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His doon, was seal'd he knew it well,
Warn'd by he voice of stern Taheer,
Deep in whoe darkly boding ear
The deathshow peal'd of murder near,
As filed the roop to where they fell!
He died too in the battle broil,
A time that heels nor pain nor toil;
One cry to Mahonet for aid,
One prayer to Alla all he made:
He knew and cross'd me in the fray
I gazed upon him where he lay,
And watch'd his spirit ebb away:
Though pierced like pard by hunters'
He felt not half that now I feel.
I search'd, but vainly search'd, to find
The workings of a wounded mind;
Each feature of that sullen corse
Betray'd his rage, but no remorse.
Oh, what had Vengeance given to trace
Despair upon his dying face!
The late repentance of that hour,
When Penitence hath lost her power
To tear one terror from the grave,
And will not soothe, and cannot save.
She was a form of life and light,
That, seen, became a part of sight;
And rose, where'er I turn'd mine eye,
The Morning-star of Memory!
'Yes, Love indeed is light from heaven;
A spark of that immortal fire
With angels shared, by Alla given,
The cold in clime are cold in blood,
Their love can scarce deserve the name; But mine was like a lava flood
To lift from earth our low desire.
Devotion wafts the mind above,
But Heaven itself descends in love;
A feeling from the Godhead caught,
To wean from self each sordid thought;
A Ray of him who form'd the whole;
A Glory circling round the soul!
I grant my love imperfect, all
That mortals by the name miscall;
Then deem it evil, what thou wilt;
But say, oh say, hers was not guilt!
She was my life's unerring light:
That quench'd, what beam shall break my
That boils in Etna's breast of flame.
I cannot prate in puling strain
Of ladye-love, and beauty's chain:
If changing cheek, and scorching vein,
Lips taught to writhe, but not complain,
If bursting heart, and madd'ning brain,
And daring deed, and vengeful steel,
And all that I have felt, and feel,
that love was mine,
And shown by many a bitter sign.
"T is true, I could not whine nor sigh,
I knew but to obtain or die.
I die but first I have possess'd,
And come what may, I have been blest.
Shall I the doom I sought upbraid?
No-reft of all, yet undismay'd
But for the thought of Leila slain,
Give me the pleasure with the pain,
So would I live and love again.
I grieve, but not, my holy guide!
For him who dies, but her who died:
She sleeps beneath the wandering wave —
Ah! had she but an earthly grave,
This breaking heart and throbbing head
Should seek and share her narrow bed.
Oh! would it shone to lead me still,
Although to death or deadliest ill!
Why marvel ye, if they who lose
This present joy, this future hope,
No more with sorrow meekly cope;
In phrensy then their fate accuse;
In madness do those fearful deeds
That seem to add but guilt to woe?
Alas! the breast that inly bleeds
Hath nought to dread from outward blow:
Who falls from all he knows of bliss,
Cares little into what abyss.
Fierce as the gloomy vulture's now
To thee, old man, my
I read abhorrence on thy brow,
And this too was I born to bear!
'Tis true, that, like that bird of prey,
With havoc have I mark'd my way:
But this was taught me by the dove,
To die and know no second love.
This lesson yet hath man to learn,
Taught by the thing he dares to spurn:
The bird that sings within the brake,
The swan that swims upon the lake,
One mate, and one alone, will take.
And let the fool, still prone to range
And sneer on all who cannot change,
Partake his jest with boasting boys;
I envy not his varied joys,
But deem such feeble, heartless man
Less than yon solitary swan;
Far, far beneath the shallow maid
He left believing and betray'd.
Such shame at least was never mine- 1180
Leila! each thought was only thine!
My good, my guilt, my weal, my woe,
My hope on high- my all below.
Earth holds no other like to thee,
Or, if it doth, in vain for me:
For worlds I dare not view the dame
Resembling thee, yet not the same.
The very crimes that mar my youth,
This bed of death-attest my truth!
"T is all too late thou wert, thou art
The cherish'd madness of my heart !
And she was lost — and yet I breathed, But not the breath of human life: A serpent round my heart was wreathed,
And stung my every thought to strife.
Alike all time abhorr'd, all place,
Shuddering I shrunk from Nature's face,
Where every hue that charm'd before
The blackness of my bosom wore.
The rest thou dost already know,
And all my sins, and half my woe.
But talk no more of penitence;
Thou see'st I soon shall part from hence:
And if thy holy tale were true,
The deed that's done canst thou undo?
Think me not thankless but this grief
Looks not to priesthood for relief.
My soul's estate in secret guess:
But wouldst thou pity more, say less.
When thou canst bid my Leila live,
Then will I sue thee to forgive;
Then plead my cause in that high place
Where purchased masses proffer grace.
Go, when the hunter's hand hath wrung
From forest-cave her shrieking young,
And calm the lonely lioness:
But soothe not
mock not my distress!
In earlier days, and calmer hours, When heart with heart delights to blend, Where bloom my native valley's bowers
I had Ah! have I now? - a friend! To him this pledge I charge thee send, Memorial of a youthful vow; I would remind him of my end:
Though souls absorb'd like mine allow Brief thought to distant friendship's claim, Yet dear to him my blighted name. "T is strange - he prophesied my doom,
And I have smiled - I then could smile — When Prudence would his voice assume, And warn-I reck'd not what- the while:
'Tell me no more of fancy's gleam,
No, father, no, 't was not a dream;
Alas! the dreamer first must sleep,
I only watch'd, and wish'd to weep;
But could not, for my burning brow
Throbb'd to the very brain as now:
I wish'd but for a single tear,
As something welcome, new, and dear:
I wish'd it then, I wish it still;
Despair is stronger than my will.
Waste not thine orison, despair
Is mightier than thy pious prayer:
I would not, if I might, be blest;
I want no paradise, but rest.
"T was then, I tell thee, father! then
I saw her; yes, she lived again;
And shining in her white symar,
As through yon pale gray cloud the star
Which now I gaze on, as on her,
Who look'd and looks far lovelier;
Dimly I view its trembling spark;
To-morrow's night shall be more dark;
And I, before its rays appear,
That lifeless thing the living fear.
I wander, father! for my soul
Is fleeting towards the final goal.
I saw her, friar! and I rose
Forgetful of our former woes;
I knew 't was false she could not
But he is dead! within the dell
I saw him buried where he fell;
He comes not, for he cannot break
From earth; why then art thou awake?
They told me wild waves roll'd above
The face I view, the form I love;
They told me 't was a hideous tale!
I'd tell it, but my tongue would fail:
If true, and from thine ocean-cave
Thou com'st to claim a calmer grave,
Oh! pass thy dewy fingers o'er
This brow that then will burn no more;
Or place them on my hopeless heart:
But, shape or shade! whate'er thou art,
In mercy ne'er again depart!
Or farther with thee bear my soul
Than winds can waft or waters roll!
'Such is my name, and such my tale. Confessor to thy secret ear I breathe the sorrows I bewail,
And thank thee for the generous tear This glazing eye could never shed. Then lay me with the humblest dead, And, save the cross above my head, Be neither name nor emblem spread, By prying stranger to be read, Or stay the passing pilgrim's tread.'
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine? "T is the clime of the East; 't is the land of the Sun
Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done?
Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell.
'Son of a slave,' the Pacha said, 'From unbelieving mother bred, Vain were a father's hope to see Aught that beseems a man in thee. Thou, when thine arm should bend the bow,
And hurl the dart, and curb the steed, Thou, Greek in soul if not in creed, Must pore where babbling waters flow, And watch unfolding roses blow. Would that yon orb, whose matin glow Thy listless eyes so much admire, Would lend thee something of his fire! Thou, who wouldst see this battlement By Christian cannon piecemeal rent; Nay, tamely view old Stambol's wall Before the dogs of Moscow fall, Nor strike one stroke for life and death Against the curs of Nazareth! Go-let thy less than woman's hand Assume the distaff. not the brand. But, Haroun ! to my daughter speed: And bark of thine own head take heed
If thus Zuleika oft takes wing
Thou see'st yon bow it hath a string!'
No sound from Selim's lip was heard,
At least that met old Giaffir's ear,
But every frown and every word
Pierced keener than a Christian sword.
'Son of a slave! reproach'd with
Those gibes had cost another dear. 110
Son of a slave!— and who my sire?' Thus held his thoughts their dark career;
And glances ev'n of more than ire Flash forth, then faintly disappear. Old Giaffir gazed upon his son
And started; for within his eye He read how much his wrath had done;
He saw rebellion there begun.
'Come hither, boy-what, no reply? I mark thee - and I know thee too; 120 But there be deeds thou dar'st not do: But if thy beard had manlier length, And if thy hand had skill and strength, I'd joy to see thee break a lance, Albeit against my own perchance.'
As sneeringly these accents fell,
On Selim's eye he fiercely gazed:
That eye return'd him glance for
And proudly to his sire's was raised, Till Giaffir's quail'd and shrunk askance
And whyhe felt, but durst not tell. 'Much I misdoubt this wayward boy Will one day work me more annoy. I never loved him from his birth, And but his arm is little worth, And scarcely in the chase could cope With timid fawn or antelope, Far less would venture into strife Where man contends for fame and life I would not trust that look or tone: No, nor the blood so near my own. That blood - he hath not heard
I'll watch him closer than before.
He is an Arab to my sight,
Or Christian crouching in the fight
But hark! I hear Zuleika's voice;
Like Houris' hymn it meets mine ear:
She is the offspring of my choice;
Oh! more than ev'n her mother
With all to hope, and nought to fear
My Peri! ever welcome here !
Sweet as the desert fountain's wave
To lips just cool'd in time to save,
Such to my longing sight art thou; Nor can they waft to Mecca's shrine More thanks for life, than I for thine, Who blest thy birth and bless thee now.'