Imágenes de página
PDF

The father paused a moment, then withdrew His weapon, and replaced it; but stood still, And looking on her, as to look her through, "Not /," he said, "have sought this stranger's ill; Not 7 have made this desolation; few 365 Would bear such outrage, and forbear to kill; But I must do my duty—how thou hast Done thine, the present vouches for the past.

"Let him disarm; or, by my father's head, His own shall roll before you like a ball!" "370

He raised his whistle, as the word he said, And blew; another answered to the call, And, rushing in disorderly, though led, And armed from boot to turban, one and all, Some twenty of his train came, rank on rank; 375

He gave the word—"Arrest or slay the Frank!"

Then, with a sudden movement, he withdrew His daughter; while compressed within his clasp,

'Twixt her and Juan interposed the crew; In vain she struggled in her father's grasp— 380 His arms were like a serpent's coil: then flew Upon their prey, as darts an angry asp, The file of pirates; save the foremost, who Had fallen, with his right shoulder half cut through.

The second had his cheek laid open; but 385 The third, a wary, cool old sworder, took

The blows upon his cutlass, and then put His own well in; so well, ere you could look, His man was floored, and helpless at his foot,

With the blood running like a little brook, 390 From two smart sabre gashes, deep and red— One on the arm, the other on the head.

And then they bound him where he fell, and bore Juan from the apartment: with a sign, Old Lambro bade them take him to the shore, 395 Where lay some ships which were to sail at nine. They laid him in a boat, and plied the oar Until they reached some galliots, placed in line; On board of one of these, and under hatches, They stowed him, with strict orders to the watches. 400

The world is full of strange vicissitudes, And here was one exceedingly unpleasant: A gentleman so rich in the world's goods, Handsome and young, enjoying all the present, Just at the very time when he least broods On such a thing, is suddenly to sea sent, 406 Wounded and chained, so that he cannot

move, And all because a lady fell in love.

Here I must leave him, for I grow pathetic, Moved by the Chinese nymph of tears, green tea! 410

Than whom Cassandra was not more prophetic; For if my pure libations exceed three, I feel my heart become so sympathetic, That I must have recourse to black Bo- hea: 'Tis pity wine should be so deleterious, 415 For tea and coffee leave us much more serious.

I leave Don Juan for the present, safe—425 Not sound, poor fellow, but severely wounded; Yet could his corporal pangs amount to half Of those with which his Haidee's bosom bounded? She was not one to weep, and rave, and chafe, And then give way, subdued, because surrounded; 430 Her mother was a Moorish maid, from Fez, Where all is Eden, or a wilderness.

There the large olive rains its amber store
In marble fonts; there grain, and flower, and fruit,
Gush from the earth, until the land runs o'er; 435 But there, too, many a poison tree has root, And midnight listens to the lion's roar,
And long, long deserts scorch the camel's foot, Or heaving, whelm the helpless caravan;
And as the soil is, so the heart of man. 440

Afric is all the sun's, and as her earth
Her human clay is kindled: full of power

For good or evil, burning from its birth, The Moorish blood partakes the planet's hour,

And like the soil beneath, it will bring forth: 445

Beauty and love were Haidee's mother's dower;

But her large dark eye showed deep passion's force, Though sleeping like a lion near a source.

Her daughter, tempered with a milder ray, —Like summer's clouds all silvery, smooth, and fair, 450 Till slowly charged with thunder, they display Terror to earth, and tempest to the air— Had held till now her soft and milky way, But, overwrought with passion and despair,

The fire burst forth from her Numidian veins, 455

Even as the Simoom sweeps the blasted plains.

The last sight which she saw was Juan's gore,
And he himself o'ermastered and cut down; His blood was running on the very floor, Where late he trod, her beautiful, her own; 460 Thus much she viewed an instant, and no more— Her struggles ceased with one convul-
sive groan;
On her sire's arm, which, until now, scarce held
Her writhing, fell she like a cedar felled.

A vein had burst, and her sweet lips' pure dyes 465 Were dabbled with the deep blood which ran o'er; And her head drooped, as when the lily lies O'ercharged with rain: her summoned handmaids bore Their lady to her couch, with gushing eyes; Of herbs and cordials they produced their store, 470 But she defied all means they could employ, Like one life could not hold, nor death destroy.

Days lay she in that state, unchanged, though chill— With nothing livid, still her lips were red; She had no pulse, but death seemed absent still; 475 No hideous sign proclaimed her surely dead; Corruption came not in each mind to kill All hope; to look upon her sweet face bred New thoughts of life, for it seemed full of soul— She had so much, earth could not claim the whole. 480

The ruling passion, such as marble shows When exquisitely chiselled, still lay there, But fixed as marble's unchanged aspect throws

O'er the fair Venus, but forever fair; O'er the Laocoon's all eternal throes, 485

And ever-dying Gladiator's air, Their energy, like life, forms all their fame, Yet looks not life, for they are still the same.

She woke at length, but not as sleepers wake, Rather the dead, for life seemed something new, 490 A strange sensation which she must partake Perforce, since whatsoever met her view Struck not on memory, though a heavy ache Lay at her heart, whose earliest beat, still true, Brought back the sense of pain without the cause, 495 For, for a while, the furies made a pause.

She looked on many a face with vacant eye, On many a token, without knowing what; She saw them watch her, without asking why, And recked not who around her pillow sat; 500

Not speechless, though she spoke not; not a sigh Relieved her thoughts; dull silence and quick chat Were tried in vain by those who served; she gave No sign, save breath, of having left the grave.

Her handmaids tended, but she heeded not; S°S

Her father watched, she turned her eyes away; She recognized no being, and no spot,

However dear, or cherished in their day; They changed from room to room, but all forgot,

Gentle,but without memory, she lay; 510 At length those eyes, which they would

fain be weaning Back to old thoughts, waxed full of fearful meaning.

And then a slave bethought her of a harp; The harper came and tuned his instrument; At the first notes, irregular and sharp, 515 On him her flashing eyes a moment bent, Then to the wall she turned, as if to warp Her thoughts from sorrow through her heart re-sent; And he began a long low island song 519 Of ancient days, ere tyranny grew strong.

Anon her thin wan fingers beat the wall, In time to his old tune: he changed the theme, And sung of love; the fierce name struck through all Her recollection; on her flashed the dream Of what she was, and is, if ye could call 525

To be so being: in a gushing stream The tears rushed forth from her o'er

clouded brain, Like mountain mists, at length dissolved in rain.

Short solace, vain relief!—thought came too quick, And whirled her brain to madness; she arose, 530 As one who ne'er had dwelt among the sick, And flew at all she met, as on her foes; But no one ever heard her speak or shriek, Although her paroxysm drew towards its close:— Hers was a frenzy which disdained to rave, 535

Even when they smote her, in the hope to save.

Yet she betrayed at times a gleam of sense; Nothing could make her meet her father's face,

Though on all other things with looks intense She gazed, but none she ever could retrace. 540 Food she refused, and raiment; no pretence Availed for either; neither change of place,

Nor time, nor skill, nor remedy, could give her

Senses to sleep—the power seemed gone forever.

Twelve days and nights she withered thus; at last, 545 Without a groan, or sigh, or glance, to show

A parting pang, the spirit from her past;And they who watched her nearest, could not know The very instant, till the change that cast Her sweet face into shadow, dull and slow, 550 Glazed o'er her eyes—the beautiful, the black— Oh! to possess such luster—and then lack! ******

Thus lived—thus died she; never more on her Shall sorrow light, or shame. She was not made Through years or moons the inner weight to bear, Which colder hearts endure till they are laid

By age in earth; her days and pleasures were 565 Brief but delightful—such as had not stayed

Long with her destiny; but she sleeps well By the sea-shore, whereon she loved to dwell.

The isle is now all desolate and bare, Its dwellings down, its tenants passed away; 570 None but her own and father's grave is there, And nothing outward tells of human clay: Ye could not know where lies a thing so fair; No stone is there to show, no tongue to say What was: no dirge, except the hollow sea's, 575 Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY (1792-1822) HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY

The awful shadow of some unseen Power Floats though unseen amongst us,— visiting This various world with as inconstant wing As summer winds that creep from flower

to flower;— Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower, 5 It visits with inconstant glance Each human heart and countenance; Like hues and harmonies of evening,— Like clouds in starlight widely

spread,— Like memory of music fled,— 10 Like aught that for its grace may be Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.

Spirit of Beauty, that dost consecrate With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon Of human thought or form,—where art thou gone? 15 Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,

This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate? Ask why the sunlight not forever Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain river, Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown, 20 Why fear and dream and death and birth Cast on the daylight of this earth Such gloom,—why man has such a scope For love and hate, despondency and hope?

No voice from some sublimer world hath ever 25 To sage or poet these responses given— Therefore the names of Daemon, Ghost, and Heaven, Remain the records of their vain endeavor, Frail spells—whose uttered charm might not avail to sever, From all we hear and all we see, 30 Doubt, chance, and mutability. Thy light alone—like mist o'er mountains driven, Or music by the night wind sent, Through strings of some still instrument, Or moonlight on a midnight stream, 35 Gives grace and truth to life's unquiet dream.

Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds depart And come, for some uncertain moments lent; Man were immortal, and omnipotent, Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou art, 40 Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart. Thou messenger of sympathies, That wax and wane in lovers' eyes— Thou—that to human thought art nourishment, Like darkness to a dying flame! 45 Depart not as thy shadow came, Depart not—lest the grave should be, Like life and fear, a dark reality.

While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped Through many a listening chamber, cave, and ruin, 50 And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing Hopes of high talk with the departed dead. I called on poisonous names with which our youth is fed; I was not heard—I saw them not— When musing deeply on the lot 55 Of life, at the sweet time when winds are wooing All vital things that wake to bring News of birds and blossoming,— Sudden, thy shadow fell on me; I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy! 60

I vowed that I would dedicate my powers
To thee and thine—have I not kept the vow?
With beating heart and streaming
eyes, even now
I call the phantoms of a thousand hours
Each from his voiceless grave; they have
in visioned bowers 65 Of studious zeal or love's delight
Outwatched with me the envious
night—
They know that never joy illumed my
brow
Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free
This world from its dark slavery; 70
That thou—O awful Loveliness,
Wouldst give whate'er these words cannot
express.

The day becomes more solemn and serene
When noon is past—there is a har-
mony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky, 75
Which through the summer is not heard or

seen. As if it could not be, as if it had not been! Thus let thy power, which like the truth Of nature on my passive youth Descended, to my onward life supply 80 Its calm—to one who worships thee, And every form containing thee, Whom, Spirit fair, thy spells did bind To fear himself, and love all human kind.

OZYMANDIAS

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold com-
mand, 5
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, (stamped on these lifeless things,)
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and de-

[ocr errors][merged small]

ODE TO THE WEST WIND I

O wild West Wind, thou breath of

Autumn's being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the

leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter

fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou, 5 Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) With living hues and odors plain and hill:

« AnteriorContinuar »