« AnteriorContinuar »
Had seen those scatter'd limbs composed,
And mourn'd above his turban-stone,*
Thy destined lord is come too late :
Can he not hear
Thy handmaids weeping at the gate,
The silent slaves with folded arms that wait,
Tell him thy tale !
Thy heart grew chill :
Sufficed to kill ;
Peace to thy broken heart, and virgin grave!
Vainly thou heap'st the dust upon thy head,
By that same hand Abdallah-Selim-bled.
Thy Daughter's dead !
“Where is my child?"--an Echo answers—“Where?" • A turban is carved in stone above the graves of men only.-B.
The death-song of the Turkish women. The “ silent slaves" are the men, whose notions of decorum forbid complaint in public.-B.
1 “I came to the place of my birth and cried, 'The friends of my youth, where are they?' and an Echo answered, Where are they?''L-From an Arabic M& The above quotation (trom which the idea in the text is taken) must be already familias
That shine beneath, while dark abovo,
And withers not, though branch and lead
Like early unrequited Love,
Ev'n in that deadly grove-
Its lonely lustre meek and pale:
So white—so faint--the slightest gale
And yet, though storms and blight assail
May wring it from the stem-in vain
For well may maids of Helle deem
Nor woos the summer beam :
A bird unseen—but not remote:
His long entrancing note!
Though mournful, pours not such a strain :
As if they loved in vain !
That melancholy spell,
He sings so wild and well!
Yet harsh be they that blame)
Into Zuleika's name.*
every reader-it is given in the first annotation (p. 67) of "The Pleasures of Memory a poem so well known as to render a reference almost superfluous; but to whose pages all will be delighted to recur.-B. ." And airy tongues that syllable men's names."-MILTOX. For a belief that the souls
'Tis from her cypress' summit heard,
And there by night, reclined, 'tis said,
Hath flourish'd; flourisheth this hour,
And the wan lustre of thy features--caught
From contemplation—where serenely wrought, Seems sorrow's softness charm'd from its despairHave thrown such speaking sadness in thine air,
That—but I know thy blessèd bosom fraught
With mines of unalloy'd and stainless thought-
When from his beauty-breathing pencil born
The Magdalen of Guido saw the morn —
December 17, 1813.
of the dead inhabit the form of birds, we need not travel to the East. Lord Lyttleton's ghost story, the belief of the Duchess of Kendal, that George I. flew into her window in the shape of a raven (see Orford's “Reminiscences"), and many other instances, bring this superstition nearer home. The most singular was the whim of a Worcester lady, who, belioving her daughter to exist in the shape of a singing bird, literally furnished her pew in the cathedral with cages full of the kind; and as she was rich, and a benefactress in beautifying the church, no objection was made to her harmless folly --For this anec dote, see Orford's “ Letters."--B.
THY cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe;
And yet so lovely, that if mirth could flush Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush, My heart would wish away that ruder glow : And dazzle not thy deep blue eyes—but, oh!
While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush,
And into mine my mother's weakness rush,
The soul of melancholy Gentleness
Above all pain, yet pitying all distress ;
I worship more, but cannot love thee less.
TO THOMAS MOORE, ESQ.
MY DEAR MOORE, I DEDICATE to you the last production with which I shall trespass on public patience, and your indulgence, for some years; and I own that I Ezel anxious to avail myself of this latest and only opportunity of adorning my pages with a name, consecrated by unshaken public principle, and the most undoubted and various talents. While Ireland ranks you among the firmest of her patriots; while you stand alone the first of her bards in her estimation, and Britain repeats and ratifies the decree, permit one, whose only regret, since our first acquaintance, has been the years he had lost before it commenced, to add the humble but sincere suffrage of friendship, to the voice of more than one nation. It will at least prove to you, that I have neither forgotten the gratification derived from your society, nor abandoned the prospect of its renewal, whenever your leisure or inclination allows you to atone to your friends for too long an absence. It is said among those friends, I trust truly, that you are engaged in the composition of a poem whose scene will be laid in the East: none can do those scenes so much justice. The wrongs of your own country, the magnificent and fiery spirit of her sons, the beauty and feeling of her daughters, may there be found; and Collins, when he denominated his Oriental his Irish Eclogues, was not aware how true, at least, was a part of his parallel.
Your imagination will create a warmer sun, and less clouded sky; but wildness, tenderness, and originality, are part of your national claim of oriental descent, to which you have already thus far proved your title more clearly than the most zealous of your country's antiquarians.
May I add a few words on a subject on which all men are supposed to be fluent, and none agreeable?-Self. I have written much, and published more than enough to demand a longer silence than I now meditate ; but, for some years to come, it is my intention to tempt no further the award of “Gods, men, nor columns.” In the present composition I have at. tempted not the most difficult, but, perhaps, the best adapted measure to our language, the good old and now neglected heroic couplet. The stanza of Spenser is perhaps too slow and dignified for narrative; though, I confess it is the measure most after my own heart: Scott alone, of the present generation, has hitherto completely triumphed over the fatal facility of the octosyllabic verse; and this is not the least victory of his fertile and mighty genius: in blank' verse, Milton, Thomson, and our dramatists, are the beacons that shine along the deep, but warn ns from the rough and barren rock on which they are kindled. The heroic couplet is not the most popu. lar measure, certainly; but as I did not deviate into the other from a wish to flatter what is called public opinion, I shall quit it without further apology, and take my chance once more with that versification in which I have hitherto published nothing but compositions whose former circulation is part of my present, and will be of my future, regret.
With regard to my story, and stories in general, I should have been glad to have rendered my personages more perfect and amiable, if possible, inasmuch as I have been sometimes criticised, and considered no less responsible for their deeds and qualities than if all had been personal. Be it so—if I have deviated into the gloomy vanity of“ drawing from self,” the pictures are probably like, since they are unfavourable; and if not, those