Haroun Al Raschid

GOLDEN pride and fragrant light
Are mine, and thereto was I born ;
Thronèd pomp is mine of right,
Robes bestarred, or like the morn ;
All words of pearl to me belong
Singers can string in shining song;
Jewels, as perfect song-notes rare,
Are mine own to waste or wear.
Not less hath this right hand power
Whereof such shows are but the flower, —
Power deep-rooted in the earth,
That shakes to royal wealth or mirth.
Yet, on many a deep blue night,
Clad and shod in coarsest wise,
All my splendors must I slight
For the smile of the common skies :
My feet, that inlaid courts forego,
Lanes of the dusty city know ;
I jest among the bronzèd slaves,
And am well met with merry knaves,
And quaff poor drink, and feel it glow;
Steep me in simple weal and woe;
Yea, learn to swim in those dim waves
That, my palace flight before,
Fawning fall with plausive roar.
Hence rumors dear shall rise and rise
Of my descending and disguise ;
Whereat the slave’s freed heart shall sing :
A Sultan looked into his eyes :
How is he, then, so mean a thing ?
By torchlight of such memories
The Sultan in himself he sees.
Thus, being loved, shall live my name,
Glowing in the general flame
Of the people’s hearth and heart;
While men lie entombed apart
That were as glorious and as great,
Forgot, because they kept their state ;
Crumbling with the crumbling Past
Into a dust unnamed at last,
Whence their gems procured shall be
By some wiser soul like me.
Helen Gray Cone.