Page images

Save what the father must not say

! This broken tale was all we knew Who shrived him on his dying day:

Of her he loved, or him he slew.(1) of the victims uttered a cry, or showed a simplom of terror at and, as Mr. Weber justly entilles it, “sublime tale," the Caliph so sudden a “wrench from all we know, from all we love." The rathek. I do nol know from what source the author of that fate of Phrosine, the fairest of this sacrilice, is the subject of singular volume may have drawn his materials; some of his incimany a Romaic and Arnaout dilly. The story in the lext is one

dents are to be found in the Bibliothèque Orieniale; but for told of a young Venetian many years ago, and now nearly for correctness of costume. beauty of description, and power of imagotten. I heard it by accident reciled by one of the coffee-house gination, il far surpasses all European imilations; and bears such story-tellers who abound in the Levant, and sing or recite their marks of originalily, that those who have visiled the East will narratives. The additions and interpolations by the translator find some dislicully in believing it lo be more than a translation. will be easily distinguished from the rest, by the want of Eastern

As an Eastero tale, even Rasselas musi bow before it; his “Happy imagery; and I regret that my memory has retained so sew frag- Valley" will not bear a comparison with the “Hall of Eblis." ments of the original. For the contents of some of tbe poles I

(1) This poem, was published after the two first cantos of Childe am indebled partly lo D'Herbelot, and partly lo that most Eastern, Harold.”—E.

The Bride of Abydos;


" Had we never loved so kindly,
Had we never loved so blindly,
Never met or never parted,
We bad ne'er been broken-hearted."- Burns






Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with


Wax faint o'er the gardens of gul(3) in her bloom; 1.

Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, Krow

ye the land where the cypress and myrtle (2) And the voice of the nightingale never is mute: -. Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime, Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle, sky,

Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime? In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, Know ye the land of the cedar and vine,

And the purple of Ocean is deepest in dye; Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, shine;

And all, save the spirit of man, is divine ?

2) The Bride of Abydos was published in the beginning of stand on); and I promise never to trouble you again under forty December, 1813. The mood of mind in which it was struck off cantos, and a voyage between each."-E. is thus stated by Lord Byron, in a letter to Mr. Gifford :-"You “Murray tells me that Croker asked him why the thing is

bare been good enough to look at a thing of mine in Ms. a Turkish called the Bride of Abydos?' It is an awkward question, being sory—and I should seel gratified if you would do it the same unanswerable : she is not a bride ; only about to be one. I don't Savour in its probationary state of printing. It was written, I wonder at his finding out the bull; but the detection is too late cannot say for amusement, nor obliged by hunger and request to do any good. I was a great fool to have made it

, and am of friends, but in a state of mind, from circumstances which cc- ashamed of not being

an Irishman.” B. Diary, Dec. 6, 1813. casionally occur to us youth,' that rendered it necessary for me

(2) To the Bride of Abydos, Lord Byron made many additions to apply my mind to something, any thing, but reality; and under during its progress through the press, amounting to about two this not very brilliant inspiration it was composed. Send it either hundred lines; and, as in the case of the Giaour, ihe passages so

added will be seen to be some of the most splendid in the whole • A hundred hawkers' load,

poem. These opening lines, which are among the new insertions, On wings of winds to fly or fall abroad.'

are supposed to have been suggested by a song of Goethe'sli deserves no better than the first, as the work of a week, and

" Kennst du das land wo die citronen blühn."-E. scribbled “slans pede in uno’ (by the by, the only foot I have to (3) “Gul," the rose.

to the flames, or

Were irksome-for whate'er my mood,
In sooth I love not solitude;
I on Zuleika's slumber broke,

And, as thou knowest that for me

Soon turns the haram's grating key, Before the guardian slaves awoke We to the cypress groves had flown, And made earth, main, and heaven our own! There linger'd we, beguiled too long With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi's song; (2) Till I, who heard the deep tambour(3) Beat thy divan's approaching hour, To thee, and to my duty true, Warn’d by the sound, to greet thee flew: But there Zuleika wanders yetNay, father, rage not-nor forget That none can pierce that secret bower But those who watch the women's tower.”

IV. “Son of a slave!”-the Pacha said“From unbelieving mother bred, Vain were a father's hope to see Aught that beseems a man in thee. Thou, when thine arm should bend the bow,

And hurl the dart, and curb the steed,

Thou, Greek in soul if not in creed,
Must pore where babbling waters flow,
And watch unfolding roses blow.
Would that yon orb, whose matin glow
Thy listless eyes so much admire,
Would lend thee something of his fire!
Thou who wouldst see this battlement
By Christian cannon piecemeal rent;
Nay, tamely view old Stambol's wall
Before the dogs of Moscow fall,
Nor strike one stroke for life and death
Against the curs of Nazareth!
Go-let thy less than woman's hand
Assume the distaff-not the brand.
But, Haroun !--to my daughter speed:
And hark-of thine own head take heed-
If thus Zuleika oft lakes wing-
Thou see'st yon bow-it hath a string !”

No sound from Selim's lip was heard,
At least that met old Giaffir's ear,
But every frown and every word
Pierced keener than a Christian's sword.

“Son of a slave ! -reproach'd with fear!

Those gibes had cost another dear. Son of a slave !-and who my sire ?"

Thus held his thoughts their dark career;

'Tis the clime of the East; 't is the land of the sunCan he smile on such deeds as his children have

done?(1) Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell.

Begirt with many a gallant slave,
Apparell'd as becomes the brave,
Awaiting each his lord's behest
To guide his steps, or guard his rest,
Old Giaffir sale in his divan:

Deep thought was in his aged eye;
And though the face of Mussulman

Not oft betrays to standers by
The mind within, well skill'd to hide
All but unconquerable pride,
His pensive cheek and pondering brow
Did more than he was wont avow.


“Let the chamber be clear’d.”—The train disap

“Now call me the chief of the haram guard.”
With Giaffir is none but his only son,
And the Nubian awaiting the sire's award.

“Haroun-when all the crowd that wait
Are pass'd beyond the outer gate,
(Woe to the head whose eye beheld
My child Zuleika's face unveil'd !)
Hence, lead my daughter from her tower;
Her fate is fix'd this very hour:
Yet not to her repeat my thought;
By me alone be duty taught!"
“Pacha! to hear is to obey."
No more must slave to despot say-
Then to the tower had ta’en his way,
But here young Selim silence brake,

First lowly rendering reverence meel;
And downcast look'd, and gently spake,

Still standing at the Pacha's feet:
For son of Moslem must expire,
Ere dare to sit before his sire!
~ Father! for fear that thou shouldst chide
My sister, or her sable guide,
Know-for the fault, if fault there be,
Was mine, then fall thy frowns on me.
So lovelily the morning shone,

That- let the old and weary sleep-
I could not; and to view alone

The fairest scenes of land and deep,
With none to listen and reply
To thoughts with which my heart beat high

(1) “Souls made of fire, and children of the Sun,
Witb whom revenge is virtue."

Young's Rovenge.

(2) Mejnoun and Leila, the Romeo and Juliet of the East. Sadi, the moral poet of Persia.

(3) Tambour, Turkish drum, which sounds at sunrise, adon, and twilight.


Fair as the first that fell of womankind,

When on that dread yet lovely serpent smiling, Whose image then was stamp'd upon her mind

But once beguiled-and ever more beguiling; Dazzling, as that, oh! too transcendent vision

To sorrow's phantom-peopled slumber given, When heart meets heart again in dreams Elysian,

And paints the lost on earth revived in heaven; Soft, as the memory of buried love; Pure, as the prayer which Childhood wafts above; Was she the daughter of that rude old chief, Who met the maid with tears—but not of grief. Who hath not proved how feebly words essay (2) To fix one spark of Beauty's heavenly ray? Who doth not feel, until his failing sight Faints into dimness with its own delight, His changing cheek, his sinking heart confess The might—the majesty of Loveliness ? Such was Zuleika-such around her shone The nameless charms unmark'd by her alone; The light of love, the purity of grace, The mind, the music (3) breathing from her face, The heart whose softness harmonised the wholeAnd, oh! that eye was in itself a soul!

Her graceful arms in meekness bending

Across her gently-budding breast;
At one kind word those arms extending

To clasp the neck of him who blest

His child caressing and carest,
Zuleika came-and Giaffir felt
His purpose half within him melt:
Not that against her fancied weal
His heart, though stern, could ever feel;
Affection chain’d her to that heart,
Ambition tore the links apart,

“ Zuleika! child of gentleness!

How dear this very day must tell,
When I forget my own distress,

In losing what I love so well,
To bid thee with another dwell:
Another! and a braver man
Was never seen in battlc's van.

And glances even of more than ire

Flash forth, then faintly disappear.
Old Giaffir gazed upon his son

And started; for within his eye
He read how much his wrath had done;
He saw rebellion there begun :

“Come hither, boy-what, no reply?
I mark thee—and I know thee too;
But there be deeds thou darest not do:
But if thy beard had manlier length,
And if thy hand had skill and strength,
I'd joy to see thee break a lance,
Albeit against my own percbance!"
As sneeringly these accents fell,
On Selim's eye he fiercely gazed :

That eye return'd him glance for glance,
And proudly to his sire’s was raised,

Till Giaffir's quail'd and shrunk askance-
And why-he felt, but durst not tell.
“Much I misdoubt this wayward boy
Will one day work me more annoy:
I never loved him from his birth,
And-but his arm is little worth,
And scarcely in the chase could cope
With timid fawn or antelope,
Far less would venture into strife
Where man contends for fame and life-
I would not trust that look or tone:
No-nor the blood so near my own.
That blood-he hath not heard-nomore-
I'll watch him closer than before.
He is an Arab(1) to my sight,
Or Christian crouching in the fight-
But hark! I hear Zuleika's voice;

Like houris' hymn it meets mine ear:
She is the offspring of my choice;

Oh! more than even her mother dear,
With all to hope, and nought to fear-
My Peri! ever welcome here!
Sweet as the desert fountain's wave
To lips just cool'd in time to save-

Such to my longing sight art thou;
Nor can they waft to Mecca's shrine
More thanks for life, than I for thine,

Who blest thy birth, and bless thee now.”


(9) The Turks abhor the Arabs (who return the compliment a After all, this is rather to be felt than described ; still I think there bundred-fold) even more than they hale the Christians.

are some who will understand it, at least they would have done (2) These twelve fine lines were added in the course of printing. had they beheld the countenance whose speaking harmony sug

gested the idea; for this passage is not drawn from imagination (J) This expression taas met with objections. I will not refer but memory, that mirror which Altlicijon dashes to the earth, 'to" Him who hath noi masic ut bis soul,” but merely request the and, looking down upon the fragments, only beholds the relection reader to recollecl, for ten seconds, the features of the woman multiplied !--{"This morning, a very prelly billet from the Staël. wbom be believes lo be the most beautiful; and, if he then does she has been pleased to be pleased with my slight eulogy in the Dos comprehend fully what is feebly expressed in the above line, note annexed to the Bride. This is to be accounted for in several 1 shall be sorry for us both. For an eloquent passage in the latest ways:-firstly, all women like all or any praise ; secondly, this

work of the first female writer of this, perhaps of any, age, on was unexpected, because I have never courted her; and, the analogy (and the immediate comparison excited by that ana- thirdly, as Scrub says, those who have been all their lives regularly logy) between "painting and music," see vol. iji. cap. 10. De l'Al praised, by regular critics, like a little variety, and are glad lemagne. And is not this connection still stronger with the when any one goes out of his way to say a civil thing; and, original than the copy? with the colouring of nature than or art? fourthly, she is a very good-natured creature, which is the best

We Moslem reck not much of blood;

The Kislar only and his Moors
But yet the line of Carasman (1)

Watch well the haram's massy doors.
Unchanged, unchangeable hath stood

First of the bold Timariot bands

Mis head was leant upon his hand,
That won and well can keep their lands.

His eye look'd o'er the dark blue water nough that he who comes to woo

That swiftly glides and gently swells Is kinsman of the Bey Oglou :

Between the winding Dardanelles; His years need scarce a thought employ;

But yet he saw nor sea nor strand, I would not have thee wed a boy.

Nor even his Pacha's turban'd band And thou shalt have a noble dower:

Mix in the game of mimic slaughter, And his and my united power

Careering cleave the folded felt (7) Will laugh to scorn the death-firman,

With sabre-stroke right sharply dealt; Which others tremble but to scan,

Nor mark'd the javelin-darting crowd, And teach the messenger (2) what fate

Nor heard their Ollahs (8) wild and loudThe bearer of such boon may wait.

He thought but of old Giaffir's daughter! And now thou know'st thy father's will;

All that thy sex hath need to know:

No word from Selim's bosom broke; 'T was mine to teach obedience still

One sigh Zuleika's thought bespoke:
The way to love thy lord may show.”

Still gazed he through the lattice-grate,

Pale, mute, and mournfully sedate.

To him Zuleika's eye was turn'd,
In silence bow'd the virgin's head;

But little from his aspect learn’d:
And if her eye was fill'd with tears

Equal her grief, yet not the same;
That stifled feeling dare not shed,

Her heart confess'd a gentler flame:
And changed her cheek from pale to red,

But yet that heart, alarm d or weak,
And red to pale, as through her ears

She knew not why, forbade to speak,
Those winged words like arrows sped,

Yet speak she must-but when essay?
What could such be but maiden fears?

“How strange he thus should turn away! So bright the tear in Beauty's eye,

Not thus we e'er before have met; Love balf regrets to kiss it dry;

Not thus shall be our parting yet.' So sweet the blush of Bashfulness,

Thrice paced she slowly through the room, Even Pity scarce can wish it less !

And watch'd his eye-it still was fix'd : Whate'er it was, the sire forgot;

She snatchd the urn wherein was mix'd Or, if remember'd, mark'd it not;

The Persian Atar-gul's (9) perfume, Thrice clapp'd his hands, and call'd his steed,(3) And sprinkled all its odours o'er Resign’d his gem-adorn'd chibouque, (4)

The pictured roof (10) and marble floor: And mounting featly for the mead,

The drops, that through his glittering vest
With Maugrabee (5) and Mamaluke,

The playful girl's appeal address'd,
His way amid his delis took, (6)

Unheeded o’er his bosom flew,
To witness many an active deed

As if that breast were marble too. With sabre keen, or blunt jerreed.

“What! sullen yet? it must not bereason, after all, and perhaps the only one." B. Diary, Dec. 7, (4) “Chibouque,” the Turkish pipe, of which the amber mouth 1813.

piece, and sometimes the ball which contains the leaf, is adorne (1) Carasman Oglou, or Kara Osman Oglou, is the principal with precious stones, is in possession of the wealthier orders. landholder in Turkey; he governs Magnesia : those who, by a

(5) "Maugrabee,” Moorish mercenaries. kind of feudal tenure, possess land on condition of service, are called Timariots: they serve as Spahis, according to the extent and always begin the action.

(6) “Delis," bravos who form the forloro hope of the cavalr; of territory, and bring a certain number into the field, generally cavalry.

(7) A twisted fold of felt is used for scimitar practice by th" (2) When a pacha is sufficiently strong to resist, the single Turks, and sew bui Mussulman arms can cut through it at a singl messenger, who is always the first bearer of the order for his stroke : sometimes a tough turban is used for the same purpose death, is strangled instead, and somelimes five or six, one after the jerreed is a game of blunt javelios, animated and graceful. the other, on the same errand, by command of the refractory call them, the sound is Ollah; a cry of which the Turks, for

(8) “Ollahs,” Alla il Allah, the "Lelies,” as the Spanish poel patient; il , on the contrary, he is weak or loyal, he bows, kisses silent people, are somewhat profuse

, particularly during thi the sultan's respectable signature, and is bowstrung with great jerreed, or in the chase, but mostly in battle. Their animatio complacency. lo 1810, several of these presents were exhibited in the niche of the Seraglio gate; among others, the head of the in the field, and gravity in the chamber, with their pipes an Pacha of Bagdat, a brave young man, cut off by treachery, after comboloios, form an amusing contrast. a desperate resistance.

(9) “Atar-gul," oltar of roses. The Persian is the finest. (3) Clapping of the hands calls the servants. The Turks hate (10) The ceiling and wainscots, or rother walls, of the Mussul a superfluous expenditure of voice, and they have no bells. man apartments, are generally painted, in great houses, wit


[ocr errors]


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 conceald

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 war-horse 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 tp 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. (3) This morning clouds upon me lower's, 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,'t was 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(4) control : Was he not bred in Egripo ? (5)

O 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 (1) 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 hatest or fearest ?
Come, lay thy head upon my breast,
And I will kiss thee into rest,
Since words of mine, and songs must fail,
Even 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 Žuleika'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 vow,
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, (2) from his deadly quiver

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

Our hearts to undivided dust!”

jone eternal and highly coloured view of Constantinople, wherein a conjecture on the point, though a little inclined to the "erraro the principal feature is a noble contempt of perspective; below, mallem," etc. if Mr. Fox was mistaken. arms, scimitars, etc. are in general fancifully and not inelegantly (9) “ Azrael,” the angel of death. disposed.

(3) The treasures of the pre-adamite Sultans. See D'Herbelot, (1) It has been much doubted whether the notes of this article Istakar. "Lover of the rose” are sad or merry; and Mr. Fox's remarks (4) “Musselim," a governor, the next in rank after a pacha; a w the subject have provoked some learned controversy as to waywode is the third ; and then come the agas. the opinions of the ancients on the subject. I dare not venture (6) "Egripo," the Negropont. According to the proverb, the

« PreviousContinue »