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Of the wild bees of PALESTINE,
Banquetting through the flowery, vales; – And, JORDAN, those sweet banks of thine,
And woods, so full of nightingales !
But nought can charm the luckless PERI;
Flinging their shadows from on high,
Had rais’d to count his ages by!
Yet haply there may lie conceal'd
Beneath those Chambers of the Sun,
With the Great Name of SOLOMON,
6 The Temple of the Sun at Balbec.
May teach her where, beneath the moon,
An erring Spirit to the skies !
Cheer'd by this hope she bends her thither;
Still laughs the radiant eye of Heaven,
Nor have the golden bowers of Even In the rich West begun to wither; — When, o'er the vale of BALBEC winging
Slowly, she sees a child at play,
As rosy and as wild as they;
7 “ You behold there a considerable number of a remarkable species of beautiful insects, the elegance of whose appearance and their attire procured for them the name of Damsels.” — Sonnini.
She saw a wearied man dismount
From his hot steed, and on the brink Of a small imaret's rustic fount
Impatient fling him down to drink. Then swift his haggard brow he turn’d
To the fair child, who fearless sat, Though never yet hath day-beam burn'd
Upon a brow more fierce than that, Sullenly fierce — a mixture dire, Like thunder-clouds, of gloom and fire ! In which the Peri's eye could read Dark tales of many a ruthless deed; The ruin'd maid — the shrine profan'dOaths broken — and the threshold stain'd. With blood of guests ! — there written, all, Black as the damning drops that fall From the denouncing Angel's pen, Ere Mercy weeps them out again !
Yet tranquil now that man of crime,
Though still, whene'er his eye by chance Fell on the boy's, its lurid glance
Met that unclouded, joyous gaze, As torches, that have burnt all night Through some impure and godless rite,
Encounter morning's glorious rays.
But hark! the vesper call to prayer,
As slow the orb of day-light sets, Is rising sweetly on the air,
From Syria's thousand minarets ! The boy has started from the bed Of flowers, where he had laid his head, And down upon the fragrant sod
Kneels, with his forehead to the south, Lisping th' eternal name of God
From purity's own cherub mouth,
Oh 'twas a sight — that Heav'n — that Child
And how felt he, the wretched Man
And hope and feeling, which had slept
Fresh o'er him, and he wept - he wept !
Blest tears of soul-felt penitence!
In whose benign, redeeming flow . Is felt the first, the only sense
Of guiltless joy that guilt can know.