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A FRAGMENT OF A TURKISH TALE.
One fatal remembrance-one sorrow, that throws
TO SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ.
AS A SLIGHT BUT MOST SINCERE TOKEN OF ADMIRATION OF HIS GENIUS, RESPECT FOR HIS CHARACTER, AND GRATITUDE FOR HIS FRIENDSHIP,
THIS PRODUCTION IS INSCRIBED,
BY HIS OBLIged and affECTIONATE SERVANT,
The Tale which these disjointed fragments present is founded upon circumstances now less common in the East than formerly; either because the ladies are more circumspect than in the "olden time;" or because the Christians have better fortune, or less enterprise. The story, when entire, contained the adventures of a female slave, who was thrown, in the Mussulman manner, into the sea for infidelity, and avenged by a young Venetian, her lover, at the time the Seven Islands were possessed by the Republic of Venice, and soon after the Arnaouts were beaten back from the Morea, which they had ravaged for some time subsequent to the Russian invasion. The desertion of the Mainotes, on being refused the plunder of Misitra, led to the abandonment of that enterprise, and to the desolation of the Morea, during which the cruelty exercised on all sides was unparalleled even in the annals of the faithful.
No breath of air to break the wave
That rolls below the Athenian's grave,
That tomb which, gleaming o'er the cliff,
Fair clime! where every season smiles
That wakes and wafts the odours there!
For there the rose o'er crag or vale,
Sultana of the nightingale,
The maid for whom his melody,
His thousand songs are heard on high, Blooms blushing to her lover's tale : His queen, the garden queen, his rose, Unbent by winds, unchill'd by snows, Far from the winters of the west, By every breeze and season blest, Returns the sweets by nature given, In softest incense back to heaven; And grateful yields that smiling sky Her fairest hue and fragrant sigh.
And many a summer flower is there,
Is heard, and seen the evening star;
And trample, brute-like, o'er each flower
And, fix'd on heavenly thrones, should dwell
So soft the scene, so form'd for joy,
So curst the tyrants that destroy!
He who hath bent him o'er the dead,
Ere the first day of death is fled,
The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress
(Before decay's effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers),
And mark'd the mild angelic air,
The rapture of repose that 's there,
The fix'd, yet tender traits that streak
The languor of the placid cheek,
That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now, And but for that chill, changeless brow, Where cold obstruction's apathy 4
Appals the gazing mourner's heart,
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon:
'T is Greece, but living Greece no more!
That parts not quite with parting breath ;
A gilded halo hovering round decay,
Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth,
Which gleams, but warms no more its cherish'd earth.
Clime of the unforgotten brave!
These scenes, their story not unknown,