Oh, my little, loved Firoza,
Come and nestle to me closer,
Where the golden-balled Mimosa makes a canopy above,
For the day, so hot and burning,
Dies away, and night, returning,
Sets thy lover’s spirit yearning for thy beauty and thy love.
Soon will come the rosy warning
Of the bright relentless morning,
When, thy soft caresses scorning, I shall leave thee in the shade.
All the day my work must chain me,
And its weary bonds restrain me,
For I may not re-attain thee till the light begins to fade.
But at length the long day endeth,
As the cool of night descendeth
His last strength thy lover spendeth in returning to thy breast,
Where beneath the Babul nightly,
While the planets shimmer whitely,
And the fire-flies glimmer brightly, thou shalt give him love and rest.
Far away, across the distance,
The quick-throbbing drums’ persistence
Shall resound, with soft insistence, in the pauses of delight,
Through the sequence of the hours,
While the starlight and the flowers
Consecrate this love of ours, in the Temple of the Night.
Who was it held that Love was soothing or sweet?
Mine is a painful fire, at its whitest heat.
Who said that Beauty was ever a gentle joy?
Thine is a sword that flashes but to destroy.
Though mine eyes rose up from thy Beauty’s banquet,
calm and refreshed,
My lips, that were granted naught, can find no rest.
My soul was linked with thine, through speech and
As the sound of two soft flutes combined, or the scent of sister flowers.
But the body, that wretched slave of the Sultan, Mind,
Who follows his master ever, but far behind,
Nothing was granted him, and every rebellious cell
Rises up with angry protest, “It is not well!
Night is falling; thou hast departed; I am alone;
And the Last Sweetness of Love thou hast not given—I have not known!”
Somewhere, Oh, My Beloved One, the house is standing,
Waiting for thee and me; for our first caresses.
It may be a river-boat, or a wave-washed landing,
The shade of a tree in the jungle’s dim recesses,
Some far-off mountain tent, ill-pitched and lonely,
Or the naked vault of the purple heavens only.
But the Place is waiting there; till the Hour shall
And our footsteps, following Fate, find it and know it.
Where we shall worship the greatest of all the Gods
in his pomp and power,—
I sometimes think that I shall not care to survive that hour!
The rice-birds fly so white, so silver white,
The velvet rice-flats lie so emerald green,
My heart inhales, with sorrowful delight,
The sweet and poignant sadness of the scene.