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That they may rise more fresh and bright,

When their beloved Sun's awake ;-
Those ruined shrines and towers that seem
The relics of a splendid dream;

Amid whose fairy loneliness
Nought but the lapwing's cry is heard,
Nought seen but (when the shadows, flitting
Fast from the moon, unsheath its gleam,)
Some purple-winged Sultana* sitting

Upon a column, motionless
And glittering like an Idol bird-
Who could have thought, that there, even there,
Amid those scenes so still and fair,
The Demon of the Plague hath cast
From his hot wing a deadlier blast,
More mortal far than ever came
From the red Desert's sands of flame !
So quick, that every living thing
Of human shape, touched by his wing,
Like plants where the Simoon hath past,
At once falls black and withering!
The sun went down on many a brow

Which, full of bloom and freshness then,
Is rankling in the pest-house now,

And ne'er will feel that sun again.
And oh! to see the unburied heaps
On which the lonely moonlight sleeps
The very vultures turn away,
And sicken at so foul a prey !
Only the fierce hyæna stalks
Throughout the city's desolate walks
At midnight, and his carnage plies :-

Woe to the half-dead wretch who meets
The glaring of those large blue eyes

Amid the darkness of the streets !
“Poor race of men !” said the pitying Spirit,

“ Dearly ye pay for your primal Fall-
Some flowerets of Eden ye still inherit,

But the trail of the Serpent is over them all !"
She wept—the air grew pure and clear

Around her, as the bright drops ran;
For there's a magic in each tear

Such kindly Spirits weep for man!
Just then beneath some orange trees,
Whose fruit and blossoms in the breeze
Were wantoning together, free,

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“That beautiful bird, with plumage of the finest shining blue, with purple beak and legs, the natural and living ornament of the temples and palaces of the Greeks and Romans, which, from the stateliness of its port, as well as the brilliancy of its colours, has obtained the title of Sultana.” -Sonnini.

1

Like age at play with infancy-
Beneath that fresh and springing bower,

Close by the Lake, she heard the moan
Of one who, at this silent hour,

Had thither stolen to die alone.
One who in life where'er he moved

Drew after him the hearts of many;
Yet now, as though he ne'er were loved,

Dies here unseen, unwept by any!
None to watch near him- none to slake

The fire that in his bosom lies,
With even a sprinkle from that lake

Which shines so cool before his eyes;
No voice, well known through many a day,

To speak the last, the parting word,
Which, when all other sounds decay,

Is still like distant music heard ;-
That tender farewell on the shore
Of this rude world, when all is o'er,
Which cheers the spirit, ere its bark
Puts off into the unknown Dark.
Deserted youth ! one thought alone

Shed joy around his soul in death-
That she whom he for years had known,
And loved, and might have called his own,

Was safe from this foul midnight's breath,-
Safe in her father's princely halls,
Where the cool airs from fountain-falls,
Freshly perfumed by many a brand
Of the sweet wood from India's land,
Were pure as she whose brow they fanned.
But see—who yonder comes by stealth,

This melancholy bower to seek,
Like a young envoy, sent by Health,

With rosy gifts upon her cheek?
'Tis she--far off, through moonlight dim,

He knew his own betrothed bride,
She, who would rather die with him,

Than live to gain the world beside !
Her arms are round her lover now,

His livid cheek to hers she presses,
And dips, to bind his burning brow,

In the cool lake her loosened tresses.
Ah! once, how little did he think
An hour would come when he should shrink
With horror from that dear embrace,

Those gentle arms that were to him
Holy as is the cradling place

Of Eden's infant cherubim !
And now he yields—now turns away,
Shuddering as if the venom lay

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All in those proffered lips alone-
Those lips that, then so fearless grown,
Never until that instant came
Near his unasked or without shame.
“Oh! let me only breathe the air,

The blessed air, that's breathed by thee,
And, whether on its wings it bear

Healing or death, 'tis sweet to me!
There-drink my tears, while yet they fall-

Would that my bosom's blood were balm,
And, well thou know'st, I'd shed it all,

To give thy brow one minute's calm.
Nay, turn not from me that dear face-

Am I not thine—thy own loved bride-
The one, the chosen one, whose place

In life or death is by thy side?
Think'st thou that she, whose only light,

In this dim world, from thee hath shone,
Could bear the long, the cheerless night,

That must be hers when thou art gone?
That I can live, and let thee go,
Who art my life itself?—No, no-
When the stem dies, the leaf that grew
Out of its heart must perish too !
Then turn to me, my own love, turn,
Before, like thee, I fade and burn;
Cling to these yet cool lips, and share
The last pure life that lingers there!”
She fails—she sinks—as dies the lamp
In charnel airs, or cavern-damp,
So quickly do his baleful sighs
Quench all the sweet light of her eyes.
One struggle—and his pain is past-

Her lover is no longer living !
One kiss the maiden gives, one last

Long kiss, which she expires in giving !
"Sleep,” said the Peri, as softly she stole
The farewell sigh of that vanishing soul,
As true as e'er warmed a woman's breast-

Sieep on, in visions of odour rest,
In balmier airs than ever yet stirred
The enchanted pile of that lonely bird
Who sings at the last his own death-lay,
And in music and perfume dies away!"
Thus saying, from her lips she spread

Unearthly breathings through the place,
And shook her sparkling wreath, and shed

Such lustre o'er each paly face
That like two lovely saints they seemed,

Upon the eve of doomsday taken
From their dim graves, in odour sleeping;

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While that benevolent Peri beamed
Like their good angel, calmly keeping,

Watch o'er them till their souls would waken.
But morn is blushing in the sky;

Again the Peri soars above,
Bearing to Heaven that precious sigh

Of pure, self-sacrificing love.
High throbbed her heart, with hope elate,

The Elysian palm she soon shall win,
For the bright Spirit at the gate

Smiled as she gave that offering in;
And she already hears the trees

Of Eden, with their crystal bells
Ringing in that ambrosial breeze

That from the throne of Alla swells ;
And she can see the starry bowls

That lie around that lucid lake
Upon whose banks admitted Souls

Their first sweet draught of glory take !*
But ah! even Peris' hopes are vain--
Again the Fates forbade, again
The immortal barrier closed—“Not yet,”
The Angel said, as, with regret,
He shut from her that glimpse of glory-
“True was the maiden, and her story,
Written in light o'er Alla's head,
By seraph eyes shall long be read.
But, Peri, see—the crystal bar
Of Eden moves not-holier far
Than even this sigh the boon must be
That opes the Gates of Heaven for thee."
Now, upon Syria's land of roses +
Softly the light of Eve reposes,
And, like a glory, the broad sun
Hangs over sainted Lebanon;
Whose head in wintry grandeur towers,

And whitens with eternal sleet,
While summer, in a vale of flowers,

Is sleeping rosy at his feet.
To one who looked from upper air
O'er all the enchanted regions there,
How beauteous must have been the glow,
The life, the sparkling from below!

“On the shores of a quadrangular lake stand a thousand goblets, made of stars, out of which souls predestined to enjoy felicity drink the crystal wave.' From Chateaubriand's Description of the Mahometan Paradise, in his Beauties of Christianity.

† Richardson thinks that Syria had its name from Suri, a beautiful and delicate species of rose, for which that country has been always famous ;-hence, Suristan, the Land of Roses.

Fair gardens, shining streams, with ranks
Of golden melons on their banks,
More golden where the sun-light falls ;-
Gay lizards glittering on the walls
Of ruined shrines, busy and bright
As they were all alive with light;
And, yet more splendid, numerous flocks
Of pigeons, settling on the rocks,
With their rich restless wings, that gleam
Variously in the crimson beam
Of the warm West,

-as if inlaid
With brilliants from the mine, or made
Of tearless rainbows, such as span
The unclouded skies of Peristan.
And then the mingling sounds that come,
Of shepherd's ancient reed, with hum
Of the wild bees of Palestine,

Banqueting through the flowery vales,
And, Jordan, those sweet banks of thine,
And woods, so full of nightingales.
But nought can charm the luckless Peri ;
Her soul is sad-her wings are wcary-
Joyless she sees the Sun look down
On that great Temple, once his own,
Whose lonely columns stand sublime,

Flinging their shadows from on high,
Like dials, which the wizard, Time,

Had raised to count his ages by!
Yet haply there may lie concealed

Beneath those Chambers of the Sun
Some amulet of gems, annealed
In upper fires, some tablet sealed

With the great name of Solomon,

Which, spelled by her illumined eyes,
May teach her where, beneath the moon,
In earth or ocean, lies the boon,
The charm, that can restore so soon

An erring Spirit to the skies.
Cheered by this hope she bends her thither ;-

Still laughs the radiant eye of Heaven,

Nor have the golden bowers of Even In the rich West begun to wither;When, o'er the vale of Balbec winging

Slowly, she sees a child at play, Among the rosy wild flowers singing,

As rosy and as wild as they ; Chasing, with eager hands and eyes, The beautiful blue damsel-flies,

* The Temple of the Sun at Balbec.

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