Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

There sleeps as true an Osmanlie
As e'er at Mecca bent the knee;

730
As ever scorn'd forbidden wine,
Or pray'd with face towards the shrine,
In orisons resumed anew
At solemn sound of “ Alla Hu!" (33)
Yet died he by a stranger's hand,

735 And stranger in his native land; Yet died he as in arms he stood, And unavenged, at least in blood. But him the maids of Paradise Impatient to their halls invite,

740 And the dark Heaven of Houri's eyes

On him shall glance for ever bright; They come—their kerchiefs green they wave, (34) And welcome with a kiss the brave! Who falls in battle 'gainst a Giaour

745 Is worthiest an immortal bower.

*

750

But thou, false Infidel! shalt writhe
Beneath avenging Monkir's (35) scythe;
And from its torment ’scape alone
To wander round lost Eblis' (36) throne;
And fire unquench’d, unquenchable,
Around, within, thy heart shall dwell;
Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell
The tortures of that inward hell!
But first, on earth as Vampire (37) sent,
Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent:

755

760

765

770

Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race;
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life ;
Yet loathe the banquet which perforce
Must feed thy livid living corse:
Thy victims ere they yet expire
Shall know the dæmon for their sire,
As cursing thee, thou cursing them,
Thy flowers are wither'd on the stem.
But one that for thy crime must fall,
The youngest, most beloved of all,
Shall bless thee with a father's name
That word shall wrap thy heart in flame!
Yet must thou end thy task, and mark
Her cheek's last tinge, her eye's last spark,
And the last glassy glance must view
Which freezes o'er its lifeless blue;
Then with unhallow'd hand shalt tear
The tresses of her yellow hair,
Of which in life a lock when shorn
Affection's fondest pledge was worn;
But now is borne away by thee,
Memorial of thine agony!
Wet with thine own best blood shall drip (38)
Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip;
Then stalking to thy sullen grave,
Go and with Gouls and Afrits rave;

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

785

Till these in horror shrink away
From spectre more accursed than they!

*

790

795

“ How name ye yon lone Caloyer?

“ His features I have scann'd before " In mine own land : 'tis many a year,

“ Since, dashing by the lonely shore, “ I saw him urge as fleet a steed “ As ever served a horseman's need. “ But once I saw that face, yet then " It was so mark d with inward pain, “ I could not pass it by again; " It breathes the same dark spirit now, “ As death were stamped upon his brow.” “ 'Tis twice three years at summer tide

“ Since first among our freres he came; 6 And here it soothes him to abide

" For some dark deed he will not name. “ But never at our vesper prayer, 66 Nor e'er before confession chair “ Kneels he, nor recks he when arise * Incense or anthem to the skies, 6 But broods within his cell alone, “ His faith and race alike unknown. “ The sea from Paynim land he crost, « And here ascended from the coast; “ Yet seems he not of Othman race,

Christian in his face:

800

805

810

815

820

" I'd judge him some stray renegade,

Repentant of the change he made, “ Save that he shuns our holy shrine, “ Nor tastes the sacred bread and wine. “ Great largess to these walls he brought, " And thus our abbot's favour bought; “ But were I Prior, not a day • Should brook such stranger's further stay, 6 Or pent within our penance cell

Should doom him there for aye to dwell.

Much in his visions mutters he * Of maiden 'whelm'd beneath the sea; • Of sabres clashing, foemen flying, 6 Wrongs avenged, and Moslem dying. “ On cliff he hath been known to stand, “ And rave as to some bloody hand 6 Fresh sever'd from its parent limb, “ Invisible to all but him, 6. Which beckons onward to his

grave, " And lures to leap into the wave."

825

830

*

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Dark and unearthly is the scowl
That glares beneath his dusky cowl:
The flash of that dilating eye
Reveals too much of times gone by;
Though varying, indistinct its hue,
Oft will his glance the gazer rue,

835

For in it lurks that nameless spell
Which speaks, itself unspeakable,
A spirit yet unquelld and high,

840
That claims and keeps ascendancy;
And like the bird whose pinions quake,
But cannot fly the gazing snake,
Will others quail beneath his look,
Nor 'scape the glance they scarce can brook. 845
From him the half-affrighted Friar
When met alone would fain retire,
As if that eye and bitter smile
Transferr'd to others fear and guile:
Not oft to smile descendeth he,

850 And when he doth 'tis sad to see That he but mocks at Misery. How that pale lip will curl and quiver! Then fix once more as if for ever; As if his sorrow or disdain

855 Forbade him e'er to smile again. Well were it so-such ghastly mirth From joyaunce ne'er derived its birth. But sadder still it were to trace What once were feelings in that face: 860 Time hath not yet the features fix'd, But brighter traits with evil mix'd; And there are hues not always faded, Which speak a mind not all degraded Even by the crimes through which it waded: 865

« AnteriorContinuar »