Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

viewed this fountain, but they are gone, and their eyes are closed for ever!” that she took occasion, from the melancholy beauty of this passage, to dwell upon the charms of poetry in general. “ It is true,” she said, “ few poets can imitate that sublime bird, which flies always in the air and never touches the earth* : - it is only once in

many ages a Genius appears, whose words, like those on the Written Mountain, last for ever t : but still there are some, as delightful, perhaps, though not so wonderful, who, if not stars over our head, are at least flowers along our path, and whose sweetness of the moment we ought gratefully to inhale, without calling upon them for a

*“ The Humma, a bird peculiar to the East. It is supposed to fly constantly in the air, and never touch the ground; it is looked upon as a bird of happy omen, and that every head it overshades will in time wear a crown." —RICHARDSON.

In the terms of alliance made by Fuzzel Oola Khan with Hyder in 1760, one of the stipulations was, “ that he should have the distinction of two honorary attendants standing behind him, holding fans composed of the feathers of the humma, according to the practice of his family.” – WILK's South of India. He adds in a note: -- "The Humma is a fabulous bird. The head over which its shadow once passes will assuredly be circled with a crown. The splendid little bird suspended over the throne of Tippoo Sultaun, found at Seringapatam in 1799, was intended to represent this poetical fancy."

f" To the pilgrims to Mount Sinai we must attribute the inscriptions, figures, &c. on those rocks, which have from thence acquired the name of the Written Mountain." - VOLNEY. M. Gebelin and others have been at much pains to attach some mysterious and important meaning to these inscriptions: but Niebuhr, as well as Volney, thinks that they must have been executed at idle hours by the travellers to Mount Sinai, “who were satisfied with cutting the unpolished rock with any pointed instrument; adding to their names and the date of their journeys some rude figures, which bespeak the hand of a people but little skilled in the arts," — NIEBUHR.

brightness and a durability beyond their nature.

In short,” continued she, blushing as if conscious of being caught in an oration, “it is quite cruel that a poet cannot wander through his regions of enchantment, without having a critic for ever, like the old Man of the Sea, upon his back!” *

FADLADEEN, it was plain, took this last luckless allusion to himself, and would treasure it up in his mind as a whetstone for his next criticism. A sudden silence ensued; and the Princess, glancing a look at FERAMORZ, saw plainly she must wait for a more courageous moment.

But the glories of Nature, and her wild, fragrant airs, playing freshly over the current of youthful spirits, will soon heal even deeper wounds than the dull Fadladeens of this world can inflict. In an evening or two after, they came to the small Valley of Gardens, which had been planted by order of the Emperor, for his favourite sister Rochinara, during their progress to Cashmere, some years before; and never was there a more sparkling assemblage of sweets, since the Gulzar-e-Irem, or Rosebower of Irem. Every precious flower was there to be found, that poetry, or love, or religion, has ever consecrated; from the dark hyacinth, to which Hafez compares his mistress's hair t, to the Cámalatá, by whose rosy blossoms the heaven of Indra is scented. I As they sat in

* The story of Sinbad.

See Nott's Hafez, ode v.

{"The Cámalatá (called by Linnæus, Ipomaa) is the most beautiful of its order, both in the colour and form of its leaves and flowers; its elegant blossoms

the cool fragrance of this delicious spot, and LALLA Rookh remarked that she could fancy it the abode of that Flower-loving Nymph whom they worship in the temples of Kathay*, or of one of those Peris, those beautiful creatures of the air, who live upon perfumes, and to whom a place like this might have some amends for the Paradise they have lost, — the young Poet, in whose eyes she appeared, while she spoke, to be one of the bright spiritual creatures she was describing, said hesitatingly that he remembered a Story of a Peri, which, if the Princess had no objection, he would ve to relate. “It is,” said he, with an appealing look to FadLADEEN, “ in a lighter and humbler strain than the other:'' then, striking a few careless but melancholy chords on his kitar, he thus began.

are celestial rosy red, Love's proper hue,' and have justly procured it the name of Camalatá, or Love's Creeper." SIR W. JONES.

“Cáinalatá may also mean a mythological plant, by which all desires are granted to such as inhabit the heaven of Indra; and if ever flower was worthy of paradise it is our charming Ipomaa.” Id.

* "According to Father Premare, in his tract on Chinese Mythology, the nother of Fo-hi was the daughter of heaven, surnamed Flower-loving; and as the nymph was walking alone on the bank of a river, she found herself encircled by a rainbow, after which she became pregnant, and, at the end of twelvo years, was delivered of a son radiant as herselt." Asiat. Res.

PARADISE AND THE PERI.

One morn a Peri at the gate
Of Eden stood, disconsolate;
And as she listen'd to the Springs

Of Life within, like music flowing
And caught the light upon her wings

Through the half-open portal glowing,
She wept to think her recreant race
Should e'er have lost that glorious place!

“ How happy,” exclaim'd this child of air, “ Are the holy Spirits who wander there,

“ Mid flowers that never shall fade or fall;

Though mine are the gardens of earth and sea, “ And the stars themselves have flowers for me,

“ One blossom of Heaven out-blooms them all!

*

Though sunny the Lake of cool CASHMERE, “ With its plane-tree Isle reflected clear,

“And sweetly the founts of that Valley fall; “Though bright are the waters of SING-SU-HAY, “ And the golden floods that thitherward stray, t “Yet - oh, 'tis only the Blest can say

“How the waters of Heaven outshine them all!

“ Numerous small islands emerge from the Lake of Cashmere. One is called Char Chenaur, from the plane trees upon it.” — Foster.

† " The Altan Kol or Golden River of Tibet, which runs into the Lakes of Singsu-hay, has abundance of gold in its sands, which employs the inhabitants all the summer in gathering it - Description of Tibel in Pinkerlon.

Go, wing thy flight from star to star,
“ From world to luminous world, as far

“As the universe spreads its flaming wall:
“ Take all the pleasures of all the spheres,
“ And multiply each through endless years,

“One minute of Heaven is worth them all!"

The glorious Angel, who was keeping
The gates of Light, beheld her weeping;
And, as he nearer drew and listen'd
To her sad song, a tear-drop glisten'd
Within his eyelids, like the spray

From Eden's fountain, when it lies
On the blue flow'r, which

Blooms nowhere but in Paradise. *

- Bramins say

"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
“ STis sweet to let the Pardon'd in.”

* " The Brahmins of this province insist that the blue campac flowers only in Paradise." --SiR W. JONES. It appears, however, from a curious letter of the Sultan of Menangeabow, given by Marsden, that one place on earth may lay claim to the possession of it. “ This is the Sultan, who keeps the flower champaka that is blue, and to be found in no other country but his, being yellow elsewhere." - - MARSDEN'S Sumatra.

« ForrigeFortsæt »