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XIX.

The lights are high on beacon and from bower,
And midst them Conrad seeks Medora's tower:
He looks in vain-'tis strange-and all remark,
Amid so many, hers alone is dark.

'Tis strange-of yore its welcome never fail'd,
Nor now, perchance, extinguish'd, only veil'd.
With the first boat descends he for the shore,
And looks impatient on the lingering oar.
Oh! for a wing beyond the falcon's flight,
To bear him like an arrow to that height!
With the first pause the resting rowers gave,
He waits not looks not-leaps into the wave,
Strives through the surge, bestrides the beach, and high
Ascends the path familiar to his eye.

He reach'd his turret door-he paused-no sound
Broke from within; and all was night around.
He knock'd, and loudly-footstep nor reply
Announced that any heard or deem'd him nigh;
He knock'd—but faintly-for his trembling hand
Refused to aid his heavy heart's demand.
The portal opens-'tis a well known face-
But not the form he panted to embrace.
Its lips are silent-twice his own essay'd,
And fail'd to frame the question they delay'd;
He snatch'd the lamp-its light will answer all-
It quits his grasp, expiring in the fall.
He would not wait for that reviving ray—
As soon could he have linger'd there for day;
But, glimmering through the dusky corridore,
Another chequers o'er the shadow'd floor;

VOL. II.

K

His steps the chamber gain—his eyes behold
All that his heart believed not-yet foretold!

XX.

He turn'd not-spoke not-sunk not-fix'd his look,
And set the anxious frame that lately shook:
He gazed-how long we gaze despite of pain,
And know, but dare not own, we gaze in vain!
In life itself she was so still and fair,
That death with gentler aspect wither'd there;
And the cold flowers (16) her colder hand contain❜d,
In that last grasp as tenderly were strain'd
As if she scarcely felt, but feign'd a sleep,
And made it almost mockery yet to weep:
The long dark lashes fringed her lids of snow,
And veil'd-thought shrinks from all that lurk'd below-
Oh! o'er the eye Death most exerts his might,
And hurls the spirit from her throne of light!
Sinks those blue orbs in that long last eclipse,
But spares, as yet, the charm around her lips—
Yet, yet they seem as they forbore to smile,
And wish'd repose-but only for a while;
But the white shroud, and each extended tress,
Long-fair-but spread in utter lifelessness,
Which, late the sport of every summer wind,
Escaped the baffled wreath that strove to bind;
These and the pale pure cheek, became the bier—
But she is nothing-wherefore is he here?

XXI.

He ask'd no question-all were answer'd now
By the first glance on that still-marble brow.
It was enough-she died-what reck'd it how?

The love of youth, the hope of better years,
The source of softest wishes, tenderest fears,
The only living thing he could not hate,
Was reft at once-and he deserved his fate,
But did not feel it less;-the good explore,
For peace, those realms where guilt can never soar:
The proud-the wayward-who have fix'd below
Their joy, and find this earth enough for woe,
Lose in that one their all-perchance a mite—
But who in patience parts with all delight?
Full many a stoic eye and aspect stern
Mask hearts where grief hath little left to learn;
And many a withering thought lies hid, not lost,
In smiles that least befit who wear them most.

XXII.

By those, that deepest feel, is ill exprest
The indistinctness of the suffering breast;
Where thousand thoughts begin to end in one,
Which seeks from all the refuge found in none;
No words suffice the secret soul to show,
For Truth denies all eloquence to Woe.
On Conrad's stricken soul exhaustion prest,
And stupor almost lull'd it into rest;
So feeble now-his mother's softness crept
To those wild eyes, which like an infant's wept:
It was the very weakness of his brain,
Which thus confess'd without relieving pain.
None saw his trickling tears-perchance, if seen,
That useless flood of grief had never been:
Nor long they flow'd-he dried them to depart,
In helpless-hopeless-brokenness of heart:

The sun goes forth--but Conrad's day is dim;
And the night cometh-ne'er to pass from him.
There is no darkness like the cloud of mind,
On Grief's vain eye-the blindest of the blind!
Which may not-dare not see—
e-but turns aside
To blackest shade-nor will endure a guide!

XXIII.

His heart was form'd for softness-warp'd to wrong;
Betray'd too early, and beguiled too long;
Each feeling pure-as falls the dropping dew
Within the grot; like that had harden'd too;
Less clear, perchance, its earthly trials pass'd,
But sunk, and chill'd, and petrified at last.
Yet tempests wear, and lightning cleaves the rock,
If such his heart, so shatter'd it the shock.

There grew one flower beneath its rugged brow,
Though dark the shade-it shelter'd-saved till now.
The thunder came-that bolt hath blasted both,
The Granite's firmness, and the Lily's growth:
The gentle plant hath left no leaf to tell
Its tale, but shrunk and wither'd where it fell,
And of its cold protector, blacken round
But shiver'd fragments on the barren ground!

XXIV.

'Tis morn-to venture on his lonely hour
Few dare; though now Anselmo sought his tower.
He was not there-nor seen along the shore;
Ere night, alarm'd, their isle is traversed o'er:
Another morn-another bids them seek,
And shout his name till echo waxeth weak;

Mount-grotto-cavern-valley search'd in vain,
They find on shore a sea-boat's broken chain:
Their hope revives-they follow o'er the main.
"Tis idle all-moons roll on moons away,
And Conrad comes not-came not since that day:
Nor trace, nor tidings of his doom declare
Where lives his grief, or perish'd his despair!
Long mourn'd his band whom none could mourn beside;
And fair the monument they gave his bride:
For him they raise not the recording stone—
His death yet dubious, deeds too widely known;
He left a Corsair's name to other times,

Link'd with one virtue, and a thousand crimes. (17)

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