Now, on to work and action, seeing clear—
Blindness swift throwing to Time’s charnel-place—
Eyeing, unscathed, the Sun-god face to face!
Ho! light! more light! dissolving sphere on sphere!
Would that my very life could lighten space,
Shining out like some constellation bright,
Back beating all the myrmidons of Night,
With starry splendors flashing sword and spear!
[It is scarcely necessary to say that the following fragment is founded upon the beautiful, and well-known tale in the “Arabian Nights,” entitled, “The two Sisters who were jealous of their younger Sister;” and the reader need only be reminded that the two brothers of Perizade, Bahman and Perviz, had previously gone in search of the treasures described by the Devotee, and had perished in the attempt,—the fate of the latter having just been intimated to her at the commencement of this episode, by the fixture of the pearls in the magic chaplet, which Perviz had left her for that purpose.]
The days flow’d on, and each day Perizade
At morn and eve told o’er the snowy pearls,
That morn and eve ran swiftly through her hands;
The days flow’d on—one morn the pearls ran not,
And well she knew that Perviz too was lost.
Tears doubled every bead; but, evermore,
Through pain and sorrow, yearn’d her thirsting soul
For that far Golden Water in the East,
Whence one bright drop would fill her fountain full,
With glistening jets still rising in the midst.
She rose up straight, and donning man’s attire,
For that the road was hard and difficult,
Took horse, and towards the sunrise swiftly rode,
Saying, “Thus much life lacks of perfectness,
In God’s name on to gain it then, or die.”
She sped right onward nineteen days in haste,
Morning and noontide turning not aside;
Then, as the next day dawn’d, afar she saw
The aged Dervise ’neath his lonely tree.
No other shape of man or beast in view,
Dull grey the sky, and moaning low the wind.
“O! holy man, now tell me, for God’s grace,
Where in the Land the Golden Water flows?”
He, lifting slow his head with locks snow-white,
And rheumy eyes, spake out with feeble voice,
“Good youth! the place I know, yet ask me not;
Bid not these aged lips the secret tell;
That hath wooed on so many to their death.
Thirst for Earth’s honours, for her wealth, her joys,
Thirst for the sweetest things beneath the sky,
But O! thirst not for that far Golden Spring,
By many sought, by none ere found till now.”
She, softly, with her open hand upraised,
“Nay! Father, from afar I hither come.
And all my heart is set upon the thing,
So that there is no joy ’neath sun and moon,
No rarest charm can move me, lacking it;
Tell me then all the dangers of the quest,
That I may measure well my strength, and know