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“Sweet, as the desert-fountain's wave “To lips just coold in time to save
“Such to my longing sight art thou; “ Nor can they waft to Mecca's shrine “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 Zuleika---such around her shone
The nameless 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
185 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.
VII. “ 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:
“ 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 my united power
“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: “ '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 !
And mounting featly for the mead,
With Maugrabee (11) and Mamaluke,
His way amid his Delis took, (12)
To witness many an active deed
With sabre keen, or blunt jereed.
The Kislar only and his Moors
Watch well the Haram's massy doors.
His head was leant upon his hand,
His eye look'd o'er the dark blue water
That swiftly glides and gently swells
Between the winding Dardanelles ;
But yet he saw nor sea nor strand,
Nor even his Pacha's turban'd band
Mix in the game of mimic slaughter,
Careering cleave the folded felt (13)
With sabre stroke right sharply dealt;
Nor mark'd the javelin-darting crowd,
Nor heard their Ollahs (14) wild and loud-
He thought but of old Giaffir's daughter !
No word from Selim's bosom broke;
One sigh Zuleika's thought bespoke:
Still gazed he through the lattice grate,
Pale, mute, and mournfully sedate.
To him Zuleika's eye was turn'd,
But little from his aspect learn'd:
Equal her grief, yet not the same;
Her heart confess'd a gentler flame:
But yet that heart alarm'd or weak,
She knew not why, forbade to speak.
Yet speak she must--but when essay ?
“How strange he thus should turn away!
“Not thus we e'er before have met;
“Not thus shall be our parting yet.”
Thrice paced she slowly through the room,
And watch'd his eye-it still was fix'd:
She snatch'd the urn wherein was mix'd
The Persian Atar-gul's (15) perfume,
And sprinkled all its odours o'er
The pictured roof (16) and marble floor:
The drops, that through his glittering vest
The playful girl's appeal addrest,
Unheeded o'er his bosom flew, .
- As if that breast were marble too.
“What sullen yet? it must not be
“Oh! gentle Selim, this from thee!" .
She saw in curious order set
The fairest flowers of Eastern land-
“ He loved them once ; may touch them yet,
“If offer'd by Zuleika's hand.”
The childish thought was hardly breathed
Before the Rose was pluck'd and wreathed;
The next fond moment saw her seat
Her fairy form at Selim's feet: