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I'd rather be the thing that crawls
And if it dares enough, 't were hard Most noxious o'er a dungeon's walls,
If passion met not some rewardThan pass my dull, unvarying days,
No matter how, or where, or why, Condemn'd to meditate and gaze.
I did not vainly seek, nor sigh : Yet lurks a wish within my breast
Yet sometimes, with remorse, in vain For rest-but not to feel 'tis rest.
I wish she had not loved again. Soon shall my fate that wish fulfil:
She died-1 dare not tell thee low: And I shall sleep without the dream
But look-'tis written on iny brow! Of what I was, and would be still.
There read of Cain the curse and crime, Dark as to thee my deeds may seem :
In characters unworn by time : My memory now is but the tomb
Still, ere thou dost condemn me, pause : Of joys long dead; my hope, their doom:
Not mine the act, though I the cause. Though better to have died with those
Yet did he but what I had done. Than bear a life of lingering woes.
Had she been false to more than one. My spirit shrunk not to sustain
Faithless to him, he gave the blow; The searching throes of ceaseless pain;
But true to me, I laid him low : Nor sought the self-accorded grave
Howe'er deserved her doom might be, Of ancient fool and modern knave :
Her treachery was truth to me; Yet death I have not fear'd to meet;
To me she gave her heart, that all And in the field it had been sweet,
Which tyranny can ne'er enthrall; Had danger woo'd me on to inove
And I, alas, too late to save! The slave of glory, not of love.
Yet all I then could give, I gaveI've braved it-not for honour's boast;
'Twas some relief-our foe a grave. I smile at laurels won or lost;
His death sits lightly; but her fate To such let others carve their way,
Has made me what thou well may'st hate. For high renown, or hireling pay:
His doom was seald-he knew it well, But place again before my eyes
Warn'd by the voice of stern Taheer Aught that I deem a worthy prize
Deep in whose darkly boding ear* The maid I love, the man I hate
The deathshot peal'd of murder near,
As filed the troop to where they fell !
• This superstition of a second-hearing (for I never Nor need'st thou doubt this speech from one met with downright second-sight in the East) sell once Who would but do-what he hath done.
under my own observation. On my third journey to
Cape Colonna, early in 1811, as we passed through the Death is but what the haughty brave,
defile that leads froin the hamlet between Keratia and The weak must bear, the wretch must crave: Colonna, I observed Dervish Tahiri riding rather out Then let life go to Him who gave;
of the path, and leaning his head upon his hand, as if in
pain. I rode up and inquired. We are in peril,'he I have not quail'd to dlanger's brow
answered. What peril? we are not now in Albania, When high and happy-need I now?
nor in the passes to Ephesus, Messalunghi, or Lepanto; there are plenty of us, well armed, and the Choriates have not courage to be thieves.' True, Affendi, but nevertheless the shot is ringing in my ears. The
shot ! not a tophaike has been fired this morning.' I loved her, Friar' nay, adored
I hear it, notwithstanding-Bom-Bom-as plainly as
I hear your voice.' . Psha !' 'As you please, Affendi ; But these are words that all can use
if it is written, so will it be.' I left this quick-eared I proved it more in deed than word;
predestinarian, and rode up to Basili, his Christian comThere's blood upon that dinted sword,
patriot, whose ears, though not at all prophetic, by no A stain its steel can never lose :
means relished the intelligence. We all arrived at
Colonna, remained some hours, and returned leisurely. 'Twas shed for her, who died for me,
saying a variety of brilliant things, in more languages It warm d the heart of one abhorr'd :
than spoiled the building of Babel, upon the mistaken Nay, start not--no-nor bend thy knee,
seer. Romaic, Arnaut, Turkish, Italian, and English
were all exercised, in various conceits, upon the un. Nor 'midst my sins such act record :
fortunate Mussulman. While we were contemplating Thou wilt absolve me from the deed,
the beautiful prospect, Dervish was occupied about For he was hostile to thy creed :
the columns. I thought he was deranged into an an.
tiquarian, and asked him if he had become a Palac. The very name of Nazarene
castro' man? No,' said he, but these pillars will be Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen.
useful in making a stand;' and added other remarks, Ungrateful sool! since but for brands
which at least evinced his own belief in his troublesome
faculty of fore-hearing. On our return to Athens we Well wielded in some hardy hands,
heard from Leoné (a prisoner set ashore some days And wounds by Galilcans given,
after) of the intended attack of the Mainotes, menThe surest pass to Turkish heaven,
tioned, with the cause of its not taking place, in the
notes to Childe Harold, Canto 11. I was at some pains For him his Houris still might wait
to question the man, and he described the dresses, Impatient at the Prophet's gate.
jarms, and marks of the horses of our party so accurately I loved her-love will find its way
that, with other circumstances, we could not doubt of
his being in 'villanous company,' and ourselves in a Through paths where wolves would fear to
bad neighbourhood. Dervish became a soothsayer for prey;
life, and'i daresay he is now hearing more musketry
He died tvo in the battle broil.
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 I gazed upon him where he lay,
With angels shared, by Allah given And watch'd his spirit ebb away :
To lift from earth our low desire. Though pierced like pard by hunters' steel,
Devotion wasts the mind above, He felt not half that now I feel.
But heaven itself descends in love ; I search'd, but vainly search'd, to find
A feeling from the Godhead caught, The workings of the wounded mind;
To wean from self each sordid thought; Each feature of that sullen corse
A Ray of Him who form'd the whole ; Betray'd his rage, but no remorse.
A Glory circling round the soul ! Oh, what had Vengeance given to trace
I grant my love imperfect, all Despair upon his dying face!
That mortals by the name miscall; The late repentance of that hour,
Then deem it evil, what thou wilt ; When Penitence hath lost her power
But say, oh say, hers was not guilt ! To tear one terror from the grave,
She was my life's unerring light:
That quench'd, what beam shall break my night!
Although to death or deadliest ill! • The cold in clime are cold in blood,
Why marvel ye, if they who lose
This present joy, this future hope,
No more with sorrow meekly cope;
In frenzy then their fate accuse :
In madness do those fearful deeds Of ladye-love, and beauty's chain :
That seem to add but guilt to woe ? If changing cheek, and scorching vein,
Alas! the breast that inly bleeds Lips taught to writhe, but not complain,
Hath nought to dread from outward blow: If bursting heart, and maddning brain,
Who falls from all he knows of bliss, And daring deed, and vengeful steel,
Cares little into what abyss. And all that I have felt and feel,
Fierce as the gloomy vulture's now Betoken love-that love was mine,
To thee, old man, my deeds appear: And shown by many a bitter sign
I read abhorrence on thy brow, 'Tis true, I could not wline nor sigh,
And this too was I born to bear!
'Tis true, that, like that bird of prey,
With havoc have I mark'd iny way: And come what may, I have been bless'd.
But this was taught me by the dove, Shall I the doom I sought upbraid ?
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 inate, 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
Such shame at least was never mine-
My good, my guilt, my weal, my woe, 1811, a remarkabıy stout and active Arnaut came (I
My hope on high-my all below. believe the fiftieth on the same errand) to offer himself as an attendant, which was declined Well, Affendi,' Earth holds no other like to thee, quoth he, 'may you live you would have found me Or, if it doth, in vain for me: useful I shall leave the town for the hills to-morrow;
For worlds I dare not view the dame in the winter I return; perhaps you will then receive me.' Dervish, who was present, remarked as a thing
Resembling thee, yet not the same. of course, and of no consequence, 'In the meantime he The very crimes that niar my youth, will join the Klephtes' (robbers), which was true to the
This bed of death-attest my truth! letter. If not cut off, they come down in the winter,
'Tis all too late-thou wert, thou art and pass it uninolested in some town, where they are often as well known as their exploits.
The cherish'd madness of my heart!
. And she was lost--and yet I breathed,
A shriveli'd scroll, a scatter'd lcaf,
Seard by the autumn blast of grief!
• Tell me no more of fancy's gicam; Alike all time, abhorr'd all place;
No, father, no, 'twas not a dream: Shuddering, I shrank from Nature's face,
Alas! the dreamer first must sleep. Where every hue that charm'd before,.
I oniy watch'd, and wish d to weep; The blackness of my bosom wore.
But could not, for my burning browy The rest thou dost already know,
Throtb'd to the very brain as now: And all my sins, and half my woe.
I wish'd but for a single tear, But talk no more of penitence;
As something welcome, new, and dear ; Thou seest I soon shall part from hence:
I wish'd it then, I wish it stiil; And if thy holy tale were true, ut
Despair is stronger than iny will. The deed that's done, canst thou undo?
Waste not thine orison, despair Think me not thankless, but this grief,
Is mightier than thy pious prayer: Looks not to priesthood for relief.
I would not, if I might, be blest; My soul's estate in secret guess :
I want no paradise, but rest. But wouldst thou pity more, say less.,
'Twas then, I tell thee, father! then When thou canst bid my Leila live, 13:31
I saw her; yes, she lived again ; Then will I sue thee to forgive ::....!!!
And shining in her white symar,* Then plead my cause in that high place
As through yon pale grey cloud the star Where purchased masses proffer grace."
Which now I gaze on, as on her, Go, when the hunter's hand hath wrung
Who look'd, and looks far lovelier; From forest-cave her shrieking young.
Dimly I view its trembling spark ; And calm the lonely lioness: .,
To-morrow's night shall be more dark; But soothe not, mock not my distress!
And I, before its rays appcar,
That lifeless thing the living fear. In earlier days, and calmer hours.
I wander, father! for my soul When heart with heart delights to blend,
Is fleeting towards the final gaol. Where bloom my native valley's bowers,
I saw lier, friar, and I rose I had-ah! have I now ?-a friend I
Forgetful of our foriner woes; To him this pledge I charge thee send,
And rushing from my couch, I dart, Memorial of a youthful vow :
And clasp her to my desperate heart; I would remind him of my end ; Pot
I clasp-what is it that I clasp? Though souls absorb'd like mine allow
No breathing form within my grasp. Brief thought to distant friendship's claim,
No heart that beats reply to mine; Yet dear to him my blighted name.
Yet, Leila! yet the forın is thine! 'Tis strange-he prophesied my doom,
And art thou, dearest, changed so much, And I have smiled-I then could sinile
As meet my eye, yet mock my touch: When Prudence would his voice assume,
Ah! were thy beauties c'er so cold, And warn-I reck'd not what-the while :
I care not; so my arms enfold But now remembrance whispers o'era
The all they ever wish'd to hold. Those accents scarcely mark'd before. !'"
Alas! around a shadow prest, Say-that his bodings caine to pass,
They shrink upon my lonely breast; And he will start to hear their truth,
Yet still 'tis there! In silence stands. And wish his words had not been sooth:
And beckons with beseeching hands!
With braided hair, and bright-black
I knew 't was false-she could not die ! In pain, my faltering tongue had tried
But he is deadl within the dell
I saw him buried where he fell;
He comes not, for he cannot break
From carth; why then art thou awake? I do not ask him not to blame,
They told me wild waves rolld above Too gentle he to wound my name;
The face I view, the forin I love! And what have I to do with fame?
They told me-twas a hideous tale!
I'd tell it, but my tongue would fail :
If true, and from thine ocean.care
Thou com'st to claim a calmer grave,
Oh, pass thy dewy fingers o'er
This brow, that then will burn no more ;
Symar,' a shroud.
Or place them on my hopeless heart:
ago, the wife of Muchtar Pacha complained to his But, shape or shade! whate'er thou art,
father of his son's supposed infidelity: he asked with
whom, and she had the barbarity to give in a list of In mercy ne'er again depart!
the twelve handsomest woinen in Yanin. They were Or farther with thee bear my soul
seized, fastened up in sacks, and drowned in the lake Than winds can waft or waters roll!
the same night! One of the guards who was present informed me, that not one of the victinis uttered a cry, or showed a symptom of terror, at so sudden a
wrench from all we know, from all we love. The Such is my name, and such my tale.
fate of Phrosine, the fairest of this sacrifice, is the Confessor! to thy secret ear
subject of many a Romaic and Arnaut ditty. The
story in the text is one told of a young Venetian many I breathe the sorrows I bewail,
years ago, and now nearly forgotten. I heard it by And thank thee for the generous tear
accident recited by one of the coffeehouse storyThis glazing eye could never shed.
tellers who abound in the Levant, and sing or recite
their narratives. The additions and interpolations by Then lay me with the humblest dead;
the translator will be easily distinguished from the And, save the cross above my head,
rest, by the want of Eastern imagery; and I regret Be neither name nor emblem spread,
that my memory has retained so few fragments of the
original. For the contents of some of the notes, I By prying stranger to be read,
am indebted partly to D'Herbelot, and partly to that Or stay the passing pilgrim's tread.'
most Eastern, and, as Mr. Weber justly entitles it,
'sublime tale,' the Caliph Vathek. I do not know He pass'd-nor of his name and race
from what source the author of that singular volume Hath left a token or a trace,
may have drawn his materials: some of his incidents Save what the father must not say
are to be found in the Bibliothèque Orientale; but for
correctness of costume, beauty of description, and Who shrived him on his dying day:
power of imagination, it far surpasses all European This broken tale was all he knew
imitations; and bears such marks of originality, that Of her he loved, or him he slew. *
those who have visited the East will find some difficulty in believing it to be more than a translation. As
an Eastern tale, even Rasselas must bow before it ; • The circumstance to which the above story relates, his 'Happy Valley' will not bear a comparison with was not very uncommon in Turkey. A few years the Hall of Eblis.'
Had we never loved so kindly,
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD HOLLAND
THIS TALE IS INSCRIBED,
CANTO THE FIRST.
Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with
perfume, KNOW ye the land where the cypress and myrtle
Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gúl in her bloom;" Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime?
Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the
And the voice of the nightingale never is mute ; turtle,
Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, Now melt into sorrow, how madden to crime?
In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, Know ye the land of the cedar and vine,
And the purple of ocean is deepest in dye ; Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine ;
Gúl,' the rose.
Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
done ?* Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell, Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which
I on Zuleika's slumber broke,
And, as thou knowest that for me
Soon turns the Haram's grating key,
With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi's song;'
Begirt with many a gallant slave,
Deep thought was in his aged eye; And though the face of Mussulman
Not oft betrays to standers by The mind within, well skill'd to hide All but unconquerablc pride, His pensive cheek and pondering brow Did more than he was wont avow.
Let the chamber be clear'd, '-The train disap.
• Haroun--when all the crowd that wait
First lowly rendering reverence ineet ;
Still standing at the Pacha's feet :
IV, • Son of a slave!--the Pacha said*Froin unbelieving mother bred, Vain were a father's hope to see Aught that bescens 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,
Father! for fear that thou shouldst chide My sister, or her sable guide, Know-for the fault, if fault there be, Was mine-then fall thy frowns on meSo lovelily the morning shone,
That-let the old and weary sleepI could not; and to view alone
The fairest scenes of land and deep, With none to listen and reply To thoughts with which my heart beat high, Were irksome ; for whate'er my mool, In sooth I love not solitude:
At least that met old Giaffir's ear;
Son of a slave!'-reproach'd with fear! Those gibes had cost another dear. Son of a slave! and zuko 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!
• Souls made of fire, and children of the Sun, With whom revenge is virtue.'
| . Mejnoun and Leila, the Romeo and Juliet of the East. Sadi, the moral poet of Persia
+ Tanbour,' Turkish drum, which sounds at sun. rise, noon, and twilight.