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And he went forth alone; not one of all The many whom he loved, nor she whose name Was woven in the fibres of his heart, Breaking within him now, did come to speak Comfort unto him yea, he went his way, Sick, and heart-broken, and alone.

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"Twas noon,

The leper knelt beside a stagnant pool

In the lone wilderness, and bathed his brow,
Hot with burning leprosy, and brought
The loathsome water to his fevered lips,
Praying that he might be so blessed to die!
Footsteps approached, and, with no strength to flee,
He drew the covering closer to his lip,
Crying, "Unclean! Unclean!" and, in the folds
Of the coarse sack-cloth shrouding up his face,
He fell upon the earth till they should pass.
Nearer the stranger came, and, bending o'er
The prostrate form, pronounced the leper's name;
The voice was music, and disease's pulse
Beat for a moment with restoring thrill:
He rose and stood.

The stranger gazed awhile,
As if his heart were moved, then stooping down,
He took a little water in his palm,

And laid it on his brow, and said, "Be clean!"
And lo! the scales fell from him, and his blood
Coursed with delicious coolness thro' his veins;
His palms grew moist, the leprosy was cleansed;
He fell and worshipped at the feet of Jesus.



A vision as of crowded city streets,
With human life in endless overflow;

Thunder of thoroughfares; trumpets that blow
To battle; clamour, in obscure retreats,
Of sailors landed from their anchored fleets;

Tolling of bells in turrets, and below

Voices of children, and bright flowers that throw
O'er garden-walls their intermingled sweets!
This vision comes to me when I unfold

The volume of the Poet paramount,

Whom all the Muses loved, not one alone;
Into his hands they put the lyre of gold,

And, crowned with sacred laurel at their fount,
Placed him as Musagetes on their throne.


Beside the ungathered rice he lay,
His sickle in his hand;

His breast was bare, his matted hair
Was buried in the sand.

Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep,
He saw his Native Land.

Wide through the landscape of his dreams.
The lordly Niger flowed;

Beneath the palm-trees on the plain
Once more a king he strode;
And heard the tinkling caravans
Descend the mountain-road.

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He saw once more his dark-eyed queen

Among her children stand;

They clasped his neck, they kissed his cheeks,
They held him by the hand!

A tear burst from the sleeper's lids
And fell into the sand.

And then at furious speed he rode
Along the Niger's bank;

His bridle-reins were golden chains,
And, with a martial clank,

At each leap he could feel his scabbard of steel
Smiting his stallion's flank.

Before him, like a blood-red flag,

The bright flamingoes flew;

From morn till night he followed their flight, O'er plains where the tamarind grew,

Till he saw the roofs of Caffre huts,

And the ocean rose to view.

At night he heard the lion roar,
And the hyæna scream;

And the river-horse, as he crushed the reeds
Beside some hidden stream;

And it passed, like a glorious roll of drums, Through the triumph of his dream.

The forests, with their myriad tongues,
Shouted of liberty;

And the Blast of the Desert cried aloud,
With a voice so wild and free,
That he started in his sleep and smiled
At their tempestuous glee.

He did not feel the driver's whip,
Nor the burning heat of day;

For death had illumined the Land of Sleep,
And his lifeless body lay

A worn-out fetter, that the soul
Had broken and thrown away!


A handfull of red sand, from the hot clime
Of Arab deserts brought,

Within this glass becomes the spy of Time,
The minister of Thought.

How many weary centuries has it been
About these deserts blown!

How many strange vicissitudes has seen,
How many histories known!

Perhaps the camels of the Ishmaelite
Trampled and passed it o'er,
When into Egypt from the patriarch's sight
His favourite son they bore.

Perhaps the feet of Moses, burnt and bare,
Crushed it beneath their tread;

Or Pharaoh's flashing wheels into the air
Scattered it as they sped;

Or Mary, with the Christ of Nazareth
Held close in her caress,

Whose pilgrimage of hope and love and faith
Illumed the wilderness;

Or anchorites beneath Engaddi's palms
Pacing the Dead Sea beach,

And singing slow their old Armeniam psalms
In half-articulate speech;

Or caravans,

that from Bassora's gate

With westward steps depart;

Or Mecca's pilgrims, confident of Fate,
And resolute in heart;

These have passed over it, or may have passed!
Now in this crystal tower
Imprisoned by some curious hand at last,
It counts the passing hour.

And as I gaze, these narrow walls expand;
Before my dreamy eye

Stretches the desert with its shifting sand,
Its unimpeded sky.

And borne aloft by the sustaining blast,
This little golden thread
Dilates into a column high and vast,
A form of fear and dread.

And onward, and across the setting sun,
Across the boundless plain,

The column and its broader shadow run,
Till thought pursues in vain.

The vision vanishes! These walls again
Shut out the lurid sun,
Shut out the hot, immeasurable plain;
The half-hour's sand is run!


Black shadows fall

From the lindens tall,

That lift aloft their massive wall

Against the southern sky;

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