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VEILED PROPHET OF KHORASSAN.
IN that delightful Province of the Sun,
O'er Moussa's cheek, when down the Mount he trod,
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!
Their vesture, helms and all, is snowy white;
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 network, 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 Heaven hath placed you there? Or that the loves of this light world could bind, In their gross chain, your Prophet's soaring mind? 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 Heaven's native maids, And crown the Elect with bliss that never fades
Well hath the Prophet-Chief his bidding done; every beauteous race beneath the sun,
From those who kneel at Brahma's burning founts,
But why this pageant now? this arm'd array? What triumph crowds the rich Divan to-day With turban'd heads, of every hue and race, Bowing before that veil'd and awful face, Like tulip-beds, of different shape and dyes, Bending beneath the invisible West-wind's sighs? What new-made mystery now, for Faith to sign, And blood to seal, as genuine and divine, What dazzling mimickry of God's own power Hath the bold Prophet plann'd to grace this hour?
Not such the pageant now, though not less proud; Yon warrior youth, advancing from the crowd, With silver bow, with belt of broider'd crape, And fur-bound bonnet of Bucharian shape, So fiercely beautiful in form and eye, Like war's wild planet in a summer sky,— That youth to-day-a proselyte, worth hordes Of cooler spirits and less practised swords
Is come to join, all bravery and belief,
The creed and standard of the heaven-sent Chief.
Though few his years, the West already knows
Nor feel those godlike breathings in the air,
For his soul's quiet work'd the awakening spell;
False views, like that horizon's fair deceit,
Where earth and heaven but seem, alas, to meet!
Those words of sunshine, Freedom to the World,'
Seem'd doubly edged, for this world and the next; And ne'er did Faith with her smooth bandage bind Eyes more devoutly willing to be blind,
In virtue's cause; never was soul inspired
With livelier trust in what it most desired,
Than his, the enthusiast there, who kneeling, pale
Low as young Azim knelt, that motley crowd Of all earth's nations sunk the knee and bow'd, With shouts of 'Alla!' echoing long and loud; While high in air, above the Prophet's head, Hundreds of banners, to the sunbeam spread, Waved, like the wings of the white birds that fan The flying throne of star-taught Soliman.
Then thus he spoke :-'Stranger, though new the
Thy soul inhabits now, I've tracked its flame
Nor think 'tis only the gross Spirits, warm'd