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Of his transcendent genius. Through the groups | A little reddening at his public state, ---
Of gayly vestured artists moved the Count,

Unseemly to his near and recent loss, —
As some lone cloud of thick and leaden hue,

Withdrew in haste between the downcast eyes Packed with the secret of a coming storm,

That did him reverence as he rustled by. Moves through the gold and criinson evening mists,

Night fell on Padua. In the chapel lay Deadening their splendor. In a moment still The Countess Laura at the altar's foot. Was Carlo's voice, and still the prattling crowd; Her coronet glittered on her pallid brows; And a great shadow overwhelmed them all, A crimson pall, weighed down with golden work, As their white faces and their anxious eyes Sown thick with pearls, and heaped with early Pursued Fernando in his moody walk.

flowers, He paused, as one who balances a doubt, Draped her still body almost to the chin; Weighing two courses, then burst out with this : And over all a thousand candles flamed Ye all have seen the tidings in my face ; | Against the winking jewels, or streained down Or has the dial ceased to register

The marble aisle, and flashed along the guard The workings of my heart? Then hear the bell, Of men-at-arms that slowly wove their turns, That almost cracks its frame in utterance; Backward and forward, through the distant The Countess, - she is dead !” “Dead !” Carlo

gloon. groaned.

When Carlo entered, his unsteady feet And if a bolt from middle heaven had struck Scarce bore him to the altar, and his head His splendid features full upon the brow, | Drooped down so low that all his shining curls He could not have appeared more scathed and Poured on his breast, and veiled his countenance. blanched.

Upon his easel a half-finished work, “Dead ! — dead !" He staggered to his easel. The secret labor of his studio, frame,

Said from the canvas, so that none might err, And clung around it, buffeting the air

“I am the Countess Laura." Carlo kneeled, With one wild arm, as though a drowning man And gazed upon the picture ; as if thus, Hung to a spar and fought against the waves. | Through those clear eyes, he saw the way to The Count resumed : “I came not here to grieve, heaven. Nor see my sorrow in another's eyes.

Then he arose ; and as a swimmer comes Who 'll paint the Countess, as she lies to-night Forth from the waves, he shook his locks aside, In state within the chapel ? Shall it be

Emerging from his dreain, and standing firm That earth must lose her wholly ? that no hint Upon a purpose with his sovereign will. Of her gold tresses, beaming eyes, and lips He took his palette, murmuring, “Not yet!” That talked in silence, and the eager soul Confidingly and softly to the corpse; That ever seemed outbreaking through her clay, And as the veriest drudge, who plies his art And scattering glory round it, — shall all these Against his fancy, he addressed himself Be dull corruption's heritage, and we,

With stolid resolution to his task, Poor beggars, have no legacy to show

Turning his vision on his memory, That love she bore us? That were shame to love, And shutting out the present, till the dead, And shame to you, my masters." Carlo stalked The gilded pall, the lights, the pacing gnard, Forth from his easel stiflly as a thing

And all the meaning of that solemn scene Moved by mechanic impulse. His thin lips, Became as nothing, and creative Art And sharpened nostrils, and wan, sunken cheeks, Resolved the whole to chaos, and reformed And the cold glimmer in his dusky eyes, The elements according to her law : Made him a ghastly sight. The throng drew So Carlo wrought, as though his eye and hand back

Were Heaven's unconscious instruments, and As though they let a specter through. Then he worked Fronting the Count, and speaking in a voice The settled purpose of Omnipotence. Sounding remote and hollow, made reply: And it was wondrous how the red, the white, Count, I shall paint the Countess. "T is my | The ocher, and the umber, and the blue, fate, —

From mottled blotches, hazy and opaque, Not pleasure, — no, nor duty." But the Count, Grew into rounded forms and sensuous lines ; Astray in woe, but understood assent,

How just beneath the Incid skin the blood Not the strange words that bore it ; and he flung Glimmered with warmth ; the scarlet lips apart His arm round Carlo, drew him to his breast, Bloomed with the moisture of the dews of life; And kissed his forehead. At which Carlo shrank; How the light glittered through and underneath Perhaps 't was at the honor. Then the Count, | The golden tresses, and the deep, soft eyes


Became intelligent with conscious thought, 1 A king has held my palette, a grand-duke
And somewhat troubled underneath the arch Has picked ny brush up, and a pope has begged
Of eyebrows but a little too intense

The favor of my presence in his Rome.
For perfect beauty; how the pose and poise I did not go ; I put my fortune by.
Of the lithe figure on its tiny foot

I need not ask you why : you knew too well, Suggested life just ceased from motion ; so It was but natural, it was no way strange, That any one might cry, in marveling joy,

That I should love you. Everything that saw, “That creature lives, --has senses, mind, a soul Or had its other senses, loved you, sweet, To win God's love or dare hell's subtleties !” And I among them. Martyr, holy saint, ---The artist paused. The ratifying “Good !” I see the halo curving round your head, Trembled upon his lips. He saw no touch | I loved you once ; but now I worship you, To give or soften. “ It is done,” he cried, - For the great deed that held my love aloof, “My task, my duty! Nothing now on earth And killed you in the action ! I absolve Can taunt me with a work left unfulfilled!” Your soul from any taint. For from the day The lofty flame, which bore him up so long Of that encounter by the fountain-side Died in the ashes of humanity;

Until this moment, never turned on me And the mere man rocked to and fro again Those tender eyes, unless they did a wrong Upon the center of his wavering heart.

To nature by the cold, defiant glare He put aside his palette, as if thus

With which they chilled me. Never heard I He stepped from sacred vestments, and assumed word A mortal function in the common world. Of softness spoken by those gentle lips; “Now for my rights !” he muttered, and ap- Never received a bounty from that hand proached

Which gave to all the world. I know the cause. The noble body. “O lily of the world! You did your duty, — not for honor's sake, So withered, yet so lovely! what wast thou Nor to save sin or suffering or remorse, To those who came thus near thee - for I stood Or all the ghosts that haunt a woman's shame, Without the pale of thy half-royal rank - But for the sake of that pure, loyal love When thou wast budding, and the streams of Your husband bore you. Queen, by grace of God, life

I bow before the luster of your throne ! Made eager struggles to maintain thy bloom, I kiss the edges of your garment-hem, And gladdened heaven dropped down in gracious And hold myself ennobled! Answer me, dews

If I had wronged you, you would answer me On its transplanted darling? Hear me now! Out of the dusty porches of the tomb :I say this but in justice, not in pride,

Is this a dream, a falsehood ? or have I Not to insult thy high nobility,

Spoken the very truth?” “The very truth !". But that the poise of things in God's own sight | A voice replied ; and at his side he saw May be adjusted ; and hereafter I

A form, half shadow and half substance, stand, May urge a claim that all the powers of heaven Or, rather, rest ; for on the solid earth Shall sanction, and with clarions blow abroad. - It had no footing, more than some dense mist Laura, you loved me! Look not so severe, That wavers o'er the surface of the ground With your cold brows, and deadly, close-drawn It scarcely touches. With a reverent look lips !

The shadow's waste and wretched face was bent
You proved it, Countess, when you died for it, - Above the picture ; as though greater awe
Let it consume you in the wearing strife

Subdued its awful being, and appalled,
It fought with duty in your ravaged heart. With memories of terrible delight
I knew it ever since that summer day

And fearful wonder, its devouring gaze.
I painted Lila, the pale beggar's child,

“You make what God makes, — beauty," said At rest beside the fountain ; when I felt

the shape. O Heaven !--- the warmth and moisture of your “ And might not this, this second Eve, console breath

The emptiest heart? Will not this thing outlast Blow through my hair, as with your eager soul - The fairest creature fashioned in the flesh ? Forgetting soul and body go as one

Before that figure, Time, and Death himself, You leaned across my easel till our cheeks - Stand baffled and disarmed. What would you ask Ah me! 't was not your purpose — touched, and More than God's power, from nothing to create!" clung!

The artist gazed upon the boding form, Well, grant 't was genius ; and is genius naught? And answered : “Goblin, if you had a heart, I ween it wears as proud a diadem -

| That were an idle question. What to me Here, in this very world — as that you wear. | Is my creative power, bereft of love?

Or what to God would be that selfsame power, Your mystic person nor your dreadful power. If so bereaved ?” “And yet the love, thus Nor shall I now invoke God's potent name mourned,

For my deliverance from your toils. I stand You calmly forfeited. For had you said

Upon the founded structure of his law, To living Laura – in her burning ears

Established from the first, and thence defy One half that you professed to Laura dead, Your arts, reposing all my trust in that !" She would have been your own. These contraries The darkness eddied off ; and Carlo saw Sort not with my intelligence. But speak, The figure gathering, as from outer space, Were Laura living, would the same stale play | Brightness on brightness; and his forner shape Of raging passion tearing out its heart

Fell from him, like the ashes that fall off, Upon the rock of duty be performed ?"

And show a core of mellow fire within. “The same, O phantom, while the heart I bear Adown his wings there poured a lambent flood, Trembled, but turned not its magnetic faith That seemed as molten gold, which plashing fell From God's fixed center.” “If I wake for you Upon the Hoor, enringing him with flame; This Laura, - give her all the bloom and glow | And o'er the tresses of his beaming head Of that midsummer day you hold so dear, - Arose a stream of many colored light, The smile, the motion, the impulsive soul, Like that which crowns the morning. Carlo stood The love of genius, – yea, the very love, Steadfast, for all the splendor, reaching up The mortal, hungry, passionate, hot love, The outstretched palms of his untainted soul She bore you, flesh to flesh, — would you receive Towards heaven for strength. A moment thus ; That gift, in all its glory, at my hands ?"

then asked, A smile of malice curled the tempter's lips, With reverential wonder quivering through And glittered in the caverns of his eyes, His sinking voice, “Who, spirit, and what, art Mocking the answer. Carlo paled and shook; thou ?" A wofulspasm went shuddering through his frame, "Jam that blessing which men fly from, -- Death.” Curdling his blood, and twisting his fair face “Then take my hand, if so God orders it; With nameless torture. But he cried aloud, For Laura waits me.” “But, bethink thee, man, Out of the clouds of anguish, from the smoke What the world loses in the loss of thee! Of very martyrdom, “O God, she is thine ! | What wondrous art will suffer with eclipse ! Do with her at thy pleasure !” Something grand, What unwon glories are in store for thee ! And radiant as a sunbeam, touched the head What fame, outreaching time and temporal shocks, He bent in awful sorrow. “Mortal, see —”. Would shine upon the letters of thy name “Dare not! As Christ was sinless, I abjure Graven in marble, or the brazen height These vile abominations! Shall she bear Of columns wise with memories of thee!” Life's burden twice, and life's temptations twice, / " Take me! If I outlived the Patriarchs, While God is justice ?” “Who has made you I could but paint those features o'er and o'er : judge

Lo! that is done." A smile of pity lit Of what you call God's good, and what you think The seraph's features, as he looked to heaven,, God's evil? One to him, the source of both, With deep inquiry in his tender eyes. The God of good and of permitted ill. . The mandate came. He touched with downy wing Have you no dream of days that might have been, The sufferer lightly on his aching heart; Had you and Laura filled another fate? - And gently, as the skylark settles down Some cottage on the sloping Apennines, Upon the clustered treasures of her nest, Roses and lilies, and the rest all love ?

| So Carlo softly slid along the prop I tell you that this tranquil dream may be Of his tall easel, nestling at the foot Filled to repletion. Speak, and in the shade | As though he slumbered ; and the morning broke Of my dark pinions I shall bear you hence, In silver whiteness over Padua. And land you where the mountain-goat himself Struggles for footing." He outspread his wings, And all the chapel darkened, as though hell Had swallowed up the tapers ; and the air

Grew thick, and, like a current sensible,

Flowed round the person, with a wash and dash,
As of the waters of a nether sea.

SCENE, a room in the Tower. Enter CLARENCE Slowly and calmly through the dense obscure,

and BRAKENBURY. Dove-like and gentle, rose the artist's voice : BRAKENBURY. Why looks your grace so heav“I dare not bring her spirit to that shame!

ily to-day? Know my full meaning, — I who neither fear | CLARENCE. O, I have passed a miserable night,


So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights, “Clarence is come, — false, fleeting, perjured That, as I am a Christian faithful man,

Clarence, I would not spend another such a night, That stabbed me in the field by Tewksbury; Though 't were to buy a world of happy days; Seize on him, Furies, take him to your torments!" So full of dismal terror was the time.

With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends BRAK. What was your dream, my lord ? I pray Environed me, and howlèd in mine ears you, tell me.

Such hideous cries, that with the very noise CLAR. Methought that I had broken from the I trembling waked, and, for a season after, Tower,

Could not believe but that I was in hell, And was embarked to cross to Burgundy; Such terrible impression made my dream. And in my company, my brother Gloster,

Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches : thence we looked toward Eng.

And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster, 'T was in the prime of summer time,
That had befallen us. As we paced along

An evening calm and cool,
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,

And four-and-twenty happy boys Methought that Gloster stumbled; and, in fall. Came bounding out of school ; ing,

There were some that ran, and some that leapt
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard, Like troutlets in a pool.
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
O heaven! methought what pain it was to drown ! | Away they sped with gamesome minds
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears ! And souls untouched by sin ;
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes! To a level mead they came, and there
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks; | They drave the wickets in :
A thousand men, that fishes gnawed upon; Pleasantly shone the setting sun
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl, Over the town of Lynn.
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scattered in the bottom of the sea.

Like sportive deer they coursed about,
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in those holes And shouted as they ran,
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept Turning to mirth all things of earth
(As 't were in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems,

As only boyhood can;
That wooed the slimy bottom of the deep, | But the usher sat remote from all,
And mocked the dead bones that lay scattered by. A melancholy man!
BRAK. Had you such leisure in the time of

His hat was off, his vest apart,

To catch heaven's blessed breeze;
To gaze upon these secrets of the deep ?
CLAR. Methought I had : and often did I strive

ive For a burning thought was in his brow,

And his bosom ill at ease ; To yield the ghost : but still the envious flood

So he leaned his head on his hands, and read Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth

The book between his knees.
To seek the empty, vast, and wandering air ;
But smothered it within my panting bulk,

Leaf after leaf he turned it o'er,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.

Nor ever glanced aside, – BRAK. Awaked you not with this sore agony?r.

For the peace of his soul he read that book CLAP. O, no, my dream was lengthened after

In the golden eventide ; life,

Much study had made him very lean,
O, then began the tempest to my soul !

And pale, and leaden-eyed.
I passed, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that grim ferryman which poets write of, At last he shut the ponderous tome ;
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.

With a fast and fervent grasp
The first that there did greet my stranger soul, He strained the dusky covers close,
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick, | And fixed the brazen hasp :
Who cried aloud, “What scourge for perjury "O God ! could I so close my mind,
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ?" And clasp it with a clasp !”
And so he vanished : then came wandering by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair Then leaping on his feet upright,
Dabbled in blood; and he shrieked out aloud, 1 Some moody turns he took, —

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And how the sprites of injured men

Shriek upward from the sod ;
Ay, how the ghostly hand will point

To show the burial clod ;
And unknown facts of guilty acts

Are seen in dreams from God.

He told how murderers walk the earth

Beneath the curse of Cain, — With crimson clouds before their eyes,

And flames about their brain ; For blood has left upon their souls

Its everlasting stain !

“And now, from forth the frowning sky,

From the heaven's topmost height, I heard a voice, — the awful voice

Of the blood-avenging sprite : 'Thou guilty man! take up thy dead,

And hide it from my sight!'
" And I took the dreary body up,

And cast it in a stream, —
The sluggish water black as ink,

The depth was so extreme :
My gentle boy, remember, this

Is nothing but a dream ! “Down went the corse with a hollow plunge,

And vanished in the pool ;
Anon I cleansed my bloody hands,

And washed my forehead cool,
And sat among the urchins young,

That evening, in the school.

“ And well," quoth he, “I know for truth

Their pangs must be extreme Woe, woe, unutterable woe!

Who spill life's sacred stream. For why! Methought, last night I wrought

A murder, in a dream !

“One that had never done me wrong,

A feeble man and old ;
I led him to a lonely field, -

The moon shone clear and cold : Now here, said I, this man shall die,

And I will have his gold !

“O Heaven ! to think of their white souls,

And mine so black and grim!
I could not share in childish prayer,

Nor join in evening hymn;
Like a devil of the pit I seemed,

Mid holy cherubim !

“Two sudden blows with a ragged stick, .

And one with a heavy stone,
One hurried gash with a hasty knife, —

And then the deed was done :
There was nothing lying at my feet

But lifeless flesh and bone !

"And Peace went with them, one and all,

And each calm pillow spread ;
But Guilt was my grim chamberlain,

That lighted me to bed,

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