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her. She had lighted a small lamp, filled with oil of cocoa, and placing it in an earthen dish, adorned with a wreath of flowers, had committed it with a trembling hand to the stream; and was now anxiously watching its progress down the current, heedless of the gay cavalcade which had drawn up beside her. Lalla Rookh was all curiosity ;-when one of her attendants, who had lived upon the banks of the Ganges, (where this ceremony is so frequent that often, in the dusk of the evening, the river is seen glittering all over with lights, like the Oton-Tala, or Sea of Stars,) * informed the Princess that it was th usual way in which the friends of those who had gone on dangerous voyages offered up vows for their safe return. If the lamp sank immediately, the omen was disastrous; but if it went shining down the stream, and continued to burn till entirely out of sight, the return of the beloved object was considered as certain.

Lalla Rookh, as they moved on, more than once looked back, to observe how the young Hindoo's lamp proceeded ; and, while she saw with pleasure that it was still unextinguished, she could not help fearing that all the hopes of this life were no better than that feeble light upon the river. The remainder of the journey was passed in silence. She now, for the first time, felt that shade of melancholy which comes over the youthful maiden's heart, as sweet and transient as her own breath upon a mirror ; nor was it till she heard the lute of Feramorz, touched lightly at the door of her pavilion, that she waked from the reverie in which she had been wandering. Instantly her eyes were lighted up with pleasure and, after a few unheard remarks from Fadladeen upon the indecorum of a poet seating himself in presence of a Princess, everything was arranged as on the preceding evening, and all listenid with eagerness, while the story was thus continued :

Whose are the gilded tents that crowd the way,
Where all was waste and silent yesterday?
This City of War which, in a few short hours,
Hath sprung up here, as if the magic powers
Of Him who, in the twinkling of a star,
Built the high pillared halls of Chilminar,t
Had conjured up, far as the eye can see,
This world of tents, and domes, and sun-bright armoury :-
Princely pavilions, screened by many a fold
Of crimson cloth, and topped with balls of gold :-
Steeds, with their housings of rich silver spun,
Their chains and poitrels glittering in the sun ;
And camels, tufted o'er with Yemen's shells,
Shaking in every breeze their light-toned bells !

* The place where the Whango, a river of Thibet, rises, and where there are more than a hundred springs, which sparkle like stars : whence it is called Hotun-nor, that is, the Sea of Stars." - Description of Thibet of Pinkerton.

+ The edifices of Chilminar and Balbec are supposed to have been built by the Genii, acting under the orders of Jan ben Jan, who governed the world long before the time of Adam.

But yester-eve, so motionless around,
So mute was this wide plain, that not a sound
But the far torrent, or the locust bird
Hunting among the thickets, could be heard ;-
Yet hark ! what discords now, of every kind,
Shouts, laughs, and screams are revelling in the wind ;
The neigh of cavalry ;-the tinkling throngs
Of laden camels and their drivers' songs ;-
Ringing of arms, and flapping in the breeze
Of streamers from ten thousand canopies ;-
War-music, bursting out from time to time,
With gong and tymbalon's tremendous chime;-
Or, in the pause when harsher sounds are mute,
The mellow breathings of some horn or flute,
That far off, broken by the eagle note
Of the Abyssinian trumpet, * swell and float.

Who leads this mighty army ?-ask ye “ who?"
And mark ye not those banners of dark hue,
The Night and Shadow,+ over yonder tent ?—
It is the Caliph's glorious armament.
Roused in his Palace by the dread alarms,
That hourly came, of the false Prophet's arms,
And of his host of infidels, who hurled
Defiance fierce at Islam and the world, -
Though worn with Grecian warfare, and behind
The veils of his bright Palace calm reclined,
Yet brooked he not such blasphemy should stain,
Thus unrevenged, the evening of his reign;
But, having sworn upon the Holy Grave I
To conquer or to perish, once more gave
His shadowy banners proudly to the breeze,
And with an army nursed in victories
Here stands to crush the rebels that o'er-run
His blest and beauteous Province of the Sun.

Ne'er did the march of Mahadi display
Such pomp before ;-not even when on his way
To Mecca's Temple, when both land and sea
Were spoiled to feed the Pilgrim's luxury;
When round him, mid the burning sands, he saw
Fruits of the North in icy freshness thaw,
And cooled his thirsty lip, beneath the glow
Of Mecca's sun, with urns of Persian snow:-
Nor e'er did armament more grand than that

Pour from the kingdoms of the Caliphat.
*“This trumpet is often called, in Abyssinia, nesser cano, which signifies the
Note

of the Eagle.” — Note of Bruce's Editor. + The two black standards borne before the Caliphs of the House of Abbas were called, allegorically, The Night and The Shadow. -See Gibbon.

“The Persian swear by the Tomb of Shah Besade, who is buried at Casbin; and when one desires another to asseverate a matter, he will ask him, if he dare swear by the Holy Grave."-Struy.

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First, in the van, the people of the Rock,*
On their light mountain steeds, of royal stock:t
Then, chieftains of Damascus, proud to see
The flashing of their swords' rich marquetry;
Men, from the regions near the Volga's mouth,
Mixed with the rude, black archers of the South;
And Indian lancers, in white-turbaned ranks,
From the far Sinde, or Attock's sacred banks,
With dusky legions from the Land of Myrrh, I
And many a mace-armed Moor and Mid-sea islander.

Nor less in number, though more new and rude
In warfare's school, was the vast multitude
That, fired by zeal, or by oppression wronged,
Round the white standard of the impostor thronged.
Beside his thousands of Believers-blind,
Burning, and headlong, as the Samiel wind-
Many who felt and more who feared to feel
The bloody Islamite's converting steel,
Flocked to his banner ;—Chiefs of the Uzbek race,
Waving their heron crests with martial grace;
Turkomans, countless as their flocks, led forth
From the aromatic pastures of the North ;
Wild warriors of the turquoise hills, —and those
Who dwell beyond the everlasting snows
Of Hindoo Kosh, in stormy freedom bred,
Their fort the rock, their camp the torrent's bed.
But none, of all who owned the Chief's command,
Rushed to that battle-field with bolder hand,
Or sterner hate, than Iran's outlawed men,
Her Worshippers of Firell-all panting then
For vengeance on the accursed Saracen;
Vengeance at last for their dear country spurned,
Her throne usurped, and her bright shrines o’erturned.
From Yezd's T eternal Mansion of the Fire,
Where aged saints in dreams of Heaven expire:
From Badku, and those fountains of blue flame

* The inhabitants of Hejaz or Arabia Petræa, called by an Eastern writer, “ The People of the Rock."-Ebn Haukal.

+ "Those horses, called by the Arabians Kochlani, of whom a written genealogy has been kept for 2000 years. They are said to derive their origin from King Solomon's steeds."- Niebuhr.

Azab or Saba. $ In the mountains of Nishapour and Tous (in Khorassan) they find turquoises.-Ebn Haukal.

|| The Ghebers or Guebres, those original natives of Persia who adhered to their ancient faith, the religion of Zoroaster, and who, after the conquest of their country by the Arabs, were either persecuted at home, or forced to become wanderers abroad.

"Yezd, the chief residence of those ancient natives who worship the Sun and the Fire, which latter they have carefully kept lighted, without being once extinguished for a moment, about 3000 years, on a mountain near Yezd, called Ater Quedah, signifying the House or Mansion of the Fire. He is reckoned very unfortunate who dies off that mountain."-Stephen's Persia.

[graphic]

Now comes the brunt, the crisis of the day-
They clash-they strive-the Caliph's troops give way."

Page 39

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