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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.



'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-a voice-a shriek---a fearful call !
A long, loud shriek-and silence-did they hear 205
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, 215
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;

220 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. [speaks, They raise him--bear him ;---hush! he breathes, he The swarthy blush recolours in his cheeks, 226 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; 230 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 233 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, 240 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 sooth away the horrors of his dream;


If dream it were, that thus could overthrow
A breast that needed not ideal wo.

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XV. Whate'er his phrensy dream'd or eye beheld, If yet remember'd ne'er to be reveald, Rests at his heart: the custom'd morning came, And breathed new vigour in his shaken frame; 250 And solace sought he none from priest nor leech, And soon the same in movement and in speech As heretofore he filld the passing hours, Nor less he smiles, nor more his forehead lours Than these were wont; and if the coming night 255 Appear'd less welcome now to Lara's sight, He to his marvelling vassals show'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; 260 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, 265 As evening saddens o’er the dark gray walls.


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 275
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? 280
Or did that silence prove his memory

fix'd Too deep for words, indelible, unmix'd In that corroding secrecy which gnaws The heart to show the effect, but not the cause ? Not so in him; his breast had buried both, 285 Nor common gazers could discern the growth Of thoughts that mortal lips must leave half told ; They choke the feeble words that would unfold.


In him inexplicably mix'd appear'd
Much to be loved and hated, sought and fear'd; 290
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, 295
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 305
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.



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 hurld;
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:

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