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“This common courage which with brutes we share, “That owes its deadliest efforts to despair, 330 “Small merit claims-but 'twas my nobler hope “To teach my few with numbers still to cope; “Long have I led them-not to vainly bleed : “No medium now-we perish or succeed! “So let it be-it irks not me to die;
335 “But thus to urge them whence they cannot ily. “My lot hath long had little of my care, “But chafes my pride thus baffled in the snare: “ Is this my skill? my craft? to set at last “Hope, power, and life, upon a single cast? “Oh, Fate!-accuse thy folly, not thy fate “She may redeem thee still nor yet too late.”
XIV. Thus with himself communion held he, till He reach'd the summit of his tower-crown'd hill : There at the portal paused-for wild and soft 545 He heard those accents never heard too oft; Through the high lattice far yet sweet they rung, And these the notes his bird of beauty sung!
“ Deep in my soul that tender secret dwells,
Lonely and lost to light for evermore,
Then trembles into silence as before.
6 There, in its centre, a sepulchral lamp
Burns the slow flame, eternal---but unseen; Which not the darkness of despair can damp,
Though vain its ray as it had never been.
Without one thought whose relics there recline:
“ My fondest---faintest---latest---accents hear:
Grief for the dead not Virtue can reprove; Then give me all I ever ask'd---a tear,
The first---last---sole reward of so much love !"
He pass’d the portal---cross’d the corridore, 365 And reach'd the chamber as the strain gave o’er: “My own Medora ! sure thy song is sad—”
" In Conrad's absence wouldst thou have it glad ? “ Without thine ear to listen to my lay, " Still must my song my thoughts, my soul betray: 370 “ Still must each accent to my bosom suit, “My heart unhush'd---although my lips were mute! “Oh! many a night on this lone couch reclined, “My dreaming fear with storms hath wing’d the wind,
“ And deem'd the breath that faintly fann'd thy sail « The murmuring prelude of the ruder gale; 375 “ Though soft, it seem'd the low prophetic dirge, . " That mourn'd thee floating on the savage surge: “ Still would I rise to rouse the beacon fire, “Lest spies less true should let the blaze expire; 380 “ And many a restless hour outwatch'd each star, “ And morning came---and still thou wert afar. “ Oh! how the chill blast on my bosom blew, “ And day broke dreary on my troubled view, “ And still I gazed and gazed---and not a prow 385 “ Was granted to my tears---my truth---my vow! “ At length---'twas noon--- I haild and blest the mast “ That met my sight---it near’d---Alas! it past! “Another came --Oh God! 'twas thine at last! ,395 “ Would that those days were over! wilt thou ne'er, “ My Conrad ! learn the joys of peace to share? “ Sure thou hast more than wealth, and many a home “ As bright as this invites us not to roam: “ Thou know'st it is not peril that I fear, “I only tremble when thou art not here; “ Then not for mine, but that far dearer life, “ Which flies from love and languishes for strife“ How strange that heart, to me so tender still, “ Should war with nature and its better will !” 399
« Without one hope on earth beyond thy love, 66 And scarce a glimpse of mercy from above. 6 Yet the same feeling which thou dost condemn, “ My very love to thee is hate to them, 405 “ So closely mingling here, that disentwined, “ I cease to love thee when I love mankind : “ Yet dread not this—the proof of all the past - Assures the future that my love will last; “ But-Oh, Medora! nerve thy gentler heart, 410 “ This hour again—but not for long-we part.”
“ This hour we part!--my heart foreboded this: “ Thus ever fade my fairy dreams of bliss.
This hour-it cannot be this hour away! “ Yon bark hath hardly anchor'd in the bay: 415 “ Her consort still is absent, and her crew “ Have need of rest before they toil anew; “ My love! thou mock’st my weakness; and would'st
6 steel “ My breast before the time when it must feel;
But trifle now no more with my distress, 420 “ Such mirth hath less of play than bitterness. “ Be silent, Conrad !_dearest! come and share “ The feast these hands delighted to prepare ; “ Light toil! to cull and dress thy frugal fare ! " See, I have pluck'd the fruit that promised best, 425 " And were not sure, perplex'd, but pleased, I guess'd * At such as seem'd the fairest: thrice the hill * My steps have wound to try the coolest rill;
“ Yes! thy Sherbet to-night will sweetly flow, “ See how it sparkles in its vase of snow! 430 “ The grapes' gay juice thy bosom never cheers; “ Thou more than Moslem when the cup appears:
Think not I mean to chide-for 1 rejoice “ What others deem a penance is thy choice. “ But come, the board is spread; our silver lamp 435 6 Is trimm'd, and heeds not the Sirocco's damp: " Then shall my handmaids wbile the time along, “ And join with me the dance, or wake the song; “ Or my guitar, which still thou lov'st to hear, “ Shall soothe or lull-or, should it vex thine ear 440 “ We'll turn the tale, by Ariosto told, “ Of fair Olympia loved and left of old. (1) “ Why-thou wert worse than he who broke his vow “ To that lost damsel, shouldst thou leave me now; “ Or even that traitor chief-I've seen thee smile, 445
When the clear sky showed Ariadne’s Isle, " Which I have pointed from these cliffs the while: " And thus, half sportive, half in fear, I said, “ Lest Time should raise that doubt to more than
dread, “ Thus Conrad, too, will quit me for the main : 450 " And he deceived me-for-he came again !"
“ Again-again-and oft again-my love!