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And I will hunt the steps of fate,
To save or slay, as these require,
Through rending steel, and rolling fire;
Nor need'st thou doubt this speech from one
Who would but do-what he hath done.
Death is but what the haughty brave,
The weak must bear, the wretch must crave;
Then let Life go to him who gave:
I have not quail'd to danger's brow
When high and happy-need I now?
A time that heeds nor pain nor toil;
One cry to Mahomet for aid,
One prayer to Alla all he made:
He knew and cross'd me in the fray-
I gazed upon him where he lay,
And watch'd his spirit ebb away:
Though pierced like Pard by hunters' steel,
He felt not half that now I feel.
I search'd, but vainly search'd, to find
The workings of a wounded mind;
Each feature of that sullen corse
Betray'd his rage, but no remorse.
Oh, what had Vengeance given to trace
Despair upon his dying face!
The late repentance of that hour,
When Penitence hath lost her power
To tear one terror from the grave,
And will not soothe, and can not save.
"I loved her, friar! nay, adored-
But these are words that all can use-
I proved it more in deed than word;
There's blood upon that dinted sword,
A stain its steel can never lose:
'Twas shed for her, who died for me,
It warm'd the heart of one abhorr'd:
Nay, start not-no-nor bend thy knee,
Nor midst my sins such act record;
Thou wilt absolve me from the deed,
For he was hostile to thy creed!
The very name of Nazarene
Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen.
Ungrateful fool! since but for brands
Well wielded in some hardy hands,
And wounds by Galileans given,
The surest pass to Turkish heaven,
For him his Houris still might wait
Impatient at the prophet's gate.
I loved her-love will find its way
Through paths where wolves would fear And shown by many a bitter sign.
And if it dares enough, 'twere hard
If passion met not some reward-
No matter how, or where, or why,
I did not vainly seek, nor sigh:
Yet sometimes, with remorse, in vain
I wish she had not loved again.
She died-I dare not tell thee how;
But look-'tis written on my brow!
There read of Cain the curse and crime,
In characters unworn by time:
Still, ere thou dost condemn me, pause;
Not mine the act, though I the cause.
Yet did he but what I had done
Had she been false to more than one.
Faithless to him, he gave the blow;
But true to me, I laid him low:
Howe'er deserved her doom might be,
Her treachery was truth to me;
To me she gave her heart, that all
Which tyranny can ne'er enthrall;
And I, alas! too late to save!
Yet all I then could give, I gave,
Twas some relief, our foe a grave.
His death sits lightly; but her fate
Has made me what thou well may'st hate.
His doom was seal'd-he knew it well,
Warn'd by the voice of stern Taheer,
Deep in whose darkly boding ear
The deathshot peal'd of murder near,
As filed the troop to where they fell!
He died too in the battle-broil,
"The cold in clime are cold in blood,
Their love can scarce deserve the name;
But mine was like the lava-flood
That boils in Aetna's breast of flame.
I cannot prate in puling strain
Of ladye-love, and beauty's chain:
If changing cheek, and scorching vein,
Lips taught to writhe, but not complain,
If bursting heart, and mad'ning brain,
And daring deed, and vengeful steel,
And all that I have felt, and feel,
Betoken love-that love was mine,
'Tis true I could not whine nor sigh,
I knew but to obtain or die.
I die but first I have possess'd,
And come what may, I have been blest.
Shall I the doom I sought upbraid?
No-reft of all, yet undismay'd
But for the thought of Leila slain,
Give me the pleasure with the pain,
So would I live and love again.
grieve, but not, my holy guide!
For him who dies, but her who died:
She sleeps beneath the wandering wave
Ah! had she but an earthly grave,
This breaking heart and throbbing head
Should seek and share her narrow bed.
She was a form of life and light,
That, seen, became a part of sight;
And rose where'er I turn'd mine eye,
The Morning-star of Memory!
Yes, Love indeed is light from heaven;
A spark of that immortal fire
With angels shared, by Alla given,
To lift from earth our low desire.
Devotion wafts the mind above,
But Heaven itself descends in love;
A feeling from the Godhead caught,
To wean from self each sordid thought;
A Ray of him who form'd the whole;
A Glory circling round the soul!
I grant my love imperfect, all
That mortals by the name miscall;
Then deem it evil, what thon wilt,'
Looks not to priesthood for relief.
My soul's estate in secret guess :
But say, oh say, hers was not guilt!
She was my life's unerring light:
That quench'd, what beam shall break my But wouldst thou pity more, say less.
Oh! would it shone to lead me still,
Although to death or deadliest ill!
Why marvel ye, if they who lose
This present joy, this future hope,
No more with sorrow meekly cope;
In phrensy then their fate accuse:
In madness do those fearful deeds
That seem to add but guilt to woe?
Alas! the breast that inly bleeds
Hath nought to dread from outward blow;
Who falls from all he knows of bliss,
Cares little into what abyss.
Fierce as the gloomy vulture's now
To thee, old man, my deeds appear:
I read abhorrence on thy brow,
And this too was I born to bear!
'Tis true, that, like that bird of prey,
With havock have I mark'd my way:
But this was taught me by the dove,
To die-and know no second love.
This lesson yet hath man to learn,
Taught by the thing he dares to spurn:
The bird that sings within the brake,
The swan that swims upon the lake,
One mate, and one alone, will take.
And let the fool still prone to range,
And sneer on all who cannot change,
Partake his jest with boasting boys;
I envy not his varied joys,
But deem such feeble, heartless man,
Less than yon solitary swan;
Far, far beneath the shallow maid
He left believing and betray'd.
Such shame at least was never mine-
Leila! each thought was only thine!
My good, my guilt, my weal, my woe,
My hope on high-my all below.
Earth holds no other like to thee,
Or if it doth, in vain for me:
For worlds I dare not view the dame
Resembling thee, yet not the same.
The very crimes that mar my youth,
This bed of death-attest my truth!
Tis all too late-thou wert, thou art
The cherish'd madness of my heart!
“And she was lost-and yet I breathed,
But not the breath of human life:
A serpent round my heart was wreathed,
And stung my very thought to strife.
Alike all time, abhorr'd all place,
Shuddering I shrunk from Nature's face,
Where every hue that charm'd before
The blackness of my bosom wore.
The rest thou dost already know,
And all my sins, and half my woe.
But talk no more of penitence;
Thou seest I soon shall part from hence:
And if thy holy tale were true,
The deed that's done canst thou undo?
Think me not thankless-but this grief
When thou canst bid my Leila live,
Then will I sue thee to forgive;
Then plead my cause in that high place
Where purchased masses proffer grace.
Go, when the hunter's hand hath wrung
From forest-cave her shrieking young,
And calm the lonely lioness:
But soothe not-mock not my distress!
When heart with heart delights to blend,
"In earlier days, and calmer hours,
Where bloom my native valley's bowers
I had Ah! have I now?-a friend!
To him this pledge I charge thee send,
Memorial of a youthful vow;
I would remind him of my end:
Though souls absorb'd like mine allow
Brief thought to distant friendship's claim,
Yet dear to him my blighted name.
'Tis strange-he prophesied my doom,
And I have smiled-I then could smile---
When Prudence would his voice assume,
And warn-I reck'd not what-the while:
But now remembrance whispers o'er
Those accents scarcely mark'd before.
Say that his bodings came to pass,
And he will start to hear, their truth,
And wish his words had not been sooth:
Tell him, unheeding as I was,
Through many a busy bitter scene
Of all our golden youth had been,
In pain, my faltering tongue had tried
To bless his memory ere I died;
But heaven in wrath would turn away,
If Guilt should for the guiltless pray.
I do not ask him not to blame,
Too gentle he to wound my name;
And what have I to do with fame?
I do not ask him not to mourn,
Such cold request might sound like scorn;
And what than friendship's manly tear
May better grace a brother's bier?
But bear this ring, his own of old,
And tell him-what thou dost behold!
The wither'd frame, the ruin'd mind,
The wrack by passion left behind,
Seared by the autumn-blast of grief!
A shrivell'd scroll, a scatter'd leaf,
"Tell me no more of fancy's gleam,
No, father, no, 'twas not a dream;
Alas! the dreamer first must sleep.
I only watch'd, and wish'd to weep;
But could not, for my burning brow
Throbb'd to the very brain as now:
I wish'd but for a single tear,
As something welcome, new, and dear:
I wish'd it then, I wish it still,
Despair is stronger than my will.
Waste not thine orison, despair
Is mightier than thy pious prayer:
I would not, if I might, be blest;
I want no paradise, but rest.
Twas then, I tell thee, father! then
I saw her; yes, she lived again;
And shining in her white symar,
As through yon pale gray cloud the star
Which now I gaze on, as on her,
Who look'd and looks far lovelier;
Dimly I view its trembling spark;
To-morrow's night shall be more dark;
And I, before its rays appear,
That lifeless thing the living fear.
I wander, father; for my soul
Is fleeting towards the final goal.
I saw her, friar! and I rose
Forgetful of our former woes;
And rushing from my couch, I dart,
And clasp her to my desperate heart;
I clasp-what is it that I clasp?
No breathing form within my grasp,
No heart that beats reply to mine,
Yet, Leila! yet the form is thine!
And art thou, dearest, changed so much,
As meet my eye, yet mock my touch?
Ah! were thy beauties e'er so cold,
I care not; so my arms enfold
The all they ever wish'd to hold.
Alas! around a shadow prest,
They shrink upon my lonely breast;
Yet still 'tis there! In silence stands,
And beckons with beseeching hands!
With braided hair, and bright black eye-
I knew 'twas false-she could not die!
But he is dead! within the dell
I saw him buried where he fell;
He comes not, for he cannot break
From earth; why then art thou awake ?
They told me wild waves roll'd above
The face I view, the form I love;
They told me 'twas a hideous tale!
I'd tell it, but my tongue would fail:
If true, and from thine ocean-cave
Thou com'st to claim a calmer grave;
Oh! pass thy dewy fingers o'er
This brow that then will burn no more;
Or place them on my hopeless heart:
But, shape or shade! whate'er thou art,
In mercy ne'er again depart!
Or farther with thee bear my soul,
Than winds can waft or waters roll!
"Such is my name, and such my tale. Confessor to thy secret ear,
I breathe the sorrows I bewail,
And thank thee for the generous tear
This glazing eye could never shed.
Then lay me with the humblest dead,
And, save the cross above my head,
Be neither name nor emblem spread,
By prying stranger to be read
Or stay the passing pilgrim's tread.”
He pass'd-nor of his name and race
Hath left a token or a trace,
Save what the father must not say
Who shrived him on his dying day :
This broken tale was all we knew
Of her he loved, or him he slew.
THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS,
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."
TO THE RIGHT BONOURABLE
TRIS TALE 18 INSCRIBED, WITH EVERY SENTI-
MENT OF REGARD AND RESPECT, BY HIS GRATE-
FULLY OBLIGED AND SINCERE FRIEND,
Where the rage of the vulture, the love of
Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime?
Know ye the land of the cedar and vine,
Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams
Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd
Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gul in her
ye the land where the cypress and | Where the citron and olive are fairest of myrtle
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their And the voice of the nightingale never is clime? mute;
In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, |
And the purple of Ocean is deepest in die;
Where the virgins are soft as the roses they
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine?
Tis the clime of the east; 'tis the land of
Where the tints of the earth, and the hues In sooth I love not solitude;
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 tambour
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, rage not-nor forget
That none can pierce that secret bower
But those who watch the women's tower."
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.
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 unconquerable pride,
His pensive cheek and pondering brow
Did more than he was wont avow.
“Let the chamber be clear'd."—The train
“Now call me the chief of the Haram guard."
With Giaffir is 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 tower;
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 meet;
And downcast look'd, and gently spake,
Still standing at the Pacha's feet:
For son of Moslem must expire,
Ere dare to sit before his sire!
"Son of a slave"-the Pacha said-
"From unbelieving mother bred,
Vain were a father's hopes to see
Aught that beseems 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
Would lend thee something of his fire!
Thy listless eyes so much admire,
Thou, who would'st see this battlement
By Christian cannon piecemeal rent;
Before the dogs of Moscow fall,
Nay, tamely view old Stambol's wall
Nor strike one stroke for life and death
Against the curs of Nazareth!
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!"
No sound from Selim's lip 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 who my sire?"
Thus held his thoughts their dark career,
And glances even of more than ire
Flash forth, then faintly disappear,
"Father! for fear that thou should'st chide Old Giaffir gazed upon his son
My sister, or her sable guide,
Know-for the fault, if fault there be,
Was mine, then fall thy frowns on me-
So lovelily the morning shone,
That let the old and weary sleep-
I could not; and to view alone
The fairest scenes of land and deep,
With none to listen and reply
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?
I mark thee-and I know thee too;
But there be deeds thou darest not do:
But if thy beard had manlier length,
And if thy hand had skill and strength,
To thoughts with which my heart beat high, I'd joy to see thee break a lance,
Were irksome-for whate'er my mood,
Albeit against my own perchance."
As sneeringly these accents fell,
On Selim's eye he fiercely gazed:
The heart whose softness harmonized the
That eye return'd him glance for glance, And, oh! that eye was in itself a Soul!
And proudly to his sire's was raised,
Till Giaffir's quail'd and shrunk askance-
And why-he felt, but durst not tell.
“Much I misdoubt this wayward boy
Will one day work me more annoy;
I never loved him from his birth,
And-but his arm is little worth,
And scarcely in the chase could cope
With timid fawn or antelope,
Far less would venture into strife
Where man contends for fame and life-
I would not trust that look or tone:
No-nor the blood so near my own.
That blood-he hath not heard-no more-
I'll watch him closer than before.
He is an Arab to my sight,
Her graceful arms in meekness bending
Across her gently-budding breast ;
At one kind word those arms extending
To clasp the neck of him who blest
His child caressing and carest,
Zuleika came-and Giaffir felt
His purpose half within him melt:
Not that against her fancied weal
His heart though stern could ever feel;
Affection chain'd her to that heart;
Ambition tore the links apart.
Or Christian crouching in the fight-
But hark!-I hear Zuleika's voice;
Like Houris' hymn it meets mine ear:
She is the offspring of my choice;
O! more than even her mother dear,
With all to hope, and nought to fear-
My Peri! ever welcome here!
Sweet, as the desert-fountain's wave
To lips just cool'd in time to save-
Such to my longing sight art thou;
Nor can they waft to Mecca's shrine
More thanks for life, than I for thine
Who blest thy birth, and bless thee now."
"Zuleika! child of gentleness!
How dear this very day must tell,
When I forget my own distress,
In losing what I love so well,
To bid thee with another dwell:
Another! and a braver man
Was never seen in battle's van.
We Moslem reck not much of blood;
But yet the line of Carasman
Unchanged, unchangeable hath stood
First of the bold Timariot bands
That won and well can keep their lands.
Enough that he who comes to woo
His years need scarce a thought employ :
Is kinsman of the Bey Oglou:
I would not have thee wed a boy.
And thou shalt have a noble dower:
And his and my united power
Will laugh to scorn the death-firman,
Which others tremble but to scan,
And teach the messenger what fate
The bearer of such boon may wait.
And now thou knowst thy father's will;
All that thy sex hath need to know:
Twas mine to teach obedience still--
The way to love, thy lord may show.
In silence bow'd the virgin's head;
That stifled feeling dare not shed,
And if her eye was fill'd with tears
And red to pale, as through her ears
And changed her cheek from pale to red,
What could such be but maiden-fears?
Those winged words like arrows sped,
So bright the tear in Beauty's eye,
Love half regrets to kiss it dry;
So sweet the blush of Bashfulness,
Even Pity scarce can wish it less!
Whate'er it was the sire forgot,
Or if remember'd, mark'd it not;
Thrice clapp'd his hands, and call'd his
Resign'd his gem-adorn'd Chibouque,
And mounting featly for the mead,
With Maugrabee and Mamaluke,
His way amid his Delis took,
To witness many an active deed