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XXXVI

less groan

XXXIV

To wreak his fear of Heaven in venge. The errors of his faith in endless ance on mankind.

woe!

But there is sent a mortal venge. XXXIII

ance now But more he loathed and hated the

On earth, because an impious race clear light

had spurned Of wisdom and free thought, and

Him whom we all adore,-a subtle more did fear

foe, Lest, kindled once, its beams might

By whom for ye this dread reward pierce the night,

was earned, Even where his Idol stood; for far And kingly thrones, which rest on faith, and near

nigh overturned. Did many a heart in Europe leap

to hear That faith and tyranny were trampled “ Think ye, because ye weep and down;

kneel and pray, Many a pale victim doomed for

That God will lull the pestilence? truth to share

It rose The murderer's cell, or see with help- Even from beneath his throne, where,

many a day, The priests his children drag for slaves

Ilis mercy soothed it to a dark to serve their own.

repose : It walks upon the earth to judge

his foes; He dared not kill the infidels with And what are thou and I, that he fire

should deign Or steel, in Europe; the slow To curb his ghastly minister, or agonies

close of legal torture mocked his keen The gates of death ere they receive desire :

the twain So he made truce with those who Who shook with mortal spells his undedid despise

fended reign?
The expiation and the sacrifice,
That, though detested, Islam's kindred

creed
Might crush for him those deadlier

“Ay, there is famine in the gulf of

hell, enemies; For fear of God did in his bosom

Its giant worms of fire for ever breed

yawn,

Those A jealous hate of man, an unreposing

Their lurid eyes are on us !

who fell need.

By the swift shafts of pestilence

ere dawn “Peace, peace!” he cried. " When Are in their jaws! They hunger

we are dead, the day Of judgment comes, and all shall Of Satan, their own brethren who surely know

were sent Whose God is God, each fearfully To make our souls their spoil.

See! see! they fawn

XXXVII

XXXV

for the spawn

shall pay

Like dogs, and they will sleep, with

luxury spent, When those detested hearts their iron

fangs have rent!

XXXVIII

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“ Our God may then lull Pestilence

to sleep : Pile high the pyre of expiation now, A forest's spoil of boughs, and on the

heap Pour venomous gums, which sullenly

and slow, When touched by flame, shall burn

and melt and flow, A stream of clinging fire,— and fix

on high A net of iron, and spread forth

below A couch of snakes and scorpions, and

the fry Of centipedes and worms, earth's hellish

progeny.

'Twas morn. :-- At noon the public

crier went forth, Proclaiming through the living and

the dead, “ The Monarch saith that his great

empire's worth Is set on Laon and Laone's head : He who but one yet living here

can lead, Or who the life from both their hearts

can wring, Shall be the kingdom's heir-a

glorious meed! But he who both alive can hither

bring The Princess shall esi use, and reign

an equal King.

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XLII

Of Heaven may be appeased." He

ceased, and they
A space stood silent, as far, far

away The echoes of his voice among them

died; And he knelt down upon the dust,

alway Muttering the curses of his speechless

pride, Whilst shame and fear and awe the

armies did divide.

Ere night the pyre was piled, the net

of iron Was spread above, the fearful couch

below; It overtopped the towers that did en

viron That spacious square, for Fear is

never slow To build the thrones of Hate, her

mate and foe, So she scourged forth the maniac

multitude To rear this pyramid-tottering

and slow, Plague-stricken, foodless, like lean

herds pursued

XL

His voice was like a blast that burst

the portal Of fabled hell; and, as he spake,

each one Saw gape beneath the chasms of fire

immortal,

many a nation

Ly gadflies, they have piled the heath To see his enemies writhe and burn and gums and wood.

and bleed,

And that, till then, the snakes of XLIII

hell had need Night came, a starless and a moonless Of human souls :- three-hundred gloom.

furnaces Until the dawn, those hosts of Soon blazed through the wide City,

where, with speed, Stood round that pile, as near one Men brought their infidel kindred to lover's tomb

appease Two gentle sisters mourn their God's wrath, and, while they burned, desolation :

knelt round on quivering knees. And in the silence of that expectation

XLVI Was heard on high the reptiles' hiss

The noontide sun was darkened with and crawl

that smoke,
It was so deep-save when the
devastati

The winds of eve dispersed those Of the swift pest, with fearful interval,

The madness which these rites had Marking its path with shrieks, among

lulled awoke the crowd would fall.

Again at sunset. -Who shall dare

ashes gray.

to say

XLIV

as

Morn came,-among those sleepless

multitudes,
Madness and Fear and Plague and

Famine still
Ileaped corpse on corpse,

in
autumnal woods
The frosts of many a wind with

dead leaves fill
Earth's cold and sullen brooks ;

in silence, still
The pale survivors stood ; ere noon,

the fear
Of Hell became a panic, which did

kill
Like hunger or disease, with whispers

drear, As“Ilush! hark! Come they yet? Just

Heaven! thine hour is near !”

The deeds which night and fear

brought forth, or weigh In balance just the good and evil

there? He might man's deep and search

less heart display, And cast a light on those dim laby

rinths where Hope near imagined chasms is struggling

with despair.

XLVII

XLV

'Tis said, a mother dragged three

children then To those fierce flames which roast

the eyes in the head, And laughed and died; and that

unholy men, Feasting like fiends upon the infidel

dead, Looked from their meal, and saw

an Angel tread The visible floor of heaven, and it

was she ! And on that night one without

doubt or dread

And priests rushed through their

ranks, some counterfeiting
The rage they did inspire, some

mad indeed
With their own lies; they said their

god was waiting
S

to see,

on

Came to the fire, and said, “Stop, I Before its blue and moveless depth am he!

were flying Kill me !” — They burned them both Gray mists poured forth from the unwith hellish mockery.

resting fountains

Of darkness in the north :--the day XLVIII

was dying = And one by one, that night, young Sudden, the sun shone forth, its maidens came,

beams were lying Beauteous and calm, like shapes of Like boiling gold on ocean, strange

living stone Clothed in the light of dreams, and And the shattered vapours by the flame,

which, defying Which shrank as overgorged, they The power of light in vain, tossed laid them down,

restlessly And sung a low sweet song, of in the red Heaven, like wrecks in a which alone

tempestuous sea.
One word was heard, and that was
Liberty;

IN
And that some kissed their marble
feet, with moan

It was a stream of living beams, whose

bank Like love, and died; and then that they did die

On either side by the cloud's clest

was made ; With happy smiles, which sunk in white

And, where its chasms that flood of tranquillity.

glory drank,

Its waves gushed forth like fire, CANTO XI

and, as if swayed By some mute tempest, rolled on

her; the shade She saw me not-she heard me not

Of her bright image floated on the alone

river Upon the mountain's dizzy brink

Of liquid light, which then did end she stood ;

and fadeShe spake not, breathed not, moved Her radiant shape upon its verge did not-there was thrown

shiver ; Over her look the shadow of a mood Aloft, her flowing hair like strings of Which only clothes the heart in flame did quiver.

solitude,
A thought of voiceless depth ;-she

stood alone;
Above, the heavens were spread ;

I stood beside her, but she saw me -below, the flood

notWas murmuring in its caves ; – the

She looked

upon

the
sea,

and skies, wind had blown

and earth; Her hair apart, through which her eyes

Rapture and love and admiration and forehead shone.

wrought A passion deeper far than tears or

mirth, A cloud was hanging o'er the western Or speech or gesture, or whate'er mountains ;

has birth

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IV

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VII

V

VIII

doth rear,

From common joy; which with the speechless feeling

Never but once to meet on Earth again! That led her there united, and shot

She heard me as I fled-her eager forth

tone From her far eyes a light of deep

Sunk on my heart, and almost wove revealing,

a chain All but her dearest self from my regard

Around my will to link it with her concealing.

own, So that my stern resolve was almost

gone. Her lips were parted, and the measured “I cannot reach thee! whither dost breath

thou fly? Was now heard there ;-her dark My steps are faint. - Come back, and intricate eyes,

thou dearest oneOrb within orb, deeper than sleep or Return, ah me! return !” The wind death,

passed by Absorbed the glories of the burn. On which those accents died, faint, far, ing skies,

and lingeringly. Which, mingling with her heart's

deep ecstasies, Burst from her looks and gestures ;

Woe! Woe! that moonless midnight ! and a light

Want and Pest
Of liquid tenderness, like love, did

Were horrible, but one more fell rise From her whole frame,-an atmos

As in a hydra's swarming lair, its crest phere which quite

Eminent among those victims-even

the Fear Arrayed her in its beams, tremulous and soft and bright

Of Hell: each girt by the hot atmos

phere Of his blind agony, like a scorpion

stung She would have clasped me to her By his own rage upon his burning glowing frame;

bier Those warm and odorous lips might Of circling coals of fire ; but still soon have shed

there clung On mine the fragrance and the invisible One hope, like a keen sword on starting flame

threads uphung : Which now the cold winds stole ;

she would have laid Upon my languid heart her dearest Not death-death was no more refuge head ;

or rest ; I might have heard her voice, tender Not life--it was despair to be! and sweet ;

not sleep, Her eyes, mingling with mine, might For fiends and chasms of fire had dissoon have fed

possest My soul with their own joy.--One All natural dreams; to wake was moment yet

not to weep, I gazed—we parted then, never again But to gaze, mad and pallid, at the to meet !

leap

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