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And those around have roused him from his trance,
But cannot tear from thence his fixed glance;
And when in raising him from where he bore
Within his arms the form that felt no more,
He saw the head his breast would still sustain,
Roll down like earth to earth upon the plain;
He did not dash himself thereby, nor tear
The glossy tendrils of his raven hair,
But strove to stand and gaze, but reeld and fell,
Scarce breathing more than that he loved so well.
Than that he loved! Oh! never yet beneath
The breast of man such trusty love may breathe!
That trying moment hath at once reveald
The secret long and yet but half conceal'd;
In baring to revive that lifeless breast,
Its grief seem'd ended, but the sex confess'd;
And life return’d, and Kaled felt no shame-
What now to her was Womanhood or Fame?
Fair, as the first that fell of womankind,
When on that dread yet lovely serpent smiling, Whose image then was stamp'd upon her mind
But once beguiled--and ever more beguiling; Dazzling, as that, oh! too transcendant vision
To sorrow's phantom-peopled slumber given, When heart meets heart again in dreams Elysian,
And paints the lost on earth revived in heaven; Soft, as the memory of buried love; Pure, as the prayer which childhood wafts above; Was she—the daughter of that rude old chief, Who met the maid with tears—but not of grief.
Who hath not proved how feebly words essay
To fix one spark of beauty's heavenly ray?
Who doth not feel, until his failing sight
Faints into dimness with its own delight,
His changing cheek, his sinking heart, confess
The might—the majesty of loveliness?
Such was Zuleika-such around her shone
The nameless charms unmark'd by her alone;
The light of love, the purity of grace,
The mind, the music breathing from her face,
The heart whose softness harmonized the whole-
And, oh! that eye was in itself a soul!
From The Bride of Abydos.
Ay! let me like the ocean-patriarch roam, Or only know on land the Tartar's home! My tent on shore, my galley on the sea, Are more than cities and serais to me: Borne by my steed, or wafted by my sail, Across the desert, or before the gale, Bound where thou wilt, my barb, or glide, my prow, But be the star that guides the wanderer, thou! Thou, my Zuleika, share and bless my bark; The dove of peace and promise to mine ark; Or, since that hope denied in worlds of strife, Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life! The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, And tints to-morrow with prophetic ray. Blest--as the Muezzin's strain from Mecca's wall To pilgrims pure and prostrate at his call: Soft-as the melody of youthful days, That steals the trembling tear of speechless praise ; Dear-as his native song to exile's ears, Shall sound each tone thy long-loved voice endears. For thee in those bright isles is built a bower Blooming as Aden in its earliest hour. A thousand swords, with Selim's heart and hand, Wait-wave-defend-destroy—at thy command. Girt by my band, Zuleika at my side, The spoil of nations shall bedeck my bride. The haram's languid years of listless ease Are well resign'd for cares—for joys-like these : Not blind to fate, I see, where'er I rove, Unnumber'd perils—but one only love. Yet well my toils shall that fond breast repay, . Though fortune frown, or falser friends betray. How dear the dream in darkest hours of ill, Should all be changed, to find thee faithful still! Be but thy soul, like Selim's, firmly shown; To thee be Selim's tender as thine own; To soothe each sorrow, share in each delight, Blend every thought, do all—but disunite!
From The Bride of Abydos
The steed is vanish'd from the stall;
No serf is seen in Hassan's hall ;
The lonely spider's thin grey pall
Waves slowly widening o’er the wall;
The bat builds in his haram bower;
And in the fortress of his power
The owl usurps the beacon-tower;
The wild-dog howls o'er the fountain's brim,
With baffled thirst and famine, grim;
For the stream has shrunk from its marble bed,
Where the weeds and the desolate dust are spread.
'Twas sweet of yore to see it play
And chase the sultriness of day,
As springing high the silver dew
In whirls fantastically flew,
And flung luxurious coolness round
The air, and verdure o'er the ground.
'Twas sweet, when cloudless stars were bright,
To view the wave of watery light,
And hear its melody by night.
And oft had Hassan's childhood play'd
Around the verge of that cascade;
And oft upon his mother's breast
That sound had harmonized his rest;
And oft had Hassan's youth along
Its bank been soothed by beauty's song;
And softer seemd each melting tone
Of music mingled with its own.
But ne'er shall Hassan's age repose
Along the brink at twilight's close :
The stream that fillid that font is fled-
The blood that warm'd his heart is shed!
And here no more shall human voice
Be heard to rage, regret, rejoice;
The last sad note that swell'd the gale
Was woman's wildest funeral wail :
That quench'd in silence, all is still,
But the lattice that flaps when the wind is shrill :
Though raves the gust, and floods the rain,
No hand shall close its clasp again.
On desert sands 'twere joy to scan
The rudest steps of fellow man-
So here the very voice of grief
Might wake an echo like relief;
At least 'twould say, “ All are not gone ;
There lingers life, though but in one—"
For many a gilded chamber 's there,
Which solitude might well forbear;
Within that dome as yet decay
Hath slowly work’d her cankering way-
But gloom is gather'd o'er the gate,
Nor there the fakir's self will wait;
Nor there will wandering dervise stay,
For bounty cheers not his delay;
Nor there will weary stranger halt
To bless the sacred “ bread and salt."
Alike must wealth and poverty
Pass heedless and unheeded by,
For courtesy and pity died
With Hassan on the mountain side.
His roof, that refuge unto men,
Is Desolation's hungry den.
The guest flies the hall, and the vassals from labour,
Since his turban was cleft by the infidel's sabre.
'Tis midnight : on the mountain's brown
The cold, round moon shines deeply down;
Blue roll the waters, blue the sky
Spreads like an ocean hung on high,
Bespangled with those isles of light,
So wildly, spiritually bright;
Who ever gazed upon them shining,
And turn d to earth without repining,
Nor wish'd for wings to flee away,
And mix with their eternal ray ?
The waves on either shore lay there
Calm, clear, and azure, as the air;
And scarce their foam the pebbles shook,
But murmur'd meekly as the brook.
The winds were pillow'd on the waves;
The banners droop'd along their staves,
And, as they fell around them furling,
Above them shone the crescent curling;
And that deep silence was unbroke,
Save where the watch his signal spoke,
Save where the steed neigh'd oft and shrill,
And echo answer'd from the hill,
And the wide hum of that wild host
Rustled like leaves from coast to coast,
As rose the Muezzin's voice in air
In midnight call to wonted prayer;
It rose, that chanted mournful strain,
Like some lone spirit's o'er the plain:
'Twas musical, but sadly sweet,
Such as when winds and harp-strings meet,
And take a long unmeasured tone,
To mortal minstrelsy unknown.
It seem'd to those within the wall
A cry prophetic of their fall :
It struck even the besieger's ear
With something ominous and drear,
An undefined and sudden thrill,
Which makes the heart a moment still,
Then beat with quicker pulse, ashamed
Of that strange sense its silence framed;
Such as a sudden passing bell
Wakes, though but for a stranger's knell.
From The Siege of Corinth.
“My thoughts came back; where was I? Cold,
And numb, and giddy; pulse by pulse
Life reassumed its lingering hold,
And throb by throb; till grown a pang
Which for a moment would convulse,
My blood reflow'd, though thick and chill;
My ear with uncouth noises rang,
My heart began once more to thrill;
My sight return d, though dim; alas !
And thicken d, as it were, with glass.
Methought the dash of waves was nigh;
There was a gleam too of the sky,
Studded with stars ;-it is no dream;
The wild horse swims the wilder stream!
The bright broad river's gushing tide
Sweeps, winding onward, far and wide,
And we are half-way struggling o'er
To yon unknown and silent shore.