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Arabian Poetry, by W. A. Clouston, [1881], at


To a wedding among a friendly tribe Antar had the honour of escorting a party of Absian women of rank, among whom was the fair Abla, with their attendants. On the way thither some brigands attack them, but Antar, crying, "O by Abs! I am ever the lover of Abla!" dealt his sword-blows among the enemy to such good purpose that many were slain, and the rest fled in dismay. The return of the party from the wedding feast furnished the hero with further opportunities for the display of his prowess; and after encountering several hostile parties, and killing many renowned horsemen, Antar brings home the women of Abs in safety and in triumph.

Shedad naturally exulted in the fame of his slave-son, and even declared his intention of ennobling Antar forthwith; but he was dissuaded from this by his brother Malik, who threatened to quit the tribe should Antar be raised above the condition of a slave. And one night, when Antar, emboldened with wine, presented

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himself before his father, and demanded the rank of an Arab chief, Shedad was enraged at his presumption and threatened to kill him. Antar seeks the counsel and protection of his friend Prince Malik, who expresses his regret that he should thus have offended his father. There is a deal of nature in Antar's reply: "Do not, my lord, reprove my ambition, which often robs me of my wits and discretion; but had I not been intoxicated, this would not have happened, and I should have concealed my wishes, and submitted patiently to my misfortunes till death had overtaken me. But in all circumstances, thou art my master. Ah, my lord!" continued he, "how often have I relieved them from their foes, and no one ever assisted me! Know, too, that I love Abla, the daughter of my uncle Malik, and she drives away sleep from my eyelids, and in my sleepless nights I am united to her; but my father Shedad has cut off all my hope, and misfortunes upon misfortunes overpower me. I only demanded to be recognised as his son, that I might be united to her; but truly all my hopes of her are completely destroyed. No joy now remains for me, and the light of the day is the darkness of night in my eyes. I have no home hut among the wild beasts and the reptiles!" And tears gushed from the eyes of the hero as he expressed his anguish and passion.

The Prince endeavoured to soothe Antar's distress, by the promise of his influence and protection, and Antar remained all that night with Prince Malik.

Next: How Antar Obtained His Horse Abjer