Alone, a demon doth pursue ;
With pilgrims twain are tempters two ;
And when the number swells to three,
Let one the chosen chieftain be.'*
To him they give obedience meet,
Spread the soft carpet for a seat,
And shelter him from cold and heat.
Some from their loads the camels free,
And bind with cords the bended knee,
That none from the encampment stray,
And to marauders fall a prey.
The slaves are scattered o'er the plain
In eager search — nor quite in vain, —
For desert-shrubs that serve to light
The needful watchfires of the night,
And with whose brisk and crackling blaze,
Though short-lived, they have learned to raise
* The Prophet has said : "Begin your journeys on Friday, and always
with company. Alone, a demon follows you ; if ye are two, two demons
do tempt you ; and when ye are three, choose to you a chief."