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BRIDE OF ABYDOS.
The winds are high on Helle's wave,
As on that night of stormy water
the beautiful, the brave,
eye but saw that light of love, The only star it haild above; His ear but rang with Hero's song, “Ye waves, divide not lovers long!”
That tale is old, but love anew
The winds are high, and Helle's tide
Rolls darkly heaving to the main; And Night's descending shadows hide
That field with blood bedew'd in vain,
The tombs, sole relics of his reign,
Oh! yet--for there my steps have been;
These feet have press’d the sacred shore, These limbs that buoyant wave hath borneMinstrel! with thee to muse, to mourn,
To trace again those fields of yore, Believing every
green Contains no fabled hero's ashes, And that around the undoubted scene
Thine own “broad Hellespont” (23) still dashes, Be long my lot! and cold were he Who there could gaze denying thee!
The night hath closed on Helle's stream,
Nor yet hath risen on Ida's hill
But conscious shepherds bless it still.
Their flocks are grazing on the mound
Of him who felt the Dardan's arrow: That mighty heap of gather'd ground Which Ammon's (24) son ran proudly round, By nations raised, by monarchs crown'd,
Is now a lone and nameless barrow!
Within—thy dwelling-place how narrow! Without-can only strangers breathe The name of him that was beneath: Dust long outlasts the storied stone; But Thou—thy very dust is gone!
Late, late to-night will Dian cheer
And o'er her silken Ottoman
O'er which her fairy fingers ran; (25)
And many a bright emblazon'd rhyme
Are gather’d in that gorgeous room:
it hath an air of gloom. She, of this Peri cell the sprite, What doth she hence, and on so rude a night?
Wrapt in the darkest sable vest,
Which none save noblest Moslem wear,
As heaven itself to Selim dear,
And starting oft, as through the glade
The gust its hollow moanings made, Till on the smoother pathway treading, More free her timid bosom beat,
The maid pursued her silent guide;
How could she quit her Selim's side?
They reach'd at length a grotto, hewn
By nature, but enlarged by art,
Where oft her lute she wont to tune,
And oft her Koran conn’d apart;
this mean? she turn'd to see Her Selim—"Oh! can this be he?"