« AnteriorContinuar »
Nay, leave the sail still furl'd and ply, The nearest oar that's scatter'd by ; And midway to those rocks where sleep The channell’d waters dark and deep, Rest from your task-80-bravely done, Our course has been right swiftly run, Yet 'tis the longest voyage, I trow, That one of
Sullen it plung'd, and slowly sank,
As, springing high, the silver dew In whirls fantastically flew, And Aung 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 seemed 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 fill'd that font is fledThe 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 swer the gale Was woman's wildest funeral wail ; That quench'd in silence, all is still, Bat 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 manSo 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 wayBut gloom is gathered 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 labor, Since his turban was cleft by the infidel's sabre ! 12
As rising on its purple wing The insect queen 16 of eastern spring, O’er emerald meadows of Kashmeer Invites the young pursuer near, And leads him on from flower to flower A weary chase and wasted hour, Then leaves him, as it soars on high, With panting heart and tearful eye: So beauty lures the full-grown child, With hue as bright, and wing as wild; A chase of idle hopes and fears, Begun in folly, closed in tears. If won, to equal ills betray'd, Wo waits the insect and the maid-. A life of pain, the loss of peace, From infant's play, and man's caprice . The lovely toy so fiercely sought Hath lost its charm by being caught. For every touch that wooed its stay Hath brush'd its brightest hues away. Till, charm, and hue, and beauty gone, 'Tis left to fly or fall alone. With wounded wing, or bleeding breast, Ah! where shall either victim rest? Can this with faded pinion soar From rose to tulip as before ? Or beauty, blighted in an hour, Find joy within her broken bower? No! gayer insects fluttering by Ne'er droop the wing o'er those that dic, And lovelier things have mercy shown To every failing but their own, And every wo a tear can claim Except an erring sister's shamc.
I hear the sound of coming feet,
The mind, that broods o'er guilty woes,
Is like the scorpion girt by fire, In circle narrowing as it glows, The flames around their captive close, Till, inly search'd by thousand throes,
And maddening in her irr,
" Thou speakest sooth, thy skiff unmoor, And waft us from the silent shore :
One sad and sole relief she knows,
On her fair cheek's unfading hue The sting she nourish'd for her foes,
The young pomegranate's 23 blossoms strew Whose venom never yet was vain,
Their bloom in blushes ever new; Gives but one pang, and cures all pain,
Her hair in hyacinthine flow, And darts into her desperate brain:
When left to roll its folds below, So do the dark in soul expire,
As 'midst her handmaids in the hall Or live like scorpion girt by fire; 17
She stood superior to them all, So writhes the mind remorse hath riven,
Hath swept the marble where her feet Unfit for earth, undoom'd for heaven,
Gleam'd whiter than the mountain sleet, Darkness above, despair beneath,
Ere from the cloud that gave it birth
It fell and caught one stain of earth.
So moved on earth Circassia's daughter,
The loveliest bird of Franguestan ! 25 Nor bends on woman's form his eyes ;
As rears her crest the ruffled swan, The unwonted chase each hour employs,
And spurns the wave with wings of pride Yet shares he not the hunter's joys.
When pass the steps of stranger man Not thus was Hassan wont to fly
Along the banks that bound her tide; When Leila dwelt in his Serai.
Thus rose fair Leila's whiter neck :Doth Leila there no longer dwell ?
Thus armed with beauty would she check Chat tale can only Hassan tell :
Intrusion's glance, till folly's gaze Strange rumors in our city say
Shrunk from the charms it meant to praise Upon that eve she fled away,
Thus high and graceful was her gait; When Rhamazan's 1s last sun was sel,
Her heart as tender to her mate: And flashing from each minaret,
Her mate-stern Hassan, who was he?
Alas! that name was not for thee!
Stern Hassan hath a journey ta'en
With twenty vassals in his train, In likeness of a Georgian page,
Each arm'd, as best becomes a man,
With arquebuss and ataghan;
Bears in his belt the scimetar
Stained with the best of Arnaut blood Too well he trusted to the slave
When in the pass the rebels stood, Whose treachery deserv'd a grave:
And few return'd to tell the tale And on that ere had gone to mosque,
Of what befell in Parne's vale. And thence to feast in his kiosk.
The pistols which his girdle bore Such is the tales his Nubians tell,
Were those that once a pasha wore, Who did not watch their charge too well ;
Which still, though gemm'd and boss'd with gold And others say that on that night,
Even robbers tremble to behold. By pale Phingari's 19 trembling light
"Tis said he goes to woo a bride The Giaour upon his jet-black steed
More true than her who left his side; Was seen, but seen alone to speed
The faithless slave that broke her bower, With bloody spur along the shore,
And worse than faithless, for a Giaour! Nor maid nor page behind him bore.
The sun's last rays are on the hill, Her eye's dark charm 'twere vain to tell,
And sparkle in the fountain rill,
Whose welcome waters, cool and clear,
Draw blessings from the mountaineer ;
Here may the loitering merchant Greek
Find that repose 'twere vain to seek
In cities lodged too near his lord,
And trembling for his secret hoard-
Here may he rest where none can see,
In crowds a slave, in deserts free;
And with forbidden wine may stain
The bowl a Moslem must not drain.
The foremost Tartar's in the gap,
Conspicuous by his yellow cap; Oh! who young Leila's glance could read
The rest in lengthening line the while And keep that portion of his creed 29
Wind slowly through the long defile: Which saith that woman is but dust,
Above the mountain rears a peak, A soulless toy for tyrant's lust?
Where vultures whet the thirsty beak, On her might Muftis gaze, and own
And theirs may be a feast to-night, That through her eye the Immortal shone ; Shall tempt them down ere morrow's light;
Beneath, a river's wintry stream
Beats back the current many a rood, Has shrunk before the summer beam,
In curling foam and mingling flood, And left a channel bleak and bare,
While eddying whirl, and breaking wave Save shrubs that spring to perish there :
Roused by the blast of winter, rave; Each side the midway path there lay
Through sparkling spray, in thundering clash, Small broken crags of granite gray,
The lightnings of the waters flash By time, or mountain lightning riven
In awful whiteness o'er the shore, From summits clad in mists of heaven;
That shines and shakes beneath the roar; For where is he that hath beheld
Thus-as the stream and ocean greet, The peak of Liakura unveil'd ?
With waves that madden as they meet
Thus join the bands, whom mutual wrong, They reach the grove of pine at last:
And fate, and fury, drive along. “ Bismillah ! % now the peril's past;
The bickering sabres' shivering jar; For yonder view the opening plain,
And pealing widė or ringing near And there we 'll prick our steeds amain."
Its echoes on the throbbing ear, The Chiaus spake, and as he said,
The death-shot hissing from afar; A bullet whistled o'er his head;
The shock, the shout, the groan of war, The foremost Tartar bites the ground!
Reverberate along that vale, Scarce had they time to check the rein,
More suited to the shepherd's tale: Swift from their steeds the riders bound;
Though few the numbers-theirs the strife, But three shall never mount again;
That neither spares nor speaks for life! Unseen the foes that save the wound,
Ah! fondly youthful hearts can press,
To seize and share the dear caress; The dying ask in vain.
But love itself could never pant
For all that beauty sighs to grant
With half the fervor hate bestows
Upon the last embrace of foes, And there await the coming shock,
When grappling in the fight they fold
Those arms that ne'er shall lose their hold: Nor tamely stand to bleed Beneath the shaft of foes unseen,
Friends meet to part; love laughs at faith; Who dare not quit their craggy screen.
True foes, once met, are join'd till death! Stern Hassan only from his horse
With sabre shiver'd to the hilt,
Yet dripping with the blood he spilt:
Yet strain'd within the sever'd hand
Which quivers round that faithless brand; Could now avail the promised prey ;
His turban far behind him roll'd, Then curl'd his very beard 27 with ire,
And cleft in twain its firmest fold;
His flowing robe by falchion torn, And glared his eye with fiercer fire:
And crimson as those clouds of morn “Though far and near the bullets hiss,
That, streak'd with dusky red, portend
The day shall have a stormy end;
A stain on every bush that bore But Hassan's frown and furious word
A fragment of his palampore, 30
His breast with wounds unnumber'd riven, Are dreaded more than hostile sword, Nor of his little band a man
His back to earth, his face to heaven, Resign'd carbine or ataghan,
Fallen Hassan lies—his unclosed eye Nor raised the craven cry, Amaun!”
Yet lowering on his enemy, In fuller sight, more near and near,
As if the hour that seal'd his fate The lately ambush'd foes appear,
Surviving left his quenchless hate;
And o'er him bends that foe with brow
As dark as his that bled below.
“Yes, Leila sleeps beneath the wave, or 'Tis he! 'tis he! I know him now;
But his shall be a redder grave; I know him by his pallid brow;
Her spirit pointed well the steel I know him by the evil eye 29
Which taught that felon heart to feel. That aids his envious treachery ;
He call’d the Prophet, but his power I know him by his jet-black barb:
Was vain against the vengeful Giaour :
He call'd on Alla-but the word
Arose unheeded or unheard.
Thou Paynim fool! could Leila's prayer 'Tis he! well met in any hour !
Be pass'd, and thine accorded there? Lost Leila's love, accursed Giaour!"
I watched my time, I leagued with these,
The traitor in his turn to seize ; As rolls the river into the ocean,
My wrath is wreak'd, the deed is done, In sable torrent wildly streaming;
And now I go-but go alone." As the sea-tide's opposing motion, azure column proudly gleaming,
The browsing camels' bells are tinkling : The tortures of that inward hell! His mother look'd from her lattice high,
But first, on earth as vampire 37 sent, She saw the dews of ere besprinkling
Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent: The pasture green beneath her eye,
Then ghastly haunt thy native place, She saw the planets faintly twinkling :
And suck the blood of all thy race; «: 'Tis twilight-sure his train is nigh."
There from thy daughter, sister, wife, She could not rest in the garden bower,
At midnight drain the stream of life; But gazed through the grate of his steepest tower : Yet loathe the banquet which perforce “Why comes he not? his steeds are fleet,
Must feed thy livid living corse:
Thy victims ere they yet expire
Thy flowers are wither'd on the stem.
But one that for thy crime must fall, And warily the steep descends,
The youngest, most beloved of all, And now within the valley bends ;
Shall bless thee with a father's nameAnd he bears the gift at his saddle-bow
That word shall wrap thy heart in flame. How could I deem his courser slow?
Yet must thou end thy task, and mark Right well my largess shall repay
Her cheek's last tinge, her eye's last spark, His welcome speed, and weary way.”
And the last glassy glance must view
Which freezes o'er its lifeless blue: The Tartar lighted at the gate,
Then with unhallow'd hand shalt tear But scarce upheld his fainting weight;
The tresses of her yel! His swarthy visage spake distress,
Of which in life a loc
horn But this might be from weariness;
Affection's fondest pleuge vom: His garb with sanguine spots was dyed,
But now is borne away by thee, But these might be from his courser's side ;
Memorial of thine agony ! He drew the token, from his vest
Wet with thine own best blood shap** Angel of Death! 'tis Hassan's cloven crest
Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip; His calpac 31 rent-his caftan red
Then stalking to thy sullen grave, “ Lady, a fearful bride thy son hath wed;
Go and with Gouls and Afrits rave; Me, not for mercy, did they spare,
Till these in horror shrink away But this empurpled pledge to bear.
From spectre more accursed than they! Peace to the brave! whose blood is spilt; Wo to the Giaour! for his the guilt."
How name ye yon lone Caloyer ! A turban 32 carved in coarsest stone,
His features I have scann'd before A pillar with rank weeds o’ergrown,
In mine own land: 'tis many a year, Whereon can now be scarcely read
Since, dashing by the lonely shore, The Koran verse that mourns the dead,
I saw him urge as fleet a steed Point out the spot where Hassan fell
As ever served a horseman's need. A victim in that lonely dell.
But once I saw that face, yet then There sleeps as true an Osmanlie
It was so mark'd with inward pain, As e'er at Mecca bent the knee ;
I could not pass it by again; As ever scorn'd forbidden wine,
It breathes the same dark spitit now, Or prayed with face towards the shrine,
As death was stamp'd upon his brow." In orisons resumed anew At solemn sound of “ Alla Hu !" 33
“ 'Tis twice three years at summer-tide Yet died he by a stranger's hand,
Since first among our freres he came ; And stranger in his pative land;
And here it soothes him to abide Yet died he as in arms he stood,
For some dark deed he will not name. And unavenged, at least in blood.
But never at our vesper prayer, But him the maids of paradise
Nor e'er before confession chair Impatient to their halls invite,
Kneels he, nor recks he when arise And the dark heaven of Houri's eyes
Incense or anthem to the skies, On him shall glance for ever bright;
But broods within his cell alone, They come their kerchiefs green they wave, 24
His faith and race alike unknown. And welcome with a kiss the brave!
The sea from Paynim land he crost, Who falls in battle 'gainst a Giaour
And here ascended from the coast;
Yet seems he not of Othman race,
I'd judge him some stray renegade,
Repentant of the change he made, Beneath avenging Monkir's 35 scythe;
Save that he shuns our holy shrine, And from its torment 'scape alone
Nor tastes the sacred bread and wine. To wander round lost Eblis' 36 throne;
Great largess to these walls he brought, A fire unquench'd, unquenchable,
And thus our abbot's favor bought; Around, within, thy heart shall dwell;
But were I prior, not a day Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell
Should brook such stranger's further stay,
Or pent within our penance cell
With dread beheld, with gloom beholding Should doom him there for aye to dwell.
The rights that sanctify the pile. Much in his visions mutters he
But when the anthem shakes the choir, Of maiden whelm'd beneath the sea ;
And kneel the monks, his steps retire; Of sabres clashing, foemen flying,
By yonder lone and wavering torch Wrongs avenged, and Moslem dying.
His aspect glares within the porch; On cliff he hath been known to stand,
There will he pause till all is done And rave as to some bloody hand
And hear the prayer, but utter none. Fresh sever'd from its parent limb,
See-by the half-illumined wall Invisible to all but him,
His hood fly back, his dark hair fall, Which beckons onward to his grave,
That pale brow widely wreathing round, And lures to leap into the wave.”
As if the Gorgon there had bound
For be declines the convent oath,
And leaves those locks unhallow'd growth, That glares beneath his dusky cowl:
But wears our garb in all beside : The tash of that dilating eye
Ard, not from piety but pride, Reveals too much of times gone by ;
Gives wealth to walls that never heard Though varying, indistinct its hue,
Of his one holy vow nor word. Oft will his glance the gazer rue,
Lo !--mark ye, as the harmony Por in it lurks that nameless spell
Peals louder praises to the sky, Which speaks, itself unspeakable,
That livid cheek, that stony air A spirit yet unque 11'd and high,
Gi mix'd defiance and despair ! That claims and keeps ascendancy ;
Saint Francis, keep him from the shrine, And like therard whose pinions quake,
Else may we dread the wrath divine But can do the gazing snake,
Made manifest by awful sign.
If ever evil angel bore
By all my hope of sins forgiven,
Such looks are not of earth nor heaven!" As if that eye and bitter smile Transferr'd to others fear and guile :
To love the softest hearts are prone, Not oft to smile descendeth he,
But such can ne'er be all his own ; And when he doth 'tis sad to see
Too timid in his woes to share, That he but mocks at misery.
Too meek to meet, or brave despair ; How that pale lip will curl and quiver,
And sterner hearts alone may feel Then fix once more as if for ever ;
The wound that time can never heal. As if his sorrow or disdain
The rugged metal of the mine Forbade him e'er to smile again.
Must burn before its surface shine, Well were it so-such ghastly mirth
But plunged within the furnace-flame, From joyaunce ne'er derived its birth
It bends and melts—though still the same ; But sadder still it were to trace
Then temper'd to thy want, or will, What once were feelings in that face :
"Twill serve thee to defend or kill; Time hath not yet the features fix'd,
A breastplate for thine hour of need, But brighter traits with evil mix'd;
Or blade to bid thy foemen bleed; And there are hues pot always faded,
But if a dagger's form it bear, Which speak a mind not all degraded
Let those who shape its edge beware! Even by the crimes through which it waded : Thus passion's fire, and woman's art, The common crowd but see the gloom
Can turn and tame the sterner heart; Of wayward deeds, and fitting doom ;
From these its form and tone are ta’en, The close observer can espy
And what they make it, must remain, A noble soul, and lineage high :
But break-before it bend again.
If solitude succeed to grief,
Release from pain is slight relief; And still with little less than dread
The vacant bosom's wilderness On such the sight is riveted.
Might thank the pang that made it less. The roofless cot, decay'd and rent,
We loathe what none are left to share; Will scarce delay the passer by;
Even bliss—'twere wo alone to bear; The tower by war or tempest bent,
The heart once left thus desolate While fet may frown one battlement,
Must fly at last for ease-to hate. Demands and daunts the stranger's eye ;
It is as if the dead could feel Each ivied arch, and pillar lone,
The icy worm around them steal, Pleads haughtily for glories gone !
And shudder, as the reptiles creep
To revel o'er their rotting sleep, *His floating robe around him folding,
Without the power to scare away Slow sweeps he through the colum'd aisle ; The cold consumers of their clay!