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Which knows no neuter, owns but foes] All now was ripe, he waits but to proclaim That slavery nothing which was still a name. The moment came, the hour when Otho

or friends;

Fix'd in his feudal fortress each was lord,
In word and deed obey'd, in soul abhorr'd.
Thus Lara had inherited his lands,
And with them pining hearts and sluggish

But that long absence from his native clime
Had left him stainless of oppression's crime,
And now diverted by his milder sway,
All dread by slow degrees had worn away:
The menials felt their usual awe alone,
But more for him than them that fear was

They deem'd him now unhappy, though at first


Secure at last the vengeance which he sought:

His summons found the destined criminal Begirt by thousands in his swarming hall, Fresh from their feudal fetters newly riven, Defying earth, and confident of heaven. That morning he had freed the soil-bound slaves

Who dig no land for tyrants but their graves! Such is their cry-some watchword for the fight

Their evil judgment augur'd of the worst, Must vindicate the wrong, and warp the And each long restless night, and silent



Religion-freedom-vengeance—what you


Was traced to sickness, fed by solitude:
And though his lonely habits threw of late A word's enough to raise mankind to kill:
Gloom o'er his chamber, cheerful was his Some factious phrase by cunning caught
and spread,

gate; For thence the wretched ne'er unsoothed withdrew,

For them, at least, his soul compassion knew.

Cold to the great, contemptuous to the high, The humble pass'd not his unheeding eye; Much he would speak not, but beneath his roof

They found asylum oft, and ne'er reproof. And they who watch'd might mark that day by day

Some new retainers gather'd to his sway; But most of late, since Ezzelin was lost, He play'd the courteous lord and bounteous host: Perchance his strife with Otho made him dread

Some snare prepared for his obnoxious head; Whate'er his view, his favour more obtains With these, the people, than his fellowthanes.

If this were policy, so far 'twas sound, The million judged but of him as they found;

From him by sterner chiefs to exile driven They but required a shelter, and 'twas given. By him no peasant mourn'd his rifled cot, And scarce the Serf could murmur o'er his lot;

With him old avarice found his hoard

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That guilt may reign, and wolves and worms be fed!

Throughout that clime the feudal chiefs had gain'd

Such sway, their infant-monarch hardly reign'd;

Now was the hour for faction's rebel growth, The Serfs contemned the one, and hated both :

They waited but a leader, and they found
One to their cause inseparably bound;
By circumstance compell❜d to plunge again,
In self-defence, amidst the strife of men.
Cut off by some mysterious fate from those
Whom birth and nature meant not for his

Had Lara from that night, to him accurst,
Prepared to meet, but not alone, the worst:
Some reason urged, whate'er it was, to shun
Inquiry into deeds at distance done;
By mingling with his own the cause of all,
E'en if he fail'd, he still delay'd his fall.
The sullen calm that long his bosom kept,
The storm that once had spent itself and

Roused by events that seem'd foredoom'd
to urge
His gloomy fortunes to their utmost verge,
Burst forth, and made him all he once had

And is again; he only changed the scene. Light care had he for life, and less for fame,

But not less fitted for the desperate game: He deem'd himself mark'd out for others' hate,

And mock'd at ruin so they shared his fate.

What cared he for the freedom of the crowd?

He raised the humble but to bend the proud.
He had hoped quiet in his sullen lair,
But man and destiny beset him there:

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It is resolved-they march-consenting
Guides with her star their dim and torchless

Already they perceive its tranquil beam
Sleep on the surface of the barrier-stream;
Already they descry-Is yon the bank?
Away! 'tis lined with many a hostile rank.
Return or fly!-What glitters in the rear?
'Tis Otho's banner-the pursuer's spear!
Are those the shepherds' fires upon the

Alas! they blaze too widely for the flight:
Cut off from hope, and compass'd in the toil,
Less blood perchance hath bought a richer

A moment's pause, 'tis but to breathe their band,

Fresh with the nerve the new-born im- Or shall they onward press, or here with

pulse strung,



Some few, perchance, may break and pass the line,

The first success to Lara's numbers clung: It matters little-if they charge the foes
But that vain victory hath ruin'd all,
Who by the border-stream their march
They form no longer to their leader's call ;
In blind confusion on the foe they press,
And think to snatch is to secure success.
The lust of booty, and the thirst of hate,
Lure on the broken brigands to their fate;
In vain he doth whate'er a chief may do,
To check the headlong fury of that crew;
In vain their stubborn ardour be would tame,

The hand that kindles cannot quench the
The wary foe alone hath turn'd their mood,
And shown their rashness to that erring


The feign'd retreat, the nightly ambuscade,
The daily harras, and the fight delay'd,
The long privation of the hoped supply,
The tentless rest beneath the humid sky,
The stubborn wall that mocks the leaguer's

And palls the patience of his baffled heart,
Of these they had not deem'd: the battle-day
They could encounter as a veteran may,
But more preferr'd the fury of the strife,
And present death to hourly suffering life:

However link'd to baffle such design.
"The charge be ours! to wait for their


Were fate well worthy of a coward's halt."
Forth flies each sabre, rein'd is every steed,
And the next word shall scarce outstrip the


In the next tone of Lara's gathering breath
How many shall but hear the voice of death!

His blade is bared, in him there is an air
As deep, but far too tranquil for despair;
A something of indifference more than then
Becomes the bravest, if they feel for men-
He turn'd his eye on Kaled, ever near,
And still too faithful to betray one fear;
Perchance 'twas but the moon's dim twilight

Along his aspect an unwonted hue
Of mournful paleness, whose deep tint

remain'd, The heel that urged him and the hand that rein'd;

The truth, and not the terror of his breast. | And near yet quivering with what life
This Lara mark'd, and laid his hand on his :
It trembled not in such an hour as this;
His lip was silent, scarcely beat his heart,
His eye alone proclaim'd," We will not part!
Thy band may perish, or thy friends may


Farewell to life, but not adieu to thee!"

The word hath pass'd his lips, and onward

driven, Pours the link'd band through ranks asunder riven; Well has each steed obey'd the armed heel, And flash the scimitars, and rings the steel; Outnumber'd, not outbraved, they still


Despair to daring, and a front to foes;
And blood is mingled with the dashing


Which runs all redly till the morning beam.

Commanding, aiding, animating all, Where foe appear'd to press, or friend to fall, Cheers Lara's voice, and waves or strikes his steel,

Inspiring hope, himself had ceased to feel. None fled, for well they knew that flight were vain ;

But those that waver turn to smite again, While yet they find the firmest of the foe Recoil before their leader's look and blow: Now girt with numbers, now almost alone, He foils their ranks, or reunites his own; Himself he spared not-once they seem'd to fly

Now was the time, he waved his hand on high,

And shook—why sudden droops that plumed


The shaft is sped-the arrow's in his breast! That fatal gesture left the unguarded side, And Death hath stricken down yon arm of pride.

The word of triumph fainted from his
That hand, so raised, how droopingly it

But yet the sword instinctively retains,
Though from its fellow shrink the falling
These Kaled snatches: dizzy with the blow,
And senseless bending o'er his saddle-bow,
Perceives not Lara that his anxious page
Beguiles his charger from the combat's rage:
Meantime his followers charge, and charge

Too mix'd the slayers now to heed the slain!

Day glimmers on the dying and the dead, The cloven cuirass, and the helmless head; The war-horse masterless is on the earth, And that last gasp hath burst his bloody girth;

And some too near that rolling torrent lie, Whose waters mock the lip of those that die; That panting thirst which scorches in the breath

Of those that die the soldier's fiery death, In vain impels the burning mouth to crave One drop-the last-to cool it for the grave; With feeble and convulsive effort swept, Their limbs along the crimson'd turf have crept;

The faint remains of life such struggles


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Beneath a lime, remoter from the scene, Where but for him that strife had never been,

A breathing but devoted warrior lay: "Twas Lara bleeding fast from life away. His follower once, and now his only guide, And with his scarf would staunch the tides Kneels Kaled watchful o'er his welling side, that rush,

With each convulsion, in a blacker gush; In feebler, not less fatal tricklings flow: And then, as his faint breathing waxes low, He scarce can speak, but motions him 'tis vain,

He clasps the hand that pang which would And merely adds another throb to pain.

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And turns to Kaled :-each remaining word, | And Kaled, though he spoke not, nor
They understood not, if distinctly heard;
His dying tones are in that other tongue,
To which some strange remembrance wildly

They spake of other scenes, but what-is known

To Kaled, whom their meaning reach'd alone;

And he replied, though faintly, to their sound,

While gazed the rest in dumb amazement


They seem'd even then-that twain- unto the last

From Lara's face his fix'd despairing view,
With brow repulsive, and with gesture swift,
Flung back the hand which held the sacred
As if such but disturb'd the expiring man,
Nor seem'd to know his life but then began,
That life of immortality, secure
To uone, save them whose faith in Christ

is sure.

But gasping heaved the breath that Lara drew, And dull the film along his dim eye grew; His limbs stretch'd fluttering, and his head droop'd o'er Whose darkness none beside should pene- He press'd the hand he held upon his heartThe weak yet still untiring knee that bore;

To half forget the present in the past;
To share between themselves some separate


Their words, though faint, were many— from the tone

It beats no more, but Kaled will not part With the cold grasp, but feels, and feels in vain,

For that faint throb which answers not again. Their import those who heard could judge It beats!"-Away, thou dreamer! he is

Kaled's death

From this, you might have deem'd young

More near than Lara's by his voice and

So sad, so deep, and hesitating broke
The accents his scarce-moving pale lips
spoke ;
But Lara's voice though low,at first was clear
And calm, till murmuring death gasp'd
hoarsely near:
But from his visage little could we guess,
So unrepentant, dark, and passionless,
Save that when struggling nearer to his last,
Upon that page his eye was kindly cast;
And once as Kaled's answering accents ceast,
Rose Lara's hand, and pointed to the East:
Whether (as then the breaking sun from high
Roll'd back the clouds) the morrow caught

his eye,
Or that 'twas chance, or some remember'd


That raised his arm to point where such
had been,
Scarce Kaled seem'd to know, but turn'd

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He gazed, as if not yet had pass'd away
The haughty spirit of that humble clay;
And those around have roused him from his

But cannot tear from thence his fixed glance;
And when in raising him from where he bore
Within his arms the form that felt no more,
He saw the head his breast would still

Roll down like earth to earth upon the plain;
He did not dash himself thereby, nor tear
The glossy tendrils of his raven-hair,
But strove to stand and gaze, but reel'd
and fell.

Scarce breathing more than that he loved

so well.
Than that he loved! Oh! never yet beneath
The breast of man such trusty love may

That trying moment hath at once reveal'd
The secret long and yet but half conceal'd;
In baring to revive that lifeless breast,
Its grief seem'd ended, but the sex confest;
And life return'd, and Kaled felt no shame-
What now to her was Womanhood or Fame!

And Lara sleeps not where his fathers

sleep, But where he died his grave was dug as deep; Nor is his mortal slumber less profound, Though priest nor bless'd, nor marble deck'd the mound;

And he was mourn'd by one whose quiet

Less loud, outlasts a people's for their chief.
Vain was all question ask'd her of the past,
And vain even menace-silent to the last;

She told nor whence, nor why she left Heaved up the bank, behind

Her all for one who seem'd but little kind.
Why did she love him? Curious fool!-be

Is human love the growth of human will?
To her he might be gentleness; the stern
Have deeper thoughts than your dull eyes

And when they love, your smilers guess
not how

Beats the strong heart, though less the lips avow.

They were not common links, that form'd
the chain

That bound to Lara Kaled's heart and brain;
But that wild tale she brook'd not to unfold,
And seal'd is now each lip that could have

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and dash'd it from the shore,

Then paused, and look'd, and turn'd, and
seem'd to watch,
And still another hurried glance would
And follow with his step the stream that

As if even yet too much its surface show'd:
At once he started, stoop'd; -around him


The winter floods had scatter'd heaps of stone;

Of these the heaviest thence he gather'd there,

And slung them with a more than common


Meantime the Serf had crept to where


Himself might safely mark what this might


He caught a glimpse, as of a floating breast,
But ere he well could mark the buoyant
And something glitter'd starlike on the vest,

A massy fragment smote it, and it sunk :
It rose again but indistinct to view,
And left the waters of a purple hue,
Then deeply disappear'd: the horseman

Till ebb'd the latest eddy it had raised
Then turning, vaulted on his pawing steed,
And instant spurr'd him into panting speed.
His face was mask'd-the features of the

If dead it were, escaped the observer's dread;

But if in sooth a star its bosom bore,
Such is the badge that knighthood ever


And such 'tis known Sir Ezzelin had worn
Upon the night that led to such a morn.
If thus he perish'd, Heaven receive his

His undiscover'd limbs to ocean roll;
And charity upon the hope would dwell
It was not Lara's hand by which he fell.

And Kaled-Lara-Ezzelin, are gone,

Pass'd by the river that divides the plain
Of Otho's lands and Lara's broad domain :
He heard a tramp—a horse and horseman | Alike without their monumental stone!

From out the wood-before him was a
Wrapt round some burthen at his saddle
Bent was his head, and hidden was his

Roused by the sudden sight at such a time,
And some foreboding that it might be crime,
Himself unheeded watch'd the stranger's


Who reach'd the river, bounded from his horse,

And lifting thence the burthen which he bore,

The first, all efforts vainly strove to wean
From lingering where her chieftain's blood
had been;

Grief had so tamed a spirit once too proud,
Her tears were few, her wailing never loud;
But furious would you tear her from the

Where yet she scarce believed that he was


Her eye shot forth with all the living fire
That haunts the tigress in her whelpless ire;
But left to waste her weary moments there,
She talk'd all idly unto shapes of air,
Such as the busy brain of sorrow paints.
And woos to listen to her fond complaints:

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