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the city, and distributed the most costly presents to the crowd. Engines were erected in all the squares, which cast forth showers of confectionery among the people; while the artizans, in chariots adorned with tinsel and flying streamers, exhibited the badges of their respective trades through the streets. Such brilliant displays of life and pageantry, among the palaces, and domes, and gilded minarets of Lahore, made the city altogether like a place of enchantment;particularly on the day when Lalla Rookh set out again upon her journey, when she was accompanied to the gate by all the fairest and richest of the nobility, and rode along between ranks of beautiful boys and girls, who waved plates of gold and silver flowers over their heads as they went, and then threw them to be gathered by the populace.
For many days after their departure from Lahore, a considerable degree of gloom hung over the whole party. Lalla Rookh, who had intended to make illness her excuse for not admitting the young minstrel as usual to the pavilion, soon found that to feign indisposition was unnecessary;-Fadladeen felt the loss of the good road they had hitherto travelled, and was very near cursing Jehan-Guire (of blessed memory!) for not having continued his delectable alley of trees, at least as far as the mountains of Cashmere ;-while the ladies, who had nothing now to do all day but to be fanned by peacock's feathers and listen to Fadladeen, seemed heartily weary of the life they led, and, in spite of all the Great Chamberlain's criticisms, were tasteless enough to wish for the Poet again. One evening, as they were proceeding to their place of rest for the night, the Princess, who, for the freer enjoyment of the air, had mounted her favourite Arabian palfrey, in passing by a small grove heard the notes of a lute from within its leaves, and a voice, which she but too well knew, singing the following words :
Tell me not of joys above,
Tell me not of Houris' eyes;—
Far from me their dangerous glow,
Wound like some that burn below!
The tone of melancholy defiance in which these words were uttered went to Lalla Rookh's heart ;—and, as she reluctantly rode on, she could not help feeling it as a sad but sweet certainty that Feramorz was to the full as enamoured and miserable as herself.
The place where they encamped that evening was the first delightful spot they had come to since they left Lahore. On one side of them was a grove full of small Hindoo temples, and planted with the most graceful trees of the East; where the tamarind, the cassia, and the silken plaintains of Ceylon were mingled in rich contrast with the high fan-like foliage of the Palmyra,-that favourite tree of the luxurious bird that lights up the chambers of its nest with fireflies. In the middle of the lawn where the pavilion stood there was a tank surrounded by small mangoe trees, on the clear cold waters of which floated multitudes of the beautiful red lotus; while at a distance
stood the ruins of a strange and awful-looking tower,
That venerable tower, he told them, was the remains of an ancient fire-temple, built by those Ghebers or Persians of the old religion, who, many hundred years 'since, had fled hither from their Arab conquerors, preferring liberty and their altars in a foreign land to the alternative of apostacy or persecution in their own. It was impossible, he added, not to feel interested in the many glorious but unsuccessful struggles which had been made by these original natives of Persia to cast off the yoke of their bigoted conquerors. Like their own Fire in the Burning Field at Bakou, when suppressed in one place, they had but broken out with fresh flame in another; and, as a native of Cashmere,
of that fair and Holy Valley, which had in the same manner become the prey of strangers, and seen her ancient shrines and native princes swept away before the march of her intolerant invaders, he felt a sympathy, he owned, with the sufferings of the persecuted Ghebers, which every monument like this before them but tended more powerfully to awaken.
It was the first time that Feramorz had ever ventured upon so much prose before Fadladeen, and it may easily be conceived what effect such prose as this must have produced upon that most orthodox and most pagan-hating personage. He sat for some minutes aghast, ejaculating only at intervals, "Bigoted conquerors !-sympathy with Fire-worshippers!"-while Feramorz, happy to take advantage of this almost speechless horror of the Chamberlain, proceeded to say that he knew a melancholy story, connected with the events of one of those brave struggles of the Fireworshippers of Persia against their Arab masters, which, if the evening was not too far advanced, he should have much pleasure in being allowed to relate to the Princess. It was impossible for Lalla Rookh to refuse; he had never before looked half so animated, and when he spoke of the Holy Valley his eyes had sparkled, she thought, like the talismanic characters on the scimitar of Solomon. Her consent was therefore most readily granted, and while Fadladeen sat in unspeakable dismay, expecting treason and abomination in every line, the poet thus began his story of the Fire-worshippers
'Tis moonlight over Oman's Sea;
Her banks of pearl and palmy isles Bask in the night-beam beauteously,
And her blue waters sleep in smiles. 'Tis moonlight in Harmozia's walls, And through her Emir's porphyry halls,
Where, some hours since, was heard the swell
Nor leaf is stirr'd nor wave is driven;
Can hardly win a breath from heaven.
Even he, that tyrant Arab, sleeps
One of that saintly, murderous brood,
To carnage and the Koran given, Who think through unbelievers' blood
Lies their directest path to heaven. One, who will pause and kneel unshod
In the warm blood his hand hath pour'd, To mutter o'er some text of God
Engraven on his reeking sword;
Just Alla! what must be thy look,