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As they shoot through the moonlight; the dipping

of oars,

And the wild airy warbling that everywhere floats, Through the groves, round the islands, as if all

the shores,

Like those of Kathay, utter'd music, and gave
An answer in song to the kiss of each wave.

But the gentlest of all are those sounds, full of feeling,
That soft from the lute of some lover are stealing,—
Some lover who knows all the heart-touching power
Of a lute and a sigh in this magical hour.
Oh, best of delights as it everywhere is

To be near the loved One,—what a rapture is his
Who in moonlight and music thus sweetly may glide
O'er the Lake of Cashmere, with that One by his side!
If woman can make the worst wilderness dear,
Think, think what a Heaven she must make of
Cashmere !

So felt the magnificent Son of Acbar,

When from power and pomp and the trophies of war
He flew to that Valley, forgetting them all
With the Light of the Haram, his young Nourmahal.
When free and uncrown'd as the Conqueror roved
By the banks of that Lake, with his only beloved,
He saw, in the wreaths she would playfully snatch
From the hedges, a glory his crown could not match,
And preferr'd in his heart the least ringlet that curl'd
Down her exquisite neck to the throne of the world.

There's a beauty, forever unchangingly bright, Like the long sunny lapse of a summer-day's light, Shining on, shining on, by no shadow made tender, Till Love falls asleep in its sameness of splendour. This was not the beauty-oh, nothing like this,That to young Nourmahal gave such magic of bliss! But that loveliness, ever in motion, which plays Like the light upon autumn's soft shadowy days, Now here and now there, giving warmth as it flies From the lip to the cheek, from the cheek to the eyes; Now melting in mist and now breaking in gleams, Like the glimpses a saint hath of Heaven in his dreams.

When pensive, it seem'd as if that very grace, That charm of all others, was born with her face! And when angry,—for e'en in the tranquillest climes Light breezes will ruffle the blossoms sometimes,— The short, passing anger but seem'd to awaken New beauty, like flowers that are sweetest when


If tenderness touch'd her, the dark of her eye
At once took a darker, a heavenlier dye,

From the depth of whose shadow, like holy revealings From innermost shrines, came the light of her feelings.

Then her mirth-oh, 'twas sportive as ever took wing From the heart with a burst, like the wild-bird in


Illumed by a wit that would fascinate sages,

Yet playful as Peris just loosed from their cages.

While her laugh, full of life, without any control But the sweet one of gracefulness, rung from her soul;

And where it most sparkled no glance could discover,
In lip, cheek, or eyes, for she brighten'd all over,-
Like fair lake that the breeze is upon,

When it breaks into dimples and laughs in the sun.
Such, such were the peerless enchantments that gave
Nourmahal the proud Lord of the East for her


And tho' bright was his Haram- -a living parterre Of the flowers of this planet,- though treasures were there

For which Soliman's self might have given all the


That the navy from Ophir e'er wing'd to his shore, Yet dim before her were the smiles of them all, And the Light of his Haram was young Nourmahal!

But where is she now, this night of joy,
When bliss is every heart's employ? -
When all around her is so bright,

So like the visions of a trance,

That one might think, who came by chance
Into the Vale this happy night,
He saw that City of Delight

In Fairy-land whose streets and towers
Are made of gems and light and flowers!
Where is the loved Sultana? where,

When mirth brings out the young and fair,

Does she, the fairest, hide her brow,
In melancholy stillness now?

Alas!-how light a cause may move
Dissension between hearts that love!
Hearts that the world in vain had tried,
And sorrow but more closely tied;

That stood the storm when waves were rough,

Yet in a sunny hour fall off,

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Like ships that have gone down at sea,
When heaven was all tranquillity!
A something, light as air- a look,

A word unkind or wrongly taken,—
Oh, love, that tempests never shook,

A breath, a touch like this hath shaken.
And ruder words will soon rush in

To spread the breach that words begin;
And eyes forget the gentle ray
They wore in courtship's smiling day;
And voices lose the tone that shed
A tenderness round all they said;
Till fast declining, one by one,
The sweetnesses of love are gone,
And hearts, so lately mingled, seem
Like broken clouds, or like the stream,
That smiling left the mountain's brow

As though its waters ne'er could sever,
Yet, ere it reach the plain below,

Breaks into floods, that part forever.

Oh, you that have the charge of Love,
Keep him in rosy bondage bound,
As in the Fields of Bliss above

He sits, with flowerets fetter'd round;
Loose not a tie that round him clings,
Nor ever let him use his wings;

For e'en an hour, a minute's flight
Will rob the plumes of half their light:
Like that celestial bird,-whose nest

Is found beneath far Eastern skies,Whose wings, though radiant when at rest, Lose all their glory when he flies!

Some difference, of this dangerous kind,
By which, though light, the links that bind
The fondest hearts may soon be riven,—
Some shadow in Love's summer heaven,
Which, though a fleecy speck at first,
May yet in awful thunder burst,—
Such cloud it is that now hangs over
The heart of the Imperial Lover,
And far hath banish'd from his sight
His Nourmahal, his Haram's Light!
Hence is it, on this happy night,

When Pleasure through the fields and groves
Has let loose all her world of loves,



heart has found its own,

He wanders, joyless and alone,

And weary as that bird of Thrace

Whose pinion knows no resting-place.

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