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be a very repulsive personage; and as to his iden
II. tity, those who like it must give him whatever Such were the notes that from the pirate's isle "alias" they please.
Around the kindling watch-fire rang the while; If, however, it were worth while to remove the Such were the sounds that thrill’d the rocks along, impression, it might be of some service to me, that And unto ears as rugged seem'd a song! the man who is alike the delight of his readers and in scatter'd groups upon the golden sand, his friends, the poet of all circles, and the idol of They game-carouse-converse-or whet the brand; his own, permits me here and elsewhere to subscribe Select the arms—to each his blade assign, myself,
And careless eye the blood that dims its shine;
Repair the boat, replace the helm or oar,
While others straggling muse along the shore:
BYRON. Or spread beneath the sun the dripping net;
Gaze where some distant sail a speck supplies,
No matter where their chief's allotment this;
Theirs, to believe no prey nor plan amiss.
Is famed and fear'd-they ask and know no more. nessun maggior dolore,
With these he mingles not but to command;
Few are his words, but keen his eye and hand.
Ne'er for his lip the purpling cup they fill,
That goblet passes him un tasted still
Would that, in turn, have pass'd untasted too; Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam,
Earth's coarsest bread, the garden's homeliest roots Survey our empire, and behold our home!
And scarce the summer luxury of fruits, These are our realms, no limits to their sway His short repast in humbleness supply Our flag the sceptre all who meet obey.
With all a hermit's board would scarce deny. Ours the wild life in tumult still to range
But while he shuns the grosser joys of sense, From toil to rest, and joy in every change.
His mind seems nourish'd by that abstinence. Oh, who can tell! not thou, luxurious slave!
“Steer to that shore !”--they sail. “Do this!"Whose soul would sicken o'er the heaving wave:
'tis done :
“ A sail !-a sail!”-a promised prize to hope ; That seeks what cravens shun with more than zeal, No prize, alas !—but yet a welcome sail :
Her nation-flag--how speaks the telescope ? And where the feebler faint-can only feelFeel-to the rising hosom's inmost core,
The blood-red signal glitters in the gale. Its hope awaken and its spirits soar?
Yes-she is ours-a home-returning barkNo dread of death-if with us die our foes
Blow fair, thou breeze !-she anchors ere the dark. Save that it seems even duller than repose :
Already doubled is the cape our bay Come when it will-we snatch the life of life
Receives that prow which proudly spurns the spray When lost-what recks it-by disease or strife?
How gloriously her gallant course she goes! Let him who crawls enamor'd of decay
Her white wings flying-never from her foesCling to his couch, and sicken years away;
She walks the waters like a thing of life, Heave his thick breath, and shake his palsied head; And seems to dare the elements to strife. Ours—the fresh turf, and not the feverish bed.
Who would not brave the battle-fire-the wreckWhile gasp by gasp he falters forth his soul,
To move the monarch of her peopled deck ? Onrs with one pang-one bound-escapes control.
IV. His corse may boast its urn and narrow cave, Hoarse o'er her side the rustling cable rings; And they who loathed his life may gild his grave: The sails are furl'd; and anchoring round she swings Ours are the tears, though few, sincerely shed, And gathering loiterers on the land discern When ocean shrouds and sepulckres our dead. Her boat descending from the latticed stern. For us, even banqucts fond regret supply 'Tis mann'd--the oars keep concert to the strand, In the red cup that crowns our memory ;
Till grates her keel upon the shallow sand. And the brief epitaph in danger's day,
Hail to the welcome shout!--the friendly speech! When those who win at length divide the prey, When hand grasps hand uniting on the beach; And cry, remembrance saddening o'er each brow, The smile, the question, and the quick reply, How had the brave who fell exulted now !” And the heart's promise of festivity!
This let the Arme rer with speed dispose ;
Mark that the signal-gun be duly fired,
They make obeisance, and retire in haste,
Too soon to seek again the watery waste :
Yet they repine not-so that Conrad guides,
And who dare question aught that he decides?
That man of loneliness and mystery,
Scarce seen to smile, and seldom heard to sigh;
Whose name appals the fiercest of his crew,
And tints each swarthy cheek with sallower hue; “Where is our chief? for him we bear report
Still sways their souls with that commanding art And doubt that joy—which hails our coming-short; That dazzles, leads, yet chills the vulgar heart. Yet thus sincere 'tis cheering, though so brief;
What is that spell, that thus his lawless train
Confess and envy, yet oppose in vain?
What should it be, that thus their fate can bind ?
The power of Thought-the magic of the Mind ! Ascending slowly by the rock-hewn way,
Link'd with success, assumed and kept with skill,
That moulds another's weakness to its will;
Wields with their hands, but, still to these unknown,
Makes even their mightiest deeds appear his own.
The many still must labor for the one!
'Tis Nature's doom-but let the wretch who toils, What lonely straggler looks along the wave?
Accuse not, hate not him who wears the spoils. In pensive posture leaning on the brand,
Oh! if he knew the weight of splendid chains, Not oft a resting-staff to that red hand ?
How light the balance of his humbler pains !
Demons in act, but Gods at least in face,
No giant frame sets forth his common height;
Yet, in the whole, who paused to look again,
Saw more than marks the crowd of vulgar men ;
They gaze and marvel how-and still confess
That thus it is, but why they cannot guess.
Sunburnt his cheek, his forehead high and pale
And oft perforce his rising lip reveals
The haughtier thought it curbs, but scarce conceals.
Still seems there something he would not have scen;
His features' deepening lines and varying hue
At times attracted, yet perplex'd the view,
As if within that murkiness of mind
Work'd feelings fearful, and yet undefined;
Such might it be—that none could truly tell
Too close inquiry his stern glance would quell. He read the scroll-"My tablets, Juan, hark
There breathe but few whose aspect might defy Where is Gonsalvo ?”
The full encounter of his searching eye: “In the anchor’d bark.” He had the skill, when Cunning's gaze would seek
To probe his heart and watch his changing cheek, "There let him stay--to him this order bear
At once the observer's purpose to espy,
Lest he to Conrad rather should betray
Some secret thought, than drag that chief's to day “ To night, Lord Conrad ?"
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 led—and Mercy sigh'd farewell!
Love shows all changes-Hate, Ambition, Guile, Though many a beauty droop'd in prison'd bower, Betray no further than the bitter smile;
None ever soothed his most unguarded hour. The lip's least curl, the lightest paleness thrown Yes—it was Love-if thoughts of tenderness, Along the govern'd aspect, speak alone
Tried in temptation, strengthened by distress, Of deeper passions; and to judge their mien, Unmoved by absence, firm in every clime, He, who would see, must be himself unseen. And yet-Oh more than all !-untired by time; Then with the hurried tread, the upward eye, Which nor defeated hope, nor baffled wile, The clenched hand, the pause of agony,
Could render sullen were she near to smile,
He paused a moment-till his hastening men
Pass'd the first winding downward to the glen. Yet was not Conrad thus by Nature sent
“Strange tidings !--many a peril have I past, To lead the guilty-guilt's worst instrument
Nor know I why this next appears the last ! His soul was changed, before his deeds had driven
Yet so my heart forebodes, but must not fear, Him forth to war with man and forfeit heaven.
Nor shall my followers find me falter here. Warp'd by the world in Disappointment's school,
'Tis rash to meet, but surer death to wait In words too wise, in conduct there a fool;
Till here they hunt us to undoubted fate; Too firm to yield, and far too proud to stoop,
And, if my plan but hold, and Fortune smile, Doom'd by his very virtues for a dupe,
We'll furnish mourners for our funeral-pile. He cursed those virtues as the cause of ill,
Ay-let them slumber-peaceful be their dreams! And the traitors who betray'd him still ;
Morn ne'er awoke them with such brilliant beams Nor deem'd that gifts bestow'd on better men
As kindle high to-night (but blow, thou breeze !) Had left him joy, and means to live again. Fear'd-shunn'd-belied—ere youth had lost her Now to Medora-Oh! my sinking heart,
To warm these slow avengers of the seas. force, He hated man too much to feel remorse,
Long may her own be lighter than thou art!
Yet was I brave-mean boast where all are brave! And thought the voice of wrath a sacred cam,
Ev'n insects sting for aught they seek to save. To pay the injuries of some on all.
This common courage which with brutes we share He knew himself a villain-but he deem'd
That owes its deadliest efforts to despair, The rest no better than the thing he seem'd;
Small merit claims—but 'twas my nobler hope And scorn'd the best as hypocrites who hid
To teach my few with numbers still to cope;
Long have I led them-uot to vainly bleed:
No medium now-we perish or succeed !
But thus to urge them whence they cannot fly. Lone, wild, and strange, he stood alike exempt
My lot hath long had little of my care, From all affection and from all contempt:
But chafes my pride thus baffled in the snare: His name could sadden, and his acts surprise ;
Is this my skill? my craft ? to set at last But they that fear'd him dared not to despise :
Hope, power, and life upon a single cast? Man spurns the worm, but pauses ere he wake
Oh, Fate !-accuse thy folly, not thy fateThe slumbering venom of the folded snake:
She may redeem thee still-nor yet too late." 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,
XIV. And he may crush-not conquer-still it stings !
Thus with himself communion held he, till
He reach'd the summit of his tower-crown'd hill: XII.
There at the portal paused-for wild and soft None are all evil-quickening round his heart, He heard those accents never heard too oft; One softer feeling would not yet depart;
Through the high lattice far yet sweet they rung, Oft could he sneer at others as beguiled
And these the notes his bird of beauty sung: 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!
1. Yes, it was love-unchangeable unchanged, " Deep in my soul that tender secret dwells, Felt but for one from whom he never ranged; Lonely and lost to light for evermore, Though fairest captives daily met his eye, Save when to thine my heart responsive swells, He shunn'd nor sought, but coldly pass'd them by;! Then trembles into silence as before.