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Lest he to Conrad rather should betray
Some secret thought, than drag that chief's to day.
There was a laughing Devil in his sneer,
That raised emotions both of rage and fear,
And where his frown of hatred darkly fell,
Hope withering fed.and Mercy sigh'd farewell!
Slight are the outward signs of evil thoughty
Within-within--'twas there the spirit wrought !
Love shows all changes_Hate, Ambition, Guile,
Betray no further than the bitter smile ;
The lip's least curl, the lightest paleness thrown
Along the govern'd aspect, speak alone
Of deeper passions, and to judge their mien,
He, who would see, must be himself unseen.
Then—with the hurried tread, the upward eye,
The clenched hand, the pause of agony,
That listens, starting, lest the step too near
Approach intrusive on that mood of fear :
Then—with each feature working from the heart,
With feelings loosed to strengthen—not depart:
That rise-convulse-contend--that freeze, or glow,
Flush in the cheek, or damp upon the brow;
Then-Stranger ! if thou canst, and tremblest not,
Behold his soul-the rest that soothes his lot!
Mark-how that lone and blighted bosom sears
The scathing thought of execrated years !
Behold—but who hath seen, or e'er shall see,
Man as himself-the secret spirit free?
Yet was not Conrad thus by Nature sent To lead the guilty-guilt's worst instrumentHis soul was changed, before his deeds had driven Him forth to war with man and forfeit heaven. Warp'd by the world in Disappointment's school, In words too wise, in conduct there a fool;
Too firm to yield, and far too proud to stoop,
Doom'd by his very virtues for a dupe,
He cursed those virtues as the cause of ill,
And not the traitors who betray'd him still;
Nor deem'd that gifts bestow'd on better men
Had left him joy, and means to give again.
Fear'd-shunned_belied_ere youth had lost her
He hated man too much to feel remorse, (force,
And thought the voice of wrath a sacred call,
To pay the injuries of some on all.
He knew himself a villain_but he deem'd
The rešt no better than the thing he seem’d,
And scorn'd the best as hypocrites who hid
Those deeds the bolder spirit plainly did.
He knew himself detested, but he knew
The hearts that loath'd him, crouch'd and dreaded too.
Lont, wild, and strange, he stood alike exempt
From all affection, and from all contempt:
His name could sadden, and his acts surprise ;
But they that fear'd him dared not to despise :
Man spurns the worm, but pauses ere he wake
The slumbering venom of the folded snake;
The first may turn—but not avenge the blow;
The last expires—but leaves no living foe;
Fast to the doom'd offender's form it clings,
And he may crush—not conquer-still it stings !
None are all evil-quickening round his heart,
One softer feeling would not yet depart ;
Oft would he sneer at others as beguiled
By passions worthy of a fool or child;
Yet 'gainst that passion vainly still he strove,
And even in him it asks the name of Love !
Yes, it was love_unchangeable_unchanged,
Felt but for one from whom he never ranged ;
Though fairest captives daily met his eye,
He shunned, nor sought, but coldly pass'd them by ;
Though many a beauty droop'd in prison'd bower,
None ever soothed his most unguarded hour.
Yes it was Love-if thoughts of tenderness,
Tried in temptation, strengthen’d by distress,
Unmoved by absence, firm in every clime,
And yet-Oh more than all !untired by time;
Which nor defeated hope, nor baffled wile,
Could render sullen were she near to smile,
Nor rage could fire, nor sickness fret to vent
On her one murmur of his discontent;
Which still would meet with joy, with calmness part,
Lest that his look of grief should reach her heart;
Which nought removed, nor menaced to remove-
If there be love in mortals, this was love!
He was a villain—ay—reproaches shower
On him_but not the passion, nor its power,
Which only proved all other virtues gone,
Not guilt itself could quench this loveliest one !
A kind of sleepy Venus seemed Dudù,
Yet very fit to “ murder sleep” in those Who gazed upon her cheek's transcendant hue,
Her Attic forehead, and her Phidian nose: Few angles were there in her form, 'tis true,
Thinner she might have been and yet scarce lose; Yet, after all, 'twould puzzle to say where It would not spoil some separate charm to pare. She was not violently lively, but
Stole on your spirits like a May-day breaking ; Her eyes were not too sparkling, yet, half-shut,
They put beholders in a tender taking;
She looked (this simile's quite new) just cut
From marble, like Pigmalion's statue waking,
The mortal and the marble still at strife,
And timidly expanding into life.
Dudù, as has been said, was a sweet creature,
Not very dashing, but extremely winning, With the most regulated charms of feature,
Which painters cannot catch like faces sinning
Against proportion—the wild strokes of nature
Which they hit off at once in the beginning,
Full of expression, right or wrong, that strike,
And pleasing or unpleasing, still are like.
But she was a soft Landscape of mild Earth,
Where all was harmony, and calm, and quiet ;
Luxuriant, budding; cheerful, without mirth,
Which, if not happiness, is much more nigh it Than are your mighty passions and so forth, [try it.
Which some call “ the sublime:" I wish they'd I've seen your stormy seas, and stormy women, And pity lovers rather more than seamen, But she was pensive more than melancholy,
And serious more than pensive, and serene, It may be, more than either—not unholy
Her thoughts, at least till now, appear to have been. The strangest thing was, beauteous, she was wholly
Unconscious, albeit turned of quick seventeen,
That she was fair, or dark, or short, or tall;
She never thought about herself at all.
Egeria! sweet creation of some heart
Which found no mortal resting-place so fair
As thine ideal breast; whate'er thou art
Or wert, a young Aurora of the air,
The nympholepsy of some fond despair ;
Or, it might be, a beauty of the earth,
Who found a more than common votary there,
Too much adoring; whatsoe'er thy birth,
Thou wert a beautiful thought, and softly bodied forth.
The mosses of thy fountain still are sprinkled
With thine Elysian water-drops ; the face
Of thy cave-guarded spring, with years unwrinkled,
Reflects the meek-eyed genius of the place,
Whose green, wild margin now no more erase
Art's works ; nor must the delicate waters sleep,
Prison’d in marble; bubbling from the base
Of the cleft statue, with a gentle leap [стеер The rill runs o'er, and round, fern, flowers, and ivy,
Fantastically tangled ; the green hills
Are clothed with early blossoms, through the grass
The quick-eyed lizard rustles, and the bills
Of summer-birds sing welcome as ye pass ;
Flowers fresh in hue, and many in their class,
Implore the pausing step, and with their dyes
Dance in the soft breeze in a fairy mass ;
The sweetness of the violet's deep-blue eyes, Kissed by the breath of heaven, seems colour'd by its
skies. Here didst thou dwell, in this enchanted cover, Egeria ! thy all heavenly bosom beating For the far footsteps of thy mortal lover ; The purple Midnight veil'd that mystic meeting With her most starry canopy, and seating Thyself by thine adorer, what befell? This cave was surely shaped out for the greeting