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Fearless, and scarce surpris'd

For grief in Zeinab's soul
All other feclings overpower'd,
She answerd, « Yesterday

I was a wife belov'd,
The fruitful mother of a numerous race.

Tam a widow now,
Of all my offspring this alone is left.

Praise to the Lord our God,
He gave, he takes away!»

XVII. Then said the stranger, « Not by Heaven upseen, Nor in unguided wanderings, hast thou reach'd

This secret place, be sure !

Nor for light purpose is the Veil,
That from the Universe hath long shut out

These ancient bowers, withdrawn.
Hear thou my words, 0 mortal, in thy heart

Treasure what I shall cell;
And when amid the world
Thou shalt emerge again,

Repeat the warning tale.
Why have the Fathers suffer'd, but to make

The Children wisely safe!

XXI. «A mighty work the pride of Shedad plann'd,

Here in the wilderness to form
A garden more surpassing fair

Than that before whose gate
The lightning of the Cherub's fiery sword

Waves wide to bar access,
Since Adam, the transgressor, thence was driven.

Here, too, would Shedad build

A kingly pile sublime,
The palace of his pride.

For this exhausted mines
Supplied their

store, For this the central caverns gave their gems;

For this the woodman's axe
Opend the cedar forest to the sun;

The silkworm of the East
Spun her sepulchral ege;

The hunter African
Provok'd the danger of the elephani's wrath;

The Ethiop, keen of scent,

Detects the ebony,9
That deep-inearth'd, and hating light,

A leafless tree and barren of all fruit,
With darkness feeds lier boughs of raven grain.
Such were the treasures lavished in yon pile;

Ages have past away,
And never mortal eye
Gazed on their vanily.

« The Paradise of Irem; this,

And that the palace pile
Which Shedad built, the King.
Alas! in the days of my youth,

The hum of the populous world Was heard in yon wilderness waste!

O'er all the winding sands
The tents of Ad were pitch'd !

Happy Al-Ahkaf then,
For many and brave were her sons,
Her daughters were many and fair.

My name was Aswad then ..

Alas! alas ! how strange
The sound so long unheard!

Of noble race I came,
One of the wealthy of the earth my sire.
An hundred horses in my father's stalls

Stood ready for his will :

Numerous his robes of silk, The number of his camels was not known.

These were my heritance,

O God! thy gifts were these; But better bad it been for Aswad's soul

« The garden,-copious springs

Blest that delightful spot,
And every flower was planted there
That makes the gale of evening sweet.
lle spake, and bade the full-grown forest risc,
His own creation ; should the King

Wait for slow Nature's work?
All trees that bend with luscious fruit,

Or wave with feathery boughs,
Or point their spiring heads to heaven,
Or spreading wide their shadowy arms,
Javite the traveller to repose at noon,
Hither, uprooted with their native soil,
The labour, and the pain of multitudes,

Mature in beauty, bore them,

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Here, frequent in the walks,
The marble statue stood

Of heroes and of chiefs.
The trees and flowers remain,
By Nature's care perpetuate and self-sown.
The marble statues long have lost all trace

Of heroes and of chiefs;
Huge shapeless stones they lie,
O'ergrown with many a flower.

«The work of pride went on-

Often the Prophet's voice

Denounced impending woc-
We mock'd at the words of the Seer.
We mockd at the wrath of the Lord.
A long-continued drought first troubled us;

Three years no cloud had formid,

years no rain had fallen;
The wholesome herb was dry,
The corn matur'd not for the food of man,

The wells and fountains fail d.
O hard of heart, in whom the punishment

Awoke no sense of guilt!
Headstrong to ruin, obstinately blind,
We to our Idols still applied for aid;

Sakia we invok'd for rain,

We called on Razeka for food
They did not hear our prayers, they could not hear!

No cloud appear'd in Heaven,
No nightly dews came down.

« So spake the stubborn race,

The unbelieving ones.
I too, of stubborn uubelieving heart,

Heard him, and heeded not.
It chanced my father went the way of man,

He perish'd in his sins.
The funeral rites were duly paid,
We bound a camel to his grave,

And left it there to die,
So if the resurrection came 13
Together they might rise.

I past my father's grave,
I heard the Camel moan.
She was his favourite beast,
One who had carried me in infancy,
The first that by myself I learnt to mount.
Her limbs were lean with famine, and her eyes

Look'd ghastlily with want.

She knew me as I past,

She stared me in the face, 13
My heart was touch'd, had it been human else?
I thought no eye was near, and broke her bonds,
And drove her forth to liberty and life.

The Prophet Houd beheld,
He lifted up his voice,

Blessed art thou, young man,
Blessed art thou, O Aswad, for the deed!

In the day of visitation,
In the fearful hour of judgement,

God will remember thee!


XXIV. « Then to the place of concourse" messengers Were sent, to Mecca, where the nations came, Round the Red Hillock kneeling, to implore

God in his favour'd place.

We sent to call on God; Ah fools! unthinking that from all the earth

The heart ascends to him.

We sent to call on God;
Ah fools ! to think the Lord
Would hear their prayers abroad,
Who made no prayers at home!

XXV. « Meantime the work of pride went on, And still before our Idols, wood and stone,

We bow'd the impious knee. *Turn, men of Ad, and call upon the Lord,

The Prophet Houd exclaim'd; • Turn men of Ad, and look to Heaven,

And fly the wrath to come.'
Wc mock'd the Prophet's words; -
Now dost thou dream, old man,

Or art thou drunk with wine?
Future woe and wrath to come,
Still thy prudent voice forebodes;
When it comes will we believe,

Tillit comes will we go on
In the way our fathers went.
Now are thy words from God?
Or dost thou dream, old man,
Or art thou drunk with wine?'

« The day of visitation was at hand,
The fearful hour of judgment hastened on.
Lo Shedad's mighty pile complete,

The palace of his pride.
Would ye behold its wonders, enter in !

I have no heart to visit it.
Time hath not harm'd the eternal monument;
Time is not here, nor days, nor months, nor years,

An everlasting Now of misery!-
Ye must have heard their fame,

Or likely ye have seen

The mighty Pyramids, -
For sure those migbty piles have overlived

The feeble generations of mankind.
What, though unmov'd they bore the deluge weight, 14

Survivors of the ruined world ?
What though their founder fill'd with miracles

And wealih miraculous their ample vaults?
Compar'd with yonder fabric, and they shrink

The baby wonders of a woman's work!
Here emerald columns o'er the marble courts
Fling their green rays, as when amid a shower
The sun shines loveliest on the vernal corn.
Here Shedad bade the sapphire floor be laid,

As though with feet divine

To trample azure light,
Like the blue pavement of the firmament.

Here self-suspended hangs in air,
As its pure substance loath'd material touch,

The living carbuncle ; 15

Sun of the lofty dome,
Darkness hath no dominion o'er its beams;

Intense it glows, an ever-flowing tide

He led the Man of God.
'Is not this a stately pile?'
Cried the Monarch in his Joy.

Hath ever eye beheld,
Hath ever thought conceiv'd,

Place more magnificent ?
Houd, they say that Heaven imparted
To thy lips the words of wisdom !

Look at the riches round,
And value them aright,
If so thy wisdom can.'

XXX. « The Prophet heard his vaunt, And, with an awful smile, he answer'd him,

'O Shedad! only in the hour of death 19 We learn to value things like these aright.'

Of glory, like the day-flood in its source.
Impious! the Trees of vegetable gold

Such as in Eden's groves

Yet innocent it grew;16 Impious! he made his boast, though heaven had hid

So deep the baneful ore, That they should branch and bud for him, That art should force their blossoms and their fruit,

And re-create for him whate'er

Was lost in Paradise.

Therefore at Shedad's voice
Here towered the palm, a silver trunk,
The fine gold net-work 17 growing out

Loose from its rugged boughs.

Tall as the Cedar of the mountain, here
Rose the gold branches, hung with emerald leaves,
Blossomd with pearls, and rich with ruby fruit.
O Ad! my country! evil was the day

That thy unhappy sons
Crouch'd at this Nimrod's throne, 18
And placed on him the pedestal of power,
And laid their liberties beneath his feet,
Robbing their children of the heritance

Their fathers handed down.
What was to him the squander'd wealth ?
What was to him the burthen of the land,

The lavish'd misery?

He did but speak his will,
And, like the blasting Siroc of the East,

The ruin of the royal voice

Found its way every-where.
I marvel not that he, whose power
No earthly law, no human feeling curb'd,

Mock'd at the living God!

« Hast thou a fault to find
In all thine eyes have seen ?

Again the King exclaim'd.

Yea!' said the man of God; "The walls are weak, the building ill secur'd.

Azrael can enter in!
The Sarsar can pierce through,

The Icy Wind of Death.'

«I was beside the Monarch when he spakc-

Gentle the Prophet spake,

But in his eye there dwelt
A sorrow that disturb'd me while I gaz'd.

The countenance of Shedad fell,

And anger sat upon his paler lips.
He to the high tower-top the Prophet led,

And pointed to the multitude;

And as again they shouted out, "Great is the King! a God upon the Earth! With dark and threatful smile to Houd he turn'd,

Say they aright, O Prophet? is the King
Great upon earth, a God among mankind?'

The Prophet answer'd not;
Over that infinite multitude

He roll'd his ominous eyes,
And tears which could not be supprest gush'd forth.

« And now the King's command went forth
Among the people, bidding old and young,
Husband and wife, the master and the slave,

All the collected multitudes of Ad,
Here to repair, and hold high festival,
That he might see his people, they behold
Their King's magnificence and power.

The day of festival arriv'd;
Hither they came, the old man and the boy,

Husband and wife, the master and the slave, Hither they came. From yonder high tower top,

The loftiest of the Palace, Shedad look'd Down on his tribe : their tents on yonder sands

Rose like the countless billows of the sea;
Their tread and voices like the ocean roar,
One deep confusion of tumultuous sounds.
They saw their King's magnificence; beheld
His palace sparkling like the Angel domes
Of Paradise ; his garden like the bowers

Of early Eden, and they shouted out,
Great is the King! a God upon the earth!

« Sudden an uproar rose,

A cry of joy below,
The Messenger is come!

Kail from Mecca comes, He brings the boon obtain'd!

« Intoxicate with joy and pride,

He heard their blasphemies;
And in his wantonness of heart he bade
The Prophet Houd be brought;

And o'er the marble courts,
And o'er the gorgeous rooms
Glittering with gems and gold,

XXXIV. « Forth as we went we saw where overhead

There hung a deep black cloud,

On which the multitude
With joyful eyes look'd up,

And blest the coming rain.
The Messenger addrest the King

And told his lale of joy.

XXXV. «' To Mecca I repair'd, By the Red Hillock knelt,

My garment ar the sole

And called on God for rain.
My prayer ascended, and was heard;

Three clouds appear'd in heaven.
One white, and like the flying cloud of noon,
One red, as it had drunk the evening beams,
One black and heavy with its load of rain.

A voice went forth from heaven,

Chuse, Kail, of the three!'

I thank'd the gracious Power, And chose the black cloud, heavy with its wealth.' Right! right!' a thousand tongues exclaim'd,

And all was merriment and joy.

XL. « When from an agony of prayer I rose,

And from the scene of death

Attempted to go forth,
The way was open, I beheld

No barrier to my steps.
But round these bowers the Arm of God

Had drawn a mighty chain, A barrier that no human force might break.

Twice I essay'd to pass.

With that a voice was heard,
O Aswad, be content, and bless the Lord !

One righteous deed hath sav'd
Thy soul from utter death.

( Aswad, sinful man!

When by long penitence
Thou feelst thy soul prepard,
Breathe up

the wish to die, And Azrael comes, obedient to the prayer.'

I care pot bre

O mercit
But whe
But whe

For mi
And sufferia

Ny soul
klase ne in th
TL cease to

« Then stood the Prophet up, and cried aloud,

"Woe, woe to Irem! woe to Ad!

Death is gone up into her palaces !
Woe! woe! a day of guilt and punishment,

A day of desolation !'-As he spake,
His large eye roll'd in horror, and so deep

His love, it seem'd some Spirit from within Breatlı'd through his moveless lips3o the unearthly voice.

All looks were turn'd to him. 'O Ad! he cried,

“Dear native land, by all remembrances Of childhood, by all joys of manhood dear,

O Vale of many Waters; more and night
My age must groan for you, and to the grave
Go down in sorrow. Thou will give thy fruits,
But who shall gather them? thy grapes will ripen,
But who shall tread the wine-press ? Fly the wrail,

Ye who would live and save your souls alive!
For strong is his right band that bends the Bow,

The arrows that he shoots are sharp,

And err not from their aim !' 21

Silence en
Then Zcial
fisi art thou,

Foard th
Puthre to bi

ipi would ti
breath'd up

Asrael m od I follow

And join 1

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« A miserable man,
From Earth and Heaven shut out,

I heard the dreadful voice,
I look'd around my prison place;
The bodies of the dead were there,

Where'er I look d they lay.
They moulder'd, moulder'd here, -
Their very bones have crumbled into dust,

So many years have past!
So many weary ages


gone by! Aud still I linger here! Sull groaning with the burtheu of my sins,

Have never dar'd to breathe
The prayer to be releas d.

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« With that a faithful few Prest through the throng to join him. Then arose Mockery and mirth; 'Go, bald head!' and they mixd

Curses with laughter. Ile set forth, yet once Look'd back :- his eye fell on me, and he calla

· Aswad !'- it startled me-it terrified,

* Aswad !' again he call's, -and I almost Had followed him-0 moment fled too soon!

O moment irrecoverably lost!
The shouts of inockery made a coward of

He went, and I remained, in fear of Man!

It me 100!

His Moth
His Moth


XLII. « 0! who can tell the unspeakable misery

Of solitude like this!
No sound hath ever reach'd my car

Save of the passing wind-
The fountain's everlasting flow,

The forest in the gale,
The pattering of the shower,
Sounds dead and mournful all.
No bird hath ever clos'd her wing

Upon these solitary bowers;
No insect sweetly buzz'd amid these groves,

From all things that have life,

Save only me, conceald.
This Tree alone, that o'er my

Hangs down its hospitable boughs,
And bends ils whispering leaves

As though to welcome me,

Seems to partake of life; 21
I love it as my friend, my only friend!

Son of Hodei

Son of Bodei

To do

« le went, and darker grew

The deepening cloud above.
At length it open 'd, and-God! O God!

There were no waters there!

There fell no kindly rain! The Sarsar from its womb went forth,

The Icy Wind of Death.

To aven

The in
To work it
That tror

Livel an

XXXIX. « They fell around me, thousands fell around,

The King and all his People fell.
All! all! they perish'd all!

1-ooly 1-was left.
There came a voice to me and said,

In the Day of Visitation,
In the fearful hour of Judgment,

God hath remember'd thee.'

I know not for what ages I have drage'd

This miserable life;
How often I have seen

These aucient trees renew'd, What countless generations of mankind

Have risen and fallen asleep,

And I remain the same!


Young, I
Walace and

He stood

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