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PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM MILLER, OLD BOND-STREET.
PRINTED BY JAMES BALLANTYNE,
Sel. Ir moves my wonder, young and beauteous Zara,
Whence these new sentiments inspire your heart!
Your peace of mind increases with your charms;
Tears now no longer shade your eyes soft lustre:
You meditate no more those happy climes,
To which Nerestan will return to guide you.
You talk no more of that gay nation now,
Where men adore their wives, and woman's
Draws reverence from a polished people's softness:
Their husbands' equals, and their lovers' queens!
Free without scandal; wise without restraint;
Their virtue due to nature, not to fear.
Why have you ceased to wish this happy change?.
A barred seraglio!-sad, unsocial life!
Scorned, and a slave! All this has lost its terror;
And Syria rivals, now, the banks of Seine!
Zar, Joys, which we do not know, we do not
My fate's bound in by Sion's sacred wall :
Closed, from my infancy, within this palace,
Custom has learnt, from time, the power to
I claim no share in the remoter world,
The sultan's property, his will my law ;
Unknowing all but him, his power, his fame;
To live his subject is my only hope,
All else an empty dream.--
Absent Nerestan then? whose generous friendship
So nobly vowed redemption from your chains!
How oft have you admired his dauntless soul!
Osman, his conqueror, by his courage charmed,
Trusted his faith, and on his word released him:
Though not returned in time--we yet expect him.
Nor had his noble journey other motive,
Than to procure our ransom.-And is this,
This dear, warm hope, become an idle dream?
Sur. Since after two long years he not returns,
'Tis plain his promise stretched beyond his power.
A stranger and a slave, unknown, like him,
Proposing much, means little;—talks and vows,
Delighted with a prospect of escape:-
He promised to ransom ten Christians more,
And free us all from slavery!-I own
I once admired the unprofitable zeal,
But now it charms no longer-
He, faithful, should return, and hold his vow;
Would you not, then——
Zar. No matter-Time is past,
And every thing is changed
Sel. But, whence comes this?
Zur. Go-'twere too much to tell thec Zara's fate:
The sultan's secrets, all, arc sacred here :
But my fond heart delights to mix with thine. Some three months past, when thou, and other slaves,
Were forced to quit fair Jordan's flowery bank;
Heaven, to cut short the anguish of my days,
Raised me to comfort by a powerful hand;
This mighty Osman !-
Sel. What of him?
Zur. This sultan,
This conqueror of the Christians, loves Sel. Whom?
Thou blushest, and I guess thy thoughts accuse
But, know me better-'twas unjust suspicion. All emperor as he is, I cannot stoop
To honours, that bring shame and baseness with theia:
Reason and pride, those props of modesty,
Sustain my guarded heart, and strengthen virtue:
Rather than sink to infamy, let chains
Embrace me with a joy, such love denies!
No-I shall now astonish thee;-His greatness
Submits to own a pure and honest flame.
Among the shining crowds, which live to please
His whole regard is fixed on me alone:
He offers marriage; and its rites now wait,
To crown me empress of this eastern world.
Sel. Your virtue and your charms deserve it
My heart is not surprised, but struck to hear it.
If to be empress can complete your happiness,
I rank myself, with joy, among your slaves. Zar. Be still my equal-and enjoy my blessings;
For, thou partaking, they will bless me more.
Sel. Alas! but Heaven! wili it permit this
Will not this grandeur, falsely called a bliss,
Plant bitterness, and root it in your heart?
Have you forgot you are of Christian blood?
Zar. Ah me! What hast thou said? why wouldst
Recal my wavering thoughts? How know I, what, Or whence I am? Heaven kept it hid in darkness, Concealed me from myself, and from my blood." Sel. Nerestan, who was born a Christian, here Asserts, that you, like him, had Christian parents;
Besides that cross, which, from your infant years
Has been preserved, was found upon your bosom,
As if designed by Heaven, a pledge of faith
Due to the God you purpose to forsake!
Zar. Can my fond heart, on such a feeble
Embrace a faith, abhorred by him I love?
I see too plainly custom forms us all;
Our thoughts, our morals, our most fixed belief,
Are consequences of our place of birth:
Born beyond Ganges, I had been a Pagan;
In France, a Christian; I am here a Saracen :
Tis but instruction, all! Our parents hand
Writes on our heart the first faint characters,
Which time, re-tracing, deepens into strength,
That nothing can efface, but death or Heaven!
Thou wert not made a prisoner in this place,
Till after reason, borrowing force from years,
Had lent its lustre to enlighten faith:-
For me, who, in my cradle, was their slave,
Thy Christian doctrines were too lately taught