The Bijou

The Bijou;

or Annual of Literature and the Arts

compiled by William Fraser

London: William Pickering,


[Page 241] page image and link
The Oriental Love-Letter
By Miss Pickersgill, Authoress of Tales of the Harem
The Sun in parting splendor set 1
On mosque, and dome, and minaret, 2
And many a golden ruddy beam 3
Lit up each pure and gushing stream; 4
And leaves and flowers were gemm'd with dew, 5
Lavished on buds of every hue, 6
Which like a fair Sultana's zone, 7
Or coronal of Peri shone. 8
And in her own sequester'd bower, 9
Within the Harem's still retreat, 10
Sitara at that lovely hour; 11
Of Eve had chos'n her lonely seat; 12
For on embroidered couches lay'd, 13
Reclin'd the pensive Moslem maid. 14

In vain the beauteous woodbines wound, 15
Like Love's light bonds the casement round, 16
Wafting their tribute of perfume 17
And laughing in their roseate bloom; 18
For all neglected lay her lute 19
Whose every moving strain was mute! 20

[Page 342sic] page image and link
No longer was her buoyant song 21
Borne by the southern breeze along, 22
Nor flowers, nor lute, nor sparkling stream, 23
Could woo her from Love's witching dream. 24
Though close within her Harem bower, 25
They deem'd her safe from Love's fond power, 26
Yet in what deep sequester'd cell 27
Will not the winged urchin dwell: 28
For e'en within a flow'ry wreath 29
Young Love his first fond vows may breathe; 30
And in bright emblem flowers declare, 31
Joy —absence—thraldom —hope—despair!— 32

Perchance amidst those flowers he dwells, 33
Nestling beneath the myrtle bells, 34
And on its fragrance wafts a sigh 35
While sunned beneath her radiant eye. 36
And e'en those buds of crimson hue 37
Breathe vows of love both pure and true, 38
While the bright golden flowret bears, 39
His ever changing hopes and fears, 40
And Beauty's type, the joyous rose, 41
Unfolds the soft and flattering tale, 42
That her young cheek with luster glows, 43
Which makes his vaunted bloom seem pale. 44
Then may not her young bosom well, 45
Receive the vows those emblems tell; 46
And her dark downcast eyes reveal 47
Thoughts which her tongue might else conceal? — 48

[Page 343sic] page image and link
And why then from the garland's pride 49
Does she those simple flowers divide, 50
And place them pensively apart, 51
As if some chord within her heart 52
Vibrated? Know amidst their bloom 53
Those purple buds of absence breathe, 54
Which well might shed a passing gloom 55
O'er her fair brow. Did not the wreath 56
Of fairy hope from spring's bright bowers 57
Shine in those tufts of snowy flowers, 58
Which, joined with Memory's solace still, 59
Shields Love's young buds from winter's chill. 60
from The Bijou, 1828, pp. 241-343sic
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