Where childhood's timid prayers could fail,
Thy woman's tears may still prevail" —
Young Fatmeh's face grew deadly pale.
"Up ye now ! saddle the steeds that are fleetest !
Steeds for the chase of the camel-bird meetest !
See that my tents fleck the desert's red border
Ere the gray nightfall !" — so ran the Bey's order.
Ere the gray nightfall, his green tents were planted
Far to the south, where the setting sun slanted
Arrows of fire o'er a golden-waved ocean
Solid as jasper, no sound and no motion.
Far to the south, where the clouds yester-even
Marshalled their ranks by the light of the levin ;
Thither the rain-loving ostrich hath sped her,
Swift as the flash of the bright bolt that led her.*
* The ostrich is generally found where showers of rain have lately fallen.
According to the Arabs, when the ostrich sees the lightning and a gather-
ing storm, she runs in the direction where it appears, however distant it
may be. A ten days' journey (of a caravan) is but a trifle for her. They
say of a man who is skilful in providing for his flocks in the desert, "He
is like the ostrich ; where he sees the lightning flash, there he is."