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It was despair made them so uniform:
And all the while the loud and gusty storm
Hissed through the window, and we stood behind,
Sualing his accents from the envious wind,
Unseen. I yet remember what he said
Distinctly, such impression his words made.

"Month after month," he cried, M to bear this
And, as a jade urged by the whip and goad,
To drag life on—which like a heavy chain
Lengthens behind with many a link of pain,
And not to speak my grief—0, not to dare
To give a human voice to my despair;
But live, and move, and, wretched thing! smile on,
As if I never went aside to groan,
And wear this mask of falsehood even to those
Who are most dear—not for my own repose.
Alas! no scorn, nor pain, nor hate, could be
So heavy as that falsehood is to me—
But that I cannot bear more altered faces
Than needs must be, more changed and cold

embraces, Mure misery, disappointment, and mistrust, To own me for their father. Would the dust Were covered in upon my body now! That the life ceased to toil within my brow! And then these thoughts would at the last be fled: Let us not fear such pain can vex the dead.

"What Power delights to torture us? I know That to myself I do not wholly owe What now I suffer, though in part I may. Alas! none strewed fresh flowers upon the way Where, wandering heedlessly, I met pale Pain, My shadow, which will leave me not again. If I have erred, there was no joy in error, But pais, and insult, and unrest, and terror; I hare not, as some do, bought penitence With pleasure, and a dark yet sweet offence; For then if love, and tenderness, and truth, Had overlived Hope's momentary youth, My creed should have redeemed me from repenting; But loathed scorn and outrage unrelenting Met love excited by far other seeming Until the end was gained:—as one from dreaming Of sweetest peace, I woke, and found my state Such as it is—

"0 thou, my spirit's mate! Who, for thou art compassionate and wise, Wouldst pity me from thy most gentle eyes If this sad writing thou shouldst ever see; My secret groans must be unheard by thee; Thou wouldst weep tears, bitter as blood, to know Thy lost friend's incommunicable woe. Ye few by whom my nature has been weighed In friendship, let me not that name degrade, By placing on your hearts the secret load Which crushes mine to dust. There is one road To peace, and that is truth, which follow ye! Lore sometimes leads astray to misery. Yet think not, though subdued (and I may well Say that I am subdued)—that the full lull Within me would infect the untainted breast Of sacred nature with its own unrest; As some perverted beings think to find In scorn or hate a medicine for the mind Which scorn or hate hath wounded.—0, how vain! The dagger heals not, but may rend again.

Believe that I am ever still the same

In creed as in resolve ; and what may tame

My heart, must leave the understanding free,

Or all would sink under this agony.—

Nor dream that I will join the vulgar lie,

Or with my silence sanction tyranny,

Or seek a moment's shelter from my pain

In any madness which the world calls gain;

Ambition, or revenge, or thoughts as stern

As those which make me what I am, or turn

To avarice, or misanthropy, or lust:

Heap on me soon, 0 grave, thy welcome dust!

Till then the dungeon may demand its prey;

And Poverty and Shame may meet and say,

Halting beside me in the public way,—

'That love-devoted youth is ours: let's sit

Beside him: he may live some six months yet.'—

Or the red scaffold, as our country bends,

May ask some willing victim; or ye, friends,

May fall under some sorrow, which this heart

Or hand may share, or vanquish, or avert;

I am prepared, in truth, with no proud joy,

To do or suffer aught, as when a boy

I did devote to justice, and to love,

My nature, worthless now.

■ I must remove A veil from my pent mind. 'Tis torn aside! O! pallid as death's dedicated bride, Thou mockery which art sitting by my side, Am I not wan like thee? At the grave's call I haste, invited to thy wedding-ball, To meet the ghastly paramour, for whom Thou hast deserted me,—and made the tomb Thy bridal bed. But I beside thy feet Will lie, and watch ye from my winding-sheet Thus—wideawake though dead—Yet stay, O, stay! Go not so soon—I know not what I say— Hear but my reasons—I am mad, I fear, My fancy is o'erwrought—thou art not here,

Pale art thou 'tis most true but thou art gone—

Thy work is finished; I am left alone.

"Nay was it I who woo'd thee to this breast,
Which like a serpent thou envenomest
As in repayment of the warmth it lent?
Didst thou not seek me for thine own content?
Did not thy love awaken mine i I thought
That thou wert she who said' You kiss me not
Ever; I fear you do not love me now.'
In truth I loved even to my overthrow
Her who would fain forget these words, but they
Cling to her mind, and cannot pass away.

"You say that I am proud; that when I speak,
My lip is tortured with the wrongs, which break
The spirit it expresses.—Never one
Humbled himself before, as I have done;
Even the instinctive worm on which we tread
Turns, though it wound not—then, with prostrate

head, Sinks in the dust, and writhes like me—and dies:

No:—wears a living death of agonies;

As the slow shadows of the pointed grass
Mark the eternal periods, its pangs pass,
Slow, ever-moving, making moments be
As mine seem,—each an immortality!

"That you had never seen me! never heard
My voice! and more than all had ne'er endured
The deep pollution of my loathed embrace;
That your eyes ne'er had lied love in my face!
That, like some maniac monk, I had torn out
The nerves of manhood by their bleeding root
With mine own quivering fingers! so that ne'er
Our hearts had for a moment mingled there,
To disunite in horror! These were not
With thee like some suppressed and hideous thought,
Which flits athwart our musings, but can find
No rest within a pure and gentle mind—
Thou sealedst them with many a bare broad word,
And sear'dst my memory o'er them,—for I heard
And can forget not—they were ministered,
One after one, those curses. Mix them up
Like self-destroying poisons in one cup;
And they will make one blessing, which thou ne'er
Didst imprecate for on me death!

"It were
A cruel punishment for one most cruel,
If such can love, to make that love the fuel
Of the mind's hell—hate, scorn, remorse, despair:
But me, whose heart a stranger's tear might wear
As water-drops the sandy fountain stone;
Who loved and pitied all things, .and could moan
For woes which others hear not, and could see
The absent with the glass of phantasy,
And near the poor and trampled sit and weep.
Following the captive to his dungeon deep;
Me, who am as a nerve o'er which do creep
The else-unfelt oppressions of this earth,
And was to thee the flame upon thy hearth,
When all beside was cold:—that thou on me
Should rain these plagues of blistering agony—
Such curses are from lips once eloquent
With love's too partial praise! Let none relent
Who intend deeds too dreadful for a name
Henceforth, if an example for the same
They seek:—for thou on me lookedst so and so,
And didst speak thus and thus. I live to show
How much men bear and die not.

"Thou wilt tell, With the grimace of hate, how horrible It was to meet my love when thine grew less; Thou wilt admire how I could e'er address Such features to love's work .... This taunt,

though true, (For indeed Nature nor in form nor hue Bestowed on me her choicest workmanship) Shall not be thy defence: for since thy lip Met mine first, years long past,—since thine eye

kindled With soft fire under mine,—I have not dwindled, Nor changed in mind, or body, or in aught But as love changes what it loveth not After long years and many trials.

"How vain Are words; I thought never to speak again, Not even in secret, not to my own heart— But from my lips the unwilling accents start, And from my pen the words flow as I write, Dazzling my eyes with scalding tears—my sight

Is dim to see that (charactered in vain
On this unfeeling leaf) which burns the brain
And eats into it, blotting all things fair.
And wise and good, which time had written there.
Those who inflict must suffer, for they see
The work of their own hearts, and that must be
Our chastisement or recompense.—O child!
I would that thine were like to be more mila
For both our wretched sakes,—for thine the most,
Who feel'st already all that thou hast lost,
Without the power to wish it thine again.
And, as slow years pass, a funereal train,
Each with the ghost of some lost hope or friend
Following it like its shadow, wilt thou bend
No thought on my dead memory!
* • * » » a

"Alas, love!
Fear me not: against thee I'd not move
A finger in despite. Do I not live
That thou mayst have less bitter cause to grieve!
I give thee tears for scorn, and love for hate;
And, that thy lot may be less desolate
Than his on whom thou tramplest, I refrain
From that sweet sleep which medicines all pain.
Then—when thou speakest of me—never say,
'He could forgive not.''—Here I cast away
All human passions, all revenge, all pride;
I think, speak, act no ill; I do but hide
Under these words, like embers, every spark
Of that which has consumed me. Quick and dark
The grave is yawning:—as its roof shall cover
My limbs with dust and worms, under and over,
So let oblivion hide this grief.—The air
Closes upon my accents as despair
Upon my heart—let death upon my care!**

He ceased, and overcome, leant back awhile; Then rising, with a melancholy smile, Went to a sofa, and lay down, and slept A heavy sleep, and in his dreams he wept, And muttered some familiar name, and we Wept without shame in his society. I think I never was impressed so much! The man, who was not, must have lacked a touch Of human nature.—Then we lingered not, Although our argument was quite forgot; But, calling the attendants, went to dine At Maddalo's;—yet neither cheer nor wine Could give us spirits, for we talked of him, And nothing else, till daylight made stars dim. And we agreed it was some dreadful ill Wrought on him boldly, yet unspeakable, By a dear friend; some deadly change in love Of one vowed deeply which he dreamed not of; For whose sake he, it seemed, had fixed a blot Of falsehood in his mind, which flourished not But in the light of all-beholding truth; And having stamped this canker on his youth, She had abandoned him:—and how much morv Might be his woe, we guessed not:—he had sUire Of friends and fortune once, as we could guess From his nice habits and lib gentleness: These now were lost—it were a grief indeed If he had changed one unsustaining reed For all that such a man might else adorn. The colours of his mind seemed yet unworn; For the wild language of his grief was high— Such as in measure were called poetry. And I remember one remark, which then Maddalo made: he said—" Most wretched men

Are cradled into poetry by wrong:

They learn in suffering what they teach in song."

If I had been an unconnected man,

I, from the moment, should have formed some

plan Never to leave sweet Venice: for to me It was delight to ride by the lone sea: And then the town is silent—one may write Or read in gondolas, by day or night, Having the little brazen lamp alight, Unseen, uninterrupted:—books are there, Pictures, and casts from all those statues fair Which were twin-born with poetry!—and all We seek in towns, with little to recall Regret for the green country:—I might sit In Maddalo's great palace, and his wit And subtle talk would cheer the winter night, And make me know myself:—and the fire light Would flash upon our faces, till the day Slight dawn, and make me wonder at my stay. But I had friends in London too. The chief Attraction here was that I sought relief From the deep tenderness that maniac wrought Within me—'twas perhaps an idle thought, But I imagined that if, day by day, I watched him, and seldom went away, And studied all the beatings of his heart With zeal, as men Btudy some stubborn art For their own good, and could by patience find An entrance to the caverns of his mind, I might reclaim him from his dark estate. In friendships I had been most fortunate, Yet never saw I one whom I would call More willingly my friend :—and this was all Accomplished not;—such dreams of baseless good Oft come and go, in crowds or solitude, And leave no trace!—but what I now designed Made, for long years, impression on my mind. The following morning, urged by my affairs, I left bright Venice.

After many years,
And many changes, I returned: the name
Of Venice, and its aspect, was the same;
But Maddalo was travelling, far away,
Among the mountains of Armenia.
His dog was dead: his child had now become
A woman, such as it has been my doom
To meet with few; a wonder of this earth,
Where there is little of transcendent worth,—
Like one of Shakspeare's women. Kindly she,
And with a manner beyond courtesy,
Received her father's friend; and, when I asked,
Of the lorn maniac, she her memory tasked,
And told, as she had heard, the mournful tale:
"That the poor sufferer's health began to fail
Two years from my departure: but that then
The lady, who had left him, came again;
Her mien had been imperious, but she now
Looked meek; perhaps remorse had brought

her low.
Her coming made him better; and they stayed
Together at my father's,—for I played,
As I remember, with the lady's shawl;
I might be six years old:—But, after all,
She left him."—

"Why, her heart must have been tough; How did it end 1"

"And was not this enough % They met, they parted."

"Child, is there no more V

"Something within that interval which bore The stamp of why they parted, how they met ;— Yet, if thine aged eyes disdain to wet Those wrinkled cheeks with youth's remembered Ask me no more; but let the silent years [tears, Be closed and cered over their memory, As yon mute marble where their corpses lie." I urged and questioned still: she told me how All happened—but the cold world shall not know.



Listes, listen, Mary mine,

To the whisper of the Apennine,

It bursts on the roof like the thunder's roar,

Or like the sea on a northern shore,

Heard in its raging ebb and flow

By the captives pent in the cave below.

The Apennine in the light of day

Is a mighty mountain dim and grey,

Which between the earth and sky doth lay;

But when night comes, a chaos dread

On the dim starlight then is spread,

And the Apennine walks abroad with the storm.

May «M, 1818.


Wilt thou forget the happy hours
Which we buried in Love s sweet bowers,
Heaping over their corpses cold
Blossoms and leaves instead of mould!
Blossoms which were the joys that fell,
And leaves, the hopes that yet remain.

Forget the dead, the past? 0 yet

There are ghosts that may take revenge for it;

Memories that make the heart a tomb,

Regrets which glide through the spirit's gloom,

And with ghastly whispers tell

That joy, once lost, is pain.


A Woodman, whose rough heart was out of tune
(I think such hearts yet never came to good),
Hated to hear, under the stars or moon,

One nightingale in an interfluous wood
Satiate the hungry dark with melody ;—
And, as a vale is watered by a flood,

Or as the moonlight fills the open sky
Struggling with darkness—as a tuberose
Peoples some Indian dell with scents which lie

Like clouds above the flower from which they rose,
The singing of that happy nightingale
In this sweet forest, from the golden close

Of evening till the star of dawn may fail,
Was interfused upon the silentness;
The folded roses and the violets pale

Heard her within their slumbers, the abyss
Of heaven with all its planets ; the dull ear
Of the night-cradled earth; the loneliness

Of the circumfluous waters,—every sphere
And every flower and beam and cloud and wave,
And every wind of the mute atmosphere,

And every beast stretched in its rugged cave,
And every bird lulled on its mossy bough,
And every silver moth, fresh from the grave,

Which is its cradle—ever from below
Aspiring like one who loves too fair, too far,
To be consumed within the purest glow

Of one serene and unapproached star,
As if it were a lamp of earthly light,
Unconscious as some human lovers are,

Itself how low, how high, beyond all height

The heaven where it would perish !—andeveryform

That worshipped in the temple of the night

Was awed into delight, and by the charm

Girt as with an interminable zone,

Whilst that sweet bird, whose music was a storm

Of sound, shook forth the dull oblivion
Out of their dreams; harmony became love
In every soul but one. . . .

And so this man returned with axe and saw At evening close from killing the tall treen, The soul of whom by nature's gentle law

Was each a wood-nymph, and kept ever green The pavement and the roof of the wild copse, Chequering the sunlight of the blue serene

With jagged leaves,—and from the forest tops Singing the winds to sleep—or weeping oft Fast showers of aerial water drops

Into their mother's bosom, sweet and soft, Nature's pure tears which have no bitterness ;— Around the cradles of the birds aloft

They spread themselves into the loveliness

Of fan-like leaves, and over pallid flowers

Hang like moist clouds: or, where high branches kiss,

Make a green space among the silent bowers,
Like a vast fane in a metropolis,
Surrounded by the columns and the towers

All overwrought with branch-like traceries
In which there is religion—and the mute
Persuasion of unkindled melodies,

Odours and gleams and murmurs, which the lute

Of the blind pilot-spirit of the blast

Stirs as it sails, now grave and now acute,

Wakening the leaves and waves ere it has past

To such brief unison as on the brain

One tone, which never can recur, has cast,

One accent never to return again.


0 Mart dear, that you were here
With your brown eyes bright and clear,
And your sweet voice, like a bird
Singing love to its lone mate

In the ivy bower disconsolate;
Voice the sweetest ever heard!
And your brow more • * *
Than the * * * sky
Of this azure Italy.
Mary dear, come to me soon,

1 am not well whilst thou art far;
As sunset to the sphered moon,
As twilight to the western star,
Thou, beloved, art to me.

0 Mary dear, that you were here!
The Castle echo whispers " Here!"

Ests, September, 1818'


The colour from the flower is gone,

Which like thy sweet eyes smiled on me;

The odour from the flower is flown,
Which breathed of thee and only thee!

A withered, lifeless, vacant form,
It lies on my abandoned breast,

And mocks the heart which yet is warm
With cold and silent rest.

I weep—my tears revive it not.

I sigh—it breathes no more on me; Its mute and uncomplaining lot

Is Buch as mine should be.


Come, be happy !—sit near me,
Shadow-vested Misery:
Coy, unwilling, silent bride,
Mourning in thy robe of pride,
Desolation—deified 1

Come, be happy I—sit near me:
Sad as I may seem to thee,
I am happier far than thou,
Lady, whose imperial brow
Is endiademed with woe.

Misery! we have known each other,
Like a sister and a brother
Living in the same lone home,
Many years—we must live some
Hours or ages yet to come.

'Tis an evil lot, and yet

Let us make the best of it;

If love can live when pleasure dies,

We two will love, till in our eyes

This heart's Hell seem Paradise.

Come, be happy !—lie thee down
On the fresh grass newly mown,
Where the grasshopper doth 6ing
Merrily—one joyous thing
In a world of sorrowing!

There our tent shall bo the willow,
And mine arm shall be thy pillow;
Sounds and odours, sorrowful
Because they once were sweet, shall lull
Us to slumber deep and dull.

Ha ! thy frozen pulses flutter
With a love thou dar'st not utter.
Thou art murmuring—thou art weeping-
Is thine icy bosom leaping
While my burning heart lies sleeping!

Kiss me ;—oh ! thy Iipa are cold;
Round my neck thine arms enfold—
They are soft, but chill and dead;
And thy tears upon my head
Burn like points of frozen lead.

Hasten to the bridal bed—
Underneath the grave 'tis spread:
In darkness may our love be hid,
Oblivion be our coverlid—
We may rest, and none-forbid.

Clasp me, till our hearts be grown
Like two shadows into one;
Till this dreadful transport may
Like a vapour fade away
In the sleep that lasts alway.

We may dream in that long sleep,
That we are not those who weep;
Even as Pleasure dreams of thee,
Life-deserting Misery,
Thou mayest dream of her with me.

Let us laugh, and make our mirth,
At the shadows of the earth,
As dogs bay the moonlight clouds,
Which, like spectres wrapt in shrouds,
Pass o'er night in multitudes.

AU the wide world, beside us
Show like multitudinous
Puppets passing from a scene;
What but mockery can they mean,
Where I am—where thou hast been!



The sun is warm, the sky is clear,

The waves are dancing fast and bright, Blue isles and snowy mountains wear

The purple noon's transparent light: The breath of the moist air is light,

Around its unexpanded buds; Like many a voice of one delight,

The winds, the birds, the ocean floods, The City's voice itself is soft like Solitude's.

I see the Deep's untrampled floor

With green and purple sea-weeds strown; I see the waves upon the shore,

Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown: I sit upon the sands alone,

The lightning of the noon-tide ocean Is flashing round me, and a tone

Arises from its measured motion, How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion.

Alas! I have nor hope nor health,

Nor peace within nor calm around,
Nor that content surpassing wealth

The sage in meditation found,
And walked with inward glory crowned—

Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure. Others I see whom these surround

Smiling they live, and call life pleasure; To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.

Yet now despair itself is mild,

Even as the winds and waters are;
I could lie down like a tired child,

And weep away the life of care
Which I have borne, and yet must bear,

Till death like sleep might steal on me,
And I might feel in the warm air

My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea
Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.

Some might lament that I were cold,
As I when this sweet day is gone,
Which my lost heart, too soon grown old,

Insults with this untimely moan;
They might lament—for I am one

Whom men love not,—and yet regret, Unlike this day, which, when the sun Shall on its stainless glory Bet, Will linger, though enjoyed, like joy in memory

[yet. Drcmtxr, lUia


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