Within his splendid chamber; by all flowers
Of fragrance rare and exquisite perfumed;
Beneath a silken canopy, gold--dropped,
Reposed the guilty king. One crystal lamp,
With oil sweet--scented fed, its soft, pure ray
With the pale moonlight mingled. As he slept,
Again the murderous deed he acted o'er:
The pale stern seer again cried out, ``beware!''
Again with boundless rage his bosom heaved;
He rushed again to dash him headlong down;
But griped, instead, some hideous, nameless thing,
That with him struggled; crushed him to the earth;
And held him there; all shattered, yet alive.
Such was his agony. Above the couch
Azubah leaned, and gazed upon his face;
Guessing what stirred him thus: for, down his brow
The big drops ran; his teeth were set; hands clenched;
His limbs, as with the spasms of death, convulsed.
``Unhappy king!'' she said; ``by night and day,
The prey of passions strong and terrible!
Fierce in thy love; and fatal in thy rage;
Yet of a nature noblest,--wake, awake.''
Speaking, she stirred him: but the dream was strong,
And held him like a spell. He woke at length;
Started, with trembling limbs, and grasped her arm;
Glaring upon her with distorted face,
As on some monster. But, with soothing voice,
``'Tis I,'' she said; ``Azubah.'' At the sound,