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“Who brush'd the thousands of the’ Assyrian King
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 even 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 Parviz,131 and the heron crest that shone, 132 “Magnificent, o'er Ali's beauteous eyes, 133 “ 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, “ 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 NEKSHEE'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, 134 and cast its light
Round the rich city and the plain for miles, 135.
A murmur broke “Miraculous ! divine !”
“ To victory !” is at once the cry
of allNor 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 even forgot the punctual sounds Of the small drum with which they count the night, 137 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, 138 “ Nor blunt your blades with massacre so mean ; “ There rests the Caliph-speed-one lucky lance
May now achieve mankind's deliverance." Desperate the die—such as they only cast Who venture for a world, and stake their last. But Fate's no longer with him-blade for blade Springs up to meet them through the glimmering shade, And, as the clash is heard, new legions soon Pour to the spot, like bees of KAUZEROON To the shrill timbrel's summons,—till, at length,
The mighty camp swarms out in all its strength,
And hath not this brought the proud spirit low? Nor dash'd his brow, nor check'd his daring? No. Though half the wretches, whom at night he led To thrones and victory, lie disgrac'd and dead, Yet morning hears him, with unshrinking crest, Still vaunt of thrones and victory to the rest ;And they believe him !--oh, the lover may Distrust that look which steals his soul away ;The babe may cease to think that it can play With Heaven's rainbow ;-alchymists may doubt The shining gold their crucible gives out; But Faith, fanatic Faith, once wedded fast To some dear falschood, hugs it to the last.
And well the' Impostor knew all lures and arts That LUCIFER e'er taught to tangle hearts ; Nor, 'mid these last bold workings of his plot Against men's souls, is ZELICA forgot. Ill-fated ZELICA ! had reason been Awake, through half the horrors thou hast seen, Thou never couldst have borne it-Death had come At once, and taken thy wrung spirit home. But 'twas not so-a torpor, a suspense Of thought, almost of life, came o'er the’ intense
And passionate struggles of that fearful night,
Again, as in MEROU, he had her deck'd