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The rugged metal of the mine
If solitude succeed to grief,
And shudder, as the reptiles creep
To still her famish'd nestlings' scream,
Are rapture to the dreary void,
The waste of feelings unemploy'd.
“ Father! thy days have pass'd in peace,
“ 'Mid counted beads, and countless prayer; “ To bid the sins of others cease,
“ Thyself without a crime or care,
“ Save transient ills that all must bear, 975 “ Has been thy lot from youth to age; " And thou wilt bless thee from the rage “ Of passions fierce and uncontroll’d, 6 Such as thy penitents unfold, " Whose secret sins and sorrows rest
980 “ Within thy pure and pitying breast. “ My days, though few, have pass'd below “In much of joy, but more of wo; “ Yet still in hours of love or strife, “ I've 'scaped the weariness of life:
985 “Now leagued with friends, now girt by foes, “ I loathed the languor of repose. “ Now nothing left to love or hate, “ No more with hope or pride elate, “ I'd rather be the thing that crawls
990 “ Most noxious o'er a dungeon's walls, “ Than pass my dull, unvarying days, “ Condemn'd to meditate and gaze. “ Yet, lurks a wish within my breast “For rest—but not to feel 'tis rest.
995 “ Soon shall my fate that wish fulfil;
“And I shall sleep without the dream “ Of what I was, and would be still,
“ Dark as to thee my deeds may seem : « My memory pow is but the tomb
1000 “ Of joys long dead; my hope, their doom: “ Though better to have died with those “ Than bear a life of lingering woes.
“ My spirit shrunk not to sustain “ The searching throes of ceaseless pain; 1005 “Nor sought the self-accorded grave “ Of ancient fool and modern knave: “ Yet death I have not fear'd to meet; " And in the field it had been sweet, “ Had danger woo'd me on to move
1010 “ The slave of glory, not of love. “ I've braved it—not for honour's boast; " I smile at laurels won or lost; - To such let others carve their way, - For high renown, or hireling pay:
1015 “ But place again before my eyes “ Aught that I deem a worthy prize; “ The maid I love, the man I hate, “ And I will hunt the steps of fate, “ To save or slay, as these require, “ Through rending steel, and rolling fire; “ Nor need'st thou doubt this speech from one “ Who would but do-what he hath done. “ Death is but what the haughty brave, “The weak must bear, the wretch must crave; 1025 “ Then let Life go to him who gave: “ I have not quail'd to danger's brow - When high and happy-need I now ?
* * * * * *
- I loved her, friar! nay, adored
But these are words that all can use
“ I proved it more in deed than word;
“ A stain its steel can never lose:
“ It warm'd the heart of one abhorr’d: 1035 “ Nay, start not-no-nor bend thy knee,
“ Nor midst my sins such act record; “ Thou wilt absolve me from the deed, “ For he was hostile to thy creed ! “ The very name of Nazarene
1040 “ Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen. “ Ungrateful fool! since but for brands 66 Well wielded in some hardy hands, “ And wounds by Galileans given, “ The surest pass to Turkish heaven, “ For him his Houris still might wait “ Impatient at the prophet's gate. - I loved her-love will find its way “ Through paths where wolves would fear to prey, “ And if it dares enough, 'twere hard
1050 “ If passion met not some reward“ No matter how, or where, or why, “ I did not vainly seek, nor sigh: “ Yet sometimes, with remorse, in vain “I wish she had not loved again.
1055 “ She died—I dare not tell thee how; “But look—'tis written on my brow! “ There read of Cain the curse and crime, • In characters unworn by time: