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By birth, by music, and

the bowl) Th’imperial Selim held a feast

In his magnificent Shalimar; In whose saloons, when the first star Of evening o'er the waters trembled, The Valley's loveliest all assembled, — All the bright creatures that, like dreams, Glide through its foliage, and drink beams Of beauty from its founts and streams; And all those wandering minstrel-maids Who leave how can they leave ? the shades Of that dear Valley, and are found

Singing in gardens of the south Those songs, that ne'er so sweetly sound As from a young Cashmerian's



There too the haram's inmates smile ;

Maids from the west, with sun-bright hair, And from the Garden of the Nile,

Delicate as the roses there ;
Daughters of Love from Cyprus' rocks,
With Paphian diamonds in their locks;
Light Peri forms, such as there are
On the gold meads of Candahar;
And they before whose sleepy eyes,

In their own bright Kathaian bowers,
Sparkle such rainbow butterflies,

That they might fancy the rich flowers
That round them in the sun lay sighing,
Had been by magic all set flying !
Everything young, everything fair,
From east and west is blushing there,
Except - except - O Nourmahal !
Thou loveliest, dearest of them all,
The one whose smile shone out alone,
Amidst a world the only one !
Whose light, among so many lights,
Was like that star, on starry nights,


The seaman

singles from

the sky,
To steer his bark

for ever by!
Thou wert not

there so Selim thought, And everything seem'd drear

without thee; But ah ! thou wert, thou wert, —

and brought
Thy charm of song all fresh

about thee.
Mingling unnoticed with a band
Of lutanists from many a land,
And veild by such a mask as

The features of young Arab

maids, -
A mask that leaves but one eye


To do its best in witchery, – She roved, with beating heart, around,

And waited, trembling, for the minute When she might try if still the sound

Of her loved lute had magic in it.

The board was spread with fruits and wine, With grapes of gold, like those that shine On Casbin's hills; pomegranates full

Of melting sweetness, and the pears And sunniest apples that Caubul

In all its thousand gardens bears; Plantains, the golden and the green, Malaya's nectar'd mangusteen; Prunes of Bokara, and sweet nuts

From the far groves of Samarcand,
And Basra dates, and apricots,

Seed of the sun, from Iran's land ;
With rich conserve of Visna cherries,
Of orange flowers, and of those berries
That, wild and fresh, the young gazelles
Feed on in Erac's rocky dells.
All these in richest vases smile,

In baskets of pure santal-wood
And urns of porcelain from that isle

Sunk underneath the Indian flood, Whence oft the lucky diver brings Vases to grace the halls of kings. Wines too, of every clime and hue, Around their liquid lustre threw: Amber Rosolli, --- the bright dew From vineyards of the Green Sea gushing; And Shiraz wine, that richly ran

As if that jewel, large and rare, The ruby, for which Kublai-Khan Offer'd a city's wealth, was blushing

Melted within the goblets there !

And amply Selim quaffs of each,
And seems resolved the floods shall reach
His inward heart, — shedding around

A genial deluge, as they run,
That soon shall leave no spot undrown'd,

For Love to rest his wings upon.
He little knew how blest the boy

Can float upon a goblet's streams, Lighting them with his smile of joy ;

As bards have seen him, in their dreams, Down the blue Ganges laughing glide

Upon a rosy lotus wreath, Catching new lustre from the tide

That with his image shone beneath. But what are cups without the aid

Of song to speed them as they flow?
And see — a lovely Georgian maid,

With all the bloom, the freshen'd glow,
Of her own country maidens' looks,
When warm they rise from Teflis' brooks;
And with an eye whose restless ray,

Full, floating, dark, – oh, he who knows
His heart is weak, of heaven should pray

To guard him from such eyes as those!
With a voluptuous wildness flings
Her snowy hand across the strings
Of a syrinda, and thus sings:

Come hither, come hither, — by night and by day,

We linger in pleasures that never are gone; Like the waves of the summer, as one dies away,

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