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from their hold in his swift career, fell showering everywhere around them. Words cannot express the happiness of the prince, during the few months which remained of that delightful summer.
He had tasted of love ere this, and deemed himself happy in its enjoyment; yet cold and tame were all past pleasures, compared with those which now delighted him. Had paradise with its bright-eyed damsels been waiting for him, sinful man ! he would have turned him from its proffers, and still clung to earth and to his bride. And she, too, his wife; the look of care which had so long clouded her brow vanished. Peace once more took up her long-deserted abode in her bosom, and joy and gladness were again lighting up their smiles in her lovely face. The buoyancy and brightness of youth were again hers, chastened and subdued, though at the same time rendered more enchanting by a shade of trusting dependance which infused a sweet softness into her demeanour. With him she loved once more constantly near her, her every hope and wish seemed gratified. She had shared his anxieties; his sorrows had been hers; the gloom and depression which had shrouded his spirit had cast their dark shadows upon her own; and now the same sunlight of hope and happiness was beaming on them both.
Happy creatures ! all nature took a colour from their own feelings, and seemed to be in ecstasy around them. The air they breathed appeared to be changed. The song of the nightingale was
more melodious, the fragrance of flowers sweeter, their lute seemed to have gained a string, so much the greater power had it to sooth their feelings. Their favourite poets had a meaning and a charm they had never felt before. A chilling restraint seemed to be removed, which till now had marred the happiness of every interview. Their mutual relations were altered ; all was now confidence and perfect oneness. They had not now to fear each other, or themselves; there was nothing to be lost or gained, but must bring the same joy or the same sorrow to them both.
They look back upon the past, as the wearied traveller, from the cool shade of palm trees beneath which he is reposing, glances across the bleak desert he has lately traversed. There he breathed hot vapours which parch the lips and burn upon the cheek; there the seraab enticed him from his way, mocking him with the semblance of a lake, tempting his eager steps, but ever fleeing at his approach. Here the air is balmy; breathing through the trees, it is charged with their fragrance—sighing over the fountain it partakes of its freshness. Here the living waters shrink not as he advances, but proffer to his lips their grateful welcome. Over a waste so desolate and weary, they had passed to this green island in the desert, and lost in its paths, they think not of to-morrow—they think not how short must be their stay. They are like children in a gay garden, culling fruits and flowers, and revelling in
the luxuriance of nature's bounty; they look not to the horizon's edge, to see if a storm gathers there ; that deep yet indistinct muttering they heed not; they will not know that it is thunder ; and when it speaks in tones too plain to be mistaken, they start into each other's arms, yet still mutually linger, until the tempest with its red lightnings and its thunders breaks in fury over their heads, and flight is vain. Allah Bismillah, who controls the elements, may they find shelter !
Days of warmth and sunshine were these, but the cold moon reigned at night, and when its shadows darkened around, they parted; for many as the stars of evening are the eyes that, Arguslike, watch within the precincts of the prince's palace. When they separated it was cheerfully, and to meet upon the morrow; even sleep brought them in its visions again together, and in dreams they rested sweetly, each by the other's side.
But it would be superfluous to dilate on the happiness of the young pair. Many know-all can imagine-who can forget the full blessedness, the unmingled rapture of those who, despite obstacles that seemed insurmountable, are joined at last in love's closest bands. Earth has its joys as well as heaven. Allah be praised, who is the maker of them both! He is merciful, and this world is not so barren, so destitute of delight, as the lessons of many a cynic would persuade.
Many there are in the world, who, when sorrow
is present or danger threatens them, fly to Heaven for aid, and from the mouths of its servants seek that consolation, that protection, for which they look elsewhere in vain. Yet when the wo or the peril is past, they cast aside the staff of their support and the shield of their defence. Ingrates and improvident are they ; they retain not in their hearts the memory of kindness, and forget that ills crowd thick upon the path of life; that danger passed should be as a beacon to warn us of its future approach, and direct us to a shelter. The piety of Abassa was far different from this. Even in the intoxication of her happiness, she forgot not the good old Ibrahim. In hours of trial, when her bosom had been agitated by passions, strange and stormy, and had been shaken, as is the light tamarind leaf by the desert blast, then had she often sought the presence of the dervis. The leaf is at rest, or if it stirs 'tis but a summer's breeze, fragrant and from the land of spices, that agitates its repose ; and now, when peace has returned to her bosom, shall she forget him whose counsel strengthened, and whose kindness consoled her in the time of trial ? Not so; or when the sky changes, and winter comes, whither shall she turn ?
When the recluse next saw the princess, he was struck with the alteration which had taken place in her appearance. He called to mind the pale and trembling maiden, who at their last interview had looked to his arm for support, and to his wis
dom for solace. He now gazed upon her, and saw that her eye was bright, her step elastic, her voice cheerful; and he marvelled at the change. Her sorrows seemed to have vanished, as at the touch of an enchanter's wand vanish the phantoms of his art's creation.
Has she sought in the remote East, where, as many say, flows a fountain rich with the treasures of immortality, which imparts eternal youth to him who happily tastes of its waters ?—has she found and drunk of this stream ? If the Eastern legend tells true, though the great Iskander (Alexander) sought this spot in vain, yet his vizier,' more fortunate than himself, reached its banks, and took “at long draughts” of its divine waters. To those who give credence to the fable, it were easy to explain the mystery of Abassa's returning youth and beauty. But many doubts had the good dervis of the existence of that fountain, and of its power to fill or freshen this once-mingled cup of mortality. He well knew, however, of that peace of mind which religion can impart, of that fortitude and patience with which soothing friendship can strengthen the sorrowing bosom. He called to mind his last interview with the princess, when his lips dropped with the honey of wisdom, and when he poured the balm of consolation into her wounded soul, and the enigma seemed explained. He gazed with delight upon her countenance, radiant as it was with happiness, and in the pride of his heart he would have spoken to her