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Breathe low, low,
The spell of the mighty Mistress now!
The words which, like secret fire, shall flow
In the great morning of the world,
And all its banded anarchs fled,
Caught, like mountains beacon-lighted,
Like an eagle on a promontory.
Its unwearied wings could fan
From age to age, from man to man,
Re-assuming fiery flight,
From the west swift Freedom came,
Against the course of heaven and doom,
A second sun arrayed in flame,
To burn, to kindle, to illume.
From far Atlantis its young beams
Hid, but quenched it not; again
Scorns the embattled tempest's warning
And in the naked lightnings
Of truth they purge their dazzled eyes. Let Freedom leave,-where'er she flies, A desert, or a paradise;
Let the beautiful and the brave
Share her glory, or a grave!
With the gifts of gladness
With the tears of sadness
With an orphan's affection
And at thy resurrection
If heaven should resume thee,
If hell should entomb thee,
Dust let her glories be;
And a name and a nation
Be forgotten, Freedom, with thee!
His brow grows darker-Breathe not-move not;
He starts-be shudders.
Ye, that love not,
With your panting loud and fast
Have awakened him at last.
Mahmud [Starting from his sleep]. Man the Seraglio-guard !
make fast the gate!
What! from a cannonade of three short hours?
'Tis false! that breach towards the Bosphorus
Cannot be practicable yet-Who stirs ?
Stand to the match; that, when the foe prevails,
One spark may mix in reconciling ruin
The conqueror and the conquered! Heave the tower
The truth of day lightens upon my dream,
And I am Mahmud still.
Is strangely moved.
Your Sublime Highness
The times do cast strange shadows
Lest they, being first in peril as in glory,
Be whelmed in the fierce ebb:-and these are of them.
Thrice has a gloomy vision hunted me
As thus from sleep into the troubled day;
It shakes me as the tempest shakes the sea,
Leaving no figure upon memory's glass.
Would that ... no matter. Thou didst say thou knewest
Of strange and secret and forgotten things.
I bade thee summon him:-'tis said his tribe
Dream, and are wise interpreters of dreams.
Hassan. The Jew of whom I spake is old-so old
He seems to have outlived a world's decay;
The hoary mountains and the wrinkled ocean
With light, and, to the soul that quickens them,
To the winter wind: but from his eye looks forth
The sage, in truth, by dreadful abstinence,
Over those strong and secret things and thoughts
I would talk
With this old Jew.
Thy will is even now
Made known to him where he dwells in a sea-cavern
Than thou or God! He who would question him
Must sail alone at sunset where the stream
Will answer "Ahasuerus!" If his prayer
Through the soft twilight to the Bosphorus:
The Jew appears. Few dare, and few who dare
Win the desired communion
But that shout
[A shout within.
Mahmud. Evil, doubtless; like all human sounds,
That shout again
Will be here
Mahmud. This Jew whom thou hast summoned
Mahmud. When the omnipotent hour to which are yoked
That crowd about the pilot in the storm.
Ay, strike the foremost shorter by a head.
Kings are like stars-they rise and set, they have
Worlds on worlds are rolling ever
Like the bubbles on a river,
Sparkling, bursting, borne away.
But they are still immortal
Who, through birth's orient portal
And death's dark chasm hurrying to and fro,
In the brief dust and light
Gathered around their chariots as they go;
Bright or dim are they, as the robes they last
A Power from the unknown God,
The thorns of death and shame.
Which the orient planet animates with light.
Like bloodhounds mild and tame,
Nor reved until their Lord had taken flight.
Arose, and it shall set:
While, blazoned as on heaven's immortal noon,
Swift as the radiant shapes of sleep
From one whose dreams are Paradise
The Powers of Earth and Air
Fled from the folding-star of Bethlehem:
And even Olympian Jove,
Grew weak, for killing Truth had glared on them.
Their waters turned to blood, their dew to tears,
Enter MAHMUD, HASSAN, DAOOD, and others. Mahmud: More gold? Our ancestors bought gold with victory And shall I sell it for defeat?
Clamour for pay.
Go bid them pay themselves
With Christian blood! Are there no Grecian virgins
No hoary priests after that Patriarch
Who bent the curse against his country's heart,
And yet the harvest to the sicklemen
It has been sown,
Then take this signet:
Unlock the seventh chamber, in which lie
The treasures of victorious Solyman.
An empire's spoils stored for a day of ruin;
O spirit of my sires! is it not come?
The prey-birds and the wolves are gorged and sleep;