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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! O Ruksh, thou art more fortunate than I; Come, sit beside me on this sand, and For thou hast gone where I shall never take

go, 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 Seîstan, My son!'

720 And seen the river of Helmund, and the Quick! quick! for numbered are my sands Lake

751 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 Seïstan, 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, 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,

730

drunk With his head bowing to the ground and The desert rivers, Moorghab and Tejend,

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,

735 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 horse! 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.

745

these!

mane

790

Let me entreat for them; what have they | And through whose death I won that done?

780 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!

815 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

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 replied:

795 Not yet! but thou shalt have it on that “Fear not! as thou hast said, Sohrab, my day,

830 son,

When thou shalt sail in a high-masted So shall it be; for I will burn my tents, ship, And quit the host, and bear thee hence Thou and the other peers of Kai-Khosroo,

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, 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

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,

bank,

845

now,

with me,

for thee,

son.

By romping children, whom their nurses Under the solitary moon;-he flowed call

Right for the polar star, past Orgunjè, Indoors from the sun's eye; his head Brimming, and bright, and large; then drooped low,

sands begin

881 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 his frame,

850 Through beds of sand and matted rushy Convulsed him back to life, he opened isles

885 them,

Oxus, forgetting the bright speed he had And fixed them feebly on his father's In his high mountain 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

wide Unwillingly the spirit fled away,

His luminous home of waters opens, Regretting the warm mansion which it bright

890 left,

855 | And tranquil, from whose floor the newAnd youth, and bloom, and this delight- bathed stars ful world.

Emerge, and shine upon the Aral Sea.
So, on the bloody sand, Sohrab lay dead;
And the great Rustum drew his horse-

THE AUSTERITY OF POETRY man's cloak Down o'er his face, and sate by his dead

That son of Italy who tried to blow, As those black granite pillars, once high. In his light youth amid a festal throng

Ere Dante came, the trump of sacred song, reared

860

Sat with his bride to see a public show. By Jemshid in Persepolis, to bear His house, now 'mid their broken flights

Fair was the bride, and on her front did glow

5

Youth like a star; and what to youth Lie prone, enormous, down the mountain side

belongSo in the sand lay Rustum by his son.

Gay raiment, sparkling gauds, elation And night came down over the solemn

strong. waste,

865

A prop gave way! crash fell a platform! lo, And the two gazing hosts, and that sole

'Mid struggling sufferers, hurt to death, pair, And darkened all; and a cold fog, with Shuddering, they drew her garments off

—and found night,

A robe of sackcloth next the smooth, Crept from the Oxus. Soon a hum arose,

white skin, As of a great assembly loosed, and fires Began to twinkle through the fog: for Such, poets, is your bride, the Muse!

870

young, gay, Both armies moved to camp, and took Radiant, adorned outside; a hidden ground their meal;

Of thought and of austerity within.
The Persians took it on the open sands
Southward, the Tartars by the river marge:

RUGBY CHAPEL
And Rustum and his son were left alone.

NOVEMBER 1857
But the majestic river floated on, 875
Out of the mist and hum of that low land, Coldly, sadly descends
Into the frosty starlight, and there moved, The autumn evening. The field
Rejoicing, through the hushed Choras- Strewn with its dank yellow drifts
mian waste,

Of withered leaves, and the elms,

of steps

she lay!

IO

now

IO

20

Fade into dimness apace,

5
'Twixt vice and virtue; revivest,

55 Silent;hardly a shout

Succorest! This was thy work,
From a few boys late at their play! This was thy life upon earth.
The lights come out in the street,
In the school-room windows;—but cold, What is the course of the life
Solemn, unlighted, austere,

Of mortal men on the earth?
Through the gathering darkness, arise Most men eddy about

60 The chapel-walls, in whose bound Here and there-eat and drink, Thou, my father! art laid.

Chatter and love and hate,

Gather and squander, are raised There thou dost lie, in the gloom

Aloft, are hurled in the dust. Of the autumn evening. But ah! 15 Striving blindly, achieving

65 That word, gloom, to my mind

Nothing; and then they dieBrings thee back, in the light

Perish;—and no one asks
Of thy radiant vigor, again;

Who or what they have been,
In the gloom of November we passed More than he asks what waves,
Days not dark at thy side;

In the moonlit solitudes mild

70 Seasons impaired not the ray

Of the midmost Ocean, have swelled, Of thy buoyant cheerfulness clear. Foamed for a moment, and gone. Such thou wast! and I stand In the autumn evening, and think And there are some, whom a thirst Of bygone autumns with thee. 25 Ardent, unquenchable, fires,

Not with the crowd to be spent, 75 Fifteen years have gone round

Not without aim to go round
Since thou arosest to tread,

In an eddy of purposeless dust,
In the summer-morning, the road Effort unmeaning and vain.
Of death, at a call unforeseen,

Ah, yes! some of us strive
Sudden. For fifteen years,
30 Not without action to die

80 We who till then in thy shade

Fruitless, but something to snatch Rested as under the boughs

From dull oblivion, nor all Of a mighty oak, have endured

Glut the devouring grave! Sunshine and rain as we might,

We, we have chosen our pathBare, unshaded, alone,

35 Path to a clear-purposed goal, Lacking the shelter of thee.

Path of advance!—but it leads

A long, steep journey, through sunk O strong soul, by what shore

Gorges, o'er mountains in snow. Tarriest thou now? For that force, Cheerful, with friends, we set forthSurely, has not been left vain!

Then, on the height, comes the storm. 90 Somewhere, surely, afar,

40

Thunder crashes from rock In the sounding labor-house vast

To rock, the cataracts reply; Of being, is practised that strength, Lightnings dazzle our eyes; Zealous, beneficent, firm!

Roaring torrents have breached

The track; the stream-bed descends 95 Yes, in some far-shining sphere,

In the place where the wayfarer once Conscious or not of the past,

45

Planted his footstep-the spray
Still thou performest the word

Boils o'er its borders! aloft
Of the Spirit in whom thou dost live The unseen snow-beds dislodge
Prompt, unwearied, as here!

Their hanging ruin! alas,
Still thou upraisest with zeal

Havoc is made in our train!
The humble good from the ground, 50 Friends, who set forth at our side,
Sternly repressest the bad!

Falter, are lost in the storm.
Still, like a trumpet, dost rouse

We, we only are left! Those who with half-open eyes

With frowning foreheads, with lips 105 Tread the border-land dim

Sternly compressed, we strain on,

85

100 IIO

125

176

On--and at nightfall at last

Bluster or cringe, and make life Come to the end of our way,

Hideous, and arid, and vile; To the lonely inn 'mid the rocks; But souls tempered with fire, Where the gaunt and taciturn host Fervent, heroic, and good,

160 Stands on the threshold, the wind

Helpers and friends of mankind.
Shaking his thin white hairs-
Holds his lantern to scan

Servants of God!or sons
Our storm-beat figures, and asks:

Shall I not call you? because Whom in our party we bring,

115

Not as servants ye knew
Whom we have left in the snow?

Your Father's innermost mind, 165
His, who unwillingly sees

One of his little ones lost-
Sadly we answer: We bring
Only ourselves! we lost

Yours is the praise, if mankind
Sight of the rest in the storm.

Hath not as yet in its march Hardly ourselves we fought through, 120

Fainted, and fallen, and died!

170 Stripped, without friends, as we are.

See! In the rocks of the world Friends, companions, and train,

Marches the host of mankind, The avalanche swept from our side.

A feeble, wavering line.

Where are they tending?-A God But thou would'st not alone

Marshalled them, gave them their goal.-Be saved, my father! alone

Ah, but the way is so long! Conquer and come to thy goal,

Years they have been in the wild! Leaving the rest in the wild.

Sore thirst plagues them, the rocks, We were weary, and we

Rising all round, overawe; Fearful, and we in our march

Factions divide them, their host 180 Fain to drop down and to die.

130

Threatens to break, to dissolve.
Still thou turnedst, and still
Beckonedst the trembler, and still

-Ah, keep, keep them combined!
Gavest the weary thy hand.

Else, of the myriads who fill
That army, not one shall arrive;

Sole they shall stray; on the rocks
If, in the paths of the world,

Batter for ever in vain,
Stones might have wounded thy feet, 135

Die one by one in the waste.
Toil or dejection have tried
Thy spirit, of that we saw

Then, in such hour of need
Nothing—to us thou wast still

Of your fainting, dispirited race, Cheerful, and helpful, and firm!

Ye, like angels, appear,

190 Therefore to thee it was given

140

Radiant with ardor divine. Many to save with thyself;

Beacons of hope, ye appear! And, at the end of thy day,

Languor is not in your heart, O faithful shepherd! to come,

Weakness is not in your word, Bringing thy sheep in thy hand.

Weariness not on your brow.

195

Ye alight in our van! at your voice And through thee I believe

145 Panic, despair, flee away. In the noble and great who are gone; Ye move through the ranks, recall Pure souls honored and blest

The stragglers, refresh the outworn, By former ages, who else

Praise, re-inspire the brave.
Such, so soulless, so poor,

Order, courage, return;
Is the race of men whom I see 150 Eyes rekindling, and prayers,
Seemed but a dream of the heart, Follow your steps as ye go.
Seemed but a cry of desire.

Ye fill up the gaps in our files,
Yes! I believe that there lived

Strengthen the wavering line,

205 Others like thee in the past,

Stablish, continue our march, Not like the men of the crowd

155 On, to the bound of the waste, Who all round me to-day

On, to the City of God.

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200

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