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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/179

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145
THE LAMENT OF TASSO.

And wooed me from myself with thy sweet sight,
Thou too art gone—and so is my delight:40
And therefore do I weep and inly bleed
With this last bruise upon a broken reed.
Thou too art ended—what is left me now?
For I have anguish yet to bear—and how?
I know not that—but in the innate force
Of my own spirit shall be found resource.
I have not sunk, for I had no remorse,
Nor cause for such: they called me mad—and why?
Oh Leonora! wilt not thou reply?[1]
I was indeed delirious in my heart50
To lift my love so lofty as thou art;
But still my frenzy was not of the mind:
I knew my fault, and feel my punishment
Not less because I suffer it unbent.
That thou wert beautiful, and I not blind,
Hath been the sin which shuts me from mankind;
But let them go, or torture as they will,
My heart can multiply thine image still;
Successful Love may sate itself away;
The wretchéd are the faithful; 't is their fate60
To have all feeling, save the one, decay,
And every passion into one dilate,
As rapid rivers into Ocean pour;
But ours is fathomless, and hath no shore.


III.

Above me, hark! the long and maniac cry
Of minds and bodies in captivity.
And hark! the lash and the increasing howl,
And the half-inarticulate blasphemy!
There be some here with worse than frenzy foul,
Some who do still goad on the o'er-laboured mind,70

And dim the little light that's left behind
  1. [Not long after his imprisonment, Tasso appealed to the mercy of Alfonso, in a canzone of great beauty,... and ... in another ode to the princesses, whose pity he invoked in the name of their own mother, who had herself known, if not the like horrors, the like solitude of imprisonment, and bitterness of soul, made a similar appeal. (See Life of Tasso, by John Black. 1810, ii. 64, 408.) Black prints the canzone in full; Solerti (Vita, etc., i. 316-318) gives selections.]