Imágenes de página
PDF

I'd rather be the thing that crawls

And if it dares enough, 't were hard Most noxious o'er a dungeon's walls,

If passion met not some rewardThan pass my dull, unvarying days,

No matter how, or where, or why, Condemn'd to meditate and gaze.

I did not vainly seek, nor sigh : Yet lurks a wish within my breast

Yet sometimes, with remorse, in vain For rest-but not to feel 'tis rest.

I wish she had not loved again. Soon shall my fate that wish fulfil:

She died-1 dare not tell thee low: And I shall sleep without the dream

But look-'tis written on iny brow! Of what I was, and would be still.

There read of Cain the curse and crime, Dark as to thee my deeds may seem :

In characters unworn by time : My memory now is but the tomb

Still, ere thou dost condemn me, pause : Of joys long dead; my hope, their doom:

Not mine the act, though I the cause. Though better to have died with those

Yet did he but what I had done. Than bear a life of lingering woes.

Had she been false to more than one. My spirit shrunk not to sustain

Faithless to him, he gave the blow; The searching throes of ceaseless pain;

But true to me, I laid him low : Nor sought the self-accorded grave

Howe'er deserved her doom might be, Of ancient fool and modern knave :

Her treachery was truth to me; Yet death I have not fear'd to meet;

To me she gave her heart, that all And in the field it had been sweet,

Which tyranny can ne'er enthrall; Had danger woo'd me on to inove

And I, alas, too late to save! The slave of glory, not of love.

Yet all I then could give, I gaveI've braved it-not for honour's boast;

'Twas some relief-our foe a grave. I smile at laurels won or lost;

His death sits lightly; but her fate To such let others carve their way,

Has made me what thou well may'st hate. For high renown, or hireling pay:

His doom was seald-he knew it well, But place again before my eyes

Warn'd by the voice of stern Taheer Aught that I deem a worthy prize

Deep in whose darkly boding ear* The maid I love, the man I hate

The deathshot peal'd of murder near,
And I will hunt the steps of fate,

As filed the troop to where they fell !
To save or slay, as these require,
Through rending steel and rolling fire :

• This superstition of a second-hearing (for I never Nor need'st thou doubt this speech from one met with downright second-sight in the East) sell once Who would but do-what he hath done.

under my own observation. On my third journey to

Cape Colonna, early in 1811, as we passed through the Death is but what the haughty brave,

defile that leads froin the hamlet between Keratia and The weak must bear, the wretch must crave: Colonna, I observed Dervish Tahiri riding rather out Then let life go to Him who gave;

of the path, and leaning his head upon his hand, as if in

pain. I rode up and inquired. We are in peril,'he I have not quail'd to dlanger's brow

answered. What peril? we are not now in Albania, When high and happy-need I now?

nor in the passes to Ephesus, Messalunghi, or Lepanto; there are plenty of us, well armed, and the Choriates have not courage to be thieves.' True, Affendi, but nevertheless the shot is ringing in my ears. The

shot ! not a tophaike has been fired this morning.' I loved her, Friar' nay, adored

I hear it, notwithstanding-Bom-Bom-as plainly as

I hear your voice.' . Psha !' 'As you please, Affendi ; But these are words that all can use

if it is written, so will it be.' I left this quick-eared I proved it more in deed than word;

predestinarian, and rode up to Basili, his Christian comThere's blood upon that dinted sword,

patriot, whose ears, though not at all prophetic, by no A stain its steel can never lose :

means relished the intelligence. We all arrived at

Colonna, remained some hours, and returned leisurely. 'Twas shed for her, who died for me,

saying a variety of brilliant things, in more languages It warm d the heart of one abhorr'd :

than spoiled the building of Babel, upon the mistaken Nay, start not--no-nor bend thy knee,

seer. Romaic, Arnaut, Turkish, Italian, and English

were all exercised, in various conceits, upon the un. Nor 'midst my sins such act record :

fortunate Mussulman. While we were contemplating Thou wilt absolve me from the deed,

the beautiful prospect, Dervish was occupied about For he was hostile to thy creed :

the columns. I thought he was deranged into an an.

tiquarian, and asked him if he had become a Palac. The very name of Nazarene

castro' man? No,' said he, but these pillars will be Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen.

useful in making a stand;' and added other remarks, Ungrateful sool! since but for brands

which at least evinced his own belief in his troublesome

faculty of fore-hearing. On our return to Athens we Well wielded in some hardy hands,

heard from Leoné (a prisoner set ashore some days And wounds by Galilcans given,

after) of the intended attack of the Mainotes, menThe surest pass to Turkish heaven,

tioned, with the cause of its not taking place, in the

notes to Childe Harold, Canto 11. I was at some pains For him his Houris still might wait

to question the man, and he described the dresses, Impatient at the Prophet's gate.

jarms, and marks of the horses of our party so accurately I loved her-love will find its way

that, with other circumstances, we could not doubt of

his being in 'villanous company,' and ourselves in a Through paths where wolves would fear to

bad neighbourhood. Dervish became a soothsayer for prey;

life, and'i daresay he is now hearing more musketry

He died tvo in the battle broil.

And rose, where'er I turn'd mine eye,
A time that heeds nor pain nor toil ;

The Morning-star of Memory!
One cry to Mahomet for ald,
One prayer to Allah all he made :

Yes, Love indeed is light from heaven :
He knew and crossed me in the fray-

A spark of that immortal fire I gazed upon him where he lay,

With angels shared, by Allah given And watch'd his spirit ebb away :

To lift from earth our low desire. Though pierced like pard by hunters' steel,

Devotion wasts the mind above, He felt not half that now I feel.

But heaven itself descends in love ; I search'd, but vainly search'd, to find

A feeling from the Godhead caught, The workings of the wounded mind;

To wean from self each sordid thought; Each feature of that sullen corse

A Ray of Him who form'd the whole ; Betray'd his rage, but no remorse.

A Glory circling round the soul ! Oh, what had Vengeance given to trace

I grant my love imperfect, all Despair upon his dying face!

That mortals by the name miscall; The late repentance of that hour,

Then deem it evil, what thou wilt ; When Penitence hath lost her power

But say, oh say, hers was not guilt ! To tear one terror from the grave,

She was my life's unerring light:
And will not soothe, and cannot save.

That quench'd, what beam shall break my night!
Oh! would it shone to lead me still,

Although to death or deadliest ill! • The cold in clime are cold in blood,

Why marvel ye, if they who lose
Their love can scarce deserve the name :

This present joy, this future hope,
But mine was like the lava flood,

No more with sorrow meekly cope;
That boils in Ætna's breast of Alane.

In frenzy then their fate accuse :
I cannot prate in puling strain

In madness do those fearful deeds Of ladye-love, and beauty's chain :

That seem to add but guilt to woe ? If changing cheek, and scorching vein,

Alas! the breast that inly bleeds Lips taught to writhe, but not complain,

Hath nought to dread from outward blow: If bursting heart, and maddning brain,

Who falls from all he knows of bliss, And daring deed, and vengeful steel,

Cares little into what abyss. And all that I have felt and feel,

Fierce as the gloomy vulture's now Betoken love-that love was mine,

To thee, old man, my deeds appear: And shown by many a bitter sign

I read abhorrence on thy brow, 'Tis true, I could not wline nor sigh,

And this too was I born to bear!
I knew but to obtain or die.

'Tis true, that, like that bird of prey,
I die--but first, I have possessid,

With havoc have I mark'd iny way: And come what may, I have been bless'd.

But this was taught me by the dove, Shall I the doom I sought upbraid ?

To die-and know no second love.
No-reft of all, yet undismay'd,

This lesson yet hath man to learn,
But for the thought of Leila slain,

Taught by the thing he dares to spurn!
Give me the pleasure with the pain,

The bird that sings within the brake,
So would I live and love again.

The swan that swims upon the lake,
I grieve-but not, my holy guide,

One inate, and one alone, will take.
For him who dies, but her who died !

And let the fool still prone to range,
She sleeps beneath the wandering wave-

And sneer on all who cannot change,
Ah! had she but an earthly grave,

Partake his jest with boasting boys;
This breaking heart and throbbing head

I envy not his varied joys,
Should seek and share her narrow bed.

But deem such feeble, heartless man,
She was a form of life and light,

Less than yon solitary swan;
That, seen, became a part of sight,

Far, far beneath the shallow maid
He left believing and betray'd.

Such shame at least was never mine-
than ever will be fired, to the great refreshment of the
Arnauts of Berat, and his native mountains. I shall Leila ! each thought was only thine!
mention one trait more of this singular race. In March

My good, my guilt, my weal, my woe, 1811, a remarkabıy stout and active Arnaut came (I

My hope on high-my all below. believe the fiftieth on the same errand) to offer himself as an attendant, which was declined Well, Affendi,' Earth holds no other like to thee, quoth he, 'may you live you would have found me Or, if it doth, in vain for me: useful I shall leave the town for the hills to-morrow;

For worlds I dare not view the dame in the winter I return; perhaps you will then receive me.' Dervish, who was present, remarked as a thing

Resembling thee, yet not the same. of course, and of no consequence, 'In the meantime he The very crimes that niar my youth, will join the Klephtes' (robbers), which was true to the

This bed of death-attest my truth! letter. If not cut off, they come down in the winter,

'Tis all too late-thou wert, thou art and pass it uninolested in some town, where they are often as well known as their exploits.

The cherish'd madness of my heart!

[graphic]

-

--

-

. And she was lost--and yet I breathed,

A shriveli'd scroll, a scatter'd lcaf,
But not the breath of human life;

Seard by the autumn blast of grief!
A serpent round my heart was wreathed,
And stung my every thought to strife.

• Tell me no more of fancy's gicam; Alike all time, abhorr'd all place;

No, father, no, 'twas not a dream: Shuddering, I shrank from Nature's face,

Alas! the dreamer first must sleep. Where every hue that charm'd before,.

I oniy watch'd, and wish d to weep; The blackness of my bosom wore.

But could not, for my burning browy The rest thou dost already know,

Throtb'd to the very brain as now: And all my sins, and half my woe.

I wish'd but for a single tear, But talk no more of penitence;

As something welcome, new, and dear ; Thou seest I soon shall part from hence:

I wish'd it then, I wish it stiil; And if thy holy tale were true, ut

Despair is stronger than iny will. The deed that's done, canst thou undo?

Waste not thine orison, despair Think me not thankless, but this grief,

Is mightier than thy pious prayer: Looks not to priesthood for relief.

I would not, if I might, be blest; My soul's estate in secret guess :

I want no paradise, but rest. But wouldst thou pity more, say less.,

'Twas then, I tell thee, father! then When thou canst bid my Leila live, 13:31

I saw her; yes, she lived again ; Then will I sue thee to forgive ::....!!!

And shining in her white symar,* Then plead my cause in that high place

As through yon pale grey cloud the star Where purchased masses proffer grace."

Which now I gaze on, as on her, Go, when the hunter's hand hath wrung

Who look'd, and looks far lovelier; From forest-cave her shrieking young.

Dimly I view its trembling spark ; And calm the lonely lioness: .,

To-morrow's night shall be more dark; But soothe not, mock not my distress!

And I, before its rays appcar,

That lifeless thing the living fear. In earlier days, and calmer hours.

I wander, father! for my soul When heart with heart delights to blend,

Is fleeting towards the final gaol. Where bloom my native valley's bowers,

I saw lier, friar, and I rose I had-ah! have I now ?-a friend I

Forgetful of our foriner woes; To him this pledge I charge thee send,

And rushing from my couch, I dart, Memorial of a youthful vow :

And clasp her to my desperate heart; I would remind him of my end ; Pot

I clasp-what is it that I clasp? Though souls absorb'd like mine allow

No breathing form within my grasp. Brief thought to distant friendship's claim,

No heart that beats reply to mine; Yet dear to him my blighted name.

Yet, Leila! yet the forın is thine! 'Tis strange-he prophesied my doom,

And art thou, dearest, changed so much, And I have smiled-I then could sinile

As meet my eye, yet mock my touch: When Prudence would his voice assume,

Ah! were thy beauties c'er so cold, And warn-I reck'd not what-the while :

I care not; so my arms enfold But now remembrance whispers o'era

The all they ever wish'd to hold. Those accents scarcely mark'd before. !'"

Alas! around a shadow prest, Say-that his bodings caine to pass,

They shrink upon my lonely breast; And he will start to hear their truth,

Yet still 'tis there! In silence stands. And wish his words had not been sooth:

And beckons with beseeching hands!
Tell him, unheeding as I was,

With braided hair, and bright-black
Through many a busy bitter scene
Of all our golden youth had been,

eye

I knew 't was false-she could not die ! In pain, my faltering tongue had tried

But he is deadl within the dell
To bless his memory ere I died;

I saw him buried where he fell;
But Heaven in wrath would turn away,
If Guilt should for the guiltless pray.

He comes not, for he cannot break

From carth; why then art thou awake? I do not ask him not to blame,

They told me wild waves rolld above Too gentle he to wound my name;

The face I view, the forin I love! And what have I to do with fame?

They told me-twas a hideous tale!
I do not ask him not to mourii.

I'd tell it, but my tongue would fail :
Such cold request might sound like scorn;
And what than friendship's inanly tear

If true, and from thine ocean.care

Thou com'st to claim a calmer grave,
May better grace a brother's hier!

Oh, pass thy dewy fingers o'er
But bear this ring, his own of old,
And tell him-what thou dost behold!

This brow, that then will burn no more ;
The wither'd frame, the ruin'd mind,
The wrack by passion left behind,

Symar,' a shroud.

Or place them on my hopeless heart:

ago, the wife of Muchtar Pacha complained to his But, shape or shade! whate'er thou art,

father of his son's supposed infidelity: he asked with

whom, and she had the barbarity to give in a list of In mercy ne'er again depart!

the twelve handsomest woinen in Yanin. They were Or farther with thee bear my soul

seized, fastened up in sacks, and drowned in the lake Than winds can waft or waters roll!

the same night! One of the guards who was present informed me, that not one of the victinis uttered a cry, or showed a symptom of terror, at so sudden a

wrench from all we know, from all we love. The Such is my name, and such my tale.

fate of Phrosine, the fairest of this sacrifice, is the Confessor! to thy secret ear

subject of many a Romaic and Arnaut ditty. The

story in the text is one told of a young Venetian many I breathe the sorrows I bewail,

years ago, and now nearly forgotten. I heard it by And thank thee for the generous tear

accident recited by one of the coffeehouse storyThis glazing eye could never shed.

tellers who abound in the Levant, and sing or recite

their narratives. The additions and interpolations by Then lay me with the humblest dead;

the translator will be easily distinguished from the And, save the cross above my head,

rest, by the want of Eastern imagery; and I regret Be neither name nor emblem spread,

that my memory has retained so few fragments of the

original. For the contents of some of the notes, I By prying stranger to be read,

am indebted partly to D'Herbelot, and partly to that Or stay the passing pilgrim's tread.'

most Eastern, and, as Mr. Weber justly entitles it,

'sublime tale,' the Caliph Vathek. I do not know He pass'd-nor of his name and race

from what source the author of that singular volume Hath left a token or a trace,

may have drawn his materials: some of his incidents Save what the father must not say

are to be found in the Bibliothèque Orientale; but for

correctness of costume, beauty of description, and Who shrived him on his dying day:

power of imagination, it far surpasses all European This broken tale was all he knew

imitations; and bears such marks of originality, that Of her he loved, or him he slew. *

those who have visited the East will find some difficulty in believing it to be more than a translation. As

an Eastern tale, even Rasselas must bow before it ; • The circumstance to which the above story relates, his 'Happy Valley' will not bear a comparison with was not very uncommon in Turkey. A few years the Hall of Eblis.'

[graphic]

THE BRIDE OF A BYDOS:

A TURKISH TALE.

Had we never loved so kindly,
Had we never loved so blindly,
Never met or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.'--BURNS.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD HOLLAND

THIS TALE IS INSCRIBED,
WITH EVERY SENTIMENT OF REGARD AND RESPECT,
BY HIS GRATEFULLY OBLIGED AND
SINCERE FRIEND,

BYRON.

1813

CANTO THE FIRST.

Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with

perfume, KNOW ye the land where the cypress and myrtle

Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gúl in her bloom;" Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime?

Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the

And the voice of the nightingale never is mute ; turtle,

Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, Now melt into sorrow, how madden to crime?

In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, Know ye the land of the cedar and vine,

And the purple of ocean is deepest in dye ; Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine ;

Gúl,' the rose.

Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine ?
'Tis the clime of the East ; 'tis the land of the Sun-1
Can he smile on such deeds as his children have

done ?* Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell, Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which

they tell.

I on Zuleika's slumber broke,

And, as thou knowest that for me

Soon turns the Haram's grating key,
Before the guardian slaves awoke,
We to the cypress groves had flown,
And made earth, main, and heaven our own!
There linger'd we, beguiled too long

With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi's song;'
Till I, who heard the deep tambourf
Beat thy Divan's approaching hour,
To thee, and to my duty true,
Warn'd by the sound, to greet thee flew :
But there Zuleika wanders yet-
Nay, father, ragc not-nor forget
That none can pierce that sacred bower
But those who watch the women's tower.'

11.

Begirt with many a gallant slave,
Apparell'd as becomes the brave,
Awaiting each his lord's behest,
To guide his steps, or guard his rest,
Old Giaffir sate in his Divan:

Deep thought was in his aged eye; And though the face of Mussulman

Not oft betrays to standers by The mind within, well skill'd to hide All but unconquerablc pride, His pensive cheek and pondering brow Did more than he was wont avow.

111.

Let the chamber be clear'd, '-The train disap.

pear'd-
Now call me the chief of the Haram guard.'
With Giaffir 's none but his only son,
And the Nubian awaiting the sire's award.

• Haroun--when all the crowd that wait
Are pass'd beyond the outer gate,
(Woe to the head whose eye beheld
My child Zuleika's face unveil'd !)
Hence, lead my daughter from her toner;
Her fate is fix'd this very hour :
Yet not to her repeat my thought ;
By me alone be duty taught !'
• Pacha! to hear is to obey.'
No more must slave to despot say---
Then to the tower had ta'en his way.
But here young Selim silence brake,

First lowly rendering reverence ineet ;
And downcast look'd, and gently spake,

Still standing at the Pacha's feet :
For son of Mosleni must expire,
Ere dare to sit before his sire !

IV, • Son of a slave!--the Pacha said*Froin unbelieving mother bred, Vain were a father's hope to see Aught that bescens a man in thee. Thou, when thine arm should bend the bow, And hurl the dart, and curb the steed,

Thou, Greek in soul if not in creed,
Must pore where babbling waters flow,
And watch unfolding roses blow!
Would that yon orb, whose matin glow
Thy listless eyes so much admire,
Would lend thee something of his fire !
Thou, who wouldst see this battlement
By Christian cannon piecemeal rent;
Nay, tamely view old Stamboul's wat
Before the dogs of Moscow fall,
Nor strike one stroke for life and death
Against the curs of Nazareth I
Go-let thy less than woman's hand
Assume the distaff--not the brand.
But Haroun !-to my daughter speed :
And hark-of thine own head take heed-
If thus Zuleika oft takes wing--
Thou seest yon bow-it hath a string !"

Father! for fear that thou shouldst chide My sister, or her sable guide, Know-for the fault, if fault there be, Was mine-then fall thy frowns on meSo lovelily the morning shone,

That-let the old and weary sleepI could not; and to view alone

The fairest scenes of land and deep, With none to listen and reply To thoughts with which my heart beat high, Were irksome ; for whate'er my mool, In sooth I love not solitude:

V.
No sound from Selim's lips was heard,

At least that met old Giaffir's ear;
But every frown and every word
Pierced keener than a Christian's sword.

Son of a slave!'-reproach'd with fear! Those gibes had cost another dear. Son of a slave! and zuko my sire.' Thus held his thoughts their dark career; And glances ev'n of more than ire

Flash forth, then faintly disappear. Old Giaffir gazed upon his son,

And started; for within his eye He read how much his wrath had done ; He saw rebellion there begun:

Come hither, boy-what! no reply!

• Souls made of fire, and children of the Sun, With whom revenge is virtue.'

YOUNG'S Revenge,

| . Mejnoun and Leila, the Romeo and Juliet of the East. Sadi, the moral poet of Persia

+ Tanbour,' Turkish drum, which sounds at sun. rise, noon, and twilight.

« AnteriorContinuar »