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And could in very fondness weep
O'er her who loves him even in sleep.

VI.

He clasped her sleeping to his heart,
And listened to each broken word:
He hears—Why doth Prince Azo start,
As if the Archangel's voice he heard?
And well he may—a deeper doom
Could scarcely thunder o'er his tomb,
When he shall wake to sleep no more,
And stand the eternal throne before.
And well he may—his earthly peace
Upon that sound is doomed to cease.
That sleeping whisper of a name
Bespeaks her guilt and Azo's shame.
And whose that name? that o'er his pillow
Sounds fearful as the breaking billow,
Which rolls the plank upon the shore,
And dashes on the pointed rock
The wretch who sinks to rise no more,—
So came upon his soul the shock.
And whose that name? 'tis Hugo's,—his—
In sooth he had not deemed of this!—

'Tis Hugo's,—he, the child of one

He loved—his own all-evil son—

The offspring of his wayward youth,

When he betrayed Bianca's truth,

The maid whose folly could confide 105

In him who made her not his bride.

VII.

He plucked his poignard in its sheath,

But sheathed it ere the point was bare—

Howe'er unworthy now to breathe,

He could not slay a thing so fair— 110

At least, not smiling—sleeping—there—

Nay, more:—he did not wake her then,

But gazed upon her with a glance

Which, had she roused her from her trance,

Had frozen her sense to sleep again— 115

And o'er his brow the burning lamp

Gleamed on the dew-drops big and damp.

She spake no more—but still she slumbered—

While, in his thought, her days are numbered.

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VIII.

And with the morn he sought, and found,
In many a tale from those around,
The proof of all he feared to know,
Their present guilt, 11is future woe;
The long-conniving damsels seek

To save themselves, and would transfer
The guilt—the shame—the doom—to her
Concealment is no more—they speak
All circumstance which may compel
Full credence to the tale they tell:
And Azo's tortured heart and ear
Have nothing more to feel or hear.

IX.

He was not one who brooked delay:
Within the chamber of his state,

The chief of Este's ancient sway
Upon his throne of judgment sate;

His nobles and his guards are there,—

Before him is the sinful pair;

Both young,—and one how passing fair?

With swordless belt, and fettered hand,
Oh, Christ! that thus a son should stand

140

Before a father's face!
Yet thus must Hugo meet his sire,
And hear the sentence of his ire,

The tale of his disgrace!
And yet he seems not overcome,
Although, as yet, his voice be dumb.

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And still, and pale, and silently
Did Parisina wait her doom;
How changed since last her speaking eye

Glanced gladness round the glittering room, 150
Where high-born men were proud to wait—
Where Beauty watched to imitate

Her gentle voice—her lovely mien— And gather from her air and gait

The graces of it's queen: 153 Then,—had her eye in sorrow wept, A thousand warriors forth had leapt, A thousand swords had sheathless shone, And made her quarrel all their own.

Now.—what is she? and what are they? *
Can she command, or these obey?
All silent and unheeding now,
With downcast eyes and knitting brow,
And folded arms, and freezing air,
And lips that scarce their scorn forbear,
ller knights and dames, her court—is there:
And he, the chosen one, whose lance
Had yet been couched before her glance,
Who—were his arm a moment free—
Had died or gained her liberty;
The minion of his father's bride,—>
He, too, is fettered by her side;
Nor sees her swoln and full eye swim
Less for her own despair than him:
Those lids o'er which the violet vein—
Wandering, leaves a tender stain,
Shining through the smoothest white
That e'er did softest kiss invite—
Now seemed with hot and livid glow
To press, not shade, the orbs below;
Which glance so heavily, and fill,
As tear on tear grows gathering still.

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