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And flasks of Samian and of Chian wine, And sherbet cooling in the porous vase; Above them their dessert grew on its vine,
By winds and waves, and some important captures,'
having remained long at sea, it was supposed he had perished, and she, in consequence, took possession of all his treasures, and surendered herself to the full enjoyment of her lover. The old gentleman, however, returns, and landing on a distant part of the island, walks leisurely towards his home, while Juan and his daughter are giving a public breakfast to their friends and acquaintance. The description of the fete is executed with equal felicity and spirit; we think it would be difficult to match the life and gaiety of the pic ture by any thing of the kind in English poetry-perhaps in any other po
The orange and pomegranate nodding o'er, Dropp'd in their laps, scarce pluck'd, their mellow store.
"A band of children, round a snow-white
There wreath his venerable horns with flowers;
While, peaceful, as if still an unwean'd lamb,
The patriarch of the flock all gently
His sober head, majestically tame,
Or eats from out the palm, or playful lowers
His brow, as if in act to butt, and then, Yielding to their small hands, draws back again.
Their classical profiles, and glittering dresses,
Their large black eyes, and soft seraphic cheeks,
Crimson as cleft pomegranates, their long
The solitude of passing his own door Without a welcome. There he long had dwelt,
There his few peaceful days Time had swept o'er ;
There his worn bosom and keen eye would
The portrait of this man is one of the best, if not the very best, of all Byron's gloomy portraits. It may be the Corsair grown into an elderly character and a father, but it is equal to the finest heads that ever Michael Angelo, Carrivagio, painted with black and umber.
"He was a man of a strange temperament, Of mild demeanour, though of savage mood,
Moderate in all his habits, and content
With temperance in pleasure as in food; Quick to perceive, and strong to bear, and
For something better, if not wholly good;
His country's wrongs, and his despair to save her,
Had stung him from a slave to an enslaver. "The love of power, and rapid gain of gold,
The hardness by long habitude produced, The dangerous life in which he had grown old,
The mercy he had granted oft abused, The sights he was accustom'd to behold, The wild seas, and wild men, with whom he cruised,
Had cost his enemies a long repentance, And made him a good friend, but bad acquaintance.
"But something of the spirit of old Greece Flash'd o'er his soul a few heroic rays, Such as lit onward to the Golden Fleece
His predecessors in the Colchian days. "Tis true he had no ardent love for peace
Alas! his country show'd no path to praise;
Hate to the world and war with every na.
He waged, in vengeance of her degradation.
"Still o'er his mind the influence of the clime
Shed its Ionian elegance, which show'd Its power unconsciously full many a time,
A taste seen in the choice of his abode, A love of music and of scenes sublime,
A pleasure in the gentle stream that flow'd
Past him in crystal, and a joy in flowers, Bedew'd his spirit in his calmer hours."
Lambro, for so it seems he was called, passed, unseen, a private gate, and stood within the hall where his daughter and her lover were at table. This affords the noble poet an opportunity to show his knowledge of a Greek gentleman's house and an Ottoman feast. But the merits of this still life, splendid and true as they are in delineation and colouring, are far inferior to the description of Haidée. "Round her she made an atmosphere of life,
The very air seem'd lighter from her eyes,
They were so soft and beautiful, and rife With all we can imagine of the skies, And pure as Psyche ere she grew a wifeToo pure even for the purest human ties; Her overpowering presence made you feel It would not be idolatry to kneel. "Her eyelashes, though dark as night, were tinged,
(It is the country's custom,) but in vain ;
For those large black eyes were so blackly fringed,
And in their native beauty stood avenged: The glossy rebels mock'd the jetty stain, Her nails were touch'd with henna; but again
The power of art was turn'd to nothing, for They could not look more rosy than before. "The henna should be deeply dyed to make
The skin relieved appear more fairly fair;
She had no need of this, day ne'er will break
On mountain tops more heavenly whire than her:
The eye might doubt if it were well awake,
Haidée and Juan are amused, while at table, by dwarfs and dancing-girls, black eunuchs, and a poet, of whom I shall say nothing, Christopher, because I do not think the account is very good, but his song, I am persuaded, you will think is the very loftiest bachanalian ever penned-You will, indeed, although with a grumble, I know, allow this as if you were suffering a jerk of your rheumatism.
But one arise, we come, we come!"
"The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece,
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
"In vain-in vain: strike other chords;
And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
Hark! rising to the ignoble call—
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
The nobler and the manlier one?
You have the letters Cadmus gave
We will not think of themes like these!
He served but served Polycrates—
"The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Their place of birth alone is mute
And Marathon looks on the sea;
I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And men in nations ;-all were his!
The heroic bosom beats no more!
Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Ah! no;-the voices of the dead
And answer, " Let one living head,
"The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend;
Oh! that the present hour would lend
"Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
Such as the Doric mothers bore;
"Trust not for freedom to the Franks-
The only hope of courage dwells;
Our virgins dance beneath the shade-
But gazing on each glowing maid,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
There, swan-like, let me sing and die: A land of slaves shall ne'er be mineDash down yon cup of Samian wine!"
There is a little confusion in the narrative; or perhaps it is the hurry in which I am going over it, that makes me not able to trace it so clearly as I might do, through digressions. Lambro arrived while the lovers were at dinner, and we are led to suppose that he witnesses their dalliance and revelling; but it would seem that this was not the case, for we find Haidée and Juan left alone after the banquet,
Now, Christopher, after this, take thy crutch, and, with the help of Blackwood'sporter, John Lesley, crawl up the new road along the Salisbury Craigs, on the first fine Sabbath evening, when all the west is still one broad glow of heavenly ruby; and the castle, in the middle of the view, appears like the crowned head of some great being, resting on his elbow in contemplation; repeat these verses, and I will venture to bet a plack to a bawbee, that from that hour all animosity against the wayward and unfortunate Byron will be for ever hushed in thy bosom. Even John himself will, by the mere sound of thy solemn voice of prayer, thence forth forego the grudge that he has long borne his lordship for the many burdens he has made him bear, and, melting into tears of tenderness, dry the big drops from his eyes with a corner of the same handkerchief which thou wilt apply to wipe the Ave Maria dew from thine own.
While Haidée and Juan were contemplating the glorious stillness of a
In this state, the ominous fancies of Haidée take at last the definite form of a regular dream, in which she sees Juan dead in a cavern. As she gazes on him, he seems to change into the resemblance of her father. Startled by the apparition, she awakes, and the first object that her eyes meet are those of the pirate sternly fixed upon herJuan is in the same moment roused by the shriek she gave.
"Up Juan sprung to Haidée's bitter shriek, And caught her falling, and from off Snatch'd down his sabre, in hot haste to the wall
Vengeance on him who was the cause of all: Then Lambro, who till now forbore to
speak, Smiled scornfully, and said, Within my call,
"I said they were alike, their features and Their stature differing but in sex and years;
Even to the delicacy of their hands
There was resemblance, such as true blood wears;
And now to see them, thus divided, stand In fix'd ferocity, when joyous tears, And sweet sensations, should have welcomed both,
Her father's blood before her fathers's face Boil'd up, and proved her truly of his race.
Show what the passions are in their full growth."
This, Christopher, you must allow, is spirited, and you will observe a curious mark of propinquity which the poet notices with respect to the hands of the father and daughter. The poet, I suspect, is indebted for the first hint of this to Ali Pashaw, who, by the bye, is the original of Lambro; for when his Lordship was introduced, with his squat friend, Cam, to that agreeablemannered tyrant, the vizier said that he knew he was the Magotos Anthropos by the smallness of his ears and hands.
Don Juan is dangerously wounded, and being seized by some of the pirate's sailors, is carried from the scene. The effect on poor Haidée is deplorable.