Imagini ale paginilor

his berces have somewhat the attributes of Childe Harold :

al pleasure; a keen sense of what is nobie and honorable ;

EL. too intimate an acquaintance with the vanity of human

wl again, varied only by the exertions of that powerful with the fair.-SIR WALTER SCOTT.)


That some can conquer, and that all would claim,
Yet seem'd as lately they had been alive;
Fuld hare been an unpleasant monotomy. All, or almost all,
1 tanequally keen susceptibility of injustice or injury,under

the part of stoicism or contempt of mankind. The strength
dear's passion, and the glow of youthful feeling, are uni-
Vales. These general attributes mark the stern features of

Lord Byron's heroes, from those which are shaded by the salosed hat of the illustrious Pilgrim, to those which lurk rader the turban of Alp the Renegade. It was reserved to

But one is absent from the mouldering file,
That now were welcome in that Gothic pile.

Not much ho loved long question of the past,

Nor told of wondrous wilds, and deserts vast,

In those far lands where he had wander'd lone,
He comes at last in sudden loneliness,

And—as himself would have it seem-unknown: And whence they know not, why they need not guess; Yet these in vain his eye could scarcely scan, They more might marvel, when the greeting's o'er, Nor glean experience from his fellow man; Not that he came, but came not long before :

But what he had beheld he shunn'd to show, No train is his beyond a single page,

As hardly worth a stranger's care to know ;
Of foreign aspect, and of tender age.

If still more prying such inquiry grew,
Years had rollid on, and fast they speed away His brow fell darker, and his words more few.
To these that wander as to those that stay;
Bit lack of tidings from another clime

Had lent a flagging wing to weary Time.

Not unrejoiced to see him once again, They see, they recognise, yet almost deem

Warm was his welcome to the haunts of men; The present dubious, or the past a dream.

Born of high lineage, link'd in high command,

He mingled with the Magnates of his land;
He lives

, nor yet is past his manhood's prime, Join'd the carousals of the great and gay,
Through sear'd by toil, and something touch'd by time; And saw them smile or sigh their hours away;"
His faults, whate'er they were, if scarce forgot, But still ho only saw, and did not share,
Il ght be untaught him by his varied lot;

The common pleasure or the general care ; Nor good nor ill of late were known, his name He did not follow what they all pursued, light yet uphold his patrimonial fame :

With hope still baffled still to bo renewd;
Ils soul in youth was haughty, but his sins

Nor shadowy honor, nor substantial gain,
No more than pleasure from the stripling wins ; Nor beauty's preference, and the rival's pain :
And such, if not yet harden'd in their course, Around him some mysterious circle thrown
Might be redeem'd, nor ask a long remorse.

Repell'd approach, and show'd him still alone;

Upon his eye sat something of reproof,

That kept at least frivolity aloof;
And they indeed were changed—'tis quickly seen, And things more timid that beheld him near,
Whate'er he be, 'twas not what he had been: In silence gazed, or whisper'd mutual fear;
That brux in furrow'd lines had fix'd at last,

And they the wiser, friendlier few confess'd
And spake of passions, but of passion past :

They deem'd him better than his air express'd.
The pride, but not the fire, of early days,
Codines of mien, and carelessness of praise ;

A high demeanor, and a glance that took

'Twas strange-in youth all action and all life, Their thoughts from others by a single look ;

Burning for pleasure, not averse from strife ;
And that sarcastic levity of tongue,

Woman—the field—the ocean—all that gave
The singing of a heart the world hath stung,' Promise of gladness, peril of a grave,
That darts in seeming playfulness around,

In turn he tried-he ransack'd all below,
And makes those feel that will not own the wound; And found his recompense in joy or wo,
All these seem’d his, and something more beneath, No tame, trite medium ; for his feelings sought
Than glance could well reveal, or accent breathe. In that intenseness an escape from thought:
Ambition, glory, love, the common aim,

The tempest of his heart in scorn had gazed

On that the feebler elements hath raised ; Within his breast appeard no more to strive,

The rapture of his heart had look'd on high,

And ask'd if greater dwelt beyond the sky: And some deep feeling it were vain to traco

Chain'd to excess, the slave of each extreme, At moments lighten'd' o'er his livid face.

How woke he from the wildness of that dream? na esta remarkable property of the poetry of Lord Byron, genius which, searching the springs of passion and of feel

ing in their innermost recesses, knew how to combine their spears to have assu med for an occasion the characteristic operations, so that the interest was eternally varying, and

1922 and style of several contemporaries, -yet not only is les poetry marked in every instance by the strongest cast of

never abated, although the most important personage of the

drama retained the same lineaments, It will one day be preality, brat in some leading particulars, and especially in considered as not the least remarkable literary phenomenon be character of his heroes, each story so closely resembled penither, that, managed by a writer of less power, the effect standing the quantity of distinguished poetical talent of

of this age, that during a period of four years, notwithwhich we may be permitted to toast, a single author-and he managing his pen with the careless and negligent case to each other,-did, in despite of these circunstances, of the unamiable attributes with which he usually invested his heroes, and of the proverbial fickleness of the public, maintain the ascendency in their favor, which he had acquired

by his first matured production. So, however, it indisputa, : bythas been turned alle scorso

? [This description of Lara, suddenly and unexpectedly returned from distant travels, and reassuming his station in the society of his own country, has strong points of resemblance to the part which the author himself seemed

Alas! he told not-but he did awake

Where history's pen its praise or blarne supplies, To curse the wither'd heart that would not break. And lies like truth, and still most truly lies.

He wandering mused, and as the moonbeam shone IX.

Through the dim lattice o'er the floor of stone, Books, for his volume heretofore was Man,

And the high fretted roof, and saints, that there With eye more curious he appear’d to scan,

O'er Gothic windows knelt in pictured prayer, And oft, in sudden mood, for many a day,

Reflected in fantastic figures grew, From all communion he would start away:

Like life, but not like mortal life, to view; And then, his rarely call'd attendants said,

His bristling locks of sable, brow of gloom, Through night's long hours would sound his hurried And the wide waving of his shaken plume, tread

Glanced like a spectre's attributes, and guve
O'er the dark gallery, where his fathers frown'd

His aspect all that terror gives the grave.
In rude but antique portraiture around:
They heard, but whisper'd—“ that must not be


'Twas midnight-all was slumber; the lone light The sound of words less earthly than his own. Dimm'd in the lamp, as loth to break the night. Yes, they who chose might smile, but some had seen Hark! there be murmurs heard in Lara's hallThey scarce knew what, but more than should have A sound—a voice—a shriek-a fearful call! been.

A long, loud shriek—and silence—did they hear Why gazed he so upon the ghastly head

That frantic echo burst the sleeping ear? Which hands profane had gather'd from the dead, They heard and rose, and, tremulously brave, That still beside his open'd volume lay,

Rush where the sound invoked their aid to save; As if to startle all save him away?

They come with half-lit tapers in their hands, Why slept he not when others were at rest ?

And snatch'd in startled haste unbelted brands.
| Why heard no music, and received no guest ?
| All was not well, they deem'd—but where the wrong?

Some knew perchance-but 'twere a tale too long ; Cold as the marble where his length was laid,
And such besides were too discreetly wise,

Pale as the beam that o'er his features play'd,
To more than hint their knowledge in surmise ;

Was Lara stretch'd; his half-drawn sabre near, But if they would—thoy could”-around the board,

Dropp'd it should seem in more than nature's fear; Thus Lara's vassals prattled of their lord.

Yet he was firm, or had been firm till now,

And still defiance knit his gather'd brow;

Though mix'd with terror, senseless as he lay,
It was the night-and Lara's glassy stream

There lived upon his lip the wish to slay ; The stars are studding, each with imaged beam; Some half-form'd threat in utterance there had died, So calm, the waters scarcely seem to stray,

Some imprecation of despairing pride ; And yet they glide like happiness away;

His eye was almost seald, but not forsook Reflecting far and fairy-like from high

Even in its trance the gladiator's look, The inmortal lights that live along the sky:

That oft awake his aspect could disclose, Its banks are fringed with many a goodly tree,

And now was fix'd in horrible repose. And flowers the fairest that may feast the bec; They raise him-bear him ;-hush! he breathes, he Such in her chaplet infant Dian wove,

speaks, And Innocence would offer to her love.

The swarthy blush recolors in his cheeks, These deck the shore; the waves their channel make His lip resumes its red, his eye, though dim, In windings bright and mazy like the snake.

Rolls wide and wild, each slowly quivering limb All was so still, so soft in earth and air,

Recalls its function, but his words are strung You scarce would start to meet a spirit there;

In terms that seem not of his native tongue; Secure that naught of evil could delight

Distinct but strange, enough they understand To walk in such a scene, on such a night!

To deem them accents of another land; It was a moment only for the good :

And such they were, and meant to meet an ear So Lara deem'd, nor longer there he stood,

That hears him not-alas! that cannot hear!
But turn’d in silence to his castle-gate;
Such scene his soul no more could contemplate:

Such scene reminded him of other days,

His page approach'd, and he alone appeard of skies more cloudless, moons of purer blaze, To know the import of the words they heard ; Of nights more soft and frequent, hearts that now

And, by the changes of his cheek and brow, No-n0—the storm may beat upon his brow,

They were not such as Lara should avow, Unfelt--unsparing—but a night like this,

Nor he interpret,-yet with less surprise A night of beauty, mock'd such breast as his.

Than those around their chieftain's state he eyes,

But Lara’s prostrate form he bent beside,

And in that tongue which seem'd his own replied, He turn'd within his solitary hall,

And Lara heeds those tones that gently seem And his high shadow shot along the wall:

To soothe away the horrors of his dream

If dream it were, that thus could overthrow
There were the painted forms of other times,
'Twas all they left of virtues or of crimes,

A breast that needed not ideal wo.
Savo vague tradition; and the gloomy vaults
That hid their dust, their foibles, and their faults ;

And half a columu of the pompous page,

Whate'er his phrensy dream'd or eye beheld, That speeds the specious tale from age to age; If yet remember'd ne'er to be revealid,

[ocr errors]

Rests at his heart: the custom'd morning came, In vigilance of grief that would compel
And breathed new vigor in his shaken frame; Tho soul to hate for having loved too well.
And solace sought he none from priest nor leech,
And soon the same iu movement and in speech
As heretofore he fill'd the passing hours,

Nor less he smiles, nor more his forehead lowers,

There was in him a vital scorn of all : Than these were wont; and if the coming night,

As if the worst had fallen which could befall, Appear'd less welcome now to Lara's sight,

He stood a stranger in this breathing world, He to his marvelling vassals show'd it not,

An erring spirit from another hurl'd; Whose shuddering proved their fear was less forgot.

A thing of dark imaginings, that shaped In trembling pairs (alone they dared not) crawl

By choice the perils he by chance escaped ; The astonish'd slaves, and shun the fated hall; But 'scaped in vain, for in their memory yet The waving banner, and the clapping door,

His inind would half exult and half regret: The rustling tapestry, and the echoing floor;

With more capacity for love than earth The long dim shadows of surrounding trees,

Bestows on most of mortal mould and birth,
The fapping bat, the night-song of the breeze ; His early dreams of good ontstripp'd the truth,
Aught they behold or hear their thought appals, And troubled manhood follow'd baffled youth;
As evening saddens o'er the dark gray walls.

With thought of years in phantom chaso misspent,
And wasted powers for better purpose lent;

And fiery passions that had pour'd their wrath

In hurried desolation o'er his path, Vain thought! that hour of ne'er unravell’d gloom

And left the better feelings all at strife

In wild reflection o'er his stormy life;
Care not again, or Lara could assume
A neming of forgetfulness, that mado

But haughty still, and loth himself to blame,

He call’d on Nature's self to share the shame, Ha vassals more amazed nor less afraid Had inemory vanish'd then with sense restored ?

And charged all faults upon the fleshy form Sizce word, nor look, nor gesture of their lord

She gave to clog the soul, and feast the worm ; Betray'd a feeling that recall'd to these

Till he at last confounded good and ill, That sever'd moment of his mind's disease.

And half mistook for fate the acts of will: Was it a dream? was his the voice that spoke

Too high for common selfishness, he could Those strange wild accents; his the cry that broke

At times resign his own for others' good, Their slumber? his the oppress’d, o'erlabor'd heart

But not in pity, not because he ought, That ceased to beat, the look that made them start ?

But in some strange perversity of thought, Could he who thus had sufferd so forget,

That sway'd him onward with a secret pride When such as saw that suffering shudder yet?

To do what few or none would do beside; · Or did that silence prove his memory fix'd

And this same impulse would, in tempting time, Too deep for words, indelible, unmix'd

Mislead his spirit equally to crime ; In that corroding secrecy which gnaws

So much he soar'd beyond, or sunk beneath, The heart to show the effect, but not the cause ?

The men with whom he felt condemn'd to breathe, Not so in him ; his breast had buried both,

And long'd by good or ill to separate Ner common gazers could discern the growth

Himself from all who shared his mortal state; Of thoughts that mortal lips must leave half told ;

His mind abhorring this had fix'd her throne

Far from the world, in regions of her own:
They choke the feeble words that would unfold.

Thus coldly passing all that pass'd below,
His blood in temperate seeming now would flow:

Ah! happier if it ne'er with guilt had glow'd,

But ever in that icy smoothness flow'd!
In bím inexplicably mix'd appear’d

”Tis true, with other men their path he walk’d, Mach to be loved and hated, sought and fear'd;

And like the rest in seeming did and talk'd, Om varying o'er his hidden lot,

Nor outraged Reason's rules by flaw nor start; la praise or railing ne'er his name forgot:

His maduess was not of the head, but heart, His silence forin'd a theme for others' prate

And rarely wander'd in his speech, or drew They guess'd-they gazed—they fain would know his His thoughts so forth as to offend the view.

fate. What 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 all that chilling mystery of mien,
With them he could seem gay amidst the gay ; And seeming gladness to remain unseen,
Bat own'd that smile, if oft observed and near, He had (if 'twere not nature's boon) an art
Waned in its mirth, and wither'd to a sneer;

Of fixing memory on another's heart :
That smile might reach his lip, but pass'd not by, It was not love perchance-nor hate-nor aught
Noe e'er could trace its laughter to his eye:

That words can image to express the thought; Yet there was softness too in his regard,

But they who saw him did not see in vain, At times, a heart as not by nature hard,

And once beheld, would ask of him again : Bat once perceived, his spirit seem'd to chide And those to whom he spake remember'd well, Such weakness, as unworthy of its pride,

And on the words, however light, would dwell: And sterl'd itself, as scorning to redeem

None knew, nor how, nor why, but he entwined One doubt from others' half-withheld esteem;

Himself perforce around the hearer's mind; La self-inflicted penance of a breast 1

There he was stamp'd, in liking, or in hate, Which tenderness might once have wrung from rest; If greeted once ; however brief the date

That friendship, pity, or aversion knew,

Doubt not my fitting answer to requite
Still there within the inınost thought he grew. The unlook'd for courtesy of such a knight.
You could not penetrate his soul, but found,

'Tis Lara 5-further wouldst thou mark or ask ?
Despite your wonder, to your own he wound; I shun no question, and I wear no mask."
His presenco haunted still; and from the breast
Ho forced an all unwilling interest :
Vain was the struggle in that mental net,

“ Thou shunn'st no question ! Ponder—is there none His spirit seem'd to dare you to forget!

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! never canst thou cancel half her debt,
There is a festival, where knights and dames, Eternity forbids thee to forget.”
And aught that wealth or lofty lineage claims, With slow and searching glance upon his face
Appear-a highborn and a welcome guest

Grow Lara's eyes, but nothing there could trace To Otho's hall came Lara with the rest.

They knew, or chose to know—with dubious look The long carousal shakes the illumined hall,

He deign'd no answer, but his head he shook, Well speeds alike the banquet and the ball ;

And half contemptuous turn'd to pass away; And the gay dance of bounding Beauty's train But the stern stranger motion'd him to stay. Links grace and harmony in happiest chain:

" A word !-I charge thee stay, and answer here Blest are the early hearts and gentle hands

To one, who, wert thou noble, were thy peer ; That mingle there in well-according bands;

But as thou wast and art-nay, frown not, lord, It is a sight the careful brow might smooth,

If false, 'tis easy to disprove the word — And make Age smile, and dream itself to youth, But as thou wast and art, on the looks down, And Youth forget such hour was passid ou earth, Distrusts thy smiles, but shakes not at thy frown. So springs the exulting bosom to that mirth!

Art thou not he? whose deeds

“ Whato'er I be, Words wild as these, accusers like to thee, XXI.

I list no further; those with whom they weigh And Lara gazed on theso, sedately glad,

May hear the rest, nor venture to gainsay His brow belied him if his soul was sad;

The wondrous tale no doubt thy tongue can tell, And his glance follow'd fast each fluttering fair, Which thus begins so courteously and well. Whose steps of lightness woke no echo there :

Let Otho cherish here his polish'd guest, He lean'd against the lofty pillar nigh,

To him my thanks and thoughts shall be expressid.” With folded arms and long attentive eye,

And here their wondering host hath interposedNor mark'd a glance so sternly fix'd on his

“ Whate'er there be between you undisclosed, Ill brook'd high Lara scrutiny like this:

This is no time nor fitting place to mar At length he caught it-'tis a face unknown,

The mirthful meeting with a wordy war. But seems as searching his, and his alone;

If thou, Sir Ezzelin, hast aught to show Prying and dark, a stranger's by his mien,

Which it befits Count Lara's ear to know,
Who still till now had gazed on him unseen:

To-morrow, here, or elsewhere, as may best
At length encountering meets the mutual gaze Besoem your mutual judgment, speak the rest ;
Of keen inquiry, and of mute amaze ;

I pledgo myself for thee, as not unknown,
On Lara's glance emotion gathering grow,

Though, like Count Lara, now return'd alone As if distrusting that the stranger threw;

From other lands, almost a stranger grown; Along the stranger's aspect, fix'd and stern,

And if from Lara's blood and gentle birth Flash'd more than thence the vulgar eye could learn. I augur right of courage and of worth, .

He will not that untainted line belie,

Nor aught that knighthood may accord, deny."
"" "Tis he?" the stranger cried, and those that heard
Re-echo'd fast and far the whisperd word.

“To-morrow be it," Ezzelin replied, “ "Tis he!" _" 'Tis who?" they question far and near, “ And here our several worth and truth be tried : Till louder accents rung on Lara's ear;

I gage my life, my falchion to attest
So widely spread, few bosoms well could brook My words, so may I mingle with the bless'd !”
The general marvel, or that single look:

What answers Lara ? to its centre shrunk
But Lara stirr'd not, changed not, the surprise His soul, in deep abstraction sudden suuk;
That sprung at first to his arrested eyes

The words of many, and the eyes of all Seem'd now subsided, neither sunk nor raised

That there were gather'd, seem'd on him to fall; Glanced his eye round, though still the stranger gazed; But his were silent, his appear'd to stray And drawing nigh, exclaim’d, with haughty sneer, In far forgetfulness away-away“ 'Tis he!-how came he thence ?-what doth he Alas! that heedlessness of all around here ?"

Bespoko remembranco only too profound.

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,

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

He seized his cloak-his head he slightly bow'd, In mute attention; and his care, which guess'd And passing Ezzelin, he left the crowd;

Each wish, fulfilled it ere the tongue express'd. And, as he pass'd him, smiling met the frown

Still there was haughtiness in all he did, With which that chieftain's brow would bear him down: A spirit deep that brook'd not to be chid; It was por smile of mirth, nor struggling prido His zeal, though more than that of servile hands, That curbs to scorn the wrath it cannot hide; In act alone obeys, his air commands; But that of one in his own heart secure

As if 'twas Lara's less than his desire or all that he would do or could endure.

That thus he served, but surely not for hire. Could this mean peace ? tho calmness of the good ? Slight were the tasks enjoin'd him by his lord, Or guilt grown old in desperate hardihood ?

To hold the stirrup, or to bear the sword; Alas! loo like in confidence aro each,

To tune his lute, or, if he will'd it more, For man to trust to mortal look or speoch;

On tomes of other times and tongues to poro ; From deeds, and deeds alone, may ho discern But ne'er to mingle with the menial train, Truths which it wrings the unpractised heart to learn. To whom he show'd nor deference nor disdain,

But that well-worn reserve which proved ho knew

No sympathy with that familiar crew:

His soul, whate'er his station or his stem,
And Lara call'd his page, and went his way-

Could bow to Lara, not descend to them. Well could that stripling word or sign obey:

Of higher birth he seem'd, and better days, His only follower from those climes afar,

Nor mark of vulgar toil that hand betrays, Where the soul glows beneath a brighter star;

So femininely white it might bespeak For Lara left the shoro from whence he sprung,

Another sex, when match'd with that smooth check, In duty patient, and sedato though young;

But for his garb, and something in his gaze, Silent as him he served, his faith appears

More wild and high than woman's eye betrays; Above his station, and boyond his years.

A latent fierceness that far more became Though not unknown the tongue of Lara's land,

His fiery climate than his tender frame : In such from him he rarely heard command ;

True, in his words it broke not from his breast, But fert his step, and clear his tones would come,

But from his aspect might be more than guess'd. When Lara's lip breathed forth the words of home:

Kaled his name, though rumor said he boro Thusa accents, as his native mountains dear,

Another ere he left his mountain-shore ; Awake their absent echoes in his ear,

For sometimes he would hear, however nigh, Friends", kindred's, pareuts', wonted voice recall,

That name repeated loud without reply, Now lost, abjared, for one-his friend, his all :

As unfamiliar, or, if roused again, For him earth now disclosed no other guide;

Start to the sound, as but remember'd then;
What marvel then he raroly left his side ?

Unless 'twas Lara's wonted voice that spake,
For then, ear, eyes, and heart would all awake.

Light was his form, and darkly delicate
That brow whereon his native sun had sate,

But had not marr'd, though in his beams he grew, Ho had look'd down upon the festive hall,
The cheek where oft the unbidden blush shone And mark'd that sudden strife so mark'd of all ;
through ;

And when the crowd around and near him told Yet not such blush as mounts when health would show Their wonder at the calmness of the bold, All the heart's hue in that delighted glow;

Their marvel how the high-born Lara bore But 'twas a hectic tint of secret care

Such insult from a stranger, doubly sore, That for a burning moment fever'd there;

The color of young Kaled went and came, And the wild sparklo of his eye seem'd caught The lip of ashes, and the cheek of flame; Froin high, and lightend with electric thought, And o'er his brow the dampening heart-drops threw Though its black orb those long low lashes' fringe The sickening iciness of that cold dew, Had tempor'd with a melancholy tinge ;

That rises as the busy bosom sinks Yet less of sorrow than of pride was there,

With heavy thoughts from which reflection shrinks. Or, if 'twere griel, a grief that none should share : Yes—there be things which we must dream and dare, And pleased not him the sports that pleuso his age, And execute ere thought be half aware : 'The tricks of youth, the frolics of the page ;

Whate'er might Kaled's be, it was enow For hours on Lara he would fix his glance,

To seal his lip, but agonize his brow.
As all-forgotten in that watchful trance ;

He gazed on Ezzelin till Lara cast
And from his chief withdrawn, he wander'd lone, That sidelong smile upon the knight he passid:
Brief were his auswers, and his questions none; When Kaled saw that smile his visage fell,
He walk the wood, his sport some foreigu book ; As if on something recognised right well ;
Ilis resting-place the bank that curbs the brook: His memory read in such a meaning more
He emnd, like him he served, to live apart

Than Lara's aspect unto others wore :
Fmu all that lures the eye, and fills the heart; Forward he sprung-a moment, both were gone,
To know no brotherhood, and take from earth And all within that hall seem'd left alone;
No gift beyond that bitter boon—our birth.

Each had so fix'd his eye on Lara's mien,
All had so mix'd their feelings with that scene,

That when his long dark shadow through tho porch

No more relieves the glare of yon high torch,
If anght he loved, 'twas Lara ; but was shown Each pulse beats quicker, and all bosoms seem
Ha land in fererence and in deeds alone;

To bound as doubting from too black a dream,

« ÎnapoiContinuați »