Till then

no beacon on the cliff
May shape the course of struggling skiff;
The scatter'd lights that skirt the bay,
All, one by one, have died away ;
The only lamp of this lone hour
Is glimmering in Zuleika's tower.
Yes! there is light in that lone chamber,

And o'er her silken Ottoman
Are thrown the fragrant beads of amber,

O'er which her fairy fingers ran ; (')
Near these, with emerald rays beset,
(How could she thus that gem forget ?)
Her mother's sainted amulet, (*)
Whereon engraved the Koorsee text,
Could smooth this life, and win the next;
And by her comboloio (*) lies
A Koran of illumined dyes ;
And many a bright emblazon'd rhyme
By Persian scribes redeem'd from time ;
And o'er those scrolls, not oft so mute,
Reclines her now neglected lute;
And round her lamp of fretted gold
Bloom flowers in urns of China's mould ;
The richest work of Iran's loom,
And Sheeraz' tribute of perfume ;
All that can eye or sense delight

Are gather'd in that gorgeous room :

But yet it hath an air of gloom.
She, of this peri cell the sprite,
What doth she hence, and on so rude a night?


Wrapt in the darkest sable vest,

Which none save noblest Moslem wea“,
To guard from winds of heaven the breast

As heaven itself to Selim dear,

(1) When rubbed, the amber is susceptible of a perfume, which is slight but not disagreeable.

(2) The belief in amulets engraved on gems, or enclosed in gold boxes, containing scraps from the Koran, worn found the neck, wrist, or arm, is still universal in tho East. The Koorsee (throne) verse in the second chap. of the Koran describes the attributes of the Most High, and is engraved in this manner, and worn by the pious, as the most esteemed and sublime of all sentences.

(3) "Comboloio" – a Turkish rosary. The MSS., particularly those of tho Persians, are richly adorned and illuminated. The Greek females are kept in utter ignorance ; but many of the Turkish girls are highly accomplished, though not actually, qualified for a Christian coterie. Perhaps some of our own “ blues” might not bo the worse for bleaching.

With cautious steps the thicket threading,

And starting oft, as through the glade

The gust its hollow moanings made, Till on the smoother pathway treading, More free her timid bosom beat,

The maid pursued her silent guide;
And though her terror urged retreat,

How could she quit her Selim's side ?
How teach her tender lips to chide ?

They reach'd at length a grotto, hewn

By nature, but enlarged by art,
Where oft her lute she wont to tune,

And oft her. Koran conn'd apart ;
And oft in youthful reverie
She dream'd what Paradise might be
Where woman's parted soul shall
Her Prophet had disdain’d to show ;
But Selim's mansion was secure,
Nor deem'd she, could he long endure
His bower in other worlds of bliss,
Without her, most beloved in this !
Oh! who so dear with him could dwell?
What Houri soothe him half so well ?


Since last she visited the spot
Some change seem'd wrought within the grot :
It might be only that the night
Disguised things seen by better light:
That brazen lamp but dimly threw

ray.of no celestial hue ;
But in a nook within the cell
Her eye on stranger objects fell.
There arms were piled, not such as wield
The turban'd Delis in the field ;
But brands of foreign blade and hilt,
And one was red perchance with guilt I
Ah! how without can blood be spilt ?
A сир

too on the board was set
That did not seem to hold sherbet.

this mean? she turn'd to see Her Selim 66 Oh! can this be he?"


His robe of pride was thrown aside,

His brow no high-crown'd turban bore,
But in its stead a shawl of red,

Wreathed lightly round, his temples wore :
That dagger, on whose hilt the gein
Were worthy of a diadem,
No longer glitter'd at his waist,
Where pistols unadoru'd were braced ;
And from his belt a sabre swung,
And from his shoulder loosely hung
The cloak of white, the thin capote
That decks the wandering Candiote;
Beneath - his golden-plated vest
Clung like a cuirass to his breast;
The greaves below his knee that wound
With silvery scales were sheathed and bound.
But were it not that high command
Spake in his eye, and tone, and hand,
All that a careless eye could see
In him was some young Galiongée. (*)


" I said I was not what I seem'd;

And now thou see'st my words were true :
I have a tale thou hast not dream'd,

If sooth - its truth must others rue.
My story now 't were vain to hide;
I must not see thee Osman's bride :
But had not thine own lips declared
How much of that young heart I shared,
I could not, must not, yet have shown
The darker secret of my own.
In this I speak not now of love ;
That, let time, truth, and peril prove:
But first-Oh! never wed another
Zuleika! I am not thy brother ! ”

(!) “ Galiongée". - or Galiongi, a sailor, that is, a Turkish sailor; the Greeks navigate, the Turks work the guns. Their dress is picturesque ; and I have seen the Capitan Pacha more than once wearing it as a kind of incog. Their legs, howover, are generally naked. The buskins described in the text as sheathed behind with silver are those of an Arnaut robber, who was my host, (ho had quitted the prosession,) at his Pyrgo, near Gastouni in the Morca ; ihey were plated in scales ope uvor the other, like the back of an armadillo.


- the day

[ocr errors]

« Oh! not my brother ! — yet unsay –

God! am I left alone on earth
To mourn - I dare not curse

That saw my solitary birth ?
Oh! thou wilt love me now no more!

My sinking heart foreboded ill ;
But know one all I was before,

Thy sister — friend - Zuleika still.
Thou led'st me here perchance to kill ;

If thou hast cause for vengeance, see ! ·
My breast is offerid — take thy fill!

Far better with the dead to be

Than live thus nothing now to thee :
Perhaps for worse, for now I know
Why Giaffir always seem'd thy foe;
And I, alas ! am Giaffir's child,
For whom thou wert contemn'd, reviled.
If not thy sister — would'st thou save
My life, Oh! bid me be thy slave ! ”


My slave, Zuleika ! — nay, I'm thine :

But, gentle love, this transport calm,
Thy lot shall yet be link'd with mine ;
I swear it by our Prophet's shrine,

And be that thought thy sorrow's balm.

the Koran (') verse display'd
Upon its steel direct my blade,
In danger's hour to guard us both,
As I preserve that awful oath !
The name in which thy heart hath prided

Must change ; but, my Zuleika, know,
That tie is widen'd, not divided,

Although thy Sire's my deadliest foe:
My father was to Giaffir all

That Selim late was deem'd to thee ;
That brother wrought a brother's fall,

But spared, at least, my infancy;

(1) The characters on all Turkish scimitars contain sometimes the namo or the place of their manufacture, but more generally a text from the Koran, in letters of gold. Among those in my possession, is one with a blade of singular construction ; it is very broad, and the edge notched into

serpentine curves like the ripple of water, or the wavoring of flame. i asked the Arminian who sold it, what possiblo use suche a figure could add : he said, in Italian, that he did not know : but the Mussulmans had an idea that those of this form gave a severer woung; and liked it because it was " piu feroce." I did not much admire the reason, bu bought it for its peculiarity,

And lull'd me with a vain deceit
That yet a like return may meet.
He rear'd me, not with tender help,

But like the nephew of a Cain ; ()
He watch'd me like a lion's whelp,

That gnaws and yet may break his chain.
My father's blood in


Is boiling ; but for thy dear sake.
No present vengeance will I take ;

Though here I must no more remain.
But first, belov'd Zuleika! hear
How Giaffir wrought this deed of fear.


“ How first their strife to rancour grew,

If love or envy made them foes.
It matters little if I knew ;
In fiery spirits, slights, though few

And thoughtless, will disturb reposo.
In war Abdallah's arm was strong,
Remember'd yet in Bosniac song,
And Paswan's (o) rebel hordes attest
How little love they bore such guest :
His death 'is all I need relate,
The stern effect of Giaffir's hate ;
And how my birth disclosed to me,
Whate'er beside it makes, hath made me free.


• When Paswan, after years of strife,

At last for power, but first for life,
In Widin's walls too proudly sate,
Our Pachas rallied round the state ;
Nor last nor least in high command,
Each brother led a separate band ;

(1) It is to be observed, that ovory, allusion to any thing or personage in the Old Testament, such as the ark, or Cain, is equally the privilege of Mussulman and Jew: indeed, the former profess to be much better acquainted with the lives, true and sabulous, of the patriarchs, than is warranted by our own sacred writ; and not content with Adam, they have a biography of Pre-Adamites. Solomon is the monarch of all necromancy, and Moses u prophet inferior only to Christ and Mahomet. Zuleika is the Persian name of Potiphar's wife; and her amour with Joseph constitutes one of the finest poems in their language. It is, therefore, no violation of costume to put the names of Cain, or Noah, into the mouth of a Moslem.

(2) Paswan Oglou, the rebel of Widin ; who, for the last years of his life, set the whole power of the Porto at defiance.

« ForrigeFortsett »