Mask hearts where Grief hath little left to learn;
And many a withering thought lies hid, not lost,
In smiles that 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,1810
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 lulled 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 confessed without relieving pain.
None saw his trickling tears—perchance, if seen,1820
That useless flood of grief had never been:
Nor long they flowed—he dried them to depart,
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 formed for softness—warped to wrong,
Betrayed too early, and beguiled too long;1831
- And the night cometh—'tis the same to him.—[MS.]
- [Stanza xxiii. is not in the MS. It was forwarded on a separate sheet, with the following directions:—
(1814, January 10, 11.) "Let the following lines be sent