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All that had been too earthly in the lay.
Oh! could he listen to such sounds unmoved,
And by that light, nor dream of her he loved ?
Dream on, unconscious boy! while yet thou may'st;
'Tis the last bliss thy soul shall ever taste.
Clasp yet awhile her image to thy heart,
Ere all the light that made it dear depart.
Think of her smiles as when thou saw'st them last,
Clear, beautiful, by nought of earth o'ercast ;
Recall her tears, to thee at parting given,
Pure as they weep, if angels weep, in heaven !
Think in her own still bower she waits thee now,
With the same glow of heart and bloom of brow,
Yet shrined in solitude, thine all, thine only,
Like the one star above thee, bright and lonely !
Oh that a dream so sweet, so long enjoy’d,
Should be so sadly, cruelly destroy'd !
The song is hush’d, the laughing nymphs are flown, And he is left, musing of bliss, alone; Alone! no, not alone; that heavy sigh, That sob of grief, which broke from some one nigh, Whose could it be? alas ! is misery found Here, even here, on this enchanted ground? He turns, and sees a female form, close veil’d, Leaning as if both heart and strength had fail'd, Against a pillar near, ---- not glittering o'er With gems and wreaths, such as the others wore, But in that deep blue, melancholy dress Bokhara's maidens wear, in mindfulness Of friends or kindred, dead or far away ;
Springs forward, as with life's last energy,
But, swooning in that one convulsive bound,
Sinks, ere she reaches his arms, upon the ground.
Her veil falls off, her faint hands clasp his knees,
'Tis she herself! 'tis Zelica he sees !
But, ah, so pale, so changed, none but a lover
Could in that wreck of beauty's shrine discover
The once adored divinity! even he
Stood for some moments mute, and doubtingly
Put back the ringlets from her brow, and gazed
Upon those lids, where once such lustre blazed,
Ere he could think she was indeed his own,
Own darling maid, whom he so long had known
In joy and sorrow, beautiful in both;
Who, e'en when grief was heaviest, when loath
He left her for the wars, — in that worst hour
Sat in her sorrow like the sweet night flower,
When darkness brings its weeping glories out,
And spreads its sighs like frankincense about !
“ Look up, my Zelica, one moment show Those gentle eyes to me, that I may know Thy life, thy loveliness, is not all gone, But there, at least, shines as it ever shone. Come, look upon thy Azim, - one dear glance, Like those of old, were heaven ! whatever chance Hath brought thee here, oh, 'twas a blessed one ! There—my sweet lids—they move,—that kiss hath run Like the first shoot of life, through every vein, And now I clasp her, mine, all mine again ! Oh the delight — now, in this very hour,
When, had the whole rich world been in my power,
I should have singled out thee, only thee,
From the whole world's collected treasury,
To have thee here, to hang thus fondly o’er
My own best, purest Zelica once more !”
It was indeed the touch of those fond lips Upon her eyes that chased their short eclipse,
And gradual, as the snow at heaven's breath
Melts off and shows the azure flowers beneath,
Her lids unclosed, and the bright eyes were seen,
Gazing on his, - not, as they late had been,
Quick, restless, wild, but mournfully serene ;
As if to lie, e'en for that trancèd minute,
So near his heart, had consolation in it,
And thus to wake in his beloved caress
Took from her soul one half its wretchedness.
But when she heard him call her good and pure,
Oh, 'twas too much, - too dreadful to endure !
Shuddering, she broke away from his embrace,
And, hiding with both hands her guilty face,
Said, in a tone whose anguish would have riven
A heart of very marble, “ Pure ? - O Heaven!”
- those looks so changed, — the withering blight That sin and sorrow leave where'er they light, The dead despondency of those sunk eyes, Where once, had he thus met her by surprise, He would have seen himself, too happy boy, Reflected in a thousand lights of joy, And then the place, that bright unholy place, Where vice lay hid beneath each winning grace And charm of luxury, as the viper weaves Its wily covering of sweet balsam-leaves, All struck upon his heart, sudden and cold As death itself; it needs not to be told,
he sees it all, plain as the brand Of burning shame can mark, — whate'er the hand