Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Fretted with gold or silver-by command,

The greater part of these were ready spread With viands and sherbets in ice--and wineKept for all comers, at all hours to dine.

Of all the dresses I select Haidee's :

She wore two jelicks—one was of pale yellow; Of azure, pink, and white, was her chemise'Neath which her breast heaved like a little

billow ; With buttons form’d of pearls as large as pease,

All gold and crimson shone her jelick’s fellow, And the striped white gauze baracan that bound her, Like fleecy clouds about the moon, flow'd round

her.

One large gold bracelet clasp'd each lovely arm,

Lockless- so pliable from the pure gold That the hand stretch'd and shut it without harm,

The limb which it adorn'd its only mould ; So beautiful—its very shape would charm,

And clinging as if loath to lose its hold : The purest ore enclosed the whitest skin That e'er by precious metal was held in.

Around, as princess of her father's land,

A light gold bar above her instep rollid Announced her rank ; twelve rings were on her

hand; Her hair was starr'd with gems ; her veil's fine

fold Below her breast was fasten'd with a band Of lavish pearls, whose worth could scarce be

told ;

T

Her orange-silk full Turkish trowsers furl'd
About the prettiest ankle in the world.

Her hair's long auburn waves down to her heel

Flow'd like an Alpine torrent, which the sun Dyes with his morning light and would conceal

Her person if allow'd at large to run, And still they seem'd resentfully to feel

The silken fillet's curb, and sought to shun Their bonds whene'er some Zephyr caught began To offer his young pinion as her fan.

Round her she made an atmosphere of life,

The very air seem'd lighter from her eyes, They were so soft, and beautiful, and rife,

With all we can imagine of the skies,
And pure as Psyche ere she grew a wife-

Too pure even for the purest human ties;
Her overpowering presence made you feel
It would not be idolatry to kneel.

Her eyelashes, though dark as night, were tinged

(It is the country's custom,) but in vain ; For those large black eyes were so blackly fringed,

The glossy rebels mock'd the jetty stain, And in her native beauty stood avenged :

Her nails were touch'd with henna ; but again The power of art was turn'd to nothing, for They could not look more rosy than before.

The henna should be deeply dyed to make

The skin relieved appear more fairly fair ; She had no need of this, day ne'er will break

On mountain-tops more heavenly white than

her ;

The eye might doubt if it were well awake,

She was so like a vision ; I might err, But Shakspeare also says, 'tis very silly “ To gild refined gold, or paint the lily.”

Juan had on a shawl of black and gold,

But a white baracan, and so transparent The sparkling gems beneath you might behold, Like small stars through the milky-way ap

parent ; His turban, furl'd in many a graceful fold,

An emerald aigrette with Haidee's hair in't Surmounted as its claspa glowing crescent, Whose rays shone ever trembling, but incessant.

And now they were diverted by their suite, Dwarfs, dancing-girls, black eunuchs, and a

poet ; Which made their new establishment complete ;

The last was of great fame and liked to show it: His verses rarely wanted their due feet

And for his theme-he seldom sung below it, He being paid to satirize or flatter, As the psalms say, “ inditing a good matter.”

FIRST LOVE.

'Tis sweet to hear At midnight, on the blue and moonlit deep, The song and oar of Adria's gondolier,

By distance mellow'd, o'er the waters sweep ;

'Tis sweet to see the evening star appear ;

'Tis sweet to listen as the night winds creep From leaf to leaf ; 'tis sweet to view on high The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky.

'Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near

home; 'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark

Our coming, and look brighter when we come ; 'Tis sweet to be awaken'd by the lark,

Or lull’d by falling waters ; sweet the hum Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds, The lisp of children, and their earliest words.

Sweet is the vintage, when the showering grapes

In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth
Purple and gushing : sweet are our escapes

From civic revelry to rural mirth ;
Sweet to the miser are his glittering heaps,

Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth,
Sweet is revenge—especially to women,
Pillage to soldiers, prize-money to seamen.

Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet

The unexpected death of some old lady Or gentleman of seventy years complete, Who've made “ us youth” wait too—too long

already For an estate, or cash, or country-seat,

Still breaking, but with stamina so steady, That all the Israelites are fit to mob its

Next owner for their double-damn'd post-obits. 'Tis sweet to win, no matter how, one's laurels

By blood or ink ; 'tis sweet to put an end To strife : 'tis sometimes sweet to have our quar

rels, Particularly with a tiresome friend; Sweet is old wine in bottles, ale in barrels ;

Dear is the helpless creature we defend Against the world ; and dear the schoolboy spot We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot.

But sweeter still than this, than these, than all,

Is first and passionate love—it stands alone, Like Adam's recollection of his fall; The tree of knowledge has been pluck'd-all's

known And life yields nothing further to recall

Worthy of this ambrosial sin, so shown, No doubt, in fable, as the unforgiven Fire which Prometheus filch'd for us from heaven.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.

BORN 4TH AUGUST, 1792-DROWNED OFF VIA REGGIO,

8TH JULY, 1822.

This eccentric man of genius was the eldest son of Sir Ti.

mothy Shelley, Baronet of Castle-Goring, Sussex. He was sent to Eton; and from his earliest boyhood discovered those singularities of thought and manners, that through life kept him in a state of hostility with those venerable institutions and established opinions for which

« AnteriorContinuar »