Feels if the axe be sharp and true
Since he set its edge anew:
While the crowd in a speechless circle gather
To see the Son fall by the doom of the Father!
It is a lovely hour as yet
Before the summer sun shall set,
Which rose upon that heavy day,
And mock'd it with his steadiest ray;410
And his evening beams are shed
Full on Hugo's fated head,
As his last confession pouring
To the monk, his doom deploring
In penitential holiness,
He bends to hear his accents bless
With absolution such as may
Wipe our mortal stains away.
That high sun on his head did glisten
As he there did bow and listen,420
And the rings of chestnut hair
Curled half down his neck so bare;
But brighter still the beam was thrown
Upon the axe which near him shone
With a clear and ghastly glitter——
Oh! that parting hour was bitter!
Even the stern stood chilled with awe:
Dark the crime, and just the law—
Yet they shuddered as they saw.
The parting prayers are said and over430
Of that false son, and daring lover!
- [Lines 401-404, which are in Byron's handwriting, were added to the Copy.]