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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 your 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 rage
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 deemid;
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,
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 ;
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
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,
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 ;
Thus rose fair Leila's whiter neck:-
Thus arm'd with beauty would she check
Intrusion's glance, till folly's gaze
Shrunk from the charms it meant to praise.
Thus high and graceful was her gait;
Her heart as tender to her mate;
Her mate—stern Hassan, who was he?
Alas! that name was not for thee!
Stern Hassan hath a journey ta’en With twenty vassals in his train,
520 Each arm'd, as best becomes a man, With arquebuss and ataghan ; The chief before, as deck'd for war, Bears in his belt the scimitar Stain'd with the best of Arnaut blood, When in the pass the rebels stood, And few return'd to tell the tale Of what befell in Parne's vale. The pistols which his girdle bore Were those that once a pasha wore,
530 Which still, though gemm'd and boss'd with gold, Even robbers tremble to behold. 'Tis said he goes to woo a bride More true than her who left his side'; The faithless slave that broke her bower, 535 And, worse than faithless, for a Giaour!
The sun's last rays are on the hill,
And sparkle in the fountain rill,
Whose welcome waters cool and clear,
Draw blessings from the mountaineer:
Here may the loitering merchant Greek
Find that repose 'twere vain to seek
In cities lodged too near his lord,
And trembling for his secret hoard-
Here may he rest where none can see,
In crowds a slave, in deserts free ;
And with forbidden wine may stain
The bowl a Moslem must not drain.
. * * * * * *
The foremost Tartar's in the gap,
Conspicuous by his yellow cap;
The rest in lengthening line the while
Wind slowly through the long defile:
Above, the mountain rears a peak,
Where vultures whet the thirsty beak,
And theirs may be a feast to-night,
Shall tempt them down ere morrow's light;
Beneath, a river's wintry stream
Has shrunk before the summer beam,
And left a channel bleak and bare,
Save shrubs that spring to perish there:
Each side the midway path there lay
Small broken crags of granite gray,