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“ Such as our Turkish neighbourhood
“ Hath mingled with our Polish blood, « Dark as above us is the sky; “ But through it stole a tender light, “ Like the first moonrise at midnight; “ Large, dark, and swimming in the stream, " Which seem'd to melt to its own beam; “ All love, half languor, and half fire, “ Like saints that at the stake expire, " And lift their raptured looks on high, “ As though it were a joy to die, “ A brow like a midsummer lake,
« Transparent with the sun therein, " When waves no murmur dare to make,
“And heaven beholds her face within. “ A cheek and lip—but why proceed?
" I loved her then I love her still; “ And such as I am, love indeed
« In fierce extremes-in good and ill. “ But still we love even in our rage, “. And haunted to our very age “ With the rain shadow of the past, “ As is Mazeppa to the last.
VI. “ We met—we gazed—I saw, and sigh’d, “ She did not speak, and yet replied;
“ There are ten thousand tones and signs “We hear and see, but none defines “ Involuntary sparks of thought, “ Which strike from out the heart o’erwrought, “ And form a strange intelligence, “ Alike mysterious and intense, “ Which link the burning chain that binds, 240 “ Without their will, young hearts and minds; “ Conveying, as the electric wire, “ We know not how, the absorbing fire.“ I saw, and sigh’d-in silence wept, .“ And still reluctant distance kept,
245 ,“ Until I was made known to her, “ And we might then and there confer “ Without suspicion—then, even then,
“ I long’d, and was resolved to speak; .“ But on my lips they died again,
250 “ The accents tremulous and weak, “ Until one hour.—There is a game,
“ A frivolous and foolish play,
“ Wherewith we while away the day; “ It is—I have forgot the name,
255 “ And we to this, it seems, were set, “By some strange chance, which I forget: “ I reck'd not if I won or lost,
“ It was enough for me to be
“ The being whom I loved the most.“ “ I watch'd her as a sentinel, “ (May ours this dark night watch as well!) .
“ Until I saw, and thus it was, # “ That she was pensive, nor perceived 265
“ Her occupation, nor was grieved “ Nor glad to lose or gain; but still “ Play'd on for hours, as if her will “Yet bound her to the place, though not “ That hers might be the winning lot. 270 “ Then through my brain the thought did pass “ Even as a flash of lightning there, “ That there was something in her air “ Which would not doom me to despair ; “. And on the thought my words broke forth, “ All incoherent as they were
276 “ Their eloquence was little worth,
But yet she listen'd—'tis enough-
280 “ And one refusal no rebuff.
VII. “ I loved, and was beloved again
“ They tell me, Sire, you never knew
“ Those gentle frailties; if 'tis true, “ I shorten all my joy or pain ;.
“ To you twould seem absurd as vain;
290 “ A chief of thousands, and could lead
“ Them on where each would foremost bleed; .“ But could not o'er myself evince “ The like control—But to resume: " I loved, and was beloved again;
295 “ In sooth, it is a happy doom,
“But yet where happiest ends in pain.“ We met in secret, and the hour “ Which led me to that lady's bower “ Was fiery Expectation's dower.
300 “ My days and nights were nothing all “ Except that hour, which doth recal “ In the long lapse from youth to age
“No other like itself—I'd give
“ The Ukraine back again to live “ It o'er once more and be a page, “ The happy page, who was the lord “ Of one soft heart, and his own sword, “ And had no other gem nor wealth “ Save nature's gift of youth and health. 310 “We met in secret-doubly sweet, • Some say, they find it so to meet;
“ I know not that I would have given
“My life but to have call'd her mine “ In the full view of earth and heaven; .. .“ For I did oft and long repine “ That we could only meet by stealth.
VIII. “For lovers there are many eyes,
“ And such there were on us;—the devil “ On such occasions should be civil
320 “ The devil!- I'm loth to do him wrong,
“ It might be some untoward saint, “ Who would not be at rest too long,
“ But to his pious bile gave vent“ But one fair night, some lurking spies 325 “ Surprised and seized us both. “ The Count was something more than wroth“ I was unarm'd; but if in steel, “ All cap-à-pie from head to heel, “ What 'gainst their numbers could I do?- 330 “ 'Twas near his castle, far away
“ From city or from succour near, “ And almost on the break of day; “ I did not think to see another,
“My moments seem'd reduced to few; 335 “ And with one prayer to Mary Mother,
• And, it may be, a saint or two,