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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Persia: Khorassan (Bactria)

The Veiled Prophet

By Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

(From Lalla Rookh)

IN that delightful province of the sun,

The first of Persian lands he shines upon,

Where, all the loveliest children of his beam,

Flowerets and fruits blush over every stream,

And, fairest of all streams, the Murga roves,

Among Merou’s bright palaces and groves;

There, on that throne, to which the blind belief

Of millions raised him, sat the prophet-chief,

The great Mokanna. O’er his features hung

The veil, the silver veil, which he had flung

In mercy there, to hide from mortal sight

His dazzling brow, till man could bear its light.

For, far less luminous, his votaries said,

Were even the gleams, miraculously shed

O’er Moussa’s cheek, when down the mount he trod,

All glowing from the presence of his God!