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Often, where clear-stemmed platans guard
The outlet, did I turn away

The boat-head down a broad canal
From the main river sluiced, where all
The sloping of the moonlit sward
Was damask-work, and deep inlay
Of braided blooms unmown, which crept
Adown to where the waters slept.
A goodly place, a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


A motion from the river won
Ridged the smooth level, bearing on
My shallop through the star-strown calm,
Until another night in night
I entered, from the clearer light,
Imbowered vaults of pillared palm,
Imprisoning sweets, which, as they clomb
Heavenward, were stayed beneath the dome
Of hollow boughs.- A goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


Still onward; and the clear canal
Is rounded to as clear a lake.
From the green rivage many a fall
Of diamond rillets musical,
Through little crystal arches low
Down from the central fountain's flow
Fallen silver-chiming, seemed to shake
The sparkling flints beneath the prow.
A goodly place, a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


Above through many a bowery turn
A walk with vary-colored shells
Wandered engrained. On either side
All round about the fragrant marge
From fluted vase, and brazen urn,
In order, eastern flowers large,
Some dropping low their crimson bells
Half-closed, and others studded wide

With disks and tiars, fed the time
With odor in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


Far off, and where the lemon-grove
In closest coverture upsprung,
The living airs of middle night
Died round the bulbul as he sung;
Not he: but something which possessed
The darkness of the world, delight,
Life, anguish, death, immortal love,
Ceasing not, mingled, unrepressed,

Apart from place, withholding time,
But flattering the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


Black the garden-bowers and grots
Slumbered: the solemn palms were ranged
Above, unwooed of summer wind:
A sudden splendor from behind

Flushed all the leaves with rich gold-green,
And, flowing rapidly between
Their interspaces, counterchanged
The level lake with diamond-plots
Of dark and bright. A lovely time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


Dark-blue the deep sphere overhead,
Distinct with vivid stars inlaid,
Grew darker from that under-flame:
So, leaping lightly from the boat,
With silver anchor left afloat,
In marvel whence that glory came
Upon me, as in sleep I sank
In cool soft turf upon the bank,
Entranced with that place and time,
So worthy of the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


Thence through the garden I was drawn,—
A realm of pleasance, many a mound,
And many a shadow-chequered lawn
Full of the city's stilly sound,

And deep myrrh-thickets blowing round
The stately cedar, tamarisks,
Thick rosaries of scented thorn,
Tall orient shrubs, and obelisks
Graven with emblems of the time,
In honor of the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


With dazéd vision unawares
From the long alley's lattice shade
Emerged, I came upon the great
Pavilion of the Caliphat.
Right to the carven cedarn doors,
Flung inward over spangled floors,
Broad-based flights of marble stairs
Ran up with golden balustrade,

After the fashion of the time
And humor of the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


The fourscore windows all alight
As with the quintessence of flame,
A million tapers flaring bright
From twisted silvers looked to shame
The hollow-vaulted dark, and streamed
Upon the mooned domes aloof

In inmost Bagdat, till there seemed
Hundreds of crescents on the roof
Of night new risen, that marvellous time,
To celebrate the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


Then stole I up, and trancedly
Gazed on the Persian girl alone,
Serene with argent-lidded eyes,
Amorous, and lashes like to rays
Of darkness, and a brow of pearl
Tressed with redolent ebony,
In many a dark delicious curl,
Flowing beneath her rose-hued zone;
The sweetest lady of the time,
Well worthy of the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.


Six columns, three on either side,
Pure silver, underpropt a rich
Throne of the massive ore, from which
Down-drooped, in many a floating fold,
Engarlanded and diapered

With inwrought flowers, a cloth of gold.
Thereon, his deep eye laughter-stirred
With merriment of kingly pride,

Sole star of all that place and time,
I saw him-in his golden prime,




THOU who stealest fire,
From the fountains of the past,
To glorify the present; oh, haste,
Visit my low desire!

Strengthen me, enlighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.


Come not as thou camest of late,
Flinging the gloom of yesternight

On the white day; but robed in softened light
Of orient state.

Whilome thou camest with the morning mist,
Even as a maid, whose stately brow
The dew-impearled winds of dawn have kissed,
When she, as thou,

Stays on her floating locks the lovely freight
Of overflowing blooms, and earliest shoots
Of orient green, giving safe pledge of fruits,
Which in wintertide shall star

The black earth with brilliance rare.


Whilome thou camest with the morning mist,
And with the evening cloud,

Showering thy gleaned wealth into my open breast, (Those peerless flowers which in the rudest wind Never grow sere,

When rooted in the garden of the mind,
Because they are the earliest of the year.)
Nor was the night thy shroud.

In sweet dreams softer than unbroken rest
Thou leddest by the hand thy infant Hope.
The eddying of her garments caught from thee



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