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throughout the Valley for his manner of reciting the Stories of the East, on whom his Royal Master had conferred the privilege of being admitted to the pavilion of the Princess, that he might help to beguile the tediousness of the journey by some of his most agreeable recitals. At the mention of a poet FADLADEEN elevated his critical eye-brows, and, having refreshed his faculties with a dose of that delicious, opium which is distilled from the black poppy of the Thebais, gave orders for the minstrel to be forth with introduced into the presence.
The Princess, who had once in her life seen a poet from behind the screens of gauze in her father's hall, and had conceived from that specimen no very favourable ideas of the Caste, expected but little in this new exhibition to interest her ;she felt inclined however to alter her opinion on the very first appearance of FERAMORZ. He was a youth about Lalla Rooke's own age, and graceful as that idol of women, Crishna,-such as he appears to their young imaginations, heroic, beautiful, breathing music from his very eyes, and exalting the religion of his worshippers into love. His dress was simple, yet not without some
* The Indian Apollo.
marks of costliness, and the Ladies of the Prin- : cess were not long in discovering that the cloth, which encircled his high Tartarian cap, was of the most delicate kind that the shawl-goats of Tibet supply. Here and there, too, over his vest, which was confined by a flowered girdle of Kashan, hung strings of fine pearl, disposed with an air of studied negligence ;—nor did the exquisite embroidery of his sandals escape the observation of these fair critics; who, however they might give way to FADLADEEN upon the unimportant topics of religion and government, had the spirit of martyrs in every thing relating to such momentous matters as jewels and embroidery.
For the purpose of relieving the pauses of recitation by music, the young Cashmerian held in his hand a kitar ;—such as, in old times, the Arab maids of the West used to listen to by moonlight in the gardens of the Alhambra — and, having premised, with much humility, that the story he was about to relate was founded on the adventures of that Veiled Prophet of Khorassan, who, in the year of the Hegira 163, created such alarm throughout the Eastern Empire, made an obeisance to the Princess, and thus began :
THE VEILED PROPHET OF
In that delightful Province of the Sun,
* Khorassan signifies, in the old Persian language, Province, or Region of the Sun.-Sir W. Jones.
+ One of the royal cities of Khorassan.
D'er Moussa's * cheek, when down the Mount he trod, All glowing from the presence of his God !
On either side, with ready hearts and hands, His chosen guard of bold Believers stands; Young fire-eyed disputants, who deem their swords, On points of faith, more eloquent than words ; And such their zeal, there's not a youth with brand Uplifted there, but, at the Chief's command, Would make his own devoted heart its sheath, And bless the lips that doom’d so dear a death! In hatred to the Caliph's hue of night, Their vesture, helms and all, is snowy white; Their weapons various ;-some equipp’d, for speed, With javelins of the light Kathaian reed; Or bows of buffalo horn, and shining quivers Fill’d with the stems that bloom on Iran's rivers ; While some, for war's more terrible attacks, Wield the huge mace and ponderous battle-axe ;
+ Black was the colour adopted by the Caliphs of the House of Abbas, in their garments, turbans, and standards.
Pichula, used anciently for arrows by the Persians.
And, as they wave aloft in morning's beam
Between the porphyry pillars, that uphold The rich moresque-work of the roof of gold, A loft the Haram's curtain'd galleries rise, Where, through the silken net-work, glancing eyes, From time to time, like sudden gleams that glow Through autumn clouds, shine o'er the pomp below.What impious tongue, ye blushing saints, would dare To hint that aught but Heaven hath placed you there? Or that the loves of this light world could bind, In their gross chain, your Prophet's soaring mind ? No-wrongful thought !-commission'd from above To people Eden's bowers with shapes of love (Creatures so bright, that the same lips and eyes They wear on earth will serve in Paradise), There to recline among Heaven's native maids, And crown th’ Elect with bliss that never fades ! Well hath the Prophet-Chief his bidding done ; And every beauteous race beneath the sun,