Слике страница
PDF
ePub

shippers have at last been driven to beams upon her soul in the midst of take refuge in an inaccessible rock his devoted warriors, in all the glory hanging over the sea, the last solitary of heroism and piety. She informs link of that stupendous chain of moun- him that he is betrayed. In all the tains stretching down from the Caspi- agony of hopeless love, he sends her, an. From this den they hold out de- with a chosen guard, in a skiff, away fiance to the Emir al Hassan; and their from danger-he sounds the horn of chief Hafed, the last hope of Iran, is destiny-the Arabs storin the ravine clothed in the imagination of the ter- that leads to the cliff-after a diretul rified Mahommedans, with all the at- contest, they prevail-Hafed and one tributes of an infernal spirit. Among bosom friend alone survive and drag his own followers, he is adored for his their wounded bodies to the sacred pyre beauty, his valour, his patriotism, and the Chief lays his brother, who has his piety. The sacred fire is kept just fallen down dead, on the pile constantly kindled on the summit of lights it with the consecrated brand, the cliff--all hope of preserving it from

“ And with a smile extinction is finally gone-but Hafed of triumph, vaulting on the Pile, and his Ghebers have sworn to perish In that last effort, ere the fires in its flames, rather than subinit to Have harmed one glorious limb-expires." the Arabian yokera horn is hung over the battlements and when it is heard

The death-pile illuminates rock and pealing through the solitary cliffs, it

flood with its melancholy radianceis to be the signal of their voluntary

and Hinda, leaning in ghastly agonies doom, and they are then to be ming

against the mast of the skiff, beholds led with the holy and symbolical ele

the tall shadowy figure of Hafed rement of their worship. I'he love story,

vealed before the burning pyre; and, which is of a wild and romantic cha

shrieking out, “ 'tis he !" and springracter, is in some measure instrument

ing as if to reach the blaze on which al in the final catastrophe. Hafed,

her dying looks are fixed, sinks into one dark midnight, has scaled a soli

the sea, tary tower, in which he believes the

“ Deep-deep, where never care or pain Emir sleeps, with the purpose, we

Shall reach her innocent heart again!" suppose, of putting him to death; And here, unquestionably, the poem though we are afterwards inconsist- has come to a natural conclusion. ently enough told, that had he found But Mr Moore is not of that opinion, his enemy, he would have spared his and thinks proper to make a Peri sing, life. He there finds Hinda, the young, “ beneath the dark sea," a farewell artless, innocent, and beautiful Arabi- dirge to “ Araby's daughter.” This an maid-whose heart, soul, and dirge is of course filled with every image senses, are at once fascinated by the with which a Peri living beneath the adventurous stranger. As yet she dark sea may be supposed conversant; knows not whence he comes-whither and we never recollect to have seen so he goes—to what country he belongs. laborious and cold a piece of mere inAt last he tells her the fatal truth, that genuity, immediately succeeding a cahe is a Gheber, and that on earth their tastrophe, which, though perhaps somedestinies must be severed. The Emir, what extravagant and unnatural, is meanwhile, ignorant of these noctur- both passionately conceived and exa pal meetings, laments the decay of his pressed. The mind is left satisfied daughter's health and beauty, and with the completion of their destiny; sends her in a pinnace to breath the theirs was the real and living struggle air of her native Āraby. He first com- of high passions, rendered higher by municates to her his intention of that misfortune; and that heart-rending, night storming, by surprise, the for- life-destroying necessity in which they tress of the Fire-Worshippers, the se- were inextricably bound and delivered cret access to which has been betray- up to death, beyond all power of sav. ed to him by a captive traitor. The ing intervention, is that which gives pinnace, in a sudden storm, runs foul to the poem all its human interest, of a war bark of Hafed, and is captured. and of which the pervading sense Hinda then discovers that her unknown ought not to have been dispelled from lover is in truth that terrific being our souls by the warblings of any imwhom she had been taught to fear, aginary creature, but should have been detest, and abhor ; but who now left to deepen and increase;to fade of fui.

die away in the solitary darkness of And thought some spirit of the air reflection.

(For what could waft a mortal there?) We shall now endeavour, by ex

we shall now endeavour by ex. Was pausing on his moonlight way tracts, to give our readers some idea

To listen to her lonely lay! of the execution of this fine Poein,

This fancy ne'er hath left her mind;

And though, when terror's swoon had the subject of which, and the story,

past, is, we hope, clearly enough explained She saw a youth of mortal kind, by the foregoing analysis.

Before her in obeisance cast, We are thus introduced to Hinda, Yet often since, when he has spoken, the heroine of the talc, and we think Strange, awful words, and gleams have that, with the exception of the image broken of the serpent gazing on the emerald,

From his dark eyes, too bright to beat, which, in good truth, is but a sorry

Oh! she hath fear'a her soul was given

To some uphallowed child of air, conceit, the description is most beauti

Some erring Spirit cast from heaven,

Like those angelic youths of old, 1 " u Light as the Angel shapes that bless Who burned for maids of mortal mould, An infant's dream, yet not the less

Bewilder'd left the glorious skies, Rich in all woman's loveliness ;

And lost their heaven for woman's eyes! With eyes so pure, that from their ray

Fond girl! nor fiend, nor angel he, Dark Vice would turn abash'd away, Who woos thy young simplicity; Blinded like serpents, when they gaze But one of earth's impassioned sons, Upon the emerald's virgin blaze!

As warm in love, as fierce in ire, Yet, fild with all Youth's sweet desires, As the best heart whose current runs Mingling the meek and vestal fires

Full of the Day-God's living fire!" Of other worlds with all the bliss,

There is infinite spirit, freedom, The fond, weak tenderness of this !

strength, and energy, in that part of A soul too, more than half divine,

the poem where Hinda discovers her Where, through some shades of earthly lover to be a Gheber,-many fine and

feeling, Religion's soften'd glories shine,

delicate touches of genuine pathos, Like light through summer foliage steal

and many bursts of uncontrollable ing,

passion. As for exainple : Shedding a glow of such mild hue,

Hold, bold-thy words are So warm and yet so shadowy too,

deathAs makes the very darkness there

The stranger cried, as wild he flung, More beautiful than light elsewhere !" His mantle back, and show'd beneath

The Gheber belt that round him clungA striking picture is conveyed in

• Here, maiden, look-weep_blush to see the following six lines, of Hinda lis

All that thy sire abhors in me! tening the approach of her lover's Yes I am of that impious race, , skiff, from her airy tower :

Those Slaves of Fire, who, morn and even, • Ev’n now thou scest the flashing spray,

Hail their Creator's dwelling-place, That lights his oar's impatient way;

Among the living lights of heaven! Ev'n now thou hear'st the sudden shock Yes I am of that outcast few, Of his swift bark against the rock,

To Iran and to vengeance true, And stretchest down thy arms of snow, Who curse the hour your Arabs came. As if to lift him from below !"

To desolate our shrines of flame, Her first interview with her lover,

And swear, before God's burning eye,

To break our country's chains, or die! and all her bewildering emotions, are Thy bigot sire—nay, tremble not thus described :

He, who gave birth to those dear eyes, * She loves_but knows not whom she loves, With me is sacred as the spot Nor what his race, nor whence he came ;- . From which our fires of worship rise! Like one who meets, in Indian groves, But know-'twas he I sought that night,

Some beauteous bird, without a name, When, from my watch-boat on the sea; Brought by the last ambrosial breeze I caught this turret's glimmering light; From isles in th' undiscovered seas,

And up the rude rocks desperately To shew his plumage for a day

Rush'd to my prey--thou know'st the resta To wondering eyes, and wing away! I climb'd the gory vulture's nest, Will he thus fly-her nameless laver ? And found a trembling dove within ; Alla forbid ! 'twas by a moon

Thine, thine the victory-thine the sit As fair as this, while singing over

If Love has made one thought his own, Some ditty to her soft Kanoon,

That vengeance claims first-last- alone! Alone, at this same witching hour,

Oh! had we never, never met, She first behield his radiant eyes

Or could this heart ev'n now forget Gleam through the lattice of the bower, How link'd, how bless'd we might have been, · Where nightly now they mix their sighs; Had fate not frown'd so dark between !

Hadst thou been born a Persian maid, His only talisman, the sword,

In neighbouring valleys had we dwelt, His only spell-word, Liberty!
Through the saine fields in childhood play'd, One of that ancient hero line,
At the same kindling altar knelt,

Along whose glorious current shine
Then, then, while all those nameless ties, Names, that have sanctified their blood;
In which the charm of country lies,

As Lebanon's small mountain flood
Had round our hearts been hourly spun, Is render'd holy by the ranks
Till Iran's cause and thine were one ; Of sainted cedars on its banks !
While in thy lute's awakening sigh

'Twas not for him to crouch the knee I heard the voice of days gone by,

Tamely to Moslem tyranny ;And saw in every smile of thine

'Twas not for him, whose soul was cast Returning hours of Glory shine!

In the bright mould of ages past,
While the wrong'd Spirit of our Land Whose melancholy spirit, fed
Liv'd, look’d, and spoke her wrongs With all the glories of the dead,
through thee,

Though fram'd for Iran's happiest years,
God! who could then this sword withstand ? Was born among her chains and tears !
Its very flash were victory!

'Twas not for him to swell the crowd
But now-estrang'd, divorced for ever, Of slavish heads, that shrinking bowed
Par as the grasp of Fate can sever ; Before the Moslem as he passid,
Our only ties what love has wove,

Like shrubs beneath the poison-blast-
Faith, friends, and country, sunder'd No-far he fled_indignant Aed
wide ;-

The pageant of his country's shame; And then, then only, true to love,

While every tear her children shed When false to all that's dear beside ! Fell on his soul like drops of flame; Thy father, IRAN's deadliest foe

And as a lover hails the dawn Thyself, perhaps, ev'n now but no

Of a first smile, so welcom'd he Hate never look'd so lovely yet!

The sparkle of the first sword drawn Nosacred to thy soul will be

For Vengeance and for Liberty ! The land of him who could forget

The description of the Hold of the All but that bleeding land for thee!

Ghebers is vivid and picturesque: When other eyes shall see unmoved,

Her widows mourn, her warriors fall, “ Around its base the bare rocks stood, Thou'lt think how well one Gheber lov'd, Like naked giants, in the flood,

And for his sake thou'lt wecp for all! As if to guard the Gulf across ;-
But look

While on its peak that brav'd the sky,
With sudden start he turn'd A ruin'd temple tower'à, so high,
And pointed to the distant wave,

That oft the sleeping albatross
Where lights, like charnel meteors, bum'd Struck the wild ruins with her wing.

Bluely, as o'er some seaman's grave; And from her cloud-rock'd slumbering And fiery darts, at intervals,

Started to find man's dwelling there
Flew up all sparkling from the main, In her own silent fields of air!
As if each star that nightly falls,

Beneath, terrific caverns gave Were shooting back to heaven again.-- Dark welcome to each stormy wave • My signal-lights !-I must away

That dash'd, like midnight revellers, in ; Both, both are ruin'd, if I stay!

And such the strange mysterious din Farewell_sweet life! thou cling'st in vain At times throughout those caverns roll'd, Now-Vengeance! I am thine again.' And such the fearful wonders told Fiercely he broke away, nor stopp'd, Of restless sprites imprison'd there, Nor look'd-but from the lattice dropp'd That bold were Moslem, who would dare, Down mid the pointed crags beneath, At twilight hour, to steer his skiff As if he fled from love to death.

Beneath the Gheber's lonely cliff. While pale and mute young HINDA stood, On the land side, those towers sublime, Nor mov'd, till in the silent flood

That seem'd above the grasp of Time, A momentary plunge below

Were sever'd from the haunts of men Startled her from her trance of woe.” By a wide, deep, and wizard glen,

Só fathomless, so full of gloom, The length of these extracts prevents No eye could pierce the void between ; us from quoting the whole description It seem'd a place where Gholes might come of the hero Hafed ; but the follow. With their foul banquets from the tomb, ing lines will shew that he was wor- . And in its caverns feed unseen. thy to be the lover of Hinda, and the Like distant thunder from below,

The sound of many torrents came; chief of the Fire-Worshippers :

Too deep for cye or ear to know Such were the tales that won belief, If 'twere the sea's imprison'd flow, And such the colouring fancy gave

Or floods of ever-restless flame. To a young, warm, and dauntless Chief, For each ravine, each rocky spire,

One who, no more than mortal brave, of that vast mountain stood on fire ; Fought for the land his soul ador'd,

And though for ever past the days, For happy homes and altars free, When God was worshipped in the blaze

That from its lofty altar shone,

But the rude litter, roughly spread Though fied the priests, the votaries gone, With war-cloaks, is her homely bed, Still did the mighty flame burn on

And shawl and sash, on javelins hung Through chance and change, through good For awning, o'er her head are flung. and ill,

Shuddering she look'd around—there lay Like its own God's eternal will,

A group of warriors in the sun Deep, constant, bright, unquenchable !” Resting their limbs, as for that day

Their ministry of death were done. We shall conclude our extracts with

Some gazing on the drowsy sea,

se the following exquisite description of Lost in unconscious reverie ; a calm atter a storm, and of Hinda And some, who seem'd but ill to brook awaking from a swoon of terror on That sluggish calm, with many a look board of the war-bark of Hafed; than To the slack sail impatient cast, which last it is difficult to conceive As loose it flagg'd before the mast." any thing of the kind making a nearer On looking back to our extracts, we approach to the definite distinctness of feel that they give a very inadeguate the sister-art of painting.

idea of the high and varied excellence “ How calm, how beautiful comes on of Mr Moore's poetry. But from a The stilly hour, when storms are gone! poem of four long cantos, how is it When warring winds have died away, possible to give any but short and imAnd clouds, beneath the glancing ray,

perfect specimens? Yet though our Melt off, and leave the land and sea

readers may not be able, from these Sleeping in bright tranquillity, Fresh as if day again were born,

few passages, to judge of the design Again upon the lap of morn!

and execution of the whole poem, they When the light blossoms, rudely torn will at least discover in them the hand And scatter'd at the whirlwind's will, of a master, -as & judge of painting Hang floating in the pure air, still, could, from the smallest shred of a Filling it all with precious balm,

picture, decide on the skill and genius In gratitude for this sweet calm ;

of the artist, though he saw only a bit And every drop the thunder-showers

of colouring, and the contour of a single Have left upon the grass and flowers Sparkles, as 'twere that lightning gem

limb. For our own parts, we are of Whose liquid flame is born of them!

opinion, that if Mr Moore had written When, 'stead of one unchanging breeze. nothing but the Fire-Worshippers, he There blow a thousand gentle airs,

would have stood in the first rank of And each a different perfume bears,

living poets. The subject is a fine one, As if the loveliest plants and trees and adinirably suited to call forth Had vassal breezes of their own,

the display of his peculiar feelings and To watch and wait on them alone,

faculties. His ardent and fiery lore of And waft no other breath than theirs !

Liberty,-his impassioned patriotism, When the blue waters rise and fall,

at times assuming the loftiest form of In sleepy sunshine mantling all ; And even that swell the tempest leaves

which that virtue is susceptible, and Is like the full and silent heaves

at others bordering upon a vague and Of lovers' hearts, when newly blest

objectless enthusiasm, his admiration Too newly to be quite at rest !

of what may be called the virtues of Such was the golden hour that broke his native land, -valour, courage, geUpon the world, when Hinda 'woke

nerosity, love, and religion ; an adFrom her long trance, and heard around

miration which occasionally induces No motion but the waters' sound Rippling against the vessel's side,

him to sympathise with illegitimate or As slow it mounted o'er the tide.

extravagant exercises of such emotions, But where is she?-her eyes are dark,

his keen and exquisite perception of Are 'wilder'd still-is this the bark,

the striking, the startling, and the picThe same, that from Harmosia's bay turesque, in incident and situation, Bore her at morn,-- whose bloody way his wonderful command of a rich poThe sea-dog tracks?-No! strange and new etical phraseology, sometimes eminentIs all that meets her wondering view.

ly and beautifully happy, and not un. Upon a galliot's deck she lies,

frequently overlaid with too highlsBeneath no rich pavilion's shade, No plumes to fan her sleeping eyes,

coloured ornament and decoration, Nor jasmine on her pillow laid.

his flowing, rapid, and unobstructeil

versification, now gliding like a smooth ." A precious stone of the Indies, called and majestic river, and now like a by the ancients Ceraunium, because it was

mountain-stream dallying with the supposed to be found in places where thun- rocks, which rather seem to hasten der had fallen," &c.

than impede its course ;---all these powers and qualifications are exhibited enemy of his country, his religion, and in their utmost perfection, throughout his God. Yet the divine inspiration, the progress of a wild and romantic breathed from innocence and beauty, tale, in which we are hurried on from has mingled with his existence; and one danger to another,-from peril to though there can be no union on earth peril,-from adventure to adventure, between them, he wildly cherishes and from hope into sudden despair,---from clines to her image,-shews his devothe exaltation of joy into the prostra- tion, his love, and his gratitude, even tion of misery from all the bright after the fatal horn has sounded unto delusions and visionary delights of love death,--and abandons her in that exdreaming on the bosom of happiness, tremity, only because he must not into the black, real, and substantial abandon the holy cause of Liberty and horrors of irremediable desolation, Truth. from youth and enjoyment, untamed And here, we may remark, that our and aspiring, into anguish, destiny, full and perfect sympathy goes with and death

the illustrious Gheber, both in the obIndeed, to us the great excellence of jects to which he is devoted, anil the this poem is in the strength of attach- feelings with which that devotion is ment,-the illimitable power of pas- displayed. His is no cause of doubtful sion,-displayed in the character and right-of equivocal justice. He is not conduct of Hinda and Hafed,-feel- a rebel dignified with the name of paings different in their object, in minds triot, nor a wild enthusiast fighting in so differently constituted as theirs, but support of an absurd or wicked Faith. equal in the degree of their intensity. He is the last of a host of heroes, who From the first moment that we behold perish in defence of their country's inHinda, we behold her innocent, pure, dependence ;--the last of an enlightand spotless; but her heart, her soul, ened priesthood, we may say, who her senses, her fancy, and her imagi- wished to preserve the sanctity of their nation, all occupied with one glorious own lofty persuasion against « a creed and delightful vision that forever of lust, and hate, and crime." The haunts, disturbs, and blesses, which feelings, therefore, which he acts upon has, in spite of herself, overcome and are universal, and free from all party subdued what was formerly the ruling taint,-a vice which, we cannot help emotion of her nature, filial affection, thinking, infects several of Mr Moore's -and which at last shakes the foun- shorter poems, and mars their emidation even of the religious faith in nent beauty. Perhaps there are a which she had been brought up from few passages of general declamation, a child, and forces her to love, admire, even in this poem, coloured by what and believe that creed, of which there some may think party rather than nathad been instilled into her mind the ural feelings; but they are of rare ocbitterest abhorrence,-till she sees currence, and may easily be forgiven nothing on earth or in heaven but in to a poet who belongs to a country relation to her devoted hero. Hafed, where pride has long struggled with on the other hand, has had all the oppression --where religion has been energies of his soul roused by the no- given as a reason against the diffusion blest objects, and the imperious de- of political privileges,--and where vamand of the highest duties, before he lour guards liberties which the brave has seen the divine countenance of are not permitted to enjoy. Hinda. His soul is already filled with Another great beauty in the cona patriotism which feels that it cannot duct of this poem is the calm air of restore the liberties of his country, grandeur which invests, from first to though it may still avenge their de last, the principal agent, the utter struction, with a piety that cannot hopelessness of ultimate success, yet keep unextinguished the fires sacred the unshaken resolution of death, and to its God, but hopes to preserve the the unpalpitating principle of a rightshrine on which they burn unpolluted eous vengeance. From the beginning by profane hands, and finally to perish we seem to know that Hafed and his an immolation in the holy element. Ghebers must die, yet the certainty He feels that with him any love must of their death makes us feel a deeper be a folly, a madness, a crime; but interest in their life: they move for above all, love to the daughter of the ever before us, like men under doom ; VOL. I.

3 T .

« ПретходнаНастави »