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And though, ere long, her sanguine spirit rose
Above the first dead pressure of its woes,
Though health and bloom return'd, the delicate chain
Of thought, once tangled, never clear'd again.
Warm, lively, soft as in youth's. happiest day,
The mind was still all there, but turn’d'astray;
A wandering bark, upon whose path-way shone
All stars of heav'n, except the guiding one !
Again she smild, nay, much and brightly smild,
But 'twas a lustre, strange, unreal, wild;
And when she sung to her lute's touching strain,
'Twas like the notes, half extacy, half pain,
The bulbul · utters, ere her soul depart,
When, vanquish'd by some minstrel's powerful art,
the lute whose sweetness broke her heart!
Such was the mood in which that mission found Young ZELICA, - that mission, which around The Eastern world, in every region blest With woman's smile, sought out its loveliest, To grace that galaxy of lips and eyes, Which the Veild Prophet destin'd for the skies !
And such quick welcome as a spark receives
Dropp'd on a bed of autumn's wither'd leaves,
Did every tale of these enthusiasts find
In the wild maiden's sorrow-blighted mind.
All fire at once the maddning zeal she caught;
Elect of Paradise ! blest, rapturous thought;
Predestin'd bride, in heaven's eternal dome,
Of some brave youth - ha! durst they say " of some ?"
No - of the one, one only object trac'd
In her heart's core too deep to be effac'd ;
The one whose memory, fresh as life, is twin'd
With every broken link of her lost mind;
Whose image lives, though Reason's self be wreck’d,
Safe 'mid the ruins of her intellect !
Alas, poor ZELICA ! it needed all
The fantasy, which held thy mind in thrall,
To see in that gay Haram's glowing maids
A sainted colony for Eden's shades ;
Or dream that he, - of whose unholy flame
Thou wert too soon the victim, - shining came
From Paradise, to people its pure sphere
With souls like thine, which he hath ruin'd here !
No - had not reason's light totally set,
And left thee dark, thou had'st an amulet
In the lov'd image, graven on thy heart,
Which would have sav'd thee from the tempter's art,
And kept alive, in all its bloom of breath,
That purity, whose fading is love's death! -
But lost, inflam'd, - a restless zeal took place
Of the mild virgin's still and feminine grace; -
First of the Prophet's favourites, proudly first
In zeal and charms, — too well th' Impostor nurs’d
Her soul's delirium, in whose active flame,
Thus lighting up a young, luxuriant frame,
He saw more potent sorceries to bind
To his dark yoke the spirits of mankind,
More subtle chains than hell itself e'er twin'd.
No art was spar’d, no witchery; - all the skill
His demons taught him was employ'd to fill
Her mind with gloom and extacy by turns -
That gloom, through which Frenzy but fiercer burns;
That extacy, which from the depth of sadness
Glares like the maniac's moon, whose light is madness !
'Twas from a brilliant banquet, where the sound Of poesy and music breath'd around, Together picturing to her mind and ear The glories of that heav'n, her destin'd sphere, Where all was pure, where every stain that lay Upon the spirit's light should pass away, And, realizing more than youthful love E’er wish'd or dream'd, she should for ever rove Through fields of fragrance by her Azim's side, His own bless'd, purified, eternal bride! 'Twas from a scene, a witching trance like this, He hurried her away, yet breathing bliss, To the dim charnel-house ; – through all its steams Of damp and death, led only by those gleams Which foul Corruption lights, as with design To show the gay and proud she too can shine!And, passing on through upright ranks of Dead, Which to the maiden, doubly craz'd by dread, Seem'd, through the bluish death-light round them cast, To move their lips in mutterings as she pass'dThere, in that awful place, when each had quaff’d And pledg'd in silence such a fearful draught,
Such-oh! the look and taste of that red bowl
Will haunt her till she dies — he bound her soul
By a dark oath, in hell's own language fram’d,
Never, while earth his mystic presence claim'd,
While the blue arch of day hung o'er them both,
Never, by that all-imprecating oath,
In joy or sorrow from his side to sever.
She swore, and the wide charnel echoed, “never, never!"
From that dread hour, entirely, wildly given
To him and — she believ'd, lost maid ! - to heaven;
Her brain, her heart, her passions all inflam'd,
How proud she stood, when in full Haram nam’d
The Priestess of the Faith! - how flash'd her eyes
With light, alas! that was not of the skies,
When round, in trances only less than hers,
She saw the Haram kneel, her prostrate worshippers !
Well might MOKANNA think that form alone
Had spells enough to make the world his own:-
Light, lovely limbs, to which the spirit's play
Gave motion, airy as the dancing spray,
When from its stem the small bird wings away