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The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore by Thomas Moore et al

Part 21 out of 33

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[71] They deterred it till the King of Flowers should ascend his throne of
enamelled foliage."--_The Bahardanush_".

[72] "One of the head-dresses of the Persian women is composed of a light
golden chain-work, set with small pearls, with a thin gold plate pendant,
about the bigness of a crown-piece, on which is impressed an Arabian
prayer, and which hangs upon the cheek below the ear."--_Hanway's_

[73] "Certainly the women of Yezd are the handsomest women in Persia. The
proverb is, that to live happy a man must have a wife of Yezd, eat the
bread of Yezdecas, and drink the wine of Shiraz."--_Tavernier_.

[74] Musnuds are cushioned seats, usually reserved for persons of

[75] The Persians, like the ancient Greeks call their musical modes or
Perdas by the names of different countries or cities, as the mode of
Isfahan, the mode of Irak, etc.

[76] A river which flows near the ruins of Chilminar.

[77] "To the north of us (on the coast of the Caspian, near Badku,) was a
mountain, which sparkled like diamonds, arising from the sea-glass and
crystals with which it abounds."--_Journey of the Russian Ambassador to
Persia_, 1746.

[78] "To which will be added, the sound of the bells, hanging on the
trees, which will be put in motion by the wind proceeding from the throne
of God, as often as the blessed wish for music."--_Sale_.

[79] "Whose wanton eyes resemble blue water-lilies, agitated by the

[80] The blue lotos, which grows in Cashmere and in Persia.

[81] It has been generally supposed that the Mahometans prohibit all
pictures of animals; but _Toderini_ shows that, though the practice is
forbidden by the Koran, they are not more averse to painted figures and
images than other people. From Mr. Murphy's work, too, we find that the
Arabs of Spain had no objection to the introduction of figures into

[82] This is not quite astronomically true. "Dr. Hadley [says Keil] has
shown that Venus is brightest when she is about forty degrees removed from
the sun; and that then but _only a fourth part_ of her lucid disk is to be
seen from the earth."

[83] The wife of Potiphar, thus named by the Orientals. The passion which
this frail beauty of antiquity conceived for her young Hebrew slave has
given rise to a much esteemed poem in the Persian language, entitled
_Yusef vau Zelikha_, by _Noureddin Jami;_ the manuscript copy of which, in
the Bodleian Library at Oxford, is supposed to be the finest in the whole
world."--_Note upon Nott's Translation of Hafez_."

[84] The particulars of Mahomet's amour with Mary, the Coptic girl, in
justification of which he added a new chapter to the Koran, may be found
in _Gagnier's Notes upon Abulfeda_, p. 151.

[85] "Deep blue is their mourning color." _Hanway_.

[86] The sorrowful nyctanthes, which begins to spread its rich odor after

[87] "Concerning the vipers, which Pliny says were frequent among the
balsam-trees, I made very particular inquiry; several were brought me
alive both to Yambo and Jidda."--_Bruce_.

[88] In the territory of Istkahar there is a kind of apple, half of which
is sweet and half sour.--_Ebn Haukal_.

[89] "The place where the Whangho, a river of Tibet, rises, and where
there are more than a hundred springs, which sparkle like stars; whence it
is called Hotun-nor, that is, the Sea of Stars."--_Description of Tibet in

[90] "The Lescar or Imperial Camp is divided, like a regular town, into
squares, alleys, and streets, and from a rising ground furnishes one of
the most agreeable prospects in the world. Starting up in a few hours in
an uninhabited plain, it raises the idea of a city built by enchantment.
Even those who leave their houses in cities to follow the prince in his
progress are frequently so charmed with the Lescar, when situated in a
beautiful and convenient place, that they cannot prevail with themselves
to remove. To prevent this inconvenience to the court, the Emperor, after
sufficient time is allowed to the tradesmen to follow, orders them to be
burnt out of their tents."--_Dow's Hindostan_.

[91] The edifices of Chilminar and Balbec are supposed to have been built
by the Genii, acting under the orders of Jan ben Jan, who governed the
world long before the time of Adam.

[92] "A superb camel, ornamented with strings and tufts of small
shells."--_Ali Bey_.

[93] A native of Khorassan, and allured southward by means of the water of
a fountain between Shiraz and Ispahan, called the Fountain of Birds, of
which it is so fond that it will follow wherever that water is carried.

[94] "Some of the camels have bells about their necks, and some about
their legs, like those which our carriers put about their fore-horses'
necks, which together with the servants (who belong to the camels, and
travel on foot), singing all night, make a pleasant noise, and the journey
passes away delightfully."--_Pitt's_ Account of the Mahometans.

"The camel-driver follows the camels singing, and sometimes playing upon
his pipe; the louder he sings and pipes, the faster the camels go. Nay,
they will stand still when he gives over his music."--_Tavernier_.

[95] "This trumpet is often called, in Abyssinia, _nesser cano_, which
signifies the Note of the Eagle."--_Note of Bruce's Editor_.

[96] The two black standards borne before the Caliphs of the House of
Abbas were called, allegorically, The Night and The Shadow.--See _Gibbon_.

[97] The Mohometan religion.

[98] "The Persians swear by the Tomb of Shad Besade, who is buried at
Casbin; and when one desires another to asseverate a matter he will ask
him, if he dare swear by the Holy Grave."--_Struy_.

[99] Mahadi, in a single pilgrimage to Mecca, expended six millions of
dinars of gold.

[100] The inhabitants of Hejaz or Arabia Petraea, called by an Eastern
writer "The People of the Rock."--_Ebn Haukal_.

[101] "Those horses, called by the Arabians Kochlani, of whom a written
genealogy has been kept for 2000 years. They are said to derive their
origin from King Solomon's steeds."--_Niebuhr_.

[102] "Many of the figures on the blades of their swords are wrought in
gold or silver, or in marquetry with small gems."--_Asiat. Misc_. v. i.

[103] Azab or Saba.

[104] "The chiefs of the Uzbek Tartars wear a plume of white heron's
feathers in their turbans."--_Account of Independent Tartary_.

[105] In the mountains of Nishapour and Tous in (Khorassan) they find
turquoises.--_Ebn Huukal_.

[106] The Ghebers or Guebres, those original natives of Persia, who
adhered to their ancient faith, the religion of Zoroaster, and who, after
the conquest of their country by the Arabs, were either persecuted at
home, or forced to become wanderers abroad.

[107] "Yezd, the chief residence of those ancient natives who worship the
Sun and the Fire, which latter they have carefully kept lighted, without
being once extinguished for a moment, about 3000 years, on a mountain near
Yezd, called Ater Quedah, signifying the House or Mansion of the Fire. He
is reckoned very unfortunate who dies off that mountain."--_Stephen's

[108] When the weather is hazy, the springs of Naphtha (on an island near
Baku) boil up the higher, and the Naphtha often takes fire on the surface
of the earth, and runs in a flame into the sea to a distance almost
incredible."--_Hanway on the Everlasting Fire at Baku_.

[109] _Savary_ says of the south wind, which blows in Egypt from February
to May, "Sometimes it appears only in the shape of an impetuous whirlwind,
which passes rapidly, and is fatal to the traveller, surprised in the
middle of the deserts. Torrents of burning sand roll before it, the
firmament is enveloped in a thick veil, and the sun appears of the color
of blood. Sometimes whole caravans are buried in it."

[110] In the great victory gained by Mahomed at Beder, he was assisted,
say the Mussulmans, by three thousand angels led by Gabriel mounted on his
horse Hiazum.--See _The Koran and its Commentators_.

[111] The Techir, or cry of the Arabs. "Alla Acbar!" says Ockley, means,
"God is most mighty."

[112] The ziraleet is a kind of chorus, which the women of the East sing
upon joyful occasions.

[113] The Dead Sea, which contains neither animal nor vegetable life.

[114] The ancient Oxus.

[115] A city of Transoxiana.

[116] "You never can cast your eyes on this tree, but you meet there
either blossoms or fruit; and as the blossom drops underneath on the
ground (which is frequently covered with these purple-colored flowers),
others come forth in their stead," etc.--_Nieuhoff_.

[117] The Demons of the Persian mythology.

[118] Carreri mentions the fire-flies in India during the rainy
season.--See his Travels.

[119] Sennacherib, called by the Orientals King of Moussal.--_D'Herbelot_.

[120] Chosroes. For the description of his Throne or Palace, see _Gibbon
and D'Herbelot_.

There were said to be under this Throne or Palace of Khosrou Parviz a
hundred vaults filled with "treasures so immense that some Mahometan
writers tell us, their Prophet to encourage his disciples carried them to
a rock which at his command opened and gave them a prospect through it of
the treasures of Khosrou."--_Universal History_.

[121] "The crown of Gerashid is cloudy and tarnished before the heron tuft
of thy turban."--From one of the elegies or songs in praise of Ali,
written in characters of gold round the gallery of Abbas's tomb.--See

[122] The beauty of Ali's eyes was so remarkable, that whenever the
Persians would describe anything as very lovely, they say it is Ayn Hali,
or the Eyes of Ali.--_Chardin_.

[123] "Nakshab, the name of a city in Transoxiana, where they say there is
a well, in which the appearance of the moon is to be seen night and day."

[124] The Shechinah, called Sakfnat in the Koran.--See _Sale's Note_,
chap. ii.

[125] The parts of the night are made known as well by instruments of
music, as by the rounds of the watchmen with cries and small drums.--See
_Burder's Oriental Customs_, vol. i. p. 119.

[126] The Serrapurda, high screens of red cloth, stiffened with cane, used
to enclose a considerable space round the royal tents.--_Notes on the

The tents of Princes were generally illuminated. Norden tells us that the
tent of the Bey of Girge was distinguished from the other tents by forty
lanterns being suspended before it.--See _Harmer's Observations on Job_.

[127] "From the groves of orange trees at Kauzeroon the bees cull a
celebrated honey.--_Morier's Travels_.

[128] "A custom still subsisting at this day, seems to me to prove that
the Egyptians formerly sacrificed a young virgin to the God of the Nile;
for they now make a statue of earth in shape of a girl, to which they give
the name of the Betrothed Bride, and throw it into the river."--_Savary_.

[129] That they knew the secret of the Greek fire among the Mussulmans
early in the eleventh century, appears from _Dow's_ account of Mamood I.
"When he at Moultan, finding that the country of the Jits was defended by
great rivers, he ordered fifteen hundred boats to be built, each of which
he armed with six iron spikes, projecting from their prows and sides, to
prevent their being boarded by the enemy, who were very expert in that
kind of war. When he had launched this fleet, he ordered twenty archers
into each boat, and five others with fire-balls, to burn the craft of the
Jits, and naphtha to set the whole river on fire."

[130] The Greek fire, which was occasionally lent by the emperors to their
allies. "It was," says Gibbon, "either launched in red-hot balls of stone
and iron, or darted in arrows and javelins, twisted round with flax and
tow, which had deeply imbibed the imflammable oil."

[131] See _Hanway's_ Account of the Springs of Naphtha at Baku (which is
called by _Lieutenant Pottinger_ Joala Mookee, or, the Flaming Mouth),
taking fire and running into the sea. _Dr. Cooke_, in his Journal,
mentions some wells in Circassia, strongly impregnated with this
inflammable oil, from which issues boiling water. "Though the weather," he
adds, "was now very cold, the warmth of these wells of hot water produced
near them the verdure and flowers of spring.'

[132] "At the great festival of fire, called the Sheb Seze, they used to
set fire to large bunches of dry combustibles, fastened round wild beasts
and birds, which being then let loose, the air and earth appeared one
great illumination; and as these terrified creatures naturally fled to the
woods for shelter, it is easy to conceive the conflagrations they
produced."--_Richardson's Dissertation_.

[133] "The righteous shall be given to drink of pure wine, sealed: the
seal whereof shall be musk."--_Koran_, chap lxxxiii.

[134] The Afghans believe each of the numerous solitudes and deserts of
their country to be inhabited by a lonely demon, whom they call The
Ghoolee Beeabau, or Spirit of the Waste. They often illustrate the
wildness of any sequestered tribe, by saying they are wild as the Demon of
the Waste."--_Elphinstone's Caubul_.

[135] "They have all a great reverence for burial-grounds, which they
sometimes call by the poetical name of Cities of the Silent, and which
they people with the ghosts of the departed, who sit each at the head of
his own grave, invisible to mortal eyes."--_Elphinstone_.

[136] The celebrity of Mazagong is owing to its mangoes, which are
certainly the best I ever tasted. The parent-tree, from which all those of
this species have been grafted, is honored during the fruit-season by a
guard of sepoys; and, in the reign of Shah Jehan, couriers ware stationed
between Delhi and the Mahratta coast, to secure an abundant and fresh
supply of mangoes for the royal table."--_Mrs. Graham's_ Journal of
Residence in India.

[137] This old porcelain is found in digging, and "if it is esteemed, it
is not because it has acquired any new degree of beauty in the earth, but
because it has retained its ancient beauty; and this alone is of great
importance in China, where they give large sums for the smallest vessels
which were used under the Emperors Yan and Chun, who reigned many ages
before the dynasty of Tang, at which time porcelain began to be used by
the Emperors" (about the year 442).--_Dunn's_ Collection of curious
Observations, etc.

[138] The blacksmith Gao, who successfully resisted the tyrant Zohak, and
whose apron became the royal standard of Persia.

[139] "The Huma, a bird peculiar to the East. It is supposed to fly
constantly in the air, and never touch the ground; it is looked upon as a
bird of happy omen; and that every head it overshades will in time wear a

In the terms of alliance made by Fuzel Oola Khan with Hyder in 1760, one
of the stipulations was, "that he should have the distinction of two
honorary attendants standing behind him, holding fans composed of the
feathers of the humma, according to the practice of his family."--
_Wilks's_ South of India. He adds in a note;--"The Humma is a fabulous
bird. The head over which its shadow once passes will assuredly be circled
with a crown. The splendid little bird suspended over the throne of Tippoo
Sultaun, found at Seringapatam in 1799, was intended to represent this
poetical fancy."

[140] "To the pilgrims to Mount Sinai we must attribute the inscriptions,
figures, etc., on those rocks, which have from thence acquired the name of
the Written Mountain."--_Volney_.

M. Gebelin and others have been at much pains to attach some mysterious
and important meaning to these inscriptions; but Niebuhr, as well as
Volney, thinks that they must have been executed at idle hours by the
travellers to Mount Sinai, "who were satisfied with cutting the unpolished
rock with any pointed instrument; adding to their names and the date of
their journeys some rude figures, which bespeak the hand of a people but
little skilled in the arts."--_Niebuhr_.

[141] The Story of Sinbad.

[142] "The Camalata (called by Linnaeus, Ipomaea) is the most beautiful of
its order, both in the color and form of its leaves and flowers; its
elegant blossoms are 'celestial rosy red, Love's proper hue,' and have
justly procured is the name of Camalata, or Love's creeper."--_Sir W.

[143] "According to Father Premare, in his tract on Chinese Mythology, the
mother of Fo-hi was the daughter of heaven, surnamed Flower-loving; and as
the nymph was walking alone on the bank of a river, she found herself
encircled by a rainbow, after which she became pregnant, and, at the end
of twelve years, was delivered of a son radiant as herself."--_Asiat.

[144] "Numerous small islands emerge from the Lake of Cashmere. One is
called Char Chenaur, from the plane trees upon it.--_Foster_.

[145] "The Altan Kol or Golden River of Tibet, which runs into the Lakes
of Sing-su-hay, has abundance of gold in its sands, which employs the
inhabitants all the summer in gathering it."--_Description of Tibet in

[146] "The Brahmins of this province insist that the blue campac flowers
only in Paradise."--_Sir W. Jones_. It appears, however, from a curious
letter of the Sultan of Menangeabow, given by Marsden, that one place on
earth may lay claim to the possession of it. "This is the Sultan, who
keeps the flower champaka that is blue, and to be found in no other
country but his, being yellow elsewhere."--_Marsden's_ Sumatra.

[147] "The Mahometans suppose that falling stars are the firebrands
wherewith the good angels drive away the bad, when they approach too near
the empyrean or verge or the heavens."--_Fryer_.

[148] The Forty Pillars; so the Persians call the ruins of Persepolis. It
is imagined by them that this palace and the edifices at Balbec were built
by Genii, for the purpose of hiding in their subterraneous caverns immense
treasures, which still remain there.--_D'Herbelot, Volney_.

[149] _Diodorus_ mentions the Isle of Panchai, to the south of Arabia
Felix, where there was a temple of Jupiter. This island, or rather cluster
of isles, has disappeared, "sunk [says _Grandpre_] in the abyss made by
the fire beneath their foundations."--_Voyage to the Indian Ocean_.

[150] The Isles of Panchaia.

[151] "The cup of Jamshid, discovered, they say, when digging for the
foundations of Persepolis."-_Richardson_.

[152] "It is not like the Sea of India, whose bottom is rich with pearls
and ambergris, whose mountains of the coast are stored with gold and
precious stones, whose gulfs breed creatures that yield ivory, and among
the plants of whose shores are ebony, red wood, and the wood of Hairzan,
aloes, camphor, cloves, sandal-wood, and all other spices and aromatics;
where parrots and peacocks are birds of the forest, and musk and civit are
collected upon the lands."--_Travels of Two Mohammedans_.

[153] "With this immense treasure Mamood returned to Ghizni and in the
year 400 prepared a magnificent festival, where he displayed to the people
his wealth in golden thrones and in other ornaments, in a great plain
without the city of Ghizni." _Ferishta_.

[154] "Mahmood of Gazna, or Chizni, who conquered India in the beginning
of the 11th century."--See his History in _Dow_ and Sir _J. Malcolm_.

[155] "It is reported that the hunting equipage of the Sultan Mahmood was
so magnificent, that he kept 400 greyhounds and bloodhounds each of which
wore a collar set with jewels and a covering edged with gold and
pearls."--_Universal History_, vol. iii.

[156] "The Mountains of the Moon, or the _Montes Lunae_ of antiquity, at
the foot of which the Nile is supposed to arise."--_Bruce_.

[157] "The Nile, which the Abyssinians know by the names of Abey and Alawy
or the Giant."--_Asiat. Research_. vol. i. p. 387.

[158] See Perry's View of the Levant for an account of the sepulchres in
Upper Thebes, and the numberless grots, covered all over with
hieroglyphics in the mountains of Upper Egypt.

[159] "The orchards of Rosetta are filled with turtle-doves.--_Sonnini_.

[160] Savary mentions the pelicans upon Lake Moeris.

[161] "The superb date-tree, whose head languidly reclines, like that of a
handsome woman overcome with sleep."--_Dafard el Hadad_.

[162] "That beautiful bird, with plumage of the finest shining blue, with
purple beak and legs, the natural and living ornament of the temples and
palaces of the Greeks and Romans, which, from the stateliness of its part,
as well as the brilliancy of its colors, has obtained the title of

[163] Jackson, speaking of the plague that occurred in West Barbary, when
he was there, says, "The birds of the air fled away from the abodes of
men. The hyaenas, on the contrary, visited the cemeteries," etc.

[164] "Gondar was full of hyaenas from the time it turned dark, till the
dawn of day, seeking the different pieces of slaughtered carcasses, which
this cruel and unclean people expose in the streets without burial, and
who firmly believe that these animals are Falashta from the neighboring
mountains, transformed by magic, and come down to eat human flesh in the
dark in safety."--_Bruce_.

[165] "In the East, they suppose the Phoenix to have fifty orifices in his
bill, which are continued to his tail; and that, after living one thousand
years, he builds himself a funeral pile, sings a melodious air of
different harmonies through his fifty organ pipes, flaps his wings with a
velocity which sets fire to the wood and consumes himself."--_Richardson_.

[166] "On the shores of a quadrangular lake stand a thousand goblets, made
of stars, out of which souls predestined to enjoy felicity drink the
crystal wave."--From _Chateaubriand's_ Description of the Mahometan
Paradise, in his _"Beauties of Christianity_."

[167] Richardson thinks that Syria had its name from Suri, a beautiful and
delicate species of rose, for which that country has always been
famous;--hence, Suristan, the Land of Roses.

[168] "The number of lizards I saw one day in the great court of the
Temple of the Sun at Balbec amounted to many thousands; the ground, the
walls, and stones of the ruined buildings, were covered with

[169] "The Syrinx or Pan's pipes is still a pastoral instrument in

[170] "Wild bees, frequent in Palestine, in hollow trunks or branches of
trees, and the clefts of rocks. Thus it is said (Psalm lxxxi.), _'honey
out of the stony rock.'_"--_Burder's_ Oriental Customs.

[171] "The River Jordan is on both sides beset with little, thick, and
pleasant woods, among which thousands of nightingales warble all

[172] The Temple of the Sun at Balbec.

[173] "You behold there a considerable number of a remarkable species of
beautiful insects, the elegance of whose appearance and their attire
procured for them the name of Damsels.--_Sonnini_.

[174] "Such Turks as at the common hours of prayer are on the road, or so
employed as not to find convenience to attend the mosques, are still
obliged to execute that duty; nor are they ever known to fail, whatever
business they are then about, but pray immediately when the hour alarms
them, whatever they are about, in that very place they chance to stand on;
insomuch that when a janissary, whom you have to guard you up and down the
city, hears the notice which is given him from the steeples, he will turn
about, stand still, and beckon with his hand, to tell his charge he must
have patience for awhile; when, taking out his handkerchief, he spreads it
on the ground, sits cross-legged thereupon, and says his prayers, though
in the open market, which, having ended he leaps briskly up, salutes the
person whom he undertook to convey, and renews his journey with the mild
expression of _Ghell yelinnum ghell_, or Come, dear, follow me."--_Aaron
Hill's_ Travels.

[175] The Nucta, Or Miraculous Drop, which falls in Egypt precisely on St.
John's day in June and is supposed to have the effect of stopping the

[176] The Country of Delight--the name of a province in the kingdom of
Jinnistan, or Fairy Land, the capital of which is called the City of
Jewels. Amberabad is another of the cities of Jinnistan.

[177] The tree Tooba, that stands in Paradise, in the palace of Mahomet.
See _Sale's Prelim. Disc_.--Tooba, says _D'Herbelot_, signifies beatitude,
or eternal happiness.

[178] Mahomet is described, in the 53d chapter of the Koran, as having
seen the Angel Gabriel "by the lote-tree, beyond which there is no
passing: near it is the Garden of Eternal Abode." This tree, say the
commentators, stands in the seventh Heaven, on the right hand of the
Throne of God.

[179] "It is said that the rivers or streams of Basra were reckoned in the
time of Peisl ben Abi Bordeh, and amounted to the number of one hundred
and twenty thousand streams."--_Ebn Haukal_.

[180] The name of the javelin with which the Easterns exercise. See
_Castellan, "Moeurs des Ottomans," tom_. iii. p. 161.

[181] "This account excited a desire of visiting the Banyan Hospital, as I
had heard much of their benevolence to all kinds of animals that were
either sick, lame, or infirm, through age or accident. On my arrival,
there were presented to my view many horses, cows, and oxen, in one
apartment; in another, dogs, sheep, goats, and monkeys, with clean straw
for them to repose on. Above stairs were depositories for seeds of many
sorts, and flat, broad dishes for water, for the use of birds and
insects."--_Parson_'s Travels. It is said that all animals know the
Banyans, that the most timid approach them, and that birds will fly nearer
to them than to other people.--See _Grandpre_.

[182] "A very fragrant grass from the banks of the Ganges, near Heridwar,
which in some places covers whole acres, and diffuses, when crushed, a
strong odor."--_Sir W. Jones_ on the Spikenard of the Ancients.

[183] "Near this is a curious hill, called Koh Talism, the Mountain of the
Talisman, because, according to the traditions of the country, no person
ever succeeded in gaining its summit."--_Kinneir_.

[184] "The Arabians believe that the ostriches hatch their young by only
looking at them."

[185] Oriental Tales.

[186] Ferishta. "Or rather," says _Scott_, upon the passage of Ferishta,
from which this is taken, "small coins, stamped with the figure of a
flower. They are still used in India to distribute in charity and on
occasion thrown by the purse-bearers of the great among the populace."

[187] The fine road made by the Emperor Jehan-Guire from Agra to Lahore,
planted with trees on each side. This road is 250 leagues in length. It
has "little pyramids or turrets," says _Bernier_, "erected every half
league, to mark the ways, and frequent wells to afford drink to
passengers, and to water the young trees."

[188] The Baya, or Indian Grosbeak.--_Sir W. Jones_.

[189] "Here is a large pagoda by a tank, on the water of which float
multitudes of the beautiful red lotus: the flower is larger than that of
the white water-lily, and is the most lovely of the nymphaeas I have
seen."--_Mrs. Graham's_ Journal of a Residence in India.

[190] "Cashmere (says its historian) had its own princes 4000 years before
its conquest by Akbar in 1585. Akbar would have found some difficulty to
reduce this paradise of the Indies, situated as it is within such a
fortress of mountains, but its monarch, Yusef-Khan, was basely betrayed by
his Omrahs."--_Pennant_.

[191] Voltaire tells us that in his tragedy, "_Les Guebres_," he was
generally supposed to have alluded to the Jansenists. I should not be
surprised if this story of the Fire worshippers were found capable of a
similar doubleness of application.

[192] The Persian Gulf, sometimes so called, which separates the shores of
Persia and Arabia.

[193] The present Gombaroon, a town on the Persian side of the Gulf.

[194] A Moorish instrument of music.

[195] "At Gombaroon and other places in Persia, they have towers for the
purpose of catching the wind and cooling the houses.--_Le Bruyn_.

[196] "Iran is the true general name for the empire of Persia.--_Asiat.
Res. Disc. 5_.

[197] "On the blades of their scimitars some verse from the Koran is
usually inscribed.--_Russel_.

[198] There is a kind of Rhododendros about Trebizond, whose flowers the
bee feeds upon, and the honey thence drives people mad;"--_Tournefort_.

[199] Their kings wear plumes of black herons' feathers, upon the right
side, as a badge of sovereignty "--_Hanway_.

[200] "The Fountain of Youth, by a Mahometan tradition, is situated in
some dark region of the East."--_Richardson_.

[201] Arabia Felix.

[202] "In the midst of the garden is the chiosk, that is, a large room,
commonly beautified with a fine fountain in the midst of it. It is raised
nine or ten steps, and enclosed with gilded lattices, round which vines,
jessamines, and honeysuckles, make a sort of green wall; large trees are
planted round this place, which is the scene of their greatest
pleasures."--_Lady M. W. Montagu_.

[203] The women of the East are never without their looking-glasses. "In
Barbary," says _Shaw_, "they are so fond of their looking-glasses, which
they hang upon their breasts, that they will not lay them aside, even when
after the drudgery of the day they are obliged to go two or three miles
with a pitcher or a goat's skin to fetch water."--_Travels_.

[204] "They say that if a snake or serpent fix his eyes on the lustre of
those stones (emeralds), he immediately becomes blind."--_Ahmed ben
Abdalaziz_, Treatise on Jewels.

[205] "At Gombaroon and the Isle of Ormus, it is sometimes so hot, that
the people are obliged to lie all day in the water."--_Marco Polo_.

[206] This mountain is generally supposed to be inaccessible. _Struy_
says, "I can well assure the reader that their opinion is not true, who
suppose this mount to be inaccessible." He adds, that "the lower part of
the mountain is cloudy, misty, and dark, the middlemost part very cold,
and like clouds of snow, but the upper regions perfectly calm."--It was on
this mountain that the Ark was supposed to have rested after the Deluge,
and part of it, they say, exists there still, which Struy thus gravely
accounts for:--"Whereas none can remember that the air on the top of the
hill did ever change or was subject either to wind or rain, which is
presumed to be the reason that the Ark has endured so long without being
rotten."--See _Carreri's_ Travels, where the Doctor laughs at this whole
account of Mount Ararat.

[207] In one of the books of the Shah Nameh, when Zal (a celebrated hero
of Persia, remarkable for his white hair,) comes to the terrace of his
mistress Rodahver at night, she lets down her long tresses to assist him
in his ascent;--he, however, manages it in a less romantic way by fixing
his crook in a projecting beam.--See _Champion's_ Ferdosi.

[208] "On the lofty hills of Arabia Petraea, are rock-goats."--_Niebuhr_.

[209] "They (the Ghebers) lay so much stress on their cushee or girdle, as
not to dare to be an instant without it."--_Grose's_ Voyage.

[210] "They suppose the Throne of the Almighty is seated in the sun, and
hence their worship of that luminary."--_Hanway_.

[211] The Mameluks that were in the other boat, when it was dark used to
shoot up a sort of fiery arrows into the air which in some measure
resembled lightning or falling stars."--_Baumgarten_.

[212] "Within the enclosure which surrounds his monument (at Gualior) is a
small tomb to the memory of Tan-Sein, a musician of incomparable skill,
who flourished at the court of Akbar. The tomb is overshadowed by a tree,
concerning which a superstitious notion prevails, that the chewing of its
leaves will give an extraordinary melody to the voice."--_Narrative of a
Journey from Agra to Ouzein, by W. Hunter, Esq_.

[213] "It is usual to place a small white triangular flag, fixed to a
bamboo staff of ten or twelve feet long, at the place where a tiger has
destroyed a man. It is common for the passengers also to throw each a
stone or brick near the spot, so that in the course of a little time a
pile equal to a good wagon-load is collected. The sight of these flags and
piles of stones imparts a certain melancholy, not perhaps altogether void
of apprehension."--_Oriental Field Sports_, vol. ii.

[214] "The Ficus Indica is called the Pagod Tree of Councils; the first,
from the idols placed under its shade; the second, because meetings were
held under its cool branches. In some places it is believed to be the
haunt of spectres, as the ancient spreading oaks of Wales have been of
fairies; in others are erected beneath the shade pillars of stone, or
posts, elegantly carved, and ornamented with the most beautiful porcelain
to supply the use of mirrors."--_Pennant_.

[215] The Persian Gulf.--"To dive for pearls in the Green Sea, or Persian
Gulf."--_Sir W. Jones_.

[216] Or Selemeh, the genuine name of the headland at the entrance of the
Gulf, commonly called Cape Musseldom. "The Indians when they pass the
promontory throw cocoa-nuts, fruits, or flowers into the sea to secure a
propitious voyage."--_Morier_.

[217] "The nightingale sings from the pomegranate-groves in the daytime
and from the loftiest trees at night."--_Russel's_ "Aleppo."

[218] In speaking of the climate of Shiraz, Francklin says, "The dew is of
such a pure nature, that if the brightest scimitar should be exposed to it
all night, it would not receive the least rust."

[219] The place where the Persians were finally defeated by the Arabs, and
their ancient monarchy destroyed.

[220] The Talpot or Talipot tree. "This beautiful palm-tree, which grows
in the heart of the forests, may be classed among the loftiest trees, and
becomes still higher when on the point of bursting forth from its leafy
summit. The sheath which then envelopes the flower is very large, and,
when it bursts, makes an explosion like the report of a cannon."--

[221] "When the bright scimitars make the eyes of our heroes wink."--_The
Moallakat, Poem of Amru_.

[222] Tahmuras, and other ancient Kings of Persia; whose adventures in
Fairy-land among the Peris and Divs may be found in Richardson's curious
Dissertation. The griffin Simoorgh, they say, took some feathers from her
breast for Tahmuras, with which he adorned his helmet, and transmitted
them afterwards to his descendants.

[223] This rivulet, says Dandini, is called the Holy River from the
"cedar-saints" among which it rises.

[224] This mountain is my own creation, as the "stupendous chain," of
which I suppose it a link, does not extend quite so far as the shores of
the Persian Gulf.

[225] These birds sleep in the air. They are most common about the Cape of
Good Hope.

[226] "There is an extraordinary hill in this neighborhood, called Kohe
Gubr, or the Guebre's mountain. It rises in the form of a lofty cupola,
and on the summit of it, they say, are the remains of an Atush Kudu or
Fire Temple. It is superstitiously held to be the residence or Deeves or
Sprites, and many marvellous stories are recounted of the injury and
witchcraft suffered by those who essayed in former days to ascend or
explore it."--_Pottinger's_ "Beloochistan."

[227] The Ghebers generally built their temples over subterraneous fires.

[228] "At the city of Yezd, in Persia, which is distinguished by the
appellation of the Darub Abadut, or Seat of Religion, the Guebres are
permitted to have an Atush Kudu or Fire Temple (which, they assert, has
had the sacred fire in it since the days of Zoroaster) in their own
compartment of the city; but for this indulgence they are indebted to the
avarice, not the tolerance of the Persian government, which taxes them at
twenty-five rupees each man."--_Pottinger's_ "Beloochistan."

[229] Ancient heroes of Persia. "Among the Guebres there are some who
boast their descent from Rustam."--_Stephen's Persia_.

[230] See Russel's account of the panther's attacking travellers in the
night on the sea-shore about the roots of Lebanon.

[231] "Among other ceremonies the Magi used to place upon the tops of high
towers various kinds of rich viands, upon which it was supposed the Peris
and the spirits of their departed heroes regaled themselves."--

[232] In the ceremonies of the Ghebers round their Fire, as described by
Lord, "the Daroo," he says, "giveth them water to drink, and a pomegranate
leaf to chew in the mouth, to cleanse them from inward uncleanness."

[233] "Early in the morning, they (the Parsees or Ghebers at Oulam) go in
crowds to pay their devotions to the Sun, to whom upon all the altars
there are spheres consecrated, made by magic, resembling the circles of
the sun, and when the sun rises, these orbs seem to be inflamed, and to
turn round with a great noise. They have every one a censer in their
hands, and offer incense to the sun.'--_Rabbi Benjamin_.

[234] A vivid verdure succeeds the autumnal rains, and the ploughed fields
are covered with the Persian lily, of a resplendent yellow color."--
_Russel's_ "Aleppo."

[235] It is observed, with respect to the Sea of Herkend, that when it is
tossed by tempestuous winds it sparkles like fire."--_Travels of Two

[236] A kind of trumpet;--it "was that used by Tamerlane, the sound of
which is described as uncommonly dreadful, and so loud as to be heard at a
distance of several miles."--_Richardson_.

[237] "Mohammed had two helmets, an interior and exterior one; the latter
of which, called Al Mawashah, the fillet, wreath, or wreathed garland, he
wore at the battle of Ohod."--_Universal History_.

[238] "They say that there are apple-trees upon the sides of this sea,
which bear very lovely fruit, but within are all full of ashes."--

[239] "The Suhrab or Water of the Desert is said to be caused by the
rarefaction of the atmosphere from extreme heat; and, which augments the
delusion, it is most frequent in hollows, where water might be expected to
lodge. I have seen bushes and trees reflected in it, with as much accuracy
is though it had been the face of a clear and still lake."--_Pottinger_.

[240] "A wind which prevails in February, called Bidmusk, from a small and
odoriferous flower of that name."--"The wind which blows these flowers
commonly lasts till the end of the month."--_Le Bruyn_.

[241] "The Biajus are of two races: the one is settled on Borneo, and are
a rude but warlike and industrious nation, who reckon themselves the
original possessors of the island of Borneo. The other is a species of
sea-gypsies or itinerant fishermen, who live in small covered boats, and
enjoy a perpetual summer on the eastern ocean, shifting to leeward from
island to island, with the variations of the monsoon.

[242] "The sweet-scented violet is one of the plants most esteemed,
particularly for its great use in Sorbet, which they make of violet

[243] "Last of all she took a guitar, and sang a pathetic air in the
measure called Nava, which is always used to express the lamentations of
absent lovers."--_Persian Tales_.

[244] "The Easterns used to set out on their longer voyages with

[245] "The Gate of Tears, the straits or passage into the Red Sea,
commonly called Babelmandel. It received this name from the old Arabians,
on account of the danger of the navigation and the number of shipwrecks by
which it was distinguished; which induced them to consider as dead, and to
wear mourning for all who had the boldness to hazard the passage through
it into the Ethiopic ocean."--_Richardson_.

[246] "I have been told that whensoever an animal falls down dead, one or
more vultures, unseen before, instantly appears."--_Pennant_.

[247] "They fasten some writing to the wings of a Bagdat, or Babylonian
pigeon."--_Travels of certain Englishmen_.

[248] "The Empress of Jehan-Guire used to divert herself with feeding tame
fish in her canals, some of which were many years afterwards known by
fillets of gold, which she caused to be put round them."--_Harris_.

[249] The meteors that Pliny calls "_faces_."

[250] "The brilliant Canopus, unseen in European climates."--_Brown_.

[251] A precious stone of the Indies, called by the ancients, Ceraunium,
because it was supposed to be found in places where thunder had fallen.
Tertullian says it has a glittering appearance, as if there had fire in
it; and the author of the Dissertation of Harris's Voyages, supposes it to
be the opal.

[252] "The Guebres are known by a dark yellow color, which the men affect
in their clothes."--_Thevenot_.

[253] "The Kolah, or cap, worn by the Persians, is made of the skin of the
sheep of Tartary."--_Waring_.

[254] A frequent image among the oriental poets. "The nightingales warbled
their enchanting notes, and rent the thin veils of the rose-bud, and the

[255] "Blossoms of the sorrowful Nyctanthes give a durable color to
silk."--_Remarks on the Husbandry of Bengal_, p. 200. Nilica is one of the
Indian names of this flower.--_Sir W. Jones_. The Persians call it

[256] "In parts of Kerman, whatever dates are shaken from the trees by the
wind they do not touch, but leave them for those who have not any, or for
travellers.--Ebn Haukal.

[257] The two terrible angels, Monkir and Nakir, who are called "the
Searchers of the Grave" in the "Creed of the orthodox Mahometans" given by
Ockley, vol. ii.

[258] "The Arabians call the mandrake 'the devil's candle,' on account of
its shining appearance in the night."--_Richardson_.

[259] For an account of Ishmonie, the petrified city in Upper Egypt, where
it is said there are many statues of men, women, etc., to be seen to this
day, see _Perry's "Views of the Levant_."

[260] Jesus.

[261] The Ghebers say that when Abraham, their great Prophet, was thrown
into the fire by order of Nimrod, the flame turned instantly into "a bed
of roses, where the child sweetly reposed."--_Tavernier_.

[262] "The shell called Siiankos, common to India, Africa, and the
Mediterranean, and still used in many parts as a trumpet for blowing
alarms or giving signals: it sends forth a deep and hollow sound."--

[263] "The finest ornament for the horses is made of six large flying
tassels of long white hair, taken out of the tails of wild oxen, that are
to be found in some places of the Indies."--_Thevenot_.

[264] "The angel Israfll, who has the most melodious voice of all God's

[265] "In this thicket upon the banks of the Jordan several sorts of wild
beasts are wont to harbor themselves, whose being washed out of the covert
by the overflowings of the river, gave occasion to that allusion of
Jeremiah, _he shall come up like a lion from the smelling of
Jordan_."--_Maundrell's "Aleppo."_

[266] "This wind (the Samoor) so softens the strings of lutes, that they
can never be tuned while it lasts."--_Stephen's Persia_.

[267] "One of the greatest curiosities found in the Persian Gulf is a fish
which the English call Star-fish. It is circular, and at night very
luminous, resembling the full moon surrounded by rays."--_Mirza Abu

[268] Some naturalists have imagined that amber is a concretion of the
tears of birds.--See _Trevoux, Chambers_.

[269] "The bay Kieselarke, which is otherwise called the Golden Bay, the
sand whereof shines as fire."--_Struy_.

[270] "The application of whips or rods."--_Dubois_.

[271] Kempfer mentions such an officer among the attendants of the King of
Persia, and calls him "_formae corporis estimator_." His business was, at
stated periods, to measure the ladies of the Haram by a sort of
regulation-girdle whose limits it was not thought graceful to exceed. If
any of them outgrew this standard of shape, they were reduced by
abstinence till they came within proper bounds.

[272] "Akbar on his way ordered a fort to be built upon the Nilab, which
he called Attock, which means in the Indian language Forbidden; for, by
the superstition of the Hindoos, it was held unlawful to cross that
river."--_Dow's_ Hindostan.

[273] "The inhabitants of this country (Zinge) are never afflicted with
sadness or melancholy; on this subject the Sheikh _Abu-al-Kheir-Azhari_
has the following distich:--

"'Who is the man without care or sorrow, (tell) that I may rub my hand to

"'(Behold) the Zingians, without care and sorrow, frolicsome with
tipsiness and mirth.'"

[274] The star Soheil, or Canopus.

[275] "The lizard Stellio. The Arabs call it Hardun. The Turks kill it,
for they imagine that by declining the head it mimics them when they say
their prayers."--_Hasselquist_.

[276] "As you enter at that Bazar, without the gate of Damascus, you see
the Green Mosque, so called because it hath a steeple faced with green
glazed bricks, which render it very resplendent: It is covered at top with
a pavilion of the same stuff. The Turks say this mosque was made in that
place, because Mahomet being come so far, would not enter the town, saying
it was too delicious."--_Thevenot_.

[277] Nourmahal signifies Light of the Haram. She was afterwards called
Nourjehan, or the Light of the World.

[278] "The rose of Kashmire for its brilliancy and delicacy of odor has
long been proverbial in the East."--Foster.

[279] "Tied round her waist the zone of bells, that sounded with ravishing
melody."--_Song of Jayadeva_.

[280] "The little isles in the Lake of Cachemire are set with arbors and
large-leaved aspen-trees, slender and tall."--_Bernier_.

[281] "The Tuckt Suliman, the name bestowed by the Mahommetans on this
hill, forms one side of a grand portal to the Lake."--_Forster_.

[282] "The Feast of Roses continues the whole time of their remaining in
bloom."--See _Pietro de la Valle_.

[283] "Gul sad berk, the Rose of a hundred leaves. I believe a particular

[284] A place mentioned in the Toozek Jehangeery, or Memoirs of Jehan-
Guire, where there is an account of the beds of saffron-flowers about

[285] "It is the custom among the women to employ the Maazeen to chant
from the gallery of the nearest minaret, which on that occasion is
illuminated, and the women assembled at the house respond at intervals
with a ziraleet or joyous chorus."--_Russel_.

[286] "The swing is a favorite pastime in the East, as promoting a
circulation of air, extremely refreshing in those sultry climates."--

[287] At the keeping of the Feast of Roses we beheld an infinite number of
tents pitched, with such a crowd of men, women, boys, and girls, with
music, dances, etc."--_Herbert_.

[288] "An old commentator of the Chou-King says, the ancients having
remarked that a current of water made some of the stones near its banks
send forth a sound, they detached some of them, and being charmed with the
delightful sound they emitted, constructed King or musical instruments of

[289] In the wars of the Divs with the Peris, whenever the former took the
latter prisoners, "they shut them up in iron cages, and hung them on the
highest trees. Here they were visited by their companions, who brought
them the choicest odors."--_Richardson_.

[290] In the Malay language the same word signifies women and flowers.

[291] The capital of Shadukiam.

[292] "Among the birds of Tonquin is a species of goldfinch, which sings
so melodiously that it is called the Celestial Bird. Its wings, when it is
perched, appear variegated with beautiful colors, but when it flies they
lose all their splendor."--_Grosier_.

[293] "As these birds on the Bosphorus are never known to rest, they are
called by the French '_les ames damnees_.'"--_Dalloway_.

[294] "You may place a hundred handfuls of fragrant herbs and flowers
before the nightingale, yet he wishes not in his constant heart for more
than the sweet breath of his beloved rose."--_Jami_.

[295] "He is said to have found the great _Mantra_, spell or talisman,
through which he ruled over the elements and spirits of all

[296] "The gold jewels of Jinnie, which are called by the Arabs El Herrez,
from the supposed charm they contain."--_Jackson_.

[297] "A demon, supposed to haunt woods, etc., in a human shape."--

[298] The name of Jehan-Guire before his accession to the throne.

[299] "Hemasagara, or the Sea of Gold, with flowers of the brightest gold
color."--_Sir W. Jones_.

[300] "This tree (the Nagacesara) is one of the most delightful on earth,
and the delicious odor of its blossoms justly gives them a place in the
quiver of Camadeva, or the God of Love."--_Id_.

[301] "The Malayans style the tuberose (_polianthes tuberosa_) Sandal
Malam, or the Mistress of the Night."--_Pennant_.

[302] The people of the Batta country in Sumatra (of which Zamara is one
of the ancient names), "when not engaged in war, lead an idle, inactive
life, passing the day in playing on a kind of flute, crowned with garlands
of flowers, among which the globe-amaranthus, a native of the country,
mostly prevails,"--_Marsden_.

[303] "The largest and richest sort (of the Jambu or rose-apple) is called
Amrita, or immortal, and the mythologists of Tibet apply the same word to
a celestial tree, bearing ambrosial fruit."--_Sir W. Jones_.

[304] Sweet Basil, called Rayhan in Persia, and generally found in

[305] "In the Great Desert are found many stalks of lavender and
rosemary."--_Asiat. Res_.

[306] "The almond-tree, with white flowers, blossoms on the bare

[307] An herb on Mount Libanus, which is said to communicate a yellow
golden hue to the teeth of the goat and other animals that graze upon it.

[308] The myrrh country.

[309] "This idea (of deities living in shells) was not unknown to the
Greeks, who represent the young Nerites, one of the Cupids, as living in
shells on the shores of the Red Sea."--_Wilford_.

[310] "A fabulous fountain, where instruments are said to be constantly

[311] "The Pompadour pigeon is the species, which, by carrying the fruit
of the cinnamon to different places, is a great disseminator of this
valuable tree."--See _Brown's_ Illustr. Tab. 19.

[312] "The Persians have two mornings, the Soobhi Kazim and the Soobhi
Sadig, the false and the real daybreak. They account for this phenomenon
in a most whimsical manner. They say that as the sun rises from behind the
Kohi Qaf (Mount Caucasus), it passes a hole perforated through that
mountain, and that darting its rays through it, it is the cause of the
Soobhi Kazim, or this temporary appearance of daybreak. As it ascends, the
earth is again veiled in darkness, until the sun rises above the mountain,
and brings with it the Soobhi Sadig, or real morning."--_Scott Waring_.

[313] "In the centre of the plain, as it approaches the Lake, one of the
Delhi Emperors, I believe Shan Jehan, constructed a spacious garden called
the Shalimar, which is abundantly stored with fruit-trees and flowering
shrubs. Some of the rivulets which intersect the plain are led into a
canal at the back of the garden, and flowing through its centre, or
occasionally thrown into a variety of water-works, compose the chief
beauty of the Shalimar."--_Forster_.

[314] "The waters of Cachemir are the more renowned from its being
supposed that the Cachemirians are indebted for their beauty to
them."--_Ali Yezdi_.

[315] "From him I received the following little Gazzel, or Love Song, the
notes of which he committed to paper from the voice of one of those
singing girls of Cashmere, who wander from that delightful valley over the
various parts of India."--_Persian Miscellanies_.

[316] "The roses of the Jinan Nile, or Garden of the Nile (attached to the
Emperor of Morocco's palace) are unequalled, and mattresses are made of
their leaves for the men of rank to recline upon."--_Jackson_.

[317] "On the side of a mountain near Paphos there is a cavern which
produces the most beautiful rock-crystal. On account of its brilliancy it
has been called the Paphian diamond."--_Mariti_.

[318] "These is a part of Candahar, called Peria, or Fairy Land."--
_Thevenot_. In some of those countries to the north of India vegetable
gold is supposed to be produced.

[319] "These are the butterflies which are called in the Chinese language
Flying Leaves. Some of them have such shining colors, and are so
variegated, that they may be called flying flowers; and indeed they are
always produced in the finest flower-gardens."--_Dunn_.

[320] "The Arabian women wear black masks with little clasps prettily
ordered."--_Carreri_. Niebuhr mentions their showing but one eye in

[321] "The golden grapes of Casbin."--_Description of Persia_.

[322] "The fruits exported from Caubul are apples, pears, pomegranates,"

[323] "We sat down under a tree, listened to the birds, and talked with
the son of our Mehmaundar about our country and Caubul, of which he gave
an enchanting account; that city and its 100,000 gardens," etc.--_Ib_.

[324] "The mangusteen, the most delicate fruit in the world; the pride of
the Malay islands."--_Marsden_.

[325] "A delicious kind of apricot, called by the Persians tokmekshems,
signifying sun's seed."--_Description of Persia_.

[326] "Sweetmeats, in a crystal cup, consisting of rose-leaves in
conserve, with Iemon of Visna cherry, orange flowers," etc.--_Russel_.

[327] "Antelopes cropping the fresh berries of Erac."--The _Moallakat_,
Poem of Tarafa.

[328] "Mauri-ga-Sima, an island near Formosa, supposed to have been sunk
in the sea for the crimes of its inhabitants. The vessels which the
fishermen and divers bring up from it are sold at an immense price in
China and Japan."--See _Kempfer_.

[329] Persian Tales.

[330] The white wine of Kishma.

[331] "The King of Zeilan is said to have the very finest ruby that was
ever seen. Kublai-Khan sent and offered the value of a city for It, but
the king answered he would not give it for the treasure of the
world."--_Marco Polo_.

[332] The Indians feign that Cupid was first seen floating down the Ganges
on the Nymphaea Nelumbo.--See _Pennant_.

[333] Teflis is celebrated for its natural warm baths.--See _Ebn Haukal_.

[334] "The Indian Syrinda, or guitar."--_Symez_.

[335] "Around the exterior of the Dewan Khafs (a building of Shah Allum's)
in the cornice are the following lines in letters of gold upon a ground of
white marble--'_If there be a paradise upon earth, it is this, it is

[336] "Delightful are the flowers of the Amra trees on the mountain tops
while the murmuring bees pursue their voluptuous toil."--_Song of

[337] "The Nison or drops of spring rain, which they believe to produce
pearls if they fall into shells."--_Richardson_.

[338] For an account of the share which wine had in the fall of the
angels, see _Mariti_.

[339] The Angel of Music.

[340] The Hudhud, or Lapwing, is supposed to have the power of discovering
water under ground.

[341] "The Chinese had formerly the art of painting on the sides of
porcelain vessels fish and other animals, which were only perceptible when
the vessel was full of some liquor, They call this species Kia-tsin, that
is, _azure is put in press_, on account of the manner in which the azure
is laid on."--"They are every now and then trying to discover the art of
this magical painting, but to no purpose."--_Dunn_.

[342] An eminent carver of idols, said in the Koran to be father to
Abraham. "I have such a lovely idol as is not to be met with in the house
of Azor."--_Hafiz_.

[343] Kachmire be Nazeer.--_Forster_.

[344] Jehan-Guire mentions "a fountain in Cashmere called Tirnagh, which
signifies a snake; probably because some large snake had formerly been
seen there."--"During the lifetime of my father, I went twice to this
fountain, which is about twenty coss from the city of Cashmere. The
vestiges of places of worship and sanctity are to be traced without number
amongst the ruins and the caves which are interspersed in its
neighborhood."--_Toozek Jehangeery_.--v. _Asiat. Misc_. vol. ii.

[345] "On a standing roof of wood is laid a covering of fine earth, which
shelters the building from the great quantity of snow that falls in the
winter season. This fence communicates an equal warmth in winter, as a
refreshing coolness in the summer season, when the tops of the houses,
which are planted with a variety of flowers, exhibit at a distance the
spacious view of a beautifully checkered parterre."--_Forster_.

[346] "Two hundred slaves there are, who have no other office than to hunt
the woods and marshes for triple-colored tortoises for the King's Vivary.
Of the shells of these also lanterns are made."--_Vincent le Blanc's_

[347] This wind, which is to blow from Syria Damascena, is, according to
the Mahometans, one of the signs of the Last Day's approach.

Another of the signs is, "Great distress in the world, so that a man when
he passes by another's grave shall say, Would to God I were in his
place!"--_Sale's_ Preliminary Discourse.

[348] "On Mahommed Shaw's return to Koolburga (the capital of Dekkan), he
made a great festival, and mounted this throne with much pomp and
magnificence, calling it Firozeh or Cerulean. I have heard some old
persons, who saw the throne Firozeh in the reign of Sultan Mamood
Bhamenee, describe it. They say that it was in length nine feet, and three
in breadth; made of ebony covered with plates of pure gold, and set with
precious stones of immense value. Every prince of the house of Bhamenee,
who possessed this throne, made a point of adding to it some rich stones;
so that when in the reign of Sultan Mamood it was taken to pieces to
remove some of the jewels to be set in vases and cups, the jewellers
valued it at one corore of oons (nearly four millions sterling). I learned
also that it was called Firozeh from being partly enamelled of a sky-blue
color which was in time totally concealed by the number of jewels."--



The Eastern story of the angels Harut and Marut and the Rabbinical
fictions of the loves of Uzziel and Shamchazai are the only sources to
which I need refer for the origin of the notion on which this Romance is
founded. In addition to the fitness of the subject for poetry, it struck
me also as capable of affording an allegorical medium through which might
be shadowed out (as I have endeavored to do in the following stories) the
fall of the Soul from its original purity[1]--the loss of light and
happiness which it suffers, in the pursuit of this world's perishable
pleasures--and the punishments both from conscience and Divine justice
with which impurity, pride, and presumptuous inquiry into the awful
secrets of Heaven are sure to be visited--The beautiful story of Cupid and
Psyche owes its chief charm to this sort of "veiled meaning," and it has
been my wish (however I may have failed in the attempt) to communicate to
the following pages the same _moral_ interest.

Among the doctrines or notions derived by Plato from the East, one of the
most natural and sublime is that which inculcates the pre-existence of the
soul and its gradual descent into this dark material world from that
region of spirit and light which it is supposed to have once inhabited and
to which after a long lapse of purification and trial it will return. This
belief under various symbolical forms may be traced through almost all the
Oriental theologies. The Chaldeans represent the Soul as originally
endowed with wings which fall away when it sinks from its native element
and must be re-produced before it can hope to return. Some disciples of
Zoroaster once inquired of him, "How the wings of the Soul might be made
to grow again?"

"By sprinkling them," he replied, "with the Waters of Life."

"But where are those Waters to be found?" they asked.

"In the Garden of God," replied Zoroaster.

The mythology of the Persians has allegorized the same doctrine, in the
history of those genii of light who strayed from their dwellings in the
stars and obscured their original nature by mixture with this material
sphere; while the Egyptians connecting it with the descent and ascent of
the sun in the zodiac considered Autumn as emblematic of the Soul's
decline toward darkness and the re-appearance of Spring as its return to
life and light.

Besides the chief spirits of the Mahometan heaven, such as Gabriel the
angel of Revelation, Israfil by whom the last trumpet is to be sounded,
and Azrael the angel of death, there were also a number of subaltern
intelligences of which tradition has preserved the names, appointed to
preside over the different stages of ascents into which the celestial
world was supposed to be divided.[2] Thus Kelail governs the fifth heaven;
while Sadiel, the presiding spirit of the third, is also employed in
steadying the motions of the earth which would be in a constant state of
agitation if this angel did not keep his foot planted upon its orb.

Among other miraculous interpositions in favor of Mahomet we find
commemorated in the pages of the Koran the appearance of five thousand
angels on his side at the battle of Bedr.

The ancient Persians supposed that Ormuzd appointed thirty angels to
preside successively over the days of the month and twelve greater ones to
assume the government of the months themselves; among whom Bahman (to whom
Ormuzd committed the custody of all animals, except man) was the greatest.
Mihr, the angel of the 7th month, was also the spirit that watched over
the affairs of friendship and love;--Chur had the care of the disk of the
sun;--Mah was agent for the concerns of the moon;--Isphandarmaz (whom
Cazvin calls the Spirit of the Earth) was the tutelar genius of good and
virtuous women, etc. For all this the reader may consult the 19th and 20th
chapters of Hyde, "_de Religione Veterum Persarum_," where the names and
attributes of these daily and monthly angels are with much minuteness and
erudition explained. It appears from the Zend-avesta that the Persians had
a certain office or prayer for every day of the month (addressed to the
particular angel who presided over it), which they called the Sirouze.

The Celestial Hierarchy of the Syrians, as described by Kircher, appears
to be the most regularly graduated of any of these systems. In the sphere
of the Moon they placed the angels, in that of Mercury the archangels,
Venus and the Sun contained the Principalities and the Powers;--and so on
to the summit of the planetary system, where, in the sphere of Saturn, the
Thrones had their station. Above this was the habitation of the Cherubim
in the sphere of the fixed stars; and still higher, in the region of those
stars which are so distant as to be imperceptible, the Seraphim, we are
told, the most perfect of all celestial creatures, dwelt.

The Sabeans also (as D'Herbelot tells us) had their classes of angels, to
whom they prayed as mediators, or intercessors; and the Arabians
worshipped _female_ angels, whom they called Benab Hasche, or, Daughters
of God.

[1] The account which Macrobius gives of the downward journey of the Soul,
through that gate of the zodiac which opens into the lower spheres, is a
curious specimen of the wild fancies that passed for philosophy in ancient

[2] "We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and placed therein a guard
of angels."--_Koran, chap. xli_.


'Twas when the world was in its prime,
When the fresh stars had just begun
Their race of glory and young Time
Told his first birth-days by the sun;
When in the light of Nature's dawn
Rejoicing, men and angels met
On the high hill and sunny lawn,--
Ere sorrow came or Sin had drawn
'Twixt man and heaven her curtain yet!
When earth lay nearer to the skies
Than in these days of crime and woe,
And mortals saw without surprise
In the mid-air angelic eyes
Gazing upon this world below.

Alas! that Passion should profane
Even then the morning of the earth!
That, sadder still, the fatal stain
Should fall on hearts of heavenly birth--
And that from Woman's love should fall
So dark a stain, most sad of all!

One evening, in that primal hour,
On a hill's side where hung the ray
Of sunset brightening rill and bower,
Three noble youths conversing lay;
And, as they lookt from time to time
To the far sky where Daylight furled
His radiant wing, their brows sublime
Bespoke them of that distant world--
Spirits who once in brotherhood
Of faith and bliss near ALLA stood,
And o'er whose cheeks full oft had blown
The wind that breathes from ALLA'S throne,[1]
Creatures of light such as _still_ play,
Like motes in sunshine, round the Lord,
And thro' their infinite array
Transmit each moment, night and day,
The echo of His luminous word!

Of Heaven they spoke and, still more oft,
Of the bright eyes that charmed them thence;
Till yielding gradual to the soft
And balmy evening's influence--
The silent breathing of the flowers--
The melting light that beamed above,
As on their first, fond, erring hours,--
Each told the story of his love,
The history of that hour unblest,
When like a bird from its high nest
Won down by fascinating eyes,
For Woman's smile he lost the skies.

The First who spoke was one, with look
The least celestial of the three--
A Spirit of light mould that took
The prints of earth most yieldingly;
Who even in heaven was not of those
Nearest the Throne but held a place
Far off among those shining rows
That circle out thro' endless space,
And o'er whose wings the light from Him
In Heaven's centre falls most dim.[2]

Still fair and glorious, he but shone
Among those youths the unheavenliest one--
A creature to whom light remained
From Eden still, but altered, stained,
And o'er whose brow not Love alone
A blight had in his transit cast,
But other, earthlier joys had gone,
And left their foot-prints as they past.
Sighing, as back thro' ages flown,
Like a tomb-searcher, Memory ran,
Lifting each shroud that Time had thrown
O'er buried hopes, he thus began:--


'Twas in a land that far away
Into the golden orient lies,
Where Nature knows not night's delay,
But springs to meet her bridegroom, Day,
Upon the threshold of the skies,
One morn, on earthly mission sent,[3]
And mid-way choosing where to light,
I saw from the blue element--
Oh beautiful, but fatal sight!--
One of earth's fairest womankind,
Half veiled from view, or rather shrined
In the clear crystal of a brook;
Which while it hid no single gleam
Of her young beauties made them look
More spirit-like, as they might seem
Thro' the dim shadowing of a dream.
Pausing in wonder I lookt on,
While playfully around her breaking
The waters that like diamonds shone
She moved in light of her own making.
At length as from that airy height
I gently lowered my breathless flight,
The tremble of my wings all o'er
(For thro' each plume I felt the thrill)
Startled her as she reached the shore
Of that small lake--her mirror still--
Above whose brink she stood, like snow
When rosy with a sunset glow,
Never shall I forget those eyes!--
The shame, the innocent surprise
Of that bright face when in the air
Uplooking she beheld me there.
It seemed as if each thought and look
And motion were that minute chained
Fast to the spot, such root she took,
And--like a sunflower by a brook,
With face upturned--so still remained!

In pity to the wondering maid,
Tho' loath from such a vision turning,
Downward I bent, beneath the shade
Of my spread wings to hide the burning
Of glances, which--I well could feel--
For me, for her, too warmly shone;
But ere I could again unseal
My restless eyes or even steal
One sidelong look the maid was gone--
Hid from me in the forest leaves,
Sudden as when in all her charms
Of full-blown light some cloud receives
The Moon into his dusky arms.

'Tis not in words to tell the power,
The despotism that from that hour
Passion held o'er me. Day and night
I sought around each neighboring spot;
And in the chase of this sweet light,
My task and heaven and all forgot;--
All but the one, sole, haunting dream
Of her I saw in that bright stream.

Nor was it long ere by her side
I found myself whole happy days
Listening to words whose music vied
With our own Eden's seraph lays,
When seraph lays are warmed by love,
But wanting _that_ far, far above!--
And looking into eyes where, blue
And beautiful, like skies seen thro'
The sleeping wave, for me there shone
A heaven, more worshipt than my own.
Oh what, while I could hear and see
Such words and looks, was heaven to me?

Tho' gross the air on earth I drew,
'Twas blessed, while she breathed it too;
Tho' dark the flowers, tho' dim the sky,
Love lent them light while she was nigh.
Throughout creation I but knew
Two separate worlds--the _one_, that small,
Beloved and consecrated spot
Where LEA was--the other, all
The dull, wide waste where she was _not_!

But vain my suit, my madness vain;
Tho' gladly, from her eyes to gain
One earthly look, one stray desire,
I would have torn the wings that hung
Furled at my back and o'er the Fire
In GEHIM'S[4] pit their fragments flung;--
'Twas hopeless all--pure and unmoved
She stood as lilies in the light
Of the hot noon but look more white;--
And tho' she loved me, deeply loved,
'Twas not as man, as mortal--no,
Nothing of earth was in that glow--
She loved me but as one, of race
Angelic, from that radiant place
She saw so oft in dreams--that Heaven
To which her prayers at morn were sent
And on whose light she gazed at even,
Wishing for wings that she might go
Out of this shadowy world below
To that free, glorious element!

Well I remember by her side
Sitting at rosy even-tide,
When,--turning to the star whose head
Lookt out as from a bridal bed,
At that mute, blushing hour,--she said,
"Oh! that it were my doom to be
"The Spirit of yon beauteous star,
"Dwelling up there in purity,
"Alone as all such bright things are;--
"My sole employ to pray and shine,
"To light my censer at the sun,
"And cast its fire towards the shrine
"Of Him in heaven, the Eternal One!"

So innocent the maid, so free
From mortal taint in soul and frame,
Whom 'twas my crime--my destiny--
To love, ay, burn for, with a flame
To which earth's wildest fires are tame.
Had you but seen her look when first
From my mad lips the avowal burst;
Not angered--no!--the feeling came
From depths beyond mere anger's flame--
It was a _sorrow_ calm as deep,
A mournfulness that could not weep,
So filled her heart was to the brink,
So fixt and frozen with grief to think
That angel natures--that even I
Whose love she clung to, as the tie
Between her spirit and the sky--
Should fall thus headlong from the height
Of all that heaven hath pure and bright!

That very night--my heart had grown
Impatient of its inward burning;
The term, too, of my stay was flown,
And the bright Watchers near the throne.
Already, if a meteor shone
Between them and this nether zone,
Thought 'twas their herald's wing returning.
Oft did the potent spell-word, given
To Envoys hither from the skies,
To be pronounced when back to heaven
It is their time or wish to rise,
Come to my lips that fatal day;
And once too was so nearly spoken,
That my spread plumage in the ray
And breeze of heaven began to play;--
When my heart failed--the spell was broken--
The word unfinisht died away,
And my checkt plumes ready to soar,
Fell slack and lifeless as before.
How could I leave a world which she,
Or lost or won, made all to me?
No matter where my wanderings were,
So there she lookt, breathed, moved about--
Woe, ruin, death, more sweet with her,
Than Paradise itself, without!

But to return--that very day
A feast was held, where, full of mirth,
Came--crowding thick as flowers that play
In summer winds--the young and gay
And beautiful of this bright earth.
And she was there and mid the young
And beautiful stood first, alone;
Tho' on her gentle brow still hung
The shadow I that morn had thrown--
The first that ever shame or woe
Had cast upon its vernal snow.
My heart was maddened;--in the flush
Of the wild revel I gave way
To all that frantic mirth--that rush
Of desperate gayety which they,
Who never felt how pain's excess
Can break out thus, think happiness!
Sad mimicry of mirth and life
Whose flashes come but from the strife
Of inward passions--like the light
Struck out by clashing swords in fight.

Then too that juice of earth, the bane
And blessing of man's heart and brain--
That draught of sorcery which brings
Phantoms of fair, forbidden things--
Whose drops like those of rainbows smile
Upon the mists that circle man,
Brightening not only Earth the while,
But grasping Heaven too in their span!--
Then first the fatal wine-cup rained
Its dews of darkness thro' my lips,
Casting whate'er of light remained
To my lost soul into eclipse;
And filling it with such wild dreams,
Such fantasies and wrong desires,
As in the absence of heaven's beams
Haunt us for ever--like wildfires
That walk this earth when day retires.

Now hear the rest;--our banquet done,
I sought her in the accustomed bower,
Where late we oft, when day was gone
And the world husht, had met alone,
At the same silent, moonlight hour.
Her eyes as usual were upturned
To her loved star whose lustre burned
Purer than ever on that night;
While she in looking grew more bright
As tho' she borrowed of its light.

There was a virtue in that scene,
A spell of holiness around,
Which had my burning brain not been
Thus maddened would have held me bound,
As tho' I trod celestial ground.
Even as it was, with soul all flame
And lips that burned in their own sighs,
I stood to gaze with awe and shame--
The memory of Eden came
Full o'er me when I saw those eyes;
And tho' too well each glance of mine
To the pale, shrinking maiden proved
How far, alas! from aught divine,
Aught worthy of so pure a shrine,
Was the wild love with which I loved,
Yet must she, too, have seen--oh yes,
'Tis soothing but to _think_ she saw
The deep, true, soul-felt tenderness,
The homage of an Angel's awe
To her, a mortal, whom pure love
Then placed above him--far above--
And all that struggle to repress
A sinful spirit's mad excess,
Which workt within me at that hour,
When with a voice where Passion shed
All the deep sadness of her power,
Her melancholy power--I said,
"Then be it so; if back to heaven
"I must unloved, unpitied fly.
"Without one blest memorial given
"To soothe me in that lonely sky;
"One look like those the young and fond
"Give when they're parting--which would be,
"Even in remembrance far beyond
"All heaven hath left of bliss for me!

"Oh, but to see that head recline
"A minute on this trembling arm,
"And those mild eyes look up to mine,
"Without a dread, a thought of harm!
"To meet but once the thrilling touch
"Of lips too purely fond to fear me--
"Or if that boon be all too much,
"Even thus to bring their fragrance near me!
"Nay, shrink not so--a look--a word--
"Give them but kindly and I fly;
"Already, see, my plumes have stirred
"And tremble for their home on high.
"Thus be our parting--cheek to cheek--
"One minute's lapse will be forgiven,
"And thou, the next, shalt hear me speak
"The spell that plumes my wing for heaven!"

While thus I spoke, the fearful maid,
Of me and of herself afraid,
Had shrinking stood like flowers beneath
The scorching of the south-wind's breath:
But when I named--alas, too well,
I now recall, tho' wildered then,--
Instantly, when I named the spell
Her brow, her eyes uprose again;
And with an eagerness that spoke
The sudden light that o'er her broke,
"The spell, the spell!--oh, speak it now.
"And I will bless thee!" she exclaimed--
Unknowing what I did, inflamed,
And lost already, on her brow
I stampt one burning kiss, and named
The mystic word till then ne'er told
To living creature of earth's mould!
Scarce was it said when quick a thought,
Her lips from mine like echo caught
The holy sound--her hands and eyes
Were instant lifted to the skies,
And thrice to heaven she spoke it out
With that triumphant look Faith wears,
When not a cloud of fear or doubt,
A vapor from this vale of tears.
Between her and her God appears!
That very moment her whole frame
All bright and glorified became,
And at her back I saw unclose
Two wings magnificent as those
That sparkle around ALLA'S Throne,
Whose plumes, as buoyantly she rose
Above me, in the moon-beam shone
With a pure light; which--from its hue,
Unknown upon this earth--I knew
Was light from Eden, glistening thro'!
Most holy vision! ne'er before
Did aught so radiant--since the day
When EBLIS in his downfall, bore
The third of the bright stars away--
Rise in earth's beauty to repair
That loss of light and glory there!

But did I tamely view her flight?
Did not I too proclaim out thrice
The powerful words that were that night,--
Oh even for heaven too much delight!--
Again to bring us, eyes to eyes
And soul to soul, in Paradise?
I did--I spoke it o'er and o'er--
I prayed, I wept, but all in vain;
For me the spell had power no more.
There seemed around me some dark chain
Which still as I essayed to soar
Baffled, alas, each wild endeavor;
Dead lay my wings as they have lain
Since that sad hour and will remain--
So wills the offended God--for ever!

It was to yonder star I traced
Her journey up the illumined waste--
That isle in the blue firmament
To which so oft her fancy went
In wishes and in dreams before,
And which was now--such, Purity,
Thy blest reward--ordained to be
Her home of light for evermore!
Once--or did I but fancy so?--
Even in her flight to that fair sphere,
Mid all her spirit's new-felt glow,
A pitying look she turned below
On him who stood in darkness here;
Him whom perhaps if vain regret
Can dwell in heaven she pities yet;
And oft when looking to this dim
And distant world remembers him.

But soon that passing dream was gone;
Farther and farther off she shone,
Till lessened to a point as small
As are those specks that yonder burn,--
Those vivid drops of light that fall
The last from Day's exhausted urn.
And when at length she merged, afar,
Into her own immortal star,
And when at length my straining sight
Had caught her wing's last fading ray,
That minute from my soul the light
Of heaven and love both past away;
And I forgot my home, my birth,
Profaned my spirit, sunk my brow,
And revelled in gross joys of earth
Till I became--what I am now!

The Spirit bowed his head in shame;
A shame that of itself would tell--
Were there not even those breaks of flame,
Celestial, thro' his clouded frame--
How grand the height from which he fell!
That holy Shame which ne'er forgets
The unblenched renown it used to wear;
Whose blush remains when Virtue sets
To show her sunshine _has_ been there.

Once only while the tale he told
Were his eyes lifted to behold
That happy stainless, star where she
Dwelt in her bower of purity!
One minute did he look and then--
As tho' he felt some deadly pain
From its sweet light thro' heart and brain--
Shrunk back and never lookt again.

Who was the Second Spirit? he
With the proud front and piercing glance--
Who seemed when viewing heaven's expanse
As tho' his far-sent eye could see
On, on into the Immensity
Behind the veils of that blue sky
Where ALLA'S grandest secrets lie?--
His wings, the while, tho' day was gone,
Flashing with many a various hue
Of light they from themselves alone,
Instinct with Eden's brightness drew.
'Twas RUBI--once among the prime
And flower of those bright creatures, named
Spirits of Knowledge,[5] who o'er Time
And Space and Thought an empire claimed,
Second alone to Him whose light
Was even to theirs as day to night;
'Twixt whom and them was distance far
And wide as would the journey be
To reach from any island star
To vague shores of Infinity

'Twas RUBI in whose mournful eye
Slept the dim light of days gone by;
Whose voice tho' sweet fell on the ear
Like echoes in some silent place
When first awaked for many a year;
And when he smiled, if o'er his face
Smile ever shone, 'twas like the grace
Of moonlight rainbows, fair, but wan,
The sunny life, the glory gone.
Even o'er his pride tho' still the same,
A softening shade from sorrow came;
And tho' at times his spirit knew
The kindlings of disdain and ire,
Short was the fitful glare they threw--
Like the last flashes, fierce but few,
Seen thro' some noble pile on fire!
Such was the Angel who now broke
The silence that had come o'er all,
When he the Spirit that last spoke
Closed the sad history of his fall;
And while a sacred lustre flown
For many a day relumed his cheek--
Beautiful as in days of old;
And not those eloquent lips alone
But every feature seemed to speak--
Thus his eventful story told:--


You both remember well the day
When unto Eden's new-made bowers
ALLA convoked the bright array
Of his supreme angelic powers
To witness the one wonder yet,
Beyond man, angel, star, or sun,
He must achieve, ere he could set
His seal upon the world as done--
To see the last perfection rise,
That crowning of creation's birth,
When mid the worship and surprise
Of circling angels Woman's eyes
First open upon heaven and earth;
And from their lids a thrill was sent,
That thro' each living spirit went
Like first light thro' the firmament!

Can you forget how gradual stole
The fresh-awakened breath of soul
Throughout her perfect form--which seemed
To grow transparent as there beamed
That dawn of Mind within and caught
New loveliness from each new thought?
Slow as o'er summer seas we trace
The progress of the noontide air,
Dimpling its bright and silent face
Each minute into some new grace,
And varying heaven's reflections there--
Or like the light of evening stealing
O'er some fair temple which all day
Hath slept in shadow, slow revealing
Its several beauties ray by ray,
Till it shines out, a thing to bless,
All full of light and loveliness.

Can you forget her blush when round
Thro' Eden's lone, enchanted ground
She lookt, and saw the sea--the skies--
And heard the rush of many a wing,
On high behests then vanishing;
And saw the last few angel eyes,
Still lingering--mine among the rest,--
Reluctant leaving scenes so blest?
From that miraculous hour the fate
Of this new, glorious Being dwelt
For ever with a spell-like weight
Upon my spirit--early, late,
Whate'er I did or dreamed or felt,
The thought of what might yet befall
That matchless creature mixt with all.--
Nor she alone but her whole race
Thro' ages yet to come--whate'er
Of feminine and fond and fair
Should spring from that pure mind and face,
All waked my soul's intensest care;
Their forms, souls, feelings, still to me
Creation's strangest mystery!

It was my doom--even from the first,
When witnessing the primal burst
Of Nature's wonders, I saw rise
Those bright creations in the skies,--
Those worlds instinct with life and light,
Which Man, remote, but sees by night,--
It was my doom still to be haunted
By some new wonder, some sublime
And matchless work, that for the time
Held all my soul enchained, enchanted,
And left me not a thought, a dream,
A word but on that only theme!

The wish to know--that endless thirst,
Which even by quenching is awaked,
And which becomes or blest or curst
As is the fount whereat 'tis slaked--
Still urged me onward with desire
Insatiate, to explore, inquire--
Whate'er the wondrous things might be
That waked each new idolatry--
Their cause, aim, source, whenever sprung--
Their inmost powers, as tho' for me
Existence on that knowledge hung.

Oh what a vision were the stars
When first I saw them born on high,
Rolling along like living cars
Of light for gods to journey by![6]
They were like my heart's first passion--days
And nights unwearied, in their rays
Have I hung floating till each sense
Seemed full of their bright influence.
Innocent joy! alas, how much
Of misery had I shunned below,
Could I have still lived blest with such;
Nor, proud and restless, burned to know
The knowledge that brings guilt and woe.

Often--so much I loved to trace
The secrets of this starry race--
Have I at morn and evening run
Along the lines of radiance spun
Like webs between them and the sun,
Untwisting all the tangled ties
Of light into their different dyes--
The fleetly winged I off in quest
Of those, the farthest, loneliest,
That watch like winking sentinels,[7]
The void, beyond which Chaos dwells;
And there with noiseless plume pursued
Their track thro' that grand solitude,
Asking intently all and each
What soul within their radiance dwelt,
And wishing their sweet light were speech,
That they might tell me all they felt.

Nay, oft, so passionate my chase,
Of these resplendent heirs of space,
Oft did I follow--lest a ray
Should 'scape me in the farthest night--
Some pilgrim Comet on his way
To visit distant shrines of light,
And well remember how I sung
Exultingly when on my sight
New worlds of stars all fresh and young
As if just born of darkness sprung!

Such was my pure ambition then,
My sinless transport night and morn
Ere yet this newer world of men,
And that most fair of stars was born
Which I in fatal hour saw rise
Among the flowers of Paradise!

Thenceforth my nature all was changed,
My heart, soul, senses turned below;
And he who but so lately ranged
Yon wonderful expanse where glow
Worlds upon worlds,--yet found his mind
Even in that luminous range confined,--
Now blest the humblest, meanest sod
Of the dark earth where Woman trod!
In vain my former idols glistened
From their far thrones; in vain these ears
To the once-thrilling music listened,
That hymned around my favorite spheres--
To earth, to earth each thought was given,
That in this half-lost soul had birth;
Like some high mount, whose head's in heaven
While its whole shadow rests on earth!

Nor was it Love, even yet, that thralled
My spirit in his burning ties;
And less, still less could it be called
That grosser flame, round which Love flies

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