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And mounting featly for the mead,
His head was leant upon his hand,
His eye look'd o'er the dark blue water That swiftly glides and gently swells Between the winding Dardanelles ; But yet he saw nor sea nor strand, Nor even his Pacha's turban'd band
Mix in the game of mimic slaughter, Careering cleave the folded felt 3 With sabre stroke right sharply dealt; Nor mark'd the javelin-darting crowd, Nor heard their Ollahs wild and loudHe thought but of olà Giaffir's daughter!
No word from Selim's bosom broke;
The Persian Atar-gul's perfume,
The pictured roof6 and marble floor:
The drops, that through his glittering vest
The fairest flowers of eastern land"He lov'd them once; may touch them yet, If offer'd by Zuleika's hand."
The childish thought was hardly breathed Before the rose was pluck'd and wreathed;
mouth-piece, and sometimes the ball which contains the leaf is adorned with precious stones, if in possession of the wealthier orders.
1 "Maugrabee," Moorish mercenaries.
"Delis," bravos who form the forlorn hope of the cavalry, and always begin the action.
3A twisted fold of telt is used for scimitar practice by the Turks, and few but Mussulman arms can cut through it at a single stroke: sometimes a tough turban is used for the same purpose. The jerreed is a game of biunt javelins, animated and graceful.
"Ollahs." Alla il Allah, the "Leilies," as the Spanish poets call them, the sound is Ollah; a cry of which the Turks, for a silent people, are somewhat profuse, particularly during the jerreed, or in the chase, but mostly in battle. Their ani
The next fond moment saw her seat
"What! not receive my foolish flower? Nay then I am indeed unblest : On me can thus thy forehead lower?
And know'st thou not who loves thee best?
I knew our sire at times was stern,
Ah! deem I right? the Pacha's plan -
When flies that shaft, and fly it must,
As the bolt bursts on high
From the black cloud that bound it, Flash'd the soul of that eye
Through the long lashes round it. A war-horse at the trumpet's sound, A lion roused by heedless hound, A tyrant waked to sudden strife
By graze of ill-directed knife,
Starts not to more convulsive life
And all, before repress'd, betray'd:
That vow hath saved more heads than one :
I know the wretch who dares demand
I've partisans for peril's day:
Think not I am what I appear;
XIII. "Think not thou art what thou appearest ! My Selim, thou art sadly changed: This morn I saw thee gentlest, dearest ;
But now thou 'rt from thyself estranged
With thee to live, with thee to die,
Thy cheek, thine eyes, thy lips to kiss,
What fever in thy veins is flushing?
! The treasures of the Pre-adamite Sultans. See D'Herbelot, article Istakar.
2" Musselim," a governor, the next in rank after a Pacha; a Waywode is the third; and then come the Agas.
My own have nearly caught the same,
At least I feel my cheek too blushing.
Yet what thou mean'st by arms' and 'friends,'
I meant that Giaffir should have heard
The very vow I plighted thee;
Can this fond wish seem strange in me,
To be what I have ever been?
From simple childhood's earliest hour?
These cherish'd thoughts, with life begun,
What change is wrought to make me shun
The truth; my pride, and thine till now? To meet the gaze of stranger's eyes Our law, our creed, our God denies; Nor shall one wandering thought of mine At such, our Prophet's will, repine: No happier made by that decree! He left me all in leaving thee. Deep were my anguish, thus compell'd To wed with one I ne'er beheld: This wherefore should I not reveal ? Why wilt thou urge me to conceal ? I know the Pacha's haughty mood To thee hath never boded good; And he so often storms at nought, Allah! forbid that e'er he ought! And why I know not, but within My heart concealment weighs like sin. If then such secrecy be crime,
And such it feels while lurking here;
Nor leave me thus to thoughts of fear.
Betake thee Giaffir I can greet:
There's fearful news from Danube's banks,
For which the Giaour may give him thanks !
3 14 Egripo," the Negropont. According to the proverb, the Turks of Egripo, the Jews of Salonica, and the Greeks of Athens, are the worst of their respective races.
4" Tchocadar"-one of the attendants who precedes a man of authority.
Our Sultan hath a shorter way
Then softly from the Haram creep
"Fear thee, my Selim! ne'er till now Did word like this-"
"Delay not thou; I keep the key and Haroun's guard Have some, and hope of more reward. To-night, Zuleika, thou shalt hear My tale, my purpose, and my fear: I am not, love! what I appear."
The Bride of Abydos.
CANTO THE SECOND.
THE winds are high on Helle's wave,
As on that night of stormy water When Love, who sent, forgot to save The young, the beautiful, the brave,
The lonely hope of Sestos' daughter. Oh when alone along the sky Her turret-torch was blazing high, Though rising gale, and breaking foam, And shrieking sea-birds warn'd him home; And clouds aloft and tides below, With signs and sounds, forbade to go, He could not see, he would not hear, Or sound or sign foreboding fear; His eye but saw that light of love, The only star it hail'd above; His ear but rang with Hero's song, "Ye waves, divide not lovers long !". That tale is old, but love anew May nerve young hearts to prove as true.
1 The wrangling about this epithet, "the broad Hellespont" or the "boundless Hellespont," whether it means one or the other, or what it means at all, has been beyond all possibility of detail. I have even heard it disputed on the spot; and not foreseeing a speedy conclusion to the controversy, amused myself with swimming across it in the mean time; and probably may again, before the point is settled. Indeed, the question as to the truth of "the tale of Troy divine" still continues, much of it resting upon the talismanic word "azugos: " probably Homer had the same notion of distance that a coquette has of time; and when he talks of boundless, means half a mile; as the latter, by a like figure, when she says eternal attachment, simply specifies three weeks.
2 Before his Persian invasion, and crowned the altar with laurel, &c. He was afterwards imitated by Caracalla in his
The night hath closed on Helle's stream,
But conscious shepherds bless it still.
Of him who felt the Dardan's arrow : That mighty heap of gather'd ground Which Ammon's son ran proudly round, 2 By nations raised, by monarchs crown'd, Is now a lone and nameless barrow ! Within - thy dwelling-place how narrow ! Without - can only strangers breathe The name of him that was beneath: Dust long outlasts the storied stone; But Thou- - thy very dust is gone!
May shape the course of struggling skiff;
Yes there is light in that lone chamber, And o'er her silken Ottoman
Are thrown the fragment beads of amber, O'er which her fairy fingers ran; 9
race. It is believed that the last also poisoned a friend, narned Festus, for the sake of new Patroclan games. I have seen the sheep feeding on the tombs of Esietes and Antilochus : the first is in the centre of the plain.
3 When rubbed, the amber is susceptible of a perfume, which is slight but not disagreeable. [On discovering that, in some of the early copies, the all-importaut monosyllable "not" had been omitted, Lord Byron wrote to Mr. Murray, -"There is a diabolical mistake which must be corrected; it is the omission of 'not' before disagreeable, in the note on the amber rosary. This is really horrible, and nearly as bad as the stumble of mine at the threshold- I mean the misno:ner of Bride. Pray do not let a copy go without the not :' it is nonsense, and worse than nonsense. I wish the printer was saddled with a vampire."]
Near these, with emerald rays beset,
A Koran of illumined dyes;
And many a bright emblazon'd rhyme
Are gather'd in that gorgeous room:
Wrapt in the darkest sable vest,
Which none save noblest Moslem wear, To guard from winds of heaven the breast As heaven itself to Selim dear, 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;
How could she quit her Selim's side?
And oft her Koran conn'd apart;
VIII. 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 A ray of no celestial hue;
1 The belief in amulets engraved on gems, or enclosed in gold boxes, containing scraps from the Koran, worn round the neck, wrist, or arm, is still universal in the East. The Koorsee (throne) verse in the second cap. 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.
↑ "Comboloio"-a Turkish rosary. The MSS., particularly those of the 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
But in a nook within the cell
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 :
No longer glitter'd at his waist,
"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,
In this I speak not now of love;
"Oh! not my brother!-yet unsay-
qualified for a Christian coterie. Perhaps some of our own blues" might not be worse for bleaching.
3" 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, however, are generally naked. The buskins described in the text as sheathed behind with silver are those of an Arnaut robber, who was my host (he had quitted the profession) at his Pyrgo, near Gastouni in the Morea; they were plated in scales one over the other, like the back of an armadillo.
["To curse if I could curse—the day."- MS.]
Thy sister-friend- Zuleika still. Thou led'st me here perchance to kill; If thou hast cause for vengeance, see! My breast is offer'd-take thy fill !
Far better with the dead to be Than live thus nothing now to thee: Perhaps far worse, for now I know Why Giaffir always seem'd thy foc; 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 !"
XII. "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. So may 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; 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; 2 He watch'd me like a lion's whelp,
That gnaws and yet may break his chain.
Is boiling; but for thy dear sake
Though here I must no more remain.
"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 repose. In war Abdallah's arm was strong, Remember'd yet in Bosniac song,
The characters on all Turkish scimitars contain sometimes the name of the place of their manufacture, but more generally a text from the Koran, in letters of gold. Amongst 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 wavering of flame. I asked the Armenian who sold it, what possible use such 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 wound; and liked it because it was “piu feroce." I did not much admire the reason, but bought it for its peculiarity.
2 It is to be observed, that every 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 fabulous, 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 a prophet inferior only to Christ and
"The deed once done, and Paswan's feud
Abdallah's honours were obtain'd
His gains repay his broiling brow! —
By him whom Heaven accorded none,
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. -[Some doubt having been expressed by Mr. Murray, as to the propriety of putting the name of Cain into the mouth of a Mussulman, Lord Byron sent him the preceding note. "for the benefit of the ignorant." "I don't care one lump of sugar," he says, "for my poetry; but for my costume, and my correctness on those points, I will combat lustily."]
3 Paswan Oglou, the rebel of Widin; who, for the last years of his life, set the whole power of the Porte at defiance. "Horse-tail," the standard of a Pacha.
5 Giaffir, Pacha of Argyro Castro, or Scutari, I am not sure which, was actually taken off by the Albanian Ali, in the manner described in the text. Ali Pacha, while I was in the country, married the daughter of his victim, some years after the event had taken place at a bath in Sophia, or Adrianople. The poison was mixed in the cup of coffee, which is presented before the sherbet by the bath-keeper, after dressing.