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167

TAMERLAN E.

KIND solace in a dying hour!

Such, father, is not now my themeI will not madly deem thy power

Of earth may shrive me of the sin

Unearthly pride hath revelled in-
I have no time to dote or dream:
You call it hope, that fire of fire,-
It is but agony of desire:
If I can hope_0 God, I can-

Its fount is holier, more divine:
I would not call thee fool, old man,

But such is not a gift of thine.*

II.

Know thou the secret of a spirit

Bowed from its wild pride into shame. O yearning heart, I did inherit

Thy withering portion with the fame.

* Here we have traces enough of the influences of Byronism on the poet's youth. Those were the days when the "teethgrinding, glass-eyed lone Caloyer,” to use CARLYLE's words, was the ideal of the rising generation.-ED.

The searing glory which hath shone
Amid the jewels of my throne,
Halo of hell! and with a pain
Not hell shall make me fear again.
O craving heart, for the lost flowers
And sunshine of my summer hours !
The undying voice of that dead time,
With its interminable chime,
Rings, in the spirit of a spell,
Upon thy emptiness—a knell.

III.
I have not always been as now:
The fevered diadem on my brow

I claimed and won usurpingly.
Hath not the same fierce heirdom given
Rome to the Cæsar, this to me?

The heritage of a kingly mind, And a proud spirit which hath striven

Triumphantly with human kind.

IV.

On mountain soil I first drew life:

The mists of the Taglay have shed

Nightly their dews upon my head;
And, I believe, the winged strife
And tumult of the headlong air
Have nestled in my very hair.

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So late from heaven—that dew-it fell

('Mid dreams of an unholy night) Upon me with the touch of hell;

While the red flashing of the light From clouds that hung, like banners, o'er,

Appeared to my half-closing eye

The pageantry of monarchy;
And the deep trumpet-thunder's roar
Came hurriedly upon me, telling

Of human battle, where my voice, My own voice, silly child ! was swelling

(Oh, how my spirit would rejoice, And leap within me at the cry!) The battle-cry of victory!

VI.

The rain came down upon my head

Unsheltered; and the heavy wind

Rendered me mad and deaf and blind. It was but man, I thought, who shed

Laurels upon me; and the rush, The torrent of the chilly air, Gurgled within my ear the crush

Of empires—with the captive's prayer, The hum of suitors, and the tone Of flattery round a sovereign's throne.

VII.
My passions, from that hapless hour,

Usurped a tyranny which men
Have deemed, since I have reached to power,

My innate nature—be it so:
But, father, there lived one who then,-
Then, in my boyhood, when their fire

Burned with a still intenser glow
(For passion must with youth expire),

E'en then, who knew this iron heart
In woman's weakness had a part.

VIII.
I have no words, alas, to tell
The loveliness of loving well !
Nor would I now attempt to trace
The more than beauty of a face
Whose lineaments upon my mind
Are shadows on the unstable wind:
Thus I remember having dwelt

Some page of early lore upon,
With loitering eye, till I have felt
The letters, with their meaning, melt

To fantasies-with none.

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'Twas such as angel minds above

Might envy; her young heart the shrine On which my ev'ry hope and thought Were incense: then a goodly gift,

For they were childish and upright, Pure as her young example taught: Why did I leave it, and, adrift,

Trust to the fire within for light?

We grew in age and love together,

Roaming the forest and the wild;
My breast her shield in wintry weather;

And, when the friendly sunshine smiled,
And she would mark the opening skies,
I saw no heaven but in her eyes.

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Young Love's first lesson is the heart;

For ʼmid that sunshine and those smiles, When, from our little cares apart,

And laughing at her girlish wiles,
I'd throw me on her throbbing breast,

And pour my spirit out in tears-
There was no need to speak the rest -

No need to quiet any fears
Of her, who asked no reason why,
But turned on me her quiet eye.

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