Warburton, Eliot
Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land, or, The crescent and the cross: comprising the romance and realities of eastern travel — Philadelphia, 1859

Page: 114
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License: Public Domain Mark Use / Order
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[chap. XVII


egyptian music.

0 surely melody from heaven was sent
To cheer the soul, when tired of human strife ,
To soothe the wayward heart by sorrow bent,
And soften down the rugged path of life.

Kirke White.

From Memnon to Mehemet Ali all Egypt luxuriates in music.
In the Pasha's palace, in the peasant's hut, at the soldier's
bivouac, on the sailor's deck; in every circumstance of the
Arab's life, I have found it regarded as the chief source of his
enjoyment. Pie is born, he is married, he dies, he is buried, to the
sound of music. It cheers his labor, it heightens his festival
controls his passions, and soothes his miseries.

It whiles away the monotonous hours of his weary travel ;
and the very camels seem to have an ear for music, quickening
their pace along the desert, as weary soldiers when the band
strikes up. The drivers chaunt alternately, or one of them sings
a verse alone, to which the others reply in chorus. This has
sometimes a very singular effect, as when the single voice sings
a mournful measure, while the chorus answers cheerily ; thus
contrasting the fate of the lonely wanderer with the social home.
For instance, a driver will sing in a voice so sad, that the camels
sometimes weep (a most unpolitic expense of moisture, by the
by, under their circumstances).

Never more, never more,
When the journey's o'er,

Shall I see my loved ones fill the tent's cool door.

Then the chorus replies in a quick measure, to which the camel's
steps, and probably his heart, keep time :
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