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LARA: CANTO THE FIRST (EXCERPT), published 1814 LARA: CANTO THE FIRST (EXCERPT), published 1814 XVII In him inexplicably mix'd appear'd Much to be lov'd and hated, sought and fear'd. Opinion varying o'er his hidden lot, In praise or railing ne'er his name forgot; His silence form'd a theme for others' prate; They guess'd--they gaz'd--they fain would know his fate. What had he been? what was he, thus unknown, Who walk'd their world, his lineage only known? A hater of his kind? yet some would say, With them he could seem gay amidst the gay; But own'd that smile, if oft observ'd and near, Wan'd in its mirth and wither'd to a sneer; That smile might reach his lip but pass'd not by, None e'er could trace its laughter to his eye. Yet there was softness too in his regard, At times, a heart as not by nature hard, But once perceiv'd, his spirit seem'd to chide Such weakness as unworthy of its pride, And steel'd itself, as scorning to redeem One doubt from others' half withheld esteem; In self-inflicted penance of a breast Which tenderness might once have wrung from rest; In vigilance of grief that would compel The soul to hate for having lov'd too well.
Apr 18, 2008 1:39 PM
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