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“Are all my dreams, my hopes of heavenly bliss,
My purity, my pride, then come to this, – “ To live, the wanton of a fiend ! to be “ The pander of his guilt--oh infamy ! “ And sunk, myself, as low as hell can steep “ In its hot food, drag others down as deep! “ Others-ha! yes--that youth who came to-day“ Not him I lov’d-not him-oh! do but say, “But swear to me this moment 'tis not he, “ And I will serve, dark fiend, will worship even thee !”
Beware, young raving thing !-in time beware, “Nor utter what I cannot, must not bear, “ Even from thy lips. Go-try thy lute, thy voice, “ The boy must feel their magic ;-I rejoice “ To see those fires, no matter whence they rise, “ Once more illuming my fair Priestess' eyes ; “ And should the youth, whom soon those eyes shall
warm, “ Indeed resemble thy dead lover's form, “So much the happier wilt thou find thy doom, “ As one warm lover, full of life and bloom, “ Excels ten thousand cold ones in the tomb. “Nay, nay, no frowning, sweet !—those eyes were made “For love, not anger-I must be obey'd.”
Obey'd !-'tis well—-yes, I deserve it all-
“ Like me ?—weak wretch, I wrong him-not like me; “No-he's all truth and strength and purity ! “Fill up your madd’ning hell-cup to the brim, “ Its witch’ry, fiends, will have no charm for him. “ Let loose your glowing wantons from their bowers, “ He loves, he loves, and can defy their powers ! “Wretch as I am, in his heart still I reign “ Pure as when first we met, without a stain !
Though ruin'd—lost—my memory, like a charm “ Left by the dead, still keeps his soul from harm. “ Oh! never let him know how deep the brow “ He kiss'd at parting is dishonour'd now ; “ Ne’er tell him how debas'd, how sunk is she, “ Whom once he lov’d-once !---still loves dotingly. “ Thou laugh’st, tormentor,—what! thou'lt brand my
name? “ Do, do-in vain-he'll not believe my shame“ He thinks me true ; that nought beneath God's sky “ Could tempt or change me, and-so once thought I. “ But this is past—though worse than death my lot, “ Than hell—'tis nothing while he knows it not. “ Far off to some benighted land I'll fly, “ Where sunbeam ne'er shall enter till I die; " Where none will ask the lost one whence she came,
fade and fall without a name. “And thou--curst man or fiend, whate'er thou art, “Who found'st this burning plague-spot in my heart, “ And spread'st it-oh, so quick !-through soul and
frame, “ With more than demon's art, till I became “A loathsome thing, all pestilence, all flame! - If when I'm gone
66 But I
Hold, fearless maniac, hold, “ Nor tempt my rage-by Heaven, not half so bold “ The puny bird, that dares with teasing hum “Within the crocodile's stretch'd jaws to come ! 56 “ And so thou'lt fly, forsooth?—what !--give up all
Thy chaste dominion in the Haram Hall, “ Where now to Love and now to Alla given, “ Half mistress and half saint, thou hang'st as even “ As doth MEDINA's tomb, 'twixt hell and heaven ! “ Thou'lt fly!-as easily may reptiles run, “ The gaunt snake once hath fix'd his eyes upon ; “ As easily, when caught, the prey may be “ Pluck'd from his loving folds, as thou from me. “No, no, 'tis fix'd- let good or ill betide, “ Thou’rt mine till death, till death MOKANNA's bride! “ Hast thou forgot thy oath ?”.
At this dread word,
“ Yes, my sworn bride, let others seek in bowers
Gay, flickering death-lights shone while we were wed,
From reeking shrouds upon the rite look'd out!
“ That oath thou heard'st more lips than thine repeat-
Hence, woman, to the Haram, and look gay,
Or, as the Nile-bird loves the slime that gives “ That rank and venomous food on which she lives :57
And, now thou see'st my soul's angelic hue, “ 'Tis time these features were uncurtain'd too ;“ This brow, whose light-oh rare celestial light ! “ Hath been reserv'd to bless thy favour'd sight ; “ These dazzling eyes, before whose shrouded might “ Thou'st seen immortal Man kneel down and quake-“Would that they were heaven's lightnings for his sake! “ But turn and look—then wonder, if thou wilt, “ That I should hate, should take revenge, by guilt,
Upon the hand, whose mischief or whose mirth “ Sent me thus maim'd and monstrous upon earth
; “ And on that race who, though more vile they be “ Than mowing apes, are demi-gods to me! “ Here-judge if hell, with all its power to damn, “ Can add one curse to the foul thing I am !”