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Pleasure's pall’d victim ! life-abhorring gloom
LXXXIV. Still he beheld, nor mingled with the throng; But view'd them not with misanthropic hate : Fain would he now have join'd the dance, the song; But who may smile that sinks beneath his fate? Nought that he saw his sadness could abate: Yet once he struggled 'gainst the demon's sway, And as in Beauty's bower he pensive sate,
Pour'd forth this unpremeditated lay, To charms as fair as those that soothed his happier day.
Nay, smile not at my sullen brow,
Alas! I cannot smile again;
Shouldst weep, and haply weep in vain.
And dost thou ask, what secret wo
I bear, corroding joy and youth? And wilt thou vainly seek to know
A pang, ev'n thou must fail to soothe?
It is not love, it is not hate,
Nor low Ambition's honours lost, That bids me loathe my present state,
And fly from all I prized the most:
It is that weariness which springs
From all I meet, or hear, or see: To me no pleasure Beauty brings ;
Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.
It is that settled, ceaseless gloom
The fabled Hebrew wanderer bore; That will not look beyond the tomb,
But cannot hope for rest before.
What Exile from himself can flee?
To Zones, though more and more remote, Still. still pursues, where-e'er I be,
The blight of life-the demon Thought.
And taste of all that I forsake;
And ne'er, at least like me, awake!
Through many a clime 'tis mine to go,
With many a retrospection curst; ·
What is that worst? Nay do not ask
In pity from the search forbear:
Man's heart, and view the Hell that's there.
LXXXV. Adieu, fair Cadiz! yea, a long adieu ! Who may forget how well thy walls have stood ? When all were changing thou alone wert true, First to be free and last to be subdued : And if amidst a scene, a shock so rude, Some native blood was seen thy streets to dye; A traitor only fell beneath the feud: (17) Here all were noble, save Nobility; None hugg'd a Conqueror's chain, save fallen Chivalry!
Back to the struggle, baffled in the strife,
LXXXVII. Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know, Go, read whate'er is writ of bloodiest strife : Whate'er keen Vengeance urged on foreign foe . Can act, is acting there against man's life: From flashing scimitar to secret knife, War mouldeth there each weapon to his need So may he guard the sister and the wife,
So may he make each curst oppressor bleed, So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed !
Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe: Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw!
Repairs the wrongs that Quito's sons sustain'd,
Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil,
While Glory crowns so many a meaner crest!