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Though bent on earth thine evil eye,
Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun.
On — on he hasten'd, and he drew My gaze of wonder as he flew : Though like a demon of the night He pass'd, and vanish'd from my sight, His aspect and his air impress'd A troubled memory on my breast, And long upon my startled ear Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear. He spurs his steed; he nears the steep, That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep; He winds around; he hurries by ; The rock relieves him from mine eye; For well I ween unwelcome he Whose glance is fix'd on those that flee; And not a star but shines too bright On him who takes such timeless flight. He wound along; but ere he pass'd One glance he snatch'd, as if his last, A moment check'd his wheeling steed, A moment breathed him from his speed, A moment on his stirrup stood— Why looks he o'er the olive wood 2 The crescent glimmers on the hill. The Mosque's high lamps are quivering still: Though too remote for sound to wake In echoes of the far tophaike, The flashes of each joyous peal Are seen to prove the Moslem's zeal, To-night, set Rhamazani's sun ; To-night, the Bairam feast's begun ; To-night—but who and what art thou Of foreign garb and fearful brow 2 And what are these to thine or thee, That thou should'st either pause or flee 7
He stood—some dread was on his face, Soon Hatred settled in its place : It rose not with the reddening flush Of transient Anger's hasty blush, * But pale as marble o'er the tomb, Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom.
1 * Tophaike,” musket. — The Bairam is announced by the cannon at sunset ; the illumination of the Mosques, and the firing of all kinds of small arms, loaded with ball, proclaim it during the night.
o o Hasty blush.” – “For hasty, all the editions till the twelfth read “darkening blush.” On the back of a copy of the eleventh, Lord Byron has written, “Why did not the o attend to the solitary correction so repeatedly made 2
have no copy of this, and desire to have none till my request is complied with.”]
* [“ Then turned it swiftly to his blade,
As loud his raven charger neigh’d.” - MS.]
* Jerreed, or Djerrid, a blunted Turkish javelin, which is darted from horseback with great force and precision. It is a favourite exercise of the Mussulmans ; but I know not if it can be called a manly one, since the most expert in the art are the Black Eunuchs of Constantinople. I think, next to these, a Mamlouk at Smyrna was the Inost skilful that came within my observation.
* [Every gesture of the impetuous horseman is full of anxiety and passion. In the midst of his career, whilst in full view of the astonished spectator, he suddenly checks his steed, and rising on his stirrup, surveys, with a look of agonising impatience, the distant city illuminated for the feast of Biram , then pale with anger, raises his arm as if in menace of an invisible enemy; but awakened from his trance of passion by the neighing of his charger, again hurries forward, and disappears. - Geoage Ellis.
upon your faces: for here is the simoom.’
His brow was bent, his eye was glazed ;
water, Idris, our guide, cried out with a loud voice, “Fall I saw from the south-east a haze come, in colour like the purple part of the rainbow, but not so compressed or thick. It did not occupy twenty yards in breadth, and was about twelve feet high from the ground. It was a kind of blush upon the air, and it
moved very rapidly; for I scarce could turn to fall upon the
ground, with my head to the northward, when I felt the heat of its current plainly upon my face. We all lay flat on the ground as if dead, till Idris toid us it was blown over. The meteor, or purple haze, which I saw was, indeed, passed, but the light air, which still blew, was of a heat to threaten suffocation. For my part, I found distinctly in my breast that I had imbibed a part of it; nor was I sree of an asthmatic sensation till I had been some months in Italy, at the baths of Poretta, near two years afterwards.” – See Bruce's Life and Travels, p. 470. edit. 1830.]
Beneath whose widely-wasting breath
The stced is vanish'd from the stall; No serf is seen in Hassan's hall ; The lonely Spider's thin gray pall Waves slowly widening o'er the wall;" The Bat builds in his IIaram bower, And in the fortress of his power The Owl usurps the beacon-tower; The wild-dog howls o'er the fountain's brim, With baffled thirst, and famine, grim;3 For the stream has shrunk from its marble bed, Where the weeds and the desolate dust are spread. "T was sweet of yore to see it play And chase the sultriness of day, As springing high the silver dew In whirls fantastically flew, And flung luxurious coolness round The air, and verdure o'er the ground. "T was sweet, when cloudless stars were bright, To view the wave of watery light, And hear its melody by night. And oft had Hassan's Childhood play'd Around the verge of that cascade; And oft upon his mother's breast That sound had harmonized his rest; And oft had Hassan's Youth along Its bank been soothed by Beauty's song; And softer seem'd each melting tone Of Music mingled with its own. But ne'er shall Hassan's Age repose Along the brink at twilight's close : The stream that fill'd that font is fled – The blood that warm'd his heart is shed : 3 And here no more shall human voice Be heard to rage, regret, rejoice. The last sad note that swell'd the gale Was woman's wildest funeral wail : That quench'd in silence, all is still, But the lattice that flaps when the wind is shrill . Though raves the gust, and floods the rain, No hand shall close its clasp again. * On desert sands 't were joy to scan The rudest steps of fellow man,
* [This part of the narrative not only contains much brilliant and just description, but is managed with unusual taste. The fisherman has, hitherto, related nothing more than the extraordinary phenomenon which had excited his curiosity, and of which it is his immediate object to explain the cause to his hearers; but instead of proceeding to do so, he stops to vent his execrations on the Giaour, to describe the solitude of Hassan's once luxurious haram, and to lament the untimely death of the owner, and of Leila, together with the cessation of that hospitality which . had uniformly experienced. He reveals, as if unintentionally and unconsciously, the catastrophe of his story ; but he thus prepares his appeal to the sympathy of his audience, without much diminishing their suspense. — GeoRGE Ellis.]
* [“I have just recollected an alteration you may make in the proof. Among the lines on Hassan's Serai, is this
“ Unmeet for solitude to share."
Now, to share implies more than one, and Solitude is a single gentleman; it must be thus –
So here the very voice of Grief
Since his turban was cleft by the infidel's sabre 17 - to- - -
I hear the sound of coming feet, But not a voice mine ear to greet; More near—each turban I can scan, And silver-sheathed ataghan; * The foremost of the band is seen An Emir by his garb of green : 9 * Ho who art thou?”—“This low salam 10 Replies of Moslem faith I am."— “The burthen ye so gently bear Seems one that claims your utmost care, And, doubtless, holds some precious freight, My humble bark would gladly wait.”
“Thou speakest sooth ; thy skiff unmoor, And waft us from the silent shore; Nay, leave the sail still furl’d, and ply The nearest oar that's scatter'd by, And midway to those rocks where sleep The channel'd waters dark and deep. Rest from your task — so — bravely done, Our course has been right swiftly run; Yet 'tis the longest voyage, I trow, That one of — o
o - e
“For many a gilded chamber's there, Which solitude might well forbear;" and so on. Will you adopt this correction ? and pray accept a Stilton cheese from me for your trouble. – P. S. I leave this to your discretion : if any body thinks the old line a good one, or the cheese a bad one, don't accept of either.”—Byron Letters, Stilton, Oct. 3, 1813.] * To partake of food, to break bread and salt with your host, ensures the safety of the guest: even though an enemy, his person from that moment is sacred. 7 I need hardly observe, that Charity and Hospitality are the first duties enjoined by Mahomet; and to say truth, very generally practised by his disciples. The first praise that can be bestowed on a chief, is a panegyric on his bounty; the next, on his valour. * The ataghan, a long dagger worn with pistols in the belt, in a metal scabbard, generally of silver; and, among the wealthier, gilt, or of gold. * Green is the privileged colour of the prophet's numerous retended descendants; with them, as here, faith (the family nheritance) is supposed to supersede the necessity of good works: they are the worst of a very indifferent brood. 19 “Salam aleikoum ! aleikoum salam : " peace be with you ; be with you peace — the salutation reserved for the faithful : — to a Christian, “Urlarula,” a good journey; or “saban hiresem, saban serula; "good morn, good even ; and sometimes, “may your end be happy; " are the usual salutes.
As rising on its purple wing The insect-queen I of eastern spring, O'er emerald meadows of Kashmeer Invites the young pursuer near, And leads him on from flower to flower A weary chase and wasted hour, Then leaves him, as it soars on high, With panting heart and tearful eye : So Beauty lures the full-grown child, With hue as bright, and wing as wild; A chase of idle hopes and fears, Begun in folly, closed in tears. If won, to equal ills betray'd, 3 Woe waits the insect and the maid; A life of pain, the loss of peace, From infant's play, and man's caprice : The lovely toy so fiercely sought Hath lost its charm by being caught, For every touch that woo'd its stay Hath brush'd its brightest hues away, Till charm, and hue, and beauty gone, *T is left to fly or fall alone. With wounded wing, or bleeding breast, Ah where shall either victim rest ? Can this with faded pinion soar From rose to tulip as before ? Or Beauty, blighted in an hour, Find joy within her broken bower? No : gayer insects fluttering by Ne'er droop the wing o'er those that die, And lovelier things have mercy shown To cvery failing but their own, And every woe a tear can claim
Till inly search'd by thousand throes,
Around it flanne, within it death ! e o -
Black Hassan from the Haram flies, Nor bends on woman's form his eyes; The unwonted chase each hour employs, Yet shares he not the hunter's joys. Not thus was Hassan wont to fly When Leila dwelt in his Serai. Doth Leila there no longer dwell ? That tale can only Hassan tell : Strange rumours in our city say Upon that eve she fled away When Rhamazan's 7 last sun was set, And flashing from each minaret Millions of lamps proclaim'd the feast Of Bairam through the boundless East. 'Twas then she went as to the bath, Which Hassan vainly search'd in wrath; For she was flown her master's rage In likeness of a Georgian page, And far beyond the Moslem's power Had wrong'd him with the faithless Giaour. Somewhat of this had Hassan deem'd ; But still so fond, so fair she seem’d, Too well he trusted to the slave Whose treachery deserved a grave: And on that eve had gone to mosque, And thence to feast in his kiosk. Such is the tale his Nubians tell, Who did not watch their charge too well; But others say, that on that night, By pale Phingari's 8 trembling light, The Giaour upon his jet black steed Was seen, but seen alone to speed With bloody spur along the shore, Nor maid nor page behind him bore.
- - o
Her eye's dark charm 't were vain to tell, But gaze on that of the Gazelle,. It will assist thy fancy well ; As large, as languishingly dark, But Soul beam'd forth in every spark
* [“The gathering flames around her close.” – MS.]
* Alluding to the dubious suicide of the scorpion, so placed for experiment by gentle philosophers. Some maintain that the position of the sting, when turned towards the head, is merely a convulsive movement; but others have actually brought in the verdict “Felo de se.” The scorpions are surely interested in a speedy decision of the question ; as, if once fairly established as insect Catos, they will probably be allowed to live as long as they think proper, without being martyred for the sake of an hypothesis.
* [“So writhes the mind by Conscience riven.” – MS.]
7. The cannon at sunset close the Rhamazan. See ante, p. 65. note. * Phingari, the unoon.
That darted from beneath the lid,
The foremost Tartar's in the gap, Conspicuous by his yellow cap; The rest in lengthening line the while Wind slowly through the long defile : Above, the mountain rears a peak, Where vultures whet the thirsty beak, And theirs may be a feast to-night, Shall tempt them down ere morrow's light; Beneath, a river's wintry stream Has shrunk before the summer beam, And left a channel bleak and bare, Save shrubs that spring to perish there: Each side the midway path there lay Small broken crags of granite gray, By time, or mountain lightning, riven From summits clad in mists of heaven; For where is he that hath beheld
They reach the grove of pine rt last: “Bismillah now the peril's past; For yonder view the opening plain, And there we'll prick our steeds amain : ” The Chiaus spake, and as he said, A bullet whistled o'er his head; The foremost Tartar bites the ground !? Scarce had they time to check the rein, Swift from their steeds the riders bound ; But three shall never mount again: Unseen the foes that gave the wound, The dying ask revenge in vain. With steel unsheath'd, and carbine bent, Some o'er their courser's harness leant, Half shelter'd by the steed; Some fly behind the nearest rock, And there await the coming shock, Nor tamely stand to bleed Beneath the shaft of foes unseen, Who dare not quit their craggy screen. Stern Hassan only from his horse Disdains to light, and kceps his course, Till fiery flashes in the van Proclaim too sure the robber-clan Have well secured the only way Could now avail the promised prey; Then curl’d his very beard 3 with ire, And glared his cye with fiercer fire: “Though far and near the bullets hiss, I've 'scaped a bloodier hour than this." And now the foe their covert quit, And call his vassals to submit; But Hassan's frown and furious word Are dreaded more than hostile sword, Nor of his little band a man Resign'd carbine or ataghan, Nor raised the craven cry, Amaun 14 In fuller sight, more near and near, The lately ambush'd foes appear, And, issuing from the grove, advance Some who on battle-charger prance. Who leads them on with foreign brand, Far flashing in his red right hand? “'T is he 'tis he I know him now ; I know him by his pallid brow; I know him by the evil eye * That aids his envious treachery; I know him by his jet-black barb: Though now array'd in Arnaut garb, Apostate from his own vile faith, It shall not save him from the death: "T is he well met in any hour, Lost Leila's love, accursed Giaour!"
As rolls the river into ocean,
As the sea-tide's opposing motion, In azure column proudly gleaming, Beats back the current many a rood, In curling foam and mingling flood,
1 Bismillah - “In the name of God;" the commencement of all the chapters of the Koran but one, and of prayer and thanksgiving.
2 C. Scarce had they time to check the retu,
The foremost Tartar bites the plain." —MS.]
* A phenomenon not uncommon with an angry Mussulman in isog, the Capitan Pacha's whiskers at a diplomatic audience were no less lively with indignation than a tiger cat's, to the horror of all the dragomans; the portentous mustachios twisted, they stood erect of their own accord, and
While eddying whirl, and breaking wave,
With sabre shiver'd to the hilt,