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Roll'd the head-and, gushing, sunk
Back the stain'd and heaving trunk,
In the dust, which each deep vein
Slaked with its ensanguined rain;
His eyes and lips a moment quiver,
Convulsed and quick-then fix for ever.

He died, as erring man should die,
Without display, without parade;
Meekly had he bow'd and pray'd,
As not disdaining priestly aid,
Nor desperate of all hope on high.
And while before the Prior kneeling,

His heart was wean'd from earthly feeling;
His wrathful sire-his paramour-

What were they in such an hour?

No more reproach-no more despair;

No thought but heaven-no word but prayer-
Save the few which from him broke,
When, bared to meet the headman's stroke,
He claim'd to die with eyes unbound,
His sole adieu to those around.


Still as the lips that closed in death,
Each gazer's bosom held his breath:
But yet, afar, from man to man,
A cold electric shiver ran,

As down the deadly blow descended
On him whose life and love thus ended;
And with a hushing sound comprest,
A sigh shrunk back on every breast;

But no more thrilling noise rose there,
Beyond the blow that to the block

Pierced through with forced and sullen shock,
Save one-what cleaves the silent air
So madly shrill—so passing wild?

That, as a mother's o'er her child,
Done to death by sudden blow,
To the sky these accents go,
Like a soul's in endless wo.
Through Azo's palace-lattice driven,
That horrid voice ascends to heaven,
And every eye is turn'd thereon;
But sound and sight alike are gone!
It was a woman's shriek-and ne'er
In madlier accents rose despair;
And those who heard it as it past,
In mercy wish'd it were the last.


Hugo is fallen; and, from that hour,
No more in palace, hall, or bower,
Was Parisina heard or seen:

Her name as if she ne'er had been-
Was banish'd from each lip and ear,
Like words of wantonness or fear;
And from Prince Azo's voice, by none
Was mention heard of wife or son;
No tomb-no memory had they;
Theirs was unconsecrated clay;

At least the knight's who died that day.
But Parisina's fate lies hid

Like dust benth the coffin lid:

Whether in convent she abode,

And won to heaven her dreary road,
By blighted and remorseful years

Of scourge, and fast, and sleepless tears;
Or if she fell by bowl or steel,

For that dark love she dared to feel;
Or if, upon the moment smote,

She died by tortures less remote;

Like him she saw upon the block,

With heart that shared the headman's shock,

In quicken'd brokenness that came,

In pity, o'er her shatter'd frame,

None knew-and none can ever know:

But whatsoe'er its end below,

Her life began and closed in wo!(3)


And Azo found another bride,
And goodly sons grew by his side;
But none so lovely and so brave
As him who wither'd in the grave;
Or if they were-on his cold eye
Their growth but glanced unheeded by,
Or noticed with a smother'd sigh.
But never tear his cheek descended,

And never smile his brow unbended,

And o'er that fair broad brow were wrought

The intersected lines of thought;

Those furrows which the burning share
Of Sorrow ploughs untimely there;

Scars of the lacerating mind

Which the Soul's war doth leave behind.

He was past all mirth or wo:
Nothing more remain❜d below
But sleepless nights and heavy days,
A mind all dead to scorn or praise,
A heart which shunn'd itself-and yet
That would not yield-nor could forget,
Which when it least appear'd to melt,
Intently thought-intensely felt:
The deepest ice which ever froze
Can only o'er the surface close-
The living stream lies quick below,
And flows-and cannot cease to flow.
Still was his seal'd-up bosom haunted
By thoughts which nature hath implanted;
Too deeply rooted thence to vanish,
Howe'er our stifled tears we banish;
When, struggling as they rise to start,
We check those waters of the heart,
They are not dried--those tears unshed
But flow back to the fountain head,
And resting in their spring more pure,
For ever in its depth endure,
Unseen, unwept, but uncongeal'd,

And cherish'd most where least reveal'd.
With inward starts of feeling left,

To throb o'er those of life bereft;
Without the power to fill again
The desert gap which made his pain;
Without the hope to meet them where
United souls shall gladness share,
With all the consciousness that he
Had only pass'd a just decree;


That they had wrought their doom of ill;
Yet Azo's age was wretched still.
The tainted branches of the tree,

If lopp'd with care, a strength may give,
By which the rest shall bloom and live
All greenly fresh and wildly free:
But if the lightning, in its wrath,
The waving boughs with fury scathe,
The massy trunk the ruin feels,
And never more a leaf reveals.

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