A poet among the seven who is even more noteworthy is Antar, or Antarah; for he was afterward made the hero of the most celebrated of Arab romances. Antar was the son of a negro slave-woman
and was brought up as a slave in the household of his Arab father. Such, however, was his strength and courage that he rose to be the chief hero of his tribe. He was also its chief poet, singing sometimes of its warfare, sometimes of his love for its princess, Ibla or Ablah. Ablah at first ridiculed the advances of the young slave but afterward clung to him through all his career of glory and misfortune. The tales which later generations wove around Antar are like those which the English built upon King Arthur's life, or the Spaniards on the Cid. He has become the national hero of his race.