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THE SONNET.
213
NIGHT AND DEATH.
Mysterious Night! when our first parent knew Thee from report divine, and heard thy name, Did he not tremble for this lovely frame,
This glorious canopy of white and blue ?
Yet 'neath a curtain of translucent dew,
Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame, Hesperus with the host of heaven came,
And lo ! Creation widened, widened in man's view,
Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed Within thy beams, O Sun ! or who could find
Whilst fly and leaf and insect stood revealed, That to such countless orbs thou mad'st us blind !
Why do we then shun Death with anxious strife ?
If Light can thus deceive, wherefore not Life ?
J. Blanco White.
Note, in the following example, which forms the introduction to the Prisoner of Chillon, a third rhyme is introduced into the octave.
CHILLON.
Eternal spirit of the chainless mind!
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty ! thou art,
For there thy habitation is the heartó The heart which love of thee alone can bind; And when thy sons to fetters are consignedó
To fetters and the damp vaults' dayless gloom,
Their country conquers with their martyrdom, And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind. Chillon ! thy prison is a holy place,
And thy sad floor an altar, for 'twas trod, Until his very steps have left a trace
Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod, By Bonnivard ! May none those marks efface T
For they appeal from tyranny to God.
Byron.