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With joy; and all the pleasant life they led, And to his heart he pressed the other hand, They three, in that long-distant summer- And in a hollow voice be spake, and said, time, —
“ Sohrab, that were a proof which could The castle, and the dewy woods, and hunt
not lie! And hound, and morn on those delightful If thou show this, then art thou Rustum's hills
son.” In Ader-baijan. And he saw that youth, Then, with weak hasty fingers, Sohrab Of age and looks to be his own dear son,
loosed Piteous and lovely, lying on the sand; His belt, and near the shoulder bared his Like some rich hyacinth which by the scythe
670 Of an unskilful gardener has been cut, And showed a sign in faint vermilion points Mowing the garden grass-plots near its bed, Pricked; as a cunning workman, in Pekin, And lies, a fragrant tower of purple bloom, Pricks with vermilion some clear porcelain On the mown, dying grass, - 80 Sohrab lay,
vase, Lovely in death, upon the common sand. An emperor's gift, - at early morn he And Rustum gazed on him with grief, and
1 640 And all day long, and, when night comes, “O Sohrab, thon indeed art such a son
the lamp Whom Rustum, wert thou his, might well Lights up his studious forehead and thin have loved !
hands, – Yet bere thou errest, Sohrab, or else men So delicately pricked the sign appeared Have told thee false: thon art not Rustum's On Sohrab's arm, the sign of Rustum's seal. son.
It was that griffin which of old reared Zal, For Rustum had no son: one child be had,-| Rustum's great father, whom they left to But one, - a girl; who with her mother
A helpless babe, among the mountain rocks; Plies some light female task, nor dreams of Him that kind creature found, and reared, us,
and loved; Of us she dreams not, nor of wounds, nor Then Rustum took it for his glorious sign.
And Sohrab bared that image on his arm, But Sohrab answered him in wrath; for And himself scanned it long with mournful now
eyes, The anguish of the deep-fixed spear grew And then he touched it with his band, and fierce,
said, And he desired to draw forth the steel, “How say'st thou? Is that sign the And let the blood flow free, and so to die.
proper sign But first he would convince his stubborn Of Rustum's son, or of some other man's ?” foe;
He spoke; but Rustum gazed, and gazed, And, rising sternly on one arm, he said,
and stood “ Man, who art thou who dost deny my Speechless; and then he uttered one sharp words?
690 Truth sits upon the lips of dying men; | O boy — thy father! and his voice choked And falsehood, while I lived, was far from
And then a dark cloud passed before his I tell thee, pricked upon this arm I bear
eyes, That seal which Rustum to my mother And his head swam, and he sank down to
gave, That she might prick it on the babe she But Sohrab crawled to where he lay, and bore."
cast He spoke; and all the blood left Rustum's His arms about his neck, and kissed his cheeks,
lips, And his knees tottered, and he smote his And with fond faltering fingers stroked his hand
cheeks, Against his breast, his heavy mailed hand, Trying to call him back to life; and life That the hard iron corselet clanked aloud; 1 Came back to Rustum, and he oped his eyes,
And they stood wide with horror; and he With his head bowing to the ground, and seized
mane In both his hands the dust which lay around, Sweeping the dust, came near, and in mute And threw it on his head, and smirched his
First to the one, then to the other, moved His hair, and face, and beard, and glitter- | His head, as if inquiring what their grief ing arms;
Might mean ; and from his dark, compasAnd strong convulsive groanings shook his
sionate eyes, breast,
The big warm tears rolled down, and caked And his sobs cboked him; and he clutched
the sand. bis sword,
But Rustum chid him wit.. stern voice, and To draw it, and forever let life out.
said, But Sohrab saw his thought, and held his “Ruksh, now thou grievest; but, O hands,
Ruksh, thy feet And with a soothing voice be spake, and Should then have rotted on their nimble said,
joints, “Father, forbear! for I but meet to-day When tirst they bore thy master to this The doom which at my birth was written
But Sohrab looked upon the horse, and In Heaven, and thou art Heaven's uncon
said, scious hand.
710 “Is this, then, Ruksh? How often, in past Surely my heart cried out that it was thou,
days, When first I saw thee; and thy heart spoke My mother told me of thee, thou brave too,
steed, I know it! But fate trod those promptings My terrible father's terrible horse! and down
said, Under its iron heel; fate, fate engaged That I should one day find thy lord and The strife, and hurled me on my father's
Come, let me lay my hand upon thy mane ! But let us speak no more of this. I find O Ruksh, thou art more fortunate than I ! My father, let me feel that I have found ! For thou hast gone where I shall never go, Come, sit beside me on this sand, and | And snuffed the breezes of my father's take
home. My head betwixt thy hands, and kiss my And thou hast trod the sands of Seistan, cheeks,
And seen the River of Helmund, and the And wash them with thy tears, and say, Lake My son!
720 Of Zirrah ; and the aged Zal himself Quick, quick! for numbered are my sands Has often stroked thy neck, and given thee of life,
food, And swift; for like the lightning to this Corn in a golden platter, soaked with
wine, I came, and like the wind I go away, And said, O Ruksh! bear Rustum well! Sudden, and swift, and like a passing wind;
But I But it was writ in Heaven that this should Have never known my grandsire's furrowed be."
face, So said he; and his voice released the Nor seen his lofty house in Seistan, heart
Nor slaked my thirst at the clear Helmund Of Rustum, and his tears broke forth; he cast
But lodged among my father's foes, and His arms round his son's neck, and wept seen aloud,
Afrasiab's cities only, Samarcand, 760 And kissed him. And awe fell on both the Bokhara, and lone Khiva in the waste, hosts,
And the black Toorkmuu tents; and only When they saw Rustum's grief; and Ruksh, drunk the horse,
730 | The desert rivers, Moorghab and Tejend,
Kuhik, and where the Kalmuks feed their And place thee on a bed, and mourn for
sheep, The northern Sir; and this great Oxus With the snow-headed Zal, and all my stream,
friends. The yellow Oxus, by whose brink I die.” | And I will lay thee in that lovely earth Then, with a heavy groan, Rustum be And heap å stately mound above thy wailed, —
bones, “Oh that its waves were flowing over And plant a far-seen pillar over all, me !
And men shall not forget thee in thy Oh that I saw its grains of yellow silt
grave. Roll tumbling in the current o'er my And I will spare thy host ; yea, let them head!"
go! But, with a grave mild voice, Sohrab re- Let them all cross the Oxus back in peace ! plied, —
What should I do with slaying any more? “Desire not that, my father! thou must For would that all whom I have ever slain
Might be once more alive, - my bitterest For some are born to do great deeds, and
And they who were called champions in As some are born to be obscure, and die. I their time, Do thou the deeds I die too young to do, | And through whose death I won that fame And reap a second glory in thine age ;
I have, Thou art my father, and thy gain is mine. And I were nothing but a common man, But come ! thou seest this great host of A poor, mean soldier, and without renown, men
So thou mightest live too, my son, iny Which follow me; I pray thee, slay not son ! these !
Or rather would that I, even I myself, Let me entreat for them : what have they Might now be lying on this bloody sand, done ?
Near death, and by an ignorant stroke of They followed me, my hope, my fame, my tbine, star.
Not thou of mine ! and I might die, not Let them all cross the Oxus back in peace.
thou; But me thou must bear hence, not send And I, not thou, be borne to Seistan; 820 with them,
And Zal might weep above my grave, not But carry me with thee to Seistan,
thine; And place me on a bed, and mourn for And say, O son, 1 weep thee not too sore, me, —
For willingly, I know, thou met'st thine end ! Thou, and the snow-haired Zal, and all thy But now in blood and battles was my friends.
youth, And thou must lay me in that lovely earth, And full of blood and battles is my age, And heap a stately mound above my bones, And I shall never end this life of blood." And plant a far-seen pillar over all ;
Then, at the point of death, Sohrab reThat so the passing horseman on the waste
plied, — May see my tomb a great way off, and “A life of blood indeed, thou dreadful cry, —
man ! Sohrab, the mighty Rustum's son, lies there, But thou shalt yet have peace ; only not Whom his great father did in ignorance kill ! now, And I be not forgotten in my grave." Not yet! but thou shalt have it on that And, with a mournful voice, Rustum re
When thou shalt sail in a high-masted “Fear not ! as thou hast said, Sohrab my ship, son,
Thou and the other peers of Kai Khosroo, So shall it be ; for I will burn my tents, Returning home over the salt blue sea, And quit the host, and bear thee hence From laying thy dear master in bis grave.” with me,
And Rustum gazed in Sohrab's face, and And carry thee away to Seistan,
- his frame,
“Soon be that day, my son, and deep that | And darkened all; and a cold fog, with sea!
night, Till then, if fate so wills, let me endure." I Crept from the Oxus. Soon a hum arose, He spoke; and Sohrab smiled on him, As of a great assembly loosed, and fires and took
Began to twinkle through the fog; for The spear, and drew it from his side, and
Both armies moved to camp, and took their His wound's imperious anguish; but the
The Persians took it on the open sands Came welling from the open gash, and life Southward, the Tartars by the river-marge; Flowed with the stream; all down his cold | And Rustum and his son were left alone.
white side The crimson torrent ran, dim now and But the majestic river floated on, soiled,
Out of the mist and hum of that low land, Like the soiled tissue of white violets Into the frosty starlight, and there moved, Left, freshly gathered, on their native | Rejoicing, through the hushed Chorasmian
bank, By children whom their nurses call with Under the solitary moon; he flowed haste
Right for the polar star, past Orgunje, 880 In-doors from the sun's eye; his head Brimming, and bright, and large; then drooped low,
sands begin 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
1 850 Through beds of sand and matted rushy Convulsed him back to life, he opened isles, them,
Oxus, forgetting the bright speed he had And fixed them feebly on his father's In his high inountain 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 Unwillingly the spirit filed away,
His luminous home of waters opens, bright Regretting the warm mansion which it And tranquil, from whose floor the newleft,
bathed stars And youth, and bloom, and this delightful | Emerge, and shine upon the Aral Sea.
world. So, on the bloody sand, Sohrab lay dead; And the great Rustuin drew his horse THE FORSAKEN MERMAN
man's cloak Down o'er his face, and sate by his dead
[Publ. 1849.) son. As those black granite pillars, once high COME, dear children, let us away; reared
Down and away below! By Jemshid in Persepolis, to bear
Now my brothers call from the bay, His house, now 'mid their broken flights of Now the great winds shoreward blow, steps
Now the salt tides seaward flow; Lie prone, enormous, down the mountain Now the wild white horses play, side,
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray. So in the sand lay Rustum by his son. Children dear, let us away! And night came down over the solemn This way, this way!
waste, And the two gazing hosts, and that sole Call her once before you go, pair,
Call once yet!
In a voice that she will know,
'T will be Easter-time in the world – ah “ Margaret! Margaret!”
me! Children's voices should be dear
And I lose my poor soul, merman! here (Call once more) to a mother's ear;
with thee." Children's voices, wild with pain, —
I said, “Go up, dear beart, through the Surely she will come again !
waves; Call her once, and come away;
Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind This way, this way!
sea-caves!” “Mother dear, we cannot stay !
She smiled, she went up through the surf The wild white horses foam and fret.”
in the bay. Margaret ! Margaret !
Children dear, was it yesterday ? Come, dear children, come away down: Children dear, were we long alone ? Call no more !
“The sea grows stormy, the little ones One last look at the white-walled town,
moan; Aud the little gray church on the windy Long prayers,” I said, “in the world they shore;
say; Then come down !
Come !” I said; and we rose through the She will not come, though you call all day; surf in the bay. Come away, come away!
We went up the beach, by the sandy down
Where the sea-stocks bloom, to the whiteChildren dear, was it yesterday
walled town; We heard the sweet bells over the bay, Through the narrow paved streets, where In the caverns where we lay,
all was still, Through the surf and through the swell, To the little gray church on the windy hill. The far-off sound of a silver bell ?
From the church came a murmur of folk Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep,
at their prayers, Where the winds are all asleep;
But we stood without in the cold blowing Where the spent lights quiver and gleam,
airs. Where the salt weed sways in the stream, We climbed on the graves, on the stones Where the sea-beasts, ranged all round,
worn with rains, Feed in the ooze of their pasture-ground; And we gazed up the aisle through the Where the sea-snakes coil and twine, 41
sinall leaded panes. Dry their mail and bask in the brine; She sate by the pillar; we saw her clear: Where great whales come sailing by, “ Margaret, hist! come quick, we are here! Sail and sail, with unshut eye,
Dear heart," I said, “ we are long alone; Round the world for ever and aye ?
The sea grows stormy, the little ones When did music come this way?
moan." Children dear, was it yesterday ?
But, ah! she gave me never a look, 80
For her eyes were sealed to the holy book. Children dear, was it yesterday
Loud prays the priest; shut stands the (Call yet once) that she went away?
door Once she sate with you and me,
50 Come away, children, call no more! On a red gold throne in the heart of the Come away, come down, call no more !
sea, And the youngest sate on her knee.
Down, down, down! She combed its bright hair, and she tended | Down to the depths of the sea ! it well,
She sits at her wheel in the humming town, When down swung the sound of a far-off Singing most joyfully. bell.
Hark what she sings: “() joy, 0 joy, She sighed, she looked up through the clear For the humming street, and the child with green sea;
its toy! She said, “I must go, for my kinsfolk pray For the priest, and the bell, and the holy In the little gray church on the shore today.
| For the wheel where I spun,