"And who has known me shrink from truth or pain?
"Thou shalt not pine in solitude, sweet bird!
"Ere long I'll warm thee in my breast again—
"Honour at stake, it were degrading thee
"Here to remain in soft captivity,
"Thou would'st despise me were I meanly driven
"To slight the promise to my comrades given.—
"Our schemes concerted, stratagems arranged
"Were lost, undone, if now my purpose changed—
"The spoil before us, and my craven hand
"Not stretch to grasp it, nor to wield my brand—
"As from my soul all firmness were exiled;
"O! that were weakness might disgrace a child.
"But one short hour shall raise its shadowy screen,
"Me and the light of those dear eyes between;
"That past, existence shall be one sweet dream,
"Still lit, still gilded by love's brightest beam.
"Behold, how rapidly the storm-clouds roll
"From heaven's blue face, like shrivelled leaf or scroll.
"The deep-toned thunder booms not on the breeze,
"The tempest sings not through the tamarind trees;
"The soft, transparent air with perfumes sweet
"Just stirs the ripplets murmuring at our feet.
"Each star has set in heaven its urn of light.
"And lo! that black cloud wears a border white;
"While all beyond it is of silver—soon
"Shall night behold upon her throne, the moon—
"One hour her progress shall but scarcely tell
"Ere I return—no more—to say farewell."