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Beauty hath no lustre save when it gleameth through the crystal web that purity's fine fingers weave for it.
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.
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!
No future hour can rend my heart like this,
Save that which breaks it.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
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.
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?
The soul shares not the body's test.
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.
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!
'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
O wretched is the dame, to whom the sound,
"Your lord will soon return," no phrase brings.
- Bertram (act II, sc. 5) [Wives]
Preys on my heart that med'cine cannot reach.
- Bertram (act IV, sc. 2) [Sickness]
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