He ask'd no question-all were answer'd now By the first glance on that still, marble brow. It was enough - she died - what reck'd it how? The love of youth, the hope of better years, The source of softest wishes, tenderest fears, The only living thing he could not hate, Was reft at once - and he deserved his fate, But did not feel it less;- the good explore, For peace, those realms where guilt can never soar: The proud, the wayward - who have fix'd below Their joy, and find this earth enough for woe, Lose in that one their all - perchance a mite - But who in patience parts with all delight? Full many a stoic eye and aspect stern Mask hearts where grief hath little left to learn; And many a withering thought lies hid, not lost In smiles tha't least befit who wear them most.
By those, that deepest feel, Is ill exprest The indistinctness of the suffering breast; Where thousand thoughts begin to end in one, Which seeks from all the refuge found in none; No words suffice the secret soul to show, For Truth denies all eloquence to Woe. On Conrad's stricken soul exhaustion prest, And stupor almost lull'd it into rest; So feeble now - his mother's softness crept To those wild eyes, which like an infant's wept: It was the very weakness of his brain, Which thus confess'd without relieving pain. None saw his trickling tears - perchance if seen, That useless flood of grief had never been: Nor long they flow'd - he dried them to In helpless -hopeless - brokenness of heart: The sun goes forth, but Conrad's day is dim; And the night cometh - ne'er to pass from him. There is no darkness like the cloud of mind, On Grief's vain eye - the blindest of the blind! Which may not - dare not see but turns aside To blackest shade - nor will endure a guide!
His heart was form'd for softness - warp'd to wrong; Betray'd too early, and beguiled too long; Each feeling pure - as falls the dropping dew Within the grot - like that had harden'd too; Less clear perchance, its earthly trials pass'd, But sunk, and chill'd, and petrified at last. Yet tempests wear, and lightning cleaves the rock; If such his heart, so shatter'd it the shock. There grew one flower beneath its rugged brow, Though dark the shade - it shelter'd - saved till now. The thunder came - that bolt hath blasted both, The Granite's firmness, and the Lily' growth: The gentle plant hath left no leaf to tell Its tale, but shrunk and wither'd where it fell And of its cold protector, blacken round But shiver'd fragments on the barren ground!
'Tis morn - to venture on his lonely hour Few dare; though now Anselmo sought his tower. He was not there, nor seen along the shore; Ere night, alarm'd, their isle is traversed o'er: Another morn - another bids them seek, And shout his name till echo waxeth weak; Mount: grotto, cavern, valley search'd in vain, They find on shore a sea-boat's broken chain: Their hope revives-they follow o'er the main. 'Tis idle all - moons roll on moons away, And Conrad comes not, came not since that day: Nor trace, nor tidings of his doom declare Where lives his grief, or perish'd his despair! Long mourn'd his band whom none could mourn beside; And fair the monument they gave his bride: For him they raise not the recording stone - His death yet dubious, deeds too widely known; He left a Corsair's name to other times, Link'd with one virtue, and a thousand crimes.