So sung the dauntless Saracen,
Whereat the Prophet-Chief ordains
That, curst of Allah, loathed of men,
The faithless one shall die in chains.
But one vile Christian slave that lay
A prisoner near that prisoner saith;
“God willing, I will plant some day
A vine where thou liest in death.”
Lo, over Abu Midjan’s grave
With purpling fruit a vine-tree grows;
Where rots the martyred Christian slave
Allah, and only Allah, knows!
THE DYING YEAR.
The year has been a tedious one—
A weary round of toil and sorrow,
And, since it now at last is gone,
We say farewell and hail the morrow.
Yet o’er the wreck which time has
A sweet, consoling ray is shimmered—
The one but compensating thought
That literary life has glimmered.
Struggling with hunger and with cold
The world contemptuously beheld ’er;
The little thing was one year old—
But who’d have cared had she been elder?
He placed a rose in my nut-brown hair—
A deep red rose with a fragrant heart
And said: “We’ll set this day apart,
So sunny, so wondrous fair.”
His face was full of a happy light,
His voice was tender and low and sweet,
The daisies and the violets grew at our feet—
Alas, for the coming of night!
The rose is black and withered and dead!
’Tis hid in a tiny box away;
The nut-brown hair is turning to gray,
And the light of the day is fled!
The light of the beautiful day is fled,
Hush’d is the voice so sweet and low—
And I—ah, me! I loved him so—
And the daisies grow over his head!