‘O SACRED FIRE! O ever active FLAME!
Kindle my courage, but my FOE’s consume;
In smoke and ashes blend his hated name,
While round my head the flow’rs of conquest bloom.
‘Speed! speed! my shemshere,’ fierce BAHARAM* cried
I pant for battle as the wolf for prey;
And should the palm of VICTORY be denied,
Let me with HONOR die this fated day.’
Grant me sweet PEACE: th’ inglorious ACHMED craves,
I seek SERENITY and heav’nly LOVE:
Ne’er may MY efforts give untimely graves
To those that aid, or those that disapprove.
How swiftly flows the stream of human life,
Oft winding thro’ the glooms of GRIEF and CARE;
How agitated by the storms of STRIFE,
Dash’d from HOPE’s airy steep in cataracts of DESPAIR.
And can the restless mind of man devise,
Grateful to all the raging pow’rs of hell;
To offer up the dreadful sacrifice
Of human hearts—mid WAR’s infernal yell?
Oh! how I loathe the wretch whose scorpion soul
Inflicts those miseries on human kind;
Whom no soft ties of NATURE can controul,
Unfeeling as the rage of waves and wind.
Is there no charm in morning’s ruddy dawn,
Unless the evening ray be tinged with blood?
Is there no beauty in the verdant lawn?
In the smooth surface of the tranquil flood?
The murderous HAND is held ACCURSED of Heaven,
And can it bless the HEART that prompts the deed?
If OBEIDALLAH’s* guilt be unforgiven,
Shall impious YEZID’s pardon be decreed?
Inherent lust of CRUELTY alone,
Could ne’er perpetuate the tyrant mind;
No! see on ISMAEL’s* blood-establish’d throne,
From their dark scowl ev’n ENVY’s DEMON flies,
And all the VIRTUES seek their native skies!