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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 ;
In their own bright Kathaian bowers,
That they might fancy the rich flowers
for ever by!
there so Selim thought, And everything seem'd drear
without thee; But ah ! thou wert, thou wert, —
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,
Seed of the sun, from Iran's land ;
In baskets of pure santal-wood
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,
A genial deluge, as they run,
For Love to rest his wings upon.
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?
With all the bloom, the freshen'd glow,
Full, floating, dark, – oh, he who knows
To guard him from such eyes as those!
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,