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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 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 re, 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 gleane 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



The light of thy great presence; and the cope Of the half-attained futurity,

Though deep, not fathomless,

Was cloven with the million stars that tremble
O'er the deep mind of dauntless infancy.
Small thought was there of life's distress;
For sure she deemed no mist of earth could dull
Those spirit-thrilling eyes so keen and beautiful
Sure she was nigher to heaven's spheres,
Listening the lordly music flowing from
The illimitable years.

O strengthen me, enlighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,

Thou dewy dawn of memory.


Come forth, I charge thee, arise,

Thou of the many tongues, the myriad eyes!
Thou comest not with shows of flaunting vines
Unto mine inner eye,
Divinest memory!

Thou wert not nursed by the waterfall
Which ever sounds and shines

A pillar of white light upon the wall Of purple cliffs, aloof descried :

Come from the woods that belt the gray hill-side The seven elms, the poplars four,

That stand beside my father's door,

And chiefly from the brook that loves

To purl o'er matted cress and ribbed sand,
Or dimple in the dark of rushy coves,
Drawing into his narrow earthen urn,
In every elbow and turn,

The filtered tribute of the rough woodland.
O! hither lead thy feet!

Pour round mine ears the livelong bleat
Of the thick-fleeced sheep from wattled folds,
Upon the ridged wolds,

When the first matin-song hath wakened loud

Over the dark dewy earth forlorn,

What time the amber morn

Forth gushes from beneath a low-hung cloud.


Large dowries doth the raptured eye
To the young spirit present
When first she is wed;

And like a bride of old

In triumph led,

With music and sweet showers
Of festal flowers,

Unto the dwelling she must sway.
Well hast thou done, great artist Memory,
In setting round thy first experiment

With royal framework of wrought gold;
Needs must thou dearly love thy first essay,
And foremost in thy various gallery

Place it, where sweetest sunlight falls
Upon the storied walls;

For the discovery

And newness of thine art so pleased thee,
That all which thou hast drawn of fairest
Or boldest since, but lightly weighs
With thee unto the love thou bearest
The first-born of thy genius. Artist-like,
Ever retiring thou dost gaze

On the prime labor of thine early days:
No matter what the sketch might be;
Whether the high field on the bushless Pike,
Or even a sand-built ridge

Of heaped hills that mound the sea,

Overblown with murmurs harsh,

Or even a lowly cottage whence we see

Stretched wide and wild the waste enormous


Where from the frequent bridge,

Like emblems of infinity,

The trenchéd waters run from sky to sky:

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