THO’ famishing, all lonely, and forlorn,
Thro’ trackless wilds, o’er burning sands I rove,
Far from BLEST ARDEBEIL* condemn’d to mourn
Malignant FORTUNE and divided LOVE.
Tho’ tempests howl o’er my devoted head,
And furious whirlwinds raise the sandy cloud;
Tho’ panthers prowl around with savage tread,
Or woods and cavern’d rocks my sufferings shrowd.
One thought of thee, O SELIMA! can cheer
The lonely forest, cheer the midnight gloom;
Of savage monsters dissipate the fear,
And all the horrors of my unknown doom.
When mighty AZRAEL* bids my tongue forego
Its wonted powers, forbids each pulse to move;
Forbids with these my sorrowing tears to flow:
Ev’n then, to thee my last sad sigh shall rove.
Shall rove?—shall fly!—out-wing the lightning’s speed:
O SELIMA! receive the pilgrim guest.
My heart, dear Maid! thro’ life must ever bleed,
Till, mingling soul with soul, supremely blest,
Thy long-lost ACHMED hail thee for his own.
But ah! dark FATE conceals the destined hour,
When each sweet draught of bliss shall well atone
For ages tortured by its adverse power.
What, tho’ on earth that hour may ne’er be given,
To swell life’s shadowy span with perfect joy,
Yet HOPE unwearied wings her flight to Heaven,
Where purest pleasures reign without annoy.
For thee alone, O SELIMA! for thee,
I drag with painful step life’s lingering chain;
Else soon this friendly sword should set me free
From toil, anxiety, from grief, and pain.
This faithful sword, true emblem of my state,
Its lustre lost, its sheltering scabbard gone,
Now seems in sympathy to mourn my fate,
As my soul sickens with the waning moon.
Yet what, alas! are all the transient smiles
Of prosperous FORTUNE, in this world of woe,
But some dire DEMON’s unsuspected wiles,
To chain immortal beings here below?
To chain them ’midst uncertainty and strife,
To magic powers of sense an easy prey:
To check the spirit struggling into life,
And dim the dawnings of celestial day.
Great GOD of MERCY! source of each pure joy
That visits earth, or dwells in Heaven above,
Whose power that gave existence can destroy,
O take my soul, to live where life is love!