Imatges de pàgina

Of the Imperial House, now desolate,

I past, and there was found aghast, alone,
The fallen Tyrant !-silently he sate
Upon the footstool of his golden throne,

Which starred with sunny gems, in its own lustre shcne.


Alone, but for one child, who led before him
A graceful dance: the only living thing
Of all the crowd, which thither to adore him
Flocked yesterday, who solace sought to bring
In his abandonment! she knew the King

Had praised her dance of yore, and now she wove
Its circles, aye weeping and murmuring

'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,
Nor changed his hue, nor raised his looks to meet
The gaze of strangers-our loud entrance woke
The echoes of the hall, which circling broke
The calm of its recesses,-like a tomb
Its sculptured walls vacantly to the stroke
Of footfalls answered, and the twilight's gloom,
Lay like a charnel's mist within the radiant dome.


The little child stood up when we came nigh:
Her lips and cheeks seemed very pale and wan,
But on her forehead, and within her eye
Lay beauty, which makes hearts that feed thereon
Sick with excess of sweetness; on the throne
She leaned ;-the King with gathered brow, and lips
Wreathed by long scorn, did inly sneer and frown
With hue like that when some great painter dips
His pencil in the gloom of earthquake and eclipse.


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,
The sceptred wretch then from that solitude
With words of sadness soothed his rugged mood.
But he. while pride and fear held deep debate,

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
A gorgeous grave through portals sculptured deep
With imagery beautiful as dream

We went, and left the shades which tend on sleep
Over its unregarded gold to keep

Their silent watch.-The child trod faintingly,
And as she went, the tears which she did weep
Glanced in the starlight; wildered seemed she,
And when I spake, for sobs she could not answer me.


At last the tyrant cried, "She hungers, slave,
Stab her, or give her bread !"-It was a tone
Such as sick fancies in a new made grave

Might hear.

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
Once in a thousand years, now gathered round
The fallen tyrant ;-like the rush of showers
Of hail in spring, pattering along the ground,
Their many footsteps fell, else came no sound
From the wide multitude: that lonely man

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,
But when she saw he had enough, she ate
And wept the while; the lonely man's despair
Hunger then overcame, and of his state
Forgetful, on the dust as in a trance he sate.


Slowly the silence of the multitudes
Past, as when far is heard in some lone dell
The gathering of a wind among the woods--
And he is fallen! they cry, he who did dwell
Like famine or the plague, or aught more fell
Among our homes, is fallen! the murderer
Who slaked his thirsting soul as from a well
Of blood and tears with ruin! he is here!
Sunk in a gulf of scorn from which none may him rear !


Then was heard-He who judged let him be brought
To judgment! blood for blood cries from the soil
On which his crimes have deep pollution wrought!
Shall Othman only unavenged despoil?
Shall they who by the stress of grinding toil
Wrest from the unwilling earth his luxuries,
Perish for crime, while his foul blood may boil,
Or creep within his veins at will?-Arise!
And to high justice make her chosen sacrifice.


"What do ye seek? what fear ye?" then I cried,
Suddenly starting forth,

"that ye should shed

The blood of Othman-if your hearts are tried
In the true love of freedom, cease to dread
This one poor lonely man-beneath Heaven spread
In purest light above us all, through earth
Maternal earth, who doth her sweet smiles shed
For all, let him go free; until the worth

Of human nature win from these a second birth.


In secret thought has wished another's ill?-
"What call ye justice? is there one who ne'er
Are ye al1 pure? let those stand forth who hear,
And tremble not. Shall they insult and kill,
With the false anger of the hypocrite?
If such they be? their mild eyes can they fill
Alas, such were not pure-the chastened will
Of love, and not revenge, and terror and despite."
Sees that justice is the light

Of virtue


The murmur of the people slowly dying,
Paused as I spake, then those who near me were,
Cast gentle looks where the lone man was lying
Shrouding his head, which now that infant fair

Clasped on her lap in silence ;-through the air
Sobs were then heard, and many kissed my feet
In pity's madness, and to the despair

Of him whom late they cursed, a solace sweet
His very victims brought-soft looks and speeches meet.


Then to a home for his repose assigned,
Accompanied by the still throng he went
In silence, where to soothe his rankling mind,
Some likeness of his ancient state was lent;
And if his heart could have been innocent

As those who pardoned him, he might have ended
His days in peace; but his strait lips were bent,
Men said, into a smile which guile portended,

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
And the great City, with a countenance pale
I went :-it was a sight which might avail
To make men weep exulting tears, for whom
Now first from human power the reverend veil
Was torn, to see Earth from her general womb
Pour forth her swarming sons to a fraternal doom:


To see, far glancing in the misty morning

The signs of that innumerable host,

To hear one sound of many made, the warning
Of Earth to Heaven from its free children tost,

While the eternal hills, and the sea lost

In wavering light, and, starring the blue sky
The city's myriad spires of gold, almost
With human joy made mute society,

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
Of millions in one night created there,

Sudden, as when the moonrise makes appear
Strange clouds in the east; a marble pyramid
Distinct with steps: that mighty shape did wear
The light of genius; its still shadow hid

Far ships: to know its height the morning mists forbid !


To hear the restless multitudes forever
Around the base of that great Altar flow,
As on some mountain islet burst and shiver
Atlantic waves; and solemnly and slow
As the wind bore that tumult to and fro,

To feel the dreamlike music, which did swim

Like beams through floating clouds on waves below
Falling in pauses, frota that Altar dim

As silver-sounding tongues breathed an aërial hymn.


To hear, to see, to live, was on that morn
Lethean joy! so that all those assembled
Cast off their memories of the past outworn;

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
Among the free, grouped with its sculptures rare ;
As I approached, the morning's golden mist,
Which now the wonder-stricken breezes kist
With their cold lips, fled, and the summit shone
Like Athos seen from Samothracia, drest

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
The faiths of men : all mortal eyes were drawn,
As famished mariners through strange seas gone
Gaze on a burning watch-tower, by the light

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
Which we, they said, in strength had gathered there

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