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The world in which we live and move
From some high station he looks down,
flock, . Slowly, behind his heavy tread, The wet, flowered grass heaves up its
Blame thou not, therefore, him who
dares Judge vain beforehand human cares; Whose natural insight can discern What through experience others learn; Who needs not love and power, to know Love transient, power an unreal show; Who treads at ease life's uncheered ways: Him blame not, Fausta, rather praise ! Rather thyself for some aim pray, Nobler than this, to fill the day; 240 Rather that heart, which burns in thee, Ask, not to amuse, but to get free; Be passionate hopes not ill resigned For qniet, and a fearless mind. And though fate grudge to thee and me The poet's rapt security, Yet they, believe me, who await No gifts from chance, have conquered fate. They, winning room to see and hear,
And to men's business not too near, | Through clouds of individual strife
Draw homeward to the general life.
This pomp of worlds, this pain of birth; | Yet, Fausta, the mute turf we tread,
You listen; but that wandering smile,
The solemn hills around us spread,
The Tartars built there Peran-Wisa's tent, This stream which falls incessantly,
A dome of laths, and o'er it felts were The strange-scrawled rocks, the lonely sky,
spread. If I might lend their life a voice,
And Sohrab came there, and went in, and Seem to bear rather than rejoice.
stood And even could the intemperate prayer Upon the thick piled carpets in the tent, Man iterates, while these forbear,
And found the old man sleeping on his bed For movement, for an ampler sphere, Of rugs and felts, and near him lay his Pierce Fate's impenetrable ear;
arms. Not milder is the general lot
And Peran-Wisa heard him, though the Because our spirits have forgot,
step In action's dizzying eddy whirled,
Was dulled; for he slept light, an old man's The something that infects the world.
sleep; And he rose quickly on one arm, and
said, — SOHRAB AND RUSTUM
“Who art thou ? for it is not yet clear
dawn. AN EPISODE
Speak! is there news, or any night alarm ?”
But Sohrab came to the bedside, and (Publ. 1853]
“ Thou know'st me, Peran-Wisa! it is I. And the first gray of morning filled the The sun has not yet risen, and the foe east,
Sleep : but I sleep not; all night long I lie And the fog rose out of the Oxus stream. Tossing and wakeful, and I come to thee. But all the Tartar camp along the stream For so did King Afrasiab bid me seek Was hushed, and still the men were plunged Thy counsel, and to heed thee as thy son, in sleep.
In Samarcand, before the army marched; 40 Sohrab alone, he slept not; all night long And I will tell thee what my heart desires. He bad lain wakeful, tossing on his bed: Thou know'st if, since from Ader-baijan But when the gray dawn stole into his tent,
first He rose, and clad himself, and girt his I came among the Tartars, and bore arms, sword,
I have still served Afrasiab well, and shown, And took his horseman's cloak, and left his At my boy's years, the courage of a man. tent,
This too thou know'st, that while I still And went abroad into the cold wet fog, 10
bear on Through the dim camp to Peran-Wisa's The conquering Tartar ensigns through the tent.
world, Through the black Tartar tents he passed, And beat the Persians back on every field, which stood
I seek one man, one man, and one alone, Clustering like bee-hives on the low flat Rustum, my father; who I hoped should strand
50 Of Oxus, where the summer-floods o'erflow Should one day greet, upon some wellWhen the sun melts the snows in bigh Pa
fought field, mere;
His not unworthy, not inglorious son. Through the black tents he passed, o'er | So I long hoped, but him I never find. that low strand,
Come then, hear now, and grant me what I And to a hillock came, a little back
ask. From the stream's brink, — the spot where | Let the two armies rest to-day; but I first a boat,
Will challenge forth the bravest Persian Crossing the stream in summer, scrapes the
To meet me, man to man: if I prevail, The men of former times had crowned the Rustum will surely hear it; if I fall — top
20 Old man, the dead need no one, claim no With a clay fort; but that was fallen, and
kin. · now
Dim is the rumor of a common fight, 60
Where host meets host, and many names And raised the curtain of his tent, and are sunk;
called But of a single combat fame speaks clear." His herald to bis side, and went abroad.
He spoke; and Peran-Wisa took the hand The sun by this had risen, and cleared Of the young man in his, and sighed, and the fog said,—
From the broad Oxus and the glittering “O Sohrab, an unquiet heart is thine !
sands. Canst thou not rest among the Tartar And from their tents the Tartar horsemen chiefs,
filed And share the battle's common chance with Into the open plain: so Haman bade,
Haman, who next to Peran-Wisa ruled Who love thee, but must press forever The host, and still was in his lusty prime. first,
From their black tents, long files of horse, In single fight incurring single risk,
they streamed; To find a father thou hast never seen ? 70 As when some gray November morn the That were far best, my son, to stay with us
files, Unmurmuring; in our tents, while it is war, In marching order spread, of long-necked And when 't is truce, then in Afrasiab's
Stream over Casbin and the southern slopes But if this one desire indeed rules all, Of Elburz, from the Aralian estuaries, To seek out Rustum — seek him not through Or some frore Caspian reed-bed, southward fight!
bound Seek him in peace, and carry to his arms, For the warm Persian seaboard, — so they O Sohrab, carry an unwounded son!
streamed. But far hence seek him, for he is not here. The Tartars of the Oxiis, the king's guard, For now it is not as when I was young, 79 First, with black sheep-skin caps and with When Rustum was in front of every fray:
long spears; But now he keeps apart, and sits at home, Large men, large steeds, who from Bokhara In Seistan, with Zal, his father old;
come Whether that his own mighty strength at And Khiva, and ferment the milk of mares. last
Next, the more temperate Toorkmuns of Feels the abhorred approaches of old age;
the south, Or in some quarrel with the Persian king. The Tukas, and the lances of Salore, There go !- Thou wilt not? Yet my heart And those from Attruck and the Caspian forebodes
sands; Danger or death awaits thee on this field. Light men and on light steeds, who only Fain would I know thee safe and well,
drink though lost
The acrid milk of camels, and their wells. To us; fain therefore send thee hence in And then a swarm of wandering horse, who peace
came To seek thy father, not seek single fights From far, and a more doubtful service In vain. But who can keep the lion's cub
owned, From ravening, and who govern Rustum's The Tartars of Ferghana, from the banks son ?
Of the Jaxartes, men with scanty beards Go, I will grant thee what thy heart desires.” And close-set skull-caps; and those wilder So said he, and dropped Sobrab's hand,
130 and left
Who roam o'er Kipchak and the northern His bed, and the warm rngs whereon he lay;
waste, And o'er his chilly limbs bis woollen coat Kalmucks and unkempt Kuzzaks, tribes He passed, and tied his sandals on his feet,
who stray And threw a white cloak round him, and he | Nearest the Pole, and wandering Kirghizzes, took
| Who come on shaggy ponies from PaIn his right hand a ruler's staff, no sword;
mere, — And on his head he set his sheep-skin cap, These all filed out from camp into the plain. Black, glossy, curled, the fleece of Kara-Kul; | And on the other side the Persians formed,
First a light cloud of horse, Tartars they And Feraburz, who ruled the Persian host
Second, and was the uncle of the king; The Ilyats of Khorassan; and behind, These came and counselled, and then Gudurz The royal troops of Persia, horse and foot,
said, Marshalled battalions bright in burnished “Ferood, shame bids us take their chalsteel.
lenge up, But Peran-Wisa with his herald came, Yet champion have we none to match this Threading the Tartar squadrons to the
He has the wild stag's foot, the lion's heart. And with his staff kept back the foremost But Rustum came last night; aloof he ranks.
sits And when Ferood, who led the Persians, And sullen, and has pitched his tents apart. saw
Him will I seek, and carry to his ear 180 That Peran-Wisa kept the Tartars back, The Tartar challenge, and this young man's He took his spear, and to the front he came,
name; And checked his ranks, and fixed them Haply he will forget his wrath, and fight. where they stood.
Stand forth the while, and take their chalAnd the old Tartar came upon the sand L lenge up." Betwixt the silent hosts, and spake, and | So spake he; and Ferood stood forth and said,
*cried, “ Ferood, and ye, Persians and Tartars, “Old man, be it agreed as thou hast said ! hear!
Let Sohrab arm, and we will find a man." Let there be truce between the hosts to-day. He spake; and Peran-Wisa turned, and But choose a champion from the Persian
Back through the opening squadrons to his To fight onr champion Sohrab, man to man."
tent. As in the country, on a morn in June, But through the anxious Persians Gudurz When the dew glistens on the pearled ears.
ran, A shiver runs through the deep corn for And crossed the camp which lay behind, joy,
190 So, when they heard what Peran-Wisa said, | Out on the sands beyond it, Rustum's tents. A thrill through all the Tartar squadrons Of scarlet cloth they were, and glittering ran
gay, Of pride and hope for Sobrab, whom they Just pitched; the high pavilion in the
loved. But as a troop of pedlers from Cabool 160 Was Rustum's, and his men lay camped Cross underneath the Indian Caucasus,
around. That vast sky-neighboring mountain of milk And Gudurz entered Rustum's tent, and snow;
found Crossing so high, that, as they mount, they Rustum; his morning meal was done, but pass
still Long flocks of travelling birds dead on the The table stood before him, charged with snow,
food, — Choked by the air, and scarce can they A side of roasted sheep, and cakes of bread, themselves
And dark-green melons; and there Rustum Slake their parched throats with sugared
Listless, and held a falcon on his wrist, 200 In single file they move, and stop their And played with it; but Gudurz came and breath,
stood For fear they should dislodge the o'erbang. Before him; and he looked, and saw him
ing snows, So the pale Persians held their breath with And with a cry sprang up, and dropped fear.
the bird, And to Ferood his brother chiefs came up And greeted Gudurz with both hands, and To counsel; Gudurz and Zoarrah came,
“Welcome ! these eyes could see no bet And leave to death the hosts of thankless ter sight.
240 What news ? but sit down first, and eat | And with these slaughterous hands draw and drink.”
sword no more." But Gudurz stood in the tent-door, and He spoke, and smiled; and Gudurz made said, —
reply, “Not now. A time will come to eat and “What then, O Rustam, will men say to drink,
this, But not to-day: to-day has other needs. When Sohrab dares our bravest forth, and The armies are drawn out, and stand at
210 Thee most of all, and thou, whom most he For, from the Tartars is a challenge brought
seeks, To pick a champion from the Persian lords Hidest thy face ? Take heed lest men To fight their champion — and thou know'st should say, his name:
Like some old miser, Rustum hoards his fame, Sohrab men call him, but his birth is hid. And shuns to peril it with younger men." O Rustum, like thy might is this young / And, greatly moved, then Rustum made man's !
reply, He has the wild stag's foot, the lion's “O Gudurz, wherefore dost thou say such heart;
250 And he is young, and Iran's chiefs are old, | Thou knowest better words than this to say. Or else too weak; and all eyes turn to What is one more, one less, obscure or thee.
famed, Come down and help us, Rustum, or we Valiant or craven, young or old, to me ? lose !”
Are not they mortal ? am not I myself? He spoke; but Rustum answered with a But who for men of naught would do great smile,
deeds ? “Go to ! if İran's chiefs are old, then I Come, thou shalt see how Rustum hoards Am older. If the young are weak, the king
his fame! Errs strangely; for the king, for Kai But I will fight unknown, and in plain Khosroo,
arms: Himself is young, and honors younger men, Let not men say of Rustum, he was matched And lets the aged moulder to their graves. | In single fight with any mortal man." Rustum he loves no more, but loves the I He spoke, and frowned; and Gudurz young:
turned, and ran
260 The young may rise at Sobrab's vaunts, Back quickly through the camp in fear and not I.
joy,For what care I, though all speak Sohrab's Fear at his wrath, but joy that Rustum fame?
came. For would that I myself had such a son, But Rustum strode to his tent-door, and And not that one slight helpless girl I
called have !
230 His followers in, and bade them bring his A son so famed, so brave, to send to war,
arms, And I to tarry with the snow-haired Zal, And clad himself in steel. The arms he My father, whom the robber Afghans vex,
chose And clip his borders short, and drive his Were plain, and on his shield was no deberds,
vice; And he has none to guard his weak old Only his helm was rich, inlaid with gold, age.
And, from the fluted spine a-top, a plume There would I go, and hang my armor up, Of horse-bair waved, a scarlet horse-hair And with my great name fence that weak
plume. old man,
So armed, be issued forth; and Ruksh, his And spend the goodly treasures I have got,
horse, nd rest my age, and hear of Sobrab's | Followed him like a faithful hound at fame,