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Which knows no neuter, owns but foes All now was ripe, he waits but to proclaim
or friends ; That slavery nothing which was still a name. Fix'd in his feudal fortress each was lord, The moment came, the hour when Otho In word and deed obey'd, in soul abhorr'd.
thought Thus Lara had inherited his lands, Secure at last the vengeance which he And with them pining hearts and sluggish
sought : hands;
His summons found the destined criminal But that long absence from his native clime Begirt by thousands in his swarming hall, Had left him stainless of oppression's crime, Fresh from their feudal fetters newly riven, And now diverted by his milder sway, Defying earth, and confident of heaven. All dread by slow degrees had worn away: That morning he had freed the soil-bound The menials felt their usual awe alone,
slaves But more for him than them that fear was Who dig no land for tyrants but their grown;
graves! They deem'd him uow unhappy, though Such is their cry-some watchword for at first
the fight Their evil jadgment augurd of the worst, Must vindicate the wrong, and warp the And each long restless night, and silent
right : mood,
Religion-freedom-vengeance-what you Was traced to sickness, fed by solitude :
will, And though his lonely habits threw of late A word's enough to raise mankind to kill: Gloom o'er his chamber, cheerful was his Some factious phrase by cunning caught gate;
and spread, For thence the wretched ne'er unsoothed That guilt may reign, and wolves and withdrew,
worms be fed! For them, at least, his soul compassion
Throughout that clime the feudal chiefs Cold to the great, contemptuous to the high,
had gaind The humble pass’d not his unheeding eye; Such sway, their infant-monarch hardly Much he would speak not, but beneath his
Now was the hour for faction's rebel growth, They found asylum oft, and ne'er reproof. The Serfs contemned the one, and hated And they who watch'd might mark that
both : day by day They waited but a leader, and they found Some new retainers gather'd to his sway; One to their cause inseparably bound; But most of late, since Ezzelin was lost, By circumstance compell’d to plunge again, He play'd the courteous lord and bounteous In self-defence, amidst the strife of men.
Cut off by some mysterious fate from those Perchance his strife with Otho made him Whom birth and nature meant not for his dread
foes, Some snare prepared for his obnoxious head; Had Lara from that night, to him accurst, Whate'er his view, his favour more obtains Prepared to meet, but not alone, the worst: With these, the people, than his fellow- Some reason urged, whate’er it was, to shưn
Inquiry into deeds at distance done; If this were policy, so far 'twas sound, By mingling with his own the cause of all, The million judged but of him as they E’en if he fail'd, he still delay'd his fall.
The sullen calm that long his bosom kept, From him by sterner chiefs to exile driven The storm that once had spent itself and They but required a shelter, and 'twas given.
slept, By him no peasant mourn'd his rifted cot, Roused by events that seem'd foredvom'd And scarce the Sers could marmur o'er his
His gloomy fortunes to their utmost verge, With him old avarice found his hoard Burst forth, and made him all he once had secure,
been, With him contempt forbore to mock the And is again; he only changed the scene.
Light care had he for life, and less for Youth present cheer and promised recom
But not less fitted for the desperate game: Detain'd, till all too late to part from He deem'd himself mark'd out for others'
thence : To hate he offer'd, with the coming change, And mock'd at ruin so they shared his fate. The deep reversion of delay'd revenge;
What cared he for the freedom of the crowd? To love, long baffled by the unequal match, He raised the humble but to bend the proud. The well-won charms success was sure to He had hoped quiet in his sullen lair,
But man and destiny beset him there :
Inured to hunters he was found at bay, And famine wrings, and fever sweeps away And they must kill, they cannot snare the His numbers melting fast from their array; prey.
Intemperate triumph fades to discontent, Stern, unambitious, silent, he had been And Lara's soul alone seems still unbent: Henceforth a calm spectator of life's scene, But few remain to aid his voice and hand, But dragg‘d again upon the arena, stood And thousands dwindled to a scanty band: A leader not unequal to the feud; Desperate, though few, the last and best In voice-mien-gesture-savage nature
To mourn the discipline they late disdain'd. And from his eye the gladiator broke. One hope survives, the frontier is not far,
And thence they may escape from native war;
And bear within them to the neighbouring What boots the oft-repeated tale of strife,
state The feast of vultures, and the waste of life? An exile's sorrows, or an outlaw's hate : The varying fortune of each separate field, Hard is the task their father-land to quit, The fierce that vanquish, and the faint But harder still to perish or submit.
that yield ? The smoking ruin, and the crumbled wall? In this the struggle was the same with all;
It is resolved--they march — consenting Save that distemper'd passions lent their
Guides with her star their dim and torchless In bitterness that banish'd all remorse.
flight; None sued, for Mercy knew her cry was
Already they perceive its tranquil beam vain,
Sleep on the surface of the barrier-stream; The captive died upon the battle-slain : Already they descry-Is yon the bank ? In either cause, one rage alone possest
Away! 'tis lined with many a hostile rank. The empire of the alternate victor's breast; Return or fly!- What glitters in the rear? And they that smote for freedom or for Tis Otho's banner
the pursuer's spear ! sway,
Are those the shepherds fires upon the Deem'd few were slain, while more remain'd
height? to slay.
Alas! they blaze too widely for the flight: It was too late to check the wasting brand, Cut off from hope, and compass’d in the toil, And Desolation reap'd the famish'd land; Less blood perchance hath bought a richer The torch was lighted, and the flame was
spoil spread, And Carnage smiled upon her daily dead. A moment's pause, 'tis but to breathe
their band, Fresh with the nerve the new-born im-Or shall they onward press, or here with
stand? pulse strung, The first success to Lara's numbers clung: It matters little--if they charge the foes But that vain victory hath ruind all,
Who by the border-stream their march They form no longer to their leader's call;
oppose, In blind confusion on the foe they press,
Some few, perchance, may break and pass And think to snatch is to secure success.
the line, The lust of booty, and the thirst of hate,
However link'd to baffle such design. Lure on the broken brigands to their fate;" The charge be ours! to wait for their In vain he doth whate'er a chief may do,
assault To check the headlong fury of that crew ;
Were fate well worthy of a coward's halt.” In vain their stubborn ardour be would tame, Forth flies each sabre, reind is every steed, The hand that kindles cannot quench the And the next word shall scarce outstrip the flame;
deed : The wary foe alone hath turn d their mood, In the next tone of Lara's gathering breath And shown their rashness to that erring How many shall but hear the voice of death!
brood : The feign'd retreat, the nightly ambuscade, His blade is bared, in him there is an air The daily harras, and the fight delay'd, As deep, but far too tranquil for despair; The long privation of the hoped supply, A something of indifference more than then The tentless rest beneath the humid sky, Becomes the bravest, if they feel for men The stubborn wall that mocks the leaguer's He turn'd his eye on Kaled, ever near,
And still too faithful to betray one fear; And palls the patience of his baffled heart, Perchance 'twas but the moon's dim twilight Of these they had not deem'd: the battle-day
threw They could encounter as a veteran may, Along his aspect an unwonted hue But more preferr'd the fury of the strise, Of mournful paleness, whose deep tint And present death to hourly suffering life:
The truth, and not the terror of his breast. And near yet quivering with what life This Lara mark’d, and laid his hand on his :
remain'd, It trembled not in such an hour as this; The heel that urged him and the hand that His lip was silent, scarcely beat his heart,
rein'd; His eye alone proclaim'd,“ We will not part! And some too near that rolling torrent lie, “ Thy band may perish, or thy friends may Whose waters mock the lip of those that die;
That panting thirst which scorches in the Farewell to life, but not adien to thee!”
Of those that die the soldier's fiery death, The word hath pass'd his lips, and onward In vain impels the burning mouth to crave
One drop-the last—to cool it for the grave; Pours the link'd band through ranks asunder With feeble and convulsive effort swept,
Their limbs along the crimson'd turf have Well has each steed obey'd the arined heel,
crept; And flash the scimitars, and rings the steel; The faint remains of life such struggles
waste, Outnumber'd, not outbraved, they still
to taste: Despair to daring, and a front to foes; And blood is mingled with the dashing They feel its freshness, and almost partake
to slakeWhich runs all redly till the morning beam.
It is unquènch'd, and yet they feel it not;
It was an agony-but now forgot!
Beneath a lime, remoter from the scene, his steel,
Where but for him that strife had never been, Inspiring hope, himself had ceased to feel. A breathing but devoted warrior lay: None fled , for well they knew that flight | 'Twas Lara bleeding fast from life away,
were vain ; But those that waver turn to smite again, Kneels Kaled watchful o'er his welling side,
His follower once, and now his only guide, While yet they find the firmest of the foe And with his scarf would staunch the tides Recoil before their leader's look and blow:
that rush, Now girt with numbers, now almost alone, With each convulsion, in a blacker gush; He foils their ranks, or reunites his own;
And then, as his faint breathing waxes low, Himself he spared not-once they seem'd In feebler, not less fatal tricklings flow:
He scarce can speak, but motions him 'tis Now was the time, he waved his hand on
And merely adds another throb to pain. And shook-why sudden droops that plumed He clasps the hand that pang which would crest?
assuage, The shaft is sped—the arrow's in his breast! And sadly smiles his thanks to that dark page That fata gesture left the unguarded side, Who nothing fears , nor feels, nor heeds, And Death hath stricken down yon arm of
nor sees, pride.
Save that damp brow which rests upon his The word of triumph fainted from his
Save that pale aspect, where the eye, though That hand, so raised , how droopingly it
Held all the light that shone on earth for But yet the sword instinctively retains,
him. Though from its fellow shrink the falling
reins; These Kaled snatches: dizzy with the blow,
The foe arrives, who long had search'd
the field, And senseless bending o'er his saddle-bow, Their triumph nought till Lara too should Perceives not Lara that his anxious page
yield; Beguiles his charger from the combat's rage: They would remove him, but they sec 'tweru Meantime his followers charge, and charge
And he regards them with a calm disdain, Too mix'd the slayers now to heed the slain! That rose to reconcile him with his fate,
And that escape to death from living hate : Day glimmers on the dying and the dead, And Otho comes, and leaping from his steed, The cloven cuirass, and the helmless head; Looks on the bleeding foe that made him The war-horse masterless is on the earth,
bleed, And that last gasp hath burst his bloody And questions of his state; he answers not,
And turns to Kaled :-- each remaining word, | And Kaled, though he spoke not,
Flung back the hand which held the sacred They spake of other scenes, but what-is
As if such but disturb’d the expiring man, To Kaled, whom their meaning reachd Nor seem'd to know his life but then began,
That life of immortality, secure
But gasping heaved the breath that Lara They seemd even then-that twain- unto
drew, the last
And dull the film along his dim eye grew; To half forget the present in the past;
His limbs stretch'd fluttering, and his head To share between themselves some separate
droop'd o'er fate,
The weak yet still untiring knee that bore; Whose darkness none beside should pene- He press'd the hand he held upon his heart
It beats no more, but Kaled will not part
With the cold grasp, but feels, and feels Their words, though faint, were many
in vain, from the tone
For that faint throb which answers not again. Their import those who heard could judge
It beats!"-Away, thou dreamer! he is alone;
goneFrom this, you might have deem'd young It once was Lara which thou lookst upon.
Kaled's death More near than Lara's by his voice and
He gazed, as if not yet had pass'd away So sad, so deep, and hesitating broke
The haughty spirit of that humble clay ; The accents his scarce-moving pale lips And those around have roused him from his spoke;
trance, But Lara's voice though low,at first was clear But cannot tear from thence his fixed glance; And calm, till murmuring death gaspa And when in raising him from where he bore
Within his arms the form that felt no more, But from his visage little could we guess, He saw the head his breast would still So unrepentant, dark, and passionless,
sustain, Save that when struggling nearer to his last, Roll down like earth to earth upon the plain; Upon that page his eye was kindly cast;
He did not dash himself thereby, nor tear And once as Kaled's answering accents ceast, The glossy tendrils of his raven-hair, Rose Lara's hand, and pointed to the East: But strove to stand and gaze, but reel'd
and fell, Whether (as then the breaking sun from high
that he loved Rolla back the clouds) the morrow caught Scarce breathing more the
so well. Or that 'twas chance, or some remember'd Than that he loved ! Oh! never yet beneath
The breast of man such trusty love may
breathe! That raised his arm to point where such
That trying moment hath at once reveala Scarce Kaled seem'd to know, but turnd The secret long and yet but half conceal’d;
In baring to revive that lifeless breast,
What now to her was Womanhood or Fame ! To look on Lara's, brow
where all grew night.
And Lara sleeps not where his fathers Yet sense seem'd left, though better were
sleep, its loss;
But where he died hisgrave was dug as deep; For when one near display'd the absolving Nor is his mortal slumber less profound,
Though priest nor bless'd, nor marble deck'd And proffer'd to his touch the holy bead,
the mound; Of which his parting soul might own the And he was mourn'd by one whose quiet need,
grief, He look'd upon it with an eye profane, Less loud, outlasts a people's for their chief, And smiled--Heaven pardon! if 'twere with Vain was all question ask'd her of the past,
And vain even menace - silent to the last;
She told nor whence, nor why she left | Heaved up the bank, and dash'd it from behind
the shore, Her all for one who seem'd but little kind. Then paused, and look’d, and turn’d, and Why did she love him ? Curious fool!- be
seem'd to watch, still
And still another hurried glance would Is human love the growth of human will?
snatch, To her he might be gentleness; the stern And follow with his step the stream that Have deeper thoughts than your dull eyes
As if even yet too much its surface show'd : And when they love, your smilers guess At once he started, stoop'd; -around him not how
strown Beats the strong heart, though less the The winter floods had scatter'd heaps of lips avow.
stone; They were not common links, that forind Of these the heaviest thence he gather'd the chain
mean; They laid him in the earth, and on his He caught a glimpse, as of a floating breast,
breast, Besides the wound that sent his sonl to rest, But ere he well could mark the buoyant
And something glitter'd starlike on the vest, They found the scatter'd dints of many a
trunk, Which were not planted there in recent war; it rose again but indistinct to view,
A massy fragment smote it, and it sunk: Where'er had pass'd his summer-years of And left the waters of a purple hue,
Then deeply disappear'd:, the horseman It seems they vanish'd in a land of strife;
gazed But all unknown his glory or his guilt,
Till ebb’d the latest eddy it had raised , These only told that somewhere blood was Then turning, vaulted on his pawing steed,
And instant spurr'd him into panting speed. And Ezzelin, who might have spoke the His face was mask'd - the features of the past,
dead, Returu'd no more, that night appear'd his If dead it were, escaped the observer's dread;
But if in sooth a star its bosom bore,
Such is the badge that knighthood ever Upon that night (a peasant's is the tale) A Serf that cross'd the intervening vale, And such 'tis known Sir Ezzelin had worn When Cynthia's light almost gave way to Upon the night that led to such a morn.
If thus he perish'd, Heaven receive his And nearly veil'd in mist her waning horn;
soul! A Serf, that rose betimes to thread the His undiscover'd limbs to ocean roll;
And charity upon the hope would dwell And hew the bough that bought his It was not Lara's hand by which he fell.
children's food, Pass'd by the river that divides the plain Of Otho's lands and Lara's broad domain: And Kaled-Lara-Ezzelin, are gone, He heard a tramp-a horse and horseman Alike without their monumental stone!
The first, all efforts vainly strove to wean From out the wood--before him was a From lingering where her chieftain's blood cloak
had been; Wrapt round some burthen at his saddle-Grief had so tamed a spirit once too proud,
Her tears were few, her wailing never loud; Bent was his head, and hidden was his But furious would you tear her from the brow.
spot Roused by the sndden sight at such a time, Where yet she scarce believed that he was And some foreboding that it might be crime,
not, Himself unheeded watch'd the stranger's Her eye shot forth with all the living fire
That haunts the tigress in her whelpless ire; Who reach'd the river, bounded from his But left to waste her weary moments there,
She talk'd all idly unto shapes of air, And lifting thence the burthen which he such as the busy brain of sorrow paints.
And woos to listen to her fond complaints: