Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
470. Oriental Songs
By Richard Henry Stoddard

A LITTLE maid of Astrakan,
  An idol on a silk divan;
She sits so still, and never speaks,
  She holds a cup of mine;
’T is full of wine, and on her cheeks        5
  Are stains and smears of wine.
Thou little girl of Astrakan,
  I join thee on the silk divan:
There is no need to seek the land,
  The rich bazaars where rubies shine;        10
For mines are in that little hand,
  And on those little cheeks of thine.

YOU may drink to your leman in gold,
  In a great golden goblet of wine;
She ’s as ripe as the wine, and as bold        15
As the glare of the gold:
  But this little lady of mine,
  I will not profane her in wine.
I go where the garden so still is
  (The moon raining through),        20
To pluck the white bowls of the lilies,
  And drink her in dew!

DAY and night my thoughts incline
To the blandishments of wine:
Jars were made to drain, I think,        25
Wine, I know, was made to drink.
When I die, (the day be far!)
Should the potters make a jar
Out of this poor clay of mine,
Let the jar be filled with wine!        30

I AM a white falcon, hurrah!
  My home is the mountains so high;
But away o’er the lands and the waters,
  Wherever I please, I can fly.
I wander from city to city,        35
  I dart from the wave to the cloud,
And when I am dead I shall slumber
  With my own white wings for a shroud.

BREAK thou my heart, ah, break it,
  If such thy pleasure be;        40
Thy will is mine, what say I?
  ’T is more than mine to me.
And if my life offend thee,
  My passion and my pain,
Take thou my life, ah, take it,        45
  But spare me thy disdain!


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