« AnteriorContinuar »
Another chief consoled his destined bride, 35
He comes at last in sudden loneliness,
. They see, they recognise, yet almost deem The present dubious, or the past a dream.
He lives, nor yet is past his manhood's prime, 55 Though sear’d by toil, and something touch'd by
time; His faults, whate'er they were, if scarce forgot, Might be untaught him by his varied lot; Nor good nor ill of late were known, his name Might yet uphold his patrimonial fame : 60 His soul in youth was haughty, but his sins No more than pleasure from the stripling wins ; And such, if not yet harden'd in their course, Might be redeem’d, nor ask a long remorse. 64
V. And they indeed were changed—'tis quickly seen Whate'er he be, 'twas not what he had been : That brow in furrow'd lines had fix'd at last, And spake of passions, but of passion past : The pride, but not the fire, of early days, Coldness of mien, and carelessness of praise; 70 A high demeanour, and a glance that took Their thoughts from others by a single look; And that sarcastic levity of tongue, The stinging of a heart the world hath stung,
That darts in seeming playfulness around,
VI. Not much he loved long question of the past, 85 Nor told of wondrous wilds, and deserts vast, In those far lands where he had wander'd lone, And-as himself would have it seem--unknown: Yet these in vain his eye could scarcely scan, Nor glean experience from his fellow man; 90 But what he had beheld he shunn'd to show, As hardly worth a stranger's care to know ; If still more prying such inquiry grew, His brow fell darker, and his words more few.
, And saw them smile or sigh their hours away; But still he only saw,
and did not share The common pleasure or the general care; He did not follow what they all pursued With hope still baffled, still to be renew'd; Nor shadowy honour, nor substantial gain, 105 Nor beauty's preference, and the rival's pain : Around him some mysterious circle thrown Repell’d approach, and show'd him still alone; Upon his eye sate something of reproof, That kept at least frivolity aloof; And things more timid that beheld him near, In silence gazed, or whisper'd mutual fear ; And they the wiser, friendlier few confest They deem'd him better than his air exprest.
VIII. 'Twas strange-in youth all action and all life, Burning for pleasure, not averse from strife; 116
Woman— the field-the ocean—all that gave
the slave of each extreme,