« AnteriorContinuar »
So, near the throne, amid the gorgeous feast, And Oromaze, Joshua, and Mahomet, [Foh,
Our God alone is God !” and slaughter now Among the guests, or raving mad, did tell
Would have gone forth, when, from beneath a cowl, Strange truths; a dying seer of dark oppression's A voice came forth, which pierced like ice through
The Princes and the Priests were pale with terror;
'Twas an Iberian Priest from whom it came,
“ () God!" they cried, “ we know our secret pride But more he loathed and hated the clear light Has scorned thee, and thy worship, and thy name; Of wisdom and free thought, and more did fear, Secure in human power, we have defied
Lest, kindled once, its beams might pierce the night, Thy fearful might; we bend in fear and shame Even where his Idol stood ; for, far and near Before thy presence; with the dust we claim Did many a heart in Europe leap to hear Kindred. Be merciful, 0 King of Heaven! That faith and tyranny were trampled down ; Most justly have we suffered for thy fame Many a pale victim, doomed for truth to share Made dim, but be at length our sins forgiven, The murderer's cell, or see, with helpless groan, Ere to despair and death thy worshippers be The priests his children drag for slaves to serve driven.
XXXIV. “ O King of Glory! Thou alone hast power! He dared not kill the infidels with fire Who can resist thy will? who can restrain Or steel, in Europe : the slow agonies Thy wrath, when on the guilty thou dost shower Of legal torture mocked his keen desire : The shafts of thy revenge,--a blistering rain? So he made truce with those who did despise Greatest and best, be merciful again!
The expiation, and the sacrifice, Have we not stabbed thine enemies, and made That, though detested, Islam's kindred creed The Earth an altar, and the Heavens a fane, [laid Might crush for him those deadlier enemies ; Where thou wert worshipped with their blood, and For fear of God did in his bosom breed Those hearts in dust which would thy searchless A jealous hate of man, an unreposing need.
works have weighed ?
“ Well didst thou loosen on this impious City
« Peace! Peace !" he cried. “When we are dead,
“Think ye, because we weep, and kneel, and pray, Ere night the pyre was piled, the net of iron That God will lull the pestilence? It rose
Was spread above, the fearful couch below; Even from beneath his throne, where, many a day It overtopped the towers that did environ His mercy soothed it to a dark repose :
That spacious square ; for Fear is never slow It walks upon the earth to judge his foes,
To build the thrones of Hate, her mate and foe, And what art thou and I, that he should deign So, she scourged forth the maniac multitude To curb his ghastly minister, or close
To rear this pyramid--tottering and slow, The gates of death, ere they receive the twain Plague-stricken, foodless, like lean herds pursued Who shook with mortal spells his undefended reign? By gad-flies, they have piled the heath, and gums,
“ Aye, there is famine in the gulf of hell,
Night came, a starless and a moonless gloom. Its giant worms of fire for ever yawn,
Until the dawn, those hosts of many a nation Their lurid eyes are on us ! Those who fell Stood round that pile, as near one lover's tomb By the swift shafts of pestilence ere dawn, Two gentle sisters mourn their desolation; Are in their jaws ! They hunger for the spawn
And in the silence of that expectation, Of Satan, their own brethren, who were sent Was heard on high the reptiles' hiss and crawlTo make our souls their spoil. See! see! they fawn It was so deep, save when the devastation Like dogs, and they will sleep with luxury spent, Of the swift pest with fearful interval, When those detested hearts their iron fangs have Marking its path with shrieks, among the crowd rent!
His voice was like a blast that burst the portal
The noontide sun was darkened with that smoke, Saw gape beneath the chasms of fire immortal, The winds of eve dispersed those ashes grey. And Heaven above seemed cloven, where, on a The madness which these rites had lulled, awoke throne
Again at sunset.-Who shall dare to say Girt round with storms and shadows, sate alone The deeds which night and fear brought forth, or Their King and Judge. Fear killed in every breast In balance just the good and evil there? (weigh All natural pity then, a fear unknown
He might man's deep and searchless heart display, Before, and with an inward fire possest,
And cast a light on those dim labyrinths, where They raged like homeless beasts whom burning Hope, near imagined chasms, is struggling with woods invest.
'Twas morn.- At noon the public crier went forth, 'Tis said, a mother dragged three children then, Proclaiming through the living and the dead, To those fierce flames which roast the eyes in the “ The Monarch saith, that his great empire's worth And laughed and died; and that unholy men, (head, Is set on Laon and Laone's head :
Feasting like fiends upon the infidel dead, He who but one yet living here can lead,
Looked from their meal, and saw an Angel tread Or who the life from both their hearts can wring, The visible floor of Heaven, and it was she ! Shall be the kingdom's heir,-a glorious meed! And, on that night, one without doubt or dread But he who both alive can hither bring,
Came to the fire, and said, “ Stop, I am he! The Princess shall espouse, and reign an equal Kill me!”—They burned them both with hellish King."
A cloud was hanging o'er the western mountains ; Woe! woe! that moonless midnight.-Want and
Of circling coals of fire; but still there clung
uphung: It was a stream of living beams, whose bank Not death-death was no more refuge or rest; On either side by the cloud's cleft was made ; Not life—it was despair to be !--not sleep, And where its chasms that food of glory drank, For fiends and chasins of fire had dispossessed Its waves gushed forth like fire, and, as if swayed All natural dreams ; to wake was not to weep, By some mute tempest, rolled on her. The shade But to gaze mad and pallid, at the leap Of her bright image floated on the river
To which the Future, like a snaky scourge, Of liquid light, which then did end and fade Or like some tyrant's eye, which aye doth keep Her radiant shape upon its verge did shiver ; Its withering beam upon his slaves, did urge Aloft, her flowing hair like strings of flame did Their steps :--they heard the roar of Hell's sul. quiver.
phureous surge. I stood beside her, but she saw me not
Each of that multitude alone, and lost She looked upon the sea, and skies, and earth. To sense of outward things, one hope yet knew; Rapture, and love, and admiration, wrought As on a foam-girt crag some seaman tost, A passion deeper far than tears, or mirth,
Stares at the rising tide, or like the crew[through, Or speech, or gesture, or whate'er has birth Whilst now the ship is splitting through and From common joy ; which, with the speechless Each, if the tramp of a far steed was heard, That led her there, united, and shot forth [feeling Started from sick despair, or if there flew From her far eyes, a light of deep revealing, One murmur on the wind, or if some word All but her dearest self from my regard concealing. Which none can gather yet, the distant crowd has
Of rushing feet? laughter ? the shout, the scream, “ Fear not the future, weep not for the past.
Into the dust those symbols of your woe, Driven, like a troop of spectres, through the dark Purple, and gold, and steel ! that ye would go From the choked well, whence a bright death-tire Proclaiming to the nations whence ye came, sprung,
That Want, and Plague, and Fear, from slavery A lurid earth-star, which dropped many a spark
flow; From its blue train, and spreading widely, clung And that mankind is free, and that the shame To their wild hair, like mist the topmost pines of royalty and faith is lost in freedom's fame.
“ Yes, in the desert then is built a home
And see! beneath a sun-bright canopy,
“ With me do what ye will. I am your foe!”
There was such silence through the host, as when
What were his thoughts linked in the morning
His head and feet are bare, his hands are bound Behind with heavy chains, yet none do wreak Their scoffs on him, though myriads throng around; There are no sneers upon his lip which speak That scorn or hate has made him bold; his cheek Resolve has not turned pale, his eyes are mild And calm, and like the morn about to break, Smile on mankind-his heart seems reconciled To all things and itself, like a reposing child.
All thought it was God's Angel come to sweep
Tumult was in the soul of all beside,
They pause, they blush, they gaze; a gathering shout Ill joy, or doubt, or fear ; but those who saw Bursts likeone sound from the ten thousand streams Their tranquil victim pass, felt wonder glide Of a tempestuous sea :—that sudden rout Into their brain, and became calm with awe.- One checked, who never in his mildest dreams See, the slow pageant near the pile doth draw. Felt awe from grace or loveliness, the seams A thousand torches in the spacious square,
Of his rent heart so hard and cold a creed Borne by the ready slaves of ruthless law, Had seared with blistering ice-but he misdeems Await the signal round : the morning fair
That he is wise, whose wounds do only bleed Is changed to a dim night by that unnatural glare. Inly for self; thus thought the Iberian Priest