chains of personal slavery, the greatest heroes amongst the Arabs were celebrated for the cultivation of eloquence and poetry. The poems of the Arabs were of a peculiar character; commencing generally with the praise of his mistress, the poet proceeds to celebrate the bravery of his tribe, and almost always concludes by describing his personal exploits. Lebid was a hero of the tribe of Gafar, which appears then to have been in alliance with that of Ghassan. Whilst young, he accompanied the army of Hareth, king of Ghassan, against the son of Ma-es-samai, who was invading the Roman territory at the head of a powerful army. Lebid, with a hundred chosen companions, entered the camp of the enemy, penetrated to the tent of the king of Hirah, slew him, made good his retreat before the death of the king was known, and had a share in the battle which ensued, and which is celebrated by Arabian historians as the day of Holaimah. Lebid is supposed to have composed his Moallakah in the reign of Amru ben Hind.
The poet Amru'l-Kais was the son of Hogr, king of the Asadites, who was the son of that Hareth king of Kendah who had forcibly occupied the
- Kosegarten, Amru ben Keltum, p. 62.
- Peiper, Dissert, de Moallaka Lebidi (4to. 1823), p. 1.
- Peiper, ib. p. 8.
- Id. p. 2. Eichhorn, Mon. Antiq. p. 164.
- Magasin Encyclopédique, tom i. p. 514.
Alchalil Ibn Ahmed Al Farahidi, who flourished under the khalifate of Haroun Al Raschid. Clerici Prosodia Arabica, p. 2.