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But let us speak no more of this! I find Come, let me lay my hand upon thy mane! My father; let me feel that I have found! O Ruksh, thou art more fortunate than I; Come, sit beside me on this sand, and For thou hast gone where I shall never take
go, My head betwixt thy hands, and kiss my And snuffed the breezes of my father's cheeks,
home. And wash them with thy tears, and say: And thou hast trod the sands of Seïstan, My son!'
720 And seen the river of Helmund, and the Quick! quick! for numbered are my sands Lake
751 of life,
Of Zirrah; and the aged Zal himself And swift; for like the lightning to this Has often stroked thy neck, and given field
thee food, I came, and like the wind I go away- Corn in a golden platter soaked with Sudden, and swift, and like a passing wine, wind.
And said 'O Ruksh! bear Rustum welll' But it was writ in Heaven that this but I
755 should be.”
Have never known my grandsire's furSo said he: and his voice released the rowed face, heart
Nor seen his lofty house in Seïstan, Of Rustum, and his tears broke forth; Nor slaked my thirst at the clear Helhe cast
mund stream; His arms round his son's neck, and wept But lodged among my father's foes, and
aloud, And kissed him. And awe fell on both Afrasiab's cities only, Samarcand, 760 the hosts
Bokhara, and lone Khiva in the waste, When they saw Rustum's grief: and And the black Toorkmun tents; and only Ruksh, the horse,
drunk With his head bowing to the ground and The desert rivers, Moorghab and Tejend,
Kohik, and where the Kalmuks feed their Sweeping the dust, came near, and in sheep, mute woe
The northern Sir; and this great Oxus First to the one, then to the other moved stream
765 His head, as if inquiring what their grief The yellow Oxus, by whose brink I die.” " Might mean; and from his dark, compas- And, with a heavy groan, Rustum
bewailed: The big warm tears rolled down, and “Oh, that its waves were flowing over caked the sand.
me! But Rustum chid him with stern voice, Oh, that I saw its grains of yellow silt and said:
Roll tumbling in the current o'er my “Ruksh, now thou grievest; but, O head!”
770 Ruksh, thy feet
But, with a grave mild voice, Sohrab Should first have rotted on their nimble replied: joints,
“Desire not that, my father! thou must Or ere they bore thy master to this field!” live. But Sohrab looked upon the horse and For some are born to do great deeds, and said:
live, "Is this, then, Ruksh? How often, in past As some are born to be obscured, and die. days,
Do thou the deeds I die too young to do, My mother told me of thee, thou brave And reap a second glory in thine age; 776 steed,
Thou art my father, and thy gain is mine. My terrible father's terrible horse! and But come! thou seest this great host of
said, That I should one day find thy lord and Which follow me; I pray thee, slay not thee.
Let me entreat for them; what have they And through whose death I won that done?
780 | fame I have They followed me, my hope, my fame, my | And I were nothing but a common man, star.
A poor, mean soldier, and without reLet them all cross the Oxus back in peace. nown, But me thou must bear hence, not send So thou mightest live too, my son, my with them,
son! But carry me with thee to Seïstan, Or rather would that I, even I myself, And place me on a bed, and mourn for Might now be lying on this bloody sand, me,
785 Near death, and by an ignorant stroke Thou, and the snow-haired Zal, and all of thine, thy friends.
Not thou of mine! and I might die, not And thou must lay me in that lovely
And I, not thou, be borne to Seïstan; 820 And heap a stately mound above my And Zal might weep above my grave, bones,
not thine; And plant a far-seen pillar over all:
I weep thee not too sore, That so the passing horseman on the For willingly, I know, thou met'st thine, end.' waste
790 But now in blood and battles was my May see my tomb a great way off, and youth, cry:
And full of blood and battles is my age, 825 'Sohrab, the mighty Rustum's son, lies And I shall never end this life of blood." there,
Then, at the point of death, Sohrab Whom his great father did in ignorance replied:kill—
“A life of blood indeed, thou dreadful man! And I be not forgotten in my grave." But thou shalt yet have peace; only not And, with a mournful voice, Rustum replied:
795 Not yet! but thou shalt have it on that “Fear not! as thou hast said, Sohrab, my day,
When thou shalt sail in a high-masted So shall it be; for I will burn my tents,
ship, And quit the host, and bear thee hence Thou and the other peers of Kai-Khosroo,
Returning home over the salt blue sea, And carry thee away to Seīstan,
From laying thy dear master in his grave.' And place thee on a bed, and mourn And Rustum gazed on Sohrab's face, for thee, 800 and said:
835 With the snow-headed Zal, and all my “Soon be that day, my son, and deep that friends.
sea! And I will lay thee in that lovely earth, Till then, if fate so wills, let me endure." And heap a stately mound above thy He spoke; and Sohrab smiled on him, bones,
and took And plant a far-seen pillar over all, The spear, and drew it from his side, and And men shall not forget thee in thy eased grave.
805 His wound's imperious anguish; but the And I will spare thy host; yea, let them blood
Came welling from the open gash, and Let them all cross the Oxus back in peace!
life What should I do with slaying any more? Flowed with the stream;-all down his For would that all whom I have ever cold white side slain
The crimson torrent ran, dim now and Might be once more alive; my bitterest soiled
810 Like the soiled tissue of white violets And they who were called champions in Left, freshly gathered, on their native their time,
By romping children, whom their nurses Under the solitary moon;-he flowed call
Right for the polar star, past Orgunjè, Indoors from the sun's eye; his head Brimming, and bright, and large; then drooped low,
881 His limbs grew slack; motionless, white, To hem his watery march, and dam his he lay
streams, White, with eyes closed; only when heavy And split his currents; that for many a gasps,
league Deep heavy gasps quivering through all The shorn and parcelled Oxus strains along his frame,
Through beds of sand and matted rushy Convulsed him back to life, he opened isles
Oxus, forgetting the bright speed he had And fixed them feebly on his father's In his high mountain cradle in Pamere, face;
A foiled circuitous wanderer-till at last Till now all strength was ebbed, and from The longed-for dash of waves is heard, and his limbs
wide Unwillingly the spirit fled away,
His luminous home of waters opens, Regretting the warm mansion which it bright
And tranquil, from whose floor the newAnd youth, and bloom, and this delight- bathed stars ful world.
Emerge, and shine upon the Aral Sea.
THE AUSTERITY OF POETRY Down o'er his face, and sate by his dead
That son of Italy who tried to blow, As those black granite pillars, once high
Ere Dante came, the trump of sacred song, reared
In his light youth amid a festal throng
860 By Jemshid in Persepolis, to bear
Sat with his bride to see a public show. His house, now 'mid their broken flights
Fair was the bride, and on her front did glow
Youth like a star; and what to youth Lie prone, enormous, down the mountain side
belongSo in the sand lay Rustum by his son.
Gay raiment, sparkling gauds, elation And night came down over the solemn
A prop gave way! crash fell a platform! lo, And the two gazing hosts, and that sole
'Mid struggling sufferers, hurt to death,
she lay! pair, And darkened all; and a cold fog, with Shuddering, they drew her garments off night,
A robe of sackcloth next the smooth, Crept from the Oxus. Soon a hum arose,
white skin. As of a great assembly loosed, and fires Began to twinkle through the fog: for Such, poets, is your bride, the Muse!
young, gay, Both armies moved to camp, and took Radiant, adorned outside; a hidden ground their meal;
Of thought and of austerity within.
NOVEMBER 1857 But the majestic river floated on, 875 Out of the mist and hum of that low land, Coldly, sadly descends Into the frosty starlight, and there moved, The autumn evening. The field Rejoicing, through the hushed Choras- Strewn with its dank yellow drifts mian waste,
Of withered leaves, and the elms,
Fade into dimness apace,
'Twixt vice and virtue; revivest, 55 Silent;-hardly a shout
Succorest! This was thy work,
Of mortal men on the earth?
Chatter and love and hate,
Gather and squander, are raised There thou dost lie, in the gloom
Aloft, are hurled in the dust. Of the autumn evening. But ah! 15 | Striving blindly, achieving
65 That word, gloom, to my mind
Nothing; and then they dieBrings thee back, in the light
Perish;-and no one asks
Who or what they have been,
In the moonlit solitudes mild
70 Seasons impaired not the ray
Of the midmost Ocean, have swelled, Of thy buoyant cheerfulness clear. Foamed for a moment, and gone. Such thou wast! and I stand In the autumn evening, and think And there are some, whom a thirst Of bygone autumns with thee.
25 Ardent, unquenchable, fires,
Not with the crowd to be spent, 75 Fifteen years have gone round
Not without aim to go round
In an eddy of purposeless dust,
Ah, yes! some of us strive
80 We who till then in thy shade
Fruitless, but something to snatch Rested as under the boughs
From dull oblivion, nor all Of a mighty oak, have endured
Glut the devouring grave! Sunshine and rain as we might,
We, we have chosen our pathBare, unshaded, alone,
Path to a clear-purposed goal, Lacking the shelter of thee.
Path of advance!—but it leads
A long, steep journey, through sunk O strong soul, by what shore
Gorges, o'er mountains in snow. Tarriest thou now? For that force, Cheerful, with friends, we set forthSurely, has not been left vain!
Then, on the height, comes the storm. 90 Somewhere, surely, afar,
Thunder crashes from rock In the sounding labor-house vast
To rock, the cataracts reply; Of being, is practised that strength, Lightnings dazzle our eyes; Zealous, beneficent, firm!
Roaring torrents have breached
The track; the stream-bed descends 95 Yes, in some far-shining sphere,
In the place where the wayfarer once Conscious or not of the past,
Planted his footstep—the spray
Boils o'er its borders! aloft
Their hanging ruin! alas,
Havoc is made in our train! The humble good from the ground,
50 Friends, who set forth at our side, Sternly repressest the bad!
Falter, are lost in the storm. Still, like a trumpet, dost rouse
We, we only are left! Those who with half-open eyes
With frowning foreheads, with lips 105 Tread the border-land dim
Sternly compressed, we strain on,
Bluster or cringe, and make life
176 Years they have been in the wild! Sore thirst plagues them, the rocks, Rising all round, overawe; Factions divide them, their host 180 Threatens to break, to dissolve. -Ah, keep, keep them combined! Else, of the myriads who fill That army, not one shall arrive; Sole they shall stray; on the rocks
185 Batter for ever in vain, Die one by one in the waste. Then, in such hour of need Of your fainting, dispirited race, Ye, like angels, appear,
190 Radiant with ardor divine. Beacons of hope, ye appear! Languor is not in your heart, Weakness is not in your word, Weariness not on your brow.
195 Ye alight in our van! at your voice Panic, despair, flee away. Ye move through the ranks, recall The stragglers, refresh the outworn, Praise, re-inspire the brave. Order, courage, return; Eyes rekindling, and prayers, Follow your steps as ye go. Ye fill up the gaps in our files, Strengthen the wavering line,
205 Stablish, continue our march, On, to the bound of the waste, On, to the City of God.
If, in the paths of the world,
And through thee I believe