« AnteriorContinuar »
It was so wan, and transparent of hue,
You might have seen the moon shine through.
« I come from my rest to him I love best,
« That I may be happy, and he may be blest.
« 1 have passed the guards, the gate, the wall;
« Sought thee in safety through foes and all.
u "Tis said the lion will turn and flee
» From a maid in the pride of her purity;
« And the power on high, that can shield the good
<< Thus from the tyrant of the wood,
« Hath extended its mercy to guard me as well
« From the hands of the leaguering Infidel.
« I come—and if I come in vain,
« Never, oh never, we meet again!
« Thou hast done a fearful deed
« In falling away from thy father's creed:
« But dash that turban to earth, and sign
i< The sign of the cross; and for ever be mine;
« Wring the black drop from thy heart,
« And to-morrow unites us no more to pail. «
« And where should our bridal couch be spread?
« In the midst of the dying and the dead?
« For to-morrow we give to the slaughter and flame
« The sons and the shrines of the Christian name.
« None, save thou and ihine, I've sworn,
« Shall be left upon the morn:
« liut thee will I bear to a lovely spot,
n Where our hands shall be joined, and our sorrow forgot
« There thou yet shall be my bride,
« When once again I've quelled the pride
« Of Venice; and her hated race
Upon his hand she laid her own—
Light was the touch, but it thrilled to the bone,
And shot a dullness to his heart,
Which fixed him beyond the power to start.
Though slight was that grasp so mortal cold,
He could not loose him from its hold;
But never d id clasp of one so dear
Strike on the pulse with such feeling of fear,
As those thin fingers, long and white,
Froze through his blood by their touch that night.
The feverish glow of his brow was gone,
And his heart sank so still that it felt like stone,
As he looked on the face, and beheld its hue
So deeply changed from what he knew:
Fair but faint—without the ray
Of mind, that made each feature play
Like sparkling waves on a sunny day;
And her motionless lips lay still as death,
And her words came forth without her breath,
And there rose not a heave o'er her bosom's swell,
And there seemed not a pulse in her veins to dwell.
Though her eye shone out, yet the lids were fixed,
And the glance that it gave was wild and unmixed
With aught of change, as the eyes may seem
Of the restless who walk in a troubled dream;
Like the figures on arras, that gloomily glace,
Stirred by the breath of the wintry air,
So seen by the dying lamp's fitful light,
Lifeless, but life-like, and awful to sight;
As they seem, through the dimness, about to come do.
u If not for love of me be given
« Thus much, then, for the love of heaven,—
« Again I say—that turban tear
« From off thy faithless brow, and swear
« Thine injured country's sons to spare,
« Or thou art lost; and never shah see
« Not earth—that's past-1—but heaven or me.
« If this thou dost accord, albeit
« A heavy doom 'tis thine to meet,
« That doom shall half absolve thy sin,
« And mercy's gate may receive thee within:
« But pause one moment more, and take
« The curse of him thou didst forsake;
« And look once more to heaven, and see
« Its love for ever shut from thee.
« There is a light cloud by the moon—'
« 'Tis passing, and will pass full soon— ,
« If, by the time its vapoury sail
« Hath ceased her shaded orb to veil,
« Thy heart within thee is not changed,
« Then God and man are both avenged;
« Dark will thy doom be, darker still
« Thine immortality of ill. »
Alp looked to heaven, and saw on high
This first false passion of his breast
Rolled like a torrent o'er the rest.
He sue for mercy! He dismayed
By wild words of a timid maid!
He, wronged by Venice, vow to save
Her sons, devoted to the grave!
No—though that cloud were thunder's Avorst,
And charged to crush him—let it burst!
He looked upon it earnestly,
Without an accent of reply;
He watched it passing; it is flown:
Full on his eye the clear moon shone,
And thus he spake—« Whate'er my fate,
« I am no changeling—'tis too late:
« The reed in storms may bow and quiver,
« Then rise again; the tree must shiver.
n What Venice made me, I must be,
« Her foe in all, save love to thee:
« But thou art safe: oh ! fly with me! »
He turned, but she is gone!
Nothing is there but the column stone.
Hath she sunk in the earth, or melted in air?
He saw not, he knew not; but nothing is there.
The night is past, and shines the sun
And the neigh of the steed, and the multitude's hum,
And the clash, and the shout, ' they come, they come!'
The horsetails8 are plucked from the ground, and ihe swoid
From its sheath; and they form, and hut wait for the word.
Tartar, and Spahi, and Turcoman,
Strike your tents, and throng to the van;
Mount ye, spur ye, skirr the plain,
That the fugitive may flee in vain,
When he breaks from the town; and none escape,
Aged or young, in the Christian shape;
While your fellows on foot, in a fiery mass,
Bloodstain the breach through which they pass.
The steeds are all bridled, and snort to the rein;
Curved is each neck, and flowing each mane;
White is the foam of their champ on the bit;
The spears are uplifted; the matches are lit;
The cannon are pointed, and ready to roar.
And crush the wall they have crumbled before:
Forms in his phalanx each Janizar;
Alp at their bead; his right arm is bare,
So is the blade of his scimitar;
The khan and the pachas are all at their post;
The vizier himself at the head of the host.
When the culverin's signal is fired, then on;
Leave not in Corinth a living one—
A priest at her altars, a chief in her balls,
A hearth in her mansions, a stone on her walls.
God and the prophet—Alla Hu!
Up to the skies with that wild halloo!
« There the breach lies for passage, the ladder to scale;
« And your hands on yoursabres, and how should ye fail?
« He who first downs with the red cross may crave
« His heart's dearest wish; let him ask it, and Lave! »