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Who reign'd before religion made men blind;

A lady came with him from France, and when And those who suffer with their suffering kind, She left him and return'd, he wander'd then Yet feel this faith, religion..

About yon lonely isles of desert sand,

Till he grew wild. He had no cash or land
My dear friend,»

Remaining :— the police had brought him here-Said Maddalo, . my judgment will not bend

Some fancy look him, and he would not bear To your opinion, though I think you might

Removal, so I fitted up for him Make such a system refutation-tight,

Those rooms beside the sea, to please his whim; As far as words go. I knew one like you,

And sent him busts, and books, and urns for flowers, Who to this city came some months ago,

Which had adoro'd his life in happier hours, With whom I argued in this sort,—and he

And instruments of music. You may guess Is now gone mad-and so he answer'd me,

A stranger could do liule more or less Poor fellow !—But if you would like to go,

For one so gentle and unfortunateWe'll visit him, and his wild talk will show

And those are his sweet strains which charm the weight How vain are such aspiring theories.»—

From madmen's chains, and make this hell appear I hope to prove the induction otherwise,

A heaven of sacred silence, hush'd to hear.,
And that a want of that true theory still,
Which seeks a soul of goodness in things ill,

• Nay, this was kind of you,—he had no claim,

As the world Or in himself or others, has thus bow'd

says.» His being :—there are some by nature proud, Who, patient in all else, demand but this

• None but the very same To love and be beloved with gentleness :

Which I on all mankind, were I, as he, And being scorn'd, what wonder if they die

Fall'n to such deep reverse. His melody Some living death? This is not destiny,

Is interrupled now; we hear the din But man's own wilful ill.,

Of madmen, shriek on shriek, again begin:

Let us now visit him : after this strain,
As thus I spoke,

He ever communes with himself again,
Servants announced the gondola, and we

And sees and hears not any."
Through the fast-falling rain and high-wrought sea
Sail'd to the island where the mad-bouse stands.

Having said
We disembark'd. The clap of tortured hands, These words, we call the keeper, and he led
Fierce yells, and howlings, and lamentings keen, To an apartinent opening on the sea.-
And laughter where complaint had merrier been, There the poor wretch was sitting mournfully
Accosted us. We climb'd the oozy stairs

Near a piano, bis. pale fingers twined
Into an old court-yard. I heard on high,

One with the other; and the ooze and wind Then, fragments of most touching melody,

Rush'd through an open casement, and did sway But looking up saw not the singer there. —

His hair, and starr'd it with the brackish spray; Through the black bars in the tempestuous air His head was leaning on a music-book, I saw, like weeds on a wreck'd palace growing, And he was muttering; and bis lean limbs shook ; Long tangled locks flung wildly forth and flowing, His lips were press'd against a folded leaf Of those who on a sudden were beguiled

In hue too beautiful for health, and grief Into strange silence, and look'd forth and smiled, Smiled in their motions as they lay apart, Hearing sweet sounds. Then I :

As one who wrought from his own fervid heart

The eloquence of passion : soon he raised

• Methinks there were His sad meek face, and eyes lustrous and glazed, A cure of these with patience and kind care,

And spoke,-sometimes as one who wrote, and thought If music can thus move. But what is he,

His words might move some bicart that heeded not, Whom we seek here!,

If sent lo distant lands; -and then as one
Of his sad history

Reproaching deeds never to be undone,
I know but this, said Maddalo : « he came

With wondering self-compassion ;-then his speech To Venice a dejected man, and fame

Was lost in grief, and then his words came each Said he was wealthy, or he had been so.

Uomodulated and expressionless,Some thought the loss of fortune wrought him woe;

But that from one jarr'd accent you might guess But he was ever talking in such sort

It was despair made them so uniform :

And all the while the loud and gusty storm
As you do,—but more sadly;– he seem'd hurt,
Even as a man with his peculiar wrong,

Hiss'd through the window, and we stood behind, To hear but of the oppression of the strong,

Stealing his accents from the envious wind, Or those absurd deceits (I think with you

Unseed. I yet remember what he said
In some respects, you know) which carry through

Distinctly, such impression his words made.
The excellent impostors of this earth
When they outface detection. He had worth,

Month after month, , he cried, to bear this load, Poor fellow! but a humourist in his way.»

And, as a jade urged by the whip and goad,

To drag life on—which like a heavy chain Alas, what drove him mad?,

Lengthens behind with many a link of pain,

And not to speak my grief—0, not to dare «I cannot say:

To give a human voice to my despair;

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But live, and move, and, wretched thing! smile on, To avarice or misanthropy or lust.
As if I never went aside to groan,

Heap on me soon, O grave, tlıy welcome dust!
And wear this mask of falsehood even to those

Till then the dungeon may demand its prey; Who are most dear-pot for my own repose

And Poverty and Shame may meet and say, Alas! no scorn, or pain, or bate, could be

Halting beside me in the public way,So heavy as that falsehood is to me

* That love-devoted youth is ours : let's sit But that I cannot bear more alter'd faces

Beside him : he may live some six months yet.' — Than needs must be, more changed and cold embraces, Or the red scaffold, as our country bends, More misery, disappointment, and mistrust

May ask some willing victim; or ye, friends! To own me for their father. Would the dust

May fall under some sorrow, which this heart Were cover'd in upon my body now!

Or hand may share, or vanquish, or avert;
That the life ceased to toil within my brow!

J am prepared, in truth, with no proud joy,
And then these thoughts would at the last be fled : To do or suffer aught, as when a boy
Let us not fear such pain can vex the dead.

I did devole to justice, and to love,

My nature, worthless now. « What Power delights to torture us ? I know

«I must remove That to myself I do not wholly owe What now I suffer, though in part I may.

A veil from my pent mind. 'T is torn aside!

0! pallid as Death's dedicated bride, Alas! none strew'd fresh flowers

upon

the
way

Thou mockery which art sitting by my side,
Where, wandering heedlessly, I met pale Pain,

Am I not wan like thee? At the grave's call My shadow, which will leave me not again.

I haste, invited to thy wedding-ball, If I have err'd, there was no joy in error,

To meet the ghastly paramour, for whom But pain, and insult, and unrest, and terror;

Thou hast descrted me,- and made the tomb I have not, as some do, bought penitence

Thy bridal bed. But I beside thy feet With pleasure, and a dark yet sweet offence;

Will lie, and watch ye from my winding-sheet For then if love, and tenderness, and truth

Thus-wide awake though dead --Yet slay, 0, stay! Had overlived Hope's momentary youth,

Go not so soon-I know not what I sayMy creed should have redeem'd me from repenting;

Hlear but my reasons-I am mad, I fear, But loathed scorn and outrage unrelenting

My fancy is o'erwrought-thou art not here. Met love excited by far other secming,

Pale art thou, 't is most true--but thou art goneUntil the end was gaind :-as one from dreaming

Thy work is finish’d; I am left alone.
Of sweetest peace, I woke, and found my state
Such as it is.

« Nay, was it I who woocd thee to this breast,
«0, thou, my spirit's mate!

Which like a serpent thou envenomest Who, for thou art compassionate and wise,

As in repayment of the warmth it lent? Wouldst pity me from thy most gentle eyes,

Didst thou pot seek me for thine own content? If this sad writing thou shouldst ever see,

Did not thy love awaken mine? I thought
My secret groans must be unheard by tliec;

That thou wert she who said 'You kiss me not
Thou wouldst weep tears, bitler as blood, to know Ever; I fear you do not love me now.'
Thy lost friend's incommunicable woe.

In truth I loved even to my overthrow
Ye few by whom my nature has been weigh'd

Her, who would fain forget these words; but they In friendship, let me not that name degrade,

Cling to her mind, and cannot pass awaya
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!

You say that I am proud; that when I speak,
Love sometimes leads asıray to misery.

My lip is tortured with the wrongs, which break
Yet think not, though subdued (and I may well The spirit it expresses.- Never one
Say that I am subilued)—that the full hell

Humbled himself before, as I have done!
Within me would infect the untainted breast

Even the instinctive worm on which we tread Of sacred nature with its own unrest;

Turns, though it wound not-then, with prostrate liead, As some perverted beings think to find

Sinks in the dust, and writhes like memand dies In scorn or hate a medicine for the mind

--No :-wears a living death of agonies ! Which scorn or hate hath wounded.-0, how vain!

As the slow shadows of the pointed grass The dagger heals not, but may rend again.

Mark the eternal periods, its pangs pass, Believe that I am ever still the same

Slow, ever-moving, making moments be
In creed as in resolve: and what may tame

As mine seem,-each an immortality!
My heart, must leave the understanding free,
Or all would sink under this

acony.-Nor dream that I will join the vulgar eye,

That
you

had never seen me! never licard Or with my silence sanction tyranny,

My voice! and, more than all, had ne'er endured Or seek a moment's shelter from my pain

The deep pollution of my loathcd embrace! In any madness which the world calls gain;

That

your eyes ne'er had lied love in my face! Ambition, or revenge, or thoughts as stern

That, like some maniac monk, I had torn out As those which make me what I am, or turn

The nerves of manhood by their bleeding root

C

:

With mine own quivering fingers! so that ne'cr Our chastisement or recompense.-0, cuila!
Our hearts had for a moment mingled there,

I would that thine were like to be more mild,
To disunite in horror! These were not

For both our wretched sakes,- for thine the mosi, With thee like some suppress'd and hideous thought, Who feel'st already all that thou hast lost, Which llits athwart our musings, but can find

Without the power to wish it thine again. No rest within a pure and gentle mind

And, as slow years pass, a funereal train,
Thou sealedst them with many a bare broad word, Each with the ghost of some lost hope or friend
And searedst my memory o'er thein,-for I heard Following it like its shadow, wilt thou bend
And can forget not—they were minister’d,

No thought on my dead memory?
One after one, those curses. Mix them up
Like self-destroying poisons in one cup;
Aud they will make one blessing, which thou ne'er

Alas, love! Didst imprecate for on me--death!

Fear me not : against thee I'd not move a lt were

A finger in despite. Do I not live

That thou mayst have less bitter cause to grieve? A cruel punishment for one most cruel,

I give thee tears for scorn, and love for hate;
If such can love, to make that love the fuel
Of the mind's liell-hate, scorn, remorse, despair :

And, that thy lot may be less desolate

Than his on whom thou tramplest, I refrain
But me, whose heart a stranger's tear might wear,
As water-drops the sandy fountain-stone;

From that sweet sleep which medicines all pain. Who loved and pitied all things, and could moan

Then-when thou speakest of me-never say, For woes which others hear not; and could see

“He could forgive noi'-Here I cast away The absent with the glass of phantasy,

All human passions, all revenge,

all pride ; And near the poor and trampled sit and weep,

I think, speak, act no ill; I do but hide

Under these words, like embers, every spark Following the captive to his dungeon deep;

Of that which has consumed me. Me, who am as a nerve o'er which do creep

Quick and dark The else-unfelt oppressions of this earth,

The grave is yawning :-as its roof shall cover And was to thee the flame upon thy hearth,

My limbs with dust and worms, under and over, When all beside was cold :--that thou on me

So let oblivion hide this grief-The air Shouldst rain these plagues of blistering agony

Closes upon my accents, as despair
Such curses are from lips once eloquent

Upon my heart—let death upon despair!,
With love's too partial praise! Let none relent
Who intend deeds too dreadful for a name

lle ceased, and overcome, leant back awhile; llenceforth, if an example for the same

Then rising, with a melancholy smile, They seek :—for thou on me lookedst so and so, Went to a sofa, and lay down, and slept And didst speak thus and thus. I live to show

A heavy sleep, and in his dreams he wept,
How much men bear and die not.

And mutter'd some familiar name, and we
Wept without shame in his society.

I think I never was impressid so much;

Thou wilt tell, The man who were not, must have lack'd a touch With the grimace of hate, how horrible

Of human nature. Then we linger'd not, It was to meet my love when thine grew less;

Although our argument was quite forgot; Thou wilt admire how I could e'er address

But, calling the attendants, went to dine Such features to love's work---This taunt, though true At Maddalo's :---yet neither cheer nor wine (For indeed nature nor in form nor hue

Could give us spirits, for we talk'd of him, Bestow'd on me her choicest workmanship),

And nothing else, till daylight made stars dim. Shall not be thy defence : for since thy life

And we agreed it was some dreadful ill Met mine first, years long past, -since thine eye kindled Wrought on him boldly, yet unspeakable, With soft fire under mine, - I have not dwindled, By a dear friend; some deadly change in love Nor changed in mind, or body, or in aught,

Of one vow'd deeply which he dream'd not of ; But as love changes what it loveth not

For whose sake he, it seem'd, had fix'd a blot
After long years
and many

Of falsehood in his mind, which tlourish'd not
But in the light of all-beholding truth;

And having stamp'd this canker on his youth, • How vain

She bad abandon'd him :--and how much more Are words! I thought never to speak again,

Might be his woe, we guess'd not:--he had store Not even in secret, not to my own heart

Of friends and fortune once, as we could guess But from my lips the unwilling accents start,

From his nice habits and his gentleness :
And from my pen the words flow as I write,

These now were lost-it were a grief indeed
Dazzling my eyes with scalding tears-my sight If he had changed one unsustaining reed
Is din to see that character'd in vain,

For all that such a man might else adorn.
On this unfeeling leaf, which burns the brain

The colours of his mind seemed yet unworn; And eats into it, blotting all things fair,

For the wild language of his grief was highAnd wise and gool, which time had written there. Such as in measure were called pociry. Those who ivilice must suffer, for they see

And I remember one remark, which then The work of their own hearts, and that must be

Maddalo made : !ıc suid-« Most wretched men

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trials.

Are cradled into poetry by wrong :
They learn in suffering what they teach in song..

«Why, her heart must have been tough; How did it end?»

And was not this enough? They met, they parted.»

Child, is there no more?» Something within that interval, which bore The stamp of why they parted, how they met; Yet if thine aged eyes disdain fo wet Those wrinkled cheeks with youth's remember'd tears, Ask me no more; but let the silent years Be closed and cered over their memory As yon mute marble where their corpses lie.. I urged and question'd still: she told me how All happen'd--but the cold world shall not know.

ROME, May, 1819.

THE WITCH OF ATLAS.

If I had been an unconnected man, I, from this moment, should have form'd 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 recal 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-lighe Would flash upon our faces, till the day Might 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-'t was perbaps an idle thought, But I imagined that if, day by day, I watch'd him, and seldom went away, And studied all the beatings of his heart With zeal, as men study 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, Yel never saw I one whom I would call More willingly my friend ;-and this was all Accomplish'd not;-such dreams of baseless good Oft come and go, in crowds or solitude, And leave no trace !- but what I now design d, Made, for long years, inpression on my mind. -The following morning, urged by my affairs, I left bright Venice.-

J.
Before those cruel Twins, whom at one birth

Incestuous Change bore to her father Time,
Error and Truth, had hunted from the earth

All those bright natures which adorn'd its prime, And left us nothing to believe in, worth

The pains of putting into learned rhyme,
A lady-with there lived on Atlas' mountain,
Within a cavern by a secret fountain.

II.
Her mother was one of the Atlantides :

The all-bebolding Sun had ne'er beholden
In his wide voyage o'er continents and seas

So fair a creature, as she lay enfolden In the warm shadow of her loveliness ;

He kiss'd her with his beams, and made ali golden The chamber of grey rock in which she layShe, in that dream of joy, dissolved away.

JII. ”T is said, she was first cbanged into a vapour,

And then into a cloud, such clouds as tlit, Like splendour-winged moths about a taper,

Round the red west when the sun dies in it: And then into a meteor, such as caper

On hill-tops when the moon is in a fit;
Then, into one of those mysterious stars
Which bide themselves between the Earth and Mars.

IV.
Ten times the Mother of the Months bad bent

ller bow beside the folding-star, and bidden With that brighe sign the billows to indent

The sea-deserted sand : like children chidden, At her command they ever came and went :

Since in that cave a dewy splendour hidden,
Took shape and motion : with the living form
Of this embodied Power, the cave grew warm.

V.
A lovely lady garmented in light

From her own beauty-deep her eyes, as are
Two openings of unfathomable night

Seen through a tempest's cloven roof-her liair Dark--the dim brain wbirls dizzy with delight,

Picturing her form! her soft smiles shone afar, And her low voice was heard like love, and drew All living things towards this wonder new.

After many years,
And many changes, I return’d; the name
Of Venice, and its aspect, was the same;
But Maddalo was travelling, far away,
Among the mountains of Armenia.
Ilis dog was dead: his child had now become
A woman, such as it has been

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 ask'd
Of the lorn maniac, she her memory task'd,
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
Look'd meek; perlaps remorse had brought hier low.
Her coming made him better; and they stay'd
Together at my father's,- for I play'd,
As I remember, with the lady's shawl;
I might be six years old :-But, after all,
She left him.»-

my

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VI.
And first the spotted cameleopard came,

And then the wise and fearless elephant;
Then the sly serpent, in the golden flame

Of his own volumes intervolved ;-all gaunt And sanguine beasts her gentle looks made tảme.

They drank before her at hier sacred fount, And

every beast of beating heart grew bold, Such gentleness and power even to behold.

VII.
The brinded lioness led forth her young,

That she might teach them how they should forego Their inborn thirst of death; the pard unstrung

His sinews at her feet, and sought to know,
With looks whose motions spoke without a tongue,

How he might be as gentle as the doe.
The magic circle of her voice and eyes
All savage natures did imparadise.

VIII.
And old Silenus, shaking a green stick

Of lilies, and the wood-gods in a crew
Camc, blithe, as in the olive copses thick

Cicada are, drunk with the noonday dew: And Driope and Faunus follow'd quick,

Teasing the God to sing them something new,
Till in this cave they found the lady lone,
Sitting upon a scat of cmerald stone.

IX.
And Universal Pan, 't is said, was there,

And though none saw him,-through the adamant Of the deep mountains, through the trackless air,

And through those living spirits, like a want He past out of his everlasting lair

Where the quick heart of the great world doth pant,
And felt that wondrous lady all alone, -
And she felt him, upon her emerald ihrone.

X.
And every nymph of stream and spreading tree,

And every shepherdess of Ocean's flocks,
Who drives her white waves over the green sea;

And Ocean, with the brine on his And quaint Priapus with liis company

All came, much wondering how the enwombed rocks
Could have brought forth so beautiful a birth;-
Her love subdued their wonder and their mirth.

XI.
The herdsmen and the mountain maidens came,

And the rude kings of pastoral Garamant-
These spirits shook within them, as a flame

Stirr'd by the air under a cavern gaunt: Pigmies, and Polyphemes, by many a name,

Centaurs and Satyrs, and such shapes as haunt
Wet clefts,--and lumps neither alive nor dead,
Dog-headed, bosom-eyed and bird-footed.

XII.
For she was beautiful: her beauty made

The bright world dim, and every thing beside
Seem'd like the fleeting image of a shade:

No thought of living spirit could abide, Which to her looks had ever been hetray'd,

On any object in the world so wide, On any hope within the circling skies, But on her form, and in her inmost eyes.

XIII.
Which when the lady knew, she took her spindle

And twined three threads of fleecy mist, and three Long lines of light, such as the dawn

may kindle The clouds and waves and mountains with, and she As many star-beams, ere their lamps could dwindle

In the belated moon, wound skilfully;
And with these threads a subile veil she wove-
A shadow for the splendour of her love.

XIV.
The deep recesses of her odorous dwelling

Were stored with magic treasures--sounds of air,
Which had the power all spirits of compelling,

Folded in cells of crystal silence there ;
Such as we hear in youth, and think the feeling

Will never die-yet ere we are aware,
The feeling and the sound are fled and gone,
And the regret they leave remains alone.

XV.
And there lay Visions swift, and sweet, and quaint,

Each in its thin sheath like a chrysalis;
Some cager to burst forth, some weak and faint

With the soft burthen of intensest bliss; it is its work to bear to many a saint

Whose heart adores the shrine which holiest is, Even Love's—and others white, green, grey, and black, And of all shapes--and each was at her beck.

XVI. And odours in a kind of aviary

Of ever-blooming Eden-trees she kept, Clipt in a floating nel, a love-sick Fairy

Had woven from dew- beams while the moon yet slept; As bats at the wired window of a dairy,

They beat their vans; and each was an adept,
When loosed and mission'd, making wings of winds,
To stir sweet thoughts or sad in destined minds.

XVII.
And liquors clear and sweet, whose healthful might

Could medicine the sick soul to happy sleep,
And change eternal death into a night

Of glorious dreams-or if eyes needs must weep,
Could make their tears all wonder and delight,

She in her crystal vials did closely keep:
If men could drink of those clear vials, 't is said
The living were not envied of the dead.

XVIII.
ller cave was stored with scrolls of strange device,

The works of some Saturnian Archimage, Which taught the expiations at whose price

Men from the Gods might win that happy age Too lighily lost, redeeming native vice;

And which might quench the earth-consuming rage Of gold and blood-uill men should live and move Harmonious as the sacred stars above.

XIX.
And how all things that seem untameable,

Not to be check'd and not to be confined,
Obey the spells of wisdom's wizard skill;

Time, Earth and Fire-the Ocean and the Wind, And all their shapes--and man's imperial will ;

And other scrolls whose writings did unbind The inmost lore of Love-let the prophane Tremble to ask what secrets they contain.

ܪ

grey locks,

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