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Who falls from all he knows of bliss,
To thee, old man, my deeds appear: I read abhorrence on thy brow,
And this too was I born to bear!
But deem such feeble, heartless man,
For worlds I dare not view the dame
"And she was lost-and yet I breathed,
The deed that's done canst thou undo?
And calm the lonely lioness:
I had-Ah! have I now ?-a friend!
I would remind him of my end: 5
Though souls absorb'd like mine allow
And I have smiled-I then could smileWhen Prudence would his voice assume,
And warn-I reck'd not what-the while : But now remembrance whispers o'er Those accents scarcely mark'd before. Say that his bodings came to pass,
And he will start to hear their truth,
Through many a busy bitter scene
Such cold request might sound like scorn;
"Tell me no more of fancy's gleam,
As something welcome, new, and dear;
Which now I gaze on, as on her,
That ifeless thing the living fear.
Is fleeting towards the final goal.
The all they ever wish'd to hold.
1 [" Which now I view with trembling spark."- MS.]
2 The circumstance to which the above story relates was not very uncommon in Turkey. A few years ago the wife of Muchtar Pacha complained to his father of his son's supposed infidelity; he asked with whom, and she had the barbarity to give in a list of the twelve handsomest women in Yanina They were seized, fastened up in sacks, and drowned in the lake the same night! One of the guards who was present informed me, that not one of the victims uttered a cry, or showed a symptom of terror at so sudden a "wrench from all we know, from all we love." The fate of Phrosine, the fairest of this sacrifice, is the subject of many a Romaic and Arnaout ditty. The story in the text is one told of a young Venetian many years ago, and now nearly forgotten. I heard it by accident recited by one of the coffee-house story-tellers who abound in the Levant, and sing or recite their narratives. The additions and interpolations by the translator will be easily distinguished from the rest, by the want of Eastern imagery; and I regret that my memory has retained so few fragments of the original. For the contents of some of the notes I am indebted partly to D'Herbelot, and partly to that most Eastern, and, as Mr. Weber justly entitles it, "sublime tale," the "Caliph Vathek." I do not know from what source the author of that singular volume may have drawn his materials; some of his incidents are to be found in the "Biblio
'They told me wild waves roll'd above
Or farther with thee bear my soul
Than winds can waft or waters roll!
"Such is my name, and such my tale. Confessor to thy secret ear
I breathe the sorrows I bewail,
And thank thee for the generous tear This glazing eye could never shed. Then lay me with the humblest dead, And, save the cross above my head, Be neither name nor emblem spread, By prying stranger to be read, Or stay the passing pilgrim's tread. "2
He pass'd-nor of his name and race Hath left a token or a trace,
Save what the father must not say
thèque Orientale;" but for correctness of costume, beauty of description, and power of imagination, it far surpasses all European imitations; and bears such marks of originality, that those who have visited the East will find some difficulty in believing it to be more than a translation. As an Eastern tale, even Rasselas must bow before it; his "Happy Valley " will not bear a comparison with the" Hall of Eblís."
3 ["Nor whether most he mourn'd none knew,
For her he loved, or him he slew."- MS.]
[In this poem, which was published after the two first cantos of Childe Harold, Lord Byron began to show his powers. He had now received encouragement which set free his daring hands, and gave his strokes their natural force. Here, then, we first find passages of a tone peculiar to Lord Byron; but still this appearance was not uniform: he often returned to his trammels, and reminds us of the manner of some favourite predecessor: among these, I think we sometimes catch the notes of Sir Walter Scott. But the internal tempest - the deep passion, sometimes buried, and sometimes blazing from some incidental touch the intensity of agonising reflection, which will always distinguish Lord Byron from other writers - now began to display themselves. — SIR EGERTON BRYDGES.]
KNOW ye the land where the cypress and myrtle 3
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime, Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle, Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime? Know ye the land of the cedar and vine,
Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine: Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with perfume,
Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gúl4 in her bloom;
'Tis the clime of the East; 't is the land of the SunCan he smile on such deeds as his children have done? 5
[The " Bride of Abydos" was published in the beginning of December, 1813. The mood of mind in which it was struck off is thus stated by Lord Byron, in a letter to Mr. Gifford : -You have been good enough to look at a thing of mine in MS. a Turkish story- and I should feel gratified if you would do it the same favour in its probationary state of printing. It was written, I cannot say for amusement, nor obliged by hunger and request of friends,' but in a state of mind, from circumstances which occasionally occur to us youth,' that rendered it necessary for me to apply my mind to something, any thing, but reality; and under this not very brilliant inspiration it was composed. Send it either to the flames, or
— ' A hundred hawkers' load, On wings of winds to fly or fall abroad.'
It deserves no better than the first, as the work of a week, and scribbled stans pede in uno' (by the bye, the only foot I have to stand on); and I promise never to trouble you again under forty cantos, and a voyage between each."]
Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell.
Regirt with many a gallant slave,
Deep thought was in his aged eye; And though the face of Mussulman
Not oft betrays to standers by The mind within, well skill'd to hide All but unconquerable pride,
His pensive cheek and pondering brow Did more than he was wont avow.
"Let the chamber be clear'd."- The train dis
And the Nubian awaiting the sire's award.
2" Murray tells me that Croker asked him why the thing is called the Bride of Abydos? It is an awkward question, being unanswerable: she is not a bride; only about to be one. I don't wonder at his finding out the Bull but the detection is too late to do any good. I was a great fool to have made it, and am ashamed of not being an Irishman." — - Byron Diary, Dec. 1813.]
3 [To the Bride of Abydos, Lord Byron made many additions during its progress through the press, amounting to about two hundred lines; and, as in the case of the Giaour, the passages so added will be seen to be some of the most splendid in the whole poem. These opening lines, which are among the new insertions, are supposed to have been suggested by a song of Goethe's
"Kennst du das Land wo die citronen blühn."] 4" Gúl," the rose.
5 "Souls made of fire, and children of the Sun,
With whom revenge is virtue."-YOUNG's Revenge.
I on Zuleika's slumber broke,
And, as thou knowest that for me Soon turns the haram's grating key, Before the guardian slaves awoke We to the cypress groves had flown, And made earth, main, and heaven our own! There linger'd we, beguiled too long With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi's song; Till I, who heard the deep tambour 2 Beat thy Divan's approaching hour, To thee, and to my duty true, Warn'd by the sound, to greet thee flew : But there Zuleika wanders yet
Nay, Father, rage not nor forget
"Son of a slave"- the Pacha said
And hurl the dart, and curb the steed,
1 Mejnoun and Leila, the Romeo and Juliet of the East. Sadi, the moral poet of Persia.
* Turkish drum, which sounds at sunrise, noon, and twilight.
But, Haroun !-to my daughter speed:
No sound from Selim's lip was heard,
At least that met old Giaffir's ear, But every frown and every word Pierced keener than a Christian's sword.
"Son of a slave ! — reproach'd with fear! Those gibes had cost another dear. Son of a slave !-and who my sire?" Thus held his thoughts their dark career; And glances ev'n of more than ire
Flash forth, then faintly disappear.
And started; for within his eye
"Come hither, boy-what, no reply?
As sneeringly these accents fell,
Till Giafer's quail'd and shrunk askance
I never loved him from his birth,
Far less would venture into strife
That blood he hath not heard - no more-
Or Christian crouching in the fight-
Like Houris' hymn it meets mine ear:
Oh! more than ev'n her mother dear,
Such to my longing sight art thou;
Fair, as the first that fell of womankind,
3 The Turks abhor the Arabs (who return the compliment a hundred-fold) even more than they hate the Christians.
Who hath not proved how feebly words essay 1
Her graceful arms in meekness bending
Across her gently-budding breast; At one kind word those arms extending To clasp the neck of him who blest His child caressing and carest, Zuleika came and Giaffir felt His purpose half within him melt: Not that against her fancied weal His heart though stern could ever feel; Affection chain'd her to that heart; Ambition tore the links apart.
VII. "Zuleika! child of gentleness!
How dear this very day must tell, When I forget my own distress,
[These twelve fine lines were added in the course of printing.]
2 This expression has met with objections. I will not refer to Him who hath not Music in his soul," but merely request the reader to recollect, for ten seconds, the features of the woman whom he believes to be the most beautiful; and, if he then does not comprehend fully what is feebly expressed in the above line, I shall be sorry for us both. For an elo. quent passage in the latest work of the first female writer of this, perhaps of any, age, on the analogy (and the immediate coinparison excited by that analogy) between "painting and music," see vol. iii. cap. 10. DE L'ALLEMAGNE. And is not this connection still stronger with the original than the copy? with the colouring of Nature than of Art? After all, this is rather to be felt than described; still I think there are some who will understand it, at least they would have done had they beheld the countenance whose speaking harmony suggested the idea; for this passage is not drawn from imagination but memory, that mirror which Affliction dashes to the earth, and looking down upon the fragments, only beholds the redection multiplied!-["This morning, a very pretty bulet from the Stael. She has been pleased to be pleased with my slight eulogy in the note annexed to the Bride.' This is to be accounted for in several ways: firstly, all women like all, or any praise; secondly, this was unexpected, because I have never courted her; and, thirdly, as Scrub says, those who have been all their lives regularly praised by regular critics, like a little variety, and are glad when any one goes out of his way to say a civil thing; and, fourthly, she is a very good-natured creature, which is the best reason, after all, and, perhaps, the only one."-B. Diary, Dec. 7. 1813.]
3 [Among the imputed plagiarisms so industriously hunted out in his writings, this line has been, with somewhat more plausibility than is frequent in such charges, included; the lyric poet Lovelace having, it seems, written "The melody and music of her face." Sir Thomas Browne, too, in his Religio Medici, says, “There is music even in beauty." The
In losing what I love so well, To bid thee with another dwell: Another and a braver man Was never seen in battle's van. We Moslem reck not much of blood; But yet the line of Carasman + Unchanged, unchangeable hath stood First of the bold Timariot bands That won and well can keep their lands. Enough that he who comes to woo Is kinsman of the Bey Oglou : His years need scarce a thought employ: I would not have thee wed a boy. And thou shalt have a noble dower: And his and my united power Will laugh to scorn the death-firman, Which others tremble but to scan, And teach the messenger what fate The bearer of such boon may wait. And now thou know'st thy father's will;
All that thy sex hath need to know: 'Twas mine to teach obedience stillThe way to love, thy lord may show." VIII.
In silence bow'd the virgin's head;
And if her eye was fill'd with tears That stifled feeling dare not shed, And changed her cheek from pale to red, And red to pale, as through her ears Those winged words like arrows sped,
What could such be but maiden fears? So bright the tear in Beauty's eye, Love half regrets to kiss it dry; So sweet the blush of Bashfulness, Even Pity scarce can wish it less!
Whate'er it was the sire forgot;
Or if remember'd, mark'd it not;
Thrice clapp'd his hands, and call'd his steed, 6 Resign'd his gem-adorn'd chibouque, 7
coincidence, no doubt, is worth observing, and the task of "tracking thus a favourite writer in the snow (as Dryden expresses it) of others," is sometimes not unamusing; but to those who found upon such resemblances a general charge of plagiarism, we may apply what Sir Walter Scott says: "It is a favourite theme of laborious dulness to trace such coincidences, because they appear to reduce genius of the higher order to the usual standard of humanity, and of course to bring the author nearer to a level with his critics." It is not only curious, but instructive, to trace the progress of this passage to its present state of finish. Having at first written"Mind on her lip and music in her face." he afterwards altered it to
"The mind of music breathing in her face"but this not satisfying him, the next step of correction brought the line to what it is at present. MOORE.]
4 Carasman Oglou, or Kara Osman Oglou, is the principal landowner in Turkey; he governs Magnesia: those who, by a kind of feudal tenure, possess land on condition of service, are called Timariots: they serve as Spahis, according to the extent of territory, and bring a certain number into the field, generally cavalry.
5 When a Pacha is sufficiently strong to resist, the single messenger, who is always the first bearer of the order for his death, is strangled instead, and sometimes five or six, one after the other, on the same errand, by command of the refractory patient; if, on the contrary, he is weak or loyal, he bows, kisses the Sultan's respectable signature, and is bow. strung with great complacency. In 1810, several of these presents were exhibited in the niche of the Seraglio gate; among others, the head of the Pacha of Bagdat, a brave young man, cut off by treachery, after a desperate resistance.
6 Clapping of the hands calls the servants. The Turks hate a superfluous expenditure of voice, and they have no bells.
7 "Chibouque," the Turkish pipe, of which the amber