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They 've gain'd the topmost steep at last. And now they touch the temple's walls, Now Hafed sees the Fire divine,When, lo! his weak, worn comrade falls Dead on the threshold of the Shrine. 'Alas, brave soul, too quickly fled !
And must I leave thee withering here, The sport of every ruffian's tread,
The mark for every coward's spear?
And fires the pile, whose sudden blaze
What shriek was that on Oman's tide?
It came from yonder drifting bark, That just hath caught upon her side
The death-light— and again is dark. It is the boat ah, why delayed? -That bears the wretched Moslem maid;
Confided to the watchful care
Of a small veteran band, with whom Their generous Chieftain would not share The secret of his final doom,
But hoped when Hinda, safe and free,
And proud to guard their beauteous freight,
Hung dripping o'er the vessel's side,
They rock'd along the whispering tide ; While every eye, in mute dismay,
Was toward that fatal mountain turn'd, Where the dim altar's quivering ray
As yet all lone and tranquil burn'd.
Oh, 't is not, Hinda, in the power
Of a lorn spirit crush'd by fate,
When, though no more remains to dread,
The panic chill will not depart ;
Her ghost still haunts the mouldering heart.
A calm stagnation, that were bliss
Now felt through all thy breast and brain;—
From whose hot throb, whose deadly aching,
Calm is the wave - heaven's brilliant lights
Time was when, on such lovely nights,
And ask no happier joy than seeing That starlight o'er the waters thrown No joy but that, to make her blest,
And the fresh, buoyant sense of being, Which bounds in youth's yet careless breast,— Itself a star, not borrowing light, But in its own glad essence bright.
How different now! But hark! again
And ask, and wondering guess, what means The battle-cry at this dead hour!
Ah, she could tell you—she who leans
Too well she knows-her more than life, Her soul's first idol and its last,
Lies bleeding in that murderous strife.
But see! what moves upon the height?
Its melancholy radiance sent;
Tall, shadowy, like a Spirit of Fire
And Iran's hopes and hers are o'er!
Then sprung, as if to reach that blaze,
Farewell-farewell to thee, Araby's daughter!
(Thus warbled a Peri beneath the dark sea,) No pearl ever lay, under Oman's green water,
More pure in its shell than thy spirit in thee.
Oh, fair as the sea-flower close to thee growing,
How light was thy heart till Love's witchery came, Like the wind of the south o'er a summer lute blowing, And hush'd all its music, and wither'd its frame!
But long, upon Araby's green sunny highlands,
Shall maids and their lovers remember the doom Of her who lies sleeping among the Pearl Islands, With nought but the sea-star to light up her tomb.
And still, when the merry date-season is burning,
And calls to the palm-groves the young and the old, The happiest there, from their pastime returning
At sunset, will weep when thy story is told.