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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 187



seat by the "Well of Life ;" and the third, " Except as hap-piness translates her to Paradise." Then said the first, " Let us contend no more, but let us take this damsel and bestow upon her, each our separate gift, and she shall be a sign and a testimony concerning these things." And thus they agreed together. And when the maiden retired to her eouch, and the angel of sleep had laid his finger upon her eyelids, the first genii calling upon the name of God the All-perfect (blessed be he) broke the seal of his phial, and poured a portion of the liquid upon her lips. And the three genii watched her slumbers till the dawn ; and thus they did evening by evening. And they beheld her form developing in loveli-ness, tall and straight as the palm, but lithe and supple as the bending branch of the oriental willow. Her smoothly rounded arms gleamed like polished ivory beneath the folds of her transparent izar, and the tips of her rosy fin-gers were touched with the lustre of henna. Her lips had the hue of the coral when it is wet with the spray of the sea, her teeth were as strings of pearl, and the melting ful-ness of her cheek was suffused with the soft bloom of the peach. In her eyes was the light of the stars, and her eyelids were adorned with kohl. Her hair was glossy and black as the plumage of the raven, and when she covered it with her veil, her countenance beamed from it comely as the full moon that walketh in the darkness of the night. Her speech was as the murmur of the waterfall and the clear tones of the nightingales of the Jordan. She was a wonder unto herself and unto her neighbors. Her step had the lightness of the gazelle and the grace of the swan ; and when she went forth abroad, the eye that beheld her beauty exclaimed, " Glory be to him who created her, perfected her, and completed her." But the genii beheld with sor-row and mortification that she became vain, and that fool-ish thoughts sprang up in her heart ; so that it was said of her, " Hath God the High, the Great, put an evil spirit in the perfection of beauty ?" Then said the second genii, " Ye shall see what th« elixir of love shall do." And he 193 HEROINES OP THE CRUSADES.


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