CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


Julian and Maddalo: A Conversation.


   I RODE one evening with Count Maddalo
   Upon the bank of land which breaks the flow
   Of Adria towards Venice. A bare strand
   Of hillocks, heaped from ever-shifting sand,
   Matted with thistles and amphibious weeds,
   Such as from earth's embrace the salt ooze breeds,
   Is this; an uninhabited sea-side,
   Which the lone fisher, when his nets are dried,
   Abandons; and no other object breaks
   The waste but one dwarf tree and some few stakes                   10
   Broken and unrepaired, and the tide makes
   A narrow space of level sand thereon,
   Where 't was our wont to ride while day went down.
   This ride was my delight. I love all waste
   And solitary places; where we taste
   The pleasure of believing what we see
   Is boundless, as we wish our souls to be;
   And such was this wide ocean, and this shore
   More barren than its billows; and yet more
   Than all, with a remembered friend I love                          20
   To ride as then I rode;--for the winds drove
   The living spray along the sunny air
   Into our faces; the blue heavens were bare,
   Stripped to their depths by the awakening north;
   And from the waves sound like delight broke forth
   Harmonizing with solitude, and sent
   Into our hearts aërial merriment.
   So, as we rode, we talked; and the swift thought,
   Winging itself with laughter, lingered not,
   But flew from brain to brain,--such glee was ours,                 30
   Charged with light memories of remembered hours,
   None slow enough for sadness; till we came
   Homeward, which always makes the spirit tame.
   This day had been cheerful but cold, and now
   The sun was sinking, and the wind also.
   Our talk grew somewhat serious, as may be
   Talk interrupted with such raillery
   As mocks itself, because it cannot scorn
   The thoughts it would extinguish. 'T was forlorn,
   Yet pleasing; such as once, so poets tell,                         40
   The devils held within the dales of Hell,
   Concerning God, freewill and destiny;
   Of all that earth has been, or yet may be,
   All that vain men imagine or believe,
   Or hope can paint, or suffering may achieve,
   We descanted; and I (for ever still
   Is it not wise to make the best of ill?)
   Argued against despondency, but pride
   Made my companion take the darker side.
   The sense that he was greater than his kind                        50
   Had struck, methinks, his eagle spirit blind
   By gazing on its own exceeding light.
   Meanwhile the sun paused ere it should alight,
   Over the horizon of the mountains. Oh,
   How beautiful is sunset, when the glow
   Of Heaven descends upon a land like thee,
   Thou Paradise of exiles, Italy!
   Thy mountains, seas and vineyards and the towers
   Of cities they encircle!--It was ours
   To stand on thee, beholding it; and then,                          60
   Just where we had dismounted, the Count's men
   Were waiting for us with the gondola.
   As those who pause on some delightful way
   Though bent on pleasant pilgrimage, we stood
   Looking upon the evening, and the flood,
   Which lay between the city and the shore,
   Paved with the image of the sky. The hoar
   And aëry Alps towards the north appeared,
   Through mist, an heaven-sustaining bulwark reared
   Between the east and west; and half the sky                        70
   Was roofed with clouds of rich emblazonry,
   Dark purple at the zenith, which still grew
   Down the steep west into a wondrous hue
   Brighter than burning gold, even to the rent
   Where the swift sun yet paused in his descent
   Among the many-folded hills. They were
   Those famous Euganean hills, which bear,
   As seen from Lido through the harbor piles,
   The likeness of a clump of peakèd isles;
   And then, as if the earth and sea had been                         80
   Dissolved into one lake of fire, were seen
   Those mountains towering as from waves of flame
   Around the vaporous sun, from which there came
   The inmost purple spirit of light, and made
   Their very peaks transparent. 'Ere it fade,'
   Said my companion, 'I will show you soon
   A better station.' So, o'er the lagune
   We glided; and from that funereal bark
   I leaned, and saw the city, and could mark
   How from their many isles, in evening's gleam,                     90
   Its temples and its palaces did seem
   Like fabrics of enchantment piled to Heaven.
   I was about to speak, when-- 'We are even
   Now at the point I meant,' said Maddalo,
   And bade the gondolieri cease to row.
   'Look, Julian, on the west, and listen well
   If you hear not a deep and heavy bell.'
   I looked, and saw between us and the sun
   A building on an island,--such a one
   As age to age might add, for uses vile,                           100
   A windowless, deformed and dreary pile;
   And on the top an open tower, where hung
   A bell, which in the radiance swayed and swung;
   We could just hear its hoarse and iron tongue;
   The broad sun sunk behind it, and it tolled
   In strong and black relief. 'What we behold
   Shall be the madhouse and its belfry tower,'
   Said Maddalo; 'and ever at this hour
   Those who may cross the water hear that bell,
   Which calls the maniacs each one from his cell                    110
   To vespers.'--'As much skill as need to pray
   In thanks or hope for their dark lot have they
   To their stern Maker,' I replied. 'O ho!
   You talk as in years past,' said Maddalo.
   ''T is strange men change not. You were ever still
   Among Christ's flock a perilous infidel,
   A wolf for the meek lambs--if you can't swim,
   Beware of Providence.' I looked on him,
   But the gay smile had faded in his eye,--
   'And such,' he cried, 'is our mortality;                          120
   And this must be the emblem and the sign
   Of what should be eternal and divine!
   And, like that black and dreary bell, the soul,
   Hung in a heaven-illumined tower, must toll
   Our thoughts and our desires to meet below
   Round the rent heart and pray--as madmen do
   For what? they know not, till the night of death,
   As sunset that strange vision, severeth
   Our memory from itself, and us from all
   We sought, and yet were baffled.' I recall                        130
   The sense of what he said, although I mar
   The force of his expressions. The broad star
   Of day meanwhile had sunk behind the hill,
   And the black bell became invisible,
   And the red tower looked gray, and all between,
   The churches, ships and palaces were seen
   Huddled in gloom; into the purple sea
   The orange hues of heaven sunk silently.
   We hardly spoke, and soon the gondola
   Conveyed me to my lodgings by the way.                            140
     The following morn was rainy, cold, and dim.
   Ere Maddalo arose, I called on him,
   And whilst I waited, with his child I played.
   A lovelier toy sweet Nature never made;
   A serious, subtle, wild, yet gentle being,
   Graceful without design, and unforeseeing,
   With eyes--oh, speak not of her eyes!--which seem
   Twin mirrors of Italian heaven, yet gleam
   With such deep meaning as we never see
   But in the human countenance. With me                             150
   She was a special favorite; I had nursed
   Her fine and feeble limbs when she came first
   To this bleak world; and she yet seemed to know
   On second sight her ancient playfellow,
   Less changed than she was by six months or so;
   For, after her first shyness was worn out,
   We sate there, rolling billiard balls about,
   When the Count entered. Salutations past--
   'The words you spoke last night might well have cast
   A darkness on my spirit. If man be                                160
   The passive thing you say, I should not see
   Much harm in the religions and old saws,
   (Though I may never own such leaden laws)
   Which break a teachless nature to the yoke.
   Mine is another faith.' Thus much I spoke,
   And noting he replied not, added: 'See
   This lovely child, blithe, innocent and free;
   She spends a happy time with little care,
   While we to such sick thoughts subjected are
   As came on you last night. It is our will                         170
   That thus enchains us to permitted ill.
   We might be otherwise, we might be all
   We dream of happy, high, majestical.
   Where is the love, beauty and truth we seek,
   But in our mind? and if we were not weak,
   Should we be less in deed than in desire?'
   'Ay, if we were not weak--and we aspire
   How vainly to be strong!' said Maddalo;
   'You talk Utopia.' 'It remains to know,'
   I then rejoined, 'and those who try may find                      180
   How strong the chains are which our spirit bind;
   Brittle perchance as straw. We are assured
   Much may be conquered, much may be endured
   Of what degrades and crushes us. We know
   That we have power over ourselves to do
   And suffer--what, we know not till we try;
   But something nobler than to live and die.
   So taught those kings of old philosophy,
   Who reigned before religion made men blind;
   And those who suffer with their suffering kind                    190
   Yet feel this faith religion.' 'My dear friend,'
   Said Maddalo, 'my judgment will not bend
   To your opinion, though I think you might
   Make such a system refutation-tight
   As far as words go. I knew one like you,
   Who to this city came some months ago,
   With whom I argued in this sort, and he
   Is now gone mad,--and so he answered me,--
   Poor fellow! but if you would like to go,
   We 'll visit him, and his wild talk will show                     200
   How vain are such aspiring theories.'
   'I hope to prove the induction otherwise,
   And that a want of that true theory still,
   Which seeks "a soul of goodness" in things ill,
   Or in himself or others, has thus bowed
   His being. There are some by nature proud,
   Who patient in all else demand but this--
   To love and be beloved with gentleness;
   And, being scorned, what wonder if they die
   Some living death? this is not destiny                            210
   But man's own wilful ill.'

                               As thus I spoke,
   Servants announced the gondola, and we
   Through the fast-falling rain and high-wrought sea
   Sailed to the island where the madhouse stands.
   We disembarked. The clap of tortured hands,
   Fierce yells and howlings and lamentings keen,
   And laughter where complaint had merrier been,
   Moans, shrieks, and curses, and blaspheming prayers,
   Accosted us. We climbed the oozy stairs
   Into an old courtyard. I heard on high,                           220
   Then, fragments of most touching melody,
   But looking up saw not the singer there.
   Through the black bars in the tempestuous air
   I saw, like weeds on a wrecked palace growing,
   Long tangled locks flung wildly forth, and flowing,
   Of those who on a sudden were beguiled
   Into strange silence, and looked forth and smiled
   Hearing sweet sounds. Then I: 'Methinks there were
   A cure of these with patience and kind care,
   If music can thus move. But what is he,                           230
   Whom we seek here?' 'Of his sad history
   I know but this,' said Maddalo: 'he came
   To Venice a dejected man, and fame
   Said he was wealthy, or he had been so.
   Some thought the loss of fortune wrought him woe;
   But he was ever talking in such sort
   As you do--far more sadly; he seemed hurt,
   Even as a man with his peculiar wrong,
   To hear but of the oppression of the strong,
   Or those absurd deceits (I think with you                         240
   In some respects, you know) which carry through
   The excellent impostors of this earth
   When they outface detection. He had worth,
   Poor fellow! but a humorist in his way.'
   'Alas, what drove him mad?' 'I cannot say;
   A lady came with him from France, and when
   She left him and returned, he wandered then
   About yon lonely isles of desert sand
   Till he grew wild. He had no cash or land
   Remaining; the police had brought him here;                       250
   Some fancy took him and he would not bear
   Removal; so I fitted up for him
   Those rooms beside the sea, to please his whim,
   And sent him busts and books and urns for flowers,
   Which had adorned his life in happier hours,
   And instruments of music. You may guess
   A stranger could do little more or less
   For one so gentle and unfortunate;
   And those are his sweet strains which charm the weight
   From madmen's chains, and make this Hell appear                   260
   A heaven of sacred silence, hushed to hear.'
   'Nay, this was kind of you; he had no claim,
   As the world says.' 'None--but the very same
   Which I on all mankind, were I as he
   Fallen to such deep reverse. His melody
   Is interrupted; now we hear the din
   Of madmen, shriek on shriek, again begin.
   Let us now visit him; after this strain
   He ever communes with himself again,
   And sees nor hears not any.' Having said                          270
   These words, we called the keeper, and he led
   To an apartment opening on the sea.
   There the poor wretch was sitting mournfully
   Near a piano, his pale fingers twined
   One with the other, and the ooze and wind
   Rushed through an open casement, and did sway
   His hair, and starred it with the brackish spray;
   His head was leaning on a music-book,
   And he was muttering, and his lean limbs shook;
   His lips were pressed against a folded leaf,                      280
   In hue too beautiful for health, and grief
   Smiled in their motions as they lay apart.
   As one who wrought from his own fervid heart
   The eloquence of passion, soon he raised
   His sad meek face, and eyes lustrous and glazed,
   And spoke--sometimes as one who wrote, and thought
   His words might move some heart that heeded not,
   If sent to distant lands; and then as one
   Reproaching deeds never to be undone
   With wondering self-compassion; then his speech                   290
   Was lost in grief, and then his words came each
   Unmodulated, cold, expressionless,
   But that from one jarred accent you might guess
   It was despair made them so uniform;
   And all the while the loud and gusty storm
   Hissed through the window, and we stood behind
   Stealing his accents from the envious wind
   Unseen. I yet remember what he said
   Distinctly; such impression his words made.

   'Month after month,' he cried, 'to bear this load,                300
   And, as a jade urged by the whip and goad,
   To drag life on--which like a heavy chain
   Lengthens behind with many a link of pain!--
   And not to speak my grief--oh, not to dare
   To give a human voice to my despair,
   But live, and move, and, wretched thing! smile on
   As if I never went aside to groan;

   And wear this mask of falsehood even to those
   Who are most dear--not for my own repose--
   Alas, no scorn or pain or hate could be                           310
   So heavy as that falsehood is to me!
   But that I cannot bear more altered faces
   Than needs must be, more changed and cold embraces,
   More misery, disappointment and mistrust
   To own me for their father. Would the dust
   Were covered in upon my body now!
   That the life ceased to toil within my brow!
   And then these thoughts would at the least be fled;
   Let us not fear such pain can vex the dead.

   'What Power delights to torture us? I know                        320
   That to myself I do not wholly owe
   What now I suffer, though in part I may.
   Alas! none strewed sweet flowers upon the way
   Where, wandering heedlessly, I met pale Pain,
   My shadow, which will leave me not again.
   If I have erred, there was no joy in error,
   But pain and insult and unrest and terror;
   I have not, as some do, bought penitence
   With pleasure, and a dark yet sweet offence;
   For then--if love and tenderness and truth                        330
   Had overlived hope's momentary youth,
   My creed should have redeemed me from repenting;
   But loathèd scorn and outrage unrelenting
   Met love excited by far other seeming
   Until the end was gained; as one from dreaming
   Of sweetest peace, I woke, and found my state
   Such as it is--

                    'O Thou my spirit's mate!
   Who, for thou art compassionate and wise,
   Wouldst pity me from thy most gentle eyes
   If this sad writing thou shouldst ever see--                      340
   My secret groans must be unheard by thee;
   Thou wouldst weep tears bitter as blood to know
   Thy lost friend's incommunicable woe.
   'Ye few by whom my nature has been weighed
   In friendship, let me not that name degrade
   By placing on your hearts the secret load
   Which crushes mine to dust. There is one road
   To peace, and that is truth, which follow ye!
   Love sometimes leads astray to misery.
   Yet think not, though subdued--and I may well                     350
   Say that I am subdued--that the full hell
   Within me would infect the untainted breast
   Of sacred Nature with its own unrest;
   As some perverted beings think to find
   In soorn or hate a medicine for the mind
   Which soorn or hate have wounded--oh, how vain!
   The dagger heals not, but may rend again!
   Believe that I am ever still the same
   In creed as in resolve; and what may tame
   My heart must leave the understanding free,                       360
   Or all would sink in this keen agony;
   Nor dream that I will join the vulgar cry;
   Or with my silence sanction tyranny;
   Or seek a moment's shelter from my pain
   In any madness which the world calls gain,
   Ambition or revenge or thoughts as stern
   As those which make me what I am; or turn
   To avarice or misanthropy or lust.
   Heap on me soon, O grave, thy welcome dust!
   Till then the dungeon may demand its prey,                        370
   And Poverty and Shame may meet and say,
   Halting beside me on the public way,
   "That love-devoted youth is ours; let 's sit
   Beside him; he may live some six months yet."
   Or the red scaffold, as our country bends,
   May ask some willing victim; or ye, friends,
   May fall under some sorrow, which this heart
   Or hand may share or vanquish or avert;
   I am prepared--in truth, with no proud joy,
   To do or suffer aught, as when a boy                              380
   I did devote to justice and to love
   My nature, worthless now!--

                                'I must remove
   A veil from my pent mind. 'T is torn aside!
   O pallid as Death's dedicated bride,
   Thou mockery which art sitting by my side,
   Am I not wan like thee? at the grave's call
   I haste, invited to thy wedding-ball,
   To greet the ghastly paramour for whom
   Thou hast deserted me--and made the tomb
   Thy bridal bed--but I beside your feet                            390
   Will lie and watch ye from my winding-sheet--
   Thus--wide-awake though dead--yet stay, oh, stay!
   Go not so soon--know not what I say--
   Hear but my reasons--I am mad, I fear,
   My fancy is o'erwrought--thou art not here;
   Pale art thou, 't is most true--but thou art gone,
   Thy work is finished--I am left alone.
   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
   'Nay, was it I who wooed thee to this breast,
   Which like a serpent thou envenomest
   As in repayment of the warmth it lent?                            400
   Didst thou not seek me for thine own content?
   Did not thy love awaken mine? I thought
   That thou wert she who said "You kiss me not
   Ever; I fear you do not love me now"--
   In truth I loved even to my overthrow
   Her who would fain forget these words; but they
   Cling to her mind, and cannot pass away.
   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
   'You say that I am proud--that when I speak
   My lip is tortured with the wrongs which break
   The spirit it expresses.--Never one                               410
   Humbled himself before, as I have done!
   Even the instinctive worm on which we tread
   Turns, though it wound not--then with prostrate head
   Sinks in the dust and writhes like me--and dies?
   No: wears a living death of agonies!
   As the slow shadows of the pointed grass
   Mark the eternal periods, his pangs pass,
   Slow, ever-moving, making moments be
   As mine seem,--each an immortality!
   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
   'That you had never seen me--never heard                          420
   My voice, and more than all had ne'er endured
   The deep pollution of my loathed embrace--
   That your eyes ne'er had lied love in my face--
   That, like some maniac monk, I had torn out
   The nerves of manhood by their bleeding root
   With mine own quivering fingers, so that ne'er
   Our hearts had for a moment mingled there
   To disunite in horror--these were not
   With thee like some suppressed and hideous thought
   Which flits athwart our musings but can find                      430
   No rest within a pure and gentle mind;
   Thou sealedst them with many a bare broad word,
   And sear'dst my memory o'er them,--for I heard
   And can forget not;--they were ministered
   One after one, those curses. Mix them up
   Like self-destroying poisons in one cup,
   And they will make one blessing, which thou ne'er
   Didst imprecate for on me,--death.
   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
                                      'It were
   A cruel punishment for one most cruel,
   If such can love, to make that love the fuel                      440
   Of the mind's hell--hate, scorn, remorse, despair;
   But me, whose heart a stranger's tear might wear
   As water-drops the sandy fountain-stone,
   Who loved and pitied all things, and could moan
   For woes which others hear not, and could see
   The absent with the glance of fantasy,
   And with the poor and trampled sit and weep,
   Following the captive to his dungeon deep;
   Me--who am as a nerve o'er which do creep
   The else unfelt oppressions of this earth,                        450
   And was to thee the flame upon thy hearth,
   When all beside was cold:--that thou on me
   Shouldst rain these plagues of blistering agony!
   Such curses are from lips once eloquent
   With love's too partial praise! Let none relent
   Who intend deeds too dreadful for a name
   Henceforth, if an example for the same
   They seek:--for thou on me look'dst so, and so--
   And didst speak thus--and thus. I live to show
   How much men bear and die not!
   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
                                  'Thou wilt tell                    460
   With the grimace of hate how horrible
   It was to meet my love when thine grew less;
   Thou wilt admire how I could e'er address
   Such features to love's work. This taunt, though true,
   (For indeed Nature nor in form nor hue
   Bestowed on me her choicest workmanship)
   Shall not be thy defence; for since thy lip
   Met mine first, years long past,--since thine eye kindled
   With soft fire under mine,--I have not dwindled,
   Nor changed in mind or body, or in aught                          470
   But as love changes what it loveth not
   After long years and many trials.

                                     'How vain
   Are words! I thought never to speak again,
   Not even in secret, not to mine own heart;
   But from my lips the unwilling accents start,
   And from my pen the words flow as I write,
   Dazzling my eyes with scalding tears; my sight
   Is dim to see that charactered in vain
   On this unfeeling leaf, which burns the brain
   And eats into it, blotting all things fair                        480
   And wise and good which time had written there.

   Those who inflict must suffer, for they see
   The work of their own hearts, and this must be
   Our chastisement or recompense.--O child!
   I would that thine were like to be more mild
   For both our wretched sakes,--for thine the most
   Who feelest already all that thou hast lost
   Without the power to wish it thine again;
   And as slow years pass, a funereal train,
   Each with the ghost of some lost hope or friend                   490
   Following it like its shadow, wilt thou bend
   No thought on my dead memory?
   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
                                 'Alas, love!
   Fear me not--against thee I would not move
   A finger in despite. Do I not live
   That thou mayst have less bitter cause to grieve?
   I give thee tears for scorn, and love for hate;
   And that thy lot may be less desolate
   Than his on whom thou tramplest, I refrain
   From that sweet sleep which medicines all pain.
   Then, when thou speakest of me, never say                         500
   "He could forgive not." Here I cast away
   All human passions, all revenge, all pride;
   I think, speak, act no ill; I do but hide
   Under these words, like embers, every spark
   Of that which has consumed me. Quick and dark
   The grave is yawning--as its roof shall cover
   My limbs with dust and worms under and over,
   So let Oblivion hide this grief--the air
   Closes upon my accents as despair
   Upon my heart--let death upon despair!'                           510

   He ceased, and overcome leant back awhile;
   Then rising, with a melancholy smile,
   Went to a sofa, and lay down, and slept
   A heavy sleep, and in his dreams he wept,
   And muttered some familiar name, and we
   Wept without shame in his society.
   I think I never was impressed so much;
   The man who were not must have lacked a touch
   Of human nature.--Then we lingered not,
   Although our argument was quite forgot;                           520
   But, calling the attendants, went to dine
   At Maddalo's; yet neither cheer nor wine
   Could give us spirits, for we talked of him
   And nothing else, till daylight made stars dim;
   And we agreed his was some dreadful ill
   Wrought on him boldly, yet unspeakable,
   By a dear friend; some deadly change in love
   Of one vowed deeply, which he dreamed not of;
   For whose sake he, it seemed, had fixed a blot
   Of falsehood on his mind which flourished not                     530
   But in the light of all-beholding truth;
   And having stamped this canker on his youth
   She had abandoned him--and how much more
   Might be his woe, we guessed not; he had store
   Of friends and fortune once, as we could guess
   From his nice habits and his gentleness;
   These were now lost--it were a grief indeed
   If he had changed one unsustaining reed
   For all that such a man might else adorn.
   The colors of his mind seemed yet unworn;                         540
   For the wild language of his grief was high--
   Such as in measure were called poetry.
   And I remember one remark which then
   Maddalo made. He said--'Most wretched men
   Are cradled into poetry by wrong;
   They learn in suffering what they teach in song.'

   If I had been an unconnected man,
   I, from this moment, should have formed some plan
   Never to leave sweet Venice,--for to me
   It was delight to ride by the lone sea;                           550
   And then the town is silent--one may write
   Or read in gondolas by day or night,
   Having the little brazen lamp alight,
   Unseen, uninterrupted; books are there,
   Pictures, and casts from all those statues fair
   Which were twin-born with poetry, and all
   We seek in towns, with little to recall
   Regrets for the green country. I might sit
   In Maddalo's great palace, and his wit
   And subtle talk would cheer the winter night                      560
   And make me know myself, and the firelight
   Would flash upon our faces, till the day
   Might dawn and make me wonder at my stay.
   But I had friends in London too. The chief
   Attraction here was that I sought relief
   From the deep tenderness that maniac wrought
   Within me--'t was perhaps an idle thought,
   But I imagined that if day by day
   I watched him, and but seldom went away,
   And studied all the beatings of his heart                         570
   With zeal, as men study some stubborn art
   For their own good, and could by patience find
   An entrance to the caverns of his mind,
   I might reclaim him from this dark estate.
   In friendships I had been most fortunate,
   Yet never saw I one whom I would call
   More willingly my friend; and this was all
   Accomplished not; such dreams of baseless good
   Oft come and go in crowds and solitude
   And leave no trace,--but what I now designed                      580
   Made, for long years, impression on my mind.
   The following morning, urged by my affairs,
   I left bright Venice.

                          After many years,
   And many changes, I returned; the name
   Of Venice, and its aspect, was the same;
   But Maddalo was travelling far away
   Among the mountains of Armenia.
   His dog was dead. His child had now become
   A woman; such as it has been my doom
   To meet with few, a wonder of this earth,                         590
   Where there is little of transcendent worth,
   Like one of Shakespeare's women. Kindly she,
   And with a manner beyond courtesy,
   Received her father's friend; and, when I asked
   Of the lorn maniac, she her memory tasked,
   And told, as she had heard, the mournful tale:
   'That the poor sufferer's health began to fail
   Two years from my departure, but that then
   The lady, who had left him, came again.
   Her mien had been imperious, but she now                          600
   Looked meek--perhaps remorse had brought her low.
   Her coming made him better, and they stayed
   Together at my father's--for I played
   As I remember with the lady's shawl;
   I might be six years old--but after all
   She left him.' 'Why, her heart must have been tough.
   How did it end?' 'And was not this enough?
   They met--they parted.' 'Child, is there no more?'
   'Something within that interval which bore
   The stamp of why they parted, how they met;                     610
   Yet if thine aged eyes disdain to wet
   Those wrinkled cheeks with youth's remembered tears,
   Ask me no more, but let the silent years
   Be closed and cered over their memory,
   As yon mute marble where their corpses lie.'
   I urged and questioned still; she told me how
   All happened--but the cold world shall not know.


CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


 
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