Page images

Strange-That where all is peace beside,
There passion riots in her pride,
And lust and rapine wildly reign
To darken o'er the fair domain.
It is as though the fiends prevailid
Against the scraphs they assail'd,
And, fix'd on heavenly thrones, should dwell
The freed inheritors of hell ;
So soft the scene, so form’d for joy,
So curst the tyrants that destroy!

For there—the Rose o'er crag or vale,
Sultana of the Nightingale, (1)
The maid for whom his melody,
His thousand songs are heard on high,
Blooms blushing to her lover's tale:
His queen, the garden queen, his Rose,
Unbent by winds, unchill'd by snows,
Far from the winters of the west,
By every breeze and season blest,
Relurns the sweets by Nature given
In softest incense back to heaven;
And grateful yields that smiling sky
Her fairest huc and fragrant sigh.
And many a summer flower is there,
And many a shade that love might share,
And many a grotto, meant for rest,
That holds the pirate for a guest;
Whose bark in sheltering cove below
Lurks for the passing peaceful prow,
Till the gay mariner's guitar (2)
Is heard, and seen the evening star;
Then sicaling with the muffled oar,
Far shaded by the rocky shore,
Rush the night-prowlers on the prey,
And turn to groans his roundelay.
Strange-that where Nature loved to trace,
As if for gods, a dwelling-place,
And every charm and grace hath mix’d
Within the paradise she lix'd,
There man, enamour’d of distress,
Should mar it into wilderness,
And trample, brute-like, o'er each flower
Thal tasks not one laborious hour;
Nor claims the culture of his hand
To bloom along the fairy land,
But springs as to preclude his care,
And sweetly woos him—but to spare!

He who hath bent him o'er the dead (3)
Ere the first day of death is fled,
The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress,
(Before Decay's effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,)
And mark'd the mild angelic air,
The rapture of repose that 's there,
The fix'd yel tender traits that streak
The languor of the placid check,
Aud-but for that sad shrouded eye,
That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now;
And but for that chill changeless brow,
Where cold obstruction's apathy (i'
Appals the gazing mourner's heart,
As if to him il could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon;
Yes, but for these and these alone,
Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the tyrant's power;
So fair, so calm, so sofily sealid,
The first, last look by death reveal'd !(5)
Such is the aspect of this shore;
'T is Greece, but living Greece no more! (6)
So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
We start, for soul is wanting there.

Which, seen from far Colonna's height,

he exhibits on a nearer view, the weight his mind carries with it Make glad the heart that has the sight,

in his every-day intercourse, somehow or other are reflected And give to loneliness delight. There shine the brighi ubodes ye seck,

around on liis compositions, and co-operate in giving a collateral lake dimples upon Ocean's check,

force lo their impression on the public. To this we must assign So smiling round the walers lave

some part of the impression made by the Giaour. The thirtyThese Edens of tbe eastern wave.

live lines, beginning 'lle wlio bath bent him o'er the dead,' are Or if, at times, the transient breeze

so beautiful, so original, and so utterly beyond the reach of any Break the smooth crystal of the seas, Or brush one blossom from the trees,

one whose poctical genius was not very decided and very rich, How graceful is the gentle air

that they alone, under the circumstances explained, were sustiThat waves and wafls the fingrance there."

cient to secure celebrity to this poem.” Sir E. Brydges.-E. The whole of this passage, from line 7 down to line 167, “Who Ay, but lo die and go we know not where, beard it first bad cause to grieve,” was not in the first edition.

To lje in co!d obstruction!” -E.

Measure for Measure. (1) The attachment of the nightingale to the rose is a well-known (8) I trust that sew of my readers have ever had an opportuPersian fable. If I mistake not, the “Bulbul of a thousand tales” nity of witnessing what is here altempted in description, but is one of his appellations.-(Thus Mesihi, as translated by Sir those who have will probably retain a painful remembrance of William Jones :

that singular beauty which pervades, with sew exceptions, the “ Come, charming maid! and hear thy poet sing,

features of the dead, a few hours, and but for a few hours, after Thyself the ruse, and be the bird of spring :

“the spirit is not there.” It is to be remarked in cases of vioLove bids him sing, and Love will be obey'd.

lent death by gun-shot wounds the expression is always that of Be gay: too soon the flowers of spring will fade."-E.

languor, whatever the natural energy of the sufferer's character: (2) The guitar is the constant amusement of the Greek sailor but in death from a stab the countenance preserves its traits of by night: with a steady fair wind, and during a calm, it is ac- feeling or ferocity, and the mind its bias, to the last. companied always by the voice, and often by dancing.

(6) In Dallaway's Constanlinople, a book which Lord Byron (3) ** Jl once the public notice is drawn lo a poet, the talents is not unlikely to bave consulted, I find a passage q oled from

Hers is the lovelines in death,
Thal parts not quite with parling breath;
But beauty with that fearful blooin,
That hue which haunts it to the tomb,
Expression's last receding ray,
A gilded halo hovering round decay,

The farewell beam of feeling past away! Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth, | Which gleams, but warms no more ils cherish'd


Clime of the unforgotten brave !
Whose land, from plain to mountain-cave,
Was Freedom's home or Glory's grave!
S'rine of the mighty! can it be,
That this is all remains of thee?
Approac!, thou craven crouching slave:

Siy, is not this Thermopylæ ?
These walers blue that round you lave,

O servile offspring of the free!
Pronounce what sea, what shore is this?
The gulf, the rock of Salamis!(2)
Those scines, their story not unknown,
Arise, and make again your own;
Snatch from the ashes of your sires
The embers of their former fires;
And he who in the strife expires
Will add to theirs a name of fear
That tyranny shall quake to hear,
And leave his sons a hope, a fame,
They too will rather die than shame:
For Freedom's baille once begun,
Bequeath'd by bleeding sire to son,
Tiongh baffled oft is ever won.
Bear witness, Greece, thy living page,
Attest it many a deathless age!
While kings, in dusty darkness hid,
Have left a nameless pyramid,
Thy heroes, though the general doom
Hath swept the column from their tomb,
A mightier monument command,
The mountains of their native land!
There points thy Muse lo stranger's eye
The graves of those that cannot die!
'T were long to tell, and sad to trace,
Each step from splendour to disgrace;

Enough-no foreign foe could quell
Thy soul, till from itself it fell;
Yes ! self-abasement paved the way
To villain-bonds and despot sway.

What can he tell who treads thy shore ?
No legend of thine olden time,
No theme on which the Muse might soar
High as thine own in days of yore,
When man was worthy of thy clime.
The hearts within thy valleys bred,
The fiery souls that might have led

Thy sons to deeds sublime, Now crawl from cradle to the grave, Slaves-- nay, the bondsmen of a slave,(3)

And callous, save to crime; Stain'd with each evil that pollutes Mankind, where least above the brutes; Withoul even savage virtue blest, Without one free or valiant breast, Still to the neighbouring ports they waft Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft; In this the subtle Greek is found, For this, and this alone, renown'd. In vain might Liberty invoke The spirit to its bondage broke, Or raise the neck that courts the yoke : No more her sorrows I bewail, Yet this will be a mournful tale, And they who listen may believe, , Who heard it first had cause to grieve.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Gillies's History of Greece, which contains, perhaps, the first Athenians, though, from its situation between Athens and MeSeed of the thought thus expanded into full perfection by genius: gara, the inhabitants of the latter cily contested its possession for - The present state of Greece, compared to the ancient, is the some time with the Athenians. The name, says Gillies, in his sileti obscurity of the grave contrasted with the vivid lustre of History of Greece, is associated with the honourable battle active lise.” Moore.-E.

fought on the 201h October, 480 years before Christ, between the (1) “ There is infinile beauty and effect, though of a painful and Persians under Xerxes, when he invaded Attica, and the Greeks, alcunst oppressive character, in this extraordinary passage; in who successfully delended their country with a force of oply allah the author has illustrated the beautiful, but still and me- 380) ships against 2,000, of which they destroyed about 20%).-E. iancholy, aspect of the once-busy and glorious shores of Greece, (5) Athens is the property of the kislar Aga (the slave of the by an image more true, more mourn ul, and inore exquisitely seraglio and guardian of the women), who appoints the Waywode Ginished, than any that we can recollect in the whole compass A pander and eunuch-These are not polite, yel true appellations of poetry." Jeffrey.-E.

now governs the governor of Athens ! (2) The isle of Salamis lies the Saronic Gulf, on the southern (4) “The reciter of the tale is a Turkish fisherman, who has coast of Attica, nearly opposite to Eleusis. It belonged to the been employed during the day in the Gulf of Ægina. and in the

To-night, set Rhamazani's sun;
To-night, the Bairam feast 's begun;
To-night-but who and what art thou
Of foreign garb and fearful brow?
And what are these to thine or thee,
That thou shouldst either pause or flee?

Beneath the clattering iron's sound
The cavern'd echoes wake around
In lash for lash, and bound for bound;
The foam that streaks the courser's side
Seems gather'd from the ocean-tide:
Though weary waves are sunk to rest,
There is none within his rider's breast;
And though to-morrow's tempest lower,
'T is calmer than thy heart, young Giaour!(1)
I know thec nol, I loathe thy race,
But in thy lineaments I trace
What time shall strengthen, not efface:
Though young and pale, that sallow front
Is scathed by fiery passion's brunt;
Though bent on earth thine evil eye,
As meteor-like thou glidest by,
Right well I view and deem thee one
Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun.

On-on he hasten'd, and he drew
My gaze of wonder as lie flew :
Though like a demon of the night
He pass’d, and vanish'al from my sight,
His aspect and his air impress'd
A troubled memory on my breast,
And long upon my startled ear
Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear.
He spurs his stecd; he nears the steep
That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep;
He winds around; he burries by;
The rock relieves him from mine eye:
For well I ween unwelcome he
Whose glance is fix'd on those that flee;
And not a star but shines loo bright
On him who takes such timeless flight.
He wound along; but ere he pass'd
One glance he snatch'd, as if his last,
A moment check'd his wheeling steed,
A moment breathed him from his speed,
A moment on his stirrup stood-
Why looks he o'er the olive wood ?
The crescent glimmers on the hill,
The mosque's high lamps are quivering still:
Though too remote for sound to wake
In echoes of the far tophaike, (2)
The flashes of each us peal
Are seen to prove the Moslem's zeal.

He stood-some dread was on his face, Soon Hatred settled in its place: It rose not with the reddening flush Of transient Anger's hasty blush, (3) But pale as marble o'er the tomb, Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom. His brow was bent, his eye was glazed; He raised his arm, and fiercely raised, And sternly shook his hand on high, As doubling to return or fly: Impatient of his flight delay'd, Here loud his raven charger neigh'dDown glanced that hand, and grasp'd his blade: That sound had burst his waking dream, As slumber starts at owlet's scream. The spur hath lanced his courser's sides; Away, away, for life he rides ! Swift as the hurl'd on high jerreed (4) Springs to the touch his startled steed; The rock is doubled, and the shore Shakes with the clattering tramp no more; The crag is won—no more is seen His Christian crest and haughly mien. (5) 'T was but an instant he restrain'i That fiery barb, so sternly rein'd; 'Twas but a moment that he stood, Then sped as if by Death pursued; But in that instant o'er his soul Winters of Memory seem'd to roll, And gather in that drop of time A life of pain, an age of crime. O'er him who loves, or hates, or fears, Such moment pour's the grief of years: What felt he then, at once opprest By all that most distracts the breast? That pause, which ponder'd o'er bis fale, Oh, who its dreary length shall date! Though in Time's record nearly nought, It was Eternity to Thought!

[ocr errors]

evening, apprehensive of the Mainole pirales who insest the coast of all kinds of small-arms, loaded with ball, proclaim it during the of Altica, lands with his boat on the harbour of Port Leone, the night. apcient Piræus. lle becomes the eye-wilness of nearly all the in

(3) Hasty blush."-For hasty all the editions, till the twelftl, cidents in the story, and in one of them is a principal agent. I read“ darkening blush.”—E. is lo his feelings, and particularly to his religious prejudices, that we are indebted for some of the most forcible and splendid parts of darted from horseback with great force and precision. It is a fa

(4) Jerreed, or Djerrid, a blunted Turkish javelin, which is the poem.” George Ellis.

vourite exercise of the Mussulmans; but I know not is it can be (1) In Dr. Clarke's Travels, this word, which means Infdel, called a manly one, since the most expert in the art are the blak is always wrillen according to ils English pronunciation, Djour. eunuchs of Constantinople. I think, next to these, a Mamlouk al Lord Byron adopted the llalian spelling usual among the Franks Smyrna was the most skilful that came within my observation. of the Desert.-E.

(5) “Every gesture of the impetuous horseman is full of anxiety (3) "Tophaike," musket.— The Bairam is announced by the and passion. In the midst of his career, whilst in full view of liit candon at sunset ; tbe illumination of the mosques, and the firing astonished spectator, he suddenly checks his steed, aud, rising

For infinite as boundless space
The thought that Conscience must embrace,
Which in itself can comprehend
Woe without name, or hope, or end.

The hour is past, the Giaour is gone;
And did he fly or fall alone ?
Woe to that hour he came or went!
The curse for Hassan's sin was sent
To turn a palace to a tomb;
He came, he went, like the simoom, (1)
That harbinger of fate and gloom,
Beneath whose widely-wasting breath
The very cypress droops to death-
Dark tree, still sad when others' grief is flcd,
The only constant mourner o'er the dead !

The steed is vanish'd from the stall ;
No serf is seen in Hassan's hall;
The lonely spider's thin grey pall
Waves slowly widening o'er the wall;
The bat builds in his haram bower;
And in the fortress of his power
The owl usurps the beacon-tower;
The wild-dog howls o'er the fountain's brim,
With baffled thirst and famine grim;
For the stream has shrunk from its marble bed,
Where the weeds and the desolate dust are spread.
'T was sweet of yore to see it play
And chase the sultriness of day,
As springing high the silver dew
In whirls fantastically flew,
And flung luxurious coolness round
The air, and verdure o'er the ground.
'T was sweet, when cloudless stars were bright,
To view the wave of watery light,
And hear its melody by night.

And oft had Hassan's childhood play'd
Around the verge of that cascade;
And oft upon his mother's breast
That sound had harmonized his rest;
And oft had Hassan's youth along
Its bank been soothed by Beauty's song;
And softer seem'd each melting tone
Of music mingled with its own.
But ne'er shall Hassan's age repose
Along the brink at twilight's close:
The stream that fill'd that fount is fled-
The blood that warm’d his heart is shed!
And here no more shall human voice
Be heard to rage, regret, rejoice.
The last sad note that swell’d the gale
Was woman's wildest funeral wail:
That quench'd in silence, all is still,
But the lattice that flaps when the wind is shrill :
Though raves the gust, and floods the rain,
No hand shall close its clasp again. (2)
On desert sands 't were joy to scan
The rudest steps of fellow-man,
So here the very voice of Grief
Might wake an echo like relief-
At least 't would say, “All are not gone;
There lingers life, though but in one"-
For many a gilded chamber 's there,
Which Solitude might well forbear;(3)
Within that dome as yet Decay
Hath slowly work'd her cankering way-
But doom is gather'd o'er the gate,
Nor there the fakir's self will wait;
Nor there will wandering dervise stay,
For bounty cheers not his delay;
Nor there will weary stranger halt
To bless the sacred“ bread and salt.” (4)

on bis stirrup, surveys, with a look of agonising impatience, the

(2) This part of the narrative not only contajas much brilliant distant city illuminated for the seast of Bairam; then, pale with and just description, but is managed with unusual lasle. The anger, raises his arm as if in menace of an invisible enemy; but, lisherman has, hitherto, related nothing more than the extraorawakened from his trance of passion by the neighing of his charger, dinary phenomenon which had excited his curiosity, and of which again burries forward, and disappears.” George Ellis.-E.

it is his immediate object to explain the cause to his hearers; but, (1) The blast of the desert, fatal to every thing living, and often instead of proceeding to do so, he stops to vent his execrations on alluded to in eastern poetry.-[Abyssinian Bruce gives, perhaps, the Giaour, lo describe the solitude of Hassan's once-luxurious the liveliest account of the appearance and effects of the suffocating haram, and to lament the untimely death of the owner, and of blast of the desert :-“At eleven o'clock,” he says, “while we Leila, together with the cessation of that hospitality which they contemplated with great pleasure the rugged top of Chiggre, to

had uniformly experienced. He reveals, as is unintentionally and wbich we were fast approaching, and where we were to solace unconsciously, the catastrophe of his story ; but he thus prepares ourselves with plenty of good water, Idris, our guide, cried out

his appeal to the sympathy of his audience, without much dimi with a loud voice, 'Fall upon your faces, for here is the simoom.' I say from the south-east a haze come, in colour like the purple

nishing their suspense." George Ellis. part of the rainbow, but not so compressed or thick. It did not

(3) “ I have just recollected an alteration you may make in the fecupy twenty yards in breadth, and was about twelve feet high proof. Among the lines on Hassan's serai is this, from tbe ground. It was a kind of blush upon the air, and it

• Unmeet for Solitude to share.' moved very rapidly; for 1 scarce could turn to fall upon the Now, lo share implies more thau one, and Solitude is a single ground, with my head to the northward, when I felt the heat or gentleman; it must be thusits current plainly upon my face. We all lay flat on the ground

• For many a gidded chamber's there, as if dead, till Idris told us it was blown over. The meteor, or

Which Solitude might well forbear;' purple haze, which I saw, was indeed passed, but the light air, and so on. Will you adopt ibis correction ? and pray accept a which still blew, was of a heal to threaten suffocation. For iny Stilton cheese from me for your trouble.-P. S. I leave this to part, I found distinctly in my breast that I had imbibed a part of your discretion : if any body thinks the old line a good one, or the it; nor was I free of an asthmatic sensation till I had been some cheese a bad one, don't accept of either." B. Letlers, Stilton, months in Italy, at the baths of Porella, near Iwo years after. Oct. 3, 1813. vads." See Bruce's Life and Travels, p. 470. edit. 1830.-E.) (4) To partake of food, w break bread and salt with your host,

Which, trembling in their coral caves,
They dare not whisper to the waves.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

I hear the sound of coming feet,
But not a voice mine ear to greet;
More near--each turban I can scan,
And silver-sheathed ataghan ;(2)
The foremost of the band is seen
An emir, by his garb of green :(3)
“Ho! who art thou ?"-" This low salam (4)
Replies of Moslem faith I am."
“ The burthen ye so gently bear
Seems one that claims your utmost care,
And, doubtless, holds some precious freight,
My humble bark would gladly wait.”

“Thou speakest sootb : thy skiff unmoor,
And waft us from the silent shore;
Nay, leave the sail still furld, and ply
The nearest oar that's scatter'd by,
And midway to those rocks where sleep
The channel'd waters dark and deep.
Rest from your task-so-bravely done,
Our course has been right swiftly run;
Yet 't is the longest voyage, I trow,
That one of -

As rising on its purple wing
The insect-queen (5) of eastern spring,
O’er emerald meadows of Kashmeer
Invites the young pursuer near,
And leads him on from flower to flower
A weary chase and wasted hour,
Then leaves him, as it soars on high,
With panting heart and tearful eye:
So Beauty lures the full-grown child,
With hue as bright, and wing as wild;
A chase of idle hopes and fears,
Begun in folly, closed in tears.
If won, to equal ills betray'd,
Woe waits the insect and the maid;
A life of pain, the loss of peace,
From infant's play, and man's caprice:
The lovely toy so fiercely sought
Hath lost its charm by being caught,
For every touch that woo'd its stay
Hath brush'd its brightest hues away,
Till charm, and hue, and beauty gone,
'T is left to fly or fall alone.
With wounded wing, or bleeding breast,
Ah! where shall either victim rest?
Can this with faded pinion soar
From rose lo tulip as before ?
Or Beauty, blighted in an hour,
Find joy within her broken bower ?
No: gayer insects fluttering liy
Ne’er droop te wing o'er those that die;
And lovelier things have mercy shown
To every failing but their own,
And every woe a tear can clain
Except an erring sister's shame.

Sullen it plunged, and slowly sank,
The calm wave rippled to the bank.
I watch'd it as it sank: methought
Some motion from the current caught
Bestirr'd it more,-'t was but the beam
That checker'd o'er the living stream.
I gazed, till vanishing from view,
Like lessening pebble it withdrew;
Still less and less, a speck of white
That gemm’d the tide, then mock'd the sight;
And all its hidden secrets sleep,
Known but to genii of the deep,

The mind, that broods o'er guilty woes,

And maddening in her ire,

Is like the scorpion girt by fire, (6)
In circle narrowing as it glows,
The flames around their caplive close,
Till inly search'd by thousand throes,

ensures the safety of the guest : even though an enemy, his person Christian, “Urlarula,” a good journey; or “saban hiresem, saban from that moment is sacred.

serula ;” good morn, good even ; and sometimes, “may your end (1) I need hardly observe, that charity and hospitality are the be happy;" are the usual salutes. first duties enjoined by Mahomet; and, to say truth, very generally (5) The blue-winged butterfly of Kashmeer, the most rare and practised by his disciples. The first praise that can be bestowed beautiful of the species. on a chies is a panegyric on his bounty; the next, on his valour. (6) Mr. Dallas says, that Lord Byron assured him that the para

(2) The ataghan, a long dagger worn with pistols in the belt, in graph containing the simile of the scorpion was imagined in his a melal scabbard, generally of silver; and among the wealthier, sleep. It forms, therefore, a pendant to the “psychological cugill, or of gold.

riosity,” beginning with those exquisitely musical lines :(3) Green is the privileged colour of the Prophet's numerous pretended descendants ; with them, as here, faith (the family inhe

“A damsel with a dulcimer,

In a vision once I saw; ritance) is supposed to supersede the necessity of good works :

It was an Abyssinian maid," etc. they are the worst of a very indifferent brood.

(4) “ Salam aleikoum! aleikoum salam! peace be with you; be The whole of which, Mr. Coleridge says, was composed by bim with you peace-lhe sa utation reserved for the Faithful:-10 a during a siesta.-E.

« PreviousContinue »