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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 (1) 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 listened with eagerness, while the story was thus continued :

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100

WHOSE are the gilded tents that crown the way,
Where all was waste and silent yesterday ?
This City of War, which, in a few short hours,
Hath sprung up here,99 as if the magic powers
Of Him who, in the twinkling of a star,
Built the high pillar'd halls of CHILMINAR,
Had conjur'd up, far as the eye can see,
This world of tents, and domes, and sun-bright

armory : —
Princely pavilions, screen’d by many a fold
Of crimson cloth, and topp'd 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, 101
Shaking in every breeze their light-ton'd bells !

7

But yester-eve, so motionless around,
So mute was this wide plain, that not a sound
But the far torrent, or the locust bird 102
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,

103

That far off, broken by the eagle note
Of the Abyssinian trumpet,104 swell and float.

Who leads this mighty army? - ask ye “who ?
And mark

ye not those banners of dark hue,
The Night and Shadow, 105 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 hurl'd

lles (142 Defiance fierce at ISLAM 106 and the world,

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Though worn with Grecian warfare, and behind
The veils of his bright Palace calm reclin’d,
Yet brook'd he not such blasphemy should stain,
Thus unreveng'd, the evening of his reign;
But, having sworn upon the Holy Grave 107
To conquer or to perish, once more gave
His shadowy banners proudly to the breeze,
And with an army, nurs'd in victories,
Here stands to crush the rebels that o’errun
His blest and beauteous Province of the Sun.

A

108

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 spoil'd to feed the Pilgrim's luxury;
When round him, ʼmid the burning sands, he saw
Fruits of the North in icy freshness thaw,
And cool'd 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.
First, in the van, the People of the Rock,
On their light mountain steeds, of royal stock: 111
Then, chieftains of DAMASCUS, proud to see

109

110

The flashing of their swords' rich marquetry; 112 —
Men, from the regions near the VOLGA's mouth,
Mix'd with the rude, black archers of the South;
And Indian lancers, in white-turban'd ranks,
From the far SINDE, or ATTOCK's sacred banks,
With dusky legions from the land of Myrrh,113
And many a mace-arm’d Moor and Mid-sea islander.

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114

Nor less in number, though more new and rude
In warfare's school, was the vast multitude
That, fir'd by zeal, or by oppression wrong'd,
Round the white standard of the Impostor throng'd.
Beside his thousands of Believers - blind,
Burning and headlong as the Samiel wind -
Many who felt, and more who fear'd to feel
The bloody Islamite's converting steel,
Flock'd 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, 115 - and those
Who dwell beyond the everlasting snows
Of Hindoo Kosu, 116 in stormy freedom bred,
Their fort the rock, their camp the torrent's bed.
But none, of all who own'd the Chief's command,
Rush'd to that battle-field with bolder hand,
Or sterner hate, than IRAN's outlaw'd men,
Her Worshippers of Fire 117 — all panting then
For vengeance on the accursed Saracen;
Vengeance at last for their dear country spurn'd,
Her throne usurp'd, and her bright shrines o'erturn'd.
From Yezd’s 118 eternal Mansion of the Fire,
Where aged saints in dreams of Heaven expire:
From BADKU, and those fountains of blue flame
That burn into the CASPIAN,119 fierce they came,

Careless for what or whom the blow was sped,
So vengeance triumph’d, and their tyrants bled.

Such was the wild and miscellaneous host,
That high in air their motley banners tost
Around the Prophet-Chief — all eyes still bent
Upon that glittering Veil, where'er it went,
That beacon through the battle's stormy flood,
That rainbow of the field, whose showers were blood.

ant-war

Twice hath the sun upon their conflict set, And risen again, and found them grappling yet; While streams of carnage, in his noontide blaze, Smoke

ир

to Heaven - hot as that crimson haze By which the prostrate Caravan is aw'd,120 In the red Desert, when the wind's abroad. “On, Swords of God!" the panting CALIPH calls, “ Thrones for the living — Heaven for him who falls !” “On, brave avengers, on,” MOKANNA cries, « And Ellis blast the recreant slave that flies!” Now comes the brunt, the crisis of the day They clash — they strive — the Caliph's troops give

way!

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MOKANNA's self plucks the black Banner down,
And now the Orient World's Imperial crown
Is just within his grasp — when, hark, that shout!
Some hand hath check'd the flying Moslems' rout;
And now they turn, they rally — at their head
A warrior, (like those angel youths who led,
In glorious panoply of heaven's own mail,
The Champions of the Faith through BEDER's vale,121)
Bold as if gifted with ten thousand lives,
Turns on the fierce pursuers' blades, and drives
At once the multitudinous torrent back-
While hope and courage kindle in his track;

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