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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 lighten'd 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;
545 And from his chief withdrawn, he wander'd lone, Brief were his answers, and his questions none; His walk the wood, his sport some foreign book; His resting-place the bank that curbs the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.
If aught he loved, 'twas Lara; but was shown his faith in reverence and in deeds alone;
In mute attention; and his care, which guess'd
Kaled his name, though rumour said he bore
XXVIII. He had look'd down upon the festive hall, And mark'd that sudden strife so mark'd of all; And when the crowd around and near him told Their wonder at the calmness of the bold, 595 Their marvel how the high-born Lara bore Such insult from a stranger, doubly sore, The colour of young Kaled went and came, The lip of ashes, and the cheek of flame; Ando'er his brow the dampening heart-drops threw 600 The sickening iciness of that cold dew, That rises as the busy bosom sinks With heavy thoughts from which reflection shrinks. Yes—there be things that we must dream and dare, And execute ere thought be half aware:
605 Whate'er might Kaled's be, it was enow To seal his lip, but agonise his brow. He gazed on Ezzelin till Lara cast That sidelong smile upon the knight he past ; When Kaled saw that smile his visage fell, 610 As if on something recognised right well;
His memory read in such a meaning more
XXIX. The crowd are gone, the revellers at rest; The courteous host, and all-approving guest, Again to that accustom'd couch must creep 630 Where joy subsides, and sorrow sighs to sleep, And man o'er-labour'd with his being's strife, Shrinks to that sweet forgetfulness of life: There lie love's feverish hope, and cunning's guile, Hate's working brain, and lulld ambition's wile; 695 O’er each vain eye oblivion's pinions wave, And quench'd existence crouches in a grave,
What better name may slumber's bed become ?
END OF CANTO I.