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Who leads them on with foreign brand,
Far flashing in his red right hand ?
"'Tis he! 'tis he! I know him now;
I know him by his pallid brow;
I know him by the evil eye
That aids his envious treachery ;
I know him by his jet-black barb :
Though now array'd in Arnaut garb,
Apostate from his own vile faith,
It shall not save him from the death:
'Tis he! well met in any hour,
Lost Leila's love, accursed Giaour!"
With sabre shiver'd to the hilt,
Yet dripping with the blood he spilt ;
Yet strain'd within the sever'd hand
Which quivers round that faithless brand;
His turban far behind him roll'd,
And cleft in twain its firmest fold;
His flowing robe by falchion torn,
And crimson as those clouds of morn
That, streak'd with dusky red, portend
The day shall have a stormy end;
A stain on every bush that bore
A fragment of his palampore,1
His breast with wounds unnumber'd riven,
His back to earth, his face to heaven,
Fall'n Hassan lies-his unclosed eye
Yet lowering on his enemy,
As if the hour that seal'd his fate
Surviving left his quenchless hate;
And o'er him bends that foe with brow
As dark as his that bled below.
1 The flowered shawl generally worn by persons of rank.
THE browsing camels' bells are tinkling : His Mother look'd from her lattice high, She saw the dews of eve besprinkling The pasture green beneath her eye,
She saw the planets faintly twinkling : "'Tis twilight-sure his train is nigh." She could not rest in the garden-bower,
But gazed through the grate of his steepest tower: "Why comes he not? his steeds are fleet, Nor shrink they from the summer heat;
Why sends not the Bridegroom his promised gift;
Is his heart more cold, or his barb less swift?
Oh, false reproach! yon Tartar now
Has gain'd our nearest mountain's brow,
And warily the steep descends,
And now within the valley bends;
And he bears the gift at his saddle bow—
How could I deem his courser slow?
Right well my largess shall repay
His welcome speed, and weary way."
The Tartar lighted at the gate,
But scarce upheld his fainting weight :
His swarthy visage spake distress,
But this might be from weariness;
His garb with sanguine spots was dyed,
But these might be from his courser's side;
He drew the token from his vest-
Angel of Death! 'tis Hassan's cloven crest!
His calpac1 rent-his caftan red-
'Lady, a fearful bride thy Son hath wed :
Me, not from mercy, did they spare,
But this empurpled pledge to bear.
Peace to the brave! whose blood is spilt;
Woe to the Giaour! for his the guilt."
THE cold in clime are cold in blood,
Their love can scarce deserve the name;
But mine was like the lava flood
That boils in Ætna's breast of flame.
I cannot prate in puling strain
Of ladye-love, and beauty's chain :
If changing cheek, and scorching vein,
Lips taught to writhe, but not complain,
If bursting heart, and madd'ning brain,
And daring deed, and vengeful steel,
And all that I have felt, and feel,
Betoken love-that love was mine,
And shown by many a bitter sign.
1 The solid cap or centre of the head-dress; the shawl is wound round it and forms the turban.
'Tis true, I could not whine nor sigh,
I knew but to obtain or die.
I die—but first I have possess'd,
And come what may, I have been blest.
Shall I the doom I sought upbraid?
No-reft of all, yet undismay'd
But for the thought of Leila slain,
Give me the pleasure with the pain,
So would I live and love again.
I grieve, but not, my holy guide!
For him who dies, but her who died :
She sleeps beneath the wandering wave-
Ah! had she but an earthly grave,
This breaking heart and throbbing head
Should seek and share her narrow bed.
She was a form of life and light,
That, seen, became a part of sight ;
And rose, where'er I turn'd mine eye,
The Morning-star of Memory!
(BRIDE OF ABYDOS, Canto ii. Stanzas 22-26.)
ZULEIKA, mute and motionless,
Stood like that statue of distress,
When, her last hope for ever gone,
The mother harden'd into stone;
All in the maid that eye could see
Was but a younger Niobe.
But ere her lip, or even her eye,
Essay'd to speak, or look reply,
Beneath the garden's wicket porch
Far flash'd on high a blazing torch!
Another and another-and another-
"Oh! fly-no more-yet now my more than brother!"
Far, wide, through every thicket spread,
The fearful lights are gleaming red;
Nor these alone-for each right hand
Is ready with a sheathless brand.
They part, pursue, return, and wheel
With searching flambeau, shining steel;
And last of all, his sabre waving,
Stern Giaffir in his fury raving:
And now almost they touch the cave-
Oh! must that grot be Selim's grave?
Dauntless he stood- "Tis come-soon past—
One kiss, Zuleika-'tis my last :
But yet my band not far from shore
May hear this signal, see the flash ;
Yet now too few-the attempt were rash :
No matter-yet one effort more. Forth to the cavern mouth he stept;
His pistol's echo rang on high, Zuleika started not, nor wept,
Despair benumb'd her breast and eye!—
"They hear me not, or if they ply
Their oars, 'tis but to see me die;
That sound hath drawn my foes more nigh.
Then forth my father's scimitar,
Thou ne'er hast seen less equal war!
Farewell, Zuleika !-Sweet! retire:
Yet stay within-here linger safe,
At thee his rage will only chafe.