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IN that delightful Province of the Sun,
The first of Persian lands he shines upon,
Where all the loveliest children of his beam,
Flowerets and fruits, blush over every stream,
And fairest of all streams, the Murga roves
Among Merou's bright palaces and groves,-
There on that throne, to which the blind belief
Of millions raised him, sat the Prophet-Chief,
The Great Mokanna. O'er his features hung
The Veil, the Silver Veil, which he had flung
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 even 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;
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 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 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,
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 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.

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Though few his years, the West already knows
Young Azim's fame ;-beyond the Olympian snows,
Ere manhood darken'd o'er his downy cheek,
O'erwhelm'd in fight and captive to the Greek,
He linger'd there, till peace dissolved his chains ;—
Oh, who could, even in bondage, tread the plains
Of glorious Greece, nor feel his spirit rise
Kindling within him? who, with heart and eyes,
Could walk where Liberty had been, nor see
The shining footprints of her Deity,

Nor feel those godlike breathings in the air,
Which mutely told her spirit had been there?
Not he, that youthful warrior,—no, too well

For his soul's quiet work'd the awakening spell;
And now, returning to his own dear land,
Full of those dreams of good that, vainly grand,
Haunt the young heart,-proud views of human-kind,
Of men to gods exalted and refined,-

False views, like that horizon's fair deceit,

Where earth and heaven but seem, alas, to meet!
Soon as he heard an Arm Divine was raised
To right the nations, and beheld, emblazed
On the white flag Mokanna's host unfurl'd,


Those words of sunshine, Freedom to the World,'
At once his faith, his sword, his soul obey'd
The inspiring summons; every chosen blade
That fought beneath that banner's sacred text

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
With pious awe, before that Silver Veil,
Believes the form, to which he bends his knee,
Some pure, redeeming angel, sent to free
This fetter'd world from every bond and stain,
And bring its primal glories back again!

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
For many an age, in every chance and change
Of that existence, through whose varied range,—
As through a torch-race where, from hand to hand,
The flying youths transmit their shining brand,-
From frame to frame the unextinguish'd soul
Rapidly passes, till it reach the goal!

Nor think 'tis only the gross Spirits, warm'd

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