The Works of the Right Honourable Lord Byron
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: LARA. CANTO I. The Serfs are glad through Lara's wide domain, And Slavery half forgets her feudal chain; He, their unhoped, but unforgotten lord, The long self-exiled chieftain is restored: There be bright faces in the busy hall, Bowls on the board, and banners on the wall; Far chequering o'er the pictured window, plays The unwonted faggots' hospitable blaze; And gay retainers gather round the hearth, 9 With tongues all loudness, and with eyes all mirth. The chief of Lara is returned again: And why had Lara crossed the bounding main? Left by his sire, too young such loss to know, Lord of himself;?that heritage of woe, That fearful empire which the human breast But holds to rob the heart within of rest!? With none to check, and few to point in time The thousand paths that slope the way to crime; Then, when he most required commandment then Had Lara's daring boyhood governed men. 20 It skills not, boots not step by step to trace His youth through all the mazes of its race; Short was the course his restlessness had run, But long enough to leave him half undone. And Lara left in youth his father-land; But from the hour he waved his parting hand Each trace waxed fainter of his course, till all Had nearly ceased his memory to recall. His sire was dust, his vassals could declare, 'Twas all they knew, that Lara was not there; 30 Nor sent, nor came he, till conjecture grew Cold in the many, anxious in the few. His hall scarce echoes with his wonted name, His portrait darkens in its fading frame, Another chief consoled his destined bride, The young forgot him, and the old had died; Yet doth he live! exclaims the impatient heir, And sighs for sables which he must not wear. A hundred scutcheons deck with gloomy grace The Laras' ...
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