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How I have treated it, I do not know-
Not what they saw, but what they wish'd to see;
This is a liberal age, and thoughts are free:
Young Juan and his lady-love were left
To their own hearts' most sweet society; Even Time the pitiless in sorrow cleft
With his rude scythe such gentle bosoms; he
Though foe to love; and yet they could not be
Their faces were not made for wrinkles, their
They were alone once more; for them to be
Cut from its forest root of years-the river
The heart-which may be broken: happy they!
Break with the first fall: they can ne'er behold
And all which must be borne, and never told; While life's strange principle will often lie Deepest in those who long the most to die.
"Whom the gods love die young," was said of yore,' And many deaths do they escape by this:
The gentle pressure, and the thrilling touch,
The least glance better understood than words,
A language, too, but like to that of birds,
As but to lovers a true sense affords;
All these were theirs, for they were children still,
Moons changing had roll'd on, and changeless found
By the mere senses; and that which destroys
Oh beautiful! and rare as beautiful!
But theirs was love in which the mind delights
Its petty passions, marriages, and fights,
Hard words; harsh truth; a truth which many know.
Which perish in the rest, but in them were
This is in others a factitious state,
An opium dream of too much youth and reading,
The death of friends, and, that which slays even more-But was in them their nature or their fate;
The death of friendship, love, youth, all that is, Except mere breath; and since the silent shore
Awaits at last even those whom longest miss The old archer's shafts, perhaps the early grave Which men weep over may be meant to save. XIII.
Haidee and Juan thought not of the dead;
The heavens, and earth, and air, seem'd made for them: They found no fault with time, save that he fled; They saw not in themselves aught to condemn : Each was the other's mirror, and but read
Joy sparkling in their dark eyes like a gcm, And knew such brightness was but the reflection Of their exchanging glances of affection.
No novels e'er had set their young hearts bleeding,
They gazed upon the sunset; 't is an hour
And twilight saw them link'd in passion's ties ;
I know not why, but in that hour to-night,
That large black prophet eye seem'd to dilate
With his broad, bright, and dropping orb were gone; Juan gazed on her as to ask his fate
He felt a grief, but knowing cause for none, His glance inquired of hers for some excuse For feelings causeless, or at least abstruse. XXIII.
She turn'd to him, and smiled, but in that sort
And master'd by her wisdom or her pride;
Juan would question further, but she press'd
Defying augury with that fond kiss;
Some people prefer wine-'t is not amiss:
I have tried both; so those who would a part take May choose between the head-ache and the heart-ache.
One of the two, according to your choice,
But which to choose I really hardly know;
For both sides I could many reasons show, And then decide, without great wrong to either, It were much better to have both than neither. XXVI.
Juan and Haidee gazed upon each other,
With swimming looks of speechless tenderness,
Mix'd in each other's arms, and heart in heart,
They should have lived together deep in woods,
Call'd social, where all vice and hatred are:
The sweetest song-birds nestle in a pair;
Now pillow'd, cheek to cheek, in loving sleep,
A gentle sluinber, but it was not deep,
Stirr'd with her dream as rose-leaves with the air:
Or as the stirring of a deep clear stream
Within an Alpine hollow, when the wind Walks over it, was she shaken by the dream, The mystical usurper of the mindO'erpowering us to be whate'er may seem
Good to the soul which we no more can bind; Strange state of being! (for 't is still to be) Senseless to feel, and with seal'd eyes to see.
She dream'd of being alone on the sea-shore, Chain'd to a rock; she knew not how, but stir She could not from the spot, and the loud roar Grew, and each wave rose roughly, threatening her; And o'er her upper lip they seem'd to pour,
Until she sobb'd for breath, and soon they were Foaming o'er her lone head, so fierce and high Each broke to drown her, yet she could not die.
Anon-she was released, and then she stray'd
'Twas white and indistinct, nor stopp'd to meet
The dream changed: in a cave she stood, its walls
Where waves might wash, and seals might breed and lurk;
Her hair was dripping, and the very balls
Of her black eyes seem'd turn'd to tears, and mu The sharp rocks look'd below each drop they caught, Which froze to marble as it feli, she thought.
And wet, and cold, and lifeless at her feet,
Pale as the foam that froth'd on his dead brow, Which she essay'd in vain to clear, (how sweet Were once her cares, how idle seem'd they now ') Lay Juan, nor could aught renew the beat
Of his quench'd heart; and the sea-dirges low Rang in her sad ears like a mermaid's song, And that brief dream appear'd a life too long.
And gazing on the dead, she thought his face
More like and like to Lambro's aspect grew-
Then shrieking, she arose, and shrieking fell,
I have seen such-but must not call to mind.
Up Juan sprung to Haidee's bitter shriek,
And caught her falling, and from off the wall Snatch'd down his sabre, in hot haste to wreak Vengeance on him who was the cause of all: Then Lambro, who till now forbore to speak, Smiled scornfully, and said, "Within my call A thousand scimitars await the word; Put up, young man, put up your silly sword." XXXVIII.
And Haidee clung around him; "Juan, 't is—
Oh dearest father, in this agony
Thy garment's hem with transport, can it be That doubt should mingle with my filial joy? Deal with me as thou wilt, but spare this boy." XXXIX.
High and inscrutable the old man stood,
Calm in his voice, and calm within his eyeNot always signs with him of calmest mood: He look'd upon her, but gave no reply; Then turn'd to Juan, in whose cheek the blood Oft came and went, as there resolved to die; In arms, at least, he stood, in act to spring On the first foe whom Lambro's call might bring.
"Young man, your sword;" so Lambro once more said:
It has a strange quick jar upon the ear,
That cocking of a pistol, when you know A moment more will bring the sight to bear Upon your person, twelve yards off, or so; A gentlemanly distance, not too near,
If you have got a former friend for foe; But after being fired at once or twice, The ear becomes more Irish, and less nice.
Lambro presented, and one instant more
Stern as her sire: "On me," she cried, "let death Descend-the fault is mine; this fatal shore
He found-but sought not. I have pledged my faith; I love him-I will die with him: I knew Your nature's firmness-know your daughter's too."
A minute past, and she had been all tears,
He gazed on her, and she on him; 't was strange
In the large dark eye's mutual-darted flame; For she too was as one who could avenge,
If cause should be-a lioness, though tame:
I said they were alike, their features and
There was resemblance, such as true blood wears;
The father paused a moment, then withdrew
His weapon, and replaced it; but stood still,
Would bear such outrage, and forbear to kill;
"Let him disarm; or, by my father's head,
His own shall roll before you like a ball!" He raised his whistle, as the word he said, And blew; another answer'd to the call, And rushing in disorderly, though led,
And arm'd from boot to turban, one and all, Some twenty of his train came, rank on rank; He gave the word, "Arrest or slay the Frank."
Then, with a sudden movement, he withdrew His daughter; while compress'd within his grasp, "Twixt her and Juan interposed the crew;
In vain she struggled in her father's grasp,-
The file of pirates; save the foremost, who
The second had his cheek laid open; but
And then they bound him where he fell, and bore
Until they reach'd some galliots, placed in line; On board of one of these, and under hatches, They stow'd him, with strict orders to the watches.
The world is full of strange vicissitudes,
And here was one exceedingly unpleasant: A gentleman so rich in the world's goods, Handsome and young, enjoying all the present, Just at the very time when he least broods
On such a thing, is suddenly to sea sent, Wounded and chain'd, so that he cannot move, And all because a lady fell in love.
Here I must leave him, for I grow pathetic,
That I must have recourse to black Bohea: 'Tis pity wine should be so deleterious,
For tea and coffee leave us much more serious.
Unless when qualified with thee, Cognac!
And make, like other nymphs, thy lovers ill?
(In each sense of the word), whene'er I fill My mild and midnight beakers to the brim, Wakes me next morning with its synonym. LIV.
I leave Don Juan for the present safe
Not sound, poor fellow, but severely wounded; Yet could his corporal pangs amount to half
Of those with which his Haidee's bosom bounded? She was not one to weep, and rave, and chafe, And then give way, subdued because surrounded; Her mother was a Moorish maid, from Fez, Where all is Eden, or a wilderness. LV.
There the large olive rains its amber store
In marble fonts; there grain, and flower, and fruit, Gush from the earth until the land runs o'er ; But there too many a poison-tree has root, And midnight listens to the lion's roar, And long, long deserts scorch the camel's foot, Or heaving whelm the helpless caravan, And as the soil is, so the beart of man.
Afric is all the sun's, and as her earth
The Moorish blood partakes the planet's hour, And like the soil beneath it will bring forth:
Beauty and love were Haidee's mother's dower: But her large dark eye show'd deep passion's force, Though sleeping like a lion near a source. LVII.
Her daughter, temper'd with a milder ray,
Like summer clouds all silvery, smooth, and fair, Till slowly charged with thunder they display Terror to earth, and tempest to the air, Had held till now her soft and milky way;
But, overwrought with passion and despair,
The last sight which she saw was Juan's gore,
Where late he trod, her beautiful, her own: Thus much she view'd an instant and no more,Her struggles ceased with one convulsive groan; On her sire's arm, which until now scarce held Her writhing, fell she like a cedar fell'd.
A vein had burst, and her sweet lips' pure dyes Were dabbled with the deep blood which ran o'er; And her head droop'd as when the lily lies O'ercharged with rain: her summon'd handmaids bore Their lady to her couch with gushing eyes;
Of herbs and cordials they produced their store, But she defied all means they could employ, Like one life could not hold, nor death destroy.
Days lay she in that state unchanged, though chill,
All hope; to look upon her sweet face bred New thoughts of life, for it seem'd full of soul, She had so much, earth could not claim the whole. LXI.
The ruling passion, such as marble shows
When exquisitely chisell'd, still lay there, But fix'd as marble's unchanged aspect throws O'er the fair Venus, but for ever fair; O'er the Laocoon's all eternal throes, And ever-dying Gladiator's air, Their energy like life forms all their fame, Yet looks not life, for they are still the same.
She woke at length, but not as sleepers wake,
She look'd on many a face with vacant eye,
Her handmaids tended, but she heeded not;
However dear or cherish'd in their day;
And yet those eyes, which they would fain be weaning Back to old thoughts, seem'd full of fearful meaning. LXV.
At last 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,
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 Of what she was, and is, if ye could call To be so being; in a gushing stream
The tears rush'd forth from her o'erclouded brain,
Short solace, vain relief!-thought came too quick,
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;
Twelve days and nights she wither'd thus; at last,
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' possess such lustre-and then lack!
She died, but not alone; she held within
Thus lived-thus died she: never more on her,
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.
But many a Greek maid in a loving song
Sighs o'er her name, and many an islander With her sire's story makes the night less long; Valour was his, and beauty dwelt with her; If she loved rashly, her life paid for wrongA heavy price must all pay who thus err, In some shape; let none think to fly the danger, For soon or late Love is his own avenger.
But let me change this theme, which grows too sad,
I don't much like describing people mad,
Wounded and fetter'd, "cabin'd, cribb'd, confined,"
And when he did, he found himself at sea, Sailing six knots an hour before the wind;
The shores of Ilion lay beneath their leeAnother time he might have liked to see 'em, But now was not much pleased with Cape Sigæum. LXXVI. There, on the green and village-cotted hill, is (Flank'd by the Hellespont and by the sea) Entomb'd the bravest of the brave, Achilles: They say so-(Bryant says the contrary): And further downward, tall and towering, still is The tumulus-of whom? Heaven knows; 't may be Patroclus, Ajax, or Protesilaus,
All heroes, who if living still would slay us.