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And could in very fondness weep
He clasped her sleeping to his heart,
'Tis Hugo's,—he, the child of one
He loved—his own all-evil son—
The offspring of his wayward youth,
When he betrayed Bianca's truth,
The maid whose folly could confide 105
In him who made her not his bride.
He plucked his poignard in its sheath,
But sheathed it ere the point was bare—
Howe'er unworthy now to breathe,
He could not slay a thing so fair— 110
At least, not smiling—sleeping—there—
Nay, more:—he did not wake her then,
But gazed upon her with a glance
Which, had she roused her from her trance,
Had frozen her sense to sleep again— 115
And o'er his brow the burning lamp
Gleamed on the dew-drops big and damp.
She spake no more—but still she slumbered—
While, in his thought, her days are numbered.
And with the morn he sought, and found,
To save themselves, and would transfer
He was not one who brooked delay:
The chief of Este's ancient sway
His nobles and his guards are there,—
Before him is the sinful pair;
Both young,—and one how passing fair?
With swordless belt, and fettered hand,
Before a father's face!
The tale of his disgrace!
And still, and pale, and silently
Glanced gladness round the glittering room, 150
Her gentle voice—her lovely mien— And gather from her air and gait
The graces of it's queen: 153 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? *