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“ Like superstitious thieves, who think the light “ From dead men's marrow guides them best at night 53—“ Ye shall have honours—wealth, -yes, Sages, yes-“ I know, grave fools, your wisdom's nothingness ; “ Undazzled it can track yon starry sphere, “ But a gilt stick, a bauble blinds it here. “ How I shall laugh, when trumpeted along, “ In lying speech, and still more lying song,
By these learn'd slaves, the meanest of the throng ; “ Their wits bought up, their wisdom shrunk so small, “A sceptre's puny point can wield it all !
“ Ye too, believers of incredible creeds, “ Whose faith enshrines the monsters which it breeds ; “Who, bolder even than NEMROD, think to rise, * By nonsense heap'd on nonsense, to the skies ; “ Ye shall have miracles, ay, sound ones too, “Seen, heard, attested, ev'ry thing—but true. “ Your preaching zealots, too inspir'd to seek “One grace of meaning for the things they speak; “ Your martyrs, ready to shed out their blood “For truths too heavenly to be understood ; “And your State Priests, sole vendors of the lore “ That works salvation ;-as, on Ava's shore, " Where none but priests are privileg'd to trade “ In that best marble of which Gods are made ; 54
They shall have mysteries—ay, precious stuff “ For knaves to thrive by-mysteries enough ; “Dark, tangled doctrines, dark as fraud can weave, “Which simple votaries shall on trust receive, “ While craftier feign belief, till they believe. “A Heaven too ye must have, ye lords of dust,
" A splendid Paradise,--pure souls, ye must :
“ Oh my lost soul !” exclaim'd the shuddering maid, Whose ears had drunk like poison all he said :MOKANNA started—not abash'd, afraid, He knew no more of fear than one who dwells Beneath the tropics knows of icicles ! But, in those dismal words that reach'd his ear, “ Oh my lost soul ! " there was a sound so drear, So like that voice, among the sinful dead, In which the legend o'er Hell's Gate is read, That, new as 'twas from her, whom nought could dim Or sink till now, it startled even him.
“Ha, my fair Priestess !”—thus, with ready wile, The' impostor turn'd to greet her-"thou, whose smile “ Hath inspiration in its rosy beam “ Beyond the Enthusiast's hope or Prophet's dream ! “ Light of the faith! who twin'st religion's zeal “ So close with love's, men know not which they feel, “ Nor which to sigh for, in their trance of heart, “ The heaven thou preachest or the heaven thou art !
“ What should I be without thee? without thee
But, why so mournful, child ? those eyes, that shone “ All life last night, what !—is their glory gone? “Come, come-this morn's fatigue hath made them pale, “They want rekindling—suns themselves would fail, “ Did not their comets bring, as I to thee, “From light's own fount supplies of brilliancy. “ Thou see'st this cup—no juice of earth is here, “ But the pure waters of that upper sphere, “ Whose rills o'er ruby beds and topaz flow, “Catching the gem's bright colour as they go.
Nightly my Genii come and fill these urns
Nay, drink—in every drop life's essence burns ; “ 'Twill make that soul all fire, those eyes all light
Come, come, I want thy loveliest smiles to-night :“ There is a youth-why start?—thou saw'st him then ; “Look'd he not nobly? such the godlike men “ Thou'lt have to woo thee in the bowers above ;“ Though he, I fear, hath thoughts too stern for love, “ Too rul'd by that cold enemy of bliss “ The world calls virtue, we must conquer this ;
Nay, shrink not, pretty sage ! 'tis not for thee “ To scan the mazes of Heaven's mystery : “ The steel must pass through fire, ere it can yield “ Fit instruments for mighty hands to wield. “ This very night I mean to try the art “Of powerful beauty on that warrior's heart. “All that my Haram boasts of bloom and wit, “ Of skill and charms, most rare and exquisite,
“Shall tempt the boy ;--young MIRZALA's blue eyes, “Whose sleepy lid like snow on violets lies ; “ AROUYA's cheeks, warm as a spring-day sun, “ And lips that, like the seal of SOLOMON, “ Have magic in their pressure ; ZEBA's lute, " And Lilla's dancing feet, that gleam and shoot “Rapid and white as sea-birds o'er the deep“ All shall combine their witching powers to steep ' My convert's spirit in that soft'ning trance, “ From which to heaven is but the next advance ; “ That glowing, yielding fusion of the breast, “On which Religion stamps her image best. “ But hear me, Priestess !--though each nymph of these “ Hath some peculiar, practis'd power to please, "Some glance or step which, at the mirror tried, “ First charms herself, then all the world beside ; “ There still wants one, to make the victory sure, “ One who in every look joins every lure ; “ Through whom all beauty's beams concentred pass, “ Dazzling and warm, as through love's burning glass; “ Whose gentle lips persuade without a word, “ Whose words, ev’n when unmeaning, are ador'd, “ Like inarticulate breathings from a shrine,
Which our faith takes for granted are divine ! “ Such is the nymph we want, all warmth and light, “ To crown the rich temptations of to-night : “ Such the refin'd enchantress that must be “ This hero's vanquisher,--and thou art she !"
With her hands clasp'd, her lips apart and pale, The maid had stood, gazing upon the Veil From which these words, like south winds through a fence
Of Kerzrah flowers, came fill’d with pestilence ; 55
At first, though mute she listen'd, like a dream
Oh not for worlds !” she cried—“Great God ! to whom “I once knelt innocent, is this my