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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,
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:
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.
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,
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,
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
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,
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,
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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!
young, gay, Both armies moved to camp, and took Radiant, adorned outside; a hidden ground their meal;
Of thought and of austerity within.
Of withered leaves, and the elms,
Fade into dimness apace,
55 Silent;hardly a shout
Succorest! This was thy work,
Of mortal men on the earth?
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
Who or what they have been,
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
In an eddy of purposeless dust,
Ah, yes! some of us strive
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,
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,
Planted his footstep-the spray
Boils o'er its borders! aloft
Their hanging ruin! alas,
Havoc is made in our train!
Falter, are lost in the storm.
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,
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.
Servants of God!or sons
Shall I not call you? because Whom in our party we bring,
Not as servants ye knew
Your Father's innermost mind, 165
One of his little ones lost-
Yours is the praise, if mankind
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.
Threatens to break, to dissolve.
-Ah, keep, keep them combined!
Else, of the myriads who fill
Sole they shall stray; on the rocks
Batter for ever in vain,
Die one by one in the waste.
Then, in such hour of need
Of your fainting, dispirited race, Cheerful, and helpful, and firm!
Ye, like angels, appear,
190 Therefore to thee it was given
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.
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.
Order, courage, return;
Ye fill up the gaps in our files,
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.