MID the vast regions of etherial space,
While NIGHT in starry vesture sits sublime,
NATURE bestows on her frail flowery race,
A balm that sooths the wearied steps of TIME!
SHIRABEH, ’tis thine own, till opening day
Bid thee resign the dew that melts my griefs away.
For oft as morn in crimson beams array’d,
Wide o’er the desert pours his flood of light,
The gentle PERIES of the dusk, dismay’d,
Spread their transparent wings to eager flight.
No more, with visionary forms I rove
Thro’ the gay bowers of youth, of joy, and love.
No more, bright HOURIES of celestial mien,
With songs of PARADISE delight mine ear!
No more, angelic forms with smiles serene,
In sweet benignity of converse cheer.
At morn’s approach, how heartless I resign
The few, the transient blessings that are mine.
False fleeting bliss! and yet in ACHMED’s scale,
Such airy joys o’erbalance courtly gold,
Whose artful wreaths no fragrancy exhale,
Whose flocks are only kids of Satan’s fold:
To gain possession racks the anxious mind,
And hornet conscience leaves a sting behind.
But thou, heaven-gifted harbinger of joy!
The soft enchanter of my slumbering hours,
Thou who canst all the active soul employ,
And wake to extacy her latent powers:
Still may thy mystic wand of force divine,
Point to those fleeting forms, and make the phantoms mine.
Ah! why will SLEEP, with all his sportive train,
Far from my resting place so rudely fly,
Unless I more than human aid obtain,
To bind his pinions whilst I prostrate lie?
Parent of AFION!* by thy sacred spell,
I joy with ANGELS, or I vanquish HELL.