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The murderer's cell, or see with helpless groan The priests his children drag for slaves to serve their own.

XXXIV

He dared not kill the infidels with fire

Or steel, in Europe; the slow
agonies

Of legal torture mocked his keen

A jealous hate of man, an unreposing need.

XXXV

"Peace, peace!" he cried. "When
we are dead, the day
Of judgment comes, and all shall
surely know
Whose God is God, each fearfully
shall pay

The errors of his faith in endless woe!

But there is sent a mortal venge

repose:

It walks upon the earth to judge his foes;

And what are thou and I, that he should deign

To curb his ghastly minister, or close

The gates of death ere they receive the twain

desire:

So he made truce with those who Who shook with mortal spells his unde-
did despise
fended reign?

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

creed

Might crush for him those deadlier
enemies;

For fear of God did in his bosom
breed

ance now

On earth, because an impious race had spurned

Him whom we all adore,-a subtle foe,

By whom for ye this dread reward was earned,

And kingly thrones, which rest on faith, nigh overturned.

XXXVI

"Think ye, because ye weep and
kneel and pray,

That God will lull the pestilence?
It rose

Even from beneath his throne, where, many a day,

His mercy soothed it to a dark

XXXVII

"Ay, there is famine in the gulf of hell,

Its giant worms of fire for ever

yawn,

Their lurid eyes are on us! Those who fell

By the swift shafts of pestilence ere dawn

Are in their jaws! They hunger for the spawn

Of Satan, their own brethren who were sent

To make our souls their spoil.
See! see! they fawn

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And Heaven above seemed cloven, where, on a throne

Girt round with storms and shadows, sate alone

Their King and Judge-fear killed in every breast

All natural pity then, a fear unknown

Before, and, with an inward fire possest,

They raged like homeless beasts whom burning woods invest.

XLI

'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 espouse, and reign an equal King."

""

XLII

Ere night the pyre was piled, the net of iron

Was spread above, the fearful couch below;

It overtopped the towers that did environ

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

By gadflies, they have piled the heath and gums and wood.

And that, till then, the snakes of hell had need

souls:-three-hundred

Soon blazed through the wide City, where, with speed,

Men brought their infidel kindred to appease

Two gentle sisters mourn their God's wrath, and, while they burned, knelt round on quivering knees.

desolation:

And in the silence of that expecta-
tion

Was heard on high the reptiles' hiss
and crawl-

It was so deep-save when the
devastation

XLIII

Night came, a starless and a moonless gloom.

Until the dawn, those hosts of
many a nation

Stood round that pile, as near one
lover's tomb

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To see his enemies writhe and burn and bleed,

XLV

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

Of human
furnaces

XLVI

The noontide sun was darkened with that smoke,

The winds of eve dispersed those ashes gray.

The madness which these rites had lulled awoke

Again at sunset.-Who shall dare to say

The deeds which night and fear brought forth, or weigh

In balance just the good and evil

there?

He might man's deep and searchless heart display,

And cast a light on those dim labyrinths where

Hope near imagined chasms is struggling with despair.

XLVII

'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

Came to the fire, and said, “Stop, I am he!

Kill me!"-They burned them both with hellish mockery.

XLVIII

And one by one, that night, young maidens came, Beauteous and calm, like shapes of living stone

Clothed in the light of dreams, and by the flame,

Which shrank as overgorged, they laid them down,

Liberty;

And that some kissed their marble feet, with moan

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

With happy smiles, which sunk in white tranquillity.

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

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Before its blue and moveless depth were flying

Gray mists poured forth from the unresting fountains

11

A cloud was hanging o'er the western mountains;

Of darkness in the north :-the day was dying :

Sudden, the sun shone forth, its beams were lying

Like boiling gold on ocean, strange

to see,

And on the shattered vapours which, defying

The power of light in vain, tossed restlessly

III

It was a stream of living beams, whose bank

On either side by the cloud's cleft was made;

And, where its chasms that flood of glory drank,

Its waves gushed forth like fire, and, as if swayed

By some mute tempest, rolled on her; the shade

Of her bright image floated on the river

Of liquid light, which then did end and fade

Her radiant shape upon its verge did shiver ; Aloft,

her flowing hair like strings of flame did quiver.

IV

I stood beside her, but she saw me

not

She looked upon the sea, and skies, and earth;

Rapture and love and admiration wrought

A passion deeper far than tears or mirth,

Or speech or gesture, or whate'er

has birth

From common joy; which with the
speechless feeling

That led her there united, and shot
forth

From her far eyes a light of deep
revealing,

All but her dearest self from my regard concealing.

V

Her lips were parted, and the measured breath

Was now heard there ;-her dark
and intricate eyes,

Orb within orb, deeper than sleep or

VI

Which now the cold winds stole ;-
she would have laid

Upon my languid heart her dearest
head;

I might have heard her voice, tender and sweet;

VII

Never but once to meet on Earth again!
She heard me as I fled-her eager

Her eyes, mingling with mine, might
soon have fed

My soul with their own joy.--One
moment yet

I gazed-we parted then, never again

to meet !

tone

Sunk on my heart, and almost wove a chain

Around my will to link it with her

death,

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 ;—
and a light

Of liquid tenderness, like love, did
rise

From her whole frame,-an atmos-
phere which quite
Arrayed her in its beams, tremulous and
soft and bright

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Return, ah me! return!" The wind passed by

VIII

Woe! Woe! that moonless midnight!
-Want and Pest
Were horrible, but one more fell
doth rear,

She would have clasped me to her glowing frame;

Of

Those warm and odorous lips might
soon have shed

circling coals of fire; but still
there clung

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

·

As in a hydra's swarming lair, its crest Eminent among those victims-even the Fear

Of Hell: each girt by the hot atmosphere

Of his blind agony, like a scorpion stung

By his own rage upon his burning bier

IX

Not death-death was no more refuge or rest;

Not life--it was despair to be !not sleep,

For fiends and chasms of fire had dis

possest

All natural dreams; to wake was not to weep,

But to gaze, mad and pallid, at the leap

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