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Open'd and gave the entrance. Then she turn'd
XI. He tarried not, -he past The threshold, over which was no return. All earthly thoughts, all human hopes And passions now put off, He cast no backward glance Towards the gleam of day. There was a light within, A yellow light, as when the autumnal Sun, Through travelling rain and mist Shines on the evening hills. Whether, from central fires effus'd, Or if the sun-beams, day by day, From earliest generations, there absorb'd, Were gathering for the wrath-flame. Shade was none In those portentous vaults: Crag overhanging, nor columnal rock Cast its dark outline there; For, with the hot and heavy atmosphere, The light incorporate, permeating all, Spread over all its equal yellowness. There was no motion in the lifeless air, He felt no stirring as he past Adown the long descent; He heard not his own footsteps on the rock, That through the thick stagnation sent no sound. How sweet it were, he thought, To feel the flowing wind With what a thirst of jov He should breathe in the open gales of heaven
Four living pinions, headless, bodyless, Sprung from one stem that branch'd below In four down-arching limbs, And clench'd the car-rings endlong and athwart With claws of griffin grasp.
XIV. But not on these, the depths so terrible, The wonderous wings, fix’d Thalaba his eye; For there, upon the brink, With fiery fetters fasten’d to the rock, A man, a living man, tormented lay, The young Othatha : in the arms of love, He who had lingered out the auspicious hour, Forgetful of his call. In shuddering pity, Thalaba exclaim'd, * Servant of God, can I not succour thee ?” He groan'd, and answered, a Son of Man, I sinn'd, and am tormented ; I endure In patience and in hope. The hour that shall destroy the Race of Hell, That hour shall set me free.”
xW. “Is it not come?» quoth Thalaba, * Yea! by this omen on-and with fearless hand He grasp'd the burning fetters, « in the name Of God', and from the rock Rooted the rivets, and adown the gulph Hurl’d them. The rush of flames roar dup, For they had kindled in their fall The deadly vapours of the pit profound, And Thalaba bent on, and look'd below. But vainly he explor’d The deep abyss of flame, That sunk hovond the plunge of mortal eye, Now all ablaze, as if infernal fires Illum'd the world beneath. Soon was the poison-fuel spent, The flame grew pale and dim, And dimmer now it fades, and now is quench'd, And all again is dark, Save where the wellow air Enters a little in, and mingles slow.
xWii. Then Thalaba pronounced the name of God, And leapt into the car. Down, down, it sunk, down, down— He neither breatlies nor sees ; Ilis eyes are clos'd for giddiness, His breath is sinking with the fall. The air that yields beneath the car, Inflates the wings above. Down—down—a mighty depth — Was then the Simorg, with the Powers of ill, Associate to destroy And was that lovely Mariner A fiend as false as fair For still he sinks down—down— But ever the uprushing wind Inflates the wings above, And still the struggling wings Repel the rushing wind. Down—down—and now it strikes.
XVIII. He stands and totters giddily, All objects round, a while Float dizzy on his sight; Collected soon, he gazes for the way. There was a distant light that led his search; The torch a broader blaze, The unprun'd taper flares a longer flame, But this was fierce, as is the noon-tide sun, So, in the glory of its rays intense, It quiver'd with green glow. Beyond was all unseen, No eye could penetrate That unendurable excess of light.
XIX. It veil'd no friendly form, thought Thalaba; And wisely did he deem, For, at the threshold of the rocky door, Hugest and fiercest of his kind accurst, Fit warden of the sorcery gate, A rebel Afreet law. " He scented the approach of human food, . And hungry hope kindled his eye of fire. Raising his hand to save the dazzled sense, Onward held Thalaba, And lifted still at times a rapid glance; Till the due distance gain'd, With head abas'd, he laid The arrow in its rest. With steady effort, and knit forehead then, Full on the painful light, He fix’d his aching eye, and loos'd the bow.
XX. An anguish-yell ensued; And sure, no human voice had scope or power
For that prodigious shriek, Whose pealing echoes thundered up the rock.
Dim grew the dying light,
But Thalaba leapt onward to the doors
Was writhing with his death-pangs, over him
Sprung and smote the stony doors, And bade them, in the name of God, give way!
xxi. The dying Fiend, beneath him, at that name Tossed in worse agony, And the rocks shuddered, and the rocky doors Rent at the voice asunder. Lo! within— The Teraph and the Fire, And Khawla, and in mail complete Mohareb for the strife. But Thalaba, with numbing force, Smites his rais'd arm, and rushes by ; For now he sees the fire, amid whose flames, On the white ashes of Hodeirah, lies Hodeirah's holy Sword.
XXII. He rushes to the fire; Then Khawla met the youth, And leapt upon him, and, with clinging arms, Clasps him, and calls Mohareb now to aim The effectual vengeance. 0 fool! fool! he sees His Father's Sword, and who shall bar his way Who stand against the fury of that arm That spurns her to the earth – She rises half, she twists around his knees, A moment—and he vainly strives To shake her from her hold ; Impatient, then into her cursed breast Ile stamps his crushing heel, And from her body, heaving now in death, Springs forward to the Sword.
XXIII. The co-existent Flame Knew the Destroyer; it encircled him, Roll'd up his robe, and gathered round his head; Condensing to intenser splendour there, His Crown of Glory, and his Light of Life, Hovered the irradiate wreath.
XXIV. The moment Thalaba had laid his hand Upon his Father's Sword, The Living Image in the inner cave Smote the Round Altar. The Domdaniel rock'd Through all its thundering vaults; Over the Surface of the recling Earth, The alarum shock was felt; The Sorcerer brood, all, all, where'er dispersed, Perforce obey'd the summons; all... they came Compell'd by Ilell and Heaven; By Hell compell'd to keep Their baptism-covenant, And, with the union of their strength, Oppose the common danger; forced by Heaven To share the common doom.
XXV. Vain are all spells! the Destroyer Treads the Domilaniel floor! They crowd with human arms, and human force, To crush the single foc; Vain is all human force!
He wields his Father's Sword,
The vergeance of awaken'd Deity!
The language of the inspired Witch
And, desperate of self-safety, yet he hop'd
XXWi. Who shall withstand the Destroyer? Scattered before the sword of I halaba The sorcerer throng recede, And leave him space for combat. Wretched man, What shall the helmet or the shield avail Against Almiglity anger? ... wretched man, Too late Mollareb finds that he hath chosen The evil part . . He rears his shield To meet the Arabian's sword, . . Under the edge of that fire-hardened steel, The shield falls severed; his cold arm Rings with the jarring blow : .. He lifts his scymctar, A second stroke, and lo! the broken hilt Hangs from his palsied hand And now he bleeds! and now he flies! And fain would hide himself amid the throng, But they feel the sword of Hodeirah, And they also fly from the ruin! And hasten to the inner cave, And fall all fearfully Around the Giant 'dols feet, Seeking salvation from the Power they serv'd.
XXVI.i. It was a Living Image, by the art Of magic hands, of flesh and bones compos'd, And human blood, through veins and arteries That low d with vital action. In the shape Of Eblis it was made; Its stature such, and such its strength, As when among the sons of God Pre-eminent, he rais'd his radiant head, Prince of the Morning. On his brow A corouet of meteor flames, Fio wins; in points of light. Self-pois'd in air before him, Ilung the Round Altar, rolling like the World On its diurnal axis, like the World Chequer d with sea and shore, The work of Demon art. For where the sceptre in the Idol's hand Touch'd the Round Altar, in its answering realm Earth felt the stroke, and Ocean rose in storms, And ruining Cities, shaken from their seat, Crush d all their in litants. His other arm was rais d, and its spread palm Up-bore the ocean-weight, Whose naked waters arch d the sanctuary, Sole prop and pillar he.
XXVIII. Fallen on the ground, around his feet The Sorcerers lay. Mohareb's quivering arms Clun; to the Idol's knees; - The Idol's face was pale,
And calm in terror he beheld The approach of the Destroyer.
XXIX. Sure of his stroke, and therefore in pursuit Following, nor blind, nor hasty, on his foe, Mov'd the Destroyer. Okba met his way, Of all that brotherhood He only fearless, miserable man, The one that had no hope. • On me, on me,” the childless Sorcerer cried, * Let fall the weapon' I am he who stole Upon the midnight of thy Father's tent; This is the hand that pierced Hodeirah's heart, That felt thy brethren's and thy sister's blood Gush round the dagger-hilt. Let fall on me The fated sword the vengeance-hour is come! Destroyer, do thy work!”
xxx. Nor wile, nor weapon, had the desperate wretch : He spread his bosom to the stroke. « Old man, I strike thee not!» said Thalaba; “The evil thou hast done to me and mine Brought its own bitter punishment. For thy dear Daughter's sake, I pardon thee, As I do hope Heaven's pardon... For her sake, Repent while time is yet!... thou hast my prayers To aid thee; thou poor sinner, cast thyself Upon the goodness of offended God! I speak in Laila's name and what if now Thou canst not think to join in Paradise Her spotless Spirit, ... liath not Allah made Al-Araf, in his wisdom ' ' where the sight Of heaven shall kindle in the penitent The strong and purifying sire of hope. Till, at the day of judgment, he shall see The Mercy-Gates unfold.”
The astonish'd man stood gazing as he spake, At length his heart was soften'd, and the tears
Gush'd, and he sobb’d aloud.
Then suddenly was heard
XXXII. A deep and awful joy Seem'd to distend the heart of Thalaba; With arms in reverence crost upon his breast, Upseeking eyes suffused with transport-tears, He answered to the Voice, a Prophet of God, Holy, and good, and bountiful! One only earthly wish have I, to work Thy will, and thy protection grants me that. Look on this Sorcerer! heavy are his crimes, But infinite is mercy! if thy servant Have now found favour in the sight of God, Let him be touched with penitence, and save His soul from utter death.”
XXXIII. « The groans of penitence,” replied the Voice, * Never arise unheard
Note 3, page 89, col. 2.
The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.—Job i, 21.
I have placed a scripture phrase in the mouth of a Mahominedan; but it is a saying of Job, and there can be no impropriety in making a modern Arab speak like an ancient one. Resignation is particularly inculcated by Mahommed, and of all his precepts it is that which his followers have best observed: it is even the vice of the East. It had been easy to have made Zeinab speak from the Koran, if the tame language of the Koran could be remembered by the few who have toiled through its dull tautology. I thought it better to express a feeling of religion in that language with which our religious ideas are connected.
Note 5, page 90, col. 2. Here studding azure tablatures. The magnificent Mosque at Tauris is faced with varnished bricks, of various colours, like most fine buildings in Persia, says Tavernier. One of its domes is covered with white tower-work upon a green ground; the other has a black ground, spotted with white stars. Gilding is also common upon oriental buildings. At Boghar in Bactria our old traveller Jenkinson, saw a many houses, temples, and monuments of stone, sumptuously builded and gilt.” In Pegu & they consume about their Varely or idol houses great store of leafe-gold, for that they overlay all the tops of the houses with gold, and some of them are covered with gold from the top to the foote; in covering whereof there is a great store of gold spent, for that every ten years they new overlay them with gold, from the top to the foote, so that with this vanitie they spend great aboundance of golde. For every ten years the rain doth consume the gold from these houses.”— Caesar Frederick, in Hakluyt. A waste of ornament and labour characterises all the works of the Orientalists. I have seen illuminated Per. sian manuscripts that must each have been the toil of many years, every page painted, not with representations of life and manners, but usually like the curves and lines of a turkey carpet, conveying no idea whatever, as absurd to the eye as nonsense-verses to the ear. The little of their literature that has reached us is equally worthless. Our barbarian scholars have called Ferdusi the Oriental Homer. We have a specimen of his poem; the translation is said to be bad, and certainly must be unfaithful, for it is in rhyme; but the vilest copy of a picture at least represents the subject and the composition. To make this Iliad of the East, as they have sacrilegiously styled it, a good poem, would be realizing the dreams of alchemy, and transmuting lead into gold. The Arabian Tales certainly abound with genius; they have lost their metaphorical rubbish in passing through the filter of a French translation.
Note 6, page 90, col. 2. Sennamar built at Hirab, etc. The Arabians call this palace one of the wonders of the world. It was built for Nóman-al-A6tuar, one of those Arabian Kings who reigned at Ilirah. A single stone fastened the whole structure; the colour of the walls varied frequently in a day. Nóman richly rewarded the architect Sennamar; but recollecting after wards that he might build palaces equal, or superior in beauty, for his rival kings, ordered that he should be thrown from the highest tower of the edifice.—D Herbelot. An African colony had been settled in the north of
their artisans to erect for him two sumptuous palaces, which were so highly finished, that, jealous lest they might construct others on the same, or perhaps a grander plan, he had them privately made away with, the day after they had completed their work.-O'Halloran's History of Ireland.
Note 7, page 91, col. 1. The paradise of Irem, etc. The tribe of Ad were descended from Ad, the son of Aus or Uz, the son of Irem, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, who, after the confusion of tongues, settled in Al-Ahkäf, or the winding sands in the province of Hadramaut, where his posterity greatly multiplied. Their first King was Shedad, the son of Ad, of whom the eastern writers deliver many fabulous things, particularly that he finished the magnificent city his father had begun; wherein he built a fine palace, adorned with delicious gardens, to embellish which he spared neither cost nor labour, proposing thereby to create in his sub|jects a superstitious veneration of himself as a God. This garden or paradise was called the Garden of Irem, and is mentioned in the Koran, and often alluded to by the | Oriental writers. The city, they tell us, is still standing in the deserts of Aden, being preserved by Providence as a monument of divine justice, though it be invisible, unless very rarely, when God permits it to be seen: a favour one Colabah pretended to have received in the reign of the Khalif Moawiyah, who sending for him to know the truth of the matter, Colabah related his whole adventure: that, as he was seeking a camel he had lost, he found himself on a sudden at the gates of this city, and entering it, saw not oue inhabitant; at which be|ing terrified, he stayed no longer than to take with him some fine stones, which he showed the Khalif.-Sale. The descendants of Ad in process of time falling from the worship of the true God into idolatry, God sent the | prophet Houd (who is generally agreed to be Heber) to preach the unity of his essence, and reclaim them. Houd preached for many years to this people without effect, till God at last was weary of waiting for their repentance. The first punishment which he inflicted was a famine of three years continuance, during all which time the heavens were closed upon then. This, with the evils which it caused, destroyed a great part of this people, who were then the richest and most Powerful of all in Arabia. The Adites seeing themselves reduced to this extremity, and receiving no succour from their false gods, resolved to make a pilgrimage to a place in the province of Hegiaz, where at present Mecca is situated. There was then a hillock of red sand there, around which a great concourse of different people might always be seen; and all these nations, the faithful as well as the unfaithful, believed that by visiting this spot with devotion, they should obtain from God whatever they petitioned for, respecting the wants and necessities of life. The Adites having then resolved to undertake this religious journey, chose seventy men, at whose head they appointed Mortadh and Kail, the two most considerable personages of the country, to perform this duty in the name of the whole nation, and by this means procure rain from Ileaven, without which their country must be ruined. The deputies departed, and were
hospitably received by Moawiyah, who at that time
reigned in the province of Hegiaz. They explained to him the occasion of their journey, and demanded leave to proceed and perform their devotions at the Red Hillock, that they might procure rain. Mortadh, who was the wisest of this company, and who had been converted by the Prophet Iloud, often remonstrated with his associates, that it was useless to take this journey for the purpose of praying at this chosen spot, unless they had previously adopted the truths which the Prophet preached, and seriously repented of their unbelief. For how, said he, can you hope that God will shed upon us the abundant showers of his mercy, if we refuse to hear the voice of him, whom he hath sent to instruct us? Kail, who was one of the most obstinate in error, and consequently of the Prophet's worst enemies, hearing the discourses of his colleague, requested King Moawiyah to detain Mortadh prisoner, whilst he and the remainder of his companions proceeded to make their prayers upon the Hillock. Moâwiyah consented, and, detaining Mortadh captive, permitted the others to pursue their journey, and accomplish their vow. Kail, now the sole chief of the deputation, having ar. rived at the place, prayed thus, Lord, give to the people of Ad such rains as it shall please thee. And he had scarcely finished when there appeared three clouds in the sky, one white, one red, the third black. At the same time these words were heard to proceed from Heaven, Chuse which of the three thou wilt. Kail chose the black, which he imagined the fullest, and most abund. ant in water, of which they were in extreme want. After having chosen, he immediately quitted the place, and took the road to his own country, congratulating himself on the happy success of his pilgrimage. As soon as Kail arrived in the valley of Magaith, a part of the territory of the Adites, he informed his countrymen of the favourable answer he had received, and of the cloud which was soon to water all their lands. The senseless people all came out of their houses to receive it; but this cloud, which was big with the divine vengeance, produced only a wind, most cold and most violent, which the Arabs call Sarsar; it continued to blow for seven days and seven nights and exterminated all the unbelievers of the country, leaving only the Prophet Houd alive, and those who had heard him and turned to the faith.-D'Herbelot.
Note 8, page 91, col. 1.
O'er all the winding sands.
Al Ahkaf signifies the Winding Sands.
Note q, page 91, col. 2.
I have heard from a certain Cyprian botanist, that the Ebony does not produce either leaves or fruit, and that it is never seen exposed to the sun; that its roots are in deed under the earth, which the AEthiopians dig out, aud that there are men among them skilled in finding the place of its concealment.—Pausanias, translated by Taylor.
Note io, page 92, col. 1.
The Adites worshipped four Idols, Sakiah the dispenser of rain, Hafedall the protector of travellers, Razekah the giver of food, and Salemah the preserver in sickness.-D'Herbelot.