OH FT OF
Miss Sue Dunbar
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BY R. SOUTHEY.
TO S~0^CtV TO) (wowm.
Lucian, Quomodo Hist. Scribenda.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
Published by T. B. Wait and Co. and Charles Williams.
CONTENTS OF VOL. II.
Book VI 5
Notes • 23
Book VII 41
Book VIII 71
Book IX 113
Book XI 215
Book XII 251
THALABA THE DESTHOYER.
THE SIXTH BOOK.
Then did I see a pleasant Paradise,
Full of sweet flowers and daintiest delights.
Such as on earth man could not more devise
With pleasures choice to feed his cheerful sprights;
Not that which Merlin by his magic slights
Made for the gentle squire to entertain
H«s fair Belpheebe, could this garden stain.
, Spenser, Ruins of T'ime.
So from the inmost cavern, Thalaba
Retrod the windings of the rock.
Still on the ground the giant limbs
Of Zohak were outstretch'd ;
The spell of sleep had ceas'd,
And his broad eyes were glaring on the youth :
Yet rais'd he not his arm to bar the way,
Fearful to rouse the snakes
Now lingering o'er their meal.
VOIu II. 1
Oh then, emerging from that dreadful cave,
How grateful did the gale of night
Salute his freshen'd sense !
How full of lightsome joy,
Thankful to Heaven, he hastens by the verge
Of that bitumen lake,
Whose black and heavy fumes,
Surge heaving after surge,
Iloll'd like the billowy and tumultuous sea.
The song of many a bird at morn
Arous'd him from his rest.
Lo ! by his side a courser stood !
More animate of eye,
Of form more faultless never had he seen,
More light of limbs and beautiful in strength,
Among the race whose blood,
Pure and unmingled, from the royal steeds
Of Solomon came down.
The chosen Arab's eye
Glanced o'er his graceful shape,
His rich caparisons,
His crimson trappings gay.
But when he saw the mouth
Uncurb'd, the unbridled neck,
Then flush'd his cheek, and leapt his heart •
For sure he deem'd that Heaven had sent
The courser, whom no erring hand should guide.
And lo ! the eager Steed
Throws his head, and paws the ground,
Impatient of delay !
Then up leapt Thalaba,
And away went the self-govern'd steed.
Far over the plain
Away went the bridleless steed ;
With the dew of the morning his fetlocks were wet,
The foam froth'd his limbs in the journey of noon,
Nor stay'd he till over the westerly heaven
The shadows of evening had spread.
Then on a sheltered bank
The appointed Youth repos'd,
And by him laid the docile courser down.
Again in the grey of the morning
Thalaba bounded up ;
Over hill, over dale,
Away goes the bridleless steed.
Again at eve he stops,
Again the youth descends ;
His load discharged, his errand done,
Then bounded the courser away.
Heavy and dark the eve ;
The Moon was hid on high,
A dim light only tinged the mist
That crost her in the path of Heaven
All living sounds had ceas'd,
Only the flow of waters near was heard,
A low and lulling melody.
Fasting, yet not of want
Percipient, he on that mysterious steed
Had reach'd his resting-place,
For expectation kept his nature up.
The flow of waters now
Awoke a feverish thirst :
Led by the sound, he mov'd
To seek the grateful wave.
A meteor in the hazy air
Play'd before his path ;
Before him now it roll'd
A globe of livid fire ;
And now contracted to a steady light,
As when the solitary hermit prunes
His lamp's long undulating flame *.
And now its wavy point
Up-blazing rose, like a young cypress tree
Sway'd by the heavy wind ;
Anon to Thalaba it mov'd,
And wrapt him in its pale innocuous fire :
Now in the darkness drown'd,
Left him with eyes bedimm'd,
And now emerging, spread the scene to sight.
Led by the sound and meteor-flame,
Advanced the Arab youth.
Now to the nearest of the many rills
He stoops ; ascending steam
Timely repels his hand ;
For from its source it sprung, a boiling tide.
A second course with better hap he tries,
The wave intensely cold
Tempts to a copious draught.
There was a virtue in the wave ;
His limbs, that, stiff with toil,
Dragg*d heavy, from the copious draught receiv'd
Lightness and supple strength.
O'erjoy'd, and deeming the benignant Power,
Who sent the reinless steed,
Had blest the healing waters to his use,
VOL. II. 1*
He laid him down to sleep ;
Lull'd by the soothing and incessant sound,
The flow of many waters, blending oft
With shriller tones and deep low murmurings,
Which from the fountain caves
In mingled melody
Like faery musick, heard at midnight, came.
The sounds that last he heard at night
Awoke his sense at morn.
A scene of wonders lay before his eyes.
In mazy windings o'er the vale
Wandered a thousand streams ;
They in their endless flow had channell'ddeep
The rocky soil o'er which they ran,
Veining its thousand islet stones,
Like clouds that freckle o'er the summer sky ;
The blue ethereal ocean circling each,
And insulating all —
A thousand shapes they wore, those islet stones,
And Nature, with her various tints,
Varied anew their thousand forms :
For some were green with moss,
Some rich with yellow lichen's gold,
Or ruddier tinged, or grey, or silver-white,
Or sparkling sparry radiance to the sun.
Here gush'd the fountains up,
Alternate light and blackness, like the play
Of sunbeams on the warrior's burnish'd arms.
Yonder the river roll'd, whose bed,
Their labyrinthine lingerings o'er,
Received the confluent rills.
This was a wild and wonderous scene,
Strange and beautiful, as where
By Oton-tala, like a sea of stars,
The hundred sources of Hoangho burst.
High mountains clos'd the vale,
Bare rocky mountains, to all living things
Inhospitable ; on whose sides no herb
Rooted, no insect fed, no bird awoke
Their echoes, save the Eagle, strong of wing;
A lonely plunderer, that afar
Sought in the vales his prey.
Thither towards those mountains Thalaba
Advanced, for well he ween'd that there had Fate
Destin'd the adventure's end.
Up a wide vale winding amid their depths,
A stony vale between receding heights
Of stone, he wound his way.
A cheerless place ! the solitary Bee,
Whose buzzing was the only sound of life,
Flew there on restless wing,
Seeking in vain one blossom, where to fix.
Still Thalaba holds on ;
The winding vale now narrows on his way,
And steeper of ascent,
Rightward and leftward rise the rocks,
And now they meet across the vale.
Was it the toil of human hands
Had hewn a passage in the rock,
Through whose rude portal-way
The light of heaven was seen ?
Rude and low the portal-way ;
Beyond the same ascending straits,
Went winding up the wilds.
Still a bare, silent, solitary glen,
A fearful silence, and a solitude
That made itself be felt ;
And steeper now the ascent,
A rugged path, that tired
The straining muscles, toiling slowly up.
At length again a rock
Stretch'd o'er the narrow vale.
There also was a portal hewn,
But gates of massy iron barrM the way,
Huge, solid, heavy-hinged.
There hung a horn beside the gate,
Ivory-tipt and brazen-mouthM ;
He took the ivory tip,
And through the brazen mouth he breath'd j
From rock to rock rebounding rung the blast,
Like a long thunder peal !
The gates of iron, by no human arm.
Unfolded, turning on their hinges slow,
Disclos'd the passage of the rock.
He entered, and the iron gates
Fell to, and clos'd him in.
It was a narrow winding way ;
Dim lamps suspended from the vault,
Lent to the gloom an agitated light.
Winding it pierced the rock,
A long descending path
By gates of iron clos'd ;
There also hung the horn beside
Of ivory tip and brazen mouth;
Again he took the ivory tip,
And gave the brazen mouth his voice again.
Not now in thunder spake the horn,
But pour'd a sweet and thrilling melody:
The gates flew open, and a flood of light
Rush'd on his dazzled eyes.
Was it to earthly Eden, lost so long,
The youth had found the wonderous way?
But earthly Eden boasts
No terraced palaces,
No rich pavilions, bright with woven gold,
Like these that in the vale
Rise amid odorous groves.
,The astonish'd Thalaba,
Doubting as though an unsubstantial dream
Beguil'd his passive sense,
A moment clos'd his eyes ;
Still they were there, — the palaces and groves.
And rich pavilions glittering golden light.
And lo ! a man, reverend in comely age,
Advancing meets the youth.
" Favour'd of Fortune," he exclaim'd, " go taste
The joys of Paradise !
The reinless steed that ranges o'er the world,
Brings hither those alone for lofty deeds
Mark'd by their horoscope ; permitted here
A foretaste of the full beatitude,
That in heroic acts they may go on
More ardent, eager to return and reap
Endless enjoyment here, their destin'd meed.
Favour'd of Fortune thou, go taste
The joys of Paradise !"
This said, he turn'd away, and left
The Youth in wonder mute ;
For Thalaba stood mute,
And passively receiv'd
The mingled joy which flow'd on every sense.
Where'er his eye could reach,
Fair structures, rainbow-hued, arose ;
And rich pavilions through the opening woods
Gleam 'd from their waving curtains sunny gold ;
And winding through the verdant vale,
Flow'd streams of liquid light;
And fluted cypresses reai^d up
Their living obelisks ;
And broad-leav'd plane-trees in long colonnades
O'er-arch'd delightful walks,
Where round their trunks the thousand-tendril'd
Wound up and hung the boughs with greener
And clusters not their own.
Wearied with endless beauty, did his eyes
Return for rest ? beside him teems the earth
With tulips, like the ruddy evening streak'd ;
And here the lily hangs her head of snow ;
And here amid her sable cup
Shines the red eye-spot, like one brightest star,
The solitary twinkler of the night ;
And here the rose expands
Her paradise of leaves.
Then on his ear what sounds
Of harmony arose !
Far musick and the distance-mellow'd song
From bowers of merriment ;
The waterfall remote ;
The murmuring of the leafy groves ;
The single nightingale
Perch'd in the rosier by, so richly ton'd,
That never from that most melodious bird,
Singing a love-song to his brooding mate,
Did Thracian shepherd by the grave
Of Orpheus hear a sweeter melody ;
Though there the Spirit of the Sepulchre
All his own power infuse, to swell
The incense that he loves.
And oh ! what odours the voluptuous vale
Scatters from jasmine bowers,
From yon rose wilderness,
From cluster'd henna, and from orange groves,
That with such perfumes fill the breeze,
As Peris to their Sister bear,
When from the summit of some lofty tree
She hangs encaged, the captive of the Dives.
They from their pinions shake
The sweetness of celestial flowers,
And, as her enemies impure
From that impervious poison far away
Fly groaning with the torment, she the while
Inhales her fragrant food.
Such odours flow'd upon the world,
When at Mohammed's nuptials, word
Went forth in Heaven, to roll
The everlasting gates of Paradise
Back on their living hinges, that its gales
Might visit all below ; the general bliss
vol. II. 2
TJirill'd every bosom, and the family
Of man, for once, partook one common jojr.
Full of the joy, yet still awake
To wonder, on went Thai aba ;
On every side the song of mirth,
The musick of festivity,
Invite the passing youth.
Wearied at length with hunger and with heat,
He enters in a banquet room,
Where round a fountain brink,
On silken carpets sate the festive train.
Instant through all his frame
Delightful coolness spread ;
The playing fount refresh'd
The agitated air ;
The very light came cool'd through silvering panes
Of pearly shell, like the pale moon-beam tinged ;
Or where the wine-vase fill'd the aperture,
Rosy as rising morn, or softer gleam
Of saffron, like the sunny evening mist :
Through every hue, and streak'd by all,
The flowing fountain play\L
Around the water-edge
Vessels of wine, alternate placed,
Ruby and amber, tinged its little waves.
From golden goblets there
The guests sate quaffing the delicious juice
Of Shiraz* golden grape.
But Thalaba took not the draught ;
For rightly he knew had the Prophet forbidden
That beverage, the mother of sins.
Nor did the urgent guests
Proffer a second time the liquid fire ;
For in the youth's strong eye they saw
No moveable resolve.
Yet not uncourteous, ^halaba
Drank the cool draught of innocence.
That fragrant from its dewy vase
Came purer than it left its native bed.
And he partook the odorous fruits,
For all rich fruits were there.
Water-melons rough of rind,
Whose pulp the thirsty lip
Dissolved into a draught :
Pistachios from the heavy-cluster'd trees
Of Malavert, or Haleb's fertile soil,
And Casbin's luscious grapes of amber hue,
That many a week endure
The summer sun intense,
Till by its powerful fire
All watery particles exhal'd, alone
The strong essential sweetness ripens there.
Here cased in ice, the apricot,
A topaz, crystal -set :
Here, on a plate of snow,
The sunny orange rests ;
And still the aloes and the sandal-wood,
From golden censers, o'er the banquet room
Diffuse their dying sweets.
Anon a troop of females form'd the dance,
Their ancles bound with bracelet-bells,
That made the modulating harmony.
Transparent garments to the greedy eye
Gave all their harlot limbs,
Which writhed, in each immodest gesture skill'd.
With earnest eyes the banqueters
Fed on the sight impure ;
And Thalaba, he gazed,
But in his heart he bore a talisman,
Whose blessed alchemy
To virtuous thoughts refin'd
The loose suggestions of the scene impure.
Oneiza's image swam before his sight,
His own Arabian Maid.
He rose, and from the banquet room he rush'd,
And tears ran down his burning* cheek ;
And nature for a moment woke the thought,
And murmured, that, from all domestic joys
Estranged, he wandered o'er the world
A lonely being, far from ail he lov'd.
Son of Hodeirah, not among thy crimes
That murmur shall be written !
From tents of revelry,
From festal bowers, to solitude he ran ;
And now he reach'd where all the rills
Of that well- watered garden in one tide
Roll'd their collected waves.
A straight and stately bridge
Stretch'd its long arches o'er the ample stream,
Strong in the evening, and distinct its shade
Lay on the watery mirror, and his eye
Saw it united with its parent pile,
One huge fantastic fabric. Drawing near,
Loud from the chambers of the bridge below,
Sounds of carousal came and song,
And unveil'd women bade the advancing youth
Come merry-make with them !
TOL. II. %*
Unhealing, or unheeding, Thalaba
Past o'er with hurried pace,
And plunged amid the forest solitude.
Deserts of Araby !
His soul return'd to you.
He cast himself upon the earth,
And clos'd his eyes, and call'd
The voluntary vision up.
A cry, as of distress,
Arous'd him ; loud it came, and near !
He started up, he strung his bow,
He pluck'd the arrow forth.
Again a shriek — a woman's shriek !
And lo ! she rushes through the trees,
Her veil all rent, her garments torn I
He follows close, the ravisher —
Even on the unechoing grass
She hears his tread, so near !
" Prophet, save me ! save me, God !
Help ! help !" she cried to Thalaba ;
Thalaba drew the bow.
The unerring arrow did its work of death.
He turn'd him to the woman, and beheld
His own Oneiza, his Arabian Maid.
NOTES TO BOOK VI.
Of Solomon came down. — P. 6.
The Arabian horses are divided into two great
branches ; the Kadischi, whose descent is unknown,
and the Kochlani, of whom a written genealogy
has been kept for 2000 years. These last are
reserved for riding solely ; they are highly es-
teemed, and consequently very dear ; they are
said to derive their origin from King Solomon's
studs ; however this may be, they are fit to bear
the greatest fatigues, and can pass whole days
without food ; they are also said to show uncom-
mon courage against an enemy ; it is even assert-
ed, that when a horse of this race finds himself
wounded, and unable to bear his rider much longer,
he retires from the fray, and conveys him to a
place of security. If the rider falls upon the grourd,
his horse remains beside him, and neighs till as-
sistance is brought. The Kocblani are neither large
nor handsome, but amazingly swift ; the whole race
is divided into several families, each of which has
Us proper name. Some of these nave a higher re-
putation than others, on account of their more an-
cient and uncontaminated nobility. — Niebuhr.
And now emerging t &c— P. 9.
In travelling- by night through the valleys of
Mount Ephraim, we were attended, for above the
space of an hour, with an Ignis Fatuus, that dis-
played itself in a variety of extraordinary appear-
ances. For it was sometimes globular, or like the
flame of a candle ; immediately after it would spread
itself, and involve our whole company in its pale
inoffensive light, then at once contract itself and
disappear. But in less than a minute, it would
^again exert itself as at other times ; or else, run-
ning along from one place to another with a swift
progressive motion, would expand itself, at cer-
tain intervals, over more than two or three acres of
the adjacent mountains. The atmosphere, from
the beginning of the evening, had been remarka-
bly thick and hazy, and the dew, as we felt it upon
our bridles, was unusually clammy and unctuous.
In the like disposition of the weather, I have ob-
served those luminous bodies, which at sea skip
about the masts and yards of ships, and are called
Corpusanse* by the mariners. — Shaw.
• A corruption of Cuerpo Santo, as this meteor is called by the
They in their ejullessjlovi, &c. — P. 10.
The Harnmam Meskouteen, the Silent or Inchant-
ed Baths, are situated on a low ground, surrounded
with mountains. There are several fountains that
furnish the water, which is of an intense heat, and
falls afterwards into the Zenati. At a small distance
from these hot fountains, we have others, which, up-
on comparison, are of as an intense a coldness ; and
a little below them, somewhat nearer the banks of
the Zenati, there are the ruins of a few houses,
built perhaps for the conveniency of such persons
who came hither for the benefit of the waters.
Besides the strong" sulphureous steams of the
Harnmam* Meskouteen, we are to observe farther
of them, that their water is of so intense a heat,
that the rocky ground it runs over, to the distance
sometimes of a hundred feet, is dissolved, or rather
calcined by it. When the substance of these rocks
is soft and uniform, then the water, by making every
way equal impressions, leaveth them in the shape
of cones or hemispheres ; which being six feet
high, and a little more or less of the same diameter,
the Arabs maintain to be so many tents of their pre«
decessors turned into stone. But when these rocks,
besides their usual soft chalky substance, contain
likewise some layers of harder matter, not so easy
* They call the Thermx of this country Hammams^ from
whence our Humuiums)
to be dissolved ; then, in proportion to the resist-
ance the water is thereby to meet with, we are en-
tertained with a confusion of traces and channels,
distinguished by the Arabs into sheep, camels,
horses, nay into men, women, and children, whom
they suppose to have undergone the like fate with
their habitations. I observed that the fountains
which afforded this water, had been frequently stop-
ped up : or rather ceasing" to run at one place, broke
out immediately in another ; which circumstance
seems not only to account for the number of cones,
but for that variety likewise of traces, that are conti-
nued from one or other of these cones or fountains,
quite down to the river Zenati.
This place, in riding over it, giveth back such a
hollow sound, that we were afraid every moment of
sinking through it. It is probable, therefore, that
the ground below us was hollow j and may not the
air then, which is pent up within these caverns, af-
ford, as we may suppose, in escaping continually
Ih rough these fountains, that mixture of shrill,
murmuring, and deep sounds, which, according to
the direction of the winds and the motion of the ex-
ternal air, issue out along with the water ? The
Arabs, to quote their strength of imagination once
more, affirm these sounds to be the musick of the
Jenoune, Fairies, who are supposed, in a particular
manner, to make their abodes at this place, and to
be tlie grand agents in all these extraordinary ap-
There are other natural curiosities likewise at
this place. For the chalky stone being dissolved
into a fine impalpable powder, and carried down af-
terwards with the stream, lodgeth itself upon the
sides of the channel, nay, sometimes upon the lips
of the fountains themselves ; or else, embracing
twigs, straws, and other bodies in its way, imme-
diately hardeneth, and shoots into a bright fibrous
substance, like the Asbestos, forming itself at the
same time into a variety of glittering figures, and
beautiful crystallizations. — Sbaw.
By Oton-tala, like a sea of stars. — P. 11.
In the place where the Whang-ho rises, there
are more than an hundred springs which sparkle
like stars, whence it is called Hotun Nor, the Sea of
Stars. These sources form two great lakes called
Hala Nor, the black sea or lake. Afterwards there
appear three or four little rivers, which joined, form
the Whang-ho, which has eight or nine branches.
These sources of the river are called also Oton-tala.
It is in Thibet.— GaubiL Astley's Collect. o/Voy. and
The Whang-ho, or, as the Portuguese call it,
Hoam-ho, i. e. the Yellow River, rises*not far from
the source of the Ganges, in the Tartarian moun-
tains west of China, and having run through it with
a course of more than six hundred leagues, dis-
charges itself into the eastern sea. It hath its name
from a yellow mud which always stains its water
and which, after rains, composes a third part of its
quantity. The watermen clear it for use by throw-
ing in alum. The Chinese say its waters cannot
become clear in a thousand years ; whence it is a
common proverb among them for any tiling which
is never likely to happen, when the yellow river
shall run clear. — Note to the Chinese Tale. Haic
Beyond the same ascending straits, &c. — P, 12.
Among the mountains of the Beni Abbess, four
leagues to the S. E. of the Welled Mansoure, we
pass through a narrow winding defile, which, for
the space of near half a mile, lyeth on each side
under an exceeding high precipice. At every wind-
ing, the Rock or Stratum that originally went across
it, and thereby separated one valley from another,
is cut into the fashion of a door case six or seven
feet wide, giving thereby the Arabs an occasion to
call them Beeban, the Gates ; whilst the Turks, in
consideration of their strength and ruggedness,
know them by the additional appellation of Dammer
Cappy, the Gates of Iron. Few persons pass them
without horror, a handful of men being able to dis-
pute the passage with a whole army. The rivulet
of salt water which glides through this valley, might
possibly first point out the way which art and ne-
cessity would afterwards improve. — Shaw.
Jtfo rich pavilions, bright with woven gold.— P. 14.
In 1568 the Persian Sultan gave the Grand Seig-
neur two most stately pavilions made of one piece,
the curtains being interlaced with gold, and the
supporters embroidered with the same ; also nine
fair canopies to hang over the ports of their pavi-
lions, things not. used among the Christians. —
And broad-leaved Zennars in long colonnades.— *P. 15.
The expenses the Persians are at in their gar-
dens is that wherein they make greatest ostenta-
tion of their wealth. Not that they much mind fur-
nishing of them with delightful flowers as we do in
Europe ; but these they slight as an excessive libe-
rality of Nature, by whom their common fields are
strewed with an infinite number of tulips and other
flowers ; but they are rather desirous to have their
gardens full of all sorts of fruit trees, and especially
to dispose them into pleasant walks of a kind of