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And scarce their foam the pebbles shook,
But murmured meekly as the brook.
The winds were pillowed on the waves;
The banners drooped along their staves,
And, as they fell around them furling,
Above them shone the crescent curling;
And that deep silence was unbroke,
Save where the watch his signal spoke,
Save where the steed neighed oft and shrill,
And echo answered from the hill,
And the wide hum of that wild host
Rustled like leaves from coast to coast,
As rose the Muezzin's voice in air
In midnight call to wonted prayer;
It rose, that chaunted mournful strain,
Like some lone spirit's o'er the plain:
Twas musical, but sadly sweet,
Such as when winds and harp-strings meet,
And take a long unmeasured tone,
To mortal minstrelsy unknown.
It seemed to those within the wall
A cry prophetic of their fall:
It struck even the besieger's ear
With something ominous and drear,

An undefined and sudden thrill,

Which makes the heart a moment still,

Then beat with quicker pulse, ashamed 235

Of that strange sense it's silence framed;

Such as a sudden passing-bell

Wakes, though but for a stranger's knell.

XII.

The tent of Alp was on the shore;

The sound was hushed, the prayer was o'er; 240

The watch was set, the night-round made,

All mandates issued and obeyed:

'Tis but another anxious night,

His pains the morrow may requite

With all revenge and love can pay, 245

In guerdon for their long delay.

Few hours remain, and he hath need

Of rest, to nerve for many a deed

Of slaughter; but within his soul

The thoughts like troubled waters roll. 250

He stood alone among the host;

Not his the loud fanatic boast

To plant the crescent o'er the cross,

Or risk a life with little loss,

Secure in paradise to be By Houris loved immortally: Nor his, what burning patriots feel, The stern exaltedness of zeal, Profuse of blood, untired in toil, When battling on the parent soil. He stood alone—a renegade Against the country he betrayed; He stood alone amidst his band, Without a trusted heart or hand: They followed him, for he was brave, And great the spoil he got and gave; They crouched to him, for he had skill To warp and wield the vulgar will: But still his Christian origin With them was little less than sin. They envied even the faithless fame He earned beneath a Moslem name; Since he, their mightiest chief, had been In youth a bitter Nazarene. They did not know how pride can stoop, When baffled feelings withering droop; They did not know how hate can burn In hearts once changed from soft to stern Nor all the false and fatal zeal

The convert of revenge can feel.

He ruled them—man may rule the worst,

By ever daring to be first:

So lions o'er the jackal sway;

The jackal points, he fells the prey,

Then on the vulgar yelling press,

To gorge the relics of success.

XIII.

His head grows fevered, and his pulse
The quick successive throbs convulse;
In vain from side to side he throws
His form, in courtship of repose;
Or if he dozed, a sound, a start
Awoke him with a sunken heart.
The turban on his hot brow pressed,
The mail weighed lead-like on his breast,
Though oft and long beneath its weight
Upon his eyes had slumber sate,
Without or couch or canopy,
Except a rougher field and sky
Than now might yield a warrior's bed,
Than now along the heaven was spread.

He could not rest, he could not stay
Within his tent to wait for day,
But walked him forth along the sand,
Where thousand sleepers strewed the strand.
What pillowed them? and why should he
More wakeful than the humblest be?
Since more their peril, worse their toil,
And yet they fearless dream of spoil;
While he alone, where thousands passed
A night of sleep, perchance their last,
In sickly vigil wandered on,
And envied all he gazed upon.

XIV.

He felt his soul become more light
Beneath the freshness of the night.
Cool was the silent sky, though calm, 315
And bathed his brow with airy balm:
Behind, the camp—before him lay,
In many a winding creek and bay,
Lepanto's gulf; and, on the brow
Of Delphi's hill, unshaken snow, 320
High and eternal, such as shone
Through thousand summers brightly gone,

305

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