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Last Poems eBook

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

The swollen tawny river seeks the sea,
    Its hungry waters, never satisfied,
Beflecked with fallen log and torn-up tree,
    Engulph the fisher-huts on either side.

The current brought a stranger yesterday,
    And laid him on the sand beneath a palm,
His worn young face was partly torn away,
    His eyes, that saw the world no more, were calm

We could not close his eyelids, stiff with blood,—­
    But, oh, my brother, I had changed with thee
For I am still tormented in the flood,
    Whilst thou hast done thy work, and reached the sea.

My Desire

Fate has given me many a gift
    To which men most aspire,
Lovely, precious and costly things,
    But not my heart’s desire.

Many a man has a secret dream
    Of where his soul would be,
Mine is a low verandah’d house
    In a tope beside the sea.

Over the roof tall palms should wave,
    Swaying from side to side,
Every night we should fall asleep
    To the rhythm of the tide.

The dawn should be gay with song of birds,
    And the stir of fluttering wings. 
Surely the joy of life is hid
    In simple and tender things!

At eve the waves would shimmer with gold
    In the rosy sunset rays,
Emerald velvet flats of rice
    Would rest the landward gaze.

A boat must rock at the laterite steps
    In a reef-protected pool,
For we should sail through the starlit night
    When the winds were calm and cool.

I am so tired of all this world,
    Its folly and fret and care. 
Find me a little scented home
    Amongst thy loosened hair.

Give me a soft and secret place
    Against thine amber breast,
Where, hidden away from all mankind,
    My soul may come to rest.

Many a man has a secret dream
    Of where his life might be;
Mine is a lovely, lonely place
    With sunshine and the sea.

Sher Afzul

This was the tale Sher Afzul told to me,
    While the spent camels bubbled on their knees,
And ruddy camp-fires twinkled through the gloom
    Sweet with the fragrance from the Sinjib trees.

I had a friend who lay, condemned to death
    In gaol for murder, wholly innocent,
Yet caught in webs of luckless circumstance;—­
    Thou know’st how lies, of good and ill intent,

Cluster like flies around a justice-court,
    Wheel within wheel, revolving screw on screw;—­
But from his prison he escaped and fled,
    Keeping his liberty a night or two

Among the lonely hills, where, shackled still,
    He braved a village, seeking for a file
To loose his irons; alas! he lost his life
    Through the base sweetness of a woman’s smile.

Lovely she was, and young, who gave the youth
    Kind words, and promised succor and repose,
Till on the quilt of false security
    He found exhausted sleep; but, ere he rose,

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