Sonnet (suggested by the description of Rochester in Chapter 37)

by Paul Hamiltion Payne

He stands beneath the bleak, bare Heavens alone,
The baffled passions smouldering in his face,
Hopeless of mercy and apart from grace,
And rigid as some monument of stone;
All but his innate manhood overthrown,
That iron Hardihood which turns on Fate,
Uplifts the Despot's gauntlet -- fronts his hate,
With fiery eyes unquailing as his own;
Within, the maddening sorrows chafe and swell,
The pent volcano stirs its depths of fire,
But the firm lips are voiceless, and the knell
Of love, and hope, and the consuming ire
Of thwarted longing, find nor word nor groan,
O! Man, that stand'st beneath the Heavens alone!