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Her handmaids tended, but she heeded not ;
Her father watch'd, she turn'd her eyes away;
However dear or cherish'd in their day ;
Gentle, but without memory, she lay ;
And then a slave bethought her of a harp;
The harper came and tuned his instrument. At the first notes, irregular and sharp,
On him her flashing eyes a moment bent, Then to the wall she turn’d, as if to warp
Her thoughts from sorrow through her heart re-sent ; And he begun a long low island song Of ancient days, ere tyranny grew strong.
Anon her thin wan fingers beat the wall
In time to his old tune: he changed the theme, And sung of love; the fierce name struck through all
Her recollection ; on her flash'd the dream
To be so, being: in a gushing stream
Short solace, vain relief !—thought came too quick,
And whirl'd her brain to madness ; she arose, As one who ne'er had dwelt among the sick,
And flew at all she met, as on her foes ;
But no one ever heard her speak or shriek,
Although her paroxysm drew towards its close ;Hers was a frcnzy which disdain’d to rave, Even when they smote her, in the hope to save.
Yet she betray'd at times a gleam of sense ;
Nothing could make her meet her father's face, Though on all other things with looks intense
She gazed, but none she ever could retrace. Food she refused, and raiment; no pretence
Avail'd for either; neither change of place, Nor time, nor skill, nor remedy, could give her Senses to sleep—the power seem'd gone forever.
Twelve days and nights she wither'd thus; at last,
Without a groan, or sigh, or glance, to show A parting pang, the spirit from her past :
And they who watch'd her nearest could not know The very instant, till the change that cast
Her sweet face into shadow, dull and slow, Glazed o'er her eyes—the beautiful, the blackOh! to possess such lustre-and then lack !
She died, but not alone : she held within
A second principle of life, which might Have dawn'd a fair and sinless child of sin ;
But closed its little being without light, And went down to the grave unborn, wherein
Blossom and bough lie wither'd with one blight: In vain the dews of heaven descend above The bleeding flower and blasted fruit of lovc,
Thus lived-thus died she; never more on her
Shall sorrow light, or shame. She was not made Through years or moons the inner weight to bear,
Which colder hearts endure till they are laid
Brief but delightful—such as had not stay'd
That isle is now all desolate and bare,
Its dwellings down, its tenants pass'd away : None but her own and father's grave is there,
And nothing outward tells of human clay: Ye could not know where lies a thing so fair,
No stone is there to show, no tongue to say What was: no dirge, except the hollow sea's, Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades.
Sighs o'er her name ; and many an islander
Valour was his, and beauty dwelt with her: If she loved rashly, her life paid for wrong
A heavy price inust all pay who thus err, In some shape; let none think to fly the danger, For soon or late Love is his own avenger.
CAIN AND LUCIFER IN THE ABYSS
(Act II., SCENE I., OF “Cain, 1821)
Cain, Can I do so without impiety?
What thou dar'st not deny-the history
Cain. Oh, god, or demon, or whate'er thou art,
Dost thou not recognize
Can it be?
Point me out the site
Cain. How should I ? As we move
And if there should be
I should be proud of thought
But if that high thought were 50 Link'd to a servile mass of matter, and Knowing such things, aspiring to such things, And science still beyond them, were chain'd down .