Imágenes de página
PDF

“ And felt—that all which Freedom's bosom cheers, “ Must break my chain before it dried my tears. “This may'st thou judge, at least, from my escape, “They little deem of aught in peril's shape; 700 "Else vainly had I pray'd or sought the chance “That leads me here—if eyed with vigilance: “The careless guard that did not see me fly, “May watch as idly when thy power is nigh: “Pacha!-my limbs are faint-and nature craves 705 "Food for my hunger, rest from tossing waves ; " Permit my absence-peace be with thee! Peace “ With all around !-now grant repose-release.”

“Stay, Dervise! I have more to question-stay, “I do command thee-sit-dost hear?-obey! 710 “More I must ask, and food the slaves shall bring; “Thou shalt not pine where all are banqueting: "The supper done-prepare thee to reply, “Clearly and full-I love not mystery.”

'Twere vain to guess what shook the pious man, 715
Who look'd not lovingly on that Divan;
Nor show'd high relish for the banquet prest,
And less respect for every fellow guest.
'Twas but a moment's peevish hectic past
Along his cheek, and tranquillized as fast: 720
He sate him down in silence, and his look
Resumed the calmness which before forsook:

The feast was usher'd in-but sumptuous fare He shunn'd as if some poison mingled there. For one so long condemn'd to toil and fast, 725 Methinks he strangely spares the rich repast. 6 What ails thee, Dervise ? eat-dost thou suppose “This feast a Christian's? or my friends thy foes ? “Why dost thou shun the salt? that sacred pledge, “Which, once partaken, blunts the sabre's edge, 730 “Makes even contending tribes in peace unite, " And hated hosts seem brethren to the sight!"

“Salt seasons dainties—and my food is still “The humblest root, my drink the simplest rill; “And my stern vow and order's (6) laws oppose 735

To break or mingle bread with friends or foes; “ It may seem strange--if there be aught to dread, “ That peril rests upon my single head; “But for thy sway-nay more-thy Sultan's throne, “ I taste nor bread nor banquet---save alone; 740 “ Infringed our order's rule, the Prophet's rage “To Mecca's dome might bar my pilgrimage.”

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Up rose the Dervise with that burst of light,
Nor less his change of form appallid the sight:
Up rose that Dervise---not in saintly garb,
But like a warrior bounding on his barb, 755
Dash'd his high cap, and tore his robe away---
Shone his mail'd breast, and flash'd his sabre's ray!
His close but glittering casque, and sable plume,
More glittering eye, and black brow's sabler gloom,
Glared on the Moslems' eyes some Afrit sprite, 760
Whose demon death-blow left no hope for fight.

The wild confusion, and the swarthy glow
Of flames on high, and torches from below;
The shriek of terror, and the mingling yell---
For swords began to clash, and shouts to swell, 765
Flung o'er that spot of earth the air of hell!
Distracted, to and fro, the flying slaves
Behold but bloody shore and fiery waves;
Nought heeded they the Pacha's angry cry,
They seize that Dervise !---seize on Zatanai! (7) 770
Ile saw their terror---check'd the first despair
That urged him but to stand and perish there,
Since far too early and too well obey'd,
The flame was kindled ere the signal made ;
He saw their terror---from his baldric drew 775
His bugle---brief the blast---but shrilly blew,
'Tis answer'd---“ Well ye speed, my gallant crew!

“ Why did I doubt their quickness of career ?
“And deem design had left me single here?”
Sweeps his long arm---that sabre's whirling sway, 780
Sheds fast atonement for its first delay;
Completes his fury, what their fear begun,
And makes the many basely quail to one.
The cloven turbans o'er the chamber spread,
And scarce an arm dare rise to guard its head: 785
Even Seyd, convulsed, o'erwhelm'd with rage, surprise,
Retreats before him, though he still defies.
No craven he-and yet he dreads the blow,
So much Confusion magnifies his foe!
His blazing galleys still distract his sight, 790
He tore his beard, and foaming fled the fight; (8)
For now the pirates pass'd the Haram gate,
And burst within--and it were death to wait;
Where wild Amazement shrieking-kneeling—throws
The sword aside-in vain---the blood o'erflows ! 795
The Corsairs pouring, haste to where within,
Invited Conrad's bugle, and the din
Of groaning victims, and wild cries for life,
Proclaim'd how well he did the work of strife.
They shout to find him grim and lonely there, 800
A glutted tyger mangling in his lair !
But short their greeting---shorter his reply---
“ 'Tis well—but Seyd escapes and he must die.
“Much hath been done-but more remains to do-
“ Their galleys blaze-why not their city too ?” 805

[graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »