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Poems from the Divan of Hafiz, by Getrude Lowthian Bell, [1897], at


Stanza 4.—See Note to Stanza 4 of Poem XXXIII.

The word bezoar comes from two Arabic roots which signify the annihilator of poison. Murray gives several examples of its use by seventeenth and eighteenth century writers in the sense of an antidote, chiefly to snake bites. Topsell, for instance, in his book on Serpents (1607), remarks that "the juice of apples being drunk, and endive, are the proper Bezoar against the venom of a Phalangie"—whatever that may be. The word was also applied to various substances held as antidotes, especially to a concretion found in the stomach of some animals, formed of concentric layers of animal matter deposited round some foreign substance. This concretion was called the bezoar stone. The original sort was the lapis bezoar orientale obtained from the wild goat of Persia, which was in later times called the bezoar goat; also from various antelopes, &c. The lapis bezoar occidentale, obtained from the llamas of Peru, was less valued. The chamois yielded German bezoar. "The stone," says Frampton, in his "Joyful News," is called the Bezaar, being approved good against Venome" and Hawkins, in his "Voyage to the South Seas," talks about "the becunia and other beasts which breed the beazer stone."