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similar to those of the winged men on the previous slab, was surmounted by the head of an eagle or vulture. The curved beak, was half open, and displayed a narrow pointed tongue, which was still covered with red paint. On the shoulders fell the usual curled and bushy hair of the Assyrian images, and a comb of feathers rose on the top of the head. Two wings sprang from the back, and in either hand was the basket and the fir cone.
On the morning following these discoveries, I rode to the encampment of Sheikh Abd-urahman, and was returning to the mound, when I saw two Arabs of his tribe urging their mares to the top of their speed. On approaching me they stopped. "Hasten, 0, Bey," exclaimed one of them—" hasten to the diggers, for they have found Nimroud himself. Wallah! it is wonderful, but it is true! we have seen him with our eyes. Thero is no God but God;"' and both joining in their pious exclamation, they galloped off, without further words, in the direction of their tents.
On reaching the ruins, I descended into the new trench, and found the workmen, who had already seen me as I approached, standing near a heap of baskets and cloaks, whilst Awad advanced and asked for a present to celebrate the occasion ; the Arabs withdrew the screen they had hastily constructed, and disclosed an enormous human head sculptured in full, out of the alabaster of the country. They had uncovered the upper part of the figure the remainder of which was still buried in the earth. I saw at onee that the head must belong to a winged lion or bull; it was in admirable preservation. The expression was calm, yet majestic, and the outline of the features showed a freedom and knowledge of art, scarcely to be looked for in the work of so remote a period. The cap had three horns, and, unlike that of the human headed bulls hitherto found was rounded and without ornament at the top.
I was not suprised that the Arabs had been amazed and
terrified at this apparition. It required no stretch of imagination to conjure up the most strange fancies. This gigantic head, blanched with age, thus rising from the bowels of the earth, might well have belonged to one of those fearful beings which are pictured in the traditions of the country, as appearing to mortals, slowly ascending from the regions below. One of the workmen, on catching the first glimpse of the monster, had thrown down his basket and run off towards Mosul. I learned this with regret, anticipating the consequences. Whilst I was superintending the removal «f the earth which still clung to the sculpture, and giving directions for the continuation of the work, a noise of horsemen was heard, and presently Abd-urahman, followed by half his tribe appeared on the edge of the trench. As soon as the two Arabs had reached the tents, and published the wonders they had seen, every one mounted his mare and rode to the mound to satisfy himself of the truth of these inconceivable reports. When they beheld the head they all cried out together. "There is no God but God, and Mahommed is his prophet!" It was some time before the Sheikh could be prevailed upon to descend into the pit and convince himself that the image he saw was of stone. "This is not the work of men's hand," exclaimed he, " but of those infidel giants of whom the Prophet, peace be with him! has said, that they were higher than the tallest date tree: this is one of the idols which Noah, peace be with him! cursed before the flood." In this opinion, the result of a careful examination, all the bystanders concurred.
These magnifient specimens of Assyrian art were in perfect preservation; and I used to contemplate, for hours these mysterious emblems, and muse over their intent and history. What more noble forms could have ushered the people into the temple of their Gods 1 What more sublime images could have been borrowed from nature, by men who sought, unaided by the light of revealed religion, to embody this conception of the wisdom, power and ubiquity of a Supreme Being? They could find no better type of intellect and knowledge than
the head of the man : of strength, than the body of the lion: of rapidity of motion, than the wings of the hird. These winged human headed lions were not idle creations, the offspring of mere fancy ; their meaning was written upon them. They had awed and instructed races which had flourished three thousand years ago. Through the portals which they guarded, kings, priests, and warriors had borne sacrifices to their altars, long before the wisdom of the East had penetrated to Greece, and had furnished its mythology with symbols long recognised by the Assyrian votaries. For twenty-five centuries they had been hidden from the eye of man, and they now stood forth once more in their ancient majesty. But how changed was the scene around them! The luxury and civilization of a mighty nation had given place to the wretchednees and ignorance of a few half barbarous tribes. The wealth of temples and the riches of great cities, had been succeeded by ruins and shapeless heaps of earth. Above the spacious hall in which they stood, the plough had passed and corn now waved. Egypt has monuments no less ancient and no less wonderful: but they have stood forth for ages to testify her early power and renown: whilst those before me had but now appeared, to bear witness in the words of the prophet, that once "the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches and with a shadowing shroud of a high stature : and his top was among the thick boughs
his height was exalted above all the trees of the field,
and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long, because of the multitude of waters when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations:" for now is "Nineveh a desolation and dry like a wilderness, and flocks lie down in the midst of her: all the beasts of the nations, both the cormorant and the bittern lodge in the upper lintels of it: their voice sings in the windows: and desolation is in the thresholds." Layard's Nineveh.
It is a place where poets crowned,
May feel the heart's decaying— It is a place where happy saints,
May weep amid their praying— Yet let the grief and humbleness,
As low as silence languish; Earth surely now may give her calm
To whom she gave her anguish.
Oh poets! from a maniac's tongue
Was poured the deathless singing! Oh Christians! at your cross of hope
A hopeless hand was clinging! Oh men! this man, in brotherhood,
Your weary paths beguiling, Groaned inly, while he taught you peace,
And died while you were smiling!
And now, what time ye all may read
Through dimning tears his story— How discord on the music fell,
And darkness on the glory; And how, when one by one, sweet sounds
And wandering lights departed, He wore no less a loving face,
Because so broken-hearted.—
He shall be strong to sanctify
And bow the meekest christian down
Nor ever shall he be in praise,
By wise or good forsaken;
Of one whom God hath taken!
With sadness that is calm, not gloom,
I learn to think upon him;
On God whose heaven hath won him— Who suffered once the madness cloud,
Toward His love to blind him; But gently led the blind along
Where breath and bird could find him
And wrought within his shattered brain,
Such quick poetic senses,
His own did calmly number;
Fell o'er him like a slumber.
The very world, by God's constraint
From falsehood's chill removing, Its women and its men became,
Beside him, true and loving! And timid hares were drawn from woods
To share his home caresses, Uplooking to his human eyes
With sylvan tendernesses.
But while, in blindness he remained
Unconscious of the guiding, And things provided came without
The sweet sense of providing,