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THE Princess, whose heart was sad enough already, could have wished that FERAMORZ had chosen a less melancholy story; as it is only to the happy that tears are a luxury. Her ladies, however, were by no means sorry that love was once more the Poet's theme; for, whenever he spoke of love, they said, his voice was as sweet as if he had chewed the leaves of that enchanted tree which grows over the tomb of the musician, Tan-Sein.235
Their road all the morning had lain through a very dreary country ;- through valleys, covered with a low bushy jungle, where, in more than one place, the awful signal of the bamboo staff,236 with the white flag at its top, reminded the traveller that, in that very spot, the tiger liad made some human creature his victim. It was, therefore, with much pleasure that they arrived at sunset in a safe and lovely glen, and encamped under one of those holy trees whose smooth columns and spreading roofs seem to destine them for natural temples of religion. Beneath this spacious shade, some pious hands had erected a row of pillars ornamented with the most beautiful porcelain,287 which now supplied the use of mirrors to the young maidens, as they adjusted their hair in descending from the palankeens. Here, while, as usual, the Princess sat listening anxiously, with FADLADEEN in one of his loftiest moods of criticism by her side, the young Poet, leaning against a branch of the tree, thus continued his story:
THE morn hath risen clear and calm,
And o'er the Green Sea 288 palely shines,
And lighting KISHMA's 239 amber vines.
And curl the shining flood beneath,
And cocoa-nut and flowery wreath,
She sung so sweet, with none to listen;
Where thickets of pomegranate glisten
With dew, whose night drops would not stain
On the first morning of his reign.
- the Sun himself ! - on wings
Where are the days, thou wondrous sphere,
When, from the banks of BENDEMEER
Who, on CADESSIA'S 248 bloody plains,
And bind her ancient faith in chains :
Or on the snowy Mossian mountains,
Her jasmine bowers and sunny fountains:
Where Freedom and his God may lead,
That crouches to the conqueror's creed ! Is IRAN's pride then gone forever,
Quench'd with the flame in MITHRA's caves ? No she has sons, that never
Will stoop to be the Moslem's slaves,
While heaven has light or earth has graves ;-
Whose buds fly open with a sound
Yes, EMIR! he, who scald that tower,
And, had he reach'd thy slumbering breast, Had taught thee, in a Gheber's power
How safe e'en tyrant heads may rest Is one of many, brave as he, Who loathe thy haughty race and thee; Who, though they know the strife is vain, Who, though they know the riven chain Snaps but to enter in the heart Of him who rends its links apart, Yet dare the issue, blest to be E’en for one bleeding moment free, And die in pangs of liberty ! Thou know'st them well -'tis some moons since
Thy turban'd troops and blood-red flags, Thou satrap of a bigot Prince,
Have swarm’d among these Green Sea crags; Yet here, e'en here, a sacred band Ay, in the portal of that land Thou, Arab, dar’st to call thy own Their spears across thy path have thrown; Here ere the winds half wing’d thee o’er Rebellion brav'd thee from the shore.
Rebellion ! foul, dishonoring word,
Whose wrongful blight so oft has stain'd The holiest cause that tongue or sword
Of mortal ever lost or gain’d. How many a spirit, born to bless,
Hath sunk beneath that withering name, Whom but a day's, an hour's success
Had wafted to eternal fame!
As exhalations, when they burst
And who is he, that wields the might
Of Freedom on the Green Sea brink,
The eyes of YEMEN's warriors wink?
Cling to their country's ancient rites,
Their closing gleam on IRAN's heights,
'Tis HAFED - name of fear, whose sound
Chills like the muttering of a charm !
And palsy shakes the manliest arm.