網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

own

But varying oft the colour of her cheek Oh! for a wing beyond the falcon's fight, To deeper shades of paleness—all its red To bear him like an arrow to that height! That fearful spot which stain'd it from the With the first pause the resting rowers gave,

dead!

He waits not - looks not-leaps into the wave, He took that hand-it trembled- know too Strives through the surge, bestrides the late

beach, and high So soft in love—so wildly nerved in hate; Ascends the path familiar to his eye. He clasp'd that hand - it trembled--and his Had lost its firmness, and his voice its tone.

He reach'd his turret-door – he paused – "Gulnare!"- but she replied not—"dear

no sound Gulnare!”

Broke from within; and all was night around. She raised her eye - her only answer there – He knock'd, and loudly-footstep nor reply At once she sought and sunk in his embrace:

Announced that any heard or deem'd him If he had driven her from that resting-place,

nigh; His had been more or less than mortal heart, He knock’d- but faintly- for his trembling

hand But-good or ill- it bade her not depart. Perchance, but for the bodings of his breast, Refused to aid his heavy heart's demand. His latest virtue then had join'd the rest.

The portal opens — 'tis a well known face

But not the form he panted to embrace; Yet even Medora might forgive the kiss That ask'd from form so fair no more than Its lips are silent - twice his own essay'd,

this,

And 'fail'd to frame the question they The first, the last that Frailty stole from

delay'd ; Faith He snatch'd the lamp-its light will answer

allTo lips where Love had lavish'd all his

breath,

It quits his grasp, expiring in the fall. To lips--whose broken sighs such fragrance lle would not wait for that reviving ray

fling,

As soon could he have linger'd there for day; As he had fann'd them freshly with his wing! But, glimmering through the dusky corri

dore,

Another chequers o'er the shadow'd floor; They gain by twilight's hour their lonely His steps the chamber gain - his eyes behold isle.

All that his heart believed not-yet foretold! To them the very rocks appear to smile; The haven hums with many a cheering He turn'd not-spoke not-sunk not-fix'd sound,

his look, The beacons blaze their wonted stations And set the anxious frame that lately shook :

round,

He gazed -- how long we gaze despite of pain, The boats are darting o'er the curly bay, And know, but dare not own, we gaze in vain! And sportive dolphins bend them through In life itself she was so still and fair,

That death with gentler aspect wither'd Even the hoarse sea-bird's shrill, discordant

there; shriek,

And the cold flowers her colder hand conGreets like the welcome of his tuneless beak!

tain'd, Beneath each lamp that through its lattice In that last grasp as tenderly were strain'd

gleams,

As if she scarcely felt, but feign'd a sleep, Their fancy paints the friends that trim And made it almost mockery yet to weep :

the beams. Oh! what can sanctify the joys of home,

The long dark lashes fringed her lids of Like Hope's gay glance from Ocean's trou- And veil'd – thought shrinks from all that bled foain?

Jurk'd below

Oh! o'er the eye death most exerts his might, The lights are high on beacon and from And hurls the spirit from her throne of bower,

light! And midst them Conrad seeks Medora's tower: Sinks those blue orbs in that long last eclipse, He looks in vain – 'tis strange--and all re- Bnt spares, as yet, the charm around her mark,

lipsAmid so many, hers alone is dark. Yet, yet they seem as they forbore to smile, T'is strange -- of yore its welcome nerer And wish'd repose -- but only for a while ;

fail'd

But the white shroud, and each extended Nor now, perchance, extinguish'd, only

tress, veil'd.

Long-fair. - but spread in utter lifelessness, With the first boat descends he for the which, late the sport of every summer-wind,

shore,

Escaped the baffled wreath that strove to And look. impatient on the lingering nar.

bind;

the spray ;

snow,

now

passid,

never soar:

till now,

learn ;

These- and the pale pure cheek, became On Grief's vain eye - the blindest of the the bier

blind! But she is nothing-wherefore is he here? Which may not - dare pot see - but turns

aside

To blackest shade-- nor will endure a guide! He ask'd no question - all were answer'd By the first glance on that still-marble

His heart was forin'd for softness – warp'd brow.

to wrong ; It was enough-she died - what reck'd it Betray'd too early, and beguiled too long; how ?

Each feeling pure

-as falls the dropping dew The love of youth, the hope of better years, Within the grot-like that had harden'd too; The source of softest wishes, tenderest fears, Less clear, perchance, its earthly trials The only living thing he could not hate, Was reft at once - and he deserved his fate, But sunk, and chillid, and petrified at last. But did not feel it less ;- the good explore, Yet tempests wear, and lightning cleaves For peace, those realms where guilt can

the rock;

If such his heart, so shatter'd it the shock. The proud – the wayward - who have fixa There grew one flower beneath its rugged below

brow, Their joy- and find this earth enough for Though dark the shade- it shelter'd - saved

woe, Lose in that one their all – perchance a The thunder came – that bolt hath blasted mite

both, But who in patience parts with all delight? The Granite’s firmness, and the Lily's Full many a stoic eye and aspect stern

growth: Mask hearts where grief hath little left to The gentle plant hath left no leaf to tell

Its tale, but shrunk and wither'd where it And many a withering thought lies hid,

fell, not lost

And of its cold protector, blacken round In smiles that least befit who wear thein But shiver'd fragments on the barren ground! most.

'Tis morn-to venture on his lonely hour By those, that deepest feel, is ill exprest Few dare ; though now Anselmo sought The indistinctness of the suffering breast;

his tower. Where thousand thoughts begin to end in one, He was not there - nor seen along the shore; Which seeks from all the refuge found in Ere night, alarm’d, their isle is traversed o’er: none;

Another morn-another bids them seek, No words suffice the secret soul to show, And shout his name till echo waxeth weak; For Truth denies all eloquence to Woe. Mount-grotto-cavern-valley search'd in On Conrad's stricken soul exhaustion prest,

vain, And stupor almost lull'd it into rest; They find on shore a sea-boat's broken chain: So feeble now, his mother's softness crept Their hope revives – they follow o'er the To those wild eyes, which like an infant's

main. wept:

'Tis idle all -- moons roll on moons away, It was the very weakness of his brain, And Conrad comes not- came not- since Which thus confess'd without relieving pain.

that day: None saw his trickling tears - perchance, if Nor trace, nor tidings of his doom declare

seen,

Where lives his grief, or perish'd his despair! That useless flood of grief had never been: Long mourn'd his band whom none could Nor long they fowd-he dricd them to

mourn beside; depart,

And fair the monument they gave his bride: In helpless – hopeless — brokenness of heart: For him they raise not the recording stonc The sun goes forth – but Conrad's day is His death yet dubious, deeds too widely

known; And the night cometh - ne'er to pass from Ile left a Corsair's naine to other times, him.

Link'd with one virtue and a thousand There is no darkness like the cloud of mind

crimes.

dim;

[ocr errors][merged small]

name

CANTO 1.

He comes at last in sudden loneliness,

And whence they know not, why they need Tus Serfs are glad through Lara's wide

not guess ; domain,

They more might marvel, when the greetAnd Slavery half forgets her feudal chain;

ing's o'er, He, their unhoped, but unforgotten lord,

Not that he came, but came not long before: The long self-exiled chieftain is restored : No train is his beyond a single page, There be bright faces in the busy hall,

Of foreign aspect, and of tender age.

Years had rollid on, and fast they speed away Bowls on the board, and banners on the wall; Far chequering o'er the pictured window,

To those that wander as to those that stay; plays

But lack of tidings from another clime The unwanted faggots' hospitable blaze;

Had lent a flagging wing to weary Time. And gay retainers

gather round the hearth, They see, they recognise, yet almost deem With tongues all loudness, and wih eyes He lives, nor yet is past his manhood's prime,

The present dubious, or the past a dream. all mirth.

Though seard by toil,and something touch'd The chief of Lara is return'd again :

by time;

if scarce And why had Lara crossd the bounding His faults, whate’er they were , main ?

forgot, Left by his sire, too young such loss to know, Might be antaught him by his varied lot; Lord of himself;- that heritage of woe,

Nor good nor ill of late were known, his That fearful empire which the human breast But holds to rob the heart within of rest!- Might yet uphold his patrimonial fame: With none to check, and few to point in time His soul in youth was haughty, but his sins The thousand paths that slope the way to No more than pleasure from the stripling crime;

wins; Then, when he most required command-And such, if not yet harden'd in their course,

ment, then

Might be redeem'd, nor ask a long remorse. Had Lara's daring boyhood govern'd men. It skills not, boots not step by step to trace

'tis His youth through all the mazes of its race;

And they indeed were changed Short was the course his restlessness had run,

quickly seen But long enough to leave him half undone. Whate'er he be, 'twas not what he had been :

That brow in furrow'd lines had fix'd at

last, And Lara left in youth his father-land; And spake of passions, but of passion past; But from the hour he waved his parting The pride, but not the fire, of early days,

hand

Coldness of mien, and carelessness of praise : Each trace wax'd fainter of his course, till all A high demeanour, and a glance that took Had nearly ceased his jnemory to recal. Their thoughts from others by a single look; His sire was dust, his vassals could declare, And that sarcastic levity of tongue, 'Twas all they knew that Lara was not there; The stinging of a heart the world hath stung. Nor sent, nor came he, till conjecture grew That darts in seeming playfulness around, Cold in the many, anxious in the few. And makes those feel that will not own His hall scarce echoes with his wonted name,

the wound; His portrait darkens in its fading frame, All these seem'd his, and something more Another chief consoled his destined bride,

beneath, The young forgot him, and the old had died; Than glance could well reveal, or accent “ Yet doth he live!” exclaiins the impatient

breathe. heir,

Ainbition, glory, love, the common aim, And sighs for sables which he must not wear. That some can conquer, and that all would A hundred scutcheons deck with gloomy

claim, grace

Within his breast appear'd no more to strive, The Laras' last and longest dwelling-place; Yet seem'd as lately they had been alive; But one is absent from the mouldering file, And some deep feeling it were vain to trace That now were welcome in that Gothic pile. At moments lighten'd o'er his' livid face.

Not much he loved long question of the And then, his rarely call'd attendants said,

past,

Through night's long hours would sound Nor told of wondrous wilds, and deserts vast,

his hurried tread In those far lands where he had wander'd O'er the dark gallery, where his fathers lone,

frown'd And-as himself would have it seem--un- In rude but antique portraiture around:

known:

They heard , but whisperd -- that must Yet these in vain his eye could scarcely scan,

not be knownNor glean experience from his fellow-man; The sound of words less earthly than his own. But what he had beheld he shunnid to show, Yes, they who chose might smile, but some As hardly worth a stranger's care to know;

had seen If still more prying such inquiry grew, They scarce knew what, but more than His brow fell darker, and his words more

should have been. few.

Why gazed he so upon the ghastly head

Which hands profane had gather'd from Not unrejoiced to see him once again,

the dead, Warm was his welcome to the haunts of men; That still beside his opend volume lay, Born of high lineage, link'd in high coin- As if to startle all save him away?

mand,

Why slept he not when others were at rest? He mingled with the Magnates of his land; Why heard no music and received no guest? Join'd the carousals of the great and gay, All was not well they deem'd - but where And saw them smile or sigh their hours away;

the wrong? But still he only saw, and did not share Some knew perchance—but 'twere a tale The common pleasure or the general care;

too long; He did not follow what they all pursued And such besides were too discreetly wise, With hope still baffled, still to be renew'd; To more than hint their knowledge in Nor shadowy honour, nor substantial gain,

surmise ; Nor beauty's preference, and the rival's pain: But if they would – they could "- around Around him some mysterious circle thrown

the board, Repellid approach, and show'd him still | Thus Lara’s vassals prattled of their lord.

alone; Upon bis eye sate something of reproof, That kept at least frivolity aloof;

It was the night--and Lara's glassy stream And things more timid that beheld him near, The stars are studding, each with imaged In silence gazed, or whisper'd mutual fear;

beam: And they the wiser, friendlier few confest So calm, the waters scarcely seem to stray, They deem'd him better than his air exprest. And yet they glide like happiness away;

Reflecting far and fairy-like from high

The immortal lights that live along the sky: Twas strange-in youth all action and Its banks are fringed with many a goodly all life,

tree, Barning for pleasure, not averse from strife; And flowers the fairest that may feast the Woman the field – the ocean all that

bee; gave

Such in her chaplet infant Dian wove, Promise of gladness, peril of a grave, And Innocence would offer to her love. In turn he tried-he ransack'd all below, These deck the shore; the waves their And found his recompense in joy or woe,

channel make No tame, trite medium; for his feelings In windings bright and mazy like the snake.

sought

All was so still, so soft in earth and air, In that intenseness an escape from thought: You scarce would start to meet a spirit there; The tempest of his heart in scorn had gazed Secure that nought of evil could delight On that the feebler elements hath raised; To walk in such a scene, on such a night! The rapture of his heart had look'd on high, it was a moment only for the good : And ask'd if greater dwelt beyond the sky: So Lara deem'd, nor longer there he stood, Chain'd to excess, the slave of each extreme, But turn'd in silence to his castle-gate ; How woke he from the wildness of that Such scene his soul no more could contemdream?

plate: Alas! he told not-but he did awake To curse the wither'd heart that would Of skies more cloudless, moons of purer

Such scene reminded him of other days, not break.

blaze,

Of nights more soft and frequent, hearts Books, for his volume heretofore was Man,

that now With eye more curious he appear'd to scan, No-no- the storm may beat upon his brow, And ori, in sudden mood, for many a day Unfelt-unsparing - but a night like this, Frem all communion he would start away: | A night of beauty, mock'd such breast as his.

an ear

he eyes,

He turn'd within his solitary hall, The swarthy blush recolours in his cheeks, And his high shadow shot along the wall; His lip resumes its red, his eye though There were the painted forms of other times,

dim, "T'was all they left of virtues or of crimes, Rolls wide and wild, each slowly quivering Save vague tradition; and the gloomy vaults

limb That hid their dust, their foibles, and their Recals its function, but his words are strung

faults;

In terms that seem not of his native tongue; And half a column of the pompous page, Distinct, but strange, enough they unThat speeds the specious tale fromage to age:

derstand Where history's pen its praise or blame To deem them accents of another land,

supplies,

And such they were, and meant to meet And lies like truth, and still most truly lies. He wandering mused, and as the moonbeam That hears him not-alas! that cannot hear!

shone Through the dim lattice o'er the floor of

His page approach'd , and he alone ap

stone, And the high fretted roof, and saints, that to know the import of the words they

peard there

heard ; O'er Gothic windows knelt in pictured And, by the changes of his cheek and brow,

prayer, Reflected in fantastic figures grew,

They were not such as Lara should avow, Like life, but not like mortal life, to view; Than those around their chieftain's state

Nor he interpret, yet with less surprise His bristling locks of sable, brow of gloom, And the wide waving of his shaken plume, But Lara’s prostrate form he bent beside, Glanc'd like a spectre's attributes, and gave And in that tongue which seem'd his own His aspect all that terror gives the grave.

replied,

And Lara heeds those tones that gently seem 'Twas midnight-all was slumber; the To soothe away the horrors of his dream;

lone light

If dream it were, that thus could overthrow Dimm'd in the lamp, as loth to break the A breast that needed not ideal woe.

night. Hark! there be murmurs heard in Lara's

Whate'er his phrenzy dream'd or eye hall

beheld, A sound—a voice- a shriek - a fearful call! If yet remember'd ne'er to be reveald, A long, loud shriek - and silence--did they Rests at his heart: the custom’d morning hear

came, That frantic echo burst the sleeping ear? And breathed new vigour in his shaken They heard and rose, and tremulously brave

frame; Rush where the sound invoked their aid And solace sought he none from priest nor to save;

leech, They come with half-littapers in their hands, And soon the same in movement and in And snatch'd in startled haste unbelted

speech brands.

As heretofore he fill'd the passing hours,

Nor less he smiles nor more his forehead Cold as the marble where his length was

lours laid,

Than these were wont; and if the coming Pale as the beam that o'er his features play'd,

night Was Lara stretch'd; his half-drawn sabre Appear'd less welcome now to Lara's sight,

near,

He to his marvelling vassals show'd it not, Dropp'd it should seem in more than nature's Whose shuddering proved their fear was fear;

less forgot. Yet he was firm, or had been firm till now, In trembling pairs (alone they dared not) And still defiance knit his gather'd brow;

crawl Though mix'd with terror,senseless as he lay, The astonish'd slaves, and shun the fated There lived upon his lip the wish to slay;

hall; Some half-form'd threat in utterance there The waving banner, and the clapping door,

had died,

The rustling tapestry, and the echoing floor, Some imprecation of despairing pride; The long dim shadows of surrounding trees, His eye was almost seal'd, but not forsook The flapping bat, the night-song of the Even in its trance the gladiator's look,

breeze; That oft awake his aspect could disclose, Aught they hehold or hear their thoughts And now was fix'd in horrible repose.

appals, They raise him — bear him, hush ! he As evening saddens o'er the dark gray breathes, he speaks,

walls.

« 上一頁繼續 »