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73

Those golden birds that, in the spice-time, drop
About the gardens, drunk with that sweet food 72
Whose scent hath lur’d them o'er the summer flood;
And those that under Araby's soft sun
Build their high nests of budding cinnamon : 74
In short, all rare and beauteous things, that fly
Through the pure element, here calmly lie
Sleeping in light, like the green birds 75 that dwell
In Eden's radiant fields of asphodel!

So on, through scenes past all imagining,
More like the luxuries of that impious King, 78
Whom Death's dark angel, with his lightning torch,
Struck down and blasted even in Pleasure's porch,
Than the pure dwelling of a Prophet sent,
Arm’d with Heaven's sword, for man's enfranchise-

ment-
Young Azim wander'd, looking sternly round,
His simple garb and war-boots' clanking sound
But ill according with the pomp and grace
And silent lull of that voluptuous place.

Siiri

“Is this, then,” thought the youth, “is this the way To free man's spirit from the dead’ning sway Of worldly sloth, — to teach him, while he lives, To know no bliss but that which virtuè gives, And, when he dies, to leave his lofty name A light, a landmark on the cliffs of fame ? It was not so, Land of the generous thought And daring deed, thy godlike sages taught; It was not thus, in bowers of wanton ease, Thy Freedom nurs'd her sacred energies; Oh! not beneath the enfeebling, withering glow Of such dull luxury did those myrtles grow,

With which she wreath'd her sword, when she would

dare
Immortal deeds; but in the bracing air
Of toil,- of temperance, - of that high, rare,
Ethereal virtue, which alone can breathe
Life, health, and lustre into Freedom's wreath.
Who, that surveys this span of earth we press,
This speck of life in time's great wilderness,
This narrow isthmus 'twixt two boundless seas,
The past, the future, two eternities !-
Would sully the bright spot, or leave it bare,
When he might build him a proud temple there,
A name, that long shall hallow all its space,
And be each purer soul's high resting-place?

it cannot be, that one, whom God
Hath sent to break the wizard Falsehood's rod, -
A Prophet of the Truth, whose mission draws
Its rights from Heaven, should thus profane its cause
With the world's vulgar pomp; - no, no,

I seeHe thinks me weak — this glare of luxury Is but to tempt, to try the eaglet gaze Of my young soul — shine on, 'twill stand the blaze !"

But no

So thought the youth ;- but, ev’n while he defied This witching scene, he felt its witchery glide Through ev'ry sense. The perfume breathing round, Like a pervading spirit; — the still sound Of falling waters, lulling as the song Of Indian bees at sunset, when they throng Around the fragrant Nilica, and deep In its blue blossoms hum themselves to sleep;17 And music, too → dear music! that can touch Beyond all else the soul that loves it much Now heard far off, so far as but to seem Like the faint, exquisite music of a dream;

All was too much for him, too full of bliss,
The heart could nothing feel, that felt not this;
Soften’d he sank upon a couch, and gave
His soul up to sweet thoughts, like wave on wave
Succeeding to smooth seas, when storms are laid;
He thought of ZELICA, his own dear maid,
And of the time when, full of blissful sighs,
They sat and look'd into each other's eyes,
Silent and happy — as if God had given
Nought else worth looking at on this side heaven.

“Oh, my lov'd mistress, thou, whose spirit still Is with me, round me, wander where I will — It is for thee, for thee alone I seek The paths of glory; to light up thy cheek With warm approval -- in that gentle look To read my praise, as in an angel's book, And think all toils rewarded, when from thee I gain a smile worth immortality ! How shall I bear the moment when restor’d To that young heart where I alone am Lord, Though of such bliss unworthy, - since the best Alone deserve to be the happiest;When from those lips, unbreath'd upon for years, I shall again kiss off the soul-felt tears, And find those tears warm as when last they started, Those sacred kisses pure as when we parted ? O my own life! — why should a single day, A moment, keep me from those arms away ?

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While thus he thinks, still nearer on the breeze Come those delicious, dream-like harmonies, Each note of which but adds new, downy links To the soft chain in which his spirit sinks. He turns him tow'rd the sound, and far away

Through a long vista, sparkling with the play
Of countless lamps, — like the rich track which Day
Leaves on the waters, when he sinks from us,
So long the path, its light so tremulous ;-
He sees a group of female forms advance,
Some chain'd together in the mazy dance
By fetters, forged in the green sunny bowers,
As they were captives to the King of Flowers ; 78
And some disporting round, unlink'd and free,
Who seem’d to mock their sisters' slavery;
And round and round them still, in wheeling flight,
Went, like gay moths about a lamp at night;
While others walk’d, as gracefully along
Their feet kept time, the very soul of song,
From psaltery, pipe, and lutes of heavenly thrill,
Or their own youthful voices, heavenlier still.
And now they come, now pass before his eye,
Forms such as Nature moulds, when she would vie
With Fancy's pencil, and give birth to things,
Lovely beyond its fairest picturings.
Awhile they dance before him, then divide,
Breaking, like rosy clouds at even-tide
Around the rich pavilion of the sun,-
Till silently dispersing, one by one
Through many a path, that from the chamber leads
To gardens, terraces, and moonlight meads,
Their distant laughter comes upon the wind,
And but one trembling nymph remains behind, -
Beck'ning them back in vain, for they are gone,
And she is left in all that light alone;
No veil to curtain o'er her beauteous brow,
In its young bashfulness more beauteous now;
But a light golden chain-work round her hair, 79
Such as the maids of YEZD 80 and SHIRAs wear,
From which, on either side, gracefully hung

A golden amulet, in the Arab tongue
Engraven o’er with some immortal line
From Holy Writ, or bard scarce less divine;
While her left hand, as shrinkingly she stood,
Held a small lute of gold and sandal-wood,
Which, once or twice, she touch'd with hurried strain,
Then took her trembling fingers off again.
But when at length a timid glance she stole
At Azim, the sweet gravity of soul
She saw through all his features calm’d her fear,
And, like a half-tam’d antelope, more near,
Though shrinking still, she came; - then sat her

down
Upon a musnud's 81 edge, and, bolder grown,
In the pathetic mode of ISFAHAN 82
Touch'd a preluding strain, and thus began:

There's a bower of roses by BENDEMEER’S 83 stream,

And the nightingale sings round it all the day long; In the time of my childhood 'twas like a sweet dream,

To sit in the roses and hear the bird's song.

That bower and its music I never forget,

But oft when alone in the bloom of the year, I think-is the nightingale singing there yet?

Are the roses still bright by the calm BENDEMEER ?

No, the roses soon wither'd that hung o’er the wave,
But some blossoms were gather'd, while freshly they

shone,
And a dew was distill'd from their flowers, that gave

All the fragrance of summer, when summer was gone.

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