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A man, they say, of monstrous birth,
A mingled race of flame and earth,
Sprung from those old, enchanted kings, 247

Who in their fairy helms, of yore,
A feather from the mystic wings

Of the Simoorgh resistless wore; And gifted by the Fiends of Fire, Who groan’d to see their shrines expire, With charms that, all in vain withstood, Would drown the Koran's light in blood !

Such were the tales, that won belief,

And such the coloring Fancy gave
To a young, warm, and dauntless Chief,

One who, no more than mortal brave,
Fought for the land his soul ador'd,

For happy homes and altars free,His only talisman, the sword,

His only spell-word, Liberty! One of that ancient hero line, Along whose glorious current shine Names, that have sanctified their blood; As LEBANON's small mountain-flood Is render'd holy by the ranks Of sainted cedars on its banks. 248 'Twas not for him to crouch the knee Tamely to Moslem tyranny; 'Twas not for him, whose soul was cast In the bright mould of ages past, Whose melancholy spirit, fed With all the glories of the dead, Though fram'd for IRAN's happiest years, Was born among her chains and tears !'Twas not for him to swell the crowd Of slavish heads, that shrinking bow'd

Before the Moslem, as he pass'd,
Like shrubs beneath the poison-blast
No far he fled -- indignant fled

The pageant of his country's shame;
While every tear her children shed

Fell on his soul like drops of flame;
And, as a lover hails the dawn

Of a first smile, so welcom’d he
The sparkle of the first sword drawn

For vengeance and for liberty !

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But vain was valor — vain the flower
Of KERMAN, in that deathful hour,
Against AL HASSAN's whelming power. -
In vain they met him, helm to helm,
Upon the threshold of that realm
He came in bigot pomp to

sway,
And with their corpses block'd his way -
In vain – for every lance they rais'd,
Thousands around the conqueror blaz’d;
For every arm that lin’d their shore,
Myriads of slaves were wafted o'er,-
A bloody, bold, and countless crowd,
Before whose swarm as fast they bow'd
As dates beneath the locust cloud.

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There stood - but one short league away
From old HARMOZIA's sultry bay
A rocky mountain, o'er the Sea
Of Oman beetling awfully : 249
A last and solitary link

Of those stupendous chains that reach
From the broad Caspian's reedy brink

Down winding to the Green Sea beach. Around its base the bare rocks stood,

Albatuss

Like naked giants in the flood,

As if to guard the Gulf across ;
While, on its peak, that brav'd the sky,
A ruin'd Temple tower'd, so high

That oft the sleeping albatross 250
Struck the wild ruins with her wing,
And from her cloud-rock'd slumbering
Started to find man's dwelling there
In her own silent fields of air !
Beneath, terrific caverns gave
Dark welcome to each stormy wave
That dash'd, like midnight revellers, in ;-
And such the strange, mysterious din
At times throughout those caverns roll’d,
And such the fearful wonders told
Of restless sprites imprison'd there,
That bold were Moslem, who would dare,
At twilight hour, to steer his skiff
Beneath the Gheber's lonely cliff.251

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On the land side, those towers sublime,
That seem'd above the grasp of Time,
Were sever'd from the haunts of men
By a wide, deep, and wizard glen,
So fathomless, so full of gloom,

No eye could pierce the void between :
It seem'd a place where Gholes might come
With their foul banquets from the tomb,

And in its caverns feed unseen.
Like distant thunder, from below,

The sound of many torrents came,
Too deep for eye or ear to know
If 'twere the sea's imprison'd flow,

Or floods of ever-restless flame.
For, each ravine, each rocky spire

Of that vast mountain stood on fire ; 252
And, though forever past the days
When God was worshipp'd in the blaze
That from its lofty altar shone, -
Though fled the priests, the votaries gone,
Still did the mighty flame burn on,
Through chance and change, through good and ill,
Like its own God's eternal will,
Deep, constant, bright, unquenchable !

253

66

Thither the vanquish'd HAFED led

His little army's last remains; —
“Welcome, terrific glen!” he said,
Thy gloom, that Ellis' self might dread,

Is Heaven to him who flies from chains !"
O'er a dark, narrow bridge-way, known
To him and to his Chiefs alone,
They cross'd the chasm and gain’d the towers,
“ This home,” he cried, “ at least is ours;
Here we may bleed, unmock'd by hymns

Of Moslem triumph o’er our head ;
Here we may fall, nor leave our limbs ;

To quiver to the Moslem's tread.
Stretch'd on this rock while vultures' beaks
Are whetted on our yet warm cheeks,
Here — happy that no tyrant's eye
Gloats on our torments

we may

die !

'Twas night when to those towers they came, And gloomily the fitful flame, That from the ruin'd altar broke, Glar'd on his features, as he spoke : 66'Tis o’er - what men could do, we've done — If IRAN will look tamely on, And see her priests, her warriors driven

Before a sensual bigot's nod,
A wretch, who shrines his lusts in heaven,

And makes a pander of his God;
If her proud sons, her high-born souls,

Men, in whose veins - oh last disgrace!
The blood of ZAL and RUSTAM 254 rolls, -

If they will court this upstart race,
And turn from MITHRA's ancient ray,
To kneel at shrines of yesterday ;
If they will crouch to IRAN's foes,

Why, let them – till the land's despair
Cries out to Heaven, and bondage grows

Too vile for e’en the vile to bear !
Till shame at last, long hidden, burns
Their inmost core, and conscience turns
Each coward tear the slave lets fall
Back on his heart in drops of gall.
But here, at least, our arms unchain’d,
And souls that thraldom never stain’d;

This spot, at least, no foot of slave
Or satrap ever yet profan'd;

And though but few – though fast the wave Of life is ebbing from our veins, Enough for vengeance still remains. As panthers, after set of sun, Rush from the roots of LEBANON Across the dark sea robber's way, We'll bound upon our startled prey ; And when some hearts that proudest swell Have felt our falchion's last farewell; When Hope's expiring throb is o'er, And e’en despair can prompt no more, This spot shall be the sacred grave Of the last few who, vainly brave, Die for the land they cannot save !”

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