ARMIDA: Methought, 'twas gay enough.
ORAZIO: Now, I did not.
'Twas dull: all men spoke slow and emptily.
Strange things were said by accident. Their tongues
Uttered wrong words: one fellow drank my death,
Meaning my health; another called for poison,
Instead of wine; and, as they spoke together,
Voices were heard, most loud, which no man owned:
There were more shadows too than there were men;
And all the air more dark and thick than night
Was heavy, as 'twere made of something more
Than living breaths. --
ARMIDA: Nay, you are ill, my lord:
'Tis merely melancholy.
ORAZIO: There were deep hollows
And pauses in their talk; and then, again,
On tale, and song, and jest, and laughter rang,
Like a fiend's gallop. By my ghost, 'tis strange.
ORAZIO: I'll speak again:
This rocky wall's great silence frightens me,
Like a dead giant's.
Methought I heard a sound: but all is still.
This empty silence is so deadly low,
The very stir and winging of my thoughts
Make audible my being: every sense
Aches from its depth with hunger.
The pulse of time is stopped, and night's blind sun
Sheds its black light, the ashes of noon's beams,
On this forgotten tower, whose ugly round,
Amid the fluency of brilliant morn,
Hoops in a blot of parenthetic night,
Like ink upon the crystal page of day,
Crossing its joy! But now some lamp awakes,
And, with the venom of a basilisk's wink,
Burns the dark winds. Who comes?
-- From "The Second Brother," in The Poetical Works of Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Vol II. J. M. Dent and Co. London, 1890.