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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 ecstacy by turns--
That gloom through which Frenzy but fiercer burns;
That ecstacy, which from the depth of sadness
Glares like the maniac's moon, whose light is madness!
'Twas from a brilliant banquet, where the sound
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'd-
There, 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,
From that dread hour, entirely, wildly given To him and she believ’d, lost maid!--to heaven; Her brain, her heart, ber 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 trapces 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! Lips in whose rosy labyrinth, wben she smild, The soul was lost; and blushes, swift and wild
As are the momentary meteors sent
Across th' uncalm, but beauteous firmament.
And then her look!-oh! where's the beart so wise,
Could unbewilder'd meet those matchless eyes?
Quick, restless, strange, but exquisite withal,
Like those of angels, just before their fall;
Now shadow'd with the shames of earth-now crost
By glimpses of the Heav'n her heart had lost;
In every glance there broke, without control,
The flashes of a bright but troubled soul,
Where sensibility still wildly play'd,
Like lightning, round the ruins it had made!
And such was now young ZELICA—so chang'd From her who, some years since, delighted rang'd The almond groves, that shade BOKHARA's tide, All life and bliss, with Azim by her side! So alter'd was she now, this festal day, When, mid the proud Divan's dazzling array, The vision of that Youth, whom she had loy'd, And wept as dead, before her breath'd and mov’d; When-bright, she thought, as if from Eden's track But half-way trodden, he had wander'd back Again to earth, glistening with Eden's light, Her beauteous Azim shone before her sight.
Oh Reason! who shall say what spells renew, When least we look for it, thy broken clew! Through what small vistas o'er the darken'd brain Thy intellectual day-beam bursts again;
And how, like forts, to which beleaguerers win
Unhop'd-for entrance through some friend within,
One clear idea, wakened in the breast
By memory's magic, lets in all the rest!
Would it were thus, unhappy girl, with thee!
But, though light came, it came but partially;
Enough to show the maze, in which thy sense
Wander'd about,—but not to guide it thence;
Enough to glimmer o'er the yawning wave,
But not to point the harbour which might save.
Hours of delight and peace, long left behind,
With that dear form came rushing o'er her mind;
But oh! to think how deep her soul had gone
In shame and falsehood, since those moments shone;
And, then, her oath—there madness lay again,
And, shuddering, back she sunk into her chain
Of mental darkness, as if blest to flee
From light, whose every glimpse was agony!
Yet, one relief this glance of former years
Brought, mingled with its pain,-tears, floods of tears,
Long frozen at her heart, but now like rills
Let loose in spring-time from the snowy hills,
And gushing warm, after a sleep of frost,
Through valleys where their flow had long been lost!
Sad and subdued, for the first time her frame Trembled with horror, when the summons came, (A summons proud and rare, which all but she, And she, till now, had heard with ecstasy,)
To meet MOKANNA at his place of prayer,
A garden oratory, cool and fair,
By the stream's side, where still at close of day,
The Prophet of the Veil retir'd to pray,
Sometimes alone-but, oftener far, with one,
One chosen nymph to share his orison.
Of late none found such favour in his sight As the young Priestess; and though, since that night When the death-caverns echoed every tone Of the dire oath that made her all his own, Th'Impostor, sure of his infatuate prize, Had, more than once, thrown off his soul's disguise, And utter'd such unheav'nly, monstrous things, As ev'n across the desperate wanderings Of a weak intellect, whose lamp was out, Threw startling shadows of dismay and doubt;Yet zeal, ambition, her tremendous vow, The thought, still haunting her, of that bright brow Whose blaze, as yet from mortal eye conceald, Would soon, proud triumph! be to her reveald, To her alone;—and then the hope, most dear, Most wild of all, that her transgression here Was but a passage through earth's grosser fire, From which the spirit would at last aspire, Ev'n purer than before, -as perfumes rise Through flame and smoke, most welcome to the skies-And that when Azim's fond, divine embrace, Should circle her in heav'n, no dark’ning trace