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Beneath the darkness of his outspread hair
He stood unus beautiful: but there was One
Who sate beside him like his shadow there,
And held his hand-far lovlier-she was known
To be thus fair, by the few lines alone
Which thro' her floating locks and gathered cloke,
Glances of soul-dissolving glory, shone :-
None else beheld her eyes--in him they woke
Memories which found a tongue, as thus he silence

broke.

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CANTO II.

The star-light smile of children, the sweet looks
of women, the fair breast from which I fed,
The murmur of the unreposing brooks,
And the green light which, shifting overhead,
Some tangled bower of vines around me shed,
The shells on the sea-sand, and the wild flowers,
The lamp-light thro' the rafters cheerly spread,
And on the twining flax-in life's young hours
These sights and sounds did nurse my spirit's folded

power

In Argolis, beside the echoing sea,
Such impulses within my mortal frame
Arose, and they were dear to memory,
Like tokens of the dead :-but others came
Soon, in another shape : the wondrous fame
of the past world, the vital words and deeds
Of minds whom neither time nor change can tame,
Traditions dark and old, whence evil creeds
Start forth, and whose dim shade a stream of poison

feeds.

I heard, as all have heard, the various story
or human life, and wept unwilling tears.
Feeble historians of its shame and glory,
False disputants on all its hopes and fears,
Victims who worshipped ruin,-chroniclers
of daily scorn, and slaves who loathed their state,
Yet flattering power had given its ministers
A throne of judgment in the grave;-'twas fate
That among such as these my youth should seek its

mate.
The land in which I lived, by a fell bane
Was withered up. Tyrants dwelt side by side,
And stabled in our homes,-until the chain
Stifled the captive's cry, and to abide
That blasting curse men had no shame-all vied
In evil, slave and despot ; fear with lust
Strange fellowship through mutual hate had tied,
Like two dark serpents tangled in the dust,
Which on the paths of men their mingling poison thrust

Earth, our bright home, its mountains and its waters,
And the æthereal shapes which are suspended
Over its green expanse, and those fair daughters,
The clouds of Sun and Ocean, who have blended
The colours of the air since first extended
It cradled the young world, none wandered forth
To see or feel: a darkness had descended
On every heart: the light which shows its worth
Must among gentle thoughts and fearless take its birth,
This vital world, this home of happy spirits,
Was a dungeon to my blasted kind;
All that despair from murdered hope inherits
They sought, and, in their helpless misery blind,
A deeper prison and heavier chains did find,
And stronger tyrants:-a dark gulph before,
The realm of a stern Ruler, yawned ; behind,
Terror and Time conflicting drove, and bore
On their tempestuous flood the shrieking wretch troru

shore.

Out of that Ocean's wrecks had Guilt and Woe
Framed a dark dwelling for their homeless thought,
And, starting at the ghosts which to and fro
Glide o'er its dim and gloomy strand, had brought
The worship thence which they each other taught.
Well might men loathe their life, well might they turn
Even to the ills again from which they sought
Such refuge after death !-well might they learn
To gaze on this fair world with hopeless unconcern!

For they all pined in bondage ; body and soul,
Tyrant and slave, victim and torturer, bent
Before one Power, to which supreme controul
Over their will, by their own weakness lent,
Made all its many names omnipotent;
All symbols of things evil, all divine ;
The hymns of blood or mockery, which rent
The air from all its fanes, did intertwine
Imposture's impious toils round each discordant shrine

I heard, as all have heard, life's various story,
And in no careless heart transcribed the tale ;
But, from the sneers of men who had grown hoary
In shame and scorn, from groans and crowds made pale
By famine, from a mother's desolate wail
O'er her polluted child, from innocent blood
Poured on the earth, and brows anxious and pale
With the heart's warfare, did I gather food
To feed my many thoughts,-a tameless multitude !

I wandered thro' the wrecks of days departed
Far by the desolated shore, when even
O'er the still sea and jagged islets darted
The light of rnoonrise; in the northern Heaven,
Among the clouds near the horizon driven,
The mountains lay beneath one planet pale:
Around me, broken tombs and columns riven
Looked vast in twilight, and the sorrowing gale
Waked in those ruins grey its everlasting wail'

I knew not who had framed these wonders thed,
Nor had I heard the story of their deeds ;
But dwellings of a race of mightier men,
And monuments of less ungentle creeds,
Tell their own tale to him who wisely heeds
The language which they speak; and now, to me
The moonlight making pale the blooming weeds,
The bright stars shining in the breathless sea,
Interpreted those scrolls of mortal mystery.

Such man has been, and such may yet become!
Aye, wiser, greater, gentler, even than they
Who on the fragments of you shattered dome
Have stamped the sign of power-I felt the sway
of the vast stream of ages bear away
My floating thoughts--my heart beat loud and fast-
Even as a storm let loose beneath the ray
of the still moon, my spirit onward past
Beneath truth's steady beams upon its tumult cast.

It shall be thus no more! Too long, too long,
Sons of the glorious dead, have ye lain bound
In darkness and in ruin.-Hope is strong ;
Justice and Truth their winged child have found-
Awake! arise ! until the mighty sound
of your career shall scatter in its gust
The thrones of the oppressor, and the ground
Hide the last altar's unregarded dust,
Whose Idol has so long betrayed your impious trust.

It must be so-I will arise and waken
The multitude, and, like a sulphurous hill
Which on a sudden from its snows has shaken
The swoon of ages, it shall burst and fill
The world with cleansing fire: it must, it wili--
It may not be restrained -and who shall stand
Amid the rocking earthquake steadfast still,
But Laon ? on high Freedom's desert land
A tower whose marble walls the leagued storing with

stand!

One summer night, in commune with the hope
Thus deeply fed, amid those ruins grey
I watched, beneath the dark sky's starry cope;
And ever from that hour upon me lay
The burden of this hope, and night or day,
In vision or in dream, clove to my breast:
Among mankind, or when gone far away
To the lone shores and mountains,'twas a guest
Which followed where I fled, and watched when I did

rest

These hopes found words thro' which my spirit sought
To weave a bondage of such sympathy
As might create some response to the thought
Which ruled me now-and, as the vapours lie
Bright in the out-spread morning's radiancy.
So were these thoughts invested with the light
of language : and all bosoms made reply
On whịch its lustre streamed, whene'er it might
Thro' darkness wide and deep those tranced spirits smite.

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.

Yes, oft beside the ruined labyrinth
Which skirts the hoary caves of the green deep,
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 his friend was false niay now be said
Calmly-that ne like other men could weep
Tears which are lies, and could betray and spread
Suares for that guileless heart which for his own had bled,

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