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


The Absians return home in triumph, and King Zoheir comes to meet them at the lake Zatool-irsad, where he gives a grand

p. 204

feast to celebrate the exploits of Antar. In the midst of the entertainment a gallant knight of the tribe of Mazin, with a hundred followers, comes riding up to the royal pavilion, and implores the King's succour. He is Hassan, the foster-brother of Prince Malik. He had, he informs the King, long loved Naeema, the beautiful daughter of his uncle Nedjem. A wealthy chief named Awef had come as a suitor for his fair cousin, and her father feared to offend so powerful a knight by a refusal. Hassan, however, had settled the matter in his own favour by encountering Awef and dismounting him, and only spared his life on the intercession of his uncle Nedjem, who reminded him that Awef had eaten his bread and been under his protection; but he cuts off his hair and sends him away in ignominy. Thus far, all was well; but Hassan had nothing for his cousin's dowry; so he sets off to procure one in the usual way, by plundering some other tribe. He returns with immense wealth, and finds that Oosak, a still more powerful chief, had demanded his betrothed in marriage, and had been refused by her father; and now Oosak, with all the warriors of Cahtan, was on his way to attack the tribe—and therefore he had come to beg the help of King Zoheir in repelling the threatened invasion.

No sooner had Hassan finished his story than Antar started to his feet, and eagerly offered his services, and Zoheir gave Prince Malik leave to accompany the hero, with a thousand chosen warriors.

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