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SONGS OF

EAST AND WEST

OMAR IN HEAVEN.

Year after year I wait, reposing here

Among the Faithful, by the Prophet blest; A stranger now to grief, remorse and fear,

My one-time restless heart is wreathed in rest.

The years glide on, and still they find me free

From every care that dogs the feet of men; No sun on desert sand, no storm at sea,

Shall ever come to vex my soul again.

No clouded skies on pages ashen-gray

Reflect heart-breaking annals of the earth; The Judas-kisses all have passed away,

With all the madness that eclipsed our mirth.

Here all the year is April, May or June,

With bud and blossom free from every blight; Here all the day is everlasting noon,

With glory never dimming in the night.

OMAR IN HEAVEN.

No thorns beset the beauty of the rose,

No sweet is ever tinctured with a sour;
We pluck no fruits,-a heavenly zephyr blows

And shakes the mellow apple from its bower.

No leaflet ever withers on the tree,

No bulbul song on desert waste is lost; From drought the date and olive flourish free,

No tulip ever shudders from the frost.

No traveler's camel pants and kneels to die

As hot siroccos fling their fiery dust; No sun-scorched famine makes of earth and sky

A brazen oven and a blackened crust.

Here bubbling fountains, cold as mountain snow,

Refresh the pilgrim mad with feverish thirst; Here verdant forests dim the noontide glow

For caravans from white-hot sands accurst.

Songs can not sing the glories here on high,

The white, white splendor of this blest estate; One might rejoice ten thousand times to die

To peep one instant through its jeweled gate.

No hunter here pursues the swift gazelle,

The lad no longer here pursues the maid; The fawn, grown fearless, knows her master well,

The loved one by her lover's side is laid,

OMAR IN HEAVEN.

Around me, tripping with a dove-like tread,

Are seven times seventy houris, passing sweet; With oils of roses they anoint my head,

And bring rose-water jars to wash my feet.

They bring me sherbets cool with creamy snow,

They scent my courts with frankincense and myrrh; With peacock fans they make soft breezes blow,

And carol songs that set my heart astir.

Ah, they are fairer far than maids of earth,

And never flee the lover when he wooes, They seek me dancing in delightful mirth,

And always come to kiss me when I choose.

They beg me think no more of loves of mine

In old-time Aprils there in haunts of men; They bid me quaff their jug's mellifluous wine,

And never ask to see the Earth again.

Ah yes, they all surrender free of force,

The bird comes captive though I set no snare; Yet wines they hand me never bring remorse,

The love they lavish never brings despair.

And here in everlasting youth we stay,

The youth of roseate feet and soft dark eyes; Though fifty Sultans rule and pass away

The years flit soft as wings of butterflies.

OMAR IN HEAVEN.

Yet, Iran, in my dreams I feel again

Your dear temptations, your delightful snares, Your bitter-sweets, your pleasures mixed with pain,

Your blissful sorrows, your divine despairs.

I long for Bagdad's mosques and minarets,

For Shiraz, with its fig-trees, vines and palms; For dear old Ispahan my spirit frets,

O sight more soothing than Arabian balms!

I weary of these everlasting Springs,

These gardens with their never-fading flowers; O, bring the North Wind on his eagle wings,

To quench their glory in his sleety showers!

Who cares for youth where every one is young?

Who values springtime life where none grow old? All gold with iron in one heap were flung

If every ship came weighted down with gold.

Where every man is wealthy, none is rich;

Where bides no Evil, there can be no Good; Without some valley's intervening niche

No mountain ever stands or ever stood.

Though youth on Earth soon shatters like a rose,

And love's fresh morning ends at last in night, The song is sweeter for an early close,

Love ten times dearer for an early flight.

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