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


On reaching the country of the Zebeedians, Antar finds Khalid absent on a plundering expedition, but he is met by Jaida on horseback, armed as a knight. The warlike lady boldly encounters Antar: she is vanquished, and taken prisoner. Zoheir having summoned his warriors and set out to join Antar, the father of Abla avails himself of this opportunity of again quitting the tribe, and accordingly Malik emigrates with his family, and accompanied by Rebia, to the tribe of Aamir. But here his usual ill-fortune follows him; for the Aamirites are presently attacked by Khalid and his warriors, and Malik and Rebia are taken captive. Returning home, Khalid meets the Absians, and a desperate battle ensues, with great slaughter on both sides. During the following night Antar and Khalid keep watch over their respective tribes: the two chiefs meet; Khalid is slain by the all-conquering hero, and Shiboob cuts off his head as a trophy to grace Abla's wedding. Meantime a general battle takes place, in which the Absians are completely victorious. After the horsemen of Abs had returned from pursuing the enemy and collected the spoil, Antar inquired for Jaida, but she had escaped; Malik and his daughter too were nowhere to be found; and the hero passed a sleepless night, lamenting the loss, once more, of his darling Abla.

At daybreak the noble Absian warriors set out for home, and as they drew near the tents of their tribe, "high and low came out to meet them, and it was a grand day for them all." When friends had greeted friends, all retired to their tents; but Antar remained gazing sorrowfully upon the abandoned and ruined dwelling of Abla; and leaning on his spear, in a voice expressive

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of his poignant grief, he recited these verses, which form the opening of his famous Moällacah:

Have the poets left aught to be repaired in song? Canst thou recollect the abode of thy love, after long meditation?

O dwelling of my Abla! Speak to me from Jiwa! Hail to thee, dwelling of my Abla! secure and safe be thou!

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