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By length I mean duration; theirs endured
Heaven knows how long-no doubt they never

And if they had, they could not have secured
The sum of their sensations to a second:
They had not spoken; but they felt allured,

As if their souls and lips each other beckon'd,
Which, being join'd, like swarming bees they clung-
Their hearts the flowers from whence the honey sprung.

They were alone, but not alone as they

Who shut in chambers think it loneliness;
The silent ocean, and the starlight bay,

The twilight glow, which momently grew less,
The voiceless sands, and dropping caves, that lay
Around them, made them to each other press,
As if there were no life beneath the sky
Save theirs, and that their life could never die.


(CANTO II, cxcix-cciv)

ALAS! the love of women! it is known
To be a lovely and a fearful thing;
For all of theirs upon that die is thrown,

And if 'tis lost, life hath no more to bring
To them but mockeries of the past alone,

They fear'd no eyes nor ears on that lone beach,

They felt no terrors from the night; they were All in all to each other; though their speech

Was broken words, they thought a language there,And all the burning tongues the passions teach Found in one sigh the best interpreter Of nature's oracle-first love,-that all Which Eve has left her daughters since her fall.

And their revenge is as the tiger's spring, Deadly, and quick, and crushing; yet, as real Torture is theirs,-what they inflict they feel.



They are right; for man, to man so oft unjust,
Is always so to women; one sole bond
Awaits them, treachery is all their trust;

Taught to conceal, their bursting hearts despond
Over their idol, till some wealthier lust

Buys them in marriage-and what rests beyond ? A thankless husband, next a faithless lover, Then dressing, nursing, praying, and all's over.

Some take a lover, some take drams or prayers,

Some mind their household, others dissipation, Some run away, and but exchange their cares, Losing the advantage of a virtuous station; Few changes e'er can better their affairs,

Theirs being an unnatural situation,
From the dull palace to the dirty hovel :
Some play the devil, and then write a novel.

Haidée was Nature's bride, and knew not this:
Haidée was Passion's child, born where the sun
Showers triple light, and scorches even the kiss

Of his gazelle-eyed daughters; she was one
Made but to love, to feel that she was his

Who was her chosen: what was said or done Elsewhere was nothing. She had nought to fear, Hope, care, nor love beyond,-her heart beat here.




And oh that quickening of the heart, that beat!
How much it costs us! yet each rising throb
Is in its cause as its effect so sweet,

That Wisdom, ever on the watch to rob
Joy of its alchemy, and to repeat

Fine truths; even Conscience, too, has a tough job To make us understand each good old maxim, So good-I wonder Castlereagh don't tax 'em.


And now 'twas done on the lone shore were plighted Their hearts; the stars, their nuptial torches, shed Beauty upon the beautiful they lighted:

Ocean their witness, and the cave their bed,

By their own feelings hallow'd and united,
Their priest was Solitude, and they were wed:
And they were happy, for to their young eyes
Each was an angel, and earth paradise.


(CANTO III, viii—xi)

THERE's doubtless something in domestic doings
Which forms, in fact, true love's antithesis ;
Romances paint at full length people's wooings,
But only give a bust of marriages;
For no one cares for matrimonial cooings,

There's nothing wrong in a connubial kiss :
Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch's wife,
He would have written sonnets all his life?

All tragedies are finish'd by a death,

All comedies are ended by a marriage; The future states of both are left to faith,

For authors fear description might disparage The worlds to come of both, or fall beneath,

The only two that in my recollection

Have sung of heaven and hell, or marriage, are Dante and Milton, and of both the affection

And then both worlds would punish their miscarriage; So leaving each their priest and prayer-book ready, They say no more of Death or of the Lady.

Was hapless in their nuptials, for some bar Of fault or temper ruin'd the connexion

(Such things, in fact, it don't ask much to mar); But Dante's Beatrice and Milton's Eve Were not drawn from their spouses, you conceive.

Some persons say that Dante meant theology
By Beatrice, and not a mistress-I,
Although my opinion may require apology,
Deem this a commentator's phantasy,



Unless indeed it was from his own knowledge he
Decided thus, and show'd good reason why;
I think that Dante's more abstruse ecstatics
Meant to personify the mathematics.


(CANTO III, Xxvii—xli)

He saw his white walls shining in the sun,

His garden trees all shadowy and green; He heard his rivulet's light bubbling run,

The distant dog-bark; and perceived between The umbrage of the wood so cool and dun,

The moving figures, and the sparkling sheen Of arms (in the East all arm)—and various dyes Of colour'd garbs, as bright as butterflies.

And as the spot where they appear he nears,

Surprised at these unwonted signs of idling, He hears-alas! no music of the spheres,

But an unhallow'd, earthly sound of fiddling !
A melody which made him doubt his ears,

The cause being past his guessing or unriddling;
A pipe, too, and a drum, and shortly after,
A most unoriental roar of laughter.


'Midst other indications of festivity, Seeing a troop of his domestics dancing

Like dervises, who turn as on a pivot, he Perceived it was the Pyrrhic dance so martial, To which the Levantines are very partial.


And still more nearly to the place advancing,
Descending rather quickly the declivity,
Through the waved branches, o'er the greensward



And further on a group of Grecian girls,

The first and tallest her white kerchief waving, Were strung together like a row of pearls,

Link'd hand in hand, and dancing: each too having

Down her white neck long floating auburn curls—
(The least of which would set ten poets raving); 30
Their leader sang-and bounded to her song,
With choral step and voice, the virgin throng.

And here, assembled cross-legg'd round their trays,
Small social parties just begun to dine;
Pilaus and meats of all sorts met the gaze,

And flasks of Samian and of Chian wine,
And sherbet cooling in the porous vase;

Above them their dessert grew on its vine ;The orange and pomegranate nodding o'er, Dropp'd in their laps, scarce pluck'd, their mellow store.

A band of children, round a snow-white ram,

There wreathe his venerable horns with flowers; While peaceful as if still an unwean'd lamb,

The patriarch of the flock all gently cowers
His sober head, majestically tame,

Or eats from out the palm, or playful lowers
His brow, as if in act to butt, and then
Yielding to their small hands, draws back again.

Their classical profiles, and glittering dresses,

Their large black eyes, and soft seraphic cheeks, Crimson as cleft pomegranates, their long tresses.

The gesture which enchants, the eye that speaks,
The innocence which happy childhood blesses,

Made quite a picture of these little Greeks;
So that the philosophical beholder
Sigh'd for their sakes-that they should e'er grow


Afar, a dwarf buffoon stood telling tales

To a sedate grey circle of old smokers, Of secret treasures found in hidden vales, Of wonderful replies from Arab jokers, Of charms to make good gold and cure bad ails, Of rocks bewitch'd that open to the knockers, Of magic ladies who, by one sole act, Transform'd their lords to beasts (but that's a fact).




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