September 15, 2009

The Bride of Abydos (Vs.1-VI)

Bookmark and Share


Pin It
Let this enchanting poem inspire your day!
Photobucket


--Description: 19th C, Byron G.G., Love--


Canto the First.

I.

Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime?
Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle,
Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime !
Know ye the land of the cedar and vine,
Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine;
Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with perfume,
Wax faint o'er the gardens of GĂșl in her bloom;
Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit,
And the voice of the nightingale never is mute:
Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky,
In colour though varied, in beauty may vie,
And the purple of ocean is deepest in dye;
Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine?
'Tis the clime of the East; 't is the land of the Sun ---
Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done?
Oh ! wild as the accents of lovers farewell
Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell.

II.

Begirt with many a gallant slave,
Apparell'd as becomes the brave,
Awaiting each his lord's behest
To guide his steps, or guard his rest,
Old Giaffir sate in his Divan:
Deep thought was in his aged eye;
And though the face of Mussulman
Not oft betrays to standers by
The mind within, well skill'd to hide
All but unconquerable pride,
His pensive cheek and pondering brow
Did more than he was wont avow.

III.

"Let the chamber be clear'd." --- The train disappear'd. ---
"Now call me the chief of the Haram guard."
With Giaffir is none but his only son,
And the Nubian awaiting the sire's award.
"Haroun --- when all the crowd that wait
Are pass'd beyond the outer gate,
( Woe to the head whose eye beheld
My child Zuleika's face unveil'd ! )
Hence, lead my daughter from her tower;
Her fate is fix'd this very hour:
Yet not to her repeat my thought;

By me alone be duty taught ! "
"Pacha ! to hear is to obey."
No more must slave to despot say ---
Then to the tower had ta'en his way,
But here young Selim silence brake
First lowly rendering reverence meet;
And downcast look'd, and gently spake,
Still standing at the Pacha's feet:
For son of Moslem must expire,
Ere dare to sit before his sire !
"Father ! for fear that thou shouldst chide
My sister, or her sable guide,
Know -- for the fault, if fault there be,
Was mine, then fall thy frowns on me ---
So lovelily the morning shown,
That --- let the old and weary sleep ---
I could not; and to view alone
The fairest scenes of land and deep,
With none to listen and reply
To thoughts with which my heart beat high
Were irksome --- for whate'er my mood,
In sooth I love not solitude;
I on Zuleika's slumber broke,
And, as thou knowest that for me
Soon turns the Haram's grating key,
Before the guardian slaves awoke
We to the cypress groves had flown,
And made earth, main, and heaven our own !
There linger'd we, beguiled too long
With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi's song;
Till I, who heard the deep tambour
Beat thy Divan's approaching hour,
To thee, and to my duty true,
Warn'd by the sound, to greet thee flew:
But there Zuleika wanders yet ---
Nay, Father, rage not --- nor forget
That none can pierce that secret bower
But those who watch the women's tower."

IV.

"Son of a slave" --- the Pacha said ---
"From unbelieving mother bred,
Vain were a father's hope to see
Aught that beseems a man in thee.
Thou, when thine arm should bend the bow,
And hurl the dart, and curb the steed,
Thou, Greek in soul if not in creed,
Must pore where babbling waters flow,
And watch unfolding roses blow.
Would that you orb, whose matin glow
Thy listless eyes so much admire,
Would lend thee something of his fire !
Thou, who wouldst see this battlement
By Christian cannon piecemeal rent;
Nay, tamely view old Stambol's wall
Before the dogs of Moscow fall,
Nor strike one stroke for life and death
Against the curs of Nazareth !
Go --- let thy less than woman's hand
Assume the distaff --- not the brand.
But, Haroun! --- to my daughter speed;
And hark --- of thine own head take heed ---
If thus Zuleika oft take wing ---
Thou see'st yon bow --- it hat a sting ! "

V.

No sound from Selim's lip was heard,
At least that met old Giaffir's ear,
But every frown and every word
Pierced keener than a Christian's sword.
"Son of a slave! --- reproach'd with fear!
Those gibes had cost another dear.
Son of a slave ! --- and who my sire?"
Thus held his thoughts their dark career;
And glances ev'n of more than ire
Flash forth, then faintly disappear.
Old Giaffir gazed upon his son
And started; for within his eye
He read how much his wrath had done;
He saw rebellion there begun:
"Come hither, boy --- what, no reply?
I mark thee --- and I know thee too;
But there be deeds thou dar'st not do:
But if thy beard had manlier length,
And if thy hand had skill and strength,
I'd joy to see thee break a lance,
Albeit against my own perchance."
As sneeringly these accents fell,
On Selim's eye he fiercely gazed:
That eye return'd him glance for glance,
And proudly to his sire's was raised,
Till Giaffir's quail'd and shrunk askance ---
And why -- he felt, but durst not tell.
"Much I misdoubt this wayward boy
Will one day work me more annoy:
I never loved him from his birth,
And --- but his arm is little worth,
And scarcely in the chase could cope
With timid fawn or antelope,
Far less would venture into strife
Where man contends for fame and life ---
I would not trust that look or tone:
No -- nor the blood so near my own.
That blood --- he hath not heard --- no more ---
I'll watch him closer than before.
He is an Arab to my sight,
Or Christian crouching in the fight ---
But hark ! --- I hear Zuleika's voice;
Like Houris' hymn it meets mine ear:
She is the offspring of my choice;
Oh! more than ev'n her mother dear,
With all to hope, and nought to fear ---
My Peri ! ever welcome here!
Sweet, as the desert fountain's wave
To lips just cool'd in time to save ---
Such to my longing sight art thou;
Nor can they waft to Mecca's shrine
More thanks for life, than I for thine,
Who blest thy birth and bless thee now."

VI.

Fair, as the first that fell of womankind,
When on that dread yet lovely serpent smiling,
Whose image then was stamp'd upon her mind ---
But once beguil'd --- and ever more beguiling;
Dazzling, as that, oh ! too transcendent vision
To Sorrow's phantom-peopled slumber given,
When heart meets heart again in dreams Elysian,
And paints the lost on Earth revived in Heaven;
Soft, as the memory of buried love;
Pure, as the prayer which Childhood wafts above,
Was she --- the daughter of that rude old Chief,
Who met the maid with tears --- but not of grief.
Who hath not proved how feebly words essay
To fix one spark of Beauty's heavenly ray?
Who doth not feel, until his failing sight
Faints into dimness with its own delight,
His changing cheek, his sinking heart confess
The might, the majesty of Loveliness?
Such was Zuleika, such around her shone
The nameless charms unmark'd by her alone ---
The light of love, the purity of grace,
The mind, the Music breathing from her face,
The heart whose softness harmonized the whole,
And oh ! that eye was in itself a Soul !

Her graceful arms in meekness bending
Across her gently-budding breast;
At one kind word those arms extending
To clasp the neck of him who blest
His child caressing and carest,
Zuleika came --- and Giaffir felt
His purpose half within him melt:
Not that against her fancied weal
His heart though stern could ever feel;
Affection chain'd her to that heart;
Ambition tore the links apart.

Lord G. G. Byron

--Did You Know: (22 January 1788– 19 April 1824) Byron was a British poet and a leading figure in Romanticism. Amongst Byron's best-known works are the brief poems She Walks in Beauty, When We Two Parted, and So, we'll go no more a roving, in addition to the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential, both in the English-speaking world and beyond. Byron's notability rests not only on his writings but also on his life, which featured aristocratic excesses, love affairs with both sexes, huge debts, and self-imposed exile. He was notably described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know". Byron served as a regional leader of Italy's revolutionary organization, the Carbonari, in its struggle against Austria. He later travelled to fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died from a fever contracted while in Messolonghi in Greece.

--Word of the Day: inure \in-YOOR\, (transitive verb):
1. To make accustomed or used to something painful, difficult, or inconvenient; to harden; to habituate; as, "inured to drudgery and distress.
(intransitive verb):
1. To pass into use; to take or have effect; to be applied; to serve to the use or benefit of; as, a gift of lands inures to the heirs.
They were a hard-driven, hardworking crowd inured to the hardest living, and they found their recreation in hard drinking and hard fighting.
-Allen Barra, Inventing Wyatt Earp

--Quote of the Day: Love is the poetry of the senses.
-Honore de Balzac

--Spanish Word of the Day: afortunado, (adjective):
fortunate, lucky
(eg) He sido muy afortunado pudiendo hacer algo que me gusta y que creo que hago bien.
(transl) I’ve been very fortunate to be able to do something that I like and that I think I do well.

Coffee Table Poetry for Tea Drinkers is updated often. The easiest way to get your regular poetic inspiration is to subscribe by selecting E-mail or RSS Reader. Also, come follow us on Twitter. We look forward to making every day memorably intriguing for you.




Submit a poem on Coffee Table Poetry's GUEST BOOK FOR POETS


Coffee Table Poetry's Guest Book

Choose awesome apps on Cool iPhone Apps Free To $5 Caps

Cool iPhone Apps Free to $5 Caps
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Posted by V. Mahfood
Pin It

0 comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Subscribe RSS

coffee128

*Your AD or LINK

~ Place your site link or ad here!






Labels

 

Copyright ©2008-2012 Coffee Table Poetry For Tea Drinkers by V. Mahfood

Copyright © 2008-2010 Green Scrapbook Diary Designed by SimplyWP | Made free by Scrapbooking Software | Bloggerized by Ipiet Notez