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Of the Imperial House, now desolate,
I past, and there was found aghast, alone,
Which starred with sunny gems, in its own lustre shcne.
Alone, but for one child, who led before him
Had praised her dance of yore, and now she wove
'Mid her sad task of unregarded love,
That to no smiles it might his speechless sadness move.
She fled to him, and wildly clasped his feet
When human steps were heard:-he moved nor spoke,
The little child stood up when we came nigh:
She stood beside him like a rainbow braided Within some storm, when scarce its shadows vast From the blue paths of the swift sun have faded; Asweet and solemn smile, like Cythna's cast One moment's light, which made my heart beat fast, O'er that child's parted lips-a gleam of bliss, Ashade of vanished days, -as the tears past Ipressed those softest eyes in trembling tenderness. Which wrapt it, even as with a father's kiss
Idrew, and of his change compassionate,
With sullen guile of ill-dissembled hate
Glared on me as a toothless snake might glare!
Pity, not scorn I felt, though desolate
The desolator now, and unaware
The curses which he mocked had caught him by the hair.
I led him forth from that which now might seem
We went, and left the shades which tend on sleep
Their silent watch.-The child trod faintingly,
At last the tyrant cried, "She hungers, slave,
I trembled, for the truth was known,
He with this child had thus been left alone,
And neither had gone forth for food,-but he
In mingled pride and awe cowered near his throne,
And she a nursling of captivity
Knew naught beyond those walls, nor what such change might be
And he was troubled at a charm withdrawn
Thus suddenly; that sceptres ruled no more
That even from gold the dreadful strength was gone,
Which once made all things subject to its power
Such wonder seized him, as if hour by hour
The past had come again; and the swift fall
Of one so great and terrible of yore,
To desolateness, in the hearts of all
Like wonder stirred, who saw such awful change befall.
A mighty crowd, such as the wide land pours
Then knew the burthen of his change, and found,
Concealing in the dust his visage wan,
Refuge from the keen looks which through his bosom ran.
And he was faint withal: I sate beside him
Upon the earth, and took that child so fair
From his weak arms, that ill might none betide him
Or her; when food was brought to them, her share
To his averted lips the child did bear,
Slowly the silence of the multitudes
Then was heard-He who judged let him be brought
"What do ye seek? what fear ye?" then I cried,
"that ye should shed
The blood of Othman-if your hearts are tried
Of human nature win from these a second birth.
In secret thought has wished another's ill?-
The murmur of the people slowly dying,
Clasped on her lap in silence ;-through the air
Of him whom late they cursed, a solace sweet
Then to a home for his repose assigned,
As those who pardoned him, he might have ended
A sight with which that child like hope with fear was blended.
"Twas midnight now, the eve of that great day
Whereon the many nations at whose call
The chains of earth like mist melted away,
Decreed to hold a sacred Festival,
A rite to attest the equality of all
Who live. So to their homes, to dream or wake
All went. The sleepless silence did recal
Laone to my thoughts, with hopes that make
The flood recede from which their thirst they seek to slake.
The dawn flowed forth, and from its purple fountains
I drank those hopes which make the spirit quail :
As to the plain between the misty mountains
To see, far glancing in the misty morning
The signs of that innumerable host,
To hear one sound of many made, the warning
While the eternal hills, and the sea lost
In wavering light, and, starring the blue sky
Its witnesses with men who must hereafter be.
To see like some vast island from the Ocean,
The Altar of the Federation rear
Its pile i' the midst; a work, which the devotion
Sudden, as when the moonrise makes appear
Far ships: to know its height the morning mists forbid !
To hear the restless multitudes forever
To feel the dreamlike music, which did swim
Like beams through floating clouds on waves below
As silver-sounding tongues breathed an aërial hymn.
To hear, to see, to live, was on that morn
Two only bosoms with their own life trembled,
And mine was one,-and we had both dissembled ;
So with a beating heart I went, and one,
Who having much, covets yet more, resembled ;
A lost and dear possession, which not won,
He walks in lonely gloom beneath the noonday sun.
To the great Pyramid I came : its stair
With female quires was thronged: the loveliest
In earliest light by vintagers, and one
Sate there, a female Shape upon an ivory throne.
A Form most like the imagined habitant
Of silver exhalations sprung from dawn,
By winds which feed on sunrise woven, to enchant
Of those divinest lineaments-alone
With thoughts which none could share, from that fair sight
I turned in sickness, for a veil shrouded her countenance bright.
And, neither did I hear the acclamations,
Which from brief silence bursting, filled the air
With her strange name and mine, from all the nations