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Two gentle sisters mourn their desolation ;
And, in the silence of that expectation,
Was heard on high the reptiles hiss and crawl-
It was so deep, save when the devastation
of the swift pest with fearful interval,

[fall. Marking its path with shrieks, among the crowd would

Morn came.--Among those sleepless multitudes
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? Just Heaven! thine

hour is near!"

And Priests rushed thro' 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 bum, and bleed,
And that, till then, the snakes of Hell had heed
Of human souls.-Three hundred furnaces
Soon blazed thro' the wide City, where, with speed,
Men brought their infidel kindred to appease
God's wrath, and, while they burned, knelt round on

quivering knees.

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 lahyrinths where
Hope, near imagined chasms, is struggling with despair
"Tis said, a mother dragged three children then,
To those fierce flames which roast the eyes in the head,

And laughed, and died; and tnat unholy men,
Feasting like fiends upon the infidel dead,
Looked from their meal, and saw an angel tread
The visible floor of Heaven, 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
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 fiame,
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 kiss'd their marble feet, with moan,
Like love, and died, and then that they did die
With happy smiles, which sunk in white tranquillity.

00

CANTO XI.

She saw me not-she heard me not alone
Upon the moutain's dizzy brink she stood; [thrown
She spake not, breathed not, moved not-there was
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 floor
Was murmuring in its caves ;--the wind had blown
Her hair apart, through which her eyes and forehead

shone.

A cloud was hanging o'er the western mountains;
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 tempestuous tea

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 fade
Her radiant shape upon its verge did shiver;
Aloft, her flowing hair like strings of flame did quiver.
I stood beside her, but she saw me not-
She looked upon the sea, and skies, and earth.
Rapture, and love, and admiration, wrought
A passion deoper rar than tears, or mirth,
Or speech, or gesture, or whate'er has birth
From common joy: which, with the speechless feeling
That led her there, united, and shot forth
From her fair eyes, a light of deep revealing,
All but her dearest self from my regard concealing.
Her lips were parted, and the measured breath
Was now heard there ;-her dark and intricate eyes,
Orb within orb, deeper than sleep or death,
Absorbed the glories of the burning skies,
Which mingling with her heart's deep ecstacies,
Burst from her looks and gestures ;-and a light
on liquid tenderness, like love, did rise
From her whole frame,-an atmosphere which quite
Arrayed her in its beams, tremulous and soft and bright
She would have clasped me to her glowing frame;
Those warm and odorous lips might soon have shed
On mine the fragrance and the invisible flame
Which now the cold winds stole ;-she would have laid
Upon my languid heart her dearest head;

I might have heard her voice, tender and sweet ;
Her eyes, mingling with mine, might soon have fed
My soul with their own joy.--One moment yet
I gazed-we parted then, never again to meet!

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Never but once to meet on Earth again!
She heard me as I fled--her eager tone
Sank on my heart, and almost wove a chain
Around my will to link it with her own,
So that my stern resolve was almost gone.
I cannot reach thee! whither dost thou fly
My steps are faint.-Come back, thou deareut one-
Return, ah me! return!"-The wind pass'd by
On which those accents died, faint, far, and lingeringly
Woe! woe! that moonless midnight.-Want and Pest
Were horrible, but one more fell doth rear,
As in a hydra's swarming lair, its crest,
Eminent among those victims-even the Fear
of Hell: each girt by the hot atmosphere
Of his blind agony, like a scorpion stung
By his own rage upon his burning bier
or circling doals of fire; but still there clung
One hope, like a keen sword on starting threads uphung:
Not death-death was no more refuge or rest;
Not life it was despair to be !--not sleep,
For fiends and chasms of fire had dispossest
All natural dreams: to wake was not to weep,
But to gaze mad and pallid at the leap
To which the Future, like a snaky scourge,
Or like some tyrant's eye which aye doth keep
Its withering beam upon his slaves, did urge
Their steps they heard the roar of Hell's sulphureous

surge.

Each of that multitude alone, and lost
To sense of outward things, one hope yet knew;
As on a foam-girt crag some seaman tost
Stares at the rising tide, or like the crew
Whilst now the ship is splitting thro'and thro',

Each, if the tramp of a far steed was heard,
Started from sick despair, or if there flew
One murmur on the wind, or if some word
Which none can gather yet, the distant crowd has stirred

Why became cheeks, wan with the kiss of death,
Paler from hope? they had sustained despair.
Why watched those myriads with suspended breath
Sleepless a second night? they are not here
The victims, and hour by hour, a vision drear,
Warm corpses fall upon the clay-cold dead ;
And even in death their lips are writhed with sear.-
The crowd is mute and moveless-overhead
Silent Arcturus shines-ha! hear'st thou not the road

of rushing feet ? laughter? the shout, the scream, of triumph not to be contained ? See! hark! They come, they come! give way! Alas, ye deem Falsely—'tis but a crowd of maniacs stark Driven, like a troop of spectres, thro' the dark, From the choked well, whence a bright dearth-fire

sprung, A lurid earth-star, which dropped many a spark From its blue train, and, spreading widely, clung To their wild hair, like mist the topmast pines among.

And many, from the crowd collected there,
Joined that strange dance in fearful sympathies ;
There was the silence of a long despair,
When the last echo of those terrible cries
Came from a distant street, like agonies
Stifled afar.-Before the Tyrant's throne
All night his aged Senate sate, their eyes
In stuny expectation fixed; when one
Sudden before them stood, a Stranger and alone.

Iark Priests and haughty Warriors gazed on him
Wit!: hafiled wonder, for a hermit's vest
Concealed his face, but, when he spake, his tone,
Ere yet the matter did their thoughts arrest,
Earnest, benignant, calm, as from a breast

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