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I know not what might be the lady's thought,
And into her clear cheek the blood was brought, Blood-red as sunset summer clouds which range
The verge of Heaven ; and in her large eyes wrought
Her features all the sweetness of the devil,
Eve, and paved (God knows how) the road to evil; The sun himself was scarce more free from specks
Than she from aught at which the eye could cavil; Yet somehow there was something somewhere wanting, As if she rather ordered than was granting,
A chain o'er all she did; that is, a chain
And rapture's self will seem almost a pain
Our souls at least are free, and 'tis in vain We would against them make the flesh obeyThe spirit in the end will have its way.
Her very nod was not an inclination;
As though they were quite conscious of her stationThey trod as upon necks; and to complete
Her state, (it is the custom of her nation)
The law of all around her; to fulfil
Had been her slaves' chief pleasure, as her will ;
Judge, then, if her caprices e'er stood still;
Whate'er she did not see, if she supposed
And when 'twas found straightway the bargain closed : There was no end unto the things she bought,
Nor to the trouble which her fancies caused;
Her eye in passing on his way to sale;
And Baba, who had ne'er been known to fail In any kind of mischief to be wrought,
Had his instructions where and how to deal : She had no prudence, but he had; and this Explains the garb which Juan took amiss.
And should you ask how she, a sultan's bride,
This I must leave sultanas to decide : Emperors are only husbands in wives' eyes,
And kings and consorts oft are mystified, As we may ascertain with due precision, Some by experience, others by tradition.
CXVI. But to the main point where we have been tending ;
She now conceived all difficulties past, And deem'd herself extremely condescending
When, being made her property at last, Without more preface, in her blue eyes blending
Passion and power, a glance on him she cast, And merely saying, “ Christian, canst thou love?" Conceived that phrase was quite enough to move.
But Juan, who had still his mind o’erflowing
Felt the warm blood which in his face was glowing Rush back upon his heart, which fill'd apace,
And left his cheeks as pale as snow-drops blowing: These words went through his soul like Arab-spears, So that he spoke not, but burst into tears.
CXVIII. She was a good deal shock'd; not shock'd at tears,
For women shed and use them at their liking;
Wet, still more disagreeable and striking :
Like molten lead, as if you thrust a pike in
Having no equals, nothing which had e'er
And never having dreamt what 'twas to bear Aught of a serious sorrowing kind, although
There might arise some pouting petty care To cross her brow, she wonder'd how so near Her eyes another's eye could shed a tear.
But nature teaches more than power can spoil,
And when a strong although a strange sensation, Moves-female hearts are such a genial soil
For kinder feelings, whatsoe'er their nation,
Samaritans in every situation;
CXXI. But tears must stop like all things else; and soon
Juan, who for an instant had been moved To such a sorrow by the intrusive tone
Of one who dared to ask if “ he had loved,"
Bright with the very weakness he reproved ;
CXXII. Gulleyaz, for the first time in her days,
Was much embarrassid, never having met
And as she also risk'd her life to get
Into a comfortable tête-à-tête,
To gentlemen in any such-like case,
With us there is more law given to the case,
So recollect that the extremest grace
But he had got Haidee into his head:
Which made him seem exceedingly ill-bred.
For having had him to her palace led,
Her hand on his, and bending on his eyes,
Look'd into his for love, where none replies: Her brow grew black, but she would not upbraid,
That being the last thing a proud woman tries; She rose and pausing one chaste moment, threw Herself upon his breast, and there she grew.
But he was steel’d by sorrow, wrath, and pride :
And seated her all drooping by his side. Then rising haughtily he glanced around,
And looking coldly in her face, he cried, " The prison'd eagle will not pair, nor I “ Serve a sultana's sensual phantasy.
CXXVII. “ Thou ask'st if I can love? be this the proof
“ How much I have loved that I love not thee! “ In this vile garb, the distaff's web and woof
Were fitter for me: Love is for the free! “ I am not dazzled by this splendid roof.
“Whate'er thy power, and great it seems to be,
Heads bow, knees bend, eyes watch around a throne, " And hands obey, our hearts are still our own.”