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But let them go, or torture as they will,
My heart cau multiply thine image still;
Successful love may sate itself away,
The wretched are the faithful; 'tis their fate
To have all feeling save the one decay,
And every passion into one dilate,
As rapid rivers into ocean pour;
But ours is fathomless, and bath no sbore.
III. Above me, bark! the long and maniac cry Of minds, and bodies in captivity. And bark! the lash and the increasing howl, And the balf-iparticulate blasphemy! There be some here with worse than frenzy foul, Some who do still goad on the o'er-labour'd mind. And dim the little light that's left behind With needless torture, as their tyrant will Is wound up to the lust of doing ill; With these and with their victims am I class’d, 'Mid sounds and sights like these long years have pass’d, 'Mid sights and sounds like these my life may close; So let it be-for then I shall repose.
I have been patient, let me be so yet;
I had forgotten half I would forget,
But it revives-oh! would it were my lot
To be forgetful as I am forgot! -
Feel I not wrotb with those who bade me dwell
In this vast lazar-house of many woes?
Where laughter is not mirth, nor thought the mind,
Nor words a language, nor ev'n men unkind;
Where cries reply to curses, shrieks to blows,
And each is tortured in his separate bell.
For we are crowded in our solitudes-
Many, but each divided by the wall,
Which echoes Madness in her babbling moods;-
While all can bear, none heed his neighbour's call..
None! save that One, the veriest wretch of all,
Who was not made to be the mate of these,
Nor bound between Distraction and Disease.
Feel I not wroth with those who placed me here!
Who have debased me in the minds of men,
Debarring me the usage of my own,
Blighting my life in best of its career,
Branding my thoughts as things to shun and fear?
Would I not pay them back these pangs again,
And teach them inward sorrow's stifled groan?
The struggle to be calm, and cold distress,
Which undermines our Stoical success?
No!-still too proud to be vindictive-I
Have pardon'd princes' insults, and would die.
Yes, Sister of my Sovereigo! for thy sake
I weed all bitterness from out my breast,
It hath no business where thou art a guest;
Thy brother hates--but I can not detest;
Thou pitiest not-but I can not forsake.
Look on a love which knows not to despair,
But all unquench'd is still my better part,
Dwelling deep in my shut and silent heart
As dwells the gather'd lightning in its cloud,
Encompass’d with its dark and rolling shroud,
Till struck,-forth flies the all-ethereal dart!
And thus at the collision of thy name
The vivid thought still flashes through my frame,
And for a moment all things as they were
Flit by me;-they are gone. I am the same.
And yet my love without ambition grew;
I knew thy state, my station, and I knew
A princess was no love-mate for a bard;
I told it not, I breathed it not, it was
Sufficient to itself, its own reward;
And if my eyes reveal'd it, they, alas!
Were punish'd by the silentness of thine,
And yet I did not venture to repipe.
Thou wert to me a crystal-girded shrine,
Worshipp'd at holy distance, and around
Hallow'd and meekly kiss'd the saintly ground;
Not for thou wert a princess, but that Love
Had robed thee with a glory, and array'd
Thy lineaments in beauty that dismay'd
Oh! not dismay'd—but awed, like One above;
And in that sweet severity there was
A something which all softness did surpass
I know not bow-thy genius master'd mine
My star stood still before thee:- if it were
Presumptuous thus to love without design,
That sad fatality bath cost me dear;
But thou art dearest still, and I should be
Fit for this cell, which wrongs me, but for thee.
The very love wbich lock'd me to my chain
Hath lightend half its weight; and for the rest,
Though heavy, lent me vigour to sustain,
And look to thee with undivided breast,
And foil the ingenuity of Pain.
VI. It is no marvel-from my very birth My soul was drunk with love, which did pervade And mingle with whate’er I saw on earth; Of objects all inanimate I made
Idols, and out of wild and lonely flowers,
And rocks, whereby they grew, a paradise,
Where I did lay me down within the shade
Of waving trees, and dream'd uncounted hours,
Though I was chid for wandering; and the wise
Shook their white aged heads o'er me, and said
Of such a truant boy would end in wo,
And that the only lesson was a blow;
And then they smote me, and I did not weep,
But cursed them in my heart, and to my haunt
Return’d and wept alone, and dream'd again
The visions which arise without a sleep.
And with my years my soul began to pant
With feelings of strange tumult and soft pain;
And the whole heart exhaled into One Want,
But undefined and wandering, till the day
I found the thipg 1 sought-and that was thee;
And then I lost my being all to be
Absorb'd in thine-the world was past away-
Thou didst annihilate the earth to me!
VII. I loved all solitude but little thought To spend I know not what of life, reinote From all communion with existence, save The maniac and bis tyrant; had I been Their fellow, many years ere this had seen My mind like theirs corrupted to its grave, But who bath seen me writhe, or beard me rave; Perchance in such a cell we suffer more Than the wreck'd sailor on his desert shore; The world is all before him-mine is here, Scarce twice the space they must accord my bier. Wbat though he perish, he may lift his eye And with a dying glance upbraid the sky
I will not raise my own in such reproof,
Although 'tis clouded by my dungeon roof.
Yet do I feel at times my mind decline,
But with a sense of its decay--I see
Unwonted lights along my prison shine,
And a strange demon who is vexing me
With pilfering pranks and petty pains, below
The feeling of the healthful and the free;
But much to One, who long bath suffer'd so,
Sickness of heart, and parrowness of place,
And all that may be borne, or can debase.
I thought mine enemies had been but man,
But spirits may be leagued with them—all Earth
Abandons-Heaven forgets me;-in the dearth
Of such defence the Powers of Evil can,
It may be, tempt me further, and prevail
Against the outworn creature they assail.
Why in this furnace is my spirit proved
Like steel io tempering fire? because I loved?
Because I loved what not to love, and see,
Was more or less than mortal, and than me.
IX. I once was quick in feeling—that is o'er;My scars are callous, or I should have dash'd My brain against these bars as the sun flash'd In mockery through them;--I bear and bore The much I have recounted, and the more Which hath no words, 'tis that I would not die And sanction with self-slaughter the dull lie Which shared me here, and with the brand of shame Stamp madness deep ioto my memory,