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Adela Florence Nicolson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 39 pages of information about Last Poems.

Many shall faint with love of me
    And I shall slake their thirst,
But Fate has brought thee hither to-day
    That thou shouldst be the first. 
Old, so old are the temple-walls,
    Love is older than they;
But I am the short-lived temple rose,
    Blooming for thee to-day.

Thine am I, Prince, and only thine,
What is there more so say ? 
If aught in thy heart incline to love
Let there be no delay!

The Rao of Ilore

I was sold to the Rao of Ilore,
    Slender and tall was he. 
When his litter carried him down the street
    I peeped through the thatch to see. 
              Ah, the eyes of the Rao of Ilore,
              My lover that was to be!

The hair that lay on his youthful brow
    Was curled like an ocean wave;
His eyes were lit with a tender smile,
    But his lips were soft and grave. 
For sake of these things I was still with joy
    When the silver coins were paid,
And they took me up to the Palace gates,
    Delighted and unafraid. 
              Ah, the eyes of the Rao of Ilore,
              May never their brilliance fade!

So near was I to the crown of life! 
    Ten thousand times, alas! 
The Diwan leant from the latticed hall,
    Looked down and saw me pass. 
He begged for me from the Rao of Ilore,
    Who answered, “She is thine,
Thou wert ever more than a father to me,
    And thy desires are mine.” 
              Ah, the eyes of the Rao of Ilore
              That never had looked in mine!

My years were spent in the Diwan’s Courts,
    My youth died down that day. 
For sake of thine own content of mind
    My lost beloved, I pray
That never my Lord a love may know
    Like that he threw away. 
              Ah, the eyes of the Rao of Ilore,
              Who threw my life away!

To M. C. N.

Thou hast no wealth, nor any pride of power,
    Thy life is offered on affection’s altar. 
Small sacrifices claim thee, hour by hour,
    Yet on the tedious path thou dost not falter.

To the unknowing, well thy days might seem
    Circled by solitude and tireless duty,
Yet is thy soul made radiant by a dream
    Of delicate and rainbow-coloured beauty.

Never a flower trembles in the wind,
    Never a sunset lingers on the sea,
But something of its fragrance joins thy mind,
    Some sparkle of its light remains with thee.

Thus when thy spirit enters on its rest,
Thy lips shall say, “I too have known the best!”

Disappointment

Oh, come, Beloved, before my beauty fades,
    Pity the sorrow of my loneliness. 
I am a Rosebush that the Cypress shades,
    No sunbeams find or lighten my distress.

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