Billeder på siden

66 There's a drop," said the Peri, “ that down from

“ the moon , “ Falls through the withering airs of June 66 Upon EGYPT's land, of so healing a power, 66 So balmy a virtue, that ev'n in the hour 6 That drop descends, contagion dies, 66 And health reanimates earth and skies ! « Oh, is it not thus, thou man of sin,

“ The precious tears of repentance fall? “ Though foul thy fiery plagues within,

“ One heavenly drop hath dispelld them all !"
And now -- behold him kneeling there
By the child's side, in humble prayer,
While the same sun-beam shines upon
The guilty and the guiltless one,
And hymns of joy proclaim through Heaven
The triumph of a Soul Forgiven!

'Twas when the golden orb had set, While on their knees they linger'd yet,

8 The Nucta, or Miraculous Drop, which falls in Egypt precisely on iSt. John's day, in June, and is supposed to have the effect of stopping the plague.

There fell a light, more lovely far
Than ever came from sun or star,
Upon the tear that, warm and meek,
Dew'd that repentant sinner's cheek:
To mortal eye this light might seem
A northern flash or meteor beam —
But well the' enraptur’d Perı knew
'Twas a bright smile the Angel threw
From Heaven's gate, to hail that tear
Her harbinger of glory near !


“ Joy, joy for ever! my task is done — 66 The Gates are pass’d, and Heaven is won ! « Oh! am I not happy? I am, I am —.

“ To thee, sweet Eden ! how dark and sad “ Are the diamond turrets of SHADUKIAM, 9

« And the fragrant bowers of AMBERABAD !

“ Farewel, ye odours of Earth, that die, “ Passing away like a lover's sigh;

9 The Country of Delight, - the name of a Province in the kingdom of Jinnistan, or Fairy Land, the capital of which is called the city of Jewels. Amberabad is another of the cities of Jinnistan,

6 My feast is now of the Tooba Tree,
6 Whose scent is the breath of Eternity!

66 Farewel ye vanishing flowers, that shone

“ In my fairy wreath, so bright and brief, — 66 Oh! what are the brightest that e'er have blown, 66 To the lote-tree, springing by Alla's Throne, ?

" Whose flowers have a soul in every leaf! 6 Joy, joy for ever ! — my task is done — “ The Gates are pass’d, and Heav'n is won !”

· The tree Tooba, that stands in Paradise, in the palace of Mahomet. v. Sale's Prelim. Disc. — Touba, says D'Herbelot, sig

Mbeatitude, or eternam. Disc. - Toubadise, in the pal

? Mahomet is described, in the 53d Chapter of the Koran, as having seen the angel Gabriel “ by the lote-tree, beyond which there is no passing : near it is the Garden of Eternal Abode.” This tree, say the commentators, stands in the seventh Heaven, on the right hand of the Throne of God.

“ And this,” said the Great Chamberlain, “ is poetry ! this flimsy manufacture of the brain, which, in comparison with the lofty and durable monuments of genius, is as the gold filigree-work of Zamara beside the eternal architecture of Egypt !” After this gorgeous sentence, which, with a few more of the same kind, FADLADEEN kept by him for rare and important occasions, he proceeded to the anatomy of the short poem just recited. The lax and easy kind of metre in which it was written ought to be denounced, he said, as one of the leading causes of the alarming growth of poetry in our times. If some check were not given to this lawless facility, we should soon be overrun by 'a race of bards as numerous and as shallow as the hundred

and twenty thousand Streams of Basra.' They who · succeeded in this style deserved chastisement for their

1“ It is said that the rivers or streams of Basra were reckoned in the time of Belal ben Abi Bordeh, and amounted to the number of one hundred and twenty thousand streams." - Ebn Haukal.



very success ; — as warriors have been punished, even after gaining a victory, because they had taken the liberty of gaining it in an irregular or unestablished manner. What, then, was to be said to those who failed ? to those who presumed, as in the present lamentable instance, to imitate the license and ease of the bolder sons of song, without any of that. grace or vigour which gave a dignity even to negligence ; who, like them, Aung the jereed' carelessly, but not, like them, to the mark; — “ and who,” said he, raising his voice to excite a proper degree of wakefulness in his hearers, “ contrive to appear heavy and constrained in the midst of all the latitude they have allowed themselves, like one of those young pagans that dance before the Princess, who has the ingenuity to move as if her limbs were fettered, in a pair of the lightest and loosest drawers of Masulipatam!"

It was but little suitable, he continued, to the grave march of criticism to follow this fantastical Peri, of

2 The name of the javelin with which the Easterns exercise, v. Castellan, Moeurs des Othomans, tom. iii. p. 161.

« ForrigeFortsæt »