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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/204

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164
HOURS OF IDLENESS.

"Stand, Stragglers! stand! why early thus in arms?
From whence? to whom?"—He meets with no reply;
Trusting the covert of the night, they fly:310
The thicket's depth, with hurried pace, they tread,
While round the wood the hostile squadron spread.


With brakes entangled, scarce a path between,
Dreary and dark appears the sylvan scene:
Euryalus his heavy spoils impede,
The boughs and winding turns his steps mislead;
But Nisus scours along the forest's maze,
To where Latinus' steeds in safety graze,
Then backward o'er the plain his eyes extend,
On every side they seek his absent friend.320
"O God! my boy," he cries, "of me bereft,[1]
In what impending perils art thou left!"
Listening he runs—above the waving trees,
Tumultuous voices swell the passing breeze;
The war-cry rises, thundering hoofs around
Wake the dark echoes of the trembling ground.
Again he turns—of footsteps hears the noise—
The sound elates—the sight his hope destroys:
The hapless boy a ruffian train surround,[2]
While lengthening shades his weary way confound;330

Him, with loud shouts, the furious knights pursue,
  1. —— of thee bereft
    In what dire perils is my brother left.—[MS. Newstead.]

  2. Then his lov'd boy the ruffian band surround
    Entangled in the tufted Forest ground.—[MS. Newstead.]