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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/53

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23
THE PRISONER OF CHILLON.

IX.

What next befell me then and there
I know not well—I never knew—
First came the loss of light, and air,
And then of darkness too:
I had no thought, no feeling—none—
Among the stones I stood a stone,[1]
And was, scarce conscious what I wist,
As shrubless crags within the mist;
For all was blank, and bleak, and grey;
It was not night—it was not day;240
It was not even the dungeon-light,
So hateful to my heavy sight,
But vacancy absorbing space,
And fixedness—without a place;
There were no stars—no earth—no time—
No check—no change—no good—no crime—
But silence, and a stirless breath
Which neither was of life nor death;
A sea of stagnant idleness,
Blind, boundless, mute, and motionless!250


X.

A light broke in upon my brain,—
It was the carol of a bird;
It ceased, and then it came again,
The sweetest song ear ever heard,
And mine was thankful till my eyes
Ran over with the glad surprise,
And they that moment could not see
I was the mate of misery;
But then by dull degrees came back
My senses to their wonted track;260
I saw the dungeon walls and floor
Close slowly round me as before,
I saw the glimmer of the sun

Creeping as it before had done,
  1. [Compare—

    "I wept not; so all stone I felt within."

    Dante's Inferno, xxxiii. 47 (Cary's translation).]