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

To watch the starlight glitter on the snows,
    The plain stretched round us like a waveless sea,
Waiting until thy weary lids should close
    To slip my furs and spread them over thee.

How the wind howled about the lonely pass,
    While the faint snow-shine of that plateaued space
Lit, where it lay upon the frozen grass,
    The mournful, tragic beauty of thy face.

Thou hast enough caressed the scented hair
    Of these soft-breasted girls who waste thee so. 
Hast thou not sons for every adult year? 
    Let us arise, O Yasin Khan, and go!

Let us escape from these prison bars
    To gain the freedom of an open sky,
Thy soul and mine, alone beneath the stars,
    Intriguing danger, as in days gone by.

Nay; there is no returning, Yasin Khan. 
    The white peaks ward the passes, as of yore,
The wind sweeps o’er the wastes of Khorasan;—­
    But thou and I go thitherward no more.

Close, ah, too close, the bitter knowledge clings,
    We may not follow where my fancies yearn. 
The years go hence, and wild and lovely things,
    Their own, go with them, never to return.

Khristna and His Flute

(Translation by Moolchand)

Be still, my heart, and listen,
    For sweet and yet acute
I hear the wistful music
    Of Khristna and his flute. 
Across the cool, blue evenings,
    Throughout the burning days,
Persuasive and beguiling,
    He plays and plays and plays.

Ah, none may hear such music
    Resistant to its charms,
The household work grows weary,
    And cold the husband’s arms. 
I must arise and follow,
    To seek, in vain pursuit,
The blueness and the distance,
    The sweetness of that flute!

In linked and liquid sequence,
    The plaintive notes dissolve
Divinely tender secrets
    That none but he can solve. 
Oh, Khristna, I am coming,
    I can no more delay. 
“My heart has flown to join thee,”
    How can my footsteps stay?

Beloved, such thoughts have peril;
    The wish is in my mind
That I had fired the jungle,
    And left no leaf behind,—­
Burnt all bamboos to ashes,
    And made their music mute,—­
To save thee from the magic
    Of Khristna and his flute.

Song of Jasoda

Had I been young I could have claimed to fold thee
    For many days against my eager breast;
But, as things are, how can I hope to hold thee
    Once thou hast wakened from this fleeting rest?

Clear shone the moonlight, so that thou couldst find me,
    Yet not so clear that thou couldst see my face,
Where in the shadow of the palms behind me
    I waited for thy steps, for thy embrace.

What reck I now my morning life was lonely? 
    For widowed feet the ways are always rough. 
Though thou hast come to me at sunset only,
    Still thou hast come, my Lord, it is enough.

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