Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and Other Poems.

  “The almond blossoms in the vale;
    The aloe from the rock
  Throws out its long and prickly leaves,
    Nor dreads the tempest’s shock: 
      A blessed land, I ween, is that,
        Though luckless is its Bey. 
  There lies the sea—­beyond lies France! 
    Her banners in the air
  Float proudly and triumphantly—­
    A salvo! come, prepare! 
      And loud and long the mountains rang
        With that glad artillery.”


  “’Tis they!” exclaimed the aged Scheik. 
    “I’ve battled by their side—­
  I fought beneath the Pyramids! 
    That day of deathless pride—­
      Red as thy turban, Moor, that eve,
        Was every creek in Nile! 
  But tell me—­” and he griped his hand—­
    “Their Sultaun.  Stranger, say—­
  His form—­his face—­his posture, man? 
    Thou saw’st him in the fray? 
      His eye—­what wore he?” But the Moor
        Sought in his vest awhile.


  “Their Sultaun, Scheik, remains at home
    Within his palace walls: 
  He sends a Pasha in his stead
    To brave the bolts and balls. 
      He was not there.  An Aga burst
        For him through Atlas’ hold. 
  Yet I can show thee somewhat too. 
    A Frankish Cavalier
  Told me his effigy was stamped
    Upon this medal here—­
      He gave me with others
        For an Arab steed I sold.”


  The old man took the golden coin: 
    Gazed steadfastly awhile,
  If that could be the Sultaun
    Whom from the banks of Nile
      He guided o’er the desert path—­
        Then sighed and thus spake he—­
  “’Tis not his eye—­’tis not his brow—­
    Another face is there: 
  I never saw this man before—­
    His head is like a pear! 
      Take back thy medal, Moor—­’tis not
        That which I hoped to see.”



  I am Constantine Kanaris: 
    I, who lie beneath this stone,
  Twice into the air in thunder
    Have the Turkish galleys blown.

  In my bed I died—­a Christian,
    Hoping straight with Christ to be;
  Yet one earthly wish is buried
    Deep within the grave with me—­

  That upon the open ocean
    When the third Armada came,
  They and I had died together,
    Whirled aloft on wings of flame.

  Yet ’tis something that they’ve laid me
    In a land without a stain: 
  Keep it thus, my God and Saviour,
    Till I rise from earth again!



  Why look the distant mountains
    So gloomy and so drear? 
  Are rain-clouds passing o’er them,
    Or is the tempest near? 
  No shadow of the temptest
    Is there, nor wind nor rain—­
  ’Tis Charon that is passing by,
    With all his gloomy train.

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Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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