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Basking in heaven's serenest light;
Languidly their leaf-crown’d heads,
Warns them to their silken beds;
Bathing their beauties in the lake,
When their beloved sun's awake;
Amid whose fairy loneliness
Upon a column, motionless And glittering, like an idol bird ! — Who could have thought that there, e'en there, Amid those scenes so still and fair, The Demon of the Plague hath cast From his hot wing a deadlier blast, More mortal far than ever came From the red desert's sands of flame! So quick, that every living thing Of human shape, touch'd by his wing, Like plants where the simoom hath past, At once falls black and withering ! The sun went down on many a brow
Which, full of bloom and freshness then, Is rankling in the pest-house now,
And ne'er will feel that sun again
Woe to the half-dead wretch, who meets
Amid the darkness of the streets !
“ Poor race of Men!” said the pitying Spirit,
“Dearly ye pay for your primal fall, — Some flowerets of Eden ye still inherit, But the trail of the Serpent is over them all!”
- the air grew pure and clear Around her, as the bright drops ran; For there's a magic in each tear,
Such kindly spirits weep for man!
Just then, beneath some orange-trees,
Close by the lake, she heard the moan
Had thither stolen to die alone : One who in life, where'er he moved,
Drew after him the hearts of many;
No voice, well known through many a day,
To speak the last, the parting word, Which, when all other sounds decay,
Is still like distant music heard, That tender farewell on the shore Of this rude world, when all is o'er, Which cheers the spirit, ere its bark Puts off into the unknown dark.
Deserted youth ! one thought alone
Shed joy around his soul in death, That she whom he for years had known And loved, and might have call’d his own,
Was safe from this foul midnight's breath; Safe in her father's princely halls, Where the cool airs from fountain falls, Freshly perfumed by many a brand Of the sweet wood from India's land, Were pure as she whose brow they fann'd.
who yonder comes by stealth, This melancholy bower to seek, Like a young envoy, sent by Health,
With rosy gifts upon her cheek ? 'Tis she, — far off, through moonlight dim,
He knew his own betrothed bride, – She, who would rather die with him
Than live to gain the world beside ! Her arms are round her lover now,
His livid cheeks to hers she presses,