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THE MOURNER FOR THE BARMECIDES.

O good old man ! how well in thee appears
The constant service of the antique world!
Thou art not for the fashion of these times.

As You Like It.

Fall’n was the House of Giafar; and its name,
The high romantic name of Barmecide,
A sound forbidden on its own bright shores,
By the swift Tigris' wave. Stern Haroun's wrath,
Sweeping the mighty with their fame away,
Had so pass’d sentence : but man's chainless heart
Hides that within its depths, which never yet
Th’ oppressor's thought could reach.

'Twas desolate Where Giafar's halls, beneath the burning sun, Spread out in ruin lay. The songs had ceas’d; The lights, the perfumes, and the genii-tales, Had ceas’d; the guests were gone. Yet still one voice Was there the fountain's; through these eastern courts, Over the broken marble and the grass, Its low, clear music shedding mournfully.

And still another voice ;-an aged man,
Yet with a dark and fervent eye beneath
His silvery hair, came, day by day, and sate
On a white column's fragment; and drew forth,
From the forsaken walls and dim arcades,
A tone that shook them with its answering thrill
To his deep accents. Many a glorious tale
He told that sad yet stately solitude,
Pouring his memory's fulness o’er its gloom,
Like waters in the waste; and calling up,
By song or high recital of their deeds,
Bright solemn shadows of its vanish'd race
To people their own halls: with these alone,
In all this rich and breathing world, his thoughts

Held still unbroken converse. He had been
Rear'd in this lordly dwelling, and was now
The ivy of its ruins; unto which
His fading life seem'd bound. Day rolld on day,
And from that scene the loneliness was fled !
For crowds around the grey-hair’d chronicler
Met as men meet, within whose anxious hearts
Fear with deep feeling strives; till, as a breeze
Wanders through forest-branches, and is met
By one quick sound and shiver of the leaves,
The spirit of his passionate lament,
As through their stricken souls it pass’d, awoke
One echoing murmur.—But this might not be
Under a despot's rule, and summon’d thence,
The dreamer stood before the Caliph's throne :
Sentenced to death he stood, and deeply pale,
And with his white lips rigidly compress'd;
Till, in submissive tones, he ask'd to speak
Once more, ere thrust from earth's fair sunshine forth.
Was it to sue for grace ?—his burning heart
Sprang, with a sudden lightning, to his eye,
And he was changed !-and thus, in rapid words,
Th’ o'ermastering thoughts, more strong than death,

found way.

“ And shall I not rejoice to go, when the noble and the

brave, With the glory on their brows, are gone before me to

the grave ? What is there left to look on now, what brightness in

the land ?I hold in scorn the faded world, that wants their prince

ly band !

My chiefs ! my chiefs! the old man comes, that in your

halls was nurs'd, That follow'd you to many a fight, where flash'd your

sabres first; That bore your children in his arms, your name upon

his heartOh! must the music of that name with him from earth

depart?

“ It shall not be a thousand tongues, though human

voice were still, With that high sound the living air triumphantly shall The wind's free flight shall bear it on, as wandering

fill;

seeds are sown, And the starry midnight whisper it, with a deep and

thrilling tone.

“ For it is not as a flower whose scent with the drop

ping leaves expires, And it is not as a household lamp, that a breath should

quench its fires ; It is written on our battle-fields with the writing of the

sword, It hath left upon our desert-sands a light in blessings

pour'd.

“ The founts, the many gushing founts, which to the

wild ye gave, Of you, my chiefs, shall sing aloud, as they pour a joy

ous wave; And the groves, with whose deep, lovely gloom ye hung

the pilgrim's way, Shall send from all their sighing leaves your praises on

the day.

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