Imágenes de página

Shall sound each tone thy long-loved voice endears.
For thee in those bright isles is built a bower 890
Blooming as Aden' in its earliest hour.
A thousand swords, with Selim's heart and hand,
Wait-wave-defend-destroy-at thy command !
Girt by my band, Zuleika at my side,
The spoil of nations shall bedeck my bride.
The Haram's languid years of listless ease
Are well resigned for cares—for joys like these :
Not blind to Fate, I see, where'er I rove,
Unnumbered perils,—but one only love!
Yet well my toils shall that fond breast repay, goo
Though Fortune frown, or falser friends betray.
How dear the dream in darkest hours of ill,
Should all be changed, to find thee faithful still !
Be but thy soul, like Selim's firmly shown;
To thee be Selim's tender as thine own;
To soothe each sorrow, share in each delight,
Blend every thought, do all-but disunite!
Once free, 'tis mine our horde again to guide;
Friends to each other, foes to aught beside : 2
Yet there we follow but the bent assigned 910
By fatal Nature to man's warring kind : ii.

i. Wait on thy voice and bow at thy command.-[MS.]
ii. Oh turn and mingle every thought with his,

And all our future days unite in this.-[MS.)
iii. Man I may kad but trust not-I may fall

By those now friends to me, yet foes to all-
In this they follow but the bent assigned,

By fatal Nature to our warring kind.-(MS.) 1. “Jannat-al-Aden,” the perpetual abode, the Mussulman para. dise. (See Sale's Koran, Preliminary Discourse," sect. i. ; and Fournal, November 17, 1813, Letters, 1898, ii. 326.)

2. [" You wanted some reflections, and I send you per Selim, eighteen lines in decent couplets, of a pen-ive, if not an ethical tendency. Mr. Canning's approbation (if he did approve) I need not say makes me proud.”—Letter to Murray, November 23, 1813, Letters, 1899, i. 286.)

Mark! where his carnage and his conquests cease!
He makes a solitude, and calls it-peace !!1
I like the rest must use my skill or strength,
But ask no land beyond my sabre's length:
Power sways but by division-her resource
The blest alternative of fraud or force !
Ours be the last; in time Deceit may come
When cities cage us in a social home:
There ev'n thy soul might err-how oft the heart 920
Corruption shakes which Peril could not part !
And Woman, more than Man, when Death or Woe,
Or even Disgrace, would lay her lover low,
Sunk in the lap of Luxury will shame-
Away suspicion !--not Zuleika's name !
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!


i. Behold a wilderness and call it peace.-[MS. erased.]

Look round our earth and lo! where battles cease,

Behold a Solitude and call it" peace.-(MS.) or, Mark even where Conquest's deeds of carnage cease

She leaves a solitude and calls it peace.—[ November 21, 1813.) [For the final alteration to the present text, see letter to Murray of November 24, 1813.)

ii. Power sways but by distrust-her sole source.-{MS. erased.] iii. Which Love to-night hath lent by swelling sail.-(MS.] 1. [Compare Tacitus, Agricola, cap. 30–

“ Solitudinem faciunt-pacem appellant." See letter to Murray, November 24, 1813, Letters, 1898, ii. 287.]



Aye-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,2
No sigh for safety, but a prayer for thee !
The war of elements no fears impart
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.“.
Few words remain of mine my tale to close;
Of thine but one to waft us from our foes;
Yea-foes—to me will Giaffir's hate decline?
And is not Osman, who would part us, thine?



“ His head and faith from doubt and death

Returned in time my guard to save;

Few heard, none told, that o'er the wave
From isle to isle I royed the while :
And since, though parted from my band
Too seldom now I leave the land,

i. Then if my lip once murmurs, it must be.-(MS.)

ii. This hour decides my doom or thy escape.[MS.] 1. [Compare

Quam juvat immites ventos audire cubantem,
Et dominam tenero detinuisse sinu."

Tibullus, Eleg., Lib. I. i. 45, 46.] 2. [The omission of lines 938, 939 drew from Byron an admission (Letter to Murray, November 29, 1813) that “the passage is an imitation altogether from Medea in Ovid(Metamorph., vii. 66-69)

“My love possest, in Jason's bosom laid,
Let seas swell high ;--I cannot be dismay'd
While I infold my husband in my arms:
Or should I fear, I should but fear his harms.”

Englished by Sandys, 1632.]


No deed they've done, nor deed shall do,
Ere I have heard and doomed 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 recall thy willing vow,
Appalled by truths imparted now,
Here rest 1-not to see thee wed :
But be that peril on my head !"

[ocr errors]



Zuleika, mute and motionless,
Stood like that Statue of Distress,
When, her last hope for ever gone,
The Mother hardened into stone;
All in the maid that eye could see
Was but a younger Niobé.
But ere her lip, or even her eye,
Essayed to speak, or look reply,
Beneath the garden's wicket porch
Far flashed on high a blazing torch!

Another-and another-and another-1
I. [Compare-

“That thought has more of hell than had the former.
Another, and another, and another ! ”

The Revenge, by Edward Young, act iv.

(Modern British Drama, 1811, ii, 17)]


“Oh! fly—no more—yet now my more than brother !"
Far, wide, through every thicket spread
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;

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 Selin's grave?



Dauntless he stood—“'Tis come-soon past-
One kiss, Zuleika—'tis my 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."
Forth to the cavern mouth he stept ;

His pistol's echo rang on high,
Zuleika started not, nor wept,

Despair benumbed her breast and eye !--
“They hear me not, or if they ply
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:

Yet stay within-here linger safe,

At thee his rage will only chafe.
Stir not-lest even to thee perchance
Şome erring blade or ball should glance,


« AnteriorContinuar »