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L A RA,

A TALE.

CANTO I.

B

LARA.

CANTO I.

I.

THE Serfs are glad through Lara's wide domain,
And Slavery half forgets her feudal chain;
He, their unhop'd, but unforgotten lord,
The long self-exiled chieftain is restored :
There be bright faces in the busy hall,
Bowls on the board, and banners on the wall;
Far chequering o'er the pictured window plays
The unwonted faggots' hospitable blaze;
And gay retainers gather round the hearth
With tongues all loudness, and with eyes all mirth.

10 II.

The chief of Lara is returned again :
And why had Lara cross’d the bounding main ?
Left by his sire, too young such loss to know,
Lord of himself;-that heritage of woe,
That fearful empire which the human breast
But holds to rob the heart within of rest!-
With none to check, and few to point in time
The thousand paths that slope the way to crime;
Then, when he most required commandment, then
Had Lara's daring boyhood govern'd men..
It skills not, boots not, step by step to trace
His youth through all the mazes of its race;
Short was the course his restlessness had run,
But long enough to leave him half undone.

20

III.

And Lara left in youth his father-land;
But from the hour he waved his parting hand
Each trace wax'd fainter of his course, till all
Had nearly ceased his memory to recall.

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