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* Their eyes glar'd on me, while I pledg'd that bowl, “ 'Twas burning blood - I feel it in
soul ! “ And the Veild Bridegroom — hist ! I've seen to-night “What angels know not of — so foul a sight, “ So horrible — oh ! never may’st thou see “ What there lies hid from all but hell and me !
But I must hence -off, off — I am not thine, “ Nor Heav’n’s, nor Loves, nor aught that is divine — “Hold me not -- ha ! think'st thou the fiends that sever “ Hearts, cannot sunder hands ? — thus, then—for ever!”
LALLA Rooku could think of nothing all day but the misery of these young lovers. Her gaiety was gone and she looked pensively even upon FADLADEEN. She felt, too, without knowing why, a sort of uneasy pleasure in imagining that Azim must have been just such a youth as FERAMORZ; just as worthy to enjoy all the blessings, without any of the pangs, of that illusive passion, which too often, like the sunny apples of Istkahar*, is all sweetness on one side, and all bitterness on the other.
As they passed along a sequestered river after sunset, they saw a young Hindoo girl upon the bankt, whose employment seemed to them so strange, that they stopped. their palankeens to observe her. She had lighted a small lamp, filled with oil of cocoa, and placing it in an earthen dish, adorned with a wreath of flowers, bad committed it with a trembling hand to the stream; and was now anxiously watching its progress down the current, heedless of the gay cavalcade which had drawn up beside her. LALLA Rookh was all curiosity;— when one of her attendants, who had lived upon the banks of the Ganges, (where this ceremony is so frequent, that often, in the dusk of the evening, the river is seen glittering all over with lights, like the Oton-tala or Sea of Starst,) in
*“In the territory of Istkahar there is a kind of apple, half of which is sweet and half sour." - EBN HAUKAL.
† For an account of this ceremony, see Grandpré's Voyage in the Indian Ocean.
* “The place where the Whangho, a river of Tibet, rises, and where there
formed the Princess that it was the usual way, in which the friends of those who had gone on dangerous voyages offered up vows for their safe return. If the lamp sunk immediately, the omen was disastrous; but if it went shining down the stream, and continued to burn till entirely out of sight, the return of the beloved object was considered as certain.
LALLA Rooky, as they moved on, more than once looked back, to observe how the young Hindoo's lamp proceeded; and, while she saw with pleasure that it was
unextinguished, she could not help fearing that all the hopes of this life were no better than that feeble light upon the river.
The remainder of the journey was passed in silence. She now, for the first time, felt that shade of melancholy, which comes over the youthful maiden's heart, as sweet and transient as her own breath upon a «mirror; nor was it till she heard the lute of FERAMORZ, touched lightly at the door of her pavilion, that she waked from the reverie in which she had been wandering Instantly her eyes were lighted up with pleasure; and, after a few unheard remarks from FADLADEEN upon the indecorum of a poet seating himself in presence of a Princess, every thing was arranged as on the preceding evening, and all listened with eagerness, while the story was thus continued.
are more than a hundred springs, which sparkle like stars; whence it is called Hotun-nor, that is, the Sea of Stars." - Description of Tibet in Pinkerton.
Whose are the gilded tents that crowd the way,
** The Lescar or Imperial Camp is divided, like a regular town, into squares, alleys, and streets, and from a rising ground furnishes one of the most agreeablo prospects in the world. Starting up in a few hours in an uninhabited plain, it raises the idea of a city built by enchantment. Even those who leave their houses in cities to follow the prince in his progress, are frequently so charmed with the Lescar, when situated in a beautiful and convenient place, that they cannot prevail with themselves to reinove. To prevent this inconvenience to the court, the Emperor, after sufficient time is allowed to the tradesmen to follow, orders them to be burnt out of their tents." - Dow's Hindostan.
Colonel Wilks gives a lively picture of an Eastern encampment:— "His camp, like that of most Indian armies, exhibited a motley collection of covers from the scorching sun, and dews of the night, variegated according to the taste or means of each individual, by extensive inclosures of coloured calico surrounding superb suites of tents ; by ragged cloths or blankets stretched over sticks or branches ; palm leaves hastily spread over similar supports ; handsome tents and splendid canopies ; horses, oxen, clephants, and camels ; all intermixed without any exterior mark of order or design, except the flags of the chiefs, which usually mark the centres of a congeries of these masses ; the only regular part of the encampment being the streets of shops, each of which is constructed nearly in the manner of a booth at an English fair." - Historical Sketches of the South of India.
+ The edifices of Chilminar and Balbec are supposed to have been built by the Genii, acting under the orders of Jan ben Jan, who governed the world long before the time of Adam.
Had conjur'd up,
far as the
can see, This world of tents and domes, and sun-bright armory: Princely pavilions, screen’d by many a fold Of crimson cloth, and topp'd with balls of gold: Steeds, with their housings of rich silver spun, Their chains and poitrels glittering in the sun; And camels, tufted o'er with Yemen's shells, * Shaking in every breeze their light-ton'd bells!
But yester-eve, so motionless around,
*“A superb camel, ornamented with strings and tufts of small shells." ALI BEY.
† A native of Khorassan, and allured southward by means of the water of a fountain between Shiraz and Ispahan, called the Fountain of Birds, of which it is so fond that it will follow wherever that water is carried.
t" Some of the camels have bells about their necks, and some about their legs, like those which our carriers put about their fore-horses' necks, which, together with the servants (who belong to the camels, and travel on foot,) singing all night, make a pleasant noise, and the journey passes away delightfully." - Pitt's Account of the Mahometans.
• The camel-driver follows the camels, singing, and sometimes playing upon his pipe ; the louder he sings and pipes, the faster the camels go. Nay, they will stand still when he gives over his music.” – TAVERNIER.