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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/39

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THE PRISONER OF CHILLON.





I.

My hair is grey, but not with years,
Nor grew it white
In a single night,[1]
As men's have grown from sudden fears:
My limbs are bowed, though not with toil,
But rusted with a vile repose,[2]
For they have been a dungeon's spoil,
And mine has been the fate of those
To whom the goodly earth and air
Are banned,[3] and barred—forbidden fare;10
But this was for my father's faith

I suffered chains and courted death;
  1. Ludovico Sforza, and others.—The same is asserted of Marie Antoinette's, the wife of Louis the Sixteenth, though not in quite so short a period. Grief is said to have the same effect; to such, and not to fear, this change in hers was to be attributed.

    [It has been said that the Queen's hair turned grey during the return from Varennes to Paris; but Carlyle (French Revolution, 1839, i. 182) notes that as early as May 4, 1789, on the occasion of the assembly of the States-General, "Her hair is already grey with many cares and crosses."

    Compare "Thy father's beard is turned white with the news" (Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV., act ii. sc. 4, line 345); and—

    "For deadly fear can time outgo,
    And blanch at once the hair."

    Marmion, Canto I. stanza xxviii. lines 19, 20.]

  2. But with the inward waste of grief.—[MS.]
  3. [The N. Engl. Dict., art. "Ban," gives this passage as the earliest instance of the use of the verb "to ban" in the sense of "to interdict, to prohibit." Exception was taken to this use of the word in the Crit. Rev., 1817, Series V. vol. iv, p. 571.]