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Though bent on earth thine evil eye,
On-on he hasten'd, and he drew My gaze of wonder as he flew : Though like a demon of the night He pass'd, and vanish'd from my sight, His aspect and his air impress'd A troubled memory on my breast, And long upon my startled ear Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear. He spurs his steed; he nears the steep, That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep; Ile winds around; he hurries by ; The rock relicves him from mine eye ; For well I ween unwelcome he Whose glance is fix'd on those that filee; And not a star but shines too bright On him who takes such timeless flight. He wound along; but ere he pass'd One glance he snatch'd, as if his last, A moment check'd his wheeling steed, A moment breathed him from his speed, A moment on his stirrup stood – Why looks he o'er the olive wood ? The crescent glimmers on the hill, The Mosque's high lamps are quivering still : Though too remote for sound to wake In echoes of the far tophaike,' The flashes of each joyous peal Are seen to prove the Moslem's zeal, To-night, set Rhamazani's sun; To-night, the Bairam feast 's begun ; To-night- but who and what art thou of foreign garb and fearful brow ? And what are these to thine or thee, That thou should'st either pause or flee ?
His brow was bent, his eye was glazed ;
He stood — some dread was on his face, Soon Hatred settled in its place : It rose not with the reddening flush Of transient Anger's hasty blush, ? But pale as marble o'er the tomb, Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom.
The hour is past, the Giaour is gone ; And did he fly or fall alone ? ? Woe to that hour he came or went ! The curse for Hassan's sin was sent To turn a palace to a tomb : He came, he went, like the Simoom, 8 That harbinger of fate and gloom,
1 « Tophaike," musket. – The Bairam is announced by the cannon at sunset ; the illumination of the Mosques, and the firing of all kinds of small arms, loaded with ball, proclaim it during the night.
* C" Hasty blush." — " For hasty, all the editions till the twelith read - darkening blush." On the back of a copy of the eleventh, Lord Byron has written, “ Why did not the printer attend to the solitary correction so repeatedly made ? I have no copy of this, and desire to have none till my request is complied with.") > (" Then turned it swiftly to nis blade,
As loud his raven charger neigh'd." — MS.] • Jerreed, or Djerrid, a blunted Turkish javelin, which is darted from horseback with great force and precision. It is a favourite exercise of the Mussulmans ; but I know not if it can be called a manly one, since the most expert in the art are the Black Eunuchs of Constantinople. I think, next to these, a Mamlouk at Smyrna was the most skilful that came within my observation.
> [Every gesture of the impetuous horseman is full of anxiety and passion. In the inidst of his career, whilst in full view of the astonished spectator, he suddenly checks his sceed, and rising on his stirrup, surveys, with a look of agonis. ing impatience, the distant city illuminated for the feast of Bairam, then pale with anger, raises his arm as if in menace of an invisible enemy; but awakened from his trunce of passion by the neighin; of his charger, again hurries forward, and disappears. - GEORGE Ellis.)
["'T was but an instant, though so long
When thus dilated in my song." - MS.] ? (" But neither fled nor fell alone." - MS.] 8 The blast of the desert, fatal to every thing living, and often alluded to in eastern poetry. -- [Abyssinian Bruce yives, perhaps, the liveliest account of the appearance and effects of the suffocatingablast of the Desert: " At eleven o'clock," he says, “ while we contemplated with great pleasure the rugged top of Chiggre, to which we were fast approaching, and where we were to solace ourselves with plenty of good water, Idris, our guide, cried out with a loud voice, Fall upon your faces, for here is the simoom.' I saw from the south-east a haze come, in colour like the purple part of the rainbow, but not so compressed or thick. It did not occupy twenty yards in breadth, and was about twelve lect high from the ground. It was a kind of blush upon the air, and it moved very rapidly; for I scarce could turn to fall upon the ground, with my head to the northward, when I felt the heat of its current plainly upon my face. We all lay flat on the ground as if dead, till Idris told us it was blown over. The meteor, or purple haze, which I saw was, indeed, passed, but the light air, which still blew, was of a heat to threaten suffocation. For my part, I found distinctly in my breast that I had imbibed a part of it; nor was I free of an asthmatic sensacion till I had been soinc months in Italy, at the baths of Poretta, near two years afterwards." - See Bruce's Life and Travels, p. 470. edit. 1830.)
Beneath whose widely-wasting breath
So here the very voice of Grief
The stced is vanish'd from the stall; No serf is seen in Hassan's hall; The lonely Spider's thin gray pall Waves slowly widening o' the wall ; The Bat builds in his Ilarum bower, And in the fortress of his power The Owl usurps the beacon-tower; The wild-dog howls o'er the fountain's brim, With baffled thirst, and famine, grim;: For the stream has shrunk from its marble bed, Where the weeds and the desolate dust are spread. 'T was sweet of yore to see it play And chase the sultriness of day, As springing high the silver dew In whirls fantastically few, And flung luxurious coo'ness round The air, and verdure o'er the ground. 'T was sweet, when cloudless stars were bright, To view the wave of watery light, And hear its melody by night. And oft had Hassan's Childhood play'd Around the verge of that cascade ; And oft upon his mother's breast That sound had harmonized his rest; And oft had Hassan's Youth along Its bank been soothed by Beauty's song; And softer seem'd each melting tone Of Music mingled with its own. But ne'er shall Hassan's Age repose Along the brink at twilight's close : The stream that fil'd that font is fled The blood that warm'd his heart is shed ! 3 And here no more shall human voice Be heard to rage, regret, rejoice. The last sad note that swell’d the gale Was woman's wildest funeral wail : That quench'd in silence, all is still, But the lattice that flaps when the wind is shrill : Though raves the gust, and floods the rain, No hand shall close its clasp again. 4 On desert sands 't were joy to scan The rudest steps of fellow man,
I hear the sound of coming feet, But not a voice mine ear to greet; More near - each turban I can scan, And silver-sheathed ataghan ; 8 The foremost of the band is seen An Emir by his garb of green : 9 “ Ho! who art thou?"" This low salam 10 Replies of Moslem faith I am. “ The burthen ye so gently bear Seems one that claims your utmost care, And, doubtless, holds some precious freight, My humble bark would gladly wait."
(“ The lonely spider's thin gray pall
Is curtained on the splendid wall." - MS.) ? [" The wild.dog howis o'er the fountain's brink,
But vainly tells his tongue to drink" - ds. 3 [" For thirsty fox and jackal gaunt
May vainly for its waters paut." —MS] * [This part of the narrative not only contains much bril. liant and juist description, but is managed with unusual taste. The fisherman has, hitherto, related nothing more than the extraordinary phenomenon which had excited his curiosity, and of which it is his in.mediate object to explain the cause to his hearers; but instead of proceeding to do so, he stops to vent his execrations on the Giaour, to describe the solitude of Hassan's once luxurious haram, and to lament the untimely death of the owner, and of Leila, together with the cessation of that hospitality which they had uniformly experienced. He reveals, as is unintentionally and unconsciously, the catastrophe of his story ; but he thus prepares his appeal to the sympathy of his audience, without much diminishing their suspense. - GEORGE Ellis.]
5 [“ I have just recollected an alteration you may make in the proof. Among the lines on Hassan's Serai, is this —
• Unreet for solitude to share.' Now, to share implies more than one, and Solitude is a single gentleman; it must be thus
* For many a gilded chamber's there,
Which solitude might well forbear; and so on.
Will you adopt this correction ? and pray accept a Stilton cheese from me for your trouble. – P. s. I leave this to your discretion : if any body thinks the old line a good one, or the cheese a bad one, don't accept of either."— Byron Letters, Stilton, Oct. 3. 1813.)
6 To partake of food, to break bread and salt with your host, ensures the safety of the guest: even though an enemy, his person from that moment is sacred.
7 'I need hardly observe, that Charity and Hospitality are the first duties enjoined by Mahomet; and to say truth, very generally practised by his disciples. The first praise that can be bestowed on a chief, is a panegyric on his bounty ; the next, on his valour.
The ataghan, a long dagger word with pistols in the belt, in a metal scabbard, generally of silver; and, among the wealthier, gilt, or of gold.
9 Green is the privileged colour of the prophet's numerous pretended descendants, with them, as here, faith (the family inheritance) is supposed to supersede the necessity of goori works: they are the worst of a very indifferent brood.
10 Salam aleikoum ! aleikoum salam!" peace be with you; be with you peace – the salutation reserved for the faithful: - to a Christian, " Urlarula," a good journey; or * saban hiresem, saban serula ; " good morn, good even and sometimes, " may your end be happy;" are the usual salutes. Sullen it plunged, and slowly sank, The calm wave rippled to the bank; I watch'd it as it sank, methought Some motion from the current caught Bestirr'd it more, - 't was but the beam That checker'd o'er the living stream: I gazed, till vanishing from view, Like lessening pebble it withdrew; Still less and less, a speck of white That gemm'd the tide, then mock'd the sight; And all its hidden secrets sleep, Known but to Genii of the deep, Which, trembling in their coral caves, They dare not whisper to the waves.
Till inly search'd by thousand throes,
And maddening in ber ire, 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 expirc, Or live like Scorpion girt by fire ; 5 So writhes the mind Remorse hath riven, 6 Unfit for earth, undoom'd for heaven, Darkness above, despair beneath, Around it flame, within it death!
As rising on its purple wing The insect-queen of eastern spring, O'er emerald meadows of Kashmeer Invites the young pursuer near, And leads him on from flower to flower A weary chase and wasted hour, Then leaves him, as it soars on high, With panting heart and tearful eye : So Beauty lures the full-grown child, With hue as bright, and wing as wild ; A chase of idle hopes and fears, Begun in folly, closed in tears. If won, to equal ills betray'd, % Woe waits the insect and the maid ; A life of pain, the loss of peace, From infant's play, and man's caprice : The lovely toy so fiercely sought Hath lost its charm by being caught, For every touch that wou'd its stay Hath brush'd its brightest hues away, Till charm, and hue, and beauty gone, *T is left to fly or fall alone. With wounded wing, or bleeding breast, Ah! where shall either victim rest ? Can this with faded pinion soar From rose to tulip as before ? Or Beauty, blighted in an hour, Find joy within her broken bower ? No: gayer insects futtering by Ne'er droop tbe wing o'er those that die, And lovelier things have mercy shown To cvery failing but their own, And every woe a tear can claim Except an erring sister's shame.
Black Hassan from the Haram flies, Nor bends on woman's form his eyes; The unwonted chase each hour 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 7 last sun was set, And flashing from each minaret Millions of lamps proclaim'd the feast Of Bairam through the boundless East. 'T was 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 deem'd; 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 bad 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 8 trembling light, The Giaour upon bis jet black steed Was seen, but seen alone to speed With bloody spur along the shore, Nor maid nor page behind him bore.
The Mind, that broods o'er guilty woes,
Is like the Scorpion girt by fire, 3 In circle narrowing as it glows,* The fames around their captive close,
Her eye's dark charm 't were vain to tell, But gaze on that of the Gazelle, It will assist thy fancy well; As large, as languishingly dark, But Soul beam'd forth in every spark
! The blue-winged butterfly of Kashmeer, the most rare and beautiful of the species.
* (* If caught, to fate alike betrayed." – MS.]
» (Mr. Dallas says, that Lord Byron assured him that the paragraph containing the simile of the scorpion was imagined in his sleep. It forms, therefore, & pendant to the “psycho. logical curiosity," beginning with those exquisitely musical
# A dan.sel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw ;
It was an Abyssinian maid," &c. The whole of which, Mr. Coleridge says, was composed by Ein during a siesta.)
• [" The gathering flames around her close." - MS.)
Alluding to the dubious suicide of the scorpion, so placed for experiment by gentle philosophers. Some maintain that the position of the sting, when turned towards the head, is merely a convulsive movement; but others have actually brought in the verdict " Felo de se." The scorpions are surely interested in a speedy decision of the question ; as, if once fairly established as insect Cacos, they will probably be allowed to live as long as they think proper, without being martyred for the sake of an hypothesis.
[“ So writhes the mind by Conscience riven." - MS.) 7 The cannon at sunset close the Rhamazan. See anie, p. 65. note.
8 Phíngari, the moon.
Stain'd with the best of Arnaut blood,
That darted from beneath the lid,
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 !
The sun's last rays are on the hill, And sparkle in the fountain rill, Whose welcome waters, cool and clear, Draw blessings t'rom the mountaineer : Here may the loitering merchant Greek Find that repose 't were 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, By time, or mountain lightning, riven From summits clad in mists of heaven; For where is he that hath beheld The peak of Liakura unveil'd ?
Stern Hassan hath a journey ta'en With twenty vassals in his train, 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
I The celebrated fabulous ruby of Sultan Giamschid, the embellisher of Istakhar ; from its splendour, named Schebgerag," the torch of night;" also "the cup of the sun," &c. In the first edition. " Giamschid" was written as a word of three syllables ; so D'Herbelot has it; but I am told Richardson reduces it to a dissyllable, and writes - Jamshid." I hare left in the text the orthography of the one with the pronun. ciation of the other. - [In the first edition, Lord Byron had used this word as a trisyllable,-“ Bright as the gem of Giamschid," - but, on my remarking to him, upon the authority of Richardson's Persian Dictionary, that this was incorrect, he altered it to “ Bright as the ruby of Giamschid." On seeing this, however, I wrote to hiin, “that, as the comparison of his heroine's eye to a ruby might unluckily call up the idea of its being bloodshot, he had hetter change the line to “ Bright as the jewel of Giamschid ; " which he accordingly did, in the following edition. — MOORE.]
2 Al Sirat, the bridge of breadth, narrower than the thread of a famished spider, and sharper than the edge of a sword, over which the Mussulmans nust skate into Paradise, to which it is the only entrance; but this is not the worst, the river beneath being hell itself, into which, as may be expected, the unskilful and tender of foot contrive to tumble with a * facilis descensus Averni," dot very pleasing in prospect to
the next passenger. There is a shorter cut downwards for the Jews and Christians.
3 (The virgins of Paradise, called from their large black eyes, Hur al oyun. An intercourse with these, according to the institution of Mahomet, is to constitute the principal felicity of the faithful. Not formed of clay, like mortal women, they are adorned with unfading charms, and deemed to possess the celestial privilege of an eternal youth. See D'Herbelot, and Sale's Koran.)
* A vulgar error : the Koran allots at least a third of Paradise to well-behaved women ; but by far the greater number of Mussulmans interpret the text their own way, and exclude their moieties from heaven. Being enemies to Platonics, they cannot discern "any fitness of things" in the souls of the other sex, conceiving them to be superseded by the Houris.
5 An oriental simile, which may, perhaps, though fairly stolen, be deemed " plus Arabe qu'en Arabie."
6 Hyacinthine, in Arabic “ Sunbul;" as common a thought in the eastern poets as it was among the Greeks.
7“ Franguestan," Circassia
While eddying whirl, and breaking wave,
And pealing wide or ringing near
Its echoes on the throbbing ear,
Reverberate along that vale,
More suited to the shepherd's tale : Though few the numbers - theirs the strife, That neither spares nor speaks for life ! 6 Ah! fondly youthful hearts can press, To seize and share the dear caress; But Love itself could never pant For all that Beauty sighs to grant With half the fervour Hate bestows Upon the last embrace of foes, When grappling in the fight they fold Those arms that ne'er shall lose their hold: Friends meet to part; Love laughs at faith ; True foes, once met, are join'd till death !
They reach the grove of pine et last :
Scarce had they time to check the rein,
But three shall never mount again :
The dying ask revenge in vain.
Half shelter'd by the steed;
Nor tamely stand to bleed
As rolls the river into ocean,
As the sea-tide's opposing motion, In azure column proudly gleaming, Beats back the current many a rood, In curling foam and mingling flood, 1 Bismillah _ " In the name of God;" the commencement of all the chapters of the Koran but one, and of prayer and tbanksgiving * (* Scarce had they time to check the retu,
The foremost 'Tartar bites the plain.'- MS.] A phenomenon not uncommon with an angry. Mussulnan In 1809, the Capitan Pacha's whiskers at a diplomatic audience were no less lively with indignation than a tiger cat's, to the horror of all the dragomans; the portentous mustachios twisted, they stood erect of their own accord, and
With sabre suiver'd to the hilt,
“ Yes, Leila sleeps beneath the wave,
Was vain against the vengeful Giaour : were expected every moment to change their colour, but at last condescended to subside, which, probably, saved more heads than they contained hairs.
* “ Amaun," quarter, pardon.
5 The “evil eye,” a common superstition in the Levant, and of which the imaginary effects are yet very singular on those who conceive themselves affected.
5 [" That neither gives nor asks for life." — MS.] 7 The flowered shawls generally worn by persons of rank.