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The night (I sing by night-sometimes an owl,
And now and then a nightingale)-is dim,
And the loud shriek of sage Minerva's fowl
Rattles around me her discordant hymn:
Old portraits from old walls upon me scowl-
I wish to heaven they would not look so grim;
The dying embers dwindle in the grate-
I think too that I have sate up too late:


And therefore, though 't is by no means my way
To rhyme at noon-when I have other things
To think of, if I ever think,-I say

I feel some chilly midnight shudderings,
And prudently postpone, until mid-day,
Treating a topic which, alas! but brings
Shadows;-but you must be in my condition
Before you learn to call this superstition.

Between two worlds life hovers like a star,
"Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon's verge:
How little do we know that which we are!

How less what we may be! The eternal surge
Of time and tide rolls on, and bears afar

Our bubbles; as the old burst, new emerge, Lash'd from the foam of ages; while the graves Of empires heave but like some passing waves.



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And therefore, mortals, cavil not at all;
Believe:-if 't is improbable you must;
And if it is impossible, you shall:

'Tis always best to take things upon trust. I do not speak profanely to recall

Those holier mysteries, which the wise and just
Receive as gospel, and which grow more rooted,
As all truths must, the more they are disputed.

I merely mean to say what Johnson said,

That in the course of some six thousand years,
All nations have believed that from the dead
A visitant at intervals appears;

And what is strangest upon this strange head,
Is that whatever bar the reason rears
'Gainst such belief, there's something stronger stil
In its behalf, let those deny who will.


THE antique Persians taught three useful things,-The dinner and the soirée too were done,

To draw the bow, to ride, and speak the truth.
This was the mode of Cyrus-best of kings-
A mode adopted since by modern youth.
Bows have they, generally with two strings;
Horses they ride without remorse or ruth;
At speaking truth perhaps they are less clever,
But draw the long bow better now than ever.

The cause of this effect, or this defect,

"For this effect defective comes by cause," Is what I have not leisure to inspect;

But this I must say in my own applause,
Of all the Muses that I recollect,

Whate'er niay be her follies or her flaws
In some things, mine's beyond all contradictio 1
The most sincere that ever dealt in fiction.


And as she treats all things, and ne'er retreats
From any thing, this Epic will contain

A wilderness of the most rare conceits,
Which you might elsewhere hope to find in vain.
Tis true there be some bitters with the sweets,
Yet mix'd so slightly that you can't complain,
But wonder they so few are, since my tale is
"De rebus cunctis et quibusdam alus."

The supper too discuss'd, the dames admired,
The banqueters had dropp'd off one by one-
The song was silent, and the dance expired:
The last thin petticoats were vanish'd, gone,
Like fleecy clouds into the sky retired,
And nothing brighter gleam'd through the saloon
Than dying tapers-and the peeping moon.

The evaporation of a joyous day

Is like the last glass of champagne, without
The foam which made its virgin bumper gay;
Or like a system coupled with a doubt;
Or like a soda-bottle, when its spray

Has sparkled and let half its spirit out;
Or like a billow left by storms behind,
Without the animation of the wind;


Or like an opiate which brings troubled rest,
Or none; or like-like nothing that I know
Except itself;-such is the human breast;
A thing, of which similitudes can show
No real likeness,-like the old Tyrian vest
Dyed purple, none at presert can tell how
If from a shell-fish or from cocnineal.'
So perish every tyrant's robe piecemeal!


But next to dressing for a rout or ball,
Undressing is a woe; our robe-de-chambre
May sit like that of Nessus, and recall
Thoughts quite as yellow, but less clear than amber.
Titus exclaim'd, "I've lost a day!" Of all

The nights and days most people can remember,
(I have had of both, some not to be disdain'd),
I wish they'd state how many they have gain'd.

And Juan, on retiring for the night,

Felt restless and perplex'd, and compromised;
He thought Aurora Raby's eyes more bright
Than Adeline (such is advice) advised;
If he had known exactly his own plight,
He probably would have philosophized;
A great resource to all, and ne'er denied
Till wanted; therefore Juan only sigh'd.


He sigh'd;-the next resource is the full moon,
Where all sighs are deposited; and now,
It happen'd luckily, the chaste orb shone

As clear as such a climate will allow;
And Juan's mind was in the proper tone
To hail her with the apostrophe-"Oh, thou!"
Of amatory egotism the tuism,

Which further to explain would be a truism.

But lover, poet, or astronomer,

Shepherd, or swain, whoever may behold, Feel some abstraction when they gaze on her: Great thoughts we catch from thence (besides a cold Sometimes, unless my feelings rather err);

Deep secrets to her rolling light are told; The ocean's tides and mortals' brains she sways, And also hearts, if there be truth in lays.


Juan felt somewhat pensive, and disposed
For contemplation rather than his pillow;
The Gothic chamber, where he was enclosed,
Let in the rippling sound of the lake's billow,
With all the mystery by midnight caused;

Below his window waved (of course) a willow;
And he stood gazing out on the cascade
That flash'd and after darken'd in the shade.


Upon his table or his toilet-which

Of these is not exactly ascertain'd

(I state this, for I am cautious to a pitch
Of nicety, where a fact is to be gain'd)

A lamp burn'd high, while he leant from a niche,
Where many a Gothic ornament remain'd,
In chisell'd stone and painted glass, and all
That time has left our fathers of their hall.


Then, as the night was clear, though cold, he threw
His chamber-door wide open-and went forth
Into a gallery, of a sombre hue,

Long, furnish'd with old pictures of great worth, Of knights and dames heroic and chaste too,

As doubtless should be people of high birth. But by dim lights the portraits of the dead Have something ghastly, desolate, and dread.


The forms of the grim knights and pictured saints Look living in the moon; and as you turn Backward and forward to the echoes faint

Of your own footsteps-voices from the urn
Appear to wake, and shadows wild and quaint
Start from the frames which fence their aspects stern
As if to ask how can you dare to keep
A vigil there, where all but death should sleep.

And the pale smile of beauties in the grave,
The charms of other days, in starlight gleams
Glimmer on high; their buried locks still wave
Along the canvas; their eyes glance like dreams
On ours, or spars within some dusky cave,

But death is imaged in their shadowy beams.
A picture is the past; even ere its frame
Be gilt, who sate hath ceased to be the same.

As Juan mused on mutability,

Or on his mistress-terms synonymousNo sound except the echo of his sigh

Or step ran sadly through that antique house, When suddenly he heard, or thought so, nigh, A supernatural agent-or a mouse, Whose little nibbling rustle will embarrass Most people, as it plays along the arras. XXI.

It was no mouse, but lo! a monk, array'd

In cowl and beads and dusky garb, appear'd, Now in the moonlight, and now lapsed in shade, With steps that trod as heavy, yet unheard; His garments only a slight murmur made;

He moved as shadowy as the sisters weird,
But slowly; and as he pass'd Juan by,
Glanced, without pausing, on him a bright eye.

Juan was petrified; he had heard a hint
Of such a spirit in these halls of old,
But thought, like most men, there was nothing m
Beyond the rumour which such spots unfold,
Coin'd from surviving superstition's mint,

Which passes ghosts in currency like gold,
But rarely seen, like gold compared with paper.
And did he see this? or was it a vapour?


Once, twice, thrice pass'd, repass'd-the thing of an Or earth beneath, or heaven, or 't other place; And Juan gazed upon it with a stare,

Yet could not speak or move; but, on its base As stands a statue, stood: he felt his hair

Twine like a knot of snakes around his face; He tax'd his tongue for words, which were not granted To ask the reverend person what he wanted. XXIV.

The third time, after a still longer pause,

The shadow pass'd away-but where? the hall Was long, and thus far there was no great cause To think his vanishing unnatural: Doors there were many, through which, by the laws Of physics, bodies, whether short or tall, Might come or go; but Juan could not state Through which the spectre seen'd to evaporate.

He stood, how long he knew not, but it seem'd
An age-expectant, powerless, with his eyes
Strain'd on the spot where first the figure gleam'd;
Then by degrees recall'd his energies,

And would have pass'd the whole off as a dream,
But could not wake; he was, he did surmise,
Waking already, and return'd at length
Back to his chamber, shorn of half his strength.

All there was as he left it; still his taper
Burnt, and not blue, as modest tapers use,
Receiving sprites with sympathetic vapour;
He rubb'd his eyes, and they did not refuse
Their office; he took up an old newspaper;
The paper was right easy to peruse;
He read an article the king attacking,
And a long eulogy of "Patent Blacking."


This savour'd of this world; but his hand shook-
He shut his door, and after having read
A paragraph, I think about Horne Tooke,
Undress'd, and rather slowly went to bed.
There, couch'd all snugly on his pillow's nook,
With what he'd seen his phantasy he fed,
And though it was no opiate, slumber crept
Upon him by degrees, and so he slept.

He woke betimes; and, as may be supposed,
Ponder'd upon his visitant or vision,
And whether it ought not to be disclosed,

At risk of being quizz'd for superstition.
The more he thought, the more his mind was posed;
In the mean time his valet, whose precision
Was great, because his master brook'd no less,
Knock'd to inform him it was time to dress.


He dress'd; and, like young people, he was wont
To take some trouble with his toilet, but
This morning rather spent less time upon 't;
Aside his very mirror soon was put:
His curls fell negligently o'er his front,

His clothes were not curb'd to their usual cut,
His very
neckcloth's Gordian knot was tied
Almost a hair's breadth too much on one side.

And when he walk'd down into the saloon,
He sate him pensive o'er a dish of tea,
Which he perhaps had not discover'd soon,

Had it not happen'd scalding hot to be,
Which made him have recourse unto his spoon;
So much distrait he was, that all could see
That something was the matter-Adeline
The first-but what she could not well divine.


She look'd and saw him pale, and turn'd as pale Herself; then hastily look'd down and mutter'd Something, but what's not stated in my tale.

Lord Henry said, his muffin was ill butter'd; The Duchess of Fitz-Fulke play'd with her veil, And look'd at Juan hard, but nothing utter'd. Aurora Raby, with her large dark eyes, Survey'd him with a kind of calm surprise. 3 M 2 93


But seeing him all cold and silent still,
And every body wondering more or less,
Fair Adeline inquired if he were ill?
He stated, and said, "Yes-no-rather-yes."
The family physician had great skill,

And, being present, now began to express
His readiness to feel his pulse, and tell
The cause, but Juan said, "he was quite well."

"Quite well; yes, no."-These answers were myste rious,

And yet his looks appear'd to sanction both, However they might savour of delirious;

Something like illness of a sudden growth Weigh'd on his spirit, though by no means serious. But for the rest, as he himself seem'd loth To state the case, it might be ta'en for granted, It was not the physician that he wanted.

XXXIV. Lord Henry, who had now discuss'd his chocolate, Also the muffin, whereof he complain'd,

Said, Juan had not got his usual look elate,

At which he marvell'd, since it had not rain'd; Then ask'd her grace what news were of the duke of late? Her grace replied, his grace was rather pain'd With some slight, light, hereditary twinges Of gout, which rusts aristocratic hinges.


Then Henry turn'd to Juan, and address'd
A few words of condolence on his state:
"You look," quoth he, "as if you'd had your rest
Broke in upon by the Black Friar of late."
"What friar?" said Juan; and he did his best
To put the question with an air sedate,
Or careless; but the effort was not valid
To hinder him from growing still more pallid.


"Oh! have you never heard of the Black Friar?
The spirit of these walls ?"-"In truth not I."
"Why fame-but fame you know sometime's a liar-
Tells an odd story, of which by the by:
Whether with time the spectre has grown shyer,
Or that our sires had a more gifted eye
For such sights, though the tale is half believed,
The friar of late has not been oft perceived.


"The last time was-" "I pray," said Adeline(Who watch'd the changes of Don Juan's brow, And from its context thought she could divine

Connexions stronger than he chose to avow With this same legend),-" if you but design

To jest, you'll choose some other theme just now, Because the present tale has oft been told, And is not much improved by growing old." XXXVIII.

"Jest!" quoth Milor, "Why, Adeline, you know That we ourselves-'t was in the honey-moonSaw" "Well, no matter, 't was so long ago; But come, I'll set your story to a tune." Graceful as Dian when she draws her bow,

She seized her harp, whose strings were kindled som As touch'd, and plaintively began to play The air of ""T was a Friar of Orders Gray."

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"But add the words," cried Henry, "which you made, Say nought to him as he walks the hall, For Adeline is half a poetess,"

Turning round to the rest, he smiling said.
Of course the others could not but express
In courtesy their wish to see display'd

By one three talents, for there were no less-
The voice, the words, the harper's skill, at once
Could hardly be united by a dunce.


After some fascinating hesitation,

The charming of these charmers, who seem bound, I can't tell why, to this dissimulation

Fair Adeline, with eyes fix'd on the ground
At first, then kindling into animation,

Added her sweet voice to the lyric sound,
And sang with much simplicity, -a merit
Not the less precious, that we seldom hear it.

Beware! beware! of the Black Friar,

Who sitteth by Norman stone,

For he mutters his prayer in the midnight air,
And his mass of the days that are gone.
When the Lord of the Hill, Amundeville,
Made Norman Church his prey,

And expell'd the friars, one friar still
Would not be driven away.


And he'll say nought to you:
He sweeps along in his dusky pall,

As o'er the grass the dew.
Then gramercy! for the Black Friar ;
Heaven sain him! fair or foul,
And whatsoe'er may be his prayer,
Let ours be for his soul.


The lady's voice ceased, and the thrilling wires
Died from the touch that kindled them to sound;
And the pause follow'd, which, when song expires,
Pervades a moment those who listen round;
And then of course the circle much admires,
Nor less applauds, as in politeness bound,
The tones, the feeling, and the execution,
To the performer's diffident confusion.


Fair Adeline, though in a careless way,
As if she rated such accomplishment
As the mere pastime of an idle day,

Pursued an instant for her own content,
Would now and then as 't were without display,
Yet with display in fact, at times relent
To such performances with haughty smile,
To show she could, if it were worth her while.


Though he came in his might, with King Henry's right, Now this (but we will whisper it aside)

To turn church lands to lay,

With sword in hand, and torch to light

Their walls, if they said nay,

A monk remain'd, unchased, unchain'd,

And he did not seem form'd of clay,

Was-pardon the pedantic illustration—
Trampling on Plato's pride with greater pride,
As did the Cynic on some like occasion;
Deeming the sage would be much mortified,
Or thrown into a philosophic passion,

For he's seen in the porch, and he's seen in the church, For a spoil'd carpet-but the "Attic Bee"
Though he is not seen by day.


And whether for good, or whether for ill,
It is not mine to say;

But still to the house of Amundeville,
He abideth night and day.

By the marriage-bed of their lords, 't is said,
He flits on the bridal eve;

And 't is held as faith, to their bed of death
He comes-but not to grieve.


When an heir is born, he is heard to mourn,
And when aught is to befall

That ancient line, in the pale moonshine

He walks from hall to hall.

His form you may trace, but not his face,

'Tis shadow'd by his cowl;

Was much consoled by his own repartee.*


Thus Adeline would throw into the shade
(By doing easily, whene'er she chose,
What dilettanti do with vast parade),

Their sort of half profession: for it grows
To something like this when too oft display'd,
And that it is so every body knows

Who've heard Miss That or This, or Lady T' other
Show off-to please their company or mother.


Oh! the long evenings of duets and trios!
The admirations and the speculations;
The "Mamma Mias!" and the "Amor Mios!"
The "Tanti Palpitis" on such occasions :
The "Lasciamis," and quavering "Addios!"
Amongst our own most musical of nations;

But his eyes may be seen from the folds between, With "Tu mi chamases" from Portingale,
And they seem of a parted soul.

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She also had a twilight tinge of "Blue,"
Could write rhymes, and compose more than she wrote;
Made epigrams occasionally too

Upon her friends, as every body ought.
But still from that sublimer azure hue,

So much the present dye, she was remote; Was weak enough to deem Pope a great poet, And, what was worse, was not ashamed to show it. XLVIII.

Aurora-since we are touching upon taste,

Which now-a-days is the thermometer
By whose degrees all characters are class'd-
Was more Shakspearian, if I do not err.
The worlds beyond this world's perplexing waste
Had more of her existence, for in her
There was a depth of feeling to embrace
Thoughts, boundless, deep, but silent too as space.

Not so her gracious, graceful, graceless grace,
The full-grown Hebe of Fitz-Fulke, whose mind,
If she had any, was upon her face,

And that was of a fascinating kind.
A little turn for mischief you might trace

Also thereon, but that's not much; we find
Few females without some such gentle leaven,
For fear we should suppose us quite in heaven.

I have not heard she was at all poetic,

Though once she was seen reading the "Bath Guide," And "Hayley's Triumphs," which she deem'd pathetic, Because, she said, her temper had been tried So much, the bard had really been prophetic

Of what she had gone through with,-since a bride. But of all verse what most insured her praise Were sonnets to herself, or "bouts rimés."


"Twere difficult to say what was the object
Of Adeline, in bringing this same lay
To bear on what appear'd to her the subject
Of Juan's nervous feelings on that day.
Perhaps she merely had the simple project

To laugh him out of his supposed dismay; Perhaps she might wish to confirm him in it, Though why I cannot say-at least this minute.


But so far the immediate effect

Was to restore him to his self-propriety, A thing quite necessary to the elect,

Who wish to take the tone of their society; In which you cannot be too circumspect,

Whether the mode be persiflage or piety, But wear the newest mantle of hypocrisy, On pain of much displeasing the gynocracy. LIII.

And therefore Juan now began to rally

His spirits, and, without more explanation, To jest upon such themes in many a sally. Her grace too also seized the same occasion, With various similar remarks to tally,

But wish'd for a still more detail'd narration Of this same mystic friar's curious doings, About the present family's deaths and wooings.


Of these few could say more than has been said;
They pass'd, as such things do, for superstition
With some, while others, who had more in dread
The theme, half credited the strange tradition;
And much was talk'd on all sides on that head;
But Juan, when cross-question'd on the vision,
Which some supposed (though he had not avow'd it
Had stirr'd him, answer'd in a way to cloud it.

And then, the mid-day having worn to one,
The company prepared to separate :
Some to their several pastimes, or to none;
Some wondering 't was so early, some so late.
There was a goodly match, too, to be run

Between some grayhounds on my lord's estate,
And a young race-horse of old pedigree,
Match'd for the spring, whom several went to see.

There was a picture-dealer, who had brought
A special Titian, warranted original,
So precious that it was not to be bought,

Though princes the possessor were besieging all.
The king himself had cheapen'd it, but thought
The civil list (he deigns to accept, obliging all
His subjects by his gracious acceptation)
Too scanty, in these times of low taxation.

But as Lord Henry was a connoisseur,

The friend of artists, if not arts,-the owner,

With motives the most classical and pure,

So that he would have been the very donor Rather than seller, had his wants been fewer,

So much he deem'd his patronage an honour, Had brought the capo d'opéra, not for sale, But for his Judgment,-never known to fail.


There was a modern Goth, I mean a Gothic
Bricklayer of Babel, call'd an architect,
Brought to survey these gray walls, which, though so

Might have from time acquired some slight defect; Who, after rummaging the Abbey through thick

And thin, produced a plan, whereby to erect
New buildings of correctest conformation,
And throw down old-which he call'd restoration.

The cost would be a trifle-an "old song,"

Set to some thousands ('tis the usual burthen
Of that same tune, when people hum it long)-
The price would speedily repay its worth in
An edifice no less sublime than strong,

By which Lord Henry's good taste would go forth m
Its glory, through all ages shining sunny,
For Gothic daring shown in English money.^


There were two lawyers busy on a mortgage
Lord Henry wish'd to raise for a new purchase.
Also a lawsuit upon tenures burgage,

And one on tithes which sure are discord's torches.
Kindling Religion till she throws down her gage,
"Untying” squires "to fight against the churches;"
There was a prize ox, a prize pig, and ploughman,
For Henry was a sort of Sabine showman.

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