The Talisman

 Where the sea forever dances
Over lonely cliff and dune,
Where sweet twilight's vapor glances
In a warmer-glowing moon,
Where with the seraglio's graces
Daylong toys the Mussulman,
An enchantress 'mid embraces
Handed me a talisman.
'Mid embraces I was bidden: "Guard this talisman of mine: In it secret power is hidden! Love himself has made it thine.
Neither death nor ills nor aging, My beloved, does it ban, Nor in gales and tempest raging Can avail my talisman.
Never will it help thee gather Treasures of the Orient coast, Neither to thy harness tether Captives of the Prophet's host; Nor in sadness will it lead thee To a friendly bosom, nor From this alien southland speed thee To the native northern shore.
"But whenever eyes designing Cast on thee a sudden spell, In the darkness lips entwining Love thee not, but kiss too well: Shield thee, love, from evil preying, From new heart-wounds---that it can, From forgetting, from betraying Guards thee this my talisman.

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