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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/64

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34
POEMS OF JULY—SEPTEMBER, 1816.

With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh[1]
I would recall a vision which I dreamed
Perchance in sleep—for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.[2]


II.

I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
Green and of mild declivity, the last
As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such,30
Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
But a most living landscape, and the wave
Of woods and cornfields, and the abodes of men
Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke
Arising from such rustic roofs;—the hill
Was crowned with a peculiar diadem
Of trees, in circular array, so fixed,
Not by the sport of nature, but of man:
These two, a maiden and a youth, were there
Gazing—the one on all that was beneath40
Fair as herself—but the Boy gazed on her;
And both were young, and one was beautiful:
And both were young—yet not alike in youth.
As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge,
The Maid was on the eve of Womanhood;
The Boy had fewer summers, but his heart
Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye
There was but one belovéd face on earth,
And that was shining on him: he had looked
Upon it till it could not pass away;50
He had no breath, no being, but in hers;

She was his voice; he did not speak to her,
  1. [Compare Childe Harold, Canto III stanza vi. lines 1-4, note, Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 219.]
  2. [Compare—

    "With us acts are exempt from time, and we
    Can crowd eternity into an hour."

    Cain, act i. sc. 1.]