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Sullen it plunged, and slowly sank, The calm wave rippled to the bank;
375 I watch'd it as it sank, methought Some motion from the current caught Bestirr'd it more,-'twas but the beam That chequer'd o'er the living stream: I gazed, till vanishing from view,
380 Like lessening pebble it withdrew; Still less and less, a speck of white That gemm'd the tide, then mock'd the sight; And all its hidden secrets sleep, Known but to Genii of the deep,
385 Which, trembling in their coral caves, They dare not whisper to the waves.
As rising on its purple wing
The insect-queen (16) of eastern spring,
O'er emerald meadows of Kashmeer
Invites the young pursuer near,
And leads him on from flower to flower
A weary chase and wasted hour,
Then leaves him, as it soars on high,
With panting heart and tearful eye:
So Beauty lures the full-grown child,
With hue as bright, and wing as wild;
A chase of idle hopes and fears,
Begun in folly, closed in tears.
If won, to equal ills betray'd,
Wo waits the insect and the maid;
A life of pain, the loss of peace,
From infant's play, and man's caprice:
The lovely toy so fiercely sought
Hath lost its charm by being caught,
For every touch that wooed its stay
Hath brush'd its brightest hues away,
Till charm, and hue, and beauty gone,
"Tis left to fly or fall alone.
With wounded wing, or bleeding breast,
Ah! where shall either victim rest?
Can this with faded pinion soar
From rose to tulip as before ?
Or Beauty, blighted in an hour,
Find joy within her broken bower?
: gayer insects fluttering by
Ne'er droop the wing o'er those that die,
And lovelier things have mercy
To every failing but their own,
And every wo a tear can claim
Except an erring sister's shame.
The Mind, that broods o'er guilty woes,
Is like the Scorpion girt by fire,
In circle narrowing as it glows,
The flames around their captive close,
inly search'd by thousand throes,
d maddening in her ire,
One sad and sole relief she knows,
The sting she nourish'd for her foes,
Whose venom never yet was vain,
Gives but one pang, and cures all pain,
And darts into her desperate brain :
So do the dark in soul expire,
Or live like Scorpion girt by fire ; (17)
So writhes the mind Remorse hath riven,
Unfit for earth, undoom'd for heaven,
Darkness above, despair beneath,
Around it flame, within it death!
Black Hassan from the Haram flies,
Nor bends on woman's form his eyes ;
The unwonted chase each bour employs,
Yet shares he not the hunter's joys.
Not thus was Hassan wont to fly
When Leila dwelt in his Serai.
Doth Leila there no longer dwell?
That tale can only Hassan tell :
Strange rumours in our city say
Upon that eve she fled away
When Rhamazan's (18) last sun was set,
And flashing from each minaret
Millions of lamps proclaim'd the feast
Of Bairam through the boundless East.
Twas then she went as to the bath,
Which Hassan vainly search'd in wrath;
For she was flown her master's
In likeness of a Georgian page,
And far beyond the Moslem's power
Had wrong'd him with the faithless Giaour.
Somewhat of this had Hassan deem'd ;
But still so fond, so fair she seem'd,
Too well he trusted to the slave
Whose treachery deserved a grave:
And on that eve had gone to mosque,
And thence to feast in his kiosk.
Such is the tale his Nubians tell,
Who did not watch their charge too well ;
But others say that on that night,
By pale Phingari's (19) trembling light,
The Giaour upon his jet black steed
Was seen, but seen alone to speed
With bloody spur along the shore,
Nor maid nor page behind him bore.
By Alla! I would answer nay;
Though on Al-Sirat's (21) arch I stood,
Which totters o'er the fiery flood,
With Paradise within my view,
485 And all his Houris beckoning through. Oh! who
young Leila's glance could read
And keep that portion of his creed (22)
Which saith that woman is but dust,
A soulless toy for tyrant's lust?
On her might Muftis gaze, and own
That through her eye the Immortal shone;
On her fair cheek's unfading hue
The young pomegranate's (23) blossoms strew
Their bloom in blushes ever new ;
495 Her hair in hyacinthine (24) flow, When left to roll its folds below, As midst her handmaids in the hall She stood superior to them all, Hath swept the marble where her feet 500 Gleam'd whiter than the mountain sleet Ere from the cloud that gave it birth It fell, and caught one stain of earth. The cygnet nobly walks the water; So moved on earth Circassia's daughter, 505 The loveliest bird of Franguestan! (25) As rears her crest the ruffled Swan,
And spurns the wave with wings of pride, When pass the steps of stranger man
Along the banks that bound her tide; 510