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It was a shallow dell, set in a mound
Of sloping shrubs, that mounted by degrees-
The birch and poplar mix'd with heavier trees;
Down by whose roots, descending darkly still,
(You saw it not, but heard) there gush'd a rill,
Whose low sweet talking seem'd as if it said
Something eternal to that happy shade.
The ground within was lawn, with plots of flowers
Heap'd towards the centre, and with citron bowers ;
And in the midst of all, cluster'd with bay
And myrtle, and just gleaming to the day,
Lurk’d a pavilion—a delicious sight,-
Small, marble, well-proportion'd, mellowy white,
With yellow vine-leaves sprinkled,—but no more, -
And a young orange either side the door.
The door was to the wood, forward and square ;
The rest was domed at top, and circular ;
And through the dome the only light came in,
Tinged, as it enter'd, with the vine-leaves thin.
ABOU BEN ADHEM (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold :-
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?”—The Vision raised its head,
And, with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answer'd, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,"
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men."
The Angel wrote, and vanish'd. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And show'd the names whom love of God had blessid,
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
Palace of Beauty! where the Moorish Lord,
King of the bow, the bridle, and the sword,
Sat like a Genie in the diamond's blaze.
Oh! to have seen thee in the ancient days,
When at thy morning gates the coursers stood,
The "thousand" milk-white, Yemen's fiery blood,
In pearl and ruby harness'd for the King :
And through thy portals pour'd the gorgeous flood
Of jewell'd Sheik and Emir, hastening,
Before the sky the dawning purple show'd,
Their turbans at the Caliph's feet to fling.
Lovely thy morn—thy evening lovelier still,
When at the waking of the first blue star
That trembled on the Atalaya hill,
The splendours of the trumpet's voice arose,
Brilliant and bold, and yet no sound of war ;
But summoning thy beauty from repose,
The shaded slumber of the burning noon.
Then in the slant sun all thy fountains shone,
Shooting the sparkling column from the vase
Of crystal cool, and falling in a haze
Of rainbow hues on foors of porphyry,
And the rich bordering beds of every bloom
That breathes to African or Indian sky,
Carnation, tuberose, thick anemone;
Then was the harping of the minstrels heard,
In the deep arbours or the regal hall
Hushing the tumult of the festival,
When the pale bard his kindling eyeball rear'd,
And told of Eastern glories, silken hosts,
Tower'd elephants, and chiefs in topaz armid;
Or of the myriads from the cloudy coasts
Of the far Western sea,—the sons of blood,
The iron men of tournament and feud,
That round the bulwarks of their fathers swarm’d,
Doom'd by the Moslem scimitar to fall,
Till the Red Cross was hurl'd from Salem's wall.
Where are thy pomps, Alhambra, earthly sun,
That had no rival, and no second ?-gone :
Thy glory down the arch of time has roll d,
Like the great day-star to the ocean dim,
The billows of the ages o'er thee swim,
Gloomy and fathomless; thy tale is told.
Where is thy horn of battle ? that, but biown,
Brought every chief of Afric from his throne;
Brought every spear of Afric from the wall :
Brought every charger barbed from the stal',
Till all its tribes sat mounted on the shore ;
Waiting the waving of thy torch to pour
The living deluge on the fields of Spain.
Queen of Earth's loveliness, there was a stain
Upon thy brow-the stain of guilt and gore :
Thy course was bright, bold, treach'rous—and 't is o'e:.
The spear and diadem are from thee gone;
Silence is now sole monarch of thy throne !
THE flowers are Nature's jewels, with whose wealth She decks her Summer beauty ; Primrose sweet, With blossoms of pure gold; enchanting Rose, That, like a virgin queen, salutes the Sun,