The Bramin Angel.

An Oriental Tale.

Traditions in the East are imperishable, and the singularly romantic ge-
nius of the country often invests them with the mingled force of superstition
and fancy. Among the most frequent and favourite of these traditions, is the
descent of angels enamoured of earthly beauty—a tale evidently formed on
the language of the Pentateuch, alluding to the first defection of the patriarchal
family—the “ sons of God,” the Sethites, allying themselves with the “ daugh-
ters of men,” the descendants of Cain. The “ Loves of the Angels,” by the
poet Moore, gives the history ; the following lines are the mere transcript of
the idea :—
Rest thee, rest thee, weary stranger,1
Now the day is falling dim ;2
Wilt thou dare the forest ranger ?3
Wilt thou tempt the torrent’s brim ?”4
Holy Bramin, I must wander5
Over mount and over wave ;6
See, the vision beckons yonder,7
Leading to an unknown grave.”8
Gentle maiden, ’tis the taper9
Of the spirit of the wold,10
As, upon his car of vapour,11
On he sweeps, blue, bright, and cold.”12
Man of age, I must not linger13
Till the noble dead is found ;14
See, the spectre’s shadowy finger15
Pointing to the crimson ground.”16
Haste thee, haste thee, weeping beauty17
Hark, I hear the lion’s roar ;18
Pilgrim sweet of love and duty,19
We have reach’d my cottage door.20
Ancient Bramin, till to-morrow21
Sees the sunbeam tinge the sky,22
Wilt thou shield a child of sorrow,23
Who but asks of Heaven to die ?”24
Mine, young maiden, is no bower25
Hung with gold and silken pall ;26
Sorrow is an humble flower,27
Fittest for the cottage wall.”28
Now, beneath the straw-wove awning,29
Sit the maiden and the sage ;30
Till the silver morn-star dawning,31
Light her on her pilgrimage.32
Taste this goblet, lovely maiden,33
Taste these fruits, and weep no
more :
Let old age be anguish-laden,35
Tears of youth should soon be o’er.”36
Of the purple grape she tasted,37
Tasted of the Shiraz wine ;38
Still she saw the fruits unwasted,39
Still the brimming goblet shine !40
But what strains are round her flowing ?41
What wild sweets are on the wind ?42
Sudden radiance o’er her glowing,43
Sudden spells around her twined.44
To the minstrel sounds ascending,45
Swift the cottage walls arise ;46
Now its thatch is o’er her bending,47
Lovely as the sunset skies.48
Painted with a thousand glories,49
Arching like a rosy cloud,50
Passion’s high heroic stories51
On its golden roof embow’d.52
Now the rush of thousand pinions,53
Mix’d with harps, is heard afar,54
Stooping from their blue dominions,55
Children of the Vesper-star.56
Where is gone the ancient stranger ?57
Whither shall the maiden fly ?—58
Yet what heart can dream of danger,59
In that splendour-flashing eye ?60
Diamonds on the caftan glitter’d61
Rubies on the sandal shone.62
Can a thought by sin embitter’d63
To that angel smile be known ?64
Now, with glorious beauty beaming,65
Stands the Bramin, wing’d and
crown’d ;
Spirit, with heaven’s lustre gleaming67
On his brow the star-drops bound.68
Come,” he cries, “ earth’s loveliest
flower ;
Come, and be thy lover’s bride ;70
Where celestial roses shower,71
Where is pour’d joy’s richest tide.72
When I came, a pilgrim lowly,73
Sent to mark the world’s decline ;74
Then I found thee, bright and holy75
One pure diamond in the mine.76
With no earthly flame I loved thee,77
Thine, too, was no earthly flame ;78
Still thro’ pain and woe I proved thee,79
Still thy faith no pang could tame.80
Then to absence long I left thee ;81
Still thy sigh in secret stole ;82
Nay, when time of hope bereft thee,83
Still my image fill’d thy soul.84
Sweet one, I was watching o’er thee,85
Ever loving, ever nigh,86
When the tempest onward bore thee,87
When the tiger bounded by.88
Now thy weary way is ended,89
Thou hast found mine only tomb ;90
With thy lover’s spirit blended,91
Leave, oh leave this world of gloom !”92
Lip to lip, like new-born roses,93
Was the vow of passion seal’d94
Now the opening roof discloses95
Golden chariots, topaz-wheel’d.96
All with joy celestial blushing97
Flies she to her lover’s arms ;98
Tears of mutual rapture gushing99
Spirit’s love, and woman’s charms.100
On the air her bright adorer,101
Spreading his empurpled wings,102
Like a shaft of lightning bore
While upon his neck she clings.104
Now is reached the starry portal,105
Now her angel wreath is won ;106
Now a spirit, pure, immortal,107
Sits she on her lover’s throne.108