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Night wanes—the vapours round the mountains
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;
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 gladdened 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;
But creeping things shall revel in their spoil,
And fit thy clay to fertilize the soil.
'Tis morn-'tis noon-assembled in the hall,
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,
The hour is past, and Lara too is there,
“ I know my friend! his faith I cannot fear,
My halls from such a guest had honour gained, “ Nor had Sir Ezzelin his host disdained,
“ But that some previous proof forbade his stay, “ And urged him to prepare against to-day; “ The word I pledged for his I pledge again, “ Or will myself redeem his knighthood's stain.”
He ceased--and Lara answered, “I am here
690 “ Whose words already might my heart have wrung, “ But that I deemed 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
“ 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,