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Oh Heaven, the ghastliness of that Maid's look !-
My oath, my oath, O God ! 'tis all too true,
soul! " And the Veild Bridegroom-hist! I've seen to-night “What angels know not of—so foul a sight, “ So horrible-oh! never may'st thou see “ What there lies hid from all but hell and me! “ But I must hence-off, off-I am not thine, “Nor Heaven's, nor Love's, nor aught that is divine“ Hold me not-ha! think'st thou the fiends that sever “ Hearts, cannot sunder hands ?-thus, then-for ever !”
With all that strength which madness lends the weak,
LALLA ROokh could think of nothing all day but the misery of these two young lovers. Her gaiety was gone, and she looked pensively even upon FADLADEEN. She felt, too, without knowing why, a sort of uneasy pleasure in imagining that Azim must have been just such a youth as FERAMORZ ; just as worthy to enjoy all the blessings, without any of the pangs, of that illusive passion which too often, like the sunny apples of Istkahar,96 is all sweetness on one side, and all bitterness on the other.
As they passed along a sequestered river after sunset, they saw a young Hindoo girl upon the bank, 97 whose employment seemed to them so strange, that they stopped their palankeens to observe her. She had lighted a small lamp, filled with oil of cocoa, and placing it in an earthen dish, adorned with a wreath of flowers, had committed it with a trembling hand to the stream ; and was now anxiously watching its progress down the current, heedless of the gay. cavalcade which had drawn up beside her. LALLA Rookh was all curiosity ;—when one of her attendants, who had lived upon the banks of the Ganges (where this ceremony is so frequent, that often, in the dusk of the evening, the river is seen glittering all over with lights, like the Oton-tala, or Sea of Stars 98), informed the Princess that it was the usual way in which the friends of those who had gone on dangerous voyages offered up vows for their safe return. If the lamp sunk immediately, the omen was disastrous; but if it went shining down the stream, and continued to burn until entirely out of sight, the return of the beloved object was considered as certain.
Lalla Rooki, as they moved on, more than once looked back, to observe how the young Hindoo's lamp proceeded ; and, while she saw with pleasure that it was still unextinguished, she could not help fearing that all the hopes of this life were no better than that feeble light upon the river. The remainder of the journey was passed in silence. She now, for the first time, felt that shade of melancholy which comes over the youthful maiden's heart, as sweet and transient as her own breath upon a mirror ; nor was it till she heard the lute of FERAMORZ, touched lightly at the door of her pavilion, that she waked from the reverie in which she had been wandering Instantly her eyes were lighted up with pleasure ; and after a few unheard remarks
from FADLADEEN, upon the indecorum of a poet seating himself in presence of a Princess, everything was arranged as on the preceding evening, and all listened with eagerness, while the story was thus continued :
Whose are the gilded tents that crown the way,