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Alas! for them, though not for thee,
They cannot choose but weep the more;
Deep for the dead the grief must be,
Who ne'er gave cause to mourn before.
MOORE is another writer, whose most exquisite poetry we could be very well content to lose from the record of English song, if that which is evil in its influence might thus forever be annihilated. He displays a most unlimited command of rich language, and luxurious imagery: but the reader may search in vain, except in some few instances, for elevated moral feeling, manly reflection, or wise and pious sentiment. Paradise and the Peri, and indeed the greater part of Lallah Rookh, together with his Sacred Melodies are beautiful exceptions to the truth of this remark.
FROM PARADISE AND THE PERI.
Now, upon Syria's land of roses
Softly the light of eve reposes,
And, like a glory, the broad sun
Hangs over sainted Lebanon;
Whose head in wintry grandeur towers,
And whitens with eternal sleet,
While summer, in a vale of flowers,
Is sleeping rosy at his feet.
To one, who look'd from upper air
O'er all the' enchanted regions there,
How beauteous must have been the glow,
The life, the sparkling from below!
Fair gardens, shining streams, with ranks
Of golden melons on their banks,
More golden where the sun-light falls ;-
Gay lizards, glittering on the walls
Of ruin'd shrines, busy and bright
As they were all alive with light;—
And, yet more splendid, numerous flocks
Of pigeons, settling on the rocks,
With their rich restless wings, that gleam
Variously in the crimson beam
Of the warm west,-as if inlaid
With brilliants from the mine, or made
Of tearless rainbows, such as span
The' unclouded skies of Peristan!
And then, the mingling sounds that come,
Of shepherd's ancient reed, with hum
Of the wild bees of Palestine,
Banqueting through the flowery vales ;And, Jordan, those sweet barks of thine, And woods, so full of nightingales!
But nought can charm the luckless Peri;
Her soul is sad-her wings are weary-
Joyless she sees the sun look down
On that great temple, once his own,
Whose lonely columns stand sublime,
Flinging their shadows from on high,
Like dials, which the wizard Time
Had rais'd to count his ages by!
Yet haply there may lie conceal'd,
Beneath those chambers of the sun,
Some amulet of gems, anneal'd
In upper fires, some tablet seal'd
With the great name of Solomon,
Which, spell'd by her illumin'd eyes,
May teach her where, beneath the moon,
In earth or ocean lies the boon,
The charm, that can restore so soon
An erring spirit to the skies!
Cheer'd by this hope she bends her thither ;—
Still laughs the radiant eye of Heaven,
Nor have the golden bowers of even
In the rich west begun to wither;—
When, o'er the vale of Balbec winging
Slowly, she sees a child at play,
Among the rosy wild-flowers singing,
As rosy and as wild as they;
Chasing, with cager hands and eyes,
The beautiful blue damsel-flies,
That flutter'd round the jasmine stems,
Like winged flowers or flying gems;-
And, near the boy, who tir'd with play
Now nestling mid the roses lay,
She saw a wearied man dismount
From his hot steed, and on the brink
Of a small minaret's rustic fount
Impatient fling him down to drink.
Then swift his haggard brow he turn'd
To the fair child, who fearless sat,
Though never yet hath day beam burn'd
Upon a brow more fierce than that,—
Sullenly fierce-a mixture dire,
Like thunder-clouds, of gloom and fire!
In which the Peri's eye could read
Dark tales of many a ruthless deed:
The ruin'd maid-the shrine profan'd—
Oaths broken-and the threshold stain'd
With blood of guests!—there written, all,
Black as the damning drops that fall
From the denouncing angel's pen,
Ere Mercy weeps them out again!
Yet tranquil now that man of crime,
(As if the balmy evening time
Soften'd his spirit,) look'd and lay,
Watching the rosy infant's play :
Though still, whene'er his eye by chance
Fell on the boy's, its lurid glance
Met that unclouded, joyous gaze,
As torches, that have burnt all night
Through some impure and godless rite,
Encounter morning's glorious rays.
But hark! the vesper-call to prayer,
As slow the orb of day-light sets,
Is rising sweetly on the air,
From Syria's thousand minarets!
The boy has started from the bed
Of flowers, where he had laid his head,
And down upon the fragrant sod
Kneels, with his forehead to the south,
Lisping th' eternal name of God
From purity's own cherub-mouth,
And looking, while his hands and eyes
Are lifted to the glowing skies,
Like a stray babe of Paradise,
Just lighted on that flowery plain,
And seeking for its home again!
Oh 't was a sight-that Heav'n-that child-
A scene, which might have well beguil'd
Even haughty Eblis of a sigh
For glories lost and peace gone by!
And how felt he, the wretched man
Reclining there-while memory ran
O'er many a year of guilt and strife;
Flew o'er the dark flood of his life,
Nor found one sunny resting-place,
Nor brought him back one branch of grace!
"There was a time," he said in mild,
Heart-humbled tones-" thou blessed child!
When young and haply pure as thou,
I look'd and pray'd like thee--but now-
He hung his head--each nobler aim
And hope and feeling, which had slept
From boyhood's hour, that instant carne
Fresh o'er him, and he wept-he wept!
Blest tears of soul-felt penitence!
In whose benign, redeeming flow
Is felt the first, the only sense
Of guiltless joy that guilt can know.
LOVE AND HOPE.
Ar morn, beside yon summer sea,
Young Hope and Love reclin'd:
But scarce had noon-tide come, when he
Into his bark leap'd smilingly,
And left poor Hope behind-and left poor Hope behind!
"I go," said Love," to sail awhile, -Across this sunny main ;"
And then so sweet his parting smile,
That Hope, who never dream'd of guile,
Believ'd he'd come again-believ'd he'd come again.
She linger'd there, till evening's beam
Along the waters lay;
And o'er the sands, in thoughtful dream,
Oft trac'd his name, which still the stream
As often wash'd away-as often wash'd away.
At length, a sail appears in sight,
And tow'rd the maiden moves;
'Tis Wealth that comes, and gay and bright, His golden bark reflects the light;
But, ah, it is not Love's-but, ah, it is not Love's!
Another sail-'t was Friendship show'd
Her night lamp o'er the sea;
And calm the light that lamp bestow'd,
But Love had lights that warmer glow'd,
And where, alas! was He?-and where, alas! was He?
Now fast around the sea and shore
Night threw her darkling chain;
The sunny sails were seen no more,
Hope's morning dreams of bliss were o'er-
Love never came again!-Love never came again!—
FAREWELL-farewell to thee, Araby's daughter!
(Thus warbled a Peri beneath the dark sea;)
No pearl ever lay, under Oman's green water,
More pure in its shell than thy spirit in thee.
Oh! fair as the sea-flower close to thee growing,
How light was thy heart till love's witchery came, Like the wind of the south o'er a summer lute blowing, And hush'd all its music and wither'd its frame!
But long upon Araby's green sunny highlands,
Shall maids and their lovers remember the doom Of her who lies sleeping among the Pearl Islands, With nought but the sea-star to light up her tomb.
And still, when the merry date season is burning
And calls to the palm-groves the young and the old, The happiest there, from their pastime returning, At sunset, will weep when thy story is told.
The young village maid, when with flowers she dresses
Her dark-flowing hair, for some festival day,
Will think of thy fate, till neglecting her tresses,
She mournfully turns from the mirror away
Nor shall Iran, belov'd of her hero! forget thee,-
Though tyrants watch over her tears as they start,
Close, close by the side of that hero she 'll set thee,
Embalm'd in the innermost shrine of her heart.
Farewell-be it ours to embellish thy pillow
With everything beauteous that grows in the deep; Each flower of the rock, and each gem of the billow, Shall sweeten thy bed, and illumine thy sleep.
Around thee shall glisten the loveliest amber
That ever the sorrowing sea-bird has wept;
With many a shell, in whose hollow-wreath'd chamber,
We, Peris of ocean, by moonlight have slept.
We'll dive where the gardens of coral lie darkling,
And plant all the rosiest stems at thy head;
We'll seek where the sands of the Caspian are sparkling.
And gather their gold to strew over thy bed.
Farewell-farewell-until Pity's sweet fountain
Is lost in the hearts of the fair and the brave, They'll weep for the chieftain who died on that mountain, They'll weep for the maiden who sleeps in this wave.