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THALABA THE DESTROYER.

THE FIRST BOOK.

How beautiful is night!
A dewy freshness fills the silent air,
No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain,

Breaks the serene of heaven :
In full-orb'd glory yonder Moon divine

Rolls through the dark blue depths.
Beneath her steady ray

The desert-circle spreads,
Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky.

How beautiful is night!

Who at this untimely hour
Wanders o'er the desert sands?

No station is in view,
Nor palm-grove islanded amid the waste.

The mother and her child,
The widowed mother and the fatherless boy,

They at this untimely hour
Wander o'er the desert sands.

Alas! the setting sun
Saw Zeinab in her bliss,
Hodeirah's wife belov’d.
Alas! the wife beloy'd,

The fruitful mother late,
Whom when the daughters of Arabia nam’d,

They wished their lot like her's;
She wanders o'er the desert sands

A wretched widow now,
The fruitful mother of so fair a race,

With only one preserv'd,
She wanders o'er the wilderness.

No tear reliev'd the burthen of her heart;

Stunn'd with the heavy woe, she felt like one Half-waken'd from a midnight dream of blood.

But sometimes when the boy

Would wet her hand with tears, And, looking up to her fix'd countenance, Sob out the name of Mother, then did she

Utter a feeble groan.
At length collecting, Zeinab turn'd her eyes
To heaven, exclaiming, “ Praised be the Lord!

“ He gave, he takes away!
“ The Lord our God is good !"

“ Good is he!” cried the boy, Why are my brethren and my sisters slain?

Why is

niy

father kill'd ? “ Did ever we neglect our prayers, " Or ever lift a hand unclean to heaven? “ Did ever stranger from our tent

• Unwelcom'd turn away?

Mother, he is not good !"

Then Zeinab beat her breast in agony;

"O God forgive my child !

“ He knows not what he says! « Thou know’st I did not teach him thoughts like these,

O Prophet, pardon him!”

She had not wept till that assuaging prayer, ..
The fountains of her eyes were open'd then,

And tears reliev'd her heart.
She rais'd her swimming eyes to Heaven,

“ Allah, thy will be done!
“ Beneath the dispensation of thy wrath

“ I groan, but murmur not. “ A day will come when all things that are dark “ Will be made clear;.. then shall I know, O Lord, Why in thy mercy thou hast stricken me! “ Then see and understand what now

My heart believes and feels!”

Young Thalaba in silence heard reproof,

His brow in manly frowns was knit,

With manly thoughts his heart was full. “ Tell me who slew my father?” cried the boy.

Zeinab replied and said,

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