Imatges de pÓgina
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As of a joyous infant waked and playing

With its dead mother's breast, and now more

loud

The mingled battle-cry, -ha! hear I not «Εν τούτῳ νίκη.” "Alla-illah-Allah!"

AHASUERUS

The sulphurous mist is raised-thou seest

MAHMUD

A chasm,

As of two mountains in the wall of Stam

boul;

And in that ghastly breach the Islamites,
Like giants on the ruins of a world,

Stand in the light of sunrise. In the dust
Glimmers a kingless diadem, and one
Of regal port has cast himself beneath
The stream war. Another proudly clad
In golden arms spurs a Tartarian barb

Into the gap, and with his iron mace
Directs the torrent of that tide of men,

And seems

he is- Mahomet!

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AHASUERUS

What thou seest

Is but the ghost of thy forgotten dream.
A dream itself, yet less, perhaps, than that
Thou call'st reality. Thou mayst behold
How cities, on which Empire sleeps enthroned,
Bow their towered crests to mutability.
Poised by the flood, e'en on the height thou
holdest,

Thou mayst now learn how the full tide of power
Ebbs to its depths. - Inheritor of glory,
Conceived in darkness, born in blood, and
nourished

With tears and toil, thou seest the mortal throes Of that whose birth was but the same. The

Past

Now stands before thee like an Incarnation

Of the To-come; yet wouldst thou commune with

That portion of thyself which was ere thou Didst start for this brief race whose crown is

death,

Dissolve with that strong faith and fervent

passion

Which called it from the uncreated deep,
Yon cloud of war, with its tempestuous phan-

toms

Of raging death; and draw with mighty will
The imperial shade hither.

[Exit AHASUERUS.

MAHMUD

Approach!

PHANTOM

I come

Thence whither thou must go! The grave is

fitter

To take the living than give up the dead;
Yet has thy faith prevailed, and I am here.
The heavy fragments of the power which fell
When I arose, like shapeless crags and clouds,
Hang round my throne on the abyss, and
voices

Of strange lament soothe my supreme repose, Wailing for glory never to return. —

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A later Empire nods in its decay:
The autumn of a greener faith is come,
And wolfish change, like winter, howls to strip
The foliage in which Fame, the eagle, built
Her aërie, while Dominion whelped below.
The storm is in its branches, and the frost
Is on its leaves, and the blank deep expects
Oblivion on oblivion, spoil on spoil,
Ruin on ruin :-Thou art slow, my son;
The Anarchs of the world of darkness keep
A throne for thee, round which thine empire
lies

Boundless and mute; and for thy subjects thou,
Like us, shalt rule the ghosts of murdered life,
The phantoms of the powers who rule thee

now -

Mutinous passions, and conflicting fears,
And hopes that sate themselves on dust and
die! -

Stript of their mortal strength, as thou of thine.
Islam must fall, but we will reign together
Over its ruins in the world of death :-
And if the trunk be dry, yet shall the seed

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Unfold itself even in the shape of that

Which gathers birth in its decay. Woe! woe! To the weak people tangled in the grasp

Of its last spasms.

MAHMUD

Spirit, woe to all!

Woe to the wronged and the avenger! Woe
To the destroyer, woe to the destroyed!
Woe to the dupe, and woe to the deceiver !
Woe to the oppressed, and woe to the op-
pressor !

Woe both to those that suffer and inflict;

Those who are born and those who die! but

say,

Imperial shadow of the thing I am,

When, how, by whom, Destruction must ac

complish

Her consummation?

PHANTOM

Ask the cold pale Hour,

Rich in reversion of impending death,
When he shall fall upon whose ripe gray hairs
Sit Care, and Sorrow, and Infirmity -

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