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His blood in temperate seeming now would flow:
Ah! happier if it ne'er with guilt had glowed,
But ever in that icy smoothness flowed!
'Tis true, with other men their path he walked,
And like the rest in seeming did and talked,
Nor outraged Reason's rules by flaw nor start,
His madness was not of the head, but heart;
And rarely wandered in his speech, or drew
His thoughts so forth as to offend the view. 360

XIX.

With all that chilling mystery of mien,
And seeming gladness to remain unseen;
He had (if 'twere not nature's boon) an art

Of fixing memory on another's heart:

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It was not love perchance · nor hate
nor aught
That words can image to express the thought;
But they who saw him did not see in vain,
And once beheld, would ask of him again:
And those to whom he spake remembered well,
And on the words, however light, would dwell: 370
None knew, nor how, nor why, but he entwined
Himself perforce around the hearer's mind;
There he was stamped, in liking, or in hate,
If greet once; however brief the date

That friendship, pity, or aversion knew,

VOL. III.

I

Still there within the inmost thought he grew.
You could not penetrate his soul, but found,
Despite your wonder, to your own he wound;
His presence haunted still; and from the breast
He forced an all-unwilling interest:

Vain was the struggle in that mental net,
His spirit seemed to dare you to forget!

XX.

380

There is a festival, where knights and dames,
And aught that wealth or lofty lincage claims
Appears a highborn and a welcome guest
To Otho's hall came Lara with the rest.
The long carousal shakes the illumined hall,
Well speeds alike the banquet and the ball;
And the gay dance of bounding Beauty's train
Links grace and harmony in happiest chain: 390
Blest are the early hearts and gentle hands
That mingle there in well according bands;
It is a sight the careful brow might smoothe,
And make Age smile, and dream itself to youth,
And Youth forget such hour was bast on earth,
So springs the exulting bosom to that mirth!

XXI.

And Lara gazed on these, sedately glad,
Ilis brow belied him if his soul was sad;

And his glance followed fast each fluttering fair,
Whose steps of lightness woke no echo there: 400
He leaned against the lofty pillar nigh,

With folded arms and long attentive eye,
Nor marked a glance so sternly fixed on his,
Ill broked high Lara scrutiny like this:
At length he caught it, 'tis a face unknown,
But seems as searching his, and his alone;
Prying and dark, a stranger's by his mien,
Who still till now had gazed on him unseen;
At length encountering meets the mutual gaze
Of keen enquiry, and of mute amaze;

410

On Lara's glance emotion gathering grew,
As if distrusting that the stranger threw;
Along the stranger's aspect fixed and stern,
Flashed more than thence the vulgar eye could
learn.

XXII.

"Tis he!" the stranger cried, and those that heard. Re-echoed fast and far the whispered word. ""Tis he!"""Tis who?" they question far and

near,

Till louder accents rung on Lara's ear;

So widely spread, few bosoms well could brook The general marvel, or that single look;

420

But Lara stirred not, changed not, the surprise That sprung at first to his arrested eyes

Seemed now subsided, neither sunk nor raised Glanced his eye round, though still the stranger gazed;

And drawing nigh, exclaimed, with haughty sneer, "Tis he! how came he thence? what doth

he here?"

XXIII.

430

It were too much for Lara to pass by Such question, so repcated fierce and high; With look collected, but with accent cold, More mildly firm than petulantly bold, He turned, and met the inquisitorial tone — "My name is Lara! when thine own is known, "Doubt not my fitting answer to requite

"The unlooked for courtesy of such a knight. ""Tis Lara!

further wouldst thou mark or ask?

"I shun no question, and I wear no mask."

"Thou shun'st no question! Ponder

none

is there

"Thy heart must answer, though thine ear would

shun?

"And deem'st thou me unknown too? Gaze again!

"At least thy memory was not given in vain. 440 "Oh! never canst thou cancel half her debt, "Eternity forbids thee to forget."

With slow and searching glance upon his face
Grew Lara's eyes, but nothing there could trace
They knew, or chose to know - with dubious look
He deigned no answer, but his head he shook,
And half contemptuous turned to pass away;
But the stern stranger motioned him to stay.
"A word!
I charge thee stay, and answer here
To one, who, wert thou noble, were thy

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peer,

"But as thou wast and art

450

nay, frown not, lord, "If false, 'tis easy to disprove the word

"But, as thou wast and art, on thee looks down, "Distrusts thy smiles, but shakes not at thy

frown.

"Art thou not he? whose deeds ""

"Whate'er I be,

"Words wild as these, accusers like to thee "I list no further; those with whom they weigh "May hear the rest, nor venture to gainsay "The wondrous tale no doubt thy tongue can tell, "Which thus begins so courteously and well. "Let Otho cherish here his polished guest, "To him my thanks and thoughts shall be exprest."

460

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