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CHARLES ROBERT MATURIN
Irish poet and novelist
(1782 - 1824)

Beauty hath no lustre save when it gleameth through the crystal web that purity's fine fingers weave for it.
      - [Beauty]

Full many a miserable year hath past--
  She knows him as one dead, or worse than dead,
    And many a change her varied life hath known,
      But her heart none.
      - [Fidelity]

My own lov'd light,
  That very soft and solemn spirit worships,
    That lovers love so well--strange joy is thine,
      Whose influence o'er all tides of soul hath power,
        Who lend'st thy light to rapture and despair;
          The glow of hope and wan hue of sick fancy
            Alike reflect thy rays: alike thou lightest
              The path of meeting or of parting love--
                Alike on mingling or on breaking hearts
                  Thou smil'st in throned beauty!
      - [Moon]

No future hour can rend my heart like this,
  Save that which breaks it.
      - [Grief]

Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
      - [Murder]

The fountain of my heart dried up within me,--
  With nought that loved me, and with nought to love,
    I stood upon the desert earth alone.
      And in that deep and utter agony,
        Though then, then even most unfit to die
          I fell upon my knees and prayed for death.
      - [Desolation]

The limner's art may trace the absent feature,
  And give the eye of distant weeping faith
    To view the form of its idolatry;
      But oh! the scenes 'mid which they met and parted;
        The thoughts--the recollections sweet and bitter,--
          Th' Elysian dreams of lovers, when they loved,--
            Who shall restore them?
      - [Separation]

The soul shares not the body's test.
      - [Sleep]

There was one did battle with the storm
  With careless, desperate force; full many times
    His life was won and lost, as though he reck'd not--
      No hand did aid him, and he aided none--
        Alone he breasted the broad wave, alone
          That man was sav'd.
      - [Swimming]

They said her cheek of youth was beautiful
  Till withering sorrow blanch'd the Bright rose there;
    But grief did lay his icy finger on it,
      And chill'd it to a cold and joyless statue.
        Methought she caroll'd blithely in her youth,
          As the couched nestling trills his vesper lay;
            But song and smile, beauty and melody,
              And youth and happiness are gone from her,
                Perchance--even as she is--he would not scorn her, If he could know her--for, for him she's change'd,
                  She is much alter'd--but her heart-her heart!
      - [Fidelity]

'Tis well to be merry and wise,
  'Tis well to be honest and true;
    It is best to be off with the old love,
      Before you are on with the new.
      - as used by him for the motto to "Bertram", produced at Drury Lane, 1816
        [Love]

O wretched is the dame, to whom the sound,
  "Your lord will soon return," no phrase brings.
      - Bertram (act II, sc. 5) [Wives]

A malady
  Preys on my heart that med'cine cannot reach.
      - Bertram (act IV, sc. 2) [Sickness]


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