Imágenes de página


“Nor strike one stroke for life and death
“ Against the curs of Nazareth !
"Go-let thy less than woman's hand
“ Assume the distaff--not the brand.
“ But, Haroun !-to my daughter speed:
“ And hark---of thine own head take heed...
“ If thus Zuleika oft takes wing-
“ Thou see'st yon bow-it hath a string !"




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, 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 ?
“I mark thee-and I know thee too;
“ But there be deeds thou dar'st not do:
“But if thy beard had manlier length,
" And if thy hand had skill and strength,



“ I'd joy to see thee break a lance,
“ Albeit against my own perchance.”


As sneeringly these accents fell,
On Selim's eye he fiercely gazed:

That eye return'd him glance for glance,
And proudly to his sire's was raised,

Till Giaffir's quail'd and shrunk askanceAnd why-he felt, but durst not tell.




“ Much I misdoubt this wayward boy
“ Will one day work me more annoy:
“ I never loved him from his birth,
6 And--but his arm is little worth,
“ And scarcely in the chase could cope
“ With timid fawn or antelope,
“Far less would venture into strife
“ Where man contends for fame and life
“I would not trust that look or tone:
“No-nor the blood so near my own.
66 That blood-he hath not heard-no more
“ I'll watch him closer than before.
“ He is an Arab (5) to my sight,
“ Or Christian crouching in the fight-
" But hark !--I hear Zuleika's voice;

“ Like Houris' hymn it meets mine ear:
s. She is the offspring of my choice;
“ Oh! more than ev'n her mother dear,
with all to hope, and naught to fear-

Peri! ever welcome here !

[ocr errors]



“Sweet, as the desert-fountain's wave “To lips just cool'd in time to save

“ Such to my longing sight art thou; “Nor can they waft to Mecca's shrine 155 "More thanks for life, than I for thine,

“Who blest thy birth, and bless thee now.”


Fair, as the first that fell of womankind,

When on that dread yet lovely serpent smiling, Whose image then was stamp'd upon her mind - 160

But once beguiled--and ever more beguiling; Dazzling, as that, oh! too transcendant vision

To Sorrow's phantom-peopled slumber given, When heart meets heart again in dreams Elysian,

And paints the lost on Earth revived in Heaven; 165 Soft, as the memory of buried love; Pure, as the prayer which Childhood wafts above; Was she—the daughter of that rude old Chief, Who met the maid with tears—but not of grief.


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 Zulcika---such around her shone
The pameless charms unmark'd by her alone;


The light of love, the purity of grace,
The mind, the Music breathing from her face, (6)
The heart whose softness harmonized the whole 180
And, oh! that eye was in itself a Soul !
Her graceful arms in meekness bending

Across her gently-budding breast;
At one kind word those arms extending
To clasp the neck of him who blest

His child caressing and carest,
Zuleika came and Giaffir felt
His purpose half within him melt:
Not that against her fancied weal
His heart though stern could ever feel;

190 Affection chain'd her to that heart! Ambition tore the links apart.



“ Zuleika! child of gentleness !

“How dear this very day must tell, “When I forget my own distress,

“ In losing what I love so well,
"To bid thee with another dwell:
6 Another! and a braver man

« Was never seen in battle's van.
“We Moslem reck not much of blood;

“But yet the line of Carasman (7)
“Unchanged, unchangeable hath stood
“First of the bold Timariot bands
“That won and well can keep their lands.

Enough that he who comes to woo
Is kinsman of the Bey Oglou :




“ His years need scarce a thought employ;
« I would not have thee wed a boy.
" And thou shalt have a noble dower:
“ And his and


“Will laugh to scorn the death-firman,
“Which others tremble but to scan,
" And teach the messenger (8) what fate
“ The bearer of such boon may wait.
“ And now thou know'st thy father's will;

“ All that thy sex hath need to know: 66 'Twas mine to teach obedience still

“The way to love, thy lord may show."



In silence bow'd the virgin's head;

And if her eye was fill’d with tears“
That stifled feeling dare not shed,
And changed her cheek from pale to red,

And red to pale, as through her ears
Those winged words like arrows sped,

What could such be but maiden fears?
So bright the tear in Beauty's eye,
Love half regrets to kiss it dry;
So sweet the blush of Bashfulness,
Even Pity scarce can wish it less !


Whate'er it was the sire forgot;

230 Or if remember'd, mark'd it not; Thrice clapp'd his hands, and call’d his steed, (9) Resign'd his gem-adorn'd Chibouque, (10) VOL. II.


« AnteriorContinuar »