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“Ah! yes, he had! and that lost son am I. Of the bright rocking Ocean sets to shore Surely the news will one day reach his At the full moon: tears gathered in his ear,
eyes; Reach Rustum, where he sits, and tarries For he remembered his own early youth, long,
And all its bounding rapture; as, at dawn, Somewhere, I know not where, but far The shepherd from his mountain-lodge from here,
descries And pierce him like a stab, and make him A far, bright city, smitten by the sun, leap
Through many rolling clouds—so Rustum To arms, and cry for vengeance upon thee.
His youth; saw Sohrab's mother, in her Fierce man, bethink thee, for an only son!
bloom; What will that grief, what will that And that old king, her father, who loved vengeance be?
well Oh, could I live, till I that grief had seen! His wandering guest, and gave him his Yet him I pity not so much, but her,
fair child My mother, who in Ader-baijan dwells 590 With joy; and all the pleasant life they With that old king, her father, who grows led, gray
They three, in that long-distant summerWith age, and rules over the valiant timeKoords.
The castle, and the dewy woods, and hunt Her most I pity, who no more will see And hound, and morn on those delightful Sohrab returning from the Tartar camp, hills
630 With spoils and honor, when the war is In Ader-baijan. And he saw that youth, done.
595 Of age and looks to be his own dear son, But a dark rumor will be bruited up, Piteous and lovely, lying on the sand, From tribe to tribe, until it reach her ear; Like some rich hyacinth which by the And then will that defenceless woman scythe learn
Of an unskilful gardener has been cut, 635 That Sohrab will rejoice her sight no more; | Mowing the garden grass-plots near its But that in battle with a nameless foe, 600 By the far-distant Oxus, he is slain.” And lies, a fragrant tower of purple bloom, He spoke; and as he ceased, he wept On the mown, dying grass-so Sohrab lay, aloud,
Lovely in death, upon the common sand. Thinking of her he left, and his own death. And Rustum gazed on him with grief, and He spoke; but Rustum listened, plunged said:
640 in thought.
“O Sohrab, thou indeed art such a son Nor did he yet believe it was his son 605 Whom Rustum, wert thou his, might well Who spoke, although he called back names I have loved. he knew;
Yet here thou errest, Sohrab, or else men For he had had sure tidings that the babe, Have told thee false—thou art not RusWhich was in Ader-baijan born to him, tum's son. Had been a puny girl, no boy at all For Rustum had no son: one child he So that sad mother sent him word, for hadfear
610 | But one a girl; who with her mother now Rustum should take the boy, to train in Plies some light female task, nor dreams of
arms; And so he deemed that either Sohrab took, Of us she dreams not, nor of wounds, nor By a false boast, the style of Rustum's war." son;
| But Sohrab answered him in wrath; for Or that men gave it him, to swell his fame. now So deemed he; yet he listened, plunged The anguish of the deep-fixed spear grew in thought,
650 And his soul set to grief, as the vast tide | And he desired to draw forth the steel,
And let the blood flow free, and so to die | And then he touched it with his hand and But first he would convince his stubborn said: foe;
“How say'st thou? Is that sign the And, rising sternly on one arm, he said: proper sign “Man, who art thou who dost deny my Of Rustum's son, or of some other man's?” words?
1 655 He spoke: but Rustum gazed, and Truth sits upon the lips of dying men,
gazed, and stood And falsehood, while I lived, was far from Speechless; and then he uttered one sharp mine.
690 I tell thee, pricked upon this arm I bear | “O boy—thy father!''—and his voice That seal which Rustum to my mother choked there. gave,
And then a dark cloud passed before his That she might prick it on the babe she eyes, bore.”
660 And his head swam, and he sank down to He spoke; and all the blood left Rus earth. tum's cheeks,
But Sohrab crawled to where he lay, and And his knees tottered, and he smote his cast hand
His arms about his neck, and kissed his Against his breast, his heavy mailèd hand, lips,
695 That the hard iron corslet clanked aloud; And with fond faltering fingers stroked And to his heart he pressed the other his cheeks, hand,
- 665 Trying to call him back to life; and life And in a hollow voice he spake, and said: Came back to Rustum, and he oped his "Sohrab, that were a proof which could eyes, not lie!
And they stood wide with horror; and he If thou show this, then art thou Rustum's seized son.'
In both his hands the dust which lay Then, with weak hasty fingers, Sohrab around,
And threw it on his head, and smirched His belt, and near the shoulder bared his his hair,arm,
- 670 His hair, and face, and beard, and glitterAnd showed a sign in faint vermilion points ing arms; Pricked; as a cunning workman, in Pekin, And strong convulsive groanings shook Pricks with vermilion some clear porcelain his breast, vase,
And his sobs choked him; and he clutched An emperor's gift-at early morn he paints, his sword, And all day long, and, when night comes, To draw it, and forever let life out. 705 the lamp
675 But Sohrab saw his thought, and held his Lights up his studious forehead and thin hands, hands
And with a soothing voice he spake, and So delicately pricked the sign appeared
said:On Sohrab's arm, the sign of Rustum's | “Father, forbear! for I but meet to-day seal.
The doom that at my birth was written It was that griffin, which of old reared Zal, down Rustum's great father, whom they left to In Heaven, and thou art Heaven's uncondie,
680 I scious hand. A helpless babe, among the mountain Surely my heart cried out that it was thou, rocks;
When first I saw thee; and thy heart spoke Him that kind creature found, and reared, too, and loved
I know it! but fate trod those promptings Then Rustum took it for his glorious sign. down And Sohrab bared that image on his arm, Under its iron heel; fate, fate engaged And himself scanned it long with mournful | The strife, and hurled me on my father's eyes,
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! | Ruksh, thou art more fortunate than 1; Come, sit beside me on this sand, and For thou hast gone where I shall never
take 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 Seistan, ‘My son!'
And seen the river of Helmund, and the Quick! quick! for numbered are my sands 1 Lake 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 well! But it was writ in Heaven that this but I
755 should be."
725 Have never known my grandsire's furSo said he: and his voice released the rowed face, heart
Nor seen his lofty house in Seîstan, 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,
seen 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, mane
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 sionate eyes,
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:
741 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 borse! and But come! thou seest this great host of said,
men 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?
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 thou; earth,
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: And say 'O son, 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 now, replied:
795 Not yet! but thou shalt have it on that "Fear not! as thou hast said, Sohrab, my day, son,
When thou shalt sail in a high-masted So shall it be; for I will burn my tents, I ship, And quit the host, and bear thee hence Thou and the other peers of Kai-Khosroo, with me,
Returning home over the salt blue sea, And carry thee away to Seïstan,
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
1 840 go!
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 foes,
810 | Like the soiled tissue of white violets And they who were called champions in Left, freshly gathered, on their native their time,
Under the solitary moon;-he flowed Right for the polar star, past Orgunje, Brimming, and bright, and large; then sands begin
881 To hem his watery march, and dam his
streams, And split his currents; that for many a
league The shorn and parcelled Oxus strains along Through beds of sand and matied rushy isles
883 Oxus, forgetting the bright speed he had In his high mountain cradle in Pamere, A foiled circuitous wanderer-till at last The longed-for dash of waves is heard, and
wide His luminous home of waters opens,
bright And tranquil, from whose floor the new
bathed stars Emerge, and shine upon the Aral Sea.
THE AUSTERITY OF POETRY
By romping children, whom their nurses
call Indoors from the sun's eye; his head
drooped low, His limbs grew slack; motionless, white,
he layWhite, with eyes closed; only when heavy
gasps, Deep heavy gasps quivering through all his frame,
850 Convulsed him back to life, he opened
them, And fixed them feebly on his father's
face; Till now all strength was ebbed, and from
his limbs Unwillingly the spirit filed away, Regretting the warm mansion which it left,
855 And youth, and bloom, and this delight
ful world. So, on the bloody sand, Sohrab lay dead; And the great Rustum drew his horse
man's cloak Down o'er his face, and sate by his dead
son. As those black granite pillars, once highreared
860 By Jemshid in Persepolis, to bear His house, now 'mid their broken flights
of steps Lie prone, enormous, down the mountain
side So in the sand lay Rustum by his son. And night came down over the solemn waste,
865 And the two gazing hosts, and that sole
pair, And darkened all; and a cold fog, with
night, Crept from the Oxus. Soon a hum arose, As of a great assembly loosed, and fires Began to twinkle through the fog: for now
870 Both armies moved to camp, and took
their meal; The Persians took it on the open sands Southward, the Tartars by the river marge: And Rustum and his son were left alone.
But the majestic river floated on, 875 Out of the mist and hum of that low land, Into the frosty starlight, and there moved, Rejoicing, through the hushed Choras
That son of Italy who tried to blow,
5 Youth like a star; and what to youth
belongGay raiment, sparkling gauds, elation
strong A prop gave way! crash fell a platform! lo, 'Mid struggling sufferers, hurt to death,
she lay! Shuddering, they drew her garments off —and found
10 A robe of sackcloth next the smooth,
white skin. Such, poets, is your bride, the Muse!
young, gay, Radiant, adorned outside; a hidden ground Of thought and of austerity within.
NOVEMBER 1857 Coldly, sadly descends The autumn.evening. The field Strewn with its dank yellow drifts Of withered leaves, and the elms,