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THE STATUES;

OR, THE

STORY OF ZEYNU 'LASNÂM.

CANTO 1.

Deep was the sorrow through Bassora spread;

A nation mourning for its father dead.
Such was the prince who late the sceptre sway'd ;
Gladly the people whom they lov'd obey'd.
The sentiment was sorrow, not despair ;
For great the promise of the kingdom's heir.
His form was graceful, and a noble mind
Beam'd from his eyes, at once resolv'd and kind:
Expert, and brave in arms, the prince appears

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With various knowledge fraught beyond his years ;

And (which the public gaze attracted more)
A name of dark mysterious sense he bore,
Zeynu 'lAsnâm, b'importing, in the tongue
In which the prophet of the Koreish e sung,
The glory of the Statues. It was giv'n,
(So fame reported) by command of heav'n,
With prophecies obscure, and omens dread
Of strange events, among the vulgar spread;
But all portending to the prince a fate
Distinguish'd, and, though full of danger, great.
The subjects hop'd the faith, and wisdom try'd

Of the vizier, his early steps might guide;

.b Zeynu 'Asnaum. The Arabic words signify the ornament of Statues, and the proper figure of the words is Zeynu al Asnaum ; u or oo, is the termination of the noun; al, is the article; but the Arabians, contrary to the practice of the European nations, make the elision of the vowel of the second word, and incorporate, as it were, the second word with the first, so that the strict pronunciation is Zeynul Asnaum. The long vowel in the concluding syllable of Asnaum denotes the plural number. According to the analogy of the Arabian language, what we call Abdallah should be Abdoo'llah, and it is always so pronounced by the Orientals.

c Mahomet was of the tribe 'Beni Koreish.

And much of good they boded, when they saw
The youth observe the queen with filial awe;
A princess, by her consort call’d to share
The splendour of his kingdom, and the care.
Thus soon the clouds of grief were chas'd away,
Before the brightness of the rising day.

A year had pass’d, when now the royal daine
Summond Abdoo’llah ('twas the vizier's name)
To stand before her throne. With doubts opprest,
Maternal feeling swell'd her heaving breast.
For much she heard of riotous abuse ;
Unseemly luxury, expense profuse : ,
The public strength was mould'ring in decay ;
The laws neglected left the poor a prey;
Oppression triumph’d, and the groans and tears
Of millions never reach'd the sovereign's ears,
Or never touch'd his heart; the robber bore. .
The sword which sacred justice rear'd before.
The minister confirm'd the shameful tale.
He liy'd to see the kingdom's glory fail :

Loose dalliance fill the hours the public claim;
And the king's life the kingly state defame. ..
Buffoons and revellers in council plac'd;
Experience scorn'd, and rev’rend age disgrac'd..
The mother and the queen indignant rose;
She felt her private, and the public woes.
And to the monarch bade th' attendants bear
Her message, to require his private ear.
And not in vain the mandate they impart,
For uncorrupted was his generous heart. . com
Instant he came, impatient to fulfil,
To heaven obedient, her maternal will,
In her most honour'd presence, all the pride
Of stately royalty was laid aside.
He knelt before her, and attentive caught i n
Her words, and anxious watch'd each rising thought.
“God," she began, " ordain'd thy fayour'd birth, .
My son, above the vulgar race of earth.'

Thy lot was royal power. He bade thee bear : * The crown, and be his great vicegerent here: ..

• Vicegerent of that spirit, who alone
* Dispenses good from his eternal throne,
• Parent of all that lives, whose power protects
• With mighty arm, whose holy light directs. :
• He bade thee from a noble father spring,
• His servant; one who was indeed a king ;
* And gave thee all the qualities that move
• Respect and wonder, and conciliate love.
• Prophets thy greatness and thy fame foretold,
* Not such as may be bought with sordid gold;
• Which, while the slothful and the vile obtain,
• The wise and good behold with just disdain ;
• But after dangers bravd, and toil sustain'd,
. And right by patience, and with pain maintain'd,

• Th' immortal wreath which binds the hero's brows.

• Which virtue gives, and heaven well-pleas'd allows. • To thee thy father left a glorious throne : * Among the lords of earth be stood alone. • His people lov'd him, for he made them blest : · His neighbours prais'd, for justice ruld his breast.

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