Imagens das páginas

by those whose approbation is valuable. I am glad of it: but it is not original—at least not mine; it may be found much better expressed in pages 182-3-4 of the English version of “Vathek” (I forget the precise page of the French), a work to which I have before referred; and never recur to, or read, without a renewal of gratification.

Note 8. Page 279.

The horse-tails are pluck'd from the ground, and the sword. The horse-tail, fixed upon a lance, a pacha's standard.

Note 9. Page 282.

And since the day, when in the strait. In the naval battle at the mouth of the Dardanelles, between the Venetians and the Turks.

Note 10. Page 288.

The jackal's troop, in gather'd cry. I believe I have taken a poetical license to transplant the jackal from Asia. In Greece I never saw nor heard these animals; but among the ruins of Ephesus I have heard them by hundreds. They haunt ruins, and follow armies.





January 22, 1816.



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The following poem is grounded on a circumstance mentioned in Gibbon's “ Antiquities of the House of Brunswick.”—I am aware that in modern times the delicacy or fastidiousness of the reader may deem such subjects unfit for the purposes of poetry. The Greek dramatists, and some of the best of our old English writers, were of a different opinion: as Alfieri and Schiller have also been, more recently, upon the Continent. The following extract will explain the facts on which the story is founded. The name of Azo is substituted for Nicholas, as more metrical.

“Under the reign of Nicholas III. Ferrara was polluted with a domestic tragedy. By the testimony of an attendant, and his own observation, the Marquis of Este discovered the incestuous loves of his wife Parisina, and Hugo his bastard son, a beautiful and valiant youth. They were beheaded in the castle by the sentence of a father and husband, who published his shame, and survived their execution. He was unfortunate, if they were guilty; if they were innocent, he was still more unfortunate ; nor is there any possible situation in which I can sincerely approve that last act of the justice of a parent.”—GIBBON’s Miscellaneous Works, vol. iii. p. 470, new edition.




It is the hour when from the boughs

The nightingale's high note is heard :
It is the hour when lovers' vows

Seem sweet in every whisper'd word,
And gentle winds, and waters near,
Make music to the lonely ear.
Each flower the dews have lightly wet,
And in the sky the stars are met,
And on the wave is deeper blue,
And on the leaf a browner hue,
And in the heaven that clear obscure,
So softly dark, and darkly pure,
Which follows the decline of day,
As twilight melts beneath the moon away.'

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But it is not to list to the waterfall
That Parisina leaves her hall,
And it is not to gaze on the heavenly light
That the lady walks in the shadow of night :
And if she sits in Este's bower,
'T is not for the sake of its full-blown flower :
She listens—but not for the nightingale-
Though her ear expects as soft a tale.
There glides a step through the foliage thick,
And her cheek grows pale—and her heart beats quick;
There whispers a voice through the rustling leaves.
And her blush returns, and her bosom heaves :
A moment more—and they shall meet
’T is past—her lover 's at her feet.



And what unto them is the world beside,
With all its change of time and tide?

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Its living things—its earth and sky
Are nothing to their mind and eye
And heedless as the dead are they

Of aught around, above, beneath ;
As if all else had pass'd away,

They only for each other breathe : Their

very sighs are full of joy So deep, that, did it not decay, That happy madness would destroy

The hearts which feel its fiery sway. Of guilt, of peril, do they deem, In that tumultuous tender dream? Who, that have felt that passion's power, Or paused or fear'd in such an hour, Or thought how brief such moments last? But yet—they are already past! Alas! we must awake before We know such vision comes no more.


With many a lingering look they leave

The spot of guilty gladness past;
And though they hope and vow, they grieve

As if that parting were the last.
The frequent sigh--the long embrace

The lip that there would cling for ever, While gleams on Parisina's face

The Heaven she fears will not forgive her, As if each calmly conscious star Beheld her frailty from afar— The frequent sigh, the long embrace, Yet binds them to their trysting-place. But it must come, and they must part In fearful heaviness of heart, With all the deep and shuddering chill Which follows fast the deeds of ill.

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