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Without even savage virtue blest,
Without one free or valiant breast.
Still to the neighbouring ports they waft
Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft;
In this the subtle Greek is found,
For this, and this alone, renown'd.
In vain might Liberty invoke
The spirit to its bondage broke, Here
Or raise the neck that courts the yoke:
No more her sorrows I bewail,
Yet this will be a mournful tale,
And they who listen may believe, W
Who heard it first had cause to grieve.
Who thundering comes on blackest steed, 180 With slacken'd bit and hoof of speed ? Beneath the clattering iron's sound The cavern'd echoes wake around In lash for lash, and bound for bound; The foam that streaks the courser's side Seems gather'd from the ocean-tide: Though weary waves are sunk to rest, There's none within his rider's breast: And though to-morrow's tempest lower, 'Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour! (7) 190 I know thee not, I loathe thy race, But in thy lineaments I trace What time shall strengthen, not efface : Though young and pale, that sallow front Is scathed by fiery passion's brunt; . : 195 Though bent on earth thine evil eye, As meteor like thou glidest by, Right well I view and deem thee one Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun.
On-on he hasten'd, and he drew
My gaze of wonder as he flew:
Though like a demon of the night
He pass’d and vanish'd from my sight,
His aspect and his air impress'd
A troubled memory on my breast,
And long upon my startled ear
Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear,
He spurs his steed; he nears the steep,
That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep;
He winds around; he hurries by;
The rock relieves him from mine eye;
For well I ween unwelcome he
Whose glance is fix'd on those that flee;
And not a star but shines too bright
On him who takes such timeless flight.
He wound along; but ere he pass'd
One glance he snatch'd, as if his last,
A moment check'd his wheeling steed,
A moment breathed him from his speed,
A moment on his stirrup stood-
Why looks he o'er the olive wood ?
The crescent glimmers on the hill,
The Mosque's high lamps are quivering still :
Though too remote for sound to wake
In echoes of the far tophaike, (8)
225 The flashes of each joyous peal Are seen to prove the Moslem's zeal. To-night, set Rhamazani's sun; To-night, the Bairam feast's begun; To-night-but who and what art thou 230 Of foreign garb and fearful brow ? And what are these to thine or thee, That thou should'st either pause or flee? He stood-some dread was on his face, Soon Hatred settled in its place:
235 It rose not with the reddening flush Of transient Anger's darkening blush,
But pale as marble o'er the tomb,
Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom.
His brow was bent, his eye was glazed ;
He raised his arm, and fiercely raised,
And sternly shook his hand on high,
As doubting to return or fly:
Impatient of his flight delay'd,
Here loud his raven charger neigh’d-
Down glanced that hand, and grasp'd his blade;
That sound had burst his waking dream,
As Slumber starts at owlet's scream.
The spur hath lanced his courser's sides ;
Away, away, for life he rides :
Swift as the hurl'd on high jerreed (9)
Springs to the touch his startled steed;
The rock is doubled, and the shore
Shakes with the clattering tramp no more;
The crag is won, no more is seen
255 His Christian crest and haughty mien. 'Twas but an instant he restrain'
d That fiery harb so sternly rein'd; 'Twas but a moment that he stood, Then sped as if by death pursued; But in that instant o'er his soul Winters of Memory seem'd to roll, And gather in that drop of time A life of pain, an age of crime. O'er him who loves, or hates, or fears, 265
h moment pours the grief of years. Y
What felt he then, at once opprest
By all that most distracts the breast?
That pause, which ponder'd o'er his fate,
Oh, who its dreary length shall date!
Though in Time's record nearly nought,
It was Eternity to Thought!
For infinite as boundless space
The thought that Conscience must embrace,
Which in itself can comprehend
Wo without name, or hope, or end.
The hour is past, the Giaour is gone;
And did he fly or fall alone?
Wo that hour he came or went!
The curse for Hassan's sin was sent
To turn a palace to a tomb:
He came, he went, like the Simoom, (10)
That harbinger of fate and gloom,
Beneath whose widely-wasting breath
The very cypress droops to death-
Dark tree, still sad when others' grief is fled,
The only constant mourner o'er the dead!
The steed is vanishd from the stall;
No serf is seen in Hassan's hall;
The lonely Spider's thin gray pall
Waves slowly widening o'er the wall;
The Bat builds in his Haram bower;
And in the fortress of his power