The Misanthrope by Henry Halloran

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Dark as the raven's wing his hair --
And dark as night his haughty brow --
His piercing eyes like meteors glare --
And sternly, on the world's vain show,
He turns their searching glance:- e'en now   
I mark his wild phrenetic mood --
I hear the deep and bitter curse
He breathes upon the universe,
And its demoniac brood.  

Atossa died -- and he has felt; --
Friends have betrayed -- and he has sigh'd;--
The joys on which his fancy dwelt  
Have perish'd-and a tow'ring pride,
And high disdain, now seem to guide  
His solitary wanderings:
Amidst the mountain crags he roams --
Or plunges wherw the whirlpool foams --
Or muses where the death-owl sings.  

The fountains of his tears are dry --
The feelings of his heart have fled --
But, rankling in his memory,
He bears the scorn the world has shed,
The calumnies that man has spread,
To blight his injur'd, ruin'd name:
No social feelings now can charm --  
No mirth excite, no fear alarm,
His heart-where dwells hate's quenchless flame.  

E'en when a child, his spirit spurn'd
To mingle with the heartless throng;
To wildest solitudes he turn'd,
With feelings deep, refin'd, and strong: --
He brooded o'er the deathless song   
Of ancient bards-and, as his mind
Drank inspiration from their verse,
He with their spirits would converse,
And wander, proud and unconfin'd.  

His friends were few-yet one he lov'd --  
And she was nature's fairest child:  
Thro' wilds their kindred spirits rov'd --
For minds, bv slavery undefil'd,   
Will ever seek their native wild.
She perish'd!-he ne'er wept, nor sigh'd --
For noble souls disdain to show  
Their deep, corroding, madd'ning woe,
Or bear the pitying scorn of pride.

But Malice rear'd her gorgon crest,
And Calumny anssail'd his fame;
And fiends who friendship once profest,
Heap'd odium on his injur'd name,
And strove to couple it with shame:--
His high unshackled spirit spurns
The visor'd world's hypocrisy --   
Its sneer, its scorn, its artful lie, --
But with a deathless hatred burns.

First published
in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 2 July 1831

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 2, 2012 8:26 AM.

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