Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

hectic,

LXIII.

LXX.
These were ranged round, each in its crystal ewer, of all the dresses I select Haidee's :

And fruits and date-bread loaves closed the repast, She wore two jelicks--one was of pale yellow;
And Mocha's berry, from Arabia pure,

Of azure, pink, and white, was her chemise In small fine China cups, came in at last- 'Neath which her breast heaved like a little billow; Gold cups of filigrce, made to secure

With buttons form'd of pearls as large as peas, The hand from burning, underneath them placed ; All gold and crimson shone her jelick's fellow, Cloves, cinnamon, and saffron too were boil'd And the striped white gauze baracan that bound lier, Up with the coffee, which (I think) they spoil'd. Like fleecy clouds about the moon, flow'd round her. LXIV.

LXXI. The hangings of the room were tapestry, made One large gold bracelet clasp'd each lovely arm, Of velvet pannels, each of different hue,

Lockless--so pliable from the pure gold, And thick with damask flowers of silk inlaid : That the hand stretch'd and shut it without harm, And round them ran a yellow border too;

The limb which it adorn'd its only mould; The upper border, richly wrought, display'd, So beautiful-its very shape would charm, Embroider'd delicately o'er with blue,

And clinging as if loth to lose its hold, Soft Persian sentences, in lilac letters,

The purest ure inclosed the whitest skin From poets, or the moralists their betters. That e'er by precious metal was held in.? LXV.

LXXII. These oriental writings on the wall,

Around, as princess of her father's land, Quite common in those countries, are a kind A like gold bar, above her instep roll’d,3 Of monitors, adapted to recall,

Announced her rank: twelve rings were on her hana; Like skulls at Memphian banquets, to the mind Her hair was starr'd with gems; her veil's fine fold The words which shook Belshazzar in his hall, Below her breast was fasten'd with a band

And took his kingdom from him.-You will find, Of lavish pearls, whose worth could scarce be told; Though sages may pour out their wisdom's treasure, Her orange silk full Turkish trowsers furl'd There is no sterner moralist than pleasure. About the prettiest ankle in the world. LXVI.

LXXIII. A beauty at the season's close grown hectic, Her hair's long auburn waves down to her heel

A genius who has drunk himself to death, Flow'd like an Alpine torrent which the sun A rake turn'd methodistic or eclectic

Dyes with his morning light,--and would conceal (For that's the name they like to pray beneath) - Her person if allow'd at large to run; But most, an alderman struck apoplectic, And still they seem resentfully to feel

Are things that really take away the breath, The silken fillet's curb, and sought to shun And show that late hours, wine and love, are able Their bonds whene'er some zephyr caught began To do not much less damage than the table. To offer his young pinion as her fan. LXVII.

LXXIV. Haidee and Juan carpeted their feet

Round her she made an atmosphere of life, On crimson satin, border'd with pale blue; The very air seem'd lighter from her eyes, Their sofa occupied three parts complete

They were so soft and beautiful, and rife
Of the apartment and appear'd quite new; With all we can imagine of the skies,
The velvet cushions—(for a throne more meet) And pure as Psyche ere she grew a wife

Were scarlet, from whose glowing centre grew Too pure even for the purest human ties;.
A sun emboss'd in gold, whose rays of tissue, Her overpowering presence made you feel
Meridian-like, were seen all light to issue. It would not be idolatry to kneel.
LXVIII.

LXXV.
Crystal and marble, plate and porcelain,

Her eyelashes, though dark as night, were tir.ged, Had done their work of splendor, Indian mats (It is the country's custom,) but in vain; And Persian carpets, the heart bled to stain, For those large black eyes were so blackly fringede

Over the floors were spread; gazelles and cats, The glossy rebels mock'd the jetty stain, And dwarfs and blacks, and such like, things that gain And in their native beauty stood avenged :

Their bread as ministers and favorites-(that's Her nails were touch'd with henna; but again To say, by degradation)-mingled there

The power of art was turn'd to nothing, for
As plentiful as in a court or fair.

They could not look more rosy than before.
LXIX.

LXXVI.
There was no want of lofty mirrors, and

The henna should be deeply dyed to make The tables, most of ebony inlaid

The skin relieved appear more fairly fair: With mother-of-pearl or ivory, stood at hand, She had no need of this—day ne'er will break

Or were of torsoise-shell or rare woods made, On mountain tops more heavenly white than her; Fretted with gold or silver : by command, The eye might doubt if it were well awake,

The greater part of these were ready spread She was so like a vision ; I might err, With viands, and sherbets in ice, and wine But Shakspeare also says 'tis very silly Kept for all comers, at all hours to dine.

“ To gild refined gold, or paint the lily."

[blocks in formation]

LXIII.

These were ranged round, each in its crystal ewer, And fruits and date-bread loaves closed the repast, And Mocha's berry, from Arabia pure,

In small fine China cups, came in at lastGold cups of filigree, made to secure

The hand from burning, underneath them placed; Cloves, cinnamon, and saffron too were boil'd Up with the coffee, which (I think) they spoil'd. LXIV.

The hangings of the room were tapestry, made
Of velvet pannels, each of different hue,
And thick with damask flowers of silk inlaid:

And round them ran a yellow border too; The upper border, richly wrought, display'd, Embroider'd delicately o'er with blue, Soft Persian sentences, in lilac letters, From poets, or the moralists their betters.

LXV.

These oriental writings on the wall,

Quite common in those countries, are a kind Of monitors, adapted to recall,

Like skulls at Memphian banquets, to the mind The words which shook Belshazzar in his hall,

And took his kingdom from him.-You will find, Though sages may pour out their wisdom's treasure, There is no sterner moralist than pleasure.

LXVI.

A beauty at the season's close grown hectic, A genius who has drunk himself to death, A rake turn'd methodistic or eclectic

(For that's the name they like to pray beneath)But most, an alderman struck apoplectic,

Are things that really take away the breath, And show that late hours, wine and love, are able To do not much less damage than the table.

LXVII. Haidee and Juan carpeted their feet

On crimson satin, border'd with pale blue; Their sofa occupied three parts complete

Of the apartment—and appear'd quite new; The velvet cushions-(for a throne more meet)Were scarlet, from whose glowing centre grew A sun emboss'd in gold, whose rays of tissue, Meridian-like, were seen all light to issue.

LXVIII.

Crystal and marble, plate and porcelain,

Had done their work of splendor, Indian mats And Persian carpets, the heart bled to stain,

Over the floors were spread; gazelles and cats, And dwarfs and blacks, and such like, things that gain Their bread as ministers and favorites-(that's To say, by degradation)—mingled there As plentiful as in a court or fair.

LXIX.

There was no want of lofty mirrors, and
The tables, most of ebony inlaid
With mother-of-pearl or ivory, stood at hand,

Or were of torsoise-shell or rare woods made, 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.

LXX.

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 peas,

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.

LXXI.

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 loth to lose its hold,
The purest ore inclosed the whitest skin
That e'er by precious metal was held in.a

LXXII. Around, as princess of her father's land, A like gold bar, above her instep roll'd,3 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; Her orange silk full Turkish trowsers furl'd About the prettiest ankle in the world.

LXXIII.

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 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.

LXXIV.

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.

LXXV.

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 their 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.

LXXVI.

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."

LXXVII.

Juan had on a shawl of black and gold,
But a white baracan, and so transparent,
The sparkling gems beneath you might oehold,
Like small stars through the milky way apparent
His turban, furl'd in many a graceful fold,

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

And now they were diverted by their suite,
Dwarfs, dancing girls, black eunuch's, 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 psalm says, "inditing a good matter."

LXXIX.

He praised the present and abused the past,
Reversing the good custom of old days,
An eastern anti-jacobin at last

He turn'd, preferring pudding to no praise-
For some few years his lot had been o'ercast

By his seeming independent in his lays,
But now he sung the Sultan and the Pacha,
With truth like Southey, and with verse
Crashaw.

LXXX.

He was a man who had seen many changes,
And always changed as true as any needle,
His polar star being one which rather ranges,

LXXXI.

But he had genius-when a turncoat has it
The "vates irritabilis" takes care

LXXXIV.

He had travell'd 'mong the Arabs, Turks, and Franks,
And knew the self-loves of the different nations.
And, having lived with people of all ranks,

;|

Had something ready upon most occasions-
Which got him a few presents and some thanks.

He varied with some skill his adulations;
To "do at Rome as Romans do," a piece
Of conduct was which he observed in Greece.

And not the fix'd-he knew the way to wheedle;
So vile he 'scaped the doom which oft avenges;

And being fluent, (save indeed when fee'd ill,)
He lied with such a fervor of intention-
There was no doubt he earn'd his laureate pension.

LXXXII.

Their poet, a sad trimmer, but no less
In company a very pleasant fellow,
Had been the favorite of full many a mess

LXXXVI.

In France, for instance, he would write a chanson;
In England, a six-canto quarto tale;
In Spain, he'd make a ballad or romance on
The last war-much the same in Portugal;
In Germany, the Pegasus he'd prance on
Would be old Goethe's-(see what says de Staël;
like In Italy, he'd ape the "Trecentisti ;"
In Greece, he'd sing

Sles

sort of hymn like this t' ya

That without notice few full moons shall pass it:

Even good men like to make the public stare :But to my subject-let me see--what was it?

Oh-the third canto-and the pretty pairTheir loves, and feasts, and house, and dress, and Of living in their insular abode.

[mode

[low;

Of men, and made them speeches when half melAnd though his meaning they could rarely guess,

Yet still they deign'd to hiccup or to bellow,
The glorious meed of popular applause,
Of which the first ne'er knows the second cause.

LXXXIII.

But now being lifted into high society,

And having pick'd up several odds and ends Of free thoughts in his travels, for variety,

He deem'd, being in a lone isle among friends, That without any danger of a riot, he

Might for long lying make himself amends; And, singing as he sung in his warm youth, Agree to a short armistice with truth.

LXXXV.

Thus, usually, when he was ask'd to sing,

He gave the different nations something national:
'Twas all the same to him-"God save the King,"
Or "Calira," according to the fashion all;
His muse made increment of any thing,

From the high lyrical to the low rational :
If Pindar sang horseraces, what should hinder
Himself from being as pliable as Pindar?

The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!

Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,-
Where Delos rose and Phœbus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.

The Scian and the Teian muse,

The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;

Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires' "Islands of the Bless'd."

The mountains look on Marathon

And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,

I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
For, standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sate on the rocky brow

Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,

And men in nations ;-all were his!
He counted them at break of day-
And when the sun set, where were they?

And where are they! and where art thou,
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now-

The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?

626

Tis something, in the dearth of fame,

Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,

Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear.

Place me on Sunium's marble steep

Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;

There, swan-like, let me sing and die;
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine !

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »