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THE

BRIDE OF ABYDOS.

CANTO I.

I.

KNOW ye the land where the cypress and myrtle

Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime, Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle,

Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime? Know ye the land of the cedar and vine, Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine; Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with perfume, Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gúl (1) in her bloom; Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, And the voice of the nightingale never is mute; Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, And the purple of Ocean is deepest in die; Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, And all, save the spirit of man, is divine?

'Tis the clime of the East; 'tis the land of the SunCan he smile on such deeds as his children have done? (2)

Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell

Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell.

II.

Begirt with many a gallant slave,
Apparell'd as becomes the brave,
Awaiting each his lord's behest
To guide his steps, or guard his rest,
Old Giaffir sate in his Divan:

Deep thought was in his aged eye;
And though the face of Mussulman
Not oft betrays to standers by
The mind within, well skill'd to hide
All but unconquerable pride,

His pensive cheek and pondering brow

Did more than he was wont avow.

III.

"Let the chamber be clear'd."-The train disappear'd— "Now call me the chief of the Haram guard." With Giaffir is none but his only son,

And the Nubian awaiting the sire's award.

66

Haroun-when all the crowd that wait

"Are pass'd beyond the outer gate,

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(Woe to the head whose eye beheld

"My child Zuleika's face unveil'd!)

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Hence, lead my daughter from her tower;

"Her fate is fix'd this very hour:

"Yet not to her repeat my thought;

"By me alone be duty taught!"

"Pacha! to hear is to obey."

No more must slave to despot say-
Then to the tower had ta'en his way,
But here young Selim silence brake,

First lowly rendering reverence meet;
And downcast look'd, and gently spake,
Still standing at the Pacha's feet:
For son of Moslem must expire,
Ere dare to sit before his sire!

"Father! for fear that thou should'st chide
"My sister, or her sable guide,
"Know-for the fault, if fault there be,
"Was mine, then fall thy frowns on me-
"So lovelily the morning shone,

"That-let the old and weary sleep"I could not; and to view alone

"The fairest scenes of land and deep, "With none to listen and reply

"To thoughts with which my heart beat high "Were irksome-for whate'er my mood,

"In sooth I love not solitude;

"I on Zuleika's slumber broke,

"And, as thou knowest that for me
"Soon turns the Haram's grating key,

"Before the guardian slaves awoke
"We to the cypress groves had flown,
"And made earth, main, and heaven our own!
"There linger'd we, beguiled too long
"With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi's song; (3)
"Till I, who heard the deep tambour (4)
"Beat thy Divan's approaching hour,

"To thee, and to my duty true,

"Warn'd by the sound, to greet thee flew: "But there Zuleika wanders yet—

“Nay, father, rage not—nor forget

"That none can pierce that secret bower
"But those who watch the women's tower."

IV.

66 'Son of a slave"-the Pacha said"From unbelieving mother bred, "Vain were a father's hope to see

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Aught that beseems a man in thee.

"Thou, when thine arm should bend the bow,

"And hurl the dart, and curb the steed,

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Thou, Greek in soul if not in creed,

"Must pore where babbling waters flow,
“And watch unfolding roses blow.
"Would that yon orb, whose matin glow

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Thy listless eyes so much admire,

"Would lend thee something of his fire!
"Thou, who would'st see this battlement
"By Christian cannon piecemeal rent;
"Nay, tamely view old Stambol's wall
"Before the dogs of Moscow fall,
"Nor strike one stroke for life and death
Against the curs of Nazareth!

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"Go-let thy less than woman's hand

"Assume the distaff-not the brand.
"But, Haroun!-to my daughter speed:
"And hark-of thine own head take heed-
"If thus Zuleika oft takes wing-

"Thou see'st yon bow-it hath a string!"

V.

No sound from Selim's lip was heard,
At least that met old Giaffir's ear,
But every frown and every word
Pierced keener than a Christian's sword.
"Son of a slave!-reproach'd with fear!
"Those gibes had cost another dear.
"Son of a slave!-and who my sire?"
Thus held his thoughts their dark career;
And glances ev'n of more than ire
Flash forth, then faintly disappear.
Old Giaffir gazed upon his son

And started; for within his eye
He read how much his wrath had done;
He saw rebellion there begun:

“Come hither, boy—what, no reply?
"I mark thee-and I know thee too;
"But there be deeds thou dar'st not do:
"But if thy beard had manlier length,
"And if thy hand had skill and strength,
"I'd joy to see thee break a lance,
"Albeit against my own perchance."

As sneeringly these accents fell,
On Selim's eye he fiercely gazed:

That eye return'd him glance for glance, And proudly to his sire's was raised,

Till Giaffir's quail'd and shrunk askance— And why-he felt, but durst not tell. "Much I misdoubt this wayward boy "Will one day work me more annoy:

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