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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Asia Minor: Rhodes, the Island

The Turkish Lady

By Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)

’T WAS the hour when rites unholy

Called each Paynim voice to prayer,

And the star that faded slowly

Left to dews the freshened air.

Day her sultry fires had wasted,

Calm and sweet the moonlight rose;

Even a captive’s spirit tasted

Half oblivion of his woes.

Then ’t was from an Emir’s palace

Came an Eastern lady bright;

She, in spite of tyrants jealous,

Saw and loved an English knight.

“Tell me, captive, why in anguish

Foes have dragged thee here to dwell,

Where poor Christians as they languish

Hear no sound of Sabbath bell?”

“’T was on Transylvania’s Bannat

When the crescent shone afar,

Like a pale disastrous planet

O’er the purple tide of war.

“In that day of desolation,

Lady, I was captive made:

Bleeding for my Christian nation

By the walls of high Belgrade.”

“Captive! could the brightest jewel

From my turban set thee free?”

“Lady, no! the gift were cruel,

Ransomed, yet if reft of thee.

“Say, fair princess! would it grieve thee

Christian climes should we behold?”

“Nay, bold knight! I would not leave thee

Were thy ransom paid in gold!”

Now in heaven’s blue expansion

Rose the midnight star to view,

When to quit her father’s mansion,

Thrice she wept and bade adieu!

“Fly we then, while none discover;

Tyrant barks, in vain we ride!”

Soon at Rhodes the British lover

Clasped his blooming Eastern bride.