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Fetter'd or fetterless to be,
I learn'd to love despair. And thus when they appear'd at last, And all my bonds aside were cast, These heavy walls to me had grown A hermitage—and all my own! And half I felt as they were come To tear me from a second home : With spiders I had friendship made, And watch'd them in their sullen trade, Had seen the mice by moonlight play, And why should I feel less than they? We were all inmates of one place, And I, the monarch of each race, Had power to kill—yet, strange to tell ! In quiet we had learn'd to dwell. My very chains and I grew friends, So much a long communion tends To make us what we are ;—even I Regain'd my freedom with a sigh.
(BRIDE OF ABYDOS, Canto i. Stanza 1.)
KNOW the land where the cypress and myrtle
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime, Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle,
Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime ? Know ye the land of the cedar and vine, Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine ; Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppressed with per
fume, Wax faint o'er the Gardens of Gúl in her bloom ; Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, And the voice of the nightingale never is mute : Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, And the purple of Ocean is deepest in dye ; Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, And all, save the spirit of man, is divine ? 'Tis the clime of the East ; 'tis the land of the SunCan he smile on such deeds as his children have done ? Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they JOURNEY AND DEATH OF
(From THE GIAQUR.)
STERN Hassan hath a journey ta'en With twenty vassals in his train, Each arm’d, as best becomes a man, With arquebuss and ataghan ; The chief before, as deck'd for war, Bears in his belt the scimitar Stain'd with the best of Arnaut blood, When in the pass the rebels stood, And few return'd to tell the tale Of what befell in Parne's vale. The pistols which his girdle bore Were those that once a pasha wore, Which still, though gemmi'd and boss'd with gold, Even robbers tremble to behold. 'Tis said he goes to woo a bride More true than her who left his side ; The faithless slave that broke 'her bower, And, worse than faithless, for a Giaour !
The sun's last rays are on the hill,
In cities lodged too near his lord,
The foremost Tartar's in the gap, Conspicuous by his yellow cap ; The rest in lengthening line the while Wind slowly through the long defile : Above, the mountain rears a peak, Where vultures whet the thirsty beak, And theirs may be a feast to-night, Shall tempt them down ere morrow's light ; Beneath, a river's wintry stream Has shrunk before the summer beam, And left a channel bleak and bare, Save shrubs that spring to perish there : Each side the midway path there lay Small broken crags of granite gray, By time, or mountain lightning, riven From summits clad in mists of heaven; For where is he that hath beheld The peak of Liakura unveild ?
They reach the grove of pine at last : “ Bismillah! now the peril's past;
For yonder view the opening plain,
Scarce had they time to check the rein, Swift from their steeds the riders bound;
But three shall never mount again : Unseen the foes that gave the wound,
The dying ask revenge in vain. With steel unsheath'd, and carbine bent, Some o'er their courser's harness leant,
Half shelter'd by the steed; Some fly behind the nearest rock, And there await the coming shock,
Nor tamely stand to bleed Beneath the shaft of foes unseen, Who dare not quit their craggy screen. Stern Hassan only from his horse Disdains to light, and keeps his course, Till fiery flashes in the van Proclaim too sure the robber-clan Have well secured the only way Could now avail the promised prey ; Then curl'd his very beard with ire, And glared his eye with fiercer fire : Though far and near the bullets hiss, I've 'scaped a bloodier hour than this." And now the foe their covert quit, And call his vassals to submit ; But Hassan's frown and furious word Are dreaded more than hostile sword, Nor of his little band a man Resign'd carbine or ataghan, Nor raised the craven cry, Amaun !1 In fuller sight, more near and near, The lately ambush'd foes appear, And, issuing from the grove, advance Some who on battle-charger prance.
1 Quarter, pardon.