« AnteriorContinuar »
“ And woman, more than man, when death or wo
925 “ But life is hazard at the best; and here “No more remains to win, and much to fear : “Yes, fear !-the doubt, the dread of losing thee, “By Osman's power, and Giaffir's stern decree. " That dread shall vanish with the favouring gale, 930 " Which Love to-night hath promised to my sail : “ No danger daunts the pair his smile hath blest, “Their steps still roving, but their hearts at rest. “ With thee all toils are sweet, each clime hath charms: “Earth-sea alike-our world within our arms! 935 “Ay_let the loud winds whistle o'er the deck, “So that those arms cling closer round my neck: "The deepest murmur of this lip shall be “ No sigh for safety, but a prayer for thee! “The war of elements no fears impart
940 "To Love, whose deadliest bane is human Art: “ There lie the only rocks our course can check; “ Here moments menace—there are years of wreck! “But hence ye thoughts that rise in Horror's shape! “This hour bestows, or ever bars escape. 945 " Few words remain of mine my tale to close ; “Of thine but one to waft us from our foes; 6 Yea-foes-to me will Giaffir's hate decline ? “ And is not Osman, who would part us, thine ?
XXI. “ His head and faith from doubt and death
“ Return'd in time my guard to save;
“Few heard, none told, that o'er the wave " From isle to isle I roved the while; “ And since, though parted from my band “ Too seldom now I leave the land, “ No deed they've done, nor deed shall do, “ Ere I have heard and doom'd it too : “ I form the plan, decree the spoil, “ Tis fit I oftener share the toil. “But now too long I've held thine ear; “Time presses, floats my bark, and here “We leave behind but hate and fear. “To-morrow Osman with his train “ Arrives—to-night must break thy chain : “And would'st thou save that haughty Bey,
“Perchance, his life who gave thee thine, “ With me this hour away-away!
“But yet, though thou art plighted mine, “Would'st thou recal thy willing vow, “Appall’d by truths imparted now “ Here rest I-not to see thee wed: “ But be that peril on my head !"
Zuleika, mute and motionless,
When, her last hope for ever gone,
975 The mother harden'd into stone; All in the maid that eye could see Was but a younger Niobé. But ere her lip, or even her eye, Essay'd to speak, or look reply,
980 Beneath the garden's wicket porch Far flash'd on high a blazing torch! Another-and another-and another “Oh! fly-no more—yet now my more than bro Far, wide, through every thicket spread,
985 The fearful lights are gleaming red; Nor these alone--for each right hand Is ready with a sheathless brand. They part, pursue, return, and wheel With searching flambeau, shining steel ; 990 And last of all, his sabre waving, Stern Giaffir in his fury raving: And now almost they touch the cave--Oh! must that grot be Selim's grave ?
XXIII. Dauntless he stood ---"'Tis come---soon past--- 995 “ One kiss, Zuleika---'tis
last: “But yet my band not far from shore “ May hear this signal, see the flash; * Yet now too few---the attempt were rash:
“ No matter---yet one effort more.” 1000 Forth to the cavern mouth he stept;
pistol's echo rang on high.
Zuleika started not, nor wept,
Despair benumb'd her breast and eye !--“They hear me not, or if they ply
1005 “Their oars, 'tis but to see me die; “That sound hath drawn my foes more nigh. * Then forth my father's scimitar, “ Thou ne'er hast seen less equal war! “ Farewell, Zuleika !-Sweet! retire: 1010
“Yet stay within-here linger safe,
“At thee his rage will only chafe. “ Stir not-lest even to thee perchance. “Some erring blade or ball should glance. "Fear'st thou for him ?-may I expire 1015 “ If in this strife I seek thy sire! “No-though by him that poison pour'd; “No—though again he call me coward ! “But tamely shall I meet their steel? “No-as each crest save his may feel !” 1020
Already at his feet hath sunk
A gasping head, a quivering trunk: Another falls—but round him close
1025 A swarming circle of his foes; From right to left his path he cleft,
And almost met the meeting wave: His boat appears—not five oars' length His comrades strain with desperate strength 1090 Oh! are they yet in time to save?
His feet the foremost breakers lave;
1045 For her his eye but sought in vain ? That pause, that fatal gaze he took,
Hath doom'd his death, or fix'd his chain.
1050 His back was to the dashing spray; Behind, but close, his comrades lay, When, at the instant, hiss'd the ball “So may the foes of Giaffir fall !" Whose voice is heard ? whose carbine rang? 1055 Whose bullet through the night-air sang,