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One of that saintly, murderous brood,
To carnage and the Koran given,
Who think through unbeliever's blood
Lies their directest path to heaven;-
One, who will pause and kneel unshod
In the warm blood his hand hath pour'd,
To mutter o’er some text of God
Engraven on his reeking sword;
Nay, who can coolly note the line,
The letter of those words divine,
To which his blade, with searching art,
Had sunk into its victim's heart!
Just ALLA! what must be thy look,
When such a wretch before thee stands
Unblushing, with thy Sacred Book, —
Turning the leaves with blood-stain'd hands,
And wresting from its page sublime
His creed of lust, and hate, and crime;
Even as those bees of TREBIZOND,
Which, from the sunniest flowers that glad
With their pure smile the gardens round,
Draw venom forth that drives men mad. 2
Never did fierce ARABIA send
A satrap forth more direly great;
Never was IRAN doom’d to bend
Beneath a yoke of deadlier weight.
Her throne had fallen - her pride was crush’d-
Her sons were willing slaves, nor blush’d,
In their own land, no more their own,
To crouch beneath a stranger's throne.
Her towers, where MITHRA once had burn’d,
To Moslem shrines — oh shame! — were turn’d,
Where slaves, converted by the sword,
Their mean, apostate worship pour'd,
And curs’d the faith their sires ador'd.
Yet has she hearts, ʼmid all this ill,
O'er all this wreck high, buoyant still
With hope and vengeance; -hearts that yet-
Like gems, in darkness, issuing rays
They've treasur'd from the sun that's set,
Beam all the light of long-lost days! And swords she hath, nor weak nor slow
To second all such hearts can dare;
As he shall know, well, dearly know,
Who sleeps in moonlight luxury there,
Tranquil as if his spirit lay
Becalm’d in Heaven's approving ray.
Sleep on - for purer eyes than thine
Those waves are hush’d, those planets shine;
Sleep on, and be thy rest unmov’d
By the white moonbeam's dazzling power;
None but the loving and the lov'd
Should be awake at this sweet hour.
And see — where, high above those rocks
That o'er the deep their shadows fling, Yon turret stands ; — where ebon locks,
As glossy as a heron's wing
Upon the turban of a king, 221
Hang from the lattice, long and wild-
'Tis she, that EMIR's blooming child,
All truth and tenderness and grace,
Though born of such ungentle race;-
An image of Youth's radiant Fountain
Springing in a desolate mountain !
Oh what a pure and sacred thing
Is beauty, curtain'd from the sight
Of the gross world, illumining
One only mansion with her light!
Unseen by man's disturbing eye, -
The flower that blooms beneath the sea,
Too deep for sunbeams, doth not lie
Hid in more chaste obscurity.
So, Hinda, have thy face and mind,
Like holy mysteries, lain enshrin'd.
And oh, what transport for a lover
To lift the veil that shades them o'er!
Like those who, all at once, discover
In the lone deep some fairy shore,
Where mortal never trod before,
And sleep and wake in scented airs
No lip had ever breath'd but theirs.
Beautiful are the maids that glide,
On summer-eves, through YEMEN's 228 dales,
And bright the glancing looks they hide
Behind their litters' roseate veils;
And brides, as delicate and fair
As the white jasmine flowers they wear,
Hath YEMEN in her blissful clime,
Who, lull'd in cool kiosk or bower,224
Before their mirrors count the time,
And grow still lovelier every hour.
But never yet hath bride or maid
In ARABY's gay Haram smild,
Whose boasted brightness would not fade
Before AL HASSAN's blooming child.
Light as the angel shapes that bless
An infant's dream, yet not the less
Rich in all woman's loveliness;
With eyes so pure, that from their ray
Dark Vice would turn abash'd
Blinded like serpents, when they gaze
Upon the emerald's virgin blaze ; 226 —
Yet fill'd with all youth's sweet desires,
Mingling the meek and vestal fires
Of other worlds with all the bliss,
The fond, weak tenderness of this:
A soul, too, more than half divine,
Where, through some shades of earthly feeling,
Religion's soften'd glories shine,
Like light through summer foliage stealing,
Shedding a glow of such mild hue,
So warm, and yet so shadowy too,
As makes the very darkness there
More beautiful than light elsewhere.
Such is the maid who, at this hour,
Hath risen from her restless sleep, And sits alone in that high bower,
Watching the still and shining deep. Ah! 'twas not thus, — with tearful eyes
And beating heart, - she used to gaze On the magnificent earth and skies,
In her own land, in happier days. Why looks she now so anxious down Among those rocks, whose rugged frown
Blackens the mirror of the deep ? Whom waits she all this lonely night?
Too rough the rocks, too bold the steep, For man to scale that turret's height !
So deem'd at least her thoughtful sire,
When high, to catch the cool night-air, After the day-beam's withering fire,227
He built her bower of freshness there,
And had it deck'd with costliest skill,
And fondly thought it safe as fair:
Think, reverend dreamer! think so still,
Nor wake to learn what Love can dare;
Love, all-defying Love, who sees
No charm in trophies won with ease;
Whose rarest, dearest fruits of bliss
Are pluck'd on Danger's precipice !
Bolder than they who dare not dive
For pearls, but when the sea's at rest,
Love, in the tempest most alive,
Hath ever held that pearl the best
He finds beneath the stormiest water.
Yes — ARABY's unrivall’d daughter,
Though high that tower, that rock-way rude,
There's one who, but to kiss thy cheek,
Would climb the untrodden solitude
Of ARARAT's tremendous peak,228
And think its steeps, though dark and dread,
Heaven's pathways, if to thee they led!
Even now thou seest the flashing spray,
That lights his oar's impatient way;
Even now thou hear'st the sudden shock
Of his swift bark against the rock,
And stretchest down thy arms of snow,
As if to lift him from below!
Like her to whom, at dead of night,
The bridegroom, with his locks of light,2
Came, in the flush of love and pride,
And scal'd the terrace of his bride ;-
When, as she saw him rashly spring,
And midway up in danger cling,
She flung him down her long black hair,
Exclaiming, breathless, “ There, love, there!”
And scarce did manlier nerve uphold