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“I come from my rest, to him I love best,
That I may be happy, and he may be blest.
I have pass'd the guards, the gate, the wall;
Sought thee in safety through foes and all.
'T is said the lion will turn and flee
From a maid in the pride of her purity;
And the Power on high that can shield the good
Thus from the tyrant of the wood,
Hath extended its mercy to guard me as well
From the hands of the leaguering infidel.
I come—and if I come in vain,
Never, oh never, we meet again!
Thou hast done a fearful deed
In falling away from thy fathers' creed :
But dash that turban to earth, and sign
The sign of the cross, and for ever be mine ;
Wring the black drop from thy heart,
And to-morrow unites us no more to part."
“ And where should our bridal couch be spread ?
In the midst of the dying and the dead?
For to-morrow we give to the slaughter and flame
The sons and the shrines of the Christian name:
None save thou and thine, I've sworn,
Shall be left upon the morn:
But thee will I bear to a lovely spot,
Where our hands shall be join'd, and our sorrow forgot.
There thou yet shalt be my
When once again I 've quell’d the pride
Of Venice; and her hated race
Have felt the arm they would debase
Scourge, with a whip of scorpions, those
Whom vice and
Upon his hand she laid her own-
Light was the touch, but it thrill’d to the bone,
And shot a chillness to his heart,
Which fix’d him beyond the power to start.
Though slight was that grasp so mortal cold,
He could not loose him from its hold;
But never did clasp of one so dear
Strike on the pulse with such feeling of fear,
As those thin fingers, long and white,
Froze through his blood by their touch that night.
The feverish glow of his brow was gone,
And his heart sank so still that it felt like stone,
As he look'd on the face, and beheld its hue
So deeply changed from what he knew :
Fair but faint—without the ray
Of mind that made each feature play
Like sparkling waves on a sunny day;
And her motionless lips lay still as death,
And her words came forth without her breath,
And there rose not a heave o'er her bosom's swell,
And there seem'd not a pulse in her veins to dwell.
Though her eye shone out, yet the lids were fix'd,
And the glance that it gave was wild and unmix'd
With aught of change, as the eyes may seem
Of the restless who walk in a troubled dream;
Like the figures on arras, that gloomily glare,
Stirr'd by the breath of the wintry air,
So seen by the dying lamp's fitful light,
Lifeless, but lifelike, and awful to sight;
As they seem, through the dimness, about to come down
From the shadowy wall where their images frown;
Fearfully flitting to and fro,
As the gusts on the tapestry come and go.
6. If not for love of me be given
Thus much, then, for the love of Heaven,-
Again I say,—that turban tear
From off thy faithless brow, and swear
Thine injured country's sons to spare,
Or thou art lost; and never shalt see,
Not earth—that 's past-but heaven or me.
If this thou dost accord, albeit
A heavy doom 't is thine to meet,
That doom shall half absolve thy sin,
And Mercy's gate may receive thee within :
But pause one moment more, and take
The curse of him thou didst forsake;
And look once more to heaven, and see
Its love for ever shut from thee.
There is a light cloud by the moon
'T is passing, and will pass full soon-
If, by the time its vapoury
Hath ceased her shaded orb to veil,
Thy heart within thee is not changed,
Then God and man are both avenged;
Dark will thy doom be, darker still
Thine immortality of ill."
Alp look'd to heaven, and saw on high
The sign she spake of in the sky;
But his heart was swollen, and turn'd aside,
By deep interminable pride;
This first false passion of his breast
Roll'd like a torrent o'er the rest.
He sue for mercy! He dismay'd
By wild words of a timid maid !
He, wrong'd by Venice, vow to save
Her sons, devoted to the grave!
No—though that cloud were thunder's worst,
And charged to crush him—let it burst!
He look'd upon it earnestly,
Without an accent of reply;
He watch'd it passing; it is flown :
Full on his
the clear moon shone,
And thus he spake—Whate'er my
I am no changeling—'t is too late :
The reed in storms
bow and quiver,
Then rise again—the tree must shiver.
What Venice made me, I must be,
Her foe in all, save love to thee:
But thou art safe : oh, fly with me!-
He turn'd, but she is gone!
Nothing is there but the column stone.
Hath she sunk in the earth, or melted in air?
He saw not, he knew not; but nothing is there,
The night is past, and shines the sun
As if that morn were a jocund one.
Lightly and brightly breaks away
The morning from her mantle
And the noon will look on a sultry day.
Hark to the trumpet, and the drum, And the mournful sound of the barbarous horn, And the flap of the banners, that flit as they ’re borne, And the neigh of the steed, and the multitude's hum, And the clash, and the shout, “ They come, they come !" The horsetails8 are pluck'd from the ground, and the sword From its sheath ; and they form, and but wait for the word, Tartar, and Spahi, and Turcoman, Strike your tents, and throng to the van ; Mount ye, spur ye, skirr the plain, That the fugitive may flee in vain, When he breaks from the town, and none escape, Aged or young, in the Christian shape ; While your
fellows on foot, in a fiery mass, Bloodstain the breach through which they pass.
The steeds are all bridled, and snort to the rein;
Curved is each neck, and flowing each mane ;
White is the foam of their champ on the bit:
The spears are uplifted; the matches are lit;
The cannon are pointed and ready to roar,
And crush the wall they have crumbled before ;
Forms in his phalanx each janizar ;
Alp at their head ; his right arm is báre,
So is the blade of bis scimitar;
The khan and the pachas are all at their post ;
The vizier himself at the head of the host.
When the culverin's signal is fired, then on;
Leave not in Corinth a living one-
A priest at her altars, a chief in her halls,
A hearth in her mansions, a stone on her walls.
God and the prophet-Alla Hu!
Up to the skies with that wild halloo !
“There the breach lies for passage, the ladder to scale;
And your hands on your sabres, and how should
fail? He who first downs with the red cross, may crave His heart's dearest wish; let him ask it, and have !" Thus utter'd Coumourgi, the dauntless vizier ; The reply was the brandish of sabre and spear, And the shout of fierce thousands in joyous ire :Silence—hark to the signal—fire!
As the wolves, that headlong go
On the stately buffalo,
Though with fiery eyes, and angry roar,
And hoofs that stamp, and horns that gore,
He tramples on earth, or tosses on high
The foremost, who rush on his strength but to die;
Thus against the wall they went,
Thus the first were backward bent,
Many a bosom, sheath'd in brass,
Strew'd the earth like broken glass,
Shiver'd by the shot, that tore
The ground whereon they moved no more :
E'en as they fell, in files they lay,
Like the mower's grass at the close of day,
When his work is done on the levell’d plain;
Such was the fall of the foremost slain.
As the spring-tides, with heavy plash,
From the cliffs invading dash
Huge fragments, sapp'd by the ceaseless flow,
Till white and thundering down they go.
Like the avalanche's snow
On the Alpine vales below;
Thus at length, outbreathed and worn,
Corinth's sons were downward borne
By the long and oft-renewed
Charge of the Moslem multitude.
In firmness they stood, and in masses they fell,
Heap'd by the host of the infidel,
Hand to hand, and foot to foot :
Nothing there, save death, was mute ;
Stroke, and thrust, and flash, and
For quarter, or for victory,
Mingle there with the volleying thunder,
Which makes the distant cities wonder
How the sounding battle goes,
If with them, or for their foes;
If they must mourn, or may rejoice
In that annihilating voice,
Which pierces the deep hills through and through
With an echo dread and new :
You might have heard it, on that day,
O’er Salamis and Megara
(We have heard the hearers say),
Even unto Piræus bay.
From the point of encountering blades to the hilt,
Sabres and swords with blood were gilt.
But the rampart is won, and the spoil begun,
And all but the after-carnage done.
Shriller shrieks now mingling come
From within the plunder'd dome :
Hark to the haste of flying feet,
That splash in the blood of the slippery street ;
But here and there, where 'vantage ground
Against the foe may still be found,
Desperate groups, of twelve or ten,
Make a pause, and turn again
With banded backs against the wall,
Fiercely stand, or fighting fall.
There stood an old man-his hairs were white,
But his veteran arm was full of might:
So gallantly bore he the brunt of the fray,
The dead before him on that day
In a semicircle lay;