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THE

BRIDE OF ABYDOS.

CANTO II.

I.

The winds are high on Helle's wave,

As on that night of stormy water
When Love, who sent, forgot to save
The
young,

the beautiful, the brave,
The lonely hope of Sestos' daughter.
Oh! when alone along the sky
Her turret-torch was blazing high,
Though rising gale, and breaking foam,
And shrieking sea-birds warn’d him home;
And clouds aloft and tides below,
With signs and sounds, forbade to go,
He could not see, he would not hear
Or sound or sign foreboding fear;
His

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
May nerve young hearts to prove as true.

II.

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 desert of old Priam's pride;

The tombs, sole relics of his reign,
All-save immortal dreams that could beguile
The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle!

III.

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

hillock

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!

IV.

The night hath closed on Helle's stream,

Nor yet hath risen on Ida's hill
That moon, which shone on his high theme:
No warrior chides her peaceful beam,

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!

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Late, late to-night will Dian cheer
The swain, and chase the boatman's fear;
Till then-no beacon on the cliff
May shape the course of struggling skiff ;
The scatter'd lights that skirt the bay,
All, one by one, have died away;
The only lamp of this lone hour
Is glimmering in Zuleika's tower.
Yes! there is light in that lone chamber,

And o'er her silken Ottoman
Are thrown the fragrant beads of amber,

O'er which her fairy fingers ran; (25)
Near these, with emerald rays beset,
(How could she thus that gem forget?)
Her mother's sainted amulet, (26)
Whereon engraved the Koorsee text,
Could smooth this life, and win the next;
And by her Comboloio (27) lies
A Koran of illumined dyes;

And many a bright emblazon'd rhyme
By Persian scribes redeem'd from time;
And o'er those scrolls, not oft so mute,
Reclines her now neglected lute;
And round her lamp of fretted gold
Bloom flowers in urns of China's mould;
The richest work of Iran's loom,
And Sheeraz tribute of perfume;
All that can eye or sense delight

Are gather’d in that gorgeous room:
But
yet

it hath an air of gloom. She, of this Peri cell the sprite, What doth she hence, and on so rude a night?

VI.

Wrapt in the darkest sable vest,

Which none save noblest Moslem wear,
To guard from winds of heaven the breast

As heaven itself to Selim dear,
With cautious steps the thicket threading,

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;
And though her terror urged retreat,

How could she quit her Selim's side?
How teach her tender lips to chide?

VII.

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;
And oft in youthful reverie
She dream'd what Paradise might be:
Where woman's parted soul shall go
Her Prophet had disdain'd to show;
But Selim's mansion was secure,
Nor deem'd she, could he long endure
His bower in other worlds of bliss,
Without her, most beloved in this!
Oh! who so dear with him could dwell?
What Houri soothe him half so well?

1

VIII.
Since last she visited the spot
Some change seem'd wrought within the grot:
It might be only that the night
Disguised things seen by better light:
That brazen lamp but dimly threw
A ray of no celestial hue;
But in a nook within the cell
Her eye on stranger objects fell.
There arms were piled, not such as wield
The turban'd Delis in the field;
But brands of foreign blade and hilt,
And one was red-perchance with guilt!
Ah! how without can blood be spilt?
A cup too on the board was set
That did not seem to hold sherbet.
What
may

this mean? she turn'd to see Her Selim—"Oh! can this be he?"

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