תמונות בעמוד

And then the sighs he would suppress
Of fainting nature's feebleness,

More slowly drawn, grew less and less : 205 I listen’d, but I could not hear

I call’d, for I was wild with fear ;
I knew 'twas hopeless, but my dread
Would not be thus admonished ;

I call’d, and thought I heard a sound210 I burst my chain with one strong bound,

And rush'd to him :-I found him not,
I only stirr'd in this black spot,
I only lived--I only drew

The accursed breath of dungeon-dew; 215 The last—the sole—the dearest link

Between me and the eternal brink,
Which bound me to my failing race,
Was broken in this fatal place.

One on the earth, and one beneath-
220 My brothers—both had ceased to breathe :

I took that hand which lay so still,
Alas ! my own was full as chill ;
I had not strength to stir, or strive,

But felt that I was still alive
225 A frantic feeling, when we know
That what we love shall ne'er be so.

I know not why

I could not die, I had no earthly hope—but faith, 230 And that forbade a selfish death.

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What next befell me then and there

I know not well—I never knew.-

202. The use of would, with a Verb to express repetition of an action, is to be noted as a peculiar idiom of the English language.

229. I had no earthly hope, but (I had) faith.—The but does not mean except.

First came the loss of light and air,

And then of darkness too :
235 I had no thought, no feeling—none--

Among the stones I stood a stone,
And was scarce conscious what I wist,
As shrubless crags within the mist;

For all was blank, and bleak, and gray ; 240 It was not night—it was not day,

It was not even the dungeon-light,
So hateful to my heavy sight,
But vacancy absorbing space,

And fixedness—without a place ; 245 There were no stars—no earth-no time

No check—no change—no good—no crime-
But silence, and stirless breath
Which neither was of life nor death ;

A sea of stagnant idleness,
250 Blind, boundless, mute, and motionless !


A light broke in upon my brain,“

It was the carol of a bird ;
It ceased, and then it came again,

The sweetest song ear ever heard, 255 And mine was thankful till my eyes

Ran over with the glad surprise,
And they that moment could not see
I was the mate of misery ;

But then by dull degrees came back 260 My senses to their wonted track,

I saw the dungeon walls and floor
Close slowly round me as before,
I saw the glimmer of the sun,
Creeping as it before had done,

264. Creeping.-Ought it not to be creep in 7 283. Connect if it were with I knew not, 279.

365 But through the crevice where it came

That bird was perch d, as fond and tame,

And tamer than upon the tree ;
A lovely bird, with azure wings,

And song that said a thousand things, 270 And seem'd to say them all for me!

I never saw its like before,
I ne'er shall see its likeness more :
It seem’d, like me, to want a mate,

But was not half so desolate,
275 And it was come to love me, when

None lived to love me so again,
And cheering from my dungeon's brink,
Had brought me back to feel and think.

I knew not, if it late were free,
280 Or broke its cage to perch on mine,

But knowing well captivity,

Sweet bird ! I could not wish for thine !
Or if it were, in winged guise,

A visitant from Paradise : 285 For-Heaven forgive that thought ! the while

Which made me both to weep and smile
I sometimes deem'd that it might be
My brother's soul come down to me;

But then at last away it flew,
290 And then 'twas mortal—well I knew,

For he would never thus have flown,
And left me twice so doubly lone,-
Lone-as the corse within its shroud,

Lone—as a solitary cloud,
295 A single cloud on a sunny day,

While all the rest of heaven is clear,
A frown upon the atmosphere,
That hath no business to appear

When skies are blue, and earth is gay.



And up

300 A kind of change came in my fate,

My keepers grew compassionate,
I know not, what had made them so,
They were inured to sights of woe,

But so it was my broken chain 305 With links unfasten'd did remain,

And it was liberty to stride
Along my cell from side to side,

and down, and then athwart,
And tread it over every part ;
310 And round the pillars one by one,

Returning where my walk begun,
Avoiding only, as I trod,
My brothers' graves without a sod ;

For if I thought with heedless tread 315 My step profaned their lowly bed,

My breath came gaspingly and thick,
And my crush'd heart felt blind and sick.


I made a footing in the wall ;

It was not therefrom to escape ; 320 For I had buried one and all,

Who loved me in a human shape ;
And the whole earth would henceforth be
A wider prison unto me :

No child—no sire—no kin had I, 325 No partner in my misery ;

I thought of this, and I was glad,
For thought of them had made me mad :

311, 312. Returning, avoiding.–Participles unconnected grammatically with any

327. Had made=would have made. Soo 95.


But I was curious to ascend

my barr'd windows, and to bend 330 Once more, upon the mountains high,

The quiet of a loving eye.



I saw them-and they were the same,
They were not changed like me in frame ;

I saw their thousand years of snow 335 On high-their wide long lake below,

And the blue Rhone in fullest flow;
I heard the torrents leap and gush
O’er channelI'd rock and broken bush

I saw the white-wall’d distant town, 340 And whiter sails go skimming down ;

And then there was a little isle, *
Which in my very face did smile,

The only one in view ;

A small green isle, it seem'd no more, 345 Scarce broader than my dungeon floor,

But in it there were three tall trees,
And o'er it blew the mountain breeze,
And by it there were waters flowing,

And on it there were young flowers growing, 350 Of gentle breath and hue.

The fish swam by the castle wall,
And they seem'd joyous each and all ;
The eagle rode the rising blast,

Methought he never flew so fast 355 As then to me he seem'd to fly,

And then new tears came in my eye,

* Between the entrances of the Rhone and Villeneuve, not far from Chillon, is a very small island; the only one I could perceive, in my voyage round and over the

lake, within its circumference. It contains a few trees (I think not above three), and from its singleness and diminutive size, has a peculiar effect upon the view.-BYRON.

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