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Another, not himself, he to and fro

Questioned and canvassed it with subtlest wit,
And none but those who loved him best could know

That which he knew not, how it galled and bit
His weary mind, this converse vain and ecld;
For like an eyeless nightmare grief did sit

Upon his being; a snake which fold by fold
Pressed out the life of life, a clinging fiend
Which clenched him if he stirred with deadlier
hold ; —

And so his grief remained - let it remain — untold.


Prince Athanase had one beloved friend,
An old, old man, with hair of silver white,

And lips where heavenly smiles would hang and blend

With his wise words, and eyes whose arrowy light
Shone like the reflex of a thousand minds.
He was the last whom superstition's blight

Had spared in Greece — the blight that cramps and blinds

And in his olive bower at Œnoe

Had sate from earliest youth. Like one who finds

A fertile island in the barren sea,

One mariner who has survived his mates

Many a drear month in a great ship — so he

With soul-sustaining songs, and sweet debates
Of ancient lore there fed his lonely being.
"The mind becomes that which it contemplates,"

And thus Zonoras, by forever seeing
Their bright creations, grew like wisest men ;
And when he heard the crash of nations fleeing

A bloodier power than ruled thy ruins then,
O sacred Hellas! many weary years
He wandered, till the path of Laian's glen

Was grass-grown, and the unremembered tears
Were dry in Laian for their honored chief,
Who fell in Byzant, pierced by Moslem spears;

And as the lady looked with faithful grief
From her high lattice o'er the rugged path,
Where she once saw that horseman toil, with

An old man toiling up, a weary wight;
And soon within her hospitable hall
She saw his white hairs glittering in the light

And blighting hope, who with the news of death Struck body and soul as with a mortal blight, She saw beneath the chestnuts, far beneath,

Of the wood-fire, and round his shoulders fall;
And his wan visage and his withered mien
Yet calm and gentle and majestical.

And Athanase, her child, who must have been
Then three years old, sate opposite and gazed
In patient silence.

Such was Zonoras; and as daylight finds
One amaranth glittering on the path of frost,
When autumn nights have nipped all weaker

Thus through his age, dark, cold, and tempesttossed,

Shone truth upon Zonoras; and he filled
From fountains pure, nigh overgrown and lost,

The spirit of Prince Athanase, a child,
With soul-sustaining songs of ancient lore
And philosophic wisdom, clear and mild.

And sweet and subtle talk they evermore,
The pupil and the master, shared; until,
Sharing that undiminishable store,

The youth, as shadows on a grassy hill
Outrun the winds that chase them, soon outran
His teacher, and did teach with native skill

Strange truths and new to that experienced man; Still they were friends, as few have ever been Who mark the extremes of life's discordant span.

41 One, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || An, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.
43 through, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || had, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.
49 they, Mrs. Shelley, 1824 || now, Mrs. Shelley, 18391.
51 that, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || the, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

So in the caverns of the forest green,
Or by the rocks of echoing ocean hoar,
Zonoras and Prince Athanase were seen

By summer woodmen ; and when winter's roar
Sounded o'er earth and sea its blast of war,
The Balearic fisher, driven from shore,

Hanging upon the peaked wave afar,

Then saw their lamp from Laian's turret gleam, Piercing the stormy darkness like a star

Which pours beyond the sea one steadfast beam,
Whilst all the constellations of the sky
Seemed reeling through the storm. They did but


For, lo! the wintry clouds are all gone by, And bright Arcturus through yon pines is glowing,

And far o'er southern waves, immovably

Belted Orion hangs warm light is flowing From the young moon into the sunset's chasm. "O summer eve with power divine, bestowing


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"On thine own bird the sweet enthusiasm Which overflows in notes of liquid gladness, Filling the sky like light! How many a spasm

58 So, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || And, Mrs. Shelley, 1824. 75 eve, Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || night, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

"Of fevered brains, oppressed with grief and mad


Were lulled by thee, delightful nightingale !
And these soft waves, murmuring a gentle sadness,

"And the far sighings of yon piny dale Made vocal by some wind we feel not here, I bear alone what nothing may avail

“To lighten a strange load!"- No human ear Heard this lament; but o'er the visage wan Of Athanase a ruffling atmosphere

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Of dark emotion, a swift shadow, ran,
Like wind upon some forest-bosomed lake,
Glassy and dark. And that divine old man

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Beheld his mystic friend's whole being shake,
Even where its inmost depths were gloomiest;
And with a calm and measured voice he spake,

And with a soft and equal pressure, pressed
That cold, lean hand: -"Dost thou remember yet,
When the curved moon, then lingering in the west,

"Paused in yon waves her mighty horns to wet, How in those beams we walked, half resting on the sea?

sure thou dost not forget

'Tis just one year
"Then Plato's words of light in thee and me
Lingered like moonlight in the moonless east;
For we had just then read thy memory


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