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her. Scarcely had he obeyed her, her beautiful tresses sweeping the and recovering from his confusion, ground, and raised her look to his begun to declare the passion he felt, with love and tenderness unutterable when the loud sound of voices and -be clasped her to his bosom, when steps rapidly approaching the Serai she suddenly broke from his arms, was heard. Semid started up, and scorn and indignation flashed from paralysed by his feelings, gazed al- her eyes, and the sounds that rang ternately at the lady, and at the in his ears as he awoke were her door, through which he every mo curse and laugh of mockery and conment expect:d the guards to burst tempt. It was mid-day, and many with the sentence of death. In the had sought shelter from the sultry agony of her fear, she clasped his heat beneath the orange and citron hand so convulsively in hers, as, on trees around; sherbet and coffee his sudden starting from her side, to were supplied by some of the sellers draw unconsciously the green ring who had arranged their small shops from his finger.
on the spot.
Semid gazed wildly on At that moment she uttered a loud the various groups, for among them cry, and fixed her dark eyes on him, he discovered some of his dearest inbut their expression was-no longer timates; he would have rushed tolove; in place of the beautiful and wards them, to share in their gay conmatchless Semid, stood before her verse, to hear from their lips, perhaps, a venerable man, in appearance like some words of consolation ; but his an Imaun; his beard hung down to his robe was pulled by some children, girdle, his thin grey locks were scat who gazing up at the venerable and tered over his wrinkled front, and his striking features of him they took for look was sad and imploring. Just an Imaun, besought his blessing. at this instant, Hussein and his at “ Blessing from me!” cried Semid; tendants burst into the apartment, the thought was to his soul more and searched in vain with bitter im- bitter than the Erak tree to the faprecations for the traitor Semid; the mished traveller “O Allah, who hast stranger, whose appearance bespoke quenched the light of my path sudhim either a Hakim, or physician, ordenly, and crushed me by thy doom : a teacher of religion, was suffered to had I sunk slowly from youth to dedepart unmolested. He rushed wild- crepitude, the rich pleasures of the ly into the streets of the city—they world would have passed gently from were silent and deserted, for every my grasp: but yesterday, strength inhabitant had retired to rest; but and glorious beauty were in this there was no rest for the soul of Semid, frame, and now it bends into the no calm for the hopeless sorrow and tomb; the friends of my soul pass devouring despair which now agitat- me in their pride, and know me not. ed it; he had cast from him for ever Who now shall love the wretched the only gift that would have raised Semid ? ” He bent his steps towards him in the career of life, and when the city and sought an obscure lodghe gazed on his withered form, felting ; he shunned the crowded streets his limbs tremble, and the chill blast and sweet promenades by the river wave his white locks, he lifted his side, and retired to a cottage in the staff towards heaven, and cursed the gardens near the city, that hour when the stranger's steps came shrouded by the mass of cypress and to the cottage of his father; and the fruit trees amidst which it stood. still more fatal seduction of beauty Here, as solitude became more famiwhich now left shame and wretched- liar to him, he began to regard the ness his only portion. He paced in- utter desolation of his condition with cessantly the empty streets, which less anguish of spirit: at evening, he returned no sound save his own step, sometimes frequented the places, till the day dawned, and the nume where the Imauns, the Muftis, and rous population began to appear, and the learned of the city, associated ; the coffee-houses to fill, when he hur- among these venerable men, his apried into the retreats of the gardens.' pearance ensured him respect; in Wom out with fatigue and anguish, their conversations on the deep things he fell fast asleep beneath the trees, of religion, of nature, and of destiny, but that sleep was worse than wak- his mind became expanded and aniing; the Circassian knelt before him, mated; he devoted his daily solitude
to the study of the Koran, of medi- the kindness and veneration paid him, cine, and other sciences, with such the spirits of the wanderer were elevasuccess,
that he became in time famous ted, and he forgot his sorrows for athroughout the city; and the learned while, gazed on the group before him Imaun was admired, and listened to with a delighted eye, and began to by all :—while others hung on the converse with so much eloquence and words that fell from his lips, while wisdom that the auditors listened the aged were silent, and the gay with hushed and eager attention : he and thoughtless composed before him, talked of the vicissitudes with which new sources of consolations opened Allah visits our path of life, of death, to his spirit, new motives attached and the scenes of beauty and everhim to life. Even then, as he passed lasting bloom reserved for the faithby the splendid palaces in which his ful: when he suddenly paused—the presence was once courted, and heard children of the family had clasped the sounds of joy within, and, bitterer his knees, and were gazing on his than all, than even the despairing features—the sound of the torrent doom of the halls of Eblis, when wo- dashing over its rocky path had man's haughty step and look of re- caught his ear—and that groupsistless beauty, that sought him with that hour—all brought back the vivid, allurement and delight, were now the bitter memory of what had been. turned from the decayed Imaun with He clasped his hands, and uttered a pity and aversion; he felt misery, cry of anguish—“Onsuch a night," he that wisdom was unavailing to cure. exclaimed, “came the stranger to my To fly from these scenes he resolved native home, as the Orontes rushed to quit Damascus for ever; and at sun- by in its fury; amidst the voice of the rise he issued out of the northern storm he prayed for shelter, and his gate that conducts to Haleb. All the words of melody lured me away. O day he pursued his journey, and at my father and my mother! whose night always found a kind welcome looks are bent over the desert for the in the Syrian cottages. On the fifth steps of your son; never can you beevening the sky shewed a fiery and un- hold him again : were he to apprcach usual splendour; and night quickly your door, you would thrust him came down on the scene; ushering in away as an impostor ; and his wione of those furious tempests which thered form would be bent in anguish arise so suddenly in the east: the over the scenes of his childhood :' rain fell in torrents, and the deep and “mock not my misery with their darkness was only broken by the presence,” he said, as he thrust the lightning that flashed on the moun children from him with a trembling tain path of Semid; he paused and hand. “ Let me roam again through listened, but there was no sound, save the storm and darkness, but see not the loud voice of the blast as it rush- their eyes bent on mine, hear not ed through the rocky passes, and the their voice calling on me, whose wiriver foaming over its course be- thering heart can never know a faneath; overcome by fatigue, he de- ther's love—my childless, dark, and spaired of reaching any place of shel- desolate path! O! for a mother's ter, when he suddenly perceived the tears falling on this hopeless bosom light of some cottages on the declivi- —but it may not be." "He bent his ty above. He entered one of them head to the earth, and the tears with the salutation “Salam Alicum," streamed fast down his withered peace be to you, seldom coldly listen- cheek; the villagers gazed with ed to; the cottagers spread for the wonder at the stranger's emotion, but venerable wanderer their best mat on it grew late, and they dropped off the floor, in the midst of which the one after the other to their homes. fire burned bright and cheerfully, and After a night of disturbed repose, instantly prepared a simple repast, Semid bade an early adieu to these followed by coffee and the chibouque; friendly people, and pursued his the neighbours entered to sit with journey; the day was beautiful, the stranger in token of respect and and descending the region of mounhonour; the young peasants danced tains, he entered on a rich and extento the guitar and pipe, and many a sive plain, and at last drew near mountain song was sung.
Pleased one of those Khans, built in lonely at this scene of gaiety and joy, and hy situations for the accommodation of
travellers; it was divided into two exert all his skill, for that she whọ
lips; her eyes, commanding even in
streets and dwellings of Haleb, and pect, who listened with delight and on the sands of the desert that encir- wonder to the discourse of the cled them without. What a charm stranger, which few could hear unhad that stillness and solitude for moved, as to his youth and exquithe heart of Semid then; in the site beauty were now added the wisfulness of its delight he fixed his dom and experience he had acquired eagle eye on the blue and cloudless as an Imaun. As they drew near the sky, and on the dreary wastes ai termination of their journey, the round; his feelings were indescrib- merchant of Bagdad grew more and able. As his firm and haughty more attached to Semid, and earnstep passed rapidly along, his dark estly pressed him, as he had no home hair fell in profusion on his neck, of his own, to reside under his roof, and the folds of his garment dis partake of the toils and cares of his played the contour of his graceful business, and be to him as a son. Jimbs “ Again,” he exclaimed, They soon beheld the Tigris flowing “youth, and beauty, and power are in its pride beneath the walls of Bagmine; men will gaze on me with dad, and entered the gardens of palmenvy, and woman's eye shall be no trees on its banks. Passing through more turned from this form with pity several narrow and unpaved streets, and aversion ; and the world is to the merchant and his friend stopped me once more a field of pleasure, tri- at the low door of a' mean-looking umph, and love.” At that moment habitation. Being admitted, a scene the Muezzin's voice was heard from of luxury appeared within. The the summit of the white minaret call- court or area was adorned by a noing to prayers, and the wanderer fell on ble fountain, over which hùng the his knees, and poured out his heart- orange and lemon trees ; recesses in felt thanks to Allah, who had caused the walls, covered with cushions and the clouds of sorrow to pass from his carpets, invited to repose; and the path, and made its desolation as the interior apartments were splendidly gardens of the blest.
furnished; but when the merchant of He resolved immediately to quit Bagdad, after the travellers had the city, and enjoy the pleasure of bathed and perfumed themselves, travelling through new and distant bade a slave call his child, his scenes, and having purchased horses, Houlema, to welcome her father and and hired a servant, he departed, and his friend, Semid saw only the form, directed his course towards Bagdad. heard only the voice, of the girl of
On the evening of the second day Bagdad. It was evening, and the . he overtook a small caravan of mer- cool apartment, with its trelliscd and chants travelling the same route, with projecting windows, hung over the their camels loaded with the costly waters beneath; the moon, that lit silks and stuffs of Syria. Their pro- up the waves
and their shores, gress, as of all the eastern caravans, cast her light through the open was slow, and as night drew on, lattice-work at which sat Houlema, they halted in some spot which pos- who had taken her guitar, and as sessed a shade and a fountain of she sang verses expressive of the water. The tents were then pitched, joys of home, and its dear affections, the fires lighted, and the camels tum- after long and cruel separations, like ed loose in the desert; the evening the cool wave of the Tigris amidst meal was prepared in the open air by the burning sands that surround it, the domestics, who had spread the her voice was inexpressibly:sweet. Her rich carpets on the earth, and the form was of the middle size, and her merchants having quickly and spar- complexion excessively fair; her eyes ingly partaken of the repast, formed were hazel, her hair dark, and her a circle, sipped their coffee, and con- bust lovelier than was ever formversed at intervals; while the Arab ed by a Grecian sculptor; the small camel-drivers seated round their fire, and delicate foot was no way conate their coarse repast, and told their cealed by the rich sandal that held it, tales with infinite animation. The and the white and rounded arm was following day, as they pursued their exposed nearly to the shoulder ; journey, Semid fell into conversation in her whole air, in every look and with one of the merchants, an elderly word, there was a spirit, a vivacity, man, of a mild and impressive as- as if the soul itself were infused in iti
As Semid gazed and listened to her opposite shore of the Tigris, heard voice, he felt a charm come over his those sweet sounds wasted across in spirit, far different to that which the the stillness of the night, and listsuperior beauty of the Circassian had ened with rapture. The next day he inspired.
told his prince that he had heard meHis venerable patron now began lody, such as none but the Houris to initiate him in the details of com who attend the blest could have merce, sent him sometimes with a made, and that the woman who poscaravan of merchandise to Bussora, sessed such a voice must be inexand other parts of the Persian gulf, pressibly beautiful. and assigned him a portion of his The Prince's curiosity was gains. Semid saw his increasing for- wakened, he directed inquiries to be tune with indifference, in every jour- made, and was soon acquainted that ney always anticipating the hour of it was the daughter of the old merreturn; he gazed with rapture from chant, whose melody was only inafar on the blue wave of the Tigris ferior to her loveliness. Resolved to that circled round the dwelling of his gratify his passionate desire of seeing beloved Houlema. The father, who her, he put on the disguise of a merfrom the first had destined his only chant, who sold precious stones and child for his favourite, to whom he ornaments, and being admitted with felt as to an only son, saw their some difficulty, by displaying some growing passion with pleasure. Often splendid jewels to the sight of Houwhen the lovers were seated in the lema, was enraptured with her beaucool kiosque that overlooked the ty. On the following day he sent for wide plain beyond the city, Semid the father, and demanded his daughtold of the various scenes and re ter in marriage ; the old man, unverses he had passed through, while dazzled by the prospect of grandeur his fine eyes and matchless features for his child, and faithful to his probeamed with affection; Houlema mise to Semid, gave a submissive but thought she never had beheld so fas- decided refusal. Although enraged cinating a being, or listened to a at having his hopes crossed by a voice of such soul-touching melody. subject, yet confiding in his own atTill then new to love, she yielded re tractions and rank, he came, magsistlessly to her passion; she then nificently attired and attended, to the took her guitar, and sang of the bliss merchant's house, and requesting an of kindred spirits, devoted to each interview with Houlema in her faother's love, till blasted by incon- ther's presence, he declared his passtancy and coldness, like the angels sion, and offered her his heart and Haruth and Maruth, who lived glo- throne, declaring he would part with rious in the realms of Allah, ere, his harem, and cease to love any tempted to wander to the scenes of other woman for her sake. Houlema earth, they fell. “ She loves me for shrank from the splendid offer; her myself alone,” thought Semid, “and lover, beautiful and devoted, rushed not for my beauty, unlike the youth- to her thoughts ; she felt how dear ful Circassian, whose impetuous and he was to her: again she looked on sudden affection wrought my ruin: the imploring Prince; he was very Lred up in retirement, and untainted handsome, his dignity gave him adby dissipation, in her tenderness I ditional attractions; and, when he shall find a resting-place at last.” swore, by the Prophet and the So thought the wanderer, who with Caaba, that she should be the sole all his sorrows and experience knew companion of his life and love, the not yet the inconstancy of woman, admired and adored of his court, the when assailed through her vanity or words were inexpressibly sweet to beauty,
her. Seduced by such tenderness Semid had been absent for some and devotion, and the glowing picwecks on a journey to Basra, and tures her lover drew of her future one evening Houlema was solacing glory as the Princess of Bagdad, she herself with music in the apartment consented at last to become his bride. in which she had so often sat with Semid, full of anticipations of love him, and anticipating his return, and happiness, returned to Bagdad, when the chief officer of the Pacha and hastened to the home of his of Bagdad returning home on the friend, who met him with a counte