Thalaba the Destroyer


A night of darkness and of storms!
Into the Chamber of the Tomb
Thalaba led the Old Man,
To roof him from the rain.
A night of storms! the wind
Swept through the moonless sky,
And moan'd among the pillar'd sepulcheres;
And in the pauses of its sweep
They heard the heavy rain
Beat on the monument above.
In silence on Oneiza's grave
Her father and her husband sate.
The Cryer from the Minaret
Proclaim'd the midnight hour.
"Now, now!" cried Thalaba;
And o'er the cahmber of the tomb
There spread a lurid gleam,

Like the reflections of a sulphur fire;
And in that hideous lighht
Oneiza stood before them. It was She. . .
Her very lineaments. . .and such as death
Had changed them, livid cheeks and lips of blue;
But in her eye there dwelt
Brightness more terrible
Than all the loathsomeness of death.
"Still art thou living, wretch?"
In hollow tones she cried to Thalaba;
"And must I nightly leave my grave
To tell thee, still in vain,
God hath abandoned thee?"

"This is not she!" the Old Man exclaim'd;
"A Fiend; a manifest Fiend!"
And to the youth he held his lance;
"Strike and deliver thyself!"
"Strike HER!" cried Thalaba,
And palsied of all power,
Gazed fixedly upon the dreadful form.
"yea, strike yer!" cried a voice, whose tones
Flow'd with such a sudden healing through his soul,
As when the desert shower
From death deliver'd him;
But unobedient to that well-known voice,
His eye was seeking it,
When Moath, firm of heart,
Perform'd the bidding: through the vampire corpse
He thrust his lance; it fell,
And howling with the wound,
its fiendish tenant fled,
A sapphire light fell on them,
And garmented with glory, in their sight
Oneiza's Spirit stood.

Author: Robert Southey
Source: Scarlet Sanctuary


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