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“ 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. " Art thou not he? whose deeds
“ Whate'er I be, 455 “ 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 “ 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, “ He will not that untainted line belie, “ Nor aught that knighthood may accord, deny."
“ To-morrow be it,” Ezzelin replied,
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, determin'd, 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,
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 ?
But had not marr'd though in his beams he grew, 530 The cheek where oft the unbidden blush shone
through; Yet not such blush as mounts when health would show All the heart's hue in that delighted glow; But 'twas a hectic tint of secret care That for a burning moment fever'd there; 535 And the wild sparkle of his eye seem'd caught From high, and lightend with electric thought, Though its black orb those long low lashes fringe, Had temper'd with a melancholy tinge; Yet less of sorrow than of pride was there, 540 Or if 'twere grief, a grief that none should share: And pleased not him the sports that please his age, The tricks of youth, the frolics of the page; . For hours on Lara he would fix his glance, As all-forgotten in that watchful trance; And from his chief withdrawn, he wander'd lone, Brief were his answers, and his questions none; His walk the wood, his sport some foreign book; His resting place the bank that curbs the brook : He seem'd, like him he served, to live apart 550 From all that lures the eye, and fills the heart; To know no brotherhood, and take from earth No gift beyond that bitter hoon-our birth.
In mute attention; and his care, which guess'd
No sympathy with that familiar crew:
Could bow to Lara, not descend to them.