« AnteriorContinuar »
But she must lay her conscious head The guilt- the shame—the doom to her:
All circumstance which may compel
And Azo's tortured heart and ear
He was not one who brook'd delay :
Within the chamber of his state,
The chief of Este's ancient sway
Upon his throne of judgment sate;
His nobles and his guards are there, O'er her who loves him even in sleep.
Before him is the sinful pair;
With swordless belt, and fetter'd hand,
Before a father's face ! He bears- Why doth Prince Azo start, Yet thus must Hugo meet his sire, bif the Archangel's voice he heard ? And hear the sentence of his ire, und well he may-a deeper doom The tale of his disgrace! Could searcely thunder o'er his tomb, And yet he seems not overcome, When he shall wake to sleep no more,
Although, as yet, his voice be dumb. hat stand the eternal throne before. And well he may, his earthly peace (pe: that sound is doom'd to cease.
And still, and pale, and silently
Did Parisina wait her doom ; Da
: sleeping whisper of a name Bapeals her guilt and Azo's shame.
How changed since last her speaking eye but whose that name? that o'er his pillow Where high-born men were proud to wait
Glanced gladness round the glittering room, tok fearful as the breaking billow, Bach rolls the plank upon the shore,
Where Beauty watch'd to imitate Led dabes on the pointed rock
Her gentle voice -- her lovely mien – Te tretch who sinks to rise no more,—
And gather from her air and gait & rame upon his soul the shock.
The graces of its queen : And whose that name? 'tis Hugo's,-his
Then,--had her eye in sorrow wept, la weh he had not deem'd of this!
A thousand warriors forth had leapt, To Hago's, - be, the child of one
A thousand swords had sheathless shone, He loved-his own all-evil son
And made her quarrel all their own. - offspring of his wayward youth,
Now,-what is she? and what are they ?
Can she command, or these obey? he betray'd Bianca's truth, The maid whose folly could confide
All silent and unheeding now, bin who made her not his bride,
With downcast eyes and knitting brow,
And lips that scarce their scorn forbear, He pluck'd his poniard in its sheath, Her knights and dames, her court-is there: Bet oheathed it ere the point was bare- And he, the chosen one, whose lance barer unworthy now to breathe, Had yet been couch'd before her glance, berald not slay a thing so fair –
Who – were his arm a moment free di bat, not smiling-sleeping there- Had died or gain'd her liberty; for more: he did not wake her then, The minion of his father's bride,-. be razed upon her with a glance He, too, is fetter'd by her side; which had she roused her from her trance, Vor sees her swoln and full eye swim Hal frozen her sense to sleep again- Less for her own despair than him : det oer his brow the burning lamp
Those lids-o'er which the violet vein Grand on the dew-drops big and damp. Wandering, leaves a tender stain, dipake no more-but still she slumber'd - Shining through the smoothest white Herite in his thought, her days are That e'er did softest kiss invite number'd.
Now seem'd with hot and livid glow
Which glance so heavily, and fill,
And he for her had also wept,
But for the eyes that on him gazed : fate themselves, and would transfer His sorrow, if he felt it, slept;
Stern and erect his brow was raised. But she is in the grave, where he,
But wrong for wrong -- this deem'd And hers, -oh, hers! - he dared not throw
bride, One look upon that deathlike brow! The other victim of thy pride, Else had his rising heart betray'd
'Thou knowst for me was destined long Remorse for all the wreck it made. Thou sawst, and covetedst her charms
And with thy very crime -- my birth,
Thou tauntedst me-as little worth; And Azo spake :-“But yesterday A match ignoble for her arms, I gloried in a wife and son;
Because, forsooth, I could not claim That dream this morning pass'd away ; The lawful heirship of thy name, Ere day declines, I shall have none.
Nor sit on Este's lineal throne: My life must linger on alone;
Yet, were a few short summers mine, Well, let that pass,—there breathes not one My name should more than Este's shi Who would not do as I have done:
With honours all my own. Those ties are broken - not by me;
I had a sword - and have a breast Let that too pass:- the dooni's prepared! That should have won as haught a a Hugo, the priest awaits on thee,
As ever waved along the line And then -- thy crime's reward !
of all these sovereign sires of thine. Away! address thy prayers to Heaven, Not always knightly spurs are worn Before its evening-stars are metLearn if thou there canst be forgiven;
The brightest by the better born ;
And mine have lanced my courser's fla Its mercy may alsolve thee yet.
Before proud chiefs of princely rank, But here, upon the earth beneath,
When charging to the cheering cry There is no spot where thou and I Of “Este and of Victory!" Together, for an hour, could breathe:
I will not plead the cause of crime, Farewell! I wil not see thee die
Nor sue thee to redeem from time But thou, frail thing! shalt view bis head
A few brief hours or days that must Away! I cannot speak the rest :
At length roll o'er my reckless dust;Go! woman of the wanton breast;
Such maddening moments as my past. Not I, but thou his blood dost shed:
They could not, and they did not, laGo! if that sight thou canst outlive,
Albeit my birth and name be base, And joy thee in the life I give.”
And thy nobility of race
Disdain'd to deck a thing like meAnd here stern Azo hid his face
Yet in my lineaments they trace For on his brow the swelling vein
Some features of my father's face, Throbb’d as if back upon his brain
And in my spirit-all of thec. The hot blood ebb’d and flow'd again;
From thee - this tamelessness of heartAnd therefore bow'd he for a space
nay, wherefore dost tF And pass'd his shaking hand along
start? His eye, to veil it from the throng ;
From thee in all their vigour came While Hugo raised his chained hands, My arm of strength, my soul of flame And for a brief delay demands
Thou didst not give me life alone, His father's ear: the silent sire
But all that made me more thine on Forbids not what his words require. See what thy guilty love hath done!
Repaid thee with too like a son!
I am no bastard in my soul, “It is not that I dread the death - For that, like thine, abhorrid controul For thou hast seen me by thy side And for my breath, that hasty boun All redly through the battle ride, Thou gavest and wilt resume so soon, And that not once a useless brand
I valued it no more than thou, Thy slaves have wrested from my hand, When rose thy casque above thy brow. Hath shed more blood in cause of thine
And we, all side by side, have striven, Than e'er can stain the axe of mine: And o'er the dead our conursers driven: Thou gavest, and mayst resuine my breath, The past is nothing - and at last A gift for which I thank thee not; The future can but be the past ; Nor are my mother's wrongs forgot,
Yet would I that I then had died : Her slighted love and ruind name,
For though thon work’dst my mother's i Her offspring's heritage of shame; And made thy own my destined bride,
I feel thou art my father still;
She had forgotten :-did she breathe Ind. harsh as sounds thy hard decree, Could this be still the earth beneath ? Tis not onjast, although from thee. The sky above, and men around; Brgat in sin, to die in shame,
Or were they fiends who now so frown'd My life begun and ends the same:
On one, before whose eyes each eyo Aserrid the sire, so err'd the son,
'Till then had smiled in sympathy ? And thou must punish both in one. All was confused and undefined, My crime seems worst to human view, To her all-jarr’d and wandering mind; Bat God must judge between us two!” A chaos of wild hopes and fears :
And now in laughter, now in tears,
But madly still in each extreme, He erased - and stood with folded arms, She strove with that convulsive dream; On which the circling fetters sounded; For so it seem'd on her to break : And not an ear but felt as wounded, Oh! vainly must sbe strive to wake! Of all the chiefs that there were rank’d, Wha these doll chains in meeting clank'd : Tul Parisina's fatal charms
The Convent-bells are ringing,
But mournfully and slow,
With a deep suund, to and fro.
Heavily to the heart they go! Her eyes unmoved, but full and wide,
Hark! the hymn is singing Istence had turn'd to either side –
The song for the dead below, for cace did those sweet eyelids close,
Or the living who shortly shall be so! Or shade the glance o'er which they rose,
For a departing being's soul But round their orbs of deepest blue
The death-hymn peals and the hollow
bells knoll: The pipeling white dilated grew -dut there with glassy gaze she stood
He is near his mortal goal; bir were in her curdled blood;
Kneeling at the Friar's knee; But every now and then a tear
Sad to hear, and piteous to seea large and slowly gather'd slid
Kneeling on the bare cold ground, fra the long dark fringe of that fair lid, With the block before and the guard aroundliv a thing to see, not hear!
And the headsman with his bare arm And those who saw, it did surprise,
ready, Borba drops could fall from human eyes.
That the blow may be both swift and steady, In sprak she thought-the imperfect note Feels if the axe be sharp and trueBa choked within her swelling throat,
Since he set its edge anew : le reemd in that low hollow groan
While the crowd in a speechless circle Ber whole heart gushing in the tone.
gather Inased - again she thought to speak,
To see the Son fall by the doom of the The burst her voice in one long shriek,
It is a lovely hour as yet
Which rose upon that heavy day,
And mock'd it with his steadiest ray;
As his last confession pouring
In penitential holiness, ber scarce to reason-every sense
He bends to hear his accents blegg
Wipe our mortal stains away. ber-strings, when relax'd by rain, That high sun on his head did glisten The caring arrow launch aside)
As he there did bow and listen -has forth her thoughts all wild and wide - And the rings of chesnut hair Dhe past a blank, the
future black, Curled half down his neck so bare; Wriglimpses of a dreary track,
But brighter still the beam was thrown on the desert-path, Upon the axe which near him shone co midnight storms are mustering wrath. With a clear and ghastly glitter-feard-she felt that something ill Lat on her soul, so deep and chill
Oh! that parting-hour was bitter!
Even the stern stood chill'd with awe: That there was sin and shame she knew; Dark the crime, and just the lawThat some one was to die--but who? Yet they shudder'd as they saw,
The parting prayers aro said and over That, as a mother's o'er her child, or that false son--and daring lover! Done to death by sudden blow, His beads and sins are all recounted, To the sky these accents go, His hours to their last minute mounted- Like a soul's in endless woe. His mantling cloak before was stripp'd, Through Azo's palace-lattice driven, His bright brown locks must now be clipp'd; Tbat horrid voice ascends to heaven, "Tis done—all closely are they shorn- And every eye is turnd thereon; The vest which till this moment worn- But sound and sight alike are gone! The scarf which Parisina gave-
It was a woman's shriek--and ne'er Must not adorn him to the grave.
In madlier accents rose despair;
In mercy wish'd it were the last.
Hugo is fallen; and, from that hour,
No more in palace, hall, or bower, In deep disdain were half renew'd,
Was Parisina heard or seen: When headman's hands prepared to bind
Her name-as if she ne'er had beenThose eyes which would not brook such Was banish'd from each lip and ear,
Like words of wantonness or fear; As if they dared not look on death.
And from Prince Azo’s voice, by none “No-yours my forfeit blood and breath
Was mention heard of wife or son ; These hands are chain'd-but let me die
No tomb-no memory had they ; At least with an unshackled eye
Theirs was unconsecrated clay; Strike:” and as the word he said,
At least the knight's who died that day. Upon the block he bow'd his head;
But Parisina's fate lies hid These the last accents Hugo spoke:
Like dust beneath the coffin-lid: “Strike"--and Nashing fell the stroke
Whether in convent she abode, Rollid the head-and, gushing, sunk
And won to heaven her dreary road, Back the staind and heaving trunk,
By blighted and remorseful years
Of scourge, and fast, and sleepless tears
Or if she fell by bowl or steel, His eyes and lips a moment quiver,
For that dark love she dared to feel; Convulsed and quick-then fix for ever.
Or if, upon the moment smote,
She died by tortures less remote; He died, as erring man should die, Like him she saw upon the block, Without display, without parade;
With heart that shared the headınan's sho Meekly had he bow'd and pray'd,
In quicken'd brokenness that came, As not disdaining priestly aid,
In pity, o'er her shatter'd frame, Nor desperate of all hope on high.
None knew-and none can ever know: And while before the prior kneeling, But whatsoe'er its end below, His heart was wean’d from earthly feeling; Her life began and closed in woe! His wrathful sire-his paramour--What were they in such an hour? No more reproach-no more despair;
And Azo found another bride,
And goodly sons grew by his side;
Or if they were ---on his cold eve
Their growth but glanced unlieeded by,
But never tear his cheek descended,
The intersected lines of thought; A cold electric shiver ran,
Those furrows which the burning share As down the deadly blow descended Of sorrow ploughs untimely there; On him whose life and love thus ended; Scars of the lacerating mind And with a hushing sound comprest, Which the soul's war doth leave behind A sigh shrunk back on every breast; He was past all mirth or woe: But no more thrilling noise rose there, Nothing more remain'd below Beyond the blow that to the block
But sleepless nights and heavy days, Pierced through with forced and sullen A mind all dead to scorn or praise,
A heart which shunn'd itseli--and yet Save one: -- what cleaves the silent air That would not yield-nor could forget; So madly shrill -- so passing wild ? Which when it least appeard to melt,
htently thought-intensely felt :
To throb o'er those of life bereft; The deepest ice which ever froze
Without the power to fill again Can only o'er the surface close
The desert gap which made his pain; The living stream lies quick below, Without the hope to meet them where Amd flows-and cannot cease to flow. United souls shall gladness share, Gill was his seald-up bosom haunted With all the consciousness that he By thoughts which Nature hath implanted; Had only pass'd a just decree; Tm deeply rooted thence to vanish, That they had wrought their doom Bsweer our stifled tears we banish;
of ill; When, struggling as they rise to start, Yet Azo's age was wretched still. Tie check those waters of the heart, The tainted branches of the tree, They are not dried-those tears unshed If lopp'd with care, a strength may give, Bat flow lack to the fountain-head, By which the rest shall bloom and live And resting in their spring more pure, All greenly fresh and wildly free: Por ever in its depth endure,
But if the lightning, in its wrath,
The waving boughs with fury scathe,
And never more a leaf reveals.
SONNET ON CHILLON.
That father perish'd at the stake
For tenets he would not forsake; (taval spirit of the chainless mind! Richtest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art, And for the same his lineal race le there thy habitation is the heart
In darkness found a dwelling-place ; D: heart which love of thee alone can
We were seven- |--who now are one,
Six in youth, and one in age, And when thy sons to fetters are consign’d— Finish'd as they had begun, to letters, and the damp vault's dayless One in fire, and two in field,
Proud of Persecution's rage; gloom, Deir country conquers with their martyr-Their belief with blood have seal'd; dom,
Dying as their father died, hal Freedom's fame finds wings on every
For the God their foes denied ; wind.
Three were in a dungcon cast, Cillsa! thy prison is a holy place,
Of whom this wreck is left the last. kot thy sad floor an altar-for 'twas trod, leil his very steps have left a trace
There are seven pillars of gothic mold, D, as if thy cold pavement were a sod, In Chillon's dungeons deep and old ; by Bonnivard — May none those marks There are seven columns, massy and gray, eflace!
Dim with a dull imprison'd ray,
And through the crevice and the cloft
Like a marsh's meteor-lamp:
And in each ring there is a chain;
That iron is a cankering thing, e men's have grown from sudden fears : For in these limbs its teeth remain,
ylimahs are bow'd, though not with toil, With marks that will not wear away, Bit rated with a vile repose,
Till I have done with this new day, For they have been a dungeon's spoil, Which now is painful to these eyes, kad mine has been the fate of those Which have not seen the sun so rise To whom the goodly earth and air For years - I cannot count them o'er, Are bann'd, and barr’d-forbidden fare ; I lost their long and heavy score, But this was for my father's faith, When my last brother droop'd and died, Isafer'd chains and courted death ; And I lay living by his side.
la a single night,