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I know not why, but in that hour to-night,
And thus some boding flash'd through either frame,
That large black prophet eye seem'd to dilate
As if their last day of a happy date
With his broad, bright, and dropping orb were gone.
Juan gazed on her as to ask his fate
He felt a grief, but knowing cause for none, His glance inquired of hers for some excuse For feelings causeless, or at least abstruse.
She turn'd to him, and smiled, but in that sort
And master'd by her wisdom or her pride.
Juan would question further, but she press'd
And no doubt of all methods 't is the best :
Some people prefer wine-'t is not amiss :
I have tried both; so those who would a part take May chuse between the headache and the heartache. XXV.
One of the two, according to your choice,
Women or wine, you ll have to undergo; Both maladies are taxes on our joys:
But which to chuse I really hardly know; And if I had to give a casting voice,
For both sides I could many reasons show, And then decide, without great wrong to either, It were much better to have both than neither.
Juan and Haidee gazed upon each other,
With swimming looks of speechless tenderness,
But almost sanctify the sweet excess
Mix'd in each other's arms, and heart in heart,
Why did they not then die?—they had lived too long, Should an hour come to bid them breathe apart;
Years could but bring them cruel things or wrong. The world was not for them, nor the world's art For beings passionate as Sappho's song: Love was born with them, in them, so intense, It was their very spirit-not a sense.
They should have lived together deep in woods, Unseen as sings the nightingale; they were Unfit to mix in these thick solitudes
Called social, where all vice and hatred are: How lonely every freeborn creature broods! The sweetest song-birds nestle in a pair; The eagle soars alone; the gull and crow Flock o'er their carrion, just as mortals do.
Now pillow'd, cheek to cheek, in loving sleep,
A gentle slumber, but it was not deep,
For ever and anon a something shook Juan, and shuddering o'er his frame would creep; And Haidee's sweet lips murmur'd, like a brook, A wordless music; and her face so fair
Stirr'd with her dream, as rose-leaves with the air:
Or as the stirring of a deep clear stream
Good to the soul which we no more can bind; Strange state of being! (for 't is still to be) Senseless to feel, and with seal'd eyes to see.
She dream'd of being alone on the sea-shore,
Until she sobb'd for breath, and soon they were
Anon-she was released, and then she stray'd
"T was white and indistinct, nor stopp'd to meet Her glance nor grasp, for still she gazed and grasp'd, And ran, but it escaped her as she clasp'd.
The dream changed in a cave she stood; its walls
Of ages on its water-fretted halls,
Where waves might wash, and seals might breed and Jurk;
Her hair was dripping, and the very balls
Of her black eyes seem'd turn'd to tears, and murk The sharp rocks look'd below each drop they caught, Which froze to marble as it feil, she thought.
And wet, and cold, and lifeless at her feet,
Pale as the foam that froth'd on his dead brow, Which she essay'd in vain to clear, (how sweet Were once her cares, how idle seem'd they now!) Lay Juan, nor could aught renew the beat
Of his quench'd heart; and the sea-dirges low Rang in her sad ears like a mermaid's song, And that brief dream appear'd a life too long.
And gazing on the dead, she thought his face
More like and like to Lambro's aspect grew-
And starting, she awoke, and what to view! Oh! Powers of Heaven! what dark eye meets she there? 'Tis-t is her father's-fix'd upon the pair!
Then shrieking, she arose, and shrieking fell,
It was a moment of that awful kind——
Up Juan sprung to Haidee's bitter shriek,
And Haidee clung around him:
T is Lambro-t is my father! Kneel with meHe will forgive us-yes-it must be-yes. Oh! dearest father, in this agony
Of pleasure and of pain-even while I kiss
Thy garment's hem with transport, can it be That doubt should mingle with my filial joy? Deal with me as thou wilt, but spare this boy,» XXXIX.
High and inscrutable the old man stood,
Calm in his voice, and calm within his eyeNot always signs with him of calmest mood: He look'd upon her, but gave no reply; Then turn'd to Juan, in whose cheek the blood Oft came and went, as there resolved to die; In arms, at least, he stood, in act to spring On the first foe whom Lambro's call might bring.
Lambro presented, and one instant more
Stern as her sire : « On me,» she cried, « let death Descend-the fault is mine; this fatal shore
He found-but sought not. I have pledged my faith; I love him-I will die with him: I knew Your nature's firmness-know your daughter's too.»
A minute past, and she had been all tears,
She drew up to her height, as if to show
He gazed on her, and she on him; t was strange
In the large dark eye's mutual-darted flaine;
If cause should be-a lioness, though tame:
I said they were alike, their features and
There was resemblance, such as true blood wears; And now to see them, thus divided, stand
In fix'd ferocity, when joyous tears,
The father paused a moment, then withdrew
Would bear such outrage, and forbear to kill;
Let him disarm; or, by my father's head, His own shall roll before you like a ball !» He raised his whistle, as the word he said,
And biew; another answer'd to the call, And rushing in disorderly, though led,
And arm'd from boot to turban, one and all,
Then, with a sudden movement, he withdrew
The file of pirates; save the foremost, who
XLIX. The second had his cheek laid open; but The third, a wary, cool old sworder, took The blows upon his cutlass, and then put His own well in: so well, ere you could look, His man was floor'd, and helpless at his foot, With the blood running like a little brook From two smart sabre gashes, deep and red— One on the arm, the other on the head.
And then they bound him where he fell, and bore
Until they reach'd some galliots, placed in line;
The world is full of strange vicissitudes,
And here was one exceedingly unpleasant : A gentleman so rich in the world's goods, Handsome and young, enjoying all the present, Just at the very time when he least broods
On such a thing, is suddenly to sea sent, Wounded and chain'd, so that he cannot move, And all because a lady fell in love.
Here I must leave him, for I grow pathetic,
Moved by the Chinese nymph of tears, green tea! Than whom Cassandra was not more prophetic; For if my pure libations exceed three,
I feel my heart become so sympathetic,
That I must have recourse to black Bohea : T is pity wine should be so deleterious,
For tea and coffee leave us much more serious.
Unless when qualified with thee, Cognac!
I leave Don Juan for the present safe
Not sound, poor fellow, but severely wounded; Yet could his corporal pangs amount to half
Of those with which his Haidee's bosom bounded? She was not one to weep, and rave, and chafe, And then give way, subdued because surrounded; ller mother was a Moorish maid, from Fez, Where all is Eden, or a wilderness.
There the large olive rains its amber store
In marble fonts; there grain, and flower, and fruit, Gush from the earth until the land runs o'er; But there too many a poison-tree has root, And midnight listens to the lion's roar, And long, long deserts scorch the camel's foot, Or heaving whelm the helpless caravan, Aud as the soil is, so the heart of man.
Afric is all the sun's, and as her earth
Her human clay is kindled, full of power For good or evil, burning from its birth,
The Moorish blood partakes the planet's hour, And like the soil beneath it will bring forth:
Beauty and love were Haidee's mother's dower: But her large dark eye show'd deep Passion's force, Though sleeping like a lion near a source.
Her daughter, temper'd with a milder ray,
Like summer clouds all silvery, smooth, and fair, Till slowly charged with thunder they display Terror to earth, and tempest to the air, Had held till now her soft and milky way;
But, overwrought with passion and despair,
The last sight which she saw was Juan's gore,
Where late he trod, her beautiful, her own:
Her struggles ceased with one convulsive groan; On her sire's arm, which until now scarce held Her writhing, fell she like a cedar fell'd.
A vein had burst, and her sweet lips' pure dyes
Of herbs and cordials they produced their store,
Days lay she in that state unchanged, though chill,
All hope; to look upon her sweet face bred
The ruling passion, such as marble shows
She woke at length, but not as sleepers wake,
Rather the dead, for life seem'd something new, A strange sensation which she must partake Perforce, since whatsoever met her view Struck not on memory, though a heavy ache
Lay at her heart, whose earliest beat still true Brought back the sense of pain without the cause, For, for a while, the futies made a pause.
She look'd on many a face with vacant eye,
Her handmaids tended, but she heeded not;
She recognised no being, and no spot,
However dear or cherish'd in their day:
And yet those eyes, which they would fain be weaning
At last a slave bethought her of a harp;
The harper came, and tuned his instrument;
At the first notes, irregular and sharp,
On him her fishing eyes a moment bent, Then to the wall she turn'd, as if to warp
Her thoughts from sorrow through her heart re-sent, And he began a long low island song
Of ancient days, ere tyranny grew strong.
Anon her thin wan fingers beat the wall
In time to his old tune; he changed the theme, And sung of love, the fierce name struck through all Her recollection; on her flash'd the dream Of what she was, and is, if ye could call To be so being; in a gushing stream
The tears rush'd forth from her o'erclouded brain,
Short solace, vain relief!-thought came too quick,
Yet she betray'd at times a gleam of sense;
Nothing could make her meet her father's face, Though on all other things with looks intense
She gazed, but none she ever could retrace; Food she refused, and raiment; no pretence Availd for either; neither change of place, Nor time, nor skill, nor remedy, could give her Senses to sleep-the power seem'd gone for ever.
Twelve days and nights she wither'd thus; at last,
A parting pang, the spirit from her pass'd:
Her sweet face into shadow, dull and slow,
She died, but not alone; she held within
Thus lived-thus died she; never more on her
Shall sorrow light, or shame. She was not made Through years or moons the inner weight to bear, Which colder hearts endure, till they are laid By age in earth; her days and pleasures were Brief, but delightful-such as had not stay'd Long with her destiny: but she sleeps well By the sea-shore whereon she loved to dwell.
That isle is now all desolate and bare,
Its dwellings down, its tenants pass'd away; None but her own and father's grave is there,
And nothing outward tells of human clay: Ye could not know where lies a thing so fairNo stone is there to show, no tongue to say What was; no dire, except the hollow sea's, Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades. LXXIII.
But many a Greek maid in a loving song
Sighs o'er her name, and many an islander With her sire's story makes the night less long; Valour was his, and beauty dwelt with her. If she loved rashly, her life paid for wrongA heavy price must all pay who thus err, In some shape; let none think to fly the danger, For, soon or late, Love is his own avenger.
But let me change this theme, which grows too sad.
I don't much like describing people mad,
Wounded and fetter'd, « cabin'd, cribb'd, confined,
And when he did, he found himself at sea, Sailing six knots an hour before the wind:
The shores of Ilion lay beneath their lee-
There, on the green and village-cotted hill, is
All heroes who, if living still, would slay us.
High barrows, without marble or a name,
And old Scamander (if 't is he), remain;
A hundred thousand men might fight again With ease; but where I sought for Ilion's walls, The quiet sheep feeds, and the tortoise crawls; LXXVIII.
Troops of untended horses; here and there
Some little hamlets with new names uncouth; Some shepherds (unlike Paris), led to stare
A moment at the European youth Whom to the spot their school-boy feelings bear; A Turk, with beads in hand and pipe in mouth, Extremely taken with his own religion, Are what I found there-but the devil a Phrygian. LXXIX.
Don Juan, here permitted to emerge
From his dull cabin, found himself a slave; Forlorn, and gazing on the deep blue surge,
O'ershadow'd there by many a hero's grave: Weak still with loss of blood, he scarce could urge A few brief questions; and the answers gave No very satisfactory information
About his past or present situation.
He saw some fellow-captives, who appear'd
In their vocation,-had not been attack'd,
By one of these, the buffo of the party,
Juan was told about their curious case; For, although destined to the Turkish mart, he Still kept his spirits up-at least his face; The little fellow really look'd quite hearty, And bore him with some gaiety and grace, Showing a much more recouciled demeanour Than did the prima donna and the tenor.
In a few words he told their hapless story,
Haild a strange brig; Corpo di Caio Mario!
«The prima donna, though a little old,
And haggard with a dissipated life,
And subject, when the house is thin, to cold,
Has some good notes; and then the tenor's wife,
With no great voice, is pleasing to behold;
«And then there are the dancers; there's the Nini,
And made at least five hundred good zecchini,
«As for the figuranti, they are like
The rest of all that tribe; with here and there
There's one, though tall, and stiffer than a pike,
Which might go far, but she don't dance with vigour;
« As for the men, they are a middling set; The musico is but a crack'd old basin, But, being qualified in one way yet,
May the seraglio do to set his face in, And as a servant some preferment get;
His singing I no further trust can place in: From all the pope 4 makes yearly, 't would perplex To find three perfect pipes of the third sex. LXXXVII.
« The tenor's voice is spoilt by affectation, And for the bass, the beast can only bellow; In fact, he had no singing education,
An ignorant, noteless, timeless, tuneless fellow; But being the prima donna's near relation,
Who swore his voice was very rich and mellow, They hired him, though to hear him you'd believe An ass was practising recitative.
«T would not become myself to dwell upon
My own merits, and though young-I see, sir-you Have got a travell d air, which shows you one To whom the opera is by no means new: You 've heard of Raucocanti?--I'm the man; The time may come when you may hear me too; You was not last year at the fair of Lugo, But next, when I'm engaged to sing there-do go. LXXXIX.
« Our barytone I almost had forgot,
A pretty lad, but bursting with conceit; With graceful action, science not a jot,
A voice of no great compass, and not sweet, He always is complaining of his lot,
Forsooth, scarce fit for ballads in the street; In lovers' parts his passion more to breathe, Having no heart to show, he shows his teeth.>> XC.
Here Raucocanti's eloquent recital
Was interrupted by the pirate crew,
Who came at stated moments to invite all
The captives back to their sad births; each threw A rueful glance upon the waves (which bright all, From the blue skies derived a double blue, Dancing all free and happy in the sun), And then went down the hatchway one by one.