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Ah, smiles and joyance quickly died,
For public hope grew pale and dim
In an alter'd time and tide,
And in its wasting wither'd him,

As a summer flower that blows too soon
Droops in the smile of the waning moon,
When it scatters through an April night
The frozen dews of wrinkling blight.

None now hoped more. Grey Power was seated
Safely on her ancestral throne;

And Faith, the Python, undefeated,
Even to its blood-stain'd steps dragg'd on
Her foul and wounded train, and men
Were trampled and deceived again,
And words and shows again could bind
The wailing tribes of humankind
In scorn and famine. Fire and blood
Raged round the raging multitude,
To fields remote by tyrants sent
To be the scorned instrument

With which they drag from mines of gore
The chains their slaves yet ever wore ;
And in the streets men met each other,
And by old altars and in halls,

And smiled again at festivals.

But each man found in his heart's brother
Cold cheer; for all, though half deceived,
The outworn creeds again believed,

And the same round anew began,
weary world yet ever ran.

Which the

Many then wept, not tears, but gall
Within their hearts, like drops which fall
Wasting the fountain-stone away.
And in that dark and evil day

Did all desires and thoughts, that claim
Men's care-ambition, friendship, fame,
Love, hope, though hope was now despair-
Indue the colours of this change,
As from the all-surrounding air
The earth takes hues obscure and strange,
When storm and earthquake linger there.

And so, my friend, it then befel
To many, most to Lionel,

Whose hope was like the life of youth
Within him, and when dead, became
A spirit of unresting flame,
Which goaded him in his distress
Over the world's vast wilderness.
Three years he left his native land,
And on the fourth, when he return'd,
None knew him he was stricken deep
With some disease of mind, and turn'd
Into aught unlike Lionel.

On him, on whom, did he pause in sleep,
Serenest smiles were wont to keep,
And, did he wake, a winged band
Of bright persuasions, which had fed
On his sweet lips and liquid eyes,
Kept their swift pinions half outspread,
To do on men his least command;
On him, whom once 't was paradise
Even to behold, now misery lay:
In his own heart 't was merciless,

To all things else none may express Its innocence and tenderness.

'T was said that he had refuge sought

In love from his unquiet thought

In distant lands, and been deceived

By some strange show; for there were found,
Blotted with tears as those relieved

By their own words are wont to do,
These mournful verses on the ground,
By all who read them blotted too.

How am I changed! my hopes were once like fire:
I loved, and I believed that life was love.
How am I lost! on wings of swift desire
Among Heaven's winds my spirit once did move.
I slept, and silver dreams did aye inspire
My liquid sleep. I woke, and did approve
All nature to my heart, and thought to make
A paradise of earth for one sweet sake.

I love, but I believe in love no more:

I feel desire, but hope not. O, from sleep
Most vainly must my weary brain implore
Its long-lost flattery now. I wake to weep,
And sit through the long day gnawing the core
Of my bitter heart, and, like a miser, keep,
Since none in what I feel take pain or pleasure,
To my own soul its self-consuming treasure.

He dwelt beside me near the sea;
And oft in evening did we meet,
When the waves, beneath the star-light, flee
O'er the yellow sands with silver feet,
And talk'd. Our talk was sad and sweet,
Till slowly from his mien there pass'd
The desolation which it spoke;
And smiles, -as when the lightning's blast
Has parch'd some heaven-delighting oak,
The next spring shows leaves pale and rare,
But like flowers delicate and fair,
On its rent boughs,-again array'd
His countenance in tender light:
His words grew subtle fire, which made
The air his hearers breathed delight:
His motions, like the winds, were free,
Which bend the bright grass gracefully,
Then fade away in circlets faint:
And winged Hope, on which upborne
His soul seem'd hovering in his eyes,
Like some bright spirit newly-born
Floating amid the sunny skies,
Sprang forth from his rent heart anew.
Yet o'er his talk, and looks, and mien,
Tempering their loveliness too keen,
Past woe its shadow backward threw,
Till like an exhalation, spread
From flowers half drunk with evening dew,
They did become infectious: sweet
And subtle mists of sense and thought;
Which wrapt us soon, when we might meet,
Almost from our own looks and aught
The wide world holds. And so, his mind
Was heal'd, while mine grew sick with fear:
For ever now his health declined,
Like some frail bark which cannot bear
The impulse of an alter'd wind,

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And soon his deep and sunny hair,

In this alone less beautiful,

Like grass in tombs grew wild and rare.
The blood in his translucent veins
Beat, not like animal life, but love
Seem'd now its sullen springs to move,
When life had fail'd, and all its pains;
And sudden sleep would seize him oft's
Like death, so calm, but that a tear,
His pointed eye-lashes between,
Would gather in the light serene

Of smiles, whose lustre bright and soft
Beneath lay undulating there.

His breath was like inconstant flame,
As eagerly it went and came;

And I hung o'er him in his sleep,

Till, like an image in the lake

Which rains disturb, my tears would break
The shadow of that slumber deep;
Then he would bid me not to weep,
And say with flattery false, yet sweet,
That death and he could never meet,
If I would never part with him.
And so we loved, and did unite
All that in us was yet divided:

For when he said, that many a rite,
By men to bind but once provided,
Could not be shared by him and me,
Or they would kill him in their glee,
I shudder'd, and then laughing said,

We will have rites our faith to bind,
But our church shall be the starry night,
Our altar the grassy earth outspread,
And our priest the muttering wind.>>

'T was sunset as I spoke: one star

Had scarce burst forth, when from afar
The ministers of misrule sent,
Seized upon Lionel, and bore
His chain'd limbs to a dreary tower,
In the midst of a city vast and wide.
For he, they said, from his mind had bent
Against their gods keen blasphemy,
For which, though his soul must roasted be
In hell's red lakes immortally,
Yet even on earth must he abide
The vengeance of their slaves-a trial,
I think, men call it. What avail
Are prayers and tears, which chase denial
From the fierce savage, nursed in hate?
What the knit soul that pleading and pale
Makes wan the quivering cheek, which late
It painted with its own delight?
We were divided. As I could,
I still'd the tingling of my blood,
And follow'd him in their despite,
As a widow follows, pale and wild,
The murderers and corse of her only child;
And when we came to the prison door,
And I pray'd to share his dungeon floor
With prayers which rarely have been spurn'd,
And when men drove me forth and I

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I dwelt beside the prison gate,

And the strange crowd that out and in

Pass'd, some, no doubt, with mine own fate,
Might have fretted me with its ceaseless din,

But the fever of care was louder within.

Soon, but too late, in penitence

Or fear, his foes released him thence:

I saw his thin and languid form,

As leaning on the jailor's arm,

Whose harden'd eyes grew moist the while,
To meet his mute and faded smile,
And hear his words of kind farewell,
He totter'd forth from his damp cell.
Many had never wept before,

From whom fast tears then gush'd and fell:
Many will relent no more,

Who sobb'd like infants then; aye, all
Who throng'd the prison's stony hall,
The rulers or the slaves of law,

Felt with a new surprise and awe
That they were human, till strong shame
Made them again become the same.
The prison blood-hounds, huge and grim,
From human looks the infection caught,
And fondly crouch'd and fawn'd on him;
And men have heard the prisoners say,
Who in their rotting dungeons lay,
That from that hour, throughout one day,
The fierce despair and hate which kept
Their trampled bosoms almost slept :
When, like twin vultures, they hung feeding
On each heart's wound, wide torn and bleeding,
Because their jailors' rule, they thought,
Grew merciful, like a parent's sway.

I know not how, but we were free:
And Lionel sate alone with me,

As the carriage drove through the streets apace;
And we look'd upon each other's face;
And the blood in our fingers intertwined
Ran like the thoughts of a single mind,
As the swift emotions went and came
Through the veins of each united frame.
So through the long long streets we past
Of the million-peopled city vast;

Which is that desart, where each one
Seeks his mate yet is alone,

Beloved and sought and mourn'd of none;
Until the clear blue sky was seen,

And the grassy meadows bright and green,
And then I sunk in his embrace,
Enclosing there a mighty space
Of love and so we travell'd on

By woods, and fields of yellow flowers,
And towns, and villages, and towers,
Day after day of happy hours.

It was the azure time of June,

When the skies are deep in the stainless noon, And the warm and fitful breezes shake

The fresh green leaves of the hedge-row briar, And there were odours then to make

The very breath we did respire

A liquid element, whereon

Our spirits, like delighted things
That walk the air on subtle wings,
Floated and mingled far away,
'Mid the warm winds of the sunny day.
And when the evening star came forth
Above the curve of the new bent moon,
And light and sound ebb'd from the earth,
Like the tide of the full and weary sea
To the depths of its own tranquillity,
Our natures to its own repose
Did the earth's breathless sleep attune:
Like flowers, which on each other close
Their languid leaves when day-light's gone,
We lay, till new emotions came,

Which seem'd to make each mortal frame
One soul of interwoven flame,

A life in life, a second birth

In worlds diviner far than earth,

Which, like two strains of harmony
That mingle in the silent sky,
Then slowly disunite, past by
And left the tenderness of tears,
A soft oblivion of all fears,

A sweet sleep so we travell'd on
Till we came to the home of Lionel,
Among the mountains wild and lone,
Beside the hoary western sea,

Which near the verge of the echoing shore
The massy
forest shadow'd o'er.

The ancient steward, with hair all hoar,
As we alighted, wept to see

His master changed so fearfully;
And the old man's sobs did waken me
From my dream of unremaining gladness;
The truth flash'd o'er me like quick madness
When I look'd, and saw that there was death.
On Lionel yet day by day

He lived, till fear grew hope and faith,
And in my soul I dared to say,
Nothing so bright can pass away:
Death is dark, and foul, and dull,
But he is-O how beautiful!

Yet day by day he grew more weak,

And his sweet voice, when he might speak,

Which ne'er was loud, became more low;

And the light which flash'd through his waxen cheek Grew faint, as the rose-like hues which flow

From sunset o'er the Alpine snow:

And death seem'd not like death in him,

For the spirit of life o'er every limb
Linger'd, a mist of sense and thought.
When the summer wind faint odours brought
From mountain flowers, even as it pass'd
His cheek would change, as the noon-day sea
Which the dying breeze sweeps fitfully.
If but a cloud the sky o'ercast,

You might see his colour come and go,
And the softest strain of music made
Sweet smiles, yet sad, arise and fade
Amid the dew of his tender eyes;
And the breath, with intermitting flow,
Made his pale lips quiver and part.

You might hear the beatings of his heart,
Quick, but not strong; and with my tresses
When oft he playfully would bind
In the bowers of mossy lonelinesses
His neck, and win me so to mingle
In the sweet depth of woven caresses,
And our faint limbs were intertwined,
Alas! the unquiet life did tingle
From mine own heart through every vein,
Like a captive in dreams of liberty,
Who beats the walls of his stony cell.
But his, it seem'd already free,

Like the shadow of fire surrounding me!
On my faint eyes and limbs did dwell
That spirit as it pass'd, till soon,

As a frail cloud wandering o'er the moon,
Beneath its light invisible,

Is seen when it folds its grey wings again
To alight on midnight's dusky plain,

I lived and saw, and the gathering soul
Pass'd from beneath that strong controul,
And I fell on a life which was sick with fear
Of all the woe that now I bear.

Amid a bloomless myrtle wood,
On a green and sea-girt promontory,
Not far from where we dwelt, there stood
In record of a sweet sad story,
An altar and a temple bright
Circled by steps, and o'er the gate
Was sculptured, « To Fidelity;»
And in the shrine an image sate,
All veil'd: but there was seen the light
Of smiles, which faintly could express
A mingled pain and tenderness
Through that ethereal drapery.

The left hand held the head, the right-
Beyond the veil, beneath the skin,
You might see the nerves quivering within-
Was forcing the point of a barbed dart
Into its side-convulsing heart.

An unskill'd hand, yet one inform'd
With genius, had the marble warm'd
With that pathetic life. This tale
It told: A dog had from the sea,
When the tide was raging fearfully,
Dragg'd Lionel's mother, weak and pale,
Then died beside her on the sand,
And she that temple thence had plann'd;
But it was Lionel's own hand

Had wrought the image. Each new moon

That lady did, in this lone fane,
The rites of a religion sweet,
Whose god was in her heart and brain :
The seasons' loveliest flowers were strewn
On the marble floor beneath her feet,
And she brought crowns of sea-buds white,
Whose odour is so sweet and faint,
And weeds, like branching chrysolite,
Woven in devices fine and quaint,

And tears from her brown eyes did stain
The altar: need but look upon
That dying statue, fair and wan,
If tears should cease, to weep again :
And rare Arabian odours came,
Though the myrtle copses steaming thence
From the hissing frankincense,

Whose smoke, wool-white as ocean foam,
Hung in dense flocks beneath the dome,
That ivory dome, whose azure night
With golden stars, like heaven, was bright
O'er the split cedars pointed flame;
And the lady's harp would kindle there
The melody of an old air,
Softer than sleep; the villagers
Mixt their religion up with her's,
And as they listen'd round, shed tears.

One eve he led me to this fane:
Daylight on its last purple cloud
Was lingering grey, and soon her strain
The nightingale began; now loud,
Climbing in circles the windless sky,
Now dying music; suddenly
"T is scatter'd in a thousand notes,
And now to the hush'd ear it floats
Like field smells known in infancy,
Then failing, soothes the air again.
We sate within that temple lone,
Pavilion'd round with Parian stone:
His mother's harp stood near, and oft
I had awaken'd music soft
Amid its wires: the nightingale
Was pausing in her heaven-taught tale:
<< Now drain the cup,» said Lionel,

Which the poet-bird has crown'd so well
With the wine of her bright and liquid song!
Heardst thou not sweet words among
That heaven-resounding minstrelsy!
Heardst thou not, that those who die
Awake in a world of extacy?

That love, when limbs are interwoven,

And sleep, when the night of life is cloven,

And thought, to the world's dim boundaries clinging, And music, when one beloved is singing,

Is death? Let us drain right joyously

The cup which the sweet bird fills for me.>>
He paused, and to my lips he bent

His own like spirit his words went
Through all my limbs with the speed of fire;
And his keen eyes, glittering through mine,
Fill'd me with the flame divine,
Which in their orbs was burning far,
Like the light of an unmeasured star,
In the sky of midnight dark and deep :
Yes, 't was his soul that did inspire
Sounds, which my skill could ne'er awaken;

And first, I felt my fingers sweep The harp, and a long quivering cry Burst from my lips in symphony: The dusk and solid air was shaken,

As swift and swifter the notes came
From my touch, that wander'd like quick flame,
And from my bosom, labouring

With some unutterable thing:

The awful sound of my own voice made

My faint lips tremble, in some mood

Of wordless thought Lionel stood
So pale, that even beside his cheek
The snowy column from its shade
Caught whiteness: yét his countenance
Raised upward, burn'd with radiance
Of spirit-piercing joy, whose light,
Like the moon struggling through the night
Of whirlwind-rifted clouds, did break
With beams that might not be confined.
I paused, but soon his gestures kindled
New power, as by the moving wind
The waves are lifted, and my song

To low soft notes now changed and dwindled,
And from the twinkling wires among,
My languid fingers drew and flung
Circles of life-dissolving sound,
Yet faint: in aery rings they bound
My Lionel, who, as every strain
Grew fainter but more sweet, his mien
Sunk with the sound relaxedly;
And slowly now he turn'd to me,
As slowly faded from his face
That awful joy: with looks serene
He was soon drawn to my embrace,
And my wild song then died away
In murmurs: words, I dare not say
We mix'd, and on his lips mine fed
Till they methought felt still and cold:
What is it with thee, love ?» I said;
No word, no look, no motion! yes,
There was a change, but spare to guess,
Nor let that moment's hope be told.
I look'd, and knew that he was dead,
And fell, as the eagle on the plain
Falls when life deserts her brain,
And the mortal lightning is veil'd again.

O that I were now dead! but such
Did they not, love, demand too much
Those dying murmurs? He forbad.
O that I once again were mad!
And yet, dear Rosalind, not so,
For I would live to share thy woe.
Sweet boy! did I forget thee too?
Alas, we know not what we do
When we speak words.

No memory more

Is in my mind of that sea-shore.
Madness came on me, and a troop
Of misty shapes did seem to sit
Beside me, on a vessel's poop,

And the clear north wind was driving it.

Then I heard strange tongues, and saw strange


And the stars methought grew unlike ours,

And the azure sky and the stormless sea
Made me believe that I had died,
And waked in a world, which was to me
Drear hell, though heaven to all beside.
Then a dead sleep fell on my mind,
Whilst animal life many long years
Had rescued from a chasm of tears;
And when I woke, I wept to find
That the same lady, bright and wise,
With silver locks and quick brown eyes,
The mother of my Lionel,

Had tended me in my distress,

And died some months before. Nor less
Wonder, but far more peace and joy
Brought in that hour my lovely boy;
For through that trance my soul had well
The impress of thy being kept;
And if I waked, or if I slept,
No doubt, though memory faithless be,
Thy image ever dwelt on me;
And thus, O Lionel ! like thee

Is our sweet child. 'T is sure most strange
I knew not of so great a change,
As that which gave him birth, who now
Is all the solace of my woe.

That Lionel great wealth had left
By will to me, and that of all
The ready lies of law bereft,

My child and me might well befal.
But let me think not of the scorn,
Which from the meanest I have borne,
When, for my child's beloved sake,
I mix'd with slaves, to vindicate
The very laws themselves do make:
Let me not say scorn is my fate,
Lest I be proud, suffering the same

With those who live in deathless fame.

She ceased.- Lo, where red morning thro' the woods
Is burning o'er the dew!» said Rosalind.

And with these words they rose, and towards the flood
Of the blue lake, beneath the leaves now wind
With equal steps and fingers intertwined:
Thence to a lonely dwelling, where the shore
Is shadow'd with rocks, and cypresses

Cleave with their dark green cones the silent skies,
And with their shadows the clear depths below,
And where a little terrace from its bowers,
Of blooming myrtle and faint lemon-flowers,
Scatters its sense-dissolving fragrance o'er
The liquid marble of the windless lake;
And where the aged forest's limbs look hoar,
Under the leaves which their green garments make,
They come 't is Helen's home, and clean and white,
Like one which tyrants spare on our own land
In some such solitude, its casements bright
Shone through their vine-leaves in the morning sun,
And even within 't was scarce like Italy.

And when she saw how all things there were plann'd,


As in an English home, dim memory
Disturbed poor Rosalind: she stood as one
Whose mind is where his body cannot be,
Till Helen led her where her child yet slept,
And said, Observe, that brow was Lionel's,
Those lips were his, and so he ever kept
One arm in sleep, pillowing his head with it.
You cannot see his eyes, they are two wells
Of liquid love: let us not wake him yet.»
But Rosalind could bear no more, and wept
A shower of burning tears, which fell upon
His face, and so his opening lashes shone
With tears unlike his own, as he did leap
In sudden wonder from his innocent sleep.

So Rosalind and Helen lived together

Thenceforth, changed in all else, yet friends again,
Such as they were, when o'er the mountain heather
They wander'd in their youth, through sun and rain.
And after many years, for human things
Change even like the ocean and the wind,
Her daughter was restored to Rosalind,
And in their circle thence some visitings
Of joy 'mid their new calm would intervene :
A lovely child she was, of looks serene,
And motions which o'er things indifferent shed
The grace and gentleness from whence they came.
And Helen's boy grew with her, and they fed
From the same flowers of thought, until each mind
Like springs which mingle in one flood became,
And in their union soon their parents saw
The shadow of the peace denied to them.
And Rosalind, for when the living stem
Is cankered in its heart, the tree must fall,—
Died ere her time; and with deep grief and awe
The pale survivors follow'd her remains
Beyond the region of dissolving rains,

Up the cold mountain she was wont to call
Her tomb; and on Chiavenna's precipice
They raised a pyramid of lasting ice,
Whose polish'd sides, ere day had yet begun,
Caught the first glow of the unrisen sun,
The last, when it had sunk; and through the night
The charioteers of Arctos wheeled round
Its glittering point, as seen from Helen's home,
Whose sad inhabitants each year would come,
With willing steps climbing that rugged height,
And hang long locks of hair, and garlands bound
With amaranth flowers, which, in the clime's despite,
Filled the frore air with unaccustom'd light:
Such flowers, as in the wintry memory bloom
Of one friend left, adorn'd that frozen tomb.

Helen, whose spirit was of softer mould,
Whose sufferings too were less, death slowlier led
Into the peace of his dominion cold:
She died among her kindred, being old.
Aud know, that if love die not in the dead
As in the living, none of mortal kind
Are blest, as now Helen and Rosalind.

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