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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 thro’ the garden I was drawn-
A realm of pleasance, many a mound,
And many a shadow-chequer'd 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 honour of the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.


With dazed vision unawares
From the long alley's latticed 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 humour 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 look'd to shame
The hollow-vaulted dark, and stream'd
Upon the mooned domes aloof
In inmost Bagdat, till there seem'd
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-droop’d, in many a floating fold,
Engarlanded and diaper'd
With inwrought flowers, a cloth of gold.
Thereon, his deep eye laughter-stirr'd
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,


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 soften'd 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 kiss'd,

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


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 thine infant Hope.
The eddying of her garments caught from thee
The light of thy great presence; and the cope

Of the half-attain'd futurity,

Though deep not fathomless, Was cloven with the million stars which tremble O'er the deep mind of dauntless infancy. Small thought was there of life's distress ; For sure she deem'd no mist of earth could dull Those spirit-thrilling eyes so keen and beautiful : Sure she was nigher to heaven's spheres,

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