Billeder på siden

Hath sold thee to my vengeful sire;
This morning, with that smile so dire
He wears in joy, he told me all,

And stamp'd in triumph through our hall,
As though thy heart already beat
Its last life-throb beneath his feet!
Good Heav'n! how little dream'd I then
His victim was my own lov'd youth!-
Fly-send-let some one watch the glen-
By all my hopes of heaven, 'tis truth!"
Oh! colder than the wind that freezes
Founts, that but now in sunshine play'd,
Is that congealing pang which seizes
The trusting bosom, when betray'd.
He felt it deeply felt-and stood,
As if the tale had froz'n his blood,

So maz'd and motionless was he;—
Like one whom sudden spells enchant,
Or some mute, marble habitant

Of the still halls of Ishmonie ! *

But soon the painful chill was o'er,
And his great soul, herself once more,
Look'd from his brow, in all the rays
Of her best, happiest, grandest days!
Never, in moment most elate,

Did that high spirit loftier rise ;--
While bright, serene, determinate,

His looks are lifted to the skies,

* For an account of Ishmonie, the petrified city in Upper Egypt, where, it is said, there are many statues of men, women, &c., to be seen to this day, vide Perry's View of the Levant.

As if the signal-lights of fate
Were shining in those awful eyes!
"Tis come-his hour of martyrdom
In Iran's sacred cause is come;
And, though his life hath pass'd away
Like lightning on a stormy day,

Yet shall his death-hour leave a track

Of glory, permanent and bright, To which the brave of after-times, The suffering brave, shall long look back With proud regret, and by its light Watch through the hours of slavery's night, For vengeance on th' oppressor's crimes! This rock, his monument aloft,

Shall speak the tale to many an age;
And hither bards and heroes oft

Shall come in secret pilgrimage,
And bring their warrior-sons, and tell
The wondering boys where HAFED fell,
And swear them, on those lone remains
Of their lost country's ancient fanes,'
Never-while breath of life shall live.
Within them-never to forgive

Th' accursed race, whose ruthless chain
Hath left on Iran's neck a stain
Blood, blood alone shall cleanse again!

Such are the swelling thoughts that now
Enthrone themselves on HAFED's brow;
And ne'er did saint of Issa * gaze

On the red wreath, for martyrs twin'd,

* Jesus.

More proudly than the youth surveys

That pile, which through the gloom behind,
Half-lighted by the altar's fire,

Glimmers, his destin'd funeral pyre!
Heap'd by his own, his comrades' hands,
Of every wood of odorous breath,
There, by the Fire-God's shrine it stands,
Ready to fold in radiant death

The few still left of those who swore
To perish there, when hope was o'er--

The few, to whom that couch of flame,

Which rescues them from bonds and shame,
Is sweet and welcome as the bed

For their own infant Prophet spread,
When pitying Heav'n to roses turn'd

The death-flames that beneath him burn'd! *

With watchfulness the maid attends

His rapid glance, where'er it bends ;-
Why shoot his eyes such awful beams?

What plans he now? what thinks or dreams?
Alas! why stands he musing here,
When every moment teems with fear?
"HAFED, my own beloved lord,"

She kneeling cries-" first, last ador❜d!
If in that soul thou'st ever felt

Half what thy lips impassion'd swore,
Here, on my knees, that never knelt

[blocks in formation]

* The Ghebers say, that when Abraham, their great prophet, was thrown into the fire by order of Nimrod, the flame turned instanty into "a bed or roses, where the child sweetly reposed."-Tavernier.

I pray thee, as thou lov'st me, fly-
Now, now-ere yet their blades are nigh.
Oh haste!-the bark that bore me hither
Can waft us o'er yon darkening sea,

[graphic][merged small]

Through good and ill, through storm and shine,
The world's a world of love for us!

On some calm, blessed shore we'll dwell,
Where 'tis no crime to love too well;-
Where thus to worship tenderly
An erring child of light like thee
Will not be sin-or, if it be,
Where we may weep our faults away,
Together kneeling, night and day,
Thou, for my sake, at Alla's shrine,
And I-at any God's, for thine!"

Wildly these passionate words she spoke—
Then hung her head, and wept for shame;
Sobbing, as if a heart-string broke

With every deep-heav'd sob that came.
While he, young, warm-oh! wonder not
If, for a moment, pride and fame,

His oath-his cause that shrine of flame, And Iran's self are all forgot

For her whom at his feet he sees,

Kneeling in speechless agonies.
No, blame him not, if Hope awhile
Dawn'd in his soul, and threw her smile
O'er hours to come-o'er days and nights
Wing'd with those precious, pure delights
Which she, who bends all beauteous there,
Was born to kindle and to share!
A tear or two, which, as he bow'd

To raise the suppliant, trembling stole,
First warn'd him of this dangerous cloud
Of softness passing o'er his soul.

« ForrigeFortsæt »