網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

And rushing from my couch, I dart,
And clasp her to my desperate heart :
I clasp—what is it that I clasp?
No breathing form within my grasp,
No heart that beats reply to mine.
Yet, Leila ! yet the form is thine!
And art thou, dearest, changed so much,
As meet my eye, yet mock my

touch?
Ah! were thy beauties e'er so cold,
I care not; so my arms enfold
The all they ever wish'd to hold.
Alas! around a shadow prest,
They shrink upon my lonely breast;
Yet still 't is there! in silence stands,
And beckons with beseeching hands!
With braided hair, and bright-black

eye-
I knew 't was false—she could not die!
But he is dead! within the dell
I saw him buried where he fell ;
He comes not, for he cannot break
From earth ; why then art thou awake?
They told me wild waves rollid above
The face I view, the form I love:
They told me -'t was a hideous tale!
I'd tell it, but my tongue would fail :
If true, and from thine ocean-cave
Thou comest to claim a calmer grave,
Oh! pass thy dewy fingers o'er
This brow, that then will burn no more ;
Or place them on my hopeless heart :
But, shape or shade! whate'er thou art,
In mercy ne'er again depart!
Or farther with thee bear

my soul, Than winds can waft or waters roll !

a

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

• 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."

He pass'd—nor of his name and race
Hath left a token or a trace,
Save what the father must not say
Who shrived him on his dying day :
This broken tale was all we knew
Of her he loved, or him he slew. 43

NOTES.

Note 1. Page 227.

That tomb wbich, gleaming o'er the cliff.' A tomb above the rocks on the promontory, by some supposed the sepulchre of Themistocles.

Note 2. Page 227.

Sultana of the nightingale, The attachment of the nightingale to the rose is a well-known Persian fable. If I mistake not, the “ Bulbul of a thousand tales” is one of his appellations.

Note 3. Page 228.

Till the gay mariner's guitar. The guitar is the constant amusement of the Greek sailor by night: with a steady fair wind, and during a calm, it is accompanied always by the voice, and often by dancing

Note 4. Page 228.

Where cold obstruction's apathy.
Ay, but to die and go we know not where,
To lie in cold obstruction."

Measure for Measure, Act III. Sc. 2.

Note 5. Page 229.

The first, last look by death reveald. I trust that few of my readers have ever had an opportunity of witnessing what is here attempted in description, but those who have, will probably retain a painful remembrance of that singular beauty which pervades, with few exceptions, the features of the dead, a few hours, and but for a few hours, after “ the spirit is not there.” It is to be remarked in cases of violent death by gun-shot wounds, the expression is always that of languor, whatever the natural energy of the sufferer's character ; but in death from a stab, the countenance preserves its traits of feeling or ferocity, and the mind its bias to the last.

Note 6. Page 230.

Slaves--nay, the bondsmen of a slave. Athens is the property of the Kislar Aga (the slave of the seraglio and guardian of the women), who appoints the Waywode. A pandar and eunuch—these are not polite, yet true appellations—now governs the governor of Athens.

Note 7. Page 231.

"T is calmer than thy heart, young Giaour. Infidel.

Note 8. Page 232.

In echoes of the far tophaike. “ Tophaike,” musket.—The Bairam is announced by the cannon at sunset ; the illumination of the mosques, and the firing of all kinds of small arms, loaded with ball, proclaim it during the night.

Note 9. Page 232.

Swift as the hurl'd on high jerreed. Jerreed, or Djerrid, a blunted Turkish javelin, which is darted from horseback with great force and precision. It is a favourite exercise of the Mussulmans; but I know not if it can be called a manly one, since the most expert in the art are the

a

black eunuchs of Constantinople.—1 think, next to these, a Mamlouk at Smyrna was the most skilful that came within my observation.

Note 10. Page 233.

He came, he went, like the simoom. The blast of the desert, fatal to every thing living, and often alluded to in eastern poetry.

Note 11. Page 234.

To bless the sacred “bread and salt." To partake of food, to break bread and salt with your host, insures the safety of the guest; even though an enemy, his person from that moment is sacred.

Note 12. Page 234.

Since his turban was cleft by the infidel's sabre. I need hardly observe that Charity and Hospitality are the first duties enjoined by Mahomet; and, to say truth, very generally practised by his disciples. The first praise that can be bestowed on a chief is a panegyric on his bounty; the next on his valour.

Note 13. Page 234.

And silver-sheathed ataghan. The ataghan, a long dagger worn with pistols in the belt, in a metal scabbard, generally of silver ; and, among the wealthier, gilt, or of gold.

Note 14. Page 234.

An emir by his garb of green. Green is the privileged colour of the Prophet's numerous pretended descendants, with them, as here, faith (the family inheritance) is supposed to supersede the necessity of good works : they are the worst of a very indifferent brood.

Note 15. Page 234.

“Ho! who art thou !--this low salam," &c. Salam aleikoum ! aleikoum salam! peace be with you; be with you peace the salutation reserved for the faithful :-to a Christian, “ Urlarula," a good journey ; or saban hiresem, saban serula ; good morn, good even ; and sometimes, may your end be happy;" are the usual salutes.

Note 16. Page 235.

The insect-queen of eastern spring. The blue-winged butterfly of Kashmeer, the most rare and beautiful of the species.

Note 17. Page 236.

Or live like scorpion girt by fire. Alluding to the dubious suicide of the scorpion, so placed for experiment by gentle philosophers. Some maintain that the position of the sting, when turned towards the head, is merely a convulsive movement : but others have actually brought in the verdict, “ Felo de se.” The scorpions are surely interested in a speedy decision of the question, as, if once fairly established as insect Catos, they will probably be allowed to live as long as they think proper, without being martyred for the sake of an hypothesis.

Note 18. Page 236.

When Rhamazan's last sun was set. The cannon at sunset close the Rhamazan. See note 8.

[ocr errors]

Note 19. Page 237.

By pale Phingari's trembling light. Phingari, the moon.

Note 20. Page 237.

Bright as the jewel of Giamschid. The celebrated fabulous ruby of Sultan Giamschid, the embellisher of Istakhar ;

66

a

from its splendour, named Schebgerag, “ the torch of night;" also “ the cup of the sun,” &c. - In the first editions“ Giamschid” was written as a word of three syllables, so D'Herbelot has it; but I am told Richardson reduces it to a dissyllable, and writes “ Jamschid.” I have left in the text the orthography of the one with the pronunciation of the other.

Note 21. Page 237.

Though on Al-Sirat's arch I stood. Al-Sirat, the bridge, of breadth less than the thread of a famished spider, over which the Mussulmans must skate into paradise, to which it is the only entrance; but this is not the worst, the river beneath being hell itself, into which, as may be expected, the unskilful and tender of foot contrive to tumble with a facilis descensus Averni,” not very pleasing in prospect to the next passenger. There is a shorter cut downwards for the Jews and Christians.

Note 22. Page 237.

And keep that portion of his creed. A vulgar error : the Koran allots at least a third of paradise to well-behaved women; but by far the greater number of Mussulmans interpret the text their own way, and exclude their moities from heaven. Being enemies to Platonics, they cannot discern“ any fitness of things in the souls of the other sex, conceiving them to be superseded by the Houris.

Note 23. Page 237.

The young pomegranate's blossoms strew. An oriental simile, which may, perhaps, though fairly stolen, be deemed “plus Arabe qu'en Arabie.”

Note 24. Page 237.

Her hair in hyacinthine fow. Hyacinthine, in Arabic “ Sunbul ;” as common a thought in the Eastern poets as it was among the Greeks.

Note 25. Page 238.

The loveliest bird of Franguestan. Franguestan," » Circassia,

Note 26. Page 239.

“ Bismillah! now the peril's past," &c. Bismillah—“ in the name of God;" the commencement of all the chapters of the Koran but one, and of prayer and thanksgiving.

Note 27. Page 240.

Then curl'd his very beard with ire. A phenomenon not uncommon with an angry Mussulman. In 1809, the Capitan Pasha's whiskers at a diplomatic audience were not less lively with indignation than a tiger-cat's, to the horror of all the dragomans; the portentous mustachios twisted, they stood erect of their own accord, and were expected every moment to change their colour, but at last condescended to subside, which probably saved more heads than they contained hairs.

Note 28. Page 240.

Nor raised the craven cry, Amaun ! “ Amaun," quarter, pardon.

Note 29. Page 240.

I know him by the evil eye. The “evil eye,” a common superstition in the Levant, and of which the imaginary effects are yet very singular on those who conceive themselves affected.

Note 30. Page 241.

A fragment of his palampore.
The flowered shawls generally worn by persons of rank.

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »