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So alter'd was she now, this festal day,
When, 'mid the proud Divan's dazzling array,
The vision of that Youth whom she had lov’d,
Had wept as dead, before her breath'd and mov'd ;-
When-bright, she thought, as if from Eden's track
But half-way trodden, he had wander'd back
Again to earth, glistening with Eden's light-
Her beauteous Azim shone before her sight.
O Reason ! who shall say what spells renew,
When least we look for it, thy broken clew !
Through what small vistas o'er the darken'd brain
Thy intellectual day-beam bursts again ;
And how, like forts, to which beleaguerers win
Unhop'd-for entrance through some friend within,
One clear idea, waken’d in the breast
By memory's magic, lets in all the rest !
Would it were thus, unhappy girl, with thee !
But though light came, it came but partially ;
Enough to show the maze in which thy sense
Wander'd about,--but not to guide it thence;
Enough to glimmer o'er the yawning wave,
But not to point the harbour which might save.
Hours of delight and peace, long left behind,
With that dear form came rushing o'er her mind ;
But, oh! to think how deep her soul had gone
In shame and falsehood since those moments shone ;
And, then, her oath-there madness lay again,
And, shuddering, back she sunk into her chain
Of mental darkness, as if blest to flee
From light, whose every glimpse was agony !
Yet, one relief this glance of former years
Brought, mingled with its pain,-tears, floods of tears,
Long frozen at her heart, but now like rills
Let loose in spring-time from the snowy hills,
And gushing warm, after a sleep of frost,
Through valleys where their flow had long been lost.
Sad and subdued, for the first time her frame
Trembled with horror, when the summons came
(A summons proud and rare, which all but she,
And she till now, had heard with ecstasy)
To meet MOKANNA at his place of prayer,
A garden oratory, cool and fair,
By the stream's side, where still at close of day
The Prophet of the Veil retir'd to pray ;
Sometimes alone—but, oftener far, with one,
One chosen nymph to share his orison.
Of late none found such favour in his sight
As the young Priestess ; and though, since that night
When the death-caverns echoed every tone
Of the dire oath that made her all his own,
The' Impostor, sure of his infatuate prize,
Had, more than once, thrown off his soul's disguise,
And utter'd such unheavenly, monstrous things,
As even across the desp'rate wanderings
Of a weak intellect, whose lamp was out,
Threw startling shadows of dismay and doubt ;-
Yet zeal, ambition, her tremendous vow,
The thought, still haunting her, of that bright brow,
Whose blaze, as yet from mortal eye conceal'd,
Would soon, proud triumph! be to her reveald,
To her alone ;-and then the hope, most dear,
Most wild of all, that her transgression here
Was but a passage through earth's grosser fire,
From which the spirit would at last aspire,
Even purer than before, -as perfumes rise
Through flame and smoke, most welcome to the skies-
And that when Azim's fond, divine embrace
Should circle her in heaven, no dark'ning trace
Would on that bosom he once lov'd remain,
But all be bright, be pure, be his again !
These were the wildering dreams, whose curst deceit
Had chain'd her soul beneath the tempter's feet,
And made her think even damning falsehood sweet.
But now that Shape, which had appall'd her view,
That Semblance-oh, how terrible, if true ! -
Which came across her frenzy's full career
With shock of consciousness, cold, deep, severe,
As when, in northern seas, at midnight dark,
An isle of ice encounters some swift bark,
And, startling all its wretches from their sleep,
By one cold impulse hurls them to the deep ;-
So came that shock not frenzy's self could bear,
And waking up each long-lull'd image there,
But check'd her headlong soul, to sink it in despair !
Wan and dejected, through the evening dusk,
She now went slowly to that small kiosk,
Where, pondering alone his impious schemes,
MOKANNA waited her—too wrapt in dreams
Of the fair-rip’ning future's rich success,
To heed the sorrow, pale and spiritless,
That sat upon his victim's downcast brow,
Or mark how slow her step, how alter'd now
From the quick, ardent Priestess, whose light bound
Came like a spirit's o'er the unechoing ground, -
From that wild ZELICA, whose every glance
Was thrilling fire, whose every thought a trance !
Upon his couch the Veild Mokanna lay,
While lamps around—not such as lend their ray,
Glimmering and cold, to those who nightly pray
In holy Koom, 48 or MECCA's dim arcades,
But brilliant, soft, such lights as lovely maids
Look loveliest in, shed their luxurious glow
Upon his mystic Veil's white glittering flow.
Beside him, 'stead of beads and books of prayer,
Which the world fondly thought he mus'd on there,
Stood vases, filld with KISHMEE's 49 golden wine,
And the red weepings of the Shiraz vine;
Of which his curtain'd lips full many a draught
Took zealously, as if each drop they quaff'd,
Like ZEMZEM's Spring of Holiness,5" had power
To freshen the soul's virtues into flower !
And still he drank and ponder'd—nor could see
The' approaching maid, so deep his reverie ;
At length, with fiendish laugh, like that which broke
From Ellis at the Fall of Man, he spoke :-
vile race, for hell's amusement given, “ Too mean for earth, yet claiming kin with heaven; “God's images, forsooth !—such gods as he “Whom INDIA serves, the monkey deity ; 51— “ Ye creatures of a breath, proud things of clay, “ To whom if LUCIFER, as grandams say, “Refus'd, though at the forfeit of heaven's light, “ To bend in worship, LUCIFER was right ! 52— “Soon shall I plant this foot upon the neck “Of your foul race, and without fear or check, “ Luxuriating in hate, avenge my shame, “My deep-felt, long-nurst loathing of man's name ; “Soon at the head of myriads, blind and fierce “ As hooded falcons, through the universe “ I'll sweep my dark’ning, desolating way,
Weak man my instrument, curst man my prey !
“ Ye wise, ye learn’d, who grope your
dull “ By the dim twinkling gleams of ages gone,