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Each coward tear the slave lets fall
Back on his heart in drops of gall!
But here, at last, are arms unchain'd,
And souls that thraldom never stain'd ;-
This spot, at least, no foot of slave
Or satrap ever yet profaned;
And, though but few-though fast the wave
Of life is ebbing from our veins,
Enough for vengeance still remains.
As panthers, after set of sun,
Rush from the roots of Lebanon
Across the dark sea-robber's way,
We'll bound upon our startled prey ;-
And when some hearts that proudest swell
Have felt our falchion's last farewell;
When hope's expiring throb is o'er,
And e'en despair can prompt no more,
This spot shall be the sacred grave
Of the last few who, vainly brave,
Die for the land they cannot save!"
His chiefs stood round-each shining blade
Upon the broken altar laid-
And though so wild and desolate
Those courts, where once the mighty sate;
Nor longer on those mouldering towers
Was seen the feast of fruits and flowers,
With which of old the Magi fed
The wandering spirits of their dead;
Though neither priest nor rites were there,
Nor charmed leaf of pure pomegranate;
Nor hymn, nor censer's fragrant air,
Nor symbol of their worshipp'd planet;
Yet the same God that heard their sires
Heard them, while on that altar's fires
They swore the latest, holiest deed
Of the few hearts still left to bleed,
Should be, in Iran's injured name,
To die upon that Mount of Flame—
The last of all her patriot line,
Before her last untrampled shrine !
Brave, suffering souls! they little knew
How many a tear their injuries drew
From one meek maid, one gentle foe,
Whom Love first touch'd with others' woe-
Whose life, as free from thought as sin,
Slept like a lake, till Love threw in
His talisman, and woke the tide,
And spread its trembling circles wide.
Once, Emir! thy unheeding child,
'Mid all this havoc, bloom'd and smiled,—
Tranquil as on some battle-plain
The Persian lily shines and towers,
Before the combat's reddening stain
Hath fall'n upon her golden flowers. Light-hearted maid, unawed, unmoved, While heaven but spared the sire she loved, Once at thy evening tales of blood Unlistening and aloof she stoodAnd oft, when thou hast paced along
Thy haram halls with furious heat, Hast thou not cursed her cheerful song,
That came across thee, calm and sweet, Like lutes of angels, touch'd so near Hell's confines, that the damn'd can hear? Far other feelings love hath brought
Her soul all flame, her brow all sadness She now has but the one dear thought,
And thinks that o'er, almost to madness:
Oft doth her sinking heart recall
His words" for my sake weep for all;"
And bitterly, as day on day
Of rebel carnage fast succeeds,
She weeps a lover snatch'd away
In every Gheber wretch that bleeds.
There's not a sabre meets her eye,
But with his life-blood seems to swim ; There's not an arrow wings the sky, But fancy turns its point to him. No more she brings with footstep light Al Hassan's falchion for the fight; And,—had he look'd with clearer sight, Had not the mists, that ever rise From a foul spirit, dimm'd his eyes,He would have mark'd her shuddering frame When from the field of blood he came, The faltering speech-the look estrangedVoice, step, and life, and beauty changedHe would have mark'd all this, and known Such change is wrought by love alone!
Ah! not the love that should have bless'd
So young, so innocent a breast;
Not the pure, open, prosperous love,
That, pledged on earth and seal'd above,
Grows in the world's approving eyes,
In friendship's smile and home's caress,
Collecting all the heart's sweet ties
Into one knot of happiness!
No, Hinda, no-thy fatal flame
Is nursed in silence, sorrow, shame;
A passion without hope or pleasure,
In thy soul's darkness buried deep,
It lies like some ill-gotten treasure,-
Some idol, without shrine or name,
O'er which its pale-eyed votaries keep
Unholy watch, while others sleep!
Seven nights have darken'd Oman's Sea,
Since last, beneath the moonlight ray,
She saw his light oar rapidly
Hurry her Gheber's bark away,
And still she goes, at midnight hour,
To weep alone in that high bower,
And watch, and look along the deep
For him whose smiles first made her weep;
But watching, weeping, all was vain,
She never saw his bark again.
The owlet's solitary cry,
The night-hawk, flitting darkly by,
And oft the hateful carrion-bird,
Heavily flapping his clogg'd wing,
Which reek'd with that day's banqueting—
Was all she saw, was all she heard.
'Tis the eighth morn-Al Hassan's brow
Is brighten'd with unusual joy-
What mighty mischief glads him now,
Who never smiles but to destroy?
The sparkle upon Herkend's Sea,
When toss'd at midnight furiously,
Tells not of wreck and ruin nigh
More surely than that smiling eye!
"Up, daughter, up-the kerna's breath
Has blown a blast would waken death,
And yet thou sleep'st; up, child, and see
This blessed day for heaven and me,
A day more rich in Pagan blood
Than ever flash'd o'er Oman's flood.
Before another dawn shall shine,
His head-heart-limbs-will all be mine;
This very night his blood shall steep
These hands all over ere I sleep!"-
"His blood!" she faintly scream'd-her mind
Still singling one from all mankind.
"Yes-spite of his ravines and towers,
Hafed, my child, this night is ours.
Thanks to all-conquering treachery,
Without whose aid the links accursed, That bind these impious slaves, would be Too strong for Alla's self to burst!
That rebel fiend, whose blade has spread
My path with piles of Moslem dead,
Whose baffling spells had almost driven
Back from their course the Swords of Heaven,
This night, with all his band, shall know
How deep an Arab's steel can go,
When God and vengeance speed the blow.
And-Prophet!—by that holy wreath
Thou wor'st on Ohod's field of death,
I swear, for every sob that parts
In anguish from these heathen hearts,
A gem from Persia's plunder'd mines
Shall glitter on thy shrine of shrines.
But ha!-she sinks-that look so wild-
Those livid lips-my child, my child,
This life of blood befits not thee,
And thou must back to Araby.
Ne'er had risk'd thy timid sex
In scenes that man himself might dread,
Had I not hoped our every tread
Would be on prostrate Persian necks—
Cursed race, they offer swords instead!
But cheer thee, maid, -the wind that now
Is blowing o'er thy feverish brow,
To-day shall waft thee from the shore;
And, ere a drop of this night's gore
Have time to chill in yonder towers,
Thou'lt see thy own sweet Arab bowers!"
His bloody boast was all too true-
There lurk'd one wretch among the few
Whom Hafed's eagle eye could count
Around him on that Fiery Mount,
One miscreant, who for gold betray'd
The pathway through the valley's shade
To those high towers where Freedom stood
In her last hold of flame and blood.