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THE MOORISH BARQUE.
Licosa, 'tis a lovely thought
That roams thy rocky steep, Where palms and wild pomegranates wrought
Sweet shades for summer sleep; And blossom'd aloes rear'd the head
Like guardians of the grove, To shield it from intrusive tread
Of any step but love.
I dream upon the dawn serene,
When on thy seaward crag reclined, I saw by cleft and rude ravine
Thy bird-nets waving in the wind, And weary wings far o'er the sea
From burning suns and barren sands, Faint flutter to a worse decree
In cruel captor's hands.
I would I could recall as well
The latent urchin's lay
The long wild lay, that rose and fell
But yet so wild the strain,
The fragments that remain.
Bold peasant youth, fair vintage maid,
Nor lose the simple pride,
Of toiling side by side.
'Twas eve; and one had gained his prayer Of toil to take the double share
Beneath the sultry ray;
Fair beetling o'er the bay.
'Twas gentle eve, the task was done,
And now, like wild.dove on the wing, He sought the smile his pains had won,
Beside the star-lit spring,
And swifter still his course he took,
For ne'er those pains had been So distant from the lovely look,
Such weary hours unseen-
And fancy wilder grew
And all that love might rue ;
Beneath the mountain dark,
Behold the Moorish barque !
A moment, and he reached the grot
Where she had lain, but lay not now; And broken wreath, and true love knot, And footmarks by the fountain plot, Full plainly spoke the maiden's lot –
The prize of yonder prow!
His thrill was like the lightning shock,
His thought the bolt in flight:
Like sea-bird swooping from the sight;
Far, far away from bower and beach
His desperate course he bore, ”Till gasping swimmer ne'er might reach
Its rock of safety more.-
The barque was lessening from his view,
And the fleeting sail
Came o'er the deep-
His hand is on the pirate's stern.
His piteous plaint hath brought The Pagan band, unused to burn With human love, to look and learn
What deeds that power bath wrought.
"I am a peasant,” thus he spake,
“ These hands the token bear ;
No ransom but my prayer.
Because ye do not share.
“ Ye cannot tell, oh
With love's confiding heart
Like diadems apart.”
They listened to the suppliant's prayer,
And raised him to the deck,
Clung round a Christian neck.
Of joy's untimely wreck.
Oh whither, whither, dost thou rove
Beneath the midnight sky ?
Of peasant poor as I ?
Take back, take back my promised bride,
Weak hands for toil hath she,
And bless thee on my knee !"