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With turban'd heads, of every hue and race,
Though few his years, the West already knows Young Azim's fame; – beyond th’Olympian snows,
Ere manhood darken’d o'er his downy cheek,
7 In the war of the Caliph Mahadi against the Empress Irene, for an account of which v. Gibbon, vol. x.
On the white flag MOKANNA's host unfurl'd,
Low as young Azim knelt, that motly crowd Of all earth's nations sunk, the knee and bow'd, With shouts of “ ALLA !” echoing long and loud; ) While high in air, above the Prophet's head, Hundreds of banners, to the sunbeam spread,
Wav'd, 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 track'd its flame “ For many an age', in every chance and change « Of that Existence, through whose varied range, — 66 As through a torch-race, where, from hand to hand “ The flying youths transmit their shining brand, — - From frame to frame the unextinguish'd soul • Rapidly passes, till it reach the goal !
« Nor think ’tis only the gross Spirits, warm'd • With duskier fire and for earth's medium formid, “ That run this course ; — Beings, the most divine, “ Thus deign through dark mortality to shine. “ Such was the Essence that in Adam dwelt, “ To which all Heav'n, except the Proud One, knelt:9 • Such the refin'd Intelligence that glow'd 66 In Moussa's frame; — and, thence descending, flow'd
8 The transmigration of souls was one of his doctrines, v. D'Herbelot.
9" And when we said unto the angels, Worship Adam, they all worshipped him except Eblis, (Lucifer,) who refused.”—The Koran, Chap. ii.
“ Through many a Prophet's breast ;- in Issa shone, “ And in MOHAMMED burn'd; till, hastening on, “ (As a bright river that, from fall to fall “ In many a maze descending, bright through all, “ Finds some fair region where, each labyrinth past, “ In one full lake of light it rests at last !) “ That Holy Spirit, settling calm and free “ From lapse or shadow, centers all in me!”
Again, throughout th' assembly at these words, Thousands of voices rung; the warriors' swords Were pointed up to heav'n ; a sudden wind In the open banners play'd, and from behind Those Persian hangings, that but ill could screen The Haram's loveliness, white hands were seen Waving embroider'd scarves, whose motion gave A perfume forth; — like those the Houris wave When beckoning to their bowers th’ Immortal Brave.
s6 But these,” pursued the Chief,“ are truths sublime, “ That claim a holier mood and calmer time “ Than earth allows us now; - this sword must first 66 The darkling prison-house of Mankind burst,