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THE VISION OF THE GIAOUR. “ Tell me no more of fancy's gleam, No, father, no, 'twas not a dream; Alas! the dreamer first must sleep, I only watched, and wished to weep; But could not, for my burning brow Throbbed 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. 'Twas then, I tell thee, father, then I saw her; yes, she lived again : And shining in her white symar, As through yon pale grey cloud the star Which now I gaze on, as on her, Who looked, 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 ; And rushing from my couch, I dart, And clasp her to my desperate heart; I clasp_what is it that I clasp ? No breathing form within my grasp,
No heart that beats reply to mine,
Fair clime! where every season smiles Benignant o'er those blessed isles,
Which, seen from far Colonna's height,
The maid for whom his melody,
His thousand songs are heard on high, Blooms blushing to her lover's tale : His queen, the garden queen, his Rose, Unbent by winds, unchill’d by snows, Far from the winters of the west, By every breeze and season blest, Returns the sweets by nature given In softest incense back to heaven; And grateful yields that smiling sky Her faifest hue and fragrant sigh. And many a summer flower is there, And many a shade that love might share, And many a grotto, meant for rest, That holds the pirate for a guest ; Whose bark in shelter'd cove below Lurks for the passing peaceful prow, Till the gay mariner's guitar Is heard, and seen the evening star;
Then stealing with the muffled oar, Far shaded by the rocky shore, Rush the night-prowlers on the prey, And turn to groans his roundelay. Strange—that where Nature loved to trace, As if for gods, a dwelling-place, And every charm and grace hath mixed Within the paradise she fixed, There man, enamoured of distress, Should mar it into wilderness, And trample, brute-like, o'er each flower That tasks not one laborious hour; Nor claims the culture of his hand To bloom along the fairy land, But springs as to preclude his care, And sweetly woos him—but to spare ! Strange-that where all is peace beside There passion riots in her pride, And lust and rapine wildly reign To darken o'er the fair domain. It is as though the fiends prevail'd Against the seraphs they assail'd, And, fixed on heavenly thrones, should dwell The freed inheritors of hell; So soft the scene, so formed for joy, So curst the tyrants that destroy !
He who hath bent him o'er the dead Ere the first day of death is fled, The first dark day of nothingness, The last of danger and distress, (Before Decay's effacing fingers Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,) And mark'd the mild angelic air, The rapture of repose that's there,
The fixed yet tender traits that streak
That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now,
And but for that chill changeless brow,
Clime of the unforgotten brave !
Say, is not this Thermopylæ ?