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XVII. Yes, many an eye with dizzy tears was dim, And oft I thought to clasp my own heart's

brother, When I could feel the listener's senses swim, And hear his breath its own swift gaspings

smother Even as my words evoked them—and another, And yet another, I did fondly deem, Felt that we all were sons of one great

mother ; And the cold truth such sad reverse did seem, As to awake in grief from some delightful dream.

XVIII. Yes, oft beside the ruined labyrinth Which skirts the hoary caves of the green


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Did Laon and his friend on one grey plinth, Round whose worn base the wild waves hiss

and leap, Resting at eve, a lofty converse keep: And that this friend was false, may now be

said Calmly—that he like other men could weep Tears which are lies, and could betray and

spread Snares for that guileless heart which for his own had bled.

Then, had no great aim recompensed my

sorrow, I must have sought dark respite from its

stress In dreamless rest, in sleep that sees no mor


For to tread life's dismaying wilderness Without one smile to cheer, one voice to bless, Amid the snares and scoffs of human kind, Is hard—but I betrayed it not, nor less With love that scorned return, sought to

unbind The interwoven clouds which make its wisdom


xx. With deathless minds which leave where they

have passed A path of light, my soul communion knew; Till from that glorious intercourse, at last, As from a mine of magic store, I drew Words which were weapons ;-round my

heart there grew The adamantine armour of their power, And from my fancy wings of golden hue Sprang forth-yet not alone from wisdom's

tower, A minister of truth, these plumes young Laon


XXI. I had a little sister, whose fair eyes Were loadstars of delight, which drew me

home When I might wander forth; nor did I prize Aught human thing beneath Heaven's mighty

dome Beyond this child: so when sad hours were

come, And baffled hope like ice still clung to me, Since kin were cold, and friends had now

become Heartless and false, I turned from all, to be,

Cythna, the only source of tears and smiles to


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What wert thou then ? A child most infan

tine, Yet wandering far beyond that innocent age In all but its sweet looks and mien divine; Even then, methought, with the world's

tyrant rage A patient warfare thy young heart did wage, When those soft eyes of scarcely conscious

thought, Some tale, or thine own fancies would engage

To overflow with tears, or converse fraught With passion o'er their depths its fleeting

light had wrought.

She moved upon this earth a shape of bright-

A power that from its objects scarcely drew
One impulse of her being-in her lightness
Most like some radiant cloud of morning

Which wanders through the waste air's path-

less blue,
To nourish some far desert: she did seem
Beside me, gathering beauty as she grew,
Like the bright shade of some immortal

dream Which walks, when tempest sleeps, the wave of

life's dark stream.

As mine own shadow was this child to me,
A second self, far dearer and more fair;

Which clothed in undissolving radiancy,
All those steep paths which languor and

Of human things had made so dark and bare,
But which I trod alone-nor, till bereft
Of friends, and overcome by lonely care

Knew I what solace for that loşs was left, Though by a bitter wound my trusting heart

was cleft.

XXV. Once she was dear, now she was all I had To love in human life, this sister sweet, This child of twelve years old—so she was

made My sole associate, and her willing feet Wandered with mine where earth and ocean

meet, Beyond the aërial mountains whose vast cells The unreposing billows ever beat, Through forests wide and old, and lawny

dells, Where boughs of incense droop over the

emerald wells.

XXVI. And warm and light I felt her clasping hand When twined in mine: she followed where I

went, Through the lone path of our immortal land. It had no waste, but some memorial lent Which strung me to my toil—some monu

ment Vital with mind: then Cythna by my side, Until the bright and beaming day were spent,

Would rest, with looks entreating to abide, Too earnest and too sweet ever to be denied,

XXVII. And soon I could not have refused her—thus For ever, day and night, we two were ne'er Parted, but when brief sleep divided us : And when the pauses of the lulling air Of noon beside the sea, had made a lair For her soothed senses, in my arms she slept, And I kept watch over her slumbers there,

While, as the shifting visions o'er her swept, Amid her innocent rest by turns she smiled

and wept.

XXVIII. And in the murmur of her dreams was heard Sometimes the name of Laon :-suddenly She would arise, and like the secret bird Whom sunset wakens, fill the shore and sky With her sweet accents—a wild melody! Hymns which my soul had woven to Free

dom, strong The source of passion whence they rose, to be; Triumphant strains, which, like a spirit's

tongue, To the enchanted waves that child of glory


XXIX. Her white arms lifted thro’ the shadowy

stream Of her loose hair-oh, excellently great Seemed to me then my purpose, the vast


Of those impassioned songs, when Cythna

Amid the calm which rapture doth create
After its tumult, her heart vibrating,
Her spirit o'er the ocean's floating state

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