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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/581

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543
A SKETCH.

A plain blunt show of briefly-spoken seeming,
To hide her bloodless heart's soul-hardened scheming;60
A lip of lies; a face formed to conceal,
And, without feeling, mock at all who feel:
With a vile mask the Gorgon would disown,—
A cheek of parchment, and an eye of stone.[1]
Mark, how the channels of her yellow blood
Ooze to her skin, and stagnate there to mud,
Cased like the centipede in saffron mail,
Or darker greenness of the scorpion's scale—[2]
(For drawn from reptiles only may we trace
Congenial colours in that soul or face)—70
Look on her features! and behold her mind[3]
As in a mirror of itself defined:
Look on the picture! deem it not o'ercharged—
There is no trait which might not be enlarged:
Yet true to "Nature's journeymen,"[4] who made
This monster when their mistress left off trade—
This female dog-star of her little sky,
Where all beneath her influence droop or die.[5]


Oh! wretch without a tear—without a thought,
Save joy above the ruin thou hast wrought—80
The time shall come, nor long remote, when thou
Shalt feel far more than thou inflictest now;
Feel for thy vile self-loving self in vain,
And turn thee howling in unpitied pain.

May the strong curse of crushed affections light[6]
  1. Lines 65-66 were added April 2, 1816.
  2. The parenthesis was added April 2, 1816.
  3. Look on her body ——.—[MS. M.]
  4. [See Hamlet, act iii. sc. 2, line 31.]
  5. Where all that gaze upon her droop or die.—[MS. altered April 2, 1816.]
  6. [Lines 85-91 were added April 2, 1816, on a page endorsed, "Quick—quick—quick—quick."]