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

p. 260


Thus, once more, every obstacle to Antar's marriage appears to be removed; but in reality his treacherous uncle is as much averse as ever to his union with Abla, and he soon devises another stratagem to bring about the hero's death. Artfully instructed by her father, Abla demands of Antar that at her marriage she should be as exalted as was Jaida, the daughter of Zahir: when she was married to her cousin Khalid, the son of Moharib, the bridle of her camel was held by the daughter of Moawiyah, son of Nizal. The hero boldly promises that at Abla's marriage Jaida herself shall hold her bridle, with Khalid's head slung round her neck. To this wild proposal the father of Abla pretends opposition; but, as he had anticipated, Antar is resolute; and that same night the hero, eager to gratify the wishes of his darling Abla, set out on his perilous enterprise, exclaiming:

I traverse the wastes, and the night is gloomy: I stray over the wilds, and the sands are parching; I desire no other companion but the sword, whether, on the day of horrors, the foe be few or numerous.

Ye beasts of the desert! beware of the warrior; for when he brandishes his scimitar, caution avails not.

Accompany me: ye will behold prostrate carcasses, and the birds darting at them as they hover and look on.

Now that I am going in quest of him, no eternity is there for Khalid.

No, no; let Jaida no longer boast;—short will be the happiness of their country—soon will the tiger come!

p. 261

O Abla! may the riches that come for thee rejoice thee, when Fortune casts me among thy enemies!

O thou, who, with one glance of the eye, hast exposed my life to deadly arrows, whose wounds are frightful—it is well; for thy embrace is an unadulterated paradise, and the flames of separation from thee cannot be endured.

O Mount Saadi! may showers from the rain-cloud ever moisten thee, and may the dew ever refresh thy lands!

How many nights have I travelled in thy society, and lived in happiness, unalloyed by pain, with the damsel who circles the goblets, and whose form shines among them like the flame of wine!

The maiden who passes them round is of the daughters of Arabia, elegantly formed, and Paradise is in her eye.

If I live, it is she whom I will ever remember: if I die, a night in death with her will be existence!

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