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Too nearly, deadly aim'd to err?
Few trophies of the fight are there:
That strand of strife may bear,
May there be mark'd; nor far remote
A broken torch, an oarless boat;
There lies a white Capote!
But where is he who wore?
And cast on Lemnos' shore:
The sea-birds shriek above the prey,
1085 O’er which their hungry beaks delay, As shaken on his restless pillow, His head heaves with the heaving biilow; That hand, whose motion is not life, Yet feebly seems to menace strife,
1090 Flung by the tossing tide on high,
Then leveli'd with the wave-
Within a living grave ?
And mourn'd above his turban-stone, (40) That heart hath burst--that eye was closed
Yea--closed before his own!
By Helle's stream there is a voice of wail !
1105 Thy destin'd lord is come too late ; He sees not-ne'er shall see thy face!
Can he not hear
1110 The Koran-chanters of the hymn of fate,
lent slaves with folded arms that wait,
Sighs in the hall, and shrieks upon the gale,
Tell him thy tale!
1115 That fearful moment when he left the cave Thy heart
chill : He was thy hope—thy joy—thy love-thine allAnd that last thought on him thou could'st not save Sufficed to kill :
1120 Burst forth in one wild cry—and all was still.
Peace to thy broken heart, and virgin grave! Ah! happy! but of life to lose the worst ! That grief-though deep-though fatal-was thy first! Thrice happy! ne'er to feel nor fear the force 1125 Of absence, shame, pride, hate, revenge, remorse! And oh! that pang where more than Madness lies! The worm that will not sleep-and never dies ; Thought of the gloomy day and ghastly night, 1129 That dreads the darkness, and yet loathes the light, That winds around, and tears the quivering heart! Ah! wherefore not consume it-and depart!
Wo to thee, rash and unrelenting chief!
Vainly thou heap'st the dust upon thy head, Vainly the sackcloth o'er thy limbs dost spread :
By that same hand Abdallah-Selim bled. 1136 Now let it tear thy beard in idle grief: Thy pride of heart, thy bride for Osman's bed, She, whom thy sultan had but seen to wed,
Thy Daughter's dead!
1140 Hope of thine age, thy twilight's lonely beam,
The Star hath set that shone on Helle's stream. What quench'd its ray ?—the blood that thou hast shed! Hark! to the hurried question of Despair 1144 Where is my child ?" an Echo answers“ –Where?” (42)
Within the place of thousand tombs
That shine beneath, while dark above The sad but living cypress glooms
And withers not, though branch and leaf
Like early unrequited love,
Ev'n in that deadly grove-
Its lonely lustre, meek and pale: It looks as planted by Despair
So white-so faint-the slightest gale Might whirl the leaves on high;
And yet, though storms and blight assail, And hands more rude than wintry sky May wring it from the stem-in vain
-morrow sees it bloom again! The stalk some spirit gently rears, And waters with celestial tears ;
For well may maids of Helle deem
That this can be no earthly flower,
1170 To it the livelong night there sings
A bird unseen- --but not remote:
1175 It were the Bulbul ; but his throat,
Though mournful, pours not such a strain :
1180 And yet so sweet the tears they shed, 'Tis sorrow so unmix'd with dread, They scarce can bear the morn to break
That melancholy spell,
He sings so wild and well!
Into Zuleika's name. (43)