« PreviousContinue »
Where thousand thoughts begin to end in one,
Which seeks from all the refuge found in none;
No words suffice the secret soul to show,
For Truth denies all eloquence to Woe.
On Conrad's stricken soul exhaustion prest,
And stupor almost lulled it into rest;
So feeble now-his mother's softness crept
To those wild eyes, which like an infant's wept :
It was the very weakness of his brain,
Which thus confessed without relieving pain.
None saw his trickling tears-perchance, if seen,
That useless flood of grief had never been:
Nor long they flowed-he dried them to depart,
In helpless-hopeless-brokenness of heart:
The sun goes forth-but Conrad's day is dim;
And the night cometh---ne'er to pass from him.
There is no darkness like the cloud of mind,
On Grief's vain eye--the blindest of the blind!
Which may not-dare not see-but turns aside
To blackest shade-nor will endure a guide!
His heart was formed for softness warped to wrong;
Betrayed too early, and beguiled too long;
Each feeling pure-as falls the dropping dew
Within the grot; like that had hardened too;
Less clear, perchance, its earthly trials passed,
But sunk, and chilled, and petrified at last.
Yet tempests wear, and lightning cleaves the rock;
If such his heart, so shattered it the shock.
There grew one flower beneath its rugged brow,
Though dark the shade-it sheltered-save till now.
'The thunder came-that bolt hath blasted both,
The granite's firmness, and the lily's growth:
The gentle plant hath left no leaf to tell
Its tale, but shrunk and withered where it fell,
And of its cold protector, blacken round
But shivered fragments on the barren ground!
'Tis morn-to venture on his lonely hour
Few dare; though now Anselmo sought his tower
He was not there-nor seen along the shore;
Ere night, alarmed, their isle is traversed o'er:
Another morn-another bids them seek,
And shout his name till echo waxeth weak;
Mount-grotto-cavern-valley searched in vain,
They find on shore a sea-boat's broken chain:
Their hope revives-they follow o'er the main.
"Tis idle all-moons roll on moons away,
And Conrad comes not-came not since that day:
Nor trace, nor tidings of his doom declare
Where lives his grief, or perished his despair!
Long mourn'd his band whom none could mourn beside;
And fair the monument they gave his bride:
For him they raise not the recording stone-
His death yet dubious, deeds too widely known;
He left a Corsair's name to other times,
Linked with one virtue, and a thousand crimes.
Of life within, like music flowing,
Had caught the light upon her wings
Through the half-open portal glowing,
She wept to think her recreant race
Should e'er have lost that glorious place!
"How happy," exclaim'd this child of air,
"Are the holy spirits who wander there,
"Mid flowers that never shall fade or fall: Though mine are the gardens of earth and sea, "And the stars themselves have flowers for me, "One blossom of Heaven out-blooms them all!
PARADISE AND THE PERI
ONE morn a Peri at the gate
Of Eden stood, disconsolate;
And as she listen'd to the Springs
Though sunny the lake of cool CASHMERE, "With its plane-tree Isle reflected clear,
"And sweetly the founts of that Valley fall; Though bright are the waters of SING-SU-HAY, "And the golden floods, that thitherward stray, "Yet-oh 'tis only the blest can say
"How the waters of Heaven outshine them all!
"Go wing thy flight from star to star,
"From world to luminous world, as far
"As the universe spreads its flaming wall;
"Take all the pleasures of all the spheres,
"And multiply each through endless years,
"One minute of Heaven is worth them all!**
The glorious Angel, who was keeping
The gates of Light, beheld her weeping;
And, as he nearer drew and listen'd'
To her sad song, a tear-drop glisten'd
Within his eyelids, like the spray
From Eden's fountain, when it lies On the blue flow'r, which-Bramins say- · Blooms no where but in Paradise! "Nymph of a fair, but erring line!" Gently he said-"One hope is thine. ""Tis written in the book of Fate,
"The Peri yet may be forgiven "Who brings to this Eternal Gate "The Gift that is most dear to heaven! "Go, seek it, and redeem thy sin;""Tis sweet to let the Pardon'd in!"
Now, upon SYRIA's land of roses
Softly the light of Eve reposes,
And, like a glory, the broad sun
Hangs over sainted LEBANON ;
Whose head in wintry grandeur towers,
And whitens with eternal sleet,
While summer, in a vale of flowers,
Is sleeping rosy at his feet.
To one, who look'd from upper air
O'er all th' enchanted regions there,
How beauteous must have been the glow,
The life, the sparkling from below!
Fair gardens, shining streams, with ranks
Of golden melons on their banks,
More golden where the sun-light falls;-
Gay lizards glittering on the walls
Of ruin'd shrines, busy and bright
As they were all alive with light,-
And yet more splendid, numerous flocks
Of pigeons, settling on the rocks,
With their rich restless wings, that gleam
Variously in the crimson beam
Of the warm west,-as if inlaid
With brilliants from the mine, or made
Of tearless rainbows, such as span
Th' unclouded skies of PERISTAN?
And then, the mingling sounds that come,
Of shepherd's ancient reed, with hum
Of the wild bees of PALESTINE,
Banqueting through the flowery vales ;-
And, JORDAN, those sweet banks of thine,
And woods, so full of nightingales!
But nought can charm the luckless PERI:
Her soul is sad-her wings are weary-
Joyless she sees the sun look down
On that great Temple, once his own,
Whose lonely columns stand sublime,
Flinging their shadows from on high,
Like dials, which the wizard, Time,
Had rais'd to count his ages by!
Yet haply there may lie conceal'd
Beneath those Chambers of the Sun;
Some amulet of gems anneal'd
In upper fires, some tablet seal'd
With the great name of SOLOMON,
Which, spell'd by her illumin'd
May teach her where, beneath the moon,
In earth or ocean lies the boon,
The charm that can restore so soon,
An erring Spirit to the skies!
Cheer'd by this hope she bends her thither ;-
Still laughs the radiant eye of Heaven,
Nor have the golden howers of Even
In the rich West begun to wither-
When, o'er the vale of BALBEC winging,
Slowly, she sees a child at play,
Among the rosy wild-flowers singing,
As rosy and as wild as they;
Chasing with eager hands and eyes,
The beautiful blue damsel flies,
That flutter'd round the jasmine stems,
Like winged flowers or flying gems;-
And, near the boy, who, tir'd with play
Now nestling 'mid the roses lay,
She saw a wearied man dismount
From his hot steed, and on the brink Of a small Imaret's rustic fount
Impatient fling him down to drink. Then swift his haggard brow he turn'd
To the fair child, who fearless sat,
Though never yet hath day-beam burn'd
Upon a brow more fierce than that,-
Sullenly fierce-a mixture dire,
Like thunder-clouds, of gloom and fire!
In which the PERI's eye could read
Dark tales of many a ruthless deed;
The ruin'd maid-the shrine profan'd--
Oaths broken-and the threshold stain'd
With blood of guests!-there written, all,
Black as the damning drops that fall
From the denouncing Angel's pen,
Ere Mercy weeps them out again!
Yet tranquil now that man of crime,
As if the balmy evening time
Soften'd his spirit, look'd and lay,
Watching the rosy infant's play :-
Though still, whene'er his eye by chance
Fell on the boy's, its lurid glance
Met that unclouded, joyous gaze,
As torches, that have burnt all night
Through some impure and godless rite,
Encounter morning's glorious rays.
But hark! the vesper call to prayer,
As slow the orb of day-light sets,
Is rising sweetly on the air,
From SYRIA's thousand minarets!
The boy has started from the bed
Of flowers, where he had laid his head,
And down upon a fragrant sod
Kneels with his forehead to the south,
Lisping th' eternal name of God
From purity's own cherub mouth,
And looking, while his hands and eyes
Are lifted to the glowing skies,
Like a stray babe of Paradise,
Just lighted on that flowery plain,
And seeking for its home again!
Oh 'twas a sight-that Heav'n-that Child-
A scene, which might have well beguil'd
Ev'n haughty EBLIS of a sigh
For glories lost and peace gone by!
And how felt he, the wretched Man, Reclining there-while memory ran O'er many a year of guilt and strife, Flew o'er the dark flood of his life, Nor found one sunny resting-place, Nor brought him back one branch of grace! "There was a time," he said in mild, Heart-humbled tones-" thou blessed child ; "When young and haply pure as thou, "I look'd and pray'd like thee—but nowHe hung his head-each nobler aim
And hope and feeling, which had slept From boyhood's hour, that instant came
Fresh o'er him and he wept! he wept!
Blest tears of soul-felt penitence!
In whose benign, redeeming flow