O. (Otakar) Sevcík.

Peri Nuzzade, a poem, in three cantos; with minor poems online

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Online LibraryO. (Otakar) SevcíkPeri Nuzzade, a poem, in three cantos; with minor poems → online text (page 1 of 4)
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A combination of unfortunate eircu instances
has influenced the Author to offer the following*-
Trifles to the Public— which, otherwise, wouici
not have appeared without much correction and
dehberation. If, among the many errors the Col-
lection may possess, his Friends can find ^ome
redeeming passages, the Author trusts they will
generously forget its imperfections, and bear in
memory those passages only which may merit
^heir approbation.




It was the happy dawning of that ever joyous day,
When blooming Nature robes herself in all her bright

It was the opening of that time, when Love asserts his

And rules alike earth, air, and sea — the palace and the


Aurora led her blushing train along the skies afar,
Who, waving swift their rosy wings, extinguish'd every

But from their fair ethereal eyes a softer light had birth.
While from their hands bright pearl-drops fell, and

jewell'd all the earth.



The zephyrs, laden with perfume, forsook their flowery

Ere yet the feather'd melodists had raised their beauteous

heads ;
And. rustling through each shrub and bush, o'er hill and

valley flew,
Awakening and dazzling all, with the May morning's dew.

The lark sprang upwards merrily, to meet with songs the

And warble out its welcome to the Sun's first charing ray;

While meaner songsters, perch'd aloft on every branching

Pour'd notes of gladness through the woods, and thrilling-

The waters w ere bright

With the rays of light,
As the day-god rose from the sparkling foam ;

And the small waves danc'd

As he proudly glanc'd
O'er the heaving breast of his ocean-home.

The pines were still

On their rocky hi,l],


And motionless worshipp'd the rising sun ;

While the aspen mild,

Like a timid child,
Trembled and smil'd, as his race begun.

The wild gazelle,

From his mossy dell,
Rush'd up to the mountain, as free and swift

As the stormy scud

0*er the troubled flood,
When it sweeps thro' the air in its fearless drift.

While the giran^ stood

By the tangled wood,
With eyes beaming pleasure, and bosom gay,

And forgot to graze,

in the long long gaze
He fix'd on the glories of that bright day.

The eagle soar'd to the blushing sky,
With a grand and graceful majesty ;
Up, and away to the golden sun.
Defying the range of bow or gun.
The falcon peacefully wing'd his flight,
Scarce heeding the prey within his sight ;
And all sccm'd peaceful, and all look'd gay,
On the cloudless morn of that May-day.


TJio' the bulbul's'' voice

Refused to rejoice,
Still its full heart beat in its downy breast ;

And it kept its pow'r

For the twilight hour,
To lull with soft music the day to rest.

But the thrushes sung

The woods among,
And sprang delighted from spray (o spray ;

And the wild dove's coo

Breath'd rapture too.
On the lovely morn of that cloudless day.

Bright forms were seen

In the valleys green,
In robes of the rainbow hues array'd ;

As light and as fair

As their golden hair.
With which the young breeze of the morning play'd.

And their dance they took

On the dimpled brook.
As it sparkled, reflecting the solar ray,

Or check'd the hours,

As they swept the flow'rs,
In their jocund flight on that happy day.


And some were couch'd i' the bright htiir-bell,

And some i' the vi'Iet blue,
And some were weaving coronets

O' the freshly-fallen dew;
Whilst others, buoy'd on silv'i*y clouds,

Their hov'ring forms display'd,
On this the birth-day morning

Of the Fairy Queen Nuzzade.

Curtain'd by the shady screen

Of the blushing Nusscreen,'=

With whose flow'rs a fountain play'd,

All lonely sat a Peri maid.

Down her neck her tresses fell,

To her heaving bosom's swell,

In wavy light and wanton play,

L/ike amber streaks of opening day.

When they float o'er Alpine snow.

In her hand a silver bow

Was lightly held ; — her sapphire eyes

Were fix'd upon the cloudless skies ;

But, oh ! more beautiful than they.

Those eyes requir'd no borrow 'd ray —

No sun, no moon, no starry gleams.

But sparkled in their own bright beams.


Her teeth of pearl, her eyes of fire,
Her lips — the lips of fond desire —
Tempting-, enchanting to the view,
Like two young rose-leaves steep'd in dew ;
Her eye-brows arch ; — her ringlets bright ;
Her white breast heaving with delight ;
Her shape, in azure robes array'd,
Bespoke the Peri Queen Nuzzade.

The Fairy cast aside her bow.

And rais'd her bright harp from the ground ;
She bade the tide of music flow,

And swept the thrilling chords of sound.

Silence wav'd her wand, and all
Was still — the tumbling waterfall

Fell soundless down

The mountain brown ;

The breeze was still

On moor and hill ;

The lofty ood,*^

In silent mood.

Stood motionless.

In haughtiness ;


Hush'd was the hour,
Hush'd was the bow'r.

Couch'd side by side,
In beauty's pride,
Hid from the ray
Of garish day.
The fairies lay
Beneath the shade
By covert made
Of callum reed,*
Or bright junjeed ; ^
And not a sound
Was heard around ; —
Hush'd was the hour,
Hush'd was the bow'r.



"Oh! hasten, love, to my wild-rose bow'r.

Where countless sweets exhale,
IjOvc breathes in every opening flow'r,
And lulls the fanning gale ;
O'er land and sea
I roam'd for tlicc,


O'er billow, stream, and mountain ;
Then hither, hither, come to me.
And rest thee by the fountain.

" 'Tis my birth-day morn, and the Peri world

In breathless bliss lies bound ;
My airy elves have their pinions furl'd,
And quiet rei^s around ;
O'er land and sea
I roam'd for thee,
O'er billow, stream, and mountain ;
Then hither, hither, come to me,
And rest thee by the fountain."

She ceased her song ; and swift there came.

Across that valley fair,
A hot and withering blast of flame—
And fierce Kohanna's dreaded name

Resounded thro' the air.
And the white fire drank the morning dew,

And wither'd every flower ;
And the startling shrieks of the Genii flew,
Like the sea-bird's scream, all wildly thro'

Her lone and lovely bower.


Dark mists obscur'd the morning's eye,

The tempest roll'd aloud,
The lightning flash'd unceasingly,
And the eagles/e//— they could not/y,

From the fierce and fiery cloud.

Unmov'd by the surrounding storm,

A dense dark cloud, of threat'ning form,

Held on its steady course ;
A brilliant glory round it play'd,
Which the bright and ceaseless lightnings made,

While the thunder-peal grew hoarse.
On, on it came — an ebon shield,
Such as Azazil's^ arm might wield,

When, hurl'd from realms of bliss,
Defying heaven and his God,
He, with his fallen legions, trod

The fiery abyss.
It paus'd above the spot where laid,
In terror bound, the Peri maid,

Trembling as tjio' accurst ;
Then, with a shock beyond compare,
That shook all ocean, earth, and air,

The magic horror burst !



A thousand forked flashes flew,

Of varied dyes — white, red, and blue,
From out that dreadful cloud j
And fierce Kohanna, fell and dire,
Descending in his car of fire,

Thus, scornful, spoke aloud :

" From my home in the desert.

Where no flow'r e'er springs,
Where no bird ever caroll'd,

Or wav'd its bright wings—
Where the death-shrub *> impregnates

With poison the air.
Which blasts all it blows on.

And murmurs despair —
Where the whirlwinds spring up

And the sand columns rise
In terrific array,

From the earth to the skies ; —
From my horror-bound home,

In the blue mountain's base,
1 have come, I have come.

Thy fair birth-day to grace.
I come not to woo thee

With homage and smiles,


I come not to woo thee

Witli mortal-like wiles ;
But I come with the glory

Of pow'r on my brow,
With storm-clouds around me,

And spirits that bow.
Earth trembles beneath me,

The green herbage dies,
The day-star is darken'd,

And hid from thine eyes ;
Thy subjects are scatter'd
Thro' regions of space.
And the wreck of thy glory
No Peri can trace I
What once I crav'd, I now demand,
Thy Peri heart, thy Peri hand ;
Say, shall I hope? — for I can be
A friend, or fearful foe to thee."

As, in the west, the setting sun oft glows,

Thro' many a dark, o'erhangiiig, stormy cloud.
And o'er the world its dying lustre throws,
Tho' darkness strives its beauty to enshroud —
So stood the Peri, 'midst the spell
Which magic powr had rais'd from hell ;


Her female terrors cast aside.

Radiant she stood, in beauty's pride,

And threw upon her foe a glance

Of with'ring pow'r — who turn'd askance,

Unable to withstand the blaze

That brighten'd in her scornful gaze.

" Hope ! surely, hope. — Now hence, begone !

Thou hast thy wish, thou mighty one.

I give thee hope — and such as may

Make thy heart sicken at its ray ;

For in thy dark and gloomy soul

Wild passion reigns without control.

Never did pity dim thine eyes

For Peri's pangs, or Peri's sighs.

But I forget — thou fain would'st hope ;
Hope on — and thus I give thee scope
For the deluding fantasy.
Now upward turn thy flashing eye

*' By the sky thy spell obscureth,
By the hell thy soul endureth.
By the earth thy foot hath blighted,
By the clouds thyself ignited ;


By the wanderer's guard and guide,'

By the toopas' branches wide ;''

By the holy Brahmin's bedes,

By the life that virtue leads ;

By Khizzer's bright and holy fount ;'

By Toor,'" that high and blessed mount ;

By the Kaaba's sacred walls,"

By Allah's silver waterfalls—

When Virtue spurns me from her shrine,

Then, dark Magician, I'll be thine.

Hear my vow, and gaze around.

By the flow'r-teeming ground.

Which new life and bloom displays ;

And by Chrishna's" golden rays.

Brightly streaming thro' the gloom ;

By the odour of perfume,

Issuing from ev'ry tree,

(Beautiful, unscath'd and free,)

Where, so late thy hated pow'r

Wither'd blossom, branch, and bow 'r;

By the valley's look of pride,

More lovely, since revivified ;

By the circling forms that now

Hover on the mountain'a brow,


And by the breaking- of thy spell,
Which now is broken— Fare thee well."

Joyous, bounding-, light and gay,

Free as air, she fled away ;

While the fierce Kohanna stood

JLike the daemon of the wood.

Whose pendant, dark, and gloomy boughs

Made darker his revengeful brows.

*' Curs'd be thy smile, thou scornful fair —
Curs'd be thy footfall — curs'd the air
On which thou tread'st as on a rock —
And curs'd thy laughing elves, who mock
My wild and impotent despair —
Curse the frail charm I thought so rare.
Jaun ! Jaun ! ^ I summon thee — appear !"

As the magician spoke aloud,

An amphitheatre of cloud,

Impenetrable to the eye.

Sprang upward, shutting out the sky !

The lightnings flew incessantly

Thro' its terrific density.


Blue streams of fire burst from the ground,

And, bubbling-, ran in circles round ;

Hoarse laughter rang upon the breeze.

Death-shrieks were heard among the trees,

And horrid forms began to flit

From bough to branch — the rocks were split,

And toppled from the trembling base ;

And all that blighted cloud-wrapt place

Shudder'd beneath the Eblis'' povv'r,

Which rul'd that dark unhallow'd hour.

The scorch'd earth yawn'd — and, gazing down,

Kohanna view'd a golden throne :

Upon it sat the Genii King,

And round him stood the damned rinff

Of shrieking souls condemned by God,

Obedient to his dreaded nod.

Serpents of brightest colours play'd

Amid his sun-red locks, and made

Fantastic coronets, to deck

His daemon brows, or down his neck,

In mazy folds, they lay supine,

Mingling amid his ringlets' shine.

Screams, wild and thrilling, rent the drear

And fiery vault, both far and near ;


But, high above the hellish roar,
Did Jaun's terrific accents soar.

" Kohanna, speak not — for I know
Thy wish. — Swift climb the mountain's brow
Further than uncharm'd eye can reach —
Upon the far-extending beach,
Thou'lt see a form of beauty stand,
All glowing, on the golden sand-
Secure him with thy potent spell,'
And the proud Peri 's thine. — Farewell !"

The chasm closed, and a wild yell
Of laughter shook the mimic hell.


A Peri once, by high command,
Was banish'd from her native land,
For broken vows too rashly plighted.
And, like the Gul Peadeh,'' blighted';
Torn from its parent stem, at last
Became the sport of every blast ;
Till, by rude tempests wafted o'er,
She rested on the Cyprian shore.
There, beside that sacred fountain,'*

Where Love's pure waters ever spring,
Shadow'd by the lofty mountain,

And shelter'd by an angel's wing,
Zohara to a son gave birth.
The fairest, brightest child of cartli ;
And, bathing him with Love's own light.
To the pure skies she took her Jlight.



Attended by the circling hours,
Reclining amid sweets and bloomy

His baby eye first dwelt on flow'rs,
His baby lips first breath'd perfume,

* * # * ^^ * ^ *

Time floated on— and as he grew

To Peri prime, soft visions threw

Their spells around him, charm'd his dreams

With glowing hopes, and golden gleams

Of other lands, of gardens fair,

And forms of beauty bright and rare !

But, as high mosques and temples rear

Their haughty heads, and lakes appear,

Breaking upon the pilgrim's sight.

Who paced the desert thro' the night,

Then vanish from his eager gaze,

Leaving his senses in a maze

Of wonder and of grief "^ — those dreams

Faded before the morning's beams !

And, waken'd from the dear deceit,

He wept the loss of scenes so sweet.

But once, as, couch'd on rose-leaves, lay
This lovely tho' deserted Fay,


Musing" upon his hapless fate,

And gazing toward the eastern gate

Of those bright skies, where, after this

Frail life, the spirit mounts to bliss —

A soft and snowy hand was laid

On his, and he beheld a maid.

More beautiful than e'er was given

By earth to deck the Prophet's heaven.

Entranc'd with rapture and surprize.

He spoke not, but his love-lit eyes

Look'd more than language could express ;

Oh, 'twas a glance of happiness,

Such as is seen in eyes divine,

When first on Alla's halls they shine.

One parting look alone she gave,
And bade him follow o'er the wave ;
Then, swifter than a sea-bird's flight

She skimm'd along the waters bright !
Eager he follow 'd o'er the main.
Striving to check her flight in vain ;
To meteor-speed her motion grew,
And soon she vanished from his view.


Still foUow'd he, with flying haste,
Along the wide and liquid waste,
Drinking the music of her song.
Which watchful zephyrs swept along.

^' Follow, follow, follow me,
O'er the deep and trackless sea ;
I will lead thee through the night.
Where the sea-star'' sheds its light,
If thou'lt follow, follow me.
O'er the deep and trackless sea.

" Thou shalt tell me tales of pleasure,
I'll give thee Oronte's treasure,®
Dive for pearls in Oman's^ ocean.
And fill thy breast with Love's emotion.
If thou'lt follow, follow me,
O'er the deep and swelling sea.

" I will lead thee by the hand

To the groves of Iran's land,s

To my valley of the streams,

Watch thy slumbers, charm thy dreams,


If thou'lt follow, follow me,
O'er the deep and rolling sea."

'Twas morn — the sun's meridian beams

Had pierc'd the depths of ocean's streams,

When on the beach the Fairy stood,

Gazing upon the Caspian flood.

His locks were like the raven's wing.

Black, glossy, lustrous — and a ring

Of Indian gems was sparkling bright

Upon his forehead fair and white —

Whilst some, like night-stars, here and there

Peep'd thro' the mazes of his hair ;

His tunic was of Tyrian dye,

Embroider'd with the diamond-fly ; *

Hung round his neck profusely were

Chains of the silver gossamer ;

His feet embroider'd sandals wore.

And in his hand a wand he bore.

Far o'er the liquid waste he cast

His searching glance — and sniil'd to see

* A ])cetle, so called — found in South Aim'rica.


The white sails swelling from the mast,

The floating pennants gay and free,
Borne on the morning breeze ; yet when
He heard the whistling of the men.
Wooing the winds to waft along
Their gallant bark^ — or caught their song,
As, echoing o'er the surface clear,
It stole upon his list'ning ear —
He sigh'd to think what tempests might
O'ertake that gallant crew e'er night,
Who, now so happy, on the main
Might never sing blithe song again ;
Then turn'd him to that smiling earth.
Which gave his Peri parent birth ;
The lily, pink, and daffodil, /•

Blue lotus-flower,'' and wild jonquil.
Ranunculus, and jessamine,
The shumblead, and the eglantine.
The gulsadbeck,' and nergus'^ vain,
Were widely spread o'er hill and plain.
" Rich land," he cried, " all free and wild !
I come to thee, a truant child.
From my own native shore — a wide
And boist'rous host of billows ride


Between us now ; and my strain 'd eyes

In vain may o'er the envious deep
Gaze for its wave-worn cliffs to rise

Upon their view ; — yet sighs will sweep
Their pathway thro' my grateful lips,
When Fancy her bright pinion dips
In the sea-wave, and, with a smile

Of gladness, seeks my native isle.

Queen of my soul, my Peri maid !
Upon the night- winds have I stray'd —
Like the sea-mew, untir'd and free,
By Love inspir'd — pursuing- thee !
Once, and once only, did I rest
Upon a glassy billow's breast,

When, from ocean's deepest cells.
Sea-nymphs issued from their shells —
Sao, with her laughing eyes.
Gaily claim'd me for her prize ;
Opis, with her bright green hair
Streaming down her bosom fair,
Wav'd me to a coral grove,
Vainly wooing me to love ;
But Nereus, with angry motion,
Struck his broad trident on the ocean,


Then rose the waves with fearful swells,
White as the spring-tide foam of hell's
Terrific river : — swiftly fled
The Nereids to their wat'ry bed ;
Whilst I, upon a *petrers wing,
A lightsome, gay, and happy thing,
Brush'd each snow-cap'd billow's head,
And tow'rd thy blooming valley sped.

" The winds were let loose from the kingdom of storms,'
Whose monarch the fair face of Nature deforms ;
O'er the dark glassy billows a chariot was driv'n
By the Son of the Dawn,™ from the north gates of heav'n ;
Twelve bright foaming coursers" (his offspring) obey'd
The lash of their sire, as they snorted and neigh'd.
And rush'd o'er the sea, like the swift lightning's flash,
Untouch'd by a spray from the hoarse billows' splash.

<* I saw a lone bark hoist her lights of distress,

As she rock'd on the watery wilderness ;

Her foremast had gone by the board — and she roll'd,

With her oaken ribs shatter'd, still stately and bold :

* Bird of the Storm.


The boatswain's pipe pierc'd thro' the terrible drear,

And the wildly-shrill whistle astounded mine ear.

" Now strike the main-topmast," the bold captain cried ;

And the fierce lightnings struck it — then over the side

Of the labouring vessel it swung, with a crash,

And was lost in the weltering- billows' splash.

Her bow-sprit was crush'd by a Triton-slave,

Whom the gallant ship clove, as she sank to her grave.

" The yell of despair died away o'er the sea,

But the winds whistled on, and the waves roU'd free.

*' Long before the dawn had blush'd,
Winds and waves were calm and hush'd,
And the mirror'd ocean's breast,
Like infant childhood sank to rest.
Millions of sea-born stars" pecp'd forth
From east to west, from south to north,
Out o' the dark and tranquil blue
Of the wide Caspian deep, and threw
A light, more dazzling to the eye
Than the night-lamps of the sky.
But when Aurora's streaky light
Peep'd thro' the eastern windows bright,



And ting'd the ocean with its blush,

The stars became convolvulus,''

And the wide waste seem'd strewn with show'rs

Of lovely blue and fadeless flowr's ;

And over them my light steps flew.

As on me fell the gentle dew

Of morning — till, with wishes bland,

I leap'd upon this spangled sand.

Then, sweet, where art thou ?— tell me true;

Oh, answer thy loved Mujenou !"

Soft voices whisper'd in the air,
" Mujenou, beware, beware,

Birds are singing,

Boughs are swinging.
In the noon's breath, fair and gay ;

And the flashing,

Billows have rolPd far away.

Waves are sleeping,

Zephyrs sweeping
O'er the hill-tops cheerfully \-

Not a flower

Of the bower
Droops its fair head tearfully.


" But, above thee and around Ihce,
Soon will frigbtfiil forms astound thee ;
Then be brave, be true, and loyal,
Prove thyself both j>reat and royal ;
JLet not angry words affright thee,
Stormy breath will never bliglit thee ;
Let not atramental skies
Dim the lustre of thine eyes,
Nor the magic fetters' smart
Damp the courage of thy heart.
Tho' the earthquakes split asunder
Rocks and mountains, check thy wonder —
Tho' the hurricanes may tear
And whirl bole, brancli, and roots in air
Of the deeply-rooted pine-
Still no terror must be thine.
Fear not the tornado's shock.
Nor the pestilent siroc,^
But be fearless, firm, and true,
For thy mistress, IMujenou I"

Scarcely was tho warning breath'd,
When a winged serpent wreath'd
Its bright and scaly folds around
The fairy king — who, magic bound.


Stood powerless : aloft in air

The soaring reptile bore his fair

And tortur'd burthen ; — higher, higher^

To the skies approaching nigher.

Up they labour'd, far above

The limits of the bird of Jove ;

The serpent then his^coil unbound.

And hurFd his burthen to the ground.

Senseless upon the beach he lay,

Of fairy lauds the fairest Fay,


The Gheber's god had sunk to rest^
In the dark chambers of the west ;
The mountain-tops look'd dim and drear,
High swelling in the evening air;
And holy Silence held her reign
O'er verdant hill and desert plain.

But, in the breast of Mujenou,
Embattled feelings, wild and new,
Rose and fell tumultuously
Struggling for supremacy,
Chain'd upon a loathsome bed
Of writhing vipers, with his head
Pillow'd on a speckled toad,
He gazed upon his dim abode ;
And ever as, from time to time,
He turn'd his head, the poison'd slime



Of the reptile, crush'd and weak,

Oozed upon his faded cheek.

The spectre-bat rush'd thro' the drear

And gloom-wrapt vault, while distant, near,

Above, below, on either side,

Thickly extending, far and wide,

Snakes, beetles, lizards crawl'd about,

In one undeviating rout;

And ever, round the fairy-king,

They form'd a black and moving ring.

In vain did hapless Mujenou

To Taccoin" or Peri sue ;

Nought could break the spell of pow'r —

Evil spirits rul'd the hour.

As he upwards cast his look.
Fear at first his senses shook ;
In his high and fatal ring
Did a lonely spider swing—
'Twas a native of Katschan,*=
Foe alike to fay and man.
Round and round his silky snare
Mov'd the insect : — big with care,
The Fairy niark'd the creature stop.
Beheld the dreadful crystal-drop,


Blight and fatal, trembling o'er
His brow — and yet the poison'd store
Fell not ; but still round and round
The spider stalk'd, with threat'ning sound.
Black giant-ants, whose painful bite
Tortur'd the captive, like a blight
Seizing upon some beauteous flow'r,
Prey'd on his languid frame; — a show'r
Of venom'd worms fell from the roof,
Around his head, nor kept aloof,
But with his dark and silken hair
Entwin'd their slimy folds — Despair
Hover'd aroud his beating breast. —
He shriek'd aloud, and pray'd for rest.

Like a whirlpool, round and round
Eddying, with fearful sound.
Black and terrible to see,
Flew the deadly Akrabee ; '
Its cloven head expanding wide,
Its tail high tost, in daring pride ;
Its body arm'd with scaly rings
Of ebon hue — its web-like wings —
The milky poison, which around
It scattered on tlic loatlisome ground,


Made him shudder with affright,
As it shot before his sight ;
For, where'er the poison fell.
Flew the darts of Azrael.^

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Online LibraryO. (Otakar) SevcíkPeri Nuzzade, a poem, in three cantos; with minor poems → online text (page 1 of 4)