It might be months, or years, or days,

I kept no count—I took no note, I had no hope my eyes to raise,

And clear them of their dreary mote;
At last men came to set me free, 370

I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where,
It was at length the same to me,
Fettered or fetterless to be,

I learn'd to love despair.
And thus when they appear'd at last,
And all my bonds aside were cast,
These heavy walls to me had grown
A hermitage—and all my own!
And half I felt as they were come
To tear me from a second home: 380
With spiders I had friendship made,
And watchM them in their sullen trade,
Had seen the mice by moonlight play,
And why should I feel less than they?
We were all inmates of one place,
And I, the monarch of each race,

[ocr errors]

Had power to kill—yet, strange to tell
In quiet we had learn'd to dwell—
My very chains and I grew friends,
So much a long communion tends
To make us what we are:—even I
Regain'd my freedom with a sigh.


Rousseau—Voltaire—our Gibbon—and de Staff— 5 Leman! these names are worthy of thy shore, Thy shore of names like these, wert thou no more,

Their memory thy remembrance would recall:

To them thy banks were lovely as to all,

But they have made them lovelier, for the lore
Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core

Of human hearts the ruin of a wall

Where dwelt the wise and wondrous; but by thee

How much more, Lake of Beauty! do we feel,
In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea,

The wild glow of that not ungentle zeal,
Which of the heirs of immortality

Is proud, and makes the breath of glory real!



Though the day of my destiny's over,

And the star of my fate hath declined, Thy soft heart refused to discover

The faults which so many could find; Though thy soul with my grief was acquainted,

It shrunk not to share it with me,
And the love which my spirit hath painted

It never hath found but in thee.


Then when nature around me is smiling
The last smile which answers to mine,

I do not believe it beguiling
Because it reminds me of thine;

And when winds are at war with the ocean,
As the breasts I believed in with me.

If their billows excite an emotion
It is that they bear me from thee.


Though the rock of my last hope is shiver'd,

And its fragments are sunk in the wave, Though I feel that my soul is deliver'd

To pain—it shall not be its slave. There is many a pang to pursue me:

They may crush, but they shall not contemn— They may torture, but shall not subdue me—

'Tis of thee that I think—not of them.


Though human, thou didst not deceive me,
Though woman, thou didst not forsake,

Though loved, thou forborest to grieve me,

Though slander'd, thou never could'st shake,—

Though trusted, thou didst not disclaim me,
Though parted, it was not to fly,

« ElőzőTovább »