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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/66

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36
POEMS OF JULY—SEPTEMBER, 1816.

III.

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
There was an ancient mansion, and before
Its walls there was a steed caparisoned:
Within an antique Oratory stood
The Boy of whom I spake;—he was alone,[1]
And pale, and pacing to and fro: anon80
He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced
Words which I could not guess of; then he leaned
His bowed head on his hands, and shook as 'twere
With a convulsion—then arose again,
And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear
What he had written, but he shed no tears.
And he did calm himself, and fix his brow
Into a kind of quiet: as he paused,
The Lady of his love re-entered there;
She was serene and smiling then, and yet90
She knew she was by him beloved—she knew,
For quickly comes such knowledge,[2] that his heart
Was darkened with her shadow, and she saw
That he was wretched, but she saw not all.
He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp
He took her hand; a moment o'er his face
A tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced, and then it faded, as it came;
He dropped the hand he held, and with slow steps
Retired, but not as bidding her adieu,100
For they did part with mutual smiles; he passed

From out the massy gate of that old Hall,

    view.... Mary Chaworth, in fact, was looking for her lover's steed along the road as it winds up the common from Hucknall."—"A Byronian Ramble," Athenæum, No. 357, August 30, 1834.]

  1. [Moore (Life, p. 28) regards "the antique oratory," as a poetical equivalent for Annesley Hall; but vide ante, the Introduction to The Dream p. 31.]
  2. [Compare—

    "Love by the object loved is soon discerned."

    Story of Rimini, by Leigh Hunt, Canto III. ed. 1844, p. 22.

    The line does not occur in the first edition, published eaily in 1816, or, presumably, in the MS. read by Byron in the preceding year. (See Letter to Murray, November 4, 1815.)]