Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

496

BEAUTIFUL AND PASSIONATE ABJURATION,

I pray thee, as thou lov'st me, fly -
Now, now — ere yet their blades are nigh,
Oh haste!- the bark that bore me hither

Can waft us o'er yon dark’ning sea
East-west - alas ! I care not whither,

So thou art safe, -- and I with thee!
Go where we will, this hand in thine,
Those

eyes before me beaming thus,
Through good and ill, through storm and shine,

The world's a world of love for us !
On some calm, bless'd shore we'll dwell,
Where 'tis no crime to love too well!
Where thus to worship tenderly
An erring child of light like thee
Will not be sin—or, if it be,
Where we may weep our faults away,
Together kneeling, night and day,
Thou, for my sake, at Alla's shrine,
And I

at any god's, for thine!'
Wildly these passionate words she spoke --

Then hung her head, and wept for shame;
Sobbing, as if a heart.string broke

With ev'ry deep-heav'd sob that came.”—p. 261, 262.

Hafed is more shocked with the treachery to which he is sacrificed than with the fate to which it consigns him: – One moment he gives up to softness and pity — assures Hinda, with compassionate equivocation, that they shall soon meet on some more peaceful shore — places her sadly in a litter, and sees her borne down the steep to the galley she had lately quitted, and to which she still expects that he is to follow her. He then assembles his brave and devoted companions — warns them of the fate that is approaching - and exhorts them to meet the host of the invaders in the ravine, and sell their lives dearly to their steel. After a fierce, and somewhat too sanguinary combat, the Ghebers are at last borne down by numbers; and Hafed finds himself left alone, with one brave associate, mortally wounded like himself. They make a desperate effort to reach and die beside the consecrated fire which burns for ever on the summit of the cliff.

“The crags are red they've clamber'd o'er,

The rock-weed's dripping with their gore

CATASTROPHE OF THE LOVERS.

497

Thy blade, too, Hafed, false at length,
Now breaks beneath thy tott'ring strength -
Haste, haste! — the voices of the Foe
Come near and nearer from below!
One effort more- thank Heav'n! 'tis past,
They've gain'd the topmost steep at last.
And now they touch the temple's walls,

Now Hafed sees the Fire divine -
When, lo!- his weak, worn comrade falls

Dead, on the threshold of the Shrine,
• Alas! brave soul, too quickly fled !

And must I leave thee with’ring here,
The sport of every ruffian's tread,

• The mark for every coward's spear?
No, by yon altar's sacred beams!
He cries, and, with a strength that seems
Not of this world, uplifts the frame
Of the fall’n chief, and tow'rds the flame
Bears him along! With death-damp hand
The corpse upon

the
pyre

he lays;
Then lights the consecrated brand,

And fires the pile, whose sudden blaze
Like lightning bursts o'er Oman's Sea. -

Now, Freedom's God! I come to Thee!'
The youth exclaims, and with a smile
Of triumph, vaulting on the pile,
In that last effort, ere the fires

Have harm'd one glorious limb, expires !"— p. 278, 279. The unfortunate Hinda, whose galley had been detained close under the cliff by the noise of the first onset, had heard with agony the sounds which marked the progress and catastrophe of the fight, and is at last a spectatress of the lofty fate of her lover.

what moves upon the height?
Some signal !— 'tis a torch's light.

What bodes its solitary glare ?
In gasping silence tow'rd the shrine
All eyes are turn'd thine, Hinda, thine
Fix their last failing life-beams there!
"Twas but a moment - fierce and high
The death-pile blaz’d into the sky,
And far away o'er rock and flood

Its melancholy radiance sent;
While Hafed, like a vision stood
Reveal'd before the burning pyre!
Tall, shadowy, like a Spirit of Fire

Shrin'd in its own grand element !
VOL. II.

K K

“ But see —

498

MOORE

- THE LIGHT OF THE HARAM.

« 'Tis he! - the shudd'ring maid exclaims, –

But, while she speaks, he's seen no more !
High burst in air the fun 'ral flames,

And Iran's hopes and hers are o'er !
One wild, heart-broken shriek she gave-

Then sprung, as if to reach that blaze,

Where still she fix'd her dying gaze,
And, gazing, sunk into the wave ! -
Deep, deep ! — where never care or pain
Shall reach her innocent heart again !”.

p. 283, 281. This sad story is closed by a sort of choral dirge, of great elegance and beauty, of which we can only afford to give the first stanza.

Farewell - farewell to thee, Araby's daughter !

(Thus warbled a Peri beneath the dark sea) No pearl ever lay, under Oman's green water, More

pure in its shell than thy Spirit in thee.” — p. 281. The general tone of this poem is certainly too much strained. It is overwrought throughout, and is too entirely made up of agonies and raptures ; — but, in spite of all this, it is a work of great genius and beauty; and not only delights the fancy by its general brilliancy and spirit, but moves all the tender and noble feelings with a deep and powerful agitation.

The last piece, entitled “ The Light of the Haram," is the gayest of the whole; and is of a very slender fabric as to fable or invention. In truth, it has scarcely any story at all; but is made up almost entirely of beautiful songs and descriptions. During the summer months, when the court is resident in the Vale of Cashmere, there is, it seems, a sort of oriental carnival, called the Feast of Roses, during which every body is bound to be happy and in good humour. At this critical period, the Emperor Selim had unfortunately a little love-quarrel with his favourite Sultana Nourmahal, — which signifies, it seems, the Light of the Haram. The lady is rather unhappy while the sullen fit is on her; and applies to a sort of enchantress, who invokes a musical spirit to teach her an irresistible song, which she sings in a mask to the offended monarch; and when his heart is subdued by its sweetness, throws off her mask, and springs with

THE HAPPY VALLEY.

499

fonder welcome than ever into his repentant arms.

The whole piece is written in a kind of rapture,

as if the author had breathed nothing but intoxicating gas during its composition. It is accordingly quite filled with lively images and splendid expressions, and all sorts of beauties,

except those of reserve or simplicity. We must give a few specimens, to revive the spirits of our readers after the tragic catastrophe of Hafed; and we may begin with this portion of the description of the IIappy Valley.

- Oh! to see it by moonlight, — when mellowly shines
The light o'er its palaces, gardens and shrines;
When the waterfalls gleam like a quick fall of stars,
And the nightingale's hymn from the Isle of Chenars
Is broken by laughs and light echoes of feet,
From the cool shining walks where the young people meet
Or at morn, when the magic of daylight awakes
A new wonder each minute, as slowly it breaks,
Hills, cupolas, fountains, call'd forth every one
Out of darkness, as they were just born of the Sun.
When the Spirit of Fragrance is up with the day,
From his Haram of night-flowers stealing away;
And the wind, full of wantonness, woos like a lover
The young aspen-trees till they tremble all over.
When the east is as warm as the light of first hopes,

And Day, with his banner of radiance unfuri'd,
Shines in through the mountainous portal that opes,

Sublime, from that Valley of bliss to the world !

- p. 296.

· The character of Nourmahal's beauty is much in the same taste: though the diction is rather more loose and careless.

“There's a beauty, for ever unchangingly bright,

Like the long sunny lapse of a summer day's light,
Shining on, shining on, by no shadow made tender,
Till Love falls asleep in its sameness of splendour.
This was not the beauty - oh! nothing like this,
That to young Nourmahal gave such magic of bliss;
But that loveliness, ever in motion, which plays
Like the light upon autumn's soft shadowy days,
Now here and now there, giving warmth as it flies
From the lips to the cheek, from the cheek to the eyes,
Now melting in mist and now breaking in gleams,
Like the glimpses a saint has of Heav'n in his dreams !
When pensive, it seem'd as if that very grace,
That charm of all others, was born with her face.

500

MOORE

NOURMAHAL

HER INCANTATION.

Then her mirth -oh! 'twas sportive as ever took wing
From the heart with a burst, like the wild-bird in spring;
Illum'd by a wit that would fascinate sages,
Yet playful as Peris just loos 'd from their cages.
While her laugh, full of life, without any controul
But the sweet one of gracefulness, rung from her soul ;
And where it most sparkl’d no glance could discover,
In lip, cheek, or eyes, for she bright'ned all over,
Like
any

fair lake that the breeze is upon, When it breaks into dimples and laughs in the sun." - p. 302, 303, We can give but a little morsel of the enchanting Song of the Spirit of Music. "For mine is the lay that lightly floats,

And mine are the murm’ring, dying notes,
That fall as soft as snow on the sea,
And melt in the heart as instantly!
And the passionate strain that, deeply going,

Refines the bosom it trembles through,
As the musk-wind over the water blowing,

Ruffles the wave, but sweetens it too!

• The warrior's heart, when touch'd by me,
Can as downy soft and as yielding be
As his own wh plume, that high amid death
Through the field has shone — yet moves with a breath.
And, oh how the eyes of Beauty glisten,

When Music has reach'd her inward soul,
Like the silent stars that wink and listen,

While Heav'n's eternal melodies roll!'"- p. 518, 319.

Nourmahal herself, however, in her Arabian disguise, sings a still more prevailing ditty - of which we can only insert a few stanzas.

". Fly to the desert, fly with me!

Our Arab tents are rude for thee;
But oh! the choice what heart can doubt
Of tents with love, or thrones without ?
Our rocks are rough ; but smiling there
Th' acacia waves her yellow hair,
Lonely and sweet nor lov'd the less
For flow'ring in a wilderness !
• Our sands are bare; but down their slope
The silv'ry-footed antelope
As gracefully and gaily springs
As o'er the marble courts of kings.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »