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Made manifest by awful sign.
If ever evil angel bore
The form of mortal, such he wore :
By all my hope of sins forgiven,
Such looks are not of earth nor heaven!”
To love the softest hearts are prone,
But such can ne'er be all his own ;
Too timid in his woes to share,
Too meek to meet, or brave despair ;
And sterner hearts alone may
The wound that time can never heal.
The rugged metal of the mine
Must burn before its surface shine,
But plunged within the furnace-flame,
It bends and melts—though still the same ;
Then temper'd to thy want, or will,
'T will serve thee to defend or kill;
A breast-plate for thine hour of need,
Or blade to bid thy foeman bleed;
But if a dagger's form it bear,
Let those who shape its edge beware!
Thus passion's fire, and woman's art,
Can turn and tame the sterner heart;
From these its form and tone are ta’en,
And what they make it, must remain,
But break-before it bend again.
If solitude succeed to grief,
Release from pain is slight relief ;
The vacant bosom's wilderness
Might thank the pang that made it less.
We loathe what none are left to share :
Even bliss—-'t were woe alone to bear ;
The heart once lest thus desolate
Must fly at last for ease-to hate.
It is as if the dead could feel
The icy worm around them steal,
And shudder, as the reptiles creep
To revel o'er their rotting sleep,
Without the power to scare away
The cold consumers of their clay!
It is as if the desert-bird, 39
Whose beak unlocks her bosom's stream
To still her famish'd nestlings' scream, Nor mourns a life to them transferr’d,
Should rend her rash devoted breast,
And find them flown her empty nest.
The keenest pangs the wretched find
Are rapture to the dreary void,
The leafless desert of the mind,
The waste of feelings unemploy’d.
Who would be doom'd to gaze upon
A sky without a cloud or sun?
Less hideous far the tempest's roar
Than ne'er to braye the billows more-
Thrown, when the war of winds is o’er,
A lonely wreck on fortune's shore,
'Mid sullen calm, and silent bay,
Unseen to droop by dull decay :-
Better to sink beneath the shock
Than moulder piecemeal on the rock!
“Father! thy days have pass'd in peace,
'Mid counted beads, and countless prayer ; To bid the sins of others cease,
Thyself without a crime or care, Save transient ills that all must bear, Has been thy lot from youth to age ; And thou wilt bless thee from the rage Of passions fierce and uncontroll’d, Such as thy penitents unfold, Whose secret sins and sorrows rest Within thy pure and pitying breast. My days, though few, have pass'd below In much of joy, but more of woe; Yet still, in hours of love or strife, I've 'scaped the weariness of life : Now leagued with friends, now girt by foes, I loathed the languor of repose. Now nothing left to love or hate, No more with hope or pride elate, I'd rather be the thing that crawls Most noxious o'er a dungeon's walls, Than pass my dull, unvarying days, Condemn'd to meditate and
gaze. Yet, lurks a wish within
breast For rest-but not to feel 't is rest. Soon shall my fate that wish fulfil ;
And I shall sleep without the dream Of what I was, and would be still, Dark as to thee deeds
may seem : My memory now is but the tomố Of joys long dead; my hope, their doom :
Though better to have died with those,
Than bear a life of lingering woes.
My spirit shrunk not to sustain
The searching throes of ceaseless pain ;
Nor sought the self-accorded grave
Of ancient fool and modern knaye :
Yet death I have not fear'd to meet;
And in the field it had been sweet,
Had danger woo'd me on to move
The slave of glory, not of love.
I've braved it—not for honour's boast;
I smile at laurels won or lost;
To such let others carve their way,
For high renown, or hireling pay:
But place again before my eyes
Aught that I deem a worthy prize;
The maid I love, the man I hate,
And I will hunt the steps of fate
To save or slay, as these require,
Through rending steel, and rolling fire:
Nor need’st thou doubt this speech from one
Who would but do-what he hath done.
Death is but what the haughty brave,
The weak must bear, the wretch must crave;
Then let life go to him who gave :
I have not quail'd to danger's brow
When high and happy-need I now ?
6. I loved her,
But these are words that all can use
I proved it more in deed than word;
There 's blood upon that dinted sword,
A stain its steel can never lose:
'T was shed for her, who died for me,
It warm'd the heart of one abhorr’d.
Nay, start not—no—nor bend thy knee,
Nor midst my sins such act record :
Thou wilt absolve me from the deed,
For he was hostile to thy creed !
The very name of Nazarene
Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen.
Ungrateful fool! since but for brands
Well wielded in some hardy hands,
And wounds by Galileans given,
The surest pass to Turkish heaven,
For him his Houris still might wait
Impatient at the prophet's gate.
I loved her-love will find its way
Through paths where wolves would fear to prey,
And if it dares enough, 't were hard
If passion met not some reward-
No matter how, or where, or why,
I did not vainly seek, nor sigh :
Yet sometimes, with remorse, in vain
I wish she had not loved again.
She died-1 dare not tell thee how;
But look—'t is written on my brow!
There read of Cain the curse and crime
In characters unworn by time:
Still, ere thou dost condemn me, pause ;
Not mine the act, though I the cause.
Yet did he but what I had done,
Had she been false to more than one.
Faithless to him, he gave the blow;
But true to me, I laid him low :
Howe'er deserved her doom might be,
Her treachery was truth to me;
To me she gave her heart, that all
Which tyranny can ne'er enthrall ;
And I, alas! too late to save !
Yet all I then could give, I gave-
’T was some relief-our foe a grave.
His death sits lightly; but her fate
Has made me—what thou well mayst hate.
His doom was seal dhe knew it well,
Warn'd by the voice of stern Taheer,
Deep in whose darkly-boding ear
The death-shot peal'd of murder near,
As filed the troop to where they fell!
He died too in the battle broil,
A time that heeds nor pain nor toil;
One cry to Mahomet for aid,
One prayer to Alla all he 'made :
He knew and cross'd me in the fray-
I gazed upon him where he lay,
And watch'd his spirit ebb
Though pierced like pard by hunters' steel,
He felt not half that now I feel.
I search’d, but vainly search'd, to find
The workings of a wounded mind;
Each feature of that sullen corse
but no remorse.
Oh, what had vengeance given to trace
Despair upon his dying face !
The late repentance of that hour,
When penitence hath lost her power
66 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. 'T is true, I could not whine nor sigh, I knew but to obtain or die. I die—but first I have possessid, 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 waveAh! 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!
Yes, love indeed is light from heaven;
A spark of that immortal fire
With angels shared, by Alla given,
To lift from earth our low desire.
Devotion wafts the mind above,
But heaven itself descends in love ;
A feeling from the Godhead caught,
To wean from self each sordid thought.;
of him who form'd the whole;
A glory circling round the soul !
I grant my love imperfect, all
That mortals by the name miscall: