Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Vengeance!-dire vengeance on the wretch, who cast
O'er him and all he lov'd that ruinous blast.
For this, when rumours reachd him in his flight
Far, far away, after that fatal night,
Rumours of armies, thronging to the attack
Of the Veild Chief,- for this he wing'd him back,
Fleet as the vulture speeds to flags unfurl'd,
And came when all seem'd lost, and wildly hurl'd
Himself into the scale, and sav'd a world!
For this he still lives on, careless of all
The wreaths that glory on his path lets fall;
For this alone exists--like lightning-fire
To speed one bolt of vengeance, and expire!

But safe as yet that Spirit of Evil lives; With a small band of desperate fugitives, The last sole stubborn fragment, left unriven, Of the proud host, that late stood fronting heaven, He gain's MEROU-breath'd a short curse of blood O’er his lost throne--then pass’d the Jihon's flood,* And gathering all, whose madness of belief Still saw a Saviour in their down-fall'n Chief, Rais'd the white banner within NEKSHEB's gates,t And there, untam'd, th' approaching conqueror waits.

Of all his Haram, all that busy hive,
With music and with sweets sparkling alive,

* The ancient Oxus.

† A city of Transoxiana.

He took but one, the partner of his flight,
One, not for love-not for her beauty's light-
For ZELICA stood withering midst the gay,
Wan as the blossom that fell yesterday
From th’ Alma tree and dies, while overhead
To-day's young flower is springing in its stead!*
No, not for love the deepest Damn'd must be
Touch'd with heaven's glory, ere such fiends as he
Can feel one glimpse of love's divinity!
But no, she is his victim;—there lie all
Her charms for him-charms that can never pall,
As long as hell within his heart can stir,
Or one faint trace of heaven is left in her.
To work an angel's ruin,--to behold
As white a page as Virtue e'er unroll'd
Blacken beneath his touch, into a scroll
Of damning sins, seald with a burning soul-
This is his triumph; this the joy accurst,
That ranks him among demons all but first!
This gives the victim, that before him lies
Blighted and lost, a glory in his eyes,
A light like that with which hell-fire illumes
The ghastly, writhing wretch whom it consumes!

* “You never can cast your eyes on this tree, but you meet there either blossoms or fruit; and as the blossom drops underneath on the ground, (which is frequently covered with these purple-coloured flowers) others comę forth in their stead," &c. &c.--Nieuhoff.

[merged small][ocr errors]

But other tasks now wait him-tasks that need
All the deep daringness of thought and deed
With which the Dives* have gifted him-for mark,
Over yon plains, which night had else made dark,
Those lanterns, countless as the winged lights
That spangle India's fields on showry nights, t-
Far as their formidable gleams they shed,
The mighty tents of the beleaguerer spread,
Glimmering along the horizon's dusky line,
And thence in nearer circles, till they shine
Among the founts and groves, o'er which the town
In all it's arm'd magnificence looks down.
Yet, fearless, from his lofty battlements
MOKANNA views that multitude of tents;
Nay, smiles to think that, though entoil'd, beset,
Not less than myriads dare to front him yet;-
That friendless, throneless, he thus stands at bay,
Ey'n thus a match for myriads such as they!
" Oh! for a sweep of that dark Angel's wing,
“Who brush'd the thousands of th’ Assyrian Kingt
“ To darkness in a moment, that I might

People Hell's chambers with yon host to night! “ But come what may, let who will grasp the throne,

Caliph or Prophet, Man alike shall groan;

* The Demons of the Persian mythology.

+ Carreri mentions the fire-flies in India during the rainy season.-v. his Travels.

# Senpacherib, called by the orientals King of Moussal.D'Herbelot.

" Let who will torture him, Priest-Caliph-King-
“ Alike this loathsome world of his shall ring
« With victims' shrieks and howlings of the slave,
« Sounds that shall glad me ev'n within my grave!”
Thus to himself—but to the scanty train
Still left around him, a far different strain:-

Glorious defenders of the sacred Crown “ I bear from heav'n, whose light nor blood shall drown “ Nor shadow of earth eclipse;-before whose gems “ The paly pomp of this world's diadems, “ The crown of GERASHID, the pillar'd Throne “ Of PARVIZ*, and the heron crest that shone,t “Magnificent, o'er Ali's beauteous eyes, « Fade like the stars when morn is in the skies: “ Warriors, rejoice the port, to which we've pass’d “O’er destiny's dark wave, beams out at last!

Victory's our own—'tis written in that Book, “ Upon whose leaves none but the angels look, “ That Islam's sceptre shall beneath the power “Of her great foe fall broken in that hour,

* Chosroes. For the description of his Throne or Palace, v. Gibbon and D'Herbelot.

t" The crown of Gerashid is cloudy and tarnished before the heron tuft of thy turban."- From one of the elegies or songs in praise of Ali, written in characters of gold round the gallery of Abbas's tomb.--v. Chardin.

# The beauty of Ali's eyes was so remarkable, that whenever the Persians would describe any thing as very lovely, they say it is Ayn Hali, or the Eyes of Ali.--Chardin.

“When the moon's mighty orb, before all eyes, “ Prom NEKSHEB’s Holy Well portentously shall rise! “ Now turn and see!”

They turn'd, and, as he spoke, A sudden splendour all around them broke, And they beheld an orb, ample and bright, Rise from the Holy Well, and cast its light Round the rich city and the plain for miles, *Flinging such radiance o'er the gilded tiles Of many a dome and fair-roof'd imaret, As autumn suns shed round them when they set! Instant from all who saw th' illusive sign A murmur broke---- Miraculous! divine!” The Gheber bow'd, thinking his idol Star Had wak’d, and burst impatient through the bar Of midnight, to inflame him to the war! While he of Moussa's creed saw, in that ray, The glorious Ligbt which, in his freedom's day, Had rested on the Arkt, and now again Shone out to bless the breaking of his chain!

Il amusa pendant deux mois le peuple de la ville de Nekhscheb en faisant sortir toutes les nuits du fonds d'un puits un corps lumineux semblable à la Lune, qui portoit sa lumière jusqu'à la distance de plusieurs milles."-D'Herbelot. Hence he was called Sazenéh mah, or the Moon-maker.

+ The Shechinah, called Sakînat in the Koran.-V. Sule's Note, chap. ij.

« ForrigeFortsæt »