Tis worth thy vanish'd diadem!

        XIV
        Then haste thee to thy sullen Isle,
        And gaze upon the sea;
        That element may meet thy smile --
        It ne'er was ruled by thee!
        Or trace with thine all idle hand
        In loitering mood upon the sand
        That Earth is now as free!
        That Corinth's pedagogue hath now
        Transferr'd his by-word to thy brow.

        XV
        Thou Timour! in his captive's cage
        What thought will there be thine,
        While brooding in thy prison'd rage?
        But one -- "The word was mine!"
        Unless, like he of Babylon,
        All sense is with thy sceptre gone,
        Life will not long confine
        That spirit pour'd so widely forth--
        So long obey'd -- so little worth!

        XVI
        Or, like the thief of fire from heaven,
        Wilt thou withstand the shock?
        And share with him, the unforgiven,
        His vulture and his rock!
        Foredoom'd by God -- by man accurst,
        And that last act, though not thy worst,
        The very Fiend's arch mock;
        He in his fall preserved his pride,
        And, if a mortal, had as proudly died!

        XVII
        There was a day -- there was an hour,
        While earth was Gaul's -- Gaul thine --
        When that immeasurable power
        Unsated to resign
        Had been an act of purer fame
        Than gathers round Marengo's name,
        And gilded thy decline,
        Through the long twilight of all time,
        Despite some passing clouds of crime.

        XVIII
        But thou forsooth must be a king,
        And don the purple vest,
        As if that foolish robe could wring
        Remembrance from thy breast.
        Where is that faded garment? where
        The gewgaws thou wert fond to wear,
        The star, the string, the crest?
        Vain froward child of empire! say,
        Are all thy playthings snatched away?

        XIX
        Where may the wearied eye repose
        When gazing on the Great;
        Where neither guilty glory glows,
        Nor despicable state?
        Yes --one--the first--the last--the best--
        The Cincinnatus of the West,
        Whom envy dared not hate,
        Bequeath'd the name of Washington,
        To make man blush there was but one!

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      Oh! Snatched Away In Beauty's Bloom

        Oh! snatched away in beauty's bloom,
        On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
        But on thy turf shall roses rear
        Their leaves, the earliest of the year;
        And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom:

        And oft by yon blue gushing stream
        Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head,
        And feed deep thought with many a dream,
        And lingering pause and lightly tread;
        Fond wretch! as if her step disturbed the dead!

        Away! ye know that tears are vain,
        That death nor heeds nor hears distress:
        Will this unteach us to complain?
        Or make one mourner weep the less?
        And thou -who tell'st me to forget,
        Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.

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      Oh! Weep For Those

        I.

        Oh! Weep for those that wept by Babel's stream,
        Whose shrines are desolate, whose land a dream,
        Weep for the harp of Judah's broken shell--
        Mourn -- where their God that dwelt--the Godless dwell!

        II.

        And where shall Israel lave her bleeding feet?
        And when shall Zion's songs agains seem sweet?
        And Judah's melody once more rejoice
        The hearts that leap'd before its heavenly voice?

        III.

        Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast!
        How shall ye flee away and be at rest!
        The wild-dove hath her nest-- the fox his cave--
        Mankind their Country -- Israel but the grave.

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      On A Distant View Of Harrow

        Ye scenes of my childhood, whose lov'd recollection
        Embitters the present, compar'd with the past;
        Where science first dawn'd on the powers of reflection,
        And friendships were form'd, too romantic to last;

        Where fancy, yet, joys to retrace the resemblance
        Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied;
        How welcome to me your ne'er fading remembrance,
        Which rests in the bosom, though hope is deny'd!

        Again I revisit the hills where we sported,
        The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought;
        The school where, loud warn'd by the bell, we resorted,
        To pore o'er the precepts by Pedagogues taught.

        Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd,
        As reclining, at eve, on yon tombstone I lay;
        Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander'd,
        To catch the last gleam of the sun's setting ray.

        I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded,
        Where, as Zanga, I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown;
        While, to swell my young pride, such applauses resounded,
        I fancied that Mossop himself was outshone.

        Or, as Lear, I pour'd forth the deep imprecation,
        By my daughters, of kingdom and reason depriv'd;
        Till, fir'd by loud plaudits and self-adulation,
        I regarded myself as a Garrick reviv'd.

        Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret you!
        Unfaded your memory dwells in my breast;
        Though sad and deserted, I ne'er can forget you:
        Your pleasures may still be in fancy possest.

        To Ida full oft may remembrance restore me,
        While Fate shall the shades of the future unroll!
        Since Darkness o'ershadows the prospect before me,
        More dear is the beam of the past to my soul!

        But if, through the course of the years which await me,
        Some new scene of pleasure should open to view,
        I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me,
        Oh! such were the days which my infancy knew.

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      On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year

        'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
        Since others it hath ceased to move:
        Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
        Still let me love!

        My days are in the yellow leaf;
        The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
        The worm, the canker, and the grief,
        Are mine alone!

        The fire that on my bosom preys
        Is lone as some volcanic isle;
        No torch is kindled at its blaze—
        A funeral pile!

        The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
        The exalted portion of the pain
        And power of love, I cannot share,
        But wear the chain.

        But 'tis not thus—and 'tis not here—
        Such thoughts should shake my soul, nor now,
        Where glory decks the hero's bier,
        Or binds his brow.

        The sword, the banner, and the field,
        Glory and Greece, around me see!
        The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
        Was not more free.

        Awake! (not Greece—she is awake!)
        Awake, my spirit! Think through whom
        Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
        And then strike home!

        Tread those reviving passions down,
        Unworthy manhood!—unto thee
        Indifferent should the smile or frown
        Of beauty be.

        If thou regret'st thy youth, why live?
        The land of honourable death
        Is here:—up to the field, and give
        Away thy breath!

        Seek out—less often sought than found—
        A soldier's grave, for thee the best;
        Then look around, and choose thy ground,
        And take thy rest.

      Up

      Prometheus

        Titan! to whose immortal eyes
        The sufferings of mortality,
        Seen in their sad reality,
        Were not as things that gods despise;
        What was thy pity's recompense?
        A silent suffering, and intense;
        The rock, the vulture, and the chain,
        All that the proud can feel of pain,
        The agony they do not show,
        The suffocating sense of woe,
        Which speaks but in its loneliness,
        And then is jealous lest the sky
        Should have a listener, nor will sigh
        Until its voice is echoless.

        Titan! to thee the strife was given
        Between the suffering and the will,
        Which torture where they cannot kill;
        And the inexorable Heaven,
        And the deaf tyranny of Fate,
        The ruling principle of Hate,
        Which for its pleasure doth create
        The things it may annihilate,
        Refus'd thee even the boon to die:
        The wretched gift Eternity
        Was thine--and thou hast borne it well.
        All that the Thunderer wrung from thee
        Was but the menace which flung back
        On him the torments of thy rack;
        The fate thou didst so well foresee,
        But would not to appease him tell;
        And in thy Silence was his Sentence,
        And in his Soul a vain repentance,
        And evil dread so ill dissembled,
        That in his hand the lightnings trembled.

        Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,
        To render with thy precepts less
        The sum of human wretchedness,
        And strengthen Man with his own mind;
        But baffled as thou wert from high,
        Still in thy patient energy,
        In the endurance, and repulse
        Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
        Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse,
        A mighty lesson we inherit:
        Thou art a symbol and a sign
        To Mortals of their fate and force;
        Like thee, Man is in part divine,
        A troubled stream from a pure source;
        And Man in portions can foresee
        His own funereal destiny;
        His wretchedness, and his resistance,
        And his sad unallied existence:
        To which his Spirit may oppose
        Itself--and equal to all woes,
        And a firm will, and a deep sense,
        Which even in torture can descry
        Its own concenter'd recompense,
        Triumphant where it dares defy,
        And making Death a Victory.

      Up

      Remember Him, Whom Passion's Power

        Remember him, whom Passion's power
        Severely---deeply---vainly proved:
        Remember thou that dangerous hour,
        When neither fell, though both were loved.

        That yielding breast, that melting eye,
        Too much invited to be blessed:
        That gentle prayer, that pleading sigh,
        The wilder wish reproved, repressed.

        Oh! let me feel that all I lost
        But saved thee all that Conscience fears;
        And blush for every pang it cost
        To spare the vain remorse of years.

        Yet think of this when many a tongue,
        Whose busy accents whisper blame,
        Would do the heart that loved thee wrong,
        And brand a nearly blighted name.

        Think that, whate'er to others, thou
        Hast seen each selfish thought subdued:
        I bless thy purer soul even now,
        Even now, in midnight solitude.

        Oh, God! that we had met in time,
        Our hearts as fond, thy hand more free;
        When thou hadst loved without a crime,
        And I been less unworthy thee!

        Far may thy days, as heretofore,
        From this our gaudy world be past!
        And that too bitter moment o'er,
        Oh! may such trial be thy last.

        This heart, alas! perverted long,
        Itself destroyed might there destroy;
        To meet thee in the glittering throng,
        Would wake Presumption's hope of joy.

        Then to the things whose bliss or woe,
        Like mine, is wild and worthless all,
        That world resign---such scenes forego,
        Where those who feel must surely fall.

        Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness---
        Thy soul from long seclusion pure;
        From what even here hath passed, may guess
        What there thy bosom must endure.

        Oh! pardon that imploring tear,
        Since not by Virtue shed in vain,
        My frenzy drew from eyes so dear;
        For me they shall not weep again.

        Though long and mournful must it be,
        The thought that we no more may meet;
        Yet I deserve the stern decree,
        And almost deem the sentence sweet.

        Still---had I loved thee less---my heart
        Had then less sacrificed to thine;
        It felt not half so much to part
        As if its guilt had made thee mine.

      Up

      Remind Me Not, Remind Me Not

        Remind me not, remind me not,
        Of those beloved, those vanish'd hours,
        When all my soul was given to thee;
        Hours that may never be forgot,
        Till Time unnerves our vital powers,
        And thou and I shall cease to be.

        Can I forget---canst thou forget,
        When playing with thy golden hair,
        How quick thy fluttering heart did move?
        Oh! by my soul, I see thee yet,
        With eyes so languid, breast so fair,
        And lips, though silent, breathing love.

        When thus reclining on my breast,
        Those eyes threw back a glance so sweet,
        As half reproach'd yet rais'd desire,
        And still we near and nearer prest,
        And still our glowing lips would meet,
        As if in kisses to expire.

        And then those pensive eyes would close,
        And bid their lids each other seek,
        Veiling the azure orbs below;
        While their long lashes' darken'd gloss
        Seem'd stealing o'er thy brilliant cheek,
        Like raven's plumage smooth'd on snow.

        I dreamt last night our love return'd,
        And, sooth to say, that very dream
        Was sweeter in its phantasy,
        Than if for other hearts I burn'd,
        For eyes that ne'er like thine could beam
        In Rapture's wild reality.

        Then tell me not, remind me not,
        Of hours which, though for ever gone,
        Can still a pleasing dream restore,
        Till Thou and I shall be forgot,
        And senseless, as the mouldering stone
        Which tells that we shall be no more.

      Up

      Reply To Some Verses Of J.M.B. Pigot

        Why, Pigot, complain of this damsel's disdain,
        Why thus in despair do you fret?
        For months you may try, yet, believe me, a sigh
        Will never obtain a coquette.

        Would you teach her to love? for a time seem to rove;
        At first she may frown in a pet;
        But leave her awhile, she shortly will smile,
        And then you may kiss your coquette.

        For such are the airs of these fanciful fairs,
        They think all our homage a debt:
        Yet a partial neglect soon takes an effect,
        And humbles the proudest coquette.

        Dissemble your pain, and lengthen your chain,
        And seem her hauteur to regret;
        If again you shall sigh, she no more will deny,
        That yours is the rosy coquette.

        If still, from false pride, your pangs she deride,
        This whimsical virgin forget;
        Some other adiaiire, who will melt with your fire,
        And laugh at the little coquette.

        For me I adore some twenty or more,
        And love them most dearly but yet
        Though my heart they enthral, I'd abandon them all,
        Did they act like your blooming coquette.

        No longer repine, adopt this design,
        And break through her slight-woven net;
        Away with despair, no longer forbear
        To fly from the captious coquette.

        Then quit her, my friend your bosom defend,
        Ere quite with her snares you're beset;
        Lest your deep-wounded heart, when incensed by the smart, Should lead you to curse the coquette.

      Up

      Saul

        Thou whose spell can raise the dead,
        Bid the prophet's form appear.
        'Samuel, raise thy buried head!
        King, behold the phantom seer!'

        Earth yawn'd; he stood the centre of a cloud:
        Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud.
        Death stood all glassy in his fixed eye:
        His hand was wither'd, and his veins were dry;
        His foot, in bony whiteness, glitter'd there,
        Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare;
        From lips that moved not and unbreathing frame,
        Like cavern'd winds, the hollow acccents came.
        Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak,
        At once, and blasted by the thunderstroke.

        'Why is my sleep disquieted?
        Who is he that calls the dead?
        Is it thou, O King? Behold,
        Bloodless are these limbs, and cold:
        Such are mine; and such shall be
        Thine to-morrow, when with me:
        Ere the coming day is done,
        Such shalt thou be, such thy son.
        Fare thee well, bur for a day,
        Then we mix our mouldering clay.
        Thou, thy race, lie pale and low,
        Pierced by shafts of many a bow;
        And the falchion by thy side
        To thy heart thy hand shall guide:
        Crownless, breathless, headless fall,
        Son and sire, the house of Saul!'

      Up

      She Walks In Beauty

        She walks in beauty, like the night
        Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
        And all that's best of dark and bright
        Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
        Thus mellow'd to that tender light
        Wich heaven to gaudy day denies.

        One shade the more, one ray the less,
        Had half impair'd the nameless grace
        Which waves in every raven tress,
        Or softly lightens o'er her face;
        Where thoughts serenely sweet express
        How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

        And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
        So soft, so calm, yet elocuent,
        The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
        But tell of days in goodness spent,
        A mind at peace with all below,
        A heart whose love is innocent!.

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      So, We'll Go No More A Roving

        So, we'll go no more a roving
        So late into the night,
        Though the heart be still as loving,
        And the moon be still as bright.

        For the sword outwears its sheath,
        And the soul wears out the breast,
        And the hearth must pause to breathe,
        And love itself have rest.

        Though the night was made for loving,
        And the days return too soon,
        Yet we'll go no more a roving
        By the light of the moon.

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      Solitude

        To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
        To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
        Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
        And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
        To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
        With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
        Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
        This is not solitude, 'tis but to hold
        Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled.

        But midst the crowd, the hurry, the shock of men,
        To hear, to see, to feel and to possess,
        And roam alone, the world's tired denizen,
        With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
        Minions of splendour shrinking from distress!
        None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
        If we were not, would seem to smile the less
        Of all the flattered, followed, sought and sued;
        This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!

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      Song of Saul Before His Last Battle

        Warriors and chiefs! should the shaft or the sword
        Pierce me in leading the host of the Lord,
        Heed not the corse, though a king’s in your path:
        Bury your steel in the bosoms of Gath!

        Thou who art bearing my buckler and bow,
        Should the soldiers of Saul look away from the foe,
        Stretch me that moment in blood at thy feet!
        Mine be the doom which they dared not to meet.

        Farewell to others, but never we part,
        Heir to my royalty, son of my heart!
        Bright is the diadem, boundless the sway,
        Or kingly the death, which awaits us to-day!

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      Sonnet To Chillon

        Eternal spirit of the chainless mind!
        Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art,
        For there thy habitation is the heart,
        The heart which love of thee alone can bind;

        And when thy sons to fetters are consigned
        To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom,
        Their country conquers with their martyrdom,
        And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind.

        Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
        And thy sad floor an altar, for 'twas trod,
        Until his very steps have left a trace

        Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod,
        By Bonnivard! May none those marks efface!
        For they appeal from tyranny to God.

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      Sonnet To Genevra

        Thy cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,
        And yet so lovely, that if Mirth could flush
        Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush,
        My heart would wish away that ruder glow:
        And dazzle not thy deep-blue eyes---but, oh!
        While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush,
        And into mine my mother's weakness rush,
        Soft as the last drops round Heaven's airy bow.
        For, though thy long dark lashes low depending,
        The soul of melancholy Gentleness
        Gleams like a Seraph from the sky descending,
        Above all pain, yet pitying all distress;
        At once such majesty with sweetness blending,
        I worship more, but cannot love thee less.

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      Sonnet To Lake Leman

        Rousseau -- Voltaire -- our Gibbon -- De Staлl --
        Leman! these names are worthy of thy shore,
        Thy shore of names like these! wert thou no more,
        Their memory thy remembrance would recall:
        To them thy banks were lovely as to all,
        But they have made them lovelier, for the lore
        Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core
        Of human hearts the ruin of a wall
        Where dwelt the wise and wondrous; but by thee
        How much more, Lake of Beauty! do we feel,
        In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea,
        The wild glow of that not ungentle zeal,
        Which of the heirs of immortality
        Is proud, and makes the breath of glory real!

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      Stanzas Composed During A Thunderstorm

        Chill and mirk is the nightly blast,
        Where Pindus' mountains rise,
        And angry clouds are pouring fast
        The vengeance of the skies.

        Our guides are gone, our hope is lost,
        And lightnings, as they play,
        But show where rocks our path have crost,
        Or gild the torrent's spray.

        Is yon a cot I saw, though low?
        When lightning broke the gloom---
        How welcome were its shade!---ah, no!
        'Tis but a Turkish tomb.

        Through sounds of foaming waterfalls,
        I hear a voice exclaim---
        My way-worn countryman, who calls
        On distant England's name.

        A shot is fired---by foe or friend?
        Another---'tis to tell
        The mountain-peasants to descend,
        And lead us where they dwell.

        Oh! who in such a night will dare
        To tempt the wilderness?
        And who 'mid thunder-peals can hear
        Our signal of distress?

        And who that heard our shouts would rise
        To try the dubious road?
        Nor rather deem from nightly cries
        That outlaws were abroad.

        Clouds burst, skies flash, oh, dreadful hour!
        More fiercely pours the storm!
        Yet here one thought has still the power
        To keep my bosom warm.

        While wandering through each broken path,
        O'er brake and craggy brow;
        While elements exhaust their wrath,
        Sweet Florence, where art thou?

        Not on the sea, not on the sea---
        Thy bark hath long been gone:
        Oh, may the storm that pours on me,
        Bow down my head alone!

        Full swiftly blew the swift Siroc,
        When last I pressed thy lip;
        And long ere now, with foaming shock,
        Impelled thy gallant ship.

        Now thou art safe; nay, long ere now
        Hast trod the shore of Spain;
        'Twere hard if aught so fair as thou
        Should linger on the main.

        And since I now remember thee
        In darkness and in dread,
        As in those hours of revelry
        Which Mirth and Music sped;

        Do thou, amid the fair white walls,
        If Cadiz yet be free,
        At times from out her latticed halls
        Look o'er the dark blue sea;

        Then think upon Calypso's isles,
        Endeared by days gone by;
        To others give a thousand smiles,
        To me a single sigh.

        And when the admiring circle mark
        The paleness of thy face,
        A half-formed tear, a transient spark
        Of melancholy grace,

        Again thou'lt smile, and blushing shun
        Some coxcomb's raillery;
        Nor own for once thou thought'st on one,
        Who ever thinks on thee.

        Though smile and sigh alike are vain,
        When severed hearts repine
        My spirit flies o'er Mount and Main
        And mourns in search of thine.

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      Stanzas For Music: I speak not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name

        I speak not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name,
        There is grief in the sound, there were guilt in the fame;
        But the tear which now burns on my cheek may impart
        The deep thought that dwells in that silence of heart.

        Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace,
        Were those hours, can their joy or their bitterness cease?
        We repent, we abjure, we will break from our chain;
        We must part, we must fly to, unite it again.

        Oh! thine be the gladness and mine be the guilt,
        Forgive me adored one, forsake if thou wilt;
        But the heart which I bear shall expire undebased,
        And man shall not break it, whatever thou may'st.

        And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee,
        My soul in its bitterest blackness shall be;
        And our days seem as swift, and our moments more sweet,
        With thee by my side, than the world at our feet.

        One sight of thy sorrow, one look of thy love,
        Shall turn me or fix, shall reward or reprove;
        And the heartless may wonder at all we resign,
        Thy lip shall reply no to them, but to mine.

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      Stanzas For Music: There's Not A Joy The World Can Give

        There's not a joy the world can give like that it takes away
        When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's dull decay;
        'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone, which fades so fast,
        But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere youth itself be past.

        Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of happiness
        Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt, or ocean of excess:
        The magnet of their course is gone, or only points in vain
        The shore to which their shivered sail shall never stretch again.

        Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself comes down;
        It cannot feel for others' woes, it dare not dream its own;
        That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our tears,
        And though the eye may sparkle still, 'tis where the ice appears.

        Though wit may flash from fluent lips, and mirth distract the breast,
        Through midnight hours that yield no more their former hope of rest,
        'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruined turret wreath—
        All green and wildly fresh without, but worn and grey beneath.

        Oh, could I feel as I have felt, or be what I have been,
        Or weep as I could once have wept, o'er many a vanished scene;
        As springs in deserts found seem sweet, all brackish though they be,
        So, midst the withered waste of life, those tears would flow to me.

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      Stanzas To A Lady, On Leaving England

        'Tis done---and shivering in the gale
        The bark unfurls her snowy sail;
        And whistling o'er the bending mast,
        Loud sings on high the fresh'ning blast;
        And I must from this land be gone,
        Because I cannot love but one.

        But could I be what I have been,
        And could I see what I have seen---
        Could I repose upon the breast
        Which once my warmest wishes blest---
        I should not seek another zone,
        Because I cannot love but one.

        'Tis long since I beheld that eye
        Which gave me bliss or misery;
        And I have striven, but in vain,
        Never to think of it again:
        For though I fly from Albion,
        I still can only love but one.

        As some lone bird, without a mate,
        My weary heart is desolate;
        I look around, and cannot trace
        One friendly smile or welcome face,
        And ev'n in crowds am still alone,
        Because I cannot love but one.

        And I will cross the whitening foam,
        And I will seek a foreign home;
        Till I forget a false fair face,
        I ne'er shall find a resting-place;
        My own dark thoughts I cannot shun,
        But ever love, and love but one.

        The poorest, veriest wretch on earth
        Still finds some hospitable hearth,
        Where Friendship's or Love's softer glow
        May smile in joy or soothe in woe;
        But friend or leman I have none,'
        Because I cannot love but one.

        I go---but wheresoe'er I flee
        There's not an eye will weep for me;
        There's not a kind congenial heart,
        Where I can claim the meanest part;
        Nor thou, who hast my hopes undone,
        Wilt sigh, although I love but one.

        To think of every early scene,
        Of what we are, and what we've been,
        Would whelm some softer hearts with woe---
        But mine, alas! has stood the blow;
        Yet still beats on as it begun,
        And never truly loves but one.

        And who that dear lov'd one may be,
        Is not for vulgar eyes to see;
        And why that early love was cross'd,
        Thou know'st the best, I feel the most;
        But few that dwell beneath the sun
        Have loved so long, and loved but one.

        I've tried another's fetters too,
        With charms perchance as fair to view;
        And I would fain have loved as well,
        But some unconquerable spell
        Forbade my bleeding breast to own
        A kindred care for aught but one.

        'Twould soothe to take one lingering view,
        And bless thee in my last adieu;
        Yet wish I not those eyes to weep
        For him that wanders o'er the deep;
        His home, his hope, his youth are gone,
        Yet still he loves, and loves but one.

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      Stanzas To Augusta

        When all around grew drear and dark,
        And reason half withheld her ray—
        And hope but shed a dying spark
        Which more misled my lonely way;

        In that deep midnight of the mind,
        And that internal strife of heart,
        When dreading to be deemed too kind,
        The weak despair—the cold depart;

        When fortune changed—and love fled far,
        And hatred's shafts flew thick and fast,
        Thou wert the solitary star
        Which rose, and set not to the last.

        Oh, blest be thine unbroken light!
        That watched me as a seraph's eye,
        And stood between me and the night,
        For ever shining sweetly nigh.

        And when the cloud upon us came,
        Which strove to blacken o'er thy ray—
        Then purer spread its gentle flame,
        And dashed the darkness all away.

        Still may thy spirit dwell on mine,
        And teach it what to brave or brook—
        There's more in one soft word of thine
        Than in the world's defied rebuke.

        Thou stood'st as stands a lovely tree
        That, still unbroke though gently bent,
        Still waves with fond fidelity
        Its boughs above a monument.

        The winds might rend, the skies might pour,
        But there thou wert—and still wouldst be
        Devoted in the stormiest hour
        To shed thy weeping leaves o'er me.

        But thou and thine shall know no blight,
        Whatever fate on me may fall;
        For heaven in sunshine will requite
        The kind—and thee the most of all.

        Then let the ties of baffled love
        Be broken—thine will never break;
        Thy heart can feel—but will not move;
        Thy soul, though soft, will never shake.

        And these, when all was lost beside,
        Were found, and still are fixed in thee;—
        And bearing still a breast so tried,
        Earth is no desert—e'en to me.

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      Stanzas To Jessy

        There is a mystic thread of life
        So dearly wreath'd with mine alone,
        That Destiny's relentless knife
        At once must sever both, or none.

        There is a Form on which these eyes
        Have fondly gazed with such delight---
        By day, that Form their joy supplies,
        And Dreams restore it, through the night.

        There is a Voice whose tones inspire
        Such softened feelings in my breast,
        I would not hear a Seraph Choir,
        Unless that voice could join the rest.

        There is a Face whose Blushes tell
        Affection's tale upon the cheek,
        But pallid at our fond farewell,
        Proclaims more love than words can speak.

        There is a Lip, which mine has prest,
        But none had ever prest before;
        It vowed to make me sweetly blest,
        That mine alone should press it more.

        There is a Bosom all my own,
        Has pillow'd oft this aching head,
        A Mouth which smiles on me alone,
        An Eye, whose tears with mine are shed.

        There are two Hearts whose movements thrill,
        In unison so closely sweet,
        That Pulse to Pulse responsive still
        They Both must heave, or cease to beat.

        There are two Souls, whose equal flow
        In gentle stream so calmly run,
        That when they part---they part?---ah no!
        They cannot part---those Souls are One.

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      Stanzas To The Po

        River, that rollest by the ancient walls,
        Where dwells the lady of my love, when she
        Walks by thy brink, and there perchance recalls
        A faint and fleeting memory of me;

        What if thy deep and ample stream should be
        A mirror of my heart, where she may read
        The thousand thoughts I now betray to thee,
        Wild as thy wave, and headlong as thy speed!

        What do I say—a mirror of my heart?
        Are not thy waters sweeping, dark, and strong?
        Such as my feelings were and are, thou art;
        And such as thou art were my passions long.

        Time may have somewhat tamed them,—not for ever;
        Thou overflow'st thy banks, and not for aye
        The bosom overboils, congenial river!
        Thy floods subside, and mine have sunk away.


        But left long wrecks behind, and now again,
        Born in our old unchanged career, we move;
        Thou tendest wildly onwards to the main,
        And I—to loving one I should not love.

        The current I behold will sweep beneath
        Her native walls and murmur at her feet;
        Her eyes will look on thee, when she shall breathe
        The twilight air, unharmed by summer's heat.

        She will look on thee,—I have looked on thee,
        Full of that thought; and, from that moment, ne'er
        Thy waters could I dream of, name, or see,
        Without the inseparable sigh for her!

        Her bright eyes will be imaged in thy stream,—
        Yes! they will meet the wave I gaze on now:
        Mine cannot witness, even in a dream,
        That happy wave repass me in its flow!

        The wave that bears my tears returns no more:
        Will she return by whom that wave shall sweep?
        Both tread thy banks, both wander on thy shore,
        I by thy source, she by the dark-blue deep.

        But that which keepeth us apart is not
        Distance, nor depth of wave, nor space of earth,
        But the distraction of a various lot,
        As various as the climates of our birth.

        A stranger loves the lady of the land,
        Born far beyond the mountains, but his blood
        Is all meridian, as if never fanned
        By the black wind that chills the polar flood.

        My blood is all meridian; were it not,
        I had not left my clime, nor should I be,
        In spite of tortures, ne'er to be forgot,
        A slave again of love,—at least of thee.

        'Tis vain to struggle—let me perish young—
        Live as I lived, and love as I have loved;
        To dust if I return, from dust I sprung,
        And then, at least, my heart can ne'er be moved.

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      Stanzas Written On The Road Between Florence And Pisa

        Oh, talk not to me of a name great in story;
        The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
        And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
        Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.

        What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
        'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled:
        Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!
        What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?

        O Fame!—if I e'er took delight in thy praises,
        'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
        Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover
        She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.

        There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
        Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
        When it sparkled o'er aught that was bright in my story,
        I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.

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      Sun Of The Sleepless!

        Sun of the sleepless! melancholy star!
        Whose tearful beam glows tremulously far,
        That show'st the darkness thou canst not dispel,
        How like art thou to joy remember'd well!

        So gleams the past, the light of other days,
        Which shines, but warms not with its powerless rays;
        A night-beam Sorrow watcheth to behold,
        Distinct but distant -- clear -- but, oh how cold!

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      The Destruction Of Sennacherib

        The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
        And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
        And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
        When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

        Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
        That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
        Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
        That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

        For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
        And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:
        And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
        And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

        And there lay the steed with his nostrils all wide,
        But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride:
        And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
        And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

        And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
        With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
        And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
        The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

        And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
        And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
        And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
        Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

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      The Dream

        I

        Our life is twofold; Sleep hath its own world,
        A boundary between the things misnamed
        Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
        And a wide realm of wild reality,
        And dreams in their development have breath,
        And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
        They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
        They take a weight from off waking toils,
        They do divide our being; they become
        A portion of ourselves as of our time,
        And look like heralds of eternity;
        They pass like spirits of the past—they speak
        Like sibyls of the future; they have power—
        The tyranny of pleasure and of pain;
        They make us what we were not—what they will,
        And shake us with the vision that's gone by,
        The dread of vanished shadows—Are they so?
        Is not the past all shadow?—What are they?
        Creations of the mind?—The mind can make
        Substances, and people planets of its own
        With beings brighter than have been, and give
        A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
        I would recall a vision which I dreamed
        Perchance in sleep—for in itself a thought,
        A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
        And curdles a long life into one hour.

        II

        I saw two beings in the hues of youth
        Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
        Green and of mild declivity, the last
        As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such,
        Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
        But a most living landscape, and the wave
        Of woods and corn-fields, and the abodes of men
        Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke
        Arising from such rustic roofs: the hill
        Was crowned with a peculiar diadem
        Of trees, in circular array, so fixed,
        Not by the sport of nature, but of man:
        These two, a maiden and a youth, were there
        Gazing—the one on all that was beneath
        Fair as herself—but the boy gazed on her;
        And both were young, and one was beautiful:
        And both were young—yet not alike in youth.
        As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge,
        The maid was on the eve of womanhood;
        The boy had fewer summers, but his heart
        Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye
        There was but one beloved face on earth,
        And that was shining on him; he had looked
        Upon it till it could not pass away;
        He had no breath, no being, but in hers:
        She was his voice; he did not speak to her,
        But trembled on her words; she was his sight,
        For his eye followed hers, and saw with hers,
        Which coloured all his objects;—he had ceased
        To live within himself: she was his life,
        The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
        Which terminated all; upon a tone,
        A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and flow,
        And his cheek change tempestuously—his heart
        Unknowing of its cause of agony.
        But she in these fond feelings had no share:
        Her sighs were not for him; to her he was
        Even as a brother—but no more; 'twas much,
        For brotherless she was, save in the name
        Her infant friendship had bestowed on him;
        Herself the solitary scion left
        Of a time-honoured race.—It was a name
        Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not—and why?
        Time taught him a deep answer—when she loved
        Another; even now she loved another,
        And on the summit of that hill she stood
        Looking afar if yet her lover's steed
        Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew.

        III

        A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
        There was an ancient mansion, and before
        Its walls there was a steed caparisoned:
        Within an antique Oratory stood
        The Boy of whom I spake;—he was alone,
        And pale, and pacing to and fro: anon
        He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced
        Words which I could not guess of; then he leaned
        His bowed head on his hands and shook, as 'twere
        With a convulsion—then rose again,
        And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear
        What he had written, but he shed no tears.
        And he did calm himself, and fix his brow
        Into a kind of quiet: as he paused,
        The Lady of his love re-entered there;
        She was serene and smiling then, and yet
        She knew she was by him beloved; she knew—
        For quickly comes such knowledge—that his heart
        Was darkened with her shadow, and she saw
        That he was wretched, but she saw not all.
        He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp
        He took her hand; a moment o'er his face
        A tablet of unutterable thoughts
        Was traced, and then it faded, as it came;
        He dropped the hand he held, and with slow steps
        Retired, but not as bidding her adieu,
        For they did part with mutual smiles; he passed
        From out the massy gate of that old Hall,
        And mounting on his steed he went his way;
        And ne'er repassed that hoary threshold more.

        IV

        A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
        The Boy was sprung to manhood: in the wilds
        Of fiery climes he made himself a home,
        And his Soul drank their sunbeams; he was girt
        With strange and dusky aspects; he was not
        Himself like what he had been; on the sea
        And on the shore he was a wanderer;
        There was a mass of many images
        Crowded like waves upon me, but he was
        A part of all; and in the last he lay
        Reposing from the noontide sultriness,
        Couched among fallen columns, in the shade
        Of ruined walls that had survived the names
        Of those who reared them; by his sleeping side
        Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds
        Were fastened near a fountain; and a man,
        Glad in a flowing garb, did watch the while,
        While many of his tribe slumbered around:
        And they were canopied by the blue sky,
        So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,
        That God alone was to be seen in heaven.

        V

        A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
        The Lady of his love was wed with One
        Who did not love her better: in her home,
        A thousand leagues from his,—her native home,
        She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy,
        Daughters and sons of Beauty,—but behold!
        Upon her face there was a tint of grief,
        The settled shadow of an inward strife,
        And an unquiet drooping of the eye,
        As if its lid were charged with unshed tears.
        What could her grief be?—she had all she loved,
        And he who had so loved her was not there
        To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
        Or ill-repressed affliction, her pure thoughts.
        What could her grief be?—she had loved him not,
        Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
        Nor could he be a part of that which preyed
        Upon her mind—a spectre of the past.

        VI

        A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
        The Wanderer was returned.—I saw him stand
        Before an altar—with a gentle bride;
        Her face was fair, but was not that which made
        The Starlight of his Boyhood;—as he stood
        Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came
        The selfsame aspect and the quivering shock
        That in the antique Oratory shook
        His bosom in its solitude; and then—
        As in that hour—a moment o'er his face
        The tablet of unutterable thoughts
        Was traced—and then it faded as it came,
        And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke
        The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,
        And all things reeled around him; he could see
        Not that which was, nor that which should have been—
        But the old mansion, and the accustomed hall,
        And the remembered chambers, and the place,
        The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,
        All things pertaining to that place and hour,
        And her who was his destiny, came back
        And thrust themselves between him and the light;
        What business had they there at such a time?

        VII

        A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
        The Lady of his love;—Oh! she was changed,
        As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
        Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes,
        They had not their own lustre, but the look
        Which is not of the earth; she was become
        The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
        Were combinations of disjointed things;
        And forms impalpable and unperceived
        Of others' sight familiar were to hers.
        And this the world calls frenzy; but the wise
        Have a far deeper madness, and the glance
        Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
        What is it but the telescope of truth?
        Which strips the distance of its fantasies,
        And brings life near in utter nakedness,
        Making the cold reality too real!

        VIII

        A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
        The Wanderer was alone as heretofore,
        The beings which surrounded him were gone,
        Or were at war with him; he was a mark
        For blight and desolation, compassed round
        With Hatred and Contention; Pain was mixed
        In all which was served up to him, until,
        Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,
        He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
        But were a kind of nutriment; he lived
        Through that which had been death to many men,
        And made him friends of mountains; with the stars
        And the quick Spirit of the Universe
        He held his dialogues: and they did teach
        To him the magic of their mysteries;
        To him the book of Night was opened wide,
        And voices from the deep abyss revealed
        A marvel and a secret.—Be it so.

        IX

        My dream is past; it had no further change.
        It was of a strange order, that the doom
        Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
        Almost like a reality—the one
        To end in madness—both in misery.

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      The Giaour (A Fragment Of A Turkish Tale)

        The tale which these disjointed fragments present, is founded upon circumstances now less common in the East than formerly; either because the ladies are more circumspect than in the 'olden time', or because the Christians have better fortune, or less enterprise. The story, when entire, contained the adventures of a female slave, who was thrown, in the Mussulman manner, into the sea for infidelity, and avenged by a young Venetian, her lover, at the time the Seven Islands were possessed by the Republic of Venice, and soon after the Arnauts were beaten back from the Morea, which they had ravaged for some time subsequent to the Russian invasion. The desertion of the Mainotes on being refused the plunder of Misitra, led to the abandonment of that enterprise, and to the desolation of the Morea,during which the cruelty exercised on all sides was unparalleled even in the annals of the faithful.


        No breath of air to break the wave
        That rolls below the Athenian's grave,
        That tomb which, gleaming o'er the cliff
        First greets the homeward-veering skiff
        High o'er the land he saved in vain;
        When shall such Hero live again?

        Fair clime! where every season smiles
        Benignant o'er those blessйd isles,
        Which, seen from far Colonna's height,
        Make glad the heart that hails the sight,
        And lend to lonliness delight.
        There mildly dimpling, Ocean's cheek
        Reflects the tints of many a peak
        Caught by the laughing tides that lave
        These Edens of the Eastern wave:
        And if at times a transient breeze
        Break the blue crystal of the seas,
        Or sweep one blossom from the trees,
        How welcome is each gentle air
        That waves and wafts the odours there!
        For there the Rose, o'er crag or vale,
        Sultana of the Nightingale,

        The maid for whom his melody,
        His thousand songs are heard on high,
        Blooms blushing to her lover's tale:
        His queen, the garden queen, his Rose,
        Unbent by winds, unchilled by snows,
        Far from winters of the west,
        By every breeze and season blest,
        Returns the sweets by Nature given
        In soft incense back to Heaven;
        And gratefu yields that smiling sky
        Her fairest hue and fragrant sigh.
        And many a summer flower is there,
        And many a shade that Love might share,
        And many a grotto, meant by rest,
        That holds the pirate for a guest;
        Whose bark in sheltering cove below
        Lurks for the pasiing peaceful prow,
        Till the gay mariner's guitar
        Is heard, and seen the Evening Star;
        Then stealing with the muffled oar,
        Far shaded by the rocky shore,
        Rush the night-prowlers on the prey,
        And turns to groan his roudelay.
        Strande--that where Nature loved to trace,
        As if for Gods, a dwelling place,
        And every charm and grace hath mixed
        Within the Paradise she fixed,
        There man, enarmoured of distress,
        Shoul mar it into wilderness,
        And trample, brute-like, o'er each flower
        That tasks not one labourious hour;
        Nor claims the culture of his hand
        To blood along the fairy land,
        But springs as to preclude his care,
        And sweetly woos him--but to spare!
        Strange--that where all is Peace beside,
        There Passion riots in her pride,
        And Lust and Rapine wildly reign
        To darken o'er the fair domain.
        It is as though the Fiends prevailed
        Against the Seraphs they assailed,
        And, fixed on heavenly thrones, should dwell
        The freed inheritors of Hell;
        So soft the scene, so formed for joy,
        So curst the tyrants that destroy!

        He who hath bent him o'er the dead
        Ere the first day of Death is fled,
        The first dark day of Nothingness,
        The last of Danger and Distress,
        (Before Decay's effacing fingers
        Have swept the lines where Beauty lingers,)
        And marked the mild angelic air,
        The rapture of Repose that's there,
        The fixed yet tender thraits that streak
        The languor of the placid cheek,
        And--but for that sad shrouded eye,
        That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now,
        And but for that chill, changeless brow,

        Where cold Obstruction's apathy
        Appals the gazing mourner's heart,
        As if to him it could impart
        The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon;
        Yes, but for these and these alone,
        Some moments, aye, one treacherous hour,
        He still might doubt the Tyrant's power;
        So fair, so calm, so softly sealed,
        The first, last look by Death revealed!
        Such is the aspect of his shore;
        'T is Greece, but living Greece no more!
        So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
        We start, for Soul is wanting there.
        Hers is the loveliness in death,
        That parts not quite with parting breath;
        But beauty with that fearful bloom,
        That hue which haunts it to the tomb,
        Expression's last receding ray,
        A gilded Halo hovering round decay,
        The farewell beam of Feeling past away!
        Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth,
        Which gleams, but warms no more its cherished earth!

        Clime of the unforgotten brave!
        Whose land from plain to mountain-cave
        Was Freedom;s home or Glory's grave!
        Shrine of the mighty! can it be,
        That this is all remains of thee?
        Approach, thou craven crouching slave:
        Say, is this not Thermopylж?
        These waters blue that round you lave,--
        Of servile offspring of the free--
        Pronounce what sea, what shore is this?
        The gulf, the rock of Salamis!
        These scenes, their story yet unknown;
        Arise, and make again your own;
        Snatch from the ashes of your Sires
        The embers of their former fires;
        And he who in the strife expires
        Will add to theirs a name of fear
        That Tyranny shall quake to hear,
        And leave his sons a hope, a fame,
        They too will rather die than shame:
        For Freedom's battle once begun,
        Bequeathed by bleeding Sire to Son,
        Though baffled oft is ever won.
        Bear witness, Greece, thy living page!
        Attest it many a deathless age!
        While Kings, in dusty darkness hid,
        Have left a namesless pyramid,
        Thy Heroes, though the general doom
        Hath swept the column from their tomb,
        A mightier monument command,
        The mountains of thy native land!
        There points thy Muse to stranger's eye
        The graves of those that cannot die!
        'T were long to tell, and sad to trace,
        Each step from Spledour to Disgrace;
        Enough--no foreign foe could quell
        Thy soul, till from itself it fell;
        Yet! Self-abasement paved the way
        To villain-bonds and despot sway.

        What can he tell who tread thy shore?
        No legend of thine olden time,
        No theme on which the Muse might soar
        High as thine own days of yore,
        When man was worthy of thy clime.
        The hearts within thy valleys bred,
        The fiery souls that might have led
        Thy sons to deeds sublime,
        Now crawl from cradle to the Grave,
        Slaves--nay, the bondsmen of a Slave,
        And callous, save to crime.
        Stained with each evil that pollutes
        Mankind, where least above the brutes;
        Without even savage virtue blest,
        Without one free or valiant breast,
        Still to the neighbouring ports tey waft
        Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft;
        In this subtle Greek is found,
        For this, and this alown, renowned.
        In vain might Liberty invoke
        The spirit to its bondage broke
        Or raise the neck that courts the yoke:
        No more her sorrows I bewail,
        Yet this will be a mournful tale,
        And they who listen may believe,
        Who heard it first had cause to grieve.

        Far, dark, along the blue sea glancing,
        The shadows of the rocks advancing
        Start on the fisher's eye like boat
        Of island-pirate or Mainote;
        And fearful for his light caпque,
        He shuns the near but doubtful creek:
        Though worn and weary with his toil,
        And cumbered with his scaly spoil,
        Slowly, yet strongly, plies the oar,
        Till Port Leone's safer shore
        Receives him by the lovely light
        That best becomes an Eastern night.


        ... Who thundering comes on blackest steed,
        With slackened bit and hoof of speed?
        Beneath the clattering iron's sound
        The caverned echoes wake around
        In lash for lash, and bound for bound;
        The foam that streaks the courser's side
        Seems gathered from the ocean-tide:
        Though weary waves are sunk to rest,
        There's none within his rider's breast;
        And though tomorrow's tempest lower,
        'Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour!
        I know thee not, I loathe thy race,
        But in thy lineaments I trace
        What time shall strengthen, not efface:
        Though young and pale, that sallow front
        Is scathed by fiery passion's brunt;
        Though bent on earth thine evil eye,
        As meteor-like thou glidest by,
        Right well I view thee and deem thee one
        Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun.


        On - on he hastened, and he drew
        My gaze of wonder as he flew:
        Though like a demon of the night
        He passed, and vanished from my sight,
        His aspect and his air impressed
        A troubled memory on my breast,
        And long upon my startled ear
        Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear.
        He spurs his steed; he nears the steep,
        That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep;
        He winds around; he hurries by;
        The rock relieves him from mine eye;
        For, well I ween, unwelcome he
        Whose glance is fixed on those that flee;
        And not a start that shines too bright
        On him who takes such timeless flight.
        He wound along; but ere he passed
        One glance he snatched, as if his last,
        A moment checked his wheeling steed,
        A moment breathed him from his speed,
        A moment on his stirrup stood -
        Why looks he o'er the olive wood?
        The crescent glimmers on the hill,
        The mosque's high lamps are quivering still
        Though too remote for sound to wake
        In echoes of far tophaike,
        The flashes of each joyous peal
        Are seen to prove the Moslem's zeal,
        Tonight, set Rhamazani's sun;
        Tonight the Bairam feast's begun;
        Tonight - but who and what art thou
        Of foreign garb and fearful brow?
        That thou should'st either pause or flee?


        He stood - some dread was on his face,
        Soon hatred settled in its place:
        It rose not with the reddening flush
        Of transient anger's hasty blush,
        But pale as marble o'er the tomb,
        Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom.
        His brow was bent, his eye was glazed;
        He raised his arm, and fiercely raised,
        And sternly shook his hand on high,
        As doubting to return or fly;
        Impatient of his flight delayed,
        Here loud his raven charger neighed -
        Down glanced that hand and, and grasped his blade;
        That sound had burst his waking dream,
        As slumber starts at owlet's scream.
        The spur hath lanced his courser's sides;
        Away, away, for life he rides:
        Swift as the hurled on high jerreed
        Springs to the touch his startled steed;
        The rock is doubled, and the shore
        Shakes with the clattering tramp no more;
        The crag is won, no more is seen
        His Christian crest and haughty mien.
        'Twas but an instant he restrained
        That fiery barb so sternly reined;
        'Twas but a moment that he stood,
        Then sped as if by death pursued;
        But in that instant 0'er his soul
        Winters of memory seemed to roll,
        And gather in that drop of time
        A life of pain, an age of crime.
        O'er him who loves, or hates, or fears,
        Such moment pours the grief of years:
        What felt he then, at once opprest
        By all that most distracts the breast?
        That pause, which pondered o'er his fate,
        Oh, who its dreary length shall date!
        Though in time's record nearly nought,
        It was eternity to thought!
        For infinite as boundless space
        The thought that conscience must embrace,
        Which in itself can comprehend
        Woe without name, or hope, or end.


        The hour is past, the Giaour is gone;
        And did he fly or fall alone?
        Woe to that hour he came or went!
        The curse for Hassan’s sin was sent
        To turn a palace to a tomb:
        He came, he went, like the Simoom,
        That harbinger of fate and gloom,
        Beneath whose widely - wasting breath
        The very cypress droops to death -
        Dark tree, still sad when others’ grief is fled,
        The only constant mourner o’er the dead!


        The steed is vanished from the stall;
        No serf is seen in Hassan’s hall;
        The lonely spider’s thin grey pall
        Waves slowly widening o’er the wall;
        The bat builds in his harem bower,
        And in the fortress of his power
        The owl usurps the beacon-tower;
        The wild-dog howls o’er the fountain’s brim,
        With baffled thirst and famine, grim;
        For the stream has shrunk from its marble bed,
        Where the weeds and the desolate dust are spread.
        ‘Twas sweet of yore to see it play
        And chase the sultriness of day,
        As springing high the silver dew
        In whirls fantastically flew,
        And flung luxurious coolness round
        The air, and verdure o’er the ground.
        ‘Twas sweet, when cloudless stars were bright,
        To view the wave of watery light,
        And hear its melody by night.
        And oft had Hassan’s childhood played
        Around the verge of that cascade;
        And oft upon his mother’s breast
        That sound had harmonized his rest;
        And oft had Hassan’s youth along
        Its bank been soothed by beauty’s song;
        And softer seem’d each melting tone
        Of music mingled with its own.
        But ne’er shall Hassan’s age repose
        Along the brink at twilight’s close:
        The stream that filled that font is fled -
        The blood that warmed his heart is shed!
        And here no more shall human voice
        Be heard to rage, regret, rejoice.
        The last sad note that swelled the gale
        Was woman’s wildest funeral wall:
        That quenched in silence all is still,
        But the lattice that flaps when the wind is shrill:
        Though raves the gust, and floods the rain,
        No hand shall clasp its clasp again.
        On desert sands ‘twere joy to scan
        The rudest steps of fellow man,
        So here the very voice of grief
        Might wake an echo like relief -
        At least ‘twould say, ‘All are not gone;
        There lingers life, though but in one’ -
        For many a gilded chamber’s there,
        Which solitude might well forbear;
        Within that dome as yet decay
        Hath slowly worked her cankering way -
        But gloom is gathered o’er the gate,
        Nor there the fakir’s self will wait;
        Nor there will wandering dervise stay,
        For bounty cheers not his delay;
        Nor there will weary stranger halt
        To bless the sacred ‘bread and salt’.
        Alike must wealth and poverty
        Pass heedless and unheeded by,
        For courtesy and pity died
        With Hassan on the mountain side.
        His roof, that refuge unto men,
        Is desolation’s hungry den.
        The guest flies the hall, and the vassal from labour,
        Since his turban was cleft by the infidel’s sabre!


        I hear the sound of coming feet,
        But not a voice mine ear to greet;
        More near - each turban I can scan,
        And silver-sheathed ataghan;
        The foremost of the band is seen
        An emir by his garb of green:
        ‘Ho! Who art thou?’ - ‘This low salam
        Replies of Moslem faith I am.’
        ‘The burden ye so gently bear,
        Seems one that claims your utmost care,
        And, doubtless, holds some precious freight,
        My humble bark would gladly wait.’


        ‘Thou speakest sooth; they skiff unmoor,
        And waft us from the silent shore;
        Nay, leave the sail still furled, and ply
        The nearest oar that’s scattered by,
        And midway to those rocks where sleep
        The channeled waters dark and deep.
        Rest from your task - so - bravely done,
        Of course had been right swiftly run;
        Yet ‘tis the longest voyage, I trow,
        That one of -


        Sullen it plunged, and slowly sank,
        The calm wave rippled to the bank;
        I watched it as it sank, methought
        Some motion from the current caught
        Bestirred it more, - ‘twas but the beam
        That checkered o’er the living stream:
        I gazed, till vanishing from view,
        Like lessening pebble it withdrew;
        Still less and less, a speck of white
        That gemmed the tide, then mocked the sight;
        And all its hidden secrets sleep,
        Known but to Genii of the deep,
        Which, trembling in their coral caves,
        They dare not whisper to the waves.


        As rising on its purple wing
        The insect-queen of eastern spring,
        O’er emerald meadows of Kashmeer
        Invites the young pursuer near,
        And leads him on from flower to flower
        A weary chase and wasted hour,
        Then leaves him, as it soars on high,
        With panting heart and tearful eye:
        So beauty lures the full-grown child,
        With hue as bright, and wing as wild:
        A chase of idle hopes and fears,
        Begun in folly, closed in tears.
        If won, to equal ills betrayed,
        Woe waits the insect and the maid;
        A life of pain, the loss of peace,
        From infant’s play and man’s caprice:
        The lovely toy so fiercely sought
        Hath lost its charm by being caught,
        For every touch that wooed its stay
        Hath brushed its brightest hues away,
        Till charm, and hue, and beauty gone,
        ‘Tis left to fly or fall alone.
        With wounded wing, or bleeding breast,
        Ah! Where shall either victim rest?
        Can this with faded pinion soar
        From rose to tulip as before?
        Or beauty, blighted in an hour,
        Find joy within her broken bower?
        No: gayer insects fluttering by
        Ne’er droop the wing o’er those that die,
        And lovelier things have mercy shown
        To every failing but their own,
        And every woe a tear can claim
        Except an erring sister’s shame.


        The mind that broods o’er guilty woes,
        Is like the scorpion girt by fire;
        In circle narrowing as it glows,
        The flames around their captive close,
        Till inly searched by thousand throes,
        And maddening in her ire,
        One sad and sole relief she knows,
        The sting she nourished for her foes,
        Whose venom never yet was vain,
        Gives but one pang, and cures all pain,
        So do the dark in soul expire,
        Or live like scorpion girt by fire;
        So writhes the mind remorse hath riven,
        Unfit for earth, undoomed for heaven,
        Darkness above, despair beneath,
        Around it flame, within it death!


        Black Hassan from the harem flies,
        Nor bends on woman’s form his eyes;
        The unwonted chase each hour employs,
        Yet shares he not the hunter’s joys.
        Not thus was Hassan wont to fly
        When Leila dwelt in his Serai.
        Doth Leila there no longer dwell?
        That tale can only Hassan tell:
        Strange rumours in our city say
        Upon that eve she fled away
        When Rhamazan’s last sun was set,
        And flashing from each minaret
        Millions of lamps proclaimed the feast
        Of Bairam through the boundless East.
        ‘Twas then she went as to the bath,
        Which Hassan vainly searched in wrath;
        For she was flown her master’s rage
        In likeness of a Georgian page,
        And far beyond the Moslem’s power
        Had wronged him with the faithless Giaour.
        Somewhat of this had Hassan deemed;
        But still so fond, so fair she seemed,
        Too well he trusted to the slave
        Whose treachery deserved a grave:
        And on that eve had gone to mosque,
        And thence to feast in his kiosk.
        Such is the tale his Nubians tell,
        Who did not watch their charge too well;
        But others say, that on that night,
        By pale Phingari’s trembling light,
        The Giaour upon his jet-black steed
        Was seen, but seen alone to speed
        With bloody spur along the shore,
        Nor maid nor page behind him bore.


        Her eye’s dark charm ‘twere vain to tell,
        But gaze on that of the gazelle,
        It will assist thy fancy well;
        As large, as languishingly dark,
        But soul beamed forth in every spark
        That darted from beneath the lid,
        Bright as the jewel of Giamschild.
        Yea, Soul, and should our prophet say
        That form was nought but breathing clay,
        By Allah! I would answer nay;
        Though on Al-Sirat’s arch I stood,
        Which totters o’er the fiery flood,
        With Paradise within my view,
        And all his Houris beckoning through.
        Oh! Who young Leila’s glance could read
        And keep that portion of his creed,
        Which saith that woman is but dust,
        A soulless toy for tyrant’s lust?
        On her might Muftis might gaze, and own
        That through her eye the Immortal shone;
        On her fair cheek’s unfading hue
        The young pomegranate’s blossoms strew
        Their bloom in blushes ever new;
        Her hair in hyacinthine flow,
        When left to roll its folds below,
        As midst her handmaids in the hall
        She stood superior to them all,
        Hath swept the marble where her feet
        Gleamed whiter than the mountain sleet
        Ere from the cloud that gave it birth
        It fell, and caught one stain of earth.
        The cygnet nobly walks the water;
        So moved on earth Circassia’s daughter,
        The loveliest bird of Franguestan!
        As rears her crest the ruffled swan,
        And spurns the wave with wings of pride,
        When pass the steps of stranger man
        Along the banks that bound her tide;
        Thus rose fair Leila’s whiter neck:-
        Thus armed with beauty would she check
        Intrusion’s glance, till folly’s gaze
        Shrunk from the charms it meant to praise:
        Thus high and graceful as her gait;
        Her heart as tender to her mate;
        Her mate - stern Hassan, who was he?
        Alas! That name was not for thee!


        Stern Hassan hath a journey ta'en
        With twenty vassals in his train,
        Each armed, as best becomes a man,
        With arquebuss and ataghan;
        The chief before, as decked for war,
        Bears in his belt the scimitar
        Stain'd with the best of Amaut blood
        When in the pass the rebels stood,
        And few returned to tell the tale
        Of what befell in Parne's vale.
        The pistols which his girdle bore
        Were those that once a pasha wore,
        Which still, though gemmed and bossed with gold,
        Even robbers tremble to behold.
        'Tis said he goes to woo a bride
        More true than her who left his side;
        The faithless slave that broke her bower,
        And - worse than faithless - for a Giaour!


        The sun's last rays are on the hill,
        And sparkle in the fountain rill,
        Whose welcome waters, cool and clear,
        Draw blessings from the mountaineer:
        Here may the loitering merchant Greek
        Find that repose 'twere vain to seek
        In cities lodged too near his lord,
        And trembling for his secret hoard -
        Here may he rest where none can see,
        In crowds a slave, in deserts free;
        And with forbidden wine may stain
        The bowl a Moslem must not drain.


        The foremost Tartar's in the gap,
        Conspicuous by his yellow cap;
        The rest in lengthening line the while
        Wind slowly through the long defile:
        Above, the mountain rears a peak,
        Where vultures whet the thirsty beak,
        And theirs may be a feast tonight,
        Shall tempt them down ere morrow's light;
        Beneath, a river's wintry stream
        Has shrunk before the summer beam,
        And left a channel bleak and bare,
        Save shrubs that spring to perish there:
        Each side the midway path there lay
        Small broken crags of granite grey
        By time, or mountain lightning, riven
        From summits clad in mists of heaven;
        For where is he that hath beheld
        The peak of Liakura unveiled?


        They reach the grove of pine at last:
        'Bismillah! now the peril's past;
        For yonder view the opening plain,
        And there we'll prick our steeds amain.'
        The Chiaus spake, and as he said,
        A bullet whistled o'er his head;
        The foremost Tartar bites the ground!
        Scarce had they time to check the rein,
        Swift from their steeds the riders bound;
        But three shall never mount again:
        Unseen the foes that gave the wound,
        The dying ask revenge in vain.
        With steel unsheathed, and carbine bent,
        Some o'er their courser's harness leant,
        Half sheltered by the steed;
        Some fly behind the nearest rock,
        And there await the coming shock,
        Nor tamely stand to bleed
        Beneath the shaft of foes unseen,
        Who dare not quit their craggy screen.
        Stern Hassan only from his horse
        Disdains to light, and keeps his course,
        Till fiery flashes in the van
        Proclaim too sure the robber-clan
        Have well secured the only way
        Could now avail the promised prey;
        Then curled his very beard with ire,
        And glared his eye with fiercer fire:
        ‘Though far and near the bullets hiss,
        I've 'scaped a bloodier hour than this.'
        And now the foe their covert quit,
        And call his vassals to submit;
        But Hassan's frown and furious word
        Are dreaded more than hostile sword,
        Nor of his little band a man
        Resigned carbine or ataghan,
        Nor raised the craven cry, Amaun!
        In fuller sight, more near and near,
        The lately ambushed foes appear,
        And, issuing from the grove, advance
        Some who on battle-charger prance.
        Who leads them on with foreign brand,
        Far flashing in his red right hand?
        "Tis he! 'tis he! I know him now;
        I know him by his pallid brow;
        I know him by the evil eye
        That aids his envious treachery;
        I know him by his jet-black barb:
        Though now arrayed in Arnaut garb
        Apostate from his own vile faith,
        It shall not save him from the death:
        'Tis he! well met in any hour,
        Lost Leila's love, accursed Giaour!


        As rolls the river into ocean,
        In sable torrent wildly streaming;
        As the sea-tide's opposing motion,
        In azure column Proudly gleaming
        Beats back the current many a rood,
        In curling foam and mingling flood,
        While eddying whirl, and breaking wave,
        Roused by the blast of winter, rave;
        Through sparkling spray, in thundering clash,
        The lightnings of the waters flash
        In awful whiteness o'er the shore,
        That shines and shakes beneath the roar;
        Thus - as the stream, and Ocean greet,
        With waves that madden as they meet -
        Thus join the bands, whom mutual wrong,
        And fate, and fury, drive along.
        The bickering sabres’ shivering jar;
        And pealing wide or ringing near
        Its echoes on the throbbing ear,
        The deathshot hissing from afar;
        The shock, the shout, the groan of war,
        Reverberate along that vale
        More suited to the shepherds tale:
        Though few the numbers - theirs the strife
        That neither spares nor speaks for life!
        Ah! fondly youthful hearts can press,
        To seize and share the dear caress;
        But love itself could never pant
        For all that beauty sighs to grant
        With half the fervour hate bestows
        Upon the last embrace of foes,
        When grappling in the fight they fold
        Those arms that ne'er shall lose their hold:
        Friends meet to part; love laughs at faith;
        True foes, once met, are joined till death!


        With sabre shivered to the hilt,
        Yet dripping with the blood he spilt;
        Yet strained within the severed hand
        Which quivers round that faithless brand;
        His turban far behind him rolled,
        And cleft in twain its firmest fold;
        His flowing robe by falchion torn,
        And crimson as those clouds of morn
        That, streaked with dusky red, portend
        The day shall have a stormy end;
        A stain on every bush that bore
        A fragment of his palampore
        His breast with wounds unnumbered riven,
        His back to earth, his face to heaven,
        Fallen Hassan lies - his unclosed eye
        Yet lowering on his enemy,
        As if the hour that sealed his fate
        Surviving left his quenchless hate;
        And o'er him bends that foe with brow
        As dark as his that bled below.


        'Yes, Leila sleeps beneath the wave,
        But his shall be a redder grave;
        Her spirit pointed well the steel
        Which taught that felon heart to feel.
        He called the Prophet, but his power
        Was vain against the vengeful Giaour:
        He called on Allah - but the word.
        Arose unheeded or unheard.
        Thou Paynim fool! could Leila's prayer
        Be passed, and thine accorded there?
        I watched my time, I leagued with these,
        The traitor in his turn to seize;
        My wrath is wreaked, the deed is done,
        And now I go - but go alone.'


        The browsing camels' bells are tinkling:
        His mother looked from her lattice high -
        She saw the dews of eve besprinkling
        The pasture green beneath her eye,
        She saw the planets faintly twinkling:
        ''Tis twilight - sure his train is nigh.'
        She could not rest in the garden-bower,
        But gazed through the grate of his steepest tower:
        'Why comes he not? his steeds are fleet,
        Nor shrink they from the summer heat;
        Why sends not the bridegroom his promised gift?
        Is his heart more cold, or his barb less swift?
        Oh, false reproach! yon Tartar now
        Has gained our nearest mountain's brow,
        And warily the steep descends,
        And now within the valley bends;
        And he bears the gift at his saddle bow
        How could I deem his courser slow?
        Right well my largess shall repay
        His welcome speed, and weary way.'
        The Tartar lighted at the gate,
        But scarce upheld his fainting weight!
        His swarthy visage spake distress,
        But this might be from weariness;
        His garb with sanguine spots was dyed,
        But these might be from his courser's side;
        He drew the token from his vest -
        Angel of Death! 'tis Hassan's cloven crest!
        His calpac rent - his caftan red -
        'Lady, a fearful bride thy son hath wed:
        Me, not from mercy, did they spare,
        But this empurpled pledge to bear.
        Peace to the brave! whose blood is spilt:
        Woe to the Giaour! for his the guilt.'


        A turban carved in coarsest stone,
        A pillar with rank weeds o'ergrown,
        Whereon can now be scarcely read
        The Koran verse that mourns the dead,
        Point out the spot where Hassan fell
        A victim in that lonely dell.
        There sleeps as true an Osmanlie
        As e'er at Mecca bent the knee;
        As ever scorned forbidden wine,
        Or prayed with face towards the shrine,
        In orisons resumed anew
        At solemn sound of 'Allah Hu!'
        Yet died he by a stranger's hand,
        And stranger in his native land;
        Yet died he as in arms he stood,
        And unavenged, at least in blood.
        But him the maids of Paradise
        Impatient to their halls invite,
        And the dark Heaven of Houris' eyes
        On him shall glance for ever bright;
        They come - their kerchiefs green they wave,
        And welcome with a kiss the brave!
        Who falls in battle 'gainst a Giaour
        Is worthiest an immortal bower.


        But thou, false Infidel! shalt writhe
        Beneath avenging Monkir's scythe;
        And from its torment 'scape alone
        To wander round lost Eblis' throne;
        And fire unquenched, unquenchable,
        Around, within, thy heart shall dwell;
        Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell
        The tortures of that inward hell!
        But first, on earth as vampire sent,
        Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent:
        Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
        And suck the blood of all thy race;
        There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
        At midnight drain the stream of life;
        Yet loathe the banquet which perforce
        Must feed thy livid living corse:
        Thy victims ere they yet expire
        Shall know the demon for their sire,
        As cursing thee, thou cursing them,
        Thy flowers are withered on the stem.
        But one that for thy crime must fall,
        The youngest, most beloved of all,
        Shall bless thee with a father's name -
        That word shall wrap thy heart in flame!
        Yet must thou end thy task, and mark
        Her cheek's last tinge, her eye's last spark,
        And the last glassy glance must view
        Which freezes o'er its lifeless blue;
        Then with unhallowed hand shalt tear
        The tresses of her yellow hair,
        Of which in life a lock when shorn
        Affection's fondest pledge was worn,
        But now is borne away by thee,
        Memorial of thine agony!
        Wet with thine own best blood shall drip
        Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip;
        Then stalking to thy sullen grave,
        Go - and with Gouls and Afrits rave;
        Till these in horror shrink away
        From spectre more accursed than they!


        'How name ye yon lone Caloyer?
        His features I have scanned before
        In mine own land: 'tis many a year,
        Since, dashing by the lonely shore,
        I saw him urge as fleet a steed
        As ever served a horseman's need.
        But once I saw that face, yet then
        It was so marked with inward pain,
        I could not pass it by again;
        It breathes the same dark spirit now,
        As death were stamped upon his brow.


        ''Tis twice three years at summer tide
        Since first among our freres he came;
        And here it soothes him to abide
        For some dark deed he will not name.
        But never at our vesper prayer,
        Nor e'er before confession chair
        Kneels he, nor recks he when arise
        Incense or anthem to the skies,
        But broods within his cell alone,
        His faith and race alike unknown.
        The sea from Paynim land he crost,
        And here ascended from the coast;
        Yet seems he not of Othman race,
        But only Christian in his face:
        I'd judge him some stray renegade,
        Repentant of the change he made,
        Save that he shuns our holy shrine,
        Nor tastes the sacred bread and wine.
        Great largess to these walls he brought,
        And thus our abbot's favour bought;
        But were I prior, not a day
        Should brook such stranger's further stay,
        Or pent within our penance cell
        Should doom him there for aye to dwell.
        Much in his visions mutters he
        Of maiden whelmed beneath the sea;
        Of sabres clashing, foemen flying,
        Wrongs avenged, and Moslem dying.
        On cliff he hath been known to stand,
        And rave as to some bloody hand
        Fresh severed from its parent limb,
        Invisible to all but him,
        Which beckons onward to his grave,
        And lures to leap into the wave.'


        Dark and unearthly is the scowl
        That glares beneath his dusky cowl:
        The flash of that dilating eye
        Reveals too much of times gone by;
        Though varying, indistinct its hue,
        Oft will his glance the gazer rue,
        For in it lurks that nameless spell,
        Which speaks, itself unspeakable,
        A spirit yet unquelled and high,
        That claims and keeps ascendency;
        And like the bird whose pinions quake,
        But cannot fly the gazing snake,
        Will others quail beneath his look,
        Nor 'scape the glance they scarce can brook.
        From him the half-affrighted friar
        When met alone would fain retire,
        As if that eye and bitter smile
        Transferred to others fear and guile:
        Not oft to smile descendeth he,
        And when he doth 'tis sad to see
        That he but mocks at misery.
        How that pale lip will curl and quiver!
        Then fix once more as if for ever;
        As if his sorrow or disdain
        Forbade him e'er to smile again.
        Well were it so - such ghastly mirth
        From joyaunce ne'er derived its birth.
        But sadder still it were to trace
        What once were feelings in that face:
        Time hath not yet the features fixed,
        But brighter traits with evil mixed;
        And there are hues not always faded,
        Which speak a mind not all degraded
        Even by the crimes through which it waded:
        The common crowd but see the gloom
        Of wayward deeds, and fitting doom;
        The close observer can espy
        A noble soul, and lineage high:
        Alas! though both bestowed in vain,
        Which grief could change, and guilt could stain,
        It was no vulgar tenement
        To which such lofty gifts were lent,
        And still with little less than dread
        On such the sight is riveted.
        The roofless cot, decayed and rent,
        Will scarce delay the passer-by;
        The tower by war or tempest bent,
        While yet may frown one battlement,
        Demands and daunts the stranger's eye;
        Each ivied arch, and pillar lone,
        Pleads haughtily for glories gone!


        'His floating robe around him folding,
        Slow sweeps he through the columned aisle;
        With dread beheld, with gloom beholding
        The rites that sanctify the pile.
        But when the anthem shakes the choir,
        And kneel the monks, his steps retire;
        By yonder lone and wavering torch
        His aspect glares within the porch;
        There will he pause till all is done -
        And hear the prayer, but utter none.
        See - by the half-illumined wall
        His hood fly back, his dark hair fall,
        That pale brow wildly wreathing round,
        As if the Gorgon there had bound
        The sablest of the serpent-braid
        That o'er her fearful forehead strayed:
        For he declines the convent oath
        And leaves those locks unhallowed growth,
        But wears our garb in all beside;
        And, not from piety but pride,
        Gives wealth to walls that never heard
        Of his one holy vow nor word.
        Lo! - mark ye, as the harmony
        Peals louder praises to the sky,
        That livid cheek, that stony air
        Of mixed defiance and despair!
        Saint Francis, keep him from the shrine!
        Else may we dread the wrath divine
        Made manifest by awful sign.
        If ever evil angel bore
        The form of mortal, such he wore:
        By all my hope of sins forgiven,
        Such looks are not of earth nor heaven!'


        To love the softest hearts are prone,
        But such can ne'er be all his own;
        Too timid in his woes to share,
        Too meek to meet, or brave despair;
        And sterner hearts alone may feel
        The wound that time can never heal.
        The rugged metal of the mine,
        Must burn before its surface shine,
        But plunged within the furnace-flame,
        It bends and melts - though still the same;
        Then tempered to thy want, or will,
        'Twill serve thee to defend or kill;
        A breast-plate for thine hour of need,
        Or blade to bid thy foeman bleed;
        But if a dagger's form it bear,
        Let those who shape its edge, beware!
        Thus passion's fire, and woman's art,
        Can turn and tame the sterner heart;
        From these its form and tone are ta'en,
        And what they make it, must remain,
        But break - before it bend again.


        If solitude succeed to grief,
        Release from pain is slight relief;
        The vacant bosom's wilderness
        Might thank the pang that made it less.
        We loathe what none are left to share:
        Even bliss - 'twere woe alone to bear;
        The heart once left thus desolate
        Must fly at last for ease - to hate.
        It is as if the dead could feel
        The icy worm around them steal,
        And shudder, as the reptiles creep
        To revel o'er their rotting sleep,
        Without the power to scare away
        The cold consumers of their clay I
        It is as if the desert-bird,
        Whose beak unlocks her bosom's stream
        To still her famished nestlings' scream,
        Nor mourns a life to them transferred,
        Should rend her rash devoted breast,
        And find them flown her empty nest.
        The keenest pangs the wretched find
        Are rapture to the dreary void,
        The leafless desert of the mind,
        The waste of feelings unemployed.
        Who would be doomed to gaze upon
        A sky without a cloud or sun?
        Less hideous far the tempest's roar
        Than ne'er to brave the billows more -
        Thrown, when the war of winds is o'er,
        A lonely wreck on fortune's shore,
        'Mid sullen calm, and silent bay,
        Unseen to drop by dull decay; -
        Better to sink beneath the shock
        Than moulder piecemeal on the rock!


        'Father! thy days have passed in peace,
        'Mid counted beads, and countless prayer;
        To bid the sins of others cease
        Thyself without a crime or care,
        Save transient ills that all must bear,
        Has been thy lot from youth to age;
        And thou wilt bless thee from the rage
        Of passions fierce and uncontrolled,
        Such as thy penitents unfold,
        Whose secret sins and sorrows rest
        Within thy pure and pitying breast. My days, though few, have passed below
        In much of joy, but more of woe;
        Yet still in hours of love or strife,
        I've 'scaped the weariness of life:
        Now leagued with friends, now girt by foes,
        I loathed the languor of repose.
        Now nothing left to love or hate,
        No more with hope or pride elate,
        I'd rather be the thing that crawls
        Most noxious o'er a dungeon's walls,
        Than pass my dull, unvarying days,
        Condemned to meditate and gaze.
        Yet, lurks a wish within my breast
        For rest - but not to feel 'tis rest
        Soon shall my fate that wish fulfil;
        And I shall sleep without the dream
        Of what I was, and would be still,
        Dark as to thee my deeds may seem:
        My memory now is but the tomb
        Of joys long dead; my hope, their doom:
        Though better to have died with those
        Than bear a life of lingering woes.
        My spirit shrunk not to sustain
        The searching throes of ceaseless pain;
        Nor sought the self-accorded grave
        Of ancient fool and modern knave:
        Yet death I have not feared to meet;
        And the field it had been sweet,
        Had danger wooed me on to move
        The slave of glory, not of love.
        I've braved it - not for honour's boast;
        I smile at laurels won or lost;
        To such let others carve their way,
        For high renown, or hireling pay:
        But place again before my eyes
        Aught that I deem a worthy prize
        The maid I love, the man I hate,
        And I will hunt the steps of fate,
        To save or slay, as these require,
        Through rending steel, and rolling fire:
        Nor needest thou doubt this speech from one
        Who would but do ~ what he hath done.
        Death is but what the haughty brave,
        The weak must bear, the wretch must crave;
        Then let life go to him who gave:
        I have not quailed to danger's brow
        When high and happy - need I now?


        'I loved her, Friar! nay, adored -
        But these are words that all can use -
        I proved it more in deed than word;
        There's blood upon that dinted sword,
        A stain its steel can never lose:
        'Twas shed for her, who died for me,
        It warmed the heart of one abhorred:
        Nay, start not - no - nor bend thy knee,
        Nor midst my sins such act record;
        Thou wilt absolve me from the deed,
        For he was hostile to thy creed!
        The very name of Nazarene
        Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen.
        Ungrateful fool! since but for brands
        Well wielded in some hardy hands,
        And wounds by Galileans given -
        The surest pass to Turkish heaven
        For him his Houris still might wait
        Impatient at the Prophet's gate.
        I loved her - love will find its way
        Through paths where wolves would fear to prey;
        And if it dares enough, 'twere hard
        If passion met not some reward -
        No matter how, or where, or why,
        I did not vainly seek, nor sigh:
        Yet sometimes, with remorse, in vain
        I wish she had not loved again.
        She died - I dare not tell thee how;
        But look - 'tis written on my brow!
        There read of Cain the curse and crime,
        In characters unworn by time:
        Still, ere thou dost condemn me, pause;
        Not mine the act, though I the cause.
        Yet did he but what I had done
        Had she been false to more than one.
        Faithless to him, he gave the blow;
        But true to me, I laid him low:
        Howe'er deserved her doom might be,
        Her treachery was truth to me;
        To me she gave her heart, that all
        Which tyranny can ne'er enthral;
        And I, alas! too late to save!
        Yet all I then could give, I gave,
        'Twas some relief, our foe a grave.
        His death sits lightly; but her fate
        Has made me - what thou well mayest hate.
        His doom was sealed - he knew it well
        Warned by the voice of stern Taheer,
        Deep in whose darkly boding ear
        The deathshot pealed of murder near,
        As filed the troop to where they fell!
        He died too in the battle broil,
        A time that heeds nor pain nor toil;
        One cry to Mahomet for aid,
        One prayer to Allah all he made:
        He knew and crossed me in the fray -
        I gazed upon him where he lay,
        And watched his spirit ebb away:
        Though pierced like pard by hunters' steel,
        He felt not half that now I feel.
        I searched, but vainly searched, to find
        The workings of a wounded mind;
        Each feature of that sullen corse
        Betrayed his rage, but no remorse.
        Oh, what had vengeance given to trace
        Despair upon his dying face I
        The late repentance of that hour,
        When penitence hath lost her power
        To tear one terror from the grave,
        And will not soothe, and cannot save.


        'The cold in clime are cold in blood,
        Their love can scarce deserve the name;
        But mine was like a lava flood
        That boils in Etna's breast of flame.
        I cannot prate in puling strain
        Of ladye-love, and beauty's chain:
        If changing cheek, and searching vein,
        Lips taught to writhe, but not complain,
        If bursting heart, and maddening brain,
        And daring deed, and vengeful steel,
        And all that I have felt, and feel,
        Betoken love - that love was mine,
        And shown by many a bitter sign.
        'Tis true, I could not whine nor sigh,
        I knew but to obtain or die.
        I die - but first I have possessed,
        And come what may, I have been blessed.
        Shall I the doom I sought upbraid?
        No - reft of all, yet undismayed
        But for the thought of Leila slain,
        Give me the pleasure with the pain,
        So would I live and love again.
        I grieve, but not, my holy guide!
        For him who dies, but her who died:
        She sleeps beneath the wandering wave
        Ah! had she but an earthly grave,
        This breaking heart and throbbing head
        Should seek and share her narrow bed.
        She was a form of life and light,
        That, seen, became a part of sight;
        And rose, where'er I turned mine eye,
        The morning-star of memory!


        'Yes, love indeed is light from heaven..
        A spark of that immortal fire
        With angels shared, by Allah given,
        To lift from earth our low desire.
        Devotion wafts the mind above,
        But Heaven itself descends in love;
        A feeling from the Godhead caught,
        To wean from self each sordid thought;
        A ray of him who formed the whole;
        A glory circling round the soul !
        I grant my love imperfect, all
        That mortals by the name miscall;
        Then deem it evil, what thou wilt;
        But say, oh say, hers was not guilt !
        She was my life's unerring light:
        That quenched, what beam shall break my night?
        Oh! would it shone to lead me still,
        Although to death or deadliest ill!
        Why marvel ye, if they who lose
        This present joy, this future hope,
        No more with sorrow meekly cope;
        In phrensy then their fate accuse;
        In madness do those fearful deeds
        That seem to add but guilt to woe?
        Alas! the breast that inly bleeds
        Hath nought to dread from outward blow;
        Who falls from all he knows of bliss,
        Cares little into what abyss.
        Fierce as the gloomy vulture's now
        To thee, old man, my deeds appear:
        I read abhorrence on thy brow,
        And this too was I born to bear!
        'Tis true, that, like that bird of prey,
        With havock have I marked my way:
        But this was taught me by the dove,
        To die - and know no second love.
        This lesson yet hath man to learn,
        Taught by the thing he dares to spurn:
        The bird that sings within the brake,
        The swan that swims upon the lake,
        One mate, and one alone, will take.
        And let the fool still prone to range,
        And sneer on all who cannot change,
        Partake his jest with boasting boys;
        I envy not his varied joys,
        But deem such feeble, heartless man,
        Less than yon solitary swan;
        Far, far beneath the shallow maid
        He left believing and betrayed.
        Such shame at least was never mine -
        Leila! each thought was only thine!
        My good, my guilt, my weal, my woe,
        My hope on high - my all below.
        Earth holds no other like to thee,
        Or, if it doth, in vain for me:
        For worlds I dare not view the dame
        Resembling thee, yet not the same.
        The very crimes that mar my youth,
        This bed of death - attest my truth!
        'Tis all too late - thou wert, thou art
        The cherished madness of my heart!


        'And she was lost - and yet I breathed,
        But not the breath of human life:
        A serpent round my heart was wreathed,
        And stung my every thought to strife.
        Alike all time, abhorred all place,
        Shuddering I shrunk from Nature's face,
        Where every hue that charmed before
        The blackness of my bosom wore.
        The rest thou dost already know,
        And all my sins, and half my woe.
        But talk no more of penitence;
        Thou see'st I soon shall part from hence:
        And if thy holy tale were true,
        The deed that's done canst thou undo?
        Think me not thankless - but this grief
        Looks not to priesthood for relief.
        My soul's estate in secret guess:
        But wouldst thou pity more, say less.
        When thou canst bid my Leila live,
        Then will I sue thee to forgive;
        Then plead my cause in that high place
        Where purchased masses proffer grace.
        Go, when the hunter's hand hath wrung
        From forest-cave her shrieking young,
        And calm the lonely lioness:
        But soothe not - mock not my distress!


        'In earlier days, and calmer hours,
        When heart with heart delights to blend,
        Where bloom my native valley's bowers
        I had - Ah! have I now? - a friend!
        To him this pledge I charge thee send,
        Memorial of a youthful vow;
        I would remind him of my end:
        Though souls absorbed like mine allow
        Brief thought to distant friendship's claim,
        Yet dear to him my blighted name.
        'Tis strange - he prophesied my doom,
        And I have smiled - I then could smile -
        When prudence would his voice assume,
        And warn - I recked not what - the while:
        But now remembrance whispers o'er
        Those accents scarcely marked before.
        Say - that his bodings came to pass,
        And he will start to hear their truth,
        And wish his words had not been sooth:
        Tell him, unheeding as I was,
        Through many a busy bitter scene
        Of all our golden youth had been,
        In pain, my faltering tongue had tried
        To bless his memory ere I died;
        But Heaven in wrath would turn away,
        If guilt should for the guiltless pray.
        I do not ask him not to blame,
        Too gentle he to wound my name;
        And what have I to do with fame?
        I do not ask him not to mourn,
        Such cold request might sound like scorn;
        And what than friendship's manly tear
        May better grace a brother's bier?
        But bear this ring, his own of old,
        And tell him - what thou dost behold!
        The withered frame, the ruined mind,
        The wrack by passion left behind,
        A shrivelled scroll, a scattered leaf,
        Seared by the autumn blast of grief!

        'Tell me no more of fancy's gleam,
        No, father, no, 'twas not a dream;
        Alas! the dreamer first must sleep.
        I only watched, and wished to weep;
        But could not, for my burning brow
        Throbbed to the very brain as now:
        I wished but for a single tear,
        As something welcome, new, and dear-;
        I wished it then, I wish it still;
        Despair is stronger than my will.
        Waste not thine orison, despair
        Is mightier than thy pious prayer:
        I would not if I might, be blest;
        I want no paradise, but rest.
        'Twas then, I tell thee, father! then
        I saw her; yes, she lived again;
        And shining in her white symar,
        As through yon pale grey cloud the star
        Which now I gaze on, as on her,
        Who looked and looks far lovelier;
        Dimly I view its trembling spark;
        Tomorrow's night shall be more dark;
        And I, before its rays appear,
        That lifeless thing the living fear.
        I wander, father! for my soul
        Is fleeting towards the final goal.
        I saw her, friar! and I rose
        Forgetful of our former woes;
        And rushing from my couch, I dart,
        And clasp her to my desperate heart;
        I clasp - what is it that I clasp?
        No breathing form within my grasp,
        No heart that beats reply to mine,
        Yet, Leila! yet the form is thine!
        And art thou, dearest, changed so much,
        As meet my eye, yet mock my touch?
        Ah! were thy beauties e'er so cold,
        I care not; so my arms enfold
        The all they ever wished to hold.
        Alas! around a shadow prest,
        They shrink upon my lonely breast;
        Yet still 'tis there! In silence stands,
        And beckons with beseeching hands!
        With braided hair, and bright black eye -
        I knew 'twas false - she could not die!
        But he is dead! within the dell
        I saw him buried where he fell;
        He comes not, for he cannot break
        From earth; why then art thou awake?
        They told me wild waves rolled above
        The face I view, the form I love;
        They told me - 'twas a hideous tale I
        I'd tell it, but my tongue would fail:
        If true, and from thine ocean-cave
        Thou com'st to claim a calmer grave;
        Oh! pass thy dewy fingers o'er
        This brow that then will burn no more;
        Or place them on my hopeless heart:
        But, shape or shade! whate'er thou art,
        In mercy ne'er again depart!
        Or farther with thee bear my soul
        Than winds can waft or waters roll!


        'Such is my name, and such my tale.
        Confessor ! to thy secret ear
        I breathe the sorrows I bewail,
        And thank thee for the generous tear
        This glazing eye could never shed.
        Then lay me with the humblest dead,
        And, save the cross above my head,
        Be neither name nor emblem spread,
        By prying stranger to be read,
        Or stay the passing pilgrims tread.'


        He passed - nor of his name and race
        Hath left a token or a trace,
        Save what the father must not say
        Who shrived him on his dying day:
        This broken tale was all we knew
        Of her he loved, or him he slew.

      Up

      The Isles Of Greece

        The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
        Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
        Where grew the arts of war and peace,
        Where Delos rose, and Phoebus
        sprung!
        Eternal summer gilds them yet,
        But all, except their sun, is set...

        The mountains look on Marathon--
        And Marathon looks on the sea;
        And musing there an hour alone,
        I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
        For standing on the Persians' grave,
        I could not deem myself a slave.

        A king sat on the rocky brow
        Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
        And ships, by thousands, lay below,
        And men in nations--all were his!
        He counted them at break of day--
        And when the sun set, where were they?

        And where are they? And where art thou?
        My country? On thy voiceless shore
        The heroic lay is tuneless now--
        The heroic bosom beats no more!
        And must thy lyre, so long divine,
        Degenerate into hands like mine?

        'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
        Though linked among a fettered race,
        To feel at least a patriot's shame,
        Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
        For what is left the poet here?
        For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear....

        Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
        Our virgins dance beneath the shade--
        I see their glorious black eyes shine;
        But gazing on each glowing maid,
        My own the burning teardrop laves,
        To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

        Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
        Where nothing, save the waves and I,
        May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
        There, swanlike, let me sing and die:
        A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine--
        Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!

      Up

      The Prisoner Of Chillon

        I
        My hair is gray, but not with years,
        Nor grew it white
        In a single night,
        As men's have grown from sudden fears:
        My limbs are bow'd, though not with toil,
        But rusted with a vile repose,
        For they have been a dungeon's spoil,
        And mine has been the fate of those
        To whom the goodly earth and air
        Are bann'd, and barr'd - forbidden fare;
        But this was for my father's faith
        I suffer'd chains and courted death;
        That father perish'd at the stake
        For tenets he would not forsake;
        And for the same his lineal race
        In darkness found a dwelling-place;
        We were seven - who now are one,
        Six in youth, and one in age,
        Finish'd as they had begun,
        Proud of Persecution's rage;
        One in fire, and two in field,
        Their belief with blood have seal'd,
        Dying as their father died,
        For the God their foes denied;
        Three were in a dungeon cast,
        Of whom this wreck is left the last.

        II
        There are seven pillars of Gothic mould,
        In Chillon's dungeons deep and old,
        There are seven columns, massy and grey,
        Dim with a dull imprison'd ray,
        A sunbeam which hath lost its way,
        And through the crevice and the cleft
        Of the thick wall is fallen and left;
        Creeping o'er the floor so damp,
        Like a marsh's meteor lamp:
        And in each pillar there is a ring,
        And in each ring there is a chain;
        That iron is a cankering thing,
        For in these limbs its teeth remain,
        With marks that will not wear away,
        TIll I have done with this new day,
        Which now is painful to these eyes,
        Which have not seen the sun so rise
        For years - I cannot count them o'er,
        I lost their long and heavy score
        When my last brother drooped and died,
        And I lay living by his side.

        III
        They chain'd us each to a column stone,
        And we were three - yet, each alone;
        We could not move a single pace,
        We could not see each other's face,
        But with that pale and livid light
        That made us strangers in our sight:
        And thus together - yet apart,
        Fetter'd in hand, but join'd in heart,
        'Twas still some solace, in the dearth
        Of the pure elements of earth,
        To hearken to each other's speech,
        And each turn comforter to each
        With some new hope, or legend old,
        So song heroically bold;
        But even these at length grew cold.
        Our voices took on a dreary tone,
        And echo of the dungeon stone,
        A grating sound, not full and free,
        As they of yore were wont to be;
        It might be fancy - but to me
        They never sounded like our own.

        IV
        I was the eldest of the three,
        And to uphold and cheer the rest
        I ought to do - and did my best -
        And each did well in his degree.
        The youngest, whom my father loved,
        Because our mother's brow was given
        To him, with eyes as blue as heaven -
        For him my soul was sorely moved:
        And truly might it be distress'd
        To see such a bird in such a nest;
        For he was as beautiful as day -
        (When day was beautiful to me
        As to young eagles, being free) -
        A polar day, which will not see
        A sunset till its summer's gone,
        Its sleepless summer of long light,
        The snow-clad offspring of the sun:
        And thus he was as pure and bright,
        And in his natural spirit gay,
        With tears for nought but other's ills,
        And then they flow'd like mountain rills,
        Unless he could assuage the woe
        Which he abhorr'd to view below.

        V
        The other was as pure of mind,
        But form'd to combat with his kind;
        Strong in frame, and of a mood
        Which 'gainst the world in war had stood,
        And perish'd in the foremost rank
        With joy: - but not in chains to pine:
        His spirit wither'd with their clank,
        I saw it silently decline -
        And so perchance in sooth did mine:
        But yet I forced it on to cheer
        Those relics of a home so dear.
        He was a hunter of the hills,
        Had follow'd there the deer and wolf;
        To him this dungeon was a gulf,
        And fetter'd feet the worst of ills.

        VI
        Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls:
        A thousand feet in depth below
        Its massy waters meet and flow:
        Thus much the fathom-line was sent
        From Chillon's snow-white battlement,
        Which round about the wave inthrals:
        A double dungeon wall and wave
        Have made - and like a living grave
        Below the surface of the lake
        The dark vault lies wherein we lay,
        We heard it ripple night and day;
        Sounding o'er our heads it knock'd;
        And I have felt the winter's spray
        Wash through the bars when winds were high
        And wanton in the happy sky;
        And then the very rock hath rock'd,
        And I have felt it shake, unshock'd,
        Because I could have smiled to see
        The death that would have set me free.

        VII
        I said my nearer brother pined,
        I said his mighty heart declined,
        He loathed and put away his food;
        It was not that 'twas coarse and rude,
        For we were used to hunter's fare,
        And for the like had little care:
        The milk drawn from the mountain goat
        Was changed for water from the moat,
        Our bread was such as captives' tears
        Have moisten'd many a thousand years
        Since man first pent his fellow men
        Like brutes within an iron den;
        But what were these to us or him?
        These wasted not his heart or limb;
        My brother's soul was of that mould
        Which in a palace had grown cold,
        Had his free breathing been denied
        The range of the steep mountain's side;
        But why delay the truth? - he died.
        I saw, and could not hold his head,
        Nor reach his dying hand - nor dead, -
        Though hard I strove, but stove in vain
        To rend and gnash my bonds in twain.
        He died - and they unlock'd his chain,
        And scoop'd for him a shallow grave
        Even from the cold earth of our cave.
        I begg'd them, as a boon, to lay
        His corse in dust whereon the day
        Might shine - it was a foolish thought,
        But then within my brain it wrought,
        That even in death his freeborn breast
        In such a dungeon could not rest.
        I might have spared my idle prayer -
        They coldly laugh'd - and laid him there:
        The flat and turfless earth above
        The being we so much did love;
        His empty chain above it leant,
        Such murder's fitting monument!

        VIII
        But he, the favorite and the flower,
        Most cherish'd since his natal hour,
        His mother's image in fair face,
        The infant love of all his race,
        His martyr'd father's dearest thought,
        My latest care, for whom I sought
        To hoard my life, that his might be
        Less wretched now, and one day free;
        He, too, who yet had held untired
        A spirit natural or inspired -
        He, too, was struck, and day by day
        Was wither'd on the stalk away.
        Oh, God! it is a fearful thing
        To see the human soul take wing
        In any shape, in any mood:
        I've seen it rushing forth in blood,
        I've seen it on the breaking ocean
        Strive with a swoln convulsive motion,
        I've seen the sick and ghastly bed
        Of Sin delirious with its dread:
        But those were horrors - this was woe
        Unmix'd with such - but sure and slow;
        He faded, and so calm and meek,
        So softly worn, so sweetly weak,
        So tearless, yet so tender, kind,
        And grieved for those he left behind;
        With all the while a cheek whose bloom
        Was as a mockery of the tomb,
        Whose tints as gently sunk away
        As a departing rainbow's ray;
        An eye of most transparent light,
        That almost made the dungeon bright,
        And not a word of murmur - not
        A groan o'er his untimely lot, -
        A little talk of better days,
        A little hope my own to raise,
        For I was sunk in silence - lost
        In this last loss, of all the most;
        And then the sighs he would suppress
        Of fainting nature's feebleness,
        More slowly drawn, grew less and less:
        I listen'd, but I could not hear;
        I call'd, for I was wild with fear;
        I knew 'twas hopeless, but my dread
        Would not be thus admonished;
        I call'd, and thought I heard a sound -
        I burst my chain with one strong bound,
        And rush'd to him: - I found him not,
        I only stirr'd in this black spot,
        I only lived, I only drew
        The accursed breath of dungeon-dew;
        The last, the sole, the dearest link
        Between me and the eternal brink,
        Which bound me to my failing race,
        Was broken in this fatal place.
        One on earth, and one beneath -
        My brothers - both had ceased to breathe:
        I took that hand that lay so still,
        Alas! my own was full as chill;
        I had not the strength to stir, or strive,
        But felt that I was still alive -
        A frantic feeling, when we know
        That what we love shall ne'er be so.
        I know not why
        I could not die,
        I had no earthly hope - but faith,
        And that forbade a selfish death.

        IX
        What next befell me then and there
        I know not well - I never knew -
        First came the loss of light, and air,
        And then of darkness too:
        I had no thought, no feeling - none -
        Among the stones I stood a stone,
        And was, scare conscious what I wist,
        As shrubless crags within the mist;
        For all was blank, and bleak, and grey;
        It was not night - it was day;
        It was not even the dungeon-light,
        So hateful to my heavy sight,
        But vacancy absorbing space,
        And fixedness - without a place;
        There were no stars - no earth - no time -
        No check - no change - no good, no crime -
        But silence, and a stirless breath
        Which neither was of life nor death;
        A sea of stagnant idleness,
        Blind, boundless, mute, and motionless!

        X
        A light broke in upon my brain, -
        It was the carol of a bird;
        It ceased, and then it came again,
        The sweetest song ear ever heard,
        And mine was thankful till my eyes
        Ran over with the glad surprise,
        And they that moment could not see
        I was the mate of misery;
        But then by dull degrees came back
        My senses to their wonted track;
        I saw the dungeon walls and floor
        Close slowly round me as before,
        I saw the glimmer of the sun
        Creeping as it before had done,
        But through the crevice where it came
        That bird was perch'd, as fond and tame,
        And tamer than upon the tree;
        A lovely bird, with azure wings,
        And song that said a thousand things,
        And seem'd to say them all for me!
        I never saw its like before,
        I ne'er shall see its likeness more:
        It seem'd to me to want a mate,
        But was not half so desolate,
        And it was come to love me when
        None lived to love me so again,
        And cheering from my dungeon's brink,
        Had brought me back to feel and think.
        I know not if it late were free,
        Or broke its cage to perch on mine,
        But knowing well captivity.
        Sweet bird! I could not wish for thine!
        Or if it were, in winged guise,
        A visitant from Paradise;
        For - Heaven forgive that thought; the while
        Which made me both to weep and smile -
        I sometimes deem'd that it might be
        My brother's soul come down to me;
        But then at last away it flew,
        And then 'twas mortal well I knew,
        For he would never thus have flown,
        And left me twice so doubly lone, -
        Lone as the corse within its shroud,
        Lone as a solitary cloud,
        A single cloud on a sunny day,
        While all the rest of heaven is clear,
        A frown upon the atmosphere,
        That hath no business to appear
        When skies are blue, and earth is gay.

        XI
        A kind of change came in my fate,
        My keepers grew compassionate;
        I know not what had made them so,
        They were inured to sights of woe,
        But so it was; - my broken chain
        With links unfasten'd did remain,
        And it was to liberty to stride
        Along my cell from side to side,
        And up and down, and then athwart,
        And tread it over every part;
        And round the pillars one by one,
        Returning where my walk begun,
        Avoiding only, as I trod,
        My brothers' graves without a sod;
        For if I thought with heedless tread
        My step profaned their lowly bed,
        My breath came gaspingly and thick,
        And my crush'd heart fell blind and sick.

        XII
        I made a footing in the wall,
        I was not there from to escape,
        For I had buried one and all
        Who loved me in a human shape;
        And the whole earth would henceforth be
        A wider prison unto me:
        No child - no sire - no kin had I
        No partner in my misery;
        I thought of this, and I was glad,
        For thought of them had made me mad;
        But I was curious to ascend
        To my barr'd windows, and to bend
        Once more, upon the mountains high,
        The quiet of a loving eye.

        XIII
        I saw them - and they were the same,
        They were not changed like me in frame;
        I saw their thousand years of snow
        Oh high - their wide long lake below,
        And the blue Rhone in fullest flow;
        I heard the torrents leap and gush
        O'er channell'd rock and broken bush;
        I saw the white-wall'd distant town,
        And whiter sails go skimming down;
        And then there was a little isle,
        Which in my very face did smile,
        The only one in view;
        A small green isle, it seem'd no more,
        Scarce broader than my dungeon floor,
        But in it there were three tall trees,
        And o'er it blew the mountain breeze,
        And by it there were waters flowing,
        And on it there were young flowers growing,
        Of gentle breath and hue.
        The fish swam by the castle wall,
        And they seem'd joyous each and all;
        The eagle rode the rising blast,
        Methought he never flew so fast
        As then to me he seem'd to fly;
        And then new tears came in my eye,
        And I felt troubled - and would fain
        I had not left my recent chain;
        And when I did descend again,
        The darkness of my dim abode
        Fell on me as a heavy load;
        It was as is a new-dug grave,
        Closing o'er one we sought to save, -
        And yet my glance, too much opprest,
        Had almost need of such a rest.

        XIV
        It might be months, or years, or days -
        I kept no count, I took no note -
        I had no hope my eyes to raise,
        And clear them of their dreary mote;
        At last men came to set me free;
        I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where;
        It was at length the same to me,
        Fetter'd or fetterless to be,
        I learn'd to love despair.
        And thus when they appear'd at last,
        And all my bond aside were cast,
        These heavy walls to me had grown
        A hermitage - and all my own!
        And half I felt as they were come
        To tear me from a second home:
        With spiders I had friendship made,
        And watch'd them in their sullen trade,
        Had seen the mice by moonlight play,
        And why should I feel less than they?
        We were all inmates of one place,
        And I, the monarch of each race,
        Had power to kill - yet, strange to tell!
        In quiet we had learn'd to dwell;
        My very chains and I grew friends,
        So much a long communion tends
        To make us what we are: - even I
        Regain'd my freedom with a sigh.

      Up

      The Siege And Conquest Of Alhama

        The Moorish King rides up and down,
        Through Granada's royal town;
        From Elvira's gate to those
        Of Bivarambla on he goes.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        Letters to the monarch tell
        How Alhama's city fell:
        In the fire the scroll he threw,
        And the messenger he slew.
        Woe is me, Albamal

        He quits his mule, and mounts his horse,
        And through the street directs his course;
        Through the street of Zacatin
        To the Alhambra spurring in.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        When the Alhambra walls he gain'd,
        On the moment he ordain'd
        That the trumpet straight should sound
        With the silver clarion round.
        Woe is me, Alhamal

        And when the hollow drums of war
        Beat the loud alarm afar,
        That the Moors of town and plain
        Might answer to the martial strain.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        Then the Moors, by this aware,
        That bloody Mars recall'd them there,
        One by one, and two by two,
        To a mighty squadron grew.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        Out then spake an aged Moor
        In these words the king before,
        'Wherefore call on us, oh King?
        What may mean this gathering?'
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        'Friends! ye have, alas! to know
        Of a most disastrous blow;
        That the Christians, stern and bold,
        Have obtain'd Alhama's hold.'
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        Out then spake old Alfaqui,
        With his beard so white to see,
        'Good King! thou art justly served,
        Good King! this thou hast deserved.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        'By thee were slain, in evil hour,
        The Abencerrage, Granada's flower;
        And strangers were received by thee
        Of Cordova the Chivalry.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        'And for this, oh King! is sent
        On thee a double chastisement:
        Thee and thine, thy crown and realm,
        One last wreck shall overwhelm.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        'He who holds no laws in awe,
        He must perish by the law;
        And Granada must be won,
        And thyself with her undone.'
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        Fire crashed from out the old Moor's eyes,
        The Monarch's wrath began to rise,
        Because he answer'd, and because
        He spake exceeding well of laws.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        'There is no law to say such things
        As may disgust the ear of kings:
        'Thus, snorting with his choler, said
        The Moorish King, and doom'd him dead.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        Moor Alfaqui! Moor Alfaqui!
        Though thy beard so hoary be,
        The King hath sent to have thee seized,
        For Alhama's loss displeased.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        And to fix thy head upon
        High Alhambra's loftiest stone;
        That thus for thee should be the law,
        And others tremble when they saw.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        'Cavalier, and man of worth!
        Let these words of mine go forth!
        Let the Moorish Monarch know,
        That to him I nothing owe.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        'But on my soul Alhama weighs,
        And on my inmost spirit preys;
        And if the King his land hath lost,
        Yet others may have lost the most.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        'Sires have lost their children, wives
        Their lords, and valiant men their lives!
        One what best his love might claim
        Hath lost, another wealth, or fame.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        'I lost a damsel in that hour,
        Of all the land the loveliest flower;
        Doubloons a hundred I would pay,
        And think her ransom cheap that day.'
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        And as these things the old Moor said,
        They sever'd from the trunk his head;
        And to the Alhambra's wall with speed
        'Twas carried, as the King decreed.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        And men and infants therein weep
        Their loss, so heavy and so deep;
        Granada's ladies, all she rears
        Within her walls, burst into tears.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

        And from the windows o'er the walls
        The sable web of mourning falls;
        The King weeps as a woman o'er
        His loss, for it is much and sore.
        Woe is me, Alhama!

      Up

      The Tear

        When Friendship or Love
        Our sympathies move;
        When Truth, in a glance, should appear,
        The lips may beguile,
        With a dimple or smile,
        But the test of affection's a Tear:

        Too oft is a smile
        But the hypocrite's wile,
        To mask detestation, or fear;
        Give me the soft sigh,
        Whilst the soultelling eye
        Is dimm'd, for a time, with a Tear:

        Mild Charity's glow,
        To us mortals below,
        Shows the soul from barbarity clear;
        Compassion will melt,
        Where this virtue is felt,
        And its dew is diffused in a Tear:

        The man, doom'd to sail
        With the blast of the gale,
        Through billows Atlantic to steer,
        As he bends o'er the wave
        Which may soon be his grave,
        The green sparkles bright with a Tear;

        The Soldier braves death
        For a fanciful wreath
        In Glory's romantic career;
        But he raises the foe
        When in battle laid low,
        And bathes every wound with a Tear.

        If, with high-bounding pride,
        He return to his bride!
        Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear;
        All his toils are repaid
        When, embracing the maid,
        From her eyelid he kisses the Tear.

        Sweet scene of my youth!
        Seat of Friendship and Truth,
        Where Love chas'd each fast-fleeting year
        Loth to leave thee, I mourn'd,
        For a last look I turn'd,
        But thy spire was scarce seen through a Tear:

        Though my vows I can pour,
        To my Mary no more,
        My Mary, to Love once so dear,
        In the shade of her bow'r,
        I remember the hour,
        She rewarded those vows with a Tear.

        By another possest,
        May she live ever blest!
        Her name still my heart must revere:
        With a sigh I resign,
        What I once thought was mine,
        And forgive her deceit with a Tear.

        Ye friends of my heart,
        Ere from you I depart,
        This hope to my breast is most near:
        If again we shall meet,
        In this rural retreat,
        May we meet, as we part, with a Tear.

        When my soul wings her flight
        To the regions of night,
        And my corse shall recline on its bier;
        As ye pass by the tomb,
        Where my ashes consume,
        Oh! moisten their dust with a Tear.

      Up

      There Be None Of Beauty's Daughters

        There be none of Beauty's daughters
        With a magic like Thee;
        And like music on the waters
        Is thy sweet voice to me:
        When, as if its sound were causing
        The charmйd ocean's pausing,
        The waves lie still and gleaming,
        And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:
        And the midnight moon is weaving
        Her bright chain o'er the deep,
        Whose breast is gently heaving
        As an infant's asleep:
        So the spirit bows before thee
        To listen and adore thee;
        With a full but soft emotion,
        Like the swell of Summer's ocean.

      Up

      There Was A Time, I Need Not Name

        There was a time, I need not name,
        Since it will ne'er forgotten be,
        When all our feelings were the same
        As still my soul hath been to thee.

        And from that hour when first thy tongue
        Confess'd a love which equall'd mine,
        Though many a grief my heart hath wrung,
        Unknown, and thus unfelt, by thine,

        None, none hath sunk so deep as this---
        To think how all that love hath flown;
        Transient as every faithless kiss,
        But transient in thy breast alone.

        And yet my heart some solace knew,
        When late I heard thy lips declare,
        In accents once imagined true,
        Remembrance of the days that were.

        Yes! my adored, yet most unkind!
        Though thou wilt never love again,
        To me 'tis doubly sweet to find
        Remembrance of that love remain.

        Yes! 'tis a glorious thought to me,
        Nor longer shall my soul repine,
        Whate'er thou art or e'er shalt be,
        Thou hast been dearly, solely mine.

      Up

      Thou Whose Spell Can Raise The Dead

        Thou whose spell can raise the dead,
        Bid the prophet's form appear.
        "Samuel, raise thy buried head!
        "King, behold the phantom seer!"
        Earth yawn'd; he stood the centre of a cloud:
        Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud.
        Death stood all glassy in the fixed eye:
        His hand was withered, and his veins were dry;
        His foot, in bony whiteness, glitterd there,
        Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare;
        From lips that moved not and unbreathing frame,
        Like cavern'd winds the hollow acccents came.
        Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak,
        At once, and blasted by the thunder-stroke.

        "Why is my sleep disquieted?
        "Who is he that calls the dead?
        "Is it thou, Oh King? Behold
        "Bloodless are these limbs, and cold:
        "Such are mine; and such shall be
        "Thine, to-morrow, when with me:
        "Ere the coming day is done,
        "Such shalt thou be, such thy son.
        "Fare thee well, but for a day,
        "Then we mix our mouldering clay.
        "Thou, thy race, lie pale and low,
        "Pierced by shafts of many a bow;
        "And the falchion by thy side,
        "To thy heart, thy hand shall guide:
        "Crownless, breathless, headless fall,
        "Son and sire, the house of Saul!"

      Up

      Thy Days Are Done

        Thy days are done, thy fame begun;
        Thy country's strains record
        The triumphs of her chosen Son,
        The slaughter of his sword!
        The deeds he did, the fields he won,
        The freedom he restored!

        Though thou art fall'n, while we are free
        Thou shalt not taste of death!
        The generous blood that flow'd from thee
        Disdain'd to sink beneath:
        Within our veins its currents be,
        Thy spirit on our breath!

        Thy name, our charging hosts along,
        Shall be the battle-word!
        Thy fall, the theme of choral song
        From virgin voices pour'd!
        To weep would do thy glory wrong:
        Thou shalt not be deplored.

      Up

      To A Beautiful Quaker

        Sweet girl! though only once we met,
        That meeting I shall ne'er forget;
        And though we ne'er may meet again,
        Remembrance will thy form retain.
        I would not say, "I love," but still
        My senses struggle with my will:
        In vain, to drive thee from my breast,
        My thoughts are more and more represt;
        In vain I check the rising sighs,
        Another to the last replies:
        Perhaps this is not love, but yet
        Our meeting I can ne'er forget.

        What though we never silence broke,
        Our eyes a sweeter language spoke.
        The toungue in flattering falsehood deals,
        And tells a tale in never feels;
        Deceit the guilty lips impart,
        And hush the mandates of the heart;
        But soul's interpreters, the eyes,
        Spurn such restraint and scorn disguise.
        As thus our glances oft conversed,
        And all our bosoms felt, rehearsed,
        No spirit, from within, reproved us,
        Say rather, "'twas the spirit moved us."
        Though what they utter'd I repress,
        Yet I conceive thou'lt partly guess;
        For as on thee my memory ponders,
        Perchance to me thine also wanders.
        This for myself, at least, I'll say,
        Thy form appears through night, through day:
        Awake, with it my fancy teems;
        In sleep, it smiles in fleeting dreams;
        The vision charms the hours away,
        And bids me curse Aurora's ray
        For breaking slumbers of delight
        Which make me wish for endless night:
        Since, oh! whate'er my future fate,
        Shall joy or woe my steps await,
        Tempted by love, by storms beset,
        Thine image I can ne'er forget.

        Alas! again no more we meet,
        No more former looks repeat;
        Then let me breathe this parting prayer,
        The dictate of my bosom's care:
        "May heaven so guard my lovely quaker,
        That anguish never can o'ertake her;
        That peace and virtue ne'er forsake her,
        But bliss be aye her heart's partaker!
        Oh, may the happy mortal, fated
        To be by dearest ties related,
        For her each hour new joys discover,
        And lose the husband in the lover!
        May that fair bosom never know
        What 't is to feel the restless woe
        Which stings the soul with vain regret,
        Of him who never can forget!"

      Up

      To A Lady

        O! had my Fate been join'd with thine,
        As once this pledge appear'd a token,
        These follies had not, then, been mine,
        For, then, my peace had not been broken.

        To thee, these early faults I owe,
        To thee, the wise and old reproving:
        They know my sins, but do not know
        'Twas thine to break the bonds of loving.

        For once my soul, like thine, was pure,
        And all its rising fires could smother;
        But, now, thy vows no more endure,
        Bestow'd by thee upon another.

        Perhaps, his peace I could destroy,
        And spoil the blisses that await him;
        Yet let my Rival smile in joy,
        For thy dear sake, I cannot hate him.

        Ah! since thy angel form is gone,
        My heart no more can rest with any;
        But what it sought in thee alone,
        Attempts, alas! to find in many.

        Then, fare thee well, deceitful Maid!
        'Twere vain and fruitless to regret thee;
        Nor Hope, nor Memory yield their aid,
        But Pride may teach me to forget thee.

        Yet all this giddy waste of years,
        This tiresome round of palling pleasures;
        These varied loves, these matrons' fears,
        These thoughtless strains to Passion's measures---

        If thou wert mine, had all been hush'd:---
        This cheek, now pale from early riot,
        With Passion's hectic ne'er had flush'd,
        But bloom'd in calm domestic quiet.

        Yes, once the rural Scene was sweet,
        For Nature seem'd to smile before thee;
        And once my Breast abhorr'd deceit,---
        For then it beat but to adore thee.

        But, now, I seek for other joys---
        To think, would drive my soul to madness;
        In thoughtless throngs, and empty noise,
        I conquer half my Bosom's sadness.

        Yet, even in these, a thought will steal,
        In spite of every vain endeavor;
        And fiends might pity what I feel---
        To know that thou art lost for ever.

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      To Caroline

        Think'st thou I saw thy beauteous eyes,
        Suffus'd in tears, implore to stay;
        And heard unmov'd thy plenteous sighs,
        Which said far more than words can say?

        Though keen the grief thy tears exprest,
        When love and hope lay both o'erthrown;
        Yet still, my girl, this bleeding breast
        Throbb'd, with deep sorrow, as thine own.

        But, when our cheeks with anguish glow'd,
        When thy sweet lips were join'd to mine;
        The tears that from my eyelids flow'd
        Were lost in those which fell from thine.

        Thou could'st not feel my burning cheek,
        Thy gushing tears had quench'd its flame,
        And, as thy tongue essay'd to speak,
        In sighs alone it breath'd my name.

        And yet, my girl, we weep in vain,
        In vain our fate in sighs deplore;
        Remembrance only can remain,
        But that, will make us weep the more.

        Again, thou best belov'd, adieu!
        Ah! if thou canst, o'ercome regret,
        Nor let thy mind past joys review,
        Our only hope is, to forget!

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      To Eliza

        Eliza, what fools are the Mussulman sect,
        Who to woman deny the soul's future existence!
        Could they see thee, Eliza, they'd own their defect,
        And this doctrine would meet with a general resistance.

        Had their prophet possess'd half an atom of sense,
        He ne'er would have woman from paradise driven;
        Instead of his houris, a flimsy pretence,
        With woman alone he had peopled his heaven.

        Yet still, to increase your calamities more,
        Not Content with depriving your bodies of spirit,
        He allots one poor husband to share amongst four!-
        With souls you'd dispense; but this last, who could bear it?

        His religion to please neither party is made;
        On husbands 'tis hard, to the wives most uncivil;
        Still I Can't contradict, what so oft has been said,
        'Though women are angels, yet wedlock's the devil.'

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      To M.

        Oh! did those eyes, instead of fire,
        With bright, but mild affection shine:
        Though they might kindle less desire,
        Love, more than mortal, would be thine.

        For thou art form'd so heavenly fair,
        Howe'er those orbs may wildly beam,
        We must admire, but still despair;
        That fatal glance forbids esteem.

        When Nature stamp'd thy beauteous birth,
        So much perfection in thee shone,
        She fear'd that, too divine for earth,
        The skies might claim thee for their own.

        Therefore, to guard her dearest work,
        Lest angels might dispute the prize,
        She bade a secret lightning lurk,
        Within those once celestial eyes.

        These might the boldest Sylph appall,
        When gleaming with meridian blaze;
        Thy beauty must enrapture all;
        But who can dare thine ardent gaze?

        'Tis said that Berenice's hair,
        In stars adorns the vault of heaven;
        But they would ne'er permit thee there,
        Who wouldst so far outshine the seven.

        For did those eyes as planets roll,
        Thy sister-lights would scarce appear:
        E'en suns, which systems now control,
        Would twinkle dimly through their sphere.

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      To M.S.G.

        Whene'er I view those lips of thine,
        Their hue invites my fervent kiss;
        Yet, I forego that bliss divine,
        Alas! it were---unhallow'd bliss.

        Whene'er I dream of that pure breast,
        How could I dwell upon its snows!
        Yet, is the daring wish represt,
        For that,---would banish its repose.

        A glance from thy soul-searching eye
        Can raise with hope, depress with fear;
        Yet, I conceal my love,---and why?
        I would not force a painful tear.

        I ne'er have told my love, yet thou
        Hast seen my ardent flame too well;
        And shall I plead my passion now,
        To make thy bosom's heaven a hell?

        No! for thou never canst be mine,
        United by the priest's decree:
        By any ties but those divine,
        Mine, my belov'd, thou ne'er shalt be.

        Then let the secret fire consume,
        Let it consume, thou shalt not know:
        With joy I court a certain doom,
        Rather than spread its guilty glow.

        I will not ease my tortur'd heart,
        By driving dove-ey'd peace from thine;
        Rather than such a sting impart,
        Each thought presumptuous I resign.

        Yes! yield those lips, for which I'd brave
        More than I here shall dare to tell;
        Thy innocence and mine to save,---
        I bid thee now a last farewell.

        Yes! yield that breast, to seek despair
        And hope no more thy soft embrace;
        Which to obtain, my soul would dare,
        All, all reproach, but thy disgrace.

        At least from guilt shalt thou be free,
        No matron shall thy shame reprove;
        Though cureless pangs may prey on me,
        No martyr shalt thou be to love.

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      To Mary, On Receiving Her Picture

        This faint resemblance of thy charms,
        (Though strong as mortal art could give,)
        My constant heart of fear disarms,
        Revives my hopes, and bids me live.

        Here, I can trace the locks of gold
        Which round thy snowy forehead wave;
        The cheeks which sprung from Beauty's mould,
        The lips, which made me Beauty's slave.

        Here I can trace---ah, no! that eye,
        Whose azure floats in liquid fire,
        Must all the painter's art defy,
        And bid him from the task retire.

        Here, I behold its beauteous hue;
        But where's the beam so sweetly straying,
        Which gave a lustre to its blue,
        Like Luna o'er the ocean playing?

        Sweet copy! far more dear to me,
        Lifeless, unfeeling as thou art,
        Than all the living forms could be,
        Save her who plac'd thee next my heart.

        She plac'd it, sad, with needless fear,
        Lest time might shake my wavering soul,
        Unconscious that her image there
        Held every sense in fast control.

        Thro' hours, thro' years, thro' time, 'twill cheer---
        My hope, in gloomy moments, raise;
        In life's last conflict 'twill appear,
        And meet my fond, expiring gaze.

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      To Romance

        Parent of golden dreams, Romance!
        Auspicious Queen of childish joys,
        Who lead'st along, in airy dance,
        Thy votive train of girls and boys;
        At length, in spells no longer bound,
        I break the fetters of my youth;
        No more I tread thy mystic round,
        But leave thy realms for those of Truth.

        And yet 'tis hard to quit the dreams
        Which haunt the unsuspicious soul,
        Where every nymph a goddess seems,
        Whose eyes through rays immortal roll;
        While Fancy holds her boundless reign,
        And all assume a varied hue;
        When Virgins seem no longer vain,
        And even Woman's smiles are true.

        And must we own thee, but a name,
        And from thy hall of clouds descend?
        Nor find a Sylph in every dame,
        A Pylades in every friend?
        But leave, at once, thy realms of air i
        To mingling bands of fairy elves;
        Confess that woman's false as fair,
        And friends have feeling for---themselves?

        With shame, I own, I've felt thy sway;
        Repentant, now thy reign is o'er;
        No more thy precepts I obey,
        No more on fancied pinions soar;
        Fond fool! to love a sparkling eye,
        And think that eye to truth was dear;
        To trust a passing wanton's sigh,
        And melt beneath a wanton's tear!

        Romance! disgusted with deceit,
        Far from thy motley court I fly,
        Where Affectation holds her seat,
        And sickly Sensibility;
        Whose silly tears can never flow
        For any pangs excepting thine;
        Who turns aside from real woe,
        To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine.

        Now join with sable Sympathy,
        With cypress crown'd, array'd in weeds,
        Who heaves with thee her simple sigh,
        Whose breast for every bosom bleeds;
        And call thy sylvan female choir,
        To mourn a Swain for ever gone,
        Who once could glow with equal fire,
        But bends not now before thy throne.

        Ye genial Nymphs, whose ready tears
        On all occasions swiftly flow;
        Whose bosoms heave with fancied fears,
        With fancied flames and phrenzy glow
        Say, will you mourn my absent name,
        Apostate from your gentle train
        An infant Bard, at least, may claim
        From you a sympathetic strain.

        Adieu, fond race! a long adieu!
        The hour of fate is hovering nigh;
        E'en now the gulf appears in view,
        Where unlamented you must lie:
        Oblivion's blackening lake is seen,
        Convuls'd by gales you cannot weather,
        Where you, and eke your gentle queen,
        Alas! must perish altogether.

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      To Thomas Moore

        My boat is on the shore,
        And my bark is on the sea;
        But, before I go, Tom Moore,
        Here's a double health to thee!

        Here's a sigh to those who love me,
        And a smile to those who hate;
        And, whatever sky's above me,
        Here's a heart for every fate.

        Though the ocean roar around me,
        Yet it still shall bear me on;
        Though a desert should surround me,
        It hath springs that may be won.

        Were't the last drop in the well,
        As I gasp'd upon the brink,
        Ere my fainting spirit fell,
        'Tis to thee that I would drink.

        With that water, as this wine,
        The libation I would pour
        Should be—peace with thine and mine,
        And a health to thee, Tom Moore!

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      To Time

        Time! on whose arbitrary wing
        The varying hours must flag or fly,
        Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring,
        But drag or drive us on to die---
        Hail thou! who on my birth bestowed
        Those boons to all that know thee known;
        Yet better I sustain thy load,
        For now I bear the weight alone.
        I would not one fond heart should share
        The bitter moments thou hast given;
        And pardon thee---since thou couldst spare
        All that I loved, to peace or Heaven.
        To them be joy or rest---on me
        Thy future ills shall press in vain;
        I nothing owe but years to thee,
        A debt already paid in pain.
        Yet even that pain was some relief;
        It felt, but still forgot thy power:
        The active agony of grief
        Retards, but never counts the hour.
        In joy I've sighed to think thy flight
        Would soon subside from swift to slow;
        Thy cloud could overcast the light,
        But could not add a night to Woe;
        For then, however drear and dark,
        My soul was suited to thy sky;
        One star alone shot forth a spark
        To prove thee---not Eternity.
        That beam hath sunk---and now thou art
        A blank---a thing to count and curse
        Through each dull tedious trifling part,
        Which all regret, yet all rehearse.
        One scene even thou canst not deform---
        The limit of thy sloth or speed
        When future wanderers bear the storm
        Which we shall sleep too sound to heed.
        And I can smile to think how weak
        Thine efforts shortly shall be shown,
        When all the vengeance thou canst wreak
        Must fall upon---a nameless stone.

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      When Coldness Wraps This Suffering Clay

        When coldness wraps this suffering clay,
        Ah! whither strays the immortal mind?
        It cannot die, it cannot stay,
        But leaves its darken'd dust behind.
        Then, unembodied, doth it trace
        By steps each planet's heavenly way?
        Or fill at once the realms of space,
        A thing of eyes, that all survey?

        Eternal, boundless, undecay'd,
        A thought unseen, but seeing all,
        All, all in earth or skies display'd,
        Shall it survey, shall it recall:
        Each fainter trace that memory holds
        So darkly of departed years,
        In one broad glance the soul beholds,
        And all, that was, at once appears.

        Before Creation peopled earth,
        Its eye shall roll through chaos back;
        And where the farthest heaven had birth,
        The spirit trace its rising track.
        And where the future mars or makes,
        Its glance dilate o'er all to be,
        While sun is quench'd or system breaks,
        Fix'd in its own eternity.

        Above or Love, Hope, Hate, or Fear,
        It lives all passionless and pure:
        An age shall fleet like earthly year;
        Its years as moments shall endure.
        Away, away, without a wing,
        O'er all, through all, its thought shall fly,
        A nameless and eternal thing,
        Forgetting what it was to die.

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      When We Two Parted

        When we two parted
        In silence and tears,
        Half brokenhearted
        To sever for years,
        Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
        Colder thy kiss;
        Truly that our foretold
        Sorrow to this.

        The dew of the morning
        Sunk chill on my brow,
        It felt like the warning
        Of what I feel now.
        Thy vows are all broken,
        And light is thy fame;
        I hear thy name spoken,
        And share in its shame.

        They name thee before me,
        A knell to mine ear;
        A shudder comes o'er me
        Why wert thou so dear?
        They know not I knew thee,
        Who know thee too well:
        Long, long shall I rue thee,
        Too deeply to tell.

        In secret we met
        In silence I grieve,
        That thy heart could forget,
        Thy spirit deceive.
        If I should meet thee
        After long years,
        How should I greet thee!
        With silence and tears.

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      Written After Swimming From Sestos To Abydos

        If, in the month of dark December,
        Leander, who was nightly wont
        (What maid will not the tale remember?)
        To cross thy stream, broad Hellespont!

        If, when the wintry tempest roared,
        He sped to Hero, nothing loath,
        And thus of old thy current poured,
        Fair Venus! how I pity both!

        For me, degenerate modern wretch,
        Though in the genial month of May,
        My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,
        And think I've done a feat today.

        But since he crossed the rapid tide,
        According to the doubtful story,
        To woo—and—Lord knows what beside,
        And swam for Love, as I for Glory;

        'Twere hard to say who fared the best:
        Sad mortals! thus the gods still plague you!
        He lost his labour, I my jest;
        For he was drowned, and I've the ague.

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