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To Hell shall her high hearts bend.
Be forgotten, Freedom, with thee!
INDIAN. His brow grows darker-breathe not-move not!
110 He starts—he shudders—ye that love not,
With your panting loud and fast,
MAHMUD (starting from his sleep). Man the Seraglio-guard ! make fast the gate. What! from a cannonade of three short hours ? 'Tis false! that breach towards the Bosphorus Cannot be practicable yet—who stirs ? Stand to the match; that when the foe prevails One spark inay mix in reconciling ruin The conqueror and the conquered! Heave the tower
120 Into the gap—wrench off the roof.
Ha! what! The truth of day lightens upon my dream, And I am Mahmud still.
Your Sublime Highness Is strangely moved.
The times do cast strange shadows On those who watch and who must rule their
course, Lest they, being first in peril as in glory, Be whelmed in the fierce ebb:—and these are
of them. Thrice has a gloomy vision hunted me As thus from sleep into the troubled day; It shakes me as the tempest shakes the sea, 13 Leaving no figure upon memory's glass. Would that no matter. Thou didst say thou
knewest A Jew, whose spirit is a chronicle Of strange and secret and forgotten things. I bade thee summon him :-'tis said his tribe Dream, and are wise interpreters of dreams.
Hassan. The Jew of whom I spake is old,—so old He seems to have outlived a world's decay; The hoary mountains and the wrinkled ocean Seem younger still than he ;-his hairand beard Are whiter than the tempest-sifted snow; 141 His cold pale limbs and pulseless arteries Are like the fibres of a cloud instinct With light, and to the soul that quickens them Are as the atoms of the mountain-drift To the winter wind :—but from his eye looks
forth A life of unconsumed thought which pierces The present, and the past, and the to-come. Some say that this is he whom the great prophet Jesus, the son of Joseph, for his mockery 150 Mocked with the curse of immortality. Some feign that he is Enoch: others dream He was pre-adamite and has survived
Cycles of generation and of ruin.
I would talk 161 With this old Jew.
Thy will is even now Made known to him, where he dwells in a sea
cavern 'Mid the Demonesi, less accessible Than thou or God! He who would question
him Must sail alone at sunset, where the stream Of Ocean sleeps around those foamless isles, When the young moon is westering as now, And evening airs wander upon the wave; 169 And when the pines of that bee-pasturing isle, Green Erebinthus, quench the fiery shadow Of his gilt prow within the sapphire water, Then must the lonely 'helmsman cry aloud “Ahasuerus !” and the caverns round Will answer “ Ahasuerus!” If his prayer Be granted, a faint meteor will arise Lighting him over Marmora, and a wind Will rush out of the sighing pine-forest, And with the wind a storm of harmony Unutterably sweet, and pilot him
180 Through the soft twilight to the Bosphorus: Thence at the hour and place and circumstance Fit for the matter of their conference
The Jew appears. Few dare, and few who dare Win, the desired communion-but that shout Bodes--
(a shout within.)
MAHMUD. Evil, doubtless, like all human sounds Let me converse with spirits.
That shout again.
Will be here—
MAHMUD. When the omnipotent hour to which are yoked He, I, and all things shall compel-enough. 190 Silence those mutineers—that drunken crew, That crowd about the pilot in the storm. Aye! strike the foremost shorter by a head! They weary me, and I have need of rest. Kings are like stars—they rise and set, they have The worship of the world, but no repose.
From creation to decay,
Sparkling, bursting, borne away. 200
Who, through birth's orient portal
Clothe their unceasing flight
In the brief dust and light
New shapes they still may weave,
New gods, new laws receive, Bright or dim are they as the robes they last On Death's bare ribs had cast.
A power from the unknown God,
A Promethean conqueror came;
The thorns of death and shame.
Was like the vapour dim
Hell, Sin, and Slavery came,
Like blood-hounds mild and tame, Nor preyed, until their Lord had taken flight; The moon of Mahomet
221 Arose, and it shall set : While blazoned as on heaven's immortal noon
The cross leads generations on.
Swift as the radiant shapes of sleep
From one whose dreams are Paradise
And day peers forth with her blank eyes;
The Powers of earth and air 230 Fled from the folding star of Bethlehem :
Apollo, Pan, and Love,
And even Olympian Jove, Grew weak, for killing Truth had glared on them;
Our hills and seas and streams
Dispeopled of their dreams, Their waters turned to blood, their dew to tears,
Wailed for the golden years.