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'Twas not for him to crouch the knee
Tamely to Moslem tyranny; -
'Twas not for him, whose soul was cast
In the bright mould of ages past,
Whose melancholy spirit, fed
With all the glories of the dead,
Though fram'd for Iran's happiest years,
Was born among her chains and tears ! -
'Twas not for him to swell the crowd
Of slavish heads, that shrinking bowed
Before the Moslem, as he pass’d,
Like shrubs beneath the poison-blast -
No – far he fled - indignant fled
The pageant of his country's shame;
While every tear her children shed
Fell on his soul, like drops of flame; And, as a lover hails the dawn
Of a first smile, so welcom'd he The sparkle of the first sword drawn
For vengeance and for liberty !
But vain was valour vain the flower
Of KÉRMAN, in that deathful hour,
Against Al Hassan's whelming power. -
In vain they met him, helm to helm,
Upon the threshold of that realm
He came in bigot pomp to sway,
And with their corpses block'd his way
In vain – for every lance they rais’d,
Thousands around the conqueror blaz'd;
For every arm that lin'd their shore,
Myriads of slaves were wafted o'er, -
A bloody, bold, and countless crowd,
Before whose swarm as fast they bow'd
As dates beneath the locust-cloud!
There stood - but one short league away
From old HARMOZIA's sultry bay -
A rocky mountain, o'er the Sea
Of Oman beetling awfully.
A last and solitary link
Of those stupendous chains that reach From the broad Caspian's reedy brink
Down winding to the Green Sea beach. Around its base the bare rocks stood, Like naked giants, in the flood,
As if to guard the Gulf across;
While, on its peak, that brav'd the sky,
A ruin'd Temple tower'd, so high
That oft the sleeping albatross'
Struck the wild ruins with her wing,
And from her cloud-rock'd slumbering
Started — to find man's dwelling there
In her own silent fields of air !
Beneath, terrific caverns gave
Dark welcome to each stormy wave
That dash'd, like midnight revellers, in ; -
And such the strange, mysterious din
At times throughout those caverns rolld, -
And such the fearful wonders told
Of restless sprites imprison'd there,
That bold were Moslem, who would dare,
At twilight hour, to steer his skiff
Beneath the Gheber's lonely cliff.
On the land side, those towers sublime,
That seem'd above the grasp of Time,
Were sever'd from the haunts of men
By a wide, deep, and wizard glen,
· These birds sleep in the air. They are most common about the Cape of Good Hope.
So fathomless, so full of gloom,
eye could pierce the void between;
It seem'd a place where Gholes might come
With their foul banquets from the tomb,
And in its caverns feed unseen.
Like distant thunder, from below,
The sound of many torrents came;
Too deep for eye or ear to know
If 'twere the sea's imprison'd flow,
Or floods of ever-restless flame.
For each ravine, each rocky spire
Of that vast mountain stood on fire ; ?
And, though for ever past the days,
When God was worshipp'd in the blaze
That from its lofty altar shone, -
Though fled the priests, the votaries gone,
Still did the mighty flame burn on
Through chance and change, through good and ill,
Like its own God's eternal will,
Deep, constant, bright, unquenchable !
Thither the vanquish'd HAFED led
His little army's last remains;
2 The Ghebers generally built their temples over subterraneous fires.
“ Welcome, terrific glen !” he said,
“ Thy gloom, that Eblis' self might dread,
66 Is Heav'n to him who Aies from chains !"
O'er a dark, narrow bridge-way, known
To him and to his Chiefs alone,
They cross'd the chasm and gain'd the towers; --
“ This home," he cried, “ at least is ours
“ Here we may bleed, unmock'd by hymns
“ Of Moslem triumph o'er our head; “ Here we may fall, nor leave our limbs
“ To quiver to the Moslem's tread. " Stretch'd on this rock, while vultures' beaks “ Are whetted on our yet warm cheeks, “ Here,—happy that no tyrant's eye “ Gloats on our torments-We may
'Twas night when to those towers they came,
And gloomily the fitful flame,
That from the ruin'd altar broke,
Glar'd on his features, as he spoke:
66 'Tis o'er what men could do, we've done
If Iran will look tamely on,
“ And see her priests, her warriors driven
“ Before a sensual bigot's nod,