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XLVIII. Beneath these battlements, within those walls, Power dwelt amidst her passions; in prond state Each robber chief upheld his armed halls, Doing his evil will, nor less elate Than mightier heroes of a longer date. What want these outlaws to conquerors should have? But History's purchased page to call them great ? A wider spase, an ornamented grave ? Their hopes were not less warm, their souls were
full as brave.
XLIX. In their baronial feuds and single fields, What deeds of prowess unrecorded died! And Love, which lent a blazon to their shields. With emblems well devised by amorous pride, Through all the mail of iron hearts would glide; But still their flame was fierceness, and drew on Keen contest and destruction near allied, And many a tower for some fair mischief won, Snw the discoloured Rhine beneath its ruin run.
I.. But Thou, exulting and abounding river! Making thy waves a blessing as they flow Through banks whose beauty would endure for ever Could man but leave thy bright creation so, Nor its fair promise from the surface mow With the sharp scythe of conflict, - then to see Thy valley of sweet waters, were to know Earth paved like Heaven; and to seem such to me Even now what wants thy stream?--that it should
A thousand battles have assail'd thy banks, But these and Jall their fame have pass'd away, And Slaugther heap'd on high his weltering ranks ; Their very graves are gone, and what are they? Thy tide wash'd down the blood of yesterday, And all was stainless, and on thy clear stream Glass'd with its dancing light the sunny ray; But o'er the blakened memory's blighting dream Thy waves would vainly roll, all sweeping as they
LII. 'Thus Harold inly said, and pass'd along, Yet not insensibly to all which here Awoke the jocund birds to early song In glens which might have made even exile dear: Though on his brow were graven lines austere, And tranquil sternness which had ta'en the place Of feelings fierier far but less severe,
Joy was not always absent from his face, But o'er it in such scenes would steal with transient.
LIII. Nor was all love shut from him, though his days Of passion had consumed themselves to dust. It is in vain that we would coldly gaze On such as smile upon us: the heart muist Leap kindly back to kindness, though disgust Hath wean'd it from all worldlings: thus he felt, For there was soft remembrance, and sweet trust In one fond brcast, to which his own wonld melt, And in its tenderer honr on that his bosom dwelt.
LIY. And he had learn'd to love, - I know not why, For this in such as him seems strange of mood, The helpless looks of blooming infancy Even in its earliest nurture; what subdued, To change like this, a inind so far imbued With scorn of man, it little boots to know; But thus it was; and though in solitude Small power the nipp'd affections have to grow, In him this glowed when all beside had ceased to glow.
LV. And there was one soft breast, as hath been said, Which unto his was bound by stronger ties Than the church links withal; and, though unwed, That love was pure, and, far above disguise, Had stood the test of mortal enrities Still undivided, and cemented more By peril, dreaded most in female eyes; But this was firm, and from a foreign shore Well to that heart might his these absent greetings
The castled crag of Drachenfels 11 Frowns o’er the wide and winding Rhine, Whose breast of waters broadly swells Between the banks which bear the vine, And hills all rich with blossomed trees And fields which promise corn and wine, And scattered cities crowning these, Whose far white walls along them shine, Have strewed a scene, which I should see With double joy wert thou with me!
And peasant girls, with deep blue eyes, And hands which offer early flowers, Walk smiling o'er this paradise; Above, the frequent feudal towers Through green leaves lift their walls of grey, And many a rock which steeply lours, And noble arch in proud decay, Look o'er this vale of vintage - howers; But one thing want these banks of Rhine, Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine!