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And find those tears warm as when last they started,
Those sacred kisses pure as when we parted !
O my own life! why should a single day,
A moment, keep me from those arms away?”

While thus he thinks, still nearer on the breeze Come those delicious, dream-like harmonies, Each note of which but adds new, downy links To the soft chain in which his spirit sinks. He turns him toward the sound; and far away Through a long vista, sparkling with the play Of countless lamps, — like the rich track which day Leaves on the waters when he sinks from us, So long the path, its light so tremulous, – He sees a group of female forms advance : Some chain'd together in the mazy dance By fetters, forged in the green sunny bowers, As they were captives to the King of Flowers; And some disporting round, unlink'd and free, Who seem'd to mock their sisters' slavery, And round and round them still, in wheeling flight, Went, like gay moths about a lamp at night; While others waked, as gracefully along Their feet kept time, the very soul of song From psaltery, pipe, and lutes of heavenly thrill, Or their own youthful voices, heavenlier still ! And now they come, now pass before his eye, Forms such as Nature moulds, when she would vie With Fancy's pencil, and give birth to things Lovely beyond its fairest picturings! Awhile they dance before him, then divide

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Their distant laughter comes upon the wind,
And but one trembling nymph remains behind,
Beckoning them back in vain, for they are gone,
And she is left in all that light alone;
No veil to curtain o'er her beauteous brow,
In its young bashfulness more beauteous now,
But a light golden chain-work round her hair,
Such as the maids of Yezd and Shiraz wear,
From which, on either side, gracefully hung
A golden amulet, in th’ Arab tongue
Engraven o'er with some immortal line
From holy writ, or bard scarce less divine;
While her left hand, as shrinkingly she stood,
Held a small lute of gold and sandal-wood,
Which once or twice she touch’d with hurried strain,
Then took her trembling fingers off again.
But when at length a timid glance she stole
At Azim, the sweet gravity of soul
She saw through all his features calm’d her fear,
And, like a half-tamed antelope, more near,
Though shrinking still, she came; then sat her down
Upon a musnud's edge, and, bolder grown,
In the pathetic mode of Isfahan
Touch'd a preluding strain, and thus began :

There's a bower of roses by Bendemeer's stream,
And the nightingale sings round it all the day

long In the time of my childhood 'twas like a sweet

dream, To sit in the roses and hear the bird's song.

That bower and its music I never forget, But oft when alone, in the

bloom of the year, I think — is the nightin

gale singing there

yet?
Are the roses still bright

by the calm
Bendemeer?

[graphic]

No, the roses

soon wither'd that hung o'er

But some blossoms were gather’d, while freshly they

shone, And a dew was distill’d from their flowers, that gave

All the fragrance of summer, when summer was gone.

Thus memory draws from delight, ere it dies,

An essence that breathes of it many a year; Thus bright to my soul, as 'twas then to my eyes,

Is that bower on the banks of the calm Bendemeer!

"Poor maiden !” thought the youth, "if thou wert

sent,
With thy soft lute and beauty's blandishment
To wake unholy wishes in this heart,
Or tempt its truth, thou little know'st the art ;
For though thy lip should sweetly counsel wrong,
Those vestal eyes would disavow its song.
But thou hast breathed such purity, thy lay
Returns so fondly to youth's virtuous day,
And leads thy soul — if e'er it wander'd thence ---
So gently back to its first innocence,
That I would sooner stop the unchain'd dove,
When swift returning to its home of love,
And round its snowy wing new fetters twine,
Than turn from virtue one pure wish of thine !”

Scarce had this feeling pass'd when sparkling through The gently open'd curtains of light blue That veil'd the breezy casement, countless eyes, Peeping like stars through the blue evening skies, Look'd laughing in, as if to mock the pair That sat so still and melancholy there.

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