« AnteriorContinuar »
XXIII. • But I, alas ! am both unknown and old,
u So in the populous City, a young maiden And though the woof of wisdom I know well
Has baffled havoc of the
which he To dye in hues of language, I am cold
Marks as his own, whene'er with chains o'erladen In seeming, and the hopes which inly dwell,
Men make them arms to hurl down tyranny, My manners note that I did long repel;
False arbiter between the bound and free;
And o'er the land, in hamlets and in towns
And throng in arms; but tyranny disowns
XXIV. • Perchance blood need not flow, if thou at length « Blood soon, although unwillingly, to shed Wouldst rise, perchance the very
slaves would spare The free cannot forbear-the Queen of Slaves, Their brethren and themselves; great is the strength
'The hood-wink'd Angel of the blind and dead, Of words—for lately did a maiden fair,
Custom, with iron mace points to the graves Who from her childhood has been taught to bear When her own standard desolately waves The tyrant's heaviest yoke, arise, and make
Over the dust of Prophets and of Kings. Her sex the law of truth and freedom hear,
Many yet stand in her array- she paves And with these quiet words—' for thine own sake
Her path with human hearts,' and o'er it flings I prithee spare me;—did with ruth so take
The wildering gloom of her immeasurable wings. XIX.
XXV. • All hearts, that even the torturer who had hound
There is a plain beneath the City's wall, Her meek calm frame, ere it was yet impaled,
Bounded by misty mountains, wide and vast, Loosen'd her weeping then; nor could be found
Millions there lift at Freedom's thrilling call One human hand to harm her-unassail'd
Ten thousand standards wide, they load the blast Therefore she walks through the great City, veild
Which bears one sound of many voices past, In virtue's adamantine eloquence,
And startles on his throne their sceptred foe: 'Gainst scorn, and death and pain thus trebly maild,
lle sits amid his idle pomp aghast, And blending in the smiles of that defence,
And that his power bath past away, doth knowThe Serpent and the Dove, Wisdom and Innocence.
Why pause the victor swords to seal his overthrow ? XX.
XXVI. • The wild-eyed women throng around her path :
« The tyrant's guards resistance yet maintain : From their luxurious dungeons, from the dust
Fearless, and fierce, and hard as beasts of blood; Of meaner thralls, from the oppressor's wrath,
They stand a speck amid the peopled plain; Or the caresses of his sated lust,
Carnage and ruin have been made their food They congregate :-in her they put their trust;
From infancy-ill has become their good, The tyrants send their armed slaves to quell
And for its hateful sake their will has wove Her power ;-they, even like a thunder gust
The chains which eat their hearts-the multitude Caught by some forest, bend beneath the spell
Surrounding them, with words of human love, Of that young maiden's speech, and to their chicfs rebel. Seek from their own decay their stubborn minds to move.
Lovers renew the vows which they did plight
The conquerors pause, and oh! may freemen nc'er
As one out of dim dreams that doth awake,
I. And though their lustre now was spent and faded,
Over the utmost hill at length I sped, Yet in my hollow looks and wither'd mien
A snowy steep :- the moon was hanging low The likeness of a shape for which was braided Over the Asian mountains, and outspread The brightest woof of genius, still was seen
The plain, the City, and the Camp below, One who, methought, had gone
from the world's scene,
Skirted the midnight Ocean's glimmering flow, And left it vacant-'t was her lover's face
The City's moon-lit spires and myriad lamps, It might resemble her-it once had been
Like stars in a sublunar sky did glow, The mirror of her thoughts, and still the grace
And fires blazed far amid the scatter'd camps, Which her mind's shadow cast, left there a lingering Like springs of flame, which burst where'er swift Earthtrace.
quake stamps. XXXI.
II. What then was I? She slumber'd with the dead.
All slept but those in watchful arms who stood, Glory and joy and peace, had come and
And those who sate tending the beacon's light,
gone. Doth the cloud perish, when the beams are fled
And the few sounds from that vast multitude Which steep'd its skirts in gold? or dark and lone,
Made silence more profound-Oh, what a might Doth it not through the paths of night unknown,
Of human thought was cradled in that night! On outsprcad wings of its own wind upborne
How many hearts impenetrably veil'd Pour rain upon the earth? the slars are slown,
Beat underneath its shade, what secret fight When the cold moon sharpens her silver horn
Evil and good, in woven passions mail'd, Under the sea, and make thie wide night not forlorn.
Waged through that silent throng; a war that never
faild! XXXII. Strengthen'd in heart, yet sad, that aged man
And now the Power of Good held victory I left, with interchange of looks and tears,
So, through the labyrinth of many a tent, And lingering speech, and to the Camp began
Among the silent millions who did lie My way. O'er many a mountain chain which rears
In innocent sleep, exultingly I went; Its hundred crests aloft, my spirit bears
The moon bad left fleaven desert now, but lent My frame; o'er many a dale and many a moor,
From eastern morn the first faint lustre show'd And gaily now me seems serene earth wears
An armed youth-over his spear he bent The bloomy spring's slar-brighe investiture,
His downward facem. A friend !, I cried aloud, A vision which ought sad from sadness might allure.
And quickly common hopes made freemen understood.
;-my own Cythna was
That gentlest sleep seem'd from my life to sever, As if the light of youth were not withdrawn for ever.
At last, when daylight 'gan to fill the air,
Why was this hope not torture? yet it made
Tears of repenting joy, which fast intruded,
XIL. Thus, while with rapid lips and earnest eyes
• Join then your hands and hearts, and let the past We talk'd, a sound of sweeping conflict spread, Be as a grave which gives not up its dead As from the earth did suddenly arise;
To evil thoughts- A film then overcast From every tent roused by that clamour dread, My sense with dimness, for the wound, which bled Our bands outsprung and scized their arms-we sped Freshly, swift shadows o'er mine eyes had shed. Towards the sound : our tribes were gathering far, When I awoke, I lay 'mid friends and foes, Those sanguine slaves amid ten thousand dead
And earnest countenances on me shed Stabb’d in their sleep, trampled in treacherous war, The light of questioning looks, whilst one did close The gentle hearts whose power their lives had sought to My wound with balmiest herbs, and soothed me to respare,
XIII. Like rabid snakes, that sting some gentle child And one whose spear had pierced me, Ican'd beside Who brings them food, when winter false and fair With quivering lips and humid eyes ;---and all Allures them forth with its cold smiles, so wild
Seem'd like some brothers on a journey wide They rage among the camp;—They overbear
Gone forth, whom now strange meeting did befall The patriot hosts-confusion, then despair
In a strange land, round one whom they might call Descends like night-when « Laon!. one did cry: Their friend, their chief, their father, for assay Like a bright ghost from Heaven that shont did scare Of peril, which had saved them from the thrall
The slaves, and widening through the vaulted sky, Of death, now suffering. Thus the vast array Seem'd sent from Earth to Heaven in sign of victory. Of those fraternal bands were reconciled that day.
One pointed on his foe the mortal spear-
When they return from carnage, and are sent
Ah, ye are pale, -ye weep, -your passions pause, 'T is well! ye feel the truth of love's benignant laws.
Around your tents truth's freedom to bestow,
Afar, the City walls were throng'd on high,
The sudden clamour of delight had cast,
And as we past through the calm sunny air
And fairest hands bound them on many a head,
And did with soft attraction ever draw
XXIV. And they, and all, in one loud symphony
She stood beside him like a rainbow braided My name which Liberty, commingling, lifted
Within some storm, when scarce its shadows vast • The friend and the preserver of the free !
From the blue paths of the swift sun have faded ; The parent of this joy!, and fair eyes gifted
A sweet and solemn smile, like Cythna's, cast With feelings, caught from one who had uplifted One moment's light, which made my heart beat fast, The light of a great spirit, round me shone;
O'er that child's parted lips-a gleam of bliss, And all the shapes of this grand scenery shifted A shade of vanish'd days, -as the tears past Like restless clouds before the stedfast sun,
Which wrapt it, even as with a father's kiss Where was that Maid? I asked, but it was known of I press'd those softest eyes in trembling tenderness.
To judge what need for that great throng might be,
The desolator now, and unaware
XXVI. Yet need was none for rest or food to care,
I led him forth from that which now might seem Even though that multitude was passing great, A gorgeous grave: through portals sculptured deep Since each one for the other did prepare
With imagery beautiful as dream All kindly succour— Therefore to the gate
We went, and left the shades which tend on sleep Of the Imperial House, now desolate,
Over its unregarded gold to keep I past, and there was found aghast, alone,
Their silent watch.-The child trod faintingly, The fallen Tyrant!-silently he sate
And as she went, the tears which she did weep Upon the footstool of his golden throne,
Glanced in the star-light; wilder'd seemed she, Which starred with sunny gems, in its own lustre shone. And when I spake, for sobs she could not answer me.
XXVII. Alone, but for one child, who led before him
At last the tyrant cried, "She hungers, slave, A graceful dance: the only living thing
Stab her, or give her bread!:-It was a tone Of all the crowd, which thither to adore him
Such as sick fancies in a new-made grave Flock'd yesterday, who solace sought to bring
Might hear. I trembled, for the truth was known, In his abandonment!-she knew the King
He with this child had thus been left alone, llad praised her dance of yore, and now she wove And neither had gone forth for food,—but he Its circles, aye weeping and murmuring
Jo mingled pride and awe cower'd near his throne, 'Mid her sad task of upregarded love,
And she, a pursling of captivity, That to no smiles it might his speechless sadness move. Knew nought beyond those walls, vor what such change
might be. XXII.
XXVIII. She fled to him, and wildly clasp'd his feet
And he was troubled at a charm withdrawn When human steps were heard :-he moved nor Thus suddenly; that sceptres ruled no morespoke,
That even from gold the dreadful strength was gone, Nor changed his hue, nor raised his looks to meet Which once made all things subject to its powerThe gaze of strangers-our loud entrance woke Such wonder seized him, as if hour by hour The echoes of the hall, which circling broke
The past had come again; and the swift fall The calm of its recesses,-like a tomb
Of one so great and terrible of yore, Its sculptured walls vacantly to the stroke
To desolateness, in the hearts of all Of footfalls answered, and the twilight's gloom, Like wonder stirr’d, who saw such awful change befal. Lay like a charnel's mist within the radiant dome. xxЙІІ. .
XXIX. The little child stood up when we came nigh ;
A mighty crowd, such as the wide land pours Her lips and cheeks seemed very pale and wan, Once in a thousand years, now gather'd round But on her forehead, and within her eye
The fallen tyrant;-like the rusli of showers Lay beauty, which makes hearts that feed thereon Of hail in spring, pattering along the ground, Sick with excess of sweetness; on the throne
Their many footsteps fell, else came no sound She lean'd ;-the King with gather'd brow, and lips From the wide multitude: that lonely man Wreath'd by long scorn, did inly sneer and frown Then knew the burthen of his change, and found,
With hue like that when some great painter dips Concealing in the dust his visage wan, His pencil in the gloom of earthquake and eclipse. Refuge from the keen looks which thro' his bosom ran.
XXXVI. And he was faint withal : I sate beside him
Then to a home for his repose assignd,
Accompanied by the still throng he went
And if his heart could have been innocent
As those who pardon'd him, he might have ended And wept the while;- the lonely man's despair His days in peace; but his straight lips were bent, Hunger then overcame, and of his state
Men said, into a smile which guile portended, Forgetful, on the dust as in a trance he sate.
A sight with which that child like hope with fear was
XXXVII. Slowly the silence of the multitudes
'T was midnight now, the eve of that great day Past, as when far is heard in some lone dell
Whereon the many nations at whose call The gathering of a wind among the woods
The chains of earth like mist melted away, And he is fallen! they cry, he who did dwell
Decreed to hold a sacred Festival, Like famine or the plague, or aught more fell
A rite to attest the equality of all Among our homes, is fallen! the murderer
Who live. So to their homes, to dream or wake Who slaked his thirsting soul as from a well
Aļl went. The sleepless silence did recal Of blood and tears with ruin! he is here!
Laone to my thoughts, with hopes that make Sunk in a gulf of scorn from which none may him rear! The flood recede from which their thirst they seek to
XXXVIII. Then was heard-Ile who judged let him be brought The dawn flow'd forth, and from its purple fountains To judgment! blood for blood cries from the soil I drank those hopes which make the spirit quail ; On which his crimes have deep pollution wrought! As to the plain between the misty mountains Shall Othman only unavenged despoil?
And the great City, with a countenance pale Shall they who by the stress of grinding toil
I went :-it was a sight which might avail Wrest froin the unwilling earth his luxuries,
To make men weep exulting tears, for whom Perish for crime, while his foul blood may boil, Now first from human power the reverend veil Or creep within his veins at will!- Arise!
Was toro, to see Earth from her general womb And to high justice make her chosen sacrifice.
Pour forth her swarming sons to a fraternal doom : XXXI.
XXXIX. • What do ye seek? what fear yel, then I cried, To see, far glancing in the misty morning, Suddenly starting forth, - that ye should shed
The signs of that innumerable host, The blood of Othman-if your hearts are tried To hear one sound of many made, the warning In the true love of freedom, cease to dread
Of Earth to Heaven from its free children tost,
Jn wavering light, and, starring the blue sky
With human joy made mute society,
Of virtue sees that justice is the light
The light of genius; its still shadow hid
To hear the restless multitudes forever
Like beams through floating clouds on waves below Of him whom late they cursed, a solace sweet
Falling in pauses, from that Altar dim His very victims brought-soft looks and speeches meet. As silver sounding tongues breathed an aërial hymn.