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That no mortal eye may see
That blazed around my path. Even now I feel On! we may not follow thee;
My trembling foot more firm; and, like the eagle's,
Mine eyes familiar with their cloudy height-
What's here!-a hurried tread-
What art thou ? speak!
The honour'd of the God that honours thee.
And strove with my impatient spirit within
To wait th' appointed hour; but, as the pilgrim
Sees the white fountain in the palmy shade,
Demand their instant feast.
Thou shouldst have brought Encircled : yet a while, and I shall breathe
The sage Diviners to unfold the meaning With freedom. Oh! thou cool, delicious silence,
Of this dark language. How grateful art thou to the ears that ring
KALASSAN. With that wild music's turbulent dissonance!
Loveliest bashfulness !
Or is it but the sportive ignorance By slow degrees the starlight face of things That laughs beneath the dark and glittering eyelids, Gmws clear around my misty, swimming eyes. At the delighted dupe of its dissembling ? Oh, Babylon! how art thou spread beneath me! Like some wide plain, with rich pavilions set Peace, and avaunt! 'Mid the dark umbrage of a summer grove.
KALASSAN. Like a small rivulet, that from bank to bank
O maid! thou art so beauteous Is ruffled by the sailing cygnet's breast,
That yon bright Moon is rising, all in haste, Euphrates seems to wind. Oh! thou vast city, To gaze on thee, or to display thy grace Thus dwindled to our human sight, what art thou To him, that, lost in wonder, scarce hath melted To Him that from his throne, above the skies,
To love. Beyond the circuit of the golden Sun,
The snowy light falls where she treads, Views all the subject world!
As 't were a sacred place! in her loose locks
The parting day It wanders, even as with a sense of pleasure ! To twilight and the few faint early stars
And trembles on her bosom, that hath caught Hath left the city. On yon western lake
Its gentle restlessness, and trembles, too, A momentary gleam is lingering still.
Harmonious. Thou 'rt purpling now, 0 Sun, the vines of Canaan,
BENINA. And crowning, with rich light, the cedar top
Must mine ears endure thee still ? of Lebanon, where—but oh! without their daugh
And know'st thou not why thou art here ; what bliss, Soon my sad parents shall return. Where are ye, What bridal rapture waits thee? Beloved ? I seek in vain the lonely light or our dear cabin on Euphrates' side,
There are sins
Tainting the fountain of her secret thoughts ;
Hast thou never, Pale Silence, to foreshow her coming presence;
Soft maid, when fervid noon bathes all the world To hush the winds, and smooth the clouds before her? In silence, in thy fond and wandering thoughts, That hour, that, with delicious treachery, stole Beheld a noble bridegroom seated near thee, The secret from Benina's lips she long'd,
And heard him, 'mid sweet falls of marriage music, From her full heart, t' unburthen? Better, now, Whispering what made thy pale cheek burn? Had it been buried in eternal darkness, Than thus have kindled hopes that shone so softly
Away! Were quench'd go soon, so utterly
And must he see my tears? and think me weak,
Fond heart, And of my God abandon'd! These soft, desponding, yet delightful thoughts,
KALASSAN. Must not dissolve thee to mistrust in him
Lo! the couch That fill'd thee as with fire, and touch'd my lips Bestrewn with flowers, whose fragrance and whose With holy scorn of all the wealth and pride
Shall not have faded, till great Bel come down In flowers of fire. But chief around the Palace
Whitens the glowing splendour; every court
That lay in misty dimness indistinct,
Each portal arch gleams like an earthly rainbow, Thee and thy Gods alike.
And o'er the front spreads one entablature
Of living gems of every bue, so bright
That the pale Moon, in virgin modesty,
Afar upon the distant plain reposes
Her unambitious beams, or on the bosom If he could choose a nobler.
of the blue river, ere it reach the walls.
Hark! too, the sounds of revelry and song
Upon the pinions of the breeze come up Thine own false Gods—thou worse than Idol wor- Even to this height. No eye is closed in sleep; shipper?
None in vast Babylon but wakes to joyWhy even the senseless wood and stone might wake None-none is sad and desolate but I. To indignation, and their fiery vengeance
Yet over all, I know not whence or how, Break forth from Heaven. Alas! and what have they, A dim oppression loads the air, and sounds Whose name thou dost usurp to cloke thy sin,
As of vast wings do somewhere seem to brood To do with Heaven more than thy loathsome self?
And hover on the winds; and I that most
Should tremble for myself, the appointed prey
Of sin, am bow'd, as with enforced compassion, My form in vain. I tell thee, Maid, I tread
To think on sorrows not mine own, to weep This earth so conscious that the best of Deity,
O'er those whose laughter and whose song upbraids The power and majesty reside within me,
My prodigality of misspent pity. That I but stoop to win myself a bride
I will go rest, if rest it may be callidBeneath another name: here 'mid the clouds
Not, Adonijah-not to think of thee. I stand, as in mine own appropriate place.
Oh! bear a brief unwilling banishment
From thine own home, my heart; I cannot cope The darkest pit of Tophet were too light
With thy subduing image, and be strong.
CHORUS OF BABYLONIANS BEFORE THE PALACE
Awake! awake! put on thy garb of pride, Erewhile thou 'lt be as prodigal of fondness ;
Array thee like a sumptuous royal bride, So now prepare thee: ere two hours are past
O festal Babylon! Thou wedd'st Kalassan, or Kalassan's God,
Lady, whose ivory throne Or both, or either, which thou wilt. Farewell
Is by the side of many azure waters! A little while: but I beseech thee, wear
In floating dance, like birds upon the wing. When I return this soft becoming pride;
Send tinkling forth thy silver-sandal'd daughters;
Send in the solemn march,
Beneath each portal arch,
Thy rich-robed lords to crowd the banquet of their And we will mate like eagles in the Heavens,
They come! they come from both the illumined shores;
Down each long street the festive tumult pours; BENINA (alone).
Along the waters dark Did the earth bear thee, monster! or art thou
Shoots many a gleaming bark, Th’Eternal Enemy in the human shape?
Like stars along the midnight welkin flashing, Oh! 't is the innocent's best security,
And galleys, with their masts enwreath'd with light, That the unrighteous pluck the thunderbolt
From their quick oans the kindling waters dashing; With such resistless violence on their heads.
In one long moving line Lord of the insulied Heavens! thou canst not strike
Along the bridge they shine, This impious man, without delivering me;
And with their glad disturbance wake the peaceful Me, else unworthy of thy gracious mercy.
night. But lo! what blaze of light beneath me spreads O'er the wide city. Like yon galasy
Hang forth, hang forth, in all your avenues, Above mine head, each long and spacious street The arching lamps of more than rainbow hues, * Becomes a line of silver light, the trees
Oh! gardens of delight! In all their silent avenues break out
With the cool airs of night
Are lightly waved your silver-foliaged trees,
The Hall of Banquel.
Mightiest of the sons of man!
The lion in his forest lair,
The eagle in the fields of air,
Amid the tumbling waves Leviathan, Lift up, lift up your golden-valved doors,
In power without or peer or mate,
Hold their inviolable state:
Alone Belshazzar stands on earth,
Pre-eminent o'er all of human birth,
Mightiest of the sons of man! And all the living luxuries of sound
Richest of the sons of man! Pour from the long outstretching galleries ;
For thee the mountains teem with gold,
The spicy groves their bloom unfold,
The bird of beauty bears its feathery fan, With golden cups and lamps and bossy chargers And amber paves the yellow seas, crown'd.
And spread the branching coral-trees,
Nor shrouds the mine its deepest gem, They haste, they haste! the high-crown'd rulers stand, Ambitious to adorn Belshazzar's diadem, Each with his sceptre in his kingly hand;
Richest of the sons of man!
Fairest of the sons of man!
And feel and terrible thy tread,
An Eden blooms upon thy face;
Like music, thy majestic grace
Holds the mute gazer's breath suppress'd,
And makes a tumult in the wondering breast, They glide, they glide! each, like an antelope,
Fairest of the sons of man!
Noblest of the sons of man!
The first a kingly rule that won,
Wide as the journey of the sun,
From Nimrod thine high-sceptred race began; The chosen of earth's choicest loveliness ;
And gathering splendour still, went down Some with the veil thrown timidly aside,
From sire to son the eternal crown,
Till full on great Belshazzar's crest
Its high meridian glory shone confest, -
Noblest of the sons of man!
Happiest of the sons of man!
His golden years like Indian rivers ran,
And every rapturous hour surpast
The glowing rapture of the last, Of splendour, stretching far beyond the sight;
Even till the plenitude of bliss
Happiest of the sons of man!
Peace! peace! the king vouchsafes his gracious speech.
And ye have eaten of the golden fruits
That the sun ripens but for kingly lips,
With great Belshazzar's voice.
The crowded hall
Suspense, and prescient of the coming iny, While under his fix'd feet the loaded skies are bow'd. Is silent as the cloudless summer skies.
ARIOCH. Oh ye, assembled Babylon! fair youths
See'st not thou And hoary Elders, Warriors, Counsellors,
That taunted'st me but now-upon the wall And bright-eyed Women, down my festal board
There-there-it moves Reclining! oh ye thousand living men,
BELSHAZZAR. Do ye not hold your charter'd breath from me ?
Oh dark and bodiless hand, And I can ange your souls in wine and joy ;
What art thou-thus upon my palace wall Or by a word, a look, dismiss you all
Gliding in shadowy, slow, gigantic blackness? To darkness and to shame : yet, are ye not
Lo! fiery letters, where it moves, break out: Proud of the slavery that thus enthrals you ?
"T is there—'t is gone :—'t is there again-no, nought What king, what ruler over subject man
But those strange characters of flame, that burn Or was, or is, or shall be like Belshazzar!
Upon the unkindled wall :- cannot read them, I summon from their graves the sceptred dead
Can ye? Of elder days, to see their shame. I cry
I see your quixeripg lips that speak nofUnto the cloudy Past, unfold the thrones
Sabaris–Arioch-Captains—Elders-all That glorified the younger world: I call
As pale and horror-stricken as myself! To the dim Future-lift thy veil and show
Are there no wiser? Call ye forth the Dreamers, The destined lords of human kind: they rise,
And those that read the stars, and every priest, They bow their veil'd heads to the dust, and own And he that shall interpret best shall wear The throne whereon Chaldea's Monarch sits, The scarlet robe and chain of gold, and sit The height and pinnacle of human glory.
Third ruler of my realm. Away_Noleave me not Oh Ancient Cities, o'er whose streets the grass To gaze alone ;-alone, on those pale signs Is green, whose name hath wither'd from the face Of destiny-lhe unextinguishable, Of earth! Oh ye by rich o'erflowing Nile,
The indelible--Strew, strew my couch where best Memphis, and hundred-gated Thebes--and thou, I may behold what sears my burning eyeballs Assyrian Nineveh, and ye golden towers
To gaze on—and the cold blood round my heart That redden o'er the Indian streams, what are ye To stand, like snow. Nomache mine eyes, and quiver To Babylon — Eternal Babylon !
My palsied limbs—I cannot turn away-
The Summit of the Temple.
How long, O Lord! how long must I endure
Bring wine! This restlessness of danger ?-I have wish'd I see your souls as jocund as mine own:
That even the worst were come, I am so sick Pour in yon vessels of the Hebrews' God
And weary with suspense : 1 have sate and gazed Belshazzar's beverage-pour it high. Hear, earth! Upon the silent moon, as she pursued Hear, Heaven! my proud defiance ! -Oh, what a Her journey to yon blue celestial height.
Pilgrim of Heaven! the white translucent clouds, What God
Through which she wanders, fall away, nor leave
A taint upon her spotless orb: Shall I,
O Lord! emerge in purity as stainless
And sometimes as a whispering sound came up,
And I grew guilty of a timorous doubt Of lamps.
In Him, whose guardian hand is o'er me.
Hark! all around-above-beneath-it bursts, Hath blindness smitten thee?
The long deep roll of—in yon cloudless skies:
It cannot be God's thunder, and the fires,
I know not; Blue as the sulphurous lightning, rise from earth. But all things swim around me in a darkness
Not Heaven. Oh madly impious! dare ye thus That dazzles
Mimic the all-destroying arms that rage
Against the guilty ? the vast temple shakes, See, his shuddering joints are loosen'd, And all the clouded atmosphere is red And his knees smite each other : such a face With the hell-born lempest-like to rushing chariots Is seen in tombs :- What means it?
Upon a stony way, like some vast forest
Ablaze with a heaven-kindled conflagration,
Thou 'rt callid
Kalassan! to Belshazzar's presence
With tears, not words, I bless thee, Lord !
Oh can I wonder that thou dost belie
Is this thy God?
My God, The immaculate Heavens ?
In his omnipotence, doth make the wrath
Of hurricanes and desolating fires
His ministers-why not the breath of Kings ?
The hour will come in which to tame thy scorn!
VOICE Call to the shipman on the Caspian Sea!
Slaves! I come.
Thou 'lt pardon me my fond solicitude,
Fare thee well At times illumin'd by the flashing light
Till I return. That loves to linger on thy kindling beauty.
Till thou return'st-He's gone! "T is as he says!-nor sound, nor gleam of succour- I did not think that I could hear his tread, Thy bride—oh, Adonijah-ah, no bride
His angry tread, with such a deep delight. of thine!-lost-lost to thee-would 't were by death! Oh! my fond parents! when we meet again, Is 't for the sin of loving thee too fondly
We shall not meet with strange, averted looks : I am deserted !-Spare me, Man of Terror,
Ye will not, in sad pity, take me back And prayers for thee (they say, God loves the prayers A shamed and blighted child to your cold bosoms. Of the undefiled) shall rise as constantly
And thou, betroih'd, beloved-I shall endure As summer-dews at eve.
To stand before thy face, nor wish the earth
To shroud me from thine unreproaching gaze; Now louder! louder!
For were I all I fear'd, thou hadst ne'er reproach'd Let there be triumph in your martial sounds.
And oh, sweet Siloe! oh, my fathers' land ! Oh God! oh God! I have condemn'd myself, Land where the feet may wander where they will And fallen from the faith. Ah, not for me!
Land where the heart may love without a fear! For thine own glory suffer not the Heathen
I feel that I shall tread thee; for the Lord To boast of —Ha!-all silence, and all gloom Pours not his mercies in a sparing measure. I tremble--but he trembles too—
This is the earnest of his love-the seal
With which he marks us for his own, his blest,
With wrath! His ransom'd! Oh! fair Zion, lift thou up Slaves, wherefore have ye quench'd mine earthly Thy crown, that glitters to the morning Sun! light,
They come-thy lost, thy banish'd children come And stilld my storm ?
And thy streets rise to sounds of melody!