O'er Majnûn's spirit, long in darkness cast,
A fitful gleam of homeward feeling pass'd;
And now he asks for friends he once preferr'd,
Asks for his mother, broken-winged bird;
And wishes e'en to visit home again—
As if the maddening fire had left his brain.
Selim at this brief glimpse of reason caught,
And to his mother's distant mansion brought
Without delay the wanderer. Deep her grief
To see how wither'd was that verdant leaf—
To see the red rose faded from his cheek,
His eye so alter'd, and his frame so weak;
From head to foot she kisses him, and weeps;
His hair, all matted, in her tears she steeps,
And clasps him fondly to her beating heart,
As if she never from her boy would part:—
“My darling child! the love-game thou hast play'd
Has thus, alas! reduced thee to a shade;
In that encounter sad of mortal scathe
Thou grasp'dst the two-edged scimitar of death.
Thy father gone, his troubles all are past,
Heart-broken man! and I shall follow fast.
Arise! and enter thy own mansion here;
Come, 'tis thy own sweet home, and doubly dear–
Thy nest;—and birds, though distant in their flight,
Always return to their own nests at night.
While yet an infant in thy cradle-bed,
I watch'd thy slumber, pillow'd thy sweet head;
And canst thou now that mother's fondness see,
And mark without remorse her love for thee?
Refuse the joy thy presence can impart,
And cast a shadow o'er her drooping heart?”
A cloud again obscured the orb of day—
Again his wavering intellect gave way;
“Mother, there is no hope—the time is past;
With gloom eternal is my fate o'ercast;
No fault of mine—no crime, to press me down—
But all my countless woes to thee are known;
Like a poor bird within its cage immured,
My soul has long this prison-life endured.
Ask me not, mother, to remain at home;
For there, to me, no peace can ever come.
Oh, better will it be for me to stray
'Mid mountain-glens, and herd with beasts of prey,
Than linger on a spot where human care
Only augments my misery and despair.”
He ceased, and kiss'd his mother's feet, and fled
Precipitate along the path which led
To the wild mountains. Dreadful was the stroke!
The mother's heart, like the old father's, broke;
In Death's cold ocean, wave thus follows wave;
And thus she follow'd to the silent grave.
Selim again the maniac's haunts explored,
Again supplied his frugal board,
And, with a mournful voice, the tale reveal'd—
Father and mother gone,
Himself now left alone,
Sole heir—his doom of desolation seal'd–
He beat his brows, and from his eyes
Fell tears of blood; his piercing cries
Rang through the forest, and again,
Pouring the saddest, wildest strain,
He hasten'd from his gloomy cave,
To weep upon his mother's grave.
But when that paroxysm of grief—
That agony intense, but brief—
Had, like a whirlwind, pass'd away,
And left him in a milder mood,
To love and Lailî still a prey,
He trod again his mountain-solitude:
For, what to him was hoarded store,
The wealth of parents now no more?
Had he not long, ill-fated one!
Abandon'd all for love alone?