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LOVE AND MADNESS; AN ELEGY, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Hark! From the battlements of yonder tower
Last Line: "where, lulled to slumber, grief forgets to mourn!"
Subject(s): Mourning; Bereavement

Hark! from the battlements of yonder tower
The solemn bell has tolled the midnight hour!
Roused from drear visions of distempered sleep,
Poor B -- k wakes -- in solitude to weep!

"Cease, Memory, cease (the friendless mourner cried)
To probe the bosom too severely tried!
Oh! ever cease, my pensive thoughts, to stray
Through the bright fields of Fortune's better day,
When youthful HOPE, the music of the mind,
Tuned all its charms, and E -- n was kind!

"Yet, can I cease, while glows this trembling frame,
In sighs to speak thy melancholy name?
I hear thy spirit wail in every storm!
In midnight shades I view thy passing form!
Pale as in that sad hour when doomed to feel,
Deep in thy perjured heart, the bloody steel!

"Demons of Vengeance! ye at whose command
I grasped the sword with more than woman's hand,
Say ye, did Pity's trembling voice control,
Or horror damp the purpose of my soul?
No! my wild heart sat smiling o'er the plan,
Till Hate fulfilled what baffled Love began!

"Yes; let the clay-cold breast that never knew
One tender pang to generous Nature true,
Half-mingling pity with the gall of scorn,
Condemn this heart, that bled in love forlorn!

"And ye, proud fair, whose soul no gladness warms,
Save Rapture's homage to your conscious charms!
Delighted idols of a gaudy train,
Ill can your blunter feelings guess the pain,
When the fond faithful heart, inspired to prove
Friendship refined, the calm delight of Love,
Feels all its tender strings with anguish torn,
And bleeds at perjured Pride's inhuman scorn!

"Say, then, did pitying Heaven condemn the deed,
When Vengeance bade thee, faithless lover! bleed?
Long had I watched thy dark foreboding brow,
What time thy bosom scorned its dearest vow!
Sad, though I wept the friend, the lover changed,
Still thy cold look was scornful and estranged,
Till from thy pity, love, and shelter thrown,
I wandered hopeless, friendless, and alone!

"Oh! righteous Heaven! 'twas then my tortured soul
First gave to wrath unlimited control!
Adieu the silent look! the streaming eye!
The murmured plaint! the deep heart-heaving sigh!
Long-slumbering Vengeance wakes to better deeds;
He shrieks, he falls, the perjured lover bleeds!
Now the last laugh of agony is o'er,
And pale in blood he sleeps, to wake no more!

"'Tis done! the flame of hate no longer burns:
Nature relents, but, ah! too late returns!
Why does my soul this gush of fondness feel?
Trembling and faint, I drop the guilty steel!
Cold on my heart the hand of terror lies,
And shares of horror close my languid eyes!

"Oh! 'twas a deed of Murder's deepest grain!
Could B -- k's soul so true to wrath remain?
A friend long true, a once fond lover fell! --
Where Love was fostered could not Pity dwell?

"Unhappy youth! while yon pale crescent glows
To watch on silent Nature's deep repose,
Thy sleepless spirit, breathing from the tomb,
Foretells my fate, and summons me to come!
Once more I see thy sheeted spectre stand,
Roll the dim eye, and wave the paly hand!

"Soon may this fluttering spark of vital flame
Forsake its languid melancholy frame!
Soon may these eyes their trembling lustre close,
Welcome the dreamless night of long repose!
Soon may this wo-worn spirit seek the bourne
Where, lulled to slumber, Grief forgets to mourn!"

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