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All natural pity then, a fear unknown

Before, and with an inward fire possessed, They raged like homeless beasts whom burning

woods invest.

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'Twas morn-at noon the public crier went

forth, Proclaiming through the living and the dead, “ The Monarch saith that his great Empire's

worth Is set on Laon and Laone's head: He who but one yet living here can lead, Or who the life from both their hearts can

wring, Shall be the kingdom's heir, a glorious meed!

But he who both alive can hither bring, The Princess shall espouse, and reign an equal

King.”

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Ere night the pyre was piled, the net of iron Was spread above, the fearful couch below, It overtopped the towers that did environ That spacious square; for Fear is never slow To build the thrones of Hate, her mate and foe, So she scourged forth the maniac multitude To rear this pyramid-tottering and slow, Plague-stricken, foodless, like lean herds.

pursued By gad-flies, they have piled the heath, and

gums, and wood.

XLIII. Night came, a starless and a moonless gloom. Until the dawn, those hosts of many a nation

Stood round that pile, as near one lover's

tomb Two gentle sisters mourn their desolation; And in the silence of that expectation, Was heard on high the reptiles' hiss and

crawlIt was so deep, save when the devastation

Of the swift pest with fearful interval, Marking its path with shrieks, among the

crowd would fall.

XLIV. Morn came,-among those sleepless multi

tudes, Madness, and Fear, and Plague, and Famine

still Heaped corpse on corpse, as in autumnal

woods The frosts of many a wind with dead leaves fill Earth's cold and sullen brooks ; in silence

still The pale survivors stood; ere noon, the fear Of Hell became a panic, which did kill

Like hunger or disease, with whispers drear As “hush! hark! Come they yet? God, God,

thine hour is near!'

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And Priests rushed through their ranks,

some counterfeiting The rage they did inspire, some mad indeed With their own lies; they said their god was

waiting To see his enemies writhe, and burn, and

bleed, And that, till then, the snakes of hell had

need

Of human souls :-three hundred furnaces Soon blazed through the wide City, where,

with speed, Men brought their atheist kindred to appease God's wrath, and while they burned, knelt round

on quivering knees.

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The noontide sun was darkened with that

smoke, The winds of eve dispersed those ashes grey, The madness which these rites had lulled,

awoke Again at sunset.—Who shall dare to say The deeds which night and fear brought

forth, or weigh In balance just the good and evil there? He might man's deep and searchless heart

display, And cast a light on those dim labyrinths,

where Hope, near imagined chasms, is struggling with

despair.

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XLVII. 'Tis said a mother dragged three children

then To those fierce flames which roast the eyes

in the head, And laughed, and died; and that unholy men, Feasting like fiends upon the infidel dead, Looked from their meal, and saw an Angel

tread The threshold of God's throne, and it was she ! And, on that night, one without doubt or

dread

Came to the fire, and said, “Stop, I am he! Kill me!” they burned them both with hellish

mockery.

XLVIII. And, one by one, that night, young maidens

came, Beauteous and calm, like shapes of living

stone Clothed in the light of dreams, and by the

. flame Which shrank as overgorged, they laid them

down, And sung a low sweet song, of which alone One word was heard, and that was Liberty; And that some kissed their marble feet, with

moan Like love, and died, and then that they did die With happy smiles, which sunk in white tran

quillity.

CANTO ELEVENTH.

1. She saw me not—she heard me not-alone Upon the mountain's dizzy brink she stood ; She spake not, breathed not, moved not

there was thrown Over her look the shadow of a mood Which only clothes the heart in solitude, A thought of voiceless depth ;-she stood

alone, Above, the Heavens were spread ;-below, the Was murmuring in its caves ;—the wind had

flood

blown Her hair apart, through which her eyes and

forehead shone.

II. A cloud was hanging o'er the western moun

tains; Before its blue and moveless depth were

flying Grey mists poured forth from the unresting

fountains Of darkness in the North :the day was

dying:Sudden, the sun shone forth, its beams were

lying Like boiling gold on Ocean, strange to see, And on the shattered vapours, which defying

The power of light in vain, tossed restlessly In the red Heaven, like wrecks in a tempes

tuous sea.

III. It was a stream of living beams, whose bank On either side by the cloud's cleft was made; And where its chasms that flood of glory

drank, Its waves gushed forth like fire, and as if

swayed By some mute tempest, rolled on her; the

shade Of her bright image floated on the river Of liquid light, which then did end and

fadeHer radiant shape upon its verge did shiver; Aloft, her flowing hair like strings of flame did

quiver.

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