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say, It is night, declare that you behold the moon and stars.” And his zeal for religion, of which Aurungzebe was a munificent protector, was about as disinterested as that of the goldsmith who fell in love with the diamond eyes of the idol of Jaghernaut.*

During the first days of their journey, Lalla Rookh, who had passed all her life within the shadow of the Royal Gardens of Delhi, found enough in the beauty of the scenery through which they passed to interest her mind, and delight her imagination; and when at evening, or in the heat of the day, they turned off from the high road to those retired and romantic places which had been selected for her encampments, - sometimes on the banks of a small rivulet, as clear as the waters of the Lake of Pearl ; sometimes under the sacred shade of a Banyan tree, from which the view opened upon a glade covered with antelopes ; and often in those hidden, embowered spots, described by one from the Isles of the West, + as “ places of melancholy, delight, and safety, where all the company around was wild peacocks and turtle-doves;”-she felt a charm in these scenes, so lovely and so new to her, which, for a time, made her indifferent to every other amusement. But Lalla Rookh was young, and the young love variety ; nor could the conversation of her Ladies and the Great Chamberlain, Fadladeen, (the only persons, of course, admitted to her pavilion,) sufficiently enliven those many vacant hours which were devoted neither to the pillow nor the palankeen. There was a little Persian slave who sung sweetly to the Vina, and who, now and then, lulled the Princess to sleep with the ancient ditties of her country, about the loves of Wamak and Ezra, I the fair-haired Zal and his mistress Rodahver ;$ not forgetting the combat of Rustam with the terrible White Demon.ll at other times she was amused by those graceful dancing-girls of Delhi who had been permitted by the Bramins of the Great Pagoda to attend her, much to the horror of the good Mussulman Fadladeen, who could see nothing graceful or agreeable in idolaters, and to whom the very tinkling of their golden anklets was an abomination.

But these and many other diversions were repeated till they lost all their charm, and the nights and noon-days were beginning to move heavily, when, at length, it was recollected that, among the attendants sent by the bridegroom, was a young poet of Cashmere, much celebrated throughout the Valley for his manner of reciting

* “The idol at Jaghernat has two fine diamonds for eyes. No goldsmith is suffered to enter the Pagoda, one having stole one of these eyes, being locked up all night with the idol."— Tavernier. + Sir Thomas Roe, Ambassador from James I. to Jehanguire.

1 "The romance Wemakweazra, written in Persian verse, which contains the loves of Wamak and Ezra, two celebrated lovers who lived before the time of Mahomet."-Note on the Oriental Tales.

§ Their amour is recounted in the Shah-Namêh of Ferdousi.

|| Rustam is the Hercules of the Persians. For the particulars of his victory over the Sepeed Deeve, or White Demon, see Oriental Collections, vol. ii. p. 45.-Near the city of Shirauz is an immense quadrangular monument, in commemoration of this combat, called the Kelaat-i-Deev Sepeed, or Castle of the White Giant, which Father Angelo, in his Gazophilacium Persicum, p. 127, declares to have been the most memorable monument of antiquity which he had seen in Persia.--Sec Ouseley's Persian Miscellanies.

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the stories of the East, on whom his Royal Master had conferred the privilege of being admitted to the pavilion of the Princess, that he might help to beguile the tediousness of the journey by some of his most agreeable recitals. At the mention of a poet, Fadladeen elevated his critical eyebrows, and, having refreshed his faculties with a doze of that delicious opium which is distilled from the black poppy of the Thebais, gave orders for the minstrel to be forthwith introduced into the presence.

The Princess, who had once in her life seen a poet from behind the screens of gauze in her Father's hall, and had conceived from that specimen no very favourable ideas of the Caste, expected but little in this new exhibition to interest her;—she felt inclined, however, to alter her opinion on the very appearance of Feramorz. He was a youth about Lalla Rookh's own age, and graceful as that idol of women, Chrishna, * -such as he appears to their young ima. ginations, heroic, beautiful, breathing music from his very eyes, and exalting the religion of his worshippers into love. His dress was simple, yet not without some marks of costliness ; and the Ladies of the Princess were not long in discovering that the cloth, which encircled his high Tartarian cap, was of the most delicate kind that the shawl goats of Tibet supply. Here and there, too, over his vest, which was confined by a flowered girdle of Kashan, hung strings of fine pearl, disposed with an air of studied negligence ;-nor did the exquisite embroidery of his sandals escape the observation of these fair critics ; who, however they might give way to Fadladeen upon the unimportant topics of religion and government, had the spirit of martyrs in everything relating to such momentous matters as jewels and embroidery.

For the purpose of relieving the pauses of recitation by music, the young Cashmerian held in his hand a kitar ;-such as, in old times, the Arab maids of the West used to listen to by moonlight in the gardens of the Alhambra—and, having premised, with much humility, that the story he was about to relate was founded on the adventures of that Veiled Prophet of Khorassan + who, in the year of the Hegira 163, created such alarm throughout the Eastern Empire, made an obeisance to the Princess, and thus began :

THE VEILED PROPHET OF KHORASSAN.
In that delightful Province of the Sun,
The first of Persian lands he shines upon,
Where all the loveliest children of his beam,
Flowerets and fruits, blush over every stream,
And, fairest of all streams, the Murga roves

* The Indian Apollo._"He and the three Rámas are described as youths of perfect beauty; and the princesses of Hindustan were all passionately in love with Chrishna, who continues to this hour the darling God of the Indian women.”—Sir W. Jones, on the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India. For the real history of this Impostor, whose original name was Hakem

ben Haschem, and who was called Mocanná from the veil of silver gauze (or, as others say, golden) which he always wore, see D'Herbelot.

1 Khorassan signifies, in the old Persian language, Province or Region of the Sun.—Sir W. Jones.

Among Merou's* bright palaces and groves ;-
There on that throne, to which the blind belief
Of millions raised him, sat the Prophet-Chief,
The Great Mokanna. O'er his features hung
The Veil, the Silver Veil, which he had flung
In mercy there, to hide from mortal sight
His dazzling brow, till man could bear its light.
For, far less luminous, his votaries sai
Were even the gleams miraculously shed
O'er Moussa's cheek, when down the Mount he trod,
All glowing from the presence of his God!

On either side, with ready hearts and hands,
His chosen guard of bold Believers stands;
Young fire-eyed disputants, who deem their swords,
On points of faith, more eloquent than words ;
And such their zeal, there's not a youth with brand
Uplifted there, but, at the Chief's command,
Would make his own devoted heart its sheath,
And bless the lips that doomed so dear a death !
In hatred to the Caliph's hue of night,
Their vesture, helms and all, is snowy white;
Their weapons various-some equipped, for speed,
With javelins of the light Kathaian reed ;
Or bows of buffalo horn and shining quivers
Filled with the stems that bloom on Iran's rivers ;
While some, for war's more terrible attacks,
Wield the huge mace and ponderous battle-axe;
And as they wave aloft in morning's beam
The milk-white plumage of their helms, they seem
Like a chenar-tree grove $ when winter throws
O’er all its tufted heads his feathering snows.

Between the porphyry pillars, that uphold
The rich moresque-work of the roof of gold,
Aloft the Haram's curtained galleries rise,
Where through the silken network, glancing eyes,
From time to time, like sudden gleams that glow
Through autumn clouds, shine o'er the pomp below.-
What impious tongue, ye blushing saints, would dare
To hint that aught but Heaven hath placed you there?
Or that the loves of this light world could bind,
In their gross chain, your Prophet's soaring mind ?
No-wrongful thought !-commissioned from above
To people Eden's bowers with shapes of love,

* One of the royal cities of Khorassan.

† Moses. Black was the colour adopted by the Caliphs of the House of Abbas, in their garments, turbans, and standards. -" Il faut remarquer ici touchant les habits blancs des disciples de Hakem, que la couleur des habits, des coiffures et des étendarts des Khalifes Abassides étant la noire, ce chef de Rebelles ne pouvait pas choisir une que lui fût plus opposée." —D'Herbelot.

§ The oriental plane. “The chenar is a delightful tree ; its bole is of a fine white and smooth bark; and its foliage, which grows in a luft at the summit, is of a bright green.”-Morier's Travels.

(Creatures so bright that the same lips and eyes
They wear on earth will serve in Paradise,)
There to recline among Heaven's native maids,
And crown the Elect with bliss that never fades-
Well hath the Prophet-Chief his bidding done ;
And every beauteous race beneath the sun,
From those who kneel at Brahma's burning founts,*
To the fresh nymphs bounding o’er Yemen's mounts;
From Persia's eyes of full and fawn-like ray,
To the small, half shut glances of Kathay ; +
And Georgia's bloom, and Azab's darker smiles,
And the gold ringlets of the Western Isles ;
All, all are there ;-each Land its flower hath given,
To form that fair young Nursery for Heaven !
But why this pageant now? this armed array?
What triumph crowds the rich Divan to-day
With turbaned heads, of every hue and race,
Bowing before that veiled and awful face,
Like tulip-beds, $ of different shapes and dyes,
Bending beneath the invisible West-wind's sighs!
What new-made mystery now, for Faith to sign,
And blood to seal, as genuine and divine,
What dazzling mimicry of God's own power,
Hath the bold Prophet planned to grace this hour?

Not such the pageant now, though not less proud;
Yon warrior youth, advancing from the crowd,
With silver bow, with belt of broidered crape,
And fur-bound bonnet of Bucharian shape,
So fiercely beautiful in form and eye,
Like war's wild planet in a summer sky;
That youth to-day,

-a proselyte, worth hordes
Of cooler spirits and less practised swords,-
Is come to join, all bravery and belief,
The creed and standard of the heaven-sent Chief.

Though few his years, the West already knows
Young Azim's fame ;-beyond the Olympian snows
Ere manhood darkened o'er his downy cheek,
O’erwhelmed in fight, and captive to the Greek, s
He lingered there, till peace dissolved his chains ;
Oh who could, even in bondage, tread the plains
Of glorious Greece, nor feel his spirit rise
Kindling within him ? who, with heart and eyes,
Could walk where liberty had been, nor see
The shining foot-prints of her Deity,

Nor feel those godlike breathings in the air * The burning fountains of Brahma near Chittogong, esteemed as holy.Turner.

+ China. "The name of tulip is said to be of Turkish extraction, and given to the ! flower on account of its resembling a turban."-Beckmann's History of Inven

$ In the war of the Caliph Mahadi against the Empress Irene, for an account of which vide Gibbon, vol. x.

tions.

Which mutely told her spirit had been there?
Not he, that youthful warrior,—no, too well
For his soul's quiet worked the awakening spell ;
And now, returning to his own dear land,
Full of those dreams of good that, vainly grand,
Haunt the young heart,-proud views of human kind,
Of men to Gods exalted and refined, -
False views, like that horizon's fair deceit,
Where earth and heaven but seem, alas, to meet !
Soon as he heard an Arm Divine was raised
To right the nations, and beheld, emblazed
On the white flag, Mokanna's host unfurled,
Those words of sunshine, “Freedom to the World,"
At once his faith, his sword, his soul obeyed
The inspiring summons; every chosen blade
That fought beneath that banner's sacred text
Seemed doubly edged, for this world and the next;
And ne'er did Faith with her smooth bandage bind
Eyes more devoutly willing to be blind,
In virtue's cause ;-never was soul inspired
With livelier trust in what it most desired,
Than his, the enthusiast there, who kneeling, pale
With pious awe, before that Silver Veil,
Believes the form to which he bends his knce
Some pure, redeeming angel, sent to free
This fêttered world from every bond and stain,
And bring its primal glories back again !

Low as young Azim knelt, that motley crowd
Of all earth's nations sunk the knee and bowed,
With shouts of " Alla !” echoing long and loud;
While high in air, above the Prophet's head,
Hundreds of banners, to the sunbeam spread,
Waved, like the wings of the white birds that fan
The flying throne of star-taught Soliman.*
Then thus he spoke : -“Stranger, though new the frame
Thy soul inhabits now, I've tracked its fame
For many an age, in every chance and change
Of that existence through whose varied range,
As through a torch-race, where, from hand to hand
The flying youths transmit their shining brand,

* This wonderful Throne was called The Star of the Genii. For a full description of it see the Fragment, translated by Captain Franklin, from a Persian MS. entitled “The History of Jerusalem.” Oriental Collections, vol. i. p. 235. -When Soliman travelled, the eastern writers say,

“He had a carpet of green silk on which his throne was placed, being of a prodigious length and breadth, and sufficient for all his forces to stand upon, the men placing themselves on his right hand, and the spirits on his left ; and that when all were in order, the wind, at his command, took up the carpet, and transported it, with all that were upon it, wherever he pleased; the army of birds at the same time flying over their heads, and forming a kind of canopy to shade

them from the sun.”-Sali's Koran, vol. ii. p. 214, note.

† The transmigration of souls was one of his doctrines.-Vide D`Herbelot.

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