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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
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
With human blood—the smell of death
Mingled his taint with every breath
'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 ;
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;
And, when the rush of war was past,
Of morning light, she caught the lastLast glorious drop his heart had shed, Before its free-born spirit fled !
“ Be this," she cried, as she wing'd her flight,
“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!”
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
Her grots, and sepulchres of Kings, 174
To watch the moonlight on the wings
Never did mortal eye behold !
Those valleys and their fruits of gold, Basking in Heaven's serenest light ;