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and the Emperor during a Feast of Roses at Cashmere; and would remind the Princess of that difference between Haroun-al-Raschid and his fair mistress Marida *, which was so happily made up by the soft strains of the musician, Moussali. As the story was chiefly to be told in song, and FERAMORZ had unluckily forgotten his own lute in the valley, he borrowed the vina of LALLA Rooki's little Persian slave, and thus began.

** Haroun Al Raschid, cinquième Khalife des Abassides, s'étant un jour brouillé avec une de ses maîtresses nommée Maridah, qu'il aimoit cependant jusqu'à l'excés, et cette mésintelligence ayant déjà duré quelque tems commenca à s'ennuyer. Giafar Barmaki, son favori, qui s'en appercût, commanda a Abbas ben Ahnaf, excellent poète de ce tems-là, de composer quelques vers sur le sujet de cette brouillerie. Ce poëte exécuta l'ordre de Giafar, qui'fit chanter ces vers par Moussali en présence du Khalife, et ce prince fut tellement touché de la tendresse des vers du poëte et de la douceur de la voix du musicien qu'il alla aussitốt trouver Maridah, et fit sa paix avec elle.” — D'HERBELOT.

245

Who has not heard of the Vale of CASHMERE,

With its roses the brightest that earth ever gave,* Its temples, and grottos, and fountains as clear

As the love-lighted eyes that hang over their wave ?

Oh! to see it at sunset, when warm o'er the Lake
Its splendour at parting a summer eve throws,
Like a bride, full of blushes, when ling’ring to take

A last look of her mirror at night ere she goes!
When the shrines through the foliage are gleaming half

shown, And each hallows the hour by some rites of its own. Here the music of pray'r from a minaret swells,

Here the Magian his urn, full of perfume, is swinging, And here, at the altar, a zone of sweet bells

Round the waist of some fair Indian dancer is ringing. + Or to see it by moonlight, - when mellowly shines The light o'er its palaces, gardens, and shrines; When the water-falls gleam, like a quick fall of stars, And the nightingale's hymn from the Isle of Chenars Is broken by laughs and light echoes of feet From the cool, shining walks where the young people

meet.

** The rose of Kashmire for its brilliancy and delicacy of odour has long been proverbial in the East.” — - FORSTER.

| “Tied round her waist the zone of bells, that sounded with ravishing melody." Song of Jayadeva.

Or at morn, when the magic of daylight awakes
A new wonder each minute, as slowly it breaks,
Hills, cupolas, fountains, callid forth every one
Out of darkness, as if but just born of the Sun.
When the Spirit of Fragrance is up with the day,
From his Haram of night-flowers stealing away;
And the wind, full of wantonness, woos like a lover
The young aspen-trees*, till they tremble all over.
When the East is as warm as the light of first hopes,

And Day, with his banner of radiance unfurl'd,
Shines in through the mountainous portal that opes,

Sublime, from that Valley of bliss to the world!

But never yet, by night or day,
In dew of spring or summer's ray,
Did the sweet Valley shine so gay
As now it shines - all love and light,
Visions by day and feasts by night!
A happier smile illumes each brow,

With quicker spread each heart uncloses,
And all is ecstasy, — for now

The Valley holds its Feast of Roses; I
The joyous Time, when pleasures pour
Profusely round and, in their shower,

* “ The little isles in the Lake of Cachemire are set with arbours and largeleaved aspen-trees, slender and tall.” — BERNIER.

7" The Tuckt Suliman, the name bestowed by the Mahommetans on this hill, forms one side of a grand portal to the Lake.” - FORSTER.

"The Feast of Roses continues the whole time of their remaining in bloom." PIETRO DE LA VALLE.

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'Twas when the hour of evening came

Upon the Lake, serene and cool,
When Day had hid his sultry flame

Behind the palms of BARAMOULE,
When maids began to lift their heads,
Refresh'd from their embroider'd beds,
Where they had slept the sun away,
And wak’d to moonlight and to play.
All were abroad - the busiest hive
On BELA's | hills is less alive,
When saffron-beds are full in flower,
Then looked the Valley in that hour.
A thousand restless torches play'd
Through every grove and island shade;
A thousand sparkling lamps were set
On every dome and minaret;
And fields and pathways, far and near,
Were lighted by a blaze so clear,
That you could see, in wandering round,
The smallest rose-leaf on the ground.

*“Gul sad berk, the Rose of a hundred leaves. I believe a particular species.' OUSELEY.

t Bernier

A place mentioned in the Toozek Jehangeery, or Memoirs of Jehangure, where there is an account of the beds of saffron-flowers about Cashmere.

Yet did the maids and matrons leave
Their veils at home, that brilliant eve;
And there were glancing eyes about,
And cheeks, that would not dare shine out
In open day, but thought they might
Look lovely then, because 't was night.
And all were free and wandering,

And all exclaim'd to all they met,
That never did the summer bring

So gay a Feast of Roses yet;
The moon had never shed a light

So clear as that which bless'd them there;
The roses ne'er shone half so bright,

Nor they themselves look'd half so fair.

And what a wilderness of flowers!
It seem'd as though from all the bowers
And fairest fields of all the year,
The mingled spoil were scatter'd here.
The Lake, too, like a garden breathes,

With the rich buds that o'er it lie,
As if a shower of fairy wreaths
Had fall'n

upon

it from the sky!
And then the sounds of joy, — the beat
Of tabors and of dancing feet; -
The minaret-crier's chaunt of glee
Sung from his lighted gallery,

*“It is the custom among the women to employ the Maazeen to chaunt from the gallery of the nearest minaret, which on that occasion is illuminated, and the women assembled at the house respond at intervals with a ziraleet or joyous chorus." - RUSSEL.

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