Billeder på siden

Within his eyelids, like the spray

From Eden's fountain, when it lies On the blue flower, which-Bramins say

Blooms nowhere but in Paradise. 161

"Nymph of a fair but erring line !" Gently he said—“One hope is thine. “ 'Tis written in the Book of Fate,

The Peri yet may be forgiven Who brings to this Eternal gate

The Gift that is most dear to Heaven !

Go, seek it, and redeem thy sin“ 'Tis sweet to let the Pardon'd in.”

Rapidly as comets run
To the embraces of the Sun ;-
Fleeter than the starry brands
Flung at night from angel hands, 162
At those dark and daring sprites
Who would climb the empyreal heights,
Down the blue vault the Peri flies,

And, lighted earthward by a glance That just then broke from morning's eyes,

Hung hovering o'er our world's expanse.

But whither shall the Spirit go To find this gift for Heaven ?-" I know “ The wealth," she cries, "of every urn, " In which unnumber'd rubies burn, “ Beneath the pillars of CHILMINAR ; “I know where the Isles of Perfume are,




Many a fathom down in the sea, “ To the south of sun-bright ARABY ; “I know, too, where the Genii hid “ The jewell’d cup of their King JAMSHID, 165 “ With Life's elixir sparkling high“ But gifts like these are not for the sky. “Where was there ever a gem that shone “ Like the steps of Alla's wonderful Throne? “ And the Drops of Life-oh! what would they be “ In the boundless Deep of Eternity ?”


While thus she mus'd, her pinions fann'd
The air of that sweet Indian land,
Whose air is balm ; whose ocean spreads
O’er coral rocks, and amber beds :
Whose mountains, pregnant by the beam
Of the warm sun, with diamonds teem ;
Whose rivulets are like rich brides,
Lovely, with gold beneath their tides;
Whose sandal groves and bowers of spice
Might be a Peri's Paradise !
But crimson now her rivers ran

With human blood—the smell of death
Came reeking from those spicy bowers,
And man, the sacrifice of man,

Mingled his taint with every breath
Upwafted from the innocent flowers.
Land of the Sun, what foot invades
Thy Pagods and thy pillar'd shades 167_
Thy cavern shrines, and Idol stones,
Thy Monarchs and their thousand Thrones ? 168


'Tis he of GAZNA 169—fierce in wrath

He comes, and India's diadems Lie scatter'd in his ruinous path. --

His bloodhounds he adorns with gems, Torn from the violated necks

Of many a young and lov'd Sultana ;
Maidens, within their pure Zenana,

Priests in the very fane he slaughters, And chokes up with the glittering wrecks

Of golden shrines the sacred waters ! Downward the Peri turns her gaze, And, through the war-field's bloody haze, Beholds a youthful warrior stand,

Alone, beside his native river,-The red blade broken in his hand,

And the last arrow in his quiver. " Live," said the Conqueror, “live to share “ The trophies and the crowns I bear!” Silent that youthful warrior stoodSilent he pointed to the flood All crimson with his country's blood, Then sent his last remaining dart, For answer, to the' Invader's heart.

False flew the shaft, though pointed well;
The Tyrant liv’d, the Hero fell !
Yet mark'd the Peri where he lay,

And, when the rush of war was past,
Swiftly descending on a ray

Of morning light, she caught the lastLast glorious drop his heart had shed, Before its free-born spirit fled !

[graphic][ocr errors]

“ Be this," she cried, as she wing'd her flight,
“My welcome gift at the Gates of Light.
Though foul are the drops that oft distil
“On the field of warfare, blood like this,

“For Liberty shed, so holy is, 171 “ It would not stain the purest rill,

" That sparkles among the Bowers of Bliss ! “Oh, if there be, on this earthly sphere, “ A boon, an offering Heaven holds dear, “ 'Tis the last libation Liberty draws “ From the heart that bleeds and breaks in her cause !"

“ Sweet," said the Angel, as she gave

The gift into his radiant hand, “ Sweet is our welcome of the Brave

“ Who die thus for their native Land“ But see-alas !—the crystal bar « Of Eden moves not-holier far “ Than even this drop the boon must be, That opes

the Gates of Heaven for thee!”

[ocr errors]

Her first fond hope of Eden blighted,

Now among Afric's lunar Mountains, 172 Far to the South the Peri lighted ;

And sleek'd her plumage at the fountains
Of that Egyptian tide--whose birth
Is hidden from the sons of earth
Deep in those solitary woods,
Where oft the Genii of the Floods
Dance round the cradle of their Nile,
And hail the new-born Giant's smile. 173
Thence over EGYPT's palmy groves,

Her grots, and sepulchres of Kings, 174
The exil'd Spirit sighing roves ;
And now hangs listening to the doves
In warm ROSETTA's vale 175_- now loves

To watch the moonlight on the wings
Of the white pelicans that break
The azure calm of Maris' Lake. 176
'Twas a fair scene-a Land more bright

Never did mortal eye behold !
Who could have thought, that saw this night,

Those valleys and their fruits of gold, Basking in Heaven's serenest light ;

« ForrigeFortsæt »