Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
Extracts from Lalla Rookh: The Fire-Worshippers
By Thomas Moore (1779–1852)
‘HOW sweetly,’ said the trembling maid,
Of her own gentle voice afraid,
So long had they in silence stood,
Looking upon that tranquil flood—
‘How sweetly does the moonbeam smile        5
To-night upon yon leafy isle!
Oft, in my fancy’s wanderings,
I’ve wish’d that little isle had wings,
And we, within its fairy bowers,
  Were wafted off to seas unknown,        10
Where not a pulse should beat but ours,
  And we might live, love, die alone!
Far from the cruel and the cold,—
  Where the bright eyes of angels only
Should come around us, to behold        15
  A paradise so pure and lonely!
Would this be world enough for thee?’
Playful she turned, that he might see
  The passing smile her cheek put on;
But when she marked how mournfully        20
  His eyes met hers, that smile was gone;
And, bursting into heartfelt tears,
‘Yes, yes,’ she cried, ‘my hourly fears,
My dreams, have boded all too right—
We part—for ever part—to-night!—        25
I knew, I knew it could not last—
’Twas bright, ’twas heavenly, but ’tis past!
Oh! ever thus, from childhood’s hour,
  I ’ve seen my fondest hopes decay;
I never loved a tree or flower,        30
  But ’twas the first to fade away.
I never nursed a dear gazelle,
  To glad me with its soft black eye,
But when it came to know me well,
  And love me, it was sure to die!        35
Now too—the joy most like divine
  Of all I ever dreamt or knew,
To see thee, hear thee, call thee mine,—
  Oh, misery! must I lose that too?
Yet go—on peril’s brink we meet;—        40
  Those frightful rocks—that treacherous sea—
No, never come again—though sweet,
  Though heaven, it may be death to thee.
Farewell—and blessings on thy way,
  Where’er thou go’st, beloved stranger!        45
Better to sit and watch that ray,
And think thee safe, though far away,
  Than have thee near me, and in danger!’

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