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ZENEL*

A TALE OF GRANADA.

CANTO I.
I.

She was a peasant's daughter blithe and fair,
With cheeks fresh as the rose of Paradise,
Locks like the raven's wing, dark languid eyes,
And young and beautiful beyond compare ;—
An airy flitting bird, aye soft and meek,
Modest and gentle as the timid fawn,
When first it ventures forth upon the lawn—
Sought and beloved was young Zenel: but like
The radiant sunbeam prisoned in a cloud
Ere it has traversed all its missioned way
From the metropolis of light and day—
A meteor seen, then lost in night's dim shroud—

* Pronounced Thanail.

The rainbow's bright but evanescent glow Was the pure maiden's brief career below.

n.

The summer moon is shining bright
Far o'er the dark Sierra's height.1
And crag, and peak, and snowy crest,
Where the wild eagle builds her nest;
The myrtle groves, and palms,3 and flowers,
Are smiling through their leafy bowers,
And sloping hills and green-wood aisles
Are gleaming in her quivering smiles;
Above the azure canopy
Spreads its celestial drapery,
Bespangled with ten thousand stars,
While by their sheen
Afar are seen
Angels careering in their cars,
Making the weary spirit long

To doff its frail mortality,
And join the bright seraphic throng

That sweeps along the starry sky,
The dew begems the verdant trees,
The air with balmy odor breathes;
Along the spicy-scented vale
Sings low and sweet the nightingale,*
Where lovers stroll beside the streams,
Lost in their first Elysian dreams,
Or there have stolen an hour to rove
And plight anew the vows of love,
And secretly lament the woe
That bids them happiness forego;
To tread earth's chequered paths apart,
Weary, and lone, and sick at heart.

Along Alhambra's dreary halls
Full many a hollow footstep falls
Of victim closely prisoned there
To pine out life in lone despair;
While sounds of wild festivity,

And royal mirth, and music's swell

Descend into his dismal cell
In mockery of his misery;
And on the Vega's4 moonlit green,

While lingers yet the evening star
Amidst the balmy air serene,

Trip small feet to the light guitar5 And the low tinkling castanet, Which ever glad the Spanish fete; And musically wends the rill Along the olive-shaded hill To mingle with the bright Xenil,'

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And golden Darro's7 gentle tide,

That onward pensively doth glide—

A scene so bright—divinely fair,

That one might deem crime lurked not there,

Nor battle ever shook that plain,

Nor blood from noble Zegri's8 vein

Sprinkled the sod like heavy rain,

Nor helm nor shield had strown it o'er,

And many a brave and ghastly Moor.

But by yon dark and pine-clad hill

Hark! to the pirate's whistle shrill—

See! by that rock-embattled shore,

His gliding skiff and muffled oar!

m.

Alas! there is no land on earth
Where sin and crime have not had birth,
A people who no sorrow know,
A spot which hath no tale of woe:
The bard, from wrecks of empires flown,
The records of the mighty gone,
Weaves his immortal wreath of woes,
And gives to death a calm repose;

The mermaid chants her song
Of those who far beneath the waves

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