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In this poem, Darnawend, more properly, Demavend, is the highest peak of the Elburz chain, about forty miles north-east of Teheran; over 14,000 feet high. Senderud, Zendeh Ruh, is the river at Ispahan; its name means the river "which loses itself" in irrigation; so valuable to the inhabitants that they also call it the "golden river." The old Parsee traits are refreshened in this poem to be a bequest of the dead faith to all lovers of Light and Order.


1 The Battle of Bedr yielded Mohammed his first important victory: it was fought, A.D. 624, with the Koreishites of Mecca, people of his own tribe, who hated his mission. Though Mohammed was outnumbered two to one, he knew how to duplicate each man. "Fear not," he cried, "the gates of Paradise are under the shadow of swords."

The "steed of marvel" in the third verse is the horse which Gabriel brought to Mohammed for his first ride through the heavens. "It had," says Irving, "a human face, but the cheeks of a horse; its eyes were as jacinths, and radiant as stars. It had eagle's wings all glittering with rays of light, and its whole form was resplendent with gems and precious stones." Its name was Lightning, and it had the gift of speech. All the seven heavens were visited that night, the Houris were inspected, and the glories noted. The Prophet still uses this horse on his tours through heaven.

2 The Elect Women were, first, Asia, the wife of Pharaoh, who believed in Moses and was tormented for it by her husband. For this traditional Asia, Goethe has substituted Suleika. The second woman was Mary, mother of Jesus; the third, Khadijah, the

Prophet's first wife; the fourth, Fatima, his good and beautiful daughter who was married to his disciple Ali, who became the fourth Caliph.

Frauenlob, Praise of Women, was the famous Minnesinger, Love-Singer, whose real name was Heinrich von Meissen, from the place of his birth, 1250-1318. He was a canon of the cathedral at Mainz, and lies buried there. His verse so endeared him to the women of his time, that eight of them were his pall-bearers and poured libations of wine at his grave.


Mohammedanism is non-committal upon the extent of the doctrine of election for paradise as applied to women. chances of immortality," says Warburton, "rest chiefly on the tradition of a conversation of Mohammed with an old woman who importuned him for a good place in paradise. 'Trouble me not,' said the vexed husband of Khadijah, who was fifteen years older than himself, 'there can be no old women in paradise.' Whereupon the aged applicant made such troublous lamentation that he added, 'because the old will then all be made young again.'

"If a Mohammedan in paradise should feel that his wife's company was essential to his happiness, she would be recreated for him there thus Mohammed confers upon his followers that divinest privilege, which, in another sense, the Queen of Navarre declared was the poet's also, that of conferring immortality

on her he loves."

In the poem entitled "Accord," Goethe playfully treats this tradition.

One would hardly expect to find a delicate appreciation of woman among the Esquimaux; nevertheless they have this proverb: "A man who has three wives in this world is sure of heaven in the next."

3 This Rip Van Winkle legend of a protracted sleep has taken various forms in different countries. Epimenides slept half a century Barbarossa still sleeps in the mountain near Salzburg, unless the late German awakening dissolved the spell under which

he waited. One form of the legend of the Seven Sleepers is that they were Christian youths of Ephesus, who escaped from the persecution of the Emperor Decius and took refuge in a cave, where they slept, guarded by their dog, for three hundred solar, or three hundred and nine lunar, years. See the Mohammedan form of the story in chapter xviii. of the Koran. One of the Mussulman charms consists of the names of the Companions of the Cave, together with the name of the dog, engraved in the bottom of a drinking-cup or round a copper tray. There was a famous breed of shepherd's dog supposed to have descended from the dog of the cave; and the shepherds watched with great care over the purity of the breed.

The Koran will not have it that the young men were Christians escaping from persecution: it represents them as being disgusted with idolatry, because instructed from above to believe in the One Lord. Mohammed says: “Dispute not concerning them, and ask not any of the Christians concerning them." Goethe preserves the Mohammedan view of the legend.

A place may be found here at the close for the Arabic poem which belongs to the period of Mohammed, as already mentioned in the Introduction. Goethe translated it into rhymeless verses, of an irregular and variable metre, merely to preserve its pith. It deserves not merely rhyme, but a rhythm that corresponds to and bears along its homely and powerful feeling. It keeps such good faith with a hearty, primitive ferocity, stanchness of revenge and grim joy in the fighting for it, that no swing given to the verse can throw off those qualities. Only it must not be loquacious, but curt as the murder and compact as the revenge. There is the highest art in the inartificial structure of the poem, and the way in which the verses return as if to take heart by reminiscence. The 1st and 2d verses state the murder; the 3d and 4th are the dead man's bequest of revenge to a nephew; from the 5th to the 13th inclusive he relates the qualities of the murdered uncle; in

the 14th and 15th the young men ride for vengeance; in the two next it is accomplished; then in the 18th there recur the circumstances of the murder, in the 21st, of the revenge, in the 23d, the banquet of victory with the wine well earned, in the 26th to the end the other banquet served up for beasts of prey.


Under the rock by the path,

Slain does he lie;

Into his blood no bath

Of dew comes down from the sky.


Great was the load that he laid

On me and went;

Truly the debt shall be paid,

The burden of what he meant.


"Of my revenge is the heir

A sister's son ;

Valiant the sword to wear,
The inappeasable one.


Mutely to venom he sweats,

As an otter is dumb,

As a snake his breathing whets

The strongest charm to benumb."


Rending news to us came,

Mischief, mighty and great,

That our toughest one was tame,
At last overtaken by fate.


Myself 'twas the mischief meant,
Hurting my friend,

Who never the guest of his tent

Did harm to nor offend.


Into the coldest of days

Sun's heat he ray'd,

Under the dog-star's blaze

Coolness was he and a shade.


Clean and dry-limbed he was,

And nowhere scant, Moist in the palm he was,

Yet hardy of grip, gallant.


With whole of a purpose intent,

He followed its aim;

When he came to a rest, well spent,

Then rested his purpose's claim.


Shower of gifts to bestow,

Dropp'd he like a cloud;
Whenever he fell on the foe,
No lion more cruel and proud.


Stately the people before,

Black of hair, sweeping dress; A wolf running lean after gore Where thickest the enemy press.

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