HO has not heard of the Vale of CASHMERE,
With its roses the brightest that earth ever


Its temples, and grottos, and fountains as clear As the love-lighted eyes that hang over their wave?

But never yet, by night or day,
In dew of spring or summer's ray,
Did the sweet Valley shine so gay
As now it shines-all love and light,
Visions by day and feasts by night!
A happier smile illumes each brow,

With quicker spread each heart uncloses,
And all is ecstasy,―for now

The Valley holds its Feast of Roses; The joyous Time, when pleasures pour Profusely round, and, in their shower, Hearts open, like the Season's Rose,

The Flow'ret of a hundred leaves, Expanding while the dew-fall flows, And every leaf its balm receives.

"T was when the hour of evening came Upon the Lake, serene and cool, When Day had hid his sultry flame

Behind the palms of BARAMOULE, When maids began to lift their heads, Refresh'd from their embroider'd beds,

Where they had slept the sun away,
And waked to moonlight and to play.

All were abroad-the busiest hive
On BELA's hills is less alive,
When saffron-beds are full in flow'r,
Than look'd the Valley in that hour.
A thousand restless torches play'd
Through every grove and island shade;
A thousand sparkling lamps were set
On every dome and minaret;

And fields and pathways, far and near,
Were lighted by a blaze so clear,
That you could see, in wand'ring round,
The smallest rose-leaf on the ground.
Yet did the maids and matrons leave
Their veils at home, that brilliant eve;
And there were glancing eyes about,
And cheeks, that would not dare shine out
In open day, but thought they might
Look lovely then, because 'twas night.
And all were free, and wandering,

And all exclaim'd to all they met,
That never did the summer bring

So gay a Feast of Roses yet;

The moon had never shed a light

So clear as that which bless'd them there;

The roses ne'er shone half so bright,

Nor they themselves look'd half so fair.

And what a wilderness of flow'rs!

It seem'd as though from all the bow'rs

And fairest fields of all the year,
The mingled spoil were scatter'd here.


The Lake, too, like a garden breathes,
With the rich buds that o'er it lie,-

As if a shower of fairy wreaths

Had fall'n upon it from the sky!
And then the sounds of joy,-the beat
Of tabors and of dancing feet;-
The minaret-crier's chaunt of glee

[ocr errors]

Sung from his lighted gallery,

And answer'd by a ziraleet

From neighbouring Haram, wild and sweet ;

The merry laughter, echoing

From gardens, where the silken swing

Wafts some delighted girl above

The top leaves of the orange grove ;
Or, from those infant groups at play
Among the tents that line the way,
Flinging, unawed by slave or mother,

Handfuls of roses at each other.—

Then, the sounds from the Lake,-the low whisp'ring in boats, As they shoot through the moonlight;-the dripping of oars, And the wild, airy warbling that ev'rywhere floats,

Through the groves, round the islands, as if all the shores, Like those of KATHAY, utter'd music, and gave

An answer in song to the kiss of each wave.

But the gentlest of all are those sounds, full of feeling,
That soft from the lute of some lover are stealing,-
Some lover, who knows all the heart-touching power
Of a lute and a sigh in this magical hour.
Oh! best of delights as it ev'rywhere is

To be near the loved One,-what a rapture is his
Who in moonlight and music thus sweetly may glide
O'er the Lake of CASHMERE, with that One by his side!
If woman can make the worst wilderness dear,

Think, think what a Heav'n she must make of CASHMERE!



HERE stood-but one short league away
From old HARMOZIA'S sultry bay-
A rocky mountain, o'er the Sea
Of OMAN beetling awfully;

A last and solitary link

Of those stupendous chains that reach
From the broad Caspian's reedy brink

Down winding to the Green Sea beach.
Around its base the bare rocks stood,
Like naked giants, in the flood,

As if to guard the Gulf across;
While, on its peak, that braved the sky,
A ruin'd Temple tower'd, so high
That oft the sleeping albatross
Struck the wild ruins with her wing,
And from her cloud-rock'd slumbering
Started to find man's dwelling there
In her own silent fields of air!
Beneath, terrific caverns gave
Dark welcome to each stormy wave
That dash'd, like midnight revellers, in ;-
And such the strange, mysterious din
At times throughout those caverns roll'd,—

And such the fearful wonders told
Of restless sprites imprison'd there,
That bold were Moslem, who would dare,

At twilight hour, to steer his skiff
Beneath the Gheber's lonely cliff.

« VorigeDoorgaan »