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Calm is the wave heav’n’s brilliant lights
Reflected dance beneath the prow ;Time was when, on such lovely nights,
She who is there, so desolate now, Could sit all cheerful, though alone,
And ask no happier joy than seeing That star-light o'er the waters thrownNo joy but that, to make her blest,
And the fresh, buoyant sense of Being, Which bounds in youth's yet careless breast, Itself a star, not borrowing light, But in its own glad essence bright. How different now!- but, hark, again The yell of havoc rings-brave men! In vain, with beating hearts, ye stand On the bark's edge—in vain each hand Half draws the falchion from its sheath; All's o'er-in rust your
lie: He, at whose word they've scatter'd death,
Ev'n now, this night, himself must die ! Well may ye look to yon dim tower,
And ask, and wondering guess what means The battle-cry at this dead hour
Ah! she could tell you — she, who leans
Unheeded there, pale, sunk, aghast,
Too well she knows—her more than life,
Lies bleeding in that murderous strife.
But see—what moves upon the height?
What bodes its solitary glare?
Fix their last fading life-beams there.
Its melancholy radiance sent;
Shrin'd in its own grand element ! “ 'Tis he!” — the shuddering maid exclaims,
But, while she speaks, he's seen no more; High burst in air the funeral flames,
And Iran's hopes and hers are o'er!
One wild, heart-broken shriek she gave;
Then sprung, as if to reach that blaze,
Where still she fix'd her dying gaze,
Deep, deep, — where never care or pain
Farewell -- farewell to thee, ARABY's daughter !
(Thus warbled a Peri beneath the dark sea,) No pearl ever lay, under Oman's green water,
More pure in its shell than thy Spirit in thee.
Oh! fair as the sea-flower close to thee growing,
How light was thy heart till Love's witchery came, Like the wind of the south * o'er a summer lute
blowing, And hush'd all its music, and wither'd its frame !
But long, upon Araby's green sunny highlands,
Shall maids and their lovers remember the doom
* “ This wind (the Samoor) so softens the strings of lutes, that they can never be tuned while it lasts.”—Stephen's Persia.
Of her, who lies sleeping among the Pearl Islands,
With nought but the sea-star* to light up her tomb.
And still, when the merry date-season is burning ť, And calls to the palm-groves the young and the
old, The happiest there, from their pastime returning
At sunset, will weep when thy story is told.
The young village-maid, when with flowers she
dresses Her dark flowing hair for some festival day, Will think of thy fate till, neglecting her tresses,
She mournfully turns from the mirror away.
Nor shall Iran, beloved of her Hero! forget thee
Though tyrants watch over her tears as they start,
* “ One of the greatest curiosities found in the Persian Gulf is a fish which the English call Star-fish. It is circular, and at night very luminous, resembling the full moon surrounded by rays.” Mirza Abu Taleb.
† For a description of the merriment of the date-time, of their work, their dances, and their return home from the palmgroves at the end of autumn with the fruits, see Kempfer, Amanitat. Exot.
Close, close by the side of that Hero she'll set thee,
Embalm'd in the innermost shrine of her heart..
Farewell — be it ours to embellish thy pillow
With every thing beauteous that grows in the deep; Each flower of the rock and each gem of the billow
Shall sweeten thy bed and illumine thy sleep.
Around thee shall glisten the loveliest amber
That ever the sorrowing sea-bird has wept *; With many a shell, in whose hollow-wreath'd
chamber We, Peris of Ocean, by moonlight have slept.
We'll dive where the gardens of coral lie darkling,
And plant all the rosiest stems at thy head; We'll seek where the sands of the Caspiant are
sparkling, And gather their gold to strew over thy bed.
* Some naturalists have imagined that amber is a concretion of the tears of birds. See Trevoux, Chambers.
“ The bay Kieselarke, which is otherwise called the Golden Bay, the sand whereof shines as fire.” Struy.