« PreviousContinue »
Her hair's long auburn waves down to her heel
Flow'd like an Alpine torrent which the sun Dyes with his morning light,-and would conceal
Her person if allow'd at large to run, And still they seem resentfully to feel
The silken fillet's curb, and sought to shun Their bonds whene'er some Zephyr caught began To offer his young pinion as her fan.
Round her she made an atmosphere of life,
The very air seem'd lighter from her eyes, They were so soft and beautiful, and rife
With all we can imagine of the skies,
Too pure even for the purest human ties;
Her eyelashes, though dark as night, were tinged
(It is the country's custom), but in vain ; For those large black eyes were so blackly fringed,
The glossy rebels mock'd the jetty stain, And in their native beauty stood avenged :
Her nails were touch'd with henna; but again The power of art was turn’d to nothing, for They could not look more rosy than before.
(DON JUAN, Canto xv. Stanzas 43-47.)
And then there was—but why should I go on,
Of the best class, and better than her class, Aurora Raby, a young star who shone
O'er life, too sweet an image for such glass,
Rich, noble, but an orphan : left an only
Child to the care of guardians good and kind ; But still her aspect had an air so lonely!
Blood is not water; and where shall we find Feelings of youth like those which overthrown lie
By death, when we are left, alas ! behind,
Early in years, and yet more infantine
In figure, she had something of sublime
All youth—but with an aspect beyond time ; Radiant and grave—as pitying man's decline ;
Mournful—but mournful of another's crime, She look'd as if she sate by Eden's door, And grieved for those who could return no more. She was a Catholic, too, sincere, austere,
As far as her own gentle heart allow'd,
Perhaps because 'twas fall’n : her sires were proud Of deeds and days when they had filld the ear
Of nations, and had never bent or bow'd To novel power; and as she was the last, She held their old faith and old feelings fast.
She gazed upon a world she scarcely knew,
As seeking not to know it; silent, lone, As grows a flower, thus quietly she grew,
And kept her heart serene within its zone. There was awe in the homage which she drew ;
Her spirit seem'd as seated on a throne Apart from the surrounding world, and strong In its own strength-most strange in one so young !