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They see, they recognize, 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. 60 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

't is

And they indeed were changed quickly seen, Whate'er he be, 't was 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, 69
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,

80

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

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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 show'd him still alone;

110

Upon his eye sat 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 ex-
press'd.

100

VIII

in youth all action and all

'T was strange 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 recompense in joy or woe, No tame, trite medium; for his feelings sought

121

In that intenseness an escape from thought. The tempest of his heart in scorn had gazed On that the feebler elements hath raised;

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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 't were 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.

150

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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,

161

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;

171

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 contem-
plate;

Such scene reminded him of other days,
Of skies more cloudless, moons of purer
blaze,

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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

XIII

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'Twas midnight-all was slumber; the lone light

201

Dimm'd in the lamp, as loth to break the night.

Hark! there be murmurs heard in Lara's hall A sound a 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.

210

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

231

220

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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;

300

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;

310

In vigilance of grief that would compel The soul to hate for having loved too well.

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