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Thomas Moore. 1779-1852. (Manual, pp. 431-438.)
292. FROM "Lalla Rookh.'
One morn a Peri at the gate
Of Eden stood, disconsolate ;
And as she listen'd to the Springs
Of Life within, like music flowing,
And caught the light upon her wings
Through the half-open portal glowing, She wept to think her recreant race Should e'er have lost that glorious place ! “How happy,” exclaim'd this child of air, “ Are the holy Spirits who wander there,
Mid flowers that never shall fade or fall;
Though mine are the gardens of earth and sea,
And the stars themselves have flowers for me,
One blossom of Heaven out-blooms them all!
Though sunny the Lake of cool Cashmere,
With its plane-tree isle reflected clear,
And sweetly the founts of that Valley fall;
Though bright are the waters of Sing-su-hay,
And the golden floods that thitherward stray,
Yet-oh! 'tis only the Blest can say
How the waters of Heaven outshine them all!
“Go, wing thy flight from star to star, From world to luminous world, as far
As the universe spreads its flaming wall :
Take all the pleasures of all the spheres,
And multiply each through endless years,
One minute of Heaven is worth them all!”
The glorious Angel, who was keeping
The gates of Light, beheld her weeping;
And, as he nearer drew and listen'd
To her sad song, a tear-drop glisten’d
Within his eyelids, like the spray
From Eden's fountain, when it lies
On the blue flow'r, which-Bramins say-
Blooms nowhere but in Paradise !
Nymph of a fair but erring line!”
Gently he said—“One hope is thine.
'Tis written in the Book of Fate,
The Peri yet may be forgiven Who brings to this Eternal gate
The Gift that is most dear to Heaven ! Go seek it, and redeem thy sin'Tis sweet to let the Pardon'd in ! ”
Cheer'd 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,
That flutter'd round the jasmine stems,
Like winged flowers or flying gems :-
And, near the boy, who tir’d with play,
Now nestling 'mid the roses lay,
She saw a wearied man dismount
From his hot steed, and on the brink
Of a small imaret's rustic fount
Impatient fling him down to drink. Then swift his haggard brow he turn'd
To the fair child, who fearless sat,
Though never yet hath day-beam burn'd
Upon a brow more fierce than that,-
Sullenly fierce—a mixture dire,
Like thunder-clouds, of gloom and fire !
In which the Peri's eye could read
Dark tales of many a ruthless deed ;
The ruin'd maid—the shrine profan'd-
Oaths broken—and the threshold stain'd
With blood of guests !—there written, all,
Black as the damning drops that fall
From the denouncing Angel's pen,
Ere Mercy weeps them out again!
Yet tranquil now that man of crime,
(As if the balmy evening time
Soften'd his spirit,) look'd and lay,
Watching the rosy infant's play :-
Though still, whene'er his eye by chance
Fell on the boy's, its lurid glance
Met that unclouded, joyous gaze,
As torches, that have burnt all night
Through some impure and godless rite,
Encounter morning's glorious rays.
But hark! the vesper call to prayer,
As slow the orb of day-light sets,
Is rising sweetly on the air,
From Syria's thousand minarets !
The boy has started from the bed
Of flowers, where he had laid his head,
And down upon the fragrant sod
Kneels, with his forehead to the south,
Lisping the eternal name of God
From purity's own cherub mouth,
And looking, while his hands and eyes
Are lifted to the glowing skies,
Like a stray babe of Paradise,
Just lighted on that flowery plain,
And seeking for its home again !
Oh, 'twas a sight—that Heav'n—that Child-
A scene, which might have well beguild
Ev'n haughty Eblis of a sigh
For glories lost and peace gone by!
And how felt he, the wretched Man
Reclining there—while memory ran
O'er many a year of guilt and strife,
Flew o'er the dark flood of his life,
Nor found one sunny resting-place,
Nor brought him back one branch of grace !
“ There was a time,” he said, in mild,
Heart-humbled tones — “thou blessed child!
young and haply pure as thou,
I look'd and pray'd like thee—but now
He hung his head—each nobler aim
And hope and feeling, which had slept From boyhood's hour, that instant came
Fresh o'er him, and he wept—he wept ! Blest tears of soul-felt penitence!
In whose benign, redeeming flow Is felt the first, the only sense
Of guiltless joy that guilt can know, " There's a drop," said the Peri, “ that down from the moon Falls through the withering airs of June
Upon Egypt's land, of so healing a power,
So balmy a virtue, that ev'n in the hour
That drop descends, contagion dies,
And health reanimates earth and skies !
Oh, is it not thus, thou man of sin,
The precious tears of repentance fall ?
Though foul thy fiery plagues within,
One heavenly drop hath dispelld them all !"
And now -behold him kneeling there
By the child's side, in humble prayer,
While the same sunbeam shines upon
The guilty and the guiltless one,
And hymns of joy proclaim through Heaven
The Triumph of a soul Forgiven !
'T'was when the golden orb had set,
While on their knees they linger'd yet,
There fell a light, more lovely far
Than ever came from sun or star,
Upon the tear that, warm and meek,
Dew'd that repentant sinner's cheek :
To mortal eye this light might seem
A northern flash or meteor beam-
But well the enraptur'd Peri knew
'Twas a bright smile the Angel threw
From Heaven's gate, to hail that tear
Her harbinger of glory near!
Joy, joy for ever! my task is done-
The Gates are pass’d, and Heaven is won !
Oh! am I not happy? I am, I am n-
To thee, sweet Eden ! how dark and sad
Are the diamond turrets of Shadukiam,
And the fragrant bowers of Amberabad !
Farewell, ye odours of Earth, that die,
Passing away like a lover's sigh;
My feast is now of the Tooba Tree,
Whose scent is the breath of Eternity!
Farewell, ye vanishing flowers, that shone
In my fairy wreath, so bright and brief, -
Oh! what are the brightest that e'er have blown,
To the lote-tree, springing by Alla's Throne,
Whose flowers have a soul in every leaf !
Joy, joy for ever! my task is done-
The Gates are pass'd, and Heaven is won!”
293. 'TIS THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER.
'Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rose-bud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.
I'll not leave thee, thou lone one !
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter
Thy leaves o'er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.
So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love's shining circle
The gems drop away!.
When true hearts lie wither’d,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone ?
294. FORGET NOT THE FIELD.
Forget not the field where they perish'd,
The truest, the last of the brave,
All gone—and the bright hope we cherish'd
Gone with them, and quench'd in their grave! Oh ! could we from death but recover
Those hearts as they bounded before, In the face of high Heav'n to fight over
That combat for freedom once more ;Could the chain for an instant be riven
Which Tyranny flung round us then, No, 'tis not in Man, nor in Heaven,
To let Tyranny bind it again !