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Then fled as quickly from my view,
There memory garners up the smile,
And there the voice is treasured well,
And there the look that last she gave,
We met again, she wish'd me well.
And there false Hope, that tells such lies!
But should hard chance or bitter fate,
That o'er our pains and pleasures reign,
Still whisper Hope, when time is o'er,
When stopp'd life's ever ebbing tide,
THE ARABIAN deserted villLAGE.
AN FLEGY BY LEBID BEN RABIAT ALAMARY.
THE author of this poem was a native of Yeman. He was cotemporary with Mohammed, and already celebrated as a poet when the prophet began to promulgate his doctrines. Lebid for a while united with the other Arabian wits, in ridiculing the new faith; but at length, about the sixth year of the Hejra, he declared Eimself a convert.
VOL. IV. New Series.
The cause of his conversion, as related by several writers, appears not inconsistent with his poetical character.
It was customary at that time, amongst the poets in Arabia, to affix to the portal of the temple of Mecca any composition which they thought possessed superior excellence, as a sort of challenge; and whoever accepted the challenge, placed his own production near his antagonist's, by which means the public were enabled to examine and decide upon the merits of each.
Lebid having written a moral poem which was greatly admired, affixed it, according to the prevailing custom, to the gate of the Caaba; for some time no person attempted to rival a composition which had obtained such universal approbation; but at length Mohammed produced the chapter of the Koran entitled Becret, and exhibited his pretended revelation upon the gate of the temple, by the side of Lebid's poem. Lebid was one of the foremost to read his opponent's works; he had not however perused many verses before he exclaimed, "No one could write these words without the inspiration of God," and immediately embraced Moham. medanism.
He now renounced all profane poetry, and, resolving to consecrate his talents to the service of religion, employed his pen, from this time, either upon subjects of piety, or in answering the sarcastic pieces which Amriolkais and the other Arabian poets were continually pouring forth. By this means he rendered himself extremely serviceable to Mohammed, and was always treated by him with the utmost distinction.
Lebid fixed his abode in the city of Cufa, where he died at a very advanced age. His last words are still preserved, and it must be confessed they breathe more the spirit of a wit than that of a devotee; they were as follows:
"I am going to enjoy the novelty of death, but it is a novelty by no means agreeable."
This elegy, as is evident from its nature, must have been written previous to Lebid' change of religion. Its subject is one that must be ever interesting to a feeling mind--the return of a person, after a long absence, to the place where he had spent his early years-it is in fact an Arabian Deserted Village.
How oft, since then, the star of spring, that pours
How oft, since then, the hovering mist of morn
To fall responsive to the breeze below?
The matted thistles, bending to the gale,
Now clothe those meadows once with verdure gay;
The teeming Antelope and Ostrich stray:
The large cy'd mother of the herd, that flies
Man's noisy haunts, here finds a sure retreat,
Save where the swelling stream hath swept those walls,
A long-lost picture to the raptur'd sight.)
Save where the rains have wash'd the gather'd sand,
Bids the faint tints resume their azure hue.)
No mossy record of those once lov'd seats
Points out the mansion to inquiring eyes;
Yet midst those ruin'd heaps, that naked plain,
And picture all that charm'd us there before.
Ne'er shall my heart the fatal morn forget
That bore the fair ones from these seats so dear
I see, I see the crowding litters yet,
And yet the tent poles rattle in my ear.
⚫ It is a custom with the Arabian women, in order to give the veins of their hands and arms a more brilliant appearance, to make slight punctures along them, and to rub into the incisions a blue powder, which they renew occasionally as it happens to
I see the maids with timid steps ascend,
The streamers wave in all their painted pride,
What graceful forms those envious folds enclose!
What melting glances through those curtains play!
The bandmov'd on-to trace their steps I strove;
Nor since that morn have I NAWARA seen,
The vapour here alluded to, called by the Arabians Serab, is not unlike in appear. ance (and probably proceeding from a similar cause) to those white mists which we often see hovering over the surface of a river in a summer's evening after a hot day. They are very frequent in the sultry plains of Arabia, and, when seen at a distance, resemble an expanded lake; but upon a nearer approach, the thirsty traveller per ceives his deception.
DOMESTIC LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.
Thomas B. Wait and Sons, of Boston, propose to publish a collection of the state papers and public documents of the United States, relating to their intercourse with foreign nations, from the period of the accession of Mr. Jefferson to the presidency. As it most unfortunately happens that instead of a regular annual register, which, for the credit of the country, as well as for its great utility, we ought certainly to have had, we have nothing more than a broken series of abortive attempts at such a publication, we think this proposed collection of state papers not only highly useful, but, in fact, almost indispensable to our public men, and, indeed, to every man of education who takes an interest in the history and politics of his country. The publishers promise that nothing shall be omitted, and that no political remarks shall be made. It is intended to be merely a book of commodious reference, on the plan of Debrett's State Papers. This is as it should be; and we confidently trust that no narrow, party feeling will induce them to swerve from this laudable impartiality. It is to be printed with a copious index, in three or four octavo volumes, of about 500 pages each.
The same booksellers propose to publish, by subscription, a uniform and elegant edition of all Cicero's writings, in the best English translations, together with his life by Middleton, and some valuable tracts connected with it. This is a spirited undertaking. We should not have supposed that there was any demand which could warrant such a publication; but the booksellers are the best judges in these matters, and if, in the present instance, they are right in their judgment, it will only afford an additional proof to those which are every day afforded of the increase of literary curiosity and good taste in the great body of the reading public in the United States. In this instance, as in several others, we have anticipated the enterprise of the British booksellers. There is no uniform English edition of the translations of Cicero's works. A friend of ours some time ago sent out an order to London for a complete set of these translations. It was executed with some difficulty; and when they arrived a squeamish book collector would not have been a little shocked by the motley and irregular appearance of the set. It would be ridiculous to attempt to recommend this undertaking by any eulogy of Cicero, a writer to whom the common suffrage of the learned world for nearly two thousand years has awarded the palm of every species of eloquence. No translation has yet done full justice to the elevation, the harmony, and the grace of his style; but, though these flowers of language may fade when transplanted to another soil, there must always remain a solid and imperishable trunk of sound learning and rich sense.
This edition is to be introduced by the life of the author, by Dr. Conyers Middleton, a writer who, in spite of Pope's sneer at his
"easy Ciceronian style So Latin, and yet so English all the while,"
has secured to himself the rank of a second rate English classic, and is one of those authors whom we always expect to see in every library next after the works of Shakspeare and Milton, of Addison and Johnson, and the other Dii majorum gentium of British literature. Several minor critical tracts are to be added to this life. We know little of the principal