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As they shoot through the moonlight; the dipping
And the wild airy warbling that everywhere floats, Through the groves, round the islands, as if all
Like those of Kathay, utter'd music, and gave
But the gentlest of all are those sounds, full of feeling,
To be near the loved One,—what a rapture is his
So felt the magnificent Son of Acbar,
When from power and pomp and the trophies of war
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
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,
When it breaks into dimples and laughs in the sun.
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,
So like the visions of a trance,
That one might think, who came by chance
In Fairy-land whose streets and towers
When mirth brings out the young and fair,
Does she, the fairest, hide her brow,
Alas!-how light a cause may move
That stood the storm when waves were rough,
Yet in a sunny hour fall off,
Like ships that have gone down at sea,
A word unkind or wrongly taken,—
A breath, a touch like this hath shaken.
To spread the breach that words begin;
As though its waters ne'er could sever,
Breaks into floods, that part forever.
Oh, you that have the charge of Love,
He sits, with flowerets fetter'd round;
For e'en an hour, a minute's flight
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,
When Pleasure through the fields and groves
heart has found its own,
He wanders, joyless and alone,
And weary as that bird of Thrace
Whose pinion knows no resting-place.