Successful Recitations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about Successful Recitations.

Till she saw old Alec waiting, and arose for his embrace,
While a radiant light was stealing o’er her pallid upturned face,
But her spirit soaring higher flew beyond the realms of night,
For God Himself had turned for her all darkness into light.



Her arms across her breast she laid;
She was more fair than words can say: 
Bare-footed came the beggar maid
Before the king Cophetua. 
In robe and crown the king stept down,
To meet and greet her on her way;
“It is no wonder,” said the lords,
“She is more beautiful than day.”

As shines the moon in clouded skies,
She in her poor attire was seen: 
One praised her ankles, one her eyes,
One her dark hair and lovesome mien. 
So sweet a face, such angel grace,
In all that land had never been: 
Cophetua sware a royal oath: 
“This beggar maid shall be my queen!”



From fair Damascus, as the day grew late,
Passed Kafur homeward through St. Thomas’ gate
Betwixt the pleasure-gardens where he heard
Vie with the lute the twilight-wakened bird. 
But song touched not his heavy heart, nor yet
The lovely lines of gold and violet,
A guerdon left by the departing sun
To grace the brow of Anti-Lebanon. 
Upon his soul a crushing burden weighed,
And to his eyes the swiftly-gathering shade
Seemed but the presage of his doom to be,—­
Death, and the triumph of his enemy.

One slain by slander” cried he, with a laugh, “Thus should the poets frame my epitaph, Above whose mouldering dust it will be said, ‘Blessed be Allah that the hound is dead!’” Out rang a rhythmic revel as he spake From joyous bulbuls in the poplar brake, Hailing the night’s first blossom in the sky.  And now, with failing foot, he drew anigh The orchard-garden where his home was hid Pomegranate shade and jasmine bloom amid.

      Despair mocked at him from the latticed gate
      Where Love and Happiness had lain in wait
      With tender greetings, and the lights within
      Gleamed on the grave of Bliss that once had been. 
      Fair Hope who daily poured into his ear
      Her rainbow promises gave way to Fear
      Who smote him blindly, leaving him to moan
      With bitter tears before the gateway prone.

      Soft seemed the wind in sympathy to grieve,
      When lo! a sudden hand touched Kafur’s sleeve,
      And then a voice cried, echoing his name,
      “Behold the proofs to put thy foe to shame!’”
      Up sprang the prostrate man, and while he stood
      Gripping the proffered scrip in marvelhood,
      He who had brought deliverance slipped from sight;
      Thus Joy made instant day of Kafur’s night.

Project Gutenberg
Successful Recitations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.