Page images
[ocr errors]

"No word from Selim's bosom broke ;
One sigh Zuleika's thought bespoke:
Still gazed he through the lattice grate,
Pale, mute, and mournfully sedate.
To him Zuleika's eye was turn'd.
But little from his aspect learn'd:
Equal her grief, yet not the same;
Her heart confess'd a gentler flame:
But yet that heart alarm’d or weak,
She knew not why, forbade to speak.
Yet speak she must-but when essay ?
“ How strange he thus should turn away!
“ Not thus we e'er before have met;
“ Not thus shall be our parting yet."
Thrice paced she slowly through the room,

And watch'd his eye-it still was fix'd:

She snatch'd the urn wherein was mix'd
The Persian Atar-gul's (15) perfume,
And sprinkled all its odours o'er
The pictured roof 116) and marble floor:
The drops, that through his glittering vest
The playful girl's appeal addrest,
Unheeded o'er his bosom flew,
As if that breast were marble too.
“ What, sullen yet? it must not be
“Oh! gentle Selim, this from thee!”
She saw in curious order set

The fairest flowers of eastern land
“ He loved them once; may touch them yet,

“ If offer'd by Zuleika's hand.” The childish thought was hardly breathed Before the Rose was pluck'd and wreathed;

The next fond moment saw her seat
Her fairy form at Selim's feet:
“ This rose to calm my brother's cares
“A message from the Bulbul (17) bears ;
“ It says to-night he will prolong
“ For Selim's ear his sweetest song;
" And though his note is somewhat sad,
“ He'll try for once a strain more glad,
“ With some faint hope his alter'd lay
“ May sing these gloomy thoughts away.


“What! not receive my foolish flower ?

“ Nay then I am indeed unblest: “On me can thus thy forehead lower ?

"And know'st thou not who loves thee best? “Oh, Selim dear! Oh, more than dearest !

Say, is it me thou hat'st' or fearest? “ Come, lay thy head upon my breast, “And I will kiss thee into rest, “Since words of mine, and songs must fail, “ Ev’n from my fabled nightingale. “I knew our sire at times was stern, “ But this from thee had yet to learn : “ Too well I know he loves thee not; “But is Zuleika's love forgot ? “Ah! deem I right? the Pacha's plan“ This kinsman Bey of Carasman " Perhaps may prove some foe of thine. “? If so, I swear by Mecca's shrine, “If shrines that ne'er approach allow “To woman's step admit her yow,

“ Without thy free consent, command, “ The Sultan should not have my hand ! “ Think'st thou that I could bear to part “ With thee, and learn to halve my heart? “ Ah! were I sever'd from thy side, " Where were thy friend and who my guide ? “ Years have not seen, Time shall not see “ The hour that tears my soul from thee: “ Even Azrael, (18) from his deadly quiver

“ When flies that shaft, and fly it must, " That parts all else, shall doom for ever

66 Our hearts to undivided dust!"


He lived—he breathed_he moved-he felt; He raised the maid from where she knelt; His trance was gone_his keen eye shone With thoughts that long in darkness dwelt; With thoughts that burn-in rays that melt. As the stream late conceal'd

By the fringe of its willows, When it rushes reveal'd

In the light of its billows; As the bolt bursts on high

From the black cloud that bound it,
Flash'd the soul of that eye

Through the long lashes round it.
A warhorse at the trumpet's sound,
A lion roused by heedless hound,
A tyrant waked to sudden strife
By graze of ill-directed knife,
Starts not to more convulsive life


Than he, who heard that vow, display'd, And all, before repress'd, betray'd: “Now thou art mine, for ever mine, “With life to keep, and scarce with life resign; “Now thou art mine, that sacred oath, “ Though sworn by one, hath bound us both. “Yes, fondly, wisely hast thou done; “ That vow hath saved more heads than one: “But blench not thou_thy simplest tress “ Claims more from me than tenderness; “I would not wrong the slenderest hair “ That clusters round thy forehead fair, “For all the treasures buried far “ Within the caves of Istakar. (19) “ This morning clouds upon me lower'd, Reproaches

on my head were shower'd, “And Giaffir almost call'd me coward! “Now I have motive to be brave; “ The son of his neglected slave,

Nay, start not, 'twas the term he gave,

May show, though little apt to vaunt, “A heart his words nor deeds can daunt. His son, indeed !-yet, thanks to thee, “Perchance I am, at least shall be; “But let our plighted secret vow “ Be only known to us as now. “ I know the wretch who dares demand “ From Giaffir thy reluctant hand; “More ill-got wealth, a meaner soul “ Holds not a Musselim's 20) control; “Was he not bred in Egripo? (21) “ A viler race let Israel show!

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ But let that pass—to none be told “ Our oath; the rest shall time unfold. To me and mine leave Osman Bey; “ I've partisans for peril's day: 66 Think not I am what I appear; “ I've arms, and friends, and vengeance near."


“ Think not thou art what thou appearest!

“ My Selim, thou art sadly changed: “ This morn I saw thee gentlest, dearest;

“ But now thou ’rt from thyself estranged. “ My love thou surely knew'st before, “ It ne'er was less, nor can be more. " To see thee, hear thee, near thee stay,

“ And hate the night I know not why, “ Save that we meet not but by day;

“ With thee to live, with thee to die,

" I dare not to my hope deny: “ Thy cheek, thine eyes, thy lips to kiss, " Like this and this no more than this; “ For, Alla! sure thy lips are flame:

“ What fever in thy veins is flushing? " My own have nearly caught the same,

" At least I feel my cheek too blushing. “ To soothe thy sickness, watch thy health, • Partake, but never waste thy wealth, “ Or stand with smiles unmurmuring by, “ And lighten half thy poverty; “ Do all but close thy dying eye, " For that I could not live to try; “ To these alone my thoughts aspire : “ More can I do? or thou require?

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »