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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/551

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PARISINA.

How changed since last her speaking eye
Glanced gladness round the glittering room,150
Where high-born men were proud to wait—
Where Beauty watched to imitate
Her gentle voice—her lovely mien—
And gather from her air and gait
The graces of its Queen:
Then,—had her eye in sorrow wept,
A thousand warriors forth had leapt,
A thousand swords had sheathless shone,
And made her quarrel all their own.[1]
Now,—what is she? and what are they?160
Can she command, or these obey?
All silent and unheeding now,
With downcast eyes and knitting brow,
And folded arms, and freezing air,
And lips that scarce their scorn forbear,
Her knights, her dames—her court is there:
And he—the chosen one, whose lance
Had yet been couched before her glance,
Who—were his arm a moment free—
Had died or gained her liberty;170
The minion of his father's bride,—
He, too, is fettered by her side;
Nor sees her swoln and full eye swim
Less for her own despair than him:
Those lids—o'er which the violet vein

  1. [Compare the famous eulogy of Marie Antoinette, in Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, in a Letter intended to have been sent to a Gentleman in Paris, London, 1790, pp. 112, 113—

    "It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles.... Little did I dream ... that I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers, I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult."]