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Down the precipitous rocks they sprung, While vigour, more than human, strung Each arm and heart.—Th' exulting foe Still through the dark defiles below, Track'd by his torches' lurid fire,

Wound slow, as through Golconda's vale The mighty serpent, in his ire,

Glides on with glittering, deadly trail. No torch the Ghebers need-so well They know each mystery of the dell, So oft have, in their wanderings, Cross'd the wild race that round them dwell, The very tigers from their delves

Look out, and let them pass, as things Untamed and fearless like themselves!

There was a deep ravine, that lay Yet darkling in the Moslems' way ;Fit spot to make invaders rue The many fallen before the few. The torrents from that morning's sky Had fill'd the narrow chasm breast-high, And, on each side, aloft and wild, Huge cliffs and toppling crags were piled, The guards, with which young Freedom lines The pathways to her mountain shrines. Here, at this pass, the scanty band Of Iran's last avengers stand ;Here wait, in silence like the dead, And listen for the Moslems' tread So anxiously, the carrion-bird Above them flaps his wings unheard! They come that plunge into the water Gives signal for the work of slaughter. Now, Ghebers, now-if e'er your blades

Had point or prowess, prove them now !Woe to the file that foremost wades!

They come a falchion greets each brow,

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And, as they tumble, trunk on trunk,
Beneath the gory waters sunk,
Still o'er their drowning bodies press
New victims quick and numberless;
Till scarce an arm in Hafed's band,

So fierce their toil, hath power to stir,
But listless from each crimson hand

The sword hangs, clogg'd with massacre.
Never was horde of tyrants met
With bloodier welcome-never yet
To patriot vengeance hath the sword
More terrible libations pour'd!

All up the dreary, long ravine,
By the red, murky glimmer seen
Of half-quench'd brands, that o'er the flood
Lie scatter'd round and burn in blood,
What ruin glares! what carnage swims!
Heads, blazing turbans, quivering limbs,
Lost swords that, dropp'd from many a hand,
In that thick pool of slaughter stand ;—
Wretches who, wading, half on fire

From the toss'd brands that round them fly, 'Twixt flood and flame in shrieks expire ;

And some who, grasp'd by those that die, Sink woundless with them, smother'd o'er In their dead brethren's gushing gore!

But vainly hundreds, thousands bleed,
Still hundreds, thousands more succeed ;-
Countless as towards some flame at night
The north's dark insects wing their flight,
And quench or perish in its light,
To this terrific spot they pour—
Till bridged with Moslem bodies o'er,
It bears aloft their slippery tread,
And o'er the dying and the dead,
Tremendous causeway! on they pass.-
Then, hapless Ghebers, then, alas,

"Welcome, terrific glen!" he said,
"Thy gloom, that Eblis' self might dread,
Is heaven to him who flies from chains!"
O'er a dark, narrow bridgeway, known
To him and to his chiefs alone,

They cross'd the chasm and gain'd the

towers :

"This home," he cried, "at least is ours—
Here we may bleed, unmock'd by hymns
Of Moslem triumph o'er our head;
Here we may fall, nor leave our limbs
To quiver to the Moslem's tread.
Stretch'd on this rock, while vultures' beaks
Are whetted on our yet warm cheeks,
Here,-happy that no tyrant's eye
Gloats on our torments-we may die!"
'Twas night when to those towers they came,
And gloomily the fitful flame,

That from the ruin'd altar broke,
Glared on his features, as he spoke :-
"Tis o'er-what men could do, we've done-

If Iran will look tamely on,

And see her priests, her warriors, driven

Before a sensual bigot's nod,

A wretch, who takes his lusts to heaven,
And makes a pander of his God!
If her proud sons, her high-born souls,
Men, in whose veins-O last disgrace!
The blood of Zal and Rustam rolls,—

If they will court this upstart race,
And turn from Mithra's ancient ray,
To kneel at shrines of yesterday!—
If they will crouch to Iran's foes,

Why, let them-till the land's despair
Cries out to heaven, and bondage grows
Too vile for e'en the vile to bear!
Till shame at last, long hidden, burns
Their inmost core, and conscience turns

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Each coward tear the slave jer f
Back on his heart in drops "gal
But here, at last, are arms uncer
And souls that thraldom. never

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This spot, at least, no foot of blant Or satrap ever yet profane



And, though but few-lougs, fast we have Of life is ebbing from our ver, Enough for vengeance sti As panthers, after set f Rush from the roots of DENS Across the dark sea-robber We'll bound upon our starter Tues & And when some hearts that proce Have felt our falchion's last farew When hope's expiring throb in olen And e'en despair can prompt O LOA, This spot shall be the sacred grave Of the last few who, vainly brave. Die for the land they cannot save!”

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His chiefs stood round-each shining D
Upon the broken altar laid-
And though so wild and desolate

Those courts, where once the mighty sale;
Nor longer on those mouldering tower,
Was seen the feast of fruits and flower,
With which of old the Magi fed
The wandering spirits of their dead;
Though neither priest nor rites were there,

Nor charmed leaf of pure pomegranatic;
Nor hymn, nor censer's fragrant air,

Nor symbol of their worshipp'd planet;
Yet the same God that heard their sires
Heard them, while on that altar's fires
They swore the latest, holiest deed
Of the few hearts still left to bleed,

What hope was left for you? for you,
Whose yet warm pile of sacrifice
Is smoking in their vengeful eyes-
Whose swords how keen, how fierce, they


And burn with shame to find how few
Crush'd down by that vast multitude,
Some found their graves where first they stood;
While some with hardier struggle died,
And still fought on by Hafed's side,
Who, fronting to the foe, trod back
Towards the high towers his gory track;
And, as a lion, swept away

By sudden swell of Jordan's pride
From the wild covert where he lay,

Long battles with th' o'erwhelming tide,
So fought he back with fierce delay,
And kept both foes and fate at bay!

But whither now! their track is lost,

Their prey escaped-guide, torches goneBy torrent-beds and labyrinths cross'd,

The scatter'd crowd rush blindly on-
"Curse on those tardy lights that wind,"
They panting cry, "" so far behind-
Oh, for a bloodhound's precious scent,
To track the way the Gheber went!"
Vain wish-confusedly along

They rush, more desperate as more wrong;
Till, wilder'd by the far-off lights,
Yet glittering up those gloomy heights,
Their footing, mazed and lost, they miss,
And down the darkling precipice
Are dash'd into the deep abyss ;—
Or midway hang, impaled on rocks,
A banquet, yet alive, for flocks
Of ravening vultures,-while the dell
Re-echoes with each horrible yell.

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