« AnteriorContinuar »
They to the midnight watch protract debate ;
To anxious eyes what hour is ever late ?
Mean time, the steady breeze serenely blew,
And fast and Falcon-like the vessel flew; 595
Pass'd the high headlands of each clustering isle,
To gain their port_long-long ere morning smile:
And soon the night-glass through the narrow bay
Discovers where the Pacha's galleys lay.
Count they each sail—and mark how there supine 600
The lights in vain o'er heedless Moslem shine.
Secure, unnoted, Conrad's prow pass'd by,
And anchor'd where his ambush meant to lie;
Screen’d from espial by the jutting cape,
That rears on high its rude fantastic shape.
Then rose his band to duty-not from sleep-
Equipp'd for deeds alike on land or deep;
While lean'd their leader o'er the fretting flood,
And calmly talk'd-and yet he talk'd of blood!
“Conosceste i dubiosi desiri ?"
IN Coron's bay floats many a Galley light, 610
Through Coron's lattices the lamps are bright,
For Seyd, the Pacha, makes a feast to-night:
A feast for promised triumph yet to come,
When he shall drag the fetter'd Rovers home;
This hath he sworn by Alla and his sword, 615
And faithful to his firman and his word,
His summon'd prows collect along the coast,
And great the gathering crews, and loud the boast;
Already shared the captives and the prize,
Though far the distant foe they thus despise; 620
'Tis but to sail--no doubt to-morrow's Sun
Will see the Pirates bound-their haven won !
Mean time the watch may slumber, if they will,
Nor only wake to war, but dreaming kill.
Though all, who can, disperse on shore and seek 625
To flesh their glowing valour on the Greek ;
How well such deed becomes the turban'd brave-
To bare the sabre's edge before a slave!
Infest his dwelling—but forbear to slay,
Their arms are strong, yet merciful to-day, 630
And do not deign to smite because they may!
Unless some gay caprice suggests the blow,
To keep in practice for the coming foe.
Revel and rout the evening hours beguile,
And they who wish to wear a head must smile; 635
For Moslem mouths produce their choicest cheer,
And hoard their curses, till the coast is clear.
High in his hall reclines the turban'd Seyd;
Around—the bearded chiefs he came to lead.
Removed the banquet, and the last pilaff 640
Forbidden draughts, 'tis said, he dared to quaff,
Though to the rest the sober berry's juice, (3)
The slaves bear round for rigid Moslem's use;
The long Chibouque's (4) dissolving cloud supply,
While dance the Almas (5) to wild minstrelsy. 645
The rising morn will view the chiefs embark;
But waves are somewhat treacherous in the dark:
And revellers may more securely sleep
On silken couch than o'er the rugged deep;
Feast there who can-nor combat till they must, 650
And less to conquest than to Korans trust;
And yet the numbers crowded in his host
Might warrant more than even the Pacha's boast..
JII. With cautious reverence from the outer gate, Slow stalks the slave, whose office there to wait, 655 Bows his bent head-his hand salutes the floor, Ere yet his tongue the trusted tidings bore: “A captive Dervise, from the pirate's nest “Escap'd, is here-himself would tell the rest.” He took the sign from Seyd's assenting eye, 660 And led the holy man in silence nigh. His arms were folded on his dark-green vest, His step was feeble, and his look deprest; Yet worn he seem'd of hardship more than years And pale his cheek with penance, not from fears. 665 Vow'd to his God-his sable locks he wore, And these his lofty cap rose proudly o’er: Around his form his loose long robe was thrown, And wrapt a breast bestow'd on heaven alone; Submissive, yet with self-possession mann'd, He calmly met the curious eyes that scann'd; And question of his coming fain would seek, Before the Pacha's will allow'd to speak.
“Whence com'st thou, Dervise ?"
“From the outlaw's den, 675 “ A fugitive”
“Thy capture where and when?” “From Scalanova's port to Scio's isle, “The Saick was bound; but Alla did not smile “Upon our course—the Moslem merchant's gains “ The Rovers won : our limbs have worn their chains. “I had no death to fear, nor.wealth to boast, 681 “ Beyond the wandering freedom which I lost; “At length a fisher's humble boat by night “Afforded hope, and offer'd chance of flight: “ I seized the hour, and find my safety here- 685 6 With thee--most mighty Pacha! who can fear?”
" How speed the outlaws ? stand they well prepared, “ Their plunder'd wealth, and robber's rock, to guard ? “Dream they of this our preparation, doom'd “To view with fire their scorpion nest consumed?" 690
“Pacha! the fetter'd captive's mourning eye “That weeps for flight, but ill can play the spy; " I only heard the reckless waters roar, “ Those waves that would not bear me from the shore; “ I only mark'd the glorious sun and sky, "Too bright-too blue for my captivity;