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Of Wisdom, Pity's altar stood:
Serve not the unknown God in vain,
But pay that broken shrine again,

Love for hate and tears for blood.
Mahmud. Thou art a man thou
sayest even as we.
Ahasuerus. No more!

The Fathomless has care for meaner things

Than thou canst dream, and has made pride for those

Who would be what they may not, or would seem

That which they are not.

Sultan! talk

no more

But raised above Of thee and me, the future and the past; But look on that which cannot change -the One,


thy fellow men By thought, as I by power. Ahasuerus. Thou sayest so. The unborn and the undying. Mahmud. Thou art an adept in the and ocean, difficult lore

Of Greek and Frank philosophy; thou numberest

Space, and the isles of life or light that


The sapphire floods of interstellar air,


Thou severest element from element;
Thy spirit is present in the past, and sees
The birth of this old world through all
its cycles
Of desolation and of loveliness,
And when man was not, and how man Of suns, and worlds, and men, and
beasts, and flowers,

The flowers, and thou measurest the This firmament pavilioned upon chaos,
With all its cressets of immortal fire,
Whose outwall, bastioned impregnably
Against the escape of boldest thoughts,
repels them
Calpe the Atlantic clouds-this



The monarch and the slave of this low With all the silent or tempestuous work



And all its narrow circles-it is much- By which they have been, are, or cease I honour thee, and would be what thou to be,


Is but a vision ;-all that it inherits Were I not what I am; but the unborn Are motes of a sick eye, bubbles and dreams;


Cradled in fear and hope, conflicting Thought is its cradle and its grave, nor less


Who shall unveil? Nor thou, nor I, The future and the past are idle shadows nor any Of thought's eternal flight-they have no being:

Mighty or wise. I apprehended not What thou hast taught me, but I now perceive

Nought is but that which feels itself to

That thou art no interpreter of dreams;
Thou dost not own that art, device, or

Mahmud. What meanest thou? Thy
words stream like a tempest
Of dazzling mist within my brain-they
The earth on which I stand, and hang
like night

Can make the future present-let it come!

What can they

Moreover thou disdainest us and ours; Thou art as God, whom thou contem- On Heaven above me. platest. avail ? Ahasuerus. Disdain thee?--not the They cast on all things surest, brightest, worm beneath my feet! best,

Doubt, insecurity, astonishment.
Ahasuerus. Mistake me not!
is contained in each.
Dodona's forest to an acorn's cup
Is that which has been, or will be, to The clash of wheels, and clang of armed

The shock of crags shot from strange




Which is the absent to the present. And crash of brazen mail as of the

Reason, Imagination, cannot die;
They are, what that which they regard



Alone, and its quick elements, Will, Of adamantine mountains- -the mad Passion,


Of trumpets, and the neigh of raging steeds,

And shrieks of women whose thrill jars the blood,

Fall of vast bastions and precipitous towers,


The stuff whence mutability can weave
All that it hath dominion o'er, worlds, And one sweet laugh, most horrible to

The coming age is shadowed on the past
As on a glass.

Wild, wilder thoughts

convulse My spirit Did not Mahomet the Second

Win Stamboul?




Empires, and superstitions. What has As of a joyous infant waked and playing thought With its dead mother's breast, and now more loud

To do with time, or place, or circumstance?

The mingled battle-cry,-ha! hear I


Wouldst thou behold the future?-ask and have!

Knock and it shall be opened — look
and, lo!

"'Ev TOÚTų viKn." "Allah-illah-Allah!”
Ahasuerus. The sulphurous mist is
raised-thou seest-
A chasm,
As of two mountains in the wall of


And in that ghastly breach the

Like giants on the ruins of a world,
Stand in the light of sunrise. In the

Thou wouldst ask

that giant spirit

Glimmers a kingless diadem, and one

The written fortunes of thy house and Of regal port has cast himself beneath The stream of war. Another proudly

faith. Thou wouldst cite one out of the grave to tell


How what was born in blood must die.
Thy words
Have power on me! I see-▬
What hearest thou?
Mahmud. A far whisper-

Terrible silence.

Ahasuerus. What succeeds?
The sound
As of the assault of an imperial city,
The hiss of inextinguishable fire,
The roar of giant cannon; the earth-


In golden arms spurs a Tartarian barb
Into the gap, and with his iron mace
Directs the torrent of that tide of men,
And seems-he is-Mahomet!
What thou seest
Is but the ghost of thy forgotten dream.
A dream itself, yet less, perhaps, than
Thou call'st reality.
Thou mayst

How cities, on which Empire sleeps

Bow their towered crests to mutability.

Poised by the flood, e'en on the height The foliage in which Fame, the eagle, thou holdest,


Her aërie, while Dominion whelped below.

The storm is in its branches, and the frost

Is on its leaves, and the blank deep

Oblivion on oblivion, spoil on spoil,
Ruin on ruin :-Thou art slow, my son;
The Anarchs of the world of darkness

Thou mayst now learn how the full tide of power

Ebbs to its depths.-Inheritor of glory, Conceived in darkness, born in blood, and nourished

With tears and toil, thou seest the mortal

Of that whose birth was but the same.
The Past
Now stands before thee like an Incar-

Of the To-come; yet wouldst thou commune with

That portion of thyself which was ere thou

Didst start for this brief race whose crown is death,

Dissolve with that strong faith and fervent passion

Which called it from the uncreated deep, Yon cloud of war, with its tempestuous phantoms

Of raging death; and draw with mighty will

The imperial shade hither.


[Exit AHASUERUS. Approach! Phantom. I come Thence whither thou must go! The grave is fitter

To take the living than give up the dead;

Yet has thy faith prevailed, and I am Of its last spasms.



A throne for thee, round which thine empire lies

Boundless and mute; and for thy subjects thou,

Like us, shalt rule the ghosts of murdered life,

The phantoms of the powers who rule thee now

Hang round my throne on the abyss, and voices

Of strange lament soothe my supreme


Mutinous passions, and conflicting fears, And hopes that sate themselves on dust and die !


Wailing for glory never to return.—

A later Empire nods in its decay : The autumn of a greener faith is come, And wolfish change, like winter, howls to strip

Stript of their mortal strength, as thou of thine.

Islam must fall, but we will reign to


Over its ruins in the world of death :And if the trunk be dry, yet shall the seed

Unfold itself even in the shape of that Which gathers birth in its decay. Woe! woe!

Spirit, woe to all! The heavy fragments of the power which Woe to the wronged and the avenger ! fell Woe

To the weak people tangled in the grasp

When I arose, like shapeless crags and To the destroyer, woe to the destroyed! clouds, Woe to the dupe, and woe to the deceiver !

Woe to the oppressed, and woe to the oppressor!

Woe both to those that suffer and inflict; Those who are born and those who die! but say,

Imperial shadow of the thing I am, When, how, by whom, Destruction must accomplish

Her consummation?

Phantom. Ask the cold pale Hour, Rich in reversion of impending death, When he shall fall upon whose ripe gray hairs

Never to be attained.-I must rebuke
This drunkenness of triumph ere it die,
And dying, bring despair. Victory!
poor slaves!

Sit Care, and Sorrow, and Infirmity-
The weight which Crime, whose wings
are plumed with years,

Voice without.
of death!

[Exit MAHMUD. Shout in the jubilee The Greeks

Are as a brood of lions in the net Leaves in his flight from ravaged heart Round which the kingly hunters of the

to heart


Over the heads of men, under which Stand smiling. Anarchs, ye whose burthen

daily food

They bow themselves unto the grave: Are curses, groans, and gold, the fruit of death

fond wretch!

He leans upon his crutch, and talks of From Thule to the girdle of the world, Come, feast! the board groans with the flesh of men;


To come, and how in hours of youth renewed

He will renew lost joys, and

The cup is foaming with a nation's blood, Famine and Thirst await! eat, drink, and die!

Voice without. Victory! Victory! [The Phantom vanishes. Mahmud. What sound of the importunate earth has broken My mighty trance?

Voice without. Victory! Victory! Mahmud. Weak lightning before darkness! poor faint smile

Of dying Islam! Voice which art the


Semichorus I.

Victorious Wrong, with vulture scream, Salutes the risen sun, pursues the flying day!

I saw her, ghastly as a tyrant's dream, Perch on the trembling pyramid of night, Beneath which earth and all her realms pavilioned lay

Of hollow weakness! Do I wake and

In visions of the dawning undelight.
Who shall impede her flight?
Who rob her of her prey?
Voice without. Victory! Victory!
Russia's famished eagles

Were there such things, or may the un-
quiet brain,

Vexed by the wise mad talk of the old Dare not to prey beneath the crescent's Jew,


Have shaped itself these shadows of its fear?

Impale the remnant of the Greeks! despoil!

It matters not!-for nought we see or dream,

Violate! make their flesh cheaper than dust!

Possess, or lose, or grasp at, can be


Semichorus II.
Thou voice which art

More than it gives or teaches. Come The herald of the ill in splendour hid! what may,

Thou echo of the hollow heart

The future must become the past, and I
As they were to whom once this present

Of monarchy, bear me to thine abode
When desolation flashes o'er a world


This gloomy crag of time to which I Oh, bear me to those isles of jagged cloud cling, Which float like mountains on the Seemed an Elysian isle of peace and joy earthquake, mid

The momentary oceans of the lightning, At
Or to some toppling promontory proud
Of solid tempest whose black pyramid,
Riven, overhangs the founts intensely

Of those dawn-tinted deluges of fire
Before their waves expire,
When heaven and earth are light, and
only light

In the thunder night!
Voice without.

Victory! Victory!
Austria, Russia, England,
And that tame serpent, that poor shadow,

Cry peace, and that means death when

monarchs speak.

The wonder, or the terror, or the tomb

Of all whose step wakes Power lulled in her savage lair:

But Greece was as a hermit child, Whose fairest thoughts and limbs were built

To woman's growth, by dreams so


She knew not pain or guilt;

Ho, there! bring torches, sharpen those And now, O Victory, blush! and Empire red stakes,


When ye desert the free-
If Greece must be

These chains are light, fitter for slaves

and poisoners

Torments, or contumely, or the sneers
Of erring judging men

Can break the heart where it abides.
Alas! if Love, whose smile makes this
obscure world splendid,

Can change with its false times and


Than Greeks. Kill! plunder! burn! A wreck, yet shall its fragments relet none remain.

Semichorus I.
Alas! for Liberty!

If numbers, wealth, or unfulfilling years,
Or fate, can quell the free!
Alas! for Virtue, when

Like hope and terror,—
Alas for Love!

And Truth, who wanderest lone and


length they wept aloud, and cried, "The Sea! the Sea!" Through exile, persecution, and despair,

Rome was, and young Atlantis shall become


Before the dazzled eyes of Error,
Alas for thee! Image of the Above.

Semichorus II.

Repulse, with plumes from con-
quest torn,

Led the ten thousand from the limits of


And build themselves again impregnably
In a diviner clime,

To Amphionic music on some Cape

Which frowns above the idle foam of

Semichorus I. Let the tyrants rule the desert they have made;

Let the free possess the paradise they claim;

Be the fortune of our fierce oppressors

Semichorus II.

If thou canst veil thy lie-consuming Our dead shall be the seed of their


With our ruin, our resistance, and our name!


Our survivors be the shadow of their pride,

Our adversity a dream to pass awayTheir dishonour a remembrance to abide!

Voice without. Victory! Victory!
The bought Briton sends

the morn

Through many an hostile Anarchy! The keys of ocean to the Islamite.—

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