SUPPOSE, one moment, ACHMED, thy retreat
Were to the prying WORLD OF MORTALS known,
Thy life, thy manners, and thy state complete,
Passions subdued, and prejudices flown.
The MONSTER* would exclaim, ‘Scorn points at thee,
Unsocial, indolent, a foe to fame,
Adverse to power, to wealth, to policy,
Resolved to live and die without a name.
‘Lost to all learning, loosed from every band
Of love, of friendship, kindred, native home;
Thine injured HONOR claims a vengeful hand,
Yet thou inglorious wilt wild forests roam.’
I’ll roam with savage beasts, in caverns hide,
Or scream with howlets thro’ the midnight hour;
Rather than dwell with LUXURY and PRIDE,
Or crouch the fawning slave of WEALTH and POWER.
A few short lines engraven on my sword,
To SULTAN favour led in FORTUNE’s morn,
Led me from humbler hopes to shine a Lord,
Gave me the ROSE, but not without a THORN.
Here NATURE reigns; MAN’s genuine wants are few,
Soon satisfied from her abundant store,
Her beauties charm where’er I turn my view,
I feel CONTENTMENT, and I ask no more.
If VENGEANCE yet my injured HONOR claim,
THAT, with my HEART, to HEAVEN I now resign:
Torn from the world, I quit its every aim,
Its motives, hopes, and hatreds, are not mine.
I’m not unsocial—all around me smiles,
And I responsive, smile on all around,
Not indolent—Activity beguiles
My passing hours, and treads this sacred ground.
Sacred to LIBERTY, life’s darling love,
For her I’ll dare whate’er man may endure,
With her thro’ forest glades delighted rove,
Where no false charms of ART the mind allure.
And while the loud acclaims of FAME, afar,
O’er fields of blood in savage discord rise,
Here will I sit, and view th’ EVENING STAR
In silent glory beam amid the skies:
Here sit, and sing the transports of a soul
Inspired, O NATURE! by thy charms sublime;
And while the seasons in succession roll,
Enjoy the sweet vicissitudes of TIME:
Delighted, view yon azure mountain-range
Extend its broken outline, wildly rude,
Soften’d by distance;—wherefore then, exchange
These scenes, where no asperities intrude;
The joyless DESERT tract to traverse o’er,
Each painful step perplex’d with rock and thorn,
Rough craggy steeps, where winds tempestuous roar,
WOLVES prowl for prey, and NATURE droops forlorn?
Such is the WORLD when distant I survey,
And such its aspect as I draw more near;
Aloof, then, ACHMED! let thy fancies play,
But, shun the dangers reason bids thee fear.
They once were thine:—escaped, thy safety prize,
Scorn the world’s maxims, and its scorn despise.