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The Fifth Book.

Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle ; thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

Psalm xviii. 39.

VOL. I.

THALABA THE DESTROYER.

THE FIFTH BOOK.

When Thalaba from adoration rose,

The air was cool, the sky
With welcome clouds o'ercast,

Which soon came down in rain.
He lifted up his fever'd face to heaven,
And bar'd his head, and stretch'd his hands

To that delightful shower,
And felt the coolness flow through every limb,

Freshening his powers of life.

A loud quick panting! Thalaba looks up,
He starts, and his instinctive hand

10

Grasps the knife hilt; for close beside

A Tyger passes him.
An indolent and languid eye

The passing Tyger turn'd;
His head was hanging down,

His dry tongue lolling low,
And the short panting of his fever'd breath
Came through his hot parch'd nostrils painfully.

The young Arabian knew
The purport of his hurried pace,

And following him in hope,
Saw joyful from afar
The Tyger stoop and drink.

The desert Pelican had built her nest

In that deep solitude.
And now, return'd from distant flight,

Fraught with the river-stream,
Her load of water had disburthen'd there.
Her young in the refreshing bath

Sported, all wantonness;

Dipt down their callow heads, Fill’d the swoln membrane from their plumeless throat

Pendant, and bills yet soft;
And buoyant with arch'd breast,
Plied in unpractis'd stroke

The oars of their broad feet.
They, as the spotted prowler of the wild
Laps the cool wave, around their mother crowd,
And nestle underneath her outspread wings.

The spotted prowler of the wild Lapt the cool wave, and satiate, from the nest,

Guiltless of blood, withdrew.

The mother bird had mov'd not,
But cowering o'er her nestlings,
Sate confident and fearless,

And watch'd the wonted guest.
But when the human visitant approach'd

The alarmed Pelican
Retiring from that hostile shape,
Gathers her young, and menaces with wings,

And forward thrusts her threatening neck,
Its feathers ruffing in her wrath,

Bold with maternal fear.
Thalaba drank, and in the water-skin

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