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So like that voice, among the sinful dead,
“Ha, my fair Priestess!” — thus, with ready wile, The' Impostor turned to greet her.—“thou, whose smile “Hath inspiration in its rosy beam “Beyond the Enthusiast's hope or Prophet's dream; “Light of the Faith! who twin'st religion's zeal “So close with love's, men know not which they feel, “Nor which to sigh for, in their trance of heart, " The heaven thou preachest or the heaven thou art ! " What should I be without thee? without thee “How dull were power, how joyless victory! “ Though borne by angels, if that smile of thine “Blessed not my banner, 'twere but half divine. “But — why so mournful, child ? those eyes, that
shone “All life last night — what !- is their glory gone? “ Come, come — this morn's fatigue hath made them
pale, “ They want rekindling - suns themselves would fail “Did not their comets bring, as I to thee, “From light's own fount supplies of brilliancy. * “Thou seest this cup- no juice of earth is here, “But the pure waters of that upper sphere, “Whose rills o'er ruby beds and topaz flow, “Catching the gem's bright color, as they go. “Nightly my Genii come and fill these urns — “Nay, drink - in every drop life's essence burns ; " "Twill make that soul all fire, those eyes all light — “Come, come, I want thy loveliest smiles to-night: " There is a youth — why start ? -thou saw'st him
then; “Looked he not nobly? such the godlike men " Thou'lt have to woo thee in the bowers above ;“Though he, I fear, hath thoughts too stern for love, "Too ruled by that cold enemy of bliss " The world calls virtue — we must conquer this; “Nay, shrink not, pretty sage! 'tis not for thee " To scan the mazes of heaven's mystery : “The steel must pass through fire, ere it can yield “Fit instruments for mighty hands to wield. “This very night I mean to try the art “Of powerful beauty on that warrior's heart. “All that my Haram boasts of bloom and wit, "Of skill and charms, most rare and exquisite, “Shall tempt the boy;—young MIRZALA's blue eyes, “Whose sleepy lid like snow on violets lies; “ AROUya's cheeks, warm as a spring-day sun, "And lips that, like the seal of SOLOMON, “Have magic in their pressure ; ZEBA's lute, “ And Lilla's dancing feet, that gleam and shoot “Rapid and white as sea-birds o'er the deep“All shall combine their witching powers to steep “My convert's spirit in that softening trance, "From which to heaven is but the next advance ; “ That glowing, yielding fusion of the breast, “On which Religion stamps her image best. “But hear me, Priestess !— tho' each nymph of these “Hath some peculiar, practised power to please, “Some glance or step which, at the mirror tried, “First charms herself, then all the world beside ; “ There still wants one, to make the victory sure, -“ One who in every look joins every lure;
“Through whom all beauty's beams concentred pass, “Dazzling and warm, as through love's burning glass; “Whose gentle lips persuade without a word, “Whose words, ev'n when unmeaning, are adored, "Like inarticulate breathings from a shrine, " Which our faith takes for granted are divine ! “Such is the nymph we want, all warmth and light, “To crown the rich temptations of to-night; "Such the refined enchantress that must be “This hero's vanquisher, — and thou art she!”
With her hands clasped, her lips apart and pale, The maid had stood, gazing upon the Veil From which these words, like south winds through a
fence Of Kerzrah flowers, came filled with pestilence; 1 So boldly uttered too! as if all dread Of frowns from her, of virtuous frowns, were fled, And the wretch felt assured that, once plunged in, Her woman's soul would know no pause in sin! ·
At first, though mute she listened, like a dream Seemed all he said : nor could her mind, whose beam As yet was weak, penetrate half his scheme. But when, at length, he uttered, “Thou art she!” All flashed at once, and shrieking piteously, “O, not for worlds !" she cried—“Great God! to whom “I once knelt innocent, is this my doom? " Are all my dreams, my hopes of heavenly bliss, “My purity, my pride, then come to this, —
1 " It is commonly said in Persia, that if a man brcathe in the hot south wind, which in June or July passes over that flower, (the Kerzereh,) it will kill him." - Thevenot.
"To live, the wanton of a fiend! to be “The pander of his guilt - 0 infamy! "And sunk, myself, as low as hell can steep “In its hot flood, drag others down as deep! “ Others — ha! yes — that youth who came to-day“ Not him I loved — not him—0! do but say, " But swear to me this moment 'tis not he, “And I will serve, dark fiend, will worship even thee!”
“ Beware, young raving thing! — in time beware, “Nor utter what I cannot, must not bear, “Ev'n from thy lips. Go— try thy lute, thy voice; “ The boy must feel their magic;— I rejoice “ To see those fires, no matter whence they rise, 6 Once more illuming my fair Priestess' eyes; “And should the youth, whom soon those eyes shall
warm, “ Indeed resemble thy dead lover's form, “So much the happier wilt thou find thy doom, “As one warm lover, full of life and bloom, “Excels ten thousand cold ones in the tomb. “Nay, nay, no frowning, sweet;—those eyes were
made “For love, not anger-I must be obeyed.”
“Obeyed ? —'tis well — yes, I deserve it all — "On me, on me Heaven's vengeance cannot fall! “ Too heavily — but Azim, brave and true “ And beautiful — must he be ruined too ? “Must he too, glorious as he is, be driven "A renegade like me from Love and Heaven? “Like me ? — weak wretch, I wrong him- not like me; “No- he's all truth and strength and purity!
“Fill up your maddening hell-cup to the brim, " Its witchery, fiends, will have no charm for him. " Let loose your glowing wantons from their bowers, “He loves, he loves, and can defy their powers ! “ Wretch as I am, in his heart still I reign “Pure as when first we met, without a stain ! “Though ruined - lost my memory, like a charm “Left by the dead, still keeps his soul from harm. “O! never let him know how deep the brow “He kissed at parting is dishonored now ;“Ne'er tell him how debased, how sunk is she, “Whom once he loved — once! — still loves dotingly. " Thou laugh’st, tormentor,— what !- thou'lt brand
my name? “Do, do-in vain--he'll not believe my shame “He thinks me true, that nought beneath God's
sky "Could tempt or change me, and ---so once thought I. “But this is past—though worse than death my lot, “ Than hell — 'tis nothing while he knows it not. "Far off to some benighted land I'll fly, " Where sunbeam ne'er shall enter till I die; “Where none will ask the lost one whence she came, “But I may fade and fall without a name. “And thou—curs'd man or fiend, whate'er thou art, “ Who found'st this burning plague-spot in my heart, “And spread'st it — 0, so quick! — through soul
and frame, "With more than demon's art, till I became “A loathsome thing, all pestilence, all flame!“If, when I'm gone - "
"Hold, fearless maniac, hold, “Nor tempt my rage—by Heaven, not half so bold