Imágenes de página


That friendship, pity, or aversion knew,
Still there within the inmost thought he grew.
You could not penetrate his soul, but found,
Despite your wonder, to your own he wound;
His presence haunted still ; and from the breast
He forced an all unwilling interest:
Vain was the struggle in that mental net,
His spirit seem'd to dare you to forget!

[merged small][ocr errors]

There is a festival, where knights and dames,
And aught that wealth or lofty lineage claims
Appear—a highborn and a welcome guest
To Otho's hall came Lara with the rest.
The long carousal shakes the illumined hall,
Well speeds alike the banquet and the ball;
And the gay dance of bounding Beauty's train
Links grace and harmony in happiest chain :
Blest are the early hearts and gentle hands
That mingle there in well according bands ;
It is a sight the careful brow might smooth,
And make Age smile, and dream itself to youth,
And Youth forget such hour was past on earth,
So springs the exulting bosom to that mirth!

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And Lara gazed on these, sedately glad,
His brow belied him if his soul was sad;

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small]


And his glance follow'd fast each fluttering fair,
Whose steps of lightness woke no echo there: 400
He lean’d against the lofty pillar nigh,
With folded arms and long attentive eye,
Nor mark'd a glance so sternly fix'd on his--
Ill brook'd high Lara scrutiny like this:
At length he caught it, 'tis a face unknown, 405
But seems as searching his, and his alone;
Prying and dark, a stranger's by his mien,
Who still till now had gazed on him unseen;
At length encountering meets the mutual gaze
Of keen inquiry, and of mute amaze;

On Lara's glance emotion gathering grew,
As if distrusting that the stranger threw;
Along the stranger's aspect fix'd and stern,
Flash'd more than thence the vulgar eye could learn.


XXII. " 'Tis he!” the stranger cried, and those that heard Re-echoed fast and far the whisperd word. 416 “ 'Tis he!”—“ 'Tis who?" they question far and near, Till louder accents rung on Lara's ear; So widely spread, few bosoms well could brook The general marvel, or that single look; 420 But Lara stirr'd not, changed not, the surprise That sprung at first to his arrested eyes Seem'd now subsided, neither sunk nor raised Glanced his eye round, though still the stranger gazed ;

[ocr errors]

It were too much for Lara to pass by
Such question, so repeated fierce and high ;
With look collected, but with accent cold,
More mildly firm than petulantly bold,

430 He turn'd, and met the inquisitorial tone--“ My name is Lara !---when thine own is known, “ Doubt not my fitting answer to requite “ The unlook'd for courtesy of such a knight. “ 'Tis Lara !---further wouldst thou mark or ask ? 435 " I shun no question, and I wear no mask.”

“ Thou shun'st no question! Ponder—is there none “ Thy heart must answer, though thine ear would shun? “ And deem'st thou me unknown too? Gaze again! “ At least thy memory was not given in vain. 440 6 Oh! never canst thou cancel half her debt, “ Eternity bids thee to forget.” With slow and searching glance upon his face Grew Lara's eyes, but nothing there could trace They knew, or chose to know-with dubious look 445 He deign'd no answer, but his head he shook, And half contemptuous turn'd to pass away; But the stern stranger motion'd him to stay." “A word !—I charge thee stay, and answer here

one, who, wert thou noble, were thy peer, 450

« AnteriorContinuar »