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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;

410
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.

[graphic]

416

XXII. “ 'Tis he!” the stranger cried, and those that heard Re-echoed fast and far the whisper'd word. “ '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 ;

And drawing nigh, exclaim'd, with haughty sneer, 425 “ 'Tis he !-how came he thence ?—what doth he

here?"

XXIII.

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 « 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 6. To one, who, wert thou noble, were thy peer, 450

“ But as thou wast and art-nay, frown not, lord, “ If false, 'tis easy to disprove the word

But, as thou wast and art, on thee looks down, “ Distrusts thy smiles, but shakes not at thy frown. 66 Art thou not he? whose deeds

" Whate'er I be,

455 6 Words wild as these, accusers like to thee “ I list no further ; those with whom they weigh “ May hear the rest, nor venture to gainsay “ The wondrous tale no doubt thy tongue can tell, “ Which thus begins so courteously and well. 460 “ Let Otho cherish here his polish'd guest, “ To him my thanks and thoughts shall be exprest.” And here their wondering host hath interposed--“ Whate'er there be between you undisclosed, “ This is no time nor fitting place to mar 465 “ The mirthful meeting with a wordy war. 6: If thou, Sir Ezzelin, hast ought to show " Which it befits Count Lara's ear to know, " To-morrow, here, or elsewhere, as may best “ Beseem your mutual judgment, speak the rest; 470 “ I pledge myself for thee, as not unknown,

Though like Count Lara now return'd alone “ From other lands, almost a stranger grown; “ And if from Lara's blood and gentle birth “ I augur right of courage and of worth, 475 “ He will not that untainted line belie, "Nor aught that knighthood may accord, deny."

“ To-morrow be it,” Ezzelin replied,
“ And here our several worth and truth be tried ;
“ I gage my life, my falchion to attest

480
My words, so may I mingle with the blest!"
What answers Lara? to its centre shrunk
His soul, in deep abstraction sudden sunk;
The words of many, and the eyes of all
That there were gather'd, seem'd on him to fall; 485
But his were silent, his appear'd to stray
In far forgetfulness away---away---
Alas! that heedlessness of all around
Bespoke remembrance only too profound.

XXIV. “ To-morrow !---ay, to-morrow!” further word 490 Than those repeated none from Lara heard; Upon his brow no outward passion spoke, From his large eye no flashing anger broke; Yet there was something fix'd in that low tone, Which show'd resolve, determind, though unknown. He seized his cloak---his head he slightly bow'd, 496 And passing Ezzelin, he left the crowd ; And, as he pass’d him, smiling met the frown With which that chieftain's brow would bear him down: It was nor smile of mirth, nor struggling pride 500 That curbs to scorn the wrath it cannot hide; But that of one in his own heart secure Of all that he would do, or could endure. Could this mean peace ? the calmness of the good? Or

old in desperate hardihood ? 505

Alas! too like in confidence are each,
For man to trust to mortal look or speech;
From deeds, and deeds alone, may he discern
Truths which it wrings the unpractised heart to learn.

XXV.
And Lara call'd his page, and went his way

510
Well could that stripling word or sign obey :
His only follower from those climes afar,
Where the soul glows beneath a brighter star;
For Lara left the shore from whence he sprung,
In duty patient, and sedate though young;

515 Silent as him he served, his faith appears Above his station, and beyond his years. Though not unknown the tongue of Lara's land, In such from him he rarely heard command; But fleet his step, and clear his tones would come, 520 When Lara's lip breath'd forth the words of home; Those accents as his native mountains dear, Awake their absent echoes in his ear, Friends', kindreds', parents', wonted voice recall, Now lost, abjured, for one-his friend, his all : 525 For him earth now disclosed no other guide ; What marvel then he rarely left his side?

XXVI.
Light was his form, and darkly delicate
That brow whereon his native sun had sate,

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