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Back on their living hinges, that its gales
Might visit all below; the general bliss
Thrill'a

every bosom, and the family Of man, for once, partook one common joy. 13

XX.
This said, he turn d away, and left
The Youth in wonder mute;
For Thalaba stood mute,

And passively receiv'd
The mingled joy which tlow'd on every sense.
Where'er his

eye

could reach,
Fair structures, rainbow-hued, arose;
And rich pavilions through the opening woods
Gleam'd from their waving curtains sunny gold;
And winding through the verdant vale,

Flow'd streams of liquid light;
And fluted cypresses reard up

Their living obelisks;
And broad-leavd plane-trees in long colonnades 7

O'er-arch'd delightful walks,
Where round their trunks the thousand-tendrild vine
Wound up and hung the boughs with greener wreaths,

And clusters not their own.
Wearied with endless beauty, did his eyes
Return for rest? beside him teems the earth
With tulips, like the ruddy evening streak'd;8
And here the lily hangs her head of snow;

Aud here amid her sable cup 9
Shines the red eye-spot, like one brightest star,

The solitary twinkler of the night;

And here the rose expands
Her paradise of leaves. 10

XXII.
Full of the joy, yet still awake

To wonder, on went Thalaba;
On every side the song of mirth,

The music of festivity,

Invite the passing youth.
Wcaried at length with hunger and with heat,

He enters in a banquet room,

Where round a fountain brink,
On silken carpets sale the festive train, 14°

Instant through all his frame

Delightful coolness spread;
The playing fount refreshid

The agitated air ;
The very light came cool'd through silvering panes
Of pearly shell, -5 like the pale moon-beam tinged;
Or where the wine-vase 16 tilld the aperture,

Rosy as rising morn, or softer gleam
Of saffron, like the sunny evening mist :
Through every hue, and streak'd by all,

The flowing fountain play'd.

Around the water-edge
Vessels of wine, alternate placed,
Ruby and amber, tinged its liule waves.

From golden goblets there 17
The guests sate quaffing the delicious juice

Of Shiraz golden grape.

XXI.
Then on his ear what sounds

Of harmony arose!
Far music and the distance-mellow'd song

From bowers of merriment;

The waterfall remote;
The murmuring of the leafy groves;

The single nightingale
Perch'd in the rosier by, so richly ton'd,
That never from that most melodious bird,
Singing a love-song to his brooding mate,

Did Thracian shepherd by the grave Of Orpheus hear a sweeter melody, Though there the Spirit of the Sepulchre All his own power infuse, to swell

The incense that he loves.

XXII. And oh! what odours the voluptuous vale

Scatters from jasmine bowers,

From yon rose wilderness, From cluster'd henna, and from orange groves, That with such perfumes fill the breeze

As Peris to their Sister bear,
When from the summit of some lofty tree
She hangs encaged, the captive of the Dives.

They from their pinions shake
The sweetness of celestial flowers,

And, as her enemies impure
From that impervious poison far away
Fly groaning with the torment, she the while

Inhales her fragrant food. 12
Such odours flow'd upon the world,
When at Mahommed's nuptials, word

Went forth in Heaven, to roll
The everlasting gates of Paradise

XXIV.
But Thalaba took not the draught;
For rightly he knew had the Prophet forbidden
That beverage, the mother of sins. 18

Nor did the urgent guests
Proffer a second time the liquid fire ;
Por in the youth's strong eye they saw

No moveable resolve.
Yet not uncourteous, Thalaba
Drank the cool draught of innocence,

That fragraut from its dewy vase 19
Came parer than it left its native bed.
And he partook the odorous fruits,

For all rich fruits were there.
Water-melons rough of rind,
Whose pulp the thirsty lip

Dissolved into a draught:
Pistachios from the heavy-cluster'd trees

Of Malavert, or Haleb's fertile soil,
And Casbin's luscious grapes of amber hue, 20

That many a week endure
The summer sun intense,

Till by its powerful fire
All watery particles exhald, alone
The strong essential sweetness ripens there.
Here cased in ice, the apricot, 21

A topaz, crystal-set :
Here, on a plate of snow,

The sunny orange rests;
And still the aloes and the sandal-wood,
From golden censors, o'er the banquet room

Diffuse their dying sweels.

The unerring arrow did its work of death, He turn'd him to the woman, and belield

His own Oneiza, his Arabian Maid.

XXV.
Anon a troop of females form'd the dance,
Their ancles bound with bracelet-bells, 12

That made the modulating harmony.
Transparent garments to the greedy eye 23

Gave all their harlot limbs, Which writhed, in each immodest gesture skill'd.

BOOK VII.

Now all is done; bring home the Bride again.

Bring home the triumph of our victory! Bring home with you the glory of her gain,

With joyance bring her, and with jollity. Never had man more joyful day ihan this, Whom Heaven would heap with bliss.

SPENSER'. Epithalamium.

XXVI.
With earnest eyes the banqueters

Fed on the sight impure;

And Thalaba, he gazed,
But in his heart he bore a talisman,

Whose blessed alchemy

To virtuous thoughts refined
The loose suggestions of the scene impure.
Oneiza's image swam before his sight,

His own Arabian Maid.
He rose, and from the banquet room be rushid,

And tears ran down his burning cheek ; And nature for a moment woke the thought, And murmured, that, from all domestic joys

Estranged, he wandered o'er the world

A lonely being, far from all he lov'd. Son of Hodeiralı, not among thy crimes That momentary murmur shall be written!

1.
From fear, and from a nazement, and from joy,
At length the Arabian Maid recovering speech,
Threw around Thalaba her arms, and cried,

My father! O my father !»... Thalaba
In wonder lost, yet fearful to inquire,

Bent down his cheek on hers,
And their tears met, and mingled as they fell,

IS.

ONEIZA.

XXVII.

From tents of revelry,
From festal bowers, to solitude he ran;
And now he reach'd where all the vills
Of that well-watered garden in one tide

Roll'd their collected waves.

A straight and stately bridge Stretch'd its long arches o'er the ample stream. Strong in the evening, and distinct its shade Lay on the watery mirror, and his

eye Saw it united with its parent pile, One huge fantastic fabric. Drawing near, Loud from the chambers of the bridge below, 24

Sounds of carousal came and song;
And unveil'd women bade the advancing youth

Come merry-make with them!
Unhearing, or unheeding, Thalaba
Past o'er with hurried

pace,
And plunged amid the forest solitude.

At niglic they seiz'd me, Thalaba! in my sleep.... Thou wert not near,.. and yet when in their grasp

I woke, my shriek of terror called on thee.
My father could not save me,-an old man!

And they were strong and many,--O my God, The hearts they must have had to hear his prayers, And yet to leave him childless !

THALABA.
We will seek him :
We will return to Araby.

ONEIZA.

Alas!
We should not find him, Thalaba! our tent
Is desolate! the wind bath heaped the sands

Within its door, the lizard's track is left Fresh on the untrodden dust; prowling by night

The tiger, as he passes, hears no breath
Of man, and turns to search ils solitude.

Alas! be strays a wretched wanderer
Seeking his child! old man, he will not rest, -

He cannot rest,- his sleep is misery,— His dreams are of my wretchedness, my wrongs,0 Thalaba! this is a wicked place!

Let us be gone!

THALABA.

But how to pass again
The irop doors that opening at a breath
Gave easy entrance! armies in their strength
Would fail to move those hinges for return!

ONEIZA.
But we can climb the mountains that shut in

This dreadful garden.

THALABA.
Are Oneiza's limbs
Equal to that long toil?

ONEIZA.

Oh I am strong,
Dear Thalaba! for this fear gives me force,

And you are with me!
So she took his hand,

XXVIII.
Deserts of Araby!
His soul return'd to you.
He cast himself upon the earth,
And clos'd his eyes, and call's
The voluntary vision up.

A cry, as of distress,
Arous'd him ; loud it came and near!
He started

ир, ,
he
strung

his bow, He pluck'd the arrow forth. Again a shriek ..a woman's shriek! And lo! she rushes through the trees, ller veil all rent, her garments torn! He follows close, the ravisher... Even on the unechoing grass

She hears his tread, so near! « Prophet, save me! save me, God! Help! help!» she cried to Thalaba ;

Thalaba drew the bow:

And gently drew him forward, and they went

Towards the mountain chain.

VII. And the young Arab's soul Arose within him; «What is he,» he cried, «Who hath prepar'd this garden of delight,

And wherefore are its snares?»

III.
It was broad moonlight, and obscure or lost

The garden beauties lay,
But the great boundary rose, distinctly marked.

These were no little bills,

No sloping uplands lifting to the sun Their vineyards, with fresh verdure, and the shade

Of ancient woods, courting the loiterer To win the easy ascent: stone mountains these,

Desolate rock on rock,

The burthens of the earth
Whose snowy summits met the morning beam
When night was in the vale, whose feet were fixd
In the world's foundations. 2 Thalaba survey'd

The heights precipitous,
Impending crags, rocks unascendible,
And summits that had tir'd the eagle's wing;

« There is no way!» he cried.

Paler Oneiza grew,
And hung upon his arm a feebler weight.

VIII. The Arabian Maid replied, « The Women, when I entered, welcom'd me

To Paradise, by Aloadin's will Chosen, like themselves, a Houri of the Earth. They told me, credulous of his blasphemies,

That Aloadin placed them to reward His faithful servants with the joys of Heaven.

0 Thalaba, and all are ready bere To wreak his wicked will, and work all crimes !

How then shall we escape ?»

IX. « Woe to him!» cried the Appointed, a stern smile Darkening with stronger shades his countenance; « Woe to him! he hath laid his toils

To take the Antelope,

The Lion is come in !»
She shook her head : «A Sorcerer he,
And guarded by so many! Thalaba, -

And thou but one!»

IV.
But soon again to hope

Revives the Arabian maid, As Thala ba imparts the sudden thought. «I past a river,» cried the youth,

«A full and copious strcam. The flowing waters cannot be restrained,

And where they find or force their way, There we perchance may follow; thitherward

The current rolled along...
So saying, yet again in hope
Quickening their eager steps,
They turned them thitherward.

X.
He raised his hand to Heaven,

« Is there pot God, Oneiza? I have a Talisman, that, whoso bears, Him, nor the Earthly, nor the Infernal Powers

Of Evil, cau cast down.

Remember, Destiny Hath mark'd me from mankind! Now rest in faith, and I will guard thy sleep!»

V.
Silent and calm the river rolled along,

And at the verge arriv'd
Of that fair garden, o'er a rocky bed

Towards the mountain-base,
Still full and silent, held its even way.
But farther as they went its deepening sound
Louder and louder in the distance rose,

As if it forced its stream
Struggling with crags along a narrow pass.
And lo! where raving o'er a hollow course

The ever-flowing tide
Foams in a thousand whirlpools! there adown

The perforated rock
Plunge the whole waters; so precipitous,

So fathomless a fall,
That their earth-shaking roar came deadened up

Like subterranean thunders.

XI.
So on a violet bank

The Arabian Maid laid down,
Her soft cheek pillow'd upon moss and flowers.

She lay in silent prayer,
Till prayer had tranquilliz'd ber fears,
And sleep fell on her. By her side

Silent sale Thalaba,
And gaz'd upon the Maid,

And as he gaz'd, drew in
New courage and intenser faith,
And waited calmly for the eventful day.

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VI.

« Allah save us!»
Oneiza cried, « there is no path for man

From this accursed place!»

And as she spake, her joints Were loosen'd, and her knees sunk under her. « Cheer up, Oneiza!» Thalaba replied, « Be of good heart. We cannot fly

The dangers of the place,
But we can conquer them!»

XII. Loud

sung the Lark, the awaken'd Maid
Beheld him twinkling in the morning light,
And wish'd for wings and liberly like his.
The flush of fear inflam'd her cheek,
But Thalaba was calm of soul,

Collected for the work.
He ponder'd in his mind
How from Lobaba's breast

His blunted arrow fell.

Aloadin too might wear
Spell perchance of equal power
To blunt the weapon's edge!

Beside the river-brink
Rose a youny poplar, whose unsteady leaves

And bent the knee before him,

And shouted out his praise : Mighty art thou, the Bestower of joy,

The Lord of Paradise!» Then Aloadin rose and waved his hand, And they stood mute, and moveless,

In idolizing awe.

Varying their verdure to the gale,
With silver glitter caught

His meditating eye.
Then to Oneiza turn'd the youth,

And gave his father's bow,
And o'er her shoulders slung

The quiver arrow-stor d.
« Me other weapon suits ; » said be,

«Bear thou the Bow: dear Maid, The days return upon me, when these shafts,

True to thy guidance, from the lofty palm Brought down the cluster, and thy gladden'd cye, Exulting, turn'd to seek the voice of praise.

Oh! yet again, Oneiza, we shall share
Our desert-joys!» So saying, to the bank

He mov'd, and stooping low,
With double grasp, hand below hand, he clenchd,

And from its watery soil

Uptore the poplar trunk.
Then off he shook the clotted earth,

And broke away the head
And boughs, and lesser roots ;

And lifting it aloft, Wielded with able sway the massy club. « Now for this child of Hell!» quoth Thalaba; « Belike he shall exchange to-day

His dainty Paradise
For other dwelling, and the fruit

Of Zaccoum, cursed tree.» 3

XVI.
« Children of Earth,» he cried,

« Whom I have guided here By easier passage than the gate of Death;

The infidel Sultan, to whose lands
My mountains reach their roots,

Blasphemes and threatens me. Strong are his armies, many are his guards,

Yet may a dagger find him. Children of Earth, I tempt ye not With the vain promise of a bliss unseen,

With tales of a hereafter heaven Whence never Traveller hath returned ! Have ye not tasted of the cup of joy, That in these groves of happiness For ever over-mantling tempts

The ever-thirsty lip?
Who is there here that by a deed

Of danger will deserve
The eternal joys of actual paradise ? »

XVII. «I!» Thalaba exclaim'd, And springing forward, on the Sorcerer's head

He dash'd the knotty club.

XIII.
With that the youth and Arab Maid
Toward the centre of the garden past.
It chanced that Aloadin had convok'd

The garden habitants,
And with the assembled throng
Oneiza mingled, and the Appointed Youth.

Unmark'd they mingled, or if one With busier finger to his neighbour notes

The quiverd Maid, « haply,» he says,

« Some daughter of the Homerites, 4 Or one who yet remembers with delight Her native tents of Himiar!» « Nay!» rejoins His comrade, « a love-pageant! for the man Mimics with that fierce eye and knotty club

Some savage lion-tamer, she forsooth Must play the heroine of the years of old !»

XVIIT.
He fell not, though the force
Shattered his skull; nor flowd the blood,

For by some hellish talisman

His life imprison'd still
Dwelt in the body. The astonish'd crowd

Stand motionless with fear, and wait Immediate vengeance from the wrath of Heaven.

And lo! the Bird - the monster Bird,
Soars up- then pounces down

To seize on Thalaba!
Now, Oneiza, bend the bow,

Now draw the arrow home!
True fled the arrow from Oneiza's hand ;

It pierced the monster Bird,

It broke the Talisman,

Then darkness cover'd all,Earth shook, Heaven thunder d, and amid the yells

Of Spirits accurs'd, destroy'd

The Paradise of Sin. 5

XIV.
Radiant with gems upon his throne of gold

Sate Aloadin; o'er the Sorcerer's head
Hovered a Bird, and in the fragrant air
Waved his wide winnowing wings,

A living canopy.
Large as the hairy Cassowar
Was that o'ershadowing Bird;

So huge his talons, in their grasp
The Eagle would have hung a helpless prey.
His beak was iron, and his plumes

Glittered like burnish'd gold, And his eyes glow'd, as though an inward fire

Shone through a diamond orb.

XIX. At last the earth was still; The yelling of the Demons ceased; Opening the wreck and rain to their sight, The darkness roil'd away. Alone in life,

Amid the desolation and the dead, Stood the Destroyer and the Arabian Maid. They look'd around, the rocks were rent, The path was open, late by magic clos'd. Awe-struck and silent down the stony glen

They wound their thoughtful way.

XV. The blinded multitude Adord the Sorcerer,

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XXI.

« Obedient to our Lord's command,» said he,

« We past toward the mountains, and began The ascending strait; when suddenly Earth shook, And darkness, like the midoighi, fell around,

And fire and thunder came from Heaven
As though the Retribution day were come.
After the terror ceas'd, and when with hearts

Somewhat assur'd, again we ventur'd on,
This youth and woman met us on the way.

They told us, that from Aloadin's haunt
They came, on whom the judgment-stroke hath fallen,

He and his sinful Paradise at once
Destroy'd by them, the agents they of Heaven.

Therefore I brought them hither to repea!
The tale before thy presence; that as search
Shall prove it false or faithful, to their merit

Thou mayest reward them.»

<< Be it dope to us,”
Thalaba answer'd, « as the truth shall prove!»

XXV.
When from the pomp of triumph

And presence of the King
Thalaba sought the tent allotted him,
Thoughtful the Arabian Maid beheld

His animated eye,
His cheek inflam'd with pride.

« Oneiza ! » cried the youth,
« The King hath done according to his word,

And made me in the land

Next to himself be nam'd!--
But why that serious melancholy smile?-

Opeiza, when I heard the voice that gave me Honour, and wealth, and fame, the instant thought Arose lo fill my joy, that thou wouldst hear The tidings, and be happy.”

ONEIZA.

Thalaba,
Thou wouldst not have me mirthful! am I not
An orphan, - among strangers?

THALABA.
But with me!

ONEIZA.
My Father,

THALABA.
Nay, be comforted! last night
To what wert thou expos'd! in what a peril
The morning found us !--safety, honour, wealth,
These now are ours. This instant who thon wert
The Sultan ask'd. I told him from our childhood

We had been plighted ;-was I wrong, Oneiza ? And when he said with bounties he would heap

Our nuptials,-wilt thou blame me if I blest His will, that bade me fix the marriage day?-

In tears, my love?

ONEIZA.

REMEMBER, DESTINY
HATI MARK'D THEE FROM MANKIND!

XXII.

The Sultan while he spake
Fix'd on him the proud eye of sovercigoty;

« If thou hast play'd with us,
By Allah and by Ali, Death shall seal

The lying lips for ever! if the thing
Be as thou sayest it, Arab, thou shalt stand

Next to ourself! >>
Hark! while he speaks, the cry,
The lengthening cry, the increasing shout

Of joyful multitudes !
Breathless and panting to the tent
The bearer of good tidings comes,
«O Sultan, live for ever! be thy foes

Like Aloadin all!
The wrath of God hath smitten him.»

TIALABA.

XXIII.
Joy at the welcome tale
Shone in the Sultan's cheek;
« Array the Arab in the robe

Of honour,» he exclaim'd, « And place a chain of gold around his neck,

And bind around his brow the diadem,
And mount him on my steed of state,

And lead him through the camp,
And let the Heralds go before and cry,

Thus shall the Sultan reward
The man who serves him well! >>

Perhaps when Aloadin was destroy'd
The mission ceas'd; else would wise Providence
With its rewards and blessings strew my path
Thus for accomplish'd service?

ONEIZA.
Thalaba!

TRALABA.
Or if haply not, yet whither should I go?
Is it not prudent to abide in peace

Till I am summond?

ONEIZA.

Take me to the Deserts !

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