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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; *
And, though for ever 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!

Thither the vanquish'd HAFED led

His little army's last remains ;

"Welcome, terrific glen!" he said,

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Thy gloom, that Eblis' self might dread,

Is heav'n 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!"

+ The Ghebers generally built their temples over subterraneous fires.

'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 :

""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 takes his lusts to 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 * 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 ev'n 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, are 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

*Ancient heroes of Persia. "Among the Guebres there are some who boast their descent from Rustam."-Stephen's Persia.

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 falchions' last farewell;

When hope's expiring throb is o'er,
And ev'n 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!"

His chiefs stood round-each shining blade
Upon the broken altar laid;

And though so wild and desolate

Those courts, where once the mighty sate,
Nor longer on those mouldering towers
Was seen the feast of fruits and flowers,
With which of old the Magi fed

The wandering spirits of their dead; †
Though neither priest nor rites were there,

Nor charmed leaf of pure pomegranate ; ‡

* Vide Russel's account of the panthers attacking travellers in the night on the seashore about the roots of Lebanon.

"Among other ceremonies, the Magi used to place upon the tops of high towers various kinds of rich viands, upon which it was supposed the Peris and the spirits of their departed heroes regaled themselves."-Richardson.

In the ceremonies of the Ghebers round their fire, as described by Lord, "the Daroo," he says, "giveth them water to drink, and a pomegranate leaf to chew in the mouth, to cleanse them from inward uncleanness."


Nor hymn, nor censer's fragrant air,

Nor symbol of their worshipp'd planet
Yet the same God that heard their sires
Heard them, while on that altar's fires
They swore the latest, holiest deed
Of the few hearts, still left to bleed,
Should be, in Iran's injur'd name,
To die upon that Mount of Flame-
The last of all her patriot line,
Before her last untrampled shrine!


Brave, suffering souls! they little knew
How many a tear their injuries drew
From one meek maid, one gentle foe,
Whom Love first touch'd with others' woe-

Whose life, as free from thought as sin,

Slept like a lake, till Love threw in

His talisman, and woke the tide,

And spread its trembling circles wide.
Once, Emir, thy unheeding child,

'Mid all this havoc, bloom'd and smil'd,——
Tranquil as on some battle-plain

The Persian lily shines and towers,
Before the combat's reddening stain

Hath fall'n upon her golden flowers.
Light-hearted maid, unaw'd, unmov'd,
While Heav'n but spar'd the sire she lov'd,

Early in the morning, they (the Parsees or Ghebers at Oulam) go in crowds to pay their devotions to the Sun, to whom upon all the altars there are spheres consecrated, made by magic, resembling the circles of the sun; and when the sun rises, these orbs seem to be inflamed, and to turn round with a great noise. They have every one a censer in their hands, and offer incense to the sun."-Rabbi Benjamin.

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