Page images
PDF
EPUB

IX.

His robe of pride was thrown aside,

His brow no high-crown'd turban bore,
But in its stead a shawl of red,

Wreathed lightly round, his temples wore:
That dagger, on whose hilt the gem
Were worthy of a diadem,
No longer glitter'd at his waist,

Where pistols unadorn'd were braced; . And from his belt a sabre swung,

And from his shoulder loosely hung
The cloak of white, the thin capote
That decks the wandering Candiote:
Beneath-his golden plated vest
Clung like a cuirass to his breast;
The greaves below his knee that wound
With silvery scales were sheathed and bound.
But were it not that high command
Spake in his eye, and tone, and hand,
All that a careless eye could see
In him was some young Galiongée. (28)

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

X.

“I said I was not what I seem'd;

" And now thou see'st my words were true: “I have a tale thou hast not dream'd,

- If sooth-its truth must others rue. “My story now 'twere vain to hide, “I must not see thee Osman's bride: “But had not thine own lips declared “How much of that young heart I shared,

“I could not, must not, yet have shown
“ The darker secret of my own.
“In this I speak not now of love;
“That, let time, truth, and peril prove:
“But first-Oh! never wed another-
“Zuleika! I am not thy brother!"

XI.

[ocr errors]

“Oh! not my brother!-yet unsay

“God! am I left alone on earth « To mourn

–I dare not curse—the day “ That saw my solitary birth? “Oh! thou wilt love me now no more!

“My sinking heart foreboded ill; “ But know me all I was before,

Thy sister-friend-Zuleika still. “ Thou led'st me here perchance to kill;

“ If thou hast cause for vengeance, see! My breast is offer’d--take thy fill!

“ Far better with the dead to be

“ Than live thus nothing now to thee: “Perhaps far worse, for now I know “Why Giaffir always seem'd thy foe; “ And I, alas! am Giaffir's child, “For whom thou wert contemn’d, reviled. “ If not thy sister-would'st thou save My life, Oh! bid me be thy slave!”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

XII.

“My slave, Zuleika!-nay, I'm thine:

“But, gentle love, this transport calm,

[ocr errors]

Thy lot shall yet be link'd with mine; “I swear it by our Prophet's shrine,

“ And be that thought thy sorrow's balm. “So may the Koran (29) verse display'd

Upon its steel direct my blade, “In danger's hour to guard us both, “As I preserve that awful oath! “ The name in which thy heart hath prided

“Must change; but, my Zuleika, know, “That tie is widen'd, not divided,

“Although thy Sire's my deadliest foe. “My father was to Giaffir all

“That Selim late was deem'd to thee; “ That brother wrought a brother's fall,

“But spared, at least, my infancy; “ And lulld me with a vain deceit “ That yet a like return may meet. “He rear'd me, not with tender help,

“But like the nephew of a Cain; (30) “He watch'd me like a lion's whelp,

“That gnaws and yet may break his chain.

“ My father's blood in every vein “Is boiling; but for thy dear sake “No present vengeance will I take;

Though here I must no more remain. “But first, beloved Zuleika! hear “How Giaffir wrought this deed of fear.

XIII.

« How first their strife to rancour grew,

“ If love or envy made them foes,

“ It matters little if I knew;
“In fiery spirits, slights, though few

“And thoughtless, will disturb repose.
“ In war Abdallah's arm was strong,
"Remember'd

yet

in Bosniac song, " And Raswan's (31) rebel hordes attest “How the love they bore such guest: “ His death is all I need relate, “ The stern effect of Giaffir's hate; “And how my birth disclosed to me, “Whate'er beside it makes, hath made me free.

XIV.

[ocr errors]

“When Paswan, after years of strife,
“At last for power, but first for life,
“In Widin's walls too proudly sate,
"Our Pachas rallied round the state;
“Nor last nor least in high command
“ Each brother led a separate band;
They gave their horsetails (32) to the wind,

“And mustering in Sophia's plain " Their tents were pitch'd, their post assign'd;

“ To one, alas! assign’d in vain! • What need of words? the deadly bowl,

“By Giaffir's order drugg'd and given, “With venom subtle as his soul,

“ Dismiss'd Abdallah's hence to heaven, “Reclined and feverish in the bath,

“He, when the hunter's sport was up, “But little deem'd a brother's wrath

“To quench his thirst had such a cup:

VOL. II.

“ The bowl a bribed attendant bore; “He drank one draught, (33) nor needed more! “If thou my tale, Zuleika, doubt, “ Call Haroun-he can tell it out.

XV.

“The deed once done, and Paswan's feud
"In part suppress'd, though ne'er subdued,

“Abdallah’s Pachalick was gain’d:-
“Thou know'st not what in our Divan
“Can wealth procure for worse than man-

“Abdallah's honours were obtain'd “By him a brother's murder stain'd; 'Tis true, the purchase nearly drain’d “His ill got treasure, soon replaced. "Would'st question whence? Survey the waste, “ And ask the squalid peasant how “His gains repay his broiling brow!“Why me the stern usurper spared, “Why thus with me his palace shared, “I know not. Shame, regret, remorse, “ And little fear from infant's force; “Besides, adoption as a son

“By him whom Heaven accorded none, “Or some unknown cabal, caprice, “ Preserved me thus;—but not in peace: “He cannot curb his haughty mood, “Nor I forgive a father's blood.

XVI.

“Within thy father's house are foes;

“Not all who break his bread are true:

« PreviousContinue »