Here is the royalty of rain: naught
Of later pomp the desert stillness mars;
Alone these columns face the fiery sun,
Alone they watch beneath the midnight stars.
Forests have sprung to life in colder climes,
Grown stalwart, nourished many a savage brood,
Ripened to green age, fallen to decay,
Since this gray grove of marble voiceless stood.
Not voiceless once, when, like a rainbow woof
Veiling the azure of the Persian sky,
Curtains of crimson, violet, and gold
In folds of priceless texture hung on high!
And what have sun and shadow left to us?
What glorious picture in this marble frame
Ever, as soundless centuries roll by,
Gives this lone mount its proudest, dearest fame?
The sculptured legend on yon polished cliff
Has lost its meaning. Persia, gray and old,
Upon her bed of roses sleeps away
The ages, all her tales of triumph told.
But here Queen Esther stood; and still the world,
In vision rapt, beholds that peerless face,
When, with the smile which won a throne, she gave
Joy to her king and freedom to her race.
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