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SEMICHORUS II.
If Hell should entomb thee,
To Hell shall her high hearts bend.

SEMICHORUS I.
If Annihilation-

SEMICHORUS II.
Dust let her glories be!
And a name and a nation
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,
Have awakened him at last.

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 may mix in reconciling ruin The conqueror and the conquered! Heave the tower

120 Into the gap—wrench off the roof.

Enter Hassan.

Ha! what! The truth of day lightens upon my dream, And I am Mahmud still.

Hassan.

Your Sublime Highness Is strangely moved.

MAHMUD.

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, 135 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.

Lost

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 inockery 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.
The sage, in truth, by dreadful abstinence
And conquering penance of the mutinous flesh,
Deep contemplation, and unwearied study,
In years outstretched beyond the date of man,
May have attained to sovereignty and science
Over those strong and secret things and thoughts
Which others fear and know not.

MAHMUD.

I would talk 161 With this old Jew.

HASSAN.

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.

Hassan.

That shout again.

MAHMUD.
This Jew whom thou hast summoned—

Hassan.

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.

[Exeunt severally.

CHORUS
Worlds on worlds are rolling ever

From creation to decay,
Like the bubbles on a river

Sparkling, bursting, borne away. 200
But they are still immortal

Who, through birth's orient portal
And death's dark chasm hurrying to and fro,

Clothe their unceasing flight

In the brief dust and light
Gathered around their chariots as they go;

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.

210

A power from the unknown God,

A Promethean conqueror came;
Like a triumphal path he trod

The thorns of death and shame.
A mortal shape to him

Was like the vapour dim
Which the orient planet animates with light

Hell, Sin, and Slavery came,

Like blood-hounds mild and tame, Nor preyed, until their Lord had taken flight;

The moon of Mahomet

Arose, and it shall set : While blazoned as on heaven's immortal noon

The cross leads generations on.

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Swift as the radiant shapes of sleep

From one whose dreams are Paradise
Fly, when the fond wretch wakes to weep,

And day peers forth with her blank eyes;
So fleet, so faint, so fair,
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.

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