Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

37.

38.

33.

42.

40.

36.

Harold, Canto 2d. I was at some pains to question To wander round lost Eblis' throne. the man, and he described the dresses, arms, and

Page 114, line 64. marks of the horses of our party so accurately, that, Eblis, the Oriental Prince of Darkness.

with other circumstances, we could not doubt of his having been in " villainous company," and ourselves in a bad neighborhood. Dervish became a

soothsayer for life, and I dare say is now hearing But first, on earth, as vampire sent.

more musketry than ever will be fired, to the great

Page 114, line 69. refreshment of the Arnaouts of Berat, and his naThe Vampire superstition is still general in the tive mountains.-I shall mention one trait more of Levant. Honest Tournefort tells a long story, which this singular race. In March, 1811, a remarkably Mr. Southey, in the notes on Thalaba, quotes, about stout and active Arnaout came (I believe the tenth these “ Vroucolochas," as he calls them. The Ro- on the same errand) to offer himself as an attendmaic term is “Vardoulacha.” I recollect a whole ant, which was declined: “ Well, Affendi," quoth family being terrified by the scream of a child, he, “may you live !--you would have found me usewhich they imagined must proceed from such a visi- ful. I shall leave the town for the hills to-morrow, tation. The Greeks never mention the word with- in the winter I return, perhaps you will then receive out horror. I find that “Broucolokas ” is an old me.”-Dervish, who was present, remarked, as a legitimate Hellenic appellation-at least is so ap- thing of course, and of no consequence, “ In the plied to Arsenius, who, according to the Greeks, mean time he will join the Klephtes,”' (robbers,) was after his death animated by the Devil.--The which was true to the letter.--If not cut off, they moderns, however, use the word I mention. come down in the winter, and pass it unmolested

in some town, where they are often as well known

as their exploits. Wet with thine own best blood shall drip.

41. Page 114, line 95.

Looks not to priesthood for relief. The freshness of the face, and the wetness of the

Page 117, line 126. lip with blood, are the never-failing signs of a Vam-The monk's sermon is omitted. It seems to have pire. The stories told in Hungary and Greece of had so little effect upon the patient, that it could these foul feeders are singular, and soine of them have no hopes from the reader. It may be sufficient most incredibly attested.

to say, that it was of a customary length (as may be perceived from the interruptions and uneasiness

of the penitent,) and was delivered in the nasal It is as if the desert-bird.

tone of all orthodox preachers.

Page 116, line 7. The pelican is, I believe, the bird so libelled, by the imputation of feeding her chickens with her

And shining in her white symar. blood.

Page 118, line 59.

“Symar”-shroud. Deep in whose darkly boding ear. .

43. Page 116, line 129.

Page 118, line 121. This superstition of a second-hearing (for I never The circumstance to which the above story remet with downright second-sight in the east) fell (lates was not very uncommon in Turkey. A few once under my own observation. On my third years ago the wife of Muchtar Pacha complained to journey to Cape Colonna early in 1811, as we passed his father of his son's supposed infidelity; he asked through the defile that leads from the hamlet be- with whom, and she had the barbarity to give in a tween Keratiar and Colonna, I observed Dervish list of the twelve handsomest women in Yanina. Tahiri riding rather out of the path, and leaning They were seized, fastened up in sacks, and drownhis head upon his hand, as if in pain. I rode up ed in the lake the same night! One of the guards and inquired. “We are in peril,” he answered. who was present informed me, that not one of the "What peril? we are not now in Albania, nor in victims uttered a cry, or showed a symptom of terthe passes to Ephesus, Messalunghi, or Lepanto; ror at so sudden a "wrench from all we know, from there are plenty of us, well armned, and the Choriates all we love." The fate of Phrosine, the fairest of have not courage to be thieves."-" True, Affendi, this sacrifice, is the subject of many a Romaic and but nevertheless the shot is ringing in my ears." Arnaout ditty. The story in the 6The shot! not a tophaike has been fired this of a young Venetian many years ago, and now morning."-"I hear it notwithstanding--Bom-nearly forgotten. I heard it by accident recited by Bom-as plainly as I hear your voice."-7 Pshaw." one of the coffee-house story-tellers who abound in “ As you please, Affendi ; if it is written, so will it the Levant, and sing or recite their narratives. be." -I left this quick-eared predestinarian, and The additions and interpolations by the translator rode up to Basili, his Christian compatriot, whose will be easily distinguished from the rest by the ears, though not at all prophetic, by no means rel-want of Eastern imagery; and I regret that my ished the intelligence. We all arrived at Colonna, memory has retained so few fragments of the origiremained some hours, and returned leisurely, say- nal. ing a variety of brilliant things, in more languages For the contents of some the notes I am indebted than spoiled the building of Babel, upon the mis- partly to D'Herbelot, and partly to that most easttaken seer; Romaic, Arnaout, Turkish, Italian, ern, and, as Mr. Weber justly entitles it, “ sublime and English were all exercised, in various conceits, tale," the “ Caliph Vathek." I do not know from upo

n. While we were what source the author of that singular volume contemplating the beautiful prospect, Dervish was may have drawn his materials; some of his incioccupied about the columns. I thought he was de- dents are to be found in the “ Bibliotheque Orienranged into an antiquarian, and asked him if he had tale; but for correctness of costume, beauty of become a. Palaosastro'm:un: “ No," said he, “but description, and power of imagination, it far surthese pillars will be useful in making a stand;" passes all European imitations; and bears such and added other remarks, which at least erinced his marks of originality, that those who have visited Own belief in his troublesome faculty of fore-hearing. the East, will find some difficulty in believing it to On our return to Athens, we heard from Leone (a be more than a translation. As an Eastern tale, prisoner set ashore some days after) of the intended) even Rasselas must bow before it; his " Happy attack of the Mainotes, mentioned, with the cause Valley ” will not bear a comparison with the “Hall of its not taking place, in the notes to Childe 'of Eblis."

[ocr errors]

THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS;

A TURKISH TALE.

Had we never loved so kindly,
Had we never lovedl so blindly,
Never met or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hcarted.

BURNS.

TO

THE RIGHT HONORABLE LORD HOLLAND,

THIS TALE IS INSCRIBED,

WITH EVERY SENTIMENT OF REGARD AND RESPECT, BY HIS GRATEFULLY OBLIGED

AND SINCERE FRIEND,

BYRON.

CANTO I.

Old Giaffir sat in his Divan:
Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle Deep thought was in his aged eye;

Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime, And though the face of Mussulman
Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle, Not oft betrays to standers by

Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime? The mind within, well skill'd to hide Know ye the land of the cedar and vine,

All but unconquerable pride, Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever His pensive cheek and pondering brow shine;

Did more than he was wont avow. Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with perfume,

III. Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gúll in her bloom; “Let the chamber be clear'd.”—The train disap Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit,

pear'dd the voice of the nightingale never is mute; "Now call me the chief of the Haram guard.” Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, With Giaffir is none but his only son, In color though varied, in beauty may vie,

And the Nubian awaiting the sire's award. And the purple of ocean is deepest in dye;

"Haroun—when all the crowd that wait Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, Are pass'd beyond the outer gate, And all, save the spirit of man, is divine ?

(Wo to the head whose eye beheld 'Tis the clime of the East; 'tis the land of the sun My child Zuleika's face unveil'd!) Can he smile on such deeds as his children have Hence, lead my daughter from her tower; done ? ?

Her fate is fix'd this very hour : Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell

Yet not to her repeat my thought; Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which By me alone be duty taught!" they tell.

“Pacha! to hear is to obey." Begirt with many a gallant slave,

No more must slave to despot say~ Apparell'd as becomes the brave,

Then to the tower had ta'en his way,

But here young Selim silence brake, To guide his steps, or guard his rest,

First lowly rendering reverence meet;

II.

And downcast look'd and gently spake,

And glances even of more than ire
Still standing at the Pacha's feet:
For son of Moslem must expire,

Old Giaffir gazed upon his son
Ere dare to sit before his sire!

And started; for within his eye

He read how much his wrath hath done; “Father! for fear that thou shouldst chide

He saw rebellion there begun : My sister, or her sable guide,

“Come hither, boy-what, no reply? Know-for the fault, if fault there be,

I mark thee-and I know thee too; Was mine, then fall thy frowns on me

But there be deeds thou dar’st not do. So lovelily the morning shone,

But if thy beard had manlier length, That-let the old and weary sleep

And if thy hand had skill and strength, I could not; and to view alone

I'd joy to see thee break a lance,
The fairest scenes of land and deep,

Albeit against my own perchance"
With none to listen and reply
To thoughts with which my heart beat high As sneeringly these accents fell,
Were irksome-for whate'er my mood,

On Selim's eye he fiercely gazed: .
In sooth I love not solitude;

That eye return’d him glance for glance, I on Zuleika's slumber broke,

And proudly to his sire's was raised, And, as thou knowest that for me

Till Giaffir's quail'd and shrunk askance Soon turns the Haram's grating key,

And why-he felt, but durst not tell. Before the guardian slaves awoke

“Much I misdoubt this wayward boy We to the cypress groves had flown,

Will one day work me more annoy; And made carth, main, and heaven our own, I never loved him from his birth, There linger'd we, beguiled too long

And—but his arm is little worth, With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi's song; 3

And scarcely in the chase could cope Till I, who heard the deep tambour 4

With timid fawn or antelope, Beat thy Divan's approaching hour,

Far less would venture into strife To thee, and to my duty true,

Where man contends for fame and life Warn'd by the sound, to greet thee flew :

I would not trust that look or tone; But there Zuleika wanders yet,

No-nor the blood so near my own. Nay, father, rage not--nor forget

That blood-he hath not heard--10 more That none can pierce that secret bower

I'll watch him closer than before. But those who watch the women's tower."

He is an Arab 5 to my sight,

Or Christian crouching in the fight--
IV.

But hark !-I hear Zuleika's voice : “Son of a slave!”--the Pacha said

Like Houris' hymn it meets mine er: “From unbelieving mother bred,

She is the offspring of my choice; Vain were a father's hope to see

Oh! more than ev’n her mother dear,
Aught that beseems a man in thee.

With all to hope, and nought to fear--
Thou, when thine arm should bend the bow, My Peri! ever welcome here!
And hurl the dart, and curb the steed,

Sweet as the desert-fountain's wave
Thou, Greek in soul if not in creed,

To lips just cool'd in time to saveMust pore where babbling waters flow,

Such to my longing sight art thou ; And watch unfolding roses blow.

Nor can they waft to Mecca's shrine Would that yon orb, whose matin glow

More thanks for life, than I for thine, Thy listless eyes so much admire,

Who blest thy birth, and bless thee now! Would lend thee something of his fire! Thou, who wouldst see this battlement

VI. By Christian cannon piecemeal rent;

Fair, as the first that fell of womankind, Nay, tamely view old Stambol's wall

When on that dread yet lovely serpent smiling, Before the dogs of Moscow fall,

Whose image then was stamp'd upon her mindNor strike one stroke for life and death

But once beguiled—and ever more beguiling; Against the curs of Nazareth !

Dazzling, as that, oh! too transcendant vision Go-let thy less than woman's hand

To sorrow's phantom-peopled slumber given, Assume the distaff-not the brand.

When heart meets heart again in dreams Elysian, But, Haroun !--to my daughter speed :

And paints the lost on earth revived in heaven; And hark-of thine own head take heed

Soft, as the memory of buried love; If thus Zuleika oft takes wing

Pure, as the prayer which childhood wafts above; Thou seest yon bow-it hath a string !”

Was she-the daughter of this rude old chief,
Who met the maid with tears—but not of grief.

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's sword.
“Son of a slave !-reproach'd with fear!

Those gibes had cost another dear.
Son of a slave !--and who my sire?”

Thus held his thoughts their dark career ;

Who hath not proved how feebly words essay
To fix one spark of beauty's heavenly ray ?
Who doth not feel, until his failing sight
Faints into dimness with its own delight,
His changing cheek, his sinking heart confess
The might-the majesty of loveliness?
Such was Zuleika-such around her shone
The nameless charms unmark'd by her alone;

[ocr errors]

The light of love, the purity of grace,
The mind. the music breathing from her face, 6 His head was leant upon his hand,
The heart whose softness harmonized the whole

His eye look'd o'er the dark-blue water And, oh! that eye was in itself a soul !

That swiftly glides and gently swells

Between the winding Dardanelles ; Her graceful arms in meekness bending

But yet he saw nor sea nor strand, Across her gently budding breast;

Nor even his Pacha's turban'd band At one kind word those arms extending

Mix in the game of mimic slaughter, To clasp the neck of him who blest

Careering cleave the folded felt 13 His child caressing and carest,

With sabre stroke right sharply dealt; Zuleika came and Giaffir felt

Nor mark’d the javelin-darting crowd, His purpose half within him melt:

Nor heard their Ollahs 14 wild and lond Not that against her fancied weal

He thought but of old Giaffir's daughter . His heart though stern could ever feel ; Affection chain'd her to that heart;

X. Ambition tore the links apart.

No word from Selim's bosom broke;

One sigh Zuleika's thought bespoke:
VII.

Still gazed he through the lattice grate “ Zuleika! child of gentleness!

Pale, mute, and mournfully sedate. How dear this very day must tell,

To him Zuleika's eye was turn'd, When I forget my own distress,

But little from his aspect learn'd: In losing what I love so well,

Equal her grief, yet not the same; To bid thee with another dwell :

Her heart confess'd a gentler flame, Another! and a braver man

But yet that heart alarm'd or weak, Was never seen in battle's van.

She knew not why, forbade to speak We Moslem reck not much of blood;

Yet speak she must-but when essay ? But yet the line of Carasman?

"How strange he thus should turn away! Unchanged, unchangeable hath stood

Not thus we e'er before have met;

Not thus shall be our parting yet."
First of the bold Timariot bands
That won and well can keep their lands.

Thrice paced she slowly through the room, Enough that he who comes to woo

And watch'd his eye-it still was fix'd; Is kinsman of the Bey Oglou :

She snatch'd the urn wherein was mix'd His years need scarce a thought employ;

The Persian Atar-gul's 15 perfume; I would not have thee wed a boy.

And sprinkled all its odors o'er And thou shalt have a noble dower :

The pictured roof 16 and marble floor : And his and my united power

The drops, that through his glittering vest Will laugh to scorn the death-firman,

The playful girl's appeal addrest, Which others tremble but to scan.

Unheeded o'er his bosom flew, And teach the messenger 8 what fate

As if that breast were marble too. The bearer of such boon may wait.

“ What, sullen yet? it must not be And now thou know'st thy father's will ;

Oh! gentle Selim, this from thee!” All that thy sex hath need to know :

She saw in curious order set

The fairest flowers of Eastern land'Twas mine to teach obedience still The way to love thy lord may show.”

“ He loved them once; may touch them yet,

If offer'd by Zuleika's hand.”

The childish thought was hardly breath'd VIII.

Before the rose was pluck'd and wreathed: In silence bow'd the virgin's head;

The next fond moment saw her seat And if her eye was fill'd with tears,

Her fairy form at Selim's feet: That stifled feeling dare not shed,

“ This rose to calm my brother's cares And changed her cheek from pale to red,

A message from the Bulbul 17 bears; And red to pale, as through her ears

It says to-night he will prolong Those winged words like arrows sped,

For Selim's ear his sweetest song; What could such be but maiden fears?

And though his note is somewhat sad, So bright the tear in beauty's eye,

He'll try for once a strain more glad, Love half regrets to kiss it dry;

With some faint hope his alter'd lay
So sweet the blush of bashfulness,

May sing these gloomy thoughts away.
Even pity scarce can wish it less !
Whate'er it was the sire forgot;

XI.
Or if remember'd, mark'd it not:

" What! not receive my foolish flower ? Thrice clapp'd his hands, and call'd his steed, 9 Nay then I am indeed unblest: Resign’d his gem-adorn'd Chibouke, 10

On me can thus thy forehead lower ? And mounting featly for the mead,

And know'st thou not who loves thee best? With Maugrabee 11 and Mamaluke,

Oh, Selim dear! oh, more than dearest! His way amid his Delis took, 12

Say, is it me thou hat'st or fearest? To witness many an active deed

Come, lay thy head upon my breast, With sabre keen, and blunt jerreed.

And I will kiss thee into rest, The Kislar only and his Moors

Since words of mine, and songs must fail, Watch'd well the Haram's massy doors.

Even from my fabled nigtingale.

.

I knew our sire at times was stern,
But this from thee had yet to learn :
Too well I know he loves thee not;
But is Zuleika's love forgot ?
Ah! deem I right? the Pacha's plan-
This kinsman Bey of Carasman
l'erhaps may prove some foe of thine.
If so, I swear by Mecca's shrine,
If shrines that ne'er approach allow
To woman's step admit her vow,
Without thy free consent, command,
The Sultan should not have my hand !
Think'st thou that I could bear to part
With thee, and learn to halve my heart?
Ah! were I sever'd from thy side,
Where were thy friend-and who my guide ?
Years have not seen, time shall not see
The hour that tears my soul from thee:
Eren Azrael 18 from his deadly quiver

When flies that shaft, and fly it must,
That parts all else, shall doom for ever
Our hearts to undivided dust!"

I know the wretch who dares demana
From Giaffir thy reluctant hand;
More ill-got wealth, a meaner soul
Holds not a Musselims 20 control:
Was he not bred in Egripo ? 21
A viler race let Israel show!
But let that pass—to none be told
Our oath; the rest shall time unfold.
To me and mine leave Osman Bey;
I've partisans for peril's day:
Think not I am what I appear;
I've arms, and friends, and vengeance near

V

XIII.

XII. He lived-he breathed-he moved--he felt; He raised the maid from where she knelt; His trance was gone-his keen eye shone With thoughts that long in darkness dwelt; With thoughts that burn-in rays that melt. As the stream late conceal'd

By the fringe of its willows, When it rushes reveal'd

In the light of its billows; As the bolt bursts on high

From the black cloud that bound it, Flash'd the soul of that eye

Through the long lashes round it. A war-horse at the trumpet's sound, A lion roused by heedless hound, A tyrant waked to sudden strife By graze of ill-directed knife, Starts not to more convulsive life Than he, who heard that vow, display'd, And all, before repress'd, betray'd : “Now thou art mine, for ever mine, With life to keep, and scarce with life resign; Now thou art mine, that sacred oath, Though sworn by one, hath bound us both. Yes, fondly, wisely hast thou done; That vow hath saved more heads than one : But blench not thou-thy simplest tress Claims more from me than tenderness; I would not wrong the slenderest hair That cluster round thy forehead fair, For all the treasures buried far Within the caves of Istakar.19 This morning clouds upon me lower'd, Reproaches on my head were shower'd, And Giaffir almost called me coward ! Now I have motive to be brave; The son of his neglected slave, Nay, start not 'twas the term he gave, May show, though little apt to vaunt, A heart his words nor deeds can daunt. His son, indeed !-yet, thanks to thee, Perchance I am, at least shall be ; But let our plighted secret vow Be only known to us as now

" Think not thou art what thou appearest,

My Selim, thou art sadly changed :
This morn I saw thee gentlest, dearest;

But now thou’rt from thyself estranged
My love thou surely knew'st before,
It ne'er was less, nor can be more.
To see thee, hear thee, near thee stay,

And hate the night I know not why,
Save that we meet not but by day;
With thee to live, with thee to die,

I dare not to my hope deny:
Thy cheek, thine eyes, thy lips to kiss,
Like this—and this—no more than this ;
For, Alla! sure thy lips are flame:

What fever in thy veins is flushing ?
My own have nearly caught the same,

At least I feel my cheek too blushing.
To sooth thy sickness, watch thy health,
Partake, but never waste thy wealth,
Or stand with smiles unmurmuring by,
And lighten half thy poverty ;
Do all but close thy dying eye,
For that I could not live to try;
To these alone my thoughts aspire:
More can I do? or thou require ?
But, Selim, thou must answer why
We see so much of mystery ?
The cause I cannot dream nor tell,
But be it, since thou say'st 'tis well;
Yet what thou mean'st by (arms' and 'friends
Beyond my weaker sense extends.
I meant that Giaffir should have heard

The very vow I plighted thee;
His wrath would not revoke my word:

But surely he would leave me free.

Can this fond wish seem strange in me,
To be what I have ever been ?
What other hath Zuleika seen
From simple childhood's earliest hour?

What other can she seek to see
Than thee, companion of her bower,

The partner of her infancy?
These cherish'd thoughts with life begun,

Say, why must I no more avow ?
What change is wrought to make me shun

The truth; my pride, and thine till now?
To meet the gaze of stranger's eyes
Our law, our creed, our God denies ;
Nor shall one wandering thought of mine
At such, our Prophet's will repine:
No! happier made by that decree!
He left me all in leaving thee.
Deep were my anguish, thus compellin
To wed with one I ne'er beheld:

« AnteriorContinuar »