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Eduarda Alves

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The Giaour "A Fragment of a Turkish Tale" No breath of air to break the wave That rolls below the Athenian's grave, That tomb which, gleaming o'er the cliff, First greets the homeward-veering skiff High o'er the land he saved in vain; When shall such Hero live again? Fair clime! where every season smiles Benignant o'er those blessed isles, Which, seen from far Colonna's height, Make glad the heart that hails the sight, And lend to loneliness delight. There mildly dimpling, Ocean's cheek Reflects the tints of many a peak Caught by the laughing tides that lave These Edens of the eastern wave: And if at times a transient breeze Break the blue crystal of the seas, Or sweep one blossom from the trees, How welcome is each gentle air That wakes and wafts the odours there! For there the Rose, o'er crag or vale, Sultana of the Nightingale, The maid for whom his melody, His thousand songs are heard on high, Blooms blushing to her lover's tale: His queen, the garden queen, his Rose, Unbent by winds, unchilled by snows, Far from the winters of the west, By every breeze and season blest, Returns the sweets by Nature given In softest incense back to Heaven; And grateful yields that smiling sky Her fairest hue and fragrant sigh. And many a summer flower is there, And many a shade that Love might share, And many a grotto, meant for rest, That holds the pirate for a guest; Whose bark in sheltering cove below Lurks for the passing peaceful prow, Till the gay mariner's guitar Is heard, and seen the Evening Star; Then stealing with the muffled oar, Far shaded by the rocky shore, Rush the night-prowlers on the prey, And turn to groans his roundelay. Strange—that where Nature loved to trace, As if for Gods, a dwelling place, And every charm and grace hath mixed Within the Paradise she fixed, There man, enamoured of distress, Should mar it into wilderness, And trample, brute-like, o'er each flower That tasks not one laborious hour; Nor claims the culture of his hand To bloom along the fairy land, But springs as to preclude his care, And sweetly woos him—but to spare! Strange—that where all is Peace beside, There Passion riots in her pride, And Lust and Rapine wildly reign To darken o'er the fair domain. It is as though the Fiends prevailed Against the Seraphs they assailed, And, fixed on heavenly thrones, should dwell The freed inheritors of Hell; So soft the scene, so formed for joy, So curst the tyrants that destroy! He who hath bent him o'er the dead Ere the first day of Death is fled, The first dark day of Nothingness, The last of Danger and Distress, (Before Decay's effacing fingers Have swept the lines where Beauty lingers,) And marked the mild angelic air, The rapture of Repose that's there, The fixed yet tender traits that streak The languor of the placid cheek, And—but for that sad shrouded eye, That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now, And but for that chill, changeless brow, Where cold Obstruction's apathy Appals the gazing mourner's heart, As if to him it could impart The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon; Yes, but for these and these alone, Some moments, aye, one treacherous hour, He still might doubt the Tyrant's power; So fair, so calm, so softly sealed, The first, last look by Death revealed Such is the aspect of this shore 'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more! So coldly sweet, so deadly fair, We start, for Soul is wanting there. Hers is the loveliness in death, That parts not quite with parting breath; But beauty with that fearful bloom, That hue which haunts it to the tomb, Expression's last receding ray, A gilded Halo hovering round decay, The farewell beam of Feeling past away! Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth, Which gleams, but warms no more its cherished earth! Clime of the unforgotten brave! Whose land from plain to mountain-cave Was Freedom's home or Glory's grave! Shrine of the mighty! can it be, That this is all remains of thee? Approach, thou craven crouching slave: Say, is not this Thermopylæ? These waters blue that round you lave,— Oh servile offspring of the free— Pronounce what sea, what shore is this? The gulf, the rock of Salamis! These scenes, their story not unknown, Arise, and make again your own; Snatch from the ashes of your Sires The embers of their former fires; And he who in the strife expires Will add to theirs a name of fear That Tyranny shall quake to hear, And leave his sons a hope, a fame, They too will rather die than shame: For Freedom's battle once begun, Bequeathed by bleeding Sire to Son, Though baffled oft is ever won. Bear witness, Greece, thy living page! Attest it many a deathless age! While Kings, in dusty darkness hid, Have left a nameless pyramid, Thy Heroes, though the general doom Hath swept the column from their tomb, A mightier monument command, The mountains of their native land! There points thy Muse to stranger's eye The graves of those that cannot die! 'Twere long to tell, and sad to trace, Each step from Splendour to Disgrace; Enough—no foreign foe could quell Thy soul, till from itself it fell; Yet! Self-abasement paved the way To villain-bonds and despot sway. What can he tell who treads thy shore? No legend of thine olden time, No theme on which the Muse might soar High as thine own in days of yore, When man was worthy of thy clime. The hearts within thy valleys bred, The fiery souls that might have led Thy sons to deeds sublime, Now crawl from cradle to the Grave, Slaves—nay, the bondsmen of a Slave, And callous, save to crime; Stained with each evil that pollutes Mankind, where least above the brutes; Without even savage virtue blest, Without one free or valiant breast, Still to the neighbouring ports they waft Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft; In this the subtle Greek is found, For this, and this alone, renowned. In vain might Liberty invoke The spirit to its bondage broke Or raise the neck that courts the yoke: No more her sorrows I bewail, Yet this will be a mournful tale, And they who listen may believe, Who heard it first had cause to grieve. Far, dark, along the blue sea glancing, The shadows of the rocks advancing Start on the fisher's eye like boat Of island-pirate or Mainote; And fearful for his light caïque, He shuns the near but doubtful creek: Though worn and weary with his toil, And cumbered with his scaly spoil, Slowly, yet strongly, plies the oar, Till Port Leone's safer shore Receives him by the lovely light That best becomes an Eastern night. Who thundering comes on blackest steed, With slackened bit and hoof of speed? Beneath the clattering iron's sound The caverned Echoes wake around In lash for lash, and bound for bound: The foam that streaks the courser's side Seems gathered from the Ocean-tide: Though weary waves are sunk to rest, There's none within his rider's breast; And though to-morrow's tempest lower, 'Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour! I know thee not, I loathe thy race, But in thy lineaments I trace What Time shall strengthen, not efface: Though young and pale, that sallow front Is scathed by fiery Passion's brunt; Though bent on earth thine evil eye, As meteor-like thou glidest by, Right well I view and deem thee one Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun. On—on he hastened, and he drew My gaze of wonder as he flew: Though like a Demon of the night He passed, and vanished from my sight, His aspect and his air impressed A troubled memory on my breast, And long upon my startled ear Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear. He spurs his steed; he nears the steep, That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep; He winds around; he hurries by; The rock relieves him from mine eye; For, well I ween, unwelcome he Whose glance is fixed on those that flee; And not a star but shines too bright On him who takes such timeless flight. He wound along; but ere he passed One glance he snatched, as if his last, A moment checked his wheeling steed, A moment breathed him from his speed, A moment on his stirrup stood— Why looks he o'er the olive wood? The Crescent glimmers on the hill, The Mosque's high lamps are quivering still Though too remote for sound to wake In echoes of the far tophaike, The flashes of each joyous peal Are seen to prove the Moslem's zeal. To-night, set Rhamazani's sun; To-night, the Bairam feast's begun; To-night—but who and what art thou Of foreign garb and fearful brow? And what are these to thine or thee, That thou shouldst either pause or flee? He stood—some dread was on his face, Soon Hatred settled in its place: It rose not with the reddening flush Of transient Anger's hasty blush, But pale as marble o'er the tomb, Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom. His brow was bent, his eye was glazed; He raised his arm, and fiercely raised, And sternly shook his hand on high, As doubting to return or fly; Impatient of his flight delayed, Here loud his raven charger neighed— Down glanced that hand, and grasped his blade; That sound had burst his waking dream, As Slumber starts at owlet's scream. The spur hath lanced his courser's sides; Away—away—for life he rides: Swift as the hurled on high jerreed Springs to the touch his startled steed; The rock is doubled, and the shore Shakes with the clattering tramp no more; The crag is won, no more is seen His Christian crest and haughty mien. 'Twas but an instant he restrained That fiery barb so sternly reined; 'Twas but a moment that he stood, Then sped as if by Death pursued; But in that instant o'er his soul Winters of Memory seemed to roll, And gather in that drop of time A life of pain, an age of crime. O'er him who loves, or hates, or fears, Such moment pours the grief of years: What felt he then, at once opprest By all that most distracts the breast? That pause, which pondered o'er his fate, Oh, who its dreary length shall date! Though in Time's record nearly nought, It was Eternity to Thought! For infinite as boundless space The thought that Conscience must embrace, Which in itself can comprehend Woe without name, or hope, or end. The hour is past, the Giaour is gone: And did he fly or fall alone? Woe to that hour he came or went! The curse for Hassan's sin was sent To turn a palace to a tomb; He came, he went, like the Simoom, That harbinger of Fate and gloom, Beneath whose widely-wasting breath The very cypress droops to death— Dark tree, still sad when others' grief is fled, The only constant mourner o'er the dead! The steed is vanished from the stall; No serf is seen in Hassan's hall; The lonely Spider's thin gray pall[dd] Waves slowly widening o'er the wall; The Bat builds in his Haram bower, And in the fortress of his power The Owl usurps the beacon-tower; The wild-dog howls o'er the fountain's brim, With baffled thirst, and famine, grim; For the stream has shrunk from its marble bed, Where the weeds and the desolate dust are spread. 'Twas sweet of yore to see it play And chase the sultriness of day, As springing high the silver dew In whirls fantastically flew, And flung luxurious coolness round The air, and verdure o'er the ground. 'Twas sweet, when cloudless stars were bright, To view the wave of watery light, And hear its melody by night. And oft had Hassan's Childhood played Around the verge of that cascade; And oft upon his mother's breast That sound had harmonized his rest; And oft had Hassan's Youth along Its bank been soothed by Beauty's song; And softer seemed each melting tone Of Music mingled with its own. But ne'er shall Hassan's Age repose Along the brink at Twilight's close: The stream that filled that font is fled— The blood that warmed his heart is shed! And here no more shall human voice Be heard to rage, regret, rejoice. The last sad note that swelled the gale Was woman's wildest funeral wail: That quenched in silence, all is still, But the lattice that flaps when the wind is shrill: Though raves the gust, and floods the rain, No hand shall close its clasp again. On desert sands 'twere joy to scan The rudest steps of fellow man, So here the very voice of Grief330 Might wake an Echo like relief—[dg] At least 'twould say, "All are not gone; There lingers Life, though but in one"— For many a gilded chamber's there, Which Solitude might well forbear; Within that dome as yet Decay Hath slowly worked her cankering way— But gloom is gathered o'er the gate, Nor there the Fakir's self will wait; Nor there will wandering Dervise stay, For Bounty cheers not his delay; Nor there will weary stranger halt To bless the sacred "bread and salt." Alike must Wealth and Poverty[103] Pass heedless and unheeded by, For Courtesy and Pity died With Hassan on the mountain side. His roof, that refuge unto men, Is Desolation's hungry den. The guest flies the hall, and the vassal from labour, Since his turban was cleft by the infidel's sabre! I hear the sound of coming feet, But not a voice mine ear to greet; More near—each turban I can scan, And silver-sheathèd ataghan; The foremost of the band is seen An Emir by his garb of green: "Ho! who art thou?"—"This low salam[80] Replies of Moslem faith I am. The burthen ye so gently bear, Seems one that claims your utmost care, And, doubtless, holds some precious freight— My humble bark would gladly wait." "Thou speakest sooth: thy skiff unmoor, And waft us from the silent shore; Nay, leave the sail still furled, and ply The nearest oar that's scattered by, And midway to those rocks where sleep The channelled waters dark and deep. Rest from your task—so—bravely done, Our course has been right swiftly run; Yet 'tis the longest voyage, I trow, That one of— * * * " Sullen it plunged, and slowly sank, The calm wave rippled to the bank; I watched it as it sank, methought Some motion from the current caught Bestirred it more,—'twas but the beam That checkered o'er the living stream: I gazed, till vanishing from view, Like lessening pebble it withdrew; Still less and less, a speck of white That gemmed the tide, then mocked the sight; And all its hidden secrets sleep, Known but to Genii of the deep, Which, trembling in their coral caves, They dare not whisper to the waves. As rising on its purple wing The insect-queen[82] of Eastern spring, O'er emerald meadows of Kashmeer Invites the young pursuer near, And leads him on from flower to flower A weary chase and wasted hour, Then leaves him, as it soars on high, With panting heart and tearful eye: So Beauty lures the full-grown child, With hue as bright, and wing as wild: A chase of idle hopes and fears, Begun in folly, closed in tears. If won, to equal ills betrayed, Woe waits the insect and the maid; A life of pain, the loss of peace; From infant's play, and man's caprice: The lovely toy so fiercely sought Hath lost its charm by being caught, For every touch that wooed its stay Hath brushed its brightest hues away, Till charm, and hue, and beauty gone, 'Tis left to fly or fall alone. With wounded wing, or bleeding breast, Ah! where shall either victim rest? Can this with faded pinion soar From rose to tulip as before? Or Beauty, blighted in an hour, Find joy within her broken bower? No: gayer insects fluttering by Ne'er droop the wing o'er those that die, And lovelier things have mercy shown To every failing but their own, And every woe a tear can claim Except an erring Sister's shame. The Mind, that broods o'er guilty woes, Is like the Scorpion girt by fire; In circle narrowing as it glows, The flames around their captive close, Till inly searched by thousand throes, And maddening in her ire, One sad and sole relief she knows— The sting she nourished for her foes, Whose venom never yet was vain, Gives but one pang, and cures all pain, And darts into her desperate brain: So do the dark in soul expire, Or live like Scorpion girt by fire; So writhes the mind Remorse hath riven, Unfit for earth, undoomed for heaven, Darkness above, despair beneath, Around it flame, within it death! Black Hassan from the Haram flies, Nor bends on woman's form his eyes; The unwonted chase each hour employs, Yet shares he not the hunter's joys. Not thus was Hassan wont to fly When Leila dwelt in his Serai. Doth Leila there no longer dwell? That tale can only Hassan tell: Strange rumours in our city say Upon that eve she fled away When Rhamazan's last sun was set, And flashing from each Minaret Millions of lamps proclaimed the feast Of Bairam through the boundless East. 'Twas then she went as to the bath, Which Hassan vainly searched in wrath; For she was flown her master's rage In likeness of a Georgian page, And far beyond the Moslem's power Had wronged him with the faithless Giaour. Somewhat of this had Hassan deemed; But still so fond, so fair she seemed, Too well he trusted to the slave Whose treachery deserved a grave: And on that eve had gone to Mosque, And thence to feast in his Kiosk. Such is the tale his Nubians tell, Who did not watch their charge too well; But others say, that on that night, By pale Phingari's[85] trembling light, The Giaour upon his jet-black steed Was seen, but seen alone to speed With bloody spur along the shore, Nor maid nor page behind him bore. Her eye's dark charm 'twere vain to tell, But gaze on that of the Gazelle, It will assist thy fancy well; As large, as languishingly dark, But Soul beamed forth in every spark That darted from beneath the lid, Bright as the jewel of Giamschid. Yea, Soul, and should our prophet say That form was nought but breathing clay, By Alla! I would answer nay; Though on Al-Sirat's arch I stood, Which totters o'er the fiery flood, With Paradise within my view, And all his Houris beckoning through. Oh! who young Leila's glance could read And keep that portion of his creed Which saith that woman is but dust, A soulless toy for tyrant's lust? On her might Muftis gaze, and own That through her eye the Immortal shone; On her fair cheek's unfading hue The young pomegranate's blossoms strew Their bloom in blushes ever new; Her hair in hyacinthine flow, When left to roll its folds below, As midst her handmaids in the hall She stood superior to them all, Hath swept the marble where her feet Gleamed whiter than the mountain sleet Ere from the cloud that gave it birth It fell, and caught one stain of earth. The cygnet nobly walks the water; So moved on earth Circassia's daughter, The loveliest bird of Franguestan! As rears her crest the ruffled Swan, And spurns the wave with wings of pride, When pass the steps of stranger man Along the banks that bound her tide; Thus rose fair Leila's whiter neck:— Thus armed with beauty would she check Intrusion's glance, till Folly's gaze Shrunk from the charms it meant to praise. Thus high and graceful was her gait; Her heart as tender to her mate; Her mate—stern Hassan, who was he? Alas! that name was not for thee! Stern Hassan hath a journey ta'en With twenty vassals in his train, Each armed, as best becomes a man, With arquebuss and ataghan; The chief before, as decked for war, Bears in his belt the scimitar Stained with the best of Arnaut blood, When in the pass the rebels stood, And few returned to tell the tale Of what befell in Parne's vale. The pistols which his girdle bore Were those that once a Pasha wore, Which still, though gemmed and bossed with gold, Even robbers tremble to behold. 'Tis said he goes to woo a bride More true than her who left his side; The faithless slave that broke her bower, And—worse than faithless—for a Giaour! The sun's last rays are on the hill, And sparkle in the fountain rill, Whose welcome waters, cool and clear, Draw blessings from the mountaineer: Here may the loitering merchant Greek Find that repose 'twere vain to seek In cities lodged too near his lord, And trembling for his secret hoard— Here may he rest where none can see, In crowds a slave, in deserts free; And with forbidden wine may stain The bowl a Moslem must not drain The foremost Tartar's in the gap Conspicuous by his yellow cap; The rest in lengthening line the while Wind slowly through the long defile: Above, the mountain rears a peak, Where vultures whet the thirsty beak, And theirs may be a feast to-night, Shall tempt them down ere morrow's light; Beneath, a river's wintry stream Has shrunk before the summer beam, And left a channel bleak and bare, Save shrubs that spring to perish there: Each side the midway path there lay Small broken crags of granite gray, By time, or mountain lightning, riven From summits clad in mists of heaven; For where is he that hath beheld The peak of Liakura[93] unveiled? They reach the grove of pine at last; "Bismillah![94] now the peril's past; For yonder view the opening plain, And there we'll prick our steeds amain:" The Chiaus[95] spake, and as he said, A bullet whistled o'er his head; The foremost Tartar bites the ground! Scarce had they time to check the rein, Swift from their steeds the riders bound; But three shall never mount again: Unseen the foes that gave the wound, The dying ask revenge in vain. With steel unsheathed, and carbine bent, Some o'er their courser's harness leant, Half sheltered by the steed; Some fly beneath the nearest rock, And there await the coming shock, Nor tamely stand to bleed Beneath the shaft of foes unseen, Who dare not quit their craggy screen. Stern Hassan only from his horse Disdains to light, and keeps his course, Till fiery flashes in the van Proclaim too sure the robber-clan Have well secured the only way Could now avail the promised prey; Then curled his very beard[96] with ire, And glared his eye with fiercer fire; "Though far and near the bullets hiss, I've scaped a bloodier hour than this." And now the foe their covert quit, And call his vassals to submit; But Hassan's frown and furious word Are dreaded more than hostile sword, Nor of his little band a man Resigned carbine or ataghan, Nor raised the craven cry, Amaun! In fuller sight, more near and near, The lately ambushed foes appear, And, issuing from the grove, advance Some who on battle-charger prance. Who leads them on with foreign brand Far flashing in his red right hand? "'Tis he!'tis he! I know him now; I know him by his pallid brow; I know him by the evil eye That aids his envious treachery; I know him by his jet-black barb; Though now arrayed in Arnaut garb, Apostate from his own vile faith, It shall not save him from the death: 'Tis he! well met in any hour, Lost Leila's love—accursed Giaour!" As rolls the river into Ocean, In sable torrent wildly streaming; As the sea-tide's opposing motion, In azure column proudly gleaming, Beats back the current many a rood, In curling foam and mingling flood, While eddying whirl, and breaking wave, Roused by the blast of winter, rave; Through sparkling spray, in thundering clash, The lightnings of the waters flash In awful whiteness o'er the shore, That shines and shakes beneath the roar; Thus—as the stream and Ocean greet, With waves that madden as they meet— Thus join the bands, whom mutual wrong, And fate, and fury, drive along. The bickering sabres' shivering jar; And pealing wide or ringing near Its echoes on the throbbing ear, The deathshot hissing from afar; The shock, the shout, the groan of war, Reverberate along that vale, More suited to the shepherd's tale: Though few the numbers—theirs the strife, That neither spares nor speaks for life! Ah! fondly youthful hearts can press, To seize and share the dear caress; But Love itself could never pant For all that Beauty sighs to grant With half the fervour Hate bestows Upon the last embrace of foes, When grappling in the fight they fold Those arms that ne'er shall lose their hold: Friends meet to part; Love laughs at faith; True foes, once met, are joined till death! With sabre shivered to the hilt, Yet dripping with the blood he spilt; Yet strained within the severed hand Which quivers round that faithless brand; His turban far behind him rolled, And cleft in twain its firmest fold; His flowing robe by falchion torn, And crimson as those clouds of morn That, streaked with dusky red, portend The day shall have a stormy end; A stain on every bush that bore A fragment of his palampore; His breast with wounds unnumbered riven, His back to earth, his face to Heaven, Fall'n Hassan lies—his unclosed eye Yet lowering on his enemy, As if the hour that sealed his fate Surviving left his quenchless hate; And o'er him bends that foe with brow As dark as his that bled below. "Yes, Leila sleeps beneath the wave, But his shall be a redder grave; Her spirit pointed well the steel Which taught that felon heart to feel. He called the Prophet, but his power Was vain against the vengeful Giaour: He called on Alla—but the word Arose unheeded or unheard. Thou Paynim fool! could Leila's prayer Be passed, and thine accorded there? I watched my time, I leagued with these, The traitor in his turn to seize; My wrath is wreaked, the deed is done, And now I go—but go alone." The browsing camels' bells are tinkling: His mother looked from her lattice high— She saw the dews of eve besprinkling The pasture green beneath her eye, She saw the planets faintly twinkling: "'Tis twilight—sure his train is nigh." She could not rest in the garden-bower, But gazed through the grate of his steepest tower. "Why comes he not? his steeds are fleet, Nor shrink they from the summer heat; Why sends not the Bridegroom his promised gift? Is his heart more cold, or his barb less swift? Oh, false reproach! yon Tartar now Has gained our nearest mountain's brow, And warily the steep descends, And now within the valley bends; And he bears the gift at his saddle bow— How could I deem his courser slow? Right well my largess shall repay His welcome speed, and weary way." The Tartar lighted at the gate, But scarce upheld his fainting weight! His swarthy visage spake distress, But this might be from weariness; His garb with sanguine spots was dyed, But these might be from his courser's side; He drew the token from his vest— Angel of Death! 'tis Hassan's cloven crest! His calpac[103] rent—his caftan red— "Lady, a fearful bride thy Son hath wed: Me, not from mercy, did they spare, But this empurpled pledge to bear. Peace to the brave! whose blood is spilt: Woe to the Giaour! for his the guilt." A Turban carved in coarsest stone, A Pillar with rank weeds o'ergrown, Whereon can now be scarcely read The Koran verse that mourns the dead, Point out the spot where Hassan fell A victim in that lonely dell. There sleeps as true an Osmanlie As e'er at Mecca bent the knee; As ever scorned forbidden wine, Or prayed with face towards the shrine, In orisons resumed anew At solemn sound of "Alla Hu!" Yet died he by a stranger's hand, And stranger in his native land; Yet died he as in arms he stood, And unavenged, at least in blood. But him the maids of Paradise Impatient to their halls invite, And the dark heaven of Houris' eyes On him shall glance for ever bright; They come—their kerchiefs green they wave, And welcome with a kiss the brave! Who falls in battle 'gainst a Giaour Is worthiest an immortal bower. But thou, false Infidel! shall writhe Beneath avenging Monkir's scythe; And from its torments 'scape alone To wander round lost Eblis' throne; And fire unquenched, unquenchable, Around, within, thy heart shall dwell; Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell The tortures of that inward hell! But first, on earth as Vampire sent, Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent: Then ghastly haunt thy native place, And suck the blood of all thy race; There from thy daughter, sister, wife, At midnight drain the stream of life; Yet loathe the banquet which perforce Must feed thy livid living corse: Thy victims ere they yet expire Shall know the demon for their sire, As cursing thee, thou cursing them, Thy flowers are withered on the stem. But one that for thy crime must fall, The youngest, most beloved of all, Shall bless thee with a father's name— That word shall wrap thy heart in flame! Yet must thou end thy task, and mark Her cheek's last tinge, her eye's last spark, And the last glassy glance must view Which freezes o'er its lifeless blue; Then with unhallowed hand shalt tear The tresses of her yellow hair, Of which in life a lock when shorn Affection's fondest pledge was worn, But now is borne away by thee, Memorial of thine agony! Wet with thine own best blood shall drip Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip; Then stalking to thy sullen grave, Go—and with Gouls and Afrits rave; Till these in horror shrink away From Spectre more accursed than they! "How name ye yon lone Caloyer? His features I have scanned before In mine own land: 'tis many a year, Since, dashing by the lonely shore, I saw him urge as fleet a steed As ever served a horseman's need. But once I saw that face, yet then It was so marked with inward pain, I could not pass it by again; It breathes the same dark spirit now, As death were stamped upon his brow. "'Tis twice three years at summer tide Since first among our freres he came; And here it soothes him to abide For some dark deed he will not name. But never at our Vesper prayer, Nor e'er before Confession chair Kneels he, nor recks he when arise Incense or anthem to the skies, But broods within his cell alone, His faith and race alike unknown. The sea from Paynim land he crost, And here ascended from the coast; Yet seems he not of Othman race, But only Christian in his face: I'd judge him some stray renegade, Repentant of the change he made, Save that he shuns our holy shrine, Nor tastes the sacred bread and wine. Great largess to these walls he brought, And thus our Abbot's favour bought; But were I Prior, not a day Should brook such stranger's further stay, Or pent within our penance cell Should doom him there for aye to dwell. Much in his visions mutters he Of maiden whelmed beneath the sea; Of sabres clashing, foemen flying, Wrongs avenged, and Moslem dying. On cliff he hath been known to stand, And rave as to some bloody hand Fresh severed from its parent limb, Invisible to all but him, Which beckons onward to his grave, And lures to leap into the wave." Dark and unearthly is the scowl That glares beneath his dusky cowl: The flash of that dilating eye Reveals too much of times gone by; Though varying, indistinct its hue, Oft with his glance the gazer rue, For in it lurks that nameless spell, Which speaks, itself unspeakable, A spirit yet unquelled and high, That claims and keeps ascendancy; And like the bird whose pinions quake, But cannot fly the gazing snake, Will others quail beneath his look, Nor 'scape the glance they scarce can brook. From him the half-affrighted Friar When met alone would fain retire, As if that eye and bitter smile Transferred to others fear and guile: Not oft to smile descendeth he, And when he doth 'tis sad to see That he but mocks at Misery. How that pale lip will curl and quiver! Then fix once more as if for ever; As if his sorrow or disdain Forbade him e'er to smile again. Well were it so—such ghastly mirth From joyaunce ne'er derived its birth. But sadder still it were to trace What once were feelings in that face: Time hath not yet the features fixed, But brighter traits with evil mixed; And there are hues not always faded, Which speak a mind not all degraded Even by the crimes through which it waded: The common crowd but see the gloom Of wayward deeds, and fitting doom; The close observer can espy A noble soul, and lineage high: Alas! though both bestowed in vain, Which Grief could change, and Guilt could stain, It was no vulgar tenement To which such lofty gifts were lent, And still with little less than dread On such the sight is riveted. The roofless cot, decayed and rent, Will scarce delay the passer-by; The tower by war or tempest bent, While yet may frown one battlement, Demands and daunts the stranger's eye; Each ivied arch, and pillar lone, Pleads haughtily for glories gone! "His floating robe around him folding, Slow sweeps he through the columned aisle; With dread beheld, with gloom beholding The rites that sanctify the pile. But when the anthem shakes the choir, And kneel the monks, his steps retire; By yonder lone and wavering torch His aspect glares within the porch; There will he pause till all is done— And hear the prayer, but utter none. See—by the half-illumined wall[dw] His hood fly back, his dark hair fall, That pale brow wildly wreathing round, As if the Gorgon there had bound The sablest of the serpent-braid That o'er her fearful forehead strayed: For he declines the convent oath, And leaves those locks unhallowed growth, But wears our garb in all beside; And, not from piety but pride, Gives wealth to walls that never heard Of his one holy vow nor word. Lo!—mark ye, as the harmony[dx] Peals louder praises to the sky, That livid cheek, that stony air Of mixed defiance and despair! Saint Francis, keep him from the shrine![dy][ Else may we dread the wrath divine Made manifest by awful sign. If ever evil angel bore The form of mortal, such he wore; By all my hope of sins forgiven, Such looks are not of earth nor heaven!" To Love the softest hearts are prone, But such can ne'er be all his own; Too timid in his woes to share, Too meek to meet, or brave despair; And sterner hearts alone may feel The wound that Time can never heal. The rugged metal of the mine Must burn before its surface shine, But plunged within the furnace-flame, It bends and melts—though still the same; Then tempered to thy want, or will, 'Twill serve thee to defend or kill— A breast-plate for thine hour of need, Or blade to bid thy foeman bleed; But if a dagger's form it bear, Let those who shape its edge, beware! Thus Passion's fire, and Woman's art, Can turn and tame the sterner heart; From these its form and tone are ta'en, And what they make it, must remain, But break—before it bend again. If solitude succeed to grief, Release from pain is slight relief; The vacant bosom's wilderness Might thank the pang that made it less. We loathe what none are left to share: Even bliss—'twere woe alone to bear; The heart once left thus desolate Must fly at last for ease—to hate. It is as if the dead could feel The icy worm around them steal, And shudder, as the reptiles creep To revel o'er their rotting sleep, Without the power to scare away The cold consumers of their clay! It is as if the desert bird, Whose beak unlocks her bosom's stream To still her famished nestlings' scream, Nor mourns a life to them transferred, Should rend her rash devoted breast, And find them flown her empty nest. The keenest pangs the wretched find Are rapture to the dreary void, The leafless desert of the mind, The waste of feelings unemployed. Who would be doomed to gaze upon A sky without a cloud or sun? Less hideous far the tempest's roar, Than ne'er to brave the billows more— Thrown, when the war of winds is o'er, A lonely wreck on Fortune's shore, 'Mid sullen calm, and silent bay, Unseen to drop by dull decay;— Better to sink beneath the shock Than moulder piecemeal on the rock! "Father! thy, days have passed in peace, 'Mid counted beads, and countless prayer; To bid the sins of others cease, Thyself without a crime or care, Save transient ills that all must bear, Has been thy lot from youth to age; And thou wilt bless thee from the rage Of passions fierce and uncontrolled, Such as thy penitents unfold, Whose secret sins and sorrows rest Within thy pure and pitying breast. My days, though few, have passed below In much of Joy, but more of Woe; Yet still in hours of love or strife, I've 'scaped the weariness of Life: Now leagued with friends, now girt by foes, I loathed the languor of repose. Now nothing left to love or hate, No more with hope or pride elate, I'd rather be the thing that crawls Most noxious o'er a dungeon's walls, Than pass my dull, unvarying days, Condemned to meditate and gaze. Yet, lurks a wish within my breast For rest—but not to feel 'tis rest. Soon shall my Fate that wish fulfil; And I shall sleep without the dream Of what I was, and would be still Dark as to thee my deeds may seem: My memory now is but the tomb Of joys long dead; my hope, their doom: 'Though better to have died with those Than bear a life of lingering woes. My spirit shrunk not to sustain The searching throes of ceaseless pain; Nor sought the self-accorded grave Of ancient fool and modern knave: Yet death I have not feared to meet; And in the field it had been sweet, Had Danger wooed me on to move The slave of Glory, not of Love. I've braved it—not for Honour's boast; I smile at laurels won or lost; To such let others carve their way, For high renown, or hireling pay: But place again before my eyes Aught that I deem a worthy prize— The maid I love, the man I hate— And I will hunt the steps of fate, To save or slay, as these require, Through rending steel, and rolling fire: Nor needst thou doubt this speech from one Who would but do—what he hath done. Death is but what the haughty brave, The weak must bear, the wretch must crave; Then let life go to Him who gave: I have not quailed to Danger's brow When high and happy—need I now? "I loved her, Friar! nay, adored— But these are words that all can use— I proved it more in deed than word; There's blood upon that dinted sword, A stain its steel can never lose: 'Twas shed for her, who died for me, It warmed the heart of one abhorred: Nay, start not—no—nor bend thy knee, Nor midst my sin such act record; Thou wilt absolve me from the deed, For he was hostile to thy creed! The very name of Nazarene Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen. Ungrateful fool! since but for brands Well wielded in some hardy hands, And wounds by Galileans given— The surest pass to Turkish heaven— For him his Houris still might wait Impatient at the Prophet's gate. I loved her—Love will find its way Through paths where wolves would fear to prey; And if it dares enough,'twere hard If Passion met not some reward— No matter how, or where, or why, I did not vainly seek, nor sigh: Yet sometimes, with remorse, in vain I wish she had not loved again. She died—I dare not tell thee how; But look—'tis written on my brow! There read of Cain the curse and crime, In characters unworn by Time: Still, ere thou dost condemn me, pause; Not mine the act, though I the cause. Yet did he but what I had done Had she been false to more than one. Faithless to him—he gave the blow; But true to me—I laid him low: Howe'er deserved her doom might be, Her treachery was truth to me; To me she gave her heart, that all Which Tyranny can ne'er enthrall; And I, alas! too late to save! Yet all I then could give, I gave— 'Twas some relief—our foe a grave.[ed] His death sits lightly; but her fate Has made me—what thou well mayst hate. His doom was sealed—he knew it well, Warned by the voice of stern Taheer, Deep in whose darkly boding ear The deathshot pealed of murder near, As filed the troop to where they fell! He died too in the battle broil, A time that heeds nor pain nor toil; One cry to Mahomet for aid, One prayer to Alla all he made: He knew and crossed me in the fray— I gazed upon him where he lay, And watched his spirit ebb away: Though pierced like pard by hunter's steel, He felt not half that now I feel. I searched, but vainly searched, to find The workings of a wounded mind; Each feature of that sullen corse Betrayed his rage, but no remorse. Oh, what had Vengeance given to trace Despair upon his dying face! The late repentance of that hour When Penitence hath lost her power To tear one terror from the grave, And will not soothe, and cannot save. "The cold in clime are cold in blood, Their love can scarce deserve the name; But mine was like the lava flood That boils in Ætna's breast of flame. I cannot prate in puling strain Of Ladye-love, and Beauty's chain: If changing cheek, and scorching vein, Lips taught to writhe, but not complain, If bursting heart, and maddening brain, And daring deed, and vengeful steel, And all that I have felt, and feel, Betoken love—that love was mine, And shown by many a bitter sign. 'Tis true, I could not whine nor sigh, I knew but to obtain or die. I die—but first I have possessed, And come what may, I have been blessed. Shall I the doom I sought upbraid? No—reft of all, yet undismayed[eg] But for the thought of Leila slain, Give me the pleasure with the pain, So would I live and love again.1120 I grieve, but not, my holy Guide! For him who dies, but her who died: She sleeps beneath the wandering wave— Ah! had she but an earthly grave, This breaking heart and throbbing head Should seek and share her narrow bed. She was a form of Life and Light,[119] That, seen, became a part of sight; And rose, where'er I turned mine eye, The Morning-star of Memory!1130 "Yes, Love indeed is light from heaven;[eh][120] A spark of that immortal fire With angels shared, by Alia given, To lift from earth our low desire. Devotion wafts the mind above, But Heaven itself descends in Love; A feeling from the Godhead caught, To wean from self each sordid thought; A ray of Him who formed the whole; A Glory circling round the soul! I grant my love imperfect, all That mortals by the name miscall; Then deem it evil, what thou wilt; But say, oh say, hers was not Guilt! She was my Life's unerring Light: That quenched—what beam shall break my night?[ei] Oh! would it shone to lead me still, Although to death or deadliest ill! Why marvel ye, if they who lose This present joy, this future hope, No more with Sorrow meekly cope; In phrensy then their fate accuse; In madness do those fearful deeds That seem to add but Guilt to Woe? Alas! the breast that inly bleeds Hath nought to dread from outward blow: Who falls from all he knows of bliss, Cares little into what abyss.[ej] Fierce as the gloomy vulture's now To thee, old man, my deeds appear: I read abhorrence on thy brow, And this too was I born to bear! 'Tis true, that, like that bird of prey, With havock have I marked my way: But this was taught me by the dove, To die—and know no second love. This lesson yet hath man to learn, Taught by the thing he dares to spurn: The bird that sings within the brake, The swan that swims upon the lake, One mate, and one alone, will take.[139] And let the fool still prone to range,[ek] And sneer on all who cannot change, Partake his jest with boasting boys; I envy not his varied joys, But deem such feeble, heartless man, Less than yon solitary swan; Far, far beneath the shallow maid[el] He left believing and betrayed. Such shame at least was never mine— Leila! each thought was only thine! My good, my guilt, my weal, my woe, My hope on high—my all below. Each holds no other like to thee, Or, if it doth, in vain for me: For worlds I dare not view the dame Resembling thee, yet not the same. The very crimes that mar my youth, This bed of death—attest my truth! 'Tis all too late—thou wert, thou art The cherished madness of my heart![em] "And she was lost—and yet I breathed, But not the breath of human life: A serpent round my heart was wreathed, And stung my every thought to strife. Alike all time, abhorred all place,[en] Shuddering I shrank from Nature's face, Where every hue that charmed before The blackness of my bosom wore. The rest thou dost already know, And all my sins, and half my woe. But talk no more of penitence; Thou seest I soon shall part from hence: And if thy holy tale were true, The deed that's done canst thou undo? Think me not thankless—but this grief Looks not to priesthood for relief.[eo][121] My soul's estate in secret guess: But wouldst thou pity more, say less. When thou canst bid my Leila live, Then will I sue thee to forgive; Then plead my cause in that high place Where purchased masses proffer grace.[ep] Go, when the hunter's hand hath wrung From forest-cave her shrieking young, And calm the lonely lioness: But soothe not—mock not my distress! "In earlier days, and calmer hours, When heart with heart delights to blend, Where bloom my native valley's bowers,[eq] I had—Ah! have I now?—a friend![er] To him this pledge I charge thee send,[es] Memorial of a youthful vow; I would remind him of my end: Though souls absorbed like mine allow Brief thought to distant Friendship's claim, Yet dear to him my blighted name. 'Tis strange—he prophesied my doom, And I have smiled—I then could smile— When Prudence would his voice assume, And warn—I recked not what—the while: But now Remembrance whispers o'er[et] Those accents scarcely marked before. Say—that his bodings came to pass, And he will start to hear their truth, And wish his words had not been sooth: Tell him—unheeding as I was, Through many a busy bitter scene Of all our golden youth had been, In pain, my faltering tongue had tried To bless his memory—ere I died; But Heaven in wrath would turn away, If Guilt should for the guiltless pray. I do not ask him not to blame, Too gentle he to wound my name; And what have I to do with Fame? I do not ask him not to mourn, Such cold request might sound like scorn; And what than Friendship's manly tear May better grace a brother's bier? But bear this ring, his own of old, And tell him—what thou dost behold! The withered frame, the ruined mind, The wrack by passion left behind, A shrivelled scroll, a scattered leaf, Seared by the autumn blast of Grief! "Tell me no more of Fancy's gleam, No, father, no,'twas not a dream; Alas! the dreamer first must sleep, I only watched, and wished to weep; But could not, for my burning brow Throbbed to the very brain as now: I wished but for a single tear, As something welcome, new, and dear: I wished it then, I wish it still; Despair is stronger than my will. Waste not thine orison, despair[eu] Is mightier than thy pious prayer: I would not, if I might, be blest; I want no Paradise, but rest. 'Twas then—I tell thee—father! then I saw her; yes, she lived again; And shining in her white symar[122] As through yon pale gray cloud the star Which now I gaze on, as on her, Who looked and looks far lovelier; Dimly I view its trembling spark;[ev] To-morrow's night shall be more dark; And I, before its rays appear, That lifeless thing the living fear. I wander—father! for my soul Is fleeting towards the final goal. I saw her—friar! and I rose Forgetful of our former woes; 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 wished to hold. Alas! around a shadow prest They shrink upon my lonely breast; Yet still 'tis there! In silence stands, And beckons with beseeching hands! With braided hair, and bright-black eye— I knew 'twas 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 rolled above The face I view—the form I love; They told me—'twas a hideous tale!— I'd tell it, but my tongue would fail: If true, and from thine ocean-cave Thou com'st 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! "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,[ew] 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."[123] He passed—nor of his name and race He 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[ex] Of her he loved, or him he slew. Footnotes [55] {85} A tomb above the rocks on the promontory, by some supposed the sepulchre of Themistocles. ["There are," says Cumberland, in his Observer, "a few lines by Plato upon the tomb of Themistocles, which have a turn of elegant and pathetic simplicity in them, that deserves a better translation than I can give— "'By the sea's margin, on the watery strand, Thy monument, Themistocles, shall stand: By this directed to thy native shore, The merchant shall convey his freighted store; And when our fleets are summoned to the fight Athens shall conquer with thy tomb in sight.'" Note to Edition 1832. The traditional site of the tomb of Themistocles, "a rock-hewn grave on the very margin of the sea generally covered with water," adjoins the lighthouse, which stands on the westernmost promontory of the Piræus, some three quarters of a mile from the entrance to the harbour. Plutarch, in his Themistocles (cap. xxxii.), is at pains to describe the exact site of the "altar-like tomb," and quotes the passage from Plato (the comic poet, B.C. 428-389) which Cumberland paraphrases. Byron and Hobhouse "made the complete circuit of the peninsula of Munychia," January 18, 1810.—Travels in Albania, 1858, i. 317, 318.] [cg] {86} Fair clime! where ceaseless summer smiles Benignant o'er those blessed isles, Which seen from far Colonna's height, Make glad the heart that hails the sight, And lend to loneliness delight. There shine the bright abodes ye seek, Like dimples upon Occan's cheek, So smiling round the waters lave These Edens of the Eastern wave. Or if, at times, the transient breeze Break the smooth crystal of the seas, Or brush one blossom from the trees, How grateful is each gentle air That wakes and wafts the fragrance there.—[MS.] ——the fragrance there.—[Second Edition.] [56] 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. [Thus Mesihi, as translated by Sir William Jones— "Come, charming maid! and hear thy poet sing, Thyself the rose and he the bird of spring: Love bids him sing, and Love will be obey'd. Be gay: too soon the flowers of spring will fade." "The full style and title of the Persian nightingale (Pycnonotus hæmorrhous) is 'Bulbul-i-hazár-dástán,' usually shortened to 'Hazar' (bird of a thousand tales = the thousand), generally called 'Andalib.'" (See Arabian Nights, by Richard F. Burton, 1887; Supplemental Nights, iii. 506.) For the nightingale's attachment to the rose, compare Moore's Lalla Rookh— "Oh! sooner shall the rose of May Mistake her own sweet nightingale," etc. (Ed. "Chandos Classics," p. 423) and Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (stanza vi.)— "And David's lips are lockt; but in divine High piping Pehlevi, with 'Wine! Wine! Wine! Red Wine!'—the Nightingale cries to the Rose That sallow cheek of hers to incarnadine." Rubáiyát, etc., 1899, p. 29, and note, p. 62. Byron was indebted for his information to a note on a passage in Vathek, by S. Henley (Vathek, 1893, p. 217).] [57] {87} 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. [ch] {88} Should wanton in a wilderness.—[MS.] [ci] The first draft of this celebrated passage differs in many particulars from the Fair Copy, which, with the exception of the passages marked as vars. i. (p. 89) and i. (p. 90), is the same as the text. It ran as follows:— He who hath bent him o'er the dead Ere the first day of death is fled— The first dark day of Nothingness The last of doom and of distress— Before Corruption's cankering fingers Hath tinged the hue where Beauty lingers And marked the soft and settled air That dwells with all but Spirit there The fixed yet tender lines that speak Of Peace along the placid cheek And—but for that sad shrouded eye That fires not—pleads not—weeps not—now— And but for that pale chilling brow Whose touch tells of Mortality And curdles to the Gazer's heart As if to him it could impart The doom he only looks upon— Yes but for these and these alone, A moment—yet—a little hour We still might doubt the Tyrant's power. The eleven lines following (88-98) were not emended in the Fair Copy, and are included in the text. The Fair Copy is the sole MS. authority for the four concluding lines of the paragraph. [58] [Compare "Beyond Milan the country wore the aspect of a wider devastation; and though everything seemed more quiet, the repose was like that of death spread over features which retain the impression of the last convulsions."—Mysteries of Udolpho, by Mrs. Ann Radcliffe, 1794, ii. 29.] [cj] {89} And marked the almost dreaming air, Which speaks the sweet repose that's there.— [MS. of Fair Copy.] [59] {90} "Aye, but to die, and go we know not where; To lie in cold obstruction?" Measure for Measure, act iii. sc. I, lines 115, 116. [Compare, too, Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza iv. line 5.] [ck] Whose touch thrills with mortality, And curdles to the gazer's heart.—[MS. of Fair Copy.] [60] 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. [According to Medwin (1824, 4to, p. 223), an absurd charge, based on the details of this note, was brought against Byron, that he had been guilty of murder, and spoke from experience.] [61] [In Dallaway's Constantinople (p. 2) [Rev. James Dallaway (1763-1834) published Constantinople Ancient and Modern, etc., in 1797], a book which Lord Byron is not unlikely to have consulted, I find a passage quoted from Gillies' History of Greece(vol. i. p. 335), which contains, perhaps, the first seed of the thought thus expanded into full perfection by genius: "The present state of Greece, compared to the ancient, is the silent obscurity of the grave contrasted with the vivid lustre of active life."—Moore, Note to Edition 1832.] [62] {91} [From hence to the conclusion of the paragraph, the MS. is written in a hurried and almost illegible hand, as if these splendid lines had been poured forth in one continuous burst of poetic feeling, which would hardly allow time for the pen to follow the imagination.—(Note to Edition 1837. The lines were added to the Second Edition.)] [cl] Fountain of Wisdom! can it be.—[MS. erased.] [63] [Compare—"Son of the Morning, rise! approach you here!" Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza iii. line 1.] [cm] Why is not this Thermopylæ; These waters blue that round you lave Degenerate offspring of the free— How name ye them what shore is this? The wave, the rock of Salamis?—[MS.] [cn] {92} And he who in the cause expires, Will add a name and fate to them Well worthy of his noble stem.—[MS.] [co] Commenced by Sire—renewed by Son.—[MS.] [cp] Attest it many a former age While kings in dark oblivion hid.—[MS.] [cq] There let the Muse direct thine eye.—[MS.] [cr] {93} The hearts amid thy mountains bred.—[MS.] [64] Athens is the property of the Kislar Aga [kizlar-aghasî] (the slave of the Seraglio and guardian of the women), who appoints the Waywode. A pander and eunuch—these are not polite, yet true appellations—now governs the governor of Athens! [Hobhouse maintains that this subordination of the waiwodes (or vaivodes = the Sclavic βοεβόδα (Turkish governors of Athens) to a higher Turkish official, was on the whole favourable to the liberties and well-being of the Athenians.—Travels in Albania, 1858, i. 246.] [cs] Now to the neighbouring shores they waft Their ancient and proverbial craft.—[MS. erased.] [ct] {94} he silent slants the doubtful creek.—[MS] [65] [The reciter of the tale is a Turkish fisherman, who has been employed during the day in the gulf of Ægina, and in the evening, apprehensive of the Mainote pirates who infest the coast of Attica, lands with his boat on the harbour of Port Leone, the ancient Piræus. He becomes the eye-witness of nearly all the incidents in the story, and in one of them is a principal agent. It is to his feelings, and particularly to his religious prejudices, that we are indebted for some of the most forcible and splendid parts of the poem.—Note by George Agar Ellis, 1797-1833.] [66] [In Dr. Clarke's Travels (Edward Daniel Clarke, 1769-1822, published Travels in Europe, Asia, Africa, 1810-24), this word, which means infidel, is always written according to its English pronunciation, Djour. Byron adopted the Italian spelling usual among the Franks of the Levant.—Note to Edition 1832. The pronunciation of the word depends on its origin. If it is associated with the Arabic jawr, a "deviating" or "erring," the initial consonant would be soft, but if with the Persian gawr, or guebre, "a fire-worshipper," the word should be pronounced Gow-er—as Gower Street has come to be pronounced. It is to be remarked that to the present day the Nestorians of Urumiah are contemned as Gy-ours (the G hard), by their Mohammedan countrymen.—(From information kindly supplied by Mr. A. G. Ellis, of the Oriental Printed Books and MSS. Department, British Museum.)] [cu] {95} Though scarcely marked——.—[MS.] [cv] With him my wonder as he flew.—[MS.] With him my roused and wondering view.—[MS. erased.] [cw] {96} For him who takes so fast a flight.—[MS. erased.] [67] [Compare— "A moment now he slacked his speed, A moment breathed his panting steed." Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto I. stanza xxvii. lines 1, 2.] [cx] And looked along the olive wood.—[MS.] [68] "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. [The Bairâm, the Moslem Easter, a festival of three days, succeeded the Ramazân.] For the illumination of the mosques during the fast of the Ramazân, see Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza lv. line 5, Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 134, note 2. [cy] {97} Of transient Anger's Darkening blush.—[MS.] [69] [For "hasty," all the editions till the twelfth read "darkening blush." On the back of a copy of the eleventh, Lord Byron has written, "Why did not the printer attend to the solitary correction so repeatedly made? I have no copy of this, and desire to have none till my request is complied with." Notes to Editions 1832, 1837.] [cz] As doubting if to stay or fly— Then turned it swiftly to his blade; As loud his raven charger neighed— That sound dispelled his waking dream, As sleepers start at owlet's scream.—[MS.] [70] Jerreed, or Djerrid [Jarid], 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 Black Eunuchs of Constantinople. I think, next to these, a Mamlouk at Smyrna was the most skilful that came within my observation. [Lines 250, 251, together with the note, were inserted in the Third Edition.] [da] {98} 'Twas but an instant, though so long When thus dilated in my song. 'Twas but an instant——.—[MS.] [db] Such moment holds a thousand years. or, Such moment proves the grief of years.—[MS.] [71] ["Lord Byron told Mr. Murray that he took this idea from one of the Arabian tales—that in which the Sultan puts his head into a butt of water, and, though it remains there for only two or three minutes, he imagines that he lives many years during that time. The story had been quoted by Addison in the Spectator" [No. 94, June 18, 1711].—Memoir of John Murray, 1891, i. 219, note.] [72] [Lines 271-276 were added in the Third Edition. The MS. proceeds with a direction (dated July 31, 1813) to the printer—"And alter 'A life of woe—an age of crime—' to 'A life of pain—an age of crime.' Alter also the lines 'On him who loves or hates or fears Such moment holds a thousand years,' to 'O'er him who loves or hates or fears Such moment pours the grief of years.'"] [dc] {99} But neither fled nor fell alone.—[MS.] [73] The blast of the desert, fatal to everything living, and often alluded to in Eastern poetry. [James Bruce, 1730-1794 (nicknamed "Abyssinian Bruce"), gives a remarkable description of the simoom: "I saw from the south-east a haze come, in colour like the purple part of the rainbow, but not so compressed or thick. It did not occupy twenty yards in breadth, and was about twelve feet high from the ground. It was a kind of blush upon the air, and it moved very rapidly.... We all lay flat on the ground ... till it was blown over. The meteor, or purple haze, which I saw was, indeed, passed, but the light air which still blew was of a heat to threaten suffocation." He goes on to say that he did not recover the effect of the sandblast on his chest for nearly two years (Brace's Life and Travels, ed. 1830, p. 470).—Note to Edition 1832.] [dd] There are two MS. versions of lines 290-298: (A) a rough copy, and (B) a fair copy— (A) And wide the Spider's thin grey pall Is curtained on the splendid wall— The Bat hath built in his mother's bower, And in the fortress of his power The Owl hath fixed her beacon tower, The wild dogs howl on the fountain's brim With baffled thirst and famine grim, For the stream is shrunk from its marble bed Where Desolation's dust is spread.—[MS.] B. ["August 5, 1813, in last of 3rd or first of 4th ed."] The lonely Spider's thin grey pall Is curtained o'er the splendid wall— The Bat builds in his mother's bower; And in the fortress of his power The Owl hath fixed her beacon-tower, The wild dog howls o'er the fountain's brink, But vainly lolls his tongue to drink.—[MS.] [74] {100} [Compare "The walls of Balclutha were desolated.... The stream of Clutha was removed from its place by the fall of the walls. The fox looked out from the windows" (Ossian's Balclutha). "The dreary night-owl screams in the solitary retreat of his mouldering ivy-covered tower" (Larnul, or the Song of Despair: Poems of Ossian, discovered by the Baron de Harold, 1787, p. 172). Compare, too, the well-known lines, "The spider holds the veil in the palace of Cæsar; the owl stands sentinel on the watch-tower of Afrasyab" (A Grammar of the Persian Language, by Sir W. Jones, 1809, p. 106).] [de] The silver dew of coldness sprinkling In drops fantastically twinkling As from the spring the silver dew In whirls fantastically flew And dashed luxurions coolness round The air—and verdure on the ground.—[MS.] [df] {101} For thirsty Fox and Jackal gaunt May vainly for its waters pant.—[MS.] or, The famished fox the wild dog gaunt May vainly for its waters pant.—[MS.] [dg] Might strike an echo——.—[MS.] [dh] {102} And welcome Life though but in one For many a gilded chamber's there Unmeet for Solitude to share.—- [MS.] [75] ["I have just recollected an alteration you may make in the proof.... Among the lines on Hassan's Serai, is this—'Unmeet for Solitude to share.' Now, to share implies more than one, and Solitude is a single gentlewoman: it must be thus— 'For many a gilded chamber's there, Which Solitude might well forbear;' and so on. Will you adopt this correction? and pray accept a cheese from me for your trouble."—Letter to John Murray, Stilton, October 3, 1813, Letters, 1898, ii. 274.] [di] To share the Master's "bread and salt."—[MS.] [76] [To partake of food—to break bread and taste salt with your host, ensures the safety of the guest: even though an enemy, his person from that moment becomes sacred.—(Note appended to Letter of October 3, 1813.) "I leave this (vide supra, note 1) to your discretion; if anybody thinks the old line a good one or the cheese a bad one, don't accept either. But in that case the word share is repeated soon after in the line— 'To share the master's bread and salt;' and must be altered to— 'To break the master's bread and salt.' This is not so well, though—confound it! If the old line ['Unmeet for Solitude to share'] stands, let the other run thus— 'Nor there will weary traveller halt, To bless the sacred bread and salt.'" (P.S. to Murray, October 3, 1813.) The emendation of line 335 made that of line 343 unnecessary, but both emendations were accepted. (Moore says (Life; p. 191, note) that the directions are written on a separate slip of paper from the letter to Murray of October 3, 1813).] [dj] {103} And cold Hospitality shrinks from the labour, The slave fled his halter and the serf left his labour.—[MS.] or, Ah! there Hospitality light is thy labour, or, Ah! who for the traveller's solace will labour?—[MS.] [77] 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. ["Serve God ... and show kindness unto parents, and relations, and orphans, and the poor, and your neighbour who is of kin to you ... and the traveller, and the captives," etc.—Korân, cap. iv. Lines 350, 351 were inserted in the Fifth Edition.] [78] 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. [79] 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. [80] {104} "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. ["After both sets of prayers, Farz and Sunnah, the Moslem looks over his right shoulder, and says, 'The Peace (of Allah) be upon you and the ruth of Allah,' and repeats the words over the left shoulder. The salutation is addressed to the Guardian Angels, or to the bystanders (Moslem), who, however, do not return it."—Arabian Nights, by Richard F. Burton, 1887: Supplemental Nights, i. 14, note.] [dk] Take ye and give ye that salam, That says of Moslem faith I am.—[MS.] [dl] Which one of yonder barks may wait.—[MS.] [81] [In the MS. and the first five editions the broken line (373) consisted of two words only, "That one."] [82] The blue-winged butterfly of Kashmeer, the most rare and beautiful of the species. [The same insects (butterflies of Cachemir) are celebrated in an unpublished poem of Mesihi.... Sir Anthony Shirley relates that it was customary in Persia "to hawk after butterflies with sparrows, made to that use."—Note by S. Henley to Vathek, ed. 1893, p. 222. Byron, in his Journal, December 1, 1813, speaks of Lady Charlemont as "that blue-winged Kashmirian butterfly of book-learning."] [dm] If caught, to fate alike betrayed.-[MS.] [dn] {106} The gathering flames around her close.-[MS. erased.] [83] {107} 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. [Byron assured Dallas that the simile of the scorpion was imagined in his sleep.—Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, by R. C. Dallas, p. 264. "Probably in some instances the poor scorpion has been burnt to death; and the well-known habit of these creatures to raise the tail over the back and recurve it so that the extremity touches the fore part of the cephalo-thorax, has led to the idea that it was stinging itself."—Encycl. Brit., art. "Arachnida," by Rev. O. P. Cambridge, ii. 281.] [do] So writhes the mind by Conscience riven.—[MS.] [84] The cannon at sunset close the Rhamazan. [Compare Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza Iv. line 5, Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 134. note 2.] [85] {108} Phingari, the moon. φεγγάρι is derived from φεγγάριον, dim. of φέγγος. [86] The celebrated fabulous ruby of Sultan Giamschid, the embellisher of Istakhar; from its splendour, named Schebgerag [Schabchirāgh], "the torch of night;" also "the cup of the sun," etc. In the First Edition, "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 "Jamshid." I have left in the text the orthography of the one with the pronunciation of the other. [The MS. and First Edition read, "Bright as the gem of Giamschid." Byron's first intention was to change the line into "Bright as the ruby of Giamschid;" but to this Moore objected, "that as the comparison of his heroine's eye to a ruby might unluckily call up the idea of its being bloodshot, he had better change the line to 'Bright as the jewel,' etc." For the original of Byron's note, see S. Henley's note, Vathek, 1893, p. 230. See, too, D'Herbelot's Bibliothèque Orientale, 1781, iii. 27. Sir Richard Burton (Arabian Nights, S.N., iii. 440) gives the following résumé of the conflicting legends: "Jám-i-jámshid is a well-known commonplace in Moslem folk-lore; but commentators cannot agree whether 'Jám' be a mirror or a cup. In the latter sense it would represent the Cyathomantic cup of the Patriarch Joseph, and the symbolic bowl of Nestor. Jamshid may be translated either 'Jam the bright,' or 'the Cup of the Sun;' this ancient king is the Solomon of the grand old Guebres." Fitzgerald, "in a very composite quatrain (stanza v.) which cannot be claimed as a translation at all" (see the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyaām, by Edward Heron Allen, 1898), embodies a late version of the myth— "Iram is gone and all his Rose, And Jamshyd's sev'n-ringed Cup where no one knows."] [87] {109} Al-Sirat, the bridge of breadth narrower than the thread of a famished spider, and sharper than the edge of a sword, 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. [Byron is again indebted to Vathek, and S. Henley on Vathek, p. 237, for his information. The authority for the legend of the Bridge of Paradise is not the Koran, but the Book of Mawakef, quoted by Edward Pococke, in his Commentary (Notæ Miscellaneæ) on the Porta Mosis of Moses Maimonides (Oxford, 1654, p. 288)— "Stretched across the back of Hell, it is narrower than a javelin, sharper than the edge of a sword. But all must essay the passage, believers as well as infidels, and it baffles the understanding to imagine in what manner they keep their foothold." The legend, or rather allegory, to which there would seem to be some allusion in the words of Scripture, "Strait is the gate," etc., is of Zoroastrian origin. Compare the Zend-Avesta, Yasna xix. 6 (Sacred Books of the East, edited by F. Max Muller, 1887, xxxi. 261), "With even threefold (safety and with speed) I will bring his soul over the Bridge of Kinvat," etc.] [88] {110} 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 moieties 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. [Sale, in his Preliminary Discourse ("Chandos Classics," p. 80), in dealing with this question, notes "that there are several passages in the Koran which affirm that women, in the next life, will not only be punished for their evil actions, but will also receive the rewards of their good deeds, as well as the men, and that in this case God will make no distinction of sexes." A single quotation will suffice: "God has promised to believers, men and women, gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for aye; and goodly places in the garden of Eden."—The Qur'ân, translated by E. H. Palmer, 1880, vi. 183.] [89] An Oriental simile, which may, perhaps, though fairly stolen, be deemed "plus Arabe qu'en Arabie." [Gulnár (the heroine of the Corsair is named Gulnare) is Persian for a pomegranate flower.] [90] Hyacinthine, in Arabic "Sunbul;" as common a thought in the Eastern poets as it was among the Greeks. [S. Henley (Vathek, 1893, p. 208) quotes two lines from the Solima (lines 5, 6) of Sir W. Jones— "The fragrant hyacinths of Azza's hair That wanton with the laughing summer-air;" and refers Milton's "Hyacinthine locks" (Paradise Lost, iv. 301) to Lucian's Pro Imaginibus, cap. v.] [91] {111} "Franguestan," Circassia. [Or Europe generally—the land of the Frank.] [92] [Lines 504-518 were inserted in the second revise of the Third Edition, July 31, 1813.] [93] {113} [Parnassus.] [94] "In the name of God;" the commencement of all the chapters of the Koran but one [the ninth], and of prayer and thanksgiving. ["Bismillah" (in full, Bismillahi 'rrahmani 'rrahiem, i.e. "In the name of Allah the God of Mercy, the Merciful") is often used as a deprecatory formula. Sir R. Burton (Arabian Nights, i. 40) cites as an equivalent the "remembering Iddio e' Santí," of Boccaccio's Decameron, viii. 9. The MS. reads, "Thank Alla! now the peril's past."] [95] [A Turkish messenger, sergeant or lictor. The proper sixteen-seventeenth century pronunciation would have been chaush, but apparently the nearest approach to this was chaus, whence chouse and chiaush, and the vulgar form chiaus (N. Eng. Dict., art. "Chiaus"). The peculations of a certain "chiaus" in the year A.D. 1000 are said to have been the origin of the word "to chouse."] [96] {114} A phenomenon not uncommon with an angry Mussulman. In 1809 the Capitan Pacha's whiskers at a diplomatic audience were no 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. [97] {115} "Amaun," quarter, pardon. [Line 603 was inserted in a proof of the Second Edition, dated July 24, 1813: "Nor raised the coward cry, Amaun!"] [98] 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. [99] [Compare "As with a thousand waves to the rocks, so Swaran's host came on."—Fingal, bk. i., Ossian's Works, 1807, i. 19.] [dp] {116} That neither gives nor asks for life.—[MS.] [100] {117} The flowered shawls generally worn by persons of rank. [101] [Compare "Catilina vero longè a suis, inter hostium cadavera repertus est, paululum etiam spirans ferociamque animi, quam habuerat vivus, in vultu retinens."—Catilina, cap. 61, Opera, 1820, i. 124.] [dq] {118} His mother looked from the lattice high, With throbbing heart and eager eye; The browsing camel bells are tinkling, And the last beam of twilight twinkling: 'Tis eve; his train should now be nigh. She could not rest in her garden bower, And gazed through the loop of her steepest tower. "Why comes he not? his steeds are fleet, And well are they train'd to the summer's heat."—[MS.] Another copy began— The browsing camel bells are tinkling, And the first beam of evening twinkling; His mother looked from her lattice high, With throbbing breast and eager eye— "'Tis twilight—sure his train is nigh."—[MS. Aug. 11, 1813.] The browsing camel's bells are tinkling The dews of eve the pasture sprinkling And rising planets feebly twinkling: His mother looked from the lattice high With throbbing heart and eager eye.—[Fourth Edition.] [These lines were erased, and lines 689-692 were substituted. They appeared first in the Fifth Edition.] [102] ["The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariot?"—Judges v. 28.] [dr] {119} And now his courser's pace amends.—[MS. erased.] [ds] I could not deem my son was slow.—[MS. erased.] [dt] The Tartar sped beneath the gate And flung to earth his fainting weight.—[MS.] [103] The calpac is the solid cap or centre part of the head-dress; the shawl is wound round it, and forms the turban. [104] The turban, pillar, and inscriptive verse, decorate the tombs of the Osmanlies, whether in the cemetery or the wilderness. In the mountains you frequently pass similar mementos; and on inquiry you are informed that they record some victim of rebellion, plunder, or revenge. [The following is a "Koran verse:" "Every one that is upon it (the earth) perisheth; but the person of thy Lord abideth, the possessor of glory and honour" (Sur. lv. 26, 27). (See "Kufic Tombstones in the British Museum," by Professor Wright, Proceedings of the Biblical Archæological Society, 1887, ix. 337, sq.)] [105] {120} "Alla Hu!" the concluding words of the Muezzin's call to prayer from the highest gallery on the exterior of the Minaret. On a still evening, when the Muezzin has a fine voice, which is frequently the case, the effect is solemn and beautiful beyond all the bells in Christendom. [Valid, the son of Abdalmalek, was the first who erected a minaret or turret; and this he placed on the grand mosque at Damascus, for the muezzin or crier to announce from it the hour of prayer. (See D'Herbelot, Bibliothèque Orientale, 1783, vi. 473, art. "Valid." See, too, Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza lix. line 9, Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 136, note 1.)] [106] The following is part of a battle-song of the Turks:—"I see—I see a dark-eyed girl of Paradise, and she waves a handkerchief, a kerchief of green; and cries aloud, 'Come, kiss me, for I love thee,'" etc. [107] {121} Monkir and Nekir are the inquisitors of the dead, before whom the corpse undergoes a slight noviciate and preparatory training for damnation. If the answers are none of the clearest, he is hauled up with a scythe and thumped down with a red-hot mace till properly seasoned, with a variety of subsidiary probations. The office of these angels is no sinecure; there are but two, and the number of orthodox deceased being in a small proportion to the remainder, their hands are always full.—See Relig. Ceremon., v. 290; vii. 59,68, 118, and Sale's Preliminary Discourse to the Koran, p. 101. [Byron is again indebted to S. Henley (see Vathek, 1893, p. 236). According to Pococke (Porta Mosis, 1654, Notæ Miscellaneæ, p. 241), the angels Moncar and Nacir are black, ghastly, and of fearsome aspect. Their function is to hold inquisition on the corpse. If his replies are orthodox (de Mohammede), he is bidden to sleep sweetly and soundly in his tomb, but if his views are lax and unsound, he is cudgelled between the ears with iron rods. Loud are his groans, and audible to the whole wide world, save to those deaf animals, men and genii. Finally, the earth is enjoined to press him tight and keep him close till the crack of doom.] [108] Eblis, the Oriental Prince of Darkness. [109] The Vampire superstition is still general in the Levant. Honest Tournefort [Relation d'un Voyage du Levant, par Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, 1717, i. 131] tells a long story, which Mr. Southey, in the notes on Thalaba [book viii., notes, ed. 1838, iv. 297-300], quotes about these "Vroucolochas" ["Vroucolocasses"], as he calls them. The Romaic term is "Vardoulacha." I recollect a whole family being terrified by the scream of a child, which they imagined must proceed from such a visitation. The Greeks never mention the word without horror. I find that "Broucolokas" is an old legitimate Hellenic appellation—at least is so applied to Arsenius, who, according to the Greeks, was after his death animated by the Devil. The moderns, however, use the word I mention. Βουρκόλακας or Βρυκόλακας (= the Bohemian and Slovak Vrholak) is modern Greek for a ghost or vampire. George Bentotes, in his Λεξικον Τρίγλωσσον, published in Vienna in 1790 (see Childe Harold, Canto II. Notes, Papers, etc., No. III., Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 197), renders Βρουκόλακας "lutin," and Βρουκολιασμένος, "devenu un spectre." Arsenius, Archbishop of Monembasia (circ. 1530), was famous for his scholarship. He prefaced his Scholia in Septem Euripidis Tragædias (Basileæ, 1544) by a dedicatory epistle in Greek to his friend Pope Paul III. "He submitted to the Church of Rome, which made him so odious to the Greek schismatics that the Patriarch of Constantinople excommunicated him; and the Greeks reported that Arsenius, after his death, was Broukolakas, that is, that the Devil hovered about his corps and re-animated him" (Bayle, Dictionary, 1724, i. 508, art. "Arsenius"). Martinus Crusius, in his Turco-Græcia, lib. ii. (Basileæ, 1584, p. 151) records the death of Arsenius while under sentence of excommunication, and adds that "his miserable corpse turned black, and swelled to the size of a drum, so that all who beheld it were horror-stricken, and trembled exceedingly." Hence, no doubt, the legend which Bayle takes verbatim from Guillet, "Les Grecs disent qu' Arsenius, apres la mort fust Broukolakas," etc. (Lacédémone, Ancienne et Nouvelle, par Le Sieur de la Guilletiére, 1676, ii. 586. See, too, for "Arsenius," Fabricii Script. Gr. Var., 1808, xi. 581, and Gesneri Bibliotheca Univ., ed. 1545, fol. 96.) Byron, no doubt, got his information from Bayle. By "old legitimate Hellenic" he must mean literary as opposed to klephtic Greek.] [110] {123} The freshness of the face [? "The paleness of the face," MS.] and the wetness of the lip with blood, are the never-failing signs of a Vampire. The stories told in Hungary and Greece of these foul feeders are singular, and some of them most incredibly attested. [Vampires were the reanimated corpses of persons newly buried, which were supposed to suck the blood and suck out the life of their selected victims. The marks by which a vampire corpse was recognized were the apparent non-putrefaction of the body and effusion of blood from the lips. A suspected vampire was exhumed, and if the marks were perceived or imagined to be present, a stake was driven through the heart, and the body was burned. This, if Southey's authorities (J. B. Boyer, Marquis d'Argens, in Lettres Juives) may be believed, "laid" the vampire, and the community might sleep in peace. (See, too, Dissertations sur les Apparitions, par Augustine Calmet, 1746, p. 395, sq., and Russian Folk-Tales, by W. R. S. Ralston, 1873, pp. 318-324.)] [111] [For "Caloyer," see Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza xlix. line 6, and note 21, Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 130, 181. It is a hard matter to piece together the "fragments" which make up the rest of the poem. Apparently the question, "How name ye?" is put by the fisherman, the narrator of the first part of the Fragment, and answered by a monk of the fraternity, with whom the Giaour has been pleased to "abide" during the past six years, under conditions and after a fashion of which the monk disapproves. Hereupon the fisherman disappears, and a kind of dialogue between the author and the protesting monk ensues. The poem concludes with the Giaour's confession, which is addressed to the monk, or perhaps to the interested and more tolerant Prior of the community.] [du] {124} As Time were wasted on his brow.—[MS.] [dv] {125} Of foreign maiden lost at sea.—[MS.] [dw] {127} Behold—as turns he from the—wall His cowl fly back, his dark hair fall.—[ms] [A variant of the copy sent for insertion in the Seventh Edition differs alike from the MS. and the text—] Behold as turns him from the wall— His Cowl flies back—his tresses fall— That pallid aspect wreathing round. [dx] Lo! mark him as the harmony.—[MS.] [dy] Thank heaven—he stands without the shrine.—[MS. erased.] [dz] {128} Must burn before it smite or shine.—[MS.] Appears unfit to smite or shine.—[MS. erased] [112] [In defence of lines 922-927, which had been attacked by a critic in the British Review, October, 1813, vol. v. p. 139, who compared them with some lines in Crabbe's Resentment (lines 11—16, Tales, 1812, p. 309), Byron wrote to Murray, October 12, 1813, "I have ... read the British Review. I really think the writer in most points very right. The only mortifying thing is the accusation of imitation. Crabbe's passage I never saw; and Scott I no further meant to follow than in his lyric measure, which is Gray's, Milton's, and any one's who like it." The lines, which Moore quotes (Life, p. 191), have only a formal and accidental resemblance to the passage in question.] [113] {129} [Compare— "To surfeit on the same [our pleasures] And yawn our joys. Or thank a misery For change, though sad?" Night Thoughts, iii., by Edward Young; Anderson's British Poets, x. 72. Compare, too, Childe Harold, Canto I. stanza vi, line 8—"With pleasure drugged, he almost longed for woe."] [114] [Byron was wont to let his imagination dwell on these details of the charnel-house. In a letter to Dallas, August 12, 1811, he writes, "I am already too familiar with the dead. It is strange that I look on the skulls which stand beside me (I have always had four in my study) without emotion, but I cannot strip the features of those I have known of their fleshy covering, even in idea, without a hideous sensation; but the worms are less ceremonious." See, too, his "Lines inscribed upon a Cup formed from a Skull," Poetical Works, 1898, i. 276.] [115] {130} The pelican is, I believe, the bird so libelled, by the imputation of feeding her chickens with her blood. [It has been suggested that the curious bloody secretion ejected from the mouth of the flamingo may have given rise to the belief, through that bird having been mistaken for the "pelican of the wilderness."—Encycl. Brit., art. "Pelican" (by Professor A. Newton), xviii. 474.] [ea] Than feeling we must feel no more.—[MS.] [116] {131} [Compare— "I'd rather be a toad, And live upon the vapours of a dungeon." Othello, act iii. sc. 3, lines 274, 275.] [eb] Though hope hath long withdrawn her beam.—[MS.] [This line was omitted in the Third and following Editions.] [ec] {132} Through ranks of steel and tracks of fire, And all she threatens in her ire; And these are but the words of one Who thus would do—who thus hath done.—[MS. erased.] [ed] {134} My hope a tomb, our foe a grave.—[MS.] [117] This superstition of a second-hearing (for I never met with downright second-sight in the East) fell once under my own observation. On my third journey to Cape Colonna, early in 1811, as we passed through the defile that leads from the hamlet between Keratia and Colonna, I observed Dervish Tahiri riding rather out of the path and leaning his head upon his hand, as if in pain. I rode up and inquired. "We are in peril," he answered. "What peril? We are not now in Albania, nor in the passes to Ephesus, Messalunghi, or Lepanto; there are plenty of us, well armed, and the Choriates have not courage to be thieves."—"True, Affendi, but nevertheless the shot is ringing in my ears."—"The shot. Not a tophaike has been fired this morning."—"I hear it notwithstanding—Bom—Bom—as plainly as I hear your voice."—"Psha!"—"As you please, Affendi; if it is written, so will it be."—I left this quick-eared predestinarian, and rode up to Basili, his Christian compatriot, whose ears, though not at all prophetic, by no means relished the intelligence. We all arrived at Colonna, remained some hours, and returned leisurely, saying a variety of brilliant things, in more languages than spoiled the building of Babel, upon the mistaken seer. Romaic, Arnaout, Turkish, Italian, and English were all exercised, in various conceits, upon the unfortunate Mussulman. While we were contemplating the beautiful prospect, Dervish was occupied about the columns. I thought he was deranged into an antiquarian, and asked him if he had become a "Palaocastro" man? "No," said he; "but these pillars will be useful in making a stand;" and added other remarks, which at least evinced his own belief in his troublesome faculty of forehearing. On our return to Athens we heard from Leoné (a prisoner set ashore some days after) of the intended attack of the Mainotes, mentioned, with the cause of its not taking place, in the notes to Childe Harold, Canto 2nd [Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 169]. I was at some pains to question the man, and he described the dresses, arms, and marks of the horses of our party so accurately, that, with other circumstances, we could not doubt of his having been in "villanous company" [I Henry IV., act iii. sc. 3, line 11] and ourselves in a bad neighbourhood. Dervish became a soothsayer for life, and I dare say is now hearing more musketry than ever will be fired, to the great refreshment of the Arnaouts of Berat, and his native mountains.—I shall mention one trait more of this singular race. In March, 1811, a remarkably stout and active Arnaout came (I believe the fiftieth on the same errand) to offer himself as an attendant, which was declined. "Well, Affendi," quoth he, "may you live!—you would have found me useful. I shall leave the town for the hills to-morrow; in the winter I return, perhaps you will then receive me."—Dervish, who was present, remarked as a thing of course, and of no consequence, "in the mean time he will join the Klephtes" (robbers), which was true to the letter. If not cut off, they come down in the winter, and pass it unmolested in some town, where they are often as well known as their exploits. [118] {135} [Vide ante, p. 90, line 89, note 2, "In death from a stab the countenance preserves its traits of feeling or ferocity."] [ee] Her power to soothe—her skill to save— And doubly darken o'er the grave,—[MS.] [ef] {136} Of Ladye-love—and dart—and chain— And fire that raged in every vein.—[MS.] [eg] Even now alone, yet undismayed,— I know no friend, and ask no aid.—[MS.] [119] [Lines 1127-1130 were inserted in the Seventh Edition. They recall the first line of Plato's epitaph, Ἀστὴρ πριν μὲν ἔλαμπες ἐνι ζωοῖσιν ἑῷος, which Byron prefixed to his "Epitaph on a Beloved Friend" (Poetical Works, 1898, i. 18), and which, long afterwards, Shelley chose as the motto to his Adonais.] [eh] {137} Yes If } Love indeed { doth spring descend be born } from heaven: A spark of that { immortal eternal celestial } fire To human hearts in mercy given, To lift from earth our low desire, A feeling from the Godhead caught, To wean from self { each our } sordid thought: Devotion sends the soul above, But Heaven itself descends to love, Yet marvel not, if they who love This present joy, this future hope Which taught them with all ill to cope, No more with anguish bravely cope.—[MS.] [120] [The hundred and twenty-six lines which follow, down to "Tell me no more of Fancy's gleam," first appeared in the Fifth Edition. In returning the proof to Murray, Byron writes, August 26, 1813, "The last lines Hodgson likes—it is not often he does—and when he don't, he tells me with great energy, and I fret and alter. I have thrown them in to soften the ferocity of our Infidel, and, for a dying man, have given him a good deal to say for himself."—Letters, 1898, ii. 252.] [ei] {138} That quenched, I wandered far in night, or, 'Tis quenched, and I am lost in night.—[MS.] [ej] Must plunge into a dark abyss.—[MS.] [ek] {139} And let the light, inconstant fool That sneers his coxcomb ridicule.—[MS.] [el] Less than the soft and shallow maid.—[MS. erased.] [em] The joy—the madness of my heart.—[MS.] [en] To me alike all time and place— Scarce could I gaze on Nature's face For every hue——.—[MS.] or, All, all was changed on Nature's face To me alike all time and place.—[MS. erased.] [eo] {140} ——but this grief In truth is not for thy relief. My state thy thought can never guess.—[MS.] [121] The monk's sermon is omitted. It seems to have had so little effect upon the patient, that it could have no hopes from the reader. It may be sufficient to say that it was of a customary length (as may be perceived from the interruptions and uneasiness of the patient), and was delivered in the usual tone of all orthodox preachers. [ep] Where thou, it seems, canst offer grace.—[MS. erased.] [eq] Where rise my native city's towers.—[MS.] [er] I had, and though but one—a friend!—[MS.] [es] {141} I have no heart to love him now And 'tis but to declare my end.—[ms] [et] But now Remembrance murmurs o'er Of all our early youth had been— In pain, I now had turned aside To bless his memory ere I died, But Heaven would mark the vain essay, If Guilt should for the guiltless fray— I do not ask him not to blame— Too gentle he to wound my name— I do not ask him not to mourn, For such request might sound like scorn— And what like Friendship's manly tear So well can grace a brother's bier? But bear this ring he gave of old, And tell him—what thou didst behold— The withered frame—the ruined mind, The wreck that Passion leaves behind— The shrivelled and discoloured leaf Seared by the Autumn blast of Grief.—[MS., First Copy.] [eu] {142} Nay—kneel not, father, rise—despair.—[MS.] [122] {143} "Symar," a shroud. [Cymar, or simar, is a long loose robe worn by women. It is, perhaps, the same word as the Spanish camarra (Arabic camârra), a sheep-skin cloak. It is equivalent to "shroud" only in the primary sense of a "covering."] [ev] Which now I view with trembling spark.—[MS.] [ew] {144} Then lay me with the nameless dead.—[MS.] [123] 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 Bibliothèque 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 Eblis." [See Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza xxii. line 6, Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 37, note 1. "Mansour Effendi tells the story (vide supra, line 6) thus: Frosini was niece of the Archbishop of Joannina. Mouctar Pasha ordered her to come to his harem, and her father advised her to go; she did so. Mouctar, among other presents, gave her a ring of great value, which she wished to sell, and gave it for that purpose to a merchant, who offered it to the wife of Mouctar. That lady recognized the jewel as her own, and, discovering the intrigue, complained to Ali Pasha, who, the next night, seized her himself in his own house, and ordered her to be drowned. Mansour Effendi says he had the story from the brother and son of Frosini. This son was a child of six years old, and was in bed in his mother's chamber when Ali came to carry away his mother to death. He had a confused recollection of the horrid scene."—Travels in Albania, 1858, i. Ill, note 6. The concluding note, like the poem, was built up sentence by sentence. Lines 1-12, "forgotten," are in the MS. Line 12, "I heard," to line 17, "original," were added in the Second Edition. The next sentence, "For the contents" to "Vathek," was inserted in the Third; and the concluding paragraph, "I do not know" to the end, in the Fourth Editions.] [ex] {146} Nor whether most he mourned none knew. For her he loved—or him he slew.—[MS.]