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Felt all the freshness of repose; His dizzy brain was calm’d, The heavy aching of his lids At once was taken off; For Laila, from the Bowers of Paradise, Had borne the healing fruit.”
X. So up the mountain steep, With untird foot he past, The Green Bird guiding him, Mid crags, and ice, and rocks, A difficult way, winding the long ascent. llow then the heart of Thalaba rejoiced, When, bosom'd in the mountain depths, A shelter'd Valley open'd on his view' It was the Simorg's vale, The dwelling of the ancient Bird.
XI. On a green and mossy bank, Beside a rivulet, The Bird of Ages stood. No sound intruded on his solitude, Only the rivulet was heard, Whose everlasting slow, From the birth-day of the world,” had made The same unvaried murmuring. Here dwelt the all-knowing Bird In deep tranquillity, His eye-lids ever clos'd In full enjoyment of profound repose.
xii. Reverently the youth approach'd That old and only Bird, And crost his arms upon his breast, And how’d his head, and spake. • Earliest of existing things, Earliest thou, and wisest thou, Guide me, guide me, on my way! I a.m. bound to seek the caverns Underneath the roots of Ocean, Where the Sorcerer brood are nurst. Thou the eldest, thou the wisest, Guide me, guide me, on my way !”
Xiii. The ancient Simor; on the youth Unclos'd his thoughtful eyes, And answer'd to his prayer. « Northward by the stream proceed, In the fountain of the rock Wash away thy worldly stains, Kneel thou there, and seek the Lord, And fortify thy soul with prayer. Thus prepard, ascend the Sledge, Be bold, be wary, seek and find! God hath appointed all. " The ancient Simorg then let fall his lids, Returning to repose.
XIV. Northward, along the rivulet, The adventurer went his way, Tracing its waters upward to their source.
Green Bird of Paradise, Thou hast not left the youth'— With slow associate flight, She companies his way, And now they reach the fountain of the rock.
XV. There, in the cold clear well, Thalaba wash'd away his earthly stains, And bow'd his face before the Lord, And fortified his soul with prayer. The while, upon the rock, Stood the celestial Bird, And, pondering all the perils he must pass, With a mild melancholy eye, Beheld the youth belov’d.
XWi. And lo! beneath yon lonely pine, the sledge— And there they stand, the harness'd Dogs, Their wide eyes watching for the youth, Their ears erected, turn'd towards his way. They were lean, as lean might be, Their furrowed ribs rose prominent, And they were black from head to foot, Save a white line on every breast, Curv'd like the crescent moon. And he is seated in the sledge, His arms are folded on his breast, The Bird is on his knees; There is fear in the eyes of the Dogs, There is fear in their pitiful moan, And now they turn their heads, And seeing him there, away!
XVII. The Youth, with the start of their speed, Falls back to the bar of the sledge; His hair floats straight in the stream of the wind, Like the weeds in the running brook. They wind with speed the upward way, An icy path through rocks of ice; His eye is at the summit now, And thus far all is dangerless; And now upon the height The black Dogs pause and pant; They turn their eyes to Thalaba, As if to plead for pity; They moan, and moan with fear.
XVI.ii. Once more away! and now The long descent is seen, A long, long, narrow path. Ice-rocks aright, and hills of snow, Aleft the giddy precipice. Be firm, be firm, O Thalaba! One motion now, one bend, And on the crags below, Thy shatter'd flesh will harden in the frost. Why howl the Dogs so mournfully 1 And wherefore does the blood flow fast All purple o'er their sable hair? His arms are folded on his breast, Nor scourge nor goad hath he; No hand appears to strike,
No sounding lash is heard : But piteously they moan, and moan, And track their way with blood.
xix. And lo! on yonder height, A giant Fiend aloft, Waits to thrust down the tottering avalanche! If Thalaba looks back, he dies; The motion of fear is death. On—on—with swift and steady pace, Adown that dreadful way ! The Youth is firm, the Dogs are fleet, The Sledge goes rapidly, The thunder of the avalanche Re-echoes far behind. On—on—with swift and steady pace Adown that dreadful way ! The Dogs are fleet, the way is steep, The Sledge goes rapidly, They reach the plain below.
XX. A wide, wide plain, all desolate, Nor tree, nor bush, nor herb On go the Dogs with rapid step, The Sledge slides after rapidly, And now the Sun went down. They stopt and look'd at Thalaba, The Youth perform'd his prayer; They knelt beside him as he pray'd, They turn'd their heads to Mecca, And tears ran down their cheeks. Then down they laid them in the snow, As close as they could lie, They laid them down and slept, And backward in the sledge The Adventurer laid himself: There peacefully slept Thalaba, And the Green Bird of Paradise Lay nestling in his breast.
XXI. The Dogs awoke him at the dawn, They knelt and wept again; Then rapidly they journey'd on, And still the plain was desolate, Nor tree, nor bush, nor herb! And ever at the hour of prayer, They stopt, and knelt, and wept; And still that green and graceful Bird Was as a friend to him by day, And ever, when at night he slept, Lay nestling in his breast.
xxii. In that most utter solitude, It cheer'd his heart to hear Her soft and soothing voice; Her voice was soft and sweet, It swell'd not with the blackbird's thrill, Nor warbled rich like the dear bird, that holds The solitary man, A loiterer in his thoughtful walk at eve;
But if no overflowing joy Spake in its tones of tenderness,
They sooth'd the soften’d soul. Her bill was not the beak of blood: There was a human meaning in her eye; Its mild affection fix'd on Thalaba, Woke wonder while he gaz'd, And made her dearer for the mystery.
XXIII. Oh joy! the signs of life appear, The first and single Fir That on the limits of the living world Strikes in the ice its roots. Another, and another now; And now the Larch, that things its arms Down-curving like the falling wave; And now the Aspin's scatter'd leaves Grey glitter on the moveless twig; The Poplar's varying verdure now, And now the lirch so beautiful, Light as a lady's plumes. Oh joy! the signs of life! the Deer Hath left his slot beside the way; The little Ermine now is seen White wanderer of the snow; And now, from yonder pines they hear The clatter of the Grouse's wings: And now the snowy Owl pursues The Traveller's sledge, in hope of food; And hark' the rosy-breasted bird, The Throstle of sweet song: Joy! joy! the winter-wilds are left! Green bushes now, and greener grass, Red thickets here, all berry-bright, And here the lovely flowers!
Came on his memory. The celestial Bird Saw and renew'd her speech. « O Thalaba, if she who in thine arms Receiv'd the dagger-blow, and died for thee, Deserve one kind remembrance,—save, O save, The Father that she lov'd, from endless death 'w
XXVIII. * Laila! and is it thou?, the youth replied. « What is there that I durst refuse to thee? This is no time to harbour in my heart One evil thought;-here I put off revenge, The last rebellious feeling—Be it so :
God grant to me the pardon that I need,
As I do pardon him —
But who am I, that I should save
XXIX. • Enough!» said Laila. “When the hour shall come, Remember me! my task is doue. We meet again in Paradise!” She said, and shook her wings, and up she soard
XXX. His aching eye pursued her path, When starting onward went the Dogs, More rapidly they hurried on, In hope of near repose. It was the early morning yet, When, by the well-head of a brook They stopt, their journey done. The spring was clear, the water deep,” A venturous man were he, and rash, That should have probed its depths, For all its loosen d led below Heav'd strangely up and down, And to and fro, from side to side, It heav'd, and wav'd, and toss, And yet the depths were clear, And yet no ripple wrinkled o'er The face of that fair Well.
XXXI. And on that Well, so strange and fair, A li tie boat there lay, Without an oar, without a sail; One only seat it had, one seat, As if for only Tualaba. And at the helin a Damsel stood, A Dansel bright and bold of eye, Yet did a maiden modesty Adorn lier fear less brow. Her face was sorrowful, but sure More beautiful for sorrow. To her the Dogs look'd wistful up, And then their tougues were loos'd, « Have we doue well, () Mlstress dear! And shall our sufferings end?”
XXXII. The gentle Dansel made reply, « Poor Servants of the God I serve, When all this witchery is destroy'd, Your woes will end with mine.
With arrow-swiftness through the heights of Heaven.
A hope, alas! how long unknown! This new adventurer gives: Now, God forbid, that he, like you, Should perish for his fears! Poor Servants of the God I serve, Wait ye the event in peace.” A deep and totai siamber as she spake Seiz'd them. Sleep on, poor sufferers! be at rest! Ye wake no more to anguish;-ye have borne The Chosen, the Destroyer!—soon his hand Shall strike the efficient blow; Soon shaking off your penal forms, shall ye, With songs of joy, amid the Eden groves, Hymn the Deliverer's praise
Xxxiii. Then did the Damsel say to Thalaba, • The morn is young, the Sun is fair, And pleasantly, through pleasant banks, The quiet brook flows on — Wilt thou cinbark with me? Thou knowest not the water's way, Think, Stranger, well' and night must come, – Wilt thou embark with me? Through scarful perils thou must pass, Stranger, the wretched ask thine aid : Tilou wilt embark with me 'n She smild in tears upon the youth !— What heart were his, who could gainsay That melancholy smile? « Sail on, sail on," quoth Thalaba, “Sail on, in Allah's name!»
XXXIV. He sate him on the single seat, The little boat mov d on. Through pleasant banks the quiet brook Went winding pleasantly; By fragrant firgroves now it past, And now, through alder-shores, Through green and fertile meadows now It silently ran by. The flag-slower blossom'd on its side, The willow tresses wav'd, The flowint; current furrow d round The water-lily's floating leaf, The fly of green and gauzy wing, Fell sporting down its course, And grateful to the voyager The freshness of the running stream, The murmur round the prow. The little boat falls rapidly Adown the rapid brook.
XXXV. But many a silent spring meantime, And many a rivulet and rill Had swolu the growing brook; And when the southern Sun began To wind the downward way of heaven, It ran a river deep and wide, 6 Through banks that widend still. Then once again the Damsel spake, “The stream is strong, the river broad, Wilt thou go on with me? The day is fair, but night must come—
For loud around their hollow base The surges rage and roar.
XL. The little boat rides rapidly, And now with shorter toss it heaves Upon the heavier swell; And now so near, they see The shelves and shadows of the cliff, And the low-lurking rocks, O'er whose black summits, hidden half, The shivering billows burst;And nearer now they feel the breaker's spray. Then spake the Damsel, a Yonder is our path Beneath the cavern arch. Now is the ebb, and till the ocean-flow, We cannot over-ride the rocks. Go thou, and on the shore Perform thy last ablutions, and with prayer Strengthen thy heart—I too have need to pray.”
XLI. She held the helm with steady hand Amid the stronger waves; Through surge and surf she drove : The adventurer leapt to land.
why should be that loves me, sorry be For my deliverance, or at all complain My good to hear, and toward joys to see * I go, and lon; desired have to go, I go with gladness to my wished rest. Srisara's Daphnaida.
I. Then Thalaba drew off Abdaldar's ring, And cast it in the sea, and cried aloud, «Thou art my shield, my trust, my hope, O God! Behold and guard me now, Thou who alone canst save. If, from my childhood up, I have look'd on With exultation to my destiny; If, in the hour of anguish, I have felt, The justice of the hand that chasten’d me; If, of all selfish passions purified. I go to work thy will, and from the world Root up the ill-doing race, Lord! let not thou the weakness of my arm Make vain the enterprise!»
ii. The Sun was rising all magnificent, Ocean and heaven rejoicing in his beams. And now had Thalaba Perform'd his last ablutions, and he stood And gaz'd upon the little boat Riding the billows near, Where, like a sea-bird breasting the broad waves, It rose and fell upon the surge: Till, from the glitterance of the sunny main, He turn'd his aching eyes, And then upon the beach he laid him down,
And watch'd the rising tide.
Toil'd with futurity;
The boundless waves that rose and roll'd and rock'd;
The everlasting sound
Opprest him, and the heaving infinite,
He clos'd his lids for rest.
iii. Meantime, with fuller reach, and stronger swell, Wave after wave advanced; Each following hillow lifted the last foam That trembled on the sand with rainbow hues; The living flower, that, rooted to the rock, Late from the thinner element Shrunk down within its purple stem to sleep, Now feels the water, and again Awakening, blossoms out All its green anther-necks.
IV. Was there a Spirit in the gale That fluttered o'er his cheek? For it came on him like the gentle sun Which plays and dallies o'er the night-clos'd flower, And wooes it to unfold anew to joy; For it came on him as the dews of eve Descend with healing and with life Upon the summer mead; Or liker the first sound of seraph song And Angel hail, to him Whose latest sense had shuddered at the groan Of anguish, kneeling by his death-bed side.
V. He starts, and gazes round to seek The certain presence. “Thalaba to exclaim'd The Voice of the Unseen;– “Father of my Oneiza!, he replied, “And have thy years been numbered? art thou too Among the Angels?”—“Thalaba!, A second and a dearer voice repeats, “Go in the favour of the Lord, My Thalaba, go on! My husband, I have drest our bower of bliss. Go, and perform the work, Let me not longer suffer hope in Heaven!”
WI. He turn’d an eager glance toward the sea, “Come!» quoth the Damsel, and she drove Her little boat to land. Impatient through the rising wave, He rush'd to meet its way, His eye was bright, his cheek was flush'd with joy. “Blast thou had comfort in thy prayers?” she cried.— «Yea, n answer'd Thalaba, * A heavenly visitation.” “God be prais'd 'a She uttered, “ then I do not hope in vain!” And her voice trembled, and her lips Quivered, and tears ran down.
Wii. • Stranger," quoth she, “ in years long past Was one who vow'd himself The Champion of the Lord, like thee, Against the race of Hell. Young was he, as thyself, Gentle, and yet so brave! A lion-hearted man. Shame on me, Stranger! in the arms of love I held him from his calling, till the hour Was past; and then the Angel who should else Have crown'd him with his glory-wreath, Smote him in anger—Years and years are gone— And in his place of penance he awaits Thee, the Deliverer, surely thou art he It was my righteous punishment, In the same youth unchanged, And love unchangeable. And grief for ever fresh, And bitter penitence, That gives no respite night nor day to woe, To abide the written hour, when I should waft The doom'd Destroyer and Deliverer here. Remember thou, that thy success involves No single fate, no common misery.”
Wiii. As thus she spake, the entrance of the cave Darken'd the boat below. Around them, from their nests, The screaming sea-birds fled, Wondering at that strange shape, Yet, unalarm'd at sight of living man, Unknowing of his sway and power misus'd: The clamours of their young Echoed in shriller yells, Which rung in wild discordance round the rock. And farther as they now advanced, The dim reflection of the darken'd day Grew fainter, and the dash Of the out-breakers deadend; farther yet, And yet more faint the gleam, And there the waters, at their utmost bound, Silently rippled on the rising rock. They landed and advanced, and deeper in, Two adamantine doors Clos'd up the cavern pass.
IX. Reclining on the rock beside, Sate a grey-headed man, Watching an hour-glass by. To him the Damsel spake, “Is it the hour appointed?” The old man Nor answered her awhile, Nor lifted he his downward eye, For now the glass ran low, And, like the days of age, With speed perceivable, The latter sands descend; And now the last are gone. Then he look'd up, and rais'd his arm, and smote The adamantine gates.
X. The gates of adamant, Unfolding at the stroke,