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How many conquered kings have swelled his power!
Think, too, how lovely! how his brow becomes
This wreath of early glories!—Oh, my friend!
I talk not of a sceptre, which he gives me :
No-to be charmed with that were thanks too
Offensive tribute, and too poor for love!
'Twas Osman won my heart, not Osman's crown:
I love not in him aught besides himself.
Though think'st, perhaps, that these are starts of
But, had the will of Heaven, less bent to bless him,
Doomed Osman to my chains, and me to fill
The throne that Osman sits on-ruin and wretch-
Catch and consume my wishes, but I would-
To raise me to myself, descend to him.
Sel. Hark! the wished music sounds-'Tis he-
Zar. My heart prevented him, and found him
Absent two long whole days, the slow-paced hour At last is come, and gives him to my wishes! [A grand march. Enter OSMAN, reading a paper, which he re-delivers to ORASMIN; with Attendants.
Osm. Wait my return-or, should there be a
That may require my presence, do not fear
To enter; ever mindful, that my own
[Exit Oras. &c. Follows my people's happiness.-At length, Cares have released my heart—to love and Zara. Zar. 'Twas not in cruel absence, to deprive
Of your imperial image-every where
You reign triumphant: memory supplies
Reflection with your power; and you, like Hea-
Are always present-and are always gracious. Osm. The sultans, my great ancestors, bequeathed
Their empire to me, but their taste they gave
Their laws, their lives, their loves, delight not me:
I know our prophet smiles on am'rous wishes,
And opens a wide field to vast desire;
I know, that at my will I might possess;
That, wasting tenderness in wild profusion,
I might look down to my surrounded feet,
And bless contending beauties. I might speak,
Serenely slothful, from within my palace,
And bid my pleasure be my people's law.
But, sweet as softness is, its end is cruel.
I can look round, and count a hundred kings,
Unconquered by themselves, and slaves to o-
Hence was Jerusalem to christians lost;
But Heaven, to blast that unbelieving race,
| Taught me to be a king, by thinking like one. Hence, from the distant Euxine to the Nile, The trumpet's voice has waked the world to war; Yet, amidst arms and death, thy power has reached me;
The jealousy, the faintness, the distrust,
The proud, superior coldness of the East.
I know to love you, Zara, with esteem;
To trust your virtue, and to court your soul.
Nobly confiding, I unveil my heart,
And dare inform you, that 'tis all your own:
My joys must all be yours: only my cares
Shall fie concealed within-and reach not Zara.
Zar. Obliged by this excess of tenderness,
How low, how wretched was the lot of Zara!
Too poor with aught, but thanks, to pay such
Osm. Not so-I love-and would be loved again;
Let me confess it, I possess a soul,
That what it wishes, wishes ardently.
I should believe you hated, had you power
To love with moderation: 'tis my aim,
In every thing, to reach supreme perfection.
If, with an equal flame, I touch your heart,
Marriage attends your sinile-But know, 'twill
Me wretched, if it makes not Zara happy.
Zar. Ah, sir! if such a heart as generous Os
Can, from my will, submit to take its bliss,
What mortal ever was decreed so happy!
Pardon the pride with which I own my joy,
Thus wholly to possess the man I love!
To know, and to confess his will my fate!
To be the happy work of his dear hands!
Osm. Already interrupted! What? Who?-Whence?
Oras. This moment, sir, there is arrived That Christian slave, who, licensed on his faith, Went hence to France-and, now returned, prays audience.
Zar. [Aside.] Oh, Heaven!
Osm. Admit him-What ?-Why comes he not?
Oras. He waits without. No Christian dares approach
This place, long sacred to the sultan's privacies. Osm. Go--bring him with thee--monarchs, like the sun,
Shine but in vain, unwarming, if unseen; With forms and reverence, let the great ap.proach us;
Not the unhappy;-every place alike, Gives the distressed a privilege to enter. [Exit Oras. 1 think with horror on these dreadful maxims, Which harden kings insensibly to tyrants.
Re-enter ORASMIN with NEREstan, Ner. Imperial sultan! honoured, even by foes! See me returned, regardful of my vow, And punctual to discharge a Christian's duty. I bring the ransom of the captive Zara, Fair Selima, the partner of her fortune, And of ten Christian captives, prisoners here. You promised, sultan, if I should return, To grant their rated liberty :-Behold, I am returned, and they are yours no more. I would have stretched my purpose to myself, But fortune has denied it ;-my poor all Sufficed no further, and a noble poverty Is now my whole possession.-I redeem The promised Christians; for I taught them hope: But, for myself, I come again your slave, To wait the fuller hand of future charity.
Osm. Christian! I must confess thy courage charms me!
But let thy pride be taught, it treads too high,
When it presumes to climb above my mercy.
Go ransomless thyself, and carry back
Their unaccepted ransoms, joined with gifts,
Fit to reward thy purpose; instead of ten,
Demand a hundred Christians; they are thine:
Take them, and bid them teach their haughty
They left some virtue among Saracens.— Be Lusignan alone excepted-He,
Have I not told thee, Christian, all my will? What if I praised thee !-This presumptuous virtue,
Compelling my esteem, provokes my pride;
Be gone-and when to-morrow's sun shall rise
my dominions, be not found-too near me.
[Exit Neresta n.
Zar. [Aside.] Assist him, Heaven!
Osm. Zara, retire a moment-
Assume, throughout my palace, sovereign empire,
While I give orders to prepare the pomp
That waits to crown thee mistress of my throne.
[Leads her out and returns.
Orasmin! didst thou mark the imperious slave!
What could he mean?-he sighed—and, as he
Turned and looked back at Zara!—didst thou mark it?
Oras. Alas! my sovereign master ! let not jealousy
Strike high enough to reach your noble heart. Osm. Jealousy, said'st thou? I disdain it :
Distrust is poor; and a misplaced suspicion
Invites and justifies the falsehood feared.—
Yet, as I love with warmth-so, I could hate!
But Zara is above disguise and art :-
My love is stronger, nobler, than my power.
Jealous!-I was not jealous! If I was,
I ain not-no-my heart-but, let us drown
Remembrance of the word, and of the image:
Who boasts the blood of kings, and dares lay My heart is filled with a diviner flame.
To my Jerusalem-that claim, his guilt!
Such is the law of states; had I been vanquished,
Thus had he said of me. I mourn his lot,
Who must in fetters, lost to day-light pine,
And sigh away old age in grief and pain.
For Zara-but to name her as a captive,
Were to dishonour language;-she's a prize
Above thy purchase --all the Christian realms,
With all their kings to guide them, would unite
In vain, to force her from me-Go, retire-
Go, and prepare for the approaching nuptials.
Zara to careful empire joins delight.
I must allot one hour to thoughts of state,
Then, all the siniling day is love and Zara's.
Monarchs, by forms of pompous misery pressed,
In proud, unsocial misery, unblessed,
Would, but for love's soft influence, curse their
And, among crowded millions, live alone. [Exit.
Cha. MATCHLESS Nerestan! generous and great!
You, who have broke the chains of hopeless slaves!
You, Christian saviour! by a Saviour sent!
Appear, be known, enjoy your due delight;
The grateful weepers wait to clasp your knees,
They throng to kiss the happy hand that saved
To execute, like you, that duty's call.
For us the relicks of abandoned war,
Forgot in France, and in Jerusalem,
Left to grow old in fetters,--Osman's father
Consigned us to the gloom of a damp dungeon,
Where, but for you, we must have groaned out
And native France have blessed our eyes no
Ner. The will of gracious Heaven, that softened Osman,
Inspired me for your sakes :-But, with our joy,
Flows, mixed, a bitter sadness--I had hoped
To save from their perversion a young beauty,
Who, in her infant innocence, with me,
Was made a slave by cruel Noradin;
Red with the blood of infidels cried out,
This way, ye faithful Christians! follow me.-
Ner. How full of glory was that brave retreat!
Chat. 'Twas Heaven, no doubt, that saved
and led him on;
Pointed his path, and marched our guardian guide:
We reached Cæsarea-there the general voice
Chose Lusignan, thenceforth to give us laws;
Alas! 'twas vain-Cæsarea could not stand
When Sion's self was fallen!-we were betrayed;
And Lusignan condemned to length of life,
In chains, in damps, and darkness and despair:
Yet great, amidst his miseries, he looked,
As if he could not feel his fate himself,
But as it reached his followers. And shall we,
For whom our generous leader suffered this,
When, sprinkling Syria with the blood of Chris-Be tians,
Cæsarea's walls saw Lusignan surprized,
And the proud crescent rise in bloody triumph.
From this seraglio having young escaped,
Fate, three years since, restored me to my chains;
Then, sent to Paris on my plighted faith,
I flattered my fond hope with vain resolves,
To guide the lovely Zara to that court
Where Lewis has established virtue's throne:
But Osman will detain her-yet, not Osman;
Zara herself forgets she is a Christian,
And loves the tyrant sultan !-Let that pass:
I mourn a disappointment still more cruel;
The prop of all our Christian hope is lost!
Chat. Dispose me at your will-I am your
Ner. Oh, Sir, great Lusignan, so long their captive,
That last of an heroic race of kings! That warrior, whose past fame has filled the world!
Osman refuses to my sighs for ever!
Chat. Nay, then, we have been all redeemed in vain ;
Perish that soldier who would quit his chains,
And leave his noble chief behind in fetters.
Alas! you know him not as I have known him;
Thank Heaven, that placed your birth so far
From those detested days of blood and woe:
But I, less happy, was condemned to see
Thy walls, Jerusalem, beat down-and all
Our pious fathers' labours lost in ruins!
Heaven! had you seen the very temple rifled!
The sacred sepulchre itself profaned!
Fathers with children mingled, flame together!
And our last king, oppressed with age and arms,
Murdered, and bleeding. o'er his murdered sons!
Then Lusignan, sole remnant of his race,
Rallying our fated few amidst the flames,
Fearless, beneath the crush of falling towers,
The conquerors and the conquered, groans and
Dreadful—and, waving in his hand his sword,
vilely safe, and dare be blessed without him? Ner. Oh! I should hate the liberty he shared
I knew too well the miseries you describe,
For I was born amidst them. Chains and death,
Caesarea lost, and Saracens triumphant,
Were the first objects which my eyes e'er looked on.
Hurried, an infant, among other infants,
Snatched from the bosom of their bleeding mo-
A temple saved us, till the slaughter ceased;
Then were we sent to this ill-fated city,
Here, in the palace of our former kings,
To learn, from Saracens, their hated faith,
And be completely wretched.-Zara, too,
Shared this captivity; we both grew up
So near each other, that a tender friendship
Endeared her to my wishes: My fond heart-
Pardon its weakness, bleeds to see her lost,
And, for a barbarous tyrant, quit her God!
Chat. Such is the Saracens' too fatal policy!
Watchful seducers, still, of infant weakness:
Happy that you, so young, escaped their hands!
But let us thinkMay not this Zara's interest,
Loving the sultan, and by him beloved,
For Lusignan procure some softer sentence?
The wise and just, with innocence, may draw
Their own advantage from the guilt of others.
Ner. How shall I gain admission to her presence? Osman has banished me-but that's a trifle; Will the seraglio's portals open to me? Or, could I find that easy to my hopes, What prospect of success from an apostate, On whom I cannot look without disdain, And who will read her shame upon my brow? The hardest trial of a generous mind, Is, to court favours from a hand it scorns. Chat. Think it is Lusignan we seek to serve. Ner. Well-it shall be attempted-Hark! who is this?
Are my eyes false; or, is it really she?
Zar. Start not, my worthy friend! I come to seek you;
The sultan has permitted it; fear nothing:-
But to confirm my heart, which trembles near you,
Soften that angry air, nor look reproach;
Why should we fear each other, both mistaking?
Associates from our birth, one prison held us,
One friendship taught affliction to be calm,
Till Heaven thought fit to favour your escape,
And call you to the fields of happier France;
Thence, once again, it was my lot to find you
A prisoner here; where, hid amongst a crowd
Of undistinguished slaves, with less restraint,
I shared your frequent converse ;-
It pleased your pity, shall I say your friendship?
Or rather, shall I call it generous charity?
To form that noble purpose, to redeem
Distressful Zara-you procured my ransom,
And, with a greatness that out-soared a crown,
Returned yourself a slave, to give me freedom;
But Heaven has cast our fate for different climes:
Here, in Jerusalem, I fix for ever;
Yet, among all the shine that marks my fortune,
I shall, with frequent tears, remember yours;
Your goodness will for ever soothe my heart,
And keep your image still a dweller there:
Warmed by your great example to protect
That faith, which lifts humanity so high,
I'll be a mother to distressful Christians.
'Tis now the son of Noradin's seraglio.
Zar. The master of this place-the mighty
Distinguishes, and loves to cherish virtue.
This generous Frenchman, yet a stranger to you,
Drawn from his native soil, from peace and rest,
Brought the vowed ransoms of ten Christian
Himself contented to remain a captive:
But Osman, charmed by greatness, like his own,
To equal what he loved, has given him you.
Lus. So generous France inspires her social
They have been ever dear and useful to me-
Would I were nearer to him--Noble sir,
How have I merited, that you for me
Ner. How!-You protect the Christians! you, Should pass such distant seas, to bring me bles
Abjure their saving faith, and coldly see
Great Lusignan, their chief, die slow in chains!
Zur. To bring him freedom you behold me
And hazard your own safety for my sake?
Ner. My name, sir, is Nerestan; born in Syria,
I wore the chains of slavery from my birth;
Till, quitting the proud crescent for the court
Where warlike Lewis reigns, beneath his eye
I learnt the trade of arms: the rank I held
Za-Was but the kind distinction which he gave me,
To tempt my courage to deserve regard.
You will this moment meet his eyes in joy.
Chat. Shall I then live to bless that happy hour?
Ner. Can Christians owe so dear a gift to
Zar. Hopeless I gathered courage to intreat
The sultan for his liberty-amazed,
So soon to gain the happiness I wished!
See where they bring the good old chief, grown
With age, by pain and sorrows hastened on!
Chat. How is my heart dissolved with sudden
Zar. I long to view his venerable face;
But tears, I know not why, eclipse my sight.
I feel, methinks, redoubled pity for him;
But, I, alas! myself have been a slave;
And when we pity woes which we have felt,
'Tis but a partial virtue !
Ner. Amazement !-Whence this greatness in
Enter LUSIGNAN led in by two Guards.
Lus. Where am I? From the dungeon's depth
Has called me to revisit long-lost day?
Am I with Christians?—I am weak-forgive me,
And guide my trembling steps. I'm full of years;
My miseries have worn me more than age.
Am I, in truth, at liberty? [Seating himself.
Your sight, unhappy prince, would charm his
When Philip the Victorious lived, I fought
A-breast with Montmorency and Melun,
D'Estaing, De Neile, and the far-famous Courcy;
Names which were then the praise and dread of
But what have I to do at Paris now?
I stand upon the brink of the cold grave;
That way my journey lies-to find, I hope,
The King of Kings, and ask the recompence
For all my woes, long suffered for his sake-
You generous witnesses of my last hour,
While I yet live, assist my humble prayers,
And join the resignation of my soul.
Nerestan! Chatillon! and you, fair mourner!
Whose tears do honour to an old man's sorrows!
Lus. Providence and Heaven!
Oh, failing eyes, deceive ye not my hope?
Can this be possible?-Yes, yes-'tis she!
This little cross-I know it, by sure marks!
Oh! take me, Heaven! while I can die with
Zar. Oh, do not, sir, distract me!-rising
And hopes, and fears, o'erwhelm me!
Lus. Tell me, yet,
Has it remained for ever in your hands?
What both brought captives from Cæsarea
Oh, Heaven! have I then found a father?
Lus. Their voice! their looks!
The living images of their dear mother!
Do not forsake me at this dawn of hope-
Strengthen my heart, too feeble for this joy.
Madam! Nerestan! Help me, Chatillon!
Oh, 'twas a dreadful scene! these eyes beheld it. O God! who see'st my tears, and knowest my
Husband and father, helpless I beheld it-
Denied the mournful privilege to die!
Oh, my poor children! whom I now deplore;
If ye are saints in Heaven, as sure ye are,
Look with an eye of pity on that brother,
That sister whom you left! If I have yet
Or son or daughter: for in early chains,
Far from their lost and unassisting father,
I heard that they were sent, with numbers more,
To this seraglio; hence to be dispersed
In nameless remnants o'er the East, and spread
Our Christian miseries round a faithless world.
Chat. 'Twas true-For in the horrors of that
I snatched your infant daughter from her cradle;
But, finding every hope of flight was vain,
Scarce had I sprinkled, from a public fountain,
Those sacred drops which wash the soul from sin,
When from my bleeding arms, fierce Saracens
Forced the lost innocent, who smiling lay,
And pointed, playful, at the swarthy spoilers!
With her, your youngest, then your only son,
Whose little life had reached the fourth sad year,
And just given sense to feel his own misfortunes,
Was ordered to this city.
Nerestan, hast thou on thy breast a scar,
Which, ere Cæsarea fell, from a fierce hand,
Surprising us by night, my child received?
Ner. Blessed hand!-I bear it--sir, the mark
Such as I lost them?-Come they Christians to
One weeps, and one declines a conscious eve!
Your silence speaks-too well I understand it.
Zar. I cannot, sir, deceive you-Osman's laws
Were mine-and Osman is not a Christian.—
Lus. Her words are thunder bursting on my
Wert not for thee, my son, I now should die!
Full sixty years I fought the Christian cause,
Saw their doomed temple fall, their power de-
Twenty, a captive, in a dungeon's depth,
Yet never for myself my tears sought Heaven;
All for my children rose my fruitless prayers:
Yet what avails a father's wretched joy?