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Thich follows the decline of day,
As twilight melts beneath the moon away. 1

II. But it is not to list to the waterfall Taat Parisina leaves her hall, And it is not to gaze on the heavenly light That the lady walks in the shadow of night; And if she sits in Este's bower, "Tis not for the sake of its full-blown fower; She listens — but not for the nightingale Though her ear expects as soft a tale. There glides a step through the foliage thick, And ber cheek grows pale—and her heart beats quick. There whispers a voice through the rustling leaves, Aod her blush returns, and her bosom heaves. A moment more -- and they shall meet 'Tis past - her lover's at her feet.

But fever'd in her sleep she seems,
And red her check with troubled drcains,

And mutters she in her unrest
A name she dare not breathe by day,

And clasps her lord unto the breast
Which pants for one away :
And he to that embrace awakes,
And, happy in the thought, mistakes
That dreaming sigh, and warm carese,
For such as he was wont to bless ;
And could in very fondness weep
O'er her who loves him even in sicep.

III. And what unto them is the world beside, With all its change of time and tide ? Its living things — its earth and skyAre nothing to their mind and eye. And heedless as the dead are they

Of aught around, above, beneath ; As if all else had pass'd away,

They only for each other breathe ; Their very sighs are full of joy

So deep, that did it not decay, That happy madness would destroy

The hearts which feel its fiery sway: Of guilt, of peril, do they deem 1. that tumultuous tender dream? co that have felt that passion's power, Or paused, or fear'd in such an hour ? Of thought how brief such moments last ? But yet — they are already past ! Alas! we must awake before We know such vision comes no more.

VI.
IIc clasp'd her sleeping to his heart,

And listened to each broken word :
He hears – Why doth Prince Azo start,

As if the Archangel's voice he heari?
And well he may - a deeper doom
Could scarcely thunder o'er his tomb,
When he shall wake to sleep no more,
And stand the eternal throne before.
And well he may — his earthly peace
Upon that sound is doom'd to cease.
That sleeping whisper of a name
Bespeaks her guilt and Azo's shame.
And whose that name ? that o'er his pillow
Sounds fearful as the breaking billow,
Which rolls the plank upon the shore',

And dashes on the pointed rock
The wretch who sinks to rise no more,

So came upon his soul the shock.
And whose that name? 't is Hugo's, his
In sooth he had not deem' of this!
"Tis Ilugo's, - he, the child of one
Ile loved — his own all-evil son -
The offspring of his wayward youth,
When he betray'd Bianca's truth,
The maid whose folly could conside
In him who made her not his bride.

IV.
With many a lingering look they leave

The spot of guilty gladness past:
And though they hope, and vow, they grieve,

As if that parting were the last
The frequent sigh — the long embrace

The lip that there would cling for ever,
While gleams on Parisina's face

The Heaven she fears will not forgive her, As if each calmly conscious star Beheld her frailty from afar — The frequent sigh, the long embrace, Tet binds them to their trysting-place. But it must come, and they must part In fearfal heaviness of heart, With all the deep and shuddering chill Which follows fast the deeds of ill.

VII.
He pluck'd his poniard in its sheath,

But sheath'd it ere the point was bare --
Ilowe'er unworthy now to breathe,

He could not slay a thing so fair -

At least, not smiling -- sleeping — there: Nay more :- he did not wake her then,

But gazed upon her with a glance

Whichi, had she roused her from her trance, Had frozen her sense to sleep again ; And o'er his brow the burning lamp Gleam'd on the dew-drops big and damp. She spake no more -- but still she slumber'd While, in his thought, her days are number'd.

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V. And Hugo is gone to liis lonely bed,

To covet there another's bride ; But she must lay her conscious head

A husband's trusting heart beside.

VIII.
And with the morn he sought, and found,
In many a tale from those around,
The proof of all he fear'd to know,
Their present guilt, his future woe ;
The long-conniving damsels seek

To save themselves, and would transfer

The guilt — the shame. the doom to her : Concealment is no more - they speak

1 The lines contained in this section were printed as set to music astbe tiine since, but belonged to the poem where they

now appear, the greater part of which was composed prior to “ Lara."

All circumstance which may compel
Full crerlence to the tale they tell :
And Azo's tortured heart and ear
Have nothing more to feel or hear.

IX.
He was not one who brook'd delay :

Within the chamber of his state,
The chief of Este's ancient sway

Upon his throne of judgment sate ;
His nobles and his guards are there, -
Before him is the sinful pair ;
Both young, — and one how passing fair !
With swordless belt, and fetter'd hand,
Oh, Christ! that thus a son should stand

Before a father's face !
Yet thus must Hugo meet his sire,
And hear the sentence of his ire,

The tale of his disgrace !
And yet he seems not overcome,
Although, as yet, his voice be dumb.

X.
And still, and pale, and silently

Did Parisina wait her doom ;
How changed since last her speaking cye

Glanced gladness round the glittering room, Where high-born men were proud to wait Where Beauty watch'd to imitate

Her gentle voice - her lovely mien – And gather from her air and gait

The graces of its queen :
Then, - had her eye in sorrow wept,
A thousand warriors forth had leapt,
A thousand swords had sheathless shone",
And made her quarrel all their own.
Now,—what is she? and what are they ?
Can she coinmand, or these obey ?
All silent and unheeding now,
With downcast eyes and knitting brow,
And folded arms, and freezing air,
And lips that scarce their scorn forbear,
Iler knights and dames, her court-is there :
And he, the chosen one, whose lance
Had yet been couch'd before her glance,
Who were his arm a moment free
Had died or gain'd her liberty ;
The minion of his father's bride,-
He, too, is fetter'd by her side ;
Nor sees her swoln and full eye swim
Less for her own despair than him :
Those lids - O'er which the violet vein
Wandering, leaves a tender stain,
Shining through the smoothest white
That e'er did softest kiss invite -
Now seem'd with hot and livid glow
To press, not shade, the orbs below;
Which glance so heavily, and fill,
As tear on tear grows gathering still.

XI.
And he for her had also wept,

But for the eyes that on him gazed :
His sorrow, if he felt it, slept ;

Stern and erect his brow was raised.

Whate'er the grief his soul arowd,
He would not shrink before the crowd;
But yet he dared not look on her:
Remembrance of the hours that were -
His guilt - his love — his present state –
His father's wrath - all good men's hate –
His earthly, his eternal fate -
And hers, -oh, hers!- he dared not throw
One look upon that deathlike brow!
Else had his rising heart betray'd
Remorse for all the wreck it made.

XII.
And Azo spake:“ But yesterday

I gloried in a wife and son;
That dream this morning pass'd away;

Ere day declines, I shall have none.
My life must linger on alone;
Well, — let that pass, there breathes not one
Who would not do as I have done :
Those ties are broken - not by me;

Let that too pass ; — the doom's prepared ! Hugo, the priest awaits on thee,

And then-thy crime's reward ! Away! address thy prayers to Heaven,

Before its evening stars are met Learn if thou there canst be forgiven;

Its mercy may absolve thee yet. But here, upon the earth beneath,

There is no spot where thou and I Together, for an hour, could breathe :

Farewell! I will not see thee die But thou, frail thing! shalt view his head

Away! I cannot speak the rest :

Go! woman of the wanton breast, Not I. but thou his blood dost shed : Go! if that sight thou canst outlive, And joy thee in the life I give."

XIII.
And here sterri Azo hid his face-

For on his brow the swelling vein
Throbb'd as if back upon his brain

The hot blood ebb’d and flow'd again;
And therefore bow'd he for a space,

And pass'd his shaking hand along

His eye, to veil it from the throng :
While Hugo raised his chained hands,
And for a brief delay demands
His father's ear: the silent sire
Forbids not what his words require.

“ It is not that dread the death-
For thou hast seen me by thy side
All redly through the battle ride,
And that not once a useless brand
Thy slaves have wrested from my hand
Hath shed more blood in cause of thine,
Than e'er can stain the axe of mine :

Thou gavist, and may'st resume my breath,
A gift for which I thank thee not ;
Nor are my mother's wrongs forgot,
Her slighted love and ruin'd name,
Her offspring's heritage of shame;

(A sagacious writer gravely charges Lord Byron with paraphrasing, in this passage, without acknowledgment, Mr. Birrhe's well-known description of the unfortunate Marie Intoinette. " Verily," says Mr. Coleridge, “ there be alongst tis a set of critics, who seem to hold, that every

possible thought and image is traditional ; who have de notion that there are such things as fountains in the world, small as well as great ; and who would therefore charitably derive every rill they behold flowing, from a perforatiou made in some other man's tank."]

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And we, all side by side, have striven,
And o'er the dead our coursers driven :
The past is nothing--and at last
The future can but be the past;
Yet would I that I then had died ;

For though thou work'dst my mother's ill, And made thy own my destined bride,

I feel thou art my father still;
And, harsh as sounds thy hard decree,
'Tis not unjust, although from thee.
Begot in sin, to die in shame,
My life begun and ends the same :
As err'd the sire, so err'd the son,
And thou must punish both in one.
My crime seems worst to human view,
But God must judge between us too !"

But she is in the grave, where he,
Her son, thy rival, soon shall be.
Her broken heart-my sever'd head
Shall witness for thee from the dead
How trusty and how tender were
Thy youthful love — paternal care.
'Tis true that I have done thee wrong-

But wrong for wrong:--this,-deem'd thy bride,

The other victim of thy pride, -
Thou know'st for me was destined long;
Thou saw'st, and covetedst her charms;

And with thy very crime--my birth

Thou tauntedst me, as little worth;
A match ignoble for her arms,
Because, forsooth, I could not claim
The lawful heirship of thy name,
Nor sit on Este's lineal throne:

Yet, were a few short summers mine,

My name should more than Este's shine
With honours all my own.
I had a sword -- and have a brcast
That should have won as haught I a cresi
As ever waved along the line
Of all these sovereign sires of thine.
Not always knightly spurs are worn
The brightest by the better born;
And mine have lanced my courser's flank
Before proud chiefs of princely rank,
When charging to the cheering cry
Of • Este and of Victory!'
I will not plead the cause of crime,
Nor sue thee to redeem from time
A few brief hours or days that must
At length roll o'er my reckless dust;
Such maddening moments as my past,
They could not, and they did not, last.
Albeit my birth and name be base,
And thy nobility of race
Disdain'd to deck a thing like me —

Yet in my lineaments they trace

Some features of my father's face,
And in my spirit - all of thee.
From thee this tamelessness of heart
From thee — nay, wherefore dost thou start ?
From thee in all their vigour came
My arm of strength, my soul of fame;
Thou didst not give me life alone,
But all that made me more thine own.
See what thy guilty love hath done!
Repaid thee with too like a son !
I am no bastard in my soul,
For that, like thine, abhorr'd control :
And for my breath, that hasty boon
Thou gav'st and wilt resume so svon,
I valued it no more than thou,
When rose thy casque above thy brow,

XIV.
IIe ceased — and stood with folded arms,

On which the circling fetters sounded;
And not an ear but felt as wounded,
Of all the chiefs that there were rank'd,

When those dull chains in meeting clank'd ;
Till Parisina's fatal charms 2
Again attracted every eye-
Would she thus hear him doom'd to die,
She stood, I said, all pale and still,
The living cause of Hugo's ill:
Her eyes unmoved, but full and wide,
Not once had turn'd to either side -
Nor once did those sweet cyelids close,
Or shade the glance o'er which they rose,
But round their orbs of deepest blue
The circling white dilated grew -
And there with glassy gaze she stood
As ice were in her curdled blood;
But every now and then a tear

So large and slowly gather'd slid

Froin the long dark fringe of that fair lid, It was a thing to see, not hear! And those who saw, it did surprise, Such drops could fall from human eyes. To speak she thought — the imperfect note Was choked within her swelling throat, Yet seem'd in that low hollow groan ller whole heart gushing in the tone. It ceased — again she thought to speak, Then burst her voice in one long shriek, s And to the earth she fell like stone Or statue from its base o'erthrown, More like a thing that ne'er hud life,A monument of Azo's wife, Than her, that living guilty thing, Whose every passion was a sting, Which urged to guilt, but could not bear That guilt's detection and despair.

1 Haught – haughty

-“ Away, haught man, thou art insulting me.' SHAKSPEARE. "T" I sent for · Marmion,' because it occurred to me, there might be a reiemblance between part of Parisina' and a sin lar scene in the second carto of Marmion.' I fear there is, tbough I never thought of it before, and could hardly wish to imitate that which is inimitable. I wish you would ask Mr. Gifford whether I ought to say any thing upon it. 1 had completed the story on the passage from Gibbon, which indeed leads to a like scene naturally, without a thought of the hind: but it comes upon me not very comfortably.' Lord B.'to Mr. M. Feb. 3, 1816. - The scene referred to is the one in #bich Constance de Beverley appears before the conciare

" Her look composed and steady eye,

Bespoke a matchless constancy;
And there she stood so calm and pale,
That, but her breathing did not fail,
And motion slight of eye and head,
And of her bosom, warranted,
That neither sense nor pulse she lacks,
You must have thought a form of wax,
Wrought to the very life, was there -

So stiil she was, so pale, so fair."] 3 [The arraignment and condemnation of the guilty pair, with the bold, high-toned, and yet temperate defence of the son, are managed with considerable talent ; and yet are lees touching than the mute despair of the fallen beauty, who stands in speechless agony before him. - JEFFREY.]

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