Imágenes de página

But gasping heaved the breath that Lara drew, And dull the film along his dim eye grew; [o'er His limbs stretch'd fluttering and his head drooped The weak yet still untiring knee that bore; He press'd the hand he held upon his heart It beats no more, but Kaled will not part With the cold grasp, but feels, and feels in vain, For that faint throb which answers not again. “ It beats !”-Away, thou dreamer ! he is gone It once was Lara which thou look’st upon.

He gazed, as if not yet had passed away The haughty spirit of that humble clay; And those around have roused him from his trance, But cannot tear from thence his fixed glance; And when in raising him from where he bore Within his arms the form that felt no more, He saw the head his breast would still sustain, Roll down like earth to earth upon the plain ; He did not dash himself thereby, nor tear The glossy tendrils of his raven hair, But strove to stand and gaze, but reel'd and fell, Scarce breathing more than that he loved so well. Than that he loved ! Oh! never yet beneath The breast of man such trusty love may breathe ! That trying moment hath at once reveal'd The secret long, and yet but half-concealed ; In baring to revive that lifeless breast, Its grief seemed ended, but the sex confest; And life returned, and Kaled felt no shame What now to her was Womanhood or Fame?

And Lara sleeps not where his fathers sleep, But where he died his grave was dug as deep; Nor is his mortal slumber less profound, [mound; Though priest nor blessed, nor marble deck'd the

And he was mourned by one whose quiet grief,
Less loud, outlasts a people's for their chief.
Vain was all question asked her for the past,
And vain e'en menace-silent to the last;
She told nor whence, nor why she left behind
Her all for one who seemed but little kind.
Why did she love him ? Curious fool!-be still
Is human love the growth of human will ?
To her he might be gentleness; the stern
Have deeper thoughts than your dull eyes discern,
And when they love, your smilers guess not how
Beats the strong heart though less the lips avow.
They were not common links, that formed the chain
That bound to Lara Kaled's heart and brain;
But that wild tale she brooked not to unfold,
And sealed is now each lip that could have told.

Oh! who young Leila's glance could read,
And keep that portion of his creed,
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 blossoms strew
Their bloom in blushes ever new;
Her hair in hyacinthine 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!
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!

Between two worlds life hovers like a star,

'Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon's verge : How little do we know that which we are !

How less what we may be! The eternal surge Of time and tide rolls on, and bears afar

Our bubbles; as the old burst, new emerge, Lash'd from the foam of ages ; while the graves Of Empires heave but like some passing waves.

LIONI'S SOLILOQUY. Palazzo of the Patrician Lioni.-Lioni laying aside

the mask and cloak which the Venetian nobles wore in public, attended by a domestic.

Lioni. I will to rest, right weary of this revel, The gayest we have held for many moons,

And yet, I know not why, it cheered me not ;

There came a heaviness across my heart,
Which in the lightest movement of the dance,
Though eye to eye, and hand in hand united
Even with the lady of my love, oppressed me,
And through my spirit chilled my blood, until
A damp like death rose o'er my brow ; I strove
To laugh the thought away, but 't would not be;
Through all the music ringing in my ears
A knell was sounding as distinct and clear,
Though low and far, ás e'er the Adrian wave
Rose o'er the city's murmur in the night,
Dashing against the outward Lido's bulwark :
So that I left the festival before
It reach'd its zenith, and will woo my pillow
For thoughts more tranquil, or forgetfulness.
Antonio, take my mask and cloak, and light
The lamp within my chamber.

Yes, my lord :
Command you no refreshment ?

Nought save sleep, Which will not be commanded. Let me hope it,

[Exit Antonio. Though my breast feels too anxious; I will try Whether the air will calm my spirits : 'tis A goodly night; the cloudy wind which blew From the Levant hath crept into its cave, And the broad moon has brightened. What a stillness !

[Goes to an open lattice. And what a contrast with the scene I left, Where the tall torches' glare, and silver lamps' More pallid gleam along the tapestried walls, Spread over the reluctant gloom which haunts Those vast and dimly-latticed galleries

A dazzļing mass of artificial light,
Which showed all things, but nothing as they were.
There Age essaying to recall the past,
After long striving for the hues of youth
At the sad labour of the toilet, and
Full many a glance at the too faithful mirror,
Prankt forth in all the pride of ornament,
Forgot itself, and trusting to the falsehood
Of the indulgent beams, which show yet hide,
Believed itself forgotten, and was fool'd.
There Youth, which needed not, nor thought of such
Vain adjuncts, lavished its true bloom, and health,
And bridal beauty, in the unwholesome press
Of flushed and crowded wassailers, and wasted
Its hours of rest in dreaming this was pleasure;
And so shall waste them till the sunrise streams
On sallow cheeks and sunken eyes, which should not
Have worn this aspect yet for many a year.
The music, and the banquet, and the wine-
The garlands, the rose odours, and the flowers
The sparkling eyes and flashing ornaments-
The white arms and the raven hair—the braids
And bracelets; swan-like bosoms, and the necklace,
An India in itself, yet dazzling not
The eye like what it circled; the thin robes,
Floating like light clouds 'twixt our gaze and heaven;
The many-twinkling feet so small and sylph-like,
Suggesting the more secret symmetry
Of the fair forms which terminate so well-
All the delusion of the dizzy scene,
Its false and true enchantments-art and nature,
Which swam before my giddy eyes that drank
The sight of beauty as the parched pilgrim's
On Arab sands the false mirage, which offers

« AnteriorContinuar »