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TO

SAMUEL ROGERS, Esq.
THIS POEM IS DEDICATED,

EY HIS VERY GRATEFUL

AND AFFECTIONATE FRIEND,

THOMAS MOORE.

May 19, 1817.

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LALLA ROOKH.

In the eleventh year of the reign of Aurungzebe, Abdalla, King of the Lesser Bucharia, a lineal descendant from the Great Zingis, liaving abdicated the throne in favour of his son, set out on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Prophet; and, passing into India through the delightful valley of Cashmere, rested for a short time at Delhi on his way. He was entertained by Aurungzebe in a style of magnificent hospitality, worthy alike of the visitor and the host, and was afterwards escorted with the same splendour to Surat, where he embarked for Arabia. During the stay of the Royal Pilgrim at Delhi, a marriage was agreed upon between the Prince, his son, and the youngest daughter of the Emperor, LALLA Rookh*;-a Princess described by poets of her time, as more beautiful than Lelia, Shrine, Dewildé, or any of those heroines whose names and loves embellish the songs of Persia and Hindostan. It was intended that the nuptials should be celebrated at Cashmere; where the

young King, as soon as the cares of empire would permit, was to meet, for the first time, his lovely bride, and after a few month's repose in that enchanting val. ley, conduct her over the snowy hills into Bucharia.

* Tulip cheek.

The day of LALLA Rooku's departure from Delhi was 'as splendid as sunshine and pageantry could make it. The bazaars and baths were all covered with the richest tapestry; hundreds of gilded barges upon the Jumna floated with their banners shining in the water; while through the streets groups of beautiful children went strewing the most delicious flowers around, as in that Persian festival called the Scattering of the Roses*; till every part of the city was as fragrant as if a caravan of musk from Khoten had passed through it. The Princess, having taken leave of her kind father, who at parting hung a cornelian of Yemen round her neck, on which was inscribed a verse from the Koran,—and having sent a considerable present to the Fakirs, who kept up the Perpetual Lamp in her sister's tomb, meekly ascended the palankeen prepared for her; and, while Aurungzebe štood to take the last look from his balcony, the procession moved slowly on the road to Lahore.

Seldom had the Eastern world seen a cavalcade so superb. From the gardens in the suburbs to the Imperial palace, it was one unbroken line of splendour. The gallant appearance of the Rajas and Mogul lords, distinguished by those insignia of the Emperor's favour, the feathers of the egret of Cash mere in their turbans, and the small silver-rimmedkettle drums at the boughs of their sadilles;—the costly armour of their cavaliers, who vied on this occasion, with the guards of the great Keder Kkan, in the brightness of their silver battle axes and the

*Gul Reazee.

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