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She moved upon this earth a shape of brightness, Herwhite arms lifted through the shadowy stream
A power, that from its objects scarcely drew Of her loose hair-oh, excellently great
One impulse of her being-in her lightness Seemed to me then my purpose, the vast theme
Most like some radiant cloud of morning dew Of those impassioned songs, when Cytlına sate
Which wanders through the waste air's pathless Amid the calm which rapture doth create
To nourish some far desert ; she did seem [blue, After its tumult, her heart vibrating,
Beside me, gathering beauty as she grew,

Her spirit o'er the ocean's floating state
Like the bright shade of some immortal dream From her deep eyes far wandering, on the wing
Which walks, when tempest sleeps, the wave of Of visions that were mine, beyond its utmost
life's dark stream.

spring.

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Once she was dear, now she was all I had

And this beloved child thus felt the sway To love in human life—this playmate sweet, Of my conceptions, gathering like a cloud This child of twelve years old--so she was made The very wind on which it rolls away : My sole associate, and her willing feet

Hers too were all my thoughts, ere yet, endowed Wandered with mine where earth and ocean meet, With music and with light, their fountains flowed Beyond the aërial mountains whose vast cells In poesy ; and her still and earnest face, The unreposing billows ever beat,

Pallid with feelings which intensely glowed Through forests wide and old, and lawny dells, Within, was turned on mine with speechless grace, Where boughs of incense droop over the emerald Watching the hopes which there her heart had wells.

learned to trace.

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And soon I could not have refused her—thus New lore was this old age with its grey hair, For ever, day and night, we two were ne'er And wrinkled legends of unworthy things, Parted, but when brief sleep divided us :

And icy sneers, is nought : it cannot dare And, when the pauses of the lulling air

To burst the chains which life for ever flings Of noon beside the sea had made a lair

On the entangled soul's aspiring wings, For her soothed senses, in my arms she slept, So is it cold and cruel, and is made And I kept watch over her slumbers there, The careless slave of that dark power which brings While, as the shifting visions over her swept, Evil, like blight on man, who, still betrayed, Amid her innocent rest by turns she smiled and Laughs o'er the grave in which his living hopes wept.

are laid.

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She replied earnestly :—“ It shall be mine, “ I am a child :-I would not yet depart.
This task, mine, Laon !—thou hast much to gain ; When I go forth alone, bearing the lamp
Nor wilt thou at poor Cythna's pride repine, Aloft which thou hast kindled in my heart,
If she should lead a happy female train

Millions of slaves from many a dungeon damp To meet thee over the rejoicing plain,

Shall leap in Joy, as the benumbing cramp When myriads at thy call shall throng around Of ages leaves their limbs—no ill may harm The Golden City.”—Then the child did strain Thy Cythna ever-truth its radiant stamp My arm upon her tremulous heart, and wound Has fixed, as an invulnerable charm Her own about my neck, till some reply she found. Upon her children's brow, dark falsehood to disarm.

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I smiled, and spake not.—“ Wherefore dost thou “Wait yet awhile for the appointed day-
At what I say? Laon, I am not weak,

[smile Thou wilt depart, and I with tears shall stand
And, though my cheek might become pale the Watching thy dim sail skirt the ocean grey ;
With thee, if thou desirest, will I seek [while, Amid the dwellers of this lonely land
Through their array of banded slaves to wreak I shall remain alone--and thy command
Ruin upon the tyrants. I had thought

Shall then dissolve the world's unquiet trance, It was more hard to turn my unpractised cheek And, multitudinous as the desert sand To scorn and shame, and this beloved spot

Borne on the storm, its millions shall advance, And thee, 0 dearest friend, to leave and murmur not. Thronging round thee, the light of their deliverance.

XLVI.

“ Then, like the forests of some pathless mountain,
Which from remotest glens two warring winds
Involve in fire, which not the loosened fountain
Of broadest floods might quench, shall all the kinds
Of evil catch from our uniting minds [then
The spark which must consume them ;-Cythna
Will have cast off the impotence that binds
Her childhood now, and through the paths of men
Will pass, as the charmed bird that haunts the

serpent's den.

We lived a day as we were wont to live,
But nature had a robe of glory on,
And the bright air o'er every shape did weave
Intenser hues, so that the herbless stone,
The leafless bough among the leaves alone,
Had being clearer than its own could be,
And Cythna's pure and radiant self was shown
In this strange vision, so divine to me,
That if I loved before, now love was agony.

XLVII.

IV.

Mornfled,noon came,evening,then nightdescended,
And we prolonged calm talk beneath the sphere
Of the calm moon—when, suddenly was blended
With our repose a nameless sense of fear;
And from the cave behind I seemed to hear
Sounds gathering upwards !—accents incomplete,
And stifled shrieks,—and now, more near and
A tumult and a rush of thronging feet [near,
The cavern's secret depths beneath the earth did

beat.

“ We part !-O Laon, I must dare, nor tremble,
To meet those looks no more !-Oh, heavy stroke!
Sweet brother of my soul; can I dissemble
The agony of this thought?”—As thus she spoke
The gathered sobs her quivering accents broke,
And in my arms she hid her beating breast.
I remained still for tears—sudden she woke
As one awakes from sleep, and wildly prest
My bosom, her whole frame impetuously possest.

XLVII.
“ We part to meet again—but yon blue waste,
Yon desert wide and deep, holds no recess
Within whose happy silerice, thus embraced
We might survive all ills in one caress :
Nor doth the grave-I fear 'tis passionless
Nor yon cold vacant Heaven :- we meet again
Within the minds of men, whose lips shall bless
Our memory, and whose hopes its light retain
When these dissevered bones are trodden in the

plain.”

The scene was changed, and away, away, away!
Through the air and over the sea we sped,
And Cythna in my sheltering bosom lay,
And the winds bore me ;-through the darkness

spread
Around, the gaping earth then vomited
Legions of foul and ghastly shapes, which hung
Upon my flight; and ever as we fled,
They plucked at Cythna-soon to me then clung
A sense of actual things those monstrous dreams

among.

XLIX.

VI.

I could not speak, though she had ceased, for now
The fountains of her feeling, swift and deep,
Seemed to suspend the tumult of their flow;
So we arose, and by the star-light steep
Went homeward-neither did we speak nor weep,
But pale, were calm.-With passion thus subdued,
Like evening shades that o'er the mountains creep
Wemoved towards our home; where, in this mood,
Each from the other sought refuge in solitude.

And I lay struggling in the impotence
Of sleep, while outward life had burst its bound,
Though, still deluded, strove the tortured sense
To its dire wanderings to adapt the sound
Which in the light of morn was poured around
Our dwelling-breathless, pale, and unaware
I rose, and all the cottage crowded found
With armed men, whose glittering swords were

bare,
And whose degraded linibs the tyrant's garb did

wear.

CANTO III.

VII.

1.

cry!

(slumber And ere with rapid lips and gathered brow What thoughts had sway o'er Cythna's lonely

I could demand the cause-a feeble shriekThat night, I know not; but my own did seem

It was a feeble shriek, faint, far, and low, As if they might ten thousand years outnumber Arrested me-my mien grew calm and meek, Of waking life, the visions of a dream,

And, grasping a small knife, I went to seek Which hid in one dim gulf the troubled stream That voice among the crowd — 't was Cythna's Of mind; a boundless chaos wild and vast, Whose limits yet were never memory's theme: Beneath most calm resolve did agony wreak And I lay struggling as its whirlwinds past, Its whirlwind rage:-so I past quietly Sometimes for rapture sick, sometimes for pain Till I beheld, where bound, that dearest child did aghast.

lie. Two hours, whose mighty circle did embrace I started to behold her, for delight More time than might make grey the infant world, And exultation, and a joyance free, Rolled thus, a weary and tumultuous space : Solemn, serene, and lofty, filled the light When the third came, like mist on breezes curled, Of the calm smile with which she looked on me : From my dim sleep a shadow was unfurled : So that I feared some brainless ecstacy, Methought, upon the threshold of a cave

Wrought from that bitter woe, had wildered herI sate with Cythna ; drooping briony, pearled “ Farewell! farewell !” she said, as I drew nigh. With dew from the wild streamlet's shattered wave, “ At first my peace was marred by this strangestir, Hung, where we sate, to taste the joys which Nature Now I am calm as truth-its chosen minister.

gave.

IT.

VIII.

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