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foreign land to the alternative of apostasy or per secution in their own. It was impossible, he added, not to feel interested in the many glorious but unsuccessful struggles which had been made by these original natives of Persia to cast off the yoke of their bigoted conquerors. Like their own Fire in the Burning Field at Bakou, when suppressed in one place they had but broken out with fresh flame in another; and, as a native of Cashmere, of that fair and Holy Valley which had in the same manner become the prey of strangers, and seen her ancient shrines and native princes swept away before the march of her intolerant invaders, he felt a sympathy, he owned, with the sufferings of the persecuted Ghebers, which every monument like this before them but tended more powerfully to awaken.
It was the first time that Feramorz had ever ventured upon so much prose before Fadladeen, and it may easily be conceived what effect such prose as this must have produced upon that most orthodox and most pagan-hating personage. He sat for some minutes aghast, ejaculating only at intervals, "Bigoted conquerors! sympathy with Fire-worshippers!"—while Feramorz, happy to take advantage of this almost speechless horror of the Chamberlain, proceeded to say that he knew a melancholy story, connected with the events of one of those struggles of the brave Fire-worshippers against their Arab masters, which, if the evening was not too far advanced, he should have much
pleasure in being allowed to relate to the Princess. It was impossible for Lalla Rookh to refuse: he had never before looked half so animated, and when he spoke of the Holy Valley, his eyes had sparkled, she thought, like the talismanic characters on the scimitar of Solomon. Her consent was therefore most readily granted; and while Fadladeen sat in unspeakable dismay, expecting treason and abomination in every line, the poet thus began his story of the Fire-worshippers.
'Tis moonlight over Oman's Sea; Her banks of pearl and balmy isles Bask in the night-beam beauteously,
And her blue waters sleep in smiles. 'Tis moonlight in Harmozia's walls, And through her Emir's porphyry halls, Where, some hours since, was heard the swell Of trumpet and the clash of zel, Bidding the bright-eyed sun farewell,The peaceful sun, whom better suits The music of the bulbul's nest, Or the light touch of lovers' lutes,
To sing him to his golden rest. All hush'd-there's not a breeze in motion: The shore is silent as the ocean:
If zephyrs come, so light they come
Nor leaf is stirr'd nor wave is driven: The wind-tower on the Emir's dome
Can hardly win a breath from heaven.
Even he, that tyrant Arab, sleeps
Are starting to avenge the shame
His race hath brought on Iran's name.
In the warm blood his hand hath pour'd,
Engraven on his reeking sword;
Never did fierce Arabia send
A satrap forth more direly great;
Just Alla! what must be thy look,
When such a wretch before thee stands Unblushing, with thy Sacred Book,
Turning the leaves with blood-stain'd hands, And wresting from its page sublime
His creed of lust, and hate, and crime:
Which, from the sunniest flowers that glad With their pure smiles the gardens round, Draw venom forth that drives men mad.