Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

And then the sighs he would suppress

Of fainting nature's feebleness,

More slowly drawn, grew less and less :

I listened, but I could not hear—

I called, for I was wild with fear;

I knew 'twas hopeless, but my dread
Would not be thus admonished;

I called, and thought I heard a sound-
I burst my chain with one strong bound,
And rush'd to him :-I found him not,

I only stirr'd in this black spot,
I only lived-I only drew

The accursed breath of dungeon-dew;

The last the sole-the dearest link

Between me and the eternal brink,
Which bound me to my failing race,
Was broken in this fatal place.

One on the earth, and one beneath

210

My brothers-both had ceased to breathe:

220

I took that hand which lay so still,

Alas! my own was full as chill;

I had not strength to stir, or strive,
But felt that I was still alive-

A frantic feeling, when we know

That what we love shall ne'er be so.

I know not why

I could not die,

I had no earthly hope-but faith,

And that forbade a selfish death.

IX.

What next befell me then and there

I know not well-I never knew

First came the loss of light, and air,

And then of darkness too:

VOL. VI.

230

I had no thought, no feeling-none-
Among the stones I stood a stone,
And was, scarce conscious what I wist,
As shrubless crags within the mist;
For all was blank, and bleak, and grey,
It was not night-it was not day,
It was not even the dungeon-light,

So hateful to my heavy sight,

But vacancy absorbing space,

And fixedness-without a place;

There were no stars-no earth-no time-

No check-no change-no good-no crime

But silence, and a stirless breath

Which neither was of life nor death;

A sea of stagnant idleness,

240

Blind, boundless, mute, and motionless!

250

X.

A light broke in upon my brain,—
It was the carol of a bird;

It ceased, and then it came again,

The sweetest song ear ever heard,
And mine was thankful till my eyes
Ran over with the glad surprise,
And they that moment could not see
I was the mate of misery;
But then by dull degrees came back
My senses to their wonted track,
I saw the dungeon walls and floor
Close slowly round me as before,
I saw the glimmer of the sun
Creeping as it before had done,

But through the crevice where it came
That bird was perch'd, as fond and tame,

260

And tamer than upon the tree;
A lovely bird, with azure wings,
And song that said a thousand things,

And seem'd to say them all for me!
I never saw its like before,

I ne'er shall see its likeness more:

It seem'd like me to want a mate,
But was not half so desolate,

And it was come to love me when
None lived to love me so again,

And cheering from my dungeon's brink,
Had brought me back to feel and think.
I know not if it late were free,

Or broke its cage to perch on mine,

But knowing well captivity,

Sweet bird! I could not wish for thine!

Or if it were, in winged guise,

A visitant from Paradise ;

270

280

« FöregåendeFortsätt »