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Which burned within him, withering up his prime,
And goading him like fiends from land to land.
Not his the load of any secret crime,

For nought of ill his heart could understand,
But pity and wild sorrow for the same;
Not his the thirst for glory or command

Baffled with blast of hope-consuming shame;
Nor evil joys which fire the vulgar breast,
And quench in speedy smoke its feeble flame,

Had left within his soul the dark unrest:
Nor what religion fables of the grave
Feared he, Philosophy's accepted guest.

For none than he a purer heart could have,
Or that loved good more for itself alone;

Of nought in heaven or earth was he the slave.

What sorrow, strange and shadowy and unknown,
Sent him a hopeless wanderer through mankind?
If with a human sadness he did groan,

He had a gentle yet aspiring mind,
Just, innocent, with varied learning fed ;-
And such a glorious consolation find

In others' joy when all their own is dead.

He loved and laboured for his kind in grief; And yet, unlike all others, it is said

That from such toil he never found relief.
Although a child of fortune and of power,
Of an ancestral name the orphan chief,

His soul had wedded Wisdom, and her dower
Is love and justice; clothed in which he sate
Apart from men, as in a lonely tower,

Pitying the tumult of their dark estate.

Yet even in youth did he not e'er abuse

The strength of wealth or thought, to consecrate

Those false opinions which the harsh rich use

To blind the world they famish for their pride;

Nor did he hold from any man his dues,

But, like a steward in honest dealings tried, With those who toiled and wept, the poor and wise, His riches and his cares he did divide.

Fearless he was, and scorning all disguise;

What he dared do or think, though men might start, He spoke with mild yet unaverted eyes.

Liberal he was of soul, and frank of heart,
And to his many friends-all loved him well-
Whate'er he knew or felt he would impart,

If words he found those inmost thoughts to tell;
If not, he smiled or wept.-And his weak foes
He neither spurned nor hated: though with fell

And mortal hate their thousand voices rose,
They passed like aimless arrows from his ear.
Nor did his heart or mind its portal close

To those or them, or any whom life's sphere
May comprehend within its wide array.—
What sadness made that vernal spirit sere?

He knew not. Though his life day after day
Was failing like an unreplenished stream;
Though in his eyes a cloud and burthen lay

Through which his soul, like Vesper's serene beam
Piercing the chasms of ever-rising clouds,
Shone, softly burning; though his lips did seem

Like reeds which quiver in impetuous floods,
And through his sleep and o'er each waking hour
Thoughts after thoughts, unresting multitudes,

Were driven within him by some secret power

Which bade them blaze and live and roll afar (Like lights and sounds from haunted tower to tower

O'er castled mountains borne when tempest's war Is levied by the night-contending winds,

And the pale dalesmen watch with eager ear);

Though such were in his spirit, as the fiends
Which wake and feed on everliving woe;

What was this grief which ne'er in other minds

A mirror found? He knew not-none could know. But on whoe'er might question him he turned The light of his frank eyes, as if to show

He knew not of the grief within that burned,

But asked forbearance with a mournful look;
Or spoke in words from which none ever learned

The cause of his disquietude; or shook
With spasms of silent passion; or turned pale:
So that his friends soon rarely undertook

To stir his secret pain without avail ;—

For all who knew and loved him then perceived That there was drawn an adamantine veil

Between his heart and mind,-both unrelieved Wrought in his brain and bosom separate strife. Some said that he was mad; others believed That memories of an antenatal life

Made this where now he dwelt a penal hell; And others said that such mysterious grief

From God's displeasure, like a darkness, fell On souls like his, which owned no higher law Than love,-love calm, steadfast, invincible

By mortal fear or supernatural awe.

And others: ""Tis the shadow of a dream Which the veiled eye of Memory never saw,

But through the soul's abyss, like some dark stream Through shattered mines and caverns underground, Rolls, shaking its foundations; and no beam

Of joy may rise but it is quenched and drowned
In the dim whirlpools of this dream obscure.
Soon its exhausted waters will have found

A lair of rest beneath thy spirit pure,
O Athanase! In one so good and great,
Evil or tumult cannot long endure."

So spake they, idly of another's state

Babbling vain words and fond philosophy : This was their consolation. Such debate

Men held with one another.

Nor did he,

Like one who labours with a human woe,

Decline this talk: as if its theme might be

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 cold;
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.

PART II.

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 noe

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 for ever 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 honoured 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 brief

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

An old man toiling up, a weary wight.
And soon within her hospitable hall

She saw his white hairs glittering in the light
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 kinds,

Thus through his age, dark, cold, and tempest-tossed,

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 now 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.

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