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xxv. “ Can you say any thing in your defence? :

Whate'er you will I'm ready, Sir, to hear What! silent !-have you lost your little sense ?

Have you no means of making it appear That you possess a shadow of pretence

To mercy ?-are you quite struck dumb with fear?
Come, I'll not wait-you stupid Spirit, speak—
What mischief have you done, this many a week ?

XXVI.
The Spirit trembled as he made reply:

Most beautiful Maimoune, I confess That I must owe, henceforth, my liberty

(Which I deserve not) to your gentleness. Much mischief surely have I done, yet I

May, with some reason, venture to express
A hope that I've, for oncé, refrain'd from doing
My poor endeavour to engender ruin.

XXVII.
“ There is a high and solitary tower

Near China's proud metropolis, and there, As I pass'd o'er it at the midnight hour,

Suspended in the vast and moonlit air,-
Lying in soft sleep's poppy-breathing bower,

I saw a maiden exquisitely fair!
You may, conceive what charms must be her lot,
When I'assure you that I pinch'd her not!

XXVIII.
" She quite disarm’d me of my old propensities;

I had no thought of doing any harm
To her, I would not for the wealth of ten cities

Have thrill’d that bosom with the least alarm. • What beauty!' I exclaim'd, oh! how intense it is!

How exquisite her neck, her hand, her arm! Her lips oh! might I with a kiss surprise The slumbers hanging on those shrouded eyes.'

XXIX.
“ But I breath'd o'er her a profounder sleep,

And drove away all images of fear
From her repose; then softly did I creep,

And whisper dreams of wonder in her ear.
Thus, many a night, did I my vigils keep

Beside her pillow, till she grew most dear
E'en to my nature—by her eyes. I swear
The world holds not another thing so fair!"

XXX. “ Now," quoth the nettled Fay, “mine'own I'd wager

(Might I hold commerce with such things as thou, And wouldst thou dare in such a strife to gage her)

That this thy Beauty bears not such a brow Of loveliness (I don't mean to enrage her).

As a young wonder whom I saw just now : And (what would more her female nature vex) My brighter Beauty's of the other sex.

XXXI. , “ Nay, since you look incredulous, Sir Fiend,

I must your senses by strong proof convince; So beg that you'll this instant condescend

To lay your sleeping Princess by my Prince In yon lone turret-back to China wend

Bring hither this fair paragon--and since
You dare to stake your judgment against miné,
We'll see which Beauty is the more divine.”

XXXII.
She spoke-upon the word his raven pinions

The dark-brow'd Spirit for the voyage spread,
And to the Chinese Monarch's far dominions,

Swift, straight, and fearless, through midair he sped ; Where (still unshaken in his old opinions)

He bore Badoura, sleeping from her bed,
And lodg'd her safely in the Prince's tower,
Close by his side, in less than half an hour.

XXXIII.
Had I but time I'd tell you how enchanting

She look’d, when waving in the midnight breeze,
As the strong Spirit bore her onward, panting.

With haste, o'er towns, and continents, and seas.
In raiment her fair limbs were sadly wanting,

For she wore nothing but a thin chemise ;
And, as the moonbeams bath'd her in their light,
She seem'd some wandering meteor of the Night,

XXXIV.
Or star dropp'd from the firmament; but when

She lay still sleeping, by the Prince's side
The fairest she of women-he of men-

Both Spirits own'd, it could not be denied
That Earth ne'er saw such Beauty. Ne'er again

Will such a Bridegroom sleep by such a Bride,
And ne'er again, while we live-I'm afraid,
Will pranks so pleasant be by Fairies play'd.

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XXXV.
Awhile the Fairies bent in silence o'er them,

Comparing lip with lip, and nose with nose;
And for their beauty could almost adore them ;

But soon the old dispute again arose ;
And to such lengths their angry passion bore then,

That they had nearly come from words to blows;
But that the evil Spirit fear'd to fight
With so confounded passionate a Sprite.

XXXVI.
At length 'twas settled, with the full consent

Of both, that the dispute should be referred (Since neither to resign the contest meant)

To the unbiass'd judgment of a third : .
And they both swore that they would be content,

When this their quarrel should be fairly heard,
With his decision. "So Maimoune callid
A Spirit whom her beauty had enthrallid

XXXVII.
For fifteen hundred years. The Spirit came-

A creature form’d by Nature for a Lover;
Blearey'd, and bowlegg’d, humpback'd, horn'd, and lame;

I wonder how such beauty fail'd to move her. But she had never yet confess'd a flame,

Though she had made this dainty Knight a rover,
Since he first woo'd her, over seas and lands, .'
Ten times a-day, to do her mild commands.

XXXVIII.
In this behaviour did my Sprite resemble

All mortal women whom I ever knew ;
Good Lord! I'm now while writing in a tremble,

To think of all the labour I went through
When I was courting Miss Jemima Kemble;

Never had galley-slave so much to do;
Never poor husband of a wife who chided
Could lead, in this world, such a life as I did.

XXXIX.
Well! I'm still single! but I can't forget

How oft I've trudg’d for many a dusty mile
On some ridiculous errand,-or got wet

In expectation of at least a smile ; And then, returning, found her in a pet

Because “ I'd kept her waiting such a while.” And then the shawls and tippets that I carried ; The scrapes she led me into-uill she married.

XL.
Up rose the Spirit thus so deeply smitten,

And most politely fell upon his knees ;
(His name can't be pronounc'd, and scarcely written,

And so we'll call him Cupid if you please :)
His mistress told him of the plan she'd hit on,

And begg'd his judgment would the strife appease :
And Cupid grinn'd, and look'd extremely proud,
To have his taste in Beauty thus allow'd.

XLI.
But when he very carefully had ey'd,

With spectacles on nose, the sleeping pair,
He gravely said it could not be denied-

That they were both superlatively fạir. He was extremely puzzled to decide

Which was the more so, and could not declare
To which his judgment would award the prize,
Unless he was allow'd to see their eyes.

XLII.
So said, so done ;—the magic spell was broken

Which hung upon the slumber-sealed eyes
Of the young Prince, and he was fairly woken

From his sweet dreams; then, oh! with what surprise He saw the form beside him (a bright token

Of the Gods' favour) sent to realize
(As he suppos’d), the loveliest dreams that stole-
Across the enchanted vision of his soul.

XLIII.
How came she’ there?-he knew not, and car'd less;

That she was there was quite enough for him ;-
Bewilder'd in her dazzling loveliness,

How did his eyes in giddy rapture swim! " As she lay by him still and motionless,

“ The cup of love was running o'er the brim.
Within him” (as I heard a speaker say
At a Salopian dinner yesterday.)

XLIV.
I can't think how he took the joke so coolly,

As if the Gods had chosen to provide
And send him, as they ought, at midnight duly,

A beautiful young lady for a bride..!
He never ask'd who brought her thither. Truly,

Had I found such a treasure by my side, Nor of the trick been previously admonishid, · I should have felt prodigiously astonish'd.

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Long did he gaze in silence and deep joy,

And thoughts came o'er him which he ne'er had known; The dream, which he had worshipp'd from a boy,

In one short instant from his brain had flown ;
And a new love, which knew of no alloy,

Within his bosom had built up a throne.
The Lady slept, he gaz'd, and gaz'd upon her,
But harbour'd not a thought against her honour.

XLVI.
She slept on most amazingly he thought

(And I'm not sure he wasn't in the right) That she slept rather sounder than she ought,

It being, he supposd, her bridal night.
But, though he deem'd it strange, he never sought

To force the slumbers from those orbs of light
He almost fear'd to view he could not bear
To use such rudeness to a thing so fair.

XLVII.
Yet did he print a most bewildering kiss

On her fair cheek-another on her brow(I should expatiate on that moment's bliss,

But haven't time to dwell upon it now.)
They would have waken’d any living Miss,

Whose sleep was not enchanted ; but somehow
This Lady felt them not; or, if she did,
Sleep still weigh'd down each persevering lid.

XLVIII.
'Twas all in vain; he found he couldn't wake her

By any gentle means ; so, having sworn
That she was his, and he would ne'er forsake her

That she should never from his arms be torn,
Even though Hell itself should yawn to take her,

He thought it would be best to doze till morn; And, having kiss'd her lovely cheek once more, He fell asleep more soundly than before.

XLIX. Forthwith, releas'd from the strong spell that bound her

In deepest slumber, fair Badoura sprung
From her enchanted visions, and around her

A glance of momentary wonder flung.
Much did the aspect of the place confound her

Where are the pictures round her chamber hung ?
Is this her bed ?-and ah!-what heavenly face
Lies on the pillow, in her Nurse's place?

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