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The Night and Shadow", over yonder tent ?—
It is the CALIPH's glorious armament...
Rous'd in his Palace by the dread alarms,
That hourly came, of the false Prophets arms,
And of his host of infidels, who hurld
Defiance fierce at Islam and the world; —
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
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'er-run
His blest and beauteous Province of the Sun. . !

4 The two black standards borne before the Caliphs of the House of Abbas, were called, allegorically, The Night and The Shadow.v. Gibbon.

5 The Mahometan Religion.

6“ The Persians 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.

Ne'er did the march of Mahadi display
Such pomp before; — not ev’n 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, mid the burning sands, he saw
Fruits of the North in icy freshness thaw,
And coold 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, 8.
On their light mountain steeds, of royal stock: 9
Then, Chieftains of DAMASCUS, proud to see
The flashing of their swords' rich marquetry;'-
Men, from the regions near the Volga's mouth,
Mix'd with the rude, black archers of the South

6 Mahadi, in a single pilgrimage to Mecca, expended six millions of dinars of gold.

7 Nivem Meccam apportavit, rem ibi aut nunquam aut raro visam. - Abulfeda..

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

9" 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.

I“ Many of the figures on the blades of their swords are wrought in gold or silver, or in marquetry with small gems." --- Asiat, Misc. v.i.

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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, ?
And many a mace-arm'd Moor and Mid-Sea islander.

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 th' 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; 3
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

2 Azab or Saba.

3 « The chiefs of the Uzbek Tartars wear a plume of white heron's feathers in their turbans.” — Account of Independent Tartary.

4 In the mountains of Nishapour and Tous (in Khorassan) they find turquoises. - Ein Haukal.

Of Hindoo Kosh,s 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 - 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? eternal Mansion of the Fire,
Where aged saints in dreams of Heav'n expire;

s For a description of these stupendous ranges of mountains, v. Elphinstone's Caubul.

6 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 per. secuted at home, or forced to become wanderers abroad.

7“ 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, above 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.

From Badku, and those fountains of blue flame
That burn into the CASPIAN," 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 !

Twice hath the Sun upon their conflict set,
And ris'n again, and found them grappling yet;
While steams of carnage, in his noon-tide blaze,
Smoke up to Heav'n — hot as that crimson haze,
By which the prostrate Caravan is aw'd,
In the red Desert, when the wind's abroad!

8" When the weather is hazy, the springs of Naptha (on an island near Baku) boil up the higher, and the Naptha often takes fire on the surface of the earth, and runs in a flame into the sea to a distance almost incredible.".- Hanway on the Everlasting Fire at Baku.


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