Зображення сторінки

.To grace that galaxy of lips and eyes
Which the Veiled Prophet destined for the skies;
And such quick welcome as a spark receives
Dropped on a bed of Autumn's withered leaves,
Did every tale of these enthusiasts find
In the wild maiden's sorrow-blighted mind.
All fire at once the maddening zeal she caught;
Elect of Paradise ! blest, rapturous thought!
Predestined bride, in heaven's eternal dome,
Of some brave youth — ha! durst they say “of some?"
No --of the one, one only object traced
In her heart's core too deep to be effaced ;
The one whose memory, fresh as life, is twined
With every broken link of her lost mind;
Whose image lives, though Reason's self be wrecked,
Safe 'mid the ruins of her intellect !

Alas, poor ZELICA! it needed all The fantasy, which held thy mind in thrall, To see in that gay Haram's glowing maids A sainted colony for Eden's shades; Or dream that he,- of whose unholy flame Thou wert too soon the victim, - shining came From Paradise, to people its pure sphere With souls like thine, which he hath ruined here ! No— had not reason's light totally set, And left thee dark, thou hadst an amulet In the loved image, graven on thy heart, Which would have saved thee from the tempter's art, And kept alive, in all its bloom of breath, That purity, whose fading is love's death! — But lost, inflamed, - a restless zeal took place Of the mild virgin's still and feminine grace;

First of the Prophet's favorites, proudly first
In zeal and charms, – too well the’ Impostor nursed
Her soul's delirium, in whose active flame,
Thus lighting up a young, luxuriant frame,
He saw more potent sorceries to bind
To his dark yoke the spirits of mankind,
More subtle chains than hell itself e'er twined.
No art was spared, no witchery; — all the skill
His demons taught him was employed to fill
Her mind with gloom and ecstasy by turns —
That gloom, through which Frenzy but fiercer burns;
That ecstasy, which from the depth of sadness
Glares like the maniac's moon, whose light is madness!

'Twas from a brilliant banquet, where the sound Of poesy and music breathed around, Together picturing to her mind and ear The glories of that heaven, her destined sphere, Where all was pure, where every stain that lay Upon the spirit's light should pass away, And, realizing more than youthful love E’er wished or dreamed, she should forever rove Through fields of fragrance by her Azim's side, His own blessed, purified, eternal bride! 'Twas from a scene, a witching trance like this, He hurried her away, yet breathing bliss, To the dim charnel-house; — through all its steams Of damp and death, led only by those gleams Which foul Corruption lights, as with design To show the gay and proud she too can shine — And, passing on through upright ranks of Dead, Which to the maiden, doubly crazed by dread,

Seemed, through the bluish death-light round them

cast, To move their lips in mutterings as she passed There, in that awful place, when each had quaffed And pledged in silence such a fearful draught, Such-O! the look and taste of that red bowl Will haunt her till she dies — he bound her soul By a dark oath, in hell's own language framed, Never, while earth his mystic presence claimed, While the blue arch of day hung o'er them both, Never, by that all-imprecating oath, In joy or sorrow from his side to sever. — She swore, and the wide charnel echoed, “Never,


From that dread hour, entirely, wildly given To him and — she believed, lost maid !- to heaven; Her brain, her heart, her passions all inflamed, How proud she stood, when in full Haram named The Priestess of the Faith!- how flashed her eyes With light, alas ! that was not of the skies, When round, in trances, only less than hers, She saw the Haram kneel, her prostrate worshippers. Well might MOKANNA think that form alone Had spells enough to make the world his own:Light, lovely limbs, to which the spirit's play Gave motion, airy as the dancing spray, When from its stem the small bird wings away; Lips in whose rosy labyrinth, when she smiled, The soul was lost; and blushes, swift and wild As are the momentary meteors sent Across the uncalm, but beauteous firmament.

And then her look — O! where's the heart so wise
Could unbewildered meet those matchless eyes ?
Quick, restless, strange, but exquisite withal,
Like those of angels, just before their fall;
Now shadowed with the shames of earth — now crossed
By glimpses of the heaven her heart had lost;
In every glance there broke, without control,
The flashes of a bright but troubled soul,
Where sensibility still wildly played,
Like lightning, round the ruins it had made !

And such was now young ZELICA — so changed From her who, some years since, delighted ranged The almond groves that shade BoKHARA's tide, All life and bliss, with Azim by her side ! So altered was she now, this festal day, When, 'mid the proud Divan's dazzling array, The vision of that Youth whom she had loved, Had wept as dead, before her breathed and moved ; — When — bright, she thought, as if from Eden's track But half-way trodden, he had wandered back Again to earth, glistening with Eden's light — Her beauteous Azim shone before her sight.

O Reason! who shall say what spells renew, When least we look for it, thy broken clew ! Through what small vistas o'er the darkened brain Thy intellectual day-beam bursts again; And how, like forts, to which beleaguerers win Unhoped-for entrance through some friend within, One clear idea, wakened in the breast By memory's magic, lets in all the rest.

Would it were thus, unhappy girl, with thee!
But though light came, it came but partially;
Enough to show the maze, in which thy sense
Wandered about, — but not to guide it thence ;
Enough to glimmer o’er the yawning wave,
But not to point the harbor which might save.
Hours of delight and peace, long left behind,
With that dear form came rushing o'er her mind ;
But 0! to think how deep her soul had gone
In shame and falsehood since those moments shone;
And, then, her oath - there madness lay again,
And, shuddering, back she sunk into her chain
Of mental darkness, as if blessed to flee
From light, whose every glimpse was agony!
Yet, one relief this glance of former years
Brought, mingled with its pain, — tears, floods of

Long frozen at her heart, but now like rills
Let loose in spring-time from the snowy hills,
And gushing warm, after a sleep of frost,
Through valleys where their flow had long been lost.

Sad and subdued, for the first time her frame Trembled with horror, when the summons came (A summons proud and rare, which all but she, And she, till now, had heard with ecstasy) To meet MOKANNA at his place of prayer, A garden oratory, cool and fair, By the stream's side, where still at close of day The Prophet of the Veil retired to pray; Sometimes alone — but, oftener far, with one, One chosen nymph to share his orison.

« НазадПродовжити »