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by those whose approbation is valuable. I am glad of it: but it is not original—at least not mine; it may be found much better expressed in pages 182-3-4 of the English version of “Vathek” (I forget the precise page of the French), a work to which I have before referred; and never recur to, or read, without a renewal of gratification.
Note 8. Page 279.
The horse-tails are pluck'd from the ground, and the sword. The horse-tail, fixed upon a lance, a pacha's standard.
Note 9. Page 282.
And since the day, when in the strait. In the naval battle at the mouth of the Dardanelles, between the Venetians and the Turks.
Note 10. Page 288.
The jackal's troop, in gather'd cry. I believe I have taken a poetical license to transplant the jackal from Asia. In Greece I never saw nor heard these animals; but among the ruins of Ephesus I have heard them by hundreds. They haunt ruins, and follow armies.
TO SCROPE BERDMORE DAVIES, ESQ.
THE FOLLOWING POEM IS INSCRIBED,
BY ONE WHO HAS LONG ADMIARD HIS TAJ.ENTS, AND VALUED HIS FRIENDSHIP
January 22, 1816.
The following poem is grounded on a circumstance mentioned in Gibbon's “ Antiquities of the House of Brunswick.”—I am aware that in modern times the delicacy or fastidiousness of the reader may deem such subjects unfit for the purposes of poetry. The Greek dramatists, and some of the best of our old English writers, were of a different opinion: as Alfieri and Schiller have also been, more recently, upon the Continent. The following extract will explain the facts on which the story is founded. The name of Azo is substituted for Nicholas, as more metrical.
“Under the reign of Nicholas III. Ferrara was polluted with a domestic tragedy. By the testimony of an attendant, and his own observation, the Marquis of Este discovered the incestuous loves of his wife Parisina, and Hugo his bastard son, a beautiful and valiant youth. They were beheaded in the castle by the sentence of a father and husband, who published his shame, and survived their execution. He was unfortunate, if they were guilty; if they were innocent, he was still more unfortunate ; nor is there any possible situation in which I can sincerely approve that last act of the justice of a parent.”—GIBBON’s Miscellaneous Works, vol. iii. p. 470, new edition.
It is the hour when from the boughs
The nightingale's high note is heard :
Seem sweet in every whisper'd word,
But it is not to list to the waterfall
And what unto them is the world beside,
Its living things—its earth and sky
Of aught around, above, beneath ;
They only for each other breathe : Their
very sighs are full of joy So deep, that, did it not decay, That happy madness would destroy
The hearts which feel its fiery sway. Of guilt, of peril, do they deem, In that tumultuous tender dream? Who, that have felt that passion's power, Or paused or fear'd in such an hour, Or thought how brief such moments last? But yet—they are already past! Alas! we must awake before We know such vision comes no more.
With many a lingering look they leave
The spot of guilty gladness past;
As if that parting were the last.
The lip that there would cling for ever, While gleams on Parisina's face
The Heaven she fears will not forgive her, As if each calmly conscious star Beheld her frailty from afar— The frequent sigh, the long embrace, Yet binds them to their trysting-place. But it must come, and they must part In fearful heaviness of heart, With all the deep and shuddering chill Which follows fast the deeds of ill.