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159
IN ARABIA.

lent tribes of Arabia, and several, who had drawn on themselves the wrath of the conqueror by the bitterness of their invectives against him, were included among the number of the proscribed.[1] The poet Achsa had made verses in honour of Muhammed, and was once on his way to visit him, but the Koreish, fearing lest his verses might encourage the Arabs to fight in the cause of their enemy, prevailed on him to return.[2] Chofah ibn Nadijah, another poet of celebrity, was slain in the war between Muhammed and his native tribe.[3] Caab ben Zohair, as well as his father Zohair, were among the most celebrated of the Arabian bards, and belonged to the family of Kais Ghilan, of the tribe of the Masenites. His grandfather, uncle, and many of his kinsmen, had also excelled in the same art.[4] Muhammed considered that the same talents which had been exerted against him, might be equally efficacious when employed in his service; their conversion procured them a share in the pardon,[5] and the clemency of the prophet was rewarded with a poem by Caab composed in his praise.[6] This piece of flattery appears to have had its desired effect, and the son of

  1. Gagnier, tom. ii. p. 207.
  2. Fundgruben des Orients, band v. pp. 3, 4.
  3. Rasmussen, Hist. Præcip. Arab. regn. p. 93.
  4. Freytag, prologus in Carmen Caabi ben Sohair, p. xii. xiii.
  5. Gagnier, tom. iii. p. 207.
  6. The original Arabic of this poem, with a Latin version, has been edited in 4to. by Freytag, under the title of Caabi ben Sohair carmen in laudem Mobammedis dict. cum carm. Motenabbi et carmine ex Hamasa. Hal. 1823.