Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous Jackal Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Jackal poems. This is a select list of the best famous Jackal poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Jackal poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of jackal poems.

Search for the best famous Jackal poems, articles about Jackal poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Jackal poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See Also:

Poems are below...



Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad of East and West

 Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth!

Kamal is out with twenty men to raise the Border-side,
And he has lifted the Colonel's mare that is the Colonel's pride:
He has lifted her out of the stable-door between the dawn and the day,
And turned the calkins upon her feet, and ridden her far away.
Then up and spoke the Colonel's son that led a troop of the Guides: "Is there never a man of all my men can say where Kamal hides?" Then up and spoke Mahommed Khan, the son of the Ressaldar: "If ye know the track of the morning-mist, ye know where his pickets are.
At dusk he harries the Abazai -- at dawn he is into Bonair, But he must go by Fort Bukloh to his own place to fare, So if ye gallop to Fort Bukloh as fast as a bird can fly, By the favour of God ye may cut him off ere he win to the Tongue of Jagai.
But if he be past the Tongue of Jagai, right swiftly turn ye then, For the length and the breadth of that grisly plain is sown with Kamal's men.
There is rock to the left, and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between, And ye may hear a breech-bolt snick where never a man is seen.
" The Colonel's son has taken a horse, and a raw rough dun was he, With the mouth of a bell and the heart of Hell and the head of the gallows-tree.
The Colonel's son to the Fort has won, they bid him stay to eat -- Who rides at the tail of a Border thief, he sits not long at his meat.
He's up and away from Fort Bukloh as fast as he can fly, Till he was aware of his father's mare in the gut of the Tongue of Jagai, Till he was aware of his father's mare with Kamal upon her back, And when he could spy the white of her eye, he made the pistol crack.
He has fired once, he has fired twice, but the whistling ball went wide.
"Ye shoot like a soldier," Kamal said.
"Show now if ye can ride.
" It's up and over the Tongue of Jagai, as blown dustdevils go, The dun he fled like a stag of ten, but the mare like a barren doe.
The dun he leaned against the bit and slugged his head above, But the red mare played with the snaffle-bars, as a maiden plays with a glove.
There was rock to the left and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between, And thrice he heard a breech-bolt snick tho' never a man was seen.
They have ridden the low moon out of the sky, their hoofs drum up the dawn, The dun he went like a wounded bull, but the mare like a new-roused fawn.
The dun he fell at a water-course -- in a woful heap fell he, And Kamal has turned the red mare back, and pulled the rider free.
He has knocked the pistol out of his hand -- small room was there to strive, "'Twas only by favour of mine," quoth he, "ye rode so long alive: There was not a rock for twenty mile, there was not a clump of tree, But covered a man of my own men with his rifle cocked on his knee.
If I had raised my bridle-hand, as I have held it low, The little jackals that flee so fast were feasting all in a row: If I had bowed my head on my breast, as I have held it high, The kite that whistles above us now were gorged till she could not fly.
" Lightly answered the Colonel's son: "Do good to bird and beast, But count who come for the broken meats before thou makest a feast.
If there should follow a thousand swords to carry my bones away, Belike the price of a jackal's meal were more than a thief could pay.
They will feed their horse on the standing crop, their men on the garnered grain, The thatch of the byres will serve their fires when all the cattle are slain.
But if thou thinkest the price be fair, -- thy brethren wait to sup, The hound is kin to the jackal-spawn, -- howl, dog, and call them up! And if thou thinkest the price be high, in steer and gear and stack, Give me my father's mare again, and I'll fight my own way back!" Kamal has gripped him by the hand and set him upon his feet.
"No talk shall be of dogs," said he, "when wolf and gray wolf meet.
May I eat dirt if thou hast hurt of me in deed or breath; What dam of lances brought thee forth to jest at the dawn with Death?" Lightly answered the Colonel's son: "I hold by the blood of my clan: Take up the mare for my father's gift -- by God, she has carried a man!" The red mare ran to the Colonel's son, and nuzzled against his breast; "We be two strong men," said Kamal then, "but she loveth the younger best.
So she shall go with a lifter's dower, my turquoise-studded rein, My broidered saddle and saddle-cloth, and silver stirrups twain.
" The Colonel's son a pistol drew and held it muzzle-end, "Ye have taken the one from a foe," said he; "will ye take the mate from a friend?" "A gift for a gift," said Kamal straight; "a limb for the risk of a limb.
Thy father has sent his son to me, I'll send my son to him!" With that he whistled his only son, that dropped from a mountain-crest -- He trod the ling like a buck in spring, and he looked like a lance in rest.
"Now here is thy master," Kamal said, "who leads a troop of the Guides, And thou must ride at his left side as shield on shoulder rides.
Till Death or I cut loose the tie, at camp and board and bed, Thy life is his -- thy fate it is to guard him with thy head.
So, thou must eat the White Queen's meat, and all her foes are thine, And thou must harry thy father's hold for the peace of the Border-line, And thou must make a trooper tough and hack thy way to power -- Belike they will raise thee to Ressaldar when I am hanged in Peshawur.
" They have looked each other between the eyes, and there they found no fault, They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-Blood on leavened bread and salt: They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-Blood on fire and fresh-cut sod, On the hilt and the haft of the Khyber knife, and the Wondrous Names of God.
The Colonel's son he rides the mare and Kamal's boy the dun, And two have come back to Fort Bukloh where there went forth but one.
And when they drew to the Quarter-Guard, full twenty swords flew clear -- There was not a man but carried his feud with the blood of the mountaineer.
"Ha' done! ha' done!" said the Colonel's son.
"Put up the steel at your sides! Last night ye had struck at a Border thief -- to-night 'tis a man of the Guides!" Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat; But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Law of the Jungle

 (From The Jungle Book)




Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back -- For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep; And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep.
The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown, Remember the Wolf is a Hunter -- go forth and get food of thine own.
Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle -- the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair.
When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail, Lie down till the leaders have spoken -- it may be fair words shall prevail.
When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar, Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home, Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain, The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.
If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay, Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away.
Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can; But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man! If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride; Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.
The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack.
Ye must eat where it lies; And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.
The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf.
He may do what he will; But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill.
Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling.
From all of his Pack he may claim Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.
Lair-Right is the right of the Mother.
From all of her year she may claim One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.
Cave-Right is the right of the Father -- to hunt by himself for his own: He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone.
Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw, In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law.
Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they; But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is -- Obey!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

Birds of Prey March

 March! The mud is cakin' good about our trousies.
Front! -- eyes front, an' watch the Colour-casin's drip.
Front! The faces of the women in the 'ouses Ain't the kind o' things to take aboard the ship.
Cheer! An' we'll never march to victory.
Cheer! An' we'll never live to 'ear the cannon roar! The Large Birds o' Prey They will carry us away, An' you'll never see your soldiers any more! Wheel! Oh, keep your touch; we're goin' round a corner.
Time! -- mark time, an' let the men be'ind us close.
Lord! the transport's full, an' 'alf our lot not on 'er -- Cheer, O cheer! We're going off where no one knows.
March! The Devil's none so black as 'e is painted! Cheer! We'll 'ave some fun before we're put away.
'Alt, an' 'and 'er out -- a woman's gone and fainted! Cheer! Get on -- Gawd 'elp the married men to-day! Hoi! Come up, you 'ungry beggars, to yer sorrow.
('Ear them say they want their tea, an' want it quick!) You won't have no mind for slingers, not to-morrow -- No; you'll put the 'tween-decks stove out, bein' sick! 'Alt! The married kit 'as all to go before us! 'Course it's blocked the bloomin' gangway up again! Cheer, O cheer the 'Orse Guards watchin' tender o'er us, Keepin' us since eight this mornin' in the rain! Stuck in 'eavy marchin'-order, sopped and wringin' -- Sick, before our time to watch 'er 'eave an' fall, 'Ere's your 'appy 'ome at last, an' stop your singin'.
'Alt! Fall in along the troop-deck! Silence all! Cheer! For we'll never live to see no bloomin' victory! Cheer! An' we'll never live to 'ear the cannon roar! (One cheer more!) The jackal an' the kite 'Ave an 'ealthy appetite, An' you'll never see your soldiers any more! ('Ip! Urroar!) The eagle an' the crow They are waitin' ever so, An' you'll never see your soldiers any more! ('Ip! Urroar!) Yes, the Large Birds o' Prey They will carry us away, An' you'll never see your soldiers any more!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

Outsong in the Jungle

 For the sake of him who showed
One wise Frog the Jungle-Road,
Keep the Law the Man-Pack make
For thy blind old Baloo's sake!
Clean or tainted, hot or stale,
Hold it as it were the Trail,
Through the day and through the night,
Questing neither left nor right.
For the sake of him who loves Thee beyond all else that moves, When thy Pack would make thee pain, Say: " Tabaqui sings again.
" When thy Pack would work thee ill, Say: "Shere Khan is yet to kill.
" When the knife is drawn to slay, Keep the Law and go thy way.
(Root and honey, palm and spathe, Guard a cub from harm and scathe!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! Kaa Anger is the egg of Fear-- Only lidless eyes see clear.
Cobra-poison none may leech-- Even so with Cobra-speech.
Open talk shall call to thee Strength, whose mate is Courtesy.
Send no lunge beyond thy length.
Lend no rotten bough thy strength.
Gauge thy gape with buck or goat, Lest thine eye should choke thy throat.
After gorging, wouldst thou sleep ? Look thy den be hid and deep, Lest a wrong, by thee forgot, Draw thy killer to the spot.
East and West and North and South, Wash thy hide and close thy mouth.
(Pit and rift and blue pool-brim, Middle-Jungle follow him!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! Bagheera In the cage my life began; Well I know the worth of Man.
By the Broken Lock that freed-- Man-cub, ware the Man-cub's breed! Scenting-dew or starlight pale, Choose no tangled tree-cat trail.
Pack or council, hunt or den, Cry no truce with Jackal-Men.
Feed them silence when they say: "Come with us an easy way.
" Feed them silence when they seek Help of thine to hurt the weak.
Make no bandar's boast of skill; Hold thy peace above the kill.
Let nor call nor song nor sign Turn thee from thy hunting-line.
(Morning mist or twilight clear, Serve him, Wardens of the Deer!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! The Three On the trail that thou must tread To the threshold of our dread, Where the Flower blossoms red; Through the nights when thou shalt lie Prisoned from our Mother-sky, Hearing us, thy loves, go by; In the dawns when thou.
shalt wake To the toil thou canst not break, Heartsick for the Jungle's sake; Wood and Water, Wind air Tree, Wisdom, Strength, and Courtesy, Jungle-Favour go with thee!
Written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | Create an image from this poem

THE FOX AND CRANE

 ONCE two persons uninvited

Came to join my dinner table;
For the nonce they lived united,

Fox and crane yclept in fable.
Civil greetings pass'd between us Then I pluck'd some pigeons tender For the fox of jackal-genius, Adding grapes in full-grown splendour.
Long-neck'd flasks I put as dishes For the crane, without delaying, Fill'd with gold and silver fishes, In the limpid water playing.
Had ye witness'd Reynard planted At his flat plate, all demurely, Ye with envy must have granted: "Ne'er was such a gourmand, surely!" While the bird with circumspection On one foot, as usual, cradled, From the flasks his fish-refection With his bill and long neck ladled.
One the pigeons praised,--the other, As they went, extoll'd the fishes, Each one scoffing at his brother For preferring vulgar dishes.
* * * If thou wouldst preserve thy credit, When thou askest folks to guzzle At thy hoard, take care to spread it Suited both for bill and muzzle.
1819.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

With Scindia to Delphi

 More than a hundred years ago, in a great battle fought near Delhi,
an Indian Prince rode fifty miles after the day was lost
with a beggar-girl, who had loved him and followed him in all his camps,
on his saddle-bow.
He lost the girl when almost within sight of safety.
A Maratta trooper tells the story: -- The wreath of banquet overnight lay withered on the neck, Our hands and scarfs were saffron-dyed for signal of despair, When we went forth to Paniput to battle with the Mlech, -- Ere we came back from Paniput and left a kingdom there.
Thrice thirty thousand men were we to force the Jumna fords -- The hawk-winged horse of Damajee, mailed squadrons of the Bhao, Stark levies of the southern hills, the Deccan's sharpest swords, And he the harlot's traitor son the goatherd Mulhar Rao! Thrice thirty thousand men were we before the mists had cleared, The low white mists of morning heard the war-conch scream and bray; We called upon Bhowani and we gripped them by the beard, We rolled upon them like a flood and washed their ranks away.
The children of the hills of Khost before our lances ran, We drove the black Rohillas back as cattle to the pen; 'Twas then we needed Mulhar Rao to end what we began, A thousand men had saved the charge; he fled the field with ten! There was no room to clear a sword -- no power to strike a blow, For foot to foot, ay, breast to breast, the battle held us fast -- Save where the naked hill-men ran, and stabbing from below Brought down the horse and rider and we trampled them and passed.
To left the roar of musketry rang like a falling flood -- To right the sunshine rippled red from redder lance and blade -- Above the dark Upsaras* flew, beneath us plashed the blood, And, bellying black against the dust, the Bhagwa Jhanda swayed.
* The Choosers of the Slain.
I saw it fall in smoke and fire, the banner of the Bhao; I heard a voice across the press of one who called in vain: -- "Ho! Anand Rao Nimbalkhur, ride! Get aid of Mulhar Rao! Go shame his squadrons into fight -- the Bhao -- the Bhao is slain!" Thereat, as when a sand-bar breaks in clotted spume and spray -- When rain of later autumn sweeps the Jumna water-head, Before their charge from flank to flank our riven ranks gave way; But of the waters of that flood the Jumna fords ran red.
I held by Scindia, my lord, as close as man might hold; A Soobah of the Deccan asks no aid to guard his life; But Holkar's Horse were flying, and our chiefest chiefs were cold, And like a flame among us leapt the long lean Northern knife.
I held by Scindia -- my lance from butt to tuft was dyed, The froth of battle bossed the shield and roped the bridle-chain -- What time beneath our horses' feet a maiden rose and cried, And clung to Scindia, and I turned a sword-cut from the twain.
(He set a spell upon the maid in woodlands long ago, A hunter by the Tapti banks she gave him water there: He turned her heart to water, and she followed to her woe.
What need had he of Lalun who had twenty maids as fair?) Now in that hour strength left my lord; he wrenched his mare aside; He bound the girl behind him and we slashed and struggled free.
Across the reeling wreck of strife we rode as shadows ride From Paniput to Delhi town, but not alone were we.
'Twas Lutuf-Ullah Populzai laid horse upon our track, A swine-fed reiver of the North that lusted for the maid; I might have barred his path awhile, but Scindia called me back, And I -- O woe for Scindia! -- I listened and obeyed.
League after league the formless scrub took shape and glided by -- League after league the white road swirled behind the white mare's feet -- League after league, when leagues were done, we heard the Populzai, Where sure as Time and swift as Death the tireless footfall beat.
Noon's eye beheld that shame of flight, the shadows fell, we fled Where steadfast as the wheeling kite he followed in our train; The black wolf warred where we had warred, the jackal mocked our dead, And terror born of twilight-tide made mad the labouring brain.
I gasped: -- "A kingdom waits my lord; her love is but her own.
A day shall mar, a day shall cure for her, but what for thee? Cut loose the girl: he follows fast.
Cut loose and ride alone!" Then Scindia 'twixt his blistered lips: -- "My Queens' Queen shall she be! "Of all who ate my bread last night 'twas she alone that came To seek her love between the spears and find her crown therein! One shame is mine to-day, what need the weight of double shame? If once we reach the Delhi gate, though all be lost, I win!" We rode -- the white mare failed -- her trot a staggering stumble grew, -- The cooking-smoke of even rose and weltered and hung low; And still we heard the Populzai and still we strained anew, And Delhi town was very near, but nearer was the foe.
Yea, Delhi town was very near when Lalun whispered: -- "Slay! Lord of my life, the mare sinks fast -- stab deep and let me die!" But Scindia would not, and the maid tore free and flung away, And turning as she fell we heard the clattering Populzai.
Then Scindia checked the gasping mare that rocked and groaned for breath, And wheeled to charge and plunged the knife a hand's-breadth in her side -- The hunter and the hunted know how that last pause is death -- The blood had chilled about her heart, she reared and fell and died.
Our Gods were kind.
Before he heard the maiden's piteous scream A log upon the Delhi road, beneath the mare he lay -- Lost mistress and lost battle passed before him like a dream; The darkness closed about his eyes -- I bore my King away.
Written by Victor Hugo | Create an image from this poem

THE EMPEROR'S RETURN

 ("Un bouffon manquait à cette fête.") 
 
 {LES BURGRAVES, Part II.} 


 The EMPEROR FREDERICK BARBAROSSA, believed to be dead, appearing 
 as a beggar among the Rhenish nobility at a castle, suddenly reveals 
 himself. 
 
 HATTO. This goodly masque but lacked a fool! 
 First gypsy; next a beggar;—good! Thy name? 
 
 BARBAROSSA. Frederick of Swabia, Emperor of Almain. 
 
 ALL. The Red Beard? 
 
 BARBAROSSA. Aye, Frederick, by my mountain birthright Prince 
 O' th' Romans, chosen king, crowned emperor, 
 Heaven's sword-bearer, monarch of Burgundy 
 And Arles—the tomb of Karl I dared profane, 
 But have repented me on bended knees 
 In penance 'midst the desert twenty years; 
 My drink the rain, the rocky herbs my food, 
 Myself a ghost the shepherds fled before, 
 And the world named me as among the dead. 
 But I have heard my country call—come forth, 
 Lifted the shroud—broken the sepulchre. 
 This hour is one when dead men needs must rise. 
 Ye own me? Ye mind me marching through these vales 
 When golden spur was ringing at my heel? 
 Now know me what I am, your master, earls! 
 Brave knights you deem! You say, "The sons we are 
 Of puissant barons and great noblemen, 
 Whose honors we prolong." You do prolong them? 
 Your sires were soldiers brave, not prowlers base, 
 Rogues, miscreants, felons, village-ravagers! 
 They made great wars, they rode like heroes forth, 
 And, worthy, won broad lands and towers and towns, 
 So firmly won that thirty years of strife 
 Made of their followers dukes, their leaders kings! 
 While you! like jackal and the bird of prey, 
 Who lurk in copses or 'mid muddy beds— 
 Crouching and hushed, with dagger ready drawn, 
 Hide in the noisome marsh that skirts the way, 
 Trembling lest passing hounds snuff out your lair! 
 Listen at eventide on lonesome path 
 For traveller's footfall, or the mule-bell's chime, 
 Pouncing by hundreds on one helpless man, 
 To cut him down, then back to your retreats— 
 You dare to vaunt your sires? I call your sires, 
 Bravest of brave and greatest 'mid the great, 
 A line of warriors! you, a pack of thieves! 
 
 Athenaeum. 

Written by Paul Laurence Dunbar | Create an image from this poem

IN THE TENTS OF AKBAR

In the tents of Akbar
Are dole and grief to-day,
For the flower of all the Indies
Has gone the silent way.
In the tents of Akbar
Are emptiness and gloom,
And where the dancers gather,
The silence of the tomb.
Across the yellow desert,
Across the burning sands,
Old Akbar wanders madly,
And wrings his fevered hands.
And ever makes his moaning
To the unanswering sky,
For Sutna, lovely Sutna,
Who was so fair to die.
For Sutna danced at morning,
[Pg 224]And Sutna danced at eve;
Her dusky eyes half hidden
Behind her silken sleeve.
Her pearly teeth out-glancing
Between her coral lips,
The tremulous rhythm of passion
Marked by her quivering hips.
As lovely as a jewel
Of fire and dewdrop blent,
So danced the maiden Sutna
In gallant Akbar's tent.
And one who saw her dancing,
Saw her bosom's fall and rise
Put all his body's yearning
Into his lovelit eyes.
Then Akbar came and drove him—
A jackal—from his door,
And bade him wander far and look
On Sutna's face no more.
Some day the sea disgorges,
The wilderness gives back,
Those half-dead who have wandered,
Aimless, across its track.
And he returned—the lover,
Haggard of brow and spent;
He found fair Sutna standing
Before her master's tent.
"Not mine, nor Akbar's, Sutna!"
He cried and closely pressed,
And drove his craven dagger
Straight to the maiden's breast.
Oh, weep, oh, weep, for Sutna,
So young, so dear, so fair,
Her face is gray and silent
Beneath her dusky hair.
And wail, oh, wail, for Akbar,
Who walks the desert sands,
Crying aloud for Sutna,
Wringing his fevered hands.
In the tents of Akbar
The tears of sorrow run,
But the corpse of Sutna's slayer,
Lies rotting in the sun.
Written by Adela Florence Cory Nicolson | Create an image from this poem

Yasmini

   At night, when Passion's ebbing tide
     Left bare the Sands of Truth,
   Yasmini, resting by my side,
     Spoke softly of her youth.

   "And one" she said "was tall and slim,
     Two crimson rose leaves made his mouth,
   And I was fain to follow him
     Down to his village in the South.

   "He was to build a hut hard by
     The stream where palms were growing,
   We were to live, and love, and lie,
     And watch the water flowing.

   "Ah, dear, delusive, distant shore,
     By dreams of futile fancy gilt!
   The riverside we never saw,
     The palm leaf hut was never built!

   "One had a Tope of Mangoe trees,
     Where early morning, noon and late,
   The Persian wheels, with patient ease,
     Brought up their liquid, silver freight.

   "And he was fain to rise and reach
     That garden sloping to the sea,
   Whose groves along the wave-swept beach
     Should shelter him and love and me.

   "Doubtless, upon that western shore
     With ripe fruit falling to the ground,
   There dwells the Peace he hungered for,
     The lovely Peace we never found.

   "Then there came one with eager eyes
     And keen sword, ready for the fray.
   He missed the storms of Northern skies,
     The reckless raid and skirmish gay!

   "He rose from dreams of war's alarms,
     To make his daggers keen and bright,
   Desiring, in my very arms,
     The fiercer rapture of the fight!

   "He left me soon; too soon, and sought
     The stronger, earlier love again.
   News reached me from the Cabul Court,
     Afterwards nothing; doubtless slain.

   "Doubtless his brilliant, haggard eyes,
     Long since took leave of life and light,
   And those lithe limbs I used to prize
     Feasted the jackal and the kite.

   "But the most loved! his sixteen years
     Shone in his cheeks' transparent red.
   My kisses were his first: my tears
     Fell on his face when he was dead.

   "He died, he died, I speak the truth,
     Though light love leave his memory dim,
   He was the Lover of my Youth
     And all my youth went down with him.

   "For passion ebbs and passion flows,
     But under every new caress
   The riven heart more keenly knows
     Its own inviolate faithfulness.

   "Our Gods are kind and still deem fit
     As in old days, with those to lie,
   Whose silent hearths are yet unlit
     By the soft light of infancy.

   "Therefore, one strange, mysterious night
     Alone within the Temple shade,
   Recipient of a God's delight
     I lay enraptured, unafraid.

   "Also to me the boon was given,
     But mourning quickly followed mirth,
   My son, whose father stooped from Heaven,
     Died in the moment of his birth.

   "When from the war beyond the seas
     The reckless Lancers home returned,
   Their spoils were laid across my knees
     About my lips their kisses burned.

   "Back from the Comradeship of Death,
     Free from the Friendship of the Sword,
   With brilliant eyes and famished breath
     They came to me for their reward.

   "Why do I tell you all these things,
     Baring my life to you, unsought?
   When Passion folds his wearied wings
     Sleep should be follower, never Thought.

   "Ay, let us sleep. The window pane
     Grows pale against the purple sky.
   The dawn is with us once again,
     The dawn; which always means good-bye."

   Within her little trellised room, beside the palm-fringed sea,
   She wakeful in the scented gloom, spoke of her youth to me.
Written by Adela Florence Cory Nicolson | Create an image from this poem

Thoughts: Mahomed Akram

   If some day this body of mine were burned
   (It found no favour alas! with you)
   And the ashes scattered abroad, unurned,
   Would Love die also, would Thought die too?
       But who can answer, or who can trust,
       No dreams would harry the windblown dust?

   Were I laid away in the furrows deep
   Secure from jackal and passing plough,
   Would your eyes not follow me still through sleep
   Torment me then as they torture now?
       Would you ever have loved me, Golden Eyes,
       Had I done aught better or otherwise?

   Was I overspeechful, or did you yearn
   When I sat silent, for songs or speech?
   Ah, Beloved, I had been so apt to learn,
   So apt, had you only cared to teach.
       But time for silence and song is done,
       You wanted nothing, my Golden Sun!

   What should you want of a waning star?
   That drifts in its lonely orbit far
   Away from your soft, effulgent light
   In outer planes of Eternal night?