"And this," said the Great Chamberlain, "is poetry! this flimsy manufacture of the brain, which in comparison with the lofty and durable monuments of genius is as the gold filigree-work of Zamara beside the eternal architecture of Egypt!" After this gorgeous sentence, which, with a few more of the same kind, FADLADEEN kept by him for rare and important occasions, he proceeded to the anatomy of the short poem just recited. The lax and easy kind of metre in which it was written ought to be denounced, he said, as one of the leading causes of the alarming growth of poetry in our times. If some check were not given to this lawless facility we should soon be overrun by a race of bards as numerous and as shallow as the hundred and twenty thousand Streams of Basra.[179] They who succeeded in this style deserved chastisement for their very success; --as warriors have been punished even after gaining a victory because they had taken the liberty of gaining it in an irregular or unestablished manner. What then was to be said to those who failed? to those who presumed as in the present lamentable instance to imitate the licence and ease of the bolder sons of song without any of that grace or vigor which gave a dignity even to negligence; --who like them flung the jereed[180] carelessly, but not, like them, to the mark; --"and who," said he, raising his voice to excite a proper degree of wakefulness in his hearers, "contrive to appear heavy and constrained in the midst of all the latitude they allow themselves, like one of those young pagans that dance before the Princess, who is ingenious enough to move as if her limbs were fettered, in a pair of the lightest and loosest drawers of Masulipatam!"

It was but little suitable, he continued, to the grave march of criticism to follow this fantastical Peri of whom they had just heard, through all her flights and adventures between earth and heaven, but he could not help adverting to the puerile conceitedness of the Three Gifts which she is supposed to carry to the skies, --a drop of blood, forsooth, a sigh, and a tear! How the first of these articles was delivered into the Angel's "radiant hand" he professed himself at a loss to discover; and as to the safe carriage of the sigh and the tear, such Peris and such poets were beings by far too incomprehensible for him even to guess how they managed such matters. "But, in short," said he, "it is a waste of time and patience to dwell longer upon a thing so incurably frivolous,--puny even among its own puny race, and such as only the Banyan Hospital[181] for Sick Insects should undertake."

In vain did LALLA ROOKH try to soften this inexorable critic; in vain did she resort to her most eloquent commonplaces, reminding him that poets were a timid and sensitive race whose sweetness was not to be drawn forth like that of the fragrant grass near the Ganges by crushing and trampling upon them,[182] that severity often extinguished every chance of the perfection which it demanded, and that after all perfection was like the Mountain of the Talisman, --no one had ever yet reached its summit.[183] Neither these gentle axioms nor the still gentler looks with which they were inculcated could lower for one instant the elevation of FADLADEEN'S eyebrows or charm him into anything like encouragement or even toleration of her poet. Toleration, indeed, was not among the weaknesses of FADLADEEN: --he carried the same spirit into matters of poetry and of religion, and though little versed in the beauties or sublimities of either was a perfect master of the art of persecution in both. His zeal was the same too in either pursuit, whether the game before him was pagans or poetasters, worshippers of cows, or writers of epics.

They had now arrived at the splendid city of Lahore whose mausoleums and shrines, magnificent and numberless, where Death appeared to share equal honors with Heaven, would have powerfully affected the heart and imagination of LALLA ROOKH, if feelings more of this earth had not taken entire possession of her already. She was here met by messengers despatched from Cashmere who informed her that the King had arrived in the Valley and was himself superintending the sumptuous preparations that were then making in the Saloons of the Shalimar for her reception. The chill she felt on receiving this intelligence, --which to a bride whose heart was free and light would have brought only images of affection and pleasure, --convinced her that her peace was gone for ever and that she was in love, irretrievably in love, with young FERAMORZ. The veil had fallen off in which this passion at first disguises itself, and to know that she loved was now as painful as to love without knowing it had been delicious. FERAMORZ, too, --what misery would be his, if the sweet hours of intercourse so imprudently allowed them should have stolen into his heart the same fatal fascination as into hers; --if, notwithstanding her rank and the modest homage he always paid to it, even he should have yielded to the influence of those long and happy interviews where music, poetry, the delightful scenes of nature, --all had tended to bring their hearts close together and to waken by every means that too ready passion which often like the young of the desert-bird is warmed into life by the eyes alone![184] She saw but one way to preserve herself from being culpable as well as unhappy, and this however painful she was resolved to adopt. FERAMORZ must no more be admitted to her presence. To have strayed so far into the dangerous labyrinth was wrong, but to linger in it while the clew was yet in her hand would be criminal. Though the heart she had to offer to the King of Bucharia might be cold and broken, it should at least be pure, and she must only endeavor to forget the short dream of happiness she had enjoyed, --like that Arabian shepherd who in wandering into the wilderness caught a glimpse of the Gardens of Irim and then lost them again for ever!

The arrival of the young Bride at Lahore was celebrated in the most enthusiastic manner. The Rajas and Omras in her train, who had kept at a certain distance during the journey and never encamped nearer to the Princess than was strictly necessary for her safeguard here rode in splendid cavalcade through the city and distributed the most costly presents to the crowd. Engines were erected in all the squares which cast forth showers of confectionery among the people, while the artisans in chariots[185] adorned with tinsel and flying streamers exhibited the badges of their respective trades through the streets. Such brilliant displays of life and pageantry among the palaces and domes and gilded minarets of Lahore made the city altogether like a place of enchantment; --particularly on the day when LALLA ROOKH set out again upon her journey, when she was accompanied to the gate by all the fairest and richest of the nobility and rode along between ranks of beautiful boys and girls who kept waving over their heads plates of gold and silver flowers,[186] and then threw them around to be gathered by the populace.

For many days after their departure from Lahore a considerable degree of gloom hung over the whole party. LALLA ROOKH, who had intended to make illness her excuse for not admitting the young minstrel, as usual, to the pavilion, soon found that to feign indisposition was unnecessary; --FADLADEEN felt the loss of the good road they had hitherto travelled and was very near cursing Jehan-Guire (of blessed memory!) for not having continued his delectable alley of trees[187] a least as far as the mountains of Cashmere; --while the Ladies who had nothing now to do all day but to be fanned by peacocks' feathers and listen to FADLADEEN seemed heartily weary of the life they led, and in spite of all the Great Chamberlain's criticisms were so tasteless as to wish for the poet again. One evening as they were proceeding to their place of rest for the night the Princess, who for the freer enjoyment of the air had mounted her favorite Arabian palfrey, in passing by a small grove heard the notes of a lute from within its leaves and a voice which she but too well knew singing the following words:--

Tell me not of joys above,
If that world can give no bliss,
Truer, happier than the Love
Which enslaves our souls in this.

Tell me not of Houris' eyes;--
Far from me their dangerous glow.
If those looks that light the skies
Wound like some that burn below.

Who that feels what Love is here,
All its falsehood-- all its pain--
Would, for even Elysium's sphere,
Risk the fatal dream again?

Who that midst a desert's heat
Sees the waters fade away
Would not rather die than meet
Streams again as false as they?

The tone of melancholy defiance in which these words were uttered went to LALLA ROOKH'S heart; --and as she reluctantly rode on she could not help feeling it to be a sad but still sweet certainty that FERAMORZ was to the full as enamored and miserable as herself.

The place where they encamped that evening was the first delightful spot they had come to since they left Lahore. On one side of them was a grove full of small Hindoo temples and planted with the most graceful trees of the East, where the tamarind, the cassia, and the silken plantains of Ceylon were mingled in rich contrast with the high fan-like foliage of the Palmyra, --that favorite tree of the luxurious bird that lights up the chambers of its nest with fire-flies.[188] In the middle of the lawn where the pavilion stood there was a tank surrounded by small mango-trees, on the clear cold waters of which floated multitudes of the beautiful red lotus,[189] while at a distance stood the ruins of a strange and awful-looking tower which seemed old enough to have been the temple of some religion no longer known, and which spoke the voice of desolation in the midst of all that bloom and loveliness. This singular ruin excited the wonder and conjectures of all. LALLA ROOKH guessed in vain, and the all-pretending FADLADEEN, who had never till this journey been beyond the precincts of Delhi, was proceeding most learnedly to show that he knew nothing whatever about the matter, when one of the Ladies suggested that perhaps FERAMORZ could satisfy their curiosity. They were now approaching his native mountains and this tower might perhaps be a relic of some of those dark superstitions which had prevailed in that country before the light of Islam dawned upon it. The Chamberlain, who usually preferred his own ignorance to the best knowledge that any one else could give him, was by no means pleased with this officious reference, and the Princess too was about to interpose a faint word of objection, but before either of them could speak a slave was despatched for FERAMORZ, who in a very few minutes made his appearance before them-- looking so pale and unhappy in LALLA ROOKH'S eyes that she repented already of her cruelty in having so long excluded him.

That venerable tower, he told them, was the remains of an ancient Fire-Temple, built by those Ghebers or Persians of the old religion, who many hundred years since had fled hither from the Arab conquerors, preferring liberty and their altars in a foreign land to the alternative of apostasy or persecution in their own. It was impossible, he added, not to feel interested in the many glorious but unsuccessful struggles which had been made by these original natives of Persia to cast off the yoke of their bigoted conquerors. Like their own Fire in the Burning Field at Bakou when suppressed in one place they had but broken out with fresh flame in another; and as a native of Cashmere, of that fair and Holy Valley which had in the same manner become the prey of strangers[190] and seen her ancient shrines and native princes swept away before the march of her intolerant invaders, he felt a sympathy, he owned, with the sufferings of the persecuted Ghebers which every monument like this before them but tended more powerfully to awaken.

It was the first time that FERAMORZ had ever ventured upon so much prose before FADLADEEN, and it may easily be conceived what effect such prose as this must have produced upon that most orthodox and most pagan-hating personage. He sat for some minutes aghast, ejaculating only at intervals, "Bigoted conquerors! --sympathy with Fire-worshippers!"[191]-- while FERAMORZ happy to take advantage of this almost speechless horror of the Chamberlain proceeded to say that he knew a melancholy story connected with the events of one of those struggles of the brave Fire-worshippers against their Arab masters, which if the evening was not too far advanced he should have much pleasure in being allowed to relate to the Princess. It was impossible for LALLA ROOKH to refuse; --he had never before looked half so animated, and when he spoke of the Holy Valley his eyes had sparkled, she thought, like the talismanic characters on the scimitar of Solomon. Her consent was therefore most readily granted; and while FADLADEEN sat in unspeakable dismay, expecting treason and abomination in every line, the poet thus began his story of the Fire-worshippers:


'Tis moonlight over OMAN'S SEA;[192]
Her banks of pearl and palmy isles
Bask in the night-beam beauteously
And her blue waters sleep in smiles.
'Tis moonlight in HARMOZIA'S[193] walls,
And through her EMIR'S porphyry halls
Where some hours since was heard the swell
Of trumpets and the clash of zel[194]
Bidding the bright-eyed sun farewell;--
The peaceful sun whom better suits
The music of the bulbul's nest
Or the light touch of lovers' lutes
To sing him to his golden rest.
All husht-- there's not a breeze in motion;
The shore is silent as the ocean.
If zephyrs come, so light they come.
Nor leaf is stirred nor wave is driven;--
The wind-tower on the EMIR'S dome[195]
Can hardly win a breath from heaven.

Even he, that tyrant Arab, sleeps
Calm, while a nation round him weeps,
While curses load the air he breathes
And falchions from unnumbered sheaths
Are starting to avenge the shame
His race hath brought on IRAN'S[196] name.
Hard, heartless Chief, unmoved alike
Mid eyes that weep and swords that strike;
One of that saintly, murderous brood,
To carnage and the Koran given,
Who think thro' unbelievers' blood
Lies their directest path to heaven,--
One who will pause and kneel unshod
In the warm blood his hand hath poured,
To mutter o'er some text of God
Engraven on his reeking sword;[197]
Nay, who can coolly note the line,
The letter of those words divine,
To which his blade with searching art
Had sunk into its victim's heart!

Just ALLA! what must be thy look
When such a wretch before thee stands
Unblushing, with thy Sacred Book,--
Turning the leaves with bloodstained hands,
And wresting from its page sublime
His creed of lust and hate and crime;--
Even as those bees of TREBIZOND,
Which from the sunniest flowers that glad
With their pure smile the gardens round,
Draw venom forth that drives men mad.[198]
Never did fierce Arabia send
A satrap forth more direly great;
Never was IRAN doomed to bend
Beneath a yoke of deadlier weight.
Her throne had fallen-- her pride was crusht--
Her sons were willing slaves, nor blusht,
In their own land, --no more their own,--
To crouch beneath a stranger's throne.
Her towers where MITHRA once had burned.
To Moslem shrines-- oh shame! --were turned,
Where slaves converted by the sword,
Their mean, apostate worship poured,
And curst the faith their sires adored.
Yet has she hearts, mid all this ill,
O'er all this wreck high buoyant still
With hope and vengeance; --hearts that yet--
Like gems, in darkness, issuing rays
They've treasured from the sun that's set,--
Beam all the light of long-lost days!
And swords she hath, nor weak nor slow
To second all such hearts can dare:
As he shall know, well, dearly know.
Who sleeps in moonlight luxury there,
Tranquil as if his spirit lay
Becalmed in Heaven's approving ray.
Sleep on-- for purer eyes than thine
Those waves are husht, those planets shine;
Sleep on and be thy rest unmoved
By the white moonbeam's dazzling power;--
None but the loving and the loved
Should be awake at this sweet hour.

And see-- where high above those rocks
That o'er the deep their shadows fling.
Yon turret stands; --where ebon locks,
As glossy as the heron's wing
Upon the turban of a king,[199]
Hang from the lattice, long and wild,--
'Tis she, that EMIR'S blooming child,
All truth and tenderness and grace,
Tho' born of such ungentle race;--
An image of Youth's radiant Fountain
Springing in a desolate mountain![200]

Oh what a pure and sacred thing
Is Beauty curtained from the sight
Of the gross world, illumining
One only mansion with her light!
Unseen by man's disturbing eye,--
The flower that blooms beneath the sea,
Too deep for sunbeams, doth not lie
Hid in more chaste obscurity.
So, HINDA. have thy face and mind,
Like holy mysteries, lain enshrined.
And oh! what transport for a lover
To lift the veil that shades them o'er!--
Like those who all at once discover
In the lone deep some fairy shore
Where mortal never trod before,
And sleep and wake in scented airs
No lip had ever breathed but theirs.

Beautiful are the maids that glide
On summer-eves thro' YEMEN'S[201] dales,
And bright the glancing looks they hide
Behind their litters' roseate veils;--
And brides as delicate and fair
As the white jasmine flowers they wear,
Hath YEMEN in her blissful clime,
Who lulled in cool kiosk or bower,[202]
Before their mirrors count the time[203]
And grow still lovelier every hour.
But never yet hath bride or maid
In ARABY'S gay Haram smiled.
Whose boasted brightness would not fade
Before AL HASSAN'S blooming child.

Light as the angel shapes that bless
An infant's dream, yet not the less
Rich in all woman's loveliness;--
With eyes so pure that from their ray
Dark Vice would turn abasht away,
Blinded like serpents when they gaze
Upon the emerald's virgin blaze;[204]--
Yet filled with all youth's sweet desires,
Mingling the meek and vestal fires
Of other worlds with all the bliss,
The fond, weak tenderness of this:
A soul too more than half divine,
Where, thro' some shades of earthly feeling,
Religion's softened glories shine,
Like light thro' summer foliage stealing,
Shedding a glow of such mild hue,
So warm and yet so shadowy too,
As makes the very darkness there
More beautiful than light elsewhere.

Such is the maid who at this hour
Hath risen from her restless sleep
And sits alone in that high bower,
Watching the still and shining deep.
Ah! 'twas not thus, --with tearful eyes
And beating heart, --she used to gaze
On the magnificent earth and skies,
In her own land, in happier days.
Why looks she now so anxious down
Among those rocks whose rugged frown
Blackens the mirror of the deep?
Whom waits she all this lonely night?
Too rough the rocks, too bold the steep,
For man to scale that turret's height!--

So deemed at least her thoughtful sire,
When high, to catch the cool night-air
After the day-beam's withering fire,[205]
He built her bower of freshness there,
And had it deckt with costliest skill
And fondly thought it safe as fair:--
Think, reverend dreamer! think so still,
Nor wake to learn what Love can dare;--
Love, all defying Love, who sees
No charm in trophies won with ease;--
Whose rarest, dearest fruits of bliss
Are plucked on Danger's precipice!
Bolder than they who dare not dive
For pearls but when the sea's at rest,
Love, in the tempest most alive,
Hath ever held that pearl the best
He finds beneath the stormiest water.
Yes, ARABY'S unrivalled daughter,
Tho' high that tower, that rock-way rude,
There's one who but to kiss thy cheek
Would climb the untrodden solitude
Of ARARAT'S tremendous peak,[206]
And think its steeps, tho' dark and dread,
Heaven's pathways, if to thee they led!
Even now thou seest the flashing spray,
That lights his oar's impatient way;--
Even now thou hearest the sudden shock
Of his swift bark against the rock,
And stretchest down thy arms of snow
As if to lift him from below!
Like her to whom at dead of night
The bridegroom with his locks of light[207]
Came in the flush of love and pride
And scaled the terrace of his bride;--
When as she saw him rashly spring,
And midway up in danger cling,
She flung him down her long black hair,
Exclaiming breathless, "There, love, there!"
And scarce did manlier nerve uphold
The hero ZAL in that fond hour,
Than wings the youth who, fleet and bold,
Now climbs the rocks to HINDA'S bower.
See-- light as up their granite steeps
The rock-goats of ARABIA clamber,[208]
Fearless from crag to crag he leaps,
And now is in the maiden's chamber.
She loves-- but knows not whom she loves,
Nor what his race, nor whence he came;--
Like one who meets in Indian groves
Some beauteous bird without a name;
Brought by the last ambrosial breeze
From isles in the undiscovered seas,
To show his plumage for a day
To wondering eyes and wing away!
Will he thus fly-- her nameless lover?
ALLA forbid! 'twas by a moon
As fair as this, while singing over
Some ditty to her soft Kanoon,
Alone, at this same witching hour,
She first beheld his radiant eyes
Gleam thro' the lattice of the bower,
Where nightly now they mix their sighs;
And thought some spirit of the air
(For what could waft a mortal there?)
Was pausing on his moonlight way
To listen to her lonely lay!
This fancy ne'er hath left her mind:
And-- tho', when terror's swoon had past,
She saw a youth of mortal kind
Before her in obeisance cast,--
Yet often since, when he hath spoken
Strange, awful words, --and gleams have broken
From his dark eyes, too bright to bear,
Oh! she hath feared her soul was given
To some unhallowed child of air,
Some erring spirit cast from heaven,
Like those angelic youths of old
Who burned for maids of mortal mould,
Bewildered left the glorious skies
And lost their heaven for woman's eyes.
Fond girl! nor fiend nor angel he
Who woos thy young simplicity;
But one of earth's impassioned sons,
As warm in love, as fierce in ire
As the best heart whose current runs
Full of the Day-God's living fire.

But quenched to-night that ardor seems,
And pale his cheek and sunk his brow;--
Never before but in her dreams
Had she beheld him pale as now:
And those were dreams of troubled sleep
From which 'twas joy to wake and weep;
Visions that will not be forgot,
But sadden every waking scene
Like warning ghosts that leave the spot
All withered where they once have been.

"How sweetly," said the trembling maid,
Of her own gentle voice afraid,
So long had they in silence stood
Looking upon that tranquil flood--
"How sweetly does the moonbeam smile
"To-night upon yon leafy isle!
"Oft, in my fancy's wanderings,
"I've wisht that little isle had wings,
"And we within its fairy bowers
"Were wafted off to seas unknown,
"Where not a pulse should beat but ours,
"And we might live, love, die, alone!
"Far from the cruel and the cold,--
"Where the bright eyes of angels only
"Should come around us to behold
"A paradise so pure and lonely.
"Would this be world enough for thee?"--
Playful she turned that he might see
The passing smile her cheek put on;
But when she markt how mournfully
His eye met hers, that smile was gone;
And bursting into heart-felt tears,
"Yes, yes," she cried, "my hourly fears,
"My dreams have boded all too right--
"We part-- for ever part-- tonight!
"I knew, I knew it could not last--
"'Twas bright, 'twas heavenly, but 'tis past!
"Oh! ever thus from childhood's hour
"I've seen my fondest hopes decay;
"I never loved a tree or flower,
"But 'twas the first to fade away.
"I never nurst a dear gazelle
"To glad me with its soft black eye
"But when it came to know me well
"And love me it was sure to die!
"Now too-- the joy most like divine
"Of all I ever dreamt or knew,
"To see thee, hear thee, call thee mine,--
"Oh misery! must I lose that too?
"Yet go-- on peril's brink we meet;--
"Those frightful rocks-- that treacherous sea--
"No, never come again-- tho' sweet,
"Tho' heaven, it may be death to thee.
"Farewell-- and blessings on thy way,
"Where'er thou goest, beloved stranger!
"Better to sit and watch that ray
"And think thee safe, tho' far away,
"Than have thee near me and in danger!"

"Danger! --oh, tempt me not to boast"--
The youth exclaimed-- "thou little know'st
"What he can brave, who, born and nurst
"In Danger's paths, has dared her worst;
"Upon whose ear the signal-word
"Of strife and death is hourly breaking;
"Who sleeps with head upon the sword
"His fevered hand must grasp in waking.
    "Say on-- thou fearest not then,
"And we may meet-- oft meet again?"

"Oh! look not so-- beneath the skies
"I now fear nothing but those eyes.
"If aught on earth could charm or force
"My spirit from its destined course,--
"If aught could make this soul forget
"The bond to which its seal is set,
"'Twould be those eyes; --they, only they,
"Could melt that sacred seal away!
"But no-- 'tis fixt --my awful doom
"Is fixt-- on this side of the tomb
"We meet no more; --why, why did Heaven
"Mingle two souls that earth has riven,
"Has rent asunder wide as ours?
"Oh, Arab maid, as soon the Powers
"Of Light and Darkness may combine.
"As I be linkt with thee or thine!
"Thy Father"--
    "Holy ALLA save
"His gray head from that lightning glance!
"Thou knowest him not-- he loves the brave;
"Nor lives there under heaven's expanse
"One who would prize, would worship thee
"And thy bold spirit more than he.
"Oft when in childhood I have played
"With the bright falchion by his side,
"I've heard him swear his lisping maid
"In time should be a warrior's bride.
"And still whene'er at Haram hours
"I take him cool sherbets and flowers,
"He tells me when in playful mood
"A hero shall my bridegroom be,
"Since maids are best in battle wooed,
"And won with shouts of victory!
"Nay, turn not from me-- thou alone
"Art formed to make both hearts thy own.
"Go-- join his sacred ranks-- thou knowest
"The unholy strife these Persians wage:--
"Good Heaven, that frown! --even now thou glowest
"With more than mortal warrior's rage.
"Haste to the camp by morning's light,
"And when that sword is raised in fight,
"Oh still remember, Love and I
"Beneath its shadow trembling lie!
"One victory o'er those Slaves of Fire,
"Those impious Ghebers whom my sire
    "Hold, hold-- thy words are death"--
The stranger cried as wild he flung
His mantle back and showed beneath
The Gheber belt that round him clung.[209]--
"Here, maiden, look-- weep-- blush to see
"All that thy sire abhors in me!
"Yes-- I am of that impious race,
"Those Slaves of Fire who, morn and even,
"Hail their Creator's dwelling-place
"Among the living lights of heaven:[210]
"Yes-- I am of that outcast few,
"To IRAN and to vengeance true,
"Who curse the hour your Arabs came
"To desolate our shrines of flame,
"And swear before God's burning eye
"To break our country's chains or die!
"Thy bigot sire, --nay, tremble not,--
"He who gave birth to those dear eyes
"With me is sacred as the spot
"From which our fires of worship rise!
"But know-- 'twas he I sought that night,
"When from my watch-boat on the sea
"I caught this turret's glimmering light,
"And up the rude rocks desperately
"Rusht to my prey-- thou knowest the rest--
"I climbed the gory vulture's nest,
"And found a trembling dove within;--
"Thine, thine the victory-- thine the sin--
"If Love hath made one thought his own,
"That Vengeance claims first-- last-- alone!
"Oh! had we never, never met,
"Or could this heart even now forget
"How linkt, how blest we might have been,
"Had fate not frowned so dark between!
"Hadst thou been born a Persian maid,
"In neighboring valleys had we dwelt,
"Thro' the same fields in childhood played,
"At the same kindling altar knelt,--
"Then, then, while all those nameless ties
"In which the charm of Country lies
"Had round our hearts been hourly spun,
"Till IRAN'S cause and thine were one;
"While in thy lute's awakening sigh
"I heard the voice of days gone by,
"And saw in every smile of thine
"Returning hours of glory shine;--
"While the wronged Spirit of our Land
"Lived, lookt, and spoke her wrongs thro' thee,--
"God! who could then this sword withstand?
"Its very flash were victory!
"But now-- estranged, divorced for ever,
"Far as the grasp of Fate can sever;
"Our only ties what love has wove,--
"In faith, friends, country, sundered wide;
"And then, then only, true to love,
"When false to all that's dear beside!
"Thy father IRAN'S deadliest foe--
"Thyself, perhaps, even now-- but no--
"Hate never looked so lovely yet!
No-- sacred to thy soul will be
"The land of him who could forget
"All but that bleeding land for thee.
"When other eyes shall see, unmoved,
"Her widows mourn, her warriors fall,
"Thou'lt think how well one Gheber loved.
"And for his sake thou'lt weep for all!
"But look"--
    With sudden start he turned
And pointed to the distant wave
Where lights like charnel meteors burned
Bluely as o'er some seaman's grave;
And fiery darts at intervals[211]
Flew up all sparkling from the main
As if each star that nightly falls
Were shooting back to heaven again.
"My signal lights! --I must away--
"Both, both are ruined, if I stay.
"Farewell-- sweet life! thou clingest in vain--
"Now, Vengeance, I am thine again!"
Fiercely he broke away, nor stopt,
Nor lookt-- but from the lattice dropt
Down mid the pointed crags beneath
As if he fled from love to death.
While pale and mute young HINDA stood,
Nor moved till in the silent flood
A momentary plunge below
Startled her from her trance of woe;--
Shrieking she to the lattice flew,
"I come-- I come-- if in that tide
"Thou sleepest to-night, I'll sleep there too
"In death's cold wedlock by thy side.
"Oh! I would ask no happier bed
"Than the chill wave my love lies under:--
"Sweeter to rest together dead,
"Far sweeter than to live asunder!"
But no-- their hour is not yet come--
Again she sees his pinnace fly,
Wafting him fleetly to his home,
Where'er that ill-starred home may lie;
And calm and smooth it seemed to win
Its moonlight way before the wind
As if it bore all peace within
Nor left one breaking heart behind!

-- on to Part Six --

[179] "It is said that the rivers or streams of Basra were reckoned in the time of Peisl ben Abi Bordeh, and amounted to the number of one hundred and twenty thousand streams." --Ebn Haukal.

[180] The name of the javelin with which the Easterns exercise. See Castellan, "Moeurs des Ottomans," tom. iii. p. 161.

[181] "This account excited a desire of visiting the Banyan Hospital, as I had heard much of their benevolence to all kinds of animals that were either sick, lame, or infirm, through age or accident. On my arrival, there were presented to my view many horses, cows, and oxen, in one apartment; in another, dogs, sheep, goats, and monkeys, with clean straw for them to repose on. Above stairs were depositories for seeds of many sorts, and flat, broad dishes for water, for the use of birds and insects." --Parson's Travels. It is said that all animals know the Banyans, that the most timid approach them, and that birds will fly nearer to them than to other people. --See Grandpré.

[182] "A very fragrant grass from the banks of the Ganges, near Heridwar, which in some places covers whole acres, and diffuses, when crushed, a strong odor." --Sir W. Jones on the Spikenard of the Ancients.

[183] "Near this is a curious hill, called Koh Talism, the Mountain of the Talisman, because, according to the traditions of the country, no person ever succeeded in gaining its summit." --Kinneir.

[184] "The Arabians believe that the ostriches hatch their young by only looking at them."

[185] Oriental Tales.

[186] Ferishta. "Or rather," says Scott, upon the passage of Ferishta, from which this is taken, "small coins, stamped with the figure of a flower. They are still used in India to distribute in charity and on occasion thrown by the purse-bearers of the great among the populace."

[187] The fine road made by the Emperor Jehan-Guire from Agra to Lahore, planted with trees on each side. This road is 250 leagues in length. It has "little pyramids or turrets," says Bernier, "erected every half league, to mark the ways, and frequent wells to afford drink to passengers, and to water the young trees."

[188] The Baya, or Indian Grosbeak .--Sir W. Jones.

[189] "Here is a large pagoda by a tank, on the water of which float multitudes of the beautiful red lotus: the flower is larger than that of the white water-lily, and is the most lovely of the nymphaeas I have seen." --Mrs. Graham's Journal of a Residence in India.

[190] "Cashmere (says its historian) had its own princes 4000 years before its conquest by Akbar in 1585. Akbar would have found some difficulty to reduce this paradise of the Indies, situated as it is within such a fortress of mountains, but its monarch, Yusef-Khan, was basely betrayed by his Omrahs." --Pennant.

[191] Voltaire tells us that in his tragedy, "Les Guèbres," he was generally supposed to have alluded to the Jansenists. I should not be surprised if this story of the Fire worshippers were found capable of a similar doubleness of application.

[192] The Persian Gulf, sometimes so called, which separates the shores of Persia and Arabia.

[193] The present Gombaroon, a town on the Persian side of the Gulf.

[194] A Moorish instrument of music.

[195] "At Gombaroon and other places in Persia, they have towers for the purpose of catching the wind and cooling the houses. --Le Bruyn.

[196] "Iran is the true general name for the empire of Persia. --Asiat. Res. Disc. 5.

[197] "On the blades of their scimitars some verse from the Koran is usually inscribed. --Russel.

[198] There is a kind of Rhododendros about Trebizond, whose flowers the bee feeds upon, and the honey thence drives people mad." --Tournefort.

[199] Their kings wear plumes of black herons' feathers, upon the right side, as a badge of sovereignty " --Hanway.

[200] "The Fountain of Youth, by a Mahometan tradition, is situated in some dark region of the East." --Richardson.

[201] Arabia Felix.

[202] "In the midst of the garden is the chiosk, that is, a large room, commonly beautified with a fine fountain in the midst of it. It is raised nine or ten steps, and enclosed with gilded lattices, round which vines, jessamines, and honeysuckles, make a sort of green wall; large trees are planted round this place, which is the scene of their greatest pleasures." --Lady M. W. Montagu.

[203] The women of the East are never without their looking-glasses. "In Barbary," says Shaw, "they are so fond of their looking-glasses, which they hang upon their breasts, that they will not lay them aside, even when after the drudgery of the day they are obliged to go two or three miles with a pitcher or a goat's skin to fetch water." --Travels.

[204] "They say that if a snake or serpent fix his eyes on the lustre of those stones (emeralds), he immediately becomes blind." --Ahmed ben Abdalaziz, Treatise on Jewels.

[205] "At Gombaroon and the Isle of Ormus, it is sometimes so hot, that the people are obliged to lie all day in the water." --Marco Polo.

[206] This mountain is generally supposed to be inaccessible. Struy says, "I can well assure the reader that their opinion is not true, who suppose this mount to be inaccessible." He adds, that "the lower part of the mountain is cloudy, misty, and dark, the middlemost part very cold, and like clouds of snow, but the upper regions perfectly calm." --It was on this mountain that the Ark was supposed to have rested after the Deluge, and part of it, they say, exists there still, which Struy thus gravely accounts for: --"Whereas none can remember that the air on the top of the hill did ever change or was subject either to wind or rain, which is presumed to be the reason that the Ark has endured so long without being rotten." --See Carreri's Travels, where the Doctor laughs at this whole account of Mount Ararat.

[207] In one of the books of the Shâh Nâmeh, when Zal (a celebrated hero of Persia, remarkable for his white hair,) comes to the terrace of his mistress Rodahver at night, she lets down her long tresses to assist him in his ascent; --he, however, manages it in a less romantic way by fixing his crook in a projecting beam. --See Champion's Ferdosi.

[208] "On the lofty hills of Arabia Petraea, are rock-goats." --Niebuhr.

[209] "They (the Ghebers) lay so much stress on their cushee or girdle, as not to dare to be an instant without it." --Grose's Voyage.

[210] "They suppose the Throne of the Almighty is seated in the sun, and hence their worship of that luminary." --Hanway.

[211] The Mameluks that were in the other boat, when it was dark used to shoot up a sort of fiery arrows into the air which in some measure resembled lightning or falling stars." --Baumgarten.


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