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And Leon, by her kindness warmed,
And by her beauty doubly charmed,
While keen remorse his bosom rack'd,
And half regretting his rash act,
A moment clasped her hand in his,
Printed on it one fervent kiss,
And o'er departed, hallowed years
Both mingled silently their tears—
Then raised their cups the wine to sip,
And as the goblet pressed his lip,
Breathless she gazed into his face,
As there some secret thought to trace;
And when its contents he had quaffed,
Loudly and franticly she laughed,
And reckless drained the fatal draught.
And pale and corpse-like there they stood
As held by some unhallowed spell,
Till to their hearts flowed back the blood,—
Then shrieking on the floor they fell.
A moment, cold as lifeless clay,
In strong convulsions writhing lay,
Their spirits groping their dark way,
Unlit by reason's faintest ray;
Then rose, and met their eyes of fire,
With horrid scream, and visage dire,
Like two fierce demons on their flight
That meet along the realms of night.
With livid cheeks and lips all black,
Each from the other then drew back;
Each bent on each a hideous gaze,
Till from their frozen, ghastly eyes,
The parting soul withdrew its rays,
To wing its flight to other skies. And there, when morning's limpid light Broke through the damask curtains bright, They sat all cold, and stark, and still, In every vein death's icy chill— The frightful wrecks of mutual ilL
Old Ugo to the spot was led
By many a menial's piercing cry,
A.nd darted on the ghastly dead
The gladiator from his eye.
Th' appalling sight, nor pity, love,
His iron soul had power to move;
Long dormant feelings now up start
Like stinging serpents in his heart,
Shooting cold tremors through each vein,
And fiery venom to the hrain.
He drew his sword half from its sheath,
As if to wreak his ire on death;
Then thrust it back, and with a sneer
Bade vassals go prepare the bier.
No weeds, no funeral pomp was there;
No tears, no knell, no holy prayer,
Nor benison besought from heaven;
But in the silent hour of even,
By menial hands they were conveyed
Slowly along the myrtle shade
To an unconsecrated grave;
Their constant dirge the moaning wave.
And there they lie! how calm their sleep!
The long unbroken dream of death! Aloof the trembling woodnymphs keep—
For ever nature holds her breath,
Gliding on tiptoe by the spot,
As timid maid by haunted grot.
Lifeless the leaves around it lie—
The flowers scarce open ere they die—
One pale white rose, upon the tomb,
Is all that straggles through the gloom.
This all behold—the why none tell—
They call it still—" The Spectre Dell,"
As by, with guarded tread, they go.
"Within this sable vale of woe
Two youthful forms, in snowy sheen,
Arm linked in arm, are often seen,
At noon of night, to glide the green!"
There cross nor crypt doth mark the spot,
Nor tell the lonely sleepers' lot;
The cypress in funereal gloom
Folds its dark arms above the tomb.
Since that sad eve, its sickly sod
No human foot hath ever trod;
But when night draws her curtain thepj,
Sits weeping by it mute Despair;
And Sorrow sends a mournful wail
Along the silent, spectral vale.
Never again that fair-haired bride
Saw her young lord. What did betide
Him on the night he left her side
She never knew.—'Twas mystery all.
A few days in Gudoni's hall
She lingered like the fair)7 rose
O'er which the sudden simoon blows—
And then, in sable weeds arrayed,
Across the ocean was conveyed
To her own isle. But she was changed—
And through the realms of madness ranged.
There, where she once had reigned the queen
Of Beauty, and in festive hall,
Had moved, in maiden's brightest sheen,
Beneath the rapturous gaze of all,
She wanders with dishevelled hair,
Clutching at phantoms of the air,
Whom she believes her Leon come
To bear her to his happy home;
And when the image she would clasp,
Eludes her fascinated grasp,
Falling upon the ground, she lies,
Piercing the air with hideous cries;
And thus noon, night, she raved the same,
Until the spirit doffed the frame,
To moulder in the maniac's grave
Beside the clear Sicilian wave.