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PREPARE thy soul, young Azim! - thou hast braved
land where woman smiles or sighs;
Now, through the Haram chambers, moving lights And busy shapes proclaim the toilet's rites; – From room to room the ready handmaids hie, Some skill'd to wreath the turban tastefully, Or hang the veil, in negligence of shade, O'er the warm blushes of the youthful maid,
Who, if between the folds but one eye shone, Like SEBA's Queen could vanish with that one: While some bring leaves of Henna, to imbue The fingers' ends with a bright roseate hue, f So bright, that in the mirror's depth they seem Like tips of coral branches in the stream: And others mix the Kohol's jetty die, To give that long, dark languish to the eye, I, Which makes the maids whom kings are proud to cull From fair CIRCASSIA's vales, so beautiful. All is in motion; rings and plumes and pearls Are shining every where :- some younger girls Are gone by moonlight to the garden-beds, To gather fresh, cool chaplets for their heads; Gay creatures! sweet, though mournful, 't is to see How each prefers a garland from that tree
* “ Thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes.” -Sol. Song.
+“ They tinged the ends of her fingers scarlet with Henna, so that they resembled branches of coral." — Story of Prince Futtun in Bahardanush.
“The women blacken the inside of their eyelids with a powder named the black Kohol." - RUSSEL.
“None of these ladies," says Shaw,“ take themselves to be completely dressed till they have tinged the hair and edges of their eyelids, with the powder of lead ore. Now, as this operation is performed by dipping first into the powder a small wooden bodkin of the thickness of a quill, and then drawing it afterwards through the eyelids over the ball of the eye, we shall have a lively image of what the Prophet (Jer. iv. 30,) may be supposed to mean by rending the eyes with painting. This practice is no doubt of great antiquity ; for besides the instance already taken notice of, we find that where Jezebel is said (2 Kings, ix. 30.) to have painted her face, the original words are, she adjusted her eyes with the powder of lead-ore." - Shaw's Travels.
Which brings to mind her childhood's innocent day,
Meanwhile, through vast illuminated halls, Silent and bright, where nothing but the falls Of fragrant waters, gushing with cool sound From many a jasper fount, is heard around, Young Azim roams bewildered, —
,—nor can guess What means this maze of light and loneliness.
* The appearance of the blossoms of the gold-coloured Campac on the black hair of the Indian women, has supplied the Sanscrit Poets with many elegant allusions, See Asiatic Researches, vol. iv.
† A tree famous for its perfume, and common on the hills of Yemen. NIEBUHR.
Of the genus mimosa, “which droops its branches whenever any person approaches it, seeming as if it saluted those who retire under its shade." — NIEBUHR.
Here, the way leads, o'er tesselated floors
Here too he traces the kind visitings
*“ Cloves are a principal ingredient in the composition of the perfumed rods, which men of rank keep constantly burning in their presence.” – TURNER'S Tibet.
While, on the other, latticed lightly in
*“C'est d'où vient le bois d'aloes, que les Arabes appellent Oud Comari, et celui du sandal, qui s'y trouve en grand quantité.” — D'Herbelot.
+ “Thousands of variegated loories visit the coral-trees.” — BARROW.
“In Mecca there are quantities of blue pigeons, which none will affright or abuse, much less kill ” – Pitt's Account of the Mahometans.
$ “The Pagoda Thrush is esteemed among the first choristers of India. sits perched on the sacred pagodas, and from thence delivers its melodious song." — PENNANT's Hindostan.
|| Tavernier adds, that while the Birds of Paradise lie in this intoxicated state, the emniets come and eat off their legs ; and that hence it is they are said to have
s Birds of Paradise, which, at the nutmeg season, come in flights from the southern isles to India ; and “the strength of the nutmeg,” says Tavernier, “ so intoxicates them that they fall dead drunk to the earth.”
+"That bird which liveth in Arabia, and buildeth its nest with cinnamon." -- Brown's Vulgar Errors.