We could not move a single pace,50
We could not see each other's face,
But with that pale and livid light
That made us strangers in our sight:
And thus together—yet apart,
Fettered in hand, but joined in heart,
'Twas still some solace in the dearth
Of the pure elements of earth,
To hearken to each other's speech,
And each turn comforter to each
With some new hope, or legend old,60
Or song heroically bold;
But even these at length grew cold.
Our voices took a dreary tone,
An echo of the dungeon stone,
A grating sound, not full and free,
As they of yore were wont to be:
It might be fancy—but to me
They never sounded like our own.
I was the eldest of the three,
And to uphold and cheer the rest70
I ought to do—and did my best—
And each did well in his degree.
The youngest, whom my father loved,
Because our mother's brow was given
To him, with eyes as blue as heaven—
For him my soul was sorely moved:
And truly might it be distressed
- —— pined in heart.—[Editions 1816-1837.]
- [Compare, for similarity of sound—
"Thou tree of covert and of rest
For this young Bird that is distrest."
Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle, by W. Wordsworth,
Works, 1889, p. 364.
"She came into the cave, but it was merely
To see her bird reposing in his nest."
Don Juan, Canto II. stanza clxviii. lines 3, 4.]