Page:Satires and profanities -microform- (1884).djvu/135

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126
SATIRES AND PROFANITIES.

to squall; for my voice could never have been mistaken for that of the angel Israfeel, even by a frequenter of revival meetings or music halls):

"I thank the goodness and the grace {grays?)
  Which on my birth have smiled,
And made me in these Christian days {dace?)
  A happy English child."

But now that I am a man, this same consideration fills me with bitterest sorrow and anguish, so that I am ready to bellow,

I curse the evil and disgrace
  Which have my birth defiled.
Who would have been in other case
  A happy Muslim child!

Yea, when I contrast these glowing and glorious prospects held out to the faithful by the Kur-an, with the everlasting singing in white night-gowns, amidst the howling of elders and composite beasts all over eyes (what our Heine terms "all the menagerie of the Apocalypse") in adoration of a God like a jasper and sardine stone to look upon, and of a Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes; then do I wring my hands and beat my breast and tear my hair, sighing and sobbing, moaning and groaning, weeping and lamenting most piteously—Alas! and alas! and alas! why was I born in a Christian land and reared for the Christian Heaven? Would that I had been born among the Muslims and brought up in the faith of El Islam! So should I be now looking forward (for from such a generous faith never, never would I have lapsed) unto a Paradise worthy of the name; revelling in anticipations of four-score thousand servants, uncloying courses of three hundred dishes, unlimited strong wine without inebriation, six-dozen wives of the refulgent celestial virgins, aging not themselves, aging not me; perpetual youth, unsating and unexhausting raptures for ever, and ever, and ever; and instead of having to sing my