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of all the spheres, and multiply each through endless years, one minute of Heaven were worth them all !!
The glorious Angel, who was keeping the gates of light. beheld her weeping: "Nymph of a fair but erring line !" gently he said, -"one hope is thine. 'Tis written in the Book of Fate, the Peri yet may be forgiven who brings to this Eternal Gate the Gift that is most dear to Heaven : go, seek it, and redeem thy sin ! -'Tis sweet to let the Pardoned in."
Down the blue vault the Peri flys; and, lighting earthward, by a glance that just then broke from morning's eyes hung hovering o'er our world's expanse. While there she mused, her pinions fann'd the air of that sweet Indian land, whose sandal groves and bowers of spice might be a Peri's Paradise ! but, crimson now, it; rivers ran with human blood—the smell of death came reeking from those spicy bowers : and man, the sacrifice of man, mingled his taint with every breath upwafted from the innocent flowers !-Averse, the Peri turns her gaze, and, through the war-fields' bloody haze, beholds a youthful Warrior stand alone, beside his native river—the red blade broken in his hand, and the last arrow in his quiver. “Live !” said his Conqueror, “live to share the trophies and the crowns I bear !"'
-Silent that youthful Warrior stood_silent he pointed to the flood, all crimson'd with his country's blood, then-sent his last remaining dart for answer to the Invader's heart !
False flew the shaft, though pointed well; the Tyrant liv'd—the Hero fell ! Yet marked the Peri where he lay; and when the rush of war was o'er, swiftly descending on a ray of morning light, she caught the last, last glorious drop his heart had shed, before its freeborn spirit fled !
“Be this,” she cried, as she wing'd her flight, “my welcome gift at the Gates of Light! Though foul are the drops that oft distil on the field of warfare, blood like this for Liberty shed, so holy is, it would not stain the purest rill that sparkles among the flowers of bliss ! Oh! if there be, on this earthly sphere, a boon, an offering, Heaven holds dear, 'tis the last libation Liberty draws, from the heart that bleeds and breaks in her cause.
“Sweet," said the angel, as she gave the gift into the guardian's hand; "Sweet is our welcome to the brave, who die thus for their native land. But see-alas ! the crystal bar of Eden moves not :- holier far than even this drop the boon must be, that opens the Gates of Heaven forthee !"
Her first fond hope of Eden blighted, now among Afric's lunar mountains (far to the south) the Peri lighted, and sleek'd her plumes in Nile's far fountains. Beneath a fragrant orange bower, close to a lake, she heard the moan of one, who, at this silent bour had hither stolen, to die alope! But see—who yonder comes by stealth, this melancholy bower to seek—like a young envoy sent by Health, with rosy gifts upon her cheek? 'Tis she! far off, through moonlight dim, he knew his own betrothed bride-she, who would rather die with him, than live, to gain the world beside ! Her arms are round her lover now-his livid cheek to hers she presses, and dips, to bind his burning brow, in the cool lake her loosened tresses. She fails—she sinks !- as dies the lamp in charnel airs, or cavern damp; —so quickly do his baleful sighs quench all the sweet light of her eyes ! One struggle—and his pain is past—the striken is no longer living ! one prayer the maiden breathes-one last deep prayer--which she expires in giving !
“Sleep !” said the Peri, as softly she stole the farewell sigh of that vanishing soul, with morn still blushing in the sky; again the Peri soars above, bearing to heaven that precious sigh of pure self-sacrificing love! But, alas ! even Peris' hopes are vain—the immortal barrier must closed remain, “True was the maiden,” the angel said, “and her story is written o'er Alla's head : but, Peri, see
—the crystal bar of Eden moves not-holier far than even this sigh the boon must be, that opes
the Gates of Heaven for thee !" Ah! nought can charm the luckle-s Peri : her soul is sad—her wings are weary, when, o'er the vale of Balbec, winging slowly, she sees a child at play among the rosy wild flowers singing, as rosy and as wild as they : and watchful near him darkly stood a man of hardened crime and blood : when hark! the vesper call to prayer is rising sweetly on the air : the boy has started from the bed of flowers, where he had laid his head, and, down upon the fragrant sod, kneels with his forehead to the south, lisping the eternal name of “God !” from Purity's own cherub mouth !
The wretched man then said, in mild, heart-humbled tones : “Thou blessed child ! there was a time, when, pure as thou, I look’d, and pray'd like thee—but
_” he hung his head :—each nobler aim, and hope, and feeling, which had slept froin boyhood's hour, that instant came fresh o'er him—and he wept !-he wept !
Sudden, a light, more lovely far than ever came from sun or star, fell on the tear, that, warm and meek, dewed that repentant sinner's cheek; and well the enraptured Peri knew 'twas a bright smile the angel threw from Heaven's gate, to hail that tear her harbinger of glory near !
“Joy, joy for ever! my task is done—the gates are passed—and Heaven is won! Farewell, ye odours of earth, that die, passing away like a lover's sigh! Farewell, ye vanishing flowers, that shone in my fairy wreath so bright and brief : -Oh! what are the brightest that e'er have blown to the lote-tree, springing by Alla's throne, whose flowers have a soul in every leaf! Joy, joy for ever !—my task is done !--the Gates are pass'd, and Heaven is won!”
LXVI.-THE GHEBERS' ATTACK,
UT see! he starts ;-what heard he then ? That dreadful shout !-across
the glen from the land-side it comes, and loud rings through the chasm; as if the crowd of fearful things that haunt that dell, its Ghouls, and Dives, and shapes of hell, had all in one dread howl broke out, so loud, so terrible that shout! “They come--the Moslems come !"--he cries ; his proud soul mounting to his
Now, Spirits of the Brave ! who roam enfranchised through yon starry dome, rejoice--for souls of kindred fire are on the wing to join your choir !” He said-and, light as bridegroom's bound, with eager haste reclimbed the steep, and gained the shrine :-his Chiefs stood round-their swords, as if with instinctive leap, together, at that cry accurs’d, had, from their sheaths, like sunbeams, burst ! And hark !-again-again it rings! near and more near, its echoings peal through the chasm. -Oh! who that then had seen those listening warrior-men, with their swords grasped, their eyes of flame turned on their chief could doubt the shame, the indignant shame, with which they thrill, to hear those shouts, and yet stand still? He read their thoughts—they were his own :- What ! while our arms can
-06 wield these blades, shall we die tamely?—die alone? without one victim to our shades—one Moslem heart, where, buried deep, the sabre from its toil may sleep? No !- God of Iran's burning skies! thou scorn'st the inglorious sacrifice. No !though of all earth's hopes bereft, life, swords, and vengeance, still are left ! We'll make yon valley's reeking caves live in the awe-struck minds of men ; till tyrants shudder, when their slaves tell of the Ghebers' bloody glen. Follow, brave hearts !—this pile remains, our refuge still from life and chains; but his the best, the holiest bed, who sinks entombed in Moslem dead !"
LXVII.---INSTABILITY OF FRIENDSHIP.
LAS! how light a cause may move dissention between hearts that love !
hearts, that the world in vain had tried, and sorrow but more closely tied; that stood the storm when waves were rough, yet in a sunny hour fall off : like ships that have gone down at sea, when heaven is all tranquillity! A something light as air--a looka word unkind, or wrongly taken--oh! love, that tempests never shook, a brt ath, a touch like this, hath shaken And ruder words will soon rush in, to spread the breach that words begin ; and eyes forget the gentle ray they wore in courtship's smiling day; and voices lose the tone that shed a tenderness round all they said ; till, fast declining, one by one, the sweetnesses of love are gone ; and hearts, so lately mingled, seem like broken clouds ;-
--Or the stream that smiling left the mountain's brow, as though its waters ne'er could sever ; yet, ere it reach the plain below, breaks into floods, that part for ever!
LXVIII.-- DEATH OF RODERICK DHU.
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
HEChief in silence strode before, and reached that torrent's sounding shore;
And here his course the Chieftain stayed, threw down his target and his plaid, And to the Lowland warrior said :-"Bold Saxon! to his promise just, Vich-Alpine has discharged his trust. This murderous chief, this ruthless man, This head of a rebellious clan, hath led thee safe, through watch and ward, Far past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard. Now, man to man, and steel to steel, A Chieftain's vengeance thou shalt feel ! See here, all 'vantageless I stand, Armed, like thyself, with single brand; for this is Coilantogle ford, And thou must keep thee with thy sword!" The Saxon paused :-"I ne'er delayed When foeman bade me draw my blade; nay, more, brave Chief, I vowed thy death; Yet, sure, thy fair and gen'rous faith, and my deep debt for life preserved, A better meed have well deserved:—can nought but blood our feud atone ? Are there no means?"-"No, Stranger, none, and hear,—to fire thy Hagging zeal The Saxon cause rests on thy steel; for thus spoke Fate, by prophet bred, Between the living and the dead, “who spills the foremost foeman's life, His party conquers in the strife,' “Then, by my word," the Saxon said, “The riddle is already read Seek yonder brake beneath the cliff-There lies Red Murdoc, stark and stiff. Thus Fate hath solved her prophocy, Then yield to Fate, and not to me.” Dark lightning flashed from Roderick's eye“Soars thy presumption then so high, because a wretched kern ye slew, Homage to name to Roderick Dhu? He yields not, he, to Man- -Nor Fate ! Thou add'st but fuel to my hate: my clansman's blood demands revenge !Not yet prepared ?--Saxon ! I change my thought; and hold thy valour light As that of some vain carpet-knight, who ill deserved my courteous care, And whose best boast is but to wear, a braid of his fair lady's hair.” “I thank thee, Roderick, for the word : it nerves my heart, it steels my
sword; For I have sworn this braid to stain in the best blood that warms thy vein. Now, truce, farewell! and ruth, begone !- yet think not that by thee alone, Proud Chief! can courtesy be shown. Though not from copse, or heath, or cairn, Start at my whistle clansmen stern, of this small horn one feeble blast Would fearful odds against thee cast. But fear not--doubt not---which thou wiltWe try this quarrel hilt to hilt! Then each at once his falchion drew, Each on the ground his scabbard threw, each looked to sun, and stream, and plain,
as what he n’er mighi see again.
Then foot, and point, and eye opposed, in dubious strife they darkly closed ;
blade !'' ** Thy threats, thy mercy, I defy! let recreant yield, who fears to die.Like adder darting from his coil, like wolf that dashes through the toil, Like mountain-cat that guards her young, full at Fitz-James's throat he sprung ;
— But hate and fury ill supplied, the stream of life's exhausted tide,
LXIX.-THE LAST DAYS OF HERCULANEUM.
HERE was a man,
A Roman soldier, for some daring deed
The captive's lot
He was a poisoned arrow in the breast,
With earliest morn
He slept at last-
Soon the storm