just,” he said.... Then burning ire
With vengeance visions filled his brain like fire;
And to his bosom, anguish-torn but late,
Delirious with delight he hugged his hate.
“Revenge!” cried he; “why wait until the morn?
This night mine enemy shall know my scorn.”
The stars looked down in wo’nder overhead
As backward Kafur toward Damascus sped.
The wind, that
erst had joined him in his grief,
Now whispered strangely to the walnut leaf;
Into the bird’s song pleading notes had crept,
The happy fountains in the gardens wept,
And e’en the river, with its restless roll,
Seemed calling “pity” unto Kafur’s soul.
he cried, “O chasten thou my heart;
Move me to mercy, and a nobler part!”
Slow strode he on, the while a new-born grace
Softened the rigid outlines of his face,
Nor paused he till he struck, as ne’er before,
A ringing summons on his foeman’s door.
His mantle half
across his features thrown,
He won the spacious inner court unknown,
Where, on a deep divan, lay stretched his foe,
Sipping his sherbet cool with Hermon snow;
Who, when he looked on Kafur, hurled his hate
Upon him, wrathful and infuriate,
Bidding him swift begone, and think to feel
A judge’s sentence and a jailer’s steel.
cried Kafur, at this burst of rage
Holding aloft a rolled parchment page;
“Prayers and not threats were more to thy behoof;
Thine is the danger, see! I hold the proof.
Should I seek out the Caliph in his bower
To-morrow when the mid-muezzin hour
Has passed, and lay before his eyes this scrip,
Silence would seal forevermore thy lip.
and cringe and crook the supple knee,
And beg thy life of me, thine enemy,
Whom thou, a moment since, didst doom to death.
I will not breathe suspicion’s lightest breath
Against thy vaunted fame: and even though
Before all men thou’st sworn thyself my foe,
And pledged thyself wrongly to wreak on me
Thy utmost power of mortal injury,
In spite of this, should I be first to die
And win the bowers of the blest on high,
Beside the golden gate of Paradise
Thee will I wait with ever-watchful eyes,
Ready to plead forgiveness for thy sin,
If thou shouldst come, and shouldst not enter in.
Allah hear my plea, how sweet! how sweet!
For then would Kafur’s vengeance be complete.”
THE WISHING WELL.
BY VIRGINIA WOODWARD CLOUD.
Around its shining edge three
sat them down,
Beyond the desert, ‘neath the palms’ green ring.
“I wish,” spake one, “the gems of Izza’s crown,
For then would I be Izza and a King!”