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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 :
VEILED PROPHET OF KHORASSAN.
In that delightful Province of the Sun,
The first of Persian lands he shines upon,
Where, all the loveliest children of his beam,
Flowrets and fruits blush over every stream,
And, fairest of all streams, the MURGA roves
Among MeroU's a bright palaces and groves ; —
There on that throne, to which the blind belief
Of millions rais'd him, sat the Prophet-Chief,
! Khorassan signifies, in the old Persian language, Province, or Region of the Sun. -Sir W. Jones.
2 One of the royal cities of Khorassan.
The Great MOKANNA. O’er his features hung
The Veil, the Silver Veil, which he had fung
In mercy there, to hide from mortal sight
His dazzling brow, till man could bear its light.
For, far less luminous, his votaries said,
Were ev’n the gleams, miraculously shed
O'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;
4 Black was the colour adopted by the Caliphs of the House of Abbas, in their garments, turbans, and standards.
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 5 that bloom on IRAN's rivers;
While some, for war's more terrible attacks,
Wield the huge mace and ponderous battle-axe;
And, as they wave aloft in morning's beam
The milk-white plumage of their helms, they seem
Like a chenar-tree grove, when winter throws
O’er all its tufted heads his feathering snows.
Between the porphyry pillars, that uphold
The rich moresque-work of the roof of gold,
Aloft 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 Heav'n hath plac'd you there?
Or that the loves of this light world could bind,
In their gross chain, your Prophet's soaring mind?
s Pichula, used anciently for arrows by the Persians.
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 Heav'n's native maids,
And crown the' Elect with, bliss that never fades !
Well hath the Prophet-Chief his bidding done;
And every beauteous race beneath the sun,
From those who kneel at Brahma's burning founts,
To the fresh nymphs bounding o'er YEMEN’s mounts;
From Persia's eyes of full and fawn-like ray,
To the small, half-shut glances of KATHAY;?
And GEORGIA's bloom, and AZAB's darker smiles,
And the gold ringlets of the Western Isles ;
All, all are there; — each Land its flower hath given,
To form that fair young Nursery for Heaven!
But why this pageant now? 'this arm’d array ? What triumph crowds the rich Divan to-day
6 The burning fountains of Brahma near Chittogong, esteemed as holy,-- Turner.