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IND solace in a dying hour !

Such, father, is not (now) my theme I will not madly deem that power

Of Earth may shrive me of the sin

Unearthly pride hath revell'd in-
I have no time to dote or dream :
You call it hope — that fire of fire !
It is but agony of desire :
If I can hope - oh God! I can

Its fount is holier — more divine-
I would not call thee fool, old man,

But such is not a gift of thinę. Know thou the secret of a spirit

Bow'd from its wild pride into shame.
O yearning heart! I did inherit

Thy withering portion with the fame,
The searing glory which hath shone
Amid the jewels of my throne,
Halo of Hell! and with a pain
Not Hell shall make me fear again —
O craving heart, for the lost flowers
And sunshine of my summer hours !
The undying voice of that dead time,
With its interminable chime,
Rings, in the spirit of a spell,
Upon thy emptiness - a knell.

I have not always been as now :
The fever'd diadem on my brow

I claim'd and won usurpingly
Hath not the same fierce heirdom given
Rome to the Cæsar - this to me?

The heritage of a kingly mind,
And a proud spirit which hath striven

Triumphantly with human kind.
On mountain soil I first drew life :

The mists of the Taglay have shed
Nightly their dews upon my head,
And, I believe, the winged strife
And tumult of the headlong air
Have nestled in my very hair.
So late from Heaven that dew - it fell

('Mid dreams of an unholy night) Upon me with the touch of Hell,

While the red flashing of the light
From clouds that hung, like banners, o'er,

Appeared to my half-closing eye

The pageantry of monarchy,
And the deep trumpet-thunder's roar
Came hurriedly upon me, telling

Of human battle, where my voice,
My own voice, silly child ! — was swelling

(O! how my spirit would rejoice,
And leap within me at the cry)
The battle-cry of Victory !

The rain came down upon my head

Unshelter'd — and the heavy wind

Rendered me mad and deaf and blind. It was but man, I thought, who shed

Laurels upon me: and the rush The torrent of the chilly air Gurgled within my car the crush

Of empires — with the captive's prayer — The hum of suitors and the tone Of flattery 'round a sovereign's throne. My passions, from that hapless hour,

Usurp'd a tyranny which men Have deem'd, since I have reach'd to power, My innate nature

- be it so : But, father, there liv'd one who, then, Then - in my boyhood — when their fire

Burn'd with a still intenser glow
(For passion must, with youth, expire)

E'en then who knew this iron heart
In woman's weakness had a part.

I have no words -alas! to tell
The loveliness of loving well !
Nor would I now attempt to trace
The more than beauty of a face
Whose lineaments, upon my mind,
Are – shadows on th' unstable wind :

Thus I remember having dwelt

Some page of early lore upon, With loitering eye, till I have felt The letters — with their meaning - melt

To fantasies — with none.

O, she was worthy of all love !

Love — as in infancy was mine ’T was such as angel minds above

Might envy; her young heart the shrine On which my every hope and thought Were incense - then a goodly gift,

For they were childish and upright Pure – as her young example taught: Why did I leave it, and, adrift,

Trust to the fire within, for light?

We grew


age - and love — together Roaming the forest and the wild ; My breast her shield in wintry weather

And when the friendly sunshine smild, And she would mark the opening skies, I saw no Heaven

- but in her eyes.

Young Love's first lesson is the heart :

For 'mid that sunshine, and those smiles, When, from our little cares apart,

And laughing at her girlish wiles,

I'd throw me on her throbbing breast,

And pour my spirit out in tears -
There was no need to speak the rest

No need to quiet any fears
Of her — who ask'd no reason why,
But turn'd on me her quiet eye !

Yet more than worthy of the love
My spirit struggled with, and strove,
When, on the mountain-peak, alone,
Ambition lent it a new tone –
I had no being — but in thee:

The world, and all it did contain
In the earth the air — the sea

Its joy - its little lot of pain That was new pleasure - the ideal,

Dim vanities of dreams by night And dimmer nothings which were real

(Shadows — and a more shadowy light!) Parted upon their misty wings,

And so, confusedly, became

Thine image and a name - a name ! Two separate

yet most intimate things. I was ambitious — have you known

The passion, father? You have not: A cottager, I mark'd a throne Of half the world as all my own,

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