« ForrigeFortsæt »
THE VEILED PROPHET.
Put back the ringlets from her brow. and gazed
Upon those lids, where once such lustre blazed,
Ere he could think she was indeed his own!
But in that deep-blue, melancholy dress,93
BOKHARA's maidens wear in mindfulness
Of friends or kindred, dead or far away;
And such as ZELICA had on that day
He left her — when, with heart too full to speak,
He took away her last warm tears upon his cheek.
A strange emotion stirs within him,
Than mere compassion ever wak'd before;
Unconsciously he opes his arms, while she
Springs forward, as with life's last energy,
But, swooning in that one convulsive bound,
Sinks, ere she reach his arms, upon the ground;
Her veil falls off — her faint hands clasp his knees
'Tis she herself! — 'tis ZELICA he sees !
But, ah, so pale, so chang'd -- none but a lover
Could in that wreck of beauty's shrine discover
The once ador'd divinity — even he
Stood for some moments mute, and doubtingly
Put back the ringlets from her brow, and gaz'd
those lids, where once such lustre blaz'd,
Ere he could think she was indeed his own,
Own darling maid, whom he so long had known
In joy and sorrow, beautiful in both;
Who, even when grief was heaviest -- when loth
He left her for the wars - in that worst hour
Sat in her sorrow like the sweet night-flower, 9.
When darkness brings its weeping glories out,
And spreads its sighs like frankincense about.
“Look up, my ZELICA -one moment show
Those gentle eyes to me, that I may know
Thy life, thy loveliness is not all gone,
But there, at least, shines as it ever shone.
Come, look upon thy AZIM -- one dear glance,
Like those of old, were heaven! whatever chance
Hath brought thee here, oh, 'twas a blessed one!
There my lov'd lips — they move that kiss hath
Like the first shoot of life through every vein,
And now I clasp her, mine, all mine again.
Oh the delight — now, in this very hour,
When had the whole rich world been in my power,
I should have singled out thee, only thee,
From the whole world's collected treasury
To have thee here - to hang thus fondly o'er
My own, best, purest ZELICA once more !"
It was indeed the touch of those fond lips
Upon her eyes that chas'd their short eclipse;
And, gradual as the snow, at Heaven's breath,
Melts off and shows the azure flowers beneath,
Her lids unclos’d, and the bright eyes were seen
Gazing on his - not, as they late had been,
Quick, restless, wild, but mournfully serene;
As if to lie, even for that tranced minute,
So near his heart, had consolation in it;
And thus to wake in his belov'd caress
Took from her soul one half its wretchedness.
But, when she heard him call her good and pure,
Oh, 'twas too much too dreadful to endure !
Shudd’ring she broke away from his embrace,
And, hiding with both hands her guilty face,
Said, in a tone whose anguish would have riven
A heart of very marble, “Pure ! - oh, Heaven !”
That tone — those looks so chang'd — the withering
blight That sin and sorrow leave where'er they light; The dead despondency of those sunk eyes,
Where once, had he thus met her by surprise,
He would have seen himself, too happy boy,
Reflected in a thousand lights of joy;
And then the place, — that bright, unholy place,
Where vice lay hid beneath each winning grace
And charm of luxury, as the viper weaves
Its wily covering of sweet balsam leaves, 86 -
All struck upon his heart, sudden and cold
As death itself; it needs not to be told
No, no he sees it all, plain as the brand
Of burning shame can mark - whate'er the hand,
That could from Heaven and him such brightness
'Tis done — to Heaven and him she's lost forever!
It was a dreadful moment; not the tears,
The lingering, lasting misery of years
Could match that minute's anguish — all the worst
Of sorrow's elements in that dark burst
Broke o'er his soul, and, with one crash of fate,
Laid the whole hopes of his life desolate.
“Oh! curse me not,” she cried, as wild he toss'd
His desperate hand tow'rd Heaven -“though I am
Think not that guilt, that falsehood made me fall :
No, no — -'twas grief, 'twas madness did it all!
Nay, doubt me not — though all thy love hath ceas'd-
I know it hath-yet, yet believe, at least,
That every spark of reason's light must be
Quench'd in this brain, ere I could stray from thee.
They told me thou wert dead — why, Azim, why
Did we not, both of us, that instant die
When we were parted ? Oh! couldst thou but know
With what a deep devotedness of woe
I wept thy absence - o'er and o'er again