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


On the following day the Absians encounter five hundred horsemen, all clad in steel, and led by Gheidac, a haughty chief, whose father Antar had killed in one of his former expeditions. Gheidac and his troops were advancing to assist Oosak in his purposed attack on the tribe of Mazin, when they fell in with the warriors of Abs. "They all rushed forward, and horsemen encountered horsemen. Cowards fled, and the weak-hearted were disgraced; but the bold were firm in the assault, and the equals in courage met each other in the field. The earth trembled under the trampling of the horses; the heavens were obscured with the

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clouds of dust; the warriors were covered with wounds, and the swords laboured in the cause of death: exertion was alive, and all jest was at an end." Thus the battle raged till mid-day, when Antar and Gheidac met, and after a desperate combat, the Absian hero, having wearied his antagonist, at length struck him a blow with Dhami, and cleft him—and his horse as well.

On seeing their chief fall, Gheidac's warriors took to flight, and the Absians, after collecting the horses and plunder, resumed their journey and proceeded until they reached the tribe of Mazin. Here all was confusion and dismay; for Oosak and his horsemen were already busy plundering the women's quarter, and Antar, who was ever "solicitous in the cause of women," rushed with his warriors upon the dastards, scattering them to the right and left—"mighty was every act, and fate descended among them."

"Antar eagerly sought after the plume that floated above the head of Oosak, and he stopped not in attack until he was beneath the standard where Oosak was waiting for his people to bring him Naeema; neither could he be roused till Antar came before him and encountered him. Then ensued a dreadful engagement. The combat lasted an hour; when nerveless sunk the arm of Oosak. Antar, seeing the state he was in, clung to him, and grappled him; and drawing his sword from the scabbard, he aimed a blow at his head, but Oosak received it on his shield. The sword of Antar came down upon it and shivered it in two, and split his vizor in twain, and it penetrated even to his thighs, down to the back of the horse; and the rider and the horse fell in four parts; and he cried out—'O by Abs! I am ever the lover of Abla! never will I be controlled! I will not be restrained!'

Oosak's followers then wheeled about their horses and sought security among the rocks of the desert. The horsemen of Abs and of Mazin, having pursued them out of the land, returned to the tents, where Hassan entertained Antar and his comrades at feasts during seven days, and on the eighth night he was married to his beloved Naeema. Next day the warriors of Abs returned to their own country.

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