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For this alone exists-like lightning-fire
To speed one bolt of vengeance, and expire!

But safe as yet that Spirit of Evil lives;
With a small band of desperate fugitives,
The last sole stubborn fragment, left unriven,
Of the proud host that late stood fronting heaven,
He gain'd Merou-breath'd a short curse of blood
O'er his lost throne-then pass'd the Jihon's flood,*
And gathering all whose madness of belief
Still saw a saviour in their down-fall'n chief,
Rais'd the white banner within Neksheb's gates, †
And there, untam'd, th' approaching conqueror waits.

Of all his Haram, all that busy hive,
With music and with sweets sparkling alive,
He took but one, the partner of his flight,
One, not for love-not for her beauty's light—
For ZELICA stood withering 'midst the gay,
Wan as the blossom that fell yesterday
From th' Alma tree and dies, while overhead
To-day's young flower is springing in its stead! ‡
No, not for love-the deepest damn'd must be
Touch'd with heaven's glory, ere such fiends as he
Can feel one glimpse of love's divinity!

But no, she is his victim;-there lie all

Her charms for him-charms that can never pall,

*The ancient Oxus.

A city of Transoxiania.

"You never can cast your eyes on this tree, but you meet there either blossoms or fruit; and as the blossom drops underneath on the ground (which is frequently covered with these purple-coloured flowers), others come forth in their stead." &c. &c. -Nieuhoff.

As long as hell within his heart can stir,
Or one faint trace of heaven is left in her.
To work an angel's ruin-to behold
As white a page as virtue e'er unroll'd
Blacken, beneath his touch, into a scroll
Of damning sins, seal'd with a burning soul-
This is his triumph; this the joy accurst,
That ranks him among demons all but first!
This gives the victim, that before him lies
Blighted and lost, a glory in his eyes-

A light like that with which hell-fire illumes
The ghastly, writhing wretch whom it consumes!

But other tasks now wait him-tasks that need
All the deep daringness of thought and deed
With which the Dives * have gifted him-for mark,
Over yon plains, which night had else made dark,
Those lanterns, countless as the winged lights
That spangle India's fields on showery nights; †
Far as the formidable gleams they shed,
The mighty tents of the beleaguerer spread,
Glimmering along th' horizon's dusky line,
And thence in nearer circles, till they shine
Among the founts and groves, o'er which the town
In all its arm'd magnificence looks down.
Yet, fearless, from his lofty battlements,
MOKANNA Views that multitude of tents;

Nay, smiles to think that, though entoil'd, beset,
Not less than myriads dare to front him yet ;-

The demons of the Persian mythology.

+ Carreri mentions the fire-flies in India during the rainy season.-Vide his Travels.

That friendless, throneless, he thus stands at bay,
Ev'n thus a match for myriads such as they!
"Oh! for a sweep of that dark Angel's wing,
Who brush'd the thousands of th' Assyrian king*
To darkness in a moment, that I might
People hell's chambers with yon host to-night!
But come what may, let who will grasp

the throne,

Caliph or Prophet, Man alike shall groan;
Let who will torture him, priest-caliph-king-
Alike this loathsome world of his shall ring
With victims' shrieks and howlings of the slave,-
Sounds that shall glad me ev'n within my grave
Thus to himself-but to the scanty train

Still left around him, a far different strain :

"Glorious defenders of the sacred crown


I bear from heaven, whose light nor blood shall drown
Nor shadow of earth eclipse;-before whose gems

The paly pomp of this world's diadems,

The crown of Gerashid, the pillar'd throne
Of Parvis, † and the heron crest that shone,‡
Magnificent, o'er Ali's beauteous eyes, §
Fade like the stars when morn is in the skies:
Warriors rejoice-the port to which we've pass'd
O'er destiny's dark wave, beams out at last!
Victory's our own-'
-'tis written in that book
Upon whose leaves none but the angels look,

* Sennacherib, called by the Orientals King of Moussal.-D'Herbelot.

+ Chosroes. For the description of his throne or palace, vide Gibbon and D'Herbelot. "The crown of Gerashid is cloudy and tarnished before the heron tuft of thy turban."-From one of the elegies or songs in praise of Ali, written in characters of gold round the gallery of Abbas's tomb.-Chardin.

§ The beauty of Ali's eyes was so remarkable, that whenever the Persians would describe anything as very lovely, they say it is Ayn Hali, or the Eyes of Ali.-Chardin.

That Islam's sceptre shall beneath the power
Of her great foe fall broken in that hour,
When the moon's mighty orb, before all eyes,
From Neksheb's Holy Well portentously shall rise!
Now turn and see!"-


They turn'd, and, as he spoke,

A sudden splendour all around them broke,
And they beheld an orb, ample and bright,
Rise from the Holy Well, and cast its light
Round the rich city and the plain for miles, *-
Flinging such radiance o'er the gilded tiles

* "Il amusa pendant deux mois le peuple de la ville de Nekhscheb en faisant sortir toutes les nuits du fonds d'un puits un corps lumineux semblable à la Lune, que portoit sa lumière jusqu'à la distance de plusieurs milles."-D'Herbelot. Hence he was called, Sazendéh Mah, or the Moon-maker.


many a dome and fair-roof'd imaret,

As autumn suns shed round them when they set!
Instant from all who saw th' illusive sign

A murmur broke-" Miraculous! divine!"
The Gheber bow'd, thinking his idol star
Had wak'd, and burst impatient through the bar
Of midnight, to inflame him to the war!
While he of Moussa's creed saw,
in that ray,

The glorious light which, in his freedom's day,
Had rested on the Ark,* and now again
Shone out to bless the breaking of his chain!

"To victory!" is at once the cry of all-
Nor stands MOKANNA loitering at that call;
But instant the huge gates are flung aside,
And forth, like a diminutive mountain-tide
Into the boundless sea, they speed their course
Right on into the Moslem's mighty force.
The watchmen of the camp,—who, in their rounds,
Had paus'd, and ev'n forgot the punctual sounds

Of the small drum with which they count the night,†
To gaze upon that supernatural light,-

Now sink beneath an unexpected arm,

And in a death-groan give their last alarm.

"On for the lamps, that light yon lofty screen, ‡
Nor blunt your blades with massacre so mean;

*The Shechinah, called Sakînat in the Koran.--Sale's Note, chap, ii.

The parts of the night are made known as well by instruments of music, as by the rounds of the watchmen with cries and small drums.-Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. i., p. 119.

The Serrapurda, high screens of red cloth, stiffened with cane, used to inclose a considerable space round the royal tents.-Notes on the Bahardanush,

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