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Yes-Alla, dreadful Alla! yes-
If there be wrong, be crime in this,
Let the black waves, that round us roll,
Whelm me this instant, ere my soul,
Before its earthly idol fall,
Nor worship even Thyself above him.—
For oh! so wildly do I love him,
Thy Paradise itself were dim
And joyless, if not shared with him!"
Her hands were clasp'd-her eyes upturn'd,
Dropping their tears like moonlight rain;
And, though her lip, fond raver! burn'd
With words of passion, bold, profane, Yet was there light around her brow,
A holiness in those dark eyes, Which show'd-though wandering earthward now,― Her spirit's home was in the skies. Yes-for a spirit, pure as hers, Is always pure, even while it errs; As sunshine, broken in the rill, Though turn'd astray, is sunshine still!
So wholly had her mind forgot
All thoughts but one, she heeded not
The rising storm-the wave that cast
A moment's midnight, as it pass'd-
Nor heard the frequent shout, the tread
Of gathering tumult o'er her head-
Clash'd swords, and tongues that seem'd to vie
With the rude riot of the sky.—
But hark!-that war-whoop on the deck-
That crash, as if each engine there,
Mast, sails, and all, were gone to wreck,
Mid yells and stampings of despair!
Merciful Heaven! what can it be?
"Tis not the storm, though fearfully
The ship has shudder'd as she rode O'er mountain waves.- 66 Forgive me, God! Forgive me!"-shriek'd the maid and knelt, Trembling all over,—for she felt As if her judgment-hour was near; While crouching round, half dead with fear, Her handmaids clung, nor breathed nor stirr❜d— When, hark!-a second crash—a thirdAnd now, as if a bolt of thunder Had riven the labouring planks asunder, The deck falls in-what horrors then! Blood, waves, and tackle, swords and men Come mix'd together through the chasm ;Some wretches in their dying spasm Still fighting on-and some that call "For God and Iran ! "" as they fall!
Whose was the hand that turn'd away
The perils of th' infuriate fray,
And snatch'd her breathless from beneath
This wilderment of wreck and death?
She knew not-for a faintness came
Chill o'er her, and her sinking frame
Amid the ruins of that hour
Lay, like a pale and scorchèd flower,
Beneath the red volcano's shower!
But oh! the sights and sounds of dread
That shock'd her, ere her senses fled !
The yawning deck-the crowd that strove
Upon the tottering planks above—
The sail, whose fragments, shivering o'er
The strugglers' heads, all dash'd with gore,
Flutter'd like bloody flags-the clash
Of sabres, and the lightning's flash
Upon their blades, high toss'd about
Like meteor brands—as if throughout
The elements one fury ran,
One general rage, that left a doubt
Which was the fiercer, Heaven or Man! Once too-but no-it could not be
'Twas fancy all-yet once she thought While yet her fading eyes could see,
High on the ruin'd deck she caught A glimpse of that unearthly form,
That glory of her soul,- -even then, Amid the whirl of wreck and storm,
Shining above his fellow men, As, on some black and troublous night, The Star of Egypt, whose proud light Never hath beam'd on those who rest In the White Islands of the West, Burns through the storm with looks of flame That put heaven's cloudier eyes to shame! But no-'twas but the minute's dream— A fantasy-and ere the scream Had half-way pass'd her pallid lips, A death-like swoon, a chill eclipse Of soul and sense, its darkness spread Around her, and she sunk, as dead!
How calm, how beautiful, comes on
The stilly hour, when storms are gone
When warring winds have died away,
And clouds, beneath the glancing ray,
Melt off, and leave the land and sea
Sleeping in bright tranquillity,-
Fresh as if Day again were born,
Again upon the lap of Morn;
When the light blossoms, rudely torn
And scatter'd at the whirlwind's will,
Hang floating in the pure air still,
Filling it all with precious balm,
In gratitude for this sweet calm !—
And every drop the thunder-showers
Have left upon the grass and flowers
Sparkles, as 'twere the lightning-gem
Whose liquid flame is born of them!
When, 'stead of one unchanging breeze,
There blow a thousand gentle airs,
And each a different perfume 1 ears,-
As if the loveliest plants and trees
Had vassal breezes of their own
To watch and wait on them alone,
And waft no other breath than theirs!
When the blue waters rise and fall,
In sleepy sunshine mantling all;
And even that swell the tempest leaves
Is like the full and silent heaves
Of lovers' hearts, when newly blest,
Too newly to be quite at rest!
Such was the golden hour, that broke Upon the world, when Hinda woke From her long trance, and heard around No motion but the water's sound Rippling against the vessel's side, As slow it mounted o'er the tide.. But where is she?-her eyes are dark, Are wilder'd still-is this the bark, The same, that from Harmozia's bay Bore her at morn-whose bloody way The sea-dog tracks ?-no-stranger and new Is all that meets her wondering view. Upon a galliot's deck she lies,
Beneath no rich pavilion's shade,
No plumes to fan her sleeping eyes,
Nor jasmine on her pillow laid.
But the rude litter, roughly spread
With war-cloaks, is her homely bed,
And shawl and sash, on javelins hung,
For awning o'er her head are flung.
Shuddering she look'd around-there lay
A group of warriors in the sun