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Bests at his heart: the custom'd morning came,
And breathed new vigour in his shaken frame;
And solace sought he none from priest nor leech,
And soon the same in movement and in speech,
As heretofore he fill'd the passing hours,

'Nor less he smiles, nor more his forehead lowers,
Than these were wont; and if the coming night

I Appear'd less welcome now to Lara's sight,
Be to his marvelling vassals show'd it not,

| Those shuddering proved their fear was less forgot,
la trembling pairs (alone they dared not) crawl
The astonish'd slaves, and shun the fated hall;

I Toe naring banner, and the clapping door,
The rustling tapestry, and the echoing floor;
The long dim shadows of surrounding trees,
The napping bat, the night song of the breeze;
Aught they behold or hear their thought appals,
As evening saddens o'er the dark grey walls.

XVL

Vain thought! that hour of ne'er unravell'd gloom Came not again, or Lara could assume A seeming of forgetfulness, that made His vassals more amazed nor less afraid. Had memory vanish'd then with sense restored? Since word, nor look, nor gesture of their lord Betray'd a feeling that recali'd to these That fever'd moment of his mind's disease. »'as it a dream? was his the voice that spoke Those strange wild accents; his the cry that broke Their slumber? his the oppress'd, o'erlabour'd heart That ceased to beat, the look that made them start? Could he who thus had suffcr'd so forget, When such as saw that suffering shudder yet? 'Or did that silence prove his memory fix'd Too deep for words, indelible, unmix'd In that corroding secrecy which gnaws Tie heart to show the effect, but not the cause? fr* so in him; bis breast had buried both, Nor commoD gazers could discern the growth Of thoughts /hat mortal lips must leave half told; They choke tne feeble words that would unfold.

XVIL

la him inexplicably mix'd appear'd Much to be loved and hated, sought and fear'd; Opinion varying o'er his hidden lot, In praise or railing ne'er his name forgot: His silence form'd a theme for others' prate— They guess'd—they gazed—they fain would know his fate.

Tut had he been? what was he, thus unknown,

Who walk'd their world, his lineage only known?

A hater of his kind? yet some would say,

With them he could seem gay amidst the gay;

Bat own'd that smile, if oft observed and near,

Wined in its mirth, and wltherU to a sneer;

That smile might reach his lip, but pass'd not by,

Sone e'er could trace Its laughter to his eye:

Tet there was softness too in his regard,

At rimes, a heart as not by nature hard,

But once perceived, his spirit scem'd to chide

Such weakness, as unworthy of its pride,

And steel'd itself, as scorning to redeem

One doubt from others' half withheld esteem;

In self-inflicted penance of a breast

Which tenderness might once have wrung from rest;

In vigilance of grief that would compel
The soul to hate for having loved too well.

XVIH.

There was in him a vital scorn of all:

As if the worst had fall'n which could befall,

He stood a stranger in this breathing world,

An erring spirit from another hurl'd;

A thing of dark imaginings, that shaped

By choice the perils he by chance escaped;

But 'scaped in vain, for in their memory yet

His mind would half exult and half regret:

With more capacity for love than earth

Bestows on most of mortal mould and birth,

His early dreams of good outstripp'd the truth,

And troubled manhood follow'd baffled youth;

With thought of years in phantom chase misspent,

And wasted powers for better purpose lent;

And fiery passions that had pour'd their wrath

In hurried desolation o'er his path,

And left the better feelings all at strife

In wild reflection o'er his stormy life;

But haughty still, and loth himself to blame,

He call'd on Nature's self to share the shame,

And charged all faults upon the fleshy form

She gave to clog the soul, and feast the worm;

Till he at last confounded good and ill,

And half mistook for fate the acts of will:

Too high for common selfishness, he could

At times resign his own for others' good,

But not in pity, not because he ought,

But in some strange perversity of thought,

That sway'd him onward with a secret pride

To do what few or none would do beside;

And this same impulse would, in tempting time,

Mislead his spirit equally to crime;

So much he soar'd beyond, or sunk beneath,

The men with whom he felt condemn'd to breathe,

And long'd by good or ill to separate

Himself from all who shared his mortal state;

His mind abhorring this, had fix'd her throne

Far from the world, in regions of her own:

Thus coldly passing all that pass'd below,

His blood in temperate seeming now would flow:

Ah 1 happier If It ne'er with guilt had glow'd,

But ever in that icy smoothness flow'd!

'Tis true, with other men their path he walk'd,

And like the rest in seeming did and talk'd,

Nor outraged Reason's rules by flaw nor start,

His madness was not of the head, but heart;

And rarely wander'd in his speech, or drew

His thoughts so forth as to offend the view.

XIX.

With all that chilling mystery of mien,
And seeming gladness to remain unseen,
He had (if 'twere not nature's boon) an art
Of fixing memory on another's heart:
It was not love perchance—nor hate—nor aught
That words can image to express the thought;
But they who saw him did not sec in vain,
And once beheld, would ask of him again:
And those to whom he spake remember'd well,
And on the words, however light, would dwell:
None knew nor how, nor why, but he entwined
Himself perforce around the hearer's mind;
There he was stamp'd, in liking, or in hate.
If greeted once; however brief the date

&

That friendship, pity, or aversion knew,
Still there within the inmost thought he grew.
You could not penetrate his soul, but found,
Despite your wonder, to your own he wound;
His presence haunted still; and from the breast
He forced an all unwilling interest:
Vain was the struggle in that mental net,
His spirit seem'd to dare you to forget!

XX.

There is a festival, where knights and dames,
And aught that wealth or lofty lineage claims,
Appear—a highborn and a welcome guest
To Otho's hall came Lara with the rest
The long carousal shakes the illumined hall,
Well speeds alike the banquet and the ball;
And the gay dance of bounding Beauty's train
Links grace and harmony in happiest chain:
Blest are the early hearts and gentle hands
That mingle there in well according bands;
It is a sight the careful brow might smooth,
And make Age smile, and dream itself to youth,
And Youth forget such hour was past on earth,
So springs the exulting bosom to that mirth!

XXI.

And Lara gazed on these, sedately glad,

His brow belied him if his soul was sad;

And his glance follow'd fast each fluttering fair,

Whose steps of lightness woke no echo there:

He lean'd against the lofty pillar nigh,

With folded arms and long attentive eye,

Nor mark'd a glance so sternly fix'd on his—

111 brook'd high Lara scrutiny like this:

At length he caught it—'tis a face unknown,

But seems as searching his, and his alone;

Frying and dark, a stranger's by his mien,

Who still till now had gazed on him unseen:

At length encountering meets the mutual gaze

Of keen inquiry, and of mutt amaze;

On Lara's glance emotion gathering grew,

As if distrusting that the stranger threw;

Along the stranger's aspect, fix'd and stern,

Flash'd more than thence the vulgar eye could learn.

XXII.

"'T is he !" the stranger cried, and those that heard Re-echoed fast and far the whisper'd word. "'T is he!"—" T is who?" they question far and near, Till louder accents rung on Lara's ear; So widely spread, few bosoms well could brook The general marvel, or that single look: But Lara stirr'd not, changed not, the surprise That sprung at first to his arrested eyes Seem'd now subsided, neither sunk nor raised Glanced his eye round, though still the stranger gazed; And drawing nigh, exclaim'd, with haughty sneer, "'Ti> he I —how came he thence?—what doth he here?"

son.

I It were too much for Lara to pass by
Such questions, so repeated fierce and high;
With look collected, but with accent cold,
More mildly firm than petulantly bold,
He turn'd, and met the inquisitorial tone—
"My name is Lara !—when thine own is known,

Doubt not my fitting answer to requite
The unlook'd for courtesy of such a knight
Tis Lara !—further wouldst thou mark or ask?
I shun no question, and I wear no mask."

"Thou shunn'st no question I Ponder—is there none
Thy heart must answer, though thine ear would shun?
And deem'st thou me unknown too? Gaze again!
At least thy memory was not given in vain.
Oh 1 never canst thou cancel half her debt,
Eternity forbids thee to forget"
With slow and searching glance upon his face
Grew Lara's eyes, but nothing there could trace
They knew, or chose to know—with dubious look
He delgn'd no answer, but his head he shook,
And half contemptuous turn'd to pass away;
But the sterol stranger motion'd him to stay.
"A word !— I charge thee stay, and answer here
To one, who, wert thou noble, were thy peer,
But as thou wast and art—nay, frown not, lord,
If false, 'tis easy to disprove the word —
But as thou wast and art, on thee looks down,
Distrusts thy smiles, but shakes not at thy frown.

Art thou not he? whose deeds"

"Whate'er I be, Words wild as these, accusers like to thee, I list no further; those with whom they weigh May hear the rest, nor venture to gainsay The wondrous tale no doubt thy tongue can tell, Which thus begins so courteously and well. Let Otho cherish here his polish'd guest, To him my thanks and thoughts shall be express'd." And here their wondering host hath interposed— "Whate'er there be between you undisclosed, This is no time nor fitting place to mar The mirthful meeting with a wordy war. If thou, Sir Ezzelin, hast aught to show Which it befits Count Lara's ear to know. To-morrow, here, or elsewhere, as may best Beseem your mutual judgment, speak the rest; I pledge myself for thee, as not unknown, Though, like Count Lara, now return'd alone From other lands, almost a stranger grown; And if from Lara's blood and gentle birth I augur right of courage and of worth, He will not that untainted line belie, Nor aught that knighthood may accord, deny."

"To-morrow be it," Ezzelin replied,

"And here our several worth and truth be tried:

I gage my life, my falchion to attest

My words, so may I mingle with the blest I"

What answers Lara? to its centre shrunk

His soul, in deep abstraction sudden sunk;

The words of many, and the eyes of all

That there were gather'd, seem'd on him to fall;

But his were silent, his appear'd to stray

In far forgetfulness away—away—

Alas I that heedlessness of all around

Bespoke remembrance only too profound.

XXIV.

"To-morrow !— ay, to-morrow !" further word
Than those repeated none from Lara heard:
I'pon his brow no outward passion spoke;
From his large eye no flashing anger broke j
Yet there was something fix'd in that low tone.
Which show'd resolve, determined, though unknown.

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